What’s Been Happening the Past Two Months

So I haven’t kept up with my blogging. Shocking, I know! I am going to give credit to my girl Wendi over at This, That and the Other Thang for inspiring me to finally get back on the blogging track. (By the way, do yourself a favor and go follow her. She’s the best.)

This summer has been crazy busy for me. I can’t remember the last day where I had absolutely nothing planned and don’t know when my next free day will be. But I’m definitely not complaining. This summer has been insanely fun even when the heat’s become unbearable. (If we could stop with the 90 degree weather, that’d be great!)

Even though I’ve been really busy I want to stop neglecting this blog. But first I’d like to play some catch up with all the things that have been going on with me lately and all the ridiculous thoughts I’ve had.

Nothing made me realize just how old I am more than my most recent trip to Miami. I went to Miami for a bachelorette party two weeks ago. It was so much fun. I drank some awesome drinks, ate delicious food, and lounged by the beach/pool all day. All in all it was a fantastic vacation but oh boy did it take a lot out of me! Partying for three nights straight was more than my 30-year-old self could handle. I’m pretty sure I got all my partying out for the rest of 2016.

Miami

I climbed an actual mountain last month. Mount Tammany on the Delaware Water Gap to be exact. It was tiring and there were a few times while climbing up that I thought I was going to die but ultimately it was so worth it. The view was amazing and when we got back to the bottom there was a river where we could go swimming. While I despise exercising normally, I definitely think that climbing mountains could be my thing. mount tammanyIf you don’t walk away from the new Ghostbusters a little in love with Kate McKinnon, I question whether you’re really human or not. Seriously though, go see the new Ghostbusters movie. The trailer doesn’t do it justice at all. It was highly entertaining and Kate McKinnon is AMAZING!!

I hate all of my family and friends on FB. If you think I may be referring to you, then I am definitely referring to you. Just SHUT UP! You are all idiots and absolutely no one cares about your political views. Also, let me introduce you to the site snopes.com. Let it become your new best friend.

Speaking of political rants, this entire election just leaves me sad and angry. I don’t want to get into it too much cause I don’t want to be like my dumb FB friends I was talking about before, but this election is just depressing. I genuinely fear for the country I live in.

And that’s what you missed. Well there’s definitely some other stuff going on but I’ll save those things for their own posts. For now I’m just happy to be back and can’t wait to start blogging again.

 

The Makings of a Great First Date

For all my complaining about dating (and there is a lot to complain about), even I can admit that first dates can be pretty magical sometimes. I’ll admit that they all start off with insane anxiety. “What do I wear? What if he doesn’t like me? What if I don’t like him?” And there is a ton of reluctance. “I so don’t want to be doing this right now. Sitting on my couch watching Netflix sounds a million times more enticing than meeting some dude. I hope this goes by quickly.”

Unfortunately, nine out of ten times these feelings stay throughout the whole date. I have spent more first dates than I care to admit counting down the minutes until it’s not rude for me to leave. This dude wants to get another drink and I just want to take my bra off and finish season 1 of iZombie.

Now not to get all Nicholas Sparks on everyone but once in a blue moon, magic happens. It’s a terrifying and exciting thought that one day you will go on a first date that will be your last first date forever. You don’t know when this will happen and it will usually take months, even years before you realize that perfect first date was your last. But that’s a pretty amazing thought. You meet someone on a random Tuesday night for beers, when you didn’t even want to go, and they could potentially become one of the most important people in your life. That makes first dates pretty friggen amazing to me. (I am the ultimate romantic cynic if you haven’t noticed.)

And even if that person doesn’t turn out to be your number one forever, it doesn’t make the first date any less magical. The majority of first dates blow and do not lead to second dates so when you come across a first date that you don’t want to end, it’s something to celebrate.

From someone who has gone on her fair share of bad first dates, mixed with a few magical first dates, here are the ingredients needed for a stellar first encounter.

Enthusiasm is a Must – Now I know I said that I start off most first dates wishing I was on my couch watching TV. This is still true. It’s hard to muster up excitement about meeting a stranger who will most likely remain a stranger, but you have to have a little bit of excitement. If you’re absolutely miserable then it’s going to show. Let yourself get a little excited about the human being you’ll be meeting. If he turns out to be a complete bust, then by all means go back to being excited about Netflix.

Location Does Not Matter – You do not need some elaborate production when going on a first date. One of the best first dates I ever went on was sitting at the bar in a brightly lit Mexican restaurant nursing one beer. What made that date so memorable? It definitely wasn’t the locale. It was the three hours that flew by talking about everything and anything with my date.

Conversation – I am currently not on any online dating sites but when I was, OK Cupid was my app of choice. OKC had these series of questions that determined your compatibly with a user. One of the questions asked what was worse: having nothing to talk about or having no physical attraction on a first date? It always boggled my mind when guys would respond with no physical attraction. I’d rather get a root canal than go on a date with someone who I have absolutely nothing to talk about. (OK maybe not a root canal cause that was one of the worst experiences of my life but I just wanted you guys to fully grasp how much I HATE boring first dates.)

Physical Attraction – Now with a magical first date, you don’t have to have that OKC Sophie’s choice. You have great conversation AND physical attraction. Because as much as we like to say “looks don’t matter” and “it’s what’s inside that counts,” when it comes to dating, we all have to be a little shallow at times. It’s almost impossible to pursue a relationship with someone you don’t find attractive. Eventually you’ll have to do it sober and/or with the lights on.

Contact That Night – Before I get started, I have to ask: Do people still go by that three day rule? I can’t imagine. If I went on a date with a guy and three days went by without me hearing from him, I’d assume he’s either dead or not interested. Now when I go on a first date more than likely I am driving to wherever we are meeting up. I am not sure if you’re a serial killer so there’s no way I’m getting in your car. This means that when the date ends we’ll be going our separate ways to get home. This also means that “Did you get home OK?” text should be sent. People who text to make sure you got home OK are my favorite type of people and I will instantly like you 10 times more.

Excitement for What’s to Come – The truly best thing about a great first date is the possibilities it presents. Will these feelings still be there on the second date? What will it be like if and when we kiss? Where is this going to go? The beginning of a new relationship is such an exciting time and it all starts with a really great first date.

Things That Do Not Matter

It doesn’t matter how much alcohol a person consumed.

It doesn’t matter how revealing a person’s clothes were.

It doesn’t matter what time of day it was.

It doesn’t matter what the person’s sexual past is.

It doesn’t matter how athletic a person is or how bright their future could have been.

It doesn’t matter if both parties have had sex with one another in the past.

It doesn’t matter if both parties are currently in a relationship or were in the past.

It doesn’t matter if a person was alone.

It doesn’t matter if drugs were involved.

It doesn’t matter how nice and sweet a person has been to members of the opposite sex in the past.

Things That Do Matter

If a person has sex with someone else without consent.

*If you’re still feeling like some of those things I mentioned do matter, then I suggest you read this letter.

 

 

Five Months of Being a Librarian

Yesterday I celebrated my graduation. I technically graduated way back in December of 2015, which feels like ages ago, but the ceremony was yesterday. Since I skipped my graduation for my Bachelor’s, I decided to attend this one.

It was mostly a bunch of nonsense. People are still spewing those same you-can-do-it speeches that we all know are bullshit. But I am still glad that I went. It was nice to see all my old classmates and to celebrate one last time one of the best decisions I ever made.

It took me awhile to decide to go back to school. I wasn’t anywhere close to paying off my student loans and the thought of adding on even more debt, made me want to puke. But I knew I wasn’t happy with my current job and needed a change. Books and libraries always fascinated me. Somehow I just knew it was a career I would love. So after doing some research, I took the plunge and went back to school. It was incredibly hard. There were a few times I genuinely did not think I would make it out alive. And I doubled my student loans, but it’s a decision I will never regret.

Going back to school and getting my Master’s in Library and Information Science led me to the best job I’ve ever had. I am one of those rare, lucky people who gets to say she loves her job.

It’s been nearly five months now that I’ve been a public librarian. It’s been a ton of fun and really interesting. Here are some of the things I’ve discovered about being a librarian in just the five short months I’ve been one.

Guys are super creepy about the whole librarian thing – Guys are really serious about this whole “sexy librarian” thing. Dudes, the comments when you find out what I do for a living are not necessary.

The patrons can be really creepy as well – Confidence low? Just become a female librarian and sit at the information desk. I’ve never been hit on more than I have while working as a librarian. Most of the times it’s sweet and someone just giving me a quick compliment, but sometimes it gets really uncomfortable. There is one patron that we all refer to as my stalker. (I could write a whole post just about him.)

I do not care that you haven’t been to a library in ten years and that you never read – When someone finds out what I do for a living, there are two things they tell me: how long it’s been since they’ve been to a library and the last time they read a book.

There are a lot of characters who come to the library – Dealing with the public in general can be an interesting experience but the characters who come to the library take the cake. Five months. It’s only been five months working at a public library and I can already write a book about the people I’ve dealt with. The crazies are inevitable. Free WiFi, free A/C, and no one will kick you out no matter how long you stay. Combine those three things and naturally you’ll have a lot of people flocking to the library.

But overall I love my patrons – I assume every public library has their regulars. The branch I work for is no different. But I have to say that my branch has some of the best regulars, even when you factor in those crazies I was just speaking about. I’ve already developed my favorites and will be so sad to leave some of these people behind if and when I move somewhere else.

The kids are the greatest – The adults can be fine and I genuinely enjoy helping them but nothing beats the kids. I love the kids at my library. They are adorable and so hilarious. And absolutely nothing makes me happier than when I see them getting excited about a book.

I do not spend all day reading and telling people to be quiet – People have this impression that working at a library is a peaceful job. They think I sit all day in silence, surrounded by books, and reading. I may spend all day surrounded by books but nothing else about that description is accurate. I’ve gotten less reading done since I started my job because there is always something I need to do. And you will never catch me telling a patron to be quiet. I encourage noise at my library.

People assume librarians have the answer to everything – The questions I get go far beyond the simple, “Do you have this book?” In fact, the majority of the questions I get have nothing to do with books. People want to know how to get an ID. How to find a job. The travel directions from point A to point B. Travel directions are a big one. One lady came in wanting me to plan her entire itinerary for when she travels to the Poconos.

I will never give up trying to find an answer to your question – But no matter how asinine a question is, I will do whatever I can to get you an answer. And even if I personally don’t know the answer, I will make sure I find someone else you can contact who should hopefully be able to get you an answer.

I use Google A LOT – Here’s a secret that no librarian would care to admit: We use Google and we use it a lot!

Teens are damn near impossible to please – My official title at work is Young Adult Senior Librarian. This means that I’m in charge of maintaining the YA books and also coming up with programs for the teenagers. I’m completely fine with the first part but the second part I’ve essentially given up on. Teenagers are not interested in attending programs at the library. Shocking, I know. Connecting with them in general is a challenge. I’ve finally gotten to the point where they take their headphones off when I talk to them. So baby steps.

It’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever had – A few weeks ago, a ballpark by the library was having a job fair. We had a ton of people coming to the library that day to use the computers so they can put together and print out their resumes. I spent the majority of the day making library cards for people and helping them figure out how to use the computer. Before the day was over, a few people came back into the library to personally thank the staff for our help and to let us know that they got a job at the fair. My first month of working, I was helping a mom and her 6-year-old daughter find books about kids from around the world. After some research and browsing, I found a book that the child wanted to take home. I went back to my desk and two minutes later the little girl came behind the desk to give me a hug because she was so excited about her book. As cheesy as this sounds, the thing I love most about being a librarian is that I really feel like I’m helping people. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

Nothing About This Is Fun

I recently did a search on Google. I searched “being single at 30.” Here are some of the headlines that came up:

30 Reasons It’s OK to Be Single at 30

Why Being Single in Your 30s is Better than in Your 20s

24 Reasons It’s Cool to Be Single in Your 30s

Being Single in Your 30s is Actually Pretty Great

Let’s cut the bullshit! Nothing about being 30 and single is OK, fun, or cool. Actually let me rephrase that. Nothing about being 30 and single and FEMALE is OK, fun, or cool. Cause do you know what all those articles have in common? They are written by women and about women.

We all know it’s women who should be worried about becoming old maids and spinsters after a certain age. Single men at 30 or 40 remain bachelors. There isn’t some derogatory term for them because they still have time. Men are never really past their prime. When they choose to settle down, they will.

Sure we’re past the point where a single woman at 25 is classified as an old maid. Women are getting married and having children later in life than they ever have before. But for as much progress as we’ve made, there is still a long way to go.

And I am going to be blunt here and say what the women in the above articles didn’t want to admit: Being 30 and still single sucks!

Now I’m not saying that I spend every night drinking wine and crying over a tub of Ben & Jerry’s. (That only happens every other night.) For the most part, I’m doing OK. I have so much other stuff happening in my life that I’m not constantly consumed with the fact that I’m single. But then something happens to remind me just how single I really am.

It could be getting the ever popular “Why are you still single?” question. Or it could be getting invited to yet another wedding and realizing that you’d have to put an ad out on Craigslist if you wanted to bring a plus one. Or it could be going to a function with friends and realizing that you’re the only one left who hasn’t coupled up. Or most of the time, it’s simply just that look you get for “still” being single.

People will never say it (unless you know assholes) but you can sense that they’re thinking it. “There must be something wrong with her.” And the really sad part is that you’re the one thinking it the most. “There must be something wrong with ME.”

In your early twenties being single is completely normal. It’s actually more of an anomaly to find yourself in a serious relationship. However, as the candles to start pile up on your birthday cake, you start to realize that you’re becoming an endangered species.

As much as those articles want to preach that being single is OK and fun, I think we can all admit that it’s not the norm. I bet every 30-year-single girl can count on one hand the other 30-year-old single girls she knows. But if she wants to list the couples, she’ll need twenty five-subject notebooks.

“What’s wrong with me?” “Am I unlovable?” “Am I incapable of falling in love?” “Will I ever find someone that I can stand for more than two dates?” “Will I have to wind up settling?”

Settling…This is a word you’re going to think about a lot. After your 50th horrible first date in a row, you’ll wonder if settling is worth it. I’d give up donuts for the rest of my life if it meant I never had to go on another first date ever again. But it’s almost impossible to find a person that you connect with enough where a second date sounds like a good option. Maybe you should lower your “standards.”

The elusive standards. I often think that my standards are too high. And they probably here. But here’s the thing: after 30 years of dating, you’re going to rack up a shit load of standards. I’m very adamant about the things I want in a partner and even more adamant in the things that I DON’T want.

Single and Thirty is a whole new landscape and it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. It’s not always OK, cool, or pretty great. There’s going to be a lot of suckage. And I think that’s something that all newly 30-somethings or soon-to-be 30-somethings should be aware of.

You’re allowed to feel lonely and stressed about living the single life. There isn’t something wrong with you cause you’re not constantly living the “Thirty, Flirting, and Thriving” life.

Wallow in your own self-pity every once in awhile. Cry over a cheesy Nicholas Sparks movie. Eat an entire sleeve of Oreo’s and wash it down with a bottle of wine. You’re single so there’s no one there to judge you. (See, being single has its perks!)

But also know that finding love in your thirties is a very real possibility. And it can be done without settling or compromising on your standards. It’s just gonna take a little more work.

The Steps Every Girl Goes Through When Cutting Her Hair

Now when I say cutting her hair, I do not mean getting a trim. I’m talking about when you decide to take the plunge and cut off several inches of your hair. Or if you’re feeling really bold, decide to shave off everything. (For the sake of eyes everywhere I will never be doing this.)

The movies would have you believe that chopping off all your hair is simple. All a girl needs is a traumatic experience, a hotel room mirror, and some rusty scissors. A few snips and she’s walking out of there like she just stepped out of a Pantene commercial and ready to kick some ass. If I find myself in a hotel room with a rusty pair of scissors, the best I’m walking out with is a trip to the ER for a tetanus shot.

There is a lot that goes into finally deciding to cut your hair.

It all starts when you realize your hair is getting too long. You’ve started washing your hair every other month because styling the Godforsaken mop on top your head requires 10 free hours and the arm strength of The Rock.

You know that a cut has to be scheduled sometime in the near future.

You start doing research for cute hairstyles. There are so many adorable short hairstyles and everyone looks so good. (You don’t take into account that all of these females you’re looking at have had their hair and makeup professionally done because you’re an idiot.) You think, “I can totally pull of a lob.” (A lob is a long bob for those not paying attention.)

You save several photos that you really like and start showing them to everyone you know. Obviously they all tell you that it’s adorable and you’d look great.

You finally decide to call your hair salon and make the appointment.

The day of the appointment comes and you’re feeling excited. You’ve got all those photos on your phone ready to show the stylist. You also rationalize that you’ve got to lose at least 10 pounds after the majority of this mess is off your head.

You sit down at the chair after your hair has been washed and the anxiety starts to kick in. The stylist asks what you want done and you falter. “Maybe I don’t want to cut it short. Maybe just a trim. I could always cut it another time. If I cut it now, I can’t change it.”

You go back and forth with the stylist about just how short you actually want it. Shoulder-length. At the collar bone. Right below the chin. You’re like a deranged auctioneer trying to sell off as little of your hair as possible.

After much haggling and debating, a length is finally decided. It’s not quite as short as you originally planned but still several inches shorter than what you’ve got going on now.

Fear starts to seep in when you see all your luscious locks start to fall to the floor. That’s right. The mop on top of your head suddenly becomes a luscious mane and the monster with the scissors is taking it all away.

You eventually calm yourself down. The hair is already cut. This is what you needed. It will all be OK.

When all the hair has been cut and your new short hair has been styled, you look in the mirror to view the results. It looks great! It’s so healthy-looking. You’re so satisfied with your haircut that you over tip the stylist. It’s all good. She deserves it for dealing with your mane.

For the next three days you constantly check yourself out in every mirror that you pass. You look good. You feel confident. You love your new hair.

Then you wash your hair for the first time and realize you’ve made a terrible mistake. You want to find the animals who claim that short hair is the best because it’s so low maintenance. Who invented this myth? Who do I have to punch in the throat? Short hair is so far from being low maintenance. How did the stylist make it look so beautiful? How did she get it to bounce the way that it did? And OMG I can’t even just throw it up in a ponytail without looking like a crazy homeless person!

But eventually things start to settle down. You learn how to style this hair and make yourself look presentable. The short hair starts to grow on you.

However, you vow never to cut your hair short again. That is until the next time your hair grows to unmanageable lengths and you repeat the process all over again.

And now here’s a shameless selfie from someone who recently cut her hair and knows all too well what each of these stages feel like.

me

An Open Letter to 2016

The infrequency of my posting lets you know that I often struggle with coming up with ideas for new posts. So I think I need to start coming up with more themes. I already have Throwback Thursday, which I really need to start writing about again. Now I have a new feature that I’d like to introduce to everyone: An Open Letter. Because sometimes there are just people or things that I need to address with a strongly worded letter. I already did something like this when I wrote a letter to my 20-year-old self. Today’s open letter is directed towards 2016.

Dear 2016,

First of all, how dare you? I trusted you. I had high hopes for you. I truly believed that this was going to be a great year.

I already know what you’re going to say. “It’s only April. I still have so much left to offer.” ENOUGH! I don’t want to hear it. You have been one disappoint after the next. And you haven’t only fucked with me. Maybe if it was just me that you shit on, I could take it. But you’ve been disrespectful to my close family and friends. That’s where you’ve crossed the line.

It’s only May. We’ve only had four months of you and I already know plenty of people who are wishing for you to end.

That’s right! I am about to go on a Tyra-like rant on your sorry excuse for a year. You have to cut the shit. Sure life is supposed to be what you make it and  we’re in charge of our own happiness. However, this is really hard to do when you keep getting in the way. I’m not going to get into details about all the things you’ve done to me and my friends and family. You’re fully aware.

This letter is me begging. Pleading. Please cut the shit. I’ve had enough. We’ve all had enough.

This is supposed to be a good year. It’s the year of the Summer Olympics. That’s one of my favorite things in the world and I have to wait every four years for it. That’s just one of the many things that was supposed to make you a great year. Don’t have us sitting here praying for 2017.

Just get your shit together. Or better yet just step back completely and let us live without pissing on our parade.

Sincerely,

Someone who wants to  enjoy the last 8 months of this Godforsaken year!

P.S. If you could stop killing off iconic artists, that’d be great!