Part-Time Impatience

I’m patient about plenty of things. I can sit through a 3-hour lecture without texting. I can smile standing behind a mom who has coupons clipped for each of her hundred items. I can wait in the turning lane behind an elderly lady without flashing the finger. I’ve actually never once used my horn out of anger—its sole purpose is for me to beep at every person I remotely know.

But today I realized that I’m extremely impatient when it comes to simple things. I was on the elliptical, chewing gum, when I realized that the piece had long-lost its flavor. Did I walk the fifteen feet to the garbage can, or simply continue to chew? Nope. I swallowed it. This wouldn’t be cause for concern, but I realized it was actually my second piece of gum I’d swallowed today. And probably the 10th I’ve swallowed this week. I could fill an entire gumball machine with the amount I swallow per year.

I don’t believe I’m doomed to digestive problems because gum will stay in your stomach for 7 years [actually, I just don’t understand the science behind it, which results in my blissful ignorance on the subject]. But the realization did remind me of many other similar things where my patience runs slim.

I take my toast out before it pops. I sometimes surf between three (or six) channels. I don’t savor my Starbucks—I sip (more like slurp) it down in less than 2 minutes [No, it’s not too hot—Starbuck’s is actually too cold for me. I microwave my coffee right after it’s brewed—but that’s a whole ‘nother story]. I’m currently chewing  a Cream Saver.

Ultimately, I guess it’s better to be impatient about the petty and patient about the important. But man, it’d be nice not to suffer from scientific threats, enjoy perfectly crisp toast, and have untarnished taste buds. And, best of all, I would never have to run the risk of missing a moment of “The most dramatic rose ceremony ever” or other extremely important moments in the wonderful world of reality TV.

Would you Rather?

Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved asking questions. The problem? My questions aren’t usually the normal “What did you do today?” or “What did you think of that movie?” My absolute favorite type? Would-You-Rathers. These seemingly simple scenarios can create a great (and incredibly odd) conversation. I haven’t asked these in awhile, but I thought I’d bring them back on this blog. Which would you rather?

Would you rather be 2 feet or 9 feet tall?

Would you rather not shower for a week or not sleep for two days?

Would you rather be forced to eat an entire gallon of ice cream or an entire deep dish pizza?

Would you rather be forced to listen to Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” or Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out?” for 24-hours straight?

Would you rather sit next to a morbidly obese man or incessently crying baby (on a 10-hour flight)?

Ashamed of Self-Promotion

Like many kids, I once dreamed of being a famous singer. I even wrote a song that I thought was certain would be a smash. I belted it out nonstop in my bedroom. My dream lasted approximately two days.

The dream didn’t die after I realized that I had trouble singing “Happy Birthday” in tune: It ended when I realized I could never self-promote. I didn’t tell anyone about my dream. I simply thought I would “be discovered.” Even though I refused to sing aloud, someone would simply look at me my pigtails and mismatched threads and decide I was destined to be the next Whitney.

Although I no longer daydream about being a diva, I still struggle with self-promotion. I went months without even telling anyone I had a blog. I blogged about Chicago Children’s Fitness for a few months last year, but stopped because my money was directly linked to my number of hits. It may sound crazy and I know it’s part of the point of writing, but I just couldn’t get myself to tell people to read what I wrote. I love writing, and love hearing people say that they like what I write—I just don’t leading. I’m trying to break out of that mindset (and also trying to actually understand Twitter in the process), but I don’t want to be an aspiring Ashton anytime soon.

Sharing embarrassing stories on this blog doesn’t faze me, yet telling people to check out what I wrote does. Isn’t it Ironic…dontcha think? (You’re welcome for now getting that song stuck in your head).

Middle School Medley

I recently realized that it’s been 9 years since I graduated Junior High. Although my style has changed since then (I no longer purchase clothes strictly because there is a miniscule Abercrombie and Fitch moose on the collar, and do not actually wish to be wearing the exact same t-shirt as at least 10 girls in my class), I can’t quite toss some of my tunes like I did those $30+ dollar T-shirts. Here’s a few of my favorite Junior High jams, many—ok, all—of which I can still sing every lyric:

1.) “Aaron’s Party” [Aaron Carter]: I loved Aaron Carter—his bleached hair, side and oversized Adidas swish pants were right up my alley. I even liked his follow-up, “That’s How I Beat Shaq.””Boom, I put it in the Hoop like Slam” has to be the most poignant simile I’ve ever heard.

2.) “Liquid Dreams” [O-Town]: I was in Junior High, and even less mature than I am now. Need I say more?

3.) “Every Other Time” [LFO]: I can honestly remember liking this song for what I thought were it’s incredibly deep lyrics. Read the lyrics, and please tell me how I graduated with an English major.

4.) “Candy” [Mandy Moore]: I’m pretty sure that this song was during my obsession with rhyming. I thought Mandy Moore was genius for the portion of the song “I know who you are, your love is as sweet as Candy, I’ll be forever yours, Love always, Mandy.”

5.) “Follow Me” [Uncle Kracker]: I played this song on repeat. Uncle Kracker still makes me “Smile.”

6.) “Lady Marmalade” [Christina Aguleria, Mya, Pink, and Lil’ Kim]: I thought that this was the best mix of artists of all-time. Fortunately, I have since learned.

Please tell me I’m the only one who can’t bear to trash songs from their tweens.

Butterflies

Although the journalist in me hates to concede this, I love some cliches. They may make your writing sound like a corny greeting card, but I can’t help using them.  Case in point: The title of my blog actually is one.

But, for some reason, the expression “You give me butterflies” has always bothered me. It reminds me of Cinderella pondering Prince Charming while singing “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes,” and that image is just a little too unrealistic for real life (although if anyone ever encounters creatures that will do your chores, please send them my way).

Yet as much as I dislike the expression, I’m realizing that its message is true. A little flutter tells you whether something is a fit—whether it be your future career, crush, or even cuisine. You don’t need to be singing “Someday my Prince/Princess/Career/Cookie will Come.” Your heart tells you that it’s there.

I believe that you can be confident about things that you like, but there needs to be a bit of nervousness added to the things you love. Your heart doesn’t have to be popping out of your chest. Little palpatations are perfect. You can settle for your second-choice career, a back-up boyfriend, or alternative entree, but it simply isn’t going to make your heart flutter like your first option.

Now that I’ve (finally) chosen a future career, I’m beginning to feel those nerves. Having control of my own class intimidates me, and boy, my common sense better increase to prepare me for pondering the problems of middle schoolers. My feelings are a blend of eagerness and nervousness. I’m scoping out schools before I’ve even completed student teaching.

It’s like researching engagement rings before you’ve even discussed getting down on one knee (or, in the case of “The Bachelor,” before you’ve even met your man). You know it’s wrong—it might be meant to be for you, but a mismatch for him—but at the same time oh-so-right. The cliche the early bird catches the worm exists for a reason. Those early birds knew they were hungry, and weren’t going to waste time waiting for the little worms to wriggle their way into their stomachs.

Breaking the Silence with Blizzards

There is an icicle outside my window that is taller than Chelsea Handler’s favorite midget Chewy. My boots look like they’re doused in a bottle of table salt. I’m beginning to forget what green grass looks like (thank goodness for Google).

I’m a little sick of this weather.

I actually don’t mind the snow—between the time of Thanksgiving and New Year’s. As soon as the Christmas lights come down and “Santa Clause is coming to town” stops, I think we should say sayonara to the white stuff.

The snow is good for one thing, however: Conversation. Digging for something to say to Dull Dan? “Isn’t this weather awful?” is an opener (“It is freezing outside” is another outstanding ice breaker) that appeals to all. Or, at least, one that is unarguable.

Weather discussions aren’t going to make their way into The Pickup Artist’s dialogue anytime soon, but at least they can help you avoid the dreaded awkward silence. There are enough winter weather elements to make the conversation endless—snow, cold, frostbite, wind, ice—you could practically avoid an entire awkward first date simply by discussing the weather (although I’m pretty sure it would only land you date 2 if you happened to be mixing with a Meterologist).

This conversation gets stilted come Spring: “It’s a beautiful day” can only get you so far (“Yes, it is.”). And…silence.

We may all feel want the snow to go away and not come back another day, but we better begin to start brainstorming Spring small talk or hope it rains (Conversational Cha-Ching!).

Cutting the Conversational Cord

There are some situations where awkward conversation is necessary. You’re not feeling Blind Date Bob, but can’t really say ‘Check Please’ before you even cut your Chicken. You’re walking to class and cross paths with random acquaintance Annie, who has very little to say, yet, unfortunately, the same place to go as you. You’re getting your haircut, and Hairstylist Helen is dying for conversation. So you partake, because, well, she does have some power (aka, the potential for severe damage via scissors).

Fortunately, we’re able to generally pick-and-choose who to chat with. Unfortunately, sometimes the choice is not mutual. And, believe me, non-consentual conversation is killer.

Case in point: A few friends and I went out for drinks for Mardi Gras this past Tuesday. We were carelessly chatting when, lo and behold, a non-consentual conversationalist decided to join the party. This is common at bars, but awkwardness is generally escapable via two routes A.) I’ll be back, I have to use the bathroom (and then plan your escape). or 2.) Casually inserting ‘my boyfriend’ into conversation (regardless of whether you actually have one—fiancee works even better).

So Chatty Charlie sits down. Opens with a doozy of a pick-up line: “I came over because I saw you guys checking out my friend.” [His friend was at least 15 years older than us and not even arguably unattractive. We were not.]

We acknowledge him, but barely. The five of us continue our own conversations, not making it a point to include him in the mix.

Chatty Charlie decides to pull up a chair. He inserts himself directly into conversation. And sits. For at least a half hour.

None of us would have minded this if he was actually a relatively nice guy. The friend we apparently oogled decided to stop by mid-nonconsentual chat, and then Chatty Charlie decided to give his impression of each of us. Loudly and non-sensored.

Chatty Charlie eventually left. He may have had an MBA, but he man, did he miss the lessson on lingering.