Saturday, January 17, 2015

Why never getting closure can be a real bitch

As we go through our dating lives we leave behind a trail of ghosts. People who came into our hearts for a hot second, only to leave us feeling cold and rejected with a slew of unanswered questions.

I like to say these are the people we half-breakup with. Half-breakup because we never really dated them, we only went out a couple times, or were strictly “in the sheets” kind of friends. When these relationships end it’s not a big hoopla, there are no tears, or wallowing sessions on the couch -- but worst of all there is no closure either. Often they just disappear, never to be heard from again.

I’ve had this happen to me a couple times. A guy in college strung me around for a couple years. He was hot, then cold, then hot, then I was yelling. I never really knew why, but in that instance I chalked it up to him being a crazy person and moved on. However, there is one guy, in which the situation was so weird, so out of the blue, and he cut me out so fast that it still irks me to this day. Here’s what happened.  

This is the tale of this guy who was a real asshole to me one time:

Over the course of two years I became very good friends with a guy I worked with, we became so close I would often crash at his house whenever we hung out and I drank too much, or was too tired to drive home. I always slept on the couch. (He had male roommates so often partying happened at their place).

I kind of had a crush on him, but never pursued it because he was a known womanizer, I actually liked being friends with him and he was friends with my friend. So incestual. However one night, I was crashing after a party and he told me his roommate was out of town and I could sleep in the guy’s bed. Great. Couches suck. So I did.

About ten minutes later, my friend comes in and climbs into bed too. Okay. He wanted to watch videos on his laptop and hangout. Okay. We chatted, laughed, the sexual tension was high. I went to sleep. Then he did too.

Then that moment happened, the one when two horny 20-somethings are lying in a bed, in the dark, so close they can feel each other’s body heat. I felt my heart pounding, I felt my skin inching toward his. At some point I felt his hand on my hip. I think. Then it happened -- we kissed.

Only this was not fireworks. This was the worst kiss of my life. It was awkward and clumsy and not to be TMI, it tasted bad. Researchers say kissing is how we find “the one” -- well our DNA was definitely rejecting each other. We fumbled around a bit, it was seriously so bad. Eventually we stopped. Still fully dressed, I went to the bathroom. Came back and went to sleep.

I thought the next day at work it would be fine. We’d have a laugh, be adults about it, make fun of ourselves. That sort of thing. Maybe our relationship was more brother, sister after all.


I went to talk to him and was completely iced out. I tried to text him, iced out. I tried calling, ICED OUT. Here was my “friend” treating me like the plague. I was very upset and very confused. What happened? Was I missing something.

Normally, if we had been “dating” or “hooking up” I never would have continued to try -- that would be pathetic -- but we were friends for years, so I didn’t understand. And I kept trying. I asked his friends, “What’s wrong?”. All they said is “He hates you.” Okay. Thanks. Eventually their tune changed to “Come on, you know what happened. You know why he hates you.” Um, no. Does awkward make-out really lead to full on I-hope-you-die hatred?  I didn’t think it did.

I was utterly confused, upset, broken, frustrated and genuinely sad to lose a friend.

This went on for about a year. Yes, a year! Eventually I stopped calling or talking to him. At work we ignored each other. He refused to make my drinks (he was the bartender) and I’d have to do it myself. I was disinvited from his snowboard trip. I stopped being asked to parties. Suffice to say, it sucked balls.

Later, after a long time had passed I asked my friend Joe (name has been changed) why Justin (named not changed) had been such an asshole.

“Come on T, you know why!!!” Said Joe.
“No, please tell me, it’s been over a year, just tell me!”.

Here it was, the moment of truth. “Justin said you went to his house, came on to him, tried to have sex with him and when he rejected you, you got all crazy and mad.”

Wait, what? He what … I what … with the sex … what????

Here’s the thing. If that happened, if I was rejected I would be embarrassed. I would be the one running, hiding, ignoring and avoiding. I wouldn’t ask all his friends to relive the moment with me, to find out what went wrong. I WOULD KNOW WHAT WENT WRONG.

I have no idea why this story was told, or why he iced me out. To this day I don’t. Because that version of events never happened.

I don’t know who listened to Serial, but in it Adnan says the worst thing about going to jail for murder is that people believed he was capable of murder.

With this, when I finally heard the so-called truth I looked at my friend Joe and said “And you believed him? All the guys believed him?” He said, “Well Justin’s a very good looking guy.” Okay, that doesn't mean I'd turn into a crazy rapist lady.

At the end of the day, I will never know what happened. Clearly something went wrong and I lost a friend. No closure will ever be given to me. That sucks.

This is what we all must deal with. And sadly the lack of closure comes down to ego, because the real question I am asking is “Why didn’t you want to be friends anymore? Why was losing me okay?” I mean, I am awesome right? …. right?

Here’s the thing, when we get faded out, or ghosted or dumped the real question we’re asking is “What’s wrong with me? What’s so wrong with me, you don’t want to see me anymore?

The real truth is, there is nothing wrong with you. Relationships go wrong and we don’t always get to know why. If someone doesn’t want to be with you, it’s their loss. Seriously.

And if all else fails, forget your ego and chalk it up to this steadfast fact: that dude was crazy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Here's What It's Like To Not Be Skinny ... Or Fat.

According to the media there are two types of bodies in this world: really skinny and really fat.

There is “Hollywood skinny”, in which women are meant to be a size zero, “fat” is Kim Kardashian (5’2” about 115 lbs) and “fit” is often used to describe “anorexic”. It’s then made worse by photoshop, a fun little process in which a hardly-attainable body morphs into a literally-unattainable body -- except on a computer screen -- and is broadcast out to women everywhere. Usually in an attempt to sell something: something that makes us skinner, prettier, younger, stupider*, whatever.

Of course this is not new, the female population has long been clamoring against the “skinny bitches” in La La Land for quite some time. Then, at some point, a response was created to make “us” all feel better about ourselves for not fitting into some silver screen bullshit. A small corner of the media fought back and claimed, “fat is beautiful”. Companies like Dove stood up to those bony bullies and featured “real women”. Hashtags were formed, #stopfatshamingnow. TV shows with titles like “My Big Fat Fabulous Life” were green-lit, and articles like this one  spread like wildfire across social media.

Still after all this ... I watch TV, I see the ads, I look at the art and none of these bodies look like mine. My thighs, my stomach, my boobs are nowhere to be found.

I am not a size zero or two or four -- but I am not a size 22 or 24. Almost none of my friends are either. In fact barely anyone I know fits into the “really skinny” or “really fat” category. So when can we actually celebrate regular?

I didn’t use the word “real”, because technically every body is “real”. I said regular, as in medium, as in “sometimes I look hot” and “sometimes I look bloated” and “sometimes these jeans fit” and “sometimes this dress looks good (minus my food baby)” and "sometimes dammit I need to wear sweatpants" bodies?

See, I am not on board with the amount of pressure placed on women in this country to be thin. Some of us are naturally curvier, thicker, and more muscular (we usually make the best athletes). But we are not celebrated in mass media, instead we are told that smaller is better. And let me tell you, waking up and hating yourself everyday because you don’t feel good enough because your pant size is not small enough is downright debilitating. Your waistline is not your worth.

However, in fighting against these pressures, I cannot get on board with my overweight, obese sisters-from-another-mister either. I don’t think morbidly obese is beautiful. I think the individuals within -- underneath layers of fat which are surely part of a much bigger problem -- can most definitely be beautiful and I would never shame someone for being obese, but I would not celebrate it either. Fat is not beautiful. Healthy is.

So where is our regular-body-celebration? Where are my size 5 to 12 women at? The femmes who can still rock a semi-tight dress, but freak out a little when it comes to bikini season.

For instance, it’s hard for me to buy pants because my butt is pretty big (like really big), but my stomach is actually flat (I work out). Apparently though you can't have a big butt in this world without some designer assuming you have a gut to match (it's called Native American dumb ass).

When I look around at the women in my boxing class, my dance class, my yoga class -- there are not a lot of “thigh gaps” but there are a lot of fit chicks. They are not Hollywood skinny. But they are all fit.

None look like Megan Fox or Emma Stone (seriously if you've met actresses in real life, they are super tiny), but none look like Melissa McCarthy either. It would be nice if “real body” didn’t have to mean “fat body”, if instead we could look at women who still look pretty good naked, and not shame them for that tiny roll of fat than happens when they sit down. (You know what I am talking about).

As Ronda Rousey -- an awesome MMA fighter and pretty hot chick who weighs about 140 lbs (fat by Hollywood standards) -- once, said “Skinny girls look good in clothes, but fit chicks look better naked."

Damn right.

UPDATE: This commercial was shared around the Internet right after I wrote this, so apparently I am not the only one who feels this way. Of course, it was not made in America.

*This refers to a show called "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" which no one should watch. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Yes, You Can Get High Through Your Vagina Now (If You Have One)

Hey ladies, ever find yourself relaxing with a little late-night cannabis and suddenly think "Man, you know what would make this even better? Getting high through my vagina."

Well your prayers have been answered.

The Aphrodite Group, a California based medical marijuana collective, has created a lubricant infused with cannabis oil "for her pleasure" called Foria. That's right, we already have weed brownies and weed chocolate so it's only natural we progress to weed lube as well, because nothing says Friday night like some brownies, Netflix and good old fashioned cannabis-soaked clitoris.

A single 30mL bottle runs $88 a pop -- that's about $80 more than your standard CVS version -- and requires a physicians letter to get your hands (or lips) on it.  Granted it's doing a lot more than simply making things slippery.

So what does it do exactly?

According to the website, Foria's blend of cannabis and coconut oil has the ability to "awaken arousal and heighten sensation, making orgasms more intense, fuller, or easier to access." In fact some women they tested the product on claimed to have 15 minute orgasms.



Not only that, the coconut oil -- which acts as the base of the lube -- keeps the pH of the vagina balanced, helping to prevent yeast infections. That's what you call a win win.

Foria contains 2 mg of THC per spray and the recommended serving size is about 6 sprays. The website says it should be applied directly on the clitoris, labia and inside the vagina about 30 minutes before having sex.  Then the magic happens. Don't believe me? Just watch this video from their website.

Did you see those waves? That was a metaphor for holy-crap-this-is-the-best-orgasm-I've-ever-had-in-my life.

Now, please excuse me while I go call my doctor  do something else that I can't explain right now.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Only Piece Of Relationship Advice You'll Ever Need (Seriously)

I spend a good portion of my day reading and writing about relationships. More specifically, reading and writing-up psychological studies about relationships. This entails everything from why men cheat, to how porn affects divorce rates, to exactly how many orgasms are women really having (apparently not enough ladies, get with it!).

Anyway all of this "scientific" research (is psychology science? We'll never know) combined with the fact that I live with and interact with humans on a daily basis has led me to consider myself an "expert" on relationships.

Side note: "expert" is in quotations because, come on, we all know relationship experts are a joke. However that will not stop me from imparting my wisdom onto you, my eager and willing audience.

So after dozens of studies read, countless of articles written, a slew of bad dates, thousands of OkCupid messages ignored, tens of thousands of Tinder swipes, and one honest-to-goodness love I can tell you I have found the one piece of dating / relationship / love / marriage advice you will ever need. Here it is:

Don't be a douchebag. 

1. Studies have shown that when a wife falls ill, her husband is more likely to divorce her -- you know because it puts a "stress" on the relationship. But if the husband falls ill, the wife will stick around to take care of him. Don't do this. If your S.O. is sick, help them. Don't be a douchebag. 

2. It is estimated that around 25 to 40% of people cheat on their spouse. Listen, I know views on monogamy are changing (Is it even natural? Did it really play a part in evolution? Why does no one know?!!!) but the reality is, if you made a commitment to be monogamous -- stick to it. Otherwise, don't commit. Don't be a douchebag. 

3. Experts agree that when one person has all the power, the relationship can become toxic -- because duh, one person is deciding everything and the other person feels worthless. Huge douchebag move. Don't do it.

4. If your S.O has friends of the opposite sex, don't get jealous all the time and try to sabotage their platonic relationships. It will force them into an ultimatum between you and them -- and that makes you a mean jelly belly douchebag. 

5. If your partner needs a ride to or from the airport, pick them up. If they need help on a project help them. If they need to complain about their mom listen to them. If they need space give it to them. If they need a hug, comfort them. If they need a shot, pour two. These are common human needs, be there for them, make them feel loved and don't be a douchebag.

6. Studies show that when wives get stuck doing all the housework they're really unhappy (yeah, no shit). In fact there's a phrase for this called "second shift" because women have to work "9 to 5" then come home and do more "work"-- putting them on a 24/7 schedule. So come on folks,  don't be a douchebag, share the labor. 

7. It is also estimated around 40 million people are in a sexless marriage (yikes!). While finding a source for that number is next to impossible, I'm still rewriting it here because, the number doesn't really matter. What matters is, if you aren't having sex with your S.O you're being a douchebag. Either that or your S.O. is a douchebag you don't want to have sex with. Either way someone is being a douchebag. 

8. Don't forget important dates like anniversaries and birthdays. On the flip side don't be that person that's like "OMG it's our sixteen-and-a-half month anniversary," because that's an equally douchebag move.

9. Don't criticize your S.O. all the time! It makes me cringe when I hear couples insult each other in front of other people (not in the joking way, but in the "we're so gonna have a talk about this later way"). You're supposed to be each other's biggest cheerleaders -- so don't be a douchebag, CHEER!

10. Don't lie to your parter. Lying sucks, it makes the person being lied to feel really stupid (trust me, I know). In fact, studies show that when cheaters come clean, their partners are more likely to forgive them. See, a lot of times it's less about the cheating and more about the lying, because once you lie all sense of trust is lost. Which makes you an untrustworthy douchebag and makes the relationship sit on thin ice for the rest of its most-likely-short existence.

11. Don't be mean to other people. Yeah I mean family members, friends, wait staff, bartenders, random other douchebags in bars. Being mean to those people is proof that at some point you can turn on your S.O. and be mean to them too. That makes you a douchebag in sheep's clothing. 

12. Just. Don't. Be. A douchebag. Be a human being. Be kind, considerate, loving and open. Recognize the fact that you chose to enter a relationship (or go on a date, or get married, or whatever). It was a choice you made -- so either enjoy it and be a wonderful, decent human being or get out because frankly you're doing the other person a favor ... saving them from yet another douchebag, YOU!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Cold, Hard Truth About Love We’re All Ignoring (Idiots!)

Well, here we are folks, love obsessed Millennials just trying to balance our crazy work lives with finding time for love (#firstworldproblems). Because whether you’re a serial dater, a serial monogamist, a serial one-night-stander or a serial cat-adopter, the concept of love is running your life. Don't lie to yourself, you know "The Notebook" makes you cry.

Indeed, this love obsession permeates through our culture, from movies to books to blogs (oh hey you’re on one) to self-help guides, meet-up groups, bar-hopping, and Pinterest quotes -- we love to love (which encompasses dating, sex, romance and of course jerking off).

But as Millennials, a lot of “experts” (you know those other adults who are older than us) say we’re doing it wrong. Our hook-up culture and propensity to marry later is creating a system where we might have three or four serious relationships before tying the knot, double or triple-digit sex partners and enough OkCupid messages to want to blow our brains out.

And while we’re running around looking for, or trying to hold onto, to this thing called "love" for what could amount to decades … we’re all forgetting the one, cold hard truth no one really talks about:

Once you do find that person you want to be friends with, have sex with and be awesome with all the time (um, that’s like my definition of love) it can only end one way -- you either get married or breakup.

Yeah, that’s it. Go big or go home … alone.

So while imagining what it would be like to have coffee every Sunday morning, or thinking about your destined-to-be awesome Bora Bora honeymoon or growing old and drinking tea on the porch together, chances are this person will break your heart, not say “I do.”

How does this happen? How do we find ourselves so enamored with someone that our hearts feel like they will literally explode (see how I used literally, but it was kind of figuratively) to hating that person more than we hate Justin Bieber? To labeling a box that once read "Our stuff" to “Asshole’s shit” and throwing it out a window?

It probably has something to do with the fact that love is like a drug (seriously drugs hijacked the neural “love pathways” in our brains knowing how awesome they make us feel, so they too could make us feel awesome. Look it up). This euphoric, must-have-you-all-the-time feeling  -- a “high” if you will -- can only last so long. Then we are left with just a person and possibly a broken heart.

So how are we all not just going insane all the time knowing this (maybe we are)? I mean seriously, as humans when we fall in love our hearts are saying “Yes, this is amazing, keep going! He's the one? How could he not be?” And our brains are like, “Whoah, this is great, but let’s keep one eye open huh? P.S. emergency exit to your left.”

Maybe that’s the point. Maybe when love sucks it really sucks. Like gut-wrenching, gauge your eyes out, binge on Netflix sucks. And when it’s great, it’s so great that we all just participate in this crazy charade leading up to it because we want it so badly. Because that's how great it is.

As a cynic who is actually a secret romantic (Shh! don’t tell anyone) all I have to say is that being in love is … well lovely. So fuck logic.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What Really Makes Someone Attractive? (Bulls**t Answers Not Welcome)

In an age of never-ending diets, new, absurd workout programs, ways to freeze the fat (what?!), bronzers, plastic surgery, and vajazzling I ask myself constantly “What is attractive?”

I use the word "attractive" because of course I mean to the opposite sex. No one is waxing and scrubbing and weight-lifting for themselves (okay, maybe a little for health purposes, maybe) but the truth is we all want to look good because we all to be loved, or get laid, or in simple terms … be as attractive as we think we can be.

A recent beauty survey revealed that men and women have very different views about what physically makes a woman beautiful. Guys chose blonde hair and full lips, like my girl Scarlett Johannssan. While women chose dark hair and a strong nose, a la Natalie Portman. The point being, it was totally opposite. So here we are trying to fit in our box of beauty to please the opposite sex, when in reality we’re totally missing the mark.

To take this point further I was recently out with several friends, when the topic of breasts came up (how could it not?). Three girls and two guys. Naturally when girls start talking about their boobs there are a million things that can be wrong with them: size, shape, smell (er, maybe?), buoyancy, color, yadda yadda. 

At this point the men in the conversation, looking flabbergasted with their jaws firmly on the floor shouted out, “No! No! No! All your boobs are fine!” Adding vigorously, “They are BOOBS.” A light went off in my head, flaws we see in ourselves are still sexy as hell to other people. So why do we beat ourselves up about them?

To explore further I asked male friends of mine, what they find attractive in women. I would assume answers with body parts would pretty much take up the list, but alas this was not the case. Instead I received the following:

“The way their necks smell”, “The way they snuggle into you”, “When they wear your boxers”, “Confidence”, "A good sense of humor is mega points", “I like when girls get all giddy in the morning and try to wake you up”, “Their skin is always so soft”, “They smell nice”, “Rocking red lips”, "A girl who can cook", "A girl who's genuinely interested in what I'm doing", "A little quirky","Face, boobs, body. But as soon as a conversation starts to go my attractions change."

None of these attributes really had anything to do with just looks, but instead were qualities rooted in behavior, spirit and that intangible quality that gives two people chemistry and another two people coals. 

Here's what I'm saying:

Looks are not everything. Looks get you in the door, but they don’t give you the key. I know this to be true. I know that sometimes qualities I find attractive have nothing to do with biceps and dreamy blue eyes (although, those are nice too). 

I love the look of a guy cooking breakfast in the morning, the way guys smell like guys, the ability to wear a hoodie well, talking to their moms on the phone, the way they drive with their knees (my legs are too short to do this), the way they take charge when a restaurant gets your order wrong, the way they walk into a room, the way they love your friends (even if they don’t). These are qualities that are hot.

The truth is when you’re attracted to someone, all of them becomes attractive. The good, the bad and the ugly. It’s like a black hole -- you can’t see it, but no doubt, it will consume you.

So it’s about time we ditch the external stuff and focus on what we do well as ourselves. Ever watch someone in a play and suddenly they’re sexier than before? Or a sporting event? Or giving a stellar speech? Or working a room? Someone in their element is fundamentally attractive (why do you think we love talented famous people so much?).

So if we all focused on what we do best and we try to be the best version of ourselves, rather than changing everything to look like someone created on a computer (ehem, photoshop), then maybe we’d all be a little more beautiful.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Breakup Retrospective: Was It The Parking? (C'mon It's L.A.)

Written by a very special, male, guest blogger who wishes to remain nameless. Don't try to guess, your efforts are fruitless. 

The age old expression "don't sweat the small stuff," while horribly cliched, is something that I've always applied to my life. Day to day existence is always full of minor inconveniences, and seeing the good in people and the world around me has always allowed me to be a happy person. However, after living in LA for roughly 5 years now, the inevitable battle of finding a parking spot and deciphering paragraph long "yes/no/potentially parking if your car is white and has three wheels" signs may have finally gotten to me.

I recently just went through an extremely logical and short breakup discussion with a girl I'd been seeing for about 5 months. We are two career driven, late twenty-year olds, trying to make it in LA. One, myself, an aspiring rocket scientist hoping to pursue a career in the space industry, and her, an aspiring writer, trying to make it in Hollywood. On paper it seems like a dream come true: left and right brain unite for a power couple, yin and yang combine, etc. It was always simple for each of us to brag about the other to our respective work friends.

            Her (to Hollywood friends): "I'm dating a rocket scientist!"

            Me (to fellow engineers): "I'm dating a girl!"

As any scientist knows, what seems like a great idea in theory, never works (at least for the first few times) in reality. Sacrifices have to be made somewhere, and a professional life can easily hamper ones personal life. To add to the general ridiculousness of this situation, I'm a Canadian citizen trying to get a job in an industry that is a) losing funding at an alarming rate and b) thinks that I am a terrorist since I'm from the tundra up north eh. Most couples generally don't have to deal with the fact that if one person doesn't get a job immediately after graduation, they could get deported back to Canada. But hey, deportation is just a free trip home, right?

On her side, trying to make it in Hollywood can mean taking whatever job comes your way, even if it's in Mississippi, or New York. So for the 5 months we were "dating" we didn't get to hang out very much. We tried to make the best of our limited time together; what else was there to do? However, with my upcoming thesis deadline, and her continuing search for a job, neither one of us were really able to give the relationship the time and energy it deserved, and so we decided to end it. A breakup based on logical and logistical reasons. However, one small thing still nags at me. Was it the parking?

Every time I went to her place, parking was nearly impossible to find. Too much time driving in circles, to then end up walking a mile to her apartment complex. While a seemingly minor thing, this would always negatively affect my mood right before seeing her. Being unhappy right before seeing the person you're supposed to be excited to see must take some toll on the mind at a subconscious level. Was this enough to let logic defeat the love conquers all attitude that I've learned from so many movies? I'll never know, but at least I never got a ticket.