Monday, June 23, 2008

It's About to Be a -- Girl Fight.

First of all, I hope you all love hip hop as much as I do and were able to catch that reference. If not, I don't judge. Promise.
Second of all, the title is not completely referencing my birthday or the friends I have at all. I had an awesome day and the people in my life -- including the girls I know -- are pretty super. Before I go off, I just want to say that my friends made it such a fun day! The girls at work went all out and I feel like I'm definitely an integral part of the department now. They're just completely... kickass. I have no better word at the moment. And the majority of old friends calling me to wish me a Happy 23rd! were the lovely ladies I've been so lucky to call my friends from grade school, high school, and college onwards. So. This is not about them. The girls I associate with have a little bit of class. At least most of the time. :-) So here goes:
Ladies? Can I ask you something? Yes? OK. Why we always gotta hate? Please pardon my slang for a moment... and think seriously on that. Why are we always fighting to bring each other down and why are we forever looking at each other as competition? Honestly. We have enough to deal with everyday without worrying if the next girl we meet is going to try to tear us down. I really don't want to launch into a feminist rant here, but I really want to get to the bottom of this women-hating-women phenomenon. I guess it isn't even a phenomenon since it's been happening forever, but because I have never intentionally screwed another girl over, I just don't get it. Why do we fight each other when we could be fighting battles much more worthwhile? You know, little things, like equal pay and the great socio-economic disparities across gender and race. (I loved being a Women's Studies major a liiiittttle too much.)
OK. So, where is this coming from? you might ask. Ask and you shall receive. On my birthday (it was awesome except for this tiny little part! I promise!), I went out with a friend from work. [Sidenote: I might also add that Work Friend claims that she does not like hanging out with girls because they've always got their claws out... I think I've been declawed or something because I have a lot of friends who say this, yet they still hang out with yours truly. I'm like SJP, I just love other women and don't get why we're bitches to one another! And by love I mean that I can appreciate...I dig the fellas. Not that any other way is wrong. Duh, no hating. Is this sidenote over yet? Why, yes, yes it is.] We drank some wine at her house and headed out to meet a few guys I knew from school (one of whom I'm really good friends with and may have a crush on and who I'm pretty sure knows it. Whatev. I heard it through the grapevine that at one point Guy Friend thought I was pretty cool too, so I'm not sweating having someone find out about a little crush). Anyway, Guy Friend is from the area and had some of his friends from high school with him. I thought that was great because to me, more people always means a good time. Well, apparently his friends -- who were GIRLS -- did not think so.
At the first bar we went to, one of the girls just pretty much did not talk to us at all. Maybe she said, "Nice to meet you." But then again, maybe not. Maybe she crossed us off right away and merely half smiled. This is the thing that always gets me too, because if you're friends with my friend I will give you the benefit of the doubt. "Oh you've known XYZ for 12 years? You must be pretty OK then." I do get that some personalities do not mesh with others. I really do. Not everyone is meant to be best pals. However, I'm pretty sure you could not judge my personality based on me smiling and telling you how nice it is to meet you. And not in an annoying, overly zealous, puppy-dog-needing-approval-and-attention kind of way. Just a genuine interest in meeting another person. Is that so hard? The other girl seemed very nice at first, but she started killing us with kindness soon after, speedily making it apparent that my Work Friend and I were not exactly welcome.
Then, we decided to move on to the next bar. And the trouble really began. (OK, I wasn't really paying attention just yet because I was still too pumped to be out with some of my favorite people on my birthday. But Work Friend noticed right away, and later, it did hit me like a ton of bricks). As we were planning the move, Work Friend asked the other girls where we were headed. They wouldn't tell her. They were withholding information and trying to lose us. And they were acting like first graders who don't want to share crayons or new recess buddies. Well, see here's the thing. It was my birthday! and I had come with Work Friend to see Guy Friend and celebrate, so I was not about to be shaken off so easily.
After Guy Friend grabbed us to come along, these girls had to come up with a new plan to rid their party of four of the two unnecessary female companions (us, duh). So, as we all went up to get drinks, they swooped around and grabbed a table that would only seat four, leaving Work Friend and I out. Seriously?? Now they were just acting like fourth graders (not to say they grew up at all from their first grade antics) who tried to squeeze poor girls out of the cafeteria table group to see if they would sit by themselves or go eat lunch in the bathroom to avoid the shame. To start, Work Friend and I were standing at the bar, at a loss for what happened to the rest of the group. Luckily, Guy Friend waved us over because he clearly noticed that we were suddenly MIA. Then we hastily pulled up chairs to the table because, oh no, we were not about to be shut down. At this point, I wasn't even feeling competitive either! I just didn't want to be left out! I'm social that way, apparently. The Silent One still didn't speak and the other was really trying to put us into sugar comas with her niceties. So weird.
Anyway, Work Friend left at some point and I stayed out (which I really shouldn't have done, but... oh well.). At the end of the night, I apparently got really quiet and Nice Girl decided I should go home right then and there. I honestly had had a few too many, but there was no need to shove me into a cab -- which she did. Yup, literally walked me out of the bar, hailed a cab, opened the door, and told the driver where to go! I didn't even have time to say goodbye to Guy Friend and I was in a state of utter confusion. And, just so we are clear, I was in a state that I COULD have gotten myself home just fine, thank you. I called Guy Friend right away and he even admitted that whatever that had been had happened super fast and he didn't even know what had become of me. So I wasn't going crazy or even just insanely inebriated. HMPH.
Alright, so after that very long and unnecessarily detailed story, here's the conclusion. Those girls did not want new ones on their turf (which actually ended up being my turf since we were like, right on my street, but I am NOT going to compete about it). They did not want us there. We were not welcome. And there wasn't even a really good reason. Had Work Friend and I been fawning all over the guys or shooting the girls daggers with our eyes, I would have MAYBE understood. But we weren't and we would probably never. We were trying to be social and it's not like we were monopolizing anyone's attention. I just wanted to have a fun birthday! I realize this post sounds like a great big bottle of Haterade dumped on the other females present, but it's not meant to be. Actually, I would kind of like some insight on this little incident. It just made me sad that I didn't have to say anything to make these women dislike me. I didn't say they had awful personalities; I just mentioned how I thought they were acting. And I didn't once comment on their looks, even in this post! And that's more than most of the women in this country can say when they talk about their female peers. (And, I won't be a hypocrite and say that I NEVER say anything mean. Sometimes it slips and I call someone unfortunate-looking. See? I won't be throwing the first stone.) But it was like they realized we had similar chromosomes and decided that I couldn't be anything but competition. But really...Did Work Friend and I do something wrong? Is this just the way things are supposed to be? Can't we all just band together and try to not sabotage one another? Can you stop me from asking any more questions?! Please?! I know I started this off talking about fighting bigger battles and I know this sounds silly in comparison. But these little catfights on the smaller levels look very similar to female CNN reporters talking about Hilary really starting to show her age. (I'm not endorsing anyone with that, but I'm just sayin'. What did that have to do with her credentials?!) We need to stop fighting one another if we're ever going to win anything. OK, now I'm done (promise!). Go ahead and sound off!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Birthday! Birthday?

So, the big day (OK, I guess it's not that big, but still) is approaching. Or looming. I'm not sure which. Tomorrow is the day I turn 23. On one hand I'm kind of not sure what to expect. I mean, I feel like I should dread it or something. I mean, I realize that I am not going to wake up with wrinkles or stiff joints or worse vision (actually I'm hoping mine will get better with age since I'm already damn near blind). It's just...well... is this birthday going to be a letdown? Last year for my 22nd I was still in Ann Arbor. I was supposed to go out with friends, but it didn't happen, so I read a book and went to bed at 10PM. HUGE letdown. Not that I don't love lounging and reading and sleeping, but it was a disappointment because I was supposed to do something and it fell through. Plus, after 21, what do you have to look forward to at 22? It's just so sad for 22 that it has to follow 21. But life isn't fair I suppose.
Anyway, on the other hand with this crazy getting older thing, I'm kind of excited. This is my first birthday in Chicago, in the city I moved to all by myself. This birthday is really just symbolic of me growing up by moving here...right? Well, we won't analyze it too much. Also, I'm excited because I think I have real set plans and won't end up falling asleep with my Chicago Public Library book dropped on the floor and an unopened bottle of celebratory wine sitting the kitchen. (That made me sound like a pathetic alcoholic, but I'm really not! At least not at the moment... haha :-) ) Anyway, someway, somehow, I am GOING OUT. So there. I have a friend from school who is visiting home who will be here and I know that I'm meeting up with a friend from work, so I actually have something to do!! As dorky as this sounds, it's like, hey look, I have adult friends, not just sorority sisters that I like to drink with. Don't get me wrong, I do love that, and I'm not discounting that at all. This is different though. These are friends I've made here or kept in touch with from school, not just people I was living/taking classes/sharing bar space with. You know, people you choose to be friends with, not just the ones you're thrown in with for four years and are forced to tolerate. (Again, not discounting the great people I met and choose to tolerate still :-) )
OK, so where was I going with all of this? I can't even remember anymore, but I think I'm deciding to get pumped for 23, not worried or down. I'm going to do what I want tomorrow (OK, with the exception of work), and really celebrate getting one year older. I'm going to get in a good workout, maybe buy something pretty to wear out, read a little of my book, eat some chocolate, drink some wine (mmmm), and smile a whole lot. So yeah, here's to celebrating one year older. And I think -- for the first time -- one year wiser. I've never felt like that, for all that I said I experienced and learned, but this year, I really do feel like I've gained a little bit of sense. But only a little. ;-)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


This whole blog thing was supposed to keep me accountable as a writer...but... well... I haven't been doing so much writing. I have been journaling, but putting those thoughts online hasn't happened. So here it is, a little recap of my life (in bulleted form):

  • Work has been a little boring lately, but I'm not totally complaining because I get out right at 5 and we all take nice, long lunch breaks, haha. I also am getting to know my coworkers even better since we have time to chat every now and then.
  • I've been running a lot more lately and I think I'm going to sign up for the Chicago half marathon in the fall. I've done some really hilly 10-milers at home (Flinttown, what? KIDDING!) so I think I'm up for it. I started lifting again too, so I feel like I'm getting back into my routine and getting back to being ME. Hard to explain, but I digress. Pretty soon, I think I'll feel like my old kick-ass self. Not like, oh man, I am so cool kick-ass, but like, yeah I work out enough that I look like I might be able to beat someone up. Not that I actually want to. Or even could. But still, I've always liked looking and feeling athletic. Last summer, someone stopped me on the street in Ann Arbor and asked me if I played a sport for the school. HA! No, but that was awesome. And that's my goal, to get back to that. Props to all the skinny girls out there, but I don't want to look like that anymore. I was there once, and it wasn't pretty. Buff and athletically slim is pretty for me.
  • The weather here is beautiful!!! I layed out this weekend by Lake Michigan, and it just felt like all was right with the world. I even got a bit of a tan. OK, a burn...and don't scold! I know SPF is important but I was coming from the gym...and the park...was so close... and home... was so much farther away... SPF 30 next time, I promise.
  • I have a bunch of UMich friends who have moved here/will move here soon and I am pumped! I'm glad I kind of already have my own roots here, though. It makes me feel a bit more like, "Yeah, I came here on my own and did it all by myself!" You know? Feels good.
  • I've decided that I am a voice girl. Um, what? Yeah, I know, sounds weird. But you know how you are attracted to certain traits? Like someone is a leg guy or a shoulders girl? Does that make sense? Well, I've always been a smile and jaw kind of girl, but suddenly I'm noticing guys' voices. The guys are cute enough, but what I'm noticing is that if I like someone's voice they become 10 times cuter. I still notice smiles and jawlines (weird, I know), but random guys that I would never find attractive are suddenly crush-worthy because their voices strike me. And not one type of voice, but if it registers as pleasant, then, well, I think you're cute? OK, so this bullet was random.
  • I'm turning 23 on Friday!!! Last year, I was like OMG, I DO NOT want to turn 22!! There's nothing after that! But this year -- dare I say it? -- I'm sort of excited. I think it's because it's my first one in the city and it feels like my first real ADULT birthday. Sadly, a ton of my friends from here are going to be out of town this weekend! Dammit! Oh well, I don't have to celebrate right on the day. Maybe someone will be in town? Either way, I'm actually excited to say, "Me? How old am I? Oh, 23."

OK, time is running out and I need to get to the gym before T gets here! She has a job interview tomorrow (cross your fingers... we want to get an apartment together) so she's staying with me. Gotta run, but I'll try to write more soon. I might even pick a theme. I've been reading a ton of vegan/food blogs because I've been making attempts at eating vegan lately, so maybe I'll try to do a food blog to keep me accountable in eating AND writing.
We'll see!