I Just Want to be Perfect

Yesterday was my birthday. All my life, birthdays have been filled with anxiety and a little bit of disappointment. Partially because of my Clark Griswoldian dreams. I have hope. I believe in magic. I think anything is truly possible. And I imagine the most perfect of days for any special event, holiday, or vacation. I’m basically Riley from Girl Meets World.

Riley has Rileytown, a place where all her weirdness and happiness comes from. I have Chrissy’s World, where skies are pink and I am cool (with all my weirdness and happiness).

Riley has Maya, a best friend who stands up for her and loves her for who she is. I have Katie, who threatens to hit people over the head with a Corona bottle if they don’t stop teasing me or hurting my feelings.

It’s a good life. And it’s all mine. And for some reason, unbeknownst to me, a birthday never goes by in which I don’t cry at least once. I’m not saying this so you’ll feel sorry for me. I’m just explaining my weird little world for context.

So, yesterday, Brian took me out for breakfast and we planned our birthday adventure. We went home for a bit to digest and watch Game of Thrones. He took a nap (because I woke him up early to eat breakfast), and I called my mom for my annual cry.

It was at this point that Mama Bear offered to help. We were talking about Delilah, our beloved pool, who went to the pool graveyard in the sky a couple years ago, and how I could have been swimming while Brian napped. She asked if I wanted to go to one of the public pools in the area. My response was a mix of fuck no and lazy.

And be around all those people? I would have to shave my legs!

Mom knew I was right, and so she offered to left me come run through her sprinkler in her fancy, new, plush backyard grass(they sodded last year). I started laughing.

Come on! I’ll even do it with you!

At that point, I couldn’t stop laughing. It was uncontrollable and perfect. Everything I needed. I just kept picturing two grown women running through a sprinkler. I’m still laughing.

Brian woke up, and we took off for our adventure. A canoe rental in a beautiful hidden glacier-formed lake in the middle of suburbia. It was awesome!
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After our canoe trip, we walked around the lake, chasing geese. Brian kept telling me to leave them alone, but it was his idea to find them when we were on the canoe!

Once they left the lake, they wandered the grounds, just like we did. And they were so cute! I loved them.

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Afterwards, we met my parents for dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Greek Islands. We drank wine, ate snacks, and they sang Happy Birthday to me before presenting me with a non-cake dessert and a birthday candle. All a girl wants on her birthday is to make a wish. Which I did. I’ll let you know when it comes true. We passed around the dessert, which was unbelievable coconuty custardy goodness, and my dad got the last piece.

As we nommed on our split dessert, Dad realized something was amiss, and he spit out the pink birthday candle. Apparently, he didn’t realize it wasn’t edible until it was too late. My parents and my boyfriend are pretty much the best. They know just what to do or say to make me laugh and give me the best birthday a Clark Griswold girl could have. A few tears turned into a magical day. Riley would be proud.

In the spirit of imperfection, I also wanted to tell you about a book that debuted this weekend. A book written, in small part, by yours truly. 37 co-authors produced the 4th book in the New York Times best-selling Pee Alone series, I Just Want to be Perfect. When Jen Mann invited me to contribute, I died a little bit with joy. It was the perfect title for me to be a part of and I hope you’ll all join me in reading this magical book of horrifying, hilarious, and true stories of women who try and fail at perfection.

I Just Want to be Perfect

You can find I Just Want to be Perfect in print and digital forms on iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.

Netflix Stream Team

This post was created as part of my work with Netflix (shameless plug excluded) as a member of the Stream Team. I received a device on which to shamelessly watch Netflix and an annual membership to stream all the streams I can stream. I binge watched Girl Meets World this month, and boy was I glad I did. Riley and I have a lot in common…you know, since I’m perpetually a 12-year-old girl. I had a Netflix account before the Stream Team, and no one pays me to say nice things about them. If you have Netflix, you understand. Even Mama Bear is obsessed with them.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Life is Just Plain Weird. Oh, and I Quit My Job Today

Quitting a job is absolutely bizarre. Today is my last day at my current company. In two weeks, I’ll start a new role at a new company, where I’ll learn new things and make new friends and start a new routine. But over the last week or two, things have been…weird. Because I knew I was done. But I was still getting stuff done. It’s a very surreal experience. I could say it twenty different ways and it wouldn’t feel normal.

Quitting your job is weird and awkward, and the ceremonious way in which we do everything makes it even weirder.

I’ve quit jobs before. I’ve sent e-mails to bar managers and called in to restaurant managers, but typically, I don’t just leave a job for something better. It’s never been my MO. I’ve been laid off and left jobs when they weren’t right for me, but I promised myself I’d never quit a job without a better job, this time. And so I waited it out. Until I could find a place that could offer me a new home. A place to grow. Which I did, and I’m SO excited about. But that doesn’t make leaving this job any less weird. These are just a few of the weird things I kept thinking about over the last week that make quitting a job the right way a little strange.

Two Weeks Notice

First, you’re advised to give notice. And not just like, hey tomorrow’s my last day. Instead, the norm is to offer 2 weeks of your time after you know you’re donezo. When a job lets you go, you’re out that day. Why does this tradition exist? During those two weeks, do you tell people you’re leaving? Do you keep quiet and get as much work done as you can? I fell somewhere in the middle and was wigged out the entire time. I’m proud as fuck I was able to see a contract through to completion and launched before my last day, but what if I hadn’t finished it? Would I have been expected to continue working long after my last day to finish it? Would I have left it to someone else who wasn’t in on the rest of the contract process? Fucking weird, right?

Exit Interviews

I always thought I’d leave angry with a big ole bone to pick with HR. I’d been preparing for my exit interview since I started. I documented every instance of ridiculous, crazy, and horrible things. But when push came to shove, I didn’t have anything to say. Sure there were times I was so angry I threatened to quit.  But I got a lot out of my job. I learned a ton. I explained my reasons to my boss, but mostly it was just the right time for me. I have a new job lined up that I’m so incredibly excited about, and I’m not leaving my current job on bad terms. I’ve made my peace.

Saying Goodbye

I’ve bid farewell to many a co worker in my almost 3 years with the company.  Several times, I’ve shed a few tears. Not just because everything makes me cry…but because I was genuinely sad to see people go. Now it’s my turn to go, and I’m genuinely sad to say goodbye to the people I’ve come to know here. That doesn’t make it any less awkward. I started telling some people last week that I had put in my notice, and others I didn’t tell until yesterday. Others still, I didn’t tell until I sent my last e-mail. It’s just weird. Because I didn’t want to be in the middle of contract negotiations and then tell people I’m leaving. I didn’t want to be working on a project and let people think it was going to slip between my fingers. I wanted to finish what I started and get it done properly without a thousand questions as to why…but then I felt guilty not telling them until now.

But my last day is here, and I’m not sad or angry or joyful. I just feel weird. Adulting is hard.

Have you ever quit a job for something new and exciting? What is the strangest thing about quitting a job? What other weird traditions do we stand by that should maybe be eliminated?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I Drove Drunk and Got Pulled Over by a Cop

I’ve done a lot of stupid things in my life. Don’t let that be confused with regrets. I regret nothing. Everything that I’ve done has brought me to the place that I am today. And I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Without further adieu, some of my more idiotic moves…

Cutting a bald spot on the crown of my head during the formative years.

Spending a long New Year’s weekend in Indiana with 5 stoner couples with 6 movies constantly looping and the smell of weed permeating the cabin.

Smoking my very first cigarette…at the age of 23.

Going on a date with (and continuing to date) a guy (who turned out to be a drug addict) whom I met on Craigslist.

Spraining my ankle doing a drunken happy dance.

Quitting my job because my boss asked for my letter of resignation instead of waiting for her to fire me.

Dating the same guy over and over and over again, for three years expecting different results.

And the number one stupidest thing that I’ve ever done: Driving after drinking. Never. Ever. Ever. Do this. A few years ago, I was really really stupid. Really stupid. After several libations on my own one slow Friday evening at Flaherty’s, I decided that I wanted to go sing some karaoke at another bar.

I got drunk, drove to another bar, and got pulled over by a police officer

I tipped my bartender, who didn’t seem to mind that I was a little intoxicated as I was leaving. In her defense, I looked and behaved just fine. But a small part of me knew that I probably shouldn’t have been behind the wheel. But I was bored playing my 207th game of Mah Jong that night, the bar was dead, and I had friends drinking at another bar.

For some reason, unbeknownst to me, I decided to take the main road, instead of the familiar back roads. Driving from one town, through another, to a third town, I noticed a police officer driving behind me. I did a quick check of my surroundings: speed limit (check), seat belt (check), breath (gum? no, but shit, there’s not much I can do about that). There’s no reason that this police officer should need to pull me over. Phew!

I mentally pumped myself up, Just a few more blocks and I would be safely into the next town, out of this cop’s police jurisdiction. The bar was just on the other side of the city line. Come on, just a few more blocks. Don’t fuck up.

The next thing I knew, the all-too-familiar red and blue lights flashed at me from behind. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit.

So I re-checked my surroundings. Do not panic. Do. Not. Panic. I looked for my insurance card, which I was infamous for not being able to find. Found one! From last year. Hopefully, it will do.

The police officer walks up to my window and I roll it down.

“Do you know why I pulled you over?”

“No, officer, I’m sorry, but I really don’t.” I genuinely had no clue. To my knowledge, I had done nothing wrong. Well, sort of. Nothing that warranted pulling me over. Plus we all know I’m a terrible liar. PLUS it’s a proven fact that cops can see right through my bullshit when I try to lie.

“Did you know that your license plates expired last month?”

Oh my God, really? “Oh my God, really?” I knew that my shock was evident by the sympathetic look on the officer’s face. I kept babbling, “My dad and I were just talking about this. He had asked me when I needed to renew my plates, but I thought that they weren’t up until April. That’s when I got the plates. I got the car in November of 2006. I haven’t gotten anything in the mail that says I need to renew them. I’m so sorry.”

The police officer looked at me and asked for my license and insurance. I passed him my driver’s license and was holding onto my expired insurance card–waiting to pass it to him. He scanned my license quickly, and never once even took a second look at the insurance card. He handed my license back to me and told me to go get my plates taken care of the next day. He told me it may be a hefty fine for being late, but he would not write me a ticket. He proceeded to wish me a good evening, and to drive safely before he walked away.

This mistake could have cost me everything. Click To Tweet

Not once did he ask me where I had been.

Not once did he ask me where I was going.

Not once did he ask if I had been drinking.

I took that as a sign from God that I should never. Ever. Ever. Drive drunk again. My one free pass, I called it. I was a mere two blocks from the bar that I was heading towards. I panicked and called my best friend, Mark, who was at the airport on his way to some other country. He told me that I was stupid, and I shouldn’t be driving. He told me to calm down and leave my car at the bar that night. So I got to the bar, and called my flavor of the week. He met me at the bar and took me to his place when it closed. The next morning, he got me to my car, and all was well. But holy shit was I freaked out.

I’d like to tell you I never drove drunk again, but that would be a lie. And there would be fewer stories to share with you. For the record, I don’t condone drunk driving nor do I do it anymore. Ever. At all.

Have you ever done something incredibly stupid and gotten caught? Any run-ins with the law that you escaped by the skin of your teeth? Drunk driving stories? Tell me your tales!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Summer of Food, Drugs, and Travel: How I Spent My Summer “Vacation” in 500 Words or Less

The summer is coming to an end, the kids are going back to school, and all the fun things are happening that happen in the fall. (I see you, Pumpkin Spice everything, and I’ll take two.) I thought I’d write you a quick little ditty in honor of my summer. Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to put music or my voice to it. 

I kicked off summer, threw a birthday party, and celebrated my “29th.” Began the summer of pain and “fame.” My back was screaming, “Welcome to ’29 again,’ bitch.” Couldn’t get out of bed, sit comfortably or easily wipe my own ass. Worked from home, indulged in an overabundance of over-the-counter pain killers, and boarded a plane.

Landed in Baltimore, visited a breakfast nook, crammed 27 (or 5) bloggers into a small rental car, and traipsed to the quaint college campus we would call home for two days. People squee’d, hugged me, commanded me to yoga. Was loud, obnoxious, and confident. People still kinda liked me. Won a bunch of awesome shit, which sent me on a cool trajectory for the summer. Returned home to Brian, who wanted to bottle the energized Chrissy that came home, exhaustedly babbling about the amazing adventures of BlogU.

Lost my car in a flood. Cried. Roof leaked. Cried some more.

Made tasty snacks, drove to central Illinois with my parents, recorded them talking, and hung out with my family.

Raspberry picking in Michigan

Threw another party, drove to Michigan for an impromptu romantic getaway, dined on crazy delicious food-potato chip nachos, ribs, and bbq pork mac and cheese, returned to our fancy room for wine and Jacuzzi. Wandered the southwest corner of Michigan, antiqued, went to the beach, picked cherries and raspberries, drank wine, bought crappy cider, wore a bikini.

A photo posted by Quirky Chrissy (@quirkychrissy) on

Traipsed to Indiana, hopped on a boat, headed to the beach and got dizzy. Jumped in the lake, swam to solid ground, and watched everyone hang on the boat. Got back on the boat, drank some beer, and watched fireworks. Fourth of July happened, Ate some food and took third place in the three-legged race. Played some games, went to bed.

Red moon at the dock

Published on Huffington Post, went semi-viral, received a call from a radio producer. Listened to everyone’s first period stories.

Woke up with more back pain, screaming in agony. Went to doctor. Got on insane drugs. Jumped on another plane, landed in New York, hung out with blogger friends. More yoga demands, more squees, more friends, more booze, more food. All appetizers. Weird feminism. More winnings. Talked to Jenny McCarthy, met Hickory Farms, went to a rooftop bar, saw Aladdin, stayed too long, felt lonely, missed Brian.

Came home, snuggled Brian, acquired more drugs, experienced serious anxiety, met up with friends, had my palms read, was told I was lucky, got drunk, changed my website, felt lonely.

Bought a new car. Trekked to Indianapolis. Played games. Bought games. Ate food. Won more prizes. Came home, basement flooded, fixed air conditioner.

Eating in Michigan

Started physical therapy. Tried to yoga. Asked for a raise. Worried about job. Began an episode of vertigo (still going), took more drugs. Received a KitchenAid Mixer. Joined a weight loss competition.

As it turns out, my themes this summer were pain, drugs, travel, food and booze. I’m sure more happened, but I was lost in a haze of everything else. With the summer winding down, we don’t want anything else to go wrong, so we’ve started gearing up for TV season, and consequently just started Season 2 of 30 Rock on Netflix, where Liz Lemon also returned from her summer vacation. And can I just say how much I’m obsessing over 30 Rock right now? Do you KNOW how many things Liz Lemon and I have in common? Pretty much, like…everything. Also, the topical nature of 30 Rock from 2006 is surprisingly working really well in 2015. 

I'm obsessed with 30 Rock right now

135 episodes of THIS on Netflix right now. If I’m not writing, blame Liz Lemon.

How was your summer “vacation” did you get away? Stay at home? Do anything spectacular? Tell me everything!

Anyways, as usual, I wasn’t paid to write this post, but I was given a free Netflix subscription and a device on which to watch 30 Rock and other shows. 

Netflix Stream Team

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Grocery Shopping: Because Being Lazy and Proactive About My Eating Habits Are Better Than Saving Money

I read something on Pinterest the other day about things you should NEVER  buy at the grocery store. Among the items included many of our weekly (okay whenever-we-make-it-to-the-grocery-store-ly, which averages about 2-3 times a month) purchases. And so I said to myself, “Self, someone has to speak out against this insanity. Someone needs to tell these Pinterest Looney Toons to get a hold of themselves and drop the homemade spice mix. Self, that someone should probably be you.”

Okay fine, I didn’t actually say those things to myself. I was busy muttering under my breath about not wanting to put pants on and needing to eat more cheese, but whatever. I thought them. In fact, I’ve thought about this often enough I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to shit I’m never going to do. And about 60 other Pinterest boards dedicated to shit I’m probably never going to do.

Anyways, I’ve come up with a very important list of things you should buy at the grocery store because the cost outweighs the amount of time spent doing whatever it takes to make those things happen.

Whether you're trying to save money or just be the ultimate Pinterest mom, some of these "money savers" are actually not worth your time or energy.

Things you shouldn’t bother Pinteresting or forgoing because the grocery store makes it So. Much. Easier.

Spice mixes: Let’s start with this one (and ignore the fact that I do, actually, make my own taco and fajita seasoning but to be fair, I don’t really measure any of it). Sure, you can mix and match your seasonings easy enough. But ain’t nobody got time for experimentation. When you’re in a hurry, isn’t it reassuring to know that your X,Y,Z isn’t going to be fucked up because you were smart enough to use a spice mix which had the perfect blend of crushed red pepper, dried pineapple flavor and bacon bits (patent pending)? I thought so too. Also, no one makes ranch like Hidden Valley. There. I said it.

Miracle cleaning solution: Let’s talk about this “Blue Dawn and vinegar” bullshit I’ve seen all over Pinterest. I tried it when we first moved into the house. I was thinking to myself, “Self, this is going to make a great post one day. You’ll be all ‘Blue Dawn and vinegar’ was really a miracle in my stained bathtub!” And you know what? I was wrong. Because all that shit did was smell nasty. I understand cleaning with vinegar and baking soda is also supposed to help – I used it dozens of times to try cleaning my garbage disposal. It masked the odor alright…with vinegar smell. Give me Scrubbing Bubbles and a Plink drop any day.

Vinegar: We rarely use most of the vinegar in our cabinets. Brian uses the balsamic for his salad dressing (along with a pre-packaged spice mix) and I use the white vinegar when I dye eggs on Easter. And yet, there are people who make their own fermented vinegar. Dudes. You guys. This stuff is cheap. Who wants to stink up their house for a product you use a couple times a year or whatever.

Dryer sheets: I LOVE the smell of clean laundry. I hate doing laundry, but the smell of fresh from the dryer laundry makes my heart go pitter patter. On Pinterest, I ran across a pin for homemade dryer sheets which looked super cute, but sounded like a disaster waiting to happen. One of the comments on it, though, was priceless – “I tried this and my laundry smelled like vinegar!” Bring on the store-bought dryer sheets so my laundry can smell delicious.

Bottled water: Oh hell yes, I’m going here. I know this one isn’t a Pinterest thing, but I’ve seen it on the money-saving lists. Sure, I’ve got reusable bottles and travel cups and mugs galore (I usually get them free with brand names on them when I go to fancy blog conferences). We even bought fancy pants Brita water bottles (okay – these are great for traveling). But you know what I hate? When I wake up with enough time to brush my teeth, throw pants on, and MAYBE brush my hair before I race to the train…and have to spend more time filling a bottle with water than I did doing all of the getting ready part of my morning. Instead, I can grab a bottle on my way out the door and satiate my thirst while I commute into the city. Besides, when you buy them at Sam’s Club, they’re so cheap per bottle. And water is never truly free, y’all. Need I remind you about your water bill which is payment for water that comes out of your faucet?


Pre-packaged snacks: I love snack packs. A lot. And you know what? Those pre-packaged little goodies keep me from killing my poor boyfriend. Because I’m high maintenance like a freakin’ gremlin. Also, they keep me from eating the whole fucking econo bag of Doritos that I would otherwise buy at Sam’s Club in one sitting. It’s been known to happen.

So the thing is, you guys…I get it. If you’re on a money-saving kick, this might make sense to you. If you’re on an all-natural ingredient thing? I totally get that too. But before you go out to buy the necessary equipment and ingredients to pull these tricks off, don’t forget to add the math for the time it takes you to do this shit. Your hourly rate counts as money spent, doesn’t it?

What crazy DIY shit have you seen recently on Pinterest, or the Internet, or anywhere really, that would be much easier to purchase? Have you tried any of the DIY options I mentioned? Are you a die-hard DIY maven? Are you a bottled water drinker?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

I’d Like to Raise My Glass to My Parents for Being Hilarious

I grew up in a bar. I don’t say this to shock you; I say this because it’s true. And it’s not a bad thing.

Every summer, Tuesday nights were exciting because my brother and I would pick up cheeseburgers and kiddie cocktails on our way to Dad’s softball games. We’d snack out of Styrofoam containers while Dad threw killer pitches. Then we’d get bored and run off to the playground next to the field.

After the game, we’d head back to the bar where Mom was occasionally serving drinks and Dad was celebrating with the team. The other bar kids and I would jam out to 80’s hair metal on the juke box, hustle grown-ups at pool, race around the back alley, and convince bar patrons to steal a grocery cart from the store across the street. Sometimes, we’d even walk a couple blocks to get Blizzards from DQ or candy and cheap toys from the local drug store.

It was fun.

We knew our parents were drinking alcohol. They didn’t call it “Mommy Juice.” When my brother or I asked our parents what they were drinking, they were honest with us.

“This is beer.”


“This is cognac.”

“This is scotch.”

“This is tequila.”

“This is wine.”

And you know what? My brother and I – we weren’t stupid. We knew what alcohol was. We saw a lot of alcoholics come and go from that bar.

So when one of us would ask, “Can I try?” and our parents said yes, they weren’t stupid either. Before you get all Trolly McTrollerson on me or my amazing parents, let me inform you that the Illinois State Liquor law does not have an age restriction for parents allowing their children alcohol in the safety of their own home. Which was the only place we were allowed to try our parents beverages.

My brother and I tried our fair share of Bud Light tastes and the occasional sip of cognac, and every time we tried something, we would spit it out with a resounding “YUCK.” Because gross. Our child palates weren’t down with alcohol, and we couldn’t understand how on God’s green earth our parents could consume such slop. Give me a 7up and grenadine any day.

Our parents talked to us about alcohol when we were very young. They were honest. And you know what else they were? They were hilarious. They drank. They made jokes. They made jokes about alcohol and parenthood and every other aspect of their lives. Because if you can’t laugh, what’s the point?

Even I, as a young pup, would make my fair share of alcohol jokes. When my sister, Deven, was away at college, she teasingly promised a nine-year old Chrissy that when I came to visit her, she would take me to a party and give me beer. I firmly stated to her, “I prefer cocktails.”

Of course, I was talking about kiddie cocktails, but everyone laughed. I got my sense of humor from my parents. Thank God.

Because right now, Responsibility.org is asking mom bloggers to “refresh their funny” and remove alcohol-related humor from their repertoire. You can watch this video that shows their preferred messaging.


While I’m not a mom blogger or even a mom, I’ve got a few things to say about this.

I respect the Talk Early campaign. I’m all for talking to kids about alcohol. Hands down, talk about it. But you know what? Alcohol is a legal substance for people over the age of 21 in the United States. It’s often younger if you live in another country. Parents aren’t going to stop drinking on behalf of their children, so why should they kill their senses of humor on behalf of those same children?

I’ve heard that parenthood changes you, but I sure as fuck hope that when I have tiny humans, I don’t lose the ability to make a quick joke about vodka. Because…Chrissy Water, as my friends call it here in the Chicago suburbs, isn’t going anywhere.

My parents talked to me about alcohol. They made jokes about alcohol. They still make jokes about alcohol. Shit, my dad and I drink to the forest fire (IT’S A JOKE, PEOPLE). And you know what? I didn’t go out and start drinking like a lush at 12 or think my parents were alcoholics or anything like that. And you know what? Most of my friends didn’t either. The kids who are drinking underage aren’t doing it because their parents made a joke about wine when they were babies or children or even teenagers. They’re doing it to rebel. They’re doing it because their friends are doing it. They’re doing it because they can.

Refresh the target not the punchline. Alcohol jokes are targeted at adults. Let's worry more about what the kids are doing than the parents, eh-

Me? I waited until I was a respectable freshman in college, sneaking booze the proper way. By getting a junior to buy my Boone’s Farm.

Responsibility wants to start a conversation. They’re even offering a fancy monetary prize to three BlogU15 bloggers who write about Refreshing Their Funny. This post is an entry into that contest, and no one paid me to say anything in this piece. Especially considering my whole disagreeing with them thing.

What about you guys? Do you believe parents should stop posting images and jokes with alcohol as the punch line? What are some of your favorite jokes and memes? When did you start drinking?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The 3 Best Reasons to NEVER Dye Your Hair at Home

As you may or may not have known from my glamour shots, I’ve been dying my hair since I was 12. I started out with highlighting and going blonde(r)…but eventually went dark…then finally the ginger set in.

I’ve gone to professionals, had friends do my dye jobs, and done it myself. I’ve done it all.

Of the three, I obviously prefer the first. But I’d been known to frequently do my own hair (typically when I was broke). Now, I have a relationship with a hair stylist, like a grown up. And I could never cheat on her.

I used to be pretty awesome at it. I mean, dying your own hair blonde is no big deal. The blonde dye doesn’t really stain anything. It cleans up pretty easily…

After several attempts at dying my own hair, I finally only let a stylist handle my mane. Theses are the 3 reasons not to dye your hair at home as learned from my own experiences.

Reason # 1 to Never Dye Your Hair at Home: Stains

I did the auburn/brunette thing… That got a little trickier. I may or may not have stained the bathtub in my college apartment. I may or may not have almost stained mom’s bathroom floors, walls, sink, bathtub…you get the picture. Mom banned me from ever dying my hair at her house again.

So then I finally grew a pair…and decided it was time to go ginger. I had been waiting for so long to do this. Years! Friggin’ years! And finally…I was ready. I went to the store. I bought the color. It was awesome. Bright. Delicious. Ginger. Excitement!

I was living at my pal Mark’s at the time as he was uber busy working in some foreign land, and someone had to make sure Jerry the Mouse didn’t invade again. (Note: This is not like the time I stole his car. I had permission to live in his home.) So I took the opportunity to change my look (in not-my-mother’s bathroom).

Reason # 2 to Never Dye Your Hair at Home: The Stains Hide

So, I may or may not have accidentally made a huge mess in Mark’s apartment bathroom. I cleaned it all up and made sure to get all of the red spots before they dyed anything permanently…or so I thought. A few weeks later, when Mark came home, he called me up and asked “What the fuck did you do?!” He found some red stains. I went over there with my trusty Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and discovered that there were apparently stains that I had missed…quite a few of them…whoops! Those bitches hide.

Reason # 3 to Never Dye Your Hair at Home: Drastic Errors

That same dye job over at Mark’s apartment required a double process. The first was my own, in which I fucked up royally and had blotches of red, blotches of brown, and blotches of in between. It was a disaster. I had to call my sister (a beauty school drop-out) to come over and fix my huge err. Luckily, the second process was done by my sister, and she handled it like magic. And then once I thought it looked hot, I STILL got some pretty nasty commentary about going such a bold shade of red.

Of course, this wasn’t my last adventure in self-hair-dye.

After a few months of dating Brian, it seemed like an OK idea to dye my hair at his house (well, his roommate’s house). You know, since Mom banned me, Mark banned me, and I had already dyed my hair at several hotels–staining their white towels pink (I know, right–it was a terrible idea).

I had a system though. I would run a bath while dying and sit in the bathtub. That way the dye wouldn’t stain the porcelain. Brilliant right? Except that as I set the dye down on the tub edge, I learned (the hard way) that the edge was angled. I first dropped the bottle into the tub of water.

So I placed the bottle on the floor outside the tub. I had removed all towels and anything that could get destroyed in the process. But when the bottle fell onto the bath rug (that I had carelessly forgotten to remove or hadn’t noticed…I don’t even know–sometimes I’m not very observant), it was game over. I freaked out. Red toner spilling everywhere onto this rug.

Brian’s roommate liked nice things. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of this rug, I assumed that it was costly. So I tried to do damage control. I scrubbed it. I loaded it with soap. I did everything I could think of to get rid of the stain. And it looked…better.

I Googled the brand on the tag. No luck. I didn’t know where it came from or where I could replace it. So I contacted Brian…and he told me it was his rug. PHEW and that it was from Walmart DOUBLE PHEW (and I should have known the minute he said it was his, because everything he owned was from Walmart–just like Danell Leyva’s Towels).

I told him we would likely need to toss it. He didn’t believe me and said it could be washed. I explained it was pretty bad and hair dye was permanent. I had just checked on it again, and apparently “cleaning” it made it significantly worse after it dried a little…it was blood red and the stain was enormous. I was still having a panic attack as I typed a G-chat message to Brian, even though he kept telling me it was fine and not to worry. (He still does this a lot because I have a lot of unnecessary panic attacks.)

The following weekend, Brian threw the rug in the washer.

It came out clean.

Who knew?

What errors have you made when dying your own hair? Do you see a stylist or do it yourself? What are your thoughts on stylist loyalty?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Unemployment is a lot like Being Single

Several years ago, I spent about six months unemployed. Collecting unemployment from the state of Illinois is something of a joke, in my opinion. I know a lot of people who collect and don’t do a damn thing to find a job. I even had a recruiter ask me if I was collecting, and if I would still be interested in part time or freelance work if it would mess up the unemployment check. Really? I thought that the point was to REEMPLOY yourself!

Of course, as someone who spent many hours a day, five days a week, for six months searching, I’m a little jaded. I had to go to a state mandated “re-employment” workshop, something that people who had been collecting UI for years had never been to…and still, no full-time employment for Chrissy.

I’ve also had my fair share of singleton experiences. I spent the better portion of my adult life single and made the rounds of dating–online and otherwise.

So having spent a lot of time job hunting, and a lot of time dating…I realized that job hunting is a lot like dating. More specifically, job hunting is a lot like online dating.

Online dating and job hunting

How to find a job…or how to find a date

Step one
Build your online profile. You need to make yourself marketable to your target audience. Whether it’s a future boss or a future boyfriend, you need to know what they want and give yourself the appearance that you have it. The more you write, the more interesting (or boring) you become. You’ve got to have a perfectly written cover letter or dating profile that stands out in a crowd of other single or unemployed persons. Not only that, it has to stand out to the particular type of person or company that you’re trying to snag.

Step two
Search. Search for the forever employer. Search for the forever boyfriend or girlfriend. Search for a right-now date or the right-now job. You’ve got your information posted for them to find you; now, you have to try to find them. With a plethora of websites and apps available for you to find your perfect match, you can spend hours filling out forms with all of your information, writing about yourself, and so much more. This step is where desperation can often come into play. Whether you’re sending out 500 job applications on CareerBuilder, or sending messages to 500 different people on Match.com, you’ve got to make sure to limit the sound of despondency in your tone. Keep it confident. Simple.

Step three
Make contact. Once you’ve found a potential match, you’ve got to get in touch with them in the hopes that they will respond to your inquiry. If they’ve found you first, you need to take it from virtual communication to real communication. Email, phone, and then in-person communication. It’s a process

Step four
The first date or the interview. From the pre-meeting anxiety to the sigh of relief upon its completion, these two are incredibly similar. You make yourself look your absolute best–a best that you almost never look in real life. A brand new outfit, coiffed tresses, flawless make-up, and whatever else you can think of. You’re showcasing a part of yourself that almost never makes it out into the real world. Because ain’t nobody got time for that every day.

Step five
Wait. Hope they call. Whether it’s the second interview or the second date, you can only wait for them to make the decision that they’ll call. Of course, you can be proactive and make the first move, but even then, it’s always a waiting game. Are they going to answer? Are they going to turn down your request for a second date or meeting?

Basically, you’re trying to fit personalities into a functional relationship that will become mutually beneficial. Dating or job-hunting–the questions are all the same. Are you personable? Are you a hard-worker? Are you intelligent? Can you keep up? Do you mesh well together?

Eventually, you’ll find the right one at the right time, and things, hopefully, work out well.

Have you ever been unemployed? What comparisons would you make about dating and job hunting?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Desperately Seeking Something: How to Fuck Everything Up

After I met two cool guys at the bar at which I was working, and stalked the shit out of the handsome one, I went into work that next afternoon, swooning. The mysterious Grown Up (formerly known as Handsome) was completely occupying my mind. I was always game for a challenge, and someone who couldn’t be found on social media was definitely a challenge in my book. My bartender friend and I spent the very slow work day planning my future wedding to my newest crush.

Desperately Seeking Something

I didn’t have to wait long for the first real email. Some time around noon that afternoon, The Grown Up responded to my adorable comment with just enough sass to make me laugh and just enough weirdness to make me smile. I knew responding to him was going to be fun.

He told me that I obviously had beer goggles on, as he was definitely not “adorable,” though I was welcome to call him dashing, debonair, distinguished, or even elegant. He made some ridiculous nonsensical commentary on my email signature, which referenced a leadership role in an organization and my consultant status for Tastefully Simple. It was teasing, light, and absolutely adorable. His sense of humor really nailed it for me. It was just random enough to make me think more and carefully craft a response that played off his playful tone.

I told him that he was definitely all of those things, but he was also adorable with the definitive argument that it was my word and so it would be that he were adorable.

I added a little light banter about his obvious modesty, and sent the response later that evening. As I waited for another email, I analyzed every word in his first email. I used any personal details to continue my Google search. I still couldn’t find him on social media. Maybe he didn’t have a Facebook account. Maybe he wasn’t that techy or internetty. I even sent him a chat request that went unanswered.

But he e-mailed me the next day using that same, adorable and teasing tone.

Modesty

Words turn me on.

I was seriously hooked. His word choices. His sense of humor.  He was smart. And a smart ass. I loved him. I sent another chat request before responding to his e-mail.

Actually, I sent him several chat requests that soon went unanswered. Shit. Was I fucking this up already?

If you didn’t already know, I was/am a master of fucking things up. I push buttons…A LOT. I kinda like testing my limits. It’s a thing.

These are actual messages my dope ass sent to the poor Grown Up...who was probably doing grown-up things.

These are actual messages my dope ass sent three days in a row to the poor Grown Up…who was probably doing grown-up things. I’m really bad at flirting.

My third IM (which was on the third day – and actually in the morning, and not at night) was met with an awkward response that made perfect sense. He worked at a computer all day. If he looked like he was online at night, he probably wasn’t ACTUALLY online.

Oh.

So we briefly conversed about our jobs and career paths, and I told him I wanted to be a teacher. Our conversation concluded with this little blurb of utter genius…something that I had forgotten completely until finding old conversations to use for this tale.

Grown Up: Being around young people is a good way to stay young. The company I work at now is practically geriatric. I'd say that the corporate culture is stilted... but, honestly, I think most people are kind of stilted generally and almost all corporate cultures have a chilling effect on individuality. me: yeah. The closest I came to working for a corporate company was when I was a catering manager, which hardly constitutes the corporate world Grown Up: Count your lucky stars! me: Every day!

Wise words from The Grown Up… If only I remembered this conversation before I jumped into Corporate America. It almost makes me a little sad for Corporate Chrissy…

After a three day Gmail love affair, though…life took its typical turn in relationship Chrissyland…and the handsome Grown Up didn’t respond again. Christmas was a few days away, and my last e-mail went unanswered. I failed to send another desperate IM during the busy that was Christmas.

Two days before Christmas, I met someone else…and two days after Christmas, someone from my past came back into my life, and the Grown Up that wasn’t pursuing me got pushed to the backseat by the boys that were. I suppose the saying is true…when it rains, it pours. And for me, it was raining men.

Hallelujah.

Was this the end? Would I ever see the Handsome Grown Up or Bright and Shiny again? Friends, tell it to me straight – have you ever pushed a little too hard when you were interested in someone? Do you not push enough? Tell me your tales of woo and woe!

Find out what happens next by clicking the picture below!

a long day at the bar

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Jerry the Mouse

A few years ago, my best friend, Mark (you know, the one whose car I stole?), was forced to spend a great deal of time in China and Australia for work. My friend, the world traveler. So the first time he left for China, I would pick up his mail, pay a few bills (with the checks that he had left), and I also made it my business to clean his apartment–including the bathroom (which was guy-living-alone-in-apartment-gross).

One hot summer day, I went over there to drop the mail and survey the apt…I noticed a great deal of strange little black specks that weren’t there before…specs that, I could only hope were something or other from the maintenance guy who came out during the week. Upon further inspection, I realized that it was rodent poop.

JERRY the mouse invasion

So, being the good friend that I was, I cleaned the counters, the stove, the floor, and the sink. I did a thorough inspection of the apartment, and found more mouse poop on top of the fridge, inside drawers and cabinets, and in the laundry room. I made sure that there was no open food anywhere for the little punk to procure. The mouse, whom I affectionately named Jerry, had not yet ventured beyond the realm of the small galley kitchen, so this didn’t take more than an hour. For the time being, it was handled.

I realized that this situation may have been worse than the family of mice who decided that taking up residence in my car’s engine was a good idea. (Oh yes, one morning after the discovery of a dead battery, I opened the hood of my car to discover a charred mouse atop my engine.)

The next time Mark went away, I moved in. After the first poop sighting, I thought taking up residence each time Mark was away was the smart thing to do. I knew to clean up any mess that was made and to keep all food out of sight. This was great for many reasons, the biggest of which was that I lived with my parents and Mark did not. So it was almost like I had my own apartment for a few weeks at a time. It just happened to be an apartment with an unwanted roommate.

I considered bringing my cat over to Mark’s apartment…

Gratuitous cat photo

Gratuitous cat photo

After a few more months of my arch enemy, who was in fact little bigger than my nose, setting up shop in my faux apartment while Mark gallivanted around the globe, I was getting used to the idea of having a tiny roommate in this small space.

Of course, I still despised the thought of sharing space with an icky rodent that could be carrying god only knows what diseases. I didn’t want to deal with creepy crawlies, and definitely didn’t want to deal with mice.

But it was funny… him turned out to be kinda cute when I eventually met him…My heart was racing from the obnoxious screaming that ensued the day I met Jerry, the damn mouse. The little bastard was in the living room. It was strange…I saw something out of the corner of my eye, and I first thought it was something in the air, like a fly…and I thought to myself, Da fuck? But when it happened again, I realized that it was the evil mouse.

Jerry.

We stared at each other briefly before I screamed, and he ran back to the living room. I jumped on the dining room chair. I stood there, scanning my surroundings in a militaryesque stance, looking for Jerry, wherever he might have been hiding… And then I saw him…cowering like a little mouse under the couch…and I thought to myself…Awww you’re cute. I still want to kill you (but not really kill you because that’s horrible)…but you’re cute.

He reminded me of Axl Rose, our first gerbil. And so I thought, I can’t kill this cute little thing…so I let him quickly scamper back to the kitchen…while I was safely on my chair…I watched him from my chair for a few minutes, as he tried to peek out at me from under the dishwasher. I yelled, “Don’t even think about it,” and Jerry listened. He shuffled back underneath, and I never saw him again.

What experiences have you had with rodent intruders in your home? Any terrifying tales of other taunting creatures?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!