Real Talk About Babies

So, now that we’re married, Brian and I have been having the baby conversation. You know, because we’re not spring chickens or anything. Note, before we get things going here: I AM NOT PREGNANT. Okay good. Glad we got that out of the way. 

Our youngest wedding guest

This was our youngest wedding guest. I’m just smitten with the little boy I call Cap’t.

The conversation has kinda gone something like this.

Me: Brian, I want a little girl. If I don’t get a little girl, it’s all. your. fault.

Brian:  Oh really?

Me: Yep.

Brian: I see.

And, sometimes, it goes like this: 

Me: Do you want a girl or a boy?

Brian: It’s probably cliche, but I don’t really care, you know, if it’s healthy. Some people really want, like, a mini me. 

Me: …

Brian: You know like a miniature version  of themself…

Me: …

Me: starts nodding enthusiastically

Brian: I take it that’s what you want?

Me: Don’t YOU want a Mini-Me? Not like a Mini-You…a Mini-Me. A Mini-Chrissy. Can’t you just imagine living with two of us!?

Brian:…

And SOMETIMES, it goes like this:

Me: I want all the babies!!

Brian: Oh yeah?

Me: Yep. I want a Mini-Me and a little boy who loves me forever. And what if our first little girl is nothing like me? We’d obviously have to try again. You know, until we get it just right.

Brian:…

And then there are the times it goes like this:

Me: Brian, will you still love me if I get pregnant and am totally crazy? 

In other news, I think he’s warming  up to the idea of us getting a dog.

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 Didn’t Want Him to Buy an Engagement Ring

After a certain point in your relationship, people start asking questions. They ask if wedding bells will be ringing in the near future. They start grabbing your hand every time they see you, hunting for a giant, sparkly rock. They address invitations, thank-you cards, and holiday greetings to “Mr. and Mrs. _____” in an attempt to get a rise out of your male counterpart.

For me, this started about three years ago. His family. My family. Our friends. Everyone kept asking, “When is he going to buy you a ring?” For a long time, I laughed it off, showed them my empty ring finger and shrugged nonchalantly. A few months ago, I started answering with the truth.

I didn’t want a ring.

I didn't want an engagement ring

This is not to say that I didn’t want to get married. I just didn’t want an engagement ring. I love pretty jewelry, but I rarely wear it. In the first couple years of dating, Brian bought me necklaces and earrings that fit my personality perfectly. When I’m wearing these beautiful accessories, I think, oh, this is so nice. Maybe I’ll start wearing jewelry more often. Maybe I’ll be the girl who always wears fine jewelry.

Here’s my actual MO: I’ll wear the jewelry for a few weeks until I forget to put it on in the morning. I leave it sitting on the coffee table when I paint my nails. It gets left in the bathroom after I shower. Eventually, the necklaces, accent rings and earrings retire to my jewelry box, where they sit, collecting dust and waiting for some TLC. When I remember them, I pull them out for special occasions – weddings, special date nights and fancy parties, but then they go back to the jewelry box for another couple of months.

After nearly five years in a relationship, Brian and I have built a life together. We purchased a house and established our own little family of two. We talk about the future, marriage and babies. As a proposal drew closer, I’d begun hinting at not wanting a ring, but I wasn’t convinced he believed me.

We finally had a conversation about engagement rings, and I told him I’ve never had strong feelings about my dream engagement ring. I’ve fantasized about the ceremony, cocktail-hour cheese display, reception, honeymoon, and marriage, but never about the ring. It just wasn’t important to me.

I asked him if it was important to him that he buys me a ring. He wasn’t entirely sure. You know what worried him most? What other people thought. He didn’t want to disappoint anyone. I told him that we were probably going to disappoint a lot of people when we started heading down that path of wedding and marriage bliss. Not everyone will agree with our decisions for the wedding, how we choose to raise babies and God only knows what else.

I realized that his concern was mostly with social conventions, and I started thinking about my heirloom jewelry collection of rings passed down from my parents. I told him, “Just steal my great-grandma’s ring from my jewelry box, and we’ll be cool.”

He didn’t look swayed. We locked eyes and I explained I have a beautiful heirloom ring that belonged to my great-grandmother. I would be honored to wear it and have my family be a part of our wedding.

We considered the financial implications of buying a ring. To fit the industry standard, he was supposed to spend about $4,000, and so we talked about the things we could do with that money. From remodeling the bathroom to finishing the basement, planning a big wedding with our family and friends or paying for the honeymoon of our dreams, it seemed to me that stretching $4K further than a size 8 ring would be a wiser investment. And let’s be honest. A four thousand dollar piece of jewelry that I may wear for a year at most? My soul cries for the amount of cheese I could buy with that kind of money.

Sure, he could buy me an inexpensive ring, but I’m perfectly content with an heirloom piece that represents tradition and family. How cool is that? After I made my case, Brian finally understood and was on board with the plan to use my great-grandmother’s ring to signify our engagement. To hell with what everyone else thinks about buying a fancy new diamond. The ring I wear for however many months we’re engaged will be super pretty. And won’t have cost either of us a dime.

A week before we got engaged, he asked me one more time, “Are you sure you don’t want me to buy you a ring?”

I responded with a very confident “yes.”

I wanted to shift the focus from showing off the ring to sharing the excitement about committing ourselves to each other. And so, when my best friend silently pilfered a ring from my dusty, rarely opened jewelry box and asked me to be his wife, I promised to try and wear that ring every day. But for better or worse, when I forget to put the ring back on after washing the dishes or taking a shower, it can live safely in my jewelry box (I hope) while that four grand remains untouched in our savings account.

How do you feel about engagement rings? Do you have one/want one/not want one? Am I just a weirdo?

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!

You May Now Address Me as “Master”

Well, December has sure as fuck been one hell of a ride.

The first week of December saw me in a new role at a new company. I quit my old job before Thanksgiving, and started  at the new place a few weeks later.

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I took those two weeks between jobs to finish up my paper for the final class of my master’s degree. If I told you most of the paper was written in those two weeks (Sorry Dr. P!), would you believe me?

The second week of December, Brian FINALLY asked me to marry him, and much to his detriment, I said yes. And now he’s stuck with me forever. The proposal itself was magical and ridiculous and amazing, and I’m in the process of writing about it to give it justice. There’s also a video or two coming. You’re welcome in advance.

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The third week of December was the week I graduated from Benedictine University with a master of arts in education. I can’t say I’ll never use it, but  I don’t plan to be a teacher or anything…

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When your boyfriend tells you you're a tiger, you become a tiger.

I’ll tell you what, though. No one has as much fun in her cap and gown as me. As Brian would tell you, he felt tricked into attending mass, because my Catholic university invited a nun to speak as the keynote. Mom loved it. Well, what she could here from the back on the auditorium, anyways.

I was told I couldn’t write anything on my cap, which was unfortunate,  because when I graduated from undergrad, I had “need a job” taped to my cap for all to see. It was brilliant,  and it jinxed me for several months cough a year cough. Whatever. Back in 2005, I also had a twinkie and my cell phone tucked safely into my bra. This year, I thought ahead and wore a dress with pockets so I could fill them with entertainment.

I, of course, brought reinforcements. I had a bottle of Chila Orchata and a wheel of Mini Babybel to provide sustenance before I got day drunk with my family at the wine bar.

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I actually ended up hiding these refreshments in the goofy tubing attached to the sleeves of my gown because it was tricky to access pockets under the gown. These sleeve tubes also proved useful for keeping my hands warm while crossing campus in the bitter cold for free cookies and lemonade.

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I checked in with you guys on Facebook and kept myself amused until the one other MA.E. and I were guided to the stage. They never announced our degree, so as far as the audience was concerned, we were just two rando names in the long pause between the undergrads and MBA degree candidates. 

I neither tripped nor fell, but I did walk the wrong way, even when the guidey person was like, “that way…no, that way…no, THAT way.” Alas, I channeled my inner Fleetwood Mac and I went my own way. But I didn’t want to walk in front of the photographer who was already taking awful pictures of me. And so I shimmied around him awkwardly while one of the professors yelled at me.  No big deal.

But now, I am a Master of the Universe, and after getting champagne drunk for the 27th time this month, the celebration was over. Except that I wanted to tell you about my exciting month, even if my degree is only slightly wasted right now, you know…not being a teacher and all…

Let’s celebrate, my friends! What exciting things happened for you this month? What about this year? Did you get a new job or married or pregnant or write a book or just survive? What are you proud of or excited about?

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!

Worth the Wait: The End of an Era

It’s been five months since I last wrote about The Handsome Grown Up that you came to know and love this spring. If you don’t feel like reading through the whole story just yet (you will soon, if you haven’t already), we met on this very day many years ago. We flirted, we dated, I worked like hell to fuck it all up, and yet he still stuck around. When last I spoke of The Grown Up, he was driving away from my house as I drunk cried myself to sleep. Make no mistake – I was the one being an idiot. It was the drunkest I ever got in the presence of The Grown Up…and we dated for a long-ass time. He called the next night, after I panicked like a teenage girl for about 12 hours, and all was fine (except for the lost wallet from my fall at the bar).

I’m going to fast-forward a little bit though because dating life is pretty much, you know, normalcy, and I can’t imagine you wanting to sit through all the ins and outs of a relationship from yesteryear…and quite frankly, it’s time we brought this story to an end.

The Grown Up and I dated solidly for many years. We met each other’s families. We traveled a bit. We fell madly in love. He made me laugh more than anyone on the planet, and I was surprised how much time I could spend with him and not want to kill him. After that first date, I never went home, much to the chagrin of his incredibly understanding roommate. He always told me, “Home is where your cheese is” because after our first weekend together, he bought me a bag full of fancy cheese. But he was wrong. Home was where he was. He was everything.

I waited a long time for this. And now it's the End of an era

He is everything.

He is the first page of my book and the last. He captured my heart and never once dropped it. He encourages me to follow every last one of my dreams, no matter how ridiculous. He pushes me to be my better self. He IS my better half, and without him, I wouldn’t be where I am.

So when he asked me to be his bride, the only answer I had for him was, “Yes!”

When he asked me to be his bride...I said yes.

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!

How to Make Your Boyfriend Hate You

If you’re new around here, you may want to start The Grown Up Story from the beginning. But you may not, and that’s okay too. This story stands alone.

The Grown Up and I had been dating for approximately a month when I decided to bring him along to a birthday party for a friend of mine, Brad. He was several years my senior-we were celebrating his 30th birthday, and it was kind of a big deal.

My girlfriends and I had spent the previous year hanging out with Brad and his group of friends, drinking, flirting, drinking, drinking, and more drinking. It was a group of hot messes all dealing with their own version of relationship anxiety (each of us were battling our own volatile demons from relationships past), and in order to forget about them, we drank. A lot.

Recipe for disaster - new boyfriend plus bar.

By the time The Grown Up came around, we were all starting to drift to our own spaces and rebuild the worlds that crumbled to bring us together. So I hadn’t actually hung out with this group in a few months. But was anticipating a shit show of a party-one we’d been talking about for a year, and so of course, I RSVPed yes for both The Grown Up and myself.

We arrived for dinner at an upscale bar in the suburbs, where we sat near one of my most lovely, cheerful friends who was SO giddy with excitement to meet The Grown Up. She squee’d and oohed and awwed because he really was smart and wonderful as I had described to her. She told me, as good girlfriends tend to do, I deserved someone this amazing,  and I believed her.

Unfortunately, she would not be joining us for the second half of the evening. And none of my other girlfriends had decided to join us for the epic birthday party to end all birthday parties. So I had a grand total of two actual friends (the birthday boy and his bestie) and several acquaintances to hang out with me and my new boyfriend on a party bus downtown to a bar in Wrigleyville.

Why was I the only one who couldn’t see this was a recipe for disaster?

So we hopped on a party bus, and the Grown Up made quasi friends with some of the guys in the group. If you recall, on our first date he revealed he wasn’t good with people, but it felt like he was doing a pretty damn good job with them from where I was sitting.

When we got to the bar, though, all hell broke loose. There was drinking on the party bus, and then we had a table just off the dance floor reserved for bottle service. For those of you who may not know, bottle service is when they have full bottles of liquor at your table for your group’s consumption. Needless to say, I got pretty fucking drunk. The Grown Up wasn’t a big hard alcohol drinker, so he had a couple of beers, but nothing crazy.

I dragged the poor man on the dance floor and rubbed up on him like a horny college student. We danced with my friends, and some of the girls in the group became my dance floor besties, grinding on each other in a fight to be the sexiest group of girls under the colorful LED lights. We weren’t. The music seemed to get louder, the smoke thickened around us, and the room started spinning. I was there, but I wasn’t.

Eventually, The Grown Up returned to our table. I followed, realizing that I wasn’t being the generous, sweet girlfriend that I wanted to be. He seemed, frustrated, but I didn’t know how to respond. So, I apologized. For what, I don’t even know. Was I apologizing for being drunk? For him not having a good time? For not knowing everyone in our group? For my friends who weren’t entertaining enough for him? I just knew I felt awful. And drunk. And feeling awful and drunk is never a good combination. So  I drank more. I sat down on an elevated booth bench that extended out past the booth and The Grown Up stood in front of me, trying to make conversation over the music. It didn’t work out well.

Somehow, whilst sitting (SITTING) on the booth bench, I managed to fall over. I wish I could tell you how. I really really do. But I couldn’t. And I fell. Off the bench. Onto the floor. Like a complete asshole. I wasn’t even showing off that time. I fell down, and The Grown Up helped me up as I apologized. Again and again. We collected my purse, and the items that had fallen out of it. The Grown Up was growing increasingly frustrated, and we couldn’t just…leave because we had taken a party bus to get there. We were slaves to the party schedule.

We left the dance floor area, and proceeded to sit at a table downstairs, where I continued to apologize profusely for my errors. The Grown Up tried to chat with me, but I could tell that I was irritating him. I thought I was going to start crying right then and there. But I didn’t. I braved through the awkward last 45 minutes with my boyfriend of less than a month and got on the bus. I continued to apologize until the moment I passed out in The Grown Up’s arms on the bus, about 2 minutes into the drive home.

On the drive home, The Grown Up was almost puked on. Someone DID puke, just not on him. Someone almost spilled beer on him. He ended up helping clean the bus a little bit. He gave extra money to the person who organized the party to tip the driver extra. And I slept. Like an asshole. And kept apologizing when I woke up.

We left the bus and The Grown Up drove me home. I was supposed to sleep at his place, but he took me home instead. I panicked. And apologized even MORE.

I was a hot mess. I felt sick to my stomach. I had really fucked things up, this time, I was sure of it. What was I thinking?

The Grown Up told me to go inside and sleep it off, that we’d talk the next day. But I couldn’t understand in my idiot drunken stupor what was going on. Was he breaking up with me? I didn’t know. But I was terrified.

Eventually, I went inside. And cried myself to sleep.

I really hoped he would call the next day.

How do you handle problems when you’re drunk? Have you ever freaked out about your relationship because of something you did or said? What’s the stupidest thing you’ve done while drinking?

Click the image for the final story in the tale of The Grown Up.

I waited a long time for this. And now it's the End of an era

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!

Things I Did to Make The Grown Up Dump Me

It took me a while to figure out how to tell you guys this part of the story. Because I was a hot mess when I met The Grown Up. I knew he was pretty fantastic, but I had been seriously messed up by the ghosts of boyfriends past. He was going to turn out to be just like the rest of them, so I figured I might as well lead the horse to water. Like any self-respecting lunatic, I made it my business to convince The Grown Up that I was bat-shit crazy. I tried desperately to show him my crazy without really trying.

Now, I’d been in a couple of relationships before. I had even broken a few hearts. But there was something different about The Grown Up. Either he didn’t scare easily or I was superb at keeping my crazy in check…or he wasn’t smart enough to recognize that I was insane. Because it took a lot to get him to truly want to kill me. I tried all my regular tricks…

How to lose a guy in 6 steps

When the guy you've been dating for a week or so seems too good to be true, you start busting out the big guns to see how far he'll let you go. Sometimes relationships are really weird.

Continue to stalk him

The day after our first date (when we had that glorious kiss, and it was quite apparent that he really did like me), I messaged him several times to chat. While he was at work. Because, you know, I really like liked him. And that’s what you’re supposed to do. I finally found him on Facebook (I guess when you’re super clever and computery, you have multiple e-mail addresses…and don’t use the one that you signed up for Facebook with when you e-mail girls. At first. I caught on and found him. Although it didn’t seem like he used it all that often, so the only pictures of him were…a little strange. I wasn’t going to be showing off his long hair days to my friends), so I added him as a friend. I also called him to chat when he was home from work to invite him out…Because I was hanging out at a friend’s house pretty near his place.

Lie like a rug

That night, he turned down the opportunity to hang out with me because he was supposed to have dinner with a friend. I messaged him several times, optimistic that when he arrived home from dinner, he’d want to see me. Because I’m an idiot. I only called like…three times…and left like…two texts. That’s not stalkerish, right? When he still hadn’t responded, I started heading home. I was on the highway when he called. I pulled off the first exit and talked to him. He wanted to see me! I  was already halfway home and didn’t want to seem like a crazy person who turned around for a guy, but I definitely wasn’t ready to go home…

So I lied.

I told him I was still at my friend’s house and just a few minutes away. And let’s be honest. The second he called, I more than just got off the highway. I got off the highway and turned around, heading toward his house. I wasn’t stupid, even if I was a little more than insane.

Be in his space all the time

For some reason, I just couldn’t seem to leave. I didn’t want to go home, and The Grown Up certainly wasn’t kicking me out. Half the time, he would pick me up on his way after work. So I became a regular fixture in his house. I almost felt guilty for his roommate, but I was living in this weird glowy universe where nothing bothered me. Something was definitely going to go wrong.

Talk too much

As The Grown Up drove me home some mornings, I would ramble on about this person at work or that thing I love. It was all morning gibberish nonsense, but he was often silent and unresponsive. I apologized for talking too much, and he told me it was okay. He didn’t seem to mind me talking, as long as I didn’t mind that he wasn’t going to respond all that much in the morning. It was a match made in heaven. Was this guy for real?

Rush into a relationship

Within a week, The Grown Up became my boyfriend. I wasn’t really into titles, but I knew that I was going to be monogamous with The Grown Up. So I asked the dreaded question – “So, what are we?” He told me that if a girl was spending every night in his bed, she was probably his girlfriend. I swooned a little bit that night.

Piss off his roommate

The Grown Up’s roommate had a fancy black car. One day, I showed up, and the car was a little dusty. Of course, feeling secure in my sense of humor, I wrote a message with my finger in the dust, “Clean me.” According to The Grown Up, his roommate didn’t take too kindly to my little prank, and I needed to apologize. At that point, I got that oh-my-God, nervous stomach, I-hate-confrontation feeling. Now I was in my comfort zone. That anxiety was more along the lines of what I was used to. I decided that I would just curl up in a little Chrissy ball and never show my face again, rather than feel like an asshole. I vaguely remember asking The Grown Up to tell him I meant it as a joke – and I don’t actually remember if I apologized or not, but I absolutely remember how embarrassed I was. But even after that, The Grown Up still wanted me around. It was too much.

I was going to have step up my game. It was time to introduce him to my friends. That would surely scare him away.

What stupid things do you do when you start relationships to test your suitor? What are your signature moves? Have you been in a relationship where you wondered how the hell someone put up with your bullshit?

For the next episode in the saga, click the image below.

Recipe for disaster - new boyfriend plus 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!

Tonight and the Rest of My Life

As our date was coming to a close, I walked a little closer to The Grown Up, briefly grazing his hand with mine. We made our way from the pub to the car, and I knew I was a little tipsy, but far from drunk. I was giggly. Honestly, I was probably fucking adorable. He HAD to be falling in love with me. How could he not?

Tonight and the rest of my life

The car ride home was the complete opposite of the car ride to the restaurant. We chatted the entire time. I’m pretty sure I did most of the talking, but it seemed so easy…and he appeared to appreciate my ridiculous quirks. He laughed at my bad jokes and cracked a few of his own that I’m sure most people would cringe at. It was the most natural thing in the entire world.

When he pulled into my parents’ driveway around 11:30 pm, I wasn’t ready to get out of the car. I wasn’t ready for this night to end. So I kept talking. And talking. And talking some more.

The Grown Up reached up to my neck and started gently running his fingers through my hair. I lost all control of my heart rate and started thinking, is he going to kiss me?

We kept talking. I moved a bit closer to make kissing me easier. He’s not going to kiss me, is he? Why isn’t he kissing me?

And then he blurted out something that seems so peculiar, and yet completely fitting.

“I’m not good with people,” he confessed. He’s definitely not going to kiss me. What the fuck? He keeps touching me as if he likes me…you know what? Balls out, Chrissy. Balls out.

I was thrown back for just a second before I responded, “That’s okay. Just be good with me.” And then I kissed him. And it was magical. We kept kissing forever. Was it five minutes? An hour? I couldn’t tell you. But do you remember those days? The dating and kissing, and JUST kissing for hours? I loved that. I needed that.

Kissed Him

At some point, we resumed talking, with interspersed kissing. The Grown Up realized how late it was, and asked if I wanted to come home with him. Nevermind we had driven from a bar nearish his house back to my house which was in the opposite direction. Nevermind it was our first date. Nevermind he had to work the next morning. Nevermind every last bit of reason. Because wherever he was going, I was going too.

I confirmed that I would go, but I would NOT be banging him that night. It was just to sleep. And he agreed. I’d like to tell you it’s because I wasn’t that kind of girl. But really, it’s because I didn’t want to be that kind of girl. Not with him. There was something about him. I liked him. A lot. More than one should in the midst of a first date. But that didn’t matter because he liked me too. Well…at least he liked me at 1 o’clock in the morning when I was kissing him with fervent adoration…One could only hope that the feeling would continue through to morning, but only time would tell.

I ran into my house, grabbed a toothbrush and a few other essentials, and returned to the car with eager anticipation. I was going to see where this Grown Up lived. I was going to spend the night snuggled next to him. I was going to kiss him until I fell asleep. And I did all of those things. It was quite lovely. His room was small and just a little messy. But he didn’t share his room with anyone like a previous boyfriend. And he didn’t live with his grandparents like another guy I had dated. He was…a motherfucking grown up. We kissed some more and eventually fell asleep. I don’t entirely know how much sleep I got, but I slept in his arms the whole night…and for once, didn’t hate it. Who WAS this guy?

Someone pinch me, I think I fell in love that night. Of course, with my track record, I couldn’t help but think…how long would it last?

Think back to the last best first date you’ve had…how did it end? Did you scandalously spend the night or chastely make your way home? What are your thoughts on copious amounts of kissing? What’s the most magical kissing experience you’ve had in your adult life?

Read the next episode of The Handsome Grown Up, How to Lose a Guy is 6 Steps

When the guy you've been dating for a week or so seems too good to be true, you start busting out the big guns to see how far he'll let you go. Sometimes relationships are really weird.

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 Best First Date Ever

After I got into what I thought to be the ugliest car, ever

I resumed nervous first date girlitude. I’d only once been alone in a car with a guy on the first date. I didn’t even know what to do or say. So I just sat there with my hands clutching my tiny purse, wishing I had taken a shot of vodka before jetting out the door.

The Grown Up (<—start the story here) was quite curious about my impression of his car, and I just laughed a little and told him I never thought I’d sit in a Mini Cooper. See? I could be tactful. We made polite conversation (small talk, really) during the twenty-five minutes it took to get to the restaurant.

TGU: Have you ever had Indian food?

Me: No. Well, sort of? Does chicken tikka masala from a fast food joint in London count?

Honestly, even with my near-idydic memory, I think I blocked out most of the car ride because I was so nervous. But I know conversation was relatively easy. We shared the floor, switching back and forth with questions and answers that were simple, but not entirely trite.

THE BEST DATE EVER

When we arrived at the restaurant, I stepped out of the car into the winter chill without a coat on, and The Grown Up commented on my insanity. I proudly professed my hatred of coats, and that I was a Chicago girl through and through. I strutted to the restaurant quickly in my heels, showing off my graceful stride and praying to all the things that I didn’t trip and fall. We stepped inside, hit with the aroma of curry and other spices.

I had previously browsed the menu for a good 45 minutes to get an idea of what I would order, and there was a spicy prawns in sauce dish with my name on it. I couldn’t let him see what a terrible decision maker I was on the first date!

We were seated at the farthest booth, directly next to the kitchen, which can sometimes be detrimental to conversation. Fortunately, this was not the case. The booths were secluded, closed off with ornately decorated, gold dividers. The seats were round benches that wrapped entirely around three sides of the table. Very romantic.

Basically, it was really fancy for a first date. Thoughtful. Classic. Elegant. Exciting. Everything that the boys I previously went out with were not. Things were looking up for the Mini-Cooper-driving Grown Up.

We slid into our respective sides of the booth, both sitting near the corners of the table, unsure whether to sit across from each other or next to each other. The hostess handed The Grown Up a wine menu and placed two dinner menus in front of us.

I was all set to take drink cues from The Grown Up, and he suggested wine. I was down. I told him I was a red girl, and he was a white guy (ba dum bum bump), so we opted for glasses of wine instead of a bottle. I chose a Pinot Noir and he opted for a Riesling. When the bartender arrived with our drinks, he stereotypically handed me the white wine and The Grown Up the red. We had a good laugh and switched glasses.

We ordered a giant platter of deep-fried…stuff…mystery vegetables and meats that were absolutely delicious. As we noshed on appetizers, we chatted about very-non-first-date topics. We talked about people and perception and personalities. The Grown Up got REALLY excited about these things, and spent more than a few minutes explaining one of his theories on how we perceive people.

The Grown Up’s theory: When we look at a person, we think “You’re like me, only different,” and so each person’s perception of another stems from their similarities to themselves…even if that’s not really the case. So someone like me, who is an introverted extrovert, sees people as equal parts social and shy and evaluates the differences from there.

His theories resonated with me. They were provocative, but real. I was fascinated and energized by his ideas and the stimulating conversation. This was so much more than a boring date in which we discuss favorites and musical tastes and our jobs. As his previous chat messages had suggested…he was INTERESTING.

Hearts

We each had another glass of wine, and the conversation, like the vino, flowed so easily. I hate to be so cliche, but it was as if I had known him forever. He actually apologized for his rant. (Wait? Rant? Apparently that’s what he called his long-winded discussion about people and psychology or sociology…one of the ologies. I thought it was wonderful.) I spoke of the horrors of student teaching, and we even talked about dating. There was plenty of laughter and with each giggle, we scooted closer to each other in the booth.

By the end of the dinner, we were practically touching. I didn’t want the date to end.

Apparently, neither did The Grown Up. He had previously determined a second location should the evening be going well, so we made our way to a nearby Irish pub for another round of drinks. It was here that he asked my most-despised question.

“Why are you single?”

Why, oh why, do people ask this? It’s like a fucking interrogation. Luckily I had prepared myself for this inquiry because I was sick to death of it. Dating is a lot like interviewing. So I was ready with answers to commonly asked questions. I pulled from my beloved Bridget Jones.

“Well, aside from the fact that underneath my clothes, my body is covered in scales…”

“Wait, really?”

“Ugh. No.”

“I just really hate that question. But mostly it’s because I’m super fucking picky. I’m not going to jump in a relationship just to be in a relationship. That’s stupid. I just haven’t found the right guy yet. Why are YOU single?”

“Uhhh…same.”

Whoops. I think I made shit awkward. Whatever. He’ll get over it. Or not.

From there, the conversation slowly returned to the gentle flow that we had for most of the night. The Grown Up was a genuine good guy. I was crushing HARD. I think he was too. It just seemed so…easy. The night was winding down, and he had to work the next morning, so we paid the bill and left the bar around 11. I still didn’t want the night to end…but did he?

You’ll have to wait until next week to find out!

What’s the best first date that you’ve ever been on? Or the worst first date? I’m easy and obviously love a good story.

The story continues below…

Tonight and the rest of my life

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!

Riding in Cars with Boys

I FINALLY. Had. A date. With. The Grown Up.

On Thursday, we scheduled our date for Tuesday, as The Grown Up’s weekend was already booked, and let’s be honest here…I had a date that Saturday night already anyways. But I couldn’t help but swoon about The Grown Up. I went into work the next afternoon, bragging to my bartender girlfriend. “I have a date with The Grown Up!”

Riding in Cars with Boys

“Which one was that?”

“Tall, handsome guy I met when I used to do trivia?”

“The ginger?”

“No, not that one. The really smart guy who I e-mailed back and forth with.”

“The muscle-y, weird guy?”

“No. That was McDreamy.”

“Maybe. Was he here with Jack?”

“No, that was the ginger.”

“Oh. Okay, I have no idea, then.”

This was a common exchange between my friends and I, which is why the nickname system was relatively important if I were going on a date with someone.

I went through a complete rundown of interactions with The Grown Up, from the day we met to the personality test pick up line that got me a date. (There was a lot of stalking and waiting and  desperate chatting in the three months from start to go time. You can catch up by starting with the day we met and work your way back here. I’m nothing if not linear [and I’m totally lying…except for the part where you can read the whole story. That part is true.]).

We didn’t set a plan until the following Monday, when The Grown Up messaged me asking if I preferred Italian or Indian food. Wow! He was picking a nice restaurant! I’ve never been a huge fan of restaurant Italian food, and I’d never had Indian food so either way, it could be the best/worst night. I told him I was adventurous and let’s try something new so he made reservations at an Indian restaurant.

Then he asked if I wanted to meet him there or if he could pick me up in his “pimpin’ ride.”

I almost died right there.

I had dated a car guy in the past, and I was torn. In addition to my stellar dating advice, I had all these dating rules for myself. Not unlike my bar rules.

Chrissy’s Rules of Dating

1. First dates should always be short – coffee, drinks, mini-golf…they should have an easy-out end time.
2. Always ride in your own vehicle so you can escape quickly if you need to. A getaway car is necessary.
3. Let’s not even get into the no date unless he’s actually called me first rule, because we TOTALLY botched this one up. As evident by 3 months of whatever the fuck that was.
4. Don’t date boys who love their car more than you.

And then my curiosity won, as it usually does, and I decided let him pick me up for our first date.

Over the 4 days, I managed to brag to anyone who would listen that I had a date with a grown up. My older cousin told me it sounded like I was going out with my first man.

My dear friend CC swooned with me, when I told her he was picking me up in his pimpin’ ride.

Katie mostly grazed over another date with another boy (she had been dealing with my bullshit for years. It was allowed).

Jonathan commented on how boys just fell into my lap and it just wasn’t that easy for dudes.

But mostly people were excited for me. Worst case scenario was that I would have an awesome story to tell. And since I’m telling you this story…you know SOMETHING happened.

So on the night of our date, I chose the perfect, casual-but-cute outfit. Jeans, a dressy top, and high heels. This was as strategic as it was aesthetic. I was young and thought I’d wear high heels forever. I needed to know he was taller than me in pumps. And let’s be honest, they made me look skinnier. I was ready to go around 6 pm, shortly before he was scheduled to pick me up. I was terribly nervous, and half tempted to pour myself a couple of shots to make it easier.

I refrained from boozing up early for fear of scaring off The Grown Up, so I paced back and forth in my bedroom. When he pulled up, I saw him right away (my bedroom was in the front of the house). Holy shit.

His pimpin’ ride was a tiny. Green. Mini Cooper. A car I absolutely hated. And made fun of. All. The. Time.

My judging game was strong.

I almost didn’t walk outside. But I had given him my real address. And my mom was home. And the LAST thing I wanted was for him to come to the door. And so I stepped outside. And laughed at the ridiculousness of it all. And realized it was probably a good thing it wasn’t a muscle car. At least I wouldn’t need to compete with a large hunk of metal on wheels. As I made my way to the car, he opened the door for me and our date began.

What dating rules have you broken for someone? What’s your least favorite car? What are your dating deal-breakers?

Find out about the date in the next post…

THE BEST DATE EVER

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!

Hey Baby, What’s Your Myers-Briggs Type?

For the last few weeks, I’ve taken you on a little journey that started with two guys in a bar (this is the beginning of the story, so if you’re new around here, start with this post), and has led to a very serious flirting problem that included a lot more waiting than I would have preferred. Well, not that this should surprise you, based on what you know about my dating experience, but it took another month before I messaged The Grown Up again.

I had been seeing another gentleman caller, who was attractive, kind and okay to be around…I nicknamed him McDreamy during our brief time together, but he wasn’t entirely deserving of the name. He was what you might refer to as pretty, but dumb. He was about as intellectually stimulating as a carrot.

So I was looking for something a little more. Something with substance. SomeONE with substance…someone with half a brain.

And so I messaged The Grown Up.

photo credit: L1010203_v1 via photopin (license)

photo credit: L1010203_v1 via photopin (license)

This was our longest conversation to date. I think we chatted for a few hours that fateful evening.

I sent him a tongue-sticking-out emoji, because I wasn’t terribly clever when it came to starting chatversations. It was shortly after St Patrick’s Day, and I worked at an Irish bar, so it seemed logical for him to ask me about it. And for once, I was actually kind of letting him in.

TGU: How was St Patricks day? Nightmare crowd?
Me: I didn’t work.
They hate me.
TGU: ?
Me: They didn’t schedule me.
So I went out drinking all day 😀
TGU: Do you seriously think they hate you?
Me: Yes.
But, it was okay because I went to my local watering hole dive pub that was filled with people I knew and liked.
I had a happy little corner and people came to me.

Bars on St. Patrick's Day get pretty crowded...

Bars on St. Patrick’s Day get pretty crowded…

TGU: nice!

I was going to impress him with my barfly popularity. That always worked. Why I felt the need to tell him my job essentially sucked, I’ll never know. But he took it to a whole new level.

TGU: So are you Norm, or Cliff Clavin, or Sam Malone?
Me: Well, my brother is Norm.
For sure.
He walks into the bar and everyone is all “WOJ!”
TGU: Frasier? Woody?

I considered explaining to him that I was a lady and didn’t want to be a boy character…

Me: I’m more Diane
TGU: Really?
Diane was…kinda…

Dude, I chose Diane because she was the pretty nice one.

Me: Hmmm maybe Kirstie Alley’s character?

Not really, but what other ladies were on that damn show?

TGU: Umm

I know. You’re right. But I can’t even…wait! I know!

Me: nah…
Carla

TGU: She was definitely better than Diane
hahaha
Carla was awesome
Me: I’m a sassy pants.
I’m the hilarious one.
TGU: hahaha… always awesome when people think they’re the funny one… hahaha
Although I don’t remember you laughing at your own jokes, so you’re probably OK.
Me: lol
I just get told that I’m funny all the time.
I don’t always think I’m that funny…I just talk a lot
TGU: hahaha

Oooh he thinks I’m funny!

TGU: So, did you have a good time last night?

Finally! My chance to shine again. Stupid pre-dating questions.

Me: Indeed
TGU: you don’t even remember do you?
Me: I do too!
TGU: All some kind of greenish blur.
Me: I maintained a pleasant buzz throughout the evening.

Irish PrincessOkay fine, you guys, I drank all damn day…went to 4 different bars…got stupid drunk. He didn’t need to know that.

TGU: Nice.
That’s the best way to do it.
Me: Exactly.
Functional but fun.

It was at this point, I believe, The Grown Up decided he might actually be interested in me. I didn’t realize it for…well…a while. I’m not very observant…

TGU: <nerd talk>hey, did you ever take a Myers-Briggs test? </end nerd talk>
Me: LOL yes.

He was adorably nerdy. He used freakin’ code speak. I loved him. And, for the record, I generally hate personality tests. HATE. THEM. A lot. But I just went la-de-da a boy might like me la-de-da sure I’ll take your stupid test…

TGU: did I already ask you this?

Is this really a thing you do?

Me: No, I just really liked the nerd talk interjection.

True story. Loved <nerd talk>.

TGU: Hey, some people can’t handle the nerd-nitude.
Me: I <3 nerds
TGU: yay! nerd love!
There’s not enough love for the nerds out there.
Do you remember what types you were?
(MyersBriggs came up recently with friends, and so I’ve been thinking about it lately.)
Nice play, there, Grown Up. I now (as in real time NOW) see what you were doing here.
TGU: You’re probably an…EN something…because you’re very social and yet like nerds.
Me: LOL I don’t remember for sure.
I’m, like, all over the place, though.
TGU: Understandable…kinda outta nowhere…
 If you ever feel like it…
Me: Will do.
I’m not going to lie, here, guys…I went and took the damn test immediately. I was just all la-de-da…this could be interesting…la-de-da this boy is super nerdy. I should make him love me with my winning personality…
TGU: What I realized was that N’s are less common then S people.
And T’s are less common then F’s in women…
 me: What does each stand for?
TGU: so NT women are the most rare type
Me: I don’t know where I fall, but I’ve been told I’m a rare breed of girl. lol

The Grown Up went on a long discussion of personality types, but I’ll spare you the details. You’re welcome.

Me: I think I’m ENFP…but not 100% sure
Me: Oh yeah
That’s me
Hardcore!
Winning Personality
Please love me, Grown Up. I promise I’ll be really nice and stop being a serial dater.
TGU: Yay! That’s gonna be my new line… instead of “What’s your sign, baby?” I’ll say “What’s your MyersBriggs type, baby?”
For the love of GOD; we’re FINALLY getting somewhere.
Me:That’ll get you all the ladies!
You’ve got me, dude. Just ask me the fuck out.
TGU: Totally! world, look out!
Me: Okay, maybe only the intellectually nerdy ones…
TGU: Eh, they’re the only ones I want anyway
Me: Good point. pretty but dumb gets old pretty fast

And then The Grown Up started talking about a girl he dated who fell into that category (although not dumb, just an “S” versus and “N”). I refrained from talking about my “McDreamy” because I didn’t think talking about one’s current prospects with another of one’s current prospects was in good taste. I merely mentioned that I didn’t feel guilty about categorizing the “pretty but dumb.”

TGU: (the world is about 65% S people… it’s one of the few types that doesn’t have a 50/50 split in the general population)
Me: Strange.
TGU: I like to think that reality TV is their fault.
Me: LOL  probably.
God, I fucking hate reality TV. Unless I can get famous by being on reality TV. I’m not completely opposed…
TGU: So what have you been doing for fun lately?
Me: That is my least favorite question ever. I do everything fun.
TGU: Must be nice!
Me: Indeed. Just doing my Chrissy thing
TGU: heh. Threesomes with Jack Tripper?
Me: UGH!  swat
TGU: ouch!
Me: Watch it, buddy! No Threes Company references…
TGU: What Chrissy then?
 Me:  just me!
TGU: I thought your name was actually <insert personal e-mail address here>
Me: that’s a tough one for people to get on the first try, so we shortened it to Chrissy.
We continued to banter about my name for a few more minutes before he dropped the bomb.

TGU: We should hang out some night, so I can see you in person when you’re not working. What does your schedule look like next week?

Now THAT’S a sure thing. Asking about schedules means a date will finally fucking happen.

Me: I think that’s a stellar idea. At this point it’s pretty open.
TGU: How about something like Tuesday?
Me: I can do Tuesday.
TGU: Sweet.

And just like that, I had a date with The Grown Up. Honestly, it only took three fucking months. Whatever. It was game. On. We exchanged phone numbers and he promised to plan a whole date. I was impressed and excited. I was usually the one who had to come up with an itinerary. All I had to do was pick out a killer outfit and make him fall in love with me. Easy peasy, my friends.

Are you as excited for this date as I was? What’s the longest you’ve waited for someone to ask you out? Would you have even waited as long as I did? What are your thoughts on personality tests? Or better yet, what are your thoughts on personality tests before a first date?

Riding in Cars with Boys

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!