Saturday, March 31, 2007

Proper Spelling of Fiancé(e)

When describing an engaged male, it is fiancé.
When describing an engaged female, it is fiancée.

The differentiation is due to to the grammatical gender of the French language.

I am not I

I am not I.
I am this one
walking beside me whom I do not see,
whom at times I manage to visit,
and whom at other times I forget;
who remains calm and silent while I talk,
and forgives, gently, when I hate,
who walks where I am not,
who will remain standing while I die.

--Juan Ramón Jiménez

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Engaged Man

When a couple gets engaged, there's no hiding the rock on the woman's left hand but there is no physical evidence of a man's relationship status. I've had two memorable encounters with engaged males, both of whom I was meeting for the first time with no prior knowledge of their status. I found it fascinating to pick their brains and hope to meet more engaged men in the future. Does that make me a freak?!

The first was a friend of a friend of the ex. One evening, a group of us ended up at a hick bar in the boonies, filled with townies. The one guy I'd never met before, Brad, I can only assume felt sorry for me being the only female, sat and talked with me while his buddies played pool and golden tee. Normally this is something I wouldn't have been all that comfortable with, forced to make small talk with a complete stranger, but I immediately felt at ease with Brad. He is just one of those all-around nice guys.

Somehow it came up in conversation that he was engaged. I was kind of shocked judging by the guys he hung out with -- two very immature 25-year-olds, neither who'd had a successful long-term relationship. Apparently his fiancee was his college girlfriend of 5 years, but he emphasized he would not be walking down the aisle for at least 2 years. In not so many words, he admitted to succombing to a sort of unspoken ultimatum, which I, of course, teased him about. We ended up getting into this deep conversation about the whole marriage subject. I asked him, "What if you get married and meet someone the following week who is 'the one'?'" Something I often wonder. He said, "I think about that all the time." But he also expressed his genuine love for his future wife. I guess maybe life is too short to be concerned with all the "what ifs'" in life, but that's a mighty big "what if." People say, "I just knew" or "it just felt right." Hmmm.

Then there's the polar opposite of mild-mannered Brad.

Beware ladies of this guy. A couple months ago, I met up with a guy friend of mine who had been out since happy hour with his co-workers. By the time I caught up with them, they were the final two standing. This co-worker/good friend clearly had had a few too many. He asked me the usual questions such as where did you grow up, where'd you go to school, etc. Before long, he was all out hitting on me. Telling me I was beautiful and how attracted he was to me. The feeling was definitely NOT mutual.

For one, the guy was a mighty sloppy drunk. He was staggering, slurring his speech, and dropping drinks. Not that great of a first impression. And secondly, I prefer the clean-cut look. Not the "I haven't shaved or cut my hair in weeks look." Later I was at the bar with my friend and he told me his friend was engaged. I was shocked. So the next time he put his arm around me, I said, "So are you excited about getting married?" He said, "I think about the missed opportunities." Granted, he followed it up with, "I know that's a terrible thing to say, but it's true." The rest of the night was him asking me to go to into the corner with him and telling me how hot I was. In situations like this, all I can do is feel sorry for the fiancee sitting at home with no clue. The icing on the cake is that this guy is going to Mexico for his bachelor party. Wow. At one point, he insisted we do shots so he was at the bar ordering them and when he turned back around to hand me my shot, he kissed me on the nose like a wet, sloppy dog kiss. Ew, that was gross and I was helpless seeing as how I had two drinks in hand.

I hope to get a chance to talk to more engaged men, when they are apart from their future wife and when alcohol is involved so I have a better chance at getting the truth.

Pelvic Thrust Gym Guy

I had a really great workout during my last trip to the gym. Since starting back up a few weeks ago, it was my best run, yet another confirmation of my insane decision to allow myself to slack for the past year and a half. I owe my rejuvenation to the music genre of techno. Recently uploaded a few old school techno songs to my iPod that really brought me back to the days of clubbing. Hot, sweaty crowd of random strangers grinding and feeling each other up. Good clean fun for the youngsters. Apparently, that brought a spring back in my step, as I increased my treadmill speed from 6.0 to 6.1. Yes, baby steps. But I also ran 5 miles instead of 4, which is what I had been doing. I'll feel content when I consistently do 6 m at 6.4.

After my run, I went to do sit-ups on the mats. Fifteen crunches later, out of the corner of my eye, unusual movement demanded my attention. Nearby, there was a young man performing a bizzare routine on one of those giant exercise balls. His back was halfway slumped against the ball which allowed him to use the strength of his lower body to launch himself into an upward thrusting position. Now, this was no subtle thrust. The repetitive thrusts were straight out of a porn!! To make matters worse, his gawky body matched his equally ungraceful movement. It was a train wreck. I couldn't look away. Maybe I should give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he's discovered some phenomenal ab workout. Even if that were the case, is it worth the humiliation? I think not. Especially not in public. Until I see him with a washboard stomach, I'll stick with my standard sit-ups.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fueling Celebrity Gossip

I have a subscription to Us Weekly. I enjoy a good gossip fix as much as the next person yet I have to wonder about this growing fascination with celebrities. I think there are two major fueling factors. The first being our desire to live vicariously through them: the money, the fame, the extravagant parties. It all seems so glamorous. Adversely, there is a darker side. I feel we take pleasure in seeing others' lives take a turn for the worse. Ultimately, it makes us feel better about our own lives.

The prime example, of course, is Britney Spears. Why has her demise received an outburst of media attention? What makes it so interesting? I can't imagine what it would be like to have the whole world watching you hit rock bottom, making a mockery of you.

Monday, March 26, 2007

I'm Checking Out your Dog, Not you!

With the warmer weather approaching, I have been running near my apartment lately. I love the fact that many owners bring their dogs to the Stone Arch Bridge and walk them along the river. So many dogs, so little time! I am partial to big dogs, but any size dog I pass, I simply can't resist the urge to look. I often wonder if I look silly doing a double-take over a dog, especially if the owner is a male. I hope they don't think I'm checking them out, but I sometimes receive strange looks in return, which leads me to believe they think I am interested in them, not their pup.

Transparent Pick-up Lines

Random: Were you in St. Louis Park today?
Me: No
Random: Are you sure you weren't driving in St. Louis Park?
Me: Yes, I'm sure
Random: I could have sworn I saw you driving today. You didn't see me in the red Jag?

Need I say more?!?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Who Says Nothing in Life is Free? Work at Google!

Google Perks (yes, all free of charge)

Wi-Fi enabled coaches
Google shuttle bus
Motorized scooters for campus
$5,000 toward a Hybrid car
Car wash and oil changes
Gourmet meals
$2,000 referral bonus
$500 in take-out food for new mothers/fathers
Workout room with weights & rowing machines
Massage room
Study Mandarin, Japanese, French, and Spanish
Laundry onsite (and they provide detergent)
Drop off dry cleaning
Child care
Take your dog to work

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Weird Minnesota, Weird Man

A week before Christmas, I went to Barnes & Noble to pick up a copy of Barack Obama's book for my mom. Naturally, it was on the first display table in the store, yet I chose to walk around aimlessly, paging through books I had no intent of buying. On my way to the cash register, a book called Weird Minnesota caught my eye. It was only $10 and I knew a few people I thought would find it interesting so I began skimming the pages.

Not before long, I realized a gentleman in the customer service line to the left of me had begun looking over my shoulder. He looked from the book to the giant display sign that read, Weird Minnesota, in funky colored letters and the $9.98 price listed below and then down at the table of books. Naive person I am, I thought he was genuinely interested in the book when he pointed to the page and said, "Whoah. That's pretty weird. Where is that located?"

Caught completely off-guard, I couldn't even recall what said item was nor did I know where it was located. I scanned the jumbled words for the answer but all I could really think about was how I avoided conversation with strangers at all costs and was especially not inclined to converse with a gentleman who looked like he played in an 80's garage band.

He then proceeded to look from the open pages of the book to my face. I'd had my face buried so he bent down to my height and began studying my face, saying, "You're beautiful." However vain it may be, there is something flattering about a complete stranger telling you you're beautiful. Nonetheless, garage band front man was not a sight for sore eyes, to put it nicely. He then wanted to know where I worked, what I did, where I was from, blah blah stupid generic small talk.

"What do you do there [at work]?" he asked.
"I'm a technical writer."
"A writer in a ironic."

Haha, good one buddy. I have to say I was intrigued for a minute when he told me he was a writer. He said he'd written a play but it hadn't been published and that he'd written other fiction pieces. I've only met one real writer in the flesh (not counting my professors) so it would have been great to establish connections in the writing world, but somehow I don't feel like I missed out on any open doors by closing the door on him. I think writer meant 'unemployed' or 'creep who hangs around bookstores waiting to prey on young women.'

"I'd love to see you again."
"Sorry, I have a boyfriend."

That was pretty much the extent of our encounter, but he lingered after he made his purchases. I intentionally went to the opposite end of the store to pay for my books, but he [coincidentally] seemed to follow. By the time I left, he was pestering a woman setting up a promotional table about 10 feet away. I exited quickly and quietly.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Who Wears Short Shorts?

So why are there so many old (young ones, too) men at the gym who insist on wearing shorts the same length as their boxers? This is not a good look for any male!! Knee-length or just above knee-length is the only acceptable choice. Oh, and spandex. I won't even go there...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Word "Redonkulous" is Redonkulous

I think I heard this word for the first time on How I Met Your Mother. I immediately googled it and found this definition from urban dictionary: "significantly more absurd than ridiculous to an almost impossible extreme; without possibility of serious consideration." I don't understand the need for this word. I despise this word. It's nails on a chalkboard. Making up words for no apparent reason should not be a hobby!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

MySpace Jealousy

On the radio this morning, they mentioned a study that revealed for people under the age of 35, a mate is most likely to be jealous of a member of the opposite sex on their boyfriend or girlfriend's MySpace. Even though I fit the demographic, maybe I'm still too old to understand. Is this something couples are breaking up over?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I Prefer My Cereal Without a Side of Nausea, Thank You

I seriously can't stomach watching the local morning news. The news anchors try so hard to be funny that it actually makes me physically ill. Can't they see they are the only ones laughing at their jokes? The worst is when they feebly come up with segways that make absolutely no sense. This was the one I heard this morning: "[such and such] perfection. And speaking of perfection, we now go to Jonathan Yuhas with the weather."

Maybe it's just me, but I don't find their lame attempt at humor the least bit amusing, especially not at 6 am. Perhaps I should inform them we don't expect them to be comedians. Just deliver news, dammit!

Mortifying Mother Moment

My mom is not shy. She'll literally talk your ear off, if you let her. When I was a junior in college, I went to Best Buy with her one summer afternoon. We went our separate ways in the music aisle. After about 20 minutes of browsing the CD's, I looked up to hear my mom cry out, "Oh! There she is!"

To my horror, she stood beside a guy I'd had a crush on since high school. He happened to be working and unfortunately for me, he'd approached my mom to ask if she needed help finding anything, to which she replied, "I'm looking for my daughter."

He laughed as he re-hashed the story for me, looking cute in his Best Buy uniform, and said, "I thought I was looking for a little girl," gesturing to the height of a 4-year-old. I guess I should be relieved they didn't announce a code red for all employees to be on the look-out.

Many more of these to come...

Monday, March 19, 2007

...Then Comes the Baby in the Baby Carriage

I've grown to loathe my college alumni letters, filled with updates of engagement and marriage announcements. Call me the wedding scrooge. Most shocking of all in last month's letter was the new category, birth announcements. Imagine my surprise to learn someone I once knew very well has a new bundle of joy.

Sophomore year of college, if you came to my dorm room any given Wednesday afternoon, you would find my friends and I in intense study mode. Why so hard at work? It wasn't our exceptional work ethic that kept us from slacking. Any other day, this lag in the afternoon would be reserved for a nap after class, vegging out in front of the TV, or ridiculing peers behind their back in the cafeteria as they walked by, but Wednesday was a different story. It was what got us through the week. Yes, perhaps you're familiar with the scene: house party in a dark, dingy smoke-filled basement where the cheap keg beer never stops flowing.

A girl who lived in the room next to my good friend decided to befriend us when she saw or more likely of the two, heard us stumble home into the wee hours week after week. She clearly realized how awesome we were and wanted "in." The more, the merrier. From then on, we made it a point to invite her to go out with us every Wednesday. When she tried to tell us she had to study, being the good friends we were, we coaxed her out of it. One fateful Wednesday evening, she was nowhere to be found when we were ready to leave. Unusual for her, but not all that unusual considering the debauchery that took place in that house.

Come to find out the next morning, she'd gone home with a boy from her psych class, whom she'd never said one word to 11 hours prior to that. In fact, she'd never had a serious boyfriend before. If you really like a guy and your first encounter is the drunken hook-up, it can be treacherous territory, but we coached her through all the mind games, what to do next, inviting him to go to lunch, playing hard to get, etc. We were there for her when they had their first fight, amongst a number of all-important "firsts," and consoled her when he ran into trouble with the law. She gradually distanced herself from us slowly but surely, spending every waking minute with him. He did have a single dorm, after all! By the following Thanksgiving, they were engaged. That was pretty much the last we heard from her.

Anyway I was all too kindly reminded of that when I read her baby announcement. It saddened me to think of all the memories we shared before she ditched us for the boy. Resentment aside, I am still very happy for her and wish her the best (even though our credit went unacknowledged and unappreciated). Kidding...sort of. Congrats. :)