They only come out on OkCupid

So my friend and I go out to this bar last week. The male bartender is very friendly and knowledgeable about the craft beer. I tell him I am also a bartender and his eyes light up as if I said, “Yes, you can move in with me and I will fix you unlimited bacon while I play with your sausage and wash your dirty underwear and pay off all your student loans.” Trust me, I would NEVER say this, but a lot of girls would and that is why I’m perpetually single (more on that later). So I go home and the next morning I am alerted that I have a new message waiting for me in my okcupid inbox. Oh joy! I bet this is the one time it’s from someone normal who has a good job and is good looking! I mean, what do you think this is, real life?! To my surprise, it’s the bartender from last night. He doesn’t know it’s me. I write back to his brilliant opener “We live pretty close to each other” by replying, “Aren’t you the bartender from the (fill in the blank) bar? I was there last night!” Instead of being intrigued, he writes back, “My first time on a site and right away I get busted!” At first I thought it was some cute joke or adorable admission at getting caught, but he doesn’t reply to my follow up message for four days. When I log back on after day five, I found out he deleted his okcupid account. I think to myself, “This is totally normal behavior for a 31 year old.” But then again this is okcupid and there are different standards for normal versus the real world.

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Mmmm. Bacon.

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Mmmm. Loneliness.

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BFF: A red flag for anyone over 21

Have you ever met an actual adult over the age of 21 who claimed to have a best friend? And upon hearing this news you didn’t find it just a tad creepy? In society it is perfectly acceptable to have a best friend from the ages of 2 til about 18. “BFF” is really just an elementary school, middle school, and high school thing. It is even still borderline acceptable a year or two after high school graduation as one is still growing up and finding their way in the world. A lot of 18-20 year olds still hold onto a lot of mementos from childhood whether it be a favorite stuffed animal or their “blankie.” Sometimes childhood best friends fall into this category. As one matures, goes to college, and makes new friends, childhood best friends often get forgotten in favor of new friends with whom to share new experiences. This is completely normal as childhood best friends grow apart. What is not normal is hanging onto best friends anytime after 21. I know some of you might disagree with me, but this is simply creepy. Unless you are a cartoon character, a Muppet (think Bert and Ernie. Or maybe not. We all know their “situation”), or a child, people will think you two share a “special” kind of closeness ala Oprah and Gayle.
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Bart and Milhouse=A Okay.

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Oprah and Gayle?=Not so much.

Think about it. I had a friend who was 33 years old and told me she had a best friend who was also a 33 year old female. I felt like I couldn’t compete. These feelings of jealousy are a rite of passage in a girl’s childhood, but who wants to share someone with another female “best friend” when they are in their twenties and thirties? I mean, ewww. It might as well be a boyfriend because this friend is NEVER going to ask you to hang out unless their “BFF” can’t make it, or worse (and very immature for anyone over the age of 8), will morph your friendship into some sort of three headed monster where her bestie is always present. No matter what. You are just an accessory. An afterthought. When I was 22, I met two girls in college who were 19. They were BFF. If one of them was driving, I always got the back seat. They had all these inside jokes where they would talk about something I didn’t know about and laugh uncontrollably to each other while I sat in the dark. The worst part was if they were in a fight and each of them would call me to ask me my advice about what the other one was doing and how they should handle it. I was a mediator. Then while they were still fighting, we would have these super awkward “separate days” where I got the privilege of hanging out with each girl separately. All they would do is tell me about their disagreement with the other one: “I can’t BELIEVE she would put this new guy she’s dating FIRST! She KNEW we were going to the mall! We’ve known each other 13 years since our My Little Pony themed birthday party when I was 6!” After she would finish complaining about her bestie, there would be awkward silence between us because we in actuality had NOTHING in common. The only thing we had in common was the dynamic of the three of us being friends. I finally told her, “You’re know you’re going to forgive her, so why are you wasting my time with this petty drama?!” Bitch. I actually didn’t use that word but that was a more accurate word to describe how I was actually feeling besides “used”, “taken advantage of”, and “ignored.” Seriously if I wanted to sit in the backseat during a night out, I would date. Then it would be guaranteed something fun would happen. Even at 22, I was too old for that B.S.. When I was 28, my 28 year old friend asked me to go out to dinner with her and her best friend. It turned out her best friend brought her boyfriend, so my friend sat closer to me and started laughing louder at all of my jokes in order to make her jealous. Needless to say, I was very weirded out. This is not normal for two adults. I don’t care what anyone says. I recently rewatched Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion. When I first saw it when I was 14, I thought, “How cool! Two grown women live together and are joined at the hip! I hope to have that kind of friendship someday.” Now at age 30, I think, “Two 28 year old women who both don’t have boyfriends and are living together in an apartment? Isn’t this the Hollywood live version of Bert and Ernie?” Can we all say, YUCK?! I don’t know about you, but the next time I meet a friend and she introduces me to her best friend “Crystal”, I’ll say, “Hey Crystal. I’m Red Flag,” and take off running as fast as I can in the nearest direction.

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Come on. Can anyone see how far down Romy has her hands?

My friendship…you know you want it. But do I? (How friendship changes in your thirties)

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“People don’t make new friends in their thirties. I mean, who has time for that? What am I going to do, go out to lunch with some new girl so I can hear all about her battle with gluten?”

The first season of Whitney, a show that centers around the lives of thirtysomethings living in Chicago, Whitney’s friend Roxanne makes a very valid point about how friendships change once women hit their thirties. I could relate so much to the characters and am really bummed that Whitney has been cancelled, but I will save those feelings for a future blog (or maybe I won’t. You’ll just have to wait it out and see where this SydRocks crazy train takes you, my loyal follower).  Later in the episode, three good friends named Roxanne, Whitney, and Lily are in a bar sharing some beers and having serious talks about “the change”. In this case it is not about menopause (get your mind out of the gutter), but about how work and maintaining already established friendships and relationships with guys takes precedence over forming new friendships with girls once a woman hits her “dirty thirties” (my term, not hers). As the three of them are discussing this change, a girl approaches Roxanne and in a perky, friendly tone says, “Hey Roxanne, It’s Kelly from-” Right then, Roxanne cuts her off by shooing her away and proclaiming, “I’m 33. I’m at capacity,” as she gestures to Lily and Whitney in order to illustrate her point. Kelly then walks away very confused. And that, my friend, is how friendship works in your thirties. I couldn’t agree more with Roxanne and that has inspired this particular blog entry. In one’s teens and twenties it is very important to make friends that will go to the mall with you, the movies, or just gossip with about guys. It is essential that you give them a hug when you greet them or just link arms as you’re walking through Forever 21:

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You strive to have a connection like this. You are joined at the hip and can’t wait to call this new girl you just met and share everything with your “BFF.” As you hit your thirties, you realize that linking arms with another female friend will get people talking. It dawns on you that this kind of connection isn’t what you want or need with another female unless you happen to prefer the company of women (cue Jerry Seinfeld’s mantra “Not that there’s anything wrong with that”). But there is something wrong if you are both straight and are giving each other backrubs, caressing each other’s arms, linking arms, or holding hands anytime after the age of about 25 and at 30 fuggetaboutit!  It is, however, a normal part of social development in a girl’s teens and early 20s. To have that connection is everything at that stage. Brushing each other’s hair during ages 5-25? No problem. After 30? Creeeeeepy. After 30, you tend not to need another girl to gossip to about boys. You can either keep these thoughts to yourself, talk to family members about them, or be like me and write a blog about it. Suddenly pajama slumber parties with the girls gives way to staying home in your pajamas and drinking wine and watching T.V. which after a hard day of work is really all you have time for. Going out with your bestie is no longer as much of a priority. At this stage, it works just as well to have an acquaintance from work or high school to go grab a drink with. You don’t need to make new friends for this. Friends that you already have also work. In my particular scenario, I’ve made lots of girlfriends throughout my teens and twenties that I went out with up to three times a week, talked to about guys and any of our 99 problems to over the phone for hours on end, and shared clothes with. I don’t know about you, but that kind of friendship just doesn’t appeal to me anymore since I’ve turned 30 in March. These friendships rarely last and all the “work” put into to maintain them is just physically and emotionally exhausting. I rarely get back as much as I give. At this stage in my life, I am just as happy going out by myself to movies, the mall, or music festivals. I really don’t need “this” anymore:

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If I find myself needing to hang out with other women, I am just as happy to text an acquaintance from high school or coworker to meet up with once in a while, like let’s say once every two to three months sounds amazing. If I have people who are willing to hang out the rare times that I need them, that is just fine with me. I don’t need a bosom buddy or bestie at this point. I tend to want to put more distance between myself and other females whereas in my twenties I loved hanging out with the same girl multiple times a week. Now that is what I would term “Hell.” When my distant friend or acquaintance has to cancel plans or I have to, I am secretly relieved. Obligations increase in your thirties as well and one does not simply have time for that. It is just as fun to stay home and watch T.V. There must be better shows on now or something. In my twenties, I thought I was a social failure if I stayed home instead of going out. Now I consider it some great reward. In my twenties I would feel as though the spotlight was on me if I went to a bar or club by myself to meet with friends or “regulars” to knock back a few brewskis with. Now at 30, it ain’t no thang. Guys do this all the time. And really ladies, we need to get some damn confidence. As Jason Derulo says, it’s perfectly fine to be “Ridin’ Solo.” Now where did I put that new girl’s number? I’m about to text her and tell her I can’t hang out tomorrow. I’m filled to capacity. She can take that anyway she wants.

The perils of a work related romance as illustrated by The Office

Choosing to date someone you used to work with can be a formidable joy or a Joy Formidable if you want to reference the emo alt rock band playing at this year’s Vans Warped Tour. I’d rather you didn’t. Paradoxically speaking, office romances can be a lot of fun but the fear of the unknown can lead to unpleasant consequences. I warn everyone to proceed with caution when navigating the treacherous waters of an office romance. In its earliest stages, a work related romance can make the job more exciting. From the get-go you already have something very important in common: either a mutual love, hate, or love/hate relationship with your job. It can lead to a lot of wisecracks and barbs, “Is the boss really wearing a Hawaiian shirt and straw hat today? That goes great with his long beard. I didn’t know “surfer Jesus” was a look.” After mutual laughter, it dawns on you: This person is funny! Let’s see what else we have in common! After a few weeks you start to realize it’s a lot and that this guy you work with is actually pretty cute! Bam! Magic is happening. A work romance is born. You hit your first snag when you realize you have to “hide” it from your boss and coworkers. You have to treat this guy or gal like everyone else on the staff despite the fact that you’re hanging out and making out outside of work. In my particular situation my coworker and the boss’s son were close friends and the son sometimes worked with us. That’s when my coworker took his paranoia into overdrive and tried to snub me so nobody would get suspicious that we had a flirtation that went above and beyond what was considered average between female and male coworkers. Sometimes to “balance things out”, so to speak, my coworker would flirt with other girls on our staff just to show the other male coworkers “Hey I always chat up the ladies. I can prove it!” Then he overcompensates like Mystery, the infamous dinklesnout from VH1’s The Pickup Artist, that blink-and-you-missed-it gem from 2007. I then started to feel jealous towards the other girls that he was chatting up while ignoring me. Trust me, that emotional mind fuck does not make the job more fun. It creates drama and tension where there was none before. Welcome to the first unpleasant side effect of work related romances. The Office got it just right when Andy and Erin pretended to hate each other so no one would get suspicious. But when Andy took the act just a little too far, Erin started to cry inside.

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“That Erin chick is repulsive to me in every conceivable way.”

Fortunately for me, my coworker had to leave our job in order to attend school back East. We stayed in touch here and there as friends. After a couple of years, he moved back in the area after school and we decided to try out a relationship since he was working during the week and didn’t have time to work at his old job on the weekends with me (thank God). Now no one from work would know if we started dating. We began dating on the regular and our intimate relationship reached a new level. After awhile, we both mutually decided it wasn’t going to work out for the long term and we ended things. Flash forward 3 months later and my boss is freaking out that we are severely understaffed. Some of our staff decided not to show up to work with no explanation. Thanks a lot, fucktards. Within 2 hours my boss’s son walks through the door with (cue creepy foreshadowing music)….my ex! Awesome sauce. In a moment not unlike The Office, my ex greets casually, “Hey Sydney” like there wasn’t even a history between us. I reply nonchalantly, “Welcome back,” as I shake his hand. Because giving him a hug would be super obvi. Not that he helped matters by turning every shade of red possible like a 12 year old even though he’s a grown ass man. Good thing nobody noticed.

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“Welcome back, Dwight.”
Commence awkward handshake.
“Thank you, Angela.”
Phew! Crisis adverted!

Now comes the “fun” part. I have to treat this guy with whom I shared an intense emotional and physical connection like he’s no different than that other male server serving water at the table next to me. It took a lot of strength. Meanwhile, there were a lot of nagging feelings and unanswered questions as I knew we were work associates only and I would not be able to get any kind of closure. I wouldn’t wish this kind of emotional turmoil on anyone. Next, I had to deal with my new Latina female coworker suddenly deciding that today is the perfect day for a hairstyle change from her usual bun to wearing her hair down for the first time in the 2 months I’ve known her. Mind you she and my ex are the same ethnicity and at 19 she is closer to his age of 23. I can feel my 30 year old white ass being put out to pasture. She flashes him a smile and asks sweetly, “Hey, could you help me serve coffee?” In a way it’s funny but in another more real way it hits me like a big rig that he is no longer with me so he can do what he wants. We were so busy working that we never had a chance to talk. I just had to watch from the sidelines as this guy I used to know waltzed into my life for a brief period and right back out again like a dollar being dangled on a string. I left work that night feeling mildly excited but mainly disappointed and helpless. This is why I advise against work romances. The 2012 Gotye hit “Somebody that I used to blow” comes to mind. Wait that was “Somebody that I used to know?” I blame this senile slip up to being in my dirty thirties.