Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Good-bye to my Dear Friend Bounty!

When you live alone, there are certain staple items that take a long time to get through. Obviously, I am not talking about the perishable items, as they go bad long before I can finish them. I cannot tell you the last time I successfully finished a bag of salad. Every week or two, I throw out a half wilted bag of spinach and various leftovers and produce. I keep buying them on the off chance that one day I will beat the clock and finish the food before mold takes over. I never win a battle against mold. Even brownies have fallen victim to the greedy fungal tentacles. Heck, I even have to throw out freezer items from time to time; a sad feat, since most frozen goods have a 1-2 year shelf life.

Outside the world of perishable food, items can exist forever in a single gal’s house. October 2011 will mark a momentous event, the end of my Bounty napkins. In August 2006, I was a fresh faced college graduate about to start vet school. This was my first time living outside of a dorm, so I had a lot of supplies to buy. One of these staple items was a 200 count pack of Bounty Quilted Napkins. Yes folks, over 5 years (FIVE YEARS) later, I am down to the last dozen napkins. This pack of napkins has been one of the most consistent things in adult life. I have moved this package of napkins five times, across two time zones. These napkins have been bagged up, boxed up, moved in professional moving vans, and kept in a garage. They have been stored in pantries, drawers, and on kitchen tables. I have used them to set the tables of dinners I made for both serious relationships in my life. I shudder to think how many Lean Cuisines these napkins have been paired with. These napkins have seen me go from a Ms. to a Dr.

I can’t tell you why it has taken me over 1,885 days to use 200 napkins. Perhaps it is because my frequent dinners of half a can of corn don’t merit the use of a napkin. Or maybe it is my slightly pathetic tendency to reuse napkins on occasion (I know I did not live through the Great Depression, so this behavior is a bit unacceptable). I can’t explain why, but I do know that Bounty has been helping to clean up my mess since 2006 and I am very thankful for this. While I mourn the loss of this dear friend, I look forward to the next five years and the memories a new package of napkins can bring.

P.S. It only took me two years and three moves to finish my 150 load bottle of fabric softener !!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

You know the Relationship is Going South When Antarctica Comes Up

I am not an expert in successful relationships. Hell, I hardly know anything about them. But I am rather skilled in the failed ones and can sniff out problems in a relationship like a bloodhound can track the scent of a lost child. So why not take my painful lessons and share them with you? Let my firsthand experience be your guide and save you the heartache (all two of the people who read this and aren’t married)!

Today’s advice is extreme, but oddly enough, in both of my serious relationships, the guys considered this career path. Ladies, if you man ever suggests the idea that working on a research vessel in Antarctica seems like a fun idea- get ready for the boy to run. Any man who finds a job description that includes the statement below enjoyable, is a King of the Commitmentphobics.

“Contact with friends, family, loved ones is at a minimum; occurring mostly through e-mail transmitted by satellite. As the satellite time is costly, messages must be kept small and no attachments (pictures or similar) can to be transmitted except in emergencies and only with approval from the expedition leader. Telephone calls using Iridium phones are possible, but are limited.”

It’s hard to believe that both of the men in my life seriously read a job description with these statements and found it attractive enough to apply for the job. But yes, it’s true, I have only been in relationships with men that were attracted to the idea of sailing off to an uninhabited, freezing cold island where they could be in near isolation from the outside world. This is a red flag; no, this is an entire field of red flags waving in the breeze with a neon sign in the middle that flashes “NO FUTURE”. If you thought long distance relationships were hard, imagine one that only included two sentence emails every few weeks.

It may be a weird question to work into my first date routines, but the question “Would you ever consider applying to a job in Antarctica?” is becoming my ultimate weed-out question. If they say yes, there will be no date number two. Because men who are looking for adventure and to escape from the world, will eventually be looking for an escape from you.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September My Saviour Has Failed Me

August was not a good month for me. In fact, it was a horrible month. There was a lot of crying, questionable hygiene, and on one really low night cheesecake for dinner followed by a wine/Nyquil night cap (not my proudest moment!). A large part of my downward spiral had to do with a boy. (Wait, no one saw that one coming did they? Women never turn to crying, complex carbohydrates, and liquor to ease the pain of their broken heart). For the first time, I was dating a man who had everything on my checklist and I was crazy about him. In hindsight, I should add emotional availability and no fear of commitment to my checklist. After a weekend trip to Virginia, he dropped me back home, hugged me, and told me to have a great week. I never saw him again. I even googled his obituary, but I believe he is still alive.

With the happy dating life gone, I sunk into a depression and realized I was generally unhappy with the overall direction of my life. But with the end of August approaching, I took a Pollyanna like approach to September. September was going to be my month: a New Year’s four months early. I created the usual lofty goals of eating better, working out more, figuring my life, getting my shit together, doing more activities, etc.

Today was the start of September: the month meant to save me; the month of promise and renewal; my month. But let us not forget, this is Cherry we are talking about and I have bizarrely horrendous luck. I woke this morning at 4 am and had an almost two hour bout of insomnia, where in a weak, sleep-deprived delirium, my mind replayed my relationship with the man I swore to stop thinking about. I finally feel asleep twenty minutes before my alarm went off. So, of course when it went off, I ignored it and overslept 40 minutes (one of my new goals was to get up on time). I finally got up and after a vigorous session of oral hygiene, in which I was too overzealous in the tongue cleaning, I threw up a dozen times. It was there staring back at my neon yellow vile, I had the horrible realization that September may not be savior after all. My social evening plans with a friend were cancelled, leaving me alone with a large plate of Rice Krispy treats I made for the occasion. They were my dinner (there goes the eating healthy). All in all, the first day of my September renewal failed me terribly. But just when I was about to give up, the musical iPod shuffle gods reminded me to “Don’t Stop Believing”. Ok, Journey, I trust you! Bring it on September 2nd.