So long, farewell…

It’s official.

The letters are signed, with both the t’s crossed and the i’s dotted. Happy hour has been had, lunch is finished. The desk has been cleared off, pictures taken down, and even George is swimming with excitement. (Or he may just be pissed that my driving skills caused half of his water to sploosh out on the seat. Who knows.)

Regardless, my reign as a Boozer is over. I am now officially unemployed.

Goodbye, to quote some dumb song, is one of the saddest words. Whether you’re leaving a job you hated or a job you loved, there are people that you’ll miss. Without going into which situation above mine fell under, I’m melancholy, and no, it’s not just because I’m still feeling the aftermath of my inordinate number of drinks and shots of (and I can’t believe I did this) Rumplemintz consumed. I’m sitting here at home with my bags o’ stuff in my trunk feeling a little wistful over the last 13 months of my life.

That said, it was far from a joyride the entire time. Many of you remember the DFE-time (data f-ing entry, also known as “The Dark Period”) where I’d honestly come home crying, those people were so hideously mean to me. We can also talk about the anything-but-lovely weather in San Diego, but hey — give me a few drinks and I’ll tell you what REALLY happened there. We can also talk about the complete and utter boredom I’ve had for the past few weeks, doing, and I quote, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING so I should probably apologize to the recipients of many a whiny phone call to pass my time away. All in all, though, it’s been good. It’s been fun. It’s been real.

And now? To bigger and better. (Or at least I hope, bigger and better.) I’m quite excited to FINALLY be doing some writing, and there’s that inherent anticipation you get when you start a new job. I’m excited to be taking a week off. I’m excited about my trip to Chicago, and hope you know I’m serious when I say I want to go to a Cubs game (so plan on it). I’m all-the-more excited about my first week on the job, especially since it will be in NYC. I’m excited about, well, just about everything right now — Happy Hour tonite, Steeplechase tomorrow, the challenge of not using a barf bag on Sunday en route to Chi-town. Face it, I’m a happy Aubrey.

So, no snappy conclusion here, but a bit of housekeeping news.

1. Clearly, my work email won’t be active after today, so use asabala@yahoo.com or aubrey@aubreysabala.com
2. If anyone wants Garrett’s popcorn, let me know and I’ll bring you some back.
3. Please wish for good weather next week in the mid-section of the country.
4. New pics are up. ENJOY…
5. Leave a comment. I’m off to get a pedi and to do a little shopping, and I expect to see something when I get back.

Until next time…

Final Countdown

So, five (well, four-ish) days and counting until I bid farewell to my current job, my corner window office (with a lovely view of the building across the way) and some badass coworkers who have learned that I have a penchant for old school Tribe Called Quest intermixed with Jeff Buckley and the occasional Babs/Barry Gibb duet. It’s a wonder anyone on this hall gets any work done with the sounds of my MP3 player warbling bad 80’s tunes and R. Kelly.

As such, I have impressed even myself with my ability to procrastinate. I have, surprisingly enough, a full plate this week — freelance features due tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday, a bevy of follow-up calls for she she me, interviews for aforementioned feature story, final expense reports, cleaning up my abominably messy desk, and yet I sit here, hitting “send/receive” on Outlook, IMing friends, contemplating purchasing a new book, editing stories, talking on the phone to Tucker Max, and generally wasting the very time that would be better-suited doing all of the things that I’m supposed to be doing anyway.

How is this? I work well under pressure. I’m the quintessential Type-A-when-needed person who has only recently learned the inherent wonderfulness of the snooze button and leaving things until the last minute. Granted, I’m a card-carrying over-committer and have definitely taken on more than I can handle, but this is getting a little out of hand. I sit here. I look at my to-do list (which, by the way, MUST have the words “To Do” at the top of it, as if I could easily confuse it with, say, a letter or a “Not-To-Do” list. Idiotic, but creatures of habit and all that…) I check my web stats. I wander to weather.com to check the weather for Steeplechase and for Chicago next week. I hit “Send/Receive.” I remember I should email [insert anyone in my cell phone who is likely to receive a drunken call or five from me] about [anything and everything.] I IM a few more friends. I look at the expense report screen, get lazy. I look at the envelope containing approx. $1000 of receipts to GET my newest expense report, and give it an angry glare at the fact that its weight exceeds the two stamps I have. I contemplate going to the post office, deciding against it. I look online for tap shoes that aren’t 1/2 size too small, and then remember I need to email [insert random friend here] to tell them about my on-camera tap dance routine that I performed for Atlanta’s Finest on Saturday night outside the gas station, ending my performance with a big bow and the statement “Am I gonna be on Cops?” (Apparently, not likely, but I’ve got wagers on whether or not this shows up at the next FOP Christmas party.) I think and try to remember where I put my book and wonder if I should try and hit Barnes & Noble after work. I refresh the message board. I re-check my stats, noting that they haven’t gone up. I look at my to-do list with the ever-growing knawing stress that NOTHING is getting the much-needed checkmark next to it. I feed George. I put on some hand lotion. I refill my 32-oz water cup as a feeble attempt to stop my stomach from performing yet another exercise in anxiety. I remember that I need to email my date for tomorrow night. I continue to type this entry.

By now, you get the picture.

What is my problem, kids? Anyone have any solutions?

fun for friday

It’s Friday. Big fat sigh of relief around the office complexes of the world. In honor of the weekend, I leave you with the following thoughts:

1. Could somebody please help me out with a new song to keep playing in my head? Yes, it IS the “freakin’ weekend” and I do love some Ignition Remix but, someone, please STOP THE INSANITY.

2. Thank you for stopping the insanity. Whomever gives me the best new song gets my eternal love.

3. I received an email saying, and I quote, “Hi Aubrey, How are you? I’m [name changed], the guy you said you’d marry if I gave you a beer at the end of the Beer Festival on Saturday (Wavy brownish hair, blue eyes). I gave you a beer and said “how about we go out first?”, and you gave me your card.” It proceeds from there, but apparently I not only am bartering my soul for chicken wings, but now my matrimonial status as well. What’s next?!?!

4. Tucker Max is my new hero. I’m thinking he needs to do a guest entry on my site — I’d be so honored. You up for it?

5. Comments. Ok, so either y’all aren’t inherently commenters, or you can’t figure it out. THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT. First, click on “Your Thoughts”. Then, a window pops up. Fill it out. Write me lovely things. Then, click submit, and Voila! Your comment is posted. Humor me. I crave attention.

6. How long before I can go home? Giving your notice apparently equals “Pay no attention to Aubrey” in this consulting world.

7. For those of you wondering about my new jobby job, I’m happy to say that I’ll be working for the best company ever: Google. Still, Googlism.com doesn’t seem to know me…

8. I’m thinking of doing an “About Me” page. To that end, send me your questions that you want answered and I’ll include them. For real. Unless it’s too personal, and then I’ll just make up an answer. 🙂

9. I’m already planning my birthday extravaganza. Atlantans, beware — it’s gonna be a doozy.

10. Justin Timberlake can rock MY body anytime he wants.

It’s the Freakin’ Weekend

Ok, so technically it is not, but since my head is currently spinning in last night’s bacchanalian-esque Dionysis-inspired wine-overload celebration, I can say whatever I please, dammit. It’s the Freakin’ Weekend, got it?

Great.

So that song is playing around in my head, over and over and OVER and I found it more than just moderately amusing last evening to quote, and so appropriately so, “I’m like so what, I’m drunk.” I decided, in the midst of gallivanting and
parading
and
trying on
and
laughing
and losing my wine glass and fawning over my new favorite person that I would write my entry today all about that song. Now, granted, I hadn’t the slightest clue as to what direction I was going to take it, but I had a theme. And for that, I was grateful.

So, groggy-headed and amazingly enough, bathed (though I didn’t wash my hair as it was somehow looking fabulous-ish this morning), I bring my weary and post-inebriated head into my not-so-exciting job (apparently, when you’re on the countdown to leave — 6 days and counting — they don’t give you a lot to do), fully prepared to sit, ponder, and figure out the quandary that is tying the phrase “running her hands through my ‘fro” into anything fun to talk about. When, shock and disbelief, I begin my daily web-log self-semi-required reading, I notice that I have been beaten to the punch. Damned all tarnation.

That was supposed to be MY pop-culture-inspired entry. I was supposed to talk about the “toot toot”s and the “beep beep”s and the fact that I’ll pretend that R. Kelly hasn’t been hitting it with 14-year olds so I can just enjoy the catchy, happy, toot-toot-beep-beep-ness of the ditty. I was supposed to be the one to get the song stuck in YOUR head too so you can understand why I’m snapping and humming and singing and tooting and beeping here all day as I have been since last night and likely will all day long. And, in doing so, I was supposed to ask YOU for advice how to exorcise Mr. Kelly’s catchy beeping-tooting-ditty besides replacing it with “Rock Your Body” as it one-ups it by promising to “get [me] nekked by the end of this song.” (Britney be damned, that’s a promise I’d like to hold you to, Mr. Timberlake.)

But that’s not the way it happened, leaving me now with zero, zilch, nada to talk about.

I could talk about my hangover, but that’s a recurring theme that, frankly, is starting to get old and repetitive. And old and repetitive.

I could talk about my cats, but I would like to have sex again at some point in my life, and we all know what guys think about girls with cats.

I could reminisce about college days when I had crushes on
lacrosse players,
but there’s a very strong rule about self-incrimination here on aubreysabala.com

I could think back on days past in order to prompt me to going somewhere fun and tropical on my 5-days-between-jobs vacation, and to discourage you all from the fact that yes, my hair really DID used to do that, and NO, it wasn’t a perm, but then I remember that I’m broke and my hair has somehow magically self-relaxed. (Thank God.)

I could make a list of my top 5 and formally announce the new addition of Matthew McConaughey as a replacement for the Propecia-needing Heath Ledger, talk about the fact that Jordan Catalano from “My So-Called Life” and Ben from “Felicity” are currently dueling it out in my old-tv-show fantasy land, or talk about the disproportionate number of hot chicks in Atlanta versus the seemingly four good-looking-and-nice guy counterparts, but that would just make me feel all single. (Not normally a bad thing, just when hangover + taxes tonite + being at work + no one to eat lunch with + nothing to do + needing a nap = my current life, I want a beau to at least complain to, if not to distract me!)

I could make a list of my favorite foods in the hopes that somebody would like to send them to me, but then I remember that those teensy-little jeans that I tried on last night from Fab’rik wouldn’t exactly button. At all.

I could rattle on and on about our futures, true love, fate, guys and girls, my favorite city that I wish were warmer, drinking and embarrassment, but, face it — I already have.

So, in the meantime, I think I’ll just “sip on some coke and rum” because, after all, it’s the Freakin’ Weekend. And don’t you forget it.

Some Letters

Dear Brewmakers of America,
Thank you for letting me taste each and every one of your delightful beverages the other evening at Red White & Brew. I especially enjoyed spilling an entire beer in my purse as well as down both the front and the back of myself — I’m quite nimble in that arena.
Love, Aubrey

Dear Bandmembers of Loose Chain,
My sincere thanks for letting me not only shake my ‘groove thang’ on stage at Red White & Brew, but for playing the tambourine. I truly am quite talented.
Love, Aubrey

Dear Random Girl in the Crowd,
I must offer you my thanks for helping me stay on rhythm when I was playing the tambourine on stage at Red, White & Brew. Without you motioning with your arms to keep me on the beat, I would have made a big fool of myself.
Love, Aubrey

Dear Hot 24-Year Old at Red White & Brew,
It was great meeting you even if you didn’t want to come with me to again fill up my glass. I have some very nice pictures of the back of your head on my site.
Love, Aubrey

Dear Everyone in my Cell Phone,
Just a quick note to let you know how much I loved leaving you messages the other night after Red, White & Brew. I’m sure I made a lot of sense as I sang you
Love, Aubrey

Dear Mike & Wil,
I’m sorry I missed your call the other night — I was engaged in a delightful interaction with Jake’s Toilet. You have true talent to sing Genuine.
Love, Aubrey

Dear Jake’s Toilet,
I am sorry that I threw up in you.
Love, Aubrey

I’ve got the fever…

It’s that time again.

You know it, and I’m guessing you may even know it well, as, thankfully, I do.

It’s the time when lunches extend to nearly two hours, where classes are skipped and where the sole purpose of eating brunch on weekends is a feeble excuse to be outside. It’s when you can justify going out on a Tuesday night even as your checking account is wailing with starvation due to its $6 balance, simply because the temperature no longer warrants a jacket. It’s the demise of productivity, may it gladly rest in peace.

It’s Spring, my friends, and the fever has hit.

Finally, nature seems to have awakened, at least here in the South. Trees blossoming, grass growing in the formerly-brown-dirted bowl at Piedmont Park, and yesterday I was so inspired by the bees drunkenly buzzing around that I decided to take their lead and imbibe myself on some deathly margaritas. And, accordingly, we know what that means…”the birds do it, the bees do it…”

Yep. Likely you, or someone you know, or someone THEY know, will do it. Calm your raging hormones, my friends, I’m simply referring to the phenomenon that is SRS: Spring Romance Syndrome.

Is it the warm breezes? The asexual reproduction that is blooming around us? The fact that half of the dogs at Piedmont are so excited to be outside that they’re literally humping anything that resembles another canine? Or perhaps it’s the warm-weather inspired, skin-bearing clothing that is so popular with us gals and so attractive to you guys. Whatever it is, I see the glints in the eyes and the pheremones are so prevalent you can nearly smell the musk in the air. Face it, people, you’re titillated, and it’s obvious. So much for subtlety!

Always one to speak (or write) what I know, it’s clear that I’m no stranger to this phenomenon myself. My work outfit today was deemed inappropriate (who knew sandals and linen capris with a jean jacket doesn’t fall under ‘business casual?’) and I definitely invested in a $7.99 foldable chair so I could again add some more sun damage to my previously-burned chest by a jaunt at the park. As for romance, I’ve proposed to no less than three people this week (in jest, but who knows what would happen if someone took me up on it!) and have told newly-met people, and I quote, “I like YOU.” (Trust me, he was cute.) Raging ball o’ hormones may be a bit too much, but, like my synapses on a good day, they’re at least poppin’.

All this from what? 70 degree temps and a bit of sunshine? The transition to flip flops from knee-high boots? Halter tops and jean skirts? Yes, yes, and DEFINITELY yes, I’m happy to say that Spring Fever has hit yours truly, so, to that, I leave you with one thing.

Forgive my scatterbrainedness and my proposals of marriage, my un-work-like work attire, and my happy giddy Corona-drinking, Margarita-imbibing unproductive self — I can’t help it. It’s Mother Nature’s fault.

Real.

I’ve been told I’m a hopeless romantic. Forever on the quest for that movie-quality moment of soft, faded lights and soft, sultry songs, when you get the feeling in your stomach of excited foreshadowing and just can’t wait to see what happens. Where you’re almost looking at yourself from afar, because the moment itself is so vast and real that it almost envelops you in the nearness of your own destiny.

In my graduation speech, I talked about High School and the times that we had, and asked when we knew we were growing up. Would it be when our first friend gets married? Or has their first baby? Or was it when we learn to take care of our parents as they did for us so many years before? I remember saying that those days of high school were the good old days, and we should cherish and savor them.

I meant it all. I honestly and truly did. And for a 17-year old who still didn’t know the path ahead, including which college I was going to, it was a somewhat remarkable insight, since now, looking back, those moments of stomach flutters and innocent, honest excited anticipation are all the more sweet and all the more poignant.

It’s the summer nights. It’s the moments of mini-rebellion, when you attempt to purchase beer from the shady old man who clearly knows that you’re a mere 17 but is too drunk or smitten with you to refuse to sell it to you or when you take your beat-up gold Chrysler Caravelle (mine) to the High School parking lot and do intentional donuts on a snow day or when you even just drive around, windows down, in the summer of a small-ish town, scoping for something to do, people to find, and forever the Rusted Root song “Send me on my way” will make you think of that exact moment. It’s the times that you feel alive. And this was one of those times.

***

It was the summer after my junior year in High School, and I was giddy with the knowledge that there was something bigger out there. Many of my friends were a year older, were heading to college, and I had already made plans to ‘escape’ the high school drudgery as much as I could and join them in the ‘grown-up’ college revelry. They were free — I was as near as I was going to be, and a Cleveland summer thankfully awaited me.

I was blessed. I had dear, true friends who understood things about me that I didn’t like to talk about. Who, without needing to mention it, knew that I had a deeper, more serious side that I didn’t let on to many people and who were privy to my deepest and darkest secrets that not everything was nearly perfect in my world. It was the code of youth — you were there for each other and it’s in retrospect that you finally realize the true value of it.

But, despite anything of the contrary, I was happy. I had a crush. Not just a “tingle-down-your-spine-when-you-see-him” sort of giddiness, more of a “I-want-to-marry-him-one-day” sort of quasi lust-love obsession. He was the golden child — the local star who was not only good looking but was smart, not only talented academically but athletically, and above it all, he was kind. And in a “sign from the Gods” sort of moment, he moved down the street from me.

As suburbs go, ours was of the mid-size variety, with a good school system and houses that seemed to forever get larger, more ornate and (of course), more expensive. It was a “one-up-the Joneses” kind of society — people moved not to change schools, but to have a bigger, newer, better house in a bigger, newer, better development. There weren’t so much as neighborhoods as subdivisions, each with prestigious sounding names like “Balmoral” and “Biltmore Estate” and the like. You traded your older model in for your newer, and, like most things in our town, it was all about status. And that is why the story turned into a fairy tale.

You see, the boy of my 16-year old dreams was a mini-superstar in my eyes. He went to the private, Catholic school known for its football success and, I assure you, every red-blooded gal in town knew who he was. And as for me, I was a peon, a plebian, a pauper in the land o’ high school fame and fortune. It was the relationship version of David and Goliath and, sad to say, I had about the same chances of getting him to notice me as Cinderella had of getting her prince. To say it was a pipe dream is a scathing underestimate.

But, somehow, I did. I was invited to a mutual friends’ Graduation party and, more nervous than ever, I somehow managed to keep my composure (or at least I think I did) and even show up in a noticeable yet respectable outfit. (Trust me on this one — even in my most extreme self-critical moments I would say I think I looked pretty good.) And, by God, it worked. I chatted with him, and, as luck would have it, he was as charming as he was good-looking. I was a goner.

The crush continued.

Days past, and I was getting ready to head off to a summer program at UNC — a 3-week deal where you get to take college classes and live in dorms and basically pretend you’re not just a 16-year old poseur but, in fact, a tried and true pseudo-freshman and should act accordingly. (or at least that’s how I took it.) In one of my typical short-lived fitness efforts, I was going for a jog (or was it a bike ride?) when I received the invitation. Not to the ball, mind you, but something nearly as good and all-the-more monumental and exciting: to the Graduation party, HIS Graduation party.

Now, let me take a minute to discuss the significance of Graduation parties in Northeast Ohio. As we don’t typically have the haute couture and high society-inspired Debutante Balls, and, by the nature of middle-class-Suburbanites to one-up their friends, Ohio’s alternative was graduation parties. Thousands upon thousands were shelled out to ensure that their child’s was the best, the one that would be remembered for days and years to come. The best ones, of course, had alcohol. (Mine had boxes of Wine Coolers AND a band AND a tent AND a torrential thunderstorm so to this day I feel pretty cool.) But I digress…

Giddy with excitement, I had to make the most of this opportunity. It was to be a lavish affair, complete with food, drink (for the elders, of course) and all 138478 members of his family. I was excited, I was nervous, and, above all, I hadn’t the slightest idea what to wear. (Some things never change.) And, as scheduling would have it, the party was on the same night as my good friends’, so I was going to have to go to both. His would be first.

I remember walking to his house, as I have done so many times afterwards, with all my limbs nearly shaking with nerves, willing my feet not to turn around and head home. The night was warm — balmy even — and the clouds threatened rain (which would completely sabotage my tediously straightened hair) and I had gone for the casual look. Attending by myself, I felt both a fraud and a pariah, since I would know few at the party and many there would know of my unfortunately well-publicized crush.

I walked in the door, looking around to find a familiar face, and, amazingly, I found it. He looked up as I entered, smiling, putting my frantic nerves at ease. The party itself was a blur ? I suppose I mingled, I chatted, I smiled the requisite smile, said my goodbyes, and departed for my friends’ other party. It was, in essence, a perfectly lovely, perfectly innocent party. If the story had ended there, it would be a nice, uneventful conclusion to a nice, uneventful happening.

But, if it had ended there, it wouldn’t be complete.

Thus the story continues. Upon leaving, I was told to stop back if there were still people around and, since I was puppy-dog-crushing like no other, I did just that. By the time I returned, the party was dying down. A small group of kids (well, I suppose that’s what we were at 17!) were sitting in the back patio, smoking cigars (that’s Ohio bravery for ya) and even a few beers were being passed around. It was far from rowdy — no chugging, no shots, merely a semi-mature, probably pseudo-intellectual discussion on college plans, current crushes, and our collectively unknown futures.

There was dew on the grass — I don’t know why I remember that — and the night had gotten a little colder, with a slight chill when the wind blew. This was unusual for July in Ohio, but nothing so out of the ordinary that it would necessarily cause me to remember this. But I do. I remember the wetness of the grass when we all decided to part for the night and take the chairs back around into the garage. I remember feeling a little out of place, a little uneasy, since though I had been invited to return, this group wasn’t my own. I knew only one other person, and it was he. And now it was time for me to leave.

As I began to turn towards home, I realized that he was going to walk me there. A few — or perhaps more than a few — drinks under his belt but his manners remained, and for this I was both grateful and surprised. I’m not sure if he even, at that point, knew which house was mine, I was that much of a stranger. I was the girl that he didn’t really know but knew had a crush on him. I realized this all at once, a moment of clarity and insight that made my blush with acknowledgement of my folly, of my overly-romanticized tendencies, of my helpless, lovelorn nature that was sure to be a farce. I had watched one too many fairy tales in my day, and from what I knew of life so far, I’d never seen one come to play. It was pure naivete my part, and I was ashamed. How could I have been so foolish to believe in the happily ever after and the prince on the white stead? Childish.

And then he kissed me.

It was on my front porch, I was completely taken by surprise, and it was as close to magical as anything I had ever experienced in my 17 years on Earth. He said goodbye, and I, like a discombobulated heroine in a typical teen-angst movie, sank into the door, all aflutter with emotion and the perfectness of it all.
For one moment, the stars had aligned and I again believed in Fairy Godmothers and magic wands.

*********************

This lends the question “Why now? Why bring this up today? What happened next?”

I’ll start with the last of the three.

What happened next was nothing extraordinary by any means. He went to Football Camp, I went to Carolina Summer, and, save a humorous event including feeding some fish and hot dogs, the romance of one kiss was never rekindled. The “HE” is one of my dearest friends to this day, who I love like nobody else, who is engaged to be married in July. He knows this story (though I doubt he remembers as many details), knows of my all-pervasive, years-spanning crush, and doesn’t seem to stress out about it too much in our nine year friendship ever since. He has listened to me sob like a baby over some dumb guy and assured me that I deserved more, he comes to my family events and I come to his, and he is, for all respective purposes, part of my family and part of my life. At 17, I don’t think I could have envisioned how lucky I would be.

As for the “why now?”, it’s the feeling behind it that I wanted to communicate, the feeling behind it all that I miss. This was just an example of truly living, of feeling alive, of being everything that you were and everything that you are for one true minute. Of understanding human nature and being in the midst of the daily chaos and little moments that make up your life. Of noticing the wet dew on your feet, of looking up and seeing Orion’s Belt, and of being a teenager with nary a care in the world and everything, everything to look forward to. It’s a romanticized view of the past, present, and future, but above all, it was real. It is real. And it’s what living, and life, and love, should be.

Urban Cowboy

So this morning on the Today Show (my daily source of all things newsworthy) they had the performers from “Urban Cowboy”, the new Broadway musical, sing, dance, and generally cavort about in their down-home country way. These were jean-donning, boot wearing, booty-shakin’ kind of people (or at least they were playing it on tv.) They were down-home, dirty, and I loved it. Whereas before I thought the she she me “Looking For My Cowboy” was merely a cute saying, I’m living it.
johncavenaugh.jpg

I want my cowboy, and I want him now.

I’ll even expand upon that to include common tenents in human nature, in the pursue and be pursued, cat and mouse, hard-to-get arena. It’s the appeal of the “Bad Boy,” and trust me, I’ve got it bad.

Right about now, I want a blue collar man with dirt under his fingernails a la Joe Millionaire (though would prefer a few additional brain cells.) I want a Harley-riding rebel with a devil-may-care attitude, throwing caution to the wind. I want a bad, bad boy who my parents would hate, who my friends would warn me about, and with whom I would buck society and ride away together in the sunset.

It’s human nature, it really is. Along with us wanting what we can’t have (a trait I’ve practically trademarked I’ve mastered it so well), we also want what’s not good for us. It’s why we’re listful over old boyfriends that we KNOW weren’t good [enough] for us, why we remember the good times and why we’re constantly wondering ‘what if.’ It’s why the grass is always greener, why everyone else’s relationship is inherently better than our own, and why, whether we say it or not, there’s always that ONE PERSON who you always wondered about, who, on the day of your wedding or the day of theirs, you wonder what ‘could’ve been’.

It’s the Bad Boy Syndrome, and so I’m calling all you Urban Cowboys to don your boots, your tightest faded blues, and give this little lady a call.

(Or, if you’re a CPA, I need you even more. My taxes are due.)

Top Secret Stigma

So I’m going to broach a topic unpopular to many of you, not because you don’t understand or disagree, but more that it’s Un-PC or just a topic rarely discussed, save at a big lunch with a gaggle of gals. It’s the “he whose name must not be spoken” topic in the 20’s dating world, inherent within our cliques but mentioned by relatively few. Like casual sex and addiction to bad reality tv, it comes inherent with a semblance of guilt and potential judgment by others.

It’s dieting.

For one reason or another, it’s just not cool to be on a diet. People feign allergies to gluten before they’ll say they’re doing the Atkins diet. People say that sugar upsets their stomach while they’re verbally refusing the sweet tea and mentally drooling over the delicious refreshment of it all. And, God forbid you go to Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers — you might as well wear the scarlet letter: in this case, F for FAT.

Face it people, diets are the fashion faux pas of the century.

Ever heard of a model on a diet? A movie star (other than me, that is?) Nooooooooo… They’ve got trainers, they work out, they are ‘preparing for a role’ and ‘getting in shape.’ But never a diet — diets are for fat people, for the plebeians among us.

You’ve all seen the statistics. Yet, and despite even newer awareness of this information, we’ve got “American Idol” judges telling girls to lose weight because apparently, the American ideal Idol is svelte. It’s a 40 Million dollar industry that is hush-hush because, apparently, dieting is something of which we’re embarrassed.

I’m broaching this because I’m smack dab in the middle of this debate with myself, and I’m guessing there’s others out there who are as well. Others who totally feel guilty when they go off of whatever diet they’re doing this week or this month, others who go on the Atkins diet and then, upon complete avoidance of anything carbo-laden (and complete ravenous consumption of any and all meat-laden products), are dying for a Coke. Not just a Diet Coke (which, incidentally, isn’t suggested as Nutra-Sweet apparently affects one’s ability to go into ketosis), but a full-fledged, hangover-curing fountain Coke. And some chips. And even a (God forbid!) Turkey Sandwich, bread and all.

But, in our society, what does that leave me? Weak. Ashamed. Off the diet-wagon and again in the forever-cycle of restraint, slave to the 40 million dollar industry and again wishing I looked better in a swimsuit. I’m appalled to say that even when they called from “The Bachelor” the first thought in my head was (since I was in the midst of ravenously consuming my dinner): “I’ve got to start dieting NOW.”

The issue isn’t necessarily the diet. Let’s go through the tenses: I’ve dieted, I diet, I will diet. And, statistically speaking, you probably have or will too. The issue is the stigma attached to said diets, the fact that it’s the masturbation-esque quagmire of the decade: everyone’s doing it but nobody’s talking about it.

Well, I’m tired of this. Diets, while not optimal, are a normal part of our society. Though both guys and girls are still reading Maxim and Stuff and Men’s Health and Cosmo, very VERY few of us look like that. And the ones that do, I promise you, have at some point gone on a diet. Even if it’s to look better in the photo shoot the next day or to lose 10 lbs. before the high school reunion, weight is a huge issue, it’s seen as important, and hell, why not just put it out there in the open and come to terms with the reality.

I’ll set a good example and start:

“Hi, I’m Aubrey, and I just went off the Atkins Diet because I wanted a piece of Oreo Cheesecake. Yes, I’ll likely begin again tomorrow. But in the meantime, [like everything that is fun, good, and frequently morally reprehensible], it was worth it.”

Dieters Unanonymous: it’s got a ring to it, no?

stargazing

GEMINI:
Monday, March 10

Unpredictable Uranus takes up residence in Pisces and the sector of your solar chart governing your professional and social ambitions until 2010, with a brief break between September and December 2003. Overall, it’s fair to assume that where you are now (and your current fame and fortune level) is not where you’ll be when it’s done.

Really, now. That’s certainly interesting…I think this warrants a Gap Analysis on Me: Current vs. Me: future.

OCCUPATION STATUS
Current Me: Neophyte web-writer (blogger, perhaps) with a moderate audience
Future Me: World famous writer on all things non-political and non-serious in nature (besides the serious faux pas that is white before Easter.)

HEALTH STATUS
Current Me: Sore-throated and large-glanded
Future Me: The picture of health, thanks to an intentional overdose of the FDA-suggested allowance of Vitamin C. Oh, and some ammoxicilin.

FORTUNE STATUS
Current Me: Fortun-ate to have a job.
Future Me: Making excel spreadsheets on the best way to distribute my assets and wealth amongst my favorite causes (i.e., J. Crew, eating out, all-day-drinking fests at outdoor locales…)

RELATIONSHIP STATUS
Current Me: Single, I suppose.
Future Me: Battering down the hatches to fend off admiring suitors who bought a star map for $5 on Rodeo Drive and have been stalking me ever since.

FAME STATUS
Current Me: While the potential is there, and I DO get to call John Mayer’s publicist and I DID get a call from The Bachelor asking me to send in a video tape, I’d say moderate at best.
Future Me: An icon, starlet, and, if all else fails, a movie star.

PALLOR STATUS
Current Me: Lobster.
Future Me: <a href="Tan & Taut.

Now, as we all know, a Gap Analysis often lays out the current state, the future state and the plan to get from current to future (and note that future often equals optimal.) So a plan. Hmm. Well, I’ll start with some Aloe and hope it goes from there….