We Found Love in a Hyundai Sonata

About a month ago I went on a date with a nice Filipino boy. I met him on an app, but not a dating app – I actually met him in an Uber, making it a little less embarrassing, right? Maybe not. At first, the idea of sharing a ride with a total stranger seemed a little shady, but then I realized that Uber drivers are total strangers, so what difference does it make if a couple more strangers are added to the mix? So I gave it a try and now I have 10 new friends, including a guy named Murphy who texts me every couple of weeks an enthusiastic “Hey!”, a couple of Irish guys named Mike and Chris, a Real Estate mogul named Glen, an Analyst at Macy’s whose name I can’t remember but we’re definitely friends, and of course, Bae (Anthony).

I met Anthony in a Hyndai Sinata on a ride to a conference in Rosemont, which is a comically unromantic combination of car model and location. I’m not sure how we got to talking, but our conversation went on for entire 45 minute ride, with only a few awkward pauses. We touched on many topics typically discussed on a first date: origins, blood type, job, whether or not we’d ever been convicted of a felony, best deep dish pizza in Chicago, music, and of course, which Friends character we relate to most. Anthony claimed to be a Ross, but he’s a Chandler through and through. When we rolled up to my destination, the ultra glamorous Crowne Plaza Rosemont, friendly goodbyes were exchanged, but nothing more. I had a feeling this wasn’t goodbye. This was confirmed in the form of an unexpected LinkedIn request. This is modern romance, people. Girl meets boy, boy likes girl, boy hits her with a friend request on a business-oriented social network.

When I told my friends the story they laughed, but ultimately encouraged me to give him a chance. I asked them what my next move should be. Like, how does one go about flirting on LinkedIn? Do I endorse his Powerpoint skills or is that coming on too strong? We started messaging, and our conversation dragged on for about 4 weeks before he finally mustered the courage to ask for my number. We went on two dates, and while the spark just wasn’t there, I think he’s a really cool person. There was one really big turnoff about Anthony, and to be honest, it may have meant the difference between a third date…I hated his sunglasses. I’m being serious. They were circle frames, kind of like the ones sported by Mugatu, Nicole Richie, and Willie Wonka. That’s a fucking deal breaker in my book.

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High Times at Barnes and Noble

I’ve been sitting on this story for well over a year now…I’ve told a small number of people the abridged version, but I think it’s time for me to come out with it in its entirety. Much like the time I wore a vest with an embroidered owl on it and called it “fashion,” or the time I ate an entire family-size bag of chex mix in one sitting, it’s a day in my life that I am not proud of, but it happened. I hope – if anything – this story serves as a cautionary tale of the dangers of over indulging in marijuana-laced brownies.

It was an unusually cold Sunday in November…the forecast predicted a chance of flurries and a 100% chance that I would be tripping balls by afternoon. I made plans with a few friends, let’s call them Ron, Harry, Hermoine and Ginny. Together, we decided to do what I suspect most 15-18 year-old boys do every Sunday: get baked and see a sci-fi movie. Harry and Ron, who are well-versed in baking of the herbal kind, brought over a batch of fresh brownies for us to eat before the movie. We each took a portion of a brownie. I finished mine in .3 seconds out of habit. Then I ate another small portion 20 minutes later.

The walk to the theater was a cold one, but everyone was in high spirits (pun intended). The movie we were going to see, Interstellar, was sold out, so we bought tickets for the next showing. With some time to kill, we wandered into the Barnes and Noble next door, and as we roamed through the stacks of books I started to feel really really stoned. I began to have dark, abstract thoughts: “Why am I here?” “What is carpet made of?” “How did all these books get here?” I sat down at a table with Hermoine and Ron and tried to act nonchalant, although I probably looked something like this:

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I looked down at my phone and told myself that everything was going to be okay. I was without a doubt the highest person at the Barnes and Noble Cafe and maybe even the highest person in the entire Barnes and Noble.

I decided I needed to leave immediately before I had a full on panic attack. “I have to make a call,” I announced to the table, slowly rising out of my chair. I charged my way toward and started walking back to my apartment. About two blocks into my walk I decided that now would be a good time to call my dad. I told him I’d eaten a pot brownie and that I felt weird. He responded by telling me that I was extremely high and advised me to go home, pour myself a glass of wine and put on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of The Moon. I was not amused. About three blocks from my apartment I began to feel queasy and decided to rest on a street curb. I distinctly remember examining my hands and thinking they weren’t mine. I saw the blurred image of a girl across the street and decided to call out to her and ask if I could sit on her couch. “I’m just really high and need to sit down,” I yelled to her from the other side of the road. She said she didn’t live here. I told her to enjoy her visit. I picked myself up off the ground and with newfound determination, walked to my apartment.

I was home, but I was alone and in a very fragile state. I called Ginny and asked if she and Hermoine would come back and comfort me. I also told them not to bring Ron and Harry. I didn’t want them to see me like this. Ginny and Hermoine took turns holding me and scratching my back. I swayed back and forth like a crazy person before I finally fell asleep. Meanwhile my phone was on silent and my parents were trying to reach me.

At around 9:30 we heard a knock on my door. My apartment was pitch black except for the glow of the TV. It was a waitress from the restaurant downstairs, we’ll call it Three Broomsticks. She explained that she was instructed to do a wellness check at the request of my parents. I looked at my phone and saw that I had 12 missed and one text from my brother asking for the Netflix password. I called and told them I was okay, that I was watching Silver Linings Playbook and had fallen asleep. Needless to say, I haven’t touched a weed brownie since…regular brownies, yes.

 

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My friend Barbs

My dear friend Barbs stopped by and showed me what she’s learned on the piano! Also covered in this episode: summer fashion trends, the sound of both of us biting into rice cakes, and Barbie reveals her first crush! So much drama! And you definitely don’t want to miss Barbie’s display of how terrible she is at song lyrics…it’s seriously mind-blowing how bad she is.

 

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Xtina Mistakes – The Podcast

I finally got around to doing a podcast. This is the first episode and while it’s nowhere near perfect, it was still fun. You can tell because there is a lot of laughter! I even have a microphone and it’s my favorite thing I own at the moment. Originally, this first episode was 40 minutes, but I cut out all of my “ums” and “alrights,” and that alone shaved off about 10 minutes. UM ALRIGHT.

 

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Beauty is Pain

Today, my family and I drove past a salon on our way home from Easter brunch. In the window was a neon sign that said “Threading.” Of course my dad was like “What is threading?”

Threading is a method of hair removal first practiced in the depths of Hell…that’s a joke, but seriously, it’s borderline torture. In a very rare deleted scene from Game of Thrones, Ramsey Bolton threads Theon’s eyebrows. Theon cries out in crippling pain as Ramsey meticulously threads each eyebrow until they are perfectly symmetrical or “on fleek.”

The practice of threading to remove hair actually originated in Asia, and while it allows for more defined and precise shape, it can be incredibly painful, especially for someone with sensitive hair follicles like myself…

One of many repressed memories of my adolescence is the time I got my eyebrows threaded. I was only in 8th grade – I hadn’t even had a proper makeout sesh yet…but my eyebrows were starting to look like a muppet’s, so my mom made me an appointment at our local salon. My mom dropped me off and said something like “have fun!”

I didn’t have any fun. That day I learned what “Beauty is Pain” means. My face tightened as this lady pulled out my eyebrow hairs. The pain fell somewhere between seeing a cute boy in cargo shorts and doing a belly flop with a sunburn. I could literally feel every hair being plucked out one by one by one by one. The lady didn’t seem to care that I was on the verge of tears, and continued threading for several minutes. Finally, it ended. I thanked her as I fought back tears, then ran out of there as quickly as I could. My mom could tell by my face that I was in distress. Through loud sobs I explained to her what had happened. “It was horrible, mom! Horrible! How can that be legal?” Later on, when I was pretty much done crying, I admired my new eyebrows in the mirror. Dammit, they did look good.

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Twenty-five

The reason I titled this “Twenty-five” is because I turned 25 yesterday and I’m extremely lazy when it comes to giving titles to posts. Everyone was like, “Welcome to the Quarter Century Club,” and I was like, “Does the Quarter Century Club serve alcohol or have a fondue fountain?” Joking aside, turning 25 is a big deal. I’m feeling queasy at the thought of it. Twenty-five marks the end of adolescence and the beginning of “adulthood.” So everything I do from here on will be part two of my memoir, or when everyone stops reading because I’ve become a responsible functioning adult. I don’t feel any different, the only thing different is the age range on my dating apps. I am now seeking men in the 25-42 year age range. Some thoughts I’m having on the heels of this milestone birthday:

  • In the past few years I’ve realized just how valuable time is. To quote poet Henry Threll, “When as a child I laughed and wept, Time crept. When as a youth I waxed more bold, Time strolled. When I became a full grown (wo)man, Time RAN.” It’s a shame that I’ve wasted so much of my time playing on my phone. I often think about how different life would be without them. We’d be more present and less distracted, that’s for sure. But more than that, we’d probably all be better at relationships. You can have a million friends on Facebook, but still feel lonely AF. And that’s why I’ve decided to delete all social media accounts.*

*I’m totally kidding …I think I could go like a week tops. How else am I supposed to keep tabs on my favorite mom and fashion bloggers? Mom Blogs are Life. Fashion is life.

  • My parents kick major b***. They are the epitome of #marriagegoals. My mom, Kelly, is my cheerleader in life: she favorites all my tweets – even the bad ones – and thinks my blog is hilarious. She’s also the most selfless and thoughtful person I know. All around my apartment are gifts she’s given to me and little reminders of her supreme awesomeness. My dad, Rob, is a real gem. A crossfit/golf/history enthusiast (what a winning combination!), he inspires me to live life to the fullest and stay busy. In addition to unconditional love and support, my parents gave me the greatest gift of all – freedom to be my goofy and imperfect self.

Cheers to 25!

 

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