A fashionista’s reason for liking winter

Hats!

Just a few of my choice favorites include:

This is what a snow day will do to ya!

Sex dreams and secrets

I woke up this morning, gasping for breath. I didn’t know where I was or who I was with. I opened one eye, then two and surveyed my surroundings.

There was my clock, ticking away obnoxiously on the wall.

There was my laptop, perched on my dresser, begging to be opened.

There was my window, the blinds of which I’d left open last night to watch the snow falling as I tried to get some kind of happiness from it.

I was under my pink comforter, laying on my pink and brown sheets in my room.

And I was alone.

Phew! It had just been a dream.

Albeit, a sexy, hot, toe curling dream. But a dream, nonetheless.

Then I remembered who it was about and I groaned.

Oh noooo… I thought to myself. Please do not let him be creeping back into my thoughts.

But he did and he is. He is there like this fungus that I just can not get rid of no matter how much lotion I put on it or pills I take. And he’s itchy. Like a rash. He’s an itchy fungal rash that creeps up on me when I least expect it and completely throws me off of my game.

Now I have thoughts of The Fling running through my head . . . and I really don’t know what to do about it.

For three months, he consumed the majority of my thoughts. We met, we both got a crush, it took awhile but we finally got together, it was great for awhile and then BAM! We cut communication and I forced him out of my mind. For the most part.

But now he is back. And stronger than ever. Which is really weird and unfortunate, because I  have no idea what to do to get him out of there. It’s also unfortunate because I never even thought he’d be in there in the first place.

You see, when I first met him, I didn’t even like him. Mostly because I felt that someone like him would never like someone like me. But he did. And for a short moment in time, I could have sworn he liked me far more than I liked him.

While I was in it, I thought to myself that it would never amount to anything, so I tried not to get attached. But despite our differences, we worked. And I, against my better judgment, fell for him. I couldn’t help but be sucked in by his rough exterior and caring heart. I fell for his crooked smile and kind eyes. I loved the fact that I made him nervous. That he stammered when he asked for my number the first night we met. I made him nervous but the truth was that he made me nervous too. He was a blue collar mountain man. He was new and fresh and exciting. And for some reason, we just made sense.

One day, we were driving in his truck, trying to find a place to eat. He grabbed my hand as he weaved through cars and I let in a sharp breath. I felt electricity. Sparks. It had only happened to me once before, and I never imagined it would have happened with him. But it did. And I knew from that moment on that no matter how much I didn’t want to get in deep with him, my fate was sealed. I was doomed.

The last time I saw him I was leaning against my car. He was kissing me, asking me to call him later on that night.

Everything was fine for the next few days until he began to blame being busy on not being able to see me. Conversations got weird. Mainly stemming from the fact that I wouldn’t accept being busy as a valid reason for not being able to see me. It just didn’t fly with me. I’d ask him to get together. He’d evade the question. Say he cared about me. I’d drop it.

I began to get nervous. Was this already the end? It wasn’t fair! I had just admitted to myself that I had fallen for him, and now it was going to be taken away?

There was nothing I could do. I tried to make contact. He told me the first free day he had would be all for me.

And then I didn’t hear from him for a month.

When he contacted me back in September, I thought that he may have had a change of heart. That he really had just been too stressed out to be with me and take care of what he needed to do in his life. But I was completely fooled. And it hurt. More than I ever expected it to.

So I tried to REALLY move on. I went on dates. I had sex. I worked out. I changed my hair. I went shopping. And for awhile I thought the itchy fungus had left the building.

It did not.

The last time we talked was a very brief text in October, just checking in with each other. When I never heard from him after that, I deleted all traces of him from my phone.

Be strong! I told myself. Like bull!

Well, I call my bullshit. I’m not strong. I’m weak. But I do have my pride. And someday I will have to see him again. And on that day, I do not want to be known as the girl who wouldn’t let it die. So I let it die with him, but not in my mind.

And I guess the only thing that really matters is that he doesn’t know…

…right?

Right?

Help?

The one where he wore a tie

I had a date the other night. With a boy who is 5 years my junior. Who is, coincidentally, still a junior in college. I feel like a cougar in training. Like I’m Stella, gettin’ her groove back!

Truth be told, I wasn’t really interested in dating the guy in the first place. I only spoke to him while we were out at a bar because my friend was talking to his friend. But we began to chat and I have this nasty little habit of being super flirty and sweet to boys that I don’t really like, and being a huge wretched bitch to boys that I do like.

I’m royally f’d up in the head. If you’ve been reading for awhile, you should know this by now.

Anyway, I gave him my phone number, not thinking much of it, and went on my merry way at the end of the night (with a quick pit-stop at his hotel room which resulted in nothing more than a few minutes of music listening. Hand on heart!)

A few days later, I received a text message from him asking if he could call me to set up a date.

I tried to remember exactly what I felt about him when I’d been talking to him. Was I completely disgusted? No, certainly not. He was a nice guy. So, what would the harm be, really? I am not one to turn down a date, so I told him that that would be fun.

A few days later, he called me. He picked up the phone, took initiative and asked me out.

I really couldn’t say no, now. No one has picked up the phone, in lieu of texting, to ask me on a date in a year and a half.

He followed up. He made sure we were still on for the select day.

I liked it. It showed that he really wanted this to happen.

He offered to drive over an hour to see me. Over an hour to go on one little dinner date.

The last guy I dated would have never driven anywhere had I not asked him to.

He showed up wearing a suit jacket, tie, skinny black pants and vans.

I, as the girl, felt completely under-dressed in my sweater from Forever 21 and riding boots.

He picked me up and drove to the restaurant I selected.

We chatted about what he wants to do with his life and where I’ve been with mine.

He paid.

We went for drinks afterward.

I was worried that I was wrong about his age, but he was able to get into the bar.

He found me a stool to sit on.

He got my Yuengling.

My friend was at the bar.

They chatted.

He got her a stool as well.

It was nice.

We got along.

He asked questions.

He seemed genuinely interested.

As he drove me back home, I knew I wasn’t going to kiss him.

Not a single, solitary bone in my body felt like that would be the right thing to do.

He made no move to. He was fine with a hug.

He texted when he got home.

He was nice and sweet and genuine. He was nervous and awkward. He lacked the contamination and general aura of asshole that so many guys my age, and older, have. Everything seems new and exciting to him. It’s refreshing.

I wish I could keep him around for that refreshment alone. But, alas, life is complicated and I’m no spring chicken. I’ve been hurt and I don’t want to hurt him. So if he asks me out again, what’s the best way to go about saying that I don’t feel romantically towards him? Because, I don’t. At all.

I’ve done it wrong in the past and I don’t want to do it again.

Dear me

Dear Amanda circa 2006,

You’re fragile. So fragile that it hurts me to even write this. You’re timid and scared and because of this you close yourself off to possibilities. You’re still terrified of the unknown. You’re hiding a passion for life deep inside of your soul, and it has yet to come out.

It will soon. And when it does, you’ll be amazed at what you do.

You worry about feeling. Or lack thereof. You worry because you’ve never felt strongly enough about anyone to be truly hurt. Your fear hasn’t let you get that far.

Be strong. Have faith. Things will change soon.

Soon, your life will take a new path because you will slowly start to realize that you don’t belong on the road you’re on.

Soon, you will begin to lead a healthier life.

Soon, much sooner than you realize, you will meet an amazing man who will break down your walls and make you feel. Just feel.

He will also be the first man to ever truly make you cry. Buckets. Rivers. You think that it’ll never stop. It will.

You’ll cry, but you’ll be stronger. I can tell you this now because I’ve lived through it. You’ve lived through it. At the time you will believe that it will never get better. That you will always hurt. That your wound will never heal and your heart will never mend. That you’ll never ever be able to love again.

Time, my sweet, dear child, really will prove to heal your wound. And break it open again, I’m afraid. But it’ll all be worth it. Someday.

Time will also prove to bring you amazing opportunities. You’ll take a risk starting school again. You’ll throw away a career that is making you a fabulous amount of money and trade it in to sit in a classroom. Half of the time you’ll want to scream at the top of your lungs. You don’t get much sleep. You live off of caffeine.

You’ll get through that too. And you’ll emerge wiser and more driven than you ever could have believed you would be. You’ll want to quit a hundred times before it’s over, but you won’t. You’ll stick it out and be brilliant. You’ll shine.

Friends will come and a few may go. I think you already know who the ones that will go are. And because of this, it won’t really hurt as much. You’ll become closer with a few people in your life and you’ll meet some wonderful new people that will bring such an abundance of knowledge and life experience to the table that you’ll be so thankful to have met them.

You’ll go on adventures. You’ll be crazy and daring. You’ll swim in beautiful oceans and eat delicious meals in breathtaking locations. Buy a nice camera. Take lots of pictures. You’ll want these memories forever.

I want you to remember something. Take these words and put them in your back pocket. Even forget about them for awhile. When you need to remember them, they will be there. I want you to remember that you’re not as frail as you think. You’re much tougher than you give yourself credit for. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you’re not worth it. Don’t ever hold back with what you feel you need to say. Because life is way too short and people can be cruel without realizing it. If someone’s hurt you, let them know. Don’t pretend it doesn’t sting. Your feelings are real and important and true. Feel them. Express them. Live them.

Live.

You’re too young and vibrant not to.

XX

A

The great “move out” debate

“I need to move out so I can date,” my friend L said.

We were standing at a table, in a small, dimly lit pub in Dublin. This was two and a half years ago, but I remember the conversation like it was yesterday.

My friend A and I tried to intently listen to her over the music session going on in the corner. We strained to hear as she explained herself. We weren’t exactly convinced of her reasoning. Why was it so hard for her to talk to her parents about who she was dating? Why did she have to sneak around? Why did she feel like she had to move out to find her mate?

I didn’t completely understand it then, as she tried to sell us her point, but I get it now. Totally. As much as I love my parents and try to be honest, it’s so hard to date while living with them. It’s difficult telling them I won’t be sleeping at home, or even just telling them I’m going on a date in the first place. I think that it’s a main factor in why I’m so nervous dating to begin with. When my mother knows I’m with a guy, she starts calling my phone at midnight and won’t stop until I set foot back home. On the other hand, if she knows I’m on a date and I come home too early, she feels bad for me. She’s a great person, she just worries so much that it’s making me start to resent her.

Take this scenario, if you will (and I wasn’t even on a date!!)

I was out for the night with some friends and was just dropping the last person off at home (around 3:00am) when my mother began to call me. I was literally 15 minutes from home and decided to just drive and not return her call. I would be home so quickly, there was no need to risk getting caught driving and talking on the phone. When I pulled up into our driveway, I saw my mother walking around aimlessly. The scene was so humorous to me that I couldn’t even yell.

I got out of my car, looked at her, and burst out laughing.

“Mom!”

She looked like a lost puppy dog. She held her bathrobe around her as her fuzzy slippers shuffled on the ground.

I thought back to that moment in the pub years before and had an epiphany.

I need to move out.

I love my parents, I do. They’re great and amazing and would do anything for me. But I now know why I go so crazy when I go away on vacations.

It’s because, for that tiny moment, I’m finally free. I finally don’t have to answer to anyone.

So here’s the proposition I pose to myself.

Self, by October of 2011, by your 27th birthday, you will have a job. You will be able to move out of your parent’s house.  You will be able to pay your car bill, health insurance, apartment and utilities without throwing a tantrum. You will be able to go out with anyone you want at any time you want without having to let anyone know. You will be able to have sleepovers with the opposite sex without feeling like your parents are looking down on you. You will host dinner parties for friends.

Self, you will be free.

Until Sundays, which is when you will bring your laundry over to your mothers and sweetly smile as you ask her to wash your darks.

Buon compleanno

When I was about 6 years old, my great grandmother passed away. My grandmother, who had devoted her time to taking care of her, decided to sell her house in a city in New Jersey that was, at one time, overly-populated with Italian immigrants. The faces in her neighborhood were changing. Things were different. And my grandmother, who still to this day refuses to learn how to use a microwave, is not one for change. She moved in with my parents and I when she sold her house, and our relationship inevitably changed.

She is a stubborn woman. Having friends over when I was younger was a struggle as she constantly yelled. She hated people touching my things. She hated loud kids. And she did not hide this fact at all. We are way more similar than we are different, so our screaming matches were fierce and filled with tears.

But, at the core, we loved each other. She would sneak me cookies when my mother wasn’t looking. She’d make zeppoles with me during my phase of incredibly unhealthy eating. She’d give me money to shop down on the main avenue. These are things that grandparents do, and she did them well.

I was 15 when she moved to a senior citizen apartment building in town. Our relationship got much better when we weren’t in each others hair 24/7. I would go there everyday after school to pick up a snack before going to work. She looked forward to it. As I look back on it now, I realize that it gave her something to look forward to. Something to live for.

My grandmother has been through a lot health-wise over the past 8 years. Between bouts with cancer, heart trouble, and broken hips, she was soon unable to care for herself on her own. There were lots of family talks and tears this past summer when it was decided that she would have to move into a long-term care facility. It was quite possibly one of the hardest decisions my family has ever had to make, but it was necessary. And, truth be told, she is actually happy there. She loves her aids and nurses. Family members visit her everyday. And we know that she’s safe. It’s not that bad a deal.

Yesterday was her birthday.

She is 90 years old.

I’d give anything to see her live another 90 years.

She’s truly one of the strongest people I’ve ever met in my life.

So, here’s to the woman whose life I made a living hell for 9 years. To the woman who has overcome so much in her lifetime. To the woman who makes the best damn potato and rice balls I’ve ever had. To the woman I slowly see more and more of in my own self . . . buon compleanno, nonna. I love you.

 

The secret to meeting men

Ladies, if you’re single and looking to meet some men, I know a secret. I will share this with you now.

Ski resorts.

Please girls, do not hesitate to go along with your friends on that ski trip they’re asking you to join them on. Even if you don’t ski/board/like snow/tolerate cold, I beg of you, for the love of God, go. You will not regret it. And you will thank me when you score a date out of your trip to the mountains.

When I went away last week, I knew full well that I could not snowboard. My right wrist is broken. My left wrist was sprained. I’m a walking disaster. I couldn’t take a risk. But I wasn’t going to sit home and be the reason why my friends wouldn’t be able to go on the trip. The room would only be affordable if I could go. So I put on a happy face even though my jealousy of people on the slopes was intense. I spent my days working out, sitting by the fire, doing work on my laptop, going in the hot tub, watching snow fall, taking jacuzzi baths, having delicious sex. I really can not complain.

On the last day of our trip my friends and I met two boys at the local dive bar. The same bar that I met Irishman at a few nights prior. I thought these boys were cool but extremely young. Like, five years younger, young. Like, barely legally drinking age, young. But, I chatted, because what’s the harm in making new friends? I love meeting new people that I may not normally have the opportunity to meet. Out of the two boys, I found myself talking to the taller, more bean-poley of the two, T, whose pants were significantly tighter than mine. Who was a good six or seven inches taller than me (and probably still weighs less than me). Who probably straightens his hair. Whose tattoos were stereotypically Brooklyn hipster. Who I actually enjoyed speaking with about music and concerts and life.

I think he wanted to kiss me as we huddled under my jacket for warmth at the end of the night.

I felt no real desire to kiss him.

But I have to admit that he is, hands down, one of the coolest kids I’ve met in awhile.

He texted me a picture of a concert he was at a few days ago, with a witty comment in the body of the message.

I smiled.

He said he wanted to take me out and that he’d call me during the week if that was OK. I didn’t have any good reason to say no, so I didn’t really say anything except “You’ve got my number.”

Tonight, as I was on the way to dinner for a friend’s birthday, my phone rang.

Not a text message.

A ring.

An actual phone call.

He told me he’d come up by me next weekend. Take me to dinner. He lives an hour away. I appreciated him so much that I didnt have the heart to say no. He’s the first guy in awhile who has stepped up and called me on the phone and asked me on a proper date. The only time my last boyfriend called me was to ask me to pick him up food on my way over or to ask what I wanted to eat (as I was on my way over). So what if he’s years younger and is still in college? I’m not exactly the most mature girl on the block.

And, really, what’s the harm in one little dinner?

So, readers, here’s the bottom line. On this three-day trip to the mountains, I had some amazing sex with a cute foreigner and now have him on my speed dial if I’m ever in the mood for some fun, chatted it up with several nice guys, and was able to score a date with a skiing, surfing, skateboarding, plaid shirt wearing, tall, skinny, emo boy (who, despite not being my “type,” I’m looking forward to hanging out with).

I didn’t believe it when my friends told me at first, but ski towns, my friends, are really a single girl’s wet dream.

Anyone want to plan a weekend getaway?

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