Who Am I? Why Am I here?

A friend sent me a copy of Steve Harvey’s book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man in hopes that it might help my pursuit here.  Yes, that Steve Harvey.  It’s honestly a fairly decent book, so far. I find the concept interesting.  Harvey’s going to tell all the ladies what motivates men in relationships.  It’s like having the other team’s playbook.  How could this possibly go wrong?

The first chapter seeks to explain the one true thing that motivates all men in every aspect of their life–identity.  Harvey says men want to know Who They Are, What Their Title is, and How Much Money They Make.  And until they know these three things, they’ll never be able to focus on a female or a relationship.

I was about to roll my eyes at this entire chapter before I took a look at Facebook and scanned through some of the weddings I had attended this year, and looked to see what each groom had in common.  Almost every single one of them had either taken on a new position or graduated from a degree program a few months prior to either the engagement or the actual wedding. Even the 19 year olds who are marrying this weekend (yeah, it freaks me out, too) had a defining moment of graduation from basic training and recently got placed in a job.  These men all have figured out what they’re doing and who they are, I suppose.

And then I looked at every Facebook relationship I knew that had stalled, or couples that have dated long term and haven’t made a formal commitment, and saw that most of these are filled with men who haven’t progressed into a career, or are maybe still pursuing a degree as the moment.  And maybe it just makes sense to wait until you’re done with school or have a better job, because financially it’s a more sound move…but maybe it really does have something to do with the ego, with the amount of attention that can be devoted, with a sense of security and stability, or maybe all three.

I’ve often said I don’t want to date someone that is still in school again, mostly because I really want someone who works a normal schedule.  But honestly, I kind of want them to have already worked through the “who am I? what do I do on this earth?” thing.  I don’t demand that they have a permanent career, or make a ton of money, or anything specific.  I kind of just want them to have a better sense of who they are, if that makes sense.  I’m not saying Steve Harvey is entirely right, I’m just saying as ridiculous as it sounded…..it kind of  makes sense on paper.

That’s all I’ve got today. I am tired and in a cranky mood.  Sorry, folks.


Q and A Tuesday

Asked via formspring

so where did you go to college?

I went to the University of Tennessee (Go Vols!) I love all things orange and football, as well as the academic prowess I developed while I was there.  It is a fine school with great people.  I will always look back on my time as an undergraduate with fond memories. It is intrinsically part of who I am—my major, my hobbies, my pride. 

Would you ever date a Florida fan?

Would I date a Florida fan? My initial reaction was “WHY?!” and then I calmed myself down.  And I thought “No, really, WHY?!”

But I’m just kidding. As big as the rivalry is and as bloody as it might turn every September, I would look at a Florida fan as having something bigger in common with me—college football.  I spend so much of my time, traveling, watching the game, tailgating, researching, and daydreaming about college football, at the very least the guy would understand the passion.  And who says the rivalry wouldn’t spice things up.  I love a good debate, light hearted ribbing, and rivalry. A family member of mine actually married a Florida fan, and it’s been fun to watch them go to games wearing UT and UF colors, have pictures made ,and finally once they were married, the game is always the deciding factor in which flag goes on top of the pole, a gator or Smokey!  I could live like that, I think.  And furthermore it’s all in the SEC family, right?

But beyond the obvious cuteness of this question, I must say that I thought for a long time on the serious side of this question.  It goes beyond football, and gets right down to the heart of what I’ve been discussing here for a week.  Can I overlook the small difference I may have with a partner to see the bigger picture?  I hope the answer is “yes”.  I hope that when the difference is something more significant than college football allegiance that I can see the beauty in the difference.  I hope that I keep my wits about me enough to realize that everybody who brings something different to the table has something valuable to offer.  I hope that I realize that small differences don’t have to be a deal breaker for me. 

I guess the bottom line is I think I could date a Florida fan.  What a thought provoking discovery. 

Now, nobody said anything about an Alabama fan. That, friends, is an entirely different case! I kid, I kid! I think…

How do you turn down a man who refuses to accept that you don’t want to date him?

Interesting question.  I can tell you I don’t have much experience in this area because I’ve dated relatively few people, but I will give this answer my best shot.

I think if I were pursuing someone and they just weren’t into me, I’d want honest.  And for me, honesty means being upfront with the person and not avoiding them.  What’s the point in leaving a person hanging if you don’t want to date them? So you’ve got to figure this out ASAP and then tell me.  It’s as simple as saying “I just don’t think I’m feeling it”. 

But then comes the hard part. The person may not accept that you don’t want to see them. They may call or text again.  Or if you’re friends, they may keep hanging around . It’s important if you’re not interested in someone that you stick to it—even if that means you temporarily lose a friend. Imagine if you were in a position and someone you were interested in said “no thanks” but kept hanging out with you right after that.  It would suck having to see them and how awesome they are, wouldn’t it?  So scram for awhile.  Sucks, but it’s being fair if you ask me.

Thanks for reading and check back for more formspring.me answers!  Ask your own questions at formspring.me/theblondexoxo

Double kisses

xoxo The Blonde

Flirt and Wolf

I am flirtatious.  At least, until this weekend I thought I was. This weekend my mother reluctantly went to a high school reunion.  Of course, as one could have predicted, she had an insanely fun time catching up with her classmates and recounting stories to her husband.  I highly doubt that I would be as willing to go or apt to have fun at a high school reunion, but then again I haven’t been out long enough to miss anyone.  If I got curious, I’d just check my Facebook timeline and see all their grammatically poor updates.  Sorry, I digress.

The real root of this post is to discuss the fact that not only was my mother a beauty queen (Miss East Tennessee, Queen of Summer, Queen of Hearts..) and varsity cheerleader, but she was also voted the female half of the Senior Superlative “Flirt and Wolf”.  Though I am not certain of the definition of the term “Flirt and Wolf”, I take it to mean the most flirtatious and date-able male and female student.  I’m not surprised, honestly, just frustrated.

I probably don’t have to tell you this, but I wasn’t a beauty queen or cheerleader or voted most flirtatious. I was other things, and it’s things that both my mother and I am proud of, but it wasn’t based on my ability to win people over.  I was the valedictorian.  I had a full-time job in high school.  I had a serious boyfriend for most of my teens and early twenties.  But clearly as an adult, it’s made it painfully obvious that I’m a complete and total buffoon when it comes to meeting people.

Clearly the ability to interact and socialize with the opposite sex skipped a generation.  Or, more accurately, I was too shy and bitter at a younger age to take advantage of the intensely awesome person I could have been.  Like I said, when I find someone I enjoy, flirtation comes naturally.  However, I am just so out of tune with dating and relating that it’s hard for me to pinpoint an interest to begin with.

Somehow, I just didn’t get the information from my mother that made me insanely interested in boys and their company until I was in my late teens.  I think my mother shielded me from being interested in the pursuit of men and other aesthetics for a good reason—the same reason I shut myself off and shielded myself from the attention, in fact.  I developed early…too early . I was curvy and busty in second grade.  Though boys will notice this, and it’s something I’m proud of now, at the age of 7 or so, boys (and girls) can be so cruel.  I remember so specifically feeling uncomfortable with my curves and hiding under sweatshirts, sports bras, and by generally burying my noses in books and sports . I was a huge tomboy growing up, and I think it was mostly because I was shying away from the unwarranted attention.  My mother was all the more happy to go along with my tomboy persona because it really saved her a lot of headache! I don’t blame her at all—it’s easier to parent a girl who has little interest in boys.

But because I hid myself away and my mother was content with this, I never really got interested in typically girly things until much, much later. So my high school career is decidedly absent of dating, flirting, and fun—save the memories with The Boyfriend.  I feel behind in so many ways.

In some ways I’m thankful my mother didn’t teach me to rely on the superficial.  I was never entered in a beauty pageant as a child because I wasn’t interested—at all.  I remember being asked, in fact, and tearfully making my mother promise she’d never make me doing something like that—at the age of three. I had hobbies and interests. I was a reader, heavily dedicated to school work, and it paid off. In other ways, though, I wish I had that social experience at a younger age.  I wish I had flirted, dated around, and had fun.  I wish I was more certain in my ability to meet men, that I knew how to show my interest. I’m not a total failure when it comes to these things, but I’m wishing I had tapped the resource a little more. I am the daughter of the class of 19*cough*’s most flirtatious.  I should have more experience than I do.

All that’s left to do, I suppose, is channel some of my mother’s awesomeness and meet new people and become the Flirt and Wolf I am genetically cut out to be.  I promise this week, dear readers, I am going to start the actual quest to meet men in various locations.  Stay tuned.

general announcement

just a programming note…

I’ll be answering the formspring questions on Tuesdays now in one post, so they’ll be all in one neat spot.  Sorry, I’m semi-OCD like that.

I’ll still be posting various other things on Mondays and Wednesdays, as well as Freedom Fridays.  Tuesdays will just be Q&A day now.

If you have anything to ask me, head on over to my formspring.  I am TheBlondexoxo there.  Ask me anything and look for the answer on Tuesdays….maybe you wanna know if I’m really blonde..maybe you wanna know if I’m marriage minded.  Maybe you just want to know if I take my sliderule on dates.  There’s only one way to find out.

TBLTB Presents: Freedom Friday

A recurring series that I’ve been concentrating on here is a little ditty I call “Freedom Fridays” wherein I detail for you all the awesome things I’ve discovered in the new-found freedom.  I think it’s important to remind myself how truly awesome it can be to be single and free.  And I’m willing to let you have a glimpse of it too!

Today I think I’m going to take a moment to reflect on the relationship I’ve been able to build with my family in the two years I’ve been single.  My family has always been particularly close, even my extended family.  I’ve had the fortune to be close to aunts, uncles, and cousins growing up.  I am an only child, so I consider my cousins the closest thing to a sibling I will ever have.  Growing up we spent holidays together, traveled on small vacations sometimes.

Sometimes an immature love is so unwilling to spend time apart you forget what you used to love doing.  And that’s exactly what happened to me.  I forgot that I loved hanging out with my family, so as invitations to travel and visit came in, I was less likely to accept them.  It was important to me to be with The Boyfriend, not spend a week at the beach with my cousin, or zoom off to Atlanta for a ballgame.  A couple of times I took The Boyfriend to visit, of course, but it was not often enough and it was never spur of the moment.  It’s a lot to impose yourself on an entire family with a significant other (who isn’t your husband!).  And most of the time the invitations weren’t offering to pay for me AND whoever I wanted to bring along, which is totally understandable. To be honest, sometimes I didn’t like having The Boyfriend around my family because he could be so alienating and gruff. True, I loved him, and his gruffness was all a joke, but explain that to someone who met him only at holidays!  And furthermore, when you live with someone, your family assumes quite correctly that you have your own issues to indulge.  There are bills to pay, rooms to clean, and real life to attend to. So I felt like I was close to my family, but we didn’t spend much quality together, and I can name at least one vacation I declined to stay behind with The Boyfriend. I wasn’t in tune with what my family needed from me.  And they do need things.  My cousins need someone to listen to them, someone to have fun with them.  My aunts and uncles need companionship, quality time.  And my mother….oh, my mother.  My mother needs me, too.  I am an only child.  My mother needs my attention, my affection, and to feel that bond.  But it’s beyond the fact that these people need me–I need ALL these things from them, too!

The great part about being free is that my family wants to see me.  I’m the person they want to be around again–finally! If there is one thing to know about the Free Me, it’s that I am free-spirited and absolutely down to have a great time.  I am no longer angry for no reason, burdened by stress, or in a general sour mood that you would’ve found me in previously. My cousins, especially my female cousins younger than I, are glad to have that back. I was able to help a cousin move into her first dorm room, and help her adjust to college life.  As a thank you, she took me to Orlando with her for a week to play on the beach, visit the Space Center (I saw a shuttle landing!), and play at Disney. I’ve been to Las Vegas twice this year with my older, wiser cousin who loves to have fun. In fact, he just invited me on a cruise next month.  I’ve visited his house for a baseball game, too.  My uncle and I were able to take some trips to football games, just the two of us.  I had been to many games with him before, but never had we traveled alone. Definitely memories that will last.  My mother has come to stay with me in town a few times and I’ve taken her to my favorite places to eat and socialize.

Every familial tie I have has been reinvigorated because *I* have been reinvented and it’s someone my family likes to spend time with.  I am so blessed to have them.  They pulled me through a rough patch, and have rewarded me much more than I deserve.  Even if we hadn’t taken trips, the fact that I am available and plugged in to their lives means so much to me.  I am able to concentrate on them and working on our relationships because I’m not worrying about the day-to-day drama in my crumbling and stifled relationships.

Of course, it’s nice that I am single and can have this bond with my family.  But the best part about being single and reconnecting is that I’ve realized that I want these people in my life–even if I have a boyfriend, husband, whatever.  I don’t want another relationship to cause me to pull away from my family. I did it to myself, and I don’t want to do that again.  I promise here and now to never ever forget how great my family is and how important it is to listen to their needs.

Can you post a picture of yourself?

I have though about this. I’d like to retain some of my sense of anonymity as well as protect the identity and pride of those I choose to write about. Part of my honesty here comes from the freedom that no currents, exes, or friends’ identities can be exposed. They certainly didn’t choose to have their business plastered on a blog. So nicknames, vague references, and small cartoons that look eerily similar to me is all you’ll have to go with….for now.

I’m not saying I’ll never do it, I’m just saying not now.

Ask me anything

Would you date a shorter man?

I get asked this question a lot, mostly by guys. The answer is yes. The Friend I talk about is about 3 inches shorter than I am (at 5’6"). The last person I went on a date with was about the same height. I am certainly not concerned with height, but I find it SUCH a turn off and frustration when it’s a big deal to the person I am dating. The last date that I blogged about made a HUGE deal about it to the point that I started to question it too!
Guys, TRUST ME when I say this….if you don’t point it out, most girls won’t notice!

Ask me anything