At Least I’ve Learned A Few Things

The Breakup Chronicles: Part 2

First off, y’all are wonderful.  Thank you for your outpouring of support.  Sometimes we write just needing to get it out, and forget that people will have things to say.  And what you did say to me meant more to me than I can express.  You didn’t have to take the time to say a word, but you did, and it helped me a lot.  Never double that your kind words in a tough time are doing so much for someone.

Things are still uncertain and who likes uncertainty?  Not this girl.  I had grand plans to talk to Francois about it – a little check in, if you will – but when we last chatted I was tired and worried that I wouldn’t be quite eloquent enough.  So here we are.  Breakup week the second, confusion week the second.

I’m determined not to text him (or, you know, at least until Saturday).  Do you know how hard it is not to text?  It’s like when you’ve had a drink or two, and you know you really shouldn’t drunk text but you do because it’s so fun!  You’re so funny!  People must love you!  And then in the midst of that fun, when you’re trying to tell Grace one thing, you get drunk digits and instead ask her to milk you.  You know. Awkward times. (For the record, I don’t remember what I meant to tell her, but it was most certainly not for her to milk me.)    Right. Where were we?  Oh yes… I’ve been getting mixed signals out the wazoo which feels great because it feeds that little bit of hope I have, but it’s crappy because it keeps him in my thoughts.  And at the back of my mind I know that 99% of the time this sort of thing isn’t going to work out but those mixed signals are very powerful.  You tell yourself that you might be the situation that works.  It could be you!  Which is all to say, if you see me with a cell in my hand this week, you have permission to yell, “KATE, STEP AWAY FROM THE PHONE.”

Here we are.  Day 9.   Here is what I’ve learned thus far:

When your bestie offers to drive in to see you?  Take her up on it.  Best friend therapy often can’t be topped and you’ll kick yourself for missing that needed time with her.  True, you will probably talk her ears off but she’s a doctor and can sew them back on.

Hang out with people, no matter how much you want to wallow or stay glued to Facebook checking for signs of activity.  (It’s unseemly the amount of time I’ve spent checking to see if he’s been active.  Someone save me.)  It’s very possible Francois will pull himself out of my life for good, but my friends aren’t leaving me anytime soon.  In times like these they are especially supportive and say the kind of thoughtful things that make you cry not because of sadness, but because you’re not sure how you got lucky enough to have them in your life.

Wine is delicious.

Pathetic walks by the lake aside, exercise is healthy.  Go on an extra long run but this time focus on overtaking the guy in front of you rather than checking the parking lots for signs of Francois.  Admire the runner’s calves as you approach.  Race past him.  Feel victorious when you leave him in the dust.  Round the corner so he can’t see you.  Walk.

Hug your cats.  I’m still missing the lazy mornings in bed with Francois but little furry gatos can be pretty comforting.  I will be not ashamed of my cat lady status.

Listen to your mother:

I hope for Francois’ sake he realizes he’s being a dick.  Because he is not going to find another Kate Hepburn.  Sometimes guys need a hammer to the head.  Just a little tap.

and later…

If things don’t work out, since you keep finding better and better guys, I think you should set your cap for…Prince Harry? Why not?

Also, two solid hours of dancing around in one’s underwear and lip syncing to Bruno Mars and Carole King is recommended.  Not that I have experience with such a thing.

-Kate

The Stages of a Breakup

The Breakup Chronicles: Part 1

Spinster friends, I was in relationship bliss over the past several months.  We’ll call him Francois the Dapper because he really is dapper and he’s kind and interesting and smart and funny and pretty damn attractive.  So you can imagine my…

1.  Shock

…when he texted me the other night and asked to come over.  I knew something was up, as he never asked to come over before (we’re, after all, of the generation where nobody can seem to make a decision: “What are you up to?”  “Nothing much.  You?”  “Nothing much.”  “Wanna do something?”  “Yah, what were you thinking?”  “Not really sure.  You?”  “I don’t care.”).  He walked through the door, stopped me when I tried to kiss him, and my heart plummeted.  A chill of dread spread through me, I felt hot, and all I could do was look at the floor, avoiding eye contact as I stated to myself over and over, “I will not cry, I will not cry!”  I’ll spare you the upsetting details but suffice it to say it involved a past relationship, lingering baggage, and confusion over his feelings.  My heart was wrenched apart, but I quite calmly offered my support and understanding.  I also offered him a piece of cake.  Then that night that I poured my feelings onto 4 single-spaced pages of nearly 2,000 words.  Y’all, I could not stop the words or the feelings.  I knew I was in…

2.  Mourning

There weren’t enough tea bags in the world to shrink the bags under my eyes.  You know the feeling; it’s where the tears roll down your cheeks in fat drops and you’re just not sure they’re going to stop this time.  It – I – was just so sad.  I re-lived every good time, every future plan.  I tried outlining the bad times I could think of, hoping they’d make me feel better, but they were only a reminder of how well I felt we worked through our problems.  I texted Francois, and asked to meet him again.  He agreed.  It gave me…

3.  Hope

Not only did we chat, but we got pastries.  I poured out my feelings.  I told him all my fears about the situation and my hopes.  He listened, he told me he had a lot to think about, and then he asked me if I wanted to hang out.  Can you blame me for saying yes?  And it was pretty nearly great, save for that two hours of a movie we spent without holding hands for the first time since I’d known him.  We parted ways in the evening and I sobbed my feelings to Grace and to my mother, but I maintained the day meant something.  He was thinking about it.  The next day I contemplated all the possibilities.  Things were looking up so I took a walk around the lake which only served to send me to a whole new level of…

4. Patheticism

Shut up.  That’s a word.  And that walk?  It was to take advantage of the sunshine and the beautiful weather!  To clear my mind and increase my endorphins!  To watch the sunset!  Or so I fooled myself to think.  I looked in every parking lot for his car, hoping that the distant runner was him coming toward me.  By the end of the walk, I was dragging my sobbing, puddly mess into the car, dialing Grace and asking her to tell me that I wasn’t the most pathetic person that ever lived.  She’s a good friend, she told me I was normal.  And then later that night, Francois called me.  We talked for 30 minutes and my hope was renewed.  And it was then that I began seeking …

5. Validation

…from nearly anyone who would listen.  Grace and my mother?  Check, check.  My coworkers?  Check.  The mailman? Check.  It was really important to talk it out.  Really damn important to tell my side of things and have others tell me that my feelings were reasonable.  I need them to confirm my interpretation of how he should feel and how it made sense.

6.  Obsession

There was also a really low moment in there.  Like, really, freakin’, low.  As in, I figured out the mysterious her.  And when I say “figured out” I mean I went through every length of internet stalking I could think of.  I’m so good at it, people should pay me.  We went to the same college.  We share a couple of friends.  She’s funny.  She works in advertising and marketing.  She’s a runner.  She has a gummy smile.  The list…it goes on.  You can bet I revisited the same pages over and over and over again, obsessing about why she should have left such an impression on this guy that I cared about, why their old relationship was ruining mine.

6. Anger at Him

This came on just a fast as it ended.  I think the outrage of my friends seeped into my own mind and I was so angry that he would contemplate giving up on us and giving in to something that wasn’t ever going to be.  There isn’t doubt that I won’t feel anger again, but it was short lived because I soon directed all my…

7. Anger at Her

Sure, this might not be the most logical thing, but I go back to what Francois told me about the relationship and it makes me steaming mad.  They were that on-again-off-again couple, and based on what very little I know (read: I’m a writer and I’ve crafted an entire relationship story from a few limited comments), I’ve concluded she was a terrible, no-good person who didn’t deserve Francois.  That’s a little harsh.  But you know, people you care about deserve better.  Also: sometimes I’m petty and I act like a 12-year-old.

8. Confusion

Rehashing every look, action, and word of this breakup sent me into confusion in the end.  Francois never called it a breakup, he just said he had to think about things.  I gave him so many easy outs in our conversations, and he never took them.  I even asked that whatever the answer was, that I just got a clearly defined one.  None of this casual conversation that fades into nothing because he’s trying to spare my feelings.  Please not that.  He agreed.

So here we are.  The stages aren’t complete. I don’t doubt that most people feel they can see this for what it is, but I’m still confused and waiting.  There’s also the responsibility that one needs to place on Francois, lest you think I’m ignoring that. But I gave myself permission to stop feeling embarrassed about my feelings – my hope – and I’m just riding the emotions for now, rather than forcing myself out of them.  It was a debate to share this with you, Spinster friends.  There’s always that fear of looking ridiculous, but I can’t be the only one who has experienced all of the above, and sometimes it’s good to put it out there because someone else might read it and have that sigh of relief that their own similar situation is… normal.

Pick-Up A Date, Darling: Say Hello & Get Seriously Friendly!

hello2 004Hello, dearest readers!

Autumn is our favorite season, here at Spinsters. There’s a nip in the air, there are adorable sweaters in every store, and everything smells like cinnamon. There is no season more romantic than fall! Which is why, of course, it can also be a harrowing season for singles. Who will you take to your office Thanksgiving potluck or on an apple-picking adventure in the country? Not that we have apple-picking adventures in Texas, but I’m sure that’s what romantic dates are like in the North. Do not burst my bubble, kittens!

So, anyway. Apples. Romance. Canoodling. FALL HAS ALL THE GOOD THINGS! All you need is someone to share them with, like—just off the top of my head—that foxy librarian at your local branch, who you can’t stop gazing upon. You know the one, darling: brunette, sweater vests, deep piercing green eyes behind horn-rimmed glasses. This is the year for your literary love affair, I can feel it. But how exactly do you begin the romance?

Say hello! 

Does that sound too simple? In love, simple is always best. It can be totally paralyzing to take that first step though, so we’ve thought up our favorite suggestions for kicking off your Autumn of Adoration. (Yeah, that’s what I’m calling it now. You’ll thank me later.)

  1. Compliment Away: If you’re having a hard time striking up a conversation with your future beloved, keep it positive. Pick out something personal about him or her—obscure band t-shirt, Alice in Wonderland tattoo, funky hand-knitted scarf—and let your intended know how much you like it. People usually respond well to being complimented, especially if it’s on something they love or put a lot of thought into. It shows that you notice them!
  2. Ask How Her/His Weekend Went: Unfortunately, if your love interest du jour is a librarian, there may not be much to notice. Librarian, lovely though they are, can be so buttoned up! In that case, a simple “Did you have a nice weekend?” will do. Intsant conversation starter! Of course, make sure you’re not in a no talking zone, liebling.
  3. Bring An Apple Pie: Your words have failed you, coming out high and jumbled. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Instead, have you thought about professing your interest through baked goods? Bring an apple pie for the office or cupcakes for your favorite librarians, as a thank you! People will be impressed with your kitchen skills and seek you out to say so. Sometimes, it’s easier to be on the receiving end of those compliments.

set1Our final tip, one truly simple in its sincerity, is just this: Smile! A gorgeous smile says so much that words are barely needed. Flash a grin, say a quiet hello, and let your pretty pearly whites do the work! In that vein, today’s sponsor, Hello Oral Care Products, is here to help. We’ve partnered up with Hello to help you get seriously friendly this autumn.

With delicious flavors—Sweet Cinnamint is my personal favorite—Hello mouthwash, Hello toothpaste, and Hello breath spray are the ideal accessories for your date night routine. No one wants to be stuck saying goodnight with onion breath! Luckily, no kiss need be avoided. Hello breath spray is pocket-or-purse friendly and beyond adorable.  You don’t have to be embarrassed to freshen up in public. Oral hygiene for the win!

Even better, all of Hello’s seriously friendly products are made right here in the USA and never, not ever, tested on animals. Their products are not only naturally friendly but alcohol-free, so that Hello mouthwash is easy on your delicate palate. They look great on your counter—with streamlined, user-friendly packaging designed by BMW DesignworkdUSA—but make both your mouth and your conscience feel great. You can find Hello at your local Walgreens, Duane Reade, Target, CVS, and other awesome oral care retailers!

Especially for friends of Spinsters, Hello has also graciously sponsored a giveaway of some of their fabulous products! I’ve been using their stuff all week and can’t say enough good things about it. You will love it and I’m thrilled to give some of these fabulous products away to a lucky reader!

Hello! 009

One lucky winner will win a Hello sunshine toothbrush, Hello mouthwash in Mojito Mint, and two Hello breathsprays, one in Supermint and one in Pink Grapefruit Mint! Woohoo!

How to enter the Hello Products giveaway: 

  • For +1 entry Answer The Following Question: What’s your favorite pickup line?
  • For +2 entries Like Hello on Facebook (http://facebook.com/helloproducts)
  • For +3 entries Tweet About Giveaway with the following message: Date prep is easy with @helloproducts. Enter to win flirty & friendly oral care from (Insert Your Twitter Handle Here) & #SayHello

For each way you enter, leave a comment on this post! On Friday, I’ll draw the winner and send you your lovely oral care goodies!

Just to get you started, I’ll share my favorite pick-up line: “If you were a Dementor, I’d become a criminal just to get your kiss.” Literary pick-up lines are my jam! What’s your favorite?

*This post has been sponsored by the fabulous Hello Products*

Maybe He Has Malaria & Other Wisdom

little-red-flying-fox-hanging-out-serena-bowlesEveryone has a favorite party question. Who would you invite, living or dead, to a dinner party? David Sedaris, Cary Grant, and a recently bathed Queen Elizabeth I. What is your spirit animal? A Little Red Flying Fox bat, of course. What book would you smite from existence with a giant, fiery death ray? That’s my preferred party question, because there is only one answer. If you’re in possession of a literary fire ray, standard protocol calls for the destruction of He’s Just Not That Into You. Every misinformed, patronizing copy of it shall burn and we will dance joyfully in the ashes.

Fuck that book. Fuck all the articles claiming it might actually have value—I’m looking at you, Buzzfeed’s 65 Books You Need to Read In Your 20’s—instead of throwing it into the bonfire where it belongs. Now, I’m not a fan of censoring and I’m certainly not a fan of book burning. I just want this idiotic advice to die already. There is no romantic manual in existence, including the one that gendered the planets, doing more damage. Friends of mine, successful, lovely women with lots of sense, call it their bible.

2c85e416cee5e4f7ee3aed0df03e0ec1Here’s what I call it: bullshit. He’s Just Not That Into You has made a business out of tormenting innocent twenty-somethings. It gives us rules to date by, blithely handing out snippets of romantic fortune-telling to total strangers. If a guy doesn’t call you on Wednesday for a weekend date? He’s just not that into you. If a guy only texts you, instead of calling? He’s just not that into you. If you went home with a guy from the bar, he’s—wait for it!—just not that into you.

People aren’t that simple. I will go to my grave defending the complexity of mankind, friends. This book dishes out advice based on tired dating stereotypes: women are needy and guys must be tamed. This is dumb.

Wait, no!

This is so, so dumb that I have trouble finding words for it that don’t immediately make cerebral fluid leak out my ear. Lives are complicated. Every person we date has a history—little victories and heartbreaks that make them act they way they do. Maybe a guy is only texting you, because he thinks phones steal your life force, when talked into. Maybe he was slammed all week and, suddenly,  looked up to discover it’s Friday and he wants to see you desperately.

Sure, he may have cancelled your date because he’s an ass. Or, perhaps, he had a bout of intestinal malaria that had him clutching the Charmin for dear life. Rarely do we tell potential love interests of our bowel troubles. Instead we say “things came up” and ask them out at a later date. Thank goodness for that! You don’t want the knowledge of dear Marvin’s intestinal parasites cropping up mid-canoodle, do you? That’s how sexual phobias occur.

You don’t need this book. Romantic tribulations shouldn’t wreck your self-confidence, but there are no rules to love. If there were, no relationships would fail. We would all beatifically stroll through the world, happy and secure, until falling in love with precisely the right person at precisely the right time. That would never do for us! Humans are emotionally messy creatures, not robots. We must try the best we can. When it doesn’t work, throw a few bubbly drinks back, and keep living.

Let me be honest. If I’d followed the advice in this horrid tome, Professor McGregor and I wouldn’t be together. Hell, we never would have had a second date. Instead of being the darling man who surprises me with taxidermied mice, he would be that jerk who took two weeks to ask me out again. Horror of horrors. I’ll take a few weeks of emotional turmoil over that fate. The beginning of our relationship was filled with anxiety, yes, but it turned into something wonderful. That’s what matters.

h-armstrong-roberts-1920s-1930s-romantic-couple-evening-dress-embracing-about-to-kissYou don’t need a book to find love. You need courage, champagne on hand, and one piece of advice: Don’t date jerkfaces! If a romantic interest is mean to you, don’t date him or her. All of the advice in Barnes & Noble can be boiled down to that one, sparkling kernel. It doesn’t do to stress about timelines and made up dating etiquette. We’re all fucking clueless. Just treat people well and be wary, if they don’t reciprocate. If he brings your favorite ice cream, but didn’t call for two weeks? Ask him what’s up and eat the Mint Chocolate Chip. He might be just that into you and malaria.

Or he’s a jerkface.

Who knows? I certainly don’t and neither does any damned book.

– Grace

My Sexy Toes: A Discovery

shoes

Y’all, I’m a shoe-judger.  Yes, when you walk by on the street, I’m looking at your shoes and making all sorts of assumptions about you.  Or maybe not so much assumptions, but I’m creating an imaginary life for you.  It’s a fun game.  Your Puma ballet sneakers indicate you have two kids (Pete and Sally), a goldendoodle (Lionel), and wear drug store brand makeup to your job as a technical analyst for a software engineering firm.  Your Dansko clogs mean you were on the fast track to becoming the prima ballerina of a dance company until an ankle injury cruelly stole your dreams from beneath you. (And yes, just because Dansko sounds like dance you became a ballet dancer… I never said I was scientific about this.)  Your Kate Spade heels with the glitter and the bow? Damn you.  You must be partaking in those romantic picnics in the park with your Hugh Jackman look-alike boyfriend.  He probably feeds you grapes before you jet off to the latest Broadway performance. Damn you.  Can I be your friend?  And the men!  Your frayed sandals tell me you’re trying to relive your glory days at the frat house pool, but you’re probably just heading to the soccer field to watch your daughter run around with the cluster of other 5 yr. olds.

There’s a clear reason for this.  My wee self was restricted in my shoe selection for quite some time and when I was free of those high-topped shackles, I embraced the heeled and flip-flopped and booted freedom of which I’d so long been denied!  It meant something to get to choose the shoes of which I would wear to face the challenges of the day.  Those L.A. Gear Lights with their light-up heels were all fine and dandy, but the day I got to wear my black heels with the silver buckle?  I’ll never forget it.

There’s a point to all this, I swear.  To this day, my shoes are chosen carefully.  They might not always be the most stylish things, but they mean something to me that day.  The power suit for work is only the power suit if it’s paired with my power heels.  Those ruby pumps transform the way I march into work, ready to battle over contract language.

Or at least they did.  Still do, really.

But just this last week, I had to bring in a whole new factor into my work shoe selection:  toe cleavage.  Someone commented on said fabulous ruby heels, and noted they were lovely, but they would be wary of those particular heels because they didn’t like to be overly provocative with their toe cleavage.  Um.  What?  Have I been living under a rock?  How the hell have we sexified this?  Maybe this shouldn’t surprise me.  There is the fact that we call it cleavage.  But it’s of the toes.  WTF?  And y’all, I know there are foot fetishists out there, and to each their own, but when did that start precluding women from wearing a low vamp?  Since when have my toe apices been lumped into the same category as high hemlines and plunging blouses?

Furthermore.  If cleavage of the toes is analagous to breast cleavage, what message are we sending when we wear flip flops.  Is it the equivalent of walking topless down the street?  Are painted toes the counterpart to, you know… grooming?  Does a natural toe mean other things?!  Dear God, what message have I been sending to my online dates when we first meet?

I’d go on, but it’s time I put on those daring and risqué pumps and be out the door.  Do let me know… have you been aware of your sexy toe cleavage?

-Kate

Where Have All the Love Letters Gone?

writing-letter

My workplace is limiting my email storage so I’ve been forced to look at emails I wrote back in the day.  It’s fun to see how unprofessional I was when I was a wee little Kate, making my foray into the business world.  Like the time I used 17 exclamation points in one message.  That was really cool.  I’m sure the Vice President who got my three-paragraph thank you email about lunch thought that was really cute.  But I digress. It was during this clean-up that I came across a rather large group of emails from my last official boyfriend in ::coughcough2007coughcough::. It would have been weird to go through them, re-read them, re-live my mindset from back then, so I quickly glanced at a couple then did a mass delete and it felt good.  But! I was reminded of something missing in my life and the lives of others.

Where have all the cowboys love letters gone? [It adds a little something if you sing it to the tune of that Paula Cole song.  Is it stuck in your head now?  You’re welcome.]

We live in an age where the love letter has been replaced with the email or the text message.  While some could use this as a platform to lament the use of the email or the text message, I will not.  You see, I actually like them quite a bit.  As opposed to a letter, they’re something you can get unexpectedly, any time of the day.*  That text message I got after a grueling meeting, the one from a date telling me he looks forward to seeing me tonight?  Yah, I’ll never object to it.

However, it’s the sheer volume of text messages and emails, and the obvious ease of sending them, which makes the love letter special, coveted, and missed.  It says something when your significant other takes the time to pull out the nice paper, a pen, and spend the time to come up with the perfect way to describe your golden locks or the way he goes all mushy when you tilt your head just so.  Or maybe he’s just letting you know how much he enjoyed the road trip to that one vineyard, and how he got to spend so much time with you.  I tear up just thinking about it!  Really.

Further, love letters provide the perfect opportunity for you to use your lover’s full name in a way that’s really sexy.  In romance novels, the heroine always notices when the hero uses her first name for the first time.  I don’t know about you, but seeing My Dearest Katharine** on the page would definitely make my lady parts quiver a little bit more than seeing plan ol’ Kate.  And that’s just the first few words!

Love letters are an acceptable place to describe that weird quirk about your lover that you never knew how to say in person.  Or maybe shouldn’t say.  Like the fact that in the mornings you like watching his nostrils flare while he’s still sleeping.  You think it’s cute.  But maybe that conversation is one that doesn’t go as smoothly in person.  The love letter, instead, lets you express these things and you get to avoid seeing the weird look on his face. But know that the weird look will probably turn into a blush and he’ll take a certain pride knowing his nostrils give you so much pleasure.

Love letters have an enduring and tangible aspect that just isn’t with an email or a text.  No digging through filed emails or trying to remember that sweet text message from five years ago.  The letters are there, in your hands, always available, and looking more loved and cherished over time.  Someday, your kids might even think they’d be great scrapbook material!

The road goes both ways on this one.  Men enjoy getting letters just as much as women.  Dare I say they even enjoy the well-thought letter even more than many women do?

How many of you get handwritten love letters on a regular basis?  Do tell!

-Kate

*But to that guy, who texted me at 11:30 P.M., telling me he only wanted me to sit next to him in bed and talk and “nothing more.”  Yah, you didn’t fool me.  Less than subtle and highly offensive.
**But while we’re on this topic, a note of caution; the love letter is not the place to test out that new “pumpkin cheeks” name you thought of when you saw your loved one bending over in the supermarket aisle to reach for that can of green beans.

A Spinster’s Arsenal-in-a-Bag

woman-looking-in-mirror-vintage

Aside from the requisite lip gloss, wallet, and keys, there are a few other must-haves in my handbag.  Dating is serious business y’all.  It’s critical I keep a well-stocked arsenal on hand.

Tweezers

No, I don’t pluck my eyebrows on a date (or ever actually… are you picturing me with a Kahlo-esque unibrow right now?).  But when it’s patio season in Texas, you can bet every date will suggest drinks outside.  Just when I’m feeling confident that I’ve arranged myself to my best advantage on the sticky plastic chair that causes my thighs to sweat more than is seemly, I notice that errant hair twisting up near my ankle.  Y’all, it’s like a Sasquatch hair.  I swear it’s way thicker than any other leg hair I’ve ever grown and it has somehow evaded the razor for what must be weeks on end.  How the hell did I miss it?!  And so, bathroom break, tweezers.  I wish I could tell you this had only happened to me one time in the past…

A Compact Mirror

You might never meet another person who touches their nose more than I do.  And it’s because of this:  I fear a visible… crusty.  A bat in the cave, if you will.  When I get really paranoid, I can’t focus on anything else.  There was that time I dated someone for a month and couldn’t recall why he had joint custody of his dog.  There was a story he’d recounted on our way to a play, but my mind was otherwise engaged.  Surely, a bat was hanging out, and I’d been debating just how ginormous that bat must be.  Was it a dangler?  Was it lodged on the side, waiting to fling itself out of my schnoz the moment I laughed?  Perhaps it was only a fluttery little thing, but moving enough that it would distract my date?  Gone from my memory were the 15 minutes of conversation wherein the presence of the little white fluffball of a dog was explained.  This, spinster friends, is why I take a compact mirror.  Screw powdering my nose or touching up my lip gloss.  One must be able to confirm an empty cavity, and a compact mirror ensures I become a deeper listener.

An Extra Pair of Underwear

I’m not entirely sure why these are needed.  It’s not like I’ve ever crapped my pants, but maybe this is all those years of Girl Scout training, telling me you can never be too prepared.

My Cell Phone

…with Grace’s number on speed dial and text messages to my mother, sister, grandmother, best friend, coworker, supermarket bagger, and bank teller, detailing  key identifiers of my date.  You know.  Just in case he turns out to be an axe* murderer.

6:03 P.M.  His name is Michael. He’s returning from the pistol range, which means he probably owns a gun.

6:24 P.M.  Full name is Michael William Throckmorton IV.  He drives a 7-series BMW.  I’m not sure what that says about him, other than the fact that he has money, but you should probably be on alert.  He could do away with me and nobody would suspect the successful dude.

6:26 P.M.  For the record, I don’t care that he has money.  I’m successful enough on my own.  But you know this.  But I had to clarify.  Right.

7:08 P.M.  We made it to the restaurant.  No signs of zip ties or plastic bags.

9:55 P.M.  He wants to show me the “art” in his apartment.  Should I be concerned?  Is this a euphemism for something else?  What if he keeps hooks o’torture in his closet?

10:02 P.M.  Earth to Grace!  I have to make a decision here!

10:16 P.M. Ok, executive decision made.  We’re on the way to his apartment.

10:37 P.M.  Damn it, I forgot to check his apartment number.  We’re in the middle of the complex, down one of the halls.  3rd floor.  His door faces someone who has a Hello Kitty wreath.

10:38 P.M.  Also, why does he live in an apartment if he drives a 7-series?

12:11 A.M.  So… he really did just show me his art.  OMG.  What does that say about me?!  Shouldn’t he have tried to get my pants off?  I wore mesh panties! That should count for something!

12:14 A.M.  The panties are really cute.  Remind me to send you the link.

12:31: A.M.  OK I’m home.  Damn it.  The cats say hello.

Speaking of cats…

An Industrial Lint Roller

If I’ve dressed in anything nice or dark-colored, it’s like a homing beacon for the cats.  Is that a black sweater?  Why no, it’s now a white cat hair blend!  I might as well throw on my cat necklace and keep a stash of kitty treats sticking out the top of my bag.

If you’ve been counting, this makes no less than 12 trips to the restroom.  The guy must think have a bladder the size of a pea or that the shrimp scampi isn’t settling well.

What other key items do I need to add to my list?

-Kate

*I like to contemplate what an Axe murderer might be like in the men’s fragrance sense of the word.