Trusting Your Boyfriend With Your Life

Not to be overdramatic, but riding on the back of a motorbike in Bermuda where everyone drives on the left side of the road and is zooming around at 50mph around tight curves IS f#ckin’ scary!   When you’re warned by the natives that tourists are regularly found on the side of the road with missing toes, red flags do rise. But to be fair, when those natives are also taxicab drivers that charge $20 to go 5 minutes you have to put things in perspective.

Since J. and I are urbanites, I was completely unfamiliar with his driving skills — car or motorbike. When he said he had ridden one before, I just had to believe him. Since the vision of missing toes was stuck in my head, I cautiously donned sneakers every time and began each ride with a prayer.

Day 1, I clutched him tightly, and acted as a backseat motorbiker :

STOP sign ahead! Slow down, slow down…Crazy Bermudian about to pass!”

I leaned into his body on each turn and made sure we were both tilting in the same direction. By Day 2, I began to relax, and didn’t get nervous if we had people on our ass because we weren’t speeding. I flashed them my tat to keep them entertained.

Bermuda Motorbike

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By Day 3 and 4, I finally began to look at the water to our left and not the road ahead. And it was amazing — I felt free and wild and young! I never attempted to ride the motorbike myself, the left hand-side of the road thing was confusing enough for me, but I recommend this mode of transpo to all island travelers, especially those who have ridden before.

Mom, if you’re reading this, we were totally SAFE the entire time! So what’s next — tandem skydiving?

Motorbiking In Bermuda

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Have you ridden a motorbike in the islands?

Rainbow

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He Knows How to Polish His Wood

J.’s been wanting to polish his wood for a loooong time. It was all he could talk about for months. Then one day several brown boxes were delivered by UPS. And he actually started — and FINISHED. In 3 days.

BEFORE:

Scratched Wood Floors

STEP ONE: Move all furniture (a real challenge when you live in Manhattan), cover everything else with plastic tarps.

STEP TWO: Begin Sanding (great upper body workout!). The machines were no joke.

Sanding Wood Floors

STEP THREE: Apply Wood Filler to cracks in floor, then SAND again.

WOOD FILLER

STEP FOUR: FREAK OUT because there’s 3 inches of dust coating everything (and his family is arriving in 24 hours)!!

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STEP FIVE: Apply First Coat and do not step in it, on it, near it — for a few hours.

STEP SIX: Apply Second Coat. Let it dry. Afterwards, socks for everyone — especially the dog who slides across the floor like Tom Cruise in Risky Business.

Apply PolishPut socks on the dog

AFTER: Wha-laaah! Brand new floors!

AFterWood

Despite being forewarned by others (“What are you freakin’ crazy? Hire someone!”), J. managed to save thousands and do an incredibly professional job. Here’s what we learned:

DON’T

  • Start this project a few days before you have family from out of town visiting (although it may provide extra motivation to finish!)
  • Do this in the summer when the average temperature is 90 degrees and the humidity is so thick Manhattan feels like the Amazon Rainforest

DO

  • Enforce “no shoes” rule
  • Cover everything with plastic tarps and tape them down (or they’re useless)
  • Offer nonstop encouragement and praise (“Honey, you’re a master!”, “You’re so close!”)
  • Give kudos to the handyman boyfriend who just saved thousands of dollars by insisting on doing it himself!

EXTRA BONUS: I’m totally cool with the five-second rule now. My man knows how to polish his wood.

Rainbow

The STUFF He Buys…

They say you never really know someone until you live with them. I say you never really know someone until you see what they spend their money on. Being observant, it’s never more than a few hours before I notice the new additions a la Amazon.

Ah, some naked chicks painted in gold holding a globe that spells, THE WORLD IS YOURS. Why does this look familiar??

TheWorldIsYours

I’ve seen it somewhere…Oh, yeah — Scarface. “Say hello to my little friend!”

Dirty-CleanMagnet

This magnet has actually helped prevent multiple, “It’s not cleeeeannn!”, “YES IT IS!!” arguments. I recommend this for all newly cohabitating couples with a dishwasher.

ManGrill

The Ultimate Man Grill. Its sheer size intimidates me, besides it has a gas tank and I’m afraid I’ll blow the whole townhouse up. It’s all his.

LED remotesLEDLights

No, he does not own six cars. These remotes control all the indoor LED lighting he installed. I have no idea which is for which. Or what our neighbors must think when they see the lights go from yellow to green to red to blue.

And his best investment yet — the loyal love machine, Cosimo, our Cane Corso:

CaneCorso_goodpurchase

What crazy stuff does your man buy?

CoupleCation Becomes Threesome With Mastiff

My boyfriend and I are parents, minus the human kid part. Our love child, Cosimo, was born furry and yelping more than two and a half years ago. We take him with us wherever we go (though Manhattan is challenging), and are always wondering if he’s bored when we’re not home.  At approx. 115 lbs. and over 5 ft. standing, our Cane Corso unfortunately can’t be toted around town in a shoulder bag.

Our romantic getaways have become DogCations. It just feels wrong to leave him behind. So far, this traveling pooch has been to Hilton Head (at 8 weeks old), the Catskills (née Dogskills), the Poconos and most recently, Montauk. The only trip he missed was Hawaii, and that’s because it’s impossible to bring a dog there — unless you’re moving!

Cosimo has even begun helping me chronicle his dog tales on Dogspin.com.

HiltonHead

CaneCorsowithDonkey

I’ve noticed recently though that he’s become especially attached to J. and steals my spot in bed when I get up,  spooning him while I’m gone. In the beginning I thought it was cute…but now I’m worried. Is it possible he’s TOO ATTACHED? Will it soon become a CoupleCation again, except only with J. and Cosi?

doggyrocks

doglovesbf

Am I losing my boyfriend to an Italian Mastiff? Fellow pup parents, what should I do??

Rainbow

My Mom and BF Text…ALOT

I’m not a PHONE PERSON. Not anymore. When I was 16, I could be found with a cordless smooshed into my cheek, talking to a boy or two on the phone for hours on end about absolutely nothing. Now, I communicate in person with raised eyebrows, shrugged shoulders and a wicked laugh. Or long distance via text, emoticons, Facebook, Twitter and my staple, email. Even professionally, I prefer email. I’m shocked when someone leaves a voicemail.

Picking up on this, my mother began texting about two years ago, happy to receive a response from me in less than 10 seconds, albeit sometimes short and sometimes snotty. Around the same time things became more serious with J. She was relieved that she no longer had to worry about me coming home late at night to an empty apartment in the East Village or being kidnapped on the subway. J. was either with me or waiting up for me. So began her nightly texting shoutouts to him, “Where is she??? Is she home yet?” when I was out of touch for more than 30 minutes after 8pm. They evolved into much, much more.

Mom Texting

When J.’s phone vibrates it’s either a TeamStream sports update OR my mother. They organize brunches, discuss borrowing the car, arrange dog-sitting Cosimo, even plan the Mother’s Day restaurant — WITHOUT ME.

Some boyfriends hate when the mother sticks her nose in. But Dee Dee is often invited to offer her opinion…unless it’s not the same as his. I can only tell you how annoying it is to hear, “But your mother said…” in the midst of an argument. I wish I could get even, but J’s parents DO NOT TEXT. I’m only copied on cute animal emails from his mom. I must, I must — teach her to text next time I’m in North Carolina!

Though I have to give my mom kudos, she’s a super-texter. There are nights when J. and I will simultaneously receive multiple paragraph-long texts from her with different messages at the exact same time! Most include an emoticon and some reference to scripture or telling me/him what to do (even though we didn’t ask).

Here’s a typical paragraph-long text:

momtexting

So my friends, do your boyfriend and mom text??

Rainbow

We’re the Living Stat: Cohabitation Rises to 48%

In New York City, living together seems to be the natural progression of a relationship. Why pay double the monstrous rent when you’re sleeping over every night anyway?

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If my grandmother were alive today, she would be cluck-clucking her tongue, frowning and whispering in J.’s ear to “buy the cow.” But it’s not the 1950s, and in my own family there have been 12 marriages (and multiple divorces) among only a few women. I am not one of them.

By age 29, more than a dozen of my friends had both walked the aisle and filed for divorce. Losing homes, losing heart and losing hope wasn’t a path I wanted to follow. A divorced friend shared, “It’s better to say you’ve at least been married once.” I don’t agree. Maybe I’ve been more cautious, but I knew the signs of when to run…

“If you want the ring, don’t move in.” That old-fashioned sentiment has certainly worked for some, but it’s just that — old-fashioned. The truth is you really don’t know someone until you live with them. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, cohabitation is on the rise, rise, rise. Many of these cohabitating couples go on to marry within three years. Speaking on behalf of my fellow cohabitators, I already feel like I’m married.

You have to do what works best for you. There is no formula for the perfect relationship. Some see marriage as the finish line. WE all crave love and companionship, and whether it’s  cohabitation or a church wedding, it’s love. That will always be the key ingredient.

To my 13-year-old nieces, I only advise you to follow your heart, not to be pressured by your peers, your mom or any man. Never lose yourself in the process. And if you do decide on the big-church wedding, I will be there donned in pink taffeta ready to throw some glitter your way!

Love,

Rainbow

City Suckers

I used to ramble on nonstop about the energy of city life, of being surrounded by endless opportunities….never knowing who I was about to meet or run into. So many things to do, the city that never sleeps, an adventure around every corner, blah, blah, blah. But my friends, “Always having something to do” is exhausting.

Sensing my mounting anxiety and stress the past month, J. booked a weekend getaway. Not to the beaches of Cabo San Lucas, but to the mountains of Pennsylvania, the Poconos. We’ve settled into a three bedroom cozy cabin on 80 acres of farmland where my newest acquaintances have been two donkeys covered in hay, a bunch of goats (a few of whom I’ve witnessed doing the dirty), and about thirteen deer that look like they’re in training for Santa.

goatsfarmdonkeyfriend

An earlier drive wound us down the road to Beautiful Mount Airy Lodge which is no longer airy nor beautiful, but demolished and rebuilt into a smoky, senior-citizen filled casino stock full of 9,000 slot machines. Gone are the champagne glass filled tubs and in-room swimming pools. It now features a buffet, fake rock waterfall and wannabee call girls delivering alcoholic beverages to the wheelchair-bound.  The Walking Dead should drop by and grab some extras, no makeup required.

Back at the ranch, we’ve been playing in the snow, especially J. and Cosimo.  I’ve been doing more of a plodding about in my UGGs,  taking in the horizon and gunshots in the distance (must be hunting season) and wondering how I can talk J. into cooking dinner again.

Today, with the mountain sun on my face, I felt peaceful, and I would like to take this moment to apologize to anyone I ever made fun of for living in the “sticks.” Sorry cousins, aunt Jo, friends who married, procreated and moved out of town…all of you. I think you were on to something. But I have a confession: I still need my Starbucks!

After polishing off a bottle of wine, J. has gone to mingle with the goats, he’s trying to get them to reenact the Doritos SuperBowl commercial. Hope they don’t bite…

Love, Rainbow

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Being Named “Rainbow”

Yesterday afternoon around 3pm EST, a slew of texts, emails and Facebook messages poured in, all asking the same question — “Did you go to school with Holly Madison?” Holly, who?

A quick Google search displayed the pretty platinum blonde that used to shack up with Hugh Hefner and Kendra in some reality show I watched when there was nothing else on. I could never quite grasp how Holly would want to share an Octogenerian with two other women, but perhaps that was the point…less duty in the bedroom.  The last I read Hugh dissed her marriage proposal and shipped her off to a Vegas burlesque show for the rest of her 30s.  Holly, who found true love with a nightclub promoter, just became a mom and named her daughter, “Rainbow Aurora.” She was inspired by a girl she had gone to school with when she was much younger. But no, it wasn’t me.

hollymadison

I’m surprised this hasn’t happened sooner. I thought for sure Gwyneth’s next offspring would be the Rainbow to complete the Apple and Moses circle, but no it was a former Playboy Playmate who took my name to the headlines.

So Holly, as someone who has lived with this name for a lifetime, I have some tips to share with you. “Rainbow Aurora” is certainly a mouthful, give your little one the nickname “Bow”. It’s cute, short, and sounds much less melancholy than “Rain”.

Prepare your daughter for the barrage of questions she will get every time she is introduced to someone: Are your parents hippies?  Where’s your pot of gold?  Do you hang with leprechauns? Are you a really happy person? I usually answer the last with a look that says, “Do I look like I’m f*&king overflowing with joy?!” and then smile, but that would be scary coming from a toddler.

Remind her that “Rainbow” is a name not likely to be forgotten, ever. This is good, and this is bad. For instance, when she’s hanging out at Caesars Palace and meets a group of boys when she gets older, her name will be the only one they remember as her gaggle of girlfriends walk away. Whenever she meets someone at a party or calls customer service, they will not ask her to repeat her name. The bad part. If she dates two boys from the strip and they both casually mention to one another that they’re “seeing a Rainbow”, game over. And last, no matter how much she denies it, people will always assume you were tripping on acid when you went into labor.

That said, I commend you on giving your daughter a different name. When I become a mother, I will do the same. But sorry, I’m not sharing those names to give you inspiration for the rest of your future clan.

Rainbow Aurora, reach out when you get older, I have plenty of “Rainbow” paraphernalia to share.

 

When Your BF’s Sis Gets Engaged

Screen Shot 2013-02-23 at 3.01.07 PMI heard shouting downstairs, and not the good kind of I-just-won-$1000-a-week-for-life-from-a-scratchoff-ticket shouting.

“What — what is it?!”  I asked as J. pounded up the stairs and flashed his iPhone in my face. Displayed on the screen was an extended hand with a pretty big diamond ring.

“Does this mean what I think it means?!” he asked, still in obvious denial.

“Um yeah, it appears your sister got engaged.”

Although text may not be the best way to share the news with your immediate family, she is of the Y Generation who thinks making a phone call is as strenuous as dialing on a rotary telephone.  My first thought was — about freakin’ time. Since I first met her two and a half years ago when she was barely 21, I remember marriage being a hot topic. A southern thing, I surmised.

In New York, getting married before 27 is rare, before 25 even rarer. It’s a different mindset here. People are busy launching and managing careers, traveling, exploring who they are…marriage isn’t on the priority list. I often refer to NYC as Peter Pan Land, a magical place where you never have to grow up. Here, you’re judged more by your shoes than your ring finger.

But J. was livid. Livid that the groom-to-be didn’t call him personally and ask his permission. Livid that he got a text with the news. Livid that his baby sister was no longer a baby, but soon to be a wife.

As an only child, I admittedly don’t get the whole sibling dynamic. I have watched my friends’ families from the bleachers — and each has their own DNA algorithm. What’s the norm for one family, is the complete opposite for another. And even though I do have a stepbrother, being 11 years apart and not growing up in the same house never fostered a sibling bond.

So what the hell was J. feeling? Left out? Jealous? I had no idea.

I  am happy for his sister. She moved five hours farther south to be near this guy, she has been faithful and she has been devoted. And although she could’ve moved into his house, she didn’t. She got her own apartment and paid her own bills. That was not the easy route, it was the smart route.  Her fiance is a good guy,  doesn’t drink, is religious, seems pretty straight-laced, and most importantly, he adores her and treats her with RESPECT. That’s the key ingredient to any successful relationship and marriage.

I am what they called on Shameless, “Ghetto Married”.  J. gets all the benefits of marriage, without the legal paperwork. But at the core that has more to do with me than him. I NEVER dreamed of my wedding day, I never lusted after my friend’s engagement rings, I didn’t buy bridal magazines and stuff them under my mattress…it just wasn’t something I fantasized about.

Do you remember that scene from Sex and the City when Carrie is engaged to Aidan and she’s trying on wedding dresses and has a complete panic attack and tears the dress off her body because she thinks it’s choking her? I totally relate to that.

Growing up the child of a divorced family, marriage and the dissolution of it didn’t seem like too much fun. The first time it really hit me was after the father-daughter dance when I was a sophomore in high school. At the end of the night, my friends hopped into cars with their dads and drove home together. I was instead dropped off at my mom’s in Staten Island and my father drove back to Queens by himself. I can still remember watching his car drive off down Hylan Blvd. without me. It had taken me years to realize my normal wasn’t normal.

In my teen years, after overhearing my mom and stepdad arguing, I repeatedly added my two cents, “And this is why I’m never getting married.”  I should’ve worn a t-shirt proclaiming this with an arrow (pointing at them). I said it that often.

My father never remarried, he said my mother was enough for him. And my mother and stepfather are still together…so no, I haven’t been traumatized by a mom who’s on her 6th marriage.

A few years ago, I connected with an ex on MySpace (ok, guess it was more than a few years), and he iterated he was just following “The Playbook of Life…you know MBA, townhouse in CT, get married, have a kid.” To me it just seemed very vanilla.

I’ve always been an outlier, I am three standard deviations from the norm (can you tell I’m taking Stats this semester?). So to each their own. I do want to have kids. But as far as the “I Do’s”… for now I Certainly Don’t.

Immobilized By Mobile

My Phone I look at the screen of my iPhone approx once every 10 minutes…more if I’m waiting for a response or if I’m lost on the Lower East Side, a regular occurrence even though I’ve lived in NYC my whole life.  And don’t ask Siri for directions, that bitch doesn’t know where she is either. When she responds, she’s usually in another state…like Indiana. Two words, one App: Google Maps.

So my digital professor asked us to track our mobile selves for three days — I chose the weekend, as the beginning of this week has been one I’d like to bury in a six foot ditch. Here goes:

SNOWY FRIDAY

Blogged about Tonik, the Human-faced dog to test WordPress SEO and see if I could glean on to some of his page views. He is adorable and it worked. Some silly souls who searched for “human face dog”, were driven to my blog post.

Facebook Posting: Contributed to the viral “Your year is” post, where a friend randomly picks an age, and asks what you were doing at that life phase. The age I was given was 22. I drove a Honda Accord, worked for the New York Jets and wanted to be financially independent. Life was good, oh, wait, I dated Aaron M….yeah, it wasn’t that good. I continued to spread it to another 1o friends.

Updated Business Facebook page: For 121 Fulton, the bar & restaurant I invested in. I hated the “empty bar” cover photo they had and replaced it with one from our One Year Anniversary Party and linked to an article on the men that run the Paige Group, our managing partners.

Facebook Mobile Chatted: Didn’t know I had this feature but heard my mobile “dinging”, and then saw a slew of messages from Felipe, an old Brasilian (I will spell it his way) friend who I once dated…unsuccessfully. And after writing a scathing essay, “Blame It On Felipe,” and a few years of telling him to “f*ck off”, we’re friends again and sharing work experiences. Appropriate since we first met at NYU when we were classmates in a sports certification program.

iPhone Nemo Shots: Like every other Northeasterner I took a sh*tload of pictures of the blizzard and um, everyone’s pics look kind of the same — white and blurry.

Ordered Flight from DirecTV. Not what I expected, but let’s just say if you go to AA meetings, you will relate to this movie.

Here’s a quick pictoral summary of FRiDaY:

TonikFacebook Viral Post121 Fulton Snow Night IMG_2900Flight

SUNNY SATURDAY:

Woke up to the smell of pancakes, but stayed in bed scrolling through Facebook, seeing pics of everyone who has kids — with their kids in the snow. Prayed that no one would have a heart attack while shoveling.

Watched DVR’d episode of Shark Tank. Only memorable product pitch were the hoodie pillows by the same chick who had pitched Citti Kitty — toilet-training for your cat. Do they have that for dogs? I would love if Cosimo could just use our toilet like a urinal.

Pinterest Notification #68:  That someone “repinned” my HBO Girls pin, “Almost getting it…kind of together.” It’s not even my original pin, but I pinned it a few weeks back and now I get five notifications a day that someone else pinned it, too. Got it– none of us have it together.

Used Hopstop App: To find fastest (and warmest) route to Jamie’s Surprise Party downtown at Puck Fair.

Angry Birds Star Wars: So intriguing that J. played it the whole way down (from Upper West to Soho). I’m so not intrigued. Big deal — now the ANGRY birds shoot laser beams from their chests.

Pictures (non-snow): Handed J. my phone. Apparently he had one too many margaritas …

Angry Birds StarWarsSurprise Party @ Puck FairTequilaBaked by MelissaWag.comGirls Pin

MOVE SLOW AS SH*T SUNDAY:

Overslept, but still made it to church downtown at the River. J. who introduced me to the nondenominational church almost three years ago when we began dating, refused to come. So I put on my big-girl pants and went by myself. I like being surrounded by people with good energy and it’s rare to find a place with so many under the same roof.

Afterwards, I made an indulgent visit to Chipotle, my guilty pleasure. While I sat there scooping up my chicken burrito bowl, I scrolled a Facebook post that said something about being a better person by not indulging in comfort food. F*ck! Ah, whatever. Back to the photos of friends’ kids sledding down the hill. All the photos looked vaguely the same. Some parents admitted posting the “obligatory kid playing in snow photo” to keep up with the Joneses.

Google, Google, Google. Did a few hours of research for a startup company in its infancy stage. What did people do before Google — go to the library? Finished 10 page research document and forwarded it to the starter-upper leader. I signed an NDA, so my lips are sealed.

Asked J. if he noticed the incessant burping/belching/yawning of our male housemates. His response: “You wanted to live with all guys.”  Turned up Pandora on my phone. Bruno Mars tunes out burps. What are these guys eating?!

SO MUCH ON TV ON SUNDAYS —  Shameless (counted 10 sex scenes), Girls, Enlightened, The Walking Dead and the Grammys. THANK GOD FOR DVR!!

While I was watching Girls, I glanced at my mobile’s Facebook feed, and saw that I had missed Bruno Mars performing with — STING! Uuggggggh. Was so pissed. I Googled it, and found the clip already posted on Just Jared. Click on pic below to watch — absolutely amazing. Chills.

Sting and Bruno Mars

The only thing I found distracting — the markings under Rihanna’s boobs. Yes, she also came on-stage, but was completely lacking in energy. So WTF were those markings? New gifts from Chris Brown? Only one way to find out:

Rihanna Boob Marking Google Search

Ok, Chris Brown didn’t scar her, those were self-inflicted tattoos. FUGLY!

So what have I discovered this weekend? That I’m spoiled by Google, and that I keep track of what’s going on in the world via the Facebook newsfeed. Oh, and I’d love to have an App where I take a picture of my outfit, and Stacy London’s voice belts out, “Oh no you don’t, you wore that to the last birthday party you went to!” That would be so helpful. A Virtual Closet Inventory Keeper. That’s my App!

What’s your mobile world doing?