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?

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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

I’ve Become the Third Wheel

Mastiff takes over

If I get up to pee in the middle of the night, I usually come back to find an imposter’s massive head smooshed into my foam pillow. His snores sound like that of a 90-year-old man as he stretches his legs and gives me a sharp kick, not letting me back in. “Doggy bed, now!” I direct as he whimpers.  J. doesn’t even notice there’s been a change of guard and thinks it’s me spooning him, when it’s really Cosimo, our 130 lb. pup.

I can’t help feeling that I’ve become the third wheel. Cosi is real competition. He licks J’s elbows in the morning (not my thing), waits outside the door while he’s in the shower (I got things to do),  looks at him with big eyes like everything he says is fascinating (I’ve already heard that story a 100x), doesn’t fight with him over the remote (I hate Tosh. O!) and wags his tail like no other (I try shaking my bootie in response).

Cosimo is obsessed with my boyfriend. He paces when J’s not home, then practically knocks him down the stairs when he walks in. He reminds me of that matted stuffed animal that followed Mark Wahlberg around in TED. They sit on the couch together, watch the Simpsons, share chicken fingers, drink beers, dogcall at other hounds out the window. The testosterone is over-flowing in this apartment…and the bros are both constantly thumping their chests and smacking paws.

J. recently sent his whole family an email titled, “Me and My Best Friend”. Opening it, I expected to see some photos of us from Hawaii, the Catskills, but no,  it was J. and Cosi swimming in the pool, J. and Cosi rolling around in the grass…J. and Cosi both yawning. Waaat?? The beast has bested me.

I don’t get it. I don’t need to be taken out for walks. I don’t piss a gallon and then step in it, making doggie pee-pee prints for half a block. I don’t drool while J’s eating and then wipe my mouth on his pants. I don’t lick my balls.  I don’t shed making his black peacoat resemble a fur jacket and most importantly — I don’t clear out the room with my doggie bombs.

So Cosi, my Cane Corso rival, watch your furry butt, it’s on! I know your tricks and I have some of my own…

Hibernation May Lead to Temporary Insanity

When There's Nothing Else to Do -- Cuddle!

When There’s Nothing Else to Do — Cuddle!

I know I’m going to regret these words, but here goes. I am BORED out of my freakin’ mind! From having barely two hours of down time a week to now having lost track of what day of the week it is — because there are just TOO MANY days in the week. WTF is wrong with me?! It’s Winter Break, never one of my favorites even when I was an undergrad, because it takes Girl-with-the-Dragon-Tattoo-digging-herself-out-of-a-shallow-grave-type will power to get out of bed in the morning. And by the time I get going, it’s dark an hour later.

January sucks. And right now I’m in limbo. Grad school doesn’t start up again until the end of the month and I’m interviewing for a full-time position, which even though I’m in a relationship, reminds me of online dating.  I.e., Have an encouraging profile (LinkedIn), Wink (send your resume), Stalk (keep following up for that interview), First Date (the anticipation — oh will they like me?), and Second Date (ok, they kinda liked me), to the Offer (Will you stop texting that other dude and move in with me?). I know, I know. Patience. But it will always be a virtue I just don’t get.

To J.’s delight, our apartment has never been cleaner. I do the laundry EVERY DAY, I’ve been sorting the whites from the darks, scrubbing those tiny, hard-to-get surfaces in the tub with a toothbrush, going on long dog walks with Cosi and analyzing his doggie doo (too many eggs!). I have organized the contents of my drawers by color, shape and size. I’ve cooked two nights in a row. And I NEVER cook. I’m reading the mind-numbing Where We Belong by Emily Giffen, because I’ll feel guilty if I don’t finish it. I’ve become addicted to International House Hunters on HGTV and see flashes of exotic beaches, lanais, and thatch roofs appearing in my dreams at night. I wake up not to an alarm clock — but to a 130 lb. Mastiff enthusiastically licking my armpits, which should make any girl feel really good about herself.

J. is more stressed as he transacts and interacts with his real estate clients, and I add to it by annoying him constantly, let’s do something! And today, sensing I may pull a Shining moment — “Heeeere’s Raaaaainbooooow!” with my hair sticking up and a kitchen knife in hand, he rolled out my old red Trek covered in two inches of dust. Once he carried it down two flights of stairs and filled the flat tires, there was no backing out. I felt my thighs painfully contract as they struggled to make the wheels turn in the city streets. My inner eight-year-old woke up and yelled, “Hey lady, are you kidding me! Did you forget how to ride a bike?!” Slowly it came back, even though I tripped over a curb in Central Park while trying to change gears and almost fell into a grassy knoll. Way to make an impression as you enter the bike path.

J. and Cosi ran next to me and then, past me, even though I was the one on the bike. The cyclist pros of the park also sped by with their two thousand-dollar gliding machines and padded butt pants, gel packs and shiny helmets gleaming in the winter sun. I was donning a ski hat and black sunglasses, sans fanny pack and water bottle. The runners panted by, little dogs squeaked by, and even a wheelchair or two outdid me. But it’s cool, I can handle it, I was just happy to be riding something other than the subway.

Riding in Central Park North

Riding in Central Park North

I feel better now, even though I’m walking kind of funny. I just wish that global warming would subside a bit, so we could get some snowflakes and I would feel less guilty about my winter agoraphobia. But hey I just found my “Happy Light”, so that should crank the energy up a bit.  Thanks mom, for the gift and inference that I was suffering from SAD so many years ago. Ok, back to annoying the crap out of J., hopefully he has unearthed a board game or deck of cards or something…

P.S. When I’m insanely busy and blotchy with stress in a few weeks, please remind me of my winter doldrums…and how lucky I was to be able to sleep in!

How To Brainwash Your Man

Program your plasma to HGTV and lose the remote. From House Hunters to Cousins on Call to Love It or List It, your couch potato (your man) will be inspired and itching to show you how handsome his version of the handyman can be. It’s like the movie Inception — but with decorating.

J. has always been the fixer-upper-starter-not finisher type. There were at least five half painted walls/projects abandoned with their frog tape wilting and flapping with neglect. But during the holiday break, the channel surfer landed on HGTV one night and never left. And then it happened. He began to actually finish what he started!

Tonight, it’s past 10pm and he just asked me to make him a pot of coffee. “Waat? Cawfee…now?” But when I saw him pry open a paint can instead of a beer bottle, and grab the brushes and rags from the utility closet, I knew it was go time. I quickly rushed to grind the coffee beans.

Ladies, just ease into it…slowly. Start with an episode of House Hunters which is always interesting because you get to play a sort of “Choose Your Own House” game. Last night, there was a couple that was in the market for an island. Then try those cute Property Brothers twins — one finds the house, the other remodels it. Every girl’s fantasy. And don’t turn the TV off, ever. Even when he starts snoring. By morning, you will have your own Bob Ross in the bedroom, albeit much younger, and hopefully a hell of a lot better looking.

Happy Home Improvement!

HGTV Inspiration

Birthdays are like yardsticks

Birthday Cake on the Bed

Birthdays are like yardsticks, you always find yourself measuring how far you’ve come…or fallen…in 12 months…24 months…five years…a decade. This year was a tough one for me. It started promisingly enough in a hot, dry paradise in Waikoloa Beach in Hawaii. And then continued on an up-and down seesaw ride for the remainder of the year. Every time I pressed my legs hard into the ground and began to rise towards the sky, I was slammed back down to earth.

No one’s life resembles a straight line; some of us are just better at camouflaging the zigzags than others.  But, boy do I have some good stories to tell. Like in March when I was in Switzerland at an international watch & jewelry show with the Chinese mafia…and then I was invited on board the Louis Vuitton yacht anchored on the Rhine River. The unique experience was lessened by the embarrassment I felt as I helplessly watched my company’s president lamely attempt to seduce one of the Vuitton heirs, while flashing her stocking-less legs adorned with furry, over-the-knee hooker boots. Yes, they were furry. Soon after, I discovered my male boss was sleeping with my 24-year-old colleague. This was confirmed by a picture of them making out on her iPhone screensaver. Discretion is so underrated.

After watching this media startup make investor money magically disappear with poor decision after poor decision, I spoke up. My words fell on ego-clogged ears and I jumped off their train. They had inspired me though by teaching me, “What not to do”. I chose to up my ante and increased my course load in grad school to full time. And then being Rainbow, I said “Oh, too many extra hours in the day”, and entered a full-time graduate school program at MLB.

Do not EVER attend grad school full time while working full time. I repeat, Do Not Attend Grad School Full Time While Working Full Time. I will tag this so when another unsuspecting masochist Googles the topic, they will find me. I don’t care if you’re the most efficient, smart, savvy, multi-tasker this side of the Hudson, do not go down this path. Unless of course you discover a way to never have to sleep again, but that usually entails being bitten by a Twilight vampire or becoming addicted to Adderall and winding up in rehab.

Fueled by Starbucks, Subway sandwiches and burrito bowls at Chipotle, my days began each morning at 8:30am at a very corporate Park Avenue address, followed by class from 6-9pm, three nights a week. I usually didn’t get home before 10pm. And then there was research and papers and weekly team meetings.  Cosimo began to bark at me when I walked in the door at night and J. took the role of puppy dog from him, eagerly wanting every ounce of energy I had left at the end of the day. The positive for him was I was too tired to nag him about anything. Five loads of laundry not done? Whatever. Nothing to eat for dinner? Who cares. You’re painting the bedroom black? Awesome. You invited your ex-gf to stay with us? Cool. I would have to stab my arms with my fingernails so I wouldn’t fall asleep during a movie. I kept telling him, “This is only temporary”.

With three weeks left in the semester, I hit the 20-mile wall. Something had to give. Begrudgingly, I decreased my hours at MLB and gave up my social life entirely so I could ace the rest of the semester.  And it’s done. More credits, closer to the Masters finish line. The bags under my eyes have retreated. My boyfriend and pup still love me…and are now overdosing on Rainbow time. Isn’t that how it always is — no time or too much time?

But this year cost me. I feel farther from my friends than I’ve ever felt and until the holidays I barely had a conversation with my family that consisted of more than “Uh, huh, yeah…uh huh,” getting off the phone not having heard one thing they said.

On my birthday, J. and I walked into St. Pat’s Cathedral, squeezed past a thousand tourists and sat in a pew, not remembering if we were supposed to kneel or not. I closed my eyes and thanked God for every year of my life. As they add up, I realize how fortunate I really am. God has given me time to figure it out. Sandy is behind us and I pray that the twisted spirits I’ve encountered this  year may stay on their own island, far, far away.

This new year, I will not lose sight of what’s most important, my family and friends. Rainbow is back.

P.S.   J., thank you for the trick candles — nothing makes a girl feel younger than when she’s breathlessly spitting on her own birthday cake!

Batter Up!

Since my first day at MLB, J. has been pestering me daily, “What about tickets? Your pass work? You’ve been busting your ass and you don’t even know if you’re gonna get tickets?”  I refused to ask. I’ve only been in the office a few weeks, when the others have multiple baseball seasons under their belt. Besides I’m not one of those with a sense of entitlement. I feel I have to EARN everything.

Friday was one of those work days where it was suddenly 3pm when I realized I hadn’t eaten lunch or even made a trip to the ladies’ room all day. My legs began to buckle a bit as I jotted down notes from one of the coordinators on postseason signage. “Are you ok, there?” He probably thought I had been taking shots from a flask hidden in my purse.

I expected Playoff season to be busy, but not brain-fizzling busy. I can barely put a sentence together at the end of the day. And with  so many “clinch” games on the line, the travel plans for the business staff are set and reset every few hours. From a logistics standpoint — a huge headache. Where is Doc Brown and his time-traveling DeLorean when you need him?!

As teams got eliminated, we happily tossed their postseason paperwork in the trash,  one less ballpark to worry about until the spring. Smack in the middle of this planning maelstrom, one of my cohorts called in sick — for two days! Dude was sick from being hungover. Pile it on, bro.

Someone not super-wise and a bit egomaniacal did share this spot-on nugget with me a long, long time ago, “Out of chaos, comes opportunity.”  And that it did. I evolved into the “clutch” team player and was rewarded with some newfound respect, trust and — tickets to see my Yankees clinch the ALCS! Seeing the sponsorship details I work on come to life in my hometown ballpark, filled with over 40,000 striped fans (including my boyfriend) makes getting out of bed everyday worth it. And the best part was I finally got J. to shut up about the tickets! But Lord help me if the Yanks make it to the World Series…

There’s No Crying in Baseball!

When I decided to go to grad school full time this semester, I took a big leap of…faith…of the unknown…of “Why the hell not?” I had been waiting on an offer for a VP position at an established Media Company, and it was going on way too long, over two months. I know a VP role is a big deal, but really after 60 days if you’re still on the fence about me — I don’t want to work for you. Not to say if they call on Monday, I won’t pick up, but I don’t sit still.

Last week, in addition to the three classes I’m taking at night, I started my MLB graduate assistant/intern position, which is full time, EVERY DAY. Walking out of class Tuesday night at 9pm, I got caught in a monsoon in Midtown, and spent 20 minutes looking for a store to buy a notebook. When I finally found Office Depot, it was CLOSED. A deluge of tears added to the rainwater already soaking me. Hunched under a broken black umbrella in Times Square, I was relieved to find a quiet moment in one of the busiest intersections in the world. I bawled for 20 minutes. It wasn’t about the notebook.

It’s been said, “The more you do, the more efficient you become.” Right now I feel like a juggler trying to balance on a a giant exercise ball, tossing eight flaming torches in the air. But I know this is the only way to reach my goal: Landing a position at a Tier One Company that I LOVE. To be more clear, a place where colleagues aren’t stealing my ideas while telling me to “Work smarter, not harder.” Yes, theft is definitely working smarter, my dear.

So why am I questioning my decision every hour on the hour? Exhaustion. I’ve been sleeping an average of six hours a night, because when I get home I want to unwind and hang out with my boyfriend and puppy.

And them? They miss me…well at least the puppy does! J.  isn’t used to me not being available on speed dial in a moment’s notice. “What do you mean you can’t talk at work? Why aren’t you answering my texts?!”

But all this prep is for him, too. When I’m happy with what I’m doing, it gravitates to all beings in my life. When I’m miserable, and contemplating a career as an arsonist, I can be quite scary. He is experiencing his own growing pains in the real estate world — unreliable clients, unbelievable competition and super quick-turnaround on properties.

If we make it through the next three months — especially with Baseball Playoffs + Grad School Midterms in October — we will have rounded a major relationship base.

Wish us luck or wish us failure…only time will tell.

Chug It While You Can!

With the approval of NYC’s ban on sugary drinks over 16 0z., a debate is stirring between me and my soda-guzzling man. I admire Bloomberg’s efforts to curb obesity…and yes, it’s a small step, but it’s a step in a path less glazed with sugar.  J. thinks people are entitled to drink whatever the hell they want, whenever they want. He drinks Coke, I drink Diet Coke. When we go to the movies, he comes back from the concession saddled with popcorn, mozzarella sticks and a drink larger than my head — that’s empty before the movie even starts (thanks to the 25 previews!). Neither of us is motivated enough during the flick to go for the free refill, but we have grabbed it once or twice on the way out. So what will we do now? Smuggle water bottles in our bags, just like everyone else. Besides, what’s a large soda cost anyway? $10? Bloomberg will not only be helping our waistline, but our wallets.

I used to be the kind of girl that got offended when a waiter automatically brought me a Diet Coke when I had asked for a Coke. What, just because I had two X chromosomes it meant I only drank diet soda?! But that’s changed. I gave up sugary drinks years ago and lost five lbs. within a month. I also changed my morning brew mixers to nonfat milk and Splenda vs. the old standby — milk and sugar. Amazing the difference that makes. Yeah, the first few weeks were awful, but your taste buds adjust so you should literally suck it up.

J. is the type who chugs Mountain Dew from the bottle (without pouring it into a glass), eats chicken wings drenched in blue cheese and convulses when I mention using whole wheat pasta with sauce on Sundays. His mashed potatoes have two sticks of butter and I usually can’t move off the couch for two hours after eating them. He’s young and thin and can get away with it for now…but I am trying to slowly break him of these habits. He’s started to eat salmon, albeit with a pound of those butter-soaked mashed potatoes on the side, but still it’s a new food group!

So kudos to Bloomberg for taking a small, yet important step that will be criticized by consumer groups for months to come. I got your back. Change takes protest!

You’ve Been Replaced

J., there’s someone else. It’s just that you’ve been working so much lately, and I know it’s for “Us”, but I’ve been at home alone, and I was missing you and…

He’s been there all this time…waiting…waiting for the chance to step in. Always listening to me intently with unabated curiosity and a raised brow. Everything I say to him is worthy of his attention (unless he’s eating).  He flirts and bats his lashes my way and breathes hot, heavy steamy kisses in my ear while murmuring sweet sounds. He licks my neck — REALLY licks it. He hates it when I cry, when I pace and he hates it even more when I yell.

I feel safe when I clutch on to his broad, muscular chest, thick neck and am temporarily blinded when he flashes his sparkling, killer set of teeth my way. If anyone stares at me a second too long, he will bite their f*ckin head off! And that makes me feel really desirable, especially the way he protectively leaps in front of me backing his butt into my knees.

So maybe it’s time you move to the spare room upstairs and just let us be. I’d like him to cuddle with me for more than nap time or those five minutes in the dead of night when you run to the bathroom. He’s not a bed-warmer, he’s my baby.

Bet you never thought you’d have to worry about THIS Italian stud. What do you think my mom will think if I marry a mastiff? Yeah, as long as I get married, she won’t care…and I’ve done a little research (it’s legal in Bali), and don’t worry you’re totally invited to the wedding, who did you think was going to give me away?

http://www.pleated-jeans.com/2010/07/06/how-to-marry-your-pet/