First I just wanted to say “wassup girl!” It was soooo good to see you this weekend at The Second City. I thought we might get to hang out after your reading but I totally get you’re busy. That’s why I thought I’d just wait outside the theater until the end of the show to see where you went. I even waited until the security guard locked the building. It’s too bad, Rach, because I made a handshake for us, and you’re totally going to love it. It ends with us making faces like Debbie Downer!
Anyway, I just wanted to thank you again for signing my copy of your new book. I know you tried to write “Enjoy the book!” but I think I made you nervous, because sometimes when I get excited I forget to blink. Maybe that’s why it looks like you wrote “Crazy the look!” No worries though–I totally know what you meant.
And it goes without saying that your book is like, totally awesome. My favorite part is the way it smells. Did you have to request that special? So smart! I threw out my Febreze–now, when I put on my shirt from the day before, I just rub the book under my pits and I’m good to go. I call it “La Livre de Raquel.”
Needless to say, this book has like totally changed my life. I’d like to think I made that clear during the Q/A session. Thanks again for answering fourteen of my questions. Except, I still don’t know why you wouldn’t answer me when I asked for your mailing address. I took like a million photos of you during the reading, and I already turned them into a kick-ass scrapbook for us. Thanks to Photoshop we’re in Mexico in all of them drinking Skinny Girl Margaritas, and instead of reading reading Girl Walks into a Bar, we’re reading US Weekly and counting Matthew McConaughey’s abs. Honestly, Rachie, it’s so us!
Anyway, you can just message me your address when you accept my Facebook friend request, and I’ll send it to you when I send you your half of our Best Friends necklace.
Hugs from your Number 1 Fan!
Yesterday the best thing happened. My Mac broke, which meant I had a legitimate excuse to go trolling for Geniuses. I put on my favorite red lipstick, packed my nerd-bait, and sauntered into the Apple store.
Me: Hello. I’m here to speak with a Genius.
Genius: Sure. I can help.
Me: Yes, but are you a Genius?
Genius: Yep. Why else would I have this walkie-talkie in my belt holster?
Me: Excellent point. Ok, great: I’ll have a dirty martini, extra olives.
Genius: Um, we don’t serve alcohol here.
Me: You mean this is a dry Genius Bar?
Genius: Yep, repairs only.
Me: Well I’m an Average Intellect but I’ve never known anything a little alcohol couldn’t fix…if you know what I mean.
Genius: What’s wrong with your eye?
Me: Nothing. Never mind.
Genius: Well, what seems to be the problem with your laptop today?
Me: I was told by a Genius this morning that I needed to come back for a new fan and have it installed.
Genius: A fan?
Me: Yes, I know. It makes like, NO sense. How the hell would you fit a fan in a MacBook Air? Duh.
Genius: Let me just go take a look and I’ll be right back.
Me: Sure. No problem. I’ll just read my book: The Dungeon Master’s Guide. By the way, you probably hear this all the time, but you look really good in blue.
**Twenty five minutes later.**
Genius: So good news and bad news.
Me: They are making another Star Wars.
Genius: What? No. We fixed your computer.
Me: Excellent! So what’s the bad news?
Genius: Well it’s not so bad, really. It’s just that it was never really broken.
Me: What do you mean?
Genius: Well, apparently you had it repaired here a couple of months ago, and when we did that repair, we just actually… well, we never plugged the fan back in.
Me: What? I’ve made two trips to the Apple Store today because you forgot to plug the fan back in? You know what I think? I think a real Genius never would have let that happen. Somewhere in the middle of playing Settlers of Catan, he would have put down his Mountain Dew and thought, “You know what? I’M GLAD I PLUGGED IN THAT FAN.”
Did you even go to math camp? I’m sorry. I don’t think this is going to work between us.
Now that I’m newly single, I’ve thrust myself back into the abyss of online possibility. Line up the suitors: this Little Disaster has gone to market. Fortunately, it’s taken no time at all to start receiving love letters from near and far.
My most recent came from OKCupid:
hey-wow, you sure are beautiful and seem strong and confident . i am looking for an open minded girl as friend and cuddle buddy and try new experiences which are comfortable . pls don’t be offended , but got to ask, do you have a dominating side or want to try it , or like your armpits admired ? i am not for hookups or a serious relation . are you interested ?
To which I wasted no time replying:
Let me start by saying I admire your simplicity of language– so sparse, yet so descriptive. I also think it takes a strong, confident man to ignore capitalization altogether. Away with it, I say! Love knows no limits. Or grammar.
As per your inquiry about my dominating side, I am left-handed. This often takes people by surprise, they say, “Really? You’re left handed?” And I have to say, “Yes! Didn’t you see me try to use your carrot peeler? It was a disaster!”
Regarding your interest in my armpits, I’m flattered. I always thought I had fat armpits. (What can I say? Seventh grade was the worst.) But if you’d like to admire them, my underarms would like nothing more than your affection. Just keep it casual–don’t say things you don’t mean, especially if you don’t intend a serious relation. My armpits are very skittish. They’ve been through a lot: the last guy that tried to adore them turned out to be gay.
Looking forward to hearing from you again, my little Scribe.
It’s Tax Day today, and if you’re anything like me it means you put this off to the last possible minute. After unsuccessfully trolling for accountants on OKCupid last night, I eventually turned to TurboTax. Much like my grandma who always asks me why I didn’t bring someone home for Christmas, TurboTax also manages to rub my relationship status in my face, year after year:
Ultimately it wasn’t that bad. I even got money back because as we know, I’m very big into charity. Even though I stopped I supporting my child in the Dominican Republic last year, I did donate two garbage bags of dresses and accessories to the The Brown Elephant, which is kind of the same thing.
And you can only imagine my surge of patriotism when while e-filing I learned that Uncle Sam considers being a Disaster a tax write-off. Why else would those wrinkled, champagne-stained chiffon dresses and extra strength support girdles be tax deductible?
Thanks to my 2011 tax refund, I’m in the money, and some Disasterella is going to give my dresses a second chance. In their former life they were worn to bed by a passed-out bridesmaid with Cheetos-stained fingers. But not this year. This year they will be worn with heels without orthopedic inserts and will wind up on the floor at the end of the night thanks to a grabby groomsman.
And that, Dear Disasters, is a tax write-off that warms the heart.
Here’s to 2012!
One Saturday in November I got my hair done for the first time at the Kelly Cardenas salon. This would have been like any other day in November except it happened to be the day after I had gone on the most amazing first date ever. He was charming, he listened intently, he paid for everything, and by the end of the night we’d planned dates two and three.
Now I should have had my eye out for red flags, but how could I see straight? I was temporarily blinded by fireworks. I was still floating when I introduced myself to Nicole, the stylist who would later become my hairapist. It was while under the influence of romance that I decided to do something dramatic to my hair.
“Give me a new cut and color,” I said. “Something fun, and fresh–for the new me.”
“What do you mean ‘new you’?”
“Oh Nicole, honey. I met a guy. And let’s just say: there were fireworks.”
But by February, things weren’t looking so good. I needed hairapy in a bad, bad way. Not only was my hair fading, but I could feel my relationship washing out too. I went in to see Nicole in the hopes she could help me bring back that spark.
“How are things going with the suitor?” she asked.
“They’re good. I mean, I don’t know where he is right now–he travels a lot–but he’s going to call me when he’s back in town and we’re for sure going to hang out then. Things are really great when he’s in Chicago.”
“Uh-hum.” She said with the raised eyebrow of a woman who has heard it all. But I wasn’t listening.
“Make me look like Rihanna,” I said. “No, make me look like Rihanna’s older sister. No no, make me look like Rihanna’s accountant. Something edgy, yet practical.”
But even my spunky red highlights weren’t enough to keep this relationship from splitting at the ends. Last week I went back to the salon for the third time:
“Can you please just do something about this red, it turned all brassy in the sun, and now that it’s growing out I’m starting to look like the actual Rihanna… And can you just bring that wine bottle over here, so I don’t have to keep asking that poor assistant to fill this up?”
“Uh oh. What’s going on?” she asked, tying the hair smock around my neck.
“I broke up with my suitor,” I said through my tumbler of Chardonnay.
“Remember how I told you it was fireworks?”
“I was wrong. It wasn’t fireworks, it was a sparkler. They kinda look the same, but one fizzles out and burns you if you hold on too long.”
“I’m sorry,” my hairapist said, examining my mismatched hair. “What should we do about this?”
“Take me back to the old me,” I said, looking in the mirror.
And with that I began the slow and tedious return to the brunette I hadn’t seen in months. And while I waited patiently in foils, I ordered myself a large pizza and had it delivered to my chair.
It feels good to get back to my roots.
Sorry I’ve been so M.I.A. Disasters. I can’t tell you how glad I am to be back.
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No matter how you shake the snow globe, winter is problematic for single people. Cold weather not only signals the start of social hibernation, it also means it’s time to bundle up. Now, as a long-time resident of cold weather climates, I was forced to overcome my vanity long ago. From the months of October to April, I walk around like a snow hobo (or as I like to call it, “snobo”). If you’re looking for me, I’ll be the one wearing the neckwarmer, scarves, ear muffs, hat and multiple pairs of long johns. And while I may look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, padding my curves is not even my biggest concern with the Bundle Up.
See, every time I go for a run along the lake I see so many hot guys walking their dogs, running, or biking. One of these days I will offer up a coy left hand wave and they’ll notice my untethered bling finger, start up a conversation, and the next thing you know, we’ll be splitting protein shakes and pushing a double-wide stroller down the bike path. It’s really just a matter of time.
But when temperatures start dropping, that daydream is put on pause. Why? Because it’s glove season: now there is no way to know who’s single and who’s not.
That’s why I came up with a plan. Fear not Disasters! Here’s an easy guide to winterizing your game:
1. Start with a pair of gloves. (I like to go with black–it makes my hands look so skinny!)
2. Simply cut the ring finger off of the left hand. Note: Kitchen scissors will work fine for this.
And voila! Three easy steps to liberating your ring finger. You’re ready to hit the trails. Go get ‘em, Snobos.
Newsfeed newsflash: my Facebook Wall is experiencing a curious case of Benjamin Button.
My friends’ status updates used to be accompanied by profile pictures of smiling faces in wedding gowns, but then suddenly, something strange happened. Seemingly overnight, all my friends’ profile pictures have turned into babies.
It’s a virtual regression epidemic, and as more and more of my friends have babies, the more I’m called to duty as a Friend-Aunt (or “Fraunt” if you want to get technical about it). True, being a Frauntie has it’s benefits. On the plus side it means you’re part of the Inner Circle (you probably have the bridesmaid dress to prove it). On the down side, it means you owe a shit ton of baby gifts.
One of my college roommates is now a mother of two. When she delivered her first adorable bundle of joy I was in the hospital with flowers, a children’s book and a stuffed animal that sings. I even attended the first birthday party, and marveled at the way she made the cupcakes look like armadillos.
But when she gave birth to her second, I found myself Frauntie cash-strapped. Each baby store I entered blew my mind: a tiny stuffed monkey was $25. A onesie that said “party at my crib” was thirty bucks. I thought I could get off cheap by buying a cute pair of shoes (go with what you know) but those were $40, and would probably only last half a diaper change before he outgrew them.
I was on my way home, feeling totally dejected, when I passed the pet store. Something in the window caught my eye: a basket full of stuffed animals and a sign that read $9.99. Gold mine.
When I showed up at my friend’s house I handed her my gift, beaming with the pride of a second-time Frauntie.
“This is adorable,” she said.
“It’s a squirrel!” I said. “It squeaks! He’s gonna love it.”
“And you wrapped it so well, too. What was this on top?”
“Oh, that’s raw hide. They threw that in extra. I figured it would come in handy when he starts teething.”
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Marketing junk food to children is terrible. Marketing junk food to girls is even worse. It may seem like simple syrup fun when you’re young, but take it from one who knows–it takes years to undo those sticky sweet illusions.
My favorite candy growing up was Charleston Chew- its chocolate marshmallow goodness was not only delicious, it was educational, too! It made for excellent temperature experiments: it somehow got even more tasty frozen, and when heated in the microwave, it exploded and broke your mom’s best glassware. But what I didn’t know then was that this sugar high would come crashing down when I’d meet the real Charleston Chew a decade later: the frat boy I dated from South Carolina with a tobacco problem. (He was not sweet, but did explode and break shit when heated.)
It’s sad when reality overrides nostalgia, but it’s inevitable. Girls are raised thinking a “Happy Meal” is something you get at McDonald’s, only to realize it’s just a date that doesn’t end hiding in the bathroom. But even that false advertising is nothing compared to the class action suit I’d like to bring against Hostess for deceiving American children. The hardest thing about the childhood version of a Hostess was licking abnormally hard frosting off of a cupcake. The hardest part about the adult version is fitting all your dirty laundry in the oven, plating the takeout before your guests arrive, and still remembering to hide your antidepressants.
Not. The. Same.
I guess the moral of the story is this: the next time you find yourself cruising the snack aisle, think twice. The food industry has been polluting our bodies and minds with empty calories and empty hopes since we were children. And while you think you may be just one fix away from sugar bliss, it will never be as good as you remember.
Well, with one exception. The juice box still delivers a smile:
Last night some friends and I went to The Happy Village. The Happy Village is great because it serves cheap beer, has an amazing patio, and is typically filled with apathetic hipsters who can’t be bothered to talk to you, so it serves as a safe haven from bad pickup lines.
But of course, I managed to find the outlier. Or rather, he found me. He was wearing a sweatshirt and a backwards Cubs hat, and he looked like he’d been there for the better part of the month. He saw our group of five girls and instantly relocated next to us at the bar.
“’Scuze me ladies. You girls ever heard of the VWF bar?” he asked.
“Yeah, I don’t think it’s very far from here,” I said.
“Well, some buddies and I are gonna go there later for karaoke. If you want to come.” Then he stared straight at my chest, leaned in, and whispered, “Think it over… Just promise me you’ll think it over.”
“They can’t talk,” I said, and turned back to my friends. (I don’t exactly remember what we were debating but I think it was something really important, like why you should give a guy with a flip phone a chance.) Then, all of a sudden out of the corner of my eye, I saw his hand raised in the air.
“’Scuze me. Escuze me ladies. I have a question,” he said.
“Proceed,” I answered.
“I am meeting some buddies later. We’re gonna play poker. You guys should come. And just so you know, I’m not a creep” he said, taking a step backwards to steady himself on his invisible boat. “There will be girls there.”
“I thought you were going to karaoke?” I said.
“I never said that.”
“Oh but you did.”
“You’re druuuunk,” he said with his eyes closed. “I’m going to play poker with some friends. There will be girls there though. I’m not a creep. Just think it over,” he said, this time swaying into the bar. “Think it over.”
In one quick move my friend stepped in front of him blocking him from the conversation. (She’s never worn a uniform in her life, but where bar sports are involved, she’s varsity.)
I leaned over to order another round, and saw his hand in the air again. He was waving it with the intensity of a second grader who had just pounded four Capri Suns and was in desperate need of the bathroom pass. This time he didn’t wait to be called on to ask his question:
“Where is the party headed ladies?” he asked. “You know, I’m going to have some people over later. I have a roof deck with a jacuzzi. You guys should come.” He said, again focusing his stare on my chest and swallowing hard. “If you don’t have bathing suits, that’s ok.”
“You know what?” I said. “While the thought of karaoke strip poker in a jacuzzi with you sounds totally amazing, my boobs and I have been thinking it over, and we think we’d rather poke our eyes out with a PBR, or go home on a 10-speed with a guy with a mustache. So, you should probably just stop talking now. You’re wasting your beer breath.”
He lifted his head, tried hard to focus his blank gaze in the general direction of my face, high-fived me and walked away.
And that Dear Disasters, is how you shake a Stage Five drunk.
Think it over.
As you know, I broke my bed. If I told you this happened in some freak sextastrophe, I would give you a high-five. But I would also be lying. I believe I first heard the distinctive “crack” after flopping backwards onto my bed in a dramatic “I’m too fat to fit in my jeggings” moment. But, like many Disasters, I had no idea how to fix my fractured nap-maker. That’s why I’ve assembled this helpful guide:
How To Fix A Broken Bed Frame
1. Do absolutely nothing. Stay very, very still. Maybe if you just think repair thoughts, it will fix itself.
2. If doing nothing doesn’t work, try doing it longer. Wait 3-4 months and see if this problem self-corrects.
3. If, after several months, you have developed sleeping problems or soreness from sleeping downhill, start to hint around with some of your more handy friends for help. Try something like this: “Love your haircut- it’s super masculine. You look like a guy who knows his way around a hardware store. Do you? Do you know your way around a hardware store?”
4. If that doesn’t work, open your toolkit (also known as your “silverware drawer”). Find an attractive butter knife. Attempt to place it vertically under your sagging box spring with the precision and intensity of a game of strip Jenga. Swear repeatedly.
5. If this fails, well, it’s no wonder: you just tried to fix your bed with a butter knife. Next, try something more sturdy–like books.
Helpful Hint: Be sure to use books that you no longer need, as once these are secured into position they will stay there for as long as that mayonnaise has been in your refrigerator.
This is what I did, and it worked like a dream:
And who said I’d never use those cookbooks?
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