Thrifty Dating

Dating, Shopping

*Disclaimer: I apologize in advance for all the selfies in this post.

Since taking my unplanned hiatus from blogging, I’ve had a lot of time to do other things. Take away a 21st century kid’s WiFi connection and she’s forced to do things like read books, interact with humans outside of Facebook, and be outside. Go figure. I’ve also had time to do a lot of thrift shopping around the Fort Worth area. In addition to finding some great jumpsuits, belts, and the occasion denim poncho, a thought occurred to me today: the way I go thrifting is similar to the way I have been viewing dating, as of late.

A few thrift store finds.

Allow me to further explain. When I go to a thrift store I don’t go to find the latest trends or to have some item that every other girl is wearing around town. I could have bought that shit at Forever 21 if I wanted that chevron striped blouse or neon pink mini dress. 

No. I’m at a thrift store to find that one item that is buried underneath racks of clothes I would never consider. That one item that’s worn in, that’s old news, that has character, that has a history behind it’s seams, and most importantly – one of a kind in a sea of worthless crap.

My dating parameters reflect the same notion. I’ve realized that I can’t date a cookie cutter guy who loves Coors Light, goes to the gym or plays video games in his free time, works at some sort of business that involves finance or real estate, and wishes for nothing more than for the Texas Rangers or the Dallas Cowboys to get to the playoffs this year. That just isn’t right for me. Neither is the guy who wears Buddy Holly style glasses, wears plaid in the middle of the summer, rides a bike because he’s ‘saving the environment’ and can’t afford a car, and spews the same hipster bullshit I hear all the time.

There’s a guy for me somewhere who can make me smile as much as a floral printed jumpsuit. He’ll also fit me just as perfectly.

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Ignore the awkward pose, in reality this thing looks bitchin’ on me.

Looking over the racks of discarded clothing, I also realized how many loved things end up going back into a sea of unwanted items. How many lovers will I end up discarding over the years? Will it be comparable to the amount of unwanted plaid pant suits with shoulder pads? Maybe. But that’s life. We use and consume until something becomes undesirable to us. Whether it’s because it’s last season or because it forgets your birthday, somehow and some way, clothes and people start to become nonessential to our lives over time.

But the cliches still remain tired and true: one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. There’s plenty of fish overalls people in the sea. There’s got to be someone out there for each of us. Someone who fits into our lives as perfectly as a blazer fits into my wardrobe. Someone equally as fabulous, outrageous, original, but definitely worth more that $2.99. Someone like a shirt with a shark on it. You just have to dig to find something truly unique.

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Expiration Dating

Dating

Dating with an end point in mind is complicated. It’s a mind fuck. Because as real as the emotions are, there is almost a sense of falsehood in every word. They’re laced with a timed anthrax that will inevitably wreck havoc on your psyche.

I mean maybe that’s a little bit of a strong metaphor, but dammit I like this boy a lot.

When I first started dating The Hillbilly (I realize the risk of using this nickname may conquer up images of men in coveralls. Which, incidentally, is partly accurate. However, he’s hot and doesn’t have a beard or gray hair, so there’s that) I was attracted to him for a number of reasons. He was funny, he was so damn cute, liked live music, and most of all was extremely laid back. So I wanted to keep things casual. We liked each other and we hung out. At some point I would leave for Austin and essentially we would shake hands and walk away.

Sometimes I think I may be constantly drunk, because even in a perfect world that would never fucking work out. Which it didn’t.

A friend recently called to my attention that despite my bro-like tendencies, I am a hopeless romantic deep down. Accurate as she may be, I hope and wish and pray that I could stop. I root for the happy endings. I want the couple to end up together or get back together. I think we should tell each other our feelings. I know there’s someone out there for everyone. Basically, like every girl in America, I overdosed on Disney movies as a kid, coming of age movies as a teen, and romantic comedies as a young woman.

Damn you media.

I’ll admit a small part of me had high hopes for the Hillbilly. But when we told me that at the end of the summer he is moving out West (I’m seriously not kidding about the country boy thing) that small part sank deeper than Jack from the Titanic.

I came face to face with the inevitable end of the relationship. No matter what I say or do within the coming months, we will shake hands and walk away. In a split second, his potential to become something more than just a memory vanished. I’m caught at a crossroads. Do I continue down this road, steadily increasing my miles per hour towards a crash I knowingly find myself hurtling towards? Or conversely, do I abruptly stop, get the fuck out of the car, and aimlessly try to hitchhike, knowing that I prematurely altered my destination.

I know this whole decision is making for some great metaphors, but in my head I’m at a loss for words.Although, I’ve had it argued to me that relationships end for a myriad of reasons and distance shouldn’t be one of them, I learned my lesson about distance last year. Distance can and does end budding romances, no matter how strong the feelings (or the accents) may be. Hell, distance ends grounded relationships too.

Timing becomes something more than the intangible, it becomes a force in your life, coming into a direct collision with your plans. It begins to decide for you, without your consent, raping you a choice in a matter you feel you should have a say in.

Was raping too strong of a word? My apologies. Timing is bitch with a sick sense of humor.

Natural Sightings of Manly Behavior

Dating

As I detailed last week, I’ve been hanging out in the country a little bit. While all the sunshine, campfires, and homemade eggs for breakfast have been incredible, I’m certainly getting something more from the experience.

Unbridled access to men and what they do every day.

Let me tell you, it’s not that interesting.

But there is definitely some merit in to this window of normally hidden male behavior. Men have these incredulous imaginations about what women do when we’re together. Naked pillow fights, wrestling in jello, telling our friends how big your dick is, etc. The ridiculousness of these fantasies is just one of the many parts of the male psyche women will never understand. Alternatively, women imagine us telling your friends about how great we are, how we seem to smell amazing and that you can’t wait for us to meet your parents.

I would rather a boy mention to his friends how awesome I am at racquetball or riding unicorns. Something along those lines. I like having a reputation to live up to.

What I’m saying here is that women and men have very different ideas of what we do when we aren’t trying to impress the opposite sex. One of the most agonizing things we go through while dating in the 21st century is waiting for a god-forsaken text message reply. I wrote a blog post last summer about what to do when you’re guy isn’t texting you, but I never explored what women think men are actually doing when they’re not texting us.

Here’s what I’ve observed 5 single men doing in their spare time. The good news is that they do most of these shirtless. So at least there’s that:

-Drinking beer. So much so that they don’t have a hand to hold their phone, or possibly the motor skills.

-Playing music: Not only are they concentrating on playing the instrument but the music drowns out any noise from a phone.

-Shooting the shit. Men sit around and talk just like women do. Although it’s mostly just bullshit jokes, they are still committed to focusing on what their conversation is revolving around. Whether it’s about how to survive a zombie apocalypse or a story about a drunken night, men give their undivided attention to a spectrum of topics.

-Mowing, hoeing, working on a car, other man stuff. Working with their hands in general.

-Holding stuff. This is self-explanatory and can range from a multitude of objects – such as sticks, cigarettes, darts, and even food.

Generally speaking, these boys are focused on their lives first. Their priorities lie within what’s right in front of them at this moment. So if you want a guy to spend time thinking about you, don’t send a witty text that references Anchorman man ever so subtly. Just invite your damn self over to enjoy the fun.

“Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.” —Katharine Hepburn

Happy Monday y’all!

Good Ole Country Boys

Dating

I may be from Texas but there isn’t ain’t anything country about this girl. As Carrie Bradshaw says, “Im whatcha call a bonafide city girl.”

But I’m seeing a wholeheartedly country boy.

But the thing is he’s not typical I guess. Sort of. Well he likes to read and listen to rock music (we met at a rock show, Hanna Barbarians, check em out they’re great). But he loves being outside. He calls me darlin. He drinks Miller High Life and thinks my craft beer is over priced and pretentious. Which lets be real, admittedly it may be a tad indulgent. He’s a welder. He welds for a living because he loves working with his hands. His hair is long because he doesn’t want to get haircuts. He drives a beat up truck. He has that southern drawl that everyone in Europe expects me to have.

Oh and he’s a ginger. I should mention that too.

But the ultimate thing that I’m attracted to him is his authenticity. It’s refreshing to meet someone who is just as honest about who they are and what they like as me. It’s not something I’m used to.

There’s nothing off limits with us. We talk freely and openly. It’s always goofy, sarcastic, playful, and honest. I smile a lot. But I laugh even more.

About as country as I get.

The most surprising thing about him though is how he’s challenging my idea of what life is supposed to look like. When I look at him and his life I see another road I’d never even knew existed in this map of life.

When I went to Italy I was challenged to see a vast array of options in the European landscape in order to escape the stress of my eventual American life. I saw how I could relax, enjoy a walk, drink coffee, all while being constantly inspired by the beauty and history of Europe.

With him I see this American life I haven’t ever truly thought possible. But here he is, a living embodiment of it. He lives in a farmhouse outside of Fort Worth with 4 other awesome dudes. They play music together (using a guitar, harmonica, and banjo) or play catch outside in the sun. They all work hard every day. They are all so blissfully content and maintain such a low level of stress I can’t help but remain at ease in their presence. I catch myself wondering how much happier a life I would lead if I didn’t go into the high-stress world of advertising, with a world of deadlines and demanding clients looming over my head. I wonder what it would be like to not live in a bustling city with nameless faces and negative energy swirling around me. I catch myself wondering so many things I’ve never considered that I have to take a step back and just breathe and enjoy the country air.

Added bonus? He’s just about the damnedest best kisser this side of the Mississippi.

*Not an accurate representation

“I Love You” and Other Idiotic Phrases

Dating

Remember that time you accidently said “I love you” to your sort-of boyfriend of three months?

Oh, wait you probably don’t because that happened to me. Not you.

We are all creatures of habit, and for several years I was dropped off at school by loving parents who would often wish me well, tell me to make good choices, and often say “Goodbye, love you!” As a teenager I would slam the car door shut as quickly as possible to ensure no one heard the ridiculous affection my parents had for me. In middle school the only love I wanted was from my boyfriend of two weeks. It was social suicide to have parents hug you, let alone tell you they loved you. Obviously, this may be an exaggeration. But back then it sure as hell felt that way.

After years of carpool lanes and “Goodbye, love you!”, I was taught to reciprocate. So when The Bartender dropped me off for my class last week, I instinctively said “Love you!” as I closed the car door.

As the car drove away, this was me:

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As soon as I sat down in my class I hurriedly sent a text: FORCE OF HABIT ACCIDENT. 

I wasn’t aware that I could feel utterly mortified, embarrassed, disgraced, shamed and humiliated all at the same time. (Except for the morning after I threw up a hostel floor and my roommate had to clean it up and remind me about it the next morning) but it turns out I have that ability even when I haven’t been drinking.

*On another note: more posts to come after this college kid finishes her final exams.

The Next Level

Dating

I maybe should have prefaced that I would be talking a lot about dating on this blog, mainly because it’s the most new and unexplored territory that I encounter in my day to day life. It used to entail engaging with Italian culture and formulating travel plans. Now I’m reduced to analyzing the meaning behind the use of the word ‘babe. Go figure.

So as things have forged on with The Bartender, I’m entering into new territory once again.  The shift from dating to a relationship. It’s been a solid two months since we began dating and we’re spending loads of time together every day. At certain points he’s used the word ‘babe’ in regards to me. The first time he said it was in the middle of the night when I was tossing and turning, with sleep hours away. I thought I heard it wrong. He must have said “What’s wrong Dave?” reverting back to that one time he went through a curious phase in college.

I’m joking of course. He doesn’t have any homosexual tendencies…that I know of.

Then he used in again. So casually. Babe. I guess I missed the memo that we are at the point of pet names. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing wrong with the term itself. I’m just confused about what it means, besides the name of a pig or a hot girl on the beach.

In a time where your relationship status is plastered on your Facebook for everyone to see and where DTR conversations are rampant (DTR: Defining The Relationship) what actually constitutes the next level of dating?

When I was 15 and started dating my ex-boyfriend, we said “I love you” after 2 weeks. At the time, it was just what you said to make the end of phone calls less awkward than ‘bye’. It only came after time that I found what it truly meant. And I firmly believe that every love is different, every relationship brings a new dynamic, a new power struggle, a new set of problems, and new joys.

So what do I do at this point? The Bartender has commitment issues (surprise surprise) so he’s not ready for the official label yet. Honestly, neither am I. I was a ‘girlfriend’ for so long and I had all the duties that came with the title. So what does being in a relationship really mean outside of the digital realm? From what I’ve gathered it means that you care about the person, more than just a regular hook-up and dinners. You find yourself wanting to spend time with them over other people. You want to cook for them. You’re definitely not seeing anybody else or actively looking for better options. You’re happy. You’re still struggling to figure out the other person. Every day, you let a little more of your guard down and let them see another side of you. Much like everything else in my life right now, it’s terrifying.

 

Disasters in Dating

Dating, Drinking, Personal

WTF.

I apologize for the lack of posts. What with school starting up again this fall I haven’t been nearly as bored as I was during my internships. But there’s something else I’ve been doing lately – I’m kind of, sort of, seeing someone.

Oh yes.

I feel like just as I was getting into the whole idea of being single and gettin’ my swag on at the bars every weekend, I just happened to wind up dating someone. After of course, my mother asked him for his phone number and he subsequently wrote it down for us as a joke. And then I in turn left him a note reading, “If you were just working for a tip tonight, great job, but if you need someone to squeeze your flat ass sometime, give me a call.”

Oh yes.

And my crass humor and brazen (mostly delusional) self-confidence got me a lunch date, followed by many more drinks out and now I’m here. Dating someone. It’s new and it’s uncomfortable and I constantly feel like I have no idea what I’m doing or what I’m supposed to do.  It’s been almost 6 months since I ended things with my ex-boyfriend of over five years. He was my first everything. First real date, first time saying ‘I love you’, first date kiss, first sleepover, first fight, first struggle to find a balance in a relationship.

My most recent first date…ended in a high five.

And the awkwardness didn’t stop there. I’ve been fumbling my way through dating for the past few weeks and let me tell you, it’s nothing like a romantic comedy. I’ve said numerous things that have made me sound more idiotic than a drunk, blonde girl who ‘auditioned’ to be in a Girls Gone Wild video.  I told him I was scared of his penis. I’ve thrown up in his front yard and proceeded to pass out in his bathroom. Last night, on accident, I punched him in the groin.

Oh yes.

I’m sure there will be more stories to come. I can’t imagine I’ll get any better at this.

Hm…really? You don’t say.

Love Letters to Europe: Budapest

Drinking, Love Letters to Europe, Travel

Budapest,

You are the bad boy my mother always warned me about.

You were dirty, you smelled, you were rough, and you were a blur of boys, booze, and baths. Yes, I said baths.

You were also the craziest, most adventurous, and epic weekend of my life.

As soon as I got to the city I got lost. I got on the wrong bus, took a wrong turn, and ended up sitting outside a cafe just to use the Wi-Fi to look at a map. Your language was so confusing and I didn’t understand you at all.

And then I found Retox*.

Retox Party Hostel is where dreams are made, beds are broken, and non-stop drinking began and hasn’t stopped since. I showed up at 11 am and was ushered upstairs into the common room where roughly 8 shirtless dudes were nursing hangovers or still rockin’ the buzz from the night before. At the time, I didn’t know this was an every day occurrence.

I was the fresh prey. I felt like you trapped me, Budapest. You created a booby trap lined with alcohol and penises and bad decisions.

The clap-out. I was pulled into a hostel room and told to clap. Mindlessly I did, slowly looking around and panicking at the amount of dick in this hostel. Then I realized what we were clapping for: a dreadlocked guy, naked, in bed with a redhead who was also naked. Apparently this was her fifth night in the hostel….and she wasn’t staying here. I would later learn more of your traditions like M-I-N-E and Buffalo. I took a tequila shot with cinnamon and orange instead of salt and lime. I remember thinking how bizarre everything felt.

I wasn’t kidding about the plethora of dick at the hostel.

Budapest, you were so bad for me. Instead of giving me water, you handed me pints of beer. Instead of meeting your friends, you introduced me to men whose only interest was getting laid. Instead of sightseeing, you showed me the hostel bar and held me captive for hours drinking with the British guys.

Still, I wouldn’t change you for anything. I laughed so hard. I pushed my comfort boundaries to levels that are unheard of down South. I made friends with anyone and everyone, and it wasn’t just because I was drunk for the majority of the three days.

I wasn’t myself. I was Texas. I was ballsy, brash, blunt, and an overall badass – or so I felt anyways. I’m not really sure what everyone else but I didn’t care. I was so drunk on beer and confidence that I felt like I could take on the world.

You were gentle at times though. Like after I got back from touring all day by myself and I felt lonely, you introduced me to the Aussie who gave me the kind of hug that changes your day. Then he invited me on that alternative walking tour where I got to see your ruin bars and street art. God, you were so cool**. 

I cuddled with boys who reminded me for a few moments what it felt like to just lay next to someone. I remember feeling desired by guys. I left with friends who I wouldn’t ever see again but I knew I wouldn’t forget.

When I left, I cried in the taxi. It was so bittersweet. Boss telling me that I was going to be legend. I told Johnny next time I came back I wanted to work there. It was 4:30 am and I remember thinking, “This is it. I go home in 36 hours. My trip is officially over.” It was the end of Europe, not just you and me.

I know when I come back to you Budapest, I won’t be leaving for weeks because you’ll trap me again. There won’t be a plane ticket or a plan to interfere this time. I’ll give into your temptations without a shred of guilt, without looking ahead, and never looking back.  

Love,

Briana

*I would recommend anyone visiting Budapest to stay at one of the party hostels, preferably Retox, if you love to meet people, go out, and get crazy. Just make sure to prepare your liver beforehand.

**Check out the blog Postcards to Budapest for cool photos of the city, since I was too intoxicated to operate a camera for the duration of my stay.

I’m Drunk and You’re Pretty

Dating, Drinking

The following have been said to or by yours truly.

Things You Don’t Want to Hear in a Bar:

“If they don’t take you home, I will.”

Man: “Usually you would buy me a drink.” Uh actually I wouldn’t and I won’t. I have boobs. Boobs trump penis any day.

“Look, they’ve been laying the groundwork, but I’d much rather go home with you tonight.”

“I’m not with her, she’s just a friend. She’s actually on the Varsity Swim Team.” Yeah, she’s just a friend. And I’m just tipsy.

“I went to BYU.” Mormons.

“How can I get you home?” If you have to ask, it’s not going to happen.

“I’m not doing well, am I?” Not after that comment. Maintaining what little confidence you had is only going to get more difficult from here on out.

“I know your mom.” Although it would be worse if they said, “You look like your mom.”

“Oh you’re from TCU? You’re one of those girls.” Actually no, I’m not one of those girls, but you are, in fact, one of those assholes who assume stereotypes are always correct.

“I would hit that.” And I would hit your face.

“Please stop. You’re messing with my other options.”

“I remember your white blazer from last night. It’s very…um…unforgettable.”

“In my free time I play video games.” Guys, even if this is all you do in your free time, never say it to a girl. I watch Sex and the City all day, every day and I would never admit that to a potential.

Things I’m Fond of Hearing in Bars:

“Could I buy you a beer?” I don’t care that my Shiner is $1 tonight and that’s why you’re offering, a free drink always taste better.

“I’m from Britain.” & “I have a Swedish passport.” Anything that tells me that you are not American and I’m dropping my jaw (among other things) at the bar.

“I’m 24.” & “I work [here].” Job, check. Not a boy, check. Got your shit together, check.

“Would you like this seat?” Thank you for checking out my ass and then noticing how good it looks because of my 5 inch heels that I can barely walk in.

“I can’t concentrate because you’re smile is so pretty.” Aw, shucks, thanks orthodontia.

I hope everyone has a splendid Friday night out.

Don’t Send That Text

Dating

Things to do with your hands instead of texting ‘that guy’:

1. Eat some fruit. Certain fruit is actually quite labor intensive and requires intricate thinking and focus. Your mind needs to be focused on spitting out that seed when you’re eating a cherry or pulling a grape off a vine. You could lose a finger while you’re peeling the skin off that kiwi or mango.

2. Rearrange your apartment. Moving around your cabinets so that your wine glasses are in closer proximity to the bottles of wine will remind you why you live alone and why it’s nice to not have your priorities judged.

3. Make a list. Write a list of all the things you need to do that you’ve been putting off. I mean that Greek yogurt you ran out of this morning isn’t going to buy itself. You could also take this time to make a list of all the reasons why ‘that guy’ sucks at life. Or make a list of all the excuses you’re giving him for not texting you.

4. Facebook stalk your exes. Remember what it felt like to be loved? Those hands are going to have to free to hold the spoon for the ice cream and grab another tissue for your crying eyes.

5. Make a sandwich. It’s good practice for when you eventually get into a relationship and your man is hungry.

6. Brush your teeth and floss. Pearly whites, fresh breath, and a lack of gum disease are going to help you land the next guy who is going to infuriate you.

7. Pick up a new hobby. Photography requires your eyes to look at something else besides your phone screen and you need your fingers to click the button. Make some of the stuff you’ve seen on Pinterest (you only have like 923 DIYs pinned). Whatever you do, don’t pick up knitting, you’re still young. I’m training to compete in the next Olympics. They’ll be held in New Orleans this fall. My sport is drinking and I’m going for the gold…tequila.

This is the Pinterest project I’ll be working on.

8. Write a blog post. Using those quick nibbled fingers to type something other than that lame excuse for a text message. Preferably something that’s thought-provoking and relevant to today’s society.

9. But seriously, focus on yourself instead of him. Your time is better spent on what you need, want, hope, and dream than wasting time wishing for a guy to text you. I finished reading the hilarious book, My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me, and she writes in the end that you can’t keep trying to find someone else to complete you – you have to realize that you are complete just as you are, on your own.

10. Oh that’s another thing you could do, read a book (I’m starting On the Road by Jack  Kerouac) instead of re-reading your previous texts hoping that you’re sarcasm, wittiness, and sexiness all came across in just 10 words.

Cheers to a new week and the hope that my cynicism is confined only to Monday.