Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tova's Totally Awkward Tuesday

Today I'm going to mix things up, and instead of sharing just one Totally Awkward moment, I'll share details of a Totally Awkward relationship I was once in... kind of.

To start, I met the guy on the website Hot or Not (sharing that with you all feels like an awkward moment in itself). He sent me a message after my college roommate and I had posted our pictures online to find out if we were hot... or not. Anyway, I was single for Valentine's Day that year (it was about three months after I'd met Mr. Darling and two months before we actually started dating), and the Hot or Not guy, who we'll call John, asked me on a date, so I said yes. (I met him in a public place and did not expose myself to possible danger... just so you know.) We went to dinner (I forget where) and then to a movie (I can't remember which one), and at the theater we ran into Holly, who has been a friend of mine since eighth grade. She asked how we'd met, and he promptly told her that we'd met on Hot or Not, which embarrassed me to no end. He later accidentally insulted Holly by making a negative comment about her profession.

Our first kiss was in my college apartment. We were sitting on the floor (one of my roommates had moved out at the end of the previous semester and had taken the couch with her) watching a movie, when John leaned in and kissed me. He then pulled back and gazed into my eyes, at which point I sweetly said, "Stop staring at me! Why are you staring at me?" (Seriously, I'm so smooth.)

On our third date, he introduced me to all of his friends, who referred to me as his girlfriend and made me feel extremely uncomfortable. At this point, I had started "talking" more with Mr. Darling, and I realized that I was very interested in dating Mr. D, even though he lived 1,000 miles away from me at that point. This led to my very awkward "breakup" with John, which went something like this:

Me: Um, there's this guy who I met in November, and I've been talking to him for a while, and I'm kind of hoping that something happens with him, so I don't think that it's really fair for me to be dating you while waiting to see if something happens with him.
John: But you're not dating him now?
Me: Well, no. He lives in (name of state that's a thousand miles away).
John: What?? Is he moving here?
Me: Um, no.
John: Is he coming to visit you?
Me: Um, well, he hasn't made any plans to.
John: Has he said that he wants to come see you?
Me: Well, not exactly...
John: So let me get this straight. You could date any guy you want. You could throw a stick up in the air in a room full of guys, and whatever guy it hit when it fell, you could date if you wanted to (this is pretty much a direct quote, which I remember because it seemed like kind of a funny thing to say), but instead of dating a guy who lives near you and who you know actually likes you, you're breaking up with me for a guy who lives a thousand miles away?
Me: Um, yeah... pretty much. I'm really sorry.

As it turned out, my intuition that Mr. Darling was someone really special turned out to be correct, so at least I felt vindicated about my reason for not dating John. Although, I guess even if it hadn't worked out and I wanted a new boyfriend, I could've just gone into a room full of guys and thrown a stick.

Ok, so share your own story about an awkward moment on your blog. If you have an awkward relationship story, feel free to share it. If not, share whatever awkward story you've got! Be sure to link back to my blog from yours so that your friends and readers can play along. Then, link directly back to your awkward post using MckLinky below.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Phrases I hate

The following phrases really annoy me:

"...have your cake and eat it, too." What exactly is the point of having cake if you can't eat it??? People always use this phrase to mean that people are expecting too much and being unrealistic, as in "You just want to have your cake and eat it too," but I challenge you to find one person who wants to have cake but not actually eat it. Who wants cake just for decorative purposes?

"It's always the last place you look." Well, yes, obviously. Because once you've found whatever it is you're looking for, you stop looking. So, the place you found it is the last place that you need to look.

"My bad." (When used in place of "I'm sorry.") For example, someone will accidentally spill something on you and then say, "My bad!" Um, are you claiming responsibility? Because I kind of already knew it was you - an apology would really be more appropriate.

"Quote... unquote." You can't "unquote" someone. It's supposed to be "Quote... end quote," as in "This is the end of the quote I was sharing." (My fifth grade teacher explained this to us, and it's annoyed me ever since.)

I'm sure I'll think of more phrases I hate later. In the meantime, what phrases do you hate?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mr. Darling's Totally Awkward Tuesday

As the title suggests, today's Totally Awkward Tuesday comes to you courtesy of Mr. Darling, who told me this story of something that happened to him last week and made me cringe (and then laugh really hard).

Most professionals in any field know that it's a bad idea to say negative things about a colleague to anyone else unless you know the person you're talking to very well (and even then, it may be a bad idea.) Mr. (Dr.) Darling, who is utterly amazing, is of course also very professional, and he's not the type to talk badly about his coworkers under normal circumstances - or even abnormal circumstances, for that matter.

However, last week, he was working with an attending physician (whom we'll call Dr. Attending) and another new resident (whom we'll call Dr. Resident). He hasn't spent much time working with either of them before, since they're in a different department than he is (and also because he's been working at the hospital for less than a month), so he doesn't know either of them terribly well. For some reason, Dr. Attending was being extremely rude to Dr. Resident - very insulting and demeaning, and generally just being a jerk. Dr. Darling was feeling bad for Dr. Resident, who didn't seem to deserve the abuse. Almost anyone would feel embarrassed at being berated in front of another colleague, so after Dr. Attending walked away, Dr. Darling sympathized with Dr. Resident by saying, "Wow, what a jerk!"

To which Dr. Resident replied, "She's my cousin."

Umm... oops.

Share your own cringe-worthy moment on your blog, link back to mine so that your friends know to join in the fun, and then share a link to your Totally Awkward post by entering it below.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Finding Mr. Right

I don't know about any of you, but when I was in high school, I made a list of qualities, skills, and attributes that my future husband absolutely must have before I would even consider marrying him. And, as you might expect, the list was completely and utterly stupid.

Unfortunately, I can't find the list (it was probably thrown away), but I do remember a few things on it, and they reveal that I clearly had no idea what made a good marriage. For example:

- Must play an instrument. Why? I have no idea. As it turns out, Mr. Darling did play the trumpet in high school, but it has never had any impact on our marriage, as I've never even heard him play. Did I want to be lulled to sleep by the melodious and soothing sounds of a trumpet solo? Did I hope that he would herald my arrival each day by playing that trumpet-y song they play when royalty shows up in a movie? Why on earth did the ability to play an instrument translate to marital bliss in my teen-aged mind?

- Must love to read Shakespeare. Um, seriously? The only thing this reveals is that I was kind of pretentious as a high-schooler. Maybe I thought that my husband and I would sit around and quote sonnets to each other. (Shall I compare thee to a summer's day, Mr. Darling? No, I shall not.) Mr. Darling recently mentioned that he's never read Romeo and Juliet, and I didn't freak out or threaten to divorce him, so hopefully that's a sign that I've become somewhat less ridiculous in the last ten years.

- Must love animals. Apparently, liking them a reasonable amount wasn't enough.

Naturally, some of the things that are really important in our marriage didn't make the list at all. Here are things that weren't on the list but should've been:

-Must be slightly compulsive about neatness. I'm just going to come right out and say it - I'm a slob. And if left to my own devices, I would probably live in squalor. So some subconscious part of my brain that is responsible for self-preservation has always, without my knowledge, sought out guys whose need for neatness and cleanliness bordered on an obsession. This part of my brain is obviously trying to avoid me being the subject of a newspaper article with the headline, "Tragic Accident - Blogger dies by smothering under piles of own clothes." Mr. Darling likes things to be very neat, and he gets frustrated when the house is a wreck. So, my love for Mr. D keeps me from living up to my full slovenly potential, and his love for me and for neatness causes him to clean up my messes without too much complaint.

- Must have patience. I am messy. During one particular week of each month, I can be a bit cranky. If Mr. Darling weren't patient with me, we'd both be miserable. But he treats me with more patience and love than I could've hoped for, even though I don't always deserve it.

So what about you? When you were a kid, what did your dream spouse look like? And has your idea of the perfect mate changed significantly since then?

Friday, July 17, 2009

The one in which Tova gets covered in baby poop

Since I'm unemployed and feeling useless, I've started volunteering at a local nonprofit that offers various services to local women. One of the services they provide is free babysitting for mothers who are in school. Last week, I went with some girls from the Bible Study I've been going to. They each had taken a turn in the nursery, so I decided to offer to take a turn in the nursery the third day. Bad idea.

It was AWFUL! Two of the babies cried nonstop the ENTIRE time. Then one baby - a four month old who had cried for two hours straight - began to cry even more hysterically than normal (she cries all day, every day when she's in the nursery), so I picked her up out of the exersaucer she was in and began walking around with her, singing songs that didn't calm her in the least. Finally, I gave up on walking and sat down to rock her... and then I noticed that my entire left arm, my shirt, and my skirt were COVERED in green poop. It was also in various places around the nursery.

Apparently, she had had a poop explosion in her diaper which then came out of the leg hole of her outfit. I almost barfed. Luckily, the other woman in the nursery (who works there all the time and whom I may nominate for sainthood) offered to change her diaper (and clothes) while I spent 15 minutes getting poop off of myself. When I got home I showered for about an hour.

Let's just say that my timeline for having a child of my own has been pushed back by a few more years.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tova's Totally Awkward Tuesdays

(I'm posting this Monday evening, because scheduling the posts to appear on Tuesdays hasn't worked for me the past few weeks, and I know that some of you night owls like to get your posts in during the wee hours of Tuesday morning, when I will definitely be sound asleep.)

A few weeks ago, I shared a Totally Awkward story about how I pseudo-stalked this guy, Kevin, at summer camp. In case some of you were still wondering why Kevin didn't fall madly in love with me, I just remembered another awkward Kevin moment. It's seriously kind of amazing that I'm married, with all of the guys I managed to drive away.

This particular incident took place during one of the three summers in my early teens when I was madly in love with Kevin - I'm pretty sure it was before the summer where I used up an entire roll of film snapping off blurry, unrecognizable photos of him. As I mentioned on the last TAT that featured Kevin, my cousin Hannah attended summer camp with me. We are three months apart in age and have always been super close. We both had our quirks, and since mine have been featured in dozens of awkward posts, let's focus on hers for a second: Hannah is the youngest of four kids - four boys, to be more precise - so she was something of a tomboy, very outgoing, could be very silly, and liked to play practical jokes. Usually, it was funny. Sometimes - like when you were trying to eat - it wasn't quite as funny.

A typical meal with Hannah at summer camp might involve spit balls, loosening the top of the salt and pepper shakers so that the next unsuspecting user would end up with a pile of salt on their plate, and random items dropped into your drink the second you looked away. If you were actually hungry, trying to eat while shielding your food and drink from flying shrapnel could be a bit much.

One day at lunch, Hannah, Mae and I had strategically positioned ourselves at a table with a very good view of Kevin and his friends. Hannah was particularly wound up that day, so in between sneaking glances at the boys, she was putting salt and pepper on mine and Mae's plates, dropping things into our drinks, eating our chips, and generally making it hard to concentrate on the most important part of lunch, which was boy-watching, of course.

Finally, I had had enough. I picked up my large glass filled with Sprite (and green beans, courtesy of Hannah), and dumped it ALL over her lunch. And then I looked up... to see Kevin... the man of my dreams... staring at me like I was a psychotic toddler. I'd been trying to catch his attention all week, and naturally the moment he actually looked at me happened to be the exact moment that I decided to drown Hannah's lunch. I was easily embarrassed at that age, anyway, but being caught acting hideously immature by my crush turned my face even more shades of red than normal. Since he was at a different table (and since I was painfully shy around boys), I couldn't even explain to Kevin that I was just giving Hannah back the green beans she'd dropped in my Sprite.

To her credit, Hannah helped me clean up the mess (I'm sure the cafeteria staff wanted to strangle us), and then we made a hasty retreat from the cafeteria. And this, my friends, is just another reason that Kevin managed to avoid falling in love with my womanly charms.

Ok, share your own awkward moment by entering a link to your Totally Awkward blog post in McLinky below! Don't forget to link back to my blog from yours so that everyone can play along!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tiny Clothes and a Big Purse

On Monday, I bought a plane ticket, which is agonizing of course, because there are all these rules, like "If you try to cancel this ticket even one minute after you buy it, even if it's because you got run over by a truck, and your house burnt down, and there's a tornado bearing down on your car at this exact second, and you need a refund because you need every extra penny for truck-injury-repairing surgery, a new house, and tornado restoration services, we will not give you back any money, and we will charge you an extra $250 for even attempting to cancel your reservation. Also, don't even think about spelling your own name wrong, because the airline's penalty for a plane ticket name change is death."

But the thing that I'm all riled up about right now is how much they charge you for baggage. After I went to various travel sites and all of the various airlines' websites to find the lowest price for a ticket, I realized that I had to revisit every site to see how much they charge for checked baggage. Because prices vary from about $15 to $25 for just one bag (each way). So, if you pick one airline because their price was $10 cheaper and then you have to pay $50 for your baggage to come on the trip, too, it kind of defeats the purpose. It used to be that every airline gave you two checked bags for free and then charged you for extras. Then it was one free checked bag per person. Now, most major airlines charge you to check any baggage at all. That's annoying enough as it is, but it gets worse.

On some airlines, you are charged not only on how many bags you're bringing, but also on how much each bag weighs. So, on a US Airways flight for example, you pay $20 for your first checked bag, unless it weighs over 50 pounds, in which case you pay $70 each way. For your second bag, you pay $30, unless it's over 50 pounds, in which case you pay $80 each way. Obviously, they're charging you these exorbitant amounts because of the bad economy, fuel costs, etc, but the thing I'm annoyed about at this exact moment is this - the premise is that the heavier the plane is, the more fuel it's going to use, so the more it's going to cost, right? But... they don't weigh the passengers! So, they can't possibly have an accurate idea of how much the plane weighs, because they don't know how much everyone in it weighs. So, let's say I bought a plane ticket for $200. If I take my 123 pound self onto a plane, and I bring two checked bags, each of which weighs 51 pounds (because I would totally be that unlucky), I'm going to pay $500 to have the plane cart 225 pounds on a round trip flight. Meanwhile, if a 350 pound NFL linebacker flies round trip on the same flight, for the same ticket price, but because he's a guy (and let's be honest, the average guy typically packs less than the average girl), he only has one 25 pound carry-on bag, he pays $200 to fly 375 pounds round trip, while I pay $500 to fly 225 pounds round trip. It's like the story problem from hell!

The long term solution is for us all to write angry letters to the airlines. I'm not saying that they have to weigh the passengers - I'm just saying that weighing luggage is completely useless and arbitrary if they're not going to weigh the passengers. And also that $50 to bring clothes with you on your trip is exorbitant, and it's pretty unfair to charge me more if the combined weight of me AND my luggage is less than the weight of the guy next to me.

My short term solution to this problem is - as this post's title states - tiny clothes and a big purse. I'm going to the beach with my sister, so I feel like it's possible to pack a week's worth of bikinis, shorts, sundresses and tank tops into a carry on bag and a big purse. Can I do it? I think I can, but stay tuned to find out! (Although, when I was in bed, about to fall asleep last night, I suddenly jolted awake when I realized that I can't bring my gigantic hair dryer and diffuser with me if I don't bring my typically enormous suitcase. Sigh. Luckily, my flat iron is small, so I guess I'll just have straight hair all week - which will be challenging when I'm by the ocean...)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tova's Totally Awkward Tuesdays

Welcome, one and all, to another Totally Awkward Tuesday, courtesy of yours truly. You'd think that, having done this since December of last year, I would've run out of awkward stories to tell about myself, but so far, I haven't. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing...

Like always, you - yes you! - are invited to share an awkward story on your own blog, link back to my blog from your own, and then share the link to your awkward post. Then, we can all read each other's most awkward moments and laugh, and laugh, and laugh.

This week, my awkward moment took place when I was in high school, which as far as I can tell, is pretty much a universally awkward time for everyone.

When I was in high school, I attended a very fantastic church youth group. Every year, the youth group competed in a nation-wide talent competition-type-thing. There was singing, instrument playing, acting, writing, art, and all sorts of other fun stuff. I always participated in the drama portion of the competition (because in high school, I was nothing if not dramatic) and also various singing competitions (solo, duet, group, praise band, etc). Vocal solos were one of the favorite categories for all of the girls, and any female who could carry a tune (and many who couldn't) would agonize for months over the perfect song to choose for her vocal solo in the annual competition. It was a pretty big deal for us at the time (which indicates that we didn't yet have many real issues to worry about.) You could either sing a capella, with live musical accompaniment (ie, a friend who could play piano), or to a recorded accompaniment on cassette or CD. Recorded background music was typically the way to go, since it was easiest, and you didn't have to ask your accompanist to practice with you thousands of times until they eventually grew to hate both you and the sound of your voice.

There was a Christian bookstore in my town that had a great selection of backup tapes, so every year, I would go to the store to pick out my song. The backup tapes were in a corner of the store, and set up next to them were several cd/cassette players with headphones where you could listen to the music in peace and quiet, and decide which song you wanted to buy. The headphones were something like this -

- designed to keep noise out and the music in so that everyone else didn't have to listen to all of the songs you were playing 14 times in a row to decide whether or not you liked them.

So, this particular year, I went to the store like I'd done for two or three years before, picked out a few tapes, and then sat down at one of the cassette players to pick a song. I popped the first cassette into the player and slipped the headphones on, and the music started to play very, very quietly. I turned the volume up, but the music was still too quiet to hear, so I turned it up a little more. I kept turning it up, but it was still much too quiet, so I finally cranked the volume knob ALL the way up, as high as it would go. I could finally hear the music, but not nearly as well as I should've been able to, so I made a mental note to tell a store employee that the headphones were defective. As luck would have it, though, the employee approached me first - I'd been sitting there with my headphones on, listening to the music for about a minute, when a salesperson tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Excuse me, you have to turn your music down - you're disturbing all of the other customers."

I took off the headphones to hear her better, and that's when I heard the music blaring from the player I was listening to. My headphones were not plugged in. I'd been sitting there, wearing noise-canceling headphones and wondering why I couldn't hear anything, while everyone else in the store wondered why on Earth I thought it was appropriate to blast music at uncomfortably high volumes while everyone else was trying to shop. Needless to say, I made my decision on which song to buy very quickly that year.

Ok, so what's your awkward moment? Blog about it, make sure to link back to my blog from yours, then include a link directly to your Totally Awkward Tuesday post in the exciting new MckLinky box below!

Friday, July 3, 2009

My husband is so freaking hot.

An hour or two ago, Mr. Darling and I were at the grocery store. We were standing in one of the checkout lines, getting ready to pay for our groceries, when I noticed a crowd of people. "Mr. Darling," I said, "there's a woman lying on the floor!

Very calmly, Mr. Darling handed me the groceries he was holding, and walked quickly over to the crowd of people. He introduced himself to a store manager who was standing by the woman, and said "Hi, I'm Dr. Darling. Can you tell me what happened here? Has anyone called 911?" Then, he was on one knee by the woman, holding her head in one hand and checking her pulse with the other while he instructed a woman who introduced herself as a nurse to open the woman's purse and look for ID and any medications. She passed him some prescription bottles, which he looked at quickly and then said, "Ok, she's on (name of some medication which is apparently used to treat seizures); she's had a seizure." He continued kneeling there, talking to the woman and assessing her vitals, while I shook so hard that I almost dropped the groceries.

Everything about it was just so... sexy! (Well, I mean, not the fact that the woman had a seizure. That was unfortunate. But she came out of it relatively quickly and refused to get in the ambulance, so she seemed ok.) It's just that Dr. Darling is so calm and in control and... hot! Despite not being involved in the situation in any way, I was shaking in my flip flops, while Dr. D acted as if finding a woman lying on the floor while shopping was an everyday occurrence.

After the ambulance arrived, Mr. Darling and I left. The store managers and the paramedics all thanked him profusely for stopping to help, and I felt so proud of him that I was genuinely concerned that I might explode. In the car, I just stared at him like he was some kind of super hero. I kept saying, "I think I'm slightly in awe of you" and "You're so hot." I just love that he is so calm and in control. He's the complete opposite of me.

(If you're ever in an emergency and have to choose between having either me or a wild pigeon there to help you, choose the pigeon, because at least maybe you could tie a note to the pigeon's leg so that it could bring someone helpful to you. I'm terrible in emergencies. I think it's genetic, because my sister is also awful in emergencies. Once, when my sister had guests over for dinner, her toaster oven caught on fire, and instead of using the fire extinguisher that was literally three feet away, she ran all over the whole house yelling that there was a fire. Luckily, her sister-in-law put out the flames before the entire kitchen went up in smoke. It's for the sake of people like us that grade-school students are made to practice the "stop, drop and roll" technique in case they ever catch on fire. Because I guarantee that, were I ever to find myself on fire, my first instinct would be to run screaming through a field of hay or something.)

Anyway, I got to see my doctor in action today, and it was amazing. If you ever have an emergency near us, you're in good hands - Dr. Darling can save your life, while I look around to see if there's a pigeon handy.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Dr. Darling, unemployment, and a bow tie

Yesterday, Mr. Darling (along with every other new resident in the country) started his residency! I'm so excited and proud that I can barely contain myself! I made him wake me up before he left for work (at 5:30 am) so that I could take his picture on his first day (which made him feel like he was in elementary school all over again). Since it was 5:30 in the morning, I didn't notice the flashing message on my camera that said "No Memory Card," so my camera pretended it was taking pictures, and when I woke up again four hours later, I realized that I had no pictures of Mr. D on his first day. *Sigh.* Oh well - these things happen, I suppose. I took his picture when he got home, so that'll just have to do.

So, I'm currently unemployed. It's weird. Sometimes, I'm a fan of unemployment (I get to sleep in and do whatever I want, whenever I want.) But it also makes me feel kind of... listless and unproductive. I haven't been unemployed in at least nine years, so it's a strange feeling. I plan to get a job when the summer is over, but I'm in a friend's wedding this month, I have plans to visit my sister, and Mr. Darling and I will be visiting his family, and I didn't think it would work for me to get a job and then say, "Oh, by the way, I'll need to take three weeks off." It probably wouldn't have gone over very well.

The other thing to consider is that Mr. Darling's schedule will be a bit crazy. It'll be different every month - sometimes he'll work more "normal" hours on Monday through Friday, and other months he'll work nights and weekends. So what I really, really don't want to do is get a job with a strict schedule that might mean I hardly get to see my husband. Right now, my ideal job is to be a substitute teacher, but I don't know yet if that's going to work... cross your fingers for me!

In the interest of making money and having a flexible schedule, I took an "independent contractor" position as a sample-passer-outer in a grocery store last week. Honestly, it was humiliating. Passing out samples wasn't actually too bad. The horrible part was the uniform. I had to wear a tuxedo shirt and a bow tie, and let me assure you - I did not look cute in them. At all. If I could've passed out the samples while wearing normal clothes, I would've been fine, but please explain to me why cross-dressing is considered professional looking. You'd never expect a guy to wear a ballgown while he was working (well, maybe... if his job was cross-dressing), so why is a woman expected to wear a tuxedo shirt and a bow tie? I looked like an idiot. I did it once, but I'm probably not going to do it again... unless we are in dire need of money. (The weird thing was that some guys actually hit on me while I was wearing that outfit. Maybe I have a cute head, because everything else looked ridiculous.)

If one of you would like to pay me to blog, I'd be much obliged. Otherwise, you can look forward to hearing about my job hunting.
In my opinion, we don't devote nearly enough scientific research to finding a cure for jerks. ~ Calvin & Hobbes