Sad, Single-Girl Behavior

I’m single. And I’m ok with this (most of the time). I’m mature, responsible, professional – all acceptable attributes for a 27 year old – except when it comes to the opposite sex. My romantic age is probably on par with a 12 year old’s. Sometimes, I can be a little boy crazy. I have crushes – lots of them! Tall guy standing next to me at the coffee shop, I noticed him before you and have started planning our first date. I won’t actually talk to him – just plan our entire future before he can say ‘grande caramel macchiato’. Is that a cute boy on the train? Nope, he’s actually my new fiance’. Unfortunately, our engagement will have to end at the Addison stop on the Red Line. I realize this behavior is completely silly and not at all productive in the long run, but I’m having fun! Isn’t that what being single is all about?

Usually, I’m very content to live in my adolescent-boy-crazy-dream world. But occasionally, my singleness catches me off guard, and I think, “Wow, I’m becoming one of those sad, single girls.” Here’s a list of my most common Sad, Single-Girl Behaviors:

1. When you check out at the grocery store, and the only items in your cart are Diet Coke, individual sized frozen pizzas, red wine, and toilet paper. You can bet the cashier is super jealous of your life. (The situation is only intensified when you realize it’s Saturday night.)

2. You arrive at a Red Box and suddenly a crowd forms. There’s no way to hide the fact that you are returning 3 movies (and you watched them all last night). And you can’t just jam those movies in one after the other – it takes what seems like an eternity for the machine to allow you to insert the second disc. Red Box is mocking your sad social life. You walk away after returning all three movies, even though you were hoping that Magic Mike would be available. Maybe next time.

3. Your friend asks you to meet her out, but you decline. Your reason: you just started recovering your ripped sofa cushion. Who needs the bar when you have your sewing machine?

4. When your plans for the evening fall through, you aren’t disappointed because you can keep watching back to back episodes of The Following all night on Hulu. (And doesn’t Kevin Bacon look good for his age? And your newest crush is definitely the young FBI agent with the steely, blue eyes and leather jacket.)

5. You get really excited when the grocery store is selling pieces of cake by the slice (albeit, very giant slices). You can buy cake without buying a whole cake, so you buy two slices. (This behavior wasn’t quite as sad as the others because I needed two sittings to finish one piece of cake. I guess that makes slightly sad, single-girl behavior.)

6. You have been on the okcupid website so much, you are starting to recognize most of the locals in your area.

7. Since you have no cable, you rely on the hulu for all your t.v.-watching needs. When you check the website and see there are zero shows in your queue, it’s enough to bring tears to your eyes.

Whenever I find myself in the midst of S.S-G.B, I try to move on. I try not to get bogged down in the ‘I’m in my late 20’s and when was my last real relationship and will anyone ever love me’ way of thinking. And if those crazy thoughts persist, I go to a crowded place and search for my future husbands.

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I’ve got Comp’ny

I have been a giddy little girl since last Saturday.  My mom and my very best friend are coming for a visit.  They are actually on the train now – even as I type – and slowly creeping up the Mississippi River.

In Mississippi, it’s Spring Break.  We won’t have Spring Break here for another two weeks.  But, I decided to take Thursday and Friday off partly because things are a little slower at work but mostly because I can!!  I’m pretty much creating my own long weekend, and I’m really excited to do some very tourist-type things that I haven’t really made time for since I moved here.  Plus, there’s just nothing like having ‘your people’ around.   Old friends are like those old sneakers you find at the back of your closet that feel so comfy you can’t remember why you would ever stop wearing them in the first place!  New friends are great, but old friends put up with your gross, smelly foot smell day after day (see how I extended the metaphor there).

Needless to say, I’ve been preparing for company.  I could have done this in small bits, but where’s the fun in that?  Better to wait until 9 p.m. the night before your guests arrive and cram all your cleaning and organizing into a few short hours.  Of course, I didn’t get to everything on my list, but as long as a certain closet door stays shut and contains the pile-o-junk lurking behind it, everything will be grand.

Sorry I Missed Our Anniversary

Happy Anniversary, Chicago!  We’ve been together for six months.  Technically, our anniversary was on March 1, but I was unable to properly celebrate (and by celebrate I mean write a love letter to Chicago).

My Dearest Chicago,

I think this is the beginning of something beautiful.  These six months have really flown by faster than I could imagine, and I’m so thankful that I found you.  You really know how to make a girl feel like a real live Mary Tyler Moore, living on my own and conquering the big city.  I guess what I’m trying to say is thank you for not chewing me up and spitting me out….yet.

Sure, you’re not perfect, but who is?  You snow too much, you cost too much, there’s too much traffic, and frankly, you make my mom worry.  It’s not your fault that she worries – she would worry even if you were Nashville or Louisville or New York (especially New York) – so don’t take it personally.  Give her more time, and she’ll come around.

But since it’s our anniversary, we should focus on the good things… the fun times we’ve had.  I can’t believe how much you’ve taught me in such a short amount of time.  I know how to drive in the snow, take the train to work, and order delivery Thai food – and it’s all because of you!  And parallel parking!  How could I forget parallel parking?  If not for you, I would never have developed my keen parking skills.  And there’s still so much more I have to learn.

There’s no good way to say it, but I love you, Chicago.  I really do.  It’s not always easy, but I think you’re worth it.  Worth being far from home and worth spending my savings to find you.  Thanks for the plays I’ve seen and the friends I’ve made.  Thanks for making me feel a little more like a grown up.  Basically, thanks for changing my life.  Here’s to another wonderful six months together.

Your favorite Mississippi lady,

Kate

It’s Called a Snow Day

Chicago doesn’t have snow days. I guess you don’t really need them when you have salt and plows and people who don’t freak out at the slightest hint of a flurry.  (Except for that one storm two years ago when the city shut down.  I wasn’t actually here for that storm, but you can’t talk about snow around here without someone mentioning ‘Snowpocolypse 2011’.)

I miss snow days.  They were very rare in Mississippi.  But there’s nothing quite like the bliss of learning that school has been cancelled around 6:30 a.m. (I’ve experienced this both as a student and a teacher.)  If the buses can’t run, or there’s any doubt of the buses safety, we can’t have school.  One inch of snow could quite literally shut down a small Mississippi town.

ImageIf this was Mississippi, there would be no bread or milk at the grocery store and everyone would ride down their driveway on a plastic tray or garbage can lid.

Some of my fondest childhood memories took place on snow days.

  • One time, we rented movies before a big storm, and our power went out.  Our dad was able to sweet talk the lady at the rental place into not charging us a fee since the video was now lodged in our VCR.
  • I got into my first ‘fight’ when I was 10 because my friend’s little brother threw my hat over a fence.  I felt really tough for the 4.5 seconds that I was hitting him, and then he chased me all the way home.
  • After the same fight, my dad made me bacon and eggs while I was hiding out in our house too afraid to face what repercussions might await outside.
  • I remember orchestrating a rather large scale snow ball fight with a friend in my backyard.
  • The best was probably the time my little sister rebelled because the older kids weren’t giving her enough turns with the sled.  So, she and a friend stole a sled and climbed up a steep driveway in the neighborhood.  At the last moment, her friend chickened out and abandoned ship.  This left my five-year-old sister helpless and unable to control the sled as it torpedoed towards a parked car at the bottom of the driveway.  The big kids, realizing we had misplaced our younger sisters, arrived on the scene just in time to see the crash which caused my sister to slide under the car and lose a boot in the process.  My sister was so mad, she walked home with only one boot on.  I still fail to see how her crash was our fault.

I realize Mississippi has no way to deal with the snow.  No plows, no salt, an abundance of hills.  And real accumulation rarely happens.  There could be years between snow days, so we knew how to make them count.  My question is, is snow still special to the children of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs?  Do they know the joy of waking up in the morning only to have your parents tell you to go back to sleep because school is cancelled?  Do they know how important it is to play in the snow right away because by noon it might all be gone?  I certainly hope snow is still special in this part of the country.

Children of Chicago, please enjoy your snow.  There are lots of children in Mississippi who go without!