Tag Archives: being single

A Girl Has To Have Standards

It was the moment when he reached down into the console of his truck, picked out a used golf tee and started using it as a toothpick that I learned a) to always keep floss in my purse and b) that even though it means that waking up with hummus in my hair is the closest to breakfast in bed that I get, I was meant to be single.

barbie

I would like to think I’ve given the alternative a pretty fair shake — I did the dating scene for a while with the traditional hits and misses — but this particular incident was simply the dirt-covered toothpick that broke this camel’s back.

Plus, I have high standards.

Growing up my crushes always fell into one of two categories—completely unattainable or attainable but not interesting after I attained them.

This wasn’t an issue early on because it’s not like I had that many options. It took me a long time to grow into my nose and grow out my spiral perms, and while I had friends, I wasn’t the “cute” girl in the group.

I was instead the one that was left over and relegated to holding the sweaty hands of the left over boy at the school roller skating parties while Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” played in the background.

However, I wasn’t all that concerned with that scene, as I had much bigger plans.

I was a tomboy and decided early on that I was going to marry a professional athlete. The crush varied depending on the season, but it usually included me covering my walls with their posters and creating elaborate situations in my head in which I held down the fort at home while they traveled on the road for their games.

At no time did anything sexual enter these situations, as aside from putting my Barbies and G.I. Joe in compromising “mature” situations, those thoughts never crossed my mind. It was simply an infatuation that ran from one player to the next before progressing into Sylvester Stallone through the “Rocky” years—all five films—and then any other action star or famous male with either an accent or a jersey.

I had more realistic crushes in school, of course.

This usually amounted to me reading into a Valentine (that they were required to give everyone in class) as a declaration of love, scribbling their name in my notebook and keeping a stash of assorted flavored Lip Smackers at the ready just in case.

In case of what? I didn’t know, but at least my lips would be strawberry fresh.
Naturally things changed once I got older and declared myself free of the sweaty-palmed rejects and delusions of nabbing a major league lover. As mentioned above, I did the dating thing and decided it wasn’t for me.

Now I’m sure Toothpick Boy was/is a fine companion for some germ-loving gal who doesn’t mind using dirty sports props to pick lettuce out of a molar, but I like my space. I like my freedom. I like knowing that dental procedures won’t be performed with dirt-covered plastic.

Of course, there might be exceptions. I mean, Hot Gym Guy did say, “No thanks” when I offered to spot him as he was walking into the locker room, so there’s a chance that once the restraining order is lifted he might just give it a go!

But otherwise I’m happy just dating myself.

This post came about because of these awesome—as in so much awe that I use the word “awesome”—comments on my Facebook page about a post I wrote for 22 Words awhile ago dealing with ridiculous reasons for breaking up with someone.

Go read the comments. They’re better than this post, but first let me know:

What’s the most ridiculous reason you’ve ever broken up with someone?

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Master of Your Domain

Living alone means that all the household chores are my responsibility. While I generally don’t mind cleaning—thank you OCD!—and actually find it relaxing at times, there are certain annoyances that I will not tolerate.

You have to put your foot down and assert your domestic dominance, as giving in to an appliance or a dust bunny only shows weakness, and trust me, these things prey on weakness.

Take for example the vacuum, whose job description literally entails it sucking crap up.

junevacuum2

Without the suckage, it’s simply a large noisy thing with a light on the front that terrorizes the cat (a bonus feature they really should advertise, come to think of it.) Because of this, I will stand over the vacuum for 10 minutes and force it to suck up a string before bending over and picking that crap up myself.

I did not spend five minutes five years ago picking out a vacuum so that I could pick up the debris myself, good sir!

And I often find the dustbuster—named as such because it’s supposed to bust the dust—to be more temperamental. It will often passive aggressively push dust around the room instead of actually sucking (busting?) it up.

Oh, you wanted ME to pick that up? Well, I never….”

Unacceptable. I will run the little bastard until it needs to be charged to make sure that it busts up that one grain of rice it spit out. Suck it up and do your job—literally.


A more seemingly innocuous perpetrator is the mini-blind. No, I’m not going to suggest that you actually clean a mini-blind, as it’s a scientific fact that much like shower curtain liners, it’s easier to just throw them away and get a new one.

This involves the raising and lowering of said mini-blind with those two little strings on the side.

juneblind2

It seems simple enough, but one wrong pull and you have a completely crooked blind with one side way up to the left while the other sags down to the right. Then you try and straighten it out and the right side goes up while the left side sags down.

Do not accept this asymmetrical configuration of window coverings, my friends. I don’t care if you stand there pulling on each string for an hour like you’re milking a cow. If you don’t even that shit up, the next thing you know you’re literally blinded by the light.


Moving on to the bathroom, I feel the need to warn you that the toothpaste that leaps off your toothbrush like a kangaroo will immediately become as stubborn as super glue the second it hits—and adheres to— the sink.

It can be tempting to let that slide, and you might even consider it “artsy” to have patterns dotting the sink interior. Stop the madness. Nine out of 10 dentists agree that one must immediately scrub the spot in the sink, lest one falls into the cavity of cleaning complacency.

Plus, that crap stays glued on.


This last one isn’t really about cleaning, but I will try and make it helpful by saying you should clean your remote control. I read somewhere that there are 12 teen million germs and probably the origins of the swine flu on the average remote, so Clorox that thing ASAP.

Possible HAZMAT situation aside, my issue is when the remote control simply gives up. The batteries are new, the little red light at the top of it blinks when you maniacally press down the buttons with increasing rage, but yet…no action.

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Do not—I repeat—do not change the channel yourself.

Stand up right next to the TV and force that remote to change the channel, adjust the volume or set a reminder to watch Baseball Tonight. And henceforth from said display of power, refer to it only as “the remote.”

Why? Because as with all the domestic dysfunction in your house, you are the one in control.

Never let them forget that.

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Crazy Neighbor Lady

Do you know how crazy a girl looks when she spends 30 minutes running around her yard after a bastard groundhog? My neighbors do, as I’m pretty sure I’ve set some sort of speed record by sprinting from my deck to the feeder dozens of times this summer.

It would probably go unnoticed if I didn’t make the high-pitched noises that I do, but I feel they make my maneuver effective.

Anyway, I thought about this the other day when I was scrubbing the bird bath and singing a song I made up about how Cinderella was full of shit and that those feathered freaks never actually helped with the chores.

Just moments before I bravely broke up a domestic dispute between two small woodland creatures, preventing a new episode or COPS: Chipmunk Edition, and then trudged up to the front of my house to fill my watering can.

As the neighbor kids rode by on their bikes, they greeted me with, “Hi, Miss Abby.” I said a very non-specific “hi,” as there are three of them in that house and even after living next door to them for five years, I can’t be expected to tell them apart and remember their names every time.

But…Miss Abby.

I realize this is a polite address and much better than “Ma’am” or “the witch that dives behind the couch when we ring the bell to sell her cheap crap for school that nobody needs,” but it still made me feel really old.

Since crazy neighbor lady passed away last year, no one has moved into her house yet and things have been relatively quiet. There’s no sound of her smoking and hacking into her bushes at 2am or yelling at her well-dressed dogs to “make poo poo” in the middle of the night before stealing my tomatoes.

Yes, you could say things have been quite uneventful.

But it was the combination of the “Miss Abby” and the fact that I was flinging weeds into her yard that made me realize that in her absence, I AM PROBABLY NOW CRAZY NEIGHBOR LADY!

There is mounting evidence to this suggestion.

First of all, I’m a single woman living alone who doesn’t bring home a bachelor every weekend. I spend a lot of time outside in my yard and get ticked when the kids play basketball at midnight. I have a cat. I’ve been known to yell at inanimate objects and rearrange my yard gnomes so they get a new view from time to time.

But that’s all normal, right?

In my defense, I don’t drink or smoke, so you won’t find me passed out on the porch with a smoldering cigarette threatening to start a small fire. As for the cat thing, I have one—which is more than enough—and I don’t dress it in a sweater and put it on a leash like SOME people I knew (may Crazy Neighbor Lady RIP, of course.)

I also don’t expect the gnomes to talk back, which I really think is the true deciding factor in this situation.

So for now, I will continue to believe that I’m just “Miss Abby,” the single gal who cares for her garden and interacts with the wildlife in a reserved and dignified fashion.

Right, boys? Right, they agree.

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Side note: I will be traveling for work Saturday until Tuesday, so try and get by without my constant tweets and updates while I’m gone. However, if you are in New York City, I will be signing books outside the Barnes & Noble on Monday from 10-11.

But seeing as I don’t have permission to be signing books outside the Barnes & Noble and they don’t actually carry my book, I’ll probably only be there until they kick me out or I get arrested.

My House is Mocking Me

Alternate title: Appliance Defiance

I’m don’t mean to sound paranoid, but I’m pretty sure my house is plotting against me.

Without a lot of fanfare, certain things have been staging a slow but steady protest, and I can’t help but feel like there’s some clandestine plot that is sure to be exposed in the near future.

toaster

I miss baseball so very, very much.

It began one average day when my non-stick pans up and refused to stop not sticking. As I stood over the stove trying to scrape scrambled eggs off with my spatula while the damn pan considered its job description, I realized that it wasn’t just the pans.

They were my first clue, but then there was the light above my bathroom vanity that has taken to flashing back to the ‘70s with strobe lights whenever I don’t  turn the dial to the precise location. All the way? Let there be light. A little bit off? Let there be a disco dance party.

Shortly thereafter, the dust buster went passive aggressive on me, pushing dust around the room instead of actually sucking (busting?) it up.

Oh, you wanted ME to pick that up? Well, I never….”

Even though at times it would be easier to bend over and physically pick up a string or piece of dirt myself, I refuse. It will bust the dust if it’s the last thing I make it do, which given the potential plot against me, it may very well be.

Then there’s the toaster, a simple standby that has served me well. We have an understanding. Bread goes in, handle goes down, bread pops up. Clean transaction. But lately it has taken to refusing to keep the handle down, therefore negating the actual toasting it is pressed into service to do.

The first time I stood there pushing the damn handle down with a passion reserved for the dysfunctional dust buster, possibly muttering something along the lines of, “Well, aren’t WE the defiant little bastard today” until my bread came out unevenly browned and bitter at the forced interaction.

The next time I decided to try a different approach with, “Yes, take your time. I’ll just hold the handle down while you decide what you’d like to do with this bread.” That worked a bit better—sometimes I don’t even have to ask it nicely—but now the crumb tray refuses to stay securely fastened to the bottom.

This goes to prove my point that the toaster and the dust buster are completely in cahoots.

The weather stripping on my door fell off, the thing you push down to plug the sink in my main bathroom broke and every time I accidentally hit the switch for the garbage disposal instead of the light above my sink, it’s like my own private Nam—and I do this at least once a week.

On top of everything else, I’m thinking the surprise arrival of the avocado cutter earlier this month is simply the next step in their plan.

And each time one of my bastard appliances acts out for attention, it’s simply another reminder that I never got to register at Williams Sonoma for a $400 toaster or a newlywed non-stick pan collection. First the old people mock me, now it’s my house.

Well you know what, spastic ice maker that will randomly turn on and spit out squares without me telling you to? I’m on to you guys, and I’m a confident and capable single woman. Try as you might, I won’t be mocked or intimidated in my own home.

Unless you’re the garbage disposal.

Then all bets are off.