Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Love At First Sight

Ive met someone new.  And I'm in love.  I've never believed in love at first sight.  Always thought those people who did believe were delusional or just loved the idea of love at first sight. You can't really love someone without actually getting to know them first.  Loving someone has as much to do with personality as it does their physical existence.  Love at first sight isn't a real thing.

I was wrong.



I'm really REALLY  in love and I'm desperate that this person have the chance to reciprocate my love.  There are so many ways for this to go wrong.  And it has gone wrong, for many women I know.  It left them heartbroken and despondent and I'm finally in a position to really understand the anguish they must have felt.  I hope with everything I am that I'll never have to find out first hand but it's proving difficult for me, a pessimist and cynic, not to dwell on the negative possibilities.

Here's the thing.  I'm 39.  A few years ago I'd given up on ever experiencing this kind of love in this lifetime.  My life just didn't turn out the way I had imagined when I was younger and that was okay.  I'd come to terms with it and was pretty content with my life.

But then.  I saw him.  He doesn't know who I am yet but he's changed everything for me.


And I am in love.



Saturday, May 14, 2016

To Pierce or Not to Pierce.

After my last post about the mini vaca I spent alone in St. George, UT, I received an e-mail from a reader I'll call Joan.  Joan took the time to share a bit about herself and her life, including her desire, and reservations about getting her nose pierced.  She had quite a few questions for me about my experience with it so I thought perhaps I should elaborate a tad more than "I went to St. George and went shopping and pierced my nose.  The End".

First of all, I'll start with my mindset while there.  I've recently had some major things happening in my life that have temporarily derailed me mentally.  A lot of life changing decisions to be made that I didn't necessarily even want to think about so I was feeling mixtures of anger, sadness, excitement and a little self-destruction thrown in for good measure.  I've never been the type of person to sit and agonize over a decision and whether or not it's a good idea.  Which is why I bought a Jeep with a 21% interest rate.  Or why I have a tattoo of a Chinese kanji that probably means I Love Sushi.  I hate sushi and the tattoo is garbage.  But, I am who I am and I usually like myself.  Bad life choices and all.

I'm honestly not even sure what sparked the idea while I was there.  I remember wanting to get my nose pierced when I was in my 20's but can't remember why I never did.  I probably walked by the tattoo studio on my way to get pierced and took a detour for something more permanent.

So, the idea popped into my head and I flipped open my laptop to do some research.  I'm not completely irresponsible guys!  I watched a few videos of people getting it done and while it wasn't pleasant to watch, (one girl was a bleeder and it would. not. stop.) I figured, easy peasy.  I've had my ears gauged and my tongue pierced.  How much worse could this be?

During my impromptu research while hunched over my laptop on the hotel bed, here's what I learned that I considered to be pretty damn important if you're going to put holes in your face.  YOUR FACE!  If things go awry, Phantom of the Opera masks are probably less socially acceptable than an oozing face wound.

  • Make sure your piercer and studio you choose are licensed, professional and clean.
  • Stay away from piercing guns!!  They are unregulated and aren't precise.  When you use a piercing gun, the stud is what is doing the piercing.  The stud is not as sharp as a hollow needle and actually displaces your tissue which makes is more likely you'll develop scar tissue and almost impossible to avoid damage.  Guns are harder to sterilize between uses which make you more susceptible to infection.   
  • "When a hollow needle is used, it removes a piece of flesh with precision because a hand is in control and able to guide it more steadily."
  •  When you go to a professional, it's going to cost more than if you headed off to Claire's at the mall.  You're paying for their expertise and quality.  It is worth it!  I just checked my bank statement and I paid $15 for the wound wash after care, $55 for the piercing and jewelry and $20 tip.
  • Once you've done the deed, DON'T TOUCH IT.  No twisting, poking or even washing it.  Seriously.  Just leave it alone.  A new piercing can take anywhere from 3-9 months or longer to completely heal.
Just say NO to the piercing gun!  Put it down and back away.

There were exactly three studio options for me to choose from in St. George and after reading all the reviews, I went with Mandy from Lotus Body Adornment.  She was already closed for the night so I left a message and was thrilled to receive a text from her the next morning scheduling my appointment for that day.

When the time arrived, I jumped in my rental and off I merrily went to the address she'd texted me.  After driving around the parking lot a few times at what I thought was the destination and being utterly confused by the absolute lack of piercing studios, I then get another text from her apologizing because they'd moved and she had sent me the old address.

Cool.

I don't know how busy she is and don't want to miss my opening so I hop on the freeway and head to the new location.  As I come careening into the empty parking lot, I accidentally take up two spots while parking in front of the joint.  On the curb right outside the place sit three heavily tattooed and pierced guys in their early 20's and one woman with bright magenta hair.  I'm flustered because I'm late and just parked like an asshole.  I ask, "Is it okay to park like this since the lot's empty?"  Before I can get an answer I ask a second question.  "Is this car still running?"

My rental was one of those fancy rigs where the key just needs to be in the vehicle and you push a little button to turn the car off and on.  In my flustered rush, I'd forgotten to turn it off.
I reach in, turn it off, and slam the door shut while looking at the group and saying "Rental" while shrugging.

They turn to each other giving that look that clearly states they think I'm a moronic idiot who is not even remotely cool enough to even peer in their window, let alone set foot inside.
One of the prick posse pipes up with "The color of that car sucks".
I squint at him for a second then head inside without responding.

I wander around looking at the jewelry and wait for someone to appear.  From outside, in walks Ms. Magenta who is actually Mandy, the owner.  I found it odd she didn't introduce herself while I was outside feeling like an ass, but that was the only negative about her.  She was fantastic at her job.  She explained the different types of jewelry and how the procedure was going to happen.

I sat on the edge of the bench in her private piercing room and after she cleaned the area, marked my nose and had me approve the placement, she asked if I was ready.  She told me to take a deep breath in and on the exhale, she pushed the needle through. I went cross-eyed trying to follow it's progress through my nose.  While it didn't exactly feel good, it was less painful than I expected.  I chose the left nostril and while there was no bleeding, my left eye did water for a second.  Easy peasy.

The jewelry I chose is made of titanium and it's a 2mm white cubic zirconia.  It's 18g and 5/16" threadless (meaning pull apart, like a typical earring) post which I can downsize after 4-8 weeks after any swelling has gone down.   I plan to switch out to a small gold hoop once it's healed enough.

I purchased NeilMed wound wash piercing aftercare which is still sealed on my bathroom shelf.  I've been using hot water soaks to clean it and it hasn't been irritated or even red.  Tomorrow will be two weeks since I had it done and so far no issues whatsoever.


Thousands, if not millions of people are taking selfies every day.  Why are they so damn hard!?  Anyone else feel like an absolute idiot?  I'm either grinning like a maniacal maniac or angry.  Like a...an angry um, angry person. 

I think I covered most of the questions Joan had other than the few left that I'll bust through now but if anyone has any that I didn't already touch on in my piercing novella, hit me up either in comments or e-mail.

 How did you decide left or right?
"Often times, the left side of the nose is the most preferred side for piercing. According to Ayurveda, the left side of the women's nose corresponds with their reproductive organs. When the nose is pierced, it helps in reducing the pain during childbirth and may have some positive effects on conditions like endometriosis." Source.
Whether or not this is true, I don't know or care.  I just liked the idea of it.
Were friends and family supportive when you returned?  Did you have a lot of other women compliment you on how cute it looks and want one too?
The boyfriend really likes it.  Which is odd because he normally gives zero shits about my appearance. One of my best friends who I see numerous times a week just barely noticed it yesterday.  My Dad asked why.  My Sister asked if it hurt.  My boss, who is ultra conservative hasn't mentioned it at all though I think it's a simple case of denial.  If she doesn't say anything it doesn't exist.  That's literally been the extent of the reactions.  
Would you do it again?
In a heartbeat.  Only this time I'd be ready and armed with a witty retort for the curbside prick posse.
Am I crazy at 40 for wanting my nose pierced?
I'll be 40 in October so if you are, you're in good company.  Or at the very least, equally demented company.
    



Monday, May 9, 2016

Solo In St. George

I spent last weekend alone.  I didn't plan it that way, but it's how it ended up.  I caught an Uber to the airport, hopped a flight to St. George and spend the weekend doing whatever the hell I pleased.
Although I'd do it again, I felt pretty out of sorts most of the time.  Case in point, the Uber ride.

First of all, if you're an Uber driver, I feel like there should be some sort of rule in place that states your vehicle is to transport customers to their desired location.  It is NOT your own personal date trap where you scout out potential future exes.

While sitting in the back seat, my phone is pinging, dinging and ringing.  I glance at it and sigh.  Mr. Uber comments, "That sounds like a frustrated with the husband kind of sigh".
While scrolling through the texts and without glancing up I respond, "Boyfriend, and yes".

Mr. Uber is in his mid 30's, a big buff ex-marine with a shaved head and strong opinions.  He starts in on the small talk which quickly morphs into one-sided awkward flirting.  He asks where I'm going and states I should have chosen Vegas instead.  I tell him I'm pregnant so I can't smoke, or drink and I'm not much into hookers.

He then launches into a diatribe about his 35 year old friend who recently told him she wants to have children one day which he found ridiculous.  "At her age?  That's just irresponsible.  If she'd wanted to have children she should have started that shit years ago but sorry Sister, that ship has sailed.  She'll probably end up with one of those downsy kids or something."

I stare wide-eyed out my window while he blathers on about how he couldn't understand why she thought he was such a jerk.

One of life's great mysteries. 

He pulls up outside the Delta terminal and I bail before he's come to a complete stop.  I thank him, grab my bag from the trunk and head in without a backward glance.

As I'm checking my bag, my phone rings.  A Park City number I don't recognize.  I hit ignore and start heading towards the escalator that will take me to the security line.  I usually shuffle along staring at my feet but I happened to glance up and see a vaguely familiar man on the escalator up ahead staring at me and holding something in the air.

Is he looking at me?  What the hell is he holding?  It takes me a moment to realize it's charming Mr. Uber and he has my keys, which I'd clearly left on the backseat in my rush to exit the vehicle of age discrimination.

He waits for me at the top and I dig a $20 out of my laptop bag to say thank you.  He takes the twenty then goes in for an unsolicited bear hug.  He then holds me in place at arms length while staring into my eyes and states, "If things don't work out with you and the boyfriend, you have my number.  I tried to call you when I saw your keys."  I give him a watery smile and extricate myself from his oversized grasp while wondering how much attention I would draw if I were to make a sudden bolt towards security.

I eventually make it to St. George, jump in the rental and head towards my hotel, Inn on the Cliff.  It was beautiful and the view overlooking St. George was stunning.

Photo Credit

Photo Credit
It was definitely a new and strange experience being on a mini-vacation on my own.  I called all the shots.  I did what I wanted without having to check with the group majority to make sure everyone was getting to do something they enjoyed.
I went shopping, I got my nose pierced, I slept in, I wandered around, I got lost, I visited a turtle sanctuary, I meandered around the St. George LDS temple grounds without getting struck by lightening.

St. George LDS Temple

Obligatory vacation selfie.


My last morning there, I had breakfast delivered to my room and sat in the sunshine on my balcony while watching a hot air balloon drift by.  I drove back to the airport with the sunroof open and hair whipping across my face.
I wasn't excited to get back to Salt Lake but I didn't want to stay in St. George either.  If I'd had my trusty little mutt Milo by my side, I just may have headed off into the sunset, Thelma and Louise style.

Minus the suicide.














Wednesday, April 27, 2016

How To Get Published In Three Easy Steps

I think there are approximately two people in my real life who actually read my blog.  And that's when I send them the link directly.  Even then, it's 50/50 whether or not they read it.  Which is why I feel justified in writing this post.  None of my real lifers will have to hear about this, yet again, but I get to share my extremely exciting news to even more of the world.

 I was recently published, and PAID, for an article I wrote for Salt Lake's City Weekly.  Not only was I published, but my article made the cover and it was a full four page spread.  I was so ecstatic when I heard the news, I immediately shared on my personal Facebook page and Instagram.  Now that my excitement has died down a little, the reality of what this means has finally sunk in.

My Salt Lake City Weekly article can be found here!


And that reality is...I'm totes legit peeps.  I'm an official, freelance writer.  And as such, I feel it's imperative that I share my knowledge and talents with those of you who haven't been quite as fortunate as I.  And so, without further ado, I'd like to bestow upon you, you sad, struggling unpublished populace, the secret to publication in three easy steps.

  1.  Know your audience.  You really need to think about who is going to read your piece and why it would be of interest to them.  It helps if you include boobs. 
  2.  Persistence.  If the Editor doesn't return your attempts of solicitation, he'll appreciate follow up phone calls, e-mails, and especially if you show up at his office on Main Street downtown unannounced.  It will break up the monotony of his day and he'll be obligated to acknowledge your dogged determination.
  3.  Know your worth.  You work hard and you deserve to get paid hard.  Negotiate for a fair price and if they're not willing to pay, well, that's when you play hard ball.  In the form of slowly peeling a grape, shoving it up your nose, blowing peeled grape into your hand and offering said hand for a farewell shake. 
It should be clear at this point that I have no idea what in the living hell I'm talking about.  I submitted my article as part of an assignment for school and was as shocked as an electroconvulsive therapy patient when the editor actually contacted me saying he was interested in my article.  Then even MORE shocked to learn I was actually going to be paid for something I had such a blast doing.  It was amazing.  I want to do it again.  And Milo wants to know when I'm actually going to use the treadmill I bought with my earnings.  Silly dog.  Little does he know it's actually just an oversized bra hanger. 


Thursday, April 14, 2016

She Said She Felt Special. I Think She Lied.

A couple of months ago I was at my parents house when my Mom brought up the fact that her birthday was fast approaching in April.  She stated that since she would be turning the big 65 she wanted a party.  This was significant for two reasons.

  1. She has never asked for anything birthday related in all the years of my life.
  2. I had no idea how old she was going to be this year.  That's what FB stalking is for.  Yes, this includes your own Mother.
  3. Birthdays just aren't a big deal in our family.  I texted my Brother a rotten e-card on his birthday in March.  Which is more than I did last year.  Which was nothing.  

Maths.

A week or so later when I brought up the idea of a party in front of her and Dad, she was quick to change her little birthday-loving tune with a demure "Ohh no Doodle-Anne, (the super awesome name my parents have called me since childhood) I don't want a party".

To which I responded in a 165 decibel screech, "THE HELL YOU SAY, SIMPERING HARPY!  You want a party?  I'll GIVE you a DAMN PARTY!"

Just kidding.  Years ago I've found it's SOO much easier to go along with what people say, then do just as you'd planned to do all along.  It's a win/win.  That person thinks you totally see their point of view and agree 100%, and I get to do exactly as my little conniving heart desires. 

Anyhoo.  After lots of research and planning.  I decided to take a look at my budget.  After looking at my budget, my list of party must-haves suddenly had a lot of crossed off items.

So long pony rides.
Adios mariachi band.
Maybe next time portable photo-booth.
Peace out pinata.  

Wait.  No.  Eff that.  I'm keeping the mother-loving pinata dammit!

E1 offered up his pad for the venue.  His space is in a very industrial part of Salt Lake.  There's a lot of metal, exposed duct-work, a recording studio and a garage door that opens up into a graffiti decorated enclosed courtyard.  The geriatrics would be horrified.  I immediately booked it.

The day of the party, April 1st, was sunny, warm and basically perfect.  Until I left the house. 
I stopped by the bakery to pick up the specially ordered cake I'd paid for a week in advance.  The gal asks my name and searches the shelves.  She heads to the back.  She returns to the front.  She searches some more.  She asks if it could be under a different name.  Nope.  Just mine.  She starts digging through receipts and I offer to get mine out of the car.  She declines and continues to dig.  She finally tells me the cake was never made.
I stand there and stare at her in silence while mentally, a thousand angry words are hurled through the air and bounce off her forehead leaving little red dents.
She says they can make another one but it won't be the cake, filling, or decoration that was previously ordered.  A WEEK IN ADVANCE.  I tell her I'll be back in four hours to pick up the travesty.  

Between the cake fiasco, dropping the birthday banner and watching the wind tumble it through a few mud puddles and then looking on as the giant number 5 balloon unwraps itself from it's weight and floats off into oblivion, things were not going well. I wondered if my Mom would be okay with the single remaining number 6 balloon.  I mean really, what's a few years, give or take a few 60?




The guest list mostly consisted of members of her Mormon church.  As these sweet souls braved traveling out of their comfort zones, staying up past their curfews and risked getting lost in an area they've most likely never set eyes on, I'm touched by their dedication to honor my Mom by showing up to share in her celebration.

That's when I get a call from my Brother.  "Yeah, hey Dawn.  I'm trying to find the party and I'm in some weird alley.  There's like, a lot of metal all over the place.  I'm not getting out of the car".
Brave brave Brother of mine.

It was Dad's job to lure Mom there with some convoluted lie.  Eventually he knocks on the door.  I shoosh everyone and motion for them to gather around.  With my fingers, I count down from three.  At one, I fling the door open and everyone screams "SURPRIIIIIIISE" right in Dad's face.  I can practically see his hair blow back from his scalp.  He stands there with eyeballs wide and a stunned look on his face.  I'm not entirely sure why.  He knew what the plan was, and yet. 
It took about a second for my mind to register the fact that Mom, the birthday girl, was not present.  It's right about then that she pokes her little head around the corner to peer into the gloom where a second, less enthusiastic "Surpriise" is emitted from within.

*SIGH*



The party turned out just fine.  My Mom danced.  My Dad put on a humorous slideshow (yes, a legit slideshow with a screen and slide projector and all) that had everyone laughing.  Everyone ate cake and didn't throw up.  (It was NOT good)  Mom beat the shit out of the cupcake shaped pinata and once it was down, proceeded to curb stomp it like she'd just watched American History X.  

All while Satan looked down with the dead eyes of approval.  Happy Birthday Mom.