Posting hangover

Friday, December 28, 2007
I officially have writer's block. No, not really. It's called "I've-had-a-million-things-to-do-that-have-been-stressing-me-out" mode. But, with that said and holidays almost over, I should be back with witty commentary about life with the B.F. I'm heading this weekend to Rochester to visit his extended family. This, let me tell you, is one big first for me.

Almost as big as the 'rents meeting.

Post-it Thermostat

Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Told ya. It's still up.

Mystery solved -- boys don't talk for a reason

I think I've found god. Well, not really, but I found a guy who has enough sarcasm and truth that I was laughing out loud when the B.F. forwarded this link about men and communication with women. The title of his e-mail was "READ AND COMPREHEND IT." Is he trying to tell me something? Well, after reading the article, it all makes sense. I've found an opening into how men communicate versus how women communicate, which is much more eloquently and common then men.

According to Dave Zinczenko, editor in chief at Men's Health, guys want time to decompress when they come home from work, take a minute for themselves by eating something and hanging out in the bathroom with an exhilarating magazine. Thinking back, I think I do ask a million questions right off the bat and then wonder why he doesn't answer them to the level I want. (Note to self: I'll have to pull back on that.)

For all you ladies who are questioning the length of your relationship, look no further than your conversations with your B.F. God, er Dave says,

"And when men do talk, they'd prefer to talk about actions rather than emotions. For instance, a lot of guys would choose to express their long-range faith in a relationship by talking about next summer's vacation plans, not by launching into a soliloquy about undying love."

I would be extremely uncomfortable if the B.F. launched into a poem of his undying love for me. I'd probably laugh out of complete nervousness. (Editor's note: I'm not very into the lovey-dovey shit that you see in Hollywood's finest films like The Notebook or The Last Kiss. I'm more comfortable falling over how damn good looking Ryan Gosling is than what he's actually saying. We all know that stuff looks great on film but rarely happens in person. I mean, how often do you see your ex in the paper, run home to him, he's still single and waiting for you? Yep, never.)

With that said, it's interesting example Dave gave to show a man's true feelings toward a relationship. Way back when, the B.F. invited me on a vacation with his family and extended family to Cancun. I thought he was shit balls crazy because we had literally started dating -- I mean, we might have been seeing each other exclusively for a month. That's it. Needless to say, I never actually went. I made up excuses that I didn't have money, it would be awkward because I didn't know everyone, and, I think I even used the "I don't have enough time to get a passport" one.

In retrospect, it would've been one hell of a vacation. From now on, I'll try and remember to concentrate on his actions and not so much the amount of words he's not saying.

Hot in here

Tuesday, December 18, 2007
In our apartment, the fact that it's extremely below normally cold in the master bedroom is my biggest complaint. It's our biggest fight. I'm all about it being cooler in the apartment. However, when my hands are ice cold because it's 59 degrees in the bedroom, I think that qualifies as a little more than ridiculous.

(Editor's Note: It took me a lot longer to figure out that the master will be colder than the rest of the apartment because it's farthest away from the heater. I kept jacking up the heat hoping to push it back to the bedroom.)

So, in efforts to keep me away from the thermostat, the B.F. posted a post-it next to it. I've taken it down several times. He continues to paste it back up there. For a while, I thought he was somehow shutting the vents in the room to secretly have a laugh at my expense. Nope. Untrue. Apparently because we are on the first floor with two walls facing the outside with freezing cold temps, I'm going to have to suffer through this winter.

Let me back and up and say I'm not a fan of sleeping in multiple layers of clothes. With our current heating situation, I'm being forced to wear layers of clothing. Back in high school, I remember reading an article in Cosmo explaining how you will sleep better in just underwear, or better yet, completely naked. Because you don't have a tank top, T-shirt or pants pulling at you through the night, you will enjoy a better night's sleep. It works. You should try it.

So today as we are both getting ready for work and this pops on. I hear him say, "They should call me in on as an expert." According to the Today Show, 75% of men prefer it to be colder than women in the bedroom. Great. I get it. I prefer it a little cooler, too. Just not at 59 degrees. How about 62? I'll settle at 62 degrees.

I'm just hoping I don't get an electric blanket for Christmas.

Shopping for that special someone

Monday, December 17, 2007
Gifts, gifts and more gifts. The B.F. and I went shopping on Saturday at the busiest mall ever, right before a mild snow storm. I didn't write down a list. Maybe that was my first problem. I thought I'd glide through stores, see something that caught my eye and grab it, gift wrapped and all. Nope. Not even close. I became confused, blinded and started to get a headache. What if they don't like it? Does she have something like this? Shit. M.A.C or NARS? There's so much pressure to buy your friends and family the perfect gift. I don't like giving gift cards -- I'd rather have you return it. Opening a gift is half the fun! Take the B.F. for example. For the past year and a half, I've bought Christmas and birthday gifts. Now, has he liked everything? Ummm. Well, not necessarily. I loved the light purple shirt, but he thought it was a little progressive -- even for him. (Seriously, the kid wears a light pink shirt. The purple shirt was on sale and in the general realm of pink, so I thought it was a shoe-in. I was shot down.)

I really want to achieve that great look. The look that goes something like this: "OMG, this is most perfect gift. How did you know?" I strive to achieve the really, really genuine how-did-you-know expression.

I didn't pull off the look or even buy anything. I got so irritated with the people in Sephora and every other store. Mostly because women were stopping, talking and carrying on long conversations in front of doorways, Starbucks line and other high-traffic areas. Why not! Because that almost makes sense. The worst is when both have strollers and you politely say, "excuse me," but they can't hear you. It's hopeless. Then you try and squeeze yourself between both strollers -- never works.

FYI -- I'm one of those women who avoids having conversations in congested areas. Don't get me wrong, I'll blatantly carry on a conversation with a long-lost college friend in the mall. I just try to not piss off the rest of the shoppers when we are shoulder to shoulder in a jam packed mall.

Bah humbug.

Still, I need to shop for a few select people.

Meeting of the minds...eventually

Tuesday, December 11, 2007
It comes a time in every relationship where you take it to your "next" level. Now, the word "level" means something different to every person. For example, the concept of living together is big to some and small to others. Buying a dog, taking a vacation alone and meeting the parents are all levels within the relationship. Last but not least, there is the ultimate level -- introducing the parents to one another. (Insert dramatic music here.)

It hasn't happened yet, but it's well on its way at this point. Both sides are inquiring. Since we are in no way, shape or form on our way to getting married, I really don't have any particular interest in pulling the trigger. (I always associate the meeting of the parents after more important levels are achieved in the relationship... like a proposal. )

So, to take it off of my plate, I'm leaving it up for the B.F. to arrange and coordinate schedules. However, I think when it does happen, I should bring along a camera because I'm sure it will be interesting, especially if there's alcohol involved.

Hide the presents

Sunday, December 9, 2007
I'm terrible at surprises. I like and hate to be surprised at the same time. Last year, my friends pulled off the greatest surprise party -- I was fooled. I was completely surprised. And, let me tell you how many lies they must've had going to get it past me. They were so impressed with themselves that they were that great of liars for a month or so. Should I be concerned?

Anywho, I'm a snoop. Even as a child, I would search through my parents' closet for my birthday gifts. One year, I specifically remember finding a Barbie doll and She-Ra dolls I wanted -- I acted completely surprised of course. What can I say? I just wanted to know what I was getting. This, leads me to present day. I'm still a snoop.

Since the B.F. and I are living together now, he's going to have get creative with hiding and wrapping presents so I can't peek into them. He already made his first mistake. He showed me a box from Saks -- more or less teasing with me it. Jackass. Don't you know that fuels my fire even more now? I'd recognize that wrapping even when I'm blind with thick glasses and I'm 90--who can resist the snowflakes with the red bows.

Only 15 more days -- I can't wait. I'll try not ruin it this year. Really.

Painting -- check!

Monday, December 3, 2007
This past Saturday, the B.F. and I braved a joint project -- the painting of three walls. We both agreed that painting the entire apartment would be a huge job and one we didn't want to redo when it came time to move out. With that said, we decided to paint three accent walls to bring some color into our drab apartment. We are getting there. Slowly adding fixtures, decorations and new furniture. After this month, we should be well on our way to having an updated, Crate & Barrel-looking apartment with a new TV and stand. Who knows. We might even go crazy and add a new kitchen table to the place after we buy everyone on our list a present.

Before we even got started and before he laid down the drop cloth, he made me take an oath. Yep, that's right. An oath to not spill, splatter, throw or drip paint on the carpet or ceiling. It even started out with me raising a hand and reciting, "I, Allison M., will not get paint on the wall, ceiling...blah blah." You get the point.

He had to do the edges first to make sure I didn't get any paint over the tape he meticulously taped up. So while was he was doing the edges, I'd try and paint but he'd tell me to wait or "Allison, give me a minute to finish this. " Oh, I gave him a minute. I gave him like 20 as I looked up holiday decorations on the Internet and blasted my new favorite Britney Spears song from the computer. I did participate in our group project. Although, every time I was moving faster than him, I had to wait to move the drop cloth underneath where I was working to not "drip" any paint from the brush.

For your information, I didn't get paint on any of the walls. But the B.F. managed to have an "accident" on the ceiling with the roller and a small splatter on one of the other walls when he was painting the edges. Maybe I should have him take an oath next time.

Survival of the fittest

Will your relationship make it through this holiday season? Is it worth it? These seem to be questions pondered by both parties as the season hits us in the next few weeks. Do you want to spend money on the girl/guy? How much are they worth? Do you look bad if you don't spend the same amount on each other? Are you outdoing one another in the gift exchanging?

In the past, I've generally always found myself trying to out do the person. Spend that much extra time or get that more expensive gift. Maybe I was making up in gifts what was lacking in the relationship?

Leaving the future of my love life up to IVillage, I sent this quiz to a few of my friends and took it as well. What a mistake that was! My friend Erica said, and I quote, "For the record, whoever made up that quiz should switch careers." Well said. But, I think it still brings up a good point (at least for the 25 seconds it takes you to get through it) to look at your own relationship and see where your areas of improvement lie. With everyone's busy schedules, it's easy to get wrapped up in our own lives and forget about our significant other.

So as a relationship expert (or at least someone who thinks they are) here are some ideas to reconnect with your significant other:
Maybe a surprise getaway like Mel tookwith her B.F.
Pick a movie the other person likes for movie night
A couples massage or spontaneous back rub
Go out with the other person's friends
A nice handwritten card (Yes, they still sell those)

OK --my Oprah moment has passed.

Blocked out

Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Hi. Hello. I'm talking to you. Seriously. I know you can hear me. Stop ignoring me, the TV isn't on that loud.

My B.F. has impressive skills at blocking everything out when the TV is on. If you are wondering, this isn't something I just noticed. However, I can reach my breaking point of him pretending I'm not even in the room.

It must be a guy thing. It must. I'm stunned by this skill.

He can literally watch Seinfeld through me asking questions, slamming cabinets in the kitchen and listening to music in the same room and will only turn to me during commercials. "What'd you just say," will be his question after I've asked him three or four questions with no response. Not even so much as a look my way. He's just focused on George and Elaine when he's trying to steal one of her sponge's. It's like he's watching TV in the middle of an empty apartment.

How is it that boys can block the entire world out when they are watching TV? Not even just sports, but everything imaginable on TV. I can't. When he's bothering me with some question, I have to stop live TV and listen to what he's saying. If I don't, I'll completely miss what's happening on Law & Order: SVU. Not the B.F. though. He will laugh at the jokes on TV while I'm asking him something or telling him a story.

It's not even that he hears me and doesn't want to respond or he'll respond when the commercials come on. I'm talking directly to him and he doesn't even know I'm in the room and genuinely looks at me in surprise that I'm even standing there. I feel like he's thinking, "Well, where'd you come from?" He truly had no idea what just happened in the last six minutes.

And, I don't buy the whole ...."he's not listening to you because all girls do is nag." No. I'm not nagging. Sometimes I just want to what we are doing this weekend, or what his plans or for tomorrow or how he feels about Barack Obama for this presidential election. I'm not interrupting the Family Guy by asking "how big my butt looks in these jeans." I'm not. Nope, not doing that.

Maybe he needs to teach me this wonderful skill.

Decorating round 2

Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Since the holidays are approaching, I'm on a kick to get our apartment in shape. And by shape, I mean finally (yes!) painting. After asking a couple friends for their advice on colors, I've decided to steal the Sherwin Williams color, Blonde, from Michelle and paint the living room/dining room.

On Sunday,we even took a short trip over to Legacy Village to browse through Crate & Barrel to look at some furniture. We found two pieces we agreed on buying in the next month. I love everything about that store, except for the fact that I can't afford to outfit an entire room from there. But, I have found that it's a great place to grab ideas and concepts from and then look to IKEA or outlet stores to recreate the look. Right now, we are concentrating on getting a new TV so I can watch Grey's re-runs or reality TV because they studio execs still haven't come to terms with writers! (End this! Next fall we won't have any new shows!)

Anyway, our next step is painting the place Blonde and adding a new coffee table, media stand and TV.

Please feel free to send donations.

Food coma -- all weekend long

Sunday, November 25, 2007
I've been on this weight loss kick for the past two weeks, and I think I pretty much gained that seven pounds I lost back on in the last four days. But, I have better news. I lived through my busiest Thanksgiving yet. I drove clear across Northeast Ohio on Thursday. From Youngstown to my small hometown of Amherst, I drove to eat not one, not two but three meals throughout the day. I more or less really ate only one full meal, then picked at the other houses because I just wanted to try specific foods here and there. I met some new people through the B.F. and experienced Thanksgiving eve with the city of Youngstown. I missed my friends. I kept wondering what I was missing out on, but it turns out I didn't miss as much excitement as I thought. My friend's either didn't make it home or headed downtown Cleveland. However, when I was back in the sandstone capital of the world, I caught up with some high school friends and had a blast at a local bar.

Here's a recap of my long weekend. It's funny how when families and friends get together they have the oddest, most off the wall conversations. Below is just skimming the surface of conversations with new friends and family.

-shooting squirrels (no, really)
-catholic religion
-shooting squirrels with a 22 caliber to keep your entire neighborhood happy and free of them
-deer eating swiss chard in the garden down to the roots and how using netting as a scare tactic doesn't keep the deer away
-tall boots
-reminscing of growing up in the late 60's early 70's (including marijuana, uppers and downers and mixing them (and still be alive to tell the story)
-explaining a blog
-my cat and how he sleeps, walks and likes to go outside -- he is proof that there is such a thing as a cool cat
-upcoming family reunion
-law school
-air traffic controllers
-dart games

Yearly arguments

Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I did it. I met him halfway in our disagreement over the holidays. I'm heading east with him to his family's home tonight and half of tomorrow. I'll then drive solo to my family's house to spend the rest of Thanksgiving day with them. There, that wasn't so hard.

Isn't it funny how much stress the holidays can bring on you and your relationship? Maybe it's more self-inflicted than really brought on us, but still, there's stress there.

Growing up, if you didn't speak up in my family, you probably weren't heard and I think that's why my family yells all the time. I have to constantly to remind them, in a nice, yet smart-ass way, "Um, guys, we are all in the same room. You don't need to yell. I can hear you."

Plus, there's always the explanation of my job. I've accepted that people outside of public relations don't understand it. It's fine. I get it. Sometimes, I even say I'm in advertising just to prevent the onslaught of questioning about PR.
Any random family member: "You do what again? Oh, so you are a publicist." "Wait, but where's your name? Are you sure you wrote this?"

See why just replying with "advertising" is easier?

Although, I'm looking forward to a break from e-mail, beeping messages and meeting notices. I'll take some family fighting any day.

Hazards of painting

Monday, November 19, 2007
A co-worker just forwarded me this link through CNN -- Moving in together could be hazardous to your relationship. This quick read provides great insight on avoiding the small arguments, getting out before you see the red flags and deciding who wears the pants when.

You know what it doesn't tell me? How to merge our decorating tastes? Now that can be hazardous to my health.

We've been in our new place since June and I've been all about painting since day 1. I'll admit it. I let it slip my from list of 345,333 things to do, but now I'm shifting it to my top 34,000 things to do. We headed to our local Home Depot and Sherwin Williams to pick out neutral, warm and rich colors of beige. Doesn't sound too complicated now does it? Well, I want a more rich color of beige, something that has a tint of orange, red or brown, but not the stuffy, cold color of beige. After searching through the paint swatches, we picked out 4 and headed home to decide after we compared them in the light of our own place. That, my friends, was something like two months ago. The swatches are still hanging underneath a picture because we haven't agreed, and to be completely honest, it shifted to my longer list of things to do.

The B.F. said I can pick the color as long as it's not bright and "fleshy." Yes, I won! But on a serious note, does a rich beige-ish color sound fleshy to you? Nope. I don't think so. But I didn't want to make a quick decision, pick my color, paint it and then listen to him give people the tour of our apartment saying, "Oh yeah, Allison picked out that fleshy color." So, I'm going to make my decision in the next week or so, and I need some suggestions from expert painters. Can anyone suggest a neutral, non-fleshy tone?

I need a clone

Sunday, November 18, 2007
With the holidays approaching fast, couples have to make important decisions about splitting their time between multiple family gatherings. We both are from Ohio and have families within 45 minutes of our place, just in opposite directions. Neither of us have made our final decision as to whether we are staying together for Thanksgiving or splitting up. A week or two back, I was dead set on heading west to spend time with my family and friends. It's my tradition. I'm close with my high school friends and this is one major time during the year where we all meet up the night before Thanksgiving. Not only is it the biggest night for drinking, it's also the night of 1,000 stars if you are from Amherst -- if you are anyone, you are out downtown.

It's hard to decide who is more important. I've never split holidays with a B.F. before so I'm new at this game. (Is there a rule book for this?) Plus, I only see these people, including my extended family, a couple times a year. Does that make me a selfish, inconsiderate G.F? I don't really think so, but I bet the B.F. would disagree with me. I do really want to be in both places at the same but my time machine is broken at the moment -- go figure.

We had a little conversation about it the other day. I was hinting around at his plans to see if he knew what time his family was eating. And, secretly hoping to gain an idea of how he was feeling about my unwillingness to compromise.

Editor's note: I'll admit it. I'm not really used to sharing. I grew up with a brother and we had completely separate toys with a stay-at-home mom. She did everything for us.

Back to our conversation......Then, it somehow turned into, "Well if I come to your place for Thanksgiving, you are coming to mine for Christmas." I'm thinking to myself, "no, no, no, this isn't going to work. I'm always with my family for Christmas."

So my brilliant answer is, "I'll give you Easter."
Think about it. Who really likes Easter? The food isn't anything great, and my family gave up church years ago so we go to dinner at Blake's in Crocker Park. Colored hard-boiled eggs? Boring. Lamb. Not a fan. I thought it was an offer he couldn't refuse, but he just rolled his eyes at me and said, "You just aren't getting it. "

I guess I'm not.

Interview with another cohabitator

Thursday, November 15, 2007
Let me introduce you to another cohabitator. She is a friend from college who gave up Cleveland's great weather to move to Texas to live with her B.F. I just saw this past weekend for the first time since she moved. With our night out fresh in my mind, I thought it was a great time to interview her and understand what it's like to pick and move across the country for a guy..or girl.

How long have you been dating/living with your boyfriend?
I have been living with the boyfriend for 4 months.

Why did you move in with him?
I moved because I lived across the country and I was sick of flying every other weekend to come see him. It was too hard and artificial and we needed/wanted to be together more often.

Editor's note: She moved from Cleveland to Austin.

Name an adjustment both of you needed to make and how you have solved it -- or haven't.
A lot of adjustments—He had to concentrate on something other than work and learn to be not so selfish anymore. I had to learn how to adjust in a new city- with no friends or family, and still not be too dependent on him.

What would your B.F. say is the hardest part living with you?
He would say the hardest part is feeling like all his attention has to go on me because I am new to this environment and don’t have anyone else

What is the hardest part of living with the B.F.
Hardest part is the long work hours; his job is very important and unexpected, being on call all the time. Dealing with the nurses that hit on him haha

Editor's note: Her B.F. is a surgeon.

How do you decide who does what? Who cleans/cooks/takes out the trash/household chores in general.
We don’t really decide- we do both really. I get home earlier than him 99 percent of the time so it’s easier for me to clean or cook than him but he still contributes a lot. If we both worked normal jobs I think we would split it equally. I can’t stand messy/unorganized things so I wind up cleaning more just because I need to have it my own way.


Sunday, November 11, 2007
I wish my camera was working properly because I would take a picture of the thermostat. I've ripped the post-it down several times, but the B.F. keeps putting it back up.

Let me back up and say we live on the bottom floor of a four-floor building. I'm used to being on the third floor or higher, and when you go from that to this, it is one f'ing cold apartment. I swear to god the heat isn't working in my bedroom. I'm freaking convinced the vents are broken. It's 10 degrees colder the farther down the hallway you get.

With that being said, I moved the thermostat (GASP!) a mere 4 degrees to make sure it would get back to the bedroom. I didn't realize that B.F. was the reincarnation of my dad. Growing up, He was a nazi about the thermostat in my house. Always. And, once again, my room was freezing in the winter and hot as hell in the summer.

Apparently, he thinks slapping a post-it next to the thermostat will stop me from touching it.

The post-it reads:

If your name is Allison, you are not allowed to touch the thermostat!

Try again, buddy!

Run far away, boys

Wednesday, November 7, 2007
After browsing through my Google reader and my usual stops of magazines like Allure and Cosmo, I nearly spit up my Coke Zero when I saw this headline, "Make him propose."

My first blunt thought was, if you are trying to make a guy propose to you, he's probably the wrong guy. But, if that is said and so easily done, then the authors of "He's Just Not That Into You" wouldn't have landed a book deal, a guest spot on Oprah or that ridiculous TV show he now has. (I think it's on Oxygen. I caught it on Saturday afternoon I believe. I'm lame even admitting that.) In college, a roommate's mom sent us the book after she saw it on Oprah. We would read through it, laugh and couldn't possibly fathom doing that pathetic stuff (Not me of course). I think we would even refer to it in our late-bar drunkenness because it was great material.

But I'm digressing from my original thought about forcing guys to propose. No wonder girls get a bad rep! It makes complete sense why guys or Narm think we are nutcases.

After reading all seven click-throughs of this article, there are tons of excerpts I could link to or disagree with but this got me the best. I think this made my jaw drop the most out of everything that I just read.

"The Art of the Ultimatum: Three times when it might pay to nudge him a bit"
He Has a Legit Excuse
If you really think the two of you click but he’s stalling because he’s temporarily focused on something else, like finishing grad school, give him a firm deadline (e.g., till he reaches his goal).
He Needs to Rethink His Priorities
Say he’s a jock and you hate sports, but he wishes you had that in common. Is it so important to him that he’s willing to risk losing you? (Note: If the answer is yes, you don’t want him anyway.)
He’s Chronically Indecisive
Some guys are reluctant because they can’t make a decision. He’s not afraid of committing to you; he’s just afraid of committing. If that sounds like your man, he might need prodding to get off the proverbial fence. Just tell him that you want him to be in your life, but if he can’t make a decision in the next couple of months, you’ll have to move on. Warning: If you issue an ultimatum, you better be prepared to stick to it.

I pretty much rolled my eyes the entire time I skimmed all seven click-throughs of this story. If you are "nudging" your B.F. to see a chick flick versus Saw 4, then I can understand that nudging or dragging him to the theater makes sense. However, if you're "nudging" your B.F. to make a life-long commitment, then you are going to be nudging for one long ass time.

My advice (that I stole from my dad): Try building relationships with guys who want to be with you all the time, not just when their friends aren't available or they have nothing better to do.

Ta dah! I just saved you years of therapy! Thank me with a comment.

Locked Out

Monday, November 5, 2007
Finding yourself locked out of your favorite places is a bit on the annoying side. If you live in an apartment, not getting to the leasing office in time to pick up your package is annoying. What office in their right mind is only open until 5? Don't they know people work well past 5 these days? Locking yourself out of your apartment or your car is extremely frustrating. It's even worse when you can see the keys sitting on the car set or dangling in the ignition -- it gets me worked up just thinking about it!

However, I can think of another time that puts all these to shame -- when your boyfriend locks you out of your bedroom. Yes, in this instance I'm using the pronoun "your" to describe my space.

After watching Michael Symon kick ass on the Next Iron Chef, the B.F. wanted to continue to watch "Iron Chef America." No, I was going to watch Brothers & Sisters -- I love that show. He gets up and heads off into my room and I hear the door make a clicking sound.

I continue to lay on the couch and about 20 minutes later decided it was time to lay in bed and watch the rest of the show.

The bastard locked me out! He wouldn't open the door. So, like the adult that I am, I started gently throwing myself against the door and beating on it at 10:30 at night (our neighbors probably love us).

Me: Seriously, open the door, I want to lay down.
B.F.: No.
Me: Unlock my door now.
B.F. Until you understand the fact that this isn't "yours," I'm staying in here and you can sleep on the couch or in the other bedroom. Everything you need is outside where you are.

This childish banter went on the for the next half hour. He opened up and slid my cell phone at me in case I wanted to call anyone. Then I complained that I needed my contact stuff and toothbrush and the jackass put that outside the door for me.

Finally, after I bitched enough, he unlocked the door and was laying there smirking like he had just won some prize. Maybe he was getting me back from all those times I locked him out of MY bedroom? Just maybe.

Left behind

Wednesday, October 31, 2007
If you weren't aware, the B.F. and I live together and work together. Yes, that's right, we do both and haven't managed to murder one another. On Monday, we were ready to head out the door at about the same time. This, I might add, is very odd. We are never ready at the same time. He is always 15 minutes, if not more, ahead of me at any given time. If I say, "I'll be there in five," what I really mean is I will be done flat ironing my hair in five minutes. That doesn't count on throwing on jewelry or my shoes. So by the time I pick those out, I'm out headed to my destination, driving at 80 mph because I'm always racing to be somewhere that I should've been 15 minutes earlier.

So, at this rare moment, we are beside ourselves because I'm ready. The B.F. says, "Do you want to ride into the office together?" Hmmmmm, why not, right?


The B.F. comes around my office at about 4:30 and I'm on a conference call, so he rudely tries to talk to me as I'm listening to this vendor chat about some search capability. I mouthe, "I'll be ready at 5:30 p.m." He nods and walks out.

At this point, it's about 5:15 p.m., so I send a few final e-mails and make my way over to his office to check if he's ready. Yep, you guessed it, the bastard split on me. Laptop. Gone. Lights. Off.

I'm laughing thinking he must be in the office or outside playing cornhole. I call him from my work phone because I left my cell at home.

The B.F. -- "Hey, when are you going to be home?"
Me: "Ummmm, did you forget something?"
The B.F.: Laughter. "Oh my god, I fucking left you."
We are both laughing.
Me: "Seriously, B.F., how did you leave without me. You came by my office and I said I'd be ready at 5:30."
The B.F. "I don't know."
Laughing still.

To make up for his absentmindedness, he made dinner, which he was planning on doing anyway but it looked that much better for him. I guess it's a good thing we don't have or a dog or my cat anymore. He'd probably leave it outside and forget about it.

After dinner, I checked my voicemail and he called me twice and left a voicemail right before I called him asking me when I'd be home. (He sounded very sincere. Like he had no idea that we drove in together.)

Boys. Get a memory.

girls' night out

Monday, October 29, 2007
As girls, we need more of these. Even if we aren't in a relationship or shacking up, it's something that girls need to do at least once a month. I'm always with my B.F. I see him at work, after work, when I go to bed and when I wake up. It's easy to do the same things every weekend, so we, as couples, need to shake things up, go out with the girls, turn off the phone and if you cheat, make sure not to take pictures and use protection.

We were celebrating two friend's 25th birthdays (Katie and Katie), complete with crowns, flowers and balloons and drinks at local area bars. (That was Erin's idea-- not mine, but they made me do it on mine so we returned the favor to them.)

Here are my top 6 reasons to not ruin your friendships with your girls when you get in a relationship:
1)You never know when you will need good drinking buddies.
2)Even though you still don't live with them, you can still secretly steal clothes, shoes and even Halloween costumes that they'll eventually forget about.
3)Driving drunk is irresponsible -- hello Britney, Paris and Lindsey! If they had friends or half a brain, they wouldn't do those things either.
4) They answer the most important question, "Are these jeans too tight?"
5) They answer other important questions like, "Do I look like a hooker?, Is there something in my teeth? and Is that guy fuckable?" (Jeff feel free to counter my points now.)
6) Who will listen to you talk about the latest Grey's Anatomy drama?

Now you try. It doesn't have to be 5 reasons, it can one, two or 23.

managing expectations

Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I recently was invited into a guy's mind (what a scary place that is). He explained to me how men think and what their actions mean, and I'll be the first to admit that I think guys are just as messed up as girls.

I've never considered myself to be much of a clingy girlfriend. (Other people could think differently.) But I don't stalk, pry into what you are doing or who you are with in a psycho-girlfriend-kind-of-way.....unless you give me reason to. But this week in particular, I felt like we weren't really paying that much attention to each other. He did his things in and out work and so did I. I just felt disconnected. So I started poking around for answers, "did I do something to offend you? Are you OK?" (Really knowing that he was the fucked up one and I was just trying to get answers out of him.)

Here's what he tells me in a Dr. Phil sort-of-way:
"Allison, sometimes I want to hang out with you a lot, then some time I don't. Don't take it personally, but guys go through spurts where they want a lot of something or want a little of something."
Me -- I'm nodding and laughing.
"Don't be offended by it, it's really nothing. I don't love you any less because I don't hang out every second, it is what it is."

There are other parts of that conversation that I forgot, but I think you get the gist of it.

There you have it. The gospel according to one male's mind.

Libra Tampons - The Comparison

Friday, October 19, 2007

Yes, some boys do purchase tampons.

tampons and tools

There comes a time in every guy's adult life when he needs to grab his manhood by the balls and walk into a Target and purchase his girlfriend/baby mama/wife/daughter a box of tampons. (You can handle it.) I've never quite understood the fear in being around tampons, buying them or even saying the word, without whispering it. What happens if there is no period? Then, only then, is where the real fear starts.

Let's compare a guy act that girls often do. Girls buy condoms all the time. It's a condom for god's sake. It's benefiting both parties involved in the act. Tampons are another useful tool for both parties involved. If couples use condoms correctly, then they can both breathe a sigh of relief when the girl asks her to guy to buy tampons at her local drugstore.

Now, boys, when you live with a girl you will occasionally come across one of these useful tools. Don't be afraid. It's just cotton and a part of life -- didn't you take 7th grade health class?

Girls encounter all types of disgusting boy habits. Shaving? Come on. Thank god we have two bathrooms because the last thing I want to see is little shavings sprinkled all over my sink. Don't even make me refer to the oldest of boy habits -- the toliet seat. If I can put down your toliet seat and buy condoms, you can walk into a drugstore and purchase a simple box of tampons.

new things every day

Sunday, October 14, 2007
The B.F. just got a new iPod for his big 28th birthday. He makes it a point to constantly rub it into my face that his iPod classic is better than my 30GB video/picture slim version iPod. He's new in general to technology and gets mad when I know more than him. During college, I worked at Best Buy for about two years and learned so much about computers, phones (which I sold), TVs and all other electrical equipment. Guys like him would come in all the time and try to talk their technical jargon, then I would have to politely insult their intelligence and sell them more gadgets than they needed...just because I could.

From this iPod purchase, I've learned of his eclectic music tastes. He has been downloading album artwork for all 2,000 of his songs and has been playing me a preview of all of them (I haven't asked for a single one). He tells me that one of his favorite songs of all times is "Lady in Red." The first thing that comes to mind is American Psycho with hot Christian Bale.

This morning as I was getting ready to run off to Brio, he says out loud "Ooohhh Bridget Jones' Diary."
Me -- "Oooooh Bridget Jones' Diary???"
B.F. -- "Allison, I know it's hard to believe but there were other girls that came before you, and they made me watch sappy movies like this one."

Guess you learn something new every day about your significant other.

Breaking and entering

Thursday, October 11, 2007
I officially freaked myself out last night. I have always viewed myself as a tough girl. I can handle any situation with the slightest of ease....or so I think. Well, last night was a whole different story.

I passed out at about 11:30 p.m. and awoke to the B.F.'s text messages of purses. He had the new account girl modeling purses -- she looked cute but I could hardly make out the bag. After I hung up on him twice because I was losing interest and falling asleep, I told him which one I liked better and told him not to buy it. I turn over to get comfortable and a light in the living room is shining eerily bright into my room. I think my heart stopped. I didn't leave that light on. I never leave lights on when I sleep. I know I leave them all on when I'm up but not when I'm sleeping. I made sure to turn all the lights off. I jump up and tip toe to see if I can see someone's shadow in the living room. I have convinced myself that there is an intruder in my apartment. I put on shoes, pants and shirt and the grasp my keys in between my fingers like I was taught at a self defense class. Meanwhile, the B.F. is calling me and I just ignore his calls because I think I'm going to scream I'm so nervous. I flip on every light, check the doors and locks for forced entry and can find no examples that someone else has been there.

I grab a kitchen knife. (Note to readers: I think I have watched one too many Law & Order: SVU episodes.) I hop in my bed, watch Pageant Place on MTV to calm myself down but I only get more furious because I don't give a shit about Tara Conner and her rehab -- congratulations, honey! You joined the ranks of all the rest.

Needless to say, I fell asleep and woke up alive this morning to come into the office for another day of work. I'm kind of glad that B.F. is returning tonight. I just don't know how the hell that lamp got turned on.

sleeping alone is really better for you

Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I have friends who love, absolutely love, sleeping next to their boyfriend/fuck buddy/flavor of the month. I also have a few honest friends who admit that sleeping next to someone every night doesn't guarantee you a great night of sleep.

Since I can remember, I've always had a full bed, which has allowed me to stretch, wrap the blankets all around me and throw a pillow or two in the middle of the night. So when I have a permanent sleeping partner, he makes sure to remind me of my thrashing ways in the morning.

"Allison, you punched me last night." (I think he made that one up.)
"Allison, you wrap the blankets around you like a cocoon." (Duh.)
"Allison, you have restless leg syndrome and kick me throughout the night." (Whatever.)

Our sleeping arrangements often come up in conversation. Here's how it typically goes:
Any random person -- "So you live together?"
Me--- "Yes we do."
Person -- "Is it a one-bedroom, two-bedroom?"
Me--"We have two bedrooms. There's no way my shopping habit can share a closet with him."
Person -- "Who has what room?"
Me -- "I get the master bedroom because, like I said, I need to have the closet of Elle magazine, and he has the other room."
Person -- "But, you like, sleep together every night, right?"

And, at this point, I get annoyed and slightly defensive. The tone is always the same when any random person reaches the Q&A portion of my sleeping arrangement. Why does it matter to you where I sleep? This is where I bring in the experts. I am a part of the 23% percent of couples who sleep apart, at least some portion of the week. Here, take the quiz.

Stolen from the Today Show, "There are a lot more couples sleeping separately than you might guess, says Mark Mahowald, director of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center in Minneapolis. An estimated 23 percent of American couples sleep apart, according to a survey by the National Sleep Foundation." For all of the people who responded to the survey, 47% of men sleep best when they sleep next to their partner, and only 35% of women sleep best next to their partner. Why you ask? Snoring (38%)!

Women mostly get screwed because men are such loud snorers. My friend Katie said the first time she slept at her B.F.'s house...she thought he died! Could you imagine? She was watching his chest to make sure he was still alive because he stopped breathing at some points in the night. And, when he's done doing the scary-I-almost-died-sleeping thing, he moves into this loud, I-can't-sleep-through snore for the rest of the night. See what we must put up with!

So, in my crazy conclusion, it's not about who you sleep with, it's about the quality of sleep you get when you are sleeping with that person.

Vacation -- for both of us

Monday, October 8, 2007
A great thing about my job and the B.F's is that we get to travel sporadically throughout the year. This week, the B.F. is off in L.A. for job training with a client. I'm incredibly jealous because L.A. is a place I should go. I would appreciate the shopping, culture, celebrities, beach and scene, but he won't. He hates, absolutely hates, W.6th in Cleveland, but I guarantee he'd go out to LAX or Les Deux just to spite me. That... makes me jealous. And, oh how I could continue to rack up my credit cards on S. Robertson Blvd. if only I were there.

However, now that I'm alone until Friday, I'm able to do those secret behavior things that I hide when he's around. I can watch all my guilty pleasure shows without hearing some smart ass response from him like, "Allison, you are way out of MTV's demographic to be watching that."

Plus, I can watch all my shows live instead of replaying when he's not around. Although I do make him watch Grey's Anatomy because he doesn't complain too much when that's on. If I have to watch something on the discovery channel about fire ants, you better believe I'm making you watch doctor drama in the E.R.

I can even paint the living room/dining room whatever color I want because he's not around. I'm heavily considering painting just 2 walls in our apartment without him. He thinks I'll ruin the furniture or get it "all over the ceiling" like I did in my old place. OK-- that was an accident and I'll be much more careful this time around. I'm just wondering if I'm asking for a big fucking fight if I whip out my paint brush and pull a DaVinci on the living space. It's just a standard warm, beige color. Good or bad idea? You be the judge.

The B.F.'s Birthday

Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Today the B.F. turns 28. I am excited for him. He is not that excited. I don't think he's really the birthday-celebrating-look-at-me-all-week-type. Sorry about his luck, but I am exactly that girl and extend a day into a week long celebration. Last year, my friends Amber and Erin threw me a surprise birthday party on Friday, my actual real birthday, the night before I went out with people from work for a party and then on Saturday I think we did something that surrounded my day of birth -- I can't remember what it is right this moment.

In preparation of his birthday, I would make mental notes of things I could give him for the big 2-8. I was thinking a Coach wallet, a great pair of designer jeans, a watch or an iPod. But, then he says, "Please don't spend a lot of money of me." OK, well that throws a wrench in my fabulous ideas. That's fine, I'll switch to plan B. Plan B is always clothes -- you can't go wrong with clothes. Besides, he is kind of metro with his and hair and all, so I go to a very metro store -- Express.

Let me vent about Express for a minute. I feel like they try and have a boutique atmosphere with crazy prices for unoriginal clothes. I can go to H&M or Forever 21 and find similar clothes at a much better price. At other boutiques, you actually can find clothes that not many people will have. I have this great Project E shirt from Lush Boutique that I haven't seen on anyone else. Granted, I know I'm not the only person who has it, but the fact that I don't see it on tweens makes me smile. And, considering most of Express clothing is so trendy, I'd rather spend $19.50 on a sparkly tank top rather than $39.50 and not wear it next year because the disco ball look is out. (Was it ever actually in though?)

Back to the B.F. --- I swing into Express at Crocker Park and pick up two button down shirts that double for both work and play. One is a light purple and the other is white with a brown ace design on it. I check out the ties but I got a great deal on the shirts, so I decide not to throw down $49.50 on a stupid tie. I run over to Filene's Basement by me and pick up a gold tie. OK, I'll admit, it looked cool at the time but I'm not too keen on it right now.

The boy doesn't really like any of it! None of it! Now, if I were a girl who had feelings, I would be offended and probably not talk to him for several days or even a week. But, lucky for him, I'm not that girl. I know he's picky and that he will probably not like anything I get him, but hey, at least I continue to try.

After I handed him all of this gifts (I don't wrap), I whipped out the receipts so he didn't have to come up with a nice way of saying, "Uh, ah, eh, thanks for trying to buy me something."

Quality Time

Sunday, September 30, 2007
After living the B.F. for a mere three months, quality time is still an important aspect of our relationship that I would like to continue. Yes, I know, if we live together which means we must spend all this time together -- not exactly. Quality time as defined by the all knowing Wikipedia is an informal reference to time spent with loved ones (eg. close family, partners or friends) which is in some way important or special. I wonder if a man or a woman wrote that definition.....

For instance, for a girl, spending quality time with your significant other might mean going to a dinner, watching a movie, long walks on the beach (if you live near one) or doing something that you and that other person enjoy. To a guy, quality time means going to the bar, watching one of the many sports on TV or live or going to the bar and watching those same sports on their TVs instead of yours. Get my point? At this point, I feel like I should quote the ever-popular book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. But I won't, and spare everyone from gagging.

When we are in relationships, each person needs to remind themselves to go outside their comfort zone and do something simple and unexpected for the other person. It's very easy to stay in the same routine day in and day out. Little random acts of kindness go a long way, and sometimes, that's all the other person needs to feel wanted and appreciated. Switch up an evening out, show up early or let the other person pick the movie.

So boys and girls, we need to remember that every once in awhile, do something different and unexpected for the person you are dating. A little change can make a world of difference.

19 minutes and it's clean!

Thursday, September 27, 2007
This title caught my eye today as I scanned CNN headlines, "Clean your home in 19 minutes." Holy shit, even I can do that! A million ideas cross through my head -- this will eliminate meaningless fights with the B.F. and help me with tidy up while I'm watching reruns of Law & Order or reality shows on VH1.

As I read on a little further, I see that it is a 19-minute daily routine. OK, I maybe can keep up for a week or two, but I'd probably lose interest. Scrub the toilet, use a squeegee on the shower door -- I'd rather be at happy hour.

However, these are some tips that I think most girls could use, especially me all the freaking time.

Bedroom, 6 ½ minutes daily
  • Make your bed right before or after your morning shower. A neat bed will inspire you to deal with other messes immediately. Although smoothing sheets and plumping pillows might not seen like a high priority as you're rushing to work, the payoff comes at the end of the day, when you slip back under the unruffled covers.
  • Make the bed (two minutes).
  • Fold or hang clothing and put away jewelry (four minutes).
  • • Straighten out the night-table surface (30 seconds

Still, this is a great way to avoid petty arguments about who did or didn't leave their wine glass in the living room.

Adjusting eating habits

Tuesday, September 25, 2007
When I was in college and lived with, at one point it was 8 girls, we always bought our own food. I think we might have split things up once or twice, but realized that splitting groceries wasn't going to work out for us because of different schedules and eating habits. Since I moved in the with B.F., I haven't exactly lost weight either. The majority of the reason is because I've been lazy and haven't been to the gym or outside running consistently, however, we don't like the same food.

The B.F. is more of a meat, potatoes and pasta kind of guy. I never grew up eating pasta in every meal -- I'm not Italian, he is. As I got older, my parents became more interested in eating healthy so everything was grilled -- vegetables, bread, steak, pork chops and chicken. Yes, even bread. My dad found this recipe by Emeril where you drizzle olive oil and add cracked pepper and salt and grill it -- it's fantastic. What I'm basically saying in a very long sentence is that we eat completely different. I want grilled chicken with a side of asparagus and roasted red skin potatoes. The B.F.'s is any kind of chicken or steak with pasta. Lots and lots of white, starchy and unhealthy pasta. I eat, 99% of the time, whole wheat pasta and bread. On occasion, when we are out at a restaurant, I'll eat a piece or two of white, starchy substance -- but most of the time I say "white bread causes cancer" to refrain myself from eating it.

We definitely differ on dessert though. I will eat less at dinner so I can order dessert or go get ice cream. He isn't that keen on dessert, but I'm a fanatic and always want to try new things when I'm out or try a new flavor of ice cream. Or, I'll make brownies or cookies so I can eat the batter. (Maybe this is why I haven't lost weight?)

He is also a picky eater. He doesn't like tomatoes, salmon, tilapia, tuna (hates it), whole wheat products, cucumbers, zucchini and squash. His picky habits limit me because I sure as hell won't be able to eat food in a fast enough time to buy separate items, before the food goes bad.

Interview with another cohabitant

Monday, September 24, 2007
Here is a short interview with my friend, Erin, who I met in college and still remain great friends with and lives with her B.F. I just asked a couple questions to get a better idea of how other couples coexist and what works for them.

How long have you lived with the B.F. and how long have you dated?
We have officially been living together for about a little over a year. We have been together for almost two years. We moved in together after only about 9 months of dating.

Why did you move in with him?
Because he asked me to and I thought it was a splendid idea. It made sense for us. I was about to purchase my own place when we realized how silly it would be for both of us to pay rent especially since we spent every night together anyway.

Name an adjustment both of you needed to make and how you have solved it-- or haven't.
I needed to make major adjustments. I had to get rid of my cat, move about 40 min away from the location I was living/working/ and friends were, and put major mileage on my lease. There wasn't enough closet space for me so his dad had to re-do the closets. We both had to adjust to sharing a bed together...every night. I had to learn to share TV time and that I needed to clean up after myself a lot quicker then I normally would.

What would your B.F. say is the hardest part living with you?
I tend to be lazy, my room is normally a mess, and I am always right.

What is the hardest part of living with the B.F.?
I cannot sprawl out and consume the whole bed like I love to do. Another hard thing is we don't have a huge house so when you want private/alone time it's really hard to get. I love living with my B.F.! I wouldn't change it for the world and what's to complain about.... It's like a slumber party every night with your best friend!

How did you decide on who does what? Who cleans/cooks/takes out the trash/household chores in general.
We basically respect one another and both do as much as we can when we have free time. At first he did most of it until he got fed up and said something to me. Now I think we have a good system. He always mows the lawn though... That's a negative for me.

The dilemma

Friday, September 21, 2007
Let me start off by writing that I've never said I was the best communicator. I'm sure studies will reveal that women, in general, are better communicators but that doesn't necessarily mean that I am -- well, at least not all the time.

The couches arrived on Wednesday. I was so excited to rush home after work to see what these fantastic new pieces of furniture looked like in the living room. The B.F. had sent me some pics via the cell phone, so I had some of idea of what I was walking into. Well, that vision...that vision that I had in my head wasn't what I saw.

I should back up even further. I've been pretty easily annoyed this week. Anyone and anything can set me off, but I've really taken it out of the B.F. If I wouldn't have had to get rid of my cat, I would take it out on Captain Jack, but since the B.F.'s allergic.....I had to give him up to the 'rents and into kitty retirement.

So back to the couches -- I was easily annoyed and when I walked into the living room to see these great pieces of furniture, all I see is big brown pieces. I mean, the couches are freaking huge in the apartment. I looked around at the set up for a split second and because I don't have a filter I blurt out, "I don't like it, " and walked into my room to quickly change so we could go look for more "furniture" at some warehouse downtown. "Furniture shopping" actually turned into dinner at Lolita, which I love and he doesn't, and the surprise was overshadowed by our arguing over the stupid couches.

B.F.-- What do you mean you don't like it?
Me -- I don't like it. It's too huge. I knew it would be too huge.
B.F. --Allison, you knew the furniture was going to be big. We have an odd shaped room and everything is going to be big.
Me -- Whatever. Maybe we should've gotten the I twirl my hair.

Then I start to move around the loveseat to angle it or do something to make me more satisfied with the purchase that took us a month to receive. At this point, I've annoyed the B.F. because I'm "complaining" and not providing a solution.

Boys, take notice, I'm about to teach you something about girls that will make your life a hell of a lot easier. Kind of like how Jeff did with the word "nothing." Like most girls, I just wanted to express what I was thinking. I just wanted to blurt out "I don't like it" and I don't need you to "fix" the problem. I'll get over it, but at that particular moment, I needed to verbalize what I was feeling. I have gotten over it, but I just needed to say it out loud so I could get used to the fact that I'm going to have to squeeze around my living room with the oversize furniture. But, I'm OK now, and I like the nice microsuede couches and all is great with the B.F. -- at least until we attempt to buy more furniture! furniture --- almost

Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Tomorrow is my big day! No, not that kind of big day with a white dress, but a day where we finally get our new couches. We've been waiting for about a month between our set being on back order and not being able to work with ValueCity -- seriously, you should be on call, not the people who bought the furniture.

Wednesday also starts our second round of looking for furniture that matches both of our tastes -- should be an interesting trip. The B.F. wants to go look at this place downtown Cleveland by where he used to work. As any typical female, I want the the name of the place so I can search the internet and ask friends if they have been to this furniture store before. Nope, I can't do that because the B.F. doesn't remember. His response, "Allison, I don't know the name. It's right where I used to work. I just know where it is." I'm hoping it's the Arhaus outlet and not some scary warehouse.

Keeping things new...again and again and again

Friday, September 14, 2007
I'm always saying to the B.F., "we need to keep our relationship exciting." I never want to be one of those boring couples that sit in together every weekend. Don't get me wrong...a nice relaxing night at home after a long work week is fantastic, but I don't like to make habit of it. I like to keep things moving and busy. Bartering in relationships is a pretty popular thing says the Today Show** and happens most of the time without actually pointing it out. The B.F. and I will switch off on cooking and cleaning up after dinner and household chores to balance our egos out -- yes, we both have them.

My friend, Michelle, said that her B.F. and her have blowjob Sundays and Thursdays. So if it's not one of those days, they don't discuss the b-word. My friend Erin and I used to discuss the increase or decrease in one's sex life after they've moved or have been in a relationship for awhile. Ask any guy and there response is, "I don't have sex enough." Well to prove her B.F. wrong, Erin documented their time under the covers and compared it to her other friends' sex lives and ta dah -- they actually were on the higher end.

Other simple examples can be:
-pick up a movie on your way from work
-make dinner plans and surprise the other person
-clean up after the other person if they are more messy than you (OK, maybe that one is a stretch)!

If you do something special one week, then make sure to return the favor -- bartered or not.

**Editor's note: I seem to reference the Today Show a lot, but I think about what I'm going to blog about in the morning and I happen to be watching that show.

Guy Decoder FOUND

Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Whether you are living or not living with a boyfriend, you still need a guy decoder. If boys think girls are crazy, you have no idea what it's like trying to decode your speak -- guyspeak as I've called it before. Yesterday, I get this giddy phone call from the B.F. saying, "You missed this story on the Today show. I thought of you instantly." So he sends me over this link, and holy shit, where was this for the past 8 years of my dating life. Who knew guys were such head cases? Girls get always get pegged for the psychos, but boys are in the closet with their issues. I'll admit, girls have their share of Lorena Bobbitt moments when they lose all touch with reality, and I've had my share too. But this, this link, provides easy explanations to understanding and comprehending what a boy or B.F. is saying when he's really not saying anything at all.

The B.F. and I fight about the remote and DVR.
The Guy decoder says, "He will not relinquish control of the remote."

Answer is ---If this really means a lot to you, I suggest you get a television with no remote. Seriously, this is a battle men would probably die fighting. I’ve never met a couple where the man didn’t want to run the remote. My gay friends have this issue, too. (They usually wind up getting two remotes.)

So true! Every guy has this control issue with the remote. The B.F. complains that I channel surf too much, but hello, how can I be channel surfing if you have the remote?

If you and your boy/girl keep having fights over the small stuff, I suggest you take a look at that link. If nothing else, it is highly entertaining and is a good forward to break up the work day.

And the decorating begins

Tuesday, September 11, 2007
It's been quite awhile and the couches are almost set to arrive -- this Friday is the big day. No, I am not sitting at the apartment waiting for the delivery men because that is the B.F.'s job. I'm sure he'll want to move it this way, then tilt it that way or maybe decide to move the entire living room around. We've been in the place since mid-June and haven't really made decorating a priority. Last night as we were eating dinner and he suggested we maybe, maybe, go look at other furniture for the place. And by "furniture," he is really saying, "Allison, let's go check out LCD TVs at BestBuy." That, is what he is really saying, without actually saying it -- guyspeak for you.

We need a whole room of new things -- coffee table, end table and some lamps. I really want to paint a wall, which I'm going to, as soon as the B.F. leaves for a day or more. We have this ongoing tiff about painting or not painting the walls. In my previous apartment, my roommate and I painted everything -- the living room, kitchen and our bedrooms. It was one long ass task painting over it to secure a full security deposit refund. So the fact that he doesn't encourage my painting, makes me want to paint that much more. Then, I want to buy a pretty big picture to hang on that wall as the main focus of the room, then toss out the black entertainment center.

Romance will catch on fire.

Thursday, September 6, 2007
While I was pondering moving in the with the B.F., I made a list or five of positives and negatives of moving in with him. I kept wondering how being in such a close space would change our relationship. Would we not like each other anymore? Would we still enjoy hanging out together and going out to eat? And, most importantly, what about the sex? For instance, in order for the romance to go away, one needs to be romantic in the first place -- I'm not and this is pointed out by the B.F. on several occasions. Last night, he tells me he wants a chimnea for our small patio, possibly for his birthday coming up in October. My parents have one on our ridiculously large deck. In high school after football games, we'd hang out there and try to drink until my parents would come out and sit with us. I believe my brother broke one of them and my dad had to replace it. My rambling point is that my parents use there's a lot and our fireplace in the winter. The B.F. said he wanted one, but I don't see us using it at all because A) we are never home B) we are never home and C) it's a very small patio. And, I agree, sitting by a fire is somewhat romantic if you are in Aspen, outside in the snow and drinking lattes or vodka martinis. But, there is an abundant of room when you are outside in the snow in Aspen, not on a small patio in Ohio where you could possibly get evicted for having such a "fire arm." Maybe a new Coach wallet will work nicely instead.

In-laws -- an old wives' tale

Tuesday, September 4, 2007
One plus of never getting married is technically never having in-laws. I'm sure plenty of people have interesting in-laws stories (feel free to share), but one family I don't know if I'd want to join is mine.

See, I'm pretty much used to my dysfunctional, yet functional family on my mom's side of the family tree. I feel bad for people just walking into it -- like the B.F. or my cousin's G.F. I mean, my aunts are so loud when they get together and yell, not talk mind you, while we are all in the same room. Because I'm part of the family, I'm able to yell back at them pointing out how disgustingly loud they are talking while we are in the the same vicinity. They say, "Oh shut the hell up, Allison," and continue fighting about who has less wrinkles or whatever you fight with your sisters about when you are 45+. At least the B.F. could escape to the outside patio where he and the boys (made up of my uncles, dad, brother and cousin) talked about all the manly things regarding the latest Cleveland Browns football player. My cousin's G.F. and I were attempting to watch "Hitch" but kept getting interrupted by my aunt's yelling about something that happened in Amherst or "Allison, are you sure you don't want more cake?" "No, Aunt Renee, I don't need more cake, I need fucking liposuction." My mom --"Allison, don't use the f-word," which then goes into a conversation about how our family could be the Osbourne's if only we had a reality TV show about us. (There would need to be a lot of bleeping, but I find that it would be one hell of an entertaining show with my parents as the stars -- who knew parents got cooler as you got older.)

The visit to the B.F.'s family house was always interesting and unforgettable. The B.F.'s family always seems to inadvertently leave his dad out of the joke, story or anything for that matter. He basically doesn't pay attention and then wants to be caught up in the middle of the story. Well no one wants to catch him up, so they ignore him, continue with the conversation while he grows more and more impatient and then blurts out "Who said that?" or "Who did that?" Then, the B.F.'s dad looks to me for explanation and I can't help but laugh and then he tells me, "You are losing points," and walks away, still without knowing what the hell anyone was talking about.

My cousin's G.F. had a good point though. She said, as I'm sure all women have said, "I don't think I could ever marry someone whose family I can't get along with." It sounds great on paper, but never ever works out in the real world -- or in any reality TV show either.

Figuring out Holidays

Friday, August 31, 2007
I've never been good at sharing things. I have one brother and since we were always interested in different activities, I never really had to learn how to properly share. As I get older and cohabit with the B.F., I find that I need to "share" more often, especially when it comes to holidays and whose house we go to. This upcoming weekend is a small taste of what I will experience as bigger holidays approach like Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'm heading 45 minutes to on Saturday to hang out my B.F. and his family and go to a fair (more to come I'm sure). And then on Sunday, I will have to drive about an hour and 45 minutes back west to head to good ol' Amherst -- where I'm from. Since I'm supposed to be a "we" now, I don't have a problem splitting up this holiday, but as more important ones approach, I just don't know how I will split things between his family and mine. I have friends from high school to see, family members to visit and this overall routine I've had for years with my immediate family. How will I fit it all in? Is it wrong if you don't split holidays with your significant other and their family? Living together or not? And I thought moving in was a big step...

Bull sh*t

Tuesday, August 28, 2007
According to my roommate, the B.F., I'm am "abrasively loud" in the morning. I'm so loud that he decided to refer to me as "some name the bull" from the hours of 6 -8 a.m--- I'm not up at 6 so probably from 7 - 8 a.m. I admit, I am kind of loud. It's not that I don't have respect for other people, it's just that there are lots of things to make noise with in the morning.

For instance, if he decides to sleep in later than me, I close the bathroom door when I'm getting ready, but then I get too hot from the hairdryer so I have to open it. Plus, I have this funny bathroom door that won't stay halfway shut. It either stays completely open or shut -- I can't leave it a little open because it opens itself the whole way, knocking into the cabinet door I have open....making a "knock" noise. Then, the "knock" noise sets him off and he has to point out how loud I am. (I believe at this point is when I become abrasively loud.) When I try and be quiet, something always goes wrong, like I drop my hair dryer or flat iron, knock into the wall or have the TV on too loud. I believe this is the point where we need to start adjusting to each other's behaviors... or he needs to learn how to become a hard sleeper.

We haven't received any noise complaints so I must not be that loud....or maybe everyone around me has bad hearing.

Caught in the Act

Monday, August 27, 2007
I had a very busy week and weekend -- we had the busy weekend with not one, but two freaking weddings! On Friday, we were at my friend from college's wedding along with all of my college friends. It's a great time to hang out and let the B.F. get to know my crazy friends and drink a lot of alcohol. We ended up in downtown Willoughby and continued to have a good time together. The B.F. decides to play this game of questioning who was the biggest whore, complainer, who was the messiest in college and so on -- you get the idea. It was quite fun and who doesn't love reminiscing about their drunken days of living off school loans and skipping class for "that movie you've seen a billion times on cable." I won for wearing the least amount of clothes -- I don't lounge around in sweatpants and a T-shirt -- bras and underwear work just fine and covers just as much as a bathing suit for those who are rolling their eyes. Anyway, so when my friends and him get together they always like to gang up on me, talk about my habits like twirling my hair, wearing no clothes and my picky eating habits. Low and behold come Saturday morning when he's hungover like a 17-year-old drinking Mad Dog for the first time, and he's eating my snack that I always make and get made fun of for making-- saltine crackers with jelly.

I know, I know -- most Saturdays are much more interesting, just not this past one!

Conversation. Period.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Times likes these are when I miss living with a bunch of girls or even one for that matter. Girls can talk about all sorts of things for hours and analyze it, switch it around and still make no sense of a subject. Girls talk about periods (yes we have them), food, comment on TV shows out loud as if the characters can hear us, scan magazines for the pictures and, finally, we talk about our period. I miss the days when I'd hang out in my living room in Kent and watch Laguna Beach with the girls before we'd head downtown and talk about the show when it was on. I mean, we'd have serious conversations about the show as it was happening and thought it was perfectly normal. I can't do that now. When I watch the Hills (I admit it), I can't comment out loud and complain how fake the edits look or talk about their outfits. The B.F. doesn't get it. He'd look at me strange and think I have lost it -- again. I have to pick up the phone, speed dial Katie L. and talk about the characters as if we were best friends with them, only during commercial breaks of course. (We've always done this and have accepted our obsession with reality TV. We had this routine all the through the dorms with Dawson's Creek, Temptation Island and American Idol.) But girls can't do this with their B.F./partner/flavor-of-the-week. They will think we are weird and most of all... they are scared of the word "period" and like to think it doesn't happen. If you have used it, you have learned your lesson. If not, you are in for one, they don't like to hear/think about it.

Playing your game

Monday, August 20, 2007
Like every couple, we fight over small, large, idiotic and important things. We fight over who is driving, who won't drink, what restaurant we go to, who cleans up, who cooks and what movie will rent/go see -- he likes that stupid horror shit genre like The Hills have Eyes and the Saw trilogy. But what we mostly fight about is the damn DVR. Screw you, Time Warner! See, HBO is only on one TV which is currently located in the living room. Since we've moved in, a constant fight is when I will watch Entourage and Big Love. I love these shows. I look forward to them every week. I'm almost as excited as I am to watch the new Grey's Anatomy every Thursday. I'm not asking to watch them live every night since we have DVR, but I don't think I should fight over watching it every week. It's a total of an hour and half -- that's it! He likes Entourage, but then goes into this long, dramatic explanation of why he doesn't like Big Love and then will walk in and out of the room while I'm watching it, reminding me how much he hates this show and how lame it is. Seriously, I watch your lame shows-- the History Channel, something about Fire ants on the Discovery Channel and Rescue Me. (I kind of got into Rescue Me and don't mind watching it. But, sometimes, for the sake of playing his game, I also will throw a childish fit about the shows he watches, until he changes the channel to shut me up or gets up and goes in another room! HA! I can play your game too, B.F.

What kind of man are you dating?

Thursday, August 16, 2007
..............."What kind of man are you dating" is the last lead-in I heard blasting from my TV this morning as I decided on bronze or pewter flip flops in my unorganized closet. I literally repeated Meredith's lead-in out've got to be kidding me. I immediately thought of those cheesy quizzes from YM and Seventeen I used to take in junior high where it said what kind of girlfriend you'd be, guy you'd date or if you are bitch or not. So lame. I don't know if you can classify "the man you are dating" with a few character traits or not. But after another morning of being talked to, asked questions and pretty much annoyed by the B.F., I figured I might as well test my relationship and define the boy that I'm living with.

Editor's note: I hate being talked to in the morning, especially annoyed or nagged by anyone. I want to get ready, fill my brain with headlines from the Today Show, and head into work. In high school, my would come in my room and comment on the clothes on the floor and how I needed to clean up. Or, the fact that I had wet towels laying on the carpet. Duh, I just got out of the shower. Note to mothers, your child doesn't care what his or her room looks like at 7:30 a.m. and probably never will because I still don't. My mother would be so proud.

Screw it, I don't know what the B.F. is classified as, but Ryan Gosling's character, Noah, from the Notebook is one of the choices and that is what I want. Right there! Forget the rock, doer or thrill seeker, every girl wants to date Ryan Gosling.

Furniture shopping

Tuesday, August 14, 2007
It's every girl's dream to furnish a new apartment with new couches, tables, decorative candles and cute little picture frames to fill with pics of her girlfriends. Now picture shopping trip with your boyfriend. The image changes a little bit, huh? The other couple we saw in ValueCity Furniture had it right, the boyfriend says to me, "Damn, he has a say? All I get to do is nod and say 'yes honey." It was pretty funny but the girlfriend didn't find it as funny as I did.

When I go shopping, the clothing/furniture/purse/shoes either catches my eye or it doesn't. The B.F. has to sit, lay, put his feet up and down then sit up again then do the whole routine from another angle. It's pretty interesting to witness. "Allison, I need to make sure it's comfortable."
Of course the furniture is going to be comfortable -- it's a floor model! Imagine how many people do the same exercises to test its comfort everyday! There's no explaining this to boys, they don't get it. The only thing I have to compare it to is how girls try on purses and need to put them on their shoulders and check themselves out. So while he's professionally testing two sets of couches in the showroom, I wander off and check out pictures, tall vases that would sit on the floor and other furniture while some candid camera was probably filming him "testing" the furniture.

After he slept with both sets of couches, we made the decision to get a couch/loveseat combination in cocoa in a microsuede material. Yes, finally! We agreed and I actually like this purchase and don't have to barter with "I'll paint the living room" or "Fine, get what you want but you owe me dinner at Lola." They will be in our living room in the beginning of September!

Parental Visit #2

Monday, August 13, 2007
On Friday, my parents made the trip over to OUR place for pizza and beer -- only my parents. They were more interested with talking to us than going out to dinner my dad said. They brought us wine, we sat and talked and then my dad and the B.F. started talking Harleys, while my mom pressed me for answers about the B.F. After we gave them the grand tour of about 1,100 square feet and my mom started commenting on how "disorganized my room is and your bathroom needs cleaned,"only then did she start pressing me for answers about the B.F.:

Mom: So do you like him?
Me: You can't be serious right now.
Mom: Yes, do you like him?
Me: What kind of question is that? Of course I like him.
Mom: Well, how do you like living with him?
Me: Not bad. He cleans better than I do, takes the trash out and does so many other things without me even thinking about actually doing them myself.
Mom: Allison, you better not be lazy and never help. That's rude.
Me: Of course I help, Julie. (I call her by her first name when I get annoyed, which only makes her ask me more irrelevant questions.)
Mom: Well, I think you like him more than the others.
Me: OK, of course I do, great observation.

Since I left for college, every time I'd come home to stay for the summer or holidays, my mom and I go at it after being in a room together for five minutes. She's a nagger -- I secretly think all moms are and then she wonders why I get annoyed. But, that visit and conversation wasn't too bad, and I think my parents enjoyed themselves for their two hour stay at our apartment. Well, now that both families have met the new place, it's only a matter of time before the rest of our families know, and the meeting of the parents.

Plus 1

Saturday, August 11, 2007
Here is a plus of living with your boyfriend -- they kill things. I'm not terrified of spiders, however when their body is as big as a nickel, brown and hairy and it's on my bathroom floor, then I want someone else to take care of it. That's the second one in 2 days. We live on the bottom floor of our building so it's expected, but still, gross. I normally would've grabbed a shoe and beat the the thing to death. My luck it would jump on me. Gross. Thanks for killing spiders, B.F.

Type A vs. Type B

Wednesday, August 8, 2007
I'm a Type A. I knew it without taking this short and unscientific quiz from the Today Show's Web site. Here are my results below.

You are a type A- or B plus! You are determined and driven, but you still hold back in a few areas. People perceive you as an A type, but there is your inner B that could also be encouraged. Still, your main appearance is outgoing, intense and ambitious.

Type A with another type A-
The good news is that two type A's are a power couple. Think Bill and Hillary, Elizabeth and Bob Dole, Brad and Angelina. They admire each other's energy, achievement and prominence. They are colleagues and peers and they understand each other well. But there can be drawbacks. There can be competition, and they can both be so busy and so ambitious that they don't give enough time to the relationship and it can wither.

Without having the B.F. take this short quiz, I guarantee that he is probably an A+ compared to my A-. I lack in the organization areas and I can turn off my work -- he needs to work on turning off the work part. So if we are both type A personalities, how the hell does that go with the "opposites attract" idea?

tips on grocery shopping with the B.F.

Monday, August 6, 2007
I had my first grocery shopping trip with the B.F. I had gone before by myself so that I could buy all the healthy, organic and high-fructose free food. After my visit, I realized that there are things girls should know before going on that trip with the B.F. I made mistakes and now will learn from them.

1) Don't try to make your B.F. eat bread with "sprigs, twigs and nuts" in it.
Who doesn't remember when the crazy "carbs are the devil" diets came out? Well, I wasn't really part of that, but did watch what carbs I ate -- I eat whole wheat pasta and bread, minus the Saltine crackers. Since I've switched from cancer (white pasta) to whole wheat, I hardly miss that old stuff and am glad I made the switch. I rarely eat bread except for sandwiches and the B.F. likes plain, white bread with certain turkey and cheese. Gross, I won't eat it. So when I say last night, "I think I'm going to run to Trader Joe's tonight, write down anything specific you want." He immediately wants to go with so I don't buy that "hard-as-rock-bread or turkey meat when he want beef tacos."

Editor's Note: Lean ground turkey breast is a great and flavorful substitute for ground beef.

2) Boys grab everything from the shelves because "it doesn't go bad."
Because of crazy work hours and not being domestic, we eat out probably 2 times a week. I might be meeting friends or past co-workers so it's a great way for me to continue my habit of not cooking. Plus, who wants to cook on the weekends! That's what going out to eat is for! But when I do plan on saving some extra cash, I like to plan out my meals ahead of time so that I won't be tempted to hit Heinen's for premade food after working out or working late. He picks out veggie chips (I like), salt and vinegar chips and something else too. Do we really need that? No, we don't but "it doesn't go bad." That's the same response I got when he picked up frozen shrimp, crab cakes and salmon.

Editor's Note: I checked with a fellow cohabitant and she said her B.F. does the same thing. He gets Doritos, cookies and all other types of food that she doesn't eat either.

3) Cereal or my saltine crackers with peanut butter and jelly is a meal/snack.
I don't need a full meal all the time and sometimes cereal counts as a meal to me. I like Kashi Go Lean Crunch and he doesn't which is fine because I'll eat it all anyway. After the chip incident, he throws in Organic round peanut butter crackers.
Me -- "We don't need that."
B.F. -- "Look, you do your little thing with Saltine crackers and jelly, and this is my snack because I just reach in and it's already there. You take entirely too long to prepare your snacks and I don't do that with mine."
This makes perfect sense because I've read a Men's Health or two. The B.F. gets it and you should see what they show as meals -- throw anything together and you have a manly meal.

Instead of trying to turn our B.F.'s into healthy, conscious eaters, just let them go and eat their prepackaged snacks and their ground beef tacos, but throw in some organic soft tacos instead of the hard ones! He'll never notice the difference if you had the packaging!

yours, mine and ours

Saturday, August 4, 2007
I keep referring to everything as "mine" or "his" when I talk about anything regarding the apartment. The B.F. does the same thing so I don't feel that bad. For instance, when he describes how I apparently leave a glass here or there as, "why do you leave glasses all over my
living room?" Funny how other half of the rent comes from that girl that's leaving glasses all over your living room. Even when my friends want details about the apartment, I'll say, "Well I'm now living on the first floor" or "My apartment has this really nice pool with a fountain." My friends will even point it out, too. "Allison, you mean, our apartment has a really nice pool." "Oh no, it's mine, all my apartment."

I was talking to a friend about the these pronouns the other day and how the B.F. and I should create a rule. An "our stuff/things/info" kind of rule. You see, the B.F. and I not only live together, but work together at the same agency. At this point, you are probably thinking, "Allison you are flipping crazy!" I know, I know but it's not that difficult or odd because we are one of several couples at work. We don't interact during the work day unless we need to because we are in different departments. We don't even talk that much because we are so busy and because if I want to say something I can walk right by his office.

So any little funny things that I do like burn popcorn, say something stupid or just something he's found out that he finds annoying, he decides to share it with our co-workers. OK, no -- don't do that. Now, this "our stuff/things/info" rule would allow one of us to shout it out and then he or I (mostly he) can't repeat what happened to anyone -- especially to the damn co-workers.

However, I think it shouldn't apply to this blog-- I'd lose all my material!