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
-cancer
-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.

thermostat

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.