You Can’t Pick Your Family, But…

You can pick the friends that become your family.

I don’t mean to get super melodramatic here, since from the title you may be under the impression that I have some horrible family. I don’t. They are all good, generally well-meaning people and I do love them. However, particularly with my parents, I’ve been feeling a growing rift between us since they’ve discovered that I do not have any religious beliefs and neither does The Geek.

It’s a little hard to believe “Oh, we’ll always love you sweetie”, when it comes directly after, “we will never condone you being with this person that you love.” That was the conversation that left me so desperate for some form of maternal approval I just about called up The Geek’s mom (hello, second mother figure!) to get some, any, affirmation.

Rather than dwelling on the sad side of things, today I’d like to talk about the positive – the people in my life that lift me up and are family regardless of bloodline.
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Father’s Day

I can’t help but feel a little weird about Father’s Day. It’s not that my dad and I don’t get along, it’s just that we don’t really talk much. Last year our phone conversation lasted five minutes, this year it was down to four. (That was with him ending it, not me).

It feels strange to fill out Father’s Day cards year after year gushing about how great he is, but to make me feel more honest I usually pad it with a substantial amount of how much he taught me and that sort of thing. This year I couldn’t wiggle out of it; my mom asked my sisters and I to write up notes of all the things we love about him so she could make a collage for him to wake up to.

I did it, and I wasn’t dishonest, per se, but…well, take a look for yourself. Continue reading


I have to admit something awkward. I have a frenemy. Or maybe I should call it former-friend-now-aquaint-enemy. But I guess that’s a little too long. I feel like a bad person for it, but I can’t help but wonder if most people have some version of this.

Seriously, Merriam-Webster dictionary, “frenemy” is in now too? First vlog, then staycation, now this? Tsk tsk. Photo by CBS news.

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Thoughts From a Wedding

(Inspired by Thoughts From Places)

Good afternoon, readers. Yesterday morning I woke up at three a.m. (uuuuuuuugh)

I’d asked for the day off from my signing shift at my retail job, and my boss promised to try to find someone to cover for me but shot down one eager coworker after another (hours are few and far between).

grumble grumble grumble and four hours later I’m free. Errands, family, and a nap all blend together until suddenly, holy crap, I really really need to get ready for my cousin’s wedding.

I suddenly remembered that the wedding present is sitting, still unwrapped, by the door.

I also apparently didn’t have any wrapping paper.

The Geek and I argued about whether it’s worse to bring an unwrapped present, give it to the bride later, or not give a gift at all, and I’m still not sure on the etiquette of that. (Though I did notice there weren’t many wedding presents, which tips me towards the return/pay back The Geek for his half side and keep the cookware for myself. I’m sure I could make up some sort of less awful excuse for why I couldn’t give it to her at the wedding, but lying exhausts me.)

My cousin is a supervisor at my work, and it felt a bit weird to say, “hi grandpa!” just before “hi (boss) and (another boss) and (yet another boss) and (boss I start with this week)!” and see them at the bar at the reception, but eventually the weirdness became white noise and I was able to enjoy the evening.

This was my first wedding I’ve attended as an adult, and it gets me thinking a bit.
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To Many More Years

I consider February 25th a pretty big deal. To explain why, I need to explain my awful luck with men.

I won’t bore you with all of the drawn out details, but my scorecard two years ago was as such:

  • One early high school boyfriend that was actually gay, cheated on me, and was a horribly abusive asshole that spent hours screaming at me about how everything I did was wrong
  • A late high school/most of college boyfriend that nearly flunked out of school, never had a job, was quite misogynistic and passive aggressive, cheated on me with a minor, and spent months on end supposedly trying to get me to break up with him before breaking down and screaming at me and breaking up over the phone (and has since contacted me over Facebook a few times looking for a hookup – stay classy!)

So it shouldn’t be too big of a surprise to hear that in the beginning of 2011, I was feeling pretty cynical about love and relationships. I had a brief, ill-advised flirtation that didn’t pan out since the guy suddenly moved to Canada, and afterward I was convinced that I would be alone for the rest of college, graduate, and be unable to find someone until I was at least 30.

Then, early in the spring semester as I was getting lunch with some friends, they happened to bump into one of their mutual friends. You know him as The Geek.
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Lots of Love (and a bonus baked brie recipe)

I’ve been feeling pretty loved this last week, not just because of the big holiday yesterday, but really across the board.

Last Friday at work I took my intermediate competency test, which consists of a supervisor observing me and taking data on how well I do my job. It was a little nerve wracking, but my feedback came back almost all positive (my observer pointed out that she really had to dig for things for me to work on, and the words “phenomenal” and “awesome” were thrown around a few times).

Then one of my best and oldest friends came up for the weekend. It was really good to see him and get to hang out for awhile. He was very sweet and bought me groceries for the week, calling it a housewarming present, and pointed out at least a dozen times how happy he was to see The Geek and I. I also appreciated his sharp editor’s eye on my last post =)

I had work last night, so The Geek and I celebrated our Valentine’s Day on Wednesday in the low-key style that has become our norm. We made steak, baked brie, and sweet potato tater tots (I knew he’d love them). I felt bad for the upstairs neighbors since my overly-sensitive fire alarm went off several times, but with some strategic fanning and open windows we managed to not have the fire department bursting in the door.

It’s been a hectic, crazy week, so that’s about all I’ve got for today, but, if you’re interested in a cheesy, flaky, slightly sweet recipe, you’ll find it after the jump (and no, I’m not including a picture. Have you seen baked brie? There’s just no way to make that look appetizing!)

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Let’s Play a Game: Meetup, or OKCupid?

So I’ve been testing a theory recently. Making friends is a lot more similar to, and just as awkward, as finding a significant other.

You’re trying to find someone you can be yourself around, there’s the awkward dance of “are they interested in me too?” working up to either exchanging numbers or going out to do something together and trying to be friendly without being creepy.

Getting a phone number – for a friend, or a romantic interest – is just always awkward. Always. If it’s not awkward for you, don’t tell me and let me imagine it’s this hard for everyone.

I was curious what people with these two different intents – friendship and relationship – would introduce themselves. I turned to Meetup* and eHarmony to gather some data. (Even though it means I’ll probably get a million “you’ve got a match!” emails. For science! Or at least a blog post.) Continue reading