Glutton for Punishment

I’m no stranger to dating apps. I’ve had the pleasure, or rather, displeasure, of using a few. After all, I’ve been single for a while now and if I’m being honest, I like it this way. But while I’m on the topic of being honest, I do get the urge to download an app or two and take a dive into the proverbial dating pool. I don’t know why. To just window shop if anything. A glutton for punishment perhaps. I mean, my experiences have been far from graceful and usually by the time I realize it’s a futile exercise, I already have a migraine from banging my head on the wall in frustration. It’s kind of like scratching poison ivy or eating an entire half-gallon of Ben & Jerry’s before bed. It may feel good at first, but you’ll wish you hadn’t later.

When it comes to men, especially on these dating apps, I feel as if I’ve seen it all. I’m not a gamer, but if you’re familiar with those old role-playing games where you get to choose what “class” or “build” you start as, it’s kind of like that. First up we have the Alpha Male. This grizzled outdoorsman can land a pike with a shoelace and some bubblegum or skin a deer in 6 minutes flat with nothing more than his trusty pocket knife. The Alpha Male is always keen on showing off any recent kills, focusing on that trophy buck or legendary lake bass he roped in last summer at the cabin with the boys. Don’t get me wrong, I like a man that can handle himself in nature, but it’s 2022, so drop the whole Alpha Male thing already, and I’ve never done the whole swooning over the big strong hunter/gatherer thing. You’d have better luck if you posted a photo of that ridiculously cute squirrel that visits your patio every day begging for peanuts. If you consider “matching” with me lucky that is… and if you do, that’s on you. Just so we’re clear.

Next on the list, we have the Fuckboy, or Poolboy build. This is the kind of guy that could have been trouble before I was wise enough to know better. They come in all ages and are generally the kind of guy mothers hide their daughters from. These “boys” usually sport clean-shaven faces and never miss an opportunity to take a picture without the annoying restriction of a pesky shirt. Sometimes they even go as far as shining up with a little baby oil just for a little added extra effect. I’m wondering who takes their profile photos?  Professional photographer?  A friend? Their mother?

Neither of those types do it for you? Maybe the blue-collar typical single dad build is the one? Still a little bitter about the divorce, but he got to keep the boat! Yes, I know what tailgating is, no, I don’t think we should do it every week, and neither of us has any kids in little league, why the hell are you grilling hot dogs in a Denny’s parking lot?

Even with these great “builds” or “classes” to chose from, I’m still confused about some of the other profiles I see. I’m not a sheltered person and I wouldn’t consider myself a prude, in fact, I’d say I grasp the whole dating scene rather well, but here’s the thing… do men understand women at all? Like, seriously?!

Ironically, the three dating app types I just described make a touch more sense than what I’m about to say. There’s a word I see thrown around a lot in men’s profiles that is quite perplexing. Open-minded. For example, a single 50-something male seeking an open-minded woman. Like what does that even mean? Open-minded. Do you mean you like to collect half-dressed anime dolls?  Are you into dressing up as a fox who moonlights as a police officer? Somehow, I just don’t think they mean it in a social consciousness sort of way.

Adventurous is another personality staple that men seem to be looking for. And again, I’m overcome by the feeling of uncertainty. Are they looking for someone to ride the scariest roller coasters with or should I show myself to the gutter for a more accurate understanding? Chances are it’s the latter because I seriously doubt it’s in a let’s go hike Mount Kilimanjaro way.

Okay, but wait! This one I get. Man seeking a woman who is the selfless nurturing type. Okay. Great. I get this reference. But to put it in your eHarmony profile?

For those who may not know, eHarmony is one of the sites that pride themselves on helping lonely souls find long-term relationships. Tinder, it’s not, which is more for fuckboys and thirst traps. I am just baffled by the way certain men approach their quest of finding a potential significant other. Selfless? I can definitely see where that one’s going. Their profiles seem to be more of a list of requirements for a mail-order bride. It reminds me of that disturbingly catchy song on Tik-Tok called “Build-a-Bitch.”  Sweetie, this ain’t that.

One divorced guy said he’s looking for someone with “no big mood swings” and he prefers someone who “doesn’t complain too much.”  Oh, and she “must be selfless and giving in the bedroom.” Again with the selfless. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how this man’s wife just left this stud go. Perplexing how his marriage didn’t work out isn’t it?  Unfathomable.

So anywhere from a few hours to a few days after downloading a dating app, things like this happen and I’m reminded why I’m single and deleted the app last time. Wish I could say it gets better over time but either everyone’s getting weirder or perhaps it’s me?  I also find the algorithms of these sites to be suspect. After forcing me to take an hours-long quiz, I’m still paired with men who think posing with dead animals is the way to a woman’s heart.

I will say this, I have had some minor success at deciphering the secrets of the male species. One of the codes I’ve cracked is when older men describe themselves as “young at heart,” they mean they prefer to date out of their age group. Or if an older man says he’s a “bad boy” chances are he listens to Five Finger Death Punch, owns a Harley, and watches old war movies.

I’m still looking for an app for folks like me. A place for people who’d rather binge Netflix with their animals on the couch than have to sift through a ridiculous montage of phony, celebratory bios that don’t mention how they chew with their mouth open or smoke menthol cigarettes like it’s the mid-90s.

A Hallmark Moment

Ah, the good ole’ class reunion. We’ve all tuned into the Hallmark channel a time or two just to find some sappy retelling of the classic “class reunion rekindles forgotten love” story. Just gag me already. I really don’t get what all the fuss is about. Maybe I’m just a bit too far removed from that scene. I mean really… do any of us actually care about the same shit we cared about back in high school? If I wanted to see all my classmates again, I would have kept in better contact over the years. All the personalities, the cliques, the stress, it’s not really something I care to revisit anytime soon. Could you imagine?

“Hey, Billy! Remember that time you pissed your pants on the bus during the dairy farm field trip and the entire class laughed?”

“Why no Jimmy. I’ve spent years in therapy and thousands of dollars on a psychiatrist trying to repress that memory, but how fun of you to bring it back up!”

Let’s see, we had the jocks who seemed to just cruise through their four years with that “too cool for school” mantra. There were the cheerleaders, which I tended to avoid. The rich kids who could do no wrong, probably because mommy and daddy were boosters for the local sports clubs, and then you had the rest of us. I guess you’d find me in the Freaks and Geeks section. If you don’t get the reference, check out the show here.   It was a short-lived one season masterpiece from the ’90s based around a unique group of kids in high school during the 80s. Great stuff!

Back at the reunion, you’re having more fun than you can safely stomach. At least, something is making you sick and it’s not the smell of gym socks left in a locker for two semesters.  Perhaps it’s the sheer awkwardness that comes with seeing your teenage crush who is now balding, on his third marriage, and running a failing used car dealership. Or better yet, you could reminiscence with some old high school bullies who completely gloss over ripping your schoolwork to shreds on the daily or shoving you in the aforementioned gym sock filled locker.  Or maybe it’s being asked to dance by that kid that smelled like milk and pulled on your hair in the middle of class every freakin’ day.  I mean, why wouldn’t we want to subject ourselves to such a blissful evening?

All sarcasm aside, I wouldn’t be completely against a walk down memory lane again, but it’s not at the top of my list. And yes, I’m completely aware that there are quite a few people out there that absolutely loved high school and would waste 1 of their 3 wishes from a genie on having the chance to relive the glory days that were those 4 fateful years. To say a lot of people peaked in high school would be an understatement. Okay, yeah, so that walk down memory lane may not be worth the calories after all.

I mean, what about the people who simply couldn’t wait to get out of high school? For these folks – and by these folks, I mean me – reunions are a whole different animal. And seriously, back to the Hallmark movie thing. Do those moments ever really happen? They’re always the same. Way back in high school, the jock is dared to ask out the ugly duckling girl, and she accepts just to have it blow up in her face. Then 20 years later she’s on the cover of Cosmo and he’s managing a Waffle House in small-town South Carolina. They meet up again at the famed reunion just to have him profess his true feelings. He was a victim of peer pressure back n the day, you see, and he’s pined after her all these years. She looks deep into his eyes as they dance and is hypnotized by the depth of his feelings and the beat of his heart, and well, the rest is Hallmark history with a wedding in the works before the weekend is out. I guess if you put it that way, I can kinda see the appeal of these reunions. I mean they’re just the conduit to one’s true love and a happily ever… nope, I’m sorry, just can’t say it with a straight face.

More likely that whole scenario would play out with her getting drunk and mocking the people who realized too late that in the “real world – adult version” they’re no longer the “in crowd” and she ends up going home with the bartender. To be fair though, he was awfully cute.

True Love for Another Year

Valentine’s Day is coming in hot, folks. With that in mind, I thought I would revisit an old post about true love for the ages.

When my soulmate and I connect on Valentine’s Day? It won’t be with heart-shaped boxes of candy and cards and cute stuffed animals or a reservation at that exclusive, yet somehow still overly crowded, restaurant with a fixed holiday menu. It will be with whiskey and action movies and dancing in the living room. And ice cream. Or cheesecake. I’m good either way.

True Love

Originally Posted October 19, 2014

The infamous “they” claim that romance novels have destroyed any sense of realistic views of love for women. They say guys don’t really stand a chance because they could never live up to the hype of the romantic characters in books and movies. I can understand that. But the problem for me is I hate romance novels and there are very few “chick flicks” that maintain my interest.I’m a Marvel ComicsRedSin CityNo one Lives, action/thriller/horror kind of a gal. I want the kind of love you see in those kinds of movies…for example, when the hero or anti-hero’s girl gets kidnapped, everyone in the audience (AND eventually the person who did the kidnapping) all say “Oh shit, he’s gonna pay for that when so and so finds out.”  And they’re right.

Well then. You can imagine how disappointing it can be to live and love in the “real world.”

It’s not that I hate the idea of my man showing up with a bouquet of field-picked flowers or learning origami just so he can fold me a paper figurine of my favorite bird. That’s all well and good, but what really spoils my idea of love and romance are the love stories shown in the action films, even when they don’t mean to be love stories.

Dance of the Dead (Masters of Horror series, not the movie): When anti-hero Jak and heroine Peggy are face-to-face with the bad guy in a dismal and dangerous post-apocalyptic world, Jak steps in front of Peggy to protect her from getting shot. The great thing is that it wasn’t one of those dramatic thrusts where he flies through the air, arms flailing, to intercept the bullet. It’s the ease in which he does it. There’s no fanfare but also no hesitation. He just smoothly steps in front of her and into the line of fire as soon as he sees the gun come out. Slick as anything. And better than flowers and romance any day.

Dance of the Dead — Jak and Peggy

Iron Man 3: (Potential minor spoiler) Tony Stark’s house is getting blown into confetti by a flurry of missiles. Yet even with so much chaos and panic and fire and noise, his first thought is to protect Pepper. As he’s being blown through the air by the explosion, Stark immediately sends the very cool Iron Man suit to cover her and protect her from the debris while he bears the brunt of the attack himself. It’s not so much the act, but rather that it was his first, involuntary thought. He didn’t think, “I could use the suit, but nah, I’ll give it to Pepper. That’s what a good boyfriend does.” Even if there had been time, the choice didn’t exist in his mind. His thought process went immediately from “Danger” to “Protect Pepper” without any steps in between. That’s love.

Iron Man 3 — love in the Marvel Universe

The Crazies: Timothy Olyphant’s character couldn’t flee the infected zombie-like people because his wife was somewhere in the town.  Oh, he could’ve saved himself, sure, the opportunity was there.  But he had to find her. Another guy was leaving and was incredulous that Timothy Olyphant was staying.  Timothy Olyphant’s character said to the guy: “Don’t ask me why I can’t leave without my wifeand I won’t ask you why you can.” Who wouldn’t swoon at such devotion?

The Crazies — he couldn’t leave her behind

No-one Lives:  Don’t even get me started on this one.  Suffice it to say the title is an apt description of what happens after the seriously anti-hero’s love interest is killed.  The fact that the anti-hero was a bit of a whack job himself does not lessen my admiration of his dedication whatsoever.  Not sure what that says about me.

No One Lives — a whack job, but dedicated

The Notebook: “Well, if you’re a bird, I’m definitely a bird.” Oh, Ryan Gosling. That one just kind of speaks for itself. He says it like a math equation. A statement of fact. Nothing to question. I know, I know, it’s not an action-y movie at all. Hey, what can I say? The Notebook was an amazing movie even for someone like me.

If you’re a bird, I’m a bird

So the movies I like to watch have shaped my expectations.

Unfortunately the movies I like the best are not always your typical romances. Flowers, candy, all that is easy.  I want the kind of love that drives the guy to fight an army of the undead or break into the Russian Consulate to regain what was taken from him.

I doubt I’ll ever have the need to be encased in special armor during an attack and somehow I don’t think I’ll ever get snatched by the CIA in a convoluted plot or even chased by zombies. But the specifics aren’t what I pine for. It’s the intensity. That, I believe, can exist in this world. If not and it’s just generic love stories like you find in Cameron Diaz movies then I’m screwed.

Cats 22

Before I get started, I want to make something clear. I love cats. I love all animals, but with cats, it’s a little bit of a love/hate thing so, know that this is a topic based solely on love. But seriously, if we’re being honest, cats are kind of asshoIes. I think my fellow cat owners will agree and understand where I’m coming from.

Of course, we’re owners in name only. Cats, as a rule, view us as giant servants. By employing two of their strongest assets, cute + cuddly (despite the razors on their feet), we willingly wait on them hand and foot, oftentimes dropping whatever we’re doing to answer their siren-like beck and call. Cats have it figured out. And don’t let anyone fool you, cats indeed know their names. In fact, I think they understand everything we say. Some dog owners will have you believe that cats are incapable of such mental prowess, that they lack the intelligence of dogs. I call bullshit. The real question here is not whether they understand you, but rather, whether they will deign to listen and come to you when you call for them. In most cases you’ll get “the look,” or maybe, if you’re lucky, an ear twitch, but you know they know.

I have a lovely little monster myself, named Holly, which I think literally translates to evil incarnate (when it’s a cat… I’m sure human Hollys are very lovely). She weighs all of 4 pounds and “though she be but little she is fierce.” There will be times when she starts to continuously meow and outright howl when she’s in a room by herself. Let’s just say she has a set of lungs on her that would make a banshee proud. Now, you might think it’s because she’s lonely. It’s not. She just wants attention and is unwilling to seek one of us out to get it – even though the condo is small and if she would simply be willing to journey out no more than 10 feet in any direction, she would be greeted by a person ready and willing to love on her. But no. She refuses. Why? Because she is a manipulative little jerk princess who demands we seek her out or desperately plead with her to come grace us with her holy presence. It’s her way of keeping the servants, er… I mean us, in check. And we do it. Why? Well, because her raucous lyrical beckoning normally begins around 11:00 pm or midnight, so our desire to keep her quiet tends to override any self-worth we might have in bowing down to the tyrannical feline overlord known as Holly.

Do you want to know how I know Holly understand what I’m saying? I’ll tell you. The other afternoon I was working at my desk, and she started doing her thing. She was out in the hallway, a mere few feet from me, but still around a corner, just out of sight. In a normal voice (so as not to alarm my zoom team members with an outrageous facial expression while I was on mute), I asked, “where are you?” and she came trotting right to me like a proud little puppy (for the love of God, don’t tell her I said that). So she knew the words, understood the words, and presented herself accordingly. If I were to call her deliberately, she wouldn’t come. And why? Because fuck you servant, that’s why. Unless of course I come prepared with an offering such as some string or even better, treats.  With a little shakey-shake, the feline princess will appear out of thin air.

All of this just to say, that cats do in fact know what you’re saying to them, and they know that you know that they know. They just don’t care.

an exhausted ne’er-do-well after a long day of ne’er-do-well things

New Year’s Resolutions? What New Year’s Resolutions?

Another year has passed us by and the year coming… well, let’s just hope for the best, shall we?

They say you should welcome the New Year with a resounding declaration of “a new year, a new me!” This is excellent advice and I just want to take a moment to share my reflections on the past year and the personal changes I have in store for the coming… oh, who am I kidding?

A Cheerful Christmas Story, Or Not

Time for a rant. So, my daughter and I were at the local grocery store the other day and we saw this little girl, maybe 5 years old. Well, first we heard her. We didn’t see her till later. And that would be because she was in the walkway at the end of the cash registers on the floor. You really couldn’t see her unless you looked for her or were say, trying to leave the store (since she was blocking the walkway). You could certainly hear her though.

Being the time of year it is, it was about Christmas. Of course, I mean, it had to be, right? She was repeatedly yelling that she wanted presents for Christmas and for Santa to visit her – all in that whiney little voice that only a child’s own mother can tolerate. I was a little late to the party here, but I gathered from the cashier that this precious little light of mirth had demanded candy or whatever and her mother said no. Not only that, but the mother had chosen to pour a healthy amount of salt in that wound by additionally threatening that Santa wouldn’t visit unless she behaved. Bad move, mommy. That bold-faced lie unleashed the kraken hiding within her doe-eyed daughter turning what may have been a manageable tantrum into full on Krampus fodder displaying itself for all to see on the floor of this grocery store.

We all have our parenting style and I’m not (fully) criticizing what this mother did next. I’m just saying that it’s not something I would do and leave it at that. So, the kid is screaming full blast and this mom, rather than step away from her conversation with the cashier, decided instead to proclaim to the child, “NOW, Santa won’t visit or bring you presents unless you get up off the floor.”  Right.

Well, you would have thought that she’d sent an electric shock straight through the air to this child. The little girl splayed herself across the floor with flailing limbs that resembled an 80’s break-dancer and her voice reached a pitch of whine that I thought only possible in a machine shop. And, almost impossibly (but I swear it’s true), her repeated demand that Santa must visit her and must bring her presents, got even louder. It was truly a sight to behold.

Unfortunately, the first possible collateral damage entered the scene in the form of an elderly woman who had had enough and had decided that no matter how curious she might be to see if this demon girl’s head was going to start spinning she’s got other things to do and tried to make her way out of the store. She had to gingerly make her way past this kid without having a leg taken out from under her and breaking a hip. Wonder what Santa would’ve said about that!?

And the mom of this lovely floor ornament? Well, the mother, to her credit, was not the least bit fazed or concerned, certainly not enough to become a proactive participant in this wild scene. In fact, you’d barely know she had a child at all. Instead of physically removing the child from the aisle so the elderly woman could get by safely (which would have been the LEAST of my kids’ problems had this been them), she simply continued repeating her mantra… “Santa won’t visit unless you get off the floor” from the relative safety of the checkout line. What kind of idiotic bribery is this? Good grief, the parenting skills that people use today! Oh wait…skills imply talent or useful abilities. Scratch that. Good grief, what passes as parenting these days! Is this one of those feral children I’ve heard so much about?

I mean, really? Let’s do a little play-by-play. First the girl misbehaves. Next, mom pulls out the Santa’s Watching card. So of course, the girl’s natural reaction is to throw herself down on the floor. Santa’s watching after all, right? Magically though, now Santa visits tantrum throwing kids just so long as they don’t throw their tantrum while flailing about on the floor or take out the elderly woman trying to exit stage left. Oh wait. Okay, well, just so long as you don’t take out the elderly woman, you’re golden. Talk about a bit of holiday spirit perversion. I think Santa would be appalled if he knew he was being used in this manner. I’ve always had a thing for Krampus and I think this may be why.

I wish I could be a fly on the wall of that household when the natural dynamic of this mother and child hits the teenage years. Now that should be a party! Bet Santa’s invite to that one gets lost in the mail.

Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum

I love Christmas. Ornaments for the tree? I have enough to fill my tree, my neighbor’s tree, your tree, and the National Tree in DC. Who cares if my tree is only 4 feet tall? Do I buy more every year? You bet. Christmas cards? Yup. I have enough to send out to people I don’t even know for the rest of my life. Do I buy more every year? You bet. Lights, snow globes, bells, wreaths, glitter … I’ve got it all. In spades. What’s even more fun is coming up with a gift list. Oh, not for myself, but everyone else. I truly enjoy gift-giving.

Well, ever since Halloween, I’ve been humming “The Little Drummer Boy” to myself and it made me wonder – is it ever too early to be thinking about Christmas? Some of you are rolling your eyes and harrumphing: “Of course, there is a too early for this crap Christmas time-frame!” I couldn’t agree with you more. We all know this. But humming to oneself like a nutcase and throwing up a tree and full-blown decorations are two entirely different things.

I’ve seen and heard so many people get straight up grumpy about Christmas making an early appearance – I’m one of those people, actually, as I gripe about Santa and decorations showing up in stores before Thanksgiving has even reared its fine-feathered head, and yet every year it keeps happening. Earlier and earlier we see the commercial side of this supposedly altruistic holiday.

Back in the day, it was the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Santa who set the timing for the season. Then the stores got the idea to bolster their profits by having Black Friday which, in reality, starts way before Thanksgiving when you think about all of the advertising, early-bird deals, etc. Now, the stores are like: “Is it almost Halloween!? Dust off last year’s Christmas paraphernalia and throw that out there with the turkey napkin holders, pumpkins, ghosts, and skeletons … let’s get this Hallowthanksmas conglomeration started!”

Consider all the money that goes into Christmas. According to the American Research Group, the average American plans to spend roughly $835 on gifts this year. That doesn’t include holiday travel (pandemic be damned, apparently), decorations, or food, which I’m sure is some astronomical number of dollars. Given the huge investment that the Christmas season is for many people – not to mention, the profit margin for the businesses who have honed their capitalistic holiday campaign, it’s no surprise that they want to get their money’s worth. After all, if I was spending over $800, I’d want to have warm seasonal fuzzies for far longer than a month. “Hey, I bought that singing, blow-up snowman for my yard and I’ll be damned if I don’t get to annoy my neighbors with it for as long as possible!” Okay, fine, so annoying the neighbors is an “all year” treat that I do take advantage of, but that’s just me.

Decorating a house, depending on your commitment level (I’m looking at you Paul), can take some serious time, with the tree alone taking a few hours. Lugging boxes from the garage and carefully putting hooks on every individual ornament isn’t something to take lightly. Getting that just-right Griswold effect on the house is also a feat that is nothing if not time-consuming. I mean, I can totally understand that if people go to all of that effort, they want it to start as early as possible and last until they’re good and ready to take it all down. Even if that means those decorations stay up until Spring.  A friend of mine used to leave her Christmas tree up long enough that it became a Mardi Gras tree around mid-March, just for the sheer fact that it was too pretty and too much work to take it down.

As much as I love Christmas, and I do love Christmas, my tree is up barely in time for the day itself and comes down the day after. Love the holiday, hate the clutter. I always dream of a decorated home worthy of a Home and Gardens cover, or at least, a photo spread on the inside pages … but alas, my anxiety won’t let me. Or rather, it does, but if you blink, you’ll miss it.

Now Christmas songs seem to be a different animal entirely. Songs don’t take much effort (for the listener, that is), but like any song, there can be too much of a good thing after a while. So, should we be listening to Christmas songs as early as we are decorating? Radio stations certainly think so. Literally the day after Halloween there are round the clock Christmas music broadcasts. Maybe that’s why I’ve had vintage pa rum pum pum pums rattling around in my head. Personally, I don’t have a problem with that. Bonus, my not quite under my breath singing annoys my coworkers, so there’s that. In all fairness though, by the time Christmas is over I’m so sick of hearing “Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time” that I want to die. I think the secret to success with Christmas music is creating your own playlists. And earplugs when traipsing through the department stores with piped-in music. No-one wants those songs in their head all day.

When it comes right down to it, the Christmas season is whatever you want it to be. Do I hate retailers who put out their inventory before that Thanksgiving turkey even hatches? You better believe it. Am I going to be rifling through that very same inventory as excitedly as a child at um… Christmas? You better believe it.

Living the Wrong Life

I’m a reasonably confident person. I mean, I’ve made it this far in life and am still alive and mostly well. That has to count for something, right? Right!? Oh, sure, I’m awkward and filled with anxiety, and social situations are not exactly my thing. I still can’t make homemade seitan, but I didn’t think I was doing something wrong at EVERY turn. Now, thanks to the internet and yahoos with too much time on their hands, I’m not so sure.

Unfortunately, we are probably all pretty familiar with the articles and videos telling us how we’ve been doing such and such all wrong. They’re everywhere you look, so you end up viewing them whether you want to or not. These helpful how-to PSAs break down even the most basic tasks and rub in our faces how we have totally misunderstood items and their functions, things obviously so simple.

Peeling a banana. Apparently, monkeys know how to do this right way; it’s most humans that don’t. Peel it from the bottom to avoid squishing it. Perhaps this says even less about me, but upon application I learned that I can squish this fine yellow (and I would say inherently squishy) fruit no matter which end I peel it from.

I guess the same goes for slicing French bread. Flip that baby over and slice from the bottom, so it doesn’t get mushed. Based on my performance with the banana, I’m guessing that won’t be the case for me. I’m not sure what that says about me, but I’d rather not look too deeply into that one.

Hold a wine glass by the stem to avoid any unwanted warming from body heat. Okay, that one I knew. I do like my wine. But I still don’t follow this advice. Did I mention I’m awkward?  And clumsy?  And uncoordinated?  Yeah, it’s not a good idea for me to gracefully hold a wine glass by its stem… not if I want to maintain a steady grip on the delicate glassware, that is.  Because I have no grace. I think I’ve made that clear. And what tends to happen is the glass, much like myself when walking up steps, gets top heavy and tips over. Sometimes it happens slowly, which is pretty funny whether it’s me on the steps or the glass of wine on a white carpet, and then other times, it just happens with a sudden plop. Either way, it’s a mess. So, warm wine it is.

This one completely baffles me for a variety of reasons. Take the drawer under the oven, you know, the one where you store the pans and lids? Apparently, that is a warming drawer for keeping that green bean casserole warm while waiting for the main dish to finish baking. Now, I don’t know about your drawer, but mine seems to attract crumbs and dust, and other unsavory particles from the cooking, um, environment. How does a person keep those tidbits out of the drawer? I’d also rather not store any food I’m about to eat on the same level as my feet and dust bunnies, thank you very much. Also, perhaps a more relevant question, where in the hell do you keep all those pans and lids if not in that bottom drawer? Who has that kind of cabinet space?

Chinese take-out boxes are meant to be unfolded and used as a plate. I’ve seen countless actors and actresses on screen dig their forks and chopsticks into those boxes. Never once have I seen them unfold it and eat their dinner like a civilized person. I’m going to blame Hollywood for my ignorance there.

Speaking of messy foods, this next one is perhaps my favorite. I would argue there is no wrong way to eat a cupcake, but there is a way to avoid the icing mustache. This technique also lets you avoid the disappointment of being left with the not-as-exciting-and-delicious layer of un-frosted cake. Peel the paper, slice the cupcake halfway up from the bottom, take that bottom layer, flip it over on top of the icing, and press down. Voila, a cupcake sandwich!

You can go down your own rabbit hole of videos and articles on how wrong you’ve been doing things all your life. Of course, there are the classics like which way to set up the toilet paper roll and how to properly hang a shirt (apparently that little loop of fabric on the back is there for a reason), but I recently learned that I haven’t even been eating potato chips correctly! And with as much practice as I get, this revelation came as a surprise.

I try not to put too much stock into being told how wrong I am all the time by folks I don’t even know. I mean, hell, I get that enough from people I do know.  Seriously though, who needs the stress? I like to think I’ve lived a reasonably successful life. I mean, I get up in the morning and manage to make it through each day relatively well and sane despite eating squished bananas and drinking warm wine.

But, I do love the idea of cupcake sandwiches.