Adulthood–Who’s Keeping Score?

hot pink grownups

hot pink grownups (Photo credit: niznoz)

Every so often, it gets brought home to me that I’m even worse at being an adult than I used to be at sports.  The most recent round of self-flagellation was brought about by the realization that my Mysterious Engaged Friend, now Mysterious Married Friend, has never been to my apartment.  The problem is mostly that, at any given time, my meal plan consists of Diet Coke and Doritos, I have a hamper full of dirty laundry that I can’t wash because I haven’t yet put away the clean laundry from last weekend’s chore-a-thon, and I’ve been saying I’ll mop the floor for approximately three weeks.  My total score at being a grown-up wouldn’t get me past the first elimination round.

It starts early in the morning.  I hit my snooze button about five times before I end up getting out of bed.  I always mean to get up early, hope to get up on time, and actually get up late. It continues with lunch; when I go grocery shopping, I always fondly imagine my lunch will be a healthy salad with chopped broccoli, grated carrots, and cherry tomatoes.  It usually ends up being stuff I got at the convenience store around the corner from where I work, so– pop tarts and fruit snacks.  Then, when I get home, I think “Oh, I’m totally going to do chores now.  This place is going to look great by the time I go to bed.”  It could happen.  No, it couldn’t.  That’s never going to happen.

But Mysterious Married Friend is moving away (sad!), so I invited her over, along with her husband and another friend.  I did this in total good faith, and also because my apartment is actually in fairly good shape for once, having been the subject of a recent cleaning marathon.  I forgot one vital fact, though:  I can’t cook.  At all.  I could have invited them over for tea, or a movie night, or–I don’t know–poker, but I didn’t.  As I sort through various takeout menus and wonder what would seem the least obvious when I serve it on my nice (read: not paper) plates, I can’t help but wonder if I’m alone in this.

And, you know, I don’t think I am.


Golfing (Photo credit: emersunn)

So I’d like to propose handicaps for adulthood, like they have for bowling and golf.  For me, I think I should be able to add on to my total score another 50% of what my Sainted Mother would have been able to do in the same situation.  If I can manage to have the dinner table completely clear by the time my friends come over, that’s like my mother having polished all the silver and ironed the tablecloth.  If I find takeout that suits everyone’s dietary restrictions and doesn’t cause an allergic reaction in anyone, that’s like my mother cooking a four-course meal.  Right now, my Sainted Mother is falling out of her chair laughing while thinking about all the Hamburger Helper she used to fix, which actually makes me feel better.  Ooh, Hamburger Helper!  I can totally manage that.

Problem solved.

How to tell who’s winning the dating game

As many of my regular readers know, I’ve been out on a fair few dates.  Regular readers will also know that I have an unusual approach to dating.  My motto is, make every date an adventure.  It’s hard to tell how a dating adventure is going, so while getting bored waiting for various dates to pick me up, or in the back of my head while making small talk, I came up with a points system to keep track of how things are going.  In the spirit of pooling resources, I thought I would share this system with you and ask for your suggestions.  I’ve broken this down into relationship phases, for ease of perusal:

Asking someone out

  • While sober:  +10 points
  • While drunk:  -15 points
  • Face to face:  +15 points
  • Over the phone:  +5 points
  • Via text message:  0 points
  • On five minutes notice:  -15 points
  • Through poetry:  +25 points, even if it’s bad

Getting to first date location

  • Person who did the asking picks up:  +10 points
  • Person who was asked picks up:  -5 points, unless good reason
  • Meet at location:  0 points
  • Bringing flowers:  +10 points
  • Bringing flowers with vase:  +20 points
  • Overly romantic setting requiring heels:  0 points
  • Casual setting allowing flats:  +5 points
  • Unusual setting (awesome):  +25 points
  • Unusual setting (creepy):  -15 points

First Date

  • Telling date he/she looks nice:  +10 points
  • Not commenting on how late the other person was:  +5 points
  • Not being late in the first place:  +15 points
  • Ordering for the other person:  -20 points (I hate this!)
  • Asking the other person how his/her day was:  0 points
  • Asking the other person how his/her day was and actually listening:  +15 points
  • Discussing politics:  -5 points
  • Discussing religion:  -15 points
  • Discussing ex:  -30 points
  • Getting so engrossed in other person that you don’t notice the restaurant is closing:  +30 points
  • Tipping badly:  -20 points
  • Walking date safely to car/door:  +15 points

Post-date communication

  • Follow-up phone call/email/text within 1 day:  +10 points
  • Within two days:  +5 points
  • Within three days:  0 points
  • No contact until a week has gone by:  -10 points
  • More than five calls/emails/texts within 24 hours:  -5 points
  • Sending inappropriate pictures with suggestive captions after first date:  -50 points
  • Suggesting second date:  +15 points
  • Suggesting second date, then going incommunicado for three days:  -15 points
  • Using words “buddy”, “pal” or “friend” in post-date communication:  just give up

This doesn’t include second date activity or anything after, since a) this isn’t that kind of blog, and b) I rarely get to that stage.  Those of you who want to use this system should remember, as always, that no matter what the numerical result is, you have to take into account that certain inexplicable something that can’t be quantified.  I call it the Johnny Depp factor.  Feel free to rename it however suits you!

So what do you think?  Additions?  Corrections?  Suggestions?  Recriminations?  Does anyone want to do a follow-up for second dates and beyond?

Cripple Barbie

this is a picture of my Barbie doll

Picture of a Barbie doll (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was playing with a friend’s kid the other day.  She’s awesome and smart and cute and funny, but she likes to play with Barbies.  She’s like I was at her age, though; she likes to shave their heads and pull off their arms and leave them lying naked and mutilated all around the house, so that’s all right.  She also likes to dress up Ken in Barbie’s clothes (which will only go on him if you leave them unbuttoned, if you’re curious), which is a refinement of the art that was lost on the pre-teen Little Blind Girl.  I was impressed.

She also likes to use props meant for other games and appropriate them for Barbie.  One of the props she reassigned this time around was a wheelchair; Barbie had gotten in a car accident driving her convertible after taking her “evening soothers” (don’t ask) and had to trade in four wheels for two and kick it in a wheelchair for a while.  This was fine until she got to her Dream House…and the wheelchair wouldn’t go in the door.

That’s right:  Barbie’s Dream House is not handicapped-accessible.  The imperfectly abled may not pass the threshold of Barbie’s home.  Gimps and cripples must sleep outside.  I was appalled at this message of intolerance and indifference to suffering that surrounds our children, insidiously infiltrating their still-forming minds and imparting a lasting disregard for the rights of others. We must stand up against this atrocity!  Well, not Barbie, because she’s now enfeebled, but the rest of us must stand up!

And then I remembered that, if Barbie were a real person, her height would be 7’2, her weight would be 101 pounds, her bust would be 39FF, and both her head and her waist would be 19″ around, and I was like, screw it.  Barbie can gimp it on the streets.  I’m done wheeling her bony butt around.  How’s that for a life lesson?

Beware the frog

For the waiting, who asked for a post on frogs.  There are so many apps and games featuring frogs in all sorts of undignified settings; I think it’s high time the frogs got a little of their own back.


I can’t wait to see what happens with Angry Birds!  Also, does anyone else get the idea that this is the frog that was supposed to be their prince?

Crackdified Trivial Pursuit

When we were in school, my friends and I played Trivial Pursuit in the snack bar.  There was only the one edition, year after year, so we eventually came to know all the answers.  Rather than moving on to another game, however, we just morphed that one into its own beast.  We would rope in more and more people into something that became an amalgamation of Charades, Twenty Questions, and Truth or Dare.  We called it Crackdified Trivial Pursuit.

The rules of Crackdified Trivial Pursuit, as far as there are any, are as follows:  you keep to the normal game directions until it comes time to give the answer.  If the person whose turn it is to answer the question is unable to think of the answer right away, those who know the answer because they’ve played that edition about a hundred times will start giving clues.  For instance:

Questioner:  What is the capital of Peru?

Peanut Gallery:  “Blank” beans!  “Blank” beans!  Oh, what do you mean you can’t get the answer from that?  All right, all right:  the flavor of Sprite is lemon-a, “blank”!

If the person still couldn’t get it, the rest of the players would start acting out the answer a la Charades.  “OK.  1 word, 4 letters.  Rhymes with…Wonder Woman?  Buffy the Vampire Slayer?  Oh, Xena!  The Warrior Princess??”

The person trying to answer the question could also ask questions to try to narrow down what the answer might be.  This was especially helpful in categories like Science and Nature, but less so in History; it doesn’t help to ask “Alive or dead?” if you’re trying to figure out the answer to “Who won the battle of Waterloo?”  At least, not unless your educational system has completely failed you.

Nachos with Chilli

Image via Wikipedia

We usually had a pretty good crowd going, so we could almost always get it by this point, but if that didn’t work and the person gave up, they had to take the questioner’s pick of Truth or Dare.  If the crowd was feeling restless and we agreed that it was the questioner’s fault, then the questioner had to take his victim’s choice of Truth or Dare.  Being starving students, we would also allow the person to avoid this by getting appetizers for the table.  Loaded nachos were favored, but resulted in some truly disgusting cards by the time graduation rolled around.

What strikes me most about this, though, is that there weren’t any teams and yet we were all trying to help each other win.  We just wanted to have a good time.  I’m not sure we ever even finished a game.  I miss that attitude.  I miss those nachos.  Also, I racked up some seriously inane knowledge this way.  Nobody needs to know what a thin layer of chromatography is.

P.S.  For those of you who are of age, this makes an awesome drinking game.  Play Crackdified Trivial Pursuit responsibly!  Can you believe my spellcheck doesn’t like the word “crackdified”?

Oh, my sainted mother!

Trivial Pursuit

Image via Wikipedia

One Christmas, my sister and I were playing Trivial Pursuit with our mother.  Our sainted mother is many things:  intelligent, talented, brave, funny.  But even she would admit that she’s not hip.  She’s not with it, street-wise, down with the kids.  She got all the science and literature questions, but the pop culture questions were proving to be her undoing.

So when she came to the question, “What East Coast rapper was killed as a result of a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles in 1997?”, Big Sis and I both just assumed she wouldn’t know it and moved on to the next turn.  Sainted Mother stopped us and said, “Hey, give me a chance.  I might know it.”  We assured her that she had no chance of getting it right, but she insisted that she wanted at least to try.

So we asked her, and she said, “Oh, is that that Biggie Smalls person?”


Sainted Mother, we will never doubt you again.

True or False?

By Leonetto CappielloPublic domain via Wikimedia Commons.

One of the bad things about blogs is that there are those who know who you are in real life and read your blog for the express purpose of being able to cause trouble for you down the road.  I don’t want to stop writing this blog just because a few people are being immature.  I figure that, if I stop this blog, they’ll just be immature about something else, and I’m not going to live my life according to what other people might think.

So I’m going to make this statement:  Some, but not all, of the information on this blog is true.  Some of it, but not all of it, happened to me.  Some of it happened to other people.  Some of it I’m making up wholesale.  So gather dirt at your pleasure.  You may or may not be reading complete works of fiction.  You want to cause trouble, you’re going to have to find another way.  Pick on my grammar, maybe, or how I use too many commas.  If you’re trying to use my blog against me, you’re already pretty much at that level, so it shouldn’t be a stretch.

In that spirit, I’m going to play a round of Two Truths and a Lie.  Or am I playing Two Lies and a Truth?  Or maybe they’re all lies, or they’re all true.  They’re just here for a laugh, like my other posts.  Take it for what it is, not for what you want to make it into:

1.  I climbed onto the clock tower at one of my old schools and carved my initials in the back of the clock.  I thought it was high time!

2.  I once toured Europe as part of a band.

3.  I have a tattoo of a scorpion on a part of my body normally covered by clothes.

Whatcha gonna do with that?  And for all the readers and commenters and followers who genuinely like my blog, you rock, and you’re most of the reason I’m not just taking this blog down.  I love hearing from you.  Keep it coming!  Feel free to leave a comment with your own contributions of two truths and a lie.  I promise I will never use them against you!