I will never be dainty.

Today, as I was doing my makeup at a stoplight, I realized that I was about to put concealer on what was not a skin imperfection, but barbeque sauce.


As I prayed to get one more red light, so I could finish doing my makeup, I started to think about the role models I grew up with, in media. A child of the 90s, these included Kelly Kapowski, Topanga Lawrence, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Buffy Summers, and even Lizzie McGuire. As the style of the day dictated, each of them had well-coordinated, brightly colored outfits, perfect bubble gum pink lipstick, and intricate hairstyles requiring those tiny rubber bands they use to attach bows to a poodle’s ears.


These trends may be the stuff of Buzzfeed posts now, but unless it was a defining feature of the episode, such as that time Buffy had grass in her hair, these girls were nothing but coordinated and adorable, regardless of style. Lizzie may have struggled to fit in with the cool crowd, but she did it with perfectly crimped hair.


As I entered my late teens and early twenties, I longed to be more like Rory Gilmore and Blair Waldorf, with their preppy, tailored jackets, headbands, plaid, and perfectly timed topical references. I wanted to wear subtle makeup, designer prints, and kitten heels while discussing college life.


I, of course, never mastered any of the above.

I once burned toothpaste into my hair with a straightener.

I regularly wear oversized t-shirts over my work clothes, because I can’t trust myself to drink a cup of coffee without spilling it.

I frequently use the word “shankraped.”

I don’t own white clothes. As much as I’d love to be the girl in a white sundress and strappy sandals, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that it is never going to happen.

I’ve gotten through an entire day, wearing a dress that zipped up the back, before I noticed the zipper under my chin.

I make “that’s what she said” jokes to my Gramma… and then try to explain them.

I’ve notified my loved ones that if they ever find me in a bathtub full of blood, it wasn’t a suicide attempt. I just never mastered shaving my legs.

I’ve done the Sign of the Cross in thanksgiving after realizing my dress was tucked into my panties before the interview.

I walked like a newborn deer for all four of the months I tried to wear heels.

My makeup comes from the drug store.

I don’t trust myself to use a styling wand without taking out an eye.

My punctuality is based on how many green lights I can catch.

I’ve noticed I’m wearing two different shoes, at work… something I’ve been told is unique to extremely pregnant women.

I look at least four sizes larger in plaid or argyle.

I’m far too cheap to buy the pricey, sexy undies.

I will always ruin sweet moments with an inappropriate joke.

Some days, I apply my eyeliner and just go with it, even though I look like a panda bear.

Gail says she can always tell which dressing room I’m in, by following the sounds of crashing.

I’m afraid to go shopping alone, because more than once, I’ve gotten stuck in a top and been unable to get out.

Today, my style most resembles Jess from The New Girl, but at least she’s supposed to be uncoordinated. I mean, sure, she’s never endured the awkwardness of dry humping someone while wearing a skort, but it’s at least a little closer. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I come from a long line of opinionated, boisterous, and often wildly inappropriate women. I buy size 10 shoes, can’t wear button up anything because I’m so broad-chested, and I cuss like a sailor. All of that runs in the family, too. I’ll never be the girl with the perfect hair and makeup, because I like my sleep. I’ll never wear the latest fashions, because I like my money. I’ll always be a little too loud, which is fortunate, because my best friend is getting married and has already refused to give me the microphone at her wedding. I’ll never be the debutante who spends two hours getting ready. Simply put, I will never be dainty… and that’s okay.




The Time I Almost Got Shankraped by Online Dating

My dear blog has been and will be many things, including divorcée blog, grad student blog, librarian blog, humor blog, opinion blog, and dating blog. That last one has been recurring, and lately even prominent. I’ve shared tales of men who insulted my faith, my degree, my best friend… of men who lived with their mothers, stood me up, and who I wished had stood me up… and even of men who’ve been perfectly nice, but for some reason, it just wouldn’t have worked. Rarely, however, has it ever been my emphasis that I met a man online. I didn’t almost end up in Tupperware, because I met the first Engineer on Plenty of Fish. I just didn’t put two and two together and realize how sketchy it was that a man who claimed he didn’t own a TV would want to watch Arrow together at his place.

It’s not online dating’s fault. It’s dating’s fault. People be crazy (and others impossibly naive for 25), regardless of where you meet them. What can you do? The Peach Pit and Central Perk are closed and MacLaren’s was an inaccurate portrayal of the dating world for at least the last three seasons. Unless someone’s willing to take me for a joyride in their DeLorean at 88 miles per hour, this is where we are… ‘cept Wednesday. Wednesday, this is where I was.

It all started out innocently enough. I was at the gym, on the elliptical, reading some harmless vampire porn, when I heard something from behind me. I turned to see a man was talking to me.

Me: “I’m sorry?”
Stabby McStabberson: “Are you on OKCupid?”
Me: “Um… yeah.”
Stabby McStabberson: “I thought you looked familiar. I’m on there, too.”
Me: …
Stabby McStabberson: “Have you ever seen me on there?”
Me: “Um… no. I don’t think so.”
Stabby McStabberson: “Well, I’ve seen you.”
Me: “Okay. Sorry, I don’t think I remember you.”

Okay, first of all, I’m pretty open about the fact that I date online. I don’t think we’ll ever get rid of the stigma as long as my aunts are insisting they met their husbands at the cowboy bar. Even so, the first thought that went through my head when this guy shouted “OKCupid” over the noise of the fan was “SHHHHHH!” Second, what exactly was the purpose of this? Clearly he was interested, but “You date online, don’t you? I date online, too!” is not how you date in person. If you’re interested in someone you see online, you message them online. You don’t memorize their stats and accost them face to face! But… I’m getting ahead of myself.

So, I texted Gail about the exchange and returned to my vampire porn, refusing to let a little awkwardness interrupt my workout… until…

Stabby McStabberson: “So, can I introduce myself?”
Me: “What?”
Stabby McStabberson: “Can I introduce myself?”
Me: “Um… sure.”
– If you’re going to introduce yourself to a person, you just do it. You don’t ask permission. Furthermore, if they’re as bad at hiding their discomfort with you doing so as I am, you keep it brief. –
Stabby McStabberson: “Hi. I’m Matt.”
Me: “Hi.”
Stabby McStabberson: “What’s your name?”
Me: “Belle.”
– Why did I tell him my name? Am I exaggerating this? I am intensely uncomfortable. Is this unfounded? –
Stabby McStabberson: “Belle. That’s a pretty name. Do you come here often?”
– To the gym, which requires a membership? –
Me: “Yeah. I have a membership.”
Stabby McStabberson: “Yeah, me too. I pay monthly. I’ve seen you here, before.”
– Oh, that… doesn’t make this better. –
Me: “… oh.”
Stabby McStabberson: “So, have you met anyone on OKCupid?”
– Does he mean am I available? Should I tell him I have a boyfriend? No. I’m overreacting. I am not going to fake a boyfriend. –
Me: “Yeah. I’ve met a few people.”
Stabby McStabberson: “Oh. Your screen name is UniversityLibrarian, isn’t it?”
– Oh, this just got so much worse. That hasn’t been my screen name for months and he remembers it. I should’ve left. –
Me: “Um… something like that.”
Stabby McStabberson: “You have a master’s degree.”
– AND YOU HAVE A HUMAN HEAD IN YOUR TRUNK! This is the worst thing. I’m going to be on the news, a cautionary tale for all young women who date online. –
Me: “Um… yeah. I do.”
Stabby McStabberson: “I’m getting my associate’s. I wanna be a youth pastor or a helper or something.”
– Wait. A “helper”? That takes an associate’s degree? Why hasn’t he figured out what he’s doing for a living? He’s at least 30… NOT THE FUCKING POINT, BELLE! –
Stabby McStabberson: “So are you still active on there?”
– How does he not see that I am visibly afraid of him? I am not even trying to hide it. –
Me: “Nope. Not lately.”
Stabby McStabberson: “Oh. Did you meet someone?”
– Fuck, yes. I most definitely met someone. –
Me: “Yup. I’ve been talking to someone for awhile, now.”
Stabby McStabberson: “Oh. Okay. Well, good luck.”

04-23-15 1

Gail: “Next time: ‘Are you on OKCupid?’ ‘No.'”


When I was in the 9th grade, during confirmation class, our youth minister told us to anonymously write down the last time we expressed our sexuality. He didn’t give examples. So it was, that, after he had begun to read them aloud, I realized I had completely misunderstood the assignment.

“Brushed my hair.”
“Put on cologne.”
“Did my make-up.”
“Discussed it and all it contains, with my best friend.”

Ugh. It has been twelve years and I’m presently thinking “Zetus lapetus, Belle. You may as well have told them you discussed pubic hair length with Gail… and name five 15-year-olds who talk like that!

In truth, it may not have been that bad, but I’m remembering it through the eyes of my mortified 15-year-old self, who knew just how obvious it was who gave the weirdly suggestive answer, as quiet descended and everyone glanced her way.

Fortunately, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to just accept frequent embarrassment as a part of my existence on this planet. I mean really, you’ve got to develop a thicker skin when you regularly have moments like the time I blurted the following words to a group of new coworkers…

“I adore Woody Harrelson. I can just never decide if I’d want him to be my lover or my dad.”

Unsay it! Unsay it!

I have accidentally referred to the book Fifty Shades Darker as Fifty Shades Deeper multiple times, while speaking to customers. In fact, making that topic as awkward as possible has become a unique skill of mine.

Me: “Have you read Bared to You? If you’re looking for something in the same genre as Fifty Shades, that’s what I would recommend. It still has a lot of the same themes and focus, but it has more… dep-… I don’t want to say depth… it just has more meat to- NO!”

Yes. Bared to You has more meat to it. I bring the poise.

It’s not so bad, though, being me. Sure, there was that time I got tangled up in my own purse and seat belt, accidentally hit the panic button on my car before dropping my keys underneath it, and everyone stared as I tried to disentangle myself…

… and that’s why I don’t sport, folks. I’ll add that Gail just stared at me with a raised brow and called me Jessica Day, from The New Girl, offering nothing in the way of actual assistance.

The main perk to such desensitization to humiliation, though, is that it really just makes everything funnier… which was a godsend when I found myself having a Dreaded Girl Moment on Wednesday.

Oh, yeah… I went there… in a public restroom… while substituting at the high school.

There I was, pulling my dress over my head in a bathroom stall, hoping for no visible signs of the gunshot wound between my legs and, because this crap is routine for me, my only thought was that I just did not have time for this. You see, while I have enjoyed the single life, its main source of stress is that, literally, everything is my responsibility. That means I work two jobs to pay the bills and feed myself, the latter of which only happens if I can find a time to go grocery shopping. Wednesday was one of those exhausting days in which I substitute teach from 8:30 to 3:35, only to have 45 minutes remaining before I head to the library. Fortunately, I’d been granted with a combination lunch break and planning period, meaning I had an entire hour and a half off, in the middle of the day. I could’ve gone home, put my pj’s back on and watched Big Bang Theory on the DVR, as I regularly do, but I desperately needed food, y’all. There just was not enough time in the day for a damned Judy Blume moment.

So, I said a quiet prayer thanking Jesus for the fact that my dress remained presentable, because he totally concerns himself with these things, and weighed the options. I considered texting Gail, because I can’t make decisions by myself…

… and finally admitted that there was just no alternative. I had to go commando… in a dress that was not designed for such style choices… in freezing weather. Fortunately, I did not have to continue teaching while risking some kind of bizarre entry on the sex offenders website, because my hour and a half had begun. One dilemma remained, though: did I go home to get underwear, only to realize I didn’t have time to run my errands… or did I prance around town hoping for a windless day?


Oh, come now. We all know that I chose productivity over sensibility and I’ve got to tell you, commando grocery shopping is pretty low on my list of recommended activities. Outside of a first date, I am not an exceptionally self-conscious gal. I’d like to lose a few pounds, but overall, I’m comfortable with myself… until I’m wearing a clingy dress and no panties in an Aldi. This is, in part, because I tend to wear pretty unflattering briefs.

Me: “Ugh. If I get into a serious relationship, I’m going to have to buy so much underwear.”
Gail: “Why?”
Me: “Because I don’t wear cute stuff, since no one sees it. I mean, can you imagine? We’re making out, he starts to slide his hand up my dress, pulls away and asks ‘Are you wearing a… one-piece bathing suit?

At least I thought they were unflattering, until I realized what I looked like without them.

I look like a sack of oranges. Are all women this lumpy? Oh, em jingles, I’m going to have to be naked in front of a man one day. Actually, I’m pretty sure I look more attractive naked. I am so not buying candy.

There is no way people can’t tell I’m not wearing underwear. I mean, where’s the pantiline? Wait. People try to hide the pantiline, don’t they? 

Why is that man staring at me? How clearly can he see the outline of my individual ass cheeks? 

I never realized how breezy dresses are. This is going to be the worst frostbite ever. 


I think I’m pretty unique in my ability to get myself into these situations, y’all. I mean, at that moment, how many people were accidentally grocery shopping with a breeze on their lady bits? I feel like the answer was just the one. It’s like every now and then I have some sort of Freaky Friday moment with a quirky sitcom character, only that woman’s life is controlled by censors and there is no genuine danger of flashing her babymaker to a group of elderly women picking up their prescriptions. Ideally, I’d just make the one quick trip, grab what I needed and run home to my cheap cotton sanctuary, but Walmart was right next door. If I was going to go through the discomfort of grocery shopping with trembling lips (you’re welcome for that), I was damned well going to finish.

Finally, though, after my naked dash through Narnia, I made it home just in time to put away the groceries and veil the goods. I will say, however, that after running around town with a Donald Duck style naked bottom half, I have a new appreciation for the warmth of Hanes. It was a transformation, the likes of fucking Cinderella, y’all. I, of course, told Gail my story and got little in the way of a response at the time. No worries. She was apparently just busy and waiting for the perfect moment.

1-22-15 1

She thinks she’s the sweet one.

No need to check my bag. I only brought my ninja skills.

I did it. I graduated with my Master of Library and Information Studies… and as with many should-be-boring events in my life, I made it an adventure with my finesse and ninja skills.

Me. Just lying. I’d lose a nipple just taking this picture.

In 2010, I received my Bachelor’s degree from Central University, a smaller college known for being the best teaching school in the state. Because of its size and the fact that the ceremonies were divided by college, graduation was held in the gym. My Master’s degree, however, came from University of State, which offers the only degree in several states that is accredited by the American Library Association. Attending a large state university means I officially get to align myself with a football team like it’s my religion, along with several thousand other people in the Midwest .. who were all at my fucking graduation ceremony.

huge crowd
I’ve never exaggerated anything in my life.

Having been told to be at the convention center by 9:15, I decided to leave at 8:45 for the 45 minute drive. Graduation wasn’t until 10:00. Why would I want to wait for 45 minutes when putting on a robe takes like three? Furthermore, it was only the College of Arts and Sciences, so just like my undergrad, it wouldn’t be that crowded. It’s funny how seven years of college left me how-does-she-not-drown-in-the-shower stupid.


Not only was I running late to graduation, but my Gramma was as well, since she didn’t want to drive down alone. Now, just to be clear, my Gramma is the best person in my life. She’s also the most pessimistic. When her football team is ahead by three touchdowns and loses the ball, she will shout “Well, we’ve lost it now!” at the T.V. and try to kick me out before the game ends. I’m not kidding. I had to threaten to never watch another game with her if she wouldn’t let me finish the one on the screen. Therefore, the entire trip to the convention center went like this…

Gramma: “You’re not gonna make it, Belle.”
Me: “Thank you, Gramma. I appreciate the input.”
Gramma: “There’s no way you’re gonna make it in time.”
Me: “Thank you, Gramma. That’s not really helping.”
Gramma: “We should have left earlier.”
Me: “Why, yes, Gramma. I hadn’t considered that.”

The traffic was nearly as terrible as the road work and I hate to drive… probably because I suck at it. This is one time I desperately regreted my single status, because I (not all woman-kind, Gail) would have loved a penis behind the wheel. I wish there were some way to thank the man in the Dodge in front of me for not pulling out a gun, because in my stress I was pretty much on top of him. He kept kindly motioning for me to not follow so closely, an oddly civil reaction to road rage in the Midwest. I tried. I really did. But in my stress, I would just inch more closely all over again. It really didn’t matter how I drove, though, because even when I wasn’t following closely, I got the same response from my Gramma every single time I braked.

Gramma: “Belle!”
Me: “Gramma, I have never been in a wreck. I see that he’s stopped. I’m not going to hit him.”
Gramma: ::Gasp::
Me: “That’s it, Gramma! No more sounds from you! You are on mute, now!”

By the time I pulled up to the convention center, I was convinced I wouldn’t be allowed to walk, because I was so late… and because my Gramma kept telling me so. It was 9:53. I asked her to park the car and bolted toward the door… only to forget my hat and sigh with relief that she hadn’t taken off yet. I rushed back to the door and saw the sign saying I needed to be at the south entrance. I was at the north entrance and it was 9:55. I ran full-throttle to the south entrance… and forgot I was in knee-high leather heeled boots. Stepping off the sidewalk was either a godsend, for it didn’t destroy my legs, or a curse because it caused me to fall in the first place. Either way, I went down. Hard. No one even laughed, it was such an epic fall. When a man asked if I was okay, I shouted “I’m good!” and rolled and jumped up action-movie-style to take off. In my haste, however, I didn’t fully catch my balance and re-face-planted immediately. I took slightly more care getting up that time, shouted “I lied! But I’m good now!” and took off again. Ultimately, my big action scene was far more Will Farrell than Jason Statham.

will ferrell

When I finally got to the south end of the convention center, I was somewhat rumpled and a professor helped me right the ridiculous collar for which I paid $64 last semester and I realized my tassel said 2012, because I’d intended to walk in December before failing my portfolio. My professors were glad to see me, though the time was a bit embarrassing, seeing as how the undergrads had already started walking. As an asthmastic, I couldn’t really handle the run and stress of the morning and once we were seated, kept coughing…

Woman beside me: “I wish I had a cough drop for you.”
Translation: God, I hope I don’t have to listen to that for two fucking hours.

I did my best to shut up while inventorying my injuries, at which point I realized my knuckles were bleeding and my knees were bruised. I texted Gail to tell her this and the conversation went as follows:

My phone kept correcting my sarcastic “Bestie” to “Beastie”. Gail is now stuck with this nickname.

My dad texted to ask where I was. I told him I was the one in the hat. I made sarcastic comments to my little sister, Bea, about how she shouldn’t wear anything under her robe when she graduates high school in a week, because it’s so fucking hot. I believe there was a recommendation to wear baseball pasties (she’s a baseball manager) and fling the robe off into the crowd. Since her nippels wouldn’t be showing, it wouldn’t even be illegal. She declined my advice. Ungrateful little shit. The rest of the ceremony pretty much went the same way. I texted and completely ignored the generic speech so clearly directed toward traditional undergrads.

Speaker: “It seems only yesterday we were moving into our dorms…”
text to Bea: I’m pretty sure I know the official melting point of human flesh.

The names were called.
Bea: I must really love you.
Me: Hey. They’re giving you baby name ideas for when you get knocked up in your freshman year. Pay attention.

I worked to subtly take off the sweater I had under my robe… and failed.
Me: “It’s shockingly difficult to undress beneath a graduation robe.”
Woman annoyed by my coughing: silence

Since my mother is as insane as her mother is adorable, she spent the entire ceremony staring at me through a pair of binoculars… from about 50 yards away. I kept mouthing “find Gramma” at her and texting her to say that I’d had her park the car and would hate for her to sit alone, since I made her late. My mother did not budge, nor did she redirect the binoculars. I could see this clearly, because she was fifty fucking yards away. Finally, I found my grandmother (without a telescope, I might add) and texted Bea to tell her she was on the same row, not far from her, my dad, and step-mom. Minutes later, Bea sent me a text saying they’d found my Gramma and were all chatting outside. My dad made the extra effort to find his ex-mother-in-law and keep her company, while my mother…

… was otherwise preoccupied.

The drive home was significantly less stressful and I laughed and chatted with my Gramma the whole way. When we got back to town, I realized how much my boots were hurting my feet… only to later see the bruise wrapping the left one. My poor knuckles are still raw and a good night’s sleep brought to my attention the pain coursing through my shoulder and left arm. Battle scars. Graduating is hard, y’all.

Gramma: “I can’t believe you made it. I just knew you wouldn’t. I kinda figured you’d miss it.”

S#^t I Can’t Do (Part 1): Share Important News Like a Normal F&@#&*% Person

priest dean
I would throw myself under a train if this man took a vow of celibacy.

Over Lent, Father shared a series of homilies focusing on the Seven Deadly Sins. Each week, he focused on a different one. This is the same… exactly the same.

Shit I can’t do:

Date Without Being a Jackass
Time Management
Cook on the Stove
Express Sympathy Appropriately
Manage Heartbreak Without Humor
Drive… At All
Share Important News Like a Normal Fucking Person

At the moment, I’m caught up on that last one. I’ll cover the others at some point, if I don’t get distracted and decide there’s other shit I want to discuss, because that’s how blogs work.

Dean Winchester
If I could watch any man clean a gun naked…

Where was I?

When I was five-years-old, my Gramma had this warm, sweet, cuddly little kitten named Calamity.


Hahaha. I’m just lying. It was really an under grown chupacabra and it ate souls. Regardless of the hellfire coursing through Calamity’s veins, though, my Gramma liked this stray enough to claim it as her own… sort of… it’s difficult to cage that sort of creature in anything but a circle of salt. My dad, however, has always been one of those redneck men who thinks it’s funny to tell stories of cats dying. Yeah… that’s a thing, here in the Midwest.

At the time, my brother was just like any eight-year-old boy, hero worshipping his dad while running around barefoot on an acreage, shooting things with a blow dart gun, after having handcuffed his little sister in a field. So when my dad jokingly (says he) told Bo to shoot Calamity with a blow dart… he did… and she crawled away to die. Yes, someone please tell this story at my next wedding.

So a few days after the demise of Calamity, my Gramma wondered where she’d gone. She asked my parents and my brother and they swore they didn’t know. It really was a shame that she’d run off. Then she asked me.

Me: “Dad told Bo to shoot him with a blow dart, so he did.”

Horrified Senior WomanA few years later, a neighbor’s un-collared and often unfed dog kept killing our chickens. One day, I came home from school, all alone at eight-years-old, because that’s totally safe, and found my rabbits inside-out all over the back lawn. You can spread pet rabbit pretty thin, y’all. I called my mother in hysterics and then just a week or so later, the neighbor’s dog met with my daddy’s gun and he buried him the back field… because my father is Jed Clampett.

jed clampett

A week or so later, one of the neighbor kids asked if we’d seen his dog.

Bo: “No.”
Me: “Yeah, my dad shot him and buried him in our field.”
Bo: “Shut-up, Belle!” :silence: “She’s kidding.”

My dad was within his full legal rights to kill this dog that was trespassing on his land, so despite the threats, there were no consequences… for everyone except me. Yes, that’s right. I got yelled at when my eight-year-old brother went full-on Dexter on my Gramma’s cat. I got yelled at when my dad tried to start his own Hatfield-McCoy feud.

As I got older, though, I naturally developed the ability to empathize with people appropriately and recognize the importance of breaking significant news in a personal and serious manner. For example, at 18-years-old, I needed to get on birth control and wasn’t sure how to go about doing so with my insurance. So, one afternoon, I sat my mother down and had a serious heart-to-heart, explaining that I had made the adult decision to protect myself.


No, no. I was really helping her clean up dog poop in the backyard and blurted “I’m having sex now and I need to get on birth control.” Roseanne handled that topic better than yours truly.

As the Hometown minister warned during our high school sex-ed class – I shit you fucking not – sex led to pregnancy… three years later. My ex-husband wasn’t working… still. I was just shy of my bachelor’s degree and working at the movie theater, living off financial aid and prayer (which is not so tasty). This was not good news. How to tell my dad? I KNOW! I’ll go to lunch with him and tell him then.

Dad: “So what do you want to eat?”
Me: “I’m pregnant.”

So that’s out of the way. Now how to tell everyone else…

Facebook Status:
Belle is… seven weeks pregnant today.

Then, as I’ve mentioned previously, I lost the baby. It was heartbreaking, physically painful with no medication at the end of my first/start of my second trimester, messier than those Lifetime movies ever said, and absolutely terrifying since I was all alone. So I called my Gramma and my dad. I told my mother when she showed up unannounced. I texted my brother, since we weren’t very close. It wasn’t perfect, but it was personal… enough.

So that’s out of the way. Now how to tell everyone else…

Facebook Status:
I lost the baby. I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want your apologies or to hear your awful miscarriage stories. Just leave me alone.

puppet show
It was between that and…

A little over a year later, I’d had enough of the stealing, the lying, the pet abuse and murder, the make-believe jobs… you know, marriage.

Wait. Shut the front door! That’s not how marriage works?!?! Wha…?!?!

So, I told my ex-husband he needed to leave… and he said no.

Wait… that’s not how divorce works either…

Over the course of the next few months, I continued to tell him to leave, often loudly, occasionally with projectiles.

Ex-husband: “We never have any fucking food!”
Me: “Then maybe you should GET OUT.”

disney couples
Oh, just suck my big fat furry dick, Disney.

At this point, I probably should’ve reached out to someone, told my family what was up, let my daddy bury the bastard in the back field… but nah. I suffered in silence. Finally, I threatened to call the police, on Jay’s advice, and my ex-husband left. He kept sneaking in and taking things, but I didn’t have the emotional capacity to deal with that, so I still called it a win. Then I filed the paper work two weeks later.

Chad: “You seriously need to tell your family.”
Me: “I will… eventually.”

It was two weeks before Christmas, when I finally got up the nerve to tell my Gramma. I lay on her bed, staring at the ceiling, while she watched the news. Neither of us had been talking.

Me: “Gramma?”
Gramma: “Yeah?”
Me: “I’m getting a divorce.”
Gramma: in an almost bored tone “Are you really?”
Me: “Yeah… like I filed the paper work already.”
Gramma: “Huh.”

You see! That is why emotion freaks me out. She wasn’t mad. She fully believed me. She was glad I was leaving. She just understands that feelings are for the inside.

kristen stewart
There’s a girl who knows how it’s done!

Voicemail: “Hey, Bo. It’s Belle. I just called to tell you I’m getting a divorce. He wouldn’t work. I couldn’t do it anymore. I don’t want you to be disappointed in me. Love you.”

text conversation with my mother
Me: “I filed for divorce.”
Mother: “Do you need anything?”
Me: “I’d really like that Fossil purse for Christmas.”

Then the most epic of all. I pulled up to my dad’s house, knocked on his door.
Dad: “Hey kiddo. What’s goin’ on?”
Me: “I’mgettingadivorce. I’msorryIruinedChristmas.”
Dad: “Do what?”
Me: “I’m getting a divorce. I’m sorry I ruined Christmas.”

ruined christmas

Since then, there have been numerous breaking news faux pas.

Me: “Do you like memoirs?”
Gail: “Yeah, sometimes.”
Me: “I do. I really like biographies too. I did shots with Chad and let him feel me up last night. I just really like to read another person’s story, ya know?”
Gail: silence… “Yeah. I’d love to hear another person’s story, too.”

Text message
Me: “I just woke up on my grandma’s patio after passing out from the heat.”
Gail: “WTF? Seriously?”

This particular incident was accompanied by an “I need a ride to the E.R.” text message to my step-mother a couple of days later, when I couldn’t stop vomiting from the concussion.

Over the years, I’ve just accepted it. I am never going to be able to tell anyone anything important in a grown-up manner. There will one day exist the “Honey, I’m pregnant” text message. It’s actually become a running joke.

conversation with my female cousin Mick, the baby of the family
Me: “Well, if you ever do decide to join the Air Force to be a pilot, just remember, the best way to break serious news is via Facebook. ‘Mick… just joined the Air Force. Love y’all.'”
Mick: sitting next to her mother “Yeah… I think that one might get me into a lot of trouble.”
Me: “Well, yeah. That’s why you ‘lose your phone’ that day.”

When Gail was raped and couldn’t figure out how to tell her boyfriend a couple of weeks later (he’d been out of town), I suggested a cake with the words “Your girlfriend was raped” on it. The guy’s had enough bad news. Why not give him a cake, too? Do you have no compassion at all?!?

I also suggested a barber shop quartet… and wrote the lyrics, which did make Gail laugh and that was the whole point. Duh. She’d just been raped, yo.

“Your one and only girlfriend was ra-a-aped.”

barbershop quartet

I give the best fucking advice.

Sidenote: This incident will also be covered in the topics “Express Sympathy Appropriately” and “Manage Heartbreak Without Humor.”

The fact of the matter is, of the Shit I Can’t Do, several share one foundational issue. Emotion is horribly uncomforatble and should be hidden like the last fucking horcrux.

horcrux cave
Right there. That is where your feelings go.

Why I may or may not be too stupid to date.

So not only do I not have time to date right now, but you know that scene in Where the Heart Is, where Natalie Portman has decided to teach herself to read after giving birth in a Wal-Mart? She explains that it’s absolutely exhausting because she has to look up every other word in the dictionary and then look up those words in the children’s dictionary. That’s me, but with dating, because I have no idea what the fuck I am doing.

natalie portman wedding
She eventually mastered both, however.

A few months ago, I went on a date with Engineer. He was cute enough in his pictures, had a big boy job, and the conversation had gone alright online, so I met him at a fast food restaurant after work one evening. I had homework to do, but figured I could fit in a little bit of a social life (wrong). As I was driving away from our first meeting, I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I just didn’t like him. Gail’s always telling me I don’t give guys enough of a chance, because she’ll go out with a guy whose shoes are made of wheat at least four times before she gets tired of hearing about how he’s going to make it big with his “art” one day, so the McJob is just temporary. So, after leaving Engineer, I thought of several reasons not to like him, but didn’t want to share any of them with Gail, because I was afraid she’d tell me I was going to die alone. I did, however, tell her when Engineer asked for a second date. I left out everything negative and she, naturally, encouraged me to continue getting to know him. A couple of days later, I sent Gail this text:

“I canceled my date with Engineer. I just really don’t like him and didn’t want you to tell me I’d die alone.”

At this point, I think Gail realized that she’d been making enough jokes about my dating habits to convince me I couldn’t confide in her and that’s how we both ended up married to lunatics that one time. So she called and was absolutely non-judgemental, but wanted to hear the whole story, because we tell each other everything.

bloody wedding dress
I never was sure what to do with that dress.

First off, this guy hated THE UNIVERSE. He was one of those people who thought that disliking things made him superior. He immediately insulted Twilight and anyone who reads “that stupid vampire crap.” I’ve read five books about vampires this month and had a private True Blood marathon this week. I like Superman, but Batman is better. I hardly watch T.V., but he didn’t even own a T.V. and was super proud of that fact, despite watching the shows he likes on his computer. That’s still screen time! He didn’t read and had never been to the local library. He was oddly against drinking at all and clearly judged anyone who wasn’t. He thought religion was stupid and that football was a waste of time. He didn’t like any movies and told me he hates all music, because it’s all the same.  For fucking realz, yo. On the way home, trying to pinpoint why I didn’t like him, I just kept thinking of how little we had in common… because he’d have nothing in common with anyone living. Then, venting to my best gal, the one person who is always on my side, I remembered… the rest.

Me: “I actually hurt my back really badly when I decided to take up running the same week I tried a P90X vid…”
Engineer: “Okay, no offense, but there’s no way you can do P90X.”
Me: “I was going to say it was just the ab exercise.”

He immediately told me he had ADHD and proved he loved to talk about it. He actually stopped speaking for a moment (but only a single moment in the whole fucking date) to tap the shiny lightbulb and comment on how it was shiny and he liked shiny things. It was like his dialogue was written by a 14-year-old who thinks that’s what people with ADHD say.

Me: “So if your ADHD is so bad, how’d you get through college with such trouble focusing?”
Engineer: “I slept. The professors knew that if they woke me up, I’d just correct all of their answers and embarrass them, so they just let me sleep.”

… and….

Engineer: “So I was working as a janitor at this plant, after college, and it just sucked, because I knew I was smarter than every single person there.”

I felt like the best case scenario would be dating for a couple of weeks before I lost my shit and shouted “OH MY GOSH! You hate everything but yourself! Why am I even here?!?!”

… because finally…

Me: talking about how my dad wants bragging rights from his kids “He loves to tell people that I have a master’s degree at 25, even though I’m not finished yet.”
Engineer: “Bet he doesn’t tell them what it’s in, though.”

Oh, go suck a bag of dicks! On your way, be sure to get distracted and suck a bag of super SHINY dicks!

chrome penis
I seriously need to turn on the SAFE SEARCH.

So how does all of this make me stupid? It was a bad date that I tried to smooth over. Maybe I gave that unreasonable effort, but anyone can be the victim of a bad date. “Too stupid to date” is awfully harsh.

The thing is, for someone who shouted “HOLY FUCKING CUNT ROLLS!” the other day, I have it on good authority that I can be shockingly naive. I didn’t even think to tell Gail the following until the end of the story.

Me: “Well, he did say one thing that might have been kind of weird, but I think I was reading into it.”
Gail: “What did he say?”
Me: “Well… um… nevermind. It sounds worse than it is when I say it out loud.”
Gail: “What did he say?!?!”
Me: “Well, when I texted to ask what intersection we were meeting at, he responded with ‘the restaurant or my apartment?’, but I think he just misunderstood what I was asking.”
Gail: imitating my voice… poorly  “Ell oh ell! You don’t know how words work!”

She thinks she’s the sweet one.

Me: “That can’t be what he meant! It was the first time we’d met! He did not want to have sex with me. He said he was looking for an actual relationship. People don’t do that.”
Gail: “Yes, Belle. They do. That is exactly what he meant. Also, he was lying.”
Me: “Oh, it is not. We’re too old for those games. If he wanted sex, he’d say so online. But… wait… maybe…”
Gail: “Maybe what?!? What else did he say?!?!”
Me: “Well, when he asked me to go on the second date, he asked what I was doing and said he was watching Arrow. I said I like that show and he asked if I wanted to watch it with him, but I’m sure he meant at some undetermined time in the future!” I spit the last part out before she could interrupt.
Gail: “Oh, he did not! He wanted you to come over right then so he could pretend his computer was broken and fuck.”
Me: “You’re making that up! He called me fat on the first date! No one does that! Ewwww.”
Gail: “Well, clearly he didn’t mind, because that’s what he meant.”
Me: “Maybe he wanted me to go over there, but that doesn’t mean he wanted to have sex. You’ve gone to men’s apartments several times when you’ve just met.”
Gail: “Yeah… and I knew what they wanted.”
Me: “Wait, then what did he mean when he said ‘if tomorrow night goes well’?”
Gail: “OH MY GOD! I am so glad you didn’t go to this man’s apartment! Do not apologize for canceling and do not talk to him again!”

It’s probably best for Gail’s nerves that I’ve put dating aside for a few months… especially since I never was completely sure of his intentions.

confused on phone

Because even my own embarrassment is funny…

embarrassed lion

“The kid from The Grudge wasn’t Asian. He was Japanese.”
I was 17. I’d like to thank (blame) growing up in the Midwest (population: white) and public education.

“Why would anybody buy a bag of footballs?”
country song: “bag of pigskins”

“You look like Lucy Lui… but not just because you’re Asian or anything. I mean, you’d have to be Asian to look like her, but you just actually look like her.”
In my fear of sounding racist, I sounded super racist.

“Well, the first book in the series is called 50 Shades of Grey and it has a tie on the cover. The second book has a picture of handcuffs on the cover. It’s called 50 Shades Dee-Darker. I almost said Fifty Shades Deeper. That’s embarrassing.”
That’s right. I actually stopped myself from saying this awkward and embarrassing thing to a customer who didn’t understand that the material was adult. Then I explained that I’d almost just said something awkward and embarrassing. I should be a public speaker.

Crash. I didn’t really care for this movie.” I suddenly remember I’m not supposed to negatively comment on a customer’s selections… and get flustered and try to make it better. My best friend loved it. It just wasn’t really my thing. We just have really different tastes in women… I mean movies…” How the FUCK do I mean movies?!?!?We have really different tastes in movies. She made me watch THE WOMEN once and we just have really different tastes in movies.”

“It’s just really important to try not to touch yourself while you’re cooking.”
This was during a presentation over food safety and sanitation… in front of a class of about 30 people. I got an A, possibly because the professor couldn’t stop laughing.

“People race foxes?!?”
:in reference to the brand Fox Racing:

Me: “We’re not lesbians.”
Waitress: “What?”
Me: “Before. You took our names and you called her my partner. We’re not lesbians. I just wanted to clarify.”
Waitress: “Um… I’m sorry? I didn’t say that.”
Me: “Yeah, you did. Before, when you took down our names. It’s okay, though. You must’ve forgotten.”
Gail: “It’s not the same person.”
Me: “Yes it is.”
Gail: “No. It’s not.”
Me: “Yes it is. Wait. She wasn’t pregnant, was she?”
Gail: “No. Because it’s not the same person.”
Me: “Oh. Um…”
That’s right. Because it would’ve been more embarrassing to admit I’d made this appalling mistake than to try and convince the waitress that she did, in fact, call us lesbians.

Me: “I like your scarf.”
Customer: “Thank you! I got it at Ross.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “I got it at Ross.”

Me: “OH! I thought you said ‘I’ve gotta get bras.'”
Why the FUCK do I clarify the embarrassing part when I have successfully avoided it?!?!

Me: “I thought Benjamin Franklin was a president until I was 19-years-old.”
Gail: hysterical laughter
Me: “What?!? He’s on money! That’s like if Louisa Mae Alcott was on the $27 bill or something.” 

Gail: “Why Louisa Mae Alcott?”
Me: “Um… because she wasn’t a president either. Duh.”
I probably could’ve just avoided telling anyone that story.

Me: “Why would I care what nationality my mechanic is?”
The sign read “Japanese Mechanic.”

Cowork C: “What’s the name of that one?”
Me: “I don’t even know.” I did fucking, too. It was Pleasures of a Dark Prince and I was not saying that.
Coworker C: gestures for me to turn it over. I do and there’s a receipt taped to the front so no one can see the cover art.

Me: “I just… uh… it’s part of of… um… it’s just some series… the uh… dark immortals… or immortals dark… or uh something… um Immortals After Dark. Yeah that’s it. It’s paranormal romance. Not something you’d be interested in.”
It was the verbal equivalent of tripping over a chair and I rocked it.

Coworker B: yanks my Kindle from in front of me “Wow. I wish I could read print that small!” I don’t. I had an explicit sex scene on the screen at that very moment. We’re talking key terms like “errection” and “tight sheath.” I once tried to show the same coworker a picture on my phone, only to have forgotten about the picture of Black lesbian sex I’d sent one of the guys as a joke. Let’s hope she couldn’t see a thumbnail picture that small either.

Customer: “And this will let me view the Nook books?”
Me: “Yeah, we have a great e-media selection. Let me show you.”
I turn the screen toward her and pull up my personal account. The following book covers are prominently displayed:
bitten never cry wolf slave to sensationwhen you dare

“I’m sorry I insulted your baby on Facebook.”

I’m not good with apologies.

I’m not just bad with them in general; I’m terrible at knowing when I should apologize and when I should just leave it alone. I do, however, know how to use a semicolon, so it all evens out.

Don’t get me wrong. If I make a complete asshat out of myself, I apologize sincerely and profusely.


I’ve been with one person and Gail’s been with half a dozen, so I make jokes all the time about how she’s a slut. I’m 100% kidding. It’s her body. I love her. If she had sex with 46 people in the next week, I’d mostly be concerned with her mental health, as that’s out of character for her, and I’d want some time management tips, cuz damn. But I wouldn’t douse her with holy water, judge her, or love her any less. She knows this. So she was dating this guy and they’d fooled around for the first time. She’d given me every detail, of course. She seemed a little uncomfortable with what had happened, but it wasn’t that big of a deal… so I forgot. It was a few days later and I was texting her.

Gail: I’ve had a long day and I don’t feel well.
Me: Maybe that’s because you swallow so much cum.

It actually had nothing to do with the guy. It was just a standard joke. She’s used to them. She likes to fancy herself the sweet one, so she surrounds herself with douche bags. That’s her mental fracture, not mine.

silence for about 10 minutes when we’d been texting back and forth

Me: Hey, I’m sorry if that was too much. I was just kidding. I didn’t mean to make you mad.
Gail: Yeah. I haven’t heard from Brandon since then.

OUCH. Poor Gail. Later, she came over and asked:

Gail: “You know how we have this mean and sarcastic relationship?”
Me: “Yeah?”
Gail: “Well, today we don’t.”

Then she hugged me and cried. We don’t hug. We don’t cry. We make sarcastic jokes about rape and our dead babies and other people overhear and think we’re sadistic fucks, when we really just can’t process adult emotions in regards to trauma. It’s our secret handshake.

So, obviously I apologized and did so sincerely.

Then there are fuzzier times when I’m not sure if I should apologize. Invariably, I do and it’s always super awkward, such as the following with a girl from high school who’d recently confided in me about her divorce.

Me: link to a blog on biblical misinterpretations of the subject of divorce
G: Thanks for sharing! It’s so sweet that you always think of me! I enjoyed reading that.

Alrighty then. Now’s the time where normal people end the conversation.

Wait. I just sent her another blog on divorce like 4 days ago.

I’m overthinking this. I should stop now.

She’s got the whole world talking behind her back and I’m repeatedly sending her self-help links? What the fuck? That’s not supportive. I should apologize.

No. You shouldn’t. You should leave it alone.

Me: You’re welcome. I follow the divorce feed on WordPress. I hope you don’t think its pointed like “clearly you need help” or anything. When I read them and they make me feel better, I just think you might like them too.

facepalm cat


This is copy and fucking paste, people. That was today. That’s how often this shit happens.

G: Oh no, I didn’t take it that way at all lol.
Me: Lol. good. I just knew you’d been getting religious takes on it and thought that one was interesting
G: It most definitely was.
Me: I’ve been blog obsessed lately. Lol.

Oh my God. Just stop talking. Just shut the fuck up. It’s not improving.

This was minutes ago. Thankfully, I finally stopped.

Then there are the times when I really should apologize, but I’m not sure how.

Coworker L: “Happy birthday!”
Coworker K: “You are the first person who’s said that today! Everyone at school knew and was just like ‘Oh.'”
Me: not even in the conversation and therefore should not be talking “Well, that was horribly ungrateful. What a thank you. Geez.”
Coworker K: looks embarrassed at my deadpanned straight-faced joking “Well, I… I didn’t mean it like that…”

Say something. Apologize.

Coworker K: assures Coworker L that she didn’t mean to be rude as I stand in contemplating silence
Me: “Oh, God, I’m kidding. I was just joking. I didn’t mean it. I’m sorry.”

That’s right, Belle. Say it four times seven hours later. Then write it on a slab of wood and hit her in the head with it. Or perhaps, save your humor for the 12 people on planet Earth who get it.

That was a year or so ago. Thankfully, these coworkers are the ones who shelve books part time (Pages), so they have no inclination to work in libraries forever and are the few people in the system who sort of know my humor now… until we get the dreaded new guy.

Me: Hey, did you ever watch Friends?
Coworker C: “Yeah… a few episodes. Why?”
Me: “Well, do you remember the episode where Ross has just moved into the building and they want a $100 donation from him for the retiring maintenance guy and he doesn’t give it and then everyone hates him?”

Why can’t you just ask a fucking question without an obscure 90s television reference?

Coworker C: “Uh…”
Me: “They’re going in on a gift for Pregnant Coworker and they want people to contribute.”
Coworker C: “After payday?”
Me: “Yes. Don’t worry. If you don’t want to donate, we’ll just put your name on Coworker K’s We Hate You and Your Baby card.”

Okay. Laugh or something. He’s clearly not getting that you’re kidding.

Me: “I’m kidding. I’m sorry. The Pages are the only ones I joke like this with and I used to with Coworker N and now you’re the new computer tech…”

Shut. Up. Shut. Up. Shut. Up.

Then, there are the times when I don’t think I should apologize, because I didn’t do anything wrong.

Gail had said she couldn’t hang out, because she was working. Later she texted about being at lunch with a friend in the city.

Me: Tough day at work.
Gail: Hey, you were working and he was available and I always hang out with you and I never see him. I wasn’t going to just not do anything because you couldn’t hang out yet.
Me: Yeah, I didn’t say you should.
Gail: You pretty much just called me a liar.
Me: Well, I’m sorry you chose to take it that way.

Gail and I never fight. Ever. We’re incredibly in sync and just know what buttons not to push, for one. Secondly, we’re passive assertive people. We don’t like confrontation. I was kidding with the original comment, in inquiry as to what changed her day so drastically. She took it as a challenge to her gal pal loyalty, because she’s insane. I explained later and cleared everything up, but I was so annoyed that she’d assume I was so possessive as to pee a circle around her that I just gave the deliberately antagonizing NOT apology of “I’m sorry that this is your fault.”

Around Thanksgiving, Married-In Crazy Relative went psychotic on me for deciding to make other plans rather than go to her dinner to which I was never officially invited. Actual Relative (also crazy for marrying her) wanted me to just give in and apologize and go.

“I’m sorry that you’re a cunt and I had no say in whether or not I was related to you. We’ve got a pool going on your divorce.”

Yeah, I chose not to apologize at all that time. I think it was for the best.

So, now, here I am, with likely my fifth awkward Should-I? moment of the day.

Cousin’s Status Update:
Soo very thankful for everyone that came over today for Mjs 1st Birthday! Wow! What a great day it was! We are SO blessed! Thank you again! Pics to come!! 😉
My Comment:
I had to work.  😦 kiss her big ol’ ears for me!
Cousin’s Response: She doesn’t have big ears but ill kiss her for you 😉
My Response: Haha. They’re adorable, whatever their classification.

Head in Hands Fuck

You should just leave it. You called them adorable. Even though, they’re enormous and she’s said so before. Ugh. People are weird about insulting their babies… probably because no one insults babies. Who the fuck insults someone’s baby?!?! What the hell is wrong with you?!?! Even if she HAS called her ears big, you’re supposed to reassure her that they’re normal. She probably doesn’t care. Of course she cares. You called her baby a yard gnome.

Do not apologize. Leave it be.

Maybe I’ll actually say “I’m sorry I insulted your baby on Facebook.”


All I Want For Christmas Is Me: A Single Girl’s Christmas Ramble

At Least 12 Things I Shouldn’t Have Said This Christmas

Discussing my cousin’s bracelet made of her horse’s hair:
Me: “Well, I’m glad you like it, but it’s weird.”
Other Cousin: “It’s not weird. It’d be like if you made something out of your dog’s hair.”
Me: “Or maybe I’ll just cut off his foot and make it into a necklace… or a keychain for good luck!”

Discussing same bracelet later:
“I once donated my hair to Locks of Love. That’s sort of the same.”

Me: “So where’s your gal?”
Cousin: “Oh, we’re not together.”
Me: “What?”
Cousin: “S and I aren’t together.”
Me: “What did that mean? Like today or anymore?”
The answer was anymore and I. Am. Smooth.

“Come on. The gifts we get at the big family Dirty Santa always suck and everyone knows it.”

“Oh, no. The library carries all kinds of books. If it’s in demand and the public wants to read about his throbbing member, then that’s what we have.”

“Next year, when you play the game with us for the first time, just know that it’s tradition for the youngest member to get an adult gift, preferably from a sex shop.”

“Taste this and tell me if I’m just not a wine person or if it really does taste like vinegar… and salt… and urine.”

Discussing my four and a half year old niece:
“You know… I think she’s old enough now, that she’s gotten to the age where I really don’t like her anymore.”

“Icy Hot in the lube.”

Brother: “Why’s she crying?”
Me: “She’s being a brat.”

Aunt: “Now why didn’t L and L come?”
Me: “Because they’re selfish and self-absorbed.”

Discussing Uggs:
“I know they’re covered in sheep blood, but they’re so freaking comfortable, I don’t even care.”

Christmas Confessions

I took the batteries out of my vibrator and put them in the Furby my Gramma got me.

I danced to Michael Bluble’s Christmas CD wearing nothing but a pink sparkly Santa hat.

My dog has a Christmas stocking and I played Santa.

The gift I made for you that seemed so thoughtful? I forgot about you this year and found that in my yarn bin, leftover from last year.

It’s possible that I worked on your Christmas present on the toilet.

My Homemade Themed Dirty Santa contribution was a hat I’d made for myself and messed up.

I only gave you that peanut brittle, because it was the batch I botched.

I Made Your Christmas Present Because I’m Cheap and Didn’t Want to Buy You Anything

lily's hat

britt's hatIt’s a baseball.


Proof That My Gramma Knows Me

ove gloveI burn myself every time I cook… usually while talking on the phone with her.

Hellz yeah, nostalgia!


Proof That My Grandpa Doesn’t

sparkly spongeIt’s a blinging pink sponge. To be fair, I do like pink… and clean stuff.

A Single Girls’ Christmas in Photos

storm air quotesIn the Midwest, we threaten to cancel Christmas for this “winter storm.”

dog stocking My stocking… and the dog’s.

hair dryerI don’t need a boy to clear the ice off my car! VAGINA POWER!

pina colada

pink santa hat

redmecl wine glass Redneck wine glass I won in Dirty Santa. Don’t worry. There are two, so they’ll match.

Five Reasons Why I’m Secretly Not Sexy

I’ve put on my tiniest skirt and cowgirl boots, actually used hairspray, and haven’t accidentally told this cute guy that his job is pretend and his football team sucks. I am on a roll. Regardless, I am just barely pulling off sexy and here’s why:

1. You can’t tell, but I’m dressed like a Rugrats character.
That cute little jean skirt I’m wearing? It’s a skort. That’s right, a skort: the combination skirt/shorts that are usually only found on five-year-olds who don’t want to flash their Dora panties on the jungle gym. No, I didn’t intentionally dress like a Kindergartener to go to the bar. I’m just cheap, it was $3 at Goodwill, and I don’t intend to let a strange man put his hand up my skirt anyway, so he’ll never have to know.

2. Victoria’s What?
The sexiest undergarments I own came from the Hanes store during a BOGO sale and I accidentally dyed one of them some not-a-color in the wash. I also just called my bra an “undergarment.” I work two jobs and I’m in graduate school. No matter how much I’d like to, I can’t afford to buy fancy sex clothes that no one is going to see. My cotton underwear came in a pack of six at Wal-Mart for $8 and I probably didn’t throw them away when the elastic popped. Wearing this skort, I’m likely in a $2 neon green thong, but in that tiny pink lace dress? Chances are good I’m wearing high-rises, because they smooth over my lumps better and are more comfortable than tummy tucker panties. That’s right. I said lumps. The logic here is the same. I’m not going home with a guy in a bar, so no one has to know my underwear has a faded zebra print on it and my bra is the color of dirty dishwater. Not even my socks match. You can’t tell, because of the boots, but I’m wearing one teal sock with black birds on it and one rainbow sock, because I couldn’t find their matches.

3. I have no idea what I’m doing.
At any point in the night, I’m lucky if I haven’t just blurted out “How tall are you?” because the apparent truth is “not very.” It’s not that I’m trying to be an ass. It’s just that I’ve been dating for less than a year and I’m not that subtle anyway. I’m not only completely clueless as to what I’m doing in this bar, though; I’m about as experienced in bed as I am at spelunking. I don’t even know what spelunking is if that says anything at all. Yes, I was married for four and half years, but we only had sex for three of them… and rarely. When we did, it was always the exact same thing, in the exact same order, and for a very short period of time. The last time I actually had sex was early 2010 and it was extremely unpleasant. That was almost three years ago. Holy shit, I haven’t had sex in three years… and I’ve never had good sex. Sure, I know how to please myself, but even if we get to the fourteenth or so date it would take for sexual activity to be involved, I’m not so sure I even remember what hole it goes in anymore. I can count the number of people I’ve kissed on one hand and half of those don’t even count. I wouldn’t know what to do with my bits or his bits. In general, I’ve got all the downsides of virginity and none of its untainted perks.

4. I’m kind of afraid of him. 
Gailis perpetually trying to either instill in me a gut-wrenching paranoia about men or get me to give the one-eyed maintenance man a chance so we can double date. This compels me to talk to just about everyone who approaches me while simultaneously thinking “It’s okay. I own guns.” It’s not just an issue of physical safety, though Gail might have me believe “What are you drinking?” really means “Will it cover the taste of the pills in my pocket?” If I don’t just stop speaking to this man, I have to risk actual vulnerability or one day even :gasp: trust. Even on the most basic level, that’s horrifying. So, as I cross my booted legs in front of me, it’s really to keep him from leaning in more closely. It’s also no coincidence that my body is mostly turned away from him during a dance. Nor is it natural to hold my drink by the rim with my palm over the top as I keep backing up to stand by best friend instead of this stranger. I’m not playing hard to get. I just have deep-seated emotional traumas for which I refuse to seek help.. and that is haaaawt.

Fuck, Gail. You’re so paranoid. It’s just lime seasoning.

5. He’s not getting laid anyway.
Hypothetically (because this has never happened), maybe he’s cute and didn’t open with “Hey, there. I’ve never hit a woman” (that has). He’s got a big boy job and he even made me laugh. He wants to hear about my job and doesn’t ask “So, why do you need a master’s degree for that?” He’s got real points where they count… but, for all of the aforementioned reasons and then some, I’m still not going home with him. For one, I’m in a fucking skort and my dishwater bra. It’s also been years since anyone’s seen my breast reduction scars or heard the sounds I make during sex. As a side effect of my marriage, I can’t even sleep alone without my purse next to me and regularly wake up in a panic anyway. Like I’m going to be that exposed with even the nicest stranger ever. I also used to weigh 260 pounds and it takes a lot to go from “that fat chick” to “the girl who gave me head at the cowboy bar.” I really don’t care what people do with their own bodies. It makes no difference to me whether or not your vagina has been broken in if you’re a consenting adult. I, however, am far too inexperienced and insecure because of it to be naked with another person in the room. Gail mentioned that if I went to a movie with Engineer, he’d hold my hand and I freaked the fuck out. So, it’s pretty safe to say that I am doing nothing with a man in a bar that I couldn’t tell my daddy about later.

I could probably theme this entire blog around learning to date at an age when everyone else knows what they’re doing, though I’m not really into the idea of a theme that’s any more specific than That Librarian Who Says Fuck A Lot. The fact remains, that in any given situation where a guy thinks I’m fuckable, all he’s got to do is scratch the surface. At this point, I think I should probably shoot for my social awkwardness to be considered endearing, rather than sexy.