Notes from South of the Border

And we are not talking Taco Bell. Last week Mr. McMichael and I went on vacation. VACATION! And we stayed at the most incredible place ever. Ever. Let me just say that everyday should begin with fresh squeezed orange juice on the deck of a bungalow with a breakfast that includes refried beans (REFRIED BEANS!) and end with a dip in an infinity pool under the moon and stars.

There was so much goodness on this trip. So much. We warmed up our cold, soggy, Seattle selves, we learned how to surf, we ate and ate and ate. Mmmmm, guacamole. But I cannot tell a lie, not everything in Mexico was perfect (although the poolside cabana was pretty darn close).

Mr. McMichael and I decided to have a "fancy" dinner at the hotel. He ordered the pescado (fish), and I ordered the filet. We were hanging out on the deck while they were preparing the meal, and we heard pounding, a lot of aggressive pounding. Mr. M made a casual joke that they were tenderizing the steak. Ha, ha, ha, it's funny because you don't tenderize filet. Oh, but they tenderized the filet flat. And then cooked it well done. STOP THE MADNESS! Which makes me wonder if I could have communicated with the cook more in Spanish, than in the language of charades, could I have saved that poor helpless filet? No tenderizo. No pummelo el steako. Alfredo, el hammer es muy bad.

Note to self: Learn Spanish.


Cover to cover

Note to self: Don't judge books by their covers, you might actually end up liking one that you would have overlooked.

When I was in the world of dating on the Internets, I created some serious filters for myself. You've got to, there are some creepers out there and you had to weed out some of the most extraordinary ones. While I would have loved to have more stories for you all, I was honestly looking for people with real dating material. And to find those people, I thought I needed to define all of the things that likely made Little Ms. Notetaker's Mr. Right:
  • Age 30-36
  • Living in Seattle (on the "cool" side of the bridge)
  • Never been married
  • No kids--especially kids living with him
  • College degree
I knew at the time that I was limiting myself, potentially locking out some good catches, but it was a risk I was willing to take. Also at the time, I was tired of dating on the Internets and didn't really believe I would find anyone there. Little did I know, I was right on both accounts.

I met Mr. McMichael while we were in a play together, and had we met on the Internets, well, let's just say, we wouldn't have met. You see, he lies outside of my age range, he lives in the suburbs ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BRIDGE, what?! As far as I was concerned, that was a long-distance relationship. He has been married and has a son, and while he has college experience, no official degree.

This weekend I met Mr. McMichael's dad, and we got to talking about how we met and how we are seemingly so different. I agreed with him that we do have very different experiences, backgrounds, and even hobbies, there's a lot about us that are similar, and for what's not similar, I think it's complementary. Opposites attract, right?

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. The filters weren't arbitrary, I can, could, and did justify them. However, had I applied my filters after meeting Mr. McMichael, I would have been so wrong and would be missing out on something so right.


Defending the indefensible

I don't know what is more preposterous to me: that I have two consecutive blog posts that mention The Bachelor, or that I've actually watched two episodes. Why have I let myself get sucked in? Begin self-loathing flogging, now.

I'm thinking--perhaps ignorantly--that I can quit the show at any time. Any given Monday, I can turn the TV off and just walk away. Ah, famous last words of any addict, right? Well, whether or not I quit cold turkey, I've got something to say about the ridiculousness that is The Bachelor.

If you happened to see the show (it's okay, you don't have to publicly admit that you watched it, I type as I feel the scorn of several of my friends, family members, boyfriend, and even strangers), you know the sensationalistic drama that unfolded tonight and that is so paramount to this show's--and all other reality television--success. While the host and the producers will have you believe that this is their worst nightmare, it is actually the stuff of which dreams--and apparently quests for one's absolutely true soul mate--are made. Ka-ching!

Ahem. So here's my beef with the whole thing. The staff and cast (yes, cast, come on girls, you've only met the guy once or twice, you cannot be that heartbroken over him, your tears and acting are only convincing to yourselves) are all so incredibly righteous about this instance and they are failing to see the complete hypocrisy of their ways.

I get it. The girl on the cast, should not have entered into an "inappropriate relationship" with one of the staff members. Shame on her for doing that--and a few hours before she was professing her love and hope for eternal life with the hunka hunka burnin' star of the show. Definitely poor taste and questionable morals. And shame on the staffer for violating his work policy.

But I throw out an even bigger shame on the show, and shame on the bachelor himself. Yes, that flirty little girl of questionable moral stature and the staffer should be held accountable for their actions. But, for the bachelor to be all, "I'm here to find my wife. I know my soul mate is in this room. I can't believe she did that to me. Blah, blah, blah." For the show to crucify the flirty little girl of questionable moral stature for betraying the trust of the bachelor absolutely kills me. He gets all emotional about it, and is so incredulous about the fact that she's telling him she's falling for him, and she wants to be with him, but just a few hours prior, she was with some other guy. Ring, ring. "Um, hello? Oh, yes, I'll get him. Hey, Kettle. It's the Pot calling for you."

There are several things that I just cannot handle with this show: idiocy, desperateness, the tragic women that truly believe their world has just ended because the fifteen minutes they spent with a guy while his attention is on the dozen other bikini-clad women hanging all over him did not produce a golden ticket to the white picket fence and 2.5 children. But of all the things, what makes me absolutely batty is the fact that these women continue to see this man as valiant, and honorable, and wonderful even while he talks--and kisses and does a lot of other things--out of both sides of his mouth. If the previews for the season are any indication, this guy is like almost all of the other guys that have shot to Bachelor fame: "falling in love" with multiple girls at the same time. And all the things that come along with falling in love, he'll do with those multiple girls. AND EVERYONE INVOLVED IS OKAY WITH THAT?! Sure, they may say they aren't okay with things in the confessionals, but they are on their best behavior when their potential husband is watching, and bite their tongues and bide their time, and just hope that in the end they are the Highlander of Hotties. Nobody bats an eye, when he's making out in a pool with one girl telling her he thinks she's the love of his life one minute, and the next minute he's doing the same thing with another girl only instead of a pool it's a hot tub, or a pool table, or whatever. Apparently, it's okay for him to do that. That's what we expect. Bachelors will be bachelors. But when one of the pawns, I mean girls, decides maybe she'll play the field and increase her own odds by making out with other available men in her proximity, she's the pariah.

And the bachelor, well, we should feel sorry for his poor bruised ego [insert sad trombone and frowny face here]. But, Internets, there is a silver lining. Fortunately there are 12 other girls at the ready to kiss it and make it feel all better. And they will because at some point, and often simultaneously, each of them is the love-of-his-life-I-could never-live-without-you soul mate.


Chaperoning myself

Why, hello there, Internets! Yes sirree, you are correct, it has been a long time since I've written. But, here I am, ta-da!

Have you been wondering what I've been up to? Well, apparently since I've been not blogging, I have been becoming Little Ms. Couch Potato. Damn you, TV (I am shaking a crooked finger in the general direction of my DirecTV box). And tonight, I fell victim to really bad TV--first The Bachelor and then The Conveyor Belt of Love. You read that right. It's shameful, really. As I sat here, thoroughly disgusted with myself, two thoughts kept coming up for me. Unfortunately neither of those thoughts were, "Turn off the TV, LMNT, and do something productive." Nope. First, I thought THANK GOODNESS (really, thank Mr. McMichael) I'm not one of those women, and second, as awkward as the dating world can be, it sure did give me a crapload of fodder for blog posts, didn't it?

So guess what you're going to get tonight? A "new" dating post.

Fret not, Internets, I'm still quite ecstatically with Mr. McMichael. And more importantly, fret not, Mr. McMichael, I didn't go out on a secret date behind your back just so I could finally have something to write about.

No, we're jumping into the way back machine to learn about some of the crazy I attracted in the past. The captain has illuminated the "Fasten Seat Belt" sign and we have been cleared for take-off. Oh goody.

A few months ago, I got a friend request from a Random Old Dude on Facebook, we'll call him ROD. I saw his picture, and it didn't ring a bell; I looked to see what friends we had in common--zero. I thought this man clearly had me confused with another LMNT, so I denied his request. And let me just say, I don't do that often, but as far as I knew, I didn't know who this guy was and I wasn't getting any clues from his profile or from our lack of common friends, so access denied. Only, ROD is one persistent little dude. He re-requested and I re-denied. While I was home for the holidays, he re-requested yet again. And as I sat there, amazed at ROD's audacity, I think I figured out who he is.

About 11 years ago, when I was in college or grad school, or in between college and grad school, it's all fuzzy, I made the Link go with me to see a band that I loved. A few years before that, I won a handful of tickets in a middle-of-the-night-radio-contest, like you do (the question the DJ posed after playing Wang Chung, "which Cheers character walked into the bar and said, 'Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.'" The answer, Frasier Crane), to go to this small music festival and see this band headline. After hearing them play there, I was hooked. And whenever they'd travel to Denver for a show, I'd be there.

Here's where it all gets a little bit more fuzzy: There is a CD release event for the band up in Boulder and I drag Link up to it. Maybe we win some trivia or something, or get some band schwag. ROD approaches us and starts talking, about what I don't remember, but he was kind of sort of the manager of the band, or a promoter, or just Boulder's superfan or something. Fuzzy I tell you. But what wasn't fuzzy was the fact that I wasn't into him and I was almost 20 years his junior. I was 21, naive, and too nice. And he was pushing 40, not naive and too old--Me? Date someone in his 40s? Pshaw. That right there is pure crazy talk. He asked me out, but I thought it would be more fun if the three of us--ROD, Link, and me--went out instead. Adult group date, wheeeee! Apparently, I'm the only one of the three of us that thought that would be fun. Ah, naivite. I was so far in denial about it being a date. Once I realized it was supposed to be a date, I was so glad for my chaperone Link, partly because I didn't think I'd remember what ROD looked like, and mostly because I didn't want ROD to think I was into him.

Funny thing, even though the fuzz is thick all these years later, I keep denying his requests on Facebook for the same reasons: partly because I don't remember if that's what ROD looked like, and mostly because I don't want ROD to think I am into him. Only I'm not as naive and not as nice these days, it's easy for me to say "no," and then thank goodness for Mr. McMichael.