Constant Communication, Or Why Paul Is Perfect for Me

The Craigs don’t officially communicate with each other daily, aside from maybe a reply on Twitter or a Facebook like. This is probably a combination of being busy and not really feeling the need to keep in constant contact. Sure, we’re a tight group, but weekend dinners and movies are enough. So are our vacations.

I only communicate with two people on a daily basis–Paul and Terra. And talking to Terra that often can be a bit much.

I have a history of getting sick of people. In high school, I used to skip school on occasion just because I needed a day alone. I didn’t want to see anybody. I even went through that with the Craigs at times, and every single person I’ve ever been friends with. Once, my friend Shawn considered me to be one of his best friends and developed a crush on me and messaged me daily. Now, Shawn’s a great guy, but for some reason, I couldn’t take the constant talk. As I’ve gotten older, that feeling has pretty much disappeared but not completely. I occasionally still have moments of, “I DON’T WANT TO TALK TO YOU.”

Enter Paul.

The summer we met, he messaged me every day, and we’d talk for hours. I never got tired of him. He thought he annoyed me, but instead, I looked forward to talking to him every day, even when we’d been up late talking the night before. Nearly two years later, I’ve talked to him every day in some form since.

How’s that for compatibility and exceptions to annoyances? I may never find such a humanoid again, romantically or otherwise.

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Women in Commercials: Tampons

Every female complains about tampon commercials. They like to make us think that their tampons will make our periods full of sunshine and daisies (this WILL happen on birth control, though!), but we know better. So there’s no point in complaining about those.

But Kotex has got a point in with their new one with the girl being all secretive about her period. Why are some girls embarrassed about the periods? Sure, it’s uncomfortable and no one wants to announce or hear, “Be right back, I need to change my tampon” any more than someone wants to announce or here, “Be right back, I have diarrhea” (for some reason, pee seems to be more socially acceptable. No idea why. Regular shit, in some circles, is also acceptable). But at the same time, why does it have to be some shameful thing? Why be all freaked out like, “Oh, can’t let anyone see my tampon!” Everyone knows women have periods. Everyone knows women have to handle them. So who really cares? Why make it seem so shameful?

I mean, sometimes, need overrides discretion. When you’re drunk on New Year’s and your period’s decided to pull a fast one on you and show up at random and you need to ask your cousin for a tampon, sometimes you just have to poke your head in the door and ask for a tampon, even though other partygoers will hear you and laugh. First of all, that shit is actually pretty funny. Second, your options are to sidle next to your cousin and whisper it and create a really awkward situation where no one knows what’s going on, or you can just be real about it.

So thanks, Kotex, for keeping it real. And making great tampons.

Women in Fiction: Jealousy

I never really thought about this until the other day, but fiction has this way of making girls out to be jealous, catty bitches.

I know what you’re thinking. “Because girls are jealous, catty bitches.”

Okay, fine. But movies and TV take this to a whole new level.

Take, for example, two girls arguing. Plenty of times, it ends in, “You’re just jealous because [insert absurd reason for jealousy here]!”

On what planet does this actually happen?

Maybe I’m naive. Maybe I have sane, rational friends. But seriously, never once have I ever even heard of that happening. I get actually being jealous of another girl. Everybody gets jealous. I do believe that it is a normal response and is practically harmless when it’s slight and kept in check, but to actually assume that someone is approaching you about something because they’re jealous?

I mean, how conceited of an assumption is that? Who does that? Who actually assumes that the root of an argument is jealousy? Maybe you’re just an asshole who had to be called out on your shit. Maybe no one is jealous of you. And even if they are, why are you friends with people who don’t want you to be happy but instead want to be better than you so they fell good? And why do people keep using this plot/conflict device that is really illogical, contrived, and a scape goat? Is this all maybe just a sign of a weak writer that needed a fight but couldn’t find a good way to get it going? How come people all the time say, “Men like the ones in the movies don’t exist” but never seem to question the horrible, unrealistic, evil girls, especially when there’s a relatively normal, non-jealous girl talking to you right now?

I need answers!

Less Heavy Business

I can’t really talk about work. Since my job is watching TV shows, movies, and commercials before they air/are released, I signed a confidentiality agreement so I’m not running and telling the whole internet and getting in big trouble. Plus, I don’t think the networks would want me blabbing if I thought something was terrible. If I have something to say after something airs, though, maybe I’ll talk about it.

Paul came over for a bit Friday before leaving for State College on Saturday morning. This long-distance thing sucks more and more each time he leaves. The only time I know I’ll definitely see him next is when he comes home for spring break at the beginning of March. He doesn’t know if or when he’ll be coming home for a weekend, and I don’t know if or when I’ll be able to go visit. If the weather stays warm enough to not snow, I can make it up in the next week or so.

So, while he went back to school, I had dinner with Terra. We finally exchanged Christmas presents. I got her a book of unlikely animal friendships and a hand-painted ornament that says “peace.” She made me a bracelet and a Beatles blanket and got me a Pens shirt. The blanket is this amazing double-layered fleece beast.

And of course, there was much talk of everything going on in our lives, as girls do at dinner.

Meanwhile, I was missing out on a Craig outing for about the thousandth time. I work 3-11. This means while all my friends, most of whom are still in college, were on break and going to dinner and movies all the time, I was missing out. I knew this would happen when I started the shift, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I am glad they keep inviting me out. I appreciate being included.

Apparently what I missed this time included the decision to use the lovely and hilarious CatPaint app to put cats all over pictures of Paul. As awesome as the pictures are, this made me paranoid that they were making fun of him.

I know this to be completely illogical. Marion, who was behind most of it, doesn’t really do things like CatPaint people she doesn’t like. Plus she’s told me on numerous occasions that she likes Paul.

But I do wonder if other Craigs dislike him. Admittedly, it’s hard to form an opinion when he’s gone for most of the year and has probably only hung out with the Craigs five or six times. Even then, he says so little that other than thinking he’s shy and awkward, they wouldn’t be able to form real opinions.

However, I do notice little things on occasion from a minority of the Craigs. Other Craig couples are seemingly kind of put on this pedestal…and then there’s me and Paul. Even Meri and Erio, who barely make it through a party without some kind of drama, seem to be hailed as a fantastic couple.

But like I said–what can we do when he’s barely around?

I used the word “paranoid” for a reason.

Amanda Palmer Is My Spirit Animal

I’m obviously stuck on love and relationship issues right now. I blame this on an incident between friends and Amanda Palmer’s wedding blog, obviously on two opposite ends of the romantic spectrum.

The wedding blog really resonated with me, probably because I’m a lady in love and because Ms. Palmer (or Mrs. Neil Gaiman, if you prefer) said a lot of things that express my own beliefs almost exactly. In some ways, I see a lot of similarities between Amanda and Neil and Paul and myself. Almost like we’re younger versions of them or something.

I’ve explored a lot of this in a well-organized essay-type piece, but talking about things informally is fun!

Like Amanda, I was anti-marriage. My parents have never had the best marriage. That said, I was exposed to my grandparents’ amazing marriage and I’ve since based all my ideas of love and marriage on them. We’ll come to that. I saw marriage as unnecessary. I don’t need a ring or a priest and the government to make it official for me to commit my life to someone. We’ll come to that, too. And while Amanda swore off marriage at 23, I was probably still in high school when I came to this conclusion.

Until I started writing that essay-type piece, I didn’t think Paul and I had some romantic story to tell, but we kind of do. In short, my grandfather was the greatest man I have ever known, for various reasons. Most importantly now, though, he was a true gentleman. He truly loved my grandmother. He’d do any little thing selflessly just to make her life easier, even if that meant simply relieving her of dish duty. They still held hands. They still kissed. I wanted to love and be loved like that. Thanks to just enough encounters with total douchebags, I was convinced I never would and that I’d end up settling for someone who wasn’t what I wanted.

The universe likes to make me look like an ass. So, the very night I met Paul, I happened to hang out with Meri and Sarah and talk all about how I was going to stay single and could never date a guy in college because I can’t stand most guys in college.

Paul was kind of a double-whammy. First, he ruined my single decision. Second, he proved that I could have the man of my dreams.

Paul did gentlemanly things like wait a few dates before kissing me and asking beforehand. The fact that this impressed me should be an indicator of the kind of crap I’d endured from other men. He does any little thing selflessly just to make my life easier (clearing snow off my car, getting things down from the high shelves, cooking for me, offering to go buy Dr. Pepper when I joke that Dr. Thunder is a sad imitation…). I’ve gone from saying, “He reminds me of Pap Pap” to basically saying, “I think Grandma and Pap Pap sent him to me,” because I truly believe that. Even if we don’t last, I’ll come out of this relationship with renewed faith in love and men and a better outlook than I had when we met. I have my moments of “I’m never going to do better than this,” and then I think, “That’s stupid. Your silly ideas have already been proven wrong.”

Amazing guys do exist. The nice guy does really get the girl sometimes.

I do think this plays a part in why I get so upset over the bad relationships I’ve watched friends stay in. On the one hand, it’s like I want everyone to have a man like Paul, and on the other hand, I’ve learned that the whole “I’ll never do better” attitude is stupid and I fear others are stuck in it.

I have no idea when I fell in love with him or how I knew. I didn’t have a breakthrough moment, or one where I knew he loved me. I just know that at some point, when I listened to love songs and watched romance movies, I didn’t wonder what that felt like anymore. I didn’t yearn for it. And as far as knowing he loved me goes, I had a lot of learning to do. People make mistakes. His mistakes didn’t mean he didn’t love me, and I don’t know how that crazy idea got in my head. I know he loves me by the way he looks at me and, ironically, by the crushing look of disappointment and pain he gets on his face when he knows he’s hurt me. Or by how committed he is to fixing things when he makes mistakes, and in those little things he does that remind me of Pap Pap. Most of all, though, he smiles a hell of a lot more when we’re together than any other time.

In many ways, our relationship shouldn’t work and almost hasn’t. We’ve nearly dumped each other plenty of times, and once when he was the one contemplating it, he said, “Do you think we’re too different?” I said, “No.” I told him that our differences will only be problems if we make them problems, and they haven’t been problems since. Still, there was a lot that I thought would’ve had one of us ending it. He rarely drinks. I have many nights I can just barely piece together. He doesn’t like tattoos and piercings. I have both. He’s a practicing Catholic. I’m not, expect for some occasions where he asks me to go to church with him. He’s a scientist. I’m a writer. Okay, so he’s really a displaced English major who sold out. I majored in writing when everyone told me I’d never find a job with my degree (proved them wrong!). He’s shy and unsure of himself. I’m loud, outgoing, and pretty confident most days (or I fake it). We’re three hours away from each other for about eight to nine months out of the year. Yet we still love each other and still work everything out to our mutual satisfaction.

We balance each other out.

For all of our differences, though, we have a lot in common, too. We understand each other. He’s the only person I know that I can talk to about writing. We nerd out together over all kinds of things. He really is my best friend.

Best of all, he respects my individuality and independence. Amanda Palmer says it better than I ever could:

“i despise being told what to do. i just hate it. i like making things up as i go along, i like kissing who i want to when i want to, and i have no desire to be possessed, owned, kept or put in my place as a girlfriend or a wife.

it was a constant cause of marvel to me that neil looked at these determined and fiercely independent qualities and he not only withstood them, he not only tolerated them, he actually encouraged them. i’d fantasized for years that i’d someday find this person, who would hold me but let me go flying into the void, and simultaneously let me go flying but hold me, keep me tethered to the earth. and when i found him, true to my long-held assumption about what would come to pass should i find a human this miraculous, i actually clung. “

Paul has never told me what to do. I’ve never felt like I’m with a man who views or treats me as a possession or like as a woman or girlfriend, I’m cast into some role. I think he’d agree that in our relationship, we are both equals. And that’s the way I want it. That’s exactly what I need.

Where does this leave us?

I, who didn’t need marriage, have come to want it. I still don’t need it, but the thought is nice. As Amanda says, marriage tells the world that you have who you want and love.

I set conditions should I one day desire to get married. I won’t accept a proposal until I’m 25. I’ve since agreed that I can bump it down to when Paul’s been done with school and working for one year. Life is too hectic in the early 20s for marriage. Not that it gets any less hectic, but who wants to be worrying about graduating, finding a  job and a place to live, planning a wedding, marriage classes for the Catholics, and the logistics and stress of committing to another person. “Smart girl,” many married adults have told me.

My mother told me when I made my conditions that I’d probably meet someone who’d sweep me off my feet and make me want to break my own vow. I’ve only altered it.

When Paul and I say things like, “if we get married,” I think we both know we really mean “when.” And I can think of plenty of reasons as to why we should. Someday.

2011

Stolen from Scrivener! And probably a good alternative to the New Year’s post I was already planning.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Gave a public reading. Worked full-time. Sex.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I can’t remember if I actually made any last year. The only one I really made for this year was to write more, which I’ve started right here.

3. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?
I spent part of it at Sherwood’s, but the bulk of it at Sarah’s with her and her family plus Nolan, Brett, Paul, Meri, and Brett’s friend Carissa. We played drinking games, drank moonshine, and got pissed when Erio wanted Meri to leave to go see him.

4. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.

5. Did anyone close to you die?

No, but my mom’s co-worker lost his son. Everything about that was and still is weird, even though I only met the kid once or twice. He was younger than I am now. I got freaked out thinking about it too much.

6. What countries did you visit?
None.

7. What would you like to have in 2012 that you didn’t have in 2011?
More time and more peaceful, happy times with Paul. We had a rough summer, especially. Validation that my friends like him, even though they actually have no reason not to and I’m really just being paranoid and I know it.

8. What date(s) from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I’d say the day I graduated from college, but I don’t remember the date because I didn’t go. Maybe the day I started my job. Sexytimes.

9. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Graduating from college, getting my first full-time, post-college job, completing a manuscript as my graduation requirement, giving a public reading, and making it through said rough summer with Paul to make it to a one-year anniversary. Neither of us has actually dated before, so that’s pretty impressive.

10. What was your biggest failure?
Not getting published, but that’s a tough thing to do and I don’t consider it a failure.

11. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Multiple colds, including two or three since August.

12. What was the best thing you bought?
My iPhone and MacBook Pro. The book “Dinotopia” for Paul.

13. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Paul’s, Sarah’s, and Nicole’s. Sure, Paul made some epic mistakes relationship-wise, but he always fixed them, vowed to do better, and pretty much succeeded. He didn’t give up when it would’ve been really easy to. I even got a few rambling, drunken messages about how I deserved better (Terra’s fiancé, Scott, wins in that department, though–he actually cried and threw up in her bed while saying similar things.) Sarah, meanwhile, made an effort to be a constant friend again, and Nicole changed from the controlling girlfriend she’d first come off as.

14. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Erio. Obviously.

15. Where did most of your money go?

Nights out and gas.

16. What did you get really excited about?
Seeing Robyn. Going out into the world as a real, functioning adult.

17. What song will always remind you of 2011?

Hmm. Maybe “Super Bass” and any and all Adele. “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes because the Craigs are obsessed with it. “Video Games” by Lana del Ray for the same reason.

18. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– Happier or sadder? Overall, happier.
– Thinner or fatter? Fatter.
– Richer or poorer? Definitely richer. I mean, I went from freelancing at $40 an article to making $10 an hour.

19. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t really hate this time last year?
I have strong issues with people I didn’t a year ago.

20. What do you wish you’d done more of?
General exercise.

21. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Stressing.

22. How did you spend Christmas?
Opened presents at home, Uncle Clark came over, went to Paul’s for a few hours, brought Paul back to meet Uncle Clark.

23. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
Paul. You know it’s love when you make exceptions to your phone-hating.

24. Did you fall in love in 2011?
I was already in love as of the end of 2010.

25. How many one-night stands?
None. I’m in a relationship, for one, and I’m not sure I believe in one-night stands.

26. What was your favourite TV program?
I can’t remember what I watched, because I haven’t watched TV since I started working, partly because my job is watching TV. “White Collar” is a gem.

27. What was the best book you read?
I’m having a hard time remembering what I finished, but I did quite like “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and “The Lovely Bones.” I’m also still working on a professor’s memoir. Lori Jakiela’s “Miss New York Has Everything.” I quite enjoy that. Oh, and her poetry chapbook “Red Eye.” And her husband’s book, “Please Don’t Shoot Anyone Tonight.” He’s Dave Newman. Oh, and Joan Jobe Smith’s chapbooks. Wait, am I just name-dropping now?

28. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Mumford and Sons, plus tons of great musicians that made their way to me through In Your Speakers. House of Wolves, Evening Man, You Can Be a Wesley, Oh No! Yoko, Shenandoah Davis. Lana del Ray, Blue of Colors, and Robyn. And Joel’s band, Poolside Eye Candy!

29. What did you want and get?
An iPhone and MacBook Pro. Books. Clothes. Shoes. All those types of girly things, including Muppet nail polish. A car.

30. What did you want and not get?
A new place to live.

31. What was your favorite film of this year?
Harry Potter and Bridesmaids.

32. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Had sexytimes with Paul. Got presents from him, which included a cheesecake. Went to dinner with about half the Craigs, where I was presented with a picture of Abe Lincoln with googly eyes from Nolan and Brett as a pre-house-warming gift. I think my card included some crude drawing. Other presents included jewelry and a bottle of rum. Drank. Played Rock Band. Went swimming at Sarah’s. I turned 22.

33. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Finding a job sooner–sort of. While it would’ve saved frustration and two nights of bitter tears that have more to do with Paul’s mom, I love what I do. Also, less drama. More concerts.

34. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
The same as usual–mostly jeans and T-shirts, but with a little more flair than in the past. Still not following trends. Explored business casual when I started work, but so many people wear jeans and T-shirts that I’m moving more towards that.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I developed a girl crush on Robyn and my Gillian Anderson girl crush has recently been resurrected.

36. What kept you sane?
Paul, the Craigs, and Terra, all at different times for different reasons. Writing. And of course, my lovely beagle, Duke.

37. What political issue stirred you the most?
The fact that people want Obama out so bad for reasons none will adequately explain that they’re more interested in blocking all attempts to get shit done. The fact that so many politicians are still letting their religious beliefs impact others’ lifestyles, including gay marriage and these crazies that want to outlaw some forms of birth control. You don’t want to see me without my birth control.

38. Who did you miss?
Grandma and Pap Pap.

39. Who was the best new person you met?
Brett, who actually showed up New Year’s Eve 2010. He’s since become a good friend. Even Paul, who was put off by his outlandishness initially, now admits he’s a good guy.

40.Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.
Love isn’t actually the most important thing in a relationship–mutual respect is. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes, and some things you do for yourself aren’t really selfish at all, especially if you’re acting in your best interests. Just because someone can screw up epically in a relationship doesn’t mean they don’t love you. Don’t give up on any good thing, especially when a solution can be reached simply. Don’t be afraid to speak up when something isn’t right. Take charge. Strained friendships can be repaired. I CAN write. I don’t NEED validation (despite previously saying I wanted it). You can live without anybody–it’s just a matter of whether or not you want to. Don’t be afraid to cut out the shitty people around you. Long-distance relationships muddle both the head and heart, so just stick it out. Don’t make any decisions until you’re speaking face-to-face. Okay, that’s a lot more lessons that I had any clue I learned.

41. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“Home is wherever I’m with you.”

42. What was your least favorite moment of the year?
Realizing that my cousin might be in an unhealthy/codependent/emotionally abusive relationship. Every issue Paul and I faced, especially his mom lecturing him when I was still unemployed about said unemployment and the times I nearly broke up with him and the time I drove to his house mentally preparing myself to get dumped the whole way.

43. Where were you when 2011 began?
On Grandview on Mt. Washington.

44. Who were you with?
Brandon, Meri, Erio, and maybe Marissa and Marion, too? I forget who all walked out there. Plus all the other strangers with the same idea.

45. Where will you be when 2011 ends?
I was at Sarah’s house.

46. Who will you be with when 2011 ends?
I was with Sarah, her whole family, Meri until she left, Nolan, Brett, Carissa, and Paul.

47. What was your favorite month of 2011?

Probably August. Paul and I were doing a lot better then and I started my job.

48. Did you drink a lot of alcohol in 2011?
Yes. I mean, I had a few shots of moonshine on the last day of 2011 alone.

49. Did you do a lot of drugs in 2011?
Not a lot.

50. How many people did you sleep with in 2011?
In the sexual sense? Just one. Innocently? Plenty. Probably nearly every Craig.

51. Did you do anything you are ashamed of this year?
I am ashamed of the fact that I ask lots of questions that sometimes annoy Paul but I don’t quit. Props to me, though, for not having done that in months.

52. What was the worst lie someone told you in 2011?
I believe early in the year, Paul didn’t want to come home for a weekend because of the hassle and not wanting to leave his own space. He comes home to parents and five siblings. He didn’t lie about it, but he was making all these excuses for why he couldn’t come home until I called him on it, he felt really bad, and came home anyway.

53. Did you treat somebody badly in 2011?
Well, I spoke some harsh truths to both Meri and Paul. I felt they were necessary, though. Still do.

54. Did somebody treat you badly in 2011?
I wouldn’t say Paul treated me badly, but he certainly had some things I threatened to dump him over. I occasionally felt disrespected, and in one of our worst moments, he’d been kind of insulting my degree without realizing he was doing it.

55. How much money did you spend in 2011?
Easily a few thousand. I mean, the Mexico vacation alone was about $600 total, MacBook was $1,500 or something, plus all the money I spent on gifts, nights out, myself, clothes, and gas.

56. Best app of the year?
I’m currently hooked on Music DNA and Seven Little Words. And shit do I love the PNC Virtual Wallet.

57. What do you think was the top news story of 2011?
The end of Iraq war, the protests basically everywhere, and Bin Laden’s death. Bin Laden’s death was particularly crazy for me, just because it was weird to think about what he set into motion and how it’s led to me living about half of my life in a country at war. I mean, on 9/11, I was 12 years old and in a middle school class room. Nearly 10 years later, I was drunk on Mt. Washington.

58. If you could go back in time to any moment of 2011, what would you change?
I’d go back as early as possible and try to talk Meri out of living with Erio. Maybe tweak little things that sparked issues with Paul.

59. What are your plans for 2012?
Move out of my parent’s house. See where Paul and I are as a couple when he graduates this year and really, seriously think about the possibility of marriage. Write more. Submit more for publication. Blog more. Get promoted. Depending on where I move to, get a cat! Work out a little more.

60. So in as few words as possible, how would you sum up your year?
Milestone. Game-changer.

Let's Play Catch Up

I suppose I should, as briefly as possible, summarize what I realized has probably been closer to two years. I mean, the last notable event I really recall writing about was the death of my grandmother. And she’s been dead for two years already.

So.

  • My mom was hospitalized for a blood clot in her leg. She’s fine, but does still have some problems with her veins and that leg in general.
  • People came and went. Our notable new editions are Brett, plus Emily and Erio, who were either not around or were minor players then and are now around all the time as official Craigs. Erio is also dating Meredith. This has its problems, which I’ll keep private. Let’s just say that I and others are quite put off by things he says and does to her, which led to me sending Meri a quite lengthy (and at one point weepy) Facebook message, which probably led to this blog, even though I’m not really going to talk about them. As for other new characters, we also have Emily’s boyfriend, Joel. By the way, Joel’s in a band–Poolside Eye Candy.
  • Things with Sarah and Nicole have vastly improved to the point where Marion and I have officially made peace. Sarah is not only around a lot more, but I spent my fair share of summer nights having long conversations with her. This is probably why I’m seemingly so far ahead of other Craigs in the forgiving Nicole department.
  • And that leads us to the biggest addition of all: my boyfriend, Paul, who I met quite and fell in love with quite unexpectedly last summer, but we can get into all those cheesy details some other day. During the school year, we’re long-distance while he’s up at Penn State. I attribute probably something like 80% of our own problems to this fact, because the distance poses its own problems and so does being reunited. Issues we probably would’ve faced gradually were thrown at us all at once, but we stuck it out. I’m fairly positive we’ll get married. I think he is, too, and I think we both secretly  know when we say “if we get married” we really mean “when.” We’re just not ready to say it, partly because I told him I absolutely will not accept a formal proposal until I’m 25 or he’s been out of school and working for a year.
  • I still write for Pop Damage (which is soon going to print!) and my local paper and also started writing for In Your Speakers and Examiner. And then I started this other little blog for a class about my homeland, which got attention from a Pittsburgh DJ and blogger. I have something like 11,000 page views. What the fuck.
  • I also won my school’s Creative Nonfiction award and opened for poet Joan Jobe Smith. I forgot just how awesome she is until I Googled her.
  • Then, a few months later, I graduated.
  • A few months after that, someone finally hired me full-time. I work at VITAC transcribing and doing the closed captioning for TV shows. It took me a little while, but who said that English majors didn’t get good jobs? Naturally, after that, the paper offered me a part-time job and Pop Damage offered to put me officially on staff. The latter I actually am able to do.

That probably sums it up pretty well, other than some minor things here and there and whatever else may be slipping through my mental cracks. I’m sure much of it will be covered eventually.

As for the future?

I’m going on a week-long Vacraigtion to Mexico next month. I’m probably moving out of my parents’ house this year, ideally within the next few months. The original plan was to take Marissa’s room at a Craig house called The Haus on Mt. Washington in Pittsburgh, but she’s unsure of what she wants to do and I’m unsure of if I want to share a house with a couple that makes me really angry most of the time and that I’m sure isn’t fully comfortable with me moving in, either. Basically, I might be starting a preliminary apartment search this weekend. Paul will graduate sometime this year, so maybe I’ll start to seriously contemplate marriage by the end of the year.

For now, though, I have to go to the post office tomorrow and then meet Terra for dinner while Paul ships back off to Not-So-Happy Valley.