Let's talk about goals, baby. Let's talk about you and me.

Happy New Year, friends! I know today is just another day and that nothing is really all that different from yesterday, but it's hard not to get swept up in the optimism of a new year, isn't it? Twice a year (January 1st and my birthday), I am reminded to check back in with myself and see how I'm doing goal-wise. Am I where I want to be? Am I going where I want to go? What about my life needs tweaking?

This morning, The Mr and I sat down and we talked about what we'd like to make a point of changing. What are our financial goals, our geographical goals, our lifestyle goals, are we ever going to own a bouncy castle and do we even want one anymore (obviously the answer was yes). I made writing goals and reading goals and, of course, blogging goals.

I want to grow this audience and take myself and this blog even more seriously this year. Whoa. That sounded grown up. Are you uncomfortable? I'm uncomfortable.

LET'S. NOT. PANIC.

I'm not saying that I'm about to start throwing my philosophies at you all the time or that I'm going to stop being a complete fool: that is never an option.

All I'm saying is that I really want to see where we can take this thing.

The whole point of this blog is to share all of my embarrassing stories and ridiculousness not just to make you laugh, but to also help maybe a handful of people out there realize that they are not alone. We are all idiots, and as long as no one is getting hurt, that's not a bad thing. Our foolishness is what makes us learn, it's what ensures that we are still curious and full of wonder. It keeps us human. It keeps us all awkwardly alive and pleasantly peculiar.

So here's to a brand new year. I hope you'll join me in my adventure to keep the awkwardness alive. I encourage you to comment more on posts and share them with your friends - not just because it helps this blog (of course it does), but because I want to get to know you and your loved ones better. And because I can't do this without you.

Let's make 2018 the most awkwardly wonderful year yet.


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It's a Christmas Miracle! ...of sorts.

This morning The Mr woke me up by tossing a cardboard box onto my body. I know what you're thinking: Romance has never felt more alive.

But it was actually exciting because it was my StitchFix subscription (not an ad). A box full of cute clothes so that I can trick people into thinking I have it all together and I'm not a slob who wears the same thing every day.... although, why is that a bad thing? If I have a cool piece of clothing, why am I not hip for wearing it multiple times? Doesn't that just mean that I'm good at taking care of my clothes and responsible with my money and also kinder to the environment because I'm not buying as much stuff all the time? WHY ARE OUR SOCIAL NORMS SO WEIRD?!

Ahem. I digress.

Because while it was all "yay! Clothes!" The Mr was walking around looking all weird-like.

Me: LOOK AT HOW CUTE I AM NOW.

 

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The Mr: Yeah, you look great, but...

Me: ....but what?

 

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The Mr: Doesn't it strike you as odd that that box arrived... this morning?

Me: Not really, I mean, they emailed me a few days ago and were like "hey, friend, fun clothes are on their way to you, so yay!" and it seemed legit.

The Mr: Yeah, but... we went to bed at 11 last night... and the box was there this morning.

Me: Yeah... wait... I think I'm with you now.

The Mr: Yeah...

Me: So... you took the dog out before we went to bed at 11pm?

The Mr: Yeah.

Me: And there was no box on the doorstep then?

The Mr: No.

Me: And then when you got up at 7, the box was there?

The Mr: Yes.

Me: ..... SANTA DOES EXIST!!!

 

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The Mr:

 

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Maybe it's not me, after all... maybe it's just my face!

The Mr and I spent Thanksgiving weekend at my brother's place and for some reason, we got to talking about our family's faces. Like we all do. Me: Sister 1 has that perfect mom glare, though... it's terrifying.

Brother: Yeah, but Sister 2 has the definition of a Resting Bitch Face.

Me: That is so true.

Brother: You, on the other hand, have Resting I'm-a-Freaking-Psycho Face. 

And while I'd never heard it put that way before, I knew right away that, well... he's not wrong. In fact, he's spot on. As always.

I've been told that I look frightening when I'm crocheting, which is the thing I find most relaxing. When I write: same thing. The Mr has stopped asking if I'm okay, but the children at church regard me with intrigued caution.

Wait... is this why I'm not allowed to use the sharp knives in the kitchen? Is this why everyone thinks I'm crazy? Is it just my face that has been leading to some strange self-fulfilling prophecy?! COULD I HAVE BEEN NORMAL IF MY FACE WAS DIFFERENT THIS WHOLE TIME?

And to think that people say looks don't matter...

P.S. I realize that this theory makes it sound like I think that Sister 2 is a bitch. She is not. She's actually the kindest person on earth. It's infuriating. This, of course, totally blows my theory to smithereens... but what do I care? I'M CRAZY.


Time for some business:

 

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An essay I wrote was published on The Feminine Collective this week, and I'm stupidly proud of it. You can go read it here and then share it with all of your friends because not only do you maybe like what I do, but more people need to know about this amazing online magazine.

If you've already read it, thank you so much! I've been getting so many wonderful messages and you all just make my hearts sing.


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Oh, you know, just a normal day in my pants. OH WAIT NO.

Okay, so I know this isn't a normal blog post day for me, but OH MY GOD YOU GUYS SOME CRAZINESS JUST ENSUED AND I NEED TO TALK ABOUT IT. Okay, so I was sitting with The Mr and we were having our morning coffee. I had already showered and gotten dressed and while I started telling him a story, I felt something weird in my pants - like a bite - so I instinctively reached down my pants to feel what was going on only to find that it was nothing.

The Mr: What are you doing??

Me: What?

The Mr: You just started telling me a story and then shoved your hand down your pants!

Me: Oh! Right. I thought I got bit by something, but it was probably just a phantom bite. Anyway... this article I read...

So then fast-forward a few minutes. The Mr is on the phone with his sister and I suddenly feel the weird crawly bitey feeling again on my leg, so I stand up and start taking off my pants only to find nothing - NO WAIT NOT NOTHING A FREAKING SPIDER WAS CRAWLING AROUND IN MY PANTS.

I screamed.

The Mr laughed.

I grabbed the little bastard and ran, pants around my knees, to the bathroom to flush the jerk down the toilet EXCEPT HE SOMEHOW ATTACHED SOME INVISIBLE WEB STRAND TO MY SHIRT ALL OF A SUDDEN AND HE WOULDN'T FALL. And then I started to panic because spider webs are really strong and what if he pulled me in with him and gave me a swirly like the evil bully this spider obviously was?!

That didn't happen, thank God, and eventually, I won and that guy got flushed.

And now I can still feel crawly things all over my legs and I have to go to work where it is socially unacceptable to stick my hand down my pants on a whim so basically, I'll be anxiously sweating for the rest of my day.

Then again, maybe this is how I become a superhero.


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I'll probably only be happy if I'm naked and living in the forest at this point: A rant.

I've been trying to shop more ethically lately and to also stop wasting as much because the world is on fire and I can feel better about myself and my choices when I see that my face wash is "cruelty free" (which means that it doesn't test on animals, not that it doesn't perpetuate the idea that if I don't wash my face every goshdarn second of every goshdarn day, I might break out with a pimple OR GOD FORBID HAVE A WRINKLE) or that my clothing is made by single mothers in some far off country who are now empowered by their jobs (or so I'm told) and when whatever it is that I'm buying is also ALL ORGANIC then I am A FLIPPIN' HERO SHOPPER.

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Of course, it's hard when you're on a budget, so I end up doing a lot of this type of shopping at Walmart, which sort of neutralizes the mission a bit maybe? It's the lesser of two evils (lookin' at you, Amazon) in my mind. I mean, I support local and independent businesses in my community as much as possible, but this girl's got rent to pay.

Which is why I found myself rapidly pacing the beauty aisle at Walmart, furiously googling on my phone to find the most ethical beauty brands for sale that weren't owned by companies that are pure evil, and I quickly started to have the same levels of anxiety that I have at grocery stores. In fact, the anxiety got so bad that I started to have to pee really bad, but I didn't want to go to the bathroom at Walmart because it's Walmart, so instead I just danced around a bunch in the beauty aisle and waited for the moment to pass while I held my phone in one hand and four different facial cleansers in the other.  ALL I WANT IS A CLEAN FACE AND A CLEAN CONSCIENCE. WHY IS THAT SO HARD?

Finally, I settled on one that had bees on it and prepared to leave when I remembered that I needed yarn for a new crocheting project, so we headed over to the craft section, where I entered yet another dilemma because while I found the perfect looking and feeling yarn for less than three dollars a skein, I was confronted by all of the following thoughts:

-IS IT ORGANIC?

-IS IT ETHICALLY SOURCED?

-HOW WERE THE SHEEP RAISED WHO MADE THIS YARN?

-WHO IS EMPLOYED BY THIS COMPANY?

-IS IT MADE IN AMERICA? DO I CARE IF IT'S MADE IN AMERICA? WHY DOES THAT MATTER?

And all of this is good, but also exhausting because at the end of it all I end up feeling like nothing that I can buy is ever going to be good enough. In fact, it's gotten to such extremes that I'm starting to maybe go overboard?  For example, this conversation that I had last night with The Mr:

Me: So. I had an idea.

The Mr: ...uh oh.

Me: No, it's a good one!

The Mr: ...okay.

Me: So you know how the dog chewed a hole in this piece of clothing? *holds up clothing*

The Mr: ...yeah...

Me: WELL -- one might think that this piece of clothing is now ruined and should just be thrown away, but WHY ADD TO THE LANDFILLS when I also have EXHIBIT B!

I held up a pair of cotton leggings whose elastic had busted that were also in a to-be-tossed-or-donated pile.

The Mr: ...

Me: I'm going to cut up the leggings and patch up the hole that the dog made!

The Mr: ...those fabrics don't match.

Me: I CAN'T BE SO VAIN. THE PLANET IS AT STAKE HERE.

 

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Side note: while I was writing this, I found this episode of The Guilty Feminist podcast and it was ALL THE RELATABLE

 


What about you? Do you try and shop ethically? How do you manage it?


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It's official: I'm becoming my father.

My parents are lively and active people. The word 'retirement' is akin to the most offensive of curse words in their eyes, I think. Over drinks when my dad was in town, he said: "I hate that word." And I swear he was this close to spitting on the ground to show his disdain. All I know is that my parents never stop working, never stop moving, and never stop partying. My dad is in his seventies and he still travels for work all the time - not because he has to, but because he wants to.

And my mom is basically Wonder Woman. She's a very successful real estate agent, she teaches six jazzercise classes a week (the majority of them at 5:45 in the GD morning!), she has two horses that she trains and takes care of almost every day, and she cooks dinner every freaking night.

 

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And yet, I manage to be surprised if they don't answer the phone when I call.

Me: I think my parents find me dull.

The Mr: Why?

Me: Neither one of them is answering their phone! Do I call too often? Are they sick of me? You know, most parents would love it if their kid just called to say hi as often as I do, but they're totally ghosting me! Do they think I'm boring?

The Mr: Maybe they do.

Me: ...thanks, babe.

And then later that night, my dad called me. HE CALLED ME.

Me, too excitedly: Hi, Dad!

Dad: Hey, how are you?

Me: Great! How are you?

Dad: Well, I'm okay. Your mom is in Chicago visiting your sister and the new baby, so I'm just sitting in the parking lot of <LOCAL RESTAURANT>, trying to decide whether or not to go in and get dinner... there are a lot of cars here, so I don't know... or maybe I should call Nick and see if he wants to meet.... I don't know, we've been hanging out a lot this week since both of our wives are out of town... maybe he's sick of me.

The Mr: Did you see that apple just fall from that tree?

But maybe this is a good thing... because maybe it means that I'm also going to be a superhero who travels the world!

Or maybe this means my future just involves a closet full of leotards.

 

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The Titanic Was a Thing and A Movie Theater Is a Place.

I wasn't going to do NaNoWriMo this year. I had a long list of perfectly good reasons not to do NaNoWriMo this year:

  • Writing/editing 1 essay a week for submissions
  • Editing two novels
  • Updating this blog twice a week
  • Keeping up with the Patreon Page
  • Working full time
  • Running a Youth Group twice a month (which requires way more planning and organization than one would think!)
  • Running a weekly teen writing workshop
  • OH and maybe some personal time to spend with The Mr, our dogs, our friends and maybe sleeping sometimes too?

See? Those are all really good reasons not to do NaNoWriMo.

And I was also feeling really comfortable with this decision. I wished all my friends who had decided to dive in good luck and told them that I was cheering them on.

But I had one friend who decided to email me. On November 1st:

Subject: NaNoWriMo

Body: I'll race you to the 50k :)

And I responded with my whole "Oh, I'm not doing NaNo this year because <see reasons above>, but good luck!"

And he was all "Hey, we all have shit to do. Here's my laundry list of reasons why I shouldn't be writing a novel this month either." And then he essentially was like "do it anyway." I'm totally paraphrasing here, but that's basically what he said.

And I was all "Even if I could, I don't have an idea! I don't even have a character in mind that I could just start following around in my brain!"

But then I talked to another friend - a friend you only talk to when you want to be talked into writing - and she gave me a pretty great idea...

So suddenly I had an idea... and a laundry list of reasons still not to write the book... that I decided to ignore. Not ignore, exactly because I'm still doing all of those things... I just decided to add to it? So now here I am, waking up every day at 5am to put words onto the vomit draft of a new novel. And one of the best things is that I've got this weird husband who was all "Alright. Let's do this." instead of being all "EMELIE WHY?" For example:

So as of this blog post on November 3rd I am 2,201 words into a strange novel. And I can't wait to see where it's headed.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Buddy me so that we can support each other.


And now, for some business:

 

I’ll be performing at this open mic night on Saturday Night (November 4th) with some really amazing people. All proceeds go to the Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen in New Milford, CT. If you’re able to make it, please do! I’m reading one of my most awkward pieces I’ve ever written, and everyone else will be reading really incredible stuff, so it should be a good time for us all.


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I’m not even allowed to think about watching Mindhunter.

Last night I took Gio out to go to the bathroom, but it was really dark and I got scared, so I only let him pee, which makes me a terrible dog owner, but in my defense I took him inside so that I could tell The Mr that he had to take Gio outside again to poop because I was pretty sure there was a murderer hiding behind the tree in our yard and I knew that if I stayed out there any longer he would sneak up on me and stab me, you know right in the base of my spinal column or something? That way I'd be paralyzed and unable to move or say anything and The Mr would never know. So I ran inside.

The Mr basically just looked at me like this when I explained everything:

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Which is justified.

It should be noted that what spurred all of this on was Kate McKinnon's SNL IT sketch in which she was Kellyanne Conway/Pennywise/Kellywise. This was a comedy sketch. I had nightmares.

 

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I mean... I also laughed. But mainly because I was terrified.


And now for some business:

  • I'll be volunteering at the Gilmore Girls Fan Fest today and on Sunday in Kent, CT! Come say hi! I'll be the one in a volunteer shirt who looks like me. The Mr will be there on Saturday. If any of you are there and you see him, take pictures and tag me. It'll be like a fun scavenger hunt!
  • The giveaway is still open (because am I really not popular enough for even 10 of you to want some free books and patreon perks? Maybe that means you'd be ahead of the trend by becoming an Awkward Ambassador so early... Think about it.)

This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.

But then I realized that it was Friday the 13th and all of this seemed normal

Well hello there, friends! I'm sorry for my bloggy absence this past weekend, but activities took over and my brain couldn't handle putting words out by the end of it all. Sometimes we all need a little, unplanned break, don't we? One of those activities was a visit with my good friend, The Delightful R, who took the train in from Manhattan to New Haven where I met her. We hadn't seen one another since my wedding, so we were long overdue for an actual conversation.

Three ridiculous moments happened:

1. While eating a slice of Avocado Toast I stated without any irony at all, "We just want to own a house. That is seriously all we want right now." In my defense, that Avocado Toast also came with a fried egg on top and it was only $4.50, so... #MillennialMoment

2. We went to a restaurant, and our waiter came out and handed us the wine list and I said "Thank you so much" just as he stated what his name was, so all I heard was "My name is Zafefefefefe whenever you need anything else."

Because R and I knew that this couldn't really be his name, we were never really able to flag him down without just doing that awkward maneuver where you just wide-eye in any direction trying to make eye contact with anyone in an apron so that you can get more bread because WHY IS THE BREAD TO CHEESE RATIO ALWAYS SO OFF???

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And at one point, we tried to flag Zafefefefefe down, and we literally saw him FLEE THE RESTAURANT.

We eventually did get more bread and Zafefefefefe did return, but when he handed us our bill, it turned out his name was Anthoni.

3. Because we're ladies who had long journeys home after our wine and cheese, we needed to use the restroom at this restaurant. The restroom was down the hall, right next to the kitchen, and it was a single, so I let R go first while I waited patiently outside the door. Like a normal person.

THREE TIMES, different dudes came out of the kitchen and asked me "Did you try the door handle?" and then they would jiggle the handle as I said "YES I DID THERE IS SOMEONE IN THERE I KNOW HOW TO USE A DOOR," but in a slightly more polite tone maybe? Maybe not. It became increasingly frustrating.

By the time R came out I was like "I SWEAR THAT WASN'T ME TRYING TO BREAK DOWN THE DOOR," and I'm not sure I've ever experienced that bizarre level of mansplaining before... Either way, I almost forgot entirely about the weird door behavior because as soon as I entered the bathroom I was HORRIFIED. The wall opposite the toilet was just one giant mirror, so I was forced to just stare at myself while I peed. LIKE A NIGHTMARE.

And this isn't even including the bit where we got kicked out of a cemetery... sigh... other stories for other times.


In other news, the giveaway from last week's blog post is still going on. You should partake!


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Gym Drake is my Unicorn: A Sequel

Okay, so the last time I wrote about the gym, we all learned about my obsession with this guy at our gym who looks exactly like Drake. I was pretty excited to go back to the gym tonight, not because I wanted to get buff or anything (seriously, exercise is VERY boring), but because I haven't been able to capture this guy on camera yet and I feel like I owe it to us all to provide photographic evidence of his existence. And alas, we walked in to find that 1) There were more people than usual for this time of day and 2) NONE of those people were Drake.

To say that I was depressed about this fact might seem dramatic, but let's call a spade a spade. I lazily went through my workout. It became pretty clear that Gym Drake holds the power of my motivation.

So after 30 minutes of just meh-ing around, I went and stood by The Mr. While he did things that looked difficult yet physically rewarding, I hopped onto Instagram Stories:

[video poster="" src="http://awkwardlyaliveandpleasantlypeculiar.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/img_9148-1.mp4" id="2321" loop="true" autoplay="false" preload="metadata" width="640" height="360" videopress_guid=""][/video]

BUT THEN HE APPEARED.

Seriously, everyone, just as I hit "send" on that video, Gym Drake came down the staircase that I was standing next to and rounded the corner into my vision NOT TWO FEET FROM MY FACE.

So, naturally, I spun around frantically in small circles before running after him. Subtly.

 

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I needed that photo.

As luck would have it, he ended up going into the weightlifting room, and The Mr had ALSO gone there. Ignoring the fact that I never saw The Mr leave the room we were previously in, I knew that this. Was. My. Moment.

I walked over to The Mr with the expression you see in the above photo still on my face. He looked at me and sighed before nodding to confirm that yes, he had seen who just arrived and then he gave me a look like "I swear to God Emelie if you get us kicked out of this gym, I will divorce you."

Everything was set up so perfectly, though. The mirrors in the room were perfectly positioned so that I could pretend I was taking a picture of The Mr when I was really just getting a photo of Gym Drake in the background.

THIS. WAS. MY. MOMENT.

And then, just as I was raising my phone to make the capture, Gym Drake suddenly got up and quickly left the room.

It took everything in me not to fall to my knees screaming.

 

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And HE NEVER CAME BACK.

I swear to you that he does exist and that I have seen him MANY TIMES. I'm just pretty sure that he can sense when cameras are around and, like a unicorn, he must avoid them before his existence is revealed, because THE WORLD CANNOT HANDLE THE MAGIC.

Or maybe he's a vampire? And if I tried to photograph him, I would find out, and then he'd have to bite me or kill me, so maybe he's really just thinking of me because he wants me to live. Aw, Gym Drake... you're just the best.

 

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In other news, this month's public episode of #SundaySupdate was last night and it might have been the greatest episode yet? Apparently, cracking eggs is my cooking superpower and my knife skills are "frightening," so... I HAVE SUPERPOWERS! I'm pretty sure that's the takeaway here. Anyway, if you missed it, here is the episode. If you're interested in joining us every week, sign up to be an Awkward Ambassador on Patreon! We have tons of fun.

 


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like exclusive vlogs or messages from my dog), please click here.