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Kissing

Three Hundred Sixty Six.

I know what you’re thinking.

Nope. I still don’t have any answers. And I still don’t feel like a grown up. Maybe slightly closer, but I still don’t even want to have to take care of a houseplant.

SIDENOTE: Somehow I manage to keep my dogs alive and happy. I don’t know how that works. Life Math is weird.

…Maybe I’m just not a green thumb.

Anyway.

My BFF Jo texted me yesterday and said, “It’s your last day as a 26 year old.”

At first I kind of panicked. Holy shitballs. 26. It’s over. I feel like it just started. I know it sounds like a super cliche, but in some ways, it really was like the blink of an eye.

I started this blog a year ago as a challenge to myself as a writer. Early in 2012, I kind of lost faith in myself. I hit a major rough patch and thought wow, maybe I’m actually a terrible writer. Maybe I have no idea what I’m doing. Maybe I don’t want to ever write again. Of course, I eventually came around and realized that writing is the thing I love the most. And in the same vein, I knew that if I wanted to be a writer, I’d have to write.

But I was kind of scared.

So I promised myself I would write something every day.

I wasn’t really expecting that forcing myself to write a blog post every day – a story that somehow led to me learning a life lesson, no matter how small – would help me be happy. I saw it as much more of an exercise than anything else. And an opportunity to maybe be funny. But I have to say, writing this blog has given me a completely different outlook on my entire life. It’s helped me understand how my past has made me who I am. It’s helped me work through a lot of difficult times and put a positive spin on things I would have never otherwise laughed at. It’s helped me approach life in a much more open, accepting way.

Like, happen to me, life: I’m ready to learn from you.

That was a disaster. Oh well, next time will be better!

I can’t believe that just happened. I am mortified. Also, that was hilarious. I can’t wait to tell people.

I did it! Someone pat me on the fucking back!

I hate everything right now. Surely someone will understand.

I am hurting. I need to know it’s going to be okay.

This is weird. Does everyone feel this way?

Did that just happen? SRSLY?!

At the same time, I had come to a bit of a crossroads with myself. I had hit a self-love low. I was feeling depressed, defeated, discouraged, you name it. I decided enough was enough: it was time to make the active decision to be happy.

I also discovered that Jayne Mansfield had stretchmarks. And my world was turned upside down. In a good way.

To quote myself (is that totally pretentious? I’m trying to recap, shut up.):

Jayne Mansfield, the American actress, singer, Playboy playmate, and all around drop-dead gorgeous bombshell, was flawed in a way that has been the root of much of my self-consciousness for all of my teenage and adult life.

So…all of that got me here.

SIDENOTE: It’s really hard writing the last post of a 365-day blog.

It’s going to be difficult to let this blog go. I know I’m going to wake up tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that and my first thought is going to be, “What can I write about today?” or, “Oh shit! I still have to blog today!”

But I’m looking forward to channelling my creative energy into a number of other projects that I’ve already either started or am about to. So I guess what I’m saying is I’m not going anywhere. Maybe there will be another blog. Maybe not. But I promise there will be something.

I was trying to think of a fun way to commemorate the end of this blog.

Here’s what I came up with.

Jayne Mansfield had stretchmarks.

jayne

And so do I.

Image2

xA

P.S. It’s hilariously ironic that in the majority of the pin-up photos I took, my stretchmarks aren’t that visible. Because they’re everywhere.

But I guess there’s a life lesson in that, isn’t there?

I’m probably the only one who really notices them.

Image7_2

P.P.S. Things I meant to write but forgot: Happy Birthday to me! Also, here’s to 27! I’m crazy excited for it!

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Three Hundred Sixty Five.

I know this is a 365-day blog, but this is technically the penultimate post, because it’s a birthday to birthday thing. And tomorrow’s my birthday!

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SIDENOTE: Have you bought me a birthday present yet? We can’t be friends if you didn’t because all I care about is material possessions.

Anyway, I thought what better way to spend the second-last day of my crazy year-long blog than looking back on some of its best moments?

SIDENOTE: Maybe that should say best/”best”…

Think of this, if you will, as a flashback episode of your favourite TV sitcom. With the help of a couple friends, I’ve compiled some categories I think you’ll enjoy.

Without further ado…

Top 5 Stupid Kid Moments

photo(1)

Oh boy. Where to even start with this one?! Well, okay…

1. Pressing buttons was (OKAY, STILL IS) a thing I loved doing. See examples A and B.

2. Of course, there was the time I electrocuted myself

3. The day I put scissors through my finger

4. Setting fire to things is never a good idea.

5. Neither is writing a hate letter to your childhood friend.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

I have to give honourable mention to the day I learned that “bastard” is a bad word. Oh, and also to the combination of shaving off my eyebrows and getting hair extensions.

And guess what?! It’s your lucky day. I found a photo of teenage Andrea with hair extensions and no eyebrows. And apparently I have no shame because I’m gonna post it on the Internet.

Extensions

Boy oh boy oh boy.

Moving on!

Top 5 Most Awkward Moments

If you haven’t deduced by now, I am the QUEEN OF AWKWARD. This is quite the random assortment, but I feel it encompasses who I am pretty well…

1. The day a goat ate my t-shirt. (Enough said.) (Stupid goats.) (Seriously, why would she do that to me?!) (Ugh.) (I fucking loved that t-shirt.) (SOB.)

2. The day I learned about orgasms in sex ed. (Is anyone else craving cake?!)

3. Barrel-chested. That is all.

4. The day the National Poet of Scotland called me stupid. Which I really should add to my resume.

5. My elementary school “boobies” moment.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

There are so, so many, but I feel like my Pilates FAIL and my Zumba BARF moments were pretty grand.

Top 5 “SRSLY?!” Moments

You know those moments. The ones that make you go, “what the fucking?!”

1. People and my tattoos. Why are people so weird about my tattoos?

2. That time a guy threw a book at my face. No big deal.

3. NO I DON’T WANT TO TAN.

4. Nothing says “what the fuck?” like getting pepper sprayed!

5. Also charming: when people tell you how to pronounce your own name

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

I have to give myself a shout out for fucking up my neck by making fun of someone on a Zumba DVD. Because who the fuck does that? This girl, right here.

But the greatest honourable mention in this category goes to Glasgow, Scotland, where I experienced so many WTF things, including…

Finding a tooth in an ATM.

Finding a used tampon on a bus.

And buses in general.

Among so many others. I fucking love you, Glasgow. I really do.

Top 5 Workplace Blunders

It’s a wonder I still have my job. It really is. It’s also a wonder I still have any self-confidence after all of the stupid humbling things that have happened to me at work…

1. My friends still bring up the day I parked on the sidewalk.

2. Also charming: locking yourself in a stairwell on your first day of work.

3. Or, you know, getting caught dancing in the bathroom.

4. Similarly, walking in on your coworkers in the bathroom.

5. Or traumatizing them with your hair colour.

BONUS PHOTO:

Getting caught taking a selfie at work.

Work selfie

At least I know my office mate loves me and doesn’t judge me.

Top 5 Relationship/Sex Fails

Look. I’d prefer we don’t dwell on how much I suck at relationships, okay? OKAY?!

1. I have been known to throw myself at guys I like.

2. I’ve learned the hard way that spin the bottle will only break your heart.

3. So will going after guys who don’t care that you exist. (But you can keep trying to shout “LOVE ME! LOOOOOVE MEEEE!” at them. Trust me. Guys SUPER love that.)

4. I’m good at ending up in awkward sex situations.

5. And awkward kissing situations, sometimes.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS AND A BONUS PHOTO:

Okay, well, first of all, heartbreak, right?

I think I also screwed it up with this guy, because he was clearly paying me a compliment.

Let’s not forget all of my failed marriages. Sigh.

And the time a MONSTER RASH ruined my potential Scottish boyfriend.

And hey, since I’ve already shown you how great I looked with hair extensions as an eyebrowless wonder, here’s a photo of me in the midst of the MONSTER RASH attack. This was after I managed to get my eyes open, because they were swollen shut.

Photo 130

Good lord…

Top 5 Accomplishments

I didn’t screw up everything, though. I’ve done some stuff. Yeah. I do things! I TCB every once in a while!

1. I’ve gotten over a lot of fear to become a Zumba instructor.

2. Then I stuck with it for a year and changed my life.

3. I grew back my eyebrows, guys. I fucking did it!

4. I got over some serious “I can’t!” bullshit and also tried wall climbing.

5. Oh, hey, I also learned how to embrace myself sometimes. I think that’s pretty huge.

HONOURABLE MENTION:

I BLOGGED EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR 365 FUCKING DAYS.

A year, guys. A YEAR.

I’m excited to celebrate my birthday with you all tomorrow.

xA

P.S. I know what you’re thinking. There totally should have been some sort of crazy travel category. But I just couldn’t narrow that shit down. So you’ll just have to re-read my entire blog to enjoy.

Two Hundred Seventy Three.

Two nights ago, I was at the movies with a friend and decided to flip through one of those magazines they have at the cinema.

I got to a page of upcoming movie previews and stopped on one called The To Do List.

Here’s the blurb from IMDB:

“Feeling pressured to become more sexually experienced before she goes to college, Brandy Clark makes a list of things to accomplish before hitting campus in the fall.”

The blurb in the magazine shocked me, I’m not going to lie. Because it drew repeated attention to the fact that this is a movie about a high school senior trying to get more sexual experience before college.

When I started university, I was 17.

I’m not saying there’s a right or wrong age to become sexually experienced, okay? But should we really have movies written all about it? IMDB states that all of the actors selected for the movie were specifically chosen because they’re older than real high school students…but does that make it better? Maybe in the context of the movie itself, it won’t seem so bad, but based on the blurb alone, I wouldn’t want my teens watching it.

photo

I just hate to think of all the high school girls seeing the movie and thinking there’s a list of things they should know how to do. It scares me. Guys, I’m old.

Lessons learned:

(A) I may be a prude in this specific context (but I don’t really care).
(B) I should probably not have children until this sexy teen thing chills the fuck out.

Remember in the 90s when holding hands or making out was a big deal on TV shows? Oi vey.

xA

Two Hundred Sixty.

You know how they say that people and their dogs tend to look alike or act similar or whatever? (Look, I’m on a plane as I type this – I can’t Google it to find out the exact phrase. Cut me some slack.) I started thinking about it the other day and it’s totally true.

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WAYS I AM MY DOGS/MY DOGS ARE ME

Food Love

Books about Boston Terriers warn that sometimes the breed doesn’t know when to stop eating because they love to eat so much.

Get the right food in front of me and I’m the exact same way.

Temperature Sensitive

Boston Terriers are a very temperature sensitive breed. They like mild weather, and it doesn’t take much in either direction for them to be uncomfortable. Overly hot temperatures are unbearable to them, and can even cause significant damage to their systems.

20130703-182344.jpg

I’ve always said my favourite seasons are autumn and spring. Moderate temperatures are my best friend. And I’m fairly certain that a little piece of me died yesterday when it was 34 degrees, but felt like 42 with the humidity. Especially when I had to teach an hour of Zumba in a tiny upstairs classroom with no AC…

Big Eyes

Boston Terriers have big eyes. They’re kind of notorious for it, and I think that a Boston currently holds the record for the biggest dog eyes.

I have also been told I have huge eyes. I use them to do pretty spot-on impressions of my dogs’ faces.

Cuddle Bugs

Boston Terriers LOVE to cuddle.

20130703-182432.jpg

I love to cuddle.

High Energy

Boston Terriers also have crazy high energy and like to bounce around.

I am a Zumba instructor!

(I know, this is getting weird, right?)

Kisses

Boston Terriers are known for having a bit of an obsession with mouths. They just love giving kisses.

Kissing is one of my favourite pastimes.

Gluten Intolerance

This isn’t a breed thing. Well, it sort of is because they say that no dog does well with wheat, but Oscar and Lucy are totally intolerant.

SO AM I.

Lesson learned: I may be part Boston Terrier. Or maybe my dogs are part human. Regardless, the saying is true.

xA

Two Hundred Ten.

Ladies, we’ve all done it, so don’t even try to deny.

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The fake boyfriend.

Hopefully we don’t take him places, but we’ve definitely all brought him up. Maybe to be a dick to an ex-BFF (not proud of it), but more likely to get rid of some creepy dude who is putting the moves on us.

FOR THE RECORD: I’ve never made out with a cardboard dude.

………Okay, I did used to make out with my posters of Leonardo DiCaprio.

NOT EVEN ASHAMED.

Anyway.

Fake boyfriends. So yeah, what I’m saying is that I’ve used them in the past as a way of getting out of a creepy conversation (again…).

But I’ve also used them as a method of saying “no” when being asked out by non-creepy dudes I’m simply not interested in. And to be honest, I thought that was a totally fine thing to do until recently.

Because recently, I’ve been throwing caution to the wind and asking guys out when I want to go out with them. And it has yet to go well for me. I mean, one of them was just like, “I don’t think we should,” and that was totally cool with me. But a couple others have been like, “Oh…I have a girlfriend.”

Only they said it in such a way.

Like, an it’s-obviously-not-true way.

And you know what? It hurts. I mean I’m not gonna go stand on a ledge or anything – I’m not even going to cry about it – but it’s like, why not just say “I don’t think we should go past friendship,” or, “I don’t think of you in that way”?

Basically, grow a pair, because I have. And don’t use my game on me, because I’ve decided to stop using it.

Lesson learned: If it hurts when the tables are turned, don’t do it to people anymore.

xA

P.S. I just Googled the words “cardboard boyfriend” to find all of the above images, so if one of them is you or someone you know, sorry, but…

Internet

One Hundred Ninety Two.

I’m taking yesterday and running with it.

Something I was really good at when I was a kid? Violin.

Violin

I can’t remember when I started playing. I think I was eight or nine years old. I played for over four years, and by the end of those four-ish years, I was good. I still remember some of the songs I used to play. One of my favourites was from The Magic Flute. I could sing you the tune if you asked.

The other thing that happened at the end of those four-ish years is I started to hit my teenage rebellion and I decided it was not cool to play the violin, so I didn’t want to do it anymore.

My mom – bless her heart – didn’t force me to stick with it. And honestly, while I sometimes wish that she had, I don’t think that she would have been able to. I am a stubborn girl. So I put the violin in its case, tucked it away, and became a goth. I stopped humming The Magic Flute and traded it in for Marilyn Manson.

Stupid kid.

A number of years later – when I was probably 20 or 21, I was reorganizing my bedroom and I decided I would pull out my violin. No one was home, so I could play and not have to explain myself to anyone. I could just try it, without having to decide if I was going to really stick with it.

I opened the case. The familiar, comforting smell of resin filled my nose. I sighed a sigh of relief without even realizing it. It felt like home. I had missed this. I picked up the violin, which sat in my hands as if it were an extension of them, and placed it under my chin. I closed my eyes, remembering the finger positions for that one song from The Magic Flute. I placed the bow on the strings and started to play.

It sounded like a cat was dying. Or a fox. Have you ever heard foxes? Fuck.

I was so certain that it would sound beautiful. I felt in my bones that I would be able to pick up and start where I had left off.

I tried another few notes. The violin was still in tune, but I made it sound like…well, like shit.

I placed the violin back in the case very calmly, making sure everything was in the right spot, protected, covered, and then slid it back under my bed. When it was out of sight, I cried.

I cried a lot.

That was the day I learned that just because you used to be able to do something doesn’t mean you’ll always be able to do it. Not without practice.

One day I’ll pick that violin back up and start practicing. I’m honestly still reeling from how horrendous it sounded five years ago.

xA

NOTE TO SELF: Add “practice violin” and “practice spinning” to The List.

…Also add “making out.” It’s been a while. Shit.

One Hundred Seventy.

Trust me, the irony is not lost on me that the most epic party I went to while I was living in Glasgow was at my flat. (Because I am not cool.)

I had just moved out of the nightmare flat and into my gorgeous new flat in Partick, so naturally, it was time for a flatwarming party. It was mid-November, and I had only moved to Glasgow in mid-September, so I was still getting to know all of my classmates/department-mates/their friends. I invited literally everyone I knew (see: 10 people, max.) and hoped it would be fun.

My Flatwarming: A Photo Essay

Things started super chill.
Things started super chill.
There were lots of healthy snacks.
There were lots of healthy snacks.
And then cider happened.
And then cider happened.
Things started to get blurry...
Things started to get blurry…
And somehow we ended up here.
And somehow we ended up here.

Once the drinks started flowing, party game suggestions started getting shouted out at random intervals.

Oh, party games.

It all started with a round of “Never Have I Ever…” or something along those lines. We’d go around in a circle drawing a card from the deck (who even brought that game to my flat?!), read it aloud, and if we had done the thing, we’d drink.

The tension started to rise when questions about dating/messing around with the same sex came up and couples started getting surprised at their partners’ responses.

Oh shit.

So we all decided to move on to a much, much better party game: SPIN THE BOTTLE.

Uh Oh

ShitShitShit

BabySmash

Look, in a nutshell, that was the night I made out with a lot of my friends (including my BFF Mags – what up, girl?) and not once with the guy I had a crush on.* But it was doomed from the start: some of the STB participants wandered away during the game, leaving only a few people sitting in a small circle on my living room floor, which started an argument, which left one of my friends crying in the kitchen, which led to some face slapping, and then more crying, and then a lot of drunken drama. (Which eventually faded away back into fun times, and then I remember one of my friends couldn’t even find my front door to leave, and then I remember mopping my floors at 3am because I’m a clean freak and I couldn’t sleep until my flat was at least 50% back to normal…)

But that is beside the point. The point is that Spin the Bottle ruined everything.

And it’s not the first time that’s happened to me.

FLASHBACK TO: Andrea in 2007

I’m at the epic cast party that ended my relationship with rum. We’re all in the hot tub, and seemingly out of nowhere, Kisses in the Rain produces a water-friendly, floating version of Spin the Bottle. (Seriously, where did it come from?) So we start to play, and basically it just turns into Kisses in the Rain and I making out in one corner of the hot tub while everyone watches on wondering when the hell we got together.

But then everything goes to hell (pun most certainly intended) when the very innocent, very religious blonde from my cast lands on one of her male cast mates. It goes to hell because her boyfriend is present. He acts like he’s cool with it (and he should be, because the cast mate could not be gayer if he tried), but shortly after the kiss (first spin, no tongue!), the two of them disappear into the house and start having a huge fight. In the end, they say everything’s fine, but they break up like, two days later.

So, lesson learned: You shouldn’t play Spin the Bottle past the age of 15.

WAIT A SECOND.

FLASHBACK TO: Andrea in grade seven

I’m at a slumber party at my friend Jessica’s house. A couple of the kids there drink too much Diet Coke (or alcohol – I don’t notice because I’m a goody-two-shoes) and eat too much candy and things get rowdy. Someone suggests Spin the Bottle. Ooh, fun! Exciting! Saucy! Only instead of being fun and exciting and saucy, I end up kissing one of my friend’s really gross boyfriends, who kind of looks like Seth Rogen, but not hot at all (yes, I think Seth Rogen is hot), and then I have to kiss Tyler-the-seventh-grade-bully’s “six pack”?

(SPOILER ALERT: he doesn’t have a six pack. Just a 13-year-old belly.)

So gross. So fucking gross.

Lesson learned: Spin the Bottle is NEVER A GOOD IDEA.

I know you’ve got a story to further back me up, so SPILL IT.

(Man, I’m on pun-fire right now.)

xA

*I realize in writing that that there were very few guys at my flat that night, so if you’ve narrowed yourself down to being my crush, you’re probably right. (I feel like enough time has passed for me to say it was my friend Graeme. I feel like my crush was beyond obvious.)

One Hundred Twenty One.

Ah yes. Today is the day we’re all supposed to sit back and examine our love lives, right?

No, no, allow me.

-AHEM-

Well, there was the master of the girly freak out in Scotland…

The PLEASE KISS ME kisser…

Let’s not forget Batman pjs

Oh, and for good measure, I feel like we all have that guy from relationship past who, immediately after you’re done, grabs you by both shoulders and says something like, “You’re not gonna ruin my life, are you?” or, “Well, I’ve got a big day ahead of me, so…”

And all you can do is laugh a laugh that only you know means, “Thanks for nothing, Jackass!” while he thinks he’s just managed to charm you somehow?

THUMBSUP

BEING SINGLE ROCKS.

No, seriously.

Happy Valentine’s Day, suckers!

xA

P.S. I am officially one third of the way to 365 days of blogging! It feels like it’s been longer, but probably not as long as it feels to you. If you’re praying for the day I finally shut the fuck up and stop posting links to your Facebook wall, I recommend you pack some snacks* or something! 244 more to go!

*I recommend sesame snaps, to be more specific. Because they are delicious.

One Hundred Seventeen.

Remember my Gym Crush? I mentioned him here, but if you don’t feel like clicking the link (LAZY!), here’s a refresher:

Might as well be a "missed connections" advert.
Might as well be a “missed connections” advert.

The way I just set that up, it probably seems like I’m gonna say, “We totally hooked up!”

Haha…

He started showing up with a really cute, teensy little Asian girl wearing very little workout gear shortly after I talked about him. One of my girlfriends was like, “Maybe they’re just friends and he’s training her!” So I held onto that hope for a little while. But after seeing them together like, 10-15 times and watching him usher her places via his hand on the small of her back, I was like:

OhShitMoveOn
(A.K.A. I was like, “Oh shit,” and then I moved on.)

But the plot thickened!

The other night, I totally saw the guy leaving the gym with a baby mama and TWO KIDS. And I don’t think it was his sister. They looked very familial.

Not cool, Gym Crush.
Not cool, Gym Crush.

Lessons learned:

(A) You can’t judge a crush without ever speaking to them, and

(B) Maybe the gym is the place to juggle all of your affairs. Who knew?

xA

P.S. Totally doesn’t even matter, because:

He's hot.
He’s hot.
And he thinks I'm funny.
And he thinks I’m funny.

(And I’m not gonna give you any context for that last tweet. You can find it if you want it.)

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