Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

The life and times of a girl named Swishy.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The answers to life's biggest questions

So ... You’ve Got Mail is on. Definitely, Maybe was on earlier today, and Love Actually was on a couple of days ago. The only thing missing is a Julia Roberts movie, preferably My Best Friend’s Wedding or The Runaway Bride. All of this quality Thanksgiving week programming has me thinking about romantic movies, specifically the lessons they teach and the hard-hitting questions they raise. Such as ...

Is it possible to completely make yourself over into a different person by plucking your eyebrows and taking off your glasses? The eyebrows are a good start, but otherwise, no. No, it is not.

Do nice guys get the girls in the end? I think so. We sure do like to torture ourselves with the naughty boys first, though, don’t we?

Are any of the following effective ways to get the girl: singing to her, showing up at her house unannounced with a boom box/love poem/bouquet of flowers, outright stalking her? The only time a serenade is not an 11.5 on an awkwardness scale of 1 to 10 is if you’re Tom Cruise and you’re singing You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling with 15 of your closest friends. Stalking seems to work wonders in the movies, but as a general rule I’d stay away from it unless you want a date with a judge instead. (That said, I continue to be amazed by men’s ability to wear women down in real life. Like, FINE, I will go out with you, just stop making me mix CDs and writing cryptic messages on my Facebook wall.)

Do people really profess their love in crowded places, followed by applause? I mean ... do they?

Can you fall in love over email and/or snail mail? (Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail, I’m looking at you.) Possibly. As long as there’s some sort of vetting process to weed out the perverts and predators, possibly. Gentlemen reading this blog, my email address is on the righthand side of the page. Let’s see you charm the cynicism right out of me.

If a guy sees you in the produce aisle at the grocery store and thinks you’re cute, but you and your cart walk out of his life before he can say anything, will he go to incredible lengths to track you down and ask you out? No, Craigslist Missed Connections does not count!

Do opposites attract? We see this all the time in movies: the rich guy and the poor girl, the cool girl and the nerdy guy. I would say yes, of course they attract, the opposite-ness is in fact a huge turn-on, but do they last? Or did the girl in Can't Buy Me Love end up kicking Patrick Dempsey to the curb before he went to medical school and got a job at Seattle Grace?

Do the best kisses happen in the pouring rain? They can, as long as no one’s drowning.

Is it normal for people to attack one another, kissing frantically against a wall, after months of pent-up tension? Or is this more likely to result in a restraining order? Discuss.

Is unrequited love more interesting than love that’s reciprocated? I will say this, it definitely makes for a better soundtrack.

Can men and women be friends? This is possibly my favorite romantic movie question of all time. The answer is yes, but you always have to think about the what if factor, even if the “what if” is immediately followed by a “hell no.” It’s like an imaginary Choose Your Own Adventure book. Like, would he be a good kisser? If the timing had been just a teeny, tiny bit different, would we have hooked up and fallen madly in love instead of falling into the friend zone? Or, even if you KNOW it would be a total train wreck, just HOW BIG of a train wreck would it be? Would it at least be a fiery, smoking hot train wreck?

I guarantee each half of a male-female friendship knows the answer to the question "Could I?" Even if the answer is no, or maybe, or yes, but only in 10 years if he hasn’t found anyone and I haven’t found anyone and we both want a baby, you still know the answer.

That said ... I hear friends DO listen to Endless Love in the dark.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

OK, we have a lot to talk about

First order of business: Oprah.

I'm much more partial to 10-years-ago Oprah than I am to present-day Oprah, but I'm still a little bit sad that she's ending her show. I'm sure it won't be OVER-over, she'll probably do something at some point on her new cable network ... but the current version, at least, will be done. It might sound strange, but I always found something really comforting about the consistency of Oprah. For most of my life, no matter how many things changed or how crazy everything got, I could always turn on my TV at 4 o'clock and see Oprah.

And honest to goodness, at her best, she really did make me want to live a better life. I remember watching once and thinking, you know, it's not that hard to be a little bit better of a person. To be a little bit nicer, a little bit more thoughtful, to try a little more ... it's really not that hard, and I should do it more often.

(Even if she can be kind of a lunatic sometimes.)

Next on the agenda: People's Sexiest Man Alive.

Listen, I am just going to admit it: This whole thing actually drove me to write on Hoda and Kathie Lee's Facebook wall. I know. I KNOW. But I was outraged, and I needed an outlet, and they were talking about it on TV, and FINE, I DID IT. Here's the thing about Johnny Depp: Yes, he's great-looking, and when he combs his hair and shaves a little he is on-fire hot, but he is wayyyy too anti-social. He doesn't have that charm of a Clooney or a Pitt or even a Cruise. Do you know that he didn't even do an interview for the story? WHAT IS THAT? Everyone else plays along, makes jokes about Sexiest Man Alive crowns and sashes and whatever else. Not Johnny Depp. He's just so ABOVE it all.

I would have picked Ryan Reynolds. He had a big movie this year, he's got two huge movies coming up, he's fresh and young, and OH, YEAH, HE'S HOT.

The third thing is fast: I had on the American Music Awards, and they said Fall Out Boy has a greatest hits album coming out. What? Really? For real, that is like when they put some random movie from 2003 on AMC.

Oh, and I watched part of a Curb marathon today and Susie Essman is hilarious.

That is all. Happy Monday, everyone!

Monday, November 16, 2009

I love the way they say loo

OK, this might not be a cool thing to admit, I don’t know, but I absolutely love the fourth hour of the Today show, the hour with Kathie Lee and Hoda. We have a bunch of TVs in my office, and one day someone had the Today show on for some completely legitimate reason (unlike the reasons it's on nowadays). We all sort of forgot it was on, but then 10 o'clock rolled around and those two came on with their ambush makeovers and their Man Panel and I was like, hello, Kathie Lee and Hoda, where have you been all my life? They are insane in the best possible way. Kathie Lee makes some ridiculous comment and Hoda just gives the camera this look that I love, a perfect blend between bemusement and complete and utter how did I get here? Last week, they talked about Carrie Prejean and her sex tape every single day and I seriously almost lost my mind at how funny it was.

Anyway, a week or so ago they were talking about a survey that had been done about which accent people found sexiest. You know, like British, Australian, Scottish, even a good old Matthew McConaughey-esque Southern drawl. None of those was the winner, though, the winner was an Irish accent. Irish! I told my co-worker I did not understand that at all, maybe because the only Irish accents I've heard have also been slightly slurred after a few too many pints of Guinness (being half-Irish himself, he conceded the point).

Personally, I am a flat-out sucker for a British accent. There are a whole bunch of British guys in another department at work whose cubicles are on my floor and I am constantly eavesdropping on them and trying to trick them into talking to me at the water cooler. ("Pardon me" "Oh, no, pardon me! And, oh, by the way, have you seen Victoria Beckham’s new hairstyle? I hear that's sort of a big deal across the pond." ACROSS THE POND! So authentic! And yet so ineffective!)

Invariably, after this happens, I try to speak with a British accent for the next 15 minutes (" 'ello, my name is 'arry potter") to absolutely, horrifically disastrous results. I am horrible at imitating accents--except one. For some bizarre reason, even though I grew up in New Jersey and haven't lived in the South a day in my life, I'm often accused of having a Southern lilt. I blame Friday Night Lights.

All of which leads me to this: Which accent do you find most irresistible?

(P.S. I totally became a fan of Kathie Lee and Hoda on Facebook the other day. Hahaha.)

Monday, November 09, 2009

It's a party in the USA

I had a dance party in my apartment today. I was the only one dancing, but oh, you'd better believe it was a party. I was supposed to be cleaning, but this song came on--Starry Eyed Surprise (you know it, it was in a Diet Coke commercial)--and it is a biological impossibility to hear this song and not go instantly, completely spastic shaking your groove thang.

I'm seeing stars, I'm seeing stars ... awwww, yeah!

I've been on a big music kick lately. I know, what else is new, but every few months I get on this thing where I am just dying to listen to music, to find new music, and I spend inordinate amounts of time skipping from song to song on iTunes and YouTube and listening to my favorites until they literally burn old-school record tracks into my brain.

Some of the songs I've been loving lately (links are YouTube videos):

Lovers in Japan, Coldplay. I was at lunch last week with a couple of my friends, and this song came on in the restaurant. I got home later that night and downloaded it, and I've been listening to it all week. I'm not sure why I like it so much, I think there's something about it that just feels like possibility.

All the Right Moves, OneRepublic. OK, seriously. This song comes on ALL the TIME when I'm in the car, and you would think I'd be sick of it by now, but I'm totally not. I know it's about rich people or whatever, but I love the part where he's like, "Do you think I'm special? Do you think I'm nice? Am I bright enough to shine in your spaces?" (1:40 mark) because I think that's a great way to describe what it's like when you have a crush on someone new.

Crack the Shutters, Snow Patrol. It's just an unabashedly romantic little song. My favorite part is the chorus: "Crack the shutters open wide, I want to bathe you in the light of day. And just watch you as the rays tangle up around your face and body." (Administrative note: I think the video for this song is stupid, so I'm linking to some Twilight fan video instead. Don't hate me.)

That's What You Get, Paramore. I still like this song better than any song I've heard from their new album. I blast, blast, BLAST the part in the middle--"Pain, make your way to me"--I just love it. I'm sure the neighbors do, too.

But I need more new songs to listen to! I always seem to do a CD giveaway around this time of year, so we'll do another. Post a song you've been likely lately in the comments--I'll pick one and send the winner a CD of some of your favorites and some of mine.

And yes, you are totally invited to my next dance party.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Love at first sight

So I was listening to the radio the other day, and they were talking about whether it was possible to fall in love at first sight. No, no, no, I thought. Anyone who's been hopelessly, brutally, blissfully, gut-wrenchingly in love knows that doesn't happen in a split second.

And then a lady called in and said she walked into a bar one night, laid eyes on a tall guy with brown hair and just knew he would be her husband. More than 20 years later, he still is. So there you go.

I guess maybe I believe in both a little bit. Love at first sight? No, not really. But I do think sometimes you can meet someone and just know that person is going to mean something in your life. It's like you recognize something in them, an unexpected little piece of magic. And maybe you don't know why, but you know there's a chance you COULD love them, and that's just as good.

Coincidentally, I got this link in my email today, an article about whether falling in love at first sight is possible. The answer? Sort of--they say we know in a second whether we're attracted to someone, and we know in three minutes whether we'd be in a relationship with someone. First, we look at general appearance, then their voice (for men, the deeper the better), then their words.

The story made me laugh a little bit when I read it, because I like to joke that I can spot a man, have an entire relationship with him in my head and then break up with him within five minutes. I look at the face first, then I look at the hands (I'm a sucker for good hands). And then, yes, the voice, along with, oh, does he seem like he would be a good father, a good kisser, would he bring me breakfast in bed, sing stupid songs with me in the car, play with my hair while we watch all my favorite shows, and ... wait a second, is that a third nipple poking through his shirt? ANNULMENT, PLEASE!

I don't really believe in love at first sight. But it sure is fun to think about.