How I Made Getting Hit On an Awkward Experience: A Short Memoir

Last night, I went out with my friends to celebrate one of their birthdays and stayed long enough past the dinner to hit up the first hot and sweaty bar and drink a $5 glass of Angry Orchard. (It was so damn good.) Halfway through my glass and a little while after we snatched a table with chairs, I was peering around the visible vicinity, people watching and absorbing the general attractiveness of the males near me. I made eye contact with a tall guy in a blue shirt and snapback hat who was directly behind me earlier taking pictures with his friends, one of which was wearing a lime green shirt and nearly white khaki shorts.

A little time went by, my friends were getting drunker and rowdier, singing and dancing and laughing. Suddenly, I felt a tap on my shoulder, and when I turned and looked up, the tall guy in the blue shirt was standing bent over next to me. The following dialogue is how I remember our conversation going, to the best of my memory:

Guy: Hey how are you, I’m (forgot his name), what’s your name? *starts shaking my hand*
Me: Hi! I’m good, my name’s Viviana.
Guy: Mariana?
Me: Hahaha no, Vi-vi-a-na, like Vivian but with an “a” at the end.
Guy: Oh okay, that’s a pretty name Viviana, nice to meet you.
Me: *smiling, laughing* Thanks! Nice to meet you too.
Guy: So uh, are you two crazy girls? *gestures toward Krista* You seem pretty crazy.
Me: Are we crazy? Hahaha, I mean, she’s pretty drunk right now, so she’s a little wild.
Guy: Hahaha yeaaah, I see that. *Krista sings and dances* So listen, uh, I really wanted to talk to you and say hi, but uh, you know, maybe away from your friends… *gestures behind himself*
Me: Hahaha, um, alright…
Guy: So, do you wanna…
Me: *nervous laugh* ummm…
Guy: Oh hey! This is my buddy (forgot his name too, lime green shirt guy) he uh, hahaha, he wanted to say hi too.
Lime Shirt: *fidgets* no, hahaha, dude, it’s…
Me: Hey, how are you, nice to meet you *shakes hand*
Lime Shirt: *fidgets more, nervous/reluctant smile* I’m good, I’m good, hahaha
Me: Alright, hahaha that’s good.
Guy: So uh, yeah… I just wanted to come say hi…
Me: Hahaha, alright, um, well, thank you!
Guy: Yeah! No problem hahaha, uh… Hi! *waves and backs away*
Me: *laughs, waves back* Hi!
*end conversation*

Me: Did I just get hit on or did we both get hit on?
Krista: *sings, somewhat looking at me*
Me: Omg, I made that so awkward, he said hi and I said thank you and he walked away!
Krista: You’re supposed to continue talking to them. He wasn’t that hot anyway. It’s the hot ones you gotta watch out for when they come up to you and deal a line cause you gotta think like, how many other girls have you done this to, cause you sound like a pro.
Me: Yeah…
*end conversation*

And that’s the story of how I turned a rare occurrence of an attractive tall gentlemen of my age group hitting on me into an awkward situation. It’s not the first time, and it unfortunately probably won’t be the last either. However, I generally grab the attention of older gentlemen, especially those of the Arabic and African American communities, so making it awkward usually works in my favor rather than against it.

I wish I could be like a normal person and let this go, but it’s the last thought I went to bed with, and the first I woke up to. It’s not really that I wanted to get in his pants and wake up in some strange bed regretting bad drunk decisions. It’s more the fact that my lack of being hit on / dating / relationships in my youth has left me unprepared for when these instances actually happen nowadays. I freeze up and no matter how much I tell myself to be open to strangers talking to me in suggestive manners, I still seem to put out a “back off” attitude without really meaning to.

In fact, I have been told before that that is part of the reason as to why I’ve been unsuccessful in my love life. I’ve been the independent, don’t need no man cause I can do it myself girl, and it’s apparently intimidating. It’s a very thick wall I’ve built and I need to learn to take it down, because as much as I am still a strong willed independently thinking young lady, I also crave the affections of someone who cares enough to break down my barriers and accept me for who I am. (Isn’t that what we all want?)

I guess the moral of the story is that I still have a long ways to go and I must learn to grow from my mistakes. Maybe it’s okay to make things awkward. It takes guts to talk to strangers, and I honestly appreciate every guy (and lesbian) who’s had them and used them on me. Hopefully more will have them and I’ll become more accustomed and less awkward. But in the meantime, please feel free to laugh with me at my pain.

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Poetic Life Lessons

In preparation for pre-NaNoWriMo-blogging-month aka October, I’ve decided tonight I want to share a few of my favorite poems. The first comes from Langston Hughes, whose entire poetic works I own (and have not yet read, shamefully) in a book I bought off Amazon a few years ago. I “accidentally” flipped to this poem the night that I was backing out of my driveway and hit my passenger side mirror against the side of our house, knocking it clean off my car, after which ensued my dad’s fiery wrath of anger and Romanian profanities. And when I say “accidentally” I mean I really don’t believe it was an accident that of all poems, this was the one that I opened the book up to.

Acceptance
Langston Hughes
God in his infinite wisdom
Did not make me very wise –
So when my actions are stupid
They hardly take God by surprise.

The second poem, I’m not sure how I ran across, but it’s among my favorites because it’s touching and I find that it rings true with my spiritual beliefs and how I envision “life after death.” Rather unfortunately, I was able to use this poem in remembrance of a friend of mine who I wrote about last year, named Missy. She tragically died of a heart condition soon after New Years 2012. I was her Secret Santa just a month earlier. And so, in memoriam once again, here is Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep by Mary Elizabeth Frye.

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep
Mary Elizabeth Frye
Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

Lastly, I’d like to share a poem I discovered in 10th grade English class while reading a short story in our English books. If I’m not mistaken, I believe the poem was included in Ray Bradbury’s short story by the same name, but the poem, There Will Come Soft Rains, is by Sara Teasdale. I really enjoy this one because like the last, it touches on my spiritual beliefs, especially about life and nature and importance, or lack-there-of of the human existence in the grand scheme of things.

There Will Come Soft Rains
Sara Teasdale
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools, singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,
Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

The Tattoo Taboo (and more)

It’s taken me a while to come up with a topic worth talking about tonight, but I think I’m going to go with TATTOOS.

I find this to be an interesting subject, as the reactions and opinions are vast and varied among age groups, cultures, religions, and so on. Actually, opinions of body alterations in general are interesting. As a functioning member of society with a tattoo (or two, [it’s split in two] if you want to look at it that way) and a nose piercing, I am all for tattoos, piercings, and body mods. It is important to note that my stance on this did not sway due to my choices – I’ve always been all for it. Always.

Tattoos and piercings have been around for ages. Yet for some reason, if you’re piercing something other than your earlobes, it’s suddenly controversial. You have a tattoo? Welcome to the taboo club. People are very opinionated when it comes to these subjects, and the best part is the people who have the most to say are the ones who are mostly against it all.

 

For example, my dad. I’m not entirely sure how his thoughts work toward tattoos on people outside his family, but I do know that he would probably have a heart attack if he saw a tattoo on my body. He didn’t talk to me for 24 hours after he noticed my nose, and he still throws out a “why don’t you take it out?”  about once a month. I know he regards people with visible tattoos as strange or messed up in the head, which is among the most utterly ridiculous bullshit that comes out of his mouth. There is literally nothing wrong with people’s brains for getting a tattoo or piercing their tongue. However, people like my dad exist, and they do not like it that you would dare display something permanently on your body!

And that’s my favorite part. That these people are so stuck up and full of themselves, that they act as if THEY’RE the ones that sat through the pain of needles piercing their flesh. Excuse you. Excuse you right now. If you don’t like my decision to alter my body, I have news for you: it has literally 0% to do with you, so mind your own business, and shut up cause I didn’t ask for your opinion in the first place. 

And neither does my nose piercing. I truly resent the fact that I’m not allowed to wear a nose hoop at work for the reason that “it could aid in losing sales” and my favorite “you could have a crazy customer who would try to rip it out of your nose”. That would probably never happen, as nose hoops are very closely buddied up to your nostril and you need quite an amazing grip to rip it out. But the fact that someone might not want to buy something from me because I have a gold wire circling my nostril is honestly beyond me. Why is that offensive? What morals, what beliefs am I offending? What sins am I committing? The truth is none, because all of those reasons are manmade. While I was lamenting my decision to get my tattoo, I ran into several “signs” and told me to forget about it and move on, that it’s really okay. My favorite was a song lyric from a Romanian folk song that read “sins are of the earth”, as in they’re manmade. Ironically, I thought it was so brilliant, I decided to add it to my list of tattoos to get in the future.

However, I think the general consciousness of our society as a whole is beginning to get better about this. While people like my dad still exist, they’re beginning to dwindle and become more of the minority, as more people of my generation are growing up and getting tattoos and piercing parts of their bodies you didn’t even know you could get pierced, as well as changing the “rules” and norms of what is and isn’t okay, especially in the workplace. As an artist striving to become CEO of my own fashion company, I vowed long ago that no matter what level of employment my employees will be at, they will 100% be allowed to show their tattoos and piercings without judgement and repercussions. Because it’s really not that big a deal. And one of the best feelings in the world comes from people asking you “what does it mean?”

Love, Abuse, and Grandparents

I want to get this out before I forget it or it becomes part of the laundry list of topics I want to discuss on here and find that I do not have the same fire as I did when they were fresh. A couple nights ago, my mom and I visited my aunt and ended up staying at her house chatting until midnight. We talked about various topics, but the one that stood out the most to me (aside from my needing a new car) was men. Or specifically, the men in our lives, past and present.

This is related to the topic of my needing a new car, as my dad is being rather stubborn and skirting around the issue. I don’t know how to explain it without my fingers tingling from frustration that there isn’t a way to just hook my head up to a machine and transfer everything in a neat little file full of the whole situation…but anyway, the subject divulged into how men are pretty much all hotheads and you need to know when to tell them things so that they don’t explode like shaken up bottles of pop. The answer, if you’re wondering, is when they’re in a good mood. And though neither my mom or my aunt mentioned it, I’m sure they were probably both thinking after sex – but I think they abstained from saying that because they think my virginity = ultra saintly nun-like knowledge of sexuality – and also because it’s probably an awkward topic between them (my aunt is not young).

That said, I discovered as the topic went on that during my grandpa’s last few months alive, he was very verbally abusive to my grandma. But before I continue, I’d also like to add that I learned that before they were married, he was, only once, physically abusive to her as well. My aunt recounted a story that my grandma told her about a time when my grandpa’s friends were spreading rumors that she was being unfaithful to him, and while she was ironing a shirt (with a really old school iron, like, made out of iron, that you had to spit on or something) he came over to her and hit her upside the head a few times and walked away, but not before she threw the iron at him, which nearly missed his head and could’ve killed him. Afterward, he asked “what was that?” and she asked “what was THAT?” A few days later, after discussing it with my great-grandmother, she told him that if he ever lays a hand on her again, she would heat a large pot of water until it was boiling and throw it on his head while he was sleeping. He never touched her like that again. However, he did verbally abuse her to his dying day.

My mom was telling my aunt about my dad calling her of “of the devil” (that’s the best way I can translate it in English – it’s a very rude and hurtful way to verbally berate someone in Romanian) because she said something somewhat snippy to him after he complained about her going to the zoo with me a few days ago. That’s when my aunt told us about my grandpa’s verbal abuse which often consisted of calling my grandma “of the devil”. I suppose I should also mention that my grandpa’s last year of life was plagued by diabetic complications including an infected leg (he refused to take medication for diabetes because he was afraid of needles and medical anything, like I am) which resulted in his death. Consequently, his poor health also deteriorated his state of mind. From what I remember, he wasn’t happy, as expected, to be sick. But he always spoke to me kindly, and I’m sure that has a lot to do with the fact that I was his favorite grandchild, the only girl, and the first born. He loved me very much. But this isn’t about me, not yet anyway.

In his negative state of mind, my aunt told us he called my grandma all kinds of names, swore at her, blamed his illness on her, said he wished he could kill her with an axe (that was so terrible, it was ALMOST funny, except it wasn’t), etc etc. All kinds of terrible, awful things that I could never dream of saying to someone I love, much less my wedded spouse. However, my spiritual beliefs lead me to believe that the corporeal negativity that surrounded my grandpa around his dying days was just that – corporeal. I cannot count the amount of times that I have been in near car accidents and I know that my grandpa pulled my wheel the other way or pushed my foot on the brake. I firmly believe that in the core of his spirit, he was a loving and positive being, and that any negative energy he felt while he was still alive was part of his natural learning curve on earth. I believe that once he died, he became part of the oneness and he knew what he said/did was wrong.

That said, unfortunately, his verbal abuse was passed down to his two sons, my dad and my uncle. My uncle is worse – he is not only verbally abusive, but as with the two girlfriends, (one of which is now his ex-wife and the mother of my only first cousin) also physically abusive. It really upsets me, actually. Imagine being 5 years old and icing a grown 20something’s face because your uncle hit her for arguing. It was rather traumatizing.

Thankfully, my dad is not physically abusive and never has been. He is, however, verbally abusive. Prior to move to America, his verbal abuse was more derogatory and nasty. Currently, it is more hurtful and scarring. I like to think that he chooses his words in a way so volatile that he knows exactly what button to push to make me feel like the shittiest, unworthiest person alive – like I do not deserve anything because I disobeyed his wishes or what have you. I distinctly remember being called a cow on several occasions when I was younger (before my mom intervened and told him to stop saying things like that to his own children) and various other deploring things he spewed my way that my brain has thankfully managed to tuck away and not remember.

This isn’t to say that I’ve had a rough childhood. My childhood and life at home has been phenomenal compared to the devastating lives of far too many people who’ve grown in truly horrific situations. Nonetheless, all degrees of abuse are that: abuse. And it does not matter what degree you’ve endured, it all matters. Being someone’s punching bag, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally, is not only challenging, but scarring.

Having backstoryed all that, I remember sitting on my aunt’s couch and feeling more and more infuriated imagining the scenarios of my grandpa abusing my grandma. MY grandpa, abusing MY grandma. Two people that I love and adore with all my heart, having discord in their relationship? It truly hurts me to think about it. I have never dealt well with people genuinely arguing. My parents very rarely have a legit argument, but when they do, it makes me extremely uncomfortable and I want to cry. Although recently, as I’ve gotten older, I have a tendency to step in and scream at my dad to shut the fuck up because it’s distressing me. He usually tells me to shut up back and I tell him no and continue to tell him to stop arguing. I also do not like it when my friends argue, especially with their significant others.

However, my grandparents’ situation got me thinking: should I ever find myself in a relationship, I pledge here and now to never, EVER, allow my partner to abuse me. Abuse is not love. I don’t care how corrosive of a relationship it might be. No one should be subjected to berating words or bruises. I am too intelligent, too emotional, and have too much self-respect to allow anyone to disrespect me like that. I’m not saying it won’t happen, but I am saying if it does, it won’t happen for long.

Self-Reflection.

I’ve come to the realization that since I don’t have any sort of “real” obligation to blog on this blog anymore, my posts continue to become more rare as time goes on – and I’m not exactly sure I’m okay with that. (And by real, what I really mean is I’m not doing a 365 challenge anymore.)

Maybe I should revamp it and do a monthly challenge. Or, as I proposed earlier this year, a year’s worth of monthly challenges. I don’t think I can start that just yet however, since it’s in the middle of September. Next month is national blogging month I believe, in preparation for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) – which is how I started the 365 challenge 2 years ago. I liked it so much I didn’t want to stop. Maybe I’ll get back into the swing this way, but who knows. Even though I’m not terribly busy at the moment, somehow I feel like I have less time to accomplish this than I did when I was going to school and working at the same time – which makes no sense, because I definitely have more time now. I think I’m just lazy. And I don’t like that. I need structure back in my life.

Actually what I really need is a “real” job. Or one that pays better than what I’m currently making.

LIFE IS HARD.

On the bright side, I’m going to be seeing Halestorm in December and this makes me extremely happy and excited.

Also, I got season 6 of The Big Bang Theory on DVD the other day and it’s hilarious. I love the Valentine’s Day episode when Sheldon gives Amy a copy of his personal information and at the bottom it says she’s his emergency contact person. My stomach plummeted and I got all emotional for a second with her. It reminded me of how I felt at graduation when HNI gave me a handwritten recipe. It’s the little things.

The Weather Disappoints Me

You know those songs that come on the radio or your shuffled playlist and you have to dance/sing/turn them up? The Real Slim Shady is one of those songs for me. Among many other Eminem songs. Also, this is the cutest Eminem gif ever:

It’s finally beginning to cool off here in Michigan. My mom and I went to the Renaissance Festival today and it was probably the coldest weather, at about 74 and blustery, we’ve experienced in all the years we’ve gone – although definitely not the shittiest, as we’ve gone during super gloomy and cloudy days.

This weather, however, has me simultaneously sad and excited for end of summer/fall season. Summer seems to have come and gone insanely quickly this year. We didn’t have any chart topping days that I can relish in reminiscing about. It was a pretty lame and rather under the radar kind of season. However, I did get a decent tan regardless of not having spent a massive amount of time outside. I’m actually kinda sad that I haven’t gone swimming since July. But I don’t think I can submerge my head beneath pool water while my nose is still healing.

Speaking of which, I bought a 14k gold hoop for my noise today at RenFest and I’m pretty excited to be able to wear it once I’m all healed up. I also bought these two gorgeous pendants – a sterling silver oyster with a black pearl in it and a sterling silver octopus with a white pearl for a head, both very large pearls – from this guy I got a sweet pirate ship pendant from last year. He gave me a discount as well because he remembered/liked me (and probably also because I was wearing my pirate ship). The only other things I bought were specialty honeys and fancy honey mustard that cleared out my sinuses.