13

If I could be…

I am having an extremely productive day at work. I am running a simulation and have so much on my plate that I cant think straight. So I have let my mind wander. My brain is capable of shutting off when there is a huge list to be tackled and I cannot do anything about it. Either I need to take a restroom break or actually catch a few zzz’s if I need to get back in order. Anyways, I digress.

I went down a beautiful whirlpool of what other living creature could I be if not a human. Dog is an obvious option, but I must be a dog of Moony’s stature or better or I am screwed. I thought of a number of options. I have actually been told that I remind someone of ferrets. Wiggly-woogly, mischievous ferrets but not like the one Draco Malfoy turned into.

And then I started thinking about seagulls. Yep, the rodents of the ocean. Imagine an unlimited capacity to swoop and steal a kid’s icecream and no one can really do anything about it, unless they have a gun! The way seagulls just stand by the beach looking around with suspicion for an unsuspecting fool with food, reminds me of myself in the break room looking for free snacks. Also, the ability to just scream randomly, is awe-inspiring! I would love to run around and just go Keeeekkkkk at anyone while staring in a different direction altogether. They just chill in the sand, till they have to fly a bit and swoop and catch a fish. Or they could just poke into the sand to catch bugs and crabs. But with all the french fries littered around, I think a seagull’s life is quite set. I could be wrong, but they don’t even really have a definite predator. All they have to do is fly to a pole or something high. The eggs and chicks get eaten up, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Being a seagull, would be pretty cool, wouldn’t it? I am hopeless.

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8

What not to eat on a V-Day/First date…

Here comes my most favorite time of the year after my birthday, parents’ birthday. Moony’s birthday, Diwali, Holi, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, New Years’s, random street aunty’s birthday, random uncle’s anniversary. You get the gist. Years ago, I started a campaign called Single Awareness Day also lovingly called S-A-D(may have been inspired but whatevs) and although I think 3 more people joined my SAD celebrations, it has been a resounding success. We are going to ignore my mum’s taunt from last year about how there could be one way I wouldn’t have to sit alone at home that day. Again, whatevs.

I think I have covered the gift suggestions in my past posts and you may have a fair idea on what to not give so as to avoid receiving a beating. While having my lunch salad, and then fishing to take the green pieces out of my teeth, I decided to suggest some food options to desperately avoid the said fishing in public. These also work fabulously as first date options.

Shall we?

  1. Green salads: I understand the need to not be bloated, but what to do. Imagine a nice big smile, and seeing a lovely piece of green stuck over your front, top incisor a la Ani and her cilantro in college. Right? Nope. Stick to Caesar salad if you must. You may fancy out to quinoa and stuff.
  2. Burger: If you are eating at a fancy place, chances are that the burger is going to be super loaded, and there will be dripping, the wrong kinds. And somehow I dont enjoy opening my mouth like a cave to devour all that stuff in one go. Also, I am not prissy enough to use a fork and knife for burgers. Just not ladylike, whatever the hell it means.
  3. Pizza: A date got into an argument with me because I usually have my slice folded up. I was not having it and argued back like my life depended on it. He wasn’t a tough loss because well, he chewed with his mouth open. But otherwise, a rather good option, if you can avoid the stupid arguments. And also if the date isn’t picky about toppings. Otherwise, you may as well have toasted bread with ketchup and cheese thrown on top.
  4. Seafood or Bbq: Homegirl doesnt eat meat and seafood places have, probably, ONE thing to order, and mostly created for the menu as an afterthought. Also, many *cough* girls refuse to kiss meaty mouths till they have brushed their teeth.
  5. Indian food: Unless you are going with a Desi guy, or someone who has experienced and enjoyed the cuisine before, it’s a bad idea. I have a tendency to focus on other people’s reaction at every bite if we are eating something or somewhere that I suggested. I will forget about my food and get jittery if I feel that they did not like it, and then will start a passive aggressive defense of the food. It’s quite mental actually and combined with my utmost love of desi food, chances are that i will take it personally. So if you are like me(i hope not!), pick another spot till a comfort level has set in and your craziness has been accepted.

These are kind of my top 5 not-to-have when out on a first date to avoid looking sloppy. The frizzy hair covers that aspect quite well. There are plenty of options that you could go for. Craft cocktails or breweries, as long as you are not falling of the bar, are always a good idea. Get some munchies, good drinks, and you are set for the next 5-6 hours. Thai food is good and tried and tasted. Sushi is nice, clean and pretty light on the tummy. Just be mindful of the wasabi because crying on a date is awkward, whatever the reason be. Italian is cute, romantic, and paired with wine, works out well. Mexican food or Ramen is definitely a winner because tacos and ramen are life!

Anyhoo, Happy V-Day to the oddballs who celebrate, and extra hugs for SAD celebrators, because y’all are way cooler anyways.

4

It’s PSL time!

Today morning seemed like every other morning when I got to work. That was until, I saw the newest Starbucks post. Pumpkin Spice Latte is back, bit*hes! The official start of the Fall season, per the calendar, may still be away, but the ‘real official’ Fall is here.

Fall is the season when we get back to the ‘basics’. We fling our hair back, flutter our pretty mascara coated eyelashes and take a sip of the ah-mazin’ Pee-Ass-Ell. Unless we leave a rusty taupe(appropriate fall color) lipstick mark on the steaming hot cup, the ritual isn’t complete. The moment the spicy cinnamon notes hit our brain cells, the basic girl transformation is complete.

Now is the time to take stock of all your jackets and cashmere that need to go into laundry. Ditch those shorts, and bring out your leggings. Check if all your tank tops have appropriate newness to them and can be layered under those fresh flannels. Move your long sleeves to the more accessible side of the closet. Keep track of all your scarves and match them to the sweaters. Bring out your Uggs(vegan, fake ones of course). After all, leggings and Uggs are like cheese and wine. One without the other does not constitute a proper Fall attire. You don’t want to flunk your ‘Basic Girl’ course at the first go.

Just make sure that you order PSLs the right way, ladies. Keep that sugar on the down low and go for soy and an extra pump of cinnamon, specially if the baristas look swamped. They actually enjoy difficult orders, no matter what their expressions say. To counter that caffeine kick, make sure you get your daily ‘om’ with Bikram Yoga in the evenings. And then, a decaf PSL.

After all, basic lives matter!

0

Signs that you are a Game of Thrones addict.

  1. You are constantly being told that you know nothing. Mostly, by your mom, though.
  2. You enjoy embellishing your life achievements a la your resume. Remember that proficiency in C++ coding, where you learnt that it is C Plus Plus and not C Add Add?
  3. With the embellishments, comes your job title. Chances are it is comprised of atleast 6 words. Hydraulic and Mechanical  Analysis Director of Product Development. And Mother of low NPSHR inducers.
  4. You prefer referencing yourself in third person. Or in no person. A girl has no name. Specially for you, you drunk creep.
  5. You are convinced that people at work are trying to steal your Iron Throne aka office chair.
  6. While playing Name-Place-Animal-Things, you get into a long drawn argument that Dragon should work for animal name starting with D.
  7. Weddings scare the death out of you. (Fine, marriage).
  8. You know that it is a fatal flaw not to run zigzag. In Dodgeball.
  9. As soon as the temperature drops to 70 F, you grab your jacket because ” Winter is coming”. #SoCalWeather
  10. A crow isn’t a crow for you anymore. It’s a raven.
  11. You spend your evenings trying out crazy braids from pinterest for that King’s Landing style and give up after realizing that you will always look like the beggar from Braavos.
  12. Your ‘Oh God’ has turned into ‘The Old Gods and New’.
  13. You are proficient at ‘sword dancing’ with your shampoo bottle.
  14. You are mad at George R R Martin for being so old and distracted. And at HBO for the crazy delays.
  15. Before FIFA 2018, you knew of Croatia only as King’s Landing.
2

10 awesome Valentine gifts for your single gal pal.

So, you have a date for V-day? Good for you. I am going to sit here announcing how it is such a rubbish consumerist/capitalist day while inside I am boiling with anger and screaming ‘WHY, GOD, WHY?!’ But hey, congrats again!

Now, you definitely don’t want your single gal pal to feel sad and left out, and most definitely don’t want a third wheel. So, go ahead and make her feel better or this will happen.

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I have written some solidly helpful posts in the past to raise awareness for single people on Valentine’s day, or Singles Awareness Day as I prefer to call it. This is a dumb stupid day, with the exception of being Mad-DD’s wedding anniversary.

Leaving you guys with some helpful gift ideas to help that single gal pal(obviously, me) get through this dumb day.

  1. Subscription to a dating app: Your gal pal needs to get out and start dating, if she isn’t already. I force myself to go on all these dates just because I fear that I am going to miss out. Major FOMO, and YOLO! Get her a premium account on Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel, Bumble, Dil Mil, Aisle, etc. Maybe skip Tinder.
  2. New iPhone battery: For all those apps, you need a solid battery power. Without getting into the iPhone vs Samsung debate. let’s just get your gal pal(me!) a brand new battery for only $29. I forgive, but do not forget, dear Apple.
  3. Photoshoot: How about some nice display/profile pictures for her, eh? Get your DSLR out and shoot some nice candids for her so that she looks cooler and funnier and more vivacious than a drunk kitten.
  4. Uber/Lyft gift card: Sometimes, all she needs to get out and have a good time, is the option of not driving at all! Let her drink, but not drive.
  5. Urban Decay Naked palette: Just because it is my current obsession right now, but I cannot justify spending $54 on it. I feel nicely blended eyeshadow on my droopy hooded lids, will solve all my life issues. I will take a Sephora gift card, thank you very much. SP has fulfilled the clinique gel liner obsession already.
  6. Zip my dress: Look at the product for God’s sakes! The biggest disadvantage of being single is a mad struggle to zip your dress up. Let your gal pal have a moment of peace from crazy body contortions and get her one of these. A back lotion applicator wont hurt too, while you are at it.
  7. Mani-Pedi gift card: The nail bar lady says how will i find boyfriend if my nails dont have design on them. Maybe that will get us singles, doubled.
  8. Lip mask: Confidence is key for your gal pal, and she needs to be ready for all situations, as learned from The Bachelor where Mr. Pillowlips is a kissin’ bandit. Get her one of those Laneige sleeping lip mask or something, and let her become Miss Pillowlips. Never thought these words will flow out of me.
  9. Belgian chocolates from Costco: when nothing works, let your friend dissolve into divine sugar rush. The Belgian chocs are DIVINE! PB-certified. But just one box, okay? We don’t want that photoshoot look like it was done 5 years ago.
  10. Bottle of Pinot Noir or straight up Tequila: Just ignore all above and let her chill with Netflix, and some good red, or Margarita, or plain ol’ shots.

I accept cash/check/PayPal/Venmo and all courier packages.

16

How to conquer your (tiny)fears…

Do you ever feel totally freaked out by completely normal things that have no reason to be afraid of? Yes? YES? I feel you guys! I go through some situations day in, and day out where I come across seemingly normal things, panic, cry and then calm down and tackle that. Nope, I am not talking about love, relationships, life. Those are unconquerable monsters and we shall leave them there. These are some of the things I have developed a level of comfort with. I have developed small ways to tackle my fears and let me nudge you in the right direction..

Phones : Do you ever feel that your heart jumps when your phone rings? Are you the kind of a person who will actually let it ring rather than answer, and then call back? Does your heart flutter when you are making a call? (Do I sound like one of the those TV Skymall people?) Ani very well knows how scary phone calls are for me and how nervous calling anyone would make me. It is simple to deal with it. Don’t answer. If it’s an unknown number and important, it will go to voicemail. If it’s known, it’s your judgement if you want to take 3-5 business days to call back or text (so much easier!) Meanwhile, turn off the blue ticks on your Whatsapp.

Alcohol: It still remains one of the most unpredictable things I deal with. One is a teaspoon, two can be the Pacific Ocean. Yes, that has happened. If you do want to drink, take it easy. There is no need to glug anything down. A happy high is always better than being sloppy drunk, for you as well as your company. I am also beyond that age where any drinking had to be hardcore. Find out what you like, if you really do want to be a social drinker, and stick to that while exploring in moderation. And keep your phone away, trust me.

Packing for trips: I was a roll and throw kinda gal till I had two amazing packers(not Green Bay, sad joke) around me. But when I could no longer use the services of both of them(my dad and the xBF), I had to take things into my own hands, quite literally. Packing overwhelms me to the point of tears. So I make lists, gather everything on my bed, and start going at it one by one. I still am a massive over-packer (“Oooh, what if I do want to wear this top but I don’t have it!”) but atleast I am efficient now.

Makeup: I started out with concealer when my face had more red blotches than craters on the moon and I realized how intimidating it all is! But then I started reading blogs, and I was very fascinated by beauty gurus on youtube. I like the artistic side of it, and I don’t find it scary anymore. Unless we are talking about 800 layers like the Kardashians. Nope. So, if you want to dabble with makeup, just watch the videos, and practice on yourself. Nothing is better than being in PJs and watching Netflix with a perfect winged eyeliner, well, except being out and about with that winged eyeliner.

Selfies and pictures: Before I begin, I need to put this out, again. If you take my picture and do not show me a preview, you are dead to me. Anyhoo, if you feel uncomfortable at the thought of getting pictures taken, don’t even look at the camera. Just look at the person taking the pictures and smile as if they are nougat candy dripping in chocolate. Most importantly, remember to stay still because it’s a picture and not a video. I have way too many fidgety friends and I just want to ‘Petrificus Totalus’ them.

Babies: Babies are probably the most intimidating things around that scream ‘adulthood’. How ironic is that! I used to be freaked out by babies and was convinced that I don’t know how to actually handle them. But I realized it isn’t that bad. You can talk to them like they are normal people. They most likely can’t tell the difference anyways. If you are scared of holding them, it will be good for you to know that they are actually quite resilient. Like, don’t throw them around WWE style, but you can hold them quite normally too. They are squishy, but not too delicate. Nature has intended them to be squeezed out, swung around and to survive most bumps and bruises.

It’s okay to be scared and confused. You don’t even have to overcome those fears. Just learn to live through them. Now excuse me while I call my mom. That’s scary for a whole another reason, though.

25

First World Terrors

She had her perfect Minnie ears and smeared kohl for a scary Minnie Mouse in the house. Her costume had been appreciated at work and the Halloween party had been a success. She stepped out of work to a dark and gloomy sky and walked to the parking lot. It was only 4.45 pm but the overcast skies made it look darker. The area was empty and a little chill crept up her neck as she tugged on her sweater. She got into the car, and got a startle! The radio was accidently set to the max volume. Strange. She never hears music that loud, she thought. She shrugged and drove out. 

She was stressed. And for some reason, she felt frazzled. She was nervous about something, but she couldn’t put her finger on why that was so. She decided that the best way to calm herself down was to haul herself to the gym. She took a turn and drove herself to a work out. After finishing her work out, she stepped out of the gym and shuddered. Was it her imagination, or was it way too chilly and dark? Dementors crept up in her (Potter)head, and she shook herself to push away those thoughts. She did not need anymore negativity than what she already had.

She drove herself to her home. She was listening to the radio to keep her mind in a better place. But it was Halloween and between every two songs, there was a phone call with people reporting in their paranormal experience. She kept shutting off everytime the call was put through. Living alone, such stories were the last thing she wanted to hear.

She got home, finally. She looked at her beautifully carved pumpkin at her doorstep. She got her tealight candle out to light up the Pumpkin for the night. It was glowing beautifully. The darkness in the hallway though was giving her the creeps. Was it her imagination, or was everything just wrong with the night? She whipped out her phone and started to take a picture of the glowing Jack-O-Lantern.

She was not prepared for what happened next!

Her phone said:

20

If I were God, or Oprah…

I was reading a list on Forbes magazine that was talking about the highest paid careers for 2016. Now I like to read that list hoping to find my chosen field in there and then crying because it is never listed. Amidst the orthodentists, anesthesiologist, a zillion other kind of doctors, software engineers, construction specialists, financial managers, I can see so much money, enough to make Uncle Scrooge blush scarlet. So, I started thinking (Yes, that does happen) about the rest of the careers. IF I was the supreme finance guru of the universe, and I had to pick 10 professions that really, really need a raise right now, these would be my pick.

  1. Teachers : These would be the first set of people to get a nice fat raise. Teachers have a huge responsibility on their shoulders to shape up the little humans into the kind of large humans they would turn into. I have had some amazing teachers and some absolutely pitiful ones. My dad had a Maths teacher in his middle school who he swears was Prof. Snape without the redeeming quality of ‘Always’ in him. He loathed my dad and probably turned on the Math-phobia in him. They deserve so much more so that there is motivation and inspiration to undertake this massive responsibility.
  2. Farmers : After the issues I have had with my puny tomato plant, I have so much more respect for farmers who deal with a crop that is a million times the size of my plant with exponentially more problems. Everybody is aware of the pitiful state of farmers in India. The only political party who actually gives a sh*t at any point of time for them, is the party in opposition at that given time. Nobody cares.
  3. Construction workers : These guys are living, real life Spidermen/Spidermans(?). Have you seen them dangling off the high risers in New York City? Have you seen them perched on top of a bamboo stick on the 21st floor of a building in Mumbai? Did you hear of the news where 9 workers got crushed under a falling slab where they were working without any gear? Some of the most used and abused bunch of workers are in construction. I will also throw in some sunscreen for those long hours in the sun. Cancer is a real b*tch.
  4. Nurses : These ladies and gents are the people who do the dirty work after la-di-dah doctors give their diagnosis and swish away to get into the list that Forbes compiles. The nurses are the ones who end up saving lives a LOT of times. They clean you, change you, help you with pee and poop too without being related to you in any way!
  5. Housemaids/cleaners/helpers : Do you even realize how hard it is to clean up such disgusting, filthy homes? From what I hear, I specially pity the lady who cleans the home of a friend in India. Also, the gossip session warrants a nice bonus. It is important to have them keep our secrets, right? I am sure that isn’t blackmail.
  6. Dog care givers : Actually this is just to warm the cockles of my heart which otherwise is a dark cold lump of coal. Any person who works even remotely with dogs deserves a raise, a bonus, and more goodies. Y’all are my favorite bunch of people! Like, ever!
  7. Hairstylists/mani-pedicurists : I did not particularly think of this until I read some horror stories that a few beauty stylists re-counted in some online forum. Millimeters of fungus under nails, cruds and cysts on scalp, LICE! I was THIS close to throwing up! You have my salute.
  8. Personal shoppers/fitters : This is specially for the br@ fitters working at lingerie stores. Most women who go to such specialty store are in general good hygiene coming from the upper section of the society, but there are many, many exceptions. You touch other women’s possibly non-showered b**bs and butts and help a lot of them zip up into dresses 2 sizes smaller(for after the Kellog’s diet) while complimenting them. That gets you the raise I am offering.
  9. Passport/License photographers : This is for purely selfish reasons that hopefully in my next batch of pictures, I won’t look like a round bagel with plops of cream cheese and blueberries for eyes, nose and mouth. Ugh.
  10. Car washers : Again, very selfish. But hopefully the raise will prevent them from taking away all the cash and change in my car. I am looking at you ‘All Hands’!

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13

Mars vs Venus

Gender equality is the buzzword these days along with ‘startups’, ‘feminism’, ‘global-warming’ and ‘crossfit’. One word does not belong in that group and I am aware of that. Many women that I get to speak to in real life and the blogging world have suffered directly or indirectly because of the gender bias or inequality as a result of that bias. We cannot shy away from the fact that it is a real issue when it comes to society conditions, relationships, professional life, paychecks, etc. It has made life hard for a lot of women in history and even in this 21st century, it continues to be a challenge. If you are reading this after 100 years for whatever reasons, let me know if there has been any improvement, and also if space tourism did take off.

But I want to take a look at inequality in a different way, perhaps in more physical context here, that I am afraid is sort of in-built. I am looking at you God, and I do consider myself mad at you for creating us this way.

The worst difference in my eyes, is PMS-ing. I have spoken and written a lot about it. Why would God do this to us women-folk! Why?! If you are an atheist, please question evolution as to why do women have to writhe about in pain. The twisted me would love to see men doubling up in pain every month just when their partner’s time comes. Just trying for equality!

How many of you ladies have to carry a sweater/jacket/wrap to work even when it is literally a 100 degrees? How is it that men need the temperature so low that it is practically Siberia at work when it is Gobi Dessert outside? I wonder how the cooling system of men vs women is, that it turns men into sweaty pigs while women are shivering. I am sitting in office on this lovely Friday afternoon waiting to leave after a very busy week and very pissed off. I have a wrap around me and my right leg is hurting like it hurts in winters, when I can see glorious sun outside the window. I am thoroughly pissed off at the AC system and all the men in the office who are being whiny about it being too hot. Grrrrr.

Do you know the situation when you are enjoying a very satisfying pizza with beer and suddenly you are full, but not mentally full? You want to keep going because it is truly delicious but your stomach refuse anymore. Or it is a generous helping of some of the softest, tangiest Paneer Tikka Masala you have had, but your stomach is this close to bursting open. Or it is Abhi-Nish’s famous Kachchi Dabeli(Indian burger, sort of) and you just don’t want to stop but you don’t want the food flow to be reversed. And then you look at the men wolfing down all of it at a speed twice yours and at quantity thrice yours. This situation hurts me and makes me very jealous of their capacity to eat more. I wish greed could win over my stomach’s capacity, but I have had a lot of moments where gluttony has failed me. You’d think I would learn. Heh.

I have recently learnt a very cool tidbit about a biological difference between men and women. You know that lovely layer of fat deposit under our skin, that is a little too thick for our liking than that of Katrina Kaif or Blake Lively? Well, the structure of those fat cells is different in men and women. The collagen fibers form a vertical structure system in females and a criss-cross style system in males. It results in collagen giving us the bumpy effect on legs and tummy and elsewhere. It also gives men a very powerful advantage. That of opening jars more easily than women. It has something to do with less sliding of skin and better grip. Every time I have to open a jar, my first step of attack is to cry loudly for 5 minutes, then google videos and then finally smash the jar. I kid. Maybe not.

I am thankful for the squats at the gym, because when it comes to a public restroom after long hours of holding my pee in, that is the way to go. The classic ‘squat and hover’. I am very envious of men’s ability to go anywhere and everywhere without the hanging sword of infection or the danger of a bug-bite amidst wilderness. They don’t need privacy, or the need to cover up. bordering on shamelessness in my motherland where I have whistled many a times in a passing vehicle trying to embarrass them into sense. But apart from that kind of sh*tty behavior, it definitely is a boon. I specially feel the pinch at portable loos at camping grounds or race events.

Striving for equality? We shall see when that happens. But I look forward to the day when God re-considers what he created. It would be so nice to see my man PMS-ing, and I eat 3 whole Tiramisus on my own, pouring chocolate sauce on it directly from the jar that I opened. And then I can go pee on a tree like a dog.

29

The dinner dilemma

“Baby, let’s go out tonight.
What do you want for dinner?”
“Sure, that sounds cool,
I am cool with whatever.”

“Where do you wanna go?
Entrees and desert to share.
Fine dining or fast food?”
“I don’t really care.”

“How about some Italian?
And that wine tonight.”
“Umm, I don’t know.
I want something light.”

“Let’s get some Ramen.
The weather’s cool.”
“We just had it few weeks back.
Not really makin’ me drool.”

“We can do some other Asian,
You sure like Pad Thai.”
“I want something spicy.
It’s not in my top five.”

“Indian sounds good,
To stir up the flavor,”
“We eat that all the time.
Curry over and over.”

“How about Pizza or sandwich.
We shall get that fast.”
“But baby, I will be hungry again.
That definitely won’t last.”

“Just tell me what you want,
Enough of this game.”
“I knew you don’t care for me!
All your loving words are lame.”

“No babe, I am sorry!
We will do what you want.
We shall go out and eat.
Or I will cook if you shan’t.”

“Meh, I don’t wanna eat at home.
Let’s just go out.
You decide where to,
That I don’t wanna think about.”

The BAE suffers daily,
Driven nuts by a girlfriend or a wife.
I may be strong and independent,
But this is also the story of my life.

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Haah! This is me day in and day out! With the significant other or with friends, my story is the same. I hate having to decide anything, specially cuisine and place to eat. I have almost cried because I couldn’t decide and have also made a few people shed tears by saying NO to everything. My strong Libran characteristics make it worse for me.

I hear the same going on with Shawn and his GF. This was partly inspired by one of his stories the other day. 🙂

The xBF had come up with an interesting solution. He would start asking what I was absolutely not feeling like having and then would narrow it down. So I had no other drama to entangle him in. Smart guy, him.

Public note : Girls, please don’t get mad at me. This comes from true experiences, but there’s no generalization. All of you who can make up their minds in a snap, I bow down to thee. 😀