Thursday, April 29, 2010

The hand that robs the cradle

When it comes to dating, age difference is often a factor. "How old is he?" is one of the first questions you hear from a friend when you tell them about someone you are going out with. The most scandalous situations are, of course, when someone dates someone much younger than them. Especially when that someone is a woman who's dating a younger man.

I can think of loads of celebrity women who are dating much younger men but I generally think it's best not to look at celebrities as examples of what's acceptable and normal. (That's a slippery slope.) So I'll just talk about you and me. Mostly me.

Now that I'm...well, 30 and some change (pennies, really), I've become very aware of age in relation to dating. Before, I never paid a ton of attention to how old the guys I met were - they were in their 20's, I was in my 20's, the end. But in the last year I've had a couple situations that forced me to think about age difference and what's appropriate.

At some point last year (I'm going to keep things vague to make it harder for anyone to figure out who this guy is), I was pursued by a much younger guy - 10 years younger to be precise. I was flattered at first because he was a great guy. But the age difference was just too much for me. Plus, my friends were teasing me like crazy about it. He disagreed and didn't think it was a big deal. He said, "you could be a cougar!" as if that would sweeten the deal for me. Part of me wondered if I was over thinking it but it just felt weird to me.

The interesting thing however, is that at the same time a guy friend of mine married a girl 10 years younger than him and no one said anything about it or found it strange. Why the hypocrisy? The guy who was pursuing me was an adult - he was in his 20's. So why is it socially acceptable for a guy to date a much younger woman but not the other way around?

I had a similar experience a couple months ago where I met a cool guy, we hit it off, exchanged numbers, etc... I assumed he was near my age but found out once again that he's about 10 years younger than me. When I found out, I told him that the age difference was an issue for me. He said it shouldn't be. But once again, I couldn't get past it. Ten years is just too much for me.

I think there are lots of factors that need to be looked at with age difference - maturity, experiences, backgrounds, common interests and so on. Sometimes physical age isn't as much of an issue as emotional age. Someone could be only two years younger than you but feel much younger than that.

I've heard silly mathematical rules used to figure out if someone is old enough for you, such as "half your age plus seven." But I'm pretty sure that rule was made up by someone who wanted to date someone who was half their age plus seven.

My point is, it has to be a personal decision. Here's how it works for me (this is based on how I feel, not on any facts I found online about what age range my dating pool should be):

28 to late 30's - totally comfortable
25 to 27 - mostly comfortable, with the tiniest bit of hesitation - mainly because I don't want to feel "old" when the guy doesn't get my Milli Vanilli jokes or Full House references.
under 25 - case by case basis but not preferred. Exceptions can be made for the likes of Zach Efron and that guy who played Jake in Twilight, of course. But that goes without saying.

But if you do decide to date someone much younger or older than you, how do you get past the stigma? Any insights? And what are your age "rules"?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday Thoughts

Lately I've found myself a bit stuffed up, sneezy (is that a word?), and headachy (yeah, that's a word). I find myself explaining, "it's just my allergies" when people ask if I'm ok, but the truth is....(get ready for a big reveal) I don't have any allergies. Not to anything outdoors anyway. It's a proven fact. I've been tested for allergies more than once.

So why do I say it's my allergies when I get stuffed up? I have no idea. I guess it just makes things easier - no further explanation is needed when you say the word "allergies." Now that I think of it, I think instead of phasing it out for a more honest answer (I have a cold), I'll start using it more often.

Why am I still single? Allergies.
Overslept? Allergies.
Forgot to call you back? Sorry. Allergy season.
Borrowed your sweater and forgot to return it? Don't blame me, my allergies have been acting up.

It's a catch-all we can all get behind. Am I right?

In other Wednesday Thoughts, I have been having a lot of crazy dreams lately. For the past week or so I've been waking up an hour before my alarm goes off then falling back asleep. Because of this fragmented sleep, I've been remembering more dreams than usual - and I usually remember a lot.

The problem is that I sometimes can't remember if the dreams really happened or not. I only remember fragments - - scenes, really. And because they're just scenes and not whole story lines, they can easily disguise themselves as memories and confuse me. For example, I found myself wondering out loud earlier,

"Did I really see a human sized dandelion or was that a dream?"

When said out loud it became clear it must have been a dream. But until then, I wasn't sure. Now I just have to figure out if I really went into outer space or not...

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Unpublished Drafts

I have blog writers block. I've started a few posts and not finished them for one reason or another. I thought maybe I'd look through my drafts and see if there was anything there worth adding to or posting as is from the last couple months. There were a few interesting nuggets but I thought I'd go to you and see which topic you'd like to hear more about, if any:

1. The review I wrote of my new Ped Egg. This post was graphic and not for a younger audience. It was titled "the disgusting cost of beauty" if that tells you anything. But my feet look great, so it was worth it.

2. The bitter post I wrote, complaining about people thinking I must be really picky if I'm still single. Actually, I think it's best if I keep that one to myself.

3. A post I started about what's an appropriate age difference with dating. I think I gave up on that one after I wrote the title, but it might be fun to look into it and get some feedback from you.

4. A post I wrote about how whenever I hear about the Hutari (the militia group), I picture the Na'vi (the blue people from Avatar). Actually, there's not much to add to that - it's just that their names sound similar.

5. The post I wrote titled "bad ideas." Sadly, all I wrote in that one was "the movie 'Hot Tub Time Machine'" which I never actually saw but assumed was a bad idea for obvious reasons. I guess I planned to add some more bad ideas eventually but just had to get that one down before I forgot.

6. A post I started after watching a few episodes of "the Facts of Life." This one was titled, "Lessons Learned from Mrs. Garrett." All I had so far was "If you go to New York without Mrs. Garrett's permission, you will be sold into human trafficking." (Tootie learned a valuable lesson... and so did I.) I'm sure I could watch a few more episodes and add to this post.

7. A post I wrote titled "the bad dates" which had a bunch of things in it that guys should not do on a date.

So what do you think? Should I post/finish any of those? Which would you like to hear more about?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Thank You!

Thank you, anonymous commenter ("an admirer from the distance"), for the cake! It was delicious and very thoughtful of you. Plus, it's always fun to have something delivered to work! And on top of that, you followed the advice of both me and Pedro. Way to go! Here are before and after pictures (there is still a lot left, but I'm sure that won't be the case by the end of the weekend).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday Thoughts

Last night I had dinner downtown. It's not always easy to find a place to park but after circling a block or two I found a spot in front of the Blind Pig (a venue where local bands play).

A couple hours later I went back to my car and found it totally blocked by a van and trailer which the band playing at the Blind Pig that night was unloading. I wasn't in a huge hurry so I told the groovy hipster unloading the trailer to take his time(ish). We had the following conversation:

me: This is me. (pointing to my car). Sorry.
groovy hipster: Sorry! Two minutes!
me: That's fine. Take your time.
gh: about two hours?
me: How about two minutes.
gh: A half hour?

Assuming he was kidding, I stood next to my car and waited (the van was so close to my car, I couldn't even get in). It was a nice evening so I wouldn't have minded standing outside normally. But I became increasingly self conscious as more guys with or in the band started loitering around the van - not helping unload it, just milling around it, glancing over at me occasionally.

Was I scared of them? Not at all. None of them weighed more than 90 lbs. and their skinny jeans couldn't have been less intimidating. But what was intimidating was how nerdy they made me feel.

Every single one of them looked like they were in a band opening for Kings of Leon (see pictured) - underweight, shaggy or flat ironed hair, beardy, skinniest jeans possible, jean jackets, and just general Chris Robinson meets Caleb Followill looks to them.

I stood there feeling like the geeky librarian that I am and becoming increasingly conscious of how square I am. I'm so square I even say "square" which probably makes me more square.

I went from this:

to this:

faster than you can say "nerd!"

A few minutes later the hipster came out and moved the van and I went on with my life, a slightly different person now. A changed person. A person aware of how nerdy they are. Next time I park downtown, I'll be sure it's in front of either the library or the Christian Science Reading Room.

Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

In case you were wondering

I love writing with freshly sharpened pencils. Why do they have such a short life span?

I can't pronounce the word beleaguered. I listen closely but I always forget.

I miss Hootie and the Blowfish. I was indifferent to Hootie when they were out, but now when I hear them on the radio I feel waves of nostalgia wash over me. I have no idea why.

I can't stand Speidi. As far as I can see, they have no redeeming qualities. If you need further evidence, click here.

I can never figure out whodunnit in an Agatha Christi mystery. My mind is blown at the end of every single book.

I don't get the appeal of either Leonardo DiCaprio or Tom Cruise. Never have, never will.

I'm uncomfortable with the use of the word "heart" to replace "love" as in, "I heart chocolate cake." I think this is because an ex-boyfriend once wrote in a card to me, "I heart you" which led to much confusion on my part. Just say what you mean.

I'm scared of using a neti pot, but I think I'm going to try it.

I don't trust spring. You're hot then you're cold... Just be straight with me! I need three different outfits of varying warmth just to get through a day!

I am happiest in Ludington. And when I'm watching Lost. And when I'm with friends and family. And when I know I can sleep in. And when I have a crush. And when it's 4:00 on a weekday.

I secretly love cheesy 80's movies like "For Richer or Poorer" and "Troupe Beverly Hills." (Not so secretly anymore.)

I never eat anything without thinking about the number of calories it has. I'll often eat it anyway. But guiltily.

I'm afraid this post will seem vain. But I'm going to post it anyway.

I can't resist soaking in the sun on the rare occasions when it shows itself. And babies. And pizza. But not necessarily in that order.

But enough about me. Tell me about you!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Put that in your blog!

I visited my grandma on Friday. She was in desperate need of some granddaughterly help - for one thing, she couldn't figure out how to use her new microwave (or how to open it), and on top of that, she couldn't open her jar of mayonnaise. Needless to say, I left feeling both brilliant and in the best shape of my life ("how did you open that!? I've been working on it all day!").

After amazing my grandma with my skillz, we sat and talked for awhile. She was thrilled that I was wearing my hair curly. She even clapped and cheered when she noticed it. She has a theory that men love curly hair. When she meets a woman (usually a nurse at the hospital) with curly hair, she tells them that her granddaughter has curly hair but that she straightens it. I think it's almost a sin to her. She said the only thing men like better than curly hair is red curly hair. Where she gets this information, I don't know.

Another bit of information she gave me is that she saw something on tv about how men prefer women who are a little curvy. After telling me that, she said, "Put that in your blog!"

I'm almost positive my grandma has never seen my blog before. And it's weird to hear her say the word "blog" like it's the most familiar thing to her. I mean, she's 90 years old and has never owned or used a computer. She knows my blog is something on the internet, and she knows I write in it. Other than that, I'm not sure how she pictures it. But apparently someone leaked it to her that I write about her sometimes. I think she likes it.

I briefly considered doing a post now and then with advice from my grandma about dating, called "Grandma Says." But I think I can summarize most of her tips right here:

Grandma says:

1. Unbutton that top button.
2. Wear your hair curly.
3. Bake brownies and cookies for the guy you're interested in.
4. Invite him over for dinner.
5. Have him spend time with your family.
6. Let him see how good you are with children.
7. If he's attractive and you'd have cute kids, stick with him.
8. Keep in shape so you look good in a wedding dress. (A few years ago, I put on a few pounds and she told me this. I don't make this stuff up!)

So there you have it. If it worked for her, it'll work for you. If you need me, I'll be over here wearing my hair curly and baking brownies.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Every week my coworker Justin and I have a competition to guess who's work we will be checking the next week. Every week it changes and we have a really hard time getting into the mind of the person who assigns it. In the past three months, I've only been right three times.

We have two ribbons we keep on our computers for this little game - one says "winner" and the other says "participant." When one of us guesses correctly, they get the winner ribbon on their computer and the other has to put up the participant one. These stay up the whole week. To make matters worse, there's a picture of Sanjaya taped on the participant ribbon.

Today I got the participant ribbon in the blogger brawl. If I'm being honest, I'm kind of relieved! The whole competition was sort of stressing me out. Plus, many variables led me to believe that I wasn't going to make it much further. Having to make it through four rounds was a bit much. So, phew.

Through the competition I felt so loved by friends and family! Thanks for your support. Now you can support me in other ways though, so don't worry. I don't want you to feel like there's a hole in your life. If you need ideas, I'm here to help.

Ideas for ways to support Elizabeth, by Elizabeth Downie

1. Cookies are a good place to start
2. Every time you see me, tell me how good my hair looks
3. Make me a mixed CD full of the most embarrassing music possible

And so many more! But really, thanks for voting for me and being my friends. You guys are the best!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday Thoughts

My weekly jumble of mostly unrelated thoughts.

Why do some doctors offices have the craziest hours? I had to call a doctor yesterday to set up a procedure (I'm going to leave it at that to let your imaginations go wild). I called at 4:00 and the answering machine picked up. The voice on the machine said something like, "you have reached the office of Dr. _. Our office hours are Monday 8-9 then 1-3 , Tuesday 6-10, Wednesday 8-11 then 1-4, Thursday 9-12 then 3-8." I have no idea when to call back.

So, one thing you may have already discovered about me is that I'm pretty easily amused. I'm not sure if I'm more easily amused than everyone but I am definitely more than some people. Namely, my sister Katherine. This is evidenced by a little conversation we had a few years back about a Blue Oyster Cult concert she went to (that's not the funny part) at a place that used to be called Pine Knob but is now called something horribly depressing like DTE Energy Music theater or something soul sucking like that.

I showed her this before putting it up and she agreed that this is how it went down:

me: So, what was it like there?
K: It's pretty much all outdoors and there's a big hill that people sit or stand on.
me: Is it a steep hill?
K: Yeah, it's kind of steep.
me: That seems dangerous. I wonder if people ever fall?
K: Someone fell when I was there.
me: What!? How?
K: People were smoking pot and this guy tripped and fell down the hill.
me: Like head over foot?
K: Yeah.
me: Did he go a long way?
K: A pretty long way.
me: So, a guy tripped and rolled head over foot down the hill and you're only telling me this hilarious story because I'm asking the right questions!?

I was telling this story to my friend Lou Ann this week, and she shocked me with having a falling down the hill at Pine Knob story of her own. She was 12 years old and at a Hanson concert. Before the concert began she was walking to the bathroom, day dreaming about how she'd catch Taylor's eye during the concert and eventually become Mrs. Taylor Hanson, when she lost her footing, started to fall and landed on someone's cooler which she then rode down the hill a ways. She claims it was an accident but I suspect she was trying to clear a path to Taylor.

What is it about people falling that is so dang funny? Do you have a funny falling story?

Are you still thinking about what procedure I'm going to have? I won't tell, but let's just say I'll look ten years younger when it's done.*

And don't forget, today's the last day to vote for me in the blogger brawl! Be a dear and hop over to vote please? Here's the link.

Happy Wednesday!

*I'm kidding, it's nothing like that at all.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Blogger Brawl starts today!

Hey guys! The second round of the blogger brawl starts today! If you want to just pop over to the site and vote for me, that'd be great! It only takes 30 seconds and you don't have to register or anything. Then you can come back here and read about cupcakes. :) Here's the link:

Vote for Elizabeth!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hello, Cupcake!

Cupcakes. What is it about cupcakes? The last few years I've witnessed cupcakes become the most popular pastry around. There's even whole bakeries dedicated to just cupcakes.

I went to one of these a year or so ago and bought an extremely over priced cupcake. Was it good? Yeah, I guess. It was a cupcake, plain and simple. Don't misunderstand me, I like cupcakes. But they're just cupcakes. Cupcakes.

Not too long ago, cupcakes were pretty much reserved for childrens parties - they weren't considered "hip" at all. Some people didn't even know how to make them. I was at a bridal shower recently where part of the decor was a very pretty cupcake stand. We got to talking about cupcakes and I told a story about something that happened to me years ago. I was in my twenties (ok, this story wasn't that long ago) and I was on a committee with a girl to plan a church activity. We went shopping together to get the food and one of the things on our menu was cupcakes. Here's our conversation:

her: We need to get some cupcake mix.
me: Ok. I think cake mix is in the next aisle.
her: No, we need cupcake mix.
me: Um. There's no such thing. You make cupcakes from cake mix.
her: I don't think that's right.
me: (Pause.....) Well, let me know if you find any cupcake mix.

Poor cupcake - it used to be so misunderstood! But now even I'm part of the cupcake craze. Sort of. I have two things against me:

Evidence #1. I bought the Hello, Cupcake! decorating book. I was taken in by the bright colors and the promise of impressing my friends with my beautifully decorated cupcakes. I've been too intimidated to attempt any of the intricate cupcake designs as of yet. Plus, some of the cupcakes in the book go against my beliefs. I think food should taste like what it looks like. For this reason I am against both popcorn flavored jelly bellies and cupcakes decorated to look like dinner. Am I right?

Evidence #2. I bought a cupcake stand yesterday. I had no intention of buying a cupcake stand when I went to the store, but there it was. On sale and so pretty. I had visions of it as a centerpiece full of beautifully decorated cupcakes. I became mesmerized by it and bought it. And now as I look at it, I have no regrets about that purchase.

Am I part of the solution or part of the problem? How long are cupcakes going to be the most popular pastry? And which pastry is going to be the one to kick the cupcake off its pedestal?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Frankie Says Relax

A friend of mine sent me an email today about how he has a hard time relaxing. He said, "How can I justifiably relax when I could always be doing more/better?" This is a sentiment I can completely relate to. I come from a long line of worriers. I have convinced myself that if I'm not worrying, I'm slacking somehow.

I guess I think worrying will keep me in a constant state of motivation, keeping me focused on my goals. But let's be honest, worrying doesn't work that way for the most part. It saps our energy and steals our down time. I have to make an effort to relax and take deep breaths from time to time. I'm no professional when it comes to relaxing but here are some things I've tried:

1. Take a bath - I rarely do this but I took a bath last week. It was so relaxing I almost fell asleep in the bathtub. Would I have drowned or would I have woken up when I started choking? That was the thought that got me out of the bathtub. Then I took a shower, which I always do after baths because I feel like I have to wash the bath off. Does anyone else do that?

2. Picture a happy place - This one works for me for awhile until I start wishing I was at that place instead of where I am. It's short lived. But good for a quick fix.

3. Read a book - Reading a good book can be very relaxing. But you have to choose the right book. I just finished an amazing book called Listening is an act of love. It's one of the best books I've read in awhile but it's a total tear jerker (in a good way). I spent every night for the last ten or so nights crying right before going to sleep which was just not relaxing. I think it's time to read a Murder, She Wrote mystery again. She never (well, rarely) makes me cry.

4. Sing along to music - Yes. I love this one. As long as I'm in the privacy of my own car. Of course the problem with this is learning the words to songs. For example, in "We built this city" I thought the line "knee deep in the hoopla" was "knee deep in the goomba" and the line, "Someone's always playing corporation games" was "someone's always saying Preparation H." I didn't get it but I sang it anyway. I thought maybe Starship was making money off product placement or something.

So those are my tips for relaxing. What works for you?

Oh and PS, I'm in round TWO of the blogger brawl on Monday! Come back for a a link! I need your votes! (Sorry about all the exclamation points!)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wednesday Thoughts

I have been sick with bronchitis this week and it's been as much fun as you can imagine. I stayed home from work yesterday and today. I'm trying to stay as still as possible and not talk at all for fear of triggering the coughing. Once it starts, it won't stop. I'm living in fear of the slightest tickle in my throat.

Yesterday I stayed in bed all day, alternately sleeping and coughing the whole day. Eventually I decided to get up and take a shower which was especially necessary after getting syrup in my hair not once, but twice - once the night before and once that morning (I just bought a waffle iron and have been putting it to good use). When I'm sick I put off washing my hair for as long as possible because taming this wild mane I call hair seems like an impossible task. But I somehow managed it and I felt somewhat human again. It's amazing how a shower can do that.

In other news, I got my blog makeover, thanks to Jill, who was awesome to work with (thank you Natalie, for recommending her)! Thank you for your help with renaming my blog - as I expected, you all came up with some great ideas. Some of my favorites were:

Elizabeth Anonymous
Gettin' Fresh Like Downie
Cloudy with a chance of mustaches
Soft Downie Pillows ( that one really made me laugh)

...and so many more. Now that I started the list I realize there are just too many I enjoyed to list them all.

So, on Sunday I looked at the little map I have at the bottom of my blog and there were a whole bunch of hits from cities in Australia. I don't know if they're still reading or not but if they are I wanted to say hi and thanks for stopping by. I was going to say g'day but I just honestly don't think I can pull it off. I looked up some Australian slang and was going to try to put it into this post but once again knew I couldn't make it sound natural. Here's what I found:

bludger = lazy person
jumbuck = sheep
yobbo = loutish, surly youth
barny = argument
cobber = mate/friend

I challenge you to fit all those words into one sentence! I hope that none of those are inappropriate... using slang from another country can be risky.

Happy Wednesday.

Monday, April 5, 2010

This band rules!

I have the most embarrassing taste in music. While officially my favorite band is Led Zeppelin, unofficially I'd be very embarrassed for anyone to see my iTunes collection.

I once dated someone who was a total music snob. He only liked a musician if no one else had ever heard of them. Once someone he liked went main stream (aka "sold out") he'd move on. When we'd get in the car he'd turn on the CD player and say, "you have to hear this guy - he's so good." What would typically follow was the weirdest music I'd ever heard - almost always containing at least one flute solo. I couldn't take it anymore. I had to break up with him. I'm kidding, that had nothing to do with the demise of our relationship (not officially anyway).

Just to give you a hint of how embarrassing my taste in music is, I recently downloaded the song "We Built this City (on rock and roll)" by Starship and I think that song rocks. I've read several articles that claim that it's the "worst song ever" but what do critics know!?

My music collection actually makes no sense. I guess I'm not unique in that - most people like a variety of music. I made a mix CD recently that had a combination of Lil Wayne, Paula Abdul, Enya, Led Zeppelin, Arctic Monkeys, Counting Crows, Back Street Boys, Squirrel Nut Zippers, and Taylor Swift. Ok, I was too ashamed to admit this, but there was also a Jonas Brothers song on there. Are you judging me? I'm judging myself enough for the both of us, so can we just move on? If it makes you feel any better, I almost always skip that song when it comes up.

I feel so exposed.

I think it's time to come clean. For your mocking pleasure, I am going to reveal the five most embarrassing songs on my iTunes:

Paranoid by the Jonas Brothers
I drove all night by Celine Dion
When I needed you by Erasure
Africa by Toto
I wanna know you by Hannah Montana (I sooo wanted to not include that one but I feel the need to be completely honest - I know. It's worse than you expected.)

Make me feel better? What are the most embarrassing songs you can't help but love? You can tell me. You're safe here.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Secrets of Women

Earlier this week I asked my male readers if they have any questions about women that they'd like answered. I got some very interesting questions and decided to enlist the help of some friends in answering some of them.

To start out with, I asked the panelists to send me a short bio about themselves to give you some added insight into who they are:

Christi: I've been married for 10-ish months. I live in Riverton, Utah with my husband, dog, two cats, and sometimes four step-children.
Kathy: I grew up in a half American and half Korean run household that was located in a small town in rural Michigan. I've been happily married for nine years. I currently have the privilege of working with Elizabeth. We only fight about twice a week, so it's a decent environment.
Joan: Joan didn't send me a bio, so I get to say what I want about her. Here's a secret about Joan: her name isn't really Joan. She's from Michigan, but lives in Utah. Her hobbies include tight rope walking, fishing for marlin, and crowd surfing.
I’ve never been married; am enjoying my third annual 29th year; living in the Midwest after a brief stint in L.A.; hold down a decent job; love to travel, to laugh, and to dance around my living room. Have accumulated more than my fair share of dating stories, some hilarious, some tragic, and all memorable!
I'm a Virgo who likes romantic dinners and long walks on the beach. A grad student at Kendall College of Art & Design, I'm working on my MFA in painting and am looking for a wealthy, powerful, attractive man with a good sense of humor to support my painting habit. I also love a good concert, play, or art museum, and love literature and poetry. Wait, this isn't a personals ad?

Heidi: I'm single and I live in Ann Arbor. I really know nothing about guys, or girls for that matter but I am always willing to give advice and pass judgment anyway.
Elizabeth: Yours truly.

1. Why do women generally seem to have more trouble getting along with other women then men do getting along with other men?

Christi: Women take things way more personally. We get offended easier. If someone doesn’t return a phone call, or makes a negative comment about anything related to us (or sometimes not related to us) we take it as a personal attack. I think guys blow things off like that a lot more easily.
Kathy: PMS. Enough said. (Kidding. Sort of.) I think it's because
women in general tend to be more sensitive, and there seems to be a certain amount of insecurity and competition mixed in there. Put that together with the fact that women can be emotional, and you have the perfect recipe for hurt feelings.
Joan: Girls get annoyed more easily.
Sarah: Men will be friends with a guy who has even one similar interest (fave video game; fave movie; fave band). They will disregard all other qualities and continue to bond over this one sole common interest. Women, on the other hand, can only be friends with a woman who shares at least 85% of her similar interests, morals, ethics, views, etc.

Heidi: Women are inherently more complex than men. And there are many personality aspects that just rub us the wrong way. Since women have more personality aspects there's just more to disagree with. We don't hate all of it, which also means that we can get along with many more people more at least a short amount of time.

2. Are women really surprised when men can't read their minds?

Christi: Unfortunately, yes. I think that what I want is so obvious, you should know what it is. Realistic? No. But closer to the truth than I will typically admit.
Kathy: Absolutely. How could you not understand that when a women says something, sometimes she means the exact opposite? It shocks me on a regular basis.

Joan: No. No one expects a mind reader (weird - what if I was thinking something I wouldn't want to share). We just want a guy who isn't clueless - someone who pays attention.

Women assume that men have seen enough romantic comedies, listened to enough love songs, and had enough prior experience with sisters or former flames or buddies going through their own drama that they would eventually catch on to how we think, what we really mean, and how to make it better!
Heidi: No. But we keep hoping a miracle will occur or you'll start paying attention.
Elizabeth: Yes. We feel we've laid enough groundwork and hints that you should be able to figure it out.

3. Most of my friends have attractive wives or girlfriends. None of them are knockouts, which doesn't seem to bother the guys. Why do women make such a big deal out of how they look from day to day and what do shoes have to do with it?

Christi: Women are very competitive by nature. We are always checking out what other women are wearing, how they are doing their hair, etc., and comparing ourselves to them. We want to come up looking good in those comparisons.
Kathy: I think it's because most women would love to be considered a knockout instead of attractive.

Heidi: Women dress for other women and we just hope that guys notice from time to time and comment on how awesome we look then. Shoes are important because there are so many different kinds that you can have a pair of shoes for whatever mood you are in.
Elizabeth: I wish I knew. We waste so much time worrying about this and yet I'm guilty of it.

4. If you had to live with a man who snored or a man who never put the toilet seat down, which would you choose?

Christi: A man who snored, definitely.
Kathy: I'd rather fall in the toilet a couple of times over sleeping next to a gasping, snorting and choking disaster every night.
Joan: I would choose someone who never puts the toilet seat down over someone who snores, but I really dislike both.
While both habits are akin to nails on a chalkboard, I’d pick the ill-mannered toilet seat habit. Certainly it would be annoying, but it only lasts for a few moments before it can be remedied by putting it down with a great pair of tongs. The snoring, well, that can ruin 8-9 hours of your day!

The toilet seat deal is something a man can be trained to do, whereas the surgery to fix snoring costs money.
Heidi: A man who never put the toilet seat down. Because as my husband I would care a lot about him and wouldn't want to have to shorten his life because he snored.

5. What are your top three favorite excuses to give a guy for not going on a date? And how do you think that excuse will be interpreted? (washing your hair should not be in the top three)

Joan: 1. I already have plans - meaning I don't want to go out (If I really did want to go out but already had plans then I would suggest another time)
2. I am dating someone else - meaning I either don't want to go out or I really have a boyfriend
3. Basically if you get any excuse for not going on a date it means I don't want to go out with you.
Sarah: "I already have plans that night" = I'm probably blowing you off, but maybe give it one more shot (persistence pays off - persistence, not stalking). "I'm actually not looking to start dating anyone right now" = I am, but I'm not looking to start dating you. "Well, I just recently started dating someone else" = I might have "seen" a cute guy at the bank, or maybe even gone on one pseudo-date with someone but I am really in interested in this person or his friends. I'm just trying to let you down easy.
Excuse #1: I'm just not that into you. Excuse #2: I have a family thing that night. Excuse #3: I just ate there/saw that movie/spent 3 days in that museum/became allergic to ice cream/boys. I don't generally think about how the guy would interpret any excuses I give. Does that make me a cold-blooded female? I think it makes me slightly detached in order to spare feelings?
Heidi: I'm tired, I have things to do for school, or I just don't want to date you. All those things should be interpreted as you need to find someone else to transfer your creepy attention to. I won't give excuses until after the first date unless you really are creeptastic.
Elizabeth: I never make excuses, I'm just busy when guys I don't want to go out with ask me out.

6. There seems to be a huge disparity between what women say they want in a guy (funny/caring/smart/testimony/whatever) and what they actually seem drawn to (power/money/attractiveness). Is this something girls are aware of on some level? And if so, how do they reconcile it? Not trying to sound bitter or accusatory, girls are genetically wired to be attracted to power/money (stability in a potential mate) and attractiveness means he'll father healthy offspring. I don't hold that against you at all. I just wonder...why the staunch denial?

Christi: I guess I don’t hang out with people where this is often the case. If you look at couples, you’ll a lot of times see a really good looking girl with only an average guy. The opposite is rarely true. Anything a guy lacks in appearance/power/money he can make up for with all of the qualities you listed (funny, caring, smart, testimony). One thing I will say about money, most girls I know don’t need someone is rich, but they are looking for a guy that can hold down a steady ‘grown-up’ job.
Joan: I think we are definitely aware. It's hard to find a good mix. Logic and emotion don't always line up.

When I was first looking for a legitimate serious relationship, I definitely went for the “good-on-paper” attributes…physically attractive, financially secure, a go-getter. Turns out, those things aren’t as important as we are led to believe, and I think it’s because now women can be financially independent; have their own set of goals; and enough confidence that they don’t need a man to provide those things. It takes some trial and error, but I think if we wait long enough to find the right guy, we eventually do pick the nice, funny, caring, intelligent one.
Katherine: I've never denied being attracted to power or money! But it has to be in combination with other things I'm looking for. If I fall for an amazing guy who's broke as a joke, I'm not going to send him packing. But I AM looking for someone to be a provider for my family. As for attractiveness, we may drool over the James Francos and the Carey Grants, but we don't expect to marry them. Yet we DO need to be attracted to the person we marry.
Heidi: I'm pretty sure there isn't a disparity between what I say I want and what I want. I want every single one of those things. The denial just comes from trying not to discourage those who have less than what we want.
Elizabeth: If I knew what I wanted, I might not still be single.

So there you have it - does that clear things up or make them more confusing. Men, do you have further questions? Women, anything to add? Thanks to all the panelists for your honest and open answers!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Open Brainstorm

I want to rename my blog but I can't come up with anything good (I hope that sounded as whiny as intended). I am just not clever and I am very jealous of people who are. One Saturday morning recently I was running errands and I heard a man talking on the radio about a book he had written which was subtitled Innuendo and Out the Other. I was immediately irritated. Why? Because the name of the book was so clever and I knew I could have never come up with something like that.

Which brings me back to my problem. I want to rename my blog but can't come up with anything. "Elizabeth Downie" just isn't cutting it for me anymore. It was a desperate move by a beginning blogger and just never got fixed.

I keep trying to think of alliterative names (why, I don't know) but I think I actually kind of hate alliterative names. I mean, I'm almost positive I hate them, at least in regard to my own blog. Something like, "Michigan musings" makes me feel sick. It's fine for other people, but it's just not me. (I'm really nervous right now that one of you has a blog named Michigan Musings that I subconsciously remembered but now can't remember if it's real or not. It's a good name - just not for me.)

So then there are the whimsical names like, "thoughts on life" and "view from here" which make me feel uncomfortable because my blog just isn't that serious for the most part. I'd feel pressure to be insightful with a name like that.

Then I tried to think of things I like, such as:

Snuggies - but I'm growing tired of Snuggies.
Riding my bike - Unfortunately I can only ride my bike half the year so I can't make it part of my blog name.
T.V. I am in denial about how much TV I watch though, so I can't really own that, plus I don't blog about TV. Ok, yes I do. Once again, I'm in denial.
Books - Yes, books! Finally a worthy hobby! But my blog isn't about books, sadly.
Being single - wait, this shouldn't be listed under "things I like." But I am single and I do blog about that a lot so...I guess it's something to consider.

I guess the question comes down to, what is my blog about? If I could figure that out, I think I'd be on the path to naming my blog.

So I thought I'd go to you all because you're much more clever than me. Often people who read my blog say to me, "the comments are often more funny than the actual post!" not realizing that this is actually an insult to me. But I agree. You all are quite funny. (Yes, I am buttering you up now.)

How did you come up with the name for your blog? Can you help me name mine?

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Just a reminder to my male readers - if you have any questions about women (what do we really want, what's a good first date, why do we like James Franco so much....etc...etc...), please ask away!

You can ask anonymously if you want. There have been a few questions already asked in the comments section from the last post but if you have more - go ahead and ask! Don't be shy. I will be answering them sometime soon with the help of a few friends. We'll be nice, don't worry. We'll do our best to answer them if not accurately, at least comically. You really can't lose.