Thursday, April 29, 2010
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
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.
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,
Monday, April 26, 2010
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, 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
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: Ok....how 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:
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.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
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
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:
1. Unbutton that top button.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
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
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?
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!?
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.
*I'm kidding, it's nothing like that at all.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Vote for Elizabeth!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
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.
her: We need to get some cupcake mix.
her: No, we need cupcake mix.
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
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:
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.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
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:
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.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Sunday, April 4, 2010
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.
Sarah: 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!
Katherine: 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?
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.
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.
Sarah: 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.
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.
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.
Sarah: 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!
Katherine: 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.
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.
Katherine: 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.
Joan: I think we are definitely aware. It's hard to find a good mix. Logic and emotion don't always line up.
Sarah: 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.
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
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
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.