Monday, April 30, 2012

BLOW OFF mythbusters: girls should never make the first move

A few of my girlfriends disagree with me on this point, but I want to know what the dudes think: should girls make the first move? My opinion: HELL YES. We're part of a generation that goes after what they want and makes things happen. Would you ever just sit on your ass and wait for your dream job to fall into your lap or would you go after it. You'd go after it, duh. So, why can't the same be said about relationships?

I made the first move with the H-bomb. If I never went up to him that drunken night in Orlando, Florida who knows where either us would be today. Probably homeless and miserable with crack-cocaine addictions. But back when I lived in NY, my friends used to get annoyed with me for approaching guys in bars. They felt that things were way less likely to pan out with a boy if he wasn't the one doing the pursuing. They either didn't believe in making the first move or were just sick and tired of making all the effort. BUT:

A. these were girls who were used to getting approached by men. The only guys approaching me were three feet tall.

B. these were girls with way more patience than me. I want to scream my head off if I'm stopped at a red light for more than twelve seconds. I could not just sip my vodka tonic for three hours, while making eye contact and hoping cute boy would approach me before last call.

C. can't we give guys a break sometimes? Don't they have fragile egos too? Doesn't it make them feel kind of hot and desirable if a girl comes up to them? Isn't it a relief that they don't have to come up with some witty cool thing to say to a group of girls who will probably just roll their eyes and say they're just having a girls' night?

I would say the majority of the guys I've dated, I asked out first. Starting with my sixth grade boyfriend. I asked him if he wanted "to go with me" in the middle of a recess basketball game. He said: sure. We were eleven. That's right, I was progressive in 1991. I was a woman of the nineties. It was me and Hillary Clinton.

But purely for the sake of controversy and to stir a debate in the comments section *fingers crossed* i'm going to say...I'm not a fan of...wait for it...girls saying "I love you" first. We have to draw the line somewhere when it comes to blurring gender roles, right? Plus, I've said it first and it did not work in my favor (okay, fine-- I wasn't even dating the guy at the time). Also, i think some guys are too big of pussies to not just say "i love you, too" even if they don't really mean it yet. Except of course the guy that I said it to-- who stuttered and ran away.

photo credit: johnlund.com

Friday, April 27, 2012

BLOW OFF song of the day: Dancing on My Own by Robyn



I'm in the corner, watching you kiss her, ohh
I'm right over here, why can't you see me, ohh
I'm giving it my all, but I'm not the girl you're taking home, ooo
I keep dancing on my own
-Robyn, 2010

Thursday, April 26, 2012

BLOWING OFF my inner Groucho Marx

Before I found MY GUY, I was perpetually attracted to unavailable men who treated me like yesterday's news. I actually don't blame any of them, because for a long time I didn't believe I deserved better. I made a habit of choosing dudes who blew me off in a variety of lame ways -- one of the worst being the time I walked in on one such loser while he was making out with another girl at a party he had invited me to. Did this even stop him? No! They continued to suck face right in front of my eyes even though the night before he'd professed his feelings and promised to show me just how much he cared. Uh, he showed me. His excuse for this humiliating betrayal? He was getting in too deep and needed something more casual -- with someone else.

For months I let myself feel victimized by the situation until a wise friend and mentor named Katherine Woodward Thomas helped me come to a very powerful realization -- life happens through us, not just to us. It was time to wake up to all the ways in which I blew myself off just like the emotionally immature boys I kept choosing at the lousy boyfriend buffet.

Most of my life I had felt like Groucho Marx -- I never wanted to belong to a club that would have me as a member. Since childhood, I was always more interested in proving my worth to the types of people who would never really be able to see it instead of those who would readily accept me. Most clearly -- myself. I was constantly obsessed with my myriad of shortcomings so if I felt a man liked me too much, I would diss him for being pathetic or needy or just plain weird. It never occurred to me that people who naturally liked me might just be the audience I was looking for. Sure, I can go back and explain to you in hindsight where I learned such dysfunctional behavior, but how I unlearned it is way more important.

I decided the best way to prevent more BLOW OFFs was to make an oath to myself; I would learn to honor my own value and keep my distance from any man I felt less than around. In the beginning, this was a tall order, because it meant that any time I felt butterflies for a cute guy I had to turn and walk away. That's because butterflies for me equated putting too much attention on him and leaving my sense of self worth behind. Any hottie with an charming personality who made my eyes widen also made my insecurities run rampant and my inner-pleaser jump into overdrive. I had to re-learn how to be comfortable and confident in my own skin and to choose men that didn't make me want to abandon the ship of my own needs for the ocean liner of theirs.

When I was finally ready to open up to true love, I had to look no further than two feet away - because he ended up being a British Bloke I'd already known for two years. Silly me had just never noticed him in that way before. Not because he wasn't dashing or brilliant - in fact he's both. He just wasn't sparkly about it. Before Tom, I had gotten so used to seeking out sparkly guys because I had been denying my own inner sparkly side. He was a friend of some friends whom I had spent loads of time around but never gotten to know because my butterflies didn't make an appearance when he was in the room. I felt totally comfortable to be sparkly and even MORE myself in his presence - something I never realized was a sign of a good match. When we started spending quality time together, I started to enjoy how easy it was to be honest and open with a man without fear of his judgment or anger or potential disinterest. And after five years of being a couple, I can honestly say that I'm grateful to have gotten blown off enough times to propel me into a a serious investigation of my own bad behavior, because doing so has finally liberated me from my bad boyfriend pattern and brought me the love I've always been dreaming of.

Today, I am a happily coupled Bird in love with a Bloke who is smart, funny, sexy, loving, considerate, thoughtful, and my very best friend. Wow. All it took was a vow to become my own best friend so I could attract in a love of the same caliber. 



So peeps -- the next time you're crying your eyes out after getting BLOWN OFF, take a moment to think about all the ways in which you've been blowing yourself off. Then make a vow to become your own best partner in crime. You might find yourself having such a good time that life finally has the opportunity to steer your attention to the mirror of your heart's content. Trust me, he's well worth the journey.

Jen Kleiner is an award winning filmmaker, stylist, life coach & creative consultant. You can learn more about her work at www.intuitive-artists.com

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I'd like to schedule a meeting: working with your significant other

There are many beautiful and cherished reasons to work with your husband. I just can't think of them right now. My husband and I are both filmmakers and recently shot our first feature The Tested together. Before we started shooting, we sat down and put a list together of rules we had to abide by, the first being no calling each other "baby" on set. Figured it might not go over very well with the crew.

Working with your spouse can be difficult because of the comfort level. It's easy to fall into husband and wife world but it's more difficult to try to maintain the respect and atmosphere that you'd have with someone you didn't share a bed with.

It's so important to treat your significant other as you would anyone else. You have to carve out the time to speak about your business and brainstorm about new ideas, because if you don't set aside the time, it's easy to ignore each other and play angry birds while watching Celebrity Apprentice (yes, we watch it and we are unapologetic).

The truth is we work well together, he's the quiet, creative force and I'm the mouthpiece. We have a short hand, and if he sees me on set, he knows there's a problem.

I recently directed my first short The Busker, and he was the DP. I couldn't have done it without him. He was my safety net and helped me through the whole thing. I could have done without him yelling "cut" those few times, but I can't blame him for falling into old habits.

I wouldn't trade working with my husband for anything. The lows are low and there are many but the highs are higher because you share them.

He inspires me more than anyone I know and I feel lucky to be his wife and business partner. In that order.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

the BLOW OFF questionnaire: meet Danielle!

Guys! We have our second questionnaire participant who I have never had the pleasure of meeting in person. There's nothing I love more than people who read the BLOW OFF even though they don't have to worry about me breaking into their houses and checking their browser history to see if they've been supporting the blog. Love you, strangers! Anyway. Meet Danielle. She is a California girl that was transplanted (against her will) to a state with actual seasons...Massachusetts. She's 31 and married to an awesome guy (even though "he moved me to this god forsaken state"). Danielle and her husband have a beautiful daughter together. She loves TV, yoga, sarcasm, horror movies, punk rock, ellipses, her daughter's smile and her husband's laugh. Awww. Holy sweetness!

I hate guys who...try to control me.
I love guys who...love me enough to marry me :)
My worst break up was...ugh...my high school boyfriend dumping me after convincing me not to go away to college.
My easiest break up was...dumping a guy I had only been seeing for a couple of weeks. I could see the fat kid inside of him that was dying to get out. (I know, I'm a heartless bitch) Also, he was way too nice and I wasn't ready for that.
My three deal breakers are...no sense of humor, no ambition, bad hygiene.
I've been in love 3 times- high school boyfriend, guy before my husband, my husband.
I've had my heart broken 3 times (my husband broke my heart while we were dating)
I've broken 2 hearts- nice guy and my best friend's brother that was in love with me. He was too nice too...
My go to sad break up song is...Anyone Who Had a Heart- Dionne Warwick or Never is a Promise- Fiona Apple
My go to "fuck you" break up song is....Sleep to Dream- Fiona Apple
Angelina Jolie...I can't help it, I LOVE her! I was never a Jennifer Aniston fan.
Reality TV....is my guilty pleasure! My husband and I watch all the MTV reality shows, the amazing race, survivor....ugh, we watch way too much tv! I watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette on my own.

Monday, April 23, 2012

the spill your guts letter: yay or nay?

It was eighth grade. 1993-1994. My best friend and I both liked the same guy. Back then, all was fair in love and pre-algebra and when he declared that he liked me back, I got to be the one that dated him. I'm really not sure what he was thinking. She looked like a thirteen year old Goldilocks and I looked like a thirteen year old Frida Kahlo with braces, but whatever. The boy and I eventually broke up over the phone. I can't remember why, but like all of my break ups, I regretted it about two hours later. So, I decided to spill my guts in a note. I slipped it to him at our eighth grade graduation dance after we slow-danced to November Rain by Guns & Roses. Or it could have been I Swear by All 4 One. Eighth grade was a blur.

I'm not sure what the note said. Something about how I still had feelings for him and that I missed him and that I wish things worked out differently. And that if only we were going to the same high school than we could get back together. And I think I wrote down a couple lyrics from November Rain. Or I Swear. Or Bram Stoker's Dracula (remember, Love Never Dies?) Like I said, eighth grade was a blur. If memory serves me correctly, I don't think he ever responded or acknowledged the note. We are Facebook friends, so maybe I'll see if he has a better recollection of any of this.

I felt sort of embarrassed that I poured my heart out to him and he didn't stop me before getting into my mom's car after the dance to tell me he loved me.

I also had a habit of spilling my guts when signing yearbooks of guys I loved in high school. I liked to leave things vague and write lines like "i guess i'll leave the rest unsaid." This guy I was massively in love with sophomore year (Justin Guinn. What ever happened to you?) came up to me in geometry at the end of the year, wordlessly grabbed my yearbook and took it to his desk to sign it. I almost fainted. I was positive he was spilling his guts about how much he loved me. I walked home, determined not to read what he wrote until I was in my bedroom. I flipped the yearbook pages to where he signed it and all it said was some shit like "stay sweet. see you next year." Okay, I just looked him up on Facebook and he looks a little douchey now, so I guess it was for the best.

And then when email was invented, even though I was in my twenties and much more mature, I was still known to send a few gut-wrenching emails to old boyfriends. I kind of miss those days. Where I literally felt like I was going to throw up every time I checked my email to see if I'd gotten a response.

Whenever my friends ask me if they should write a guy a letter, I always say yes. I'm totally the girl that loves to tell people to write someone a letter they have no intention of sending just to get everything off their chest-- and then once they write it, I talk them into sending it. A few years ago, I convinced one of my bestest friends (and a contributor of this blog) to send her ex one of those letters. She still had feelings for him and their break up was super abrupt. She dropped the letter off at the post office after I gave her a million reasons why she should send it and then she called me frantically. She had just checked his myspace page and it said "in a relationship." She had to get the letter back! But she couldn't. To this day, we're not sure if he read it. They eventually met for drinks months later and the letter was never mentioned by either one of them. I still feel guilty for convincing her to send it.

My other bestie broke up with her boyfriend a couple years ago and she sent him the letter of all letters. This girl could win a pulitzer prize in letter-writing to ex-boyfriends. If I had a million dollars, I would pay her to print the letter in full on this blog, but that would be exploitative. Basically, she called him out on his shit in the most straight-forward awesome way. I think the letter ended with: "P.S. You're not as smart or funny as you think you are. Ask anyone."

HOT DAMN!

Anyway. Where do you guys stand on the whole spill your guts letter? We know Film Girl has sent one. Anyone else have a story they want to share? Comment below.

*photo credit: Erica Lea

Friday, April 20, 2012

BLOW OFF song of the day: U Got It Bad by Phillip Phillips



U got it bad when you're out with someone
But you keep on thinkin' bout somebody else
U got it bad
-Phillip Phillips, 2012 (originally sung by Usher. Duh.)

Yes. He's my American Idol crush. What? He's legal.

Happy 4-20!

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish a happy 4-20 to all the stoners that I loved at one time or another. Especially the boy who would invite me to smoke pot with him after school when I was a junior. You introduced me to movies like Friday and Far Out Man. For awhile my favorite eye-color on a guy was blood shot...all due to you. You wrote poems called The Lonely Grasshopper. You were so perfectly unattainable and aloof. And I was once crushed when you called me ordinary.

Sigh. Why are stoners still so hot even though they love to ignore us? Ladies, let's just keep telling ourselves that pot can lead to erectile dysfunction. (it actually usually leads to increased sex drive.)

Oh, it's also earth day folks. Don't BLOW OFF recycling!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Still obsessed with the ex BLOW OFF

When it came to my single days, there were two categories I usually fell into. The first was the little sister category. That's when a guy sees me as cute and witty and a really good friend, but not someone he would want to have sex with, because that would be like having sex with his sister. The second category: the rebound. That's when the guy is still completely obsessed with the last person he dated and decides that I would be a good buffer to help get them over that person. And that getting involved with me is a low risk endeavor, because they would never be interested in anything long term.

Sadly, I didn't have this much awareness when I was actually in my twenties and dating these guys. Instead, I convinced myself that these dudes were SO happy things didn't work out with that lame other girl, because otherwise they would have never gotten a chance to be with ME!

I think the first guy I really experienced this with was Jewish Asian Fetish boy. He had been dumped by his Chinese girlfriend about six months before he met me. At first, he didn't really want to talk about her. Which is a really bad sign. That means they are still so in love it's still too painful for them to even discuss the break up. Then, he started talking about her a little too much. And then, I became way too familiar with her Friendster page. I would force all my friends to look through her pictures and tell me I was prettier than her. Even though she had cute bangs, no hips, and wore very stylish sweaters. Pretty soon, I felt like we were in a full fledged love triangle: him, me, her Friendster page. By the way, did I mention I only dated this guy for a month? I have a gift for making short-lived, fairly insignificant relationships seem like they were epic mini-series on PBS kind of romances. It's all for the sake of this blog.

Okay, the next rebound. Beware of the guy who ended his previous relationship purely based on circumstance. Like, if he and his ex called it quits, because they lived in two different states, then he's basically going to love her for the rest of his life. She's unattainable. You can't compete with unattainable. This is why I could only half-love the movie Like Crazy, because I related to Jennifer Lawrence's character more than Felicity Jones. So, me and Mr. Circumstance are in bed and I make the amateur mistake of asking him if he still stays in touch with the ex. He says: no, because SHE'S in love with SOMEONE ELSE which he knew would happen because SHE'S SUCH AN AMAZING PERSON. Oh, hell no. You're spooning me and you're telling me the only reason you don't talk to the girl is because she's in love with someone else (translation: you are not.) I swear, the guy was practically weeping when he told me this. But don't feel bad for him, he married that girl.

I'm sure there are many more guys that closed their eyes and pretended they were with someone else, while making out with me, but these are the two I'm certain about. What about you, readers? Ever date someone still totally hung up on their ex? Comment below!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

the shahs of sunset BLOW OFF

When I first heard that Ryan Seacrest was doing a show on Iranians living in Los Angeles, I was scared. When I watched the show, I was horrified. I even announced on Facebook that I would now be telling people I was Italian. BUT, like a bad car accident, I could not tear myself away from Shahs of Sunset and now, instead of blowing it off, I kind of fell in love with it. And so did a lot of other people. The series got better ratings than Bethenny Frankel's show on Bravo and after a brief first season, it was just renewed for a season two. What fascinates me about all Reality TV is that I always start out hating everyone involved and then, before I know it, the gay guy confronts his absent father and I suddenly want to hold him tight and tell him it gets better. Throw me any morsel of humanity on one of these shows and I'll cling to it and watch the whole season. That's why I went from wanting to barf in the mouths of everyone on Shah's to trying to figure out who I'd want to meet for happy hour (MJ).

Anyway. My mom is kind of mad that my sister and I are obsessed with Shahs, but I can tell she secretly wants to give the show another try. And even though I've embraced its awfulness, I do feel a responsibility to dispel some Persian myths and stereotypes the show perpetuates. This is for you, mom.

10. All Iranian-Americans do not live in Los Angeles. Many of us live in other parts of the country. Those of us that didn't relocate to LA are racist against Iranians who did. We think they are cheesy and tacky and materialistic (my aunt, uncle, and cousins are the exception to the rule.) This is why we were particularly terrified to learn there would be a reality TV show about Persians in LA. They are like our dirty little secret and now they've been exposed to the world.

9. We do not all sell real estate. We do, however, appraise it.

8. Contrary to what Asa would like you to believe, she's not like super famous among the Persian community. I'd never heard of her until this show. But I cannot wait for Diamond Water perfume to be made available at the nearest Nordstrom Rack and I'm dying to hear a Tehrangeles feat. Fergie & Snoop-Dogg re-mix.

7. We believe the people on this show need a serious eyebrow intervention. We pretty much invented threading and their bushy brows spit in the face of it. Andy Cohen, if you're reading this, I'd like to tape a PSA to air after the show telling Persians where they can get their brows done in the greater Los Angeles area. I'm worried they are going to spread lice with those furry caterpillar abroos.

6. We don't argue about stupid shit like accusing someone of wearing an off the rack dress or being late to a party. In fact, why would anyone with a life go to a party on time? (Persian Standard Time is my new favorite thing to say). We actually fight about important stuff-- like backgammon games or not getting invited to a wedding. And we certainly do not kiss and make up right away. Instead, we prefer to hold a grudge until someone dies and then we feel bad and say sorry.

5. We stopped rocking mustaches in 1992 just like everyone else. And as much as Reza is our favorite character for creating the catchphrase "Hello, We're Persian" we don't want them to make a comeback.

4. We are into highlights, not peroxide. We are as horrified by Vida (MJ's evil mother; pictured below) and Reza's Long Island cousins cheap blonde dye jobs as the rest of you are. We would however like MJ's mom to get her own spin off show called Livin' La Vida Loca.
3. Persian Muslims and Persian Jews are not like the Capulets and the Montagues. We don't hate each other. We just kind of ignore each other. Seriously, I didn't even know Persians could be Jewish until I met a Persian Jew in college.

2. We look more like GG and less like MJ and Sammy. Although, let the record show that GG's nose is not real. I do not want to be held to some unrealistic beauty standard by gringos who don't know a fake nose when they see one.

1. We do not call ourselves refugees and we never call Iran the old country. Last time I checked refugees weren't living in Beverly Hills. Oh wait, most of these people live in shitty Westwood condos. So, scratch that. They are totally refugees.

There are a million other things I could add to this list. (Like how we don't all have a soft spot for gold and antique furniture. Seriously. Some of us shop at Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel like the rest of America). And yeah, even though the series does show Iranians in a bad light....well, does that really matter when it also shows MJ fall on her ass in a Vegas bathtub OR Reza's kabob-loving scary grandmother who was also kind of cute and could be in an Adam Sandler movie OR GG's hot ass sister who bought a BMW for like five dollars a month and no money down? What do I care what people in the mid-west think about Iranians? I don't. Bring on more Shah-nanigans stat.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Honesty is the greatest policy

This video is hilarious. Thanks to I'm Just Sayin' is All for sending it my way. If only all dates could end with this much honesty.

BLOW OFF questionnaire: Meet Alexandra!

I'm so excited, we have our first reader answering our questionnaire that doesn't know me personally! That means she wasn't guilted into doing this by years of friendship or threats that I would expose her deepest darkest secrets. Yay, Alexandra! Though I have never met her in person, I dig her photo. Also, she has a fear of airplanes and oceans which I can totally relate to. Alexandra was born in LA, went to school in NY, and she's now a copywriter for Barbie. Some of her favorite things include wine, avocados, Murder She Wrote, and Terriers. I feel like we're best friends already.
I hate guys who...are insecure. Grow up. Be a man. I like you.
I love guys who...make me laugh. Beards are good too. I love the hairy ones.
My worst break up was...when the cherry-popper left me for an ex. I was 18. And crrrrrrrrushed. Dick.
My easiest break up was...when I moved from NY to LA without him. Easy breezy.
My three deal breakers are...not being able to hold your drink, lack of motivation, and bartenders.
I've been in love a gazillion times, but not really.
I've had my heart broken 1 time.
I've broken 3 hearts and my pelvis.
My go to sad break up song is.....These Days by Nico
My go to "fuck you" break up song is....Fighter by Xtina Aguilera (I'm so ashamed.)
Angelina Jolie...pretty for a witch.
Reality TV....nothing more boring than watching dumb women eat salad and shop.

Monday, April 16, 2012

My Apartment's Very Clean Without You...



I love this video. It's oh-so Dar Williams. I don't know why these girls are so sad though. Clean apartment trumps boyfriend. Oh, just kidding. Truth be told though, i make the h-bomb brush his teeth in a different bathroom than me. It's one of my weird phobias. I just don't like it when people brush their teeth around me.

if you didn't BLOW me OFF, I would have never met my besties

When my high school boyfriend dumped me my sophomore year of college, I was totally gutted. It was my first real break up and I didn't know how to get over it. I felt like I was dying a slow painful death. I had fantasies about setting happy couples on fire. Even a cute new haircut couldn't pull me out of the abyss. In the words of Janeane Garofalo in Reality Bites, I was in the Bell Jar. Plus, I felt like I'd hit the statute of limitations with my friends and could no longer burst into tears and flail around my dorm room screaming "why me? why God?!" They were sick of it.

I decided the only way to ease the pain was to become super productive and busy. It was time to join things. And that's when I discovered the Film Arts Coalition. Plus, I was planning to transfer schools and I needed some shit that would look good on my college applications. It was a win-win. I met some cool people when I joined FAC, but once I opened up about my break up, a few of the girls in the club quickly became my new best friends. They went into overdrive to help me get through my heartbreak. The first remedy: listening to as much Tori Amos, Liz Phair, and Ani DiFranco as possible. They loaned me a shitload of CDs and told me to listen to Northern Lad by Tori Amos stat. Maybe I had lost a boyfriend, but it didn't matter anymore because I had gained some really awesome girlfriends.

Twelve years later, two of those girls-- Tanya and Jen--are still my besties.
Jen & I at my wedding.

Jen lives just down the street from me in Los Angeles. We're in the same book club. We meet at coffee shops to write together. We commiserate about our careers and tell each other we will be wildly successful one day. She's a writer/director, but she's also a life coach on the side--- which means I get free life coaching advice just by hanging out with her. She's wise and has the best laugh ever. She's also my favorite person to feel awkward with at super fancy LA parties.

Tanya & I. Yes, these are gratuitous wedding pics-- but the point is: that's how close I am with these girls.

Tanya lives in the bay area with her husband and baby boy. She's such an amazing friend that she came to my wedding even though she was a month away from giving birth. We lived in NY at the same time for a few months and we survived the 2004 black out together. Even though we don't get to see each other that often, we are always texting and emailing. We even have a running personal joke that the other person is in the looney bin. Trust me. It's funny. Like, when we email, it's always like-- found a super cute strait jacket on Amazon I'm sending to you! Hope you're taking your meds. We also have a shared love of actors with three names-- like Gael Garcia Bernal and Joseph Gordon Levitt.

So, if super insignificant high school boyfriend never dumped me, I would have missed out on two incredible friendships. He was a blip and these bitches are going to be visiting me in a nursing home someday.

Friday, April 13, 2012

BLOW OFF song of the day: Landlocked Blues by Bright Eyes



If you walk away, I'll walk away
first tell me which road you will take
I don't want to risk our paths crossing someday
so you walk that way, I'll walk this way
-Bright Eyes, 2005

this song gets me every time.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

the same boy blew twice

A few weeks ago I asked out a younger guy, easing myself into rebound-land. Just knowing he’s younger diminished any sense of real attachment, just what the love doctor would prescribe but probably frowned upon by my real life therapist. Anyway, we coordinated through text and then the night before our “meet up” (I’m not going to humor myself by saying date, because it wasn’t) I didn’t hear from him at all. Ok God, you must have a plan if you think this is going to help me become a stronger woman. I let go of it and I actually felt like a decent human being.

Exactly a week later this young lad texted he was sorry because some personal issues came up so I thought why not give him a second chance. We coordinated again, now it seemed all set. Oh wait, I forgot this is Los Angeles!!! Where seemingly nice guys can blow your ass off the last minute because they don’t want to drive 45 minutes to meet up with you. Here's the text he sent:

Just got done. So much traffic out. I hate to ask you this but can we reschedule? I calculated the trip from my place to Santa Monica and will take about 45 min. I just got back from LA in traffic. Maybe we can meet halfway during the week. Sorry again.

Cool. Got it.

I’m not going to lie, now I’m a little upset and texted all my girlfriends. Here are some of the best responses:

A____: Fuck him. Don’t even write back. It takes 45min to get anywhere in LA. What a loser

B____: Barf all over his face. Homey don’t play that. NEXT!

J____: Fuck. That. Seriously,....(sorry, I had to edit because of inside joke here but the rest is profound).....champs aren’t the ones that always have good luck and no bummers. Champs are the ones that bounce back quickly.

T____: We are so over men Like I try to give them a chance and they’re all the same. Just varying differences of suck

Dear readers, I know this isn’t the worst double blow off scenario, but ladies you sympathize with me on the getting ready/anticipation/perhaps even blowing some other person off for the date sacrifices. As if break ups aren’t bad enough, now I’m forced to reconsider rebound options. Is it LA? Find someone even younger? Should I move to Portland?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

BLOW OFF greeting card collection

We can't take credit for writing this one, but we would totally put it in our BLOW OFF greeting card collection.

historical BLOW OFFS: Ernest Hemingway & Hadley Richardson

Welcome to our new regular column: historical BLOW OFFS! Yes, it's true. We are now in the business of edumucating. Meet our first featured couple:


Hadley was Ernest Hemingway's first wife. They were married on September 3, 1921 (exactly 90 years before the H-bomb and I tied the knot, really hope the fact that we share an anniversary with them is not a bad omen.) Ernest and Hadley moved to Paris together where they rubbed elbows with other writers and artists, had a baby boy, and drank a lot of whiskey. I recently became familiar with their love story after the book club I'm in read The Paris Wife by Paula McClain (a work of fiction based on the marriage of Ernest & Hadley) followed by A Moveable Feast, Hemingway's memoirs on the same time period.

Here's what went down between these two. Being married to a writer and living in Paris might sound super hot and sexy, but not if their work is pretty much all they cared about. Hadley was the perfect devoted wife (even though she once accidentally lost ALL of Hemingway's early work on a train), while Hemingway was obsessed with becoming the quintessential American writer, even if it meant neglecting his family. Things in their marriage got really fucked up when Hadley discovered Ernest was having an affair with her best friend, Pauline Pfeiffer. Hemingway wanted to have his cake and eat it too: stay married to Hadley, while continuing his affair with Pauline.

Eventually, Hadley couldn't cope with bringing someone else into their marriage and she left Hemingway. BUT at one point, she gave him an ultimatum. She would grant him a divorce only if he and Pauline did not see or speak to each other for 100 days. Pauline and Ernest agreed. I think this was Hadley's last ditch effort to see if Ernest would choose her instead, but maybe she was on to something. Maybe anyone who's considering leaving their spouse for someone else should give themselves a hundred days of no contact to think long and hard about their decision. It was Hadley though that put an end to the 100 day deal. She called it off and moved forward with divorcing Hemingway. Ernest and Pauline married, had two sons, he eventually cheated on her too, and they got divorced. Hemingway was married two more times before he shot himself in 1961. Pauline died in 1951-- allegedly after a phone call from Hemingway caused a tumor she had to secrete excessive adrenaline. The change in blood pressure that followed caused the shock that killed her.

Hadley fared much better. She was remarried to Paul Mowrer for nearly forty years until his death in 1971. And I'm guessing she found some closure when it came to her marriage to Ernest. In his memoirs, published three years after his death, Hemingway writes about how regretful he was about the way he ended his marriage to Hadley ("I wished I had died before I loved anyone but her.") Um, I kind of wish every guy that ever dumped me would devote a chapter in their memoirs about how much they regretted it...and then shoot themselves, of course. Hemingway on the affair:

There is all that time when you do things that are impossible and when you are with one you love her and with the other you love her and together you love them both. You break all promises and you do everything you knew that could never do nor would want to do. The one who is relentless wins. But finally it is the one who loses that wins and that is the luckiest thing that ever happened for me. (A Moveable Feast, restored edition p. 216)

Wow. The man could write. I love this passage. I love that he claims his mistress won, because she was the relentless one. But ultimately, Hadley ended up happier than all of them. And that her happiness sort of alleviated his guilt in the end.

I leave you with this line from A Moveable Feast which sort of encapsulates why I started this blog in the first place:

...maybe in the end it is easier to break your legs than to break your heart, although they say that whatever breaks that many are stronger at the broken places.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

BLOW OFF questionnaire: Meet Mei!

The BLOW OFF questionnaire is back! Yay! I'd like you all to meet my friend Mei. We were introduced by mutual friends last year at a fundraiser in Los Angeles for Umamimart and it's been true love ever since. Mei is super stylish and works as the wardrobe assistant for the hit show New Girl. She's a recovering serial monogamist who loves Persian food and thinks we should all read this book by Ray J.

I hate guys who...are rude& inconsiderate of others
I love guys who...can nerd out on the economist and isn't too tight ass to tell a few fart and/or gay jokes
My worst break up was...all post 9/11
My easiest break up was....all relationships from 7th grade
My three deal breakers are...unhygienic lifestyle, trainspotting quantified drug use, massive porn consumption
I've been in love 1 time
I've had my heart broken 1.5 times
I've broken maybe 1 heart
My go to sad break up song is...maps by yeah yeah yeahs
My go to "fuck you" break up song is....ring of fire by johnny cash
Angelina Jolie...can't ever make it right with the women folk no matter how many third world babies she keeps gathering.
Reality TV....is better than therapy, I know I've done both in the same day.

Monday, April 9, 2012

the perfectly great guy BLOW OFF

This is the story about how I BLEW OFF the guy that was totally good on paper. The guy that I should have been head over heels in love with. The guy that I easily could have brought home to mom and dad. The guy who was actually funny and cute and smart and was for once crazy about me. The only thing he couldn't compete with was the power of an ex-boyfriend.

I was living in NY where I recently reconnected with a friend from high school. She was throwing a birthday party at a bar on the lower east side and I had no one to take with me. All my friends were either on dates or had other plans. So, I decided to bite the bullet and show up at the bar alone and force myself to mingle. I think I was sick enough of being single that I was in the "put myself out there" phase. You know, the phase where you don't turn down any invitations, because saying yes could mean meeting the love of your life?

So, I put on my lucky earrings and my page boy hat (yes, this is back when they were in style) and took a cab downtown. Going to a party alone is probably right up there with my fear of getting raped and murdered, but I was determined to have a good night. I asked the birthday girl if there were any cute single boys and she said all the guys there were either "gay, had a girlfriend, or she'd already hooked up with them." SO, I spotted two guys hanging out together, approached them and said, "Liz says all the guys here are either gay, have a girlfriend or have made out with her. Which category do you guys fit in?" It was the perfect opening line if I do say so myself and what was even better is that they were in the "none of the above" category. I spent the rest of the night talking to one of the boys and he ended up escorting me back to my apartment that night. He spent the night and it was all very PG-13, but there was enough action for me to know that we had chemistry. And that he liked going to the gym.

A few days later, we went on our first date. He took me out for Spanish tapas, because he had lived in Spain for a year. He spoke Spanish fluently. He played guitar and wrote music. He had a sexy, deep voice. He was half-Jewish, but didn't care that I wasn't. He was liberal. He was an atheist. In a word he was: perfect. He mentioned how much his mom would like me and as we were walking down the street, he pulled me aside and kissed me. It was probably one of the best first dates I've ever had and a quintessential New York evening. A couple days later, I flew home for Christmas, but I knew we would pick up where we left off the second I got back.

And that's when the ex-boyfriend reared his ugly head. The ex that got away who was going to be moving to New York in one month and who invited me to dinner and seduced me afterwards. I thought it was fate.

Suddenly, when I got back to NY, my perfect guy was not as cute, not as funny, not as charming. He was just a thorn in my side. I called him and was completely honest-- I went back home, reconnected with an ex, and because of it, I didn't feel like I was ready to get involved with him. And do you know what he did? He fought for me. He asked me to please meet him for a drink, so we could talk in person. We had another great night out, but I stuck to my guns and the ex and told him we could only be friends. CUT TO:

A couple months later. The ex has moved to NY and things fizzled out just as quickly as they heated up. He gave me the "I just moved here, I'm not ready to be in a relationship" line. My roommate and I threw a party at our place and ex and perfect guy both show up. Here's the ultimate boyfriend material litmus test: all my gay friends LOVED perfect guy. They said he was super cool, nice, friendly, and yes, straight. They even compared him to Noel from Felicity (pictured above). But stupid me was still preoccupied by the guy who had made it clear he wasn't interested in me. Somehow, by the end of the night, I'm at a bar down the street with perfect and ex. After drinks, they both walk me home. At the door, in front of ex, Perfect asks me if he can crash at my place, cause he's too drunk to go home. This was obviously a strategic move, because one of the beauties of living in NY is no matter how drunk you are, you can still get home. I say yes, but because I'm still so emotionally tortured by ex, I actually make Perfect guy sleep on the couch. We don't make out. And in the morning, I complain about how hung over I am so he'll make a quick exit. And that was the last I ever saw of him.

It all turned out for the best, because I couldn't be happier with where I ended up relationship-wise. BUT if I could have a conversation with my 24 year old self, I'd slap her silly and tell her never to let an emotionally unavailable ex get in the way of a perfectly sweet guy who actually wants to be with you.

Friday, April 6, 2012

BLOW OFF song of the day: You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Dusty Springfield



You don't have to say you love me
just be close at hand
You don't have to stay forever
I will understand
Believe me, believe me
I can't help but love you
But believe me, I'll never tie you down.
-Dusty Springfield, 1966

Fun fact: this was originally an Italian song!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

it's not just you, it's also your super weird parents

I was dating a guy in New York who has been the topic of several different blog posts. I wasn't that crazy about him. It was definitely one of those "i'm super lonely" relationships. And in my defense, it's probably the only one of those I've had. There were a variety of reasons we had no long term potential, but I was never more sure of that fact than I was when...I met his family.

Let me preface this post by saying they were all very nice people.

Okay, now let's get down to business. The first time I met his parents, he took me to a party at a family friend's house. It was in a small apartment, I think either in Queens or Brooklyn. Everyone was friendly, but it was definitely not the easiest scenario to meet a person's parents in. Things may have been easier if it we had done dinner with them instead. I felt like we were getting pulled in a lot of different directions and it was scary to not only meet his mom and dad for the first time, but all their friends too. In a nutshell, his parents were...weird. Off. Strange. I'm going straight to hell for saying this, but they were the type of people you would see on an episode of Animal Hoarders. Perfectly nice, but with a faraway medicated look in their eyes. You know, like they were still wearing the same clothes they had in the early eighties and that their closets were full of moth balls. I remember his mom would just stare at me mid-conversation, taking a full five or ten seconds to answer questions. There was something about his dad that really pulled at the heart strings. He had the smile of a little kid, but there was also a sadness to him, because he was too obese to be fully mobile. In a strange way, even though I knew that I would never be able to picture our families meeting each other, it did make me more sympathetic to my bf. Even he had described his parents as unwell to me and I knew it must have been hard growing up in their house. Especially since he was twenty-four and just recently moved out for the first time.

The bf also had an older brother who was married and didn't talk to the rest of the family much (probably because they were weird.) He was one of those guys that was virtually adopted by his in-laws. When I met him, he and his wife lived in an apartment connected to her parent's house in Queens. Anyway, her family had this weekly tradition of going out to eat together and one night we were invited to join them. Again, sort of an overwhelming meet and greet scenario. Rather than just meeting his brother and sister-in-law, I was meeting about twenty other family members. They were totally different than his parent's crowd...they were more like people you'd see hanging out with The Real Housewives of New Jersey. I remember the restaurant was so out of the way, we had to take a car service to get us there. The family was loud and boisterous and really liked their gold chains and velour jumpsuits. I felt very out of place until the women at the table learned that I worked for ABC Daytime and I was able to give them a few General Hospital spoilers. (Yes, I had signed a confidentiality agreement with ABC, but I was desperate!) But things got awkward again when I mentioned I couldn't vote, because I wasn't a US citizen at the time and they all laughed and said my bf's brother couldn't vote either--- because he was a convicted felon. I hate to judge them, because they were nice people and Meadow Soprano would have been all up in the brother's grill, but they were a world away from where I was from and the people I'd grown up around.

I guess it's just like Ben F and KCB's break up on The Bachelor. He couldn't see himself spending Christmas at her house. And I certainly couldn't see myself spending Christmas at my bf's house. Especially since his parents, bless their hearts, were probably hoarding dead mice in the stockings. Which would be extra weird since they were Jewish.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

the revenge BLOW OFF

I was dating this guy. It was sort of an interim thing, but if you have read any of my previous posts you will get that any one I have ever dated has been the love of my life. At the time. Falling in love has always been the main purpose. And uh oh, here I go on another tangent so back to topic. The revenge BLOW OFF. I was dating him, he was dating me, it was exclusive. No doubts or anything, we had discussed it. It had been about six months even. Friends knew we were together, pets knew we were together, the only thing left was the family introductions and we were even in agreement about that! Just a few more months. The dreaded holidays rolled around. How to do them right?

Ok, I was willing to say I was an adult (early 30's) and that it was just plain time I had a Christmas away from the core parental units without any needed explanation. No need to show up on Christmas day to either of our parental households. Just us. Maybe some wayward friends would show up, but that is where the relationship stood and that was A-OK. Cut to 3 days before Christmas. I've purchased, wrapped, and been excited about every well thought out gift. I've done the food shopping, I've bathed the dogs, I've planned every detail and invited all the significant friends. Then I get a text message. "I can't do this. I'm sorry." Yes, that is all.

No answer to the 1800 times I called immediately following my digestion of the message. No response to the incredulous, then angry, then pleading text messages I sent back. Nothing. Not a damned thing until the next day when I went to his house, used my key, arranged all those wonderful Christmas gifts throughout the living room and his bedroom (no, I'm not fucking nuts, or a stalker, or anything but a poorly dumped girlfriend), and then saw him pull up as I was leaving. I was quite proud of my restraint in not destroying anything he owned. Just left him wonderful, thoughtful gifts and a huge guilt trip and was prepared to leave. It was at this point that the 5 hour pleading (and oh so embarrassing portion) of my day began. The explanation of how we actually do belong together, the coercion, the 'I bought you nice gifts so you have to stick with me for a little while at the very least' argument. I even began to believe myself as time went on. I'm not sure how I managed to pull him back in, but by the end of the 'discussion', I had him apologizing for not giving me a proper chance in the relationship and begging me to give him more time.

By this point my plan was set. I didn't love him, not even a little bit. I just wanted him to love me so I could make him feel as shitty has he made me feel. So I held on. I dragged it out. I made it last until March. Not bad considering by the end of December I couldn't stand the sight of him anymore. Just long enough for him to think he really loved me and that we belonged together forever. Long enough to really enjoy what I could of 'You broke up with me in a text message!'. Long enough to become truly sick of him so that when I dumped him, it didn't hurt me even a tiny bit. Apparently I was only in it for the revenge.

Monday, April 2, 2012

kelly kapowski and jessie spano take a break

When girls fight it is usually-most likely-always due to the attention of a boy or lack of. Even highly intelligent professional women such as you and I might find reasons to deny trivial man related matters but it all points back to these basic scenarios:

-you’re always spending so much time with ________. (even though you're likely to throw over your friends too during the honeymoon period, but it doesn't mean it's right)
-uhm, why would you give him your number if you knew I sorta liked him. (said silently & passive aggressively in your head)
-I can’t believe you are blowing me off for that scum bag, did you forget he fucking cheated on you? (no win situation)
-we’re just friends, you can totally date him. (don't say it unless you really really really mean it)
-isn’t it enough she throws herself at every guy, now she’s stealing my gay boyfriend. (woe is me, common let's all hate on her)
-I just don’t want you to get hurt. (I know he doesn't like you but I don't know how to tell you...)

I thought I was above these petty jealous arguments I'd heard about, I thought me and my girlfriends would never break the bonds of sisterhood in sweat pants. Until recently when I tried to figure out why one of my sister friends got mad at me for trying to help her....

A lot has changed since high school but personality traits stay with us for a long time. There are 2 types of girls in the world, the Kelly Kapowskis and the Jessie Spanos. We all embody a little of both, but Kelly is the always innocent perhaps prettier (and sometimes the less attractive one) bystander who has no idea why anyone’s upset with her (in her head she didn’t intentionally do anything wrong). And Jessie is the all knowing dominating class president who diligently decides who’s in the wrong and why (in her head, even if she’s done something wrong, it’s because of someone else). Of course both Kelly and Jessie have revelations once in awhile and say sorry when they know it’s the right thing to do. Other times, Kelly and Jessie just stay mad at each other - which can last between a week or forever when I think about certain former female comrades.

Flash forward to present day, it started out with some harsh words about an incident that had nothing to do with the guy who was there, but of course it’s about the guy who was there...and every other guy who has passed through our friendship and left resentment for one reason or another. As much as I’d like to believe we’re the superior sex, our behavior suggests otherwise. And I do take responsibility for my share of pride and ego which only allows me to say sorry to a certain extent. As a result, me and my dear friend of over 15 years are taking a break from each other (on her suggestion). I can hardly imagine Zack and Slater telling each other they’ve hurt the other person’s feelings and they need time to themselves now.