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Lost between Nebraska and Idaho

My company sent me to Chicago to help fix a floundering client relationship. Lying on the floor of my hotel room with ESPN on in the background, I spent the evening talking to one of my dearest friends who currently lives 16K miles away. Long distance friendships are #trending so hard right now.   

Per usual, we catch up on life, new music, romantic exploits, current events, etc.  After speaking about aforementioned topics, the tone of our conversation gets a little too real and I begin over-sharing. 

On this very evening, I may have had one too many bourbons. In retrospect, I just forgot to eat dinner (place dunce cap on head). Original plans changed from dinner and drinks to JUST drinks, and plenty of them. Because of this dunce cap & bourbon combination, I reveal way too much.  

Fortunately our friendship has been built on a solid foundation of trust and the understanding that judgment is reserved for Jacob/the Smoke Monster or Simon Cowell or God.  As it was, and forever will be, a friendship with no judgment.  Amen. 

Through bourbon-laced tears, I say, “I’m afraid I’ll never meet the right person, have babies, and be a mother.” 

The fact that I have said this aloud is Exorcism of Emily Rose-scary. Why you ask? It is a tough actualization, an embarrassing one to admit to another person (and now you). I have spoken it into the universe! I said it, it exists, and someone else heard me say it: there are no take-backs, especially in the game of Life. 

After my rant, he quickly delivers a verbal smack to my face. “You are not stupid. It’s o.k. to be hopeful for those things you want,” he says. “But you also have to be o.k. that it may not happen,” he stated. 

I have expectations - we all do: we are humans with brains and hearts and innate desires. There is a certain path we envision for ourselves, but we forget reality can veer us from our preferred trail.  As much optimism or hope we have packed in our wagon, no amount can prevent whatever the universe sends you: a dust bowl, tornado, famine, dysentery, illness….your oxen will die and you may never make it to Oregon. That is life. You have to be accepting that there are things you cannot control, despite the outcome you desire.  image

There are certain parts of life where investment yields results – where “if I put energy into x, I get y” makes sense. For example, my life is comprised of close relationships forged with family and friends. It takes effort to maintain those relationships, but it is obviously a beneficial use of my time and energy because I love these people. When feeling particularly unattractive and sluggish, a 5-mile run and a new lipstick usually provide the ego boost I need to get out of a funk. I felt stagnant in my previous job and after a move across country, I found one that blossomed into a career. 

Relationships, health, and career - these are things that can be changed based upon time and effort.  But meeting the right person to build/share the rest of my life with? I have no control over that. I am not emotionally inaccessible. I am not a hermit. I am attractive-ish, at least to the construction workers of New York. Universe, it is up to you. Meet me half way. 

My incoherent babble with my friend continues. We go back & forth until ultimately, I just throw in the towel. “You’re right,” I say (I do not want to hear sagely wisdom anymore because I am an irrational lush). He warns me that I have week to “get over this shit” because it is unlike me. He also reminds me that I am a mere 27 years of age, and I should not be reaching for the panic button just yet. 

Afterward, we talk about our plans of a rendezvous in Europe. Jokes are said, laughter cannot be contained. It’s basically the way all conversations end in Full House, except we do not hug, but fill the void with plenty of vulgar jokes.

Ten years ago, we sat in my Ford Aspire (this gem) parked in his parents’ driveway. We looked up at the stars, felt small, and thought of our respective futures. He said, “I am going to move back to Japan one day.” Through non-alcoholic tears I said, “O.K.” He quizzed me, “and what about you?” 

“I want to get out of this town,” I answered.

We have no idea of how our lives will unfold. If we maintain a certain acceptance that 1.) We cannot control everything and 2.) Let’s just go with the mother effing flow - severe disappointment can be avoided. If you want to feel better about yourself, work out. If you want a better job, work towards it. For all the other shit you cannot control, do not worry, for it is out of your hands. Worry is a wasted emotion. It’s like eating celery, it takes up space in your emotional stomach, but it doesn’t contribute much to your overall well-being. 

In 2033, I may be an unmarried, unbabied woman living in the Lower East Side with a dog named Amadeus and a cat named Moe Sizlack. Perhaps I am an owner of a digital record store because in 2033, everyone will want to download their music on gadgets versus downloading music directly to their brains (my prediction on the future). This may very well become my reality in 20 years and I should would need to accept it as such. As long as I still have the people I love in my life, it doesn’t sound so bad. 




2012: The Leap Year

“I began to like New York, the racy, adventurous feel of it at night and the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and women and machines gives to the restless eye.”
-F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

I’ve been away from New York for ten days. I’m no professional, but I’m willing to bet that this current, nagging feeling of displacement and loss of equilibrium can only be classified as homesickness. It’s a strange feeling – the recognition that at some point in time, when you weren’t looking or thinking about it, the place you moved to half a year ago sneakily transformed into “home.” 

My relationship with NYC seemed doomed from the start. I fled to this city in a flurry of impetuousness. I craved a physical separation from the place that had supplied stagnation, a broken heart and a delay of the brand of adulthood I once dreamily envisioned… and I wanted it as soon as possible. Basically, I had a boatload of hopes riding on this move. If you’re going by the book, it was a recipe for disappointment. I’m pretty sure even the editors of Cosmo would’ve frowned on such blatant desperation. 

Seven months later, I’m still showing some of my newbie stripes, and a fraction of those may never fade. I can’t front about where I’m from – nor do I want to. One of the beauties of New York: The stranger your story, the more material in your arsenal to fill would-be awkward silences on those dreaded first dates.

While moving to NYC was pretty monumental, by no means did it define my year. For me, 2012 was punctuated by the most humbling instances of sadness, loss and pain. But I credit these low points with affording me the nothing-left-to-lose brand of courage to take uncharacteristic risks and make unprecedented decisions. It’s been my boldest, most fearless year yet – and that’s something I’m damn proud of.

Other lessons learned in 2012:

  • It’s possible to change your mind about a potential suitor (hold all judgments and just indulge my Disney princess fantasy here, thanks) three times within the span of a week… in which case, your gut assumption is usually correct. 
  • It’s also possible to spend three days in Vegas without consuming a single drop of alcohol (but if this is you, we can’t be friends).
  • The overwhelming itch to get out of New York can be replaced with an urgent need to get back to it in less than 48 hours. Quitting the city for good will no doubt prove to be a mission… but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. 
  • Breakup letters are fun. But finally getting the opportunity to verbalize exactly how you feel to the person of (dis)interest after those sentiments have had nearly a year to brew? Pure cathartic gold.
  • Cabin fever is absolutely a thing. 
  • Post-heartbreak, the best spoils in the getting-your-stuff-back war are the songs you can start listening to again because their associations in your brain have been reset, ripe for new meaning. 
  • Perspective is key. I can focus on the Facebook-worthy highlights of my year - a half-marathon completion, a Master’s degree, a cross-country move - or I can wallow in the inadequacies of my beginning-of-late-20s existence. The latter of which I spent the majority of my 27th birthday doing. Self-prescribed remedy for 2013: less wanting, more living. 

When I rang in 2012, I was on top of the fucking world. I’ve been smacked in the face with the humble stick since then, and a year later, I’m sitting a little less pretty. But at least I got a hell of a story out of it. 

To the new year, I raise an empty glass. 2013, please fill it with something sweet.


2012: Salted Caramel Latte

It’s almost 2013 and since we’ve survived the apocalypse, the timing seems appropriate to reflect on 2012, its highs and lows, and where we broke even.

The first half of the year dissolved into one very significant moment. On Memorial Day, I received a phone call from my younger brother. The way he said my name and the tears I could hear through his voice…I knew what this phone call meant: grandpa had passed away.

We were heartbroken.

My brothers and I were raised by “the big three.” My parents were like D. Wade and Lebron, while my grandpa was like Bosh. Say what you will about his offensive rebounding, but Bosh contributes to the team. And so did my grandpa.

After trips in and out of the hospital, I knew he had the will to fight on, but no longer possessed the strength to do so. While it proved to be a very difficult time for my family and I, it does not define 2012. “Death is certain, like taxes,” grandpa would joke. But there’s truth there: a part of living life is accepting death and mortality. As grandpa taught me, life goes on, and so should the pursuit of happiness.

I sit here trying to recount the rest of 2012. It’s a blur, much like the view through a cab’s window as you speed through the city.  Another year older, a hard-earned promotion, mini-vacations up & down the east coast, a national disaster that continues to humble me - the daily hustle of city living punctuated by these moments. They serve as reminders that:

1. Hard work pays off
2. Appreciate what you’ve got
3. Enjoy what your work so hard for and live a little. Basically, YOLO*

*Which, by the way, I use with flexibility. I’m not doing lines of cocaine and shouting “YOLO!” every night. It could be as simple as eating ice cream in bed at 2:00 a.m. because you only live once and rocky road sounds legit in the middle of the night. 

There are far too many stories of staying out ‘til sunrise, arranging last minute happy hours because you had a shitty day at the office, confessions laced in whiskey, the telling and re-telling of jokes that seem to survive repetition yet continue to be funny. Of strange realizations that occur at any given time, privately or publicly, like on the subway or in line at Ikea - realizations that either strengthen your conviction or doubt your direction. Stories of first kisses blossoming into romances, only to fall apart into the fires of Mordor, then repeating the cycle with some cute guy because he looked like a buff, brunette Rivers Cuomo and you wanted to get lost in the whimsical and perhaps a long-distance relationship.

Oh 2012, you were kind of weird, but a good weird. On one hand, I could have used less heartbreak and crying. But I’ve always known that without a bit of salt, nothing would taste sweet. Basically, 2012 was like a salted caramel latte.

I am cautiously optimistic for 2013. After a quarter-life crisis that has changed me, it’s nice to welcome the new things I aspire for in my late 20s. I’ve silenced the “what if?” question and replaced with a “what now?” And while I may not have 100% of what I want/dream of, I will say that I have the most amazing friends and family.

Time is a nice filter. It weeds out the disingenuous and further identifies those who are there for the long haul, like, beyond your 30s. And my friends and family are lovely, uplifting, supportive people. I must be doing something right to be so lucky. 

So 2012, I hate to watch you go, but I love to watch you leave. Make room for 2013, we have high hopes for this one. 





An apology and napkin poetry

The other night, K and I were talking about our little blog here, and how neglected & unwanted guiltfreecupcake must feel. This was not our intention, GFC. Sorry if we made you feel like the forgotten, red-headed stepchild.  We love you and your gorgeous red hair!

The lack of updates can be attributed to the fact that we’re busy, dream-chasing New Yorkers…but that’s bullshit. We should make time for our craft. We truly see writing as a catharsis and way to express ourselves more effectively than, let’s say a drunk email or FB status update (we still love those, though). And writing for our seven fans certainly encourages us to be more prolific. 

This should not surprise you, but the pace of city life is fast, maybe even faster than the speed of sound or a Kardashian wedding/divorce. And mach-levels of intensity have made the balancing act of personal life vs. professional life more challenging. I find myself organizing my life with Google calendar, which I suppose is adaptation as I get older, busier, and more popular! [insert hair toss]

But then you get days where life seems slow, like this sleepy and effing humid Saturday afternoon. Aside from the fact that I finally got 8+ hours of sleep, I was able to catch up on Parks & Recreation, read a frightening article a la The New Yorker about a superbug, put away laundry, and write – the end result of which you are now reading.

I thought I had to actively schedule introspection, but really, I just need to schedule time to write it all out. After all, revelations do not have to be planned. An admission of one’s own thoughts or feelings can occur randomly. It happens while I’m walking through Union Square or when I’m on the subway going over the Manhattan Bridge.

Take this poem that I scribbled on a napkin, for example:

Phantom limbs

lost in battle, lost in war

permanently removed.

Get used to it. He is no longer a part of your life.

Yikes, right? Keepin’ it very real, that was about particular male who has taken a less active role in my life. And I’m sure this will make for a very interesting article for GFC someday. Maybe. Getting back to the central thought here…

I have to write more. If not for myself, than for the strange hope that one of our readers takes something away from what I contribute on the interwebz. Good to be back, cupcakes.






Change has arrived, content has been delayed

TTo our diehard fans (all seven of you) we have out there on the interwebz, apologies for the delay in content. Let’s just say so much has changed and because of this, K & B are a tad busy.

Thanks for your understanding, we appreciate - nay - adore you.

{K & B}



From the Archives (vol. 2)

DDate: May 28 2008
Time: 4:33 p.m.

A Gchat between K and B

K: Are you a SATC fan? Going to watch the movie on Fri?
B: IDK yet, you?
K: I feel like I’m betraying my gender by not going apeshit over this movie, LOL.
K: I’ll watch it if someone wants me to go with them, but I’m not like planning my day around it.
B: My girls wanted to make a day of it, but egh. Everyone’s so busy.
K: Haha story of our lives.
B: I wish we were roommates. :(
B: I wish you at least lived in the same county.



Packing is Such Sweet Sorrow

There’s a reason I’ve opted for this view on a spring Saturday evening.

a) I know how to party.
b) My master’s thesis is due in three days.
c) Coffee sounded good.
d) Standing amidst my catastrophe of a room and strategizing how to fit my life Tetris-style into two suitcases and one carry-on item was starting to stress me out. I fled the clutter.

Guess which? (Hint: It’s not b. I stuck a fork in that sucker five hours ago. Let’s get on with the cap-throwing formalities already.)

I’ve always relied on “change of scenery” as my go-to remedy when in need of some inspiration. As a self-proclaimed writer (insert air quotes), I will drive a ludicrous distance to get the same one-two punch of Chai and Wi-Fi when my default coffee spots just won’t battle the writer’s block anymore. However, it’s begun to hit me that in approximately one month, I’m pulling up my California roots and planting them in New York for a swift kick in the ass to hopefully get this “life” thing started. Clearly, a shift of this magnitude requires a bit more prep than some extra gas in my tank. (Which reminds me: Rush-hour traffic, I can’t wait to break up with you. The hate/hate relationship has taken its toll.)

So in my signature better-under-pressure fashion, I’m setting the pressing, logistical matters aside and choosing to focus on the more asinine – yet equally important – issues staring me in the face:

  • Having roommates again for the first time in 3.5 years. Not going to lie, I’m more excited than apprehensive. 24/7 sleepover party, y’all! Better believe we’re going to paint each other’s nails (this means you, B) and walk around in our underwear and shit. Kidding. Maybe. Still, I know from experience that living with one’s closest girls can make or break friendships. Good news: I can bake from scratch, and dessert heals all wounds.
  • Being the best damn long-distance Maid of Honor to one of my B(F)FFs. That’s a thing, right? People do that? I’m sure a 2.5-star chick flick addressing this issue is out there somewhere. Meanwhile, how do I go about licking the adhesive of 200 invitation envelopes from 2,500 miles away?
  • Keeping my fringe vs. growing it out. My hairstylist refuses to make the East Coast move with me (I asked; she’s been there, done that, over it). I might be tied up with more important matters than running around Manhattan every five weeks on the hunt for a replacement who won’t make me look too Rooney-Mara-as-Lisbeth-Salander. Plus, humidity.
  • Paring down my book, film and music collection to a practical size that still accurately represents me when displayed on a shelf. Seems simple enough. But dare I bring just Harry Potters 4 and 7? It seems like some cardinal wizard sin that would land me negative 100 points from Gryffindor Ravenclaw (let’s be real). Plus, I’d like to think I abide by the rule that goes something like, “If you go home with someone and they don’t have a respectable bookshelf, run like hell” – and I’m no hypocrite.
  • Estimating exactly how much collegiate gear from an opposite-coast alma mater is socially acceptable to wear in public. Not that it matters, because I’m still bringing all 37 articles of cardinal/gold clothing that reside in my closet. But whether I’ll need to physically defend my 5-foot frame against SoCal haters is just a good thing to know in advance.

It’s heavy, I know.




It may be quite simple

AAfter the gym, I am too exhausted to wait for the faster (and far more superior) N train. So when the R train approaches the platform, I shrug my shoulders as if to say “meh – I guess I’ll take the R.” Besides, I get an extra 10 minutes of sleep if I take the local train back to Brooklyn.

Tonight was nothing special. As the R train approaches, I see plenty of vacant, orange seats.  I sit next to the window, drinking my water and listening to music. Sleep can begin in 3…2…

A tall man in a weathered Yankees jacket walks in. The doors close behind him, he stands in the center of the subway car. His jeans look a bit worn, his shoes well-traveled as if he’s walked all over the city. Even with Frank Ocean’s falsetto in my ears, I hear this tall man start to sing something.

I’m a New Yorker. I am accustomed to panhandlers and street performers, but an amazing voice is something I cannot ignore.

And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple but now that it’s done

I listen, watch, and smile.

I have vivid memories of waking up on Saturday mornings to my parents singing along to The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Prince, The Bee Gees (ON VINYL) while making breakfast for the family. I was a raised in a home engulfed by music.

When I was 5-years-old, my mom took me to see Billy Joel in concert. Truthfully, I don’t remember much of it. But the notion that my mom would do such a thing is equal parts crazy and amazing.  

Then there is my dad. My dad is notorious for singing at the top of his lungs, despite the time of day, regardless if he knew the correct lyrics. And I remember when I was kid, he always sang this particular melody - Elton John’s “Your Song.”

I may be a am sentimental bastard, but I relish in these little moments. Occasionally, I get too caught up in the hustle of the city. Tunnel vision at the office, post-work errands, utilizing my gym membership so I can continue to eat red velvet cupcakes, etc. I forget to just slow. the eff. down. I welcome these interruptions like the subway performer as they remind me of what is important: my beloved family & friends.

He continues to sing my favorite part…

I hope you don’t mind
I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you’re in the world

He graciously thanks his audience and continues with, “If you’ve got any spare change, I’d very much appreciate it.” I reach for some loose dollars in my purse and drop them in his small, golden-colored bag. He thanks me and continues to move around the car. Apparently, I am not his only fan.  

Life is short. <— maybe as short as that sentence. Appreciate the little things, enjoy the small triumphs. Don’t forget what (and who) is really important.  




Letter to my formerly sad self

DDear 16-year-old K,

Shit looks bleak, I know.

Your friends suck. Everyone’s prettier than you. Boys don’t like you like that. Your once-stick-straight hair started to do that annoying frizz/wave thing a couple years ago, and now it’s just an unmanageable mess that the beauty industry hasn’t masterminded a weapon to tackle yet. Friday nights consist of journal entries written in gel pen ink and Michelle Branch on repeat. It’s painful, awkward and sad.

Vanity enhancer of the archaic nature.

Little duckling… if only you knew. You’re capable of such amazing things, and you don’t even know it yet.

For now, take comfort in knowing that people will cycle in and out of your life. And that’s OK. Remember when you dramatically cried up a storm the whole week before 8th grade graduation because you could just vomit at the thought of moving away from your friends? There’s a reason you no longer know (nor care) what they’re up to. So don’t worry about the current crop of fair-weather females showing up as they please. You’ll draft an all-star team eventually, and they’ll always come through for you.

Don’t be envious of the girls who seem to “have it all” – including their fickle, fleeting relationships. Instead, be thankful for time not squandered, unnecessary heartache avoided and standards uncompromised. Your relationships will be few, but meaningful. You should know this now: Very few will be able to keep up, but if a guy has the gumption to try to, he’s probably worth giving at least a shot. Above all, hold out for someone who proves himself to be your equal in every manner (will send addendum when location of said target has been confirmed).

Right now, your mother is your worst adversary – nay, a life-ruiner. An endless spout of pressure, negativity and criticism. But it won’t always be this way. Little do you realize, she’s loving you the only way she knows how. In time, she’ll learn how to do it better. And one day, as an adult, despite your pride and air of an unbreakable exterior, you’ll sit in front of her in defeat and cry over a boy, a la Rory Gilmore. She’ll brush your hair out of your eyes and whisper words of optimism and empathy that would sound offensively syrupy and cliché coming from anyone else… but because she’s your mom, you’ll dare to believe in their truth. You’ll wonder why it took 10 years for your relationship to evolve into one of honesty, mutual respect, even camaraderie. Better late than never.

Don’t be such a bitch to your sister. Today, she’s a mild annoyance whom you’ve never fully forgiven for swooping in uninvited and stealing the spotlight you’d selfishly embraced for six years. Get over it. Before you know it, she’ll grow up all too quickly and become your best friend, fellow trashy CW show devotee, all-around partner in crime and lifeline. You’ll see so much of yourself in her – closet fatty tendencies with minimal surface evidence and an affinity for drinking males under the table, to #notsohumblebrag a few – and regularly be awestruck by how often her wisdom, drive and gutsiness so frequently surpass your own. Respect.

Resist the temptation to compare yourself to others. You’ll never break the 5-foot barrier or outgrow the familial baby-cheeks curse, but one day you’re going to look in the mirror and like love the woman you see. If only I could hit fast-forward and give you a preview of the time a tall, attractive stranger stopped in his tracks, gently swept a hand through your curls and word-vomited about how gorgeous you looked that night… and you were so quick to dismiss the flagrant violation of personal space because it felt like something out of a movie. Or communicate the exhilaration of slipping into an LBD and 4.5-inch stilettos, walking into a crowded room and feeling like you own that shit. How the primp-and-prep process you currently dread has turned into, on some nights, the most fun part of going out. Of course, not every day will feel like this. In case of emergency, a little Sephora goes a long way.

Take care not to judge ideas you don’t understand or rule out opportunities in disguise.  Say yes to things, or at the very least thoughtfully consider them, even though the prospect might be scary and/or ridiculous. A bid from a sorority, a well-timed opportunity to relocate to a dream city, a last-minute invitation to Vegas (but not all of them, mmmkay? Six times a year is just downright unnecessary). Trust your gut instinct; it rarely misses.

Your first torrid, all-consuming and longest-lasting love affair will be with food. I know it sounds unthinkable now, being that you are roughly 12 pounds underweight and seem quite content subsisting on Starbucks double-shots and chewing Juicy Fruit, but one day your skinny ass will be hooked. It’ll start with a deceptively innocent appetizer of spinach-artichoke dip at undergrad orientation, which you’ll devour singlehandedly before you realize what’s even happening, and you’ll never look back. Soon enough, you’ll travel ridiculous distances for it and plan social events around it without shame. Hell, you’ll even commit to a 13.1-mile run, the impetus behind which consists mostly of justifying a sumptuous post-race brunch – and little to no regard for consumption limitations in the months leading up to it (which will also conveniently coincide with the holiday party season). That type of planning requires effort and commitment. That’s love right there.

Independent spirit that you are, sometimes you just need your damn space. Well, you’re going to get it. A lot. of. it. Mostly by choice. And you’ll savor the silence. Some days, it will feel more suffocating than liberating, and you’ll yearn for some delicious, worthy distraction to just walk out of obscurity and up to your door (you’ll eventually denounce the rom-com genre for fostering unrealistic expectations such as these) to offer you a reprieve. But it’s going to mold you into the grounded, adamant, take-shit-from-no-one version of yourself that you never imagined you could crawl out of your shell and become. You’ll even take risks and be fearless on occasion. You’ll find your voice eventually. And one unassuming night, five shots deep, it’ll belt out some Lady Gaga karaoke in an at-capacity bar with all sass and no regret. Maybe even mouth off to an out-of-line authority figure or two – careful with that one.

Realize that boredom is a privilege. Be content and bask in its occasional appearance, for the alternative is alluring, but not always kind. Resist the urge to experiment as a result of boredom. (Navel piercing? Come on, you know you’re a stomach-side sleeper. Some things just aren’t meant to be.)

Oh, and be careful what you wish for… you just might get it. Sometimes, the universe listens and has the decency to humor you. Do yourself a favor: Make sure you’re ready before you ask.

<3 Still-figuring-it-out K




Shopping and Selection

II am on a mission to find a new coffee table. My current coffee table has dagger-like corners that upon impact, inflict pain and a subsequent bruise. I walk into tables, am a terribly clumsy and accident-prone person so this coffee table will be the death of me.

While shopping for replacements, I had in mind a handful of requirements: budget, color, quality of material, etc. I stood around the store evaluating each espresso-colored table and found one I really liked. But of course, they were out of stock. 

Hanging my head in defeat, the salesperson says, “You can take this one ‘as is’ - we’ll give you a discount since it’s the display model.”  Compromise, B! First, you need a new coffee table. And secondly, despite some dings and cleanable smudges, this coffee table is a catch.

The salesperson gives me time to think it over. Should I just buy it? I really do love it. How am I going to get this home? I’m hungry. I wonder if there’s ice cream at home. That guy is cute. I need to catch up on The Walking Dead. My thoughts veer off course.

And in my mental walkabout, I wondered about the time and consideration we take into selecting suitable partners.  I mean – I think everyone has a vision of their “dream guy” or “dream girl.” Hell, I have a “dream dinner” (filet mignon with mac & cheese then crème brulee for dessert). For 15 minutes, I thought about this coffee table - considering the things I liked and the things I had to get over…are people this flexible when it comes to choosing significant others?

Let us hope so.

I do not believe in perfection, esp. when it comes to the human race. We are inherently good but are prone to making some bad decisions. We can be charitable one day and completely selfish the next. But that is what makes us real, with the good comes the bad. For the most part, there is an understanding that everyone has less-than-charming attributes. It is possible to find a person who has a sharp wit and a weird laugh. Or a person with a winning smile who just so happens to have bad breath.

as is

But miniscule deal breakers should be met with flexibility. If the guy you are seeing enjoys playing Call of Duty on his free time, let it go. Think of the hours you wasted watching that Real Housewives marathon and ask yourself, “am I any better?” Perhaps the girl you’re dating is a little disorganized and her kitchen sink always has dirty dishes. They are dishes! So long as they are clean when you use them, make no fuss.

Truthfully speaking  writing, some issues or core values provide less wiggle room. Religious beliefs and politics affect your decision-making and perspective. Do you believe in God? How do you feel about gay marriage? Is L Ron Hubbard your homeboy? These are often points of contention. I am not saying that it’s impossible to fall in love with someone who has varying opinions on religion or government. If there is a mutual respect and compromise, then you can be like a venn diagram and meet in the middle. The takeaway here is that if you are going to have a set of deal breakers, make them count.   

You will have to compromise on certain things - so long as they won’t be the end-all to your relationship and future posterity. He’s not that tall? Wear flats. She’s a fan of Twilight? Drink heavily while you watch the movies. He likes Nickelback? Dump him immediately. Just (half) kidding.

We’re flawed, both in internally and externally. Hone in on the meaningful qualities that you find attractive - the connection, the chemistry - and less time focusing on the small stuff. Ignore the dings here and there, clean off some of the smudges, take people “as is.”