Thursday, December 29, 2011


Kim and I talk quite a bit about the complete lack of consideration that many people tend to have for other people, and quite frankly, it drives us both nuts. This is not only on the road, but out in public (i.e. at restaurants, stores, etc.) After a few conversations that we've had on the subject, I now have a tendency to actually look for the rude things that people do.

I have composed a list of the top 10 rude-ass things that people do (quite frequently):

1.      Not holding the door open for the person behind you, while entering a building. Also be sure to say thank you  if someone holds the door open for you. I don't hold the door because I am the door attendant; I do so to be polite!
2.      Talking on your cell phone at any restaurant, while in line or while cashing out at a store, or while driving. No, Mr. Douche Bag, I really don’t care to hear about your Colonoscopy prep procedures right before I eat my dinner.
3.      Not getting up and letting an elderly person or pregnant woman sit in you seat while waiting for a table at a restaurant. Get off your fat ass and let them sit! You will appreciate when someone does it for you!
4.       Speeding up instead of slowing down when someone obviously needs to merge (while driving). You're just an ass if you do this, and clearly deserve to get hit (when you do)!
5.      Asking your server 105 questions about a specific item on the menu and then ordering something completely different instead. Really?
6.      Under-tipping your server or not tipping at all. That poor girl/guy only makes $2.13 an hour. If you can’t afford to tip your server, than stay the hell home already. Or serve for a month, and see how you like it.
7.      Incessantly whining about gratuity being included on your bill at comedy clubs. Just to let you know, it’s on there because the cheap asses in # 7 don’t like to tip their servers, and have ruined it for everybody else, so you can thank them for the addition.
8.      If someone gives you his/her seat(s) while they are about to leave a crowded bar, THANK him/her. Don’t just look at them like they owed it to you. This is especially true for women that think that men are giving up their seats to hit on them. Trust me, you’re not that cute, and the guy was just trying to be nice.
9.      If you’re going publicly protest something, make sure you know WHY you’re doing it, and that the reason isn’t just to get on television. Otherwise you’re just really annoying us all.
10.  Acknowledge the people that you are riding on an elevator with. Small talk isn’t that painful, and if you don’t say anything, you just look stuck-up.

I have a feeling that after reading this, you’ll start watching people a little more closely too!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

And That's Life, I Guess

As I get older, I miss being that free-spirited, happy-go-lucky kid, with every breath that I take. Let's face it - being a kid was awesome. No responsibilities, no worries, no regret... just pure unadulterated freedom from responsibility and uninhibited fun with likeable friends. I would partake in enjoyable activities all day long: I would ride my bike, roller skate, and when I got a little older, swim at the pool. I would laugh with my friends like there was no tomorrow. And Santa Claus! The thrill of Santa Clause showing up on Christmas Eve, and finding those wonderful gifts under the beautifully lit Christmas tree the next morning; was so very magical. I really don’t think there was anything in the world better than the way I felt at that very moment. I am extremely lucky to have had such a joyful childhood.

As a teenager, my biggest concern was whether or not the Delia's catalog I was constantly ordering from was going to have my size shoe, or if that cute boy in my art class was finally going to ask me out, already (come on, man!!). I ran track, was really big into theatre and acting, and relentlessly flirted with lots and lots of boys. The days where finding a killer Prom dress seemed to be my biggest worry - and accomplishment. Not to mention, I could eat like I was going to the electric chair and I never had to worry about gaining an ounce. Those really were the days.

College finally arrived, and I began to learn what it required to live on my own, was forced to buy things like laundry detergent and stamps (you know, the really fun stuff), and I had to be accountable for, well, um, everything. As a poor college student, I had to live on Ramen Noodles and Pop-Tarts and study incessantly and it was incredible! I was a Delta Gamma, so I got to go to things like mixers and parties, and fundraisers, and dances. Some of the best years of my life were had in that first year of college.

And now - I'm (gasp!) 31. As in, THIRTY-ONE YEARS OLD. I am an adult. A real life, bill-paying, condo-fixing, mother-of-two-spoiled-doggies ADULT. I can't even begin to tell you how saying this absolutely blows my mind. I don’t feel 31. Hell, nine times out of ten, I don’t act 31. How in the hell did I get to be in my 30's?! I go to work every day, deal with butt head complainers on a regular basis, have lots and LOTS of responsibilities - and even more bills. BILLS. Ugh, might I add that paying bills is a completely unfair (and tedious) task? It seems like there was always something that needs to be paid off or even more, repaired, and certainly at a price to me. Car repairs, home repairs, doctor bills, vet bills. I can't imagine how expensive having kids will be (and may I say, kudos to the parents out there working to make ends meet, just to keep their kids clothed and fed and in basketball/soccer/cheerleading/football, 'cause there is certainly nothing is cheap about any of that).

I will tell you that when I turned 30, this uncontrollable feeling of impending doom suddenly took over my once happy demeanor. Oh, and the little things – things that I hadn't really given much thought before - suddenly became life-threatening:

Oh no, could that skipping heart beat possibly be heart disease? Wait, could that constant dry cough be lung cancer? And hold on, what the hell is with all of these lines, wait are those…WRINKLES?! SHIT, maybe I SHOULD have listened to my mother and put on more sunscreen after all, instead of just telling her I did. OK, what's with that spot on my arm?? Could that be skin cancer?? Oh, thank God it's just an age spot. Wait, Doctor, did you just say I have an AGE SPOT? Seriously???

I will honestly but regretfully say that I have been to the doctor more times since I turned 30 than Heidi Montag with all of her plastic surgeries. It's absurd, really. It's amazing what turning 30 can do to a poor girl.


The whole idea of aging and growing up just makes me ponder the more profound questions in life. These questions go through my mind quite a bit now, especially when I see horrific things happening in our world today. I worry about things that I cannot control - I wonder why we are here and what our true purpose is. I also question why life flies by so damn quickly. This is especially the case when I am driving in my car for some reason; my mind has a tendency to wonder at that time. I have to wonder, is everyone like this? Does everyone worry about the things that they can’t change also? 

I will be the first to admit that I am terrified of death. I'm even more terrified of losing the people in my life that mean so much to me. I lost my cousin - my best friend - my partner in crime - when I was barely out of high school and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wonder why on earth God could take such a good person (kid, that is) away, and why she didn’t get to grow up and experience the things that I was able to experience over the course of the past 12 years. None of it makes any sense to me. Maybe in the "end", I will finally get to see why.

Time goes back quicker now than it ever did when I was younger, when I spent so much of my energy wishing to grow up. I let it all slip right by me. I don't know that I ever really appreciated being so young and carefree. I will say, that now, everyday, I sure as hell try to appreciate what’s right in front of me. Everyday is truly a blessing.

And that's life, I guess.

Friday, August 19, 2011

I Bet You Think This Blog is About You, Don't You?

Let’s face it – dating today is not what normal people would call fun. It's a total pain in the ars. 

I remember when I was younger, I loved, loved, LOVED to date! It was all so exciting to sit at home and paint my nails with my girlfriends while we talked about boys and read gossip mags and waited for them to call us at home and ask us on…gasp…a real date! Or even the mere anticipation of coming home and checking your messages on your answering machine, and finding that the one that you'd had your eye on, had actually called you and left you a message. Oh, the butterflies! The excitement! The stories! Ahhhh, I loved that feeling!!

Things aren’t so simple anymore. Maybe it's getting older, or maybe it's society, but dating today is like some sort of torture. Quite honestly, I would rather have a rectal exam.

Dating when I was younger was long before the days that we were suddenly overloaded with technology and Internet and cell phones. Advanced technology is the root of all dating evil today. Texting can be done quite sneakily, and another girl can send a racy picture to your boyfriend in less than 20 seconds. One of my girlfriends told me that, literally, right in front of her, her boyfriend received a completely nude picture from one of his many bimbo female friends. This girl not only sent the picture of her new boob purchase to him, but to every single guy in her contacts list. I mean, how is any normal woman supposed to compete with that?! There are a lot of crazies out there. Actually, an older Sex and the City episode called Freak Show comes to mind, when I think about dating in 2011.


Last year was a pretty awkward year for me - I turned 30 and essentially lost my mind. I broke up with my boyfriend, Kim, of almost 5 years, I went out every night, and hung out with a douche bag DUI attorney on a pretty regular basis. I started hanging out with a completely different crowd of people. I changed my hair, lost almost 25 lbs, but I still didn’t know what the hell I was doing. All I did know is that I was turning 30, and my life seemed as though it was rapidly dissipating.

Let’s begin with the douche bag lawyer. I shall call him…Nat*.

Nat was a particularly unique and heinous brand of douche bag. Please note that I say, "was" because I no longer converse with him, but I imagine he is still just as ridiculous now, as he ever was. I see his Facebook posts now and again and I can't help but laugh. He is way beyond completely full of shit.

When I first met Nat, I knew he was the way he was. I knew he was special. I knew that he was notorious for preying on married and other unavailable women. It was a game to him. Remember a young fellow by the name of Sebastian from, Cruel Intentions? Yes, Nat wasn't too far behind Sebastian. Nat would use women and then throw them away like last month’s issue of Cosmo. Nat was a pig. Oink. But Nat never had any problems finding self-deprecating, insecure women to fill the gaps in between all of the other women he was “seeing” that particular moment. I say, “seeing,” because Nat wasn’t really a “dating” kind of guy. He did, however, “hang out” with the women that he slept with from time to time. He usually categorized his hangout ladies by the days of the week: Keri on Mondays, Cathy on Tuesdays, Becky on Wednesdays, Robin on Thursdays, and so on and so forth, changing his women every month or so (brilliant, really - less confusion that way).

Even knowing all of this, I somehow fell face first into Nat’s trap. His life somehow seemed intriging, and maybe almost a little glam. Now, please - don't judge me - I am not a stupid girl! I have always been exceptionally smart when it came to men. I have always followed all of the rules when it came to dating and men: don't be too clingy, always play hard to get, never, ever, get overly jealous, blah, blah blah. Nat managed to ruin all of that, and turn me into an insane, jealous, overbearing pushover. Oh, he was good. He was real good. I fell for his lies and I gave him the benefit of the doubt. But even though I kind of liked him, I never trusted him, and rightfully so. He wanted to be able to do whatever he wanted with other women but freaked out on me when he found out that I was talking to other men. Why wouldn't I be? I just got out of  the longest relationship I have ever been in! Not to mention, I was never completely certain that I should have ended that relationship to begin with! I loathed myself on a daily basis and was vey sad that I broke up with a man that made me happy from the very beginning an potentially ruined the rest of my life. Something was missing, and I knew the whole time all of this crap was going on that it was Kim.

At one point, I made the decision to once and for all, rid myself of all of bullshit, so I stopped calling and texting Nat altogether. But it wasn't easy. He was charming, you see. I knew he was seeing a new girl and of course I was a little hurt by all of that, but I just couldn't be the side show freak anymore. But anytime I would back off and try to get away from the little insect, he would sneak up behind me and, POW! He would suck me right back in. This went on for months. If he was feeling neglected by his new girl, he would get ahold of me and would act like he was interested in me again. Nat loved the idea of winning me back only to hurt me again. Finally, I really did call it quits, once and for all. It took awhile, but I finally did it, and It was the best thing I could have done, because Nat was poison. Toxic. Now he is someone else's problem. Thank God.

Nat was single-handedly the biggest mistake of my life.

Or was he?

Looking back on this shit-show disaster of a situation, I might have never figured out what I really wanted. Kim and I got back together after almost a year of being separated and we are actually better and happier now than we were before everything fell apart. We both fought it for the longest time, and then finally realized that we really were made for each other. So, in hindsight, I have to look at the situation as a blessing, not as a moment of sheer insanity on my part. I've have a pretty hard time forgiving myself for everything that has happened in that time period. But maybe everything really does happen for a reason.

* Name is fictional.

Shannon Barno
August 17, 2011