Thursday, December 30, 2010

One Night in Boston

Let me please preface this blog by saying that I'm Attractive Single Friend C put me up to this. And by this, I mean this blog post.

She felt our night was blog worthy. And while I couldn't totally disagree... I felt that this night was more sleep worthy than anything else***, but because she's awesome, and I love her, well I'm humoring her. And at the same time, I'm offering you dear blog friends a disclaimer - I might be a little more than tipsy while writing this. If you disapprove, stop reading and come back tomorrow. I'll be sober then. If not... well keep on reading!

So, back to tonight. Let me start by saying, I wish that I could leave work at 4:00 every day. Today we had an early dismissal at 3:00 but because I'm awesome, I stayed until 4:00. And then I found time to do healthy things like run for an hour before embarking on a weekend of drinking. Seriously. It was a good thing.

At 8:00 pm I found myself meeting I'm Attractive Single Friend C and Hot Married Friend S at the Liberty Hotel for dinner at Scampo. Dinner progressed as dinner between girls should with lots of sex talk and a discussion on whether or not I should throw a sexy lingerie (i.e. you have to wear lingerie) party here for Valentine's Day (I have done this with much success in Stockholm although was met with much resistance from the girls here - we'll surely come back to this topic). We got through dinner without much weirdness unless you count the guy next to us wanting to "borrow" a breadstick from us.

Next, we decided to explore the bar scene.  I'm Attractive Single Friend C and Hot Married Friend S quickly deemed downstairs Clink to be "too crowded" so we headed upstairs to the equally crowded but more spacious bar space there. After a small altercation at the bar where by innocently speaking to the guy at the bar next to me, I managed to bring on the intense wrath of his wife, I'm Attractive Single Friend C had a great idea to sit down in some empty chairs but suddenly a waif-like waitress came up and forcefully removed us by assuring us that "Ryan" who had reserved the table was on his immediate way and we could absolutely not sit there for one single second longer.

So we humored the waitress and got up and then we watched "Ryan's group" enter. They appeared to be a young group of Douch Bags. * And they seemed extremely drunk. It was seconds before they were talking to us. I think that their entry conversation had to do with something about if we saw someone spit on someone else. I kid you not - it was that bad.

I'm Attractive Single Friend C, being the mature person that she is, suggested that we leave immediately but for some reason (perhaps my own immature inclination to stay) we didn't do such a thing and instead remained and soon found the absurdness of "Ryan's Group" deteriorate into further hilariousness that we couldn't help but to appreciate and participate in.

Ok - so what that they were average age of 24 and we told them that it would be impossible that we could be no older than 28? And so what that I figured out who "Ryan" was and even though he claimed to live in London and was kind of cute but he ended up being a total DB?** So what if they were amusing themselves by hitting each other? So what if this one bald guy was begging us not to leave because he was only 26 and we were definitely not that older than him? So what if we decided to end the shenanigans early (much to my dismay) and move on somewhere else? So what if that somewhere else should have been home (tomorrow night being New Year's Eve and all)? So what if we instead went to Harvard Gardens, the Hill and the 21st Amendment? So what if we drank 3 drinks at the 21st Amendment?


I'll tell you SO WHAT? It was a funny night. I laughed and I laughed and I laughed A LOT. But now it's after 2:00 and I'm home and I'm a little more drunk than I wanted to be and I'm not really looking forward to New Year's Eve. That's what's SO WHAT!

*Note that it was not me who described them in such a way. I'm still not comfortable enough here in the USA to use the terms Douch Bag although it does seem widely spread.
**DB = Douch Bag (doesn't it sound better)?
***Editor's note the day after - I have NO idea what I meant by this. And there are a few other sentence constructions that don't work out very well either. Sorry!

4 Things

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I was given this tag by the very sweet Sarah Elizabeth. Sarah Elizabeth is a Scottish girl living in Italy with her Italian husband working on renovating a 16th century house. How cool! She's also a budding photographer. Check out her beautiful blog, her beautiful photography and her tips on green, simple living. 

Apparently, I now need to list 4 things on various topics.

So, here are my 4 things:

4 Shows I watch
  • Glee (I'm a total GlEEK)!
  • Gossip Girl (Love the fashion although the writing this season is just terrible)
  • Jersey Shore (I love me a little GTL)
  • True Blood (have yet to watch season 3 - so excited) 

4 Things I'm passionate about
  • Exercise
  • Traveling
  • My friends and family
  • Work - I know... that sad but kinda true

4 Phrases I say a lot

  • Awesome! (This is a new one that has come up since I moved back to the US and I'm totally overusing it)
  • Totally (That's another one that has recently come up)
  • Wow
  • Are you serious?

4 Things I've learned from the past
  • Don't do what everyone expects of you - dare to be different
  • Sometimes when you are really tired and only have an hour, going for a run is better than taking a nap.
  • Take the road less traveled - it WILL make all the difference
  • Don't be afraid to be Glamorous! Embrace your inner glamour as much as possible and always try to look and be your best. 
Want to read more words of wisdom from the International Woman of Mystery? Click here

4 Places I'd like to go
  • Africa (I was there this summer and can't wait to go back)
  • Sweden (I know. I lived there but I still can't wait until I can go back and visit my friends. I miss Sweden LOTS)
  • Bali (Again, I lived there but I really want to go back)
  • Argentina 

4 Things I did yesterday
  • Worked
  • Spent too much money online shopping
  • Had dinner with friends
  • Fretted over my New Year's Eve plans 

4 Things I'm looking forward to
  • A trip to London/Sweden to see my friends(I hope this will happen soon)
  • Traveling more
  • Summer
  • I can't think of a 4th one... I'm struggling right now to find things to look forward to. I can tell you one thing I'm NOT looking forward to: New Year's! This is a terrible holiday. I wish it didn't exist. 

4 Things I love about winter
  • Christmas
  • Iceskating
  • Candles and cozy time
  • Snow Days

4 Things on my wish list:
  • A Boyfriend (big surprise here)
  • Louboutins
  • Mac Book 
  • Flat Screen internet enabled TV

And finally pass the tag onto 4 other bloggers:

Thank you Sarah for tagging me.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Christmas is over. PHEW!

What happened to me this year? Usually I love this holiday. But this year it just seemed like one big hassle.

I guess it was in part due to the fact that this year I didn't have the excitement of "going home." For the past 9 years, I've been living abroad and I have always taken 1 - 3 weeks off at Christmas and "gone home." So, Christmas wasn't really a one day event, but a big event full of family and friends and lots going on.

This year I did "go home" to Western Massachusetts but when I'm just driving an hour and a half from Boston, well it just wasn't the same.

And as I mentioned before, Christmas with just the four of us - my mother, father, brother and I - is a bit sad and well very very low key.

This year Christmas went something like this:
  • Mom doing her annual cooking (that's right, she only cooks a big real meal about one time per year) and complaining and hating every minute of it
  • My brother and I offering to help, mom not letting us and then complaining that we never help
  • My brother and I drinking 
  • My mother yelling at my brother and I for every little thing we did including at one point yelling out "Hey! No laughing while drinking!" I had red wine on the couch and was laughing and although there was no danger of spilling, my mother still felt that the glass of red wine + laughter = bad news for the couch
  • My brother and I making fun of my mother for being so OCD
  • My brother and I drinking
  • Visiting Grandfather in the nursing home - always nice to see him but always sad that he can't join us at our house for Christmas the way he always did 
  • My brother and I doing all our shopping (which really wasn't that much) on Christmas Eve and then staying up until 3 am to wrap presents
  • The annual Christmas Eve eating and song singing with a couple who are my parent's close friends
  • Christmas morning stocking unwrapping and breakfast eating (yummy breakfast casserole)
  • Me spending hours and hours pre-Christmas to make family photo calendars only to find that they are all messed up (thank you Kodak) and being very disappointed)
  • Mom burning my favorite part of Christmas dinner
  • Me sulking about the burned part of Christmas dinner since it's the only time my mother ever cooks - have I mentioned that before? And my mother being mad with me.
  • Mom swearing she will never ever ever cook again (yes, we are now reducing the cooking from 1 time per year to 0 times - although I do think that for the sanity of everyone involved it might be better if my brother and I take over this activity from now on). 
  • The annual Risk game that we never finish - me sulking that I'm loosing. I always loose. I hate loosing. My brother getting mad at me for being a bad sport (I am a very very sore looser).
  • Me making everyone watch The Sound of Music (which is always on Dec 26th) and everyone else in the family pretending to hate it but actually liking it more than they want to admit
  • My brother and I getting stranded another night at my parents due to the inclement weather
  • My brother and I drinking
This year Christmas was mediocre at best. I couldn't help but think back to Christmas' in the past when things felt just a bit more magical and special.

Let me share with you my Ghosts of Christmas Past in no particular order - just a random sampling of memories:
  • Gram and Gramp coming to stay - they always played a very central role in the Christmas festivities and they made Christmas so festive
  • My Grandmother would always dress up in a Christmas sweater, earrings and a Christmas pin (or broach - is that the right word)?
  • When we were younger, my brother and I were so excited for Christmas! We couldn't wait to open all the presents. We would be so excited we couldn't sleep and waking my parents up as soon as they would let us.
  • We always got to open one gift on Christmas Eve. It was usually a really good present. One year it was a Care Bear and another it was these little toy pianos (which I'm sure my parents regretted giving us)
  • Other great Christmas gifts included: the wooden building blocks my grandfather hand-made us (those were our absolute favorite childhood toy); the wooden tool benches my father made us, the tape recorder and the books on tape (I remember my grandmother sitting with me listening to the books)
  • We believed in Santa for a loooong time - that made Christmas fun.
  • We always left milk and cookies for Santa
  • Before we went to bed, my grandfather would always say that he thought he could hear Rudolph up on the roof
  • As we got older, we got excited to give people gifts. We always spent a lot of time shopping for the "perfect" gifts - although we tended to choose quantity over quality. We loved to see LOTS of presents under the tree
  • When we were still young enough to be super excited about Christmas, we were allowed to "tip toe" downstairs after the parents and grandparents were in bed and put our presents under the tree - I still remember how exciting it felt to get that first glimpse of the presents under the tree in the dark room. I would take a long time searching for the perfect place to put my presents. I remember how disappointed I was the first year that my parents brought out the presents before we "went to bed" they said we were too old and stayed up too late for them to wait any longer. I honestly think that until that day (I was 15) I still believed in Santa or at least in the miracle of Christmas. After that it was just never as special.
  • Christmas Eve family jams - my brother and my father are very musical and sometimes I can be convinced to sing. This is one of the few traditions that still lives on.
  • Grammy's ginger snap cookies and Christmas cheese
  • Santa hanging boxes full of candy all over the tree - and sometimes we could even eat the candy before breakfast!
  • Mom's lasagna for Christmas Eve, breakfast casserole on Christmas morning and Ham and home-made macaroni and cheese for Christmas dinner
What are your favorite Christmas memories? How was your Christmas this year? I hope that you all had a great one! And while I'm all bah humbug still, I sincerely wish you a warm and happy holiday with your families and friends.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Spirits

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Things have been BUSY. But 'Tis the Season right? But seriously, I'm blaming the Christmas spirits. For everything. I mentioned them in my half-assed re-post from yesterday but while walking home from work in the SNOW - yup it's snowing in Boston -finally. What? Did I just say that? I HATE snow usually - I mean DETEST it. But all it took was a snowless winter in Sweden (2 years ago, yes this did happen) and a snowless winter last year in London and I'm all like an excited child. I was literally leaping through the snow on the way home and considered making a snowman or starting a snow fight on the way home from work today. I was also making a mental list of friends that I could convince to come out for an impromptu sledding party with me (unfortunately, the friends I came up with all live in Sweden and the snow will probably be gone by the time they arrive).

Ooops - I digress. I was supposed to be talking about the Christmas spirits and how on my walk home in the SNOW from work I decided it's the totally those spirits that are too blame for all the crazy situations I'm getting myself into these days (so much easier to blame others)... but instead I found myself blabbing about snow. Back to the original topic. So, these Christmas spirits are totally messing with me and filling me full of Christmas CHEER. And lately they have been turning me into one hot mess!

This past week was our work Christmas party which The Company has on Thursday nights in order to try to keep it more "low key" but it still turned into a complete shitshow anyway. Throw 700 mostly under 35 together in a big room and things are bound to get crazy (not too crazy though I swear, I wouldn't want to spread rumors causing another article about our infamously awesome parties mostly because I'm sure that every single young company has the same type of shenanigans). But for real. It was a good level of crazy. Not obscene. I promise - or at least this is what it looked like from where I stood (at the bar) and I haven't heard any crazy stories in the aftermath.

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The theme was something silly and we were told to wear sparkles. And while I didn't rock out a crazy sparkly dress as an LBD is way more my style, in my usual over-the-top trying-to-be-glamorous manner, I piled on the bling with sparkly bracelets and earrings and topped it off with an awesome faux leopard fur jacket and a sparkly head band.

And everything was going along just fine and I was chatting away to important people... When suddenly I realized two things:
  • One, I was standing by the bar. Like RIGHT next to it. ALL night. And every time it seemed that I took a SIP of my drink (sorry, feeling the need for some serious caps on random words - deal with it) someone else was handing me another one (red wine was apparently the Christmas Spirit haunting me that night). So, suddenly I found that I was getting a little bit drunker than I meant to. And I kept asking for water and I kept ending up with another glass or red wine. And of course that meant I HAD to pound my initial glass. And on and on the cycle went...
  • Two, my sparkly head band was hurting my head. So, of course the ONLY thing to be done was to take it off and put it on other people and take pictures of them wearing it. This seemed like a SUPER fabulous idea at the time. Okay, I admit I was VERY amused by this when I discovered those pictures over the weekend. I am saving them for blackmail purposes.
The next great idea I had was inviting VIP people over to my house for an after party until 4:30 in the morning. Ummm... SO not a good idea! What a way to make an impression on my new colleagues. Or maybe it was a good idea? Yet to be determined.

I vaguely remember singing the national anthem, smoking cigarettes out my window and blaring my music. Yes, I've been hiding from my neighbors all weekend and praying not to bump into any colleagues who were at the scene of the crime.

Let me tell you what was SO NOT a good idea. Waking up on Friday morning was so NOT a good idea. Especially since I woke up at 10 am having supposed to have been at work at 9 (and no matter how much of a hot mess I tell you I am in my social life, I promise you that 90% of the time I have a very professional life and a senior role at my company and I almost never ever drink during the week - at least not more than a couple drinks - and I try to be professional most of the time which is kind of boring so I don't blog about it - obviously it's way more fun to talk about all the situations the Christmas spirits are making me get into rather than the cool stuff I work on at work).

So, I'm racing to work in my CAR (having decided to drive a bunch of us girls back the night before for a pre-party - I usually walk back and forth and just leave my car at work which is much safer for me and the rest of the city of Boston as I'm a TERRIBLE driver - I'm about to prove this point). Let's keep in mind that by this point I've already gotten not ONE but TWO parking tickets because I totally didn't even hear my alarm overslept and was parked in a meter space. And even in my hangover daze, I'm aware that I'm probably still drunk and therefore SHOULDN'T be driving but I need to move the car so I can stop getting tickets and work is really close... So, I make it into the office and I'm all ready to breath a big sigh of relief and am thank God for my safety and everyone else's when SHIT!!! Someone has parked in my spot (damn Christmas spirits making EVERYONE do crazy things). Small moments of panic ensue... What do I do? I decide to turn around and go park in visitor parking. Unfortunately... my car and the Christmas spirits had another idea and the car decided to make a connection with the stationary concrete post rather than nicely easing into the spot. MAJOR scrapes and dents. Oh man!

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Needless to say that the rest of the day did not get any better and my hangover got progressively worse and I realized that my car was seriously damaged and that I would have to pay major mula to get it fixed. And although I manage to behave myself on Friday night by staying in and going to bed early, I was unable to keep from going out with the Christmas spirits and sexy friend A and dancing up a storm on Saturday!

I'm considering a detox for a couple weeks in Jan.  Surely, I can not drink for 2 weeks? Right? RIGHT? I also plan to give up everything else that makes life nice like sugar, salt, gluten, meat, dairy... but I've decided that I need to keep one vice and that will be caffeine...

Ok - back to my red wine Christmas spirit and the cozy fireplace and Christmas tree and the thoughts about starting to do some Christmas wrapping...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

One from the archives

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I have lots to update you on but no time to do so. The holidays are busy and I've been totally caught up in the spirit of Christmas spirits of Christmas and been out and about partying way too much. And the spirits just keep on getting in the way of me finishing a proper blog post (that and all the other Christmas hassle).

But just in case you were missing me... I decided to commit the crime of a re-post and bring up a post I wrote back in March when about 3 people were reading my blog.

And I promise to write a real post soon and update you on all the hot Christmas messes I've been getting myself into - starting with our work holiday party...

Hope you are well and enjoying the Christmas spirits as much as I am! 

I was once asked to join a Facebook group called My Friend are Getting Married, I'm Just Getting Drunk. I don't think I joined the actual group, but the name of the group really struck a chord with me. It seemed like (still seems like) the perfect description of my life. In fact, I think a more apt description would be All my Friends are getting Married and/or Having Babies while I'm just Getting Drunk.

Once upon a time in the not so distant past, it seemed like all my friends were single. Together we enjoyed girl's nights out that consisted of talking about all the men in our lives over glasses of wine, getting drunk, dancing, flirting with men, possibly going home with some man after flirting and dancing with him, then calling your each other the next morning trade stories and laugh about the many shenanigans that took place the night before... You know the deal.

But sometime, when I wasn't paying attention everything changed. It was like the rest of the people around me suddenly grew up and started being adults and I just stayed the same fun-loving immature single gal. Suddenly I look around and everyone is either married, getting married, getting divorced, getting married again, or having their first - and in some cases their second or third - babies!

Let me give you some statistics to prove my point. Since last November, 5 of my close friends have had babies, this summer I will attend 5 weddings. And sad but true, I can only count 4 single friends and unfortunately not one of them lives in London. And with Facebook bringing you into up-close-and-personal contact with the daily lives of your 500+ friends and acquaintances through exuberant pictures and status updates (seems like the thing to do is post your baby's picture as your profile picture), I can't help feeling like there is some kind of massive marriage/baby boom going on out there? And how have I managed to miss this? When I decide to just get drunk and not get married?

I try to think back to when I was a little kid and what I envisioned my life to be like when I was older... Where did I see myself at 31 years old? Honestly, I draw a big blank. Besides wanting to live abroad and become an International Woman of Mystery (seriously - I actually saw that as my destiny but that's a whole other blog in itself), I didn't really ever see myself getting married and having children. But I didn't actually see myself NOT doing it either though. I just never had a visual picture of myself with a baby and a husband. I guess I just thought that at some point there would be some natural progression towards that lifestyle - that like all the others around me (or so it seems) I wouldn't have to think about it - it would just happen. However, so far. It has not happened. And actually, I still have trouble conjuring up an image of myself with a husband and a baby - I mean can any of you see me with a baby on one arm and a man I go home to every night? Exactly... See... that's what I'm talking about.

The very strange thing is that I feel that my childhood and upbringing should have given me a good view of marriage and kids. I mean my parents are still married. I had a great childhood. I love my parents and they love my brother and I and they brought us up well (although admittedly I might be a little biased here). And despite the fact that my brother and I both currently live abroad, we have an extremely close family and enjoy spending time together and try to do so as often as we can.

But if I reflect back on my childhood, I have to say that I have never really seen myself as a very maternal person, nor have I ever seen myself as a traditional wife. To me the word HOUSEWIFE has always equaled a dirty word. I knew early on that I was going to be a career woman. I think this in part comes from having a very strong and dominating Mother. There was no question who ruled our household. Even today she is more driven and ambitious than my Father - and she makes more money than him (Dad - if you are reading this - don't worry I love you anyway, you were the "fun" parent).

 My Mother taught me that being a strong woman was important. She was my role model from day one and I have admired strong women ever since. I can honestly say that I was shocked to find out that women were not the dominant sex in the rest of the world. In fact, it was my neighbor who pointed this out to me. I still remember the day that he tried to tell me women belonged at home with the babies cleaning and cooking. From that day on we became rivals and I set out to prove to the world that women could in fact dominate the world and were absolutely the superior Sex.
Another unusual reflection from my childhood involves "playing house." It is a natural thing for children to want to mimic the lives of adults or imagine how their lives as adults will be. Playing house is a natural part of childhood. However... being the strong-minded (and admittedly sometimes strange) child that I was, I had very strict rules on how I thought you should play house. I never ever ever played house in the traditional sense. In the elaborate stories I created for my friends and I to act out (I'm sure you are all very surprised to hear that I was a bossy child - shocker) we never had a traditional family unit with a mother, father, kids, dog, the house with the white picket fence etc. Instead I always insisted that we play run away children or even better, I liked to play that I was a single woman (an Aunt maybe) who adopted children. Although I often convinced guys to play with me, I never once wanted to be the mom or wife in the game of house.

Can you believe that? Even as a child, I could NOT even pretend to have a husband or pretend to get married. It seriously grossed me out! And I never pretended to be a mother as in having actual children that were supposed to be my own. When I played with my dolls - it was the same thing. Barbie and Ken were always either boyfriend and girlfriend or brother and sister or more likely just plain friends. Actually, usually I was too busy enacting camping scenes in the woods and having them drown in the river and need rescuing to really care too much about the intricacies of their relationship (I was a bit of a Tomboy as a child). So, even as young as 5 years old, I already knew that I couldn't see myself as a mother or as a person who gets married. Or perhaps even at that age I was already doubting myself as the kind of person guys would want to marry.

It will probably come as no surprise then that Peter Pan was my favorite book as a child. I used to make my father read it to me over and over again. Even at an early age I felt a strong identification with Peter Pan and the lost boys who lived in Never Neverland and never wanted to grow up. I remember telling my Father that I was never going to grow up either. But I guess even Peter Pan had to grow up... I mean we all saw the movie Hook right? If you haven't, seriously - watch it. It's great!

The thing is... I'm not exactly ready to trade my international life and my career in tomorrow for a husband and kids - just the thought sends me into a semi-panic attack. But I'm starting to realize that kids, a husband, stability are probably things that I want in the future. I'm also realizing that partying every weekend, working long hours, and jet setting around the world is not exactly conducive behavior for fostering any kind of permanent relationship or settling down and there is absolutely no way to fit children into this lifestyle. I kept thinking I could do it all. But now I'm realizing that maybe it's just not possible. And since I can't run away with the Lost Boys to Never Neverland and hide away in some ageless world full of fun and games and pirates, the clock - oh that scary clock (much like the one that the alligator in Peter Pan swallows - I'm SO getting the deeper message of this book now) continues to tick, and no matter how hard I wish, I'm not getting any younger. So, if I'm really serious about settling down sometime soon, I guess I should start thinking about some making some changes in my life.... But don't worry! NOT YET! Fear not my faithful blog readers. At least for now, I will continue to amuse you with my silly stories of international singledom.

Luckily one of my 4 single friends is coming to visit me in London for the long Easter weekend. So, while my friends are all at home with their babies and husbands and boyfriends, well you know that we'll just be getting drunk!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I know it's been awhile since I've written to you. And I also apologize for not believing in you that much anymore. But this year I'm having a lot of trouble getting into the holiday spirit. Actually, I'm having trouble getting into any kind of spirit. All in all, I'm kind of down in the dumps big time. So, I thought that maybe writing to you would make me feel better. And I'm hoping that maybe you can help me to find a little bit of Christmas cheer and rediscover some of that Christmas magic that is so wonderful when you are a child.

 I was also hoping that you could possibly bring me a very special Christmas present this year...

The thing is Santa, that I'm kind of tired of spending Christmas alone. But at the same time, I'm getting more and more convinced that there are NO GOOD GUYS out there (besides you of course but unfortunately Mrs. Clause got there first)! But I'm not quite ready to give up hope yet. I'm hoping that you can work your special Christmas magic and help me find the perfect guy for this International Woman of Mystery. And if he doesn't exist in the world (I wouldn't be surprised), maybe the elves can whip something up? Build the perfect man just for me? 

So rather than a long list of things I want for Christmas, all I want for Christmas is a PERFECT man. I thought I would help you out by listing all the requirements below. I apologize for the fact that it is a little long. But I know that you are kinda awesome and magical and can make miracles happen... so I decided to just put it all out there.
The perfect man for this International Woman of Mystery...
  • Is tall - at least 6 feet but preferably 6 foot 3 or taller
  • Is handsome - not necessarily conventionally but he definitely needs to be attractive
  • Is smart and intelligent and able to hold interesting conversations
  • Is nice to me and treats me well 
  • Is charming, charismatic and fun
  • Fills up a room with his personality
  • Is kind and has a big heart
  • Loves books, music, animals and travel
  • Wouldn't mind living abroad even if it was my job that was causing us to move
  • Wouldn't be intimidated by a woman who is strong, independent and career-focused
  • Is adventurous and finds ways to make even the most mundane things into an adventure
  • Loves to laugh and tries to see the good in people and situations
  • Is sometimes silly, isn't afraid to be a goofball, and isn't embarrassed by me when I have a case of the sillies
  • Takes care of his body and exercises and eats healthy but who isn't afraid to indulge in a big plate of french fries with me
  • Has a good sense of style  - i.e. doesn't consider khakis an acceptable clothing option
  • Is motivated and ambitious and doesn't mind working hard but also values home life and manages to find a balance between career and family
  • Has strong arms that he loves to put around me and hug me close to him
  • Has a wonderful smile that lights up when I walk in the room
  • Has nice lips that plant tender kisses on mine
  • Likes children and want to be a father some day
  • Gives me compliments and thinks that I'm beautiful even when I'm in one of my "extra 5 pounds" stages
  • Gives me presents "just because"
  • Loves his family and comes to love mine
  • Encourages me to be a better person
  • Loves me and looks at me in such a way that tells me and everyone else around how in love he is
  • Doesn't need to be perfect - I know that no one is, but he should have a good sense of himself and should value self improvement
  • Doesn't need to be tied up with a red bow and placed under the tree... I'll give you a bit more time on this one - just let me stumble upon him sometime over the next year 
I look forward to seeing how well you work your Christmas magic. I'm determined that this is going to be my LAST Christmas as a single gal. So, I'm going to live it up and put my faith in you Dear Santa to deliver this most perfect gift.

And if you don't happen to find this perfect man for me, and if you can't custom build him in your shop, then I suppose I could settle for a pair of Louboutins, a flat screen television and a plane ticket to Sweden.

-International Woman of Mystery

Monday, December 13, 2010

Getting into the Christmas Spirit... or not...

I'm struggling right now...

Struggling to find the Christmas spirit. Struggling because for some reasons the holidays are making me feel lonely. Struggling to be happy. Struggling to accept my new non-international life. Struggling because I'm desperately homesick for Sweden and my girlfriends* - homesick even for London and my friends there. Struggling to figure out who I am in my new redefined world where I'm suddenly just standing still. And also... I'm struggling with men (yes, this is an ongoing one but particularly bad right now).

Usually writing is cathartic and something I look forward to, but right now I'm also struggling with writing. I have started at least 5 or 6 posts this weekend and have been unable to finish them. I'm not really sure what is wrong... I'm just struggling... and feeling in low spirits. So, I'm sorry for not blogging more. I'm hoping to snap out of this soon.

So, in lieu of a more interesting post, I thought I would jump on the Christmas decorations blogging bandwagon and share with you my cozy apartment all decorated for Christmas... I just wish that it was helping to cheer me up.

My little Christmas Tree

Without Flash

This is how Santa looks in Sweden - tall and skinny. He's called Tomte!
Isn't he cute!
Another typical Swedish Santa

Star - Guess what? It's also from Sweden - those Swedes do have the BEST Christmas decorations. Oh how I miss Sweden!

Cozy Fireplace with angel ornaments

I'm slightly obsessed with angles - most of these stay out the whole year!
More angels

So, that's it! That's my cozy Christmas apartment.

And I promise, a more inspired post coming soon.

UPDATE: I'm feeling better. I did a little shopping and bought a dress and super high heels and sparkly earrings for my work Christmas party this Thursday. I also just watched the Glee Christmas episode (that's right - I'm a total GLEEK) and it was really great and made me laugh and smile (something about Sue Sylvestor as the Grinch was pretty freaking hilarious). So, bring it on Christmas. 'Tis the Season!

*Today is Lucia in Sweden and missing it made me really sad. Even last year in London, I celebrated it and was around so many Swedes. I miss Sweden.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Visit From Nomad Boy

I know you are all waiting for an update on my weekend with Nomad Boy.

I wish that I could give you a hot and steamy update and tell you that the International Woman of Mystery and Nomad Boy are totally meant to be! I wish I could tell you that it was the most awesome weekend of my life and that I can't wait to see him again.

Unfortunately... the only thing I can say about this weekend is that it was a border-line disaster. Nomad Boy and I just weren't on the same page at all. He has not really matured or progressed since the last time we saw each other. I hate to say it, but he's kind of a loser with no job, no money, and a whole lot of bad luck following him around. And while he might still be beautiful and a bit mysterious and in some moments, he still makes my heart flutter like it did when I was a teenager, I'm way to old and practical for a guy like that.

To summarize - it was DISAPPOINTING - to say the least. On my way home from dropping him off, I called  I'm attractive single friend C for a bitch session and for the first time in my life bemoaned the fact that unfortunately, I'm not attracted to women because that is how DONE I feel with men right now. This disappointment stacked on top of another one that I'm not ready to blog about has done me in. I am DONE WITH MEN!

I don't want to drag you through all the gory details nor do I want to virtually re-live the weekend (I already feel sad that it's one weekend that I will never get back).

But to give you some insight into what went down, I will leave you with the following list:

Dear Nomad Boy - here is what NOT TO DO when visiting any hot girl that you haven't seen in years:
  • Do not not have a phone - it's just annoying and makes meeting up with you and coordinating things that much more frustrating
  • Do not not have a winter jacket. Seriously. Especially if you grew up in New England - it's December in Boston - it's freaking cold. You should know that.
  • Do not tell me that we should do fun things like go ice skating and walk around Boston and get me all excited as those are exactly the things that I want to do and then get here and decide it's too cold to leave the apartment (well, of course it's cold if you don't have a winter jacket).
  • Do not sit around like a total stoner all weekend watching mindless You Tube videos and smoking and trying to get me interested in what you are watching. I might humor you but it's not how I really want to spend my time.
  • Do not criticize Boston and tell me that you could NEVER live there - especially after I have expressed to you that I'm feeling a bit freaked out about having just moved back.
  • Do not keep turning up my heat as high as it can go every time I turn around - I have to pay for that shit! Some of us have adult lives with adult responsibilities and bills...
  • Do not let me pay for the bill every time and then call me "Sugar Mama."
  • Do not wake up at 7:00 in the morning (after going to bed at 4) and try to convince me to have sex with you (when I'm obviously not feeling it) and then keep me awake. Seriously. I have a job and I need to sleep on the weekends! 3 hours sleep is totally not sufficient and it throws me off for the rest of the week!
  • Do not pick random fights with me in the bar just to pick a fight
  • Do not purposefully try to make me feel bad by criticizing me about little things such as being with one company for 10 years and implying that this makes me less attractive on the job market when you do not even have a job at a all!
  • Do not pick fights with me about topics involving my line of work and then tell me that there is no way that I can  possibly know more on the subject than you even though you have no way to back up your argument.
  • Do not instigate drama in any way - why would you do that? Who wants to fight?  Not me!
  • Do not talk about all the bad relationships you've had in the past (although the inevitable drama and fighting parts of the story were at least insightful and made me realize that this is probably a pattern with you and probably has very little to do with me).
  • Do not tell me that I'm acting weird and "psychotic" when I'm being quiet because I'm upset at the way you are treating me and I'm secretly wishing you would leave. I'm sorry that I chose to be quiet rather than to fight back and engage you in a fight. Fighting with you just seemed pointless and worthless. You just weren't worth it to me. I decided to endure and be rid of you rather than fight back.
  • Do not make me drive you to Worcester to meet your father who you have also made drive to Worcester from W. Mass to get you - there is a perfectly fine bus going between here in W. Mass. I have taken it many times. For someone who has no money and no job... I don't think you should feel that you are so above that.
  • If I do decide to give up most of my Sunday evening and drive you to Worcester, do not criticize my driving and generally be mean to me during the car ride
  • If I do decide to drive you to Worcester, do not forget the address of where we are supposed to meet your father, and if you do forget it, do not get mad with me for not being able to find the place (especially when you had never told me the address in the first place)
  • And after all that, do not jump out of the car and forget to thank me after I drive you all the way to Worcester (a 2 hour and 45 minute trip since I spent forever driving around in Worcester trying to find the place and another 30 minutes trying to find parking when I got back to Boston).
Unfortunately, that is the list. All those things really happened. And that list probably doesn't even scratch the surface... I'm blocking out everything else out. Clearly he is self centered, selfish and lacks any kind of manners... My biggest regret is now my beautiful memories of him will be tainted by this horrible weekend.

Despite feeling a bit beaten up by men... I'm trying to look on the bright side. Look forward rather than backwards.

I have a new work friend - super sexy A and she has promised to finally introduce me to some Boston nightlife/men this weekend. I can't wait! It will truly be my first weekend in Boston where I don't have tons of commitments. I can't wait to get out and explore the city, do some shopping, check out the Christmas lights etc. Ok in reality, we might be doing more checking out the Boston nightlife than anything else which means I might be hiding out in my bed hungover during the day. But even that would be an improvement over last weekend with Nomad Boy!

So, while I feel like I'm done with men... I guess I'm not totally ready to give up yet. Let's see what the weekend has in store.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Let me Spank you... Sweetly

I know you are all waiting for an update on my weekend - coming soon - I promise. But in the meantime, I have some awards to accept!

Where else but in the blog world can you get virtually spanked and called irresistibly sweet at the same time. Umm... well, I guess it depends on what you are into...

But here in the blog world of an International Woman of Mystery - I got spanked and told I'm irresistibly sweet (or at least my blog is). How awesome is that?

The first award comes from Tracy at It's An Average Life. I know that I have mentioned  her blog before and if you haven't already done so, you should get on over there and check her out ASAP. This woman cracks me up with her funny flatulence stories. She also posts beautiful pictures and insightful thoughts - and she's a little crazy.

I'm passing this award onto these very nice and irresistibly sweet blogs:

A Day in the Wife
Sarah Elizabeth
Sarah in Le Petit Village
Les aventures de Mademoiselle L

And Kelly from My Joy Project apparently thought my blog was worthy of a virtual spanking. And she gave me this award:

Thanks for the kick in the ass Kelly! I needed it. Everyone should go on over and check out Kelly's inspirational blog! Do it.

I'm passing a virtual spank on to these blogs because I think they're a little bit naughty:

DC Dating Divas
Night Notes on Napkins

Stay tuned for an update on the weekend with Nomad Boy. In the meantime, go check out those blogs!

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's Raining Men Part II

Thanks for tuning in to my "It's Raining Men" series Part II. Haven't read Part I yet? Do so here.

When this International Woman of Mystery last left you, I had been telling you about the attempted. yet averted kiss from Locker Boy and had been alluding to juicy omissions I may or may have not made on this blog. I also told you that I was not done talking about boys... there is one more boy to talk about.

As for Locker Boy... well, I have yet to return his last text message to me asking me to go to the symphony with him in Boston... I know. I'm feeling bad enough. Don't rub it in.

As for the juicy omission it might be because:

a. It involves a colleague
b. It involves a guy with a girlfriend
c. It involves a lot of alcohol and is therefore a little bit blurry and non-sensical
d. It is a little bit embarrassing
e. I haven't managed to process it enough to write about it
g. It is still playing out and I realize it's either too premature to write about it or I might never be able to
h. All of the above

Moving on...

There is one last boy to make an appearance on the It's Raining Men Series... And I felt like he deserved a whole blog post in itself.

So, without further ado... INTRODUCING NOMAD BOY!!!!

Nomad Boy and I have had a long history together. Let me tell you about it...

I met Nomad Boy when I was 19. That summer I had been living on Martha's Vineyard. The final night I was there, K one of my best friend's from home, came out to visit and help me move back. She talked about going to a party where there was a guy who I would "love." I remember her describing him as a long-haired skater boy (totally my type back in those days). He was a friend of a friend from a town close to our hometown. Well, we never made it to that party and I soon forgot about the cute skater boy she was supposed to hook me up with.

I moved back home to my parent's house for the final weeks before school started again. And a couple weekends later, I went with K to a party in the town next to ours. I didn't really know the people at this party, nor did I have any idea who lived in the house. But while looking at the family pictures on the walls, I recognized a girl who I had worked with at my summer job during previous summers. However, I didn't see her at the party.

So, I'm sitting in a bedroom on the floor and suddenly this super cute long-haired skater boy walks in and points at me. "You." He says.

"Yes?" I say.

"You're that girl!"

"What girl?" I say innocently and flirtatiously - I mean this guy is seriously hot and oh-so my type!

"You're that girl on the Vineyard." He says. And suddenly it clicked - he must have been the guy my friend was telling me about...

I tried to play it coy "What girl on the Vineyard?" I asked. Anyway, we chatted for a bit and I told him that apparently I knew his sister. And we made the usual comments about small world etc. (remember this is like 1997 way pre-Facebook when degrees of separation were so less in your face and encounters like this still seemed weird and random yet meaningful).

And later on that night we found ourselves alone...

"It's so strange," he says. "You know how you make up lives for people in your head? Well, I totally did that with you. I saw you all the time on the Vineyard - you always hung out with that blond skater boy and you worked in that shop and you always wear headbands." Wow. I thought to myself, he must have been totally stalking me from afar because boy had the details down. But he was hot so I decided I was more impressed than creeped out.

"And," he continues. "I thought that you were a Vineyard girl and lived there all year long and that the blond boy was your long-term boyfriend. And then I come home from the Vineyard to find you sitting in my bedroom and find out you're from the town next to mine."

"Funny how that happens," I said. And then he kissed me. And that kiss launched the adventures of Nomad Boy and the International Woman of Mystery - a story that has dragged on for 12 years and has yet to play itself out.

I went home that night slightly tipsy and overly euphoric and I woke up my mother to tell her in a typical International Woman of Mystery over-dramatic fashion, that I had met the guy I was going to marry.*

I can't say that Nomad Boy and I ever had a serious thing. We haven't. What we've had is a series of summer flirtations and random hook ups, stolen kisses on the couch in his basement while his dad watched TV in the room above us, many steamy late night conversations, flurries of exchanged emails, gmail chats, facebook messages and (sometimes dirty) pictures. We've also had years where we haven't seen each other and we've had many "just missed" connections were we thought we would meet up, but at the last minute it didn't work out - like this summer when we had plans to meet up in San Fran but he suddenly moved to Hawaii just days before we were supposed to meet (the life of a Nomad Boy is this way I suppose).

I sometimes blame our lack of substance on the fact that Nomad Boy and I have never lived in the same place at the same time. Our colleges were nowhere near each other. And since college I've been jet setting around the world and he's been wandering around the US... But for some reason, we have managed to keep in touch all these years which in days LONG before cellphones and when Mark Zucherburg was still in diapers, this was a BIG deal. We actually had to work at staying in touch by doing things like calling eachother's parents houses to find out how to contact each other. Of course in the later years we eventually moved to email and more recently Facebook (Nomad Boy is one of those strange people without a cell phone).

So, to bring you up to the present date... A couple weeks before Thanksgiving, Nomad Boy contacts me via Facebook to tell me he's going to be around the Boston area for Thanksgiving. We were supposed to meet up last Wednesday night in Boston but in typical Nomad Boy style he cancels at the last minute (I'm proud to say that I've finally learned not to be dissapointed by him - or any boy these days). We've been in touch a bit over the holiday and today he told me that he's around in the are for the next month and is planning to come to Boston on Thursday and stay with me over the weekend. 

We will see... Nomad Boy is not really a man of his words. Nor is he to be trusted. But I can say that I would like him to come. I welcome the distraction. And I would love to see what he's up to these days.

I'll be sure to keep you posted.

This concludes the International Woman of Mystery's "It's Raining Men" series. Although it's obviously "To be continued."

So, there you go from nothing to many things. To still totally lacking anything substantial.

In the meantime, I have recently received some awesome awards from some awesome bloggers. Stay tuned for my acceptance speech and pass on of the awards.


*My mother was typically unimpressed (and annoyed that I was waking her up) but I must say that in my 32 years this is the ONE AND ONLY time the International Woman of Mystery has ever proclaimed she has found a marriable man.

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's Raining Men Part I

So, after feeling all sorry for myself about the dry spot I was going through. Things suddenly changed and now there are boys everywhere!
The first boys to enter my life were my brother and his cute friend who came through Boston last Monday night to play a show (my brother is pretty much a nomadic musician these days but that's a whole other story).

My brother felt the need to send me an email in advance that said - and I'm quoting directly from his email here: "don't attack cute friend though.  he's tall and attractive and Germanic looking and he's kinda got a gf.  ;)"

I'm happy to report that I did not "attack" his cute friend - although he was cute and tall and had a really nice smile. He was also very sick with a sniffly sneezy cold which made him definite hands-off material (although I caught the stupid cold anyway it seems).

Next up was American Boy. Remember him? Here's the deal with American Boy (as I'm sure you are wondering what the deal is - oh what? You aren't? Too bad. I'm going to tell you anyway). American Boy unfortunately managed to move from Boston to San Fransisco right about the same time I moved to Boston - another sign that any sort of relationship between us is not meant to be - no matter how awesome he is. American Boy and I actually met for dinner this summer but outside of a kiss on the check, nothing happened between us. In fact, it was so uneventful I didn't even bother blog about it. And although American boy remains the hottest, coolest, cutest boy ever... I think that we are probably going to remain in the friendship territory. Unfortunately.

Anyway, American boy caught a ride home with me Wednesday night after work. So, we battled the 3 hour day-before-Thanksgiving car ride (normally 1.5 hours) together and spent the time chatting, catching up and listening to good music. It was actually kind of fun to drive with him. I tell you... he is really the perfect boy.

Being in my hometown brought forth lots more boys. On Friday night - Black Friday (btw - can someone pleas tell me when this became such a big deal? And wtf is cyber Monday? Clearly, I've been away too long), I met up with 4 boys from high school at the local pub in the town where we grew up. And although we are 14 years out of high school (damn we're old - although the bar tender did pull me aside to ask me if I really graduated with them because I look "way better" and "way younger" then them - I kid you not. I can't make this stuff up), it took about 5 minutes of conversation before it felt like we had never left high school as our conversation immediately regressed to high school immaturity levels.

And as sometimes happens when you catch up with the boys from highschool on Black Friday and find yourself as the only girl of the group, "handjobs" naturally became the the main topic of conversation. How does this even come up as a topic you ask? What is there to even say about handjobs when you are in your 30's? I have no idea... But that's how it goes with these boys.

So, handjobs was a recurring theme throughout the night. Awesome. And I kept telling them to be quiet since they were yelling the word handjob in really loud voices and I was embarrassed since I felt like the entire bar could hear or totally inappropriate conversation. Which come to think about it is probably why they talked about this particular subject for so long... I was giving them the total reaction they wanted. See? Just like high school. Awesome.

The other topic of the night was farting - but that's kind of the norm for one of those guy friends who has always (and I mean ALWAYS - I've known him since we were three years old) been abscessed with flatulence (high school friends who read this blog - take a BIG guess who I'm talking about). But what really amazes me is how this guy can bring farting into any type of conversation. And what's even more amazing that we have all known him for years but he still manages to make us laugh with the absolute outrageousness of his farting comments. For example, I was showing him a picture from a mutual friend's wedding this summer and he looks at a picture of the Groom and goes. "I bet he rips big juicy ones!" I mean who SAYS that? And who is even thinking that when they are looking at beautiful wedding pictures?

Alright. Enough potty talk. Sorry about that. Moving on...

One of the boys in the high school group was Locker Boy - who I have not seen since our kayaking adventure a month or so back although have been in some contact via text. Locker Boy actually picked me up and delivered me back home after the bar escapade. Upon dropping me off at my parents, Locker Boy made his move and tried to tried to kiss me (something I should have seen coming) and I politely declined by turning my cheek (seriously - this also felt like high school all over again - yes high school readers stop laughing and DO NOT tell him about this blog). Then I felt terrible... (and I kind of feel bad about blogging about this - I deleted this passage and then decided that I had to put it back in cuz this blog is supposed to be about boys and lately I'm omitting too much of the juicy stuff - more on that later... maybe -sometimes I can't don't tell you everything that's going on). I Especially felt bad when he texted me a really sweet message the next day apologizing for trying to make a move and telling me he hoped it wouldn't be awkward between us and asking to hang out again.

But that is not all... don't you worry. There are even more boys around that I'm going to tell you about. But as to not run the risk of writing a very LOOOONG post, I've decided to cut it into two parts.

You will have to come back tomorrow to read the next chapter in this International Woman of Mystery's "It's Raining Men" series.

I'm out. I'm going to work on over decorating my awesome new apartment for Christmas. If you are lucky there will be some pictures coming at you soon!

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

My First American Thanksgiving (since 2002)

Photo courtesy of

So, this is the International Woman of Mystery's first Thanksgiving in the US since 2002 - when I was home briefly between living in Bali and living in China.

I wish I could say that I was so happy to be back and celebrating this great American tradition. And I am happy to be back in many ways.

But mostly, today, I felt lonely, underwhelmed, and out-of-place.

First of all, the holidays are often a bit tough and lonely when you are single. There is no special person  who you look forward to spending a long cozy weekend with. Who can brighten up an ordinary day or holiday as the case my be, and make it wonderful. There is no one causing you to look forward to the holiday just because you know that no matter what, just sharing it with them will make it special and fun and just perfect.

Adding to this sense of loneliness, my family is rather small - so they don't really fill the void that being without a partner creates. Although I have various Aunts and Uncles and cousins, they are scattered about the US and we don't tend to spend holidays together.

My immediate family is my mother, my father, my brother and I. Growing up, we celebrated most holidays with my grandparents (mostly the ones on my father's side). Sometimes our cousins would join for a big dinner at my grandparent's house. But often it was just the 6 of us. But my grandmother - who was the one who made holidays so festive and special - passed away a couple years ago (and is missed by me every single day) and my grandfather is now in the nursing home.

We are now in that phase of life where grandparents are no longer around and neither children nor even significant others (for my brother and I) have yet to arrive (perhaps in my family they never will). And let me tell you holidays suddenly have become rather sad and lacking in some sort of magical spirit that only the very young or the very old can bring to the holidays. Without my grandparents around, holidays have stopped being so special and magical.

My mother is not a big holiday person -and neither is my father. And although they did a great job at making the holidays meaningful when we were younger, as we got older, it was my grandparents who made the holidays special and festive and preserved the traditions. In other words, once the holidays stopped being about the children, they started to be about the grandparents. And in a natural cycle of life, once the grandparents are no longer around, ideally there are children around to fill the void and the cycle continues - but since neither my brother nor I are planning to push out babies anytime soon.... well, we have interrupted the natural cycle and this leads to a very unsatisfactory feeling during the holidays.

And let me tell you, I'm the kind of person who LOVES holidays! There is no 'Ba-humbug' here.  I can see myself in the future as the crazy lady who always invites the entire extended family over to her way too over-decorated house to over-indulge in lots of holiday goodies and goes totally way over the top every time - and loves it!

So, as I mentioned, my first Thanksgiving back in the US was rather underwhelming. My brother decided not to come home for Thanksgiving (despite being in Boston on Monday - he is now in DC playing music). My Aunt who was supposed to visit but got sick and didn't come. My father, my mother and I drove 2 hours (and then 3 hours back) to see my grandfather in the nursing home where we had bland stuffing and mashed potatoes and dry turkey. The best part about the meal was the gravy.

No. Of course the best part was being with my parents and my grandfather (don't get me wrong, I'm very thankful that my grandfather is still around and that I could be with him on this day and I wouldn't have it any other way). But let's face it spending Thanksgiving at a nursing home is never ideal and I couldn't help but feel  a little sad. I couldn't help but miss my grandmother. I couldn't help but reminisce about Thanksgivings past when my grandfather was young and healthy and would proudly cut the turkey and say grace (he is so much the same but at the same time so different than he used to be and sometimes it breaks my heart). I couldn't help but feel envious of friends and colleagues who were participating in large happy Thanksgiving dinners full of lots of family and friends as we sat at a lonely table in the nursing home cafeteria choking down dry turkey and screaming across the table at each other so that my grandfather (who is hard of hearing) can hear us.

It's funny because while living abroad, every year I definitely missed Thanksgiving and was sad not to be at home with my family. But this year, I found myself missing Europe - especially Sweden. I even found myself missing Swedish food! Cranberry sauce is just so similar to lingonberry sauce (a typical Swedish dish - if you are interested to try it, just go to Ikea and get the meatballs, it will come on the side) and I found myself wishing it tasted more like lingon (and laughing at myself because I remember the first time I had lingonberry sauce, I wanted it to be more like cranberry sauce).

And I found myself thinking that the Thanksgiving spread is nothing compared to a typical Swedish Christmas smorgasbord! If I had to choose, I would choose the Swedish julbord (Christmas table) over Thanksgiving any day. But I remember those first years in Sweden that I spent thinking that Swedish holiday food just didn't live up to American holiday food. I wonder when my point of reference changed? It was so gradual. I didn't notice it at all. One day I just felt more Swedish than American I guess...

I also have spent some time today reminiscing about Thanksgiving days spent abroad. Of course I was always working on Thanksgiving day and for the most part, Thanksgiving was a non-event. But I do remember each year recognizing the fact that it was Thanksgiving and thinking about that throughout the day.

I remember the year in China where we had great plans to either order in (you could literally order in a Thanksgiving dinner from the American store) a Thanksgiving dinner or go out to eat. But we started drinking right after work and this lead to us ordering pizza which led to us drinking bijao (Chinese rice wine - NEVER a good idea, trust me on this one), and then going to a karaoke bar and belting out American songs totally wasted.

I remember at least 2 Thanksgivings where I had big work dinners in Stockholm. I remember the Europeans toasting me and the other Americans because it was Thanksgiving. I remember wishing I was having turkey rather than salmon. I remember a Thanksgiving spent mostly on a plane back from Moscow. I remember a Thanksgiving where I had take-out Thai food. I remember a Thanksgiving where I ordered a turkey panini from the Cafe down the street and lit a candle and had a glass of wine and sat alone in my apartment wishing I was in the US. I remember last year in London going to a friend's house where this British guy cooked the most awesome Thanksgiving dinner for his American girlfriend and her American friends.

And while this year, I'm thankful for many things - including my family, my grandfather, my friends in the US and all around the world, my new life in Boston, my health, the fact that I have a great job, my awesome new apartment...

I've decided that this will be my last Thanksgiving in the US until I have children. A four day weekend for a holiday I find that I don't care about too much anymore, is way too good to waste. Next year, I'm jumping on a plane to Europe or Latin America or Africa or wherever I feel is interesting (probably Sweden).

And someday, if I ever settle down and find a husband and have children, then no matter where I live in the world, I'm going to throw a HUGE Thanksgiving dinner for all my friends and relatives and make sure that it's a bright and happy and fun-filled day!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sometimes Being Single Isn't All That Bad

I recently read a blog post that resonated strongly with me. So, much so that I couldn't have said it better myself so I'm going to re-post.

Thank you Lucky Girl over at How Very Lucky for writing such an awesome list to remind me (and all the other awesome single gals of the world) of why it's not so bad to be single. I needed this as lately I've been bemoaning the fact that I'm without a man and I've been busy making a mental list of the opposite sort - all the reasons I wish I had a man.

Check it out and definitely get on over and visit her awesome blog as well! And let me know what you think. Do you agree with this list? Have anything to add?
  1. Everything in my apartment is mine.
  2. The only person who goes through my stuff is me.
  3. With the exception of the occasional cleaning lady mishap, my stuff stays where I put it.
  4. Often, this is my closet, which I don’t have to share.
  5. I can snore without consequence, and, conversely, not be kept awake by another who does.
  6. A similar principle applies to farting.  Yes.  Girls pass gas, too.
  7. I can hit snooze 6 times without making anyone angry.
  8. I can hog all the blankets, and all the bed.
  9. Morning breath?  What morning breath?  If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it…
  10. I never have to wait for the shower.
  11. My toilet seat is never in the wrong position.
  12. I can take as long as I want to get ready.
  13. No one uses my razor on their face.
  14. No one does the dishes after I cook.  But no one complains if I don’t do them, either.
  15. The only ones whining about food are my cats. (this one doesn't exactly apply to me yet, although I'm seriously considering getting a kitten).
  16. I don’t have to clean up anyone’s mess but my own. 
  17. I can play the music of my choice, at the volume of my choice, any time of my choice.
  18. I can have quiet, alone time anytime I want it.
  19. I never have to fight for the remote control.
  20. This means that sports is never on my TV.  Unless the Steelers are playing.
  21. I can go home with whomever I want.
  22. Or not go home with whomever I want.
  23. Three words: More. Sexual. Variety. Three more: Possibly. More. Sex.
  24. I never have to fake an orgasm, I can give them to myself daily.  And I never have “headaches”.
  25. Extra garlic, please.
  26. I can flirt wildly and without restraint.
  27. But maybe not after all the extra garlic.
  28. My friends all get along with my other half.  Because my other half is currently me.
  29. I can take care of myself.
  30. I have worked hard for and earned everything that I have.
  31. No marriage penalty tax.
  32. I don’t have to check anyone’s schedule before deciding on my own.
  33. Ladies night is every night.
  34. I can, and often do, go out every night of the week.
  35. I have more free time, for myself, my friends, and generally doing things that I enjoy.
  36. I am free to travel where and when I like.
  37. I don’t have to concern myself with what anyone else’s mother thinks.
  38. I can always spend holidays with my family.
  39. And…I put my happiness where it ought to be: First.