26, Unmarried, Childless, and I Secrectly Love When You Ask Me About It

For the past few days I have seen this article 26, Unmarried, and Childless shared up and down my Facebook news feed, tucked ironically in between engagement announcements and photos of infants. I remember reading this article when it was first written late last year and it seems since then every few months one of my fellow generational sisters tells her experience about not being at society’s expected stage of life. Being that I too am at the same stage I have fallen trap to reading every single one of these outcries. I found that their stories usually take one of two point-of-views. Either the girl takes the, “I’m not conforming to societal pressure, I’m single and fabulous” stand, or the, “I’m content with life but I secretly wish I was married with kids”. These are both valid view points and at some point in my mid 20’s I have felt the same way, but reality is, just because we are childless at 26 doesn’t mean we are the only ones getting hassled with aggravating questions.

Our 26 year old, married, with 3 kids, friends are getting asked the same questions- only theirs sounds like, “Don’t you think you had kids too young” or “Remember that time you got a business degree but decided to be a stay at home mom”.  Yes, these questions are irritating, unwanted, and ill-advised, but not getting asked those questions is worse than a few minutes of displeasure. Yes, you read that right, not getting asked those questions IS worse than your temporary annoyance. Now you are probably thinking, “Girl, please”, but before you hit the little x on the right side of this tab allow me to explain.

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That One Time I Went on My Very First Date

As a little girl I always thought my first date would be this magical experience.  I pictured myself as this young innocent girl wearing a pretty new sun dress excited to meet Prince Charming.  Just like in every 90’s teen movie, the guy would pick me up and we would have a wonderful time at a casual local spot. He would have on a pair of jeans, a nice shirt and look simply dream.  I would order something cheap so I wouldn’t seem too high maintenance, and then offer to pay, but he would be too much of a gentleman to let me. Our conversation would have a beautiful flow of sarcasm and charm mixed with a little goofy humor. In my mind the date would be a moment to remember.

But reality had other plans…

You see, as much I wanted to live out my fantasy there were a few key factors that prohibited that from coming into fruition. First, I couldn’t let him pick me up. What if he was a serial killer? I’m not photogenic enough to have my mug plastered on the side of a milk carton. So instead I met him at Starbucks. It was too windy to wear that pretty new dress, so instead I wore jeans, a tunic, and a cardigan. I pulled into the crowded strip center parking lot 10 mins early and parked my car. I got out and saw him already sitting there looking at his phone. He was early, #BonusPoints!  As he stood up the wrinkles began to fall on the Brooks Brothers’ polo shirt and khaki shorts he was wearing. He adjusted the satchel on his shoulder (I guess he planned to do homework on the date?), shook my hand and said hello. It was a highly uneventful greeting. He went inside the store, I followed.

Yep you read that right, homeboy didn’t even open the door for me #BonusPointsRevoked.

After he ordered his Americana with a splash of cream I assumed it was my turn to order. Nope, he pulled out his wallet and paid before I had time to utter a word. Then he stepped aside. So I ordered my Iced Green Tea and paid with the gift card my mom gave me for Christmas. After I picked up my drink, I turned around to ask him where he wanted to sit, but he was already sitting outside. At this point I seriously considered leaving cause he was already displaying some very jerk like behavior, but this was my first time on a date and I said I would see it through.

So I went outside and sat adjacent to him at the table. The spot he had chosen had an interesting aroma of roasted coffee beans, his cologne, and the dumpster a mere 15 feet away. I looked across the table and saw him squinting at me. I’m not sure if he was confused by my appearance, if the sun was in his eyes or if the poor guy left his glasses at home, but the squinting never ceased.

I was sure the date wouldn’t last long considering how quiet he had been, but boy was I wrong. This guy was a talker. He talked for a long time about his 45 year old roommate who hates him for not cleaning and his love of fencing. I tried hard to be engaging, but my knowledge of fencing begins and ends with that scene in Parent Trap where Hallie and Annie meet for the first time. For the remainder of the date we talked about his career as a librarian and briefly about my taste in music.

When we ended the date he gave me this completely unnecessary awkward side hug. As we walked to our individual cars he said, “We should do this again”. The cynic in me whispered “yeah right” but my mouth simply said, “Yeah”.

I never expected to hear from him again and guess what…. I didn’t.

Now all I need is an American Apparel t-shirt that says “I went on a horrible first date and all I got was this t-shirt… but at least it’s soft”


Why Being a Teacher is NOT the Answer to My Employment Woes

Unsolicited career advice is something that every unemployed individual encounters. Very seldom is the advice anything profound or even useful. Countless times I have been asked, “have you thought about teaching” or “why don’t you substitute teach”. Literally, I want to scream every single time I hear someone ask me that question, but instead I hold back the urge to roll my eyes to no return and simply say, “I’m not sure teaching is the right path for me”. However, even with that statement said people still try to encourage me to teach.

I may be in need of a job but trust and believe teaching is not the answer. I have made a short list of the 5 reasons being a teacher is NOT the answer to my employment woes.

1. I Don’t Want To
Its really that simple. I don’t want to teach.

2. Kids are Evil
Ok, maybe evil is a bit harsh, but you have to admit there are some seriously wicked kids out there. Have you seen the behavior of kids these days? The bullying and violence in schools is out of control. It takes a pretty strong person to handle the Denis the Menaces and the Bébé’s Kids of this new millennium . Seriously though, grade school was not a joyous event for me. I hated it and I’m sure it hated me. Why would I ever willing to go back to that torture?

3. Teaching is a God Given Skill that I Don’t Possess
I may not want to be a teacher but I really hope we never underestimate their importance. Teaching is an important skill set many of us don’t possess. There is a special craft to this profession. Just because you are smart doesn’t mean you will be a great teacher. I have had some teachers that were experts in their designated subject but had NO earthly idea how to convey that knowledge to a group of students. A great teacher is someone who can relate to young minds, is patient, can inspire, and most of all love their job. I honestly don’t believe I have the patience to be that nurturing teacher.

4. I’m Not Emotionally Equipped
A teacher’s job doesn’t only entail helping kids learn how to count or read. They are key influential figures in a child’s life. Teacher’s are supposed to be someone a kid can trust and talk to about any problems they may have. Also they have to have the ability to recognize if a kid is in need of help or counselling. Out of the teacher’s I have talked to most of them have encountered some very sad situations; from seeing students that come from abusive homes,ones that can’t afford to eat lunch, and those who have undiagnosed learning disabilities. I don’t know how teachers don’t go home and cry every night, especially when they know sometimes there is very little they can do to help a child. I know I am not emotionally equipped to handle those kinds of situations.

5. I Don’t Want To
Yes, this was also the #1 reason but this point needs to be emphasized. Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I’d be a fool not to follow his advice. Teachers have a very important role in society, a role that I shouldn’t be trusted to fill.

Confessions of a Dial- Up User

Yes, in true late bloomer fashion, its 2014 and I am still using dial up internet. I’m talking the ridiculously slow 45 kbps type of dial up. The one that makes that awful nail screeching connection sound. And to top it off, I don’t live in BFE where dial up is my only option, it’s purely my choice.

You are probably wondering why would I choose to live in the dark ages, well there are 4 specific reasons.

1. I’m Too Cheap to Upgrade
It would probably make life easier to upgrade to a faster service, but that would also mean I have to spend more money. Until high speed internet becomes competitive with my current monthly $10.99 internet bill, I just don’t see myself doling out more dough. I mean there is free wifi almost every where I go, so what’s the point.

2. I Have Commitment Issues
Almost every high speed ISP requires some sort of contract, especially if you want an affordable rate. I feel like right now my life is to unpredictable to be tied down by an internet contract. I have heard horror stories of people that relocated and had tons of trouble trying to transfer or cancel service. Let’s not even talk about the number of fees that comes with a change in service. Sometimes you are better off just continuing to pay for a service you’re no longer using.

3. I Use The Internet on My Phone 95% of the Time
This is the real reason I still have dial-up internet. I use my phone for everything. Most of my browsing happens on my phone. Pretty much all of my social media activity happens on my phone. All of my Youtube and Netflix watching happens on my phone. Plus my phone is 5.6 pounds lighter than my laptop. Not to mention wayyyy more portable. There is no reason to pay for high speed internet at home when I’m already paying for unlimited data on my phone. Whenever I need to do something on my laptop at home that requires high speed internet I just turn on my phone’s trusty hotspot. For everything else dial-up works just fine.

4. Dial-Up is Dependable
Yes, dial-up is slow but it’s also dependable. I remember my senior year in college there was a nasty storm with tornado warnings that knocked the cable & internet service on campus the entire night and I had a major strategic management assignment due to blackboard by midnight. While some other students risked their lives to travel down the street to Panera for internet, my lack of a vehicle and a M.I.A roommate saved me from a desperate act of stupidity. This was a time before cell phone hotspots were a thing. I was pretty much S.O.L until I remembered all I needed was a telephone line to have the world wide web would at my fingertips. I unhooked the telephone cord from the phone we never used and plugged it into my computer. Within minutes I was able to upload my assignment to blackboard.