I have always been interested in astrology, although I don’t live by it, I love reading my weekly horoscope — scoffing when it’s completely incorrect, and gasping in awe when it’s right on-point. When it comes to dating, I’ve discussed matching via personality test, but what about zodiac compatibility?
Born on July 2, I am a Cancer, meaning:
- All about home, comfort of family, maternal, domestic, nurturing
- Loves tradition, patriotic
- Has a good memory, is emotional
- Quick to retreat, moody, often vindictive
- Quick to help others, avoids confrontation
- Devoted, romantic, listen to their gut
Cancer traits have always fit me to a T, which is probably why I love reading horoscopes and compatibility charts. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look up compatibility as SOON as I get a birthday for the person I’m crushing on. Let’s take this to the charts:
According to this chart, my perfect matches are a Scorpio and a Pisces. Hmm…
Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
- Fiercely independent, like to be in control
- Moody, possessive, yet loyal
- Wise in business, ambitious, determined
- Intense, misunderstood, often secretive
I’ve actually dated several Scorpios, and obviously, things didn’t work out. I have yet to meet a Scorpio that I get along with very well. But, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, stars! If you know of a Scorpio that is single and could be a match, point me in that direction!
Pisces (February 19-March 20)
- Needs other people to keep them positive, grounded
- Sensitive, loyal, will go out of their way to help a friend
- Mysterious, molded by surroundings
- Intuitive, sensitive, treat others the way they wish to be treated
I do not THINK I’ve ever dates a Pisces (if I did, I obviously have forgotten about it), but perhaps that is my ideal match! Quick, find me a man with a birthday between February 19 and March 20!
Now, I know astrology won’t answer all of my dating woes… but at this point, I’m open to try just about anything.
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Monday night, I received some fan mail from a reader in Indianapolis. She, Samantha, drew this after reading my first book, How I Fell, and then she transferred it to Photoshop.
Umm… how cute is it?! I actually like it better than my original cover, but don’t tell anyone. Without even knowing it, Samantha drew me wearing a pair of heels that look like some I actually have!
Recently, I’ve started getting notes, and links to articles and blogs you (my readers) think I need to see — I love this!
Thank you for my drawing, Samantha! And thanks for reading!
A few weeks ago, I noticed a new morning radio show had taken over one of the stations I listened to (104.1 New Orleans). The show was a syndicate, Johnjay and Rich.
It’s two guys and a girl, and the show revolves around calling people, although each day, it’s a different bit.
- Monday: Machaca — This is any reason to call someone that doesn’t fall under the categories of the other days. In the past, they’ve called someone pretending to need a job reference to see what the person would say.
- Tuesday: Second Date Update — Someone calls in, they’ve had a great first date, and can’t figure out why there’s no second date, so Johnjay and Rich call and get the scoop.
- Wednesday: Humpday Dumpday — Someone gets dumped, and doesn’t know why, so Johnjay and Rich call and find out the real reason for the dumping (are you catching a trend?).
- Thursday: War of the Roses — This is their signature show. Someone calls in, suspects their partner is cheating on them, so Johnjay and Rich call, disguised as a flower shop saying “Congrats, you just won a dozen free roses, who should we deliver them to?” And they either get a bust, or the person delivers them to the original caller.
- Friday: Fiance Friday — Very similar to War of the Roses, only they call saying “You won a free couples massage” and obviously, it’s an engaged couple involved.
I really love the Machaca, because it’s always something different, and the theme song gets stuck in my head. But my all-time favorite show is Second Date Update, I think probably because that’s where I’m at in my dating life right now… just going on a lot of first dates (not saying that’s a bad thing).
But really, all of the shows are enjoyable, and often shocking. Sometimes I wonder if the calls are staged, but I kind of feel the same way about that as I do about all the reality television I watch: as long as it’s entertaining, I don’t care how “real” it is.
The point of this is all to say, that these past few weeks, this show is what’s been getting me to work on time! As sad as that sounds, the shows usually start about 20 minutes before I need to be at the office — just enough time for me to get there. It makes for a pleasant drive to work, and I can get a good laugh in before my work day begins.
Once I get into work, I listen to the rest of the show using my “I Heart Radio” app. And no, I wasn’t paid to say any of this, but if someone from the Johnjay and Rich Show ever reads this, I would DIE to be a guest.
I know, I know, Abercrombie & Fitch fragrance is nothing new (although from the looks of their website, they’ve got some new scents), but I just couldn’t resist featuring the fragrance from the Home of the Hunks on my blog! I swear, I’ve got good reasons for it, so let’s get this started.
The Hotties. Abercrombie is infamous for their racy ads and exploitation of incredibly sexy people. And you know what? I love it. Yeah, it was a little (okay a lot) unrealistic… but aren’t we all dying for a dream, anyway? From a marketing standpoint, it’s pretty genius, because let’s face it: everyone loves to look at beautiful people and things, and in the words of Augustus Waters, I’m not in the business of denying myself pleasure.
K? Moving on.
The Lifestyle. I worked at Abercrombie & Fitch, as well as abercrombie (the kids store) for the greater portion of my college years. I remember being in 7th grade, and hearing the most popular girl in school say that she shopped at Abercrombie. Her clothes always fit perfectly, and I wanted to be her.
In middle school, everyone is a sellout just trying to fit in, so I was thankful that the very few shirts I could get had ABERCROMBIE plastered all over them. In those years, Abercrombie had yet to embrace their cottage-feel, as far as the stores go, so the Abercrombie I shopped at was still outfitted like a hunting store, complete with antler chandeliers and plaid carpet.
I love that kind of shit.
It’s like a frat house, only much cleaner, and more expensive.
What I didn’t know then, I learned in my years as an employee. Like all successful brands, Abercrombie was selling a lifestyle that was impossible to actually get: beautiful people wearing distressed, layered clothing (sold at a high price point).
They didn’t have to worry about dress codes, because they didn’t have jobs or cares or worries. They didn’t need shoes, because they have no need to go anywhere, but if shoes were, for some reason, necessary, they’d wear neutral-toned flops, even in the winter, because… leg warmers and hoodies keep the pretty people warm.
It was a style all its own, while still embracing the classic American look — denim and neutral.
And despite the fact that I made shit money while working there, it’s a brand I’ve always admired. Sure, there was controversy. But y’all know I’ve never been one to stray from a controversy.
The scent. Abercrombie sells a ton of different scents, and because I worked there for so long, I’ve developed quite the collection. But today, I’ll just talk about Abercrombie & Fitch classic (for women).
It’s often described as a mostly citrus-scent with white floral notes, which I agree with, but I also smell a little woodsiness in there… because, Abercrombie, duh.
It has longevity, and it’s a scent I have always loved wearing.
Le sigh. So why am I getting all sentimental about one of my favorite brands? Because I saw an article that explained the Abercrombie brand as we know it, is leaving.
The article basically explains that Abercrombie plans to remove its logo (the large ABERCROMBIE, or even the small moose) from their articles of clothing in hopes to boost sales.
This part doesn’t bother me — even though I love the little embroidered moose — I really love the clothes more than people knowing that I overpaid for a cheaply-made tank top.
Another article also states that Abercrombie failed as a brand because they didn’t change with the times — but this is precisely the reason I love the Fitch. Jeans and tanks will always be in style. Whether the jeans are skinny or ripped, dark or light, we will always love jeans. And easy tops. Some might be skinny strapped, beaded, sequined, or braided… but it’s simple and it looks effortless. Isn’t that what being sexy is all about?
If my office job allowed me to actually wear cool clothes, I’d “relive the 90s” and rock my Ezra ripped jeans and beaded hoodies until the day I die. But perhaps I’m not quite as cool as the kids in the ads, who don’t have to work — outside of modeling for A&F. But either way, I love admiring their world from afar.
Nope, I’m not getting married.
But I am judging a Pop Culture Hair Show on October 17, right here in Baton Rouge and I’m SO (or should I say “SEAUX”) excited!
Join me, along with the amazing team at The Garrett Neal Studio (yes, this is where I get my hair done) Friday, October 17, starting at 8pm, right in the hair studio. Here’s what the Facebook event says:
Be sure to come support our stylists with their first “in-salon” hair show! Enjoy seeing the creativity behind these master minds with their Avant Garde looks and uniquely created Up-Cycled looks. Mix and mingle with some of your fellow Baton Rouge friends! Enjoy a great time with wine and food catered by Zorba’s Greek Bistro.
Not only will I be judging the hair show, but I’ll also be there with books and some merchandise from my Bitter Lemon store. Really, I just want to meet other creatives, and if you’re a reader, I’d love to say hello and snap a picture together!
So mark your calendars for the 17th, and I hope to see y’all there!
Hobby Lobby has officially dumped the contents of its shelves into my apartment — and it is a beautiful, sparkly mess — which, is actually really exciting for my kitty, Blanche.
After that crappy week I told you all about, I was really excited to get involved in a good craft project.
Every year, one of my best girlfriends and her boyfriend compete in a Gumbo Cook-off. Three years ago, they asked me if I wanted to join their team. Let’s see, tons of Southern food, gumbo, beer, and people-watching? HELLS YES.
So now, it has become an October tradition to pack up our cars, drive an hour away, and spend the weekend cooking (and eating) delicious food. It’s something I look forward to every year.
While our team is smaller than most of the teams we’re competing against, we’ve stepped up our game these last few years — selling out of gumbo, sporting matching shirts and aprons, and this year, I volunteered to decorate our booth!
Every year, the Gumbo Cook-off has a theme. In previous years, it’s been things like “America the Beautiful,” or “Choot ‘Em” (Swamp People). This year, the theme is “25th Anniversary.”
Umm, because of course the year that I decide to decorate, they would have the theme be something un-fun, and really freaking difficult to figure out.
At first, I was just thinking I could have silver decorations (since 25 is year of silver). And then I decided that was lame and boring. Then I was just thinking about gumbo itself — chicken, sausage, bell peppers, onions, etc. I was imagining strands of faux veggie garland.
But… turns out, plastic veggies are super expensive. So, fail.
Over brunch, one of my guy friends suggested a play on words: Twenty Fifths…as in, 20 bottles of alcohol.
At first, I wasn’t sold. But once I got to Hobby Lobby, I went down every aisle and starting seeing some different options where I could make the “20 fifths” thing work.
So, two hours later, I had my cart filled with hot glue sticks, scrapbook paper, twine, bottles, mason jars, faux plants, mini martini glasses, and small Solo cups, among other things.
It took me all week, but I made:
Table Banner — “Cheers to 20 Fifths” using the scrapbook paper. I used 20 sheets of scrapbook paper, traced bottles of Jack Daniels and wine on them, painted the bottles black, and trimmed the paper into equal rectangles. Then, I used the twine and tiny clothespins to make it a hangable banner.
Table Decor — Hobby Lobby had these giant cardboard-ish numbers, so I bought a 2-0, and then a large glass wine bottle, which I painted “5ths” on it, and filled it with faux hay and glittery, silver sticks (to signify 25). To add a little something extra, I found a stockpile of beer bottle caps, which I glued to the numbers. Finally, a use for the things I hoard!
Cocktail Garland — I used the small, red Solo cups, along with the tiny, plastic martini glasses to create a cocktail garland (using the twine). Holes were poked into the cups and strung, then I used hot glue to secure it (I didn’t want the cups to move). I hot glued the twine to the martini glasses, so the garland would be Solo cup-tini-cup-tini, etc. To add some detail, I hot glued toothpicks with tiny faux olives on them (I made these) into the glasses.
Tent decor — I used the mason jars to fill with faux hay, glittery silver sticks, and other flowers, along with wine corks. I know this doesn’t have a direct relation to our “drinking” theme, but I really just wanted something that would decorate the sides (the legs) of our tent, and I couldn’t think of anything that would really catch people’s eyes.
While I’m not sure if we will be in the running to win the decorations-portion of the competition, I think people will at least appreciate our love for booze. If you’re indoors crafting this week, good luck! Make something beautiful.
Dolce & Gabbanna ads — much like Michael Kors ads — seriously send me into a frenzy of wishes, often leading to a quarter-life crisis. Everyone is so beautiful, on an island, with a hot guy, never mind that it’s not real. Dreams!
But for the last week, I’ve been wearing Desire by Dolce & Gabanna, and I absolutely love it!
As described by Sephora:
Desire by Dolce&Gabbana is a deeply feminine fragrance that illuminates everyday moments into something special. A blend of luxurious ingredients as potent and captivating as the emotion of desire itself leads us on a journey of opulent seduction.
Fresh top notes of mandarin, lychee, and bergamot play softly against the sweet innocence of lily of the valley. At the core of an intense heart is a trio of ultrafeminine florals. The elegance of madonna lily and the heady opulence of Indian tuberose are blended with velvety jasmine and addictively sweet plum nectar. Adding an indulgent richness to the base is a gourmand note of vanilla infused caramel, melded with warming sandalwood, and a touch of mysterious musk and cistus labdanum.
Although it’s described as “potent,” I don’t think it’s a strong perfume by any means. Strong enough to last throughout the day, but not overpowering. It’s definitely worth a try!
Last week was incredibly rough.
Nothing traumatic happened per se, it was more about the impact of several events all rolled up and combined with my case of the blues.
Even though my blog has “Bitter” in its title, I do try and keep things on the uptick ’round here. But the truth is, things aren’t always so easy. And if there is one thing I’ve always promised my readers, clients, friends, and editors in my 13 years as a writer, it’s that I will always be honest. Even if that honesty is ugly; so, let’s do this.
For starters, it was my first full week of work in awhile — there was Labor Day, and then my beach trip, which gave me two awesome short weeks at the office, right in a row.
I mentioned a few weeks ago, that I recently got into some trouble at work (someone screen-capped my personal Twitter feed), and I was told that I was not a good representation of our office (um, duh), and that I should be ashamed to even show my face at work.
And while I don’t believe I did anything wrong, I’ve tried my best to follow orders and basically hide in my office for the last few weeks. I put up curtains, got a candle warmer, hung photos on the wall, and strings of lights around shelves. I even put in a microwave so I wouldn’t have to visit the break room.
So, when I get to work, I go straight to my 3rd floor, corner office, and I work all day, not stopping for lunch.
But I can’t hide all the time. Part of my job requires going to meetings. And I am supposed to go to said meetings with a positive attitude (I was told this).
While I’ve had my job for more than six years, I can say with confidence that I’ve always felt like an outcast. I dress different, I talk different, my ideas and attitudes are different. Unfortunately, that doesn’t sit well with my superiors.
But I can’t be fired just because I’m not well-liked. What in means though, is that going to work is more difficult than it should be — I feel alone at work.
And although I’d love it if my hobbies — my blog, my blog class, my books — made the money that could cover all of my expenses and I didn’t have to have a traditional office job, that’s not the case (today, at least).
Of course, that’s the beauty of having this blog as a place to go to when I need it the most. When I can share my story with someone out there (even if it’s just one person that I don’t even know, I appreciate you).
The fact that anyone even reads this brings a smile to my face, even when there’s no one around to see it.
But lately, I’m starting to really feel that loneliness like never before.
A few months ago, a writer friend approached me about doing an authors event — I would read an excerpt of my book to a small reading group, and then sell and sign copies of it.
It has always been my DREAM to do that! My stomach was churning with adrenaline and I gave a little squeal of happiness behind my closed office door.
But then I pictured it: me, packing my car with all of my shit. Going to the reading group with said shit. Unpacking it. Smiling as I read stories about my broken heart. Smiling and laughing as I sign and sell shit. Packing it up, driving home, opening my door to see no one, and (let’s drive this one home) eating dinner, alone.
It’s my worst nightmare. What’s success with no one to share it with? And yes, I know, I don’t need a man to be happy. Being single is so fun.
Heard it all before.
But there are times, I wish to have someone by my side. Someone to share it all with.
Last week, my 4th book was published. While I felt this huge weight lifted from my shoulders, and I felt proud of the work I’ve put into the universe… my phone was silent. No messages of congratulations from my friends or family, or my crush (said crush has since been eliminated).
And boy was I bummed. I know, it sounds selfish, and it makes it seem like I just do it for the lip service. I really don’t. And some of you readers sent me congratulatory messages, and I loved them! I hope I’m not asking for a pity party here; I swear I’m not trying to.
Instead of running home and popping a bottle of celebratory bubbles, I did my usual workout, and I watched the 2-hour premier of The Voice (#TeamPharrell) with my cat.
And that’s when it all started to sink in. I really am a team of one. I haven’t spoken to my dad in two months. Aside from my mom, I actually haven’t spoken to anyone in my family for years.
No matter who’s at fault, I do know that we are only on this earth for a short time. And I’ve always kind of had this fear of dying young; which is probably why I feel this incredible sense of urgency to get stories and words out there NOW.
I want to pick my battles and let go of grudges. I want to smile more. And I really would like to find a person to share my life with; the tears and the laughs. If he’s out there, I’m waiting. And I’m really working hard to be the best version of me while I wait.
All of this is what swirls around inside my brain most of the time; and then the universe does its thing and delivers me a reminder that I’m not all alone. I’ve got some really awesome friends around me.
One of them had a birthday over the weekend, and we celebrated over Sunday brunch (okay, and margaritas on Friday, and champagne the Thursday prior). which is possibly one of my favorite things. Although the celebration wasn’t for me, it was a moment that I needed.
And while friends aren’t the same as being in love, it’s exactly what I need. I may never find happiness in my job, my coworkers will probably always give me side-eye, maybe my family will win the world record for the silent treatment, and maybe the cute guy at the gym will never ask for my phone number.
But friends. I’m really good at keeping my friends around. Maybe that’s really all I need: friends. And Sunday brunch.
Posted in The Squeeze
Tags: alcoholic, authors, beer, breakup, breakups, brunch, college, dating, drinking, ex boyfriends, family, first date, getting published, heartbreak, Holly A. Phillips, How to Make Lemonade, life, love, online dating, relationships, sex, single, The Bitter Lemon, twenty-something, writing
Ugh. As much I love to Tweet in my daily life, when it comes to dating, social media can be a pain in the ass.
I’m not really talking about meeting people via social media, although I’ve heard of this happening (ending in successes and failures alike). I’m really talking about how our use of social media affects dating and our relationships.
In a nutshell, it causes a lot of drama (in my experience, at least).
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when I meet a guy, or start talking to someone, I do like to scope him out online. That might mean a simple Google search, or a check on Facebook, Twitter, and if I’m really feeling nosey, Instagram.
The thing about doing that is, our online image might create a picture that’s not entirely true. Even though a lot of my life is online through this blog, my column, my Twitter and Facebook feeds, it’s still not ALL of who I am.
About a month ago, I went on a date with a guy I met through Ok Cupid. After we exchanged names (online dating sites utilize usernames to protect privacy), he Googled me, and found my blog, which he told me before we met in-person. No big deal.
But when we actually DID meet up, he had done more than Google me — he’d actually Facebook-ed me, read my Twitter feed, and Wiki’d my hometown, to the point he ‘d memorized its population. He knew things I didn’t even know.
“Your actual picture comes up first in Google,” he told me. “Impressive.”
What’s impressive was the size his balls must have been in order to admit that he’d spent a chunk of his life stalking me online. And considering I’ll never talk to him again, it was a complete waste of his time. Although he did purchase my book, so thanks bro.
Aside from the fact that it was a little creepy, I wasn’t sure how to continue a conversation with someone who openly admitted to knowing so much about me. What was left to talk about if he’d already done the research?
My point: if you’re going to stalk, especially in the beginning, keep in mind that more than likely, you’re looking at just a small portion of a person’s life.
That’s why you want to actually go on dates and have real, face-to-face conversations — to get to know them better.
Once a relationship is established, it’s difficult to define exactly how social media can safely play a role in a relationship. Since I’ve been cheated on so many times, I’ve gotten into a bad habit of using social media to see what women my then-boyfriend was talking to. Facebook wall posts were usually proof of flirtation, if not full-blown sex.
It’s not a fun road to travel down.
Looking too closely at a significant others’ social feeds can lead down either path — either you discover something you needed to, or you’re about to pick an unnecessary fight.
I’ve never been one to wish for that whole “relationship status” on Facebook, mainly because I’m built to believe that a breakup is inevitable and then everyone will see the giant “HOLLY PHILLIPS IS NOW SINGLE” post on their feeds. Ugh.
But when I dated my last boyfriend, I was kind of surprised he never wanted our profiles to “link up.” I started to get paranoid when I saw posts on his wall from other women, and asked him about each one. He started hiding posts from me, and when we broke up (via email), he blocked me from Facebook and immediately linked his profile to the girl he’d been cheating on me with, for the entirety of our relationship.
In a way, my gut feeling was right — he was hiding something. But on the other hand, I never wanted to be that kind of girlfriend who was whining about something on Facebook.
Granted, he was (and is) a loser all around.
The final side of social media I want to address, is one that I almost forgot about, until my favorite modern dating guru Patti Stanger, reminded me of it on her website: don’t compare.
If you’re constantly looking online at other people’s feeds, there’s a type of depression that comes with it. People (yep, probably talking to you) do a really superb job of snapping cute selfies when they’re on a date, or mentioning the beautiful five-dozen roses they got #JustBecause, or how blessed they are for actually finding “the one” 10 years ago.
And we’re all happy for the proverbial YOU! We are! But when all I see is rainbows and glitter, sometimes it makes me feel like I’m without — even though I’ve never, ever been in a relationship that compares to anything I’ve seen on Facebook.
So, tell your friends congratulations, give their roses a “like,” and pull yourself away from the feeds for a while. Remember, social media only displays a part of someone’s life; chances are, it’s the part with the sunshine and not the rain.
If it weren’t for Justin Bieber (also one of my celeb crushes), I’d probably have no fucking clue who Scooter Braun is. But when I saw Bieber’s first movie, “Never Say Never,” I couldn’t help but look at Scooter and give a little — Damn, who is that?
Scooter is the talent manager for Bieber, The Wanted, Psy, and Carly Rae Jepsen. He also, oddly enough, created a documentary that was submitted to the United States Holocaust Museum.
Is it his connection to Bieber that makes me swoon? Maybe it’s his net worth of more that $40 million or his $6 million home in Los Angeles (what can I say? Success is hot to me)? It might be the sexy scruff and lovable smile. Perhaps it’s his philanthropic efforts?
Or maybe it’s the fact that he’s MARRIED.
Yes, folks. And I can honestly say I had NO idea he was even dating someone, until I started researching for this post. You can imagine my broken heart when I saw the picture of him kissing a (gorgeous) girl in a white wedding gown. DAMN!
I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t actually believe there was a chance we’d meet somewhere and fall madly in love. And this, my friends, is how you know your celeb crush has gone too far.
I can still keep him as my crush, right?
Never lose hope in someone you love. The truth and love conquers all in the end.