Ah, making the first move. This is something I think about often. Should I, or women in general, make the first move? I know, the men out there are shouting from the rooftops, “YES! Make the first move, already!”
But, I’ve had some failures in the past with doing just that — so, what gives?
There’s not some mile-long list of pros and cons when it comes to making the first move. The pro, for the woman, is that the guy knows you’re into him, and you can get this party started. The con is, you could get rejected.
Sounds simple enough, right? Well, rejection isn’t fun, and depending on your current relationship with the person, you could risk losing a friend, or creating an awkward situation for yourself.
I don’t want to reiterate my gym story (you can read all the details here), but basically this is what happened:
- Met a hot guy out
- Found out we went to the same gym
- Talk to him several times at said gym
- Flirting happens (or so I think)
- I consider CASUALLY mentioning that we should hang out
- He introduces me to his girlfriend
And so, I am now left with the often-awkward moment of seeing him at the gym, and ignoring me like he’s paid to do so. I mean, really, it could have been worse, say if we would have been friends, or something.
But still, gathering the courage to ask someone out is tough — especially if you’re not sure how they feel about you.
There’s one thing I worry about more than rejection though, and it’s based around the entire relationship. Let’s say I ask a guy out, and he takes me up on my offer, and things go great. We go out several times, and things might even start to get serious.
Is the ball still in my court because I initiated our relationship? I have always been afraid that a woman making the initial move would result in the man taking a backseat for the ENTIRE relationship.
And, not to get all scientific here, but that goes against nature. Men are supposed to be the hunters, right?
One of my guy friends assured me that this was not the case, that even if a woman made the first move, the guy would take the lead thereafter.
But I haven’t been in a relationship where this has happened, so I sadly cannot support this claim with evidence.
I was going to include a list of “ways to tell if he’s into you,” but most of the ideas I found were stupid, i.e “He sends you emails” — Who does that? Never email me. Or, “He laughs at your crappy jokes.” Hrmm okay.
Truthfully, there’s no surefire way to tell if a guy’s into you… unless, of course, you ask.
Greetings! I am publishing this post while aboard the Amtrak #58, traveling from New Orleans, LA, all the way to Chicago, IL. With more than 900 miles between destinations — I shouldn’t have to tell you that it’s been an interesting ride on the “Spacious Superliner.”
Really, this is my first time traveling via train. I like planes. I like driving, too, but I also like to sleep, drink, and sometimes, read. A train, I figured offers the best of all worlds, while offering an affordable ride, with a view to write about (that’s what I do).
I rode the train as a child, from Indianapolis to Chicago, and remember feeling ill — which is why I packed Dramamine. Other than that, I’ve never been aboard a train. And I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t have “Love Train” stuck in my head for the entire trip (see my Twitter account for proof of this).
To make my ride as comfortable (and as fun) as possible, I purchased some travel essentials specifically for the train:
Of course, I packed a few snacks, drinks, and loaded up my iPad with tons of books (of the romance variety). For the sake of blogging and Tweeting along the route, I brought my own WiFi, via my T-Mobile HotSpot.
While I had reserved a seat on the upper-level of the train car, the seat was first-come-first-serve. I was thankful to get a window seat. Honestly, I expected the train to be like a bus… but I was in shock at how nice it is. It’s clean, and roomy (stretching my legs out all the way, I still can’t touch the seat in front of me).
I did a little bit of work on the train, but was really excited to get started on a book. So, aside from chatting with my fellow passengers, I read most of the 19-hour journey.
As we approached Greenwood, Mississippi, I was able to catch the sunset, and many of my readers may remember, that I am a sucker for sunsets and sunrises — I think they are the most beautiful things to see. I was all smiles to see that sunset.
Around 8pm, we stopped the train for a “cigarette break” and I checked out the observation car (which was very cool), and purchased a sandwich for dinner, along with some wine.
I fell asleep around midnight, and awoke as we were traveling over a bridge, and could see two boats on the water.
About a month ago, I went on a date with someone whom I told my upcoming trip about. Having traveled a similar route, he told me to pay the extra money for the sleeper car, to avoid meeting people. He also said there was “nothing to see” on the way.
Call me a sap, but miles of fields, a sunset, water, neighborhoods… that’s amazing to see. And of course, I set my alarm to wake up in time for the sunrise.
It wasn’t until I woke around 5:30 am that I realized I’d gotten a passenger in the seat next to me (the train stops nearly every hour) — she was already asleep. At a reasonable hour, I asked her what time she got on the train and where she was headed (4:30, Milwaukee…if you’re curious).
So, what am I doing in Chicago? While my train ride wasn’t necessarily full of love (although everyone was kind), my trip is. I’m in Chicago for a wedding — quite possibly an epic wedding — and of course, to see my friends.
Traveling, and especially traveling alone, always leaves time to reflect. And often, when I’m traveling home, to the Midwest, I wonder what exactly I was hoping to find when I left. I really wanted to land a Southern gentleman… but I’m still waiting for that to happen.
Sometimes I wonder if what I was hoping for isn’t still waiting for me right here, at the end of the train tracks.
Saturday night, my friend Liz was celebrating 10 years living in Louisiana! She invited me to join in her celebration — and it felt special, because not only have I been in Louisiana for ten years, too, but I’ve known Liz for most of those years!
I asked my friend and gym-influencer, Derek, to join me, and we made a day of it, traveling to New Orleans to go shopping (where I found a great sparkle skirt for $10), have lunch (oyster club & a house-made summer ale), and then we went to the party.
It really was a fabulous day, and night, so worthy of my pic of the week. I got to see some friends I haven’t seen in awhile (some in years) and I met plenty of new ones, and had some great conversation — pay no mind that it was laced with champagne bubbles.
Derek and I even learned a new game: Get Buckets. It involves tossing baby satsumas onto a roof and cheering it on to… “Get buckets!”
I’ve been thinking about time a lot lately, and it’s weird… When I left Indiana to live here, I never thought I’d reach the ten year mark. But I have.
I don’t know if I’ll stay in Louisiana forever — there are definitely other places I’ve dreamt of living. But no matter where I go, I can say with certainty that this place has had a great effect on my heart.
I guess I feel that I was following my instincts, and at the same time being guided by the best. I became totally intrigued with Louisiana — the people, the food. It is a part of my life. Everything that has happened for me since moving here has just been icing on the cake.
One of my favorite movies, “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” has a scene that I will never forget — probably because I’m guilty of doing this on the reg. It’s the scene where Amy is mopping the kitchen… but really doing more singing, using the mop as her microphone.
Whether it’s in my car on the way to work or the gym, or just in my kitchen cleaning or making coffee, I like to pretend I actually have talent, and sometimes I even dance, or dedicate a song to Blanche.
Hey, I didn’t say I was proud about it. And so, I’ve put together a list of my favorite songs to sing to. If you think about it, let me know what songs you’re jamming to, and I’ll give them a whirl.
“Coffee” by Copeland
Ah, Copeland. I used to really, really be into indie and punk music, and it holds a special place in my heart. While I love a lot of Copeland songs, this one is one of my favorites, because it reminds me of growing up (and dating) as a teenager in Indiana.
Plus, I love coffee! Give it a listen, here.
We do the best in a small town, act like kids in love when the sun goes down.
“Curbside Prophet” by Jason Mraz
While I’m not a huge fan of Jason Mraz’s new stuff, I really used to be obsessed. I love this song, because it sounds kind of funky and folky all at once, which is rare. I have listened to it so many times, I’ve memorized all of the silly phrases, and it’s really fun to sing.
See, I’m a down home brother, redneck undercover, with my guitar here, I’m ready to play.
—Jason Mraz, Curbside Prophet
“Falling Down” by Fort Frances
This is one of my favorite tracks by Fort Frances, and I love how it’s calming, but it’s got such a great melody. The lyrics are really what get me on this one though (listen here).
Remember the maps I stretched out on the kitchen floor? I heard you ask, ‘Where’ve you been? Who’ve you loved before?’
—Fort Frances, Falling Down
“Fill Me In” by Craig David
If this song doesn’t get stuck in your head, there’s got to be some sort of chemical imbalance, because this track is so freakin’ catchy! It’s definitely a song made for high school kids, but I often feel like I’m still there… the bonus about this song? Craig David’s voice is so smooth!
All they seem to do is be checkin’ up on you, baby. Watching our every move, think some day they might approve, baby.
—Craig David, Fill Me In
“Fuck Me Pumps” by Amy Winehouse
It’s not my favorite Any WInehouse song, but it sure is fun to sing. It makes me think of being in college, and even now, if I go out, I see women that fit her exact description (listen here).
Cause you all look the same, everyone knows your name, and that’s your whole claim to fame.
—Amy Winehouse, Fuck Me Pumps
“If I Ever Get Around to Living” by John Mayer
Even though this is one one of his never albums, it is one of my favorite tracks. When I saw the Born & Raised tour (3 times), I wished he would play it, and he did, every time! This song just resonates so much with me, and that’s why I love singing it.
If I ever get around to living, it’s gonna be just like I dreamed. I’m gonna take the love I’m given, and set it free.
—John Mayer, If I Ever Get Around to Living
“One Call Away” by Chingy
A friend of mine in college used to get such a kick out of the fact that I. LOVE. CHINGY. But I do, and I can’t help what I like. Is it weird that I think this song is kind of sweet?
Told her ‘I going home,’ she said, ‘Can I go, too?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, boo, I can’t do without you.’
—Chingy, One Call Away
“Can I Get A Fuck You” by Jay-Z, featuring Ja Rule
Seriously. This is one of the best rap songs. Ever. Like, ever. I absolutely know all of the words and I love blaring this one in my car. early Jay-Z is way better than whoever he’s trying to be now, and Ja Rule? Yessir.
It ain’t even a question how my dough flows, I’m good to these bad hoes.
—Ja Rule, Can I Get A Fuck You
“Konstantine” by Something Corporate
Probably cliche, as I know everyone freaking loves this song. But I love it. And if I didn’t have to work ever again, I would completely be even more cliche and have all of these lyrics tattooed onto my body.
And I had these dreams, I learned to play guitar, maybe cross the country, become a rock star.
—Konstantine, Something Corporate
“Nice & Slow” by Usher
Again, cliche, as I’m sure everyone knows this song. But damn, is it a good one. Usher could not be sexier, and this song is evidence of that.
Let me take you to a place nice and quiet, where there ain’t no one there to interrupt.
—Usher, Nice & Slow
I remember having “Money noise” in college. For my first few years at school, I was working at the school paper, making a few dollars, but it was barely enough money to put gas in my car — shopping and pricy bar tabs were out of the question.
During my senior year in college, I started working 40 hours a week, in retail, to try and straighten my money situation. It helped, but working 40 hours and taking 15 hours of classes was a tough gig. I drank a lot of Red Bull.
When I graduated college, I was a bartender, which gave me nearly $300/shift — way more than I made at the mall. But my rent was a cool $900/month, plus food and other bills. I soon took a second job as a cocktail waitress.
I worked double shifts on Saturdays, and Sunday was my only day off. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the pain in my feet for those months. My cocktail job required high heels for the entire 8-hour shift.
About six months after graduating college, I landed a full-time job. It was a great job, with an impressive starting salary, and pretty amazing benefits. However, I stayed working at the bar for nearly a year into my job. It was freeing to have the extra money.
I still work at my same day job — I just hit my six year anniversary July 1. I don’t work at the bar anymore, or as a waitress, and I’m thankful for that.
However, I work for the state, and when you work for a school in the state that doesn’t really value education, your wallet doesn’t see much of a change. Over my six years, I’ve seen one raise.
So I’m a mere couple of digits from the salary I was making as a fresh college grad. It’s not something I particularly proud of. Because the cost of living keeps rising, the bills keep coming, and yet, my paycheck stays the same.
And so, I’ve done what I’ve always done — found extra work. As a writer and an editor, I’ve been lucky enough to find paying gigs every week, whether it’s editing someone’s book or helping a company with a press release — I’m able to pay my bills, eat, and have a little fun.
But truthfully, I spend a lot of my nights and weekends working. If I want to take a vacation, that means I’ve got to pick up extra gigs and sleep less.
My coworkers say, “You’re so driven,” but that’s how I have to be if the money in my bank account is getting low, right? And don’t get me wrong, I am so thankful that my writing is even good enough to supplement my income. I’ve been able to get a nice car, take trips, and do some things my paycheck wouldn’t normally afford.
But it’s not a position I pictured myself in at 29. I saw more security. A bigger savings account.
And truthfully, I go back and forth with my feelings about money. There are times when sure, I wish I had more of it. But I know that if I had more, I would spend more.
My wants are usually petty, after all, I’ve got a nice apartment, food in my fridge, and gas in my car. No, I don’t have money for a down payment on a home; but I’m not sure if that’s something I even want.
I suppose my relationship with money will change over time; after all, I’m kind of in a weird, transitional point in my career right now. so for now, I’ll just have to see where things go… and how the money stacks up.