Sunday afternoon, my friend a I took a sewing class at Jo-Ann Fabrics.
I’ve never had a huge interest in sewing, but my friend has wanted to learn for the longest time. Each Thursday night, we get together to watch Project Runway, or now, Under The Gunn, and she always says, “I wish I knew how to sew, so I could make that…”
So for Christmas, I bought her the class and all of the beginning materials. I signed up, too, so she wouldn’t have to go alone. But from Christmas, until the days leading up to the class, I noticed I was getting more and more excited about it.
My friend was right, once we learned how to sew, the possibilities were endless. And I love endless possibilities.
The class had eight students, all of us varying in age (the girl next to me was 8). Our teacher, an older woman who said she’d been sewing since high school, said she felt refreshed to see so many people in class, because she felt like sewing was a skill that people had stopped learning—yet it remains to be such a useful skill to have.
We started by learning about the tools we had purchased for class (what you see in the picture): sheers, a seam ripper, different fabrics, interfacing, pins, and measurements.
Then, we got to use the sewing machines. We learned how to get thread on the bobbin, and then learned to thread the machine. Once we started sewing, we each got to sew two straight seams (complete with a backstitch) on our fabric, along with 2 “L” shapes, a “U” shape, and 2 faux pockets.
Although it might not sound like much, we walked away from the near-3-hour class feeling like we learned a ton! We even bough several patterns that our teacher said we’d be able to make, just with the knowledge we learned that day.
I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but learning something new is such a high. Although I work at a university, higher education doesn’t always mean college. It can be a leisure course, a seminar, a training session—and I never want to stop learning.
Now the question is, how much am I going to invest in this new hobby? Anyone who knows me, and perhaps many of you readers do know me by now, you’ve gathered that free time is pretty foreign in my world. I’m lucky if I get to carve out time to sleep each night.
The only “hobby” I’ve ever invested in has been my writing; and let’s face it, from the time I wakeup, until the time I sleep, writing is in every bit of my life. Sometimes, I wakeup during the night with an idea or a poem or a headline that I have to write down before I can sleep again.
The thought of turning down an opportunity to create, though, that’s devastating. And this brings me to one of my absolute biggest fears: not having enough time, forever. I constantly worry that I won’t live long enough to read all of the books on my Amazon wish list, see the places I want to see, love the way I want to, and apparently, get a sewing machine and sew to my heart’s content!
I don’t know when I’ll get around to sewing, even though it’s on my mind. Instead, maybe I’ll just write about it for awhile—sew there!
MTV’s series, The Hills, has always been a not-so-guilty pleasure for me. I loved watching Laguna Beach, too.
And while, I know you all probably think I’m dumb for obsessing over all six seasons of The Hills, not only while it was on TV, but ever since, thanks to my DVD collection—I’ve learned quite a bit from the (perhaps fake) reality series.
The Hills taught me:
- Glamour is real. I remember my mom once telling me that I wanted to have a “Glamorous” life. At the time, I took it as an insult, but when I think about it—it’s true. OF COURSE I want to live a glamorous life! Unfortunately, my paycheck doesn’t really agree with me, and, well…me. So, instead, I’m left to drool over the glamorous lives of others. Enter: The Hills. The show gives us an exclusive, inside look at some of Hollywood’s hottest clubs and restaurants for FREE. That’s something I can get behind!
- Everyone has a “Justin Bobby.” It’s easy to watch episodes of The Hills and get mad at Audrina for her Justin Bobby cycle of evil. But, we’ve all been there. There’s that ONE guy who is so, so, completely and totally wrong for you, but letting him go is difficult as hell (until he gets engaged behind your back).
- MTV still holds the reigns. You can bash MTV all you want, but obviously they’ve still got some power if they were able to get Heidi a job at Bolthouse and Lauren a job at Teen Vogue. Sorry ladies, love ya, but you didn’t get that job on talent, k?
- Bad things really do happen to good people. Lauren Conrad might just be the nicest person alive, yet some shitty stuff happened to her! Think about it—the sex tape rumors, Spencer, and well, Heidi. Oh, and that time Stephanie back-stabbed her and went on a date with Doug. And the time when Brody got a girlfriend as soon as Lauren landed in Paris.
- Jason’s addict-tendencies are dead-on. It’s no secret that I fell in love with an addict. And it was horrible, awful, don’t do it, stay far away… and we all know that Lauren’s once-boyfriend Jason is an Addict as he totally checked into Celebrity Rehab. And while, he doesn’t come across as a raging drunk in episodes of The Hills, his passive-aggressive style of blaming hits so close to home for me. Ew.
- Brody Jenner is a total BRO…and I still think he’s hot. Okay, okay! I’m finally admitting it, Brody Jenner is clearly a bro, but I can’t stop crushing on him! It’s a personal problem, I know.
- Everything is not as it seems. If you stuck with The Hills until their series finale, you’ll recall that horrible, horrible moment when our premonitions came true and the set rolled away from behind Brody standing in the street. This was a HARD lesson to learn, and it was kind of executed in the worst way possible. Thanks, MTV.
When I think of a Valentine, I think of a nice dinner, wine, maybe even a box of chocolates. And, when I put it that way, I can quickly tell you that I’ve never had a Valentine.
But when I stop being so goddamn bitter, I know that’s not the entire truth.
As a child, Valentine’s Day was a great excuse to host a classroom party that involved “mailboxes” crafted from white paper bags, Valentine-card collections that came in sets of 24, and sugar cookies with pink icing.
Now, that’s a party.
At one of these parties, I received my first special Valentine from a boy named Dustin. It was a small, white teddy bear, decorated with shiny red hearts on his paws. I was embarrassed.
In the years following—call it Karma—I didn’t get any special Valentines.
Exactly four years ago, I had a serious boyfriend for the first time during Valentine’s Day. The holiday coincided with Mardi Gras festivities in New Orleans, where he lived. I hoped that we could order a (heart-shaped) pizza, get some beer, and see the parades that weekend.
The thought of getting some solid hours with my man was better than any fancy dinner I could dream up. I packed an overnight bag and I baked a batch of red velvet cupcakes to bring along.
But he never called.
And so, I sat on my living room floor that Friday night, watching the opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics. I shoved one cupcake down my throat at a time, feeling the cream cheese frosting on my tongue, as tears rolled down my cheeks.
Actual Valentine’s Day that year fell on a Sunday. On that day, I found myself in the mechanic section of Walmart, buying new tires for my Explorer. As I waited, I watched men pass me, carrying red gift bags.
“I don’t know why I did that to you,” my boyfriend told me later.
The following year, we were still together. After the previous disaster, I didn’t even want to mention Valentine’s Day. But that night, we sat side by side on the back steps of his home.
We drank red wine from an oversized bottle until I thought it was a good idea to try and climb the privacy fence in order to check out his neighbor’s sugar kettle. I wasn’t successful.
When I woke up next to my then-boyfriend (my then-love), I remembered something that I had in my purse: chocolate covered fortune cookies. I retrieved them, and we ate them in bed before he made us a proper breakfast of cinnamon raisin toast—a favorite.
It was, and still remains to be, a set of hours I hold dear.
The following year, I only had one man in my life: John Mayer. He was oh-so-kind-and sent me a vase of beautiful flowers right to my office.
And last year, my mom sent me flowers, along with all kinds of chocolate goodies. I treated myself to the heart-shaped pizza that I never got. I also took myself to go see a movie.
All of those decisions were great, except for the one I made when I texted D—the text message that started our entire (horrible) relationship.
It’s really hard for me to understand that it’s been a year since all of that began. But at the same time, I can’t help but really think about the headspace I was in a year ago.
What a difference it is.
And this Valentine’s Day? While I do not have a traditional Valentine in my life, I know there is love.
And for the first time, at least in a long time, I feel like things are good.
The shitty thing about being single on Valentine’s Day, is that you’re supposed to have an opinion about Valentine’s Day.
So here’s mine: Screw. You.
I’m reminded every day that I’m single, you know, when I wakeup alone, when my phone never gets any text messages, and when I realize that I’m not annoyed 24/7—yep, I’m single!
I actually enjoy being single, especially lately, however this holiday that is so exclusive, makes me feel like I’m without.
And so, that survival guide…
- Avoid scenes like this:
Oh, did I just make it worse? It’s never fun to do your regular grocery shopping and find yourself lost in what I like to call, “The Aisle of Red.” Maybe it doesn’t bother you, but unless you’re planning on buying yourself a pound of heart-shaped chocolates, I suggest you order takeout until February 15.
- Steer clear of all things red. Either you’re in or you’re out when it comes to Valentine’s Day. So, either avoid everything associated with the holiday…
- Or…get obsessed with it. If you can handle sitting amongst the couples this Friday, whether it’s at a restaurant or a movie, go for it. Throw on a hot pink shirt and go out like you mean it. Or stay inside and sleep until this awful holiday is past us.
- Do you. Ultimately, I try not to say things like “Do You,” because aren’t we always doing that? But, I’ve found that on a day like February 14th, it’s best to do whatever you want. Want to wear all black with your middle finger up? Do you. Want to bake pink cupcakes for your coworkers and wear an entirely red outfit? Do you.
Last year was the first year I really abided by that last rule. I ordered myself a pizza, lit my digital fireplace, had some wine, and relaxed. And it was definitely the best Valentine’s Day I’d had in awhile.
So, take this Valentine’s Day as a chance to remind yourself just how awesome you are—you don’t need to be in a relationship to recognize that fact. Besides, if you WERE in a relationship, you’d probably get something dumb, like:
For what it’s worth, happy Valentine’s Day!