Life is Not So Funny (Part. 2)

dear life, life's not fair, someecards, s.c rhyne

In the last week I have had some very disappointing news. My application for my number 1 choice for graduate school was rejected. I’m still putting things together for numero dos, but I’m feeling half-hearten about it. Thus, I went on a mini online shopping spree, because that’s what girls do when they are depressed: buy a new pair of shoes and a couple of dresses. However, I did this preemptively of my paycheck. Today I got paid and my mood is completely in the dumps.

My pay check was low….like criminally low, but I’ve been working about 25 hours a week, for this and last week. So of course, I inquire, and the pay period only includes one of my weeks. OK, I get that, but the math is still only half of what I would expect for half a paycheck. In order words, I got a less than a quarter of what I thought I had earned.

Who knew the first paycheck would be like the first time having sex, its always the worst!

Never what you expected.

Doesn’t last as long as you thought it would.

And it really hurts.

So instead of hitting the bar tonight, I will be buying a 6-pack, a sandwich from the deli, and hitting up my local park bench instead.

Hey, a girl’s still gotta get out, right?

Speaking of getting out, I have not been getting out. In fact, (this is so lame) I didn’t even realize until a few days in, that NYC was in a heat wave. Yep, I do get up early in the mornings to go to the gym, but I’m back by noon and indoors.

So much for my New Years resolution to have more fun and adventure. But I’m not sulking too much about it, because I created this chronic issue. I want to have time for leisure, but when its comes time to go out on a Friday or Saturday night, I make excuses. Maybe my imagination from reading my kindle at late nights is more exciting than going for drinks!

I have been better at it though, especially in the summer when there are more stuff going on, particularly events that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

Besides the major curve balls this week, I have been reading a lot on WordPress about single girls! Apparently these girls are having a hard time dealing with the crap people give them because they are single. Honestly,  these women are between the ages of 19 and 23, #WTF!

Now, I know in NYC and other major cities, one can be single until the early forties today and that is nothing to bat an eye about. But in other places, especially in the South and Mid-West, or those who live in smaller towns, getting hitched in your early twenties is the norm, or at least to be in a long term committed relationship.

So, for our sexist patriarchal society, I’d like to re-iterate the following:

1) There is nothing wrong with being single. If you see a problem with an independent woman working and moving about in society all on her own, then the problem is with you, not her.

2) Times are changing, period. Blame it on the internet, loose social mores… whatever! Younger folks (like under 25) are meeting and communicating more on the internet than ever before (more than half of dates are started online! Not the coffee shop, grocery store, or class), divorce rates are higher and more socially acceptable, and people are waiting longer to have children. The economy, especially in places like NYC,  have sky-high living costs that make it harder to date.

Let’s elaborate on #2 more. NYC and other big cities are over saturated with college-educated talent. So its very difficult for even the most talented person to find and keep a decent paying job. In fact, it wasn’t until I stopped working last month and started reconnecting with old colleagues and friends, that I realized how many near 30-somethings are still working in restaurants, security, or sales just to pay the bills, and not what they went to school for. Thus, who can afford to take Ms. Somebody to dinner Friday night? (especially if they only received 1/4 of a paycheck!) So a lot of guys, who aren’t financially secure–will “hang out” — not date, not court, but hang out. Because hanging out is cheaper with lower expectations.

This is the economics of dating. I bet you thought men were just being jerks!

When it comes to technology, people are dating strangers (folks from online). Many couples have a hard time transitioning from “online” to “offline”. Meaning they will still email each other, “hey what are you doing tonight?” instead of picking up the phone. Hence, losing some of these social or face-to-face skills. Honestly, online dating has made it easier for awkward people (who probably shouldn’t be dating) to date and made things more awkward for everyone else.

Westerners are also an educated bunch. The higher up in education one goes, the longer this person will wait to have children. Makes sense, right? Not a lot of pregnant college and graduate students running around. The textbooks take up all your time on the weekends!  And this person will enter the workforce later and may not meet the future Mr/Mrs so-and-so until later in life.

Thus, singlehood, especially being single longer, is the new norm. Now, as an aspiring political economist, I’d say fix the economic side of the problem. If young people get good jobs when they graduate, the relationship aspects of their dreams may come to fruition sooner. But really, this is how our society is shaping and dinner for one is the new thing!

I don’t hear a lot of guys getting hassled for being single, so I would really like to hear their thoughts on the matter. Ladies, can chime in too!

As always, you reach me on Facebook or tweet me your thoughts!

S.C Rhyne

Sigh….Men Problems

men

For those of you that have been following me for the last two years and change; ya’ll know that I have been living single with no plans in the near future to change that.

I have not actively dated nor seek men to date; my roaring twenties are starting to die down, yet I do not feel any need to settle down or find someone. I like being alone.

Not too long ago, I had a brief winter chase from a man at work who was pursuing me, but he had too many problems and I believe I effectively nipped that one before it got too far.

That’s fine, just leave me the hell alone.

leave me alone, alone, sketch, S.C Rhyne

Two months ago, I just so happened to answer the phone to a man who works in the real estate industry. He needed help with the bureaucratic red tape he was getting from a city agency about the numerous permits he requested for a little league he manages.

It was nice to talk on the phone for 45 minutes with him, because frankly there was work to be done and it was a nice distraction. He called nearly everyday since that, but I thought it was because he was anxious about hearing whether the permits went through or not.

And of course, like a good government employee I ignored some of those calls until I got an answer from the agency and was able to give him some good news. His permits are fine, everything is fine.

He was elated and 45 minutes later we hung up. Now at this time (February) I was planning an event for the community and he came to show support, which was really nice. I did know somethings about him, like his long career in politics and he is now the “community face” for this company and heck, a good person to know, right?

I mean when you’re young and trying to network and make moves, its good to know people in senior executive places. However, what I didn’t realize was that this guy was trying to make moves of his own too!

A few times we talked after work hours, and the conversations were appropriate, — in fact if I remember correctly, the first night we talked he told me explicitly he was not interested in being more than friends, but he was surely a talker — 2 to 3 hours worth!

The vibe I got from him was that of someone who was really lonely and who wanted someone to vent to.

So my good cousin advised me on setting proper boundaries and assured me that no man would be on the phone for hours with a woman while only interested in talking.

We met in person once during my vacation in March for lunch, in which I told him I was interested in networking for professional reasons; he did push to spend more time with me, but I did not. Again, I’m not interested in monopolizing my time for someone.

A few weeks ago, when we had a couple warm days here and there, he invited me out to his boat; he had talked extensively about his hobby, but I have only known this guy, at best, two months. Plus, I don’t want be alone on his boat all day with him. He said he wanted to spend more time with me and I feel like we had gotten to known each other well enough.

So here are some issues:

He’s 54 years old, and I’m still in my roaring twenties.  There’s not really a conflict of issue as he does not do any business with my agency; but I’m not attracted to him at all, I think he’s a great mentor but that’s as far as it would go.

Last week he called two days in a row, well after 10p.m! Not even my mother would call me at that hour unless something was wrong. And judging by his tone of voice on the answering machine there wasn’t a fuck wrong, and I sure as hell wasn’t in the mood to talk aimlessly into the wee hours of the morning.

Alas, we are in different stages of life. He is a senior exec with liberties to work from home, come into the office at 11 a.m without owing anyone an explanation and can drive home to sit on his boat or pour himself a scotch. I’m not there yet, I don’t have all this luxurious time; I work overtime — below minimum wage with a 3 hour round-trip commute everyday, with enough money left over to pay this bill or that bill. So I’m in bed at 10 o’clock, not on the phone.

Sorry to vent, but it does look like he is getting the point. In one of our last conversations, he did mention that he knew nothing personal about me, because I always seem to talk about work. So he asked if I’m dating or had dated, and I told him the truth and tacked on that I’m not interested in dating anyone in the near future. Period.

I emailed him my resume and cover letter last week. He gladly confirmed that he received it, and would pass it along to a friend.

So has anyone ever been in this position and had to toe the line? I want to hear about it.

@ReporterandGirl or Facebook

Let The Good Times Roll!

goodtimes

And the bad ones….drop?

Wow, another crazy last few weeks for me, and I don’t even know where to begin…I guess the beginning.

I have been working for the city government for the past year in a small office of 3 employees which has slowly grown to 7. However that is not to say there hasn’t been turn-overs. We rely heavily on volunteers/interns and since I started, about 4 permanent staff have came and left; and in terms of time, I have the most seniority.

I apparently have a knack for sticking out tough situations (see Chapter 16. Frenemies) and workload juggling. Alas, it seemed like I may have had a budding romance; a gentleman, whom we will call Dave (in no way similar to his real, unique name) is also public servant but works in a different division, and since day one has been flirtatious.

According to my male coworkers, he was very flirty — I didn’t notice. And for the last few months, Dave has been taking great strides to be available for our small office…whether its calling in to check if an order arrived, or making a visit to try and fix technical problems we may have. I always thought he was a hardworking individual who paid attention to all offices like this….

Anyway, I got to know him and he seemed cool– he had mentioned he liked working out, and did I mention I like working out? So on one Sunday, a couple of weekends ago, he met me at my house at 11 a.m sharp and we drove in his SUV to the gym.

Problem #1 Off the bat, I noticed that it was taking us quite a while to drive down the main road before turning off to another main road. “Oh, you’re gonna keep going straight” I tell him. And he replies, “alright, I didn’t know where I was going.” This led to a whopping increase of 20 miles per hour (mph) to 25 (that is 33 kilometers per hour to 40). So, this is really fucking slow.

There’s no traffic. Its Sunday morning. And a drive that I can do in 25 minutes, has now taken almost 10 minutes just to get to the off ramp of the expressway that’s like a mile from my house.

So…..45 minutes later we get to the gym. And no…even when we had gotten to the off ramp of the expressway, where the speed limit is 40 and people are going 50– because they don’t want to be rammed from behind– he faithfully followed the speed limit of the residential zones.

Problem #2 No motivation. Guys, no girl likes a quitter. Now I know folks have different interests and hobbies etc…and one thing may motivate you more than something else. But when you’re out with a fellow or gal you like, you better put in some decent amount of effort to show an interest in their interests.

Now this ain’t no yoga class: its boot camp. This means jump roping for a minute straight, followed by 20 push-ups, followed by chair jumps, followed by 2 sets of jump squats, followed by sprints…etc you get the point. There are breaks during class, and anyone is more than welcome to sit out and take an extra break. Dave sat out and down after the first 20 minutes — for the rest of class.

At first he complained of dizziness and of course he should sit and I offered him water. I had introduced him around earlier, so other classmates went up to him from time to time and asked how he was doing and offered him anything; but he sat down for most of the remainder 40 minutes. At one point, he got up to do chair jumps, but that’s a waste. After starting exercise, once you sit down for that long and let your heart rate drop so low, it’s hard to do even one set.

Problem #3 He didn’t shower afterwards. Dude, I know you only worked out for 20 minutes, but you still poured sweat. You were told to bring a towel and a change of clothes and shower slippers.

Problem #4 THE SLOW FUCKING DRIVE ON THE WAY BACK! He admitted it was so he can spend more time talking to me. Well, had we gotten to gym earlier, we could have talked while we warmed up on the treadmill or did some partner stretching.

Partner Stretching:

From injuryfix.com Exercise is Fun!
partner stretching
From yogini.net.ru Assume the Position!

Problem #5 He’s lonely. We did talk and I fed him some soup. But when he told me about himself…living alone, and spending most of his time online, on computer games, at work, and not having any real friends. I summed up that he’s trying to fill a void somewhere. I live alone, and spend alot of time at work, and on the computer too, with my lovely blog family. But I also try to make time to socialize (I hang out alot at the gym) and get drunk with friends after work and few weekends drink responsibly with friends after work and on a few weekends. I’m also looking to pursue other hobbies that will take me out there, but time and money are constraining me now.

Problem #6 RED FLAG! I did call him the day after and he complained of soreness, and asked for a nurse to come over (me). We talked here and there over the few weeks and ironically, on Friday, I called to see how he was doing. Turns out that he injured his foot and had been home on bed rest for the last couple days. He started out the conversation stating, “I need a nurse, will you be my nurse?” Now, honestly when he told me that he wasn’t feeling well, I thought it was a cold or something because his voice sounded off. Now in hindsight, I’m pretty sure he was drunk. After I had redirected the conversation to talk about other things like work and the hectic week, he came back to say, “so what time are you coming over?”

Me: “I didn’t say I was coming over tonight.”

Dave: “Oh you didn’t? I thought you said you were coming over tonight, I need a nurse, are you coming over?”

Me: “Dave, I think you need doctor, you seem like you need more help than a nurse can provide.”

Dave: ” No, I already took one of those Oxycontin pills for the swelling, but I need a nurse, what time will you come over? I need you to be my nurse.”

And after three minutes of asking for a wet nurse I finally (politely) hung up.

Problem #7 This guy has too many problems. Obviously, the last thing I need is one more.

So, no budding office romance for me. But I kept an open mind until I ran the other way after Friday night’s call. So, with everything that happened in the last two years I can say I learned something. Ladies, pay attention to those Red Flags!

The Book and Spa Gift Certificate #GiveAway is ending this Tuesday March 10th. So you have until Tuesday night EST at 11:59pm to follow and tweet me either phrase for a chance to win!

@ReporterandGirl

Six Fresh Alternatives to Boring First Dates

You’re not alone, 102 million people were unmarried in 2011, according to the United States Census. This group also made up 44.1 percent of all U.S. residents who were ages 18 and older. Further, the dating industry revenue topples $2 billion a year with an annual growth rate of 4.8 percent. Regardless of if you’re married, single or currently dating, everyone can benefit from some fresh ideas it comes to finding the perfect date. Here’s a list of fun ideas to put the romance back in your relationship or impress someone on your first date.

bride and groom, black woman white man holdinghands, the reporter and the gir,S.C Rhyne, black and white photo
http://www.swirlingandmarriage.com

Find a Brewery Tour

Get out of your usual rut of dinner and a movie and do something truly unique. A brewery tour can take you behind the scenes of your favorite brew and gives the opportunity to sample. Most breweries will also give a few beers for free or at a discounted price so you can keep the fun going. If you’re not sure what to talk about after the tour, brainstorm your own beer ideas until your date turns into a fun adventure on setting up your own brewery with a ridiculous name. I’ll sample a Date Draft whenever you’ve got the first batch ready for sale.

beer, beer tasting, brewery tour

Go on a Motorcycle Ride

Go on a motorcycle ride through the country, city or the open highway. There’s no destination better than wherever the road takes you. But to really get into the biker spirit, shop for motorcycle jackets and accessories together to ride on your adventure out. Then come up with your own biker names and take on the persona of a young couple out for trouble—or maybe just to clean up trouble.

Volunteer Together

Refuel your relationship’s chemistry with a volunteer date. Working together for a common cause from packing up supplies for a food pantry to taking care of animals can help form bonds in your relationship. Pick an activity lasting from a few hours to an entire day and talk about how volunteering impacts your life. You might get a fresh perspective on your date you wouldn’t have seen before.

Go Stargazing

Cuddle up under the stars for a romantic date night. If you’re in a private space like your backyard, bring along a bottle of wine and snacks for an evening picnic. Don’t forget to look at museums for stargazing events.

constellations, stars, auriga, reporter and the girl, star gazing

Be a Tourist

It’s easy to forget all the fun events and attractions in your own hometown or nearby city. Plan out a fun day of amusement parks, museums, festivals or the zoo for a staycation date. Look at your attractions’ calendar of events. Your zoo might host a jazz night, or the museum might offer a cocktail evening with a guest speaker. You’ll impress your date by your ingenuity and desire to find the very best in your own community.

Watch a Foreign Movie

Head to an international food store and stock up on cultured foods to match your foreign film of choice. Cook a meal together with your date and then cuddle up together for the main event. Opt for a flick without subtitles and try to guess what’s happening and improvise the dialogue. You’ll have a great time laughing at each other’s guesses and will still have time to chat without getting too distracted by the film.

movie date, popcorn, movie

 

 

5 Remarkable Date Ideas for Couples in (or Approaching) a Rut

date ideas. BWWM couple, Interracial couple, the reporter and the girl, S.C Rhyne

If you are part of a couple, you know how important it is to keep the relationship alive. And the longer you’re in a relationship, the harder you have to work to keep an element of excitement in it. The best way to do that? A great date. Not the, “You wanna go the movies?” date–we’re talking about a unique adventure date you’ll never forget. Here, then, are five exceptional date ideas:

Rent a Convertible and Take a Mini Road Trip

Choose a destination and activity (i.e., eat at a restaurant in a nearby town, go to a remote area and have a picnic) and then rent a convertible for the day. Make sure the destination is far enough away that it gives you a chance to talk. Don’t forget rental car insurance before booking that convertible, it’s cheaper than getting it at the counter. And of course, make sure the weather forecast is in your favor.

Book a Couples Massage as Part of a Spa Package

Even really macho guys enjoy a good massage, and getting one together is a bonding and relaxing experience. Get a spa package that includes amenities like champagne and rose petals. Some spas include a treatment prior to the massage, such as a soak in a hydrotherapy tub.

It’s a time to play, before relaxing on the table!

Take a Surprise Trip to Las Vegas

Surprise your other half with a trip to Las Vegas. You can always find discount flights to Vegas, and you’re guaranteed to have a blast. Just make sure you take enough money. And if you’re lucky, you’ll also make enough there too!

Head to the Drive-In

Drive-ins are making a comeback. Take some fold-up patio chairs (if you want to sit in front of your car) or some blankets (in case you want to be, um, more intimate inside the car or in the back of your truck). You can also bring popcorn, soda and a cooler, if you don’t want to spend the money on stuff to eat.

Take a Midnight Cruise

It doesn’t have to be at midnight, by the way. You can always take a sunset cruise, as well. Google “midnight cruise” or whatever kind you want and your city. Some cruises have live music and dancing; often the ships have two to three decks, and the top one is for you and the moon. Don’t forget to make a reservation, too, as these types of boat cruises tend to get full quickly. You can also read about my experience on one of these cruises!

Make It a Habit

Every couple gets caught up in their own routine. Somehow, we forget that we need time together as a couple. Consider scheduling a regular “doesn’t get canceled no matter what” date i.e., once a week or once a month. There are plenty of dates you can go on and have a good time; try to go on ones where you will have an incredible time. More importantly, make sure you don’t forget to go on dates at all.