I dig Degas: Happy Valentine’s day!

Sweet and Spotty - Museum of Fine Arts - Happy Valentine's Day! and Anniversary to all the ROMANTICS out there!

A year ago yesterday, there was a huge blizzard in Boston (sounds a little too familiar right now for my fellow Bostonians).  I was supposed to meet this guy that I had been talking to via that silly online dating app.  I hadn’t been on a date in a few months and I really didn’t want to meet this guy.  It’s just another disappointment, and therefore a really inefficient use of time.  So I canceled.  I told him the weather was too crazy, and my car was going to be towed because I was parked on the street.  He replied with, “but I won’t be able to give you your gift!”

I was out to brunch with some of my friends and they were absolutely swooning over the fact that he got me something for our first date, and that he came all the way from New York City to meet me. Needless to say, they MADE me reschedule.  They physically typed in the words “Let’s meet tomorrow then” and hit send.  Ugh.  I still got to pick the time and place though.  Noon at the MFA, which he had never heard of.  He thought MFA was a degree in Fine Arts.  This was going to be interesting.

I didn’t shower before meeting him.  I showed up at the MFA a little before noon with dirty hair, wearing yoga pants, my riding boots and a black tshirt.  I wasn’t excited and he was late.  I looked around the gift shop for the billionth time and made friends with an older man sitting on a bench waiting for his granddaughter.

My date finally showed up, wearing Timberland boots (judgement) and carrying my gift in a grocery bag.  The older man said something silly and wished us well.  He was a nice old man.

Jeff gave me my gift:  Girl Scout cookies.  Lemonades to be exact.  Jeff knows they’re my favorite, as well as my cat’s!  Lemonades and General Gao’s chicken are like crack to my little Miles.  He offered me the little box of conversation hearts he picked up at the ticket counter but I already had one.

Jeff had never been to an art museum before but he was very open minded about it.  He actually participated when I made comments about the art, and told me little fun facts that were along the same topic.  Like in the nautical art room, ” I know I’m supposed to like it, but I hate seafood.”  It was really nice.  We went around the whole museum once, decided to try to look for some other exhibits farther off the beaten path and ended up going through the museum two more times!

He still had two hours before he had to leave to visit his mom in New Hampshire so we decided to go out for a late lunch/ early dinner and drinks.  I didn’t want it too be too corny, it was Valentine’s Day and it was only our first time meeting, so I took him to THE Boston sports bar: Cask ‘n Flagon, holding hands as we walked through the Back Bay Fens.

Dinner wasn’t nearly as awkward as all the other diner dates I had been on.  The conversations we had were much less formulaic, I couldn’t just give him my well practiced elevator speech.  We laughed A LOT.  And afterwards we went through our conversation hearts from the museum.  I picked my favorite one, because it was very true of my own preference.

We left the bar and got on the subway, where we were definitely the obnoxious couple making out to any of the anti- Valentine’s day commuters.  Jeff got off at Park Street to meet his ride, and I went home.  I wasn’t sure if I’d see him again, but I definitely wanted to, so the next day I sent him a picture of my favorite conversation heart, with his name replacing the pet name.

I dig Degas Jeff


Today Jeff and I will be celebrating the one year anniversary of the day we met!  I couldn’t be happier!

Oh, and the lesson:  ALWAYS go on the dates that you don’t want to go on!  When your expectations are rock bottom, the reality can only be infinitesimally better.

Friday Fitness Motivation

Sweet and Spotty - Friday Fitness Motivation - Never aim to be smaller!

“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller.  We say to girls, ‘You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful but not too successful.  Otherwise you will threaten the man.'” -Beyonce

Don’t belittle yourself.  Be bigger, bolder, stronger, smarter… and most importantly, be healthy.  Have an AMAZING weekend!

Life lessons from a Serial Online Dater #1

Jake was tall and outdoorsy looking.  Kind of like this geology major I had a crush on in college, Kevin.  I met Kevin in the cafeteria one day and never really made a move.  He’s married now, to the same girl my ex tried to date before me.  Small campus.

I messaged Jake the first day I signed up for my online dating account, skipped the small talk and asked him to meet in person.  He agreed and planned an entire evening.  We said we would meet at North Station (The Gahhden, if you’re a sports fan) by the Bobby Orr statue, and walk over to the North end together.  I stood by that crazy memorial watching tourists take pictures for about 20 minutes, thinking I had been stood up.  Typical.  But finally, Jake called, apologized for being late, and said he could see me.  I looked up to find a man who was at least 8 years older than his profile picture, wearing shoes that may have been slippers with holes in them, walking towards me with a cell phone to his ear.

Great.

He brought me to a little sports bar, where I tried to my best to get wasted in the hour and a half we had before our dinner reservation, and had the same conversation (I would later find out) that I was about to have with every guy I met.  What do you do again? Do you play any sports?  What kind of dance did you do?  What can you do with a Biology major? Have you traveled abroad?  Do you have siblings?…  

Dinner was at this tiny Italian restaurant that apparently was the latest trendy spot in the North End.  It had way too many tables and we were seated almost on top of the couple next to us, who I recognized from the 40 minute long line we had to wait in outside on the sidewalk.  Jake told me all about his life- staying in his apartment almost all of the time to work on a self driving car model.  I feel terrible now, but at the time I was so disappointed that I gave him a piece of my mind:  Cars should not drive themselves, you’re setting the entire population up for a TERRIBLE disaster.  I said it with my concerned nanny voice just to try to be nice.  He continued to try and persuade me.  About halfway through my dinner, I wasn’t even paying attention.

He walked me back to North Station, and I coined my first ever ditching phrase, “Well, this is where we part ways.  It was nice meeting you.”  As in, we will never meet again.

The lesson:  ALWAYS conduct extensive research before meeting someone from an online dating site.  Or at least have a conversation to make sure you’ll have something in common.

Life Lessons in Dating: Intro

My friends and I have been talking about this crazy idea for a while now but I never acted on it because I was so busy.  Now seems like a good time to introduce it to you all…

About two years ago, I fell pretty hard for this guy I met when I was out in Boston one night.  I was there for a good time with my friends, he was there for a bachelor party.  It was a booze cruise in the harbor and I didn’t find him attractive at all.  He was not fit.  Not FAT, but not fit.  He was a bro, wearing a baby blue tank top and he was near me during the part of “SHOUT!” where it gets a little bit softer now and everyone dances down low.  I was a mess and fell on him, then sang the national anthem (that’s the signature last song), my drunken voice cracking all over the place.  He was trying really hard to make eye contact with me and I tried even harder to avoid it and when the music stopped he asked me out.  He told me his name, which I thought made him even less attractive… Taylor… like the girl’s name.  We exchanged numbers and he wanted me to follow him and his friends around Boston right then and there.  Thank GOD my best friend was too drunk to function and I had to take her home.

He continued texting me over the next few days, I ignored him for a lot of that time, and then my friends convinced me to go out with him.  “It’s good people skills practice.”

So I went.  He picked me up from North Station and drove me to this really upscale restaurant in the North End, where TOM AND GISELLE were spotted only a week later.  We talked about everything over wine and ridiculously priced Italian food and his eyes were so perfectly blue/green and sparkly.  We went out for even more drinks after dinner.  He drove me to my car at the train station, where I couldn’t decide if I should kiss him or not, so I got out and left.

It wasn’t the most original date but it was my first REAL date, where a guy put effort in and made an actual reservation and put on an actual shirt for it… I was enchanted.

He texted me in bed that night saying “I regret not kissing you.”  DONE.  FUCKING.  DEAL.  I was hooked.

We continued talking all summer, meeting up a few more times, he invited me to his friend’s wedding which wasn’t until the Fall and I was so excited!

Then he stopped talking to me.

I texted him and gave it a week… nothing.  I texted him again, waited two weeks… nothing.  FINALLY after about a month, I asked him if he was just freaking out because he drunkenly asked me to go to a wedding and he didn’t mean it.  And then he told me he and his ex had gotten back together.

My face went numb.  I don’t know what that physiological response means in a scientific way, but I know I was crushed.  And mortified at the same time.  He used me.

I wanted revenge and I had all the best plans.  I could text him and tell him “Oops I have Herpes, go get checked!” timed perfectly after the wedding so he’d have to tell his girlfriend what a douche bag he was.  I had backup plans but I can’t remember them now, and it doesn’t matter.

I decided that I would not be crazy in this situation, I wanted to be the dignified one.  So instead of pulling a silly prank, I signed up for an online dating app and resolved to go on a date with a different guy EVERY DAY.  And I was pretty close to achieving that goal: during my first month, I averaged 4 dates a week.  Using strange men for free dinner and alcohol.  Revenge against the entire male community… was mine.

In summary, a guy broke my heart so I became a restlessly cold-hearted girl who used men for their wallets (I was secretly looking for a Taylor clone but don’t tell him that).  It was exhausting and definitely discouraging, but I found that my friends were right.  Dating is VERY good “people skills practice”.  And it’s also pretty hilarious to think about all the crazy situations I put myself in.  I learned a lot about myself and people in general and now I want to share that with you.

For now, I’ll keep it to my own personal adventures but if my friends or readers want to share some stories as well… I’m open to all sorts of ideas!

And boys, take notes please.

Castle on a Cloud

Unemployment Series 2 (2)Sometimes your sketchbook paintings end up reminding you of something you didn’t know you needed to be reminded of.  And that’s why the creative habit is so amazing.

Sketching with watercolor

Colosseum Forum wc (2)

I’ve always been drawn to watercolor that is very minimalist.  It’s like poetry in a way; the artists who can convey emotions or a story using the fewest brush strokes are by far the most impressive ones.  With that in mind, this is my watercolor interpretation of a photo that I took walking from the Forum to the Colosseum in Rome.  Hope you like it!

The first of a series

Unemployment Series 1 (2)

Here’s a mini from my sketchbook.  My recent state of unemployment has me feeling very creative.  Or bored and restless… either way, expect many more paintings in the near future!