Monday, June 30, 2008

On the Boardwalk in Atlantic City...

During college, I went on a few trips with Fred, all of which I paid for – hotel, drinks, the works. Invariably he never seemed to have the money to cover his part -- including things like gas, food, or even coffee. This wasn't too bad though I rationalized, since most of our trips were short and didn't involve major investments. So you can imagine my surprise when Fred told me he had saved up and wanted to take me on a vacation to the beach. I was absolutely thrilled.

Turns out, that beach was Atlantic City -- I don't gamble. Fred however does, but I assumed we would still spend some time together at the shore. I was wrong. From the moment we got there he dragged me from casino to casino and refused to even consider going to the beach. He hadn't even bothered to pack a swim suit. Not to say that seeing the casinos wasn't neat. It was. I had never experienced the glamour of endless chain smoking, the hopeless clicking of the slot machines, or the women “working” the floor before. All of these side acts however paled in comparison to the real fun I experienced watching Fred lose money playing poker for hours on end.

Now I feel I should mention that when Fred had said he was saving up it turns out he didn't mean for a nice hotel or for going out to dinner. The money he had been saving was strictly for gambling. And I got to spend two days of watching my boyfriend, who had never so much as taken me out to dinner, blow $800 playing poker. Ok, that is actually not true. I only got to watch him blow $300. The other $500 was blown while I was sleeping -- he snuck out of the room at 4 AM to “get his money back.” At this point you may be wondering how we paid for meals, gas, and pretty much everything else on the way home. The answer is yours truly got to cover it all.

In the long run though I guess that was a small price to pay for getting Fred out of my life – which happened not long after – permanently.

I'm a Loser Baby, So Why Don't You....

When to Stop Supporting Your Boyfriend's Antics - Part 1.

In a relationship, it is critical, and even necessary, to support your partner when they fall into hardship or difficult circumstances. However, in certain situations, this particular caveat is null and void.

Stringbean had a knack for "forgetting" to call when he got home after the bar or other activities, even after confirming that he would. We were in a long distance relationship, which made it all the more difficult to maintain trust and closeness that thousands of miles can obviously sabatoge. I'm not one to get upset about not calling per se - I am one to get upset about not calling if you said you would. It's a follow-through thing, nothing more. But that wasn't necessarily the issue during this particular event.

It was October, and I was upset that I hadn't been called the night before, but I continued about my business that day without pause. I was campaigning for a congressional candidate and couldn't have been happier waving signs and getting honked at out in the middle of the road. Then my cell phone rings. Rather than Stringbean calling me, it was a friend of his, whose name I will also protect by referring to him as Squatty.

Squatty: "Hey BJA, just wanted to give you an update on Stringbean's condition."

Why do girls get upset when you don't call when you say you will? Cuz if you get hurt or something else happens, we are left completely out of the loop, and distance only exacerbates the fear and worry.

Me: "What do you mean? What happened"

Squatty: "You mean you don't know???"

Uh... no.

Turns out brilliant Mr. Stringbean had gotten beyond wasted at a party the night before at a friend's apartment. Someone had made a comment that apparently made him angry, and he decided he wanted to leave. His friends, not wanting to support his death wish, told him no. They hid his keys and locked the door, while one of the bigger guys (lest we forget why Stringbean received the nickname...) stood in between him and the exit.

Stringbean was not about to be stopped however. Without thinking (obviously) he decided another exit was preferable. He jumped off the balcony.

It was a third story apartment.

Needless to say, Stringbean wound up in the hospital with broken bones and an alcohol violation. The ticket came from the fall, which I know may sound awkward, but follow me on this one. Stringbean didn't just yell out a carnal yell as he leapt from the balcony, but proceeded to justify his actions at the top of his lungs, disturbing the neighbors, by claiming he was, in fact, a "flying squirrel."

Sometimes I don't even know how to end these stories. And it's ridiculously pathetic this is only Part 1 of "When to Stop Supporting Your Boyfriend's Antics."

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Use of this Blog

I feel the need to say something here.

We write on this blog to vent, to share, and to hopefully impart some knowledge on guys out there who don't understand why women lose their cool or get angry about something they do.

It's not meant to hurt (usually), but it is meant for those of us who read it (which is only those who write it and a few of the exes described herein.)

So for those of you who are angered by what you read here, grow up. You are welcome to contribute to our sister blog "Crazy Ho" and talk mad shit about us. Fortunately, we know when we screwed up in our relationships, just as much as when we are"vindicative," or even, excuse the language, a "cunt." And we make no apologies for it.

We don't use names to protect those who might be hurt. We use song titles when possible just as a standard. (See: OFFSPRING) We also don't check blogs every day of our exes, though we're sure they talk about us - even unkindly.

However, let's get one thing straight. We didn't make this shit up. Our commentaries are vivid and honest. Sometimes we make it a little more kindly to protect those who we still give a damn about. Be angry. But don't expect us to keep our mouths shut when we tried to end it amicably and find the tactics and actions of our exes to be vindictive and childish, too.

And that's ALL I have to say. Quit reading my blog if it makes you so damn bitter.

PS. Not a word that was said here was not said to your face. And you know that. I said every word to you because I'm not a bitch.

PPS. We're especially prone to post stories after we feel the ex has sufficiently moved on that it wouldn't evoke some sort of reaction. Or when they play the game of calling us things behind our back. We see that as a big ole' green light for sharing stories.

Hey, Why Don't You Get a Job?

There's some comfort in blissful ignorance. Never knowing what's in store or what's down the road and having blind joy and excitement for the time to come is characteristic of a special kind of person. There's an old demotivational poster just for them.

"There is no greater joy than soaring high on the wings of your dreams, except maybe the joy of watching a dreamer who has nowhere to land but in the ocean of reality."

I understand the hope, the dream, the idealistic tendency to feel prepared, or the fake it till you make it mentality. But at some point, you have to also be realistic. And when all else fails, you have to at least try.

Diego is a bright guy. He's not the traditional loser we generally refer to on this site in that he's definitely intelligent. Perhaps that even exacerbates the disappointment we, as women, find with men who end up as loser-exes. Intelligence gives you such a leg-up and yet... I guess intellect isn't always followed by perfection, but the least we could ask for is proofreading.

Diego wanted to move to the big time. He wanted to leave his small college town and venture to the wide world of the big city, with big names, companies, and causes to boot. Being that I was already here, I was happy, even eager, to help. I have a few connections here and there, and know a few hiring managers, so I asked him to send me his resume.

Diego didn't have much experience to speak of. The trouble with having no experience in the field, in a town completely and utterly revolving around that exact field, tends to be that no one wants to hire you. When your star accomplishments out of undergrad were holding an office (not President) of one club, even though it was of considerable size, and two jobs as a waiter and a golf-course attendee... you're not turning heads easily. So I tried to help him improvise. Spice up the story, use descriptive verbs and emphasize the volunteer experience you have, right? Diego was by no means an idiot, and I had confidence he could handle anything one of these employers could throw at him if he could just get in front of them... but it would take some work.

Well, when I finally received the resume, it had a litany of problems. It was in different fonts, had misspelled words like February, switched tenses back and forth between present and past.... and just basically reeked of "do not hire me." To highlight the barrage of mistakes, I used Microsoft's nifty "Track Changes" tool. I corrected the spelling errors, rearranged bullet points, fine tuned the wording, and used a thesaurus for action verbs. After feeling like we had at least taken a step in the right direction, I returned the resume, with changes highlighted in red, to Diego. I wanted to ensure he saw where he'd made mistakes, and how to fix them and make his resume minimally acceptable.

I had really hoped my critiques had sunk in. What kind of message does it send your future employer if you can't read through something as important as your resume for mistakes? Let alone what do they think when you can't even stay in the right tense or mention "learning about the office environment" as one of your bullet points of what you did at an internship from high school....

The next day, he found a job he was interested in. Off went the resume to a prospective employer with my own email covertly attached in the "bcc" line, so as to prove he did actually send his resume and was moving forward on his own.

The first thing I noticed was the lack of a cover letter. You MUST introduce yourself and convey why you are not only interested in the job, but why they should be interested in you. This is especially critical when your resume lacks any substantive experience! There was but a sentence, urging the recruiter to review his resume and stating his intent to move upon the offer of a job. (On this note, you MUST say I will be there on this day at this time, may I meet with you or your hiring manager!!! You can't say I won't move unless I get hired by you because not only am I not a local, but I am unsure of whether or not I'm willing to take the leap unless you leap first.)

And perhaps I exaggerated... he had two sentences. The other offered an interview by either phone or email. Email, folks.

The last, and more heinous offense, was that the resume was still redlined. All the changes I had made, comments, misspelled words, crossed out words, rearrangements, etc... were all there highlighted on the screen for the potential hiring manager to see.

(Note: Picture not mine. Saw it online and it cracked me up. Fit well here. Visit for more hilarious ones!)

Needless to say, I was mortified. While I do not doubt that Diego is plenty intelligent and would make a good employee to someone in the DC area, I worried after seeing him make this mistake, and if I was doubting him, you know some office assistant was laughing her ass off and hanging that thing on the wall as the ideal of what not to do to get hired.

It was an honest mistake, to be sure. But let's get serious here. Any hiring manager would see that as a fatal flaw simply because you didn't properly prepare a document, nor do you show yourself to be adept at proofreading at first glance. You can't naively expect to be hired just because you're sweet and southern. Jobs up here look for demonstrated talent - and you have to show them to get them to see it, even if we know you have it.

Post-script: He improved his ability to submit resumes over time and got pretty good at them, along with cover letters. And, while Diego never got hired in Washington, he found employment at a local middle school coaching football.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Alcohol, Part 2

In my last entry about Fred’s drunken shenanigans, I mentioned that it was uncommon to get an alcohol violation at my school. Well, it's damn near impossible to get two!

But somehow Fred managed to accomplished this. I know, impressive, right?

During his senior year of college, he assisted with freshman orientation -- actually how we met – we were both coordinators. Anyway, one of the events was a party for freshman on a boat that was, of course, alcohol free.

Now, I know that there really aren't alcohol-free events during orientation and a few of the upperclassmen assisting with orientation would have a couple of beers beforehand. But, Fred never knew when to say when.

Consequently, upon arrival one of the event planners – who also happened to be his roommate -- told him to go home. He ignored this suggestion. The orientation director then caught a wiff of Fred and saw that he could barely even stand up and fired him in front of everyone.

Hurt and blaming his roommate, Fred returned to his dorm. Rather than just passing out like a normal drunk person, he decided to get even by pissing all over his roommate's bed.

Not before crying about not going on the boat ride though. No joke, he fricking cried about it. Seriously. Like effing tears pouring down his face, choked-up, hysterical crying. I cannot possibly emphasize this enough. This isn't really relevant to the rest of the story. I just wanted to point out that Fred cried about not riding on a boat.

Prior to his roommate returning Fred was pretty much guaranteed an alcohol violation courtesy of his display at the boat. But, when his roommate returned home to a bed dripping wet in piss and reported him he acquired even more charges. Then, he threw the soiled bedding into the garden below his balcony, thus acquiring even more charges. It was an alcohol violation bonanza!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Alcohol, Part 1

I wouldn't say Fred was an alcoholic. I don’t judge -- well actually I do judge but I don’t make clinical diagnosis so let’s just say he was a damn moron. His escapades are so ridiculous that they need to be broken up in to three different entries – this is the first:

Most college freshmen have crazy alcohol-induced adventures shortly after moving away from home. Of those, a few unfortunate or stupid people end up getting an alcohol violations. At my school, it was really really hard to get in trouble for drinking too much. One would have to do something incredibly stupid to achieve this. Fred did.

Anyway, upon arriving at his room after a night of heavy underage drinking, Fred decided that pants were not for him. Underwear was also not for him. In fact, he wanted to be "Fred just a shirt," and insisted that everyone address him as such. He also, as his moniker suggested, was wearing only a shirt.

He proceeded to parade down the coed hall in just a shirt. A great way to meet -- and alienate -- your classmates during your first week of school!

His friends attempted to keep him confined him to his room, but were unsuccessful. The RA, who refused to address him as “Fred just a shirt” promptly called the paramedics who threw him into the back of an ambulance and sent to the hospital for alcohol poisoning.

Fred did accomplish his goal – while getting his stomach forcibly pumped he did get to wear a hospital gown – without pants!

I'm just kidding, they gave him pants. And a big fat alcohol violation.