Tuesday, May 28, 2013


NEW DATING RULES ON HOW TO MAKE A GIRL FEEL TERRIBLE: It's not just calling her a b*tch and a hoe anymore!!!!

No, it turns out there are many ways to insult someone without actually using words that would be bleeped on television. 

And Justin, this guy who my friend Amy hooked up with last year, is unfortunately winning terribly at this game.

Amy and Justin met at a party and talked a whole bunch, exchanged numbers, and he even sent her a cute "did you get home safe yet?" text after she left the party. 

After a few more meetings over dinner and drinks, where he appeared normal, Amy spent the night at his place. 

Yet, the next morning, while they were both lying in bed, Justin said the opposite of sweet nothings in her ear.

"You know, I'm really not looking for a relationship," he said. 

(Insult meter: 4, due to the fact that she was naked when he said that.)

Then Justin added, "So, don't tell anyone about us hooking up."



(Insult meter: 13…out of 10.)

Ugh. How gross can you make a girl feel??  And after she already slept with you and can't take it back??? 

But Justin wasn't done.

A week later, Justin called her and asked if she remembered that he had recently joined the army. 

She did.

Well, he was going to Afghanastan for a year.  Did she want to meet him for dinner before he left?

Amy agreed cautiously. She figured dinner would at least be a better final meeting with him than being given a gag order  (no pun intended…ha) while wrapped naked in his bed sheet.

But when they got to the restaurant, Justin wasn't acting any differently than in his bedroom.

As Amy recalls: "He proceeded to tell me how hot the waitress was and how he wanted to ask her something 'inappropriate.'"



No, it is NOT OK to hit on the waitress when you're out with a girl you slept with a week earlier. That's INSULTING.

(I wonder if he would have asked the waitress not to tell anyone if they had hooked up.)

When Justin alluded to them all having a threesome, (Amy said he wasn't joking…a threesome…with a random waitress…seriously), she left the restaurant and hadn't heard from Justin since.

…Well, since last week.

It turns out Justin survived his year overseas and was back in town.

He "friended" Amy on Facebook  her review: He let himself go (ha)  and he started asking her what she's been up to. 

Amy gave him very short replies. "Still working at the state park. Summer is hot."

The next day at work, Amy got a call on the radio to come to front desk, there was someone to see her. 

"I was expecting to answer a random person's question about the wildlife as usual," Amy said, when she saw Justin standing there, in the park ranger's office.

"Wha--?" she asked.

"HEY!" Justin said, like she should be happy to see him or something.  

He hadn't asked her if he could come by, he didn't text her a heads up or even Facebook message her. 

Now what was she supposed to do with him?

Amy tried to make light of it.

"Hey, are you here to see me or the red-tailed Finch?" she asked jokingly. 

"I'm here to see you," Justin said all flirty, A YEAR after she left him at the restaurant.

"Do you want to get together later when you get off work?" Justin asked.

Amy shuffled him outside the office and said, "What do you mean, like grab dinner?"

It was a joke. She didn't want to do anything with him.

"No," Justin said. "I'm not hungry..."

…..then OMG….. 

"I just want to bang." 



(Insult meter: broken)


Who goes to someone's work to ask that??? 

And what kind of girl did he think she was? A threesome-happy chick who'd jump at the chance to get banged???



"Um, NO," Amy said, INSULTED.  "Besides, I'm dating someone who works here."

"Oh yea, where is he?" Justin asked, actually looking around.

"He's at a conference out of town," Amy said.

"Well," Justin said, creepily, getting closer to her. "I KNOW you have needs…."


So now he was assuming she was someone who would cheat on her boyfriend. No.

God, what a b*tch. 

...Definitely a hoe.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Non-presents for dad

As I stood in an antique clock shop in downtown New Orleans inspecting more closely an iron cowboy clock, whose lasso turns along with the second hand, I realized that maybe I'm bad at getting birthday presents for my dad.

Seriously, what DO you get for dad?!?! 

It’s a very common problem. It's why The Sharper Image and SkyMall exists. 

But my dad is especially hard, because what DO you get the smartest person you know???

I remember growing up, we used to buy him ties.

The staple Christmas tie, MATH tie, the tie with animals, the tie with all the fleur de lis, etc.

And then he stopped wearing ties, and we didn't know what to get him. 

So, we overloaded him with shirts because he mentioned once that he liked the " henley " style that didn't compete for neck space with his beard. 

So then presents became  Henley  shirt after  Henley  shirt after  Henley  shirt MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! Henly shirt after Henly shirt.

In high school, we moved on to buying him the same cologne every year, at his request, purchased by our mom at the mall department store.

When the three of us children went off to college, our dad got various purple and yellow LSU merchandise for every present-giving occasion, along with maroon  College  of  Charleston  “DAD” items and UT Austin shirts. 

But now that we’re ADULTS, I've been trying to get my dad things that are more thoughtful, and things he'll actually like.

But the problem is, he never says that he wants anything! Other than a framed photograph here or a backup hard drive there (backup hard drive… least fun birthday present ever)

Over the years, my brother Franklin, twin sister Joy and I have tried to take mental notes of things we remember our dad pointing out as interesting or funny while window shopping.

Like…uhhh…a quirky antique clock?

(Spoiler alert: I did not buy the cowboy lasso clock, because I found out it costs $450.)

But you know, I'm still not convinced he'd even like that very much. 

I say this with experience -- we've had a few fails...new tennis shoes have been pushed aside because "there's nothing wrong with my white sneakers." 

A grilling basket for shish kabobs - "Who needs that?? My vegetables never fall off. What kind of shish kabobs are you people making?"

OMG and the worst – a gift for my parent’s anniversary, I got them a nightlight that had their photo on it. Which made them look like skeletons with big teeth when plugged in. (Speaking of, I need to be removed from that company's email list.)

So, this year, as my mom and I take dad out to a super fancy dinner tonight on his 71st birthday, as a "non-present present," I’d like to present him with the things I wish I could give my dad for his birthday:

Video of volleyball.
You often hear stories about your parents when they were close to your age, and some of them really stick.

One I heard recently about my dad was when he and my mom and several of their French Quarter neighbors all played volleyball in a park in the quarter.

They played every week, much like I play kickball, and my mom said my dad was hilarious and lighthearted and made everyone laugh during the game.

When they’d change sides with the other team, usually people would slap hands as they passed, but sometimes our dad would joke, “Don’t touch the losers!’” she recalls.

We all genuinely laughed at that, some 40 years after the fact.

I wish I had a video or pictures of that, and I’m sure he does too. So I’d like to give him that for his birthday.

I’ll just keep having to remind him about it so he can picture it himself.    

I'd bottle my memories. 
Harry Potter nerd alert – do y’all know that PENSIVE ("pen-seeve") that’s in Professor Dumbledore’s office, where he can extract memories with his wand and keep them inside the watery substance?

And then anyone can put their head in the pensive, and re-live that memory exactly as if they were that person, at that moment?

Well, I’d like to give my dad all my pensive moments from when my friends – many of his former students – have told me how awesome he was as a person and teacher.

I tell him about these comments, but I'd like him to hear it for himself...uh, as me...

He was so so so well-loved by the people he taught, there should be a medal. 

In fact, this past Monday I ran into an old friend who reminded me again that my dad was her favorite teacher of all time and she would sneak into his study hall and actually enjoy math.

Our own newspaper
I'd say 95 percent of the reason I'm a journalist is because of my dad. 

He’s a former journalist, a former photojournalist and current volunteer editor of many of my own articles before they’re published in the newspaper. 

There’s a special bond over the craft among journalists, and I am constantly calling my dad bouncing ideas off him, freaking out about anytime anyone ever has a problem with something that was printed in the paper.

When I had the dream of starting my own newspaper (well, now website, you computer-obsessed people), I envisioned my dad as the editor-in-chief looking over people’s articles, writing humorous columns and having his picture in the paper every week. 

Oh, and getting paid for it.

I actually had this hilarious idea that since he’s a mathematician, he could have a “math for blondes” column, like explain how to easily calculate percentages. 

“Dear. Mr. Frank, This shirt is $20 and its 25 percent off. How do I figure this out?”

Basically, I’d repeat all the questions I ask him about math.

When I win the lottery, I’m going to make this happen.

Until then, dad, please accept the book review you wrote of the Y’at Dictionary. It was hilarious, and published today on on page 6. Best I can do at the moment.

Me shrinking to the size of a seven-year-old 
Ok, this is sort of one of those, I know it’s your birthday, but this is really a present for me, too, thing, but I wish I could shrink to the size of my seven-year-old self, and then when my dad would come home from a long business trip, I could run to the door as fast as I could and jump in his arms and he’d pick me up.

I remember never being so happy to see someone, and I’d like to pen-seeve that memory, too, please.

And I wish I could be so small that when I’d get tucked into bed, my dad could stretch me out by one arm and the opposite leg at the same time, like a stretch Armstrong toy.

That was the best stretch ever.

Ugh, now I need to find a giant with a five-foot-long arm span. 

I'd also like to be seven and have him read me Italian Folktales as a bedtime story. With voices.

My present would be to go back to that time, I hope he'd like it, too.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!!!! I hope these non-presents are better than an iron cowboy clock with twirling lasso.

But honestly, there really is no present I could give to my dad today that could properly sum up how much he means to me. 

I could not be the person I am today without you dad!! 

So thank YOU. 

You’ve been the best present ever. :)


Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Sometimes a year seems like it was just a day ago. 

This is especially the case with Christmas, Mardi Gras, your friends' birthdays (it's been a YEAR since we went to that bowling alley?!!?) and (cue dramatic voice) my late 20s.


Maybe you have a whacked out internal clock, too, where you think that it's still early in 2013 when it's definitely the halfway point.  

And then you remember that your friend who announced that she was pregnant last year on July 4 weekend has already given birth. (Yikes. Definitely not just a day ago.)

Clearly...even though something may feel like yesterday, it's not, OK????

Someone should give that memo to Ryan, this guy who my friend Alicia dated for a few weeks…A YEAR AGO. 

Apparently, Ryan doesn't think a year is too long to reach out to a past hook-up, even though they ended things on account of him being a D-bag. 

(Time does not heal all toolbags.)

Ryan and Alicia met while both on vacation last year and things ended when Ryan told her that he didn't want to be in a long-distance relationship AFTER they had engaged in a month-long, long-distance flirtation and slept together, typical.

"Sorry babe, I'm not ready for a long distance relationship, but thanks for the overnight!"


Ryan was a hard nut to crack. 

He seemed super into Alicia despite their 3-hour distance. He sent flowers to her work (swoon), video chatted her all the time, even discussed relocating to be with her. 

On their second face-to-face meeting after the beach, he drove to her town, took her out to the nicest restaurant in town, properly wine-ing and dining her like they do in romantic movies. 

Ryan then spent the night and promptly left the next day with a "I can't do long-distance" attitude.

So Alicia was basically the most expensive one-night stand ever. 

Alicia said she was confused and hurt when Ryan visibly pulled away after his trip to see her.

It was her birthday the following week and Ryan could only muster a "Happy birthday" text. (UHHH WHERE ARE THE FLOWERS RYAN)

Alicia called him out a week later, and when he repeated he didn't want long-distance, she said,  "You knew from day one that we didn't live in the same place and it didn't bother you, but now after you came here and got some you don't want long-distance??"

He had no response, so she called him a dick. 

Ryan didn't respond to that either, which was fine with everyone. 

We all forgot about him, with his different area code and all.

That is until this past weekend. 

Alicia returned to the beach for our annual girls' weekend vacation, the same vacation where she had met Ryan. 

Since it had been A YEAR, Alicia was now off the market and properly dating someone who lived less than five miles from her house.

As all of us were all winding down from the day, trying to figure out dinner plans, Alicia's phone buzzed. It was Ryan.

"Ryan who??" we asked. 

"Ryan, from last year!" Alicia said.


What does he want??

Alicia looked at her phone: "Hey baby, you around the beach this weekend? I am, let's meet up."


It takes a special kind of guy to write to a girl like nothing's wrong when during their last conversation, she called him a dick. 

Was she supposed to repeat her mistakes of 2012!!!!!!???

Speaking of, this text was the first communication they had in a year. 

A YEAR!!!  365 whole days. 

Who knows what she's been up to! She could have given birth in that time!! (And the kid could be crawling.) 

I tried to point out that wow, he's desperate, grasping at last year's straws for a hook-up and/or companionship. (Silver lining?)

As we all laughed at the situation, Alicia wrote back saying she was actually seeing someone serious, ThankYouVeryMuch and not to text her anymore.

On any day, in any year.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013


My dad says there's a lifestyle among some people in New Orleans where they don't work that hard or often, because they don't have to.

"This is a city where you can do the absolute minimum and still survive," he says.  

It's not hard to accomplish. In New Orleans, rent is cheap (if you're not picky), beer is even cheaper and there's a free outdoor party every single weekend that requires no money. 

I know several people in New Orleans who fit into this "only do the minimum" stereotype. I'm sure they exist in other cities, too. 

These are people who don't need to make a lot of money in order to cover living expenses, and have no real additional aspirations other than getting drunk. 

Good for them. They usually post hilarious Facebook pictures.

There's nothing wrong with that lifestyle I suppose, but there is something wrong with insulting people who…uh…maybe don't want to be your girlfriend because of it. 

Joe, this guy my friend Maria dated, was one of those people. 

He unapologetically worked twice a week at a casino and made enough money to drink.
Maria, on the other hand, was getting her Masters and had an office job.

Despite their different life goals, they had a connection and went out together, had sleepovers and watched football.  

Maria noted that their "going out" lifestyle was just as casual as their relationship.

Joe didn't take her out to fancy dinners or buy her elaborate things. …because he barely worked part-time.

Maria didn't care. She's on the compete opposite end of being high-maintenance and/or needing nice things. 

So for those couple of months, she happily went to neighborhood bars and drank cheap beer, didn't say anything when Joe would show up at her house in a different friend's car each week. 

The carefree relationship ended when Joe told Maria one day that he loved her.
It was out of left field, she said, and not at all indicative of the casual nature of their relationship. 

Did she like him? Yes. 

But did she want to invest in someone who had moved twice in the past four months because of "rent issues?" 
Who only worked twice a week? And who just celebrated his 35th birthday? Not really.

Maria admitted she could have blurted out a more polite reaction to him saying that he loved her. But she could only muster up responding, "Get your shit together."


Sign up for a 401K!

Joe flipped out, even as Maria said she tried to explain, "that the next person I'm letting myself fall in love with is someone I may want to marry, and your life is currently too unstable for that."

"...So get your shit together."

Maria thought for a second that the ultimatum might have been what Joe needed to change his lifestyle - a kick in the ass reality check - and he'd at least pick up additional shifts, maybe move out of the Worst Neighborhood In The World.

You know, something to impress her, the woman he was in love with. 

But he didn't. 

Instead, Joe told her that she was shallow and only cared about money (ed note: HAHAHAHAHAHAA)  and they broke up.

…and then he went to the bar for his $2 beers.


Now, it's a common rule that you don't talk to your ex's friends about the details of your breakup, because:

1.) they will undoubtedly be on their FRIEND'S side (duh) and 
2.) they don't care.

It's even worse when you not only talk about, but insult your ex to her friends. 

But that's exactly what Joe did. He couldn't consider any truth in Maria's response to him, and decided to unleash on one of her friends who was at the bar.

"Well, isn't your friend Maria just a GOD DAMN PRINCESS?" Joe said.


Leave it to Joe to make calling someone a princess an insult. He should never visit…uh, Tulane University. 

"No, she's not," her friend replied. "She's actually the opposite of that."

"Well, she acts like she's too GOOD for everybody," Joe said. "All she cares about is MONEY." 

And then OMG, he mocked Maria to her friend, pretending as if he were her, a snotty princess waving a scepter over everyone.

It was hysterical.

Joe couldn't even for a second get his head out of his ass and realize that maybe he could stand to make some lifestyle changes if he wanted someone to take him seriously.

I told Maria her new rule should be to only date people who treat her like royalty. 

At minimum.


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