New Moves

Of course you are all aware by now that I have a special way with the meeeuhnz. And by that I mean I am highly skilled in becoming buddies with them. Some girls have guys just falling all over themselves whenever they’re around, unable to think straight or form coherent sentences, but very few are able to get to the “just good friends” stage like I am. I’m telling you, it’s a gift. But whether you’re looking for just good friendship or something more, the first thing you have to do is get the dude’s attention, and I am always on the lookout for new methods of attention-getting.

The first one that every savvy gal should have in her arsenal was introduced by Miss Elle Woods when Legally Blonde came out in 2001. My roommate in Honduras, Charity, and I also introduced to our Honduran family the following summer. It’s the Bend and Snap. Now, I’m not really sure what the appeal is of the Bend and Snap, and if you have any information on this, do let us all know in the comments. We are very curious as to whether or not it would actually have any effect at all on a straight man, much less a positive one.

The 2nd-8th moves, I picked up two years ago at Emily Furr Hogan’s very sexy bachelorette party. Almost none of these moves are appropriate for meeting men, though. They are all reserved for when the two of you are…ahem…better acquainted. However, I do use sexy up on a regular basis, for as I’ve said before, it is a perfectly functional means of rising from a squatting position. Sexy down, however, all the hip rolling and the pony will have to wait. Sorry, y’all.

Well, #9 was introduced to me a few weeks ago at lunch by my friend Casey, who said that it was taught to her by a friend whose mother sat her down when she was 13 and taught it to her. I love that part, by the way. Her mom was looking out for her. Or teaching her to be a trollop. I’m not sure which.

Anyhoe, the move is called Stingray/Stungun, and it basically consists of two different looks. I have tried to capture these in the following photos. However, I have surely not done them justice as they really need to be seen in motion for maximum effectiveness.

Stingray involves a concentrated, squinty-eyed stare, as though you are shooting sexy laser beams out of your eyes. It looks something like this:


I think ideally my lips should be more pouty, but I was trying to take these picture in public a couple of weeks ago, and there were people around, so I didn’t want to do too many more takes lest the hotel begin to wonder what, exactly, I was doing on their internet.

The second half of the move is Stungun, which is a more taken-aback sort of look, as though you are saying to the gentleman, “Who, me?”


Apparently (according to Casey’s friend’s mom), you look even more mysterious and desirable if you say or mouth the words, “Stingray…stungun,” whilst doing the looks. I am mouthing “stungun” in this picture, which is why I look less than shocked and more like I’m working on a jawbreaker.

So there you have it. “Stingray” is a sort of “Hey there big boy, yeah I’m talking to you” sort of look, and then once you’ve got them with that, you hit them with the coy, surprised, yet still sexy “Stungun.” “What? Why sir, why ever are you looking at me so?”

What do you think? Does it have potential?

Weekend Update

Buon giorno!!!!!

Ok, first of all, I gave up on the rest of the Beth trivia because there wasn’t much participation, and my internet availability has been limited. Oh well. And now a few words on adaptation.

So far, the biggest difference for me between my life in America and my life in Italy is that I haven’t had constant access to the internet. We will have it in the house in the next few weeks, but (A.) Carla (my friend/former co-worker) and Joe (her husband who is stationed here with the Navy) just moved into the house about five days before I got here, so they’ve had other things to deal with, and (B.) we’re working with both the military AND Italians, so things take longer to get done. And as many of you predicted, getting used to not being always attached to my CrackBerry has taken me through all the stages of withdrawal. Well, maybe not all of them, but it is different for sure.

Anyhoe, this requires me to do things differently. For example, I’m writing this post in my word processor, and it is Sunday. I doubt we’ll get to a place with WiFi today, but maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to just copy, paste and post it for your reading pleasure. I just never know. It may not happen until Wednesday (because also, I don’t drive). We’ll see.

In order to use the internet, we’ve been going over to the hotel where a lot of these Naval kids stay when they first arrive in Naples and are looking for off-base housing. The name of the hotel is the Agora, but Carla just refers to it as “the hotel.” She made friends with all of the Agora staff (shock and surprise for all who know her), so they don’t mind her coming over to use the internet and eat the continental breakfast even though she doesn’t live there any more.

They have two pitiful little desktop computers there, but when we were there for a BBQ/karaoke night on Friday, I noticed a sign that said something about WiFi, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to use it to upload both this post and an article I’ve finished for YourDictionary. Yes, yours.

If not, then perhaps I can beg my new friend Tracy to let me use the internet at her house.

So ok, next adaptation: Buddilessness. I have not had one ridiculous conversation since I got here. I know!! I can’t believe it either. But it’s only been four days, so I still have hope. I’m just starting to meet people, after all. Shoot, I’m just starting to wake up before noon. There’s plenty of time.

Hoe-ever, I DID go to church this morning, and not a Catholic one. I swear, y’all, it felt like a total miracle how this happened, which brings us back to Tracy.

She arrived at the same time as Carla and Joe, and they were all at the hotel together (with some others) until Tracy found a house and moved into it. Well all of those people who got here around the same time are good buddies and ended up getting houses pretty much within walking distance of each other, so they still hang out. And Tracy is my age and single, so of course Carla decided immediately that we would go out dancing together, and that she would try to set us up with all the same guys. And so far, so good. Tracy was here first, so she’s already been out with two of them and given me the dirt (enough to know I’m not really interested, but the third remains to be seen).

So. Friday night, we were at BBQ/karaoke, and we had a great time hanging out – me, Carla, Tracy, and these two married guys who were sitting at our table. I mention that they were married only to say that they are not potentials, nor was anything in any way shady or flirty the whole night. Well one of the guys says that he’s got a buddy who’s in a band that’s playing later that night at a local bar, and would we like to go?

Tracy and I are in for sure, but Carla has to take a kid home, so she can’t go. I don’t have keys to their house yet, and the place is locked up like Ft. Knox, so I have to either not go to the bar or not go home. But Tracy says I can stay at her house, so voila, we have a plan.

We go to the bar, and it’s a lot of fun. The band is really good, just singing covers of a lot of rockin’ tunes. Then various players started rotating in and out until at least four distinct bands had played (some better than others) as well as just some random jam sessions.

Oh!! And sidenote – One of the drummers was TOTALLY Italian Josh Bain, one of the singers was totally Italian Jen Cribbs, and one of the drummers was totally Italian JBeau in 35 years. He had long, gray hair, pulled back into a half-ponytail, and he was wearing a t-shirt that said “Never Too Old to ROCK.” I kid you not.

So we’re talking about music and Tracy mentions how she’d like to learn to play the drums because the church she goes to here has a band but no drums. Just a couple of guitars and some singers. I’d say that’s more of a team than a band, but whatever. The big news was that there was a protestant church, it was close to my house, everything was in Italian AND English, and I COULD HAVE A RIDE THERE EVERY WEEK.

I mean, cue the opening of the heavens and the choir of angels.

We went this morning, and it was great. The people were really nice, everything is done in both languages, they have free weekly Italian classes, and we went out to lunch with a co-worker of Tracy’s (Casey), her husband (Alan) and a friend of theirs who is visiting (Matt).

And on that note, one final adaptation: I’m eating cheese. At lunch, I had orrechiette (sp?) with feta and spinach. Thursday night I had gnocchi with red sauce and mozzarella and some really amazing fried, cheesy potato thingies. Imagine mozzarella sticks blown up to about four times their normal size. They’re like that, except instead of being filled with just cheese, they’re filled mostly with mashed potato and just a little bit of cheese (aka delicious).

There is SO much more to tell you, but this is already too long for most of your wee little attention spans to handle in one sitting, so I’ll stop. Those are the highlights for now.


Don’t Be A D-Bag

Alright now, gentlemen, I don’t think any of you will take this personally as these men are CLEARLY insane, but just to be sure, I start out with this disclaimer: I am not blaming nut-jobs like these for my being single. I am blaming you for not asking me out. Haha, TOTALLY kidding. Kind of. I’m not going to comment much on these as it’s already been done a thousand times before. I just want to bring them into the spotlight, perhaps for the second or third time, for your entertainment.

Our first bachelor this evening is a Jew (you have no idea how happy it makes me to be able to blog that). This email, complete with audio files, worked the forwarding circuit a few years ago, but man oh man. It’s still hilarious. You will find yourself saying, “Do the right thing, Joanne” for DAYS. Poor Joanne.

Bachelor number two just came to me last night via LaurenJosh’s twitter. I don’t know where she found him (apart from a string of re-tweets), but if this is what perfect sanity looks like, y’all just better bust out the straight jacket for me now because I think I’d have better luck finding a dude in the cuckoo’s nest. Which is where I may very well find myself after two insanely chaotic and disorganized days AND nights of registration.

Ok, sigh. I’m going back to work now. Do leave your favorite parts from each set of voicemails in the comments section below. If nothing else, I’ll get to re-experience them at work as I approve your comments here and read them on facebook. Do the right thing, friends. You read the blog, and you listened to the voicemails, now you need to LEAVE. YOUR. COMMENTS. Do the right thing.

New Requirements for a Husband

I still like these requirements for my future husband, but some days, when I get really tired of the whole thing, and I just want to get married and be done with all the meeting and greeting and making nice and pretty, I pare it way down, reducing the requirements to the following:

  • loves Jesus and wants to love me like He does until death do us part
  • has a personality that complements mine
  • is moderately attractive to me
  • hates Adam Lambert

Ok FINE, maybe the last one isn’t absolutely necessary. Or maybe it is. If you think this is you (and especially if you think this is you), please send a 200-word essay to explaining why.

Couch Surfing USA

So lookey here, internets. I’m just doing some preliminary logistical research here. Nothing interesting is happening at all, so don’t get excited. But say I wanted to do a cross-country road trip of some sort – you know, just for kicks and giggles and book tour and seducing Donald Miller and seeing everyone I love who lives outside of Raleigh. And say I needed to plot my route based on free places I could stay. Just purely out of curiosity, leave me a comment if you happen to know of a stop I ought to schedule on my trip.

And now, because this post is so short, and because its title reminds me of the Beach Boys song that this video is a parody of, and because it’s so, so utterly ridiculous, ladies and gentlemen:

Skeet Surfin’

Class Make-out Session

I spent the morning teaching phrasal verbs and common expressions with “do” and “make,” which was particularly helpful for my Hispanic students who say things like, “I forgot to make my homework,” or, “I make exercise in the gym.” I understand why they say these things, so I don’t fault them for it. They just have to memorize which nouns go with “do” and which nouns go with “make.” You do your homework well to make a good impression on that hot Brazilian dude. You do the laundry to make up for not doing the dishes. And so on.

And as illustrated in that last example (make up for), there is a whole slew of phrasal verbs with multiple meanings each, which poses an additional memorization challenge. “Make out,” for example, has at least six distinct meanings.

  • manage to see – “I hate these effing Magic Eye things. I can never make out what’s in them.”
  • pretend – “He made out like he was Leonardo DiCaprio on the bow of the Titanic, but let me tell you something right now. He is NOT.”
  • succeed or progress – “How did you make out at the poker tournament. Oh…I, uh…I’m so sorry.”
  • understand – “Can you make out what they’re saying? My lip-reading‘s a bit rusty.”
  • write or complete – “Make it out to Beth Parent in the amount of Lifetime Supply of Burritos.”

And of course,

  • to kiss for an extended period of time, possibly groping as well – “I was NOT making out with my boyfriend when my mom came down the stairs and snarled at us after the prom, and DON’T believe her if she tries to tell you otherwise.”


The good news is that roughly 90% of my friends are either married or dudes, so most of the wedding showers are out of the way. The bad news is that the baby showers have now begun. It’s not bad news because I don’t want to see them, or because I’m jealous that they’re having babies and I’m not (my biological clock’s not ticking very loudly yet). It’s not even really bad news because I have to buy things for them. Baby stuff is ridiculously cute, and I welcome the opportunity to peruse the baby clothes at Target without the crippling fear that something that size is going to come out of me soon.

No, it’s bad news for two reasons:

  1. Most baby showers are lame.
  2. I hate having the people at Target think that I have a kid. It’s just not true.

Now, before we go any further, let me just say that the shower I went to last weekend was great. It wasn’t lame at all. The people there were quality, the food was tasty, the conversation was lively, and there were no stupid and/or humiliating games involving marveling at how fat the mommy-to-be was. That’s how you do it. Now, here’s the real story.

When I went to Target to buy the gifts for the shower, I did a little shopping for myself as well. I picked up a few items of clothing, some of which I later returned (I’ll pause for you to get over the shock…), and then I wandered into the intimates section. I considered a couple of things before deciding they were too slutty (read: uncomfortable-looking), and then, there it was – the most comfortable-looking bra I’ve ever seen.

I look for exactly one characteristic in a bra, and it is comfort, and I know it when I see it. So when I saw this bra, I just picked it up and put it in the cart. I didn’t try it on or anything because I knew it would be amazing, and plus, I’d already been in the fitting room twice. I didn’t feel like going back for one item. Well, I got it home and decided I should probably try it on, but when I started to get it situated, I noticed something iffy going on inside.

It turned out that in addition to the Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, baby wipes and baby gowns, I had accidentally purchased a nursing bra. You know, with the snaps and flaps for ease and discretion. And is it such a terrible thing, friends, that my first thought was not to return it? No, I thought This is SOOOOO COMFORTABLE! And hey, it might be kind of a fun feature to have some day. But then I came to my senses, realizing that by the time that day comes, the elastic will likely be shot, and I won’t be wearing it any more. It was seriously SO so comfortable that I considered keeping it anyway, but the Joshes told me in no uncertain terms that I absolutely could not keep it.

And I wept bitterly.

The Friend Zone

I’m going to say something here that might get me into trouble with the women of the world (and maybe some of the men). It might even get me banned from the bimonthly strategy meeting, but I think it’s only fair that you know this.

I don’t believe in the friend zone. Not like in the same way I don’t believe in corporal punishment (I don’t believe in corporal punishment, but that is a different blog post), but in the same way I don’t believe in Santa Claus. The friend zone, in my opinion, is a myth. A lie. I used to believe in it, but that was when I was buying the myth myself, back before I was honest enough to call it what it is – an excuse not to date a guy I didn’t have the guts to tell I just wasn’t interested.

Look, nobody wants to hurt a friend, especially when said friend has just laid his heart out for your acceptance or utter annihilation. So if a dude’s got the hots for you, and you’re not interested in him romantically, what do you do? You say you don’t want to ruin the friendship. This excuse is generally accepted by men as the nicest and most pride-preserving stab in the heart possible. But like most puncture wounds, it still sucks.

The truth is that if she’s even a little bit interested, she’ll probably be willing to lay the friendship on the line to see if a romance with you is going to be the one she’s always dreamed of. After all, we all want our husbands to be our best friends first. And honestly, if you’re not “the one” for each other, and someone else is, your friendship will eventually be ruined anyway. I don’t say that to be negative. I just mean that when one or both of you marries someone else, your friendship will be so lowered on the priority list (and rightly so) that it can never ever be what it is now – when you’re single.

So really, what does she have to lose? Risk ruining the friendship now while trying to see if you’re the hot, molten lovah of her dreams, and maybe find that you are; ruin the friendship later when you both move on; or pony up the guts to say, “Look. You’re cool and all, but you just don’t make my toes tingle.”

I know it sounds like I just said you were in the friend zone…when I said she wasn’t interested. That she just wants to be friends. But that’s just another part of the myth.

It’s not a place to which you are necessarily relegated forever.

I personally maintain an open-door policy. At any given moment, really, a friend could walk right into the prospective zone or back into the friend zone. It depends largely on how hard he’s willing to fight for me (and only a little bit on weekly hormonal swings), and I can’t speak for all women, but I think that if a dude fights hard enough and long enough and with enough idiocy (which negates any creepiness), and if I’m not already taken of course, he can win me over.

It’ll just be my luck that the moment I start to return the sentiment, he will have given up and put me in the you’ve-broken-my-heart-for-too-long-and-ruined-not-only-the-friendship-but-my-very-self-and-now-I-passive-aggressively-hate-you zone. Which might be impossible to claw your way out of.