The inevitable "big question"

There is no more delaying the inevitable. Jack is going to "pop the question," most likely before the end of the year.

We've been dating for five or six years (who's counting), and living together for almost three. Somewhere around our two-year mark, Jack told me that he intended to marry me.

My first reaction: "If you get down on one knee, I'll kick you in the teeth!" Poor Jack. Luckily for me he's a patient and understanding man. He knows that my father's multiple failed marriages that crumbled before my eyes and his horrible parenting skills (putting it mildly, the man should have been put in jail for the things he did when I was younger), have jaded me against marriage and men in general.

The next time Jack mentioned marriage, I got all logical and said: "You should finish your degree and find a career before we talk about this. I want you to have options. Besides, my parents wouldn't approve of me marrying a man without a "real" job." Sounds good, right? Bought me few more years.

Well, Jack has finished his degree in psychology and earlier this month he began training to be an elementary school teacher in the Baltimore City Public School System. Degree? Check. Job? By next month. Now he's asking what type of ring I want...

Don't get me wrong. I have no qualms about being with Jack forever. We get each other in a way that must be rare. We can joke, have fun and work hard together. He's my favorite dance partner. We see eye-to-eye on so many things. We have great sexual chemistry. Things are good, so why go screwing that up by throwing marriage into the mix?

So many people tell me "everything changes when you get married."

Jack and I have had numerous conversations about--and agreed on--things that will likely never change, whether we get married or not. I don't want to combine finances. I don't plan to have children. I would like to pursue a PhD eventually (after I complete the master's program I am applying for this week). My career goals involve moving to Latin America and working in the nonprofit world, in the ecotourism industry or at an environmental research or conservation center. I've already started teaching Jack some Spanish.

I DON'T expect that Jack will suddenly expect me to be barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen allowing my dreams to fade away just because we get married.

Of course I realize that people grow and people change, so maybe I am naive in thinking that we can grow together, not apart, and the promises Jack and I have made will hold strong. I don't think he'd want that.

Maybe I am naive. But, is that really so bad?

If I am going to "take the plunge," I'd like to say my "I do" with a head full of positive thoughts and a heart full of love.


Best Friends Forever

Nothing lasts forever. What a sad thought.

The strength of the bond between best-friends comes from the understanding that your friendship will endure, tough times, to the end.

But nothing lasts forever. Friends come and go...even friends I thought were forever-friends.

They were forever. Forever in the moment.



The first openly gay Episcopalian bishop, Gene Robinson, will lead the country in the first-ever nondenominational prayer to be given at the inauguration of the first black president of the United States.

In an interview on National Public Radio, Robinson said that his prayer will be to the "god of all creation," a term he picked from his days in Alcoholics Anonymous.

By selecting Robinson to lead the country in this prayer, the Obama administration is showing the world that it is possible for gays, lesbians, heteros, bisexuals, Muslims, Jews, Christians, Catholics, Baptists, Protestants, blacks, whites, etc. to peacefully coexist.

At a time when Jews across the world are being murdered while praying in synagogues; unarmed black men are being shot execution style by cops in Los Angeles; and employers are allowed to fire someone because of his/her sexuality, this demonstration of good will and acceptance offers a glimmer of hope.


Hip to the jive

So, Baltimore City is trying to make it illegal to sell cigars priced $2.50 and below. According to a report on NPR, "At these low prices and with fruity flavors these cigars are targeted to kids."

Kids? Try pot smokers. And, they're blunts. Not cigars.

Nobody--including kids--smokes these things, unless they've emptied out the tobacco to make room for a little sumin', sumin'.

Common knowledge, right?

Baltimore City lawmakers are either living in the clouds or they're afraid to admit knowing the truth.


Goals for the New Year

I don't usually make New Year's resolutions...I am way too logical for whimsical wishes of happiness, world peace and an end to hunger. Not that these aren't valuable goals. It's just, I'm a realist [read: pessimist] and these things are simply not attainable in a one-year span.

As a realist, I've decided not to resolve to do anything in 2009, but instead to set some goals for the New Year. Goals are the realist's resolution. Unlike resolutions--steadfast decisions--goals may or may not be met and are fluid enough to allow for change.

With the semantics discussion out of the way, I present my goals for 2009:
  • Apply to graduate school. I am 98% certain that I want to get a MS in environmental sciences, the other 2% of me says "anthropologist" or "linguist."

  • Get outdoors once a week, and write about it. My sedentary job and busy, urban lifestyle have been cutting into my nature-loving-tree-hugging-hippy side. I want to get out more often and then write about it.

  • Use my Spanish more often. Foreign-language skills fade fast without practice.

  • Cut myself some slack. Jewish guilt is no joke. My mother raised me to never be satisfied with my best and to always strive for something better. While guilt is a great motivator, it can wear you down and make it impossible to celebrate accomplishments. One day, maybe even this year, I will be able to look myself in the mirror and say: "You are a good, successful person." And mean it.

  • Express affection. I want to hold Jack's hand in public more often, kiss him for no reason at all, stay in bed on a Sunday just to cuddle, and wrap my arms around him each day, as though I hadn't seen him in a year.

  • Forgive, but not forget. I'd like to forgive those who have tried to drag me down and those who have left me with emotional scars. Most of all, I'd like to forgive myself for allowing these people to influence my decisions and weigh heavy on my heart and soul.My past, as sordid as it may be, makes me who I am today, so I can never forget it. But, forgiveness would be good.

  • Get back in touch with my creative side. I want to paint, design, write, draw, work with metal, piece together collages, take up sewing....my creative side has fallen victim to my 9-5. It's time to reclaim it!


The skinny on where to buy bras

After trying everything from safety pins to clips to make my Victoria Secret bra work for me, I asked my fellow D.C. Web Women and my Twitter friends for bra-shopping advice. I got a huge number of responses, so I decided to write what I hope will be a useful blog post for ladies every where….

The general consensus about Victoria Secret bras is that they suck. Maidenform, (Check the Maidenform Web site for coupons), VanityFair and Warner were recommended mid-priced brands. These brands can be purchased at major department stores, as well as from discount shops—like Target--and online stores.

Here’s a list of recommended Web sites to purchase bras from:
If you’re like me, you have no idea what size bra you should be wearing. For getting measured and trying on different brands and styles, Nordstrom’s seems to be the popular choice.

For people in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. metro area, here’s a list of boutiques that do custom bra fittings:

  • Trousseau on Rt. 123 in Vienna, Va. does free fittings and alterations so your bras fit perfectly. (Great for women with “girls” of different sizes)

  • Whether you’ve got mountains or molehills. DorNe Corset Shoppe in downtown Silver Spring, Md. will help you find the right size.

  • Bra-la-la in Fulton, Md.—about 10-15 minutes east of Laurel—sells lingerie and more during store hours and by appointment.

  • Lingerie Lingerie at The Shops At Kenilworth in Towson, Md., has been in the business of sizing breasts for fifteen years. They also sell a Happy-Birthday pasties and thong set for $18.
And I though VS was the only place to shop for bras. Silly me.