An analogy, if you will.

tired-runner

I’m running a marathon. Why? Well, many years ago I earned many accolades for a 5k that I ran, and I do love my accolades. So much so that I decided I should be an ultra-runner. I knew that to do an ultra-run I had to run a marathon first, and so I signed up with much rejoicing.

From mile 1 of this marathon, I started to panic. I wasn’t ready. I had barely trained, and I learned quickly that the strategies to run well in a 5k were not going to work well for a marathon. Even more unsettling, the other racers made it clear within the first mile that they had trained well and were in much better shape than I was. Somehow, I struggled through like a rubbery-legged fawn and made it through the first few miles. Around the halfway point, I even received a little confidence boost from realizing I was still more or less keeping pace with the other runners. Some runners had already dropped out, and I felt a little special that I had decided to stay in.

Miles 13-25 though, were a bit horrific. At several points, I stopped running completely. Once I even ran in the completely wrong direction, until my exasperated marathon trainer grasped me by the shoulders and set me back in the right direction.

Almost every marathon runner considers stopping at some point, but I have considered it multiple times within every mile. I tell you, it is psychological torture. What makes it worse is that some runners that began at the same time as me, or even one to two hours after me, have already joyously crossed the finish line. In the meantime, craggy seasoned runners keep on running up next to me and saying “You feel bad now? Just wait until you begin the ultra-run! This marathon will seem like a light jog to your mailbox!” Others have told me that no one cares how I run this marathon, as long as I cross the finish line. It’s how I run the ultra-run that matters. While I get their point, that’s hardly motivating for me while I’m still dragging myself through this marathon.

You may be thinking, “Poor thing, she probably has a crappy marathon trainer.” But that’s not true. My marathon trainer is amazing. Other runners envy me. He makes me feel guilty because the guy frickin’ loves to run so much, and he really wants me to share that joy. He never asks me to run faster, because he wants me to want to run faster – to experience the pure joy of running. He says he can’t imagine doing anything else besides running.

But I can see myself doing almost anything, including several things that don’t involve running at all. Running isn’t my passion anymore. I don’t know if it ever was. I’m starting to wonder if I just enjoyed winning trophies at the end of my 5k, but I’m not sure if I actually enjoyed the run. I always cringe a little bit when people automatically assume that, because I’m currently running a marathon, my all-consuming passion is running. They like to say stuff like, “But of course you’re an amazing runner! You’re in a marathon!” But that doesn’t really mean anything. You’d be surprised at how relatively easy it is to sign up for a marathon even if you’re not qualified. It really just comes down to who is willing to put themselves through that torture. So please – stop assuming that 1) I love running and 2) I’m good at running. It makes my bad mile-times that much worse. I’m not being modest – I’ve been running for a while and, trust me, I’m not someone for a newbie runner to model their training plan after.

Now I’m on the last mile. People are yelling “Sprint! You can do it!” but all I want to do is crawl to the side, curl up in a ball, and die. I’ve firmly decided I never want to even attempt an ultra-run. I’m happy for those that do, but it’s not for me. I like the general idea of people out there running, and I’m thankful for the fortitude this marathon has given me for whatever I attempt in the future. But, I don’t feel any compulsion whatsoever to be a part of any future runs. If my marathon is really all about the ultra-run anyway, why should I care about finishing this marathon at all? I don’t plan to use any fragment of cardio capacity that I gained through this marathon for anything else I take on. Is it for the trophy, then? I don’t even really want the trophy anymore, because so many other people with this trophy are actually runners who completed this marathon for the joy of running. They trained, they persevered, they deserve it, and they’re rightly an inspiration to others. If people see my trophy, they will assume that I’m one of them, but that’s not really fair. And when I insist otherwise, I’ll just seem demure.

Maybe I should forget about the ultra-run, forget about the trophy, forget about feeling guilty about having no joy in running, and just focus on reaching that next tree. When I get there, I will try to find some lovely rock in the distance to run towards. At this point, the finish line is less about accomplishment and more about looking forward to being done with running. So I WILL finish this damn race, if only for freedom from the race.

 

The Cray Aunt Theory

Be honest with yourself – we all* have an aunt that’s a little quirky. “My crazy aunt” just rolls of the tongue, yes? No further argument needed. But how did cray aunts become such a widespread phenomenon? Especially cray aunts like myself with few signs of starting their own little litter, our existence is indeed  a profound mystery that has troubled scientists** for centuries.
I’m assuming that because we cray aunts exist, there has to be some utility to our existence. Otherwise, we would have gone extinct long ago. According to the newly developed Cray Aunt Theory***, not to be confused with the Gay Uncle Theory,  cray aunts serve several important functions that can increase the likelihood of a fragment of our cray genes being propagated via our adorbs little nieces and nephews. Consider the following:
1) Cray aunts are very unlikely to have important  plans on weekend nights, and  therefore serve as excellent last minute baby-sitters for their sibs. Bo nus: because we are blood related and naturally adore our siblings’ little tikes, we are less likely to text bae while babe chokes on a lego.
2) Cray aunts can serve as potent motivation for their siblings children, girls especially, to not grow up cray. Their parents have a real life, familiar example to point to when their daughters are being ornery – “Aunt Claire didn’t wear sundresses either. You don’t want to end up like your cray Aunt Claire, do you?” *Point to a pic of cray aunt* *child gasps in horror* … And everyone knows sundresses are the key to mating success, at least for southern females.
3) Cray doesn’t preclude aunts from making moneyzzz. When I become a Cray Rich Aunt (CRA), I plan to take my nieces and nephews on fun adventures. Skiing, hiking, cow-tipping, and when my nieces are old enough, we will drive around in my classic ‘stang and holler out the window at young attractive men. Cat-calling with your cray aunt is guaranteed to increase the numbers of dates you will land, although I cannot comment on the quality. But either way, our genes will march on.
These are just the first three, but I’m hopeful this intro will instigate a tsunami of double blind, placebo controlled clinical trials to investigate this further, and truly really establish causality.****
— EDITORIAL NOTES —
* Besides me. All my aunts are exemplary aunts. If they are cray in any way, it’s crazy awesomeeeee
**Or a scientist (me). And by “centuries” I mean “several hours”
***Galloswag 2016, personal observations
****Because everyone knows you don’t know anything unless it was done with a DBPCCT

A sincere appeal for the widespread adoption of FIDO

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FIDO – Forget* It and Drive On was introduced to me by my dear sister.. Danetté.. when I was in the throes of despair over some past event. I can’t remember the exact details, but I was upset about some interpersonal drama. Something like… “Why would he do that?” Or “Do you think she hates me now?” Or “Arrrggg I shouldn’t have said  that.” After listening to me with the patience of a serene gazelle, she told me flatly : “Clarice, let me introduce you to the concept of FIDO.”

Danetté then proceeded to explain a concept so shocking and revolutionary, it shook me to the #gallocore. And that is this – when something happens that’s negative, and there’s no clear action to take.. or you’ve already taken the action and it didn’t have the intended effect – instead of agonizing about it for days, weeks, months to come, Forget It and Drive On.

It’s so simple, but the simplicity is what makes it beautiful. Someone hurt your feels? FIDO. Worried that Bob overheard you telling Jim you don’t like Brenda? FIDO. Wished you hadn’t gone to grad school but went to acting school instead? FIDO.

I urge you all, in whatever walk of life with whatever anxieties you have (that you really can’t do anything about – I’m not talking about FIDOing your job tomorrow or FIDOing a friendship in which you need to ask forgiveness) to implement FIDO with the liberalism of a double Oreo fried in chocolate  sauce.

You’re welcome, world. But actually, thank Danetté. Or actually, thank whoever told Danetté. Or actually, I’m almost certain she heard it from someone in the  military,  SO THANK AMERICA!

— editorial note —
*I changed the actual acronym for the sake of propriety, but the core of the idea was maintained.

I like big guns and I cannot lie

What can I say, this is attractive *shrug emoji* jk.. kinda!

I’m tired of lying to myself and the world, and I will no longer live in a ratty dish cloth of guilt – I love me a man with musclezzzz.

 I know that to some, this confession seems ridiculous. Why would anyone feel guilty about  appreciating a good pair of latissimus dorsi? Well it seems to be a popular narrative among *some* communities that it’s a horrible thing to ever consider any feature of the opposite sex besides their personality. Bonus points if you can actually stand hanging out with them and enjoy the same food. But evaluate someone based on their looks?! *gasp* Be gone, you trollop!
  Even if you can’t relate to that, there’s another narrative among some people that goes something like this: On one hand, you have the beefy, unintelligent gym hounds who are obsessed with their bodies, and on the other hand, there are the intelligent, environmentally conscious, Prius-driving gentlemen who gravely dress their skinny bodies in worn leather and plaid, put on artsy hats, and discuss poetry at the local café. The choice:
1) A lumbering idiotic Neanderthal with six pack abs
2) A refined modern man who can loan you his pants in a pinch.
This my dear children, is a false dichotomy. Let me ‘splain.
For most of us, especially as we age, maintaining a really nice body is hard work. Letting your body deteriorate into limp noodles is easy. A consistently muscular body tells me that this stud has the discipline to set goals and live a consistent enough life to reach those goals. Discipline and drive are attractive. Hardly Neanderthal qualities.
–          If I care enough about someone to date or marry them, I want them to be around for a while. Exercising, unless taken to an excess, is healthy. A muscular man will be better able to protect me from bad guys and be useful (e.g. mow the lawn, chop wood shirtless (ow ow!), etc.) for a longer time, if he has muscles.
–          I have worked pretty hard and made sacrifices (oh the donuts that are still alive today because of my great discipline!) to be a lean mean machine. Yes, for shallow reasons – I like to oil my muscles and flex in front of a mirror for hours and hours – but it’s also just healthy (physically and mentally) and something I value in myself.  I would resent dating or marrying someone who couldn’t understand or support those goals. And the best situation would be someone who was an inspiration. We could spur each other on to better health and reaching new heights. Like literally, climb Mt. Everest together. Check out each other’s booties as we squat in unison at the gym. Make eyes at each other as we share a kale smoothie with two straws. Whatever.
So, now for the caveats.
–          Whether or not a guy has a nice body should not be the only or most important factor when you are considering whether or not to date him. All I’m saying is, it’s ok for it to be one factor of many.
–          To some weirdos, a muscular physique isn’t important at all. Fine, then WRITE YOUR OWN BLOG AND TELL US ALL ABOUT IT
–          There are many other things about a man’s looks aside from his degree of muscularity. Does he have dimples, a chiseled jaw, gleaming white teeth, eyes that sparkle only when they look at you, and a cleft chin? Oh, let us hope so. BUT, many of the points I’ve made only apply to physique, not genetic blessings of bone structure. So if you’re holding out for that cleft chin, you are shallow. Shame. Shame!!
–          Some men are strong and work out like beasts but don’t necessarily look very big, and some guys were just gifted with great bods. You know the type-  as long as they do two push-ups a week they look like Vin Diesel. Pfft okay. I’m talking in generalities. Again, a rockin’ bod shouldn’t necessarily be the first and foremost thing to consider. I just think it is worthy of factoring into an overall evaluation.
–          What I’m saying could apply to females too, although not for some of those features guys seem to value so dearly  — for example, a woman cannot do much naturally to change the size of her bosoms* while she is trying to stay healthy in other ways. The hour glass figure is just not something that all women can attain, sans plastic surgery. So if you’re a guy reading this, getting offended, and ready to angrily demand, “How would you like it if a guy had this attitude about female’s bodies?!” I’d say, “Calm down, Charlie Brown.” I think it would be perfectly reasonable for a strong muscular man to want a sleek tigress. To disqualify a woman because she’s not the right cup size… well that is indeed a bit shallow, because it has nothing to do with her character. Shame. Shame!!
In toto, I like men with muscles. Because I value health, drive, and self-discipline. And man bosoms are unseemly.
—- EDITORIAL NOTE —
*#galloblog is safe for the whole family

;)

My friends and I have spent an embarrassing amount of time* debating the true, deep meaning of the semi-colon-right-parenthesis, or as its better known, the simple and sassy ‘ 😉 ‘.

My friends.. Milo and Josiah**..  strongly contend that a wink is always a flirty thing. I contend – with the strength of a bear! – that winks are meant for teasing. Sometimes that teasing is flirting, and sometimes it’s just for funsies.

Even the names of winks give us a clue – the knowing wink, the conspiratorial wink…  Neither of these is supposed to convey “Hey gurl, I wanna get witchu.” They were designed to convey some light-hearted fun, some mischievous silly-sils if you will. I refuse to believe that every time a man engages in lively banter with me that he is flirting.

As a Woman Who Winks (WWW) I can say with firm certainty that my jokes and/or winks are not meant to convey my romantic or sexual interest. If they have been, I have put out an invitation to my Dad, my academic advisor, my undergraduate assistant, and everyone who lays eyes on my Facebook status updates. So.. no. Just stop.

One of my peripheral visions in life, that I’m nonetheless deeply committed to, is to make people lolz. I’m 100% sure that there are also men out there who share a similar commitment to inducing lolz on all sorts of people – some they may be attracted to, others they’re probably not. I WILL NOT over-interpret their jokes as some low key declaration of their personal attraction for me.

Yet we must deal with the Milo’s and Josiah’s in our life, who apparently think there is no such thing as innocent fun in the world. Therefore, I propose that the ambiguous wink be supplemented with extra emojis to clear the air. Please consider the following:

😉 + 😀  = [platonic] “Heehee”

😉 + 😥 = “I have a hot pepper in my eye”

😉 + ❤ = “Hey gurl/boi, I wanna get witchu”

So WWW and MWW, stand strong! Keep winking with wild abandon! And if you meet a Milo or Josiah.. just be prepared to supplement your winks so they don’t “get the wrong idea,” as some would say.

—- EDITORIAL NOTES —-

*Because any amount of time discussing this in detail is embarrassing.

**Real content, fake names. No one’s reputation should have to suffer through association with #galloblog.

Friend zoned, bro!

If you agreed to wear matching shirts, you def don’t have a chance romantically. AND THAT’S PERFECTLY OKAY

 

Recently I posed a question to my adoring facebook community :

“If someone is interested in you but you’re 90% sure you’re going to friend zone them, is it more considerate to go on at least one date-like activity to “give it a chance,” or tell them from the very beginning you’re not romantically interested so they don’t waste their time and $?”

Well, this initiated quite the flurry of comments. I was a little dismayed that several commenters ranged from pity to contempt toward the unnamed, potentially friend-zoned man in question. In my mind, friend-zoning should not be seen as some shameful insult. Short of marrying the person, I  see a good solid friend-zone as the best possible outcome to hope for.

Think about the scores of people that most single people will date before they find that special someone (if they ever do). We have to assume that there’s a very high likelihood that any given date is not going to be “the one.” If a date ends in “let’s just be friends,” it’s not a horrible failure. It’s an overwhelming success in ruling them out, and saving you precious hours of sad and angry interweb stalking. I’m probably going to be accused of being anti-marriage or a bitter old hag, but I’m totally serious about this: I think it’s almost as equally worthy of celebration to leave a person who is wrong for you than to stay with the person who is right for you.

Please consider this: less romance = less drama = less weirdness post break up = more real friend potential. So, if you become skilled at extracting yourself from cloying romance as quickly as possible, you greatly increase your chances at actually developing a wonderful, joyous, platonic relationship.

**Quick caveat: I’m assuming that friend-zoning actually means the friend-zoner actually does want to be your friend. If they say “let’s be friends,” and mean “please stop talking to me you disgusting creep,” then yes that’s a little shameful. Although still, not the end of the world really. Not everyone is going to be wildly attracted to you, and some people may actually be actively put off by you. Sure, it’s not pleasant – but why waste any more of your time creeping on them and being angry? Do you really wish that you had the secret code of charm and looks to snag someone who was turned off by your SOP? Have some dignity, and save your time for someone who truly appreciates your friendship… or even falls madly in love with you. Either one. (See, I’m not completely bitter.)

😉