Jim Beam with a side of breast milk..

PQ wrote:

Sean,

I am 31 years old and all of my friends are the same age or older.  I am writing you because they feel I am not as mature as they are and here’s why:  I go to happy hour several nights a week with work people while my friends are married and go home to husbands/wives/children.  I live in the city and they chose suburbs.  I live in the city because I like night life.  Even though I work the typical 8-5 job, I go out several nights per week, I have hangovers twice or three times per week, and I can hold my own when drinking.  I also smoke like a chimney when I drink and all of my friends quit in their twenties.

We were all debating this last weekend because all of my friends wanted to go out at 8 and be home by eleven and I got upset.  I said they were growing weak and not essentially being cool anymore.  Several of my friends took offense and sat back down to argue.  They said that they have marriages and kids to focus on now and they wished I’d grow up and realize that there are things more important than drinking, smoking, and going out.  I took offense to THAT and said they needed to realize that 30 doesn’t mean you’re a wrinkly old bag who can’t hang with friends.  Needless to say, it turned into a big disagreement.

What do you think?  Am I being immature by getting plastered a few nights a week, smoking, and staying out, or am I just a single woman doing what single women do?  I don’t think there is a cutoff for being young, do you?

PQ

 

PQ

Neither side is wrong in this case PQ, but your late nights, smoking, and drinking heavily enough to have a hangover (several nights a week) may be a reason you’re single…and with good reason.  Your friends ARE right in saying that there are more important things than “tonight’s party” as you get older and if your whole week centers around nights out, drinking, and smoking, chances are that potential suitors may see you as too immature to handle the normalcy of a relationship.

Despite what you may know about relationships, they’re all built on the idea of forming a routine.  Even relationships that rebel against being routine, develop a routine to handle the rebellion against routine things.  A relationship is building a foundation for a future life which will most likely mean the people involved go out less, see friends less, and start focusing on the things important to them and their future.  Kids are also a factor.  If you have kids to watch in the morning, the LAST thing you should be doing is going out and drinking heavily at night (I can understand a “work party thing”and having a drink or two..but not seven..).  You need to be constantly interactive with the kids and not just let them do their own thing while you lay on the couch with aspirin and Gatorade.  Having parental/spousal duties is completely acceptable.  You being single is also completely acceptable, but you AND your friends shouldn’t judge each other for your lifestyle choices.  If you want to be single, be single and enjoy your nights out, your happy hour induced hangovers, and your smoking (which I as a guy find to be a huge turnoff).  However, if you’re looking for a relationship, you’ll need to evaluate the path you’re on and work to change some things.  I’d advise you to quit smoking and get into shape, to cut back on happy hours, to develop a regular sleep pattern (go to bed at a certain time and wake up at a certain time regardless of what day it is), and to really figure out how to make a relationship a focus.  Without these traits, it’ll be very difficult to find a guy that will stick around because guys (especially as they age) desire stability..and if you don’t have it, you’ll find yourself single for years to come.  There isn’t a cutoff for feeling young..however, there IS a point in which you’ll either have to choose to be a responsible adult or stay on the same path.  Hopefully you find being a responsible adult to be much more rewarding.  I know I do.

Sean

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Things go right

Laurie wrote:

Sean,

No matter how hard I try, things never go right for me.  I want to be an model, but I’ve been told several dozen times that I am not tall enough, not thin enough, not pretty enough, and it’s starting to make me think I am cursed or something.  I have a good full time job as a nursing assistant, but I want, REALLY want to be a model.  After four years of not getting gigs, I don’t know what else to do.  Any help you could provide would be helpful.

Laurie

model boat person
I don't want to be plastic..I could never be a model..

 

Laurie,

This is going to surprise many readers, but I’m going to give you this to start with:  When we were kids, many of our parents told us we could be whatever we wanted…they were wrong..for the most part.

Yes, this may be a shock to you, but we don’t live in a perfect world and there are FAR too many factors that prevent many of us from being “whatever we want to be” in life.  There are the select few that make their dreams come true (American Idol, Kardashians, Disney actors, etc.,) but it’s not without it’s fair share of controversy (Kardashian’s have money and a sex tape to thank for their fame, Disney actors usually have very rich and obsessive parents, etc.,).  If you want to be whatever you want, you’ll more than likely need to give up who you are to do it.  Now, what if you don’t get your dream job, but can find something that incorporates aspects of your dream job into a different field?

I loved being a radio DJ.  I spent 6 wonderful years in radio and I said goodbye after my radio station changed formats because I knew that in today’s world, I’d have to sell my soul to a company like Clear Channel or be settling to work for a crap radio station here in the Twin Cities.  I left radio and hoped to still be able to have an audience.  Now, I work in retail at a Headquarters of a tool retailer and I blog.  I have a new audience and a new way to be heard (and even to share music once in awhile).  I knew people that left that wanted to be in radio SO badly that they wouldn’t even take a chance on any other type of job.  They simply floated along, searching for their dream job..not realizing that a different job could potentially open up totally new opportunities for them.  One friend of mine left radio (despite loving it) and went out to work for a retailer in California.  When that retailer had an opening for someone in the audio and video production department, my friend applied and got it.  Now, after 4 years, the job is something my friend would more than likely never leave.

I am not saying give up on being a model with all of this.  I am saying find something you like to do that allows you the time and money to still pursue model gigs.  Maybe it’s starting off doing model work for a hospital’s advertising department, maybe it’s getting into bit roles on hospital dramas, maybe it’s doing the nursing thing and having a management team look for model gigs for you.  In any scenario, if you’re ONLY focused on being a model, you’re missing on possibilities to get yourself out there and open other doors for yourself.  You’re not cursed, you just need to take off the blinders and realize the possibilities you have.

Sean

Restructuring

I’ve come to the conclusion that we are all essentially LEGO products on a human scale.  Do you remember playing with LEGOS as a kid?  You’d built your “super awesome pirate lair of terror” and three days later, tear it down and built it into a bunny (it was an AWESOME bunny, but still..a bunny..).

We all do the same thing in life.  Think of our lives as a LEGO playset and our physical “self” as the large grey/green baseplate that each set is built upon.  Each experience in our lives either adds a piece to our playset, removes a piece from our playset, or causes a full restructuring and we reshape ourselves into something different.  If we’re hurt, maybe we build some walls or put up shields.  If we are alone, we add a few more people to the playset.  If we WANT to be alone, we remove the people from the playset.  If we are overwhelmed, we tear down walls and start fresh.

Where we fail at our LEGO lives is when we go in a direction that goes against what we really need.  For example, if someone goes through a rough breakup, the last thing they should be doing is jumping into another relationship.  By doing this, that person is essentially putting a self-destruct date on the relationship because, no matter what they may feel at the time, they’re not ready.  No one is mentally able to jump from relationship to relationship without first restructuring. Rather than taking your “playset” and adding a “new playset” to it (so to speak), we should be taking stock of what we have.  We should ask ourselves how our LEGO guy’s legs got put on backward, how his helmet got cracked, and where the hell that little red laser/stick/staff thingy went to.  We need to evaluate ourselves and what we have before involving someone else’s emotions.

Many of us are alone..truly alone in our lives, and we simply seek the adventure of a “new playset” from time to time, but if we’re involving sex, it’s almost impossible not to eventually be emotionally involved.  If we’re emotionally involved without first restructuring, we’re risking someone else’s emotional well being for the sake of our own.  It’s not right.  After a difficult period in our lives, we need to set our friends aside for a second and completely deconstruct ourselves, then start again from a virtually blank plate.  Adding a shield or building a wall doesn’t help if there’s nothing sturdy around it.

I hope this post wasn’t too hard to follow.  For those of you that never had a LEGO playset, here’s a visual:

Building blocks are an example of bottom–up de...
This is one complicated life..

Home or gym?

I hate P90x commercials.  Haaaate them. Yes, I know that any type of activity that gets people active is a good thing, but P90x (plus the other at home video classes) will never offer the benefit of an actual gym (unless you have an actual FULL gym at home) and I hate it that they try to brainwash people into thinking it will.

The biggest drawback to the gym?  Pricing and crowding.  Lifetime and the YMCA charge slightly less than your kidney for a membership and offer nothing more than an LA Fitness or Gold’s Gym (unless a eucalyptus smelling sauna is HUGE in your book), so if price is an issue, shop around.

That said, let’s look at the PROS and CONS of a gym membership:

Gym Membership

PRO-Trainers that actually have a degree to help you work out the right way.  You’re not being led by Sheila or Tony who just took a weekend acting class and came in for a video shoot.

CON-Busy points throughout the day.  After work may be a little more busy and if you have social anxiety, you’ll need to plan around it.  If you like the social aspect, then this would be a PRO instead.

PRO-Focus.  Being at the gym will make you more goal oriented.  It limits distractions and your removes your ability to just relax on the couch.

CON-Driving to gym.  This can mean you go out of your way or you have to leave your warm and cozy house on a cold day to go work out.

PRO-Equipment.  Yes, some gym locations have issues keeping their equipment 100% operational, but 99% of the time it’s in tip top shape and you’d have to have a HUGE house to build in everything you need for a proper workout.  Some stretchy bands, a hand weight and a step square are not the way to meet long term fitness goals.

CON-Gym hygiene.  Some people just don’t know how to wear deodorant, wipe down equipment, or be clean at the gym.  However, these people are also disgusting on other places as well (work, church, etc), so not going to the gym doesn’t make you safer.

Gym wins.
At Home Workout

PRO-Solitude.  If you’re grossly overweight or have self-confidence issues, you may feel more comfortable at home where it’s just you and Tony/Sheila on TV.

CON-No Long term benefits.  Once you’ve completed the video on the different levels, that’s it.  You can do the video over, but if you’re really pushing yourself to be healthy, you need to have the accessibility that only a gym provides.

PRO-Home.  You’re able to relax when you want to, you can answer your phone or grab a snack, etc.,  For anyone with serious goals though, this is a HUGE CON.  You should be focused on your workout and limiting distractions.  When you allow a distraction, you’re limiting your progress.

CON-No trainers.  I don’t care if Tammy is a “trainer to the stars”.  If Tammy just took a weekend Crossfit certification, she’s not a real trainer and I won’t be asking any questions to help my workout because she doesn’t have proper training and therefore, can’t give the proper answers.  Also, she’s on the TV, so there’s that whole roadblock with asking questions..

PRO-No fees.  Unless you count the “3 easy payments of $49.99” (or whatever) for the video set and three bands (plus the autographed water bottle), there is no monthly fee. You can give up at any time and pay nothing.

CON-No external motivators.  Unless you’ve decked out a workout room as a full gym, you don’t have any audio or visual external motivators which can make it easier to “just skip tonight” and do other things.  When you’re at the gym you’re not there to talk on your phone or to relax, you’re there to bust your ass and see some results.

At Home Workout loses.

A gym doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg and it certainly shouldn’t cost more than $50 per month (if it is, you’re being robbed), so finding an affordable way to make some long term adjustments to your personal fitness is as easy as finding the gym that is right for you.

Again, anything that gets people moving is a great tool, but if a long term benefit is what you’re looking for, you’re better off in a gym.

It comes and goes in waves.

BBT wrote:

Sean,

I have a dilemma.  I was seeing this girl and we talked literally everyday.  I would text her goodnight every night before bed too.  After a few weeks, we had sex the night before I left town for work.  When I got back, we met up again for dinner and she told me she loved me.  I downplayed it a bit, mainly because I didn’t want to hurt her by telling her it was too soon for me to develop those feelings, but also because it was a really awkward conversation.  She went on to explain that she’d been hurt years ago and didn’t know if she’d ever love someone, but she opened her heart to me. 

I finally broke down and told her I didn’t feel that way yet and I asked her what I could do to make it comfortable for her, but she didn’t want to talk about it anymore.  She got this kind of hurt look on her face, but smiled it away and we finished our night.  The next morning, she scurried out of my apartment like a ghost and hasn’t answered my calls since then.  I am concerned that I may have broken her heart, but I don’t know what else I could have done to ease the letdown of telling her I didn’t feel the same yet.  How do I explain to her that for me, those feelings take time?

BBT

English: Boling water in colour
Don't cook naked.

BBT

I don’t think there is any easy way to tell someone you don’t yet share the same feelings in a relationship.  It’s like boiling water waiting for the pasta.  Let’s say you reach for the pasta and accidentally knock the pot of boiling water onto the floor.  Whether you’re actually burned or not, the chances of you refilling the same pot and making pasta are rare.  More than likely, you’ll just move on to something easier.

Unfortunately, the same can be said for some people in relationships.  They “fall” so fast that after only a short time, they’re boiling over with love.  When they have their pot bumped off of the stove, they hit the ground and rather than figure out how to deal with things and make it work, they back away and find someone who will fall in love with them just as easily.  These new relationships rarely work and this type of mentality is a recipe for disaster.

Now I am not saying she did anything wrong by loving you, just as you did nothing wrong by letting her know that you hadn’t developed those feelings yet.  However, rather than talking about it, she seems to have simply pushed you out of her life.  What I’d recommend is calling her one last time and talking about things.  If you have to leave a message, explain to her that you do care about her, but your feelings are still developing and (if you want to still continue to get to know her) explain that you’d like a chance to talk about things in person with her.  If she agrees, then you’re off on the right foot.  If she doesn’t call within a week, you’re just better off moving on.

Sean

Rich bastards

Anonymous wrote:

Hello,

I have something I’d like to share.  I had been dating this girl (Minnesodad says: we’ll call her Lisa because without a name this would be confusing) for two months before she decided to meet my parents.  Now, let me back up a step further.  I am, what people have stereotyped as a hipster.  I wear skinny jeans, cardigans, rebel against commercialism, and I ride a bike 350 days out of the year.  I live in a tiny “art loft”, don’t own a TV, and I eat mainly vegetarian food (but I can’t give up bacon).  Lisa is the same way. We’re happy hispters.

Anyway, I took her to meet my parents and everything fell apart.  You see, my parents are the exact opposite of me.  They are both very well off, they have the latest and greatest of everything, are staunch Republicans, and don’t approve of my lifestyle at all.  They’ve always tried to do things like pay for things for me (I let them buy my MacBook instead), buy me a house when I graduated college,  and so-on, but I have always wanted to life my life for myself and not take things from them since it goes against my principles.  I still, however, love them.  After all, they ARE my parents.

So upon pulling up to the house in the car we rented, Lisa lets out a loud sigh.  I can tell she’s not approving of the large suburban house in front of her, so I lean over and say, “My parents live a different life than I do, but it’s still important for me to introduce you guys.”  She nods approval and we go to the door.  I was always taught to ring the doorbell when visiting, even though I grew up in that house, so I reached for the doorbell when Lisa said, “You can’t even walk into your own house?”  I explained things to her as my mom opened the door with a smile.

My parents were incredibly hospitable. We had some cocktails, a really nice dinner that they’d even gone through the trouble of making sure was vegetarian, and they tried to make conversation as best they could, but Lisa had this depressing smirk on her face and came off as very cold and uninterested.  Every question they asked her was met with a sigh and a long pause before she would talk.

After a few hours, we left and as we got into the car, she exploded.  She went off about how my parents were “rich bastards” just “flaunting their greed” and how it made her skin crawl just to be around them.  She said if they were so rich, they should be handing out money to people like us to make our lives better.  I defended them and added that if I wanted their money, I could have taken it at any time, but I feel my generation is too much of the “do it for me” type and I wanted to make my own path in life.  She disagreed. 

We’re not together anymore.  My friends sided with me, her friends sided with her.  My parents felt bad that it went down the way that it did, but I also felt bad that they were treated that way by someone I also cared about.  I guess the lesson learned was that sometimes people don’t see eye to eye and there’s nothing that can be done to change it.  I’ve since moved on and am still forging my own path, and new love.

No advice needed here Minnesodad.  Just wanted to share a story.

Anonymous

Anonymous,

I am glad you took the time to write in to me.  I am sorry your relationship ended, but I am glad you were able to move

on.  I think the younger generations have suffered with the “do it for me” mentality and, hipster or not, they need a wake up call.

Rich, poor, healthy, sick..whatever your situation, it’s okay to get help (monetary or otherwise) when you need it, but help shouldn’t ever be a permanent thing.  It’s strictly situational.  When you’re able to stand back up on your own two feet, you need to think and act for yourself and stop relying on other people to live your life for you.  Help is help, but no one should have to fund someone else’s life.  Yet, we all take advantage of some of the situations we’re given.  It could be unnecessarily taking money from loved ones, abusing a welfare system, making bad business deals, taking advantage of a spouse, or even cheating people of their health.  If everyone would just stop taking advantage of each other, we’d all be in a better position.  It’s time we all put on our big person shoes and get to work forging our own path in life.

Now, about those skinny jeans…

Skinny denim
Pardon me, is that your testicles I hear screaming for air?

Sean

Sludge

Kristy wrote:

Sean,

I’m trying to get into the “protein thing” after workouts but they all taste like crap.  I’ve tried MuscleTech (too sweet), two GNC brands (chocolate and vanilla taste like butt), the Jay Robb stuff (grainy and bad aftertaste), and this hemp protein from my health food store.  Am I doomed to a life of bad protein or should I just give up my search and give up protein?

Kristy

 

Kristy,

Don’t give up.  There ARE good protein powders out there, but unfortunately people taste things differently, so you’ll need to search until you find one that works.  Two brands that I always recommend trying are Optimum Nutrition and Isopure.  I don’t know what these guys do, but they’ve always been the top for taste in my opinion.  MyoFusion from Gaspari is also a decent flavor too, and all three of those brands mix (with a shaker) and blend well.  GNC’s Wheybolic 60 Strawberry flavor is also one I enjoy.

I have a blending pro-tip as well:  NEVER use ice.  Instead, use frozen fruits/veggies and even frozen blocks of 2% milk/juice to make your smoothies.  It makes a great dessert/meal replacement, and it adds the perfect consistency without being something that tastes watered down or has ice cube leftovers. I sometimes chug my proteins after a workout, but in the morning or if it’s early enough at night, I make the smoothies.

Some women fear protein because they think it’ll make them magically get huge muscles.  This is totally false and scientifically impossible.  While drinking the “wrong” protein (like a gainer-type protein for people looking to drastically increase muscle mass) will cause you to gain a large amount of weight from the caloric boost , “regular protein” like whey protein (for post workout) or casein (for early morning meal replacements or late night, pre-bedtime protein)  is essential for pre/post-workout routines.  In addition to aiding in muscle repair, they can also be a nutritious addition to any weight loss plan.

Many nutrition stores have samples this time of year, so stop in and try some today!

 

Sean