Tag Archives: animorphs

I Will Always Be the Worst at Crushes

Given all of the stuff that’s been going on with my EBOOK (yes, did you not notice yet? I HAVE AN EBOOK. IT IS HERE AND EVERYWHERE ELSE I’VE LINKED IT. EBOOKEBOOKEBOOK).

Anyway, I trailed off up there because I wanted to promote shit (buy my eBook. WRITE A REVIEW)… given all my dating eBook stuff, I figured I’d talk to you guys a bit more about what I’m like when I’m single and attempting to date people I meet not off the internet.

If I could describe my lifelong experience with dating in one sentence, it would be “Awkward desperation with bouts of irrational overconfidence.” Confident or self-hating, in retrospect I am embarrassed by all of it. Broken down, I’d describe the phases like this –

My first crush on a character in an Animorphs book. This was safer than having a crush on a real boy, because I didn’t even have to sexualize my crush or try to lure him with my own sexuality. Along with being not real, the character was trapped in the body of a hawk. Some of the most romantic and intimate moments of my life were had with Tobais, the hawk-boy, in my own imagination at age 12. I kind of wish I’d stayed in this phase forever. Shit was relatively uncomplicated.

Most subsequent crushes were on boys who didn’t speak to me. If my first real crush knew my name, it was only because people were making fun of me (more on my first crush here). Crushes from afar continued for most of my teens. My understanding of sexuality came from this one ten second clip of this episode of Dawson’s Creek that I saw in the “TV room” in my basement where Joey and Dawson were making out (while laying down!) on the bed. I replayed that scene in my head, imagining all the boys who would never kiss me (or even know my name) for the next 6 years. I didn’t watch many PG-13 movies.

Eventually I discovered gay boys… this was the best part of high school. Gay boys are one of the best things that can happen to fat and/or awkward and/or theater girls. All those things tend to go together, but sometimes it’s a mix and match. The first time I met one of the gay boys, I was in love with him for about two years. The thing about gay boys is that no matter how much frustration you feel because you really wanted that whole Joey/Dawson make out thing to happen with them, you can’t fault them for giving you a little bit of hope and confidence while all of the other boys are busy not knowing your name and trying to recreate scenes from Jackass.

Around 18 I started “dating”, or something like that. I’d call it hooking up, but it often didn’t get that far. Going to Christian college added another level of complication to things. I have thought more than once in my life, “Was that Bible Study like, as friends… or did it mean more?”

At a certain point, I did start making out with people and was like “OMG IS THIS WHAT LOVE IS LIKE?” It took me a few years to learn that no, love is not like that. Love is boring and wonderful in a “let’s watch 10 episodes of SVU in a row because we both appreciate Ice T and sex crimes” kind of way. These relationships were often more exhilarating than real love. I could spend 27 million hours dissecting them with my BFFs. I think I spent the fall of 2003 to the fall of 2010 trying to decipher about four sentences boys said to me with my best friend. I didn’t realize until way later that love affair I was having was really with my best friend, and her ability to dissect one sentence (usually, “If I DID want a girlfriend, it would DEFINITELY be you.”) into 43 different possible interpretations. 

“I’m good at sex!” I look back on this period and feel the most embarrassed. After my first real (and pretty terrible) relationship, I decided to overcompensate for my resulting feelings of inadequacy by becoming this “sexually liberated” 20-something. I’d also lost some weight, so I was drunk on some newfound self confidence (and just plain drunk because my tolerance was severely lowered from starving myself). I thought I was awesome at dirty talk; I thought everyone was hitting on me; I sent hundreds of drunk texts that ranged from aggressively slutty to aggressively crazy… I’m surprised any of my friends who knew me during this period still speak to me.

After graduating college and entering life in the real world, I realized having crushes feels just like high school all over again. This weird thing happened after I’d gone through my I’m-too-sexy-for-my-dresses-that-are-a-reasonable-length phase. I realized that the only way I’m comfortable with a romantic situation is when I have already made out with a person. This means that I have to make out with a person BEFORE I know I’m into him. This means I have a window of about one hour after meeting someone and even then, it’s helpful if I’m drunk. A lot of my “relationships” have started with me thinking, “this blurry figure inching towards my face seems cute and cool. I want some cheese fries.”

Having made out with someone is my opportunity to override my tendency to become the same awkward idiot I was at 16. If I meet someone I like and spend enough time around them pre-make out, I’m doomed. For example, In my history of “real” jobs, I’ve had giant crushes on two previous coworkers (Please note that I said PREVIOUS, current coworkers. I read that sexual harassment poster in the kitchen). The first giant crush happened despite the fact that I had a boyfriend. Due to a combination of guilt and fear that I would forget about said boyfriend and kiss-attack my coworker’s beautiful face, I talked about my boyfriend non-stop. “Oh, you also like Ray Lamontagne? Yeah, I LOVE him too. You know who doesn’t like Ray? My boyfriend doesn’t, but god… you’re great – uh, I mean he’s great. Ray Lamontagne is great. Ha ha… ha? Ok, I should go call my boyfriend now. I have a boyfriend, who I love and have to call.”

The second giant crush was even worse. I had to spend a lot of time with this person, and if he ever thinks about me he probably thinks I was a kinda dumb. Conversations were something like, “Hey Tiff, want to meet at eight?” “Really? Do you think that it would be ok considering that we work together? Wait? What? Oh, yes, at EIGHT. Sorry, I’m so stupid I thought you said… nevermind. Eight is perfect. Gooooooo company we both work at where I have to see you every day!”

In hopes that it was all the coworker-ness getting in the way of my “game”, I willed myself to develop a crush on an acquaintance in my group of friends. It was shockingly worse than liking a coworker. At least with the coworkers I had an excuse to start a conversation. Nothing oozes sex appeal like saying talking about work. “So. Our margins this week. Am I right? Your place or mine?” With the acquaintance I found myself edging creepily over to the circle he’d be in, chugging my drink in hopes that it would give me a shred of confidence. Weekend after weekend, I’d have chugged so many vodka sodas while trying to come up with a way to start conversation, that by the time I had my opportunity I’d be so drunk I was teetering back and forth on my heels trying to come up with something to say. He probably thinks of me as That Drunk Girl Who Never Remembers What I Do For  A Living Because It’s The Only Question She Ever Asks Me.

This is why online dating was great for me! Remember how I have an eBook about online dating? Seriously though, if you can manage to have one non-awkward conversation with your crush, I applaud you. You are doing better than I ever did.

Peace, love and Joey/Dawson kisses, 


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Crash Dieting 101

The summer between fourth and fifth grade I started to ‘develop.’ I didn’t notice until the incredibly mortifying moment that my mother mentioned to me it was probably time to get a training bra which, by the way, is just an uglier version of a bra… why does society do this to awkward pre-teens? After the training bra incident, I started to keep track of all the weird shit my body was doing. We had just gotten cable, so I spent most of that summer watching TV marathons instead of playing outside like I normally would and my body began to reflect the lifestyle change. I noticed sometime in the middle of the summer that my belly had grown round, and protruded from all my child sized clothing.

I didn’t really think about the fact that I was fat until 6th grade when I developed my first crush on a real boy. I say a ‘real boy,’ because my first intense feelings for a member of the opposite sex were for Tobias, a character in the Animorphs book series who happened to be stuck in the body of a hawk. He was totally emo about being stuck as a hawk and missing his family and I was super into that. Anyway, in my 6th grade drama class I met this boy named (I kid you not) Clay Cox. He was popular, he dated one of my neighbors and he was an actor – he was on this Cartoon Network morning show where pre-teens reviewed cartoons on Saturday morning.

I’m positive Clay didn’t know I existed. He made fun of me once and I cherish the memory to this day. I realized that unlike Tobias, whose every thought and feeling I could know just by purchasing the next Animorphs book, I would actually have to get Clay to talk to me in order to learn anything about him – other than his thoughts on Johnny Bravo, which I knew very well since I immediately started waking up on Saturday mornings to watch his Cartoon Network show. I looked at my neighbor and wondered how she got Clay to talk to her. She was blonde, popular and a cheerleader – that definitely wasn’t happening for me. But, she was also skinny and my dad had recently lost a ton of weight doing the Atkins Diet. I was so sure that Clay and I were meant to be that I cracked open the book and decided at the ripe age of 12 to cut out carbs.

That was a terrible idea. My weight ballooned and by the beginning of 7th grade I weighed more than I do now. My family moved long before I ever slimmed down and got a chance to talk to Clay. In my attempts to enter a relationship with another 6th grader, I entered what has become a life-long relationship between me, my scale, body dysmorphia and crash diets.

I’m not one to lament this struggle, because for the most part I’ve been able to keep my weight in the ‘normal’ range since I turned 18. When I was younger I controlled it with a combination of seeing a nutritionist and bulimia and now I’ve moved onto healthier habits like exercise and weighing myself regularly to stay on track. The being said, I’ve also tried almost every crash diet under the sun.

If you’re considering going on a diet for summer, don’t! Diets are stupid and you’re much better off counting calories and working out. But, if you’re not going to listen to me here’s my advice as far as diets I’ve tried that work and those that really, really don’t:

Successful: The Depression Diet

Open the fridge, look at the food, decide you don’t have the energy to deal with choices and that maybe if you don’t eat for long enough your heart will stop beating and this cruel life will end. Close the fridge. Go upstairs and listen to the Dirty Projector’s What I See on repeat and cry.

Unsuccessful: The Atkins Diet 

The Atkins Diet posits that if you cut out carbohydrates for an extended period of time your body will enter something called Ketosis. Ketosis causes you to burn fatty acids instead of glucose for your energy, resulting in significant weight loss. The only approved medical use for a Ketonic diet is for people trying to reduce epileptic fits, but the diet has remained popular for a number of years probably because it’s one of the only diet that encourages you to eat a shit ton of meat and cheese. This sounds like a lot of fun, until you actually experience ketosis. Entering Ketosis SUCKS. Your stomach feels like it’s full of venomous acid from hell and you get a fever.

The diet sort of feels like you’ve been tricked into joining Scientology – in order to test and see if you’ve entered Ketosis, you can pee on these ‘Keto-Sticks’ that look a lot like the sticks you use to test the chlorine level of a pool. Imagine saying to your friends, “I’ve almost entered the Ketosis stage!” at dinner while you chow down on a plate of sausage.

Successful: The Breakup Diet

Similar to the depression diet, The Breakup Diet involves a lot of crying and starving oneself. It does include two new elements; alcohol and cardio. Don’t rush to the gym just yet – by cardio I mean sex with strangers you meet at the bar where you’re drinking alone. Need some extra thinspiration? Arrange for a meet up with the ex to exchange personal belongings, that should buy you at least another 5 pound loss.

Unsuccessful: Eating Disorders

While long-term dedication to anorexia and bulimia might lead to more permanent types of weight loss, it can also lead to hospitalization. Not fun. What is fun is trying each of these eating disorders for a few days or weeks at a time. Did you know there’s one called Spitting and Chewing? You can eat anything you want as long as you don’t swallow it!

Successful: The Undiagnosed Food Allergy

Nothing solves late night eating like waking up at three in the morning and getting violently ill because you ingested something that you’re actually super allergic to. After about a year of this, I can guarantee that you’ll be so scared of eating that you won’t even think twice before turning down desert.

Unsuccessful: The Austin and Tiffany Vegan Challenge

It started with a couple of tipsy texts from me at the airport on my way home to Thanksgiving Break. “Austin, I bet if I go vegan for the holidays I will lose a bunch of weight.” “OMG, I’ll do it with you. I bet I’ll beat you.” We made a bet that the first person to break the vegan diet would owe the other one $100. The problem with this diet was that more often than not, we’d drunkenly decide we had the night off so we could eat Spicy Specials. Like eating disorders, I’m sure veganism works for the more dedicated, self-controled individual. As a crash diet, I wouldn’t recommend it unless you really want to make yourself hate tofu.

This post is getting long, here’s a list of some other ones I’ve tried:

Successful: Bill Phillip’s Body for Life; Suzanne Somers’ Somersize or maybe that was because I grew a few inches that summer; Getting a parasite from a burger place in Boston; The flu; The only drink coffee and eat one apple every other day diet; Adderall.

Unsuccessful: The We Just Eat Salad until we go to Walmart late at night and buy donuts diet (aka- Freshman Year of college); The Jillian Michaels book that I tried for one day and then realized I don’t want to wake up at 6 am to do circuit training at the gym nor do I want to make canned tuna a core part of my diet; Juice cleanses; All raw vegetable cleanses; Waiting until I hear my stomach make a noise to know that I’m hungry; Giving up sugar for Lent; Eating whatever I want and loving myself just how I am.

Honorable Mention for being the only diet that I know of that is also a cult: The Weigh Down Diet.

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