Thursday, January 28, 2010

Love of Friends Or: How I learned to stop worrying and start loving Valentines Day

I am always single on Valentines Day. Ok, I’ve been single pretty much my whole life, but I do date, and I’ve never even been seeing someone over the Hallmark holiday. I can’t say that I’m particularly embittered towards Valentines Day. After all, any holiday that results in discounted chocolate is fine with me, but I have had better days in February.

There was the year in college where every single one of my 5 roommates was in a relationship. On the 14th, they all did cute date things. I studied for Econ. The next year, I worked. Then last year, everything changed.

See, Valentines Day isn’t just a problem holiday for those of us who are single, it’s just as bad for couples. All of a sudden there’s the question of are we the type of couple who does something romantic, or are we the type who don’t make a big deal out if it, because “we don’t need a specified day to show that we care about each other!” And then there’s the terrible conundrum of what to do if you’ve just started seeing someone? It’s too early to be overly romantic, do you even acknowledge it with a gesture? Or do you ignore the holiday completely?

The minute we get out of Elementary School, Valentines Day is a minefield thrown into one of the most depressing months of the year. February is cold and dark, and you are so over winter, and chances are most of us single girls have given up on shaving our legs altogether at this point, so who in their right mind wants to feel romantic?!

My amazing friend and coworker, Regina Anderson recognized this problem. She saw her friends, single and committed, all stressed out over Valentines Day. So, she threw a party. What started as a potluck at her house, has grown into an annual event. Last year, over 300 people crowded into the WYEP studio in the Southside, to eat, drink, view and purchase art, and listen to local bands and dj’s. It was the best Valentines Day I have ever had.

This year, I got in on the planning committee, and have been working on this event with the rest of the LoF team since June. Love of Friends 4 is going to be even bigger and better than last year. The most amazing thing about this event, is that it’s all volunteer based, and supported by our circles of friends. The artists showing their work, the bands playing, the people in charge of food, the handmade tote bags we’re making out of old t-shirts as the goody bags this year. All of this is possible because of our incredible and talented friends. This is a homemade event, and there is a lot of love put into it. I have never had more fun in the planning process of an event this size before.

Here are the details:

Sunday, February 14, 2010 at the Hunt Armory in Shadyside.

8pm – Midnight.

$14 for admission, $25 if you want one of the aforementioned tote-goody bags.

Did I mention that the proceeds benefit the Midwife Center, and Planned Parenthood of Western PA’s Action Fund? Two awesome organizations here in Pittsburgh.

Your admission gets you drinks (open bar, no drink tickets), food, amazing Pittsburgh bands Meeting of Important People, and Nick Westman and the Central Plains will be performing. Later, DJ Gordy Greenawalt (Title Town / Vipers Soul Club) will be on stage. Artists from all over town will be showing their work, and it will be for sale if you see something you like. We’re going to have make your own valentines stations, and screen printing stations for those of you who want to get crafty. This year, we’re also having a cookie table! (one of my fav. Pittsburgh traditions.) If you show up with 2 doz. cookies, you get $2 off of your admission.

Dress to impress, this is a party! But it’s also Pittsburgh so you know you’ll be seeing everything from cocktail dresses to flipflops and at least one Steelers Jersey. Regardless of your current relationship status or views on Valentines Day, I promise it will be a great time. Come with your friends, your significant other, someone you'd like to be your significant other, come meet your significant other! Flirt, don't flirt, just have fun. Also, the next day is Presidents Day, so most of us don’t even have to wake up for work!

Follow us on twitter @LoveFriendsPgh, or on facebook, for up to date party information as we get closer to the big day.

February 14. You, me and 400 of our closest friends. I’ll see you on the dance floor.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Dear Running,

I know that things haven't exactly been great between us lately. I could blame the weather, my hectic schedule, the fact that the honey moon period hasn't quite worn off for me and hot-yoga. I guess what I'm trying to say is, it's not you, it's me.

Today though, today is what is was like months ago, when things were great, and we'd spend hours together, and I wouldn't get sick of it.

Let's get back together. I know that our relationship hasn't exactly been perfect. There has been more than one occasion where I've walked away for months at a time. The thing is though, I always come back. I may have flirted with kickboxing, or swimming, or even pilates, but they were just flings. They mean nothing to me now.

Nothing else makes me feel the way you do. You always take me back. I'll be better this time around. This time, everything will be different.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

DINK's do Miami, and what I'm doing with my retirement

When Precisely and I found ourselves both gainfully employed, we went out for dinner to toast the fact that we were both officially yuppies. We had a great meal, and played the game where if we have a cute waiter, we both flirt with him, and whoever he flirts back with has to leave their card. I won. He never called.

Upon deciding to live together we delighted in the fact that we'd no longer just be young urban professionals, but D.I.N.Ks or duel income no kids. Even though we're not quite roomates, we've wasted no time in transitioning into the DINK lifestyle, and so this past weekend we went to Miami. We went because we can, and becasue we work hard, and because Pittsburgh has been so cold, but it's January, so rather than whine about it, we just left.

And it was perfect.

I lay on the beach. I read 4 magazines and caught up on my googlereader, we ate brunch at a fancy hotel we could never afford to stay at and watched rich people hang out at the pool in expensive athletic gear. We marveled at the number of sweaters tied around shoulders we saw. (Didn't that trend go out in the 90's???) We got slammed with an $80 bill after only 4 cocktails.

We volunteered on vacation.

We celebrated Steeler Nation.

We discovered Miami fashion.

We found "the island".

And marveled at the rows of SouthBeach trinkets for sale.

snow globe anyone?

We also decided that when we retire we will buy an old hotel, and renovate it, but rather than rent out the rooms, we'll keep them on hand to house family and friends when they come to visit. Then we will turn half the ground floor into a Southbeach Steelers bar, and the other half into a gift shop where we will sell phenomenal chotchkies.

Rested, tanned, and thoroughly over-leisured, we peaced out of Southbeach and came back to our real lives in Pittsburgh.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dog Sitting. Or how doing I something I did a lot as a teenager made me feel more grown up than ever.

Running Buddy had to go to Baltimore last night, so asked me to dog-sit. I was more than happy to help out. (Are you paying attention to this good-deed doing Karma?)

I babysat, pet-sat, and house-sat all through high school, so this was nothing new. And other than somehow managing to lock myself out of the apt. EVEN THOUGH I HAD THE KEY, everything went smoothly. (I got in through the back door eventually.) It was actually really pleasant taking a dog for a walk around the neighborhood. It gave me a sense of really living here, even though I've been walking/running in this neighborhood for almost 2 years. I also forgot how awesome dogs are. Having someone get that excited just about you showing up is really nice.

Running Buddy left me a bottle of riesling as a thank-you, so after the walk I curled up on his big leather chair in front of his big flat screen, found a What Not to Wear Marathon on TLC, ordered a pizza, and hung out with my new best friend (the dog). Basically had the best Friday night ever.

While I may not be ready for the responsibility of owning a dog myself, it was a cool realization recognizing that I was not dog-sitting for some adult I know, but a friend of mine. Because, you know, we're adults now. And grown-up enough to have our own pets. And grown up enough to have to go out of town on business. And grown up enough to be paid with a bottle of wine. I love it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

We're Doing This Now?

Today I got an email from one of my best friends confessing that she had joined an online dating site.

Judging me? she wrote. It's OK. I am too.

I'm not. I'm just surprised that we're doing this now. The dating website that is. I mean, obviously I use the internet when it comes to boys. What did people do before they could google the person they're dating? And I am not one to ever back down in a poking war on facebook. But a dating website. I don't know, I always figured that would be something to come later. Oh wait. I am judging.

Or, maybe it's the fact that right now, the thought of going on a date just sounds exhausting. Maybe I'm becoming a-sexual. Or maybe it's just the winter. I haven't seen the sun in days.

Either way, I'm spending a lot of nights lately with my laptop and netflix while wearing sweatpants, and not feeling at all sorry about it.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A New Year, and Almost Feminism.

2010 found me spending my first ever New Years Eve in Pittsburgh, despite having lived here for the past 4 years. It was delightful.

The evening began with a four-couse meal Precisely prepared for me at his place. Few things are as lovely as being cooked for. Evidence of the dessert (chocolate dipped candied grape fruit peels with ice cream) is below.

Any word meaning delicious would be an understatement.

Followed was a couple of parties, lots of champagne, some dancing, and the standard midnight countdown.

New Years Day was even better. After sleeping in till noon, we donned hoodies and went to brunch. Numerous breakfast casseroles, mimosas, awesome snacks and some great people later, we came home to the couch and the television. The rest of the afternoon looked something like this.

Because few things make me as happy as crossing items off of a to-do list, I was thrilled to have completed all of my resolutions from 2009. As such, I've decided to give myself a break this year and only have 2.

Resolutions for 2010:
1. Go to the dentist. (I have insurance, there's no excuse.)
2. Eat more real food. (I've eaten in for the last few nights in a row. It's the weekend. So far, I'm doing great.)

The rest of this year so far has seen the artist and me basically reliving our freshman year of college. Shopping sprees at Target, home facials and manicures, and watching Sex and the City for hours on end. So, later tomorrow afternoon we'll get to thinking.

I mean, I realize it's still early, but 2010 rocks.