Archive for May, 2011
I need to stop watching infomercials.
Until a few months ago, I never really worried about myself. Wait, let me restate that–I never really worried about myself when it came to infomercials. I constantly worry about myself when it comes to…well, anything else.
For 30+ years, I could watch infomercials (though I generally changed the channel as soon as one came on the tv) and laugh at the cheesiness of the actors or the ridiculousness of the product. Sure, some of the products seemed innovative and some even piqued my interest. Watching them, though, I often wondered who would fall for the line “if you call in the next ten minutes you will not only receive Product X but also a ten day supply of Product Y!” I mean, really, they play the same infomercials over and over again, so I’m pretty sure if I wanted Product Y I could call within the next 532 hours and still get it for free.
Not to mention the fact that as a psychologist, I’d sit smugly back and balk at the infomercial’s attempts to pull one over on me. I’m keenly aware of the research indicating that the way information is presented influences whether one subscribes to it or not.
Yes, for the last 30+ years, I’d never worried that I’d fall prey to the subtle charm of the informercial.
Until a few months ago when I saw this:
Oh dear lord. It took all the willpower I had not to buy this grass. I’m not even kidding. The grass just looks so lush and soft and plentiful. I just want to take off my shoes, lie down, and make grass angels. ”But Erin,” you say, “you live in an apartment and don’t even have a yard.” Oh, I know, dear reader, I know. But. The grass. It’s so luscious.
Luckily, I was able to conquer my impulse and refrain from calling the 1-800-lusciousgrassthatIdon’tneed number. It was at this moment, though, that I began to question my infomercial defenses. To yearn so deeply for something that I could not even use worried me.
“You’re just tired,” I told myself. But then, just a few days ago, dang if my heart didn’t start beating faster when I saw this:
Can’t you just imagine seeing your spices so neatly organized and in HD?! Admit it–you’re a little intrigued yourself after watching those videos.
I’m being completely honest when I tell you that I really, really want these things. I’m also being completely honest when I tell you that really, really wanting these things makes me deeply concerned about myself. In fact, I discussed my newly-emerging-infomercial-vulnerability to a friend of mine just this weekend.
It wasn’t until tonight, however, when I saw the following that I realized it was time for me to check myself into infomercial rehab:
Oh, Erin. There are so many reasons why getting excited about that infomercial concerns me:
1. I don’t have a baby.
2. The acting is beyond terrible and not persuasive in the least.
3. Going to a baby shower at which something like that actually happened would make me want to claw my eyes out.
4. I don’t have a baby.
But, ooh, I want a Baby Bullet after watching that. Also? I love the drunk grandma.
And so, as a person who’s on the verge of making some terrible shopping decisions, I ask you to please help me in my fight against the smooth-talking infomercial announcers.
Well, my summer is off to a great, albeit uneventful, start.
As always, I had visions of myself updating my blog regularly all summer long, but as you can see, I’m two weeks in and no update. I recently read that some bloggers are doing a “day in the life of” or a “month in the life of” series of blog posts, so I thought that I’d try to jump on that bandwagon for the month of June. We all know my history of updating on a regular basis, so we’ll see how it goes. The part of the plan that I find most enticing is that there’s no pressure to be interesting–just a picture or three with your iphone, a brief description of your day, and that’s it!
While I won’t start my (hopefully) daily mini-updates until tomorrow, I thought I’d share a few pictures of my summer thus far. No crazy adventures (yet!), just a lot of organizing, reading, and relaxing. Oh, and Criminal Minds. Lots and lots of Criminal Minds. It couldn’t have been a more perfect start to my summer after one of the most hectic years of my life.
As soon as I was completely finished with school this semester, I decided to attack my bedroom closet. I had pretty much neglected it since I moved in, and, to be honest, it was a complete disaster. It had been driving me crazy for the last four months, but I didn’t feel right about spending time organizing my closet when I should be studying. So, it continued to get worse and worse. I wish I had a true before picture, but I didn’t think about it until I had emptied most of it out. Still, I think you can get the picture:
I managed to get 5 black trashbags full to donate to goodwill (even though I retained a ridiculous number of t-shirts). Yay! And, because, I was bored today, you get pictures of that too!
Energized and excited by the progress I made on my bedroom closet, I decided to tackle my pantry next. Living in an apartment allows me little room for pantry/laundry storage, so I had to make due with what I have. While it’s not the most beautiful redo ever, I still think it looks pretty good!
Though I still have big plans to organize my office and my guest room closet, I lost a little of my organization enthusiasm after these two closets. As a result, the last few days have been filled with nothing but this:
For those of you who managed to make it through my post about closets without falling asleep, I commend you. I hope (for both your sake and mine) that the rest of my summer will be just as relaxing but a little more exhilarating. For now, though, a new (to me) episode of Criminal Minds is calling my name.
I’ve been neglecting this blogging business for awhile, but I’m happy to announce that since my last post, I’ve successfully completed my Ph.D., I’ve happily finished my first full year as an assistant professor at my university, I’ve dilgently shaved my armpits hundreds of times, and I’ve finally cleaned out the disaster that was the trunk of my car.
Now that my life has settled back down a little, I feel I can’t keep you, my avid followers (and, yes, I’m talking to you Aunt Johnnye, since I’m pretty certain you’re the only one who still checks my blog), waiting any longer.
I have many stories to tell, but today I’d like to present a PSA of sorts for all of you men out there either on or contemplating signing up for match.com.
Over the last several of months, I have not had time to focus much on dating, and, while I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a couple of incredible guys, I have not yet met Mr. Right. I recently learned that a couple of girlfriends of mine are about to embark on their own match.com adventures, and, given that I haven’t actively perused the profiles in a long while, I decided to take a stroll down match profile lane to see who the lucky lads are the might get to meet either one of my friends or me.
After scrolling through a portion of the available profiles, I came across a few that stood out to me not because of their romance and whimsy, nor because of their straightforward ruggedness. No, these men stood out to me because of their glaring (at least in my opinion) online dating faux pas. And so, I share with you the first installment of Erin’s What Not To Do On An Online Dating Site If You’d Like to Get a Woman (Or At Least A Woman Like My Friends or Me):
1. If you are going to only spell one thing correctly, please, please , please make it your name.
Now, I realize that people have many different ways to spell their names, and I can’t know for sure that this certain gentleman actually misspelled his name, but when I clicked onto the profile of “Stepehen,” I had to wonder–especially when he referred to himself as Steve later in the profile. I’ve known many great Stephens and Stevens and Steves and Stefans, but I have never met a Stepehen. I checked in with Google about the matter, and even it was unclear:
(Sorry the picture came out so small–if you click on it, it will get bigger)
Did I mean Stephen you ask? I don’t know, Google, I just don’t know. (Please, to all you Stepehens out there who may read this, tell me that I’m wrong and that this name does indeed exist.)
2. It is never okay to discuss vomit, different sexual positions, or any other bodily fluid/function on your dating profile.
Unless, of course, the discussion is about the sweet sentimental tears you cry every time you watch those dang Hallmark Mother’s Day commercials (come on, I know I’m not the only one who tears up during those things).
3. The pictures you choose to post matter.
There’s a divide amongst women when it comes to the types of photos that should and should not be posted on these profiles. Personally, I fall on the side of “one should not pose topless in front of a mirror when taking profile pictures,” but I know of a few women who are either ambivalent or positive towards these pictures.
Look, I’m all about taking self-portraits to see what you look like when no one else is around to tell you. I do it all the time. In fact, I’m pretty sure if someone happened upon my camera at any given moment, they’d find at least one of these embarrassing self-how-do-I-look-portraits. I do not, however, make a habit of posting these pictures online (unless of course they are part of my OEBE–Of Erin By Erin–collection; but that’s a different story), and I definitely don’t use them as my match.com pictures.
I realize that some people don’t have pictures of themselves taken by people other than themselves just laying around the house. Therefore, I’m somewhat okay with the picture-of-myself while sitting in a car/standing in the doorway/looking in the mirror.
What I am not okay with, however, is the picture of a half-clothed man in front of his bathrrom mirror making “sexy” eyes at himself. Even if his self-tanned two-pack abs, his freshly shorn chest, and his soulful doe-eyes did for me, I’m afraid the crusty plunger and the dirty boxers strewn on the floor behind him ruin it for me.
Again, though, I realize that this opinion is not universal. Some women like the half-dressed mirror shots, and, kudos to them for I have found that there are many potential suitors available for them on any online dating website.
Though we ladies divide on the appropriateness/sexiness of the shirtless mirror shot, I feel we can all agree that there is one photo that should just be saved for another time. Like the second date. Or never.
I’m talking about the picture in which the man wears a half-opened leopard-print silk robe. Yes, yesterday I stumbled across this gem, and wow. Just wow.
I’m not sure what the particular thought process behind this decision is, but I imagine it goes something like this:
How can I get the ladies to come crawling to my raunchy roundhouse (because I’m pretty certain that’s what these guys call their bedrooms)?” I know! I’ll get dressed up in only my whitie-tighties, and then I’ll throw on a silk robe and hold a rose in my hand. I don’t want to ruin the mystery entirely, though, so I’ll delicately wrap the belt around my protruding pot-belly so that the robe just daintily drapes over my nether-regions. And it can’t be just any robe. Oh no. I need a robe that signals my inner feline. A robe that says ‘Raawr’ ladies, I’m available, I’m passionate, and I’m waiting for you!’ But what robe screams just that? Oh, I know! A leopard print robe. Perfect! With a leopard print robe, there’s no doubt that the ladies will come a runnin’!
Now men, I realize that might sound good in your head. In fact, it almost sounds sexy in my own mind (not really). In reality, though, this is never an appropriate profile picture. Just don’t do it.
Unless you’re Jack Nicholson. And then I say, bring on the leopard print robes.
Raawr is right!
4. Just Say No to Text Speak.
This is a personal pet peeve of mine, but I see it so often, and it drives me crazy. Sentences like:
“IMHO, I rlly think U R gr8! I h8 gurlz who R dum. SMH. LOL!”
will earn you an automatic “x” in my book. Sorry.
To be fair, I haven’t yet seen a profile that is quite as bad as the previous sentence, but many have come too close for comfort. (Oh, remember that show? Too Close for Comfort? With the one guy who lived upstairs and was always a celebrity star on the old Hollywood Squares? And the cow puppet? That was a good show). Anyway, the point is that good grammar and good spelling will get you a long way.
Thankfully, there are a lot of decent and even especially interesting profiles out there to balance out the bad ones. I’ve come across some doozies before, but never so many at one time. I realize that there are many things about my own profile that may be off-putting to the opposite sex (though I’m certain every man loves the picture of my cat in a baby bonnett and kitten-sized t-shirt that says “I love my human-mom”. Am I right guys? What….? I’m not?), so I try not to be too picky and too judgmental. Still, though, the aforementioned profiles made me leary of what’s out there. At least I have my friends to help wade through the odd-ones and search for the right-ones. And in the meantime, the odd-ones provide some good stories.