Thursday, August 28, 2014

The HallWay

Hey there everyone! I'm so excited to have Shannon here on the blog today! I went to school with her and she is relatively new the "big" blog world.  I've been reading her blog since she started the first one and I've enjoyed watching it grow and develop into more than just an online diary.  She's great and I'm sure that you will enjoy getting to know her!

She's newly married and loves to share her adventures with her cute new husband as they live and learn together!

Check her out!
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Hey! I'm Shannon and I blog in The Hallway (see what I did there). A little about me: I work at a marketing agency and do a bunch of yoga. I just got married a few months ago, so I blog a lot about being a newlywed, but also a lot about other topics like working out when your butt hurts, picking the best songs for a wedding, and making food that's better than Del Taco, since I'm married to a chef that I met online. And I'm taking over Katie's blog to tell you exactly what I was thinking the first time I met my husband, Colby, in real life. It wasn't in a cute coffee shop like the picture below suggests.

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You can read the whole story about how Colby and I met on my blog, but long story short, we happened across each other's OkCupid profiles through a series of very lucky events that eventually led to us chatting online and through text messages for three days until we set up a real-life meeting at Smashburger in St. George. Yes, the epitome of romantic meeting places: Smashburger.

At the time, I was living in Cedar City, Utah, a tiny little college town situated 45 minutes away from the slightly bigger town of St. George. Colby was in southern Utah on vacation so we had a small window of time in which to meet. It just so happened that I had a job interview in between the two cities that Friday, so we decided to get together afterward.

My interview went well and afterward, I pulled into a gas station to change clothes and text Colby. I started driving to St. George and that's when I realized: I was on my way to meet a complete stranger that I met on the internet.

Don't get me wrong, I had done my research. I looked Colby up on Facebook and he seemed normal, and real. But you can never really be sure. On my way to meet him I thought about the fact that I had never asked him to Skype or even call. I had never even heard this kid's voice before! He could literally be anyone: a 60 year old man, a stripper, a woman... The possibilities were endless.

I got to St. George and pulled into another gas station. I was still waiting to hear from Colby about where we were actually going. Panic began to set in. What was I doing? No one knew where I was, I didn't know the city very well, and I was a young, reckless female college student. This whole thing was a trap.

I got a text from Colby and then a call. I heard his voice! It still told me nothing about him. After we decided on Smashburger I got even more panicked and called my roommate, Marissa.

"I'm in St. George meeting a boy I met on the internet so if I die and don't come home you'll know why," I blurted. I had told her about Colby before, so at least she kind of knew what I was talking about.

"What? What are you doing?" she said worriedly. "I don't know," I said. "I'm so dumb. I'm probably going to die but I couldn't just not come!"

"Yeah, that's true. He has seemed normal so far and you like him! If it doesn't go well, you can just chalk it up to better luck." (Just kidding. She said, "What's the worst that could happen?") I could think of plenty of things that could be the worst thing that could happen, but I decided she was right. Plus, I was at Smashburger.

I slowly got out of my car and walked through the parking lot toward the door, feeling more and more dread with every step. I saw my reflection in the glass door of the restaurant, took a deep breath, and stepped inside. When I saw Colby sitting there smiling nervously at me, all I could think was, "Oh good, you're a real person." And then he laughed and I realized I said it out loud.

Obviously, things went pretty well after that, because a year later we were tying the knot! So far, he's not a serial killer. And neither am I. Match made in heaven.

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You can read Colby's side of this story today on my blog, The Hallway! And if that's not enough, you can always connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. See you there!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Gateway to the Rest of the World

Online Dating. 
I've been doing it for a little while now.  At first I was a little bit embarrassed by it.  I thought that dating online was only for older people who felt like they were running out of time to meet someone organically.
I found out quickly that that is not the case.  It's simply how things work these days.  My friend Shannon (check out her guest post tomorrow!) met her husband using the app OKCupid, and I've known a few other people who have met their significant others through an app or some other form of online dating.  

Online dating has its pros and cons.  Sometimes you get messages from questionable people who are clearly just out for one thing, and one thing only.  Other times though, you meet people who are interesting.  You might meet people who actually want to take you out on a date.  You might meet someone who is destined to be your best friend.  
For me, as someone who is living in a relatively new place, it's very beneficial for me to use it.  I can meet locals and learn about the amazing city around me.  Already it has paid off to have a way to meet new people and make friends.  Last year while I was here in Vegas, I was lonely.  The only way I saw to make friends was in class.  I had no problem talking to people in class, but it never went beyond the classroom. 
Thinking about giving online dating a shot?  Well, here's how you date online and live to tell the tale (or just don't walk away really disappointed)

1. Don't put the people you chat with on a pedestal.  Chat with them but wait to really make up your mind about them until you've actually been out with them.  They might seem awesome in text but not at all in practice.  If you build them up before you meet, you might be disappointed.
2. If you're looking for more than just a hook up, don't play into guys asking for pictures, Snapchat screen names, or those who obviously have less than innocent intentions. It enables them.  

3.  Be careful! People are weird...
4.  If you live in a "destination" sort of place like I do (Vegas) pay attention to who is actually living where you live, and those who are just visiting. 

5.  If you're not interested in somebody, don't talk to them! It's easy as that...

6.  Most importantly, have fun.  Meet new people, create relationships, and let online dating be a gateway to the rest of the world. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Fit? What's That?

Well, yesterday was my first day of the fall semester, of course, I've been thinking about getting serious about my work out.  Again.  
It was hard to work out while I was in Kentucky because it was so humid, and lets face it, I was being a lazy bum.  But here, the gym is way too close and way too nice not to be working out as often as possible.  On top of that, ROTC is going to be pretty demanding as far as physical fitness is concerned, and I'm not about to come in last.

I've decided to plan my work outs every week in addition to PT with ROTC and watching my diet.  I'm not trying to lose weight, but rather get into the best shape of my life.  I won't be eating less.  Just eating better. Every week, I'll feature some work out that I did that worked well for me.  Everything I do is working towards my fitness goals and my Army Physical Fitness standards. 

This was yesterday's work out. 

This morning I woke up with abs so sore it hurt to raise my arms to fix my bun.  I took it easy on the legs because I have an PT test this week, but even still, I could hardly walk up or down the stairs when it came time to get to class.  Now that is what I call a good work out. 

If you feel like doing these work outs I'm posting, please let me know! I'll share everything that I do and not just one day's worth of exercises. I'm always willing to help some out who is interested in making themselves better!

Monday, August 25, 2014

iPhone Photography and Classic Vegas

How do I even begin to describe this weekend? 
My mom came into town for the first time since I've lived here.  So of course, we had to do the "Vegas Thing"  I've had a few opportunities to do it with my friends but with my mom I had a lot more freedom and we could do a lot more stuff that I wanted to do. 
After we ran a million errands and made room extra cute, we decided to go to the Mob Museum.  I know it's not the first thing you think of when you imagine Vegas, but it was so neat! a must-see if you're going to be in Vegas for a few days.  

While we were downtown, we decided to do another thing I hadn't ever had the chance to explore:  The Fremont St. Experience.  Of course, I take all my pictures with my iPhone camera, and I didn't really charge my phone before we went out, so my pictures were taken quickly without regards to quality, so please excuse the fact that they might not be the most amazing. 
Anyway! Fremont street is the place to go.  Seriously, if you're looking to get that classic Vegas feel, there is no other place.  I think that a lot of people know that Fremont street is there, but they don't tend to go over there.  Well, I have some news for you:  It's time. 

The thing behind me is the zip line.  It's only $20! It runs the length of the street and I simply must try it.  They also have little bars, clubs, casinos, and restaurants all up and down the street.  There is a restaurant called the Heart Attack Grill. If you weigh over 350 lbs, you eat there for free...Once you get towards the end of Fremont, there is this brand new place called Container Park.  
Container Park is a small area on a corner of Fremont Street.  It is basically a small district of boutiques, restaurants and sweet shops.  They have a big stage at one end with grass and giant Legos.  They also have a play area in the middle with misters for when it's hot.  It's seriously the coolest place I have been in Vegas. 
You're probably wondering why it's called "Container" Park.  Well every restaurant and shop is in a little connex.  They are tiny! I don't know how they shoved so much stuff into little train-car-sized shops, but they did and it's awesome.

Our next stop, while it wasn't necessarily on the list, was probably my favorite part of our whole night.  We stopped at Atomic Liquors.  It has the oldest liquor license in the city, making it technically the oldest bar.  Until last June, they were closed down.  The reason it was called "Atomic Liquors" is because it opened in 1956 when the Nevada Test Site was still testing atomic bombs.  You could see the mushroom clouds from the bar stools on the patio.  That might be a silly reason to love it, but it felt like I was a part of its history while I was sitting there sipping on my hand-crafted cocktail...
By the way, someone remind me to give my mom iPhone Photographer lessons...Who knew taking a picture in front of a neon sign could be so hard...
"Just tap where right next to me!"

"Ugh...screw it..." Cue funny face.

In all this craziness, we also hit the strip, but it was our last stop and we were so exhausted.  We walked all the way to the Bellagio from MGM Grand and wanted to die.  But we had a very delicious dinner at the Rain forest Cafe.

All in all, an amazing night spent with my momma. I wouldn't have had it any other way. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Settled In

Why hello!  

I hope you enjoyed my awesome guest poster yesterday! Jill has been a wonderful new addition to my reading-list.  I was also so excited that she contributed to the "Chalk It Up" series in the spirit of my blog's namesake.  This is a busy time of year for her as she is a teacher, but I recommend stopping by her blog.  It's one of my new favorites

I have a bunch of good excuses as to why I haven't really posted all week, but I'll spare you them.

Instead I'll tell you this, I'm all moved into the dorms at UNLV.  I'm amazed at myself to be completely honest.  Last year, I was so stressed out about it and had no clue where to go.  This time I was completely cool and collected.  I had a lot to do, but amazingly, I figured everything out really quick and had time to get cleaned up and go out on a date when I was all finished.

Don't get me wrong.  My room was not neat and tidy.  I only just finished putting away all my clothes and organizing things how I wanted them.  There's quite a few things that I still need to get, but I think it's going to be a pretty alright set up. 
It's pretty small and there isn't a closet, but I'm trying to make it work.  Please excuse how bare everything is.  I'm working on making it a bit more homey, but I'm just not quite there yet.  Today I had to spend way too much money on some books, (one of them is just paper.  Not even bound) so...who needs decorations?

So far today I've purchased a parking permit, finished some paper work at the ROTC building, bought my "books", organized my room, and put off going out to my car for any reason...My parking permit is for a lot a good distance from where I live.  Dumb. 

I also graduated to the wireless mouse today.  About time...

My roommate is cool, the A/C works and I'm feeling pretty dang relaxed, so I guess that means things are good!  I hope everyone had an amazing week and has a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Gypsy-Cowboy-Truck Driving-Teacher

Today, Jill from Do Try This at Home will be taking over my blog and contributing to the "Chalk it Up" series! 
She is one of those awesome new additions to my blog-reading list that I've been talking about.  

Jill is a mother, a teacher, and an all around good read. It has been so fun to follow along with her life and share all her posts. Having her as a sponsor has been great. I hope you enjoy her post today!  I really enjoyed reading her story and I'm sure that you will too. Be sure to follow along on Facebook and Twitter.  

Happy Thursday!
Hi there I'm Jill from Do Try This at Home 
Do Try This at Home

When Katie so graciously invited me to guest post on Chalk it Up, she mentioned that a good place to start would be “a time when you had an experience that maybe didn't go quite as you planned…”

And I was all, “OH! That would be, like, the ENTIRE DECADE of my twenties!!!!” 

And most of my thirties too, truth be told.  So, I’m feeling kind’a well qualified here.

My life goals as a child were a little on the “diverse” side.  I wanted to grow up to be a teacher.  But I also wanted to grow up to be a cowboy.  And a truck driver.  And a beach bum.  Most of all, I wanted to grow up to be a gypsy, because I wanted to live in one of these:

I mean, who doesn’t?!?!?

I entered my teen years and proceeded to quit college three times before finally ending up with my degree.  It would be years before I actually stepped into the classroom to teach. 

Unfortunately or fortunately, I was the one learning so many of the lessons.  During my two years in public school I had heartbreak after heartbreak, “teaching” kids who had been previously kidnapped, who had seen family members murdered, who were being raised by siblings because they had parents who were deceased and/or unfit, who had relatives in jail, who claimed they were the devil, who threatened suicide. 

And I was teaching six year olds!

I stayed in teaching because it was my life goal and because I wanted to help children.  And because becoming a truck driver seemed less and less likely the more of my own children I produced.

But Katie’s blog is about making the best of it and moving on, which I did.  I had to, for my own mental health.  One can only persevere for so long before falling head first into the abyss.  I now teach in a school that does not ask me to break laws with a nudge and a wink, that does not write me up if I am ten minutes behind schedule, and that, most importantly, respects me as a professional teacher.

However, I have earned that respect with eleven years of teaching now under my belt.  What I lacked when I started was my own voice.  I lacked the “my way or the highway” attitude that is so important in managing a classroom of children, no matter the age. 

Fair yet firm is how I try and work with kids these days, in so far as I am able.  And the little girl who told me she was Satan?  These days I would have no trouble telling her that it was all well and good that she was the devil, but that she needed to sit at her desk and do her class work anyway.

So I “Chalk it up to Better Luck”, but also to knowing when to move on and when to make a change!

Thank you to Katie for the guest post opportunity!  And thank you to for the truck picture for the picture of my would be abode!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Whirlwind Weekend

I'm Home.
And it feels so damn good.  This weekend has been a completely insane whirlwind.  
I started my drive on Friday morning.  I couldn't really leave early because I had to wait for the people to come make sure I cleaned my room.  It felt so weird to look at that empty room I spent my entire summer in and leave it.  I shut the door forever and walked out.  I'm still sort of having a hard time with the fact that this summer has truly come to an end, and I'm back at home in my bed.
Photo: Saying goodbye to my summer home. A part of me is so sad to leave here, and the rest of me cannot WAIT to see my family again. I will never forget this crazy Fort Knox Summer, and I cannot wait to have so many more just like it. #OpHomewardBound
I got on the road about 9:00 am with my sunflower seeds, a 12 pack of coke in my cooler, and a full (very expensive) tank of gas.  This time, I took a different route.  I met my family in a tiny town on I-70 in Colorado for a wedding so it made a lot more sense to drive through Kansas instead of through Nebraska.  
In case you were wondering, there is nothing in Kansas.  I was excited to get a new view...but seriously nothing.  I actually ended up making it all the way through to the very last city in Kansas before I stopped.  It was over 900 miles, but I was fine.  That is, until it started to rain so bad that I couldn't see the road.  I was driving into the storm for hours.  I could see the clouds and the lightening for so long, but I figured by the time I got to it, I would be where I was going or it would have died down. 
I had to pull over and give myself a pep talk.  It was that bad.  I waited until someone passed me so that I could follow their tail lights.  At this point I was probably driving so slow! Talking to myself the whole way, I kept driving, attempting to keep my goal of hitting Colorado before I stopped.  Unfortunately, the headlights I was following got off the road, so I drove one more exit and got off too.  It was so terrible! I couldn't take one more second of it.  I found myself a room in little town called Goodland, Kansas and I took a bath, slept in, and headed for my next stop.
Of course the next morning it was all blue skies.  That mid-west does not even joke about their rain storms.
Anyway! I got to the hotel we were staying at in Stratton, CO a little early so I hung out for a while, continued to listen to my book and ate some sunflower seeds.  Later, I would have to go get my sisters at the Air Port, but their plane wasn't supposed to touch down in Denver until about 6.  So I waited for a while then drove another 140 miles to the Air Port.  I don't know if ya'll have ever been to DIA but the place is HUGE!  
I had to park so far away, it's not even funny.  I had to take a shuttle to a different parking lot where I had to walk 8 minutes to the terminal.  And there, I waited.  I walked around, sipped a Jamba Juice, flipped through Cosmo (speaking of magazines, do they do anything but advertise?!?) and chatted with strangers.  Their plane got delayed and I was in DIA for four hours.  Parking cost me $12.
Photo: Finally boarding!!!!! Can't wait to see our sissy!!!!!!
But in the end, I picked up my sisters and it was pretty alright.  Too bad we had another 140 miles drive ahead of us. 
The next day we had a few adventures in that itty-bitty town, went to the wedding, played music for what felt like a century (but the wedding was so beautiful and we were so happy to be there.) and finally headed for home the next morning. 
This Dairy Treat was literally the only place to eat besides the Gas Station.  I haven't ever been to such a small town...and the one our friend got married in was even smaller! 
Photo: I have a thing with the backwards cap and driving. #ophomewardbound
I was wearing a shirt my sister got me from the Oregon Aquarium that says Harry "Otter".  I can't explain the backwards hat.  I just like it when I'm driving...
By the time we got into Park City (a small ski-resort town just east of Salt Lake) we had another gig to play.  Tired, hungry, and just plain worn out, we soldiered through it and ended up back home in time to say hello to the baby before she went to bed.  
I am so happy to be home and I am also so ready for my next adventure...In three days.  Thanks for following along with my little adventure! I hope you all had a great weekend.  I know mine was pretty dang crazy!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Operation Homeward Bound

Today I get into my car and drive. Again. 

Over the past year, I have done a LOT of road tripping.  I drove to and from Vegas countless time, then I took this big trip out here.  It's about 1600 miles from my front door to Fort Knox.  Kind of a long trip.  Like I said before, I have some mixed feelings about heading out, but ultimately, the time to leave was going to come regardless of how I felt about it. 

It has occurred to me that a lot of people just don't do road trips.  Personally, I love them.  I don't mind a flight either, but driving across the country and watching the world change before my eyes on the road that stretches on for miles in any given direction may be one of my very favorite things.  This might be crazy, but I also love all that time to myself.  People think that a drive all alone would be pure torture, but I quite enjoy it. 

Seems how I've done so much distance driving, I learned a few tricks to make travelling down the interstate a little bit easier.  Because let's be honest, you can only listen to your favorite band so many times over the course of a 23 hour drive.  Here's a few things I've learned about making it down the road. 

1// Listen to an audio book.
This is a new one for me.  When I decided to drive out to Fort Knox, I knew that music the entire way just might not cut it.  When I went to the store to buy a book, I asked the sale rep at Barnes & Noble for a "book-on-tape" she look at me like I was a Martian.  She looked older than I am, so I 'm not sure why she didn't understand what I meant.  Eventually, we got down to it and she helped me find an audio book.   For my drive back I picked out two Sophie Kinsella books that I can't wait to listen to!

2// Create Playlists of your favorite songs.
When you don't have to scroll through your iPod to find the good stuff, life is so much better.  Personally, I like to use Spotify.  I can create all kinds of different playlists with different genres then save them to my phone.  I always find that I'm much happier when I have a variety of different music to listen to. 

3// Bring Snacks and drinks 
I have a small cooler that fits nicely on the floor of the passenger seat.  I fill it up with string cheese and apple sauce and I'm much happier while I'm on the road.  That way I never really have to spend extra money on fast food and most of the snacks that are packed with me are things that I can eat while driving.  My go-tos are sunflower seeds, Garlic Butter Ritz Crackers, and the Duoz Chees-itz with Parmesan and Sharp Chedar 

4// Be comfy! 
I usually drive in tennis shoes, but I always like to wear shorts or sweats, push my hair back in one of those stretchy head bands and have the chap stick on stand-by.  There is nothing more annoying than a random head ache or some other pain when your blazing down the road and you still have hours left of your journey...

5// Take an Atlas.  
You are probably thinking I'm nuts.  Most people don't even know who Rand MacNalley is, but it is nice to have an atlas to look at the route and really see where you're at.  You don't know if you'll always have cell phone service.  Plus, what if that Garmin decides to put you in a lake? You might want to be able to get your wits about you with a map. 
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Aside from all these little things, always remember to stop when you get tired, get out if you need to stretch and if you feel like texting and driving, just don't. Track your mileage, check your oil and don't forget to call your momma. 

Today  and tomorrow I'll be tweeting and instagraming my trip across America! Tune into #OpHomewardBound to keep up with me

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wednesday Confessions

Vodka and Soda

Today I'm jumping in on a link up.  That is something I haven't done in a long time, but I felt like I couldn't pass this one up.  If you feel like you have a few Wednesday confessions, go ahead and join Kat from Vodka and Soda

I have horribly mixed feelings about leaving Fort Knox.  I'm excited one minute then sad the next! I feel like an overly emotional 16 year old who just dumped her boyfriend but actually wants to stay with him. Well that was a weird analogy.

Moving on.

I have an obsession with picking at all the little bumps on my arms that has got to stop.  Like now.  I feel like writing this here in my confessions might make me stop doing it.  But it probably won't.

As much as I make fun of officers...I'm really excited to be one.  I want to hurry up and graduate fast so that I can wear that brass as soon as possible.

I made some serious mistakes last weekend that I really want to forget... (chalking that one up to stupidity and way too much Vodka)

I got passed over for an award because of a lack of communication and I'm actually really mad about it.

I miss Netflix more than any person should.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Blog So Hard

Every now and then (read always) I sit down in front of my computer to write a blog post and the inspiration simply isn't there.  I had someone ask me the other day, "Do you ever run out of things to write about?"

The answer is yes.  

You can tell because I'm currently writing about the fact that I don't have anything to write about.  Blogging is so weird.  I even have a few posts queued up ready to roll.  I know what I want to say, but I just don't feel like putting it down on the proverbial paper.  

I still love blogging but it can be so difficult sometimes.  I read all these other blogs and see how quickly they all get so popular.  I see that their audience constantly grows and everyone leaves adoring comments.  They get hundreds and thousands of likes on Instagram...Everyone wants to read what they have to say and to see the world through there eyes. 

Sometimes I feel like I'm writing something for the sole reason that it will probably be popular with my audience.  And usually, those ones are.  Those posts get twice the traffic and I often times don't even really like them.  Maybe I don't really know my audience, or maybe I'm just not as good of a blogger as I think I am. 

Oh well...

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Just A Trace

As you can see, I have a whole new set of friends on my side bar.  One of those new friends is Tracey!  I've only been reading her blog for a week or so and I'm already in love with it.  I wish I'd found her sooner so I could have been following along all this time! Today, she'll be taking over my blog! Be sure to add her to your list of blogs to follow! You won't regret it!

Just as a side note! My $50 giveaway ends TOMORROW! Enter now before it's too late! Entries are low, so you're chances are good! 

My name is Tracey and I blog over at  Just a Trace. I'm here taking over Katie's blog today to share one of my awful first date tales. Before we get into the story, let me share a little bit about myself. I'm a lifestyle blogger located in Canada, and I write a lot about weddings, dating and my random daily encounters with all things weird. So whether you're looking for a DIY projecta healthy muffin recipe or you just want a good laugh, I hope you will stop by my corner of the internet and say hello. I'm a complete social media junkie, so you can also find me on FacebookTwitter Instagram and Pinterest.

Back when I was a single lady, I went on a lot of dates (you can read more of my hilarious dates on my blog). One of the most memorable ones was with a guy I deemed "Mouse Boy," you'll find out why I call him that later on in the post.  Mouse Boy and I had been talking online and decided to meet up for a date at the Starbucks within walking distance of my place. Mouse Boy seemed alright on paper - attractive, had a job, lived close by and had a car.

I get to the Starbucks and see a text from him saying that he is already there, has his drink and is sitting upstairs. It would have been nice if he had waited and ordered with me so he could pay. I order myself a tea and chalk it up to him not knowing good first date etiquette.

I go upstairs and see him right away. The Starbucks is in a old building so it's super cozy upstairs. There are lots of large wingback chairs and dim lighting. The place is packed. It's Thursday night and I guess a lot of people go there to study. I go to the back corner and he's sitting at a table with his coat still on. I introduce myself and he says, "Oh good. I'm glad you're here. I wanted to get that comfy chair to sit in but didn't want to lose the table." The chair he is referring to is wedged in a corner and to get it to our table he will have to ask another couple to get up so he can lift the chair over their table or ask them to shift their table out of the way. It seems like a lot of work for a chair. Since I just met him literally thirty seconds ago, I just keep this opinion to myself.

I watch as he struggles to try to lift the chair, then decides to just drag it across the floor. It makes this horribly loud scraping sound and everyone is looking at us, likely thinking, "Oh his poor girlfriend." I want to yell out, "He's not my boyfriend everyone. This is a first and last date in the making."

After an awkward start, we began talking. The conversation goes a little something like this:

Mouse Boy: "Where did you grow up?"
Me: "Hamilton."
Mouse Boy: "What a disgusting city."
Me: "Thanks."
Mouse Boy: "What do you do for a living?"
Me: "I'm a legal assistant."
Mouse Boy: "Do you need to go to school for that?"
Me: "Yes, you do."
Mouse Boy: "Oh, I totally thought that was the kind of job you could get certified for online."

It takes Mouse Boy only a few minutes, but he manages to quickly mock my birthplace and my occupation. I'm beginning to wonder if this is part of his strategy or if he is just a moron.

I decide to take the attention off myself and ask him questions about himself. This is when I discover this gem: Mouse Boy is writing a novel. The main character is a mouse. A mouse that lives in a mouse village, with a mouse mother and a mouse father and who is being terrorized by a cat villain.

Ok, so not only is this novel completely unoriginal, it's also incredibly lame. I keep waiting for him to say it's a joke but it isn't. I then become so enthralled with this awful novel I ask him a million questions about it. In my head all I am thinking is, you mocked me?! You spend all your free time basically recreating Stuart Little.

After about twenty minutes, I'm no longer amused and want to end the date. However, Mouse Boy has chosen to get a venti hot chocolate (how manly) and is sipping it. I down my green tea, end up scalding my mouth and say, "Shoot! I forgot I need to be home by 9:00 p.m. I promised my landlord I'd help him with something." Mouse Boy believes me and offers to walk me home. I politely decline as I would rather sit through a book reading of his awful sounding novel than have him know where I live.

He then goes in for a kiss. This is where I question men in general. On most dates, when I give no indication that the date has gone well, and some where I have even given indication the date has gone badly, men typically go for a kiss. In this instance, I did the whole "I thought you were trying to hug me" move and hug him instead.

I leave the date perplexed, but also defeated. I would get my hopes up each first date, only to have them come crashing down shortly after. I was able to chalk it up to better luck though. Each first date taught me something about myself and what I wanted in a partner. Each first date was a learning experience. Each first date that failed got me one step closer to my last first date. Not too long after this date with Mouse Boy, I went on my first date with my husband. All those awful first dates made me appreciate him even more. I remember when I was going through all these bad first dates, thinking I would never find the one. Well, I was just married in May and I can say it was even more special because it was day I had always wished for and I saw it come to fruition. 

You know, I can't but sometimes wonder what happened to Mouse Boy. Perhaps one day that novel will become a best seller and I will run into Mouse Boy drinking a venti hot chocolate in a wingback chair. Doubtful. 

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