The Great Saunter a.k.a. My First Ultra-Distance Event a.k.a. Owwwww!

So, how was your weekend? Do anything fun? Have a good Mother’s Day?

Huh? What? No, I’m not just asking so I can tell you about my weekend. Geesh. I thought we were friends.

Oh, well, okay, if you insist.

I walked 32 miles on Saturday.

My Fitbit lies.

Shortchanged!

That’s how far it is, apparently, around the perimeter of Manhattan.

Even though I’d taken a break from running due to 30 extra pounds and a complete lack of natural running ability injury, I still fantasized about the Next Big Thing: ultra-distances (races greater than 26.2 miles, the length of a marathon).

Because I never really loved myself.

Because I never really loved myself.

Several months ago, someone mentioned to me that you could actually walk around the island of Manhattan. As in, there’s a continual path (more or less) that’s pedestrian-friendly (more or less) that circles the perimeter of New York City’s most famous borough. Upon Google searching, I found an event called The Great Saunter, hosted by the Shorewalkers club, where roughly 1,500 people gather annually to do just that.

Half sightseeing tour, half endurance test, the journey at Manhattan’s edge takes you into the shadows of 19 bridges, through as many parks and past art installations, city landmarks and 360 degrees of ever-changing views. – New York Times

Great-Saunter-saunterers

If by “ever-changing views” you mean this, I totally agree.

The Great Saunter isn’t a race or a fundraiser, and is in fact meant to be a saunter at 3 miles per hour, but seemed like the perfect opportunity to test my limits. Besides, even if I changed my mind, the registration fee was only $20.

I knew it was unlikely I’d find anyone equally eager to walk 32 miles, so I mentally prepared to go alone.

By mile 15, I really WAS alone.

Good thing, too. By mile 15, I really WAS alone.

In the days leading up to the event, the forecast was doom and gloom. Most people assumed I would bail, but clearly they had forgotten about my pride and boastfulness commitment to greatness. On Friday night, I borrowed a proper windbreaker and put everything I thought I’d need in Ziploc bags: Band-Aids, ibuprofen, Band-Aids, vodka, Band-Aids.

Great-Saunter-backpack

Project Management Professional, at your service.

I was probably more nervous about driving from New Jersey into New York City than walking around it. It was drizzling slightly, but stopped by the time I arrived. I found a nearby parking garage and headed to the starting point, a pub near Battery Park at the southernmost part of Manhattan. I saw more people than I expected, conspicuously outfitted in hiking boots and backpacks.

The official start time was 7:30 am, but dozens of walkers began early, including me, around 7:15 am. I was feeling anxious, antisocial, and eager to get to that evening’s Cinco de Mayo party.

Margarita Jell-O shots = the world's greatest motivator.

Margarita Jell-O shots: the world’s greatest motivator.

As I told my father the night before, it wasn’t a matter of wanting to quit along the way, but rather, how quickly that feeling would arrive. I knew I would suffer. I might not make it. I walked quickly, passing many Saunterers along the way. No one said hello. Eventually, I had nothing but my overstuffed backpack to keep me company.

Greaaaattt big lamp post. Teeeeeeny tiny Statue of Liberty.

Greaaaattt big lamp post. Teeeeeeeeny tiny Statue of Liberty.

George Washington Bridge.

George Washington Bridge.

My legs started feeling stiff by mile 8, which is when I conveniently remembered I hadn’t trained at all for this.  I promised myself a quick stop at mile 10 to pop some ibuprofen. The first of many.

Next time I'm bringing morphine.

Next time I’m bringing more vodka.

Around mile 18, still feeling optimistic that I would finish, and nursing only one blister, I met a woman named Grace, who was walk-jogging the entire distance. Grace had the inside scoop on the fastest walkers.

“Did you see the woman in pink?” she asked me.

I stared back blankly.

“Holding a plastic bag?” she probed.

“Ah! Yes! Bag lady!” I exclaimed. I tried not to sound out of breath trying to keep up with Grace. “How could she hold a plastic grocery bag for 32 miles? Why didn’t she use a backpack? And she was so fast! I couldn’t catch her!”

“I know! Me either!”

Brooklyn Bridge. (Okay, so my pictures aren't great. I was afraid to stop moving.)

Brooklyn Bridge. (Okay, so my pictures aren’t great. I was afraid to stop moving. Actually, this is kind of artsy. I should charge for this.)

I thought I’d been enjoying my solo trek, but by mile 25, I was eternally grateful for Grace’s company. It turned out we had a lot in common, and she shared kind words that had an effect more powerful than 6 months of therapy: she thought I was 22.

“I just turned 34,” I told her. “And lemme tell ya, I feel it right now.”

“When I signed up for this, I thought it would be so easy,” she said.

I looked at her incredulously.

“I can’t believe you’re holding up this well if you came into it with that mindset. I knew it would be awful.”

We shared an “I just want to finish” mentality and held our pace for as long as possible, our conversation wandering between divorce, dating, food, and spirituality. You can cover a lot of ground (pun intended) when you walk with someone for 4 hours.

We stumbled through the remaining few miles, feeling sheer delight when the numbered streets turned to names – that meant we were getting close. The last mile was the hardest physically, but by then we could already taste the beer victory.

South Street seaport, our victory apéritif.

South Street seaport, our victory apéritif.

We started celebrating as soon as we saw Fraunces Tavern, the [starting and] finishing point.

It was 4:30 pm, 9 hours later, when we crab-walked up the stairs and met a very cheerful woman, who took our names and presented us with certificates. We immediately asked about the plastic bag-holding woman in pink.

“Everyone keeps talking about her!” she replied. “I haven’t seen her. Only one guy finished the whole thing before you two.”

Grace and I let out a collective squeal and hugged. Sure, it wasn’t a race, but…

*mic drop*

Great-Saunter-Grace-and-Jules

Second and third finishers of the 630 who completed the full 32-mile walk. (And many will tell you it was 34+ miles. I think they’re very wise and should be trusted.)

After our single celebratory hefeweizen, Grace, who’d found street parking, drove me the 4 blocks to my parking garage, where the attendant said,

“You took a long time.”

“Huh?” I replied, suddenly remembering that I’d told him I’d be back by 5 o’clock. It was only 5:30! And did it really matter?

“That’ll be $45.00,” he continued.

“Huh?” I said again. “I must’ve misread the sign.”

“You went over 10 hours,” he explained.

“So that was a $55.00 beer,” I grumbled, reluctantly handing him a wad of cash.

Don't ever park here.

Don’t ever park here.

But I’d done what I’d come to do. I quickly recovered and drank patted myself on the back for the rest of the weekend.

Great-Saunter-taste-of-victory-beer

And by quickly recovered, I mean I’m still hobbling. No marathon, triathlon, or long-distance cycling has ever left me so sore.

So naturally…

I’m already looking for the Next Big Thing. Any ideas?? Have you ever done anything like this?

Bonus shot: Surreal view of the Freedom tower on the (painful) drive home.

Bonus shot: Surreal, undoctored view of the Freedom Tower on the (painful) drive home.

*GIVEAWAY WINNER UPDATE: Many thanks for your hilarious entries in the latest Go Jules Go giveaway! Babs (my mother) had a hard time picking a winner, but chose Misty from Misty’s Laws! Congratulations, Misty – your copy of Jen Kirkman’s memoir, I Know What I’m Doing and Other Lies I Tell Myself is in the mail!*

GIVEAWAY: “I Know What I’m Doing and Other Lies I Tell Myself” by Jen Kirkman!

Oh chipmunks. Do you remember those days when I used to give away slap bracelets, shake hands with babies, and make rainbows out of rain?

Jules-Rainbow-Puke

I miss those days.

But wait! Thanks to the Simon & Schuster publishing house, we’re getting old school up in here!

That’s right – another giveaway! I’ve cleared the cobwebs, opened the Franzia, and invite you all to vie for a chance to win a copy of…

“I Know What I’m Doing and Other Lies I Tell Myself” by Jen KirkMAN!

Kirkman_IKNOWWHATIMDOING6

Okay, so perhaps I’m a tad tardy with this giveaway.

I don’t know why Simon & Schuster contacted me. Jen Kirkman is a hilarious, divorced, comedy writer with an empty refrigerator and flawless fashion sense.

Oh wait.

Jules at an 'NSync concert; circa 2000.

Jules at an ‘NSync concert; circa 2000.

Jen is also stand-up comedian, best-selling author, and occasional cradle robber. If you’ve seen her Netflix comedy special, I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine), you know this gal is the real deal.

Kirkman_IKNOWWHATIMDOING7

I could give you a book synopsis, but I’d rather share my favorite quote:

“I looked at the second cheese board and lost my appetite. I was happy talking to Allison. I felt like myself again. I was happy. And when I’m happy I don’t abuse cheese. Cheese is a privilege.”

HOW TO ENTER

Simply leave a comment describing some of the worst advice you’ve ever given or been given (or observed being given). I’ll let the magnanimous Babs (mother extraordinaire) choose a winner, announced the week of May 1, 2016.

ENTER BY MIDNIGHT EST ON MY BIRTHDAY!!!! SATURDAY, APRIL 30, 2016 TO WIN!

I-Know-What-Im-Going-Jen-Kirkman

P.S. – I’ve never stopped loving you. I’ve just been really busy. Reading this awesome book. And worrying about the apple slice I dropped between the driver’s seat and middle console of my car last week.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

I’ve Been Published in German! That is so KNALLHART.

Rachels-Table-pepper-queen

Rachel is smokin’ hot.

When my saucy friend and spicy pepper queen, Rachel of Rachel’s Table, contacted me to write an article about running for Gore apparel’s blog, published in both English and German, my first thought was,

“I can’t! I’m a fraud! Wait, you work for Gore apparel now? Green, size medium large, please.”

I hadn’t run in almost a year, thanks to injury and pancakes. But I did have a story about running to tell. I hope you’ll check it out, if only to see how space-agey energy gels translates to German.

Running Isn’t Everything, But I Owe Everything to Running (English site)

Running Isn’t Everything, But I Owe Everything to Running (German site…come on, you know you want to)

Happy New Year, Chipmunks! 2016’s gonna be a knockout year; I can feel it in my tail.

This is me. Running away from 2015. And 2014. And 2013, come to think of it.

This is me. Running away from 2015. And 2014. And 2013, come to think of it.

~*~*~*~*~*~

How Do You Feel About Sacrificial Bloodletting?

I have White Coat Syndrome.

Doctors, hospitals, and anything containing the word “hemoglobin” terrify me.

This is the real Red Room of Pain.

The real Red Room of Pain.

It all started when I was 15, and had my blood drawn for the first time. They thought I might have mono. (If that’s The Kissing Disease, I was the exception. For some reason, boys didn’t seem to like my braces, glasses, and white tights combo.)

I was nervous, but insisted on going into the office alone. I was fine until the nurse said she needed to take an extra vial of blood, and handed me the one she’d just filled.

It was warm.

With my blood.

Like blood that should be inside of my body, with me blissfully unaware of its temperature.

I mean, seriously. This was seriously next to me during my last doctor's visit.

I mean, seriously. This was next to me during my last doctor’s visit.

A few minutes later, Babs (my mom) found me passed out on the bathroom floor. Since then, I haven’t been able to set foot inside a doctor’s office or hospital without some level of panic. If you were to take my blood pressure results during any of these visits in earnest, I should be dead.

blood-pressure

Tell me this doesn’t look like a medieval torture wall.

Now that I’ve reached a point in life where retirement planning is starting to mean something, I’ve decided it’s time to face fears, if only so I can collect big in 29 years.

In the past month, I’ve gone to the dentist twice, the doctor’s once, and I even voluntarily had a small amount of blood drawn for a workplace annual health assessment. And I only cried a tiny little moderate amount!

Where dreams go to die.

Where fears go to die.

On Sunday, I’ve decided to up the ante: I’m donating blood. And I’m making Babs hold the warm vial of blood my hand this time.

Have you ever gotten over a phobia?

P.S. – Things I learned from writing this post: Bloodletting is one word. THAT IS NOT OKAY.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I Got Stuck In A Stairwell (And I Liked It)

endless-stairs-jules

Last week, I spent a few days in New York City, watching many months of work come to fruition. As a project manager in the pharmaceutical industry, my colleagues and I had been planning a bioethics-themed symposium for ages. Finally, the event had arrived.

The symposium took place on the 40th floor of 7 World Trade Center. The views were spectacular.

7-world-trade-view

Things were going well on our first day, but I was anxious. There was a “networking lunch” at noon. Trying to pretend I knew anything about anything compassionate use of medicines for an hour and a half, among some of the country’s foremost ethicists, seemed daunting.

For the first few minutes during lunch, I checked my email in the hallway, doing my best to look busy and important. When I glanced up, I noticed an exit sign.

“I could do a little exploring,” I thought. “Stretch my legs.”

There wasn’t any indication that this was an emergency only exit, so off I scampered into the obviously post-9/11 constructed stairwell. The stairs were wide and well marked with fluorescent tape.

As I descended, I noticed each floor bore signs that read, “Nearest re-entry on floor 36.”

The floors in between had only locked doors, not even a pad to swipe your badge – if you had a badge.

The 36th floor did have a pad, but I decided onward and downward was the way to go. Also I had no badge. No doubt some floor would have public access, and if not, I could piggyback off of one of the people I was bound to see.

And I did see someone. Around floor 20. By then, I was determined to see this thing through. Because surely -surely- I could exit on the ground floor.

The final floors were daunting. There were no doors at all, and large, brightly lit ticker tape signs announcing, “EXIT THIS WAY >>>>>>>>>.”

I finally made it to the ground floor, wobbly-kneed and decidedly damp, only to see this:

emergency-exit-alarm

Knowing there was a red ‘call if you’re a moron’ phone back on the 11th floor, I turned around and began my long ascent.

When I reached the 4th floor, a tall, brunette man in a fleece jacket appeared.

“Can I help you?” he asked suspiciously.

He looked like Brody from Homeland.

“I’m trapped!” I blurted.

“Yeah. You’re supposed to be on the 40th floor.”

Which is when it hit me. Nicholas Brody had been watching me for forty. Floors.

“Come with me,” he said, leading me to the 5th floor. He looked like he knew 17 ways to kill someone with a rubber band.

Ma'am, you're, like, not even CLOSE to the 40th floor.

Ma’am, you’re, like, not even CLOSE to the 40th floor.

When he opened the 5th floor door and I saw it wasn’t an interrogation room, I breathed a sigh of relief.

“Bless you.”

He found someone to babysit me on the way to the proper elevator bank, and when I eventually made it back to the 40th floor, I ducked into a bathroom stall and desperately swabbed my head with toilet paper.

When I felt fairly certain I’d stopped sweating, I emerged from the stall and washed my hands. I looked up to see my entire forehead covered in toilet paper bits.

Guess it coulda been worse.

Guess it coulda been worse.

Have you ever gotten stuck in a compromising position?

~*~*~*~*~*~

And the Winner of the Wine Purse IS…

Last week, I introduced you to the unbelievably glorious wine purse by Vivajennz.

What's really unbelievable was that I only just heard about this.

What’s really unbelievable is that I only just heard about this.

Today, I announce the lucky Donald duck who gets to bring this Goofy puppy home!

Congratulations, Michelle! Your dedication to booze smuggling, coupled with your willingness to defile the Disney name, won the heart of our judge, Babs (mom)!

Michelle’s Winning Entry:

Thank you for letting me take such liberties with your profile image.

Thank you for letting me take such liberties with your profile image, too.

I’ll be in touch to award you with your BRAND NEW WINE PURSE! Many thanks to Vivajennz for exposing us to her ingenuity (and generosity)!

~*~*~*~*~

THE BEST GIVEAWAY I’VE EVER DONE. Enter to Win by 10/26!

You know that feeling where you start to wonder if maybe you’ve taken something too far?

Yeah... me neither...

Yeah… me either…

Sometimes I wonder if my fondness for booze has overshadowed the real me. The genuine Jules. You know, the one who also enjoys quality time with friends and family hats.

Jules-Hersheys-Kiss-Hat-28Sep13

Nah. Because if that were true, if I ceased embracing my inner lush, I never would have heard from Jennifer, creator of Vivajennz and…

…wait for it…

…THE WINE PURSE.

Photo courtesy of vivajennz.com.

Photo courtesy of vivajennz.com.

I know. I can’t even. And now YOU can’t even, too – because Vivajennz sent me one of these bad boys gals to give away!

Viva-Jennz-giveaway-purse

This could be ALL YOURS.

Viva-Jennz-giveaway-purse-2

Cannot. EVEN!!!

To enter to win this reason for living, leave a comment below describing your most ingenious idea for concealing alcohol.

And don’t forget to check out more VivaJennz creations at VIVAJENNZ.COM!

Here are some ideas to help get the creative fermented grape juices flowing.

binocular-flask

Somehow I don’t think these will help you focus.

My personal favorite.

My personal favorite.

I actually have these.

I actually own these.

Entries accepted through midnight EST, Monday, October 26, 2015. And since today is Babs’ (my mom) birthday, we’ll let her pick the winner, to be announced Wednesday, October 28, 2015.

Happy 29th birthday, Babs.

Happy 29th birthday, Babs.

Cheers!

~*~*~*~*~*~

S.O.S.! “Some Outrageous Sh*t” you won’t believe!

Earlier this summer, my parents went on a long-awaited Alaskan cruise. It had taken my father until his retirement to convince my mom, the infamous Babs, to set foot on the next Titanic.

She readied herself with Dramamine and shock therapy and off they went. Over the coming days, she sent fun updates and spectacular pictures.

Pop-thumb-text

My siblings and I were delighted to see things going so well. On the last night of their cruise, I noticed a mysterious post on Facebook:

Pop-thumb-FB-SOS

I chose to remain optimistic. Perhaps they’d won a “Meet the New Kids On the Block in Anchorage!” giveaway, or at the very least, had had to stay an extra week and fold towel swans to pay off their bar tab.

Then? I got this:

Pop-thumb-severed-FB-PM

Like…”severed” severed?

Because Babs was fighting for time on one of the ship’s few computers at 75 cents per minute, I didn’t get any more details. I only had time for one quick response.

Pop-thumb-too-soon-FB-PM

I let Babs’ boss know she might not be back in the office until the following week, and added that I’d also let him know when we could safely begin the pun-off. He immediately texted Babs,

“I hope you can still catch your flight. Would hate to see you have to thumb your way home.”

Hilarious.

Once Babs had proper access to cell towers and data, I learned that my dad had amputated his left thumb from the nail up that morning by leaving his hand in the door frame of their bathroom. The doors were made of Black Sabbath-level heavy metal and could swing shut from their sheer girth.

Now known as the guillotine.

Now known as The Guillotine.

The cruise ship medic said there was no saving the tip of his thumb, though Babs had dutifully brought it with them to the infirmary.

Hang on, Babs. You forgot the straw paper heart.

Hang on, Babs. You forgot the straw paper heart.

They eventually made it to the nearest hand surgeon in Anchorage, four hours away by bus, where doctors the doctor said my father would fare just as well coming home to New Jersey for surgery. No surprise, since their facilities were straight out of Northern Exposure.

Any John Corbett fans out there?

Any John Corbett fans out there?

I expected to see an ashen-faced version of my father, loopy on pain meds, when they finally landed back home. Instead, he was completely lucid and trying to carry his suitcase. Which is when he spotted my welcome home gift:

Pop-thumb-whiskey

Babs needed sleep the way I need bacon-flavored vodka and compliments, so I drove my dad to a nearby Urgent Care center, part of Summit Medical Group, for a proper evaluation.

Another fantastic pun courtesy of Babs' boss.

More fantastic wordplay, courtesy of Babs’ boss.

It’s been a little over two months, and Pops has made a pretty full recovery. Did you know they offer physical therapy to the digitally disabled?

And since he’s doing so well?

Bring on the puns.

Bring on the puns. You know you want to.

You know you want to.

Do you have any vacation FIASCO STORIES HAND-Y?

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

My “Eep” Dating Moment: What Would You Have Done?

Last week, I was tricked back into online dating.

IMG_3017

Okay fine. No one promised me candy if I climbed into their van, but someone from Match.com texted me out of the blue.

“Hey! Would you be up for a cup of coffee sometime? I know you said you’re in a relationship but nothing wrong with friends. This is George, the goofy guy from [nearby town].”

George and I had made it to the texting stage back in early April, when I was in the middle of my ’10 first dates in 10 weeks’ phase. We were all set to meet for First Date Coffee when I decided to cancel to pursue a budding romance with someone else. George was very understanding.

His text, now three months later, threw me for a loop. My budding romance had turned out to be anything but, and I’d since sworn off dating with the type of fervor usually reserved for monks and fruitarians.

I mean do I HAVE to be the apple (or grape or banana or whatever the hell that is) of someone's eye?

I mean do I have to be the apple (or pineapple or coconut or whatever the hell that is) of someone’s eye?

I stalled for two days.

“Hi George!” I eventually texted back. “Good to hear from you! That sounds fun – although as friends, we can meet for a drink instead, because who cares about first impressions?!”

Drinking-Champagne

I may have a reputation.

We quickly settled on meeting date and location. He suggested the very place I was going to recommend, which seemed to bode well. But did he really think I’d meet him if I was actually in a relationship?

“No f^&*# way,” said my girlfriends. It was a hot topic over happy hour that Friday. “He saw you were back on Match.”

It was true; after a 10+ year failed marriage, two eHarmony heartbreaks and several Match.com face palms (about which I hope to eventually tastefully blog), I had recently logged back onto Match, browsing the bottomless pool of misguided selfies. Each time I thought about messaging someone, I came to my senses.

Match-misguided-selfie

Leading up to the non-date date, my anxiety morphed into full-on dread. I reread our text exchanges from early April. They were pretty funny. Was I going to have to start shaving my legs again?

On the big day, George and I arrived at exactly the same time. He was tall, nice smile, put together, friendly enough. Definitely nervous and trying to hide it. I was always nervous, too, but if there was one thing I’d learned over the past year: I rocked at first dates. The formula was simple, and had nothing to do with any merit or attractiveness on my part:

dating-formula

“Are you a drinker?” George asked as we walked toward the bar. I shot him a look and he laughed.

B*tch please.

B*tch please.

He never asked if I was, in fact, seeing anyone, and throughout the night, kept leaning his arms across the table. At one point I had to put my hands in my lap to avoid contact. Which meant I couldn’t reach my wine. Bad move, George.

In response to several of my comments about food, music and movies he replied,  “You’re earning points with me.”

Comments like that used to make me blush and giggle; now I just wanted to go home and watch Little People, Big World.

I thought the restaurant closed at 10pm and I could make a smooth escape after two hours, but we wound up talking until nearly midnight.

I feared an awkward hug goodbye in the now-deserted parking lot, so I waved, shouted something about owing him a few book titles and bolted. He looked so taken aback that I wondered if I’d ever hear from him again.

He texted twenty minutes later.

He said he was glad we’d met, and sent a few Instagram clips of him singing. We’d talked about his musical pursuits, but I was surprised to receive four 15-second videos.

All you could see in the videos was his phone, while he earnestly sang over the likes of Seal and Extreme.

Make it stop.

Not exactly like the time I ate that pepper…

After a few moments’ debate, I replied, “NICE!! The last one was my favorite.” Technically, it was true.

The next morning, he texted, “I wanted to ask you, are you booked up over the long weekend? I’m thinking that I could be coaxed to sing you a ditty for a payment in fine wine.”

GIFSec.com

Apparently, I’d earned enough points to convince him to sing Kiss From A Rose while I bought all of our drinks. Photo credit: GIFSec.com

“Usually I pay based on performance,” I cheekily replied, agreeing to meet for a second date on Sunday, my next available evening.

I ignored his LinkedIn request.

On Wednesday (two days after our initial meeting), he texted, “For today’s entertainment, here’s a humor article I wrote in 2009 for [website name].”

He had never mentioned an interest in writing, but I dutifully clicked on the link de jour.

“The website was blocked by my work filter!” I replied, secretly relieved.

“Hilarious,” he said, and then copied and pasted the entire article into a text message.

I didn't even know you could do that.

I didn’t even know you could do that.

I was running late for a meeting, so put my phone away, planning to read it that afternoon. Which I did. And. Well. Okay. So.

Here’s the thing.

It just…

Well it isn’t that…

You see what I’m trying to say is…

Sigh.

Okay.

It doesn’t even matter how good or bad the article was. Right? Do people do that? Should I pass out blog business cards on first (non-date) dates?

Because you know I've got 'em.

Because you know I’ve got ’em.

And here’s where I need your help. How would you have responded? I’m not sure I made the right decision.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Dating and Hot Wax Don’t Mix

If you thought my year of eHarmony heartache (as evidenced here and here) might have deterred me from online dating, guess again.

For the past several months, I’ve experienced the highs and lows of Match.com. Stay tuned for future posts, Your Facebook Profile Says You’re Still Married and No, Thank You, I Would Not Like To See A YouTube Video of You Surgically Removing Your Toenails.

One might consider these experiences a sign. Take a little break, Jules, a little step back, they might suggest.

Ha!” I say. “Show me a REAL sign.”

Last night, I was getting ready for a third date with a delightful gentleman who discovered my blog before we ever met, so let me just again say he is especially delightful (and owes me a guest blog post).

He was picking me up for dinner, so I straightened up the house, got all dudded up, lit a few candles (to cover up any Eau De Dog-who-really-needs-a-trip-to-the-groomer) and anxiously awaited his arrival.

Ten minutes before he was due, I blew out the candles. One of them was the sort that has a tea light heating a scented wax cube.

wax-warmer

Apparently they’re called wax warmers. Well. That’s disappointing.

It was resting atop a wall sconce. I lifted it down, let’s just say, a tad carelessly.

Suddenly, all the hot, melted wax sloshed out.

Onto my face.

Onto my white dress.

Onto my couch.

It was red.

crime-scene-couch

crime-scene-couch

Have you ever had any last-minute blunders while getting ready for a big night out? (Come on, I know for a fact one of you has had a run-in with a curling iron.)

~*~*~*~*~*~