The One Where I Went to Many Weddings

Hello all!

The Watch Me Juggle Wedding Edition is here!

I recently went to two weddings in one day. (Pause for reaction) It’s been quite the conversation starter. Some people think I’m a little crazy, some people have asked me if I think I’m in 27 Dresses,”you name it. The first wedding I attended was just slightly north of Santa Cruz, in the woods, for my friend Jessie and Andrew. The second was an evening wedding back in my lovely hometown for my friends and Smuin dancers, Erin and Jonathan. The initial plan was to arrive early for the first, jet after the ceremony, and catch the second right at the start. Luckily the traffic gods were on my side, and I made it to each venue right on time.

I’m going to be entirely honest and say that I had a major blogger’s conflict here. Both weddings I attended were intimate, and every time I pulled out my phone to take a photo, I felt like I might as well have stuck it directly in the couples’ faces. I much preferred the good, low-tech method of being an active participant and taking everything in. I was able to snap a few photos before the proceedings, but after that it was all a happy blur. Note: I am most definitely the weeper at weddings. I try to keep it as collected as possible, with the subtle eye dab,  but make no mistake, I am Kim Kardashian-style crying on the inside.

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Wedding hint: you’ll need at least one crochet hook to do up all those pretty little buttons. Good luck getting out of that dress after it’s on!

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Photo c/o Jessie Fritzen

The lovely Mr. & Mrs. Fritzen.

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Photo c/o Erin Yarbrough Powell

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Photo c/o Erin Yarbrough Powell

Mr. & Mrs. Powell! Or, as Jonathan said in passing “Imarriedyourfriendisthatok?!” They look pretty happy, so it’s wonderful in my humble opinion.

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Photo c/o Jonathan Powell

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Photo c/o Michaela Lynch

We had some beautiful familiar faces crash our Dance Arts Project wedding! Our recent graduates sauntered on in at the best time, and got put right to work, serving wedding cake with smiling faces. It was truly a family affair.

So, now that I’m a self-proclaimed wedding expert Here are all the things you need to know about being a wedding guest! 

  • The bride & groom have probably been planning their wedding for ages. It’s a wonderful, exciting occasion, but it’s more than likely things will deviate from the plan. The best thing you can all do is sit back and enjoy!
  • Be open-minded. Not everyone’s wedding is going to be your ideal. It’s a representation of them, and you’ve been invited to take part in it.
  • Help where you can. Is grandma struggling to find her seat? Flower girl need assistance? Get in there.
  • Bring extras of things: safety pins, bobby pins, mints, tissues. If you don’t end up using them, someone else gratefully will.
  • Be yourself (‘duh), be personable, make some new friends. If you’re a dancer, get up and get the party started on the dancefloor (at an appropriate time, of course)! A good time is contagious, you know.
  • Ladies, wear shoes appropriate to your venue. This means no stilettos outdoors, no casual flats at the formal event, etc. When in doubt, and if space allows, bring an emergency change of shoes!
  • On a similar note, ladies, don’t ever trust your date if he relays the dress code verbally. Ask for specific examples. Formal gown, cocktail dress- they don’t know the difference. You don’t want to be the only boob at the “formal” wedding wearing a gown.
  • Make sure you get a little quality time with the bride & groom, and document it! Even if it’s just a selfie. Remember: they’re in high demand, so let them be generous with their time. They want to see all their people!
  • Oh yeah…enjoy! Eat cake, catch a bouquet, collect stories to tell for years to come.

That’s all for now! Until the next wedding…?

EVA♥

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How to Bachelorette

Hello all!

If you’ve read my last post, I’m sure you’ve picked up on the craziness that is my life lately. With the many weddings, come many wedding preparations. There’s the planning, the flowers, the cake tastings, but my personal favorite is an age-old tradition: the Bachelorette party.

I’ve had a few bachelorette experiences in my lifetime. The first, while I was still in college, involved kidnapping the bride, shopping at Victoria’s Secret, and an old-fashioned slumber party complete with hair braiding and Truth or Dare. The latest, was perhaps up several notches up on the “adult” scale, but no less fun. It still involved semi-kidnapping the bride ( The “Pack your bags! Get in the car- we’re going on vacation!” kind of kidnapping), but the itinerary was an entire girl’s weekend in Napa. We hit as many wineries as we could in one day, and, of course, made the bride wear these amazing glasses:

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You know, so everyone would know that she was the bride! We got such great, welcoming treatment, we decided that for our next weekend in Napa, someone else would have to be getting “married,” aka: taking turn wearing the fabulous bride glasses. Free drinks for everybody!

Our plans for day one involved starting with a quick wine tasting at Napa’s Folie a Deux winery, and then lunch at Thomas Keller’s ad hoc & addendum in Yountville.

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addendum is only open for a few hours each day, and offers a simple menu, picnic style. We opted for a bucket of their signature fried chicken, along with their sides and some cornbread.

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We like Chandon with our bucket o’chicken. We’re classy friggin ladies.

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I’m going to be honest, I thought about this Rosemary-topped fried chicken for days after I ate it. It was amazingly delicious.

We then proceeded to walk through Yountville, taking in the sights. If you ever find yourself in the are, make sure you stop by their visitor’s center. We left with great recommendations, and were thoroughly entertained by Marion, an English grandma with no filter. She had us in stitches the moment we walked in. She gave us all the local specials and recommendations, and, for those tasting rooms that were coupon-less, she simply suggested we walk in and “look pathetic.” She’s a great lady, that one.

We continued our trek down the road, past the world-famous French Laundry and neighboring gardens, to Jessop Cellars.  We were helped by Kate, a fellow 20-something who entertained our lack of wine knowledge.  “What kind of wines do you like?” she asked the bride.

“Uh, the kind that’s in a cup!”

Well said, Jessie. I second that. 
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The second thematic question of the trip involved pointing at the menu and asking “What color is this one?!”

The looking pathetic must have worked, either that or the bride’s giant crown won us points, as they insisted that our tastings were all free of charge. Jessop was such a great spot, I definitely see myself returning the next time I’m in the area!

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At the end of our trip, there was one question I kept getting asked: “So did you guys get crazy?” And, while you won’t find any exotic dancer business cards in my purse, we did go to a dive bar for some karaoke (the Bride’s favorite activity of choice). I like to joke that there’s a reason I’m a dancer- you really don’t want to hear me sing. Even so, after some creative shooters, I somehow found myself onstage singing “Bitch Better Have My Money” by Rhianna. I guess singing would be a little too generous of a description. I was mostly just yelling into the mike. Which I’m sure was pretty entertaining.  There is no lack of adventure here in Watch Me Juggle-land.

Until next time,

EVA♥

Because I’m a Lady…

Hello all!

Today’s post is going to be on the rather rambly side, which is probably not that much of a surprise to many of you, dear readers. I’m sure many of you internet dwellers can relate to the ever-popular lists, like the ones you find all over Buzzfeed? You know, things like “29 Important Lessons Jane Austen Taught You About Love,” or “21 London Street Foods You Must Try.” One of my recent favorites has to be “19 Inanimate Objects That Perfectly Sum Up Your Hangover.” Who has time to think of this stuff? Oh, wait, that’s right people like me….nevermind.

Anyway, the boss lady likes to occasionally send me funny or inspirational little emails, two of which found their way to my inbox this morning. While obstinately insisting on staying in bed, I had some time to read them and was very much inspired. One that particularly struck me came from James Michael Sama’s blog, and detailed the “12 Things You Should Expect When Dating a Strong Woman.” Unlike many similar articles I’ve read, this one seemed, well, realistic. Rather than focusing on over-arching generalizations, everything was refreshingly relatable. In a nutshell: no indecisiveness, flakiness, or disrespect will be tolerated. Of course, you would hope that most of these things would be a given, however, I have all too often found otherwise. I decided that I would elaborate with a few of my own personal, albeit slightly whimsical “strong woman” characteristics:

  • I’m a lady and I’m true to my word. If I’ve given you my word on something or made plans with you, I’m following through with it. Hence, last-minute cancellations are not acceptable.
  • I will continually expect the best from people (though sometimes to my own detriment). The people I have in my life reinforce this expectation, they’re all pretty great.
  • I may walk fast, with my large handbag bashing into you, but I still want you to hold my hand. A true gentleman will also always stand on the side of traffic. This is not difficult.
  • I’m a grown woman. I can pump my own gas, carry my own groceries, and assemble my own furniture. However, this does not mean that I do not appreciate someone who can lend a helping hand.
  • I don’t have much to hide. Sure, everyone has their insecurities, but if my face without makeup perturbs you, look elsewhere. I’m comfortable with myself and like to keep similar company.
  • I think it was Malcolm Forbes who said that “you can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” How you treat the wait staff, children, and the elderly says a lot about you. Rudeness and sullenness is never attractive.
  • I’m not impressed by material things, name-dropping, etc. I find integrity, passion, and kindness to be the most admirable qualities in a person.

These are, perhaps, just the tip of the iceberg. Ladies, don’t let anyone make you feel badly about having your standards. Even better, if you stick to them, you’ll find yourself surrounded with the kind of people that you really want to be with.

And, because I’m so much of a lady, of course I’ll have to end today’s post with the necessary Karen Walker gif:

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Love,

EVA♥

Girls Night, San Diego Edition

Hello all!

It’s been exactly a month since I’ve seen some of my best girlfriends. The general consensus is that that’s much too long of a time, but, seeing as we live across four different states, hundreds of miles apart, we must make do.  As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, we like to have full-scale reunions every year-or-so, and this last one was quite memorable. A different kind of memorable from our last one, where seven of us all piled onto the floor of my studio apartment, but I digress.

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Out and about, we joke that we constantly photograph like a sorority. Things have changed a bit over the years, exactly half of us are married, and there are children and post-graduate studies, but we’re still a good-looking group. (Toot too! Yes, that’s some unabashed honking my own horn.)

The weekend wasn’t nearly long enough, but we managed to cram quite a bit in. Walks around Little Italy, good food, a farmer’s market, some sailing, hot-tubbing, long conversations, and, of course, dancing. I’m proud to say we were that big group of girls “standing in a circle around our shoes and our pockets” positively screaming the lyrics of every song in each other’s faces. Yes, that includes “Get Low,” of course.

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We had a great view of the city from the condo we were staying in. It allowed for this little bit of photographic magic to happen:

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My friend Kelsey’s parents happened to live in another high-rise condominium complex across the way, so we coordinated with them to take a picture of us all standing out on the balcony one day. My fear of heights was tested with this one, but it was so worth it!

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Little Italy’s colorful Saturday morning farmer’s market on a Saturday morning. I was surprised at how big it was! Really worth a visit, if you’re ever in the area over the weekend, dear readers.

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Colorful friends to go with the colorful market! My friend Devyn has introduced me to Lilly Pulitzer’s fantastic prints, all with their own whimsical names. I’ve been coveting a number of dresses online, but I’ve got my eyes peeled for this fun leopard print!

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USS Midway. Not pictured are the people lunching on the stern of the ship. Convenient place for a cafe, I must say.
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We teetered from the trolley to the infamous Gaslamp district in our heels on Saturday night.

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Shiny, happy people at the rooftop bar at the W Hotel.

It’s important to make time for those worthwhile people in your life. Sure, the distance can be tricky, but it’s nothing a little G-chat and coordination can’t solve. It took us a bit of time to put this trip together, but it was well worth it, and couldn’t have come at a better time. Spending time with friends can be rejuvenating in so many ways. Just being in the same room as these ladies makes me feel better about everyday worries. You know, the things that all of us are preoccupied with on a daily basis. When you find people that can make you forget your troubles, don’t let them go anywhere. Cross an ocean for them, if you have to. They’re very much worth it. If you’re reading this ladies, until next time!

EVA♥

I’m On a Boat

Hello everyone!

They say that you make lifelong friends in your college years, and I have little evidence to refute this. Even though it’s been many years since we’ve found ourselves biking around Santa Barbara, and we’ve all gone our separate ways, my college girlfriends and I still make a point of getting together for “girls trips” over the years. We had our first full-scale reunion here in the Bay Area (see pictures from my post here)a little less than two years ago, and decided we were long overdue another one.

 After many months of planning, we all agreed to meet in San Diego, where we had generously been offered a fabulous place to stay right in Little Italy. Last time we got together, seven of us all crammed into my studio apartment, it was totally absurd, but also like an amazing adult slumber party. Anyway, I decided to share a few snapshots of just one of our many recent adventures together: on a boat.

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and, look, I was even there too:

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We spent a chunk of our Saturday sailing around San Diego. The same family friend of my good friend, Kelsey who had let us stay in their penthouse, also let us “borrow” their boat for a day. Luckily, my friend Maren is quite the experienced sailor, having pretty much grown up on a boat in the Virgin Islands, took charge. (She’s the one standing in the photos above. Most of us remained seated, for fear we might fall overboard…or was that just me?) She’s really made me appreciate sailing- just listening to her describe the basics makes my head spin. I find myself frequently asking her what feels like really stupid questions. “I’m sorry…but is the jib sheet the small sail-thingy?”

We had a little cheese, crackers, and drinks to hold us over for a few hours while we enjoyed the views of the San Diego skyline. I haven’t spent much time in the area, but I have a feeling it won’t feel quite as exciting without these girls. Miss them already.

Have a great weekend!

EVA♥

Where did November Go?!

Hello everyone!

I’m sure many of you, like me, are wondering just where the heck the last month went. Well, it may have come and gone in a blink, but I sure did enjoy the last few days of November.

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This is what I was in charge of this Thanksgiving. Yes, I did an excellent job.

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It wouldn’t be the holidays without Jeb, the tri-pod dog with the amazing spirit.

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Awesome people photos c/o Kira Smith & Perry, the man in black.

My dear friend Maren and I. She has my back. We have plans to grow old together and annoy each other endlessly after our husbands are gone. There are twin rocking chairs on the porch waiting for us in our old age together.

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In case you missed last year’s Thanksgiving post, my girlfriends and I have a longstanding tradition of celebrating our very own Thanksgiving together. It’s been going on five years now, and keeps getting better. We make a mean turkey, using Oprah’s favorite recipe, and all the fixins.’ Friends Reggie & Jas also joined us this year, and brought along a fantastic holiday cocktail consisting of egg nog, Kahlua, and Jim Beam. This of course means that I did get to try egg nog for the first time ever in my life. It’s like liquid Christmas pudding, really.

We have an annual tradition of taking fabulous photos in front of our dining table, only to later put on pajamas/sweatpants and finally eating our meal. We also like to take some time and go around the table sharing the things we’re thankful for this year. I’m fairly sure that every year I say that I’m so thankful to be able to spend time with the family I’ve chosen for myself. They’re very important people to me, after all. I’m also thankful that my friend Xela (pictured above in the royal blue dress) came through a very serious, recent surgery just fine. She’s a very inspiring human being. In fact, all my girlfriends inspire me. Maren, my college roommate for years, is studying to be a nurse, and is definitely the kind person I would want by my side in any emergency. I’m friggin’ thankful that so many strong women are my friends, and that I get to spend holidays with them.

I hope you all also had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Happy Holidays!

EVA♥

Men vs. Plants

Hello everyone!

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I was having dinner with my girlfriend Courtney the other evening. She’s recently redecorated her house in anticipation of a new roommate. New couch, some throw pillows, a bit of pushing the furniture around- I’ve seen the final product and really quite homey. Somewhere along the line, she brought up her new plant friend. The only bit of green in the living room, but she was entirely perplexed as to how to care for it. Sure, succulents seem to be the latest “trendy plant.” They’re everywhere: mounted on walls in picture frames, in antique punch bowls, and hanging from glass orbs from the ceiling. They’re versatile and pretty spectacular to look at.

There’s only one problem: how are you supposed to take care of them?

I had about as much of a clue as Courtney. I’ve had limited experience with them, but I’m fairly sure they’re really low maintenance. To my knowledge, all you do is spray your succulent with water every week, or so. Her plant’s care instructions simply stated to only water if the soil was dry. Other than that, leave it alone. Both of us were confused: how do you know how it’s doing? It doesn’t appear to be dying, but leaves are falling off? Is this normal? What is the thing feeling?

So I got to thinking…men are very much like plants, aren’t they?

Is it doing alright?

Do I need to water it?

Is it happy where it’s sitting?

Is it getting enough light?

Does it think I’m nagging it? Wait…what?

Within this analogy, I’ll admit that I do not have green thumb. Once I spent an entire winter nurturing a Paperwhite Narcissus; have it grow, never blossom, and then die. It was rather depressing. So, in my experience men come with the same convoluted instructions: check in occasionally, make sure it’s not dead, and water. Oh, and cross your fingers. It’s supposed to be really straightforward, but can be really confusing at times. Personally, I’m used to caring for pets, or spending time with my girlfriends, so anything else is completely new territory to me. My point in all this? Yes, like a plant, a new guy in your life can be a wonderful addition. When you find yourself overthinking things, trust yourself enough to leave it alone. I know it’s hard to believe, but I think it really is that simple.

Also, you’re not alone, girl. Men are strange.

 EVA♥

20 Things 20-somethings Don’t Want to Hear

Hello all!

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Today, I thought I would put together a little list. As you can gather from the title, I’ve taken some time to chronicle some of the things I, or some of my fellow 20-somethings have heard that just makes our collective blood boil. Admittedly, this is entirely from a female perspective, seeing as I am one. But, spoiler alert: contrary to popular belief, not every 20-something is consistently drunk/unemployed/tweeting. I came to this lovely conclusion after doing a bit too much research on the internet. And by internet, I mean reading horrible lists on Buzzfeed.

Enjoy!

  1. Why aren’t you married?
  2. Why don’t you have a boyfriend/why are you still single? Any derivative of this. Just don’t.
  3. You’re going out again this weekend?
  4. SO….what is it you do again?
  5. What ever happened to that guy…? You know…the last one?
  6. When I was your age, I was married with my second child on the way!
  7. You’re going to regret that tattoo when you get older.
  8. Well, you could always do fertility treatments in the future!
  9. Will you be needing a plus one?
  10. You’ll have to be careful with all those margaritas, you know, when you get older.
  11. I would like grandchildren, please. (Thanks Mom/Dad!)
  12. Wow…you going to eat all that?
  13. You planning on settling down anytime soon?
  14. You know, your metabolism slows way down as you get older.
  15. You really shouldn’t compromise comfort for style. Those stilettos aren’t good for your alignment.
  16. That’s an interesting outfit.
  17. Wow…you can afford to live on your own?
  18. Look at you! Living in your Lululemon!
  19. That’s an interesting career choice…
  20. Just wait ’til you’re thirty!

 

EVA♥

 

[Redacted]

Hello everyone!

I’m not sure if many of you remember this, but a while back I wrote a biting review of the Tinder app (you can find it here)? And I told you all about how it wasn’t “better than real life,” how it was superficial, and how the majority of men on there were poorly presented?

Well… I have a confession to make.

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I sort of found one on there. And by found, I mean, I’ve been seeing a guy I met on Tinder for the last six months or so. You may have seen his disembodied hand here and there, or perhaps noticed that I’ve been stealing his photos for some of my most recent posts. I know some bloggers feel a bit dicey about sharing too much of their personal lives in their writing, and yet I put all this other ridiculous life-related nonsense on here so why not? I was the one that decided to be all high and mighty and share my opinions in the first place, so here goes nothing!

I began my original Tinder post with the disclaimer that this was all for blog-related purposes, yadda yadda. I downloaded and deleted it, only to download it again, to later delete it. Long story short, Tinder made a great recreational, post-cocktail bonding activity for myself and my girlfriends. Who doesn’t like some good old-fashioned ogling and complaining about members of the opposite sex? I know men do this too, although perhaps sans complaining. It’s admittedly quite fun to hand your best girlfriend your phone and tell her to “have at it!” Let’s be honest, I haven’t had the best track record, but I keep trying and things keep getting better, so I must be doing something right.

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I had struck up a few conversations with people I had been “matched” with, and I was pleasantly surprised at how polite the majority of them were. Once again, this wouldn’t be hard to do in real life. However, I’ve been told by male friends of mine that I’m somehow “scary” for men to talk to, or some such nonsense. Anyway, I decided to meet one of my matches for a quick lunch one day while I was commuting to work in San Francisco. I made sure to tell one of my girlfriends about my plans, lest I find myself in need of a fake emergency in case of the dreaded really bad date. Maybe I was a tiny bit obsessive about it, but you never know. He looked almost exactly like his photos. Typical first date awkwardness ensued;  I had a big bowl of carrot soup and he ate kale salad before dropping me back off at the office. I saw him again that Saturday, and again the week after that, and the week after that. It’s funny how these things work sometimes. I wasn’t necessarily looking for anything, but had apparently found something wonderful. Now, whenever someone complains that online dating is weird, or that Tinder is “just for hookups,” all my girlfriends are quick to make an example of me: “Eva met her guy on Tinder! And he’s great! Not crazy or anything…that we know of. Eva! Show them a picture!” 

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Am suddenly shining example of strange dating success. Sure, it can get awkward when people ask how we met. Depending on how either of us is feeling, we’ll either tell people the truth or say we met somewhere horribly mundane, like Starbucks. Yet, I’m pleasantly surprised at how many people are quick to share their positive dating-app experiences. The game has certainly changed since my parents age, and I feel like technology has quite a bit to do with it. But I don’t think any amount of new websites or apps will ever help us figure some things out. I’m fairly certain that men will always be bizarre and puzzling to me, but then again, most would probably say the same things about me. Meanwhile, I can always leave them in a corner somewhere while I go shopping.

Just kidding….sort of.

EVA♥

The Plate

Hello everyone!

Today, I wanted to share a bit of wisdom that has been imparted on me recently by the boss lady.

Ladies…this one’s for you.

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Yes…it’s the plate emoji.

Ever get into one of those infuriating points in your relationship where you find yourself Googling: “My boyfriend is being a [redacted]?” Or, how about “What to do when men can’t multi-task/pay attention/listen/be more…(insert adjective here)?” I know I can’t be the only one that does this. Unfortunately, while the internet can be fun and helpful on many levels, it kind of sucks when it comes to relationship advice. Sure, there are the occasionally insightful Huffington Post articles, but you’ll have to weed your way through dozens of inane Cosmopolitan lists to get to them. I know that as women, we’re often prone to looking the other way, or making excuses for the sometimes obnoxious behavior of people we care about in an attempt to avoid coming off as bitchy, or even being given the dreaded “mommy” label. No one wants to be in a relationship with their nagging mother. So what’s a girl to do? I may be far from having all the answers, but the following analogy has helped me more than anything:

Imagine that you and your significant other are at a restaurant. You order your meals, and wait in anticipation. Then, the moment comes when your plates are set down in front of you. You look at your beautiful plate and begin to think: would anyone else like a taste? Maybe this needs more salt? Perhaps you should have ordered something else? Oh, wait! The table across from you has some delicious looking thing on theirs. Maybe you should have ordered that? This portion is huge, so maybe you’ll take some of it home? And your date, does he like his food? Does he mind if you pick off of his plate? Maybe you’re gluten intolerant like your friend suggested? Maybe you should eat less protein and more carbs? That’s a thing, right? Etc, etc, etc.

Meanwhile, you look over at your partner, and all you can see is the top of his head. He’s too engrossed in his full plate to notice anything else. Granted, he may come up for air to give you the “my plate is too full” eyes, but that’s all you’re going to get from him. That’s it. Until he finishes eating, he will be completely engrossed in it. The same goes for life. At times, his life will present him with one big plate of food, and he will be unable to handle or comprehend all the things you think about or want. It’s perhaps a silly analogy, but it’s more true than anything else I’ve heard lately. So, when you’re thinking he’s being an insensitive jerk for not returning your text or call in a timely manner, or can’t seem to find a balance between work and leisure, never fear. Try not to take it personally, because  it’s not you. You, after all, can do and think all the things at once without having a complete meltdown. It’s his damn plate.

EVA♥