Geek Guy Goes Glam

“Give a man a flattering image of himself, and chances are, he’ll live up to it.” Arlene Dahl, Always Ask a Man

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Ian has been wonderfully patient through this whole process.  He’s let me go on dates with other men, helped me wrangle out of my Spanx, complimented all of my haircuts (even the ugly ones) and STILL asked me to marry him.  But while I’m still seeing the influences of this project on my life, I didn’t realize that it would influence his as well.

Ian has always dressed nicely–funky printed tee-shirts, soft sweaters, button-downs.  But lately, he’s upped his game by adding a hat to his winter ensemble.  Not a beanie or a polar-fleece cap, but a real damn HAT.  It adds a nice level of sophistication to his outfit without making him look like a twit.  He’s started rocking his vests too, which I’ve always adored him in.  Because you can’t just slap a hat on your head and think that makes an outfit classy–you actually have to wear a classy outfit.

He likes hearing that he looks handsome, so I tell him as often as possible.  And really, how could I not?

“Many men complain that women have an appalling tendency to relax after marriage…they leave their gadgets out in the open…” Arlene Dahl, Always Ask a Man.

Lately I’ve been doing a TON of craft projects–cross-stitch, art cards, all of my letters (so many letters!) wrist cuffs, pajamas!  But nobody likes a mess, Ian especially.  He hates clutter, and he’s taught me to hate it too.  I’ve gotten to the point where I actually make my bed.  I know, like a real grown-up, right?

But let’s face it–craft projects are clutter just waiting to happen!  There’s thread and fabric scraps and Mod Podge stacked all over, not to mention the books (I bought The DIY Bride the morning after my engagement, as a little present to myself).  I wanted to keep things neat and tidy, so I decided that the best way was to, you guessed it, craft!

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I am glam geek girl, so I took a page from my favorite video game, Chrono Trigger, and made a Lucca-esq box for all my needles and thread.  I stained a basic wooden box with cherry stain and then hot-glued on metal corners from Idea-ology, then added decorative steampunk-esq gears. I cut felt flags like you might find at the Millennial Fair and also added a decorative clock face, of course.

IMG_4654Inside, I covered two pieces of cork board with green fabric and hot-glued them to the top and bottom.  The top holds all my skeins with pushpins, and the bottom holds all my tools: tiny scissors, an “antique” felt needlebook and a pincushion in the shape of a Nu, complete with googly eyes.  It keeps everything neat and contained, plus it looks AWESOME.

 

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All Crafts Begin and End With Nu….

Guest Post: 50 First Dates

Since I am now an engaged woman, I have to leave it up to readers like Michelle to do my dating for me!  Michelle is a modern-day Helen Gurley Brown, except she cooks and eats and I don’t hate her.  But Michelle adores men, and men adore Michelle, and she’s happy to see as many as them as possible–sometimes I’m surprised she can keep them all straight!

I think I literally went on 50 three minute dates. It was exhilarating.

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Michelle, Kissing Her Boyfriend in Copenhagen!

Naturally, at a speed dating event with absolutely no filter I was expecting to leave my 50 dates with at least 5 horror stories. And instead I have none.

There was one guy who couldn’t continue a conversation with me (and I am pretty good at conversing- it’s stopping me that is usually the problem.)

A few guys were invading my personal space too much, but it was also much louder than one would expect (a crowded bar with no music but 50 conversations going on does require raising ones voice).

Some guys were kino-escalating too much. (http://www.pualingo.com/pua-definitions/kino-escalation/)

For a few the three minutes seemed a bit too long.

But all of the rest of them were positive interactions with decent conversations and a lot of laughing.

I did not meet the love of my life.
My friends and I all liked the same five guys most.
But the fact that there were actually FIVE cute and personable men seems like better odds than usual.

There were a variety of backgrounds- it was in Manhattan-different professions (teacher, cops, business, pilots, engineers) a number of foreigners (Israel, India, Austin) in addition to the natives. I could see myself being friends with many of them and wish we had a little more time to talk in general.

I think the success lies in the fact that at a bar most guys are not comfortable coming up to girls unless they are so used to rejection they don’t care (and they will continue to be rejected because they are weird). This actually created a comfortable environment where everyone had a fair shot. I assume all the girls acted like I did- being personable and friendly to all of the guys so they actually had a chance to show their personality. In a normal bar, a guy has to worry about a girl not being single, being surrounded by friends, or being scared. Since we’re all asking to be here the approach is much easier and people can actually be the best version of themselves for three minutes at a time.

Of course, during the break I talked to a couple of guys and it wound up being a girl who bought me a drink (she was interesting- too bad I didn’t get her number since she clearly knows how to have a good time!) I was kind of awestruck by the guys still not being what I consider a gentleman, but it was a fun night overall.

Next time I would definitely try one of the less dates with longer times mostly because by the end I had forgotten who everyone was and it was a big blur. But since I was expecting to be entertained by imps and was instead entertained by charming conversation it was still a win.

Con Men

One of the things I’ve noticed in all my books is that they treat men like some precious mythical figure, a perfect being of grace and glory who exists only to compliment you, hold doors, pull out chairs and buy presents (if only we would let them, seems to be Arlene and. HGB’s battle sigh) Nowhere do they mention, for whatever reason, how to handle a guy who is an absolute pinhead.

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Pictured: Winning.

Ian and I took our internet-winning Barbara and Adam Maitland costumes to the Albany Comic Con on Sunday to meet my best friend Heather and her boyfriend Alex.  We went last year in our Alien costumes and won the contest, so we thought we’d try our luck again this year.  It’s a fun convention, full of vendors and cool toys and piles of stuff I used to buy on pilgrimages to Anime Crash and Tower Records (RIP) and it’s always awesome to see Heather, who’s been my best friend for over a decade.

People mobbed us for pictures and we happily obliged.  “Awesome costume!” rang through the halls.  We actually saw a Beetlejuice, who was as happy to see us as we were to see her (she was with an Edward Scissorhands.)  But right as we were leaving, some guy in a pretty weak Captain Hammer costume looked at me and said, with a reed-thin smirk, “Your costume would be perfect if you were a foot taller.”

Seriously?

If I had been wittier, perhaps I might have said, “Your costume would be perfect if you weren’t so damn ugly.”  If this project hadn’t been so ingrained, I might have spit out some combination of vulgarity and violence.  But HGB and Arlene never tell us what to do in these situations, when the guy is being less than gentlemanly.   I was on my own to sort this situation out.

So instead, I looked him in the eye and said, “Actually, my costume is perfect” and kept on walking.  Behind me, he stammered something akin to, “Uhh, I just thought…the actress…duh….”

Con guys are notoriously creepy.  I’ve never had that happen in Albany, but the internet is full of horror stories of girls being forcefully touched, photographed and, if they say no or ask someone to stop, they’re harassed and cursed.  There’s a sense among many of these men than your body belongs to them just by being there, like you are nothing more than an action figure brought to life by a magical fairy.  Captain Neckbeard didn’t make body comments to Ian, who is a few inches shorter and a thicker than 1980’s Alec Baldwin, and I’m sure he didn’t say “Batgirl doesn’t wear glasses” to the adorable towheaded tike who asked us for a picture.  But because I’m an attractive woman and therefor can’t be a “true” geek, it seems like he felt it was okay to shout comments about my physical form as I was walking past, minding my own business, off to get pizza with Heather and Alex.

I’m sure Captain Neckbeard didn’t intend for it to be an insult.   I’m sure in his head, he was saying, “Wow, that costume is flawless” and it just came out wrong because he’s a dope.  But here’s a hint, gentlemen.  If your “compliment” has any variation of “if” “except” or “but” in it, it’s no longer a compliment.

And for all the con-men out there–when you see someone in a costume, no matter how good or bad it is, you say, “Hey, nice costume,” because it takes guts to wear a costume in public on any given Sunday.  They didn’t wear it for your entertainment.  They wore it because it makes them feel awesome and helps them have a good time.  So if you can’t say anything nice about anyone, how about you keep your trap shut?

Geek Girl Gets Engaged

“A happy marriage is the true test of your skills in the art of femininity” Arlene Dahl, Always Ask a Man.

I guess something in this crazy 10-month long experiment has worked, because last night, during the annual Halloween parade, Ian asked me to marry him.

I had no idea this was coming.  We’ve been together 8 years, so I assumed it was coming at some point, but we were walking in the parade with the Teen Center Grim Reaper puppet, and we came to a stop in front of the plaza.  We posed for a picture for his parents, and when he turned me around, the teens holding the puppet had unfurled from it’s hands a banner that read “Libby, Will You Marry Me?”

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Spoiler Alert: The Answer is Yes.

Ian then got down on one knee, took off his hat and held out a ring from Wolfe Wilde jewelers.  “You’ve waiting long enough,” he said.  “Will you marry me?”

I was absolutely breathless.  Everybody, including the mayor, cheered.  People took pictures and I finally managed to gasp in the affirmative.  More cheering.  We walked down the rest of the parade route in a cloud.

He designed the ring; a garnet with four diamonds; two from his grandmother Inez’s watch and the one from my mother’s engagement ring (this fun fact made my mom cry).  I’ll post pictures later.

Glam Girl and Reader Jen, who played in the band and goes to the teen center, summed the night up thusly–“Is the blog going to change?”

No, dear readers, I’m determined to finish out this blog as I started, but starting soon will be a spin-off blog Glam Geek Gets Wed, chronicling our planning this whole crazy thing.  You don’t think I’m going to have an un-glam wedding, do you?