Friday, November 21, 2008


"I've jingle bells
from carousels
and I've got a friend
who'll lend me a sleigh.
All that I need is a blanket of white;
Baby and I will go riding tonight,
cuddling, huddling,
keeping the frost awaaaaay..."

The snow and the approaching holiday seasons are making me feel mushy again, so excuse me while I set aside my usually bubbly and somewhat objective approach to life and wax sentimental for awhile...

I've never had a Christmastime love. Actually, I've never been in love at all; I've merely pinned my loneliness on this person or that. You know that Rudy Valentino quote: "Women are not in love with me but with the picture of me on the screen. I am merely the canvas upon which the women paint their dreams." Well now you do. A lot of people do this with movie stars or performers; they fall for a projection of someone, an image that is based mostly on personal speculation rather than actual fact or knowledge. You know, those girls that say they are "in love" with this celebrity or that, people that they've never even seen in person, let alone talked to. The girls who buy shirts that say "Mrs. Brad Pitt" or whatever. The ones who legitimately think that they're going to marry Chris Brown someday. (sorry if you are one of these girls haha)

Yep, people pin their loneliness, their wishes for the future on celebrities all the time. I don't. I think it's silly. I pin my loneliness on people that I know, which is, unfortunately, infinitely worse. When you know the person on whom you "paint your dreams," there is so much more potential for hurt feelings, unreasonable expectations. The situation can get wildly out of hand when your perceptions and reality collide.

I don't want to marry someone that I've just created to be perfect in my mind without the facts or knowledge to back it up. I want to fall in love with the man of my dreams, the person who truly IS all of the things that I try to project on all these poor unsuspecting guys. Not a perfect guy (geez, that would suck), just someone who has everything I need. There's a difference. And I know there's someone out there who was created for me and I for him. Yes, I believe in soulmates. And I can't wait to meet mine.

When (if!) I fall in love, I want it to be more than just escaping loneliness. I don't want to just be "in a relationship" but to be a woman transformed by love. I don't want to just fill a space in my heart; I want to fill the space and then add more to it! I want my heart to grow.
I don't want to have to think about why I love this person; I just want to know. I want the answer to "Will you marry me?" to be "Duh!" (though of course I wouldn't say that! hahahahaha)

This is going to sound a little crazy, but I can't wait until my first Christmas as a married woman. I can just see us (me and whoever the heck I'm supposed to marry, it's not like I have anyone in mind) sipping red wine as we gaze upon a Christmas tree that we decorated together, laughing and enjoying each others' company. (note to future self: you better not get stressed out and have a nervous breakdown for your first married christmas!! You've been looking forward to it since you were nineteen!! Relax and enjoy, please, so there will be some poetic justice in my life, ok? thank you.) I realize, of course, that I am in no way ready to be married right now and that I have nothing to gain by idealizing married life.

In fact, the truth is that even when I'm married I'll still be lonely. There's a space in each heart that can only be filled by God. Even the beautiful gift of having someone to share the journey to heaven with could never compare to the bliss of being held close to the Lord as he gently shows you the way to His kingdom with His lovely mother there to help. I never feel lonely when I'm there in the chapel with Him for adoration. I can only hope and pray that the man I marry will be so like Christ and that his love for me will be so like His that I will be blessed with a foretaste of heaven in my marriage, and that I may provide the same kind of love for him.

Alright, well, I think I've mused enough for today... actually I think I've mused enough for a month, so I'll try to spare you the excessive musings for awhile. I really must be going; I'm visiting home this weekend, and my dad will be here any minute to pick me up!

Friday, November 14, 2008

DDE Days 3, 4, and 5

Nothing noteworthy happened in the last three days, so I thought I would end with just a few closing notes on my experience.
Overall, the experiment was a huge success. I learned that eating alone is not a big deal, and on Friday I even at breakfast in Market Central alone! (tried the waffles for the first time. they were delish, but not as good as my dad's!) I also learned that it is not a big deal to have to walk a little bit to get food. There's really no reason for me to have food in my room because there are so many places to get food on campus that are quite close-by, really. Also, the food here is, for the most part, tasty. Tastier than the stuff I've been eating in my room, that's for sure. Also, it really doesn't make sense for me to spend money on groceries when I took out huge student loans to pay for my meal plan. Really, now.
That said, I gained a bit of weight this weekend; so that's where the Freshman 15 come from... To temper this, I will of course pay closer attention to what I am eating, not just the fact that it is Dining Dollar food. Also, I think I'm going to start "training" for the Turkey Trot. I know that's in less than two weeks, but if I run every day until then I should be a little bit ready by Thanksgiving day. Heck, I ran it cold last year! So that physical activity should also help with the whole Freshman 15 thing. I'm actually a little embarrassed to admit that I've started with them, because when I first got to college I lost weight. It was this lousy experiment! hahahaha I feel like the guy in Supersize Me. Except not.


Nothing makes you feel lonely like a party does, I've decided.
I just got back to Pitt after a weekend full of family and friends, and for the first time since coming to college, I feel homesick. It's not so much that I want to be at home as I don't want to be at college anymore. The novelty has worn off and I'm ready to be done.
I know. This is awful; I'm only a first-semester freshman! I can't feel this jaded yet! But there it is: I'm sick of school and I can't wait to be done.
When I was younger and my sisters went away to college, I would always miss them more when I knew that they were coming home soon. Christmas time was the worst, because all the family traditions of choosing the tree and decorating the house had to be continued and carried out without them. I missed them like crazy then.
I didn't know that it worked both ways, that when I knew I was going home I would miss home more. I'm going to visit the high school crowd this weekend for the fall play, and the missing them is almost unbearable.
Boo, I need to snap out of this. Write it off as a moment of weakness along the bumpy road that is life, I guess. hahaha :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

DDE Day 2

Tuesday. A pseudo day off for me in that I only have one real class: Italian. I have ballet at 1:30 and choir at 4:00, but neither of those require much outside of class work. Somehow Tuesdays always end up being busy, though!
This morning I didn't have to go to the costume shop because there is a class in there on Tuesdays, so I got to "sleep in" until 10 or so. Unfortunately this false sense of having time in the morning usually makes me late for Italian at 11. So of course I didn't eat breakfast. Usually on Tuesdays I grab a Sweet n Salty bar for breakfast on my way to Italian, which would clearly be a violation of DDE rules. It's not like I have any of those bars anymore anyway.
I couldn't eat after Italian, either, because I went to Mass at noon, so as soon as Mass was over I hightailed it to the Pete for brunch in the food court. I discovered a lovely sitting area under the escalator by the windows, so I sat there for about 15 minutes eating my wrap (from Jazzmans) and reading more of the book that I bought at the used bookstore on Sunday. (Sorry, parents: Yes, I shopped on Sunday. But only a teeny weeny bit. :p) Eating right before ballet might have been a poor choice, by the way... I definitely wouldn't suggest it.
Anywho, after a shower and some time wasted on Facebook I was late for HCC (again! At least no one really cares if you are late; people seem to do it all the time). Afterwards I went to Market Central for the first time during this experiment! All I ate was ice cream and grilled cheese, though; kind of a waste of all the fancy foods available there. I mean, usually when I go to Market I like to get stir-fry or pizza or something from Magellan's... stuff that you can't really get anywhere else. But whatever. I wasn't about to stuff myself with food I didn't want.
I probably should have eaten a more substantial dinner, though, because today was my bible study leader's birthday!!! There was a carrot cake (made from scratch! delish) and chocolate covered pretzel sticks with peanut butter chips on top (also homemade! love it). Of course I partook in the celebration, even though these items didn't use dining dollars. Free food definitely counts!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

DDE Day 1

Today is Monday. I suppose you could say that today is technically the 2nd day of the experiment, but for the sake of ease, we'll just call Sunday the Day of Origination and today Day 1.
So. Notes on today:
(insert *Dining Dollar theme fanfare* here)

- breakfast (9:00) was a bagel and vanilla soy milk at Cathedral Coffee on the way to work (I was late again. Too bad.) Usually I don't eat breakfast, but I was SO HUNGRY from not snacking the night before that I had to stop, even though I was late for work.
- I bought a Smore flavored steamed milk there later in the day, too (in case you were thinking about trying one, DON'T. The milk does not taste like toasted marshmallows, and the "graham cracker pieces" actually just sink to the bottom and become an unpleasant mush for you to find as you're sipping the last few drops. bleh.)
- For lunch (1:00) I went to the Schenley Cafe in the basement of the WPU. I was planning on getting a sub, but the line was so long! Who knew that Schenley Cafe was such a happnin' place? I tried to temper my mild embarrasment at sitting alone by opening my book and reading a few more pages while I ate my surprisingly greasy chicken tenders. (Don't worry, I didn't get any on the pages; I HATE food stains on the inside of books!)
- I didn't get to eat again until about 6:30 tonight due to class and an hour of fasting before Mass, so right after Mass I wolfed down a Snickers bar from the Newman Center vending machine. Ok, technically not a Dining Dollar item, but not a grocery store item, either.
- For dinner, which is usually an in-the-room meal unless I'm meeting someone at Market Central, I went to the Pete Food Court, where I got a toasted sub from Sub Connection plus a muffin and a bag of gummy worms from Jazzman Cafe. I took all of this food back to my room to eat, because I couldn't stand the lameness of sitting down in the food court by myself and the Pete is very close to my dorm.
So far, all the food eaten today has been tastey and free with my mealplan. I sort of cheated by having Mom drop off several cans of fruit for my food drawer, but fruit can not be a meal so the plan will still probably work out alright. So far, all my meals have been eaten alone, which is usually the case, anyway. The key point here is that going out for all my food has increased my meetings with the girls on my floor and other people I know around campus, which is definitely a good thing. I don't want y'all thinking that I don't have any friends here, cuz I have lots, but I usually don't have eating buddies because everyone's schedules are just so different. Seriously.
Alright now, enough of my yammering.

Stay tuned until tomorrow's episode of *insert DDE theme music* The Dining Dollar Experiment!" hahahahaha

The Dining Dollar Experiment

This week I have decided to try something new.
Usually my eating habits include lots of snacks provided by the local IGA and my mother. Whole Wheat Poptarts, canned soups, popcorn, almonds, granola bars, peanut butter and honey sandwiches, peanut butter and chocolate chip sandwiches, and even PB&J are all common things for me to eat. In my room. Alone.
This week, however, will be different.
On Saturday night, I realized that I was out of food. All that remained in my food drawer was a honey container with about a tablespoon left in the bottom, 2 packs of gum, and 3 teabags. Rather than heading to the grocery store, as I would usually do, I instead decided to laze around my dorm room and do nothing about the situation.
Hence Sunday morning rolled around, and then Sunday afternoon, and I still hadn't eaten anything since the night before. My body struggled with itself: on one side, my stomach, growling and grumbling at the lack of food, and on the other, my lazy butt, objecting to the mere idea of stirring from my room, where I was cozied up still in my pajamas with a blanket and a movie. At around 2:00 in the afternoon I began to feel physically ill from lack of food, and I knew that I had to venture to the outside world in search of something to eat. An afternoon on S.Craig Street solved my problem, but the experience led me to some rather interesting contemplation:

1. I had trained myself to eat in my room.
2. I was wasting Dining Dollars and passes and spending real money (of which I have little).
3. I was missing out on social opportunities.
4. I had survived for about 16 hours straight without food.
5. My desire for food caused me to de-hermitize myself.
6. If this worked for one day, could it work for a whole week? Yes!
7. I am essentially planning to starve myself out of my room.
8. For one week I will eat nothing but food I can buy at the dining halls.
9. At the end of the week I may or may not go grocery shopping, depending on how well this experiment works.

Stay tuned, dear readers! The great Dining Dollar Experiment has begun! (insert *Dining Dollar theme music* here)

Sunday, November 2, 2008


So as you probably know, Friday night was Halloween! This was my first year of not trick-or-treating; where can you trick-or-treat in Oakland?? Ah, you cannot. So I went to a costume party instead. It was wild and crazy fun, by the way. Better than trick-or-treating, actually.
On Saturday morning (actually afternoon might be more accurate in describing the hour at which I finally climbed out of bed) I sat down at my computer to check my email and realized that the only candy I had to show for my night of crazy fun was a Dumdum pop that the security guard had given me as I checked into my dorm for the night. Pitiful!
That is why, later that day, I found myself at the Rite Aid a couple blocks away, in the candy aisle to be more specific. (hahaha that almost rhymed... but don't get too excited because I'm not a poet in the slightest) My purpose for being there was to purchase Halloween candy that was greatly reduced in price, I'm talking $1 for a package. I bought a bag of Butterfingers (my favorite!) a pack of Snickers, a pack of 3 Musketeers, a pack of Reeses cups, a pack of KitKats, and a bag of fruit flavored Tootsie Rolls.
Thus, this Halloween I experienced the best of both worlds: all the fun of dressing up that goes with a costume party (which was free because I'm a girl) and all the candy that goes with a night spent traipsing around the neighborhood (for the reasonable price of $7.18).
What a delightful weekend! :)