Archive by Author

KARDASHIAN KONVERSATION

17 Jul

Since productivity in the workplace is rarely super high on our list of things to do on a Thursday, Anne and Belle decided to have an entire conversation using only Kardashian Gifs. Did it make sense? Not really… Was it totally worth the 4 hours spent doing it? Absolutely.

In reality, we could actually see all of those gifs playing out in one long, real life, Kardashian Konversation… and no one would be surprised.

Opening Question: Do you have any men you need found on the internet? 

 

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keeping-up-with-the-jenners:</p><br />
<p>1/10 fav Kim kardashian quotes<br /><br />
No, Mason… THANK YOU, and the rest of your self-destructive and ever gif-worthy family for continuously providing the world with reasons to believe that if nothing else, at least you aren’t them.
XOXOXO,
Anne & Belle

 

The Gchat Betrayal

2 Jul

Gchat and I have always been BFF’s. It makes me laugh, it makes me sigh. When people ask me what I do at work, I tell them I Gchat like a boss. But Gchat betrayed me, and I may never look at it the same way again.

You may remember Derek, my “friend” who I may or may not have gone on a date with depending on who you ask. Well, Derek and I still hang out. And for weeks I continued to consciously ignore the building sexual tension that accompanied our trips to chipotle, watching an occasional movie, and my personal favorite – going to a shooting range. This all changed whenever one night, after finishing up a documentary about education reform (very sexy stuff) he kissed me.

Crap. This is what I had been trying to avoid. I like Derek, and I know he likes me more… But I can’t date him, or anyone, at this point because when it comes to relationships I am anything but stable right now. And I care about him too much to just string him along until I figure out what my issues are and possibly royally screw him over.

This is where Gchat comes into play.

The following morning, I log onto my work computer, immediately pull up Gmail (like every other human being in America, this is always my first task), and see who is online. One of my best friends from college is on and immediately I begin my story. I tell her how we were hanging out, he kissed me, and I told him it was a bad idea and that we needed to stop. At this point in the conversation, Derek also messaged me on Gchat (you may see where this is going). Wanting to give my girlfriend some background information on Derek, I copy a link to his facebook page and paste it into the Gchat box.

It was the wrong Gchat box.

But did I stop there? Oh no. In fact, here is, word for word, exactly what I sent to Derek before realizing who I was messaging:

Me:

Here’s his facebook… feel free to creep away
he went to ******* college and now works at The ********
I think his job is super sexy
and he himself isn’t unattractive
Oh my god
OH MY GOD
Shit
Derek
I’m so sorry
That wasn’t meant to send to you
oh my god
Fuck
I’m so so sorry

I couldn’t believe I had done that. Gchat had betrayed me. Hadn’t we gone through enough together? Hadn’t I confided all of my secrets to it/friends over the past years? Why had it automatically popped up Derek’s chat box when I was speaking to my other friend??

At this point, my hands were literally shaking as I awaited some form of a response from Derek. My co-workers, who aren’t used to me saying anything more offensive than “damn” were quite shocked to hear me exclaim the F-word for anyone within a 30 foot radius to hear.

Finally, Derek messaged back saying: Well… that was flattering. He claims that it was “cute” and “funny” and that I had nothing to worry about… But obviously I did worry about it. Not only did I humiliate myself, but I also completely reversed any thought in his mind that I wanted to keep things between us as “just friends”.

I know that it could have been worse. I could have insulted him, or given away even more mortifying comments before catching myself. But the point is, this happened. Gchat went rogue. And a week later, I’m terrified to take myself off of the “invisible” status.

Some day, I hope to rekindle the passion and vigor I had used with my favorite messaging system. But I believe our relationship needs to take a step back so we can re-evaluate things. Until then, it looks like I’ll have to do real life things during the day… like work.


Belle.

Dear Stale Bagels, Where is thy HEAT?

18 Jun

I’m done with online dating.**

After what I’d like to think of as an absurd amount of just okay first dates, almost all of which originating from some kind of online dating app, I might be throwing in the towel. I am in the process of adhering to Stacie’s advice about accepting a second date, because I believe her logic is sound. However, I think as a whole, this online dating thing is just not for me.

Initially the idea of going on lots of dates each week was incredibly appealing.

Coming from someone who has spent 85% of my last 6 years of life in a relationship, I relished the notion of having new conversations with different guys, the anxious butterfly feeling when meeting them for the first time, the opportunity to experience something brand new and not know what to expect! But, and I know this goes without saying, dating in DC is hard.

Most of the months that followed the demise of my 5 year relationship involved a total disregard of typical dating. I just wasn’t interested. I was cool with meeting dudes at bars, semi-poor life decisions, and whatever, but I wasn’t ready to hop on the dating bandwagon quite yet. That’s when my friends discovered Coffee Meets Bagel, Tinder, Hinge, etc. And I figured #WHYNOT.

My past relationships usually spurned from friendship, or at least mutual activities. Unlike Blind Bagel dates, there was no need to discuss topics like where I’m from, what college he went to, or what we do in our spare time. Conversation flowed easily, and pauses never felt awkward. Why? Because I had already invested in this person. The spark was already there. With online dating, all you have is the hope that something in the initial 45 minutes of conversation will capture your attention enough to stick around for another round of drinks. But more times than not, all I really felt like doing after my first beer was crawling into bed with my iPad and cottage cheese to watch more netflix. That would be 800 times more enjoyable than hearing about their desire to live a more active lifestyle

These guys that I go on dates with aren’t bad (well, most of them aren’t). They’re intelligent, well-traveled, have more or less interesting and stable jobs, and I’m sure have excellent futures ahead of them. So why is it that last night I left a quite attractive and well-spoken date after one drink in a bar because I’d rather watch Inside Combat Rescue with my friend and his dog? I DO NOT KNOW. Other than the fact that there was once again, there was zero spark.

As our wise Betty once said to me, “I think online dating has made it so much about trying out the different guys as if they were dresses and trying to fit them into the right boxes that we forget there IS such thing as an immediate spark.” Personally, I would rather find a guy in a bar who I felt immediate chemistry with, rather than pray that it magically appears while I spill Korean BBQ tacos on my skirt with them at dinner. I’d rather go on a date with someone I already know who I have shared interests with and can talk to, than click “Like” on another sexy 6’3 Jewish man on CMB. The idea of meeting a stranger is exciting – but only until you actually meet them. (Side note, I will always support the sheer entertainment of tinder.) But it doesn’t seem like it’s for me. The question is, will I stop?

The answer, dear readers, is likely a resounding no.

I’ll continue to swipe right, click like, make small talk, and venture on to many more Just Fine dates in the following weeks. Why (besides the fact that I’m getting a ridiculous amount of free food)? Because I’m desperate to think that one time, it’s going to be different. Maybe this guy who talked about making Baklava with his mom will be sweet. Maybe this guy who travels to Europe 4 times a year will be interesting. Maybe this guy with the picture of him playing a piano means he appreciates the same things that I do. Maybe, Maybe, Maybe. I’m sure we all know the outcome of this already. But it doesn’t mean I’m going to heed my own advice from my own article.

Thus, I jump back into the never-ending cycle of just fine dates that, if nothing else, result in great brunching topics of conversation. I have yet to find a spark of heat in a single one of them. But who knows… Maybe someday my bagels won’t be stale. Or not.

B.

(**I am not done with online dating.)

 

The Interns Are Coming

4 Jun

All over DC, a slow but steady buildup has been approaching, finally erupting in offices everywhere this week.

You know how during Freshman orientation in college there was always a list of things to do/avoid so as not to be that Freshman? It ranged from getting rid of that tacky lanyard hanging around your neck with your student ID attached, to going to each and every organization’s free pizza party in order to save on your dine dollars.

Wouldn’t it be nice if DC held some kind of massive orientation in front of the Lincoln Monument for all the new interns that have arrived? If we had it our way, these are some of the key points that would be touched upon before they embark on their summer in the capital.

– Do Not ask a co-worker on a date the first week you meet. Or ever. The exact words that were used with one particular intern was “Would it be inappropriate to ask you on a date?” Yes, dear. Yes it would.

– We will give you stupid work. Shut up and do it. That’s what you’re here for.

– Don’t dress like a slut. A bandage skirt that has seen the depths of Saint-Ex does not double as a pencil skirt. And please leave your 5 inch red platform heels at home.

– Your opinions probably don’t matter. Sure you’re in the Student Government Association at your college, and therefore believe you have really brilliant ideas… but let’s be honest, you don’t.

– Gossip in DC is worse than in high school. Go ahead. Hook up with the intern from the legal department. Complain that your boss doesn’t deserve his position. Game on. Because We will find out.

– Standing directly in front of the cafeteria worker with 8 people behind you in line is not when you start pondering whether you want swiss or cheddar on your turkey sandwich. Know what you want for lunch, and order quickly. We’re all in a hurry.

– Don’t show up to work hungover multiple times in a week. We’re aware that you will party like it’s 2011 on random Tuesday nights at McFaddens, but pop some advil, drink a 5 hour energy, and pull yourself together man.

– Don’t go to McFaddens.

– Just because you’re the nephew of a senator, or the daughter of John Boehner’s college roommate’s cousin-in-law does not make you important. Sure, that’s how half of you got your internships. But don’t for two seconds think we want to deal with your douchebagery.

Follow these rules, use common sense, and don’t be a dick. That’s basically the summary of this post. And if you can do that, we will love you forever. If you can’t, we’ll laugh in your face, complain behind your back, and blog about you in the hopes that you see it someday.

Don’t be an intern statistic. We’ve all been there. And we’re rooting for you.

B.

In which Tinder drains all of my data in a single weekend

28 May

Tinder is like a can of Pringles… once you pop, the fun don’t stop.

While on our girls getaway this past weekend, someone had the brilliant idea to download SR’s new favorite app. Although it is something I typically would not do in DC for fear of accidentally stumbling upon a co-worker or someone else I knew, Myrtle Beach was an entirely different ballgame. Not only was there no pressure to actually meet any of these bros, but we had ample opportunity to troll the crap out of them. Which is precisely what we did.

(Please note that all of these Tinder screenshots actually did occur this weekend…)

Not only did our Tinder-Endeavors provide hours of hilarious story sharing amongst ourselves, but it also showed us the best and worst of men’s attempts to talk to (or hook up with) a girl online.

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There are many types of people that join something like Tinder. I’d say half of them are looking for a random hookup.

 

Another quarter are actually looking for a casual date true love.

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And the final quarter are being trolls and seeing just how interesting the conversation can get (HELLO, that might be me).

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Bojangles seemed to be a theme for where we “invited” our men to meet up.

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I guess it all depends on what you’re looking for. Personally, I’m looking for entertainment. And luckily, there are plenty of men on Tinder willing to provide just that.

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One of our most interesting revelations is that it takes a good deal of skill to be good at Tinder. You can have a gorgeous #selfie of yourself wearing an American flag bathing suit in front of the Eiffel tower (actually spotted) and yet be unable to carry on little more than a sub-par conversation. In my (granted limited) experience, it’s highly unlikely that your Tinder match, even the ones that are just looking to get some, will want to stick around for more than 10 minutes when you can’t put basic sentences together.

As long as you make it past the initial “swipe”, being clever and ironic are just as essential to your online lover as the ability to flex your biceps. And I thoroughly enjoy a man who can outsmart me – or can at least take a joke and keep up!

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Overall, my Tinder weekend has been an enlightening experience. I have considered putting myself on hiatus while back in DC, but I guarantee that whether it’s Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel, or whatever the next big dating app is, the SR ladies will cover it for you. Worst case scenario, this happens?

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We know you’ve got your own stories, and we desperately want to laugh at them with you. So send them to us on twitter @StopRequestedDC or in the comments below!

XO,

Belle

 

My World of Lighter Packing

21 May

In college, I would show up for a weekend away with little more than an overnight bag and my purse. My friends would gape at me and wonder how the hell I was going to make it through the weekend with so little “stuff”. It’s easy, people. REALLY easy. Packing 17 outfits for a 5 day trip, including two practically identical pairs of brown heeled wedges is idiotic on so many levels. Why do we girls, in particular, do this to ourselves? Why pay for checked luggage when we can fit everything into the overhead bin?

Over the past 20-plus years, I have perfected the art of packing. I believe this comes from decades of camping with my family, weekends visiting my dad, and of course that little stint abroad – including the time I spent 10 days in Italy with only an over-the-shoulder bag (which also carted 10kg of parmigiano cheese). It’s officially down to a science.

In just 24 hours, 4 of my favorite ladies and I will be heading down to Myrtle Beach for a long Memorial Day weekend of celebrating our nation’s finest by saluting them with tequila sunrises. We’ll be gone for 4 full days, and are cramming ourselves and our stuff into a little toyota camry. Our bags, which need to be kept to a minimum, will contain bathing suits, bar attire, warm clothes, something to sleep in, and “normal clothes” to wear during the day. Not to mention hair supplies and makeup! That’s a lot to fit into a carry-on sized bag. So we must be prepared. Not all trips are created equal – obviously a trip to the beach is a little different than a trip to the mountains. But for this standard Beach weekend, here are my staples.

 

The Duffel Bag:
There are literally thousands of options to choose from. Whether you keep recycling your old Vera, switch to a sturdy yet stylish L.L.Bean or Northface, or simply grab one from Walmart, a medium sized duffel bag is integral. Backpacks are my second choice. I find them to be much more efficient for trips where you need to take your stuff with you at all times (i.e. a European adventure!). But for our purposes, a duffel gives me more space, and the ability to simply toss it from the car to our rooms.

Swim Stuff:
A bathing suit takes up basically no room in a bag (also, hi let’s discuss how cute ModCloth’s suits are). Same goes for a coverup. But the towel is a traitor. There is literally no reason to bring more than one. Never. If it gets wet, wash it (or just don’t). You are likely staying at either a hotel or a friend/relative’s house which means you don’t need a second one for showers – there are always extras…

Comfort Clothing:
These will be used in multiple ways. A pair of thick black capri leggings, long/short sleeved t-shirt, and a hoodie provide a magical combination for traveling women of all shapes and sizes. You can wear them on the car/plane/whatever both to and from your destination. They are also perfectly acceptable sleepwear. And there is certainly no shame in wearing them around the house or in the evening on the beach when you and your ladies are just downing one bottle of wine after another watching the waves come in.

Day-to-Day Attire:
You’re at the beach, so let’s be honest… I don’t need much of this. I’ll be basking in my suit under the UV rays til the cows come home. But just in case I do need something to wear between the beach and the bars, here is what is going into my own bag:
1 pair of black shorts
1 grey maxi-dress (or substitute for a maxi-skirt)
1 colorful loose-hanging top
1 solid-colored tank or blouse
Choosing individual articles of clothing that can match with more than one other option will double your outfits. Besides, you’ll likely be wearing them for less than 4 hours each day. It’s not like you’re getting them dirty.

In-Da-Club:
Friday and Saturday nights in a warm environment are not difficult to prepare for. I feel like describing the clothes you should bring for a night out is ridiculous. We all know what we like to wear when we go to the bars. My personal preference (and plan) is as follows.
Night One – A Fun black sundress with a red belt
Night Two – A bandage skirt and bright top

Shoes:
You need a total of three pairs of shoes for all of the above outfits. One of each. That is all.
1. Sandals – These will be paired with your comfy clothes and swimwear
2. Flats – Choose your color wisely, because these should be able to match both your casual clothes and possibly your bar outfit
3. Heels (optional) – If you’re feeling bold. But if you can already tell they’ll be staying in your bag, do yourself a favor and leave them behind and go for a sparkly pair of flats
There is seriously zero reason to bring another type of shoe.

Note: For those of you who think you need to pack exercise clothing and tennis shoes on this trip, I laugh in your face. You’re on vacation. Just stop. You will not be invited to my beach house.

Misc:
Make up, shampoo, shaving stuff, hair dryer, straightener sunscreen… If you’re going in a group, which is generally the case, it is completely unnecessary for each individual to bring their own version of the previously stated items. Bring your own razor and makeup, and then divvy up the rest. 2 hair dryers and straighteners, one bottle of shampoo/conditioner, and one bottle of sunscreen can easily be split between a group of 5. Sharing is Caring, ladies. (PS, for Sunscreen, no matter what your skin type, you don’t need more than 30 spf.)

Oh Em Gee Look at all this extra room I have! Now what do I do??:
Here is your chance to add in an extra shirt, or a jean jacket to complete an outfit. (Note, I’m not saying this is absolutely necessary…) I guarantee your bag is lighter and happier, so there’s so much more room for activities!! (This is also known as shopping.)

Welcome to my world of light packing. I hate sifting through mountains of clothing when I’m on a trip. And I love having extra room so I can bring more stuff home with me! The key points to remember here are to be prepared. Try all your clothes on before you pack them, and come up with your actual outfits. Pick clothes that mix and match well. And don’t forget that you’re with your girlfriends… SHARE YOUR STUFF! Feels like college…

Belle

So… This is a Date?

7 May

I went on a date last night. Except I didn’t realize it was going to be a date.

A friend of mine (*note, Friend) just came back from being out of the country for a year for work. I only knew him briefly before he left, as I had just moved to DC myself. While he was gone, we talked via email and facebook every once in a while and, considering how little time we physically spent together, know quite a bit about the other person now.

Although I always suspected maybe a little bit more than friendship coming from his end, I figured it wasn’t a big deal. It is certainly not uncommon for a guy to have brief moments of “more-than-friendship” feelings towards a girl friend. The solution to this predicament, I’ve found, is being more careful. You don’t want to be considered a “tease” by leading anyone on, but sometimes it’s difficult defining the difference between flirting, and just being friendly. Call it a personality flaw…

But this makes me really mad. I hate worrying that I smile too much around a guy friend, or I touch his arm inappropriately, or I crack one too many jokes in his presence… That’s not me trying to get into my his pants… that’s just me hanging out and having a good time! And I hate feeling like I have to tone-down my normal reactions just because I’m around someone with a penis, just so he doesn’t get the wrong idea.

I unknowingly went on a date last night. “Derek” is a great kid. He’s sweet, intelligent, cute, has a great job, and I actually enjoy talking to him. Although I realize those are the defining features of a guy who I actually would like to date, he is my friend. And I’m still hung up on my ex. And have zero goals in life to start a new relationship which will only end up destroying a friendship.

Derek asked if I wanted to grab dinner at some sushi place. DUH. Of course I want to. I want to hear about his trip and gorge myself in rice and raw fish. But how does that constitute a date? However, he insisted on paying (even when I tried giving the waitress my card) and word-dropped “date” twice during dinner. This was the look I gave each time:

We then watched a really horrible movie at his apartment and chatted about all the cool things he did abroad… I made sure to keep my distance on the couch, and never insinuated that there would be any form of touching during said movie, or after. And yet, he still said the word “Date”. I felt conflicted the entire night. Although I was having a genuinely good time with him, I had to cautiously make sure I was not giving him any reason to think that I wanted anything more to come from that evening…

I don’t know where we stand at this moment. It’s quite a pickle. I mentioned to him, more than once, that I “don’t date”, but who knows where that actually landed in his mind. I just feel like I’m stuck right now. I don’t want to have to over-think texting him asking if he wants to join me and my friends for happy hour…

Why can’t girls and guys just be friends? Is that really so difficult? Is it even possible? There’s an interesting video here that shows how most girls think they can have guy friends, but guys can’t. Is that true? Do I have to re-analyze every current male friend that I have…

I don’t think it’s fair.

Belle.

Welcome back, Harry!

30 Apr

Westminster’s church bells are tolling, Big Ben’s clock is ringing, the streets are filled with people clinking beer pints and singing “God Save the Queen”… And Prince Harry is Single Again!!!

Thank you, Great Britian. You gave us Harry Potter, The Theory of Gravity, The Tardis, and one Sexy royal family. Prince William married one of the most beautiful women ever – Princess Kate, my spirit animal. And little baby George already looks like a stud muffin.

And I’m sorry Will… But your brother just wins.

I can’t say I would typically go for gingers… but in Harry’s case, come at me, bro.

I found out about Harry’s recent eligibility this morning on Good Morning America. To describe my feelings towards him, I believe pictures speak louder than words…

There’s an incredibly idiotic show that is coming out called “I Wanna Marry Harry” featuring American women who actually think the Hotness Prince is going on a dating show to find his future wife… Thank you, Fox, for once again proving how daft we all can be.

As sad as Harry must be, losing his girlfriend of over a year, I have a feeling he won’t be lonely for too long. Girls all over the world (obviously myself included) are simply thrilled that he is back on the market. And until the time comes that I have to crawl back into my sad mindset that he is unavailable again, I will continue to dream that we’ll casually bump into each other at some corner pub in London, share a plate of fish and chips, fall deeply in love, and have beautiful royal babies named Henry and Sophia that live happily ever after.

Clearly I’m just as delusional as everyone else.

B.

 

When you gotta go… you gotta go!

23 Apr

Warning: This article deals directly with poop. No sugar-coating it, guys.

We all do it. Like… daily. It’s a basic bodily function that we shouldn’t have to be embarrassed about. And yet, we still are… Especially as Women. Nine times out of ten, we’re able to be discreet when it comes to relieving ourselves and yet, we have all been in more than one situation where you can’t help it – you gotta go – but it couldn’t be at a worse time. Here are, in my opinion, the top 5 times you wish you could just hold.it.in.

 

5. It’s the middle of the afternoon, and a particularly heavy lunch at Shake Shack has finally hit you. So you scamper off to the restroom and settle in. But just as you’re about to #LetItGo, you hear the main door swush open. And you’re left in a terrible predicament. You’re the only other person in the bathroom, so obviously you can’t place blame on anyone else. So you wait, and wait, and pray you can hold it in, as the Princess takes her good ol’ time fixing her hair and using the actual dryer instead of paper towels… all the while making a mental note for next time to use the bathroom two floors down so that there’s a much lower chance of someone recognizing you when this happens again…

4. Drunk poops are literally the worst. The happy hour celebration for your co-worker’s promotion that ended in another round of shots means that they will be sneaking up on you, often, over the course of the next 24 hours. You find yourself waiting in line at Starbucks the next morning and suddenly you literally cannot do anything else but think about the nearest public restroom location. You not only lose your place in line, but you become that person who has to beg for the store’s key to their single occupancy bathroom that has clearly not been cleaned in 2 weeks and is likely out of toilet paper.

3. Weddings. And not just as the bride – that’s an entirely different ballgame. I no longer have the opportunity to wear fancy cocktail dresses/gowns to formal events like I did back in school. And God knows I’m not important enough to be invited to Galas in DC (but here’s to hoping!). So I take full advantage of dressing up for weddings. And nothing kills my wedding spirit quite like figuring out how to gracefully take a dump surrounded by college friends and the bride’s grandma, while wearing a dress that is way too tight around the butt and impossible to lift properly in order to sit down.

2. Road trips. I mean do I really need to say more? Speaking as someone who spent the last 3 weekends traveling 4.5 hours to and from my hometown, I can lay claim to how awful it is to be 2 miles past the last rest stop when all of a sudden, you feel the panic of having to go. You see the next rest stop is in 28 miles. 28 MILES??? WAIT… THERE’S AN ACCIDENT UP AHEAD??? Who the hell decided to get in a car crash in the middle of the highway NOW??? It becomes physically painful at that point…

1. 6:19am. Bro’s house. He chose you over Obamacare last night, and things swiftly transitioned from watching a sex scene in Game of Thrones, to your own version of it in bed… But that morning after “borrowing” some of his Listerine, and properly putting the toilet seat down where it should be, you suddenly remember how thin his walls are and the completely inconvenient location of his bathroom – approximately 8 feet from his headboard. At that point all you can do is pray that he is a deep sleeper… or just run for the metro. (We recommend the latter option.)

 

Is there anything one can do to counteract these embarrassing, inconvenient situations? Well, I do have one solution that I think is hilarious, and yet, somewhat effective (at least for the stinky part). Poo pourri. Watch the commercial, you will die. If nothing else, it’s small and portable – easy to keep in your purse – and keeps you feelin’ like a lady.

Other than that ladies, shit happens. And we gotta deal.

B.

 

 

Family “Values”

9 Apr

Anyone who has ever met me knows how much I adore being a part of my family. For decades (ugh, decades??) now, I have bragged about how hilarious, accomplished, loving, and just wonderful people they are. We are by no means a normal family – for as long as I can remember we have used the words “weird” “loud” and “obnoxious” to describe our behavior. But it has always been in a fun, spirited way – hopefully appreciated by most who come in contact with us.

We’re close. Like, weirdly close. My family is not just my mom and brothers. My cousins are as close to me as my siblings, and my aunts, uncles, and grandparents have been involved in every step of my adult life. Growing up, we all got together at least once every week (usually Sundays at Grandma’s after church), made sure to make time for family trips to the movies/bowling/amusement parks/etc on a regular basis, and always took a family vacation each summer.

I digress.

Ever since moving to DC, things have changed. I’m the oldest sibling and cousin, and therefore was the first to move out of the house, go to college, (only one to) study abroad, and eventually find a real job. My family are a bunch of home-bodies, and I guess it was always assumed that everyone, no matter their occupation, would stay within a one hour radius of our city for the rest of our lives. I know how ridiculous that sounds… But understand that the career paths of my brothers and cousins will likely allow them to do just that. As for me, I needed to get the eff outta dodge.

I’ve been in DC for exactly one year and one day as of today. (YAY!) And yet, it isn’t until right now that I’ve realized how distant I’ve become from so many people in just one year. Growing apart from friends is normal, and usually I am able to pick up where I left off with them every time I go home. There are no ill-feelings that I left them to pursue a career in a different city. But my family is different. It’s like they hold it against me – constantly. Subtly, but it’s there.

It’s only within these past few months that I’ve noticed it with them. But everytime I come home, I feel like I’m on the defensive with everyone. I’ve had to justify my actions for breaking up with my boyfriend (who they all assume I will get back together with… no). I constantly try to impress them by talking about my job, or bring up fun things that one can only find in DC, and they change the subject. I had knee surgery a little over a month ago, and it has barely been acknowledged by ANY of them since. I tell them I’m coming home on a Friday night, and they instead plan a family dinner and a movie for Thursday. Am I missing something here? When did I go from being a member of the family to some outsider begging to be let back in?

It hurts, guys. It really freaking sucks.

Of course I still love my family. I have put so much energy into trying to keep my relationship with them strong even though I live farther away. I still tell everyone how close my family is, how well we all get along, and how you should be jealous that you aren’t a part of it. But do I mean it anymore? I’ve been here for an entire year, and I’ve had exactly one visitor: My mother.

I can’t imagine acting like this if the roles were reversed. Being the one who gives more in a relationship (friends/boys/etc) and not getting the same in return is not exactly a new concept to me. Honestly… story of my life (thanks, 1D). But I never thought this would also happen in my family. Maybe I’m in a funk?

Honestly I’m unsure what to do moving forward. Half of me wants to pack my bags and head to Europe on a whim (wait, I actually always want to do that) and see how long it takes them to realize I’ve gone. I’m afraid to bring this all up to them, because I really don’t know how they’d react. Do they realize they’re even doing this? For now, I’ve decided to kinda shut myself off for a while. I’m done sending messages to our mass family group text and getting zero responses. I’m done trying to organize a family dinner that no one has time to go to. I’m done putting in all the effort and getting the cold shoulder in return. Maybe when I go home this month, things will suddenly get better. But until that happens, I’m taking a break from trying to be a real member of my family.

Sorry, but I’m not sorry about this.

B.