11 January 2010

Act Like A Lady


Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE my paid friend. Some people are actually troubled by my love and admiration (yes, Jeremy I am talking about you) but, at the end of the day, it’s pretty simple. All of us search for guidance when we are struggling ---some people pray to God, some people ask, “what would Jesus do?,” and me, I channel my inner Donna (yep, that’s my paid friend’s name). So, when Donna “suggested” that I read a book that may give me a fresh perspective on dating, I was totally excited. When she told me the book was by Steve Harvey, I was thrilled.Let me give you the CliffsNotes version of "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man"---

1  The Ninety Day Rule: If Ford requires its employees 90 days of work to get benefits, shouldn't you require it of your man?

Never tell a guy, “We need to talk”

     Don’t be scared to ask serious questions

Men need three things—support, loyalty and “the cookie” (and the cookie is exactly what you think it is)

     If you are drinking Patron or Long Island ice tea you are not the marrying kind 

So, naturally, I decided to give this whole new dating strategy a-go. Obviously, I consulted with Amie and Todd (to ensure I was not being too insane) and they agreed with everything except the whole 90 days thing. We all agreed that it may scare a guy away and that 45 days is sufficient.

Luckily, I had just gone on a good first date with a nice, smart, Jewish boy so, the timing was perfect.  I did exactly what Steve said—I asked serious questions (obvi that came easily since I tend to interrogate my dates and then analyze them), I drank wine exclusively, I asked about his church habits, if he had any kids and we just kissed. I was really getting into this whole “courting” thing. Dating was so much simpler and there were lots of calls and lots of date requests.

After about 5 weeks (aka 35 days), I was really over it. Perhaps it was because he talked about needing his mother’s advice constantly or the fact that he only ate plain pasta and drank Sprite. Nonetheless, I had committed to dating Steve Harvey-style so I wanted to see it through which is why after 46 days of dating, I broke up with him.

28 December 2009

The Hand Holder

For the past week, Shrage has tried to convince me to see An Education with him almost every night. Obviously I love fucked up movies, but I saw the film awhile ago and, although it’s amazing, not something I want to see over and over again.  The movie, or more accurately my experience while seeing the movie, brought up something I have been cautious to write about. Shrage convinced me that enough time has passed and that I need to write about THE HAND HOLDER....

A few months ago I went on a date with a boy. This boy was cute, smart, well traveled, Jewish, blah, blah, blah. The first date was going swimmingly until something really odd happened--- as we walked out of the restaurant, he tried to hold my hand. Ummm, what?! When did hand holding on the first date become appropriate? Isn't hand holding after the age of 16 reserved for couples?!  In an attempt to reclaim my hand, I told him I was cold and wanted to jump in a cab. On the way home, I called my mom and told her about the date.  She said that if the hand holding was the only weird part, I was in good shape. 

For the 2nd date we went to dinner and a movie. I was starting to like him and trying to forget about the whole hand holding thing and then, as soon as the lights went down in the theater, I felt him reaching over for my hand. Obviously I started freaking out inside..... how can he like me enough to want to hold my hand?  Was he simply scared that I was going to leave him? In an attempt to subside my mini panic attack, I decided to try and channel Jess. I knew that Jess would think hand holding was a nice thing. So, I decided I would hold his hand for a few minutes and then pull away.  After a very long 10 minutes, I pulled my hand away from his and pretended to look for something in my purse. Not but 2 minutes later, I felt him fishing for my hand again. Ugh. For the rest of the movie, I felt like I was in a vicious game of capture Ali's hand. I tried lots of avoidance tactics- placing my hands under my legs, intertwining my own fingers in a prayer-like stance, but this kid was on a mission. To make matters worse, we were watching a movie about a creepy old man preying on a high school girl.  I know I am sensitive and all but wtf? How can you be all sweet and hand holding at a time like this?

When I brought up my concerns to friends and family, I could really see a divide. Kev, Katie and Amie totally agreed with me that it was weird, but most other people acted like I was crazy. Obviously Eric and Jess called me insane, but my dad was on the same page as me. He brought up some great points---- "If he can't stop holding your hand now, imagine what he'll do when he really likes you, I bet he tries to Velcro you onto himself.... He could have abandonment issues and....Maybe you should just get him a fake hand or bet yet, wear a hook and when he goes to grab it, he will learn a lesson...." My mom overheard our conversation, grabbed the phone, and told me that it wasn't that weird and that I need to give him at least one more shot. Since the woman is like 99% right, I agreed.

On our third date, I wore gloves---it was Amie's ingenious idea. Things were going well, gloves were brilliant and then, he asked if we could go to Bed & Bath. As much as I love Bed & Bath, pretty sure that place is reserved for serious couples. Again, trying the be "normal" I smiled and agreed. Obviously, I had to take off my gloves once we were inside. My hands were not out but 2 seconds when he went to grab them. This time, I could not keep my mouth shut…the things that spewed out of my mouth weren’t pretty. It wasn’t my finest moment. I knew I couldn’t go on when he tried to kiss me as we walked out of Bed & Bath.

22 December 2009

Kurt Cobain

Naturally, my brother is incredibly weird. Like my dad, he has gone through lots of....let's call them "phases." He is almost like an actor taking on new parts every few years. So, I thought I would write about some of my favorites....

When I was about 10 (Eric = 12) my mom came into my room and asked for all of my markers. Obviously I loved coloring and had LOTS of markers. After collecting the markers, she threw them away and told me that they were banned from our house. Confused and sad, I asked why. She refused to answer but once my dad came home from work, it was all out in the open. Eric, a tough hoodlum, had taken up "tagging." He decided to mark up the bathroom in Hebrew school. Of course he denied it to my dad (my dad always encouraged us to be like Republicans and deny, deny, deny). Best line spewed across the house from my dad (trying so hard not to laugh)… “Eric, it’s hard to deny tagging the bathroom door when you write ERIC HELLMAN FOREVER.” 

The year Kurt Cobain died, Eric was 14. That year, Eric had become very “Seattle.” Of course he cried and cried (Eric cries a lot). I felt badly but that soon faded as his sadness turned to fear. He had to sleep in my room for 2 weeks. Naturally at 12, I tried to reason with him--- Eric, you have control of killing yourself, what’s there to be scared about?” He called my insensitive and when I refused to let him “sleepover,” he resulted in guerilla warfare squirting soap all over my bed so I had to sleep in the extra room, which conveniently, he was already in.

Age 16 was a year filled with anger.  I’d like to blame it on hormones but that was probably not the culprit since Eric had facial hair at 11. Anyways, long story short, there was a tennis match and a racket and he may or may not have thrown at a coach. Being Jews in LA, the solution was sending Eric to a therapist (oddly named Eric).  I knew Eric (my brother, not the therapist) was feeling a bit shameful so I wanted to make him feel better. I asked my dad to take me to the mall. I searched for the perfect gift and I found it…a shirt that said—“I’m special” with a rainbow. I  was so proud of myself!  When I gave it to Eric, he started to cry and threw it at me… guess that was the wrong gift?

As an “adult” Eric went through a pimp stage. Now I cannot go into this phase since most of it was horrible but here are some highlights--- getting a pink Gucci bag in the mail with a note that said “love u lil sis,” being sent with Amie to London for a week and having Eric pay for it, getting flowers weekly. It was awesome to feel like a kept woman. I miss those days.....

11 December 2009

Theme Songs/Videos

Think these videos capture my inner soul

01 December 2009

Eric Scottman

Since my dad wrote a funny post, my brother felt he needed to write something as well. I sort of feel used but whatever Trevor....

From Eric Scottman (his name on his fake ID)

Here are some facts about my sister you may not know:

1- On her free time she likes to sit in her apartment alone and choreograph dances to miley cyrus and/or the cheetah girls. these dances include lots of shoulder shimmy's and at times the roger rabbit. She has filmed them on a few occassions but only the lucky people (amie and lizzie) are able to view.

2- She speaks vietnamese. One time she went with me to get our nails done and i look over to see how she is doing and sure enough she is going at it with Syu (my favorite nail technician) over which dumpling provides the least amount of weight watcher points. I was freaking out that 1- i had no clue she was still doing weight watchers and 2- she spoke vietnamese. She played it down and said that her and mr bluth sit in his office during slow times and get a rossetta stone lesson on a different language. that week just happened to be Vietnamese.

3- As children we would sit in the back seat of my parents car and name our unborn children. She would pick the obvious- Alison Jr. where as i would go for the more normal of names- Benjamina.

4- After seeing the movie Juno she tried to convince our little cousin Brianna (was then 16 years old) to get pregnant and have the baby.

5- If you ever get the joy of seeing her apartment try and look in every cabinet possible.....i guarentee you will find a nutrisystem meal almost everywhere. Her favorite is the Chicken picata.

30 November 2009

I am not important

Yesterday I called to chat with my dad. Quite quickly, he told me that he was scared that he may be suffering from anemia or writers block. Apparently, he is so boring Chaya (his dog) is avoiding him. I assured him that it would pass and he would be inspired again. Seems like I was right. Email to me (Eric cc’d)


Saw the concert last night on HBO. You must not be a very important person since, once again, you could not deliver any tickets for your father, the man responsible for giving you life.

I watched the concert for two main reasons—to determine how aging has affected the artists and beards. Of course, I was very anxious to see if the old performers could stand up for long periods of times. Would they need bathroom breaks? Would they need to sit and catch their breath? Would they have little elves reminding them all the lyrics? It really was mind blowing to see that all the song writers remember their own lyrics. How do they do that? Do you think they hide index cards with reminders? I forget almost everything now, especially that I am married, and most of the artists are older than me. Do you think they take special vitamins? Maybe you can look into that for me (since you failed to get me tickets and I gave you life).

Next, I was trying to get some inspiration for facial hair. It is a tradition of mine to grow a beard during Thanksgiving break---yes I still think I’m in school and therefore get a “break.” I was looking for some creative help from these artists. What’s hot right now in the facial hair forum? Are they sporting beards? Any new side burn patterns? I was hoping my personal favorite, the mustache, was back so I can finally grow mine back. I know you say they are perverted but It really does cover my thin upper lip. Sadly, I got no signs, no inspiration. I am not sure I can pull of the ZZ Top thing, but I like the way he looks--beard, hat and sunglasses.

As usual, I shaved but for all the wrong reasons. I have lotions, eye cream, organic skin softeners, special shaving cream, facial scrubs and tons of after shave to apply. I mean can you do a facial mask with a beard?? I think not. Your mother and I have a special night planned for tomorrow where we will bond over this new facial detox program I have come up with---facial mask plus facial peel plus super duper lotion your mother gets from Italy by way of New Jersey.

So, I did what every normal man would do and shaved off my beard. The beard is gone and will stay gone until I run out of product. By the way, will you buy me some new face products? I saw a picture of you and your face is looking really good. Are you using something new?
Love you.

19 November 2009

Part 2

As I waited to meet the fam at dinner, I popped into Borders. As I started browsing through my favorite aisle (obvi “self help”), something caught my eye...a book entitled “The Rules.” In case you are not up on this kind of lit, the book's premise is that there are "secrets" to capturing the hearts of Mr Perfect and by secrets they mean play hard to get, training men and being well groomed. Since my paid friend had recently "suggested" that I may in fact be sending bad signals to men on dates ( so much so that they feel they can hold my hand all the time) I figured I might as well pick it up. I mean if spending $9.99 teaches me about proper boundaries, why not?

As soon as dinner started I told everyone I was planning on evolving into a "rules girl" in the next week or so (or however long it will take to read this bible). Eric and Jess seemed very excited. Instinctively, I knew they were excited about different things. Naturally, my dad became the focus for the rest of the dinner so it wasn't until me, Eric and Jess drove to Franklin Lakes that we breached the topic again. As soon as Jess had the floor, she had lots to say...

Me: So in this book, it says that girls should not be loud, opinionated or funny.

Jess: Well, not at first. At first just be nice. It’s not important if you are funny or opinionated. Once you have them, then you can be funny. Also, I wouldn't talk so loud.

Me: So basically be someone I am not...trick them ?

Jess: Yes, just in the beginning. Everyone is pretending in the beginning. Eric tricked me. He said he liked going downtown to all the restaurants and having long dinners. We know he is scared of going below 42nd street and we have never ate below 72th street. He only likes to eat at two restaurants.

Eric: Jess, that is not true. We go to CPK alot and that's in the 60s.

Jess: And Alison, I think it sounds like you are mean to boys. Be nice, supportive and smile a lot. Always smile.

Me: Yuck. I don't look good when smiling. More importantly, how does one act nice and supportive?

Jess: You know, make them feel important. Nod your head when they talk. Smile like they are interesting. Sometimes I didn't even listen when the guys would talk, I just nod and tell them they were right.

Eric: Wow, Jess. Any other thoughts for her?

Jess: Well I don't think its a good idea to make fun of them. Let them be funny, you just listen. Don't talk a lot.

Me: This sounds horrible. I am not even sure I can do it.

Eric: Alison just channel Jess when you are dating.

Jess: Yes, that's a great idea.

Eric: How about we role play??? (we agree) Hi, I am Matt and I work at a hedge fund because I want to be rich. I love the suburbs, golf and cars.

Jess: Ok, Alison what would you normally say?

Me: Yuck. That sounds horribly depressing. I would probably slit my wrists.

Jess: Alison!!! That is completely wrong. The right answer is-- I understand. It’s hard and its nice to have things.

Eric (smiling from ear to ear): I would listen to her. She did well for herself, she got me.