4 Reasons Why You Should Pre-Order “Womanskills”

Books have all kinds of uses: a chunky square to fix a wobbly table, extra kindling for when the zombie apocalypse hits, and sometimes they’re even fun to read. Sometimes.

Which brings me to my book, Womanskills. Some of you may remember that I was “writing” something. Some of my friends may remember that over the last year I went into hiding to get it all done. And finally, FINALLY, it’s here. The book pubs on October 15, but I’m hoping you’ll go ahead and pre-order it for a few reasons. (PS— Cover is below in case you’re thinking, Her? Writing? Not possible. Well, it IS, and I DID.)

WomanskillsCover

REASON ONE: This is a book for strong, feminist women

When you see the title Womanskills, that can mean a lot of things. And some people might immediately think this is a book telling women how to behave, which sounds terrible. It’s not that. What I can tell you as a feminist and as the person who wrote this thing, is that this book addresses situations only women have to face; mansplaining, equal pay, and having certain expectations placed on you because of your gender.

Womanskills lays out these situations and provides ways to kick them to the fucking curb so you can spend more time and energy being the strong, badass woman you are. Don’t get me wrong, this also deals with basic, everyday things, like how to actually find a bra that fits, learning how to make an exceptional cup of coffee, and ways to get all of the pet hair off of your couch. OK, that pet hair one was maybe more for my benefit than anyone else, but I figured out some seriously amazing ways to make your home fuzz-free. (The secret involves cleaning gloves. It’ll change your life. I promise.)

Even if you don’t feel like a badass all the time, by the end of the book I hope you feel more empowered to take on the world and deal with the everyday things we all go through. Womanskills is all about adding to your skill set, helping you become more independent, and giving you confidence in the idea that yes, you can snake your own damn drain and negotiate a higher salary all in the same day.

REASON TWO: I wrote a book I wouldn’t hate reading

I didn’t want to pick this hefty square up in 10 years and feel like I’d made a mistake. The Internet is certainly forever, but so is a book as long as you keep it on your shelf. So, I made this fun to read. There are Oregon Trail jokes, ’90s movie references, and plenty of mentions of pizza as a lifestyle choice.

I also made sure it looked the way I wanted it to. For example, this book has some amazing designs and I worked with our illustrator, Kelsey King, to make sure we were showing diverse women — older, younger, different body shapes, sizes, colors, sexual orientations, etc. All women are queens who are too good for this earth, so you’ll definitely see that throughout the book.

Kelsey King, courtesy of Voyageur Press

Kelsey King, courtesy of Voyageur Press

REASON THREE: It’s funny! And people other than me agreed!

Just check out these actual reviews from people who read my book and tell me the lie.

  • “Even though I live with a woman, and even lived inside one for a while, until recently I had no way to help them, because I’m a man. Now, however, I can just hand them a copy of the funny, thoughtful Womanskills.” – Rob Delaney
  • “This wise, irreverent compendium of life hacks finds the sweet spot between Amy Sedaris and Worst Case Survival Guides, filling in a much-needed gap in every woman’s bag of tricks. An instant classic.” – Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander and Paint It Black
  • “This is the smartest, funniest, most patient friend you can get in book form without that book actually being haunted.” – Kristin Chirico, senior editor, BuzzFeed
  • “Erin brings her unique brand of charm, cheek, and fierceness to this much-needed how-to guide. Womanskills are human skills, but the voice speaks directly to my powerful generation of ladies. I now know that my bras don’t fit, my salary could be higher, and I totally should have proposed to my husband instead.” – Jessie Rosen, Time Top 25 Blogger, founder of 20-Nothings.com
  • “In Womanskills, La Rosa is that know-it-all friend who you don’t want to punch in the face. Because she’s hilarious and has lots of great advice for navigating that weird period when you’re supposed to be an adult but have absolutely no idea how to be.” – Lilibet Snellings, author of BOX GIRL: My Part-Time Job as an Art Installation
  • “I have come to count on Erin for her practical and hilarious wisdom. With Womanskills, you too will have access to her advice-from how to cook like a real adult person to how to survive being single again.” – Lucy Keating, author of Dreamology
REASON FOUR: If none of the above excite you, just remember that books are super easy to throw at people you hate

Just saying ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

You can pre-order Womanskills on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at IndieBound — and then let me know you did so I can buy you a big thank you drink!

A Day In The Life Of An Introvert (aka Me)

I was reading about Emily Dickinson and her personal life today, because she was a redhead, and she’ll be making an appearance in the book I’m writing about redheads. And as I was reading about her — specifically about how she was an “extreme introvert” who rarely left her father’s house and only corresponded with people through letters — I kept thinking, YEAH, that sounds awesome.

emilydickinson

Because I spent the last week working from home, only having to interact with my cat and husband and leaving once a day to forage for food, and I feel so good. Recharged. Less tense. Happier. (Though, to be fair, I also didn’t have to wear pants or a bra, which is happiness in and of itself.)

Being an introvert is hard to explain to people who are not introverts. I like people. I don’t hate people at all. I’m not shy either, though people often mistake shyness for introversion. I just get physically drained from crowds, and from being around more than one or two other people at a time. Like, I can last an hour or two in a big group, but then I have to go home and sit quietly so my brain can function again. It sounds kind of insane as I type this, but I’ve noticed it’s a bit like a formula for me.

Me + Husband + Cat = A+

Me + BFF = A+

Me + Handful of Close Friends = A-

Me + Big Group of Close Friends = B-

Me + New Person I Barely Know = C-

Me + Several Random People I Don’t Know = F-, sad face emoticon, Whyyyyy

Like, tonight I was invited to a friend’s birthday party. I got the email invite and  ignored it, as I do with a lot of social invites. I ignore because to think of it actually happening gives me a little anxiety. But then today I got the reminder saying, “THIS IS A REMINDER: PARTY TONIGHT,” and now all my thoughts have looked something like this:

  1. There’s a party tonight.
  2. A birthday party. Marking someone’s life. An important night. And I was invited.
  3. I should go. I’m their friend, and I’m going.
  4. ::: deep, heavy sigh :::
  5. I will know two people there. Maybe three. And if I get there early I’ll have to make small talk with people I don’t know.
  6. This is going to be a problem.
  7. Am I getting sick? I just coughed, so maybe I’m getting sick.
  8. No, I’m not sick. I’m just trying to come up with excuses to not go to this fucking party.
  9. I can psych myself up for this. I’ll stay home all day reading, and knitting, and watching TV, so I’ll be mentally ready.
  10. Just stop thinking about it. You’re going. It would be dickish to not go.
  11. …And I can just go for an hour. Maybe half an hour. They won’t know how long I stayed.
  12. Maybe I’ll just say I was there, and that I didn’t see them. Can I do that? I can’t… can I?

Again, I don’t actually hate people. I just don’t like surprises (very standard introvert quality), and I know there will be more people that I don’t know than I do at this party. Which means I’ll need to make small talk, and think of funny things to say, and try to be “on” the whole time. It just depletes me. And being depleted is OK, just a little exhausting too.

A year ago, I would’ve just tapped out of this party. Used one of my life-lines and said I had an eyelash emergency, or made up some other excuse.

But this year I’m trying to address being an introvert in a more proactive way. Mainly in that I’m trying hard to fight against my introvert impulses when I can, and be better to the people in my life who occasionally want to see me.

Do I secretly want to pull an Emily Dickinson, move into my father’s house, and live out my days in a room? Yes. But I’m not going to do that, because it wouldn’t turn me into a genius poet, and I’m pretty sure my cat and husband wouldn’t be into it either.

So I’m fighting back tonight and I’m going to this party. I know it’ll be fun in the end. I’ll be tired at the end of the night, but I’ll also have fun (even though my introvert anxiety tries to convince me it won’t be fun). But this is pretty much the cycle I go through on a regular basis, and I’m trying to make sure that this year I’m less prone to caving into it. (Bear with me though, and just know that I really do like you. A lot. Keep inviting me to things, and I’ll actually come this time. xo)

It’s Been A Month Since Eoghan and I Got Married…

wedding

A month ago to the day, Eoghan and I got married. [Insert standing ovation here.]

We had a really amazing and small family wedding in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where Eoghan grew up. It was an overcast Valentine’s Day, a chill 40 something degrees out, and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

Like, here’s my handsome husband. Who wouldn’t marry this guy?!

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 11.27.02 AM

We had a fantastic photographer, Lissa Chandler, who captured some truly fun moments, like when I opened a gift basket my friends put together. It was stuffed with Cat Cookies from Trader Joe’s (damnit, I love those so much), gummy bears, whiskey, and cards wishing me a happy wedding day. It also included this BuzzFeed list from my friend Tom, which was amazing and made me cry and laugh.
Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 11.18.38 AM

She also snagged a shot of me getting my makeup done while eating a burger and drinking champagne at 10 a.m. Naturally.Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 11.17.52 AM

My dress was from Rent The Runway. It was a Badgley Mishka gown and I’m obsessed with it.

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 11.22.04 AM

Here were our programs, which weren’t totally traditional, but exceptionally more fun.Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 11.23.36 AM

And our amazing wedding party that included my BFF4Lyfe, Elisa, Eoghan’s BFF, Jim, and his other BFF, Trevor, who served as our officiant. His wedding speech for us was hysterical. And he’s available for weddings now… for a price.

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 11.26.27 AM

I love this photo of me looking at my Dad right before he walks me down the aisle. I was so nervous, and he seemed oddly calm. He calmed me right down.Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 11.27.33 AM

I’d be remiss if I didn’t show our dessert table. We had two cakes: one chocolate, and the other lemon. They both had cream cheese frosting, so hard to go wrong there.

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 11.29.55 AM

Eoghan’s mom, Gayle, gave a really touching speech. She made me cry, and I love this photo of Eoghan hugging her afterward. (My dad also gave a speech, and he and I were both sobbing by the end of it. La Rosas are nothing if not a family who cries together.)

EoghansMom

And as a gift to our friends and family, we wrote everyone Valentine’s Day cards expressing why we were happy to have them with us. This photo is of my grandparents reading their cards. It’s such a sweet one.

wed

9 Steps To Landing A Book Agent

So, recently this amazing thing happened where I sold a book:MyEditor

I wept, openly and freely, because as any writer knows the dream is to sell a book. The crazy thing is that THE BIG REDHEAD BOOK, which is the book I just sold, is now officially going to be my second book. I’m currently finishing up the draft for my first book, Womanskills. 2015 was quite a year.

But onto the important stuff: How does one get an agent so that you can then sell a book? I didn’t have an agent for Womanskills (pre-order the book here), as that was a writer-for-hire situation. So I’ll focus on how I got my agent, the incredible Kristyn Keene at ICM, in the hopes that you can get one too (if you’re so inclined).

And because I’m a big fan of steps, lists, and everything easy to read, I’ll try to make this a step-by-step guide.

Step 1:

Get an idea for a book you want to write. OK, that one’s pretty obvious, but it’s literally the first thing you need to do to even consider an agent. You need a great idea, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, and you need to make sure it’s great.

Step 2:

Get to writing. Most nonfiction doesn’t require you write an entire book before you sell it, and this is also the case for some fiction as well (particularly YA fiction). But you will need a really great query letter, which will be the thing you send to an agent before they even consider reading your work. And at minimum a proposal that you can send to an agent when they ask for more materials. Your proposal should include a fully written sample chapter, information about your “platform,” about you as a writer, and a whole host of other things that I’ll cover in another post.

  •  But query letters are a little simpler, so what’s in a query letter? A query letter is what hooks an agent in. It’s what will get you a foot in the door, and it’s extremely important.
  • Since I had never written a query letter, (or a proposal), I did a ton of research online. I saw a lot of “How to write a query letter” articles, and samples you can look through. In the end, I wound up investing in editing services and used a writer who’s been published and clearly knows a thing or two about selling a book. This was a really important book idea to me, so I wanted to make sure I did everything correctly.
  • What I learned from the query process is this: It should be a page in length max, and it needs to have all of the juiciest information you got (your social media stats, why this book is important, and how the hell you’re going to make it a bestseller).
Step 3:

Research agents and agencies. I spent a lot of time doing this. Crazy amounts. And it was hard. The two biggest tips I can give are 1) Look at books that are similar to yours, 2) Google search who repped those books (something like, “Agent for Zombie Survival Guide” is all you need) and 3) Get a subscription to Publisher’s Marketplace so you can look up those agents.

So, for example, when I looked up Kristyn Keene on Publisher’s Marketplace, I saw that she was a noted agent for a lot of the categories my Big Redhead Book fell into. (OK, I don’t know if I’ll be including any diet tips for redheads, but for sure it’ll be chock-full of humor and all the pop culture you can stand.)

kristyn

Step 4:

Email out your query letter and wait. Wait a long time.

Step 5:

Just know you will get rejections. So prepare yourself emotionally for that, and maybe come up with a little ritual to go with each rejection. (My ritual was any time I got a rejection, I went to get an ice cream. I ate loads of ice cream.)

Step 6:

If the universe is good, you’ll get positive responses from an agent and they’ll usually ask to see your material. Send it over! Then you wait. My big advice here is not to pester or poke that agent unless you absolutely need to (aka another agent is interested). If they asked to see your stuff, they’ll read it, and it will all be fine.

Step 7:

They want to talk to you. OMFG, first of all do a happy dance, because THAT’S EXCITING. It’s been my experience, from talking to others and from my own stuff, that if an agent wants to talk to you, they’d like to rep you. So unless you totally blow the whole thing, you’ve got an agent. All it takes is one agent to try and sell your book, so one agent is an amazing thing!

  • Hop on the phone with them and ask a lot of questions! Things like, “Where do you see this book landing?” “What would be your selling strategy?” “What changes would you make to the proposal?”
  • Treat this chat exactly as you would a job interview. You’re interviewing them to be your potential rep, and they’re likewise interviewing you to see if they’d like to work with you.
  • Feel free to ask if you can speak to some of their other clients to get a sense of how they are as an agent. I did this with Kristyn, and it was super helpful to hear her clients gush about her.
  • If you’re talking to multiple agents, it’s customary to not have an answer for them right away. You can say, “I’m talking to multiple agents, and I’ll get back to you within a week with my decision.”
Step 8:

Make your decision. Smaller agencies might ask you to sign an agency agreement, and those agreements can be LONG. So if you get one, look it over carefully and make sure you aren’t signing your entire creative life away. ICM had me sign an agreement for this book which was all of a paragraph.

Step 9:

TREAT YOURSELF to something very nice — a personal large pizza and wine, for example — because while this whole process can be incredibly stressful, getting an agent means you’re on your way to book town.

Also, it’s important to note that while getting an agent is one of the best ways to sell a book, it’s not the only way. If you spoke with one agent, and you didn’t get a great vibe from them, then don’t agree to let them manage your book. This is your baby, and you can peddle your book idea to smaller publishers to get the result you actually want.

A Conversation About Wedding Dress Shopping

Friend: Did you find your wedding dress?

Me: I did!

Friend: Did you cry when you tried it on? Because you knew it was *the one*?

Me: LOL, no.

Here’s the thing: Say Yes to the Dress is a wonderful show that I often binge-watch while shoveling Skinny Pop into my mouth, but it’s also a web of lies.

In fact, there were a number of lies I was told leading up to the actual act of shopping for my wedding dress. Like…

  • “You’ll get champagne while you shop!” I wish this were true. I probably would’ve bought a dress a lot faster than I did if it were. But 4/4 stores gave us water in a disposable cup, not a glass of champs in sight.
  • “You’ll find your dress at the first store.” This was 100% untrue for me. It took a solid four stores, and a minor anxiety attack at the third store because I was convinced I wouldn’t find anything. Finding the right dress can often be hard, and that’s OK! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • “Wedding dress shopping is fun!!!” I’m not saying that buying a fancy dress isn’t fun, but it’s also really stressful. As someone who had no idea what I wanted, dress shopping was more of a task to be checked off than anything else.
  • “You’re gonna bawl your eyes out.” OK, to be fair I did cry at one point. I walked out in what I thought was a truly hideous gown, and my mom began to cry, which led me to say, “Why are you crying?!” And then I cried. I cry easily. I was also really hungry that day. Don’t shop while hungry.
  • “When you find *the one,* you’ll just know it.” I definitely knew that I liked the dress I ended up buying, but did I “just know it”? Not really. And I’ve had to unfollow most of the wedding sites on Instagram that I used to enjoy so that I stop having buyers remorse about my dress. There are so many options out there, but you’ll know you’ve found *the one* when you can see yourself getting married in it, which I did.

What they should really tell you before dress shopping, and the one piece of advice I’ll give is this: Don’t feel badly if you don’t cry, or don’t have a *this is THE ONE* moment. All you need to feel is that this is a dress you can get married in — find that dress, buy that dress, and then pour yourself some champagne afterward (because the store won’t be pouring one for you, but you deserve it).

How To Write An Amazing Plot Twist

I love a good page turner. There are few things more satisfying to me then starting a book and not physically being able to put it down. So much so that you look up from said book only to realize that you’ve been in your pajamas all day, and now it’s nighttime.

Such was the wonderful case when I read Jessie Rosen’s Dead Ringer — a YA novel that is chock-full of secrets, and has one of the most amazing plot twists I’ve ever read. Seriously, this plot twist will make you scream. I was yelling at this book. I didn’t know I was capable of that.

Which is why I asked Jessie for advice on how to write a great plot twist. Not only because I aspire to be a writer like Jessie someday, but because I wanted a look inside the mind of someone who came up with this plot twist. Jessie, in turn, wrote all about it for today’s guest post. Her advice is, as always, on point and full of unexpected turns! Buy Dead Ringer here so we can discuss this plot twist together, please.DeadRingerCover

How To Write An Amazing Plot Twist, by Jessie Rosen

There is little I love more than a gasp-inducing, throw-the-book-across-the-room, shout a four-letter-word plot twist. BRUCE WILLIS IS ALSO DEAD?! SHE’S HER SISTER AND HER DAUGHTER?! HANS WAS EVIL ALL ALONG??!!

But loving them and writing one are two very different things. And yet, when conceiving of the idea behind my first YA novel, DEAD RINGER, plot twist was the whole point. I (like to) think I pulled it off (Erin thought so!). Here are my tips for twisting a plot so hard it makes your reader’s heads spin.

STEP ONE: Start with a completely insane idea that you’ll never be able to pull off

The twist wasn’t an after thought for DEAD RINGER; it was the entire pitch. I started with, imagine if __________?!?! And then I spent at least a month thinking, nope, too ridiculous. Coming up with a way for it to not be complete and utter insanity was my job. It can be tricky to reverse engineer a twist into an existing world. I recommend twisting first and straightening second. Also good advice when dancing.

STEP TWO: Decide when and how you’re going to do the big reveal

Again, work backwards. If you know when and how you’d like to spill the story’s biggest beans you can figure out how much meat you need before and after that moment. I wanted a very late shock ala GIRL ON A TRAIN, but a book like GONE GIRL features a mid-point reveal which is equally excellent. Pick the “Girl” you prefer, but know before you go.

STEP THREE: Select your red herrings

Herrings, plural. When developing characters to fill out your world you need to consider who we’ll think is involved in the mystery and why. I have one sort of red herring and one real red herring (and as much pickled herring as possible, always). A lot of plot came from that fact and needed to be carefully woven.

STEP FOUR: Never ever lie to your reader

You’re keeping a big, big secret, but every detail still has to make sense when the reader finds out what’s been up all along. It’s so fun to play with dialogue, language and description that dances that like (watch THE SIXTH SENSE for a master class), but do not step over!

STEP FIVE: pour everything you’ve got into your big reveal scene

In DEAD RINGER I reveal the twist to the audience in once scene but to a character in another. Double bang for my buck! Both of those moments were my absolute favorites to write and, shockingly, came the easiest. What does this say about my mental state? Let’s not dwell on that.

And finally STEP SIX: Read as many twisted plot examples as you possibly can

Getting it right is about feeling what works and doesn’t from your own reader’s ear. There are a lot of ways to skin a cat (please forgive the aggressive cat-related saying, Erin), but this is your big Hitchcock moment, so you get to make it your own.

Good luck! God speed! Coffee helps! Can’t wait to read it.

The Problem With Choosing A Gummy Bear As Your Spirit Animal

I should start this off by saying that back in 2012, I declared my spirit animal to be a gummy bear. Which is just about as serious a commitment I’ve made to anyone ever. Maybe even more serious than my impending nuptials, if I’m being honest.

animalHowever, after closer inspection of the term “Spirit Animal” on Urban Dictionary dot com, I’m beginning to wonder if I committed too quickly to this gummy bear animal.
SpiritAnimal

Gummy Bear:

Small in size, vibrant in color, boxy in stature, with a rounded abdomen that could be described as “squishy.” Skills include soaking up vodka, sitting in bowls, and singing and performing in music videos. When faced with being an ice cream topping, they turn into chewy, almost painfully hard rocks, and they’ve also been known to lie about their real flavor. (The green ones are strawberry flavored. Yes, green = strawberry, according to gummy bears.)

I’m not saying I don’t embody a significant number of these things. Because I’m only 5’2, just a few inches shy of being the legal height of a little person, I am a bit boxy. My red hair is arguably a ‘vibrant’ hue and, on more than one occasion, I’ve soaked up a significant amount of vodka.

But turning to stone around ice cream? I’m just not OK with that. Had I given this more than a passing thought, I would’ve picked a more sensible animal to embody my spirit, like a sloth, or Wild Turkey. #regrets

Pro Tips For Attending a Chippendales Show, From Someone Who Survived It

When you Google “Chippendales gif,” this is essentially what comes up:
Chippendales
Which is fairly misleading, because at the Chippendales show I saw last night there was no blood-red backdrop, and no men who looked anything like Chris Farley. (RIP, and god bless this sketch, it was hilarious.)

For those who aren’t in the Chippendales-know — because perhaps you live under a rock — it’s a male review show with its mecca at the Rio in Las Vegas, as well as some traveling shows. (I know this because I went to a Chippendales show in Boston when I was in college, as well as when I was 21 and in Las Vegas for the first time. You could say I’m a bit of a Chips connoisseur.)

As such, I’ve got some pro tips for any first timers visiting Las Vegas. Or just anyone who wants to up their viewing pleasure the next time they catch a performance.

  • Arrive to the show at least 30 minutes early. You can take photos with the performers and there’s a bar to grab a pre-show drink. Often times there will be some dancers hanging out that you can chat up at the bar too. We spotted James Davis, for example, and talked to him a bit before we got to see him dance onstage. It was fun! Like seeing a beautiful lion out of its cage and getting to pet it in the wild, so to speak.
  • THINK BEFORE YOU DRESS. If you want to be pulled onstage, consider that you might have to sit on a chair, or bend, or be used as a prop, and if you’re in a dress and wearing a thong, well… things of yours will be seen that cannot be unseen. Otherwise, dress in clothes that allow for hooting and hollering and intense flailing of the arms. Trust me on this.
  • If you’re celebrating a birthday or bachelorette party, make sure the lucky lady is decked out in garb that alerts the dancers to that fact. This is an amazing venue for a celebration, and when the dancers can see that you’re celebrating, they’ll make extra effort to give that person the attention they deserve.
  • Do your research before you attend and pick a favorite Chippendale. The website has stats on all the dancers, and really fun images. This isn’t going to actually help you, but it is a pretty fantastic way to pass the time. Here’s mine (“He can peel a mango with his bare hands.” !!!) :

Chippendales

  • If you want to be brought onstage, the best way to do that is to shout and get excited when they’re combing through the audience. I noticed that the girls who popped right out of their seat during routines were often chosen to go onstage.
  • BUT, there are exceptions to this too. I saw a lot of shy girls get pulled onstage by the guys. They want everyone to be having a good time, and if it looks like you’re not fully in the moment, they just might make you part of the moment. So fear not, shy folks, there’s hope for you!
  • Stick around after the show ends and get a photo taken with the dancers. It’s all part of the fun, and then you get to see them up close and personal. Much like this adorable family portrait below:
  • There are no bad seats at a Chippendales show because the dancers wander around the audience. So spend the extra dough on the seats next to the stage, or pay what you can and sit in the back. Either way, you’ll be surrounded by dancers and have great views of the stage.
  • And in general, I’d vote in favor of going into a Chippendales show being prepared to totally lose your voice from screaming. I can barely talk today, and I couldn’t be happier. My friend got pulled onstage and I screamed my face off. Priceless.

52 Times My Best Friend Was The Best Friend

I can’t believe my best friend is getting married next year. She’s the most beautiful woman in the world with a smile that could melt your pants off, so I’m not ACTUALLY surprised that a very intelligent man proposed to her. But I can’t believe she’s getting married because I’ve known her since we were in the second grade, and it doesn’t seem like all that long ago that we would just get excited if a guy looked at us without blinking… Let alone marry us.

And this weekend is the bachelorette party. It’s in Vegas. So, yes, we’ll be having a very Chippendale’s, drinking by the pool, wonderfully tacky Las Vegas bachelorette, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Here’s a photo of the last time Elisa and I took a trip to explicitly drink together, circa 2012 in Napa. Clearly being together and drinking agrees with us:
MyBFF

This upcoming trip got me thinking about a lot of things. A lot of friendship things. In particular, what an amazing BFF Elisa has been to me throughout the years. And I wanted to write down all of the ways Elisa has been the light of my life before we go away this weekend to drink our dang faces off.

  1. When we discovered we have the same birthday. We were in our second grade classroom, and the teacher assigned us the “homework” of figuring out who was born first. I was born in the morning, and you slept in. This is not a surprise. I’m glad you let me be the morning person. I love mornings.
  2. In sixth grade, when I locked our math teacher out of the classroom. She was mean, and deserved it. But she said whoever did it had to fess up, or everyone would get a detention. When I fessed up, you wrote me a note saying that I was a “brave” person. I still have that note.
  3. When we’d have sleepovers at your house, and you’d help me put sheets on the rollaway bed. That meant a lot.
  4. When we spent our weekends at the movie theater by your house.
  5. And when we bought a box of those really terrible but really great sugar cookies with frosting before each movie, and ate it together in the parking lot.
  6. When we went to your house to choreograph a dance to Mya’s “Take Me There” for a gym presentation. (Seriously, what was our school, even?)
  7. During every single cheerleading practice in middle school. Because being a cheerleader wasn’t cool at our school, but we had fun, so whatever.
  8. Whenever we passed notes to each other in class about Hanson. And would sign them, “Mrs. Tay.”
  9. And when we briefly moved on from Hanson with NSYNC, and your love for Lance was almost as strong as my love for JC Chasez.
  10. How excited you were when I interviewed Lance years and years later, and he signed a piece of paper for you. That was magical.
  11. When you’d come to my house in the summers and we’d talk for hours while doggy paddling in the pool.
  12. And how you never judged me for having to wear all the sunscreen and t-shirts over my bathing suit. Even though you’ve always tanned an enviable golden brown.
  13. When we left middle school, and went to different high schools that were so far away. But we still stayed close and called each other almost every day.
  14. When you came to each and every one of my high school dances as my date.
  15. And years later, when I had my high school reunion, you were invited too, because we hung out so much that people actually thought you went to our high school. LOL.
  16. When we got an unlimited pass to Busch Gardens in Tampa, and we spent one summer there, basically. Your dad would drop us off in the morning, and we’d ride the sky tram or the train and eat chicken fingers. You hate roller coasters, so we’d just cruise around, doing nothing, and it was fantastic.
  17. When you went on a family trip with me to Mexico.
  18. And when we almost missed the cruise ship back, because we had too much to drink and I tried to steal a T-shirt from a gift shop.
  19. OK, I did steal a T-shirt from a gift shop. I thought it would fit me. It was for a toddler. But you laughed instead of making me feel like a total idiot. Which I was.
  20. When it came time to look at colleges, and we both wanted to go to FSU together and be roommates.
  21. So we went to tour the campus. And you got in trouble for not telling your mom that we were going there by ourselves. And I got in trouble for not telling my mom that your mom didn’t know. It was complicated.
  22. When we both walked by the frat houses at FSU, trying to look cool, but you tripped and I burst out laughing.
  23. Sorry I did that. You forgave me. That was cool of you.
  24. When I had to tell you that I wasn’t going to go to FSU, but wanted to go to an out of state school in Boston. And we were both really upset and scared, but you made me feel OK about it.
  25. When I would call you crying from Boston, because I was homesick and made a huge mistake not going to FSU.
  26. When I finally got over being homesick, and we were able to still keep calling each other and still be best friends, even though we were far away.
  27. When I would come to visit FSU every year during winter break and get to hang out with you there.
  28. Every time our birthday, January 7th, has rolled around, and you’ve been the first person I want to talk to and wish a happy birthday.
  29. The brief year we lived in the same city — New York — and I’d meet you after work in the Financial District, and we’d go get dinner and drink and whine about how bad the dating scene was.
  30. When I told you I wanted to leave New York, and you let me.
  31. Sorry I keep leaving places when we’re in the same place. I love you. I love that you never make me feel bad for too long.
  32. When you came to visit me in Los Angeles, and I remembered what it was like to have you in the same city as me, and my heart broke but also filled with happiness. We have to be in the same city again at some point, right?!
  33. How crazy wonderful you were while my mom was going through her cancer diagnosis. You let me cry and you reassured me that everything would be OK, and it has been. I always felt better after a phone call with you.
  34. When I had an early twentysomething crisis and imploded my life by quitting my job and breaking up with my then-boyfriend. I immediately flew to New York to be with you.
  35. Which is when I met Jason for the first time. And saw how happy he made you. And how happy you made him. And I was equally happy for this.
  36. And now that we’re older and have money of our own, we’ve decided to treat ourselves to dinner at Bern’s for our birthday every year.
  37. And that first year at Bern’s, when I had never been, and we ate so much food and were so delirious from it that we proposed marriage to each other. I would still marry the shit out of you, girl. Just saying!
  38. When we started taking yearly friendship trips. First to Napa, then to Arizona, and it’s something I look forward to every year.
  39. When we went to Napa, rented bikes, and I immediately fell off mine and skinned my elbow really badly. (Karma for you falling at the FSU tour?!) But you were cool with it and helped me bandage it up in that fancy Napa gas station.
  40. Whenever you’ve talked me through any and all major life issues.
  41. Because you know how crazy wound up I can get, and you always know how to cut through the bullshit and tell me like it is. Thank you for that.
  42. When we were in Phoenix and I was asking you so many questions about how you’d want to be proposed to and what kind of ring you’d like. Because Jason told me he was planning to propose. And I wanted to tell you so badly, but didn’t.
  43. When you got engaged, and called me on the phone to tell me, and I started crying from happiness.
  44. When you tried to FaceTime me into your wedding dress shopping. Fuck FaceTime for failing.
  45. When I got proposed to, and I initially only called my parents and you. You were so happy, and hearing your voice made me even happier than I already was.
  46. When you sent E and I a really lovely engagement gift to celebrate — it sits by our bed. Thank you!
  47. Being able to talk to you about your wedding, and the bachelorette, and the shower, and getting so excited to be able to celebrate you in so many ways.
  48. The fact that we’re both engaged at the same time, and that we’ve joked about getting pregnant together. Except it’s not a joke at all.
  49. Our mutual love of Broad City, and how I jokingly say I’ll peg you someday. Except this also is not a joke at all.
  50. For every time you’ve made me laugh uncontrollably, even when I’ve wanted to cry or was already crying.
  51. For knowing my family so well, and being able to talk me through difficult situations.
  52. And for being able to communicate with each other through a look. Or at least I think we communicate with just looks. I’ve been giving you lots of looks, I hope you know.

635699993877551404295503924_tumblr_mvzd4sAEu51si5x45o1_

I love you so much. I cannot wait to celebrate your bachelorette. And I hope you know that I will probably peg you in Vegas.

xoxoxoxoxoxox

Happy Caturday: Proof That Cat People Are Crazy

I’m not saying that a painting of our cat as the pope is at all a sane thing to ask for. But we did ask for it, and we received.

A friend of E’s does paintings like this for fun — cats, dogs, whatever animal you have he can then turn them into a superhero, your favorite celebrity, or the pope, for example. So when E heard this, he asked for one of Fish.

At this point, we’re planning to make some dedicated wall space for paintings of Fish. Because we already have a beautiful likeness of her, painted by E’s mom (see below), and I don’t expect the paintings to stop anytime soon. Fish is quite the muse, after all.  

Sorry, just got lost in my own reflection. #livingthatmuselife #catsofinstagram #catart #imsohot

A photo posted by Fish (@acatcalledfish) on