Where OKcupid urges me to get laid just in case the world ends

Short blog today, just a few final thoughts at the end of this year.

1.New Years Eve has never been my favorite holiday. I like New Year’s Day, it’s exciting to be in a new year, but New Year’s Eve is all about things ending, and it makes me sad. New Years Eve is also one of those holidays for couples. You’re supposed to kiss someone at the New year, and I always end up standing awkwardly around other Couple’s making out.

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I guess I could kiss the other single person, but that just adds a whole new level of awkwardness to the party that no one is ready for.

It’s thoughts like these that make me consider trying online dating again.  OKcupid has certainly not forgotten about me, they have spent all of December vigorously trying to get me hooked up. They had a Christmas themed, “12 days of Matches” series of emails that they kept sending me. I was vaguely considering getting back on the site, I mean, I am still single, and I have to believe that at least some of the people on the website are decent.

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Excluding the guy who sent me a message that only said “What’s your favorite position?”

But then on the 20th of December they sent me an email that was literally titled, “We’re all screwed, you should be too!”

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Because when the Earth is facing catastrophic destruction, absolutely nothing takes precedence over getting laid one last time.

I’m going to try to spare you more “It was the end of the world, but then it wasn’t!” jokes, because I’m sure we’ve all had enough of them. “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It” by REM was probably played enough on December 20th to earn the band enough royalties for a lifetime.

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Not to mention how many thousands of drunk women fell for the, “Lets do it baby! We might not be here tomorrow!”  line. If there are an influx of births in September we’ll know why.

2. The holiday season can be stressful, there is just so much to do. The week before Christmas I worked an 8 hour shift in the morning every day, followed by baking/ shopping, followed by a party, or meeting with an old friend who was in town, etc, etc. I’ve never felt so popular, or more overwhelmed.

guysin santa hats

For this joke I typed “Sad Woman In Santa Hat” into the image search bar, and this is what it gave me. Geez, get it together google.

Evidently I am not the only one who feels the holiday stress because this year my mom got a Christmas letter from one of her distant relatives that at its most cheerful can be described as depression inducing.

It starts out normal. And by that I mean that all Christmas letters start out with some variation of the phrase, “It’s been an interesting year for the Smiths!” Or, “What a busy year it has been!” Even if the only news in the family is, “We continued living the same, boring, middle class family life as last year! Damn, we’re interesting!”So I wasn’t entirely surprised to see the phrase, “We have had quite a year” at the beginning of this letter. I was more surprised by what immediately followed.

“First thing that happened this year is that my older brother suddenly passed away, then my wife was sick for two months, and finally I was diagnosed with cancer.”

That is not a good beginning. The holly jolly tone continued with this,

“There is one thing that is a sure thing, and that is we are all going to die. That is 100% certain.”

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Don’t worry, I just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas. I’ll be back. Soon.

Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like reminding us all of our inevitable mortality. I don’t feel like too much of a horrible person for sharing this with you though because the letter does eventually explain that the cancer treatments are over, and the wife is no longer sick.  I’m not going to say that this is a good Christmas letter, but to give them credit, it IS the only one I can remember. So now my new goal for life is to make the most memorable Christmas Letter EVER.

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Merry Christmas All! What a year it has been, and other than my contraction of Chlamydia, I can report that it has been quite pleasant!

Until Next Year!

-Tara

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Tara Tuesdays! Where Christmas parties are just an excuse to gorge myself

Why does this happen every year now? Every year I get older, Christmas season goes by faster and faster. As of this Tara Tuesday, it is now only one week before Christmas! Remember when you were a kid, and it took FOREVER for Christmas to get here, and you would stare longingly at the presents under the tree? You would count them, and pick them up and shake them, to try and guess what they were? These days, I don’t even know if there are presents for me under the tree at all! I mean I assume there are, only my mom and I wrap presents around this house, and some of the presents under the tree are unfamiliar. So I gotta assume some of them are mine and not my brother’s.

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Although it’s possible that they’re all for him. As I’ve told you in the past, he is the perfect one.

 

I’ve gotten all of the presents for my immediate family, but haven’t progressed any farther than that. That fact is in itself pretty impressive since my family is hard to shop for. My brother only wants video games, my dad doesn’t tell anybody what he wants until like a week before Christmas, and my mom only wants boring, practical, mom-presents.

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Mom, I want to give you a gift. You have nurtured me, physically and emotionally my whole life. It is because of your guidance that I am the woman I am today.  Here’s that toaster you wanted.

There have also been like a thousand Christmas parties. It’s not a big deal or anything, but I’m pretty amazingly popular.The first one I went to was the Christmas party for my church group.

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There was a gingerbread house making contest. We wore ugly Christmas Sweaters, there was hot chocolate. Basically it was like we were shooting a perfect TV Christmas Special.

The main highlight of that party was the gingerbread house making contest. I was partnered up with my Bible study group leader, David. We learned quickly that he was there win no matter what it took. Our  brilliant teamwork was astonishing:  David:”Alright Tara, we’re going for the “tallest” prize here, and I think we can get it really tall if we make a series of ascending triangles.”  Me: “Oh my gosh, this is icing is “Peppermint” flavored! I didn’t know they sold that!!!”

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David spent the competition pondering what graham cracker formation would provide the most structural integrity. I spent the completion eating the peppermint frosting.

We won the competition because David was dedicated, and because we went for the award of “tallest gingerbread house”

tallest gingerbread

I’m good at things that involve “tallest”.

Then last week I went to the Christmas get together of one of my old college buddies. We mostly just drank alcoholic eggnog and watched Christmas movies at this one, but that was entertaining enough in itself for reasons that I will now explain:

I have a good friend from college named Merced, who I suspect did not have a traditional childhood. Merced was born in the United States, but he spent most of his childhood living in Mexico on a ranch with his grandfather. I don’t know exactly what he did on that ranch, but it didn’t include watching American children’s programming, because he has almost no knowledge of that segment of pop culture. I can’t ever have a nostalgic, “Oh man, remember that awesome cartoon from when we were kids?” conversation with him because he will say, “No, I was on a ranch in Mexico.”

Which is why I ended up having to explain the classic Christmas movie, “Home Alone” to him when we started watching it at the party.

Merced: “What is'”Home Alone”?

Me: “It’s a movie where this little boy gets left home alone on Christmas, and two robbers try to break into the kid’s house, and he tries to stop them.”

Merced:”So wait, are they pedophiles?”

Me:”No no! They’re just trying to rob him.”

Merced:”Why is that a Christmas movie!?”

Home alone

Much more Sinister when taken out of context.

Now for those of you who don’t remember, later in the film there is a scene where Harry and Marv almost hit Kevin with their van, and then they follow him down the street.

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Because of course a kid won’t notice a big creepy van inching behind him.

This prompted Merced to ask,

“Wait, two men are now following a small boy in a big gray van, I though you said they aren’t pedophiles.”

Me: “THIS ISN’T GOING WHERE YOU THINK IT’S GOING!”

Other person at the party: “You should see how bad they are in the sequel.”

Merced:”Wait, this happens AGAIN!? Why hasn’t this kid been taken away from his parents?!”

So that was fun. I’ll never look at Home Alone with the same innocence again. Or be able to tolerate Home Alone 2 ever again.

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Literally EXACTLY the same story, but now with Tim Curry.

The next party I went to was last weekend when my family and I had to drive to Austin for my Uncle’s big, combo Christmas/50th birthday Party. The festivities started with my mom telling my dad as we climbed into the car, “Now Paul, I absolutely FORBID you from killing us all in a horrible car wreck on the way to Austin, because I’ll be extremely embarrassed if our family has to come into our house after we die and see how dirty it is right now.” And then I said,“And I FORBID you because I just finished paying off this car last week!”

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That’s the holiday spirit!  

Austin is such a hip city. I knew we were in Austin when we drove past a car on the interstate that said, “Ve gan Do it!” Then later during our visit we walked past an outdoor restaurant where everyone was drinking orange juice out of mason jars.

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Every moment in Austin is like a perpetual pinterest photo.

 I used this particular Christmas party as an excuse to dress nice. I wore a skirt and nice jewelry, and when I emerged from the bathroom my dad told me, “Oohhh, you look like a hostess at a fancy Stake House.”

fancy hostess

Ummmm thank you?

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This is what I actually looked like. You might notice the two drinks I’m holding. Don’t get excited, only one is mine, and it’s milk. I am the most boring 24 year old ever.

The thing about Christmas Parties is that usually there is lots of drinking (again, in Austin I missed out on this) and lots of food. Oh there was so much food.

food

I spent a lot of time in this room.

And more food.

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And MORE food.

tamales

I decided that it would be against party etiquette to take the whole pot of tamales into a closet somewhere and eat them all myself.

So I’ve spent a lot of December so far getting fatter. I think maybe one of my blog projects in the New Year will be trying out all the different classes at the gym. I’ve slacked off when it comes to going to the gym, and I do believe in staying fit, active, and healthy. Not now though…now is the time for more consumption.

christmas goodies

Mmmm this is worth the diabetes I’ll have in 30 years.

Merry Christmas!

-Tara

Tara Tuesdays: Where my mom shouts “Catch!” and then throws a Christmas Tree down the stairs.

Happy Tuesday! I don’t have much to tell you this afternoon. I’m gearing up for another “review” post where I’ll tell you about watching “Magic Mike”, so for today I’ll just share a couple of things. This is a busy time of year for me,October-December is probably my favorite time of year. There’s Halloween, my birthday, and then Christmas. This is prime gift-receiving time of year for Tara is what I’m saying, so here we go:

1.I did Halloween right this year. There is no punch line coming up where Tara looked ridiculous and had a terrible costume! This year I did good.

wonder woman

Except for the lasso. Dammit, I forgot the lasso.

Lately I’ve found myself associating with Wonder Woman a lot. It probably started because my friend Julian told me that the guys who work at the comic book shop once called me the “gorgeous amazon”.

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Truly, her beauty has no match.

 I wish it had occurred to me in years past. She’s a perfect thing for me to dress up as. She’s tall, she has dark hair, I like comic books, it was perfect!

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Well I’m nailing the “amazon” part of this costume at least. Like in this picture where my wing span is almost enough wrap around three other women.

This costume was very popular and I got many compliments. None bigger perhaps than when I arrived at one Halloween party at the same time that the cops were getting there, and they literally cat called at me.

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It was classy.

2. Black Friday is a useless holiday. For black Friday I went to target at 10pm on Thanksgiving night to get expensive, fancy bed sheets. I did not participate in any exciting stampedes and fistfights to get a 200 dollar TV, all I wanted were stupid bed sheets.

black friday

Those 50% of board games are gonna be so worth it when I see that look of “mild interest” on my little boys face Christmas morning.

But when I got to the bedding section they were sold out, except for the ones that fit “Full” beds? Who even has a full bed anymore, why is that even still a thing? I think the only places still using full beds are sleazy hotel rooms, and I’m pretty sure they aren’t using 600 thread count sheets.

hotel room

Egyptian Cotton

3. Decorating for Christmas in my house is fun for the 25 minutes that it takes to put ornaments on the tree, and not at all fun for the rest of the time.

christmas decorating

The enthusiasm is palpable

Speaking of the tree, we have never had a real one. This year my dad drug down the big tree box from the attic and all I heard was my mom at the top of the stairs shouting, “Tara, Catch!” Luckily, I did catch. Our fake Christmas tree is safe for another year.

After we get the tree down that’s about the time that decorating stops being fun. Every single year we try to put lights on the tree and then discover that all of the old Christmas light strings don’t work. And every year my mom makes the pronouncement, “ We landed on the moon! How come we can put a man on the moon but we cannot make a string of lights that last from one year to another! If we can’t do one, we couldn’t have possibly done the other!”

space shuttle

My mom believes that the moon landing is a hoax. And yes, the reason is because Christmas lights mysteriously stop working during the year that they sit in the attic.

 I guess I lied, ornaments are not the only fun part. Every year I get to put on my 50-song Christmas playlist. I always play “Last Christmas” and “All I want for Christmas is You” first, and sing them with a passionate deeper meaning that I’m sure annoys the hell out of everyone else in the house.

mistletoe

I also get to set up the Nativity scene that we’ve had for as long as I can remember. Over the last 20 years none of the pieces have been broken or lost. I’ve always liked it, and when I was little I would play with the little figurines and make stories for them. One time I made a story where the angel had a secret love with one of the Shepherds. She saved him from death and then was kicked out of heaven for interfering with his destiny. Geez, I am so talented. I could write a Nativity scene soap opera and the tag line would be, “The Nativity Dairies: Jesus’s birth wasn’t the ONLY story told that night.”

angels kissing

I am so going to hell.

That’s all for today! Did I mention that I watched Magic Mike last night? Yeah, I’ll have to tell you about that one of these days.

-Tara

My Life Story(Completely comprised of photos of me making strange faces)

Like everyone else on this planet, I have a unique and personal back story. I have gone through trials, and I have had glorious moments. I have felt the sting of failure as well as the jubilation of success. Recording the history of a life is no simple task, no matter how long or short the life has been. It’s an emotional process that takes time and delicate care, so that when the stories have all been recorded, the reader will get a concise, honest portrait of one’s soul.

Or, it can be fast and hurried. Like this:

Before me, there were Becky and Paul:

momanddad

My father makes some variation of that, “wha…we’re taking a picture???” face in every photo ever.

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It was the late 80’s. Right around the time that conservatives were mourning the fact that they couldn’t have Reagan around for a third term, my parents decided that they wanted a baby. They were no longer content with living an awesome “young 80’s couple” life, complete with big hair and outrageously designed shirts. No, my parents decided that it was time to bring Niendorff number 3 into the world. This yellow monkey creature was the result:

monkey child

You know, my jaundice might not have been so glaringly noticeable if my parents had dressed me in ANY OTHER COLOR EXCEPT YELLOW.

It’s cool though, I got cute eventually.

me-google

 No, not yet.

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Ok, I was Cute-ish

 For a couple of years I persisted in being adorable in various holiday outfits

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A halloween before I knew how scary clowns actually are

Things were pretty sweet for me starting out. Not only was I an only child almost 4 years, but I was also an only grandchild for one side of the family. Tara was the princess.

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Pretty sweet.

Then, right around the time that conservatives started mourning the fact that not only was Reagan no longer president, but they were actually going to have a democrat in the White house, my parents decided they were not content with only one yellow-monkey child. It was time to have another jaundice-ridden baby to dress in yellow. Instead, this perfect Aryan boy was born.

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Then HE was the princess.

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And then we were a complete family. Notice how my mom and my brother are making normal faces and my dad and I are not at all. This is a trend that stayed consistent for all of our family photos.

Since my brother Travis was obviously going to be the beautiful Gerber baby of the family:

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Seriously, every photo we have of him at this stage of life is like an unintentional baby gap photo shoot.

 I made the decision to stop being an adorable toddler, and transitioned into a childhood where I looked like the token chubby nerd friend in a Disney coming of age movie.

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 If my life was a Disney movie, my best friend would find an alien in her back yard and I would be the nerdy friend who brought over my insects, and calculators, and books to solve the problem.

Early on I was different from the other kids. Around the age of 6 it became clear that I was going to be bigger than everyone else. I wasn’t just going to be their nerdy chubby friend, I was going to be their GIANT nerdy chubby friend.

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Who let the teacher on stage with the kids?

Childhood progressed pretty normally for me, unusual largeness aside. I participated in all rites of passage, I played terribly at team sports,

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Just kidding, this isn’t a team sport. Being sweaty on the playground was as close as I ever got to athleticism.

I went to birthday parties,

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There were matches on the table, and I was trying to make a joke that I had just burned myself as this picture was taken. Instead, I look like a mentally unstable person invading this innocent child’s birthday party.

I was adorable in dozens more Halloween costumes:

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  Ok, adorable-ish.

At one family gathering I even staged a mock wedding between my 6 year old brother and cousin, just for the purpose of being adorable. Here they are, looking like two perfect children from a Norman Rockwell painting, while I look…yeah.

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 One of these things is not like the other.

I guess I got jealous of everyone else looking fabulous, because for a while after that I stopped making crazy faces for photos and started going for a “demure young beauty” look instead.

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 It’s almost…artistic how wild my hair is in this photo.

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 The “demure beauty” aspect of this photo is somewhat lost because the perspective makes it look like that is MY hairy knee in the bottom left…which it isn’t. It isn’t!

Then I entered adolescence, and the big change to my life then was that I decided to grow my bangs out.

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 I have been searching for a way to include this picture in the blog for a LONG time. I don’t even know how this was possible. There has to be magic at work for a Child’s hair to look THAT bad.

And that, is the short version of my childhood. As I got older, my hair got less wild, but I continued to grow larger and larger. From age 10 to age 14 I grew approximately 11 inches. I also gained  A LOT of weight. It was because of that weight gain that I eventually had weight loss surgery. That’s the other half of this story that I plan to tell another day. Until then you’ll just have to know that miraculous and special things happened to turn me into the smart, sexy, independent woman I am today!

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Sigh. Ok, Sexy-ish.

-Tara