Falling In Love is Hard on Your Me(s)

Before we go any further, I have 36 questions to ask you.

Before we go any further, I have 36 questions to ask you.

Back in the day, the poets used to write about falling in love like it was magical, mysterious, complex, maybe even a little painful. We didn’t know the how, and definitely not about the why.

But, apparently, all those poets were idiots.

Today, things are warmer, fuzzier and explained in full in millions of listicles on the Internet. And the one fact we can all be completely sure of about love is that to fall in love, we have to love ourselves first. Not sure on the attribution, but my guess is Dr. Phil or another balding man in a turtleneck. Or maybe Nicholas Sparks, who then charged someone $8 million to use it as the entire premise of a movie. And if something costs $8 million dollars and is in a movie, you know it’s true.

But, hard-to-love contrarian that I am, I don’t know if I agree. I mean, if I look around at the people seemingly in love and think that if those people not only have to love each other but also themselves… Well, mathematically, the odds seem slim. Have you met most people?

Still, I guess I could do better than just tolerating me.  So, I set out to finally, finally fall in love with myself.

Like a man, the way to my heart is probably through my eating parts, but since someone’s already cooked their way through Julia Child and since I’m not looking to waste much time on this whole loving-myself business, I needed something more expedient.

And according to the New York Times, there’s now an easy, foolproof way to fall in love with anyone. Yeah, I answered those 36 Questions that guarantee you’ll fall in love with their object.

So, get ready to watch me fall in love … with me.

Set I

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

Someone who will return only the lids of any Tupperware I send home with them, because I never have enough lids. Also, any child who’s ever climbed up inside one of those crane machines. I may have a job for them.

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

In a way I can be famous for.

3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

No. Because I never speak into telephones. Sorry to anyone I’ve called lately.

4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

Today would have been pretty perfect if you didn’t have to go and say “perfect” like that, “friend.”

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
I’m always singing. You mean you can’t tell? God, between this and your sarcastic “perfect,” I’m feeling super-insignificant.

6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

By retain, what are we talking? Because I’d rather have a 30-year-old’s mind in a jar than the whole body. I don’t have much closet space

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

It’s not secret. The biological functions that sustain me will cease. What, you didn’t know about this?

8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.

I am my partner. We seem to have most things in common. Especially our appearance and skepticism about these questions’ effectiveness.

9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

That I know a trick question when I see one.

10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

That I prefer just climbing things myself. Please stop raising me when I haven’t asked you to.

11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.

I will do it in 4 seconds: Nothing like Abraham Lincoln’s but also from Illinois.

12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

I don’t know. By tomorrow I should be in love with myself so therefore will think I’m pretty amazing and in need of no new qualities.

Set II

13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

If it thinks these earrings make my ass look big.

14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

Because I don’t know where to get a unicorn so that I can drink its still-warm magical blood. God, like you’ve fulfilled all your dreams.

15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

If I fall in love with myself by question 36, then that. Otherwise, meeting Rosalynn Carter when I was 3.

16. What do you value most in a friendship?

The ship. Because I can probably sell it.

17. What is your most treasured memory?

All the times I’ve been asked to think about treasured memories are pretty special.

18. What is your most terrible memory?

Any time I’m not answering question 17.

19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

I would stop writing “Die today?” on all the boxes of my 2015 calendar. Because obviously 2016 is the year.

20. What does friendship mean to you?

Never telling someone that they’re going to die next year.

21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?

This question is setting me up to fail in a way I don’t like.

22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.

This seems time-consuming. No, thank you.

23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?

I mean, you want to say it’s warm, but it really depends on the humidity.

24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?

Um, does your mom know you’re asking this?


25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … “

We both know there is only one of us.

We are the same person.

We don’t know if this questionnaire is working.

Bonus “we” statement: We might have better spent the time we used for these questions pursuing a mutual hobby or interest.

26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “

Single-serve packages of Nutter Butters. Wait, we totally do that.

27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.

I would never be friends with me. There, saved you some time.

28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.

I like the honesty I see radiating from the very core of you. (Thus, me.)

29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.

That time I lied to you on question 28.

30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?

Now, because our life is a lie and this is no way to start a new relationship.

 31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.

That we’ve made it to question 31 together. Should we celebrate this milestone? I’ll get the gin.

32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?


33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?

My Internet passwords. But you’re not supposed to just give those away. Total conundrum, right?

34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?

Probably something flammable. For obvious reasons.

35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?

For next time, just know that this is a gruesome question to put at the end. Put the hopes-and-dreams stuff here and the deathy stuff at the top. Kills the mood.

36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

I think I’m less in love with myself now than when I started. So what do I do, self, to make sure people know this questionnaire is a failure?

Verdict: I would not ask myself for a second date but I’d totally stalk me on Facebook. That counts as being in love, right?

If You Are What You Eat, My Baby Will Be a Smorgasboard

food picJust wanted to share this piece I wrote for Babble.com, about the terrors of wanting to eat everything while pregnant.

An excerpt:

I want morels and mussels and slippery escargot with a crusty baguette. If I had long-distance telekinesis, I’d immediately order a poppy-seed bagel from Zabar’s, and that’s after I just had to stop myself from finishing a whole box of Good & Plenty. And hey, if you happen through a McDonald’s drive-thru, I’d like a double cheeseburger and an Egg McMuffin. I know they stopped serving breakfast at 11. I don’t care.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy Good & Plenty!

Get The Summers Free Through August 2!

I’m so exciteunnamedd to announce that the Kindle edition of my new book, The Summers, is free on Amazon through August 2 via Whispernet.

It’s super-easy to get your copy. Just visit alloyentertainment.com for details and the link. (And don’t forget to share the info with your favorite readers!)

Here’s a little more on the book:

For Kate Sommers, there’s nothing that compares to summer at her family’s beach house on Cape Cod: the ocean breezes, the clam bakes, the boys. She and her three sisters seemed to have all their “firsts” over those long months—first job, first party, first crush. Kate’s first crush is her only crush—Ryan Landry, the boy next door, and her older sister Eliza’s on-again, off-again summer fling.

But it’s been three years since Kate and her sisters have spent a summer in Cape Cod. When their mom died, no one could imagine going back without her. Now eighteen, the whole Sommers family is headed to the Cape for Eliza’s wedding and Kate must find the strength to be there for her family.

When Kate spots Ryan, she realizes how much has changed since he last set eyes on her. She isn’t the gawky fifteen-year-old that she once was, and this could be the summer that Ryan finally takes notice. Eliza says she’s moved on, but Kate knows better than anyone that Ryan Landry isn’t the kind of guy you give up without a fight…

In Defense of Miley Cyrus’s VMAs Performance


Loved this. The only thing worse than the VMAs is how “shocked” everyone is the day after the VMAs.

Originally posted on Flavorwire:

By now you may just have heard about Miley Cyrus’s performance at the VMAs last night. But if somehow you’ve managed to avoid the whole thing, it went like this: Miley twerked. Miley sang with Robin Thicke. Miley slapped the ass of one of her female dancers. Miley wore a skimpy flesh-colored outfit. Miley wagged her tongue a lot. And the internet went completely and utterly bonkers about it, with critics climbing over one another to criticize Cyrus for being racist, for being clueless, for being a shameless hussy, for being on the verge of a spectacular breakdown. Has everyone gone completely mad?

View original 1,599 more words

Happy Casimir Pulaski Day!


This is Casimir Pulaski, giver of a holiday only Illinois celebrates and doer of other stuff, too. Do you think he hated Mondays, too?

I woke up this morning with the really strong feeling that I should have the day off work. Then, I checked my email and had a message from Millie’s Pierogi, a mail-order pierogi outfit based in Ohio. (Yes, I subscribe to a lot of e-commerce newsletters through which I can order meats, cheeses and starches.) This convergence of events led me to realize: It’s Casimir Pulaski Day!

This day is very important to me for several reasons:

1. I am not Polish but I know a lot of Polish people, having grown up on the South Side of Chicago. They make excellent food (see above: pierogi and let’s not forget sausages or kolacky) and excellent White Sox (see: A.J. Pierzynski).

2. Growing up, this day always marked a three-day weekend for Illinois public schools, even though most of us, when pressed, would not have been able to tell you much — if anything — about Casimir Pulaski. We should have been able to: Look at his amazing mustache, above, not to mention his showy horse-riding skills.

3. Pulaski is a street about a mile from where I grew up in Chicago and contains many landmarks of which I am fond:

    • O’Reilly’s Daughter, a pub outside of which I met and shook hands with Barack Obama in 2000 at a fundraiser for the only election he ever lost;
    • a Showbiz Pizza (I think now a Chuck E. Cheese) where I celebrated my birthday once, even though my mom was very nervous I’d be kidnapped there;


4. Because Casimir Pulaski Day weekend figures prominently in my book, The End of the World As We Know It. I can’t be sure, but I sincerely think it might be the only teen action-adventure sci-fi comedy ever to be set on and around this auspicious day. And, yes, I do promise that if you read it, you will have a more-than-cursory understanding of who Casimir was and why he was important. (Plus, other stuff.)

Now, how fast do you think FedEx can ship me some pierogi?

The Oscars’ Most YA-Worthy Moment That Probably Didn’t Really Happen

English: Anne Hathaway at the 81st Academy Awards

Hiiiiii! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kristen Stewart of "Twilight" fame p...

No. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m supposed to be working a new project right now. But, every time I go to type, I instead picture the awkward moments we didn’t see at the Academy Awards.

So, in hopes of restoring some of my productivity, here’s the moment I want to see:

ANNE HATHAWAY, perky and flushed pink, is powdering her nose in the ladies’ room at the Governors’ Ball. Her GOLDEN OSCAR looks proud on the marble counter top next to the faucet.

The door swings open. KRISTEN STEWART, resplendently askew, enters, her fingers tangled in a knot of hair.

ANNE (placing protective hand on newly acquired Oscar statue)
Kristen!!! Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!

KRISTEN (blankly)

What could-be YA moments, real or imagined, did you take away last night?

‘The End of the World’ Now Available for Kindle

I’m a little late in posting this, but The End of the World as We Know It is now available for Kindle! (You can buy it for your Kindle device or app on Amazon.)

If you want more information on the book, check out the cover copy and get linked to an excerpt here.

If you’re a NOOK user, here’s the link to the BN.com page again.

I also have more fun stuff to share from across the internets, but it’s late and I’m wiped out so, in order to not type a bunch of random crazy, I’ll save the other goodies for later.

Tickets, Please

Fill the seats.


Out of a desire not to feed the machine, I’m not linking to any news stories to put this in context, but most will know what I’m writing about.

The best response to the tragedy in Colorado, I think, is to GO to the movies this weekend, NOT bathe in the cable and online terror-lather created by the shooter (whose name I won’t use: he doesn’t deserve to achieve sick fame with his twisted act.) As Roger Ebert pointed out in his great column yesterday, attention paid to this crime is only getting some other sick-in-the-head psycho planning his own spotlight-seeking massacre (and, sadly, it could happen anywhere, not just a theater — have we forgotten all the school, mall, workplace bloodbaths?) So, I’m not reading anymore about it. I’m completely happy to turn off the lights on this right now and there’s literally no better place for that than a darkened theater.

Pub Day!

I’m excited to announce that THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT is here! (Though, my title does also lead you to people who want to sell you talisman to protect you when the Mayan prophecy comes true Dec. 21.)

Right now, through a deal between my publisher, Alloy Entertainment,and Barnes and Noble, the book is available exclusively on BN.com for their NOOK device. If you don’t have a NOOK and want to read it right away, you can download a NOOK app for your smartphone, iPhone or computer. Or, if you own a Kindle, an iPad or another e-reader device, you’ll be able to buy the book on Aug. 18.

Click here to buy the book ($3.99) on BN.com.

I’ll have more to post soon, including an excerpt.

For now, a Happy Pub Day to you! (And me, obviously!!)


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