Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dropping Hints

Let’s admit it – we all do it.

It’s fun and harmless to drop hints for birthday presents or where we want to be taken for dinner, but too often we drop hints that are actually major emotional bombs.

A lot of the time, we use hints to skirt around really important issues in the relationship that need to be discussed, but we would rather jab at each other until the other person surrenders and brings it up.

Dropping hints is a very non-confrontational way of letting the other person know what’s on our heart and mind. Then, when the other person gets frustrated at our mixed messages, we get frustrated that they are frustrated and aren’t picking up on our confusing clues.

Though we might not have the courage or energy to sit down and really explore the issues with our partner, it is imperative to communicate clearly and openly if we want to get anything resolved.

Do the real work required in a relationship, and I guarantee it will yield a harvest of good results for both parties.

If we don't, it could turn into a real mess:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Paying Compliments

Compliments are like the icing on the cake during a really great date. Compliments spice things up and make everything a little sweeter during that first stage of dating.

The problem is, compliments fly out the window once things settle down.

Compliments easily turn into insults when we get mad each other, and a sarcastic compliment can be like a bullet to the heart.

The good thing about a really genuine compliment is that it can turn everything around. A well-timed compliment can be a life-saver when the date is going horribly wrong. A well-received compliment can also reignite that spark that used to burn bright.

When the night is spiraling downhill, consider the art of paying a good compliment. It will certainly pay off.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Everyone likes shoes. Surprisingly though, I am not the shoe diva in the relationship - Nick is. Hard to believe, but it's true; the man simply loves his shoes.

I own the basic necessities: flats, some heels, sandals, tennis shoes, and boots, but Nick on the other hand, has a much wider selection. There are the dress shoes (American and European), casual shoes for jeans (leather and canvas), gym shoes, biking shoes, skate shoes, basketball shoes, running shoes, rugby cleats, extreme weather hiking boots, and the next on the list is, indoor soccer shoes?!

Nick takes care of his shoes in the same way that I take care of my nails. Not only is he proud of them, but he also maintains them with diligence - the same could be said about me and my epidermis.

And that's because I'm one of those girls who loves admiring their own nails. I admit, it's silly and a little vain, but I adore having beautifully kept nails. I mean, your hands do all your work for you all day long, so it's kind of pleasurable to have something nice to look at when you're typing out a paper, writing a letter, working the cash register, resting on the steering wheel, or sipping a glass of wine.

According to Nick, the same reasoning is behind men and their shoes. You wear shoes everyday, all day, so it makes sense to have a shoe for every occasion. Apparently, he loves admiring his shoes in all the different activities he may be engaged in. Whether he's pedaling on his bike, going to a job interview, tearing up the rugby field, hiking in the mountains, working out in the gym, or stepping into the club, he can always look down at his shoes and think, "Man, your shoes are awesome right now."

Just watch how a guy contemplates his ensemble for the night, concentrating deeply on this shirt or that, this belt or watch, this sweater or jacket, working different color schemes all to cleverly showcase the greatness of his shoes.

My only point in bringing this up is to show that guys too can be wardrobe queens and be just as picky about clothing and fashion as girls are. Guys may make fun of girls for taking forever to change our clothes, or do our hair, or put on our make-up, but guys too can be sticklers for appearance when it comes to looking good.


I wish I could defy the stereotype that women are bad drivers, but sadly, I am horrible with cars.

I know some chicks that can change their own oil, but I honestly didn't even know how to pump gas until after I got my permit.

I'm not saying that I cause accidents left and right when I'm on the road, but in no means am I an expert. I am much better now than I used to be about changing lanes, keeping up with the flow of traffic, and coming to a complete stop at the light, but parallel parking is still an excruciating pain.

You would think that my dad would have taught me (him being the master of all things automotive), but he's absolutely opposed to driving with me. Since I got my learner's permit, I've driven in the car with him a grand total of 2 times.

The first time, my family was going back to Pacifica from my aunt's house in Daly City. My dad agreed to let me drive us the 7 minutes home. Now, the freeway entrance from Clarinada onto the 1 is kind of tricky, and my dad was yelling at me to accelerate. He got so freaked out that we were going to crash,  that he grabbed the wheel from me in a panic and forcefully maneuvered me over a few lanes. Needless to say, his confidence in me was insulting. He swore off driving with me ever again, but since nothing really had gone wrong, I believe it was just his anxiety.

The second time, my family was driving to Daly City from Pacifica to my aunt's house.  Though he had forbade me to ever touch the car, again he agreed to let me drive us for 7 minutes. This time, he had mentally prepared a bit more, so the moment he got into the passenger's seat, he reclined his chair slightly and closed his eyes. In a calm voice he verbalized to me, "Emily, you're going to be fine, don't worry about it, you will be great. Just breathe, relax, and enjoy the drive. We are going to be alright, everything is just fine." He never opened his eyes once until we arrived at my aunt's. I think the pep talk was more for him than for me.

Now, given this back history of my dad's incapacity to drive with me, you can guess that my default instructor was my mom. Blind leading the blind I think, because my mother to this day cannot parallel park.

Somehow, I got away with not knowing up until last year. I was only forced to learn because I finally moved to the city (away from the vast parking availability in Pacifica).

Nick never really picked up on my lack of parking skills, because whenever we were together, he was the one driving. Now that I was driving myself everywhere, it was only a matter of time before a crisis brought my weaknesses to light.

Nick was driving with me in the Mission, and the task was to parallel park on Guerrero. I can usually guess-timate the angle within 20 tries if I'm parking on the right side of the street, but in this case, I had to park on the left.

The first sign of trouble was Nick indicating at the spot, and in response, I cringed with an audible "ugghhh". Nick started rushing me to "C'mon, c'mon c'mon start backing up!" but I'm already sweating with nervousness. A parking attendant is in front of us, helping me to maneuver into the spot, but I couldn't hear what he was saying or understand his hand gestures. Between Nick yelling at me, the attendant wildly gesticulating at me, and all the angry cars honking behind me, I totally freaked out. I missed the angle the first time, I missed it the second time, and the third time, I scraped my tires against the curb. Nick was utterly bewildered and fuming mad, "You seriously don't know how to parallel park? You've been driving for 3 years!"

What came next tried both our patience; he gave me an emergency lesson in Parallel Parking 101. He was convicted to cure me of my ignorance, but only in a big safe empty lot of course. I had no idea that the secret was as elementary as turning my wheel at the point of the back wheel of the car next to me. I swear it's the simplest trick, but unless someone dictated it to me, I would be guessing for the rest of my life.

I thank Nick for his valuable wisdom and guidance, without which I would be completely clueless. I can proudly say that I now know how to parallel park, but the prize wasn't without its price.