Cleo's Dating Blog

Posts Tagged ‘challenges

It is not uncommon for my favorite yoga teacher to make me laugh during class. Last week, to emphasize the importance of starting small and building intensity within each pose, she used a kissing analogy (which I obviously could relate to).

To reiterate, kissing, as with most things, has a natural progression. No one interested in making out starts off approaching another person with his or her lips plumped, mouth wide open, and tongue sticking out. This would be freaky, in a bad way.

Starting with smaller, less invasive kisses are a crucial stepping stone to achieving make out status. Plowing straight through without heed could be more catastrophic than beneficial.

This concept can be applied to many areas in life.

For example, I have a lot of friends that are actors (although, years ago I never pictured that I would like any) and most are not content with the status of their careers. However, I say, keep kissing. It takes time to build up intensity and the chemistry is not always there when you expect it. The problem arises if you get discouraged and just stand there with your lips perched, wondering why no one is making out with you.

Cleo is not afraid of kissing. I have a lot of goals and I will keep kissing until I find what I want.

The trick to discovering the ultimate make out moment, however, is to know which kisses are not worth your time. There is not enough time to go around kissing everyone. If you want something, go after it, but make sure you choose wisely or you may fall off track into the lips of the wrong person. Be picky with your time, energy, and kisses.

If you do find something with potential, right before it shifts from just lips to tongue can be nerve-wracking. I believe that right before any moment of greatness is a time where doubt seeps in. Am I doing this right? Am I meant to be here? What if it doesn’t work out? This is when you have to stay focused and kick doubt out of your head. True, it may not work out or be all that. You may even regret it. But, as they as say, the greatest failure in life is being afraid to try.

I also know a lot of people who are stuck on their ex’s or attached to someone who is unavailable (why are you looking at me??). Just because you may highly enjoy the making out, think critically about whether the anxiety or growth stagnation associated is worth it. Sometimes you have to be strong and cut out certain things to rise to the next level.

If you skimmed this post and have arrived at the conclusion, basically I am saying to keep tying and working towards your goals while also understanding that it is a process. The process becomes easier if you can learn to enjoy the now. I am not saying that I want to make out with you.

Best of luck,

Cleo

P.S. Don’t forget about my Valentine’s Day party. Feb. 14 at 8pm-ish. The Redbury Hotel. Click the pic below for more info.

I am participating in a short story contest and honestly, I don’t even know what the prize is. I just wanted something to motivate me to write more creative fiction.

The contest is hosted by NYC Midnight and it is their 6th Annual Short Story Challenge. The challenge includes three rounds where each time you are given a prompt and time limit.

The first round just ended so I am sharing my story with you. Hopefully I make it to the next round! Let me know what you think :).

I was assigned to write a story with the genre of sci-fi, character of a babysitter, and event of a sale. Here goes!

Love,

Cleo

The Adventures of Big Mac Girl

A young girl unknowingly finds herself in the middle of a wild science experiment as an older man capitalizes on her insecurities. 

________________________________

They called her Big Mac girl. The truth was, she did not even like hamburgers, let alone McDonald’s. Unfortunately, the thing about bullying is that it need not be factual.

Every day she would come home from school and find remnants of melted cheddar cheese and Thousand Island dressing in her backpack. It made studying a sticky struggle and smiling an even greater one. “Where did these girls find the time for such ridiculing?” she wondered.

Yes, she was overweight. Some would even say she was extremely overweight. Growing up in a large family of large people, eating delicious food was what bonded the Bigg’s clan together. Fried chicken, lamb chops, spaghetti and meatballs, mashed potatoes, three-cheese baked mac and cheese, and blueberry pancakes were common dishes consumed before a day’s end.

“Mom, can I ask you something?” she inquired, while her mother stirred the lamb stew.

“You mean may you ask me something?” her mother replied.

“Yes, may I. May I go to a different school?”

Her mother stopped stirring and looked up at her daughter. With eight children, it was easy to overlook how fast each one was growing and how quickly they were finding their own identities.

“What’s wrong with the school you go to now?” her mother asked.

“I get bullied by everyone! I am called the worst names and am constantly cleaning condiments out of my belongings. Next year I will be in 8th grade and I want a fresh start. It’s not fair.” She spoke with a conviction her mother had never seen before.

“Sweetheart, anyone that makes fun of you is just jealous of the close-knit family you have. Their opinion doesn’t matter! The only other school in the area is that snooty, all-girls academy and I wouldn’t send you there even if we could afford it.” Although she knew her mother loved her very much, she was also very stubborn. This discussion was over, for the time being. “Now, eat your potatoes.”

One of the only things that made her forget about her lack of friends, lack of respect, and lack of a desirable physique was her physics class. She loved the complexity of the subject, the thrill of solving unknown variables, and how most kids in her class could not grasp the concepts. Plus, it did not hurt that Mr. Watson was the most charming, handsome, and intelligent teacher in the whole school.

“Hello class. Today we are going to dive into the concept of color waves. With the coming out of those new color television sets that can be purchased for your home, I thought it would benefit us all to know a little bit about how they work.” Mr. Watson smiled and she was sure that his teeth were glowing.

While he spoke, she took notes vigorously, sometimes to the point of getting a painful cramp in her hand. She fought through it.

He always looked directly at her when he was about to raise a question to the class, as if warning her to make sure she lifted her hand first. “I have a bit of a personal question to ask you all,” Mr. Watson chimed. “Our normal babysitter for the evening is sick and my wife and I already have tickets to see the new Charlton Heston movie. Would anyone be interested in babysitting? I would be deeply appreciative.”

She wanted nothing more than to be appreciated. Her hand shot up like rocket.

She arrived at 5:30pm sharp, just as Mr. Watson had instructed. She had brushed her hair and put on a little bit of red lipstick that she had stolen from her mother’s purse.

“So nice of you to be on time,” Mr. Watson said. Her cheeks blushed immediately.

She was nervous to meet Mrs. Watson and had no idea how old their child was. All she knew was that Mr. Watson had glowing, sparkly teeth.

Mr. Watson gave her a tour of the house and its quaint rooms. When they got to the back of the house, Mr. Watson stopped and turned slowly to face her.

“Now, this is my favorite room of the whole house,” he paused for a moment. “But, you cannot tell anyone at school that I showed it to you, okay? Promise me.”

“I pinky promise, Mr. Watson.” She would do anything to know what was behind that door if it meant bringing her closer to her favorite teacher.

He smiled. She melted.

He opened the door. The room was so dimly lit that she could hardly see three feet in front of her.

He grabbed her hand. “We have to go down some stairs. Be careful.”

As he led her down the stairs, her heart raced, but mostly just because they were holding hands.

At the bottom of the stairs, they rounded the corner and arrived at a fluorescently illuminated room that looked a lot like a laboratory and smelled a lot like a pet store. There were small cages all along the walls and as she looked closer, she noticed that there was a rat in each one.

“These are my children,” Mr. Watson said proudly.

He must have noticed the perplexed and slightly disgusted look on her face because he immediately started to explain the purpose of this rat-room.

“Do not be frightened. I’m a scientist after all. I am in the middle of an extraordinary, ground-breaking discovery. Don’t you want to be a part of that?” He looked so deeply into her eyes that she thought she might faint.

She nodded, slowly.

“Good. There are instructions on each cage and each child has their own personality, just like your brothers and sisters,” Mr. Watson explained. “The Mrs. and I will be back before you know it, so make yourself at home, have fun, and get to know my children. Just make sure you do not leave this room. If all goes well, I will have a special treat for you when I return.”

He squeezed her hand, smiled, and left the room closing the door behind him. “What have I gotten myself into?” she thought to herself.

For a long time she stood in the same spot, frozen. Then, a loud clatter came from the cage marked “D” as the rat behind bars began to ferociously claw at the cage.

Her skin crawled but she inched closer to cage D.

Rat D must be fed every 10 minutes. Use the food in the blue container. Failure to do so can lead to extreme aggression.

She turned and noticed a row of red, green, and blue containers to her right. She ran over and scooped out a mush that looked a lot like soggy French fries mixed with peanut butter. Rat D gobbled up the mush and then succumbed to an intense food comma.

She almost giggled. He was so chubby that it was cute.

Feeling more comfortable, she walked around the room, looking at the “children.” All of their instructions had something to do with feeding.

Rat A must be fed every two hours. Use the green container. Rat C must be fed only once a day with food from the red container…

At the end of the row of cages was a small door attached to an odd, dome-shaped machine. It must have only been about 5 feet tall and had the numbers 2-0-1-2 written on the front.

Getting hungry herself, she sat at the desk in the center of the room and searched the drawers for something tasty. Perfect, she made a Ritz Crackers discovery! She continued searching the desk out of curiosity and came across some unmarked bottles of pills, pages of handwritten notes and charts, and money. However, it was not the nickels and dimes money that she was used to, but money with Benjamin Franklin on them! “Mr. Watson must be rich,” she whispered.

Just as she was finishing up her snack, she heard the sound of footsteps and Mr. Watson’s unmistakable laughter.

“How is my favorite girl doing?” he asked as he quickly walked around the room, examining his children.

“You did a great job!” Mr. Watson was very pleased. He got down on one knee so he could speak to her on an equal level. “It’s time for your special gift.”

He reached into the desk and pulled out two Ben Franklin’s. She could not stop thinking how many Coca-Cola’s or gummy bears she could buy at the market with that kind of cash.

“This is two-hundred dollars. The cool thing about this is that we can trade it for even better things. For example, I discovered a small pill you can take that allows you to eat whatever you like and still become skinny. Doesn’t that sound nice?”

Did that sound nice? It sounded like her dreams just came true! She could go to school and not be bullied and still eat her mom’s amazing cooking. Miraculous!

“To get the pills is simple. All you have to do is take this money, go to a secret store, and trade the money for the special treats. Then, your life will never be the same!” Mr. Watson was a great salesman.

She smiled. “What store do I go to?” she asked, innocently.

Now Mr. Watson sprung to his feet. “Let me show you.”

Once again, he took her hand and led her to the dome-shaped creation in the corner of the room. “You are going to a place called Los Angeles in 2012. Everyone in this place is skinny and wears size 0 clothing. The sun always shines and people stay young and beautiful for a very long time.”

“That sounds nice, but I am not going to fit in,” she confessed.

“Nonsense. After these special pills, you will be a movie star.” Mr. Watson knew just the right things to say.

He put a strange contraption on her head and straps on her shoulders and arms.

“After you get inside, I am going to push the green button. When the machine stops buzzing, open the door and you will be in my good friend’s home. Hand him the money and he will hand you a small bag. Then, go back inside the machine and push the yellow button that says 1959. Understand?” Mr. Watson spoke very articulately.

“Yes, I understand, Mr. Watson. Thank you very much for this gift.”

He pushed the green button. Everything around her began to shake wildly. She closed her eyes and prayed that this would end soon so she could get her present and finally be skinny.

As quickly as it had started, the shaking stopped and the air was quiet again. She took a deep breath and opened the door.

The room she arrived in was a lot different than Mr. Watson’s basement laboratory. Instead of inside, she was actually outside in a dirt courtyard. She could see palm trees in the distance. At least, she thought they were palm trees. Text book photos are not always accurate.

Instead of cages with rats, this area had stables with horses. There was an old man stacking hay in the distance. When he saw her, he came running towards her.

“Hello doll. You made it! We are so pleased. Do you have the money?” the old man had the most unusually young looking face, yet the skin on his neck and hands looked as old as her grandfather’s.

She was too afraid answer so she just handed him the two Ben Franklin’s.

The old man looked happy but, for some reason, his face struggled to smile. He handed her a brown paper bag that had Clenbuterol written on it.

“Do not take more than one per day. If your heart starts to beat too fast, just sit down and take a deep breath. Have fun cutie pie!” He turned and galloped off to his horse stables.

Before heading back, she looked up at the bright sky and felt the warm sun grab her face. This was her last moment as Big Mac girl.

She pushed the yellow button and was back in Mr. Watson’s laboratory in less than the time it takes to microwave last night’s meatloaf.

“I missed you,” Mr. Watson gave her a hug.

He took the bag from her and counted the white pills.

“Perfect. I am so proud of you. Let me see your hand.”

He placed seven, shiny pills in her youthful palm.

“If you want these pills to make you happy and thin, make sure you do the following,” Mr. Watson explained. She wished she had a pencil and paper to take notes. “Take one pill every morning when you wake up. Drink lots of water and just eat as you normally would, as much as you want! However, you may start to lose your appetite, but that is normal. Lastly, be sure not to tell anyone because then everyone would want these pills and I only have enough for me and you.”

She could hardly sleep that night. From this moment on, she was going to start saving nickels and dimes for a new, skinny-girl wardrobe. Her mom would no longer need to extend the buttons on her pants or buy her tops from the men’s department. Maybe she could even have friends at school and not eat lunch alone.

The moon was shining big and bright that night. As she laid awake, smiling and dreaming of a better future, Mr. Watson also could not sleep. He crossed his fingers and said a silent prayer, hoping that his favorite student would not experience the same fate as his first batch of rats did.

Additionally, the Mr. Watson of 2012 had trouble falling asleep. He had failed to share his secret with the little girl from the past. After a life of studying youth and physical beauty, no one was more qualified than him to share the experiment’s conclusion. Chasing physical beauty may qualify as a valid pursuit of happiness, but never would it amount to its acquisition.

 

 

Dry spells are not all bad. Although voluntary dry spells are better than involuntary, we can learn valuable lessons from abstinence.

Testing our willpower shows us our weaknesses. How long could you really go without it? Can you stand your ground even if you can see, feel, and smell the temptation?

There was a time when I had to have it multiple times a week, not because of need so much as of habit. If a guy was not willing to give it to me, I was even willing to pay for it myself!

So, in January, I decided to take one month off. I honestly thought I would only be able to last one week. Unless I locked myself in my house, I assumed the temptations would be too high, accessibility too easy, and my willpower too weak.

However, today marks three weeks of Cleo saying, “no, thank you” to what normally was an automatic, “yes.”

I have almost reached my goal of one month of no… alcohol!!

The best part of this whole experience is that I still know how to have a good time without the influence of delicious cocktails. Although I am looking forward to my next dirty martini, its reassuring to know that fun and drinking are not synonymous.

The other great things include:

1. I do a lot less things I regret the next day.

2. I do not experience hang overs, extreme dehydration, or feeling bloated.

3. I spend less money.

4. I am a cheaper date (not that I am going on any…).

5. My friends appreciate me being the DD.

The downsides are:

1. I crave wine.

2. It is more challenging to be social, especially around other people that are drinking.

3. I am eating more food to compensate.

4. I think some people are avoiding me because generally, water drinkers are not as much fun.

5. I do not feel as comfortable dancing as slutty as I would like.

guilty pleasure

All in all, I find it is important to challenge your habits and do something new. I am trying to think of my new endeavor, so if you have an idea for me, let me know!

one week until cheers,

Cleo

 

Want to see some naked pictures??

There is a reason why Kim Kardassian made a sex tape and why the Jersey Shore cast are rich and famous. Quality is not what rules media, sex and drama sell, and just because you have something great to say doesn’t mean people will choose that over this week’s TMZ.

It has taken me a decent amount of time to build up my medium-sized, quality-driven following. So you can imagine my secret frustration when my never-would-have-thought-about-blogging-if-it-wasn’t-for-me ex started a blog… and got more viewers his first week than I did in my first year!

I know my blog has great writing, complex ideas wrapped in shiny bows, and the charming likes of myself. However, he got it right in putting shirtless photos of himself! (And let’s be honest, I dated him for a reason).

Which brings me to my next point, if you clicked on this post when you normally don’t bother reading my blog, think about what that may imply about you. But hey! No judgement, I read crap online for fun too. I just thought you should know.

Anyway, you can make it up to me by watching my new video. Maybe I’m naked in it!

(Huge thank you to Zach Pizza and The Way Home podcast).

I may be bitter but I still love you,

Cleo

Your level of cookie-cutterability may be determining your dating path.

A cookie-cutter person (as defined by Cleo) is:

1. A person that is very traditional with a high level of predictability. Usually, this type of person is average in many areas and seeks a life of security, simple pleasures, companionship, comfort, and flying under the radar. These are the people that are known to follow the rules and color inside the lines.

2. Someone that does not typically stand out in a crowd.

3. Can be used in a derogatory manner to describe someone that is not difficult to replace.

There is nothing wrong with a high level of cookie-cutterability. Look how delicious these replicated heart cookies are!

However, I have a theory:

Cookie-cutter people marry young and have longer, committed relationships at an earlier age.

When two cookie-cutter people find each other, they are satisfied. Since they have very reasonable life goals, such as becoming an accountant, buying a three-bedroom home, or starting a family, they are on track to achieving their plan from the beginning. There is not much consideration for pursuing radical dreams or changing the world. Cookie-cutter people have their own world and stay focused on daily life. Their stresses include grocery shopping, family reunions, the finale of X-Factor, making ends meet, puppy training, and taxes. There is also little internal debate relating to, “She is amazing, but I wonder if I could do better than her,” or “He loves me and takes care of me, but I just want to have fun.”

I believe most people are cookie-cutter. Most people live very realistic lives and try hard to minimize their risks. Many people of this mindset will hang on to a good girl when they find her or stay with the nice guy they have known since high school because he is safe. They are also known to stick with a job they do not like because it has good benefits or live in a city they do not identify with because they have already been there for many years and know their way around.

Cookie-cutter people are easy to settle down with.

However, some of us, especially those living in Los Angeles, are not cookie-cutter at all. I know I am not! I am more like a monkey cupcake…

In a city that fosters creativity, entrepreneurship, lavish lifestyles, glamour, and limitlessness, we are not afraid of risk, following dreams, perfecting ourselves, or looking for the best possible everything. Look at how many restaurants and plastic surgery clinics we have. Or look at how many types of yoga we offer, how many trends we set, or how many freeways we need!

We are crazy monkeys. We live outside the norm, we keep our options open, we are always searching for the best opportunities, and we strive for greatness. Don’t get me wrong, there are A LOT of horrible things about LA  and LA people, but we are innovative and we love challenging ourselves.

That is why I believe monkey-cupcake people often struggle at finding a love-match. How challenging it is to match a monkey in a world of heart-shaped cookies? Very difficult.

In the end, people buy the heart-shaped cookies. Sure, the monkeys are funny and cute to look at, but the cookies are safe and comfortable. You know exactly what you are getting and that your money is not going to waste. Who knows what the monkeys have beneath that layer of frosting?

So, for all you monkey-cupcake people out there, hang in there. One of these days the stars will align, the tree branches will part, and you will meet your monkey mate. Until then, if you are struggling with dating, just think that maybe this means you are unique, you stand out in a crowd, you take risks, and you paint pictures instead of color. You are not cookie-cutter. Greatness wouldn’t be greatness if it was common and easy to find.

Kisses,

Cleo

 

Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation with someone and you can feel them judging you? The eyes give it away. Slightly squinted, not smiling, calculating. These are not eyes to be trusted. I think pretty people get this treatment a lot.

It’s similar to when you’re on a date with a guy and you can tell he is thinking of sexual things and not so much the conversation. He stares at your mouth, eyes get hazy, cheeks a little flushed, hands active.

The point is, judgement is everywhere and we can all agree that we too are victims of judging others. Isn’t that pretty much what people watching is? Or dating? Or match.com? Isn’t that one reason why we drink alcohol? The vodka cuts the apprehension of the judgement surrounding us.

With that said, I think people love to judge Cleo. However, as a self-proclaimed Goddess of Love, of course I am going to be challenged. This was my latest encounter with judgement:

I walk into a party. I know 10% of the people there. I find 0% attractive, physically. However, this is normal and I am just here to have a good time, anyway.

I try very hard to have an I-swear-I-am-friendly-but-would-prefer-if-you-didn’t-talk-to-me attitude. I just got off work, I was tired, and I did not have any excuses prepared for why I didn’t want to give out my number.

An hour into the party, a man approaches me. I smiled because I did not want to be considered a bitch but I made sure that it was the most fake smile possible so that I am not perceived as flirting or interested. We chat about nothing and he is cool enough to qualify for a brief encounter.

Then, he tells me, “You know, I have seen you before but I didn’t want to introduce myself. You act like you do not want to be approached or meet anyone new. Like you are too cool.”

He then proceeds to ask me questions about how many years my longest relationships was (two years) and how long I have been single. Within five minutes of knowing me,  he diagnoses my lack of a lover as being because I am too judgemental and unwilling to give chances. That I am looking for the wrong qualities in someone else. That looks should not matter so much.

I think, “Hmm, he may have a point.” I allow him to continue.

He becomes excited about the opportunity to prove that he knows the secret to finding love, which I would love to know, and forces me to sit next to him. He slides his chair oddly close. “Great, here we go,” I think sarcastically.

He goes on to tell the story of his past lovers and how important it is to just let yourself love as if you are unjaded, like a teenager. Only if you open your heart and fall head first, can you truly find love. This is fine, I could agree with these statements.

However, what I could not agree with was him spitting on my face while he talked or his HORRIBLE breath! Or the fact that he kept touching my arm despite me leaning away! I was seriously getting a headache. It should be illegal for this man to NOT be chewing gum.

I am not saying anything and am instead trying to shield my face from the waterworks. He takes my silence as a cue to continue rambling. I start daydreaming about how great it would be if the arsonist lit this apartment on fire so I could run away (just kidding!).  He is making good points but his delivery is horrendous.

Although I would love to tell him, “This painful conversation is exactly why I act the way that I do,” I spare him the embarrassment.

Yes, I believe love is more than just loving the way some looks. And yes, I believe loving wholeheartedly without baggage is important.

On the flip side, I am not a teenager… I know what I want in a guy. If a man is too afraid to approach me because I may not be batting my eyelashes, then he is not the man for me. If I can’t see myself ever wanting to rip his clothes off, then he is not the man for me. If he is not self-aware enough to realize that he has rancid breathe, then he is also NOT the man for me.

So, do I want lust or love? The answer is that I want BOTH. Attraction and personality are equally important and just because I do not give chances to every man I meet does not mean that I am too judgmental. I want someone who can offer me everything that I could offer someone. And I believe that this is not asking too much.

Be careful how you judge someone. As much as we want to believe that we know everything and how to live a fulfilled life, the things we want are different from one another. If we all stuck to judging our own lives, we would all be a little more pleasant and spit-free.

To each his own. -Cicero

best,

cleo

Just saying the phrase, “I am so high”, is admitting a lot. You are qualifying this moment as being different from most and your state of mind as being extremely heightened from the natural. When on a high, regular daily burdens melt away. You are lifted above them.

Wooo I am so high! How exciting!

photo by zach pizza

Okay, I may be a dork, but I am not actually talking about being on drugs. I am not talking about being “high on life” either because that phrase has always been too nerdy for me to identify with.

I have discovered a new form of high. I have put on my (non-lesbian) combat boots and am stomping through the challenges of life and it is making me high. Bam! Take that heartache. Take that annoying life nuances. Take that emotional struggle. I am stomping on you and I am winning!

I am high on growing up. The power of growing up is elevating me. I am not the same person as I was yesterday or last week or last holiday season. Why? Because I am getting to know myself… very well. I know more about what irks me, what type of person I want to be, and what I want to allow to influence my life. If I catch my life following the path of a reality show, I stomp on the Jersey Shore tendencies and take an opposite action. I want mature relationships. No more rumors or unnecessary drama. I do not want a poof in my hair.

I know more and more about how to combat the lows I faced this year. That in itself has earned me a gold goddess crown for 2011.  My muscles are bigger and lifting myself out next year ain’t no thang.

I wish the same for you. The moment you spend reading this, you are getting older. Let your maturity catch up so that you can enjoy it.

Muah,

Cleo