Is This a Date?

The thing is, I’m the kind of person who tends to run away from the task at hand. When I have a Philosophy essay due, I paint my nails and write for fun. When my nail varnish chips and I actually have an article due, I bake cookies and go on dates.

That’s right, in the midst of all this Christmas exam/Donald Trump angst, in the classic style of Tull-Meister, I have found a distraction, a new focus – the dating scene.

Although, let’s be real, it’s not actually “the dating scene”.  Is it?

It’s just hanging out. Only a coffee. A quick spin to the prom. A quiet drink. It could even be just a work thing… Very casual. And first date things, first: you must not cross these casual lines. You must not try to figure out what it really is. No seriously, take it from Tull-Meister. The 72 hours prior to your meeting must be consumed with wonder.

What is this? What is coffee really code for? What do I wear? What is the meaning of life?

Listen, just embrace this anguish, don’t give in to it. Don’t request that the other person signs a contract stating they are someway romantically interested in you, and that they can offer a money back guarantee… (trust me).

If you happen to do this, and your date falls through, don’t panic, Tull-Meister is here to offer you tips on how to bag another.

It’s pretty simple, all you need to do is find somebody you have something in common with. For example, my most recent date had ears… just like me! I broke the ice by asking him could he wiggle them. (He could, so I should have known from the outset that he was much too intricate for me).

Just like the time I went for “just a drink” with the guy who knew all about wine. His knowledge seemed attractive at first, but trying to keep up with him was too complicated. At one stage he handed me a glass of red, I sniffed long and hard and feeling like a pro I told him I could smell “blackberries and spices” … “That’s just the candle”, he pointed at the candle between us. I nodded, gulping the blackberry and spice until I felt warm and fuzzy and everything was hilarious and I thought I’d better ask if Mr. Wine could wiggle his ears.

 

Related image

 

Which brings me to my next tip about the dating scene. Now, it might sound like mammy-ish advice, but let’s face it, mammy’s are usually right… Don’t get drunk! It’s not cool, and it puts you in a vulnerable position. I mean, what is the best way to tell if your date is a crazy person? That’s right, there is none. So stay safe out there, and make sure to let a friend know where you are.

If ear wiggling and wine tasting isn’t up your street, suggest to your date that you do something else that seems slightly bearable to you. Do not, under any circumstance, suggest that you partake in an activity you enjoy. For instance, I enjoy wearing a onesie and covering my face with sudocreme while I read women’s fiction. Apparently, the date I had last Thursday night, does not. A key tip is to keep it boring.

If your first date is sufficiently boing, and a second date is agreed upon, you must be prepared. That is why, for the first date, I would suggest investing in a notebook. That way, you can take note of the other persons likes, dislikes, qualities and mannerisms, and memorize them. I mean, dates are basically interviews, so it only makes sense to do this.

If a second date doesn’t seem to be in the pipeline, don’t panic. Take a seat. Laugh at the wiggling ears. Drink the wine. Enjoy the interview process.

Diary of a Final Year: Week 8

Wait… Week 8, already?

I suppose time flies when you are wearing rust coloured cardigans and moss green quilted jackets. That’s right friends, our good old Aunt Autumn has arrived. She swept in the door, and made herself at home.

Ye should all go to New Look and purchase a good pair of over the knee boots” She breezily advised, over a cup of tea and slice of barm brack.
“You know something Autumn? You’re dead right” I smiled, brushing the leaves off her shoulders.
Now, usually I’m not so hospitable. It’s not always tea parties and buttered barm brack for Aunt Autumn in the Tull-Meisters house. Usually, I have to take a few days to adjust to her arrival.
Adjustment process: constant whinging about the absence of Aunt Summer, plus retail therapy. (rust coloured cardigans, moss green quilted jackets, nice boots…)
But something has changed. I’ve changed. And I think we need to talk about it.
Summer used to be my favourite. My birthday is in July, so naturally I have always associated Summer with being spoilt and eating cake. But cake and presents and sunshine and all that craic … It just doesn’t do it for me anymore.
Before you decide that the Tull-Meister is a big rotten spoilt yoke, let me explain!
If you know me, or if you have even met me briefly – in a bathroom on campus or the smoking area of the Front Door – you will know that I just spent a few months in the States. How will you know? Well, I’ll mention it, of course.
Example:
Nice girl with perfect eyeliner in bathroom: “That toilet doesn’t flush”
Me *thinking if I could do eyeliner like that, I would just drop out of college, become a YouTube sensation and buy a dog and….*: “Oh dear, so annoying, wish we were like the yanks with their automatic flushing toilets… they have everything in America you know, I was there for a while…”
Bearded hipster in the Front Door: “What time does this place close?”
Me: *wondering if he paid fifty cent or fifty euro for his scruffy jacket*: “Around 2:30… But you, we aren’t so badly off… in Massachusetts everywhere stops serving at 1am…”
But, all bragging about my broadened horizons and discovery of toilet technology aside – I think I’ve had enough Summer for one year. I never thought I’d say such a thing. But I am a brave free spirit of the world now, and I’m just going to put it out there: three months of beautiful bright sun beating down on a girl, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
It’s too much. Too much worrying about prickly leg hair, fake tan/sun cream application, and whether either of them are water proof. Too much men in sandals with hairy toes. Too much for my Celtic complexion. Sometimes I think that whenever God created red-heads, he must have had great fun. I can just imagine him…
“No, no, more freckles… paler, paler!”
Finally! Now is the time to seize these Celtic complexions. An Autumnal colour palette is a pale person’s most complimentary friend. And if you happen to be blessed with a more Goddess like olive glow … well, you can feck off.
No, no. I joke. There’s good news for you, too. Good news for all! Autumn is the new January, just like over the knee boots are the new … look. It’s like a mini New Year, except instead of the air being below zero degrees, its fresh and charged with possibilities, resolutions and renewal. If you were once a Summer lover like myself, you could even go as far as to say Autumn is the new Summer. Now, time for those resolutions.

Did I Tell You I Went to America?

That’s right, I jetted off for the Summer. (I don’t just “take a flight” like the common folk, I “jet” … cos I’m fancy).
Well, it wasn’t as simple as just hopping on my jet. There was an application process for the visa, of course. (Which I would describe as “tedious”, at best … but WORTH IT). Emails, forms and fees to beat the band! I went through the company SAYIT, who were always at the other end of the phone/email when I had any questions. You can get in touch with them here.

Then there was the American embassy interview, which consisted of me waiting in a queue for six hours, to be asked what my intentions in the United States of America were.

Image result for american embassy dublin
(Just a warning: honesty is not always the best policy. The scary man behind the glass partition does not want to hear that your intentions are to “have a blast!”).
I suppose I panicked a little. It was all very high security and there were men with guns who took my food off me on the way in, so I was gone a bit delirious. They also took all my electronic devices, so I ended up trying to pass the time by making a mental list of everyone I have ever gone out on a date with, ever.
Anyway, the trauma was all forgotten once I set foot on the land of opportunity, peanut butter, cheese, blueberry muffins and sugary everything.
“Welcome to the United States, Mam” Everyone seemed to be saying, and I felt like a modern day version of your one from the movie Brooklyn.

Image result for brooklyn movie  Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, sunglasses, ocean, sky, outdoor, water and closeup

(We are the spit of her really to be fair…)

In order to be welcomed in like this for the Summer, you must have secured a job first.

That was a little stressful, but SAYIT are great assistance as they provide an InterExchange job data base, and lots of information about job fairs. My friends and I managed to source our own employment, through word of mouth/by emphasizing our Irish accents (the aul Irish accent, ’tis like gold dusht abroad in the states)… So we ended up living the dream at a Four Star resort on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Some of us worked in activities, some as receptionists, and some in food and beverage.

Image result for ocean edge resort

(Ocean Edge Resort, Cape Cod..  You can contact the lovely people there by clicking here )

My title was “cocktail waitress”. Which basically meant I got paid to swan around a sunny roof top terrace over-looking Cape Cod Bay, with lots of other friendly j1 students from all over the world. At the time, the resort was striving for an award, so we were trained in excellence – wine tasting, cocktail preparation, the like! During the Summer Season, the weather on Cape Cod is what a red headed Irish girl would consider to be ROASTIN’ (25-30C), so we were kitted out with cute mini skirts and shirts – I was happy I packed my coco brown tan and, of course, factor 50 sun cream!

From the outset, the whole experience at Ocean Edge was an absolute delight – we were simply so enchanted by the scenery and weather that we didn’t even feel jet lagged. Cape Cod is known for its beaches, and pretty freshwater ponds, which are all a “stones throw” from the resort. When I wasn’t busy slathering myself in sun cream on the shore, my days were spent holding a tray of drinks on the palm of my hand, smiling at lots of Americans who thought I was “adorable” with my four million freckles. It was great.

Image may contain: ocean, sky, beach, twilight, outdoor, nature and water

(Watching the sunset and sunrise before and after a party was as normal as a hot dinner here at home)

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people standing

Like most waitress jobs in the States, I was getting paid just over 3 dollars an hour, and living off my tips. I happen to be an absolutely lovely person and brilliant at everything, so my tips were fairly high. But living costs on the beautiful Cape were fairly high too – so I got second job in the cute “Al Fresco” Café.

Image result for al fresco brewster

Al Fresco quickly became my happy place – working there gave me a chance to meet the locals, as opposed to holiday makers at the resort. It is run by the most wacky, warm family I have ever met – who are not just brilliant in the business of food and coffee, but beaming with kindness too. I spent a lot of my time there, chatting to the interesting people from the area, and feeding my iced latte addiction.

Image may contain: 1 person, drink       (Honestly, the hardest part about returning to Ireland was the lack of iced lattes).

Image may contain: 3 people, people standing

Most days I worked in the café from 8am to 2pm, and then on the Terrace from 3pm to midnight. I cycled to and from both jobs, on a bike provided to me by a man called “Papa Deny” who claimed to be doing the work of Jesus. In fairness, the bike was an actual God send – while the Cape is very beautiful, it’s extremely rural and public transport is almost non-existent, so I cycled everywhere – including to and from house/beach parties and the pub!

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, drink, night and indoor

It sounds like a lot of going, but something nobody tells you about the j1 experience is that it gives you the super human ability to never feel tired.

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing and stripes

Working two jobs also allowed me save up enough money to travel for just over two weeks at the end of the Summer, which was one of the best experiences of my life. Now, I know that there are few things as irritating as listening to someone droll on about their “amazing time travelling”, but it really was amazing! We visited Boston, Washington DC, New York, Las Vegas, drove through the Grand Canyon for two days, and finished off on the west coast in San Diego.

If I had to choose, I would say San Diego was my favourite. Super laid back, with loads of bendy fit looking people doing yoga on the beach, or rollerblading around like there was no tomorrow. The streets were multicolored, full of really trendy bars, and it was never too hot. (It would be an amazing spot to go on a j1, but I’ve heard that jobs/accommodation is scarce there so now would be the time to start looking!)

Along our travels, my girlies and I found ourselves speaking more Irish than we have in our entire lives – in American accents, if you can imagine – and eating more than a person should in their entire life. That thing you hear about American food – it’s not a myth. There’s enough salt and sugar in it to make you feel like the spuds here at home are bland and over boiled. And, there is loads of it (Another reason I was glad I had to cycle daily!).

When we finally had our fill, we jetted home, and even though we had an air of superior well traveled beings, we were never so happy to see a good ole cup of tea.

Find out about my rocky adjustment back to reality/final year of college, by reading my posts below…

Thanks!