Sunday, June 13

So...I'll probably lose all 3 of my followers by telling you this...

Reader, sit right down and your dear aunt Ashlee will tell you the tale of when I asked a millionaire if I could live with him for the summer. Hold on tight, this is not a pretty story.

To begin, I knew this was crazy when I did it, but College BFF Christi tried out for a reality TV show in Chicago, and when I looked at her like she was kind of nuts, she said, “Why not? At least I can say I tried. People can’t make fun of me because they didn’t even try and I did.” This inspired me to try my own crazy, at-least-I-tried thing. Spoiler alert: CBFF is NOT on a reality TV show, and our plans worked out equally well for both of us.

So, I was watching Millionaire Matchmaker on Bravo late one night (a mistake already, I KNOW). Please don’t lose all respect for me yet. By the end of the story, fine; but not yet. If you don’t know what the show is, a 2-sentence explanation: these millionaires hire a professional matchmaker to find classy, non-gold-digger dates for them and they have a mixer where they can’t exchange numbers, then a mini-date with two people of their choice, then one big date with one of those people. Patti (Matchmaker) calls and sees how it went and then we get an update on if they see each other again. It’s like all the fun of Bachelor but not in a freaking long, ridiculously dramatic season. And this really cute guy was on it (Trevor) and he’s from the city right in between where I went to college and where I’m working this summer. I think my mom suggested this jokingly, but of course I got really desperate for a cheap/free place to live this summer and took her suggestion. He’s a Christian, which is a total plus for her. She said I should live with him for the summer and then he would inevitably fall in love with me and I would be set and not have to choose a career (well, I added that career part; I’m sure she expects me to become a fabulously wealthy lawyer even if I marry the prince of Monaco…who IS single, by the way…but that’s beside the point). I did some creepy Internet stalking research and discovered how old he was (26? I legitimately forgot so I can’t be that crazy…OK OK, I still am) and that actually he lives somewhere else but his PARENTS live in the town that Millionaire Matchmaker said he lived in, and that made it better because while he probably wouldn’t let me live with him alone, his parents might be OK with taking in a charity/mental case for two short months. I was home while I saw this, and as I returned to school and my summer living/pay situation got more and more dismal, I got more and more distraught and desperate. So I found him on Facebook and sent him THIS (commentary in italics):

Hello. You don't know me, and even though I don't really know you, I have a very weird question. I'm a senior at *I’m not telling you guys* College, and I have an internship in Fort Wayne this summer, with Senator *So-and-so*'s office. I'm making essentially a pittance, and I can't really afford rent anywhere. And, your family has a big farm in *some Indiana* City. (I know, I know...this already sounds insane as I type it...believe me, I'm aware.)

*I thought admitting it would make it seem less creepy. It didn’t.*

Anyway, I was wondering if, one nice Christian person to another, your family might consider letting me stay with them in *town where they live*, just for the summer.

*Make myself sound respectable and show him already we have something in common.*

I could pay them $100 a month at most. I'm an honest, clean, responsible Christian girl who just needs a place to stay for cheap.

*Lies, all lies. I’m semi-messy, rarely on time, stay up too late and sleep through my alarm—which puts responsible out the window.*

Even though I don't know your family, it's pretty obviously from the very little I know of you that they are wonderful Christian people, so that makes this (only slightly) less scary than finding a roommate on Craigslist.

*See, two birds with one stone: brown-nose AND let him know I’m trying to AVOID crazy…would an insane person really care about avoiding other insane people??*

I could have just gotten their number out of the white pages, but I couldn't decide which way would be creepier--you getting a Facebook message from a total stranger or your parents getting a call from a stranger asking for a place to stay. Unfortunately, I now realize they are BOTH equally creepy.

*Yes they are.*

So, you can completely disregard this message if you find it intrusive and presumptuous, but I'm CLEARLY at the end of my rope here with such a desperate request. On the off chance that you DON'T immediately delete this, and if you would feel more comfortable after meeting me, you can do that

*not that I really want you to meet me and think I’m pretty or anything*; or we can set up a meeting with your parents.

OK, get it out of the way, because I'm sure you're wondering, I DID see you on Millionaire was 1 AM and I was bored...but that's really beside the point.

*No, it’s not. It’s very much THE POINT.*

You just stuck in my head for some reason, maybe because you were so close to *some town where my college is*. Maybe because God wanted me to at least ask for your help (as I'm not always good about that).

*Again with throwing the religion card in there, just in case he had forgotten from a minute ago.*

Please just prayerfully consider it, and thank you for even reading to the end of this message.

*Yeah, BIG assumption there.*

AND, believe it or not, he actually replied: My parents are great people but believe me you don't want to live with them haha....I will let you know if I hear of anything around Columbia City.

I had to add that last period, by the way. While I was just grateful to get a reply and not a restraining order, the more I read it to friends who couldn’t believe the story until I read both messages to them, the more I was like “YOU’RE a millionaire? YOU were on TV as this classy, rich guy and you can’t even use a PERIOD??” And to just throw “haha” in there like it goes with the rest of that sentence…I mean, come ON. Also, it made me unbelievably curious as to what kind of people his parents are to make him say that. Are they conservative? monkish-ly quiet? sheep-humping hicks? Do they decorate their house with clowns? I’ll never know.

Anyway, since then I have met two people who know him and know the family and I told the story to one of them and he thought it was hysterical instead of crazy. Maybe a little crazy, but he mercifully kept that to himself…unlike the other coworkers in the room who immediately mass-texted and Tweeted it and gave me REALLY weird looks for the rest of the day. He said he could picture Trevor saying something like that, and that he was too nice to think it was creepy. And if he doesn’t think I’m unbelievably crazy and disturbed, then clearly he’s not mentally right and it’s a good thing I didn’t live with him this summer. Whew, dodged a bullet on that one.

And that, children, is the story of how your aunt Ashlee ALMOST lived with a millionaire/got her first restraining order.

Saturday, June 5

A Letter to My Cereal

Dear Honey Bunches of Oats with Cinnamon Bunches:

I love you. You are delicious. But if we are going to have a beautiful relationship together, we need to start with honesty. You are overkill. When I tell people about how delicious you are, I’m going to sound like an idiot because that’s what your name does to me. “Honey Bunches of Oats with Cinnamon BUNCHES.” Really? Did the marketing team of Post cereal, Honey Bunches of Oats division, even have a meeting when you were developed? Or was someone just like, “Hey, we have this new cereal with cinnamon bunches; what should we call it?” And the rest of the team was like, “Just say ‘with Cinnamon Bunches.” Didn’t ONE person stand up in that meeting and go, “But we already have ‘Bunches’ in the name…isn’t that a little redundant?” I have to think that someone at least thought it. Is your company full of spineless zombie lemmings? No one in your entire corporation knows any synonyms for “bunches?” I think that should be a job requirement. “Clusters” is an excellent alternative. It’s perfect; the cinnamon parts are totally cluster-like. Or you could really change it up and go for something entirely different. I mean, I don’t have a marketing degree or even much of a marketing mindset, but you totally could have set yourself apart as this new, completely awesome cereal in the cereal aisle if you had gone with an advertising approach where you crossed out Honey and wrote in “Cinnamon!” (With or without the exclamation mark, it’s up to you. I’m not the marketing guru here. Then again, neither is your team of geniuses, apparently.) Then instead of your consumer walking down the cereal aisle and saying, “Oh my word, seriously? Has Honey Bunches of Oats come out with ANOTHER variety? When is this going to stop?!” they will be saying, “Wait, is this the same thing as the other ones? Is the honey flavor gone entirely? Have they taken out the honey bunches? Did Honey Bunches have to take a mandatory retirement? Was there some sort of big falling-out between Honey and Oats? Did Honey have a scandalous affair with one of the staffers? Are they trying to confuse me by covering it up? Was there an epic battle between Honey and Cinnamon and Cinnamon won and now it’s trying to take over the world one cereal at a time? …I’ll buy some.” See, confusion creates interest, and interest sells cereal. Plus, you don’t put the new part at the end of the title. No one will get that far because people are lazy about reading. Plus PLUS, everyone knows that cinnamon is better than honey. Just saying.

On a final note, we are having another fight now, because I have said the word “bunches” so many times in my head that it doesn’t sound real anymore. Bunches could not possibly be a real word. So thanks for that.

I’m still eating you again tomorrow morning, though.

All my love,


Wednesday, June 2

Cheesy choices...REALLY poor, REALLY cheesy choices

OK, remember that post about how much I poop? Yep, we’re revisiting that. Ever so sorry. Thankfully, it’s the opposite of the first post. Still about poop, but about the very real possibility of having much less of it really soon. That seems like it would be a good thing, but it’s not. Let me explain.

I have the self control of an un-spayed dog in heat (I realize the fact that she’s un-spayed is completely moot since spayed dogs can’t be in heat, but it’s necessary to get the point across of how very little self control I possess). Well, I thought about what to have for dinner and remembered Roommate saying that I should eat her tortillas so they don’t go bad. I have never heard of tortillas going bad, but at that point I had already made the mistake of letting a teeny thought like “you know what tortillas make? quesadillas” into my head and it buried in like a tick and by that time I had it like herpes and it would never go away and I would never be able to get rid of it until I satisfied it like the nasty little sex offender it was and that’s three mixed metaphors in one sentence and I don’t even care because you need to understand that this complete lack of willpower is a terrible thing keeping me from gaining any sort of self-improvement. Suddenly I had an overpowering NEED to make myself the cheesiest quesadilla ever. Like, there was no way I would be able to go another 2 minutes without gobs of cheese and tortilla in my mouth (not gobs of tortilla, actually; poor syntax which I am again not fixing in my urgency, merely commenting on which may be more time-consuming). OK, we’ll get to why this was a poor choice in the first place later. Really, I probably recognized it then, but I was like a serious meth addict experiencing the worst withdrawal of his life, so bad that he didn’t even remember how awesome meth was but he felt one of those phantom pains about it and there was a very real possibility that he could actually get that real feeling back and he would stab a human baby to remember for real how great meth was even though he knows he just went on a binge of crack and X, and then heroin and blow both on the next day and he really really doesn’t need that meth but he can’t think of ANYTHING ELSE BUT METH. So I went down to the kitchen and got out the “nearly-bad tortillas” (justification? check) and mozzarella AND colby jack cheeses and a pan and went to work on the mo-fo of all quesadillas…which wasn’t epic at all but when meth addicts are really jones-ing for some meth, ANY meth is the mo-fo of all meth. Really, just keep comparing me to a meth addict and this will make a LOT of sense. Even the burns. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I’m also watching “How I Met Your Mother” on my laptop while I’m doing this, which is great but means most of the counter space is taken up and when it comes time to take the 3-lb. quesadilla out and put it on a plate I grab a napkin because I still feel too intrusive in Roommate’s house to use her dishes with any frequency. And with all that cheese came massive amounts of drippy, boiling-hot grease, which I failed to remember until the napkin gave out and the pain sensors in my fingers reminded me and I dropped the quesadilla on my Enter key (ish) but mostly not on my computer (thank GOD!) and I’m trying to bite off some of the cheese oozing out of the side and MASSACRING my tongue because I took it out of the skillet .5 seconds ago. But in my snort-some-meth-powder-I-found-on-a-NY-sidewalk-next-to-a-pile-of-actual-excrement state (I don’t even know if you snort meth or if it ever comes in powder form, so excuse that part) I just didn’t care. And I burned my fingers in about 5 places and my tongue was destroyed. And it was way too much cheese. Like, I could feel my bowels shutting down and making picket signs and striking for 3 days AS I finished the last bite. So, maybe in some weird part of my brain that thinks it’s helping but really doesn’t remember ANYTHING about biology, I thought I was counteracting all the fast-food-induced toilet paper usage by making me crave (and unavoidably eat) something that would stop me up for a week. But now I’ll just want to real bad and be unable to and curse my lack of self-control until I decide ten minutes later that I must eat some Little Caesar’s Crazy Bread THAT INSTANT or I will die. OHHH…remembered something I wish I hadn’t: I had Arby’s mozzarella sticks with lunch. EFFFFFFFF. Really…REALLY?

OK, then I was all, “That was a poor choice; no more food tonight. Deal? Deal.” I talk to myself WAY too readily when no one is around. Anyway, about .7 seconds later Roommate comes in and says, “Did you eat?” And I COULD say, “Yes and it was a poor choice so hide all the food ESPECIALLY CHEESE for a week.” But I do not. I say, “Yes, and it was all cheese so I won’t poop for a week. You’re welcome for that. (We’ve know each other a WEEK, by the way) Why do you ask?” And I figure it probably has something to do with going over to her brother’s house because he and his wife are super welcoming and invite me ALL the time and I usually just decline because I’m a real adult now (supposedly) which makes me boring and exhausted and I go to bed at like 10:30. So, she goes, “Oh, well since I’m taking care of Reuben’s cats this weekend he’s treating for Chinese and says you’re welcome to join and use their Internet and he’ll treat you too.” And OF COURSE the response was NOT, “I’ll come for the Internet and because your brother and his wife are super awesome I love them, but I don’t need to eat anything for the rest of the week, let alone the poor choice of Chinese takeout.” No, dear reader, it couldn’t possibly be that. It was, “I’m not that hungry but I’ll totally come anyway if he’s treating!” because it doesn’t matter how full you are, if you are offered a free meal and it is something you love or even tried once and didn’t hate or heard about in a magazine and it sounded edible, and you are a Dutch person, YOU MUST EAT THAT FREE MEAL. This is a Dutch rule. No one even taught me; it is engrained in my being. So I ate 5 lbs. of cheese today and then a whole extra meal that wants so desperately to pass through me very quickly because it’s Chinese and it delivers fast, it gets eaten fast, it digests fast and it leaves fast; but the cheese Nazis and Border Patrol bowels (alliteration NOT intended) have set up a 4-day roadblock and are intent on making me suffer for thinking I can somehow beat the system of natural punishment I deserve when I eat fast food in a meth-addict-reminiscent way (points for spelling that right the first time). “In fact,” says my body, “that’ll be two for (flinching) thinking a wheel of cheese would be the right solution.”

Wow. This is really long but I think it’s a good one. Hopefully you stuck with me through that long post and you weren’t like, “Need picture! Too much letters!” Because apparently you all have terrible grammar too. Anyway, wacky things don’t really happen to me, so instead I guess I’ll have to create humor out of the really poor choices I make. Really, though, those write themselves.

OK, my work-mind says, “You shouldn’t fall back into your habit of going to bed at 4 am and getting up at noon just because it’s a holiday weekend. You’ll have to be an adult again next week.” But my normal, still-in-college-mode mind is going, “WOO HOO!!! Nothing to do until 1 tomorrow!!! Stay up and watch Glee and maybe a movie or six!!” But I’m going to listen (ish) to my (boring) responsible mind and go to bed after just one teeny little episode of something as of yet undecided.

UPDATE: the 10-lb. quesadilla had essentially NO effect on my digestive routines!! Yay! OK, I REALLY will stop talking about poop now. At least for a week.