Stunted Adults

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The Stunted Guide to Wedding Planning

Not too long ago, PinotNinja and I attended a pretty great wedding celebrating one of our dearest college friends. It was a lovely wedding, with lots of charm and character that came directly from the bride and groom. Leading up to the blessed event, we got to talking about weddings we had attended where things were… not so lovely? You know the wedding where the Best Man gives a terrible speech, there is a cash bar, and it is outside in the middle of winter? Or, when the groom says the name of his ex in his vows, the bride and groom are getting married for a reality TV show, or someone brings a badger to a wedding? Though some of this comes from real life experience, there’s much to be learned from our favorite point of reference: Pop Culture.

And with that, we present The Stunted Guide to Wedding Planning.

1) Don’t Say Your Ex’s Name During Your Vows

Oh, Ross. You are the worst. But you know what was horrible? When you said Rachel’s name when you were marrying Emily. You know what was great? When you said Rachel’s name when you were marrying Emily.

Take heed all non-Friends characters caught in a will they/won’t they scenario spanning years: do not, under any circumstances, say your ex’s name. Just don’t. Don’t do it.

2) Don’t Get Married for Publicity and/or Promotion of Your Awful Reality Shows

kim_wedding_tile2

Kimmy K, I’m thrilled you have a wee one and a blossoming relationship with my favorite person ever, Yeezus, but what in the HELL were you thinking with that 20 second marriage to Kris Humphries? Girlfriend, you should never, ever marry for publicity’s sake. What a terrible move. I really hope you aren’t doing the same to my Yeezus. Don’t do it.

3) Don’t Steal Someone Else’s Wedding

Not talking your ridiculous pilfering of ideas from Pinterest (though, not sure “this wedding looks like it came directly from Pinterest!” is always a compliment), we’re talking about literally usurping someone else’s wedding. This usually happens with the help of a dolt of a brother. We’re looking at you, Cory Matthews.

No one wants to go to jail on their wedding day.

No one wants to go to jail on their wedding day.

4) Don’t Even Try to Marry Brandon When You Want to Marry Dylan

I don’t think you guys even know how many fan videos there are on the internet centered around the failed romance of Kelly and Brandon. Consider this your warning.

But, seriously, if you want to marry Dylan, don’t agree to marry Brandon. Just don’t.

5) Don’t Wear a Dead Bird as Your Headpiece

Only Carrie Bradshaw could pull this off. And she barely did.

Polly Want an Open Bar?

Polly Want an Open Bar?

Unless you are wearing a dead bird as a message to all birds to not crap on your dress and mess with your special day. If that’s your move, I applaud it.

6) Don’t Have Your Bachelor Party Right Before Your Wedding, And Definitely Don’t Leave the Planning up to Your Alan

We all know how this turns out.

7) Don’t Release a Badger in the Airducts of the Reception Hall

Winston is tragically underused in New Girl, but his tendency to go too far yields hilarious results. Though he could be a warning tale for all intents and purposes, it is particularly important to note: do not release a badger into the airducts of the reception venue and then get stuck chasing said badger through the airducts. Badgers have no place at a wedding, unless it is a raccoon wedding. And then, please take pictures and send them to PinotNinja. You guys know how much she loves raccoons.

I love this clip because this is what any one of us would do if stuck in an air duct for ten minutes: self-reflection and monologuing. Plus, it’s subtitled in Italian. Perfect. Just perfect.

8) Don’t Marry for a Royal Title That Involves a Dowry (Or, Don’t Get Married to that Creep Louis, SERIOUSLY)

Oh, God, Blair. Nooooooo.

9) Don’t Murder Any of Your Guests During the Wedding

Sure, you may want to punch your annoying Aunt Martha in the face when she criticizes everything EVER, but you hold back because no one wants the cops on their wedding day and you have the capacity to turn the other cheek. Some folks, however, just don’t have the decency to abide by oaths of hospitality.

Dude, you are SO screwed.  (*sob*)

Dude, you are SO screwed. (*sob*)

10) Don’t Leave Your Own Wedding with a Dude on Rollerblades

Great advice from a beloved show (RIP Happy Endings). Even if you don’t want to marry your intended, maybe don’t bail when a dude on rollerblades objects. But even if you do – don’t go on your honeymoon with that rollerblading dude. Poor form, Alex. Just awful.

I think there is just so much that could go wrong on a wedding day (torrential downpours for me; a random and rambling best man speech for PN), why not avoid some of the biggest blunders. Unless you are looking to make good television, then have at it. But don’t be upset when some Internet Denizen calls your wedding “derivative.”

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Sweet, Sweet Fantasy, Baby*

I like to think I’m a sports fan. I probably know something about every major sport, including college football. I lived in two of the biggest metro sports areas in the country during my formative years, played several sports myself, and have a tendency to get swept up in good matches/games/sets. I appreciate sports.

So when one of my nearest and dearest (who actually works in a business capacity for a professional sports league) reached out about a Women’s Only Fantasy Football League, with a bottle of wine as the buy in, I didn’t give it a second thought. First, I like sports. Second, I like wine. No brainer.

I have a few preconceived notions about Fantasy Leagues – mainly due to my experience with dudes who run many, many teams (they are insane and need a hobby or twelve?) and The League on FX (which I find to be hilarious, but really don’t watch frequently). But seeing as this was a wine-based league with women that I knew to be lots of fun and moderately knowledgable in sports, I figured we’d avoid the crazy, trash-talking, intense bullshit.

Like the following (watch at your own risk…):

Or having friends like Taco (again, click with caution):

I put the draft date on my calendar: August 28, 8:30 pm. It wasn’t until yesterday morning (aka, Draft Day) that I realized my only prep was to register my team and tell BigBrawler who I thought my top prospects were.

As an aside, BigBrawler is NOT into fantasy football. To be frank, he’s barely into pro football as it is. He’s 100% college football obsessed, a diehard SEC fan. He doesn’t give a rat’s ass about my new venture. I joked about drafting a team of only SEC grads; that was the only thing that got his attention.

Anyway, I’ve been very casual about this draft, because it’s fun, right? It’s FUN. But I realized that I needed more than “I must have A.J. Green” (didn’t get him) as my battle cry. I needed to be prepared. I should have looked these ladies up beforehand.

So over lunch I took to the Internet, trying to learn just what the hell I was supposed to do with this draft and how I could strategize. I Googled things like “How many tight ends should I draft?” and “What the hell is a snake draft?” Yes, I’m that much of a rookie.

Three hours later, I had my plan – and it was highlighted, color coded, and annotated within an inch of its life.

I became the very person I didn’t want to become. I dedicated important hours that I’ll never get back to picking a fantasy team. Ugh. But at least I hadn’t trash-talked anyone.

And then I reached out the League Head (affectionately called “the Commish”) and told her I was looking forward to the evening, but was genuinely interested in just how many of our league mates were going to be coached by others with fantasy experience (friends, family, partners, boyfriends, husbands). Turns out… almost all but me and the Commish.

I’ll admit I got a little pissed. She confessed that other than the two of us, she could only think of one other woman that was flying solo. Everyone else would be drafting alongside experienced or knowledgable people. Well, it’s not against the rules, but I convinced her it should be next year.

So I race home just before the draft, fire up the computer, curse when my internet connection goes down just before, and then finally get logged on and start prepping my auto draft list, just in case I get distracted.

Almost immediately, the trash-talk started in our league’s chat room.

Someone picked Arian Foster very, very early. Based on a standard ranking list, a solid choice, but he is only probable for the start of the season, even though he says he’s well-rested. Not a huge issue, per se, but something to consider. So when someone drafted him 2d pick, she was immediately teased.

And I thought: Oh, shit. These bitches came to win.

A dear friend of many, many years is prone to trash-talk; she has been for most of our friendship. And she told the Commish to stop screwing around and that the Commish better not let her husband screw up this trash-talker’s next pick. The Commish fired back “Nope, J isn’t helping me at all. Flying solo.” Trash-talker doth protest – I highly suspect that her ultra-competitive, football maniac husband was hovering over her helping every step of the way.

And then I was on my round three pick and just as I was about to draft my player, I lost my connection. I hadn’t appropriately updated my auto pick to account for one of my mid-range RBs that I would get just a few picks later. And while I was out, the computer drafted two people that I had no business pursuing in those rounds.

Balls.

When I finally got back on and saw the carnage, I posted a big “BOOOO!” and carried on before being told “thems the breaks” and “get back in line.” Yes, you crazy ladies, I know this.

People started calling out other players for picking their next pick – I could barely pay attention as I scrambled to try to recover from my own fumble. And though it seemed so fast paced (you get 60 secs to pick each round), it ended a painful hour and fifteen minutes later.

The results: my team is not going to set the world on fire.

How did this happen? I planned! I studied! I checked out stats and ranking lists! For being a Fantasy Virgin, I did what I could do.

And those women who had co-pilots? Their teams are looking pretty solid right now.

I’m just going to have to buy my own wine to drown my sorrows this season.

But first, a toast to giving it a go on my own. Now, excuse me because I just got a push notification that someone dropped a WR I considered during the draft.

*If only everything in life can be described by Mariah Carey lyrics.


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So That’s How Cheap I Am

I have always wondered just how cheap I am.

This past weekend I found out.

I penny-pinched my way through grad school, I spent summers where my permanent address changed every 3 days because I was crashing on a rotating cast of couches, and I survived for a year in New York City on what could barely be called a salary in the name of public service.  Let’s just say I know my way around a cup of ramen and how to turn free happy hour appetizers into a meal for two days.

These days I like to think that I’m just like Lorelai Gilmore, turning my tiny house into a bastion of shabby chic with my impeccable sense of kitsch and irony despite my lesser financial means.  Indeed, like Lorelai, I’ve even secured myself a connection for top-notch coffee every morning for way under market price (and by that I mean free).  Much as Lorelai had Luke, I have a co-worker who I’ve essentially forced into giving me some of his freshly Chemex brewed super premium coffee every morning by sitting in his office and monologuing about utter nonsense until he shoves a cup in my face to make me go away.  In case you hadn’t picked up on it already, my brain is a wild jungle full of scary gibberish.

Seriously, do this and someone will jam free fancy coffee at you before you can take a breath:

This weekend, my frugality hit an all-time high.

The time had come for my close friends and neighbors to move their youngest son out of his crib.  They had ordered a new bedroom set for the little dude, and they needed to figure out what to do with their very lovely and lightly used crib, changing table, and baby bookshelf.

Despite the fact that I am not pregnant, have not mentioned a desire to get pregnant, and was generally useless when it came to helping them with their infant sons, they decided that they wanted to give their baby furniture to me.  They wanted to send it to a nice home in my garage, where it could  just hang out until my hypothetical child is ready to use it. No pressure.

Do you hear that 30-something-year-old ovaries?  There may be a crib in your garage, but you are not to feel any pressure about needing to fill it.  No pressure at all.  Just ignore the crib that you have to walk by every day.  IGNORE IT.

My initial reaction upon receiving this extraordinarily generous and kind offer of free baby furniture looked a little bit like Ross did after Rachel told him that she was pregnant.  It was all blank stares, open mouths, and crazy eyes up in my world.  I’m fairly certain that I also said “I, ummm, I’m just, I don’t know, I don’t understand, um, how this happened.”

But, after pulling myself together, I did some frugalista math.  Baby furniture is really expensive.  And the stuff my friends had bought is WAY nicer than anything that I could ever put together for my hypothetical baby.  And, I mean, sure, one day I will probably have a baby and that baby will probably need a place to sleep.  And, again, this was an incredibly generous and kind offer on their part, knowing that Country Boy and I could use the help, and I needed to stop acting like such a complete arsehole.

So, despite my possession of a crib sending me into a state of frozen anxiety, panic, and utter confusion, I decided to move all of that baby-riffic furniture into my garage.  Because I needed my friends to understand how nice and generous I think they are.  And, mainly, because it was free.

I am willing to intentionally inflict severe emotional distress upon myself for years in order to save money.

So that’s how cheap I am.


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Adventures in Stupid Food

“Stupid Food” is a phrase coined by PinotNinja and Country Boy when they visited a younger version of me and my husband, BigBrawler.  It was one of those blissful, 20-something urban evenings where we all stumbled down the street to our favorite pub, ate amazing snacks, drank obscure beers, and then stumbled back home in the wee hours, only to realize we were still hungry. Our cupboards were pretty bare, but that did not stop BigBrawler from brainstorming up something for us: quesadillas.  Yes!  Yes!  Quesadillas are a crowd favorite. But what he produced was NOT a quesadilla.  It was baked beans, fat free cheese (it’s plastic, guys – real cheese or GTFO), and I don’t even remember if actual tortillas were involved.  Pinot and I straight up refused to even try it.  BigBrawler ate it with a side of his pride. County Boy obliged because he is much more adventurous and knew this would probably be a story we’d tell for years.  And we sure have.

Every once in a while BigBrawler will come out of the kitchen, hang his head in shame and apologize for whatever just happened in there. He’s had some pretty bad chicken episodes, there was a string of pasta dishes that were not good, and an occasional mixed drink that was awful. Recently it was a desperation move – using the Turkish booze Yeni Raki (long story) with ginger ale, maybe? Bottom line: I know if BigBrawler says it’s the worst thing he’s ever had in his life, it has GOT to be bad.

BigBrawler is actually a wonderful cook – amazing even (recently a steak and morel risotto graced my life, courtesy of BigBrawler – I’d have as many sets of twins that dude wanted if he keeps cooking like that). I know for a fact that many of his friends are likewise great cooks.  They are objectively skilled in the art of cooking, but something about drinking coupled with hunger really messes with ingenuity in the kitchen.  BigBrawler and his friends have a history of such concoctions and utter failures.

Dudes in kitchens are objectively hot.

Dudes in kitchens are objectively hot.

Senior year in college, BigBrawler and I returned to the house he shared with his friends.  Calling it a “house” is generous.  It was more like a fort held together with duct tape and putty, with huge holes in every wall and door thanks to their beloved game “hammer darts.”  And that’s just the G-rated version of why it was an awful place.  But we returned from our favorite bar to find one of his friends in drunken hysterics on the kitchen floor.  Then we saw pieces of uncooked macaroni and powdered cheese everywhere.  He cried that he “just wanted some cheese and macaroni, but NOTHING was working.”  His problem, apparent to us, though not to him: he tried to make it in a George Foreman Grill. Drunk rookie move. Looking back, it may have been because the stove was broken and the man just had to have a Kraft chaser for the case of McSorley’s he drank. I get it. This guy was/is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met in my life.  He’s gone on to be just as smart in his career.  He is remarkable in every way, including because he drunkenly tried to make Mac ‘n Cheese in a George Foreman Grill at 2 am on a Saturday.

None of these things is Mac 'n Cheese. None.

None of these things is Mac ‘n Cheese. None.

Next example, after graduation.  A large group of us went to a friend’s vacation house for a weekend to celebrate.  It was glorious – recent grads, no real responsibilities yet, beach access and tons of beer.  Perfect.  We grilled out almost every meal – there were plenty of dudes who were eager to show their skills with fire.  After a rewarding run of day-drinking we grilled far too many hot dogs and burgers.  Then we had a great idea: s’mores.  S’mores are a great idea.  Always.  So, in a fit of inspiration, BigBrawler grabs a leftover dog and shoves it into a s’more.  The S’mores Dog was born.  I’m sure you’ve heard of it – it became a huge hit and swept the nation, spawning S’mores Dog trucks from coast to coast. Or not… like, at all. Because it was horrid. I still gag a little thinking about it.

This is what you get when you Google "Smores Dog." Can say with some confidence that these probably taste better than the real thing.

This is what you get when you Google “Smores Dog.” Can say with some confidence that these probably taste better than the real thing.

Back in my NOLA days, I actually lived with one of the former residents of the above-referenced Shanty – BigBrawler’s best friend and mine – who is actually a trained cook. His livelihood is in food service – and he rarely disappointed. However, there was this one fateful afternoon after we obliged the NOLA party gods and carried our weight at Parasol’s and the parade for St. Patrick’s Day. Now, if you’ve never been the NOLA St. Patty’s Day parades, know this: it’s like Mardi Gras but, instead of beads, they throw cabbage, carrots, potatoes, etc. – the ingredients to cabbage stew, I guess. So, we drunk, penny-pinching 20-somethings gathered up all of the (inedible) street produce (“this is AWESOME”), marched back to our apartment and he got to work on something that was supposed to be cabbage stew. Good God. It was hot garbage water. No, literally – we had drunkenly picked up discarded produce and decided to boil it. Lindsay Bluth had nothing on us.

Of COURSE there is a theme to this: drinking, dudes and cooking. That’s pretty much the subtitle to my upcoming memoir.

Though each of the above happened firmly in my mid-twenties, I’m happy to report that such Stupid Food never really stops, even if you stick the landing more frequently. Indeed, the other night BigBrawler convinced me that we totally needed some of our kids’ chicken nuggets when we were in hour three of our “Shameless” and booze evening mini-marathon. But this time, I have to say, the dino-shaped nuggets were cooked to perfection, though I was afraid for a split-second that I was going to end up with a Smores Nugget. However, when he convinced me that we had to have nachos last night, imagine my disappointment when they came out sprinkled in that fake cheese again. Man, some things never change.


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Fatboy Slim Always Knows Just What to Say

On Saturday morning, we had the amazing good fortune to have one of our posts — Lena Dunham Is My Ike Turner — chosen to join the Freshly Pressed ranks by the good folks over at WordPress.

freshly pressed

We totally know the secret handshake.

That honor immediately rocked the Stunted Adults world.

By the time we finished hyperventilating and fearing that this was all a horrible practical joke because, really, how could our blog possibly stand out among the over half a million blogs being considered for a Freshly Pressed nod, we realized that we had a whole new crew of readers and commenters.  And this crew rolled deep.   How is it possible that so many people were reading what we wrote?!  And they were into it?!  And then they started following us?!  HAS THE INTERNET GONE MAD?

We couldn’t be more surprised or thrilled.  Y’all moved us to tears, which had nothing, NOTHING, to do with the celebratory morning wines that we were drinking.  And, yes, morning wine is totally a thing.

You see, when Stunted Adults began we never imagined that it would actually turn into anything.  All three of us had been talking forever about how we really should be pop culture pundits.  We endlessly lamented that, had we just been more focused when we were younger, we totally could have been staples on the VH1 “I Love The [insert decade here]” circuit.

I love the 2

Really, this totally could have been us! Maybe? Okay, probably not.

We did nothing about our unfulfilled daydreams other than pour another glass of wine and complain about how we ended up in the wrong line of work.  We never tried to actually pontificate on pop culture, because, secretly, we all thought that we just weren’t good enough.  We were big old scaredy cats.

But then, one fateful morning, we were struck by an errant bolt of self-confidence, stumbled upon WordPress, and created Stunted Adults.

Much to our collective shock, we actually stuck with it and are still writing.  It turns out that, when it comes to opening up a can of snark, once you pop you can’t stop.

At first, no one really knew that our blog existed, but we were having such a good time entertaining each other that we didn’t notice.  After a few weeks, however, thousands of you started wandering into our little corner of the interwebs.  This we noticed, and it was incredible.  Stunted Adults began to feel like it was actually a real thing and not just some elaborate inside joke that had gone a little too far.

The almost four months since we started Stunted Adults have been nothing short of amazing, and it has made all three of us much happier people.

Who knew that writing about being a groupie, driving a car that requires duct tape to be street legal, champagne and more champagne, being doused in raw hamburger vomit, Dylan McKay, and accidentally pounding a beer on the way to work would be so fulfilling?  Because it totally is.

We owe a debt of gratitude to a lot of people for giving us this amazing gift.  Without all of you, Stunted Adults never would have happened.

First, we have to thank our husbands and friends, who were nothing but over-the-top encouraging when we first admitted to them that we had started a blog.  You totally could have made fun of us, especially since, had the tables been turned, we might have lovingly mocked you.  But, you didn’t.  Instead, you gave us carte blanche to write about you.  And that was super awesome.

Second, we owe a gigantic thank you to the blog community.  You all took us in, you showed us the ropes, and you treated us like family right from the outset.  Without your encouraging comments on our posts and your blogs as amazing examples to which we can aspire, there is simply no way we could have ever got Stunted Adults off the ground.  In particular, Susie Lindau, The Manhattan [food] Project, A Clown on FireMollytopia, The Cowardly FeministCreative DevolutionSee V Run, and The Bloggess have been our selfless senseis.  You all are the absolute best.

And, last, but definitely not least, we want to thank all of our new readers and followers who have stopped by since we were Freshly Pressed.  Welcome!  We are so happy to have you at our joint, so please pull up a stool and make yourself comfortable.  We’ll keep pouring the snark as long as you keep walking through the door.

So, dear family, friends, and new readers, this one’s for you:

Don’t even pretend like you weren’t dancing along to that.