#yesallwomen

#yesallwomen

 

Who’s sick of hearing the “#yesallwomen” tweets and updates that have swept social media since the tragedy in Santa Barbara?

Newsflash, you’re part of the problem. A big part.

Sorry to hit you with some tough love there, but you may as well get used to it, because the love in this post isn’t going to get any easier. Just be grateful that the above didn’t say:

Newsflash, you’re part of the problem, asshat.

I typically avoid conversations on hot button topics on my blog. Truthfully, this is a release for me and it is supposed to be a place of entertainment, so I keep my personal opinions to myself generally. I don’t want this to become a soap box. Occasionally, something slips through, and I just can’t keep quiet anymore. This is one of those moments.

Socially, we tend to view women’s issues as a thing of the past. This occurs in the same misguided idea that racism and religious prejudice are things of the past. Things that went away once women got the right to vote and own land, or segregation, or the Spanish inquisition. But, let me explain to those of you fortunate enough to live your life without ever being maligned: just because it isn’t as bad as it was (or still is in some parts of the world) doesn’t mean it’s not still a major problem.

Just ask any victim of the any prejudice. I guarantee that it happens so much more frequently than you have the luxury of having to imagine.

The fact of the matter is, we have adapted to protect ourselves from it in so many ways. We just try to act a certain way in mixed company to avoid offending the offensive, just to prevent those hateful words, and threats of violence from those around us. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never done or said anything in the past, the fact of the matter is that it has happened so frequently to us that we have no choice but to be on high alert with every new person we meet.

You think this is an exaggeration or excessive? I guarantee it’s not. Ask a young black man if he speaks differently to a white woman he randomly encounters in public, or a woman how differently she walks when alone versus with a group of people. I bet every single time he or she will tell you that there is a difference.

What’s excessive is that we have to do this.

Where does this come from? Easy, we allow it to happen. We allow these prejudices to happen. For example, “bitch” is a totally acceptable word in our society. I hate it. HATE IT. It implies two things, 1. The person (typically a woman) is at the level of a dog, and 2. The person is subservient to the speaker. Can’t stand that word. I don’t care who uses it, it promotes the degeneration of women and should not be considered acceptable.

Another example that seems so innocuous: the “nice guy syndrome”. We’ve all heard of this, probably even laughed about it. The idea that women only date assholes. And I’m not arguing that a lot of women date assholes, but the premise behind this “syndrome” is that it’s not fair that the nice guy doesn’t get the girl.

WHAT. THE. FUCK.

Why is it presumed that a woman is required to be interested in a guy who shows her interest? Nice or otherwise. The reason she doesn’t like you, homeskillet, isn’t because you’re nice. It’s likely something else. You may be ugly as sin. Sorry, suck it up, you don’t attract her, get over it. Maybe you smell. Maybe you’re so desperate you make her uncomfortable. It doesn’t matter the reason, she’s not into you. Move the fuck on.

Moreover, you’re so busy mooning over this girl who’s not interested in you, you’re probably missing the girl who is mooning over you. You, in essence, are treating that girl the same way your crush is treating you. (Feel free to insert, “asshat” anywhere in the above.)

I have read several things online that generally state the reasoning behind a lot of these differences. Why others don’t understand how major a problem all of this is. I found instances of conversations or interviews with both men and women. Men were asked why they were threatened of women – the answer? Typically something as innocuous as a woman’s opinion threatens a man’s ideal of masculinity. When the same question was asked to women about men, the answer was quite different. Death, violence, rape.

Why?

Why are these answers so different. A lot of people boil it down to the simple fact that by their nature, most men can overpower most women and the same is rarely true vice versa. That’s likely a factor, but it’s deeper than “boys are stronger than girls”.

As a woman, I am accustomed to having my ideals threatened. I have lived with the emotional abuse that comes from everyone around me for being a woman my whole life. “You can’t do that, you’re a girl,” “you’d be so much prettier if…” unwanted advance? “you shouldn’t have…”, “girls don’t do that,” “you’re being so emotional,” “man up,”.   All of this and more, catcalls, comments on my figure, my weight, my hair, my clothes. These are things I just am used to as a woman. What else can a man do to me emotionally that society hasn’t already?

I work in a male dominated field. I have to prove things that my male counterparts don’t. I have to do twice as much to prove the value of my skills. I’m used to this, truthfully, it’s part of life at this point. As a women, I walk into most meetings with my guard up, because it’s very likely that my male counterparts will do what so many males do when someone the deem as weaker disagrees – try to bully them into agreement. I just go in assuming this will happen so I’m ready if and when it does.

This is not gender related, but it is prejudice related. Before I continue, you need to understand how big a fucking deal it is that I am saying this. It’s not something I necessarily hide, but it’s also not something that I advertise. Not even my in-laws really know this about me, so to post this on the internet means a lot to me.

I’m not a Christian.

Seems so small and so easy, right? Well, I have a lot of devout friends and family who will not find the above statement acceptable. I used to think I kept it to myself out of respect for the beliefs of others, but honestly, it was self-preservation. Remember, I was born and raised in the Bible belt, and I have learned to defend myself from those who think they can convert me or those that tell me I’m going to go to hell. Or worse, those that just drop me from their lives entirely.

I don’t need to be saved. As a matter of fact, I tend to believe that those trying to save me are the ones who need to be saved from wickedness. Not all, but a lot.

I have amazing friends who know this about me and don’t care. For example, my best friend, Grit McGrit, is a very religious woman. She knows that I do not hold to the same beliefs, and still accepts me for who I am. We often have religious discussions and we learn from and challenge each other. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m fairly certain she prays for my soul because she’s convinced I’m gonna end up in hell based on her beliefs, and quite frankly, I’m grateful for that. She doesn’t think that maliciously, and her prayers for my soul are genuine. While prayer isn’t important to me, it is to her. For her, a prayer in my honor is a gift of love, and I couldn’t ask for anything more. (For the record, I keep her in my thoughts and wish her nothing but the happiness and the best of everything too.)

What all this boils down to is I have been raised to protect myself. To keep my keys ready, to know how to use pepper spray, to dress a certain way, to know how to handle my drink at a party or bar, to say the phrases that will keep me off the radar of those who think they can change my head and heart in a single conversation. I was raised constantly on the defensive from men, other women, and nasty zealots.

Just because these threats aren’t present from every member of the above groups, doesn’t mean that this isn’t an issue. It won’t be an issue, when it stops. When it’s no longer “cute” to make disparaging comments at women. When a woman can walk into a room without feeling threatened by judgmental women and predatory men. When “boys will be boys” is not an excuse for males to treat others poorly or demean women. When young boys are raised to understand that girls are just as important and worthy of respect as their fellow males.

Note:

I am perfectly aware that this is not an issue every man causes, so the bullshit response of #notallmen pisses me off even more.  I married a great man, he’s wonderful, but even him I have had to give some perspective to.  You, as a man, may not have tormented a woman to her face, but how many times have you joked with your friends in private?  How many times have you witnessed other men be misogynistic and done nothing?  You may not have done anything, but by not standing up to stop it (then and now) you may as well have.

Everyone, even me, is guilty of doing something like I mentioned in this post. No one is perfect, and that’s not what is expected. I know that there are times when insensitive things are done or said because the person doesn’t realize they’re insensitive (I’ve totally done this – sometimes my curiosity gets the best of me and others are inadvertently offended). However, until we stop putting the blame on the victims of these prejudices, this will remain an issue.

#yesallwomen

It’s not just about women, it’s about the underbelly of our society that finds prejudice and mistreatment of others as acceptable.

So, keep hashtagging the hell out of that. Hashtag your own stories, show empathy and solidarity for women and understand that we are maligned as frequently as others. Don’t let, “because she’s a woman,” be an excuse for mistreatment of another human being.

Here are some of mine, feel free to add to them and keep the tag going.

 

Because my gender is not a factor in my intelligence. #yesallwomen

Until men have to walk at night on the phone with someone to prevent an attack. #yesallwomen

Because I am judged on my looks as much if not more than my skills, experience, and work. #yesallwomen

Until I don’t have to worry about what may have happened when I set my drink down at a bar. #yesallwomen

 

 


Southern Pimento Cheese Spread

Pimento Cheese 1

Happy Memorial Day, y’all!  The Boy and I love to celebrate holidays, and by “The Boy and I” I really mean I love to celebrate holidays, and The Boy just typically goes with it.

To celebrate Memorial Day, The Boy and I will be taking a picnic to go fishing, and it’s a fantastically southern meal.  Naturally, when I use the description, “fantastically southern,” Pimento Cheese Spread is included.  It’s so delightfully wonderful and not at all good for you.

I have this theory, crackers were developed solely for pimento cheese spread, and my Southern Pimento Cheese Spread tops them perfectly.

Pimento Cheese 2

I love this stuff so much.  I may or may not have used it to top my hot dog at lunch time.

 

Pimento Cheese Title

Ingredients

3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I used finely grated, but any grate will work)

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 cup mayonaise

4 oz jar of pimentos (and juice)

pinch of cayenne pepper

3 shakes of hot sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Process

1. If needed, shred the cheese and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine mayo, pimentos (juice and all), cayenne pepper, hot sauce, salt and pepper

3. Toss in the cheese and stir until everything is combined.

4. Serve it over crackers, or on toast, or grill it like grilled cheese and fall in love with Pimento Cheese Spread.

You can download a printable here: Southern Pimento Cheese Spread.  I’m trying something new with these things.


Cinnamon Vanilla Caramel Pop Corn

Cinnamon Vanilla Caramel Pop Corn

Cinnamon Vanilla Caramel Pop Corn

 

So, one of my first friends out here in Colorado had a personal emergency and is going to be driving back to her hometown this week.  For her, that’s a 21 hour drive, and having just recently made that drive moving out here from Virginia, I figured I’d do anything I can to make the trip a little easier.

Naturally, I figured I’d make a snack, something to give a burst of energy on those long roads (especially the ones in Kansas).  My criteria?  It needed to be sweet, easy to munch on, and I needed to have the ingredients on hand.

I figured caramel pop corn would be the perfect snack, but I wanted it to be a little more robust than traditional caramel corn.  To be fair and honest, this recipe was the inspiration for my version.

I made a lot of pop corn, some for my friend’s trip, some for my store, and some for The Boy and I (which, subsequently didn’t last the night).

Snack time!

Snack time!

This is a very simple recipe, and it’s packed with flavor, but the cinnamon and vanilla can both be, “to taste”, so feel free to ignore the amount I added if you’d like to make it your own.

Enough stalling, here’s the recipe!

Cinnamon Vanilla Caramel Pop Corn

Cinnamon Vanilla Caramel Pop Corn

Cinnamon Vanilla Caramel Pop Corn

Ingredients

2 sticks of butter (yep, TWO)

1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup honey

3 tsp. vanilla extract*

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

6-8 oz air popped pop corn (approximately 1 cup uncooked kernels)**

 

Process

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

1. Pop your corn, remove any unpopped kernels, and set it aside in a large bowl.  I suggest greasing the bowl with cooking spray or shortening as this will prevent the caramel from sticking.  Grease or spray every item that will touch the caramel.  That’s a pro-tip for you.

2. In a large non-stick skillet or sauce pan, melt the butter on medium low.  Add the sugars, cinnamon, and honey to the pot, and stir to combine.  Turn the mixture up to medium – it will start to boil.  Once this happens, you need to be stirring constantly to ensure the sugars don’t burn.  Let the mixture simmer for 4-6 minutes until it is thick and smooth.

3. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the vanilla and baking powder.  This will create an awesomely violent reaction, but just keep stirring through it until it calms down.

4. Pour the caramel over the corn and stir to combine.  This step is easiest to do if you do it in batches – I did 3.  Don’t feel that you need to use all of the caramel, put a light coating over the pop corn, too much and it won’t get crunchy.  If you want to make something chewy, like caramel popcorn balls, stop here, use all the caramel, and shape the popcorn.

5.  Split the pop corn onto two baking trays.  Another pro-tip: cover those bad boys in tin foil so they are easier to clean.

6. Bake the tray in 10 minute intervals, stirring in between.  I did 4 rounds per batch, but you may need more or less.  Let the pop corn cool for at least 5 minutes, if it turns nice an crunchy, it’s done, if it stays kinda chewy, put it back in for another round.

7. Once the popcorn has cooled, you’ll likely need to break it up again because it will stick together.  You can serve it now, or keep it for 1-2 weeks in an air tight container or zip lock.

 

*I recommend using pure vanilla extract, it will give you a hint of depth from the alcohol in it.

** If you want to use microwave popcorn, I suggest Orville Redenbacher’s Organic Simply Salted because it will compliment the caramel the best.  Also, it is by far the most superior pop corn.

 

This stuff is seriously amazing.  The Boy and I already ate our batch.

 

The Boy and I consider this, "not eating the whole bowl".

The Boy and I consider this, “not eating the whole bowl”.


I don’t think you really know what a best friend is.

So, I read this article:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robin-obryant/im-not-married-to-my-best-friend_b_5187365.html

And I read it because of the title; it drew me in.  Nice job, Robin, good writing.  I don’t usually do this; I’m not the kind of person to post things I disagree with online because I think that’s kind of silly, and I do not want to be one of those horrible people who just spreads nastiness in the world.  But, this one got me thinking and inspired me to chime in on the dialogue.  Which, I think as a writer, is a compliment, even if I don’t agree with the topic or arguments made in the piece.

Upon first reading the piece, I found it interesting and thought provoking, and generally thought she made some good points.  In my experience, they didn’t fit, but that was just my personal experience, so I was just gonna chalk it up to a funny piece about love and marriage.  But, then, I saw this part:

“I’m also going to need all of you people who say, “Thanks for the best 15 years of my life!” to stand in a separate corner and await your own punishment, because marriage isn’t easy, and it most certainly isn’t all happy.”

That part actually kinda ticked me off and is what inspired me to sit down for a few minutes and write another perspective.

First, let me point out some very important differences.  First, Robin O’Bryant met her husband at 19 in 1997 at a Church event, so they have been together for quite a long time.  The Boy and I, however, only met in October of 2006 and married in October of 2011, so we are very much in the honeymoon stage of our relationship, and that may be tinting my view here.  Additionally, they have children together, and we have dogs.  So, needless to say, their lives are quite different from the one The Boy and I share.  Also, her husband has spiky hair.  However, there are some very strong similarities in our personalities.  This almost exactly sums up The Boy and I:

“Zeb is my polar opposite. He’s an extrovert; I’m an introvert. He loves nature and the outdoors; I’ve wondered if I could get a PhD in Netflix. He’s calm, steady and always in a good mood. I’m creative, a roller-coaster of emotions and quite frankly — prone to hysterics.”

The general point of the article is that she is married to a man who balances her, but is looking for a girlfriend to be more in line with her nature.  This is exampled here:

“I want best friend who will tell me I need one more pair of shoes and a man who will remind me to save for my retirement account.”

and here:

“I want to call my best friend when I feel I’ve been wronged and hear her say, ‘What a b*tch! I can’t believe she said that to you!’ I want to be married to a man who says, ‘Who gives a sh*t what she thinks?’”

I think I just disagree on the foundation of what a best friend is.  For example, the above scenarios don’t really require a best friend.  I mean, really, they don’t even require a friend.  Someone you just met in the shoe department can do both of those things for you.  And, if you’re from the South, they probably have done that for you.  Seriously, southerners are all up in your business whether you asked for it or not.  Honestly, I think what she means is that her husband isn’t her girl friend.  Which is a relief.  If he were, someone, if not both of them, in that marriage is confused.

To me, a best friend is there for you no matter what, is close to you for a long time, knows more about you than damn near anyone else on the planet and despite that thinks you’re pretty groovy, and, above all your friends, is the person you’d most prefer to be around.  I have that friend.  She’s recently had a baby and I moved across the country, but she’s still the person I call bestie.  Does that mean The Boy isn’t my bestie?

Hells no.

Me & Grit - This is me pre Colorado, and her pre Baby, and both of us pre Husbands.

Me & Grit – This is me pre Colorado, and her pre Baby, and both of us pre Husbands.

The Boy is definitely my best friend as defined above.  I love a girl’s night, I love that Grit loves shoes and sunglasses as much as I do, I love that we get pedicures together, and I love, that despite the image I try to put out there, she sees straight through it.  But, in all honesty, I have a lot of really great friends, including my mom, Rocky, and Beffie, who do those things for me.  They make me laugh, they get where I’m coming from as a woman, and they share a lot of my passions and quirks.  But, The Boy is my best friend.

He may not love shoes and sunglasses, but he laughs at me when I buy them and only occasionally says, “But you already have so many pairs.”  He may not get a pedicure with me, but he’ll send me out for one, or sit in the chair next to me and make fun of people with me.  I can’t even pretend with him, he sometimes sees what I’m feeling before I do, and will make me laugh or distract me before I go completely insane.

She also says that she has never been passionately angry at her best friend:

“I have never been so angry at my best friend that I fantasized about throwing a lamp or other miscellaneous piece of furniture at her head.”

What?!?  Do you not care about your best friend?  Seriously, I have been this mad at the above mentioned friends at least once in our relationship.  Not because that lessens their value as a friend, but because they mean that much to me.  I adore them, and therefore they sometimes drive me crazy.  It’s the people I don’t care about that I just walk away from once they piss me off.  It’s the best friends I end up laughing with at the end of the day because we worked it out, or I just got over it.  Seriously, if you don’t feel this way about your best friend, maybe the problem is that you don’t love your best friend.  I truly hope that there are things about me that irritate my friends to no end because that means that they care about me enough to get past them.

I tried to define the term “best friends” to make my point, but none of the real dictionaries had an actual definition.  However, Urban Dictionary to the rescue.  So, here is the unreliable version of the definition most likely written by a girl in middle schol, but I think it neatly sums up my point:

Best Friends are very special people in your life. They are the first people you think about when you make plans. They are the first people you go to when you need someone to talk to. You will phone them up just to talk about nothing, or the most important things in your life. When you’re sad they will try their hardest to cheer you up. They give the best hugs in the world! They are the shoulder to cry on, because you know that they truly care about you. In most cases they would take a bullet for you, because it would be too painful to watch you get hurt.2 Girl best friends: They do all the girly things together, and no one says anything.2 Boy best friends: They do all the boy stuff together, and no one says anything.1 Boy + 1 Girl best friends: They do boy and girl stuff, and people say lots of stuff.

Please note, that this has been mildly edited for grammar.  Also, I left out the example because she wrote “will” instead of “we’ll” and I just could not abide by that.
I like my definition of a best friend better than Robin’s.  Simply because there are moments when she’d rather be with her girlfriends means her husband isn’t her best friend and they are?
“Zeb isn’t my best friend. Depending on the movie I want to see, I’ll ditch him in a second for my girlfriends.”
Nope, that’s not what makes a best friend.  That’s a friend, maybe a great friend, but that is not what separates them into the category to best friend, because again, you may do this for someone you just met.  For example, The Boy knows everything about me.  Everything.  I’ve never sugar coated anything for him because I know I don’t have to.  My friends, even the ones I would deem “best”?  Not so much.  I have a few very important details that generally get left out of conversation.
So, The Boy is my best friend.  I think this is funny.  Robin also says,
“But when things gets real, I don’t care if anyone is standing with me but him. He’s my partner, my equal and without a doubt, my better half. Zeb is the peanut butter to my jelly, the yin to my yang, the spiritual Xanax to my eight-ball of coke.”
Which makes me think her husband is her best friend, she just defines the word incorrectly.
Now, we’ve finally come full circle to the point that struck me enough to write this post.  For the sake of fairness, I am going to post the entire quote:
“I’m also going to need all of you people who say, “Thanks for the best 15 years of my life!” to stand in a separate corner and await your own punishment, because marriage isn’t easy, and it most certainly isn’t all happy.I’d rather say:I really appreciate you driving me to therapy every week. Thanks for not leaving me when I act like a lunatic.Thanks for acting like you thought I was sexy for the last 16 years even though I’ve gained and lost hundreds of pounds and my stretch marks look like a topographical map of the Rocky Mountains.”

First off, all of the things she’d rather say, are 112% accurate.  I agree with her.  Those are some of the reasons I love The Boy too.  However, it pisses me off that she implies that just because marriage is difficult that it’s not the best part of your life.  That’s ridiculous.  Childbirth is painful, but does that mean that the day you gave birth to your child was not absolutely the greatest day ever?
Marriage is the most difficult thing I’ve done to date, and that includes Dr. Paul’s writing courses.  But, every one of the years I’ve spent with The Boy (yes, even the one where he was in Iraq) are irreplaceable.  I wouldn’t trade any part of any of those years to relive another part of my life.  I used to think my first year of college was the best year of my life, and it was a great one, but it in no way compares to the years I have been with The Boy, much less the years I have been married to him.  Difficult or not, they’re the best, and don’t you dare diminish that.  The Boy and I put a lot of very hard work into making these years the best ever, and them being difficult does not in any way dull that.
So, there you have it, The Boy is absolutely my best friend.  I love him enough to want to strangle him when he gets annoying,  but then fall back into laughing with him almost immediately.  He has given me the most difficult years of my life, but by getting through those difficulties, I have also earned the best years of my life.  I’m not ashamed of either of those things, and I hope that everyone in a committed relationship can say the same, because being married to The Boy, my best friend, is amazing.

My Favorite Story

I talk about The Boy a lot.  Like, a lot.  I did it here, and here, and here, and a bunch of other times.  He’s my best friend, and I love him a lot.  We’ve only been together 7ish years (married 2ish) and so we’re still in that new love/honeymoon phase and I am not ashamed.  I love it.

Anyhow, I wrote him a poem, like I sometimes do, and I really like it, so I figured I’d make a post out of it since I haven’t known what to say for a while.  It’s sappy and adorable and if you know me, you know that I love books.  All of them.  I’ve had a dream about owning a bookstore, but, I’m afraid I wouldn’t want to sell any of the books.

So, here it is, my love poem to The Boy:

photo(1)

 

My Favorite Story

You have all the best qualities of great literature:

an adventurous spirit,

a heart of gold,

a passion for justice and honesty,

and just enough darkness to achieve realism.

Despite the cracked spine and worn pages from hours of study,

there is still something new to be found in each reading.

It is to you I go for an escape,

for an adventure to a new world

for a way of seeing myself differently.

Your familiar story, comforting scent, and the weight of your words

provide me with a peaceful solace

unmatched by any other.

You are my favorite story,

and I will always read you again and again.

 


The TV Version of The Boy

So, I watch way too much TV, despite my decision not to watch it at all.  In my defense, I am human and I have no friends at the moment, so I watch a lot of Netflix to help me get by.  When we first moved out here, The Boy and I would watch Game of Thrones like it was going out of style.  Now that we’re done with that entire series, we’ve moved onto Vikings.

I hope you watch it, despite the historical and cultural inaccuracies.  I’m kind of disappointed since this is made by the History Channel and therefore should be more historically accurate, but take what you get.  At least they get the names right.  But, the real reason I watch the show?  Ragnar.

Yum

Yum

For the record, this is entirely acceptable, because Ragnar totally reminds me of The Boy.  Not just in his stubborn nature, but look:

He's the one on the right, with the hair on his chin, in case you weren't sure.

He’s the one on the right, with the hair on his chin, in case you weren’t sure.

 

Here they are again:

 

Ragnar

Ragnar

The Boy (apologies - I can't take him anywhere)

The Boy (apologies – I can’t take him anywhere)

 

So, the story is fun, Ragnar is hot, and I’m loving the show.  The Boy hasn’t watched as far as I have, so, when I watch it and get annoyed with Ragnar for whatever reason (I won’t disclose the specifics to avoid spoilers) I tell The Boy that TV The Boy is pissing me off.  It’s now a thing, and I rarely refer to him as Ragnar any more, as he is now “TV The Boy” because they are annoyingly similar.

Let me again just drive that point home:

OMG, those eyes!

OMG, those eyes! (Yes, I know they’re likely digitally enhanced)

Stabby

Stabby

Ragnar

Ragnar

 

The Boy

The Boy

 

Ragnar, Again

Ragnar, Again

The Boy Again (His eyes are not digitally enhanced, but still beautiful.)

The Boy Again (His eyes are not digitally enhanced, but still beautiful.)

So, there you have it, I have a TV Husband.  Anyone else watch a show and get creeped out by how similar a character on TV is to someone you know?

 

Super Hot

Super Hot

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Love Doctor (again, NOT a Doctor Who reference – promise)

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I’m going to help others.  I was checking my Google searches and I found this one:

“What does it mean when you tell a crush you are a hot mess and his response is ‘how can I help?’?”

So, I decided to help this poor girl (or boy*) out.  And here’s the answer that comes from being alive for nearly 30 years, practically surviving adolescence and loads of crushes in my time:

I have no fucking idea what that means.

However, I do know that young love, though fleeting, is amazing.  Trust your gut, if you like him, go for it.  If he says no, it will hurt.  A lot, and even if kids are mean and tease you for liking him, know that confidence and acceptance whether he likes you or not will cause them to get bored with teasing you and move on.  Plus, if he is into you, you totally get the bonus of that precious rush of emotions that is young love.

Embrace it.  Do what I was always too insecure to do at that age, and risk it, because it’s totally worth it.

*If he’s gay and not out of the closet, it’s really best that you not make a move until you know for certain.  Young love is beautiful, regardless of gender, but openly loving a boy who is not certain or comfortable that he loves boys is a can of worms you should not open.  Trust me, find out for sure first.  High school is hard enough.