Monday, December 21, 2015


What's the best way to bring me out of blog semi-retirement? Give me free stuff to review!

(Seriously though, hi, how is everyone? LONG TIME NO SEE!)

Speaking of seeing, that's what we're going to be talking about. (Haha I'm so clever). As you may recall, back in April 2014, I joined the bespectacled masses. My vision is still pretty decent, despite the, y'know, nearsightedness, but I was absolutely amazed at how much of a difference the corrective lenses made. I still occasionally sit there and play a game where I lower my glasses and raise them back up and am like "meh" "high definition!" "meh" "high definition!" It's pretty entertaining.

I got two pairs of glasses at the eye doctor but was pretty underwhelmed by my choices... so then I started buying them online, which was awesome, because I had SO MANY CHOICES and also they were a fraction of the price. I was able to get some prescription sunglasses as well as a few pairs of regular glassses that fit my taste much better than the limited selection I had been given originally.

So imagine my delight when the good people at emailed me out of the blue and offered me a free pair in exchange for a review. Umm, yes please! I spent some time browsing their selection of prescription eyeglasses and found the pair that I obviously needed to have, because they were my signature shade of blue.

these, in case they strike your fancy also

With any online glasses purchase, there is a bit of wait time involved, because they obviously have to produce the lenses to your prescription, but I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly these arrived.

I generally prefer the plastic/acrylic/acetate frames because I don't love the stupid little nose pieces, and you'd be amazed at how often I get my hair caught in them. (Don't ask me how. It's a special talent.) These were nice and comfy, just like I'd hoped, and really lightweight.


creepy closeup to show detail

I'm not particularly kind to my glasses, though I probably should be... I have developed a bad habit of just tossing them aside when I take them off or putting them in my purse or bag when wearing sunglasses... I'm honestly surprised I haven't broken any of my pairs yet. This pair has held up remarkably well, I found them in a random bag this weekend ("that's where those went!") and they were completely unscathed. So I'm pretty impressed with the quality as well.

Ok, so now you're probably like, I WANT AWESOME CHEAP GLASSES. HOW DO I GET SOME?

First things first: make sure you have a copy of your prescription. The biggest thing I have noticed is to watch your PD (pupillary distance) because a lot of the frames have a range of PDs that they will work for - if you are outside that range, you'll need to keep looking.

Second things second, though I probably should have led with this: you can totes get your first pair for free. WHAT? You read that right. All new customers get their first pair free. That's pretty exciting right?

ANOTHER BONUS FOR YOU GUYS: 50% off sunglasses and already cheap glasses with code GSHOT50.


If you have questions about buying glasses online, just let me know. I consider myself to be rather skilled at it. Also if you take advantage of this deal and get your own glasses, I'd love to see your selfies! Not sure if you can add photos to the comments, but you can tag me on Instagram @therealkelalea.

Disclaimer: I was given a free pair of prescription eyeglasses in exchange for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own, because that's how I roll.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Pity Party, Table For One. Always a Table For One.

It's been just over a year now that the ex and I parted ways, officially. Things had been slowly deteriorating as it became apparent that, ultimately, we just weren't compatible. Nothing either of us did, just the way our personalities were. He moved to a new city to start a dream job; I helped him unload his stuff and wished him well.

I've spent that year alternately letting myself go and trying to put myself back together; the efforts of which have apparently cancelled each other out. I don't have my shit together any more than I did when he left; I've actually had to start up doing Weight Watchers again to deal with all the weight I gained from not caring and not running (it got cold, my chiropractor told me to take it easy for a while, the excuses are long and lame.) The little things I hated about myself magnified under the microscope of solitude, and instead of doing anything about them, I let it bury me in a blanket of self-disgust and apathy.

Otherwise, I do well by myself... mostly. I'm pretty gun shy about trying to find/start another relationship because I always feel so shitty when they end that it doesn't seem worth it to me. The last one, in all his well-meaning ways of trying to help me improve myself, managed to highlight all of my flaws and all of the ways in which I wasn't what I should be. In addition to my self-worth plummeting, I've been hesitant to put myself in another situation in which I was vulnerable to such intimate criticism again. When the person who knows you better than anyone can deconstruct all the ways in which you are lacking, well... you have no choice but to believe them.

But lately I have come to figure out possibly the thing I miss most about having a significant other around - someone to do stuff with. An automatic Plus-One and someone you can drag on your adventures. It's lonely not having a go-to, because it seems like these days when I have things I want to do, I end up doing them solo or not at all, because none of my friends are able (or willing) to do them with me. It's frustrating to ask five or six people to join you on one simple activity or endeavor, just to find out they all either have better things to do or simply don't want to. It's extra frustrating, then, when they always expect you to be free for the things they want to do. Or to give you a hard time when you are tied up for a couple months doing something that you have an extreme passion for because it interferes with them being able to call on you to do stuff (ie: everyone gets annoyed during softball season because my coaching duties take up so much of my time and I'm never free. It would be nice if people would be supportive rather than complain about this, but after ten years, I've gotten used to it. It is what it is. C'est la vie.) I'm pissy right now, today, in particular (possibly because the last couple weeks have kicked my ass, I haven't been sleeping well, and I've misplaced my pills and it's been nearly a week since I've taken them), and I just kind of want to sit down and cry, because I just feel really defeated right now. For every person that has turned me down recently, my new inclination is to simply answer every request with "can't, sorry" without giving any further explanation, because that's the blanket sentiment I seem to receive whenever I ask people to do things with me. (And also because I have the emotional maturity of a high schooler right now.) Why should I disrupt my schedule to go out of my way to do YOUR events when you can't ever find the time to do mine? That seems unfair. I do things all the time that I have no interest or desire (or energy) to do, because I know it means a lot to whoever it is to have someone accompany them.

But it's more than just being crabby about the perceived reciprocity slights; it's been weighing on me for a while and it all traces back to the fact that it just makes me feel so damn alone. Is that anyone's fault, really? No. But it hurts all the same.

It's incredibly, incredibly lonely to know that there is no one you can really call on when you need someone to join you for something you want to do. I skipped an event this morning because after yet another person said no, I just gave up. I didn't want to go by myself. I'm tired of doing things by myself. So I went back to bed instead. Fuck it. I'm tired of begging people to participate in my life. Everyone's always too busy or too uninterested. And I suppose that's their prerogative, why should they make my shit a priority? But it's building. With each no, it hurts just a little bit more.

Nobody really realizes what a cumulative effect this is having. It's one event here and there, but when enough people say no, over and over, it's just... defeating. I feel defeated. Why bother? You'd think I would be used to rejection by now. And maybe nobody realizes how big of a deal it is for me to constantly be told no, to be told that they have other/better things to do, that they have other commitments. Because I don't have anyone else! And that's where it stings the most. I have no choice but to lean on my friends for companionship because that's all I have. They all have a significant other that they can drag along, because that's part of the relationship contract. They have a built in partner in crime; I do not. I do a lot of things by myself, things that I would rather do with someone else, because it's either that or not do it at all. It's so goddamn lonely being alone and not having anyone to share my interests with. And as un-ideal as the last relationship turned into being, at least I knew that I could drag him along to things I wanted to do. At least I had a person I could call on. I guess it's my own fault, now, for being single. The world is hard on single people, the world hates single people. There is obviously something wrong with you if you are, and everything is always twice as hard. That's not new information for me, but it seems to sink in a little bit more the older I get. Society was built around the assumption that you will have a partner, and when you don't, well, too bad for you. Better get used to your isolation. Better get used to staring at your phone and not having a number to call.

The one bright side, though, is that sometimes? You do get better seats when you're only buying one ticket.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

In the After

Nothing like an overwrought cliche to bring me back to this blog. What began as a point of - let's call it frustration? - expanded in my mind to a bigger existential woe than usual. And I'm overdue to write something anyway. It may as well be angst. I seem to have more words when I'm angsty.

So, let's cut to the chase. This is a post about Valentine's Day. Sort of. It's not a tirade against the institution itself (though me from a decade ago would have happily obliged to that request, and perhaps if you dig far enough into this very blog you'll find what you are looking for in that respect), but rather the helpless explanation of why this particular day bothered me so much this year. Perhaps it's inevitable, like repeated water drops onto stone that eventually wear it away into a canyon, only accelerated, because feelings are much more malleable than stone and it takes much less to cut them open.

When I was younger, I always professed a vehement hatred for Valentine's Day; my ridicule of the day was largely a shield from having salt rubbed in the wound from not being the object of anyone's affection. I was never anyone's valentine. So instead of being depressed about it, I rolled my eyes and declared the whole spectacle to be a waste of time anyway. Deflect, deflect, deflect. As I got older, I just kind of went with the flow and politely ignored the day. If other people wanted to celebrate it, fine. It wasn't my bag, but I would gladly eat the leftover chocolates. Even on the intermittent occasion that I was coupled up for the event, it was never a big deal - in fact, it was awkward for me, because I'd spent so much time blasting the pink-and-red heart circus that participating in it made me feel like a giant hypocrite. In my most recent relationship, it was only four days off from our anniversary, anyway, so most of the attention went to that instead, and that was fine by me.

This year, though, I am single again. Which drastically changes a holiday built upon celebrating love. You can dress it up with as many clever gimmicks as you like - Single's Awareness Day, Galentine's Day, etc - but the fact remains that if you dare to go online (because what else would you do, having no one around), you are going to get punched in the face with endless pictures of flowers and gestures and people waxing poetic about their significant other and how wonderful they are, and the whole thing just sort of reaches a critical mass somewhere around mid-afternoon and you can't help but be like, okay, I get it, keep rubbing it in, universe and the world's biggest lemon squeezes all its juice into the papercut of your soul. Or, something. If the schmaltzy facebook posts weren't enough, there's the fact that there's basically nobody to hang out with instead, because everyone has plans with their aforementioned status update, probably eating an overpriced dinner while staring fondly at their overpriced flowers, because for some reason Valentine's Day is the last legal frontier for price gouging. There was really nothing to do but sit and stare at a wall and contemplate ordering a pizza but since your pants already don't fit, you can't even take joy in that. ALL IS SHIT. Here, have a salad.

It left me feeling empty. Not jealous, not bitter, just... deflated.

The other variable at play is this: my current state of singleness is both semi-recent and yet feels like it has spanned a miniature eternity. Some days it feels like it's new, most days it just feels like an ordinary thing that has always been. We at war with Eurasia, we have always been at war with Eastasia. It is what it is. Tomorrow would be the third anniversary of our first date, the one that lasted for seven hours and closed down both a coffee shop and a bar. When the relationship ended, we parted ways on good terms. And if he hadn't moved to a different state to pursue a dream job, perhaps there would have been a relapse or two. But the clarity of hindsight confirms that the relationship was doomed; we weren't compatible in the ways we needed to be compatible. Someone would have had to change significantly, and it probably would have been me. And I'm glad I didn't have to. For all my shortcomings and flaws, I like being who I am, and the fact that there were times that I wasn't comfortable in my own skin was probably a sign I should have paid attention to sooner. I was trying too hard to be something I wasn't. It's a trait that sometimes gets me into trouble; I've always been a people-pleaser. Square peg, round hole. No matter how you force it, it's not going to fit. And the peg got sharper and the hole got smoother and then it didn't fit at all and there was no use pretending otherwise. I couldn't even tell you what day it happened. It just... dissolved.

It's fine, though. I've always drawn a certain strength from being by myself, anyway. It wasn't too hard to readjust to being solo. I miss my activity/adventure companion and all of our inside jokes, but we slowly burnt out and I think that probably made it easier. That doesn't mean there's not a hole left behind (there's always a hole) but it's one that I can navigate around. One I can live with.

I wonder sometimes about my fate. It seems more and more obvious that I'm not on a traditional life trajectory. I feel like I'm destined to be the eccentric spinster woman who has become some sort of fixture in whatever smallish town she ends up in. Nobody has anything bad to say, but there is always a twinge of pity or hushed gossip about the fact that she never married. An old maid. A literal maiden aunt. I joke about being the crazy cat lady, but, well... right now it's just me and a temperamental cat. The joke's not really funny sometimes.

There are worse things, I suppose. I mean, like I said, I'm most comfortable in solitude, and I enjoy my own company, usually. I like not having to cater to the whims of others, or have my own whims be criticized. If I want to have an Exile The World day wherein I barely leave my bed, fine. I don't want to hear about it. My cat can sit outside my bedroom door and meow but she's not going to make me feel bad about it. If I want to be frivolous and irresponsible, well, fine. I can if I want, and the only person who has to deal with the consequences of that are me. I have the freedom to self-destruct and rebuild over and over again and I get to choose the blueprint. It's rather freeing, that independence. It just sucks when it's a Saturday night and the world is the one excluding you.

I'm not saying I've given up (entirely). I've had enough time to myself, though, to start building an image in my mind of this person, the person worth cashing in my solitude for. Bits and pieces form, sometimes an amalgam of traits of people I interact with, friends, acquaintances, strangers. I can picture the things we'll have in common, the things we can nerd out over together, the things that he likes about me, and the fact that he doesn't hold against me the things that he doesn't. I don't have a face to go with these details, just kind of a vague and shadowy presence, kind of like trying to remember details of a dream that you've woken up from. There's just this feeling in the back of my mind, like I know who I'm waiting for, even though the logical part of my brain just shakes her head and reminds me that I have an overactive imagination and that this person does not exist. It's absolutely insane, especially to put it into actual words, but it feels like I'm waiting. Waiting for a specific person who may or may not exist and whom I only have a vague notion of, so who's to say that I'll even know if I find him or not? Answer: old maid.

So this weekend was a little unpleasant, if only because it was one of the occasions where my alone-ness translated to actual loneliness, and it was highlighted and put on display because of some culturally-ingrained traditions, but it's fine, because the next holiday tends to involve a lot of liquor and merriment, and because words are my valentine and things are getting pretty serious. (LOL JK I WILL NEVER FINISH THAT NOVEL. ANY NOVEL.) Also, Valentine's Day did bring us red velvet Oreos, and for that, I think I will forgive it. I can never be mad at cream cheese filling.