Free

Breakups from a serious relationship are so strange.

When you’re with someone long enough, they become a part of your routine. You have little inside jokes and holiday traditions but then, in a second, all of this is gone.

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I wrote this in my journal the day of my first breakup.

Sometimes you see a plane and remember how you used to be long distance. Any time you were flying it was to see him. You sit on the playground with the kids you nanny and think about the time you talked your way out of trouble with a policeman while you were swinging late at night, and about the stargazing you did there together. You don’t usually think of him when you eat pizza, but sometimes take a moment to reminisce about the dozens of times he came over to make one together. You’d laugh as his inexperienced hands kneaded the dough while he asked if he was doing it right a million times.

It’s great being able to look back at a relationship and smile — it shows that at least some of it was real. Some of the memories are happy, but at the end of the day you realize sometimes when something is broken it isn’t meant to be fixed. It couldn’t have been fixed, and although you tried, you finally realize you’re moving on to something new. You’re finding something that will actually belong to you, instead of just something fleeting, something borrowed. He wasn’t really yours, and never will be, but you’re okay with that.

For the first time, you realize your life is going to be more than just fine. It’s going to be great — without him. This is what it is to be free.

A Surprise Visit From Aunt Flo!

Warning: Contains a very girly period story which might make some feel uncomfortable. Please stop reading and come back next week if you can’t handle it!

This is by far one of my favorite date stories.

One of my good girl friends recently started dating a really awesome guy — seriously, they are adorable together.

I hadn’t heard from her in a few days, so was a bit taken aback when she texted me this,

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My initial reaction was to feel bad for her, regardless of what the situation was. Feeling embarrassed about anything isn’t fun, and she is one of the sweetest girls I know.

“Why, what’s wrong?” I replied.

“I just got my period early. It’s so messy, is all over the chair, and I am wearing white shorts! I don’t know what to say to Dave* now.”

At this point I just lost it.

Don’t get my wrong, I felt so bad for her — that is a girl’s worst nightmare — but if you knew my friend you would also know how well she handles things like this. She is kind of a rockstar, so I knew she would be fine. The mental picture of this happening was just too much.

“Oh my gosh! Does he know yet?” was my next question.

“Yes he knows; I am wearing white shorts! It is so freakin’ obvious.”

“Ugh, that is the worst. I am so sorry! I’m sure he understands, though.”

“Yeah, he does. He is going to the store to get me tampons now, but I’m still recovering from embarrassment. My face got so red!”

“That’s not the only thing that got red. ;-)”I couldn’t help it; she totally set me up for that one!

I followed up with my friend and found out that her bae not only went to the drugstore to get her feminine products, but he also bought her flowers and chocolate after seeing how embarrassed she was. I think he’s a keeper!

Today’s lesson: You should always keep an entire wardrobe in your purse — you know, just in case.

Have you ever been in a situation like this on either end? What did you do?

*Obviously I changed the name. No one wants this kind of story blasted on the Internet.

#TBT To Being An Olympian For The Day

Today I’m going to share a story I like to tell on a first date if a guy asks about my love of pranks (Which I have listed on my dating profile as a favorite activity).

My best friend and former roommate Audrey and I studied abroad in London during the 2012 summer Olympics.

We make a really great pair because she is more “type A” and makes sure any necessary plans we need are all taken care of, but I am more “type B” and ensure enough spontaneity (read: disorganization) to have a fun time. Playing pranks together in college was always a blast because of the ideas and action on my end, and planning ahead to make sure we wouldn’t get ourselves into a bind on her end.

Anyway, I got a tip that they were selling a few official Olympic jackets at the USA House. As I said before, I love pranks and have a mischievous mind, so immediately realized this was a great opportunity. I found Audrey after our classes were over and told her we needed to get on the Tube and head towards South Kensington. I explained my idea on the way, and Audrey was completely up for the prank.

Basically we plotted to purchase these jackets and wear them, along with other Nike gear, to the Olympic Village –a giant outdoor mall where all of the athletes hung out– and see if we could fool people into thinking we were real Olympians. We were lucky enough to snag two jackets in our size, and giggled as we hurried to The Village. 

Our excitement grew as we pulled up to The Village, but was quickly stifled when we walked around for ten minutes and nothing happened. After we made a few more laps we concluded that this was not going to work.

Until all of a sudden two little American girls ran up to us with paper and pens asking if they could get our autographs.

We kept our cool, smiled at them, and said, “of course.”

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this or not, but people really are like sheep. When they see any sort of crowd gathering, they will follow, whether or not they know what’s going on.

This fully worked to our advantage. As soon as the girls came up to us, others took notice. A line quickly formed to get photos with us, and just kept growing. We ended up having dozens of people waiting in line just to take a picture with us within a matter of minutes. It was crazy!

We got asked questions about our events and sloppily signed our real names when people asked for our autograph. Before we got to The Village Audrey and I had decided that our story was that we were on the USA swim team — she was a diver and I was a swimmer. This was perfect, as I swam through high school and could answer basic questions, and because Audrey is significantly shorter than I am, so there isn’t really any other sport that we both could have played.

The funniest thing to me was that many of these people were going to upload these photos with us to Facebook when they got home. They would come up with captions like, “We met Olympic swimmers today!” and proudly display these photos as a new profile picture — photos of two completely random American girls.

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We even ended up meeting a real former gold medalist for the USA basketball team, who was super excited to meet a few of the female swimmers because “swimming is his favorite sport to watch.”

For the most part my dates seem to think this story is pretty entertaining, and I have heard some pretty awesome prank stories from the gentlemen I’ve gone out with as well. I have also realized that I talk about Audrey almost as much as I talk about myself, which is fitting because everyone knows girls come as a package deal with their best friend.

Today’s lesson: You don’t have to work hard to get credit for being an Olympic athlete — you just have to be a convincing enough actress to make people believe you are one.

February 14

I had the best Valentine’s weekend I could ever imagine.

Not only did I get to go on a great date, but I also went to several Galentine’s Day parties — I will save those stories for another day, though, as I still have a couple more to attend this month.

I’ve been seeing a Captain in the Army for a few months now, and I only have good things to say about this gentleman. He has treated me the way I want to be treated in my next relationship and helped me realize that what I want in a guy isn’t at all unrealistic.

This weekend was his last in Virginia, as he’s going overseas for a mission, but we went on a really fun date to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

He surprised me and took me to a crazy fancy French restaurant called L’auberge Chez Francois. I’ve never been somewhere that nice, especially with a date, so it was a super-fun experience. We arrived to the restaurant a few minutes early and were seated promptly. Many of the waiters were actually French and had the same kind of attitude you would find at a restaurant in Paris. I giggled when the host pulled out my chair and said, “Pleased to take a seat,” and blushed when I ordered my appetizer in a very confused and jumbled French.

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My date and I thought the entire ambiance of the restaurant was fun. He’s a pretty simple guy, so neither of us were used to such a crazy menu. We felt really out of place, laughing quietly at a table in the center of the dining room while the rest of the guests were solemn and incredibly proper. I’ve never been so happy (and entertained) to feel out of place.

In true Parisian style we ordered everything all at once and were brought several extra surprises along the way. The course started with a “shot” of lentil soup, and was followed by French bread and salad. We then received an orange sorbet to “cleanse the palate,” which reminded me of the scene in The Princess Diaries where Mia gets brain freeze from eating the cold dish.

I don’t know why I enjoy trying to pull pranks over on my dates, but I do. So I told him that you are supposed to eat the entire orange ball of sorbet at once. He quickly regretted his decision to listen to me, and I giggled some at his expense as he realized I had tricked him — once again.

The rest of the meal went smoothly, as we chatted, people-watched, and ate lots of amazing food. The warm chocolate souffle was definitely the star of the show, followed very closely by the beef Wellington.

This was easily the best Valentine’s Day I’ve had and one of the greatest dates I’ve ever been on. I highly recommend L’auberge if you are looking to splurge on dinner in the DC area — just make sure to order dessert while you’re there!

A Very Happy Valentine’s Day

I had the absolute best Valentine’s weekend I could ever dream of.

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s always been my favorite holiday whether or not I am in a relationship. I’m excited to share a few stories from the weekend in the next few days, as I had a pretty packed schedule. I kicked off the holiday by writing over 45 letters and going shopping to get presents for some of my closest friends.

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Friday I had a great Valentine’s lunch with my forever Valentine, my mom, at Seasons 52. We enjoyed some of the best Filet Mignon I’ve ever had — you could literally cut it with a butter knife — and mahimahi tacos.

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I always get a lot of crap from my dates for ordering my steak “medium well.”

Saturday afternoon I got a package in the mail, which turned out to be a Valentine from a guy I’ve been seeing for a few months. He sent me chocolate-covered strawberries, which was the one thing I felt I would miss this Valentine’s Day.

It was actually kind of adorable because I told him ahead of time that we shouldn’t get each other presents or anything, and he said that he wouldn’t give me anything “On Valentine’s Day.” Little did I know this meant he was planning on sending me a gift the day before. He told me later that he ended up calling Shari’s Berries to switch his order from Valentine’s Day to February 13th in order to keep his promise. This just made the gesture even cuter.

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Later that day I went to a Galentine’s Day wine tasting. I’m not supposed to drink with POTS, but I tried tiny sips of each wine and actually found a few that I enjoyed. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to have a glass here and there again! Apparently February 13 is the official “Galentine’s Day,” so it was really nice spending it with a lot of other twentysomething girls.

My date picked me up from my party at 9 to go on a crazy fancy double date with one of our friends. He took me to L’auberge Chez Francois, which was easily the nicest restaurant I’ve ever been to. I have so many stories from that experience that I’ll be posting about later this week!

The next day, February 14, was excellent, as it was a little more chill than the previous days. My Valentine this year will be serving overseas soon, so we decided to have a day of dining, N64, and just visiting with one another.

I honestly couldn’t have imagined a better weekend. It was so filled with love and friends, which is what Valentine’s Day is all about. I’m excited for the Galentine’s parties to continue throughout the month (I still have a few to go to!) and hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. ❤

#TBT

I’m starting a new #TBT segment every few weeks now because I feel like I have a lot of fun stories to tell from my past.

I want to start off with one of my first hilariously awkward experiences with a guy I met in college.

Let me set the scene.

About a month after I was asked to go to New York for the final callback of America’s Next Top Model I got an email inviting me to a pretty exclusive party in Washington DC. It was one of the judges’ birthdays, and they had decided to air it on The Real Housewives of DC. This was a cool opportunity that I didn’t want to miss out on, so I sent in my RSVP saying that I would be attending, despite not knowing anyone there except the guest of honor.

The party was at a swanky bar in the middle of DC and I convinced my dad to drop me off so I wouldn’t have to worry about finding parking in an unfamiliar area of the city. Frankly I was just nervous that I wouldn’t have the guts to walk into the party unless I had someone there to nudge me through the door.

After a 45 minute drive, we pulled up to the front of the bar and my dad stopped to let me out at the front.

“Nice ride,” joked the bouncer as I timidly walked up to the dimly-lit doorway. He was still chuckling as he looked up my name on the list and grazed over my drivers’ license. In hindsight I was really lucky he let me in — I was only eighteen at the time and they had an open bar.

Once I was inside I felt like I needed to settle in somewhere, but was really overwhelmed by all the glitzy people already there. I skimmed the room and saw sequins, martinis, and models, and felt so out of place. I quickly gathered myself, took a deep breath, and decided I just needed to play the part.

I went downstairs and found my friend Paul. I wished him happy birthday and chatted for a bit, then decided to figure out how adulting really works and meet some new people.

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This is where the fun really begins.

I sat at the bar with a glass of sparkling water with a lime (Something I thought could pass for a fancy cocktail — I should’ve just gone with a Shirley Temple) and people-watched until a man in a nice suit approached me.

We got to talking and I found out he was in his mid-thirties — quite a bit older than I was at the time — and that he worked for a real estate company in the city. Our conversation was very bland, but I felt relieved to have someone to visit with, so politely listened and nodded along to his stories.

After a good twenty minutes of conversation we finally got up to go gather for some group photos. That’s when it hit me, all at once.

He asked me for my number.

Now that I’m 25, I realize that if I don’t want to give out my number to someone I can politely decline. I don’t owe the person anything, and it saves both of us time and trouble by just being upfront.

My 18-year-old self thought it would be rude to say no, so I went into panic mode. My mind started racing as I tried to think of what I could say, but before my brain could catch up with my mouth I was already spitting out random numbers. I included a “202” area code, along with 7 other numbers I just came up with on the spot.

“202-412-4809,” I said.

“What was that? Sorry — I missed the last few digits.”

Crap.

“Umm, 202-126-8874.” Was that close to what I just said? I can’t remember. Why wasn’t I paying attention to what I was saying earlier? Think, Krista, think!

He looked at me, perplexed.

“I think I must have misheard you the first time. I apologize, but I still don’t have the right number. Could you repeat it for me one last time?”

My mind went blank. I didn’t know what to do or how to recover from this terrible web of phone number lies. So I did what any goofy teenage girl would do and gave the man my best friends’ phone number. It was one of the few I had memorized and I knew if he asked me for it a million times I would continue to get all 7 numbers right.

He gave me a look like I was crazy, typed the number into his phone, and looked at me straight in the eye and said, “Okay, I texted you.”

Both sets of eyes immediately darted to my phone, which was exposed, face-up on the bar. We waited. And waited and waited.

“You sure you gave me the right number this time?” he asked as he looked at me slyly.

“I must just have bad service in here.”

Gosh, I had such lame excuses. I’m ashamed of 18-year-old Krista’s ability to navigate through uncomfortable situations, but I think I have come a long way from there. Then again, I’m sure 7 years from now I will be blogging about some silly situations I get myself into now. Is there ever a point where people stop making rookie mistakes and can just be a pro at life? I guess that wouldn’t make life very interesting, would it?

Today’s lesson: If you are 16 and under, go ahead and just give your best friend’s phone number to any creeps you meet.* If you’re above 16, just politely tell them that you aren’t interested in exchanging contact information, and leave it at that.

*Kidding. Do the same thing the 16+ people do — you’ll be alright!

Kiss & Tell

One really hilarious thing about having POTS while navigating the dating world is just the way my body reacts to things.

POTS is an autonomic nervous system disorder, meaning it effects basically everything in my body that is supposed to be an “automatic response.” For example, my body temperature is really skewy. I’ve always been pretty cold-natured, but this is to a whole new level. I found out recently, though, that having POTS just makes dating even more interesting.

I had just told a date all about my condition and after he listened closely, he leaned over to kiss me. It was a really sweet first kiss, as I felt like I had just really opened up to him, but after it was over he pulled back and had a devilish grin on his face.

I cocked my head as I looked at him inquisitively.

“I really got you hot and bothered, huh?” He asked slyly.

It took me a few seconds, but then everything clicked and I began to giggle. POTS is such a dead giveaway in situations like this! My hands were sweaty and my heart was still racing. My heart always flutters when I stand up or sit down, but it also does when I feel any sort of emotional charge — apparently kissing included. He could totally feel my pulse going a million beats per minute as I leaned up against him to continue chatting.

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Check out @muradosmann on Instagram for more great photos!

So far I’ve found guys don’t mind holding my sweaty hands or that they’re always freezing cold. POTS showcases such obvious imperfections, but I kind of love that there are people who don’t even look at those as negative things and just accept me the way I am.

Today’s lesson: You can have the best poker face in the world, but if you have an autonomic nervous system disorder you don’t stand a chance keeping your cool in the game of love.

Will You Be My Valentine?

Valentine’s Day has always been my favorite holiday. Even when I didn’t have a significant other to spend it with I absolutely loved it.

Valentine’s Day is awesome because it’s a day to celebrate all the amazing people in your life. Giving presents on February 14 is so much more exciting than Christmas because people don’t really expect it.

This is the first Valentine’s Day in 5 years that I am single, so I don’t have one person to go crazy with spoiling. So I would like to extend the invitation to anyone who doesn’t have a Valentine yet to be mine! ❤

I’ve already written cards for some great girls in my life, but I would be so thrilled to send a letter to anyone who doesn’t have a special someone this year.

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If you’d like to be my Valentine feel free to comment on this post or message me on Facebook.