All The Things She (Didn’t) Said (Say)

Regrets, I’ve had a few. Haven’t we all? Some small, like not buying two pairs of the same comfy sweatpants five years ago, which you need now that your one pair is threadworn and playing a constant game of peeknow -a-boo with your butt cheek. And some are large, like telling your boyfriend in college that you were in love with his best friend. (I don’t recommend this course of action.) But regrets are how we learn those all important life lessons, and ideally, we only make the same mistake once. Or twice. Or like, 23-25 times, and then we get it right accidentally and don’t actually learn the lesson anyway. Oh, life!

And as soon as we are generally content and happy with where we are in life and love and online shopping addiction control, we immediately subscribe to the tenet that regrets are fruitless and pointless and a waste of energy because, “If I had done even the smallest thing differently, I may not be where I am today, with the person/house/Masters degree/children/cheeseburger/booming Etsy business that makes me so happy now.”

I admit it, I’m guilty. Early on in our relationship, I told my husband that I would gladly go through my whole disastrous dating life and difficult divorce all over again if it meant that I would end up with him at the end. I meant every word of it, and I still do. But much like that horrible phenomenon of thinking of the PERFECT thing to say as soon as someone has walked away, I still have a list of things I wish I had said at various points of my existence. Some small, some large. Some nice, some not so nice. Hopefully by releasing these words and confessions into the ether of the Internets, I will be set free from the hold these things have over me. Or at the very least, I can passive-aggressively get my message across to some people from my past. Don’t judge. Just read.

To my 4th Grade Teacher: I will color any way I darn well please, even if it means getting a “U” for “Unsatisfactory” on my report card. How can I think outside the box if I can’t go outside the lines?

To the Mean Girl in 5th Grade: You may have the power now, but someday you’re going to have the worst grammar I’ve ever seen on Facebook.

To that guy from freshman year of college who I obsessed over: I understand now that you had no personality, so you couldn’t possibly see how sparkling and wonderful I was, even with 22 extra pounds packed on my little frame.

To that OTHER guy from college that I liked a lot for years and years and years: I don’t like you anymore, so stop being afraid of me, you weirdo.

To the agent who told me that I needed a $500 makeover in front of all of my classmates: Got it! Now tell me, how much is it going to cost for you to make over your soul?

To Jim the Bartender: No. Now get out of my apartment.

To every guy I stayed with for too long: You know, I don’t think we are going to work out. I think you are a wonderful person, and it breaks my heart to say goodbye to you, but in order for us both to be happy and truly fulfilled, I think we should stop seeing each other. (How mature is that??)

To the casting person who said I’m too pretty: Here’s a selfie of me in the morning. And thank you 🙂

To the casting person who said I’m “not quite right”: It’s cool, I know you’re saying I’m not pretty enough. I’m actually not offended, believe it or not.

To the first casting person I met in LA: Broadway is difficult and impressive. Don’t invalidate my success with your ignorance.

To every stranger who has told me how to raise my dogs: Thanks for the tip! In return, I will do you the favor of telling you that neon green as an overall fashion choice is not your friend. Have a great day!

To everyone who has passed me over for a job because they needed “a name”: I have a name. It’s Patti Murin. I just don’t have a Tony Award. (insert your own name here if you are inspired to use this)

To my Ex-Husband: I’m happy that you are happy. At least 87% of the time. I’m working on it.

To my grandmothers, who have both passed: Your support means everything to me. I love you so very much.

To myself: If you can get through a moment, you can get through a day. You are good enough. You are not forgettable. The best is yet to come. Stop buying so much crap online.

An Actor’s Least Favorite Question

“Oh my goodness, the show was so wonderful! You are so talented!”

“Thank you so much!” you reply, slightly shy at the outpouring of compliments from this family member/friend/stranger/superfan, but ultimately feeling the glow of pride in a job well done.

“Really, your voice is incredible,” they continue, further elevating your spirits.

“I love this music, so it makes it a real pleasure!” you share, feeling grateful that people are so excited about what you just did on stage.

“So what’s next for you? Any shows coming up?”

And just like that, the glow fades.

Because I don’t have any shows coming up. I do not know what is next. I am completely unemployed in every sense of the word, and you unfortunately just accidentally reminded me of that.

Don’t get me wrong, I know you only ask this because you care and are genuinely interested in where my career will take me next. I know you want to support me and see me succeed. And for that, I am truly appreciative and grateful. As real life gypsies, we actors need a lot of love and a fan club to remind us in the hard times that what we are doing is worthwhile, and that we are good enough to succeed. So thank you for that, from the bottom of my heart.

But when you ask me what is next, and what is coming up, I immediately get defensive. Not because of you, but because of my own insecurities. If I don’t have a job coming up and I say so, I see the disappointment fleetingly cross your face before you cover it up with a smile and awkwardly spout out, “Oh, well I’m sure something will come up!” And then I’m forced to go home and stress out about how I don’t have a job and inevitably spiral into that classic “what the hell am I doing with my life am I really good enough why is everyone else working but me” depression. If I DO have something coming up, it’s usually some form of this answer: “Yes! I’m doing a new musical written by the people who wrote (insert show that theatre lovers would totally know, but this person only knows Wicked and Phantom so it means nothing), and we are doing it at (insert name of amazing regional theatre that they’ve never heard of). I’m very excited.” Everyone leaves confused, and you leave frustrated that you can’t just say, “Yes, I’m going to be the lead in the new Star Wars film.”

You learn to deal with these feelings very quickly, as an actor’s greatest skill is bouncing back. You learn to deal with rejection in the form of silence, and rejection in the form of press releases informing you that someone else got the part you were dying for. It’s like a louder, more public version of the posting of the high school drama club cast list for “Anything Goes” when you lost the part of Reno Sweeney to your own cousin. (She deserved it and was brilliant, BTW.) But when you’re forced to look someone in the face and admit to what feels like your own failure, it can wear on you quicker than any other form of rejection. It is you rejecting yourself.

If you still don’t understand what exactly is so wrong about expressing interest in the career of an actor that you adore and love, imagine this. You are forced to find a new job every 2-3 months. You never stop sitting down for interviews, your resumé is just a long list of the past jobs you have held, and to make things crazier, you are always competing with your friends for these jobs. Sometimes you’re too short. Sometimes you’re too blonde. Sometimes you’re too pretty, which should feel great but is really just rejection rolled up in a compliment, and essentially just a backhanded insult stating that you are unable to transform yourself into a different person, or as we like to call it, “act.” You wouldn’t want to constantly prove yourself and your career worth to anyone who asks, right?

As I don’t like to complain about things without offering possible solutions, here are some things you could say and do instead:

1. Don’t ask! Just state your interest in me and my career with something like, “What a wonderful job you did in the show tonight! I can’t wait to see what is next for you.” I will follow it with an enthusiastic “thank you” and walk away smiling.

2. If you’re dying to ask questions, ask where I trained and if I went to college, or what my favorite role has been to play. Ask how long we rehearsed for the show you just saw. Ask what my favorite song is to sing. Ask if I like dogs. Ask if I will take a picture with you. Ask me if I’m single cause you have a cute son to set me up with (I’m not, sorry!). Ask me if I prefer skim or 1%. Ask ANYTHING but, “So what’s next?”

3. If you do ask the dreaded question, take the hint when I say, “I’m getting married!” or, “I’m writing a blog and loving it,” or “I’m going to take a bath! My knees hurt from all that dancing I just did.” Don’t press me. A few months ago, a fellow actor actually asked the question, wasn’t satisfied with my responses, and so he further specified, “No, I mean like theatre. What show is coming up for you?” And I was humiliated into saying “NOTHING.” Do not be this person. I do not like this person, and I now actively go out of my way to avoid this person.

4. Use the Internets! Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, or Google me every so often if you are really curious and want to follow my career that closely. I appreciate that kind of support immensely, and social media makes us all feel like we have our own fan clubs, which is really exciting. But don’t ask me the terrible question online. Then I will simply delete your comment, or perhaps respond with a link to this blog.

I love what I do. What I do is very hard, emotionally, mentally and physically. But I am also a person who does much more than what you see on stage. I volunteer with an animal rescue. I just got married. I love “Bachelor in Paradise.” I’m currently taking a stab at writing a television pilot. I love my nieces and nephews. I am a human with insecurities and feelings and so much love to give, both onstage and off.

THANK YOU for being a friend, a fan, a cheerleader. The support is what we love. Please don’t stop supporting us, but I beg you, please don’t ask me what is next.

Everything I Know I Learned From Watching TV

I am a lover of many things. Dogs, reading, Walgreens brand jelly beans, the beach, bizarre potato chip flavors. But one thing I remain steadfast and loyal in my affection for? The television. The television show. The television series. Whatever we’re calling shows that don’t actually appear on the television these days.

It started with Saturday morning teen comedies, like “Saved by the Bell” and “California Dreams,” and rapidly progressed into a nighttime activity with the invention of “TGIF,” where such classics as “Full House” and “Family Matters” were born. When I finally moved into my own apartment and got a DVR? Forget it. All bets were off.  That event happened to coincide with the reality TV boom of the early 2000s, so I never really had a prayer of escaping the addiction. phone

I’ve proven my love in various ways over the years. As a tween, I had posters of young TV studs all over my wall from Bop and Big Bopper magazines, mainly of Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Leonardo DiCaprio and Ryder Strong. As a college grad, my survival job was as a tour guide on the “Sex and the City” bus tour throughout New York City. Yes, there was once a time where I knew every teeny fact there was to know about that show and the four women who starred in it. And today, I do a weekly recap of all shows “Bachelor”-related for a Broadway website. I watch the show live every week, simultaneously live tweeting and taking notes for later. Yup, I think you can say I have a bit of a problem.

So in the spirit of making everything in life an educational experience, let’s do a brief review of some things I’ve learned from after all of these viewing hours.gal-watn-gp4-jpg

  1. Put your mind to it, go for it! Get down and break a sweat! Rock and roll, you ain’t seen nothing yet! Also, jocks and nerds can totally be friends.
  2. On the West Coast, the blonde smiley girl always gets the guy. In the Northeast, it’s the brunette who only moves half of her face.
  3. Unless you’re in Orange County. Then it’s just the ones who talk a lot.
  4. Who you’re attracted to when you are 12 is also who you will be attracted to when you are 34. I’m looking at you, Leonardo DiCaprio.
  5. When the music comes on, Dad is going to forgive you. If it doesn’t come on, you’re screwed.
  6. Don’t drink with anyone they’re paying you to fight with on camera.
  7. If you’re going to sleep with two people at once, just be honest about it. Sure, people may call you a slut in front of millions of people on the Internets, but it’s your life. Let the guy decide whether he wants to be your sloppy seconds or not. Most of the time, he will.
  8. Oooh, and don’t go on TV to find your spouse.
  9. Loud noises attract zombies, so improve your quiet murder skills, stat.
  10. Sleeping with a married man is fine as long as he is the President of the United States, and the First Lady is simultaneously sleeping with the Vice President. If this is not the case, back away from said married man.
  11. You most likely can not get away with murder.
  12. Any problem can be fixed with amazing shoes, Cosmopolitans and your three best friends.dapvsmwnopw9axplioyjbmy0h7fisa0f6uieespe1vbls8kr7wqqihimclgrswl8
  13. If you are over 18, you should only be allowed to vote for your favorite dancer/singer/magician/clown act/laser beam dancer/tiny child with eerily great talent if you have voted in the last general election for the United States of America.
  14. Everyone can be a superhero, and probably is.
  15. The only people who care about “space for entertaining” in their new homes are the people with no friends. Don’t be one of those people.
  16. If all the men are douchebags, I’m just gonna skip the whole party.
  17. I do NOT think I can dance.
  18. Your mother can be your best friend.
  19. 19 kids is like 17 or so too many.
  20. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose. No, seriously. It really works.
  21. After all those broken hearts, terrible blind dates and boozy solo nights crying into your pillow, you’re just going to end up marrying your best friend anyway.
  22. Seeing grown men cry is actually sexy, especially if they just received a very large trophy. Seeing grown women consistently bawl their eyes out week after week? Not so much.tumblr_nk7fkdbhcp1qg4yquo1_540
  23. What goes around comes around, whether it be in the form of rats in buckets taped to your chest to literally eat your heart out, being shoved down a giant hole to your death, or castration.
  24. Dragons are not ideal pets.
  25. A gay best friend is possibly the best thing you can ever be blessed with.
  26. An excellent diet for weight loss consists of rice and fruit/fish you have picked/caught yourself. That is, if you want to look like Skeletor.
  27. Doctors are HOT, so make sure to get all those yearly checkups!
  28. Don’t judge a nerd by his exercise gear. He’s probably an expert rock climber with cement abs.
  29. Don’t mess with Kelly Clarkson or I will physically punch you.
  30. When all else fails, Alex Trebek is always there to ask you the hard questions.idol_wide-b20f1ec3373dac612dd76056cabcafbf3454e8be

Happy Fourth!

Happy July 4th to everyone! For us here in the US, it’s a celebration of our country’s birth, and for those of you anywhere else, it’s a random day in July! Just wanted to give a quick update and apologize for not being more active, but I was very busy this past month or so getting married! I’m also rehearsing a show that goes up next week, so it’s been a little crazier than normal. But if you’re on Twitter or Instagram, follow me @pattimurin, and see what I’ve been up to and what random things I ponder on a daily basis in 140 characters or less. More to come very soon, I promise! Thanks for following, and I hope you have an excellent day, no matter what it means to you.

Love in NYC Photo credit: Laura Marie Duncan Photography

Love in NYC
Photo credit: Laura Marie Duncan Photography

I Do, I Do, I Freaking Do!

IMG_0386Scene 1: My fiancee and I inside our local Bath, Kitchen & More Crap store, enveloped in a Wedding Wonderland of extremely breakable crystal wine glasses and china, sitting at a desk in front of a smiling Bath, Kitchen & More Crap employee.

Customer Service Representative: Can I help you?

Me: Yes, we would like to open a wedding registry.

CSR: Great, congratulations! When is the date?

Colin: Next month.

CSR: ………like of this year?

Me: Yes.

CSR: ……..

Scene 2: I bump into a Random Acquaintance on the street in midtown Manhattan. The subject of the wedding comes up.

Random Acquaintance on the Street: Oh my gosh, the wedding is so soon! Are you freaking out? Are you totally stressed??

Me: Um, I mean….not really.

RAotS: Seriously????

Me: I mean…..no.

RAotS: How is that possible???

Me: Um….we’re just really bad at wedding planning?

Scene 3: Talking to my fiancee less than a month out from the wedding.

Me: So, I guess we should start ordering some stuff.

Colin: Yeah, I guess. Like what?

Me: Um….I don’t know. Let’s just watch Orphan Black instead.

Colin: Okay.

MjAxMS1lMjBjM2VlMzNkYzhlYjky

Obviously, we have been slightly more than lax when it comes to planning our wedding, which is arriving very quickly. At this very moment I have about five other windows open on Safari, each on a different website that I should be ordering something from, or researching something on, or emailing someone from. And yet I’m sitting here, literally writing about all of the things I’m supposed to be doing instead of using that energy to actually do them.

Don’t get me wrong, we are absolutely ecstatic to be getting married and sharing this special day with our families and closest friends. He and I couldn’t be happier to spend the rest of our lives together, and we have never been happier in our whole lives than we are at any given moment of any given day. But in this whole process, we’ve admittedly lacked a certain “must-do” attitude, and a certain passion for the actual planning part of it.

You know why? Because in the grand scheme of things, it’s one day. It’s going to be an incredible celebration and an emotional party. But I refuse to get caught up in the details. When it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter. The first time I planned a wedding, I made lists and stuck to timelines and and bought piles of books and had an account on theknot.com, and I cried more in the two weeks before my wedding than I did the whole year before that. And guess what? We got divorced less than four years later. Lesson? If you can’t find something blue for your special day, don’t sweat it. We all know you’ll just end up wearing blue underwear anyway, since there is really no other good option. (Seriously, blue garter belt? Blue earrings? Who came up with blue anyway?)sorry-spent-three-seconds-wedding-ecard-someecards

So this time around, I refuse to adhere to traditions. Anytime the words “this is what normally happens,” or “usually it goes like this” are uttered, we regroup, take a breath, and ask ourselves what it is that we really want. Lucky for me, I have a fiancee who feels the exact same way (and don’t think I don’t remind him weekly about how lucky he is that I’m the polar opposite of a Bridezilla).

Maybe this comes with age. Or experience. Or maybe I’m a little jaded after my first time through the wedding maze. Or a combination of the three. OR maybe it’s because I’ve finally found everything that I have ever wanted in a man, and in my life, and I refuse to let anything or anyone change my focus. I don’t need my wedding day to be the best day of my life, because I want every single day after that to be the best day of my life.

And we’ve made some mistakes along the way. We could have included our parents more in the planning process, and by the time we realized that, a lot of decisions had been made. The fact is, we wouldn’t be who we are without them, and we couldn’t be more grateful to them for loving and supporting us and our relationship. All we wanted was a stress-free event for them to enjoy as Guests of Honor, and we may have taken that a bit too far. But we will be leaning on them more than ever in the coming weeks, so get ready Murins and Donnells!

Photo credit: Andrew Rannells

Photo credit: Andrew Rannells. Also, this is NOT my dress.

We are excited to be married. To BE husband and wife. And while the day of the wedding will be joyous and full of love and tears and laughter, we can’t forget that the whole point of it is to be ushered into our marriage with family, friends, well wishes, a kick ass cheese plate and tons of dancing. Centerpieces fall apart? It’s cool, more room for eating. The food isn’t as great as it should be? More room for dessert! I forgot to get a DJ? It’s cool, someone has an iPhone and Spotify.

We are in love, and we are excited to become an official part of each other’s family. And THAT is all that matters.

Therefore, I’ve decided to buck tradition and write my own damn poem. On my wedding day, I will be wearing:

Something awesome,

Something grand,

A great man will be

Holding my hand.

Photo credit: Kat Nejat and Laura Marie Duncan

Photo credit: Kat Nejat and Laura Marie Duncan

“Honies, I’m Home!” Bachelorette Recap #1

For all of my friends on WordPress, I write a weekly recap for Broadwayworld.com for all shows Bachelor-related. The latest season of “The Bachelorette” began this week, so I will be posting my recaps on this site every week as well. More fun to come!

Let's do this.

Let’s do this.

Welcome back, friends and family of The Bachelorette!!! The eleventh season has officially begun, and I am officially in my happy place. Although not quite as happy as I would normally be, due to the fact that this time around, there are TWO Bachelorettes to start. Kaitlyn, the fun-loving, Canadian dance instructor, and Britt, the absolutely stunning yet possibly manipulative waitress from Los Angeles (duh: actress). Can you tell whose side I’m on?

I don’t know why the powers that be decided that this twist would be a good one, because it immediately made a lot of people VERY angry. The entire point of creating “The Bachelorette” was so the women would finally have the power after many seasons of men always doing the rose-giving. So this season turns that entire concept on its head, as the 25 Most Eligible Bachelors are the ones deciding whose love they would rather compete for, and on the very first night no less. So after a brutal season of Kaitlyn and Britt fighting 28 other women for the heart of a successful small town farmer who absolutely can NOT dance, they have to fight it out one last time with an entirely new group of guys. Sexist? Yes. Misogynistic? Kinda. Unfair? ABSOLUTELY. Am I still going to watch and recap despite being outraged and offended? Hell yes.

THE BACHELORETTE - "Episode 1101A" - America fell in love with two very different but dynamic Bachelorettes last season - Britt Nilsson and Kaitlyn Bristowe. It was hard to choose between the beautiful, charming Britt and the gorgeous, fun-loving, wise cracking Kaitlyn. So now, 25 eligible bachelors will choose between these two amazing women. For the first time in franchise history there will be two Bachelorettes. Chris Soules sent both ladies home broken hearted, but now with another chance at love, both women are ready to take a journey they hope will wind up happily ever after, on "The Bachelorette" two-night premiere event, MONDAY, MAY 18 (9:01-11:00 p.m., ET) and TUESDAY, MAY 19 (8:00-9:00 p.m, ET), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Rick Rowell) CORY, KAITLYN BRISTOWE, BRITT NILSSON

(ABC/Rick Rowell)
CORY, KAITLYN BRISTOWE, BRITT NILSSON

We begin with a brief reintroduction to our ladies, each looking beautiful in her chosen evening gown. Though Britt is being a little on the nose in her bridal white, she has the desired effect on the men, who can’t stop talking about how gorgeous she is. On a scale of 1 to 10, one guy gives her a 15, and one gives her a billion, neither seeming to understand how a scale of 1 to 10 works. The ladies have a brief chat with our esteemed host Chris Harrison, who takes a brief break from swimming in his pool full of money, and while Kaitlyn is understandably nervous, Britt has that old familiar confidence from last season. The ladies are positioned approximately 10 feet away from each other in what promises to be a bunch of VERY awkward interactions with the contestants, and the limos start to arrive.

The first group of guys all flock to Britt, with Kaitlyn feeling more and more out of place. Jonathan, an automotive spokesman (read: used car salesman), basically offers Britt his child in exchange for her love, Ryan B. greets her with words I would have loved to hear when I was five (“Hi, Disney Princess”), and Brady, a singer-songwriter from Nashville has melodies inside of him that I think he should get checked out. Britt is glowing from the attention and the super high gloss BB cream she spread over her whole body, and Kaitlyn is starting to panic.

But hold on! The next group of men all have their sights set on Kaitlyn! And this group apparently includes anyone with any iota of a personality. Ian is a supremely good-looking runner who got into a car accident when he was younger and beat the odds to not only walk, but run every day. JJ (not last season’s Pantsepreneur JJ, but Former Investment Banker JJ) wins Kaitlyn over with a hockey puck, telling her “I would like to puck you.” For anyone else, it would have been a mess of a line, but considering this is the girl who told Chris Soules she would “plow the f*** out of his fields any day,” it’s extremely well played. And then we have Josh, who is a recent law school grad, studying for his Bar exam and stripping on the side. (I feel like I should comment on that, but it seems to be a normal sentence in the Bach-iverse). Round it out with Shawn B., who is a fitness trainer or something but it doesn’t matter what he does cause he looks a little like skinny faced Ryan Gosling, and Kaitlyn is back in the game.

And here comes Tony. By profession, he is a Healer. Or a Flexibility Specialist. Or just the super Zen guy who just happens to have a yellowing black eye that no one mentions or bothers to explain. He feels energy radiating from Britt’s chest (but don’t they all?) and quickly chooses his favorite.

Some other highlights of the man intros are Shawn E., who sdcgrvt (sorry, one of the two ADORABLE puppies I’m currently fostering wrote that-anyone want a new friend??) is an Amateur Sex Coach and drives up in a car that is also a hot tub, which could be the biggest oxymoron on a show filled with morons. When asked later why he is an Amateur Sex Coach, he gives some sort of answer that includes the word “anal” and I believe a confession that he is a virgin? Very unclear. There’s also Chris, an adorable dentist who drives up in a car that is literally a cupcake, which makes me laugh so hard I almost spit my Sauvignon Blanc through my nose. With all these bizarre cars, I’m surprised one of the men’s job titles isn’t “Specialty Auto Engineer.” Then there’s Joshua, a true hunk of a man who is a welder from a small country town, which is WAY sexier than a farmer from a small town.

(ABC/Rick Rowell) CHRIS

(ABC/Rick Rowell)
CHRIS

The ladies head inside, where this season’s Drunk Guy has wasted no time in revealing himself! It is Ryan M., a Junkyard Specialist (maybe he’s the one making all these cars?) who has professed his undying love for Kaitlyn, with Fireball on the rocks being a verrrrrry close second. He isn’t just wasted, he is belligerent, insulting Shawn E. and his hot tub car immediately upon his arrival in front of the women, stripping down and jumping in the pool, somehow managing to fall in AND out of said pool simultaneously while not spilling a drop of beer, actually uttering the phrase “Why am I not raping you right now?” to one of the other (male) contestants, and the worst crime of all, slapping Kaitlyn on the ass. Oh no, my friend. We as a country may be just fine with objectifying our ladies and gentlemen to the tune of a bajillion dollar television franchise, but it is NOT cool to sexually harass one of them. Pauly the security guard takes Ryan M. out of the room, where a very sober Chris Harrison puts him in a van and sends him home, presumably where some poor intern must stay up all night making sure he sleeps on his side so as not to choke on his own vomit.

(ABC/Rick Rowell) KAITLYN BRISTOWE, BRITT NILSSON

(ABC/Rick Rowell)
KAITLYN BRISTOWE, BRITT NILSSON

Chris informs the men that the voting room has opened! “Voting” consists on each man taking his “rose” and putting it in his favorite woman’s “box” which has a “rose-shaped hole” on the top. I mean…yeah. Tony the Healer knows immediately which box his rose wants to get into, so he charges into the room quietly and casts the first vote. Kaitlyn has a lovely sit down with Shawn B., aka skinny Ryan Gosling, and he proclaims love at first sight. Britt and Brady the Songwriter have a competition to see who can use the most virtual exclamation points in their one on one time (“Oh my gosh, you live in NASHVILLE?? I LOVE Nashville!!!” “You like baseball?? I LOVE baseball!!!!!!”). But the first of our two part Bachelorette season premiere ends as Chris Harrison tallies the votes, rose by rose, and heads off to tell the women who will be our next Bachelorette. Tuesday comes around, and we immediately find out that the winner is…

KAITLYN!!! Oh, thank the universe and heaven above. I don’t think I could have taken a whole season of Britt’s wide eyes and permanent makeup. Britt is in an obvious state of shock, as this is most likely the first time she has ever been rejected. She climbs into the limo and cries her way to the hotel.

When Chris tells Kaitlyn that she won the Rose Box Competition, she shows just how classy she is by asking immediately how Britt is doing. Then she allows herself to freak out and cry and call her mom. But wait! There is a Rose Ceremony tonight, so she must go inside and talk to all of the men who ignored her because they were here for Britt! Tony the Healer spews out some deep thoughts about water fountains before re-committing to winning Kaitlyn’s love. Jared, aka LoveMan, aka Ashton Kutcher with a toupee and bushy eyebrow stickers, decides that honesty is the best policy and admits that while he voted for Britt, he would love to remain and get to know her better, a move that impresses Kaitlyn. She is SO impressed that she makes out with Cupcake Chris almost as soon as she is able. But the First Impression Rose goes to Shawn B.! Who she also makes out with, therefore setting the record for Most Kisses on the First Night. At this point, my mom texts me and says, “She’s a tramp!” and my straight male neighbor who works in finance and has been forced to watch this notes that every guy on this show looks like every guy he has ever worked with.

Rose Ceremony Time! Brady the Songwriter pulls a fast one and decides to leave in search of Britt, which shouldn’t be too hard since the producers and camera crews are more than willing to provide her address, and a mode of transportation for him to get there. Kaitlyn gives roses to Chris the Dentist, Ben H., JJ, Joe, Kupah (SUPER MARIO!! No? Okay), Daniel, Ryan B., who is now just Ryan because the other Ryan went home, Joshua the Manly Welder, Tony the Healer (seriously??), Clint, Corey and Cory (who?), Jonathan, Ben Z., Tanner, Ian, Justin, and Jared the LoveMan. Not going further are Josh the Stripper, Shawn E. the Amateur Sex Coach, and David and Bradley, neither of whom I actually remember a thing about.

The previews for the upcoming season are FASCINATING, as they reveal that not only does Nick Viall of Andi Dorfman’s season return for Kaitlyn, but they seems to REALLY like each other and possibly know each other already. Also it seems as though Kaitlyn goes too far too fast with one of her noble suitors and instantly regrets it. Hey, Kaitlyn. Welcome to my 20s. Literally, all of my 20s.

The episode ends with Brady pulling up outside Britt’s hotel, where she is still crying. I hope next week begins with a serenade. Until then, I have to go see about some puppies.

(Seriously, if you’re looking for a puppy or kitten or cat or dog, go to www.inourhandsrescue.org and take a look!)

Musings on the Met Gala 2015 Fashion Parade (from someone who knows absolutely nothing about fashion)

My idea of fashion is something that doesn’t make me look like I just rolled out of bed, which basically only excludes tank tops without a bra and boy shorts. Yoga pants? Cute with fun sneakers! Ponytails? Add a sparkly headband (www.sparklysoul.com) and you’re good to go! T-shirts? Bonus points if they are a subtle nod to your favorite TV show!

Last night, my friend Kat, my fiancée Colin and I sat on the couch and trolled every single social media site for live updates on the Met Gala 2015 arrivals. I know the general point of the Met Gala is to celebrate a new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and how awesome art is in general, and all that really important stuff, but everyone knows it’s just a huge celebrity potential train wreck fashion parade. This year’s theme is “China: Through the Looking Glass,” so we braced ourselves for a wide array of material interpretations. Since one of my favorite pastimes is judging things I know absolutely nothing about, here are my thoughts on some of the dresses/costumes/pageant wear that graced the red carpet last night. Note: Designers mean nothing to me so I’m just gonna pretend everyone went shopping in Lady Gaga’s closet.

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Kate Hudson: Let’s start with an easy one. She is a golden goddess. A+

What's a four-letter word for sexy? Oh, right. Sexy.

What’s a four-letter word for sexy? Oh, right. Sexy.

Dakota Johnson: First thought, New York Times crossword puzzle on New Year’s Eve. I like crossword puzzles, so I’m cool with it. B

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Diane Kruger and Josh Jackson: I have to admit, I was not a huge fan of the pant situation at first. But as the night went on and I kept coming back to this photo and impossibly gorgeous couple, I fell in love. A-

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Kerry Washington: Let’s be clear, I think Kerry Washington is pretty flawless when it comes to red carpets and things. I even own a jacket from the “Scandal” collection for The Limited. I was so excited when I saw the gorgeous train on her gown from the back, and I thought Kerry was going to hit the jackpot once again. And then she turned around and I saw that someone ran out of fabric right when they got to the middle of the dress because they had accidentally used too much on the top. Throw in some emerald green shoes, and even Olivia Pope can’t fix this. C

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Kendall Jenner: People say it’s boring, I say I love it. She looks stunning in that color and not too overdone, especially for someone of the Kardashian circus. A-

Sarah Jessica Parker: Points for really committing to the China theme! I don’t know, after everything she wore on “Sex and the City,” I can’t really find anything wrong with this one. A? B? C? Whatevs.

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Anne Hathaway: You guys, I know this isn’t a popular opinion, but I am really digging on this one. It’s like she said, “Screw the China theme, I’m so excited about the new Star Wars movie that I’m just gonna dress like everyone in that.” And she obviously practiced her poses and half-smiles in the mirror, so I can totally respect that. B+

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Amal Clooney (and that guy George): I have to put my ego aside for this one, because Mrs. Clooney DEFINITELY gave my fiancée “the eyes” when we went to see “Hamilton” last week, but she’s freaking hot. And smart. And that gown is amazing. And if anyone is gonna give my fiancée “the eyes,” I suppose I’m glad it was her. (That George guy looks fine too.) A

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Solange Knowles: For literally half the night, I thought I was looking at the same picture of her over and over again, and that the wind had blown her dress up, but it had an awesome under layer that we were looking at. When I realized that was just her dress, logistical questions flooded my mind. How does she sit? Can she see? Is she forced to move her arms like a wooden puppet? Is this outer space? Does she like “Star Wars” too? What does the back of it look like? Is this literally a giant shield in case she decides to throw some punches again? It’s bold, but it hurts my eyes, so I’m forced to give it a D. (Though if this were the Natural History Museum gala, I would give it a B+.)

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Ivanka Trump: Kat said it best: “Jessica McClintock circa 1994.” Will you go to prom with me? C-

"China: Through The Looking Glass" Costume Institute Benefit Gala - ArrivalsKatie Holmes: I actually really like her dress. The sparkles and cut outs and color, and all the things that make it fun but still elegant. It’s her hair that gives me pause. It seems as though she went to Anna Wintour’s stylist and brought a picture of a Lego man for inspiration. There’s an unconfirmed rumor that it’s a wig, but either way, it doesn’t do it for me. Dress: B Hair: D-

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Helen Mirren: All hail the Queen. A

slide_423096_5432120_freeOlivia Wilde: Barbie meets She-Ra meets the discount cut glass section of Michael’s Craft Store. “Ooh, this one is 50% off! Let’s put it on EVERYTHING!” D-

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Chloe Sevigny: Ahhhhhhhhhh. Drunk China. Z

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Sienna Miller: My high school production of “Pippin.” C-

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Rihanna: For me, she won the night. I know people have compared this gown to an omelet, or a pizza, but the color is stunning, and the train is out of this world, and it definitely fits the theme of the evening, and she looks like an awesome fluffy princess. Who cares if she can sit? Or walk? A+++++++

And finally, the big three of the night. I’m pretty sure there was a competition to see who could arrive LAST and MOST NAKED, because these ladies were LATE and NAKED. It’s like all of their invitations just said “Through the Looking Glass” and the “China” part was accidentally deleted. J-Lo? Love the color and the gown. She probably figures we know what most of her front skin looks like, so now it’s time to show off the whole side of her body. Kim Kardashian?  Something a little matronly about it for me. And Beyonce? She can do no wrong in my eyes, but this is not my favorite. I’m too concerned that her dress will shift and give the world a free shot of her lady bits to actually appreciate the craftsmanship. I hope she goes home and puts on sweats. J-Lo: A- Kim: C+ Beyonce: Unrateable. She isn’t actually human.
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What’s Next?

Hey all!

What kinds of things do all of you readers/writers/generally fantastic people want to read about? I have some really fun posts coming up, but I’m curious what you peeps are interested in, and what you like. Let me know in the comments…new blog coming soon, I swear! Wedding planning takes a lot out of you.

Literally,

Patti Murin

This One’s For the Girls (And Guys Too, I Don’t Discriminate)

I work out. Yes, I do. And I don’t love it, but I’ve learned not to hate it. It’s hell when I’m actually in class, feeling like a failing stripper-in-training as I pulse my hips to the sky until my muscles literally give out. But I can’t deny that I always feel better afterwards, and if I do it early enough in the morning, I can forget it ever happened until I have to do it again.

At Physique 57 the other day, frustrated with myself once again for glancing over at the woman next to me once every thirty seconds to make sure I was keeping up, I had a major epiphany. As much as we want to be “skinny” and “in great shape” and “healthy,” I don’t know that we ever give ourselves the opportunities to be truly satisfied with how we look and feel.

Think about it. Remember the last time you left the house while your hair was miraculously behaving itself, and how great your curves felt in the new dress you decided to debut that day? You felt on top of the world, like no one could stop you, like those construction workers on the corner would have too much respect for you to whistle, but would be forced to bow down and revere the goddess that is you. NOTHING could burst your bubble.

Now remember what burst your bubble. What was it that knocked you off your cloud of hotness? I will bet that 85% of the time (that’s definitely a scientific statistic), it was merely seeing another woman who you thought looked better than you. You saw her coming down the block, with her perfectly effortless style and her chic heels (who can wear heels all day??), and you instantly curse yourself for not wearing the wedges that give you blisters but make your calves look great instead of the flats that are more comfortable yet have seen way better days. In an instant, all of your confidence disappears like a guy in my 20s after a one night stand, and you deflate like a sad balloon.

I mean, I defined “competitive” in high school. If there was a musical, I auditioned for the lead. If there was a cheerleading squad, I wanted to be captain. If there was a student government, I wanted to be secretary (I’ve always loved office supplies). I graduated 30th in my class of 425 mainly because I couldn’t stand when my intensely smart boyfriend got better grades than me. High school offers endless opportunity to exercise the competitive streak that we are born with.

A proud moment for me.

A proud moment for me.

But as we get older, those opportunities dwindle. So we naturally start to compete with each other and compare ourselves to the other women at the gym, and strangers on the street, and even our own best friends. Without a field hockey game to throw your competitive energy into, it has to go somewhere, and unfortunately, our self esteem can take a major hit because of it. Being the best at being skinny is not the same as being the star of the Debate Team.

I have a friend who has been unhappy with her weight for years now. It always pains me to see how frustrated she gets with her body, because when I look at her, all I see is beauty and grace and loyalty. She is an exceptional mother, in fantastic shape because she loves running, and one of the most thoughtful friends I have. She is sexy and funny and smart, and her boss would have a very difficult time running his charity without her. She is an inspiration to me and to everyone else who meets her. But when she looks in the mirror, she doesn’t always see those tremendous qualities.

But think of it this way: There will always be someone skinnier than you. Always. BUT there will also always be someone wishing they had your body instead of their own. So why not just remove ourselves from the equation and (gasp) put all of that energy into appreciating our own bodies? Our small boobs, our big butts, our freckles, our thin hair, our huge boobs, our flat butts, our wildly uncontrollable hair. Keep working out and making healthy decisions, but do it because it feels good, not because you want to look like the girl on the spin bike next to you. Because she probably wants to look like the girl in front of her.

We are more than our body types. We are brains, and kindness, and creativity, and positivity, and wisdom, and mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and friends. We are extraordinary beings, no matter what shape we are.

So next time you realize that you’re comparing yourself to another woman, smile at her instead. Acknowledge her beauty and her health. And then, compliment yourself on being a bad ass in so many ways, and continue on your confident way as if the sidewalk is a catwalk. And make those construction workers speechless with your gorgeous glow and your fearlessness.

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My Silver Linings Playbook

So it’s no secret that I’m divorced. And if you didn’t already know that, hey guess what? I’m divorced! I got married when I was 29 years old to someone I really loved, and it lasted for almost three and a half years before we split up. It was the most devastating thing I have been through in my life thus far, and I do not wish or plan to repeat it again.

But it was also an opportunity to shed any expectations I had for the direction my life was going in as a whole, and to open myself up to all possibilities, any possibility at all. For me, the key to surviving this dark period was establishing the positive side of every situation. I had great days followed by weeks of not wanting to leave my house or speak to anyone who wasn’t delivering me pizza, wine or bacon egg and cheese sandwiches. Finding silver linings was imperative, or I would have curled up in a ball at the bottom of the shower and never gotten up again.

So here are a select few of the times I found to be the most difficult to survive, matched with their extra-perky, optimistic cheerleader counterparts. Ooh, but let me be annoying for a second and remind you to always have safe sex. Divorce is hard enough to swallow, so make sure you don’t garnish it with a side of herpes.

Sad Part: A big, empty bed without your former partner in it.

Silver Lining: A big ass EMPTY bed all to yourself!!! Roll around, spread out, and best yet, you now have the authority to invite whoever the hell you want to join you in it. Just make sure to buy new sheets first. Basic rule: If your ex’s skin touched it, replace it. Now you can get those pattern-drunk Vera Bradley towels you’ve been coveting!

Sad Thing: You have to go back to that hellish dating scene.

Silver Lining: You get a whole new stable of “Sex and the City”-style dating stories to horrify your friends with! One of my favorites is the guy who wore an ill fitting Hanes tee to an upscale restaurant, peppered our appetizer without asking (DEATH TO HIM), and then insisted on taking me to a piano bar on Karaoke night even though I told him I basically bathe in desperation for a living. Oh, and then there was the chef who instantly proclaimed his inability to socialize with women unless he had a drink in his hand. What a fun future that promised to be! But a few hours on some crappy dates led to some of the best bonding sessions I have had with my friends, recapping these terrible evenings over a glass of wine or frozen yogurt. And speaking of friends…

Sad Thing: You REALLY don’t want to repeat your sad story over and over again to every single person you know.

Silver Lining: This is one of the only opportunities you will have in life to figure out who your friends really are. As we grow older, we collect friends from various jobs, schools, homes, etc. until we feel like we don’t know anything more about them than what they post on Facebook. But something as deep and intense as a severe breakup or a divorce will immediately establish who is in it for the long haul with you. BM6MZ75CcAA8ixBIt’s a very difficult process to completely extract yourself from a marriage or a relationship, and sometimes it feels like it will never end. So the friends who actually want to be there as you alternately obsess over the new person you’re dating and sob angry tears over your ex for hours on end are the ones you keep forever. Just make sure to keep them hydrated and well fed.

Sad Thing: You realize that you have no idea when you’re going to have sex again. It could be never.

Silver Lining: It most likely isn’t never. You WILL have sex again, and who knows who it could be with? How exciting is that??? It could be with a hot neighbor, or a longtime crush, or that really attractive person you swiped (swept?) right. In my case, it was an NFL quarterback. Yeah, that’s no joke. The Divorce Gods were seriously on my side there. I mean, if I were less mature, I would say that I’m preeeeeeeety sure I won the Rebound Competition with that one. But I’m not, so I won’t. #butidid #iwon #reboundcompetition #NFLQUARTERBACK #IWINDIVORCE

Sad Thing: You can’t concentrate on anything.

Silver Lining: Sometimes the best things happen when you don’t pay attention to them! I Klonopin-ed my way through an audition and two callbacks for a show, barely remembering any of it because the rejection wounds were so fresh. Somehow I booked the show, and I’m convinced it had to do with the fact that I didn’t enter the room with that God-I-hope-I-get-it attitude that can lose actors more jobs than any other factor. The less you care about something, the more it will want you. So take advantage of this moment and go book some jobs or win the lottery or write that best-selling novel!

Sad Thing: He took the dog.

Silver Lining: I can’t help you here. This is the worst feeling ever. All I can say is wait until you’re ready and get a new one. But it hurts.

Sad Thing: You now live alone.

Silver Lining: Throw a party! When I decided to stay in my ex-marital home for another year, I threw what I called a Re-Housewarming Party. It was an all day affair, and I invited all of my good friends to stop by whenever they wanted. The only rule was that they had to bring something that I could put in my apartment. BM6td0bCcAAHX-GIt didn’t have to cost any money, it just had to come from their heart. So at the end of the day, I had a home full of new things that reminded me of the people who loved me most in the world. Pictures and homemade potholders from my best girl friends, a crystal passed on from a good college friend that still travels with me wherever I go, a “Scandal”-sized wine glass from a newer friend who just innately gets me. And the best gift of all, a set of St. Louis drink coasters from the man who is now my fiancee. That day he began as my friend and ended as the guy I drunkenly made out with. Those coasters now live on the coffee table in the apartment we share.

See? Possibilities and adventure are everywhere. If you are brave enough to close a door and stand in a seemingly empty room for a while, your eyes eventually adjust to the dark. And then, you will finally be able to see how many things have been waiting in the shadows for you.

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