The truth is, you can’t.

Trust me. I’ve tried. I’ve spent the better part of my morning ignoring children so I could think of the best, most awesome post to end the STOG with. And the thing is, I can’t really put it into words. I mean, is there anything better than a CARTOON post? (Especially when CARTOON brandy is rocking the worlds greatest rack?!) Or a post about loving Lauren Graham? (Which I completely disagree with, I think she’s overrated but now is NOT the time to discuss my views on her, let’s end the STOG on a high note), but I loved the post nonetheless.

The thing about STOGS is like we said at the beginning of the week- they are a brief snapshot. A time capsule of what was in the heads of two Canadians who like writing and are in love with Josh Lyman (okay, I might be the only one admitting to being in love, but I know Peter has a soft spot for Mr. Lyman). I definitely am thankful Peter asked me to do this, even if it meant putting up with his verbal abuse and tirades for five straight days.

Just kidding Peter. You know I think you are ridiculous. In the best sense of the word.

I once went through a break up that was so bad I really did wish for death. Now that might sound overly dramatic (or at the least bit suicidal) and it’s not like I wanted to die in the way that we think of one dying, I just felt like living was too much work. I had cried until I had no tears left, until my body felt like someone had wrung it of every happy thought, until my voice was hoarse from asking “Why?” and my ears were sore from the deafening silence that came as my reply. I just needed a break from my life. A temporary time out to collect my thoughts, re-organize my soul, find a way to forget about the way he kissed me and what love tasted like.

My mom listened to me rant and rave and question and cry for six days. And on the seventh day she told me to have a shower. (Because yes, I take heartache to a whole new level. The level that insists on wearing only flannel, eating only cheese strings and most importantly- refusing to shower.) And when I told her I couldn’t shower because showering was an act done by people who cared- cared about their appearance and life and the smell they emitted, she told me I had 10 minutes and then she was dragging me to the shower fully clothed. I’ve never been a big fan of showering while clothed, so I sighed the sigh you can only pull of when you are drowning in Stage 5 heartbreak and made myself shower. And afterwards, I made myself put on something that wasn’t flannel. And after that I made myself eat food that wasn’t designed to be pulled apart. And after that I forced myself to take off the love goggles I had been wearing and thought objectively of the boy who I had claimed ruined me (hi, I minored in theatre, could you tell?) and realized he was a bit of a tool.

But of course such realizations never come easy or without a cost. I had six days of tears and cheese strings for dinner before I even begun to think that maybe this fellow with his careless words and thoughtless acts might be a tiny bit responsible for the way things ended. And now I have a friend going through a break up that reminds me of the worst one I experienced. She’s more a fan of sweatpants and chocolate than flannel and cheese strings but the signs are all there.

So I will listen as she asks questions I can’t answer, I will repeat every cliche I’ve ever heard and rack my brain searching for the one sentence that will cut through her heartache and make her smile. And on the seventh day, I will do what my mom did for me- I will tell her to shower. And she will.

Dear Every single man who has ever wondered what he needed to do to get a girl to fall madly in *L word with him,

There are three simple things you should do if you wish to woo a girl:

1. Be charming.

2. Tell the truth.

3. Get flowers for the girl.

It’s really that simple.

sincerely,
brandy

(p.s. Let’s not get crazy and assume the L word means LOVE. Sometimes it’ means LUST. Or LIKE. Or even LIKE aLot.)

You know, when Peter talked to me about the idea of STOGGING, I said yes before I even really thought about who I would be writing with. Peter. Peter the published author. Peter who has swarms of fans who live and breathe for his posts. Peter who is creative and funny and makes blogging not boring with his writing talents. Peter the published author. Have I mentioned Peter is a published author?

I was thinking of how to best address the differences between Peter and I (I’m referring to writing style, not the obvious differences of him being a boy and me a girl and the fact that I’m a hobbit and he’s a giant), when I realized that I had the perfect opportunity with todays topic. The idea of “creativity”.  See, Peter can go drink a *fresca and come to his computer and whip up some thought provoking, sigh inducing piece of writing and I’m going to show you what I passed off in university as “art”. Be prepared:

art

I’m serious.

And not only did I pass it off as “art”, I had to present it to my university class with a straight face. The assignment was “find art in nature”. The problem was I spent the night before drinking $1 draft beers and flaked on the assignment. By the time I remembered it was due, I was in serious panic mode. I channeled Kate Gosselin and had my boyfriend at the time outside in his boxer shorts rolling snow while he suffered through the tequila sweats. I had no idea what I was doing but I remember my presentation focused on climate change, “art in motion” (a phrase I picked up from the other presenters) and I might have tried to connect the photo to Darfur. I got an A on the assignment but spent an awkward 30 minutes after class listening to my professor lecture  me on taking university more seriously and explaining to me that one day “your words won’t be able to save you”.

Thankfully I take the STOG more seriously than university.

*I have no idea if Peter drinks fresca. I just assume he does. I always assume really creative people drink fresca. It’s like the drink of high minded individuals who bleed creative genius.

When Peter approached me with the idea of a STOG, I was immediately on board. See, those of you who know Peter know that’s he’s a charmer. He could have approached me with the idea of fire eating or getting a tattoo of a Burt Reynolds on my ass and I would have been on board.  With pictures.

And then he explained what a STOG was and immediately thought I was in love. A STOG is like a one night stand without the walk of shame. You get all the fun out of writing, without any of  the long term obligations.  And if there’s one thing that I love- it’s being free of long term obligations (this is probably why I’m single. And why I refuse to buy a nice car- the idea of having a car payment is too permanent for me. This is an awesome idea until I realize that having a car that doesn’t have a car payment attached to it also means having a car that does not have air conditioning).

The whole idea of having a STOG reminds me of the craziest one night stand ever. I hesitate to even call it a one night stand- it was more like, a one night sleepover with Willy Wonka. His name was Owen and he painted houses and he loved candy. Sour candy, chocolate chews, gumballs, licorice, rockets- he loved it all. His room would have been Willy Wonka’s wetdream. Our night consisted of us laying in his bed talking and then him mid-sentence jumping out of bed remembering where he had put another stash. He hid his candy because his roommate would always come in and eat it.

Hindsight suggests that maybe a guy who was more interested in eating a snickers bar he had crammed into the pages of “No Logo” than sexing up a hot girl in his bed is grounds for a redflag, but at the time I sort of thought he was charming. And his love of candy was one that I shared- (though I’m more of a sour candy girl than a chocolate girl) so I stayed the night and woke up at 5 am with sticky Nerd candies stuck to my arm. I walked home covered not only in the shame one does when one is walking home at 5 am in her bar clothes, with smudged mascara and bedhead but with the sweet aroma of chocolate and licorice clinging to me.

Whoa. I just realized that I went from talking about STOGS to my walk of shame. See? This is why STOGS are fun. I may cringe sharing my one night stand story but in a week? This STOG will be over and the only thing that will remain of it is my memory of a one night stand with a guy who’s idea of foreplay involved licorice, chocolate sauce and Ani Difranco.

Maybe the Ani Difranco should have been the redflag.