Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Curious Case of Vanilla Robbins

Post that ghosting dipshit, Walter, I returned to Tinder in late-March. The Single Dad was making his last pleas. I saw him so often that last we saw each other was the last week of February and last we spoke was just after I returned from Cozumel the end of April in a conversation that ended like this: 

Him: I really want to see you. You should skip yoga on Thursday so I can come over.
Me: Oh really? You should get a sitter on a day I don't have yoga.
Him: Yea, I can probably switch a day with his mom.
Me: Yea. Do that. 

I was very heart broken about our end and before the last lack of hurrah [sarcasm], I had been swiping on Tinder looking for a new hook-up/meal; nothing serious having just sworn off men thanks to Walter. (Now, here you have the choice to either judge me for saying it's nice a man pays for food or applaud me for being honest about it. Your choice.) A Tim Robbins-looking man I gave a courtesy swipe to - it's a rule of have to not swipe a man with a tribal tattoo or with a picture of a car and he had a photo with a car - messaged me. A few benign messages passed, including him talking about lifting. Sweet bro! My eye rolls were nearly audible. He asked for my number, then asked me out.

We met once before I went to Mexico. After putting off meeting a couple of times, one Sunday, mid-April, I woke up hungover and probably half drunk, rolled over to my phone and decided that would be a good day to finally go out with him after he asked for a couple of weeks. Exhausted, I said coffee would be good. I thought the date was going horribly - as I was dressed wretched and he wasn't saying much of anything - until he asked if I wanted to grab food. Of course I wanted food.

Now, I was fairly certain of my plan to leave the area by then and was not looking for anything involved thanks to my paradigm shift, and thus made little effort to sugar coat anything. Perhaps it was an experiment, perhaps I wanted to make sure this didn't go far so I could keep focus on me, so when he asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I was bluntly honest: "happy and a mother." Still thinking men in their 30s are like they are in their 20's, I expected him to recoil. Instead, his eyes lit up and he asked how many kids. Fuck. Fuck. Fuckity fuck. I think he named our children right then and there. 

Fast forward to Mother's Day. (The day I learned the most interesting fact about him, which tells you how interesting he is: His mother was featured on an episode of Hoarders. Although, to be fair, that's pretty interesting.) Neither of us live near our mothers, so he asked if I wanted to go to dinner. And yes, I do, because I'm as poor as a South American banana farmer and trying desperately to save to become homeless. As we sit down to dinner, he says, "Happy Mother's Day."

I can't even imagine what kind of facial contortions I made, but he quickly added, "Like negative four years, right?" Apparently, I had been more honest than I recalled and said I wanted to have kids in four years when that conversation was happening on our first date. 

"Uhhhh," I grunted and paused, "more like seven," I lied, trying to get him to not see me as the mother of his children, then changed the subject (which lead to learning his most interesting fact). This wasn't the only time something like this happened. The following week, he put on a baseball cap and - slightly graying - I told him he looked like a middle-aged father of four. 

"I'm practicing," he quipped without laughing. Oh man. This was new territory for me and a fucked-up double standard that a man decides he's ready for a marriage and a family and he's 'mature', a woman: desperate. But I digress.

Immediately into us "dating," he started to invite himself to sleep over, even though I gave no indication that was okay aside from him sleeping on my couch on our second date because we went hiking for four hours and then he had claimed he had too many margaritas during a post-hike dinner to drive. The following day over lunch he deemed that "officially his longest date ever." (I must have a knack for this or something.)

A week or two later, he invited himself over for a movie and pizza after he called and I said I was at Redbox renting a movie. My response? "You can come over, but only if you leave when the movie is over." He agreed. Before he came over, he asked if I wanted to get pizza. "That's fine," I responded, assuming as an offer, he was paying and put my frozen Ellios back in the freezer. When he got there, he asked me to order it. (I need to be in this to save money, not spend it. I am not in a financial position to be my normal sort of kind.) So to make a point and encourage deattachement, I responded, "No. I'm not going to do that. I'm in a really selfish place and I don't like to do anything that doesn't serve me" as popped my Ellios in the oven, offering him one.

My freezer pizza not enough for his refined palette, he responded, totally coolly, "Okay, mind if I order it?" 


A couple of weeks later I let him sleep over again, but this time I had a caveat: "You have to keep your shirt on." The first few times he invited himself into my bed, he stripped down to nothing but boxers. His forwardness had forwardness, particularly for a guy that hadn't even gotten to second base yet. 'What a bro,' I thought, 'Presumptuous as his saucy texts of words he'd never say to me in person.' (Those stopped once I call him out on it.)

His immediate response to the shirt caveat was, "Are you serious?"  I was, I am. No one likes to sleep with their face in the crook of armpit hair - and he was really into cuddling. This conversation about him sleeping in a shirt went on for a good 40 minutes, about 64 are you serious's, and seven I'm leaving threats. It ended when I came back from brushing my teeth and he was laying on my bed in just boxers, smiling at me like the Cheshire Cat.

"I think its time for you to leave," I said tersely, yet surprisingly calm - considering I was, at this point, incredibly livid. To answer yet another are you serious, I reiterated all of my previous arguments: "You are at my house and not respecting my wishes. This is my bed and I want you to wear a shirt because it makes me comfortable. I don't have to give you a reason. My asking should be reason enough. This is incredibly disrespectful." 

In a huff, he put all his clothes back on to leave, waited for me to stop him, and when I didn't, he removed everything but his shirt and boxers, plopped down on the bed and grumbled: "I'm too tired to drive home." Ten minutes later, he rolled over and complained that I wasn't affectionate enough. This man was proving to be incredibly high maintenance. The next time he slept over, he kept on his shirt, but after texting an apology the following day for something benign I did (but felt I should take ownership of), he (for the second time) took at as an invitation to air his grievances against me. He complained that I slept with the television on (which I do for anxiety) and the contrast didn't work for him and I should turn the television off or try sleeping with the light on if the television is on because that's how he sleeps. 

"I sleep with the lights off, thank you," as I made note to never apologize again.

"Also, I really don't like sleeping in a shirt." Yep, definitely done apologizing ever.

My patience was wearing a bit thin as weeks went by. He'd ask me to hang out, I'd say okay. Or maybe I wouldn't and then he'd offer to buy food. Clever girl; he knew where to hit me. He was boring, but well enough. "Maybe he'll grow on you," my mom said in May when I told her about him. By June, to my surprise, she was becoming kind of right. He was milk toast and vanilla, but he was coming around to understanding he had to adapt to a partner, not change them. And I began to see that he wasn't a 'bro' like he tried to portray; he meant well. And he was putting up with my antics - whatever they were (still trying to make sure he got out of this unattached and unscathed). Still, I wasn't comfortable telling him I was leaving; it hardly seemed worth it to tell him. I was still had moments of wavering, plus, I didn't want another aggressive reaction like The Turk and his 'I'll make you fall in love with me so you can't leave approach' after I warned him last fall. All Robbins knew was that I was going on a camping trip of some sort, still skirting around his other inquiries.

I figured, I still had months to go so I had time for him to organically drift away before I left. I mean, nothing on Tinder lasts longer than three months anyway, right? Six months, tops. Then we hit July. He asked if I wanted to go with him on his family vacation to Nag's Head in September. 1. Family vacation?! and 2. September!! That's months away! Around that same time, he was at my house before we were heading somewhere and got a call from a friend to which he replied, "She's like three feet from me." Fuckity fuck, he's talking to his friends enough about me that they're asking where I am. That's when it got real.

Suddenly, I realized I was in trouble. What was supposed to be a summer Tinder fling for food and company (and a rooftop pool), turned into a man who tells his friends about me, wants me to not only meet his family, but go on vacation with them. And even more startling was the discovery that I really cared about hurting his feelings, as that was never my intention. I never thought it would get this far.

Sure, he's Vanilla, but he is nice. He is as exciting as his condo refinance being his animated topic of choice for weeks, but stable and structured. He was frustratingly set in his ways, but learned to be willing to adjust to meet my demanding comfort. (A helpful tip he can take to his next relationship.) Through this, he has made me understand that whole comfortable life thing. I get the appeal now of marrying for children and contentment: He would offer me the attention I crave, provide for the children I want, and give structure to my flailing limbs of a life I lead. But while there would be provision, there would not be passion, nor adventure. And that is not the kind of life I envision for myself right now; perhaps in five years, that would be more than appealing.

But for now, as time winds closer to September, I'm wracking my brain. I'm trying to figure out a good way to let down a man who is so infatuated that all of my tactics for not letting him get attached, where turned into endearing little quirks. A guy that grew on me a little more than I thought he would and, while he still drives me nuts sometimes, is an incredibly good sport about absorbing my wisecracks and putting up with my shit.

None of this is what I expected. It leaves me speechless to his spellbound. I'm out of tactics; frozen in half-truths and the potential to hurt someone. I'm unsure how to traverse the course from here, but I hope it turns out okay. It is a curious case indeed.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I lied.

Correction: I spoke too soon. I apparently underestimated even my own draw.

He's like a cute, little, red-bearded boomerang gnome. The strangest (most amusing) part about this is definitely that he was so very adamant about, "I never go back," last September, when he asked how I was in a break up and I responded with: Kind of like this, but any man who has ever stopped dating me has always come back. And yet, here we are almost a year - and some imaginary friends - later.

Apparently, I like to very passively prove people wrong, as I have yet to initiate a conversation with him, but here we are again. And why haven't I just told him to piss off? You know this is just good of blogger fodder.

Monday, July 13, 2015

50 days: Somewhere, Nowhere, Anywhere

I went home to Pennsylvania for the Fourth of July. I needed to see my sister and her babes before I left for my trip. It was the first of a series of taking bins back to my parents house to store in their shed out back. To my surprise, my step-dad nixed that idea (citing that it was moldy and everything would be ruined) and I was upgraded to a corner in the garage. (Score!) After my mom and I cleaned out 'my' corner, we unloaded the bins I was able to haul up.

(I have since made a second trip with bins, this past weekend, to my aunt's house near me here in Virgina where my parents will take them back to Pennsylvania this weekend. They are coming down for a visit, which unfortunately, I will miss, as I'll be in Boston for the baby shower of my Seattle Senorita. Next weekend I'll drop off another load of bins when I'm back to PA for my other sister and her children. (I'm trying to make the biggest effort possible to see everyone before I leave because chances are I won't be home for Christmas. One sister is in Indiana, the other in Tennessee, so it's hard for everyone to get together.) The last trip of bins will be with me during the last week of August, when I visit for a few days before taking off; hopefully I'll have enough room. I'm really hoping this bin thing goes as planned. But I digress... back to the point...)

Seriously going to miss the babes.
On the Fourth, we headed over to my grandparents' for pool, BBQ, and babes. Soon, I learned, that my mom (who tends to spill about everything) hadn't told my grandparents about my plans to travel. My grandfather, 83 and spritely, asked if I was married yet. I told him that was going to be a little tricky considering I am about to be nomadic fo ra number of months. Confused, I offered explanation, which was immediately met with an surprising amount of agitation. He told me: 1. it's not safe! 2. what about money?! my job?! NO JOB LINED UP?!?! WHAT?! 3. it's dangerous! 4. "95% of people die five miles from where they were born!" 5. "you life follows you, you know? you can't run away from your problems. just because you change you location, doesn't mean anything else changes." 

"Grandpap, I know. I'm not running away from anything," I responded when he paused to take a breath. "I just want someplace new. I'm perfectly happy in my life, I'm just tired of DC." He repeated that 95% of people die close to home; that no place is going to be better than where I'm from; where family is located. "Perhaps," I said, "but I want to be able to find that out. I'm not saying I'll never come back, all I'm saying is that I want to see all of my options first. I want to be educated on the choices I'm making. I want an adventure before I'm too old to have one." What I meant by that was better explained moments later when my grandmother rejoined the group and inquired as to why grandpap was in such a huff. I told her my plan and added, "In five years, I'll might be married with kids and I won't ever the opportunity to do this again."

Expecting a response similar to my grandfather's from her, she calmly sipped her Coke, thought about it for a moment and instead said, "You're right. This is the only time you can do this. You'll have too many responsibilities later. You have to do it now or never." She had kids in her early twenties: five total over a decade. The idea of me doing this just seemed to click with her. And I appreciated that. My grandfather, not so much, but later that night, I understood why:

My mother explained that as people (specifically men) get older, they want their families around. They realize how important family is and don't want them too far away. His mild outburst of emotion was just his version of a bit of sadness. And probably worry. And I feel bad I'm causing people to have these negative emotions or feelings of worry. But I'm not running away from my family; nor am I running away from my life or any sort of problems. I like to think I'm running towards something - I just don't know what that something is yet...or where.

I left that Tuesday morning to head back to DC. My step-dad and I didn't have a chance to have the chat he wanted (we'll have to cover that next weekend), which he mentioned mid-goodbye hug, "I still want to talk to you about your trip to...," he paused to find the word.

"Somewhere," I said, still embracing, finishing his thought.

"Nowhere," he responded.

"Anywhere," I said, as we let go.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sixty-Nine Days

In case you missed it, starting in September, I plan to stop working (eek!), store my belongings in a shed, and travel around the country for (at least) three months, searching for a new place to call home. For years I have wanted to move. For various reasons, including failed attempts at love, trying to save money for moving costs, and not knowing where to go, I remained in DC. But I no longer wish to have my life - my career, my love life (or lack there of), my place in the world - on hold because 'I want to go,' and so my solution is to vagabond.

The loose plan is the drive around the country, the first six weeks for mostly joy and then with purpose: When I find a city that I feel I might be keen on, I'll spend a few days in the city applying for jobs and checking out more of the sites and city vibes. I will live mostly out of a tent and sometimes sleep in the trunk of my little hatchback in Wal-Mart parking lots that allow overnight parking for RVs (there's an app for that...seriously) - couch surfing when the opportunity presents. I will attempt to live as cheaply as possible, subsisting mostly eggs and noodles and the kindness of strangers, as even homelessness proves to be expensive.

I was chatting about my plan with a friend at a wedding a few weeks back. While we waited for the ceremony to start, she tried to reason with my stubborn heels to start a gofundme, softening my I-am-an-island sense of conviction with: "We spend over a decade of our lives celebrating other people's life choices with weddings and babies and all those things, but how often do we celebrate a person choosing to chase their dream?" 

I paused to think. I mean, she had a point. And I'm in no position to turn down help. However, weeks later, despite her words and my blurb written and ready to post, I'm still trying to convince myself it's okay to press that "submit" button and ask for help with something I'm choosing to do...Or is it a choice?

This past Sunday, I called my step-father (of 29 years) to wish him a happy father's day. Surprisingly, both my parents are incredibly supportive. My mother, only worried for my safety and my step-father - I found out on Sunday - the same. He said he wanted to talk to me about my plan and I wondered aloud if he was going to try to talk me out of it: "I'm scared enough as it is," I said. 

 "Certainly not," he responded, after reminding me that the front lines of war taught him that being scared is pointless, then continued, "I hitchhiked around the country when I got back from Vietnam for three months. I felt it was something I just felt I had to do. If this is something you feel you have to do, I support that. I just want you to be safe."

::brake noises:: 


After we hung up, I began to wonder, was he right? Was I like him in that this is something I feel I have to do verses simply a choice? The more I thought about it, the more I realized he was right. 

Ever since high school, I have dreamed of being a vagabond. While I realize this certainly isn't a dream for everyone, there was a bit of wanderlust that always existed. I ignored it in order to go to school and get a job like I thought I was 'supposed to do,' with plans to marry at 25 like I thought I was also 'supposed to do'. Then, at 25, I left my boyfriend of five years. But after graduating with two degrees and a Scrooge McDuck pile of debt, I thought it impossible to become a vagabond and still be able to meet my financial obligations (even after working for eight years). At 28, I began to develop a desire to leave DC: DC is nice and it was fun, but it's not full of what I would call 'my people' - whoever they are. Attempts to fall in love and save money in order to move (ironically), repeatedly thwarted my attempts to move, followed by an inability to figure out where should be my new home. And thus, came my solution to vagabond to find a home and fulfill a decade old dream.

I realize, however, that this is going to be difficult. I am equal parts scared and excited. Some days more scared than excited. And I realize that to some people, this may come off to some as "incredibly stupid" or "financially irresponsible," but I have tried to plan as best I can, and save as much as possible, and hope everything works out, and tell myself this is an okay thing to do at 31, because, while society urges this is the age to get married and pop out babies, I think that no matter what else happens in life, that it is important we find our happiness - whatever that means. Because happiness is contagious; no (wo)man is an island. And sometimes in life you have to do certain 'stupid', scary, faith-driven things so you don't ever have to say 'I wish I would have.' 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Doughnuts and Pride

Today is National Doughnut Day. Heading down the stairwell to walk to Dunkin Donuts for my free fried dough, I run into a wave of nostalgia; it hits my face and darts up my nose. Someone must have just walked down the stairs, leaving a trail of Turk-like cologne, because just then I didn't even realize that the Turk had a smell - or that I remembered it. Comfort and panic and surprise it all at once. The mind is quite a curious place. 

The last update left the Turk wishing me a Merry Christmas before he left for Turkey again, but that wasn't the end. The random and sporadic texts began again when her returned from Turkey again in January. "Hellooo," he wrote. "Happy new year," he typed to me 17 days past the new year, which led to very short and general conversation of how are you's, like strangers in an elevator. A few days later, I texted him to ask if he could recommend a place in Istanbul, as my cousin and I were discussing a trip. (We eventually settled on Cozumel.)

On January 28, he texted because he was driving by my place for work and was "going to stop by for lunch :)." That Saturday night, he texted that he was at the nightclub where we met "if you're around." I declined, saying I had just got home (and I was tired and not interested in a booty call, having been presently satiated by the single dad). A week into February, he called me as I was boarding my plane to Arizona to tell me about the information he got for us concerning our possible trip to Istanbul. I told him I couldn't talk; would call him the following week. I texted and he called after work; a short call that was only semi-useful in terms of our trip: He said he would send a link to his friend's hotel. 

Two days after that, "Happy Valentines" popped up onto my phone. Although, come to think of it, he might be the only man who wished me one. I asked for the link the next day and he finally sent it a week later. That's the last we spoke until the end of March. Under the guise of checking on if we were going to Istanbul and did I check out the link, he started texting. He asked what I was doing that Saturday and that he was going out with his friends and "maybe we run into each other." I told him probably not, as I had no plans to go out, still recovering from my weekend before in Boston. 

Turns out, however, that I did go out. An out of town girlfriend was in DC, so I passed it on to him thinking, "If they get bottle service, we can wriggle into it too." Only my attempts at being delightfully coy were met with an opposition, as when I asked where he and his friends were going, all he did was ask where I was going. I gave up on trying to remora onto their bottle service and my friends and I picked a spot to eat and drink. 

At 10p, the Turk texts to ask when we were going, to which I responded that we were already there. I asked - mildly miffed I was going to have to metro home, "Not going out, I take it?" 

"I do wanna go out though. Just took a shower; got dressed up." 

"Where you going?" I asked. 

"I don't know. If I go out, I"ll probably come to where you are." Perfect: Free ride home. Just after midnight, he shows up. My friends, having encouraged tequila into me before leaving the house, and I were already quite drunk. I saw The Turk walk up the steps and it was like breathing a breath of stale air. Ah. Yes, he does have a smell. I smelled him. It was reminiscent of desire and heartache. We hugged and went off to a less crowded area of the bar where my friends were flopping around like drunken fishes for a few minutes before they left and - I would later learn via Tinder message - a Tinder match, whom I had just accepted a date from, watched me flirt with the Turk. (We never went out, though he still tried.)

About an hour later, my friends were gone and I was finished with my vodka tonic and needed to go home. He offered to drive me. Directly out front of the bar was a baby blue WV Jetta, a far cry from his black Mercedes E63 AMG. "Who's car is this?" I inquired. 

"It's my friend's."

"Oh right," I said, suddenly remembering he said that he was out with them. "Where are they?"

"They're at another bar around the corner. I have to pick him and his girlfriend up at 2am."

"It's 1am now. How are you going to be back in time?" I wondered aloud.

"It's fine. I drop you off and come back," he said, confidently, as he shifted from reverse to first gear. Even drunk, I began to suspect something was amiss. The VW was new and I had only seen him out with one other friend, whose car he drove. The one who sat on the couch, drinking coffee last time we hooked up in October.

Back at my house, he ended up in my bed - both of us lying atop the comforter shoulder to shoulder. We chatted a bit and I cornered him into admitting that the car he was driving wasn't his friend's car (it being well past 2am, at this point,when he said he had to pick them up). Finally he confessed, "It's my car, but I still have my Mercedes at home. I can show you!"

"That's not necessary," I said through a muffled chuckle and already positioned to move onto my next mission: Getting him to admit that there were no friends out that night; that he made them up to have an excuse to see me. He, reluctantly, eventually admitted to that too. And then we hooked up, which didn't do much of anything for me and my tequila haze. It was quick and emotionless - I imagine he was frustrated with me, having used my brain and calling him out.

I woke up the next morning with that realization that that would, indeed, be the last time I would see the Turk. Because back in September when things were at the pinnacle of falling apart he posed the question: "What are you like in a break-up?"

"I don't know," I confessed after a contemplating pause, "Sort of like this...but every man that has ever broken up, always came back."

"I don't go back," he said, sternly. But he did come back. He wanted to spend time with me, without admitting that he wanted to spend time with me. Without admitting he missed any part of me - emotional or physical. He tiptoed around me, so completely unlike the confident Turkish King who swept me away, left me with no choice, and cast me aside all so easily and in such a short amount of time some months before. He had the power then; his pride still in tact, he vulnerabilities complete shielded, and his fear of rejection completely not necessitated. But calling him out on his bullshit opened a wound to all of the things he keeps closed from the world; his whole facade was blown.

And I realized that morning that stinging the pride of a man who defines himself by it, meant he would cut off himself off from that sting forever. And I didn't really mind - and almost sort of forgot - until a scent in the stairwell on the way to a free doughnut triggered my memory.  And so that's the ridiculous (and sort of hilarious and even a bit sad) finale to the saga of The Turk. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Worry is Contagious

Over the past couple of days, I have been reconsidering my timeline - again. This happened after, at a friend's wedding this weekend, I was discussing my plan with a few people and they seemed incredibly concerned about my financial situation. Which got me panicked about it. One friend suggested that I set up a donation page, which I immediately shot down. Something about asking people for money when you are voluntarily becoming jobless and homeless, seems strange - and maybe a bit rude. But she made a good point that she wants to help her friends chase their dreams, if that's what she can do to support me in finding my best self and making me happy, then its just as good - better, even - then the money we throw at our friends at this stage in our lives for their decisions to get married or have babies. 

Point (to): Red.

I am now slowly warming up to the idea of setting up a donation page. Passively, at best. Where my friends (and family) who love and support me can do their best to ease their minds about my impending homelessness and ballsy-as-shit (or stupid, TBD) decision to quit everything and leave all comforts behind to find my place in this world. That's right, I'm self-proclaiming it is ballsy as shit, because the more they talk about the realities of it the more my mind panics and I go OH GOD WHAT AM I ABOUT TO DO? And maybe I should stay just one more year?!  In a year, I could pay off credit cards and have a better nest to fall back on, should I not be able to find a new city and a new job in time (before my (in process) savings runs out). I'm saving as hard as I can right now, but just a few extra months at work and a couple more commission checks would make a huge difference. If I postponed, it would be the more responsible thing to do (in a fairly irresponsible situation). It would ease their worries about my well-being - which, until then, I didn't even realize was a thing. And ease my mind, which is growing with steady concern directly paralleling the voiced concerns of others.

Maybe if I just stay and extra seven months... I contemplate.

But I sat at work today, staring at my computer, aware that, as it is the first day of June, I have officially three months until I am homeless - should I choose to be. And even then, it seems too far away. Next spring would be better, I think to myself; heading into the warmth, versus leaving this fall, heading into the cold. But I think about the prospect of another snowy winter, stuck at the same job, in the same house, doing the same old thing and I can't imagine the toll that would take on me. I think it might swollow me whole. And from that, I realized that I'm certain of it now: it is time to go - ready or not, financially under-prepared or not. I'm going to do my damnest to make this work, because I have to make it work. It feels like now or never - and never isn't an option because I take a long time to make a decision, but once it is made, I rarely go back: I believe my decision has been cemented in the form of progression. I have to fucking do this, ready or not - all I can give it is all that I have and hope for the best.

I have to try. Worry or not. The time is now

Friday, May 15, 2015

108 Days

I have no idea what I'm doing!

These words, the idea; it keeps ringing through my head, particularly today. Earlier today, I went and purchased my new home for a solid deal of 42 dollars. And a brand new bed (read: self-inflating sleeping pad) - also on sale. Thanks REI Anniversary sale! My Amazon wish list continues to grow as well, as I tag things I think of in the moment that maybe I'll need for this adventure. (Stun gun included.) I also began to look up some camp sites (after reviewing my finances) and realized camp sites are more expensive than I thought. I may be squatting in more Wal-Mart parking lots than originally anticipated. $28 for one night of tenting at a KOA? I'm going to need to take a really, really long flip-flop laden shower and befriend a BBQing old couple to justify that cost.

I also figured out that my Mazda3 (manual) hatchback will probably suck in around $200 worth of gas per week if I keep moving. Sorry, Earth. And then there's food; food should be interesting to come by, but I found a sturdy, cheap sterno stove, so at least there's that. (I'm sensing a lot of fried eggs in my future.) But what happens when I run out of eggs in the middle of South Dakota? Can I use Tinder in a pinch? I'm picturing my Craig's List Ad/Tinder Profile already:

Rolling Stone Seeks Evening Companion and Free Hamburger (mainly just the burger)

Seems legit. Anyway, the preparations have now begun outside of just my head and simply researching. I have 108 days left before I become voluntarily homeless, traveling the country and living out of my car. Just over 15 weeks - that's it: Three months and two weeks. This is happening. It's happening, it's happening. And now I have my vaga-house and my vaga-bed.