Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Away We Grow: Update 1

Remember last summer when I decided what to do with my hair I'd been growing out? And donation seemed like a super swell idea? When we last left off, my hair was here:

July 2012
I knew in creating this goal that I was gonna be getting into a bit of uncharted territory, but I didn't expect growing out my hair to donate would be quite such a labor of love. It was good to a point and now I count down the inches until I can cut it off. I curse the time it takes to wash it, dry it, the lack of being able to do much of anything with it anymore - which I realize seems totally counter-intuitive, although I got some bangs cut last year for a little bit of change, but now even those are boring. I'm not a long hair girl: There's a reason it's been above the shoulder since the 6th grade. But I'm doing this. It's for a good cause and I'm thankful I'm healthy and I can. So, just so you know I'm still here, still growing out my damn hair. And despite being convinced I'm not making any progress (especially after each time I head to the salon for a trim - and I have another next week), it appears I am; slow and steady. I'M GOING TO DO THIS!

Nov 2012 - bangs!
Sept 2012 - cameo by my niece :)

March 2013
Sept 2013 - sydney

Oct 27, 2013
Don't mind the wire-y look there; it doesn't usually look like that. This was the morning after Halloween did this with it:
Sandra Dee - get it?!
Figured I might as well use the hair. :)

Just a little more ways to go now...right?! RIGHT?! Good Lord, I hope so. I'M GOING TO DO THIS. While some people might not think this is a big deal: Grow your hair, quit your bitchin', it's like putting a girl who's never worn heels in 5 inch stilettos and saying: Okay now go run walk a marathon. I've slowly just rounded the corner into mile 20.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

101 Walls

The earth stills for a minute. I gather my thoughts in the silence. I lose myself to music. I look around me, my ears their own personal club, my phone a perpetual disc jockey. And I notice that my friends have scattered, they’re around but I notice myself as a solo entity, gathering numbers and information, trying to see where it will take me. And I understand now that maybe you can learn and run from the things you see unfit or unhealthy for you, but they will find you again. And you can build 100 walls to keep the hurt out, but you will cry again.

This is the human condition. This is life after twenty nine. It doesn’t magically get easier, in fact, it may have just gotten a little more punch to the gut than I ever could have expected.

I know I write a lot about how good things are; looking at the positives – even though at times I’m dragging my feet and love through the mud.We have two choices when faced with adversity: Let it beat you and take you down, or fight it and learn from the tears. And sometimes, most times, we have to fight that fight more than once. And each time a little harder than the last because your mind screams at your heart: You should know better by now!

And I should. But we have hope in the things that we want; and faith in the things that we have. It’s a tangled web of order and chaos. This week presents to a bit of rejecting and unfavorable chaos. 

I thought I’d left the bad people behind when I walked away from the Pink Elephant and everything associated with him; anyone that played into his story and left me there to wallow in self-pity. Then, I turned 30; with the assumption that I would be leaving all the shit I’d gone through to learn lessons, to head into my 30s well-armed with said lessons and nothing was gonna stop me now. 

And then a Facebook message on Monday stopped everything.

I was told by someone who I thought was a friend – one that I had carefully chosen to keep within my circle – that I was mean, ungrateful, lacking self-control, entitled and angry because I thought the world owed me something and it hasn’t delivered, and, due to these things, was no longer welcome to his house (party). And that my response would determine what happened to our friendship from there: If it was anger, he wasn't interested. As if anger is my only emotion (which sort of tied my hands considering he also thought I fancied myself entitled).

Sucker. Punch. I make a point to be exactly none of these things. And from the last person I expected to be harboring such sentiments.

It seems like it's hard for people to understand that someone that seems really tough on the outside can be really soft; sensitive. Contrary to what this entry might suggest, I rarely cry. (Sure I get upset more often than rarely, but I always explain myself to friends that if I'm crying, something is terribly wrong.) This is sort of an issue because people of a tendency to treat a person as they see them on the outside, and not for what gooey center they might have. I curse a lot; sometimes I get loud; I will protect the people I love with an unflinching, loyal ferocity, but I am also a little M&M someone left in a car on a hot summer day. Crack the shell and the rest will smoosh onto your mom's hatchback's dashboard. 

Anger wasn't my emotion. Instead my heart raced and then tears silently fell from my face. (One of those silent pretty cries -> that then turned into a melting snowman.) And all of this stemming from my birthday.

Remember how I mentioned that a couple of friends made some drunken mistakes? And I tried to make light of those by showing me that into my thirties, when I fail, I won’t be the only one. But the night it happened I was so far from making light of anything; I cried for hours – they left without even saying goodbye. I was upset and crushed because I knew that people that had driven so far to see me had gotten the wrong impression of my life, my friends here, and worse yet, left feeling shocked and hurt from the improper actions of a few.

A birthday celebration that started out with me wanting to tweet: I don’t care what else happens; this is the best birthday ever - but didn’t because I didn’t want to jinx it – left me disparaged on a floor at 4am, 18 hours from 30.  I needed to be allowed to be upset, instead it was trying to be fixed and I, quite vocally (I was later informed, but not until after the FB message), communicated that I was upset.

YOU CANNOT FIX UPSET. You can’t tape back together a bit of crushed spirit or broken heart. It needs time to heal and find the light; the light to seal the cracks.

I chose not to hold what had happened against anyone and move on. But apparently, I was alone. While the (FB) messenger wasn't there - this all went down at his house and there was an additional roommate there that we were unaware was home, until she complained to him days later. And that’s where this all started again: Her complaint to a person who wasn't even present or aware of the situation. 

And so, my 30th birthday celebration, three weeks past, came back to slap me in my face with a cold, dry hand. A hand that never even bothered to say, “I heard some things, what happened”. I felt bullied. I cried for three hours. I talked with a friend involved with all of it and all she could muster out was, “It’s not fair”. It wasn’t. The next morning my mom called because, yes, I tweeted that I was crying. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I wanted someone to say: Are you okay? 

It was then that I realized that being incredibly sad is like being drunk: You do and say nearly anything with almost no inhibitions. This explains why people go a little slutty after a break-up. It also explains why, when the Time Warp messaged me later that night, I asked if he thought I was any of those things I'd been called. To which he said, "None of those words come to mine, no. I'd say you are rather selfless. [...] It's pretty black and white, you're a good person," And then I asked him to come over and spoon. He said he had to work. And then I bribed him with candy. Which he also declined.

Seriously. I did that. I’m just going to go put on my shame hat now and sit with my nose in a corner.

Although a friend brought up a good point in that there’s no shame in wanting to be comforted when you are sad. So I’ll just put my shame hat down for next time and chalk it up to hurt feelings. And appreciate the people that came around to check in and cheer me up in the light of pathetisad tweet. (Thanks, guys.)

Anyway, while talking to my mom she likened it – as I had – to the bullying in middle school. I'm not sure that the messenger meant to be so mean, but calling me all those things and clearly talking to others behind my back and coming to a conclusion without even speaking to me, came off as terribly hurtful ambush. I had no idea he thought so little of me - and so much of it based on hearsay and the bad decisions of others (that I chose to keep quiet) from my birthday, that he wasn't even at: FUCKING OUCH. (He responded to my retort alerting him of my hurt feelings, but I haven't had the heart to open up this wound again quite yet to read it.)

My mom was shocked by the seeming 30-something middle-school-esque bullying, but in response to bullies this time she didn't say “kids are mean” or “they’re just jealous”, it was “fuck them”. “You don’t have to be friends with everyone and you don’t have to fix everyone’s problems. If you have a toxic friend, leave them behind,” she said, adding it took her 20 years to learn that lesson.

Yes, it’s true, I tend to get in the middle of other people’s problems. I mediate – not intentionally; I’m usually just the lended ear of choice. She’s always suggesting I stop, but I can’t. It’s part of who I am. I will always stand up for the little guy; for the people that whisper in my ear about the mean girl but are too afraid to stand up to her themselves. I will always try to find a fair resolution and create peace; love. I am a Libra, afterall, but it seems to get me in some trouble. People tend to see the fights I can’t stop; the moments that build up to too much – not the disagreements I dissolve before they escalate or the moments I tuck away and hope get better in time. I always assumed people might notice; they don’t. Or love me for who I am and not the moments that are less than perfect; they don’t.

Everything isn't always fantastic. Sometimes people disappoint. Not everyone looks for the light in all things. Not everyone takes a moment to get every side to a story before seeking a resolution. Understanding that all people don't work the same way I do or thinks of fairness in the same manner as me, is something I continue to try to remember and accept. But sometimes, I suppose, we still get caught off-guard by those who we have figured we could trust with our heart, and instead break it a little. And then, no matter what the circumstance or relationship, you learn that maybe you needed 101 walls. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Thought transcribed to back of a CVS receipt, Tuesday, Oct. 22, ~9pm, post-yoga:

"I’m really excited to download Katy Perry’s [new] album. Like really. Might I be disappointed – maybe. But let me be excited first. – And then I realized this is exactly (what falling in) love is.”

Monday, October 21, 2013

So this is what we’re doing now?!

At a house party on Saturday, Ginger and I were approached by a good looking British kid. He was one of seven tenants – another being a friend of mine. He thanked us profusely for attending, as the rest was a “total sausage fest”. I wasn’t going to admit that’s what brought me there in the first place.

Admittedly, I tend to peruse guest lists of facebook events to see how many men are going versus women, and then based on those men, pseudo-stalk any seemingly attractive ones to see which are actually available. I then base my likelihood of attendance on this factor. Facebook suggested the prospects were in my favor; a rarity considering DC has twice as many women as men, so we decided to go.

Prior to leaving for the house party, Ginger and I were discussing hook-up likelihoods and she mentioned how she’s my good luck charm. It’s true. Every time we go out together I get hit on or something like it - and by someone half decent.  

We arrive fashionably eight hours late (to a party that started at 1pm). People had trickled in and out all day. So there were a handful of people there by the time we got there, which served its purpose for our pre-bar activity. We’re there for a bit before a tall, handsome British accent – err, I mean – guy comes outside. He thanks us for coming and is particularly grateful that “two, attractive women are [there] to break up the sausage fest”. He sits beside me. We begin to argue semantics. He starts to talk about his outfit and his bright red corduroy pants, which I rather liked. I told him I liked them, but also that I dress for fun/strangely, so I can’t say much. He request I take off my jacket to assess the outfit. He likes it. He takes a photo:


We sit back down and he asks if he can say something forward. “Okay,” I respond.

“You’ve got exceptional breasts,” he says, sober.

“I know right?! I’ll tell my mom you think so,” I reply.

He begins talking closer to me; touching my leg or arm whenever it never makes sense and then a bit later asks, “Might I be forward again?”

“Uhh…okay,” I said with a slightly uncomfortable hesitation. He leans in to kiss me. I duck my head and he laughs. 1. We’re in front of a group of people and 2. I just met this kid about 30 minutes ago and 3. I’m sober. In response to his dejected blush, I say, “We’re in front of a bunch of people.” (See, I'm nice...)

“Oh, alright,” he says in a charming British accent.

A bit later he calls me back into the yard. He asks if he can kiss me there. I declined again, citing that I might look easy, but I'm not and that my bright red lipstick would make a mess, which wasn’t at all a cop out: That shit gets everywhere and then I just look silly and he’s wearing a bright red badge of face-sucking honor. 

Pass. I’m too sober for this. 

He asks for my number, which I give him – only to have Ginger, who is sitting by my purse, announce that my phone was ringing – as if all of this wasn’t obvious enough what we were doing 20 feet away from everyone. I go back to the patio and take my seat. A bit later, the end of the house party nears and Ginger and I are talking about which bar we want to head out to. The Brit is still going on about how I should stay. The same mantra he’s been playing with for two hours. He pulls me aside again to asks me to stay the night. I decline.

He then asks if he can talk to Ginger and I excuse myself to the bathroom. When I come back out, Ginger pulls me aside – and I begin to feel like we’re at some kind of awkward middle-school dance with a keg and some drunken adults privy to audience this whole charade. Ginger tells me that he told her that he isn’t looking for a relationship but really wanted to have sex with me. “I know, but I’m not going to do that. I’m too sober and I would have to walk of shame tomorrow morning.”

“BUT HE’S SO HOT AND I WANT TO BANG HIM BUT I CAN’T BECAUSE HE WANTS YOU, NOT ME,” my beautiful little man-luck charm pleads.

“I can’t. I really can’t. I’m sober and I would have to metro home tomorrow morning,” I said, realizing that is why people get drunk on weekends. It’s difficult to have sex with a stranger sober. I mean, it’s hard enough trying not to giggle at the ridiculousness of mating rituals and the act itself - the oddness that is intercourse -while in the act with no inhibitions, let alone completely stone-cold sober and unable to gloss past all the oddities of some new person. 

Nope, sober one night stands don’t work here. Sex is funny. And walk of shames really don’t work here. Metro is not funny.

So after the Brit made one more plea, he snuck in a kiss and said "I'm glad you gave me that - don't be surprised if text you around 1:30a". Then off Ging and I went to the bar for drinks and dancing. On the way I opined to Ginger: This what we’re doing now?! No pretense; no frills; just Here's a dick, you want? 

Are we not even going to pretend there’s pretense anymore?! BUT I LIKE THE PRETENSE!

First, Mr. Cuddles and his cuddle/fuck pseudonym. Then, the Diving Instructor in Australia texting: “Honestly, I just want to get you naked and see what happens from there”. And then, weeks later and over a month since our last encounter, HG/Time Warp called me at 3:08am…and 3:11am last Saturday. (I slept through both.) And then Goomba sent me a barrage of text messages, after sitting quiet for months, this past Friday at 2:00am...and 2:23am (which I also slept through).

Why is 2 and 3 in the morning the time for guys to think of me?! And where the fuck has the effort gone? Even if it's just a fling detour on the road to something better/real, it's worth the moment of thought. Is this thoughtless, effortless romp really what we’re doing now?!

I refuse to accept that. I'm not interested. I have turned the corner into wanting more; deserving more. I'm cute, damnit. Act like a gentleman; endeavor a bit. It's what separates a living, breathing, human lady from your average Fleshlight. Otherwise, this is bullshit and men need to get their acts together. I’m a realist when it comes to these things - I have needs too, but I hope this isn't indicative what (single) men are left.

And if there are any 30ish, single, attractive men out there looking to put in a little bit of pretensing effort, it would do me well to just have someone to warm my bed for a minute; say something nice; spoon me; eat cold pizza in a horizontal half-hazed hangover: Now accepting applications. 

(But I’ll be damned if Ginger doesn’t continue to be my little fuck luck charm.)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

There One Where My Friend Pooped in a Bag

I've had an inquiry or two regarding a part of my last entry, wherein I was made to feel more normal about wearing my thong backwards all day long (which is, by no means the strangest thing I've done) because of something a friend had done. And was then given permission to share the story anonymously. So here goes:

There are many awesome things about being single and 30ish. There are also some crappy things about being single and 30ish. Pun intended - because my friend pooped in a bag.

She what?!

She pooped in a bag. In her bedroom. And then sat with it for 20 minutes until her roommates left. And then put it in the neighbor's trash.

But why?!

Because when you're single and mostly broke, you have to deal with roommates. Roommates, man. And that means you usually share a bathroom. I realize this isn't information people typically share and some people might gasp in disgust, but the really interesting ones will go: "I have story like that..."

Those are the people that I want to be my friend.

In a group text with beloved girlfriends - who are clearly soul mates, especially considering our love is mostly long distance and we have the weirdest how-we-met - I was called to attention.

"Present," I announced, and on she went:

And then we peed our pants laughing at her.
Just kidding - we exercise our kegals.

I know, whiskey tango foxtrot, right?! Clearly not her finest hour, but this was all relatively normal conversation for this group. Relatively. Although this happened last week and we're still laughing about her "shame spiral". Because life is gross; life is funny - and these two things are not mutually exclusive. These things really happen.

Our text logs read like the stuff of "legend"? But it's true; full of gut-wrenching, holy-shit-people-admit-this-stuff-shame-is-made-of. But it isn't shame once you own it; once you own it, it's just a good drunk story to tell. I wish more people admitted more things nobody wants to admit. (I wonder if modest people are lonely.) Kind of like admitting we're failing: Once you admit it, you learn everyone else around you has failed too - and you're not alone anymore. There's comfort in the admission of the uncomfortable. And I love that I have friends with whom to share in this kind of ridiculousness.

So you pooped in a bag? Laugh it off! And more importantly, share it with your friends so they can laugh at with you.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sydney, Thirty, and Wearing My Underwear Backwards

Yesterday, at work, at 3:00pm, was a first. I discovered that my underwear had been on backwards all day. I was wearing a thong.

 I’m not sure how this happened – and so long unnoticed, aside from it seeming breezy at first – but I’m going to assume it had something to do with my jet lag, which was also a first. My return from Australia last week marked my first account of true jet lag: It seems that first day is pivotal and I napped right on through it. This was unfortunate considering all of my Nashville friends drove up for the weekend to surprise me for my birthday and I missed half of the day because my body decided that 8am was finally time to fall asleep, but the birthday surprise(s) was nice none-the-less. (Few ever manage to surprise me – and I love them so.)

Which brings me to yet another first that happened this week: The first time there’s a '3' at the start of my (double-digit) age. Yes, that’s right, I’ve officially entered my thirties. Which wasn't traumatic, even after my roommate howled at me after he asked my new age; even if I am still single and childless and people go, "Aww, poor you". The transition, I believe, was eased by my two prior weeks in Sydney.

Because you were in an amazing new place and explored all the sites and things and pet wallabies and kangaroos and a dingo and a koala?! 

Why I did do those things!, but no. Sydney was great. It was far, far different from my time in Cairns, because comparing the two is like comparing New York City to some random beach front in Delaware with really fucking awesome shit to do. Plus in Cairns I was alone and in Sydney I was staying with my sister and her husband, and they have two kids: 4 years and 4 months. No, my transition was eased because I spent quite a bit of time with my mouth agape wondering how in the hell they did it: How did they care for two children and themselves? In the two weeks it became so terrifically obvious how incredibly selfish I am – and how entirely lucky I am to be able to be so whimsically untethered.

The kids got sick? That’s okay, I’ll just go explore alone. AND THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

Being an aunt is awesome: I get to love these kids – to fall in love with their personalities, kiss their faces and help them find their "mind and butts" when I've declared we've lost them. And then if they become too frustrating, I can open the door, walk out of it and say “Sister, I’ll be back in an hour”. Then, upon return, I'm told over dinner that my mind and butt have been found and Here they are!, while invisible body parts are thrown my way. It’s like all the really good parts of a relationship with none of the shitty ones; it’s like eating all the Ho-Hos you want and Hostess never goes under and you never get fat; it’s like having the roommates for cheap rent, but no one cares if you walk around pantless. It’s just lovely. You get the kids without the confines of pants - err -  I mean responsibilities.

Down with the pants!  ...And socks. Seriously, fuck socks.

I don’t know the number of times I said aloud and in my head, 'I don’t know how you guys do this', but enough that I would run out of fingers and have to count on toes. I came to truly appreciate my life as a person who can decide that for her 30th birthday she wanted to treat herself to a trip across the world. And that when I put my underwear on backwards I have friends to reply to my text: I did that last week. or This morning I pooped in a bag. And other friends that drive 20 hours in three days just to hug me and say: “I love you. Happy birthday.” And a few more, despite what drunken foibles they may make, to show me we’re all still a little lost when we enter our thirties – still trying to find our place... and how. So if and when I fail, that’s okay. And if and when I have a family, that’s okay too. I have my friends that are my family and my family that are my friends (and kids) - with the freedom in between. I’m ready, Thirty.