Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Better Men

Two days before Christmas the Turk texted me to wish me a Merry Christmas ‘before he forgot’, asked how I was and told me he was going back to Turkey on the 25th because apparently that’s really relevant stuff to someone you haven’t spoken to in 48 days. I don’t know what the fuck is up with that kid. But it doesn’t particularly matter anyway at this point, as I have since move on and so far it’s working out very well, in part thanks to a number of better men.

Back in mid-October Southwest was announcing they were having a sale. As I am wont to do post break-up or what-nots, I decided I wanted a trip and I took that sale as a chance to plan one. I posted on Facebook that there was a sale and “Who wants a visitor in January/February?!” taking note of the fine print. And that guy I met in a bar last summer left a comment saying it was 70 and sunny in Arizona in winter. That sounded incredibly appealing and I asked if he was offering a place to stay; if so, I was in because I like free. So, I went ahead and booked a ticket. So I’m going to Phoenix, which is nice, since I’ve never been. And I'm rather curious to see him again - and for more than 30 minutes. He seems like an interesting fellow.

A few people have expressed concern about this, but I just quickly remind them (as someone pointed out to me) that I had a ticket on reserve to go to Turkey, two weeks after meeting the Turk. (Can you believe I almost went to Turkey?!) So some guy who seems super nice, normal, sweet, lives in the United States, and wouldn't try to claim me as "his property", seems remarkably safer. And that seems to calm their fears. Besides, I’m a good judge of character: See: how I didn’t go to Turkey: Exhibit A. So that should be fun – and warm. Fuck the cold.

Speaking of cold, it brings me to the hunt for a winter bed warmer; also known as (having just learned this term last week): a cuffer. After the Turk fucked with my head and ego a bit, I decided I needed someone who thought the sun shined out of my ass. Re-enter: Goomba. I started texting with him again and we ended up going to a concert. The concert was fucking fantastic. The company was good too. I had a good time and I didn’t feel like each step I was making was wrong. I like spending time with him, but – I don’t know – that shoe doesn’t quite seem to fit. And we stopped texting for the most part – although I’m not entirely sure why. He probably started dating someone. (I do wish he would make it less awkward to just be friends though.) So that left me still cufferless.

Conveniently, the evening following the concert, I got a Tinder message from a guy who I told back in early June that I would go out with. Back then he told me he had a kid and I generally fell off the Tinder wagon so we never went out. I hadn’t been on Tinder for a while, but there seems to be total lulls and also total influxes in which, even if you’re not active on the app, old guys come back to ping you. This guy also texted me again around that same time; it didn’t work out:

very stupid men still exist past 30 (click to enlarge)

So the other guy (the single dad, not 'maximus') that I stopped talking to in June, messaged me again in August. I didn't respond; he tried again mid-December, citing persistence sometimes paying off. He won me with that: I do love me a persistent man. And I figured, I’ve got the international Muslim, the divorcees, the Jews, the short guy, the hey guys, a man with four fucking Chihuahuas, the FWB-turned-feelings, and all the other fails under my belt, why not try on single dad for size. I mean, I’m here to educate: Got to be well-rounded, right?

So we planned for a date on the 19th. He had a cool-ass date called Escape Room Live: where we get locked in a room together and have to search for clues and figure out puzzles to find out who is the spy out of the files we find in the room and where the key is to let us out. The website said it might be stressful (and we may be locked in with strangers) so 1. I said we needed a safe word so we didn’t kill each other (since we were strangers too) and we chose “kumquat” since it's likely to elicit a giggle and 2. I decided the date needed to began with drinks. As it happened, I was 30 minutes late which he let slide (which is good since I'm always late) and he was drinking a pineapple lady drink (or seven) that I let slide. I also let it slide that he has horrible tribal tattoos – a huge no-no in my dating book - but he was a good sport in allowing me to make fun of it and also partook. He knows they are awful, so it seemed mildly acceptable; had he said “these are cool” I would have gone home after my third bourbon and ginger.

Although he talked a lot - a lot - I used the word “KUMQUAT!” for silence; I didn’t feel the need to coddle him, perhaps it was because he was also from my hometown of Pittsburgh and I know our kind is okay with being forthright. Or perhaps it was our texts the previous week establishing that I’m a ball buster and he can handle his balls being proverbially busted. So when he needed to shut up, after the second bourbon and ginger, I let him know. It was an odd start.

And then it got a little odder. On the way to the Escape Room, I got a text from one of my favorite college friends: She was in town for the night passing through and did I want to meet up. I hadn’t seen her in ten years and when I told him that - and with the excitement in my voice - he said of course we had to go. (I'm not sure had the roles reversed, I would have been so gracious.) So fine, he was a Chatty Charles, but he was also a really good sport. We met up with my college friends, I shared that he was a Tinder date, they laughed and welcomed him, and in loo of standing in line at a club, we all went back to my place for drinks and games.

A few hours later, college friends left and the two of us went to bed: no kissing, no touching; just sleep. The next morning we got up and he asked if I wanted to watch the Steelers game with him. He said he was supposed to watch it with his son and I was hungover and lazy, so I passed. He asked again. I said maybe. This went on for two hours, until nearly kick-off then he mentioned food and I was hungry and he wouldn’t get home in time for the game so we went to a bar and watched the Steelers game ate and had some more to drink. The Steelers won and then played pool for five hours.

28 hours after we met, and six hours after he declared it was his longest first date ever (I could not make that same claim), I dropped him off at the metro. We kissed – a good kiss – and he went in for another, declaring, “damn, I wish I’d done that earlier.” We texted through the holidays - incredibly attentive (high on the list with persistence); he came over last night to watch a movie (and talked less). He slowly made his way from one end of the couch to my end, spooning – it rang with the innocence of youth; the growing anticipation of super snogging, a spooning sleep after the calm of abounding sexual tensions (trying hard to keep it playfully innocent). I realized that Chatty Charles, the single dad (that I told my mom probably wouldn't last more than three dates) had been upgraded from 'meh' to 'mildly keen.' (Mom said it's mean to lead someone on, I said it's mean to not give them at least three dates to pass/fail.) An upgrade likely aided by his plan for our (now) third date: He’s taking me to the Steelers playoff game this weekend in Pittsburgh, since I said I’d never been to an NFL game the Sunday after we met.

He asked in the days after meeting: What do I have to do to win you over? I didn’t know how to answer that, but I’m fairly certain that is what courting is; this is what courting is. So far (especially if this Pittsburgh road trip/Steelers play-off happens) I’m really enjoying it. Sure, it may be a complete disaster, but it is still why I didn’t let some douche just claim me without the courting. Because apparently the way to win a Pittsburgh girl over is through her football. If this is courting, fucking volley, man. It's refreshing to know that better men still exist.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Woman Wiser Once More

Obviously you can tell from my last post that the Turk and I fell in love and are obviously getting married and popping out some half Turkish, half blonde-haired, blue-eyed kids. So, then, what? Totally Turkish? Well that breaks rule Number One. So obviously he had to go.

Halloween ended up being the last time I would see him. He was supposed to come over the following day to finish what he started, but when he got done with work at 5pm, he said he was too tired (which makes sense considering he was snuggling with me until 5am for Lord knows why and gets up at 7am to work on Saturdays) and was going to go to sleep.

I got annoyed. He had already invited himself back into my life, which was dumb enough. Then he didn't respond to a text the night before until 3am when he picked us up. Then he invited himself into my bedroom to cuddle like all is good, which was even dumber. So I called him to call him out after he canceled via text and after chatting 10 minutes, he said, "I just parked. Let me call you back when I get in my house."

"Okay," I replied and hung-up.  Instead, 5 minutes later, this happened:

And that, I would later realize, is my version of a 'fuck you'. I'm done playing nice. Don't like me because I don't care any more. I'm over it.

A few days later he texted me a simple 'hello.' I responded with a 'hello' back. A few moments later I got a voice mail notification. Earlier in the day I was talking to my sister, she tried to call and then texted it was going straight to voice mail. (Sprint sucks.) So just as I was ringing him back, I got a text notification saying "sorry, my ass dialed you." (I immediately hung up; he never got my call back.)

Now on what fucking planet am I suppose to believe that it was his butt that dialed just after texting me?! Especially considering that was his process since we met: text to see if I'm by my phone, then call. So, naturally, I timed it from my work phone - the time between the first hello, what's up and receiving the voicemail - and there's no way it was a mistake. That bitch was covering his ass because the girl he hoped to rope back in refused his call - so he thought. Since then, I haven't heard from him, which is good, because there are four things I have learned from this experience:

1. Never date a man with a bidet (or toy dog). Once I see it, all I can picture is him hovering over his toilet getting a squirt of water in his bum. And he had each toilet in his condo equip with enormous ad-on bidet contraptions which made it all the more awful and hilarious. This also means that the guy is probably pretty high maintenance - which falls in line with his having a toy poodle. (As if I didn't learn enough from the four fucking chihuahuas that first time.) So, ya, no bidets (or toy dogs).

2. I would rather have a poor man's time than a rich man's money. I'm not interested in a man that works 12 hour days six days a week to surround himself with things and stuff. I want adventure and love and togetherness. Fuck the Mercedes and fancy dinners at nice restaurants; sure they're nice, but I would much rather cuddle to Saturday morning cartoons. Some gals value material things and show (and that's fine for them), but this has made me realize where my priorities stand.

3. Trust your subconscious. In a moment of full disclosure, this thing didn't just end with a dream, it began with one too. The Wednesday night of our second date, he slept over. Shortly after falling asleep, I awoke to my own screaming. "NOOOO!" as he shook me awake, concerned. I never wake up screaming from nightmares; I rarely have nightmares. He asked if it was about him. I lied and said it wasn't. What my subconscious realized long before I did was that, to him, my opinion was optional.

4. Red flags are red flags...(no matter how sweet the presentation of the man carrying the torch of waving scarlet fabric) and time and space will fully illuminate them like a spotlight in the dark of a once romantically-lit room. They become visible only when we are no longer blinded by a person's intoxicating presence and the incredible, exciting darkness of the promise of what 'could be'.

Because there was good there. There was. The words he said, "I don't care what we do, as long as I am with you." The attraction. The way he made me feel. Those moments of absolute fucking entangled perfection. My heart's content. And that connection I swear to LBJ wasn't just in my head. The feeling of just missing someone again. And the fucking psychic predicting exactly him. But there was also bad; those whistling red flags.

I've learned all relationships are the weight of what's good of a person versus what is bad. That's what defines if a partnership will work: that the good outweighs the bad. I refused to commit because I hadn't yet navigated the bad; weighed it out. Then the time away took from him, his ability to 'look' at me that way that had me entranced; it magnified all of the things that made me resist him from the start. The mother fucking control, reminiscent of my tight-shipped step-childhood. The way he reminded me of the false-Casanova my dad pretended to be. Like the time my dad was talking to a girl and said, "I love you," to end the conversation and when he hung up, bitched about how stupid she was, and when we asked him why he said he loved her responded, "They're just words." At a very young age, my sisters and I learned he would say - to his many women - what he thought a woman wanted to hear. To falsely feed into their feminine desires to satiate his ego and lie to cover what he thought they shouldn't know. And we bore witness all of our lives. Early on, I began to wonder if I was living that same lie.

But the moment that sparked the end for me - the final high flying, Mario at the end of the level red flag - came a week into the Turk being gone. And in one of the first times we got to talk in a week, he asked for photos of my ass. When I declined because I was with family and also just 'no', he insisted and I got pissed. That night I declared, "Well, if nothing else comes of this, at least I got these sweet socks." The room full of people laughed (as I showcased the epic socks he said his grandmother made), but deep down I kind of knew then where everything was going. He wasn't who he had pretended to be. He wasn't my Casanova, even though I wished he were. And when he had told me that first week that if I "gained 10 pounds, we were just friends" he wasn't fucking kidding. He also wasn't kidding when he said I could "get bug bites, but no bruises". In his absence, he didn't have the balance of charisma to fix how fucking pissed off I was becoming - like when he told me my lipstick was "tacky" but with such a charming smile I simply told him to piss off and moved on.  Or how disrespected I felt when he told me to excuse myself from my family to take a photo of my bum for his enjoyment - all while counting down the battery on his phone, like you better fucking hurry. He couldn't be there charm me; to kiss it all better; to stop me from ruining it irrevocably because I refused to be unheard or controlled or disrespected with countdowns and bullshit.

The spotlight had been cast.

Nonetheless and still a girl in want, I spent the month both trying to save 'us' and continually pushing him the fuck away from me. I was fighting with this thing I wanted so much with my heart and the logic of what I knew was a terrible mistake. A mistake whose lightness only shown through with the clarity of time and space. A tumultuous argument that leaves you yelling at the blank space of what was because the thing you've so revered to both love and hate, you cannot even communicate with. It was a miserable place to be, both in lust and disdain; incredible want and a growing resentment - and with the absence of its protagonist, unable to resolve it.

I held onto the hope that maybe, just maybe, it would all work out because I wanted to feel that way again. It was intoxicating. And he did come back for just that second long enough for me to realize it was still a bunch of bullshit. Still, I mourned the chance to feel the way again because, really, how often does it come along and how often does someone look at you like you're a fucking drug; treat you like their life's purpose? But addicts are fickle and false and tricky. And oh so bad for you.

It has taken me until now to realize this is how abusive relationships start: You are so charmed that you don't even notice all the ways they try to change you; control you. And claim you as "my property." And that's not to say that's what he was doing; honestly I'm not even sure he really knows what he's doing. But I've come to realize just how fucked up I could have become had it let myself fall in love with him; with the idea of the wonderful things he was selling - and have altered myself [edit: see #3] to be with him like he wanted; to keep him happy. But even still, I wonder: How much of it was real? I think, on some level, he did have feelings. But I also think, on some greater level, he simply wanted a trophy - a beautiful thing. And I want to be am so much more than just a beautiful thing.

As is the nature of entanglements, I wish it could have been perfect. I wish it may have been more than just a few months and four lessons. But it wasn't. It wasn't my time; my turn. I had have more to learn. My turn still lays ahead of me, as a woman wiser once more.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Kris Single

I hope you caught that title pun.


A year ago, at Christmas, my sisters’ expanding families continued to flood the house with burps and breast milk and more little humans. I questioned aloud – half in jest, half honestly – “how long before I lose my room and am relegated to sleeping on the couch?”

“Don’t be silly. That’s not going to happen,” my mom replied.

I got a text from her the other night. This Christmas I’m sleeping on the couch. In the basement.

She told me that my sister’s kids need my room and my sister and her husband can’t sleep on the pull-out couch because there are two of them and only one of me. The other sister, pregnant again, somehow smashes all of her family into another small room. I know my mother does her best and the house is small and my sisters’ are ever expanding their families, but this makes me feel incredibly less important. And the logic of saying her kids take my room and so she gets the other bedroom and I get the couch, is lost on me. Why do other people's life choices mean that they deserve preferential treatment as I become second class?

And I’d like to point out that this is less about complaining and more about understanding – and commiserating. I debated writing about because I don't want my family to read this and get upset - or think this was somehow slighting them - but then I saw this bit of brilliance. And realized it's not just me. Singles aren't the ungrateful or complaining or unloving other child, we’re just a human...with feelings. It has greatly deepened my understanding of why Christmas time invites the highest rate of suicide. (Not that I’m suicidal - I just understand the adult magnification of these things now.)

When my mom texted me to tell me that my Christmas was as lowly basement dwelling couch-surfer, she said that I had a choice: Sleep in (what was previously) my small bedroom with two toddlers in a trundle bed or take the basement couch with partitions for “privacy”.

I replied, "I pick that [my sister whose kids took over my room] sleeps in the room with her kids. And I get my own space instead of being relegated to the couch. Like the one person who is used to her own space, gets none. That’s where I get anxious." It's important to note that single, childless people are used to their space and their quiet and putting them in a house with 12 people, including 5 kids, is like taking someone from a quiet white sand beach, throwing them into a squall and watching as they spin around going: WTF I WAS JUST ENJOYING MY FUCKING FROZEN DAIQUIRI IN PEACE?!

My mother continued by asking where my sister’s husband would sleep. I responded with something resembling: How about the sofa bed I'm being relegated to. "Since, you know, I don’t bring any extra people." She explained her reasoning to giving up my room to my nieces, which I understood. And I responded, done hiding all the bad things with, "Sometimes I feel less important because it is just me. I try to be flexible but sometimes that’s easier said than done."

Her advice was to look at it as “one big happy family,” instead of frustrating and she actually ended up being incredibly understanding, to the point of my near-tears.  However, just calling my new citizenship another name doesn't really work in the reality of December 25th: A sad clown with a painted smile is still sad. And on top of that, that 'big happy family' has all had children, so they have decided that they don’t want to buy adult gifts, because Christmas for them is about kids now. Which is also fine, but I am still expected to buy gifts for the kids. So then Christmas morning looks like this: Everyone is with their families, opening gifts. The single aunt is by herself in the corner - clandestinely crying into her coffee. (Just a little hyperbole.)

It’s not that I want things (I actually hate the consumerism of Christmas), but I want to feel like someone thought about me. Like fuck, we’re the only family she has, maybe we should get her something to show her someone loves her too. Or, nobody buys anyone anything and we just eat all day like Thanksgiving. I would be happy with that. Instead, it becomes: go spend money on half a dozen people and then nobody gets anything for you. (But...isn't this why I haven't had kids yet?!) 

I have come to realize that nothing makes you understand how very alone you are in the world quite like your family on Christmas if you’re the only solo one left. It is so incredibly possible to feel more lonely in the wrong room full of right people, than in any room alone. And I think this is particularly poignant for women. Men are bachelors. Savvy. Sexy. Whatever. And for women it’s like: Look at you with no kids in the corner with your coffee and your 200 pairs of shoes and "aw, old maid that's funny." It can be particularly difficult for women because society pressures and defines them by these fucked up standards - to be deemed worthy by husbands and motherhood - which Christmas magnifies.

In any case, it is an uncomfortable situation when that aunt/uncle/cousin/sister/brother/daughter/son is sitting quietly alone with their coffee, trying not to disturb the familial merriment they're subject to witness and their unaware family is just like, “What’s their problem? Did s/he want gifts?" No. That person just wants to matter still. Bridget still wants to be included in her family’s Christmas card. Why should she matter less for making decisions different than that of family members'? This isn't about the space in a house. It is about how much it hurts to feel less-than for choice not of your own -  probably more than mastisis.

I like the different-than-my sisters' choices I have made. I don’t want my worth to have to be defined by having a partner to bring home to family to get my own room - or just a bed. I don't think it is fair to say that having kids to feed makes the worth of my time or money or energy any different than that of a parents'. I get parenting is hard. Oh trust me, I do. But being single isn’t easy all the time either. Well, it is – except for Christmas on a lumpy couch and a cup of coffee as your new immediate family.

So this Christmas, think of the singles. They're just really, really big kids. And they depend on you too.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Disheveled and Braless, Fuckin' Superheros

You know what I discovered? Single mom is NOT a good look on me. It looks greasy and disheveled and braless; clad in yoga pants and baby food laden shirts, all while too exhausted to really care. Maybe this is why people get married before breeding: No, sir. You cannot leave. There is this piece of paper that requires you to still call me pretty even though I have poop in my hair!

Two weeks ago I flew to Indiana to help my sister because her husband had been in the hospital all week (with they didn’t know what) and she had no help. She has three children: three year old twins and an 11 month old. Suffice to say, I assumed she would be falling apart and needing family and an extra two hands.

The twins started pre-school early, on account of my niece being special needs spectacular, but being three years old, they only spend three hours in school. So after a weekend with them, I had everyone to myself on Monday. The eldest woke me up at 9:35a and I thanked her for letting me sleep in. My sister’s house is small so I was sleeping in the toddler bed and when the eldest came in (she was sharing a bed with my sister) and woke me, I put on my glasses to discover the 11 month old had been staring at me from her crib for quite some time. When I looked over, she smiled. The younger twin was still fast asleep. This is to say these children are rather ‘easy’, from a child care stand point.

I’ve decided when I have children I’m just going to give them to my sister for two years and then take them back once they’re all properly calm and awesome and just wait in their cribs smiling at me until I’m ready to wake up. That's what us that are 31 and childless like to think it is like anyway. Otherwise no one would ever breed, right?

So my day as a single SATM looked like this: Put the eldest in front of the TV with raisins and milk. Change the 11 month old; feed the 11 month old. My sister took the keys to the backdoor, so I climb over the fence to feed the dogs. Then head back to the kitchen and start breakfast for the twins. Pick out outfits for school. Wake up the younger twin, change her, and position her on the couch to out-groggy herself before breakfast. Finish making breakfast and feed the twins; clean up the babes and their trays. Give the eldest her clothes to get dressed; help her. Dress the other twin. Dress the baby. I am still in yoga pants, no bra and my now greasy hair is dangling from whatever half-assed bun I slept in. I consider taking a shower, but at this point it is five to 12 and I know that the bus comes at 12:30 and the last thing I want is to miss the bus. I put off my shower until just one child is loose. I go to clean the kitchen. I hear a THWAP! The baby got out of her Bumbo chair and fell off the couch onto hardwood. Whoops. I react accordingly, which is to say I didn’t react at all and just picked her up and took her to the kitchen with me, which immediately calmed the surprised terror off her face. 

Whew. Crisis averted.

I tell the older one to go pee. For whatever reason, getting her to pee is an incredible struggle. (Although I still don't condone "so-and-so went on the potty!" facebook posts, I get it. A little. Not enough that I think it should continue to be public knowledge, but a little.) So I turn off the television and entice her that it can be put back on once she goes. She does. I tell her to put on her socks and shoes. She gets the right feet. Go her. I put socks and shoes on the younger twin who is now so full of blueberries, bananas and scrambled pizza eggs (I don't know, it seemed like a good idea at the time) that sitting still is just about the last thing she is interested in doing. Ten hyperbolic minutes later we’ve got shoes on both kids. It's 12:25p. I stare out of the door for the next 15 minutes waiting for my shower -- I mean the bus. It's 10 minutes late, but I feel a bit of success in accomplishing my first real goal of the day which is to just get them on the damn bus. It felt like a huge fucking victory at that point. I encourage the eldest to get on the bus. The younger twin is in her own world and not listening, so – with the baby on my hip – I grab the twin from the porch, put her on the other hip, get her backpack and carry both to the bus. I hand off the child and the pack and explain I’m the aunt when they think I'm the mom. Either I'm doing something right or I'm just looking the part. But, who cares bye now because I’d like a shower. I head back in and, with the baby still on my hip, get a glimpse in the mirror.

Oh, the horror.

Single mother is NOT a good look on me. I look completely disheveled and like I haven’t showered for days. At least, I thought, I had the decency to put on a bra for the bus ladies. I immediately take a shower, but not before putting the baby in a laundry basket to drag into the bathroom with me. I did not want her falling off the couch or something again. Every few minutes I’d poke my head out of the shower I was singing in to make sure she was enjoying the concert fine. After I dress, I head to the kitchen with my laundry basket baby and we do the dishes and clean up as I put on a one woman show. Afterwards, I feed her again, and put her down for a nap. I had time to clean the living room and put on my makeup/dry my hair. I almost looked human again. And then it’s time to pick up the twins from school, so unfortunately I had to wake her up after a short 20 minute nap. She didn’t care.

So into the car we go. When I pick up the twins, I’m two minutes late. The eldest screams my name joyfully. We head out. She then begins to cry and scream for someone to help her when the teacher picks her up because she is refusing to walk through the parking lot. I think, "Oh shit. They're going to think I'm stealing these children!" Everything became fine when she got to grab onto my shoulder as I carried the other two to the car. Aww. She wanted ME?! I melt. Once in the car, she’s still upset so I ask if she’d like a milkshake – mostly because her auntie wanted a burger and shake all day, but hey, two for one – she says yes and by the time I get to Steak and Shake, she’s asleep.

We get back and I put the asleep one on the couch. (Oh, did I forgot to mention her kids also sleep through damn near everything? It’s very convenient.) I feed the younger twin her burger while I put the baby back in her crib to nap. Then the younger twin was super hyperactive in my face – which might have been the milkshake I’d given her – but I figured was her different little way of saying she was tired, so I put her in her bed. She fell asleep. Suddenly I noticed ALL OF THE BABIES WERE ASLEEP! Holy shit this is great. I can take over Netflix! An episode of Parks and Recreation later, my sister came home to a clean house with sleeping babies and when she walked in the door said, “Wow. You’re good.”

THANK YOU! But fuck man, good is really difficult. And it makes me realize that I’m totally okay being childless for quite a while longer. Even the logistics of getting a simple cup of coffee are completely elevated to the level of “fuck it, water wine is fine” when it involves strapping little humans into seats and shit. Our mom was still at my sister's when I called yesterday to talk about my going back this weekend and even she said, “I don't know how [your sister] does it. I have no idea how I did this with you three! And I really have no idea how your grandmother did it with five of us!!”

Me neither mom, but thank you. Holy shit. And thank you.*

*Mothers are fuckin' superheros.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Scientific Method

There are a number of things that I do that one might call "experiments". They may also call them any one or combined number of these items: cheap, broke, lazy, absent-minded, clumsy, curious, drunk and/or bored. Stemming from these kinds of experiments are all kinds of little dos and don'ts (mostly don'ts) I've learned throughout the years, such as:

  • Do not stick your thumb in the wheel of a grocery cart because it will rip off your thumb nail and force your mother abandon the Cookie Crisp and run four year old you to the hospital.

  • Do not put your finger in an empty light socket of a lamp while it is plugged because it will shock the shit out of seven year old you. 

  • When your grandmother is trying to get you to eat she will lie and tell you things like 'pork rinds are just pork-flavored potato chips', so do your homework. 

  • Do not go home with a bartender you do not intend to sleep with because he will kick you out and leave you stranded.

  • Do not take off leggings and wear them as a scarf even if your male friends convince you it looks good because it does not look good.

  • Do not sit in the front seat of a cab at 3am chatting with the driver with leggings - previously removed and tried as a failed scarf - in your pocket and in knee high boots and a tiny sweater dress because a cop will accuse you of prostitution. 

  • Popcorn does not absorb alcohol, so don't expect it to. 

  • Do not try to GPS home drunk walking because it will take four hours and two miles to go the three blocks to your house. 

  • Do not decide you're too cheap to cab five miles home (with the logic that you run the five miles sober in tennis shoes without issue), while barefoot and after a pedicure so intense the guy says, "There you sexy now; you get a man with your baby feet.", because it will hurt like hell and take forever.
  • *Although I still drink for free to this day, so maybe that one wasn't so bad.

    So it seems over the years I've learned all these little tid-bits but it hasn't really occurred to me to share them until now. The latest happened this past weekend when I knew what I was doing could go either way, but considered it an experiment. It all started with a pack of turkey hot dogs that I had opened a few weeks ago, but had yet to expire. Although, I completely ignore expiration dates anyway. I don't believe in them: Smell is typically my expiration date. However if there's a vein in an egg, the egg is in the trash immediately, but ironically, (as I learned while making a hot dog mac'n'cheese breakfast on Saturday) if one hot dog in the pack is moldy, I don't trash it immediately. Yea, I realize that's gross.

    Although I don't consider it as gross as the moment in September (while we were battling pantry moths) when I poured my last box of mac'n'cheese (I swear I don't eat that much mac'n'cheese) in the boiling water and immediately noticed the parade of eggs and larvae dancing around the pot and deeply contemplated scooping out the babies and eggs and eating it anyway. (Don't worry. I didn't.)

    However, this does remind me of the time when I was around 10 and my mom made broccoli soup from scratch with broccoli from our garden. My sisters didn't like veggies and I ate eat anything, so just as I was about to dig in alone, I asked my mom what the white things were floating on top and she said, quite curt, "It's just onions! EAT IT!". So I did, until she sat down five minutes later with her bowl of soup - and mine half gone - and told me to stop. Because once she glanced at hers, she realized the onions were actually little worms. Apparently you have to carefully wash these normal broccoli-dwelling worms out of your broccoli before using it. (Life before Internet was hard.)

    • Wait until the cook eats until you do, particularly if there are any questionable items going on with your meal because it could be worms.

    Back to the hot dogs at hand. There were five left in the pack. Not one to waste, I decided that since they didn't feel slimy they were fine aside from the mold. So I pulled out the moldy one, and threw the other four in the pot of boiling water with the macaroni. I hypothesized that it would kill whatever bad things were lurking in the mold. After about a minute in the water, I pulled out three and let the fourth stay boiling until the pasta was finished and then went about making a normal bowl of mac'n'cheese with hot dog - because apparently I'm five. I ate the bowl and immediately my stomach began to gurgle and then I became deeply fascinated with my bathroom for an hour.

    • Do not eat moldy hot dogs even if you boil them because duh.

    I was aware it was an experiment at the time, but now I'm not sure if it went awry or deemed successful. But according to the Scientific Method, it's not science until I share my results, so here we are: Moldy hot dogs are bad and don't eat them. Aren't you glad I do this leg work for you? You're welcome.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2014

    A Large Part of the Human Condition

    Well we might as well follow this soap opera through since we've brought it step-by-step this far...

    So there I was on Friday, I had just been coaxed into going out for Halloween, via text, while out to lunch with coworkers. I had a last minute costume all figured out - since it was last years original until the skirt I bought from Japan was too small and I turned into Sandra Dee instead. I was going as a pin-up. Or something close enough - who cares, I wasn't planning on going out anyway.

    On my drive back to work, I get a text from the Turk. A brief exchange follows:

    So the night begins. He texts me his location around 11p. My girlfriends and I are at a house party on the other side of town, but we want to go dance. The area he is in is my new favorite and my current place to dance since my old roommates E and M went to a Body Language concert in September and then got to this bar/club early enough after the early concert to have the whole floor to ourselves and wriggle like no one else existed. (Those are my favorite kind of nights.)

    I response to his text, I told him I could text when we left the house party if he wanted. When we got to the bar near him, I told him where we had ended up, which was a couple of blocks from where he was. I think he thought I was going to be alone and meeting him, because his only response to the where we were and you can meet us text was, "Us?"

    After an hour and a half, at 2 am, with no further response from him after explaining the 'us', I texted back, "Cool. Thanks." And I was ready to leave since it was way too packed to dance and I was irritated after I had gotten dead air from this dickhead again. My girlfriends, however, were not. So at 3am, the bar was closing and we were being kicked out (thank God) and on our way to pray to the LBJ that we could catch a cab (since the metro closed at 3). Walking down the steps, at 3:04am, I get a call from the Turk who asks where I am and, when I say leaving the bar, he asks which, where, and that he'd be there to pick us up. FANTASTIC! Whew. Free ride and not dealing with the lack of cabs and Ubers on Halloween! 
    "banana for scale!"

    And then, midway through the taxi-bration, my brain went "what the fuck", which was quickly pushed aside while we entertained ourselves on the sidewalk and did things like take pictures with strangers and fruit. 20 minutes later, he pulled up with the same friend that he had made get a hotel the night we met so he could go home with me: Apparently he always drives his friend in his friend's car when they go out clubbing. Getting into the car wasn't quite as bizarre as maybe now I think it should have been. But you know what was bizarre in the moment? That he kept putting his hand behind his seat - I was seated directly behind him - to try to hold my hand; rather get me to hold his hand. I flicked it and high-fived it instead. Very mature. He turned sideways in his seat so he could see me when traffic was crawling or stopped. He looked at me that weird, adoring way again. And all I could think was: WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS.

    We drop off my two girlfriends at their place and the two Turks drove me onto mine. The Turk's friend asks if we were going to go to the diner we went to before: The one we at at until 5am the night before the Turk left for Turkey. That place, I later was told, where I was teaching a girl at another table to do yoga and the Turk looked on amused. See, I'm fucking funny.

    Both the Turk and I said we weren't going to the diner. One, I wasn't hungry and two, it was 4am and I wasn't particularly drunk. Tispy for sure, but not drunk enough for waffles at 4am dressed as a pin-up - and especially not with this guy that gave me the shove off a month ago and is now trying to hold my hand like nothing bad happened. As a concession, the other Turk said he wanted coffee so I invited him in for a cup. I made him his coffee then went to my room to change out of my costume. The friend headed to the living room to drink is brew and the Turk followed me into my room.

    He sat on my bed and pulled me toward him. To cuddle. Not to kiss. Not to bang. He wanted to fucking cuddle. WHAT THE BLOOD CURLING SCREAM OF A FUCK.

    To be honest, though, it was nice to be wanted, to feel as though I wasn't crazy enough not to be missed, to have that body and warmth and spoon. Was it him? I wondered, or was it that anyone would have been nice? But that didn't matter, it was him there: It was this guy that jerked me around, who gave me a shit send off. Who I mulled over until I realized he didn't matter in my life and if he drove off that road, good riddance to him. I asked if he missed me and he refused to say anything; he said he wouldn't answer that question. A few moments later I asked, "What are you doing here?" while we lay intertwined on my bed.

    "I wanted to make sure you got home safe."

    "Well, I'm home," I said matter-of-factly, as he looked at me quizzically. "So what are you doing here?"

    "I wanted to see you," he said.

    "Well," I said dryly, "you saw me."

    "Are you kicking me out," he asked.

    "No," I said, "But I want to know what you are doing here." I can't even remember the response, so suffice to say it was nothing worth remembering. More time passed, mostly in silence or general chatter. He smelled me; I could hear and feel him smell me...You smell me?!

    Laying against each other at the edge of the bed, he looked into my eyes and we said nothing. And after about a half an hour alone, I kissed him with hesitance and lustful necessity; smashing my red lipstick all over his mouth, pulling away with a giggle as I saw this man - who wants to always be so in control - painted with a crimson lust. I wiped it from his face as I declared, quite confidently,"You missed me."

    "I'm not going to say anything," was his response - or something like it.

    "Well did you miss me?"

    "What do you think," he said in that way that suggests you're stupid for thinking otherwise.

    "I don't know," I said, because, you know, I didn't know.

    "Did you miss me?" he responded.

    "No," I said, "I hated you." A hyperbole, I realized, but I hated the moments and ridiculous situation(s) he put me in well enough. I hated thinking about him. I hate that he ditched me. I hate that he tried to force something I wasn't ready for. I hated that he was back and I let him be back. And that I didn't hate him. In fact, I almost liked him there.

    To which he retorted, "Well that's good! If you didn't hate, you were indifferent. If you hated me, then you had feelings." Oh yea, good, that's great, Captain Mindfuck! 

    Moments passed as we lay there together - listening to his friend rustle about in the living room while giving us our time alone. It was nearly 5am. I was sitting up when he asked about a trinket he had bought for me and hung on my wall during the first week we were dating. A trinket he couldn't possibly see from the position he had been in for 20 minutes, which means he noted it when he walked into the room. I asked him to repeat himself - one, because facing the opposite way it didn't make sense so I wasn't sure what I heard and two, to gauge the kind of reaction he would have from saying something as vulnerable as 'I noticed you removed me from your life'.

    He wouldn't repeat it. So I went on talking about the trinket and that I took it down - however, I didn't throw it away. (I can never bring myself to throw gifts from exes away. Whoops.) The trinket missing from the wall lead into another discussion about what the fuck he was doing there because "Why the do you care if I got rid of something you gave me". And why he was back and he's the one that actively went away. AND WHY ARE YOU FUCKING WITH MY EMOTIONS I DO NOT DESERVE THIS I JUST GOT OVER YOU AND DIDN'T CARE AT ALL GO AWAY PLEASE NOW WTF, ETC, ETC. Except that last part was just in my head, instead I said, "You're the one that stopped talking to me, remember? And I understand hooking up, but you're clearly not here to hook up, so WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE."

    And, as if my dream was a foreshadow of the nearly the exact events to come the following days, he said, "I don't want to do this. I don't want to talk about this."

    "Neither do I. You're the one that brought it up," I said as I laid back down on his chest - like that was a good fucking idea. Just as good as the the fucking idea I had a few minutes later, that was barely worth the effort, but really was my entire goal the whole night - so I can't kick myself. Although, I got from it a ridiculous story from the tryst -- that I just HAVE to save for the book - as well as the shit realization that the feelings for him I discarded were merely buried just beneath the surface, all while I thought I'd snuffed them out entirely with logic and time.

    Well, that sounds fucking familiar.

    Damn you, heart. Damn you, boys. Damn this shit; these games. I just want to shut the door in his face (which I haven't ruled out yet), but I am reluctant to ever leave something open to ever asking, "what if". They haunt me, the 'what if's', and likely not for my greater good. And they continue trample me in the aftermath of 'I only know its a mistake if I make the mistake'. That sounds like a large part of the human condition. And I suppose we all have to suffer.

    But fuck, man. Enough already.

    Thursday, October 30, 2014

    Episode: I don't understand men.

    Yesterday morning I woke up remembering a very vivid late morning dream. It was about the Turk. A surprise topic since I really hadn't been thinking much about that situation since ya'll watched me process it through two weeks ago. (I never did send that email.) But the dream was hilarious and fantastic and I took it to mean I was feeling quite myself again. It went as such:

    We were apparently living in the same building. He had just returned from Turkey and I saw him enter with his bags while I doing laundry in the common area. He left a partially scratched lotto ticket on my chest freezer - which was behind the washer in the common area. I pretended not to see him as I passed, but bumped into him while heading back to my room so I'd know he saw me; I noticed he had the purple lotto ticket. I went to my room briefly and when I went back to the freezer, the ticket was still there. (The number scratched was 10 and three horizontal lines to the left of it.) So I walked over to him - while he was crouched down riffling through his bags - to give it back and he shut the door in my face. So I put my foot in the door and he was like, "I don't want to do this."  
    I said, "Do what? Here's your ticket you left it on my freezer." He said it wasn't his and I said I saw him with it. He took it and then he went on about how he didn't want to fight. And I was totally calm going, "Um. I don't want to fight with you." He said we weren't going to get back together - and while he said that, his toupee* fell off the back of his head and he just put his hand out in front of himself and caught it and put it back on and didn't acknowledge it happened; just kept talking. Then I just lost it cracking up laughing and said "I definitely don't want to get back together with you, but we live in the same building so we should at least be friendly." 
    *no, he doesn't wear a toupee IRL
    And then this happened yesterday evening:

    ::blinks emphatically:: what?!

    My initial reaction was: what the fuck. And my current reaction is: what the fuck. Like what are you doing and didn't you choose to go away already?

    Here was the awkward 200 year old sea turtle of a conversation that followed:

    But what I really wanted to say was "What do you want?" Like "Um, excuse me, what the fuck are you doing? What is this right here?" as I tap on the screen. Didn't we do this already and you gave me the shove off and we couldn't agree on the fact that I don't commit that quickly and you wanted to force me into exclusivity? And that whole I'm in Turkey and move on without me part. Seriously, what do you want? Because I am not at all prepared to deal with this shit all over again. Let us not play games.

    This happens time and again - and I'm not sure how often it happens to me versus what is considered normal - if there is such thing as normal - but I am the girl that 1. friends fall for and 2. exes come back to. Why?! 1. We're friends; don't ruin that. And 2. we've been there already and it hurt. Granted, this situation as been slightly different than normal completely ridiculous from the start, but I moved past that part of giving a shit and wanting to be with him and why would I want to go through that again. And then, as a total human, I also want that chance for anyone who saw me misrepresented, to see who I really am versus that fucked of version of ovarian cysts and scared and resisting girl. Also - let's be honest here - physical attraction and adult needs...knoamsayin?.

    This is an incredibly shit catch-22, but I suppose that's just following due course of a situation that has been as incredibly fucked up as this since day one. And no, for those playing the home version, he hasn't responded and I'm leaving it at that. I felt as though it ended the game and absolves me from any further thought or action. If he was giving me the heads up that he's back because he thought I cared, I didn't - and that can lie there forever as an end because I don't need upper-hand power and, as far as I'm concerned, my cute, conveniently-timed dreaming, toupee-inventing brain says I have it anyway. And if he was testing the waters to see if I'm still interested in him or if I am dating someone else, I think I answered that question in a pseudo-invitation to invite me to hang out. And bravo to me, I think, for that clever and slightly low hanging fruit of 'let's not play this game' because it is clear to me now that I don't understand men, but here I feel as though perhaps I'm learning to deal with them better.

    So there ya go, guys: the Turk is back from Turkey. Now we know. The end(?).

    Sunday, October 19, 2014

    Less of a Freak

    10/14/14 ...

    Facebook is often an unflattering pain in the ass, but today it's been a wondrous thing - it's made me feel like less of a freak. In between the engagement, wedding and baby photos, was this ["What An Almost Relationship Looks Like"] suggested article (dangling below someone's Thought Catalog post). OMG! I thought reading it: It's not just me and panic and psychics getting inside my head - predicting HG and the Turk to a T. We all do this - and I with the incredible pull of these boys: Like I the light and they the moths - to which I respond with subsequent panic and questions of intention.

    And just after reading that - wondering how I fell in love so easy in my teen and early 20s, then never again since then and what went so wrong with me - I read this ["17 Things to Expect When You Date a Girl Who's Used to Being On Her Own"]. And I really am not alone. We're all doing this: Swinging our arms and guarding our hearts, seeing who ducks and who is left standing. I'm not a god-damned freak; a mutant of love and loss. I am a girl scared of getting hurt. A girl who's comfort zone became single and alone. A girl who tests and guards her heart because, fuck, that shit hurts. We are 30(ish) and single, but we are still trying - even if that means we are weary and testing. That's what matters, I hope: that we try. But fuck, girls, if it doesn't still hurt and at times make us doubt our worth; ignite our buried fears. I just have to tell myself if I drive them away now, it's better than later. But I can't help but think they don't even know me, just the scared girl handing out difficult and weird entrance exams on the way to her heart. And as each fails, I self-doubt - even when I know I've done the right thing. But I am not alone; we are not alone. And good. That feels good.

    Friday, October 17, 2014

    Arguing with an Absent Ex-Lover

    [Written 10.17.14, posted retroactively.]

    “Jesus Christ,” she thinks, “I've been here before!”

    She reaches for the red panic button. He says enough nearly eloquent lines, sprinkled with WTFs and cord strikings to know something’s not quite right.

    “I'VE BEEN HERE BEFORE!” She presses the button, then argues with blank space of his absence.


    It began wonderful, nearly. You a bit too into me and I squeamish and not really sure. But a drug, as you called me, has a tremendous ability to find its way to the addict. And you show up at my house with pizza and shocked I’m “beautiful” after 75 minutes of hot yoga. And there’s sex. Fine, I begin to give in, but there are moguls with red flags dangling precariously above that I know I need to navigate before I can settle in anywhere near comfortable. And then you leave. And I’m left with my thoughts and these flags and yup, nothing is normal and this isn’t how I want to be treated and you’re not listening to what I want too. I navigate, loosely leaving you behind, trying not to let go of the fraying rope. But I felt confined and hopeless after you listened to my reason then went onto ignore it.

    We are equals, I said. “No, we’re not,” you responded just days in. It gave it the culture pass, as I did many of the moguls. Then weeks passed in your absence. Garbled fucked up weeks where I said one thing, you agree and then just continued to be exactly who you wanted like there wasn’t another voice to consider. And then came the last time we spoke. I knew it would be the last time we spoke but I was hesitant to admit it – doing that girl thing where you scramble to keep what you know you don’t want just because it’s leaving.

    You called that last time because when you asked how I was, I told you not well. I was sick. You call even though I tell you not to; I was too much a mental and hormonal mess (but left that part out, not that you would understand). You set me off first by telling me I was selfish to ‘bother’ my mother with news about my health, crying and looking for comfort. I DON’T CARE IF YOU DIDN’T TELL YOUR PARENTS WHEN YOU GOT SHOT IN THE LEG. PERSONALLY I THINK THAT MAKES YOU DUMB (is that I wanted to tell you). No mother ever wants to not be needed. I’m sorry if that’s the way your mother made you feel; pity on you, dear boy.

    I go on, defending my point: I tell you about the doctor finding the cyst – poking me internally so much so that she ruptured it, putting me presently in a lot of pain - and you ask with a chuckle, "Did you cheat on me?"  

    I lose my calm entirely. I shuffle from terror to fury and exclaim: "HOW CAN I CHEAT - WE'RE NOT IN A RELATIONSHIP?!" - again putting myself on the back burner to revisit your fucking theme of forcing me into a relationship I told you I wasn't ready for.

    You continue to make faces at me on Skype, a weird form of cheering someone up or you’re just uncomfortable with my failure to be perfect. I'm falling apart. 

    I think: Why the fuck are you talking about your watch?! Why would you say if I cry, you'd leave the room?! What kind of monster have you been hiding behind the facade of sweet words (and eloquent commands)?! 

    You say: "What are you like in the break-up?" 

    I pause to think and reluctantly respond: "Kind of like this" and pause with another realization, "but ever man who has ever left me has always come back again."

    "I NEVER GO BACK!" you quipped so sternly, adding "if this is what you are like when you like me, please don't love me. If you love me, only love me a little, not a lot." 

    I think: BITCH. I DON'T EVEN KNOW YOU. AND DID YOU MISS THE OTHER 400 TIMES I SAID THIS WASN'T A RELATIONSHIP BECAUSE...I DON'T KNOW YOU. And how dare you judge my relationship with my mother just because it is different than you and yours.

    You say: "You're controlling. And always negative. And I'm controlling so that will never work." 

    I think:Well, you got one out of three! Oh those moguls I needed to navigate: I can't gain more than ten pounds or we're just friends; only bug bites, no bruises; only have two alcoholic beverages; no burping. YOU KNOW I POOP, RIGHT?! (And burping and alcohol are two of my favorite things.)

    You say: "No talking about exes."  

    I think: YOU KNOW IT'S WEIRD THAT YOU'RE 30 AND NEVER HAD A RELATIONSHIP, RIGHT?! Why do I have to "teach" anyone how to be in a long term relationship? I'm done paving lesson plans for little boys. I'm too old for that shit. A 30 year old should have that figured out by now. 

    Suddenly and without reason, you pan the camera to show me the bedroom door. 

    You say: "This is a custom door. It was $3,000."

    I think: WHY ARE YOU SHOWING ME YOUR PARENTS' $3000 DOOR?! I don't give a shit about your damn door; my ovary exploded yesterday!

    You ask: "Do you like my car? Do you like my watch?"  as if nothing else is going on and your subject change would go unnoticed.

    My thoughts, they escape my mouth with heated furver: "I DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOUR MATERIAL THINGS!. I'm sick and frustrated because you just told me that after 40 days, you’re going to be gone even longer and I'm so sick of this situation. I don't want to do this anymore!"

    You say: "You said you liked my watch before..."

    And suddenly, I realize this might be over.


    It's a fine line to straddle at 31. To know the difference between I tried and run away because this is bad for me. Because I don't want to regret what I didn't do - or try for - and question ever 'what could have been,' but I also don't want to be broken a year later and think 'fuck, I knew better. I know better about this by now.' I guess I just have to trust myself more. That I make the right decisions; that no matter what, I cannot kill destiny. But I can preserve my heart, leaning on mistakes of the past. It is both foolish to let the past determine the future and foolish to not heed the bells of warning: You have been here before (and it hurt a lot).

    I have my history. And now I require patience and understanding. And love - unconditional. For that is what I am willing to give if a man will have me, but I won't be taken if he would promise anything less. Love doesn't come with stipulations of weight loss and belching. And this, this is what I could not overcome, despite the rumbling in my chest.

    Working six days a week: Where is my adventure?! Limiting me to two drinks: Stifling my choice. I do not belong in a cage, managed by the locks of what you would inevitably convince me was love. The compliments. That absolute doting. And just that look. There was good there, there was. But so were the dangers lurking below; dangers I wasn't willing to acknowledge for love story I wanted to have. The dangers of which I can only see now, moving past the infatuated desire for your promises.


    "You're cheap!" you've said to me, more than once. 

    "I'm not cheap. I'm broke," I retort, yet again. "There's a difference." 

    But that was never an invitation for you to tell me how I don't make enough money and here's what I need to do instead. I don't need to have a Mercedes to feel validated in my life. I don't need beautiful hardwood floors. And I don't need your life fucking advice. I made it this far without the guidance of a man. And besides, you build cabinets for a living: Who the fuck are you to judge my career trajectory?!

    I need only two things: Happiness and love. And I realized one very important thing about myself in all of this: I would much rather have a poor man’s time than a rich man’s money. A fact, I soon realized, you would never understand.


    I find it a happy accident that my Uber driver in Boston was Turkish or I might have had the wrong idea about all Turks. This sweet, adorable man had a gentle spirit: Reminiscent of the Turk at his best. He said none of these aforementioned elements of control and judgement were normal and that, as a foreign national, it was the Turk's job to assimilate to my culture (not I to his). It was then I wished the blank space was filled with Turk's presence so I could scream: So my lipstick isn't tacky! It’s not my fault that Turkish women don't wear a lot of make-up! I HAVE BLONDE HAIR AND BLUE EYES AND CURVES FOR DAYS! DO I LOOK FUCKING TURKISH TO YOU?! 

    I was surprised to learn - as my new Turkish friend shared - that Turkish people are more emotional than Americans. A shock, considering the Turk said he would never cry anywhere but alone. "But I've seen you cry,” I said during that last conversation. “You were tearing up when you came over after your brother was shot in the face."

    "No I wasn't," he responded, with a dry conviction.

    "I've seen you cry."

    "No you haven't," he contested. His rigidity had set in. He continued to rewrite history for his convenience:"You're the one that chased me..."

    It was then that I realized, this was clearly over.


    So how's that relationship - that you thought you could just so rightfully claim simply because you wanted it – working out for you?  

    She winks. And she lets go of the panic button. 

    Six Oh Three

    Hours before I even heard back from the Turk last Friday, I sat at the end of a work day - considering driving home to Pennsylvania the next morning for 30 hours just to get my head together again - after hours and hours days weeks of a distracted mind and a dull pain and and and I don't know self pity or something like it, in a moment of revelation I got monetarily sick of my own stupid thoughts and penned the bit below - clearly foreshadowing the douchey this-is-for-you bullshit non break up break up email that was to follow just hours later. (How do you like that run-on?) I did end up going home to find the comfort of family and try to clear my head of it all. But it is still taking time to feel normal again...I'm getting there.

    6:03p, 10/10/14
    click to enlarge.
    oh god. what am i whining about? things didn't work out with this guy i barely knew? been there! i'm 31 and this isn't where i thought i'd be. so what! ask someone 40 and 31 is young. i'm young! whatever, young enough. these are the things i wanted - to fall on my face and make mistakes. and then i do and it gets to me and i bitch and when does it get easier. well i imagine nothing gets easier, just different; circumstances change and one thing you cried over gets resolved only to be presented with something else that sucks. there are good, good things here - this life of mine. yes, fine, i'm impatient and the same relationships and friends that sprinkle the path behind me are different; they've changed - or i've changed. but maybe that just means that life isn't as stagnant as i sit here frustratingly accuse if of being. everything is fine. i have got to calm down. it's a long and winding road. and if something is no longer on it, it wasn't meant to be.

    Wednesday, October 15, 2014

    Turkish Update

    Guys, guys, the Turk came back and everything is great!

    I'm totally joking. Nothing in my life ever works out quite that normal and nice. He never actually replied to my response(s) to his birthday email. "Well how often does he check his email," my mom asked.

    "I don't know. I don't even know what continent he is on!"
    Motherly advice, while lamenting
     about the Turk's latest response

    "Good point." So after sending a follow up email to him on Thursday - after he didn't respond to my reply to his birthday email Tuesday -the Turk finally replied late night last Friday. I literally typed "please reply" at the end after I asked what was going on between us and if I should move on or he was still in Turkey and should I keep on waiting because not knowing was hurting me. He apologized for the late response and responded, in his broken English, with something resembling: that the family related matters in Turkey were more complicated than he had thought and he didn't know when he would be back so maybe I should go on because it would be selfish of him to ask me to wait for him and thank you for understanding.

    Right. Well that didn't exactly tell me how he felt, which was a big question in the email I had sent. And read as though he was trying to take the 'I'm a good guy and this is for you' way out. But I suppose if you think, fuck I could be here for a year, his reply is totally justified. And I feel somewhat vindicated that he was, indeed, dealing with family shit, although my patience leaves something to be desired. But dude, why wouldn't you clue me in as to your whereabouts?! If this shit doesn't tell you just how jacked up our communication over the past what's it now like 2 months? has been, I don't know what does.

    I responded and asked if he would like to keep in contact and maybe see each other when he gets back, which really was what I was going for from the beginning and got all fucking garbled. But, again, he didn't respond. Maybe he's sick of trying to write sentences in English, which I just realized is as difficult for him as reading my stupid emails in English. Would have been a lot easier from the start for him to admit that reading English is perhaps not his strong suit. Pride can certainly be inhibiting. Or maybe he's just a total fucking asshole. Could be.

    So I tried to pen this email back to him, in Turkish this time. To really get my point across. Like, no, feelings - what are your FEEEEEEELINGS and I'd like to see you when you get back. And blah blah blah. But now I'm holding onto it wondering: Really? Is that what I want? Does he even care? Do I care if he cares? Hasn't all this fucked-uppedness encouraged me to just walk away? Like do I want to continue this hostage situation?  I don't know. But whatever it was the universe did a really strange thing to me with this one. And I'm really looking forward to seeing the god damned point. Because this all sucked big fucking Turkish donkey balls. And I hate it. And its incredibly frustrating. Although the weight loss has been at least there's that sliver of size six silver lining.

    Tuesday, October 14, 2014

    "Call the Midwife"

    Earlier this year year I got addicted to a BBC show based on a book, Call the Midwife, a memoir written by Jennifer Worth, a 1950s nurse and mid-wife in a very poor section of London, called Poplar. I loved the book; love the show. Love the lessons. Four quotes I really enjoyed while Netflix marathon-watching season three last month (because will power); I'm just going to leave them here.

    "Perfection is not a polished thing. It is often simply something that is sincerely meant. [...] Perfection is what we discover in each other; what we see reflected back. And if perfection eludes us, that doesn't matter, for what we have in the moment is enough." 

    "Invisible wounds are the hardest to heal. For their closure depends on the love of others. And patience and understanding. And the tender gift of time." 

    "History needn't be a trap. We can't escape its web and shake off its weight of pain. We can change our minds and open our hearts. We can let forgiveness speak and allow it to be heard; let friendship flourish and let love in so it might feed and sustain us all our days."  

    "The young can't see what lies ahead. And perhaps that is their blessing and their sorrow."

    Saturday, October 11, 2014


    I went to a psychic in Boston last weekend while there. Some Russian lady who used to have hair my color but now has to dye it and really did not believe me when I said it grows this way. "But your roots are darker," she said, suspect.

    "Yea, the sun lightens my hair. The roots haven't seen the sun yet," I said, wanting to add the word bitch. We were clearly starting out on the right foot.

    Anyway, the reading was weird. She said I had to be careful about friends that smile to my face, but stab me in the back. They are not real friends. I agreed.

    She told me I was born under three lucky stars: business, love and something else. Obviously I was paying swell attention. There were two little girls I had befriended while waiting for my friend to finish her reading and they took a liking to me and kept popping up during the reading, so I'm just going to go ahead and blame the readers' granddaughters and my awesome appeal to children for forgetting.

    She told me I smile on the outside, but I am not happy on the inside. That I am negative. Clouded and frustration; confused. Basically she picked up on all the elements I had felt over the past month with the Turk. And I considered that an open and shut case of circumstance, because I do try to find my happiness and mend my frustrations. So I mentioned him, to which she had nothing to say. She didn't "see him".

    She did go on to said I have a soul mate, but she doesn't know who or when or where he is. (Or if it's the Turk.) Very useful. She said there was something from my teenage years that still follows me and haunts me. She said that I push men away; I don't make it easy on them to know me and this is from what haunts me. (I think she was trying to sell me a cleansing.) But she did pick up on my incredible ability to test (perchance even to self-sabotage) potential relationships. And that I need to knock it off. Although a few breaths later she said that my soul mate will accept all of the parts of me. So that was weird and slightly useless advice.

    But, I'll just try to keep being my best me. We are all a sum of our histories, there is no denying that. But it is a thought I need to keep with me, I think is what I gained from her reading: Not to be confused or frustrated, not to fight my feelings or push people away; not to 'test'. And then I came back Tuesday morning and saw this last card from this weeks post secret. And it really resonated.

    I shall try my best. Not to be afraid.

    Friday, October 10, 2014

    Boston Creme Birth Control

    Last week I was chatting with my Seattle Senorita. She was going to be back in Boston for a couple of weeks and had suggested a few weeks back that I travel there for my birthday. I didn't think much of it until mid last week and it went from a joking mention to full on purchasing my tickets in about 20 minutes. I think these last minute whimsy trips always end up the best. I'm not even sure what I packed. But it didn't even matter - I wasn't there for Boston, I was there for my soul sisters. I would be lost without them. And laugh not nearly as much.

    And to think, we all met because of Craig's List. I put out a "looking for roommate" ad years ago. She was the first to respond. She flew down to meet me and apartment shop. She never moved but we never stopped talking. And then she became convinced that me and her other friend in Seattle would get along. We were friends on Facebook for a year before we met in person last summer. And I love her. I love them both. Thanks social media. And while the weekend we had together was just about the best girls weekend I've ever had (and perfectly non-overt birthday celebration) it's not the moment that really stuck out worth sharing from that weekend. That moment came Monday morning when I was having brunch with my old roommate. You know, the 40ish nanny, D, that I used to live with and we wouldn't have been friends if weren't roommates but she's sweet and I love her, that one.

    I meet her downtown. I meet the babe she nannies for who is two by now and happily snacking on a whole box of popcorn she had bought him as 'sorry you got your flu shot this morning' treat. After I said 'hi' to the babe who really only cared about the popcorn at this point, she immediately started lamenting that the mom handed him off without having packed the stroller and so she had no diapers. Mayday! I think and suggest she go buy some. She declines and says she doesn't want to pay for them and he should be okay for four hours. I try to encourage her again, but she begins to discuss lunch and decides she wants to go to the Omni hotel for lunch at Parker's (the hotel's restaurant) because they invented the Boston creme pie. Fine with me. So let's set the scene. Actually, let me show you the scene:


    So there it is. Now, remember it's noonish on a Monday, in downtown Boston so there are lots of suits having a quiet professional meal at this fine dining establishment. The kid is mostly quiet through the meal, and just as the nanny ordered her Boston creme pie, the babe leans into the table, red-faced. Oh god, he's pooping! "Are you pooping," D asks him as she pulls him closer to her after I emit some sort of this-is-bad noise.

    Just then, it begins. "Change diaper," the little boy says.

    As a response, D pulls his chair a bit closer to her to acknowledge his request while she said, "You have to wait."

    That didn't go over well. And it must have been exceptionally flu-shot induced awful because the kid wouldn't even sit back in his high chair, opting to lean forward on the table to avoid whatever had exited him over a nice meal and again announced, notably louder, "Poop! Change diaper!"

    "You have to wait..." she said.

    And then, in the middle of the restaurant full of well-dressed proper-ass people and wood walls and ambiance, he began to scream on repeat: "POOP! CHANGE DIAPER. CHANGE DIAPER. CHANGE DIAPER. POOOOOOOOP! CHANGE DIAPERRRRR."

    Oh my god, all the proper-ass people are looking at us...

    As his voice escalated, I insisted she go out and get him a diaper and change him. While she was hesitate to leave me alone for 20 minutes, I didn't care if it took four hours, she needed to get him to stop yelling "poop change diaper". I am rarely embarrassed but even that one got me. She left and I texted my soul sisters what happened and added "this is my life?!" - these occasions, I'm pretty sure, are why I don't have kids yet. About 35 minutes later, she returned with a happy toddler, at which time we all shared the Boston creme pie, which, to be honest, wasn't anything to write home about - in case you were wondering.

    Thursday, October 9, 2014

    Romanticism Sucks

    I guess I did what would be considered an incredibly stupid thing. I like to think of myself as a realist - fighting the term cynic at this point - when it comes to love-type stuff. But I suppose when you agree to post-pone a move you had planned to wait for a man you barely know to come back from a month plus vacation in order to be able to get to know him, that's fairly romantic. And incredibly stupid.

    I'm down 8 pounds. Which is likely in part to the cyst and definitely in part to my complete lack of appetite. The last conversation the Turk and I had was a complete and utter disaster. I had just gotten back from the second doctors appointment, finding out she had ruptured the cyst and having just popped my second day of birth control (which I hate because they make me nuts), when he pinged me. I told him I wasn't doing well, so naturally he called to Skype and see the complete disaster I was try to to make things better, but not knowing one another and the separation of cultures, created just about the worst conversation I've ever had with someone. We definitely both pushed each other away. And I hadn't heard from him since, also in part probably to my Skype going wonk.

    Once Skype broke, I realized everything that could have gone wrong in this already entirely ridiculous situation has. But a man fighting that hard for you affections, declaring on the second day he would make you fall in love with him, has an incredible pull that lasts well past when logic screams that it should. It makes you not eat. Or it's just that I'm in an anxious limbo. I can move on; I've done it many times before, but my heart is fighting the logic in my head and I'm just stuck: Not knowing if he's still just abroad, or here and doing the aloof man non break up break up thing. Because yes, I made it known that we weren't in an exclusive relationship, but clearly we were doing SOMETHING. It is your job to tell me if something has become nothing to you. That's how that works. Meanwhile, I'm just over here kicking myself for my curious, optimistic stupidity.

    He wished me a happy birthday Tuesday via email. (I think he may have called first but I was at my birthday dinner and missed it.) It was the first I'd heard from him in two weeks, since the disastrous discourse. I asked if he was home yet - and later added if he was the one that called to try again - with no response and I sit in the middle going: "Well, he could just be ignoring me and I should move on or he is dealing with his family stuff in Turkey with no internet and what an asshole I would be for up and leaving and saying 'fuck you." This feels like a concrete box. I'm Austin Powers stuck between the walls. And I can't won't eat.

    I'm down 8.5 pounds. Romanticism fucking sucks. I'm just going to go pick up a hoard of cats and tell them all about how incredibly stupid their 'momma' is.

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

    The Joshua Tree

    I'm currently enthralled in my latest book - having given up on The Kennedy Women for now, as it's missing much of the juicy bits Nemesis had me hooked by, and returning to my most favorite of category: memoirs with - The Glass Castle. I came across this (these) excerpt(s). And I like it.

    The chapter begins:
        After we pulled up stakes in San Francisco, we headed for the Mojave Desert. Near the Eagle Mountains, Mom made Dad stop the car. She'd seen a tree on the side of the road that had caught her fancy.
        It wasn't just any tree. It was an ancient Joshua tree. It stood in a crease of land where the desert ended and the mountain began, forming a wind tunnel. From the time the Joshua tree was a tiny sapling, it had been so beaten down by the whipping wind that, rather than trying to grow skyward, it had grown in the direction that the wind pushed it. It existed now in a permanent state of windblownness, leaning over so far that it seemed ready to topple, although, in fact, its roots held it firmly in place.
        I thought the Joshua tree was ugly. It looked scraggly and freakish, permanently stuck in its twisted, tortured position, and it made me think of how some adults tell you not to make weird faces because your features could freeze. Mom, however, thought it was one of the most beautiful trees she had ever seen. She told us she had to paint it.
    And ends:
        While we were in Midland, Mom painted dozens of variations and studies of the Joshua tree. We'd go with her and she'd give us art lessons. One time I saw a tiny Joshua tree sapling growing not too far from the old tree. I wanted to dig it up and replant it near our house. I told Mom that I would protect it from the wind and water it every day so that it could grow nice and straight.
        Mom frowned at me. "You'd be destroying what makes it special," she said. "It's the Joshua tree's struggle that gives it its beauty."