Monday, October 31, 2011

Komplete Kraziness

Most people are probably rolling their eyes and shrugging at this whole Kardashian/Humphries divorce debacle, but it kind of pisses me off. I may not be entirely sure about marriage for myself, but I believe in the sanctity on marriage and that it shouldn’t be, for lack of a better term, pissed on. And the fact that she made a statement saying that it was a “difficult decision?” Give me a break. A difficult decision is not made this quickly. The entire marriage only lasted 72 days (after they started dating in December of 2010, which means they haven’t even been together for a whole year.) This is craziness! When my now-ex and I decided to end our relationship, it definitely was not something we took lightly. We worked hard to try to salvage things, probably for about a year. Longer than the Ks were even together!

I just don’t get it. Here are my personal “rules” for marriage (and commitment in general.) They are simple:

·         If you’re not 150% sure about someone, you shouldn’t marry them.
·         Once you’re married you should try like hell to make it work.

The end.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

An embarassment of...embarassments.

This post has nothing to do with romantic or platonic relationships, but rather what a freaking spaz I am. I really should be followed around by a camera crew, because at least once a day I act like an ass, say something completely insane, or physically fall down.

A few days ago I was walking towards my house and saw my landlady on the front stoop, doing some transplanting of her potted flowers. Her back was to me so I said, “Hi [Landlady]!” then I took a breath and as I did, I snorted so loud and long that it reverberated off the cobblestone street and the buildings around us. The snort hung in the air like a cloud of gnats before moving away down the street at about 1/100th the speed of sound.  She was gracious enough to pretend that I hadn’t just made a sound like a human jackhammer, god love her.

There’s a woman I work with who lives close to me and from time to time she’ll offer me a ride home. When she pulled over to the bus stop yesterday afternoon I ran up to the car, thrilled that I would escape public transportation. But as I opened the door I could hear her groan and say, “Ohhhhhhhhhhh no,” under her breath. She was pulling over for someone else, and obviously didn’t want me tagging along. It doesn’t appear that she likes me too much, either, so that was even more embarassing. Probably because I said something 100% off the wall to her during one ride. She was telling me that both of her kids were asking for laptops: her son wanted one for graduation and her younger daughter wanted one just because. In my head I thought, “A laptop for graduation makes sense, but the daughter’s request is a bit too much for no occasion.” Of course, what came out of my mouth was, “Shouldn’t he get something…more…for graduating?” In the intonation of C. Bing, could I be any more presumptuous? It’s not even what I meant! I’ve been kicking myself for that one ever since.

And just to round things out, this morning the wind blew my skirt up above my waist while I stood waiting for the bus (with several other people.) Good morning, CDTA riders! I’m going to crawl under a rock and die now.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Pattern Language

Someone (Oprah maybe?) once told me that the story of a relationship is written almost entirely during the first few interactions. Right off the bat you set patterns for how you relate, how you love and fight each other. From a psychological standpoint, I guess it’s pretty difficult to break out of those patterns once they’ve been laid down. When I think about the inception of my friendships and past romantic relationships, it really stands to reason. People I’ve met in bars will forever be drinking buddies. Friends I met in college will always want to break out an acoustic guitar and chain smoke. And the people I’ve loved at first sight will always be loved, no matter how nuts they may have turned out to be (specifically this one friend that I adore even though he’s a little on the self-destructive side. He’ll always be a delight in my eyes.) 

In the same way, when you start your relationship off on an adversarial foot, it’s probably going to be a fight all the way along. However it happens, your brain/heart seems to remember and it will never let you forget. Early in my twenties I dated a guy (I’m a total masochist, by the way, obviously) who introduced himself by saying, “You look like a real piece of work.” He was right, but what an ass.  Stupid me, I was charmed. We fought that day and every day during our tortured two-month “relationship.” We’d set the pattern and certainly followed through with it, to the bitter end.

These days I pay much closer attention to those first few interactions. It’s almost like looking right into the future of a relationship. Being in tune with those clues will save you a lot of heartache, trust me.  

(The title of this post is a blatant rip-off of one of my favorite books on architecture, A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander. If you're into that sort of thing, I highly recommend it.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Burn Notice

A few years ago I heard a story about a woman who unwittingly gave a sexually transmitted disease to one of her partners. She worked in a call center and when the guy got tested and found out about the disease, he embarked on a campaign to humiliate her. He called the 1-800 number dozens of times and when a representative answered he'd say, "Hey, do you know Amy? Does Amy work there? She burned me." The office was small, about thirty people all in the same room so everyone knew Amy and pretty soon everyone knew she had "burned" someone. The guy continued to call all day long, even after Amy went home, mortified and in tears.

I tell this story because it shows that we are only as good as our reactions to shitty situations. Sometimes you get burned and you want to lash out, but if you go about it the wrong way you'll lose all your credibility with people who under other circumstances would have totally been on your side. So no matter how upset you are and how slighted you feel, you can't make a hundred phone calls. You can't mount a campaign to make someone else's life a living hell, just because. We all get burned. Slap some salve on that thing and move on.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday Fluff

Going through a breakup will make you question just how marketable a commodity you are. Especially when you’re like me and have never been a master of positive self-esteem to begin with. I’ve been so down in the dumps that I thought I’d do a little shameless self-fluffing and talk about what I believe makes me a catch. The list does not include, “breathtaking beauty,” or, “oozing sexuality,” but there are some other positives. At least I think they’re positive:

I was born and raised to be a caregiver. This is totally my mom’s fault. Slap a set of pearls on her and hand her a vacuum and she could star in her own 1950’s family sitcom. There’s nothing I enjoy more than cooking a meal for someone, shaking up a few martinis and giving a good solid backrub. I don’t mind doing dishes, LOVE to grocery shop and if you want a fresh, homemade pie, just say the word. This doesn’t mean that I’m a doormat of course or some sort of anti-feminist but I like to make people happy and comfortable. 

I have hidden talents that range from weird and useless to totally enviable. Under the weird and useless category would be the ability to write backwards and forwards at the same time and name all 50 states in alphabetical order. (Admittedly very very useless.) The enviable ones include my musicality, which I think is the best thing about me and my ability to recall the name of just about any entertainment personality under the sun. (For example, what was the name of the actor who played the father on Family Matters? Why, that would be the irrepressible Reginald VelJohnson, of course. )

I wouldn’t say no to a threesome. No need to elaborate on that one.

When I love someone I love them totally, unconditionally and forever. We may fall out of touch or get into a fight but if you need me I will be there, ready to give you my last cent or gasp of sweet oxygen. I’m also generous with my drugs.

Gosh, I feel better already! That might just be the drugs, but whatever. Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

We Know We're Crazy*

The first step towards recovery is admitting you have a problem. We ladies sometimes do crazy stuff that we (hopefully) know is crazy, but we do it anyway. Perhaps because you all drive us to it, perhaps because we just can’t help ourselves. So how about a little group therapy. 

We know we’re in the wrong when we:
  • Get rid of your stuff. When my now-ex and I moved in together, I was fascinated by his “stuff.” Maybe due to the fact that our belongings meshed really well and we have similar taste, but whatever the reason, I loved it and never wanted to pare it down. Women seem to have this compulsive need to find the one thing men love the most (comic book collections, the comfy t-shirt, porn) and annihilate it. Don’t ask me why. If it isn’t yours, leave it be!
  • Fill in our own blanks. The blame for this one is definitely spread equally between genders. Men, you tend to give us information on a ‘need to know’ basis. Just the talking points. We want the whole story and if you don’t include each and every minor detail, we’ll convince ourselves that you have something to hide. We’ll write our own story, complete with the wildest ending imaginable. We’re creative like that, so do us (and yourself) a favor and just tell us the whole story.
  • Snoop. I’m guilty of snooping, but never unprompted snooping. One time I was using my (MY) laptop and discovered that an ex had visited a dating website specifically geared towards casual hook-ups. I did some more digging and saw that there was a fresh new profile he was still signed into! So I made some fun, informative changes to that profile. See how you make us do crazy things? That one was totally not my fault because I mean, c’mon. If you’re dumb enough to use my computer to find, “Local sluts who want to f&*$” then you deserve what you get.
  • Tell you what you want to hear. “I don’t want kids, either.” “You’re the best I’ve ever had.” “Size doesn’t matter.” OK so some of these are little white lies that probably won’t hurt anybody but when it comes to the big issues, we need to stick up for ourselves a bit more. The real answers are, “I'm not sure if I want kids. I think you’ll make a great dad but don’t want to scare you away by saying it.” “You’re very good at taking care of business, but there’s room for improvement,” and, “Size only matters when it’s small. You don’t have anything to worry about.”

*Case in point. God, I wish I didn't have such a great example of me being crazy to share, but...yesterday I called my ex to say hi and the call was sent to voicemail. Not immediate voicemail, but the "ring ring ring voicemail," that lets you know the person has CHOSEN to send you to voicemail. Today I texted him, "Are you pissed at me for some reason?" No response. So I call again. Voicemail. Call again. Voicemail. Third call (affectionately know as the "You're truly crazy" call) he picks up and now he is kind of pissed...he was taking a nap.

I'm crazy.

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    I'm Bushed

    I’ve been having a few kind of desperate days, feeling so sad but not having any outlet for it. I think the people in my life are tired of listening to me moan about my ruined relationship. Heck, I’m sick of listening to me. In general I'm just tired of being sad. Last week I had cocktails with a friend who told me she wanted to introduce me to someone. I was hesitant, internally, but tried to put on a happy face. “Even if you guys can be friends, it’s a good thing,” she said. I couldn’t argue with that. 

    But there’s nothing that makes me more uncomfortable than a set-up. So when she invited me over this weekend my first thought was, “Is this an ambush?” I was scheduled to show up a little late and when I told her I was on my way she responded, “Oh [your ex] is here, just FYI.” Immediately a wave of relief rushed over me. Not an ambush with a new guy that I wasn’t ready for, but a nice afternoon with friends and the guy I felt so comfortable with. The one who was the other half of me for so long. I thought I’d be able to slip into my old skin, if even for a moment.

    So, so wrong.

    Monday, October 3, 2011


    Doing my laundry and thinking of you.

    I gulped, then deleted the text message and dropped my phone onto the table like a hot potato. I stared at it as if it was a living thing that might pop up and sink its teeth into my neck. Mentally (and possibly out loud) I repeated, “No no no. Nonononono.”

    Throughout my dating history, I’ve had several visceral reactions like this. The first time it happened was in fourth grade, when a classmate tried to kiss me on Valentine’s Day. To this day we laugh about how I bit him right through his winter coat. *Nervous laughter* I’m not even joking. So basically, I know when I like a guy and when I don’t. When I don’t like someone, my stomach becomes a mess of knots and I feel like a caged animal. In the past I would run like hell in the opposite direction, avoid the situation, blow the guy off or ignore his advances until he gave up. I know that there’s nothing mature about that, but you have to remember that the last time I “dated” I was 24 years old (and painfully immature.) This time I figured I’d approach the situation differently.

    That’s flattering! But I’m so emotionally unavailable right now.”

    His response was a cop-out, something about me having misinterpreted his initial text (yeah right, dude) but I let it roll by. We exchanged a few more texts about other things and there seemed to be no awkwardness. I was shocked by how easy it was to stop him in his tracks. God, if the younger me had known this, I would have saved, like, months upon months of stressing over how to “let someone down easy.” Turns out there’s nothing hard about it. Now that I have this tool in my belt, I might use it more often. Who’s next?