Season Four, Episode Eight: 14/29 Struggles

So I am still talking to said guy, who still does not have a nom de plume.  I really need to give him one.  The fact that I am talking to him still is actually kind of a miracle–not a walking-on-water-in-the-middle-of-a-crazy-storm kind of miracle, but more like a I-ate-like-crap-all-week-and-ran-once-and-somehow-didn’t-gain-weight kind of miracle–simply because I am not good at this.  At what, you may ask?  Talking?  Well…no.  I am rather good at talking.  I am not good at talking to guys that I like.  Or know how to successfully flirt.  Or nab a guy…see how I used the word nab?  I make it sound like I am a police officer who successfully caught a bank robber.  I should twirl my mustache too, while I’m at it.

*twirls mustache*

When I'm not busy nabbing guys, I like to tie young maidens to train tracks.  I'm very early 20th century mustache twirler.

When I’m not busy nabbing guys, I like to tie young maidens to train tracks. I’m very early 20th century mustache twirler.

Ugh.

But anyway, I am still talking to him.  He is still pretty damn hot and funny and delish…and I haven’t done anything too crazy to make him think maybe he shouldn’t continue to talk to me.  So…miracle.  I actually think that he finds me hilarious, which is a win.  When in doubt, let my sense of humor cancel out my awkwardness like FOX cancelled American Idol (too soon?).  I’ve gotten pretty close a few times to doing something completely batshit but I somehow talked myself out of it.  Google is a life saver.  My search engine is full of random keywords that make me sound like a fourteen year old girl.  Who knew that there were so many articles out there in the Interwebs dedicated to making loons like me feel less cray?

Because there is a lot of stuff on the Interwebs to make me feel less cray.

Because there is a lot of stuff on the Interwebs to make me feel less cray.

There is one thing that baffles me(that is a lie…there are a lot of things in the dating world that baffle me, but for sake of keeping this post short, we will pretend that there is only one), and I suppose it baffles me only because I like him, and that is texting.  Why the hell go days without texting someone (me) back?  Especially if you like me/want to get in my pants/potentially more?  I stress about that and I have successfully stopped myself from texting him stuff like “why you no text me back” and flat out asking him if he secretly hates me.  Because I am pretty sure he doesn’t hate me.  He used to text me a lot when we first started talking and it’s trickled down and I’m sure it’s no cause for concern since he is still wonderful in person.  I feel like I have gone back in a time machine and it’s 1999 and I am 14 and I have bad hair and questionable fashion sense and I am all a-giggle and a-fumble over a guy in my class.  I tell myself that I sometimes don’t hear from my best friend for days, and I have known her since I was 7.  I can go days without texting other friends/hearing from other friends, so why do I get all panicky cliffhanger soap star when Unnamed Hot Guy decides to not text me?  The only answer I can think of is because I am secretly still 14 on the inside when it comes to men.

This girl is apparently stressed because she has multiple phones/crucial conversations/potential drug deals all going on at once?

This girl is apparently stressed because she has multiple texts/crucial conversations/potential drug deals all going on at once?

29 Year Old Me is trying to play it cool and act completely indifferent.  14 Year Old Me has a mini heart attack when we sit next to each other and our legs touch the entire time.  29 Year Old Me smiles at him when I see him and act like I’m completely chill.  14 Year Old Me freaks the fuck out quietly when someone tells us what a cute couple we make (29 Year Old Me simply smiles because I don’t want to look like I am so into him–being chill is my constant M.O.) and he says he agrees.  14 Year Old Me doesn’t know how to be cool and calm and so 29 Year Old Me is constantly fighting an internal battle with her so that she doesn’t do anything stupid to mess up whatever will happen.  29 Year Old Me isn’t in a rush to get hurt again any time soon.  14 Year Old Me worries that he doesn’t like me.

14 Year Old Me is obviously Angelina because Sun-In.

14 Year Old Me is obviously Angelina because bad bangs and Sun-In.

Well, 14 Year Old Me, put down the Sun-In (seriously, put it down…your hair is orange) and stop panicking and analyzing every damn thing that goes on.  If something comes out of this, awesome.  If something doesn’t come out of this, guess what?  Life goes on.  You still have wine and Netflix and comfy sweatpants and chocolate covered Oreos–he’s the one who will be missing out, not you.  Just smile and be nice to him if it doesn’t go the way you planned.  You’re an adult, and you’re supposed to be calm on the outside and 14 on the inside.  Enjoy talking to him, because it’s fun to talk to guys.  Just stop using Sun-In.  Please.

Let's be completely honest...your hair never once actually looked like this.

Let’s be completely honest…your hair never once actually looked like this.

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Season Four, Episode Four: Wintered Out

I am so over this winter.

Like, completely.  And I’m sure that everyone in the northern United States can agree.

February, I hate you. Although I hated January almost just as much.

February, I hate you.
Although I hated January almost just as much.

I spent about 75% of my vacation last week in my house because the wind chill was below zero.  The actual temperature hovered around zero and dipped into the negatives this past weekend.  My off days this week are beginning to look the same.  I had been doing pretty well before this cold snap, going to the gym and watching what I was eating (we are having a weight loss thing at work) and I had dropped about two pounds before last week.  Ever since last Sunday, all I have done is eat and sit on my butt and watch Netflix.  I’m sure I could work out at home and eat right but ughhhhh I don’t wanna.  I’m miserable and I have cabin fever and I just want to sit and eat paczki wrapped in blankets while binge watching BBC dramas (The Fall was amazing, and I binged all four episodes of the first season of A Young Doctor’s Notebook tonight).  I’m pretty sure that is what one does when they are sick and tired of being stuck in the house.  This arctic snap of hellishness is making me feel like a depressed sleepy bear.

Sometimes I don't even realize how many hours I've wasted watching snarky British shows on Netflix.  Hours I cannot get back.

Sometimes I don’t even realize how many hours I’ve wasted watching snarky British shows on Netflix. Hours I cannot get back.

My son is beyond bored.  He wants to go outside and play on the snow days he keeps getting, but you can’t really play outside when the wind chill makes it feel like it is -15.  You have to bundle up just to take out the trash.  I let the mail sit in the mailbox for like three days before I left the warm confines of my living room.  My Ikea couch and my legs have become one.  My son has exhausted his usual queue of cartoons and Minecraft YouTube mod videos.  If it is hard on a 29 year old grown woman, I can’t imagine how unbearable it must be for a ten year old boy.  He is frustrated.  The coldest day this month so far was his birthday, and since we don’t drive, we had to stay inside rather than go to the science museum like we planned.  It’s not worth potentially getting frostbite while getting from Point A to Point B on public transportation when it is 0 degrees with a -17 wind chill.  I’m sure people in NYC and Boston can certainly relate.  Sometimes I wish I lived in a city where it wasn’t odd to not own a car (but I suppose that will be another post for another time), because then I think others would understand the winter struggle a little more.

My son's sad snowy self-portrait that he drew while we were waiting an hour for our fifty minute late bus on Saturday.  It was 12 degrees with a -8 wind chill.  When I got home my lips were still tinged blue.

My son’s sad snowy self-portrait that he drew while we were waiting an hour for our fifty minute late bus on Saturday. It was 12 degrees with a -8 wind chill. When I got home my lips were still tinged blue.  It’s hard for me to empathize with people’s “ohmigod I was so cold sitting in my car waiting for it to warm up” struggles.

I know March is coming and that spring is allegedly just around the bend, but let’s be brutally honest here:  I live in Northeast Ohio.  Lake Erie is like 94% frozen over.  I can expect to wear a winter coat until probably mid-April.  I just want it to warm up and be sunny and green and pretty.

So I can start bitching about pollen and my allergies.

Seriously?

Season Four, Episode Three: White Zinfandel

I get drunk alone
Sometimes.

And I have empty, meaningless sex
With a boy that I may or may not like
But I’ll never admit to it
[He makes me smile but he’s toxic and all wrong in all the right (but oh so wrong) ways]
Never
Sometimes.

I write drunk poetry
And I drunk text my closest friends
And tag them in random memes
On Instagram
Hashtagging random ass shit
Sometimes.

I drink entire bottles of wine
To chase away PMS-induced migraines
And sit on the cold wooden floor
Of my dining room
Sometimes.

And I sing sad songs
At the top of my lungs
Because I’ve had my heart broken
By men I’ve truly loved
Sometimes.

I am beautiful
And I am a mess
Because I am a hurricane of a girl
But my life is amazing
And it’s too damn short for regrets
Always.

–“White Zinfandel”

IMG_8139

Season Three, Episode Five: The Single Chick Bucket List

So I got dumped.  And fell into a depressive rut.

It’s kind of weird and liberating to see that typed out.  Kind of painful too.  But anyway, I was dumped by someone who I thought loved me and it made me fall right on my face…and then I decided that I would much rather wallow with my face stuck in the rug of despair than to get up and face the world like the cruel bitch that she totally is.  I spent all my time outside of work sleeping to avoid the sharp ache in my chest and lost weight grieving for the relationship that was no more.  I was a sad and emotionally lost mess of a person for a while.

I was a sad, depressive mess.  I wasn't even witty or funny like I usually am.

I was a sad, depressive mess. I wasn’t even witty or funny like I usually am.

Time heals wounds slowly, and even though I’m still kind of sad and still really hurt, life goes on.  I have some amazing friends, and they helped me tremendously.  I figure I am one awesome, badass chick and if my ex-boyfriend couldn’t see that and had to go back to his ex, then…that’s his loss.  I’m still beautiful and smart and funny.  It still sucks for me, though.  I’m trying to keep my head above water, and I am getting there, one day at a time.  It’s even harder because I have to see him every day, but when life throws you lemons you mix those bitches with vodka and simple syrup and make grownup lemonade.  And then proceed to drink a lot of it.

Screw you, shitty life lemons.

Screw you, shitty life lemons.

But anyway, I was inspired one night while on the dice table (the most random shit comes to me while I’m dealing) to make a list of shit that I can do now that I am single.  Sure, I could have done it while I was in a relationship, but it wouldn’t help me heal and feel better about myself–nay, it would have just become more memories for me to cry over at 5 am.  So I have jotted down little things in a numbered list (I don’t usually make lists, but when I do, they are either bulleted or numbered) in the Notes app on my handy dandy iPhone.  I plan to knock these babies out as an awesomely single lady and make some amazing memories sans dude that I can look back on when I’m an old lady with no regrets.

Get it, girls.

Get it, girls.

I call it…The Single Chick Bucket List.  I plan to blog about each one as I go, and hopefully I can add to the list as I go and cross off as many things as I can.

1.  Go to NYC alone.

I went to New York in 2012 with my ex, and I would really like to create some new memories of my own.  Plus, I had always dreamed of moving there after high school, but life kind of got in the way.  I would like to spend a few days there alone just to indulge in my Girls-meets-Sex and the City fantasy.

2.  Learn to drive and then get my license.

Little factoid about me:  I don’t know how to drive.  My parents sold their car before I started Kindergarten and they never bought a new one.  I’m a boss at public transportation, but I have only driven a car two or three times, and I was kind of horrible at it.

3.  Have a random hookup/one night stand.

This one makes me nervous.  I keep reading that one night stands are the best way to get your mind off a breakup, and that girls should be able to have meaningless and empty sex just like guys can without feeling guilty.  This one is a huge step out of my comfort zone, but I missed out on dorm life and parties and I hear that these things went down like whatever in college.  And my ex is obviously having sex, so why shouldn’t I?

4.  Be moderately successful or even slightly successful at this online dating stuff.

Ugh, yes I am attempting this shit again.  If other people can have success with this crap, I should too.  I still feel like it’s for life losers, so even if I have just a decent or funny story to come out of Match.com I feel like it won’t be a complete waste of time.

5.  Take sexy photos at a professional photography studio.

So since February 2012, I lost roughly around 40 pounds.  I went from 162 to about 124.  I am at my post baby weight circa 2005.  I have always wanted to go get those sexy little pinup boudoir shots done, but I always felt chunky and not sexy enough naked to be immortalized on film.  I still catch myself stopping and staring at myself in the mirror when I get dressed because I can’t believe how amazing I look now that I lost all that weight.  I feel like now I can get those pictures done and feel proud of myself.

6.  Get my passport.

I have always had wanderlust, and I want to do something about it.  I want to travel the world and see all kinds of wonderful things.  I plan on getting my son his passport too in a few years and we can travel together.

7.  Write a novel.

I always start, but I never finish.

8.  Record a song in a studio.

I’m a phenomenal singer and I never did anything with it.  I would love to record an EP just to have so I can say that I sang in an actual recording studio.

9.  Go to Alaska/London/Ireland.

I would love to do all three, but I will definitely settle for Alaska.

10.  Learn French or Italian.

I want to feel worldly.  Spanish doesn’t make me feel worldly…it makes me feel like I had to learn it to graduate from high school.

11.  Go back to college.

I want to get my bachelor’s, even if it takes longer than four years.

12.  Be brave.

I’m non-confrontational, and I don’t like to stir up drama.  I need to learn to find my voice and use it more often.

13.  Learn how to finally play the guitar.

I have owned a guitar for years and never figured out how to play it.  I want to sign up for lessons and be able to be that angsty-yet-cute musician girl at the coffee shop by my house.

14.  Run a 5K.

I hate running.  I’m clumsy and uncoordinated and I feel like I should attempt to run a 5K just so I can say that I can.  Plus maybe I might turn out to get better at it and actually enjoy it.

So that is the list for now.  I’m sure I will add to it, and hopefully I will achieve success to most of the things I have typed out.  I feel like this is a great confidence booster for me and will help me to discover more of myself as a person.  And maybe someone who went through a terrible breakup or some other horrible life experience will read this post or one of the others where I accomplish these things and be inspired to do something great too.

That would be wonderful.

Season Three, Episode Four: Queen Bees, Mean Girls, and AM Minds in an FM World

Before you read any further, I suggest you click the video below.  It will set the tone of this post…plus I really like this song right now and I wanted to share it.

Okay.

As some of you may know, I am 28.  I graduated from high school in 2004.  For those of you who aren’t mathematical geniuses, that was roughly ten years ago.  Recently it seems like I just woke up one day and stepped out of bed and into the plot of my very own teenage drama on The WB (Does anyone remember The WB?  It was the big sister of The CW…pretty much the same audience, but it was in the late ’90s and had less supernatural elements and more teenage angst.), complete with heartache and confusion and angst.  Stupid angst.

So much teenage angst.

So much teenage angst.  Michigan J. was a frog full of drama.

I suddenly care about what people think about me and if I am invited out places and if people like me.  I haven’t done that in ages.  It’s like I went back in time to 2000 and suddenly I’m 14/15 again and doubting every single thing that I do or say.  I feel awkward and like I don’t fit in.  I’m starting to question who I’m friends with and if they are really my friends or if we are just friends based on convenience.  I worry if people genuinely like me or if I’m just that girl who they invite to certain things because they feel like they have to.  I am constantly hyper aware of everything I do and say and think.  It’s honestly like I am back at St. Joe’s and it’s my freshman year and I want everyone to like me.  I feel like I should be wearing a bunch of black eyeliner, straighten my hair, and pout a lot, a la Avril Lavigne circa “Complicated”/2002.

She looks so misunderstood...but that eyeliner is flawlessly 2002.

She looks so misunderstood…but that eyeliner is flawless.

I want no part of it.

High school wasn’t particularly terrible, but I struggled a lot with myself on the inside, as all of us did.  I felt like I didn’t fit in, but I think I did a pretty good job of pretending like I did.  I was skilled at smiling when acceptable, laughing when necessary, and saying the right thing so that people liked me.  I had plenty of friends and was well-adjusted and liked.  You would have never guessed that I felt alone a lot of the time and that my thoughts weren’t on the same frequency as everyone else–that I had an AM mind in a FM world.  I felt like I thought about stuff that the average teenager didn’t think about and struggled with things that a lot of the girls at my exclusive, all-girl Catholic high school didn’t deal with–I had a lot of anxiety and stress.  My dad was still drinking very heavily and gambling heavily and was rapidly becoming more and more physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive by the day.  We were also getting poorer by the day–my entire freshman year we didn’t have a home phone and we used the pay phone on the corner to make phone calls (I did a really good job of making light of the situation and cracking jokes about it to try to hide my embarrassment).  We didn’t drive.  I struggled with an eating disorder all four years of high school.  I had to keep everything that was going on at home inside.  All of that made me feel like I was older than my peers in a way, that I was more mature than most of them were at our age.  I felt like an old woman at times…but I was good at pretending.  I cracked jokes and was loud and funny to try to hide the fact that I had incredibly thin skin and was constantly afraid that no one liked me or wanted to be my friend.  I worried all the time that there was something wrong with me because I wasn’t preoccupied with makeup or boys or clothes or the latest trends as much as my friends were.

I had my son at 19 and that made me grow up even more.  I didn’t go away to college, so I didn’t have the four years of drunken debauchery that most of my peers did.  Because of my dad (who has been sober for nearly 8 years), drinking never really appealed to me anyway, and even though I am outgoing, large parties fill me with a kind of social anxiety that I have never understood.  The older I got, the more I figured that none of that mattered once you were an adult because you were an adult and left all that childishness behind.

But I have realized that it is actually the opposite.  You never leave high school behind because that is where we found ourselves and started to carve out our identities.  I read something where it was speculated that we physically grow up, but mentally we are forever intrinsically who we were back in high school.  Adults still have cliques and gossip and show off around certain people.  The mean girls never leave the cattiness and bitchiness behind.  They still have to be the center of attention and brag about how “bad” they are.  The claws still come out, they still try to intimidate others and make them doubt themselves.  The nerds are still as awkward as they were as teenagers.  People like me still feel like they don’t fit in with the world and that perhaps they aren’t supposed to fit in.  I have always found it strange that I can be surrounded by groups of people and still feel alone.  I’m extroverted but painfully introverted at the same time.  My skin is still ridiculously thin.  I still struggle with an eating disorder.  We all suffer from self-doubt and self-esteem issues and a lack of self-confidence and crushing self-consciousness.  We all have a desperate desire to fit in and be accepted by our peers.  We like to pretend that it went away after we graduated from high school and became adults because we don’t want to admit that most of us are just physically older versions of our teenage selves, because if we did, does that mean that we never really grew up?  That opens a whole can of existential worms.  If we never really grew up, does that mean that our parents never really grew up?  That they feel the same way we do about life?  That they are just physically older versions of their teenage selves who have just gotten really good at hiding their insecurities and fuck ups?  Do they worry about the same things we do on a daily basis?

We all miss high school on some level because even though there were cliques and drama and endless teenage bullshit, deep down…we were all equals.  We were all kids trying to find ourselves and find our places in the world.  And in all honesty…we are still all just kids trying to find ourselves and find our places in the world.  And even though going to the bar on my off days and getting drunk doesn’t appeal to me, I just want to know that my friends thought about me enough to want to include me in their plans.  I don’t want to feel like I’m an afterthought and that I’m the odd one out.  I don’t like feeling like I’m not included because no one wants me to be.  I don’t like this do they/don’t they internal struggle.  I’m tired of feeling 16 when I just turned 28.

That’s quite enough, Dawson.  Can we change the channel?

“Your clothes are soaked and you don’t know where to go / So drop your chin and take yourself back home / And roll out your maps and papers / Find out your hiding places again…”–Lorde, “The Love Club”

Season Three, Episode Three: That Goddamn Metaphorical Horse

So I’m going to take a moment to state the obvious.

Why thank you, Captain.

Why thank you, Captain.

Breaking up sucks.  A lot.

I mean…there’s a lot of shit that happens in a relationship that is pretty wonderful.  You become best friends with your partner.  You guys have cute moments together.  You can do stupid stuff around them and know that they don’t find you weird because they think you are pretty.  And hey, that’s nice.  There’s a certain amount of comfort in a relationship.  You know their quirks and even though you think it’s weird that they turn the water off when they brush their teeth and that they like to wear Crocs with socks, you don’t judge them because they could easily judge you pretty hardcore for snorting when you laugh really hard and that squirrels freak you out more than the average person.  You don’t feel the need to wear pants or mascara when you are with them.  You’re comfortable.  And that’s nice.

It’s nice.

But then you break up, and…it’s not nice.  It’s pretty fucking horrendous.  You go from loving that person and wanting to spend every moment with them to hating their guts and hoping they fall off a cliff, Mayan sacrifice style.  One person generally doesn’t really care about the way things ended, and the other person finds themselves underneath a desk, crying and drinking from a bottle of merlot.

crying under desk

And then comes the whole grieving and healing process, which inevitably leads to the moving on part.  One of you typically moves on faster than the other, spurring the other one (who hates relationships and love and dating in general at the moment because their heart has been ripped out and soaked in cheap wine) to jump on the metaphorical horse.

Fuck.  That.  Horse.

I don’t particularly like horses anyway.  I rode one once at Girl Scout camp, and I was not a fan of the experience.  They are okay if I don’t have to climb up on one and ride it.  But anyway…jumping on the metaphorical horse.  It sucks.  That person feels like they have to half ass their attempt just enough so that people don’t think that they are crazy and just enough to convince themselves that they aren’t going to grow old alone and die without anyone finding their body for weeks.  So you kind of dip your foot in the shallow end of the kiddie pool.  Kind of like how I wanted said horse to be a Shetland pony and was promptly told that no, the metaphorical horse of dating is a noble steed.  (I can’t exactly jump up on a noble steed seeing as I’m only 5’1″.  Maybe I can climb up if someone puts a step stool next to it.)  You do what you have to do to shut people up.  And hey, maybe you make it just weird enough so that they will quit bugging you to start dating.

Because you aren’t ready and you want to stay under that desk and cry a little bit longer, damn it.

So I tried, just to shut everyone up.  I started actually doing my makeup when I went to work and smiled, because nothing makes you look like you are back on the market like eyeliner and a smile.  Jesus.  I tilted my head and laughed at the appropriate moments in conversations with attractive men.  But I’m not particularly feeling it.  So I have my moments of angst circa 1997 Dawson’s Creek and pout and feel sad because damn it, I’m sad.  I’m allowed to be sad.  But society wants me to get over it and there are more fish in the sea and you’re gonna make it after all because that’s life.  I made an eHarmony profile.  I feel embarrassed.  Maybe there isn’t a social stigma attached to online dating, but I still feel like it’s for the weird lame people who can’t carry on a face to face conversation with a person.

I hate it.  I suck at dating to begin with, I hate the whole process and feel incredibly awkward–I would much rather just bypass that shit and go right to being in a relationship, but it doesn’t work that way.  I discovered that I am too shallow for online dating.  I want a man with a pretty face.  I met a guy and it seemed okay, we talked on the site’s messenger thing, but he suddenly stopped talking and I am past that point in my life where I am going to try to pursue a guy who will not initiate conversation.  I’m 28.  I’m too old for that shit.  So I brushed it off and had a moment of oh my god I’m going to die alone and the mailman will find my body.  I went out for my birthday.  Seized the night and all that glamorous glitter.  I posted a picture of myself from my soiree on eHarmony just because I wanted to see if there are any hot guys on there, and the non-initiater of conversations looked at my picture (because their news feed is kind of on the creepy stalker side and shows you whenever they go to your page).  I don’t blame him.  I looked good.  Much like Ron Burgundy in a suit.

I was rocking that dress :)

I was rocking that dress 🙂

So I was like well okay, maybe I’ll give this guy another go.  We started chatting it up again and exchanged numbers and started texting.  It was all good for a few days until he did the same thing as before.  I refuse to chase another man.  Nope.  So I have decided that I am going to be single and wallow until I’m damn good and ready.  Screw you society and your norms.  I will eat Reese’s cups and read Girls in White Dresses over and over until I’ve had enough of witty chick lit and peanut butter paired with milk chocolate.  Judge away.  I don’t care.

And as for that stupid horse?  I think I’ll walk.