#Throwback Thursday: You Seemed So Perfect On Paper, But Then We Had Date #2

Originally published 5/26/14

I keep thinking I know what qualities I would like in a mate, but the last two men really have me second guessing myself.

I met Mark on Match.com and he was nice, smart, funny, self aware (a big thing with me), a good listener, thoughtful and cute. Ok, I thought, this time I have all the bases covered! This is going to be easy.

Then the self awareness turned into him telling/texting me his every thought and insecurity. All day long. By the second date, he was asking me if I was into this thing long term (uhhh, I don’t know?) and then proceeded to tell me that he was just scared and insecure about where this was headed.

I always thought I was an open minded and compassionate person, but I found myself wanting to yell “Man up!” So, I’m thinking don’t share that stuff so early. It feels a little pressure-y and makes me feel like he lacks confidence which is a turn off. I don’t want to be responsible for anyone’s emotional well being if I decide to bow out on date 3.

So one night after a few drinks (nothing good was ever said after a few drinks), I said to Mark, “Mark, it’s good for a man to be sensitive, but they don’t need to express every single feeling and insecurity all the time…” Who knows what else I added to that way too informative comment. So we quit talking soon after. Shocker.

Then a couple of weeks ago, I met Adam. Again, perfect on paper. All the “right” qualities on the surface. He did almost the exact same thing Mike did. First date was awesome and then second date I felt like I should invite him to lie down on the couch and ask him for a copay.

I always thought I was evolved enough to let men get into their junk and not be put off. Turns out, it’s very offputting. It feels like they are constantly analyzing their baggage and then handing it off to me for checking. I can understand sharing things when you’re a bit into a relationship, but it can sure suck life out of the second date.

So. I don’t know what it is I should be looking for anymore. It obviously goes way beyond “perfection on paper”.

The Business Plan That Had Nothing To Do With Me

An ex-boy-now-a-friend of mine was in town for a visit a couple of months ago and wanted to get together. Last time we saw each other, we were 20 years old and making lots of terrible decisions. As dramaticically driven twenty-somethings do. He ended up moving away for a job, we broke up and eventually lost touch.

During our visit we had a drink, caught up on life and talked about the future. He mentioned that he planned to move home again (my city) and wanted my help re-starting his business. We could be partners. I asked if his live in girlfriend knew about his plans and he said that she did, but that she would never move. It became obvious that they were on the rocks. Like, big rocks.

I figured the move-back-and-start-a-business plan was all just talk. Something we all do when we are looking for an exit from current life circumstances. Even so, we continued to discuss it after he left town. I kept checking on his commitment.

I’m sure you’ll change your mind, I texted.

Not changing my mind!, he texted back.

For weeks we talked logistics, timeframe and long term goals. As excitement grew, I began to think it could possibly work out. I allowed myself a measured amount of enthusiasm regarding the venture because I also knew that people rarely follow through with grand plans. This move-back-and-start-a-business thing was an obvious attempt to escape whatever shitstorm was happening back at his house. So I was playing it by ear.

Then everything went silent. He quit answering my texts.

“I’m not surprised,” my sister said. “People are shitty.”

“I’m not surprised he changed his mind, but I always expected him to tell me when he had,” I replied. “Not just play dead!”

(His sister has confirmed he’s not dead, by the way.)

For whatever reason, he’s not interested in dealing with the situation.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

People do weird things like this all the time. When I was younger, it used to upset me. I would get really wrapped up in figuring out the ‘why’ of it all. I’d take the disappointment personally. But now… now I just feel like people are complicated.

It’s not a personal thing. We all have our reasons. Our fears. Our insecurities. Our baggage. Our enigmatic actions are shaped by our own experiences and usually they have little to do with the people who are left wondering about them.

#Throwback Thursday: It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

Originally published 11/18/14

 

“There were times in my life when I had one thing to do all day, but I still couldn’t get to it. I gotta go to the post office, but I’d probably have to put on pants. And they’re only open till five. Looks like I’m going to have to do that next week.” —Jim Gaffigan

People think when you’re laid off that you have all the time in the world to accomplish all kinds of cool stuff. And, theoretically, you do. King of Queens’ Carrie thought she was going to read the Great Gatsby and catch up on assembling all of her photo albums. Turns out she mostly just played chopsticks on the piano and watched Dr. Phil.

Yeah. That’s reality.

I have all kinds of ambitious plans, but a few minor roadblocks.

#1 You’re supposed to be looking for a job. Time spent doing anything else seems complacent. You want to be able to tell people you have leads when they ask. And they will. Repeatedly.

#2 Or at least be worrying about looking for a job. You can’t really enjoy anything else you’re doing because you keep remembering you have no job. Images of Hannah and I living in a cardboard box flash through my mind as pages on my mental calendar fly off at an unstoppable pace.

#3 You can’t spend any money. Catching up with friends for lunch, taking care of long put off home improvement projects, working on your crafts, getting ahead on Christmas shopping—all cost money and can hardly be justified when mama ain’t workin.

#4 Turns out exercising isn’t any more fun now than it was when I was employed. I still hate it only now I can feel twice as guilty for not doing it when, clearly, I have plenty of time!

#5 Some days depression = frittering = nothing accomplished = compounding feelings of uselessness. I really wish I could go back to work just so I wouldn’t have to feel bad about not using my time off wisely.

I was going to add the events of a typical day of a laid off person, but eh. I don’t feel like it. Friends is on.

photo by memecenter.com

#ThrowbackThursday: Getting Old is Hell, Obsessing About it is Even Worse

Originally published 6/15/14

I do not know how to accept getting older. I would love to be laid back and carefree about it, but I can’t seem to swing it.

Almost constantly, my thoughts run in a loop. What if no one loves me when I’m old? What will I do when I can’t get around anymore? What if I run out of money? What if I have to go live someplace awful? What if I get cancer/heart disease/have a stroke? But most importantly, WHAT CAN I DO NOW TO ENSURE THOSE THINGS NEVER EVER HAPPEN?

At least that is way in the future. Short term, I focus on vanity. I spend lots of time pondering anti aging products, procedures and tricks. Examining my reflection, trying to determine my body’s next move and how I can head it off at the pass. Am I losing eyelashes? Are my pores bigger? Is my neck getting mushy? “Everyone gets old and gets wrinkles,” says my uncle. Uh huh, everyone but me!, I think to myself.

Not very Growing Toward The Sun-nish, but an impulse that is hard for me to resist.

I asked my sister the other day, “Do you think when you’re old and wrinkled that you just become attracted to old and wrinkled men? Or do you just go along because you have to at that point?” She said, “I think your tastes change. Just like you’re not attracted to 18 years olds anymore.” I don’t know. I might have to poll some seniors.

I pin everything I can find about health and nutrition and all of those anti-aging superfoods. I listen as Dr. Oz (who is really all over the map with his advice, but ok) explains inflammation in the body and how to decrease it. I make it my life’s work to do so.

But still, I feel creaky. My back goes out. My forehead wrinkles. My hair turns gray. My neck starts to…I don’t know what my neck is doing. But I hate it.

Person Of Interest, I Love You So Much

I’m obsessed with Person of Interest, a show on CBS. I’m a little late to the party since it’s in it’s fifth season and I’m only on season 2. No spoilers!

Each evening I’m a guest in a wonderful land of make believe where the complete badass on the left is ALWAYS the smartest and the complete badass on the right ALWAYS wins the brawl. The smart rich guy (of whom I’m very fond, even though he is the SUPER CREEPY serial killer from The Practice) sends the other smart handsome guy (who navigates the stickiest situations without ever raising his voice above a whisper) out on do-gooder missions to save the lives of people who don’t even realize they’re in danger.

person-of-interest.jpg

Their missions, very growing towards the sun-nish…their methods, unorthodox. They’re like superheroes saving the world. Maybe that’s why I’m in love with it so much right now. They’re out there doing good…like many of us are trying to do…and they never ever lose.

 

 

Which Glasses Will It Be Today?

I’m always amazed at how different life can look from one day to the next, without anything ever actually changing. One day I have on dark glasses and everything about life feels super unmanageable. The next day, rose colored glasses are back on and life is no sweat. Nothing drastic occurred between yesterday and today…it’s just the glasses I picked up.

I would consider the dark days depression except it’s usually just a day here and there. Nothing consistent, just consistently sporadic. Though, admittedly, almost always tied to the level of my headache pain that day. Add extra stresses to that and life becomes a desert, barren and absent of hope and light.

Friday was a terrible headache day and I had to work on wedding items for my boss. No, it’s not my job. Not at all. I’m a corporate graphic designer being held hostage as a wedding designer. <sarcasm> Because yeah it’s perfectly normal to have a company designer also design your wedding on the clock along with all their other work. It’s not at all necessary for you to pay them for a freelance job. </sarcasm>

I actually entered Publisher’s Clearing House when I got home. 42 years old and I have never been desperate enough to turn to PCH. I am hoping there’s a bunch of balloons, confetti and an oversized check in my near future.

But yesterday was a good day because Hannah went with me to run errands. It made the chores seem much less chore-like with her there to talk and joke with. 

We passed a truck with this bumper sticker:takebackamerica.png

“Take back America,” Hannah read out loud. “Who has America? Did someone steal America?”

I reply as the voice of the bumper sticker driver, “These dang foreigners!……Oh wait, that’s us.”

And we laughed. Ya know, since we’re all foreigners.

Do you ever feel like you’re wearing different glasses from one day to the next? Here’s to rose colored glasses this week!

#Throwback Thursday:You Don’t Know My Life! (And Other Things About Being Judgmental)

Originally published 10/13/2013

A few days ago, Hannah and I were watching Glee. It was the episode where they killed off Finn and paid tribute to Cory Monteith, the actor who played him. Hannah is a big fan of the show and was aware that he had died from a drug overdose over the summer. She told me how a few people had commented that he was a drug addict and it’s his own fault. She felt bad that they were saying that and told me that it wasn’t his fault he was addicted to drugs. This was a great opportunity for a conversation.

I told her that people make their own choices and it certainly was his choice to take drugs. However, sometimes as human beings, we should take a look at the root cause of behavior. Usually people take drugs to escape some kind of pain. I have compassion for people who feel the need to turn to drugs to numb whatever feelings they can’t seem to face.

I also notice people, in general, seem to have a really low tolerance for people with drug problems. They get super judgy, super fast. Yet drugs are not the only way people numb their pain. Many times, the people who feel they are better than drug addicts are the same people who escape life’s darkness and discomforts in “acceptable” ways. Maybe they gamble, shop, eat, work too much, drink too much, watch too much television or stay on the internet all the time. Some of these things have obvious consequences, some less obvious. But the motivation is always the same. Escape.

I’m not suggesting they should not be held accountable for their actions or that we should take responsibility for them. Maybe we could judge a little less and empathize a little more. “Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

The Biggest Fight We Ever Had

One time I almost broke up with a guy over a game of Words with Friends. We had been dating about a year, with no noteworthy fights to speak of, when the word ‘qat’ threatened to destroy it all.

I had been playing WWF for a few weeks, he was a novice. However, since WWF is basically Scrabble, I felt we were on a pretty level playing field. Everyone has played Scrabble.

It was a tight game when I threw out Q-A-T.

He was all like, ‘qat’ is not a word! You never say qat!

I was all like, it is a word and who cares if say it! Everyone uses it to get rid of Qs!

He was all like, I’ve never played WWF so it’s not fair to use that word!

I was all like, what, I have to check and see if you know every word before I use it?!

It was all very illogical to me, yet I continued to argue. Over a game. For days.

He was steadfast in his position that I was a conspiring cheater…but I was equally stubborn in my defense of qat and my insistence that he was just an idiot at WWF. I got so loud and upset on our final phone conversation about it that, to this day, I wonder what exactly was pushing my buttons.

Why was I getting so worked up arguing with a person who has an obvious problem with losing? Why didn’t I just let it go and laugh off his poor sportsmanship? Why was I willing to break up (for real) with him over it? I still don’t really know. It was all very anti growing toward the sun.

Then a couple of days ago, it came up again. No, not qat. This time he was lamenting a contest his team at work had entered and lost. He said it was demoralizing, that they weren’t appreciated and now they were all on the boat to Bitter Island.

I immediately flashed back to Qat-gate. Like it wasn’t possible that the other teams just deserved it more! Like it had to be a personal affront to his entire career at ABC Corporation! Like he was a little tiny baby who needed his binky!

Contest   noun   con·test   \ˈkän-ˌtest\
: an event in which people try to win by doing something better than others
: a struggle or effort to win something

A contest, NOT UNLIKE A GAME, means there will be winners and losers. We all know that going in. And yeah, it sucks when you don’t win, but someone has to lose. If you can’t handle losing…if it raises your blood pressure that much…if it throws you into an ocean of rage….just don’t enter.

Now truthfully, I’d expect that I’d be able to pull off some empathizing and blah blah blah no matter how silly I thought it was. But I couldn’t. So while I don’t really understand the competitiveness and the sore loser-ish-ness of Mr X, I understand my reaction to that behavior even less.

As Hannah likes to say,  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯