The One About Dating

*Fair warning: parents, friends of parents, kids I used to babysit but are now grown: adult content ahead and I am human. No judgements or comments. . . K? Thanks

Dating 101

In an effort to move forward (and not become a hermit. . . oops, too late) I have forced myself to create an online dating profile. Sadly, I feel like this will be an exercise in an overabundance of writing material as opposed to the dinner and a movie type dates.

On a whim last year (i.e. I felt like mocking the app) I signed up for Tinder. I am by no means a sweet, innocent girl BUT waking up to this message one Sunday morning sent me to the edge:

dude: So hungover. . .
me: sorry about that
dude: know what cures a hangover?
me: umm, hair of the dog?
dude: nah, you blowing me
me: Delete! Swipe Left! Erase! Erase! Erase

 Is that all there is? A horrible pick up line (if you can call it that) about being hungover and needing an oral? Oh and this was the first ever interaction with this dude. Next!

After that shocking exchange, I decided to be, let’s say, a bit more candid and upfront in my profile message.

If you are looking for sex, swipe left–I need more than “yo, drop your drawers” to even talk to you.

I guess I am a bit more old fashioned than I thought. Also, I grew up with male friends, spent quite a bit of time at a fraternity house and I can promise you, I have heard it all and have yet to fall for most of those lines. I can also make a sailor blush, so please put more effort into getting to know me before propositioning me.

What sent me over the edge with Tinder happened shortly after that disaster. I was matched with Stu, a friend since college who is bitchier than me. That match just seemed wrong. I texted our buddy Arch, told him what happened and he laughed. I deleted the app.

After breakup number I lost count with a double side of high school drama, I opted to have a relationship with my tv and go all hermit crab. I even looked at becoming a nun but I’m not Catholic, it would take time to convert and well I have the patience of a gnat. So I did what any single gal who had about two drops of water in her dating pool, I Googled “dating sites” and they have one for pretty much everyone, well except me, out there. Some are not safe for even my eyes.

I settled on OKCupid for now figuring that these things are time sucks and I’m lazy. . . who wants to spend several nights typing in the answer to “why I’m single and looking?” My preference would be to simply yet honestly say this:

I’m 41, never been married, no kids, disease free, overweight but trying to get back to an acceptable size (per my doctor, not a tabloid magazine). I have issues, I left my first real love because i wanted to “have fun” and have made some really bad choices since then but my 20s were hella fun minus the pill popping ex who loved to tell me exactly what was wrong with me (Yay! Emotional abuse!)

Got my second chance at love with someone who just never talked about his issues with me, after dating 2 1/2 years, he took me to NYC for the weekend (which most of my friends thought was going to be the location he would pop the question) and two weeks later he dumped me. Never saw it coming. His cousin had a crush on me and I was in a horrible place mentally, emotionally but not physically. Yes sir! I got on the being dumped diet (best diet ever!) and lost a ton of weight. Stumbled around trying to figure out what was wrong with me, had some fun with a much younger guy and attended a party where the ex and his new girl came as well and it is rumored conceived their kid in our mutual friend’s driveway. To be fair, he did call to tell me he had a kid on the way (before his family knew. . . although I guess I was the one who shared the news with his cousin). Tailspin right into cousin and knew it was wrong, shouldn’t lead him on, etc. but I wasn’t in a good place and I hurt him badly. I wouldn’t be shocked if he still was angry with me (he was really good at holding grudges). But in the end, the ex and I exchange emails about football annually, so there’s that. . . Opted to take advantage of the early 30s and skinny. HAD. A. BLAST.

Finally broke down and tried match.com, horrible meat market. Then eHarmony which begat the boy, dated him for awhile and lost my shit when he went two days before letting me know he had arrived safely in Portland. I know I dumped him for more than that but seriously, how hard is a text that says, “I’m here! Talk to you soon!”? I don’t need a play by play or crawling up my ass but letting someone know (that loves you) that you arrived safely isn’t asking for too much. I made that shallow boy cry though.

We tangled as friends a couple more times but I’m not skinny enough for him. All I can say is, I can lose weight, but that hair transplant didn’t work sweetie.

Then came Chandler, who came out of the blue and left almost as quickly. He showed me just how much he loved me by setting me free. I still regret being in DC with the boy when he passed away. But he gave me one more present. . . a very clear view of the boy’s true personality.

And finally, the past three years I have spent (off and on) with a selfish guy who has way too many vices/addictions, who only thought of himself. I never really understood people who are happier when they are miserable but he really fits that description. The drama, the need to cause upheaval and the lack of respect. . .well I got that in spades. And I kept on forgiving him and welcoming him back into my life. Love is deaf, dumb and blind. . .

So yeah, I’ve lived, had some interesting experiences but what I want is to be happy. Find that other half that is willing to be a partner, make me laugh, doesn’t cheat, lie, do drugs or have more vices than limbs. And no, I am not going to fall over and exclaim, “take me now!” I like fancy dinners but I also like grabbing Krystals. I like a cocktail from time to time but the days of tying one on are long gone (the hangovers are so not worth it anymore). I love sports, sappy movies and crude jokes. I prefer large cities, public transportation and finding the soundbites when politicos start yapping.

But for some reason I don’t think I would get many hits with that profile. So umm, let’s try this:

Goofy blonde with the humor of a 12 year old boy, loves football, hockey and soccer. I like most kinds of music, not a fan of surprises or florist flowers. I am shy until I get comfortable in the situation and I am extremely gun shy when it comes to dating. I am independent and stubborn. My friends are very important to me and if they don’t like you, hit the door jack. . .

Or maybe I should just ask how a hangover is cured. . . .

The One Where I Break the Curse

I like no LOVE the Steelers. It happened years ago, I was abducted by a family of Steeler fans and given the kool-aid. I haven’t been the same since, which is fine because while it may seem a bit strange to live in the middle of TN Titans country, I have crossed paths with some really cool people since adopting them as my team. I still cheer the Titans on except when we play them. I think that is fair.

So the past few years when they have played in Nashville I have gone and they have lost. . . as in, let’s find a way to really stink it up lose. I was so nervous going into last night’s game because we needed that win and my track record has been, well horrible. So here it is, a hundred below freezing, flurries, bitter wind and oh yeah, me, the cursed one. I am well aware of my track record when it comes to men and relationships and you know, I am okay with that losing streak but not my Steelers. Leave them alone.

Last week I was invited to a meet and greet sponsored by the Steeler’s newest app for the organization: Steeler Nation Unite. I met Craig Wolfey (former Steeler and voice of the team) as well as some front office staffers. I caught a glimpse of the Monday Night Football team and Coach Tomlin. That was Sunday night and I was beyond giddy at this point because I tried on a Super Bowl Ring, got to meet other Steeler fans and geeked out on all things football.

Oh this ring? It's a Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl ring. . .
Oh this ring? It’s a Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl ring. . .
Cool guy and some great stories. . .
Cool guy and some great stories. . .
Pano view of the Meet and Greet. . . I got lucky.
Pano view of the Meet and Greet. . . I got lucky.

I drove home from the meet and greet dreaming of a win and a job offer from the Steelers. . . I never said I was rational when it came to my dreams. So Monday morning it was cold, snowing and did I mention cold? I layered up for work. . . making sure I had my bumble bee socks on for all to see. If I thought I could get away with wearing my jersey to work, I would have trust me. The morning flew by but then at about 1:30 the clock just stopped. Ugh, longest afternoon of my life.

Rocking the bumble bee socks before the game
Rocking the bumble bee socks before the game

And then I found out I got a field pass. It was better than Christmas morning around here. It was a good news/bad news type of thing though. They only had one and my inner selfish football crazy girl came out and said, “oh my friend doesn’t like the Steelers so no worries, mine, mine, mine!!!!” He didn’t care, in fact he was still coming up with ways to end my life because of this very cold evening of football. My only request was that he would hold off on offing me after the game. I have priorities.

I am a very lucky girl who happens to stumble upon some really nice people. . . I got to go on the field pregame
I am a very lucky girl who happens to stumble upon some really nice people. . . I got to go on the field pregame

I walked out onto the field and from that moment on I was overwhelmed. I didn’t know which way to look, what to take pictures of and I wanted pictures of the players but I didn’t want to bother them. So I probably looked like a fish with my mouth wide open. But it was one of the coolest things I have ever done and I got to observe how a team gets ready for the game.

One of the first views when I hit the field.
One of the first views when I hit the field.
Please oh please let the curse be broken
Please oh please let the curse be broken

Oh and don’t mind me gawking. . . that’s just Mr. Rooney walking in front of me. . .

OMG! Mr. Rooney! Fan girl geeking out as the owner walks two feet in front of me.
OMG! Mr. Rooney! Fan girl geeking out as the owner walks two feet in front of me.

My true nerdy self got all dorky with a selfie in front of the MNF team. . . they really wanted to be in the picture.

For a sports and news junkie, this just kind of sent me over the edge. Monday Night Football set right there. ..
For a sports and news junkie, this just kind of sent me over the edge. Monday Night Football set right there. ..

I’m cold, I can’t feel my tush but I am beyond happy to be watching my team play and swinging that Terrible Towel.

Sure it was a cold night, my friend kept thinking up ways to kill me for dragging him to the game and we hit a rough patch but it's my team ya'll. Like I wouldn't be there watching them.
Sure it was a cold night, my friend kept thinking up ways to kill me for dragging him to the game and we hit a rough patch but it’s my team ya’ll. Like I wouldn’t be there watching them.

And while the first wave of people who sat behind us were mostly Steelers’ fans, they kept spilling their beer on my jacket and their token Titans fan friend about took a head dive into our row. So it was with great joy that a group of guys ended up showing up late and reclaimed their seats behind us. They were all cute but there was one that I wanted to trip all over myself to talk to. . . translation. . . I grinned like a dork and said a handful of words to, including, “you have pretty eyes.” If anyone wondered how I have managed to stay single for so long, wonder no more. I chatted up the rest of the guys, they called me honey bee and bumble bee, teased me for my choice in football teams, swatted their Titans towels at my shoulder and bought me drinks but the one that I thought was cute I barely talked to and certainly didn’t ask him his name. But blue eyes said I looked like his best friend and that I would look better in blue instead of black and gold and I said. . . you have pretty eyes.

I meant it but I also wanted to say, you have the kindest eyes ever and I am so awkward but damn, you are cute. . . are you dating anyone? I like football, hockey and can cook like nobody’s business and have the humor of an adolescent boy, wanna go out? But I just blushed, stole quick glances and gave probably some of the stupidest faces to him. All the while hopping up and down trying to stay warm.

After the half they never came back, well one of them did and he said he was messaging them to come back but never heard anything. I repel men. . . see. And just when it looked like the curse was very real I told my friend I was ready to hang it up, the third quarter was almost up, I couldn’t feel my tush or my legs and my team was down. I was a sad panda. So we grabbed our stuff, I told the guy to tell his buddy thanks for the drinks and that blue eyed boy had really pretty eyes (yep, LAME) and we hauled it out of the stadium.

By the way, that curse is really real cause when we got to the car, they scored a TD and by the time I got home we were up and we won. Crisis averted, my Steelers WON!!!!! I can’t feel most of my body, I met a guy that I thought was cute (it’s been way to long) and I think I may of made a fool of myself BUT I got to try on a Super Bowl ring, meet some cool people, hang out on the field and geek out getting to see Steelers players up close and personal.

Yeah, it was a good night.

The One Where I Swear I am Fine

Depression affects everyone differently. For me, it is more about trying to function on some level of normalcy while screaming at myself inside my head. At first I couldn’t even do the fake “I am fine” I would sit in silence after crying jags trying with all of my might to look much stronger, normal. Nothing made me smile or laugh, all I could do was offer up a rather lame he just left, said he thought the spark left. Oh and lots of “I’m sorries.”

Seriously hate those words. I delved deeper into depression, barely eating, finding things to occupy my time. Trying to forget what we shared. With Allan walking, I lost his sweet daughter, his family and friends. And all those plans he had made for us.

What made him walk? I haven’t a clue. The spark he mentioned at one point reminded me of those days in my youth when I thought those John Hughes movies really were close to reality. Life isn’t a fairy tale. And some days life does seem a little blah but having someone by your side to support as well as be there during the blah and the fun times is key.

While I shut down, not wanting to be near anyone Allan goes about his life as if the woman was no longer there. He flips the switch. Apparently his mom and I both agree he needs to see someone to talk about this with…

Do I still love him, yes. And I know much of you will scoff at this but let’s remember that after chandler it took me a really long time to get out there. Maybe there isn’t a guy it there for me. Maybe this lonely existence is what I need to get on with life. I am heartbroken, missing Allan who made me laugh, made me feel special, sexy and comfortable in my own skin. I loved him for his humor, his beautiful face and his kindness. Not even the sexist man on earth could turn my head because to me, Allan was all that and a bag of chips.

I force myself to eat, I go workout four times a week, read and go to work. I attempt social settings but I am not that strong right now and it is a challenge. I don’t laugh as often as a should and there are still moments where I lose it and just cry.

I saw the boy lasts Friday at the grocery store, I knew my heart was firmly planted within Allan since I immediately turned my head and picked up the pace.

My writing has taken a beating. So much I wanted to share but I also knew that it wasn’t just me anymore; that I had a few other people to contend with so I didn’t blog. Plus, when you have that wonderful person sitting next to you on the couch, the last thing you want to do is write,

So yeah, once again I have been rejected. Maybe I should change the blog name to that.

Tuesday Randomness

I have been teased by Mother Nature quite a bit lately and I am close to channeling Stace’s little one’s terrible two tantrums if I don’t get snow soon. I am also quite proud of the little guy for really giving it his all! Having observed countless two year old behaviour in my friends’ kids I have to admit I am kind of thankful that Wook’s outbursts can be dealt with by simply giving him catnip. That noise you hear? That is the lynch mob courtesy of my friends for me laughing while this happens.

  •  I learned Sunday that Wook has a huge aversion to hot pockets. . . as in the snack food. Or at least the word. Stu set him off while talking about meeting up with some people heating one up in the middle of the night at a hotel. Wook’s rage was only calmed by some catnip and his safe space away from Stu.
  • Stu can cause interesting reactions in my cat as well as women. . .
  • I enjoyed the tweets about the Super Dome losing power as much as I enjoyed the actual game
  • In what has to be one of the best surprises, I ended up getting my birthday wish. Allan is back and while I still have moments of fear when it comes to what happened before I am taking a leap of faith.
  • Being friends first is probably one of the best ways to build a relationship
  • I finally watched Ted last week, I think we need to have more vulgar teddy bears in the world
  • I am getting a firm grasp on the game of hockey, while it isn’t football, it will work
  • I am still counting down until preseason though
  • Besides a horrible obsession with Candy Crush, I have find another time suck courtesy of myVegas. . .this might end up being intervention worthy

Short and sweet this week, I have a million and one thoughts unfortunately I am spent and my really comfy bed is calling my name.

Tuesday Randomness

Last week was a blur and not in a good way, I got the crud which turned into an almost week long nap. Good times. . . today was the first day I woke up and didn’t feel like I was in a tunnel. Improvement! But let’s get to it people, maybe I can scrounge a few random thoughts together. . . at least I hope I can because my poor brain took a beating from being sick.

  • I was completely set, excited and ready to cheer on the Fighting Irish in Chandler’s memory last week but he must have known I would take the game way too seriously since I passed out after Bama scored their second TD.
  • I know Chandler was enjoying the game from probably the best seats, with his dad, up in heaven and wouldn’t care who won.
  • Being couped up in the house for the majority of the week wasn’t really all that fun and even more frustrating was the fact that I needed a nap after a round trip to the kitchen to get a drink.
  • Before the sickness, I had a Saturday out with my BFF Stace, a lot of fun browsing through stores, chatting and one minor moment where we both agreed that I might have had a wee bit of bitterness shining through my Year in Review post. . .
  • But even after debating it in my head, I stand by that post and those raw emotions that I did feel when I went through some of it
  • I also learned that Bubba blocked me on FB (oh! the horror! the horror! um, when did this happen?) the other week and I can only assume it had to do with very old photos, paranoia and a relative of his
  • As I said to my mom when she questioned why I posted many years ago photos of the two of us on FB, “he was a huge chunk of my life, especially during college and if I were to edit that history out of my life, a very large part of seven and a half years would be missing”
  • In the end, once I figured out that all of this went down (I am slow on the up take) I deleted those pictures because I was pissed, apparently even having memories of my past must mean something! (said with sarcasm)
  • And while I am on it, if I have to erase every memory, picture, story, thought and/or emotion I have felt in the past because (insert whichever guy’s name) might get upset for me thinking, remembering, writing or anything else under the sun than hell, I could only talk about grade school and even then it might be questionable because there was the little red headed boy I went with in 4th grade, Billy Bob who I have known since we were little who I went with in 5th I believe and let us not forget my very first ever kiss way back when I was a little kid and the neighbor boy gave me a quick peck on the lips!
  • Those are my memories to share as I see fit and those who aren’t even remotely innocent will always be protected by me (even if they don’t deserve it because I can be a doormat, way too nice. . . ) but damn, if you have an issue or you happen to be paranoid about something I post using words actually are more helpful than sticking your head in the sand.
  • It never pays for me to be sick, stuck in the house and way too much time on my hands. . .
  • I did get a nice surprise last week. . .there was this hat I found at Target while visiting my parents, I never saw it here though. While my parents made fun of me and the ridiculousness of the hat, I have to say, it kept me quite warm today thankyouverymuch!
  • Meet Fluffy. . .

fluffy1 fluffy2

  • Wook is having a few issues with Fluffy. Lined in pink, little pockets to stick your hands at the end of the scarf part, ears on top equates to being warm when it is cold and rainy outside. I love it and it only adds to my goofiness, so it works.
  • I have a thing for hats
  • I am now currently waiting for some snow and at this point I would even take a bit of ice just to make all this rain worth it
  • Instead I may end up crafting a boat
  • I gained four pounds during the holidays, must get back on wagon. . .

With that, I will take my cranky pants to bed and try not to imitate Waldorf and Stadler at least for a few weeks. . .

2012: A Year in Review

There were some great things that happened in 2012 and like most people, some shitty things happened as well. I am guilty of diving deep into the crap and allowing it to rule my life. I think that is a natural reaction to life. But I have also been able to step back, acknowledge the bad but still be thankful for what I do have in my life. I haven’t gotten all Pollyanna on you, trust me.

The good? Well, I ended up spending a few days with the Queen in Atlanta leading up to my birthday. Good food, great times with the Queen, IKEA! and a guy even hitting on me in IKEA! I followed that little trip up with a weekend in Nashville. Again, great food, friends and some quality time at Green Hills Mall.

I was a bit delusional when it came to the boy, thinking that our little road trip to DC might put things back on track in February. I also dealt with guilt for not reaching out to Chandler after a conversation with his sister. The shoulda, woulda, couldas have come in waves throughout the year and I have to hope within my heart of hearts that Chandler did know that he was always on my mind. Chandler gave me one final gift when he passed, he opened my eyes to see the boy for who he truly is and that helped me close the door for good on that mistake. Thank you Chandler for pointing out what everyone else could see.

Saying goodbye to Chandler at the end of February was probably the hardest thing I have had to do. For a time I didn’t want to be around happy people, going to the mall pissed me off and the idea of having to even be somewhat social seemed more like torture. I held close the memories we had created together but also knew it was time for me to really focus on getting back home, getting in shape and finding me again.

Apparently in March I tried to find some humor and offered up my embarrassing Spanx story, shared with you my weight (I had already shared my big girl jeans vs. my skinny jeans with you the previous fall) and the time I fell on my tush while working out with my trainer. I also sprinkled in random thoughts throughout the year with Tuesday Randomness. While these may seem a bit boring or um, redundant, it has forced me to write something, anything every week (although I have missed a few. . .).

April reminded me just how great I have it in terms of friends, I spent a weekend at the Queen’s house, met up with a bunch of mother hens for drinks, caught up with an old friend and really thought long and hard about an opportunity in Raleigh. I also got to deal with an allergic reaction to who knows what to my skin. The itching was out of control and the only thing the doctor could come up with was I happened to be allergic to something blowing in the wind. Yes folks, for the price of a copay or two, I learned that my skin was sensitive. Sadly, I have known that since I was a little kid.

I continued to workout with my trainer in May, offered up an explanation as to why I suck at dating and admitted that I was a dork. I also decided after reading an article that I really needed to make a statement and just go ahead and marry myself. If everyone else gets celebrated for every milestone under the sun, why should I let the inability to get a guy to commit to me make me miss out on those milestones? I ended up not going through with it but I will keep it in the back of my head.

June brought hot weather and my impatience at finding anything in Nashville career-wise. I was unhappy with my job, location and lot in life. I did manage to sucker Stace into going to the Def Leppard concert at the beginning of July and lucked into two job interviews while I was in town. I headed to The Trousdale School’s annual musical grinning ear to ear with what was coming up the following week; a concert, two interviews and spending time with friends.

I was a mess after my second interview, kind of feeling like I do most times I go on a date; thinking it went well but never hearing from them ever again. Then I did the phone interview with the recruiter. . .oh July you could have gone either way but on the 13th (my lucky number) I was offered the job and was planning my move back home, to Nashville in under two weeks. I dealt with packing, roped Bird into packing my kitchen, mom helped tons and dad made sure the chair didn’t move while they were there. Wook looked at me like I had lost my mind but agreed to deal with the car ride and chaos a move brings. I started my new job, met my new coworkers and instantly knew I was going to like it here.

I challenged myself to appreciate all the move brought to me, going out with friends, working on myself and doing my very best at my job. A text to Allan one evening led to me meeting John Corbitt and breaking the unspoken rule in Nashville: don’t bother the famous people. Thankfully he was really nice and Allan is probably still shouting he doesn’t know that guy. I also got to warm up in terms of watching football. Oh dear, if the football season could be year round I would be a happy girl.

September came and went in a blur, a lot of football, a lot of time hanging out with the guys and random sightings of the boy as I would head home from work. I was counting down until MTSU’s homecoming, ended up seeing some great guys I hadn’t seen since college and remembering the campus as if I had just left it the day before. Millions of texts to and from Allan seemed to be the norm and I admitted to two friends that I might just have a crush on him. Allan had also voiced his dislike of his first blog name and for the first time in history, I changed someone’s name. That should have been my sign.

I realized I must be bad luck for my beloved Steelers after witnessing first hand the loss to the Titans, one of the worst teams in the league. One of the crudest lines I have ever uttered was finally yelled back at me courtesy of Allan. Text messages flew in after the game and the next day from friends teasing me about the loss. Yeah, I know and we shouldn’t have lost. A fateful weekend spent with Allan caused us to cross the line in our friendship. I was thrilled, very happy and couldn’t believe my luck. I was back home, I had a great job and somehow ended up with a guy whom I considered to be in the best friend circle as something more. All of the sudden, tons of plans were made for parties, trips, football and everything else under the sun.

Then high school drama happened, I saw a side of my friend that I didn’t realize was there and a girl pulled a very childish stunt in order to get her way. I fought for him and then realized that he was in my shoes from years ago with Bubba. I offered him one last piece of advice, do not ever ask me why I stayed with Bubba for so long when everyone knew it was bad. Pot meet kettle. Square peg in round hole still won’t fit. Roller coaster, high school drama still doesn’t make a relationship. And finally, my favorite thought, people change and sometimes it isn’t for the better. Oh and always, always question someone who tries to lay blame on others for their mistakes.

The rest of October was hard, I was in a complete and total funk. I was also very angry at myself for letting someone in when I know how it always ends for me. I refocused on my weight, working out and eating habits. I managed to get into a pair of size ten jeans. I also somehow managed to take the higher road when Allan stated on Facebook he was now in a relationship. I am not a saint, I have said some really not so kind things about the whole situation and I won’t even get into what has gone on in my head. Yes, I was a bit on the bitter side but I still want to know why the one who follows the rules, is nice, responsible and well. . . ends up with the short end of the stick.

November rushed in and I had to get my place in order for my parents’ visit during Thanksgiving. As I have admitted to them, I did prepare myself for a last minute cancellation but that didn’t happen and we had a great time. I ended up with an early Christmas present (a HUGE tv), they got to meet my BFF Stace’s little boy E, Rach’s kids and husband and I think I drug mom around a good portion of Davidson and Williamson counties on Black Friday. It was also the month that dad got an iPhone. I think I have converted him. . . at least I hope so!

I realized in December why I have had such a hard time getting everything Christmas up and out. I haven’t held my dinner party since 2008, which means that I haven’t had a deadline to deal with the tree. I got the tree up this year and some decorations out but waited until the last minute to make the peanut butter chocolate balls for Bird. I watched a ton of Christmas movies, continued my weight loss, watched way too much football, brought bad luck to the Titans when I went to the game at the beginning of the month and watched Mr. E on several occasions.

I also had to say goodbye to my stinky boyfriend, Shadow. I felt horrible for Stace and her husband as well as felt beyond helpless. I have always been proud of the fact that I can handle most anything life hands me (even if I cry or shut down at some point, I have managed to deal with it) but Shadow’s passing shined a light on a weakness about myself.

I headed to my hometown to spend Christmas with the parents and Bird. Her girls still aren’t 100% happy for my move but I am hopeful that when they are older, they will understand. It turned out to be a low key visit, which I enjoyed. I also probably sent mom over the edge introducing beef tenderloin as a great holiday meal since dad is now convinced they should have it monthly. I have also given the gift of Starbucks addiction to dad. At least the barista at his local place doesn’t know his name and order. . . I don’t have to utter a word now if I don’t feel like it.

I also got to visit with Chandler’s mom and sisters while I was there. While the tears do not come as often or quickly, as soon as I see them I am a blubbering mess. I would give anything for Chandler to be back with them, even if it meant we were not meant to be. I still think of him often, love him dearly and talk about him with my friends. As I was getting ready to leave, his mom asked Bri to take me to his room to pick out a couple of things. With each step down the stairs, the tears came faster. . .to be able to see things just as they were when I left made me smile but miss him terribly. I will always wear his Notre Dame shirt with pride and love (and cheer for them too!) as well as his Cubbies hat.

I ended the year on my own instead of going out or hanging with friends. Part of it was I just didn’t want to be around others but the other part was, I was tired, overwhelmed with what I have experienced this past year and the biggest part, who doesn’t want to ring in the new year with the most neurotic cat ever? Plus, NYE is amateur night. I would prefer not to share the road with the crazies. Instead I Facetimed with Son, Snug and T, my parents and chatted briefly with Stace, offering up the I am a loser and this headache is driving me insane (which it has been for several weeks now).

Here’s to 2013, may all your wishes come true and if I ever start talking excitedly about a guy, please smack me. And then point me to my blog.

What Men Want. . .

I still take issue with Mel Gibson and his rants but I do enjoy watching What Women Want from time to time. I thought about that movie when I read a column last night in The Daily Mail UK. Tracey Cox, a columnist for the paper, has had a couple of interesting topics in the past week. The first one I read discussed the age old question; can men and women really be friends? while yesterday’s column was discussed what men wanted in women.

I could write volumes on my experiences with men as friends and as well as my thoughts on what they want in a mate. Actually, scratch that, I could write volumes on what NOT to do when it comes to the opposite sex. As Stace says, I have the most rotten luck when it comes to dating.

But let’s focus on the column Ms. Cox wrote . . . I have always been in the camp that believed most men wanted leggy model types. The reality shows us that the world isn’t overrun with model types but after years of watching movies, tv shows and perusing magazines we have forgotten this tidbit. Instead, we pluck, shave, highlight and diet 98% of our lives away. We strive to become these characters we watch and read forgetting that they have the help of a trainer, stylist, lots of money, lighting and the all important airbrushing.

Per Ms. Cox, several studies have been conducted to find out what it is exactly that men want in women. I was actually speechless when I read that most men are interested in the spark, an emotional connection instead of sexiness. I have been operating under the guise that it was looks first, then personality. While I will never be sexy (kind of hard when you look like you are 12 years old without makeup) my personality is kind of kick ass. Well, my personality works well with a guy’s guy. The bluntness and crassness seems to be polarizing to some guys but I won’t change my personality just to make them more comfortable.

It turns out that there are guys out there that want the nice girl. Of course if we were simply surveying the guys in my past the results would be different. I am completely honest about my penchant for bad boys. While I have grown up and moved on from that, it seems I still can’t pick a guy to save my life. Even when things *seem* perfect; the relationship ends, sometimes by my doing and sometimes their doing.

A blip on my relationship radar recently has reinforced that just maybe I am not meant to have that other half. He was a great friend, we spent a lot of time together just hanging out. As usual, I was the last to know that he might be interested. As Bubba put it, “Gee, I didn’t see that coming out of left field,”  dripping with sarcasm. Apparently everyone who knew us saw it coming, why no one clued me in on this little tidbit I will never know.

Unfortunately, just as quickly as it happened it ended. An ex-girlfriend came back into the picture and he went running back. Of course, there is a lot more to the story but I will refrain. I had heard a lot about their relationship from him and I likened it to the one I had with Bubba. A drama filled, roller coaster relationship where each person brought out the worst in the other with a lot of the past times that were once good thrown in for good measure. Needless to say, this knocked me on my ass and confirmed my thoughts on dating.

I guess the worst part has to be I was completely content being single when I moved back home. I was just so freakin’ happy to be back, with my circle of friends and everything that I loved that I didn’t really care about being single. I loved being around my guy friends, being myself (that kick ass personality that per the article stated men cared more about) that I didn’t care that nights out meant coming home to only a cat. None of that matter because I had forgotten what it was like to have someone around in that way. And really, what you don’t know is missing will not be missed.

We both shared there had been flashes of something *more* but he wanted to be completely done with his ex before moving forward. Me? I didn’t know what I was missing and I didn’t think he would be interested. He told me one night that it was over, he was done with the roller coaster; I took it in, not really knowing what to think or say. Then it happened and since we already knew each other’s story . . . we skipped that whole awkward beginning of a relationship. And I was happy, disgustingly happy. He was surprisingly open, kind, sweet and thoughtful. Sure, I knew what kind of guy he was before but when you cross the friend line, you see a whole other level.

Since I hadn’t seen this coming a mile away, I most definitely did not see what was coming next. The drama roller coaster came skidding up in front of him and he hopped right back on board. I was knocked down, just like Charlie Brown while trying to kick the football and lost a great guy and a friend. The real kick in the pants comes from my personal experience with the on again, off again relationship. I know that nothing I say will make a difference. He’s stubborn like me and will keep trying to shove that square peg into the round hole. I also see what my friends saw when I was going through this a million years ago. As a friend, I feel completely helpless because I can’t make him see reason. Actually, you do see reason, even agree with it but you keep waiting for the same effort to return a different result. Square peg, round hole.

As a more than a friend, I am heartbroken that this destroyed our friendship, I miss him and once again wish that none of it had happened. Now knowing how fun it was, how it just made sense and that it was actually very easy to cross that line makes me mad and disappointed in myself. I knew better but for once I had been completely willing to be open, no prying necessary.

So I did giggle when I started reading Ms. Cox’s columns . . . friends of the opposite sex can be friends but you both have to respect that the line is there for a reason, if you risk crossing that line, you have to be willing to sacrifice that friendship and while it has been assumed that you need to be perfect, men are just looking for what we are looking for. . . a nice person that you can connect with, have fun and be comfortable around. And here I have been so worried that I couldn’t pull off the sexy vibe.

And yes, I still wish that our mutual friends would have smacked me upside the head so I would have seen any and all of this coming. He was quite unexpected and I think that is what cuts the deepest. Good times. And probably by tomorrow, men will decide they want something totally different. I happen to think they are worse than women in some aspects.

The One Where I Dissect My Love Life

I joke a lot about my taste in men and it is comical once the dust has settled. I just wouldn’t joke about it while I am deep in it. As cynical as I can be when it comes to life, I am still a hopeless romantic deep down. It doesn’t help matters that when I am out with the guys I am just as crude as they are, screaming as loud as them at the TV and joking about our collective failures . . . well, my failures.

I didn’t date after Chandler because my heart wasn’t in it. I starting talking to the boy again knowing that it wouldn’t work out because in his shallow heart, I would never be good enough. And maybe that is why I didn’t try as hard as I should have trying to shed the weight. I knew that we could get along decently, we had a few things in common and he wouldn’t make an effort, on anything. My self-preservation is interesting, trust me. Looking back on that whole disaster in the making I just shrug and thank God that he happens to be a selfish, shallow kind of guy.

What I don’t have in a love life, I make up for tenfold with my guy friends. The boys have been there to question my judgment, tease me about sticking around so long in a horrible relationship and of course, talk obsessively about football. It always baffled my Granny as to why I always hung out with guys but for whatever reason my parents never saw it as odd.

I have always firmly believed there is a fine line between that friendship and something more. I have always stood firmly on the side of friendship until a stupid incident a few years ago with Hyde. Hyde was a good friend, between him and Reb; there were a lot of times hanging either at a sports bar or my place watching football and playing Scrabble. I liked Hyde, he was kind, funny and we got along really well. Unfortunately since I am blind when it comes to seeing if a guy is interested in me, I didn’t have a clue that he had a crush.

We crossed the line one weekend, blurring it and making me instantly regret it. It was just a kiss but to me it felt wrong. I tried to hash it out in my brain but nothing could make that one decision disappear. I finally saw that he was in fact, interested in me. We tried on three separate occasions to take the friendship to the next level but I failed miserably. I wasn’t comfortable, I was skittish and to be honest with myself, I wasn’t interested.

But like the time you accidently squeeze out too much toothpaste, you can’t take it back. I tried being honest with him, apologizing over and over for misleading him. There were times I thought if I just tried hard enough, I would learn to be comfortable with him. After I crashed and burned with Hyde, I would occasionally get an email from him full of hate, telling me what a horrible person I was and then listing everything I did to wrong him. Each time I responded without lashing out; I even got Reb to review the emails to make sure I wasn’t hurting him further with my responses.

Our last interaction happened just as I had started seeing the boy. We met for dinner and I was to meet Reb for coffee after this dinner. It was horrible. Once again Hyde went point by point discussing exactly what made me a horrible person. And then to add insult to injury; he continued this when I met Reb for coffee. Instead of taking his cue to say goodbye, we sat awkwardly at Starbucks for the next hour. At that point all I wanted to do was go home without having a moment to actually catch up with Reb.

Of course things didn’t work with the boy; at the time I was devastated because he looked the part of the perfect boyfriend. I had long forgotten that a relationship should be based on unconditional love. I overlooked my needs since he just wasn’t interested in fulfilling them and I sucked it up when I caught him in a lie. Looking back I realize that maybe on the surface the relationship looked fine; but dressing a pig up in designer garb doesn’t change the fact that it is still a pig.

When Chandler caught me by surprise two years ago I started to think about what I wanted in a relationship. I didn’t want games, I wanted someone to be with me because of what is inside and I wanted to be loved. He hit it out of the park. When things ended, I was sad but I had seen it coming. He was pushing me away but I couldn’t figure out why. The only thing I knew was I didn’t want to try again. I was tired of being drug up the hill to see just how wonderful the view was only to be kicked down to the bottom again. It was like a horrible tape playing on loop, reminding me that I didn’t deserve any of it and taking me back to the dark days with Bubba.

I knew when I started talking to the boy again it wouldn’t last; he had unspoken conditions that I would need to meet. Needless to say, I didn’t meet them because I knew I didn’t really want to be with him. And Chandler had one more message for me when I was in DC with the boy and it was to finally see the boy for who he really was, which isn’t much. The ghost of Chandler has stayed with me for a long time and subconsciously I have used him as an excuse not to move forward.

The truth is taking that risk again and again, only to be knocked on my ass gets old. Stace said to me the other day that I have to be the most unlucky person when it comes to love. Her wish, which I know a lot of friends and family members have for me, is that I find love. I don’t put a lot of stock in that wish since all I need to do is look back on my history and see how wonderful it all turned out. . .

It is like Charlie Brown and Lucy with that stupid football. Charlie Brown keeps trying, against his better judgment and Lucy keeps yanking the football away. And if I ever get near Lucy, I am going to smack the poo out of her because Charlie Brown deserves to kick that stupid football.

The One Where I Go Back in Time

It has been 15 years since I was in college. . .sometimes it is crazy to think about all the things that I did while there. The first three years were spent toiling away at a community college while living at home. I didn’t care for it at the time but the reality is my decent GPA there saved my tush when I transferred.

And yes, I could have applied myself more in college but I will say the friends I gained in college and all the fun we had was worth that extra time (and lots of money) that was spent at MTSU. I haven’t been on campus since shortly after graduation. I blame it on the whole living in Nashville and it always take forever to get there and I can be lazy.

But tomorrow I am hitting homecoming, that is if I can figure out where to park and can find the guys. Please say some of my memory comes back when I get on campus. I spent way too much time with the guys at one particular fraternity house (where they did not butt chug, thank you very much). There were a lot of trips to Prontos, way too many parties at the house and a lot of laughs during my time there.

I got a mini reunion earlier this week after getting some horrible news about one of the brothers. While it wasn’t the best of circumstances I was reminded why I loved spending time with these guys. We also laughed about the pool, the parties and some questionable choices made by Bubba.

Tomorrow I get to see them and even the ones that didn’t make it to the pub Tuesday. I can’t wait! It is a lot of fun to remember the fun times but it is also nice knowing that I am a better version of myself now. It also makes you feel good when they wrap you up with a big hug and say they are happy to see you.

Back then it was the dark days with Bubba, the wild and unruly boy that I thought I could tame. I didn’t and probably missed out on a lot of other things while there but being welcomed back into the fold by the boys puts a big smile on my face. And I can’t wait to see them all again.

And while Bear won’t be there, he has requested one small favor. . . apparently he doesn’t like his blog name. He can be a bit of a whiny butt, so in honor of the fact that he looks and acts like the character Allan from The Hangover he will now hence forth be called Allan. He still looks like a bear though. . . and is in desperate need of a mani/pedi ASAP.

Now I need to go figure out the best place to park at MTSU. . . if I don’t show up by 9:30 someone send the search party out. K?