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. . . .

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The One Where I Talk About Valentine’s Day

I haven’t been a huge fan of the Hallmark holiday in many, many years. It was great when I was little, more presents! Yipee! Then junior high came and so did the sending of a carnation. . . would I get one? And of course high school hits and everyone is smiling as they get their note that they have something in the office for them. I did get something one time.

By the time I was in the working world I noticed that we had regressed to teenagers again, gloating when getting flowers and sneering if you are single. I started to despise the day simply because coworkers would gloat that their SO sent them flowers when in reality, that SO was probably cringing at the thought of the cost, waste and the forced merriment of the day. And no story would be complete without a Bubba story. . .

The year I finally pulled the plug on the horrible dating cycle with him I got flowers sent to me at work not once but twice! Seeing as how my birthday is two weeks before Cupid comes to shoot everyone down I thought I had hit the jackpot. Huge arrangements that would have probably fed an entire village in a third world country. I was so lucky!!!! Isn’t MY boyfriend the best?!

Oh, did I mention that while he stated to me that he was way too busy with work and me to possibly cheat, he was in fact making plenty of room in his schedule to cheat. And those really expensive, large arrangements? Guilt flowers. To ease his guilt he wasted money (and my time) in order to not feel as guilty for his behavior. After that I became a HUGE fan of grocery store flowers if my guy wants to give me flowers. Cheap, thoughtful and no guilt to be eased.

I also wasn’t a big fan for going out on that night, another little result of my time with Bubba. Fights, tears and disappointment made me want to just ignore any kind of holiday because really, can’t a fight that ends in tears happen on just a random night? I was already used to dealing with my luck at guys disappointing me or breaking my heart at huge junctures in my life, at least give me decent holidays to celebrate.

As a result, boyfriends post Bubba ended up getting off really easily. . . a CD, a nice card, grocery store flowers, dinner cooked together at home. . . sign me up! That is what I did with Jorge, the boy and Chandler. They were all decent experiences in terms of the Hallmark holiday. And if you had asked me at the start of the new year what I would be doing this year, I would have said I was picking up something decadent to cook, watch a double feature of chick flicks and call it a night.

But I got a nice surprise shortly before my birthday and think I gave him a really nice surprise in return. We talked about Valentine’s day and I said I wanted to go to the hockey game. Fancy dinner? Nope. Flowers delivered? Nope. Just give me some hockey, gumbo at a local bar and time spent with him and I would be a happy girl. And that is what we did and it was probably one of the best Valentine’s days ever. Simple, fun and no drama. Who knew?

Allan and I both said a few times that this was one of the best Valentine’s ever…why? All of the above plus he listened to me about what I liked and disliked. I am thankful that the days of wanting the outlandish, unattainable John Hughes experience has gone. I guess in a way I have to thank the crappy boyfriends of the past for the all the letdowns and Chandler for reminding me to appreciate the small gestures.

Now the best holiday is coming up, no presents needed. . . St. Patrick’s Day. . . to be celebrated in a pub or preferably in NYC because who doesn’t want to spend the whole of the parade with New York’s finest. . .

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.

Living in a Tunnel

I would like to blame most of this foggy living on being sick but there are a few more factors in play. My vacation to DC was supposed to be great, full of food, laughing, talking and sightseeing, Unfortunately I was still sick as a dog. This plays a huge part in terms of wakling around a city with the weather changing every five minutes. I knew that being out in the elements was not a good thing. I paid for it dearly when I finally got back to my apartment.

The boy, while we have many things in common, can let things into his life that consume him. We all have this happen from time to time, It’s just we both needed this vacation, a way to be away from everything and just enjoy. Cool man, his friend that is practically a brother to him has adictions that basically rule his life. It is horible to be trapped in such an adiction. I remember watching Bubba deal with it years ago and it didn’t matter what I said or did, he would stop when he wanted to because no amount of reasoning would convince him that life could be better, different.

In a very un Amy life stance, I began to drown out what the boy was say about his friend or the conversations with his sister and friend. It wasn’t that I didn’t care, it was more like, put the phone down and take advantage of this great city we are in! Enjoy it! This is our vacation. Sadly, my thoughts on the matter were met with the you don’t understand.

When I learned about Chandler, I was in schoke. I couldn’t believe it, in fact when I dreamed that first night, it was all Chandler talking to me and saying this was all a joke, he wanted to push me out so I didn’t have to deal with it. I went through the maze trying to catch him and reason with him. I finally got up and looked at my phone to confirm that yes, he was gone.

As I tried to talk to the boy about it, he shut down. I don’t know if it was me talking about and reacting about the loss of a great guy I had dated or if he just didn’t have the skill set to deal with me. But I lent an ear and listened to him repeat the latest texts, conference calls, ect about the cool boy. I was once again forced to admit to myself that the boy wouldn’t change, that his drama was first and mine had to fall by the wayside. Frustrating and disappointed is all I can describe the vacation that was supposed to allow both of us to relax and enjoy the city.

I have only had a few true loves in my life, Jorge (thanks for the kick ass diet when you left), the boy (I left him and regretted it, now we dance around the subject adnasuem until I am over it and walk, again) and Chandler who did what he thought he needed by pushing me away.

Looking at 40 barrelling down so quickly I have to do the gut check. Can I be okay on my own? I know I can, I can handle pretty much everything or as dad has always said, you don’t need a man to get far in life. I want one in my life but I don’t need one.

But this tunnel is a pain in my ass. The darkness, the random tears and go over what I have done in the past scream out at me. People joke about the padded rooms and going to a pysch ward but I get it. Sometimes the thoughts in our heads won’t shutup and those are the times you just want peace. I can feel the snotty crude trying to make a comeback and wonder just how long I can live in this tunnel before I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I almost made a rash decision to invite myself up to a freind’s place in Chicago for St Paddy’s Day but knew that price of teh ticket would make me think twice. And running away has never made the situation better. I know others are worse off than me and I should be thankful for what I have in the here and now. But sometimes you just want one good thing to happen to you instead of getting the feeling that no matter what you do, you get knocked down. I really should be about 5’8″ but years of being knock down (some of my own doing) I have shrunk.

I am going to get back on that horse though, I am going to take personal training sessions and I am going to focus on me. I want to get better, feel better and in turn be able to harass my parents into getting healthy. I may have had a shitty few weeks but I can learn from them and move on.

And that my friends is how I am going to get out of this tunnel. I am going to fight it every step of the way and maybe, just maybe through that two piece in my bag and go swimming without a care in the world.

Tuesday Randomness

Oh sweet Tuesday, sometimes you take forever to get here. This post is brought to you by novicane, temps and multiple dental visits.

  • I feel like my life revolves around going to the dentist. What was supposed to be my last visit for a nice long time last month ended up being rescheduled. . . then I forgot about that appointment. Life happened and I finally got back there today only to learn that the lab still messed up my crown. Seriously?
  • I have a brand new temp on the tooth and if the stars align, I hop on one leg while curling my tongue, I just might get the permanent one next week.
  • For good measure, the dentist opted to numb me up to deal with this troublesome tooth. .  .back on the soup diet again.
  • Chattanooga is in love with the roundabout even though most people don’t understand them. I had the pleasure of driving through one that is still an all sides stop last night. Apparently dude in Camry didn’t think he should have to stop, neither did the two cars before him. He didn’t like me laying on the horn but I am a bit like a New York taxi driver, you cut me off, almost hit me or anything that might seem unpleasent to me and I will lay on it until you turn red.
  • We may have found the answer to mom’s health issues and it all has to do with how she sleeps. She took her first sleep study last night and they said it was terrible. I think I shall start calling her Darth Vadar. . .
  • It is great to know that it isn’t her heart but it is scary to think that in just a few short months she went from doing most of the yard work to walking across the house or running errands caused her to feel really out of breath and tired. That is not my mother. In fact, had she been feeling better a few weeks ago I could only imagine how clean she would have gotten my place to look.
  • Changing my meds seems to be working in terms of weight. Currently I have dropped 23 lbs only, umm, let’s see, 50 to 60 more to go. Why can’t my Dyson help me out with this issue. I am also going to through some money at the isse and take on a personal trainer at the Y. I need someone pushing me, yelling at me. I want to be in my little clothes this summer. I have some things to prove to myself.
  • I haven’t been eating a ton due to being sick and that horrible dark hole that is trying to get me to crawl into it. I don’t want to go there but I see myself retreating. Friends, don’t worry, I will get out of the funk, you just have to let me feel it, work through it and accept it.
  • I found the cutest Lilly Pullitzer patchwork dress on ebay that I most have. . . This is going to be the year of cute clothes, no back fat, more writing, visiting Sonia in Baltimire as well as a visit to Chicgao to visit Candy, I may not make a ton of money but I want to get out there, walk around, emerse myself and write. Oh and hit a few restaurants that make me giddy.
  • After we get mom’s breathing/sleeping situation handled, we will then be planning our girls trip down to St Pete. This isn’t my kind of trip, but mommy loves it, Robin loves it and somewhere in the mix of things I am allowed to drink at night.
  • Some mornings I wake up thinking it was all a bad dream and then I remember it wasn’t. I have good days and bad days. It is more about understanding that those feelings buried deep last summer never went away. I miss him. I should have done better than I did.
  • Each day will get a bit better and my pain is so silly compared to his mom and sisters as well as the kids. I pray for them daily,.
  • I talked to Bubba tonight, what a mess he is. Love him but we both joke how we both dodged that bulliet. He’s happy and doing well. I am so proud of him. Of course he lectured me about choices, I highly believe Bubba and Chandler would have had quite a few laughs at my expense.
  • The crude that I have had for over two weeks now, still here, Maybe it could take me to dinner and a movie, send me tullips at work. A girl can dream.

And now I am off to slumber land. Wook deserves and early bedtime and that means Snuggles!

Pulling Up My Big Girl Panties

Or at least I am going to try. I have buried classmates, grandparents and my BFF’s son, each were tough in their own unique ways. The emotions hit you while dealing with the grief but this time, losing Chandler cut to the heart of the matter. I wasn’t prepared for this, nor was I ready for this. And in the back of my head I keep questioning why this is all hitting me so hard. Chandler pushed me away, we hadn’t spoken in quite some time. For once, this wasn’t the lame excuse of it’s not you, it’s me.

A friend who has dealt with cancer and thankfully beat it shared with me last night that when you are the sick one, knowing that time is limited, she felt it was necessary to shut out the people that cared. It is a defense mechanism that makes them want the people they care about to get some time, distance and hopefully while it hurts in the moment, that maybe the pain will not be there when they leave this earth. I completely botched what she shared with me but after speaking with his mom and one of his sisters, I kind of understand.

Would I have preferred to discuss this opening with him and come to some agreement? Yes. I am not angry with him, I am only heartbroken and sad. There is hope in knowing that maybe he realized that I still cared, still loved him and I hope that was what he was feeling. With all of my desire to move back home to Nashville, the one person who could have kept me here was him. I wanted to be a part of his life. I didn’t care about the fancy things nor the fact that he was unhealthy.

Neither of us had planned on this becoming anything more than just friends. But it shocked both of us, it challenged me to think less about myself and just be in the moment with him. We spent nights laying around talking, talking about anything and everything. The past, our mistakes, books, our issues and finally the words that meant so much to me, he would marry me tomorrow. I should have taken him up on that, ran to the courthouse and said I do. But his best quality has to have been thinking of others. He knew I had never been married, he knew that I wanted something a little more than going to the courthouse,.

I think he starting shutting me out when I had to take him to Vandy for minor surgery. I don’t know what happened but he started closing me out. I don’t know if he was afraid that I would resent him or be scared about what was to come but I wish he would have trusted me. I wanted to be there for the long haul. To be another person in his support system that loved him and wanted to take care of him.

But we ran out of gas. And I don’t know exactly what I could have said or done to make him change his mind. Sure, there were things that drove me crazy about him but I know he could have said the same about me.

Toddy, I loved you for you. You made me smile, laugh and sometimes question my sanity. I felt completely content snuggled up to you. I am going to miss you for a long time. I am thankful that you have a whole family of girls that are willing to listen to me whine from time to time and that they have welcomed me in as they grieve.

So what if I am a crybaby, this just gives you the chance to make jokes up there and tell your dad how silly I can be about things. We may have split up last year but I never wanted to let go of you. And now I need to put my big girl panties on and deal with this. It’s going to be hard and I am going to cry a lot but I am going to do this. And I am going to keep writing and maybe, just maybe one day get a book completed. And it will be all because of your love, support and the endless nagging when it came to writing.

I love you Toddy and I am going to miss you.

The One Where I Have to Say Goodbye

I haven’t mentioned Chandler in quite some time. Partly because when a relationship ends you lose touch and partly because I didn’t want to share the details of our relationship ending. Maybe the easiest way to describe us and our relationship is this way, we went from zero to 100 and then forgot to stop for gas until it was too late.

Chandler passed away Saturday morning, leaving behind some incredible women and we can all agree he left too soon. His younger sister was beyond kind by reaching out to me to share the news instead of me reading about it on Facebook. Since I was in DC over the weekend, I learned of his passing as I was standing in American History Museum and was too shocked to take all the news in and really understand it.

That night he was all over my dreams and I could have sworn that it was all just a bad joke until I checked my email again for Bri’s two word message, call me. When the news finally sunk in, the tears started to flow. I was mess and all I could think about was his family, his wonderful cat and some of the most silly things we used to laugh about.

Chandler was the guy who would bug me to death if I hadn’t written in a couple of days. He would pester me until I sat down and wrote. He encouraged me. He would also call me a cry baby when I would get all girly about movies or commercials, so I know he his taunting me from Heaven right about now. Sorry buddy but this hurts.

We drifted apart after we split, which is normal but I always checked up on him either by stalking his or Bri’s Facebook or I would exchange messages with her. There were times I wanted to call him, just to hear his voice but then felt silly thinking that. And then a wave a guilt runs me down because he had mentioned to his sister that I hadn’t checked in while he was in ICU. She told him that I had checked in with her but still. I hope he knew that I still loved him, that I missed him and that I thought about him daily.

I don’t really know how I am going to say goodbye to him because I thought there was more time. I thought that I could come back from vacation this weekend and send him a message to let him know I was thinking about him. But at least I know he is up there, saying, oh, she is such a cry baby. . . with the inflection that he used for that. I will also hear him nagging me to go write. And about a million other things as well. It may have been a fast ride but we managed to pack a lot into that trip.