The Time Machine

I tend to spend a lot of time in my head, analyzing, overanalyzing any and everything. It could be a disagreement with an old boyfriend or that time I watched a parent be a horrible human being in the grocery store. I tend to think that part of the reason I am always in my head is my personality while I am sure my anxiety, depression issues play a part in it too. And, I always want to be right (such a bad personality trait).

I’ve been finding quotes daily (for the most part) that puts life in perspective, to be grateful and to maybe get out of my head. This morning I came across this one. . .

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end.

Gilda Radner wrote that and she is one of my personal heroes. Taking her ordinary looks and her ability to make people laugh to the next level. From her characters in Saturday Night Live to her quirky roles in movies to the most epic love story ever told. . . her love for Gentlemen Wilder and their life together.

I was raised on a healthy diet of fairytales, Disney movies and how the Prince Charming comes in the end to tie up that beautiful love story with that perfect bow. I understood that they were just stories but what wonderful stories they were! I am grateful my charmed childhood was balanced out with the neighbor kids my age being boys though. I was willing to get dirty, play with my matchbox cars as much as I was putting a dress on and playing with my dolls.

I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing my choices and playing out all the what ifs and I wishes. . . hey I have a lot of time on my hands when there is a lull between sports. I did the boyfriends of the past tour last year and while it was probably a 50/50 outcome, it did allow me to say, yep, that was the right decision. Even if I didn’t want it to end or I did because I wanted to spread my wings.

Every success and every mistake I’ve made is what makes me me. Take it or leave it, I am a non-drama kind of girl that rarely gets jealous, has guy friends and will be blunt without thinking if that hurts someone’s feelings.

I’ve experienced the weird tightrope of being friends after the relationship ended years before and I’ve also felt the pull of unfinished business. It’s strange to have a conversation and you just automatically finish their thoughts. Or automatically revert back to that person that takes care of the other one. Or those times when you look up and he is looking at you and unspoken words are exchanged. It leaves you with a “did that just happen? OR Was I just imagining things just because?”

Since I have overanalyzed most of my adult life, I will say that I tend to just lean towards it all being in my head. For better or worse, I am my own worst critic. I may have that perfect ending sitting in my head but normally my stories are all over the map, make little to no sense or huge mistakes on my part where I completely embarrassed myself.

No one has a perfect fairytale story and that is okay. I’ve also managed to write my own endings. The ones where I finally decided to stop waiting around for Prince Charming to whisk me off my feet and see the world. It is terribly freeing when you let go of what society thinks you should be doing and make it up as you go along.

I’ve expanded my sports knowledge, introduced hockey to my dad, traveled to some of my favorite cities in the US, worked on me (a lot) and learned to be a better friend and auntie. I’ve even gotten back to my love of music, taking in quite a few concerts this year.

So what if my stories doesn’t rhyme or have clear beginnings, middles and ends. . . those stories create a sum total of me. Life’s messy and I suck at all things domsetic (except cooking) so I accept the mess and keep moving.

Advertisements

The One Where I Admit. . .

I have a thing for Hallmark Christmas movies, please people, send help. . . cause I have become obsessed with every movie remotely tied to Christmas and now I have a channel that is all cheesy Christmas movies all the time. And I could write these cheesy things. . .

So between football and cheesy movies, my dance card is kind of full. I spend my days working and my evenings curled up on the couch with the Wookster. I have even managed to find sappy books to read, so I may need to be admitted to a self help program at the first of the year. We won’t even talk about what my DVR looks like at the moment.

I have started doing meal prep for a couple of coworkers, it’s so nice cooking for others and yet I don’t have to worry if my house is neat and tidy for dinner guests! Score! I have been working on getting my Christmas gifts bought, unfortunately each time I head out I end up with something I like plus another Star Wars item for Mr. E. Stace and the hubby may end up cutting me off if I continue to buy gifts for my buddy. To be fair, the kid’s birthday is five days after Christmas and a good portion of the stuff is books so. . .

I can’t wait until the 24th. . . I grew up watching Star Wars, I remember coming out of the cinema in Cleveland, being held by my dad, seeing the StarVu drive-in playing The Empire Strikes Back and wanting to see it again after just sitting through it. While mom isn’t that into it, dad and I are going and it is going to be so much fun. Although I will probably be the one paying this time and we will probably have to hit Starbucks before we head to the theater.

I am looking forward to the new year, fresh new plans, goals and experiences. 2016 will be spent making me happy. I have agreed to go out at least once a month with the Queen, I will continue to volunteer at Second Harvest Food Bank and I am going to work hard to get back to 5K shape. Of course, I will also do whatever the Wookster wants me to do as well because he’s the boss.

But for now I will continue to watch football and some sappy Hallmark movies. At least it kind of balances out. .. maybe. . .

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. . . .

I Do Matter

I work from home on Wednesdays…it gives me a midweek break in terms of the commute and the distractions at the office. Normally once the flurry of the first 30 minutes of The Today Show goes by I flip the tv to repeats of sitcoms past…I like the background noise of it.

But today I was digging in deep on several projects, preparing for a conference call and didn’t change the channel. Carson Daily interviewed Jennifer Anniston and the often talked about why she doesn’t have kids came up. Then I noticed this evening Tamron Hall had written about it as well. And it reminded me of some comments made to me a few months ago.

I was told by a much younger, greener professional that I didn’t really matter. I got a salary and I was single so no pressures….for he had pressures. He has a house, a spouse and next year a child to add to his list of pressures. It was as if he truly believed that being single meant no responsibilities, no pressures and I assume the opportunity to treat each night as if it was a kegger.

For those of you that know me, you will understand that that went over about as well as someone telling an addict their problems end once they drop the bottle. Why yes, little boy, my life is so fucking easy. No ones life is easy, we all have challenges and issues and pressures that we have to deal with in life.

I am a family of one…I have to provide a roof over my head, food for myself and maintain my car, health and every other normal responsibility. I chose to adopt a cat almost 15 years ago, I must provide him food, shelter and healthcare. If I have a health emergency or even just get sick, it’s all on me. Taking vacations out of the country are a challenge because it is just me, so those are considered extravagant vacations in my book, plus I am just getting used to traveling on my own.

No, I don’t have a spouse nor do I have children, did I want them? Yes, very much so but as of right now, it hasn’t happened and I have to accept it. I have made horrible choices when it comes to men, trusting and giving chances to those who never deserved a second chance yet got many chances from me. I have treated some very nice men like crap, going into something I shouldn’t have, getting scared or just being dumb. I regret hurting those guys and hope that one day, they will forgive me.

I had one very special man in my life who loved me so much that he set me free thinking it was for the best. His way of protecting me. I’ll have a conversation with him when I see him again in heaven.

So while I don’t have a spouse, house or children to call my own, I still matter. I’m Aunt Amy to so many of my friends kids, love them with all my being and some days I think, maybe just maybe I still might get all that I would like to experience.

I read my newsfeed on Facebook and yes, I get twinges of jealousy when engagements happen or babies arrive but I also am happy for them. I also watch as others complain so much about their lot in life when really they are blessed but are so bogged down they can’t see the forest for the trees.

But what I really want to say is there are some people that just don’t find their other half or their bodies fail them when it comes to wanting a child but they matter. They have the same concerns and challenges that those families go through. They matter because they are human, they live and breath the same air you do, they feel the same heartbreaks.

I didn’t go to college to get my Mrs. Degree, I went to find myself. Along the way I took a few wrong turns but I’ve learned from it all. And I matter. I’m not a weirdo, a freak or there is something innately wrong with me because I am single and childless. I just didn’t find that path and that’s okay. Because I still care, I still love and I still have all those responsibilities that every single person has in life.

So back off arrogant little boys and girls who pass judgement on those who don’t fit in your cookie cutter world. I am me and I matter. I just went about it differently than you.

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.

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. . .

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.

Getting Older: The One Where I Am Bitter (Kind Of, Not Really)

I have a birthday looming. . . I remember when I was getting ready to turn 30; I was thrilled, excited and couldn’t wait until that day. Turning 30 allowed me to become really comfortable in my own skin and subsequent birthdays didn’t bother me either. Well, until I hit 35, something about 35 felt like a slap in the face. Since then, it has been kind of downhill.

I am not the biggest fan of celebrating my birthday but the reality is I should take full advantage of my birthday. One of the cons of being single is you get your birthday, that is about it. So while I read about my friends celebrating anniversaries, kids’ birthdays, etc. I stick with just this one celebration. Things happen and sometimes they don’t go as you planned them.

In my 20s I thought I would be married by the time I was in my mid 30s. Oops. I wasn’t in a hurry to walk down the aisle but I thought that it would be reasonable to think that I would get married in my 30s. Then a course of bad choices, some heartbreaking experiences and of course more bad choices led me to “I will be 40 in a year’s time and have yet to get engaged, married or even successfully date someone for any length of time.” So yes, there is some bitterness but in all seriousness, I can only point a finger in my direction. I can’t blame anyone else for the choices I have made. I guess that is one of the pluses of getting older, you figure out that most of the time those sucky moments are all your fault.

But I think the worst part about getting older is all the crap I see being advertised for “us getting older folk.” As I embrace getting closer to 40, I am looking forward to the following items showing up on my “to buy” list:

Gray Away

Going gray? Spray a bit of color on your hair to hide that dirty little fact!

Reacher Pick-up And Reach Tool

Since we older folk tend to shrink as we get older and climbing on chairs and stools are not the safest option, grab The Reacher! It makes getting those calcium pills, water pills, antacids and other items a lot easier.

Invisi Ear

Huh? What? Can you say that again? I will now sleep better knowing that I can pick up one of these bad boys before going to see a movie. I will be able to hear my shows without having to tap on the cat to ask what was just said. . .oh, not available in California.

Portable Shower Arm

Like many others before me, I want to make sure I can bath safely yet move the shower head around. Visiting friends? Bring it with you! No one should have to manipulate their body while trying to shower.

Long Reach Comfort Wipe

And it goes without saying that the older one gets, the harder it is to poop. Why add to the challenge with the inability to reach around to wipe? This handy dandy tool allows you to attach toilet paper or even wet wipes to it so you too can still wipe your own tush.

Roll-A-Lotion Buy 1 Get 1 FREE

If you can’t reach to wipe, more than likely you are having a time getting the lotion on after your shower. This tool can help you reach any body part you can’t reach with just your hands.

Dream Look Instant Eye Lift

Don’t want to age gracefully yet don’t want to fill your face with Botox? Try this out! Because it is completely normal for 80 year old women to have eyebrows that are really close to the hairline.

Air Compression Leg Wraps

Legs bothering you when you try to sleep at night? Hook these bad boys up and that circulation problem with be a thing of yesterday!

Nyloxin - Pain Relief for Chronic Arthritis and Joint Pain

As many of you know, I am not a fan of smelling like IcyHot, with a squirt into my mouth I can have chronic joint pain relief! Never mind that if this really did the trick every doctor across the states would be screaming about it from the rooftops.

Shingles Treatment

 

Got Shingles? This potion will make things all better! Who knew?!

And finally, the items I couldn’t find online but I do know about. . .

Poise Pads-“oops, I peed my pants!” will no longer be in your vocabulary

iFlash/iCool Pads-I can’t remember the name of these little life savers but I hear that those hot flashes are mean little buggers; slap one of these cooling pads on for a sweat free night’s sleep

The Hurrycane-it will stand even when you can’t! Impress everyone at the senior center with this amazing cane, gone are the days when you needed to worry about where to place your cane while sitting.

Who knew there were so many products out there for the aging crowd?! I will also get to take advantage of the senior discount at movie theaters, airlines, grocery stores and Captain Ds. The alternative is to be six feet under so I guess I will accept this getting older thing and deal with it. But word of warning to my friends, do not buy this crap for me. I think I am going to fight the inevitable by refusing to grow up and have moments where I still think I am in my 20s. The best part? Thank God for the wonderful genes I inherited from my Popa. . . I maybe just a hop, skip and a jump from 40 but I don’t look it!

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.