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Friday, November 30, 2012

The New Normal

Something clicked.  Resignation?  Realization?  Rationalization?  I don't know, but something clicked… it's the "New Normal."  Living alone doesn't feel so fucking awful anymore.  It no longer pains me to sleep in the absolute center of my king-sized bed.  I no longer wake up at the same time in the middle of the night flooded with thoughts and obsessions of 'where it all went wrong' anymore.
In fact, after one too many hopeless nights spent obsessing about "us", I finally decided to just delete her number from my phone (I have a terrible memory for phone numbers, so this was quite a profound moment for me).  And why not?  Neither of us has any use for the other any longer.  I don't need her in my life and she's made it pretty clear that she doesn't want me in hers.  Why it took me so long to realize that fact, I just don't know.  I suppose fueled with the fear of losing her, forgetting her or no longer loving her, I was holding on to the memories of what we had.  I kept thinking that those sublime memories would bring us back together one day.  I actually thought that if I turned my back on our memories the way that she has, then there would be nothing left between us anymore.  WTF kind of insane logic is that
Recently, I was having a conversation with someone who went through a similar betrayal (her girlfriend betrayed her for someone less worthy too), I actually found myself reassuring her that her ex was too screwed up for her, and not the other way around.  And I know that that's true because for the last three months, I kept asking myself why my ex would betray and leave me for a bridge-dwelling troll?  (Oh yeah, I said it!)  Ohhh, right… it's because she's too screwed up for me, not the other way around.
To anyone who's been through the emotional turmoil of a cheating lover, please realize one thing: it's not you; it's them.  No one deserves that kind of betrayal and it's significantly revealing of one's character when they can "love" you and lie to you all at the same time.  And if your cheating lover chose a bridge-dwelling troll, I'd say it's even more revealing of their character.  You deserve better.  (And damnit, I deserve better.)
So here we are: the New Normal.  The new routine of my days.  The new rhythm of my life.  Change has always been hard for me.  Unbelievably hard.  Stability is life blood to someone like me; I don't function without it.  Learning to accept a one hundred-eighty degree change in my life?  It's next to impossible, especially when that change stems from such great loss.  But as time goes by, that change has become more normal, to the point of not really remembering how wonderful it felt to be in love with Glamazon anymore.  The heart (thankgod) forgets.  My heart forgets to the point that, while an empty home is lonely, I don't dread going home anymore.  I'm seeing the ghosts of her presence less and less with each passing day.  And, while I still feel the dull ache of her betrayal, my heart doesn't burn for her any longer.  The new normal isn't "sublime" but it's mine, it's simple and completely lacking in trolls.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Google IS Your Friend.

You guys! I had the craziest thing happen to me a few weeks ago. I'm sorry I've been holding out on you, but I'm here now, and you'll forgive me, right? Anyway, I'm terrible at holding on to secrets, so here it is. I...had a good date!
I know, I know, it sounds impossible, but here it goes. I show up at the coffee shop a few minutes early (as always), and purchase my warm beverage. As I head back out to sit in the parklet outside and wait for my date, I nearly bump in to this dreamy dude on his way in. He smiles and says my name. Wait, what? This must be a mistake! Oh no, it was my date, looking 100 times better than his pictures. He was exceedingly polite, hilarious, and attentive. We sat and talked for a good hour and a half, before he suggested we go for a walk around the lake near my house. We strolled through the gardens near the middle of the lake, sat on a bench amidst a grove of trees and chatted for another hour. Before I knew it, he had to leave for work, and he was walking me back to my car, nervously asking if he could see me again. Of course, I said yes.
BUT. It couldn't end there, otherwise I wouldn't be writing, right? The next day, as I began that familiar game of waiting for a follow up text/call/smoke signal, I decided I would Google him. I had limited information on him, so I figured I wouldn't get any hits, but it was a proper way to procrastinate on actual work duties. So, I Googled. His name was fairly common, so I was ready for some weeding through of imposters. The first article I came upon certainly was one of those imposters. "Student with firearm arrested for making terrorist threats." How odd, though, this person had the same name, and went to the same university at the same time! What a coincidence. Oh, and he had the same major. And grew up in the same town. And had the same hobbies. And was the same age. Wow, these two certainly had a lot in common. Perhaps they were friends? Oh, but wait! After more Googling, I found a photo. Same dreamy dude that strolled into the coffee shop the day before, except dressed in a jumpsuit. I did some more research, panicked a little, got some of his side of the story (from the articles, not the source directly), and realized that while he was just a lost soul, I needed to get out of this date. Thankfully, I did so without much effort on my part, and I never let on that I knew why his last year of college was so "crazy" that he had to drop his double major. This, my friends, is why you need to Google your dates!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Smelling Delicious, Gobsmacked and the Affect That Tall Women Have on Me

"You smell delicious."
And that, my friends, is the quickest way to make my head swoon.  Who knew?  Certainly not me.  Ok, ok, I'm an absolute sucker for flattery; I can, at least, admit that.  And I do pride myself on smelling good, even if most people never get close enough to notice (the trick to smelling good is subtlety, after all).  But really, a simple phrase like that and my head gets all floaty. 
I will say, though, that I am in love with my perfume.  Ladies, if you like a soft vanilla scent with just a hint of plum top notes, do yourself a favor and check out Boyfriend perfume.  I'm not kidding - it does smell delicious.  Anyway, I digress… back to the topic at hand.

I recently went on a date with a woman who turned out to be the loveliest, most pleasant surprise.  (Thank you, Santa, for answering my last letter requesting a few new faces.)  Leading up to our first date, I was skeptical.  I mean, I liked this one's online profile - she seemed to exude grace and confidence, and she's direct yet almost poetic in her delivery.  But as I tried to get to know her through emailing, I was sensing some resistance, and that is never a good sign in my book.  If I sense a disconnect at all leading up to a date, it almost never goes well.  But I decided to take a chance anyway - if she turned out to be a total weirdo, I'd at least have something amusing to write about.  I do it all for you, people!  I hope you fucking love me.  (*wink*)  As it turns out, she wasn't a weirdo at all… at least not that I can tell… yet.
When we met, we greeted each other with a hello, a smile and a friendly hug, upon which she said, "Mmm, you smell delicious."  And let me just get this out of the way for all you skeptics: she didn't say it in a pervy, creepy uncle, 'would you like some candy, little girl?' way either.  She was genuine with just a hint of flirt and a whole lot of confidence.  She almost took my breath away right in that moment.  But, as I am skeptical, and reserved, and very cautious about getting my hopes up these days, I made some stupid joke about not purposely trying to make myself edible, but thankyouverymuch for the compliment.  Score One for the perfume and Penalty One for the horrible wit.  (*bangs head against keyboard*)  I really am a hopeless dater.
The plan for our date was a scenic motorcycle ride, followed by a drink at a divey bar.  Here's what I love about motorcycle dates (besides the obvious extra "cool points" I get for riding one): Necessary Physical Contact.  Physical contact tells you everything you need to know about just how well your date is going.  And you don't always get physical contact (or that kind of information) when simply having a meal together or meeting up for drinks.  Let me elaborate:
Every stranger is a bit tentative about how and where to hold on to their driver when riding on the back of a bike.  Naturally, your passenger does not want to fully wrap their arms around you if you've only just met and they generally try to not squeeze you too tightly with their legs.  I get it.  It's awkward being *this close* to someone you've only just met.  (Passengers, take note though: your driver does, in fact, notice your body language even if our backs are to you.)  However, as your passenger begins to get to know, trust or become attracted to their driver, their grip on you changes entirely.
That is how our date began.  'Pleased to meet you, you smell delicious, now which route should we take to our destination?'  And just like that, she climbed onto the back of my bike, gently placed her hands on my waist, ever-so careful not to squeeze this stranger too tightly, lest she give her driver the wrong impression, and we took off on our scenic drive.  We parked the bike at the top of a hill, which overlooked the bay, found a log to sit upon and began to just sit, and talk, and laugh and drink Irish Mochas (which she prepared and surprised me with for our sunset date - yep, she got points for that one!).  And I began to think to myself, while trying desperately to focus on what she was saying, 'she's a lot prettier in person', 'she has nice lips', 'she's really tall and she's wearing high-heeled boots', 'ooh, I like the top she's wearing', 'this date isn't going as badly as I thought it would'.
We sat on that log for probably 2 hours or so, just talking, laughing and getting to know each other.  It was really nice.  But since we both had plans with our respective friends after our date, we couldn't sit perched on that log forever.  We had to eventually make our way back down the hill and go our separate ways.  So we headed back to my bike, climbed on and started to drive.  This time, however, her hands were not so tentatively placed upon my waist.  She wrapped her arms around me entirely and hugged me close to her with both arms and legs.  (So fucking heavenly.)  So I casually slipped my left hand off the handlebars and placed it on hers to let her know that she was welcome to hold me as tightly as she'd like.  Intimacy and trust firmly established in that single moment.  Now, how often can you get that kind of information from a first date so casually and innocently?  Score One for the motorcycle.
As we drove down the hill and back towards civilization, I realized that I didn't really want to end the night so abruptly.  I was enjoying myself and I got the distinct impression that she was too.  So I suggested that we have just one drink before I dropped her off at home.  And so we did.  We sat, we talked, we laughed, we sipped our cocktails ever-so slowly and every time she leaned in towards me to say something or to listen to whatever god-awful story I was recounting, I couldn't help but think, 'should I kiss her now?'  But I didn't.  (Damnit!  *bangs head against keyboard*)
After our hour-long drink (I told you we sipped slowly), I walked her back to her door.  I wanted to stretch out our date as much as I could.  I was really enjoying my time with her and when she invited me to walk her home, I was happy to do it.  As we said our goodbyes, I was insanely aware that this pretty, interesting, funny, intelligent woman was towering over me in her high-heeled boots… As if I wasn't already feeling mildly attracted to her over the last 3 hours together, this just did me in.  Tall?  Towering over me?  And in heels?  Um, yes please, more please.  Miss-Adventures is putty in your hand.  She leaned in, gave me a very nice lingering hug and the sweetest kiss on the cheek.  She looked at me for only the briefest second, said to me, "You really do smell so good", and then turned and walked towards her house.  I wanted to stop her.  I wanted to grab her, pull her in and give her a real kiss goodbye.  But I just stood there, utterly gobsmacked that I had just had this visceral reaction to someone that I never saw coming and I never expected.  As she walked her way towards her front door, I started to walk away myself.  Hesitantly but willfully, I walked away.  And after about 15 steps, I wanted to beat my head against the pavement.  'Why didn't you just kiss her, you idiot?'
And now I find myself trying to play it cool.  I texted her after our date to let her know that I really had a good time and that I'd like to see her again.  She texted back and said that she did and does too.  The part of me that really wants that kiss is screaming at me, 'Call her you idiot! Get the next date on the books, for fuck's sake!'  But I can be a little intense.  Knowing this about myself, I'm trying really hard to hang back, play it cool and play it casual.  I think I'll call her up in the next day or two and get that date on the books.  I'm just praying that 'playing it cool' doesn't cost me in the end.  I really want that fucking kiss!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Familiar Faces, Giving Thanks and My Letter to Santa

Is it too much to ask to not have to see the same tragic faces on the online dating scene that I saw a year ago?  I mean, what is wrong with these people that they're still single over a year later?  Oh wait... Shit.  That makes me a tragic face too.
In the last several weeks I've seen "Sensitive Mess", "World's Worst Date", "The Relationship Guru", and countless other familiar faces on the dating website.  And this is not counting the faces that I actually know in real life: social circle friends, real life friends and friends that I've made because I went on dates with them a year ago.  *Sigh*  The dating pool is entirely too small.
I find myself wanting to justify my return to the online dating scene.  Like, I want to post on my profile, "Yeah, I'm still here but it's not because I'm so screwed up that I've taken up permanent residence in online dating!"  But really, who's to say that these people haven't been through the same mess that I have?  Or that they weren't smart enough to avoid the train wreck that I experienced.  Or that they aren't perfectly happy with their lives just as they are and don't actually mind being single.  Or that they're not just more discriminating in their relationship choices.  I can be such a dick - when did I become so judgey?
Me?  I don't particularly enjoy being single.  After spending seven years with my ex wife and then falling head-over-heels for (and subsequently U-Hauling with) Glamazon, I know this about myself: I am a relationship person.  I get a deep sense of peace and calm when I'm in love.  I am a stronger person in love and am capable of facing any challenge that life brings.  I like being part of a family and I like coming home to the same person every night.  I am deeply satisfied (and perhaps even find validation) in love.
I kind of wish I could be one of those people who enjoys being single.  I wish I could be the type of person who enjoys meeting new people all the time or playing the field.  Don't get me wrong, I've had fun dating and I've enjoyed meeting some of the people that I've met, but I feel the whole online dating scene is a lot like constantly interviewing for a new job.  I don't want to interview forever.  I want to land a glorious job, settle in, make myself a legend and happily retire there.
As the holidays approach, I need to remind myself to be grateful for what I have rather than focus on what I do not.  I have excellent friends.  I have a family who love me.  I have a beautiful apartment with two monstrous felines who bring me joy, unconditional love and endless amusement.  I have a job that gets the bills paid and affords me just enough extra cash to shower my loved ones with gifts during the holiday season.  And I have had great love in my life.  And I need to remind myself that I will have great love again.  But really, is it too much to ask…
Dear Santa:
Please bring someone extraordinary into my life.  Please bring me a mature, intelligent, faithful, strong, sexy, "short skirt, long jacket", "femme on the outside, dyke on the inside", woman.  But above all else, please, please bring me some new faces to look at on that goddamned dating website!
Many thanks in advance,
Miss-Adventures, a Hopeless Dater

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Give Me Your Forever

What is romance?  What is romantic?  And what differentiates real romance from flowery gestures?  
Don't misunderstand me here.  I'm a great big ol' softy for flowery gestures.  I fucking love 'em.  I melt for flowers, love notes, the random "I love you" text message and an evening spent in each other's arms.  It's absolutely intoxicating.  But intoxicating is exactly the right word here.  It can lead to punch drunkenness.  It can cause temporary and selective deafness, dumbness and blindness.  It can lead you towards a life of compromised reality.  That shit is like crack to a romantic like me.  And now I find myself in Romance Rehab, trying desperately to separate the diamonds from the cubic zirconia.  "Hi, I'm Miss-Adventures and I'm a romantic."
I love sweet little things like handwritten cards, candle light, unplanned sex in inappropriate places, sunsets, quiet dinners for two, hearts, love songs, chocolates, wine and silly pet names.  By god, for six full months it was my goddamned religion.  The entire apartment that Glamazon and I shared was once an altar to love.  You couldn't swing a cat by the tail without knocking over some romantic relic.  (And thankfully no one ever tried because I'd have to kill your animal-abusing ass for swinging my cat by the tail!)  Fresh flowers were a regular fixture (once a week, to be exact), the sweetest handmade and handwritten cards adorned the fireplace mantle, photographs of a happy couple cluttered every shelf, and a collection of loving messages written every single day of our relationship on tiny Post-it Notes were framed and hung above our bed. 
I'm not kidding about the Post-It Notes.  My ex had this adorable habit of writing me the cutest little messages on a Post-It Note every single day, without fail.  I would find them everywhere.  I found them on my coffee cup in the morning and my cup of tea at night, I found them stuck to mirrors, I found them stuck to the refrigerator and I found them packed inside my lunches.  I fucking loved them.  I was convinced that they were proof that romance lived here.  So I framed them because I couldn't possibly bring myself to throw away any gesture of love.
But when the rug got pulled out from under me, my altar was destroyed and my cathedral of love burned to the ground, it really got me thinking about what real romance is.  I'm not going to say that Post-It Notes of sweet messages aren't really romantic or that I will turn my nose up at a bouquet of flowers because my embittered self no longer believes that these gestures are evidence of love; my version of romantic-PTSD hasn't killed all the romance in me.  But it certainly got me to thinking about the difference between acts of romance and real romance.
So, while flowers, notes, stuffed animals, super hot and sexy moments, sunsets, cuddles, wine, jewelry and candlelight are all still welcome and encouraged, here's what I'm really looking for, here's what I think REAL ROMANCE is:
Sharing your time.  Exhibiting integrity in everything you do.  Paying attention.  Sticking around when things suck.  Sharing your truth.  Sharing my truth.  Refusing to leave even when you're scared.  Kindly telling me when I have fucked up.  Maintaining your focus.  Having the audacity to endure even in doubt.  Keeping faith.  Facing down our ugliness because you know that beauty still exists under this layer of filth.  Exercising your strength.  Admiring and encouraging my strength.  Being there when I really need you and sometimes don't have the courage to ask.  Allowing me to be there when you really need me.  Fighting for us even when it seems hopeless because we both know it isn't.  Believing that we are a team of two and that we work better together.  Embracing my family, both genetic and extended, because they are an integral extension of who I am.  Remembering the important things, the little details and the fact that we just ran out of coffee and I'm too busy to pick some up, so can you do it?
I'm not looking for a girl who's watched Sex & The City so many times that she regurgitates lines and passes them off as her own romantic inspiration.  I'm not interested in a girl who can speak a great flowery talk but can't stick around when I'm feeling scared, lonely or hurting.  I'm not interested in a girl who casually throws around the word "Forever" but doesn't actually understand that "Forever" means all of it: the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, the sexy, the very, very unsexy, the fear, the pain, the laughter, the tears, the inside jokes, the outward truth, the wars within the home and the battles fought together from inside the foxhole.  I'm not looking for a girl who believes in and chases fairytales.  I'm looking for a woman who doesn't understand the meaning of "giving up".  I'm looking for a woman who doesn't look, walk or run away from love, whether it seems too hard or feels too good to be true.  I'm looking for a woman who's not afraid to be a warrior for love.  That's what I find romantic.  And I guess that's what makes me a romantic… But would it be too much to ask for flowers too?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tops, Bottoms and Lesbian Sheep

DISCLAIMER/FULL WARNING:  Mom, please divert your eyes from this blog entry.  It is not suitable for parental viewing.  And if you decide to continue to read on, please know that the entry below is purely conjecture and speculation and not actually based on my own real-life personal experiences.  I am still as pure as the driven snow.  But really, you should just walk away from your computer now.  No, seriously.  Back. Away. From. The. Blog!
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Ok, now that that's out of the way, let me get started.  As a same-sex dater, navigating a relationship with someone new can be a tricky dance.  Who's the driver in this relationship?  Who's the driver in the bedroom?  Trying to address this delicately, I'll narrow some personality types down to basics.  Essentially, you have your Femmes, Butches, Tomboys, Tops, Bottoms, Switchy Tops and Power Bottoms (and the varying degrees of everything in between).  And then there are what I like to call "Lesbian Sheep" (more on them later).  At some point in my dating career, I have encountered every single one of these types of women (and no, I'm not going to name names!). 
Those that identify as true Tops or true Bottoms are an anomaly to me and I've always taken those labels as some sort of challenge.  And I'm proud to say that I have always won that challenge, which I suppose is to say that perhaps I've never actually met a true Top or true Bottom.  Hmmm...  Fucking posers.  (kidding.)  Those that identify as Switchy Tops and Power Bottoms are exactly as the name implies: neither are entirely selfless or selfish in the act itself. 
And then there's my personal favorite: the Lesbian Sheep.  'What the fuck is a Lesbian Sheep?!', you ask?  It's a term based on the homosexual studies of sheep.  Researchers observed several homosexual rams existing in nature but there were no ewes to be found engaging in homosexual acts.  However, after further study, it was concluded that lesbian ewes are hobbled by the fact that the way that a ewe solicits sex is by standing still.  Thus, the term "Lesbian Sheep".  These are women who are incapable of coupling up, since they become motionless when they're interested in another.
I've met a lot of Lesbian Sheep.  It's surprisingly common in the girl-on-girl dating scene and, at times (certainly when I was a young baby dyke), I too have been guilty of playing Sheep.  I mean, as a girl, it's always more desirable to have someone else make the first move.  But as I've gotten older, I've learned that if the attraction is there, we can't both play Sheep.  Someone's gotta make a move; otherwise, we're going to be stuck standing in this fucking pasture staring at each other meekly.
Here's my personal theory: Lesbian Sheep are lambs in public and rams in private.  That is to say, they all want you to make the first date and be the first to go in for a kiss, but once that kiss is made: all bets are off, they take control and love you into submission.  Which is, as far as I'm concerned, seriously fucking hot.
Not long ago I was asked what my "type" is.  Most people answer this question with the diplomatic reply of: "I don't really have a type."  This is bullshit.  I know it's bullshit, you know it's bullshit, and yet, everyone seems to deliver the same bullshit answer to that question.  Not me!  I will gladly answer that question honestly: "femme on the outside, dyke on the inside".  I'm not necessarily more attracted to blondes versus brunettes or blue eyes versus green eyes, but I am very, very partial to a girl who can rock a pencil skirt with a pair of heels and can fix my faucet.  I'm reduced to jelly.  Do you have long hair, wear lacy underthings and play team sports on the weekends?  I'm yours.  A girl who's sweet & sexy on the outside and filthy construction worker on the inside?  I'm liable to propose.  So what am I looking for?  I'm looking for a Lamb-to-Ram, baby!  I'm a sucker for them. 
So what's the problem, MissAdventures?  Why do you have such a hard time dating? 
The problem here is… women are so fucking complicated.  There are too many varying degrees of Femme, Butch, Tomboy, Top, Bottom, Switchy and Sheep.  The problem is finding just the right combination to drop me to my knees.  I've found two of them in my entire life (coincidentally, I dated them back to back) and they rocked my fucking world.  But I guess my "tomboy on the outside, total fucking girl on the inside" just didn't rock theirs.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Finding Strength After Months of Despair and My Brief Flirtation With Hiatus

I found it!  I finally found my strength.  I searched for it high and low.  I caught glimpses here and there.  I even danced with it at times.  But those fleeting moments were actually brief periods of anger masquerading as strength.  I thought it was strength because I could stand in my rage, say and do hurtful things, and make myself believe that "FUCK YOU!" meant "I don't need you anymore." 
Don't get me wrong: I am still angry.  There's a fuck load to still feel angry about.  I was cheated on, lied to and made a fool of… over and over and over again.  That kind of anger, though, hits me hard and fast, and then quickly disappears once fear sets in. Which is probably why I allowed our saga to be dragged out for far too long. I was desperately afraid of losing what I thought we once had.
The thing is, I'm generally not a outwardly angry person.  I'm sarcastic to a fault; I'm snarky, even, but rarely angry.  Like many women (and many more perfectionists), I turn a lot of my anger within; I self-criticize, self-blame and then, generally, self-destruct. 
'What could I have done better?'
'What did I do to make her run away?'
'What makes "The Other" more appealing than me?'

You see?  Self-destructive thinking!
And then a night out with friends, followed by a chance encounter with more friends (whom I hadn't seen in months) changed everything.  They picked me up and showed me that I have strength, that I am valuable and that there are wonderful people all around me, even when I least expect it.  Isn't it crazy?  You just never know who's going to have an impact on you or when until it hits you at that very moment.  Their supportive words resonated with me for days.  And thank the sweet baby jesus because there isn't enough Grey Goose and American Spirits in the world to get me through the downward spiral I was heading towards.
What I've finally found is not the "masquerading anger as strength" strength.  Nope.  What I think I've finally found is the strength that comes with clarity.  The clarity that my ex is not the woman I thought she was.  The clarity that my ex did not love me the way she claimed or the way that I deserved.  And the clarity that the life and love that I thought we had never truly existed.  Because it was false.  Because she was false.  Because it takes two people devoted to one another for a love like that to be real.  And god knows that I'm no math genius, but even I can add together the sum of us without a calculator and it sure-as-fuck didn't add up to two.  And it was at that moment that I realized:
I couldn't have done any better.  My ex is the one who needed to be better. 
I didn't run her away.  She was too cowardly to stand and fight for the love she said she had for me.
"The Other" isn't better than me.  What "The Other" has to offer my ex is the unstable life and questionable character flaws that she feels most comfortable living with. 
So now what?  Well, here's what I'm working on:
Living well is the best revenge.  And I will have my revenge by living exceedingly well.
And here's what I realize time and time and time again:
Nurturing and fostering real friendships built on trust, honesty, vulnerability and the occasional cocktail will pay dividends when the shit hits the fan.
Now, getting back to that "hiatus"… Truth be told, my "hiatus" was due in part because I was keeping in a lot of these emotions and harboring a lot of secrets.  But, as the saying goes, "you're only as sick as your secrets" and I know that my secrets were keeping me very, very sick.  Well, I'm done with that now.  I don't want to hurt anyone and I really want to respect the privacy of those around me.  Therefore, I won't get into the gritty and unsavory details which would utterly destroy my ex and "The Other" (but I'll admit it's very tempting when I'm feeling rather ragey). 
After months of self-destruction, self-pity and self-blame, I am proud to no longer call myself the safe harbor of shameful secrets.  I'm back to writing on the blog (not that I took much of a "hiatus" to begin with), provided I have material to send out into the world wide webs.  I'm working on a new iPhone playlist and am attaching the first song on the playlist for your enjoyment.  And I'm so pleased that The Nugget is still on board as my contributing author, co-pilot, one of my best friends and constant source of creativity, inspiration and amusement (at least as long as she'll have me!).  There's room in here for two fabulous girls, isn't there?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Playlists are the New "Mixed Tapes"

I don’t know about you but I find that no matter how heartbroken I feel, no matter how alone I feel in this break-up bleakness and no matter how much I want to be able to express those feelings to the world (I'm an emotional purger, in case you couldn't already guess), someone has already said it better.  To be more succinct: they sang it better than I could ever hope to write.  So when I'm feeling blue (which, lately, is a constant state), I turn to music as a source of solace, comfort and identification.  
Sometimes love songs punch you right in your core (thank you, Ryan Adams and Heather Combs).  Sometimes those songs make you feel wistful or melancholy (thank you, Diana Krall).  Sometimes those songs make you want to slit your goddamned wrists (thankyouverymuch, Adele).  But these artists have made me feel.  They've helped me through.  And they've said, so brilliantly, exactly what my heart screams out.
For anyone out there going through break-up loneliness, break-up madness, break-up anger and break-up torture, here are just a few songs to get you started.  (Yes, I actually created my own iPhone playlist.)
Armchairs, Andrew Bird
At This Moment, Billy Vera
Bones, Natalia Zukerman
A Case of You, Diana Krall
Do I Ever Cross Your Mind, Ray Charles
Don't You Remember, Adele
Dreaming With a Broken Heart, John Mayer
Gravity, Sara Bareilles
Fly, Heather Combs
I Never Told You, Colbie Caillat
Maybe You'll Be There, Diana Krall
The Mess That We Made, Heather Combs
Come Pick Me Up, Ryan Adams
(MY FAVORITE and posted below for your listening pleasure)
Mind Eraser, The Black Keys
The Moon and the Sky, Sade
Sideways, Sheryl Crow
Something More Like You, Heather Combs
Take It All, Adele
The Thrill is Gone, BB King
Walk On By, Diana Krall
Why Do They Leave, Ryan Adams
With or Without You, U2
How Can You Mend a Broken Heart, Al Green
Need You Now, Lady Antebellum
Lonely Avenue, Ray Charles
The Winter, Cake
Someone Like You, Adele
Morning Bird, Sade
Here Lies Love, Diana Krall
If anyone has any song suggestions that helped you get through or songs that you identified with, leave your comments below!  I love getting feedback from friends and readers. 

Texting begins, hilarity ensues.

So, I paid for a dating site, as many of you know. I just bit the bullet and went for it, to see if it's any different from the free sites. It is, because never, ever, have I gotten text messages like these before (by the way, I have no qualms about giving out my number to strangers. It's not like they're going to tap my cell phone, and the "ignore call" button is my BFF):
Him: Hi, hottie.
Me: Oh. Hello.
Him: I find you so sexy.
Me: You might want to reserve that judgement until after you've met me. I could have a third eye.
Him: I'm sure you don't. You look very tasty! :) lol
Me: After the cannibal cop story, I'm not sure how I feel about that...
Him: lol No, baby, in a sexy way. lol
Me: Oh. Thanks. I think.
Him: So will you let me?
Me: Let you...what?
Him: Taste :)
Me: You know, here I was hoping you had something to say instead of just being a dude paying an internet site to help him get laid.
Me: And, by the way? My name is not, nor has it ever been, "Hottie."
Him: You're gorgeous, what's your name?
Me: You're persistent, aren't you?
Him: Yes, I know what you want!
Me: A bigger apartment? A live-in maid? A promotion?
Him: Someone as wonderful as you.
Me: Wow, you totally read my mind! I do want someone as wonderful as me...with a bigger apartment that they LOVE to clean.
Him: And a naughty side!
Me: Actually, the person I want keeps their naughty side to themselves until it's the appropriate time because they respect me.

I think he was confused about the meaning of the words "appropriate" and "respect," because, inexplicably, he stopped texting. Weird.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Chicken or the Egg?

Is it weird that I'm relieved to have just been broken up with by my lady friend?  I had been feeling for a while that my heart wasn't in it.  I wanted my heart to be in it.  I really, really wanted to feel "the thing": the feeling of being swept off my feet, the feeling of butterflies and elation of a new lover.  But I never did.  I kept asking myself if it was me, if it was her, if it was a "chemistry" thing, and if the feeling would eventually come when my heart finally healed.  So I hung in there in the hopes that it was due my broken heart and that the feeling would change when I no longer felt so broken.
It's a tricky thing dating while you're still nursing a broken heart, pining after your lost love and holding out (not-so) secret hopes that your love will want to return.  I felt duplicitous.  I felt selfish.  I felt that she was getting only a fraction of me.  And I felt that I was being grossly unfair to her.  I was using my lady friend to fill a void that my love left.  It's not her fault for not being able to fill that void - it's mine.
So when my lady friend emailed to tell me that her heart wasn't in it either, my first reaction was relief.  I often wondered if she was feeling the same way.  I often wondered if I could bring myself to end it with her if I needed to.  (I really, really hate hurting people.)  And I often wondered how I would feel if she ended things with me.  Would I feel rejected?  (Lord knows I have suffered enough of that lately.)  Would I feel even more lonely than I already do?  Is it better to have someone in your life in the absence of anyone at all, even if that someone doesn't give you butterflies?  But in the end: relief.  So glad I got my answer.
But where do we go from here?  Clearly, I have nothing to give to anyone at all while I'm still licking my wounds.  But is it a chicken-and-egg situation?  Will a new lover help me to heal my heart, or will a new lover come into my life once the hurt has passed?  So I ask myself if it's true (to quote the words of my lost love): "the best way to get over someone is to get under someone new".

Monday, November 5, 2012

When Geriatric Vampires Attack!

The other day, during a conversation with a friend, the subject of Halloween came up. I mentioned I was going to be a hermit. No, I'm not even talking about some clever costume, I'm talking about hiding out in my apartment, under the covers at 7pm so I don't have to see the rest of the world having fun. He told me I needed to get out of my little Halloween funk and meet some people. He eventually convinced me to agree to go to a Halloween "singles" party in some semi-fancy hotel in some semi-fancy part of town. I agreed, only if my costume could consist of a semi-fancy party dress that was already hanging in my closet and some pretty mask that I could purchase at Target for less than $10. When people asked me what I was for Halloween, I was ready with my reply: "Woefully unprepared."
The Saturday before Halloween arrived, and I was ready in my cutest outfit (black dress, black tights, white sweater, black mask) at 8pm to drive 45 minutes (5 of those minutes through the scariest tunnel ever) to meet other "singles." It seemed a little early, but since it was at a hotel, I'm sure they had time restrictions...right? I arrived to a mostly full parking lot, which was heartening. I pretended not to see the woman in her 50's dressed in a very, very skimpy harem girl costume as I finally found an open spot. After gathering my things and checking my makeup, I was ready to go.
As soon as I got out of the car, a very large gentleman in a very scary mask approached me. "Young lady, today is your lucky day!" he said. Of course, no lucky day ever starts with those words. "I have an extra ticket with your name all over it!" "Oh," I replied, "I have my own ticket with my name all over it." He insisted that the least he could do was open the door for me, which he did, and in we went to wait in line.
Once inside, I could hear the music start. It was disco, people. I felt like I was on a cruise ship. "Maybe they're playing some sort of game, or having a flash back moment. I'm sure it'll be fine," I thought. Within minutes, I was inside, and they were not, in fact, playing a game or having a flash back moment. The room was full of retirees. I fought the urge to flee as Bob Segar's "Old Time Rock and Roll" started playing and there was a rush to the dance floor. I found a seat, leaving my mask on the table because there was really no point in trying to coyly pretend I dressed up, when a geriatric vampire approached me and asked about my mask. I half smiled, and said I was pretty unprepared. He then reached for the collar of my sweater and started tugging it forcefully down my shoulders, saying, "If you get rid of this, you could be the Lady in Black!" I quickly squirmed out of his grasp, giving him the "You were absolutely not invited to touch me" glare, and he wandered off quickly.
Before I even had time to straighten my sweater, a man that reminded me of my grandfather asked me to dance. I agreed, and we danced politely for two songs, during which I spied the only other "single" near my age range, dressed as a construction worker. Once the second song was over, I excused myself and headed for the construction worker. He was polite at first, but didn't find my humor the least bit funny, which was very disconcerting. Who doesn't find me funny?! I then mentioned that I was originally from LA, and his entire demeanor changed. Native San Franciscans by and large HATE LA natives, so I was pretty much done for at that point. I excused myself after a few more lame attempts at conversation, and took up my previous post.
After a bit of people watching, I was approached by a gentleman in his late 50's who asked me to dance. I declined, as the disco was back with a vengeance. "Are you waiting for some more modern music? Like Lady Gaga?" I smiled at his obvious attempt and nodded. "I don't really know who she is. I stopped listening to music 20 years ago!" he offered. Okay, it was definitely time to go. He wished me luck, and I grabbed my mask and headed for the door.
Of course, before I could reach my car, I was stopped by two young men, one dressed as a keg, asking me about the party. I told them I didn't think they'd enjoy it, but they were welcome to try. They then tried to chat me up, using such lines as, "We decided to come here because there would be no DUI check points." Oh. Classy. On that note, I wished them a good evening, and began the best 45 minute drive home of my life.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Message in a Bottle

I'm guilty of them.  In fact, it's become a regular occurrence.  Not literally, of course.  Who has that many bottles lying around?  And what of the poor whales and dolphins?  Environmentalists would have a field day with me!  No.  My bottled messages often come in the form of journal entries that are never read by anyone other than myself, "public" posts to my Facebook page in the vague hopes that she still peaks at my profile from time to time, and taking the exact route to work where I know she might see me riding by on my motorcycle.  I suppose even this blog entry is bottled message.

The resolution of our relationship was drug out for far too long.  It was a slow bleeding to death.  There were fits and starts, talks of reconciliation and 'what if's'.  In the end, it is decided that we shall go our separate ways: she with "The Other", and me with whatever or whomever may come.  So we have agreed to cease all direct contact.  And she's right: it's for the best.  Despite wanting to maintain some sort of friendship with her, I know that we cannot be in each other's lives because the feelings still remain.  And I recognize that until those feelings are no longer felt, seeing each other, speaking to each other and emailing each other is just too painful.

So why do I send out my bottled messages?  I suppose I like the thought of being on her mind.  I suppose I like to remind her of my love and our happy memories together.  I suppose, because I am a hopeless romantic, I never gave up hope.  And despite all my attempts to fill my day with work, friends, new lovers, reading, listening to music and watching tv and movies to keep my mind from wandering back to her, I can't force my mind to wander away from her.  So I suppose I send my bottled messages out into the universe because she never leaves the forefront of my mind, and my hope is that I never leave the forefront of hers.