Saturday, February 27, 2010

Trying really, really hard

Date #2 is in the books.

I went to his house for dinner and a movie and “okay, I need to go because I have other plans tonight, which cleverly keeps me from having to worry about getting myself into any trouble, thankyouverymuch.”

He was much as I expected him to be. Immaculately prepared. Attentive and sweet. I couldn’t tell if he was trying really, really hard or if this is just how he is – nice and kind and thoughtful to the point of madness.

(This makes me rethink my own actions in these settings. I suspect I’ve been too nice and tried too hard. Time to jump on the nonchalance train!)

I feel bad for not instantly liking him more. I don’t – yet – adore him like I adored The Groomsman. My heart doesn’t –yet – jump into my throat when I see him like it does when I see The Athlete. I’m not saying that it can’t happen. I’m saying that it hasn’t yet. And it would be so much easier if it had.

I probably won’t see him for a couple of weeks. I’m booked solid next weekend and the weekend after that, so I guess that gives me a little time to figure out how I feel about him. I like him. I’m just not convinced that I like him enough.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Shedding labels

I label the people in my life. Put them into little boxes. Refer to them as much. My Cousin the Actress. My Mean Aunt in Chicago. My Asshole Coworker. You do it enough times, and that’s all you think of them as. Every action they take reinforces your label.

Work Dad asked me if my cold was getting any better, because Work Dad thinks he’s my father.

It takes a lot – and this isn’t something that I’m proud of – for me to look past my labels. My Asshole Coworker brings my coffee every Wednesday, but I still think he’s an asshole.

Heather was My High School Frienemy.

But Heather has been surprising me lately. Good surprises. She is exceeding my expectations. I’m rethinking opinions. I’m allowing myself to be surprised.

We’ve had a rocky friendship. She hasn’t always stepped up to be the friend that I’ve needed her to be. She has disappointed me; I’ve probably disappointed her. For quite some time, she was just an acquaintance. If we hadn’t continued to play soccer together, I’m not sure that we would still be friends.

For a while – a long while – soccer was all that we had. I would invite her out to things and she wouldn’t come. She would invite me out to things and I wouldn’t go. It wasn’t that I disliked her (nor, as far as I know, did she dislike me). She wasn’t a priority for me and, in turn, I wasn’t a priority for her.

That’s a little embarrassing to admit. Half-assing a friendship that started in fifth grade.

We’re turning a corner.

It is like we’ve finally peeled off all of the bullshit. Like we’re not faking it anymore. I went to her wedding and her bridal shower and her bachelorette party because I wanted to support her, not because I felt obligated to because I’m an old friend. We talk on the phone and I feel like she’s actually listening to me, instead of patiently waiting for a pause so that she can talk about herself.

It’s a relief to finally have sloughed off the bullshit. I always knew that my old, good pal – the one who I was in Girl Scouts with, the one who crammed in my bathroom at Mom and Dad’s to get ready for Homecoming dances with me – was in there. I’m glad that Heather, the Heather who was always by my side, is in my life again.

We’ll always have soccer. (Although, her husband really doesn’t like her playing, so maybe that’s not even true.)

But it’s nice to have a little bit more, too.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Remnants

In the back of my closet are the two framed World Cup posters that I bought Colin for Christmas and never had a chance to give him.

Not far from where those frames lean against the wall is a balled up outfit that I have no intention of washing or wearing. It's what I wore to The Athlete's pub crawl/going away party.

I guess I should throw that adorable Valentine's Day card I bought for The Groomsman back there. And the pictures that Lucy awkwardly gave me last weekend. ("I, um, I got these printed...ah...before, um. Do you want them?")

You think you're all healed and recovered and better. That the only things left are the ones that made you better. Less likely to settle. More aware of your boundaries. Less willing to force. Better at interpreting. More confident.

And then something comes and it knocks you back. You feel like the person you were. You miss the person who you could have been.

You add together the days and the months and the years. You take a bit of artistic license. You bathe him in favorable light.

You miss what was never real.
You regret not living what never could have been.

And then you remember that he was the douchebag with the mild drinking problem who essentially disappeared for two months after you took him to New York for his birthday.

And then you remember that he was never yours. And that he's a manwhore.

And then you remember that he didn't choose you. That he made the decision that you weren't good enough. And told you via email.

The future looks so bright. Full of opportunities for happiness and fulfillment and revenge.

On to the next.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Taking a spin ‘round the interwebs

When it comes to certain things that I just need to do but really have no interest in (see: making appointment for my annual with La Doctora, paying bills, getting the post on my pearl earring fixed, etc.), I can really flex my procrastination muscles.

Blogging is almost never a chore. Occasionally, I am Wanda Writer’sBlock and that sucks all sorts of ass, but I usually make do. I have an endless supply of whining to put out in the world. Because that is such good karma. And a really productive way to spend my energy.

Anyway.

What I am getting at is that, while updating my blog is usually not a problem, some of the other ticky-tacky housekeeping that I mean to do just doesn’t get done. Or gets done after I’ve been meaning to do it for, oh, six months.

(See: getting a new blog layout. Look for that in 2019.)

I got a lot of stuff done yesterday that I had been meaning to do for quite some time. It felt good. So, just for a giggle and a change of pace, I thought I’d finish something else I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time: update my blogroll.

Apologies if you thought that I was leading up to a task of actual importance!

Here is where you kids come in. Is there a blog that you don’t think that I’m reading that I, like, totally should because it will blow my mind into a sticky cloud of marshmallow fluff? Let me know. Are you a blogger and I don’t know it? Send me your link! I’m always game for adding new material to my daily blog intake, so don’t be shy.

Since I’m all about the give and the take in this relationship, I’ll share a few daily reads that haven’t quite made it over to my sidebar:

Kath Eats Real Food: First of all, she’s absolutely adorable. Adorableness is always a plus. Second, I love food. Third, since I’ve started reading this blog on a regular basis, I’m definitely thinking about food in a different way. A good different way.

Iowa Girl Eats: No, you don’t understand. I really, really like food.

Bourne's Blog: If you don’t really, really like hockey, you probably shouldn’t bother clicking on this link. But I really, really like hockey. Thus really, really like this blog.

Ashley is Aurora: Cute simplicity. I would like to blog like this. But, instead, I just blog like a crazy person.

Love it, Love It & Shallow and Very, Very Single & More is Better: I like a good excuse to laugh.

Don't let me down, boys and girls. Gimme yours. Sharing is caring.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fan girl

Overnight oats: a bit of a fad sweeping through the food bloggers right now, throw some oatmeal, yogurt and milk together and refrigerate overnight. I microwave mine for a minute, squeeze in some honey, top with a handful of nuts and eat on my drive to work.

An unusual calm: I'm not sure that I even have the energy to freak out about a boy, so I'm sort of glad that this boy hasn't inspired The Crazy.

Ice dancing:
I realize that ice dancing is probably the hardest of skating's disciplines for the layperson to understand, but I'm not a layperson and OMG this ice dancing competition has me all fired up Love the American teams! (Anyone notice that they're all from the D?)

Staying up past 10 pm: It is 11:15 pm and I am still awake. And my legs don't really feel like they're about to fall off. Could it be? Am I getting better? I hope so, since I didn't schedule the doctor's appointment that my mom wanted me to make.

Cute text messages: I might be all zen about this new boy (who needs a blog nickname ASAP, eh?), but I can't help but appreciate an adorable text message or two. I like hearing from him. Especially when it is cute. So, so preferable to needlessly checking my phone every 10 minutes like I was a month ago.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo:
Shouldn't be trying to read this while balancing extreme Winter Olympic viewership. Loving it anyway.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Run-on recap

Drinks, dinner and comedy show. He has personality in spades. Quite close with his family. Am willing to bet that he was raised well. Catholic. His little brother is his best friend and I adore that. Big Notre Dame football fan (um, so, I'll be honest here: puke). More of a door-opening-you-first gentleman than I've ever encountered in a guy my age. Ran in the same Thanksgiving race that me, Meg and Anna ran. Has a ridiculously long commute to work. Told me all about his core group of friends and about how loud and intimidating they can be, especially the alpha female, and about how the last girl he dated was quiet in bigger groups and so that was hard and I was just nodding and thinking "oh, hell. He is describing me in big groups and he has no idea that he is describing me." Was amazed that I finished college in four years. And I'm not sure if he kissed me or if I kissed him. And I'm not sure it matters.

Yesterday featured the "when can I see you again?" and "I want to cook you supper" texts and I'm down with spending more time with him but I would be lying if I didn't admit that I'm still a little bit on the fence.

Also: he's definitely looking for a wife. That makes my head explode a little bit.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A knock in the night

Early Monday. 3:30 am. I am, essentially, dead to the world. My weekend caught up with me and I was very, very asleep. And happy to be so.

So, when I heard a knock at my door, I was confused. Did I dream that? Is it real? I sat up in bed and looked around.

And then, another knock.

I am, instantly, scared. Very, very scared. Because there is someone at the door who is knocking. And killers definitely knock before entering. Awesome.

I don’t get out of bed. They’ll go away.

Next: my doorbell. Are you kidding me? Now I am equally scared and confused. Is this murderer outside of the building and trying to get me to buzz him in? Or is he outside of my door? Wait. This must be a trick. A group attack. From a gang. A suburban gang.

I get up. I race to the door, quietly. On my tiptoes. I creep just close enough to see out of the peephole. And there isn’t anyone there.

What.
The.
Hell.

So now I’m a little pissed, because I assume that someone is drunk and on the loose in my apartment building. I mean, that was always the culprit in the dorms: the only other time that I’ve encountered random late night knocking. I am tempted to find the perpetrator and poke his/her eyes out, but I would rather go back to sleep.

I’m back in bed in a flash.

And then, another knock. Seriously? Really? I’m so annoyed. Until I hear a man’s voice. “Fire department.”

Oh dear God. I AM GOING TO DIE IN A FIRE.

This time, I haul ass to the door. And, on the other side of the peephole is a middle-aged firefighter. All dressed up in his fancy, fire retardant getup. I open the door. And, I’m pretty sure that I just stared at him.

“We’ve got a smoke smell here in the building,” he says to me. At this point, I am just confused. I’m not getting killed by a murderer? Why is my neighbor standing at his door? Why isn’t anyone rushing me out of the building? “Everyone in here okay?”

I really don’t remember saying anything to him. Maybe I nodded? Somehow I communicated that everyone (all one of us) in my apartment was fine.

“Did you leave something on?”

Me? There was no way. I turn around, glance back into my apartment, and turn back to him.

“No, no,” he says. “I can tell that it isn’t coming from in here. Have a good night.”

And that was it. Over.

I didn’t even get to meet a cute, young firefighter.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Cake Caper

I woke up on Valentine’s Day in bed with two other blondes.

Fully clothed. Giggling. Mildly hung over. I had shared a bed with my cousin Liz and her BFF Shelly and there wasn’t anything remotely scandalous about the arrangement.

(Sometimes telling the full story sucks the excitement out of things, eh?)

Last Saturday night was super fun. I rushed down to Ohio so that Liz and I could squeeze in a pedicure before her friends joined us in celebrating her 28th. OMG, have I ever needed a pedicure like I needed that one? Doubtful. I am forever in debt to Liz for suggesting it because I totally wouldn’t have gone on my own. (Pedicure + winter = always seems so unnecessary and frivolous.)

So we drank a lot and danced a bit and saw a comedy show and generally had a good time. Perhaps the comedian ended up in our hotel room at one point? Perhaps. He was looking for a booty call. We gave him a cupcake.

Most of Liz’s friends had to go home pretty early, so we were up and about by 10. I had breakfast with Liz and hit the road. Another city, another cousin, another cup of coffee. Emma and I caught up for a few hours, then I headed home.

Longest. Drive. Home. Ever. It was seriously, like, an hour and a half but:
a. I was exhausted
b. It’s a boring drive
But I made it through.

I went straight to Mom and Dad’s house, because we had Liz’s family party to attend in just a few hours and I had a plan. Eat. Watch the Olympics. Let Dad drive me to my Aunt’s. Nap.

As I was driving home, Mom called me. “You would not believe what Ellie just did,” she blurted out the second that I answered the phone. “I left the room for one minute. ONE MINUTE! And she ate half of one layer of Liz’s cake.”

My mom is the cake lady in the family. She makes all of the birthday cakes. One, her specialty, is three layers of chocolate. Everyone requests it for their birthday. Including Liz. Who was down to 2.5 layers.

I could tell that my mom was half-amused, half-irritated. I convinced her to cut off the part of the cake that Ellie had bitten off of and fashion a monstrous individual slice for Liz. “It’ll be like one of those miniature cakes that you give a kid on his first birthday! She can smash her face in it!” Somehow, I get my mom to agree to this. I was so proud of myself.

I get home and I start in on my plan. Eat. Check. Watch the Olympics. Check. Meg, who had just returned home from a hockey tournament, and I end up crashing in bed and start watching women’s hockey. Blissful.

My mom, who has been baking all day, gets in the shower.

My dad is dicking around on the computer.

At a commercial break, I head back to the kitchen for more food. I round the corner and there’s Ellie. Awww. So cute and brown and darling and...she looks weird. Why are her ears back like that? Why is she standing that way? I wonder if she’s sick because of the...OH MY GOD.

There are bar stools at the island. Mom had finished the cake and pushed it back to the edge on the side of the island with the bar stools pulled up to it. So that Ellie wouldn’t get the cake from the open side, like she had before.

Ellie had pushed the chairs aside. And eaten half of the cake. Plus Liz’s individual slice.

Disaster.

Oh, my mom was so pissed. Pissed at me. Pissed at Meg. Pissed at Ellie. Really, really, really pissed at my dad (because he was closest to the cakenapping and also because he was dicking around on the computer and also because he’s her husband and that’s just what you do, I think). I think there may have been a few tears shed, too.

But in the end, it wasn’t a big deal.

Ellie didn’t puke.

And it wasn’t like my mom hadn’t baked a cheesecake, too.

The old college try

I have a date tomorrow night.

Did I mention that?

It is with that random kid from the bar. Who I am not instantly enamored with but am giving a try because he seems like a really nice guy and it is the right thing to do. Date! Like a real, normal adult!

The actual date will, I’m sure, be absolutely fine. Or it will be painfully awkward and otherwise awful but at least I’ll have something amusing to blog about.

I’m just having a really, really hard time psyching myself up for it. I’m not bouncing-off-of-the-wall-blogging-about-it-10-times excitednervous.

But maybe that’s good. Less pressure. Less OMGIWantToHaveHisBlondeBabies. More EhI’llGiveItATryAndHaveADecentMeal.

It’s sort of nice, not being the psychogirl that I tend to be. Because, when it comes to someone who I’m really, really into (see: The Athlete, The Groomsman), I am pretty obnoxious. And super insecure. And otherwise a huge pain in the ass. It is time to take in the view from the other side of the fence.

So I’ll go out with this guy tomorrow night. And maybe I’ll like him and then I’ll turn on the psychogirl. Or maybe I won’t. And I’ll learn a little bit about what I want and what I don’t.

It’s pretty much a win-win.

Except the part where I have to pick out something to wear. And also make my hair look somewhat presentable. I dread the energy that I will have to put into those tasks. Being a girl is hard work.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Achy leg, tired disease

I was starting to feel a little guilty about being so light on the blogging this week, but then I remembered that it is the Olympic Winter Games and, hi, I need a break once every four years okay? Seriously, though. I remember suffering from Blog Guilt during the Torino games, too. Some things never change.

The Olympic Games may be the best thing going on in my life right now, but it isn’t the only thing.

Just the only interesting thing.

I have been so exhausted so regularly. This pattern starting to get troublesome. On Monday night, when I should have been watching the Pairs Long Program, I climbed into bed at 8:30 and was asleep by 9:00 pm. Not awesome!

(Delayed viewership does have its perks, however: the fast-forward button. I hate, hate, hate how NBC dangles figure skating in front of the viewers like a damn carrot. Show me the event. Show it to me in its entirety. Do not break from it every 20 minutes to throw in a medal ceremony and an exposé on the plight of the [insert random sport here] athlete from [insert obscure country here]. I’m sorry. I know this is America and I know that we’re all suffering from attention deficiencies, but I just want my sport in its entirety.)

And, while I’m complaining: my legs are killing me. They ache. And ache and ache and ache and ache. Every morning, I wake up and feel like I ran five miles the day before.

I’m pretty sure the last time I ran five miles was on Thanksgiving.

“I think I have Mono,” I told my mom last night. “Or some sort of a disease. An achy leg, tired disease.”

“Make an appointment,” Mom told me. “Get some blood work done. You’ve lost a ton of weight, too. Those jeans you were wearing on Sunday? They were baggy in the butt.”

I was a little taken aback by her insistence. That isn’t normally how my mom rolls.

“Have you been very thirsty? Have you been drinking a lot of water?”

I knew exactly what she was getting at.

“Mom! No! I’m not diabetic!”

I hate that it even crossed her mind. The disease that killed her sister. Jesus.

I'm not thirsty. I'm not diabetic. Still. That scares the shit out of me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Teasing

Oh, weekend. You were a special one.

Waking up on Valentine’s Day in king sized bed in a random hotel room sandwiched between two blondes.

Ending up at Liz’s party with only half of a three-layer cake.

A memorable 3:00 am interaction with a firefighter.

Details to come.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Letting myself out

It is going to be a late night.

Tonight is Cousin Liz’s birthday party. I’m driving down to Ohio after work to wreak a little havoc with Liz and her friends. I’m sacrificing my Sunday morning skating, which bums me out, and I’m sacrificing a night in front of my television with a book and the Olympics. But it must be done. A girl can’t live her life in solitary confinement!

I need an excuse to go out.

No. That’s not true. I don’t need an excuse to go out. I went out last weekend. What I need is an excuse to push my boundaries. And tonight, with Liz and her insanely fun and wickedly wild friends, is an opportunity to do it.

I can do this evening one of two ways. I can be Liz’s quiet cousin. The one who sits at the far end of the table and smiles and laughs at all the right times. Or I can let the hell go and allow myself to have fun and be myself and act silly and drink a little too much.

I don’t want to care. I don’t want to think. I don’t want to worry about if I’m wearing the right outfit or if I’m dancing like a spaz or what Liz’s friends might say about me on Sunday. I just want to have a little bit of fun. I want to be someone other than me.

Other than the me who I indentify myself with. Average, mousy, quiet, needy, inadequate, unremarkable. I’ve been her – or maybe just seen myself as her – for 27 years.

It has recently occurred to me that I don’t know who the hell I am.

I thought that I did. I have a pretty good idea of what makes me happy and what makes me feel safe and what I am good and who I love and what I want. I know those parts of me so well, I think, that I let them blind me. I can’t see beyond my own definition of myself. I am shy, therefore I do not dance on tables. I am tough, therefore I will not let him see that I can be hurt. I am passive, therefore I will not verbalize my disappointment. I am average, therefore I will be content with what I have.

I am capable of having fun. I am capable of talking to a random guy at a bar. I am capable of stepping outside of my comfort zone. I am capable of having high standards. I am capable of showing my vulnerabilities. I am capable of speaking up for what I want. I am capable of showing my disappointment. I am capable of being assertive. I am capable of being brave.

Doing exactly what I have always done is so easy and so safe. And so boring. And so below me.

I don’t have to fit into a box. I can be a figure skater and a hockey player. I can be a librarian and I can get a little wild. I can have a big heart and I can tell someone when they’ve pissed me off.

I can be more than what I define myself as.

I can defy definition.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I'm really only a little bitter

Yesterday, UM announced its spring commencement speaker: President Obama.

I find the selection to be rather badass for all involved. The current President of the United States speaking at your commencement! Regardless of your personal politics, I feel like you can’t get much better than that. Good work, UM. Congratulations, Class of 2010.

And also: I hate you.

I hate you, Class of 2010 and your stupid commencement with the stupid President of the United States. Are you kidding me? You get the President. Of. The. United. States. I am wildly jealous.

Class of 2009. I am also jealous of you. Larry Page, co-founder and president of Google spoke at your commencement. While I have no idea whether or not he was a good speaker, he’s a Michigan man and is at the helm of a company that has essentially changed the way that many of us live our lives.

Meg graduated in 2008. I am not too proud to hate on her class, too. Because they had journalist Bob Woodruff. Another Michigan man. A compelling story. And, since I experienced it myself, I can tell you that he gave a really, really good speech. Even my grandpa liked him. And my grandpa hates nothing like he hates a commencement speaker. For serious.

Anna graduated in 2007. WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON. 42nd President of the United States. Enough said. Class of 2007, you’re a bunch of jerks.

Class of 2006, you had CNN’s Chief International Correspondent, Christiane Amanpour. Not Clinton, but not bad.

Class of 2003: Jennifer Granholm, the 47th Governor of Michigan.

Class of 2000: David Halberstam, journalist, Pulitzer Prize recipient.

Class of 1999: Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations.

Class of 1994: Dennis W. Archer, Mayor of the City of Detroit.

Class of 1993: Hillary Rodham Clinton, First Lady of the United States.

Class of 1991: George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the United States.

For my commencement? David E. Davis, Jr.

Who?

David E. Davis, Jr.!

David E. Davis, Jr., founder and editor emeritus of Automobile Magazine.

Enough said.

(To be fair, he did a fine job. He was fairly entertaining and appropriate and honestly, how much of your commencement speech will you ever remember? There were a lot of very loud complaints about the U’s selection of Davis, which he addressed – humorously – early in his speech. I’ll always get behind self-deprecating humor.)

(Seriously, though. David E. Davis, Jr.? What the fuck, UM?)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

To the one I'll never have

Happy, happy birthday
(It’s a big one, too)
To The Athlete

The one boy
Who I just can’t quit
Even though I know
He’s trouble

Adorable fucking trouble

Happy, happy birthday
To The Athlete

Thanks for returning my emails
And for commenting on my rare
Rare
Rare
Facebook status updates

I like random reminders
That you’re a part of my life
Despite
Being an ocean apart

(That sounds more dramatic than I know it to be.)
(I am lame but not that lame.)

Thanks for running into me
When you were home for Christmas
And for noticing that my hair was short
And telling me it looked good
(You’re a boy.
You hadn’t seen me in five months.
And you noticed this?
I am still astonished
By this turn of events.)

I had no idea that I was going to see you
That day
I was more than a little shocked
When my heart pounded
Because I knew better
Because there was a another boy
Because I had been working really hard
At pretending that you didn’t exist

There have been moments
These last two winters you’ve been away
When
I’m afraid
That I’m waiting for you to come home

Because maybe this time
Something will come of
The ridiculous
Amount
Of stupidly
Heavy
Flirtation

Silly
Nothing happens
Nothing is going to happen

But thanks, anyway, for dumping your American girlfriend
My knowledge of this
...I’m not gonna lie...
Gave me a bit of hope for the summer

Even though I know better

You’re trouble
Adorable
Mischievous
Addictive
Trouble

We
Will never be
An
Us

But that doesn’t mean
That I can’t wish you
A very happy birthday

And nearly fall over
At the sight of you

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Doing things that I don't do

So, the guy from the bar called me yesterday.

I was just getting into my car and, after glancing at the area code, I was quite sure it was him so I just let the call go to voicemail. I was full of rage and frustration because my boss is trying his hardest to slowly kill me via revisions upon revisions upon REVISIONS. (Make up your damn mind, brother!) Thus, not in a chatty mood. Thus, could not muster up any charm or grace.

So I didn’t answer his call.

Instead, I went home and made dinner and watched the news and decided that the best way to weather a snowstorm was to do it at Target. Somewhere in there, I sent that boy a text and told him that I got his message and was tied up (this is not a lie because I totally was tied up. Tied up looking at picture frames and candy and hair products) so I’d call him tomorrow. Which is now today, so I better do that.

I am going to call this kid (eventually) and he’s going to want to go out with me. Obviously. Because he has seen my fantastic ass and he is confident that he can overlook my lack of personality. So I guess I should suck it up and go? Isn’t this all of that “put yourself out there!” and “take risks!” jazz ya’ll have been cheering about for, oh, the last five years or so?

Let me just step back from this situation for a hot flash and speak words of truth: I am in no place to turn down dates. I get it.

But this? This is where we hit a snag because I am so. bad. at this stuff.

I don’t do this. I don’t go on dates with boys who I don’t know. I don’t go on dates with boys who I met, one time, at a bar and felt sort of mediocre about them at the time even though they were nice enough or whatever. I don’t just try something for the sake of trying it.

When I date (and we all know how rare that is), it is guys who I know. Guys who I have already decided that I like and trust and know where they grew up and have blogged about at least six times.

Not strangers. I don’t do this. I don’t go on a date with someone I don’t know. That is silly. Illogical. What if I don’t like him? What if he doesn’t like me? What if it is awkward? What if he is offensive? What if I don’t make a good impression? I can’t do this. This is not how I do this.

Here is where you ask me where, exactly, doing things the way I have been doing them has gotten me. And here is where I tell you nowhere. Absolutely nowhere.

But my comfort zone is so safe and secure and warm and reliable.

Leaving it is really fucking hard.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Plugged in

Does anyone else feel completely overwhelmed by the number of electronics that they own?

I was looking at my sideboard last night, at the tangled mess of cords and chargers and batteries and boxes and my head nearly exploded. In a pile, somewhat neat, sat the box from my new digital camera (and the camera and all of its handy accessories), the box from my GPS (and the GPS and all of its handy accessories), my old digital camera that I have no idea what to do with, my iPod Nano and its USB cord and headphones.

Those are what I need to deal with. The new camera needs a memory card. I need to learn how to use the GPS and put it in my car and actually use it. The iPod either needs to start behaving itself or risk being smashed into many, many small pieces.

I own two iPods. One is one of the first generations of iPods, big and clunky. I keep it docked and that works out just fine. The other is the Nano, which was what I carried with me to the gym. I kept it tucked in my bra during the 10k I ran on Thanksgiving, which I’m pretty sure ruined it. Stupid boob sweat.

When I was at my mom and dad’s house a few weeks ago, I helped myself to my dad’s old Shuffle. I’m not ready to commit to buying a new iPod. The Shuffle, when updated with my jams, will at least give me something to listen to in the meantime. In addition to a few more cords and assorted other bullshit to deal with.

OMG, you guys. I simply cannot handle it.

What am I supposed to do with all of this? Where do you store an endlessly reproducing collection of chargers and cords?

It isn’t just the accessories that overwhelms me. It is the upkeep and the carrying around a big enough purse and the actual use of these electronics. (All of which, I should add, I absolutely MUST OWN.)

When I was at the gym last night, the battery on my heart rate monitor died, which translates into me getting my act together enough to ship it back to the company.

One of these days, I’m going to need to set up an account to put videos from my Flip camcorder online.

And I’m in the market for a new laptop.

I want a digital SLR.

And what about that iPad? Tempting. It will keep me from buying a tablet PC, netbook and an e-reader.

Also, I'll need a new cell phone sooner than later.

There's always something new and great and shiny and HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO DECIDE?!

All of this technology is a little too much for me to manage.

I’m getting old.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Back in the saddle

I went to Heather's birthday party last night.

It was at a dive bar with karaoke. I hate singing karaoke! I love dive bars!

I got all dolled up and straightened my hair and, when I looked into the mirror one last time before I left, I was happy that pictures from the evening would inevitably end up on Facebook. Take that, stupid boy.

(What? I know he'll see them. Thinking that is only moderately unhealthy, right?)

So, anyway, I was revenge hot and -- oh, look! -- a table full of boys my age just in front of ours. Convenient.

But I wasn't particularly worried about the boys at the table in front of ours. I was worried with having fun and helping the girls pick out songs to sing and sampling a few libations and talking about a little of this and a little of that.

"That guy is totally staring at your ass," I was told, as I stood at the table.

"My ass is all I have in this world!" I was wearing the 7 For All Mankind with the rhinestones on the pocket. How could they not notice?

Fact: my ass is pretty fantastic.

Fantastic enough to have drinks sent to our table.

So we got drinks, which was lovely. And then we got some company, which was nice. I'm not entirely certain about the guy who sat beside me. So friendly, so smooth. He said all of the things that boys don't say to me.

"What do I have to do to leave tonight with your phone number?" he asked me at one point. It seems like a bit much, typing it here. It wasn't. Not in that moment. It was cute and flirty and direct. Like he knew what he wanted and he was going to go after it. Without playing games.

I don't know how I feel about this guy, but I don't think that matters. He went home with my phone number and maybe he'll call and maybe he won't. It doesn't matter. That wasn't why he got my number - so that I could like him more than he likes me, so that I could wait by my phone, so that I could analyze everything he says and does.

He got my phone number because I need to take risks. Because I need to push myself out of my comfort zone. Because maintaining the status quo has pushed me into this corner and I don't want to be here anymore.

I want to do it differently.

I want to try something new.

I want to make a decision without looking ten steps ahead.

I want to live without trying so hard.

I want to give my phone numbers to boys who I'm not sure of and not care if he calls.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Working on it

I would be married, happily, to a man whose name starts with a J. He would be ambitious and athletic. He would drink coffee and have a passport and play golf with my dad. We would have a baby, maybe two. I would work part-time. I would sew Halloween costumes for the children. We would have waffles on Sunday mornings. I would visit my grandma every week. I would be fulfilled.

I would be a work in process. I would be in graduate school, earning my MFA in creative writing. I would have a novel growing steadily in my imagination. I would have a dog to take running and a boyfriend and an outrageously optimistic outlook. I would be fulfilled.

I would be a nurse. I would be an intense, smart nurse. I would work in the intensive care unit. Doctors would respect me. Patients would adore me. I would go to home to an empty house, a house that I bought all on my own. I would keep my DVR full of television shows I loved. I would bake cupcakes for my coworkers. I would jump at the opportunity to work an extra shift. I would call my mom every night. I would be fulfilled.

I would be a teacher. I would coach the varsity soccer team. I would be equally liked and respected. I would be good at keeping in contact with all of my friends from high school and college. I wouldn’t regularly wear makeup, other than mascara and blush. I would date – patiently and casually. I would be fulfilled.

I would be single and happy. I would be living in a city, a big city that has winters. I would have a job that directly correlated to my college degree. My hair would be fabulous. I would be a good listener. I would take vacations to tropical destinations every winter with my best friends. I would take yoga classes in the morning. I would be fulfilled.

I would be Victoria Beckham. Except that I could eat whatever I wanted to, whenever I wanted to. David Beckham would be in my bed every night. I would be fulfilled.

I don’t know what I want. I tolerate my job. I don’t vacuum as often as I should. I am awkward in most social situations. It is very possible that I am the world’s worst dater. I think too much. I am sensitive. I don’t have much of a sense of style. If I am fond of you, I will bake you treats. I sing poorly. I need my best friend. I am not glamorous. My nose is always cold. I am easily scared. I prefer texting to talking. I am not fulfilled. But I’m working on it.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Restless life syndrome

I should look back in my archives and figure out the last time I felt like this. (What good is a blog if not to allow you to pin a certain feeling on a certain date?) I am willing to wager that it was in August, not long after The Athlete left for his season in Europe. My soccer season was winding down. I still hadn’t found a library job. I was restless.

Restless is a feeling that I am very accustomed to having stirring around beneath my curls. It usually subsides, with a little shove on my behalf (hey! How about I start graduate school the very same day I was accepted?!) or via an intervention/distraction sent down by the heavens (see: the reemergence of one boy after I’d given up on another).

The last time that I felt restless – I think it was August – it died away.

The restless died away in dramatic fashion. What a whirlwind the fall was. The library job. Coaching skating again. Hockey started. The cold came. Aunt Marie died. There wasn’t time to be restless, but I wasn’t content. I wasn’t anything but busy and distracted and just trying to get through the days.

I’m restless again.

I’ve been in this position, at my full-time job, for two years now. I’m a few weeks into my third cycle – right at the upswing of our year where I am so crazy busy and there’s so much to be done – and I am bored. Like, incredibly bored. My responsibilities were moderately challenging the first year. Last year, I had experience on my side and I was able to make a few positive changes and I had school keeping me from being too flaming bored.

And this year I would just like to set the office on fire and be done with it all.

I am obviously very fortunate to have a full-time job and benefits and my asshole coworker (who likes to imply that I will never get married) and my crazy ass boss (who likes to give me nicknames), but I am at the point where I would settle for another part-time library job. I’ll buy my own insurance and somehow make it all work just to avoid this horrible brain atrophy.

If I stay here any longer, I will start getting stupider.

Plus, I just like working at the library so much more. And I’m getting sick of working 60 hours per week. There are things that I want to do in those surplus 20 hours. (Or 15. Or 10. Having a 40 hour workweek isn’t necessary. Not having a 60 hour workweek is.) I want to volunteer. I want to play indoor soccer. I want to go to the gym more. I want to knit something and not have it take six months to finish. I want to skate with increased frequency so that I can feel like I’m actually getting better not just maintaining what I can already do because that is nothing if it is not bloody lame. I want to feel like I have some time and not just a fucking schedule.

I want to stop wanting and to start doing.

That is where it gets complicated.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Just sick (an improvement)

I’m sick.

Not heartsick. Let me make that clear. Not heartsick. I’m so over last week’s mess. What is the point in wasting time/words/energy/tears/brainpower/tissues/regret/feelings on someone who came out and admitted that they don’t like you enough? I mean, really. This is ridiculous and I think that a few days of nurturing my tender ego is quite enough and from today forward I will not be writing any posts about The Groomsman and we will call this oh-so-brief era The First Great Lesson of 2010, thankyouverymuch.

Now that we have established that I am not heartsick, I will tell you all about my endless symptoms. We will start with the snot, which is both endless and endlessly annoying.

Actually, I think I’ll stop with the snot. As much as I am sure you all would love to read a detailed list of every symptom I have been nursing since Sunday, I will just reiterate this: I am sick.

It sucks. I’m not entirely certain why (perhaps because I was nervous that I was going to spend the entire week bummed about The First Great Lesson of 2010 and not get shit done), but I made myself a hefty to-do list for this week. I usually have a to-do list working, but I don’t normally tape it up and make it so visible and SO IRRITATING because I’m not getting anything done on that damn list, except going to my hockey game last night and that was only because I had no other choice.

Monday night was spent in bed. I talked on the phone to Heather – who happened to call me post-cry on Friday night and wanted to see if I was doing okay (very sweet of her). I finished the book that I’ve been enjoying – South of Broad by Pat Conroy. I went to bed at 9 pm and it was awesome.

I really, really like sleeping.

But it didn’t make me better. I sniffled my way through yesterday. Passed out for an hour after work. Dragged my ass out of bed for my hockey game.

And that brings us to today. I’m all grogtastic and breathing through my mouth (very attractive) and waiting on FIFA to post the results of the latest World Cup ticket lottery.

I am a snotty mess. But at least I’m not pouting about a boy.

And it just occurred to me that I haven’t dropped off my rent check.

Blame the cold medicine.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Sad, no. Thinking, yes.

I’ve started writing about The Groomsman a dozen times today.

There are things that I want to write but don’t know how to write them. About how I think his life is about to change and he doesn’t realize it. About how I think that he’ll come back into the picture again. About sparks – more specifically, about why I think that that excuse was bullshit and why I will never tell him so. About the terrible timing of our attempted relationship. About the things that I will miss. About my heart – not broken, not battered, just a little worse for the wear – and my ego, unquestionably bruised. About how I’m fairly certain that he never participated in an organized sport and so, obviously, it would never work out because I AM ORGANIZED SPORT, DAMNIT. About the last night we got together and how I fucked it up – essentially making up his mind to end things with me – in the parking lot of my apartment building. About my unusually effective coping skills. About how glad I am that my sister didn’t come out the night he met Colleen and Lucy. About how much time I’m getting back in my days. About the adorable Valentine that he will never get from me.

I’m giving myself through Thursday to write about The Groomsman.

To try to write about The Groomsman.
 
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