Sunday, January 26, 2014

There was a moment, as I was laying there next to him in bed, that I thought he might be mine forever.  And then he murmured the sleep-sodden words "I love you", drink still heavy on his breath, and I realized how, though I could move my hand but inches to touch him, he was lost to me forever.  

Now, years later, as I sit on a pew in church, surrounded by friends and familiar faces, that same feeling rushes back and brings tears to my eyes. The feeling of knowing his arms around me, of talking and discussing life and the world, the feeling of being home...and then the dawning realization that none of it was ever mine to keep. 

I've had many loves since then. Other men. Myself. But still, as I sit here,  the speakers saying the familiar messages, the hymns I've known since childhood...still, I find this place doesn't belong to me--these people.  Still, I have that deep unsettling reality that this, too, is temporary. Still I search so that I will no longer be alone.

What do you do when you find yourself desperate--for those loving arms, for that feeling of home, and for that place where you belong, are comfortable, where being is easy--but with nowhere to turn and no arms to hold you? Those who would, are wrong and false.  Those that you wish, won't or can't or shouldn't. 

So easily I fall into the arms of those who are willing.  But they don't know me. They don't understand this need to burn, to run, to fly.  Sympathy is not what is needed to sustain or fulfill. But my kindred spirits are destructive. They seek to run away, to escape with flight, to burn to ash. I wish to fly to see, to run to explore, to burn to enlighten. 

How long has it been since I've found one that understood--someone who feels that the distance I have placed is a challenge, not a demand. How long has it been since someone filled this void in my heart and hopes? Years, surely, since the song of my heart has been lightly played with masterful fingers of understanding and study--of genuine,  unselfish concern and love for me--the same love that I have for them.

That is the ghost of my heart and soul--the ghost that I live with daily.  The memory of a feeling I had once, which makes all else superficial in its poor attempt at comparison.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Forgive and Forget

It seems everywhere I go recently people are telling me that I need to forgive and forget.  They're not telling me to my face, of course.  To my face they're saying things like "You're handling this so much better than I could have!" and "I don't know how you do it...." But wherever I go, in movies, in relief society, in my conversations with people....I'm given this constant reminder that you really, truly do have to do that.  Cattiness won't get you very far...even if you do have a few really good zingers.

For those of you (those being  Two people who read this?) who don't know, I recently went through a spot of male difficulty (and woman difficulty, too....but definitely in a different way).  I won't get into the details, but let's just say that someone that I loved very very deeply and who told me on a regular basis that he loved me recently slept with (and then afterward started a relationship with) someone who I, unfortunately, can't escape from in my life right now while we were still dating...and they both lied about it and told me to "trust" them...and then, once they couldn't deny it any more told me in quite a few more words to get over it.

Not such a fun month, that one.....

And how did I handle it?  Hard to say.  Better than I could have, but not without blemish, as I'd like to tell myself.  So many times in my head I wanted to go all crazy psycho girl and slash both their vehicles up and maybe a few mattresses (the one that he was sleeping on with her happens to be one that I gave him, free of charge...just as a side note.  Oh...and the sheets, too....), maybe put a few bugs in bedrooms, things like that.   But I didn't.  I only yelled once, and I refrained from any specific name calling and focused instead on descriptions of actions....and in the end?  I was left knowing that I wasn't to blame for the situation but still hurt and wounded and liable to lash out like any other wounded animal would.

And I still find myself this way.  That's the hardest thing to acknowledge.

I find myself wanting to be mean and nasty to this person (whose relationship with my ex, by the way, ended rather quickly...turns out it wasn't the bargain he was hoping for...) and wanting to say snide things like "well maybe if you didn't this, then they wouldn't that."  But...what would that help, really?


And it sucks.

To prevent backlash, and to keep my hands in the still relatively-clean state that they are in now, I find myself alone a lot.  If there's a group situation and I know she's going to be there, I try to avoid it.  I don't want to risk saying something nasty and then embarrassing her and myself--she doesn't deserve that, and I don't want to be the girl who acts that way.

But is it fair that I feel jealous that she's already moving on from it?  She's perfectly fine with claiming everything that's male in sight as her game to flirt with.  She sees no problem in talking about MULTIPLE other guys to me already.  She has no problem with flirting and complaining about how guys just don't want to beeeeeee with herrrrrrrr.....And meanwhile I die a little more inside every time. I have thoughts that range from "wow...if I'm interested in the same guys that she is, what does that say about me??  And the guys we both apparently are attracted to??" And: "How is that even fair that she can move on, and I'm stuck, still broken and alone?"

And that's what I feel, mostly.  Alone. A little bit damaged, but mostly just alone. I know that we all like to scoff at the saying of "nice guys finish last"....but is it really true?  Obviously I can go to bed knowing that, morally and ethically I'm clear...but what if my refusal to bow down to that level of stupidity doesn't in fact make me a better role model to others and in fact makes me the chump who sits on the side lines.  Forgettable.

Forgiving and forgetting.  Forgiving is easy....although as I feel these thoughts of wanting to put her down, I realize just how far I have to go until I have let myself completely forgive...but forget?  That's the hard one.

Maybe it should be the other way around.  Maybe the only way to truly forgive someone is to forget about what they've done.  Forget so that you can truly forgive. Otherwise, if you don't forget it...if you choose to remember it when they are near or when something similar happens, you'll never be truly able to get over it.

Heaven knows I am ready to move on.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pinterest Recipes

Lately, I've become a big fan of Pinterest.  I know.  Who isn't?  But I've decided of late that Im going to try some of the delicious-looking recipes I've been pinning.  I've been selective, I think, and only pinned and made the ones that everyone gets raves about "I make these every year and my family loves them." "This won fourth place at my church's bake off"--you know...stuff like that.

Here's what I'm learning, though:  People will tell you anything about your food in order to make you feel good.

We've all done it--someone hands us the rock hard, salt-lick cookie. "Mmmmm!" we say. "I have GOT to get this recipe from you!"  

Little does the well-meaning baker know that we want the original.  So that we can burn it.

Today's recipe mishaps?  Sweet meatballs, bacon and ranch pea salad and a baked potato.   The baked potato was actually quite delicious....but, then again, it's kind of hard to screw up a baked potato with butter, sour cream and cheese....and who DOESN'T love that?? 

Here's what mine looked like on my plate all ready to eat:

The peas were OKAY.  The problem was with the ranch.  Here's the link: 

#1, they must've put ALL the bacon that they told you to cook in that one little picture...because the four pieces that I cooked up and crumbled were hard to find.

#2, Even though I put in more peas than they called for, the amount of ranch dressing was WAY out of proportion.  1/2 cup of ranch to the little 16 oz (more like 20 in my case...) of peas is WAY too much.  Maybe it would have tasted different had I used homemade ranch instead of the bottled Hidden Valley stuff...but even so...BLEAGH.  For a condiment-lover like me, that's saying something.

And #3, This one may be me...but I didn't actually put the onion in like it calls for...I know, I know...bad idea...but we don't actually seem to have a knife in my clue where they all are...(put that on my shopping list next pay day...)..but even so, I don't think I could save it.

Then we come to the meatballs:

I've eaten meatballs like this before.  My family made them and I remember eating so many that my tummy hurt in a very good way.  I went to make them again...not so amazing.  The lady said to cook them for 8 hours.  Not a good idea.  I think 2 would have been better.  By the time I got home from work and got around to eating them, they were SO saturated through with all of the oils from the sauce, that they were kind of mealy in texture and overly sweet.  I think next time I'll either 1-cook them in the oven for a shorter time or 2-skip the sweet sauce and stick to marinara.  Totally not worth it.

Although, it should be noted that the sauce was DELICIOUS on top of my baked potato...

Now, I'm at the crossroads of deciding if I should give up on trying the new, shiny recipes with pretty pictures on them that Pinterest has to offer, or if I should stick to the family favorites that I know and can be certain of tasting good?  Have any of you guys had any success with Pinterest recipes?  What are the secrets and what are some of your favorites? 

Stay tuned for more elucidations...this single working girl is in the process of getting her butt back in gear and blogging once again.

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Gosh Darn Itchy Skin!

The last few weeks and my re-exposure to online dating have taught me something very definite--most people aren't at all comfortable in their own skin.

It's interesting to me how many conversations have been started asking "What are you looking for in a man?  Are you looking for a relationship?  What is your ideal first date?"  It seems to me this this line of questioning--these patterns of behavior--are akin to milking a cow from the front.  You might get some milk, but most likely you're just going to end up sitting face to face with a cow.  

This week, my problem with dating and (relationships in general), is that too many people just want to be with someone, anyone, just so that they don't have to be alone.  Too many people want to speed their way through a person and end up at the alter. 

Don't get me wrong, the alter sounds nice and all.  Tomorrow I turn 24 and have recently found myself going through a bit of a mid-twenties crisis.  My recently disappointed swaray into the land of love leaves me feeling more like an old maid than I ever have before.  And yet?  I'd still rather be alone  than be in a relationship that has anything less than deep love and devotion.  

I had a conversation with a guy today about how he thinks he would be a great boyfriend, but he hates and is bad at dating.  While I don't disagree with that sentiment, and I have, myself, felt it on more than one occasion, I also understand that there's a certain level of self-possession that one must have in order to be an attractive mate to another. My advice to him?  Love to be alone.  Be content to be alone There's something about a person who is confident that you should want to be with him (because he wants to be with himself) that convinces you that it's so.  

So here's what I'm working on this week and that I can only hope the men in the world are working on, too:  Be okay to be you.  Be happy about it.  Right after my break up I couldn't stand to be alone--I wanted to have people there all the time, to be occupied all the time, to be entertained and kept busy.  Now, I'm slowly equalizing again.  I'm finding my stride.  I'm re-learning to love being by myself, the stillness, the quiet, the enjoyment and freedom of doing what I want when I do.  

Being alone: Perhaps it's the easiest thing to do, but also often one of the most uncomfortable.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It's on the line.

My parents are four years apart in age.  They were married when my mom was 17 and my dad was 21.  They met while my mom was working at a drive in restaurant my dad's parents owned.  My dad stole a milkshake.  And so a romance began that has lasted them 27 years.

Fast forward out of the 80s and you'll find dating has changed a little.  While relationships aren't necessarily moving any slower these days, the way that they start is quite different.  In general, people keep to themselves--heads down, noses stuck to cell phones.  I'm just as guilty of both of these things as anyone out there.  The nice man at the grocery store tries to make small talk?  I give non-committal yet friendly responses and move on quickly.  

So what's the logical next step for dating?  That's right.  Go online.

In 1998 we were all charmed by Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail.  Who doesn't love to come home after a long and stressful day in reality only to find a message from someone "I like you.  I care about you.  I want to help you."  There's something bewitching about that.  Something about getting attention from people who don't even know you that boosts the ego enough to just make your day all the better.  Your self worth is validated, even if the person validating it doesn't know you from Adam.  And, after seeing Ryan come off so good with the charming yet surprisingly down-to-earth Hanks, who wouldn't want to take the that leap of faith and end up with a lifetime of perpetual bliss with a guy like him??

According to a couple of online sources (and's most recent television commercial), one in five new, committed relationships start online.  Why is this?  

The perks: 

  • It's a meet market. (Pun intended!)  Right before your eyes you can see pages and pages of available men all looking for available women.  You can filter them by height, body type, age and working and past marital status.  Now you can flirt with, wink at and talk to men without even having to go through the displeasure of actually having to bump into them and wonder about their statistics.
  • You can choose to either ignore or accept some one's attention without having to actually worry that you'll come face to face with them if you decide you're just not interested.
  • Like Facebook, it gives you a little glance into the person's life as they see themselves.
  • You can choose to make yourself as attractive or unattractive as you want.
  • You get to take them with you right on your own personal phone--it travels wherever you go. Whoever said you never know where you're going to meet someone was on to something!
The down side:

  • Other people can also make themselves as attractive or un (though why an un I couldn't guess!) as they want and you have no way to prove or disprove them.
  • You've never actually met the person you're talking to. For all you know the guy who's chatting you up is nothing like how he's portraying himself to be.
  • When chatting online, there becomes a distinctive social line that's blurred.  In the last two days I have been approached for phone sex and an attempt was made by a 48 year old man (the same age as my father, by the way...)  to chat me up saying he'd like to get to know me a little bit better. 
  • You can spend hours talking to someone only to meet them for the first time and find that you have absolutely no chemistry with them.
  • Most of the people I've met in my own age group are just looking for a hook up.
  • You're put face to face with other's poor grammar choices.

So, here's what I'm faced with right now: Is online dating an effective way to meet someone?  I've known several people who have met their spouses online.  For many, it seems like a great alternative to traditional dating.  But how much can you really know about someone from speaking to them online?  What am I sacrificing from not just meeting people around me the traditional way? At what point does shameless flirting online desensitize you to being charming and flirtatious in real life?

Man wanted: Now taking applicants

As a single girl I pride myself on being able to do things for myself.  I can change my own tires, fluids and lights; I can build my own furniture and program my own tv; I can move heavy stuff and hold my own against the ornery, rude and nasty people of the world.  One thing I cannot do, however, is reach high places.

I'm short.  My driver's license says 5'5" but that's on a good day when I've gotten a full night of sleep and plenty of fluids.  When standing on my high kitchen chairs I maybe reach six and a half feet...add heels and I get to about 6'10"--8-ish with my arms raised...but here's my problem: ceiling is 10' high....

So what do I do??  The floor of my 10'x10' cell is currently covered with bins and coolers.  Having such a small room, it's imperative that I keep things at least semi-orderly...but for the LIFE of me I can't even get those darn bins up!  And to make it worse:

my closet is very much already full.  

Typically, I'm a fairly resourceful individual.  After the chair and the heels and the pillows stacked on top of the heels didn't work.  My next thought was to post an ad on Craigslist.  I thought it could read :  "Looking for a man to raise me up--a top shelf man who knows how to stretch. Text only, please."  But then I realized that would only end poorly. My next thought was to ask the roommates...but let's be honest, they're the same height as I am and not as strong. My final thought was to get my 6' tall best friend over here to tip it up for me.But the thing is like 50 lbs and the last thing I need is for her to fall off the chair and break her back right as her final semesters of school are starting.  

Likely, the boxes will sit on my floor until I find a place for them...but this is my question for you, dear reader [s(hopefully plural!)] what things have you encountered that you've needed a man to do for you?  I'm all for girl power and feminism, but what things are you just physically or mentally unable to handle on your own that a man/your man/some man that you know has had to help you with?  What, exactly, are men useful for? 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Just Friends

One of the hardest things about a breakup is the aftermath.  After the crying and the tears and the mourning is over, when reality has sunk deep into your soul that this actually, really, truly is how things are one must still wake up every morning with one truth:  He's still out there.  The awful thing about a break up is that, even though you're no longer "together" you're still in each other's lives.  There's the separation of the belongings "Do you want these plates?  Or should I keep them?"  There's the forced conversations and texts and questions from casual acquaintances who haven't yet heard asking the inevitable "So!  How are you and your man doing these days??"  Not to mention the innumerable texts, tweets and Facebook updates all reminding you that he is still out there and he is moving on with his life as happy as can be.

And then there's the other thing.  There's the staying friends thing.

I'm not going to lie, I hate staying friends with an ex after we break up.  I would rather he just fall off the face of the earth and I never have to see, think of or hear from the guy again.  Usually, though, I'm the one doing the breaking, so it's an easy desire to have.  In this case, though, I'm the one who got broken.  In this case, he's the one who suggested we still be friends.  In this case, I'm just enough in love with him still to be willing to go for it.

Let me tell you this little secret, dear darling reader--being friends freaking sucks.  There's no way around it, really.  For all the above mentioned reasons, it's hard to still have someone who you're crazy about close in your life and not be a major part of theirs.  It's hard to see the updates on Facebook of flirtatious or fun things happening in that person's life.  It's hard to know that you're only allowed to see that person with prior planning and scheduling so that you won't overlap with the other girls/friends he has around.  Also, it sucks to know that you're no longer the cause of that person's happiness.

They say if you love someone then you let them go.  Well I say that's bull.  What should you do if you love someone?  You fight for them.  You hold them close.  You shield them.  You do whatever you can to make them happy.  But you don't, under any circumstances, let that person go out of your life.

And so what is my elucidation of the day?  Part of me, the part that's feeling a little bitter and neglected wants to say the lesson is to not love or to not stay friends with those who you used to love.  But no.  That's not realistic. And anyone with a dreamer's heart will know that the only true happiness for a romantic is in that love, and is in that hope, and is in that dream that some day things will be better.  And so the lesson is instead, despite the heartbreak and the hurt, the disappointment and the feelings of inadequacy and emptiness, to love, to fight, to stand strong in your love. Even if the person you think should love you back--the person you're fighting for--doesn't and won't ever return those feelings, some day, someone will deserve that kind of fierceness.  Some day, someone will love you back just as strong.

You can't keep your grasp tight if you aren't willing to exercise it.  And so I flex my love, even though it hurts.  Even though, like a muscle tearing, I feel sore for days after.  I flex because I know, some day, that love muscle will build up and I'll be stronger.  Some day, that'll be enough.