Monday, January 31, 2011

Taking Time to Say it Out Loud

I see you there, with your eyebrow cocked in my direction. What are you thinking? Are you admiring my features? Do you think I look beautiful right now?

If only your thoughts were displayed like words on a marquis. I like you. In fact, I love you. But, I have yet to decode you.

I'm sure you think of yourself as a simple man. You have simple needs, wants and desires. You express this to me over drinks and we laugh at life's idiosyncrasies. But as simple as you think you are, I find you to be quite complex. Because of this, I find it is now my eyebrow which is cocked at you. Perhaps now you're wondering what is in my head. Or perhaps you're simply admiring the shape my eyebrow has taken.

I've memorized your face, and I see it in my dreams. As I sleep, you take my hand and lead me through the empty streets... much like you once did on a hazy night not so many years ago. Your hand in mine, your face looks up at the sky and you wonder out loud how many stars must be in the universe... and how many of them might be dying as we speak. It's here that I think you're lovely, and if I weren't holding onto your hand I might trip and land head over heels.

Do you know, if you asked, I would marry you tomorrow? Do you know that you're the only person I've ever thought this of? Even though I've loved others, and I've been with other men since I've met you... since I fell for you... you are the only one I'd be willing to commit to? I know this. I don't know how I know this... but I know you're the kind of man I'd say yes to. I'd say yes to anything you wanted.

I know you wouldn't make my father's mistakes. I know you'd treat me right, and respect me, and love me. Because of this, it's a pity that we aren't together. I know you don't like to hear me say this, but not saying it doesn't make it any less true.

Having your friendship means so much to me. I may not be able to marry you, but I will love you forever. I know that you'll also love me forever. All I can say is, the man I marry will have to live up to the standard of man you've presented in my life. He will have to be smart, outgoing, respectful, and simple. He will also have to meet your approval... whether he knows it or not.

Thank you for letting me love you. Thank you for being one of the most spectacular persons I've ever encountered. Thank you for thinking of me, and letting me know you're doing so. Thank you for being my friend and understanding me better than I really understand myself. Really... just thank you.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Rough Patch

My dearest friends are like family. Never having a blood sister I made up for that with the best friends a girl could ever ask for. We've been there for each other through thick and thin, and I've always, always felt incredibly grateful for these relationships.

In high school we were nerds. I don't mind admitting it. We were outcasts, and having abnormality in common was the thing that actually bonded us. Like that song from Pink says, we were "too school for cool" and "wrong in all the right ways." In fact, it would have been nice to have that song back then, but we managed just fine without it.

We had each other's backs, and because of that we weren't afraid to just be ourselves and love each other unconditionally... flaws and all. I don't think we had any idea at the time the life-long relationships we were building, but, to me, now it's glaringly obvious that I would do anything in the world for these girls.

We weren't without our drama. No group of friends is. When the drinks were flowing like a mad rapid river, so did tempers, love affairs, betrayal, and cracks in our foundations. We've been young and stupid, making decisions which were not only idiotic but also life threatening. We made it through it all, though, learning the meaning of forgiveness and the healing power of time and tears.

Then the country took a turn. Collectively, as a nation, everybody is tightening the belt, feeling the pinch, and re-evaluating habits that landed us in this position. My sisters, too have had to deal with a downturn.

This past year has found us all grasping for something to save us. One of my friends lost her first born child. We watched her lower the baby girl into the ground in October. Another one learned the painful reality of divorce, and still another lost family members which were large influences on her life. The rest of us are dealing with unemployment, money problems and relationship woes.

Still I know a box of Kleenex, a hand to hold and a reassuring hug will always be available in these times of need. Girl talk can do wonders for a soul. It may not solve your problems, but it can get the weight off and help you lighten the heavy load of burden.

So when one of my friends finds herself wanting to break down, crumble and fall apart, I hope she knows she can do it on my couch while holding my hand. Because, like all things, life has an ebb and flow. Just because we're in the ebb right now, that doesn't mean that we won't find ourselves in the flow again. Life changes. It tricks you, misleads you, knocks you down and dares you to get back up again. It's hard. But we can help ease that turmoil just by being there for each other. Sisterhood, unlike life, is beautiful and forever.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Monthly Monster

Last fall I was babysitting for a family every weekday. Entrusted to care for three children (including dropping them off and picking them up from school) I was given a small taste of what parenthood might be like. However, I didn't think I'd be asked difficult questions about the birds and bees one afternoon when the 10 year old girl climbed into the passenger seat of my car with a bag full of feminine products announcing, "Well, they showed us the video today."

I took one look at the sample size Secret deodorant and the super thin Always Maxi Pad and steadied myself to vaguely answer any questions she had. My first course of action, of course, was to text her mother a warning of what she was coming home to this evening.

"This sucks!" was the first thing the 10 year old said. "It's so unfair! How come boys don't have to go through this?" I calmly reassured her that boys go through their own awkward phases and hormone spikes, so we're not alone on this. Then I spotted reading material in her bag of goodies and I instructed her to read that and see how many of her questions are answered in it.

Breathing a sigh of relief, thinking the literature could tell her all about it better than I could, she was silenced for a moment. Shortly after that her littler brothers climbed into the car and started asking if we could go to the park. Once at the park, she and I stayed in the car while she finished reading her pamphlet. When she was done she said, "I have one question... if boys have the reproductive cells in their... thingies... how is it that women are the ones that have babies?"

Oh god, oh god, oh god! What did I sign up for? Um.... how do I answer this? And while I was having this mini panic attack in my head, the light bulb turned on over hers. With a shrieking, "OH MY GOD!" she said, "THEY STICK IT IN????" Just then one of her little brothers popped up at my car window demanding a piece of candy. Thankful for the distraction I told him I didn't have any candy. He pointed to her goody bag and said, "No... from that."

Shit... he thinks she has candy and he and his brother were plotting on how to get some of it. When she claimed it wasn't candy, he didn't believe her. Finally she took out the pad and threw it at him. He looked at it and tossed it back walking away with shrugged shoulders.

It was then that I thought, "Why doesn't it have candy?" Because, seriously, when shattering a little girl's world by telling her that she will bleed every month until she's fifty unless she's pregnant, wouldn't it soften the blow by adding a little chocolate to the mix? Besides... countless women depend on the comfort of chocolate to get them through this terrible time of the month... might as well inform them of this future dependence at a young age.

I'm no different. I like my chocolate, but I'm not huge into it like some women are. I can't stand too much of it. Chocolate cake with a chocolate filling topped with chocolate icing? Too much. A heavenly piece of Dove Chocolate melting on the tongue? Just right.

Like most women, my craving for chocolate spikes during that time of the month. I can't explain it. I used to think it was nothing but farce. When I first started receiving my monthly gift I didn't notice any change in my mood or my cravings. I was miserable and I thought it was a horrible injustice, but I didn't think it was noticeable to the outside world. I thought I was pretty good at hiding it. I didn't think I needed the help of sinful indulgence.

Now I realize, after 15 years of this crap, that yes... we need the sinful indulgence. If I had more money, I'd book a spa weekend every month. I'd go away, leaving the people of my life behind (because let's face it... nobody wants to be around when this happens) and come back refreshed and normal again. Unfortunately I can't afford that so I'm stuck sticking around and trying not to rip the heads off of the people I love.

Yesterday the craving for chocolate was so bad I went ripping through my house to find anything that might have chocolate in it. I finally found some chocolate chips in grandma's kitchen and made some cookies. Since baking is the last thing I felt like doing, I ended up crying for no good reason and slamming shit around in the kitchen... because the cabinet doors were good targets for my irrational mood swing.

Finally, when the cookies were done and I got to take the first bite of the warm, melty, ooey, gooey chocolate I calmed the fuck down. Amazing, isn't it?

So, yeah... why not give the ten year old some chocolate and warn her to always have some handy? It might save her kitchen cabinets in future years.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Not on the Fritz: Sisterhood of Fat Women

I find myself often consulting my best friend Jason about my blog and the direction it's going. I once asked him, "So, what is it, specifically, that makes me unique?" He said, bluntly, "In all honesty, you're a big woman and because of that life treats you differently, no?" I agreed, but in my heart I slammed on the brakes and said to myself, "Woah! That's not what my blog is about and that's not what I'm about. I'm about so much more."

I'm right, but so is he. Life does treat me differently because I'm a big woman. Since I was a child I've steadfastly ignored comments and stares, telling myself I'm beautiful the way I am and nobody can take that away. Still... somehow in the process I think I've ignored it to the point that my immediate reaction when confronted is to backpedal and sharpen my nails. It's as if I'm saying, "How dare you notice something so glaringly obvious! Only I'm allowed to do that."

Am I reminded of my size often? Yes. I am. Every time I go to a restaurant and have to tell the hostess to sit me at a table with chairs... not a booth... I'm reminded. When I got a seatbelt ticket last year because it wouldn't fit me, I was reminded. More often than not, it's little things that remind me and not outside forces. Sometimes, though, it's other people.

The politically correct way to handle an obese person? If you have to refer to their size people use different terms such as "large" "husky" "curvy" or just plain "big." If you don't have to refer to them then I've found most people use rude stares and look away only when their eyes finally reach mine after having examined every other part of my body, or they don't look at all. If their kids say something they shush them and say only God knows what to them after they're out of earshot. I hope you aren't the type to get embarrassed if your kid points me out when Jason's around, though... he'll not stop himself from sarcastically making you look like an asshole.

My approach is simple. Should somebody ask me about my weight in a candid manner out of curiosity, I reward their forthrightness with firsthand insight to how I feel. How do I feel? I feel like I have good days and bad days. Some days I am awesome at calorie counting and I get some exercise in. Some days I feel like eating nothing but cookies. But everyday I tell myself my weight doesn't define me. Because it doesn't.

Every now and then, I have to change my approach. Because not all people have the decency to ask an honest question in a candid manner when they decide to bring it to my attention that I'm a larger person than they are. Some people are downright assholes. So, that's how I treat them... like the asshole they are.

There's a woman who works at a gas station here in town who made it her goal to single handedly convince me that I needed to go on a diet. She would ask me if I ever thought about trying Atkins or Weight Watchers. The first time, since she was kind of nice about it, I just pretended like I didn't hear her. This was for her benefit, because I would have turned into Bitchtastic Destiny and made her feel like an idiot for speaking to me. The second time she said she could tell I didn't take her advice. I gave her a calm warning. I told her I didn't think it was any of her business and if she ever said anything like that to me again, I'd be contacting her manager. The third time she insisted she was just trying to look out for me and be my friend. I told her I had enough friends and none of them were as stupid as she was. The next day I called her manager. She's been sweet as pie to me ever since.

Another incident that happened was at my old place of employment. I worked in a call center which, quite honestly, did some shady business in the finance realm. The owner of the company, Matt Awylward (but really all you need to know about him is this), liked to get drunk on company premises after his work day was done, but ours wasn't. One night, while nice and liquored up, he decided to play on his intercom. He made derogatory comments to me, regarding my weight and the idea of a man wanting me, over said intercom... in front of all of my co-workers. In the same evening he told a black girl that "White always wins" and he fired a guy for shutting the blinds in the window next to his cubicle. Just saying I wasn't the only one targeted that night.

Now, this wasn't the first time a drunken idiot decided to point me out to one of his buddies for a good laugh. Normally, when this happens, it's at a neutral location... like, say, a bar or night club. And when it happens, because we're in a central location and they are strangers to me, I stand up for myself and tell them, basically, where they can stick it. But this time it wasn't at a neutral location. It was at work. And it wasn't a stranger, it was my boss. He wasn't even in the same room as me... he was a floor above me, in his fortress of an office, watching me on the cameras, announcing his opinion over the loudspeaker. The next day his mommy apologized for him, and tried to get me to accept an apology from him personally... I refused, saying, "He can continue to feel bad about it." I highly doubt she delivered that message to him.

Is it easy to share this with the world? No. It's taking an extreme amount of courage and humility to make myself this transparent right now. The reason for it... I saw something on television Friday night which reminded me of my own public ridicule.

ABC's What Would You Do? has become one of my favorite shows. Opting not to spend money, I find myself sitting in front of the television most Friday nights. I like this show because it brings to light a lot of topics so many people are afraid to talk about. They give Americans the chance to call people out on rude, obnoxious, or just plain wrong behavior. Friday night's episode started out with a biracial couple being harassed at a bar. In all the scenarios the racists were called out and asked to stop making their judgments and criticisms. Yay for America. The next scenario wasn't as uplifting.

In the next scene a larger woman was dining alone at a restaurant. She orders a meal high in calories, despite the fact that she could stand to lose a few pounds. As she's ordering, the waiter/waitress points out that the meal is loaded with calories and there are healthier options available... rudely. Most of the time, the patrons around her waited until the server was gone and then comforted her, letting her know they thought the server was wrong for doing that. Then, when the server came back, these same patrons took their opportunity to tell the server that they were rude and owed the woman an apology. Bravo! Where were you when I was at that gas station, or sitting in my cubicle?

Then they changed things up. When the dining room was full of mostly male patrons and the waitress was a thin, very attractive, woman... and she was loudly and rudely telling the large woman her eating habits were wrong and she should know better... nobody said anything. Not one man offered consoling, or even said anything to anybody within their party or to the wait staff; where as several women throughout the day made sure the manager and other servers knew the harsh treatment happening in their establishment. In fact, most of the guys in the room flirted obnoxiously with the pretty waitress and offered her enthusiastic support in her plight against fat diners.

The lesson? Women have other womens' backs. When it comes down to it, we're all part of an unspoken sisterhood and we're quick to stand up for each other... even if it means somebody might spit in our salad. Men? Are only interested in supporting the hottest chick in the room. Now, some men spoke up... if they were dining with a woman who also spoke up. When in the herd... the pack... the fraternity... they all shut up and cowardly ignored the wrongdoing... because it might make them look bad in front of the pretty girl and their fellow brothers. It honestly sickened me, but it didn't surprise me.

Take this lesson, women. So often we are shit upon by a man in our life. Whether he's cheating on us, degrading us, or what have you. I'm not saying this about all men. We all know I believe there are a lot of good guys in this world. But, it seems to me that when a man does something wrong to a woman, the woman finds another woman to blame. If he cheats... she wants to go after the other woman, while not even thinking about how he was the one who was unfaithful. Stop it. We're women. Men won't stick up for us if they don't want to... we have to have each others' backs. We have to be there for one another, and we can't blame each other for the rotten men we encounter. Because, in the end... a woman is more likely to give you ten times more comfort than any man will.

I simply dream of a world where ignorance is thwarted... and imbeciles aren't tolerated.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

No Stings Attached?

So I'm a huge fan of Natalie Portman. Not only is she absolutely gorgeous, but she's brilliantly talented. Her latest movie coming out is No Strings Attached. Of course I want to see it, but not nearly as bad as I want to see Black Swan (a film where Natalie is rumored to be getting Oscar Buzz).

This blog, however, isn't about Natalie Portman, the Oscars or the movies. It's about what her latest movie reminds me of... impossible standards. The idea of sex without emotion is becoming so normal in today's world, that it makes you feel like something's wrong with you if it's not something you can pull off. Which, for me, it happens to be.

I can't help it. When I get intimate with a person I do it with feeling. In fact, I can't have a good intimate experience with somebody unless it has feeling behind it. It took me a long time to trust even myself during intimacy, and it still takes me a while to trust a partner. When I undress for somebody, I need to know they're where they want to be. I hate the idea that they would be thinking about somebody else or just using me to fill a time slot in their busy schedule to satisfy a basic carnal desire... nothing else. Thus... the "no strings attached" theory doesn't work for me.

I would say this is an innate part of my personality and it's always been the case. Even when I had little to no intimate experiences I thought this way. When my girlfriends would hook up with strangers or rave about how nice it was to have sex with no commitment I would say something about how that's not something I can do. One of my girlfriends even said, "Don't knock it til you try it." That's fair, I suppose. Why judge something I know nothing of firsthand, right?

So I tried it. And I failed. One night I found myself with the opportunity to go home with somebody I'd known since 2nd grade. At least he wasn't a stranger. And while I managed to have a good time with him without feeling any romantic emotion I was unprepared for the emotions I soon felt instead ... disgust... mainly for myself. I hated that I'd given him something I felt he didn't deserve. I ended up sneaking out of his apartment and walking home without his knowledge that I'd left. (And I'm so not looking forward to seeing him at the reunion this year)

For a long time after that I remained inactive... refusing to go down that road unless it was with somebody I really care about and had an awesome connection with. A couple of years ago, I met somebody who fit that criteria. He gave me the butterflies and when we decided to get intimate it was better than I ever thought it could be. Naturally, I hoped it would last. When it didn't I was crushed.

It was then that I realized how people can go through the motions with somebody they have no feelings for. It occurred to me then that, with a broken heart, people act differently. They are like zombies trying to recreate something that's dead. They walk through this world hoping that the next victim might bring them back to life... when all they do is create more and more creatures like themselves. After all... that wonderful guy was broken hearted from somebody else, and he turned me into a broken hearted somebody with a void to fill as well.

During that time I went through a phase where I thought I'd mastered the intimacy with no strings conundrum. I managed to separate myself from emotion as I flirted with any guy who'd let me. All the while I had somebody else on my mind. So unhealthy.

I was fooling myself, though. Of course I was feeling emotion... I was feeling heartbreak. And no sex band-aid would fix it. Lesson learned the hard way.

Much of my twenties has been spent pandering. While pandering can be fun... sinful and indulgent even... it's just a symptom of a person who's lost. It's a reflection of somebody who doesn't know who they are or where they are in life. Really pandering is nothing but flailing and screaming for help.

Since I feel like nobody can really help me besides myself, it's up to me to be one hundred percent honest with myself. I can't have sex without emotion. I can't have a friend with benefits. I must remain abstinent until I find somebody else who makes me feel safe to feel and let me express this.

It's difficult, though. There are so many broken hearted people in this world with a void to fill. They drink and flirt and keep each other company. Since men are wired to spread their seed, it's hard to find a guy who doesn't get distracted by the sexual culture we live in. It's hard to get close to a guy when he has the opportunity to get close with so many other women.

I just keep reassuring myself with the thought that I know myself, and I respect myself. With both of these weapons I can keep myself in check and just hope that I will find a man who is the same way. I hope it happens soon. I'm so ready for it to happen... but I'll be okay if it doesn't.

In the meantime I'll indulge my mind with movies starring Ashton Kutcher... all the while wondering if romantic comedies have a natural habitat anywhere in this world.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I'm Sorry, American Idol, but I Have To Break Up With You

Dear American Idol,
In the spirit of Simon Cowell I'm going to make this short and sweet. We're over. I'm sorry but it is what it is.
If you're standing there slack jawed with the thought of "But we've got J Lo!" running through your mind like a bad movie marquis, then I guess I should give you an explanation.
I can no longer ignore the fact that with every passing year you're committing torture to your host. Ryan gets less cute, less enthusiastic and more impatient with each new season. He's obviously a professional and knows how to keep loyal professional relationships, but when I look into his eyes these days they seem to be screaming for sweet release. His body language says, "PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP CARTING ME ALL OVER THE COUNTRY TO HANG OUT WITH SMELLY TALENTLESS LOSERS WITH A SMILE ON MY FACE!!! PLEASE, SOMEBODY, STOP THE HORROR." It breaks my heart to see that. I used to love the little guy, and now I pity him. His career has moved on... He's bigger and better than American Idol now... let him go so he can frolic freely.
Now I turn my attention to the product you sell... fame. More specifically fame to an unknown, relatively insignificant person plucked from obscurity, given a make-over and a microphone and POOF! A star is born! Well... I used to love your product. Kelly Clarkson was exquisite, Clay Aiken is useful for a good laugh, and Carrie Underwood completely stole my heart. It's not the same anymore. I can't tell you who the last two Idols are, or what they're singles on the radio were. More than that I can't remember who won many of the seasons I watched religiously.
And I did watch religiously. I put up with your mindless banter and the fluff added on the editing room floor for years. I did it with a smile on my face and hope in my heart as I rooted for my favorites.
Then you got rid of Paula. I supported this move. She was getting on my nerves. The last season she was on the show, I'd had the addition of a DVR in my life. I found myself fast-forwarding anytime she opened her mouth.
While supporting this move, this is also where our relationship started to go downhill. The dynamic changed. Don't deny it. You're only delaying the inevitable.
Over the last year we've only been pretending. I nodded and kept my mouth shut when you made Ellen a judge. All the while I thought to myself, "She's entirely too nice to do this." I was right.
Now there's no Simon. I'm sorry. That's the deal breaker. If you were my boyfriend this would be like you telling me, after years of going together, that you don't think you want to get married... ever. Simon was the show. He kept it real. As real as one could keep a completely Hollywood-gone-crazy talent show.
I've known for a while that this season will be different. I'm well aware of the new judges and the upcoming premier. I'm just... un-enthused. I'm indifferent to your existence these days. That does not a relationship make. However, I wasn't completely sure we were over until I was scanning the programming listing for next week on my DVR. I hate to admit... you've been replaced and so... deleted. I'm sorry.
It's not all your fault. I've moved on. I've lost my taste for reality shows, for the most part. Written comedy and dramas pull my attention these days. We just... went in separate directions.
Like I said before, it is what it is. Good luck with your endeavors. Once upon a time you captivated me.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Destiny and Destiny?

So I finally watched Julie and Julia all the way through with my mother the other day. I gotta tell you, I loved it. I can see why so many people loved it. I laughed and cried, like I do at any movie I love.

As I sat there, spell bound by the honesty of Julie (a wannabe foodie blogger who doesn't consider herself a writer because she's not published) reminded me why I love to blog. She was absolutely giddy with every comment she received. I totally know that feeling. It's the feeling that somebody is reading this. People are reading!

Haha... I get ahead of myself sometimes. I keep the counter up so I keep myself honest. Every time I post a new blog it goes up by a higher percentage (yes... my hamster wheel is squeaking away). I'm working on new ways to gain readership, and I'm liking the direction I'm going with this little project of mine.

I still feel like it doesn't have an exact direction. But that's a reflection of my life at this point, too. I feel like a wished upon eyelash floating through a blizzard. I can't see where I'm going, and I have no idea how to make this dream a reality... yet I drift and float hoping to land somewhere soft and warm.

In the meantime I'm looking for home-care type positions. I posted a profile on, which is a website linking babysitters and caregivers with parents and people needing those types of services. It's something I have experience with, and it's something I could manage to schedule in my life. Maybe it'll give me something to write about.

That's an overwhelming fear when I think about it. What to write about? What to continue writing about? How to keep it interesting? Then I hear the words from my friend saying, "You know your blog is good. It's good because it's you and not you pretending to be somebody else to appeal to people you don't know."

So.. No matter what I do with this blog... I promise it will always be a little slice of me... Destiny, who has no idea what her destiny is.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Another One Bites the Dust

I'm feeling honest today.

My heart is lonely. Today I found out another good guy I know is getting married. I smile for his happiness, and I'm glad he found somebody. He is the type of guy who really wants to be married and really wants to be a dad. Those are rare, ya know?

I like the joke that all women are crazy, but all men are assholes; therefore it justifies the crazy. But, in reality I can't be one of those bitter pieces of a woman who clutches to the belief that men are bad and women are victims. Because, I look around and I see a lot of great guys who inhabit my life.

A good amount of the best friends in my life are males. One of them is gay. One of them is an ex -soldier who confides his world to me. One of them is getting married. I've come to know these men on a level of intimacy which requires no touching. I know what makes them happy, sad, scared. I know what their dreams and fears are. I understand them and feel safe with each of them.

Despite my ability to understand and get along with men, I'm single. I'm perpetually single. I used to think it was because of my size. However, that flew out the window when I realized I am beautiful and a good amount of men have shown a physical attraction to me. Yet, somehow I've not managed to match up the physically attracted with the wonderful best friend. I suppose this is everybody's plight while looking for their life-mate... but sometimes it's hard to feel like I'm not singled out.

I don't know if I want to be married. Perhaps that's my problem. I love the idea of a wedding, though. I want the dress, the party, the vows, the happiness. I'm just scared to death that I'll marry the wrong person. I don't want to be a statistic. I don't want to get divorced and it's a 50/50 chance these days.

What makes the statistic real is how well it applies to my life. All I have to do is take a really good look around to see it. The older adults in my life have been married and divorced to different people over the years. My friends who've gotten married? Fifty percent of them are now divorced. We aren't even 30 yet. That. Is. Scary. To. Me. So I can't help but wonder if my fear is driving. Is it in charge of where I go in my love life, and I'm just a helpless passenger in the backseat?

When I think about the kind of guy I would bring to my extended family Christmas I really start to panic. My family is very accepting, but if he wasn't the right one for me, that would be the setting where it became extremely apparent. I once broke up with somebody right before Christmas for this very reason. I could see he wasn't the one, I knew they would, and I didn't want to have to explain his absence at next year's dinner. Crazy? I know!

The fear is there, and I'm aware of it. But it's not men I'm afraid of. I love men. I love talking to them, and getting them be honest with me about how they view life. I love falling in love with men, and being intimate and romantic. I just wish there was a way to do that without being afraid of what it won't amount up to. How do I abandon that fear and just let something be?

Ah... Love. It can drive you bat-shit crazy.

I honestly don't think about this all the time. Lately I've been focusing more on self improvement and self awareness. I figure I might be single forever. I might not. But either way, I'm stuck with me forever. Wouldn't hurt to update the old version.

Today, though, my thoughts have done an immediate shift. I get like this every time I find out somebody else I know (I mean really know, ya know?) is getting married.

Something else happening this year: My 10 year high school reunion. But more on that later...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Red Red Wine

I'm a drinker. I'm not a heavy drinker, but I enjoy the occasional beer with a friend or at a family get together. Sometimes I'll even drink a mixed drink or a glass of wine. With wine, though, one has to be careful. Really careful.

I'm not a wino. I don't know a lot about it. In fact it takes me forever to pick out a bottle because I'm just not quite sure what I'm doing. All I really know is I prefer white wines, but I'll enjoy a Cabernet from time to time. That's pretty much where my knowledge stops.

Another thing I know... wine gets me drunk. Really drunk. It gets me drunker faster than anything else. Since I'm not a heavy drinker I don't have too much of a tolerance, so I have to be careful.

One time, about five years ago, my best friend was home visiting his family. He was staying in a hotel room and we had the bright idea of getting a few bottles for an evening of sipping and reminiscing. A few other people joined us, and three trips to the supermarket and a hotel bathroom sink full of ice as a makeshift cooler later we were all wasted and acting like idiots. The next day I couldn't move off the couch, and one of the girls from that night says that was the only time she ever called off work. She, too, couldn't move off the couch. The lesson I learned... wine hangovers are the worst hangovers in the world.

Last night I had some Cabernet. After a few glasses I was having trouble getting the cork back out of the bottle so I decided to use my teeth. Mustering all my strength I popped the cork and red wine went all over my shirt. This isn't the first time I've underestimated my own strength. My grandfather always said I could tear up a steel ball.

So, I spilled the wine and I looked down and my shirt looked like it belonged in a crime scene. I, literally, looked like I just got done slaughtering something. It was splashed and sprayed in so many different directions that all I could do was laugh. It was a good thing I was already a few glasses in so I could see the humor in the situation. Long story short... my perfume was replaced with the pungent odor of Shout.

So... the wine dummy performed a wine faux pas. Red, red wine. You bitch.

So... for future reference... if uncorking a bottle of wine with your teeth, make sure it's a white wine. Sweet or dry, doesn't matter... it won't stain as badly.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Divorced Parents

I feel like the title of this blog needs to include a serious tone. It's a serious subject, and it's one I feel strongly about. Perhaps it's because I'm a child of divorce, or maybe it's because so many of my friends are as well. Or it could be because I know a lot of adults who are parents and divorced; therefore it's a subject I run into often.

Divorce is part of our society, and some people would even argue that it's part of our culture. I honestly think divorce can be the healthiest part of some relationships, but it's hard. It's really hard. Even though severing yourself from a life-mate may be the right decision it will hurt. It will hurt a lot. The healing process can be long and brutal... and some people don't make it any easier.

If there are no children involved, it may be easier. You can walk away and never have to see that person again. You never have to have anything in common with them ever again, and you never have to worry about them impeding on your plans or hurting your feelings or scheming behind your back. Best of all... there aren't any children going through the divorce as well. Ideally divorce is best when there aren't any children as a result of the union.

Alas, if there are children present the main concern shifts to them. Are they okay? Do they understand? Do they feel abandoned? I would even go so far as to put them in counselling for the first year of the divorce so they have a trusted adult they can talk to about how they really feel.

What I can't stand is how some divorced parents act like children. They fight every single time they get the chance. They take each other to court, turn around, and take each other to court again. They fight about child support or custody in front of their kids. And if they're not getting their way they will bad mouth the other parent in front of the children.

Not cool. Totally not cool.

Would you like me to sit here and rip apart your mother or your father's character? Would you like me to degrade one of your parents with words that hit below the belt? No. Nobody likes to have their parents talked badly about... especially in front of them. If somebody ever said anything bad about my mother, I'd punch them. I've never punched anybody in my life, but I'd punch somebody if they talked bad about my mama.

I'd also protest to anybody talking bad about my dad. My dad and I barely have a relationship, but it's not anybody's place to talk bad about him. I might vent about it, but the rest of the world will just shut up and listen.

I primarily grew up with my mom. She was a single parent, and she sacrificed a lot (even having her own bedroom) for me and my brother. Like I said before, divorce is painful, and she had a long healing process. But she never spoke badly about my father. If she did, she didn't do it in front of me. She never took him to court after the divorce was final, and she never once tried to keep him from seeing us. She never used her kids as leverage in a fight with her ex-husband. I highly admire her for that.

Because of that, I was able to see my father through untainted light. Eventually I grew to have my own opinion about him, but it wasn't an opinion mom told me to have. I formed it based on MY relationship with him... not hers.

The other day, one of my best friends was talking about a friend of hers. This woman has been divorced from her first husband for nearly ten years. She's been married to somebody else for about 7 years. She and her first husband still fight like they broke up yesterday. Can you imagine actively fighting and arguing with somebody for ten whole years? It'll probably continue, too. They recently went back to court for child custody (evidently he and his new gf have been trying to take the kids away from her the entire time). The judge decided that the daughter go with the ex-husband and the son go with the ex-wife.

Oh, that's great. Break the kids up. Are you serious? Are you so blind that you can't see how hurtful that is to them? They are smarter than you think. Hell... they're smarter than you are. Do you really think they don't mind? Of course they mind. Is it so hard to come to an agreement... a schedule... something solid and continuous and steady? Something kids could rely on and be happy with?

Evidently it is. It's terribly hard, and the harder it gets the less it becomes about the kids and their needs and the more it becomes about the adults and their selfish, childish desires for revenge of a broken heart. They continue to fight, and collect dirt on each other so it might be used as future evidence of one's ability to be an unfit parent.

If I was a judge and looking at somebody's so-called evidence of their ex being an unfit parent, and then I looked and saw that this was their um-teenth time to court over this, I would dismiss all evidence. Then I'd set up a schedule for them and counseling for the kids and shake my head in disgrace as they argued about it afterwards in the lobby of the courthouse.

I know I can't change the world. But if there is ever a child entrusted to my care, I'm going to make sure they know what it means to be a civilized human being who doesn't treat people like shit. There's no need for it. It doesn't make your life any easier, or haven't you figured that out yet?