Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Birthday Emails

Today is my birthday. I am always reminded of how lucky I am on this day, and of what I still want to accomplish. I have an amazing support system of family and friends who make me feel very loved and well taken care of. However, at the end of the day, there is a longing for someone else to be there with me. That special someone has eluded me (or just not been available to me) for yet another year. Normally this wouldn't be much a topic to write about, except for a couple of emails I received this morning.

I woke up this morning in my usual grumpy, birthday mood that has accompanied me every birthday since turning 24. My phone buzzed and I saw that I had some emails. Gmail opens to show me that Match.com and OkCupid have both decided to remind me that I am, once again, single on my birthday. They both were offering me birthday specials so I could "spend it with someone special." Wow. Thanks for the reminder.

I would like to write them a special note, letting them know that their product has not yet worked for me. If all of a sudden they have men who want to be in a relationship with me, without knowing me, and are ready to meet my parents tonight, I'm a little hesitant to subscribe...even if it is 25% off. Come on people, I might be seemingly inept at dating, but I'm not that gullible. That would be pretty amazing, though, a pre-packaged man who already knows your quirks and still wants to meet your family. If it had a money-back guarantee, I might just sign up for it.

Grumpiness and lack of "someone special" aside, I am grateful for those special people that I do have in my life. Someday, hopefully sooner than later, I will have someone who will be able to help me celebrate and be around after the party has ended. Until then, I will keep living my life and enjoy that I get to eat all the left-over birthday cake and drink all the wine that is accumulating in my wine rack. Life isn't too bad, is it?

Monday, August 29, 2011


Guilt. It's a part of some faiths. It's a part of some families. You feel it when you tell that little white lie to get out of an obligation. You feel it when you eat a little too much. I've been feeling it a little much lately, for something other than the aforementioned. This isn't directly related to dating, as there hasn't been too much of that recently, but there are some relationship ties. Teaching. Just the verb itself has a connotation that carries over to the person who performs the action. I can imagine it is like other professions in which you invest countless, thankless hours. It becomes who you are. I don't like that about myself any more. That makes me feel guilty. I should be proud to say that this is what I do. Oh, the guilt.

Over the last year I've been doing some soul searching. I've been trying to find a balance between being grateful for having a job and tolerating it. I am not winning this game. Thus, the guilt. All around me people I love are losing their jobs and I can't stop complaining about mine. For the last few years I've become a smidge jaded about the career path I chose to follow. The system seems to have bogged me down. But, I have a job. Guilt.

I seem to have developed apathy for my job right around the time the economy went down the toilet. Good timing, huh? Here's where relationships come into play. I have this fantastic idea floating around in my head that relationships (mainly marriage) provide you with a sense of security and support. If, as a team, you are stable enough, one of you can take a chance on something else and if it doesn't work out, you won't be asking friends and family to sleep on their couches. If you work as a team, you're not a burden to each other and are able to support each other as you both grow into your ultimate selves. I wish for that kind of stability and support. Someone to pick up the slack every once in a while. Someone to mow the lawn so I can clean the house. Someone to pick up milk (or beer or wine or dinner or dog food) on the way home because I am late getting out of work. I've been managing pretty well on my own (with the support of great friends and family), but what if I want to change something, like my job? That is a pretty big risk for a single 30-something with a mortgage, a dog, and other debt to pay off. And then I remember my friends who have no choice but to be looking for a new job. Guilt, on top of guilt, on top of guilt.

So, here I sit, the night before I'm supposed to go back to work, and I feel sick to my stomach. The distance provided by this summer has not made my heart grow fonder for the job which I return to tomorrow. But I have a job. Where is the balance? I still plan to do my job to the best of my ability because that's how I was raised and I am a professional. I must create some way to enjoy a bit of my job each day; maybe not what I do, but who I get to work with. I could do that.

I am making it known to the world, or at least to those who read this, that I will work my ass off and I will complain about it, but I will strive to make my life better so you don't have to hear me complain any more. I don't know how quite yet, but I will continue to prove that I can take care of myself and work toward finding something that I am passionate about, something that enriches my life, something that doesn't take over my life. Guilt, I hope to see you less and less over the coming months. I don't expect you to disappear over night, but feel free to take a little sabbatical every once in a while.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

And I've Only Applied "Crazy" to Men

I have a question: What do I do to attract the crazies? Typically if you read that in this blog, you would assume I was talking about crazy men. Not today, folks, not today. Today I'm talking about the crazy women who were in a man's life both before and after dating me.

My first example is a woman named Melissa. She had dated the last guy I actually called a boyfriend. The first summer we were dating he moved to Alaska to be a pilot for a tourist company. He flew me up there and we had a grand time exploring! On one of the days he had to work, and wasn't able to fit me into the flight, I was at the cabin for a while. I checked my email and was going to check my myspace page. I checked a the pages of a few friends and went to write on the pilot's wall, when I saw a post from Melissa. It turned out he and Melissa were talking again, unbeknownst to me. That, however, was not the problem. The problem was that she seemed to be talking about me in code, asking if they could talk once "granola" went back to Portland. Yes, she called me "granola." Over dinner that night I asked him if they were in contact again, trying to be supportive, but also a little confused as it had previously sounded like this girl was terrible to him. We talked about it for a bit, and never really got anywhere with the conversation. I dropped it, not really worried about this girl in Texas.

Once "granola" returned home to Portland, I received a message from Melissa detailing her relationship with the pilot. Details about how he asked her to marry him and she turned him down. About how in love he had been with her and I would be lucky to have that kind of love from him. Um, anyone catching on to the crazy yet? I don't remember what I wrote, but I responded to her email, trying to be the bigger person and ignore her odd commentary. This happened again, but in a much more aggressive fashion. When I told the pilot, he said he would talk to her. Yeah, sure he would. Her bizarre actions even included logging in to myspace as his cat and posting awful things on my wall. Um, hell-oooo crazy-pants! The pilot and I eventually broke up and I never heard from Melissa again.

As if that wasn't enough, earlier this spring I heard from the ex-wife of another ex-boyfriend. We had dinner in the fall, just two friends catching up. I texted him a few months later asking if he had seen that a restaurant he loved had been changed into a Lucky Lab. Later that day I received an odd text from someone introducing me as Garrett's (fake name) wife. In her texts (yes, she took my number from his phone records.) she accused me of breaking up their less-than-year-long marriage and making frequent visits to their home. I responded with a mellow reply letting her know that I had not been to his house since we had broken up almost five years ago. She proceeded to confide in me all the problems of their marriage. I replied it was none of my business and to not contact me again. Guess who I heard from today! Once again I asked her to not contact me again. Fingers crossed this request sticks!

How do I do it? Do I emit some pheromone that only the crazies respond to? I wonder if there is a medical test I could undergo to see about eradicating my body of these strange chemicals that seem to pull in the crazy. I would pay good money for that test. Out of pocket.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

New Adventures

When I was in my early twenties, I was able to have many amazing adventures. I moved across the country to a place where I knew almost no one. I was given a job working in a high-class salon in one of the wealthiest towns in the United States. I played on the beaches of the Hamptons and then went to work in one of the two or three inner-cities of Connecticut. I went to Europe twice. I lived with a boyfriend, who turned out to be full of issues that only seemed to be exacerbated after I moved in. That does a number on your self-esteem, let me tell ya! I travelled to Chicago, Alaska and to Florida. I bought a house. I got a dog; a very anxious and energetic dog I named Gertie. And then the adventures really seemed to change.

Instead of going new places and being exposed to new ways of life, I was watching other friends get married and start popping out little ones. They were having new types of adventures with another person. My life seemed to stop progressing. I didn't move to a new place. If I actually met someone I thought was worth keeping around, it didn't last more than a couple of months. The only thing that seemed to change on a consistent basis was the increase in how much money I had saved at Gertie's veterinarian. This was not how I had envisioned my life. I was supposed to be on the same track as everyone else. I was supposed to be in a great relationship and paying off student loan debt. Instead, it felt like everyone else was doing it except me.

I started to accept that maybe my life wasn't meant to be one exciting adventure after exciting adventure. I started to accept that boring was was supposed to be the ultimate description of my life after the age of 30. What an awesome way to view the rest of your life, eh?

A few months back, I was talking to a friend who shared some newly discovered words of wisdom. She is one of my few truly single friends and, other than having a dog, have very similar lives at this point. We both own our homes, have good jobs, are fun women, but neither of us have had a stable significant other in a significant amount of time. We both have watched friends marry, get knocked up, push out a beautiful baby (insert given sex here) and start on a new adventure. We both have felt just plain stuck in life. However, on this one particular day I learned that she had been given a new way of looking at our so-called-lives (Jordan Catallano, you will always be in my heart.). I can only attempt to put it as eloquently as she did. Essentially, our lives are less exciting, but they are still our lives. We still need to spend each day doing something we enjoy. We still need to take every experience and evaluate its benefit to our lives. We still need to look at every first date as an experience that will, hopefully, lead us to someone who will fit our lives. We still need to live our lives...even if it means listening to some guy say, "I digress" at the end of every statement he makes while eating pizza and trying to impress his dinner companion (Yay, that was me. Lucky girl, huh?). Yes, I still need to live every moment to its fullest, even if I'm falling asleep while on a first date. It all comes back to the experiences. Here's to hoping an evolving mindset leads to an ever-evolving life.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


To keep myself from seeming like a complete b with an itch, I want to pose a question instead of going off an a rant. Within the last few weeks, I've gone out with three very different guys. Two of these eligible bachelors have at least their bachelor's degree, the third left college after two years. All three had things to offer: good conversationalists, attractive, good jobs, interesting. Here's the catch, the two with degrees felt like a better fit. Was it just that those two guys were better fits in general, or was it something more than that? This is not the first time this sort of question has made an appearance in my conscience, but it's the first time I've admitted it.

If you've read any of my other posts, you know the variety of guys I've dated. Some have been high school graduates, some have been working on their doctorates. Some have been brilliant some have not been so bright. Some have been ready for a relationship, some have not. So, I need your help. Is there something to having a degree that makes someone a better fit for me or am I just making up reasons in my head for why some dates turn into relationships (granted not many!) and why some don't?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I do not consider myself to be a trend follower. When it comes to fashion, I prefer more classic styles, with a touch of trend. I can't justify spending money on big ticket items that will be out of style by the next season. A small dose of trendiness makes clothes I've had forever seem new! So if I choose not to follow fashion trends, why, oh why, do I allow myself to follow dating trends?

Every so often, I'll start dating a new guy and am overcome with a feeling of de ja vous. No, it's not that I've unknowingly dated a guy twice. I've had some do-over relationships but always with a full and clear knowledge of who I am getting involved with. Still, that creepy, been-here-done-that feeling sneaks in, and, instead of taking it as a warning, I suppress it and fall hard.

Over the last ten years, I have dated my fair share of men. Some have had similar jobs. Some have had similar cars. Some have even had the same name. When I met and started seeing the sixth John, a friend of mine threatened to sing "Henry the Eighth I Am," but replace Henry with John. These are all benign trends.

They usually begin the same way. The first couple of dates are amazing and I go home thinking, "Wow, I've finally met a normal guy!" That should be my first clue that something is not right. From there on out, I can tell that something is not quite right, but can't seem to grow the cajones necessary to ask about it or just stop dating the guy. Eventually, it ends and I find the next Mr. Needs to Be Fixed.

After a recent relationship ended, I was talking to a friend, a little baffled at what had happened. Mid-discussion, I had a bit of an epiphany. Since college, almost EVERY guy I have had a significant relationship with has had a past major trauma in his life. From messy parent divorces to drug addiction to drug dealing to being cheated on, I've tried to be the girl to fix the broken man. I am that girl who attracts the wrong men. Now, I am not without my own faults and baggage, and not every guy has had issues, but, good night, how does this happen? I'm the girl that bad romantic comedies are based around.

What an amazing accomplishment it would be to be the girl with whom he settles down and gets his life together! While I haven't ever consciously made the decision to try and fix someone, somehow it seems to seep into my pheromones and attract these men. How does this happen? Is it possible to subconsciously follow trends?

Perhaps trend-follower is the wrong term. Maybe magnet is more suitable to the situation. I understand that magnetism is a scientific concept, but I may have to find a way to defy science. Here's to beating science, trends, bad choices, ignoring gut feelings, and not being the girl in the movies! Wish me luck; I have a date on Thursday and he has an awesome name.