Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Flyin’ Solo When Everyone Is Coupled Up...Dang It

Dear Single People,

I know what you're thinking. It's Valentine's Day and you have no "person" in your life to shower you with affection, send roses to you at work and generally make you feel like you are worth it. You're surrounded by people with their disgusting stories of surprises from their significant others, commercials for engagement rings, and general acts of love from all those love-smitten idiots out there. And... as much as you can't stand to admit it... you want to be one of them. Dammit. 

Trust me, gentle reader, I have been there. I distinctly remember my first February 14th not being someone's Valentine. It was 2001, and my then-husband and I were in the early months of a separation. Valentine's had never been an especially *great* holiday for me, even when I had a significant other. He maintained he was not a good gift giver, and proved that every chance he was given. My hopes of what I'd receive were never matched in reality, but every year I remained optimistic and knew one year, one year...he would let his true feelings show. And...he did...but that's a whole 'nother story, now, isn't it?

So there I was, a now-single mom to four kiddos ages six, four, two and seven months. And it was Valentine's Day. And I was alone. I started the day having a good 'ole fashioned pity party, thinking about how awful it was for me that I didn't have anyone in my life to give me flowers or make me feel special. That pity party was pretty satisfying for oh, about 60 seconds. It really didn't make me feel any better, it made me feel worse! I started running errands and it occurred to me, I would be my own Valentine. I bought myself a beautiful arrangement of flowers, because I knew *just* what to get me. I got myself a little sumpin' special, because I knew what would make me feel good. I bought a delicious Valentine's Day cake for me and the kids... and surprised them at dinner with a treat we all enjoyed. And the day was great. Did I forget I didn't have a man in my life? No. Did I stop wishing I had someone who could hug me and hold me and love on me? Of course not. I still wanted those things, but you know what? I didn't *need* those things. I didn't mourn those things that day, because I took care of myself.

That night a friend called to check on me and see if I was okay on this first solo Valentine's Day, and I filled her in on my day. She shocked me by telling me I'd helped her, "I've been feeling sorry for myself because my husband is stuck out of town and can't make it home for our celebration! Thank you!" Who'd of thought, eh?

That day I learned a valuable lesson; you have to be happy alone, happy with yourself...and know how to take care of yourself enough to be okay so you can let someone else do it, too. That first Valentine's day without being someone else's sweetheart could be a terribly lonely and desperate memory, but it's not. It marks the beginning of me learning to be what I needed to be...for me. It's not for nothings that a few weeks ;later I met someone and we dated for the next several months. I'd love to tell you it turned in to a wonderful relationship and we got married and lived happily every after, but of course that's not the case since this isn't a cheesy Hallmark movie. It wasn't my first solo Valentin's Day, and it wasn't my last...but I'll tell you what: it wasn't my worst, and that's the important thing. As it turns out, my worst Valentine's Day happened when I gave my hopes and dreams and expectations over to someone who wasn't appreciative or deserving. I learned that lesson, for sure. I still trust, I still love and know how to give myself wholeheartedly to another person. I also, very importantly, know how to be my own best cheerleader and to vie to myself in the absence of someone else doing it. I am so thankful for that lesson, and appreciative of the times I don't need it. 

Happy Valentine's Day to all of you out there. Even if you're flying solo on this day...no...especially if you're flying solo on this day - remember to be extra sweet to yourself and spoil yourself the way you deserve to be spoiled. Tell 'em Missy said it was okay.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Cleaning the Dang Garage

I posted a couple few months ago about my list I'm working on before I turn 50 and have been fairly rotten about updating you on my progress. I swear, I haven't forgotten!  My computer time has been restricted by me working so hard at getting through the list!

OK, I can't even say that with a straight face. I've just not done it. It's been a little hampered by my son monopolizing my laptop and then not realizing that computer cords have a severe allergy to yanno... candle wicks.  LIT candle wicks to be precise. Mama needs a new charger cord for her MacBook Pro. It's on my to-do list, I just haven't gotten to it yet. That's the truth.

But back to the list. I have made progress!  I truly have!  One of the things on my list was to clean out my garage. Sounds simple, I know. Clean the dang garage. My garage has been the dumping ground for the last year, since I began the process of living in our new home. Moving is a pain, which is an understatement. It's hell. Seriously not fun. I knew I was moving for several months before I moved, so I thought I was doing a good job of sorting and pitching and going through my stuff to make sure that what I brought to the new place was only the cream of the crop... the things I truly wanted to keep. That plan was working beautifully... up until about two weeks before moving day when I hit the "oh-my-gosh-I-will-never-get-through-all-of-this" stage of packing followed by the "for-the-love-of-God-just-throw-it-in-a-box!!" stage. I left most of the basement for the end, because much of it was already packed... since I never unpacked the "for-the-love-of-God-just-throw-it-in-a-box!!" boxes from the last move... heh, heh.

Anyway, we were full in to Moving Day and I had one of my boys help me move a bunch of things up from the basement. It was raining, so rather than load up the couch, we threw a small load in my SUV and ran to Home Depot. There I received the kind of call you dread getting... my oldest son telling me the basement was starting to flood. We'd had a small flood in the past, and it stayed pretty much to one end of the basement. I wasn't too concerned, and told him we'd be home as soon as we could... and I meant it!  I really did have a sense of urgency about myself. The next call about ten minutes later from said son was much more disconcerting, as he stated there were several inches in the basement. The.whole.basement. It's moving day, and my basement is flooding. Not good.

If I thought I'd been in the "for-the-love-of-God-just-throw-it-in-a-box!!" stage previously, I was now in a level 10 "for-the-love-of-God-just-GET IT OUT OF THE BASEMENT!!" emergency. The drying time between getting things to dry land and having to get them out of the house left quite a bit to be desired. The last loads out of the house were haphazard, which is a nice way of describing a complete frickin' disaster. The stuff of moving nightmares. It was bad. Really bad. And then? It was over!  I was done moving!  All of my stuff, some organized, some dry, some wet, some a complete mishmosh of stuff that should never, ever be packed in the same box... all of my stuff... was at our new home. And by home? I mean garage. It was all in my garage. :::sigh:::

I wasn't worried about this garage situation, truly I wasn't. Them that knows me know I'm a hopeless optimist. I took the first full week in the house off so I could unpack and get all those things crossed off my list that we usually wait to do. Painting, cleaning, organizing, drying... etc. It was all going to get done in my week-long staycation. I did pretty well if I do say so myself, and got a lot done in that week. I was no slacker and was proud of myself. That being said, a week is only a week... and my last few weeks of cramming random acts of crap into random boxes packing extravaganza had done a serious number on what my garage looked like. I wasn't worried, I had the whole rest of the summer to get things done.  And then my boyfriend spent 45 days in the hospital and my life turned upside down. And some other events happened that threw me for a loop. And school started. And I had a full time job. And oh yeah, I have kids! All these things collectively pushed cleaning my garage down to a very small priority.

Small priority, yes; forgettable? Not so much. The mess in my garage grew in width and depth and crapth as the months progressed... I would dig through to find that last box of Christmas decorations and then shove the box back in "wherever" because I would clean the garage "sometime." This, dear reader, weighed heavy on my soul. Every time I went in to my garage, I wanted it clean. Every time I shoved something else in to my garage, I wanted it clean. Every time I had someone lay eyes on my garage, I.wanted.it.clean. It was with this in mind that when people asked what my plans were for the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend I told them I was going to clean out my garage. Without exception, everyone took this information with pity on me. I would have none of it. I told them I was looking forward to it and couldn't wait to tackle the beast.

Saturday morning tackle the beast I did... and by Saturday night I had a beautiful, clean, organized two and a half car garage that could actually fit... two cars. It was a beautiful sight and I was very proud of myself, to say the least.

The next day I went to help a friend who had found out two weeks prior that her landlord wanted her to move out. She was given two weeks to find a new place and pack. ACK!! This is the stuff of nightmares!  No one should be subjected to such torture as having to pack up all the stuff you and your kids have accumulated over the last many years in two weeks. TWO WEEKS!!  She luckily found something, but there was a two week lag between the new place being ready for her and her moving day. Several of us showed up to pack and move her and as I was leaving for the day she mentioned that the storage unit she had was full and she was going to have to rent another, adding to the cost of this already expensive (and unanticipated) venture. I offered my support and condolences for the circumstances, and then drove home. And pulled in to my beautiful, clean, organized two and a half car garage that was primarily empty. And I knew what I had to do. I let my friend know that she wouldn't have to rent that second unit, she could store her things in my garage until her new place was ready.

I think things happen for a reason. I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to help a friend and be a solution for someone who really needed it at the time. Even at the expense of a clean garage. Because, you know what? In my mind, that garage is clean. Others may see a garage full of boxes, but I see a garage serving a purpose it couldn't have a week ago, and that's more valuable than an actual clean garage. It will be clean again soon, but for now it's full of boxes and full of love for a friend.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Day One, Item One

I am a true procrastinator. I’m not proud of it. If I could wave a magic wand and change that about myself, I surely would. I don’t procrastinate about *everything*… like… if there is a bag of Pepperidge Farm Mint Milano cookies that need to be eaten? I’m on it!  No waiting around for that. But then there are other things that are harder to get done in a timely manner. Taxes, dishes, laundry… and a list of things I want to do while I’m hurtling towards 50.
Mentally I’d been working on my list for a couple weeks leading up to my birthday. I knew I was going to start this blog, but I didn’t know when I’d start working on getting things done. My kids helped me jump start by missing the bus, so instead of sleeping in and enjoying myself I was up-n-attem early in the morning. Early mornings are a perfect excuse for a trip to Timmy Ho’s, my boyfriend’s nickname for Tim Horton’s. I pulled up and noted how much longer the line is at 7:45 am as opposed to yanno, 11 am when I’m usually getting coffee. (My shift starts at noon, so my morning and your morning are likely different.) As I sat patiently and waited my turn, I thought about my day.
Your birthday should be a day of celebration, a day of “IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY!!  Do whatever you want!  Have an awesome day!” and mine was off to a “Yeah… sorry… you have to get out of your warm bed and drive in morning traffic and get stressed instead of relaxing, and oh, happy birthday” kind of start. I had intentionally made an appointment to get my hair “did” later, so I had that to look forward to, but the rest of my day? Working. Working from 3:30 pm to 2 am. Yes, read that again. I love my job but the hours are a super drag. The only thing worse that working till 2 am? Working till 2 am on my birthday.  I wasn’t happy about it, not happy at all.
As I sat in that line waiting for my cop o’joe I thought about being pissy. I was entitled to being grumpy about working a shift like that on my birthday, and then I thought about my list of fifty. I made a decision and as I pulled up to the window I said “Today’s my birthday. I’m going to celebrate by buying the breakfast of the person behind me.” The clerk asked if I was sure, then told me it was going to be a little over $5. I told her I was sure. She then said “Happy birthday!!” and smiled at me.  And you know what? I felt better. I drove away thinking about the fact that hopefully the guy’s day was going a little bit better and was off to a nicer start than he expected, and it made me happy. On the surface my action seemed unselfish, but I was really doing something for myself. I felt great, I enjoyed it immensely, and smiled through the rest of the day knowing I’d made someone else feel good.
I might make this a tradition, because being unselfish on the one day you’re allowed to be completely selfish is the best gift you can give yourself… and you are the one person you are guaranteed to spend every birthday with. And with that, I can check one item off the list!  Bam. On to number two. Whatever that may be.

Fear Not Fifty

Today is March 10. March 10, 2016.* That date isn’t all that significant to many people, outside of my friends and family, but to us it’s my birthday. (I know, I know… there are other people born the same day, but this isn’t about them… it’s about me. : D )  So today I’m 48. I don’t hate the number, I actually embrace it. I like the sound of the even numbered years better… I always have. Somehow 48 sounds better than the harder-edged 47. It might be just me. It’s likely just me. It doesn’t matter if it’s just me, I like the sound of 48 better than 47. Being a proactive and forward thinking person, I jump to the next logical step, which is 49. Ugh. I definitely don’t like the sound of 49. Forty.Nine.Years.Old.  That sounds horrible. It was this train of thought that made me realize I’m thinking less about being 48 and more about being two years away from 50. That’s a whole ‘nother ballgame.

Two years away from 50. Forget the Sally O’Malley reference, but I will be 50. Soon. In a mere 730 days… I’ll be 50. At the end of the day, I’m a realist. Fifty is coming, it is. I can dig my heels in and try to resist it… but it’s an inevitability. Fifty.will.happen. So I made a decision. I’m going to embrace the impending fifty-ness that’s headed my way. I’m going to celebrate the journey and make the next two years as event filled as I can. I decided to come up with a list of fifty things to do (or get done, in some instances) before I turn 50. I’m great at writing lists, I’m terrible at remembering where I’ve put them, so blog fodder it is. My hope is that I’ll use this blog  to track my progress and record this journey. 

Here, gentle reader, is my list:
  1. Start a pay it forward at the drive through check!
  2. Clean out the garage.
  3. Clean out the basement.
  4. Visit Las Vegas.
  5. Visit New Orleans.
  6. Sing a solo in church.
  7. Write my book.
  8. If I see someone walking and my heart tells me to give them a ride, do it.
  9. Be fan of the week for Kathie Lee and Hoda.
  10. Bread from scratch with yeast.
  11. Volunteer at homeless shelter.
  12. Ride in Pelatonia.
  13. Have a 20,000 step day on my Fitbit.
  14. How about a 25,000 step day?
  15. Might as well try for 30,000!
  16. Volunteer to hold sick babies at Children’s Hospital.
  17. Pay for a random family’s dinner at a restaurant.
  18. Go one full day without gritching at my kids.
  19. Go nuts and try a whole week without gritching.
  20. Tell someone who’s wronged me I forgive them.
  21. Do that thing where you turn your hangers around and get rid of the things you haven’t worn in a year. Unless I can’t wear them because they’re too small. Wanting to wear them totally counts. Totally.
  22. Clean out my email mailbox.
  23. Clean out my phone contacts.
  24. Eat lobster, or shrimp or some kind of seafood. No, actually… just lobster.
  25. Use up all those stupid little bottles of things I have from gift with purchases and keep around for vacations and then never actually use.
  26. Use up that stack of giftcards I have just sitting around.
  27. Make bread from scratch…with yeast.
  28. This one’s a secret.
  29. Get a friggin colonoscopy. Some things just have to be adulty.
  30. Take a trip by myself.
  31. Buy an art piece I love.
  32. Go line dancing.
  33. Go zip-lining
  34. Try that thing with the Listerine where you slough off all the dead skin off your feet.
  35. Make something and sell it on Etsy.
  36. Sit in the grandstands at the Kentucky Derby.
  37. Turn 50 in Barbados.
  38. Learn how to use my camera in manual mode.
  39. Go to the friggin’ dermatologist and get a friggin’ skin check. More adulty stuff.
  40. Make a pie crust from scratch. Don’t judge me.
  41. Do a juice cleanse. For real… not the “I’m going to drink juice but I’ll sneak a brownie in here and there” cleanse I’ve done several times.
  42. Have an Oscar watch party where we all dress up.
  43. Like, really and truly go through my craft stuff. Because I have a ton. For reals.
  44. Find an occasion to wear those sexy gray and pink shoes I’ve never worn.
  45. Master sugar cookies with royal icing.
  46. Run in some kind of marathon… preferably one of those fun runs.
  47. Shoot a gun. An actual gun, not a water gun.
  48. Sing karaoke.
  49. Play every board game we own at least once. I know some are still in the box.
  50. Forgive myself if I don’t do all these – it’s a goal, not an assignment.

So there’s my list. We’ll see how I do, it’s not the most creative or fun list anyone could have come up with, but it’s things I want to either do, do again or challenge myself to do. Not all of these are in my control, but it’s worth a try!  Thanks for reading, and I’ll update soon.

* This WAS written on March 10, I couldn’t publish it for a few days because of issues signing in to my old blog. I should have made that one of my goals, to figure out which of my children is signed up as our administrator… >: (

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Reader, Heal Thyself

Self help books.  There are tons of self help books out there. I love self help books.  I do.  Maybe I should say I love the idea of self help books.  I think they're a great idea and whenever I read the back of the cover I always think "This author really knows what she's talking about... she's talking to ME! This book will solve EVERYTHING!!!!" and I buy the book.  And I carry the book around... to doctor's appointments for my kids... to soccer practices...to work for my lunch breaks... and I never notice any change.  I don't get help from self help books.  It's discouraging, because it merely proves that you can't learn through osmosis.  Dang.  I was so pulling for that route.

Wouldn't that be great if it did?  If just buying the book telling you how to have a flat belly in 30 days did so starting from the day you bought it?  Or the one telling you how to choose the perfect mate allowed the aura around your Forever Guy to be visible to you... a beacon of light leading you to each another.  I mean seriously... imagine buying the book helping you to get organized and then when you get home BAM!  You walk into a perfectly Martha Stewarted house.  Yeah, that would be awesome.  But... that's just not the way it works.  You have to read the books.  Did you hear that?  You have to read.  The books.  To know what they say.  Dang, I KNEW there was a catch!

It's not that I'm against reading - I love to read!  My reading level was always advanced when I was a child, and something I spent a lot of time doing.  My mom would lift both my head and my sister's head so she "could remember what our faces looked like" and not just see the top of the heads.  With my lifestyle these days I tend to buy books (the non-helpful kind... just for fun) and save them till I know I have a block of time where I can dedicate myself to being absorbed by the author's story.  There's nothing better than being totally immersed in a plot and the characters and losing yourself in the pages... now THAT I love.  The only problem is the life of a single mom doesn't really lend itself to luxuriously lying about the place, reading at will while popping bon-bons.  Maybe someone will write a self help book for my washer, dryer and dishwasher that will give me the freedom to adopt the lifestyle I so long for.  I just have to teach those suckers to read, now that I've disproven that whole "osmosis" thing.  ; )

One of the books I'd been saving for a free patch of time is the third and final book in the "Matched" series.  My kids were going to be with their dad for two weeks and with so much free time I knew I could jump on in.  I hadn't read the first two for awhile, so I reread those and then started reading the third one, "Reached."  Now, I'm a fast reader, and have a tendency to blow through books quickly and rarely take longer than a day or two to read a novel.  For some reason I went much more slowly with this last one and would read a chapter or two and then put it down.  I think deep down I didn't want to say goodbye to the series and see the end.  For whatever reason, I didn't finish the book till today.  It's a great series and a great final book and I do believe we'll see this series on the movie screen.

As it turns out, most self help books don't get made into movies... who's really going to watch a movie with Dr Phil talking about "Relationship Rescue" (got rid of that one at my last garage sale) or "Who Moved My Cheese?"  I imagine a fair number of people would buy the ticket expecting a cartoon about a cheeky mouse who just can't remember where he left that silly piece o'cheese and the ornery friends of his giggling as they watch him search for the cheese they've moved.  Yeah... no.  One exception was "He's Just Not That In To You," 1) a book I read and actually DID get a lot out of and 2) a movie that really and truly didn't have much more to do with the book than share a title.  Other than that, no other self-help-books-turned-movie come to mind, altho there's prolly at least one.  Prolly.

As I was  nearing the end of this recent book,  a couple lines really struck me.  One of the characters has lost her true love and is allowing herself to fall in love with someone else.  Her new partner is reflecting on the fact that she shut the whole world out to allow love the first time just to lose him.   He says, "The amazing thing is she's not afraid to do it again.  When we fall in love the first time, we don't know anything.  We risk a lot less than we do if we choose to love again,"  Reached, 2012  Man... do I love that.  How true is that?  I read it over a few times to fully absorb it.  It explains so much about why people are scared to allow themselves to fall in love and be vulnerable to people as they get older.   It truly captures that loving someone and allowing them to love you is a risk and one that's harder to take when the sting of lost love is not so far in the rearview mirror.

Is this the most important lesson I've learned from a book?  No, I can't say it is.  It's hitting close to home considering some of the relationships I've been through in the last few years... but it's not the biggest life lesson I can think of.  However, beyond the fact that it's relevant and timely for me is the fact that I found it in a place I wasn't even looking to find anything.  My expectations for the book were that I would be entertained.  It was fluff, a mental dessert for the end of the day when I'd gotten all my chores done.  The fact that this gem was in hidden in the depths of this fictional book is something I find really cool.  I just may have to redefine what constitutes a self help book, because this has done WAY more for me than "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus." Now that I mention it, I never did find out what the differences are between the two planets.  I better stick that one in my bag and give that osmosis theory one more shot.  Or not.

Friday, March 15, 2013

It Was (Are You Ready?)... A Toadally Amazing Night

:::insert drum rimshot:::

As you may recall, at our last meeting our fair maiden/ sweet singleton (c'mon, I'm allowed a little creative license, right?) was headed off to a Stir even to meet toads or a frog, come what may.

I should have been more specific.  I was looking for a *male* frog or toad.  As it turned out, the ladies I met were a better replacement for a potential suitor - we really hit it off and I know we'll have many great times together in the future.  So if success is determined in how many numbers you go home with, I did pretty well.  There were 29 women and eight men who signed up for the event; I came home with two contact numbers.  Believe it or not, them's good stats.  By the way, before we move on... did you notice something? I said 29 women (including myself) and eight women.  Eight.  Men. That's roughly three and a half women for every man.  Those are amazing odds... for the guys.  Notsomuch for the rest of us.  ; )

When I walked in to the venue, I spied an open barstool flanked by ladies to the left, ladies to the right. Not having yet realized the male:female ratio yet, I sat down and ordered a drink thinking I'd move to more testosterone filled pastures after a bit.  I didn't.  I started talking to the ladies sitting by me, and we shared parenting stories, dating horror stories, and the like.  It was enjoyable and entertaining.  And we were not interrupted by any other attendees.  As the ladies and I chatted, we soon came to the conclusion that this was the best it was going to get.  We were right.  We decided that after we were done we'd move on to more local sites where hopefully the pickins wouldn't be quite so... slim.  Before we were able to wrap things up, one of The Eight approached us.

He was pretty harmless at first glance - had on a t-shirt and jeans, about 55-65 years old and was easy enough to talk to, especially since he was the only one who'd been brave enough to start talking to us. Turns out he's from the same area of town as we are and we had a nice conversation about his job, the local market, etc.  When it was time to go, we (and by "we" I mean me and my lady friends) said we'd meet at another venue and headed out, waving goodbye to Ralph*, The Brave.

Later at Venue Two we were at the bar, eating pizza and listening to music when what to our wondering eyes should appear but  Santa and eight tiny reindeer Ralph.  Hmm.  We didn't really anticipate this.  We made a pact to avoid eye contact and it was completely successful until the one person who didn't agree to the pact, Ralph, spied us.  "Ralph!  Hi... hey... waddaya know..." It was awkward.  Ralph made it awkwarder (hey!  Autocorrect says that's a word!) by being an extreme close talker.  Extreme- extreme.  Like, "hey, is this lap taken?" extreme.  Not cool.  We did get a brief break when we asked someone to take a pic of the three of us for posterity's sake. When you look at the picture now you see Ralph right over my friend's shoulder.  Insert foreboding music here.  Since we were about done with our night, we started our goodbyes and boot-scooted on home.  The night was not the success we had planned on, but was successful all the same.

The next night was yet another eventful night, the beginning of our local Irish pub's St Patrick's Day celebrations, as St Patrick's Day is the pub's High Holy Day.  My friends and I gathered for a quick pint and a brief opportunity to enjoy the place before it's descended upon by SPD partiers who only visit once a year the way others only go to church on Christmas or Easter.  We had effectively secured our favorite table (prime real estate, thankyouverymuch) and were having a grand ole' time. Until...

I felt a pat on my back.  Smiling I turned around to see what friend had joined us and saw... Ralph.  Ralph the Brave was quickly descending into the ranks of Ralph the Stalker.  Now, I know he has a good heart.  I mean, I'm pretty sure he does.  He seemed harmless at first.  But... that's a little much.  I thought it was a coincidence until I remembered part of the conversation from the night before when Ralph asked if I would be at the Thursday night event.  "Nope," I told him... and proceeded to explain about the pub's SPD celebrations.  Stupid, silly, mouthy Missy.  Too much information.  Just no.  I should have said just "no" - always talking to much.  Oh well.  As we talked he said, "We have a friend  in common!"  I was stunned and asked who - he gave me a little information and I realized who it was, but I was still stunned.  Here's the deal: all I could think was "What could have possibly prompted you to be talking about me to someone else after knowing me less than 24 hours and truly knowing very little about me?"It was... creepy!  It was!  I guess I could be flattered, but I was creeped. Out.

Soon after that, one of my friends asked if I needed help.  Gentle reader, understand - I have been in many an uncomfortable conversation with a man.  I have had ample experience in getting away from the unwanted advances of a stranger.  It's easy for me and I have no problem making my excuses and getting away.  There's no getting away from this guy - I couldn't even fit my glass in between us to take a sip or get a breath.  Extreme. Close. Talker.  So when my friend whispered in my ear "Do you need help?" I said YES!!!!!!  She got one of the bartenders, a huge older man who used to play college football, to come over and whisk me away.  He waited around for about ten minutes and when he moved on I was able to get back to my friends.  It's worth noting that while one friend offered help, she first went to my best friend and said "We need to help Missy!" to which she replied "Nooo!!!  This is too fun to watch."  In her defense, I bet it was.

Now... I feel bad about this, even today.  I'm not a mean person.  I'm not an unkind person.  I never want to do something that makes people sad or unhappy or in any way rejected... I'm just not that kind of person.  I know he felt bad when he left, and I hate that.  But... he made me so uncomfortable!  It was... too much.  So, now I have guilt and definitely have a completely awkward situation just WAITING for me out there.  As we all know, even though I have lived here six and a half years and never run in to Ralph once, you can rest assured I will run in to him over and over now.  It's Murphy's Law, and it will always have the upper hand.  Maybe, just maybe I'll meet a wonderful woman about Ralph's age who's a close talker and likes to stalk and I'll be able to introduce them and he'll have his happily ever after.  Odds are good I'll meet her before he does, and I'll meet her at a Stir event.

*name has been changed to protect the stalkerish innocent until proven guilty.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Time to Meet Some Toads

First off, I'm sorry I've been so lax in writing.  It's been over a year!  Terrible.  Shameful.  Naughty, horrible Missy.  For the last few months I kept thinking I would write something and while there have been a good number of reasons for me to not do so... there have been more reasons I should have.  I realized I've felt stifled and after turning *ta-dah* 45... I've decided to change things that aren't working.  Me not giving time to my writing... wasn't working.  So I'm back.  For now.  Till I move in a couple weeks... but that's a whole 'nother story.

Soooo... I'm single.  And I'm not gonna lie - it sucks.  Like, really sucks.  I know I should embrace it and be all "I'm FREE!  I don't have to think about someone else when I'm thinking about what I want to do on the WEEKEND and it's AWESOME! And I'm so LUCKY to have so many OPTIONS..." blah, blah, blah.  You know better than that.  Even if you're one of those people who's been married forever and live vicariously through us singletons as we have our first dates and get to flirt without guilt.   If I wanted to have a boyfriend, just a guy in my life... I could.  I mean, not that I'm full of myself by any stretch of the imagination, but there are men who would be willing to be exclusive with me and I know that.  The thing is, they aren't *it*.  Or they don't have *it*.  Or I don't have *it* with them.  I don't know.  It's frustrating and stupid and boring.  It's boring to be asked why I'm single.  It's boring to talk about how the dating pool for my demographic is a bit on the sludgy side (present company excluded, I'm sure... if you happen to fit into that particular group).  But yeah, sludgy.

What's a girl to do when she is single?  That's a great question, and one my friends and I have bounced around.  Bars?  Eh.  That rarely works out.  Work?  Nah.  Home improvement stores?  I'm, like, 1000% percent sure that only works in chick flicks.  There are precious few in-real-life occasions to meet guys, and my ten-years-of-being-unmarried self is proof of that.  Luckily (note heavy sarcasm) we live in the electronic age and I have the option of online dating!  Yay!  That sounds AWESOME.  And by awesome I mean... second only to tooth extractions or an audit by the IRS.  Totes awesome.

There was a time when I wasn't so pessimistic about the online dating game.  That was many moons ago, my friend - by this point in my life I've had accounts on Match (natch), eHarmony (egads), OKCupid (OKstupid), Plenty of fish (Plenty of freaks) and many others.  I've done speed dating, I've enrolled in a pseudo dating service, I've done the local radio station's Man Market... I have done.it.all.  I was really and truly about to throw in the towel when Match started their Stir Events.  Wait, a happy hour for just singles?  Where everyone in the room is single and you get to meet the person face-to-face?  That sounds great  a lot better  a little less painful.  When they sent me an offer for a renewed membership at a discounted rate, I was in.  This was going to be... something.  I was just sure of it.

I went to my first Stir event full of hope!  and a little nervous! and with a friend!  As can only happen in the World According to Missy, the event was on a Wednesday when I had lost my home to a fire the Thursday prior.  And on the way to the event?  I backed my month old Acadia into the Land Rover parked across the street from my friend's house.  Insert face palm *here*.  It was fantastic.  It was all I could do to not introduce myself by shaking hands and saying, "Hi, I'm Missy, The Trainwreck. I have NO idea why I'm single.  Wanna date?"

The thing of it is, I have a sneaking suspicion that line would have worked with most of the guys who were there that night.  :::sigh:::  The first guy we started chatting with did so by "cutting in line" to get a glass of wine, and then buying ours for us because he felt bad the bartender overlooked us.  Turns out he didn't really cut, but used that as an in to talk to us.  Ooooh, smarmy.  Then we felt guilty just walking away with the drinks he paid for, so we kept talking to him to be nice.  You know that "no good deed goes unpunished" line?  Well, it's true.  Turns out keeping him around to be nice to him was a sure fire way of repelling the guys we wanted to talk to.  Notice I said the guys we *wanted* to talk to... because the guys we DIDN'T want to talk to?  Yeah, they came around anyway.

A common experience I've had is the "I know why you're single" epiphany when you're chatting a guy up.  Asking if I like your button down plaid shirt and then telling me your sister helped you pick it out and it was REALLY expensive?  Yeah, I know why you're single.  Reaching out and adjusting my bangs so they're not in my face when we've known each other a nanosecond?  I know why you're single.  Following me and my friend around after we've said "Well, it was nice to meet you... you should meet some OTHER girls now!" I know why you're single.  And... leaving with the crack addict who wandered in to where we were after the event was over?  Dude, get used to being single.  I wish those were hypothetical.  They're not.  And if history tells me anything, I will see this guy tonight as he has been at almost every event I have.

Which begs the question: why do I keep going?  Everyone knows the definition of crazy - doing the same thing and expecting different results.  I know, I know.  The thing of it is I can't stand just not doing anything.  And as long as I'm trying, I know I'm trying.  I'm getting out there.  I'm giving it a chance.  And do I think I will find someone tonight? Honestly... I don't.  I'm super ridiculously absurdly optimistic.  TOO optimistic.  Painfully optimistic.  Seriously, I hope Rhett won't leave Scarlett each time I watch "Gone With the Wind."  (Don't judge!  It *could* happen.)  I believe in love, I believe in people and I believe in my future with Mr Forever.  But I have to be realistic, and I generally don't meet people I'd be interested in seeing outside of a Stir event when I'm there.  The thing of it is, if you don't try you won't know... so I'm trying.  And I do have a good time!  I do have interesting conversations, and I get good material for those "who's met the weirdest person in a dating situation" contest.  (The best one was the guy who cried not once, but twice...twice!... on our first date.  Our only date.  But I digress.)  

All that to say, I'm going tonight.  I'm hoping for my Frog Prince, but if I keep my expectations low I won't be surprised by all the toads.  I do know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I'll have some awesome stories to tell.  It's my duty to come armed with vignettes that make all my friends in relationships think "I'm SO glad I'm not in the dating world!"  I take it seriously, and luckily for you'ins... I've got lots of material.  Lots.  Cheers!