Monday, June 30, 2008

Groomsman, Part II

Turns out that you, my friends and blogger readers, are divided on the issue of whether I should be a groomsman for my ex-boyfriend.  This surprises me, so I'm going to muddy the water just a little bit.

I talked to him about details, because I didn't want to just say no before I knew exactly what I was saying no to.  What if he really just wanted me to tend to the kegs all afternoon?  I can do that! Or, make sure nobody steals the card basket with all the cash in it?  Or do some crappy reading about love and prancing gazelles.  I can do these things.

But, it turns out, he really wants me standing up there with him, his brother and two best friends from college.  Wow.  Turns out though, that the bride also has asked a former boyfriend/skanky sex-mate to be a bridesmaid.  To some, this makes it better because the weirdness balances out.  Honestly, to me, it just doubles the weird.

Here's the sticking point though.  All of a sudden, I feel like my blanket proclamation of "no more bridesmaiding for me!" is kinda unfair.  Its not easy to find someone you love.  Its even less easy to find someone that you love who will love you back.  And I'm sure that once you really think you've found it, having me tell you that weddings are stupid and sateen is so 1989 is probably not what you want to hear.  God!  When did I start to care about what other people think?  This is a very disturbing development in my life.

So, I'm still at a loss.  On one hand, I love the ex in that brotherly kind of way (which is probably why we stopped having sex) and want him to be happy.  It would be nice to be part of that and would be fun to hang out with his friends.  On the significantly larger other hand, its still freaking weird and it would be really, really difficult to extricate myself from having to attend bridal showers and, god forbid, bachelorette parties.  I'd have to buy some sort of dress. I might have to go to the bachelor party, but that's no big deal.  I can't imagine these guys doing anything more imaginative than watching all six Star Wars movies in a sitting, binging on Wookie Cookies and being generally obnoxious and gross.

How can I make them elope?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Black Eye, Part II

This post has nothing to do with boys, relationships or anything that this blog was supposed to focus on.  Instead, since tomorrow is monday and you all will be bored, I wanted to entertain you with an update on my eye...




This was my eye last monday, three days after that mean old rock brutally attacked me.  Notice how I have a nice little raccoon ring, but the swelling has gone down and the eye opens all the way!


This is my eye a whole week later!  It looks the same, except it has more yellow where it just used to be skin color.  Also, you can tell I haven't plucked my eyebrows.  Whatever.  Noone is looking at the mess that is my face and focusing on my bushy eyebrow, they are too busy being horrified by the purple that is slowing moving down my cheek.  I'm beginning to think I'm going to need to go out, buy some eggplant colored eye liner and go goth.

Luckily, I have a good friend who customized me an eye patch. 

Me, a groomsman?

Two days ago, I got a call from the first major ex-boyfriend.  We were together for something like six years, from my senior year in college until I was 26 or so.  He was the first guy I slept with (yes, do the math.  I was ANCIENT when I lost my virginity!).  We lived together for three years, in the house i still live in.  We parted as friends, and have stayed in touch, but less so since he's moved away and gotten a new, kinda freaky-scary goth-like girlfriend.  

I tell you this because, seriously, get ready....  

He asked me to be in his wedding!

I was too taken aback to get all the details, although he promised I would not have to wear pink tulle like I did in the last wedding I was in (yes, I am STILL bitter about that).  

How completely and insanely inappropriate.  I was feeling weird about even just going to his wedding, but to be in it? Holy crap, Captain Awkward!  Its wrong for so many reasons.  First and foremost, I have already announced to all of my unmarried girlfriends that I am done being a bridesmaid.  Its not because I don't love them, its because its ridiculous at this age to get gussied up in matching satin and tulle and line up at the altar.  I just didn't know I had to announce to my guy friends that I didn't want to be a groomsman either!!  But more importantly, this is a guy I lived with, picked paint colors with and survived family holidays with.  For SIX YEARS!  Everyone in the audience would be focused on how weird it was that I was a groomsman, instead of focusing on how weird the happy couple is!  

I have to call him back and tell him no.  I feel so bad about having to say no.  I've never said no before.  I suck at saying no.  But I would suck more at being a groomsman.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Not reading into lyrics

Do you ever want to share a song with somebody, or mix them up a little cd with some of your favorite new songs?  Do you ever not do it because you are afraid that they will read into the lyrics and think that you are 1) in love with them; 2) not in love with them; 3) depressed; 4) dead inside; 5) want them back.... You get the point.  There are so few songs about innocuous subjects (although Geggy Tah's "Thank you" comes to mind.  You know, the song that just thanks some dude for letting you merge on the highway?  We need more songs like that) - most songs are about being in love, or getting your heart broken.  

I mentioned in an email to BB that I was going to finally watch Juno.  He attached an mp3 of one of the songs, Anyone Else but You by the Moldy Peaches.  If you've seen the movie, this is the song that Juno and the boy that knocked her up sing together at the end.  

I would have never sent this song to anyone that I used to date, or might ever date in the future.  Or anybody who might be confused about whether we should be dating or not.  It contains lyrics like "the pebbles forgive me, the trees forgive me, why can't you forgive me?  I don't see what anyone can see in anyone else but you..."  and "You are always trying to keep it real, I'm in love with how you feel...."

I don't for one minute think that he meant anything by this (or did he?!?), but it just illustrates the difference between girls and boys.  Or at least between me and most men.  I think about these things - I would have never, ever, ever sent him a song that had any kind of love, regret, forgiveness theme, even if it was a really cool song.  I've actually had a couple I was going to zip his way, then stopped because of the love/regret/sadness theme.  Nope!  Don't want him to read anything into it.  Not that a boy would stop and think about that for even a second. 

I think too damn much.  Its just a cute little song.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Black Eye, Part I

I pushed myself to do things that were outside my comfort zone, and I was proud.  

Until this happened:



That's not eye makeup, and I'm not closing my eye.  Its basically swollen shut.  And those five stitches above my eyebrow put the finishing touch on it.

I blame BB for this!  If it wasn't for him, I would have never taken up whitewater kayaking.  If we were still together, I would have spent the majority of my summer weekends safe and sound on a soft couch, surrounded by soft carpeting and his soft belly, becoming mighty soft myself.  Instead, I'm out paddling a hard boat, in hard rapids, running my face into hard rocks!! 

I continually do this to myself.  I push to do things that are outside of the comfort zone in an attempt to avoid sitting around all weeekend watching reality shows starring D-list celebrities and I get smacked in the face - literally this time.  Last time, I tried SCUBA.  Got certified and everything.  Want to know what happened the first time I did a real dive?  I panicked and had to be plucked from the water, nearly dead, by the dive master.  My life actually flashed before my eyes that time.

This time, I could have made out far, far worse.  I was wearing glasses and they seemed to take most of the hit.  Its very possible that without the specs,  I could have done serious damage to my eyeball.  I'll have a little scar above my eye, but otherwise I'll be ok, except for my broken ego and shattered confidence. 


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dissin' your girls

Today, I got an email from an old high school friend. Actually, I got several emails from her. Apparently, everyone wants a piece of me this week! She and I aren't really close, but would talk every month or so, maybe get together for dinner every once in a while. We went to a hockey game sometime this winter and I think that was the last time I saw her. I even called her once or twice to catch up, but never heard back.

This fall she had found a new boyfriend and that's why I wasn't hearing from her as often as I used to. The finding a boyfriend -dropping off the face of the earth/losing a boyfriend -back to being your best friend pattern has been ongoing with her since high school. She even admitted it: "...makes me miss my chickie friends even more." But, when your friends are only your friends when you are single, why would we rally to your side when you no longer have a boy?

She was nowhere around when BB broke up with me and I couldn't go for more than 15 minutes without tears rolling down my face. But, lucky for me, I don't forsake my girlfriends when I find a new man. As a result, my friends were banging down my door to come to my rescue (thank you friends. Thank you, thank you, thank you). Ok, so maybe it was easier for me not to forsake my friends last time due to the fact that BB worked 100 hours a week and I hardly ever saw him... But, the fact remains. Girls, don't diss your girlfriends for a boy. That boy is bound to break your heart sooner or later and if you don't retain a strong network of friends, you are going to have nobody to help you get through it.

So, although I am sad for her, I am a bit annoyed that she is reaching out to me in her time of sadness. I have little incentive to go out of my way to help her cope, because in a couple months, she'll drop off the face of the planet again.

Boyfriends will come and go, but I'm gonna make sure my friends are going to be there forever (except the annoying ones. That's by choice though). Think about this: even if we manage to keep a man for a few decades or so, women live longer than men,. So when he kicks the bucket, we are going to need our old, decrepid girlfriends to come to our rescue. I've even started planning for this - we are talking about going in together on on a big fancy beach house, with a couple live-in nurses. Want in? No boys allowed.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Long Lost Frienemy

The internet is a weird place.  Not only does it allow me to share my daily dose of boy neurosis with perfect strangers (although, I still think that there are only 3 of you reading this on any regular basis), it allows people from the way back machine to remind me of my awkward past.

Yesterday, I received a friend request from a Jen R. on Facebook.  Who the hell is that?!  Even after looking at her picture and school profile I had no idea who it was, although we did go to the same small college.

Then it hit me - this was one of the girls that I lived with for a month during my freshman year.  So what?  Dude.  This girl made my life absolutely friggin miserable.  One, she had a boyfriend who was totally gross and would spend the night.  Often.  But more importantly, she and the other roommate ganged up on me almost from the very beginning.  Other roommate's name was Kim.  I think.  Hold on, there is a story here, I promise.  So, three weeks into freshman year, I had a geology exam and stayed up until 2 am studying.  Came back to the room, turned on my bed clip lamp (both roomies were sleeping) and went into the bathroom to do all that girly stuff we all do.  When I came back into the room, it was filled with smoke.  Stupid clip-on lamp had set my bed on fire.  

Long story short, dorm was evacuated at 2:30 am.  People had to go to the hospital for toxic smoke inhalation (smoldering foam pillows and dorm mattresses are bad for your health, apparently).  Everything we owned smelled like smoke, and the carpet and lots of other stuff had to be thrown away.  And they blamed me!!  I was innocent!  It was the lamp, and the crappy flammable bed, and the smoke detectors that never went off.  

(by the way, remember how interesting I think I am on dates and how good I am at telling stories?  This is one of my favorites.  It might also be one of the reasons I sometimes don't get a second date.)

It may surprise you that Kim and Jen disliked me even more after I ruined all their crap and sent them to the hospital.  I think they should be thankful that I was so considerate and aimed the lamp down so I wouldn't wake them up, but for some reason, they weren't grateful for that at all!  A week or so later, I was in mediation with the resident director (what a joke job) and begging to move in with other girls down the hall who had lost a roommate (homesickness, not smoke inhalation - thank you very much).  They finally let me and I spent a year avoiding Kim and Jen, and all their little bitchy friends.  And I haven't thought about them or wondered about them since.  I had even forgotten their last names.

Now, 15 years later, Jen wants to be my Facebook friend!  I was conflicted, but how do you say no?  I'm sure she's not nearly as bitchy as she was then, and I'm much more careful about starting fires (with the exception of the fire pit on my new deck.  5 feet away from my siding...). But my question is, why?  Why on earth would she want to contact me?  I mean, some dogs are better left buried.  What now, do we do a little note exchange?  (insert high girly girl voice) "omg!  How are you??  Its been so long!  No, I haven't started any fires lately, but if you tell me where you live, I might be able to arrange one..."

Monday, June 16, 2008

Saddle Sores

First dates blow.  

I think this even though I can't ever recall having a truly bad first date.  Sure, I've had some dates that were mildly awkward and I felt relief when there was no kiss attempt or plans for a second date.  And I've certainly gone on dates where the guy wasn't nearly as tall or slender as he had led me to believe, resulting in me spending an entire evening hoping that nobody I knew would see me eating dinner with a hobbit.  But, three things save me from suffering bad dates:  1) I really like to hear myself talk; 2) talking about myself is one of my favorite hobbies and 3) I'm truly freaking interesting.  So, as long as the boy is paying some sort of attention to me, smiling, nodding and feeding me a beer every once in a while, I'm in really good shape.  But, that can leave me wondering whether I enjoyed his company, or just enjoyed having an audience to tell stories to.

You may have guessed that I jumped back into the proverbial saddle this weekend.  I wouldn't call it spectacular by any means, but it was ok.  The first guy I date after BB is screwed, and not in the good way.  New guy is outdoorsy and athletic, but lives kinda far away, which might actually work in my favor.  Or his favor, really.  Let's not kid ourselves here, I'm probably not the catch I think I am.  He's not really my physical type - he's shorter and slender and I tend to like my men big, fat and hairy (why, I will never know...)  We had a couple discussions that were not really first date material, like gun control and problems with the judiciary system, but I gotta give the kid props, because not many people make it out alive when I start jawing about political issues.  

But, without exception there is something that holds me back on first dates.  And I hate that.  I am the girl who isn't afraid to say what's on her mind, or put things in a blunt way, or to curse like a sailor, but I don't feel free to do that on a first date.  Or even on a second date sometimes.  Starting over every few months is getting old, and hearing myself explain for the 30th time why I'm a vegetarian, or how I started kayaking, or how I set my bed on fire in college is also getting old.  I'm getting so practiced at them I feel like I could do a one-woman show.  My own dinner theater!  I may have hit upon a new dating strategy... 

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Awesomeness

This weekend I went to the mountains and did part II of my great whitewater kayaking adventure. We paddled an "easy" part of the river, but if you were watching us attempt it, you wouldn't have thought it was so easy. You know how some people can make really difficult things look easy? Yeah, we were the opposite - we made easy things look difficult!

Kayaking skills aside, I met some really cool people this weekend. Including several kick-ass single girls. I'm not going to lie to you - about half of our trip on Sunday consisted of us bitching about boys. I actually made a 65 year old woman spew beer with one of my off-color comments. Even she was single, and bitching about spending 25 years with the wrong man.

On my way home (on my very, very long drive) I started wondering about something that I have wondered about before. Am I, and other single girls like me, awesome because I am single? Or, am I single because I am awesome?

The difference may be slight, and perhaps you can't logically separate them, but let's think about it. Being single gives me the time to develop myself and my own interests. In fact, it may even force me to develop my own interests. Kayaking, for example, is a hell of a lot more fun than staying home and organizing my sock drawer. If I want to have a fulfilling and interesting life, I've got to go out and do it myself. I can't rely on someone else to provide that for me. Awesome because I am single.

Conversely (inversely?), fitting dating into a hectic, fast paced, fun-filled existence can be some work. And when you aren't readily available to hang out, it can stifle new relationships. "Do you want to go to dinner on Saturday?" "Oh, darn! I can't! I'm going to be upside down in a river running my head into boulders!" "What about next week?" "Oh! I would love to, but..." Perhaps more importantly, interesting girls who can take care of themselves are intimidating! I've been told by more than one guy that I intimidate them. Not in an overbearing way, but in a "am I good enough - can I keep up" kind of way. Single because I am awesome.

I'm glad I'm awesome though, whatever the reason.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Wind out of my sail...

I was too busy dealing with the BB situation and writing a novel about it last week to mention that I actually talked to Sailboat.

I don't even remember if I mentioned that I emailed Saiboat, but I did, during eHarmony free communication weekend.  He actually got it and emailed back.  And then I emailed back.  Then he emailed back.  Then I called him.

I am a really good conversationalist.  There are not awkward silences when you talk to me because I will ask you a question and draw info out of you.  I will talk about all sorts of inappropriate (but funny) stuff.  I think I make people feel rather at ease, particularly on a first phone call or first date.  But this, it was tough.  There actually were awkward silences.  I kept the talk going by asking lots and lots of questions about sailing and his sailboat.  He, on the other hand, asked very few things about me.  My general impression is that he might be a jackass, and probably isn't that smart.  

When we hung up, he said "you are really easy to talk to!"  Duh.  We didn't make plans, but I think loosely agreed to get in touch next week, due to my schedule.  This is "next week."  He texted me a couple times on Monday, but I haven't heard from him since.  I hate conversational texting.  What's the point?  Call me or email me, dumbass, so I can actually respond with more than 250 characters.

So, I'm not optimistic about this.  But, I may shoot him an email and try to get together next week.  I will give him the benefit of the doubt, plus Beach House wants me to get together with him, and I don't like to disappoint my friends!  

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Anti-Climax

I saw BB on Sunday.

I awoke to a new email from him early in the morning - he tried to bail, which made me very, very unhappy and a bit pissed.  He had worked an overnight 30 hour shift in the NICU and didn't sleep, so didn't know if he would be awake and alert by our agreed upon early evening meet up time.  He wanted to find out if we could reschedule.  Hell no, we can't reschedule!  I have been dwelling on what would happen when I finally saw him for months and it was time to get it over with.  I was not about to wait one more day.  So, I called his ass and brokered a deal for a bit later in the evening.

A bit later in the evening was not really when I wanted to meet him because I was going to meet him at his house.  Late in the evening, with nowhere else to be afterwards could result in bad, bad decision-making.

Yeah, yeah, I know... "why did you go to his house? Make him come to you!"  There were several reasons I didn't make him come to me.  First, because I have nosey neighbors and I just didn't want to get caught with the ex's car in my driveway.  Second, I felt like I would have more control over the situation if I was at his house.  I could leave when I wanted, I wouldn't have extra memories of him in my house, yadda, yadda.  Strange how I feel more comfortable dealing with him on his home turf, but that's the way I felt.  Feel.  

So, I had a great day on Sunday.  I kayaked for almost three hours to tire myself out and clear my head, ran errands, picked strawberries, then headed to a graduation bbq.  I ate dinner, tossed back two Coronas (that was my best beer option.  A bit disappointing), and head to BB's.  I took the back way:  Windy twisty roads and loud music took my mind off of where I was actually going and it wasn't the way I normally drove to his house, so it wouldn't feel like I was going there until the last minute.  My little psych-myself-out scheme actually worked quite well because it wasn't until I pulled into his driveway that I started sweating and feeling sick.

(Wow.  This is going to be a long post.  Sorry.  Suck it up.   You know you want the full story, and not just a summary.)

It is important now to mention how good I looked.  I'm tan, thanks to a memorial day weekend at the beach (and great friends with beach houses.  You know who you are...) and some kayaking trips.  I wore a not-too-terribly low cut tank top in aqua, which brings out my eyes, a long floaty white skirt and flip-flops.  No makeup.  No hair-do.  Three people at the bbq told me how good I looked, which served to bolster my confidence.

So, as I grabbed BB's bag of crap from the car and walked to his front door, I repeated to myself something along the lines of "you are fabulous.  He sucks and doesn't deserve you..." as my break-up guide book had told me.  For those of you in need of a break-up how to book, I highly recommend "Its Called a Breakup Because Its Broken", by the authors of "He's Just Not That Into You."  I know, it sounds silly, but sometimes, having a book reiterate things that you already know deep down inside can be a help.  

I knocked on the door and he opened it.  Ack!  What now?!?  I think he asked me how the bbq was.  I think I said fine, and handed him his crap.  He hugged me and said "its so good to see you."  He told me that I looked very "summery."  I think that meant "why the fuck did I break up with someone as awesome and beautiful as you?"  Does it translate that way for you?  He pointed out my stuff, including a bonus set of computer speakers he was no longer using, but which will help me out a bunch, then asked me if I wanted something to drink. 

Not wanting to have wasted a drive, I asked for a beer and figured we could sit and chat until I finished it, then I could get the hell out of there.  

I was there for over an hour and a half.  I finished my beer, he had a beer; I drank a bunch of water (the beer I had was 9% alcohol.  Didn't know that until I had finished it.  I felt a bit buzzed).  Due to all that liquid, I had to pee.  UGH.  I did not want to have to go into the bathroom.  That was where I used to brush my teeth, and wash the sex smell off of me.  For all I know, some other girl's ass has been on the toilet seat.  However, there was no evidence of any girl.  The shampoo and conditioner that I had used (leftover from the last girl) was in the exact same place I had left it in the tub (I did mention that BB wasn't the best in the cleaning and scrubbing department, didn't I?).  I think my face soap was still in the soap dish too (not enough left to warrant retrieving).  And, since he had forgotten to include my hair treatment thing in my pile of stuff, I opened the medicine cabinet and retrieved it.  Nothing suspicious in there.

So, we talked for over an hour.  Mostly about nothing.  I told him about my trip to Charleston (minus the pen break-down part) and whitewater kayaking.  We talked about my dad's recent surgery and his medical plan.  He talked about work, and sadly, about how right before he went home (right after we broke up) he was contemplating throwing in the towel on his plan to do a three year fellowship because he misses home so much.  He had never told me anything of the sort before.  We talked a tiny bit about how I was doing emotionally and he wanted to know how hard it was for me to be sitting there talking to him.  Honestly, it wasn't difficult (i'm going to refrain from using the word "hard" too many times....).  This is a guy I care very deeply about, for whatever reason, and it was honestly really good to just sit there and have a decent conversation.  In fact, at one point, he said "I was worried I wouldn't be fully awake tonite to talk to you, but I am definitely getting a second wind.  You are very stimulating."  I refrained from entering into any inappropriate retort, but it was SO tempting, because that's what I would have done for anyone who said that to me, but I couldn't in this instance.  

He burned a couple cd's for me, at my request, and I started heading out the door slightly after 9pm.  I got there at 7:30.  Unreal.  He helped carry the speakers (they were in this HUGE box) and put them in the car.  Another awkward moment.  He hugged me.  Hard, and for a while.  And, he was wearing scrubs.   When I say "hard", it means more than one thing, my friends (did I mention how good I looked?).  While embracing me, he said "I miss you."  I think I said "good.  you should"  or something to that effect.  Because he should miss me.  I rock.  We broke apart and he asked whether he would hear from me again.  I said I didn't know.  I reiterated that I do care about him, but wasn't really sure what to do.  He said that he felt as if I wanted to be in charge of what happened next (duh.  He got to decide the breakup - I get to decide anything and everything that happens afterward) and he would respect that.  I said ok, and said that I would get in touch with him sometime.  He hugged me again (hard.  both kinds) and told me again that he missed me and that he was so glad I was there.  I (don't yell at me) told him I missed him too, and said goodbye and drove away into the sunset...

Ok, well, the sun had already set, but you get the idea.

Not once during the time I was there did I want to throw myself at him, or kiss him, or beg for him back, or even to discuss the possibility of getting back together.  I sensed a sadness from him at times, or a remorsefulness.  And this is helping me.  The hurt I feel comes from being rejected, but he does care about me.  I can see it.  But the guy is sad, and overwhelmed by his schedule and the decisions he needs to make over the next year.  I'm still sad deep down that it didn't work, and probably always will be.  

I'm glad that I saw him and talked to him.  I'm especially glad that he misses me, and I hope he misses me more now that he was reminded about how beautiful, intelligent and witty (and modest) I am.  I don't know what will happen between us over the next year while he is still in town.  Will we be friends?  Its not unheard of for me to be friends with ex-boyfriends - good friends even.  But, in this case, I really don't know.  

The important thing is, that I'm ok.  And I might be ready to move on.

And I gave the pen back.