Thursday, February 26, 2009

Deep (red) Thoughts

Can you believe there was a time in my life, and not too long ago really, when opening a bottle of wine was a perplexing and difficult task?

Practice makes perfect.

Therapy appointment number two is tomorrow evening.  I have pre-opened the bottle of red, just in case I need to access it extraordinarily quickly (plus, I needed to try it out tonight to make sure it was ok).  It has crossed my mind that she might think she is the greatest therapist in the world when I tell her about the BB break.  Only one appointment and I have been able to rid myself 300 pounds of back monkey (with monkey back hair).  I should probably take her a trophy.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cold Turkey

I ended it with BB this weekend.

It turns my stomach writing that down.  It doesn't seem real.  

I asked him not to contact me and I've deleted him from my phone.  I know the only way I will be able to shake him is to cut myself off.  And to cut him off from me.

Much more later.  I just need to get used to the idea that I'm not not-dating anymore.  That I'm not quasi-single.  I am totally, 100% single and alone again.  Still struggling with how I feel about that.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Self Help Section Blues

Tonight, I found myself somewhere I never thought I would be.

The self-help section of Borders.

The big sign over the area says Psychology, but the little label on the shelf says "Self Help." Kind of them to try to disguise my anguish like that, but please.  If I had a lighter on me, I would have torched the entire section.  A bigger bunch of crap I haven't seen in a really long time.  I was there for a required reading book, assigned to me by my brand new therapist.  I am a good student, so I wanted to get a gold star by having it read by my next appointment.  That's not going to happen, because apparently, Borders doesn't carry it on a regular basis.  They would prefer that you embarrass yourself even more by having to special order it from a teenager who will make wise-cracks about your mental status as soon as you turn your back.  The required reading assignment?  Women who love too much.  At least, I think that's what it was.  I seem to have misplaced the card she wrote it on.

At any rate, they didn't have it, so since I was already in the self-help section, I thought I would browse around and see what there was to see.  Damn.  It made me angry.  The Love List Book.  90 days to Love.  If I'm so fabulous, why am I still single?  30 days to Heal.  

I picked up and breezed through If I'm so Fabulous.  They should make a rule about re-packaging the same old drivel, because it looked like just about every other dating/breakup book I've ever seen.  This one was filled with awful advice, but in a cheery, upbeat tone.  It told me that I need to get out there to meet people.  Join an outdoor club (check).  Take a class (check).  Try internet dating (check, check, check, check).  Open yourself up to the possibility of love (check, oh, and barf).  It disgusted me.  Perhaps I should write a self help book - I think I could do it a hell of a lot better than these douchebags.  

But at any rate, I really wanted to walk out of there with something that would help me start the healing process.

So I bought this:

The Chicken Chucker

It wasn't technically in the self help section, but whatever.  I think its going to bring me a lot more joy than the Love List Book.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Just one quick thing

I know I have been distinctly un-fun recently.  I am really sad and struggling with a lot of stuff right now.  I had to shake off tears as I walked back to work from lunch, and it wasn't because I had spent my lunch hour reading about the many ways you can set up a budget.  Although that sure didn't help any.

I want to thank you, before I get too deep into my self pity to remember to do it, for being there for me.  For reading my endless rants, believing that I can do better, and letting me know it.  You are appreciated - those of you I know, and those of you I don't know.

It will get better.  I know it will.  And I am going to do things to make it better for myself.  But I will still need to heal and process.  Please be patient with me.  Someday, and hopefully soon, I will start going out on truly horrible dates and have lots of funny stories to tell.  But for the next few weeks, I'm going to probably be wallowing a little bit.  Stick with me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Beer, its what's for dinner

Tonight, I am drinking my dinner.  Three Magic Hat #9's.  Last night, I drank my dinner too.  A half a bottle of Gnarley Head Red Zin.  And I even went to the store tonight with the best intentions of making something that resembled food.  Ha!  What a waste of veggie taco fixings.

I started therapy today.  The kind of therapy that is supposed to result in me not drinking my dinner anymore.  I don't think its working - perhaps it will take more than one session.  

Its amazing what a perfect stranger can surmise about your personality in 45 minutes.  She looked surprised when I said that I never wanted to have kids.  "But you would make a great mother."  How the hell would she know I would make a great mother?  She had been talking to me for 15 minutes!  Clearly, she has never heard my inner thoughts when I'm in the grocery store and there is a whiny bratty 8 year old in line in front of me.

I outlined the things that had been giving me some trouble recently:  BB, my father, and boredom.  We made some goals.  She told me that I was "too nice."  Seriously lady?  Have you met me?!  But, she's right.  I may be a snarky bitch, but damn, I'll rearrange my life for people who don't deserve it.  Yes, that's right.  People.  Apparently, BB is not the only one that I'm too nice to.

She also told me that I have a low self-esteem.

No, no.  I'll wait for you to stop laughing.

Are you done yet?  

Ok.  I'm going to keep going.  Get a hold of yourself.

I wonder if one can simultaneously have an enormous ego and low self-esteem?  This is a question I'm going to pose to her next time.  Because, and we all know this, my ego is out of control.  Even when I hurt, my ego is still pretty friggin huge.

Regardless, I am really glad that I am taking this step.  I'm ready for it.  I'm ready to make some changes and stick up for myself a little bit more.

Monday, February 16, 2009

More reasons to hate the Bachelor

I am no fan of the Bachelor, yet, I have found myself watching it on a weekly basis.  And, I have found myself almost looking forward to the inner rage I know I will feel as I watch.  Frankly, its nice to be mad about something stupid right now.  Its fun to be mad about things I can't control on ABC.  Its not fun to be mad about things I can control (maybe) in my real life.

Tonight, Jason the Single Parent Bachelor (ha!) narrowed the field from three women down to two women.  No. Let me re-state.  Jason narrowed the field from one woman and two little girls down to two little girls.

Yup.  Jason, who claims to be looking for a responsible woman to be a mother to his little boy Ty, has systematically eliminated all the actual women from the playing field.  All the women in their late 20's and early 30's who had the knowledge, maturity and life experiences to truly be ready for a commitment, parenthood and dealing with an ex-wife?  Gone.  Eliminated.  Sent home.  All the women who had children of their own were sent home long ago (but I'm not even going to start on that right now).  What's left?  Two children.  One is 24; the other is 25.

Jillian, the 29 year old interior decorator from Canada who actually seemed to have her head abooot her (note Canadian pronunciation of about) was eliminated tonight.  I suspect that Jason couldn't deal with the fact that she was already a fully formed human, with her own career, her own opinions and her own desires.  He actually told her that "I don't think I can keep up with you."  Holy shit.  Sound familiar?  If I had a therapy appointment for every time I heard that, I would almost be cured right now.

(Who am I kidding?  There is no cure.  Only treatment of the surface symptoms.)

It disappoints me.  Jason was touted as a new kind of bachelor.  Different.  More mature. Looking for something truly special.  And looking for someone mature.

He's not.  He's just like all the rest of them.  A sucker for tight jeans, perky breasts and a wrinkle-free forehead.  Who cares if they will be a good mother, as long as the chick is easy on the eyes and smiles whenever he walks into the room.

It will all collapse on him the first time she gets pissed that they can't go out dancing on a school night because they have to do a rid-x treatment and a couple loads of laundry.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day Venom

I'll give you one guess as to who these were not from:


Hey! Good for you! And only one guess!

Yes. These flowers were not from BB. They were from a dear old friend who knew I was having a really rough week. And friends, a really rough week I had. BB was just one piece of the misery pie last week, and in all honestly, a minor piece. I had some serious family crap going on. And someday friends, I will share with you that crap, but I'm still not ready to put it all out there. I am eternally grateful to my friends who were there for me this week with cards, flowers, phone calls and alcohol. Boys will come and go, but my friends will always be there for me.

So, do you want to know what BB did to push me over the edge? No?  Well, too bad, because I've got to get it out. And in a couple days, BB and I are going to have to have a serious chat. And I hope I am strong enough to stick to my guns and let him know where I stand.

BB gets what he wants almost all the time. BB does what he wants, when he wants (when he isn't working). He is not good at compromise and he is lousy at incorporating other people into his plans. Several weeks back, we had discussed going somewhere for a weekend, since he had a record number of weekends off in the early part of this year. But, it got dropped when he started working nights and was so friggin' tired all the time. So you might imagine my surprise when on Monday night, he tells me that he is going on a weekend trip with his friend J, who is a girl he was friends with in medical school.

I understand that he wants to spend time with J. Not a problem in the least. Here's where the pain started:

He is using vacation days to go away with her. Sweet, precious vacation days. Then he is going home to interview for jobs. Not once in the course of our "relationship" (even when we were in a relationship) have we gone away for the weekend. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever has he spent a vacation day on me.

And, the knife twists just a little more when you add these three facts into the mix: I have a three day weekend and could easily take more time off; I had a horrible week with my family and could have used a mini-break from reality after it was said and done; and, oh yeah, its Valentine's Day weekend.

BB chose to go away with another woman for four days over Valentine's Day.

The most hurtful part is the vacation days he is spending. I hate Valentine's Day and have always hated Valentine's day so its not really a huge factor in the hurt, but when you really think about it... I mean, he might as well have driven down here and smacked me in the face.

Oh, but he wouldn't drive down here for that. I mean, I live 40 minutes away from him. But, he would drive 4 hours to go somewhere with J.  The boy hasn't come to my house since September, but he has visited J (who lives 2 hours away) twice since then.

I'm hurt. I'm angry. I feel very, very used.  And very, very unappreciated.

It took me until Friday to tell him how I felt.  I avoided his phone calls all week, because I couldn't handle telling him how hurt I was while simultaneously dealing with my family issue.  It was just too much - so I pushed the hurt down as far as possible and tried to hide from it for a few days.  

I spoke with him very briefly Friday night.  He was en route to pick up J and wisk her away wherever the fuck they were going.  I am embarrassed at myself because instead of picking up the phone like a big girl, I sent him a snarky text message.  He immediately called me.  I picked up the phone and said:

"I'm sorry.  I shouldn't have sent that text message."

BB (in mocking tones): "Are we having a hissy fit?"

Oh.  My.  God.  Its the day before Valentine's Day, you are on your way to pick up another girl for a weekend trip and you expect me to not be having a hissy fit?

Susan:  "No.  I'm not having a hissy fit.  I'm hurt by your decision to go away this weekend and I needed to tell you."  Yadda.  Yadda.  Vacation time.  Not spending any on me.  Blah.  Blah.  Yadda.

BB (in doctor explaining deadly disease to patient voice): "I'm sorry you feel that way."

Susan: "Yeah.  Me too, asshole."  Only, I said that in my head.  I think what I actually said was "(painful awkward silence)".

He tried to explain how things had come together with her schedule and his schedule.  Whatever.  He also said he "wouldn't have changed his decision."  That's right, because he does what he wants, when he wants with no consideration for others.

I, on the other hand, have spent the past six months considering him in almost everything I do.  Rearranging my weekends to make time for him.  Blowing off kayak training sessions so I could sleep late with him.  Wasting beautiful days inside his apartment instead of outside hiking.

I consider him every day.  He apparently considers me his concubine.  And its going to stop, one way or another.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Spiral of Self PIty

Remember all those funny, lighthearted posts from the last week? Homeless ladies? Vibrating lions? Plastic mirrors that love you back? They might lead you, or even me, into thinking that things are just peachy here in cynic-ville.

Things are not peachy.

Unless the peaches are moldy. Covered with blue and grey fuzz. Semi-putrid. Making a circle of ick on the counter.

I curled up and cried for an hour with Racky the Raccoon tonight. Racky is the perfect size for hugging and crying. He's been my crying companion since 1983. I spent several minutes calming myself down by inhaling the smell of him: chemicals that were still legal in China 25 years ago and decades of tears. Sad that he still lives in my master bedroom. You know I'm 33, right? I probably shouldn't need to keep a stuffed raccoon and my blanky that close by (oh yeah. Blanky got some action too).

My crying fit was triggered by a 9 minute BB conversation that just illustrated that I am deluding myself. Either that or he is intentionally pushing me away, while simultaneously trying to draw me in. But, that in and of itself should not have caused that reaction. I expect that crap from him.

I am genuinely sad right now. Sad enough that on Saturday night, at a dinner party with some of my favorite people in the world, tears started leaking out of my eyes. I'm feeling left behind. And alone. Very, very alone. I got it together, but lost it a bit on the drive home. Life has been stressful, and repetitive. And the stress is stressing me out. And the repetition is stressing me out. And the lonely is stressing me out. I'm sure the full moon is stressing me out too.

The Bachelor is stressing me out too, but I'm too sad to rant and rave about it right now.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Attack of the menstruating homeless lady

I don't know whether I look like a sucker, or just react like a sucker. Perhaps both.

No, its got to be the first one.

Friday afternoon, I road tripped to a nearby town for a late afternoon meeting. Who schedules a meeting at 3pm on a Friday, you ask? Well, the plan was to sit down and chat for about an hour, then head to the bar to continue our discussions somewhere more comfortable. Made all the sense in the world to me until I had to drive for an hour and a half on a frazzled brain and try to navigate a town I'd never been in before. A town (city?) that featured a circle with unnamed streets spoking off of it.

Well, actually, all the streets were named except the one that I was supposed to be on. That street was cleverly hidden, to make me feel welcome I suppose. I went around the circle a couple times, backtracked, turned around, went around. I finally stopped and called for help (no GPS. Never thought I needed one. I might have to reconsider).

I finally found my street and paused, making sure I was turning the right way. That was where I erred. In the millisecond that I paused, homeless lady radar went off and I attracted a little situation.

"Hey!! Stop!!" Little black homeless lady in big coat came running up the street. She was pointing at the back of my car like there was something wrong with it. I'm a bit sensitive about my car since its pushing 200,000 miles. You never know when the tailpipe is going to go up in flames. So I paused some more.

Mistake number two. Pausing again.

Homeless lady was at the car.

"Help Me! I'm homeless! I need a tampon! A pad! Anything!"

What? Mistake three was not pulling away immediately. But come on, when a lady needs a tampon it can sometimes be a desperate situation. I am a compassionate person and my car is usually filled with stuff like that. Unfortunately, this time, I couldn't find anything laying around that would help her.

Then she was at the driver's side window.

"Please m'am! Help me! I clean the church! I'm homeless! I'm bleeding. Don't you see, I gotta hold my pants. I need something. I had a miscarriage! I clean the church!"

I rummage around. Damn. I KNOW I have pads in here somewhere.

"Money?!" Do you have money? I can get some at CVS."

Oh lord. My inability to produce a tampon has made it come to this. I pulled three dollars out and handed it to her. Its karma. That three dollars might have gotten me a beer, but this lady was obviously in need. I had a square to spare.

Then she starts haggling with me. "Can I have five?!" And instead of driving away, I haggled back. "You can't get tampons for three dollars?" "Not at CVS. There's no dollar store around here. If I could get to a dollar store, but I can't" (Hell right, I'm not putting crazy bleeding homeless lady in my car. But she has a point. CVS can be a rip-off).

I seriously can't believe I was arguing with a homeless woman about the price of tampons. But, that's not the best part.

I rummaged around my bag - I was going to find a damn pad in there. I wasn't giving that woman two more dollars - but I didn't want her bleeding through her clothes either. Finally, I found the secret pocket (damn bag that I loved so much because of all its pockets!) and pulled out two Stayfree pads.

"Hallelujah! Hallelujah!" The homeless lady is jumping up and down. "Thank you! Praise the Lord! Thank you! Thank you!"

I hand her the pads.

Then, she says "I'll trade you! They gave me these."

And despite my protests, homeless lady throws three pantyliners into my car through the tiny crack in the window and runs away. She threw pantyliners at me!

I still feel slightly violated. They are still scattered about my car because I'm a little unwilling to touch them.

I relayed the story when I got to my meeting (complete with re-enactment of the throwing of the pantyliners. I'm sure their table feels a bit violated now too). The two women I was meeting were incredulous. They had never, ever had any homeless people ask them for anything. In fact, they seemed to think that the homeless population was limited to some crazy guy in front of the library. 15 years combined these ladies had lived and worked in the town and never encountered anything like my run-in. And didn't know anyone else with a similar story. Me? I'm in town for 3 minutes and the crazies come out.

I'm pretty lucky that way.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Titillating Toys for Tots

Mid soup slurp, I saw a Hallmark commercial that made me giggle: Purrcy the Huggable Lion. Purrcy appears to be a red, furry vibrator.  Seriously.  View the demo on the hallmark website. Press purrcy's paw (or G-spot.  Whatever you want to call it) and it shakes and makes sort of a pornographic purring sound.  

"Happy Valentine's Day grandma!  I know you've been lonely since grandpa died.  Maybe Purr-cy can help you out!"

Mere minutes after Purrcy violated my tv screen, a commercial for the local news suckered me in with this litter teaser "Is this Elmo toy too dirty for children? Find out at 10."  Oh my god.  Let me get more wine.

Apparently, this innocent looking little Elmo phone counts "4-5-6..."  But one litigation crazy set of parents thinks its saying "Let's Have Sex!"  With a large glass of wine in me and a vivid imagination, I could sorta hear it, but let's get real people.  Elmo has a serious speech impediment.  He didn't mean to come on to your 2 year old.

And that brings me to my final orgasmic toy for children: the talking Beauty and the Beast mirror from the early 90's.  What?  You don't remember it?  I do.  My roommate and I would stalk the toy department at any store we were in just so we could press the button and hear the Beast almost breathlessly whisper in his deep voice "I love you..." The voice made my knees go weak.  Never before, and certainly never since, have I had quite that reaction when anyone has said those words to me.

Wow.  Maybe we've finally figured out what my real problem is.  I'm in love with a plastic mirror that talks.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Excess Fat

The thing about still living fairly close to where you grew up is that you are constantly haunted by really weird memories.

I was dropping off some recycling today at the center closest to my dad's house.  Its unfortunately located in the parking lot of my middle school.  I opened the trunk and threw the first bag full of stuff in, then just stopped and kinda stared at the building.  "I spent three of the worst years of my life here!"  

Its been a long time since I've really seen the building.  Its a dumpy little one-story circa 1960's number with no real windows visible from the front and no obvious main entrance.  Its also really, really lacking in landscaping.  It has weird skylights or vents protruding from the roof, making it look more like a laboratory where they do horrible things to mice than a middle school, where they merely do horrible things to kids' self-esteem.

So, while I was staring at the building, just a tiny bit of that pre-teen angst washed over me and I flashed to a previously repressed memory featuring me, on the bus.  With a Slam Book. Opened to my page.

If I had to rank my social standing in middle school, I'd say I was somewhere near the 40th percentile.  Certainly not popular, but not widely despised either.  I only had one Outback Red sweater (and I got it on clearance) so that really limited my ability to climb the social ladder. Also limiting my ability to climb the social ladder: bad perm, acne, and lack of Coca-Cola rugby shirt and Sebago's.  I had some Balloon's sneakers though.  They were kinda cool.  Right?

So, I think I was surprised that I even had a page in the Slam Book.  Why would anyone bother? There were few entries on my page.  A couple girls had said something like "I don't really know her.  Seems nice enough."  But one horribly bitchy girl wrote, and I quote, "EXCESS FAT!!"

Granted, I was still a bit chubby, but not that much!  I think you would have noticed the acne and bad perm before you noticed the baby-fat.  Man.

So, I've been thinking about that stupid slam book all afternoon.  I'm sure it hurt my feelings horribly then, but I don't really remember anything about the aftermath.  Just the book itself.  Let's just hope that whoever wrote it now has an ass that is hugely disproportionate with the rest of her body.

Also, let's hope I don't ever step foot in that parking lot again.  Lord knows what other repressed memories will bubble to the surface and its bad enough I subjected you to this one!