Saturday, March 26, 2016

365 Revisited: Heartbreak

I wanted to take some time to delve deeper into my last entry- break down each section into more detailed and constructed essays.  I'll probably end up repeating some things but that's okay.  Nothing wrong with a little refresher course.

Let's start with heartbreak.  Instead of completely exhausting stories about the person that this particular topic was about, I'm going to focus more on the after effects of the whole thing and how I, individually, was shaped by it.

Yes, I did lose things and people and time; I'm not going to pretend like any of that was okay because it wasn't and I'm not thrilled about any of it.  But the benefits that came out of it were infinitely rewarding.

I don't like the cliche thought of "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger".  An individual person or event did not make me wake up one morning and consciously go, "I'm starting anew- fuck him, I'm going to live life for me!".  Make no mistake- in a sense I did have to start completely over, specifically mentally and emotionally.  But it wasn't one of those things where I started doing yoga and took up a new hobby and told myself affirmations in the mirror every morning.  I did move to a new apartment and I did revel in the fact that I was now solely in charge of my Netflix queue, but otherwise everything was the same.  Each morning I put on my same clothes and went to my same job and hung out with my same friends on the weekends.  Still, I noticed a palpable shift in my approach to things.  I stood up for myself more and I learned how to feel again.  Until you've utterly and completely lost the ability to do that- to feel- you don't realize how difficult and scary it is to get that back.  I told people that needed to fuck off to do just that.  I embraced more deeply the people that deserved to be embraced.  As cheesy as it sounds, I began to learn and accept the value of myself.  There I was, rising from the ashes- a phoenix with a minuscule but exquisite rack- ready to take on the world.  Well, not totally ready, but more willing to try it out than I ever had been before.

I just kind of let life happen.  One day I would fall in love again and get married and buy a house and fill with with babies.  One day I would see my past as just that- the past.  One day I would know that no matter what, I was good enough and didn't deserve the things I had gone through.  I knew without a shadow of a doubt that all of these things would eventually happen, and for the time ever I was prepared to just be patient.

Don't get me wrong- there were aspects to this that were hard.  Having to rebuild yourself is confusing and weird, but I chose to look at it as an opportunity instead of a requirement (which in and of itself was a strange revelation, as I had dedicated most of my life to being a stone cold pessimist).  Once I settled into that mindset everything because much easier.  Dare I say, enjoyable at times.  And for that, I quickly came to realize that I was one strong mother fucker.

Sure, there are lots of things that are still uncertain.  I don't know if I'll ever find a job that I can be even somewhat content with.  I don't know if I'll ever have enough money to buy that house for my phantom children.  I don't know if I'll ever not have photos of my other dog all around me.  But I do know that I will always have my friends, and my family, and my music.  And son of a gun, I did end up finding that love that I've spent the last 30 years blindly stumbling towards.

But more on that later.

Thursday, January 7, 2016


On New Years Eve, Facebook took it upon itself to remind me that every year on that day, I would write a status about how that year sucked and I couldn't wait for a fresh start.  It was actually quite annoying to see post after post about how miserable I always seemed.  And to be honest, I could have easily written the same thing this year.  But instead, I figured I'd break it down in a post, the good and the bad.  The reason I want to talk about the bad is because there are certain things that I have been dealing with that I want to share; not for pity or sympathy, but because I'm hoping that if someone with similar struggles can see that they're not the only one going through them, maybe they can find a light at the end of the tunnel, if not some feelings of peace that they're not alone.

I'm going to organize this entry into four sections: Heartbreak, Happiness, Family, and Love.


2015 was the year I said my final goodbye to Him, and everything that came with Him; his parents, our furry babies, and the family that we had built together.  He and I continued contact up until June- putting us at seven years of back and forth, tears and fighting, anger and resentment and trust issues and lying.  A doctor later described what I had gone through as 'psychological trauma'. There was a small sprinkling of smiles and laughs and commitment and hearts so full they could explode.  But not much.  Not enough.
I had long since fallen out of love with him, but I had certainly not stopped loving his family and the dog that he kept.  Still, I had to come to terms with the fact that as hard as I had fought and pushed and tortured myself, we were never going to be We.  Even though I was the one that chose to end us, it's still not something that can easily be accepted, and I hid just how hard it was from everybody- including myself.  I worked hard to start over and build myself back up to a person that could stand on her own.  Years ago, I would have considered our ending as a failure.  But then I realized that it's ok to fail sometimes.  People say that nothing is a lack of success if you try, but that's not true.  Businesses fail, relationships fail, friendships, jobs, hobbies, all just flat out fail sometimes.  And that's ok.  It's all ok.


This past November I lost my mind.
I have been struggling with depression and anxiety most of my life and I pushed and packed it down into a dark, thick, black box of hell within me.  I don't like talking to people about my problems so I continued to hide them while I did my best to act happy and goofy.  I hid behind sex and cigarettes and sarcasm- anything to get my mind off of, well, my mind.  But that was dumb.  It was so dumb.  As boys left my room and my ashtray filled up, I knew this wasn't fixing anything.  I came close many times to "breaking down"- including two separate occasions in the spring where a co-worker and then a friend offered to bring me into a 72 hour psych hold at the hospital- but a couple of months ago it finally happened.
I woke up one day feeling worse than usual.  I had already planned on going to my mom's house that day to do some laundry, and then head back home.  I walked through her front door and for whatever reason finally let myself cry in front of someone.  I didn't leave for nine days.
The first two days were spent under a blanket, feeling like my life was physically escaping out of my body.  I let my mom hug me and I let her bring me cups of tea with little silver spoons in them.  I let her tell me that we were going to fix this and I let myself nod and say, 'ok'.
The decision was to stop everything.  I had just been offered a new job and I let them know I would have to decline.  I canceled any plans I had with friends.  I didn't let myself think about how I was going to pay my rent or bills that month.  I crawled into my little childhood twin bed with Kirby under the covers right next to me, his head on my pillow.  I scratched his ears and breathed in the smell of his dog shampoo and thanked him for being my reason to wake up every morning.
When I finally went home, I lasted about four days before I was back at my parents' again.  This time it was only for five days.  I forced myself to start therapy sessions which I had been avoiding for years, reasons unknown.  I cannot stress enough how much therapy has helped.  To have someone listen to what I have to say, repeat it back to me, and then tell me why I'm not actually crazy has been life changing.
I started reading other people's accounts of their struggles with depression and found solace in the comparisons.  It made me realize that all of these feelings I found to be abnormal actually were laced with normality- albeit, a very sad and unfortunate normality.  I still wouldn't consider myself a happy person, but I consider myself a hopeful person.  I have learned to tell people how I am feeling instead of letting things fester into something awful.  I have learned to find relaxation in my music and my painting and my writing.  I have learned to stop comparing my life to everyone else's.  Everyday life is still pretty terrifying to me but bits of excitement are starting to sneak in and that's pretty cool.


A significant chunk of my depression was influenced by some medical issues that I have been dealing with over the past few years.  I struggle with ovarian cysts and a hormone imbalance.  For me personally, this causes a myriad of flat out annoying symptoms.  I experience chronic nausea and dizziness.  Almost every minute of every day I feel incredibly ill.  Most mornings are spent with a wet washcloth on my neck, breathing into a brown paper bag so as not to pass out or throw up.  I'm afraid to go out with friends, go on vacation, and go to work.  All three of these things have been greatly affected, causing me to pass up on way too many opportunities to count.  People sometimes get on my case about how I don't drink a lot and don't stay out very late at bars, parties, etc.  The truth is because lots of the time, I can really only stand to be out for a couple of hours before needing to lay down.  It sucks, plain and simple.
Anyone who has experienced cysts also knows that they suck.  They're painful and annoying and can cause irregular cycles and crazy changes in your body as they shoot laser beams of hormones throughout your insides.  The past couple of years have brought a new batch of weirdness, as my hair started falling out- half of my right eyebrow is all but gone- while a beautiful layer of peach fuzz has crawled up my body and face like ivy.  In certain light I look like the early stages of a blonde Chia Pet. I would be lying if I said this didn't bother me, but the fact of the matter is there is nothing I can do about it.
The worst thing that my body has done to me has to do with my ability to have children.  For the past five years, every annual exam form my gynecologist has come back with pre-cancerous cells.  I know that as women near 30, this is actually quite normal.  However, if anyone has ever experienced a colposcopy, I don't need to tell you twice how wretched the follow up procedures are.  (Side note- last week my latest test came back completely free of yucky cells.  You're all invited to the party in my head).  My doctor has told that due to the cysts and some other problems, there is a good chance that I won't be able to have a child the old fashioned way.  While I know there are numerous ways to get pregnant, it's still a crushing thing to hear.  (Another side note- this is why I have always hated when people would tell me that Emmett was 'just a dog' and I needed to get over not having him anymore.  Aside from that just being a terrible thing in general to say to somebody- especially someone going through a long-term breakup, Emmett has always been and will always be my kid). I have always felt like I am a mother without a child- I have such an intense urge to have children, I can't even really describe the feeling.  I have horrible dreams about being pregnant only to lose the baby, or have to give the baby away once it's born.  When I wake up from these dreams, it takes awhile to compose myself before I can get out of bed.  I have had multiple ultrasounds and it's so sad to lay there and see an empty uterus on the screen, framed with giant cystic masses.  When a woman gets an ultrasound, it's supposed to be so you can see the life growing inside of you, not the absence of one.
This is another thing I am taking day by day, and another thing that I hope by mentioning, someone else with the same experiences won't feel so alone.  Much like depression, I have researched the journey's of others and am comforted to know that even though I will never meet these people, we're all in it together.


Instead of pointing out a dumb blonde moment, he smiles and calls me Hunny.  Whenever I feel like I'm spiraling out he reminds me that I'm taking every step that I need to take to get to where I want to be and that I'm doing great.  He bought me new socks when he saw that all of mine had holes in them.  He offers me bites of his food without me asking because he knows that as a girl I never want my own food, just bites of his.  When he wakes up the first thing he does is turn over and puts his arm around me.  There are times when he bugs the hell out of me but not once have I ever considered taking a step back.  All of this, and that's how I know.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Spooning With The Internet: Part 3

But good news!  Luckily not all of these guys were buttheads. In fact, I met quite a few wonderful people, some of whom I would even consider a friend (I know, I know.  Only I could go on a dating website and come out of it with a couple new buddies).


One of my favorite first dates was with Whiskey.  We went go-karting which I had never done before.  I was TERRIBLE at it.  Everyone else on the track had to go an extra lap or two while they waited for me to finish.  Plus, he and I both had an affinity for whiskey which automatically earned points in my book.  Good guy, good guy.


Poor Poodle.  This one was on me, 100%.  He and I got along really well and had a great coffee date, but I just wasn't feeling that connection with him in person. We went to Panera (during which I got a text from my mom saying, 'Dad and I are at the Barnes and Noble, we can see you through the window! Are you on a date??') and sat and talked for like 3 hours. But like I said, no spark on my part. A couple of days later he texted me saying that he could tell that I wasn't really feeling it, but it had been great meeting me and to let him know if I ever change my mind.  I felt bad, but I was straight forward with him because he was awesome and is one of those people that you wish you liked, but those things just can't be forced.


6'5" was- shocker- 6'5" tall and I DUG IT.  He was also the oldest guy I've ever dated which I dug too.  I adored hanging out with 6'5"- we always had a great time and he's just one of the sweetest guys you'll ever meet. When I was down the shore with my family he came to visit and he is just a supportive, good person.  I have not one bad word to say about him.

Good Salsa

I canceled my Match account in June, but they make you keep it open until the end of the following month.  I had pretty much stopped going on the site around May; I was just over it. But a couple of weeks before my account went kaput, I got a wink from a guy who sparked my interest. We started talking and hanging out and he's nothing less than the fuckin' best. It took me my entire time on Match, but at the 11th hour, I ended up with a good one :)

Spooning With The Internet: Part 2


Muscles was actually the first person ever to contact me on Match. He had the cheesiest fuckin' username and his arms were the size of the Hulk's, but in the beginning I didn't want to count anyone out.  Plus, there was a certain satisfaction to having a guy hit on me that would no way have done so had he met me out at a bar.  Anyway, as Muscles and I started messaging each other back and forth, it became abundantly clear that this kid was an idiot. He also was very old fashioned- not in a gentlemen way, but more so in a neanderthal way.  As in, 'Me man.  You woman.  Woman cook for man then man watch sports while woman births children and irons clothes. Grunt, snort, burp'.  The first question that he ever asked me was, "Are you domesticated?", quickly followed by, "Do you believe in God?".  After giving him a hard no on both questions, he asked me for a picture. I told him no again. He asked me why. I told him why.  Then he asked me to EMAIL HIM A PICTURE OF ME.  I promptly stopped talking to him. Over the next few months, he would occasionally send me messages, sometimes saying weird things, sometimes saying means things, sometimes saying creepy things. I never responded and eventually blocked him from contacting me.  At first I thought that this kind of guy was just an isolated incident, but I think we all can guess at this point how incorrect I was about that.


Goose was a red headed doctor from Canada.  No easier way to put it than that. He had tried messaging me a couple of times but I ignored him because of the slight detail that he lived in an entirely different country. Eventually though, his messages became quite charming and I really dug his humor. So I threw caution to the wind and we started talking. We got along great and would Skype for hours on end. We even talked about him coming to visit one day. He was really into working out which normally isn't a huge turn on for me (a nice body is all well and good, but if you spend more time at the gym than you do with me, and your kitchen counters are lined with giant buckets of protein powder, we have a problem), but after he sent a couple (again, uninvited) pictures my way, I definitely recognized that his body was straight up hot. I even showed my boss one picture and she said, and I quote, "Oh damn, shit just got real". 
But then the shirtless pictures kept coming. Then he would try to get me to throw him a bunch of compliments about how he looked (I told him when he sent me a picture with his chest AND face to prove it was him, I would tell him how good he looked. Shocker, I never got such a picture).  Then I realized that not only did he still live with his parents, but that he had an unnaturally close relationship with his mother.  Like, half of his pictures on Facebook were the two of them hugging each other. Then Goose started texting me a little less, calling me a little less, Skyping me a little less. I was not in the business of wasting my time, so I texted him one day saying that I was bowing out, and he never answered. So that was that.


Cupid was a guy I probably should have cut my losses with at the beginning.  I could never really get into him, but Valentine's Day was approaching and desperate times call for desperate measures. We started talking and pretty immediately got into an argument because homeboy apparently had no sense of humor.  Regardless, we decided to meet for a drink.  The day of the date, I tried contacting him to double check on the time and location that we had agreed on.  No answer. An hour later I tried again. Nothing. Many hours later I got a text from him saying, "Hey, sorry about tonight. I took my dog for a walk and she ate some grass and threw up so I couldn't come out."
Ok.  Let's break this down.
1) He lived his with parents (According to him, was the idiot for having my own place in my late 20's, because apparently 'renting instead of buying is the most stupid thing a person can do'), so I'm pretty sure they could handle a little dog vomit, especially since their dog was one of those shitty little Yorkies.
2) When dogs eat grass, they puke. This is not a new revelation. 
3) Why did it take him until almost midnight to tell me this?
4) Booooo, he sucks
He asked to reschedule the date for the following weekend, which was V-Day itself. I initially told him I couldn't because- well, to be truthful, the Big Time Ex had invited me over that night. The Ex ended up canceling last minute. Who's shocked?  Anyway, I decided to use my single lady status to my advantage, so after my original plans fell through, I texted Cupid and said I was available the next night after all if he still wanted to meet up.  He said absolutely and again, we set a time and location. 
I texted him the next afternoon to confirm the plans. And guess what?  Say it with me now: No answer.  I tried again a little bit later and then gave up, calling my friend and inviting her and her dog over for wine and Chipotle.  4 HOURS LATER I get a text from Cupid saying we were definitely still on for that night. I told him I had made other plans when I didn't hear from him.  He then said, "What the hell?  I was taking a nap, it was only like 3 or 4 hours".  I apologized but told him it was a no go.  He tried to mend fences the next day but I was kind of dismissive.  For a couple of months he would send a sporadic Facebook message or text saying the same thing every time: 'Hey stranger, remember me?'.  I never answered.

Crazy Pants

You can probably tell by the name that this isn't going to end well.  Crazy Pants was the first guy I went on an actual date with. He was very straight forward when we first started talking; he told me he was divorced, had a young son, and was pretty fed up with people fucking around with relationships.  At that point, I pretty much agreed with him, so we agreed to forgo the weeks of messaging back and forth, and just meet up that weekend.  At first I was excited because he seemed pretty nice and had these wonderful blue eyes, and he was a musician.  Then things started to get weird.  We continued to text each other while the day of our date approached, and he immediately started calling me Baby and telling me about our future relationship and things like that.  Then he sent me a link one day, and it took me to his music page where he had just uploaded a song he had written about me- a girl he had never met. I considered canceling the date but then thought that if I didn't get at least one date out of the way, this whole online dating thing was turning into a waste of time.  
The day of the date arrived and Crazy Pants began to live up to his name. I don't remember the specifics, but he started freaking out about something and started saying that he totally understood if I wanted to cancel and then he began putting himself down, and everything became a bit too much.  But let's face it- when you have someone willing to buy you a dinner at P.F. Chang's, you don't back out.
The meeting time arrived and I sat in my car and waited for him to get there. About 15 minutes later he texts me saying he's waiting outside the restaurant. I walk over to see a hunched over blob of a man, with a knit beanie on his head, an open flannel shirt, and a black t-shirt covered in holes. On his neck was a tattoo that said 'I Love War'.
"Hi," I said, walking forward to give him a hug hello.
"Traffic was terrible!" he said, turning and walking through the front door.
"Was it?" I said, following him, "How long did it take you to get here?"
"Three hours."
Ummmm, what?  Apparently, when he said he lived in Manayunk, what he meant was that he was soon moving to Manayunk from west of Harrisburg. 
As he continued to complain, even though he had yet to even say hello to me, I walked ahead of him through the restaurant and sat at the table appointed to us by the waitress. We placed our order and then I spend the next 30 minutes straight listening to him complain.  Complain about his ex wife. Complain about her current boyfriend. Complain about this girl he dated and that girl he dated- and he went into DETAIL-, and complaining about the entire gender of women in general.  I sat there completely silent the entire time, eating my food, as the table next to us abandoned their food altogether and were blatantly sitting and listening to the disastrous date happening beside them. Around the time that he started telling me about the bedroom habits of one of the poor souls who was stupid enough to see him a second time, I had had enough.  Now, I am absolutely not one to make any degree of a scene in a public place, but I was at my boiling point.  I slammed my fork down into my bowl of rice and leaned across the table.  In a forceful whisper, I looked Crazy Pants in the eyes and said, 
"I don't give a shit about your ex-girlfriends.  I don't care about your ex-wife and I don't care about her boyfriend. You're on a date with me, you're here to learn about me, to ask questions about me".
Crazy Pants looked shocked for a moment, before breaking into a huge grin and literally giggling, "Haha, you're funny".  
As I explained to him that I was in no way joking, he eventually started including me in the conversation and the night got a little bit better. We finished dinner and walked out to our cars where he immediately began to smash his face against mine.  I pulled away and told him I had to go.
The next day, I was driving my mom's car home from work, which I had been borrowing since my own car is pretty much useless in the winter. As I was passing the Willow Grove Mall, the car began to swerve and the steering wheel locked up.  It was pretty terrifying, but I was so close to home that I thought I could make it.  Turns out I could just manage to swerve into a conveniently located car repair shop about a mile from my apartment. I went in, handed them the keys, told them my name, and told them what had happened. Many dollars later, they told me the tension belt had melted and they would have it fixed by the next day. I then proceeded to walk the mile back to my house- literally uphill in the snow- with my computer and bag and all of my work stuff. I got home to angry texts from Crazy Pants, asking him why I hadn't been answering him all day and I was just like every other girl and yadda yadda yadda.  I told him I had just had a terrible day and that he was too intense for me, and I wished him the best. He sent me a few more nasty messages and then went away.

Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson seemed promising. We started talking while we were both working from home one day during one of the big snowstorms.  He was a little younger than I tend to go for, but he had a good job and seemed very genuine and nice, and was cute as hell. We met for a drink one night and had a fairly good time, although he was a little too soft spoken for my taste. He also spent the majority of the night asking me to tell him what the basketball score was on the TV in the corner. Still, I was considering it a good date until it came time for him to pay for the extra beers he had ordered after we had already payed for the bill.  He looked in his wallet and asked if I could pay for his drinks because he only had $20 bills left and didn't want to use them.  So I threw some money on the table and we left. Despite the money snafoo, we kept talking and agreed to go on another date, but both of our busy schedules kept making it difficult to find a free night. We kept in touch and I told my friend (the one who helped me set up my profile and who came over for Valentine's Day) about him. During this time, she was also telling me about a guy she was planning on meeting up with and asking some advice on him. One day, she and I decided to go through the guys we had been talking to online and make sure there weren't any cross-overs.  Well, lo and behold, the guy she was supposed to meet up with was none other than Andrew Jackson. Luckily my friend is wonderful and she and I found the humor in the situation. She ended up texting him and saying, "Hey, I think you know one of my friends..." When she told him who, he never messaged either of us again.


Truck was an ex-Marine who drove a pickup truck.  Anyone who knows me knows that this perfectly describes the majority of my ex-boyfriends, which probably should have been a red flag.  We spent some time texting and talking on the phone before deciding to meet, and we agreed to grab a drink at what was quickly becoming my designated first date bar. He seemed really excited, which made me excited. The parking lot was absolutely packed that night and I had to sit and wait a good ten minutes before finally being able to squeeze in the smallest spot in history. As I approached Truck and said hello, he had this panicked look on his face. 
"It sounds really loud in there." he said, his eyes darting from side to side. 
"Well, let's go in and check it out." I told him.
"I have a problem with loud noises and crowded places." He said.  Turns out, this poor kid had PTSD which made me feel just awful for dragging him to a bar- albeit unknowingly.
I asked him why he agreed to go to a bar if it made him uncomfortable and he said he didn't want me to think he was lame. We decided to check it out regardless but no sooner had we opened the door than he turned around and darted outside. After thinking of other places we could go, I brought up the fact that it was a Saturday night and everywhere we went would be crowded and loud.  Then I thought of The Wet Whistle, which is pretty notorious for never being crowded unless some event was going on.  Well wouldn't you know it, there was a high school reunion going on there that night.  So Truck and I sat outside on the deck alone, freezing our asses off.  First we went up to the bar where I ordered a drink, as he once again hung back.
"I don't drink."
I sighed and pulled out my wallet, grabbed my beer, and we went outside. We sat and tried to come up with some conversation, but it was just a disaster.  After about a half hour he asked if I wanted to stay or go, and I told him I wanted to go.  So we walked out to our cars and went out separate ways. Later that night he texted me saying he had a great time and wanted to kiss me goodnight.  He sure could have fooled me because I don't think there were two people in the world that clicked less than we clicked. 


Doctor was funny and looked like a giant teddy bear and we got along great as we talked before our date. He had a cat, and I have a rule about never trusting a single man who owns a cat by choice, but I let it slide this time. We met for lunch at a Japanese restaurant about 4 hours before he had to go to work that evening. When I showed up, he was wearing his scrubs.  Normally this wouldn't bother me, but we both knew that he had plenty of time to go home and change later, and that he was just wearing them to try and impress me about the fact that he was a doctor.  Regardless, our lunch went great and we laughed and had a good time. Then as we were leaving I gave him a hug goodbye and he kept picking me up, which was weird.  Like, really weird. I slithered out of his grip and went home.
From that point on, all this kid talked about was how he was a doctor.  Like, full on bragging and big-headed about it.  It got really annoying, really fast. It was as if he thought he was the only doctor in the entire world and it drove me nuts. We hung out one more time where he kept trying to get close, until I finally told him that I thought we were better as friends. He made up an excuse to go home a few minutes later and, once again, that was that.


Allentown seemed promising.  Really promising.  We hit it off immediately and I thought that he was gorgeous and we just clicked to an insane degree.  We talked CONSTANTLY.  Before we even met we knew that something good was going to come of this.  Before our first date I was so nervous because I already had such a strong investment in him, which is crazy to feel about someone that you've never met in person. I remember talking to the girls at work about him, and we spoke as if he and I were going to ride off into the sunset together. Our first date was great, with the exception of one flaw- Allentown had taken classes in stand up comedy, and he thought he was a hoot.  He wasn't.  But I looked past that and laughed at his terrible jokes and just went with the flow. It turned into a whirlwind romance and before I knew it we were talking about me moving in with him and making jokes about our kids.  Everything just fit and I was in deep.  Pretty soon into it, he started trying to make me say that I loved him (keep in mind, we weren't even an official couple).  Part of me thought it was weird, especially since he really tried to push it, but the other part of me could see that happening soon.  I finally felt comfortable enough about someone that I started telling my family and friends about him, with such excitement and giddiness that I barely even recognized myself. I just dug so many things about him; the way he had this mop of curly hair that would fall down into his eyes, the way that he would look at me and smile, the way that he owned his own home and had a great job and was a hard worker and was close to his family. During our time together I had tonsillitis and couldn't go up to his house to visit him like we had planned. I was crushed, but instead he came down to me and took care of me all night. But, much like Goose, as soon as it began it ended.  Allentown was going for a promotion at work and had to take this day-long test that he had spent a full week studying for.  He was a nervous wreck and turned to me for support which I whole-heartedly gave him. Then, the day the test was over, he was supposed to come over.  He said he was exhausted so he would come over the next day.  The next morning he said he couldn't because he was going to play baseball with his friends. Immediately afterwards, he began- as I have since learned it is called- "ghosting" me. Just completely checked out. Didn't answer calls or texts, bailed on all of our plans.  This kid that was telling me that I loved him now had disappeared. So, again much like Goose, I texted him and told him that I was stepping away.  He never answered, and the next day he was friends with 4 new blonde girls on Facebook.  That one stung, I'm not going to lie.


Mustang was young and new at Match.  He was shocked when he heard I had been on for a few months, because he thought that you went on, met someone right away, and married them.  He drove a Mustang which he loved (he said it was 'the coolest color'. It was black) because he was bald, but I hated because I'm a girl and no girl likes a convertible.  I mean, our hair for pete's sake!
He and I got along well, but he was really into his band.  He thought they were going to get huge and be super famous.  After our first date he made me sit in his car and listen to their songs.  They were...ok. Anyway, he was kind of overwhelming with the amount of texts he sent, and one day he came over and just went and took a nap in my bed while I sat in the living room, stewing over the fact that I was wasting an entire afternoon while some dude snored all over my pillows. I stopped being super responsive to his texts and he got mad and I told him that it just wasn't a good time for me.  Then he said, "Whatever.  Peace out girl scout", and I knew that I had made the right decision. 

Pool Boy

Pool Boy spoke like he was on a job interview. He signed his messages with "Regards".  But his pictures made him seem like a fun guy, and we got along well enough, so we went on a date. It was a little awkward at first, and it took him awhile to loosen up.  However by the end of the night we were having a great time, talking about music for a good hour.  When we left, he was a total gentlemen and didn't try to kiss me or anything.  On our second date he seemed much more comfortable and I got to see his carefree side.  We began hanging out regularly and things were really going well.  When we met for our second date he gave me two mixed CD's that he had filled with the songs we had talked about on our first date, as well as other songs he thought I'd like.  It was old school and cheesy and I loved it. Everything fell into place wonderfully and we would spend our days walking his dog or eating Wawa on my living room floor. He was very smart and also owned his own home which to me is obviously a sign that he somewhat had his shit together. Something that I thought was a little strange was that he spent- or supposedly spent- every free minute cleaning his pool.  I had never seen him go in the pool, but it was spotless enough to eat off of the bottom. As time went on, we continued to get closer until he started bailing on plans to "clean the pool".  I began to assume that 'the pool' had big ol' boobs was probably great in bed. 
When I called him out on his new habit of canceling our plans, he FLIPPED out.  We had this crazy conversation that made absolutely no sense, it was as if we were having two totally different exchanges. I thought things had ended on an ok, albeit awkward, note, but then he and I too just never spoke again.  It was probably for the best though- he had very small, delicate hands and they creeped me out.

After all of these experiences, I think it was normal for me to wonder if I was doing something wrong.  And maybe I was, who knows, but I really think that a big part of it is because the world of online dating allows such immense access to so many people, that it can be hard for someone to stay focused while there are gorgeous people constantly contacting them.  I'm not saying that the person who strays is usually the one with a penis, but, you know, I'm also not saying that I was the one doing it. 

Spooning With The Internet: Part 1

Well hello my darlings!  I know it's been a bit since I last posted in here, but that's because this current entry has been about 6 months in the making.

I have spent the first half of this year dating every horrible guy out there and now I'm going to tell you allllll about it. So snuggle in my little babies, because things are about to get weird.

As some of you may or may not remember, approximately a year ago I wrote a blog about how I vehemently refused to do online dating.  No way, no how, I wasn't going to do it.  I considered it desperate and embarrassing and a last ditch effort at finding somebody. Nothing my friends said could convince me otherwise.  During this time I even went on to date someone that I met in the real, live world so I was pretty confident that I would have no problem finding someone else when that relationship inevitably ended.

Yeah, I was wrong.  Grown men don't run free in the wild like you'd think they would.  No no, they apparently are all found behind computer screens and selfies of them on a mountain with their dogs.

So after much consideration I finally started to admit to a few people that I MIGHT be willing to try online dating. It wasn't until I went to my sister's one day and was talking to her about it that I decided to give it a go.  My sister said the same thing that everyone else had been saying- there's no harm in trying, it could be fun, etc.- but she was the first person that actually made me believe those things. Plus, let's face it, no matter how old a gal gets, her older sister will always be the coolest person she knows so I will most likely always take her word over most peoples'.

I still had a good amount of hesitance about the whole thing, especially since I had been out of the dating scene for the better part of the past 6 years. I had no idea what I would possibly be getting myself into, but at the very least I thought, hey- it'll make a good story.

So one day in late January, I invited over a friend who had also dabbled in the online dating world.  She helped me set up a Match.Com profile and helped me pick out pictures that made me look like a real live girl, and not the chocolate covered slob I usually am.  She showed me the ins and outs of messaging and winking and all the awkward little options you have to let someone know you're interesting. Then she warned me that it could be addicting in the beginning, because you'll suddenly be bombarded with guys trying to contact you.  I didn't really believe her, but lo and behold, within the hour I was- how do I say this in the most ladylike and least crude way possible- dripping in hypothetical dick.

It was insane.  One minute you're sitting there eating a loaf of bread and watching your dog roll around on the floor on a Friday night, and the next you're messaging with some guy who loves Fraggle Rock as much as you do and has a solid 401(K) and reasonable monthly mortgage.

Let me be clear though- the majority of these guy really made you question your decision to try online dating. Between the geriatric gentlemen from central Jersey who "just want to show you a good time", to the 57 year old who sent me a message that said nothing more than, "Can I keep you?", there was just as much bad as there was good, if not more.  I mean, if a cartoon ghost can't even say 'can I keep you' without sounding creepy as balls, how did a complete stranger expect to pull it off?

No. No you can't.

Below, I've copied and pasted the bio from my own profile so you can get a sense of how I had chosen to put myself out there.  Every once in awhile I would change it up a little or add in a new fact, just to keep things fresh, so what you see is the final version of it before I canceled my account:

"I can be sarcastic at times so I would ideally like someone who is light-hearted and doesn't take things too seriously. Although I've never been outside of the country, I have made my way through almost all of those warm, delicious states down south, and if it wasn't for the fact that I equally love my job up here I'm pretty sure I would have already moved to South Carolina by now.  I have a dog and if you're wondering if I talk to him like he's human and let him sit upright in my lap like a hairy little person, the answer is You Betcha. I'm at the point in my life where I would like a lasting relationship, so dating without the possibility of commitment isn't really my thing right now.  Also, I don't have long hair anymore but apparently I haven't taken a good picture in a year, so let's all just work through that together, shall we?

Here are some fun facts, because everyone loves a good bullet point list, right?

*Things you will always find in my kitchen: 1-2 large jars of Nutella, a bag of Teriyaki beef jerky, and a forgotten box of Lucky Charms with all of the marshmallows eaten out of it.

*My mom looks like Linda Belcher from Bob's Burgers and my dad looks like Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys.  They both act accordingly.

*I'm slowly getting better at cooking but there's a chance I may or may not have ruined instant oatmeal before.  Ok, I have.  Multiple times.  Let's not talk about it.

*I'm currently teaching myself how to play the ukulele.  My skill level has recently improved from "Oh god", to "Hey, maybe one day you'll get the hang of it!".

*I'm 80-85% certain that my old dog saved Bradley Cooper from getting a parking ticket a few years ago.

*This is my favorite joke: Helen Keller walks into a bar. And a table...and a chair.

*Speaking of jokes, no matter how old I get, I will never stop trying to make a 'That's what she said' joke out of as many situations as I possibly can.  Even if it doesn't come easily.  (That's...that's what she said.  See what I did there?  Line forms to the right boys, current wait time is zero)."

You would be amazed at how psycho guys went over the comment about my hair.  The reason I put it there is because in a lot of my pictures, my hair was still down to my ass, and I just didn't want anybody to think they were talking to Rapunzel or anything. I know a lot of men can be picky about what kind of hair they like on a girl, so I just wanted to make sure they knew it wasn't that super, crazy long anymore.  But the way these people reacted was nuts- I would say at least a few times a day I would get someone messaging me saying, "So, exactly how short is your hair now?  Like, above your chin?", or "Hey, don't worry, I'm sure your short hair looks ok!".  I think some of these guys thought that I had accidentally caught my hair in a wood chipper and was sulking in the depths of my closet until it grew back. 

As time went on, it also became abundantly clear that 90% of people's online dating profiles are all exactly the same, and include the following:

  • I'm equally as willing to get dressed up for a night out on the town as I am to stay home and snuggle on the couch watching Netflix
  • I love hiking, exercising regularly, anything outdoors, and going to Phillies games with my friends
  • I love my dog/cat/bird/sea monkies, so sorry ladies, if you're not down with Fido I'm not down with you
  • I want a girl who is just as comfortable putting on a dress as she is putting on a pair of sweatpants
  • I currently live in Conshy and work for a big firm- it's hard work but rewarding!
  • I've traveled to lots of countries and can't wait to get back out there!  Looking for a partner to see the world with!
  • I'm kind of a beer snob
  • I'm looking for a girl who works out and strives to be healthy
  • I strive to see the humor in everything!  Life is a gift!
And of course, everyone has their signature joke or catch phrase that they use on every one. Whether it's a specific pick up line or a "clever" question that you ask everybody you talk to, we all do it. No shame.

The one thing that absolutely drove me crazy though, is the whole selfie thing.  No sooner would you exchange numbers than they would start sending you uninvited pictures. Pictures of them, pictures of their dinner, pictures of their buddies wedding that was a 'freakin blast'.  I did not ask for these pictures. I did not want these pictures. Especially because at the time my phone was older than dirt, and anytime anyone sent me one, my phone would start fizzling and turn itself off.  These guys would of course ask for a picture back, and you would be surprised as how angry they get when you tell them no.  One reason was because my phone literally didn't take pictures, and they couldn't comprehend anyone not having a smart phone in the year 2015, and another reason is because I've never taken a selfie before and I don't plan on starting anytime soon. 

This is what all selfies look like to me. 

What I have decided to do is compile a list of my worst, funniest, and most ummmm,what?! dating horror stories, simply for your enjoyment.  And maybe also so it seems like there was a reason for all the madness.  I'm hoping this doesn't come across as me just bashing these guys, because that isn't my intent. Well, maybe it is for a couple of them. But rest assure that code names will be designated, and any necessary guys have been de-friended from Facebook so they don't accidentally stumble across this blog and see me writing some not-so-desirable things about them. 

So without further ado, please move onto Part 2 of this lengthy blog to hear about Alexis' Shenanigans in Dating World.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Think Before You Fine

A little bit ago I read about how in France, parliament has passed an amendment that bans modeling agencies and fashion brands from employing models they consider "too thin", lest they want to be fined or sent to jail.  Here is the opening paragraph of the article, as well as a link:

"The French parliament has passed a measure that bans modeling agencies and fashion brands from employing models the government deems too thin. Now models will be required to present medical documentation of a body mass index (BMI) of at least 18, Reuters reports. (In 2009, the average French woman’s BMI was 23.2.) People who employ models who fail to meet the requirement could face six months in prison and a fine of €75,000 ($82,417)."

I have a big problem with this.

Those close to me know that I have spent much of the past decade struggling with an eating disorder.  It is not a constant thing and it is not something that, I feel, has gotten to an extremely dangerous point and for that I am lucky.  However, it is something that is a part of my life- although I do not consider it to be part of what makes me, me.  It is not something that I shout from the rooftop (although I suppose I have now announced it from my blog-top), but it's also not something that I shy away from discussing if the matter comes up.

I can only speak for myself, but I will occasionally be referring to things as "we", as I consider certain aspects of eating disorders or body dysmorphia to be fairly consistent throughout each individual's experience.

This measure that France has passed is not helping these girls.  It is essentially telling them that they are wrong, bad, and not good enough.  It is saying, 'The choices that you have made, whether voluntary or involuntary, are so undesirable that we are going to incarcerate people that dare put you in the public eye'.

I understand what France is trying to do, and I understand it's coming from a place of good, but it is not the right approach.  Preaching that 'Real women have curves' is as equally destructive as saying 'Ugh, she's so fat'.  A woman is a woman.  Whether she's big, small, short, tall, has giant breasts, a tiny ass, wears dresses, wears basketball shorts, or is a man that identifies as a woman, you can't just go around telling people what they are or aren't.  I have no curves and I never will.  I have no tits and I never will.  I have big, giant feet that will never look dainty.  But I'm a fucking woman and nothing you say is going to convince me otherwise.

But it still hurts.  It hurts when you haven't eaten more than a handful of cereal in two days and you're miserable because you're fucking STARVING, and then someone looks at you and goes, "Alexis you're so skinny, you need to eat a burger!"  I know this.  We all know this.  Even those in the deepest pits of anorexia or bulimia know that what they are doing isn't healthy.  It hurts when people tell us we would look better with a little more meat on our bones.  It hurts when we can never fill out jeans like other girls can, or when we're out with our friends and only the ones with a large chest and perfect hips get hit on.

In my own experience, I have found equal amounts of pain in being told "You're too skinny" as well as "You gained some weight, you look so good!".  For me it has always been the better I feel mentally, the worse I feel physically and vice versa.  I always knew when things were getting out of control because I would look in the mirror and see dark bags under my eyes, loose skin hanging off of my cheeks, greasy stringy hair and soft fingernails.  I would see that my size 0 pants were falling off of me and I couldn't fill out even my smallest of bras anymore.  I would be more tired than you could ever imagine and the headaches were unbearable at times. I looked and felt terrible, and I didn't need someone pointing this out to me to know it.

On the other hand, I felt equally as terrible when I realized I could only fit into my size 5 jeans, that my shirts were tighter around my stomach, that my cheeks were getting my childhood pudge back into them.  Even today, I'm feeling a little big around the middle and I had to take a moment and convince myself not to change into a baggy shirt before I went to the grocery store.  I know that no one was looking at me and thinking I was heavy.  I know that no one was probably looking at me period.  But those of us who struggle with weight do it for ourselves, not for anyone else.

These models are now essentially being pushed out of a profession that they worked hard to get into.  Those that may struggle with eating disorders will most likely not take this as an opportunity to change their lifestyle and gain a healthy amount of weight.  There's a good chance this could push them further over the edge.

I do want to say- and I would hope you all already realize this- that in no way am I saying it is ok for any of us to be starving ourselves or exercising until we pass out, or throwing up.  Because it's not ok.  It's a horrible, heartbreaking addiction that does need to be addressed.  But it needs to be addressed delicately.  For a lot of people, it takes a long time to accept who you are.  To look at yourself as a whole and then deconstruct the things that aren't allowing you to thrive.

But this whole thing in France- this is not promoting a healthy lifestyle as they claim.  It instead has the potential to tear down people who have already torn themselves down, both physically and mentally, whether they realize it or not.  There are some points later on in the article that I don't completely disagree with, including some discussions on BMI and body image vs. eating disorders, but the general notion of this measure that has been passed really gets to me.

I also feel that I should mention that it has been quite awhile since I have restricted my own eating.  Granted, I don't always eat healthy- most of you know that chocolate is my main food group- but when I feel hungry, I eat. When I feel bloated, I deal with it.  And when I'm not feeling pretty, I turn around and take a look at that fine, fine ass of mine in the mirror.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Monica's Fairy Tale Wedding

Last week I met up with my friend Monica for a delicious Panera smoothie, which ended up coming with a large, girthy straw that made any hope of having a serious conversation a moot point.  We got to talking about weddings and how if Monica were to ever get married she would want something low key and casual, while I would register for the most over the top gifts imaginable as payback for all of the weddings I've had to go to over the past 5 years (and I mean that with all the love in the world of course).  The more we talked about Monica's wedding, the more ridiculous the conversation became, and she asked if I could write a blog detailing the event.  Now, I know a lot of you who read this blog don't know this special little lady that I speak of (you're totally missing out, by the way), so feel free to insert any of your family and friends into the role of 'Bride'.

So, without further ado, I present to you:

~*~*~Monica's Fairy Tale Wedding~*~*~

Most girls grow up with the same dream- waking up on their wedding day, slipping into a long white dress adorned with delicate lace or flashy crystals or a never ending row of buttons down the back.  Carefully draping the flowing handmade veil that thirty blind Austrian nuns worked on around the clock before a good twenty five of them dropped from exhaustion (but it was WORTH it) over their face.  Linking arms with their father before walking down the aisle of the church, flanked on either side by all of their family and friends, as they approach the one they love.  Their soul mate, waiting at the end of the aisle, smiling and wiping away a single tear as their girl- their WIFE- approaches them to begin the first day of the rest of their lives.

But not Monica.  No no, not our girl.  Monica knows what she wants.  She knows what her perfect wedding will be.  And what that is- of course- is an intimate ceremony at a Beef & Beer in Detroit.

The stained elegance of the low-cut blue carpet contrasts beautifully against the wood paneled walls as Monica slips on her fanciest jeans and the "Beef: Good, Beer: Better" t-shirt that she purchased at the bar of the establishment. She and her beau, let's call him "T", have decided that in lieu of guests, all they wished for were the well wishes of their loved ones, and approximately 80-85% of the gifts they had registered for.  Pre-postaged shipping boxes available upon request.

A few days earlier, Monica had called me up asking if I would mind getting ordained in order to perform the ceremony.  I of course obliged and soon came to find that all it takes to hold the responsibility of joining two people in holy matrimony is a quick Internet search, $30, and a security question asking what my first goldfish's favorite color was. (The answer was silver.  Oh the irony).

As the bride prepared to walk down the aisle, I stood next to T as he waited for his favorite lady to make her way on over.

"Nervous?" I asked him.

"Nah." he answered.

Suddenly a thought crossed my mind that sent panic down my spine.

"Wait a minute," I said, glancing around before looking at T. "Don't you need a witness?"

The color drained out of T's face as he realized the legal detail they had forgotten.  But then, as if the wedding gods were listening, the doors that led to the Beef & Beer's kitchen opened and out walked a shadowy figure in a cloud of white, fluffy, ethereal smoke (probably from the four truckers that were sitting in the corner puffing away on their American Spirits- which are the only cigarettes available in Detroit because, well, it's Detroit).

T and I squinted as we tried to make out this white knight that had somehow stumbled upon this moment to save the day.

"Is that...?" T asked, astonished.

"It couldn't be..." I answered, sure that our eyes were playing tricks on us.

But it was.  Standing before us was none other than TV's Josh Byrne- otherwise known as the youngest brother on the 90's smash hit, Step by Step.

"Hey." Josh said, looking around.

"Heyyy." T and I replied in cautious unison.

There was no time to ask questions as to why he was there.  Truth be told, the answer probably wold have killed the vibe of this otherwise joyous day.  T leaned forward, grabbed Josh Byrne by the arm, and pulled him over to stand beside him.  Josh didn't seem phased by this and stuck his hands in his pockets as the kitchen doors reopened and Monica stepped into view.

As T and I broke out into a stunningly romantic beat box that we had secretly been practicing every Wednesday night from 6:30-7:15 for the past six months, Monica weaved her way through the pool tables and counter top hot dog machines, finally arriving to face T.

I began the ceremony and as Monica and T faced each other to recite their vows, I reached into the pocket of my robe and pulled out a pork chop that I had swiped form the buffet at brunch.  As I listened to the words of love my two friends were proclaiming to each other, I thought about how special this moment was as I housed that pork chop with my bare hands.  Napkins are for men of the cloth, not women of the beef.

The ceremony ended with a kiss and then it was onto the reception where we had arranged for a caricaturist to entertain the bar patrons.  As it turned out, this particular artist solely drew sketches based around a Lion King theme, but the picture of T standing on the edge of a cliff holding Monica up for all of the African savanna to see was beautiful enough to bring a tear to your eye.

The night concluded with a round of questionably cooked kabobs and dusty bottles of Coors Light, which Monica opened with her teeth- a talent not even T knew she possessed.  The things you learn in marriage, am I right?

As Josh Byrne and I stood on the front steps of Detroit's 5th finest Beef & Beer, we waved goodbye to the blissfully happy bride and groom as they rode off into the sunset on a tandem bike we had found out by the trash cans.  The wedding had been a breathtaking success and there was no doubt that Monica and T would be endlessly happy as they traveled through life together, step by step.

*~* The End *~*