Old Friends

I had a pretty bad falling out with a good friend a few years ago. The whole thing was awful and heartbreaking and ugly. This friend was my very best friend for years. It was one of those friendships that just… worked. Not that my fabulous girlfriends now aren’t utterly and completely amazing, of course. 

The details of the falling out aren’t important. The important part is that I was so mad for so long. I just couldn’t shake her, every time I thought of her I would get so frustrated. This had been going on for about two years. If it came up in conversation, I could play it off like another of my awful stories but internally, I felt like I swallowed a swarm of bees. Sounds like a bad break up, right? It kind of was.

It wasn’t until recently that I really started to think about why I was still so upset. It had been literally years, I’d never been hung up on a boy for that long! I came to the conclusion that I was upset because I missed her. Once the thought crossed my mind, I couldn’t stop. I missed the connection we had, I missed how much we laughed and could talk about everything. It seems like such typical “best friend stuff” and for the most part, it is. I’m not trying to make this too mushy but basically, I idolized this girl. She was a couple years older and just seemed so much more grown up than I was. She was pretty and independent and had a boyfriend that drove. It was just so cool. Being a teenage girl is hard, it was easier to do when I had someone to look up to. And we got through some pretty shitty stuff together. We talked on the phone for hours at a time and we never ran out of stuff to talk about. Like I said, typical “best friend stuff.” Anyways, the point is I missed her. There’s just something about a friend that knows you. 

So after a few weeks of stressing about it, I decided to reach out to her. We had a stupid, albeit horrible, falling out but did that really cancel out how good of friends we were and how well we got along? We were both at fault, neither of us handled it well, but hey, it was like the worst breakup ever and who ever handles bad breakups well?  All the same though, I was pretty nervous to actually send her a message. I probably wouldn’t have been able to hit send if I didn’t have a glass of wine for courage [don't judge]. And I’m very glad I did. We have plans to get together and catch up and I am so excited. Really nervous, but excited. I’ve already got pre-date jitters!

Anyways, I don’t really have a point. I’m just glad I reached out. It’ll be nice to have her back in my life.

Chivalry: What Makes a Gentleman?

It used to be that a nice gentleman would pick a lady up for a date, open her car door for her when she gets in and again when she gets out, treating her to a nice dinner, and finally walking her all the way to her door when he drops her off, seeing her safely inside. He opened the doors for her, picked up the tab and let her walk in ahead of him, if only so he could discreetly check out her ass. I have been informed that it is now foolish to expect any of these things from a man. Nowadays, it seems you are lucky enough to have a man buy you dinner, much less wait for you to get in your car before he peels out. Well… I think I’d rather be single than date a.man so inconsiderate as that.

So what makes a man a gentleman? What does he have to do to earn that title? Frankly, I don’t think they have to do much anymore. Hey, he bought you dinner. Sure, he opened the door for himself. He ordered first, he talked about himself, he harrumphed over the total, he gets up and walks out without you, leaving you to rush after him and doesn’t even walk you to your car before going in for that kiss. But girl, he bought you dinner and dammit he’s a chivalrous gentleman that you should be grateful for!

My biggest pet peeve, when I’m out with anyone, is when they just rush away from the table without you. Be it a good first date, a bad first date, three years into a relationship, a friend, a colleague, you get the idea. Half the time, I feel like most men I’ve dated are halfway to the door before I’ve even stood up all the way. I feel like that’s rude and honestly, selfish. Whether I like you or not, I will wait for you to gather your things and walk out beside you. My good male friend told me that’s my problem, my expectations are too high and it’s totally okay for someone to do that. Really? So I should just be okay with someone treating me poorly? He basically said I have no right to be upset about anything like that. I should not expect any kind of polite, courteous, or chivalrous behavior unless he is seriously interested in me and obviously this date had gone very poorly and he wasn’t interested in me at all.

So let me get this straight. You have to be seriously interested in someone to be courteous, in even the most common manner. Huh. See, all this time I have been nice to pretty much anyone and everyone because I have no reason not to be. I cannot imagine treating someone like that. So what if you’re on a date and it’s not going well and you don’t want to see each other again? Do we really live in a world where that person straight up doesn’t deserve for you to be respectful? This friend of mine said he is very careful about his body language [i.e. walking away before your date is ready to leave] so no one gets confused. Well darling, I’m pretty sure I won’t consider you waiting for me to put my coat on and grab my purse a marriage proposal.

Then on the other hand, I have another very good male friend. I told him my frustration with this walking out thing and my disappointment with my other friend’s response. This friend told me he has never felt my expectations were too high and I deserve a man that will treat me like an equal and not so inferior that I have to rush about just to keep up and like I belong behind him. Sure, being picked up for a date is impractical and potentially dangerous, online dating being as popular as it is. Likewise, rushing around to open the car door when I go to get out is also a little absurd. But is it too much to expect a man to let you walk in ahead of him? Is it too much to want him to wait for me to at least stand up before he leaves? Now, I don’t really expect a man to wait and make sure I drive away first, although I’d be pleasantly surprised if he did, but I do expect him to see me to my car. If I don’t hear from him, I don’t hear from him. Incompatibility is perfectly acceptable, but being rude for no other reason than being rude is not.

I do not feel my expectations are too high in the slightest. I don’t care how tall the man is, I don’t care if he is a blond or a brunette, if he works in an office or with his hands, and I don’t need him to be a millionaire. I want a polite man who is engaging and interested, who wants to do those little things that add up to so much. He should have a car, a job and a sense of humor. Compassion is also pretty important. Selfishness is unattractive and I will never settle for that. When I am dating a man, I have no problem buying or making him dinner, we can take turns picking the movie or activity, I’ll boost your ego and you can boost mine. I would much rather buy my own dinner and be treated with politeness and respect than have a free meal from an inconsiderate man.

My long and roundabout point is that, while maybe not quite dead, chivalry is mostly in the past. Most men will call themselves an old-fashioned gentleman, but few of them really know what that means. We live in a world where we are only polite when it is convenient to us. We treat most of the people around us poorly and continue to allow it. You have to earn the niceties that should just be common courtesy. And very rarely will you find yourself across the table from a true gentleman, but we ALL deserve one.

The Biggest Mistake.

 

I don’t feel like I have made a lot of mistakes in life, so it’s pretty apparent to me what the worst one was. Dating.

Looking back on the last several months that I’ve been talking, meeting and dating men, I have cried more times than I can count. Because some asshole found a way to undermine my self confidence and make me feel worthless. What about me do all these people not like? What about me makes it easy for them to make me a “good enough until something better comes along?” How many times can one person be told they aren’t good enough and they found someone better? Maybe I haven’t been told that in words, but it has always been made pretty clear.

Men have their excuses. We weren’t serious, they tried to stop seeing me but felt bad. But they’re still just excuses. They don’t stop talking to and meeting new people, but they don’t stop seeing me until they’ve met someone better. Incompatibility is reasonable. “Hey, this isn’t working out, good luck,” is a pretty simple sentence to say to someone. But no, so many men seem to think they can keep you around while they keep looking. That for some reason because you haven’t had the “your my girlfriend” talk with me, it’s okay to lead a girl on. A girl that you know has feelings for you. A girl that for so long you put in the girlfriend zone, treating me like a girlfriend and expecting things of me like you would a girlfriend without the actual title. “Incompatibility” isn’t an excuse when you have to say, “I can’t see you anymore, I started seeing someone else.” Saying that “it wasn’t working” at that point is just bullshit. You obviously knew I wasn’t what you wanted ages ago, long enough ago that you had time to find someone else, so why do you think it’s okay to cause someone pain?

There’s only so many times a person can hear “you weren’t good enough” before it chips away at whatever self esteem you’ve built up. The last month or so, I don’t think I’ve ever felt worse about myself. I have been half-heartedly telling myself that I’m worth it but I don’t really believe it at this point. I’m the common denominator, right? Obviously, I’m lacking. That or men really are all just pigs.

There’s always been this saying that you are responsible for how you feel. They didn’t hurt you, you are letting them hurt you. Well I’d really like to meet someone who just decides to not be hurt when someone pulls shit like this. It’s not like I’m just sitting around letting someone take advantage of me, I don’t know it’s happening until too late, my heart hurts.

At this point, I don’t know what to do. I feel like shit. I feel ugly and annoying and incompetent and worthless and I have never felt like that before. Ever. I didn’t cry when I was single. I didn’t feel like garbage. Until I started dating. Dating is the biggest mistake I’ve ever made.

Dating Woes: When “Wow” Doesn’t Cover It

I’ve started and stopped writing this several times over the weekend. I don’t know where to start.

I’m sick to death of men. Let’s start there. They never make any sense. They may think everything they do is so simple and easy to understand but it’s not. I’ve been utterly confounded by more than one “break up.”

I’ve had someone be so concerned that I was seeing someone else. I liked the guy and his ex did cheat on him and I’m really very understanding for a crazy bitch. He would say, “You better not be going on a date or anything. I’m not taking anyone out but you.” Okay, looking back, it’s weird, but at the time I just liked the guy and didn’t pay it any mind. I would say, “Of course not, I really like you, I don’t see why I would try and meet other people.” So you wanna know the funny part? He broke up with me because I was too clingy! Actually, he didn’t even break up with me, he just bailed mid-conversation and never spoke to me again. 

But did you know there is actually a worse way to break things off with someone? Because I sure didn’t! Never in my life have I known a man to just insult a woman until she could find the words, “fuck you!” And this guy started out so great! But I guess there’s a reason they say if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. He always had the right thing to say, he seemed excited about me, it was fantastic. But then he quite suddenly pulled back, trying to talk to him was like pulling teeth. So I called him out on it. Shit happens, I literally give zero fucks if you hang out and drink with your buddies so long as you didn’t totally bail on plans with me to do it. I don’t care if I get a “good morning” text and then don’t hear from you all day. I don’t need 24/7 attention, I just need to know that at the end of the day, you want to talk to me. So then I told him, “I don’t feel like you want to talk to me, if this isn’t working for you, just say it.” He assured me that wasn’t it, blah blah blah, so I let it go. So a few days later when we have plans, he calls me to say he didn’t think he could make it. I asked him why and he said, “I don’t really have a reason.” Oh okay, well then bye. But he wasn’t done. He proceeded to tell me about how he’s super depressed and he’s not over his ex and he tried to have feelings for me which is why he took my phone calls but he just didn’t feel anything. Bad, right? Don’t worry, it gets better. He tells me he was pissed when I called him out for bailing on me, he couldn’t give me as much attention as I apparently needed and that sleeping with me made him uncomfortable. What in the actual fuck? You sure seemed to enjoy it at the time and I don’t recall forcing myself on you!

I admit I started out as a blubbering fool. Upset and crying and disgustingly trying to change his mind. But then I got pissed. Really pissed. I haven’t been that angry in a long time. So I ripped into him. I called him a giant sack of shit and an asshole. He whined, “I’m not an asshole,” and I said, “Oh really? Because from where I’m sitting, you’re the biggest asshole I’ve ever met.” I was floored. And that jerk still felt the need to say, “I really like you, I’d still like to see you. I enjoy your company, I still want to have you over and cuddle on the couch. My life is just a mess right now and I can’t blame you if you don’t want to stick around.” How about you go fuck yourself?

And that was that. I hung up, deleted his number and moved the fuck on. At least as much as I could. I’m really quite alright, actually, but I feel like my faith in men and relationships is all but destroyed. I don’t have the time or the patience to deal with this shit anymore. How hard is it to find someone honest who wants a relationship? Sure, I’ve found good, honest guys but they aren’t looking for what I’m looking for. Which is fine, I wasn’t led to believe it was more, but I still wouldn’t be satisfied with it. I want a boyfriend. I want someone to be excited about me, want to see me, be there for me and let me do the same. I want to snuggle and watch movies. I want a man who wants to be seen with me in public.  

Bah. One day my prince will come, yeah? Until then… I think I’m gonna eat my feelings for a bit. My friend told me, “Let the wrong guy take you out to dinner and tell you you’re pretty.” Eventually, soon even, but not today. I need a break.

Miscellaneous Anectdotes: Damages

Sometimes, it feels like you can’t outrun your past. Or maybe it’s just me that can’t let go. Of course, it doesn’t help when it seems that almost every outcome to almost every situation is saying the same thing; “you aren’t good enough.”

Yes, sometimes I’m melodramatic, but on a completely serious and depressing [for me] note, I really grew up believing I wasn’t good enough. Nothing I ever did, no matter how I looked, I just didn’t stand a chance against the impossibly high standards set before me.

Every relationship I’ve been in, every single one of them, I was left for someone else. Every. Time. It’s easy enough to brush it off the first half a dozen times, but after that? It gets harder. Really hard.

Then there was one person I didn’t think in a million years would ever chose someone over me and guess what? He did. And oh god it hurt. As much as it sucks to say, it still hurts. As much as I think I’m over it, something will happen and it crushes me all over again. Something little that reminds me of a moment I spent with him and my gut clenches and my heart rips and my eyes fill with tears. As ludicrous as it is to say, I worry that my heart will never be the same. It sickens me that the man I thought I would spend the rest of my life with has hurt me like this, that my feelings for him were obviously not reciprocated in the same way because if he felt for me what I felt for him, he never could have chosen another girl. I know I made my mistakes in our relationship and I know I hurt him, but he always knew that he was it for me, that I never wanted to be with anyone else and I wanted to marry him. Because of the way things turned out, I have this sinking feeling that even if I didn’t make those mistakes and no matter what I did, it would have ended the same way. One way or another, he would have decided that I was old hat and would rather give the new and local model a try. And I hate him for that. I hate myself for loving him so much, for believing wholeheartedly that you could meet your soul mate at 22, and mostly, I hate myself for still being so hung up on him.

And I’m still so angry. I never got to yell and scream about it. I went down whimpering, “why?” when I should have punched his head in. He shattered me in a way I’ve never shattered anyone and I hate him for that.

I feel damaged. I feel like I’ve dealt with so much shit already that I just want a break. I keep my schedule full but that just leaves me burned out and irritable, but if I have too much free time I start to feel like this.

And I know the drill. “You’re young, you have your whole life ahead of you, you just need time, blah blah blah.” I get it. I know my life isn’t over, but that sure as hell doesn’t make me feel better now. I just wish things had been different. I wish I could have grown up feeling worthy with a higher self esteem, I wish I either never met him or we never broke up, I just wish it was different.

But hey. Hakuna Matata, right? =\

Miscellaneous Anectdotes: Dating

Dating. Wow. It doesn’t matter if you meet someone the old-fashioned way, get set up, or try the online thing. Well, I’ve never been set up so I’m just assuming.

I have chosen the online dating route. Partly because I don’t usually get out enough to meet people the old-fashioned way, and partly because online dating gets the important things out in the open from the get go. Are you looking for something serious, do you want kids, do you have kids? Not exactly things you ask on a first date with the cute guy you met at the local coffee shop.

I will say that dinner is not a good first date. If you don’t hit it off really well, it is a really long wait until you can order, and then ages until your food comes. When the food finally arrives, you eat it as fast as possible in hopes you’ll move the date along. But sometimes, your date doesn’t feel the need to hurry it along and when you no longer have the luxury of entertaining yourself with whatever mediocre meal is in front of you, you’re resigned to the awkward silences and even more awkward conversation. All the while thinking that you could be at home without a bra on. You didn’t have to skip that nap or touch up your make up. All of a sudden, that scene in rom-com’s where the lady sets up an “emergency” phone call in case the date goes south makes sense.

You know what else sucks? When you don’t even realize you’re on a date! I can’t be the only woman this has happened to, can I? Or am I really that oblivious? So you’ve got a guy friend and you know, you’re buddies. It’s whatever, right? Wrong. Guys and girls can’t be friends very often. Sometimes, when you’re me apparently, your guy friend says, “let’s hang out!” and you say, “sure!” and unbeknownst to you, you’ve agreed to a date. You find yourself at a nice restaurant being told, “you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen,” or some such ludicrous pick up line thinking, “wait, what?” Sometimes they aren’t even trying to be a gentleman about it and you get a booty call at some godawful hour of night. But at least those are easier for you to say, “Um, no. Delete my number.”

Then there’s the great – fantastic even – first dates that end up being a really, really bad second date. I don’t know why that seems to be my luck but I’ll find them incredibly annoying the second time I see them. I think it’s them being assholes who think since the first date went so well, you’re hooked for life and they can start being douchey and push for sex. And what is it with men acting like jerks when it comes to sex? They try to make a joke about watching porn, you say TMI, and they stomp their little feet and say you’re either sensitive or snide and undersexed [yes, this actually happened]. Excuse me? We had two dates, I’m supposed to be okay with all your crude talk and being pushy about getting laid? No. Just… no. Get out. The boys who talk way too much about past relationships can get out too.

You can’t forget about the super excited, overwhelming, half in love with you before meeting you guys either. I’ve had a few of those. It’s hard to describe why I find this irritating. Maybe I’m a bitch or maybe I still have this aversion to nice guys or maybe I’m too easily annoyed, but it is what it is. I guess I feel like they’re putting me up on a pedestal and I prefer a more realistic outlook of, “we started talking, it’s going well, we’ll see what happens when we meet.” I want my man to fall for the me he meets, not the me he creates in his mind.

And oy vei, the rejection of it all! My heart goes out a little bit to every guy that I didn’t email back or didn’t see again. Writing up the “About Me” section of an online dating profile is like writing a resume and cover letter for a fantastic job. Most people are uncomfortable talking much about how awesome they are and why they should pick you. it’s not easy! You want to give enough information to entice people, come across as witty and charming, and write in such a way that invites questions. You don’t want to message someone with, “Hi, how’s it going?” It’s an exhausting process and I find it requires wine. So much wine.

Worse still is when you start seeing someone, you think everything is going well, and they just disappear mid conversation. Oh, relationship over I guess. Thanks for the heads up. There is a small window when simply not responding is acceptable, in my opinion. It depends on the situation but if you haven’t talked much, if you’re put off, you can just let the conversation drop and move on. But there comes a point, when the relationship has shifted from a date or two to dating and monogamy, you need to say something if you’re gonna jump ship. It’s rude and a complete and total disregard to feelings and time.

All in all, the process is taxing. From the first contact to the first date, from the primping to the awkward first kiss [that sometimes you're hoping doesn't happen!] and the even worse sloppy kisser that makes you want to pull away immediately and wipe your mouth off. To wanting to see them again or thinking of how to avoid a second date or let someone down easy. Picking the right outfit that makes you look classy and sexy yet still conservative. Shaving your legs and wearing uncomfortable shoes. It all takes a lot of effort.

And a lot of wine.

The Better Me: Clutter

Life is complicated and cluttered. I’ve decided that this is part of what weighs me down. Too much stuff, not enough space, and maybe most importantly, no place that’s MINE.

I decided that with the place that I am in my life, I want to be one of those people that can fit everything they own into the back of their car. One of those people that can just pack and move, whenever they want, wherever they want, with no help. Just go.

And so the de-cluttering process begins. Throwing things out. Buying storage bins and containers. Organizing. This will be a long process but I’m looking forward to it. Every minute of it.

Realizing that you’ve been carrying around all this CRAP and then throwing it away is very satisfying. Realizing what you need and what you don’t is relieving.

One day, I want to just get up and go. I want to save up enough money, get in the car, throw out the map, find a town that seems nice and just stay. Hopefully with the love of my life at my side.

I’ll start accumulating “useless stuff” when I buy a house. When I settle down with my love, when we start a family. That’s the time to have more stuff than you can fit in your car.

Until then? Operation Un-Clutter.

Miscellaneous Anectdotes: A Little Bit of Everything.

Where to begin?

Selling horses is hard. I haven’t even had someone out to see Gracie yet. It just adds to the stress. I found a new place for Ricci, but I can’t afford to have her moved and continue to pay for Gracie until she sells. I just feel stretched too thin when it comes to them. I don’t know what I’m going to do.

I started fostering a puppy. I currently have a 9 week old pit bull puppy laying in his dog bed chewing on a dog treat that’s bigger than his head. He’s not making much headway. I didn’t want a puppy before, and now I definitely don’t want one. Oliver sleeps in his crate at night, and we get about four hours before he wakes up the first time. Then we get up every hour and a half to three hours after that to go potty. Puppies are exhausting. Cleaning up messes is gross. When I’m finally ready for my own dog, I’ll get a 10 month old. Old enough to have it’s ish together a little bit, but still young and puppy-like. Ideally, it’ll already by housebroken.

I haven’t been to the gym at all. I was going to go back and just do arms, but then I took the puppy home so… I have been doing a little bit of my roommates Abs of Steel workout, and boy does it burn. So I’m at least doing something. And I’m going to my friend’s Zumba class both times this week.

Anyways, I should really feed Oliver. Hopefully, I can keep him up and wear him out until about 8 and then he’ll sleep for a good long while tonight. I’m exhausted. I didn’t sleep too well last night. He slept 8 hours last night. Crazy.

The Better Me: Payback

Well, since I’ve been totally lacking on working out, it came back to bite me and I worked out twice today, haha.

I have a friend who is starting to teach Zumba classes. She came over today to go over everything with me before her first class tomorrow, and that way at least one person [me] will have an idea of what’s going on. If you read this, Jesse, you did an awesome job coming up choreography! =D

So we did that, it was a blast. Exhausting, but a blast! And then shortly after, my roommate is like, “Let’s do my abs of steel video!” so guess what we did? Abs of steel!

I think I’m just gonna change up my workouts. Instead of the elliptical, I think I’m just gonna lift weights at the gym and then do some of the abs video every morning, and then do the Zumba class twice a week. I think it’ll be easier on my hip. Still low impact, but not so repetitive. And I’ll get my cardio. So fingers crossed!

Miscellaneous Anectdotes: In a Funk

I’ve been so blah. I’m so blah that I don’t even want to write this. So a few quick notes.

I haven’t slept well in what feels like forever, and my hip and back have been absolutely killing me, so I haven’t been working out. At all. I am going to my friend’s Zumba class tomorrow night though.

I haven’t been eating well either. Actually, I’ve been eating very poorly. It’s tied in with the “blah,” I’m just not motivated. I’m not motivated to begin with, so now I’m EXTRA unmotivated.

My cat is sitting in my lap right now and he’s very in the way. Hmph.

I made an expense sheet on Excel today, it was awfully exciting. Hopefully it’ll keep track of my money a little better. It’ll be great.

I think… I’m out of blabber. I’d like to make some hash browns but that would involve getting off the couch. *pout*