Sunday, December 10, 2006

Seven Stages of Turning 36

Stage 1 - Shock and Disbelief

I was telling a story to the boyfriend, and I mentioned "when I was 16" and then I realize that I was 16 TWENTY YEARS AGO. Huh??? How the heck is that possible? I start running all the scenarios through my head.....perhaps I'm mistaken, after all it's only 2006 and I was born in......1970. And I shake my head wondering if I was asleep this whole time because I could swear my high school graduation was just a few years ago. I guess I should say "a few decades ago".

2. Stage 2 - Denial

It's not possible that I'm 36. I'm not a divorced, childless woman of 36. No. I think there is a typo on my birth certificate. I was actually born in 1980, so I'm just on the crux of 30. I don't look 36! And everyone knows that appearances are everything.

3. Stage 3 - Bargaining

Let's just say I'm in my 30's, let's do away with specific numerical references to the length of time we have been alive. If we do that, then I'll promise to be nicer to everyone, even those drink my sodas and my boyfriend's beer without permission.

4. Stage 4 - Guilt

This is the easy part. Even I wasn't turning 36, guilt is such an easy fall-back emotion for me. This stage should be called "normalcy".

5. Stage 5 - Anger

I can't really be angry about being alive. The alternative is much worse.

6. Stage 6 - Depression

Said it before, I'll say it again. 36 without a husband and kids. Wow, I've made some really stupid choices, especially during my 20s. That's why I should get credit for my 20s. Give me that decade back (oops, back to Stage 3 - Bargaining).


7. Stage 7 - Acceptance and Hope

Good things about 36 - it's the square of 6; the number of inches in a yard; and the highest number on a Roulette table. I hope that everything I've experienced in the last 36 years helps me become a better human being for my next 36 years.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Target vs. Walmart

Everyone knows that Target beats Walmart as the place to shop. Here's proof:

1. Target has Starbucks mini-shoppes (spelling it this way means you are sophisticated). And Walmart? I think they have some Blimpie/7-11/McDonalds concoction with scary-looking employees.

2. You would not be ashamed to admit that the shirt or pants you are wearing came from Target. But I don't care how big your boobs look in that shirt or how skinny you look in those pants, you'd never admit they came from Walmart (maybe you'd whisper it but you'd be prepared for the backlash).

3. Target's bathroom's are relatively clean. However, I'd rather take a dump on the side of the road than go into a Walmart bathroom. I swear I've been in Walmart bathrooms where every single stall has some major explosion of human waste that would make Gil Grissom cringe. And if you don't know who Gil Grissom is, then shame on you.

4. Target's television ads are cute and chic; I'm partial to the red and white bullseye. Walmart's ads feature that yellow smiley bouncing around the screen, giving me a headache and making me drive to CVS for aspirin. (CVS is another story and the best drugstore ever).

5. Walmart has a nasty habit of selling EDITED CDs and not carrying certain magazines and authors. This is censorship and personally offensive to me. Perhaps they should worry more about censoring who visits their store than the merchandise they carry.

6. I'm not afraid to go to Target at night (although I'm still very careful, just not fearful) or on payday. However, Walmart at night or, even worse, payday is an experience that can make even the most macho among us afraid. It's like some Walmart sends out a beacon that only registers in the brains of those who are commanded by Beelzebub, and who have cashed in their entire week's wages, and directed them to the closest Walmart to shop. Of course, you've just stopped in to buy a few things, but along the way, you pick up a cart full of groceries, sundries, etc. As you stand in line, and the Walmart zombies circle around, you start to panic. You want to stay and purchase your goodies, but zombies are closing in and breathing on you, and next thing you know, you've run away from a cart full of $300 worth of frozen foods and meats.

7. You can pronouce Target as the sort-of cool "Tars-shay" while Walmart is referred to as "Murder Central".

I don't hate Walmart; I've been there twice this week alone. You can't beat their prices and they do have the handy self-checkout so you don't have been subjected to the cold-as-fish employees. Target just appeals to the bourgeoisie in me. Target is the type of store that you actually make plans to visit (i.e. "What are you doing this weekend?" "I'm going to the movies with dude and then we are heading to Target to look at televisions"), whereas Walmart is an after-thought (i.e., you just got through having sex with dude, and you both realize he wasn't wearing a condom).

What Is Missing From My Life

1. DVR. We have every single Brighthouse service: digital cable, broadband, digital phone, digital boxes, splitters, amplifiers, on-demand, but not DVR, which every other household in America has access to. Not us, we prefer to throw away our hard earned money every month on shitty reception and 200 million channels showing the same crappy movies over and over. How much does $200 a month buy you? Anacondas 2 and Monster-in-Law in pixelated freeze frame and Brighthouse subcontractors at the house every weekend. Enough already!!

2. Starbucks. I plan my weekends around Starbucks. Starbucks makes me so happy, even when I get the new Starbucks employee behind the counter who can't manage to yell to the Barista "Grande White Chocolate Mocha Light" without tripping over her own words. That's right, Light goes at the end of the shout-out. I'm addicted but not ashamed. I can't wait for Starbucks delivery (in my dreams!!!)

3. A Maid. The boyfriend is completely tired of me saying that I need to get organized. Organized is my code word for cleaning my room. Somehow, after work every day, my body breaks down and I am completely physically unable to take my clothes and hang them up in the closet. Instead, the clothes somehow migrate around my room in small piles; I imagine they are visiting each other as they are clothes that don't ordinarily hang out together (like my black skirt is currently entangled with my hot pink New York t-shirt). So I can't possibly pick them off of the floor until I'm sure that they have worked out all of their problems.

4. A skinny phone. I can't be thin in real life so my phone should substitute for me.

Melt My Heart

I spent the whole weekend with my boyfriend for the first time ever, and I remarked to him that he must be so sick of me.

Later that evening, while we were talking on the phone, he brought up my comment. He told me that he absolutely did not feel that way at all, that I was the best part of his life, and I made him very happy.

I was speechless. Partly because I was flattered by his expression of love, but more importantly because I believed him. He's not setting up or keeping me hanging on until something better comes around.

I am the something better, as he is for me.

I believe him. I can go the whole work week not seeing him because I trust him. I don't worry about where he is or who he is with because I know he is a loyal, faithful man.

I lived six miserable years always questioning and wondering about what my ex-boyfriend was doing, and who he was doing it with. This became a normal, and quite stressful, part of my life.
The reason this relationship feels so much easier, healthier is because I have no stress when it comes to me and him. There aren't other people helping themselves to a part of what is private between us. I'm not being set up or strung along until the next best thing comes around.

I am the best thing for him, as he is for me.

Annoying Is Too Strong A Word

As much as I want to believe that I am a completely lovable person, the harsh reality (learned that term from the ex) is that I am generally, on the whole, pretty damn annoying. As proof I offer up:

1. I skipped out on my best friend's birthday dinner. Okay, well that's just bad form, not really defendable, or funny. Bonus Points: Everyone who did go got food poisoning.

2. I talk way too much about trivial things and I absolutely dramatize everything. Case in point: I thought the boyfriend and I were having "relationship" problems so I called him a total of seven times in one night. During our last conversation of the night, Steve said to me, "Sweetie, I've got a plate full of food in front of me and the football game is on. Do we really have to talk about this right now?" Mitigating Factor: The Dolphins lost that night.

3. I'm guilty of the "got a man, no time for the friends". I'm making it up to them this weekend, I swear.

4. My negativity. (THANKS DAD). So I'm a glass-is-half-empty type of person, but I really want to turn it around (hey!!! a positive thought!!). Bonus Points: I'm rarely disappointed as I expect the worst, and ecstatic when something good happens (although I'm usually questioning it).

5. I'm addicted to Starbucks....just like everyone else in the world. It should be my personal shop, I hate standing in line, after all, I am the chain's strongest supporter. Hello, I buy the water bottles for FULL price (that's 21.95 for those not in the know).

6. I stay home to watch my reality tv shows. Annoys the shit of the boyfriend. Mitigating Factor: He does the same thing for football, soccer, indy and formula one racing, Sportscenter, 30 minute meals, any Pierce Bronsan movie......

This has been fun. Hope you had a laugh or two.

Things So Far

So I took a trip with my boyfriend (seriously I'm almost 40 years old, and that term seems sooooo inappropriate but at the same time, I have to smile when I type it) to visit his father yesterday. His dad lives in The Villages, which is this Stepford-meets-The-Twilight-Zone retirement community in Leesburg. There are no children anywhere....just a swelling of retirees and golf carts. Everything has its place, with its own theme and matching color coordinated decor, landscaping, and architecture. Disney - children + doctors, dentists, and ambulances on every corner = The Villages.

I'm not being critical because I had a nice time later that night. One of the two Town Squares has live music on Saturday nights, and they played 40's and 50's old school big band and crooner music (of course, every 45 minutes they broke out with the Electric Slide and Macarena - I learned that line dancing is VERY popular in The Villages). Being outside on a Saturday night with the cool music, enjoying a beer with my sweetie, taking in a movie made for a very enjoyable night.

In front of every house is a little sign, annoucing the names of the occupants, and many times, their hometown. As we took our tour, I passed thousands of homes, and I tried to read the names of each little sign. I paused to think about who that couple is, how long they were married, how many children and grandchildren they have, was life with their spouse everything they always dreamed it would be? I grew a bit envious; my life has restarted so many times, due to my poor choices, and I've lost the chance to enjoy these simple things. I will never enjoy the 50th wedding anniversary, like my paternal and maternal grandparents, nor will I be a housewife and stay-at-home mom.

What makes this different for me now is that this envy is not all-consuming; I'm not wallowing in what I've missed. Instead, I see that things change and evolve, and I know that I have options. Maybe not the ones I expect, but good things have happened to me and continue to happen for me.

Now if I could only learn to control the drama in my life.........

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Don't Question My Authority


Oh my goodness, I can be such a bitch sometimes. Now, I know, looking at my sweet, innocent face, you can't imagine me being difficult. Oh, you just have to ask my latest dude, whose name is Steve, about how not all things are as they seem.

Steve hears from me during the work day, I'm all about sweetness and love. Sample text messages: "I can't stop thinking about you"; "I hope that you are safe"; "Everything will be better when I get to see you tonight". BARF!!!!

Now, don't get me wrong, I mean every single word of what I say when I say it, but don't expect it to carry through to the rest of the day. By the evening, I am in, let's say, a different frame of mind. This is where boyfriend dude is literally ambushed by a new Debbie.

Now that boyfriend Steve is sitting in front of me, small little things begin to annoy me. For example, why does he not put the bread on his bread plate??? He put it on his napkin, fer chrissakes!!!. What is that about?? Or why does he untie his shoes every single time he removes them? Why can't you just kick them off and don't even bother with the laces??? Or why does he stick his tongue out weird when he coughs??

My inability to look past the small thing makes me act like a sarcastic smart-aleck. I know I'm not earning any good girlfriend points by my actions, but man oh man, do his little quirks bother me.

The best part of this is that I get to learn sometime new (and possibly something more annoying than the last thing) about Steve every day. He's got quite a witty sense of humor and he's not afraid to put me in my place by some out-of-left-field remark. He makes me very happy, something I've been missing for so long.

Second rainbow I've seen in as many days.....it must mean something good.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

The Cycle of a Relationship

As illustrated by me, the old lady of the house....

1) The Hookup - Those dotcoms, particularly Match and Eharmony can really open up your dating field, when you are done with the roommate's friend (who was never really that into you while you are passed out on the garage floor) or the ex-boyfriend (because you thought he still loved you but he's with someone else). First dates are fun because it's usually just coffee or ice cream, so passive and non-threatening, and you can be done within an hour.

2) The Follow-Up Dates - more pressure!!! You have to regularly dress up, shave your legs, wear makeup. Jeez! This is where the real work begins but the fun also starts here. How nice is it to walk around holding hands and "belonging" together. However, I long for the days when we reach the Comfort Zone, so I can take a break on doing my hair *every* *single* day.

3) Comfort Zone - Let's stay in and watch movies. Totally at ease and things come down from the peak of the dating period. I can eat my junk food in front of him, and not have to explain myself. Now I can stop being so damn nice and smiling all the time, which, of course, leads into....

4) You-Aren't-That-Cute-Anymore - At first, I made a slamming impression on the guy, so sweet and nice and fun-loving. But now that I have him in my clutches, I can show my true, and maybe not-always-so-nice attitude. Only the truly brave and noble will make it through, but here's a secret....I'm worth it.

This is where I live right now.....I can't predict the future but I can report later to tell you how things are progressing.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Things I Won't Apologize for

1. Drama - As the one thing I got from my mother, it's a trait that some find annoying - recounting stories with overacting, hand gestures, pregnant pauses or facing a situation with exaggerated facial expressions and my loud voice. Sometimes I feel like my life has encouraged or attracted drama, but it comes pretty natural to me. My friend, Michele, calls me DM, not for my initials but for "Drama Mama".

2. My car - I've never been a huge fan of cars, they are transportation, a means to an end, that's all. But for a while, I had a strong desire to own a station wagon. You know, the Brady Bunch 70's-era station wagon. So when I bought a new car, I got the closest thing to it, but kind of cute and sporty - the Toyota Matrix. Oh, yeah, it's Japanese, too. No apologizing for that either.

3. My rules - I don't call boys; I don't care how childish it is. These rules are carefully crafted and drawn up by serious and insightful discussion between me and my friends after four or five Jagerbombs.

4. Being a know-it-all. If I state a fact, it's because I have real faith in it. I don't take risks, and I usually don't say stuff that I'm unsure of.

Next week, the things I will apologize for......it's about 10 times as long. :)

Sunday, July 9, 2006

Proof I'm on on the right track

While at Target on Friday with my good friend, Heather, my eye focused on the selection of different gift cards.

I was amazed to see this one; of course I had to get it:


Tangible proof that the dude theory is persuasive and possibly an indication it should be expanded.

I will never forgive him

One relationship, over for more than one year, still takes up so much of my time. There are nights that I wake up from my sleep, and memories come flooding back to me from my past life. I am betrayed by my own mind, and I can't make things better by transferring the blame to someone else. The cycle continues as I get so angry at myself - I compound the lack of sleep with bitterness and anger turned inward.

The poisonous thoughts remain inside me and threaten my current relationship. So far, I've been good at suppressing them. However, last night, I was overwhelmed by feelings of loss and sadness. So much so that tears came to my eyes. How the hell am I to explain my sudden tears to the new man in my life? How is he to understand my conflict, which is completely self-induced? All of the evidence pointing to the fact that my decision a year ago was completely right and clearly the best thing I've ever done for myself, somehow still haunts my subconscious mind. How can I have any faith in anything when I am a slave to my own fucked-up head?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Welcome!

This is my first post of my new blog space. I was posting to my very own myspace page, but I feel like I've outgrown it. The myspace blog is not as pretty, and although I could probably find lots of utilities to "pimp" it, that's entirely too much trouble for my miscellaneous musings. So now my friends (which, according to myspace, is 10) can find me here.