Tuesday, December 31, 2013

An Obligatory Post About New Year's

You may or may not know that I always, always have terrible new year's eves.
For as long as I can remember.
It's almost like, I want so much to have an amazing new year's eve that I jinx myself every year.

Last year, Solo was in a bad mood as we got ready to head to a friend's party out of town.
Then on the way there, he decided to stop at every conceivable chance to run an errand.
THEN to add fuel to already volatile situation, he invited his friend and his friend's then girlfriend (who were nothing but drama and were instigators in our horrible evening).
& I was really upset that we were going to be late and miss midnight and that by the time we got there, everyone would be drunk already.
We didn't miss midnight but we didn't kiss each other & ultimately, we got into an argument that ended with me sleeping in my freezing car that night to prove a point. What point was that? Apparently, that I was so mad I could sleep in my fucking car. Whatever, it was dumb.

I'm skeptical about 2014.
Actually, I'm sort of terrified about 2014.
It's the first time in my life where I don't know what I'll be doing from month to month. I've always been a student, even now as I study for the bar again, I know at least where I'll be through February. But the rest of 2014 is anyone's guess & I'd be lying if I said I wasn't super fucking uncomfortable with that level of uncertainty.

And as afraid of 2014 as I am, I'm pretty excited for tomorrow night.
I'm going to the same party I went to last year with the same people.
In the short time I've been in Austin, I've become really close to this group--made up of my brother's friends--and I feel really lucky to have been taken in by them. They amaze me with their senses of humor and kindness & it's even better to be able to spend so much time with my brother.
It's the first new year's eve in a million years (give or take) that I'll be single. Which, is probably a good thing since having boyfriends over the last several years hasn't really contributed anything positive on new year's.
& so, I guess what I'm getting at is: if tomorrow night is good (which I have a feeling it will be) but the rest of the year is shitty, that would still suck, but at least I'd be able to look back on those first few hours of 2014 warmly and remember how so many of the people I love were all together in the same room, having a good time.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

You have to love

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” 
-- The Painted Drum, Louise Erdrich

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Cliche Holiday Cuteness


Happy Holidays!


P.S. My favorite part about this is obviously, "My wasted heart will love you." Ain't it the truth. haha

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Whoa.


sonder

n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

$75 and wiser for the wear


On the 18th of this month, I visited a psychic. 
For as long as I could remember, her home, also her place of business, was located off the highway I'm forced to drive on nearly everyday. I've spent more time on I-35 than I have spent doing laundry or painting my nails, or re-filling my pets' water bowl. And more likely, more time of my life has been spent traveling on I-35 than the cumulative effect of all three of those things. 
So it occurred to me more than once that I should stop there and find out what lay ahead for me. 

This was the time I finally gave in. 

I pulled up to her home and rang the doorbell to the office, a side room separated from the rest of her home.
After some time (so much time that I thought of leaving) she answered. 
She was an elderly Latina in a leopard print pajama dress. Her skin was the color of leather and her blonde hair was pulled up into a messy bun. She had a Yorkshire Terrier tucked between her elbow and her left hip. 
"Come. Sit,"she beckoned me inside. 
I looked around the small room where she does her readings. Ceramic Virgin Mary statues and semi-precious polished stones cluttered a counter that ran along the length of the room, which couldn't have been larger than 3 feet wide and 6 feet long. The walls were a warm pink and the carpet was burgundy. There were two chairs facing each other near the door. 
I was still looking around the room when she insisted again, "Sit."
I sat in the chair nearest to the door. 

"How did you hear of me?"
"Uh... just driving by, I'm always on I-35."
"Hm. It's $40 for a card reading. $50 if you want me to read your palm and your cards. How will you pay?"
I was still taking in the room and had hardly heard her, "I'm sorry?"
"What kind of credit card do you have?"
"Mastercard."
"Good, I don't take American Express."

She sat down and began turning about a deck of cards in her hands. She cut the deck into 3 stacks. There was a burned palm heart on the counter and she touched it to my forehead and each of my shoulders, then set it back on the counter. 
"Touch each stack, then put them back together however you want."
I obeyed and handed the deck back to her. 

She placed 12 cards face down near me, "Turn them over."
And as I turned the cards over, she started telling me things about myself. 
"These two, closest to you," she touched two cards, "you moved recently or are preparing for a move. It's going to be in your best interest.
"You loved two men this year; one tall, one short. Both hurt you. You worry, a lot, about not being with someone. Your mother was also unlucky in love and you wonder if that's how your life will be. 
"The last couple of months were unlucky for you. A lot of bad news. A lot of pain. You're under a lot of pressure now. 
"It's going to be okay. You should worry less."

She told me a few other things and then briskly took my right hand and flipped it over so that she could see my palm. "A long life, maybe 100 years. Maybe 99. Just like your great grand mother.*" (*It should be noted, that where my great grandmothers did not live particularly long lives--one passed on in her 80s, another as a teen giving birth to my grandmother and her twin brother-- I did have one great-great grandmother who lived to be 104. This is a documented fact. I'd always thought this was a myth but at my Great Aunt Betty's funeral this past November, I saw my great-great grandmother, Facunda's, grave and it said 1886-1990. But anyway...)

"Your worry about love, it's marked you. You've got a bad aura around you. I can help you, with crystals and prayer. Get rid of that aura. It will cost, the whole thing, $350. Would you like for me to help you?"

"Oh no, I can't."

"How much more can you pay?"

"Maybe another $20? $25?" Paying the initial $40 was a stretch for me. I'd actually rang her doorbell thinking I'd first ask about the going rate for a psychic reading before committing, but once I was called to sit I wasn't sure how to express my non-committal intentions. And where this would have been a good time to say, "I think I'm fine with my dirty aura and all, we've become pretty attached," I instead went along. 

Again, she picked up her palm heart and touched it to my forehead and shoulders. She put it back in its place on the counter and picked up two mint-colored polished stones. "Keep these with you all the time, they're blessed and will bring you luck." She stood and touched my right shoulder in such a way that I understood I was to stand. She opened the door I'd come in from, "Study. You can do it this time." I was standing outside, she was inside, and she gently closed the door behind me. 

& before I jump into why I believe her, I think it's important that you understand that I'm not crazy. I understand that the things the psychic said, especially when coupled with her prodding for money, are vague enough to be about anyone.
How many other people had this exact same year?
For example, Austin is, and has been, quickly growing. I heard once that everyday, over one hundred new people move to Austin. The city is supposedly at 98% occupancy at all times. Is it really that strange for her to guess that I, like so many others, have just recently moved here? Recently being relative; I could have moved a year ago and still might be prone to saying things like, "I just moved here."

Where I thought she might be talking to me, saying something true and unique to me, was when she talked about my love for two men, "one tall, one short." & my fixation with being single (& with that, the thing about my mom).
It's possible that a quick scan of my left hand and an assumption about my age betrayed me, here. & the mom thing: Oscar Wilde wrote, "All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does, and that is his."
In a time where people married younger and where traditional gender roles were enforced in marriage, is it that wild of a conjecture? Of course my mother is dissatisfied, many women her age are. & true to Oscar Wilde's sentiment, I fear that I am doomed to walk a path parallel to my mother's.

"One tall, one short."
The cool thing about that is the word, "short." Short is relative--is he short because he's shorter than the other guy? was the relationship short? is he actually short?
In my own narrative; Solo is taller than Crane, what I had with Crane was brief, and Crane was insecure about his petite frame although he was of average stature.

I'd like to talk about these two relationships for a moment.
2013 was undoubtedly my year of unrequited love.
There was Solo; for as long as I've known him he's persistently been on the brink of that one thing that will catapult him into international sensationalism. We were best friends and there was nothing I couldn't talk to him about. He laughed at all my jokes and accepted the imperfections of my personality. & God, did I love him. Were it not for the fact that he was constantly critical of my appearance (things finally came to a painful ultimatum with him saying, "I could love you the way you want me to if you would just lose the weight"), it would have, without a doubt, been him. Needless to say, this sort of frequent conversation with Solo really took a toll on my self confidence and from that ultimatum (our own Battle of the Bulge, if you will), I decided I couldn't go on feeling that way about myself. I didn't want to spend one more day feeling like my relationship clung to my decision to have one more bite-sized snickers or to spend another 15 minutes walking my dog. In the wake of my decision to stop feeling so shitty (& concurrently, to not date Solo* [*fortunately, around this time he was feeling the same way and we were able to avoid an uncomfortable break up conversation]), I started getting flirted with by guys I thought it would have been cool to date.

Enter Crane; smart, hardworking, family-oriented, handsomehandsomehandsome.
Before I knew it I was falling for this kid, and my heart--always entering any given situation 10 minutes sooner than my head--shattered before the rest of me had even hit the floor.
From Matt Groening's Life in Hell series.

Even though I'm not physically with you as you read this, I can sense your frustration; didn't I promise to be funnier? Didn't I say I was going to stop agonizing over this?
To spare you the torment of having to endure the same story I've been telling since August, I'll just say the aftermath of the whole Crane thing sort of sucked. (Not to mention, it happened in conjunction with several other major and embarrassing setbacks.)

Weirdly enough, the morning of the 19th, I woke up and couldn't understand why I'd been so broken up about Crane. Maybe the mint-colored-crystals had done the trick? Whatever it was, it left me feeling sort of unsettled to all of a sudden wake up without the consuming, obsessive sadness I'd been dragging along since October.
& so I turned to a friend.
I told my friend, Janice, that I suddenly wasn't heart broken anymore & that I felt sort of stupid for being so attached so quickly to someone (especially someone who had the decency to tell me upfront that things couldn't get serious between us) & being so hurt about things ending.
& she said, "I see what you're saying. But don't look at it that way. It is better to let your heart actually feel than to be one of those people who are so jaded that they don't let themselves even feel and may just possibly be losing out on something. I'd rather be foolish with my heart and take chances than be jaded and numb."
Which is similar to words by Alfred Lord Tennyson, "It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."
Which made me feel better, and less fickle...and better.

I don't know if the pajama-clad woman living off of the highway and turning tarot cards over for paying patrons, as a clustered clutter of ceramic Virgin Mary's look on, is really a psychic. Even with the afore-mentioned statistical probabilities staring me down, I want to believe that she was the real deal. Not only because I paid the handsome sum of $75 for a couple of green crystals and someone rattling off things that have a demographic likelihood of being true about me; and not just because as I left, I carefully tucked the crystals into my wallet so that I would always have them; but because, ultimately, at the end of this year, it was nice to have someone tell me that I would be okay.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tattooed Heart

"I wanna say we're going steady
like it's 1954.
It doesn't have to be forever
just as long as I'm the name on your tattooed heart."


I'm, like, obsessed with this song & its cuteness.
I heard it Saturday night in my friend Janice's car & haven't stopped playing it. 
I realize people will judge because she's a teenager & her music is marketed towards teens and tweens but I'll be honest and say I also have a Justin Beiber song and two Big Time Rush songs on my ipod right now. I find all of these to be less embarrassing than the Pussy Cat Dolls songs I keep trying to remove from my itunes but persistently rear their ugly heads when I least expect it. Whatever.

A Fad (or the longest post ever).

Clementine: "Too many guys think I'm a concept, or I complete them, or I'm going to make them alive. But I'm just a fucked up girl who's looking for my own peace of mind-don't assign me yours."
Joel: "I remember that speech really well."
Clementine: "I had you pegged, didn't I?"
Joel: "You had the whole human race pegged."
Clementine: "Hmm, probably."
Joel: "I still thought you were going to save my life; even after that."
Clementine: "Oh, I know."


--Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

"What about the girls he's dated since?" A friend asked me about Crane.

"Well, I only know about one. But I suspect he's got a type, just sort of going on an assumption. I don't know, they aren't like me. They don't look like me...no tattoos, no lipstick. They look...cleaner."

"What if you were his adventure? One wild girl before he settles down."

"What?"

"Well, that's what you said, right? They aren't like you. They're probably the kind of girl his family would want for him. You are..."

"Don't. It's okay. 
An adventure. I had never considered that..."

Only, I had considered it. 
I'd questioned over and over whether the superseding reason behind our non-compatibility was really ethnic or something else. As in: if I were Indian, would things have been different?

Not that matters. 
Only, it sort of did. 
I guess it's just another thing I'll have to excuse as something I'll never really know. 
Even if I could know it, would I really want to accept the risk of hearing, "It's not that you aren't Indian, it's just you."
Someone out there is emotionally equipped to deal with those sort of realities. Not me. 

I don't think I'm alone in wondering about this sort of thing?
How often do we realize that the person we're (hooking up) with has unrealistic expectations about who we are?

In my own personal experience, I understand that in the last 3-4 years (maybe longer) I've become maybe a tad unpalatable--I'm what some people might lovingly call "curvy" and what still others might call, "can you believe she's wearing THAT?" My smile is off-white, I have a perpetual cow lick in the back of my hair line. I'm heavily and noticeably tattooed. I curse, tenaciously. I battle daily with a lack of motivation. & outside of some soul searching I did, primarily while I dated Solo who's personal standard of beauty is impossibly high, I'm pretty happy with both, the person I am and the way I look. Not that I don't think there's room for improvement, but that I'm generally pretty cool with myself.

(As a side note, I recently considered [am considering] joining the national guard. Part of the process involves getting mostly naked in front a group of other people. In my case, being 26, the group was primarily very firm and very thin 18-year-old women. Maybe it's a result of having been getting undressed in front of people [lovers, doctors/clinicians, curious friends] for the last 12 years, but I didn't feel shy about my body. I had spent so much time leading up to that experience thinking I'd be mortified having my body on display with so many other [and more appealing] bodies, and in the end, it was such a non-issue. I watched as the girls in the room with me crossed their legs or covered their breasts. I think the biggest pity of youth is not realizing how awesome your body actually is in years leading up to your metabolism suddenly and completely betraying you. But I digress...)

& I understand that with this particular brand of unpalatability comes a strange cluster of men; artists, rebels, the kind of man who aspires to "make an honest woman" out of me, and the all too frequent general weirdo.
Part of my all-too-hasty attraction to Crane is that he was a breathe of fresh air. He's very vanilla (and where it would have been fun to use a racial epitaph here and say he's very masala, for example, I didn't want to confuse what I'm trying to say. And besides, masala sounds very exotic and untraditional to the untrained ear). How often do I get vanilla? Sweet, uncomplicated, traditional vanilla? The answer to that is rarely, leaning more towards never. 

Outside of Crane (I know, I, too, can hardly believe I am even capable of talking about anyone who isn't the Indian boy who metaphorically tore my heart out and pissed all over it), I wonder how many other people thought I was an adventure.
It's the one thing I cringe when I hear now:
"You're just my type--bold, outspoken, blah blah blah."
I wonder if it translates out to, "you'd be cool to try on, just to know what it's like before I find someone I can introduce to my family."
I once had a lesbian explain to me the basis of her dwindling affection for me. In a nutshell, she told me that on first impression, she found me "pretty, but in a mean way." A trait she was drawn to. When I revealed myself to her as nothing but a sheep in wolves' clothing, the infatuation was lost.

How many of us out there are Clementine?
I have a hard time here. Famous words by Frida Kahlo* (*allegedly, for you can never fully trust that which you find via the interwebs) urge us to, "Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic." & where I want to be with someone who thinks I am as good as it gets, I fear the unrealistic expectations they may bring with them about who I am and what I can bring to their life.
Because, like Clementine, I'm trying to sort my own shit out and juggling someone else's fantasies and expectations isn't necessarily high on my list of priorities.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I'll Be Seeing You

"I'll be seeing you, 
in every lovely summer's day,
in everything that's light and gay--
I'll always think of you that way. 
I'll find you in the morning sun
& when the night is new,
I'll be looking at the moon,
but I'll be seeing you."

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

FotoBlog II

"Beauty feeds a different kind of hunger." --Terry Tempest Williams

A sparkler send-off at the end of a wedding I attended recently.
Or, I guess, some friends trying not to set themselves on fire during a sparkler send off at the end of a wedding I attended recently. 




A couple of photos of the outside patio of Easy Tiger, a down-town Austin pub & bakery. 


An entry way of a now closed Elementary School in Waco, Texas, a couple of blocks from where my mother grew up. 

Have Faith, Keep Going





















 Tonight is the final night of Hanukkah. It was my first time  lighting my own menorah without my mother. I almost didn't light the candles tonight because I can't chant in Hebrew, I don't know the prayer by heart. 

Before Thanksgiving (which incidentally was the first night of Hanukkah this year), the teacher I work for allowed me to borrow a class copy of Maus by Art Spiegelman. It's a graphic novel that chronicles one family's struggles during the Holocaust. This is one of my favorite panels and also encapsulates my feelings about Hanukkah:


In that panel, the narrator's wife wants to give up because her family has all died. Her husband encourages her that it's important that they keep surviving and that in their love there is something worth living for. 

Hanukkah, in many ways, is a celebration of the strength to persevere. 

As I was saying, I wasn't going to light my menorah but I remembered a conversation I had with an attorney at my last job. He, himself also a Jew, asked me whether I lived Jewish (observe the Sabbath, attend synagogue regularly, eat kosher). I told him that I do these things but only sporadically and at the urging of my mother. The attorney told me that he was the same way until he began wanting to know more about Judaism. His curiosity led him to a book about the expelling of Jews from Spain and he told me the story of one girl who was brought for inquisition. When asked about her day to day life, the girl said that her family did not eat pork and changed the bed sheets on Friday. These were they only Jewish practices that had survived in her family and she, herself, did not consider herself a Jew. These two obscure practices were enough, however, for the Spanish government to convict her of being a Jewess and she was executed. 

Knowing that people like this girl and the lives lost not just to the Holocaust but to genocide and religious revolutions around the globe had paid the ultimate price for their faiths, the attorney could no longer continue to not observe his religious practices. The freedom to practice your faith freely is a sacred privilege.

Thinking of him and this story, I was inspired to light my menorah and be grateful for all the privileges and freedoms I have. 

So...happy Hanukkah?


26.5

"See no one told you life was gonna be this way;
your job's a joke, you're broke, your love life's D.O.A.
It's like we're always stuck in second gear,
when it hasn't been your day, your week, your month, or even your year."
My new boss reminds me a lot of Chandler Bing.
I actually told him so & he did his impression of Chandler Bing;
"Could I BE anymore like Chandler *Bing!*?"

Which was pretty great.

So, in thinking about Friends I realized how much I relate to the theme song.
I've been 26 for half a year now & in this time, I failed my bar exam; someone I had a very strong relationship with passed away; my first job didn't pan out; I'm working at a job I NEVER, in a million years, would have guessed would be my job; relationshipS (extra emphasis on the plurality!) have fizzled out almost as quickly as they sparked. 

& today, driving home, I started to feel sorry for myself.

Actually, that's a lie.
I HAVE been feeling sorry for myself. 
But today, while driving home from work, I started to fixate on it. 

& that's another thing; Austin is too small for all the people living here. 
To state the obvious, rush hour is a cluster fuck.

After sitting in traffic for 45 minutes and not being any nearer to my side of town, I decided to pull over at Lady Bird Lake-a trail and park near down town Austin that I pass everyday on my commute.
I got out and walked the trail for a little bit and started to think critically about my situation.

Where I am right now is sort of not great.
But that's not anything new. 
People my age have been going through not-so-great times since...forever. 
Or at least since Friends was on T.V.--the whole show is about people my age trying to sort their shit out. 

& then, I realized something else.
There are definitely things about where I am in life that are shitty.
But, there's also so much to be grateful for.
I've always wanted to live in Austin and I'm here now.
I have a job I enjoy and friends and family who make me laugh and feel loved everyday.
I'm reasonably healthy.
I've had the privilege of being educated and having parents who not only took an interest in my academic success, but also went to great cost to ensure that I could go to college and law school. 

& so, I realized that pulling over to admire Lady Bird Lake also serves as a metaphor for the way I want live.
I made a choice not to just sit in traffic and fester in self-pity, but to pull over and be grateful for all that I have and be happy with it. I made a choice not to dwell on that which makes me unhappy or isn't perfect about my life right now. 

& because I did, I got to see this:




Monday, November 25, 2013

From Across the Street

I know, I know.
For sometime now, this blog has failed to be the funny reprieve it was circa 2009-2010 & parts of 2011.
I've either been not writing or just coming around to write things that are sort of depressing.

&, I'm sorry.
& I figure you guys deserve a palate cleanser, compliments of the comedic stylings of Solo.

---
The other day, Solo made cups of hot chocolate for us & decided that one packet of marshmallows was not enough for his hot cocoa, so he used two.

& so, he's eying this cup of cocoa & he says,
"People be saying they marshmallow lovers, but they be on that wannabe shit. THIS that real shit right here. Your bitch can see this from across the street."

I don't know, it cracked me up.

Cornerstone


"And tell me where's your hiding place?
I'm worried I'll forget your face,
& I've asked everyone. 
I'm beginning to think I imagined you all along.
I elongated my lift home,
yeah, I let him go the long way 'round.
I smelled your scent on the seatbelt and kept my shortcuts to myself."

The Problem In Front of You

"Miss Carolyn Krafft seriously needed to pluck her eyebrows. Her outfit looked like it was picked out by a blind Sunday School teacher, and she had some 99-cent lip gloss on her snaggletooth. And that's when I realized; making fun of Caroline Krafft wouldn't stop her from beating me in this contest. Calling somebody else fat won't make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn't make you any smarter. And ruining Regina George's life definitely didn't make me any happier. All you can do in life is try to solve the problem in front of you."
--Tina Fey, Mean Girls. 

Welcome back, porn watchers!

If you're a loyal reader (& anything like my real life friends), you're probably wondering how much longer I'll continue to dwell on this whole Crane fiasco. Well, fuck you. 


So, a couple of posts ago,  I may or may not have taken a shot at Crane's lady du jour (& by calling her that, I'm putting a fun/bitter spin on the fact that he's probably going to marry her because that's how life is). & I'm not particularly proud of myself. Actually, that's an understatement. I'm pretty appalled with my behavior. I like to imagine that I'm not this horrible shit talker but I'm having to confront the fact that I'm actually horrible, not just because I talk shit but because...I just am. 

The thing about her is that (I've done sufficient internet lurking to say with confidence) she's amazing. & talking shit about her didn't make me prettier.
It didn't make Crane come running back or change his mind about her.
It didn't make her any less amazing.

All it actually did was highlight my own bitterness and insecurity and pettiness. & probably, because I know he knows my URL, it just reassured Crane that I am horrible & that he was right.

& I could just delete that thing I said but the damage is done, I won't pretend like I'm better than that. I'm clearly not. 

So the problem in front of me is this:
I'm immature. 
& if I want to be with someone like Crane, I need to be someone worthy of being with someone like him. 
& if I want to not be heartbroken in the future, I need to not date (Read: fall miserably in love with) unavailable men. 

I want to be honest: I will still be an awful person tomorrow. And the day after. 
Probably far into the foreseeable future.
But now I can see the kind of person I want/need to be & (again) in the words of Tina Fey, for she is my Goddess Divine, "I want to go to there."

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Glitter

Tonight, I lit a yahrzeit candle for the woman who raised my mother, my great great aunt, Betty.

Betty was, without a contender, the most glamorous "every woman" I knew.
She adored Elizabeth Taylor and when Elizabeth decided to age with grace and let her hair go snow white, so did Betty.
Betty was modest, both in temperament and finances, but she took great care of what she did have and every outfit she wore was carefully chosen and executed with grace.
Betty loved things that captured you; crimson red, leopard print, White Diamonds perfume, and things that shimmered. As a teenager, when my mother and I would visit Betty, she'd always compliment my hoop earrings (which was the ONLY kind of earring I could be bothered to wear between the ages of 14 & 17). I can't remember exactly how old I was when I resolved to buy her a pair of hoops for Christmas but I remember looking for a pair similar to mine, but smaller. When she unwrapped them that Christmas, she told me she loved them but that they were too small.
& that was Betty--she wasn't afraid to be gaudy, she wasn't afraid to be bold.

Even though this memory is the one that comes to mind most often when I think of her, what I'll remember Betty most for is her beautiful heart.
Betty was a dedicated mother--to her own son, to my mother. She went out of her way to provide for her family by any means necessary.
She wasn't afraid to laugh at herself. One of her favorite stories to tell was about how she once caught a glimpse of her ear in the mirror and rushed to the emergency room because she thought something was growing in her ear canal. The doctor took a look and found that it was just q-tip cotton. She loved that story and she could never tell it without laughing the whole way through.
Despite the fact that she didn't have much and that we'd protest, Betty always saved up to send money to my brother and I for Christmas and birthdays. Sometimes, she'd send it in quarters and we'd know how much love went into that gesture.
I can't think of a single mean thing I've ever heard her say, I doubt any such words were ever spoken by her.

When I got the news of her passing, for a moment I thought that the world would be a lesser place without her presence. But the more that I thought about it, I realized how amazing it is that someone like her was with us, and how amazing it is that I knew her and loved her and that she loved me back. I realized that people like her are magic here on earth.



Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Million Tiny Things

"It was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, meant we were supposed to be together...& I knew it. I knew it the first time I touched her. It was like coming home, only to no home I'd ever known. I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like magic."

--Sleepless in Seattle

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Love is a Laserquest

"& do you still think love is a laserquest
or do you take it all more seriously?
I've tried to ask you this in some daydreams that I've had
but you're always busy being make-believe.
& do you look into the mirror to remind yourself you're there,
or has somebody's goodnight kisses got that covered?
When I'm not being honest, I pretend that you were just some lover."

Another Thing I've Stolen from Elizabeth Gilbert

"If I love you, you can have everything. You can have my time, my devotion, my ass, my money, my family, my dog, my dog’s money, my dog’s time—everything. If I love you, I will carry for you all your pain, I will assume for you all your debts (in every definition of the word), I will protect you from your own insecurity, I will project upon you all sorts of good qualities that you have never actually cultivated in yourself..."
--Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love.

I'm exactly this way & I don't necessarily think of it as a bad thing or something to be ashamed of, all except for that last idea. "I will project upon you all sorts of good qualities that you have never actually cultivated in yourself..."

Having spent the majority of my day obsessively analyzing (and over analyzing) exactly what happened last night & talking to anyone who would listen about it, literally, from the moment I woke up this morning, I realized just how guilty I am of projecting things that aren't there onto those I love.

& so, since I did a shitty job of catching everyone (& when I say everyone, I'm talking directly to the internet strangers being referred here from amateur pornography sites--a fact that I discovered today after reviewing this blog's traffic sources) up on what actually happened to spurn that first post last night.

Crane told me early on that he had to be with someone who is also Indian...because he's Indian, something I've never expressly stated on this blog. & yes, I gave a shit about this rule because I knew it meant that there was a limit to where things go between us. & I knew there was a possibility that he could meet someone who he could actually see a future with and who he might want to pursue.

So, I should not have been surprised when this very thing did, in fact, happen.

And yet, I was.

A month ago, Crane broke things off, saying that it would be better to end it before we became any more invested. It happened suddenly as part of an ordinary conversation and something didn't feel right. & while the truth about what has happening felt like it was playing out right in front me, I didn't want to believe it.

Crane and I had agreed that if someone new ever came along while we were involved, we would be honest with each other about it. & this is where that whole projection thing comes in; though there were people who I could have been interested in, I always weighed them against Crane, & there was no one I wanted to see more than I wanted to continue seeing him. Had there been someone else, I would have been honest about it because I wouldn't want to surprise him if things did work out or if my feelings began to shift.

& of course, I assumed that Crane felt this way as well.

& of course, I was wrong. In facing this disappointment, it's easy to be upset with Crane, but equally easy to be upset with myself. Because I made it up; he never felt how I did. Along with this, I made up things about Crane & the kind of person he is that aren't true.

I may have liked Crane so much as to forsake all other suitors, I may have thought that he was someone I could have belonged to. But these things were easy to think because I was literally crafting the man I want & then throwing these ideas onto Crane. & the result is that I fell for this wholly fictionalized version of Crane.

Which sounds mean. & sort of is.
Because Crane is a good guy. A really good guy.
& I would have been lucky to have him.
I guess I was.

But what I'm getting at is that the person I imagined Crane was, was someone who felt a certain way about me. He was someone who wouldn't have been too scared of confrontation to tell me that they met someone. He was someone who would have trusted my emotional maturity enough to know that I would have been disappointed but not angry, that I still could have pulled it together enough to wish him well. Someone who didn't think that my own feelings were something he needed to protect me from.
& Crane didn't live up to the person I'd imagined but that's not his fault, it's my own.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Darn that Dream.

"Darn that dream & bless it, too;
Without that dream, I never would have you.
But it haunts me & it won't come true.
Oh darn that dream."

Just so you all know, I hate the slideshows people put to these things. They make me feel awkward. Whatever.

Wholly Underrated

I've often been quick to discount him, but Solo's a good person.

I've sort of been in a weird place lately & Solo's been a patient friend and listener of things he probably had hoped to never have to listen to.

& he does other cool stuff like dragging me out of my place when I just want to lay in my pajamas and feel sorry for myself or pretending not to notice that I ate three lemon bars for lunch, as I am wont to do.

A couple of weeks ago, on a night where I was feeling particularly horrible, Solo came over & was determined to get me out of the house. & so I resentfully obliged him. He parks the car on this hill and we're at Mt. Bonnell.

Mt. Bonnell overlooks a long river on one side, and on the other the Austin skyline. I'd been there years before with Flintstone and remembered a path that lead to a picnic table facing the skyline. Solo climbed up onto the table top and then turned to help me up.



The moment itself was crisp; the air was dry, the stars were out, windows in homes on the other side of the river seemed like gems from here, and the skyline glittered.

I felt lucky for the first time in a while. I felt grateful to be there in that moment, surrounded by so much to take in & with a friend who cared enough to make me put on pants, brush my hair, and go see it. And also, in the larger sense, happy to finally be in Austin living around the corner from my brother and blocks away from my mother's synagogue.

When I left my first job, my boss took a little jab at me by saying, "you seem really tethered to Texas. My professional advice is that you spend some time abroad. The world is bigger than Texas."

& if I over-look the implication that he thinks I'm a hick, I just sort of laugh about it. I knew, from the time I was 15 and clipped an article about Austin's Cherrywood neighborhood from a magazine, that I wanted to be in Austin. & of course I intend to travel (when I get my money right), but I never imagined myself anywhere but here. Not everyone can say they love the place they live, but I can. Who's to say that will never change? But for right now, I'm exactly where I've always wanted to be.

Well, sort of.

But anyway, so Solo and I are standing on top of this table and we're looking out at the skyline and I feel him put his arms around me. I felt like I was having this major life moment and I pulled out my phone to snap a few pictures of the skyline when Solo says, "You know, you don't HAVE to Instagram everything."


Brand New


"This here is something personal,
I highly doubt this feeling is reversible.
Knowledge is pain & that is why it hurts to know
That you intend to hide & put mistakes aside
So I don't ever question you."

I forgot that in 2009, this song (this whole mixtape, but mostly this song) was my everything.
I don't give a shit. I am one of those obnoxious people who loves Drake. Judge me. 

A girl at heart.

I want so much to be an adult and to be able to censor myself & take the high road.

But tonight, I sat down & had an awful conversation with you and my emotions were running rampant & I thought to myself (& also outloud), "this is what dying feels like." 

& then it was done.
& I still don't feel emotionally satisfied by all of it. The immature, petty, rude girl inside of me is prodding me. & since I almost cried at the bar when the dj played radiohead's "creep," I must oblige her. 

Your mom is xenophobic & you are an enabler. 
That thing you do during sex is weird and selfish. 
Your new girl has a rat face. *
In conclusion, kindly go fuck yourself. 


*after a day, I realized that was really fucking mean & not necessarily true & shallow & horrible & I'm sure she's amazing. So I take that back.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Should you ever stumble upon this blog

Crane:
There are a million small things that happen all the time & I always think to text you about it but I stop myself. Sometimes it feels like I'm looking for an excuse to talk to you & the truth is, I miss talking to you everyday. 
Every arctic monkeys song reminds me of you lately. Which is unfortunate because they're my favorite band, but may also be the reason why I've fallen even more in love with their music. 
Now everywhere I go it seems I run into beautiful brown couples. He's wearing a soccer jersey, she's a classic beauty with her hair pinned back. Somewhere not far behind them trails one of their mothers, wrangling a rambunctious small child. & I think of you, every time. I wonder if the day will come when I'll round an aisle in a grocery store and run into you and your family. I wonder whether I'll be happy for you or if I'll still be bitter that it wasn't & never could have been me. 
I think the worst thing is all the things I never got to ask you. The things about you I'll never know. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

An underdog

I think that I'm someone who usually strikes out the first time I'm up to bat. 
I once got a tattoo in Arabic. I was in my early twenties and the fear of misspelling or getting a completely different word from that intended in a language I'd never heard let alone spoken, was not a real fear for me. 
So, I'm talking about this tattoo with a friend. Her computer is significantly older. I get the word, "freedom" off of google translate, & somewhere between moving the word onto a document so I could print it & get it to a tattoo shop, something went wrong. 
For nearly two weeks, I had "divorce" tattooed on me (it's also a delightful irony that the difference between divorce and freedom in Arabic is one character). But I eventually realized something was wrong & got it fixed. 
My first year in law school, I failed my first exam. & if you've never been to law school, the traditional experience is that you get one exam in each class per semester. So this was a big fucking deal. On top of that, my other scores weren't exactly home runs, either (see, baseball simile still in effect!). So, it was suggested by one of my school's deans that I drop out. Having once spent a weekend in jail, I hope you'll understand the gravity of the following statement: this was the shittiest feeling, ever. 
I guess what I'm trying to say is, I didn't pass my bar exam. 
You know that 15 hour, 3 day exam waiting for everyone at the end of law school? The test that determines whether you'll be an attorney or just a law grad for at least another 6 months? Yeah, that fucking test. I failed it. 
& having spent three months studying for it & another three months waiting for results, I'm going to go ahead and say that this was a crushing disappointment. & I'm not going to dress it up as something it's not because it does suck. But it's not the worst thing to happen to me & it's not the worse thing that will ever happen. It's just a shitty thing that happened & a shitty thing I have to move forward from. 
Sometimes it feels so awful to admit to myself that it happened. It's crazy to see my friends go from being clerks to attorneys & celebrate. I feel like I disappointed them. I feel like they're afraid to be proud of themselves because they don't want to remind me that I didn't make it. But I'm so proud of them and happy for them & excited that they can actually start their careers now. 

& so, I guess I'll keep being the kind of person who strikes out but the cool thing is, a victory is always that much sweeter when the victor comes up from behind. It's a better story.  Everyone loves an underdog. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Someone To Lose My Shit With

After a long weekend at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, hundreds of us gathered in the cold in front of Atoms for Peace. The group I was with; my brother, his girlfriend, and two friends hung way back in the crowd, where the gathering began to taper off into empty field space.
Also hanging back was this couple.
& they were going crazy together.
This couple were dancing like maniacs.
I've since talked about it with other people, who without hesitation ask, "what if they thought they were awesome dancers?"
There is no way that this is possible. This kind of dancing is the kind only made possible with a concerted effort at dancing badly. After every song, they hi-fived each other. Sometimes they'd dance behind strangers who were just passing by.
They were having a lot of fun & they were a lot of fun to watch.

Watching them, I realized something.
I looked over to my brother, "That's what I think real love is."
"Yeah. It's hard to find someone who will lose their shit like that with you and just have fun."

I hopelessly want that; the kind of love where I don't give a shit who's looking, the kind of love I'm not afraid to look like an idiot for.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Refrain

1. The way he puts noses on his emojis. I'll never know why I hate that so much. 
2. He spells "a lot" as one word.
3. He likes The Notebook.
4. He doesn't drink, he doesn't smoke.
5. ...

^that which keeps me from losing my wits. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

& now back to our regularly scheduled program

It was just like a movie; you told me why we wouldn't work out & why, somewhere down the road, you'd walk away & I'd be despondent and heartbroken. But then you kissed me. & what a kiss; fingers in my hair, warm lips on mine, on my neck, on my collar bone.
You told me I was trouble.
& had it been a movie, I would've asked you to wait. & I would've said, "Do you want me to fight for you? Is that what this fucking is? Because I'll fight--I'll run the gauntlet. I don't care if your family hates me, I don't care if it's hard. Give me a chance to show you that no one will respect you like I will, invest in you like I will, love you like I know I will."
But it wasn't a movie, and instead, what I managed to piece together was a dumb joke.
"Well...I'm sorry I'm Puerto Rican, instead."

Me & my ill-advised, poorly timed jokes.

street wisdom

A completely different person ago and in a city far away, I worked in a men's clothing store that only hired girls and we all worked for commission and tips. This store prided itself on hiring only big booty bitches and 17 year old me was thrilled about working there.
As much as I wanted to be one of the cool girls at my job--the girls who got $100 tips and got customers to go buy them shoes and purses during work hours--I just didn't have the flirt gene in me. I was an awful flirt, and an even worse sales girl. & one day, one of my coworkers decided to bring this fact up in front of everyone. I fired off and immediately regretted it; this girl was really from the hood and she could have torn my ass to shreds right then and there without ever breaking one of her long, acrylic nails. "Hey listen, I don't have to know how to flirt; this isn't about to be my livelihood. I'm going to college in a couple of months & you're still going to be here, living off commission and handouts." There was a lump in my throat the size of a golf ball. I wanted to cry because I realized what I'd just done; I'd just given her an invitation to beat my ass in front of all the world and God. She gave me this look and I knew I was done for, I wanted to run, I wanted to cry, I wanted to pee... I wanted to run away, peeing and crying. But instead I held it together and fortunately, she didn't kill me.
Needless to say, every shift I had with her from that point forward became unbearable and the point came where I was ready to move on from the whole thing but to no avail.
On break one day, I asked another girl who worked with me what I should do, should I apologize?
What happened next has stayed with me my whole life.
"I say, pour sugar in her tank. It'll ruin her engine."
& I said, "You mean, like, be nice to her until everything blows over?"
& she said, "Bitch, what is you talking about? I said, pour some goddamn sugar in her gas tank. She drives that green honda civic with the 'bama girl decal."

It was one of those moments where the curtain was pulled back and I could hear God laughing.
In my actual life, I've always found this advice to be true; be kind, even when someone doesn't deserve it (which is sometimes the hardest thing in the world to do) and watch as they come undone. But from a gentler perspective, I've heard that we should cultivate kindness and forgiveness not for others, but for ourselves, because those who harbor anger hurt themselves more.
My coworker didn't realize it, but she had just given me not only the only really good street advice I've ever gotten, but some of the best advice I've gotten, in general.
Hood advice is good advice.

& also: I can still totally write about things besides men. So yay.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Something to write about

There is a guy who I've been, I'll just fucking say it, obsessing over since the summer started. 
I haven't properly picked out a blog nickname for him, but let's call him Crane. He was the first time I've ever met cute & it happened while I was hanging cranes in my old office so...like, yeah. 
Crane is the kind of guy dreams are made of; he's educated, family oriented, funny, and damnit if he isn't gorgeous. & of course, he's too good to be true.
It wasn't too long ago, but certainly long enough ago that people around have began to question my judgment. Crane is not an American & we come from completely different ethnic backgrounds. & so Crane tells me one night that there's a limit to where things can go between us because of this cultural difference. 
I'm so bad at reacting to things on the spot, especially bad news. So I had all these things swirling around my mind but in that precise moment, what I managed to say was basically "okay."
Had it been anyone but Crane, I would have given them a mouthful. But it wasn't. 
Growing up in an army community, interracial dating is very much a reality and a norm. Sometimes I romanticize America--our president is biracial!-- but one need not look far to see that xenophobia and racism are major realities of America today. Is calling this situation racist taking things too far? I think about the conversation Crane & I had & imagine a white guy saying those exact things to me. I would, without a moment's hesitation, remove that person from every facet of my life for being racist. But then I also think that interracial dating is not a norm in a lot of places/cultures and that most people come from homogenous societies. This is spiraling out of control. 

Where I mean to go with this: Crane is still someone I'm very much interested in and getting to know. & that's all I know. 

I try to sort through how I feel and what I want but just come up with more questions. 
Do I really need another serious relationship right now? In the last 8 years, I've had 3 serious relationships all stacked haphazardly on top of each other. Maybe something not serious is in order? 
Do I feel confused when Crane does or says something sweet or gets jealous? Always. 
Am I terrified that I'm going to be heartbroken? Absolutely. 
& on that particular question, I ask myself; how is this really any different than any other relationship? 
In a lot of ways, I hate that this is my point of reference but in 500 days of summer, there's a scene where Tom says to Summer, "I just want to know that you won't wake up tomorrow feeling differently." Or something similar. & Summer says, "I can't promise you that. No one can."
& it's the truth. Isn't every relationship just one person giving another person the permission to completely destroy us? 


But anyway. So, like I said, I know nothing. Only time will tell, I guess. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

To know him is to love him

I'm not sure if it was apparent or not from my last post about Solo but when we parted ways, we parted pretty amicably. We are still really good friends; we talk everyday and hang out almost as often. We live in the same city now and it's nice to have someone you know you can call last minute who'll want to hang out. 

So anyway, we're friends now. 
& every once in a while, I'll catch a glimmer of something & I remember why I loved him. 
But, inevitably, he'll do something to remind me that we don't work as a couple, that what I really need is to be his friend. 

& so, our friendship clings to this delicate system of checks & balances. I've never been in this situation so I'm just kind of navigating through this & hoping it's all progressing normally. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The boy who broke my heart

I was 22, maybe 23, and visiting my out of town boyfriend. We were out to dinner & looking back on it now, I kick myself: how did I not see it?
He was avoiding eye contact with me & was pre-occupied, pushing the food around on his plate with his fork. 
He was an avid yahoo article reader. I knew this because I, occasionally, took a peek at his Internet history. A recent selection: (Nearly!) Painless Breakups; How to End it Without Being the Bad Guy. I saw it listed in his history, I'd even opened it & skimmed for a moment. 
How did I not know? Everyone in the restaurant could feel the tension and anxiety. Everyone there knew: he brought me somewhere neutral. To dump me. To make it easier on himself after; he could just pay the check & leave. So clean, so easy. 
& I was too busy fawning over him to see it coming. Quite the opposite, actually. 

"So, I'm applying to law school this semester. UT's my top choice right now. Wouldn't it be cool to FINALLY live in the same city? We could see each other everyday!" 
"Don't base your decisions off me," he interrupted. 
"I'm not! UT's a great school. But I mean, of course, you're a factor." 
He looked worried. 
"What's wrong? Is everything okay?"
"Listen Lauren, we need to talk..." 

& that was the time my pot head boyfriend dumped me. In a TGIFridays. 

My pot head boyfriend: He hadn't successfully held down a job for as long as I knew him. He didn't own a single piece of furniture save one lawn chair, his tv, and a blow up mattress. & he wasn't even poor; these were all life style choices! 

But I went home and cried about it anyway. 
More than that, I laid in bed no fewer than 9 days in row sobbing under the covers and watching sad movies. 

& then, I came to Jesus. 
Well, really Jesus came to me as a 4 foot 10 Filipino girl who I've known since I was 11. My best friend called, more or less, curse me out for being pathetic. & aside from reminding me of (let's call him Cheech) Cheech's terrible apartment, she also reminded me that Cheech was not a great person. More than once I'd caught him responding to W4M personal ads on Craigslist. More than once, I'd met girls he was cheating on me with--he'd actually introduce me & then hold full conversations about cheating on me in front of me, like I wasn't there & like I wasn't his girlfriend. He'd outright forgotten my birthday one year, and the following year, went out clubbing with his friends instead and came home that night drunk and sweaty and belligerent. These are just highlights. There were other things, worse things. Things that are too horrible & personal for the likes of this blog. But one by one, Darlene mapped them out for me; an inventory of inexcusable behavior. 

It's not like I'd forgotten or even that I'd somehow managed to turn a blind eye to it all. No, every betrayal stung. And each one subsequent was rendered more painful by the ones preceding. Loving Cheech was excruciating. 

This conversation wasn't the magic eraser that completely wiped away all my feelings for Cheech, but it did plant a seed. For the first time, I asked myself, "why do I love him?" It wasn't that I'd never questioned it before but it was the first time where "because I do" wasn't going to be sufficient. 

It was some time later that it hit me; I didn't love Cheech. At one point, I had. I had violently and sincerely loved him with every cell in my body. But somewhere along the way, things had changed. Maybe with that first betrayal and less for each after. Maybe it happened without a reason, just a gradual and organic shift. I can't honestly say. But something had changed & I wasn't in love with a man anymore but instead, I loved an idea. 

We should never underestimate the power of ideas. It's said in political discussions all the time. For some reason, we leave it there. But an idea can be personal, can be romantic. & I had fallen in love with one. 

Before Cheech, I was in a wildly dramatic relationship. We loved hard and fought even harder. There was never an aspect of our dynamic that wasn't cloaked in intensity. & then we broke up & I felt like I'd just been tossed around by a twister. 

Along came Cheech & I realized I wasn't in Kansas anymore. Cheech was perpetually high. Our entire relationship was eating really great food from his favorite restaurants while watching rented movies and then fooling around on his blow up mattress. Things were so easy, so laid back. & the times I did get angry with Cheech, I'd fucking explode & he'd be so casual, so cavalier; "why are you yelling?" 
"Because I'm fucking upset!" 
"Hey, I get it, you don't have to yell or curse. Just talk to me about it. Let me apologize." 

& this is what I mean when I say I fell in love with the idea of Cheech. I loved the levity of our relationship. I loved eating breakfast tacos on his floor and watching silly movies. I loved how he never said things to hurt me when he was mad. I loved the way he marveled at everyday things (which were made magnificent by the various substances he consumed). I loved the simplicity of him. 

I realized what I loved & let go of Cheech. There was no longer a need to hold on to him or cling to the hope of someday reconciling once I realized that what I loved were things I could find in any of a number of people. Levity, simplicity. & I took those things with me. 

After Cheech, I knew I didn't want a boyfriend who would tear me down when he was upset. I knew I didn't want a boyfriend who would convolute things or fill my life with drama. & I knew, because of Cheech, that I didn't want to be that kind of girlfriend, either. 

Who is this post for? Somewhere out there right now, there's a beautiful & fiercely intelligent person who hasn't realized that they can move on past the relationship they've been agonizing over for the last several weeks/months/years. But they can, they should. 

If it's you: pack up what you love & take it with you, leave the rest behind. 



Saturday, July 6, 2013

A quitter

My whole life, I've gone after bad boys. 
I know, I sound like every other girl in the world right now. 
Time & time again I've broken things off with sweet, amazing men & chosen, instead, the bad boy. & time & time again, after years of emotional (& sometimes financial) investment, things didn't work out. If I didn't sound like every other girl you've ever known, I probably do now. 

My biggest romantic goal was to take one of these guys (I'd describe him but because I'm not saying anything you haven't heard a million times already, I know you know the type) & convert him. 
He was going to be my trophy; look how fucking rad I am--I changed this guy! 

I think I even touched on this fact about myself in one of my more recent posts about why I'm not married. 
All my friends are married or in serious relationships, what's wrong with me?!? I said stuff like this all the time & I kind of meant it as a joke. 
But it's not a joke. I, and every girl like me, am (is) the problem. I've been choosing guys who don't want to commit so I could feel like I'd won something if I could get them to make me their choice. Are you hearing how fucked up that logic is?! I'M THE PROBLEM!!! 

So if you know me, you know I'm that girl. I hate to admit it. & by that girl, I mean the girl who is so in love until she isn't & then there's like a 10 minute lapse before I'm falling over someone new. This is really painful for me because I hate those girls! I make fun of those girls! But I'm trying to be honest & I am what I am. I'm that girl. (I've even started to feel really bad for the way everyone makes fun of Taylor Swift. I'm on the brink of posting a YouTube video of me crying up close into the camera, "leave Taylor alone!") 
So, of course, there's this one guy. He's gorgeous, he's smart, he likes my jokes. He's that guy: "hey, touch my shirt. You know what it's made of? Boyfriend material." 
& I'm actually terrified that I'm not good enough for him, that I'm smothering him, that I'm misreading things & he's not even into me, that I'm going to fail the bar exam & he's going to realize he can do better. All the time. It's been a while since I've been so...neurotic. It's gotten to a place where people around me are beginning to resent me. 
& on top of making me feel like a total fucking spaz, he says perfect shit. Like shit that men say in romcoms that you never ever hear guys say in real life. 

So, the other night we're talking & he's telling me about how he gives everything in his relationships & I'm thinking: are you crazy? Were you an ugly kid or something?? But instead, I tell him that when he says stuff like that, it makes me uncomfortable. I tell him that I'm not ready to accept the fact that there are handsome, hard working men out there who will treat me and our relationship with respect. 
& he's like: no, they are out there. 

This conversation was a couple of nights ago & since then I've realized; he's so right. I can think of several guys who would have been awesome boyfriends, guys who maybe I'd be married to by now had I not been such an idiot, that I've turned down over the years. & I came up with excuses for why we wouldn't work; he's a bad kisser, he's got a third nipple, he always farts in the bathroom & I can hear it! Or whatever.

The truth is; there was never an absence of good guys for me to date, I just never wanted to date them. They were too simple, they didn't thrill me with their indifference, they didn't have exciting criminal pasts or women I'd constantly be competing with. 
& I know people say that a lot of nice guys are not as handsome or dorky, but I've met (& passed up) several handsome & sweet gems of men because I was crazy. 

I've done this to myself. I am responsible for the fact that I'm single, again. 

& I'm just not going to do this anymore. I'm exhausted. I'm out of money. My friends are tired of my shit. I'm ready to be with someone who isn't playing games. 

Something else that's changed about me; I was all about educated men. I couldn't fathom being with someone who didn't have a four year degree. It might be weird for me to put this on the Internet but I'm not using his real name & this is my blog so I can do whatever the fuck I want, basically, but Solo never had any money. In the 2 years we were together, I can count the number of dates he paid for & gifts he bought me, COMBINED, on one hand. Did I mention this was over the course of TWO previous years?!? I don't even really care that much about the money but like this kid had drug money, had money for concert tickets & trips to California. He just didn't have date money. Haha

In the time I've lived in San Antonio, I've had a cute neighbor who was an Airman. Every time I saw him, he'd flirt with me & say how he was going to ask me out. Recently, I responded to his flirting with, "I'll believe it when I see it." & he was like, "you wouldn't go out with me." & I asked him why he thought that so he says I'm too educated for him & I'm looking for someone who went to college. 
This was true for a long time. 
I hope it's not cruel for me to say this, because Solo & I had a reasonably good time together & I really am grateful for what he gave me, but after dating Solo, I'm done with the mentality of needing a man with a degree. I'd take a hard working man who supports himself over a college guy who is constantly borrowing money ANY DAY. Hands down. 

So anyway, to tie things up, I'm the problem & I know it now. & I'm going to change that & see what happens. 



Thursday, July 4, 2013

Meeting cute

I was in my office. My office mate had carefully folded dozens of sheets of craft paper into origami cranes. After tying string around their beaks, I climbed on top desks, chairs, and boxes, hanging them from our office ceiling. 
Balanced on top of a desk, I stretched my arms toward the roof. And suddenly, I became aware of someone watching me.  I turned my gaze toward the open door of my office. 

"So...what's going on in here?" A man from down the hall asked me. I noted the look of disapproval on his handsome face. 

"Oh, you know...hanging cranes." 
He didn't say anything, he just laughed and walked away. 
"Real smooth, Lauren," I thought to myself. 

10 minutes later, I was standing in my office door way, debating where to hang the next crane when he walked by on the way to his office. He stopped and looked into my office with me. 
"Looks good," he said. 
"Hey, thanks!" 

He was already walking back to office.

"Is this what meeting cute is like?" I wondered. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Seriously This Time

When Solo & I met, he swept me off my feet. He came to San Antonio on a suffocating, hot day in May & blew my mind.

We just walked around and talked. It was nothing special. But at the same time, as the hours flew by that day, I remember feeling for the first time that maybe there is someone right for everyone and maybe I was lucky enough to be standing with the person right for me.

Things happened over the course of our relationship, two perhaps tumultuous years, that shook that faith for me. Haha. But I believed, and do believe, that what we had was special & it made the turmoil shall I say...worth it?

I regret nothing. I think we're both leaving knowing that the other really enriched our lives and changed the people we were for the better.

Solo, because of you, I'm not afraid.
The places I'd come from before you really tarnished my ideas of who I had to be to make a relationship work. I was afraid of showing someone I liked who I actually was. Afraid that if they saw me, all of me, they wouldn't like it.
But you saved me. You did.
You showed me that I can be my full self and still be loved.
I'm supremely grateful for that; it didn't just change the person I am in romantic relationships, but I was able to be more candid with my friendships and more honest in my relationship with myself.
Thank you a million times for bringing this light into my life.

I don't think there's anything wrong with saying, we tried.
I actually think it's the best way to go--we tried, we tried hard. We tried so hard it was consuming and exhausting and then we realized;
we love each other but it's okay that that, in itself, is not enough.

Recently, I saw someone post a photo of her husband.
The caption said, "We've been through so much and sometimes we hate each other and it's been hard but I wouldn't have it any other way."
I respect people who hang in there. I honestly do.
But sweet Solo, I want to thank you for not letting this be us.
I don't want either of us to talk about our relationship in a way where we feel obligated to acknowledge all of the dark behind it. I think we both deserve better.

You don't know it, but two years ago you really opened my heart to the possibility that I could be wildly happy with myself and with someone who could want exactly what I am. & I'm taking that with me with you to thank for it.