Someone stop this ride, I need to throw up

My mother’s Facebook post today:

Well its official I’m going to be a great-grandma to a precious baby boy in mid Sept. Yeah so excited and even more excited to see Brandi step up to the roll of grandma. I think she has learned alot from me. Congrats to my grandson Casey and precious Alana. I believe you two will make great parents. Remember to have patience and to listen to advice. He will be so loved and special to everyone. And last to Robert and Daytona, It’s time to take on the rolls of Aunt and Uncle. You both will do a great job, after all look at your roll models. Always remember to stay close and to love one another, your all FAMILY.

What I wish I could post as a comment:

Well its official (fuckety, fuckety, fuckery) I’m going to be a great-grandma to a precious baby boy in mid Sept (God help this child and oh yeah, he has a high probability of being mentally or physically disabled, his 17 year old mother posts pictures of her smoking pot on Facebook as well as her baby daddy smoking pot and all the various other drugs he does and has done.  They both live with you and have for almost two years – when she was 16 friggin years old, which is statutory rape since he is now 20 and your house smells like pot so badly I get a contact buzz going to the bathroom.  You think I’m lying when I tell you he’s smoking pot.  Or you laugh it off.  The home you rent is in your name and your name alone.  If the Po-Po come, they’re taking my 65 year old mother to jail along with C$SH (as he refers to himself) and his crew!  Precious new baby will go into the care of the State – yeah, that really has a proven track record!  This Daddy to be has been arrested, spent time in jail before he turned 18, robbed you blind, beat you up, yes, physically beat you up and do you know who bailed him out of jail with her rent money?  I do!  It was you.  Public records.  It’s funny how you swore to my face that you didn’t bail him out.  You looked your own daughter in the eyes and swore on your life you were not the one who did it.  The fact is I already knew you were the one.  And then I watched you get mad at me, yell at me for even asking you.  And then you lied.  He and baby mama also beat up his 19 year old sister on Christmas Eve over a drug deal gone bad.  My mouth was bleeding from biting my tongue on Christmas while I was disappointed with her as I just knew she had potential to rise up above this crap combined with the bile rising in my throat from the anger swirling inside holding me back from kicking off my Cole Haan’s and kicking his punk ass.  He has countless pictures of him smoking pot in your home posted on Facebook, there were pictures of him with friends holding guns with pot on your dining room table and he took those down.  I hope you understand why your other kids don’t like coming around a lot.  Last time he was arrested (right before he went to that 6-month rehab for one night (you remember, when he called and said how hard it was and you went and picked him up and told us all this horrible tale about bed bugs and the whole place had to be evacuated?  He would be back in a few days…that was last summer.  He’s been at your place every night and day since then.  During that one or two sober days he admitted to you and me and his mom that he was stealing from people to pay for drugs, selling drugs, stealing drugs, people wanted him dead.  He almost looked sorry for what he did.  It was all an act.  He dropped out of school, uses and abuses you.  He comes and goes at all hours of the day and night, has his white ‘thug wanna be’ friends at your house eating your food, using your washing machine, dealing drugs, talking like they’re big time, taking showers using your water because they’re so big time, their electricity was turned off for not paying the bill.  And remember that huge party they threw when I took you out of town for a week?  You and me, shopping, nice meals out, no guns, no drugs, long conversations, great laughs.  I remember every minute of that trip.  I want times like that with my mom again.  When I moved home, I envisioned lots and lots of mother daughter fun.  Watching your life, energy and good nature being blatently taken advantage of over and over and over again – I’ve watched it happen for more than half my life.  It’s hard to be around.  I came from you.  You made me.  I love you.  I don’t understand you anymore though.  I feel such a loss.  And I try not ask too many questions, not to make any suggestions and just keep it simple.  I try harder than you’ll ever know, Mom.  I’ve told you these same words with tears streaming down my cheeks and watched you yell at me, grit your teeth, call me names.  I’ve fought back.  I’m ashamed of it.  I try not to.  I wish I could stop caring so much.

Moving away for 22 years allowed me to not really see what was going on in your life.  It was better that I didn’t watch this up close and personal for all this time.  The last year and a half has been hard enough.  When we came back from that trip to Dallas, your house was trashed, the garbage can was filled with alcohol bottles, I wanted to help clean up.  You deserve so much better, Mom.  I want you to have what you deserve, not what you’ve come to settle for.  I helped for a few minutes and then I left.  I cried the entire way home.  I knew for sure that time and place and hopes and dreams were gone.  I could wish for you all the wishes I had, I could stand up to you and for you, I could pick up all the broken glass in the driveway, but it wouldn’t do any good.  That was the day I gave up.  A few days later you called and told me that while we were gone someone stole your checks and credit cards!  You were sure it wasn’t any of Casey’s friends.  You pinned it on Daytona.  You always do.  You choose him every time.  It was then that I knew my decision to quit fighting and just accept that we were never going back to that mother daughter relationship that we had again.  I wasted one last wish and prayer that you God would at least keep you safe and not let the people that are out to get Casey take my Mom’s life.  Casey has threatened to kill me for packing his crap in trash bags to try to get him out of your house.  You supported him.  Every step of the way.  Lied for him, covered for him, lied to your kids faces.  Lost our trust and respect.  Those kids that didn’t do anything but go to school, get good grades, not get pregnant, go to college, have families IN wedlock, buy homes, have good credit, that come over and fix the holes this kid puts in your walls, we vote, we volunteer, we love you.  We’re not perfect, our lives aren’t perfect.  I never pretend or state that they are, but we do the best we can, we support ourselves and our families and we show up when you call on us.  We watch you get beat down, our own mother, and we still spoke up even when we knew you would lash out at us.  Even when you are yelling and tell us to leave, we always tell you we love you as we walk out the door.  And watching this child (and our sister before him) has made our lives a living hell.  You never even considered how this affects us.  Watching you live in an unsafe environment.  Worrying about someone coming in and killing you because he lives there.  You have drained your 401k to get him lawyers and support him.  Imagine all the drugs you have bought for him by giving him your hard earned money. You worked for 25 years at WalMart taking shit from every single manager, sweeping up piles of crap off the floor, working holidays and overtime; you can hardly walk because you stood on concrete in bad shoes because you spent your money on everyone else but you.  You got fired after 25 years and now you’re taking care of a woman who isn’t that much older than you in order to pay your bills and Casey’s bills, and DayDay’s bills and Alana’s bills and soon to be baby bills and I hear those aren’t cheap.  Probably about twice the amount Casey spends on drugs and alcohol each month.  And watch you support these disrespectful leeches.  You raised your youngest child (a recovering drug addicts) two kids that have no drive, ambition, respect or loyalty for you.  You gave your all and that give you nothing in return.  And now although one of them works – kudo’s DayDay, but she doesn’t pay you anything to help cover the cost of living.  All I can see is a great grandchild that you’re going to have to raise…when does it stop?  Oh, wait, some of my tax dollars will help with their welfare payments, so maybe you’ll get off lighter this time.). Yeah so excited (Yeah, why wouldn’t you be?  I mean Casey is 20 and has never had a job or contributed to any bills, you support him and his drug habit – he seems like GREAT father material to me – look out PTA, I see a new president in your future!) and even more excited to see Brandi step up to the roll of grandma (I am actually excited to see my sister so excited and happy as hell it isn’t me. Hell my boyfriend has a 2 ½ year old, I think I’m a looong way from becoming a grand-ma-ma!  She is thrilled and I am happy that she has a chance to be a huge part of a baby’s life because she didn’t do that for her own children because she was strung out on drugs and crazy out of her mind.  I am so proud of the woman that my sister has grown to be.  I would have bet everything I owned against her.  I love the relationship and friendship we’re building and look forward to many years to come spending time getting to know each other again.

My sister had Casey when she was 14 and now her baby is having a baby.  Funny, my mom got pregnant with me when she was a senior in high school, unwed – me thinks me sees a trend in the family.  I just thought of this – my mom is 65.  Casey and precious Alana are having a baby this year.  If that baby follows the trend, he could be a daddy in 17 years and I have no reason to believe my mother couldn’t live to be 82 and be a great-great-grandmother.  Actually if Casey’s precious baby knocks some girl up at 14 – and let’s face it, odds are completely possible here if history can help predict the future – and that baby gets knocked up at 15, and my mother lives to be 94, she could be a living great-great-great grandma.  Math isn’t my best subject but I believe this is correct-ish.  Holy shit.  I think we could set some kind of world record.  Casey’s picture would be plastered all over the internet with something other than a mug shot!  He can be as famous as he already believes he is!  I say we go for the record.  How many people do you think you can support on your Social Security?  Because they’re all going to be living with you.   I think she has learned alot from me. I’m not even going to comment here.   Congrats to my grandson Casey and precious Alana. I believe you two will make great parents. (I believe you’re delusional) Remember to have patience (Oh, they have patience – they’ve been living off you for two years – I have full belief in their ability to suck every last drop from you for a very long time.) and to listen to advice (You should add something like, from people who actually do shit with their lives and produce productive members of society.  Just a thought.). He will be so loved and special to everyone (I’d dare say not everyone – although I wish the little boy no ill will.  This isn’t your fault little boy. This is just a bad set up for a shitty life and you haven’t even gotten here yet!  Your daddy thinks he’s gangster and people come into the driveway and threaten to kill him, show guns, and not just to him, but to my mom, your great grandma, who sees this, and doesn’t call a single police officer because her phone battery is low. You Mom dropped out of high school.  I hear her family is so bat shit crazy they make my family look a little refined.  And last to Robert (I love you pookie) and Daytona, It’s time to take on the rolls of Aunt (Okay I do have a roll – it’s around my gut and it’s probably from Swiss Cake Rolls ironically) and Uncle. You both will do a great job (I love them both but both of them are on my shit list right now and the name brand clothing purchases and meals are coming to a shut down until they return to a better path), after all look at your roll (insert fat joke here) models. Always remember (I honestly try to forget this often.  Or pretend it’s untrue…) to stay close and to love one another, your all FAMILY. (I do love my family.  Even after knowing them.  I watch things go on and I am convinced I was stolen from some other family and placed here for a reason.  I’m not sure what it is and I’m guessing I’d disagree if someone told me what it was.  I do know this for certain.  Families are hard.  You can love someone with all you have, all your being.  You can watch them in disbelief live a life that you’re 100% certain they are deserving of better.  You can try.  You can quit.  You can stop believing.  But they’ll always be your family.  And you know they love you in their own strange way.  You realize the Cleavers and the Brady’s were nothing but a fantasy.  You grow up.  You can choose to stand inside their ring of fire and become consumed by it or you can just stand close enough to feel the warmth from time to time.  You can learn to bite your tongue.  You can learn to restrain your instincts.  It will hurt.  It will be the harder road, but it’s the one that’s better for you in the long run.  You can even develop your own little family that isn’t on fire (well, most of the time anyway).  Everyone has issues.  Even me.  And my current issue is now I’m craving a Swiss Cake Roll so badly I’m about to ‘roll’ up to do some Krogering and give Little Debbie a little bit of my hard earned money.

And I just remembered that I do know one other thing for certain.  If my family & I were stranded in the snowy mountains after a plane crash, I would be the first to be eaten.  True. Story.

Oh and one other thing I am 98% certain of is that this would be too long to post on Facebook.  So, I just posted.  Congrats Great Granny!

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You spin me right round, baby right round….

I haven’t written in this blog in a while.  My life has changed so dramatically and yet now I seem to be right back to square one.

When I was young it was so easy.  Girl meets boy.  They fall in love.  They get married.  They have a family.  They live happily ever after.  The End.

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Yet at this age, it’s not so simple –  Divorced girl meets twice divorced boy – well, 51 year old boy.  Whirlwind romance.  Zero to 60 in no time flat.  Girl falls in love.  Boy falls in love.  The grow.  They learn.  They love again.  Boy has kids – one of which (the 8 year old), the boy has full custody of.  Girl has trouble adjusting.  They figure it out.  Girl falls in love with younger boy.  Younger boy falls in love with girl.  Girl never dreams she would have a chance to be so much a part of a child’s life.  It’s overwhelming, it’s exciting, it’s a learning curve.  It’s so freaking rewarding.  Everything is right in the world.  Girl feels secure.  Boy makes her feel love again.  Boy talks of their future.  Girl allows herself to see it.  Feel it.  Dream about it.

10 months go by.  Girl has closet space, spends most of her nights with her ‘boys’.  Boy starts to act strange.  They start to fight about stupid stuff.  Girl starts to cry a lot.  Feels insecure.  Feels unwanted.  Boy starts to withdraw affection.  Feels like he’s pushing girl away.  They have talks.  They have lots of talks.  Boy hates talks.  Girl shows all her cards.  Girl says she’s sure he’s the one.  Boy says he’s not sure.  He hopes that she is the one.  Girl is heartbroken.  Two months ago boy told girl that she was the one.  Better than he dreamed.  What happened?

Girl wishes if she wasn’t the one that the boy would let her go.  Boy doesn’t.  They fight more.  It feels awkward.  Girl now feels uncomfortable in boys home.  Boys family says, “Don’t be so available to him.”  Girl tries.  Hard.  But when she is away, it feels wrong.  She feels at home with her boys.  And there is no feeling worse than being unwanted by those you love.  For isn’t that we all want?

Boy and girl are both to blame.  In the beginning, they were both on the same page with what they wanted and were looking for.  They moved fast, they followed their hearts.  It felt so right.  So easy.  So amazing.  Almost too good to be true…and we all know what they say about that.  Families got involved.  Kids grew to love the feeling of ‘family’.  Girl wants to flee.  Threatens it.  But down deeps knows that if she does, the boy won’t chase after her.  His ego is way too big to chase a silly girl.  In honesty the boy is acting like a dick.  Girl is acting all girly and emotional.  It is not a good combination.  The easiest way seems to be to run away, lick her wounds and move on.  How do you walk away from the ‘family’ that you’ve been creating?

So here I sit.  Ready to flee.  Ready to run.  I don’t want to waste another day, minute or hour of my time, energy or tears.  I don’t want to look like a fool…again.  I don’t want to make a mistake again.  I don’t want to get hurt….again.  Or date…again.  I don’t want to fall harder for either of them.  I don’t want to hurt the little boy anymore than he has already been hurt in his life.  But I don’t want to hang on.  I’m losing my will to stay.  I feel myself beginning to put up a wall.  Protect myself.  And I have no idea what to do.

Do you trust your heart or your head?  Relationships are about sticking it out, right?  I mean except the abusive ones.  Overcoming the obstacles.  Fighting for what you want.  Giving it your all.  Blah, blah, fucking blah.  Why am I so bad at these things?  I give too much.  I don’t give enough.  I love too hard, I don’t love at all.  I fall hard and fast.  I get hurt.  A lot.  Boy says girl is giving ultimatum.  I don’t want to be the girl that gives the ultimatum.  I want to be the girl that gets the boy she loves, the life she has been working for, the happiness she deserves, the love she’s been looking for.

Is it that bad to give an ultimatum?

Girl feels herself slipping into the girl she was in her marriage.  That was not a happy girl.  Girl is confused.  Girl just wants someone — anyone to tell her what to do.  Girl wants to feel happy, loved and secure again.

Girl thinks in her heart she knows what to do.

Why is love so hard?  Finding it is hard.  Keeping it is harder.  Figuring it out is downright impossible.

Girl has no words of wisdom.  She has a pack of cigarettes and a bottle of Jack.  She has red eyes from crying.  She has heart that is hurting so hard it hurts to take a deep breath.  Girl has hard decisions ahead of her.

And just so you know — Girl knows she is resilient and pick up the pieces of her life and rise again, she’s just tired of having to do it so often……

B*tches Be Trippin’

After discovering a disturbing trend in the world of online dating recently, I was left devoid of any good words and the title to this entry is all I could come up with.

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Let’s back up a bit. I’ve been dating online for a few months. My photos are some of the same photos you can find on this blog. They are me. Dressed. There are no bikini shots (mostly because I haven’t worn a bikini since I was 2), no cleavage shots (and those who know me know that I have serious cleavage and could win the ‘cleavage shot photo contest’ hands down), no pictures of me in anything but clothing. Good pictures. Yes. Current pictures. Yes. Slutty pictures. No. Why? I wanted to portray who I am and what I stand for. I wanted to show my character through my photos and my description. I was honest about my body, my life, and what I wanted. I didn’t want to play games or portray someone or something that I’m not. But I hear more and more this is not the case for everyone on onlines sites.

I have three guy friends all dating online. They run the gamut of the sites they’re on – Eharmony, Match.com, Plenty of Fish, etc. They have all expressed their concern that I do not use their name, change some details and not use any identifying descriptions on this blog that could link them in any way. Okay, ‘expressed’ is my word. Their words are more like “I’ll kill you” or something like that. So, I will be respectful to them because I value my life. And I value their friendship and the fact that they allow me to pry into their world and see things from a different perspective. These friends and I share fun stories about the people we meet and our relationships. We support each other, encourage each other and tell the cold hard truth.

Through the months we’ve come to realize that men and women post online very differently. And after seeing some of the online descriptions and photos of women, I am shocked and amazed that I had any responses at all much less met anyone or actually had dates. I could go very deep and long here but I was told by Brad Bosi last night that I need to write shorter stories so he can fit them into his bathroom break reading time (and no, Brad is not dating online, he’s happily married to one of my dearest friends but I thought he’d like a little ‘glory’ in my blog as he is always giving me grief!).

I had this idea that people who were dating online (especially the paid sites) were looking for a real relationship. I’ve sadly realized that many are not and it’s true for both sexes. Many of the men have their own issues and I’m not qualified to even attempt to explain most of them. In my experience many of them type what they think a woman would like to hear and it is a poor representation of what they really want.

“I don’t want to play games”
“I am looking for my partner in life”
“I cannot stand dishonesty.”

These are the same men that tell you you’re amazing and it’s the best date they’ve ever had and can’t wait to see you again. Then never call, text or email you again. Nor do they respond to yours. I believe that covers #1 and #3. They try to get you into bed on the first night. I think that’s #1 and #2. Maybe they say you’re the best date ever because they’re trying to get you into bed? Or they’re still married and never told you so. And that hits all 3 except for the fact that #2 could be considered invalid because they’ve apparently already found that partner for life thing. It’s frustrating, it’s hard, but it’s a part of dating and I think I’m getting better at weeding out the crazies.

I always think I have the best story to share with my guy friends about my experiences and then WHAM! they blow my mind. A topic came up a few months ago and I’ve been following along with a lot of interest. The topic is sexting. And I’d like to say right here and now that I have nothing against it. BUT not before A) Meet you in person, B) am in an exclusive, committed relationship with you and C) am certain that we have built a level of trust in which no matter what happens you will never, ever share my texts with anyone else. I’m not a Hoe but if I’m in a relationship and it turns you on, I’d be willing to give it the old college try. The subject of texting naked pictures is an entirely different subject. And I don’t think I’d ever feel safe enough to share those with someone – phones get lost, user errors cause uploads, I have no idea who is looking in the ‘cloud’ or where those photos will end up. If you do feel comfortable with this, more power to you, I certainly don’t judge.

Increasingly I am finding the women my guy friends are going out with are making it hard for decent, respectable women who are actually looking for a relationship to find one. One of guy friends (let’s name them Bubba1, Bubba2 and Bubba3) told me that he has sex with 32 women he’s met online in the past 10 months. Most of them on the first date. Many more he could have. Women say things like, “I don’t normally do this, you’re special.” Bubba2 isn’t that special. He even admits that. (In his defense he was recently divorced and sewing his wild oats. And has sense stated that he simply cannot go on at this rate because it’s not healthy. Pray for him. He is afterall a man.) Women believe that giving it up will ensure that a man will never go away.

I have some words that I often quote. I spouted them out years ago and not sure if I heard them somewhere or I made them up or they’re a combination of the two.

Kisses aren’t contract.
Love doesn’t mean leaning.
Sex isn’t security.

The problem as I see it is that many women believe differently.  They believe sex is security.  Sex is different between men and women.  For women it’s an emotional experience, a sacred dance (although not that sacred if they’re giving it out all over town).  For men it’s basically an outlet.  It’s just that simple.  I’m not saying my theory is 100% correct, as there are exceptions to every rule.

All three of my Bubba’s have shared stories about women who they have just barely met  and not even met in person having phone sex with them, sexting, and sharing naked pictures.  I made them prove it.   And it’s a good thing I’m not a prude.  Oh my.

Bubba3 shared a story about a woman he met on EHarmony recently.  She’s 44, mother of 4, divorced & unemployed.  They emailed two days getting to know each other and not even that many emails.  Then they chatted on the phone briefly.  Then they started texting.  And all hell broke loose.  She began sending him explicit pictures and telling him she liked to be ‘fisted’ (You may have to look this up, I’m not explaining.  I happen to know what this is and I’m not sure why I do. ).    I wished him the best of luck and told him good for her (or maybe not) he had small hands.    Think I’m lying?  (And I hope you’re not offended here)  Below is a picture she sent to him.

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I added the coverage, the photo he shared with me does not leave a thing to the imagination.

Let’s recap.  They’ve been talking for two days.  It’s been flirty.  Then the sexting starts.  She divulges she likes fisting (and a list of other exceptionally kinky things), then sends him this picture.  She’s never met him in person.  Has no idea who he really is.  Doesn’t even know his last name or if his first name is actually real.  She is a mother of four children and she’s in her 40’s!  She is on a fairly expensive singles site looking for true love (and probably someone to take care of her and her brood of children).  I’m certain that sending pictures to a complete stranger like these will help you build a solid foundation for any relationship!  I am convinced this is what I’m doing wrong!

It gets worse.  Yes, it does.  She then sends him the following picture.

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Again – wow!  You don’t know this guy and he already knows what your lady parts look like intimately.   And even better, with a sex toy.   What have you left for the imagination?  What about the chase?  What about discovering and getting to know one another?  She bypassed all that BS and went right to ‘Here’s my vagina.”    As a woman I had an interesting theory here.  The picture is in black and white.  That means (to me) that she has this picture that she has edited in some way living on her phone, ready for when she gets his digits and can start sending them to him.  Meaning boys, you’re not the first guy to see her in all her glory!  Don’t you feel special?

I promise no more vagina pics.  I know you’re bummed.

In a conversation (after I picked my jaw up off the floor) with Bubba3, we tried to figure out why a woman would send pics like this.  And she’s not the first.  All my Bubba’s have shared pics like these with me through the months.  I’ll be sitting there getting my nails done and poof, up pops some breasts on my phone.  They think it’s funny and shocking to me and they like to get one over on me, and I admit I find it amusing (I guess I’m not the typical girl that way).

I’m not often shocked by much thankfully.  But what is shocking is that this is not a rare occassion.  It happens all the time by women of all ages.  And all my Bubba’s believe that these women do these things to get attention.  They’re desperate for it.  They need some validation.  They feel they need to go all in (or would it be all out?) to try to get their attention.  Their need for attention and actions are beyond unhealthy and a red flag.  These women come across as desperate and whores lacking class and character.  It’s even more insulting when they have children as it makes me wonder what lessons they are teaching them and who are they raising?

So if you’re online dating and you’re a real person looking for a real connection.  This is your competition.  Although I don’t believe it’s really our competition because our class is so far elevated from women like this, they’re not even on our radar but they are on the radar of the men we’re trying to meet.  I actually dated Bubba3.   Dated.  In person.  For a while.  Met him.  Knew his last name.  His address.  And he never got a picture like this from me.  Ever.  The raciest pic I ever sent is below.  That’s my nephew in the background.  I was working by the pool — in a swimsuit.  I  wonder if that’s why we’re not still dating????015

I am astounded that there are women out there willing to go to these lengths to ‘get’ a man.  When did you lose your self respect?  Can you retrace your steps and find it again?  You’re giving women a bad name.  You’re setting yourself up for trouble.   Did you ever have character?  Did this ever work for you?  (I’m guessing not since you’re on a singles site)  Are you afraid of showing the real you?  Or is this the real you?  If so, I feel sorry for you as you’re missing out on so much of what is important in a person.  What would you think if your kids saw these pictures?  Your parents?  Try a different way, value what you have to offer, show people your real self (and not just your real vagina).  Guys like a challenge.  They like to peel back the layers.  You don’t have to show them the complete users guide right up front.  Have some decency.    If they like you, really like you, they’ll love the vagina pics when the time comes.  Just wait for that time.  Be patient.  You have more to offer.  Let them see that first.  You never get a second chance to make a first impression.  The saying is “put your best foot forward”, it says nothing about your labia.

 

The Most Important Lesson I’ve Learned

In all honesty, he’s been teaching me this lesson for more about a month now.  It’s a lesson that many have tried to teach me, words they’ve tried to make me believe but I never truly felt until now – until I felt it deep in my soul coming through a pair of piercing blue eyes staring into mine.    Apparently I am beautiful.  Inside and out.  Who knew?  I guess now I do.

beautiful

It started on our first date.  Within 2 hours of knowing him (other than an intense email exchange, texts and some super long phone calls), he stopped, stared into my eyes and whispered, “You are so incredibly beautiful.”  My heart stopped.  Time stood still.  I smiled, never believing these words when I hear them.  I thanked him politely, cracked a joke about his eyesight and attempted to look away.  Sensing my inability to take a compliment and my failure to believe what he was saying, he reached out and took my face in his hands.  His blue eyes looking deep into my eyes.  I knew at that moment there wasn’t any intention or ulterior motive in his words.  It was honesty coming from deep in his being.  He looked a little embarrassed.  His gaze was intense.  I held it.  I was smiling with my entire face.  Then he gently kissed me.  I felt the whiskers of his goatee on my face, the softness of his lips on mine.  He pulled back not lingering too long, as we’d only just met a few hours ago and he is a Southern gentleman.  It was if I had known him for years.  The ease and comfort we had with each other was instant.  The chemistry intense.  The spark white-hot.

He’s not the first man to tell me I’m beautiful.  But he’s the first man that makes me believe it’s true when he tells me.  The truth is, he makes me feel beautiful.

One of the sexiest men I have ever laid eyes on thinks I’m beautiful.  You better not pinch me because if this is a dream, I do not want to ever awake from it.  And if I do wake up from it because you pinched me, I will kill you and cut you into a million little pieces.

I’m not pretty in the traditional way.  I’ve never thought of myself as more than just about average, if even that.  I have good posture and a certain air about me that leads people to believe I have huge amounts of self-esteem and confidence.  It’s a façade as old as the set of Bonanza.  And it’s just not true.  I’m as insecure about my looks as about a billion other women.   I don’t compare myself to other women.  I don’t covet their looks.  I’ve become comfortable in my skin, in my body, in my life.  I know who I am and what I am and I’m good with that.  I’m always trying to improve something, learn something new or reach a new goal.  I try not to dwell on the flabby skin dangling from my arms, or the muffin top rolling over the top of my jeans.  I try not to look in the mirror or get into pictures (I mean seriously people post the most unflattering pictures of you!).  I’m smart, I’m funny, I’m caring, I love with my entire being, I’m giving, nurturing and a good friend.  I am secure in these aspects of my life.  But my body is an entirely different thing.  I’m a solid size 16.  And I’ve dealt with my weight going up and down my entire life.  I blame my love of corn dogs and funnel cakes on most of this, which is why I’m now boycotting any event with the word “fair” in it.  (I have never tried a fried twinkie but I’ve had dreams about them – this is probably my wisest life decision.)

I can turn heads when I walk in a room.  I can catch the stare of a stranger.  But I never think it’s because they find me attractive.  It sometimes is the dark red hair that garners attention or the booming laugh.  I have believed for 44 years that it’s because of some air I put off, not one single ounce of it is because I might be beautiful.  When my friends describe me I don’t think it’s an adjective they put in the sentence.

And yet, here I am completely convinced for the first time that I might have been wrong about that.  That I am actually beautiful.

In all fairness, he’s not the first man or even person to tell me that I am.  I’ve heard it before.  From my family and let’s face it, they have to say it otherwise they have produced an ugly spawn.  I heard it from my friends and again who would admit that they have ugly friends?   My ex-husband told me numerous times.  Other men have told me and I was certain they were just trying to get into my granny panties.  When I was chosen for Homecoming court my senior year in high school, I ran home crying thinking it was just a horrible joke.  (Do you understand now why my therapist is so wealthy????)

People blame the media, waif thin celebrities, their parents, etc on their low self-esteem and poor body image.  I don’t know where mine came from and I honestly don’t care.  Because I know that it came from within me and my own head and I’m just thankful that I was finally able to break those confines and move forward.  My body image issues are my own and they’ve been around a long time.  I mean I am the girl who lost her virginity while insisting to still wear her panties.

I have a theory about what is going on.  Interested?  It will cost you a dollar.  Nah, it’s free and this theory is laced with a shot of Fireball I had earlier this evening.  I think that I’m so happy and content in my life that my light is actually shining through to the outside.  Shut up, I’m not smoking something.  For the first time in my life I am completely happy with where I am in life, who I am, what I am, what I do that I believe so whole heartedly that I am living the life I am supposed to be living and am so comfortable in my own skin that I am actually able to feel that beauty on the outside and project it where others can see it.  I’m living the movie Shallow Hal!

And I’m going to tell you what I’ve been doing with this new-found knowledge.  I’ve been using it.  Trusting it.  And I now believe it.

My entire adult life when I’ve been ‘intimate’ with a man I’ve attempted to put my body in the best light possible – which mostly means complete darkness.  A little mood lighting or a candle, perhaps, but full on all lights on walking through the house naked, no.   I’ve been taking small steps over the last few weeks.  Okay, I don’t really take small steps, I just in cannonball style to most things.  And that has how I’ve been dealing with this.

Late one night he asked me if I wanted to go jump in the pool.  I got up to search for my bathing suit and he said, “No, you don’t need that.”  (Dear God in Heaven, please do not let my father read this blog) We walked out to the pool.  In all fairness he’s been athletic his entire life.  He’s 50 but he’s still chiseled and cut in the most amazing way.  He took off his clothes and jumped in ahead of me.  I fumbled to make sure I had a towel and my hair was up.  I panicked.  I could fake a heart attack but at the rate my heart was beating, I might not be faking it.  (and after that horrible incident trying to learn to scuba dive and almost drowning – oh, look at the comedian choking and floundering around over there!  Ha ha ha – she’s hysterical.  It wasn’t until I lobbed a flipper at the instructor’s head and started turning blue that they realized I wasn’t jacking around – so I wasn’t taking any chances.  And by the way, not all comedians are practical jokers for the record.).  And finally disrobed and turned around.  He was in the water watching me when I started down the steps towards him.   The moon was bright (I should have checked this before I agreed to the pool time.  Note to self:  Buy Farmers Almanac) and there wasn’t an inch of my body he didn’t check out, admiringly I must admit.  The look in his eyes was pure admiration and adoration (and let’s be honest, a healthy dose of lust).  It clicked in my head.  I smiled.  I slowed down my descent into the water to allow him to see it all.  And for the first time I can ever remember, I didn’t care that I had fat arms or my thighs were touching.  I didn’t care that my boobs were on migration south or that I could feel my belly shake when I walked down the stairs.  I felt beautiful, confident, secure, safe for the first time in my life.  He never saw one of these items as a flaw.  He took it all in and loved everything he saw.  For the first time in my life, I saw myself through someone else’s eyes and it was wonderful.  It was the first time I have ever skinny dipped.  The first time I didn’t cringe when a man placed his hand on my stomach or tried to suck in (let’s face it, my Dyson couldn’t suck this tummy in) or try make my boobs look perky.   It was the first time I’ve ever felt truly beautiful.  And it was an amazing feeling.

Have no fear, I’m not moving to a nudist colony anytime soon.  But I’m enjoying this new confidence.  And hoping that every single person I know and even those I don’t know feel this way, drop their own built up insecurities and embrace who they are, what they have and can live in this moment, in this place with me.  (This is figurative as my exceedingly uptight landlord has made it clear that none of you can actually live with me!)  Today I went outside in shorts and a tank top – bat wing arm fat flopping in the wind for the world to see.  And you know what?  I lived to tell about it.  And no one’s eyes were burned as a result.  It didn’t even make the news.

Last night we had date night at my place.  At one point he stopped me and said, “Stay right there.  I want to look at you.”  In another life I would have felt incredibly uncomfortable like cattle up on the auction block, made a few jokes, did a curtsey.  But not last night.  And I was fully clothed in case you were wondering and shut up, I know you were.  And he did.  His eyes scanned my face.  He was smiling so big that his adorable dimple looked enormous.  He looked deep into my eyes and uttered under his breath, “You are so beautiful.  You just amaze me.  You look so beautiful tonight.”  And I simply replied, “Thank you.”  And I meant it.  I knew that he meant it.  And better yet, I knew that it was true.   I’ve been thanking God every day for bringing this man into my life.

Last night I learned that I am beautiful.  With all my so-called flaws, my imperfect body, my wrinkles and sun damage, my thin lips and cottage cheese like thighs.  I’m beautiful.    It doesn’t come from the outside and that is the important lesson I learned.  That beauty comes from the inside.  And once you have it, it radiates out for the world to see.  And once it’s there, there is no denying it.  I have it inside me and you have it inside you.  You just have to discover it, believe it, live it.  I know you have it in you.  I can see it, can you?

BBQ

I’m falling in love with you. Don’t worry, I’ll catch you.

Let’s be honest.  Really honest.  The raw, hard honesty that makes you uncomfortable.  I’ll go first.

I want to be in love.  But more than that, I want to be loved.  Every day I speak these words to the universe, “Help me find a man who can love me in the way in which I desire, deserve and need.”  I ask this and have faith that the universe will deliver this man to me.  I don’t know when.  But I do know this, he will be worth the wait – even if it is an eternity.  And let’s face it with my dating history, this is a strong possibility.  I’m not willing to settle or hop in to the first chance that comes along.  It has to be right.  And it has to be real.  And it has to be comfortable.

When you’re in love, real love, the world seems like a safer place.  It feels like you’re not alone.  It feels good.  I love that feeling.  I’ve had it for periods in my life.  I thought I had it forever, but it didn’t turn out that way.  I’m not a co-dependant woman.  I don’t ‘need’ a man to complete me.  I have tools, strength, and an abundance of love and support in my life.  I have a pretty great life by all standards, most of all by mine.  But I miss that companionship, that touch, that feeling.  And my quest to find it has been — well, let’s just say interesting would be a good word.

Over the past year I thought I had found someone who could be that partner I desire.  I found it twice.  Or so I thought.  Neither turned out to be the case, but both taught me about myself, what I want, what I don’t want and what I’m not willing to put up with.  And I don’t regret starting down the path with either of them (okay, maybe Edward but he really taught me that I loathe narcissist with all my being and a few other good lessons to take along in life).  And then there was Captain Cutie.

I had a little breakthrough this weekend while floating in a pool on a hot summer day.  I kept thinking about the Captain and what it was that drew me to him.  I thought at one point I was falling in love with him, but I suddenly realized that I wasn’t falling in love, I was falling back into the same pattern I had for many years with many other men.  I find some little bird (Captain/bird…get it!) with a broken wing and I try to save them, heal them, make them better.  I nurture them, love them, give them all of my life force.  I stroke them and boost up their confidence and then they get better and fly away.  I have no doubt that they love me, just not enough to stay with me.  And it’s hard when you’re faced with an empty nest again.  Depleted of your energy, your ego bruised, your soul crushed, your heart broken.  Alone.  Again.

save

This was the Captain.  He was charming and smart and sweet.  But he was broken.  And he needed me to nurture him and help him.  And I did.

I wasn’t expecting to find you this soon.

I am scared of making a bad decision again.

I’m afraid of hurting you.

I’m not ready for this.

Oh, you’re dating someone else?  Let’s have dinner.

I’m lonely and bored and on vacation – so I’ll text you a 1000 times and call you so you can fill my boredom.

I tried to retreat.  Give him space.  I thought I was falling in love.  But I was just falling back into my old ways.  And I learned from my girl Oprah years ago that when someone tells you who they are, believe them.  He couldn’t give me what I wanted, desired or deserved.  Maybe in another time, he could have.  But not this time.  And thankfully it didn’t last long enough to hurt.  I know I’ve heard it a million times, you can’t change someone that doesn’t want to change.  Truthfully, I think he’s happy in this place in his life.  Otherwise, I think he would be making progress to get to a better place.  I know he wants it, but does he want it enough to make it happen?  It’s none of my business.  I don’t have a dog in this fight (I hate this phrase because I would never have a dog in a fight…but you get what I’m saying.)

Our brief re-connection made me more aware of what I do want.  I want a strong man.  One who is willing to fight for what he wants.  Someone who makes decisions.  Who doesn’t need me to manage his life but appreciates my input.  Someone who isn’t afraid of life, love or making a mistake.  Someone who is willing to give it all a try, even if they could fail.  I added those to my wish list and uttered the words to the universe once again.

Don’t get me wrong.  I wanted to wrap the Captain in my arms, warm him up, make him feel love again, nurse him back to health, cover him with kisses and cheer on every small step he took.  But I just didn’t have it in me again.  The true definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.  (Of course if you’re related to me, you have an entirely different definition of insanity…).  I have dated broken men over and over again.  I have a knack for finding them.  I have a knack for loving them and healing them.  And then I have developed the skills to pick up the pieces of my life after they’ve left me and start all over again.  It’s time to break the chain.

While flirting with the possibility of rejoining the Captain on his journey I met someone who isn’t broken.  Someone who doesn’t need me to fix them.  Someone who is confident, loving and nurturing.  He has a sense of adventure and no fear.  He’s strong, sensitive, says all the right things and is crazy about me.  He knows who he is, doesn’t second guess himself, and knows what he wants.  And best of all, I feel confident, secure and at ease when I’m around him.  But most importantly I feel the same way when I’m not around him.  I don’t second guess his actions or my own.  I know he has no ulterior motives.  He’s not looking for a lifesaver, he’s looking for someone to row the boat with him.  He trusts me.  I trust him.  It’s easy.  Natural.  I’m not trying to fix or solve anything.  And when he wraps his arms around me, I feel safe and like I’m home – exactly where I am supposed to be.  It’s good.  It may be the answer from the universe, but it’s too early to tell.  For now, I’ll say that it’s a good thing.  And a road worth traveling down.  He makes me very happy.  His name is Kirk and for the first time in a long time, I don’t feel the need to conceive a cute nickname for him or for this blog.   And yes, I briefly considered Captain Kirk but decided it hit too close to home.  🙂

And if it works, that would be great.  If not, I’m sure I’ll learn another lesson or two but I know now that the turmoil, the heartbreak and the stress of trying to fix someone isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing with my life.  I’m supposed to be out living it.  Sucking it dry.  I’m taking the title of therapist off my business card, closing up my office and moving forward and closing the door to any applicants that need one.  I’m back to focusing on me — my life — all that it is, all that it can be and all that it has to offer.

Sorry folks, they can’t all be funny posts.  Besides this blog is for me, not you.  And I’m going to get some sleep — because all this soul searching is wearing me out.

Fragile

frag·ile
ˈfrajəl,-ˌjīl
adjective
(of an object) easily broken or damaged.
synonyms: breakable, easily broken; antonyms: durable, robust

flimsy or insubstantial; easily destroyed.
“you have a fragile grip on reality”
synonyms: tenuous, shaky, insecure, unreliable, vulnerable – antonyms: durable

(of a person) not strong or sturdy; delicate and vulnerable.
synonyms: weak, delicate, frail, debilitated; antonyms: strong

I have always thought of myself as anything but fragile.  I mean I’m the toughest person I know.  I’ve never even been called fragile. It’s never even been alluded to that I could be.  I am every antonym listed above.  I am not only strong for myself but for my family and friends.  I roll up my sleeves and help, I do the hard work, I save the day.  A fragile person couldn’t save the day.  

Life doesn’t hand me lemons, it hurls them at me while they’re still attached to large branches with a wind up pitch.  And I dodge them on a regular basis.  Sometimes.  Sometimes they land squarely in the center of my head and throw me for (albeit brief) loop, knocking me the breath out of me, leaving me dazed and confused in a puddle on the ground.  Sometimes they just graze me, draw a little blood, leave a little scar and the scent of lemon wafting in the air.  

So when a guy I was dating (we’ll call him Captain Cutie) called me fragile one night while in a deep discussion about life, I was taken aback.  I’ve been called a lot of adjectives in my life, but this was a new one.  And it did not set well with me.  As a matter of fact (in the words of Grandma Trudy), it “crawled all over my ass”. 

I must back up for a moment and explain as I’m sure most girls dream of having a man treat her as if she were fragile, kid gloves, carefully handle her.  I’m just not most girls.  I was taught at a very early age that being fragile not only is bad but it’s not allowed.  I grew up with thick skin.  And I’d like to just state this right up front, I love my parents and would do anything in the world for them.  It took me ten years in therapy on a weekly basis and 12 years on stage on a nightly basis to get through my childhood issues.  They are vast and deep.  And like every comic I know, I had a crappy childhood with lemons being hurled at me – that is what drove most of us to the stage.  And my parents did the best they could with what they had.  If they would have known better, they would have done better.  I don’t blame them, I don’t use my childhood as a crutch, an excuse or a reason.  It is what it is (I should cross stitch that on a pillow).  And it was a long, long time ago.  I wouldn’t change it, because it made me who I am.  Not all good, but I am who I am (I’m Popeye the Sailor Man — toot toot — sorry, I could not resist, and I tried).  Tough situations and events build character.  They taught me who I was.  And for that, I have no regrets.  I was raised by a tough as nails, alcoholic, emotionally unavailable Marine father and a martyr mother who was unable to differentiate between fact and fiction.  And I’m the oldest child and we all know what that means.  

Being fragile in my house was not an option for me.  And I didn’t even know that someone could be fragile until much later in life.  If I cried, I got in more trouble.  If I didn’t pick the biggest, thickest switch on the tree, I got in even more trouble.  I lied a lot as a child.  Not because I liked to lie but to protect my sister and brother.  I took their punishment because they were more easily broken.  I could handle it.  It was easier.  Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t beaten to a pulp when I was a kid, but my dad had a quick temper and a strong arm and believed if you spared the rod, you did spoil the child (and to be honest, I kind of believe that too…time out…are you kidding me???).  

The toughest punishment I ever received was the time I was caught riding dirt bikes with a group of troublemaking boys in the woods by the power lines.  And no, that is not a euphemism for sex.  I never saw it coming.  Just a long tanned arm popped out from the treeline and caught me by my waist length ponytail, pulling me off the back of said dirt bike and into the air.  It was a good five minutes before I realized we were halfway home and my feet had never touched the ground.  My father carried me all the way home by my ponytail.  He opened my bedroom door and threw me into my room, by my ponytail.  And later I got a spanking with of course the largest switch on the tree.  I remember everything about that afternoon.  My head throbbed.  My sweet brother cried in the room next to me.  

The next day I still had a headache and a Dorthy Hamill haircut.  (If you don’t remember or know what this haircut looks like, you should Google it, it was the rage in the 70’s and paired with a pair of Mork & Mindy suspenders, I’m certain I was the hottest chick not riding dirt bikes in the neighborhood).  Tears got you in more trouble in my house.  They still do.  Well, not in my house, I love to cry, I encourage it, I like to sit around and cry all day, hoping the neighbors or a friend will stop by and join me.  I’m kidding.  Tears will still get you in trouble at my dad’s house even though he has come so far, it’s just something that he cannot handle.  I’ve only seen him cry once and it scared the crap out of me.  Last January I was upset and he had hurt my feelings.  I tried to ‘talk to him about my emotions and feelings.  How his words affected me.”  I started tearing up halfway through my monolog and not only was he going bat shit crazy with emotions being shared when “Naked & Afraid” was on television, but my tears fueled his fire.  And he popped up out of his lazy boy and laid into me.  Sometimes it only takes a moment to forget all the therapy you’ve had and all the ways you’ve evolved, forget the person that you’ve become and revert right back to that little girl.  And maybe, just maybe at that moment, I was a bit fragile.  But I couldn’t show it.  

And that is what I’m coming to realize, that being fragile isn’t necessarily a bad thing to everyone.  And that a little bit of fragility shows a human side.  I know that I can be broken.  But I also know it takes a lot to break me and that I do heal, sometimes quicker than others, but mostly I bounce back pretty quickly.  

I’ve been called a lot of names in my lifetime and they really don’t bother me.  I’ve been called fat, mean, ugly, stupid, bitch, the c-word, a slut, a know-it-all, a whore, a disappointment, loudmouth, opinionated, uppity, hack, a loser, a failure – and usually I have the same response, “I’ve been called worse by better people”.  It’s true.  And descriptive adjectives don’t usually nag at me for months on end.  It was April when Captain Cutie called me fragile and it’s June and I’m still analyzing it, still offended by it, still pondering why on earth anyone would ever use that word to describe me.   

I soul searched.  I asked my close friends.  I talked with my therapist about it.  I conducted a Facebook poll in which not one of the 36 respondents agreed with him.  He was coming out of left field and it bugged the crap out of me.  We quit seeing each other shortly after that and my friends joking asked me if I was feeling fragile.  We’d laugh and I’d shrug it off.  And then start thinking about it again. 

I was like Angela Lansbury trying to get an answer of our Captain Cutie.  He tried to explain the thoughts behind his words but they never made sense to me.  And I could have probably gone a lifetime and never known but sometimes fate has a way of intervening.  

About two weeks ago, I got a text from the Captain.  It started slowly and then a few phone calls ensued.  A lot of laughs, a lot of catching up, some flirting, a lot of deep conversation.  I missed him.  I missed the connection we had.  It was intense and rare and deep.  We shared a lot about our lives in the short time we dated.  It was easy and natural to be with him.  I liked that.  Three or four days into talking, we had picked that right back up.  And then a joke about me being fragile.  

I took a deep breath and asked him to please explain.  And he did.  Kind of.  He said I was fragile like lace.  And that really didn’t clarify a damn thing.  His next sentence stopped me in my tracks.  “I never said it was a bad thing to be fragile.”  And that’s when I realized that he didn’t mean it totally as a negative thing.  But I had taken it as one.  I thought it was an insult.  His comment was based more on the fact that I was fragile in the way that I put my heart out there, I trust people, I fall in love, I take chances.  I don’t give up easily.  And that because he was struggling with his own issues and not sure if he could give me all that I ‘deserved’ in a relationship, he was afraid he would hurt me.  It wasn’t about me, it was about him.  He was trying to protect me in his own silly way.  Like lace baby.

I am vulnerable at times.   And sometimes I am weak.  So, I guess that makes me fragile to some degree.  And I’m actually okay with that.  After 44 years, I am still learning things about myself and that can never be a bad thing.  

I saw Captain Cutie last night for dinner.  We chatted and laughed and talked.  It was good.  And I slept better than I’ve slept in months.  I don’t know what is next.  Neither of us do.  I’m just going to let it unfold.  And hope that he does the best that he can with what he has, is honest with me, and allows nature to take it’s course.  And I’m going to continue to be me – even if it means I’m a bit fragile at times.  And I’m going to wear my new t-shirt every time I see him, just as a little inside joke/reminder.  

Image 

 

 

 

Lemon Drops and Lap Dances

True story.  I woke up on Saturday, hugged my cousins neck and said, “I’m sorry I gave your husband and daughter a lap dance last night.”  She replied, “No problem.  I think they enjoyed it.”  I effing love my family.

Turns out I like to dance.  And in laps of people I’ve just met and sometimes strangers.  I don’t discriminate.

I could stop there.  But then I’d be bombarded with people trying to buy me a Lemon Drop and see if this post is true or not.  I could also call this post, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”.  But you know I like sharing, so it would be more like, “What happens in Vegas, is blogged by Laura later, once she sobers up.”  Or something like that.

It starts so innocently, a call or email asking, “Do you want to join me and some friends in Vegas for a few days?”  And at that pivotal moment you realize that you face a fork in the road.  Vegas is a lot of fun for tourist, I hear most of the residents are unhappy and feel stuck.   And if you venture off the strip or downtown, you’ll see the enormous amount of poverty that surrounds those bright lights. It’s not nicknamed Sin City for naught.  And most of us know that a ‘few days’ in LV is all it takes.

I got that email. And I didn’t waste a second before replying “Yes!”.  It was from my cousin, Amy, whom I have not seen in at least 15 years.  Vegas can be a fun place – especially if you’re a people watcher like myself.  I’m not usually much of a drinker but I do like to gamble a bit.  And it was in May before the summer heat takes its death grip.  True story, many years ago my mom was out there during a record breaking heatwave and she was wearing the then popular Jelly shoes and the bottoms started to melt and stick to the ground.  I think the lesson here is never wear Jelly shoes because they are ugly and unreliable footwear but I’m not sure how exactly I got to that conclusion.

I booked my flight and my hotel.  My cousins daughter was turning 21.  I’ve never met the step-daughter, Sam, or the husband, Paul.  My Aunt Pam & her husband, Art, were meeting them out there.  And a few of my cousins friends were coming along for the ride – all around my age.  It sounded fun and harmless.  I mean how much trouble can a 44 year old get into in Vegas while celebrating a 21st birthday with a bunch of other old people?  This assumption was my fatal error.

I arrived before everyone else.  I thought I’d get some rest, enjoy a good dinner, gamble a little.  My cousin and her friends are not big on gambling but they are champions at drinking.  If it were an Olympic sport, Team USA would have domination and a buttload of medals.  And apparently due to my performance I could qualify to be a part of their team!   I’m still a rookie, but I think I could at least pull a bronze.  Now if they add a category for lap dancing while drunk, I think I could get a better score.  I gotta work on my dismount…

What they say about the best laid plans is true.  Neal and Don (my seatmates) were drunk when they got on the plane in Houston and the cocktails flowed all the way to Vegas.  I don’t know how many Jack & Cokes I had but it’s been 3 years since I’ve had a soda and longer than that since my good friend Jack worked his way over my lips.  Let’s just say that it was good catching up with my old friend and fun making new ones.   By the time we stumbled to baggage claim I had been asked out to go see a Cirque du Soleil show, Zoomanity, which I accepted.  And later found out it was like watching live porn.  Really?  That is what you’re inviting me to?  I guess that is the vibe I give out when liquored up on a plane with strangers.  Neal and Don were good old boys from Louisiana who wore Rolex watches and bought everything my heart desired from the stewardesses.   They were on their way to a convention in Vegas.  Don opened his wallet once to pay for a round (doubles for everyone in our row) and there was a stack of hundred dollar bills that as thick as a can of tuna.

There was no rest to be had in Vegas.  What was I thinking?

The fun continued to flow as Amy is a planner (you know I like that) and she had the days filled to the brim with bar visits at casinos up and down the strip.  Her plan also included a few meal stops and lots of hydration, some karaoke and more drinking in between bar stops.

By the time I met up with everyone on the first morning (still hungover from my flight the night before) , there were already shots being taken.  When in Rome….by noon, I had a steady buzz.   By 3 I was in need of a break.    I can’t remember the last time I had more than two cocktails in one night.  And thinking back on Vegas I can’t remember when I didn’t have more than two cocktails an hour.  Booze is free (or really cheap) and they have this rule that when you buy someone a shot, you have to do one for yourself as well!  It makes spending money more fun.

This is from day one – before a single drink in Nevada was taken.

My cousin, Amy - isn't she beautiful?
My cousin, Amy – isn’t she beautiful?

For someone that doesn’t drink on a regular basis, I kept up pretty well.  We were up and down the strip and I ended up being one of the last of the night to hit the sheets.  Not bad for an old lady.

Friday is where I started making stupid mistakes.  I didn’t pace myself.  I didn’t hydrate and after doing shots at Carnival Court, the dancing began.  What started as a foot tap turned into a full on hair tossing, ass shaking good time.   Amy & Pauls friends were hysterical, fun and it was if I had known them a lifetime.  I turned down Zoomanity and opted to hang with my home team.  Getting to spend time with my cousin as an adult is going down as one of my best memories.   Everyone was doing well, even Sam who was having a blast.  We only had one casualty who was over served and apparently went up to his room to take a bath.   Yes, I said he.  And yes, I said bath.

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We spotted these boys from across six lanes of traffic and I convinced Amy to go get a photo with me!  Kiss impersonators wearing thongs.  You don’t see this everyday.  Thankfully.  Laura had lost control.  She was dancing and singing and taking shots including one free round from a bartender who stood atop the bar with a bottle perched between his knees pretending it was … um, his manhood.  I proudly tilted my head back and accepted the shot.  Yes, this is Laura on Vegas.  I saw several cameras flash and I am certain I am now in Facebook albums of strangers from all over the world.  No rules, no worries.  Just fun.  Besides let them take pictures, I’m not running for office.

Saturday is where it all went downhill.  We drank steady all day and ended the night at the Carnival Court again, where I decided I needed Lemon Drops.  Many of our group had long ago given up and headed to bed.  The stragglers included myself, Sam, Lewis (the oldest member of our party – who I am not far behind…the two of us were often the last to leave the night), Amy’s husband, Paul and another of their friends, the bather, Rich.  The band was amazing and someone bought a round of lemon drops.  The rim laced with sugar and the combination of the hot night and the refreshing drinks made it magical.

Okay, that’s not really the case.  There was nothing magical about it.   It was insanity.  And debauchery at it’s finest.  It was like scene out of some strange porn without the donkey and midget.  There were lingerie clad dancers in cages high above our heads.   There was a woman with a skimpy dress on without underwear who kept dancing with her arms above her head giving us all a view.  I have never seen another woman’s vagina up close and personal.  She was 10 feet away from me.  It felt so strange.

The drinks were flowing.  There was a guy with an English accent trying to have a conversation with me and all I kept saying was, “I hate guys from England.  You’re all douchebags.”  Which seemed to make me more attractive to him.   I may or may not have given him a lap dance.   Odds are pretty good that he got one.   So let’s go with that.

I have to say that I have never given a lap dance to anyone before that night.  I never got into the whole stripper pole craze.  Although my step mother once asked me to take a class with her, to which I emphatically declined.   First I didn’t want to dance on a pole and second and most importantly, I didn’t want to watch her do it.

Rich, Lewis, Paul and even Sam, yes, Sam.  Innocent 21 year old, college student Sam got a lap dance from her cousin that night.  I lost count of the shots.  I lost track of the time.  I lost my inhibitions and I just let it all go.  I haven’t danced without inhibitions since I was in college.  And I was pretty good at it.  Even the lap dances I was told.

It was good.  It was freeing.  It was liberating.  I danced and danced and danced.  I  watched the girl in the short skirt have sex with a guy she finally settled on.  Right there 10 feet from me.  In public.  The music was loud, the crowd was drunk and no one even gave it more than a 15 second stare.  It was so strange.  And yet, so freeing.   That’s Vegas, baby.

I didn’t have a care in the world.  I wasn’t paying bills.  I wasn’t overworked.  I wasn’t checking emails.  I wasn’t worried about my nieces’ health or my aging parents.  I couldn’t care less about my dating life.  I didn’t suck my stomach in.  I didn’t care if my hair was pulled back and looked good or the fact that my make up had been sweated off hours before.  I didn’t dwell on the fact that I didn’t have kids.  Or wasn’t concerned about what people thought about me.  I danced, and danced and danced.  I didn’t have to walk the dog.  Or be anywhere in the morning.  I didn’t care what one single person thought.  I hadn’t felt this free since I was in college.  And it was good.  It was ridiculous and crazy and it was good.  It was good for my soul.

After the unpteenth Lemon Drop, the guys we were with were refusing to get up from their chairs.  So I went to them.  And apparently gave them all lap dances.  Good lap dances too I’m told.  Fun, flirty, playful lap dances.  Somehow Sam joined in and she got one too.  I mean, hell, it’s her 21st birthday, and who doesn’t want a lap dance from their older, chubby, sweaty, drunk second cousin as a way to usher in the next phase of her life?

It was time for bed.  It was 3 AM.  I was beat.  And danced out.  Best.  Night.  Ever.

And then there was morning.  I sprang out of bed with the thought, “I gave my cousins husband and daughter and his friends lap dances last night.  Please let that have been a drink induced dream.”  It wasn’t.  And no one seemed upset, least of all my cousin who said I was complimented on my skills.

I’m not condoning drinking copious amounts of alcohol, lap dances for your family and friends and sex in public, but I am condoning letting your hair down once in a while.  Not talking life so seriously.  Taking a break from being the adult and letting yourself feel the music.  Remembering to have a good time.  Make some strange memories (and new friends).  Be the person in the place that looks like she’s having the most fun, because she is the person having the most fun.  Having the courage to just be in the moment.  To allow yourself to live in it even if just for a little while.  Have fun, flirt, be silly, don’t care who is watching, who is judging, don’t think about a thing in the world other than making the most of the moment you are in.  And just go with it.  Except having sex in public, which goody for her, but it ain’t happening for this old broad.

On Saturday Vegas had had her way with us.  We were in pain.  Still drunk from the night before and wanting nothing more than to be sober.  There were flights to catch back to reality.  Hugs goodbye.  Shared smiles.  Good memories.  Fun times.  New friends.  New skills (mad skills!!!).   And it may be a while before I can drink again but I survived.  I had fun.  I was free.  And a feeling I shall not soon forget.  And you know what?  I still got it.  She’s still in there.  And I plan on bringing her out more often.

Not for lap dances though.  I think those days (or that day in this case) is over.  But never say never.  I mean Vegas is only a flight away….

Besides I found a dollar in my bra that morning.  And now I’m wondering if I have to claim it on my taxes.

 

It’s not you, it’s me.

Yeah, well, it’s starting to feel like me.  And this blog is starting to turn into ‘The life and times of dating in your 40’s’ and that was surely not the intention.  But it is what is going on in my life (along with 18 million other things) so why not?  Maybe misery does love company.  And I’m not even sure if misery is the right word.

Here is what I have discovered with dating as an evolved, intelligent woman at the tender, young age of 44, do with it what you may.  Men who are my age or older (to which I am traditionally attracted to) fall into one of two categories:

  1. They want very young, very hot, non-opinionated women who make good arm candy.  They don’t want a 44 year old, independent, self-sufficient woman who has opinions and a mind of her own.
  2. They have been hurt very badly by a previous relationship.  They want a woman like me, but are scared shitless when they find one.  All their insecurities, all their baggage, all their bad decisions take over and shut them down.  And they say things like, “I like you too much”, “It’s not you, it’s me.”   They thought they were ready for a ‘relationship’ but cannot differentiate a relationship from dating and getting to know someone.  And to be honest, in my youth, I thought it was all one thing as well.

Men who are younger than me – in their early 30’s who want to meet me or date me cause a whole other set of problems and fall into a few categories:

  1. They have mother issues.
  2. They still want to party, hang with their frat brothers and are wobbling on the fine line of being an adult and reliving their glory days.
  3. They have very young kids and worry despite my explanation that I don’t like kids (which couldn’t be further from the truth).

I’ve never been attracted to younger men.  But thought what I was doing was not working, so I thought I would open my mind and give it a whirl.

The last month or so has been exhausting.  I can’t keep up.  My friends can’t either.  They’ve stopped asking specifics and just asked how dating was going.  I’ve spent the better part of the afternoon trying to accept the fact that yes, it probably IS me.

Let’s talk about me for a minute (my favorite subject; right?).  Here is what I am doing and you can tell me what I’m doing wrong.  I am honest, open, I am a great conversationalist, I’m funny, I’m mildly attractive, I’m smart, I’m caring.  I return emails, I return texts, I listen and ask questions.  I am interested in getting to know someone.  But somehow in this process I feel like I’m becoming their therapist.  I don’t know how to not ask personal questions and draw emotions out of someone.  It’s not because I’m nosey or I’m trying to make them be introspective, it’s because I’m interested and I like to get to know them — I mean other than what their favorite band is, where they went to college, and where their favorite vacation spot is.   I get to know someone via email exchange before I ever trade phone numbers with them.  I don’t waste anyones time if I’m not interested.  I don’t play games.  I am honest.  I don’t beat around the bush.  I’ve never had a phone conversation with any of these men that wasn’t at least an hour.  Not because I’m trying to keep them on the phone, but because they are interested as well.  And we usually have a great date or dates.  They text me, email me, call me.  They compliment me.  They laugh and make me laugh.  They tell me that I’m normal.  I’m not crazy.  They don’t see any red flags.

I am honest that I am dating other people.  I’m not sleeping around.

And then at some point, they go into this spiel that starts off with, “You’re so amazing…” and ends with, “I’m just not ready.”

So, I’m trying to figure out what vibe I’m throwing out there, what on earth I’m doing wrong that there is so much chemistry and then I scare the crap out of them and they run for the hills.  Let’s review.

I first heard these words with Captain Cutie.  He wasn’t ready.  He didn’t have a place in his life for me.  Or for anyone.  He needed to clean up some things and get past some issues before he could move forward with anyone.  But he wasn’t willing to just ‘date’.  He wanted all or nothing.   He couldn’t give all at this point.  So he chose nothing.  There is nothing more heartbreaking than finding a really great guy and have him dump you for reasons that you have no control over.  Nothing you did or didn’t do.  Your pure awesomeness was not enough.  He didn’t expect to find me this soon.

I have often stated that if you stop trying, you stop living and you start dying.  I’m not ready for that.  I believe in love.  I like love.  I’m not ready to give up.  I’m not jaded or broken.  I have flaws, I have baggage.  But I’m generally a good person.  A good friend, a good lover, a good sister and daughter.  I believe in people.  I trust.  I give.

I reactivated my online account and met a few new friends (just to name a few) –  Dave with the Dimples, Mike the Movie Maker, Roger from South Africa, Dave the doctor, Art the Oncologist, Troy the Chef, Char the CPA, Jacob the Daddy & Brian the IT guy.

I’m almost 100% certain that Dave with the Dimples was gay and in denial.

Art the oncologist was intense and laser focused.  He was also 30.  And currently lives in Atlanta.  Sexy and smart and 6 hours away by car.  Too young,  Too unsure.  And too far away.

Mike the Movie Maker met me for lunch and never asked me one question about myself.  He had a hard time making eye contact.  And confessed that he lived with his mom and dad because he was trying to fund his latest indy movie project.  Which by the way I could happily donate to if I so desired via his KickStarter campaign.

Jacob the Daddy was 34.  He has a one year old.  He’s got divorced when his wife was pregnant (he didn’t know she was at the time).  He missed his step kids terribly.  And his family.  He has a wildly successful business.  We had a great date.  Near the end he started showing me pictures of his daughter.  Then his step kids.  And then a sadness took over.  He couldn’t get out of there fast enough.  He told me as he tried to shove his tongue down my throat in the parking lot that he just wasn’t ready.  He thought he was.  I stopped his attempts at ravaging me by my car and noticed he had tears in his eyes.  He told me that all the women he met online were flakey except me.  And that he really liked me.  But I scared the crap out of him.  I wasn’t sure what to say except that I wasn’t trying to be scary, I was just trying to be myself.  He said he was lonely.  He had a great job and had a great daughter.  He wanted someone to share it with.  He just had trouble trusting that another woman wouldn’t break his heart.  I told him that was part of the experience, part of life.  You had to keep putting it out there.  That as cliche as it sounds, it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.  The tears started a little harder.  And he excused himself.

I only have a psychology minor.  Imagine what I could do if that had been my major.

Char the CPA has been chasing me since the day I first joined Match.com.  He was not a candidate because he lives in Nashville and is 34.  We chatted a bit.  He kept asking me out.  We texted and kept in touch.  He’s Indian.  He’s very driven.  He’s on track.  Mature.  He’s very nice.  And again, the age thing got in my head.  Oh yeah, and the distance thing.    He does work in Memphis quite a bit.  So, finally when Captain Cutie was out the door, I agreed to have dinner with Char.  He has great taste in restaurants.  Great taste in wine.  Showed up in an Armani suit with a huge bouquet of flowers.  We had a great dinner.  After dinner neither of us were ready to go home, so we went in search of some coffee and continued our conversation.  Turns out Char is a little extreme.  He knew I was dating other guys, and wanted to nip that in the bud (apparently a $200 dinner and excessively large bouquet of flowers meant more than I knew).  Turns out he was cheated on by his last girlfriend.  And now he has trust issues.  My guy friends would now be a thing of my past.  And one dinner apparently was a contract that entailed me not looking at, dating, or talking to other men.  My new trainer would need to be switched to a female trainer because that was too dangerous.  I was certain the next thing he would do was measure me for a birka and lock me in his Nashville home.

Troy the chef was not someone I really wanted to go out with.  His photos reminded me of my ex-husband (and guess what?  In person it was even creepier).  He kept insisting and finally I thought, “What the hell do I have to lose?” and we set a date for dinner.  Troy was funny, older, settled, a dog lover and has a dog that he calls the N-word.  I was never more uninterested in my life.  After dinner that night he texted me to tell me how much fun he had.  Offered to cook me dinner at his place on Saturday and that I could drive up and spend the night on Friday and we could spend the entire day together on Saturday.  I guess the hug and peck on the cheek was a little too seductive and he assumed the next step was me crawling into bed with him at his place.  For a weekend.  Later that night I took a call from him.  He kept telling me (hint hint) about his son’s wedding in NC in September (hint hint) and how much fun it was going to be (hint hint) and finally I asked him if he was hint-hinting me.  He said, yes, he would love for me to be his date!  Let me remind you that this is April and we’ve had exactly one dinner.  He told me about the travel plans he had made and what kind of dress he’d envisioned me in.  I told him that he was moving kind of quickly.  He said “he just knew”.  Apparently he spent a lot of time thinking about me.  The next night during dinner with my girl friends, Troy kept calling.  Finally I texted and told him I was with friends.  He told me to check my email.  Troy had taken the liberty of creating ‘our’ Christmas card on Jib Jab (a site you can insert your face into cartoon characters as they frolic around).  Not only was he Santa and I Mrs. Clause, but he had his kids and grand daughters photo in there as well.

I called him later that night and told him he was moving too fast.  That the card and the wedding planning scared me.  He said he was just teasing.  And then he got defensive and nasty.  And told me that he really wasn’t that into me anyway.  I was too fat for him.  (Um – this is the guy who is probably just over 300 pounds and hasn’t been to the gym in years).  I told him I felt similarly (although I wasn’t going to get nasty).  And wished him the best.  He texted me later to tell me he was sorry but he thought I liked him too much and it scared him.  Ummm…yeah, I’m sure THAT was the vibe I was giving out.

Roger from South Africa is a hot mess.  His accent is delightful but he’s in the process of rebuilding his life.  He’s made a lot of mistakes.  He’s rough around the edges.  He’s deep.  And he’s as stated in my first sentence, a hot mess.  He told me he was really into me.  I was amazing.  And then the next day he told me that it scared him how attracted he was to me.

Yes, I’m finding an abundance of scared men.

And then I thought I met a normal one.  Dave the doctor is probably one of the most interesting men I’ve met.  He is engaging, not at all stuffy, he makes me laugh, we have a lot in common.  He’s smart, evolved, quirky, silly, challenges me, let’s me challenge him, easy going, and seemingly normal.  We had a great first date, great conversations, great text exchanges.  And then he canceled our date for this weekend.  Twice.  He said he’s not ready, it’s not you, it’s me.  I’m not ready.  I’ve been hurt (haven’t we all?).  He said I remind him of his ex-wife and we all know that isn’t a good thing.  Ever.  He’s having trust issues…with himself, and women, and life, and decisions and the voices in his head.

Whenever a guy says to me, I’m not ready.  I ask them, ‘Ready for what?’.  “This” seems to be the answer I get.  I’m not sure what “This” is to them.  Or what it is to me is the same thing.

With the Captain after further examination, I realized after he spoke those words that he meant a relationship.  And this is what Dave meant as well.  And many of the other guys I’ve crossed paths with.  I have found that the word relationship has vastly different means to just about every single person.  Do I want to be in a relationship?  Yes.  I am built for monogamy.  Am I willing to jump into one?  No.  I am smarter than that.  And the burn from the last time still lingers in the air.  Just because I’m not willing to put a label on it, I am willing to stop my hijinx with dating others.  I’m willing to be loyal and faithful until we both arrive (hopefully) at the same place at the same time.  But we both have to be willing to trust.  We both have to be willing to put it on the line.  We both have to let our guards down, open up and trust another person.  Let that person in.  Let that person learn to love us, learn to love that person.  It’s a hard thing to do when you’ve been hurt.  It probably is a hard thing to do period.  But that’s why it’s worth it.  If it were easy, everyone would do it.

It’s not you, it’s me – a phrase that stings.  It never gets easier to hear.  I don’t understand why there are so many men on dating websites that are not ready to date?  They’re not ready to put their hearts out there.  Fear has paralyzed them.  They’re not ready to take a chance.  Every relationship that I’ve ever been in has ended.  That is the truth.  It’s an undeniable fact.  Some hurt worse than others.  Some I stayed too long.  Some I trusted too quickly.  There were many that I gave too much.  And many where I was the one that did the hurting.  I’m not perfect in any way, shape or form.  And I don’t claim to be.  I have baggage.  I have flaws.  I have battle scars.  I have issues.  And I’m scared.  Scared of being made to look like a fool (again), scared of being robbed (again), scared of being cheated on (again), scared of not being enough (again).  But fear has never controlled my life in that way.  I’m more scared of giving up, quitting and missing the one great love of my life.  I’m more afraid of having to be someone I’m not, afraid to quit trying, afraid to stop living and start dying.  I’m tired of being ‘the one who got away’.  I’ve heard it more times than I care to count.  I want to be the ‘one who got it’, the one who ‘faced her fears’, the one who ‘trusted herself and her judgment’, the one who ‘never stopped trying’, the one who ‘lived happily ever after’.

 

 

 

 

 

The preppy girl gets more ink

Around 1990 I sat in a scary tattoo shop with my friend, Robyn, and we got our first tattoos. Tiny black outline of a heart on our right ankles. It symbolized our friendship and love for each other and we knew we’d always have a bond – even through distance and life and arguments and periods of not talking to each other. We’d always have this symbol of where we were in our lives. It was on Highland Street by Memphis State. It was a cement building with a window unit, a ratty couch and some dicey dudes. This was WAY before tattoos became mainstream and two little pretty chicks on a Saturday night was cause for a lot of raised eyebrows. Robyn moved to Denver and I went on the road.

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Years later while performing in the Bahama’s I knew I wanted something added. My motto was Peace + Love = Happiness. Inner peace, love yourself and you’ll always be happy. I had these little icons added on a balmy night in a back room with the windows open,  a neighborhood cat in my lap, a cool ocean breeze, and a lot of Goldschlager. I had inner peace, had learned to love myself and was truly the happiest I could ever remember. Life ebbed and flowed from that point but I always had a reminder of that feeling of utter happiness.

I don’t have a lot of tattoos. I have two on my shoulder (where no one ever sees them), but they have meaning and mark an important chapter/event in my life. Chinese symbols meaning ‘Strength thru good times and bad’ for my trip through cancer & a dragonfly to remember my grandma Trudy when she passed. She took a big piece of me with her.  Years later after I left the road, I actually had a job in sales that required me to cover up my tattoo (can you even imagine that these days?).  I had wished a hundred times it was elsewhere on my body.  My own secret, not one to share with the world.

I’ve been wanting to mark my last couple of years. The good, the bad, and the downright ugly. The person I’ve become is vastly different from the person I’ve ever been. I see it, others do too. The last few months especially – selling the house, the divorce, finding a job that I love, getting healthy, dating again, returning ‘home’ and rebuilding relationships with my friends and family. There have been hard times. But I have to really search my memory to find them. Mostly it’s been filled with the most overwhelming sense of peace. I know 100% that this is exactly where I am supposed to be in my life. No doubt. It is so freeing.  I honestly feel like I’m the best I’ve ever been — happy, healthy, loved, beautiful, content. Stronger, faster, better.  The feeling of inner peace radiates through every cell in my body. I have finally realized who I am at my core, come to terms with it and fell in love with her.

I know I will make mistakes. I know I will stumble. There will be hard times. But I wanted to mark this time in my life so that whenever I hit those times I will remember this girl, who she is, what she is capable of. I will remember to love her, nurture her, and not be too hard on her. I will be able to think back on this feeling of total love and acceptance and help her up, dust her off and hold her hand until she is steady again.

Two days ago I saw what I was looking for. The sign that I knew would help me to remember. It hit me so hard that I nodded in agreement when reading it all the while tears rolled down my face. It said everything I felt, told my story, reminded me of the lessons. I ventured down Highland Avenue this afternoon. And found a tattoo parlor (I love calling them that). I met Quinn – the only tattoo artist I’ve ever seen wearing dress pants and a pressed shirt. We discussed what I wanted, what it meant and how on earth he would accomplish it. I had devised a plan late last night with my BFF Amy while drinking beer, my foot in her lap and an ink pen in her hand. She drew out the words that I would place forever on my skin. (And yes, her husband was confused when he wandered out to the porch at what was going on.)

It took Quinn some time to draw it out and devise a plan. I stepped outside to enjoy some sunshine. And looked across the street. That tiny cement building that Robyn and I had made our friendship bond was just across the street. I hadn’t even thought about that shop in a million years. It all came back to me. The ratty couch, the confused bikers, the feeling of flesh being pierced and a mark that would stay with me forever.  The beginning of my journey into adulthood.  Shortly after I left that building, I moved away and started experiencing life.  And now shortly after coming home, I’m across the street feeling like I’m on top of the world.  I am home.  Full circle.  Overwhelming.

I sent Robyn a picture and told her how much I loved her and how much she has meant to me through the years.  We don’t see each other hardly at all.  But I know if I ever need her, she’d be right here.  And I hope she knows that about me as well.  Always and forever.  Quinn banged on the glass and motioned me back in (he may be wearing dress pants but he’s still a tattoo artist!).

An hour later and I’ve finally marked this latest chapter in my life.

“My heart is at ease knowing that what was meant for me will never miss me, and that what misses me was never meant for me.”  It starts where my Peace + Love = Happiness tattoo leaves off and it wraps itself gracefully around my ankle and sweeps down onto my foot.  It trails off with a fleur-di-lis.  It’s designed to resemble a rosary.  The fleur-di-lis is one of my favorite symbols.  It just seemed like the right thing to put at the end.

This is the picture of it now and later I’ll swap out with a better one once it heals. You can see the very end of the smiley face where the text begins.

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If my entire world crumbles or ends tomorrow, I will have no regrets.  I will have lived, loved and laughed with every ounce of me.  And if I get to live another 44 years I will never forget this feeling I have right now.  I hope everyone gets to experience this true bliss.

Now I’m going to take my ‘blissful’ butt to the bathroom and wipe off some blood dripping down my ankle and put some ointment on it.

Life it good baby.  Very good.

Setting the record straight

I had a funny thing happen last night.  It hasn’t happened in a long time to me.  And I hope like hell it’s a long time before it ever happens again.  The guy I’ve been dating read my blog.  Now, in all fairness I share posts with him from time to time.  And I accuse him of finding it.  And then the other day he actually searched and found it.  He promised he wouldn’t read it if I didn’t want him to.  And I thought about it for a while.  

At one point I told him that I didn’t want him to read it.  And maybe at some point (down the road — I mean longer than our three weeks) that I would point him in the direction of it.  I had my reasons.  They all stem back from a million years ago when I was working as a comic.  The person you saw on stage was not the same person off stage.  She was my alter ego in many ways.  There were bits and pieces of me in there.  There were some truths and some exaggerations.  Bits and pieces of reality that were very funny to begin with and with some tweaking could be made hysterical.  Some bits were just random thoughts.  Some were random words that just happen to come out in a conversation and I thought, “Hey, I should write that down.”  In other words, who a comic is on stage, is never the exact same person off stage.  I think that goes with any entertainer.  At least I hope so as I’d never want to be involved with a magician who was constantly pulling things out of my ear all day and making my bunny disappear.  It would get old.  Fast.  

Now, I am funny naturally.  I’m a born entertainer.  I’ve been making people laugh since I was a young kid.  The first time I ever knew for certain I was funny was when I was around 10.  I came running into the house through the kitchen door and left it open.  My mom had a gaggle of women sitting around and she yelled, “Close the door.  Were you raised in a barn?”  I didn’t miss a beat and yelled back, “You’re my mom, shouldn’t you know!”  The room erupted and a star was born.  I was hooked.  

I like making people laugh.  I like entertaining them.  I like telling stories.  Writing a good story.  It’s a high for me.  I don’t need drugs or alcohol, I don’t need a microphone or a spotlight or for that matter an audience of more than one.  I make people feel comfortable from the first moment they interact with me.  It’s a gift.  I’m creative and silly and funny on a regular basis without having to try.  People love that about me.  I love that I have this quality.  It’s served me well in many, many instances – on and off the road.  But it is not all of who I am.  I never liked friends and family to see me perform.  It wasn’t because I thought they would judge my act.  And every time one of them did they inevitably said something to the effect of “You’re much funnier in person.”  (Yes, I get the irony)  The first time a good friend said this to me, I was crushed.  And then I got it.  And then I decided to separate my own church and state and stop inviting “my people” to come to a show.  Making strangers laugh is different from making your friends laugh.  It’s much easier.  

Also, I realized at that point that I was living a double life.  If you told people you did this ‘exciting’ thing for a living, they would question you within an inch of your life.  Or tell you bad jokes you ‘could use’.  Or better yet, ask you to tell them a joke.  I wasn’t a Readers Digest, I didn’t tell jokes.  I told stories.  They never got it.  So it was better to tell them I was a secretary in a box factory in Des Moines Iowa.  Nobody ever had expectations or wanted jokes.  Except on that one long flight from LA to Atlanta where some random guy was all about cardboard.  Finally I confessed my true profession and he would have nothing else to do with me.  I tried for four hours to make him laugh.  Nothing.  

The person on stage was not me 100%.  And only other comics ever got that.  

I’m reliving it on a regular basis through Facebook and this blog.  My end goal in life is that I want to write for a living.  And I use this blog to practice that.  Are there real stories in here?  Yes.  Are there truths?  Yes.  Is this the whole story?  No.  Are there exaggerations?  Yes.  Are there ideas and thoughts added to make it seem more believable?  Yes.  That is what a good writer does.  Is this totally 100% who I am?  No. 100% not.  Is this blog biographical?  To some degree.  Is it a work of fiction?  To some degree.  

A writer’s job is to transport you into a situation and make you feel like you’re right there with them, all while sitting in the comfort of your underwear on the couch.  And if you can feel the pain, the sadness, laugh or relate, they’re doing their job and they’re doing it well.  

I am mostly an open book.  I share just about everything.  But I don’t share 100% of who I am or what I’m feeling.  I have secrets.  Special parts that I don’t tell the world.  I have friends that don’t want to be mentioned, situations that they don’t want exposed and I respect that.  I don’t write about it.  I don’t tell you everything about my life either.  

I write something random on Facebook and my phone lights up, my email bings, the texts begin.  Are you okay?  Who was it?  What is happening?  Is this about me?  Did I say/do something?  I’m amazed at the egos on some people that I would spend a perfect good FB post being passive aggressive about them.  My favorite is when I can’t get a song out of my head and I post song lyrics.  Are you okay?  What’s going on?  It’s an effing song.  Get over it.  I’m not that fragile, I was just listening to Adele.  I’ve had family members blow up on me, I’ve had people de-friend me.  I’d had people send me inspiring emails to help me get out of my depressed mood.  And I should be thankful that people care but it really just irritates me for the most part.  The worst are when someone posts a prayer request for me and tags me in it which starts a chain of questions where I have to assure everyone I’m not that unstable and my life is just fine.  I believe fully in the power of prayer but don’t want to waste mine on a bad date story.  

And yes, I know I could solve this by not putting my life out there.  Or part of my life.  

I am ungrateful.  I would not be who I am without the support of my friends and my family.  I know this.  But I need them to know this, this is a blog.  It is not my diary.  If you think this is all of me, you have made a mistake.  If you see me start a new blog called Laura’s Diary Hangs By a Thread, then you know you’re onto some deep shit and can call/text/email to your hearts delight.  But if you’re reading this blog or my Facebook, please know that it is not the entire story.  It’s not the entire me.  Many of my friends know a lot about me.  Hell, many strangers know a lot about me, but most of you don’t know me.  Not the real me.  You think you do, some of you are right about that fact.  But not most of you.   You know a part of me.  The public part.  And that’s okay.  You know a lot.  A lot more than you know about your average friends.  

So, I let Captain Cutie read the blog.  I knew I had a reason for this, but thought what the heck.  I preferenced it with, “Don’t believe everything you read.  It’s a blog.  It’s not 100% who I am.”  And what happens?  He reads it.  And guess what he did?  He got confused about who he was dating.  Thought there was this entire side to me that I wasn’t showing him.  My heart breaks.  Worst nightmare.  (Well, the one about my teeth falling out is worse than this but this is close)  After a long conversation about what my blog says and what it doesn’t say, I think he got it.  I think he understood.  I hope he did.  I’ve asked him to refrain from reading it anymore…for now.  Until he gets to know the real me.  Until he can distinguish the two.  

And I ask the same thing of you (well, not to stop reading this, that would be silly), but to not be so quick to judge what you read here.  Whoever you are.  If you are a long time friend or just someone who thinks they know me or someone who doesn’t want to know me or someone who accidently ended up on this blog.  And I pray that you don’t start a prayer chain for me based on any Facebook status updates or blog post moving forward.  I ain’t that fragile.  I ain’t that in need folks.  My life is pretty freaking sweet.  It’s entertaining to me and I hope it is to you because that is my intention.  

Now, my soapbox is going back in the closet.  And we’ll get back to the entertaining stuff.  Deal?