Thank You for Punching Me in the Face

April 9, 2012 - Leave a Response

I recently received some less than favorable news on the job front.

I’ve been holding out hope for some growth opportunities that have been mentioned over the years and had reaching the point of utter boredom and apathy. While others were moving on and moving up I was stuck with a bear trap around my ankle and just couldn’t get flexible enough to chew through my leg no matter how much yoga I did. So when I got the news that the little carrot that they’ve kept dangling just out of reach was never actually going to be mine I wallowed.

All of this time and energy, years of my life wasted. I’m now exactly were I was when I first got out here except its possibly worse because I’m now 4 years older with this “experience” which makes me undesirable for “entry-level” positions but not moving up or really doing much of anything in my current role makes me look suspicious for anything with more responsibility. Naturally panic ensues as I imagine the rest of my life chained to this desk while the world passes me by.

There was drinking, there was chocolate, oh and there were so many carbs courtesy of Pizza Hut.

The following day was slightly better in that I only felt like crying for 75% of the day and only did tear up twice but never in public.

So why am I grateful for the punch to the face?

I no longer had to feel guilty or worried about leaving my job when the great new gig appears on the horizon and it isn’t a mirage.

For the past few years we’ve had a lot of turnover and each time a new guy starts or the old one leaves I felt it would be more respectful to wait it out. Make sure the new person is up and running before I cut and run. I also was hoping (as it seems in vain but I digress) that with each new boss, new opportunities would exist. Some promised the world and I even believed it for a time so knowing, right from the get go that the current regime wants the assistant equivalent of handcuffed to the stove barefoot and pregnant I can walk away much easier.

What’s the relationship equivalent to this moment?

Anytime someone is honest.

Cruel to be kind as the song goes.

When someone actually has the guts to say “I’m just not that into you” and walks away. That moment hurts sure, but does that fast blast of pain hurt more than months or years of nothingness, loneliness, confusion, and despair. So when you know this isn’t going to work out, go ahead and speak up. A rebuttal will more than likely be offered but in the long run you both know it’s for the best. And if you’re on the receiving end of one of these conversations, it’s ok to be upset but more than likely a week/month from now you’ll be relieved that you got out when you did.

Put Me In Coach I’m Ready to Live

April 4, 2012 - Leave a Response

I feel like I’ve been at the starting line for my life crouched in position and I’m getting a kink in my neck and a Charlie horse in my calves from holding this position for two+ years.

Does anyone else have those days/months/years?

Remember those little matchbox cars that you would roll them backwards to wind them up to make them go farther? I feel like I’ve been doing that with my whole life for longer than I care to admit and the sadistic kid that determines my fate just keeps winding me up never letting me go.

I’m ready for a new job so I apply to everything under the sun and wait for the sparse interviews that give me the smallest possible amount of hope that I might get to move forward. Not even really up like a normal person wants, hell I’ll move sideways just to get something going in my life.

We’re looking for a new apartment so I’m looking at ads and planning and prepping but I can’t actually do anything for another 2+ weeks because everything seems to be “available now” and I can’t rationalize spending money on rent for 2 apartments and I don’t want to get attached to some place that is going to be picked up before the gun goes off for us to actually sign a lease.

So here I am at the starting line

I’m in position

I see the starting judge

He holds the gun up into the air

On my mark

Ready

1

2

2 and a half

Wait for it

Not yet

Almost

For Christ sake pull the trigger already!!!

I’m the dog with a treat on its nose and the bastard owner just keeps saying “stay” or “wait for it” but in my case the damn thing has probably grown mold by this point but for some reason I still want it simply for the fact that I’ve invested all of this time and energy that I can’t give it up.

Is it worse to have the lulls when life seems absolutely beyond any possible redemption? You’ve gotten to the point where you’ve come to grips with a soul sucking job with no potential for advancement or escape. You realize that your landlord has you by the tits (or balls) and laughs at you for thinking you could live in a nice place (with a refrigerator) and not have to live off of Ramen and 2 Buck Chuck. Don’t even get me started on the romance front. Not a crush in sight and the guys that you do see are just now commenting on the hair color change (brown to blonde) that you had done 6 months ago.

With the lottery drawing over the past weekend up to 600 million I realized that the whole concept of the lottery is its selling hope. For $1 you can have a moment where you can hope/dream/believe that you’re life can change for the better with 6 little numbers.

Every job application sent out, smile at a cute guy, or open house listing instills that same feeling. You get to imagine your life changing and the unknown is oh so romantic and tantalizing because it’s shiny and new.

Honestly the new job could be even more soul sucking than the current one, the cute guy could be married with three kids that he forgot to mention, and the house could have asbestos out the ying yang and cost a fortune.

But no one wants to fantasize about that.

So we hope

And eventually

That kid is going to have to let go of that little car that is our life and let us race forward.

The Old Lassie Needs a Nap

March 20, 2012 - One Response

Ahh St. Patrick’s Day

A day pretty much just about getting your drink on. You wear something green, (undergarments as well depending on how likely it will be that you’ll be having sex in the bathroom of the bar that you are at) you drink a lot of beer , you sometimes hear Irish music and at least one guy hits on you with an Irish accent. Now depending on how many Irish Car Bombs you’ve had prior to his approach you may or may not believe him but each year the tradition is the same.

There aren’t too many of these “drunk idiot” days a year so I try to live it up as best as I can for a few reasons. One is that life can get incredibly monotonous and boring and shaking it up from time to time to remind yourself and the world that you still exist can be incredibly invigorating. The other reason is to remind myself why I’m so grateful that I don’t make a habit of these festivities.

There it is…

Finally the truth…

I’m an old fart

I’m sorry I just can’t drink the way I did when I was in college and to be perfectly honest thank god because I don’t want to need a liver transplant before I’m 60 or if ever if I can avoid it. Maybe it’s the fact that I was never much of a party girl or maybe it’s because I got all of that out of my system shortly after graduating but now I want to be able to have a drink or two and legally be capable of driving home on any given night.

I like sleep

No scratch that

I LOVE sleep!

And while I am capable of going on 4 hours and being hung-over at the office its just not worth it to me. I don’t want to be closing down the bar on a Tuesday because I have work in the morning and though most days I can get away being in a haze answering phones I honestly just don’t like it.

It’s not my cup of tea

Yep this granny drinks tea now.

With all of this said did I have fun this past Saturday decked out in green (a lady never shares just how much green;)) doing shots of Jameson and/or half kegs of Guinness?

Abso-fucking-lutely!

 

Am I thrilled I have months to recover/prep for Halloween?

Yeppers to that too.

Bitter Betty

March 11, 2012 - Leave a Response

It finally happened.

I’ve gone to the dark side.

No matter how bleak my own relationship status might be I’ve always still enjoyed a rom-com or been able to see a couple holding hands on the street and smile, and take a deep breath full of hope that I can’t wait for that to be me.

I’m now the girl yelling at the individually wrapped dark chocolate dove wrapper with the supposedly cheerful/sweet/positive/romantic message inside. F*** YOU DOVE! I can no longer watch anything that is even slightly romantic and thus I’ve been powering through  the HBO series OZ that my roomie got for Christmas and I fear for the day that is fast approaching when we get to the last disc and I will be left with nothing equally bitter and cynical and graphically violent.

I sneered at a Jack in the Box commercial where an idiot marries bacon. I can’t seem to pinpoint the anger at a singular event although there were a few that probably contributed all I know is that hope that I used to have deep inside is filled with rage and I need to find a way to replace it. I haven’t reached a panic phase as this current condition has only been an affliction for about 3 weeks however I also don’t want this to become some sort of situation in which the longer I let it sit with me the more comfortable I become.

I need a Grinch moment STAT!

Even Nice Guys Can Get Their Dumb On

March 8, 2012 - Leave a Response

This is an instance where I literally want to bang my head against a wall until I lose consciousness. My nice guy friends are constantly complaining/whining/venting that girls don’t like them that they keep getting overlooked for the mysterious bad boy/damaged/vampire types. Then I have my single girl friends saying that they can’t find any nice-enough boys. As Anne from Anne of Green Gables states, she wants a man who could be wicked, but chose against it. This is the whole reason we date these bad boy/damaged/vampire types but that’s for another entry entirely.

I FINALLY convince a friend to take a chance on one of the “nice guys” that she met online. He wasn’t her physical ideal but he seemed sweet and sincere and just an all around good person. Their first date was lunch and then walking at the beach. Can you say Awwwww!

 

No not “Ahhh” I’m not a dentist.

 

When she returns and says how sweet and nice the date is I think to myself Woohoo a victory! But she remains hesitant. Years of dating bad boys has rubbed off on her to the point where all of her behaviors have been modified to act and react to a certain code of conduct. She feared that these habits might scare away said nice guy and so we worked out ways to keep her from scaring off the new guy.

Second and third date go just as well as the first with hiking and dinner and a movie and she’s feeling like maybe her hesitance to date a “nice guy” was at her own peril. How much time she felt like she wasted on some Amanda Ashley romance novel ideal.

While they’re snuggled up watching tv and getting into some heavy petting she realizes that a nice guy deserves a nice girl, and the nice girl wouldn’t necessarily sleep with the guy on the third date. She holds him at 2nd base and although he tried to convince her to wave him home all seemed to be go fine. When he left after a respectable amount of cuddling she felt proud of her restraint and that she was at the start of a mature relationship, a real relationship, perhaps the first in a very long time if ever.

And it all came crumbling down. Radio silence for almost a week until a text was received stating they should just be friends. Because she’s bold and a total badass she asked the question many would like to but few have the stones to go through with it; would you just want to be friends if I had slept with you last weekend?

Guys this is a tough question but you pretty much dug your own grave in this situation so sorry not a lot of sympathy from me on this.

His response was that he felt he shouldn’t sleep with anyone unless he was sure that he was in love with her.

The nice guy answer that sadly only works when you just started dating someone. Please note gentleman this DOES NOT work during the break up speech/text especially when you try to sleep with her but she shuts you down.

So pretty much a fail all around as the fable of the nice guy becomes even more unlikely to be based in fact for this girl and the lesson she was left with was the hot assholes and the geeks are equally dumb and useless. The only positive card I have left to play is that this was a singular incident with the unfortunately not so “nice guy” and that she needs to date at least 9 more to get a conclusive test pattern for analysis.

So self proclaimed nice guys, pick up your game because for whatever reason the bad boy/damaged/vampire type will always be sexy while you guys are an even more tragic disappointment.

The Dating Bell Curve

March 8, 2012 - Leave a Response

In the past I’ve addressed the math problem for the dating age gap before as it applies to something called the “Cougar Equation”. I mentioned how my own personal acceptable age gap grew by leaps and bounds as I aged however I’m noticing that its starting to calm down quite a bit.

At 25 I could see myself with a 35 year or. At 26 I could even see myself with a 39 year old (for the record I was under the impression for an extended period of time that he was 32-35) but when I think of my future self, and potentially my single future self, will I still be willing to go for someone 15 years my senior? When I’m 35 will I say ok to the 50 year old? Or even at 27 will I be saying that 42 is the new 35?

Thus I’ve decided that the cap of my own personal bell is 40 and I haven’t really reached it yet. Again, I should express that there are exceptions to every rule (Gerry Butler if you’re reading this go ahead and call me) but I think that as I start thinking about the long term it makes sense to take a more realistic view of my dating habits and with that the ages of my potential mates. Sure it was fine to date someone significantly older than me when I was 22-25 because I didn’t see myself settling down anytime before 30 and why not have some fun with a confident, mature, guy who is actually mature enough to A) want to and B) able to afford, to take you to a dinner that isn’t at Johnny Rockets. But as the “serious” age gets closer and closer I think that the long term (aka the one) guy shouldn’t be someone with grandkids and he shouldn’t be closer to my parents age than to my own.

Look at me, having a grown up moment!

 

Ok now dudes in the 28-35 age bracket, please don’t suck and make me regret this decision 😉

No, Really He’s Not into Me

October 5, 2011 - Leave a Response

For the past few weeks I’ve been fighting off most of my female friends who are convinced that a romantic rendezvous is just around the corner for a guy friend and me. For those that have close friends of the opposite sex you probably have to deal with this pretty regularly. If one of you is in a relationship than it’s assumed that you two are sneaking around and cheating. If you’re both single then the rumors spread equally fast that you two are meant to be and it’s just a matter of time before you both realize the undeniable attraction that exists.

But here is a crazy thought that for some odd reason never seems to get a lot of traction…

 

We don’t like each other like that!

 

It’s the same phenomenon that convinces everyone that the bartender or barista is hitting on them. No they’re being friendly to get tips. That is all. Please cancel the pottery barn order for monogrammed towels.

I can understand the confusion because in theory you two add up to a couple. Similar sense of humor, enjoys spending time together, share intimate thoughts/opinions and actually listen to the advice that is offered up. If both parties are reasonably attractive than according to the peanut gallery this is a no brainer. But the missing element that everyone seems to brush under the rug is the one that matters most; there’s no sexual attraction.

Women can have an immediate attraction to a guy or it can build over time. Guys have the immediate response or not at all. Sure they can appreciate someone over time but as Patti Stanger says “the penis does the picking” and the penis has given this opportunity a thanks but no thanks. That means game over and the friendship can go on unburdened by any sort of ambiguity to the future.

Friends will be so disappointed and expect you to be heartbroken by this which you may very well be if you had been holding out hopes for something more to blossom between the two of you. However there are also times when you really weren’t into him either. Sure on paper you might think it’s a reasonable match but you also know that there are more than a few habits and personality traits that make you want to bloody his nose. These issues are tolerable with a friend because you can just walk away or take a break to avoid those obnoxious moments. That escape doesn’t exist in a Love situation so you are forced to suck it up and deal with it because violence is never the answer no matter how dumb he is being.

To save yourself from a lot of exhausting conversations with your friends its best to follow a “less is more” philosophy. Sure you and this guy may talk every day but you don’t need to share that. If you shared a funny story of his hold off for a week or so before sharing a follow-up. If you two hang out maybe mention the other people that are there first or leave him out all together. How often do you actually list every single attendee at a party anyways? If they ask, be honest because if you lie about it and they find out then it adds fuel to the fire causing them to think that some super secret love connection has been made. Also be sure to reference other guys. It can create a natural state of confusion if every other time you reference a male his name is in the sentence causing others to believe there is an importance that doesn’t actually exist.

Guy friends are so much fun and it can be incredibly aggravating when friends try to add something that isn’t there. By keeping your references of him to a minimum you protect yourself from some truly annoying and repetitive conversations.

 

Doing the Mexican Hat Dance on His/Her Heart

October 5, 2011 - Leave a Response

Breaking up is hard to do. No one wants to be the bad guy so we all act like scared chickens praying for the other person to meet their celebrity crush or suffer a coma or anything to get out of the awkward conversation. Girls will wait a guy out to make him the jerk. A guy will do every possible passive aggressive tactic to get the girl to finally pull the trigger so they don’t have to be the bad guy even though they know that label is inevitable.

This is one of the major times that brutal honesty is essential. It will be uncomfortable and painful but without the killer blow the wound never has the ability to close up, it just gets nasty and infected by confusion and hope. When the time comes to break up with your significant other the saying “cruel to be kind” is accurate and necessary.

This phrase actually came from my mom after one of my sisters break-ups. She had been trying to break up with a guy for awhile but wasn’t able to follow through. A chat with mom telling her to “cowgirl up” and she went out to the front step on a mission; to put them both out of their misery by ending their relationship. It wasn’t angry or vicious but blunt and most importantly honest.

 

We’re over period the end.

No you can’t fix it I don’t want to be with you anymore period the end.

No we still can’t go to the prom together goodbye period the end.

 

Are you getting the general concept? No wiggle room means that there is no way for misinterpretation of the sincerity of your sentiment or that you might give him another chance later.

It’s called closure and for whatever reason no one wants to be the one to deal the deadly blow even though it’s essential for both parties to move on properly. Without this very concise conversation one or both parties won’t fully give up the hope that something will change and the relationship will resume. Then when the other person starts dating someone else you are doubly injured as if they are breaking up with you over again. I’ve had too many nights with a friend sobbing into a box of Kleenex because deep down she was still convinced that they were going to get back together.

For the person doing the breaking up you must be able to get over yourself and the guilt you might suffer from being the villain. It has to be done and if you do it right the first time it’s the last awful conversation that you two will have to have. Try to tell yourself that a single blow is significantly less painful than weeks, or months of random jabs and cuts that are unavoidable when you leave a window, door, anything open for a possible rekindling. Guys, the girl is going to cry either way. You choose have her cry one time or sporadically over weeks and weeks?

So ladies and gentleman, if you’re in a relationship you’re desperate to run from, do the humane thing and end it swiftly. Don’t drag out the misery or you both will suffer for longer than necessary and you’re not doing anyone any favors. Letting someone down easy is just the opposite so quit kidding yourself that you’ve actually attained closure if you haven’t done the dance.

The Chameleon

October 4, 2011 - Leave a Response

We’re all guilty of making small adjustments for the guys in our lives. You actually learn some of the players on his favorite sports teams or learn the lingo for a favorite hobby/activity. We do this to show that we care and that we are willing to make sacrifices for the betterment of the relationship. It’s about compromise and in order for a relationship to survive, each partner has to give a little bit.

For some odd reason women can’t find the middle ground with this concept. They either dive in head first giving up any personal identity or they break up with a potential soul mate because he doesn’t want to spend his entire Saturday watching a Project Runway marathon which you so lovingly recorded for him to get him all caught up with the season. Let’s start with the first part of this which I call the Chameleon. From the trailer for Eat, Pray, Love it looks like Julia Roberts is notorious for adapting to the surroundings of her partner. But this goes far beyond learning how to play poker or Halo, this is a complete removal of anything you. If he’s a vegan activist, guess who’s spending the summer rescuing puppy mill dogs and sipping a kale smoothie. If he’s a member of the Tea Party you are now at every rally and your Twitter and Facebook statuses look like they were written by FOX News. This could go on and on but I think you get the idea.

The only issue is that in making all of these concessions you are in fact creating a major blow-up that has the potential to destroy this relationship you’ve been working so hard to protect from demise. Once you toss all of the parts of you that you once held dear a tiny seed of resentment forms. And with each change that seed grows and grows until one day you wake up and look at yourself and realize you aren’t actually there anymore. Do you even know what you’re saying or doing anymore? Do you know why? You’ve been so scared to express an adverse opinion or idea that you’ve stopped thinking completely. It doesn’t matter if you like the movie because his opinion becomes the “we” opinion and that’s the only one that matters. While out with your friends you feel this panic tightening in your stomach. How can you respond to their questions if he isn’t there to tell you how you’re meant to feel? God forbid you make the wrong guess and it comes out later that you differ on a subject. The whole relationship could crumble in that instance and all of the effort that you’ve put forth to get you to this point will be for not. So to avoid a catastrophic incident you remove yourself from situations that could be detrimental. He has no qualms going out without you because he probably doesn’t know that this personality that you’re displaying is a facade. So you either join his crew or stay home, where it’s safe. And that seed that was planted the day you donated all of your leather goods or items with animal by-products continues to grow until you can’t take it anymore.

The saddest part is that this can take years to become unbearable. It’s one of the most common issues that you hear from a partner after a divorce. One simply admits that they just didn’t know who they were anymore. Because sure you can adapt and make changes but a complete personality transplant is an impossible goal to set for oneself.

The majority of your social circle will blame the guy. Clearly he brainwashed you into becoming this new prototype of his perfect girlfriend. While it is almost always easier to blame the new guy over your best bud you might want to resist that urge. Since when did your buddy become a mindless idiot doormat? Last time I checked most women are pretty damn opinionated and can express themselves. This is why I call this Chameleon instead of zombie. This friend is making the conscious decision to mimic the traits that she believes will make herself most attractive to her new partner. She’s trying to mesh and mold into someone that he has so much in common with that he could never imagine fighting or breaking up with. It’s a pre-empted strike against any future conflict.

The best solution is to address the issue before it even starts. Reminding your friends that no one really wants to date their identical personality twin. It’s comfortable sure but it also gets boring. Do athletes only date/marry other athletes or sports fanatics? No! Half of the guys are dating chicks who don’t know a short stop from a running back and they don’t care. Women (not all but a lot) tend to add unneeded pressure to their daily lives because they assume it exists. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound? The response from the woman is of course it made a sound and it probably crushed a mama squirrel leaving her four baby squirrels without food, shelter, or protection and dear god we have to find that tree right now!

Ignore the urge to add extra pressure and expectations to an already stressful situation and be the real you. The real you that deserves the amazing guy who truly wants YOUR opinion. He will not like you any less if you don’t have matching 49er’s tattoos trust me.

Walking Away

July 25, 2011 - Leave a Response

I think just about everyone does this with some aspect of their lives but for whatever reason it seems people have a harder time walking away from relationships than any other situation. “Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in!” is the perfect quote for these moments and I hear about it a lot as an interventionista.

 

Case in point, a friend recently returned from a trip back home to see her family and announced that the time away had given her the ability to gain some perspective on the elements of her life. Fantastic I think, big fan of reflection and time away can recharge your batteries. The main change she wanted to implement was the removal of the male not-so-romantic figure that had been the focus of her heart. I was excited about this realization as well considering it’s been 2 years of back and forth with no real progress. Sadly the moment of joy was short lived as she proceeded to share that she was so confidant in her decision so decided to alert him that she was done with him.

 

Ahh, yeah not so much. In my opinion if you’re really over the person you don’t need to verbalize it. By expressing this sentiment you are opening yourself up to a response; either a rebuttal or a confirmation. And if you’re really over it then neither matters and thus the conversation is irrelevant.

 

By having the conversation this is a last ditch attempt for a rebuttal. Deep down the goal of this conversation is for him to wake up from his indecisive fog and realize that you are the most perfect girl for him and he’s about to lose you forever if he doesn’t take you in his arms right now and drag you off to the supply closet. It’s a threat, either shape up and take “us” seriously or I’m out of here. Except both parties know that the supposed threat has no merit as it’s been made before and you’re still attached. This then provides said guy with some time to string you a long a bit longer or perhaps even until his wedding day…to someone else. If he still wants to sleep with you or keep that option available he will act bewildered by this sudden declaration and tell you it would be a mistake to walk away. He’s not saying that he will change or that he wants to be with you in the long run but is giving you just enough to think he might care. Of course he cares. He’s losing a player. It might be a third or fourth string but time and energy has been put into it and probably a few fun memories. Plus the fact that he knows you won’t actually walk away means he can bullshit you by saying “don’t go” because you started this fake conversation in the first place.

 

“But I still have to see him at work/the gym/the apartment complex/etc.” Sure but that doesn’t mean you have to hang out. I don’t really know how this becomes so incredibly difficult for people to grasp but I’ll try to simplify the process of being cordial with an ex.

 

Him: Hey there! How’s it going?

You: Great thanks

Him: What have you been up to?

You: Ohh same old thing pretty boring (I don’t care if you went bungee jumping with Bono yesterday you do NOT engage)

Him: any fun weekend plans?

You: Not sure yet probably just hanging out

Him: Oh that’s cool, I’m actually supposed to go skydiving with Fergie on Saturday (Attempt to engage you)

You: Wow have fun!

Him: yeah should be great

You: Yep

Him: ok well I guess I’ll talk to you later.

You: Yep have a good night/day/weekend

 

If you’re in the office this interlude can be even shorter because you can say very politely “Hey I’m sorry but I really need to call Susie about this e-mail she sent me” and he should walk away. Was there an e-mail? Does Susie exist? It doesn’t matter because you have ended the conversation in an appropriate manner that doesn’t say to the guy “I’m mad at you” or “I’m heartbroken” or even worse “I’m hopeful” and replaces it with “I’m busy” or “I don’t care” in a non bitchy way. Notice you don’t ask any questions because there is nothing about his life that you need to be aware of anymore. You don’t need to see how his basketball team is doing this season, or if his sister is still coming into town next week. When you have walked away, I mean really walked away, all of those details become irrelevant and at worst distracting.

 

By focusing on the going ons in his world you are allowing yourself to get lost in something/someone that will never be yours. With all of that clutter you are unable to notice the cute guy who held the door open for you at Starbucks this morning or the guy from accounting who makes a point to talk to you every day to see how you’re doing.

 

Walking away is a huge step and I know that it can be painful and difficult but if you’re really committed then you need to be honest with yourself about what “walking away” really means and the work it will involve. The good news I can provide is that over time, it feels less like work and you’re able to be in the same room with that former flame and feel at peace; and by at peace I mean not feeling like you’re going to cry or throw up =)