Feeling feelings and rehashing

According to an internet meme, “Psychologists say that a “crush” only lasts 4 months; if feelings persist beyond that, one is considered to be ‘in love.’”

I don’t even know how long I’ve “liked” him. I allowed myself to be conscious of it roughly a year and a half ago, November-ish, 2015. But I honestly think it started sometime in 2013… I have memories of moments with him going back a couple years where I didn’t want anyone to think I was flirting…

I am, and have been, extremely hesitant of the big L word. On the one hand, saying that before finding out if he is even interested in being more than friends could be disastrous. That’s where the “crazy” label comes from and I don’t disagree. Despite his insistence that no one should hide their feelings because you never know if you will never get a chance to tell someone, I still think even thinking about the big L is too much too soon.

On the other hand, I don’t feel like I know him well enough to use the big L. I know enough to know I want to know everything but I don’t, in fact, know everything. I know a lot of important things like he is super smart and talented at what he loves to do. He’s dry and sarcastic. He’s passionate about just about anything he considers worthy of his time – which means he’s either the kind of super passionate person who just can’t turn it off, or he doesn’t waste his time on anything about which he can’t be super passionate… either way, it’s sexy as Hell. He has an enormous heart and he doesn’t distinguish between being chivalrous and being a feminist. I also know the big things like his favorite sports, his favorite colors, his favorite bands, his favorite restaurants and foods, what he drinks when he drinks…

So how do you know when the little l of “like” becomes the big L of “love?” While I still talk to my girlfriends about most of the things that happen to me, there are times when my first thought is to tell him about something. I see things on the internet – videos, pictures of things I think he’ll appreciate – and want to share them with him. Sometimes I do. I see his favorite things and think of him. Searching through the “new-ish” vinyl collection at Barnes & Noble and found albums from several of his favorite bands and instinctively wondered if he had them.

My thoughts of him are relentless. I don’t even try, most of the time. I see something or hear something and he’s there in my head again, taking up space. But the only reason I even care, that I might want him out of my head, is that I don’t know where I stand with him. We were friends once – good friends – but I don’t know if we are anymore. So what happens when you are 100% scared to entertain the idea that you might be feeling the big L for a friend but it might not even matter because they don’t even act like they want to be friends with a little f?

He still makes me smile, every single day. But he also makes my heart ache. And I don’t know if he even knows how I feel or that the thing I want more than anything in the world is for him to know that one more person in the world cares for him, very deeply.

some of the jumbled thoughts in my head at the moment

There is this expectation in our society that every woman longs to be married with children.

I’ll admit, when I was a kid, I wanted that too.

Looking back, I think I wanted those things because people told me that was what I was supposed to want.

Now those things make me anxious. I figured out a long time ago that I am terrible with children. I talk to them like tiny drunk adults, if I’m not ignoring them completely. I am completely convinced I would be the parent of the children whose friends’ parents wouldn’t let them come to our house because they don’t like my kids’ parents… because I wouldn’t be the parent who gives up purple hair and tattoos just because I became a parent.

But it’s other things too. When you get right down to it, I am probably a very selfish person. It’s one thing to have a partner who becomes one of the things you love in life. But it’s another thing entirely to allow another human to REPLACE those things and I’m not prepared for that. Be it a partner or spawn.

(Also, I frequently refer to children using terms such as spawn and that’s probably not the right answer…)

So it’s more than just children.

I read an article one of my married friends shared on Facebook about how the author had forgotten how to LOVE her husband. She was so focused on her duties as a wife – cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring the children around, laundry, PTA meetings – that she forgot how to be passionate and affectionate with her husband. In her attempts to be a quality wife, she forgot how to be a desirable, sexual woman. It all happened when he came home from work and tried to kiss her while she was cooking dinner and she shooed him away because “dinner was late” and everything else had gone wrong that day.

Fuck. That.

I don’t want that life. Falling into that trap (and I do see it as a trap) is one of my biggest fears in life. I don’t want to find myself shooing my husband away because he wants to be affectionate and I “don’t have time” because being his wife is more important than being a woman.

I mean, I get that things stagnate from time to time but first and foremost, I want a partner not a breadwinner. I want a best friend not a leader. I want a lover not someone who dominates me (unless it’s appropriate …ahem). I don’t want a man whose idea of equal give and take is that he earns the money while I spend it. It’s not the 1950s and I am not Donna Reid. I want a partner who does his own laundry and cooks three nights a week (while I cook three and the seventh is a date night or we cook together or we eat left overs…). I don’t want to put my passions on hold because he wants a family.

I’m 35 years old. If I don’t want these things now, I’m probably not going to so don’t tell me that when it happens I’ll change my mind.

It almost did happen.

I was 18 years old. WE were 18 years old. We were three months from our high school graduation and I was applying to colleges. I had told him where I was applying. I thought he was looking at trade schools in the same areas. Then he told me we were moving to South Carolina the week after his graduation (we went to different schools and his graduation was after mine). Didn’t ask. Didn’t discuss. Didn’t even offer an ultimatum. Just told me WE were moving. I said I had applied to schools here. He apologized but this was what was happening. I told him I couldn’t be in a relationship where I didn’t have any control and ended it.

I still can’t. Even more now. I’ve been single far too long to kowtow for the sake of being with someone. I’m better off on my own than with someone who is good with a wild child for a while but will eventually want me to settle down and let my hair go natural and pop out a kid. I need someone who loves me as a wild child and is a bit of one himself.

I’m broke. I don’t have the money to do all the things I want to do. But that doesn’t mean I want to give up on the things I want to do. I want to travel. I want to learn how to do other things besides hair. I want to finish my novels. I want to start a charity, or at least do big things for an existing one.

I don’t want to get married because it’s the next logical step. If we decide to get married, great, that’s our decision but I don’t need a piece of paper to tell me someone is devoted to me. I’m a Scorpio. I know loyalty when I see it.

I don’t want to have children because it’s what is expected of me.

I don’t want to get married because having children is the next logical step.

I think everyone looks at a potential relationship with a hint of “What would the future be like with this person?” No one goes into a relationship expecting it to last six months. We all expect the next relationship to be our last. That our next first kiss is our last first kiss. I look at him and see someone who could be a partner with whom to grow our dreams, not someone who is going to ultimately expect domesticity and complicity from me. He already encourages and challenges me; I don’t have any reason to expect that to change if we were to spend five or ten or thirty years together. When I say I’m pretty sure he and I could take over the world together, I mean I have never been more sure that a relationship could be perfect and amazing than I am right now.

I just wish I could get him to consider the possibility.

Day 30 – looking ahead

Day 30 – One thing you are excited for

In the summer of 2006, after listening to their music for ten years, I got the chance to see AFI live. At the Fillmore Theater in Denver. A cavernous open space with purple chandeliers and maximum capacity of 3700 people. The opening act was a contest winner from New York that I fell in love with followed by a thrash punk band with which I was less impressed. When it came time for the headliners I learned that “seeing” AFI live was more a figure of speech than something people actually did. The entire crowd churned like the ocean in a hurricane. It was all you could do to stay on your feet, let alone actually “watch” what was happening on stage.

Three years later, in December, 2009, I “saw” them for the second time, this time at the University of Denver. The arena, which ordinarily houses the college hockey team, holds more than 7000 during a concert. I don’t know if there were that many there that night but it was a very similar experience. I started their set in the front left corner, with my hand on the barricade – unfortunately the tool next to me couldn’t be troubled to take one step to his left so I could actually hold onto the barricade so my stay there was short-lived. By the third or fourth song, my tiny self had been jostled and pushed and shoved until I was somewhere near the center of the crowd and closer to the right side of the room. And that wasn’t where I ended the night.

About a year and a half ago (August, 2014), I found myself at a very different show. The venue – Fiddler’s Green, still in Denver – was considerably larger but the pit area between the reserved seats and the stage is very small, big enough for 2 or 300 people at the most. This time I got to the barricade and this time I held on for dear life. Sadly, I didn’t need to because they were opening for a much larger show, which meant they weren’t playing to their crowd. But they still played like they were. They still put on a headliner performance.

In two weeks, I will be headed to the Bluebird Theater in Denver. The capacity of the Bluebird is 550. This is not for an AFI show but a side project. Davey Havok and Jade Puget’s electronic effort, Blaqk Audio. I am excited to see how their performances change with the different project. I am hoping (not expecting but hoping) that it will culminate with them coming out into the crowd to meet everyone since it is a much smaller venue. I don’t know what I’m going to say. Aside from thanking them for nearly 20 years of music. But the words don’t really matter. If I get a chance to meet them, that’s what really matters.

Day 29 and a very merry unbirthday

Day 29 – The night of your 21st birthday

Alpha Sigma Alpha is a “dry” sorority.

What that means, basically, is that we are not allowed to attach our name to events with alcohol. We are not allowed to have alcohol present at sorority events. We don’t wear shirts or jackets with our letters on them into bars (sports bars/gastropubs are a slightly different situation).

We have one week, each semester, we refer to as Dedication Week. There are some stricter rules during Dedication Week but one of the biggies is not to drink. Not at a bar, not at home, not at dinner in a restaurant…

It begins at midnight (12:01 a.m., to keep things from getting fuzzy) on Monday morning and ends at 12:01 a.m. on the first morning of the following week (usually Sunday but once or twice it was Saturday).

My 21st birthday – November 2, 2001 – was that last day of that week.

At 12:01 a.m., four of my sorority sisters and my flaming crush/one-who-got-away convened at the bar and they each bought me their own “favorite drink.”

Except for my crush, who got smart.

See, he was there with his then-girlfriend and my Sister. Because everyone knew but no one ever talked about the fact that he and I were attracted to one another on a kind of idiotic level.  She would never have come out for my birthday (we really weren’t that close) if he hadn’t wanted to come and he wouldn’t have had an excuse if it hadn’t been for her. So they came. Together.

It was my 21st birthday but she was the one who had to have help getting home.

Sister #1 bought me a Ruby Slipper. Take a small cherry 7up and drop into it a shot of Crown Royal. Drink quickly. Repeat because it’s like candy.

Sister #2 bought me a Midori Sour. Melon liqueur, various fruit juices, sour mix, spiffy teal green hue. Not terrible.

Crush bought me a Blow Job.

Kahlua, Irish cream, whipped cream, shot glass, lewd instructions for how this particular shot should be applied internally. All found here

Step one: Pick up glass.

Step two: Tip head back.

Step three: Allow just enough time for alcoholic beverage to fill mouth.

Step four: Drown.

Because it is at this point when the object of your attraction who is mutually attracted to you and not particularly interested in concealing it – not even from his girlfriend slash your Sister – applauds your abilities, comparing you to a “pro.”

Frankly, I don’t remember what everyone else bought for me to drink. Not because I was inebriated but because I was mortified at having nearly drowned in a sticky, sweet, girly drink.

Last call came and we discussed what to do next. It was decided that one of my sisters would take the other (girlfriend) home because one was tired and had a kid waiting for her and the other was already looking a little green around the gills – and who could blame her, really. Her boyfriend brought her out so he could flirt with her sorority sister… Kind of a jack ass move really but since she wasn’t one of my favorite people and he was, I let it slide.

The rest of us were headed to a house party where things like last call didn’t exist and some of our other sisters were already waiting for us. The other two sisters were riding together (one had been drinking, the other not) and I would ride with him.

Happy Birthday to me.

Except, although we had never had any trouble connecting before, being alone with him in his car, I suddenly forgot how to do basic things like speak. What are words? He asked about music I liked, I did that thing where I forgot every band I’d ever heard of… We tried to play a little getting to know you better and about five minutes into it gave up and rode the rest of the way in silence.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was how I celebrated 21.

Now ask me about the shenanigans of 22…

Day 26 has me talking to the exes

Day 26 – Things you’d say to an ex


Okay, so here we go…

I mean, there is a whole boat load of words I could say to my last “official” ex, but I’ve said most of them. But because I apparently like complicated, there have been a couple misters in the interim to whom I could say a lot; some good, some less than good…

I did a whole post on the psychological abuse one “unofficial” ex put me through for several years. To you, I just want to say I wish I had seen it sooner. I wish I had realized sooner how bad it had gotten. I don’t want to think that you started out seeing me as an easy target for manipulation and outright abuse but it definitely escalated until that is what I see when I look back on it. Now that I have put it together, I don’t see you the same way.

After college, I went through something with a former flame that I still don’t quite understand. He contacted me, asking about parties because he was going to be around for a weekend, and offered me sex (or beer or food, but he recommended the sex) if I would let him crash at my place while he was around. It was good for a laugh and we didn’t really talk again for a few months, when he once again initiated contact. We’d talk a little while then he’d disappear again for weeks and I didn’t think anything of it.

Then the conversations became more frequent, until we were basically talking every day. They got deeper and we started really talking about ourselves and getting to know one another. And we talked about sex. We made confessions, we sent “adult” emails. I asked, just to be on the same page so we both knew what the other was thinking, what we were doing. Was this just physical or were we talking about trying something more serious? He said let’s stick with the physical right now and see where it takes us. Okay. Cool.

Then things got crazy. You got crazy.

To you, I want to say, you missed out. I’m not perfect. I have flaws. But I am an amazing girlfriend and you will never know because you screwed the whole thing up. And I’m sure that when you tell the story, I’m the one who draws the short straw. I become the crazy one. But I know how it really went down and you really screwed up a chance at something good.

Unfortunately, you’re still gorgeous and I assume you’re still doing your music thing which means if you were to reappear in my world with another inappropriate suggestion I would have to fight really hard not to give in. I have friends who will tell me all the reasons I would be wrong for entertaining the idea.

Not long ago, I met a guy. He flirted. Having been on the receiving end of a string of bad behavior, I didn’t know quite how to respond. As a result, he stopped flirting and actually, stopped talking to me altogether. Until later.

A few months down the road, we reconnected and I got the impression he was kind of into me. I wasn’t not into him so I played along, thinking it was worth a shot. The more we talked, the more I started to like him.

Or started to like the idea of him liking me.

I never did find out how he really felt about me and it’s been almost three years since we had a real conversation. The last thing I really remember was him telling me he believed in me, that he thought I could “cut it” as a cosmetologist, because I had told him I thought I was in over my head.

To you, I want to apologize. I don’t know what you were looking for from me but I think I was looking for the exact wrong thing from you. Especially if you were, in fact, ever interested in being more than friends. I know now that I was more interested in the idea of you than you, specifically. You are undeniably gorgeous (although, not really my “type”), sweet, talented, and kind and the idea of you being interested in plain little vanilla me was exciting, to say the least. But I was confused and if I led you on it was because I didn’t understand what I was feeling.  I truly am sorry for that.

Day 24 and things I miss

Day 24 – Something you miss

I miss dancing.

I miss seeing cute clothes and not wondering if it comes in my size.

I miss wanting to go out for ice cream or appetizers or lunch or coffee or “a beer for an hour” and knowing there was always someone who would want to go too.

I miss sharing ideas.

I miss coffee and bitch sessions.

I miss traditions.

I miss being someone else’s unapologetic, unabashed crush.

I miss being someone about whom people told fond stories.

I miss belly laughs and stroking someone’s hair while they cry.

I miss drinking games that were just as much an excuse to get to know your friends better as they were an excuse to drink.

I miss State Fair.

I miss that spot at our apartment complex where we could see five different fireworks shows.

I miss birthday parties.

I miss my muchness.

I miss promoting my favorite bands because my favorite bands made me feel like what I was doing for them really made a difference.

I miss those boys something fierce.

I miss cities I never lived in like they were my real home.

I miss writing frenzies and not being able to stop.

I miss him.

I miss being part of something.

I miss belonging.

I miss being someone people asked to do things because I could get them done.




Day 21 – Scorpio

Day 21 – Your zodiac sign and whether you think it fits you

I’m late but here’s the thing.

I am a Scorpio. My parents went into an IKEA, picked out the box marked “Scorpio,” took it home, and assembled me. Built from a kit, I was.

Three or four days ago, I asked my Facebook friends to tell me the stereotypes and cliches that they had heard about Scorpios and I would bring their responses here and tell you how they did or did not apply to me, personally. I got two responses. Which I found intensely frustrating because I really thought this could be fun but whatever. We’ll talk about those two responses and then move on…Both said “Scorpios are passionate” (one said some other stuff too but this is where we’re at now…).

So, what does that mean? In general and as it applies to me? The common misconception is that “passion” is synonymous with “nymphomania.”

The reality is that Scorpios approach every situation with zeal and enthusiasm. Monotony and menial tasks frustrate a Scorpio. In the career world, for example, a Scorpio will be very unfulfilled – and subsequently, unhappy – in a job about which they are not passionate. That doesn’t necessarily mean a Scorpio can’t be fulfilled managing a Taco Bell or being a stay-at-home parent. Every person is different and every person finds passion in something different.

Scorpios apply that same passion to their personal relationships as well and that is where the misconception about our obsession with sex comes from. And while, yes, Scorpios have a strong libido, they aren’t going to go home with just any random stranger they meet in a bar. One thing I read in trying to find a novel approach to this post that really made a lot of sense was that, for a Scorpio, “lovemaking” starts long before the bedroom. It starts with meaningful conversation and attentiveness from our partner. It starts with that moment when you both reach for the bread at the same time and touch hands instead. It starts with soul gazing eye contact or looking at the stars. The physical act of intercourse is the icing on the cake of intimacy but for a Scorpio, it is a pretty big cake.*

In not getting the kind of response I was looking for by asking for clichés and stereotypes, I decided to dig through the internet and find graphics with Scorpio traits. I thought I could embed the pictures and then explain why they did or did not apply to me. But as I got into it, I realized that I have one loyal follower who is visually impaired and can’t read the text on graphics (which means that there are probably others who would have trouble with it) so I started to caption all of the graphics with the words that were written on them. That got totally out of hand so I abandoned the whole project.

Abandoning that project took me to YouTube to find videos of people talking about different aspects of being a Scorpio and they all annoyed me. What is it with these YouTube personalities being so melodramatic? Maybe it’s just people who talk about metaphysical things like the Zodiac but of the five or six videos I tried to watch, they all used the word “in-TENSE” in the first thirty seconds and they all elected to sing “Scoooor-p-ooooooh” like some strange bastard love child of fanfare and doom music.

I did find one that didn’t annoy me. Probably because she didn’t sound like she was reading from Astrology.com and because she was totally into what she was talking about. She is asking why Scorpios are so intriguing to others and she looks genuinely intrigued (at one point, she kind of creeps herself out…I was amused). I’ll let you watch it and then offer a couple thoughts on what she’s said…

The first thing that got me was when she talks about the popularity of Scorpio videos all across YouTube. I get it. We’re complicated. We’re walking paradoxes. Even Scorpios need a little help understanding and managing Scorpios. My friend has an almost-tween Scorpio son and she was asking me a new question every week. “He is doing this. Is that a Scorpio thing? What do I do about it?” So I found a book about understanding your Scorpio (I’m actually considering buying one for myself because Scorpios intrigue me…besides, then I’d have it if I needed to share its contents with someone in the future). It was the only one of its kind. I looked. I couldn’t find a book completely devoted to understanding Capricorn or Virgo. But there is enough people who have enough trouble dealing with the crazy train that is Scorpio that there is a whole book about us.

She talks about people being fascinated by Scorpios. That is one thing that I’m not at all sure of. I’ve even asked people about it. I’m not fishing for compliments. It’s the detective aspect of Scorpio pushing me to know whether or not people feel that magnetic pull toward me. It’s not that I want people to say, “YES! You fascinate me!” I really just want to know if that is something else about me that fits the mold or if it’s one of the few oddball traits that don’t fit me.** I am totally convinced that Scorpios are drawn to one another. I have 156 Facebook friends and an easy 30 (or more) of them are Scorpios. We have a way of sniffing out our own kind. Which is another thing I’ve asked people about – if they notice that same trend with their own sign. Most people tell me they’ve never noticed.

I think it’s very interesting that she puts all vampires in the Scorpio box. I don’t necessarily do this with ALL vampires but I can think of two I definitely would. Spike and Angel (if you know, you know. If you don’t… I guess, do some research because that is too much of a tangent to get into right now). Also, not vampiric, but I’ve always thought Bruce Wayne and the Joker were probably both Scorpios (all of these characters probably have a birthdate – and subsequent Zodiac sign – recorded in their backstory but I’d rather just keep my illusions). But beyond the subject of vampires, I kind of do this with everyone. If you give off a dark, intense, passionate vibe, I’m going to label you a Scorp until I learn otherwise. If you fly a little left of center and find fascination in things other people might consider weird, I label you a Scorpio. If I am inexplicably drawn to you, I assume you are another on that long list of people I know born in the Scorpio season (it’s pretty much at least one birthday per day).

Basically, visit a Scorpio website or a Zodiac website. Buy a Zodiac book or that Scorpio book I mentioned before. Read a little about us. That’s me. Built from a kit, textbook, prototypical Scorpio in a Can, only 200 easy payments of $19.95. Unfortunately, that helps you figure out that I’m a handful. It doesn’t really get you to all the cogs and fiddly gears that get this little dirigible off the ground but it’s a start. It tells you you have to dig. You have to make an effort. I’ll share information but teaser samples. The things I want you to know (unless you have piqued my – usually romantic – interest… then I’ll give you the Bad Fantasy Novel Infodump). You have to want the rest of the story.

* I would like to formally apologize for the cheeseball cake analogy.

** Another that leaps to mind is that Scorpios are generally (not always but generally) always introverts. I went into the whole introvert-extrovert debate in a different post but basically, I am an extrovert who would rather self-isolate than put up with fake relationships or forced conversation. Which is also a Scorpio thing so either way, my isolation is my birthright.