Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A happy new year


I have a confession to make.

I said it first.

Exactly one year ago today, I uttered those three little words...

"I love you."

On the brink of the new year, my new man was leaving for a week. And with all my pouting, you would think he was going off to war rather than off to Florida with his family.

I could barely eat my dinner as I felt the words welling up in my throat. I understood that saying it could change everything. I realized that if he didn't feel the same way, I could be left embarrassed and ringing in the new year differently than anticipated.

But I also realized that more importantly than hearing those three little words, I wanted to say them.

I wanted him to know, regardless of his feelings for me.

----------------------------------------------------------

"I love you." I said.

Immediately hiding my face in the crook of his neck, I was at once relived that I'd had the courage and afraid of his response.

But unlike past experiences, when he reciprocated the change in us was profound and wanted.

Because while those three little words can alter your relationship forever...

Sometimes they are the big change you've always been waiting for.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Warning labels


Chrissie's last post really took me down a pothole-ridden memory lane.

I was warned about a guy once.

We had gone out a couple times and when I mentioned it to a friend of mine, she looked down at the table, then up at me and said, "He's a jerk."

"Really? ... He's been nothing but sweet ...," I say, a bit dubious. This one had really pursued me, and honestly, the quickest way to my cold vain heart is through my ego.

Apparently she had gone out with him a couple times the year before and he was something of a panty chaser. (An admirable pursuit if you ask me. Some panties put up a sporting fight.)
Anyway, she was really awesome. They had never been anything serious, so that wasn't an issue. She just told me to be careful.

Bah.

So warning pushed to the back of my mind, I continued seeing him ... because at that point, I really didn't see how any guy could be a bigger jerk than me. I like to put tacks on a guy's driver seat to see him jump and smack his head on the roof. You learn a lot from a guy by seeing how he reacts to a little pain.

One night I was out at a bar and ran into my new beau. We were each there with friends, so there was a sweet hello then back to mingling. He found me later on and asked for a lift home ... bam-chicka-wam-bam.

We go back to his place, and do the whole kissy stuff. He started getting more aggressive, clearly wanting to have sex.
I hadn't slept with him yet, and wasn't really sure I wanted to. I'm no prude, I like to chase after a nice pair of boxers from time to time ... or briefs if I'm feeling frisky, but since "The Warning," I didn't want to jump in bed with the kid right away.

So I tell him that. And what does he say?

Wait for it.

"But I love you."

WHAT? REALLY? ARE YOU F***ING KIDDING ME?
I ask him "Um, does that actually ever work?"
He says "Uh, sometimes."

I let out an incredulous laughter fueled mostly by disgust. I picked up what clothing had made it's way to his floor, got dressed and walked out.

Later that week I found out the night I went home with this jock strap he had been on a date at that bar with another girl. Sweet.

Although, I kind felt bad for him. He started the night with 2 prospects for getting laid, and in the end, he only got laughed at.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Hell hath no fury


Like a woman with an internet connection.

I’ve often said that social networking sites bring people together on a “superficial” level, but prevent real-life relationships from prospering.

That was until I found this web site:

Don't Date Him Girl.

It is an online world for women to “exchange information” and to make friends with one another based on how many jerks they know.

A place for women to bad mouth their exes in an open forum, including adding pictures and real-life stories about how they were scorned.

Like this post... (which includes a picture)

Josh C*#p is not practicing safe sex. Besides the FOUR girlfriends, we also know of FIVE other women who slept with him over the summer and were apparently just flings and he wasn't using protection with them. We're sure there are even more women that he's slept with, but at this point, the numbers are so crazy that we would prefer not to find out about anymore (it makes us sick to our stomaches). Watch out for all of his signs (his phone is ALWAYS on silent. he always takes his phone when he leaves the room (to call one of the many girls) and when a woman calls he will tell you it's one of the girls on the team or his mom..

After reading a few entries I have to figure out if these men the victims here?

Having their faces and these unflattering stories posted online can't be great for their dating lives and I can't help but consider that every relationship is made up of (at least;) 2 people. 2 sets of problems. 2 stories.

And so I wonder...

Do both sides need to be heard before women everywhere are warned? Or should a gal just appreciate the extra information in the real-world of dating?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Eve blues


So, we just had the holidays, and Christmas is a pretty big deal for my family. Every Xmas Eve the Millers congregate at my aunt and uncle's for a traditional ham dinner. It's always a great time. There were 8 of us cousins growing up, all within 7 years of each other. We were pretty much raised as siblings ... with all the love, laughter and bickering that you would expect. Now that we're older, Christmas is one of the few times we're all together again.

It's a day I really look forward to, but this year, there were a few things that really made me sad. And they all revolve around the fact that we're no longer kids ... just adults with grown up responsibilities.

Alyson, who I was always closest to (we're only 2 months apart in age) had to leave for work before I could get there from my job. That means she missed the BIG PHOTO.

Every year we do a cousins picture ... but over the last 10 years, there is usually at least one missing, where as the ones of us as kids are complete. You can watch everyone grow up just by flipping through them. All the feathered hair from the 80's ... sideways pony tails, the boys growing (or trying to grow) patchy mustaches and beards.
Real good blackmail material.

When my cousin Jeff joined the Marines he was the first to be absent, so we propped a teddy bear in uniform in his place. (The bear made us all do push-ups after ... that made me really miss Jeff.)

Four cousins are married now, two with kids, one has a baby on the way. Their spouses are all fantastic, and the kids are great too ... but it's so weird seeing my cousins as parents. These are the ragamuffins I'd run around and break stuff with. Now they're the adults ... telling little versions of themselves to behave. Jeff, who was arguably the biggest trouble maker of us all, had to take is little girl aside and explain to her why it isn't nice to kick cousin Steve between the legs. Watching his serious "Daddy" face and hearing his stern "Daddy" voice was enough to make me burst out in hysterical laughter.
Oh boy ... I'll have some stories for his daughter one day.

Maybe a lot of women would look at them all happily married with adorable rug rats and have that twinge of jealousy ... but that isn't what I was feeling at all.
More like woefully nostalgic. I had this moment where I just missed being a kid ... missed all the fun we had together. We never wanted to go home – so much so that one of the parents would have to run outside and pretend to see Santa on a rooftop just so we'd leave willingly.
Is there something wrong with me? A 28 year old woman that resents having to be a grownup? Is it so bad that I just want to be a little girl in trouble for kicking a boy cousin in the balls?

Or maybe along with inspiring suicide and weight gain, the Holidays just have a way of making us miss believing in Santa ... resent the reality of adulthood.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The lens of love


It's funny how things from the past that once mattered so much simply don't anymore when you find someone worth spending the present with.

Arguments with old lovers seem trivial if at all memorable and the passion you once had can't be recalled on the clearest of days.

Because who you were then, is not who you are now.

Instead of looking at another through a kaleidoscope of transformations and disappointments, your lens is clear.

You see now for all its worth.

The past is only a forgotten memory of changing colors and shapes once reflected on broken glass through a tube too narrow for passage.

And while the array of colors and mirrors mimicked your own self doubt, they also promised an end full of luminance and light.

An end only seen...
through the lens of love.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Check mate


I never knew that while my father taught me how to play chess, he was also teaching me the reality of courtship and eventual love.

Where most players are seeking a checkmate, my games often ended with two kings dancing around the chess board. Instead of an official end, the game's denouement was a handshake, a white flag, a stale mate.

It wasn't until many years later that I realize I often played the game of love with equal measure.

I would rush into the challenge, knocking over pawns and losing key players in my pursuit of the king. I would give away my secrets too soon, make the same mistakes time and time again, and eventually find myself with two kings on the board, but no queen between them.

The most powerful player of all, was lost early.
My queen.

She was often taken on the first exchange, lost to a mere pawn or a stealthy knight.

Yet eventually the time came when I realized the previous blunders that led to perpetual check, but never a mate.

I began to move about the board cautiously, playing my strongest players beautifully, protecting both king and his female counterpart until the very end.

And as my queen made her way across the final board to capture the king... I realized there were only two players left, but they fit together perfectly.

No longer a stale mate.
A check mate instead.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Single slumming


Chrissie wrote about how people tend to gain weight when in a relationship, but what about the chronic laziness that plagues a lot of singles?

Shaving.
Whether we're talking about a man's face or a woman's legs ... or some women's faces and men's legs (The Odd Couple does not judge) ... this is generally not taken care of as regularly when you don't have some one rubbing up against you. I swear, some guys walk around looking like they'd been held captive in the woods by a demented clown.
And women. Man. I've seen a complete ecosystem form on a girl's leg. She actually got it declared a national park. Pretty hot.
I won't even talk about a chick's pits. Personally, I never let that get out of control. Damn hippies and Europeans.

Eating like a scavenger. If you cook for someone, you might actually have food in your fridge. If not - it's a life of take-out, doggie bags, and nothing but beer and condiments at home. A single person's sense of smell is far more advance than a taken one's. They constantly have to sniff the milk and two-day old pizza to see if it's gone bad.

Living like a pig. No one wants to be the "pig pen" in a relationship. If your man/woman is heading over, you pick up the crap on the floor, make the bed, do the dishes .... hide whatever might start a fight ...
But a single piggie? Why should they care?

Underoos. Come on ... we all do the undies check if we know someone's gonna see them. And girls feel just a little sexier when their set matches. There's nothing like walking around in a garter belt and push-up bra knowing your guy is gonna uncover them later.
But what if you're just hugging a pillow at night? Isn't a guy more likely to pull on faded tightie whities complete with old skid marks? Yum!
And girls with their grannie panties and stretched-out "over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders?" OOOOOO baby.

I'll stop there. I'm getting a little turned on. Let me know if I've missed anything.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Uncomfortable


We all know the idea of "comfort food."

Warm, cheesy, fattening meals that make the winter days seem to melt away and can get us through the tough spots in life.

But what happens when being comfortable in a relationship means confronting an unexpected weight gain???

I've always had two weights, the single me weight and the in a happy relationship me weight.

Obviously, single me is skinnier. She lives off of Ramen Noodles, quick appetizers instead of full meals, and if there's cake, a bite or two will do.

In a relationship me eats 3 meals a day. She cooks for two and portions out plates equally, in spite of the fact her man is twice her size. She wants to celebrate her "love" with frequent desserts, champagne at brunch, and lots of dinners out.

But in spite of the fact that weight gain seems "common" for most people once they find someone, it doesn't always mean it's welcomed.

Much like the "after wedding haircut" I wonder how men feel when they fall in love with one body, and it slowly morphs into something new. Something bigger. Something different.

5, 10, even 20 lbs on my man would go unnoticed for me. I'd look into his eyes and realize he's the same man I fell in love with, and I may even use his gain as an excuse to have seconds with my own meal.

But if men are considered to be more visual people, are they more easily put off by a physical change in their partners?

And if so, is there a right way to tell your significant other their love of comfort food is making you uncomfortable?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Branding


Most people have a bit of a possessive streak, and at the same time like the feeling
of belonging to someone. Whether that manifests with a ring on your left hand, or scratch marks on your back, people find a way to "lay claim" to the one they desire.

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the old junior high favorite ... the hickey. I once, for an entire week, had to wear a scarf or turtle neck to cover what some ass thought would be funny. I might have found it somewhat humorous ... but it happened during the summer.

People get kinda crazy over their partners ... Angelina Jolie wore Billy Bob Thornton's blood around her neck. That's a wee bit creepy (why not just keep a finger or ear?) Then again, is it so far off from just wanting to posses something of your lover?
In one relationship I would take a shirt or sweater of his with me whenever we'd be apart for a while. I would cuddle with a silly garment just to not forget what he smelled like. It's nice to have a token, anything of theirs, so you keep a piece of them with you. Is that creepy ... or sweet? Or both?

Pet names are another way of laying claim. You are renaming someone - giving them a label that they only answer to when you say it. Using these in front of others is a subconscious way of saying "this person is mine," and can be even more effective than a branding iron on the forehead. (Some names are really ridiculous. They just make me angry. Might have to talk about that in another post.)

Some might get a tattoo of their mate's name across their chest.

Some religiously update their Facebook profile, and tag their sweetheart's name to their status ... Just so there's no question that they are seeing someone, and who that someone is.

I'm a bit more subtle, preferring to simply blush and smile when I spy a little bite mark on my shoulder, or have a sore arm all day because I couldn't bear to move it from under his peacefully sleeping face the night before.
And I sure don't mind tousled hair and a swollen bottom lip after some serious smooching. But anything permanent, or scarring ... I think that would put me off.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pledge of allegiance


I've been thinking a lot about loyalty lately and how it relates to our relationships, romantic or otherwise.

When we make lists of what we "expect" from friends or lovers they usually revolve around hopes for "companionship and kindness."

But almost always we utter one truly important word...

Loyalty.

It goes without saying that people expect their boyfriends/girlfriends/husbands/wives to be loyal and because of this cheating seems to be one of the most common "deal breakers" among couples.

But what do we make of friends who fall shy of the loyalty standard?

For them, the line between what is acceptable and what isn't doesn't seem so black and white.


Looking back, I think it's easier to hope for loyalty in a friendship than to actually find it. Maintaining a friendship seems to be a group effort, with many opinions and feelings to consider. Those of each other, but also those of others you meet along the way...

If your friend is betrayed by someone, are you supposed to hate that person along with them?
If your friend is hurt... do you always take their side?

We spend our lives making lists of our expectations for our lovers, but rarely do we hold our friends to the same standards.

And while the people in our experiences will sometimes disappoint us, unlike our family, we choose our friends.

We invite them into our lives because we desire their companionship, their kindness.

But while that may curb our loneliness from time to time...

Does it mean we're entitled to their loyalty?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

No more Muddy Cup?


The sign on the door reads "closed" and it is most likely for good. One of my favorite hang outs, the Muddy Cup in Poughkeepsie has inexplicably shut its doors, and in doing so, removed the one really nice bar-alternative nightspot in Poughkeepsie.

This is sad.

Poughkeepsie is a town where no one brags about their night life. You've got a couple nice pubs, a wide selection of dives and a growing number of wannabe meat markets. Muddy Cup offered variety shows, open mics, swing dance nights, art receptions, free WiFi and coffee and tea concoctions that promised to keep you warm all winter long.

It was great stopping by a coffee shop after work to unwind. I'd whip out my travel watercolor set and enjoy good conversation with friends and compelling strangers alike.

But no more. If anyone has suggestions for a new haunt for the bar weary, I'd love to hear them.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The ostracized 'taken'


Why do friends lose touch? Why does it seem to happen so drastically when one becomes married or engaged? Do taken people just smell worse than single ones?

I received an e-mail from a dear friend I haven't spoken to for a while that left me feeling somewhat puzzled. Part of it read "Don't forget about me just because I am engaged, that doesn't change friendship."

Wow, that stopped me. I haven't at all forgotten about him. Over time, we've just lost touch ... and now I wonder why. It certainly isn't because he's engaged. When I heard, I was so happy for him, and in meeting his intended, I found her to be fantastic.

I had a similar conversation a week ago when I met an old friend for drinks the night before Thanksgiving. I have barely talked to her since she got married.

Now, both these friends live in NYC, but that never kept us for catching up from time to time before.

Maybe singles and marries are like cotton candy and ranch dressing. You just can't mix them. Maybe both sides feel an element of jealously, and it is emotionally easier to lose touch than be confronted by it.

But what if your friend is coupled with a mate that you could see as a great new addition to your circle, like I do with both these friends? Shouldn't that motivate me to make the effort?
Am I lazy? Do I hate married people?

Isn't the whole point of that gold band they wear to ward off single-folk? I think you actually have to keep three feet away from them. Just one touch will shrivel up a single woman's boobs, or a single man's pee pee. I've seen it happen. It's terrible.

Then again, maybe my friends just had less and less time for old pals as they settled into their domestic bliss ... and as time went by, were in a sense replaced by new faces in my own life.

That sounds cruel ... "replaced" ... as if they aren't special and important to me. But sometimes thoughts are cheap, and I certainly haven't put myself out there to maintain contact. Maybe it's time to change that.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Driver's Ed


"You can't take the car out of the parking lot until you pay for it."

Yes, a woman actually said that.

The very same woman that Sten referred to in her post about the "Couple who didn't kiss before marriage."

I find it ironic that a person who has such "values" can reduce herself to a car and then exclaim to the world that her man needs to pay for her love, affection, and well... her saliva before she'll "leave the garage," so to speak.

I think their "courtship" sounds like a game in control and manipulation.

"I won't do the laundry until you clean the kitchen," is one thing, but saying, "I won't kiss you until you buy me a big ol' diamond!" is quite another.

It's one thing to hold out on sex...
But on plain ol' affection?

Isn't that part of a good relationship?

And so I wonder...

If they were never alone, never kissed, and obviously played games...

How likely is it that now that he's driven the car around the block, he isn't going to want to trade her in for something better?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Waiting for marriage


I've heard of waiting til you're married to have sex ... but who would wait to even get a kiss?

A loyal reader sent along a FASCINATING article about a couple who had their first ever smooch at the altar.

Afterwards the bride referred to their lip-locking as "magical." No poo, sweetheart. Any ass at this point is going to seem fantastic ... you poor poor repressed puritanical girl, you.
I hope her guy practiced on melons at least.

I don't even think waiting to have sex is a good idea. Not everyone is compatible. We all have different needs. Some people are very vanilla and others require a three-ring circus to get off.
I know a guy that can't perform without mumbling "I think I can I think I can" over and over again. Imagine finding THAT out on your wedding night.

...Speaking of wedding nights ... what if you never have one? I'd rather die a slutty old maid than an engaged virgin. No contest.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Always


Many people believe that old saying "once a cheat, always a cheat."

But I have to wonder whether or not cheating ways can be the result of specific circumstances unique to a particular partnership.

Isn't it possible that he/she cheated because his/her partner just wasn't "the one?"

And better yet, can't people make mistakes and then learn from them?