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All posts for the month August, 2012

Taking That Life Ride Alone

Published August 29, 2012 by mindfulofchatter

 

 

I read a blog called Mizinsomniac here on WordPress. This lady is going through a tough time in her life. In her last entry, she talks about her company picnic and how it forces her to come face to face with some very uncomfortable feelings, and a bit of her past. Adding to that, her recent break-up and, well, you can see where things could go. She adds to this her loneliness.

Her break-up is very recent. Her happiness at being set free from a bad situation is shadowed by her loneliness and a sense of failure. The ‘why mes’ have set in. More the ‘Why not me’s. You know, the one where you see all icky people happier than a pig in slop? Why do THEY get to have a happy relationship? I’m a good person! Why am I alone? I am familiar with this syndrome.

I am alone. I have been alone since I left my marriage two years ago. My children are adults who live on their own in other states. Until 3 months ago, it was me and the dog (I recently relocated and currently live with my sister). I came home to just the dog for 2 years. There was no one to cook dinner with, or for. There was no one to tell about my day to. There was no one to hold me when I had a rotten one. There was no one to do those same things for. There still isn’t, man wise, but now I come home to my sister and two dogs.

I learned to go out alone. To movies, to restaurants and shopping. I am perfectly fine alone. But I am lonely.

I tried internet dating. I have met some nice people through those sites in the past. This time – nothing. I don’t get an inbox crammed with messages. I rarely got anyone to even write back. I know I’m not the prettiest bird on the wire. I’m older and a little heavier than I’d like to be (I am not obese, just a few pounds to the heavy). But I’m not in my 20’s, 30’s or even 40’s anymore. I don’t expect me to look like I did back then. I look in the mirror and I see a perfectly fine, attractive woman. No one runs away screaming when I walk down the street. No one even cringes. I can’t be that bad. Can I?

I see people who shouldn’t be able to have relationships, in what appears to be happy ones. They are liars, cheats. Mean human beings who treat others poorly. Yet there they are in a relationship. The pigs have their slop. I try to be open and honest. I have no one. The ‘Why not me’ or the ‘Whats wrong with me’ tape begins to play. It’s frustrating at best.

Like Mizinsomniac, I like being with a man. I enjoy having a relationship. But I have no idea how to connect with a man in this digital world. The downfall of internet dating to the sheer numbers. It has been said many, many times that having such a large pool to choose from, makes us choose no one. We keep thinking there is someone better. We won’t take the chance on a ‘maybe’. I would like to meet a man the old-fashioned way. Talking in line at the store, sharing a table at a crowded cafe, at a concert or out dancing. All these scenarios have become a movie ‘meet cute’. It seems as though they no longer take place in real life.

I am at a loss.

And France Looms in The Distance

Published August 25, 2012 by mindfulofchatter

When everything else going on in my life, there is now the long-awaited Trip To France coming up at warp speed. We (my sister and I) leave August 24th to head to Seattle so we can catch our plane the next day. There is so much to do, time and money are threatening to strangle me in my sleep. Wait? Did I say sleep? Sleep has been elusive lately. My mind keeps on ticking and rolling things over long past my initial attempts to fall asleep.

I have never traveled abroad. Okay, I went to Canada as a kid, but that doesn’t count. All we had to do was drive up the freeway and get on a ferry. Back then, no passports were required to go into Canada on a day trip. This time is different. I NEED things to make this trip a smooth one. So much has changed since that decades ago trip to Canada. I had no luggage, no packing goodies, no little plastic travel sized thingie ma bobs.

My sister is a veteran traveler. She has been to France, Scotland, England, Italy and Croatia. She has done several tours with Rick Steves Tours. She has all the goodies to make it easy. In short, she has her travel crap together.

She has been an enormous help to me.

First off, she gave me her old Rick Steves brand carry on bag. That sucker holds a ton of stuff with a little careful packing. She took me shopping at the Rick Steves shop in Edmonds. Yup, we went to The Ricks Steves travel store. We also went to a another travel store, Ricks Steves (believe it or not) does not have everything. My generous sister bought me packing cubes, good luggage tags, a money belt and a few other travel items to make my life a little easier. She has made very good packing suggestions, and recounted some her more interesting encounters with tiny hotel elevators, miniscule bathrooms and how to wash your under things and socks in a sink. She has made all, and I mean ALL, the arrangements for this trip. From the airline tickets to ordering Euros. She pulled out her very best French (and French books) to write to the hotels and gites in France to secure us accommodations. She reserved a car (a Renault Twingo -who wouldn’t want a car called a Twingo?) and our rail passes. She has asked me what I want to see in Paris and made an itinerary of the sites we want to hit. We sat down together and plotted our course from Paris to Tours to Cognac. She has been a whirlwind (in both French and English) and done an excellent job. I never, in a million years, could have done this. If my had depended on it, I’d be long dead.

So what is left? I know, I know! My sister has done it all! I shouldn’t have a darn thing to do, right? Just pack my bags, grab my passport and hop in the car.

Yeah – right.

I have a dog who needs a place to stay while we are gone. I have started the process with a local boarding facility that is fantastic. The dog must pass an interview and test visit. Both are done. Now she will go on Mondays for ‘day care’ to get used to the place and people. And this costs money. It ain’t cheap. I am negotiating paying ahead so I don’t come back to an enormous board bill. She also needs all of her vaccinations updated.

I still need a few things. Travel stuff is rarely cheap (okay, inexpensive) and travel clothes do not come in tall sizes. I am looking at my wardrobe and making a few decisions about what I will bring for sure. I may a couple of things. A lot of it can’t be decided right now. We don’t know if the weather is going to turn cool or stay hot. We won’t know until we get closer to our departure date.

Our departure date is about 1 month away now. It seems like loads of time when you look at it from a distance. If you have ever made plans ahead, you know how the calendar works. Time crawls along, fooling you into thinking you have all the time in world to get ‘that’ done. Then all of a sudden, it’s time drop off the dog, get  your hair cut, get your nails done, pack your bag, grab your passport, load up the car and catch your plane. It feels as if you are caught up in a whirl wind. And you just know something will not go as planned.

All this is followed by airport security, the endless flight, time change, jet lag, customs, immigration and finding the way to your hotel in strange city where you can’t really speak the language.

I can’t wait.

When Worlds Collide And Life Derails

Published August 17, 2012 by mindfulofchatter

 

We all make bad decisions from time to time. It’s part of life and how we learn. Sometimes, things feel like the right decision and turn out to be wrong. This could be a small wrong such as ‘I thought I’d love this job, but it totally SUCKS.’ To a huge wrong that leads to financial ruin, calls to police or even death. Lots of bad decision are small. Even though we tend to blow them up out of proportion, they are all in all small. I once made the decision to move to Minnesota. I packed up my things and my kids and off we went. I had met a man who told me there loads of jobs there and we could much better there. He was right about the job situation and the cost of living. Jobs were numerous, I got a great job within two weeks of moving there, and the cost of living was much lower. What he left out was the fact he was an abusive, mean, lying, lazy SOB. My kids and I came out alright, but ended up living in Minnesota for the next 10 years. My daughter still lives there. I think she likes it more than she lets on. That was a bad decision, but it ended up having a lot of pluses. I did learn that I NEVER want to live in the Midwest ever again. Ever.

In my last post couple of posts, I have shared with you a little bit of the trial my best friend is going through. She also made what turned out to be a bad decision. She has learned from it and is moving forward.

I have made recently made a decision that seems to be a wrong one.

I live the Pacific Northwest. I was in the southern reaches where is it hot in summer and cool in winter (after Minnesota, 32 just isn’t all that cold). I was asked to move north by my sister. She lives (and now I live) almost as far north as you get in the Pacific Northwest. It is cooler here. Summer takes it takes getting here and flees faster. There is more rain, which makes it very green. This weather isn’t my cuppa o’ tea.

To top it off, the cost of living is much higher here. Jobs are more scarce. It took me three months to secure a decent job. I make less money here, with a full-time job, than I did at a part-time job. Rents are ridiculous. I am told the rental prices are set at tourists prices. WTF! This means because this is a tourist area, landlords charge $700 a month for a tiny studio apartment, often in a ratty building (not ratty as in rodents, ratty as in old and worn out).

I currently live with my sister. We are trying to make the best of a tiny cottage built for one. It is 615 sq feet. One bedroom with a walk-in closet. We have managed to split the closet space. It is a bit crowded in there, but it works. She has the bedroom (it is her house) and I have an air mattress up in the storage loft. This means I have no private space. No room with walls and a door where I can escape and be alone. I work, my sister does not. Because the closet is in the bedroom, I have to get my things ready the night before. I HATE this. We divided up the housework, but my sister is very casual about what clean is. I am not. No, I am not one who has to disinfect everything and scrub down walls every week, but I do like the dust bunnies and the dog hair banished from the floor, the rug vacuumed and the bathroom cleaned once a week. She doesn’t care if it’s done or not. And she not very good at following through with things. We cleaned out and re-arranged her room. It gave her more space and more light. In  the process, we emptied out some of cardboard boxes. The empty boxes were stacked on the front porch. They sat there for two weeks before she broke them down. Now we have a pile of broken down cardboard boxes on the front porch. She still has not bundled them and walked them across to the recycle bin. They are sitting there along with the bundles destined for Goodwill. The Goodwill bundles are going on four weeks. Why don’t I just clear those things up? It would be easy. It wouldn’t take long. I could do it in 10 minutes. Bundle up the cardboard, load the Goodwill things into her car and be done with it. But I refuse to. I have been the one cleaning up, hauling things to storage, the recycle bin or the trash bin. I won’t clean up her messes any more.

Now understand, dear reader, I love my sister. I know she is dealing with a few demons, depression being one of them. She has been generous while I was job hunting. She has made progress in moving forward, away from hiding in the house all day. She is doing more. But she still won’t follow through and finish things, or keep her environment clean. I don’t think she even sees the piles in her bedroom and the clutter on the porch.

I can’t live like this.

I need my own space, my own privacy. I need a closet I have access to at 6:00 AM to get ready for work. I need to be able to iron my skirts, play my music loud and watch crappy TV programs at all hours.

But I don’t think I can afford an apartment. The cost of living will keep me right where I am.

My sisters world and my world have collided. My life has derailed. My sister’s may have too.

 

Dealing With The aftermath of Non-Relationship

Published August 16, 2012 by mindfulofchatter

My best friend is dealing with the break up of a two-year relationship. At least she thought it was a relationship. It turns out it wasn’t a relationship in the terms of two people who care for each other. It was a relationship in which one person cared for the other, and the other person cared only for himself.

She found out after he had packed up some of his things and left, that he had been planning to move out-of-state for many months. That he had never intended for this to be any kind of permanent relationship. That he never loved her. He had, in fact, used her for sex, food, shelter and to pay his bills. Yup, you read that correctly. He let her pay his bills for about two years.

At first, he was pitching in around the house. He’d clean, cook and do laundry. Then he began to back off those things. Not did he back off those things, but he also began to criticize and badger everyone in the household about how they kept their private space. After he got a job, he still didn’t contribute to the household with money. He had excuses as to why he didn’t have the money to pay his phone, car and insurance bills. At the grocery store, when she was at her wit’s end trying to buy food for the family, he never once offered to pick the tab. He plain and simply didn’t care one whit about anyone but himself.

This kind of selfishness effects everyone. He used my friend, he used me (I got him a job where I used to work), he used everyone he came in contact with. Whenever he was asked directly about anything, including his relationship with my friend, he gave non answers, or was vague. Often he changed the subject and walked away.

To add to this mess, I was recently found out that a another friend of hers knew this was going to happen. This selfish man had bared his soul to this so-called friend quite a while back. She, in turn, kept silent and let this awful scenario play itself out. I can imagine the sense of betrayal that was felt by this non-action.

Now my friend is in a world of hurt and confusion. The aftermath of this non relationship affects not only her, but her children and her friends. They see her struggle to make sense of something there is no sense to. Her son, bless his heart, urges her to get up and go for walk or a bike ride. He goes with her and tries to keep her laughing. Because her kids and her real friends are there for her, she will work through this. She has a support system to lean on. She found out who her friends really are, and knows she has strong shoulders to cry on and ears that will listen when she needs to shout out the pain.

All of this could have been avoided if one person had been honest and told the truth.

The World is A Nutter

Published August 9, 2012 by mindfulofchatter

I was recently cruising through the internet, just looking at stuff and articles, nothing in particular. I’d stop and read an article, then click a link to another article or video. I didn’t watch the videos. None of them seemed worth my time. The articles were not much better. ‘They’ seem to want tell ‘Us’ how to live and what is right or wrong. ‘They’ have endless lists on all sorts of subjects.

10 Trends  We Never Want to See Again

Okay, some of them I would agree with. I don’t like mullets, and would very happy to never see one again. But most things on their list were iffy at best. They didn’t mention 80’s shoulder pads or Bay City Roller pants. How can I trust a ‘no return’ list without those items?

Mistakes Women Make On a Date

This was supposedly written by a man. He even gave reasons why something was a mistake. One was: ‘Don’t wear too much make-up. Men will feel you are insecure and hiding behind it.’ Okay. I can see that, but. Most women wear similar make-up every day. For evening, they may create whats called a ‘smokey eye’, but nothing else really changes all that much. Younger women may add a little sparkle across their cheeks or above their eyes. A lot depends on the date, and when the date is taking place time wise. This means the man asked out a woman he KNOWS wears make-up, and about how much. Unless the woman was wearing NO make-up that day, just how much make-up is too much? The writer stated a few other ‘mistakes’. I found most them silly, some were things men do too. Maybe I should my own list.

10 Mistakes We Make to Kill The Mood

Seriously? We need some bozo to write a list? This list stated things that seemed obvious to me. Don’t keep checking your phone. Don’t bring the laptop to bed and socialize. Don’t go to bed with garlic/onion breath. Are people really this stupid?

Ever since Mr. Blackwell put Andy Griffith on his Worse Dressed list for his character (Matlock) wearing seersucker suits, I have been amazed at how ridiculous people can be (actually I was amazed well before. That just made my mouth drop open). We are so overly connected the press can no longer fill enough space. Where we once had real stories, we are now bombarded with useless lists and how to’s. We have become a world of people who seem to be no longer able to think for themselves. We web surf rather than talk to each other. We don’t learn from each because we don’t talk. We rely on social media and news networks to get our information.

No wonder the world has become a nutter.

Dishonestly sucks

Published August 7, 2012 by mindfulofchatter

I have a good friend who is going through a mini hell. I met her through her now ex-boyfriend. Her ex and I were working on the same production at the same little community theatre. She came to a committee meeting and thought we get on well as friends, and asked me if I wanted to go have a drink and chat. We hit it off as if we’d had been best friends since grade school, and have been friends ever since.

At the time her BF (boyfriend) was in transition. He had moved to our state from another state. He was unemployed, but looking and had no real place to live. I think he was renting a room somewhere, but losing the financial battle a little more every day. GF (his girlfriend and my bestie) and he talked things over and he moved in with. GF had never just lived with a guy before. This was new territory for her. At first, things were pretty smooth. BF helped around the house while he searched for a job. He taxied the kids (hers) to their appointments, soccer games, plays, sleepovers and the things kids do as kids. BF seemed to good at taking up the slack. Since BF had no money and bills to pay, GF paid his bills. All with the understanding that BF would pay her back once he started working.

When the first cracks began to show, GF sat BF down and they discussed the issues. GF was very clear in stating her issues and why they were issues. BF? BF avoided any thing that remotely resembled a confrontation. He hemmed. He hawed. He made broad statements. He agreed she was right without ever really agreeing to work on things. BF was keeping secrets.

After about a year and a half of paying his bills (even when he had gotten a job), feeding him and providing a roof over his head, BF is gone.

He finally let a few of his secrets out. He had been looking for work in another state. He had no intention of this being a permanent relationship. He had been using GF for money, food and sex pretty much all along.

How can someone do that to another person? Yes, I know it happens all the time. BF knew that GF loved him. BF knew that GF has put her whole self into this relationship. She held nothing back from BF. She showed him and she told him day after day how she felt about him. BF didn’t care. BF blew it off. BF lied to keep his easy life.

BF is now gone and good riddance to him. But BF has also left behind wreckage that will take months to recover from. Not any does GF have to deal with this, but so do her children. So do her friends. Anyone who is a part of GF’s life will be affected by this one selfish person (I have restrained my self and not called him an asshole).

Dishonestly sucks. There is no place for it in any relationship. I’m talking about lies and secrets. Dishonesty can destroy a decades old relationships is a blink of an eye.

Being honest with a significant other can be difficult at times. Especially if its ‘bad’ news. Honesty is what makes any relationship strong. It’s what makes any two (or sometimes more) people stronger. It doesn’t matter is you are just close friends, or an old married couple. Honesty is what makes us know we have an ally in our corner should ever we need one. It isn’t a tough thing to do. Tell the truth, and keep on telling the truth.

 

 

I am beginning to wonder about the whole dating thing

Published August 4, 2012 by mindfulofchatter

I used to have a dating blog. I wrote several posts that were liked and re-blogged. I even gained a few regular readers. But I took it down when it became apparent I was not dating. In spite of my efforts to ‘put myself out there’, I remain dateless. Kind of a dateless wonder, so to speak.

Here is a little background; I left a marriage of 4 whole years. The marriage was troubled and was not going to get better. Any relationship needs to have both parties willing to work on the rough bits. I didn’t have that. The bits just got rougher and rougher. I had enough, and moved out. He and I are still friendly. This tells you we weren’t at each other’s throats, just unhappy.

I stayed away from dating and dating sites. I needed time to put myself back together and heal the wounds. I realized some of those wounds were decades old and were in desperate need of attention. So I went out with friends, learned to go out alone (and enjoy it) and let myself sort through all the baggage that has accumulated over the years. It was a rather odd journey. Looking back at events and reactions to those events was eye-opening. I learned a great deal about who I am, and why I am this person. I sorted through the things I liked about me, as well the things I don’t like about me. I think I came out the other side a much better, more comfortable person.

So I decided it was time to date. I signed up on two free dating sites, found profile photos, wrote and re-wrote my profile until I thought I had an okay profile. Those profiles are tough to write. I mean, how much crazy do you share right up front? So many of the men try write about how Mr.Steady Eddy they are (solid job, own a house, blah, blah, blah). They write that way because they are sure all women want a steady, stand-up guy. Unfortunately, they tend to sound dull a toast. Some go the complete other direction and sound a bit too wild. When writing about oneself there tend to be a lot of ‘I’ going on. A few find a balance. Very few.

All this makes sorting through profiles a little daunting. For me, some are instantly discarded. Those who are fitness nuts are dismissed immediately. I have no need to ‘hit the gym 7 days a week’, ‘cycle across the counrty’ or ‘love extreme hiking’. I am active, but lets not get silly about it. Those guys are much better off with someone of a like mind. Thats isn’t me. I am leary about widows. A large number of these men are still not over their lost love. It shows in the way they write their profiles. I can not compete with dead wife/lover. Who can live up to her? No one.

So here I am signed up and ready to meet new people. I look through my ‘matches’ to see if anyone piques my interest. I read dozens and dozens of profiles. I send messages to the ones that seem to be a person I would like to meet.

I get very few responses.

I have met one man from the dating site. We talked on the phone for hours. We liked a lot o the same things. We laughed a lot on our meet n’ greet. But I am not his cuppa. Thats fine, but he couldn’t just say that. He had to hem and haw. He had to wait unitl I put it out there. He excuse? I live too far away (30 – 45 min, tops). Seriously?

Since then I have a had a few guys contact me, or at least reply. Some are just plain creepy. Some write for a bit, then fade away. Some holler distance (I live in place that is slightly isolated, but with plenty of ways to get around). Some decide that I am not pretty enough or not thin enough for them before they even try to get to know me. Their loss.

Me? I’m not sure I want to continue to persue this line of dating. I’d rather meet someone the old fashioned way, and not be judged by a photograph or two. I prefer to be able to see the body language and hear the inflection in their speech. So much goes on that you can’t squeeze into a photograph and few lines tapped out on a keyboard.