Monday, February 28, 2011


I woke up this morning, made some breakfast (swiss cheese omelet with salsa, toast and coffee) and ate it on my patio.

It was a perfect morning. Cool enough to wear a sweatshirt and shorts, but with the promise of getting warmer later.

Barry kept me company as we watched the day wake up. I saw a cardinal flip about from branch to branch. I heard other birds say hello. The train whistled in the distance and Barry kept a very close eye on the squirrels.

It was one of those moments where I was keenly aware of my surroundings, who I was and what it took to get me here. And I liked it.

It had the makings of a very good day.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A walk in the park

I love that I have nearby access to wonderful parks. So many trails for Barry and I to explore and pine cones to stomp on. There's nothing quite as satisfying to me as to hear their crunch under my feet.

The Happiness Project

I am reading a book called "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin. She also has an accompanying blog.

In it she chronicles a year-long project where she tries to bring more happiness into her life by test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific studies, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier. This is not to say that she was unhappy in her life.

In it I've found some pearls of wisdom that got me thinking.

Research shows that regularly having fun is a key factor in having a happy life; people who have fun are twenty times as likely to feel happy.

Having fun is one of the things that Charles accused me of. Of always wanting to have fun. As ridiculous as I thought it was when he texted that to me, I think its absolutely absurd now.

Now, I'm not bringing this up to place blame on Charles. I forgive him, I'm not angry at him and even though now I see that we are not a long-term match, there are qualities of his that I will miss very much.

But I believe that when an opportunity is there to have fun, to appreciate the lightness and joy that an activity can bring, that you need to take full advantage of it. Because when you're faced with something heavy and definitely not fun, you're going to need those happy reserves to get you through.

I had my share of non-fun times with Charles. I thought that in order to restore the balance, we needed a lot of catching up to do on fun. At least I did. I don't have control over what he feels or what he does; I can only control me.

I am sorry that we didn't get that chance. He also accused me of wanting to be friends. Again, I don't understand that argument. But I told him, "isn't that where we need to begin?"

So on this gorgeous, 80F, sunny, North Carolina day, I can enjoy the simplicity -- the fun -- of sitting on my porch drinking a beer, watching my dog lounge in the grass as I read my book.

And smile.

Boyfriend job description

On a bulletin board in my bedroom is a collection of things that make me smile. Cards from my mom, photos, ticket stubs of concerts, colorful scraps of paper. Today I noticed something that I remember Charles looking at when he was here last. I don't know if he actually read it.

I wrote that as a reminder to myself of who I was looking for in a partner. I had written it maybe 4 years ago after a heart break. As I was cleaning today, my eye came to it. I am pleased that my boyfriend job description still holds true today.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Today's Horoscope

Don't cave into temptation, even if it's an old flame. You're all about safety for now, so keep your feelings to yourself. Ancient emotions might bring you back to a toxic relationship. You're apart for a reason!

Duuuude. Spooky.

The end

I thought we were on our way to being friends. Friends with potential.

Him: So how do you like being friends?
Me: I like it.
Him: I have a question, as we are being friends, if someone asks you out on a date, what would you do?
Me: We're on the same thought pattern. I have no interest in dating anyone else.
Dating. That's what I said. That's what I presumed that this was something Charles and I were doing.

Now, how do you define that term? Because I don't think that my definition was matching what his was. To me, when you're dating, you arrange a time to be together. To share a common interest, moment, activity or just share the same space with the goal of learning more about each other. To decide if dating will lead to something further.

I don't think I understood what his definition was. He told me he was cautious with me and wasn't sure what my intentions were for contacting me again.

So these last two weeks were interesting. We had been apart longer than we had even known each other. And in that time I had built the life I was wanting: friends, activity, involvement in something that I believe in. I always believed that I couldn't really give love to someone else until I was truly happy with myself. I thought that my lack of assuredness of what role I was to play in my own life when I first moved here attributed to the deterioration of my relationship with Charles. That, among other things.

So here I am now. Excited because I found my place and I was ready to share that excitement with someone. I wasn't looking to have someone to complete me, but to compliment me.

I don't think Charles was that excited about my new life and time I placed on maintaining my friendships and involvement in things that were important to me. In the two weeks that we had been in contact, I had a massage appointment, a overnight sorority training conference in Charlotte, a Bon Jovi concert (that I invited Charles to), and 2 nights with friends for dinner. These are things that I had planned before Charles came into the picture.

Thursday afternoon I was out with Charles on a quick shopping trip. I was driving because he said he had a headache. I had dinner plans with friends that night and he had a meeting so I knew we only had a few hours before we had other things to do. We had planned for him to come over after his meeting and after my dinner. But by the time our shopping trip was over, he was coming on with a full-grain migraine and went home to lay on the couch. He might skip his meeting because he wasn't feeling well. I told him that if he wasn't feeling well he didn't have to come over. I didn't want him to be bothered by the dog or by me annoying him. So I got him a blanket, kissed him goodbye and left.

He sent me a text at 6:00:
I'm going to turn off the cell for peace. No worries. Talk with you tomorrow. Have fun with your friends. 'night.
At 6:30, I get this:
I don't think you and I are on the same page with a relationship. We should be email or text friends.
Um. Huh?

Which then launched this text conversation/rant...

I'm horrible and cold because I left him without caring how he felt just so I could go and have fun. Nevermind that he never actually told me that he wanted me to stay there. Because I had left my mind-reading hat at home.

The text conversation continued into Friday. Even though I told him that texting was silly, could he just pick up the phone when I called or let me come over. I asked how he was feeling, if there was anything I could do, if he wanted company. No.

So at 6:30 again, I get a text.
What are you doing?
I was actually just running out to sign up for a town softball league. I had learned about it at dinner with friends and I was so excited! I was just going to sign the roster, pay my dues and leave.

That started it all over again. (over text)

His claim that in this time I had put stuff before him. With him, he would make himself available to show that he cared but with all the stuff I was doing, it was obvious to him that I just didn't care enough about him. So I can just go and do what makes me happy and play my silly games and he can go back to being with his real friends.

Me: This is silly and unfair. I have made friends and a place for myself here. I would like to share that with you. I'm not playing games with you. I want to bring you into my life, not have you be the reason for living.

Caring about you and wanting to be with you does not have to be at the expense of having friends and doing things that I enjoy.

I said, "let's date. Let's take it slow." Not, "let's spend 24/7 together." I guess we weren't communicating again.
And you know what? I'm not sad, or angry. I see now that staying with him 6 months ago would not have changed anything. We would have still wound up at the same place. And now I know that what he's looking for is not what I have to offer. And I'm ok with that.

I'm not apologizing for the life I want to lead, and that may be part of whatever issue he has with me. But does that mean that I'm sabotaging myself?

When I'm at a loss I turn to horoscopes. I'm a Gemini.

Gemini changes her partners the way she changes moods. She's looking for love, but not at the expense of freedom. She believes that somewhere in this world there's a man who's her intellectual equal, capable of responding to her bewildering changes of mood and prepared to let her live her own life. Not surprisingly, she seldom locates him...nothing quite matters quite so much to single Gemini as her precious freedom to do and think as she pleases.

Then I looked at the compatibility guide with Scorpio.

Though you are very drawn to each other, this could be a very dangerous and destructive union. You are likely to bring out the negative side in each other''s nature. Sexually, you'll be immediately attracted to a Scorpio man and he be attracted to you...He won't have much use for your escapism or dreaming. He will always be bringing you down to earth with a bump...He does like his comforts though and in marriage, he may desire a woman who is prepared to stay in the background and look after him...If you can take the rough with the smooth, you could survive together. One thing is certain, you won't have much time for your own interests. It's unlikely you'll be able to continue with your career if you marry him. So if freedom is important to you, beware of settling down with a Scorpio.


But I'm not writing this just to give the story of Charles and I an ending. I'm writing to get some objective feedback. Am I missing something here? Have I been so involved in me that I'm ignoring something obvious?

Please tell me your thoughts. I need an outside perspective.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My original Jersey Boy

I went to my first concert the summer before I entered high school. It was Bon Jovi during the Slippery When Wet tour.

Shelly, my best friend, and I went with her aunts to the Meadowlands to see our local Jersey boys (this was way before I was obsessed with Bruce Springsteen, the real Jersey boy).

Our seats were awful. They were completely opposite of the stage at the very top of the stadium. You could hardly see Jon and the boys on stage as they were specks bathed in light. And we were probably getting a second-hand high from all the pot smoke that wafted to the highest parts of the arena.

But for us, it was magic. Because when Jon and Richie sang, they were singing to us. When Jon was strapped in that harness and flew over the audience, he was on his way to see us. And when they left the stage before the encore, it was only our clapping and cheering that would bring the band back on stage.

Now, almost 25 years later I found myself at a Bon Jovi concert Monday night. I wasn't in the Meadowlands this time, but I still felt at home in Raleigh because my original Jersey boys had come to town.

It was a greatest hits tour so I was transported back to my 14 year old life, cheering and knowing that when Jon was singing
Take my hand and well make it - I swear
Livin on a prayer

He was singing only to me.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Today's Horoscope

Follow-through isn't just for golf. But you knew that already, at least when it comes to work. You might find that follow-through makes all the difference in love too. There's certainly not a whole lot of resistance on their part (they might even be downright into you). So make sure to let them know you're still interested, and you could see a whole lot change. You might not even need to say anything -- sometimes you'll find that a single, powerful stroke is the best follow-through out there.

One week. Well, six months and one week. That's what it took to be able to see what this friendship/relationship with Charles could actually be. Its a good start.

"Friends with benefits? That's not what I want."

"Me neither," I replied. "That would just cheapen everything we had together before that was good. But I prefer friends with potential."

I borrowed that line from Say Anything, one of my all-time favorite movies.

I received a comment from a very dear friend (hey, Steve!) that maybe this story isn't just mine to tell, and I think he's right. So I'll end the details here.

But know that my eyes are more open and I'm still as stubborn as ever. You can take the girl out of Jersey, but you can't take the Jersey out of the girl.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Figuring this out

"I would have brought flowers, but I thought you'd like ice cream better."

He knows the way to my heart is through my stomach.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Sixth Sense

I see people. They don't know they're dead.

You know in The Sixth Sense when the ending is revealed and Bruce Willis learns that he's dead and suddenly you can see the entire move from a different point of view?

Him: Meet me at 42nd Street Oyster Bar at 6:30.

I was sitting at the bar, drinking a glass of wine as I waited.

Him: where r u?
Me: I'm the cute girl at the bar
I watched him walk over to me in his motorcycle jacket, smile on his face and sparkle in his eye.

"You look really pretty. Shall we go get our table?"

We had dinner here several times. Before.

We talked about our day, laughing and joking. I helped him retrieve a lost contact lens hiding in his eyelid. It was fun, and light.

But then we got to talking about the day I left.

"You came in so angry with your mind already set. You looked at me hard and cold and said 'What do you have to say to me?' and tore around grabbing your stuff and slamming the door. If you had just stopped to let me talk, I would have said that I thought we just needed a break while I sorted the mess of my life out. Not break up."

Oh. My. God.

And suddenly everything I thought was true was just flipped over, upside down, sitting in a ditch on the side of the road.

Yes, I went to his house with a 'fuck you' look in my eye. I was guarded and vicious and I wanted to get my things and get out before he saw me completely break down.

"You didn't even cry. You were just a cold-hearted bitch (I'm sorry, this sounds harsh, but this is what I thought then) who didn't even give me a chance."

My eyes widened with this new realization and they started to fill with tears. I saw the last six months through his eyes. It was bad.

"I just learned something new today. I had no idea. I was so angry and so hurt. And now I feel so small and incredibly stupid", I gulped out.

"If I didn't know you, I'd think you were lying."

So there it was. All this time I thought he was getting rid of me. And all this time he thought I left him behind.

Later that night I was on the phone with him. He told me, "I remember you said that it was easier for you to communicate with words than with your voice. So write me an email."

I don't even know how to start.

All this time I saw only what I thought was the truth, but it turns out I was blinded by some stupid sense of pride.

When you told me about [the ex-wife's] demands I was furious! I understand when you said that you weren't going to take any chances with your kids. I never doubted that. But it didn't stop me from feeling any less rejected.Then I thought of other things you said in passing "I could never understand anyone who doesn't pray", "I don't have a dance partner", and I wondered if you were also using this as the way for you to get me out, not only of your house, but of your life. Because maybe you were starting to see that I wasn't the one you were looking for.

When you moved me into my apartment, I was hurting. I know you were helping me, but it also felt like you were getting rid of me. After you left, I sat on the floor and sobbed because I felt so completely alone. I left you the key to my apartment. I tried to invite you to come swimming, or to even help me break in my new bed, but your denials felt like a brush off. So when not even a week had passed and you sent me the text 'we have to talk' I thought it was just the final blow. I went to your house expecting the worst.

As I walked up to the front door I saw your wooden box, the one where we kept all our sex stuff, drying out on the stairs. I saw that as your way of clearing out the garbage because you saw that we didn't need that anymore. I knocked and didn't get any answer. I didn't want to use my key because I was already now feeling like a trespasser. Instead I went to the garage and loaded my things into the car.

When you finally opened the door for me I felt a chill from you. You went back into your room to put on some pants, and closed the door behind you. Like I was a stranger. That was when my guard came up, I put on my tough act and thought that if you didn't want me anymore, then I wasnt going be a fool and beg you to not to let me go. That's when I said to you, 'what is it that you want to tell me?' Because I wanted you to just come out and say it. You didn't want me. Instead you said 'you know we haven't been getting along these last few weeks..."

Are you kidding me?! In my head I was screaming, "I'm being forced to leave my home with you, I've had to adjust to a new life, in a new state, with a man who I was still getting to know, trying to figure out how to be a couple, a cook, a parent. I was without my family, barely any friends. I was fucking stressed!! I didn't know what I was doing and I obviously wasn't doing all that great a job." But in that moment all I could think was "it doesn't matter. Save yourself. Just go."

But all you saw was that emotional wall and you kept your distance. And all I saw was you keeping your distance because you were done with me. And that is where we unraveled.

In my heartbroken insanity, when you said it was both you and Chrissy that wanted me to move out, I thought that you had come up with this plan together to help you remove me from your life. And that was why I thought you were a coward.

So six months go by and all this time you're thinking I'm a cold-hearted bitch that took any excuse to run, and to me you were that asshole who hatched a plan with his ex-wife to get rid of me.

If only I hadn't moved right in with you, how could things have been different? I could have been able to become my own person down here and create my new circle of friends and found things that were important for me to be involved in without having to be so dependent on you. I think I asked a lot of you at a time when you were already stretched between work, kids, Grandma and your mom. I don't think I made things any easier for you as being someone else who needed something from you. If we had a chance to get to know each other, to date each other -- not from the two extremes of going 500 miles apart to being 5 feet apart. If we had that chance, I might be rolling over to kiss you good night instead of sending you an email.

And that is my biggest regret.

I got back in touch with you not because I wanted to get back together, because remember, in my mind you didn't want me. I contacted you because I wanted us to be friends. I loved you too much to let you remain a stranger to me. But now I know the huge, stupid mistake I made by putting up that emotional wall and making assumptions and exactly what that cost me. And it sucks. And I am so sorry.


My life is a Taylor Swift song

I'm so glad you made time to see me
How's life, tell me how's your family
I haven't seen them in a while
You've been good, busier than ever
We small talk, work and the weather
Your guard is up and I know why
Because the last time you saw me
Is still burned in the back of your mind
You gave me roses and I left them there to die
But this is me swallowing my pride,
Standing in front of you saying I'm sorry for that night

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Do I get royalties everytime this is used?

The Official WTF?!? Face ©

A new chapter

Him: Hey,what are you doing this evening? I have to be in Raleigh by 7 and done there by 9, want to hang out?

I think it's safe to say that we're on our way to becoming friends.

My "I am loving my life despite the crap we went through" email didn't derail the friendship process. In fact I think it opened the doors to be able to talk calmly and openly about the shit that went down.

Him: I thought we would work past this and keep seeing each other. Nope, it didn't work out that way. I felt confused and angry because you dropped me, however I do understand that you felt the same way. And I do care about you, and yes I love you.
My evening started with a great massage at a little hole-in-the-wall spa in town. Faith, my masseuse was awesome. She worked out my knots between my shoulder blades, loosened my hamstrings and hips and the scalp massage turned me into butter.

"Be careful driving home," she warned. She wasn't kidding. I was so relaxed, so fuzzy, so chill. I needed a shower to wash off the yummy smelling oils and it was already after 8pm. I texted Charles that I was way too relaxed to leave my house so he'd have to come over if he wanted to hang.

In my head, I was planning the first thing I would say to break the ice. "Wanna just have sex to get that tension out of the way?"

Turns out I didn't need so say that because when he showed up, there wasn't any tension. Except when he said how fat Barry got. I told Barry to bite him again.

You know what? Him being in my apartment, surrounded by my things, sitting on my couch was pretty cool.

"It probably wasn't a good idea for me to move in with you when I came down," I started with. "That was way too much change to get used to."

He thought for a second. "We made the best decision we could with the information we had available to us."

We had a good talk. It wasn't all that deep or accusatory. It was like dissecting a movie that we just saw in the theater. Almost as if it wasn't our own lives we were talking about.

"If you had one last thing to say to me, what would it be?"

I thought about it for a second. "I have to thank you for getting me here. I came for you, but I stayed for me. I like it here. I think its where I needed to be."

"Yeah, I think everything happens for a reason. But come on, you're smart. I know you had a plan up your sleeve even before you sold your house. " Sometimes he's more insightful than I give him credit for.

"How about you? What have you been waiting six months to tell me?"

"Hmm. I'm gonna need more time to think about this."

After about 10 minutes passed I asked again.

"I'm really sorry about the way we broke up. We were both so angry and you tore out of the driveway. I didn't expect to hear from you ever again. Then you called me a coward..."

"Yeah. I didn't expect that to happen. I thought when I moved out that it would actually be better. But then I got your 'we have to talk' text and I thought 'fuuuuuck'. I knew."

We hung out on the couch, filling each other in on the last six months. He could hardly believe that it had been that long. "Yes, it's six months. I just signed a new lease."

"Can friends hug", he asked me.

Yes, apparently we can.

I laid in his arms on the couch for a long time. It was comfortable. But you know what? It was just a hug. I didn't feel the urge to rip off his pants and pull him into my bedroom. I was happy to just lay there for a little while, and when he left, that was fine. It was what I wanted.

And that's a good thing.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Night

The rest of my afternoon at work after being dropped off by Charles was as productive as the hours at work I wasted in anticipation of him coming to pick me up. I did some little stuff here and there, but the majority of my time was spent thinking "now what?"

At least I had plans today. I was meeting Kelly after work for a few drinks. I got there first and ordered a Blue Moon to keep me company.

"Hey, how was your valentine's day?"

I filled her in on my last 24 hours.

"Well, that was I story I never expected to hear."

Two beers later, I collected my liquid courage and texted Charles that I wanted to come over. Right now.

Unfortunately his 13 year old daughter was home, and while any other time he'd say yes emphatically, he really didn't want to have to go into explanations with her. But he sensed that there was something on my mind that I was holding back.
You are not really saying much to me, not opening up or talking. So why do you try that now? Hell, you may feel better.
Ok. He asked for it...
Ok, here it goes.

I wanted to rip your shirt off and crawl into your arms and just pretend that the last six months never happened. I was reacquainted with the blue of your eyes and the strength of your hand as you grabbed my thigh and as I had you between my legs, I just shut my eyes and breathed you in deeply.

I had butterflies as you drove up. Even as I heard the roar of your engine, my heart flopped over. And you were damn sexy driving up all bad-ass.

I am not angry with you. Not at all.

But in this time that I've had to find my way on my own, I have been more happy and adventurous than I'd been when we were playing house.

I do want to know why I was asked to leave. But not tonight. I want you to know that when I asked you 'who asked me to leave, you or Chrissy?' and you answered 'both', that you might as well had punched me in my stomach.

I honestly don't know what happened. But I do know that whatever it was about me that made you want out, that's still there in me. It hasn't changed. In fact, I'm MORE me than I was before. Now I don't have to worry about the role I have to play while living in your house. I have my own place, with my own dog, making my own friends, living my own life and loving every part of it.

Charles, you turned my insides to mush when you told me you still love me. Because there is a part of me that loves you too.

I don't want to forget you or the intense time we had together. I loved you. It was real. I was your girl.

And I honestly mean it that I would like us to be friends. But that's where it needs to begin. As much as my body would like to jump right in where we left off, my heart wont let me. I have to be able to trust you again, and honestly that may take a long time.

All I know is that I'm not going anywhere. I like who I am, where I am, what I do and the people that I surround myself with. It would be nice if you had a place in my life as well. I would like us to get to know each other again, at a more normal pace. Not the insane timeline we had going.

Is that what you had in mind?
This has been the longest 12 hours waiting for a reply.

Monday, February 14, 2011

My valentine's day

It started with an email to Charles yesterday.

I hope you and your family are doing well. I'm wishing you an early valentine's day. I would really like us to be friends.

take care-
It was just before lunch on a gorgeous Sunday as I was walking Barry in the park. The sun was shining brightly, the world was warming up and all around me people were basking in the warmth walking, flying kites, feeding the ducks.

I was having a great day, actually a great weekend, and I was on this emotional high and full of gratitude for all that I've been through and what I've become because of it.

I guess I was also a bit nostalgic for Valentine's Day approaching.

He replied quickly. (I've fixed all the spelling mistakes because it just drives me crazy.)
Thank you! My friends are here for me, through sickness in my family, through death, and even battles with ex-wife over the last four months. However, my acquaintances are just fly-by-night kind of people. I guess I could call them friends, but my real friends don't walk away and leave me when I most need them. But it's a nice gesture to say you want to be my friend, thank you. Which friend would you like to be?
I don't want to be 'just that girl you used to know'. I'd like to be someone you can call a friend, not an acquaintance. But I think we'd have to define that together.
This was getting interesting...

I told him I was in the park soaking up the sun with Barry and if he wanted to come join me, that would be fine. He was meeting with a Realtor shortly so he couldn't come meet me but,
There's so much I wanted to share with you but, I don't even know if you care.
The email conversations went on through the day. He said that he would love to see me. So plans were made for him to come over for pizza and we'd talk this out.

Plans changed and 7 pm turned into 7:45 which turned into 9pm, which turned into nothing at all. And the emails seems to take a weird turn.

Him: So why are you getting in touch with me now?
Me: I was thinking of you recently and didn't want there to be bad blood between us. I really wanted us to friends.
Him: What changed your mind? I have not heard anything from you, so really why?
Me: I have no hidden agenda. I had long stopped being upset and hoped you did too.

Bedtime quickly approached and I had a bunch of pizza to put away. I wasn't angry, or depressed or even let down. I was just absorbing the absurdity of it.

Morning came and Barry licked my nose as his valentine's day kiss.

Feeling good, I put on my new blazer, bright pink tank top, a cute scarf, a pair of jeans and my black leather boots. I looked cute. And it was going to be almost 70 F today. The day was lookng up.

At work, I had email waiting for me.
Happy Valentines day. So do you have any planes tonight like a romantic dinner for two or just hot sex on the sofa. haha. so what are you doing?
I had convinced him to come pick me up on the Harley for lunch. I drove home to get my helmet.
Him: Hell just take the rest of the day off and we can play
Me: One step at a time, cowboy.
I heard the roar of the bike's engine before I saw him. He looked pretty bad-ass driving up on his motorcycle wearing his black leather jacket.

I couldn't help but smile when I saw him. I was a mess of butterflies and calm. I gave him a hug hopped on the back and held on.

We rode for a little bit. I gripped him with my legs and held on to the pockets in his jacket. I leaned my chin on his left shoulder, partly to block the wind and party because it just felt familiar. We got a quick bite at a chinese restaurant and ate outside.

Our discussion wasn't deep or ventured anywhere into the territory of "what the hell happened to us six months ago?". It was light and surface skimming, how's the family, how's the kids, how's work.

It was strange, but not uncomfortable. More like a deja vu. We rode back with his hand reached back on my knee as I held on behind him.

When Charles finally brought me back to work after lunch he asked me if I had plans tonight. I actually have plans with girlfriends even though they were loosely defined. He said that if I finish early enough, he'd like to see me.

"It was really nice seeing you. It was pretty bad-ass of you to come pick me up at work on the bike. Thank you."

And as I turned to walk away he told me. "I still love you, you know."

Dammit. I still loved him too.