Insecurity Blanket

When I was 24, my boyfriend at the time took me on a mini overnighter to a rainy, northern town. The night before, we were bellied up at the local dive when he told me to pack my bags for the next morning. I was smitten. I also hella love surprises. I bought new underwear & knew that this trip was going to be magic.  It wasn’t.  The best thing about it was the sausage I ate (at the restaurant) before the trip home.

To abbreviate, he ended up cutting our make-out session (that was to inevitably lead to sexy time) short  & there I sat in new lacey butt coverings, nursing the Cabernet as he slept next to me.  We broke up the next night after a terribly awkward 4 hour drive home.  I was so ruined I moved 3,000 miles away, we got back together & a few months after that, I broke his heart back.  I am not remiss to acknowledge I too, can pull the rug out.  But he was first.

I learned somewhere down the road that he pretended to be tired that night because he wasn’t attracted to me (at the time I GUESS).  I felt that that could’ve been avoided had he not planned a spontaneous hotel stay. (Disclaimer: He & I remain friends & he’s still one of my favorite humans.) This information, unbeknownst to me, was stacking itself on the after effects of my previous boyfriend.  That one had left me when he met someone else.  In a sense, since I turned 20, my love life has been on repeat.  All different men.  All different loves loving all different loves. All heaping themselves on piles in some tortuous Jenga game that has had me serpentining through each relationship after.  Even after repeatedly reading inspirational internet memes, I can’t shake the hesitation of everything I say, everything I do, leaving some sort of ramification.
To then let a relationship try & fit into the pieces I’ve etched & carved out of pure anxious is somewhat similar to absolute hell.  Everything is read into. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

When you’re dating at this age, you commence to wondering why you weren’t enough yet. Why not for the first & why not for the last. Still not enough. And then came social media.  The greatest way to compare yourself to that picture your boyfriend liked. Heaven forbid he commented on it.
I detoxed myself for a few months after Halloween of last year. I realized I was being incredibly hard on myself (why are my teeth so weird in pictures) & retreating to the most comfortable thing I know: solitude. It has been lovely. I spent more time playing guitar & banjo, cooking for myself, having solo whiskey induced dance parties, perusing used book stores. Crushed velvet clothing came back in style (YES). I listened to so many true crime podcasts & read one of the best books of my life titled simply, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson. So I’ve been trying hard. To give less fucks. To give more important fucks where they belong.
But how do I change being habitually jealous? How do I not worry my love will leave like every other one?
I don’t fucking know.

Do you know how it is when the seasons change, when you can feel it in your body? How when winter transitions to pastels & grass you feel compelled to run? But then why would you run when you feel so good right where you are? Is it just me? This is what love & loneliness is like to me. I love love.  It feels good.  But I can be by myself.  I know how to be by myself. I know how I work. I’m easy to please & when I don’t feel like dealing with myself I just sleep in that new Velvet comforter I didn’t give any fucks about buying for myself.  Maybe that’s what Stevie Nicks meant when she said ‘Can I handle the seasons of my life?’ Is it, Stevie, is it?!

I liken being in love to walking around with your insides falling out after having been stabbed repeatedly. In a good way. Suddenly you’re so vulnerable & naive & at risk of infection. It is quite possibly the best & the worst way to feel alive.  But when what makes you feel so good goes away, it’s hard to not recognize the pattern we’re used to dealing with as something that’s actually easiest to live by.  And what if you get that feeling in the middle of your euphoria?  It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure only less exciting than when you were 8.

When I was little I used to play 5 Card Draw with my brother for twists of licorice.  I’m pretty sure I was great at bluffing & unless you ask my brother, I’m pretty sure I won at least 50% of the time.  That’s like 1 outta 2.  A great success rate.
I guess that’s what matters of the heart are.  It’s all a gamble.  Sometimes we get the licorice & sometimes we give it all away & sometimes they don’t even like licorice like some kind of savage.
But it doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t matter how broken you might get or how terrifying it is going into. As far as I’m concerned, when your heart is involved, you have to be all in.
#pokerpunforthewin

Cheers friends,
-a damsel & her dog-

 

 

 

 

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The Deep End Of The Dating Pool

In my early 20’s, after my first serious relationship had breathed its last, I marathon watched a whole lot of episodes of Sex & The City.  I lived vicariously through the 30-something ladies who trudged their way through dating in New York City, all while I continued writing tortured poetry in the upstairs bedroom of my tiny town.

Back then, I never imagined I’d make it past 25 without a husband & babies & a cul-de-sac.  But now, binge watching every episode of SATC while I’m basically their age, it’s suddenly a little more like real life.  Just maybe with less Cosmopolitans.
Back at 23, it was less about finding my 50-year anniversary partner & more about which local I might make out with in the parking lot later.  Afterwards, I’d come home & eat leftover hotdish, leave the remnants in my parents’ sink & wake up with no hangover sometime the next morning.  At 33, it’s about weeding through insecurities. Many mine, many his.  It’s a constant filter of wondering why he’s still single.  Him wondering why I’m still single.  Puking the next day after only just a minimal 3 drinks the night before. And deciding if it’s really so bad just being a bachelorette living by just one set of rules; my own.

What nobody tells you about dating well into your adult life is just how hard it is out here.  Sometimes there is such a dry spell between lovers that you actually don’t even know where to begin again.  Options drastically narrow & there is an influx of baggage dragging on the ground with that guy you’re internet dating.  There might be ex-wives.  Ex-girlfriends.  CHILDREN. I mean, children are fine.  Except when they’re not.

People try to set us singles up every chance they can find.  ‘Oh, you’re single?  I have this guy for you who’s simply got nothing in common with you but hey, we’re running out of time.’  Or sometimes they match us with the perfect specimen & panic sets in.  The date goes well, so what next?  Text him ‘Good morning!’  A response, but 3 hours later.  Maybe that was too much.  But we had a good time so it can’t possibly be already pushing him away.  Maybe I should set up another date.  Or should I wait for him to set up a date with me?  Maybe I’ll text him on a Holiday, like Christmas Eve because who doesn’t respond to someone on such a magical night.  Maybe he didn’t get that text because he’s having a dinner with his family because he’s a genuine human.  Shit.  I will have to meet his family.  I hope they’ll like me.  They’ll definitely like me.  But he hasn’t set up another time to hash out our future.  Maybe he’s overwhelmed by eggnog & peanut brittle & he’ll definitely want to go out with me in January, once things have settled. They’re going to hate me.  Maybe he’ll never text me again until this:
nothing you did
So you don’t respond, because how do you respond to that.  You just have to pretend like you don’t mind exhausting yourself with how to do this. But everyone else does this & you’re not crazy.  Right?  And then a couple months later he’s in a relationship & they break up 37 times over the next year & a half.  There’s definitely some satisfaction in that & a little bit of what the fuckery.
And then sometimes we re-connect with loves of our past.  Someone it never quite worked out with but you always wonder if it should have.
This happened to me recently.  There was a guy that was always the ‘what if’ of my life.  But while I questioned why it never worked, I also felt a nagging like it never would.  I entertained the idea anyway.  We were pretty compatible as we had known each other since we were young.  I enjoyed his company but he lived a state away & often sent dramatic texts. (‘What, no text back?’)  It was a tiny battle I was always fighting.  I felt an obligation to try it.  It might be a great love. Should I or shouldn’t I?  If it’s meant to be, would I be questioning any of it?  I finally got the finale I had waited for, via a text to a friend.  This one:
unstable.png
There’s a lot of back-story here but in a salted nut-shell, he called me unstable (or potentially crazy via those parentheses).  And that thing he didn’t know how I’d feel about?  He was trying to boink my friend.  So that was that.

When I’m with single friends, I’m inclined to give them advice on how to be courageous. To go for love with gusto like I know anything about it.  Secretly, I’m smuggle checking my phone to make sure my love has not written me off yet, probably via text.  To tell me he doesn’t think long distance is going to work because when does it ever work.
Speaking of LD, I have fallen for someone 3,000 miles away from me. It happened just like they say it does.  When you’re not looking.  When you’re happy, just the way things are. We were casually Facebook introduced in a comment thread & we exchanged pleasantries. I’d been in the same room as him before & never known it.
Holy shit this was romantic.  He was terribly funny which is one of my weakest spots, but he was far away so it caused no immediate distress.  But then he kept making me laugh. And then he sent a Christmas present. And then the Earth tumbled out from under me because I fell, how do you say,  ass over teakettle in like with him.
Since I needed to know what it was like to lay next to him, I flew there. It was the hardest trip I’ve ever had to come back from.
And then everybody asked, ‘Now what?’ Well hell, if I knew I would have done it.  I’d be doing it. I have sat so many nights now, eating alcohol & hovering my mouse over the ‘relationship status’ radial.  I haven’t been here in so long I feel like I’m starting Kindergarten again. Homesick feelings for a boy who makes every day complete.  A feeling I haven’t visited in many moons. But as much as happiness resides, I can’t kick out the insecure girl who lives in here. We fight a lot.

So while I generally write about the un-doing of my heart, finally I can see the words on the screen I’ve been wishing for. That someone has fit into a spot in my heart I wasn’t sure was open anymore.  But have some open minded-ness for your single friends.   It gets harder & swampier every single year.  Just don’t take them on a date with your significant other. Third wheeling sucks balls, yo.

Oh and, I listened to this as I wrote.  It’s actually kind of a sad song but it’s also delicious & so it balances out.

Cheers friends,
-a damsel & her dog-

 

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You’re (Maybe) (Definitely Not) (Probably?) The One.

I am 31.
I have been a bridesmaid in 7 weddings.
At all of these weddings I’ve witnessed the same thing. Tulle & disposable cameras & the professing that they have married ‘The One.’
I think you’re already getting it wrong. I used to believe there was one person. He who I pictured I would sit on the porch with & eat cheese & tomato sandwiches next to. We would gossip about the neighbors & pull weeds with our asses hanging out.
The problem is, I have felt this feeling with every person I’ve ever spent a good amount of time with. Maybe it’s the romantic in me. Maybe it’s because I took a quiz on the interwebs & it said I’m classified as a “highly sensitive’ person. It’s true. I cry a lot & have empathy for people I shouldn’t. Problem is, when the guy sitting across from me has blue eyes & a manly jaw & tells me that he too likes the same music as I do I find myself plummeting into a love hole that takes me at least 3 packs of beer to climb out of.
I watched an interview once between Ellen & Garth Brooks. I can’t tell you why I gave up my Investigation Discovery minutes to partake but I ended up crying anyway. He spoke of how he never knew he could love somebody like he loved Trisha Yearwood . . . wife number two. Which of course made me feel bad for wife number one, Sandy.
I get it though. We love people in different ways. We fall in & out & that’s what is so terrifying. I have been infatuated with so many different personalities. I wanted to have babies with the guy who passed me on the 4 lane the other day. I cannot be controlled.
While out to cocktail hour a few weekends ago with some old friends and one new one, I was asked a fair question. Offensive, but fair. After discussing online dating & why I didn’t want to put forth the effort, I was asked by a chiseled & quite handsome piece of work if I watched the Lifetime Channel. Though I laughed, I also swore at him & probably appreciated my Shepherd’s Pie just a little less. He said it seemed as though I hated men, simply because I stated that I had no interest in a partner.
I could carefully explain what the joys are of either. I certainly miss having someone to make dinner for. However, I could do without ever again having to wonder when he’s coming home. I’m not anti-man, I’m anti-shit relationship. I don’t want to be with someone for the sake of having someone to bring to the work Christmas party. Though it would be nice to have someone scrape the ice from my windshield. Give/take.
I have witnessed a small town’s worth amount of relationships that stayed intact because they didn’t know another way. It simply ‘worked.’ They didn’t know how to be without the other person. I don’t like this way of loving. I want mad love or none at all. I want cheese & tomato sandwiches on the porch.
I do believe in the one. Actually, I believe in the one(s). I think we are given people at appropriate times in our life. They might be the right person for that time, & even though we might want to cut ourselves with a rusty paring knife when it’s over, we learn something eventually.
I have already seen too many divorces while anticipating the arrival of my future hubs to come & repair my furnace.
So I’m ok with waiting.
I would like to be his ‘one’ too.

Cheers friends,
-a damsel & her dog-

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An Open Letter About My True Companion.

I lived in Alaska once. I stayed there for a few years because I was in love with a boy. One day he brought a giant white dog home who was headed for the shelter. The boy & I & dog ventured to the lower 48 & started the future I had carefully calculated. The boy & I didn’t work out but dog & I did. And so began the beginning of a lovely little love story – an unlikely marriage that has taught me more than any other relationship.
Dog is on the northern side of 80 pounds. He’s white with speckled ears & his most appropriate adage has become ‘The Great White Hippo.’ TGWH has meaty thighs & dimples of swirled hair on either side of his butt, if dogs have butts. He has such a solid head that one time he bumped my temple with it & after I thought I might have permanent brain damage. His skin is dotted as well. So much so that he looks like that time I got drunk & played with acrylics. Hippo has an under-bite & little baby teeth that I like to stare at because it just doesn’t even make sense. His life has been similar to those nesting Babushka dolls. Every time I figure something out about him I find another thing. The first thing I learned was that he really enjoyed Frisbee time. Next I noticed he has the biggest nipples I’ve ever seen on a male dog.
I picture that when babe was born he was the runt of his little puppy brethren. He gets extremely attached to the humans he loves but is terrified of almost everything on this planet that isn’t them. This trait has made me think of a feeling to what I would compare to a parent dropping their child off at Kindergarten for the first time – monumental & heartbreaking. When he flew here, underneath me in the belly of the plane, I can honestly say I have never been more terrified in my life. After I retrieved him from the over-sized luggage claim I took him outside & promptly let him out of his kennel. We didn’t have time to make it to the ‘pet area.’ He immediately shit his pants all over the snow right near the smokers. I almost did too but I waited until the truck-stop. Since our adventure started I have learned more than a TLC documentary on a Sunday night. Come with me . . .

I have acquired mad nursing skills:
Dog has been itching since he walked through my front door. First it was a trial & error of the correct food. Because of this he has taken to a mostlysometimes pizza crust scraps but otherwise grain free diet. I have learned what will & will not make him puke up piles of yesterday’s food on my bed & how exactly to get him to take his medication. (He prefers hot dogs of the high quality variety.) I have had to bandage his bloody paws, coconut oil his pink tummy & clean his floppy ears. He recently was prescribed a medicated shampoo that I am required to bathe him with every 3 days until it’s gone baby gone. While reading the directions, because I knew it wasn’t just lather & rinse, I learned that I must soap him up & let sit for 5-10 minutes. I’m not asking you to picture this per se, but I have one of those square shower stalls that is about just right for one human what with elbows & shaving & things. But then you throw in dog who is dense & angry that he has to get soaped & now you’re asking me to keep him in there for the length of microwaving a pot pie. I actually googled this time length & there was an actual answer. Go, I’ll wait here until you’re done doing it as well.

He’s taught me how to be just a little less selfish:
When he sleeps it is most definitely under the covers & his body takes up a majority of my Queen. We go through a nightly thing where he has his ass precariously close to my pillows. I then boot him off, re-make the bed & he climbs under while I hold up the blanket like the parachute in gym class. I won’t lie, he sheds like a son of a bitch & he is a master at cock-blocking if anybody is possibly a master at that. But he is warm. I stick my cold feet in his little dog armpits & leave them there until he gets up for his first of 17 times out of bed.

He has taught me parenting skills:
I have spent innumerable amounts of money on toys as he could probably be compared to a shark in a jaw:tooth ratio. I have had to literally wipe his butt on many a dewy morning because he had some stage-5 clingers that never quite let go. Just last Wednesday I pulled a piece of my own hair out of his doggy no-zone. I had no choice because if I hadn’t done it he would’ve continued running around with the poop attached to the hair swinging & shit-staining his coat. I’ve inspected that steaming morning pile to see if it’s solid or saggy or filled with pieces of those expensive toys that he decided to swallow before I could scrape them out of his jowls. I have always been annoyed at the parents that allow their children to run around with food on their face like little turds at restaurants thinking ‘How can you not catch your child?’ Last night while chasing him down the driveway & screaming through the neighbors yard I thought ‘How can I not catch dog?’

He has made me question my decisions:
I’ve always fancied myself to be a good dancer but he barks at me incessantly until I stop. There are never nights where I can just throw my hands in the air like I just don’t care. Once when I made a boy dinner, dog never even came out of my room & barked occasionally from his lair the whole evening. This has never been done before in the history of his anti-socialism. Needless to say, that boy never called again & dog asked for an increase in car rides.

He has taught me not to be materialistic:
Dog ruins a lot of my favorite things. I inherited a couch from the 60’s that had never been used. It’s velvety green cushions are starting to wear, some of its buttons have popped. Most nights he can be found rubbing his hairy body all over its plush seats while the foam flies out like pollen in the summer. He knocks over my wooden mushrooms that I snagged from a craft show & has since rubbed half the paint off. I have gone through at least 3 sets of sheets because he’s torn them apart & he has annihilated piping tips for my cake decorating. Not to mention he also sometimes eats my underwear & anything else I am openly attached to. This can also be associated with food that I love. Though dog is giant he is stealthy – he’s gotten the last of some cheddar biscuits, his own treats & a sugar cookie I had been saving all day. Dog is also not opposed to retrieving things from the garbage that he felt were unnecessarily thrown away (frosting, tennis balls, tampons . . . I usually figure this one out when I mow the lawn in the summertime)

He has taught me the art of self therapy:
I don’t know if you’re aware but dogs can’t speak. I pretend they do. I ask dog questions & tell him about my day. Once I almost called him to ask him what he wanted for dinner. I have cried a lot of tears into his pretty white coat while he just sat there & licked my face & then maybe himself. But it cured me. It is impossible to be sad when you’re in the company of someone who will lay weiner up for minutes at a time. murd upside down

Dog knows no fear:
Many nights I will find dog sitting in my dark dining room at the table. When I go in search of him he usually turns his head to look at me like the beginning of some horror movie in which I would run upstairs instead of out the door. He usually stays there for an unnerving amount of time until I lure him away with a form of food. I can’t figure out how he can stand in the dark of night outside but tremble when a nice guy with a van offers us candy.
I could go on 87 pot pies in a microwave worth about how much I have learned from dog. How much I love him. How much zeal he brings to my pretty routine every day. I will never be able to chronicle to some why I question having children but will never question him. I have lived many days with dog & now I cannot imagine any days without.
If you have the opportunity & you also don’t suck, you should adopt a dog. It will change your world. But don’t get mad when it gets hair on your expensive duvet & wipes his undercarriage  on your carpet at an impressive speed.
Cheers to dog. If you can read this, holy shit you can read?! I adore you.

Cheers friends,
-a damsel & her dog-

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A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi

I always loved the day of conversation hearts & shitty construction paper puns. I even went so far as to wear Valentine themed t-shirts as I thought it would bring me luck in the 7th (and 8th through 12th) grade love department. It worked of course. I always got flower delivery. But it was from my father. My wonderful & incomparable dad has sent me things since there was somewhere to send them to.
There aren’t many Valentines Days that I can remember where I had a significant other to spend it with. The one that does come to mind was a day that I made a 7 layer chocolate cake with ganache & raspberry mousse to serve alongside the most definitely amazing Alfredo from a jar. It sounds made up, but there was also a severe blizzard that day & I requested that my father drive to the post office to retrieve boyfriend’s present that had come that day. The boyfriend showed up in the same t-shirt he always wore with not even a card in the pocket of his cargo pants.
I went on a few year stint of thinking that it was just one of those made up days where boys have to buy girls shit even though the girl says they don’t really want anything but then secretly they’ll be offended if they don’t get anything & then they won’t talk to the guy for the rest of the night while they eat their cheddar biscuits at Red Lobster but then the guy will duck into the jewelry store while they wait for the movie to start & he’ll show up with some Jane Seymour necklace & then they’ll share popcorn.
I came to the conclusion though, that maybe we should just accept this day of love & fat guys with arrows & chocolate. It may have taken me 30 some odd years but I learned that I am in love every day. I’m in love with the guy who doesn’t judge me for going through the Panera drive-thru more than twice a week. I’m in love with my neighbors for simultaneously plowing/snow blowing my driveway because I seem a bit like an Edith from Downton Abbs & I know that they watch me struggle with my broken mailbox every day. And I am in mad love with the fact that I found ‘lonwly little petuni’ typed in my YouTube search. Perhaps I was drunk or perhaps just lazy.
And recently, against my better judgment, I have found myself Netflix-ing movies that would normally make me want to slowly carve out my eyes with the back end of a spoon. And while simultaneously watching Teen Mom 2 tonight I filled out Valentine postcards & sent them to people who I think are more than worthy of however many cents it is to send them.
Also, have you wondered why I named this Je Ne Sais Quoi? I think it’s fun to say. And, it means something like ‘a pleasant quality that is hard to describe.’ I feel like that. I feel as happy as when I get to eat the really baked on cheese on the side of a hotdish.
So this Friday I’m going to laugh at all the assholes that get engaged & I’m going to eat some candy that say ‘U R A QT.’ And I’m going to love it. As should you. It is a certain je ne sais quoi.
Oh and dad, if you’re reading this, this is supposed to be funny & not heart-breaking. Also, no need to send flowers.

Cheers friends.
-a damsel & her dog-

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Auld Lang Mine

Here it is, 16 days into the New Year. I am a month & a few days shy of my 31st birthday & I feel like this might be the year I do something besides add 27 new shows to my Netflix queue. So far though, I haven’t strayed too far from my normal habits. Coffee at bedtime, naps in the evening & falling asleep 3 times before I make it through a Downton Abbey episode. Not because I dislike it, it’s because I still cannot function above the level of a toddler.
2013 was good. It wasn’t spectacular & it didn’t suck. I donated lots of clothes, diagnosed & treated my allergy ridden dog & got a few steps closer to inventing something good enough to get myself on Shark Tank. I’d tell you what it is but I’d have to punch you in the kidney.
I recently had to look up the meaning of Auld Lang Syne because I forget it every year. It translates, or so the internet says, to ‘times gone by.’ We should remember our past friends & stuff I guess. To me it kind of translates to this: stop losing yer damn self.
Do you remember in that movie with Richard Gere & Julia Roberts, the second one, where she likes her eggs the same way that all of her lovers like their eggs? This is how I have often reacted in relationships. I am so eager to please my sig other that I lose all the things I love. Mainly naps. And eating.
I have had a lot of single time to dwell in independence. It is lonely, but it is liberating. And I will argue with any married person about it. I can see the joy one can get being married, but I can tell you why it is great to be alone. And with this understanding has come the willingness to finally, maybe, consider dipping my cankle into the pool of dating men who aren’t right for me.
A week or so ago 2 of my best girl friends and 1 of my best guy ones sat down, drank roughly 4 bottles of wine & discussed his current relationship problems. We all got intellectual via fermented grapes, I drew a timeline & we told the poor guy that ‘she’s just not that into you.’ If you could see my drawings & witty remarks on said timeline I think you’d probably agree with me. It’s so easy when you’re on this side. Talking to someone who is meddling in heartbreak is like telling yourself not to get the deep fried cheesecake after your 7 course meal for $20 at Applebees . . . you know you shouldn’t get it but you’re going to try to fit it all in your stomach hanging over your pants anyway.
I know this because I have found myself to be the queen of rationalizing. On my 30th birthday I wrote a blog that said something in the end about meeting a handsome stranger. Well on December 7th, 2013 I did. I went on a blind date that I thought went nothing short of perfect. It lasted for hours, he was wearing flannel, sported a beard & told me that he just wants to live in the middle of nowhere. . . I didn’t even hear my panties dissolving. Let’s do like a VHS & fast forward a week. I texted him to casually ask if he wanted to go to a concert coming up in January. No response. That’s cool I said. I waited until Christmas & asked him to go to drinks ‘next year,’ BECAUSE THAT IS SO FUNNY & CLEVER. No response again. I beat myself up for days about what I did wrong. Maybe it was because I got kind of drunk on our date & it didn’t go as good as I remember? Maybe it’s because he had to drive me home & I hadn’t cleaned my house because let’s face it I haven’t had man company in a while? Maybe he dropped his cell phone in the lake while ice fishing?  Maybe he fell in the lake while ice fishing? I did it until I realized that I was being a total asshat. I had let all of my current comfort & happiness fall to the wayside because I was swayed by a potential lover. A whole lot of me wishes it had never happened because I wouldn’t have been distracted & inevitably sad that I once again did something wrong. But it is one more thing I have now been able to blog about. One more ‘time gone by.’ I don’t know if Robert Burns would be okay with my analogies but art is open to interpretation.
So here we all are in a brand new year. If you’re married that’s cool, please don’t write me any letters. I’m happy for you. But remember, I have to do all of the chores myself. Garbage, softener salt, the dishwasher. Give thanks for that the next time you cold shoulder your husband for not commenting on your sweet new bangs.

Here’s to 2014. The year of big things. Here’s to my dog who just licked the Shop-Vac. Here’s to all of the things.

Cheers friends,
A damsel & her dog.

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My Favorite Ex-Boyfriend

My favorite ex-boyfriend got engaged recently. My heart jumped out of a 17 story building & has been bleeding out on the sidewalk below ever since.
I knew the day was inevitably coming. He talked about her in our circle of friends while I pretended to check my phone & wished that I smoked so I could exit the conversation I wasn’t even in. I saw the announcement on Facebook, that place where all news is given these days. I didn’t even ‘like’ it or leave a ‘congratulations’ comment because, well, I’m too selfish.
I’m surprised we ever happened in the first place judging by the ass-headed way I went about it. A mutual friend of ours said he was interested in my sweet highlights & Lisa Loeb glasses so using my mad stalking skills I found his e-mail address & sent him a little electronic letter.
He called. Come again right? And then began some of the most exciting times of my twenties. We would drive around & listen to music, the smell of his cigarettes dinting the air. I helped him pick out jeans & was invited to work parties. I didn’t say much then, he intimidated me. After all, he dated a dancer & had lived in New York. I obsessively watched You’ve Got Mail & ate broccoli cheese soup like it was going out of style. We dated 3 times over a number of years. In those years I learned how to tip properly, how to match my socks to my outfit & that it’s not that big of a deal to go to the big city to catch some shows.
The first 2 times we were together, he dumped me. After the second time, I packed up my bags & moved to Alaska. A few days into my journey to the biggest state in the land, we were together again. He came to visit me. Everything was sunshine & rainbows shitting more sunshine & rainbow babies. The bliss lasted for a few months. Then I made friends & a 3 hour time difference was starting to meddle in the way of being in love. And then I did what any person does in a perfectly perfect relationship: I dumped him & started dating a total nozzle.
Since that day I have wondered if I made the right decision. I still don’t know. The only thing I do know is that I got my giant-hippopotamus-sometimes-asshole-but-i-love-him-so-much-dog out of the situation & I can’t trade him for anything. Not even beef jerky.
When I moved back within a mile of MFEB we hung out sometimes. This was after my train-wreck of a near 4 year period with the nozzle ended. We would drink in his garage or he would watch me bake cupcakes. I wanted to do it all over again, but I couldn’t. I have now turned into the man of every relationship & all boys to me seem to act like huge vaginas. He wanted to take me out on a date & I liked being alone. For the first time in the length of a DMV line, I was doing what I actually felt was appropriate. I was hoping he’d wait but I knew he wouldn’t, he wasn’t the waiting kind.
I thought about writing him, to tell him I was happy he was happy. I haven’t done that yet. But I did this. This is my attempt at saying a total adios to the boy who taught me the beginnings of everything. Though I know I will do as I always do, & never fully commit.
Here, have a sad song, sung by one of our favorite road-trip companions.

Cheers friends,
-a damsel & her dog-

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