Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Talking to Guys

My friend told me earlier today he likes to hear all my "cute guy of the day" stories.  And he agrees I need to find new nicknames for them.  He also thinks I need to go on a date with someone other than NLNG-a point I'm not arguing. I would gladly do that if there was one I was interested in that asked.

So I told him about Food Bank Guy.  (I don't actually know what his name is).  Back in January, the organizer of the fun Meetup group set us up to volunteer for the Food Bank twice a month.  They only schedule out a few months at a time so we were only on their calendar through April.  In April, I offered to take that over and keep it going, which is how I ultimately became an assistant organizer for the group despite my best efforts for that to not happen.  (It has actually been good for me).  Food Bank Guy volunteers directly for the Food Bank so he is not part of our group (which is why I don't know his name).

At our first project this month, my dear friend and I were talking about boys like we always do.  I pointed out that I think Food Bank Guy is cute.  She looked at him and said he was a little young.  (She's the same age as my mom).  I gave her a look and then she said "Oh! You meant for you."  Then we dissolved into a fit of giggles.  We're real mature like that.

Prior to this, Food Bank Guy has either completely ignored me or has given me borderline dirty looks.  I didn't really think much of it because NLNG has been in the picture since I took over this project.  (He still sort of is.  Although this time it appears he's blowing me off before the date instead of after.  Whatever).  After I said that, he was helping me get the last of our pinto beans from the big bag into the serving bags and made a couple of cutesy comments, which I'm pretty sure I had a smart ass response to.

As we were leaving, I noticed he rode a motorcycle (strike 1) and possibly smokes (strike 2).  I made the passing comment it was a nice night for a bike ride.  Which lead to a nice discussion about road kill.  Yeah, and I wonder why exactly it is I'm single?  Apparently, he wasn't too phased by this as the last time we were there he was teasing me about being one of those perfectionist people, to which I responded I was all about feeding as many hungry as I could.  (He also gave me the stellar advice that maybe I shouldn't put all my weight on a (most likely) broken toe.  Ya think?)  Given his completely ignoring me before, I can't help but wonder if he overheard the comment I made about him being cute though I thought I said it pretty quietly.

I also told my friend about the new guy that came to my monthly widowed people dinner last night.  His wife died suddenly from a heart condition about the same time James did the same.  And he's really cute.  I decided that as the group organizer, it was my duty to sit next to him and the new girl to make sure they felt welcomed and included in the conversation.  (Actually, as the org., that IS my duty, but I digress).  In talking to him (she was talking to someone else), I felt I was interrogating  him.  I sent them both an e-mail today saying it was nice to meet them, let me know if they have any questions about the group, hope to see them again, etc.  I suspect I won't.

So I have come to the conclusion that I'm good as long as it is someone I don't find attractive.  (Though I'm not sure how that explains my total comfort with NLNG the moment I met him.  But then again, there isn't much about him that does make sense).  I had a great conversation recently with the parking garage attendant about the Portland Beavers and what the chances of them staying in Portland are after this season.  I have no problems talking to men with whom there is no chance I am going to date them.  But when it comes to the ones I think are cute I either come across like a moron, interrogate them, or clam up completely.  I'm thinking about joining a speed dating Meetup because clearly, I need to relearn how to talk to guys.

And for you my Canadian friend, today's cute guy is a high school teacher friend of Volunteer Guy, who I never noticed had dimples (I love me some dimples) until earlier today when I had the chance to interrogate him.


There are 10 grandchildren on my mother's side of the family.  Interestingly, with one exception we were born in the birth order of our parents.

Aunt M is the oldest.  She had the first four grandkids-three boys and a girl, though I don't remember if the girl or one of the boys is the youngest.  Next in line is Aunt G.  She is mom to the fifth and sixth grandchildren, both girls.  Then there is my mom who, of course, is responsible for my brother and I.  Finally, there is Uncle M, who has a daughter.  Aunt G had the final grandson-a surprise when her girls were already old enough to babysit him when he was born.  (It's also interesting that if you reverse their birth order, that's how many kids they have.  Have I mentioned I'm a numbers person?)

Uncle M's daughter, who in my eyes is still a little girl but in realty is 28, just had a baby girl of her own.  I think she's too young, but that's because last time I saw her she was just a toddler.  I was thinking about this last night and it dawned on me that other than Aunt G's youngest, I am the only grandchild that does not have a child of my own.

I don't know how many kids Aunt M's boys have, but I know they all have at least one.  Her daughter is 12 years older than I am so the first two boys are definitely a lot older than me.  And my girl cousin on this branch not only has three children, she's now a grandma herself.  (And looks amazingly like Aunt M!)

One of Aunt G's daughters has two kids-a son and a daughter, who was adopted from China.  The other daughter has three-two boys and a daughter adopted from China.  Aunt G's daughters are very close and the second one adopted so the first one's daughter would have a cousin that was "just like her."  At least that's my mother's version. 

My brother has two sons.  And now my baby girl cousin is a mommy too.  That just leaves Grandchild #10 and I.  He is only 24.  (In his pictures on Facebook, he looks about 12.  He's a cute kid.  I'd really like to know who he, the younger of his two sisters and my brother all got their curly hair from.  Come to think of it, I vaguely remember one of Aunt M's older boys as having curly hair too.  The rest of us have stick straight hair.  Hmm...sounds like a genealogy question).  I suspect it won't be long before Mom tells me he has gotten married and not too long after that when she tells me Aunt G is going to be a grandma again.
My mother has told me I was the only child her father ever liked.  He died when I was a year old, so who knows if this is true. I know it's irrational but I can't help but feel that by not carrying on the bloodline, I have let him-and my grandmother-down.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Prime, Favorites and Change

I have been in a funk lately and this one has been harder to get out of than the other funks I have been in recently.  I'm sure my poor eating habits and lack of exercise and sleep have something to do with it but I know it is more than that.  Once again, I am finding myself looking ahead at a long road that doesn't seem to be going anywhere.  Once again, I am finding I don't really have anything to look forward to in life.

I have been doing a lot of reflecting lately because of a book.  The main organizer of the fun Meetup group hosts a book club discussion and potluck each month based on Modern Library's 100 greatest novels.  (I'm starting to wonder who came up with this list and what they were smoking when they did).  The book we are reading for September is called "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie," by Muriel Spark.  Set in 1930's Scotland, it is about an eccentric schoolteacher who, in the "prime" of her life, takes a group of 6 girls under her wing and teaches them with her unorthodox style.

Miss Brodie is a spinster.  She was engaged to be married but her fiance was killed.  She did fall in love again, but renounced him because he was married and instead had a loveless affair with someone else.  Though it doesn't specifically say-or if it does I missed it-I'm assuming she is about my age.  I think it is being able to relate to her as someone who lost their love early that got me thinking.  What if this is it?  What if this is the prime of my life?  That thought has me down-I would hope my prime would be a lot happier than this!  I want the prime of my life to be awesome-full of fun, laughter and love.  I had that with James.  Could it be that at 36 I am already past my prime?  There's a cheery thought.

It was a YouTube video that provided the boost I needed to shake this line of thinking out of my head.  My widower friend posted a video the other day which was a short film in which John C. Reilly asks random people if they are anyone's favorite person.  My friend made the comment that it wasn't so long ago that that was an easy question to answer.  He later added the comment he needed to work on making himself his favorite person.  At first the video just added to my funk.  It sucks not being anyone's favorite person anymore.  Then I started thinking about it from another perspective and I realized in addition to not being anyone's favorite person, I don't have a favorite person either.  After being gone for 2 1/2 years, James is still my favorite person.  I like a lot of people who are living but can't really say any of them are my favorite.  Well, at least not sarcastically.  I told my friend that James was still my favorite person and if I made a list of all my favorite living people he'd be on it and I was going to follow his lead and move myself to the top of that list.  I didn't tell him that I've been filled with so much self-loathing lately that I was starting to wonder if I have ever truly hated myself as much as I do now.  But it was a freeing decision in that it put me back in the mindset of living life on MY terms.

At my last appointment, my therapist said that I should think about having my eyebrows waxed and I should change my hairstyle.  She thinks I have really pretty eyes and I need to bring them out.  She also thinks I am hiding behind my hair (and a host of other things).  I am resistant to change-what if it turns out horrible and I look worse than I already do?  Well, the good news about hair (including eyebrows) is that it grows back.  So Wednesday after work, on a whim, I went and had my eyebrows "done."  (Who on Earth decided waxing was a good idea?!)  Then I dyed my hair a lighter shade with more red in it, though it's kind of hard to tell since it was still pretty dark from getting the wrong color about a year or so ago.  And then I cried.  It didn't help that my eyebrow area was swollen from the wax job-I was convinced I looked like an angry monkey.  I texted a couple of friends who insisted I send a picture (taking a good picture of yourself on a cell phone is not easy!).  They both thought I looked great-I thought they were lying but at least I eventually stopped crying.

I have been growing half my bangs out for the last 4 months so I have been wearing them pulled back with a barrette.  They are finally long enough that I can tuck them behind my ear on the left, but with a side part, they don't stay tucked on the right.  Still, I decided to try wearing it down with my bangs swept to the side instead of across my forehead on Friday.  One of my (male) co-workers did a double take and told me he's "feeling the hair."  Three other co-workers (two female, one male) also approved.  I didn't really think it was an improvement, but a couple of Meetup friends also said I looked good on Friday and again last night so maybe after a few more glances in the mirror when I start to recognize the girl looking back at me, I'll start to like what I see too.

Monday, August 23, 2010

My tax license

At the end of 2002, I was at a crossroad.  I had been at my job with the local CAT dealership for 5 years and I was not happy.  I had tried to leave the year before but was enticed to stay with a hefty raise and the promise of more supervisory-type responsibilities.  I was young and restless and I wanted to see if I had it in me to be more than an entry-level staff accountant.  The company I worked for, however, was (as my co-worker liked to say) heavy on the chiefs and light on the Indians.  Every time there were cuts, they were done at the staff level with the remaining staffers expected to pick up the slack  By the end of 2002, I had absorbed payroll and the other staff accountant's tasks in addition to my own.  I was burnt out.  The assistant controller was starting to make noise about retiring-I liked to point out he started working there the year I was born-and the controller wanted to groom me to take over that position.  I realized that while I adored the assistant controller (he was what I imagined a favorite uncle would be like), I didn't want to be him.    

I knew I wanted to stay in the accounting field but wasn't sure what I wanted to do in it, so I decided to go to H&R Block Tax School. James and I decided that if nothing else it would make me more versatile and possibly more marketable.  (In a case of it's a small world, my next door neighbor was in the class as well-the class was one of many offered in Portland, not Vancouver-and that is actually how we got to know him.  He would come over on Sundays to study with me). While he was never pushy about it, James always thought I should go back to school for the random 10 credits I need to sit for the CPA exam and get my license.    Right after the class ended, my friend had a client who was hiring so I applied for that position and got the job.  It worked out well-I was able to interview the week I was on "maternity leave" with Sammy so I didn't have to make up lame excuses for taking off work.
I had just gotten my license and that first year I didn't have to do any continuing education.  Before the end of the first year, we moved to Arizona so I put my license in inactive status.  I decided I would hold on to it and keep up with the education in case I ever decided to pursue this-we were thinking along the lines I could do it part time after I retired.

For the last few years, I have wondered why I am keeping it.  I am not preparing taxes professionally, nor do I have any plans to start.  Because of all the intricate rules that come with owning a rental property and because of now having to deal with the State Franchise Tax Board of California, whom I have had to try to convince James does not owe money to, I am no longer planning to do my own taxes.  Between the education and the license fee it is costing me several hundred dollars a year that I don't really have in the budget right now for a license I'm not using.  If I have tax questions, I just annoy my CPA friends with them.  But I'm having a hard time letting it go and I don't know why.  I guess I feel like a failure and like I'm a disappointment if I do.

I wish I could talk this over with James.  He was the one who patiently listened to me complain about how tired I was while taking the class and who patiently accepted I had homework to do on the weekends and couldn't go out and play until I was done.  He was the one that sat me on the futon and made me finish my homework when I tried to convince him we should do something-anything else.  He was the one that had to listen to me go on and on about how I failed the state exam while we waited for my results.  He was the one that said "I told you so" when I told him I passed.  He was the one who was not the least bit surprised I scored so well.  (I was shocked beyond belief). 

My license is up for renewal at the end of September.  If I keep it, I have to do 60 hours of continuing education between now and then because I went inactive last year and would have to do my hours for both years.  If James was here, we would be sitting on the couch cross-legged facing each other weighing the pros and cons.  Of course, if he was here, I wouldn't have the rental and would be doing our taxes so the basis for the conversation would be completely different.  He would help me pinpoint who I feel like I am failing or disappointing.  He would tell me he would support either choice.  Perhaps what is weighing me down is the reality that no one really cares what I do-hell, most people don't even know I have a tax license-about this or any choice I make.  There is no one to disappoint except myself and I've been pretty disappointed lately.

This seems like such a stupid thing to be sitting here in tears over.  It's not like I couldn't go back to tax school and get another license down the road if I chose to.  And if I did that, it would probably be because I was in a position where someone else was paying for it.  It seems stupid to keep paying for something I might, but realistically most likely won't use some day 30 years from now. And quite frankly, I'm hoping that when I retire I will actually be in a position to not have to work part time.  I'm looking forward to my second "career" as a professional volunteer.

It is days like this that I really, really hate this life.  I just wish I had someone to talk to.  Someone who could help me see it is okay if I let go and to help me understand why I can't.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Another Change

We brought Sammy and Charlie home in December 2002.  James brought Sammy home on Friday, December 13th.  I wasn't home-I was spending the night in Salem so I wouldn't have to drive down first thing Saturday morning to take the Oregon State Tax Preparers License exam (I got a 95% on it, which was the high score that year.  I don't know how many of us received that score).  So I missed Sammy's first night home but I do believe a bond was formed between the two of them.  Sammy has always been pretty equal opportunity but he did seem to slightly favor James.  We brought Charlie home the following weekend.  It wasn't our plan to get them so close together but the first week Sammy was home, James had to go to the coast to train a company on how to use the MV-90 metering system.  I took that week off work and by the time he got home, neither Sammy nor I would stop crying.  So we got a friend for Sammy.  Charlie has been my dog since the first moment I picked him up, although I would tell James Charlie was his dog too.

At this point, we had been together for just under 3 years, were living in our first house and everyone we met just assumed we were married.  We didn't correct them.  So I'm not really sure if it was this assumption or another miscommunication at the vet's office when we went in for the first time that led to our account name.  We decided it would be best if both our names were on the account so either of us could bring the dogs in without any hassles.  Somehow instead of the account being under Heather G and James R, it ended up as James & Heather R/G.  We never corrected it.

When James died, they took him off the account.  Because I was facing the possibility of having to prove my relationship with James was more than just roommates, I had them add it back.  Once things got settled legally, I left it on there.  They are still his dogs after all.  But lately, I was having a hard time remembering his name came first on the account.  A sign of healing or forgetting him, I don't know.  So when Charlie was going through his ordeal last month, I had one of the girls that knew us both and knew what happened take him off the account.  I told her it's been 2 1/2 years.  I don't think he's going to rise from the dead.

That was one of the harder things I have done.  It's weird to call them with just my name; it's weird to see just my name on all the paperwork.  I wanted to keep one of the pill bottles from one of Charlie's (many) prescriptions from the infection and subsequent surgery because I realized it's the last time our names will appear together.  Even though I have them together on other things, there's something about it being the last time that makes it hard to part with. 

In my heart, they are still as much his dogs as they are mine and always will be.  The name on the account is just a formality.  But once again, I feel I have erased another part of him.  That's something I don't think I am ever going to get used to.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Trying to stay strong

After much debate, I decided to take a couple days off work to enjoy the last days of summer which really just finally got around to starting.  So naturally, most of today was drizzling and instead of lounging in the sun reading a book in shorts and a t-shirt (and sunscreen, of course!), I was bundled up at Family Day at my godson's Rodeo Bible Camp in jeans and a sweatshirt.  And yet it was almost 100 degrees on Monday.  Gotta love the weather in the NW!

Part of my reason for taking today and tomorrow off was to recharge my batteries.  I've been pretty busy again lately and no matter what I do, I can't seem to catch up on all the sleep I missed during the whole broken A/C-sleeping in a strange place-sick dog ordeal of last month.  So my energy level is pretty non-existence and my overall mood is pretty low. 

I just feel so hopeless and ugly.  I have never felt so alone in my life and the more alone I feel, the more part of me wants to embrace it and just shut out everyone and everything.  I am back to the point of just wanting to bury my nose in book after book.  I just want to escape-at least my preferred choice for doing so is healthier than some other options would be.

I hit a low last night when I found out someone I know is interested in me has a new girlfriend.  I am in no way interested in this person-I cringe when he hugs me and the more I find out about him the more disgusted I become.  Yet he found someone.  It seems everyone can-except me.  We were at a baseball game last night with mutual friends who joke their role is to couple up all their single friends.  This guy is the third one since they moved here in January that has hung out with them for a couple of months and then presto! he's in a relationship.  I asked if they just liked me better than the rest and are in no hurry to get rid of me, or if I'm just defective and unfortunately for them, they are just stuck with me.

I had my eye on a cowboy today at the rodeo but he was one of the coaches helping the kids mount their bulls and horses so I only got to admire from afar.  But as I was walking home (the Saddle Club is right down the street) I realized it didn't really matter because there were only three categories he could possibly fall into anyway:  married, douchebag or (and most likely) not the least bit interested.  I had to fight the overwhelming urge to cry.

Which led to spending all afternoon and evening fighting a very strong urge to respond to NLNG's text.  Yes, I deleted it.  Yes, I deleted his number-which really did no good since I have it memorized; it's a pretty easy number and has the same last 4 digits as another of my friends, with the first two switched.  I'm a numbers person.  I notice these things.  I wanted to respond yesterday too, but the urge wasn't so strong.  I want to respond for the wrong reason:  I'm lonely, I hate it and he's the only person I've met since James died who has really piqued my interest (well, Latest Cute Guy can come to Heather, but after two conversations, I'm pretty sure when he sees me, he sees dollar signs-he's a shrink, after all.  Oh, and there's the part where he's frickin' gorgeous and I'm pretty average looking). 

I've resisted the urge so far, thanks in large part to MaryJanice Davidson's Betsy the Vampire Queen.  What's not to love about a super sarcastic reluctant vampire with a shoe fetish?  But I still have tomorrow and the weekend to get through.  And while I have things planned for the weekend, the only things I have going on tomorrow are a doctor appointment, which is not until 2:00 and "Flicks on the Bricks" which isn't until dusk.  It has the potential to be a long, lonely day.

I know it is most likely in my best interest to stay strong.  I know it is better to be alone than constantly guessing and with someone who makes me doubt my worthiness, who makes me feel small and who I'm convinced doesn't really like my dogs.  I know it is better to let him become someone else's problem to deal with.  Round 3 would most likely end up like rounds 1 & 2.  I don't want to end up right back here.  What I want is to not feel like I am so damn defective.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

They were right.

After I sent the last text to NLNG asking him to see a movie with me, which went ignored, everyone told me he'd be back.  I wasn't completely convinced this time.  I was wrong.

I am lucky in that I work for a pretty laid back company and I do send texts back and forth to friends while at work-not every day and some days more than others.  Friday was one of the days in which I had conversations going with a couple of friends.  So when I was running errands at lunch and my phone beeped, I thought it was one of them.  Nope.  It was from him:  "Did you see inception?  I've been having problems with my phone.  :("

For an entire month?  The last time he contacted me was on July 18th when he came over and when he hugged me good-bye for a very long time and said he'd talk to me soon.    Even if this is true, in this day and age there are so many other ways he could have gotten a hold of me.  He knows the name of the company I work for.  He could have called me there using a pay phone.  We belong to the same Meetup group; he could have sent me an e-mail through there or posted a greeting to my profile.  He hasn't done anything with the group we belong to lately but he has been doing things with other groups he belongs to so clearly he has had access to the Internet.  It isn't that he's been having problems with his phone-it's that he hasn't wanted to have anything to do with me.

He doesn't deserve an answer to his text.  At least not any time soon.  He'll figure out I haven't seen the movie when it comes to the $3 theater by my house and I post it as a Meetup event and he gets the e-mail announcing it.  (Unless he leaves the group, I can't prevent him from getting that).  He doesn't deserve an answer and more importantly, I don't deserve to be treated like a yo-yo.  (Although, I could text him back "I'm not a yo-yo.  If that's what you are looking for, I believe there's a Toys R Us at Lloyd Center.")

His text did not make me happy.  In fact, it pissed me off so badly I spent about a 1/2 hour in my co-worker's office fuming about it.  I was spitting mad-not the sign of a girl who's wanting to see someone again.  It happened when I thought it would-after I got back to a place of being okay.  After I felt I got some mojo back (thanks to a nice conversation with an incredibly HOT guy who unfortunately has the exact back story as NLNG.  Seriously?).  He's not waiting for me to respond because he wants to hear from me.  He's waiting to hear from me to make sure I'm still reeled in.  Well, he can bite me.  As I told my therapist, unless he's been in a coma or abducted by aliens (and can prove it) for the last month, there is no need for a round 3.  Clearly, he's been neither.

But, and there's always a but.  There's a part of me that still wonders "what if?"  What if the 3rd time is a charm and I'm blowing it by not responding?  What if there is a reason he pops up every single time I pray for a sign I'm not going to be alone for the rest of my life, as I did once again Friday morning?  What if he is the one I'm supposed to be with?  I can't say that makes me happy-unless I imagine the life I want to have, which so far he has not shown me any glimpses of having.  I almost deleted his messages.  The only reason I didn't is because I was so angry and as I'm still struggling with what I believe in, I didn't want to put out large amounts of the wrong kind of energy-just in case. 

I told my mom this morning I would rather be alone than with someone who doesn't make me happy.  But at the same time, I don't want to be alone for the rest of my life.  She told me I was still sort of young (I'm 36) and that I probably wouldn't be (emphasis on "probably").  She used her hesitant "I'm saying what you want to hear" voice.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  After all, this is the woman who didn't name me Heather Amy or Heather Alice like she wanted because she "didn't want me to be a HAG my entire life" and who gave me a small diamond ring for my 21st birthday because "every woman should have one at least once in her lifetime" and who told me not to screw it up when James and I first started dating because if it didn't work out it would be my fault.  It pretty much blows when the person who is supposed to be your biggest supporter is the one who has the least amount of faith in you and has been that way since you were born.

Last week, I went to a dinner with one of my new groups (which is where the conversation with Latest Cute Guy (I am seriously running out of nicknames) took place).  There was a guy there who I know from the fun Meetup group.  It turns out he and LCG know each other from some other Meetup group.  The three of us and the other two girls at our table started talking about books.  The guy I already knew left before I could tell him I have a book he might like, so I went to our group page, pulled up his profile and e-mailed him about it the next morning.  (Not exactly rocket science.  In fact, it was pretty frickin' easy).  He responded Friday he would like to read it.  I keep making myself re-read his message.  Not because I am trying to analyze it for hidden meaning-I'm taking it at face value:  we both like to read and may have books to swap.  I'm making myself re-read it to remind myself I have met decent guys since James died; there may not be an interest there but they do exist.  Maybe the next time I meet a decent guy, there will be interest and it will be mutual.  It only takes one.

I deleted the messages.  A part of me is afraid I have sent some sort of irreversible message to the Universe that will result in me growing up to be the crazy dog lady at the end of the street (Why not?  I'm already the freak widow at the end of the street).  Part of me feels empowered though-like I've sent a message that says "Next please.  I deserve SO much better than this.  Why don't you bring that on?" 

Monday, August 9, 2010

"My Wish"-Rascal Flatts

I heard this song for the first time recently at my godson's 8th grade graduation.  The next day, I Googled it to find out the name and artist so I could add it to my Rhapsody playlist at work.  I like to think this is what James would have said to me if he had been given the chance to say good-bye. 

"I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you want to go,
And if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin' till you find the window,
If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile,

But more than anything, more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
(This line gets me EVERY time)
All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
And you help somebody every chance you get,
Oh, you find God's grace, in every mistake,
And you always give more than you take.

But more than anything, yeah, and more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

This is my wish
I hope you know somebody loves you
May all your dreams stay big" 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Saga Continues

I had a very interesting chain of events happen towards the end of June which made my head spin.  (Detailed here).  I ended up calling NLNG back that night and left a message.  He called the next day but I was out and about having food and drinks following a volunteer project at the food bank so we didn't talk long.  (It's amazing how hungry you get volunteering there!)  The conversation ended with me saying I'd talk to him in a day or two.  I figured if he didn't call Wednesday, I'd call Thursday.  Well, he didn't call Wednesday and that night was when I had the whole rib-pulling pukefest action going on so when I would have called him on Thursday I was still contemplating welcoming death.  Not really the best time to call.

So I sent him a text message on Friday morning that I was sorry I hadn't called him back but was really sick.  I heard nothing back and about 6:00 was having this huge internal rant about what a jerk he was because even if you only like someone a little the least you could do is send a return "hope you feel better" text and how I was totally through with him and how I deserve better, blah blah blah.  So naturally right in the middle of my internal rant, he called.  (Another "seriously, Universe?" moment).  I ended up inviting him over for a movie.  (I'd blame the fever but I didn't have one).  So he came over armed with Gatorade and a movie from his collection.  We chatted afterward and he thanked me for inviting him over and said he had fun.  I said I did too (I didn't throw up so that in itself made the evening a success in my eyes).  I asked if I was going to see him again.  He said yes.  I asked if it was going to be in more than a month or less than a month.  (I probably could have been a little less sarcastic when I asked).  He said less than.  I decided not to hold my breath.  He left shortly after that-kind of abruptly I thought but I was sick so I didn't really dwell on it.

At the urging of my friend, I sent him a Happy 4th of July text on Sunday.  He called a little while after that.  I thought about inviting him to come watch fireworks with me, but in the end chickened out.  I didn't hear from him again until Wednesday when he called while I was in the middle of hosting bunco to see if I wanted to do something over the weekend-having forgotten I was planning to be out of town.  So, I called him back and said I would have liked to but I would be gone.  We agreed if I got back early enough on Sunday we'd get together to watch "The Hangover."

This was during the time the compressor was blown on my A/C and my house was oh so pleasant.  On Thursday, I decided it was too hot to stay home and since I was taking Friday off, I didn't have to worry about my normal bedtime and could go to a movie.  I sent him a text message with the details and asked if he was interested since he doesn't have A/C.  He said he'd come if he could get off work in time.  I decided to set it up as a last minute event for the fun Meetup group as well.  He did make it to the movie but was late and didn't end up sitting with us.  After the movie, we were talking about it and the other two that came to see it left so we chatted some more about it and then he just said "it was nice seeing you again" and started to walk off.  I stood there waiting for my head to unspin.

I ended up catching him in the parking lot and asked if he wanted to go get something to eat.  We did and had a great time.  When we walked back to our cars, I finally grew a pair and asked if something had changed that made it so he didn't want to see me anymore.  He said no, that he wanted and thought he was ready for a serious committed relationship but wasn't in that place.  I said that was fair, gave him a hug and said to give me a call sometime.  He gave me a kiss and said he would and to have a great weekend away.

When I got back on Sunday, I could have called him to see if he wanted to come watch the movie, but it was still too hot in my house for my liking so I decided to go to book club instead.  I figured it would be cooler there and there would be food-another thing my house was lacking.  After book club, I was waiting at the vet's office to pick up the boys and was toying with texting him when he texted me asking how my weekend was.  I responded it was good and asked about his.  He called about 5 minutes later and we chatted for a bit-the vet's office is incredibly slow and they were unusually busy so I had time (it's a 24/7 emergency clinic).  Again the call ended with us agreeing to talk again in a couple of days.

I heard from him again on Wednesday (14th for those keeping score).  He sent me a text asking if I was on the walk and if I was did I want to come over since his new apartment would be on my way home.  I responded with "What walk? I am at home."  I didn't hear back right away so I wondered if he had meant to send that to someone else.  Nope, he meant me and had his days confused-the walk in question was the next day.  I said I would be on the walk if it was less than 80 degrees when I had to leave my house for it and thanked him for the invitation saying I would have taken him up on it if I had been on a walk.  He said he would take a rain check.  An hour after that, he sent another text asking if I wanted to come over after the walk if I went on it or before if I didn't.  It was after 10:00 at this point and I was in bed so I didn't respond until the next morning, and responded that was fine and I would know more when I got off work.

After work, it was over 80 and I just don't do well in the heat.  So I sent him a text I wasn't going on the walk and my A/C was fixed.  We agreed he would come over since it was cooler at my house to watch "The Hangover."  We had a good time-I was paying the price the next day for staying up too late on a school night!

I was pretty booked up with things that weekend-I had RSVP'd for a ton of Meetup things after he blew me off but Charlie's surgery changed that up a bit and he ended up coming over on Sunday for pizza and a movie.  This was the 18th.  When he left he said he'd talk to me soon.  I haven't heard from him since-including no response to the text I sent him last Thursday to see if he wanted to see "Inception" over the weekend or come over for a home cooked meal and a movie.  Saturday, I deleted him from my contacts.  I have his text messages still so I can relate this to my therapist on Monday to get her take on it-they will be deleted after that.  My friends think I will hear from him again but I'm not so sure this time.  James' best friend thinks I may have been giving him mixed signals and he's confused and gave up because that was the easier route to take.  I think he may have met someone else.  If I'm smart, if he does come back around, I won't let there be another round.

I'm disappointed and I fear that I will be alone for the rest of my life-nothing new there.  Mostly I hate how this has shaken what little faith in myself I had built back up.  I hate how I am doubting myself and wonder if I did send mixed signals (which if I did I am truly sorry for) or if this was just bad timing or if he was never really interested in all.  I just know it shouldn't be this hard and if it was right it wouldn't be.  I keep wondering what he is doing and keep telling myself I shouldn't since he's clearly not thinking about me.  I keep telling myself if this is what he's like in the "honeymoon phase" what's it going to be like when that period ends and do I really want to stick around to find out?  I just wish I felt like I had other options.

Actually, I do.  It has been confirmed now by more than one source there is another guy in the group that has a crush on me.  I am not attracted to him, however and I lost respect for him when I found out he does not respect the partnership of two good friends of mine.  (How ironic-the ball game just ended and the song DirecTV is playing is Michael Buble's "I Just Haven't Met You Yet").  Actually, he told them he was thinking about asking me out but didn't think I would say yes.  He was told to go with that and that I was already spoken for.  (This must have been during the last "game on" phase).  There's another guy I am friendly with but lately he seems to be getting a little more friendly than I am completely comfortable with-not in a physical way but with the things he says.  Again, he's a nice guy but I'm not romantically attracted to him and he's almost old enough to be my dad (well, technically he could be if he started really young).  After losing one that was almost 8 years older, I'm more than a bit hesitant to double that.  They both have said I'm really cool-as have several others in the group, both male and female.  So why is it the only person who can't seem to see that is the one I most want to?

I'm taking steps to try to get my mojo back.  I keep getting told I need to just focus on having fun and getting out there.  Well, that was what I was doing-and was doing a damn good job of it-until a stupid boy had to come and screw it all up.  (The beer he left in my fridge is so totally going to book club on Sunday).  I am working my way back to that place.  I dropped a Meetup group I wasn't doing anything with and was about to get kicked out of anyway for not paying my dues.  (Why pay dues when I can do the same things with other groups with better attended events for free?)  I added some new ones:  one specifically geared for people in their 30's, one for single dog lovers, one for photography and one for survivors of online dating (because that's just funny).  I don't expect to meet anyone in these groups-like most groups, the events are sparse and are attended mostly by women and men old enough to be my dad (except the 30's group, of course).  I also feel like I am now looking and I firmly believe you don't find someone when you are looking.  So what I really need to get out of these new groups is back to the place where my only concern is having fun.  I was there once-I can get there again.  I hope.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Good-bye July!

Good-bye July!  Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

July has not been a good month.  It started off with me getting sick on the first. Right after I recovered from that, I had to take Charlie to the vet (on the 5th).  He had an infected anal gland that had abscessed and didn't show any signs of not feeling well until it was too late.  The vet started him on antibiotics but at his recheck on the 9th, it was determined he wasn't healing as quickly as he should and he was given an additional antibiotic and a pain pill.  It was during this time that my air conditioner broke-on what was at the time the hottest day of the year (7/7)-and the night I was to host bunco at my house with guests that included a woman 6 months pregnant with twins.  My guests were gracious about playing in my 84 degree living room.  I felt bad for my friend and for Charlie, who had to wear the cone.  The only plus in this month was James had the A/C unit installed after we moved in and it was still under full warranty so I didn't have to pay for the repair, which happened on the 12th and was just over $1,000.

The 8th was even hotter and my living room got up to 87 degrees.  I had a weekend trip to the coast planned and I decided to go even though I didn't want to leave Charlie.  He was on meds though so there wasn't really anything I could do and I was boarding them at the vet's office so he was in good hands.  I was to drop them off on the 9th, but it was too hot in my house so I dropped them off the evening of the 8th instead and sought refuge at the $3 movie theater ("Get Him to the Greek" was about what I expected and definitely a $3 movie). 

The temperature outside had cooled down slightly by the time I got back from the coast but not my house.  It was still 84 when I got home around 2:00 on the 11th.  I had a book club meeting that afternoon and it was 83 when I got home from that.  I decided to bring the dogs home even though I would have liked it to be a little cooler in the house.  What can I say-I missed them.  I was relieved to see Charlie seemed to be doing better with the additional meds.

But that didn't last long and I ended up taking him back for another recheck on the 14th.  The bottom line was something on the outside had scabbed over so the icky stuff on the inside couldn't get out.  I was to give it a few more days and if he wasn't any better I would have to consider surgery.  When I took him in for his appointment on Saturday (17th), the vet took one look at him and said "hmm."  It wasn't a good "hmm" and I ended up leaving my little guy there for a glandectomy.  I have learned more about anal glands in animals than any non-vet person really needs to know.  It turned out this was the right move to make as the infected gland had actually ruptured and the infection was spreading to other areas.  And it also turns out that I am a pretty strong person generally but not at all when it comes to something being wrong with one of my boys.

I was able to bring him home that night, but about 10 minutes after I got home, I took him back as there was a lot of discharge from the surgery site and that didn't seem normal to me.  (Luckily, I live close to the vet).  Charlie came home doing much better the next morning, but for the next several days, he had the hardest time getting comfortable, understandably so and between the heat, his infection and then surgery, I went 16 consecutive nights with little to no sleep and still have not caught up.

Charlie was given a clean bill of health when his stitches came out this morning.  He is doing a lot better-definitely acting like himself again, and no longer living in the laundry basket where he took up residency for several days.  I actually kind of liked him sleeping in the laundry basket as it meant he wasn't trying to sleep on my head.

While all this was going on with Charlie, my computer started acting up and ultimately ended up going to the Geek Squad on the 19th.  Nine days later, I was told it was toast.  I had a meltdown over that.  It was James' computer and I felt he would be so disappointed that I didn't take better care of it and killed it (most likely it would have died anyway but I still feel bad.  It's just another part of him that is now gone).  This is one of those rare times procrastination worked in my favor in that I never did anything with my computer after James died so I was able to hook up that one instead of having to buy a new one.

And then there is the continuing saga of NLNG, who resurfaced just as I was finishing my last post.  I think I'll save that for it's own post. 

If Sammy had a voice, he probably would have asked to move out partway through the month.  I would have if I was him!  Here's hoping August is MUCH better!