Friday, August 31, 2012

Where Am I?

An hour ago, I wrote this title.  Then my phone rang.

I'm sure I had some excellent, life-changing hook when I wrote that title.

It's gone now.

I remember thinking that sometimes it's hard to find yourself under the muck of life.  Work.  Home (cleaning, laundry, the accumulation of daily "kibble").  Social. ...

[Give me a minute to laugh at that last one.]

At times I find that my life feels too much like a gerbil running in its wheel.  A constant go ... without going anywhere.  Where has this summer gone? 

Let's see ... *enter rambling mode*


Ooh! I started a three month long "boot camp" class in June. *proud smile*

Seriously! I showed up the first day at 5:30 a.m. (whimper), excited but nervous about this new class, ready to "be all I can be" ... but in the completely civilian can-leave-anytime way, only to hear, after the greetings, "Okay ... let's go run a mile." 

Ah ... Whodawhat?

Run? A mile?  I don't run. 


These tennis shoes are five years old, man. 

No ... you don't understand.  I was that girl in her college fitness "class " that the professor saw rounding the corner during a run as a signal to tell the rest of the class to turn around and head back.  I was a new kind of super hero - - Shin-Splint Girl. 

Or ... if you'd rather ... "Side-Ache Woman."

I was the inspiration for the professor digging out flippers during the swimming portion of class after a sadly comical episode of me clinging up and down the wall of the pool.  Yeeeeeah.

If college taught me nothing else, it taught me that I am not a closet athlete no matter what my inner high-school geek tried to sell me in a band-camp induced hysteria.  But it began much earlier.

I "played" 7th grade volleyball and basketball. 

And then I thought I'd rather keep the few friends I have rather than thoroughly piss them off by screwing up each and every game.  I became "Score Book Girl" instead.  Hey ... no pressure, I got to ride with the team AND ... they PAID me to do so.  Win - Oh so win.

So my college "Health Dynamics" class aka "Health Die" was the last time I toyed with the idea of possibly being more athletic than ... well ... any other living thing.

Scratch that ... plants grow.

Any other inert thing.

Yep.  I am more athletic than a rock.  Unless someone picks it up and skips it across a lake.

I saw my feeble non-athletic life flash before my eyes as I huffed and puffed my way (and walked and ran) through a mile in under *gasp* 15 minutes.  Then I managed 38 full sit ups in 2 minutes and 8 standard push ups (with 30 girlie ones). 

And then I threw up.  Honestly.  Don't eat dairy before an early morning workout. 

And ... you're welcome.

That was month one.

Month two found me dreading each 5:30 a.m. workout yet feeling strong immediately after.  My body, of course, completely rebelled during this time.  I was bloated and convinced I'd entered into some sort of peri-menopausal hell.  I felt stronger but hadn't lost inches or weight.  I occasionally vomited during class and had heart palpitations.

Oh joy.  I'm old.

In mid-July, I gave in and went to my doctor's office.  A normal EKG was followed by the ordering of a stress echocardiogram and new birth control prescription. *eye roll*

I missed one class in July.

Enter month three, August 2012, and envision dread turning to 'OH HELL NO' mid month.  Rather than the stronger, leaner woman I'd envisioned at the beginning of the summer, I found a hormonal mass of nerves that had actually GAINED weight rather than lost any.  I felt like I'd worked harder than ever only to fail ... and fail miserably. 

Oh sure ... my mile was 2 minutes faster, my sit ups were in the mid-50's and my standard push ups were in the twenties ... but, dammit ... bloated and heavier does not incentive create.

I am a boot camp class dropout. 

Stellar summer, you?


About that stress echocardiogram.  Wow.  I was nervous when I arrived for it, having fasted for 8 hours, and dressed as instructed in workout clothes.  That request seemed appropriate since I'd be presumably walking then running on a treadmill to increase my heart rate.

First words in the room?  "Please remove all clothing from your waist up."

"Sports bra?"

"That too."

*cocked eyebrow*

So, let me get this straight.  You're going to put me on a treadmill and run me like a rodent until my heart rate reaches optimum capacity ... and I'm bra-less???????!!!!!!  I realize the girls are named Betty and Bertha and not Dolly but ... dude ... flopping will not be pleasant ... for either of us.


Oh, no worries ... I have a wonderful doctor's dressing gown that will ... wait ... this isn't a gown.  This is a poncho that opens in the front. 

This is a FLORAL poncho that opens in the front.

I came into that facility a normal human being and within five minutes, I became "Floral Girl" ready to smack kindly men in their faces ... no hands, ma!  I donned black workout pants, a floral cape, and multiple nodes stuck to my chest with dangling wires but, hey, let's take my blood pressure again so, here, I'll put my hand on your shoulder for balance.  Awkward?

Of course not (said no one ever under these circumstances).

I was instructed over and over again to remember that when I reached the maximum heart rate, when I could go no further, I needed to stop the treadmill, immediately sit down on the cot next to it, roll onto my other side, and try not to huff and puff the poor echocardiogram technician away as I attempted not to pass out.

Humble does not sufficiently describe the woman who left that day.

Where am I?
At times, overwhelmed.  At times, bored.  Most times, unorganized. 
Where am I?
Staring down a Labor Day Weekend with family.  

Where am I?

Sitting quietly on a love seat, covered with a blanket, and typing with no real thought as to what I'm throwing out to the 'verse. 

So ...

Where are you?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Burn, Baby, Burn ...

"Don't burn your bridges."

Sound familiar? This is the often cited advice to maintain the ties that bind. Nurture relationships. Smooth over the paths have have led you to where you are today.  Sometimes this is good advice.  There really is no need to be hurtful or, let's say, overly generous with your bad opinions of someone needlessly.

But ... (there's always a but, isn't there? And/or an ass ... but that's a different story)

Sometimes ... those ties only bind.  Uncomfortably ... in a tight, itchy way.  Sometimes ... you can "smooth" so much that the landscape isn't remotely yours anymore.  Sometimes those ties should be cut and bridges burned. 

Blown up even.

I grew up trying to make everyone like me and would get truly upset if I seemed to fail.  I remember in school that I would fret and agonize over what I did or said to anger someone.  Did I not give the "right" opinion?  Did I not wear the "right" clothes?  Like the "right" people? Say the "right" thing?  I would actually apologize for ... well ... being me.  I've had relationships in which it felt there was always some battle, some argument, with no positive outcome.  Ooh, and lots of what seemed like one-way bridges.  You know, my way or the highway type relationships wherein if you didn't fall in line then you were either unwanted and/or belittled. 

** Hold on while I recall and seethe for just a moment **

** Or two **

I've found as an adult *cough* that navigating the online world of social media can bring me back to those feelings of inadequacy.  I've "accepted" friends, especially from high school, who have later deleted me.  Sometimes I understood the reason but often they simply disappeared and I was left wondering once again ... what did I do? 

Yeah ... I'm still learning to stop that. 

I'm learning that sometimes those are the bridges that should be hacked and burned, detonated with TNT - Wiley style.  I'm still learning that I'm not here to be what you thought I was or want me to be.  An online friend just today shared a saying - "May the bridges I burn light the way."  [Thanks Betsy!]  I'd alter that just slightly to "May the bridges I burn light my way." 

Cutting ties can be difficult but if anything holds you back from simply being you, cut it.  Carve it out like a dark spot on an apple and then relish flipping that switch on the garbage disposal because you don't need it.

[Wow.  Can I cram in the analogies or what ... ]

In short, I'm me.  [And short. Bahaha.] 

I can be witty, kind, and loving.  I can also be crass, bitchy, and a smartass.  I don't set out to offend others but I do at times.  If you happen to fall within that category, all I can say is ... 1) I doubt I intended it; 2) I understand that neither of us is always right; and 3) I'll likely do it again so .. yeeeeah. 

Take me ... or by all means ... leave me.

Burn, baby, burn.

[Note: I have also been a person who deleted others.  Usually, it was because I had little to no prior connection to the person and I tried to put a disclaimer up before doing it.  I hope it was read and understood but, again, if you fall within that category, I can truly say it was not done to hurt or anger you ... ah, see, there I go again trying to make sure everyone likes me.  Damn it.  Ah, well.]


Sunday, February 26, 2012

From Beautiful to Bitter and Alone in Three (Yes, THREE) Emails

I know, I know ... Where the Hell have I been?!  I've been sucked into a pre-holiday work deadline, then sucked happily into a holiday vacation, and sucked backed into a new year - the LAST, yo, 2012 ... before 2013 - and then, well, just really, really, Olympic medal level lazy.  Lots of sucking going on.

Seriously, if only there were a sport that emphasized my strengths of laziness and procrastination OTHER than golf.  Not that I don't appreciate smacking balls around with a big stick but I think my version would tend to both remove some of the possible gene pool from the world (not necessarily a bad thing) and land me in prison (not ready to be Bertha's bitch).

Anyhoo ... on to today's highly entertaining and equally embarrassing/pathetic topic.  [I know, I've totally sucked you in with that description AND managed to add more sucking to this post at the same time.]  As you recall, I fell backasswards into once again back in October.  And, as you recall, I lamented about the many men who were only seeking women younger than themselves.  My curiosity coupled with my, um, charm led me to the following encounter/smack down:

------ Sometime several weeks into my adventure 2011 ------
------ Cue misty fadeback music ------

In early November, I was stunned to get an email from a good-looking and seemingly normal guy.  He said that he liked what I had to say and called me "quite beautiful" before asking me where I've been hiding.  I know, right!? I responded back with what I thought was wit, talking about how I do tend to hide while riding around in my elusive vehicle (the highly visible Wonka Tonka) and frequenting the same unknown coffee place (a local, busy Biggby - it is my happy place) each day.  Yes, yes, I was being a smart-ass, which IS WHAT I AM, PEOPLE, and ended the email by thanking him - yes, THANKING him - for the compliment.

Now, my profile talks of my sarcasm and cynicism - I'm not into acting like someone I'm not just to meet someone who will be likely disappointed once my "forked tongue" (infra) comes into view. 

Honesty; it's a necessary if not beautiful thing.

The guy responded in what I thought was a playful way - HIM:  "You scion coffee drinkers are all the same...hiding like hamsters all wired on skinny lattes...just waiting to spring out and make a normal guy like me, smitten by your match profile.  A conspiracy at work...(squeek squeek)."

Oooh ... someone who can joke with me, right?  But, whoa ... something about his profile was both familiar and curious.  He is 45 years old and seeking females ages 29-44.  Yep - won't even look up to his own age.  Hmm. 

I RESPOND: "Ah, normal remains to be seen.  I think WD40 might help with that squeak.  So what do your normal days look like [name removed]?  What do you do for fun?  And, I don't know if you saw one of my earlier versions of my profile [for the reader - my cougar version] but I have to ask ... why, if you're done with having kids, are you only looking at women younger than yourself?  Inquiring minds and all that :)  "  [Yes, I included the smiley in an attempt to show I meant no real harm with my question.]

So ... I honestly was not expecting this as HIS RESPONSE:

Normal?  Well, I am a man's man (not gay..although there isn't anything wrong with that).  I don't drive a Scion (or Kia), or drink lattes.  I drink coffee and drive an SUV (maybe I should have said boring?).  Anywho..for fun I spend every waking second winking at 28 year olds on dating sites..(it is an exercise I find both futile and frustrating).  I then spend my spare time deleting winks from 50 year olds that look like my grandma (ever notice how friggin' EVERY profile starts out with, "I am laid back")??  So besides hurling yourself from planes and carving up innocent people..(oops, I mean pumpkins..must have slipped because I remembered you're a lawyer) what do you do for fun?  Well back to the dating sites.  I've got laid back grandmas I need to put the "smack down" on.
Raise your hand if you think I MIGHT have struck a nerve.  I'll wait.

Apparently, some damage control is necessary here.  MY THIRD EMAIL:

Oh my. Ha! Okay, since we lose tone in email, I'm not quite sure if my question pissed you off or if you're just playing.  I, too, understand the woe of the older (much older) winks and emails.  For me, the older the person, the older I feel but too young is just ... yeah, not good either in a different way.  But you, sir, don't even go up to your own age; now, you're not alone - I've noticed many guys do that.  I'm just curious.

What do I do for fun? It's hard to think of things not already on my profile.  Movies are a big love.  I'm trying to decide if I'm going to see The Debt this weekend or perhaps 50/50 or Clue (which I'm not sure I've EVER seen all the way through - I know, outrage).  I'm close to [removed 'cause 'ya'll' don't need to know where I live and what theaters I frequent].  I love reading, although that occurs in spurts depending on work.  After reading transcripts all day long, I sometimes need a break.  I write sporadically [followed by other personal stuff.]  I enjoy my summer volunteer time [followed by more personal stuff].  I collect cookie jars and character glasses.

[I can almost see you backing away slowly from the computer.] [<--Yes, this part WAS in the email.]

"Carving up innocent people?"  No, no, [followed by an explanation about what I do.]

I've been divorced for about 7 years; [followed by even more personal stuff].  I've dated off and on during that time and have remained friends with several of those guys.  You?  How long have you been out in the land of singlehood again?
Now, having read that, am I wrong to think it was obvious that I was ready to continue the conversation? That I was curious about his life, answering his question about what I do for fun, ending with another question for him? Apparently, I was very VERY wrong. 

Witness, dear readers, my descent from "quite beautiful" to bitter bitch alone.  HIS FINAL EMAIL:

I must confess.  I looked at your pictures and was smitten.  The picture of you holding the baby was my are quite beautiful.  Then I read your profile.  I figured that much of what you wrote was for show [Wait - you mean the part you said you really liked of what I had to say??  Sorry, folks, I doubt I can get through this without running commentary.] I sent a simple email.  You came back with a forked tongue [I'm sorry, you mean when I THANKED you for the compliment?], so I felt inclined to perry.  You see, I too write for my business and in fact have been published in several trade magazines [Hold on a second, my eyes just rolled under my desk].  Your next response was at best mean spirited.  [That would be the one in which I had the audacity to ask him about the age difference, folks.]  I then hurled my best "smart ass" back at you in an attempt to show you that not all of us here are a bunch of mindless jackasses.  I emailed you in earnest and pulled back a bloody stump.  [Oh, yes ... yes, he did.]  In my opinion, if you continue with your current path of courtship you will accomplish your goal of being single forever.  Next time a good guy (like me) [*coughsputterbullshitcough*] says hello?  Say hello back, and focus less on punctuation and more on getting to know him.  [You mean like ask him what he does for fun and how long he's been looking? THAT sort of thing? *face palm* I should have totally thought of .. OH WAIT ... I DID.]  He just might be who you are looking for.  Good luck to you.  Signed, Bitch slapped ["normal" guy's name].
Wow.  I just ... Wow. 

Really.  How do you respond to something like that? DO you respond? 

I did.

I've tried to be honest in my profile, [name], which is why there are several references to "sarcastic" and "smart ass."  My ribbing was in jest and I asked the age question because I was curious.

I'm sorry that you were offended; it was not my intention.

But, hey, kudos for smacking me down and foretelling of my bitter life alone, you are a true gentleman.
I was about to describe the above reply as "short and to the point," but to have been truly short and to the point, my response would have been:


And THAT is how I went from beautiful to bitter, lonely bitch in three emails.  Impressive, eh? 

Although, one friend commented that the Justacogitating he knew could have done it in two. 


I think I've just been challenged.