Inspiring Me Now

  • "The Purpose of Life is to Be Happy" Dalai Lama

October 27, 2010

Fear of Flying or Fear of Falling?

I’m pessimistically hopeful that I’m dating again… I’ve been actively NOT seeing anyone purposely for quite some time now. I had so many terrible dates over the summer, that I had sort of lost hope of meeting someone normal. 

There was Clingy guy, who told me he loved me after 5 dates, then asked me to meet his children.  NEXT! There was Pilot Guy, who told me that he was looking for a girlfriend, but only called me drunk from the bars at 3am. NEXT! There was Wild guy who had such a bad case of ADD it was impossible to carry on a normal conversation. NEXT! Then there was Uptown guy who took me out then asked if I wanted to go to the Monster Truck Rally for our next date. NEXT!

Now along comes Mr. Too Good To Be True. I’ve dated his type before: tall, impossibly good-looking, full of compliments, slightly cocky, intelligent. I’m instantly attracted. We talk, we laugh, we kiss outside in the pouring rain. I’m suddenly in the middle of my own sappy country love song. 

But I’m pausing. I’m nervous. I’ve had my guard up for so long now, that I’m confusing myself. I’m putting suspicions into my own head. Mr. T.G.T.B.T. has done nothing (yet) to make me think he’s anything like the same kind of men I’m weary of. So am I hesitant to be in a relationship again? Or am I scared to have my heart broken? 

Rational me says you won’t get anywhere in life without taking risks, putting yourself out there. Sometimes you just have to jump feet first. Illogical me says if I don’t put myself out there, I’m safe. Safe in my cute little apartment with my big dog, no one to fight with over the covers, no one to have to share the remote with, no one to cook for. But, there’s also no one to cuddle up to when it’s chilly out, no one to laugh with during Seinfeld episodes, no one to bake cookies for. And rational or irrational, I miss those things.
Maybe instead of jumping right in, I can sort of hop. It seems less radical, more practical, definitely more me.

So I’m hopping into dating.

…now to see where I land.

October 22, 2010

Red light, Green light

Well, it finally happened, the dreaded “ex run-in”, funny choice of words perhaps, because we were both in vehicles at the time. My urge to violently ram my truck into the ambulance he was driving was only quelled by the love I have for Jack, my precious Jeep.

The odd thing is I was thinking of him at the exact moment I saw him. I kid you not people! It was such a strange coincidence that I instantly thought it must mean something. My heart leapt into my throat. “Did he see me? No, he was probably distracted by something else. He didn’t see me” Surprise! He did. I received a text hours later confirming just that. “Saw you on the corner of 6 and Northwest”, it said. All of the heartache I have been trying to suppress and get over for almost a year now, came rushing back. 

What did this mean? Was it fate? Maybe we are going to get back together? I thought back to a year ago. I was so crazy about this man. He stole my heart. I would constantly tell myself (while we were together) that he was too good to be true. He baked me my favorite cake when I had a bad day. He flew to California to meet me for a wedding so I didn’t have to go solo. He paid my rent when I quit my terrible job. He read to me on the couch in the evenings. He showed my best friend the 2 carat diamond he was planning on proposing with.  All these pictures are running through my head while I sat at this intersection waiting for my light to turn green.  

He was the guy I thought I would be having children with, the guy I would be growing old with. Turns out he had different plans. He started pulling away. Not staying over as much. We were fighting frequently. Then one day, he just never returned my call. He blocked my number on his phone.  I literally couldn’t reach him.  Then we went back and forth. He was sorry for acting that way. He still loved me. We’d get together for dinner then the next night it was “I can’t do this. I don’t think we’re right for each other”. Then a few days later, “I’m sorry. I miss you so much. Let’s try to make this work.” This went on and on for months. Until the communication became further and further apart. Now it’s just a drunk text from him occasionally on the weekend. I haven’t actually seen him in months, until yesterday at the stop light. 

So, why is it so easy to forget the bad things? Until I started writing this out, I had forgotten all the reason we weren’t together anymore. I forgot that he had me in tears the night before my birthday. I forgot that he told me my health issues were enough to push anyone away. I forgot that he told me my best guy friend, wouldn’t be invited to our wedding (because he was jealous). I forgot that he told me my dog wasn’t as smart as his (that he had shared with an ex) because I had trained her with treats. He was demeaning and controlling. He wanted a subservient partner who didn’t ask questions. 

My light turned green, I pulled past him in the intersection looking straight ahead. The man of my dreams will be all the great things I missed from this last relationship plus more. He will love me for who I am, not who he hopes I will be. But sometimes the hardest part about moving forward, it not looking back.

October 20, 2010

Man Wish List

"My Ideal Man..." So I began a short blip on an online dating site. I figured, "hey, I might as well put it all out there. What do I have to lose?" So here's what I wrote...well, first let me preface this by stating a few facts. This was my second crack at the online dating scene. I have a marriage and divorce under my belt, I am over my early twenties lets-go-to-the-bar-get-wasted-and-hopefully-pick up-a-man phase. I have been on more than my fair share of bad dates. I figured putting a short but thoughtful (and witty) description in a neat little paragraph on a dating site would eliminate those would-be suitors not meant for me. I might as well start weeding out the ones that wouldn't fit, right? So the description was written as follows: "My ideal man would be at least 3 inches taller than me, have a great sense of humor, but know when to be serious. He would work out, but not obsessively. 6 pack abs are intimidating and should be admired from afar. He must be well read but not snobby. He can like sports but must not need to watch 18 hours of football every Sunday. I like someone who's a little cocky, but also sweet..."

Ok, so you get the gist. It was my man wish list. I've dated a very broad spectrum of men. I know what I like and I know what I don't like. Turns out my little MWL (man wish list) ruffled a some online gentleman's feathers. A common email response was "conceited bitch", "no wonder you're still single", and my favorite "Now I know why you're divorced". My little MWL seemed to have pissed off my would-be suitors! Long story short, after several (ok, many) more bad first and last dates, I gave up on the online dating scene.  However, I started to wonder: We live in a world where the "ideal man" is much more than what I listed on my short MWL. As a society we are bombarded by media ideals outlining what the perfect relationship should be. Here I was, just putting my version on a website, hoping someone else (who knows, maybe even Joe Mauer), would see this little description and say "Hey! That sounds just like me!" We would fall madly in love, have an exotic wedding in Fiji. After our honeymoon in Ireland, we'd start our family of 2.5 children and a yellow lab. Instead, I got hate mail! Seriously?!

"Just the Way You Are" is a song by Bruno Mars that is blowing up the radio right now. Every time I hear it, I turn up my radio and imagine a soulful hot singer serenading me "...and when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for awhile. Girl you're amazing, just the way you are." So freakin romantic! I turn on my tv, and there's a young (and delicious) Richard Gere, scaling a fire escape, roses in hand, professing his true feelings for Julia Roberts. Or how about the magazine ad? A gorgeous blonde is shyly touching her face with her left hand. A small skating rink of a diamond glitters on her finger. Beside her is her impossibly handsome fiance. He looks adoringly down at her (and her Louis Vuitton is an ad after all).  Women see things and hear things like this all day. Every day! "Romance is still alive!"  "Romeo is out there!" "Chivalry is not dead!"

I know that real men don't climb fire escapes and write love songs about my smile. And that's ok with me. If I saw someone crawling up my building professing his undying love, I wouldn't cry tears of joy, i'd call 911. So, why did my measly little man wish list create such a powerful responses from these men? Men who went out of their way to message me to tell me how conceited I was!

My theory is that women are not taking shit from men anymore. We are not settling for the first guy that proposes before the age of 25. We are realizing that it's better to be single, than with a man who doesn't respect us. We know that the world won't stop turning if we don't have kids before 30. We are coming to the conclusion that our lives are not incomplete just because we aren't in a relationship. And dammit, we can be picky about who we date! This terrifies men! "Women aren't settling?" *gasp* "I guess I'm going to have to actually work at dating!"

 I was that girl who wanted a ring and babies before 30. And I did settle. And I have learned from my mistakes. Now, I intend on making the guy who "gets" me, work for it. I want to know that he truly wants a relationship and isn't just interested in the chase. I want to know that when he says "I love you", it's not to secure a spot in my bed that night, it's because he really means it. So I will keep my wish list. Granted, I'm aware that the "perfect" guy for me may not have several of the qualities I have listed. The point is, I have standards. And I will keep my standards, I will keep them into my 30s if I have to. I will keep them when I am a bridesmaid at another friend's wedding. I will keep them after I hold my best friend's new baby. I will keep them when I watch another Julia Roberts romantic comedy. Because in the end, I know that the payoff will be so worth the wait. And I don't think anyone should have to compromise who they are to be "happy" in a healthy relationship.

...however, If Joe Mauer does indeed decide to hit me up one of these days, I will concede my hate of televised baseball and at least watch a few of his away games. That's not compromising, that's just taking an interest in my future husband's career, right?!

October 18, 2010


...weeks I have lived thus far in my life. Strange number to look at. As I enter my 1456th week, aka my 28th birthday, I'm thinking about how completely different my life is vs. how I wanted it to be. Twenty-eight. For sure I would have been (successfully) married by now, have at least one baby. I'd be living the picket-fence, Tide commercial life in a little suburb. My insanely attractive husband and I would have taken several exotic vacations. Our child(ren) would be learning another language, our dog would parole the backyard for squirrels. I'd have dinner on the table when hottie husband got home from his successful career job (doctor, lawyer, CEO, etc...) We'd eat together, do the dishes together, sit down and watch David Letterman together.

While I tried the marriage thing, it seemed my would-be successful husband was more interested in online dating and  furthering his career than in me. Strike one. It's hard (ok, well not "hard", just not on my radar) to have a baby without a husband. Strike two. And, while I do live in the suburbs, there are no picket fences, and the closest I've gotten to a Tide commercial is when I spill on a white shirt and can't get it out with cold water. Strikes three and four...

This brings me to the point of this rambling entry. How do you plan life? Maybe it's just my personality. I'm a huge control freak. I like things done my way, and I have no patience. I make a plan. I know in my head how I want it to play out, and if it doesn't pan out the way I want, I'm utterly disappointed. But life is bigger than a trip to the grocery store after work, it's bigger than a 2 carat diamond engagement ring (which is not how big mine was just an FYI). Life is chaotic, messy, exciting, and stressful. You can't plan those things. You don't want to plan those things. Given the choice, we'd never pencil in a "day of chaos" or "stress. 9am-10:30am". We would skip right over those normal life occurrences.

I know this will sound cliche, but chaos and stress and broken hearts and dirty laundry, these are the things that make warm fall days and afternoon naps, dinner with friends and phone calls to loved ones so much sweeter!

So, in honor of my 1456-1508 weeks of life on this earth, I'm going to try to let go of my "should have been" life and embrace my "what is" life. Cheers to 28!

P.S. presents or gifts in monetary form are always greatly appreciated ;)

October 14, 2010

Modern Day Mary...

As in Tyler Moore. Not to be confused with The Virgin, Queen of Scotts, or Poppins. Here's a little more about me:

5 years ago, I committed the cardinal "independent woman" sin, I moved away for a guy. It's taken a marriage, a divorce, an 80lb dog, some prescription meds, a therapy session or two and plenty of chocolate, to finally figure out that no matter what - just like the Mary Tyler Moore theme song says, I'm "gonna make it after all".

I've written my entire life, kept journals, written countless letters that remain unsent. Perhaps blogging was inevitable. So here I am, putting it out there. Welcome to my blogging journey. I hope you're entertained.