lastmandystanding

Mother. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Blogger. Aspiring writer. Smartass. But you'll probably still want to be my friend.

Archive for the tag “relationships”

Could you help me with this thing here? Yes, you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP37RQ7pmW0&feature=youtube_gdata_player

I absolutely LOVE the Golden Girls. My twin cousins and I would spend every Saturday night with our Grandma, and we would all watch it together. Watching old episodes brings me almost as much comfort as my grandma’s hugs used to, or a comfy sweatshirt, or wearing my favorite faded black velvet pants with paint stains. They’re just plain comfortable.

If this linked correctly, it’s a clip from an episode where the ever-so-over-dramatic Blanche decides to write the world’s greatest novel. She comes dramatically out onto the “lenai” and professes to have writer’s block – something she claims to be the worst feeling in the world. I love Sophia’s banter about 10 days without a bowel movement being worse than that, but this clip leaves out the best part. Right after where this cuts off, Dorothy asks Blanche: “Well how much have you written?”
Blanche: “That’s just IT, I haven’t written A THING!”
Dorothy: “That’s not writer’s block, Blanche…otherwise WE ALL HAVE IT.”

I can’t explain it…but that episode just kills me. The sarcasm of Dorothy. The drama of Blanche. The outspoken Sophia. Rose just being…Rose. The truth in all of it. I love it.

In a roundabout way, I guess I’m trying to say that I have writer’s block, but not exactly like Blanche. I’ve got lots to write about, to talk about, to cry about, to smile about, to laugh about, to be mad and hurt about, to joke about, etc. –but I can’t just sit and do it. I want to. I need to. And I love to…but I just…(ahh…i hate saying it)….can’t.

I’ve stated in my few blogs since my father’s death, that I fear if I start writing, I may not be able to stop. So I don’t know if that is what’s keeping me from it, or something else.

Do you ever feel like you’re on the verge of something…you don’t know what it is, good or bad, big or small…but you feel it…and you don’t know whether to jump and shout and leap tall buildings in a single bound, or go sit in the corner in your faded black velvet paint-stained pants and just sit quietly until someone comes and picks you up and says “hey, snap out of it”??

Yeah. Me too. I’m stuck somewhere in the middle of all that.

I need your help, reader(s). (If there are any of you left.) Since I can’t get the words from my brain to the keyboard very well (or often), help me out. Whether you know me or not, new reader or followed since blog #1 – what would YOU like me to write about? I’m serious… Please comment and I will pick something from the comments to write about. If you know me, it should be easy for you. If you’re a complete stranger, better yet. Read some of my other stuff and ask questions. I need something to get my creative juices flowing again. (My REAL creative juices…not the pretend ones I keep boldly “pinning” like it’s my job.)

Help a sister out. I know I can write. Just help me through my version of writer’s block. I promise it’ll be honest and entertaining if nothing else.

Readers’ Choice.  Let’s do this.

Oh, and if my sister-in-law happens to read this, I’m still waiting on the Xanax casserole that was promised last Christmas. I’m starting to think that was just a bunch of talk.

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Starting Over and Stopping.

I’m going to apologize now for the (very uncharacteristic) serious tone of this particular post, and for the delay since my last post.  This one has been in the works for a couple weeks.  I promise the next one will be more like my usual comedic self. So, without further ado…

I was reminded recently by my 8 year old daughter just how simple love really is, or rather, should be.  With timing that couldn’t have been more perfect, she gave me a little handmade card that said “I love you” on the front, and on the inside, it said “I love you because…” and she put the following: “you help me get through problems, you make supper, and you love me.” Nowhere in there did it say “because you buy me cool things and take me places all the time” – just the basic needs:  kindness, food, and love.

Do you even remember when it was that simple? When it used to be as easy as “Do you like me? Check yes or no.” When people said “I love you” – and meant it, in every sense of the word.  A time long before a rampant divorce rate. Long before social media. Long before societal pressures reached a fever pitch. I’m talking about way back when…like when your grandparents fell in love, and even though they went through some really awful times, they stayed together, no matter what, until the day they died.

Somewhere between the innocence of an 8 year old and becoming an adult, we (grown-ups, collectively) have royally screwed things up when it comes to love and relationships.

When you break it down to its simplest form, the basic needs haven’t really changed. We all need a little kindness – both to have it and show it to others, and to receive it from others.  We all need “food” – as in, “to be fed” – to have every part of our being taken care of.  To be fed emotionally, physically, spiritually, socially, professionally, etc.   And we all need LOVE. Plain and simple.

So how did it get so damn complicated?  Why is it so hard for two human beings to make it work? Do we get caught up in infatuation and idealism? Do we expect too much? Do we put too much pressure on each other? Do we get strangled by envy? By selfishness? Are we consistently fooled by the proverbial “grass is greener on the other side” syndrome?  Do we just give up too easily?

I think it’s all of the above.

As a woman who’s been through a divorce with young children involved, I speak from the heart when I say there have been times in my life over the last few years when I honest-to-God thought that the heartache just might do me in.  I’ve dropped to my knees in utter despair, cried until I gagged, thrown my fists up in anger as I cried and screamed through clenched teeth, re-lived every second of my failed marriage to try and find an answer for what happened, cried to my mother/sister/best friend that I just didn’t think I could survive it. It was the worst heartache I have ever been through. And mine wasn’t just an “over and done” type of pain. It was a long, drawn-out, holding on out of desperation – kind of pain. The kind that leaves scars.

I tried to limit my heartache to when my girls weren’t with me, and keep it together when they were around, but when the waves of emotion come, sometimes you just have to ride them.  I recall one particular night when everything just got the best of me all day long, all week long, and culminated with a gallon of milk dropped on the floor only to splatter all over every square inch of my little apartment kitchen.  I was literally crying over spilled milk…and a failed marriage, and feeling sad for my girls to have to go through all this, and feeling broken and alone and exhausted in every sense of the word.  Once I got the milk cleaned up, I just collapsed in a heap of sobs and was consoled – in the very same tender, loving, motherly manner in which I do them – by my two young daughters. 

That was a sort of wake-up call for me.  I told myself then and there that I would never allow them to see me that upset ever again – at least not if I could help it. And certainly not when a man was the source of my hurt.

I know that pain and heartache is not unique to me.  It is universal.  And no matter the source of the pain and heartache, the thought of making yourself vulnerable to ever being put through the same situation again is nothing short of terrifying. Becoming serious with someone new is hard.  It’s hard not to think they are going to do the same crap to you that the one before them did.  It’s hard not to group them into the same categories that everyone before them has been grouped into.  Starting over is hard and it sucks. But it’s a necessary part of living and growing.

I certainly have said “never again” more times than I care to discuss — I’ll never let someone in my heart like that again. I’ll never trust someone like that again. I’ll never believe another man.  If this relationship fails, I’m done for good, I swear it. I will never do it again. Ever.  I say that, but I know myself too well, and know that I won’t actually give up on finding the right person for me. I like the good parts of an honest, healthy relationship far too much to say “never again” and actually mean it.

Often times, when I am at my lowest of lows as far as loneliness, it’s usually in a crowded room full of people – surrounded by people, but not that ONE who just gets me. The one who knows what makes me tick, and can read my face from across that crowded room – and either shoot me a wink and a smile that speaks volumes, or know from my expression that it is time to wrap things up so we can go home. The one that looks at me across the room and just feels content in the idea of me being his girl – whatever that means. The one who would walk across that crowded room just to give me a kiss on my forehead. The one that I can trust – trust with my heart, trust with my mind, trust to let into my life – and know that, no matter what the day brings each of us, at the end of it, I can rest assured in the fact that I’m the only woman he wants to be with, and that he cares what I do and how I feel.  And vice versa. I don’t want someone perfect.  I want someone perfect FOR ME.   

I’m not foolish enough to think that available men my age aren’t going to have some of the very same wounds I have. Most are going to be divorced, and from what I have observed in the men I’ve dated or talked to, a large number of them were cheated on.  That wasn’t an issue in my marriage, but I have experienced it in my dating life. And I absolutely hate – no, I detest – that feeling.  The feeling when you first find out about it.  And then every time you think about it afterward (and get re-pissed, re-hurt).  Even if it happens before the relationship has been clearly “defined”.  It still hurts. It takes awhile to come back from that. But WANTING to come back from that is key to being successful at it.  If you want to move past it, you will.  But it may take time.

If you’re wondering what my point is, don’t feel bad – I’m wondering the same thing.  I know what’s in my heart and my head, but sometimes, getting it all to come out of my fingertips onto this keyboard is difficult to do.

I guess what I’m getting at, is that we all just need to STOP.  Stop over-complicating everything.  Stop taking people and things for granted.  STOP passing up something or someone really great because we think it might be just a teensy bit better on the other side.  I’m not saying we need to become stagnant in life and settle or lower our standards.  I’m saying that, if you find yourself sitting back in your life or your relationship and thinking “man…this is pretty damn good.  I’m not sure what I did to deserve this, but I like it” – then just stop.  Stop there.  Stop and take it all in and just…let it be. 

Don’t run when things are going good just because “that’s what you do.”  Don’t walk away for a possible “what if?” Stay right where you are and just take it all in for a bit. And whatever it is – a relationship or something else – if it’s working, do everything in your power not to screw it up.  And if you do, then do everything in your power to fix it and make it right. Because the person you hurt may have put everything in his/her entire being on the line in letting you in in the first place. It’s not easy, but in my heart of hearts, I have to believe that in the end, it’s going to be worth it.  

I read something the other day that kind of stuck with me. I’ve already forgotten where I read it, but I can’t forget what it said: 

“Everything will be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, then it’s not the end.”

Catman Don’t

Another online dating tragedy of mine has literally become a party favorite. I’m asked to tell this story repeatedly. It’s also probably the only dating story of mine that comes with a “P.S.”

I started chatting with Catman through an online dating pond from which I am proudly no longer fishing. He. Was. A. Charmer. He was a musician and “small business owner”. And an animal lover. And a vegetarian. Each of those things are perfectly fine. All of them together…should’ve been a red flag.

We did the typical cycle of online chats, then texts, then phone calls. There was always plenty to talk about, and we flirted a bit. This went on for the better part of two to three weeks. We decided to meet in person.

Call me foolish (I was), but I had developed a sense of trust with Catman after talking regularly for a few weeks. I’m a pretty good vibe-catcher, and he hadn’t thrown any psycho ones, so we decided that I would drive to his place, leave my car there, and we would go to dinner. Unless I know him (ie. an old classmate, etc.), I never have a man come to my house, or even know approximately where it is. And I called my sister to tell her his name, where he lived and what he drove, in the event he chopped me into kitty kibbles.

I arrived to his house, which seemed nice enough from the curb, parked and walked up to the door. A bit nervous, I knocked, and was rather pleasantly surprised by the face (and body) that greeted me.

Until I stepped into the foyer.

In hindsight, I should’ve just gone with my immediate desire to puke, and just ended the evening there. But, no. I was invested in this, dammit. That, plus I tend to be overly cautious not to hurt someone’s feelings, and I thought ‘oh, what the hell. He’s a nice guy, and it’s just dinner, right?’ Yeah. Right.

Now…I’ll do my best to paint a multi-sensory picture for you of what I encountered when I stepped inside:

*Sight: (aside from an attractive man) layers of dust and cat hair. And boxes upon boxes upon more boxes of his “small business owner” stuff, which loosely translates into “I sell crap on the internet.” …up the creepiness factor here by him handing me a tiny little blue box with a white bow on it (picture a Tiffany-esque attempt) that had pierced, dangle-y “emerald” earrings in it (one of the hodge-podge assortment of items he sold online). I tried to refuse, but he insisted. Yes, I still have them. No, I have not/will not wear them. Ever.

*Smell: While HE smelled very nice (which is shocking, considering it all), I was slapped in the face by the smell of cat. Cat everything. Cat pee. Cat poop. Cat…i don’t know…saliva? Just…cat-ness. And lots of it. (Ever the optimist, I thought ‘welllll… maybe the cat, like, JUST took a dump and a whiz, like two seconds ago. It’s possible, right?’) No. If he had a jungle cat and it took a dump on my upper lip and I dabbed feline urine behind my ears – it wouldn’t smell much worse.

*Sound: Nothing. No meows. No purring. No kitty-sounds whatsoever.

(Side note: I seriously wanna know how his house stunk so bad and yet HE smelled so good. Because I can’t fry a piece of freaking bacon without me and everything in my house smelling like it for 3 days)

But anyway…

Catman: “Where would you like to go for dinner?”

Me: “I don’t care…whatever you’d like.” (standard chick answer)

Well…that was like, mistake #87 on my part. I should’ve suggested a place. I should’ve definitely CARED. Because where we ended up for Friday night, first-date DINNER…was IHOP. Yep. The International House of Freaking Pancakes. (IHOFP…it’s a midwest thing) Now don’t get me wrong. I’m a breakfast-all-day kind of girl. It’s my favorite meal, favorite food. But it’s not a first-date Friday night dinner. I ordered a breakfast with two types of sausage (sausage gravy and sausage links) and had to listen to him make a little squealing sound representative of my obvious murdering of an innocent pig for the sake of my appetite, while he enjoyed these freaking tater tot things with cheese on them. Wussy.

The conversation was flowing as much as it could on a first date at IHOP on a Friday night between two people. Topics drifted to his animal-loving…specifically, CATS and how he liked to rescue them.

 What’s this? A redeeming quality?

Then, the more I listened, the more it became clear that he wasn’t a “rescue, rehab, release” kind of guy, but rather…a collector. So I asked. “So how many cats do you have?” I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had said “five”. That’s a reasonable degree of kooky for a guy like him. I was, however, surprised when he replied “thirteen” – very proudly, I might add.

I know ME. And I know that I should NEVER play poker because of my inability to hide facial expression in the face of, well…anything. So I can only imagine what my facial expression must’ve looked like if it matched my inner thoughts.

Me: “wow…that’s a lot of cats. Are they outside cats, or…?”

Catman: (boastfully) “Nope! All inside…they’re like my kids”

Me: “hmmm”

I survived our breakfast-dinner, and we made our way back to his house where I intended to run like a scaredy-cat (pun intended). When we got there, he asked if I wanted to come infor a drink and keep him company while he “fed all the cats”.

Well now… here’s a little conundrum for a girl like me. I’m beyond convinced that there is no love connection here. But this night has been such a damn train wreck, I’m in it for the long haul, because this is one of those things that only happens to yours truly. There is some comedic gold here. I’m sure of it.

Me: “sure, I’ll come in for one drink” (and to see exactly how one goes about feeding thirteen cats)

I sat, with hesitation, on his couch – only because it was leather and I felt the disease risk was minimal. Still not a kitty in sight.

He was making all kinds of racket in the kitchen, while I just sat on the edge of the couch taking about 16GB worth of mental pictures and notes.

He came out with four styrofoam plates with cat food on them. Still no cats. Then he went to door #1, and out trotted four little kitties. Awww…. Wait, what the hell is he doing…?

He proceeded to talk…literally CHAT…with each and every feline on a more personal level than some humans will ever experience. Like nothing I’ve ever seen. And yes, I’ve talked to my pets….but not like this. It was as if he was getting responses that only he could hear. Trust me, I tried to hear them. Nothing.

This group of kitties finished their dinner and conversation, and were escorted back to their room. Repeat this process three more times until all thirteen of them had been satiated. (One cat had to dine at a table for one, as it seems he was a bit of a troublemaker.) Yes, I got a personal introduction and bio on each of them. I fully believe that I was the topic of conversation at their next meal. (“so what did you guys think of her?”)

The timeline for this whole process? One hour, thirty-seven minutes. You might think I would’ve downed a 6-pack while viewing this, but I didn’t even finish my one beer. I was literally stunned most of the time, unable to drink, speak, or take my eyes off this fantastic display of a freakshow.

I quickly hopped up after the last feline foursome had gone back to their living quarters, and thanked him and got the hell out of dodge. I went home and thought about just deleting his number from my phone. But then I thought “no…this guy isn’t going away…and I want to know if it’s him on the other end”, so I kept his number, but changed his name…to CATMAN DON’T.

As good as I am at picking up vibes, I’m even better at throwing them out there. So imagine my surprise when he called me the next day wanting to meet up, which I declined. I didn’t contact him anymore, and didn’t hear from him either. About a month later, I got a Saturday night text from him asking how I’d been. I contemplated whether or not to reply. I wanted to reply with “who is this?” I mean, it was totally feasible that I would’ve deleted his number. But I pegged him as a “give him an inch, he’ll take a mile” kind of fellow, so I just ignored it…something I personally despise, but felt the situation called for it. His profile disappeared from the dating site.

The P.S. to this story:
Fast forward about a year and a half. I reopened my dating profile in attempt #382 to find someone. I was getting several messages a day and would read each of them. And there in my inbox was a message from Catman Don’t…same profile picture, different profile name. Mind you, MY profile name was the same, although I did change my picture, but it was still ME. I was almost afraid to open it, for fear of a verbal assault for my disappearance and lack of response.

But what I got was even better. It was something like this: “wow, that’s some profile you have there! I think we would have a lot in common, what do you like to do, wanna chat?, etc.” Whaaaatttt??? He had NO CLUE who I was, or the fact that we went on one of MY most memorable dates that has been talked about more times than he’s had fleas. My inner comedian toyed with the idea of replying also as if I had no clue who he was, but I chickened out in fears that my inability to be anything other than myself would throw a memory back to him and my cover would be blown. I fancy myself a fairly memorable chick, so my ego has blamed his lack of memory on some sort of amnesia associated with feline fecal poisoning. Yep. That’s definitely it.

When I’m in charge of Facebook…

As a life-long people watcher and mental note-taker, I am endlessly entertained by some of the crap people say and do on Facebook. However, I would like to make just a few little tweaks here and there – you know, keep it real, spice things up a bit, up the entertainment factor. This is just scratching the surface, but I would institute the following changes – pronto.

1. Everyone* will be limited to 3 posts per day – MAXIMUM.

This is being extremely generous. Some people should be limited to 3 per week or calendar month.

 {*I am exempt from this rule, because a) I have a lot of cool stuff to say, and b) I hypothetically run Facebook, I can do whatever I want.}

2. If you make 3 consecutive posts about all of your self-imposed drama/turmoil in your life or you‘re having a private argument in the most public of places, posting privileges are revoked for 1 week so you can cool your jets.

Deal with your personal stuff, personally – out of the public eye. The status update window says “What’s on Your Mind?” – NOT “Dear Diary…”

3. Posting between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. will be strictly prohibited.

Anything good going on between those hours should be kept to yourself. Everything else – you’ll regret in the morning.

4. There WILL be a dislike button. There will also be all of the following buttons:

  • Don’t care.
  • I call BS.
  • Liar
  • This was funnier the first time…when it was MY status.
  • I’m so vain, I really think this post is about me.
  • I like your status only because I like YOU but I’m a chicken and this is my way of flirting.
  • I like your status only because if I don’t, you’ll ask me why I didn’t.
  • I like your status only because I know you’ll ask me why I like it.
  • I only like this because someone else is going to see that I did.
  • That’s what she said.
  • I’m dumber after reading this status.
  • Thanks for looking like the a-hole for actually saying what everyone else is thinking.

5. Relationship statuses: There are currently 11 options. I would add the following:

For the men:

  • Emotionally stunted so this will never be serious, but I like (insert name) because she has boobies.
  • Rebounding like Rodman with (insert name)
  • (insert name)’s Sugar Daddy (and proud of it)
  • About to screw things up with (insert name) (wait – what?? How did this end up on the guys’ list??)
  • (Insert name)’s baby daddy

For the women:

  • In in for the money with (insert name)
  • (Insert name)’s mid-life crisis
  • (Insert name)’s baby mama

Single…with a twist:

  • One bad date away from switching teams*
  • Making single look GOOD*
  • A cougar on the prowl (would read like this: Susan is “a cougar on the prowl”)
  • Carefully selecting the next victim
  • Happily divorced*
  • Bringing sexy back*

(* = this may or may not describe me)

For anyone:

  • Because I didn’t get to in high school with (insert name)
  • Pretending with (insert name)
  • Flavor of the week is: (insert name)
  • Pissing off my parents with (insert name)
  • Using (insert name) to get back at my ex.
  • In it for the sex with (insert name)
  • Changing my relationship status way too soon with (insert name)
  • Having Casual Sex with (insert name) {probably followed by: and (insert name) and (insert name), etc.}
  • Disappointing my mother with (insert name)
  • Moving way too quickly with (insert name)
  • About to rush into something stupid with (insert name)
  • Home-wrecker to (insert name)
  • Making one bad decision after another with (insert name)
  • Lowering my standards with (insert name)
  • In a Relationship with (insert name) but secretly in love with (insert different name)
  • Admiring (insert name) from afar
  • Answering (insert name)’s booty calls – (probably multiple names here)
  • Calling (insert name) for booty – (same as above)
  • Fooling no one but myself with (insert name)

 6. I would also spice up the “sex” question. More than just male/female.

I would also add:

  • How Often?
  • With: (option to tag people) ß and watch the fur fly.

Oh. My. Gawd. I have schoolgirl giddiness just imagining this social utopia.

I could go all day with this. I can already tell this is a work in progress.

I’ll keep working on this one…may have enough for a volume 2. Would love to hear your suggestions for any of this too.

Thanks for reading. My next blog will be posted much sooner than this one was. (I’m a bit of a perfectionist) – that just might be the death of a baby blogger like me.

 

Ohhhh… almost forgot. Since we’re talking about Facebook… go there and “Like” the LastMandyStanding page!

 

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