My apologies to those of you who have checked in and found me M.I.A. I have a really good reason. After a few scary months of unemployment, I found a job. Not another cool industry gig, oh no. A REAL job. The kind of job where quotas have to be met, employees get to the office by 8AM, and everyone looks forward to casual Fridays when they're allowed to wear jeans. The kind of job I NEVER imagined I'd have. Real People...Real Problems...Real life... What a trip!
And my problem is that I'm so damn grateful that I haven't been able write. I've tried, believe me, my drafts folder is full. I've been feeling like I'm giving the universe the middle finger if I post anything that isn't full of positive affirmations. I have been "saved" and is it not my duty to share goodwill?
But alas, I am, who I am.
The other day, I thought I was enjoying playful banter with the receptionist at work. She knows NOTHING about my personal life, nor my writing, yet in the middle of our light-hearted conversation, she said, "Oh, Mother (our nickname for each other), don't be so bitter!" She actually called me, "bitter!" I was stunned and thrilled to be recognized for who I REALLY am. I'm taking it as a sign from God and the Universe to get back to what's true for me.
So please look forward to my bitter rants, I'm back with a vengeance. After all, as grateful as I am these days, having to get up at 6 AM everyday is WAY over-rated, especially when I still don't have enough money, and the only guy nudging me awake in the middle of the night, is demanding to be walked!!
It occurred to me, that while most women are seeking mates who live up to their fathers, big brothers, or other fantasy males (e.g. Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Bill Gates), I've been holding out for a man who measures up to my lesbian friends. Seriously. Someone who is as responsible, respectful, secure, kind and compassionate as my ladies who love other ladies.
This isn't a coming out piece. I'm quite happy loving and desiring men, and according to The Kinsey Scale, I am 99.9% heterosexual. However, I now understand what attracts straight women to women who are not. Lesbians are like super-girlfriends...they take care of you in a way that Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte could never fathom.
I've always been a girls' girl. I have a large circle of female friends. They are my best friends, sisters, soul mates. The ones who've held my hand through all of life's disappoinments and who cheered when things went very well. And yet, when love came into their lives, and men became their central focus, things changed. Thin walls were erected as the protection of these romantic unions and their offspring became the necessary priority. And my single girlfriends? For the most part, they are experiencing several of the same issues as I. I often wonder if there is a silent competition for men and security that keeps us from being 100% in each other's corners 100% of the time.
Male friends? I'm starting to believe in the premise of WHEN HARRY MET SALLY. I once thought I had several close male friends, but as time wore on, and true loves were found, our bonds faded. Again, perhaps necessarily. And the ones who remain single...there's a reason why they haven't attached to anyone. With very few exceptions (honestly I can only think of one), they are more insecure, more hyper-critical, more judgmental than I can handle. I'm fragile enough these days without the "help" of their constant analysis.
Which brings me back to my super-girlfriends. I have been astonished by the kindness and support I've received. Most friends will say, "How can I help?" And then it's on me to come up with the list. My super-girlfriends just do shit--without my asking. A card will arrive in the mailbox with a check and a note, "Hope this helps. Repay when you can!" An email will pop-up, "XYZ is looking for execs, I put in a good word for you. They are expecting your call." There'll be a knock at the door. "I went to Whole Foods, and I know how much you love their organic meats, so here you go." And it's all done in such a loving way, that I don't feel like a charity case. I feel like someone's got my back.
And perhaps it's because I've done such a poor job of picking potential mates that I can say in all honesty, that I've rarely felt so supported by any man.
But I believe he's out there.
Dear Mr. Future Husband,
I know you're warm, kind, secure, funny, loving, accepting, and smart. And I trust that you're on your way to me. But seriously, I need you to hurry!!
Watching Star Jones on OPRAH today I was reminded of a monologue I'd written for HOW I BECAME A BITTER BARREN SPINSTER BITCH. Seems that those of us who use food to deal with life's trauma/dramas employ similar methods to mask our discomfort. It's entitled: KEEPING UP APPEARANCES.
I want to lose 10 pounds. I always want to lose 10 pounds whether I need to lose that exact amount or three or four times it. I’ve learned to play up my other attributes depending on what the scale reads.
130 + 10 and I go from a 36 B to 36C. I likes the growth. I head straight to Victoria’s Secret to purchase an Angel bra to properly display my new heavenly assets. I appreciate the attention I’m shown for my purchase.
130 + 20 and my skirts get a little shorter to show off my sculptured legs. They are strong and curvy, and capable of supporting my weight. They never let me down. I reward them with lots of cocoa-butter.
130 +30 and it becomes all about my eyes. Extra eyeliner - plumper, darker lashes - a perfect frame to attract men to my big brown eyes.
130 + 40 and it is all about my lips. I outline them in a dark plum pencil, smooth the color over the fullness of my cupid’s bow, and apply a shiny gloss. I know my lips are sensual, and the more attention paid to my lips, I pray, the more folks will pay attention to what is coming out of them, rather than what is being shoveled in.
130 +50 and the hair always has to be done. Honey, I can’t risk people thinking that I’m not taking care of myself. I page through the magazines, pick a weave and book weekly blow-dries.
130 +60 always means a trip to the Neiman Marcus cosmetic counter so some kind girl can teach me how to draw attention to my perfect pimple and wrinkle-free skin. I make sure I glow and can give the appearance of being really, really happy.
130 + 70. And it’s all about the accessories. I purchase a slew of sandals, handbags, and sunglasses. I always have to have a fly pair of shades, and I make sure that I am properly manicured and pedicured. Trust me, I really am my flyest at 200 pounds!!
It costs me more to be heavy than thin, but I’m always rewarded when someone says, “Girl, you’re always so well put together!”
In my 20's I thought I understood how the world and her people work. The older I get, the more I realize how wrong I was. Things once considered implausible and immoral, now seem almost righteous, and the paradoxes are all that make sense.
My mother is sick...again. A cough turned into brochitis? the flu? a bad cold? pneumonia? I don't know. It's bad though. How bad? Not sure. If I were to judge solely from the sound effects, then I'd have to say really bad--like she should probably be quarantined. Problem is, she's staying with me.
Mom has NEVER been one to suffer in silence. "Oh, God. Oh, God" cough. cough. cough. "Oh, no. Oh, no." hack. hack. hack. "Oh, Lord save me. No more. No more!"
"What can I get you , Mom?"
and 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...
"Do you have any apple juice? Feel my head, do I have a fever? Do I look swollen? Oh, God. Oh, God." cough. cough. cough. "I'm so sorry darling. Can you hand me some tissue? What channel is E!? Is the guy Madonna's fooling around with the same guy whose marriage she broke up? Can you make me some soup? What are you wearing? Where's the Tylenol?" And then playing favorites with my dogs, "Weezie honey, Grandma loves you, but get off me. I don't want to make you sick, too. No kisses. WEEZIE, go away. George, come lay with Grandma."
It's been A WEEK now. She's been to two doctors. She's on lots of drugs. She is getting older and things take longer to heal. And it's a trip. Watching my mother grow old. Becoming her caretaker. It's all a trip.
Me and Former Neighbor Driving to Ralphs Me: "Last night I was walking George and Weezie, and contemplating a blog. And they stopped to sniff something, and I saw this tv was on in an apt- but it was just a blue screen. And I guess I was transfixed, you know, deep in thought trying to work out my blog issues. And next thing I know, I hear a scream, and it's one of the models in that model apartment, and I look up, and she's slamming windows, and closing blinds and yelling, 'Oh my god, someone's staring into our apartment.' More screams. Everyone now runs to the window- 'Oh shit, a peeping tom. Should we call the cops?!' And it takes me a second to realize that I'm the peeping tom, so I start yelling, 'I wasn't staring. OMG, I wasn't staring. I'm just walking the dogs...' who are barking like crazy now. 'Girls, relax, I'm not trying to look into your apartment, I could give a shit. I'm just walking the dogs.' And for some reason because they've seen me a million times, I'm expecting a sigh of relief, or someone to yell back, 'OK, no worries!' but there's nothing. And I'm wondering if I should talk to them today, and let them know what happened.
Former Neighbor: 'I think you've said enough!'
Old Friend and Me in a Bar
Friend: "I haven't had sex since 2000..."
Me: "2000 what?"
Friend: "The year 2000!"
Me: "We have to get you laid."
Friend: "Yea, I'm not interested in getting laid. I need someone who understands me. Gets me for who I am. I was raised among too many men, and I know men talk more than women do. Cause when I was growing up, I'd overhear my dad's friends talking about women and how loose they were- metaphorically and physically, 'cause if you've been with too many men, then your shit gets loose, and I'm not interested in that. You know. If a man doesn't get me, he doesn't need to get in me, understand?"
Two Men Smoking in Front of Their Building
Man 1: My friend Mike said that after the second one, he just got his shit together. Everything fell into place. Now he has had a job that he likes for 3 years, and he could never keep a job before.
Man2: I get that, it's just that it wasn't planned. And now I don't know what it all means.
Man 1: It's better that you didn't plan it, 'cause now you just have to deal with it. Don't freak out. Everything happens for a reason. You'll be OK man.
Man 2: Yea, I guess... I'll have to find a real job.
Still going through the remnants of my storage. Today I attacked 20 years of clothing--sizes 6-16. Amazing. I pulled out the Pucci rip-off I loved to wear in 1992. It was a pleated mini with wild brightly colored shapes. I remember the time. Remember the boy who's eye it caught. I was so happy. Today, I couldn't get my left thigh into my treasured skirt-- I tried! I'd wear that skirt with my apple green blazer, a black turtleneck leotard, black tights, black patent leather mary jane slingback flats. OMG- I thought I looked so cute-- cuter if I could lose a few more pounds, but the jacket hid my belly well.
I idolized a co-worker who was a few years older, and several inches taller. She lectured me about getting into shape; I didn't think I looked that bad, but took her advice. I joined NutraSystem. When I reported back after joining, she asked how much I weighed. Embarrased, I admitted, "140, but I'm working on it!" She laughed aloud and said, "That's just crazy! I really thought you'd weigh less than I do."
The psychological warfare that takes place among young women.
After work each and every day, I'd take two aerobic classes, and then put in 30 minutes on the Stairmaster. My knees would ache, and I'd sometimes become light-headed, but I didn't care. I needed to be Hollywood thin. I'd eat lettuce for lunch. And lettuce with chicken for dinner. I could barely concentrate at work, but everyone kept telling me how good I looked. I was down to 124 lbs. Elated, I purchased a whole new wardrobe. My petite apparel fit for about a year, but was kept for 17 with the hopes and plans that one day it'd all fit again.
Oh, the psychological warfare that takes place within a woman!
Today was the day I cleaned out my storage--for real!! Once I did the math, I couldn't justify keeping all the books, clothing, old magazines, Fresh Prince T-shirts and MADtv mugs at a cost of $2400 a year. Once it was a cool write-off, but folks without incomes, don't need write-offs!!
I couldn't manage the task myself. Had asked an Ex to help, but he got busy, and sounded really happy when I found other help. That was last week. This week, I didn't bother to ask. Nothing worse than feeling beholden to someone who doesn't want to be beheld!
So the mother and the sister came--my old faithfuls. The diabetics who both need knee surgeries were my standbys. And that folks says all you need to know about my life these days.
After hours of fussing at each other, we got it done--mostly. The receptionist started announcing that the joint was closing soon. "It's 4pm- you've got 45 minutes." We decided to start loading the car. We had 20 boxes, a tall 4-drawer filing cabinet, a bike, and an antique dining table which the favorite neighbors convinced me to refinish and keep. All of this had to be moved into my sister's 4-door sedan, and my luxury SUV (like how I threw LUXURY in there!).
We started by putting the table in the SUV. Cool. Then the bike. Not so cool. We tried every which way to put it in the SUV but it wasn't working, and since I've paid over $10,000 to hold on to my bike, there was no way I was leaving it at Public Storage.
"It's 4:45 you have 15 minutes."
By this time, I'm yelling at my mother. "I said I didn't want to do this shit this weekend. Why don't I listen to my own voice, when will I stop listening to yours!"
"Fine, listen to yourself and pay another $1000 to store this crap. I don't care!"
Just then a meticulous Hancock Park couple in their early 30's exited the elevator headed to their BMW. My mother plead "Sir, can you please help us put get this bike loaded." Mrs. Hancock Park looked straight ahead; without asking her permission, Mr. Hancock Park came right over. Mrs. HP got in the car and slammed the door.
Mr. HP had less luck than we. He'd almost gotten the damn bike into the car, but for some reason, he and mom decided the truck made more sense. So we made more futile attempts.
"It's 4:55, Public Storage will be closing in 5 minutes."
And as Mr. Hancock Park struggled, Mrs. Hancock Park said, "Let's go!" And muttering some lame apology, he dropped the bike and left.
I then screamed at mom to help me shove it into the car, and because I'd said a prayer this time, it actually fit (without ruining my sister's leather upholstery).
"You've got 3 minutes! The gates will close in 2 minutes!"
Well there were still 3 large boxes and a file cabinet that weren't going to fit. So sis and I dashed back upstairs reloaded the junk into storage, and with sweat dripping from our arm pits (mild exaggeration) returned to our cars. We pulled out just as the gates started to lower.
And I had two thoughts:
1) Mrs. HP is a shrew who has no idea how lucky she is to have a "Honey Do.." nor how hard is when you don't.
2) As great as the women in my life have been to and for me, if I don't get my own "Honey Do.." soon, well...
I'm not prepared to complete that sentence!
(lest I sound like ungrateful wench myself, it should be noted that upon our return to my place, I prepared an amazing dinner for mom and sis-- who are the personification of that ridiculous women's anthem- WIND BENEATH MY WINGS!)
It's 6pm in LA- 8pm in Chicago where my college BFF is in bed AS USUAL with her husband. They have two young children who were forced to retire at 7pm so that Mommy and Daddy could have some alone time. I know this because the BFF phoned at 5pm, but since I was still working, I had to return the call. An hour later, and she's showered, powdered and ready for love!! My call is an interruption, and I refuse to hang up without a fight (read the title of this blog, folks!).
And suddenly I'm transported to the early 70's, living on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, PA keenly aware that when both parents go to bed while it's sunny outside, it's not because they're sleepy. I walked in on my parents on a very sunny day, and I remember my playmates Rita* and Francie whose parents were always "napping" on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. The sisters weren't allowed in the house during those times, so they were usually hanging out with my older sis and I. One afternoon, they invited us over. I don't think we'd ever been inside their home, so we were excited.
Upon arrival, Francie and her sister motioned for us to quietly enter the house. We were giggling as on our tippy toes we tried to make it up the stairs. Half-way there, Mr. Pepperelli appeared, staring at us as he tightened the belt on his robe. His hair was ruffled, his skin was flushed--I knew right away what was up! He didn't yell or curse, but he firmly said, "Girls go outside until your mother tells you to come in." And that's when Mrs. Pepperelli appeared behind him, arms fully embracing him. "I'll be out in a few minutes girls, and then we'll all have lunch." I could barely see her, but her voice was so damn raspy--like Kathleen Turner's. We all turned around and bolted out of there. I was in total hysterics,"You're parents are making sexy, you're parents are making sexy!" My sis quickly chastised me, but Francie and Rita had no idea what I was shouting about. They were just afraid that they'd get in trouble for waking their parents.
When we returned for our tuna sandwiches some 30 minutes later, Mr. and Mrs P were still wearing their robes. And I thought, "Ewwwh! They're dirty!" Somehow I was cool with the afternoon tryst, but was appalled when they still donned their loving wardrobe during our lunch. "Ewwwh!"
I'm been changing my thoughts and actions in an attempt to change my life. Clearing out the old to make room for the new--lots of new. Decided the best place to start is my storage unit. I could have (should have) donated all of my treasures to Goodwill, but since I'm trying to make some extra cash I decided to have a yard sale. My favorite neighbors, Deb and Jen are moving and didn't want to take all their old crap to their brand new home, so they joined me, and coached me. The last yard sale we had, I refused to part with things which held any sentimental value. The gray poncho I'd worn on a date had to stay. I couldn't let go of dusty books, picture frames, dried flowers, cracked dishes. It was a bit of a disaster. All my neighbors mocked me for months. This time with Deb and Jen doing most of my negotiating, I made a whopping $120, they made much more.
When left to my own devices (i.e. when D&J weren't paying attention), I ended up giving away the majority of my things (which for some reason was far less humiliating than selling them for pennies). One very cute brotha man was kind enough to look over my wares. Actually, I ACCOSTED HIM (was trying to accomplish two goals at once)! He declared himself to be broke and on his way to his girlfriend's place. So I asked him for $5 and proceeded to load him up. He walked away with relationship books, a relationship affirmation plaque, two cocktail shakers, martini glasses, flavored martini mixes, a brand new teddy bear, and my favorite Slow Jams CD. Some sistah somewhere owes me big time, 'cause if he's as smart as I think he is, he turned his $5 investment into a great date night!
And as I waited for karma to kick in, for the next brotha (or any non-specific race/ethnicity) man to invest $5 in my happiness, I loaded up my SUV and returned the rest of my goods to storage!
I'm so annoyed with this season's bachelor, Jason Mesnick, that I'm afraid if we met I'd spew bitterness all over him.
Not because he broke Jillian's heart, and Molly's heart, and then Melissa's heart, and perhaps even Deanna's before finally returning to Molly with whom he believes he's found true love. Having your heart broken is a rite of passage. Signing up to do so on TV, well that's on them!
I'm annoyed because Jason Mesnick highlights what's wrong with trying to find a husband these days--there are far TOO MANY OPTIONS, and it's turning even the nicest guys into jerks!
Yes, women have some options too. But the single women I know, BY & LARGE, aren't single by choice. It's a numbers games. And the numbers (for Black women especially) aren't in our favor.
EVERY single man I know has exercised more than his fair share of options, finding the most imperceptible faults to disqualify women as potential mates. My father says that it comes down to something really basic. "Men need to feel needed!"(Amazingly, Jason echoed this sentiment in his V.O. just before he proposed to Melissa--"I feel like she really needs me!"
My father went on to say that if I had wanted to marry, I should have returned to my mother's house upon my college graduation (some 20 years ago). He said that having my own place at such a young age had denied prospective suitors the opportunity to "rescue" me.
Well, gents, I'm a day away from moving back in with mom. Get your rescue plans in order!!
Weezie and George are aged 2 and 6 respectively. I adopted them both as puppies. Weezie came when my workload increased, and I thought George needed a little sister to keep him company. I should have named them Janet and Michael, if I wanted them to behave like siblings. As soon as Weezie reached maturity, George claimed her as his wife. Seriously. Weezie usually seems too pre-occupied to care (perhaps she knows she can't get pregnant), but I, annoyed that she's getting all the action, yell and threaten to little avail. George usually ceases his repulsive (read: innate) behavior, but I know that as soon as I leave home, it's party time!!
And yes, I'm jealous. But it's not all about the physical manifestion of their marital relations, George and Weezie share a genuine canine love. They are respectful, tender, and nuturing. I've witnessed the establishment of rules and expectations which allow them to co-habitate with little discord. Weezie rules the roost, George rules the street. Plain and simple.
Weezie is my idol. The bitch has the perfect start to every day. George wakes first and makes certain that she is awakened slowly, sweetly and warmly. EVERY MORNING, he nuzzles her and proceeds to lick every inch of her body. She stretches to meet his kisses. And when it gets really good, she starts to lick my silk duvet. That's when I kick them off the bed.
When we take our morning walk, George becomes the protector. He stands between Weezie and any perceived threat. Oncoming dogs must first meet his approval. Unknown pedestrians are always given the once over. And when Weezie pees, he pees over her spot, so that no dog will know her scent (OK, so maybe he's a bit possessive). But when we meet a friend (canine or human), George usually steps back allowing Weezie to play or receive all of the attention.
Back in the house, Weezie always lets George eat first. She silently sits to the side, until he's full, and then she helps herself. And while that may seem old-fashioned to some, she's smart enough to reap the rewards. For when it's playtime, she chooses the toy and the duration. And when it's sleep time, she chooses the place and position. And if she doesn't fall fast asleep, George gives her love until she does.
Yesterday I attended a networking/mentoring industry event. As I am job-seeking, I was a mentee, not a mentor. Well, to all y'all who may be finding yourselves in a similar position, here's what you can expect:
Checking yourself in the mirror before getting out of the car--finding hairline grays--searching for mascara to quickly cover-up.
Arriving at 9:30am to eat the "light meal provided" prior to the speed-mentoring session scheduled to start at 10.
The schedule was wrong, and the program is beginning. Hungry, and now discombobulated, you'll be immediately seated in a chair opposite a very hip radio station executive mentor who gives you the once over and asks, "Why are you here? What can I do for you?" (Reminiscent of HR interview at idol's new network when you felt summarily dismissed).
Upon presentation of your résumé, you'll be told, "You have outstanding credentials, it's too bad, no one's hiring right now."
Someone in the center of the room will scream, "Your 5 minutes are up, switch!" and like in speed dating, every one will move one chair to the left hoping to find a little love, a little magic in the next guy.
And maybe he's the one. He's older than the last one. Thoughtful with kind eyes. Tells you about himself first--says the only reason he still has a job is because he's too old to be fired--he's protected. Looks over your résumé. "Hmmmm!" He'll look at you and show you that he's wearing a jacket with your alma mater's emblem. His kid went there too. "Use the Alumni network- no reason to graduate from a school like that if you're not going to use the contacts....you'll be fine, just follow my rules for success." You'll take out your pen and pad so as not to forget a word. "1) perseverance; 2) perseverance..." You're a quick study, you'll stop writing. He'll smile. "Just persevere kid, call everyone you know and offer to intern. Times are tough, and everyone will be happy to get some free labor!" BUT I'M IN MY 40's!!
Another scream from the center of the room- followed by an ear-piercing whistle. And when you're about to complain, you'll be told by your next mentor that the whistler is the organization's president, so...
Another presentation of the résumé followed by, "Wow, not sure how to help!" So you'll turn it around and practice your interviewing skills. "Tell me about yourself and your rise to the top of your profession!" And 3 minutes later, you'll be able to write an article on how to become an independent radio consultant!"
Another scream, another ear-piercing whistle and you'll meet the hypnotherapist/tv personality who'll stare deep into your eyes and proffer, "You have to do whatever it takes to get where you want to go!"
Next, no scream, just the whistle that would call a deaf dog to attention. And now you'll be faced with an in-house staff consultant. She doesn't hire, just makes sure that bosses are getting the most from their teams. It will be assessed pretty quickly that neither of you can really help the other, so you'll both opt for a quick bathroom break.
And switch. And now you'll be face to face with the best friend of one of your former assistants. Said assistant is now running her own firm in NYC, and best friend is a high-ranking network executive who remembers you from back in the day, but there's a hiring freeze at her network- so "Good luck. And I'll tell girlfriend that I saw you!" And you'll wonder if you were a good boss to girlfriend, and if she and best friend will be gossiping about you that evening?!
And switch. You'll be just about over it and grab some coffee on the way to the next mentor with nothing to offer you. But actually she'll have a few helpful hints about forging a career in the blogosphere, so you'll become a little optimistic. Until...
Switch. "Hey you! What are you doing here?" You'll respond, "Looking for a job, need an assistant!" She'll say, "Are you writing? YOU should be writing." "Yeah, I've got this blog--it's about being bitter, and..." "Don't be bitter, come to yoga with me." "Well it's about the journey. I was this person, I'm now this other person, and I so wanna be that person! Ya know?" Blank stare. "OKay, let's think about getting you a job. Have you been networking?" "Well, I'm here!" And she'll make an honest attempt to help, "Who do I know? What can I do?" And after a moment of contemplation, she'll pronounce, "God, this is so weird, 'cause I know you. For god sakes, I was your intern!"
You'll realize that you're still hungry.
And if you're lucky, the best friend who dragged you to this "supportive" event will grab your hand and drag you out!
Today I was thinking that if the broke brothas I entertained REALLY well (because I didn't want something as silly as money to interfere with our relationship), repaid me 50cents on the dollar for every meal, movie, and treat I purchased, I could cover the mortgage and car note for at least the next six months.
There will come a time when you'll feel the need to apologize for your misdeeds. And 5, 10 or 20 years from now when you reach out to assuage your guilt, she'll have to relive the shame of having put up with so much of your crap. And she'll become BITTER all over again!
Today (Ash Wednesday) is the first day of Lent. I need to make some magic happen in my life, so I'm going to take it seriously this year. In honor of Lent, I'm giving up TV--kinda. I'm only allowing myself an hour a day, which is a big deal, because I work at home and the TV is ALWAYS on. How am I ging to fill the days?
Today, I woke and:
Spent 20 minutes "personal time" reading InStyle
Mediated (20 minutes)
Walked the dogs for 30 minuutes while chatting with a friend
Ate cereal while watching the first 15 minutes of The View (waste of time, Whoopi defended her Oscar dress, self-righteous Elizabeth was pretty quiet)
Brewed coffee/took a shower/got dressed (28 minutes)
Joined neighbors on fieldtrip to Costco (2 hours 31 minutes)
Bathroom break (6 minutes)
Walked the dogs (15 minutes)
Cut Costco meats into meal-size portions then stored in freezer (28 minutes)
Made chicken caesar salad while chatting with Mom (9 minutes)
Ate lunch while watching General Hospital (23 minutes --I skipped the Rebecca Shaw storyline--it's ANNOYING)
Washed dishes (13 minutes)
Made job inquiries (networking, emailing, web-surfing- 1 hour, 53 minutes)
Returned phone calls (27 minutes)
Wrote (2 hours)
Walked dogs (49 minutes)
Made dinner and wrote some more (1 hour, 41 minutes)
Ate dinner while flipping between IDOL and BIGGEST LOSER (this week the show titles should have been switched). 1 hour (that's a lie--it was more like 1.5)
Played with one of the dogs (7 minutes)
Washed hands (1 minute)
Wrote more (1 hour, 39 minutes)
Checked my Facebook page; played Word Challenge (48 minutes).
Stared at TV wishing I could turn it on (7 minutes).
Blogged (33 minutes)
Got ready for bed (12 minutes)
Total time spent watching TV 2 hours 8 minutes
Total time doing something other than watching/listening to TV 14 hours and 23 minutes
I'm one of those women whose exes always check-in. I'll get the semi-annual email, "Hey, how are you? How's your mom!" The seasonal text, "Hey, what's up? I'm thinking about you." The bi-monthly phone call, "How's it going? How's your mother? Father? Sister? The dogs?"
I'm always cool and appreciative of the concern. "I'm fine, thanks. Everyone's fine. Thanks for asking."
But what I really mean to say is, "What do you want? Why are you emailing at midnight? Do you miss me?"
I used to think that an ex's reaching out meant that I was being thought of in a positive way. And that perhaps my ex was regretting his status in my life, and was in fact looking for re-entry. I've recently concluded that the concern isn't really about me. It has very little to do with me at all.
A male friend says, "Men always check-in for two reasons, 1) to make sure they haven't become baby daddies, and 2) once that's been established, they need to know that someone out there still cares for them. That if their present situation doesn't work out, they've got an emotional resting place. You," he continued, "Are a nice soft place to rest!"
"Wow, I'm a great place to rest, just not stay. I'm a motel!"
"Hotel! A Five Star Hotel!"
"But not a house with a picket fence and backyard?"
"Of course you are. Someday, the right guy will think you're the perfect house! But since none of these guys did, stop making them feel better!"
Well, that hit like a TON of bricks. All this time I thought that even though I hadn't met my Prince Charming, I was so charming that men just couldn't forget about me. But, if I am to trust my friend's summation, I was simply boosting egos long after it was my duty! And that makes me BITTER!
What say you? Do you and an ex check-in periodically? Or do you change your number/email address every time you end a relationship? Purge and Surge.
The ONLY cool thing about being broke right now is that EVERYONE'S either in the same boat, or too scared to judge because they're a paycheck away from joining you! But in denial of that fact, they are being really nice, and really, really generous! When I pass up an outing due to lack of disposal funds, I receive a cheerful, "I'll pay!" from most everyone. Which is GREAT karma. When I was fortunate, I did my share of treating others less fortunate than I, so I don't feel weird about the payback.
But now I understand why some hesitated to accept my offerings. They were afraid of my becoming a Benevolent Abuser (BA). Here are three examples of such behavior:
1) BA 1 recently invited me for a short tryst. I was writing at home, and was happy to take an hour-long break. The hour turned into four, and my protests fell on deaf ears because she was paying.
2) BA 2 and I were late for a 2-hour movie, so she parked at a 30-minute meter. OK? One might expect that we’d take turns feeding the meter, but it was clear that I was expected to hop up every 27 minutes to avoid getting a ticket!
3) BA 3 invited me to dinner with him and his friends, and verbally attacked me when I chose to disagree with his POV. He then used his Amex in place of Hallmark to tender an apology.
In all three cases I believe that the Benevolent Abusers started with the best of intentions, but my financial vulnerability triggered something in their subconscious, and a power struggle ensued. On the surface, they were being “friends in deed,” for “this friend in need!” But a deeper look reveals the truth—they were purchasing my time. And once I allowed myself to be up for sale, boundaries were crossed.
Moral of the story: I SHOULD HAVE KEPT MY BROKE ASS AT HOME.
How do you deal with lack of funds in a social setting? Allow others to pay? Consume a small green salad and water then refuse to split the bill? Or forgo it all, opting instead to stay at home writing in your BITTER journal? Purge and surge!
It's day 1 of my blog. Folks have been telling me to do this for years, and like everything else in life, I was slow on the uptake. I'm a bit of a late-bloomer (read: non-bloomer). Plus, the thought of letting everyone into my little world is scary. Will I be judged for becoming a blogger? Will dispersions be cast upon me for what I've dared to say/reveal? Will someone who holds the key to my perfect job/future NOT hire/love me because somewhere in the bowels of cyberspace I've revealed my innermost? MAYBE.
But let’s be honest, anyone (I know who you are) who may judge me, either can't, won't or hasn't done a damn thing for me, anyway. And s/he probably isn’t someone whose ass I’m all that keen on kissing…anymore. So, I'm choosing to live this life honestly and without fear, and to allow the chips to fall where they may. Please God, don’t let them fall too far out of reach!
So, yes, I’m BITTER. “Why?” you ask.
The answer is simple and complicated. I was the proverbial good girl who did EVERYTHING that my parents (and the Reagans) asked of me. I believed that adhering to the rules would guarantee a GREAT life. So, I graduated from a top university, forged a promising career, dated discreetly, took the pill, and HAD great credit. I became AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN.
And now as I've (presumably) lived half my life, my childhood friends are settled into married life, and dropping their kids off at college; and the children of my college friends (read: hussies) are starting kindergarten, and I...let's just say that my life doesn't even remotely resemble what I'd imagined. And the only thing I know for sure is that, the rules I followed weren’t in the winning handbook. And now I can say without a doubt, that "I DON'T KNOW SHIT!"
And it's no one person’s fault. Not really. There are SEVERAL folks to blame for the majority of the disasters, but mostly, it's a series of left turns that probably should have been right turns. And taking stock in what others thought of me, more than in what I thought of myself. And allowing the wrong men to linger, while dismissing the right men as though they were the vagrant rogues begging for my last dime.
I'm BITTER because I still haven't figured out how to live this life.
Have you? What are you BITTER about? In the words of a dear friend, “purge and surge!”
I'm an independent writer/producer/ consultant. I've written and staged, "HOW I BECAME A BITTER BARREN SPINSTER BITCH: The Mostly True Tales of Loves and A Life Gone Awry." And I'm hoping someone will purchase the tv/film rights really, really soon. Prior to venturing on my own, I enjoyed various executive and producing posts working on THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR, MADtv, IN THE HOUSE, and THE SOUL TRAIN AWARDS. I graduated from Stanford a long time ago!