Tag Archives: relationships

Engagements, Oversharing and Butt Facials

This picture has nothing at all to do with this post, but seeing as today is Friday I thought I would throw it in here anyway. Actually, considering the random nature of this post, I guess it actually fits right in. 


(Also available here.)

Anyway, I’ll have a new post for you next time, but it’s the end of the month so I thought I would let you know that I have FOUR different posts for you to click on and read today instead. 

First over on YourTango we’re talking love, toxic friends and oversharing: 

10 Beautifully Unexpected Ways Husbands Proposed to Their Wives

10 “Toxic” Friends You Need to Remove From Your Life

Dear Internet Oversharers: Get Off Facebook, Get See a Therapist

I’m also resharing this piece I wrote last year because given everything going on right now–and just the fact that winter doesn’t help with depression–it still seems really applicable. Maybe someone else can relate, so there’s that. 

And finally, if you fear someone is going to get close enough to your ass and your crotch to notice some redness or bumps and you have an extra $200 or so laying around, then there’s still time to schedule your “Vajacial” and “Shiny Hiney” services before bathing suit season.

That’s right! Facials for your front and your back doors! I know you’re all intrigued at this point, so head on over to In The Powder Room and read all about it….no, really. I’m not kidding. Butt facials. Go check it out and I’ll see you back here next week. 

Spa Treatments For Your What Now? 

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Fear, Freedom and a Fight Club Quote

I have a funny post to share with you, but that will have to wait a couple more days. If you follow my Facebook page, you know I did that annoying vague status update thing about something rather life-altering happening Friday, and not in a good way, and that I might need a little time to regroup my funny.


While I never do things like that, for once I needed support and you guys came out in such a way that I was actually emotionally touched, which rarely happens. And even though I owe you a “thanks” and not an explanation, you’re getting both instead. Plus, writing is my therapy.

*Here’s where you can click away if you don’t want to read a ramble and instead come back next time for normal neurosis (waits for the room to clear.)

Okay. Let me start with a little story…go grab a drink.

I don’t talk about it a lot, but when I was much younger I was in a relationship with an older guy for more than five years. He wasn’t a bad guy, but it was a very bad relationship for me that left me feeling trapped and has contributed to many of the issues I still have today. At a time in my life when that should have been carefree and fun, I was miserable.

I cried myself to sleep way too often.

So why did I stay in a situation that I knew was wrong, that was making me sick and unhappy? Because at the time, I was naïve and craved that stability and safety. Even if it wasn’t ideal, it was something that I could depend on. I would finish college, get married, have financial stability and the “normal” that we’re told we need to achieve.

When we finally broke up, I was devastated. I mean, I was “cry your eyes out the world is going to end” devastated but not for the obvious reasons. It wasn’t that I was going to necessarily miss him as a person, but rather that the stable future I thought I could depend on was gone.

I panicked. I cried. I did the normal 20-year-old freaking out thing.

But you know what happened? In less than a week, I woke up and everything was fine. In fact, it was awesome. For the first time I had the freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted. I got a job as a cocktail waitress and had the best summer of my life, making new friends and doing things that made me happy—for me. It took losing who I thought I had to become to finally learn who I was—as much as you can know at age 21.

What does that have to do with me now?

Friday I lost my job.

I’m still a little in shock and I’m sure it hasn’t completely sunk in yet, but the enormity of the situation is obvious. My benefits run out at the end of the month and I have to apply for unemployment all while trying to pay my mortgage, bills, etc. all on my own. That’s huge. Enter panic and “oh my god the world is going to end” initial reaction.

But while you don’t need to know the details, I will tell you that the situation was not healthy and in fact bordered on abusive on several occasions.

And I know I was damn good at my job. Hell, two months before I was told I was great and my job was mine as long as I wanted it, which is why this was a surprise (but not unheard of, seeing as they’re a small company and more than 20 people had come in and out of that office in six years.)

But more than external praise, I know how hard I worked and I’m proud of the quality that I produced, the effort that I gave and the way that I conducted myself, despite an unhealthy situation. So while right now I’m trying to decide how to decorate the cardboard box I might end up living in, there’s also a small sense of…unfamiliar relief?

Although it’s still raw, there’s a sense that a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and that maybe this is just what I needed to find something that is healthier for me—physically and mentally. Maybe this will allow me to actually do something that means something to someone other than the only person making the profit.

Because much like that relationship mentioned above, I felt stuck in this job, but yet I never left because I didn’t know what else I could do even though what I was doing wasn’t making me unhappy.

So I’m taking this as a sign.

If I wasn’t going to  seek out the respect and fulfillment I deserve, the universe decided it would step in instead and throw a high-speed curve ball at my head. Now I have no choice.

That’s not to say I’m not scared, that I won’t miss my coworkers or that things are going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination. Right now there’s a little bit of fear. There’s a little bit of panic. There’s this whole long ramble nobody probably read. But there’s also no walking on eggshells. There’s no sitting at a desk and counting down the seconds on the clock. 

With my security stripped, there’s also an unfamiliar freedom.

Maybe it will take losing who I thought I had to become to finally learn who I am—as much as you can know at age 33.

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P.S. Thank you. I promise funny next time, but today–thank you. 

Ask Abby Anything, Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 in the “Ask Abby Anything” series that makes me feel selfish but that I’m writing because I am a WARRIOR who will do anything to make you people happy. Plus, it’s a holiday week when nobody’s on the Internet so I’m less insecure about such a self-involved post.

So without further ado—nobody likes too much ado—here is Part 2.

“How is it you’re single?  I don’t swing that way, but I do like your warped and twisted sense of humor.”

Yes, I take “warped and twisted sense of humor” as a compliment, which might be why I’m single. Or I’m single because I don’t date. I think that’s kind of how things work. There’s a long history of things that have lead up to this decision, but it boils down to the fact that I’m totally okay on my own.

I wouldn’t completely dismiss the possibility of dating a bit. However, I don’t put much effort into it, so unless this suitor comes to my door selling avocados, I’m pretty much destined for spinsterhood.

“How did you decide on your comfy couch?”

As you probably know, my couch gets me. We spend our weekends and weeknights together. There’s nothing I look forward to more than hanging out with some snacks and reading, writing or watching TV (see “Why are you single?” above.)

When I bought my house I found this one at the second store I went to. It matched my new paint, the ends reclined with foot things that came out and the price was right.  My thinking was that if it was what I liked, there was no point in searching for something better—even though now it’s covered in a blanket to protect it from hairballs.

“Do you have a favorite hummus recipe that you use?”

Yes, it’s really super easy. I get in my car and go to the store, locate the Wild Garden hummus and bring it home to live in my fridge until I stuff it in my face. It’s organic and has only a few ingredients but a bite that I really enjoy (warning though—the jalapeno flavor is WAY spicy.) I thin it a little with water and use it as a dressing for salads a lot.

“Can you ride a unicycle?”

I’ve never actually tried a unicycle, but I rode into both my mom’s rosebushes and a fire hydrant when learning to ride a 2-wheeler and my coordination hasn’t greatly improved from that point, so I’m going to assume that I can’t. (Although maybe I should try—blog fodder!)

But I can still do the splits all three ways and carry 8 bottles of beer at one time (skills mastered while working as a cocktail waitress—don’t ask.) I have talent.

“People keep telling me that when I stop looking for a partner, that is when I will find him. Is this true? If it is true, how does one stop looking?”

I’m no expert (see above) but I never understood people obsessed with finding a husband. Live your own life, create your own happiness and your energy will draw in people who are meant to be in your life.

I might liken it to trying to remember the name of something you forgot. The harder you try and think of it, the slimmer the chance of it popping into your brain. Then one minute you’re in the shower and “BAM!” it comes to you. (Not that a husband is going to appear for you in the shower, but you get my point. I hope. If a husband DOES all the sudden appear for you in the shower, don’t drop the soap. Unless you’re into that kind of thing.)

“Worst job you’ve had?”

I’ve had some crappy jobs, but I would say it was working at a video store in high school. The video cases themselves were always dirty and gross, as were some of the people that came in there for porn. My supervisor was a 40-year-old guy who still lived at home and giggled when saying “Adult Video.”

We were required to wear a white dress shirt, black pants and a necktie. Yes, a tie. Not only was the tie not fashionable for a female, it also wasn’t practical when I had to clean the popcorn maker—scraping out the burned-on artificial butter and caramel syrup while practically hanging myself with the tie.

Eventually smelling like burned popcorn every day and being told I had to work every holiday and holiday eve, I started to want to purposely hang myself with the tie and quit. 

“Where can I buy your books?”

OK. No one asked that, but you can get read about them here and we can wrap up this ridiculously long post. Now I’m going to ask the five people on the Internet this week to entertain me: 

 Worst job you’ve had?

Verdict: Not Guilty

I don’t talk about it a lot, but when I was much younger I was in a relationship with an older guy for more than five years. He wasn’t a bad guy, but it was a very bad relationship for me that left me feeling trapped and has contributed to many of the issues I still have today.

At a time in my life when that should have been carefree and fun, I was miserable.

I cried myself to sleep way too often.

I tried to disassociate myself from the situation and numb my feelings by developing maladaptive coping behaviors I (unfortunately) still rely on today.

So why did I stay when a couple months in I knew that something was off?

It’s complicated, but aside from the fact that I was young and not 1/100th as strong as I am now, the main reason I stayed was the guilt. Everyone around me was jealous of such a “great catch,” and I was convinced that something was wrong with me for not feeling the same way towards him as he did about me. I didn’t trust my own feelings and came to view them as less valid than those of anyone else.

So as miserable as I was, I stayed.

Needless to say, that breakup was a huge breakthrough—I moved on immediately—and I’ve grown leaps and bounds through the years. And while I still have a long way to go, I’ve learned to manage emotions much better and have certainly built up a strong sense of self.

But sometimes guilt still crops up, be it a subtle ache or a stab in the chest.

It’s rarely guilt over actions. Experience has taught me that feeling guilty in those situations gets me nowhere fast (or perhaps more appropriately, it sends me backwards.)

It’s usually guilt over emotion, at sometimes not feeling things that I think I should feel — which is entirely as screwed up as it sounds. You don’t need my examples, as everyone has those things they feel they “should” be feeling or doing if only to make someone else happy or satisfy some societal norm.

But lately I’m learning to let go—of the past, of the “shoulds,” of the guilt.

Because if I’ve learned nothing else through the years, it’s that a) hitting the garbage disposal instead of the light switch at 2am will cause me to crap my pants and b) guilt serves no purpose.

It fills my mind up with doubt instead of acceptance of things as they naturally are, and when I make decisions just to make someone else happy or because I feel I “should”, it usually just leaves me miserable.

While I know I’m not one of those people that can completely let go — I’ll always be a “thinker” and entirely too sensitive — I remind myself that while I can change my behavior when needed, I can’t change what I feel at my core.

Which, apparently, is the need to include the phrase “crap my pants” in this blog post.

But my point is that years ago I vowed never to feel trapped again. While at the time I meant it in terms of a relationship with someone else, I’ve come to realize that it applies to the relationship with myself more than anything.

Guilt is a self-induced trap.

We all have the choice to let go.

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How are you?

I’m pretty sure that I could win the lottery, discover the cure for human stupidity, star in a Broadway show and get married—all equally unlikely—and when asked this question, I would reply with, “I’m okay. How are you?”

It’s a reflexive action, kind of like the way I want to slip a right jab to the noggin of people who say “could care less” instead of “couldn’t care less.”

The truth is that yes, sometimes I am fine. Then again, sometimes I’m not. And when you ask me how I am, I have a hard time believing you really want to know. But since this is my blog and I am queen of the land, I will tell you.

I am secure enough to admit I am sometimes insecure.

This isn’t something I normally broadcast to the fives of tens of people who flock to this blog or that I run into on a daily basis, but whenever someone says, “You know who you are,” I always wonder if it’s me and I don’t realize it.

Insecurity is annoying.

But I don’t take compliments well and often have a hard time accepting that people might genuinely be interested in what I have to say or do and not just because they expect something in return. I realize this suspicion is often unwarranted, but past experience has shown me that I shouldn’t rule it out.

So I’m guarded, and many of the decisions I make are often second-guessed. In fact, I will see that second-guessing and raise you a third and fourth guessing, and then a couple days of obsessing over something seemingly minute.

Taking interest in others without expectation? No problem.

Accepting others can take an interest in me without expectation? Problem.

But I have a theory.

The more blogs I read or conversations I have with people, the more I see something in the people I am attracted to that keeps me coming back—a  rawness, perhaps?

My theory is that they’ve gone through “something,” whatever that is, and have a self-awareness that produces something genuine, something that pushes things past a superficial level—online or off.

I don’t share 99 percent of the things I think or write (you’re welcome) and I have to imagine that’s the case with others (so thank you.) But when we make ourselves vulnerable and share it? It produces some good shit, and most often, a genuine connection.

Because I can see that in them, I’m slowly allowing myself to believe that the people around me can see that in me, that they like me for me and not because they feel obligated or expect something in return.

Considering you interact with me under your own power—unless one of the henchmen I sent to your house to sit on you and force you to talk to me or read my posts is actually doing his job (good help is SO hard to find)—I’ll try and drop that insecurity.

After all, no matter what you say or do, someone will find a fault or a reason to be offended. And while I try and keep things light, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t express myself and hide behind that veil of doubt that creeps in from time to time.

So how am I?

I’m secure enough to say that I am sometimes insecure—especially when I post things like this—and I’m a constant work in progress.

I’m okay with that.

Thanks for asking.

This post is in response to this week’s Studio30 Plus prompt:

The Big Question

P.S.  I updated the “Book” tab on the blog to include a clip of me on a morning talk show in case you want to check that out. Or, you know, you want to buy the book.

That’s where you came from

This is a post written in response to the prompt from the Studio30 Plus gang—"serendipity”.  It’s posted here and there.

Serendipity – Luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for.

It all started with a book.

where did i come from

Is it actually how I learned where babies come from?

Of course not, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t teach me a thing or two about the mechanics. It also doesn’t mean that despite the fact that they were cartoon characters, I still wasn’t skeptical or mildly horrified.

Up until that point I had a general idea about how things worked but the details were fuzzy, and quite frankly, I liked it that way. When my friend brought the book out, we flipped through it (many times) with a mix of curiosity and doubt. There was a lot of skeptical laughter, mostly at the thought of people actually doing that stuff on purpose.

where did i come from 1

The image that’s burned in my brain is that of the bathtub.

Well, not really the bathtub, but the two naked cartoon adults standing there in all their bare-assed glory. Their smiles and the decorative throw rug in that miniscule bathroom did nothing to distract from the tufts of hair strategically highlighted in lower extremities or the sagging body parts so openly displayed.    

These exhibitionists were smiling because they knew they were about to change the lives of children everywhere. With a turning of the page, there was no going back. There was no “unknowing” the things they were about to so happily illustrate through careful word choice and stark illustrations.

where did i come from

This book pulled no punches, and in a clear and concise way it explained exactly what happened when two people “loved each other and wanted to express their love.” While it gave you the basics, it left quite a bit out.

Here’s the true story.

First of all, take a look at the bathtub in that picture.

Although we would all be grateful if he actually attempted to sit down in the tub, there would be no room for him. And if by some miracle he squeezes in, there will be no water left. She will be cold, and additionally, she will be pissed because the floor would be flooded.

He will counter with the fact that less water meant more room for lovin’ and continue his advances, at which time she will remind him that if there was less of him to “love” and he actually ate the healthy lunches she sent to work with him each day, they might not have this problem.

Knowing he’s in a rather vulnerable position, he will gingerly counter with the fact that it’s actually her taking up the majority of the room in the tub— but that he still wants to fluff those fleshy pillows, if she’s in the mood.

She will not be in the mood.

In fact, she will be drying herself off with a towel, muttering about how her mother was probably right and double-checking to make sure she has adequate AA batteries in the nightstand.

He will be left holding the bag, so to speak, but all hope will not be lost. A man on a mission, he will set off to find a mop to rectify the situation. Realizing he doesn’t know where they keep the mop—and wisely keeping this information to himself—he will resort to towels.

And hour later, with his attempts to clean the floor complete, he would then proceed to enter the living room where his wife will be on the computer watching back episodes of “The Soup” and feeding her feelings with Fritos.

She will glance up and notice her husband, or rather, she will glance up and notice her husband has created a human towel rack with a certain member of his anatomy.

The ridiculousness of the situation will cause her to unexpectedly laugh.

He will laugh.

The resentment and towel will fall.


Chit Chat

I have discovered that I don’t do well with small talk.

While I can carry on these obligatory pleasantries with the best of them, I can’t help but feel that it all seems very forced and formulaic. And if you know anything about me past my love of baseball and green vegetables, you know that I abhor doing things “just to do them” or because I feel I have to. 

Superficiality is my karmic kryptonite.

If there isn’t a genuine motivation behind an action, my bullshit detector goes off and I lose interest. Warning signs may include me looking past your head, pretending to look busy at my computer, deep breathing (not in a creepy panting “What are you wearing?” phone call way though) and occasionally busting out in Trikonasana in an attempt to avoid my urge to shake you and scream, “What in the world do you want?”


This is Triangle pose, for those unable to pronounce Trikonasana in their head.

Don’t get me wrong.

If you are not a close friend of mine (this is not a small club) and are really interested in how my weekend was or how work is going, I would be delighted to briefly tell you about it with the understanding that you probably won’t remember anything I tell you by the next time that we talk.

Once this basic exchange is complete, please feel free to move on with your day. You are no longer obligated to engage in meaningless conversation with me about things you really have no interest in learning.

But if I’m feeling pressured politeness, I might then reciprocate with a brief inquiry myself, knowing full well that most of the time your motivation for asking a specific question is for the sole purpose of me asking you about that very topic.

“Hey Abby! Did you happen to go to the bar this weekend and get wicked twisted, waking up in a vintage Michael Bolton concert T-shirt with a new tattoo you don’t remember getting?”

“No, actually I didn’t.” (Insert dramatic pause as they wait for it….sigh.) “Did you?”

And there go five minutes of my life I will never get back.

This is not meant to sound harsh, but rather to point out the fact that a majority of time spent with people is full of superficial chit chat, small talk—things to fill a silence that supposedly speaks volumes about our inability to constantly communicate as a species.

While interaction is obviously necessary and something that I personally enjoy—at a genuine level—repeatedly having the same meaningless conversations with people tends to push me into concocting ideas on how I can telepathically repel bullets of bullshit like a pinball machine.

But I will always engage in the obligatory pleasantries required of me, as once in awhile people can surprise you—in a good way (not in a creepy panting “What are you wearing?” phone call way)—and I thrive on those fleeting moments of genuine connection. 

I actually crave relationships and care about (most) people at a level bordering on oversensitivity at times, even if I sometimes end up disappointed. That’s how I roll, and I make no apologies for that—at least not out loud.

It’s just that I pick and choose my emotional investments.

And if we both know that it’s filler, why fill it?

This is not to deter people from talking to me or ever commenting—quite the opposite, in fact. If you can be unapologetically honest and not feed me what you think I want to hear—whether it’s while blogging, working or talking to me on the street—you might have just been elevated from superficial small talker to a member of that very small club mentioned above.

We have good talks about life, food, sports, other people — I promise it’s worth it.

But life is short and sometimes, silence is golden (and much preferable to a blaring bullshit detector.)

Bird Brain

I’m tired of trip talk, so I figured I would compose some deep philosophical collection of insights or talk about birds. I flipped a coin…

I have had two birds in my life. Skeeter was a manic Lovebird that died an early death due to falling from the top of his cage. It was very traumatic for both of us.

Gonzo was a cockatiel and lived to be 15 years old, choosing to pass away while I was on my first business trip ever (New York) around three years ago. My mom had to keep him in the freezer until I could come home and we could have a proper burial. It was very traumatic for all three of us (especially Gonzo.)

Pretty bird, indeed.

Gonzo could say one thing, “Pretty bird,” but chose to whistle quite an array of notes. Most popular on his play list was a wolf-whistle and the “da-da-da-DA-da-da!” thing that comes before “charge!” (He never said “charge,” but we just went with it.) At night we would cover his cage with a Peanuts bedsheet and he would cuddle with his pacifier/girlfriend toy hanging from his cage, closing his little bird eyes and rubbing the top of his head on the strings.

Minus the occasional feathered freak-out, he was a gem.

The guy I dated for entirely too long had a Quaker parrot that was like this little sharp-beaked person. He could say a lot of things that actually made sense: “Bad birds go to jail” when he was being put back in his cage for biting someone (usually me. He was a jealous bastard); “Trigger want a bath” when they put him in the sink; “Bless you,” “I love you” and “Good night, sleep tight” at appropriate times. This was more than 10 years ago, so his go-to conversation starter was singing “Mr. Big Stuff” from the Burger King commercials.

He loved mashed potatoes and my flesh.

It was cute the first 1,000 times. After that, “Loud birds shut their mouths” was introduced into the vocabulary, but never quite caught on. But the funniest thing about this bird was that he had an array of seemingly innocent plastic toy rings hanging from the top of his cage.

These are kind of what I'm talking about.

One day we were in the other room and heard the strangest sound, almost like a panting with a couple little squeaks thrown in. We walked into the bird’s room and it stopped, so we went back out. A couple minutes later it started back up again, so we quietly crept back around the corner to see what he was doing.

The little feathered freak had one bird leg straddled over the rings and was humping away like a parrot porn star.

From that point on, any time we heard the rings rattling and the panting coming from that area of the house, we just gave him his space and let him do his thing.

But there was the time when the boyfriend and me were on vacation and his mom — who was bird sitting— called us frantic one night because something was “tragically wrong with Trigger.” She said he was having seizures on his rings and was taking shallow breaths and moaning.

It was at that point that the little dude won my heart over once again, as anything that could be done to rattle that old bat’s cage and distract her from commenting on my “wild” hair colors or choice of clothing was a much welcomed break.

Anyway, I don’t have a bird now, and quite honestly, I probably never will again. But it was fun while it lasted and as long as someone else owns it, I still think they’re pretty neat—especially when they go grocery shopping.

Don’t ask me why, but I love this. A bird after my own food-loving heart–and not my flesh.

They stopped at perfection

I’m an only child, which might explain some of my “attention-whoreness,” but I did grow up with tons of cousins and tons of friends.

I guess I accessorized a bit more back then.

And while I enjoyed having my own room and first dibs on the front seat, I was always a bit envious of my friend’s that had older brothers and sisters to kind of clue them in socially. They got to hang out with the “cool” kids and see what they wore, listen to their music and pick up on the slang.

Then there was me, occasionally crimping my hair and slightly confused on the fashion front—middle school was around when “Blossom” was popular, just for a reference point—with a mom that was all about “self-expression” and letting me do my own thing. My own thing often included instructing “Get In Shape Girl” classes on my front lawn, rousing games of “Double Dare” and Mariah Carey concerts complete with foam balls in my training bra (that I didn’t need but was purchased out of pity.)

In other words, my mom was no help.

My point is not that I was a social misfit growing up—I had friends and my childhood until middle school was pretty darn good. Heck, when I wasn’t outside I was happy watching “Small Wonder” and “Who’s the Boss” in my T-shirt, shorts and jellies.

My point is that I often wished I had that older sibling to tell me it was no longer acceptable to wear my snap bracelets and blast PM Dawn from my little portable boom box. It always seemed like I was left to figure things out on my own, and while that’s a wonderful thing in the big picture, sometimes I just wished I had more of a clue.

Now, at almost 30 years old, I still feel the same way.

While being single and embracing my introverted personality is (to some extent) my choice, I often still feel like the little kid who knows more about sports and poker from hanging with the guys than the 20-something successfully navigating her way through the world. I know this is normal, but on so many levels I still feel like I want someone to guide me. I want someone to tell me that doing “this” is a better idea than doing “that” or, even better, I sometimes just want them to do it.

Problem solved, no?

I’m not talking about a professional that I’m paying to financially or professionally advise me—those are many dimes a dozen—but rather someone else to share the adult responsibilities I get sick of thinking about. I couldn’t care less about fashion or popularity. I’m talking about retirement stuff, insurance forms, car maintenance, family issues, thatching my front lawn—I want to split up some of these things or at least pretend to know what I’m doing better than I feel I do.

So while I enjoy being able to stretch out on the couch watching the game in my T-shirt, shorts and jellies and the freedom to forge my way through the “professional” world of whatever, once in awhile I wish I didn’t still feel like such an only child.

My mom, again, is no help.

“People aren’t going to help take care of you if you never let anyone in.* You choose this lifestyle and you can’t have it both ways.**

*Please note that I have never said I want someone to take care of me, as I am perfectly capable. That’s not the point of this rant.

**Also note that this was said as she was dropping off my laundry last Sunday, as we have an agreement that I do her grocery shopping and she does my laundry.

I guess being an only child does have some perks.

Girl, Interrupted

I miss intellectual conversation and dialogue. I used to love discussions in some of my college courses and would leave class absolutely high from the stimulating interaction. Even now I find myself a little overeager at times to jump into actual discussions I overhear in random settings, almost as if I crave that high again. I don’t mean talking about the superficial things, but the actual exchanging of ideas.

I think this is why I write.

Unlike those women with their cell connected to their head, I hate the telephone and use it only when necessary. When it comes to face-to-face communication I am great in social situations where I can plan ahead and remain fairly anonymous, yet slightly awkward in day-to-day interactions with acquaintances. Unless I know you well or not at all, I tend to get insecure and kind of weird.

Before you say anything, hear me out…

Maybe it’s a confidence thing, as with writing I have the time to self-edit a bit and make sure that I’m communicating what I want to say—even if it’s just an e-mail or text message. This gives me time to put aside the impulsive reaction and respond appropriately, not so off the cuff. When put on the spot, I tend to fumble a bit more and awkwardly reply. I always want to “backspace” and start over, so to speak, including instead something more witty or wise.

No, wait, let me finish…

Clare had a very insightful post on listening that got me thinking about my own need to be heard. The thing is, I don’t think that people really listen to me when I talk most of the time. In fact, I’m pretty sure most people don’t really know how to listen. Many people I deal with on a daily basis ask questions without waiting for the answer and launching into an aside of their own. Whether intentional or not, they dominate the conversation (used loosely) and even though I’m not shy (used loosely,) there are times I actual wonder if I spoke out loud or if it was only in my head, as the reaction is the same.

Hold on, I’m almost done…

I think this need to be heard is normal, but it’s also a bit frustrating. As much as I love her, my mom is the worst. I can literally be talking about one thing and she will interrupt me with something completely unrelated without missing a beat. I listen, I nod, I ask questions because I know that’s how she is. I play my role and she plays hers — relative peace is kept. But once in awhile I would like to have someone actually listen to what I have to say instead of going through the motions, adding interjections and quickly moving on to other topics.

I think this is why I write.

When I write, I can communicate without getting cut off. Writing is one way I can guarantee that at least one part of my discussion will be complete and the topic won’t get shifted to something completely unrelated, the focus momentarily skewed. I have a lot to say—a lot of worthy things to say—and you are forced to read it through with no retort (insert evil laugh here…muwahh-ha-ha.)

You may turn the page or click off the screen, but at least I know I’ve “said” my piece and did what I wanted to do. It may not spark intellectual conversation and dialogue, but it’s one way I can try (with backspace/delete at the ready, of course.)

If you still have an interest in art, check out the current Top 25 on the ArtPrize website. I was able to visit some venues this weekend and look forward to hitting some more this week. While I don’t “get” a lot of it, I respect the artist’s efforts. They’re communicating—uninterrupted—through their art.

That I get.