Archive for the ‘TMI’ Category

  • Balance

    7

    For a really long time, my life has been way off balance. It’s been off balance for so long, in fact, that off balance feels natural and normal. Off balance is a comfort.

    Lately, I’ve been trying to find more balance. It actually all started with finally being a mature individual with a budget.

    I’ve kept a clean apartment, so it’s not a mad dash to pick things up when someone is coming over. Also, it’s just nice to come home to a clean apartment. I never really knew this would make such a difference, but it’s incredible how awesome it is to get into a bed that’s made. Walking into a closet full of clean clothes on, all on hangers, is also really nice.

    I’ve been trying to eat better, though so far I haven’t made many changes. Which is why I’ve decided to go vegan again on September 1st. This time I’m going to try it for two months, instead of one. Since I’ve been so successful at forming new cleaning habits (so far), I’m hoping that this will help me establish some new eating habits.

    If someone could get me to the gym, that would be great. I miss rock climbing, but I’ve decided to find something more martial arts/self-defense related for now. I loved Jiu Jitsu when I took it last summer. It’s expensive, but probably worth it. This time, though, I’d like to start with something that’s straight up self-defense. I can’t wait to get back to the climbing wall, though. I just need to get myself in a bit better shape. Feeling strong, physically, is very important right now. And I don’t feel strong.

    Relationships, as always, have been the hardest for me. Finding a balance in relationships with friends and family is more difficult than I thought. Adding other people into the mix just complicates things. I usually have a lot trouble with family, much to my mother’s dismay. I can’t seem to explain to her the WHY, though. A couple of week’s ago, we had lunch, because I wanted to talk to her about the trouble I’ve been having with this whole “selling myself as a writer” thing. During lunch, I got the requisite lecture about how “distant” I am with family and about how she wishes my sister and I were closer. “Because, at the end of the day, family is all you have.”

    I hate that statement. It’s just not even true. Plus, I love my sister and I would absolutely be there for her if she needed me (which…she just doesn’t). I just don’t really feel the need to talk to her everyday (not to mention she never bothers to return phone calls or emails, which makes me less inclined to even bother). We don’t have very much in common, and honestly, it’s just easier and less stressful if we don’t talk a lot. And my conservative Christian grandparents? Yeah, I just…can’t. My Nana is probably the most self-absorbed person on the planet; my Pops, while sweet, comes with a side of Nana. Also, we don’t agree on anything, so it’s hard to make conversation. Which just means that for the entirety of the interaction, I feel uncomfortable and on-edge.

    My dad’s parents are easier, but they live in Tennessee. The older I get, though, the harder it is to sit around and take the lectures about conservative politics and the evil homosexual agenda. I’m expected to respect them and their beliefs (and to hold my tongue), while they hold no respect for me or mine, simply because they’re older. It’s a concept I find difficult, to say the least. So rather than put myself in the position of being uncomfortable, I just avoid the situation as much as possible.

    Friends should be easier, because you get to choose your friends. That hasn’t really been the case for me lately, though. Let’s just say, this is a work in progress.

    As for more intimate or romantic relationships, this is where I struggle the most. As a person with a very strong sense of self, I know I have to make some compromises, if I’m ever going to let myself get close to someone again. But I don’t want to lose myself or put myself on the back-burner, either. I do that too easily, mostly because I know that I’m strong and I’m tough and I will be okay. The truth is, though, I won’t be okay if I lose myself to be with someone else. My problem is striking a balance between knowing when to hold my ground and when it’s okay to compromise. It can’t be my way or the highway, but it can’t be “whatever you need,” either.

    At the end of my last long(ish) relationship, I came up with a list of ways I had felt in that relationship that I will never feel in a relationship again. These are, as they say, the deal-breakers. The things are the list on broad enough in concept that they can be applied to any relationship, with any other human.

    Rather than make a list of the qualities I want to find in a partner (as in that atrocious Hallmark movie I watched last night), I think this is a healthy thing to do at the end of a relationship. Particularly one that ended poorly. This is simply a list of warning signs. If I feel this way because of someone else’s actions or words again, I will hopefully be much more likely to walk away.

  • Remember when your little black panties were enough?

    12

    Disclaimer: No, this has nothing to do with my date last weekend, in case any of you try to jump to that conclusion. I started writing this several months ago and forgot about it.

    I remember the days when all it took were five little words: “I’m not wearing any underwear.” I fear those days are gone, my friends.

    Sex these days is like a three-ring circus. Or at least, it sounds that way. My suspicion is that sex actually hasn’t changed all that much, just the way we talk about it. But the fact remains that there is so much porn now, with people doing things that…well, that I probably don’t even want to do. And the sex toys. Wow. I mean, not that I’m against a good sex toy. I think we all know I’m not.

    It’s weird, though. Maybe I’m just crazy, but it doesn’t seem that the expectations of men in the bedroom have really changed all that much. Show up, well equipped, all engines firing, and you know, get the job done. Women, however, are now supposed to be up for anything. It’s like an actual game of Hide the Salami, only apparently now, we’re expected to let you hide it anywhere. And while you’re hiding it, we should be gymnasts who are open to the idea of having sex with a woman (if that strikes your fancy) and don’t mind dressing up like your third grade teacher and giving you a spanking all the while making you feel like the king of the castle manly man.

    It wears me out. What happened to regular ol’ sex? Which, by the way, was really good.

    I don’t want to swing from a chandelier, dressed like Catwoman, while I regale you with my fantasies of making it with the toaster oven, but of course I’ve never done any of this before because you, you’re the only man I ever want to touch.

    PLEASE.

    Actually, in my life, I’ve mostly only dated simple guys (long-term). Guys who were happy with a girl in some cotton panties and a T-shirt. Guys who, if I tried to wear anything that might be considered fancy (we’re talking more than three hooks, people), would look at me and say, “Seriously. Take that off, it’s ridiculous.” And of course, I never had SEX with any of them. Hi, Aunt Kim.

    For most of my life, the only thing I’ve really been confident about was sex. Again, not that I’ve had any. Hi, Mom.

    These days, though, sexy feels cheap. Okay, plus, I SUCK at being sexy. Like in any sort of obvious way. I’m much more likely to giggle and fall on my face than be actual sexy. But sex was the one place I always felt I owned.

    NOT in a wetsuit, with five of my girlfriends and a trout, waiting to be shot in the eye with man juice.

    Just sex. The good old fashioned kind. Without a movie set full of props.

    I’m just not sure how I feel about it any more. Mostly, I feel like because sex has never been some hugely emotional thing for me, I’ve had a fairly casual attitude about it. Not that I’ve had a lot of it. I mean, you know, because I’ve never had sex and all that. Hey, sister’s boyfriend.

    This is getting awkward. So I’m going to shut up and just say this:

    Men? When did sex become this big production? Do you guys all feel like this, or is it more talk from the peanut gallery than anything else? Is just sex good enough? Should I keep my little black panties, or shall I wear a French Maid costume permanently under my clothes? Do you feel like women have crazy expectations of what you’re willing to do during sex, too?

  • Rather than a breakup, I have a conundrum.

    51

    One of my friends is getting married in September. She’s a friend I met through my ex-boyfriend (they’ve known each other a few months longer). An ex-boyfriend I’m none to fond of. I’m invited to the wedding, but I’ve been told the whole time that he (and his new girlfriend) are not invited. I’ve been planning to go since about April.

    Today, said friend emailed me to let me know that she is now, in fact, inviting my ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend to her wedding, but she hopes that I’ll still come. And while that’s great and it’s her day and I want her to be happy, spending a weekend in the middle of nowhere (and somewhere we actually spent a weekend TOGETHER once) trapped with my ex and his girlfriend isn’t exactly my idea of a good time, you know?

    My friend does sometimes read my blog (sorry, friend, I’m not trying to make you feel bad, I swear. It’s your wedding and you have to do what’s going to make you the happiest), so there’s a chance she’ll read this. Hence the vague.

    My question is this: Do I suck it up and go spend the weekend with my ex, who is likely to be a drunken asshole? Or is it fair to say that I now can’t come because the conditions under which I accepted the invitation have been changed?

    I won’t lie, part of me is a little bit hurt by this, but I think I understand what happened. Ex’s new girlfriend isn’t an asshole, even if Ex is (and everyone knows it), and my friend has become actual friends with her. I would never ever tell her that she shouldn’t have her friend at her wedding. This is my issue, not hers.

    So in the end, I’m the one with a decision to make. I can almost guarantee that if I go to this wedding, it will not be good for me. I will survive, yes, but I’m not sure I really want to put myself through it. And I can almost tell you with certainty that he doesn’t want to be around me any more than I want to be around him. This is a person who broke me. Who changed everything (for me, nothing changed for him). A person I loved more deeply than nearly anyone in my life, and who hurt me more than nearly anyone in my life ever has. A person who could discard me just as easily as he gets rid of the trash. And while I have no interest in being with him, I also have no interest in hanging out or being friendly.

    I’m sure some of you will say that this means I’m not over it. There are some things about the relationship that I’m not over, actually. HE is not one of them, but there’s plenty of lasting damage from his actions. I’m on friendly terms with nearly everyone else I’ve ever dated, but I can’t imagine that he will ever be one of those. I spent a year and a half with the man, and never really noted him to be a good friend. There’s no reason to want to be friends with him.

    And it’s not like this will just be a two-hour event and I can just avoid him. This is a wedding to be held at a campsite-type place in Arkansas. It will be a whole weekend. There will be drinking and partying and such. And being around him drunk is on my list of things I never want to do again. Ever.

    Any advice?

  • Christmas in July!

    17

    Gotcha! It’s not Christmas in July and I don’t have any presents for you. But I do want to talk about presents.

    I like getting free stuff as much as the next kid, but I don’t understand all the rules that exist about gifts.

    I guess if I had one wish it would be this: I wish all the people of the world would stop being so ridiculously sensitive.

    Okay, that probably wouldn’t be my one wish (if I only had one). But let’s pretend for right now.

    When someone gives you a gift, particularly if it’s a birthday or Christmas gift, it comes wrapped with all these conditions. You must pretend to like it, even if you don’t. You can’t return it or give it to someone who might enjoy it. You have to wear it, display it, make mention of it around the person who gave it to you.

    Why?! If you’re not just giving someone a gift out of obligation, which, in my opinion is what birthday and Christmas gifts usually end up being, why wouldn’t you want them to be happy about the gift they’ve received? I don’t understand. And if you’re not allowed to give any feedback, as the receiver of the gift, how can the gift-giver expect to improve in the future?

    Instead, you’re trapped in this vicious circle of pretending to like crocheted belts or diarrhea-colored shirts or purple anything and receiving something similar every time there’s a gift-giving holiday.

    Why do we do this to ourselves? I’m actually not against gifts. I like to give people things. I sometimes even like to get presents. I just don’t like the pressure that comes along with the whole thing (also, I suck at surprises in either direction). And I don’t like feeling obligated to give someone something just because it’s a convention (or receiving something out of obligation). What if I want to give you something on May 10, but you’re birthday isn’t until June 15? Or deal with the stress of buying Christmas gifts for everyone I know (last I checked, I don’t get a raise in December and all my bills stay the same…)?

    I think the whole gift thing would be so much better if we could all be honest with each other and no one felt forced to give something or like something. People even get offended when I tell them not to buy me presents. Or they argue with me about it or tell me I have a problem. Or my favorite, when asked by my family to make a Christmas list, I got complaints about the things ON the list. “Socks? That’s no fun!” But what if I need socks? (This is a hypothetical. I actually have a bazillion pairs of socks.)

    I also have this tiny thing. See, if you think you know me well enough that you should buy me a gift, I think you should know me well enough to be able to get me something I’ll enjoy. Without me having to make a list of things you should give me. That takes all the fun out of it. And so, if you don’t know me well enough to be able to purchase a gift for me without me telling you what to buy? I’d rather you just not buy me anything. I have a job, I receive a paycheck, I can buy stuff for myself. (This entire paragraph is null and void if you want to buy me a car or a beach vacation.) Why on earth should we trade the same $30-value-of-gift back and forth year after year?

    I was thinking about this because I heard a guy on the radio telling his co-hosts that someone got his two-year-old daughter a Barbie. He told his friend that he thought the gift was inappropriate for his daughter’s age, and that if the guy wanted to take it back, he should. Then the phones blew up with people calling in to tell this guy how rude he was. I’m sorry, what? He doesn’t get to be the one who judges what’s appropriate for his daughter? Why should he take the gift (and cause his friend to be out the money for the gift) if he was just going to throw it away or give it away?

    Putting aside all my many other issues with Barbie, how on earth is a Barbie appropriate for a two-year-old? There are small pieces and parts, which a kid could swallow. It’s not like two-year-olds understand fashion or really like to dress things up. Or that your average two-year-old could even get the clothes on and off a Barbie. Those things are tight. So what’s the problem with telling someone, “Hey, I really appreciate you thinking of me/my daughter, but this gift isn’t really appropriate right now”?

    What do you do when you get gifts you don’t like? Do you think you’d want someone to tell you if your gift wasn’t well received?

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    5

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