Dr Strangedate, Part 6: Five Months Of Dating Brought Me Here?

“The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men,
Gang aft a-gley,
And leave us nought but grief and pain,
For promised joy.” ~Robert Burns

Five months. Five long months. The experiment with OKCupid and online dating was drawing to a close. To be honest, I couldn’t wait for it to be over. I had endured every kind of date imaginable and coming to the end, I didn’t foresee anything changing.

For a few days, I just ignored my account. I stepped away from the computer and gave myself a breather. If I’m honest, there was a strong possibility that the five month experiment would have ended right there. This was it. I was done.

Then, I got an email from Karen.

Karen was a graduate from Rhode Island School of Design. If there is one thing in life that I regret more than anything, it was not going to RISD. I was accepted back in 1990 but, even though it was my dream school, I couldn’t go. They offered me absolutely nothing in the form of financial aid. My dream of being a world class artist with a degree from one of the most prestigious art schools in America died when I got that acceptance letter detailing how much I would owe. And being 18 and broke from a family that was broke, my heart broke to have to turn away and go to my second choice.

So, for obvious reasons, she piqued my curiosity with that tidbit of knowledge. She went to and graduated from my dream school. Architecture and textiles were her major interests. As we talked through email, she linked me to her online portfolio and I was blown away by her work. Karen was a small unassuming woman with short black hair, hour glass figure and a huge laugh that seemed to fill the air when we spoke. And did I mention she had an Etsy page? Her family was originally from Argentina and she had a fascination with alpaca wool. Using her home textile, she made extraordinary scarves, hats, gloves. I was overwhelmed. Here was someone living my dream, creating a life out of her creativity. I was hooked.

We decided to meet in Boston and spend a day at the Museum of Fine Arts. One of her favorite artists, Chihuly, was being featured as the special exhibit at the MFA. I figured this was my moment. I studied art and art history and used to volunteer at the MFA. As most of my friends who have been to an art museum with me know, I suddenly become an art professor when I walk through the doors. A blazer with corduroy elbow patches appears out of nowhere and suddenly I find myself lecturing like I was back in college. This was my environment. And not to mention we would be in Boston. My adopted city, my old stomping grounds.

A day in Boston is like pizza: even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty damn good.

We had an amazing day.

It was beyond perfect.

chihuly2

At the museum, she showed me Chihuly and his amazing blown glass sculptures and I gave her a tour of the museum. We talked art, laughed, talked more art and kept on laughing. It was a whirlwind day at the museum. From there, we headed into Harvard Square and grabbed dinner at Fire & Ice. The laughter continued as we wandered around my favorite haunts. Window shopping, music hunting, people watching, we ended the evening at an old diner in Davis Square. Holding hands across a formica table, sipping tea, the laughter never stopped. We took the T back to Alewife Station where we had both parked and made out like two hormonally challenged teenagers outside of her car. I was a perfect end to a perfect day. We said our goodbyes with promises to see each other again soon.

When I went home that night, I was so happy. I had been through this weird hell of online dating and finally, at the end, I meet someone who totally changed my mind. I had been ready to give up and swearing off of the whole online thing forever….and here I was looking forward to a second date with Karen. I was a little giddy..

The second date was just as spectacular.

She had me pick her up at her house. She introduced me to her cat. The cat adored me. Good start to the evening. As we were leaving, she suddenly stopped me and had to run back into her house. She had forgotten her medicine. She was so adorable running back from her house waving a baggy over her head. Up close, it was a baggy full of prescription bottles and loose pills. When I asked about it, she brushed me off and said they were her supplements. I thought nothing of it. We headed off to have dinner at an amazing Tuscan restaurant followed by window shopping. I swear, this date was the closest I think I’ve ever come to actually living a Rom-Com. It was perfect. Amazing dinner, fun conversation, beautiful date, shenanigans and the evening ended with us in the front seat of my car, fumbling around like horny teenagers.

Karen lived outside Boston and both of our dates had been down in that area. For our third date (which, by the way, THIRD!!! none of my dates had gone this far) she decided to come up here to NH. She showed up at my house with a bag full of quinoa muffins she had made the night before. It was a beautiful sunny day and we went for a ride up the Maine coast. This was when I noticed the baggy again.

We grabbed coffee for the ride and as we drove north, I noticed her emptying a powder into her coffee and taking a small handfull of pills and downing them like candy. A little amused, I asked her about this again. There was a pause. Immediately. my brain thinks up the worst case scenario… months of bad dates had trained me to wait for when the other shoe drops. I braced myself for some horrible story that she was a recovering heroin addict/drug mule/meth dealer/etc. In my mind, I was panicking. How could this be happening again? How could we have such a great time together and all of a sudden this happens? I felt a little trickle of sweat bead down the back of my neck as I awaited the inevitable, horrible revelation.

“Do you believe in crystals and energy?”she asked.

I raised an eyebrow. “Sorry?”

She then explained her belief in new age energy, the power of crystals and how the supplements and powders she took daily were reccomended to her by a spiritual healer. This “medicine” kept her healthy, happy and centered on a daily basis. I smiled. I had been wrong to worry. She was playing her crazy card and it turned out it wasn’t really that crazy after all. If that was the worst she could do, then we can get along just fine. I would never begrudge someone their beliefs. If it makes you happy and it speaks to you then it’s alright by me. I took her hand and she squeezed mine tight. It was going to be a good day.

Karen had never been along the Maine coast before, so we did the touristy thing and went to the Nubble and checked out the lighthouse and rocky coastline. We lunched at the Maine Diner and that evening, we stopped at the Friendly Toast in Portsmouth for coffee and a snack before she went home. Throughout the day, I noticed that Karen was always running off to the bathroom at more and more frequent intervals. At first, I wrote this off as too much coffee and man, we had a lot of coffee that day. But when we finally got to the Friendly Toast, she spent more time in the bathroom than at the table, she barely touched our sweet potato fries we ordered and the laughing and conversation, which had been nonstop up until then, suddenly ground to a halt. I knew something was wrong, but I tried to take it in stride, packed up the fries to go and we got into my car.

There was a long awkward silence as we turned out onto Route One, heading back to my house.

“There’s something I have to tell you,” I heard her say, almost in a whisper.

I waited, here it comes, the revelation that she’s really a CIA operative and all that time she was in the bathroom, she was getting orders to kill someone, probably me. Or maybe that she was really married and her husband had been calling her while she was in the bathroom and he was waiting at my house to kill us both.

“I’m getting a cold.”

Confused, I looked over at her and that’s when I noticed she was crying.

“Do you want to get some cold medicine?”

She started sobbing. “You don’t understand! All those supplements and pills I take help ward off illness and keep my spirit in balance. The fact that I’m getting sick means that my body is fighting the supplements. My body is trying to tell me something. Because I’m getting a cold, and I haven’t had one before meeting you, that’s my body’s way of telling me that we are not a good match.”

I felt my chin smack into my chest.

She started crying more, big sorrowful tears, pouring down her face. “And you are such a nice guy and amazing kisser and I loved every minute we spent together and was looking forward to seeing more of you.”

She looked over at me. “But my body knows better than I do.”

Stunned into silence, I did the only thing I could do: hit the gas and floored it all the way to my house. Turns out I was wrong earlier. She had played her crazy card, yes, but what I didn’t realize was she had a whole deck of them up her sleeve.

We arrived at my house and, doing my best to be a gentleman, I invited her in to use the bathroom before her long drive home. I made tea, we had some forgettable idle chitchat, hugged and she was gone.

I can’t say enough about how dissapointed I was at that moment, sitting alone, re-reading our emails to each other before deleting them. How could I have been so wrong about someone? I came away from my three dates with Karen more confused than I had ever been before. How could everything be so perfect but so completely wrong all at the same time? How could I have so much in common with someone and yet, nothing?

The experiment was over and I felt like I had failed all around. Despite trying my best, being myself and keeping an open mind, I never found what I was looking for. And although the experiment ended there, the adventures of Dr. Strangedate continued…..

 

Today, I am 40…

I often thought that hitting 40 would be so much more of a big deal. I was expecting a little fanfare, balloons and cake and hey, maybe even a parade! (I can dream right)

But in reality, I greet this day with a smile, the well wishes of my loved ones and friends and the expectation of a great night out tonite with amazing people and good music. No big deal. No pressure. No soul searching melancholy on the meaning of my existence as I reach middle age. No, just acceptance, a smile and looking forward to this new chapter in my life. I’m happy and but not content and that makes this birthday so much better than all the rest. New opportunities, new friendships, new loves (or maybe even an old one), I’m looking forward to what is to come. Forward, with no regrets.

Vacation is Coming

suitcase

 

In three weeks, I will finally be going on a vacation. I know what you are saying: “George, you work two jobs, how can you swing a whole week off?”

The answer is easy: just don’t give a shit.

I need some time to myself. Some time to re-evaluate my little life. Been so wrapped up in making money and taking care of family business that I have completely lost touch with what I really want. I’m not one to avoid introspection, but for some reason, despite my best efforts, I have lost touch with the things that matter to me.

I know the biggest reason for this is my work schedule. For those who don’t know, allow me to explain.

Since September 2008, I have had two jobs. My full time job is with a car dealership. I work there from 45-65 hours a week. They provide full healthcare, 401k, dental, etc. The job is very stable despite the climate out there in the car business. I may bitch about this job alot. I may complain about my co-workers and their lack of interest in anything other than sports and naked women, but it’s a good job. I’m the lynch-pin of the dealership and I love that responsibility. I don’t think I get recognized enough for what I do here, but that is a subject for another blog.

Since September, I joined up at a call center. The original plan was to have this job part time to help offset the cost of oil for the winter since it was looking very scary. Then oil went way down….and thats when I made the mistake of looking at my 401k. Just like everybody else out there, I was seeing diminishing returns. So my friends talked me into joining them at this call center. The calls come in, you take the call, fill out the order, upsell what you can and thats it. Easy right? Easy, but nerve racking. The problem with the part time is I am required to do 20 hours a week there to maintain my part time status.

So lets do the math: on a slow week, I am doing a minimum of 65 hours and on a busy week, I’m doing 85.  Thats eighty five hours of work that leaves very little time for a social life, working out or even vital little things…like sleeping!  Let’s not even get started on spare time to work on a painting, go hiking. The best I can do is a nice long drive along the coast between shifts….

I have been justifying this self torture for one reason: I’m not seeing anyone. Since I’m not dating, might as well make as much money as possible. The rebuttal to my position is: “Well, if you didn’t work so much, maybe you WOULD meet someone.” It’s a never ending cycle. I’ve also come to realize that my position, working my ass off because I have nobody in my life, is the passive position. And if I keep taking this position, a non participatory role in my own dating life, crap like what just happened to me will keep happening and I’ll forever be heartbroken and miserable.

Oh, thats right….I never told you about the last month and half of stupidity that re-entered my life. I guess I never wrote about it because I felt like I had been used. Another redhead pulled the wool over my eyes. Thats not exactly true. She didn’t pull the wool over my eyes so much as I did it myself. Just wanted to believe everything she said was true. But no, it was a lie, just like before. Oh yeah, there was a before to this story too, which is why I should have seen how it would all end. But sadly, my heart dove in face first and ran merrily away without me. Now he’s broken, shattered really. And no, I won’t go into detail. Would rather keep it vague and not name names.

But if I didn’t work so much, if I had some kind of a life, maybe I could have seen her coming a mile away and told her to go to hell like I should have rather than going along with things simply out of conveniance. And conveniance is never a reason to start a relationship with someone.

So thats why I need this vacation. I need it so I can step outside of myself and my life. I need new priorities and new objectives. And most of all, need a new plan for my little life. I need to be a better friend to those who care about me. I need to be true to myself and stop compromising so much of my life. And I need to make myself available, so when she finally does walk into my life, I won’t be so busy that I hardly notice her and miss the chance of a lifetime.

Vacation is coming and with it comes a lot of change. I think I’m ready.

A Teeni Interview

Teeni asked. I answered.

1.  Why did you cry on September 5?

broken_heart-1823

Several years ago, on September 5th, I had a bad day. That was the day I had to admit defeat, wave a little white flag and end a 3 year relationship. I had never broken up with someone before. Usually, I’m the one being kicked to the curb, the one left with unreturned phone calls, empty dinner tables… But, for the first time, I was the one saying “We need to talk…”

I couldn’t stop crying afterwards. Felt like my heart had been ripped out, I couldn’t catch my breath and I had a ringing pounding headache for days afterward. I know I did the right thing (the situation had reached a stalemate/standstill that was never going to be resolved and I wasn’t willing to just blindly ignore all the problems and pretend to be happy) but that was the most difficult decision I have ever had to make. It broke my heart.

2.  If you could open your own restaurant, what type of food would you serve and what type of clientele would you like to see enjoying your food there?

challahfrenchtoast

Oh what a great question! Anyone who reads my blog, knows I love to cook. I ran restaurants for years and the idea of opening my own place is a dream I would love to realize. I do alot of cooking for my friends and according to them, I should open up a restaurant of comfort foods, specializing in breakfast foods and diner staples. My friends are what you may call “stoners” and, even though they know I don’t smoke and I rarely drink, according to them, I’m a stoner at heart because of my cooking skills and the “strange” recipes I make up on the spot. Aparently, my cooking imagination has a stoner spirit.

A simple example:  I made chocolate sundaes for everyone one night…I took  some chocolate fudge bread from When Pigs Fly bakery (thick chocolate flavored bread with chunks of chocolate spread throughout) chopped into large chunks and toasted it all in the oven. The toasted chunks were tossed into a bowl, topped with ice cream, fruit, sauce and whipped cream. I would love to feature this recipe on a menu….and what would be the name of  my “stoner” diner?

4:20“, of course! For those not familiar with stoner culture, ask a stoner sometime what 420 means… Course the ultimate irony of this restaurant would be that a guy who doesn’t smoke pot at all was running it.

And I think a name like “4:20” would be vague enough so as not to alienate any other potential clientele. And I would specialize in big food, huge portions and outrageous recipes. Most of my menu would be high impact on the calories (no such thing as light french toast, you know) so I would need to bring in a partner to work on the lighter side….any takers??

3.  Tell us a little bit about your pet cat.

black-cat

Thomas is a great cat.

The cat I had before him was a refugee from an abused home. His name was Ebony and he loved the outdoors, only coming inside when it was raining or too cold, but even then, he made at least one daily jaunt outside. In his old home, he had obviously been abused. The first few months I had him, he refused to come near me. He would come in the house and sit in a corner meowing to himself. He was so skittish and seemed so upset all the time, didn’t know what to do. Finally, I spent a day with him and he came to me and jumped in my lap. After that, he was the perfect cat. He let me pick him up and he would curl up like a little baby in my arms. If I was working on the computer, he would jump up in the chair, climb to the top and warp himself around my neck and sleep with his head on my shoulder. I would wake up with him curled up on the pillow next to me. The ex used to hate that!

Poor Ebony. He loved the outdoors too much. He disapeared one night. I found signs of a struggle behind the house. Ebony’s black fur mixed with orange, red and white fur, tell tale signs of a fox. I was heartbroken.

For a year, I vowed I was done with pets. Then, I suddenly found myself wandering through the animal shelter. I don’t know what brought me there. I told the people working there that I was only looking. I walked into the cat room. There were 20 cats in there, all of varying colors and ages. I noticed a black short hair cat standing on a runner (carpeted ledge that ran the length of the wall). I smiled because he looked just like Ebony. The cat must have known I was looking at him because he came running towards me. The runner was right at head level for me. I was now face to face with this black cat. He was purring loudly. I reached out to pet him and he headbutted me right on the forehead. I laughed. I hadn’t picked out a cat, the cat had picked me.

I found out his name was Thomas, adopted him right then and took him home the next night. Thomas is not as overtly affectionate as Ebony was, but he is friendly with everyone and especially seems to adore me since I wake up almost every morning with him next to me or at the foot of my bed, waiting for me to click on the tv. He seems to be a big fan of the flickering images on the screen.

4.  I peeked into your blog a bit and want to know under what circumstances were you kicked by a horse?  There has to be a story here.  😉

horse

A friend of mine in high school had a barn we used to party in. The farm was fairly isolated and we would have bonfires outside and such and party rather loudly in the barn til the wee hours of the morning. On one such night, my friend G and I decided to taunt the horse that was stabled in the barn.

We were just being loud and obnoxious and being rather obliterated at the time, we were not thinking about the consequences of pissing off a large animal. The horse, after about an hour of us taunting and teasing it, decided he had enough of our foolishness. The horse turned around in it’s stall. We were leaning on the gate that had the horse locked in and I remember thinking that the horse was going to pee on us or something, so I started to step back when the horse suddenly kicked. The gate, as it turned out, had a rather flimsy lock on it. The lock broke and the door rocketed open with enough force to send us both flying across the barn. I had been moving away from the door but my friend G was hit full force by the door. He ended up with bruised ribs and a concussion. I smacked my head on a post a good 10 feet away and ended up with a huge knot on my head and some bruises all over. We were lucky that door was in the way of that kick….

5.  Just what is it about redheads?  Do ALL redheads, even the bottled ones, have the same appeal?

redhead

I really think my fascination with redheads started when I was a little kid. My first kiss in kindergarten was with a redhead. Ok, strawberry blonde, but still….

Bottled or natural,  red hair has always caught my attention. I can spot a redhead at 100 yards. And yes, I have actually stepped onto the wrong train in Boston when I was distracted by someone with red hair. Not to mention the times I’ve almost crashed my car due to redhead distractions.

As fascinated as I have been by redheads, I have only ever dated the bottled variety. The natural redheads have always eluded me. Sadly every redhead relationship has ended in disaster. Usually I’m being dumped and discarded by the redheads in my life. And recently, I have even been used and abused by redheads. Despite all this, I still find myself looking, still find myself drooling a little. I still can’t tell you why… Maybe I have a masochistic relationship with the idea of redheads: no matter how badly I’m treated, I keep going back for more…

Hmm…wonder if theres a blond or brunette out there to distract me from the redheads….heehee. Actually, I can think of at least one…but thats a blog for another another time….. 🙂

So, do you want to be interviewed? Here are the rules:

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Edited to Add: I was lazy and found all these pics on Photobucket. To my shame, I realized I don’t have any pictures of my cat, so instead of finding him when I wrote this and taking his picture and uploading it, I blatantly stole some pics from Photobucket instead…sorry, should have added this note to begin with. I take no credit for any of these pictures….I love that horse pic though! 🙂

Moments of Joy and Other Sublime Silliness

adult-disguise

I have been feeling way too adult lately.

Deadlines. Meetings. Quotas. Bills. Taxes. Registration of my new car. Spring cleaning looming on the horizon.

It’s all been adding up to a whole heck of a lot of stress thats been bearing down on me for the last two weeks. I need a reason to be happy.  Surfing the blogs the other day, I came across the beautiful Miss Shepherds entry and felt a little inspiration. My mind started it’s own list of natural highs and moments that bring me joy.

1. Walking along the beach on a warm night, my toes sinking into the wet sand, the waves around my ankles.

2. Lying on the sand on a summer night, listening to the beat of the waves.

3. Making an elaborate meal for my friends when they are down.

4. Planning and cooking a huge meal for an event (Thanksgiving) and having it all come together perfectly.

5. Sinking into the couch on a cold day, wrapped in a warm blanket with a huge mug of coffee and a stack of dvd’s.

6.  Stealing a few minutes on my break to drive down to the beach and watch the waves for awhile and let my mind decompress a little from the stresses of the day.

7. Planning a road trip with my fellow ‘road warriors’ to see the bands we love.

8. Having a total geek moment and walk into a comic books store and talking all things X Men and Dark Knight and all things in between with fellow recovering geeky nerds like myself. Once in awhile, the nerd has to be let out!

9. Walking through the toy section at Walmart and seeing all the neat and highly detailed toys, secretly wishing I was a little kid again….

10. Picking up a book I haven’t read in a long time and falling into it’s pages like putting on an old sweater: comfy and warm.

11. Losing 8 hours of my life wrapped up in a video game. I realize some would see this as a waste, but sometimes getting lost in a little fantasy land is what my brain needs. And before you say “Go read a book”, I do read darnit and nothing compares to seeing your character run through that fantasyland and directing the action yourself. Don’t hate. 🙂

12. Having some song from the 80’s pop on the radio that I haven’t heard in a long time causing me to dance joyously. Melt With You and Rock Lobster are two songs that always make me giddy.

13. Having the lead singer dedicate her next song to me. I always get a little weak in the knees when that happens.

14. Being a dj and playing the music I love and actually having listeners. I truly miss this. When I was a dj at Keene State, I loved knowing people were listening.

15. Music Geek moment: going into a record store and ending up in a conversation with a total stranger about whether Trent Reznor sold out, or if the latest Ani Difranco album rocked or sucked or who was on tour and what shows we have been to, etc, etc, ad infinitum.

16. The smell of fresh brewed coffee.

17. The smell of my kitchen when I have been cooking up a storm.

18. The smile of a stranger who caught me glancing their way.

19. Playing with my camera and photographing the little things in my life.

20. Giving and recieving a hug when I least expect but when it was most needed.

21. When my rockstar friend tells me I’m one of her favorite photographers. I’m humbled that anyone would consider me a ‘photographer’, but for that to come from my friend who has been through professional photshoots for magazines and her own promotional work, I think I must have blushed three shades of red. Makes me want to take photography a little more seriously….

22. A moment of silence with friends. Not an uncomfrotable silence, but a sort of silent soldarity where there is nothing to say and we are content and comfortable with each others company and don’t have to fill each moment with talk.

23. Seeing a band for the first time, the thrill of hearing new music and a new voice.

24. The smell of laundry fresh from the dryer.

25. A clean house.

26. Getting in my car, loading up on music or books on cd, hot cup of coffee in hand, picking a direction and just going. No destination, no cares, no worries. Just me and the car driving as far away as possible.

27. The experience of a ‘destination’ restaurant. Picking a cuisine or restaurant from a review either online or on a Foodnetwork/Phantom Gourmet/Travel Channel reccomendation and going for their signature experience. I have a list a mile long of everything from greasy spoons to haute cuisine that I want to experience. Anyone up for a little road trip???

28. Sucking out a flush or a straight on the river and cleaning out my friends at the poker table when I was sure I had made a mistake by going all-in on Jack/Ace suited. Yup, I play way too much poker…..

29. Waking up to find my cat nuzzled into the crook of my arm.

30. Las Vegas! I loved that town when I visited in 1999 and been dying to go back ever since. I felt like a kid in a candystore there! A very adult candystore, but nonetheless….

31. Holding hands with someone for the first time, that fumbling of fingers and palms, finding how your hands fit together.

32. A first kiss, melting into each other for the first time.

33. The unspoken dialogue of eyes and movement, knowing someone so well that you know what they are thinking without ever speaking a word.

34. Hugs that linger and last too long, conveying more in that moment than words can capture.

35. WordPress Geek: Checking my stats and seeing what people are reading…I do this all the time. Makes me smile to see what people like.

36. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate.

37. Going to a wine tasting and being suprised by some obscure shiraz,  merlot or pinot noir that I had never heard of.

38. Catching up with an old friend and laughing about how much time has passed and how old we are getting.

39. Realizing how much your friends and family really care about you.

40. Successfully writing out 5 more moments of joy than Pam. (Couldn’t resist putting a little competitive spin on this)

Thrift Store Heart

tell_me_something

Crossroads.

I find myself here, staring across the expanse and wondering how I got here. A lonely road, converging with another. Staring in four directions, not sure which one to take. I planted my heart here at this intersection, hoping to watch it grow and perhaps catch the attention of another on their journey. I’ve seen the headlights in the distance, but they always seem to turn off before they reach me. I built a home here, I built stability and constance hoping the lights of hearth and home would bring you to me. I filled the intersection with cars, music, art, travel, more books than anyone could ever want. Philosophy, arts and science on one corner, a warm kitchen, a comfy couch and bottles of wine on another. All this I made, all this I built. All in the hope of meeting you. And here I wait.

Part of me thinks it’s time. Time to tear it all down, pack it all up in a U-Haul and move on down the road, away from this lonely, quiet intersection. I look at what I have built, the life I have chosen and realize no matter how much I have here, no matter how much I invest in here, it all means nothing without you. That destructive and spontaneous part of me considers lighting a match, watching it all burn and take the well worn road and try to find that turn off where I see your headlights go. Give up. Ignore my accomplishments. Ignore my pride. Ignore me. Leave my crossroads like a turn of the century mill town: slowly rotting and falling apart.

But….

I can’t do that. Too many responsibilities, too many attachments. So I repair the buildings here: a new roof for my income, a new car for my ego. The kitchen is a little more crowded than I like, the couch a little lumpier than I like, but I make do with what I have. Maybe it’s time to open a little thrift store and it’s time to sell off some aspects of my little life here. Maybe, less is more. And maybe, just maybe, while I’m tending shop at my new store, I will finally meet you. Then this little crossroad won’t feel so desolate.

I planted my heart here hoping it would bring you to me. Now I realize that I have to be willing to uproot my heart and break away from my routines if I ever want a hope of meeting you. But everything comes in baby steps and a thrift store, selling off the gently used aspects of my heart will help ease into that uprooting. I’m ready, I’m willing. The shops open.

Where are you?

Vacation!!!

Four years is definitely way way too long…..
I haven’t had the opportunity to get away in a very long time. I have had no time to decompress, let go of all my anxieties and just relax and be me for a few days. The option of a vacation was denied to me at every turn: salesmanager quit, we need you here every single day for the next two months, salesmanager gets fired and we need you here every day until we find a replacement or the general manager has fallen ill and we need you here every day since the new sales manager isn’t confident enough to run the place on his own.
Ok, that last one was nobody’s fault and thankfully, the general manager recovered and is feeling better than ever. But, at every turn, something has come up. Three years ago, I convinced myself I needed to work as much as possible to try to forget the ex and the three years I wasted with her. So I worked, non-stop and work was happy to take advantage of this martyrdom. Then someone figured out that even though I was doing this to myself, I was definitely in violation of a few labor laws. So they cut back my hours. Suddenly I found myself with time off. And what did I do? I filled all that time off with new projects: supporting bands, doing photography and starting this new adventure here, writing the thoughts that crossed my tiny mind.
And then oil hit $140 a barrel. In a panic, I sought out a second part time job.
So now, working at my main job about 50 hours a week, working part time at the new job for 20 hours a week and on top of that, still working with bands and friends, still doing photography and trying my best to express myself on here. Something was going to snap.
A few weeks ago, I had a bad day. After several days of no sleep, a customer came in and teed off at me about a mistake on their paperwork. A mistake made 7 months ago that they are just now noticing and after calmly explaining to them that there was nothing I could at this point, they proceeded to call me an idiot and I lost my shit on them!We ended up in a yelling match at my desk that ended when my manager came down, took my side and told the customer to get out for being rude and unproductive and to call him later on how the customer can go about fixing the problem on his own.
I sat down, rather embarassed. I never loose my patience like that, I never scream at people. The manager came back down to my desk with a piece of paper. A written warning to go in my file. My heart sank. I pride myself on my cool and being able to handle people, but this very public altercation was something management couldn’t ignore. He slid the piece of paper across the desk for me to sign, patted me on the shoulder as he got up.
“You were right, you know but being right doesn’t mean taking it that far with a customer” he said. “next time, just walk away”
I had forgotten that. Proving a point to someone who really doesn’t give a shit neither makes a point nor does it prove it. All I did was hurt myself.
After a few minutes at my desk, I heard a friends voice in the back of my head.
“Vacation! Vacation! Vacation!” She said.
I looked over my calendar. Maybe this is what I need, time away. Time to just do nothing. Looking over the month, I found January 1st. Good way to start the year off. I circled it on my calendar, filled out my request and the manager agreed that I needed it and it was a smart decision on my part to realize my limitations and how sometimes, you need to just be away.
So starting tomorrow, I will be gone from here.
No phone calls.
No titles.
No nothing.
Just me in my car….
I’m heading out to western New York to relax and just be for a few days. I have the honor of having the opportunity to hang with my good friend 2LazyDogs. I see wine and good food in my future as well as exquisite company and excellent conversation.Besides visitng the Lake Erie area, Niagara Falls is also on the agenda, a natural wonder I have never had the chance to see.
And on my ride home on Saturday night, stopping in Marcellus NY at a place called the Village Tavern to see my good friends Sirsy perform. If you are anywhere near there, I highly reccomend braving the winter chill and checking them out! New venue for them and they are hoping for a good turnout. (Shameless Plug)
So I have 4 days of driving, laughing and enjoying myself. Four days I really need. Four days. It won’t be long enough.