On Heartbreak and Crossing Party Lines

It’s been awhile. Chalk it up to a busy life and no time for dating, but recently, I’ve had a lot of stuff throw me for a loop. It feels strange that I never talked about it here, because I did plenty of talking about it to other people in many other venues. Which might be why I never felt the need to spill my guts here. This space has become a place where I can work things out that I can’t really talk through with friends or family or on Twitter. This last…complication…was so involved and had so much impact on my possible future and on other people in my life that to talk about it here would be to put it on paper and to give it more importance than I was willing to admit.

The long and short of it is that I poured my heart out to a man who’s family has been friends of mine and in-laws to my mother’s sister for my entire life and well before that. Suffice it to say, there’s a lot of history there. I don’t see this guy often, but when I do, there are lots of sparks. It doesn’t go beyond that because there are a lot of complicating factors, but there are definitely sparks. So I decided to grab the situation by the balls and put my feelings out there. I was honest and vulnerable and let my flag fly, so to speak. And he did not salute.

Not only did he not salute, he kind of glanced at the flag, shrugged, and walked away.

I am bruised, to say the very least. I am heartbroken in the kind of way that doesn’t exactly feel like heartbreak. More like preemptive mourning of what could have been, but isn’t. I’m not sad necessarily – though there have been tears. I feel a gaping maw of what I’m missing in my life more acutely than I did before.

But at the same time, I am grateful to him. He had a lot of baggage and I would’ve had to change my whole course to adapt to a life with him. It would’ve been a lot of sacrifice, on both of our parts, and it never would’ve worked had he not been 100% committed, and he never could’ve been 100%. (Did I mention we live 2000 miles apart?)

So I thank him for freeing me of that longing, and I’m trying to move on.

Ironically in a year that has not had much romantic promise, two days after I heard from him, a birdie whispered in my ear that a mutual friend was kind of crushing on me. I know him, we chat on Twitter every few days or so, and I also I know that we are not of the same political mind. In fact, we are as diametrically opposed as you can get. He is far right, I am pretty far left. We’re both in DC, both working in the political/PR fields. I hate to use the term “dealbreaker” about this one, but if ever there was one…

But I have to say, the events of the last few weeks – laying everything on the line and throwing caution to the wind (while we’re using cliches) – have made me a little more open-minded about a guy that six months ago, I would have dismissed outright. All indications I’ve gotten is that he’s political but not evangelical, not proselytizing. And maybe I am getting too picky. Is it better to date someone who is passionate, even if their views differ widely from your own, instead of someone who is apathetic? Does this whole affair make me more open-minded, more hopeful that differences don’t have to be dealbreakers? Or does it just make me dumber?

Posted in adventures in dating, DCer, relationships, shoot me now | 1 Comment

Once more…

into the fray. Okay, probably not for the last time, but I’ve been out of the dating mode for a while, both voluntarily (so exhausting) and a little bit involuntarily.

But I got a message on OkCupid on Monday from a guy that, honestly, wasn’t all that extraordinary on the surface. His profile looked like a million others, and his message was simple, respectful, not douchey. But there was something about him that made me not write him off, like I do so very often. My normal MO is to check out a profile if I get a message and unless something really jumps out at me, I won’t reply. I just don’t have the time or the energy for much else lately.

I don’t know if this guy just caught me right at the perfect moment when my work and school life isn’t totally overwhelming, or if he said just the right thing to intrigue me and then there were no red flags in his profile or messages to make me run in the opposite distribution. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

Since then, there have been texts all day, every day.

And there have been butterflies. Lots and lots of butterflies.

I’m meeting him for the first time tonight. He’s picking me up for dinner. Simple. Easy.

(I’m not sure why I’m so surprised that something like this comes so easily. Have I really been out of this for so long that I don’t know what it looks like when there’s promise and no impending drama? I think that makes me really sad if that’s the case.)

Cautiously hopeful. That’s the best way to describe my feelings right now. I haven’t had any evidence lately that there’s anyone out there for me, and it’s hard to stay optimistic when the outlook is so bleak. (I’m so rosy aren’t I?) But right now, I’ve got that good anticipatory anxiety that bubbles in your stomach and makes everything else go a little fuzzy around the edges.

I don’t want to be disappointed, of course I don’t. Who does? But dammit, if I don’t leap, I’ll never fucking fly.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Sometimes you just have to believe…

I’ve had a really shitty day.

And sometimes, the only way to make it better is to blog it out. I’m sure this space has become my own private diary since I haven’t blogged in six months and I doubt anyone is still paying attention. But I still need to write.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know what made today – or even the last two days – all that different from any other day. There were small insults along the way, but my week started out with a nasty fight on the phone with a client. And I do mean “started.” The first thing I did when I got in to the office yesterday was listen to a client tell me I was incompetent and then threaten to try to have me fired. He assumed I was incompetent, by the way, because I’m a woman. So that interaction has probably colored the last two days a vomit shade of brown.

I’m not going to go into specifics, except to say that today, I witnessed some completely irrational friend-on-friend badmouthing and had to jump in the middle of it, had the same client from yesterday call back and refuse to speak to me and insist on talking to my male boss, listened to another friend make yet another poor decision about her love life, defended a fellow blogger when a commenter took what should have been a simple disagreement with a post and turned it into a personal vitriolic attack against said blogger, and had a seemingly nice guy make an incredibly inappropriate and out-of-the-blue comment about going at it bareback. I thought that gem (which was way more graphic than I’ll share here) was the cherry on top of my day.

But oh no. I decided to bike home from work because I needed a breather, I wanted to enjoy the delicious spring weather and I needed, seriously, to not be around people for awhile. I was doing great until I moved from the bike lane into a left turn lane – because, obviously, I was turning left – and a car pulled up next to me and the driver proceeded to rip me a new one for being an “asshole biker.”

That was it. That was my tipping point for the week and it’s only Tuesday.

I don’t know what else to say about all of that bullshit, except that it’s just that – bullshit.

I try to live my life mostly free of bullshit. Those little dramas people create for themselves or against each other – I hate them and I try my damnedest to stay clear of them. I have no patience for game-playing or for stirring a pot that doesn’t need to be stirred. Even my Twitter profile says that I’m a “bullshit caller.” If something is bothering me or if I think you’re being stupid, I will say something. I’m not going to be bitchy about it (usually) but I don’t understand why someone would tiptoe around a topic when the best course of action is just to be honest, straightforward, and above all, KIND.

I believe, above all, that manners and kindness go a long way, but not at the expense of truthfulness and honor. I’ve lost friends – admittedly – because I called them out when they said or did something that’s not on the up-and-up.

I’m not perfect by any means, and I don’t claim to always follow my own rules, particularly when it comes to gossip. I’m a horrible gossiper but it’s something I’m always, always working on. I can also get really paranoid and quick to jump to conclusions when it comes to my friends, because of my own insecurities. I freely admit these flaws.

I’m also optimistic and I choose to give people the benefit of the doubt and believe the best about them, before I believe the worst. Which is why days like today are so soul-crushing for me. When I finally got home tonight, after some tears on the street after dillhole called me an asshole biker, I needed to remind myself that all of humanity is not mean or selfish or petty. Though I saw very little proof to the contrary today, I have to keep believing that people are fundamentally good, or I can easily see myself turning bitter and hard and I’m not ready to go there. I have to believe that men as a population are not arrogant and misogynistic (current GOP rhetoric aside) and that I will someday find one that thinks I’m amazing and wonderful and wants to make babies with me. I have to believe that somewhere, some people hold open doors for each other and say, “excuse me” without a shred of sarcasm when they bump into each other  and give up their seats on the train for someone who needs it more and smile at a stranger just because.

I need to believe these things are true. If I can’t, what’s the point of all of this?

Posted in shoot me now, too many sunsets | 1 Comment

“Take care, my love. That savors strongly of bitterness.”

The quote is from Pride & Prejudice (the 2005 movie). And I’m writing this post with slight taste of bitterness in my mouth. I don’t like that this post might come out whiny and single-girl resentful, but I gotta write it.

I know that people complain about too much schmoop on the Interwebz, particularly on Facebook and Twitter, and I agree with them for the most part. I’m not averse to seeing the occasional picture or cute message as long as your wall or feed isn’t full of them. But lately, I find my lips curling in a sneer when I see particular kinds of schmoop.

I’ll explain:

I follow someone on Twitter who has not had an easy time of it lately. She’s recently divorced – painfully so – and really got the wind knocked out of her. I felt bad for her – I didn’t need to see the dirty details in my Twitter stream – but I understand that when things are so raw, you sometimes have no choice but to reach out to a community like Twitter and seek out support when your ex does or says something shitty. I get it. I don’t begrudge her the right to bitch.

But not long after the divorce was finalized, she began tweeting about a new man in her life. And omg, the schmoop. She’s got a cutsy nickname for him, and she talks about her heart swelling, etc., etc. I also don’t want to begrudge her happiness – that’s not what this is about. I don’t even mind that she talks about him.

But every time I see something from her about this new guy, I want to scream, “Why does she get to fall in love right away? Why not me?? It isn’t fair.” And I know how that sounds. I know it sounds angry and bitter and I can feel the negativity coming off me in waves. I can’t help it – why does being in a relationship – finding someone to be in a relationship with – come so easy to some people? I’m not deluded enough to think that her divorce means she knows what she’s doing. But how is it that she gets to be escorted from one bad relationship into a brand new, good one? Don’t you have to have a period of singledom where the only thing to comfort you is a bottle of wine and Ben & Jerry’s? Why do some women seem to skip in and out of relationships like they’re putting on a sweater for fall weather? I don’t mean to minimize the pain of the divorce and the difficulty she must be facing.

I am jealous. Plain and simple. Even though she’s been through shit, I am still jealous that she doesn’t have to do it alone. When I have a crappy day, just a normal crappy day where I cry in front of my boss or I’m stressed about school, the thing that makes it all worse is that I have to come home alone. I have to cry, alone, and I would really like to not have to do that for awhile. I don’t even care any more if it ends badly; I just want a few moments of comfort and happiness, of someone to take to parties and to order take-out with, because nothing, NOTHING, makes me feel more single than ordering Chinese or pizza and feeling like I have to justify ordering what I want even though it looks like there’s enough for two people.

This is probably the most self-pitying thing I’ve written in a long time, but it’s been killing me, reading these updates, of someone who’s moving on with her life. And she gets to move on and be in love. I hope she knows how lucky she is.

Posted in adventures in dating, always a bridesmaid, I'm in the business of misery, rantastic, shoot me now | 7 Comments

30 for 30

It’s been awhile. I know. I’m sorry about that. I can’t decide if I haven’t written here because I have nothing to say, or too much to say.

Nevertheless, I’ve got something to post today. I’ve always wanted to put together a “life list” but plotting out the things I want to do for the next 50 years seems…overwhelming. But the next two years and two months? Sure! So in honor of my 30th birthday, rapidly approaching in September 2013, I decided to put together a “30 for 30” list – 30 things I’d like to accomplish by my birthday in a little over two years. Two years sounds like a long time; it’s not, especially when you consider that some of these goals are year-long adventures, and that some of them are traveling goals, which require planning and money. Some are easy, some are hard. Some are a little bit out of my control, no matter how hard to work at them. I originally had more than 30 on the list, but I managed to narrow it down to these:

  1. Throw a dinner party
  2. Learn how to make homemade pasta
  3. Live alone
  4. Take a spontaneous road trip with no planned destination
  5. Get a job in book publishing
  6. Start saving for and do research into having my eggs harvested and frozen
  7. Run a marathon
  8. Do an Olympic triathlon
  9. Take a photo every day for a year
  10. Ask a stranger out on a date
  11. Go alcohol-free for a month
  12. Knit a scarf as a gift for someone else
  13. Donate $50 to a different charity once a month for a year
  14. Take my parents out for a really nice dinner
  15. Eat only local for a week
  16. Set up my freelancing services (i.e. hang out my shingle)
  17. Take a vacation with my friends – no weddings allowed!
  18. Read all seven Jane Austen novels
  19. Go sky-diving
  20. Read Anna Karenina
  21. Eat crabs on the DC waterfront
  22. Volunteer with the Obama 2012 campaign
  23. Start writing fiction again
  24. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
  25. See every movie on the AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies list
  26. Travel internationally at least once a year (Canada doesn’t count!)
  27. Read all seven Harry Potter novels back to back
  28. Learn Photoshop, InDesign and HTML
  29. Get kissed under mistletoe
  30. Be happy

What do you think? Think it’s doable?

Posted in life as list, many the mile(stones), quarterlife crisis | 4 Comments

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If you’ve seen my previous password-protected post, and you’d like the password, email me at whatagrandworld at gmail dot com. I may or may not give it to you. Nothing personal.

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