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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

There's also house stuff

I think I was getting some bad ju-ju having that last post be at the top of my blog. Not that I am ashamed of it (I have nothing to be ashamed of, really), I just don't like thinking about being lied to and losing a friend. And, from some other recent events (which may be another post), I have a feeling that my friend is probably not really lost, but rebuilding trust is very hard. Although sometimes you can get back to being friends even if that's all it is. Trust me, that I know. Much like it is broken with the ex-wives, once I get left for them, it's broken with me too. Nobody ever wins in these situations.

Anyhow, this is about house stuff. Let's see -- what's new to report on the house? Lots of stuff.
1. My bathroom was painted Saturday, a lovely Caribbean blue color. It will be accessorized shortly. It's going to be super cool.
2. The den is finally getting artwork and a bigger flat-screen TV (which means the living room is also getting a flat-screen TV, the den's old one).
3. There are doors on the laundry room and ceiling fans in all the bedrooms (although the fan switch doesn't work on mine, which pisses me off a little).
4. Landscape lighting has been installed along the front path.

There are still things to do:
We are working on the door table right now. In fact, I have to go to Lowe's at lunch to get different mounts for the table legs, because I bought the wrong ones. After it is sanded and the legs are attached, I'm going to get a piece of glass or plexiglass for the top. At some point I need to track down two wooden chairs to paint. I am thinking eggplant and yellow.

My bedroom and bathroom is a work in progress. The goal is to be completely unpacked and decorated before my brother visits at the end of June. We'll see.

I need to call a plumber to see what might be wrong with the line from the toilet to the sink in the guest bathroom. It's not getting any cold water since we fixed the hot water heater. There's also a dripping noise which seems to be pipes contracting, although I'm really hoping it isn't a leak because I do not want to rip out walls.

I would also like to plant some sort of flowers out front, but I'm trying to spend as little money as possible until further notice. I have spent hundreds of dollars working on the house the past week weeks and none of it was really necessary, although some argument could be made for ceiling fans in 100-degree heat.

There's still more to do. At some point, I need to deal with the attic (especially because that seems to be why my fan is not connected to its switch) and eventually I need to build out the closet in the front bedroom. Perhaps most importantly, I should probably put a railing around my back porch before someone falls off of it and my homeowners insurance gets canceled.

But for all the griping, I love having a house that is mine. Eventually -- way down the road -- we'll put in a breakfast bar and reconfigure the kitchen and den area and redo the master bath. But we'll need lots of equity before those things happen.

At least it looks pretty in the meantime.

Let's Google

One of my friends tweeted a link to this blog with the lead-in "If Nashville had a Carrie Bradshaw, this would be her." That, my friends, is one of the top compliments that I could receive. It also makes me feel better about another post on the fiasco that is my dating life. Expect more. Perhaps I really am becoming Nashville's Carrie Bradshaw.  God knows I drink enough cosmos.

My former suitor called me last week. He was calling to see if I was mad. I told him I didn't feel like I had a right to be mad, but I was sad because I missed having him around and I was upset that, yet again, I wasn't good enough.

He assured me that I was good enough. He also told me all about everything going on with the reunion with his ex. Told me how he was in a bad place and took it out on her and that's why she acted like a colossal bitch. All his fault, of course. And he's doing it because of his daughter. Of course.

Have we heard this story before?

Of course, the reason he had to call me to check on if I was mad or not was because he never got the text messages I sent him in reply to his text messages about the whole situation. Which means that someone who was not him went on his phone, read them, and deleted them. And before you say I'm just bitter about getting dumped and blaming some stranger woman with only getting half of the story, he actually told me that while they were separated but before he changed to his own cell phone plan, she googled my number on their phone bill. And, I'm guessing between these two things she's figured out exactly who I am and I'm probably not going to be hearing from him again, which is fine. I did enjoy being his friend more than anything and I did offer to do that platonically, but I'm guessing she's not going to let that happen. And, really I can't blame her. I might do similar if I couldn't trust my husband.

Actually, if I couldn't trust my husband, I'd put his shit on the lawn and change the locks. If you don't have trust, a relationship won't ever work. Ever. That's what every relationship -- romantic and platonic -- is based on. Or at least it is in my world. How many times have I told you about friends I cut off because I didn't know what was truth or lies? You just don't lie if you love someone.

I didn't tell him that I had texted him and the messages were intercepted. I figured she'd confront him on it soon enough. She was probably saving it until he left the toilet seat up or something. What I did tell him is that if he truly feels that he's happy that they both should work on it and see what happens. I also told him in a few weeks when she pisses him off and he wants to cheat with me, that he should not call.

But the moral of this story is that if you don't have trust, you really shouldn't have a relationship. And the title of this little piece comes from some practical advice for all of my single readers. When you start dating someone, you Google before you canoodle, OK? Because if I had googled this chap's email address, I never would have gotten involved. First of all, while I didn't date him until he was officially separated, he was attempting to cheat for YEARS before he left his wife. He told me it had never gone anywhere with anyone else, but he also told me that he didn't start looking until his marriage couldn't be repaired.

When I did finally google him and find all these dating profiles (and I use the term "dating" loosely, most of them were 'let's hook up for a little discreet side action' kind of places), it really took all I had to not send his wife a heads-up email. After all, she does have a web page set up for her fancy, schmancy vow renewal ceremony.

But, mostly I just wanted to alert her because I was pissed at him for misrepresenting himself and I wanted to get even. That's not cool;  I need to take the high road. It is not my place to say anything, not that she'd believe me anyhow. Surely she knows enough to be cautious. And, clearly she knows how to Google. Maybe she's still Googling me. In which case I'd like to tell her to run, not walk, to the nearest emergency exit.

After all, he did say under different circumstances she and I would probably have been great pals because we're so alike.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I got you, babe.

As I find myself newly single, yet again, I am wondering if I should just go all-out channeling my inner Carrie Bradshaw and make this blog about the trials and tribulations of a single girl trying to date in the big city.

But a) I am not completely sold on the idea of trying to date in the big city (keep reading) and b) that might be a little too much TMI even for me. (And yes, I know “TMI” actually covers the “too much.” I wanted to convey a lot of TMI there.)

However, this post will be about a serious dating issue: Why strangers think they can call you by pet names AND think that you’ll like it.

I don’t know if I’ve ever talked about my aversion to pet names before. But, I have one and it’s a serious issue.

Only a few select people can call me by pet names: My parents call me “Sis,” because I am, after all, my brothers’ only sister. My Aunt Foo (who obviously has her own pet name) and my Uncle Mike call me Daisy. I am not 100% my Uncle Mike knows my real name. This stems from the early-80s Dukes of Hazzard craze. My brother, Luke, became “Luke Duke,” and I, by association, became Daisy. Thirty-some years later, I’m still Daisy to them.

And my ex-boyfriend Chris still calls me “Dear” sometimes. I think he just does it because his parents call each other dear in a kind of tongue-in-cheek way. It’s not because he’s hot for me or anything. And it’s something he started after we’d been going out for several months. You know, when we actually knew each other and had a relationship.

That’s it. Not on that list, you should call me Laura. Or LJ, if you’re one of the friends who managed to survive that dreadful era of my life. (The friends – well, most of them – weren’t dreadful, just that time of my life.)

So, anyway. You will noticed that “sug,” “hon,” “baby,” “sweetie,” or –my personal favorite – “sexy,” were nowhere on that list.

It is not cool for a stranger to call me names that are terms of endearment. It’s not cool for the girl who checks me out at the grocery to call me “honey,” and it’s really, really, really not cool for a guy I have talked to for 30 whole seconds to call me “babe” or – worse yet – “sexy.”

Honestly, I’m pretty sure that if I were married for half my life and my husband called me “sexy,” it would probably set me off.

I find men who refer to women with those kinds of terms to be disrespectful, and seriously, it is the quickest way to get shut down if you are trying to date me.

It instantaneously makes me want to kick someone in the nuts.

Needing a little self-esteem boost after last week’s hullaballo, I decided to dust off my online dating profile. This was a move that lasted about two hours, mostly because of the pet names. We could get into the bigger issue of people seeing your photo online and developing an absurd “connection” and displaying a creepy overfamiliarity, but that’s not even necessary because I can’t get past the pet names.

So, Mr. “Hey, babe, maybe we can go out sometime” (only with more atrocious spelling)? Oops. You’ve been deleted.

Mr. “How’s your day going, sexy”? You need to go out to a field and try that on a sheep or something.

I was mentioning this hindrance (aside from the atrocious spelling) to a friend – who’s Southern, I might add, because this apparently seems more friendly to Southerners – and after he lambasted me for being a cold, insensitive Yankee, he told me that I should just tell guys that it makes me want to kick them in the nuts because they probably don’t realize and think that it’s endearing. (And then he said “I’ve never done that to you before, right?” To which I assured him he had not since I was still talking to him.)

And I’ve done that. I’ve asked guys to cut it out with the overly familiar pet names. To which they usually reply, “Anything u want, babe.”


If you do this, or you know someone (brother, friend, lady at the supermarket) who does, please tell them to tone it down. I just find it disrespectful and demeaning, and a brief Google search I believe I am not the only one who feels this way.

And in addition to insulting me and making me want to kick you in the nuts, whether you are or not, it makes me think you are a major player. When you call me babe, I assume that this isn’t your first rodeo and you think women are playthings whose names are not even worth remembering. I just assume that you are like this with every woman and you are looking for a quick score. And I think your parents never taught you manners, which is just something you do not want other people to think about you.

So, what does everyone else think? Am I just being a rude northerner and totally overreacting or do I have a valid complaint? I would love to hear other people’s feelings on this issue.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012


In some strange way, I'm secretly hoping that I've been so quiet lately you've all given up on me and aren't reading anymore. What kind of writer doesn't want people to read her words?

One who needs to talk, has no one to talk to and just doesn't want the commentary.

Anyone who's been here for a while knows that a few years ago, I went out with someone for several months, helped him raise his child and then ended up having a nervous breakdown when he left me to try to work things out with his ex-wife. It was one of the hardest, darkest times of my life.

Once life had finally started to look up from that, I found out that I was having some health issues and got caught up in some nasty drama involving another man who had crossed my path.

With all that, I just put the whole dating scene up on a shelf high on a closet and worked on improving myself and not worrying about other people.

I bought a house. A house that I got a good deal on and that I love. I am excited every night when I come home.

But right after I moved into that house, I met a guy. A really nice guy. A really nice guy that I liked a lot. He and I spent a lot of time together and I just really enjoyed being around him. I didn't figure I'd be with him forever, but I was definitely enjoying it while it lasted.

And then last week, I went to Disney World with my family, which was probably the best week I have had in a really long time, possibly forever. It was so cool to get to spend a week with my nephew, whom I only see once or twice a year. Actually, that could be said about just about anyone in my family these days.

And Disney World? Well, I am not sure how I made it almost 36 years before I went to Disney World. That place is amazing. They really go out of their way to make sure you have a first-rate experience there.

I talked to my suitor while I was gone. I told him I had thought about buying him a gift, but I hadn't bought it yet. He and I talked and everything seemed OK.

Except it wasn't. I hadn't heard from him the rest of the week, but I knew he was busy with work, so I finally checked in once I was getting ready to come back home.

And he dropped a bombshell on me. He'd decided to reunite with his ex-wife.

Luckily, I've been dealt these cards so many times in the last few years that I new exactly how to play this hand. It's not hard actually. You cry a little. You try to figure out why the fuck this keeps happening to you. And then you go about your business because there's nothing else you can do.

I think the part that pissed me off the most is that getting dumped right before your birthday totally sucks. Not as much as the realization that you will never be able to keep a man, especially when his ex-wife that he's done nothing but talk shit about comes along, but it does suck.

Oh, well. Life goes on. I'm still healthy. I have a job.  A house. I'm doing it all on my own, simply because that's the hand I've been dealt.

However, the guilt must have been getting to my little friend, because he felt compelled to email me a play-by-play of the events of the week that I was gone and tell me how great things are and how this was what was missing blah blah blah.

I'm not sure why he did that. It wasn't to rub it in or anything. I think he just wanted to tie up loose ends. It didn't make me want to tell him to go fuck himself anyless, but of course I'm too polite for that.

So, now I sit here. I sit here missing someone I have no right to miss. Someone who really, truly doesn't deserve to be missed by me anyhow.

Every time this happens I say I'm getting too old to do it again. And this time, at 36, I'm thinking I'm for real. The benefits (although they were really, really great this time) do not outweigh the costs. I own my own house, I have a good job, a nice car...I think I really am just better off by myself.

Before I left, my therapist asked me where I saw myself at 40. And, while I'm not a huge fan of setting arbitrary, age-based goals, I did have a few (which I'm not sharing right now), but none of them included having a spouse or even a significant other. While there really are no words to explain how I feel to come home, in the rain, to see a man holding flowers on my back porch waiting for me, there aren't any words to explain how I feel when I come home and realize he's not ever going to be there again either.

All I can really say on this gloomy day is that I'm thankful the eye doctor put all kinds of drops in my eyes, because it gives me an excuse to mist up once in a while...

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