Holding it Together

I have not blogged in awhile and it is not because I have not wanted to….I just don’t know what to say. The love letters I was all set to write got pushed away by life. Work is a beast and it is becoming…work. A lot of blame placing, a lot of follow-ups that go unacknowledged, rude customers who feel that we all have fairy dust up our asses and can shit all over their problems and make them disappear and the ever growing pile of paperwork. I still love it (still getting there on time and calling out only when sick) but wondering am I still in love with it.

My sisters and I put together a 50th wedding anniversary celebration for my parents and that was incredibly stressful. I think I have told you all before that dealing with my family is not a favorite anything of mine. Control issues, delusion and barely concealed crazy run rampant (at least to me they do) and me with my people pleasing tendencies and still trying to make up for lost time and hurt feelings from my days of addiction…I curb my control issues to do my part to prove we are a typical, normal and Norman Rockwell family. And my control issues do not fare well when not given some sort of rein. But I held it together, decided against beating folks over the head with baseball bats and bags of rocks and it was a bittersweet celebration. Oh, did I mention the menu was hot dogs with potato salad, cole slaw and green salad? But they were incredibly good hot dogs.

The celebration was sweet because how many folks get to celebrate 50 years of uninterrupted marriage? And the fact that they were surprised by the decorations and the presents and the letters we wrote them (maybe I will share the letter here…perfect love letter to my parents) and my sister made an incredible DVD that brought back so many memories and made us all cry. It was a day filled with love and I was so happy to be a part of it. The celebration was bitter because it has me thinking just how many years do I have left with my parents? It got me to thinking that the love they have for each other…I WANT that and I just do not think I will find it. I do not even need 50 years of it…just let me know what it feels like to love and be in love and have it returned. Please. But times are so much different than they were 50 years ago, and I am at an age where most men are married or if they are still single, not looking to settle down with anyone. Heaven forbid if they are divorced…damaged goods is simply inadequate to describe those dudes.

I guess the magic is leaving and I am feeling disenchanted…I cannot even verbalize it at this point because I have already said it all before: I’m lonely, I am no longer enough for me and all the things people do to fill the voids and make a life are slowly becoming a part of the problem instead of part of the solution. I never have time or money at the same time to do things like travel, I have no energy to use my groupons to go to the museums and to see the plays…and frankly, if I am going to make memories I want to make them with someone…not tell someone about them. I am just in a slump and it is weird because I am losing weight (not a lot, but I can see and feel it) and the job is working on making me a permanent offer. Both of those sound like things to celebrate and be happy about, but I’m strange because all I want to do is curl in a ball, shut the world out and sleep…after cussing everyone out. I don’t know…for whatever reason, I am running out of steam and not only do I know how to regain my mojo….not sure I would want to.

Well, this turned out to be a depressing post, but I needed to get at least that little bit off of me. Now, at almost 9pm, going to finish cooking and putting laundry away…one good thing about control issues…even when your life is falling apart piece by piece, they find things to keep you busy to help you keep the mask in place and hold it together for just one more day.

The Personal Ad

Life has been busy and frustrating…work is hecticcrazybusy and while I am still in love with the job and the team and am so incredibly grateful for the opportunities…a part of me is like I so did not sign on for this. The team and I are burned out, frazzled and by the time the weekend rolls around, we are all too exhausted to even attempt to have a social life. The husbands are hiding out in mancaves, the wives and mothers are stocking up on frozen foods and quick snacks for their families and the single ones (like me) are sleeping in and watching laundry pile up. Job security comes at a price.

Things are good with my Panel but Oscar and I are in a cold war zone. I am probably being preachy and more than likely in know it all mode while she is being stubborn and at one point was sticking fingers in her ears (a la I don’t HEAR you) but the bottom line is we both want her to be happy. I think she knows that. My personal life is shelved. Totally. I met up with a guy who answered my CL ad and we went for pizza and drinks (I have found a new love…Sprite with cherries) so I could use my groupons. The food left a lot to be desired, dude seemed interested but he was just not what I am looking for. 27 (so he is waaay younger than what I seek), broke and splitting living arrangements between his brother’s couch and mom’s basement. Met a new guy at work who seemed perfect: cute enough, Artsy Craftsy likes him (she likes everybody),SINGLE, home owner, and gainfully employed. He maintained eye contact during our conversation, laughed at my jokes, showed me pictures of his condo and his pet, we exchanged numbers and he even invited me out for dinner and drinks. Except he’s gay…he has playdates and sleepovers for his for his dog and on Facebook, he likes pages such as Hot Guys. At best, he knows some single straight guys and at worst, I have a new social partner.

But today’s post is about the CL ad I posted….I thought it was well written ( I damn sure spent enough time on it), thoughtful and expressed my wishes clearly. Obviously not as the only viable response came from the homeless 27 year old. Other responses included the guy who said (and I quote): “I feel you. I enjoy a good convo before fucking also”; the guy who just said “Hell no, my sista. Peace and blessings”; and the numerous one liners who disappeared one I actually replied back. Oh, and it got flagged and removed after 24 hours. I don’t get it, I don’t get it, I don’t get it….but I am shelving all attempts at meeting someone and CL is off the table completely. I am tired of banging my head against the wall ….we are exceeding the pain threshold here. So below is my personals ad ( I titled it Just Because) …maybe one of my readers will see what was wrong with it besides being honest and real. Enjoy the ad, and I will be back soon with new posts and love letters. As always, thanks for stopping past and reading, and as usual…enjoy your day!

You know, I get really discouraged when I post on this board because the men here are utterly ridiculous. Seriously, if I need to be a certain race, height, weight, education level to freaking chat with you (not meet…chat) . . .that tells me a lot about who you are, not who I am not. If you feel it is okay to send me letters and numbers (UR RU, U2, CU, K, QQ, etc.) instead of typing out “you are” because you feel it doesn’t matter since we aren’t talking. . .that tells me a lot about you. The lack of effort that goes into making a good first impression mentally is depressing.

But I have a little (very little) hope that there is a man who is age appropriate, sane, and single who is also respectful, intelligent (educated is not the same thing and I know someone out there knows what I mean), humorous and single who is looking to start slowly. Yes, sex is great but it is not on my agenda first time we meet. I want friendship, trust and something substantial with someone of substance. I believe that if the mental connection is good, and the personalities mesh well everything else will fall into place.

Just because I do not ask for your picture immediately or post one of my own does not mean I am ugly and/or desperate and will take anything that comes my way. I have a life, I have a job in a high profile department with a high profile company. I am discreet and not everyone needs to know who I am or what I do in my off-time. This is CL and who knows what people online do with your pictures (I was actually stalked via photos) or any other info you give out to the persons who ends up being the flake, the fake and the no-show? And if I ask you not to send photos and you do anyway? That tells me you didn’t/can’t read, cannot respect my wishes in your zeal to make your agenda my agenda or you are all about the physical, and I want someone who offers and expects more than that.

Just because I say I am black does not mean I am ghetto, loud, tattooed, live in the hood or resemble an ape. I am very well spoken, well-read and carry myself as a lady at all times. I live in a safe, quiet, diverse neighborhood and I enjoy the usual suspects of hobbies/interests: reading murder mysteries and true crime; movies both mainstream and indie (except sci-fi and horror); music (all genres except gangsta rap, and heavy metal. . .especially partial to ambient/chillout); blogging; museums; history and want to get into yoga and considering a 3k maybe this fall (so not a runner but want to build up walking time/speed). I do smoke cigarettes but no alcohol or drugs (and yes, 420 is a drug). I am 11 years in recovery and working everyday on achieving another day clean and sober. I have no problems with bars or pubs or if you are a social drinker.

Just because I say I am BBW does not mean I am 800 pounds with fat spilling everywhere, too tight clothing and breasts that sag to my knees. It means I am 6’4″ with curves and a little extra in my tummy area. I am not defined by my dress size or body fat percentages and if you define women by such things, we won’t be communicating. I occupy one seat at a time (people can actually sit next to me comfortably on the metro), I do not need an oxygen tank or the entire sidewalk to walk down the street and I can maneuver crowds with ease without knocking into folks. My weight has never been a stumbling block in my professional life, in living a full life or even in my personal life, but after taking time off to heal after a devastating breakup, it seems the game has changed. It is either sex or dating and I am looking for someone to hang out with: dinners, movies, bowling, museums and see what develops. You know, that elusive gray area of getting to know someone without the pressure that dating brings.

So this is me. I live in DC, work in Arlington and tend to do most activities in the city. I do not have children, so outside of work my time is my own. If anything I said piques your interest or resonates with what you seek also, I do not have a list of demands or must-haves. All I ask is you be on the taller side (or okay with me being 6’4″ and you being whatever height you are), age appropriate (38-55), single (no wives or girlfriends) and willing to talk first and maybe meet for dinner or a movie by the weekend. I will of course pay for my share of whatever it is we do to alleviate feelings of obligations and expectations. You can be size 32 or size 52 , just carry it well and do not let your weight/fitness level (or lack thereof) define you. Please do not send your pictures. . .I want to get to know who you are. I want a feel for your attitude and personality. I want a meeting of the minds.

The Missing Ingredient

This is not a love letter (getting back to writing them after this post) but the talk that brought about this post has inspired my next love letter. In between working (where I have been given even more responsibilities and visibility), thinking of a present to get my parents for their 50th wedding anniversary, listening to my new favorite group Memoryhouse and sending birthday wishes (this month alone we have Artsy Craftsy, New Mommy, my brother, Buddy, Baby Oscar and Oscar), I have been having talks with Chef.

I know, he is borderline crazy and nerve wracking at times but he is a great friend and talking with Chef helps me to realize things: about myself, about others, about what I really want both professionally and personally. So I have been talking to Chef about the lack of companionship and asking how does he handle it and also asking why I always, always, always find the crazy idiot men. His answers were enlightening: he handles his loneliness reminding himself of what he had with his fiancée and what he wants someone to bring into his life now. Whoever enters his life next does not necessarily have to be his fiancée reincarnated but they have to bring the same level of wonderfulness to his world. He wants someone who will respect that after twenty years with someone, while there will be no comparisons, there will always be caring for her. He wants someone who has their own as far as housing and a job/career and they have to have a life so if he is ever unavailable, they can actually function without him. Bottom line: the person cannot bring less than what he has had in the past. And with me, I need someone to bring more. I have settled too long for crumbs and corners and edges and I can recognize it now…and until that someone brings the more that I need and deserve, I will be single. (I love how he did not say alone or lonely)

He then asked me to write a list of the one thing that I truly liked about the four men in my recent past and to write down what they did to make me not like them. I pointed out I did a post on the positive I found in these men but Chef pointed out that the positive and what I liked about them can be two different things. When I said I really do not feel like analyzing why I don’t like them anymore, he said that I would see a pattern…that pattern would tell me what they all did not offer and what I need in the next person. So I did it…and what do you know? He was right! Below is my exercise and my findings:

Married Man: Hard pressed to find something I actually liked about the man and I feel badly about that. After all, I spent 7 years of my life with this man and I cannot come up with ONE thing I liked about him. He was rude, selfish, childish, irresponsible, a liar, ungrateful and so many other negative things. I cooked all his favorite meals for him on his schedule, did his laundry, gave him the keys to my apartment and was faithful to the man. Not really sounding like a fair trade-off, is it? No wonder I cannot find anything to like about the man. But what drove the love (if it was even that) away wasn’t the lies, it wasn’t the other women in my bed….it was a Saturday afternoon when we were together. I was in the middle of giving the man GREAT oral and he pushed me off him to answer.his.phone. Said it was his wife and he HAD to answer it. Really? Get the fuck out and answer your damned phone…and I that is what I did: I threw his clothes out in the hallway, pushed his naked ass out after them, locked my door and cried.

Him: OMG….where to begin here? I guess I will start with Chef is STILL pulling for him and I to get back together. Chef says neither of us have been really happy (I am doing a better job than him at it though) since the breakup and despite everything, Chef feels him and I still belong together and that this time, we can both get it right. I am flattered (simply because I do not know what else to be) and I have to admit, a little hopeful because one of the many things I did like about him was the fact that him was one of the few men where adult fun was the result of our visits and time together, not the reason for it. Him and I would talk about the most random things and we could talk for hours and never get bored. We would cook for each other, cuddle, laugh, and just have the most amazing times that were topped off by sexual encounters. And I miss that and wish other men would put as much effort into just having a good time with a woman versus seeking “fun”. We all know what he did to make me not like him….no need in spoiling good memories with the ending of the story.

AFO: What did I like about AFO other than the hot, hot, hot sex (which would have eventually gotten on my nerves…that is how high his sex drive was)? I liked the fact that he wanted me and enjoyed coming home to me. It was really nice for a brief time to have someone in my space who made me feel sexy, wanted and desired. Why don’t I like him anymore? Kind of hard to stay in like with someone who treats you as if you do not exist once you have left their eyesight. Not going to lie here, if AFO had at least tried to keep up some form of regular communication with me once he returned to the Gulf Coast, I would still be trying to make it work between us.

WB: In the beginning, I thought he was cute and fun and spontaneous….all things that were missing from my life. I thought he could be the one to pique my curiosity and my partner when it came to exploring the city at night while a soundtrack only I could hear played in my head. Then reality intruded and he showed who he really was and at this point, I see that he is a young, dumb boy with entitlement issues who indulges in random fuckery (STILL doing it!) just for the hell of it. I view him as a cardboard cutout looking for others to prop him up and put him position. What really killed the like I had for WB was when he asked me to do something to help him out that would have put my job in jeopardy…and when asked what he would do for me if I made it happen, he actually said he would take me bowling! The man who cannot cross the street to bring me back a beverage that he offered to get is going to be seen with me after hours and in his neighborhood? Seriously? Oh, and then he followed it up with offering to take me to lunch but I went too late for him. Yeah, a professional relationship is doubtful at this point.

So what I discovered in making the list is that despite my best efforts to be there for these men, to give them what they wanted and needed, to be a genuinely good, decent woman and friend…none of them appreciated a damn thing. If I was not taken for granted, I was outright disrespected (probably both in all 4 cases) and all my efforts went unnoticed and I did not even get a thank you. I do not know what the endings so far say about me and them….Married Man is still in his marriage with multiple women on the side; Him is with BTH/BTGD, broke and unhappy as hell; AFO is somewhere in America, still alone and WB is walking around with his 5th new laptop in less than 2 months and no one who is willing to deal with him any longer, at least in my department. And I am alone, posting for movie dates on CL…and while I know why I would rather be here than back with them, was I that bad that they would rather be where they are than with me?

But the purpose of the exercise is not/was not to question myself in a negative but to see what I need from the next person that I have not gotten previously and that is appreciation. Really sad that this entire blog post could be summed up in one sentence but I have to take the long way around because I tend to overlook and conveniently forget a LOT of things that will land me back in the same position, asking the same questions. As always, thanks for stopping past and reading and as usual….enjoy your day!

Comfort (Love Letter #3)

This blog post is a love letter to another one of my Panel members. In fact, at least the next two will be love letters unless I become all Drama Queen and let the little things become big things. Again and as usual. In fact, I am on that path RIGHT NOW…which is why this letter is as important for me to write as hopefully it will be for this Panel member to read. Today’s letter is to UTA…she may be our newest member, but this chick is a seasoned vet in all things life and love and total what the fuckness. Please, enjoy the letter, check back soon for new posts and always, thanks for stopping past and reading and as usual…enjoy your day!

Dearest UTA:

You came into my life when I was in the middle of a shitstorm: unemployed, mental breakdown, depression…a lot of ugly, unhealthy things. Things that people who really did not know me would have run from. But not you….you put on your rain boots, a water proof jacket and a Gorton’s fisherman’s hat and sat quietly, holding my hand saying words of encouragement and comfort. And that is what you have been ever since….a comfort. Every Panel member has that certain something that completes and complements me, and you UTA…you get me.

With you, I don’t have to explain and I don’t need to feel as if I need to make you understand. Wherever I am, you are already there. You either have the Kleenex, the cold sodas and aspirin or the swift kick in the pants (or potential slap in the face) that is needed to keep me from becoming stagnant or caught up in cycles I have already been through before. You do not stand in judgment (none of the Panel ever does) but you let it be known when you kinda sorta lika don’t agree with my choices. You let it be known that whatever I weigh, whatever I look like…it is good enough. For you, for the next person and most importantly….for me. You let it be known to be proud of my curviness and to embrace the extra I have…after all, I am good enough. As is. Besides, you know as well as I do that while I may diet, exercise is so not happening over here.

The loneliness…..I remember you told me once you were lonely and I thought got it. But I didn’t…until now. NOW, I get you and what you meant when you said it was almost a craving, that all the trite things I trotted out would not fill that void. And even though you have moved on from that loneliness, you are somehow still right here with me, helping me through it. Teaching me that being lonely does not mean being desperate and that crazy is crazy and will never change…except to become more crazy.

I think what I love most about you and our friendship is that you make me feel not so alone when it comes to making things work out….Oscar is another member who really wants (and works) to make things work out but whereas Oscar will ride the brakes off a bitch and stick with it come hell or highwater…with you, I feel good taking a step back…then taking a step forward. I am okay with agonizing with you, because you do the exact same thing. True, you were saving a marriage and I am dealing with idiots that were rejected from Left Field but you got it….I wanted it to work because whoever it was, whatever it was and however long it was….I wanted them and I wanted a happy ending. And as you point out in that gentle way of yours…even if it didn’t work out, maybe I still got my happy ending.

I envy you, you know. I look up to you: your worldliness, your balancing act as almost single mother, job seeker, blogger/writer…and in a country not known for their progressive views towards women. Yet you seem content and at peace and to always have enough for your needs and a few of your wants. You tell your story with compassion and honesty without being overly honest. You are a lady who keeps her secrets and her tears hidden from the world. That is a feat not many can accomplish, but you did.

UTA, you are a day filled with Matt and Kim songs, feel good movies, chocolate, clean sheets and long, hot showers. You feel me and you fill me. I love you so much, and am in love with you beyond words and maybe words aren’t necessary…because you get me.

Bad Connection

Hello, Readers and Happy Sunday! I have missed talking and sharing with you, but between my cold and the fact that there was really nothing to say, I felt it best to just lay low. For the first time in a long time, things are calm and quiet with me and my Panel…some of us are happy, some of us have our medications back and the rest of us are just making peace with situations we cannot control. Oscar probably thinks I am a Negative Nelly, but I am shutting up about her situation…enjoy it while it lasts, and may it last a long time. And I have to say, this quiet does not feel ominous or as if chaos is lurking in the shadows….the quiet feels peaceful and as if new things are right around the corner.

The cold was a bitch and I took off another two days from work and I missed my team terribly….how sad is it that my job and my social life are one and the same? But they understood and were pretty happy I stayed away with my germs and my snot and my hacking cough. And the job is getting better every day: I am now having benefits deducted from my paycheck (still waiting on insurance cards) and now I qualify for the 401K spending plan! Seriously, I am getting more in 3 months of employment with this temp agency than in all the other temp agencies I have ever worked for combined. WB and I are no longer speaking….he got a new laptop with all his software downloaded on it and I decided to cut out the stupidity and negativity in my life again…and here we are. He is able to make Lync phone calls and I am able to catch up on grunt work while flirting with random men. I think we are both happy.

So today’s post is here because Friday night, I went to see a great movie called Disconnect with a 66 year old crossdresser which led to a phone conversation with Weekend Phone Friend in which I declared I would die alone and unloved. The movie itself was very real and very dark….converging storylines about how people are more connected to invisible cyber space persons instead of the people they live with and see every day; how loneliness and anonymity lead people to be whoever they want online and how even the most noble of efforts have hidden agendas behind them. Not sure if the movie will resonate with others the way it did with me, but I am quite sure no one I know has used online as much as I have and for the reasons I have….what the movie portrayed, I have lived. And the Crossdresser was simply one example….they lied about their age. Trust me, 66 is nowhere in the 38-55 age range.

I guess you are now wondering how in the hell did I end up at the movies with a crossdresser 20 years older than me…and we can all thank Craigslist for that. You guys know I am lonely (amazing how easy it is to admit that now) and I am tired of doing things alone. With my Panel having children, families, actual lives and diverse interests and schedules…we kind of don’t get together that often. Food is always a staple for us as well as conversations but we usually do certain things with certain people…and both my movie people (Cuz and Girlfriend) are busy with other things right now. So I went back to Craigslist (it did find me the dinner date) looking for a movie partner. It has been suggested I go to Plenty of Fish, Match…anyplace but Craigs but I don’t for two reasons. First, not looking for a date per se…dating is hard, and filled with pressure and expectations. I just want to do something casual (a meal, a movie, maybe a museum or ride the metro to a random stop, get off and explore the neighborhood) with someone new…maybe talk and get to know them. I figure at best, we see each other again and build something. At worst, I know why I don’t want to know you. Secondly, the men on Craigs are everywhere else online.

The responses to my ad were less than stellar and reminded me why I stopped posting there in the first place. I got rude, disrespectful responses calling me fat, nasty and ugly (without even seeing my picture); I got the guys who sent one liner responses; I got men claiming they actually wanted to go but disappeared when I replied back. I got the men who sent pictures after I asked them not to (seriously, I just wanted them to be respectful, age appropriate and to buy the popcorn since I had the tickets…besides, it is a darkened theater. Looks would not matter than much) and the guy from upstate New York who wanted to praise my writing skills and see if I were available Memorial Day weekend when he would be in town. And then I got the crossdresser reply….sincere, sane and once again, I thought it would be different and fun. But it was weird: there was the wig, the makeup, the dress and heeled boots. The deep rasping voice and fake nails, the hand on my thigh and them sneaking into the ladies’ room because they could not go into the men’s room dressed as a woman.

And between this adventure and the movie, I fell into kind of a despair….because people online are disconnected. They want pictures to either judge you by their standard of beauty or to jack off to; no one wants to meet and have face to face time. They want to Skype and email and chat and text….when they live right around the corner. With the advent of technology, sex is becoming more and more of a solo project and real life interactions are becoming obsolete. Not sure if it is because online even the people who are nothing but threes on the age old scale of 1-10 can become twelves or if we are so absorbed with work and the virtual world, the real world has become scary and frightening. Not sure about where you live, but here in DC it is all about not making eye contact and going to the gym…and that is not me. I want to meet, I want to talk and I don’t do gym time. A person is so much more than their age, race, height, weight, dress size, body fat percentages….but no one knows that anymore. They would rather have a fantasy than the reality…and that is why I will end up alone and unloved. I want to be a who, not a what. I do not want to talk about it, I want to actually do it. But we are becoming more disconnected from reality the more we connect to the virtuality (so not a word). I would love for a decent, sane, single and age appropriate man to look up from his mobile device, look around and see that while I may not be society’s ideal, I am ideal nonetheless.

Okay, off the soap box….gotta get this apartment in order, prep some dinner (chicken breasts, skin-on mashed potatoes and some type of green veggie) and laundry is on the agenda today. Check back soon for love letters to more of my Panel members and as always…thanks for stopping past and reading and as usual…enjoy your day! Oh, and if you get a chance, check out Disconnect. It really is a great film!