Seriously? Is It Just Me…

Posts Tagged ‘relationships

grinch

Cuddly as a Cactus

For the past few years, I’ve made it a habit to change my Instant Messenger avatar to the Grinch as my way of letting the world know how I truly feel about the holiday season. I have several reasons for dreading the month of December which thankfully isn’t the purpose of this post. However, despite my desire to remain cuddly as a cactus until the new year, I do find myself enjoying a few Christmas traditions.

One of those traditions is watching at least one variation of A Christmas Carol. While the original is a great version, I actually enjoy the knock offs more (who would ever have thought I would recommend a knock off of anything). One in particular is Ebbie, played by the Daytime Emmy snubbed Susan Lucci, as she works her way up the department store career ladder to find herself bitter, alone and…well a scrooge. Despite how poorly acted, written and shot this adaption of A Christmas Carol is, I always settle in to watch it, at least up until the part when Tiny Tim begins singing a painful version of “Angels We Have Heard on High”.

So why do I eagerly await the showing of this classic christmas tale? Well, because of the moral. At the end, when the Scrooge character wakes up full of the Christmas spirit, and realizes that he or she should have been giving not taking, that life is too short for frugality and resentment, and that this is the time of the year to spend with your family and friends, I can’t help but get teary-eyed. I hate to say this, but I am a little like Scrooge. I don’t enjoy this time of year, but after watching that movie I remember that being surrounded by people I love and who love me is a blessing.

This past weekend was another one of my favorite parts of the Christmas season; my girlfriends’ annual holiday party. We eat, drink fancy cocktails, and laugh so hard we shed tears. I wish I could tell you exactly what is so funny, or why such an electic group of women have so much fun together, but in my heart I know it’s simply the bond of friendship. Thinking back on the year my friends endured, I realized that:

  • One of us became a mother;
  • Another lost a very important person in her life;
  • A few of us struggled to find good jobs in a tough economy;
  • Two of us worked hard to raise beautiful and smart daughters;
  • Half of us fought to maintain a healthy relationship with our mothers;
  • Some of us endured a lonely night or two in search of the one;
  • And all of us were there for each other through it all.

So this holiday season I’m going to remember to smile a bit more as I cherish the times I spend with those I love and thank God for truly blessing us, every one. Seriously!

Smerry Christmas Ladies!

8 days of christmas

Our version of a friend contract!

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female-dogNow I’ve never been married, so I don’t know what it feels like to have a husband who works with, socializes with or finds himself in the company of single women. I’m sure if someone has trust and/or jealousy issues then this could be a big problem for their marriage. However, I do know what it’s like to find myself having to socialize with married men, mainly for professional reasons, and to be treated so poorly by their wives simply for being single. These women (bless their hearts) are clearly struggling with some issues, but it’s always in my best interest to spot them early on and then steer clear. For those who have yet to experience the chilly demeanor of a mean wife, here are a few signs:

1. You are constantly having to tell her your name. Despite having met her at more than one company function, dinner party and/or social event, your name “escapes” her memory every time.

2. You feel a sharp pain in the back of your neck from the daggers she’s shooting at you through her eyes. If I’m talking to her husband, when I feel these nasty glares darting my way, I take an extra step back away from her man and limit my laughter. I clearly will not be able to express any enjoyment while conversating with her spouse.

3. You find yourself engaged in a conversation with her where she continues to deliver back handed compliments about your outfit, shoes and/or accessories. Now, this is always so comical to me because it’s always the wives who don’t work outside the home, and spend up their husbands money who find it appropriate to play the I have more than you do game. Really?

4. You find yourself biting your tongue while she proceeds to give you unsoliciated “advice” on why you’re not married. Comments such as, you’re too picky, too independent or unapproachable seem far reaching and clearly inappropriate especially when they’ve never spent more than 15 minutes with you. You don’t even know my name, why do you care if I’m still single or not?

Now contrary to what some married women think, most single women do not want your husband. I have several married friends, who are confident in their marriages, trust their husbands and care enough to know the people he works with on a regular basis. Therefore, when the mean wives rear their ugly heads, I simply smile, nod and dish out my own dose of back handed compliments right before I say a small prayer for their husbands. Seriously.

About a week ago while getting my weekly entertainment news fix, I came across an article revealing that the young pop-country “songstress” (and I use that term loosely), Taylor Swift had indeed written a song about her now shattered love affair with John Mayer. My first reaction was, is she old enough to be dating him, but then without really caring what the answer was to that question I wondered what is the attraction to this guy?

Love Notes

La La Lie to Me Meee

If you know anything about celebrity gossip you are all to aware that while John is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and says incredibly ignorant and incoherent things to the media on a regular basis, he has a ex-girlfriend roster that reads like an all-star female cast movie blockbuster. From Jessica Simpson to Jennifer Anniston, to rumored attempts with Kim Kardashian and now the young Taylor Swift. If I’m being honest, I’m quite baffled.

Unfortunately, Americans tend to idolize their celebrities to the point where if they wobble or (gasp), actually fall of their star-studded pedestals, everyone cries in astonishment at their imperfections. However, I like to think of celebrities more like a snapshot of society’s gene pool as they tend to be just as wounded, scared and rejected as the rest of us. So when I think of John Mayer and his continuous move from relationship to relationship, I can’t help but attempt to find the parrallels of his issues with the rest of ours. Despite not knowing anything about him or his lady friends, a few things do stand out to me:

1. The saying that women fall in love with their ears and not their eyes is certainly true in this case. Clearly, the awkwardly shaped John is not the hottest male celebrity on the market, which tells me he must be doing a dynamite job serenading these beautiful blonde bombshells with the lyrics from his poetic songs.

2. That he must actually treat their bodies as a wonderland, which in layman terms means, he’s getting the job done in the bedroom. Let’s face it, a woman that is being treated right in the sack tends to stick like glue.

3. Even though recent girlfriends have witnessed John’s track record of breaking hearts, they still continue to go out with him against their better judgement and end up being sweep away in some lyrical emotional trap. My only guess is that these starlets also suffer from a bad case of “I’m special enough to tame this bad boy” syndrome. How’s that working for you, Taylor?

Sadly, it seems that this is simply just a celebrity version of the same scenarios regular folks go through on a daily basis; a man who is afraid of commitment seducing beautiful women who don’t think they are worthy of a good honest man doing the gut wrenching dating dance.

Of course, in this particular case my black sisters don’t have to worry about being taken advantage of by this Yahoo, after he so inarticulately informed us all that he can’t bring himself to sleep with black women even though he thinks they’re hot (and I’m putting it mildly). I’m betting all the celebrity blondes who fell in his snare were wishing they were as lucky, seriously?

I’m probably dating myself here, but does anyone remember the movie When Harry Met Sally? If you haven’t seen it, you should rent it on NetFlix, if for no other reason then to see how cute Meg Ryan was before she let a plastic surgeon butcher her face. Tragic.

The movie is most famous for the classic scene where Sally proves to Harry in a public restaurant that women do indeed fake it, and do it very well. But the movie wasn’t about the big O, it was actually about the changing face of a friendship between a man and a woman. The following is part of a dialogue from the movie:

Harry: You realize of course that we could never be friends.
Sally: Why not?
Harry: What I’m saying is — and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form — is that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.

Whenever I hear a woman who has been spending a lot of quality time with a guy say, “but we’re just friends”, I automatically think of this movie and shake my head. It may just be me, but I’m simply not convinced that it’s possible to truly be friends with a man — no strings attached. So can a man and a woman be nothing more than friends without someone wanting more? I’m not a dating guru, although after 20 years you would think I at least had a degree in it, but I have seen these scenarios all to often:

yes-no-maybe

What do you think?

1. You like him – he no like you. Painful! You hang on as “friends” in hopes that he will one day recognize that you are the woman of his dreams. You spend so much time trying to convince yourself that you are okay with being friends that you actually forget to be his friend.

2. He likes you – you no like him. Even more painful. You have to endure the puppy dog I love you eyes every time you hang out with him. He continually reminds you that you are just friends, but you can tell he he’s really just trying to convince himself.

3. After years of friendship, you decide that there’s “something there” so you take it to the next level. If you can get past the incredibly awkward period, you may stand a chance. But that interim period where you can’t figure out if this is a good idea or not makes it very difficult on all parties involved.

Maybe I’ve just had bad experiences, but it doesn’t seem possible to be friends with someone of the opposite sex without the awkwardness of attraction flying around the relationship. In my opinion, men are for “dating” and women are for friendships. If you truly want to be friends with a man, may I suggest a good gay one with a great fashion sense, seriously?

Rejection Stamp

Ouch, is that necessary?

If you’re a human being then you’ve been faced with some type of rejection in your life. Whether it’s not being part of the cool crowd, or getting that job you really wanted, and of course, getting dumped by someone you really liked. Oh, the stings of life. It’s pretty amazing how much being rejected can impact your self-esteem, but what about the effects of having to reject someone.

Recently, I found myself in the situation where I had to inflict some tough love on a guy who I really cared about as a person. The problem was that he was not someone I wanted to be with in any type of relationship, other than friendship. Interestingly enough, throughout our tumultuous relationship, he’s had the opportunity to reject me but now I found myself having to reject him. Which begs the question, tis better to be rejected or to reject?

Being Rejected
We all remember a time when we were rejected by that special someone (if you haven’t then this is the wrong blog for you). Most likely he never told you he wanted out, instead he just disappeared. Perhaps you sensed his pulling away, as his calls decreased dramatically, he stop returning your text messages, and when you finally cornered (or rather stalked) him, he couldn’t seem to muster a reason other than “its me, not you”.

When you’re rejected, especially with no reason offered, it’s the not knowing that will drive you nuts. You and your girlfriends spend hours taking inventory of your insecurities as you try to analyze the demise of your relationship. Did he really like me? Maybe he was just too busy to be tied down? Could there be someone else? As you come up with zero satisfactory answers you vow to never do the same thing to anyone else.

Rejecting a Being
And then you find yourself in the situation where you’ve been involved with a guy for a while and you’ve determined that, although you like him, this is not the relationship for you. It’s now time for you to live up to your personal vow to be an adult and tell him you want out.

Most likely you start to remember how you felt when someone last rejected you, and you realize you don’t want to hurt his feelings. Then you think maybe I’ll just stop returning his phone calls and maybe he’ll get the hint, but then you remember the last time someone walked away from you and the frustration that ensued of not knowing why. You start to send a text message, but then you put your big girl panties on, call and give him the old standby line, “it’s me, not you”. After the call is over, you think that sucked and although you feel relieved you also feel guilty for breaking someone’s heart.

So which one is worse, being rejected by someone you really liked but understand they had their reasons? Or rejecting someone, knowing you’ve inflicted hurt onto someone you liked but just couldn’t make it work?

Personally, I think rejection of any kind sucks, but eventually you come to realize that it is them, not you. Seriously!

Out of Order

Maybe it's broken...

Believe it or not, there was a time in my life when a Saturday night out with a girlfriend was merely an excuse to go man hunting. We would get all dolled up in our sexiest clothes, the more you show the better your odds, and then teeter off to the newest hot spot in search of the “one” (because yes, he was in the clubs and bars despite what those old 30 plus year olds said).

Upon arrival, we would squeeze our way through the sea of people searching for the perfect bar seat that gave us the best opportunity to survey the crowd looking for hot guys. The added bonus, of course, would be people watching which was always one of our favorite past times. The rest of the evening would be spent scanning the room looking for a “sponsor” to buy us a drink and entertain us.

As I reflect back on those days of trying to snag a man, a hook-up or a friend, I’ve come to realize that I may have lost my dating mojo. I probably would be panicking right about now, if it were not for the fact that one of my girlfriends* has clearly lost hers too.

A few weeks ago, she and I made plans to actually get out of the house one Saturday night and decided to sashay over to a new bar in town. It turned out to be a really cool spot as we consumed fabulous cocktails, munched on yummy tapas, and chattered well into the evening.

I was in the middle of a story (which was funny, I’m sure) when I was approached by a slightly intoxicated guy so far from my type I wasn’t sure if he meant to talk to me or my girlfriend. Since I’m all for meeting new people, I politely engage in small talk before he asks if he could buy me a drink. Now, the younger me would have been all — “yes, I’d like another of what I’m having” because you never turn down free drinks, but instead I say, “no thanks, I have to drive home”. (More like I didn’t want to get a cab and potentially sleep on my friend’s bathroom floor.)

Thinking that would knock the wind out of his sails, I attempt to return back to my story, which I’m positive now was funny. However, that didn’t deter him as he proceeds to fill me in on his life details — in the music business, recently divorced, has an eight year old kid, and apparently likes his women of the chocolate variety (yes, he shared that with me).

So I’m nodding and smiling as I see my pursuer’s wingman, a rather short black man, make a beeline to my girlfriend. We had been tag teamed. Now, women with their dating mojo intact may have been all over this situation. Free drinks, musicians with connections (apparently Kid Rock and George Clintion, but no confirmation received), and no girl left behind to fend for herself. But not the two of us, instead in perfect unison as if part of a synchronized swim team, we both ask the bartender for our checks, insert laughter, leave our tips, insert hair flip, accept their numbers and then bolt for the door. Not a word exchanged between the two of us.

Clearly annoyed we stomp down to our cars when suddenly my friend busts out laughing. She points out that we both got hit on, ended up with phone numbers and we’re pissed off about it. I started feeling sad for us, but then I thought if they had been more our types that we would have stayed, drank and had a lovely time, but I the thing is I can’t say that for certain. Guess I need to go find my mojo, seriously?

* No names will be used…but she knows who she is.

Well, we’ve finally come to the conclusion of my A Seriously Series on Who Let The Dogs In, and I’ve saved my favorite point for last.

6. Like to be alone.

Unfortunately, being single often carries a stigma that there must certainly be something wrong with you if you aren’t in a serious relationship or married. Even more so, if you are a woman all up in your 30’s and haven’t found a man yet (shame on you Society).

Bridget Jones Diary

All By Myself

I think most of us single women can’t help but reflect back on the oh so close to home scene in Bridget Jones’s Diary, where a flannel pajama wearing Miss Jones is all alone on a Saturday night drinking wine, smoking and doing a tortured rendition of Celine Dion’s “All By Myself”. (Classic scene — check it out on YouTube.) Sadly, it’s a stereotype that has become many a single girl’s nightmare.

While being alone night after night can at times feel painful, I’ve come to learn that it’s no where near has painful as staying in a relationship with someone who is not good for you. So often women will jump from one bad relationship to the next in a desperate attempt to never be single or alone. However, in my years of going solo, I’ve actually come to learn so much about myself and what I want, or more importantly need, in a relationship. You’ve got to learn to like yourself before you can expect someone else to like you.

Learning to be alone can be intimidating and frightening, but it can actually be a lot of fun. Since you really have no one to entertain you, it falls to you to figure out what you like to do. What do you want to eat? What movies or tv shows do you want to watch? What hobbies do you enjoy? What do YOU want to do?

Of course, there are different ways to be alone and I’m not talking about the depressed, bitter and angry version. This time on your own should be reflective, introspective and inspiring. Think about it, it’s quite difficult to determine how you can improve or grow as a partner if you never taken the time to truly reflect back on your past relationship. What went wrong? What role did you play? What could you have done differently?

Taking that time, and I mean time as in months not days, to be alone and come to conclusions that can benefit you and your new man going forward. Man hopping simply doesn’t accomplish that, it just takes the old habits and problems into the next relationship.

So the next time you find yourself leaving a relationship, take some time off to heal, reflect and set new goals for yourself. You’ll be refreshed and ready to give it another go when the time is right. Of course, if you’re aren’t too careful, you might end up like me and enjoy being alone so much the thought of being in a relationship makes you cringe. But that’s another series, seriously?


Soapbox Diaries from an Unplanned Single Life!

I hope you enjoy the random thoughts, observations and life lessons that I've learned along the way. It's called Seriously? because some days I just shake my head and say seriously, is this my life?


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