Sunday, July 26, 2009

Stupid surveys

I'm addicted to these things. I first got hooked when I was on MySpace, now they're making their way around Facebook.

Learn the mundane about me!

1. What time did you get up this morning?
7 a.m. and isn't that terrific for Sunday and vacation week?

2. How do you like your steak?
Medium rare, more on the side of rare.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
The Steve Carell one where he was a widower with three daughters ... I forget the name.

4. What is your favorite TV show?
Friends

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
In a quaint little home with a husband who loves me dearly and a big backyard for my dog.

6. What did you have for breakfast?
Working on my first coffee. I'll get to food in a little while. I'm thinking leftover pizza.

7. What is your favorite cuisine?
Greek

8. What foods do you dislike?
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, chicken and spinach on pizza (why, people? why?)

9. Favorite Place to Eat?
Mino's

10. Favorite dressing?
Balsamic

11.What kind of vehicle do you drive?
Ford Escape

12. What are your favorite clothes?
Anything in my closet that comes from Dynamite

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance?
The U.K., Greece, Italy

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full?
Depends on the day but I lean toward half empty

15. Where would you want to retire?
Somewhere coastal

16. Favorite time of day?
Leaving the office

17. Where were you born?
Antigonish, N.S.

18. What is your favorite sport to watch?
On TV, football. Live, hockey.

19. Bird watcher?
Not really.

20. Are you a morning person or a night person?
More a night person, although I've become a morning person in the last several years due to my job.

21. Do you have any pets?
One very friendly, very beautiful maremma sheepdog, Shep, the gentle giant.

22. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share?
Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Throw me a life preserver

Some time last week I sat down with a cup of tea and turned off all technology.

And I thought, 'Hmmmm, you know ... the highs feel really good but, you know, the lows really suck. Suck monster-sized donkey balls, in fact.'

I rang up my shrink. She's terrific. She talks. She gives feedback. Sometimes in a harsh way, mostly in a thoughtful manner.

She'll often say something that makes me bolt upright and say 'holy shit.'

I just got back from my first appointment in six months. We spent last fall dealing with my mommy issues, figuring out why I'm 37 and still looking for my mother's approval -- especially when it will never come.

So now we've determined that I'm entirely in conflict with myself.

On the one hand, I am exceedingly good at rationalizing situations - gathering all the facts and determining what's right and wrong about the situation.

Let's all suppose I get that extraordinary ability from 15 years as a reporter.

On the other hand, however, I have an underlying river of emotion that I allow to take over and drive my reactions.

Ultimately, and this should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, I wear my heart on my sleeve.

And that makes me vulnerable.

Essentially, I need to stop putting the facts and rationale into a box and do a better job of compartmentalizing the reactionary emotions.

Today is Day 1.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Much ado about nothing

It's hard to imagine so much stress from an event that occurs once a month, if I choose to allow it, and causes one day of wanting to stay in bed in the fetal position plus three or four more days of discomfort and yuck.

But there it was.

Or wasn't.

Five days late.

I'm not the most diligent person when it comes to my birth-control pills and I certainly don't expect sex to just happen. After all, it's been three years since I've had a regular man in my life.

And one-night stands just aren't my thing ... anymore. Hell, at 37, I don't have the patience to endure that awkward fumbling in the morning, wondering if he plans on staying for coffee and not caring what his last name is, let alone whether he takes cream and sugar.

But this was a guy who entered my life unexpectedly and, oddly, I could see a future with him ... the kind of future that has evaded me all these years.

We had a date and it was, without any hint of cynicism, magic. I had even met his parents that night, going to a dinner theatre, chatting and wanting to learn more about them and their family.

Sex wasn't even on my mind. But yet it happened.

And even worse than my lax attitude toward my pills, I reached into my nightstand last week and felt my stomach leap into my throat.

The condom we had used? I had one left from its package. The wrapper screamed at me: EXPIRY DATE 05/2009.

Jesus Motherfucking Christ. WHAT?

It was my first panic attack in three years. My heart beat so loud I could hear it, my hands shook, and a clammy sweat broke out on my face.

Am I pregnant?

It isn't anything either one of us needs to happen right now. He is fresh out of a marriage with a cheater and needs time to get to know himself better. I am hoping upon hope of starting a new job soon.

How would I tell him? Would I even tell him until enough time had passed for him to deal with it? What if it didn't work out between us? How would his ex-wife and kids factor into this mess? What if I had to be a single mother? What if ... what if ... what if ...

The questions kept me up at night.

And that's the joy (there's the cynicism you were missing) of being in this situation. Already stressed out from life's other wonderful snags and obstacles, the Tomato Boat stays at bay instead of docking, causing a tumultuous cycle of stress.

Worse yet, there's dealing with it alone. Not a foreign concept to me, being the type to never ask for help until it's almost too late.

Not having a shoulder to lean my head on. Not having someone to wipe my tears. Not having someone to hold my hair when the stress got so bad I puked into a garbage can on the sidewalk.

Just me. And my survival mode.

Until that moment when the Crimson Wave rolls in.

It was different this time, though. When The Scare occurred in the past, the dread turned to joy when my period finally arrived.

On Saturday, my heart sunk. I was bewildered by the disappointment I registered in my head.

And now I'm more confused than ever.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Proving my point

It's a pain in the ass to be right about people sometimes - especially when being right hurts me a little bit.

Yesterday, I wrote about backing out of the chance to move back east. So much turmoil exists as friends and family are struggling with broken marriages or rocky roads in their marriages.

Today, I received support for my theory that I would end up lost in their issues, forgetting about my own identity that I have been working on rebuilding, lo these past eight or so months.

As I'm reading texts from my friend about her latest encounter with her husband, who recently left her for another woman, I felt I had to apologize for a text I sent last night.

You see, I had been out having a few beer with friends and stumbled upon a text I thought was new but was, as it turned out, several months old.

I said: Yeah, I got dumped last night so I kinda needed a few drinks.

'Dumped' might be too strong a word. Hell, we'd had one official date, sex once, and only a few kisses and cuddles beyond that. But that didn't stop me from being heartbroken.

My friend's next text, however, didn't even acknowledge that I was hurting. She instead launched into her shrink's analysis of her husband's behaviour.

I've spent my adult life telling other people's stories, through the glory of print journalism and working in communications.

On few occasions - mostly during job interviews - do people bother to ask me about me.

But one would think her friends would ask 'are you OK' or 'what happened.'

In no way will I hold against my friend her words today. She's enduring a pain I can't begin to comprehend, picking up the pieces of her life and those of her children.

She did, however, remind me that I made the right decision and moving home is certainly not in the cards for me.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

An aching heart

Marriages, it seems, are falling apart all around me.

I've been told I'm 'at that age' when my friends and family members take new steps on paths divergent from that of their partner.

It seems such simple reasoning and yet no less painful to watch hearts break or build up walls.

It could have been so easy: apply for a job, take the plunge, and go back home. Be there for my loved ones who are enduring these incredible, heart-wrenching, momentous changes in their lives.

To help them through their agony, their survival and their revival.

But what of my own? There's been a new me emerge in the last year . . . a more confident, stronger and, yes even, hopeful me.

Would I lose all that?

My heart is torn over the desire to be there for them and the need to take care of myself, especially when good things are starting to happen right where I already am.

Is it selfish? Is it neglectful of my friends and family?

Can I be there for them and yet not leave the place where I knew I always belonged?