The Silver Lining

There’s always a silver lining, or so they say.

It seems unspeakably wrong to have anything good come out of an active shooter situation.

The tragic loss of life and the incredible suffering of those affected by the horror of the shootings at the Garlic Festival far outweigh any positive outcome I could mention.

But I’ll mention it anyway.

People have come out of the woodwork to tell me how much they love me.

Just today, I got a video chat from my friend Michelle telling me how much she loves me and how glad she is that I’m safe.

My boys hugged me like they haven’t seen me in years.

I got calls from longtime friends asking how I’m doing and do I need to talk.

Nadine took me out to dinner Wednesday night.

It was the first time I’d seen her since the shooting.

I hugged her like time would never end.

Barbara called me up in tears, so worried that I came that close to an active shooter.

Everyone is so thankful that the new guy and I left early and weren’t there for the shooting.

It’s enough to make a grown woman cry.

And I did.

In the wake of the shooting (and The Swede’s engagement), I find myself comfortably cocooned in the love and affection of my friends and family, making a difficult week somewhat bearable.

Out of necessity, I think we all inhabit a place where life is less tentative and fragile than it is, until something happens to shock us out of our fog and make us aware that life is fleeting.

I’m living in that space right now.

Our capacity for causing pain is enormous.

All you need to do is read the headline news.

But it is surpassed by our ability to love, help, comfort and provide joy.

In the end, once I’ve moved through this painful place, that is what I’ll take away.

What is love?

Is it meeting a new person and falling head over heels for them?

Or is it a gradual increase in affection over time.

To be honest, I’ve always chosen the “head over heels love” over the “gradual increase in affection.”

It just feels right, to have a RUSH of emotion and be completely and totally enamored with a person.

Granted, there is little you can know about a person straight off the bat.

When I fall in love at first sight, I am reacting to my perception of who this new man is and what he looks like, and not the reality of who he really is.

And often times, you get burned when you find out the truth.

So a slow-building, gradual increase in affection seems preferable.

Get to know the REAL person slowly, over time and fall in love with who they really are.

This is the dilemma I’m facing now.

The new guy is great.

A wonderful man.

Great job. Great family. Great location. Ready for a relationship.

There’s nothing bad I can say about him.

So why this hesitation with me then?

Maybe our passion for each other is developing slower than our friendship?

I get that friendship is important but does that mean the visceral longing and desire that I want to feel isn’t?

Because I’m getting the feeling I can have one.

Or the other.

And I want both at the same time.

The greatest love story I’ll ever live

These two own my heart. . .

Two scoops with a cherry on top

I watched A Star Is Born for the first time this week.

It showed up on my New Releases list and I have to admit, I’ve now watched it two times AND listened to the soundtrack.

Needless to say, I love it.

Lady Gaga does an outstanding job of portraying a young, talented songwriter who is launched into fame through a serendipitous meeting with Jack, an aging rock star with a bad substance abuse problem.

I like the movie for two reasons:

  1. It’s got a pretty surreal (implausible) plot line – girl finds INSTANT FAME – and Lady Gaga manages to pull it off with some real wide eyed innocence and excitement.
  2. Bradley Cooper. ‘Nuf said.

There are moments that stand out in my mind.

Perfectly scripted moments that sing to me when I watch them.

  • Ally staring at Jack as she lays on the bar top singing.
  • Jack peeling off Ally’s eyebrow.
  • Jack touching Ally’s nose and raving about its beauty.
  • A stolen kiss, off stage.
  • Jack’s look of amazement when Ally starts singing her own music to him, just on a lark.
  • OMG – LOVEMAKING in the dark!

For a woman with no love life to speak of herself, I sure am getting my rocks off on this movie, despite its sad ending and tragic love story.

It has been SO LONG since I’ve fallen totally madly and completely in love with someone.

But I still recognize the emotions.

Do people still fall in love like that?

Cuz I’ll have two scoops of whatever Ally’s having WITH a cherry on top!

Family

Saturday, I got a little bit tipsy and declared my love for my birth family in EPIC form – with a tear-filled statement I made at my aunt’s barbecue.

As it happened, I was listening to my sister-in-law talk and she was so funny, I just felt overwhelmingly grateful for her and for my whole family who showed up to barbecue with me.

They have my heart, you know.

No, they’re not perfect.

Yes, there’s sometimes conflicts that need to get resolved.

But overall, these people who are my blood relatives?

Well, I’m thankful they’re in my life.

My aunt spent two days prepping and cleaning up for the barbecue at her place and was kind enough to host me.

After the barbecue, I spent the next day at my birth mother’s 60th birthday party where a HUGE group of family and friends showed up to fete her in all her glory.

No one is as funny, kind, and loving as my birth mother and I attribute all of my sweetness and some of my sassiness to her.

I am blessed a million times over to have such wonderful people in my family and I’m so glad I got to spend an entire weekend celebrating them.

Love is…

This post is going to remind me that I am always surrounded by love. Just because my life is missing a few pieces doesn’t mean that I don’t have a lot to be thankful for.

LOVE IS:

    A father who defrosts your car in the morning so you don’t have to.
    A friend who calls you on your birthday.
    A brother who treats your children like they’re his own.
    A best friend who always gives the best advice, but only when she’s asked to.
    A sister who lets you call her at 3 AM when you’ve just had your heart broken.
    Girlfriends who always tell you how beautiful and thin you are no matter what you look like or what size you are.
    A birth mother who saves your voicemails so she can hear the sound of your voice over and over again.
    A cousin who lets you hang out with her because she knows you be alone otherwise.
    A mother who looks after you when you are sick, no matter how cranky and needy you are.
    A grandmother who always sends a birthday check, no matter how small her fixed income is.
    Boys who race to the front door and throw their arms around you when you get home after work.
    Dog kisses.

All things considered, that’s a pretty good list. I’ll remind myself to read it when I’m having a pity party for one,

Breathless

I’ve fallen in love.

Yes, I have.

It’s such an easy thing for me to do.

I fall in love ALL THE TIME.

This handbag, for instance, caught my eye and I fell INSTANTLY in love with it.

The pistachio-caramel tropical scent of Brazilian Bum Bum Cream captured me as well:

But what I’m really hinting at, is this GORGEOUS red dress I found:

I can’t even BEGIN to tell you how much I love it!

It’s striking and I can’t wait to wear it in Florida and see The Swede get all flushed with excitement.

There’s nothing quite like a beautiful woman in a red dress now, is there?

Wearing red dresses is kinda my thing, as evidenced by this old picture of me with my friends going out for a night on the town:

And then there’s my custom-made velvet high school prom dress, inspired by Pretty Woman, which I wore to my college junior ball:

The bottom line is:

I LOVE RED DRESSES!

I can’t wait to steal someone’s breath away. . .

I’ll never love again

I’m okay being single.

It’s MUCH better than being in a dead-end relationship.

I know a few people in that kind of relationship.

Sometimes it just makes me want to scream – HOW CAN THEY BE IN A RELATIONSHIP WHILE I’M NOT?!

But truthfully, I haven’t met anyone who I think could be long term material.

When I look back on the last 14 years since my divorce, I realize that I wasn’t ready for a permanent relationship.

I needed some work.

Dare I say it:

I was a little unbalanced and needed time to process.

Now that I’ve had the time to work on me, I’m still not finding anyone out there who is appropriate for me.

And it worries me for one reason:

I feel like I’ll never love again.

It’s not being single that bothers me (cuz it’s kinda fun), it’s the thought of being ENDLESSLY single that bothers me.

The idea that part of my life is over with somehow and will never ever be resurrected scares me.

I’ll never have a plus one for weddings.

I’ll always drive my tires bald because there’s no one to remind me to change them.

I’ll never have to question where I’m spending the holidays because it’s just me.

But most of all I worry that I’ll never fall in love again.

And as fun as casual sex is, I’m kinda hoping for something a little more stimulating.

That’s right.

I said it.

I want more.

Boom!

I heard from The Swede!

Yes, it’s been weeks since we communicated and I was getting used to the silence when all of a sudden, WHAM!

He messaged me.

As it turns out, since Sweden is 9 hours ahead of California time-wise, it was Valentine’s Day in Sweden and so The Swede wished me a Happy Valentine’s Day.

Bold move, considering I posted for almost a week about how much I “hate” this holiday.

Truth is I don’t HATE this holiday, I HATE being single for this holiday.

It’s just another reminder that I am alone and unloved by a partner.

Great.  Just great.

I need a reminder of this like I need another hole in my head.

But they say, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

So I’m making the best of my situation and hanging with my family.

Honestly, time spent with loved ones is what this holiday should be all about – just like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So I’m setting my supreme bitterness aside.

Despite the fact that smug coupled up people are posting right and left on Facebook to declare their undying love for their partners.

Really?

Must you?

You know what I want to post to Facebook?

Wanna know what I’m doing for Valentine’s Day?

Whatever I want.  I’m single!

Boom!

Valentine’s Day and the shit storm of social media

michelleI’ve got 10 events in 10 days at work so I’m reposting some old content I find funny.  New content will resume on February 6th.

Reposted from 2017:

 

I’m bracing myself for it.

I know it’s going to come.

I’m going to log in to Facebook on February 14th and I’m going to be INUNDATED with people professing their love for their partners.

It’s going to be a real shit storm.

Now, I’ve got to be honest.

When you coupled-up people post how awesome your partner is and how much you love them on EVERY ANNIVERSARY, I throw up a little in my mouth.

Really?  Is that truly necessary?

Every fucking anniversary?

We get it.  You’re in love.

After all, you’re still together, right?

I just assume you think your partner is awesome and that you love them.  That’s the status quo folks.  You don’t need to post it.

It’s rather annoying, but okay.

Then Valentine’s Day hits and my Facebook feed is filled with declarations of love and. . .

OMG, can’t you just NOT!

You know what I want to hear?

I want to hear how much you love your partner when they give you their kidney when yours go bad.  Or when they stay up all night long watching over you because you are sick.  I want to hear that you love your partner when they drive 300 miles to pick you up because you got a flat tire in the middle of nowhere.  Or when they came and cleaned up your cat that got eaten by a coyote because you couldn’t bear to do it yourself.

But some trumped up, pink and red holiday sentiment just doesn’t do it for me.

Keep it real folks, that’s all I’m saying.

Just keep it real.