Monday, September 27, 2010

Sent/Unsent

I recently heard Unsent by Alanis Morissette again for the first time in years. For those in the know, it's a song of short letters to her ex-boyfriends. I loved that song when I first heard it, though I had fewer experiences under my belt to appreciate it fully. Wait, fewer? In 1998, when that song came out, I had practically none. I mentally padded my history by considering unrequited crushes as some sort of past romantic life under the justification that my singular feelings counting for something. Ah, yes. The delusions of teenagers.

I'm just about finished reading I Don't Care About Your Band by Julie Klausner. Now there is a woman with so much experience a song would never do. The book is truly necessary. And damn if it's not a funny book that delights and horrifies me with its witty turns and shocking anecdotes. And that's funny because despite having a wildly different (read less promiscuous, more serially monogamous) romantic history, it's like reading someone whose mind is similar to my own, if my own mind were wired for plenty of experimental sex with men I don't know very well. And I like that. Unbridled and loosely restrained sexuality is very fascinating to me, being a more cautious type of person, myself.

What sorts of things would I tell my exes now? In some cases, I'm still in touch. In others, I wouldn't know where to begin to look. They could be dead for all I know, or in South America, living off lottery wins, or in a cult, or prison or down the street.

The very first boyfriend I ever had was when I was 16. He was... many things, one of which was wrong for me in every single way. I was quite desperate at that time to date a boy, beginning to fear there was something wrong with me. Looking back, I was untouchable at school. Untouchable as in Not To Be Touched. At first there were some guys who found me attractive, but that became a thing of the distant past by the time grade 10 hit. Some people thought I was gay, others found me unfeminine, and everyone thought I was weird.

This guy lived around my neighbourhood, so was unaware of my undateableness. He showed up in the winter at my doorstep without shoes to prove how excited he was to come see me. He was not much of a catch, sad as it is to say. He was not very good looking, nor was he very bright. He seemed to mean well and liked me a good deal, which at the time was enough for me. But he was also socially awkward, smoked constantly and had crass manners. It lasted less than two months. He lied a lot, to me and about me, and misjudged my level self esteem; he thought making fun of me would make me insecure enough to stay. Rather, it made ending things super easy for me.

I was so utterly embarrassed over my association with this character, that I had anxiety of anyone from my school ever meeting him, knowing of him and learning I dated him. But he served an important purpose in my life. I was much happier being sans boyfriend and the inner stigma I carried of never having been wanted or dated was gone.

After him was another neighbourhood boy, a good-looking, tall, kind, intelligent sort of person who was leaps and bounds a better choice than the first poor sap. But having learned how much happier I was being alone than with someone I wasn't into, his superior credentials didn't lure me in longer than a couple weeks. We shared a ridiculously funny kiss, broke up, stayed friends and I have him on Facebook. He's a really decent person. Too bad I hadn't dated him first; I could've avoided dating the other one.

I then dated an adorable boy I met at an anime convention. For a geek like myself, it was pretty much a dream come true. And he turned out to be gay and our relationship was the push he apparently needed to come out of the closet. I'm very happy to have been a part of that for him now, but at the time I was not as jazzed. I wish I knew what became of him. I haven't given him a lot of thought, but I'd still like to know if he's happy, dating anyone special, or a teacher like he planned on being. He was the first boy who ever dumped me, and it's a valuable thing to happen at some point because then you learn you'll get over it and that's a good lesson you happily cannot unknow.

I then entered my first long-term relationship, with B, the kind where you make future plans, meet each other's families and generally are happy. Except for the complete lack of romantic passion. But it's amazing what friendship, comfort, security and trust will do to keep two people together. This guy was a number of firsts for me. We were living together for the last year of our 3.5 year stint. We rarely fought, we communicated well and we genuinely liked each other. But we were like roommates.

I'd ended things before, but nothing so monumental as this. I had realized we were only friends wrongly titled boyfriend and girlfriend. I wanted an actual friendship and knew it was possible I would not get one. Luckily, he wanted the same thing. Not that it wasn't a process, or that a switch was flipped and things were hunky dory. But six years after the fact he's my buddy. Actually, he and the Dude are buddies and hang out; Dude sees B more often than I do.

Shortly after this relationship ended I met this attractive paraplegic, who in many ways was actually more wrong for me than B was. But what I had perceived as missing with B (Passion) was there with wheels, so I dove in. Now, this was another first for me. I'd fallen in love and was all high with the euphoria from it. But when the person you're in love with is wildly different from the sort of person you can be happy with, even if he loves you back, you're basically existing within a cocoon that has an expiration date.

And I learned a ton about myself and what sort of man I needed. This two-year relationship was a pivotal one for me in many ways. I was with someone who couldn't be on time for anything, whether it was dinner, family gatherings, funerals, didn't matter. He was 100% honest, which was awesome until it extended to things that were unnecessary and started to hurt my feelings. He was incredibly generous, very funny and warm. But he was a procrastinator, an idealist, a dreamer, and seemingly afraid of conflicts. We also wanted different things out of life, in the present, in the near future and in the distant future.

Something about him brought out all my neurosis. I became withdrawn as well. I kind of felt like I was a part of The Mr. X Show sometimes. I also knew in my heart he didn't really understand me, and moreover wished I was a different kind of person, which only made me more anxious and unhappy.

He ended it, I saw it coming and more or less severed contact. He wasn't a bad guy, not at all. Just bad for me. And then I found the Dude. He's punctual, and my friend. He drives me crazy when he brings things home he finds on the side of the road, but we communicate well. And there's passion and comfort and shared desires and goals.

#1, I'm sorry I went out with you, but I hope your life is going well. I don't really ever want to see you again, though. We didn't have anything special.
#2, Sorry I didn't give you more of a chance, but only because it probably hurt your feelings, not because it could have worked out. I'm glad we're on good terms.
#3, Where are you? What happened to you? Damn, I'm curious. I hope you're super happy. I wish I knew what you were up to.
B, I'll probably see you soon enough. Glad we're friends. I have nothing left unsaid with you. I think you're great.
My last ex, I probably have the most complex feelings towards you out of all them. I'm glad we were together, I'm glad we're not together now, and I hope you find or found what you're looking for.
Dude, I love you, you crazy bastard.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mail Call

This weekend (as in the one that's just ending) is The Clothing Show. I've been a couple times, mostly with friends, and I love it: the deals, the variety, the treasure hunt that is sample shopping. I've gone alone once, but my heart wasn't in it. Without a buddy to talk you into that adorable dress you're not sure about, or to drag you into a shopping cubicle you ordinarily would avoid but where you find something awesome, it's not quite the same.

I didn't even notice it was coming until it was too late, and so I online-shopped instead for a dress to wear to a wedding I'm going to next month. I never really need an excuse to buy a new dress, but I do so love having a reason. It means getting something less practical for day wear and indulging more in something pretty.

I narrowed it down from these:

Okay, so this is not really wedding appropriate, so I didn't seriously consider it.
But it's sooooo cute.
I didn't get it, and now it's all sold out. For the best, though.
I don't really have anywhere to wear something like this.



This was a front-runner for awhile. It's practical in many ways.
I could dress it down really easy, it's neutral coloured, adjustable straps,
and built for a small bust.
But... no. The magic was just not there.



This was my next choice. It's actually polka-dot with a bubble hem,
two subtle details not immediately apparent. The colour is adorable, too.

But it's strapless and bubble hems are not really something yo
u can hem if it's too long,
which
on me it could be.



This is my choice. It comes with detachable straps (Obviously not pictured here),
the length is a little short, so on me it should be a bit above the knee, the colours are great,
it's got a high waist and it'll be easy to dress up and down as needed.



I also bought this because when I saw it,
a handful of fun outfit combinations popped into my mind.

It's a real eye-catcher and it'll pair perfectly with basic black tops,
ballet flats and bold accessories.


On top of my happy shopping, I'm also waiting on Halloween costumes in the mail. I'm going to be the Queen of Hearts and the Dude is going to be a scary version of the white rabbit. I'd go with Alice, except I kind of wanted my red hair to work with my costume instead of against it. I had also thought about Pippi Longstocking, Orphan Annie, Raggedy Ann, Jessica Rabbit, Strawberry Shortcake, or Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas. Well, that's not really true. I definitely didn't consider Jessica Rabbit.

I love getting things in the mail, even if it's from myself to myself.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sort of, kind of lucky maybe

There's nothing like a minor blackout to show you just how unprepared you are. The power cut out on me just as I was getting ready for a shower. Funny little fact about me: every time something amiss happens, my first instinct is that it's ghosts. Once I ascertained the outage was a run-of-the-mill inconvenience and not paranormal (This usually just requires me giving myself a reality check, because as it turns out I don't really think the way a normal person does) I hopped into the shower while I still had natural light and considered how I'd proceed if things stayed off.

I just bought four new books, and they would have been ample entertainment, if not for the fact I have no candles. I also own no flashlight and have no spare batteries anyway. The Dude is working late this evening on location out of town and so I'd essentially be sitting alone in the dark with nothing to do. I'd have about 2-3 hours of laptop battery life to occupy me in the evening and then... nothing. Probably I'd take a mild overdose of allergy meds so I could pass out for the night in the absence of anything to do, like a farm hand at the turn of the 19th century who had no reason to stay awake after dark. Only substitute hard work and a job well done, with some antihistamines in order to fall asleep at 9:00.

After my shower the power was back on and I didn't have to face the unpreparedness my years of Brownies and Guides had sought to cure in me when I was a child. A number of things tend to bite me in the ass in my life, but somehow a lack of attention to my personal security never seems to thwart me. Kind of like when I lose my purse, it's always where I left it in a store in the hands of someone who wanted to return it, or I get a call about it being found, complete with my wallet full of all my I.D. It's very lucky.

It's funny, though. In many ways I'm a remarkably unlucky person. One of the few times I ever won something was when I was in grade four and praying to the powers that be that I would not win. It was a school-wide draw in the gym and all 400 students were packed in, as names were chosen from a bucket. The more Christmas supplies you sold for fundraising, the more chances you had to win. You would go up and choose a prize and sit down.

I did not want to go first. I had no idea what was up there, I was shy and nervous and I didn't want anyone scrutinizing my selection as being a dumb choice. That was actually my primary concern. So of course I got called up first. I looked for the most expensive and least-likely thing to be made fun of, grabbed it and sat down. I chose a ghetto blaster. What a weird thing to type. Ghetto blaster? Well, anyway, that's what I picked.

I saw looks of envy and approval for my choice and felt a wave of calm that I wouldn't have to explain myself. Then after a handful more names, I got called again. The shock of having to go through another selection wasn't as bad as having to do it while the entire school booed me. I don't think it's really luck if you were desperate not to go first and all your peers drown you in boos. For the record, the second time I picked a stuffed animal, a dalmatian with a firefighter's hat. I didn't want to look greedy by choosing more electronics.

If there's ever somehow, for any reason, an inconvenient time to win the lottery, I should make sure I have a ticket. Yeah. I bet if I was on the lamb I could win.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Introvert

If anyone is curious as to how awesome homemade ice cream is, I can vouch for it. Sweet merciful Skittles, it is one hellzam of a treat.

The Dude and I used the ice cream maker from the '80s that his aunt passed on to him. It's cheesy looking and it does the job, with three different types of cream, a mess of sugar and two bags of ice. And chocolate and peanut butter.

And it was noisy. So of course we decided to make it at 11:00 at night. We felt justified in the face of the incessant opera singing we endure. Plus, whatever, it was a Saturday night. Heh. You know you're getting old when the idea of a bitchin' Saturday evening is staying in making homemade ice cream.

Problem is, I've been eating like a house cat, specifically like Smokey, which means often and holding out for the fattening and tasty things in life. I feel as though I'm some sort of bear getting ready for the winter. It's not too far off, actually. Last winter I hibernated so hardcore I left the house maybe twice a week. And I loved it.

I read this article about introversion the other day. I am the poster girl for introverts. Now, those who really know me get this about me. I like me time. I like holing up and avoiding all people for days. I love to socialize, but equally love to be very quiet and introspective for many hours afterwards. That's part of why I love to be home so much. It's a place to let my thoughts run their course, rather than having to put them on hold to talk to people.

And the funny thing is I really like people. I truly do. In fact, despite how angry I get over some terrible facets of stupidity in this world (Say Stephen Harper or pro-lifers or Glenn Beck), I still really think ultimately there's a lot of awesome people out there, and I want to hear from them.

I just like hearing from them in shorter bursts or on my own time. After too much socializing I zone out and stop responding to verbal stimuli. This is not an exaggeration. I do this all the time and I can't prevent it from happening ever. In school this was always very problematic as at no point in a school environment is any time ever given to any student to conduct their own private thoughts, because if you're not listening to the teacher you're supposed to be socializing at recess.

My mom had my hearing tested, wondering if I was going spontaneously deaf. Actually, my hearing is exemplary, almost too good. I'm highly sensitive to noises, especially ones I don't want to hear.

I spent many, many recesses alone for a good number of years. And I never felt very bad about it either. I have no recollections of feeling lonely. I loved wandering alone in the playground. I'd occasionally join some random group of friendly classmates, but mostly I kept to myself. Retrospectively, I think I was considered odd.

In fact, in grade five I had two good friends in school, which was a personal best for me. Then they both moved away over the summer. One might think for a normal child, this would cause some stress. To be honest, I can't recall ever having given it any thought as to how this might affect my life. I was bummed I wouldn't see them anymore, but I wasn't really concerned about the impact their absence might have on my school experience.

Grade six actually was the year I somehow joined the popular group of girls, girls who never really had talked to me much before. It just sort of happened and I'm not entirely sure how. I think I just started hanging around, and after awhile I was just a part of things. Looking back I see now there were a few attempts to pick on me, as girls do in sorting out the pecking order. I missed those social cues (I probably wasn't paying attention) and always reemerged back into the fold as if no attempt had been made to exclude me. Sometimes I chose not to spend time with them and would read a book at recess instead. I don't think they knew what to do with me.

By the time grade eight hit, I was making more of an effort to fit in. But I still couldn't stop mentally slamming the door shut on people when my social gauge was full. "Pay ATTENTION!" my friends would implore when I said I didn't know what was going on or what was being said. It probably was pretty exasperating. I'd frequently and randomly pipe up in conversations and ask to be filled in on what was just said. It's actually quite telling of the girls' decency that they didn't wring my neck.

I don't think this is a mental problem or issue of any kind. I think it's just the way I'm made. I'll probably be this way until I die. Actually, I could see myself dying due to me not paying attention in a crucial moment. It's actually why I don't drive. I think my taking involuntary mental breaks would cause mass car pileups. People like me have no business being on the road.

Ah, another long winding 3:00 a.m. entry. There's something to be said for being awake at this hour. It's deliciously quiet.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ye Olde Kink

This morning I pulled my neck. I was having this weird dream (Does anyone ever have a not weird dream? Like where they drove to work and came home? Or would that be weird because that's such an undreamlike thing?) and when I woke up, my neck was tilted, my ear nearly touching right my shoulder. Who knows how long I was sleeping like that.

It really hurt and so I stretched and turned over. And then it happened. Inexplicably sharp pain, the kind that demobilizes you in ways that shouldn't make sense. After a few more attempts to stretch and massage the kink, it showed me who was boss and I was debilitated. I couldn't turn my head, I couldn't sit up, and I whimpered like a pansy.

The Dude had to bring me pain killers, water, and the phone so I could call in sick (Which always feels so weird 'cause being unable to walk a few feet and work really makes a statement of how unwell I think I am). I spent the day in bed propped up with pillows with a heating pad behind me, unable to move and feeling bored and useless.

Often when I get sick or if I take a day off and do nothing, I don't feel like that. Something about today really felt like an utter waste of a day of my life.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Okay, before I do anything or say anything, this rocked my socks, and actually so does this woman's entire blog. Heartastic. My coworker (and former officemate) found it. I think only cat lovers would truly enjoy it.

I've been drinking a little more beer lately. I've also been getting a little puffy. Correlation? Yes. Fuck me. Why bother cultivate a taste for beer when I'll apparently also have to cultivate a taste for being the shape of a snowman? Also, the pecan pie and ice cream and bridal shower cake probably hasn't helped. But I'm pretty sure it's the beer. Yeah.

Anyway. I figure it'll be like the time I quit pop and dropped 5 pounds after college. Though I was drinking pop every day. I'd crack open a coke just because the class was taking a break and it seemed like the thing to do. I'm not drinking beer quite like that, which is probably for the best. No, I probably won't loose any noticeable poundage. But methinks the puffiness might subside.

On a side note, it sounds as though my apartment is arguing with itself. The walls keep creaking and things keep shuddering. I have no idea what that noise is. There have been renovations going on next door. Maybe our walls will cave in. I wonder if I'd get the day off.

This is sort of a stream of consciousness thing I'm doing. I have no real theme here. No coming of age musings, no happenings to report, no fond memories of old times past.

The Dude is laying on the couch beside me, sleeping away. He used to have problems sleeping. Not anymore. I don't know how he does it. He'll have a load of caffeine and then go to sleep, always around the same time. The one kind of cute thing is he doesn't like to go to bed unless I'm going too. So he falls asleep out here. The one exception is when he has to get up at something ungodly like 5:00 a.m. 5:00 shouldn't even exist.

But speaking of ungodly, I was watching Stephen Hawkings special about the universe the other night. It kind of made me realize just how much I don't believe in God anymore. I mean, the whole universe can be scientifically explained. Essentially, everything on this planet is because of stars, and stars are because of hydrogen gasses. Heh. I explained that like a child. But I suppose my mind may as well be a child's compared to Hawking's.

It's kind of a bummer. Here I am at nearly 2:00 a.m. writing about how I'm pretty sure there's no God. I used to think so. I dunno, maybe there is one, maybe some hydrogen god. Or maybe in some sort of dimension we can't perceive some sort of group of god-like beings developed and have been competing for followers ever since, like Twitter, only with people who go to war and stuff.

I just keep thinking. Every major religion, in the face of how the universe was created, seems a little foolish. I also can't help but think that if a god were really god, he or she (I'm inclined to think "she" what with the whole giving life part) or it wouldn't hang out with a few random people before the age of technology and rely on the longest game of telephone ever to spread the word. That's just inefficient. A god should know better.

I can see why people are religious, though. It's certainly a more simple and easy way to view the world. I mean, hell. You can figure that even if the world is highly disappointing and suffering for millions is endless, at least there's Heaven. I'll tell you, though. Without Heaven, thinking about the meaningless suffering of people who had the unfortunate luck to be born into AIDS and famine kind of makes you sick. I feel guilty now when I go to the movies because I'm spending $15 on pleasing myself and someone is dying because they have no food, and then not going to any happy place ever, just into the ground.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this. I'm just typing out my train of thought. Sometimes I'll sit at home in my bedroom and just think. Today I read this article in Psychology Today about introverts (I am one) and how they need to take time to regroup after socializing to process their thoughts. I've never mastered how to wait until I get home to do that. I start doing it while people are talking to me. I've exasperated so many people.

I like to observe new people for awhile before I really interact with them, particularly if it seems as though they may become a part of my life. Every now and then I'll get the sense I need to "perform well" with someone new, though, and I'll do my best not to shell up and go into observation mode. It's a monstrous effort.

I have so little filter and I know pretty much everyone who knows me thinks I'm odd, that I just don't feel comfortable unleashing the beast on people I don't know, and more importantly, who I can't gauge yet. The other day I was with some people I barely knew and I figured to hell with it, I'll just participate in the conversation. Well, I got weird looks, probably because I said strange things in strange ways to people who aren't oddball enthusiasts. And the aftermath of that awkwardness always makes me feel anxious because I know I've made a poor impression.

Okay. I should go to bed before this takes another turn. I wonder if typing any of this out will help me sleep.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Yogaman

The Dude and I did yoga together last night. I've been on his case to, basically, live better. No more smoking. Less canabis and less fast food. More vegetables. Going to the doctor and the dentist. See, this is why married men live longer. This is not unique to me. This is what women tend to do, mostly I think because most men (the straight ones anyway) left to their own devices often shrug off things like regular check-ups, and don't mind putting too much of the wrong stuff in their bodies all the time: booze, fried food, tobacco and/or the wacky weed.

I think what ultimately got me to push the yoga, though, was the constant aching over a sore shoulder, his stiff muscles from work, and would I please massage him. He's good at asking, too. The big eyes that roll into a painful squint as he moans and starts to rub his own shoulders with a grimace.

But I am no trained masseuse, and if he's really in that bad of shape (And not just angling for massages the way Smokey angles for wet food, howling pitifully for it when there's dry food right in front of him), then a few haphazard backrubs from me isn't going to do anything.

So we went together to this little place down the street. And it was fun and relaxing. And it occurs to me that other than movies, I've never really had a shared hobby or anything with a boyfriend before. It was nice. We left feeling loosened up and in a good mood. I'm also going to take Pilates there as well.

I really wish I took this much of an interest in health five years ago. But then five years ago I wasn't getting gray hairs, or fine lines. May sound ridiculous, but until I saw those first signs of aging, I hadn't really considered I wouldn't stay young forever. My 20s have flown by way too fast.

I have a shower to attend tomorrow. I hope there will be cake.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back To School, for other people

Oh man, it's been awhile since I posted. I spent Labour Day weekend on the lake at the Dude's father's and stepmother's place. And it rained the whole time. It was still relaxing though, when I wasn't concerned about Smokey.

We had left Smokey in the care of friends, who took good care of him. He happily gorged himself on rare wet cat food (holding out for it in lieu of dry), got his shots and otherwise lounged around. But cats, they express themselves in urinary ways. He left us a craptastic mess in the bathroom. Oh, Smokey.

I passed by a school today, filled with children, and a school bus outside. I felt a little melancholy. Back to school never really stops affecting you in some way, does it? You spend 14 (Or in some cases 15) years of your life, your formative years, basing your happiness and dread on the Tuesday after Labour Day. I never really loved the idea of going to school, but I was always pretty excited about that first day and getting new notebooks and pens and pencils and seeing if there were any new kids.

I suppose it's also sort of a yearly milestone thing. You weren't just 10 years old, you were in grade four. Now people don't ask your age and they care about what you do, which can go unchanged for years. What's marking the passing of time now is the fine lines forming around my eyes. Yes, that's now begun. I suppose I had to expect it. I have worn sunscreen since always, never smoked and stay in the shade. But aging still happens. You can only stop it from happening prematurely.

You know, people often disparage adults celebrating their birthdays. Often those people have children, come to think of it. But honestly? What else have we got to really mark the passing of time? People with kids start measuring their heights and noting their ages and accomplishments and birthdays, but this isn't about those adults.

When you're out of school and childless, I think birthdays are actually pretty important to a person. The years kind of melt together enough as it is. You don't have school to structure your life or define new eras of time. Maybe that's part of what I miss, if you could say I miss it.

Heh. Smokey wants more wet food. Not going to happen, buddy.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Nose Doesnt Know

Allergy attack. Sneezing every few minutes at best, every 20 seconds at worst. No idea what I'm allergic to. Something hidden and invisible. Breathing sucks. Don't recall these allergies when I was a teen. Something in my sinuses snapped a few years back and here I am.

I have actual things to write about, but they will have to wait until my nose works again. Because right now it doesn't.

Fuck.