Saturday, October 17, 2015

New blog finally sortof up

I'm now over here: http://hannahsphere.blogspot.com/

I'll be writing about the same stuff except that it's no longer general love life and ennui. I'm happy now. I still overly think things but hey, you can take the girl outta the brain but you can't take the brain outta the girl.

(God, that was terrible.)

See you over at the new place!

(Asplenia is still closed!)

(Sent from my phone)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Announcing the closing of this blog


It's been a long time to be operating spleenless, and the time has come for me to move on. If you like my writing and want to stay in touch, I will eventually be posting to another blog and can notify you when ready: aspleniad@yahoo.com (or comment here with a way to notify you). (Note that I don't use any kind of mailing list software and will not be sending anything remotely resembling spam. I mean, I may not be religious but I still try to avoid hellfire.)

Thanks for stumbling across my tiny corner of the web and keeping me company while I tried to find myself. I think I'm good now.




Thursday, August 27, 2015

Healing

"So the Rennfest is Saturday."

"Do you dress up?"

"Not really. My friends do though."

"That's like Dragon Con!"

"Yeah, they dress up there too."

"What exactly is Dragon Con?"

"It's a science fiction convention with talks and vendors and like 30,000 people descending on Atlanta. A slew of hotels host the talks, you can get a schedule at check-in and start planning. Or just hang out and people watch. That's mostly what my friends and I did."

"Fun!"

"Yeah. That was where I learned what the term 'Ginger' meant. I'd never heard it before."

"Really?"

"Yeah! I went outside when my boyfriend was flirting with someone else. Some young kid could tell I was miserable and tried to cheer me up. 'My friends call me Ginger' he said, and then explained it was because of his red hair. He had nice hair."

"I'm sorry you had to deal with that kind of thing on your own."

"Sigh, yeah, some girl was rubbing his back and he seemed super into it. I didn't want to make a scene but it was hard to watch so I just left. That boyfriend was always doing stuff like that."

"Well, you won't ever have to worry about that with me."

[Who says relationships aren't healing?]

(Sent from my phone)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Roommate woes turned to hey ho's

I'm not happy about this realization about myself, but a few weeks ago, resentment was building in me about my roommate. He had the GALL to use one of my refrigerator shelves!! And he doesn't ever put out the recyclables! And his love life was a mess! And he left his ID badge in the common area! Omg!

I was stewing about this and other minuscule things when I thought about what it might be like to live with my stepbrother. I love that guy so dearly. But he sure as hell would not be careful about where he put his damned leftovers. If there was an empty shelf (I hadn't been using it), he'd slide that to-go container right up there in my domain. And I would be only affectionately annoyed. "Oh bro," I'd snicker. "So clueless!" Then I'd move his shit to the lower shelf and move on with my life.

This wasn't a nice revelation. You mean it wasn't the THING itself but it was me being OCD?

Not to justify this, but it had felt like there was an intruder in the house. I at least tried hard to be respectful and not say anything that would make him not feel at home but inside I bristled. Kudos to me that he couldn't tell I was struggling but something's shifted. We've started to become friends. Hang out. Listen to music and watch House (fucking awesome show!). He bought a TV, which my ass did not own previously, and dammit if it didn't make the house warmer, somehow. Amenable. Sociable. Fun.

The negatives aren't that bad. No roommate I have ever lived with (and there have been many) ever put out the recyclables. And not winning the love life lottery isn't a requisite on the lease. He's aight, you know. And now it's starting to feel like home with him here.

(Sent from my phone)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Not much

He asked me what my tastes were in engagement rings. And then someone texted me and asked, "what's new" and I said "not much," because I couldn't say, "we want to get married" and "I'm in love and having the time of my life" and "it's getting more comfortable with his kids" and "somehow that hasn't been as hard as I expected" and "the daughter and I are really bonding" and "one of my best girlfriends made it through chemo" and "I'm pretty much done with the past" and "the future looks and feels amazing" and "I'm even starting to like having a roommate because I'm getting to know him and he's kind of a nice person which somehow makes it easier when he forgets to put out the recyclables."

All of those things are new and yet I said none of them. Not much is new, and yet there is so much!

(Sent from my phone)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Article and thoughts on "The Only Piece of Dating Advice You Need"

I agree with this article, "The Only Piece of Dating Advice You Need." What it means to be a priority to someone is that it will feel like you are a priority, whether it be a friend or lover. I spent some time trying to convince myself that I was laid back and didn't mind not being a priority, but the end result was very lonely.

That might work for some (or some time) but knowing myself now, I need high quality connections. Not only was my willingness to overlook my own needs a symptom of low self-esteem but I unwittingly reinforced those low feelings by investing in people who did not value me equally. It's embarrassing to admit.

Learning to listen to signals more than words helped. It's very confusing to hear, "you're amazing" or "I adore you" and then not feel it. People have different ways of reaching out, connecting and expressing so it's not necessarily the fault of the other person that you don't feel cared for, it may just be a basic incompatibility of needs or expression. You can either accept what is, or look for someone more similar. (They're out there.)

The best advice I got (for any relationship, including friendships) is to tailor your effort to theirs. If you reach out and there's no reaching back, then it will hurt to keep trying. It's usually not even personal -- could be timing or whatever -- but it's still good to be protective of your energy and invest it mostly in returns that feel good. Emotions are the best GPS.

The article:

The Only Piece of Dating Advice You Need


http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/7936736


When you are in love... <3

Monday, August 3, 2015

Flaws Tourette's: when you bark out everything wrong with you every 5 minutes. It's a thing, and it should be named after me.

I did what you're not supposed to do. He thought I was perfect so I pointed out my flaws.
"I feel horrible about my hair!"

"What's wrong with it?"

"Well in addition to the usual shittiness, I haven't had a chance to cover my roots. My grays are coming in."
He peered over and began inspecting my scalp, in quite possibly the kindest way one could embark on such scrutiny, yet I instantly regretted drawing attention to it. My mom was right. Never point out your flaws. But I never listen. I announce my flaws to the world, all the time. They're always on my mind, how could I not?

He didn't say anything for a split second and for all I know, he was stuck in that zone of not knowing how to word what should come next, like I was that time his daughter, arrestingly beautiful, wrinkled her nose at an older photo and said, "I was soooo ugly a few years ago!" She could not be persuaded of otherwise.

I stammered at first because all I could think was, "What? You are gorgeous -- a model, if you wanted (thank goodness you don't) -- oh you are the prettiest and you don't even know!" "Fairest in the land and everything!" I wanted to say all that.

But nothing came out because my brain was muddied with the surprise that someone so gorgeous and graceful would not know. I don't remember what I DID say but it probably didn't come across as very reassuring. (Note to self: work on that - and be thankful you haven't failed a teenage daughter of your own!)

Anyway so maybe that's why he didn't react right away. Peering down on the rats nest of salt & pepper strands, what do you say? "My what a gracefully fraying clump! No one wears frizz like you."

(My attempt at humor is terrible at this hour, and over this subject! But it is laughable, really.)

He kissed me and made me feel loved and I was on cloud 9 again (my phone wanted to change that to Clod 9) and I forgot all about my Flaws Tourette's until tonight, when his ex reached back out on Facebook and they reconnected after a break.

She's prettier and thinner and gawd, when will I just embrace my own damn humanity?

(Sent from my phone)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Oh, Pinterest!

Me last year (if I had a fantasy wedding, which I don't). Hilarious!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Hi, if you just watch this 7 minute video, it will explain why you're wrong

I think I finally understand what must be like to be gay or transgender or something unacceptable to mainstream society, and risk being vulnerable to finally tell people, "hey, this is who I am" only to hear, "yeah, um, well, sorry bruh... I love you but you realize you're an abomination, right?"

Except this isn't about my genitals, it's about something even more amorphous: an invisible being who existed 2,000 years ago and apparently had some very strong opinions about things.


Family Member: "Hey, want to watch this 7 minute video on why the people of the Duck God cannot marry the people of the Rabbit God?"

Me: "I'm not really so interested in that but thanks. BTW, have I mentioned that I'm dating a man of the Rabbit God?"

Family Member: "Oh yeah, hey, about that. No offense but I can't go to the wedding if you get married."

Me: "What? Really?"

Family Member: "It's not personal. Seriously, just watch this video and it will explain why you're a pariah. Peace out!"

Me: "But my last husband was of the Rabbit God?"

Family Member: "Oh, yeah, well, I didn't realize I wasn't supposed to go. Yeah I'm actually forbidden. No hard feelings though!"
Yeah. No hard feelings, bruh. We're cool.

How can there ever be hope for peace as long as people can believe such separatist nonsense? This exchange was not only deeply depressing on a personal level but on a global level as well. Mankind is doomed. DOOMED!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Sunday, July 19, 2015

My gut DOES have a voice!

Yesterday, my love and I lazily wandered over to a friend's yard sale to pick up an office chair and ran into a girl I loosely knew -- a friend of a friend of a friend. She greeted me warmly and it seemed nice to connect until she tossed her hair back and playfully batted my sweetie on the shoulder. "We should hang! We should TOTALLY hang. We can party together!"

Not really my thing.
Not being the "party" type, this seemed more directed at him than me (although without much reason since neither is he). I looked uncomfortably at them both.

BF, ever observant, answered for me. "She's not really into that."
More my thing.
"That's okay," she countered. "YOU don't have to drink. He and I will just have a few." She gestured flirtatiously towards her new potential drinking buddy.

I surprised myself by what I said next. "That's not really that cool with me."


She was taken aback. "What? But it will be so much fun!"

Fun for who?

"I don't know," I said. "It just feels weird. Like, 'Oh hey, how about your boyfriend and I get drunk!' -- that just doesn't feel comfortable."

I didn't recognize myself or the words coming out. Who was saying this?

She looked at me and realized I was serious. "But you'll be RIGHT THERE," she pushed.

BF looked at me, seeing the friendliness drain out of my face. He'd never known me to be jealous or protective before and wasn't quite sure what to think.

Neither did I. I'd never done anything like this before.

The girl tried to save the conversation. "Well, it's good that you know your boundaries!"



I smiled wanly and we all stood in awkward silence.

She turned towards me and smiled. "Well. Anyway. Last time we saw each other, we said we would get together. We should totally do that! I mean, we said we would hang out, right?  This time there should be NO excuses! NONE! When are you free?"

Wait, what? I don't want to hang out. How the fuck do you say, "Can't you just be happy to see me every other year for 5 minutes in passing at some mutual friend's gathering?" Why do we have to be friends??

I mumbled something about being busy (truth) and tried to back away ungracefully to my car, waving goodbye.

I can't think of too many times I haven't wanted to be friends with someone, but this wasn't just because she seemed like the type to strip naked and lap dance on my man in front of me. But I couldn't quite put the unease into words.

Trying to avoid this scenario.
Luckily, Amazing BF trusted me even though I couldn't fully verbalize everything (thank goodness we are not new anymore) and later, I confirmed with a few other friends that she had some issues that made her unstable, toxic and dangerous.

My gut had grabbed me and shook hard, but heeding it made me feel excessively bitchy. But maybe it's important to be bitchy sometimes.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thanks??

Earlier, someone dragged me out to their car to give me "cool stuff" they were clearing out of their house. ("It's too awesome to just donate!")

Items:

1. A used cardboard box that a set of nail polish once came in.

2. A tent flap.

Um... thanks?

(Sent from my phone)

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Pictures really do say it best (text convo in 3 steps...)

We disconnected a bit, but it doesn't stay that way long before we realize it. Note the happy photo: resolution!

I'm still waaay too sensitive, but he's so tender with me. He really understands me.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Exes Explain Ghosting, the Ultimate Silent Treatment - NYTimes.com

Yes, I've seen this, and it annoys me. I think people should treat others with respect; discomfort with difficult conversations ("it's not you it's me" etc.) doesn't absolve us from the responsibility to treat people with care. I've not "ghosted" (and been thanked for being honest) but it's happened to me a couple times. That does sting. (Not counting going on one date with someone and neither feels a spark and neither follows up - I think that's okay, you are only meeting someone and not involved yet.)

"Whether this behavior has become more predominant with the advent of technology is debatable, but perhaps now it stings more, since there are so many ways to see your beloved interacting with other people while ignoring you. The rise of apps like Tinder and Grindr, and the impression they give that there is always someone else — literally — around the corner, is certainly empowering to ghosts."

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/06/26/fashion/exes-explain-ghosting-the-ultimate-silent-treatment.html?referrer=&_r=0


(Sent from my phone)

Where love begins


""Where the myth fails, human love begins,"Ana├»s Nin wrote in her diary in 1941"Then we love a human being, not our dream, but a human being with flaws." Indeed, just like perfectionism kills creativity, it also kills love – the more we mythologize and idealize the person we love, the more disillusioned and disheartened we grow as we come to know their imperfect humanity which, if untainted by these blinding ideals, is the very wellspring of true love." 

More: 

(Sent from my phone)

Friday, June 19, 2015

But 4 hours IS an extended period of time!!

My workplace recently did an employee satisfaction survey and it came out low. I'm happy working here, but apparently lots of people are not, so the head decided to address this.

He released a statement to the effect of "We're trying to address employee needs and happiness. We're working on it! We even got everyone a special little Red Cross kit in case there was an emergency and people needed to shelter in place for an extended period of time."
That yellow packet is our 4 ounces of water.
I found this WILDLY hilarious.

Because of one word: "Extended."

How long is an "extended" period of time? Because I remembered when those kits were handed out.

They contain precisely FOUR ounces of water.

Red Cross claims that this 4 ounce packet of water will provide ONE day's worth of water.

Four ounces is the equivalent of half a glass of water.

Consider that the (unofficially-recommended) daily serving of water is EIGHT 8-ounce glasses of water a day, how long was 4 ounces supposed to last? A few hours?

Even if the Red Cross has determined that cellular function can still occur at the (non ideal) level of 4 ounces per day, this means we can get through ONE day.

THIS is an "extended" period of time??
My brain fast-forwarded to the vision of an emergency scenario.

I pictured thousands of employees on day 4 dropping like flies, dead from lack of water.

An investigation would be opened as to why this happened, especially when the leader assured higher-ups that employees would be okay for an "extended" period of time.
Investigator 1: "But they had a Red Cross kit!"
Investigator 2: "Only the kind that lasts for a day. Poor slobs."
Investigator 1: "Huh. So why did they assure everyone that they were set for an 'extended' period of time?"
Investigator 2: [Shrug] "Well, maybe one day IS an extended period of time."
Investigator 1: [Goes back to scooping up bodies] "Sure must have felt like it to those thirsty sons of bitches."
[END]

Friday, June 12, 2015

How to be an asshole, part 1: no one can feel however they feel

I'm all fired up by this convo:
Woman 1: "Six weeks after a long labor followed by a cesarean, my husband tells me, 'I have not had time to write poetry since the baby was born.'"
Woman 2: "Clearly, he never wanted to have sex again. Ever."
Why is it not okay for the husband to feel that way? And why is the response "Punish him for having feelings we don't like! Withhold sex!! "?
Those people are going to get a divorce in 10-20 years!
Why is the response not something compassionate, like, "yeah, I hear you, that sucks"?? Or, "I feel that way too, it's been so time-consuming that I haven't had time to write myself"? 
Aren't partners supposed to be a team?

This is a concept discussed both in NVC (non-violent communication) and by therapists that deal with relating, relationships and couples counseling: the idea that one person knows the "right" way for things to be and how this turns into a power imbalance that is ultimately disconnecting. 
I found a good (long) article about this concept by a counselor who calls this the "Master/Slave" problem, where the "Master" is the dominant, 'right' party ("This is how the towels should be folded!") and the "Slave" is the one who must comply:

Excerpt:
If someone complains about silence, I expect to find a Master/Slave problem. A relatively stable Master/Slave relationship (remember Master/Slave relationships are inherently unstable) will have communication going only in one way from Master to Slave. The Slave will have learned to be silent about any disagreement. The Slave will be keeping their differing points of view secret. The typical Master does not notice at first, but in more mature relationships I often hear things like, “I can’t find out what she wants” Or “He won’t tell me. He’s quiet all the time.”



(By the way, I think this is a pretty good definition of agreement: one person thinks there is agreement, but is in some level of delusion. Their partner knows there is no agreement, but is keeping silent about it.  From this emerges the one-liner: “If two people are agreeing, then at least one of them is lying – withholding their truth.”) 

This silence is one thing that makes Master/Slave Relationships unstable. The decision-maker is uninformed, and is often critically in delusion about what is going on in their partner.
When I am working with an individual in a relationship, I often focus on this problem. If they mention something their partner does that they don’t understand, I invite them to share why they don’t know what is going on in their partner. When they share, “He/she won’t tell me” I then PreValidate the non-present and non-speaking partner and move to teaching about Master/Slave. “Of course they don’t tell you. You are probably a pain in the neck to talk to. Let’s see if we can figure this out.” 

Silence is so major a problem that I often give people a couple of one-liners to help them learn.  The one reason a person is quiet is that it is not safe for them to talk.   The one reason a person lies is that it is not safe for them to tell the truth.

ARGUMENT

The most common sign of a Master/Slave Relationship is an argument. Simply put, an argument is two people trying to be Master at the same time. And both are using Punishment systems, trying to pain their partner into pretending agreement, with varying success. If you are arguing, then you are probably trying to establish your “Truth” as the only truth, and get you partner to appear to agree. Arguing is the verbal behavior of two bullies. (A bully is a person who wants their way and will cause pain for others if they don’t get it.)
Arguing is admired in our culture. People often express their power and strength in arguments. Our TV and politics are full of arguments. Yet almost all couples who come into my office state that arguing is a problem.

http://www.alturtle.com/archives/172

I can now see that this is the dynamic that existed in my marriage, but I am not absolved from my responsibility for my passive role.

The new mom above set the rules but they were cruel and unrealistic and included her husband not being allowed to mourn the loss of his free time or feel bad that he wasn't able to do a fulfilling activity. Not only did she regard his feelings as inappropriate, but it was universally accepted that he should be shamed for having them.


Why is our society so threatened by feelings? What happened that we are not allowed to feel how we feel? Feelings exist whether or not you welcome them. Fighting them just makes it worse. The most current info says that if you want to sail through life the zen master of emotional health, you have to accept what you feel inside. Why not make this easy on others by accepting their feelings too?


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Proof of terrible people in the world (in case you didn't already know)

Quote one guy friend said a date told him (which she then followed up with a photo):

"Your face looks like a particular breed of hunting dog."  


Are you fucking kidding me???

Another guy friend said he was once asked, "Hey, do you have back hair?" 

And quite a surprising number of other male friends said they were asked how much they made and if they could support the woman. 

I'm ready to run screaming down the street - what is wrong with these people!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The present doesn't diminish the past.

He's asleep now, one arm draped over me as I'm typing out this embryonic blog post. I'm listening to him breathe rhythmically and falling more and more in love with each deep intake.

I'm so wild about this guy. 7 months now. Is that short? Is it long? I can't tell. It just feels right, whatever it is. There's no drama (thanks to my recent ex for teaching me that was even possible) and no issues, just a wonderful friendship, respect and love.

I posted a photo of my sweetie on Instagram recently and wrote a little snippet about how handsome he is. I wonder if his ex will see it. Maybe it's insensitive of me to gush in public.

I remember what it felt like to see someone affectionately refer to my my ex husband online. It has been a long time since he was "mine" so it should not have felt like anything but it was still weird at first, even though I was happy for him.

So I wondered, would his ex see that loving sentiment and feel... diminished?

I hope not.

I said something I somewhat regret in an earlier blog post. Something to the effect of never knowing love like this before. It's true, but as a person with the capacity to love deeply, I don't want to diminish the value of previous loves. Each are different.

What's different with my sweetie now is that we happen to want the same things: the same expressions of love, the same closeness, the same kind of connection, the same way of spending free time together, a similar way of life centered around each other. But other loves, and even likes, have mattered. We all matter to each other.

(Sent from my phone)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Unrequited: Women & Romantic Obsession | Psych Central

I haven't read this book but this quote jumped out at me.

"You don't have responsibility for my heartbreak," she said. "This is what my heart has done. I didn't think I could feel this way again after losing my husband, and it's really good for me to know I can go to this place with someone."

http://psychcentral.com/lib/unrequited-women-romantic-obsession/00022000

(Sent from my phone)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ha!!

Me: "I like to watch Girls while working out."

Boyfriend: "Me too!!"

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Dear Prudence column (you can feel this one blowing up from way over here.)

I have a problem with how the wife in the below letter to Dear Prudence said she will (in an attempt to meet her husband's needs) "work on giving him more sex" -- because it sounds like sex is a commodity rather than a thing to be shared between the two of them. I can just picture her now, doing it but not looking like she's enjoying it, and then being resentful that that the simple act of allowing it to happen wasn't "enough."

Too many times I've heard people cite sex as an issue in the relationship but what they're really complaining about is the lack of connection. I knew someone who, when she got divorced, tried to answer the barrage of why's with the explanation that her husband never wanted to have sex. People were dismissive of this answer, saying, "it's ridiculous to rip the kids' lives apart for THAT, do you really need it that bad??" ("Can't you just get your rocks off in private?" was the heated implication.) 

What she *should* have said was, "I don't feel loved" (or otherwise indicate that their connection felt distant). That's the end result of not having sex anyway, and no one can argue that distance is sustainable long-term.

...

Q. Gave Husband Permission to Have Sex Outside of Marriage ...: My husband and I have been together nearly 20 years. Our sex life has dwindled to maybe once every two months because of my issues. I gave him permission to go outside of the marriage for sex, but I really didn't want him to have a relationship with someone else. Recently he came to me and said he has found someone and told me he can't have sex without an emotional connection. I feel betrayed and want him to not continue with it. I will work on giving him more sex. He says it's unfair to give him the OK and then take it back. I feel horrible but I didn't think this would affect me as much. I don't know what to do.

A: This is one of those hall passes that you can only give with the knowledge that it may result in the recipient making a complete break. Some people can separate sex from emotion and just tend to their physical needs. Your husband is not one of these people. Your telling him to seek sex outside your marriage has resulted in an unsurprising, but understandably distressing situation. At least give you husband credit for being honest with you. What can I say except that you two should march off to couples counseling where you will be with a professional who can help you hash out what you both want out of this marriage, or whether he wants out.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Everything wrong

What do you do when you have a day where you do everything wrong??

Everything wrong:

-- Allergies have decided to kick my ass, despite never having had major allergic reactions to anything besides cats, up until the time I unwittingly overexposed myself to their dander by living in a (previously) cat-infested home. (It was discovered later that the previous owner probably hoarded them and they used the carpeting in lieu of a litter box. Good times, that first home.)

-- So I haven't slept in 2 days because who can sleep when the business of nose-blowing is paramount? Ripping tissues out of a tissue box is a 24-hour occupation. No joke. When I finally did drift off, dreams of rivers of snot danced in my head. Needless to say, I woke up very refreshed.

-- I got to work later than I wanted and paid $3 for coffee because fuckit.

-- There is no food in this house that isn't disgustingly healthy. Goddammit.

-- Visualizing exercise isn't working.

-- I couldn't figure out how to remove a hyperlink in Excel so I took that opportunity to look up both my ex's new baby online AND my new boyfriend's ex online, just for extra shitty curiosity points. (The baby is cute and so is the ex and I only actually feel good about one of those things.)

-- I'm spending $2,000 in two days to have someone fucking install insulation so I don't have to live in what feels like a tent next February. And because I don't *have* that money (due to the numerous self-indulgent coffee splurges) I'm taking on a temporary roommate to help me pay for it. Intern X will be moving in at the end of the month. Better be worth it.

-- I miss writing. Maybe I don't need to lament about my love life as much as I used to but there seems to be no shortage of other shitty things I can tease out to make others feel great about their own lives.

-- My car is simultaneously flaking out on brakes AND making a noise, that, when I told my dad, he uttered the words "possibly the transmission" and I stopped hearing anything that came next because I was too busy calculating whether to trade it in, wait until it turned into a fiery ball of metal while zooming up the interstate, or court the latest batch of Craigslist serial killers (since the roommate search has finally concluded). Decisions, decisions.

Everything right:

-- I finally achieved the right shade of fake tan on my legs so I can wear a skirt without pantyhose and hide my spider veins.


(Sent from my phone)

Friday, May 1, 2015

Facebook statuses I hate

Why do people ask for medical advice online?? And it never seems to be just a request for a good doc or something innocuous. It always seems to be an emergency:

"Hey, my arm has been kinda gray and numb ever since it got ran over by a car, what should I do?"

"My dog ate a dark chocolate replica of the Eiffel Tower, will he be okay?"

"Ever since I hit my head, I black out. Should I be concerned?" (

"I've had this weird rash for 3 weeks, what do you think it is?" (This one someone asked me without even sharing a photo. Do you have ANY idea how many things could possibly go wrong with skin? I didn't, until a series of Google inquiries simultaneously revealed the futility of guesswork and the necessity of medical school.)

I realize people hate doctors but usually if you need to ask, something is wrong!

What kinds of Facebook statuses do you hate?

(They've probably covered it here! http://www.vice.com/read/heres-every-prick-youre-friends-with-on-facebook-303 )


(Sent from my phone)

Monday, April 27, 2015

A dating summary of the past few years

-- Him: "Every day there are like 10 women I want to have [relations] with." 

Me: "So I guess this is winding down?" 

Him: "No, I told my ex-wife this kind of thing all the time and I was crazy about her!" 


-- "I only need to live in my parent's basement for a few years until I get my grad degree." (He was 40.)

-- "Want a sip of my smoothie? I added vodka!" (He was driving.) 

-- "I don't like to hold hands or be affectionate. Actually I don't like relationships, at all."

-- "You don't mind that I still live with my ex, right?"

-- "Can I call you back? Now isn't a good time, I just had to call the police to protect me from my teenaged son."

-- "My 7 year old can't sleep alone, he sleeps with me. That's cool when we get married, right?"

-- "You're the first woman I've touched in a year since my wife died."

-- "Sometimes I like to have relations with men."

-- (On a first date) "Want to sleep over? I got the guest room ready just for you!"

-- "Sorry for being a dick. Want to go to a bondage club?"

-- Him: "I don't think we have enough in common. I mean, you like animals and nature." 

Me: "You're right, but I'm curious. I don't actually mention that in my profile, where did you see that?" 

Him: "We talked about it!!" 

Me (looking through our text convo): "Oh, you mean when I commented that YOUR DOG was cute??"

-- Then there was the guy who grabbed my back fat on a date and injured it. Fat is sensitive!

Is it any wonder that everyone hates dating??

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

When the Ex Blogs, the Dirtiest Laundry Is Aired - New York Times

Great article in the NY Times.

Guidelines:

1. Respect other people's privacy. No exceptions.

2. Don't be a dick. (Good life rule in general.)

3. Fine if you must write about your experience but never forget that everything is filtered through what it feels like to be YOU. Don't assume anything for the other person. That's why it's better to write about how you feel rather than interpret/analyze/etc. a situation.

4. Probably shouldn't do this at ALL but if you must, for fuck's sake, be classy about it at least!

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/18/style/18divorce.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0


(Sent from my phone)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Try, try again

He pushed me up against the wall and kissed me deeply. "I'm going to marry you, girl."

It still feels new and it's still early but we'll soon be upon 6 months and we are already talking about the future. We just can't envision one not together.

This is turning out to be the most incredible love story and I'm ill-equipped to write about it. I've spent so much of the time in the past (now 5 years) since my marriage ended either shutting down, pining away, or otherwise floundering, that this is totally new territory for me. I *wanted* this kind of love but it seemed nearly unattainable.

I remember searching boys faces on dates, wondering "could it be you?"

I would see some nice qualities and think, "I could probably love someone like that" until I tried and then something inside me shut down. And then I did fall in love, but it was one-sided and ultimately lonely, although he treated me wonderfully and taught me much.

I fought myself every minute of the past five years, hating where I was, how I felt, and my inability to deal with it all gracefully. (By "deal with it gracefully" I mean: feel fine.) But now I see I couldn't have whisked myself into the future. The gradual inching forward... I was always in the best possible place for me at the time. (Well at least that's my positive Pollyanna spin. If I must take a view on my past, it feels nice to have that one.)

I told my counselor last night that I was somewhat aghast at how much of my own suffering was caused by my own perspective. My own focus on my failings or frailties, things I would never make front and center for other loved ones but never thought twice about punishing myself for.

Perspective.

Huh.

As if it's just that simple to change our thoughts, but oh, how powerful.

Funny how I can have such an optimistic nature at the same time as one that so darkly ruminates on my own humanity. People are known for being masters at dichotomous thinking, so I may as well welcome another flaw to the table. But I found a quote I fell in love with recently:

"Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again." Ellen Bass

Yes. I will try, try again.

Anyway, we are both crazy in love and it keeps getting deeper and more intense.

When it's right, you know it. That old cliche is really true.

(Sent from my phone)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Stuff my BF says

"Wow, your eyes really pop with that that towel on your head!"

(How can you not love a guy who thinks that?!?)

Me: Um, why do you have a picture of the guy from Beetle Juice on your phone?

Him (looking embarrassed): Uh...

Me: Well I ask because I have the same picture on MY phone.

Me: Well I have it on my phone because I just happen to know someone who looks like that.

Him: Bahaha that's exactly why it's on my phone too!!


Him: Mmmm, you is fine!

Me (washing my face): What? But my hair looks like it caught on fire!

Him: Your hair could be on fire and I'd be like,"that's the finest hair-on-fire bitch I ever saw"!!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

I promise I'm not trying the old "death" ruse to bring us closer

We were lying in bed in our separate houses texting when he sent a selfie. "Here," he said. "Now you can feel like I'm right there with you."

The protocol, when your beloved offers some part of themselves, is to reciprocate.

I gazed at his sweet face and warm eyes, and then over at the mirror across from where I sat and saw a blurry, wild-haired mess hunched over a box of tissues.


There are precisely zero angles at which you can photograph yourself, seconds after sniffling into a snot rag, and look hot. I made 20 attempts anyway and even tried to pimp one up in a photo editing app, but while red eye filters are common, there are none for "red nose."

There really are not.

So I gave up and sent him one au natural. Somehow he made me feel loved anyway. "You're so beautiful to me," he replied and I nearly purred. (Thank god love is blind!)

It's been a rough past few days. Somehow I threw out my neck and, after 15 (intermittent) minutes of sleep out of an 8-hour night, I ended up in urgent care. (Again!) My sweetie drove while I stiffly practiced going into rigor mortis in the passenger seat. I wouldn't want to die unprepared, after all.

Four hours later I exited the pharmacy clutching muscle relaxants (which I loathe because I actually enjoy having a personality) and painkillers. Normally I'd resist even taking a Flintstone vitamin but I would have happily thrown myself onto a syringe of morphine if it meant I could move again. I gulped them down and waited.

What better to do while waiting than cook myself in a nice hot shower? I stepped into the steamy stall and let the water beat down on my neck, enveloping me in scalding bliss.

Never run out of hot water again!
Then I stepped out and... you know that sensation you get when life is leaving your body? That started to happen while I was drying my hair.

I waited for it to go away but it parked itself and set up camp. So I stumbled into the kitchen and, with the remaining vestiges of consciousness that were left, remembered a scene in the movie Steel Magnolias where Julia Roberts was going into hypoglycemic shock. She was shaking, I was shaking. She was sweating, I was sweating. She was fading, I was fading. But then she drank OJ and got better so... I drank OJ. It worked!
Hypoglycemic shock is a medical emergency.
I tossed the painkillers. They almost killed me, fuck no I'm not taking them! My route to becoming a loser laid up with a "bad neck" now thwarted, I had to rebuild the vision for my future: I had no choice but to return to being a productive member of society.

I contemplated what happened, since that was the closest I'd ever come to passing out. Maybe percocet (Oxycontin) affects blood sugar? Maybe it was an allergic reaction? Or maybe just a coincidence? I still don't know exactly what happened. But there I was, feeling vulnerable and needy, especially now that I'd leaned on him TWICE for weird health stuff (can't I just get a cold and need him to pick up some soup, like normal people?!?) and I'd been sniffling into a box of tissues, worried that Amazing Boyfriend would shake his head and leave this hot mess behind, when instead he reached out so tenderly. And I fell more in love.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The fist in my chest (part 3)

The third time I woke out of a sound sleep with a fist gripping the inside of my chest, I drove myself to the emergency room. (1st time was over a month ago.)

That's a relaxing ride.


"No, after you!"

It occurred to me as they jammed the fucking needle way up my vein (not no pin prick like when you give blood, they lodge that shit in there nice & deep to prepare for possible open heart surgery), I'd never been in the hospital like this before. I mean, aside from a fairly "routine" (planned) hernia surgery for a hernia (that they said I was probably born with), this was new. Like, pain brought me here. And not obvious pain like that time I fell off my bike at 14 and needed stitches.

I tried to tell them it wasn't actually my heart. It might SOUND like that from the description but I knew in my bones it was not cardiac. I was actually thinking gallbladder at first. When biliary ducts get clogged, the pain slaps you at your shoulder blades. Check.

"Describe your pain."

"Well, it's like there's a fist inside my chest right at my throat, gripping all the way to my shoulder blades, up the back of my head and throughout my lower jaw."

"How long has it been going on?"

"About an hour. It woke me out of a sound sleep."

So, say that shit to an ER doc and they start pulling out defibrillators and swabbing the table, practically ready to crack your chest open. I mean, those are classic heart attack symptoms.


I was so sure it was not a cardiac issue, however, that I refused a CAT scan. Do I really have to be exposed to that kind of radiation? I mean, CAT scans are intense. They're not anywhere NEAR as benign as x-rays, which still fuck up your DNA. You're only allowed 4 chest CAT scans in your entire life. Radiation exposure is cumulative, son!

They allowed me to decline the scan but still wanted to admit me for "observation." I mean, something was wrong, and wrong enough for me to seek help. We had to start somewhere. I didn't fit the classic profile. I was fairly healthy. I'd only had a salad for dinner, not, like, a fatty bacon cheeseburger, and there wasn't much significant family history for cardiovascular disease.

Although this is true!

Over the next 19 hours, they proceeded to draw blood to look for troponin, an enzyme produced by damaged heart muscle and every time I fell asleep (OMG was I fucking exhausted), someone woke me to prick me, take my blood pressure, ask me how I was or drop off a tray of fatty, cholesterol-laden eggs. (Okay, that only happened once, but shouldn't it be off-limits in the cardiac ward?)


I finally relented to the CAT scan the next morning when another doctor explained, "Sometimes that kind of pain can be caused by a blood vessel beginning to rip open inside your chest. The only way to see that is to do this particular kind of scan."

That scared me. Fine, make me radioactive. Whatever.

After several additional tests and torturous times of blood vial filling, I was cleared of cardiac signs and released.



I made an appointment with my doc when I got home and showed him all the test results.

He smirked, knowing instantly what it was.

"You had an esophageal spasm," he said. "Text-book case."

I was aghast. "WHY didn't anyone else realize that?!?"

"Well, they look at the most life-threatening thing first. Maybe that biases them on the diagnostic route. But I can say that fairly confidently because we ruled OUT heart. If you'd come to me with those symptoms, I'd have wanted to run those tests first too."


Crises test relationships, especially new ones: Amazing Boyfriend had seen me with Sex Hair (which I somehow unwittingly pull off whether or not such has happened) but he had not seen me with ER Hair. Matted clumps hung unceremoniously onto my hollow face shadowing the dark circles of sleep deprivation. I worried he'd see all this -- the "For Worse" part -- too soon but the look in his eyes was tender and warm and I felt very cared for when I was, frankly, quite scared. I hadn't wanted to burden anyone -- indeed, had driven alone -- but to have an advocate when you're at your most vulnerable... now that is love.

Sweet friends texted and offered to visit, but I have to tell you, the ER isn't exactly the most entertaining locale to catch up, unless you're keenly into people watching: I've seen enough backsides now to last me a lifetime. (Then again, my friends might actually enjoy that...!)

Now I have to figure out why my throat decided to close up during sleep (three times). Fun!!