Saturday, October 26, 2013

Being needy means acknowledging you have needs

Last night I dreamt I met a wonderful guy and he was asking me about myself. We were both over the moon about each other (look, it's a dream, of course it's unrealistic) and were falling in love.

"Are you needy?" he asked.

"No," I said. Then I thought for a minute. "Actually I am needy. I need to be paid attention to, I need my partner to be kind, I need affection, and I need to feel special. But I have been told by boyfriends that I am not needy. I think that's because I understand how to give space. And I accept them for who they are."

He smiled and hugged me and then I fucking woke up.

(If it's GOING to be a dream, can't there be at LEAST a little more romance in there? Sheesh. My brain is too clean for my own good. Fucking realistic conversations. At least live it up a bit, brain!)

This makes me think about one of my weak spots. You know how babies start developing object permanence, when they realize that something is there even if they can't see it? Show them a cup and then hide it behind your back and, if they've reach that stage of development, they will realize the cup still exists. 

Well, maybe I failed that developmental milestone. I'm just not very sophisticated with my sense of object permanence. If my partner doesn't reach out, then I think he is losing interest.

One way meditation has been helping is that it softens the emotions that come along with feeling lonely. So I feel less achy when it hits.

I think it's because some research has shown that when you acknowledge how you're feeling and let the feeling exist instead of trying to stuff it away, it gets smaller somehow. I used to get annoyed when I felt crummy. "Go away! This feels terrible. You're fucking everything up." But that makes it worse, yo. Greet it, let it exist and then it will pass.

Sometimes I talk to it like an old friend. "Oh I hear you. You're trying to tell me something. Okay. You're worried. Got it." Then it doesn't have to shout to be heard because I already acknowledged it. It sounds crazy but it actually does work, at least for me. I've been feeling so incredibly even-keeled lately and I think that's one reason why.

I still want my dude to reach out though. Meditation doesn't help with that part.

Friday, October 25, 2013

A twist

I don't want to take him up on it, but I am still floored by the idea. If I'd known that he would have appreciated me this much one day, it would have hurt so much less when it ended. Aqua-eyed Boy from way back opened up.
"I think we should try again."

"What? Where's this coming from?"

"I dated a lot of other girls and no one is as kind as you."

"Well, we understand each other, we've kindof been through a lot."

"I think we would be happy together."

"I'm seeing someone right now. Your timing sucks!"

"Well, think about it."
I longed to hear him say that a million other times and now I don't need to hear it anymore but there it is. Back when we broke up and then when I tried to come to peace with endings I wanted to hear that he missed me, that I was special... to hear it now floors me. It takes away some of the sting from those memories.

MR doesn't want us as a long-term thing and has been very honest and up-front... but I adore him and do not want to see anyone else right now. But that conversation stirred something and soothed it. Thank you, aqua-eyed boy. Thank you.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

on mattering

I'm a little melancholy tonight. I'm thinking about my favorite aunt who is in her 80s and how our society revolves around young people. I don't want the elderly to feel forgotten. To think that they don't matter because youngins are busy building careers and raising families. In my middle-aged years, I can look at girls 20 years younger and remember what it was like to be that age and I imagine my aunt can look at me the same way. I hope she can see how much I revere her when I return her gaze.

Before my favorite uncle died, he said getting chemo was so depressing, you spend so much time in sterile waiting rooms with doctors that speak so somberly because fighting for your life is no laughing matter. But he craved lightness. "I wish I had something to read that was targeted specifically to my cohort. And dialysis patients, how horrible is that? It takes 4 hours every 3 days, you have nothing but time. It would be nice to read something uplifting and funny."

I've been thinking deeply about life. What will I think when I am 80? Will I be at peace with my contribution to earth? Was it enough to try?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

One big giant bag of molecules

In chemistry, we learned how molecules go around looking for atoms. In a negatively-charged state, they will look for atoms and molecules with a free electron to donate and then pair up. They will seek this until they can fulfill themselves from their unfinished state.

People aren't so different. They bounce around the solution of life looking for a complementary mate. "I need __________, is that you?"

Two lonely oxygen atoms pair up with hydrogen atoms. Double date!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

stupid conversations

Conversations like these are annoying as hell:
Me: Hi, I'd like to make an appointment, do you have any openings?

Receptionist: Hmm, well, I'm gonna have to check the schedule and see.

Me: Okay.

Receptionist: You want me to check the schedule?

Me: Sure.

Receptionist: So, check the schedule to make an appointment? You want to come in, right?
Not anymore. The stupidity has cured me!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Bitchslapped by... cytochrome P450?

This is pretty much how it went down:
Body: Hey, um, you know how you always made fun of people who sit around swallowing muscle relaxants all day long for "incapacitating pain"? How about you walk a mile in their shoes sometime.

Brain: Thanks but I'm not interested. Those people are just slackers. They're not trying hard enough.

Body: Oh yeah? I'll show you. You're not the boss of me!!
So, I've been bitchslapped by my musculoskeletal system.

Not only did I throw out my back and neck carrying a hanger 2 weeks ago, but the spasms haven't even had the courtesy to stay in the same spot. They keep moving and shifting all over the fucking place. I couldn't tell if physical therapy was making it worse so my doc ordered me to be a zombie for the week and prescribed muscle relaxants and now I have a fucking half-hour window to write this blog post before I liquify into a drooling heap under the computer.
Real quick recap from the past few days:

Awesome family event this past weekend that I somehow managed to drive to despite the inability to swivel and negotiate in traffic. When I finally arrived, I managed to avoid sharing how much things were hurting AND losing my shit when a jumping spider lept onto my plate.

And the Asplenia family luncheon.

At night while sleeping, I only need to rouse myself awake to turn over, as that is an action that requires holding my own skull to rotate it since my neck muscles are on strike. Good times.

Facebook underscores how you never REALLY know how someone is doing because although I'm posting interesting links like a boss, I refuse to mention my woes.

There's some speculation that all this might be a side effect of some antibiotics as Cipro has been associated with muscle tightness and even tendon rupture. My doc: "It all has to do with the cytochrome P450 mechanism of metabolism in the liver, you remember that right?" Uh, sure.

Anyway, thanks for the sneak preview, universe. It's very motivating to take good care of myself.

In other news, this is why I like MR: I drove to his apartment and then circled the block 4 times looking for a spot I could park the car in without swiveling my neck and even then, I couldn't get close enough to the curb and was in tears by the time I made it into the building. He offered to repark my car, you guys. It was the first thing out of his mouth, that offer of help, and even though I didn't need to take him up on it, it was the thought that counted. That old cliche really is true.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Hack online dating

Amy Webb discusses how optimizing her profile and being extremely picky paid off:

Want more? Here's a followup page of links for successful dates, including one that started out quite badly: "Willard Foxton’s date tried to “sexily nibble” him over dessert. Instead, she bit him; he bled and became ill."


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Can't we all just get along?

A memory

I wonder if I made it too easy for him to walk away that one time. When he told me he wanted to break up, I nodded and left so I could be alone to mourn. He chased me back, hurt that I didn't have something to SAY or to fight the breakup. I didn't understand what there was to say. He wanted it to end. The chambers of the heart are not courtroom chambers to argue brilliant points to the jury, your mate, in your favor. No. A breakup is a sentence delivered by one. What is there to do but accept it?

That was my first breakup, or at least my first real one, with my first real love. I was 17. We got back together and dated on and off for the next 6 years. I don't remember how long that breakup lasted.

Later, he found someone else who would fight the breakup though. She was pressing for marriage but he didn't love her so he tried to end it. She flipped. The drama that ensued made him lose his nerve. He hated hurting her badly enough for her to act like that so he stayed.

I knew someone else that tried to end their relationship but their partner lost it. Like, attacked the house lost it. Screaming in the shower and beating the walls. They sobbed no, you cannot leave me, you will NOT leave me, and they didn't. The breakup was called off. That was almost a decade ago. They're still together, but live together distantly, as roommates, tied together by the comfort of familiarity and obligation.

Yet another person threatened their mate. If you leave me, I will make your life HELL. You will have to fight for the money and our kids; I will take it all from you. Don't leave me. They weren't threatening their partner's life but livelihood. Well, in a way, their life, because imagine the tangled mess thereafter, raising kids with someone who wants nothing more than to take you down. Their entire life's purpose has become one of destruction: they aim to destroy you. How could you have known that's how they would have acted? They're still together. The threat hangs there, too large a barrier to cross.

Another couple did divorce. She vowed to take him down. He spent $30,000 and the aftermath of the battle is the bitter exchange of their children several times a week on custody nights.

I tried to make him feel better. Well, since you said she's a hoarder and didn't work, if you'd stayed together, she would have spent $30,000 of your money on useless junk anyway. At least you're free.

He snickered bitterly. Yes, that's true.

I don't understand why people want to hurt each other so. Why revenge becomes larger than the memories of the love you once shared. But the fight for the ego must be powerfully compelling.

In the wild, when two animals face each other in a confrontation, each blooms into as terrifying an opponent as they can be. Don't even TRY to fight me, is the message. If successful, one will back down. Animals carefully weigh risk in their conservation of energy and choosing unwisely could be a fatal mistake.

Perhaps humans aren't so different. Some see the raised hackles and it's easier to just stay than fight.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

How to fucking be a nice person: a guide

Stop bringing up shitty subjects.
Shitty subjects:

1. Exes.
2. Politics.
3. Religion.
4. Anything in which you get all judgy (and don't act like you have no clue).

Pay attention to other people.
How to pay attention:

1. When you call someone, don't just assume they can launch into a 4-hour phone conversation just because they answered. Ask if they have time to chat. If they don't, let them go. You can talk later. That is called Being Respectful of Other People's Time.

2. Observe others' signals. You can totally tell when other people are not comfortable. Instead of feeling hurt ("they don't love me enough because they don't want to hear about mucus removal!!"), respect their boundaries and back off. You wouldn't walk up to a wild animal with whom you are trying to gain trust and scream, "BUT EVERYONE HAS MUCUS!" now, would you? So pay attention.

Don't strip another person of their power.

How to strip another person of their power:
1. Raise your voice, yell, or otherwise look like you are about to lose your shit. That's just terrifying, yo. Learn how to manage your emotions so you can have a mutual dialogue. 

No one really means to hurt someone else. If your feelings are hurt because they didn't sound enthused that you thought their front door should be fluorescent orange, don't point accusingly, "you hurt me because you never listen!!" The victim stance is SO outdated. Try to adopt the view of our justice system and give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they don't like that color? Don't just assume they are guilty of trying to hurt you on purpose. Democracy: it works for more than just societies.

2. Don't allow others to have their say. If misunderstandings are resolved because your hurt is the only thing that will fit in the room, then you have won by smashing your opponent into a boneless heap. How can that possibly be a conversation?

Stop being so entitled.
How to appear entitled?

1. You expect something of a person or situation and are not silent about your disappointment when it doesn't pan out. Don't attach to an outcome, other people have their paths too.

2. Being oblivious to other people's needs. I know you REALLY want to rehash last night's Lifetime movie with your bestie but keep in mind that doing so in front of the yogurt aisle means I can't reach my imitation key lime pie flavor without hearing TMI. Being aware of others and not standing in their way or otherwise taking away their choices (to sit in traffic quietly, to walk at whatever speed they wish, etc.) goes a long way to being a nice person.
We have a good society if only people would follow these rules! Oh and don't hurt anyone. That wouldn't be nice.

Monday, October 7, 2013

freedom within

Well, I am seeing the Cyclist again. It's kindof a nice thing. We have a solid friendship and a lot of trust.

I do feel like a complete dick though, for three awkward recent conversations in which I told perfectly nice men that I *wanted* to adore, I'm sorry, I'm not where you are. I had one today on the way to the doctor (AGAIN) and was so flustered that I got lost because I was concentrating more on the conversation than my route.
"I'm confused," he said. "I thought you liked me."

"I do," I said. "Just... I'm not in the same place."

"That's fine - you already told me that. I said we could go slow. I could wait a long time, that's no problem."
I hate conversations like these. I hate disappointing people. I hate hurting people.

I don't even know what it was but somehow he started to annoy me. I got excited about things at first and then they fizzled. When it came time to nail down a date for our next meeting, I realized I didn't want to do it. I feel like a terrible person for saying that because he was such a great guy. If only it were possible to will yourself to like someone, then we would all pick people who would be good for us. But shoot, arranged marriages really aren't a thing, not even to arrange them yourself..

Oddly, however, this is the first time I've been completely satisfied with where I am since my ex-husband and I split. (There's compromise in that statement since I do sometimes still have pangs for my old life, but I am a realist and I live the life I have.) I feel like I am starting to focus now on things besides romance, and being satisfied with good companionship somehow fulfills something while also feeling free.


ps. We've all been there and it sucks. Perspective about the Friend Zone, from's advice columnist.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

It's symbolic

I don't really feel like writing about my love life as of late, but I have started to add little hearts to my calendar. <3

(Sent from my phone)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Achievement unlocked: spoons (and other exciting highlights of the week)

So, I spent the majority of the past few days wanting to morph into another species (as one is wont to do upon the discovery that it appears to actually already be happening). But I'm on different medicine now and so it seems the transformation has been successfully intercepted. Now I just have to avoid parental interrogation so I can avoid being one more thing for them to worry about. Is there a card that says, "sorry I dropped off the planet for a few days and didn't call or write but I was too busy combing the internet for information on my diseases"??

Highlights of the week:
-- Acquired a pack of spoons for $1.99 from Target. This purchase thrills me, as I had been hovering on $6 grapefruit spoons (complete with a serrated edge) online just to avoid stepping foot into a store. I didn't really want to risk cutting open my lips every time I ate a yogurt but I did not want to pay $12 for the going rate of normal spoons and thus this appeared to be the only choice. It presented as quite the dilemma which heightened when I discovered both the local supermarket and drugstore did NOT carry utensils and I would be forced to set foot into a box store, a practice I abhor even when walking is physically possible. I'm not exactly sure how an entire bin of spoons slowly disappeared from the house in the first place but when one has this many roommates, at least it dilutes the irritation factor. Blame and other delaying tactics ultimately prove wholly unuseful, leaving the end goal (spoons) to become the only focus. Achievement unlocked.

-- Threw out my mid-mid back carrying a hanger from a girlfriend's basement. Clearly it was very heavy and my ribs (previously the only part of my body not seemingly affected by the medical crisis above) developed the kind of ache that prompted double-checking to ensure the blade of a small knife had not somehow lodged itself there while ascending the steps. (This may also have something to do with my sudden interest in this podcast on Phineas Gage.) When the pain didn't go away, I found myself lying on a massage table while a man with large hands authoritatively separated my shoulder blade from my body and commanded me to relax. As you can see, it was a very serene experience.

-- Did approximately 17 loads of laundry, because clearly, when I'm not feeling well, everything I sleep on needs to be boiled multiple times.

-- Bought a USB cable online to replace one I'd lost and then immediately found the original less than 24 hours later.

-- Had my toes pried apart during a dermatology physical and then got scolded for having painted toenails. "We can't see under the bed if you do that," she told me. "Just be sure it is clear. It needs to be clear under there."

-- My ($20) old behemoth of a laser printer died but I found a replacement on Craigslist for $5 (score!).

-- A nice man from Laos who has fallen upon hard times would like to entrust his entire estate to me, isn't that sweet?
It's been quite a week. See what you've missed?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


I want to cry. I am in so much discomfort right now I can barely stand it. When a part of your body swells up 5x its size, damn straight you are speeding past that speed camera going fuckit, give me a ticket, I don't care, I gotta get those antibiotics in me and go to sleep immediately. Fuck it all and good night.

(Sent from my phone)