~Thursday, January 31, 2008

Past Mistakes

AmyD tagged me for a meme. I really enjoyed doing it because I came across a lot of posts (and memories) that I had forgotten about; two and a half years provides a lot of material to dig through.

Archive Meme Instructions: Go back through your archives and post the links to your five favorite blog posts that you’ve written... but there is a catch:

Link 1 must be about family.
Link 2 must be about friends.
Link 3 must be about yourself, who you are, what you’re all about.
Link 4 must be about something you love.
Link 5 can be anything you choose.

I think this is a great way to circulate some of the great older posts everyone had written, return to a few great places in our memories and also learn a little something about ourselves and each other that we may not know. Post your five links and then tag five other people. At least TWO of the people you tag must be newer acquaintances so that you get to know each other better...and don’t forget to read the archive posts and leave comments!

  1. For my family post, I'm choosing the one about the birthday card my father bought me last year. It's really the only post I have about my parents where I'm not pointing and laughing, and just reading it again brought tears to my eyes. And as fun as it is to laugh at my elders, there's something about the articulation of my anger that I still appreciate. (By the way, I still have the card.)
  2. Admittedly, my friends are not a huge part of my blog. In my posts, they serve as supporting characters who, well, support. And make me squirt drinks out my nose. Ooh, look at that, I just cheated!
  3. Some post-party musings really helped me define myself. This was a pretty pivotal night that completely overhauled my outlook on dating and improved my self-esteem.
  4. Even though Scott's and my initial "I love you" turned into a source of contention, I still treasure the moment. And he finally admitted he remembered all along.
  5. Ever been out on a date and locked yourself in his bathroom to have a panic attack? I have. And here's a good post about my struggle of moving to the big city. Ooh, look at that, I cheated again!
I tag Enny-Pen, Paige Jennifer, Peach, Single Girl, Tilly, and you!

~Monday, January 28, 2008

Dr. Phil gives more bad advice

Dr. Phil had an episode the other week about mistakes women make that keep them single. (Let's just gloss over the fact I just admitted to watching Dr. Phil, shall we?) Apparently some publisher decided that Bachelor #8 (you knew him as Huge Chin Guy) from The Bachelor acquired enough experience from "dating" 25 women at once to write a book that forever categorizes women into stereotypes by their mistakes: Working Girl, I've Been Hurt Girl, Too Old Girl, etc.

Huge Chin Guy and Dr. Phil then parade five women on stage and take turns pointing at each woman and telling her what she does wrong. Here's a gem from the transcripts:

“You met a guy. No job. No direction. No chance of getting a job. He broke your car. He offered to get it fixed. What happened?” Dr. Phil asks.

“Well, he stole it. He drove it to California with another girl, came back, slammed it into a wall and blamed me,” she explains.

“And you felt guilty?” Dr. Phil asks.

“Yeah. I don’t know why,” Jennifer says.
Meet Low Self-Esteem Girl.

The two men jolly up and seemingly solve each of the girl's problems with, shockingly, advice from Huge Chin Guy's book! You too can buy this book and find out what's wrong with you! Yea!

Only I think Dr. Phil and Huge Chin Guy were diagnosing for zebras instead of horses. You see, each of these girls were man-hunting by boozing it up every night of the week at local bars. The idea of meeting someone with a lasting relationship potential at a bar is almost unheard of. Cosmopolitan (once again, glossing over the fact I read the source) published some survey that 3% of married couples met each other a bar. What Dr. Phil should have said was, "For the love of God, put that White Russian down!"

Which segues into my next point: each girl on that stage was fat. And not fat-with-a-great-face or even fat-with-a-great-personality, but rather, fat-with-greasy-hair. Only one girl on stage was attractive and that was because she recently dropped 100 pounds after her divorce.

So to conclude--just because it's liquor doesn't mean it has less calories, shampoo is our friend, and Irish Car Bombs can still give you beer goggles even though it isn't actually beer. You're welcome.

~Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Part Two

As I got closer to my apartment on the commute home, I grew more anxious and nauseous. What would be waiting for me? I'm making good time, what do I do if I make it home before him? I slid my key in the lock and found the apartment open. He was home, earlier than usual.

The TV was loud and as he walked in from the balcony, I thought he said something to me. "Huh?" I articulated.

"I didn't say anything."

"Oh, must have been the TV." Pause. "Well, hello."

"Hello," he responded equally as flatly.

I nervously put my bag on the counter as he tossed some papers in the trash. When I thought he approached me, I reached to hug him like I always do. Instead he picked up some wrappers off the counter and I looked like an idiot. Awkwardly, we hugged. Whereas I embraced, he patted my back: a sign he doesn't want contact with me. My stomach sank.

"We have to talk you know," he said.

It sank even lower. "I know," I compensated.

Then he went back outside to smoke a cigarette and presumably think about his upcoming speech. I changed out of my work clothes and specifically didn't put on my pajama bottoms. If I was going to run out of the apartment sobbing, it wasn't going to be in pajama bottoms; it would be with more dignity in blue jeans.

When he never came back in, I joined him outside on the balcony. I took the seat opposite him at the table. "Can I start?" I asked. Normally how this goes is that he lectures me with everything we both did wrong and how we both need to behave in the future. But I didn't want to be lectured to, and I wasn't sure we were going to have that conversation.

"Yesterday was awful," I began.

"Yes, it was," he puffed.

"And I'm sorry for everything I did wrong." (Notice how I didn't draw the line at what I did wrong--that was on purpose.) "It shouldn't have escalated to that. I don't like myself when I get to that point; I don't like myself at all. However, the issue I think we were arguing about, which is essentially being more courteous to each other, is totally fixable. That, in my head, is an easy fix. But the way we fought about it is not fixable. I am accountable for my actions last night and I am willing to take whatever steps I need to to keep myself in check from getting that angry in the future." (Again, vague.)

He nodded, obviously liking my impromptu attempt to convey let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. I avoided my lecture from him and Scott went directly into his apology. Notably he apologized for bucking up on me. "I shouldn't have done that. I just wanted you to shut up, but I was so angry, I couldn't even form the words."

"Well being aggressive to me like that only antagonized me more."

"It is never okay for me to do that to you, and I want you to know that I would never touch you. If anything, I thought you were going to strike me. You get mean when you get angry."

I made a face at the thought of punching him; it never even crossed my mind.

"No, I mean, you get mean," he emphasized.

"I know," I shrugged, thinking back to my laughing in his face and telling him I wasn't afraid of him when he bucked up at me. Asking him did he feel like a man yet. Did his cock feel larger. Years of my mother insulting me taught me to be sharp-tongued. I always wondered if it affected other people the way my mother affected me. I had my answer.

"And I know I'm a downright asshole when it comes to waking me up. That's something I recognize and something I will try to work on," he continued.

We spoke back and forth for a bit, negotiating the first peace treaty of '08. He told me he called Annoying Neighbor after I left to go to my sister's and asked if he could move in. He told me he would if I really wanted him to, but he didn't want to move out. I gathered from his talking that he is in fact a better bluffer than I am, and never planned on breaking up last night, even when the fight was over and he didn't want to talk to me. He never planned on actually moving out until I bailed on him and left him for my sister's. Even then, it was a backup plan because I showed him how serious I was over it.

I also learned that he didn't go to work that day. He was so stressed over our fight that he threw up all day. I did my best not to outwardly smile--my man must really love me if he was physically ill over our fight. He must be emotionally invested. I remembered what his sister told me that morning: that when it came to personalities, she got the man's one and he got the woman's one. He's a sensitive soul, she said.

She called me again this morning to see how things were going. I told her how he apologized for everything she said he should have. I told her how I learned this morning that my craziness that night could be attributed to PMS. She laughed and was happy that things are worked out.

Now all that's left is to break the news to Annoying Neighbor. Surely he will be disappointed.

~Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Hold on to Your Horses

Scott and I got into a major fight last night. I don't know what's going to happen.

The fight itself was over something so trivial that I feel silly recounting it now. I got home from work to find Scott sleeping on the couch. While this is not unusual, it is irritating. His sleep schedule is out of whack and he'll sleep all afternoon and night, only to awake at 12:30 (long after I've gone to bed) and will stay up all night watching TV.

If we lived in an apartment with separate floors, this wouldn't be an irritant. Also it would probably be less of an irritant if we lived in an apartment with doors, but alas, loft living is not so. After one night of me listening to Spanish infomercials, I arose at 4 am to go to work at 5 am, because if I was awake at this hour, what's the point? I came home from work that day with heavy, opaque curtains and hung them to separate the bedroom from the living room. It helps with the light, but not much else.

I shook him awake after I walked in the door yesterday and received a warm, "Let me sleep, goddammit." So I did. Out of courtesy to him, I went in the bedroom and watched my newest Blockbuster rental. But when 8 pm rolled around and the movie was over and I was hungry, I left the bedroom to make dinner.

According to Scott, it was the noisiest bologna sandwich ever made. Tired of living in my bedroom and indignant over the whole situation, I sat down in the living room with my sandwich, and turned the volume of the TV DOWN and changed the channel.

He got up and stomped around the living room, calling me a lot of unflattering names. "If you want to continue sleeping, go into the bedroom--that's what it's there for," I said coolly. He called me more names and I repeated myself. He stomped in the bedroom and then I heard the remotes for my TV and DVD player go clacking across the room and thud against the wall. He threw the remotes across the room.

I have never been with anyone who throws temper tantrums before, and I don't know how to handle it. Do you baby them and concede to their wishes? Do you remove yourself from the situation? I've tried both of those, and while they seem to work short term, they don't cut down on the amount of tantrums, or even the severity of the tantrums. I have a broken table in the closet to prove it.

This time I chose to confront the tantrum. Calling me names, throwing my things over a nap? Who is this person? If he wanted to war, we would war.

And war we did. Shouting on both sides, he eventually bucked up to me--stood over me really aggressively and gave me the crazy eye.

"What are you doing? I'm not afraid of you! You're gonna hit me? Are you a man now?" I shouted it again for emphasis, "Are you a man now?" The name-calling, the breaking of (conveniently only my) things, the always being on his schedule, I wasn't going to back down this one time.

Scott went for the ol' escape hatch, "We're not married! We don't have to be in this relationship!" I've told him time and time again that I need to be able to fight with him without him pulling the If-I-don't-get-my-way-I'll-just-leave-you card. Every tangle, no matter how small, he plays it. He always apologizes and promises never to do it again, but he does. The last time we talked about it, he told me to call him out with it by using our code word. When I did, all he said was, "Fuck you!" so clearly code words mean nothing. I told him the next time he did that, I would call his bluff.

I think I shouted something about good riddance and I know I opened the door to let him leave, which he refused to do. At first he shouted something about coming to our senses, but at this point, I was too angry. He wanted to be done, so we were. Get out. He went out on the patio to smoke and I looked at my dinner which I never got to eat.

As with the great uncorking of emotions, I felt drained and empty. And a bit remorseful. I also felt better. Sometimes I just have to yell and get it all out, and then I feel good again, even if nothing is resolved.

He came back inside the apartment. "You want to talk?" I offered.

"No, I'm done with you."

"Okay," and I went into the bedroom and packed my things.

"You're leaving?"

"Yeah, you don't want to talk, so what's the point of being here?"

"I'm over it. I'm done."

And I took my bag and my dog and I drove over to my step-sister's. Upon hearing the story, she ordered me to march back to my apartment, because it is my apartment, and if anyone was to leave, it would be Scott.

I also called his sister, who didn't answer. I left a message saying that we broke up and I wanted her advice on how to handle him when he gets like this, but if her loyalty kept her from calling me back, I understood.

I walked in to find him gathering up laundry from the dryer. "Jennifer said this is my apartment, and if anyone is going to leave, you are."

"Who's Jennifer?"

"My sister whom you promised you would be good to me!"

"Don't call her and make me look like I'm the bad guy in this!"

"Oh no," I laughed. "I told her I egged you on!"

Scott began folding his clothes, and we talked for the first time. I told him I would go to my grave before I ever admit to purposely and spitefully being noisy in the kitchen to wake him up because it is simply. not. true. He said he tossed the remotes, he didn't throw them, which was the catalyst of my wrath.

He left to go put his clothes away and I thought back to the whole fight and how escalated it got over something so stupid. I felt remorse. I didn't mean for it to get out of hand; I just wanted to eat my sandwich not in my bedroom because his highness monopolizes the couch. I followed him in to the bedroom and stood at the door of the closet and I apologized for everything, which I shouldn't have done, but I just wanted it to be over.

He said regardless of what happens between us, he's moving out. He said I was right when I told him it was too soon for him to move in. He said he hates this apartment and he didn't choose to live here. It was my fault because of the flooding at my last one.

I asked what was going to happen to us, and he said he didn't know. That he wants to wait until everything calms down to make any decisions so things won't get worse. He said he's done it before. He said he's done it before with me. We agreed that he would sleep on the couch and I would get the bedroom until we decide what happens next.

And then I remembered my panicked phone call to his sister. Oh crap. There's no way of us ever repairing anything if he knew I called his family. I stole another phone call to her and apologized into her voicemail and please just forget I called, because we all have our insane moments.

The hour before bed was stone silent as we pretended to watch Mission: Impossible on AMC. He fell asleep again on the couch, and I turned everything off and went to bed. A couple of hours later I awoke to the noises of him walking into the bedroom, stripping, and getting into bed. I don't know what that's all about.

This morning his sister calls me. She was really great and supportive and we had a nice long talk. I told her about the tantrums and she said her husband did that the first couple of years they were married. Her husband had also bucked up on her before. I told her sometimes I feel so alone handling Scott on my own; I've never been in these situations before in my life. She blames his drinking for his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality and insists that he stop drinking altogether. Yesterday was a Monday, so if course he was left to his own devices all day. Who knows what he had. She also blames the drinking for disrupting his sleeping patterns. She told me that I could call her anytime and she wouldn't tell Scott, and she told me how often and how highly he speaks of me to all his family, so she doubted this was it. I hung up feeling less like a freak.

I haven't talked to Scott all day and I don't know what's waiting for me when I go home tonight. Normally this would reduce me to a sniveling mess, but today I am okay. I'm optimistic. He climbed into bed with me last night. He mentioned last night that we would work things out. He didn't call his family after the fight and normally he does.

But there is also the chance I could be so miserably wrong.


The reason I started browsing for a new template was because I wanted one with less pink.

~Monday, January 07, 2008

Click on through to the other side

I am so proud of myself. Really. I am.

If I had a chocolate cupcake in front of me right now, I'd stuff a candle in it and sing to myself. That's how proud I am.

Scott told me nine and a half days ago that his ex-wife's sister friended him on MySpace. His ex-wife is now three clicks away from me, and I can find out who she is and what she looks like.

I have known this for nine and half days and I have yet to click on through.*

If I was being really honest though, I would say fear is the overwhelming factor here, not self-restraint. Because Scott never shies away from saying how beautiful she is. "100 pounds, soaking wet," he'd say. "I only got with her because she had a nice ass," he'd say.

"I used to be into looks, but now I'm just into you," he'd say.**

*And to anyone who has access to my MySpace: please don't stalk for me and report back. Actually, stalk all you want, just don't tell me. I'm doing really well right now, taming the jealous beast.

**To be fair, after wailing and gnashing of teeth, he backtracked clarified the statement using such phrases as "but you're so much smarter" and "total package," and finally, "yes, your ass is nicer."


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