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Cautionary Tale

13 Feb

on October 26, 2014, my life changed in a way I truly never thought it would, I knew it COULD but like so many other carefree 44-year olds, I thought I was immortal.  I knew that I had health risks that made me more susceptible to having a stroke than most  other people and I also knew that I didn’t take care of myself the way I should have but this is all said in hindsight while I type with one hand because my left hand has not fully regained movement, especially fine motor skills. I had an Ischemic stroke which occurs as a result of an obstruction within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain. It accounts for 87 percent of all stroke cases.It affected the right side of my brain therefore the left side of my body, that’s the way it works, the side of your brain affected is opposite the side of your body affected. I never lost the ability to speak, and was walking within days in the ICU. my arm mobility was good as far as being able to move it up and down but my hand didn’t come back until December or so. The cause of my stroke was largely due to just not taking care of myself, I have to take medicine called Warfarin also known as Coumadin because I have a titanium heart valve and atrial fibrillation. because of this medication, I need to have regular blood tests to monitor the INR level in my blood. Coumadin is a very finicky drug and its affects can be lessened or heightened by the amount of Vitamin K ingested. Blood tests are required to determine if the correct INR level is being reached or if your diet and/or dosage of Coumadin should be adjusted. I stopped monitoring my Coumadin because it was nearly impossible to work full time, be a divorced mom and get blood tests regularly. 

Prothrombin time is measured in seconds. Most of the time, results are given as what is called INR (or international normalized ratio). If you are taking warfarin to prevent blood clots, your doctor will most likely choose to keep your INR between 2.0 and 3.0.

The night of my stroke was the Sunday before my very favorite holiday, Halloween. I felt totally normal, maybe a little spacey, maybe I was drooling a little bit, but I was able to walk around and sort of talk, my 13-year old was worried and called 911. luckily. He recognized the signs of stroke from a commercial.

STROKE

Suddenly 5 EMTs were in my house to take me to the ER, I was covered in glitter because I had been working on my sweet sweet mermaid costume for Halloween. I would have loved to see video of myself drooling, black t-shirt tied around wet hair. like a turban because I had just gotten out of the shower and I read that a shirt was better for your hair than a towel to dry it. I must have looked and seemed literally crazy because the EMTs asked me if I had anti-psych meds and asked my kids if I was always like this – um, nope only when  having a stroke. I got to the ER and went through all the tests there to confirm that I was having a stroke and they determined what kind  and gave me a drug they told me would break up the clot. so I spent a week in the hospital and then went on to spend 2 weeks in an inpatient rehab where I had extensive therapies, physical, occupational and speech.

I’ve been told I’m an inspiration, I have a joke in my set that starts, “being a divorced 40- something single mom  living in a college town, I have often thought of writing my memoirs titled “Cautionary Tale”, if I’m an inspiration at all be inspired to take care of yourself so you don’t end up having to be inspirational and you can just live your damn life as healthily and as  long as possible, I feel like a fraud because often the past several months all I’ve wanted to do is lie in bed and eat Ben & Jerry’s ice cream but it wasn’t an option, my mom, sister and 200 other people including my two kids would never have let that go down.Be inspired by selfless people who do for others.

I have made enough mistakes to last a lifetime but I won’t beat myself up over this most recent one, anymore. I have learned from it and I am 22 lbs lighter since leaving rehab where I inexplicably managed to gain 4 lbs, while barely eating and exercising regularly.

My life will definitely be different from now on but different doesn’t automatically = terrible. I’m pretty excited about the changes, even though stroke is the number 1 cause of acquired disability in the country, I am not fully disabled, I am left with the deficits in my left hand and some cognitive issues, though when I told a close male friend that I am now extremely forgetful, cannot multi-task, and don’t have an attention to detail he told me he’s been like that his whole life, so yet another way I am stereo-typically male. I cannot return to work full-time but will be returning to work with children, on a part-time basis,  which is truly what made me the happiest in my professional life. I am taking the state mandated training online so when I am ready to find a job I shouldn’t have any problem. Its hard for me to buckle my belt which has become necessary because of the weight loss, so between my pants not staying up and the brain damage, I could have a new career in politics. I am seriously looking into designing an app for me and the other 3 million people on Coumadin, that tracks and logs vitamin K intake. My life is far from over so be inspired by that not my recovery because that was mostly luck and stubborness.

I haqve been writing and performing stand-up comedy for about a year, I have written material from this experience that I hope is funny,(some of which is in this post) I have no affect in my voice (meaning I sound pretty robotic) and my timing is terrible but my number one goal is  to get back up on stage.

Tomorrow is valentines day and I am valentine-less again this year but I have 3 gorgeous rented dresses hanging in my closet and tomorrow I will choose one and put it on and go to a fancy event called the Heart Ball where I am volunteering for the American Stroke Association and the past several months have shown me that I am absolutely surrounded by love every day of the year.

valentines day

A for Effort, but Louis C.K. Does NOT Speak for This Fat Woman

13 May

All over my Facebook feed today, I saw  posts referencing last nights episode of the FX show that I have just discovered, Louie.  I know, I am late in discovering the show, but in my defense, Louis C.K. really reminded me of someone who I disliked and I have been unfairly punishing him for having the face that he does, and while I respected him as a comedian and found him funny, I just couldn’t bring myself to watch the show.  I have forgiven Louis for being genetically cursed, and we’re cool now.

I DVR the show and hadn’t watched the episode and had planned to tonight. Today, thanks to Facebook and every site being connected to every other site, (really, I can’t tell who the original poster is, but if Huffington Post has something, then Gawker does, then Slate, then Jezebel might if it’s related to women, then Huff Post Women does…and it goes on and on) I saw that on last night’s episode, C.K’s titular character (every time I use the word TITULAR I giggle, then I make sure I am using it correctly, then I giggle again…because tit) is asked on a date by Vanessa, a woman who works in the comedy club where Louie works as a comedian.Vanessa is *GASP* a fat girl. A fat woman. She’s fat. Louie turns her down and they end up going for coffee and wandering around the city and getting to know each other where, depending on which site you read, Vanessa launches into a speech that is either “magnificent” and she gets all sassy and speaks for all fat women everywhere by calling Louie out on his shallow reasoning for not wanting to go out with her (which presumably is simply because she is fat) OR she gives a speech that is male apologist bullshit that was written by Louis C.K. himself (as the whole show is of course) that does nothing but make excuses for men like Louie who are taught by society to not want to date fat women.  Excuses and apologies.  If you don’t watch the show and you are confused regarding the name, Louis C.K. is the comedian/writer whom the character Louie…um…C.K. I think… is based, on the show called Louie.

louis ck

As a fat woman myself, and one who has tried to preach body acceptance and being comfortable in one’s skin, fully realizing that picture looks different to everyone, I was excited to watch the show so that I could form my own opinion on this groundbreaking episode. I assumed it would solve so many problems that exist in the world today regarding body image and fat shaming. I hope your tongue is firmly planted in your cheek when you read the above. I don’t think Louis C.K. has the ability to bring about that kind of change, but if he DID, I would welcome it (and he’s right about common core testing too).

I liked the episode, as I do most episodes of Louie.  However,  Vanessa did not speak for me.  I don’t “blame” the men like Louie who have turned me down, as Vanessa does, and of course there have been men who have turned me down. I don’t now, and don’t as far as I can remember, look at my weight as anything other than what it is. This is my body style, this is my body.  Right now,  I am on the heavier side than I am the most comfortable, but not by much. The thing is, for whatever crazy reason, I don’t land on my weight as a reason to be rejected. I just feel like there are SO MANY other reasons why someone would turn me down (and yes, that’s funny…but it is true). I assume if I’m flirting with someone and they are not reciprocating that they don’t like brunettes, or that I snorted when I laughed, or that I was just too sarcastic for them, or that I looked disturbingly like their mom or ex or someone they despise, or more often than not, that they are gay. Me being plus-sized is really towards the bottom of the list of things that I feel badly about, even though everywhere I turn it seems that people are telling me I SHOULD feel badly about it.

I have mixed feelings about the character of Vanessa and the speech overall. I feel like her character does tend to reinforce the stereotype that fat girls are desperate, and should basically bribe someone to be interested in them. In the episode, Vanessa gives Louie a couple of hockey tickets that are said to be worth over $1000.  She does this because she is leaving her job at the comedy club and she wants to do something nice for Louie. When she gives him the tickets, he asks her out for coffee, even though when she asked him out before he turned her down. Vanessa and Louie laugh and have a good time until Louie tells Vanessa she’s “not fat” which sparks the speech linked above.

vanessa

I want Vanessa to be a bad ass and realize that browbeating some guy to hold her hand who doesn’t want to is beneath her, but she’s only 30-something, it took me at least another decade to get that.  I also want Louie to see her for the seemingly funny and feisty woman that she is, and not just her body type. On the other hand, perhaps Louie wasn’t turned off by Vanessa’s weight at all. She comes off EXTREMELY desperate, and maybe that’s what did it. Whatever the reason Louie wasn’t into Vanessa, I want Vanessa to realize that just because he isn’t, there will be others who will be.   I have a physical type that I am drawn towards, but all bets are off if that person can’t make me laugh. Who knows what Louie’s type is and what his triggers are. Human beings are complicated. He is ALLOWED to not be into her though, and she is ALLOWED to be pissed off about it, of course.

I like seeing people who look different from what we are used to seeing on TV, absolutely. I WANT us to get past this obsession with body types. I don’t know if people will think differently about women who are fat because of one episode of Louie, but I do think it’s probably a good thing that so many people are talking about this episode. Fat shaming is a real thing that actually exists, and that is ridiculous. I’m still waiting on the fat woman character who is incidentally fat, it is not a plot point, not anything she is bitter about, it just is who she is. She can be a giant mess in other ways. Maybe she’s divorced, and has two sons. Maybe she’s trying stand-up comedy. Fine, that’s me, but I would be a fantastic character. Think of all the people I would annoy because I refused to be concerned with my weight. It would be so much fun.

 

Good as NEW

20 Feb

good as new

It is well-documented that I have had my share of broken hearts.  This blog became way too “Dear Diary” for a while, but when I need to process something, I write, and I needed to process my feelings about tumbling headfirst into something (someone) that ended up hurting me and I wrote about it at length and made everybody uncomfortable in the meantime but if Taylor Swift can turn her heartbreak into songs that make her a lot of money then why can’t my blog do the same? Yeah, it can’t. I cannot guarantee that I won’t devote a large portion of this blog to future broken hearts, but I can almost guarantee that there WILL be future broken hearts, because YOLO. I think I am reaching the age where I will not be able to use YOLO and not sound silly. What? I reached that age 20 years ago? That term wasn’t even around then.  I think I see the point.

While I am absolutely over the particular situation that plunged my blog into having the same emotional maturity as a Sweet Valley High book, and in fact, me and the guy I tumbled for (no, not Boy George) are friends, when I was going through my little melodrama, I kept hearing the same things over and over. Those things were said with the best of intentions (hopefully, or some of you really hate me and are passive aggressive jerks) but they were just not helpful.

In the interest of being helpful and friendly (though who am I kidding, I just told someone I’m not getting any friendlier and I have nothing and nobody to blame. I was born this way. Like Lady Gaga) I thought I would compile an easy to use list of things that are acceptable to say to your friend who is nursing a broken heart.  To make things easier on me, I will be using the pronoun HE.

  • Instead of saying – You dodged a bullet, which did nothing but make me feel like a HUGE masochist because at that time all I wanted was to be shot with that particular bullet over and over again, try saying I PROMISE, you will feel better. I am here to listen. Time will help. Let me buy you a drink/ice cream/clothes to soften the blow. 
  • He  is acting like this because he got scared of the powerful feelings he was having for you. While I do particularly enjoy this one, because it lets me live within the delusion that someone was so damn enamored with me that they would rather thrust themselves onto the sword of douchebaggery to try and drive me away rather than just face up to their feelings, their oh so strong and real feelings for me, I have sadly seen the movie He’s Just Not That Into You enough to know that is probably not the case.  Saying this makes you sort of an enabler and it is not helpful in the long run.  Try saying I PROMISE, you will feel better. I am here to listen.  Time will help. Let me buy you a drink/ice cream/clothes to soften the blow. 
  • Telling someone you were way too good for him anyway is kind of like the first bullet (HA…bullet about a bullet). At the time it is usually said, it’s difficult to wrap your head around the fact that someone deemed not good enough for you, was at that very moment rejecting you. It’s like Inception or something and I still have not seen that movie but I will continue to reference it when I feel it is appropriate.  So this means I am actually not even good enough for the people who are not good enough for me? This leaves me with no options whatsoever as far as dating. Those who are not good enough for me don’t want me, those who are too good for me presumably don’t either. This is the definition of Forever Alone.  Try saying I PROMISE, you will feel better. I am here to listen. Time will help. Let me buy you a drink/ice cream/clothes to soften the blow. 

Perhaps you are noticing a trend. In all seriousness,  my friends did an excellent job coaching me through my broken heart(s) and holding my hand and letting me angrily text them that YEAH, that guy IS acting like a jerk, and I DO deserve better, and I DID dodge a bullet, but I had to come to those conclusions on my own.

Being the one with the broken heart sucks, but being in the position of helping a friend try to recover from one is not very fun either. You all were right, I feel better, and in part it’s because you all were there to listen to my incessant rambling.  Also, I couldn’t help but notice that there was a disturbing lack of drinks/ice cream/clothing bought for me in my time of need. It’s okay, you can catch me on the flip.

thank_you_for_being_a_friend

PS  – I so greatly appreciate every single person who tried to make me feel better and cheer me up at that time. Every comment those blogs received, every text message, every Facebook message, every Tweet.  Thank you and much love to you all.

Happy Galentine’s Day AND Happy Valentine’s Day

13 Feb

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and today is, from what I understand, Galentine’s Day.  What, prey tell is Galentine’s Day? Galentine’s Day is from an episode of “Parks and Recreation”, a show starring the very talented and hilarious Amy Poehler as well as an equally talented and hilarious supporting cast including Nick Offerman (and his EPIC mustache), Aubrey Plaza, Aziz Ansari,  Rashida Jones, Chris Pratt, and Rob Lowe. See? Why aren’t more people watching this show? Including me actually since I don’t watch it on the regular either. I know, I suck, but in my defense I just now figured out how to program my DVR.

Anyway, Galentine’s Day is a day invented by Amy Poehler’s character Leslie Knope,  to celebrate the women in your life. It doesn’t matter if your gal-pals are married or otherwise attached, Galentine’s day is a day to let the gals in your life know that you love and appreciate them. Here is what Leslie Knope herself has to say about the day –

What’s Galentine’s Day? Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lillith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.

Sounds like fun! I am extremely fortunate to have an excellent support system of women near and far that I call friends. Some are family members, some have been my friend for over 30 years, some for not that long, some I haven’t even met in person but thanks to social media we have become friends. I share in their lives and they share in mine. They are my biggest cheerleaders and I know when I need anything, they are there. We have cried together, we have laughed together, we have gotten outraged together over my seemingly endless bad luck regarding relationships, and we have nervously laughed at my sometimes terrible decisions, because if WE can’t laugh about not being able to stop texting someone who clearly doesn’t want to be contacted simply because I think I thought of the PERFECT way to explain why I sent so many texts to him BEFORE, then who can?

So to my gal pals I say Happy Galentine’s Day! I love each and every one of you and I thank you for being there for me.

galentines

As for Valentine’s Day, I grew up with a father who felt it was important to give his daughters Valentine’s presents and/or candy and/or flowers and because of him, the day is much LESS about having a romantic relationship than it is to shower those you love with love, and a balloon or little box of Scooby Doo bubblegum balls (spoiler alert, that’s what my children are getting from me this year).

I have my fair share of stories of Valentine’s Day plans that went terribly awry. My personal favorite is when I was dating someone and we had plans for him to come to my house for dinner, this was when I was in my 20’s so when I say “my house” I really mean a crappy studio apartment. I searched all day for a heart-shaped baking pan and I made a delicious yellow cake and topped it with whipped cream and strawberries. Rick never showed up that night or called until the next day.  I don’t remember why he couldn’t come over, but I do remember that over the course of about 6 hours while waiting for him, I ate that entire cake with a fine white wine (just guessing since I don’t remember but it was probably from a box).

I’m not involved in a romantic relationship this Valentine’s Day, BUT I can guarantee you, I will feel loved and I will show love. I will be spending the day with my two favorite Valentines, my kids, and I will tell them that I love them, just as I do every day, and I will hug them a little tighter than usual and I will tell them that no matter what, their mom will always be their Valentine, and this will creep them out immensely, but hopefully when they are older they will carry on the tradition of looking at Valentine’s day as a day to show appreciation and love to everyone just a little more than they do every day, and that being single on Valentine’s Day is not a big deal.

And I may or may not, just for old time’s sake, eat a whole cake with some wine.

heart-shaped-cake

 

 

Never Fear…It Is STILL My Year

21 Jan

I am such a good planner that I went ahead and got the health issues and hospital stay out-of-the-way first thing in 2014.  Sometimes I amaze myself…with my own stupidity.

The congenital heart defect that led to heart surgery about 4 years ago that makes me tick (literally and figuratively I suppose) requires that I take blood thinners. Forever. Forever and ever. The amount of blood thinner in my blood must be monitored weekly by in my case a clinic that must be the busiest clinic in the south because every trip there from beginning to end, travel time included, is about 3 hours.   If my levels are relatively stable, the clinic visits go down to once a month. I never managed to be very stable and it felt like I was spending a lot of time at the clinic. I have learned through a series of bad decisions on my part that spending a lot of time at the clinic beats spending 2 nights and 3 days in the hospital, or any time at all in the hospital.

I don’t know if I am so terrified of committing to anything that I felt the need to break up with my medicine or if I really do think I’m invincible, but after hearing lots of stories from friends and loved ones about people who knew people who had a stroke after being off of their blood thinners for two days and stories of people who died, and 1 very curt doctor who had me in tears, and my sister who really could make lecturing her life’s work, I realized that no matter how busy I am, or the fact that I moved, or that it was the holidays, I can’t mess around with my health like that. While there is no doubt that I am fabulous, I am not immortal, and my kids deserve to have me around  to torture them with my long drawn out speeches about injustice in the world. They need me around to make more vision boards and badly sew pillowcases for them. I’m their mom, and there is only one of me. I want to be around for them and I want to be here to see them bring home their first girlfriend, or boyfriend, because whoever they are is who they are and of course I love and accept them, for whoever they are (at this point they would be screaming at me to give it a rest.)

In the spirit of near-death collisions, I have put up another profile on OKCupid.  The latest iteration of my profile has been up for about 36 hours, and I have received some interesting messages,  including one from a man who says he has a Master’s Degree, yet his profile is riddled with spelling errors. I mean, where did he type his profile that NO spell checks noticed that one of his favorite books, presumably Water for Elephants, is not Water for Ella Phants, unless Water for Ella Phants is a book about a woman named Ella Phants who lives in a desert and is on a quest for someone to bring her water, and in that case, color me red.

 

I have received two messages within 12 hours from the same man, who I guess thinks surely there was a computer glitch and I didn’t receive his first message because why would I NOT immediately write someone who took so much effort to not fill out anything on his profile and who sent a message telling me how much better my hair looks straight rather than curly. Thank you for your unwanted and absolutely unnecessary opinion, man whom I will never message.

My absolute favorite so far is the man who simply sent me a message saying “u don’t look fat”.  I presume I brought this on myself because in my profile I have the audacity to state that while I am not a tiny little person, I am “comfortable in my skin”. This translated to him that I was fishing for compliments I guess, and in his mind, the worst thing a woman can think of herself is that she is “fat”.  What I really want to put on my profile is “don’t worry, I will never ask you if my butt looks big in anything. I have SEEN my butt, it is fantastic, and looks big in everything.”

Ah online dating. Honestly, at least I get a lot of really hilarious and hilariously bad stories out of it.  Keeping an open mind. HEY, maybe I’ll meet someone at the clinic.

peace love joy

Brace Yourselves…It’s the Year of Amy

4 Jan

I have an exciting year ahead of me, even though thus far the most excitement I have had is putting egg nog in my coffee (really how long have you people known about this?) I had the pleasure of ringing in the new year with my children and some other friends, including one of my oldest friends and her fiancée. They will be married on 12/13/14, and they will be married by ME. When my lovely Dawn asked me if I could do the honor of marrying her, at first I was so excited because I know she’s a neat freak, so I thought for sure I would be the sister-wife who wouldn’t have to clean, then I thought, ugh, that means the cooking will fall on my shoulders, and I’m not down with that either. I doubt I could convince two more people that a “snack plate” consisting of a fruit, a veggie, some lunch meat, cheese of some sort, bread, pickles, and other various accompaniments, is a real meal, though I am pleased as can be that my kids are on board with it. When she explained that she meant ACTUALLY perform the ceremony, I became even MORE excited, because that means I can finally do my Peter Cook in the Princess Bride impersonation

In all seriousness, I am beyond thrilled to be asked to do something so special for someone who is so special to me. I just need to pick a reputable internet church and become an ordained high priestess of some sort. I plan to pick whichever one will allow me to wear a huge headdress and will insist that everyone refer to me as First Lady High Priestess. I don’t think it’s asking too much.

Speaking of asking too much, I don’t really make resolutions. I am constantly trying to improve and evolve as it is. I do have some goals for 2014, and no, none of them include the phrase “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” because my GOD, have you never eaten brie cheese wrapped in pastry fresh out of the oven? Or a flourless chocolate cake? Or a McRib? What can I say, I’m a woman of great and varied tastes. Exercising more is on my list, because it makes me feel good to exercise. Let’s not make a big thing out of it.

I am also going to try stand-up comedy this year. It is something I have always wanted to do and haven’t because of sheer fear. Just writing this terrifies me because I know some of you just snorted and thought to yourselves “good luck bitch”, and to that I say mom, I could really use your support. I AM KIDDING. My mother is a saint and has always been supportive. I have not decided if I want everybody I know to attend, or just a few, or nobody. I am writing material and will be trying it out on unsuspecting coworkers and cashiers, so be honest, coworkers and cashiers who read my blog.

I will also be getting more involved in causes that I feel strongly about. My children have this whole “thing” about me being a “warrior, a fighter, fighting for people’s rights even when it’s hard”. It’s just good-natured ribbing from a couple of delightfully impish smartasses, but I really do love that they see me as someone who does not back down and who does fight for things in which I believe.

Not falling in love with people who do not have the capacity to love me back is also on the list, or it WAS before I discovered this book, My Heart is an Idiot, by Davy Rothbart. NOW I am thinking of writing a book filled with essays of my own, and calling it My Heart is Stupider Than Yours. Maybe the title needs some work. I do think I have enough up to this point to fill a book, so I’m done now.

I want to go to the beach more. I live in Florida, and my boys and I love the beach. I have decorated my bedroom in a beach theme (with a splash of Jaws thrown in because I’m a total weirdo). I always feel my best at the beach. I am making it a goal to load the boys in the car and head over to a beach as often as possible. Going for a day is absolutely possible and my grandmother lives in St. Augustine, and she would love to have a visit from us. Probably.

My children are happy and healthy and incredible,  I have a good relationship with my ex-husband and we are good co-parents together, I live in a beautiful house now thanks to my brother and sister-in-law, I have amazing friends including my sister who is both my cheerleader and savior, and I am FOR THE MOST PART, just a happy person. I know I am grateful and I am ready to embark on this year appreciating where I am and where I was and looking forward to whatever lies ahead.

2014

Aren’t We ALL Hookers?

18 Dec

A few nights ago I took advantage of the free HBO preview that I am receiving for a few more months and watched some quality cable programming.  Game of Thrones? No, but I’ve heard that’s good.  The Newsroom? No, but I am dying to see that. So it must have been True Blood? No, but you’re getting closer. I watched a show called Cathouse: The Series.

I’m not going to lie and say I started watching the show thinking it would be about ACTUAL cats living in a house. I knew what I was getting into.  The show was about the women who work in the Cathouse and their relationships and less about the men who frequent the establishment. I found it fascinating and not at all sexy honestly, especially when a man came in dressed as a clown. THAT encounter was one that was shown and I really could have lived without seeing a guy in full clown makeup living out his desires. Not because I’m a prude, whatever works buddy, but I just hate clowns, and don’t want to see them happy.

Something I found interesting is that the clients are offered a menu of services that the ladies offer. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find one of these menus on the internet, which is both surprising and sad. I found A menu that looks like it’s from an establishment like the Cathouse, but I cannot confirm or deny that this is THE menu. It’s pretty vague but I think  I can figure out what most everything is except “Salt and Pepper”.  I am going to assume it’s sex with someone dressed like one of the Golden Girls, because that amuses me.

cathouse

When I was watching the show, I realized that my romantic life post-divorce could be featured on a menu as well.  No no, don’t set your computer on fire, I am not going to discuss sex acts (on THIS blog anyway…wink wink).  I had an epiphany that what I was offering cost ME a lot, including my self-esteem, pride, sense of self, but came free of charge to the men who partook.  I don’t BLAME them. If I walked into a store and everything was 100% off, I would probably go crazy too.

If you’re totally confused, allow me to present the FORMER menu to Cafe A –

The Super Speedy – In a hurry to get things moving? This meal is best if you have no life of your own and are really just looking for someplace to live. Also known as the guy who moved in with some girl 2 days after we stopped seeing each other because I moved too slow.
cost – This guy actually did pay a price, the girl stole money from him.

The Carnal Knowledge – Also known as there is absolutely no way this is going anywhere, but let’s have sex.
cost – Nothing to either party. It’s an okay option, but you’ll be hungry again right after.

Comfort Food – Also known as the girlfriend experience. All the trappings of having a girlfriend including emotional support and carnal knowledge, but without paying the price of exclusivity or commitment.
cost – Free! For the guy. Cost to me? Far too high.

The Full Geisha – Are you absolutely starving for affection? This is everything you could ever want, served on a pedestal. Don’t mind me, I’ll just be down here trying to find my self-esteem and pride.
cost –Free! For the guy. Cost to me? Years of therapy and rebuilding.

There it is in black and white, more or less. All the years of therapy have led to THIS, this sad display of how little I valued myself.  However, don’t feel bad for me. The kitchen is closed and we are under new management and these items are no longer offered. Well, MAYBE The Carnal Knowledge. Talk to me in a few months. I KID I KID.

cathouse2

 

Look to Miss Piggy for REAL Guidance

13 Dec

As I try to crawl out of Amyland and pick up the pieces of my heart and start to move the hell on, I want to recognize that I am thankful for a few things  –

1) This is not a bad thing. Having a broken heart means that I was open and vulnerable and I tried. If you had asked me years ago if I was ever going to have deep enough feelings for someone so that they could break my heart  I would have said hell no. Not going down that path again. But, I did. And I will again.

2) When trying to make a list of things that you don’t like about someone, and the only thing on the list is “wants to date other people”,  that is really all you need to remember, unless you’re okay with that then fine. If you’re me,  it’s not fine. And here we are.

3) My friends, including my ex-husband and his girlfriend, and my sister, are amazingly supportive.

One of my friends named Cara, and I’m fortunate to have two friends named Cara, one long distance and one right here in town, reminded me of someone I have looked to for advice and guidance more than once in my life.

miss-piggy

Miss Piggy

I have been a big fan of Miss Piggy and her sense of humor, her sense of self, and her sense of style for as long as I can remember.  In elementary school a girl told me that I reminded her of Miss Piggy. I was so flattered until I realized she meant it as an insult. This girl continued to tell me that the boy I had a crush on was Kermit. She was trying to say that he was skinny and little and I was big and fat. Turns out this girl was kind of a bitch.

I would be totally flattered to be told that I remind one of Miss Piggy. I used to watch her on the Muppet Show when I was a kid, and I marveled at her confidence. I played with Barbie dolls. I played with them until I was a teenager in fact. I also had a Miss Piggy doll. My dolls all played together. They all swam in my ghetto version of a Barbie pool, a giant Tupperware bowl, together.  In my mind, Miss Piggy talked to Barbie about waking up to the fact that Ken was more into the Donny Osmond doll than her, and they shared makeup tips, mainly eye shadow application techniques.

I credit Miss Piggy, because of her ever-present lavender ones, for introducing me to the world of opera length gloves, which I memorably wore to the opening event of the Dick Tracy movie at MGM Studios in Orlando. I wore black opera length gloves with a white lace shorts suit, that is shorts and a jacket, with a black bustier underneath. STOP LAUGHING, IT WAS THE 80’s.  My date was my Brett, who I made wear a tuxedo. We were both very overdressed, and he was mad at me until we got there and discovered the free booze and food.  I learned a valuable lesson that night about not mixing whiskey sours and escargot. Actually, the lesson was more learned the next day, when I went out to my car and saw where  I had thrown up on the way home and it didn’t make it further than outside the passenger side of the car, and there, swimming in a pool of vomit and whiskey, were perfectly formed snails.

Miss Piggy knows who she is. She revels in who she is.  She doesn’t let other people tell her who she should be, or how she should behave.  When having a hard time, ask yourself, WWMPD? What would Miss Piggy do…and go from there. Here are just a few pearls of wisdom from the blonde bombshell.

You have to be going to a pretty awful place if getting there is half the fun.

There is no one on the planet to compare with moi.

Express your feelings all the time unless you’re trying to hide something.

There is the satisfaction of providing your public with a vision of true beautology, true sytlisity, – how can I put it? – true glamorositude.

Only time can heal a broken heart, just as only time can heal his broken arms and legs.

piggy

I Will Accept Crashed. I Will not Accept Burned

11 Dec

I had a thought last night when reading something on Gawker with a headline that went something like “owner of company delivers smack down to customer”. Of course I can’t find the actual piece I was reading, or anything like it to link here, but trust me, Gawker sometimes has emails or Facebook status updates that have headlines like that. My thought was how I really hope I don’t end up on Gawker because of my last few posts under the headline “watch woman crash and burn after stupidly short non-relationship”.

I know, I am breaking one of my own rules, no guilt for genuine emotions or feelings, and my feelings and emotions are genuine. I will accept crashed, but burned? No, not burned. Crashed, yes, but crashed and okay. Crashed and re-assembling.  Crashed and getting myself back into therapy, but NOT because I was so devastated that I am falling apart, not that there is anything wrong with falling apart. I think we can all agree that I’m okay with falling apart if you learn something putting yourself back together.

Back into therapy,  because while half of me still thinks I’m pretty awesome, the other half of me got sucked into the old mindset that of course somebody is not going to be as crazy about me as I am about him. OF COURSE.  Because I don’t deserve that, because of choices I made in my past. And that’s not okay. That’s destructive,  and while it took me a while to get half of me to feeling awesome, the other half needs to follow suit. Or at least meet in the middle somewhere.

My ex-husband, who I hurt more than anybody with my past choices, has told me more than once that I deserve to be happy. If HE can want that for me, it’s so crazy that I have such a hard time convincing myself of the same thing. I want someone that I am wild about to be wild about me. There. I have sent it out to the universe.

My life-long friend Brett, who passed away in October of 2012, told me more than once when I was crying my eyes out over some boy, or something  (and in more than 30 years as one of my closest friends, he witnessed a lot of tears from me)  in a totally baffled tone, “but you’re Amy. You’re awesome”. Yesterday, Brett’s sister, and my friend, said those words to remind me that I need to get into my head that being Amy is  enough, because I really am pretty awesome.

No I’m not.

I am however,  still hilarious.

I-am-enough

I am enough.

I am toast.

The Wisdom of a Broken Heart. Again.

10 Dec

Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart.

Washington Irving

There are probably a few things you’ve learned about me from the last few posts

1) I write when I’m processing emotions
2) I have a lot of emotions to process right now
3) I’m an Aquarius

The first and second are the most important, though if you’re into astrology then maybe the third will give you some insight into the first two.  You may be asking yourself “why the hell doesn’t this girl invest in a diary and stop hitting publish on every damn thought that enters her head?” To that, gentle reader, I say this IS my diary. I have always written, always poured my heart out via my fingertips.

I thought about not publishing this series of miserable posts but after the first one I received so many comments from people who could relate that I thought I would continue. Also, I’m a total hippie bullshit freak and feel like if I can write about what’s in my head, it will help me to process these feelings and send them out into the universe. I know, right? Trust me, half of me is making fun of the other half just for typing that.

I have read a lot about shame and guilt and how those particular feelings can color our entire perception of ourselves. I have first-hand experience with both shame and guilt.  Without going into a lot of detail in this particular post, I branded myself with a giant scarlet A,  and made sure that nobody could hate me more than I hated myself, for years.

After I spectacularly drove my marriage into a ditch, I kept myself in a painful jail of guilt for many years.  I stayed in a relationship that was less of a relationship and more me trying my damndest to be the exception to the rule and trying to “fix” someone.   I stayed put either actively engaging in fix-mode or beating myself up for actively engaging in it. It was a no-win situation for my psyche, and I did it to myself. Cue the shame and guilt.

Guilt is deadly. Even now, I have a hard time accepting the choice I made to cut someone, the someone who these recent posts have been about, out of my life because after he told me that he didn’t have the capacity to care about me the way I cared about him, it just wasn’t good for me to be in contact with him anymore. It wasn’t healthy for me, and I absolutely hated the emotional wreck that I had become.  When he told me towards the end to let him know if I needed anything, my retort was “I need everything. That’s the problem I think”. Everything meant exclusivity.  And he couldn’t do it.

I have written about one of my favorite books called The Wisdom of a Broken Heart, by Susan Piver, and how it has taught me to give my feelings validity, and how not to be stuck in a cycle of guilt, or to be afraid of my feelings. I also learned how to just be still with my emotions, and ask myself what is happening to cause me anxiety. Once I realized that I was truly experiencing anxiety attacks waiting for him to tell me he was dating someone else, I had to be calm, and let go, and write 10,000 blog posts about my feelings, rather than stay engaged and inadvertently make him feel bad just for feeling the way I did, and make myself feel bad because of the way he didn’t.

So I stopped, because every single time I talked to him I thought surely it was the time when he would realize how amazing I was. It was killing me. And it hurt. And if I could figure out how to still talk to him and not feel like I was constantly being rejected, I would, but I don’t know how to do that.

I know this is not where I live. I’m sad. I’m hurt. I miss him every day. I’m a little angry. I’m Taylor fucking Swift.  However, this is not where I choose to reside. So now I’m working on telling myself that it is not a bad thing to do something that is right for me, even though it is so hard and it hurts. And I realize that even after all the work I did to pull myself up out of the jail of self-hatred and guilt that I had put myself in for years, the jail is still just right there, waiting. It’s up to me to keep walking by. I sentenced myself. I can pardon myself too.

heart

J. A. Allen

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