I have run the gamut of emotions when it comes to Valentine’s Day. As a child, I spent hours pasting together red and white paper doilies with glue-covered hands. I remember sifting through my box of valentine’s from the sundry store, reading each cheesy message carefully before selecting a recipient–careful to save the valentine with the cutest picture for my best friend du jour, and the card with the most BE MINE-worthy sentiment for my crush du jour.
As I grew older, and crushes–and the teasing that often went with them for me–grew more serious, my enthusiasm for all the Valentine’s Day splendor diminished. I would still dress in my most cupid-inspired pink and red, hoping to catch the eye of some last-minute admirer. Sitting in my last period class, I would listen to the P.A. as the secretary called a long list of girls (and a few guys) to the office to pick up flowers from their sweethearts. I would feign nonchalance, doodling on the back of my notebook as the list droned on and the classroom thinned to a few lonely hearts. I never held my breath, but grew a bit more melancholy each Valentine’s that passed with not so much as a candy-gram from a secret admirer.
Until I met Big. We dated the last two years of high school, and off-and-on through college. There were flowers, and teddy bears, and special evenings, perhaps even a bottle of wine or two. Those were years when I was so completely intoxicatedly infatuated that I didn’t even notice the poor lonely out-of-love folks (or anyone else) on Valentine’s Day. But, the higher you soar, the harder you fall, and when things fizzled between Big and me, I went a little, well, dark.
After a few bitter breakups, I went totally anti-cupid. I wore a lot of black, and some pretty severe makeup, and treated myself to some nice gifts and decadent girls-nights out with other single girlfriends.
My Valentine’s angst was still in effect two years ago, but was waning after a weekend in January with Big had given me new perspective (I can now see that it was closure). I was feeling a little less cursed by love, mostly stupid–and stupefied by it, so I dropped the all-black on Valentine’s Day routine and put on a simple taupe sweater dress that made me feel pretty (and showed off my legs). I straightened my hair; I curled my lashes; I sprayed the back of my neck with a spicy perfume; and I went out to celebrate Valentine’s Day–not drink to its demise–for the first time in years. Continue reading
Filed under Change, Dating, Men
And sometimes you want to go where nobody knows your name. Sometimes you want a clean slate–not so much to reinvent yourself, but more to reintroduce yourself. After finally closing a door on the guy I always kind of thought I’d end up growing old with, I realized I’d been treading water, marking time, waiting for him to grow up and see that we were meant to be together. But we weren’t, we aren’t, and as hard as it was is for me to admit: we’ve grown up, and into people those wild-eyed high school sweethearts never imagined they’d become. I’d thought I’d shut that door many times, only to find it flung back open again. But all those times shutting the door had been a sad, mournful act. This time was different; it was empowering, and for the first time in my adult life I felt like my own person, finally untethered and free to move in any direction I chose.
Later that week I chose to celebrate some work success by letting loose my new-found freedom with a girls’ night–solo. While I could’ve had a fine time going out on a more traditional girls’ night (you know, with other girls–plural!), being surrounded by people who knew me as I was before my recent epiphany would only enable me to continue my old water-treading ways. I needed to do something bolder, something out of my comfort zone and a little bit scary. Plus, He’s Just Not That Into You had just come out in theaters, a tie-in/spin-off of one of my greatest guilty pleasures–Sex and the City. So I headed out for a SATC-worthy pre-movie snack at one of my favorite chain bar-and-grill restaurants from college.
I walked into the restaurant and found a seat at the bar with the confidence of a woman who’s just solved one of life’s great mysteries. Continue reading
10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1…Happy New Year!
I’m one of those saps at the party who actually yells “Happy New Year!” as the clock strikes midnight, while everyone else’s lips are otherwise occupied in a New Year’s kiss with the one they love. Or I’m not at a party at all, opting to clear the collision course for the braver drivers on New Year’s Eve by staying home and watching old movies, baking cookie, cleaning house, or crocheting. Or blogging. Ok, when I say it out loud like that it sounds a little sad. But really, I’m not sure what the fuss is all about. Continue reading
I love you like I love mashed potatoes.
You’re both so tasty.
If either of you is in front of me, I’ll always partake
Because you’re both comfortable,
And I’ll only hesitate for a minute
When I remember how you both go
Straight to my hips.
Everything in moderation,
I’ll chant in my head.
Mashed potatoes have made these hips
As healthy as they are today,
And you’re not complainin’.
I love you like I love mashed potatoes.
The first day of Daylight Savings Time is always pretty disorienting. Maybe it’s the sun in my eyes when I wake up or the sudden longing for spring weather that comes out of nowhere. Maybe it’s the hour of sleep I lost the night before. But this year the first day of DST was more than disorienting. By 11:00 a.m. I was seriously questioning my sanity.
I have a hard time letting people in. I have a hard time trusting. There, I said it. (But more on that in a future Confession.)
That’s why I was shocked to find myself in the passenger seat of some sort of SUV I’d ridden in just once before, across from a driver I’d known for just a month, halfway to Tahoe. Continue reading