Seeing yourself in others…

So this next story is about a family trip. A few weeks ago my brother, sister-in-law and niece decided they wanted to come down and go to the zoo. Apparently their zoo sucks and ours doesn’t. So they got up at the butt-crack of dawn and drove 2.5 hours to meet me and off to see the lions and tigers and bears “Oh my”.

First disclosure, I actually hate the zoo. Well, maybe not HATE but dislike a lot. I’ve just never found it that interesting and it’s sad to see these animals in cages. But my niece loves all animals. A few days before my brother had asked about a couple friends to see if they’d like to come. I texted THE friend and in typical fashion he’d ignored the text as if it just disappeared into the universe without his knowledge and since I didn’t really want to hear some BS about how he never got it or some other excuse I’ve never brought it up. It’s painfully obvious that he only wants to be “secret friends” so I don’t know why I waste my energy on trying anything new. After that it discouraged me a bit so I decided to forgo asking anyone else and was just happy enough to hang with my little monkey.

They reached their first destination, my home, around 9:30 which if you know me then you know that that is to dang early for me especially on a weekend and I didn’t even get a chance to get my coffee in with fear that it might “kick in” at the wrong moment. I could already tell that my brother was agitated. Not really sure why but I didn’t care. It had been way too long since I got to hang with the coolest 3 and a half year old EVER.

She was sweet and immediately asked if I could sit next to her which was already a given. We were playing with stuffed animals the whole way there. By the time we’d actually pulled into the zoo it was already packed and hot and humid. Everyone stated where they wanted to go and what they wanted to see and so we commenced to finding appeasement for each. We saw the dinosaurs, tigers, chimpanzees and as he heat climbed so did my brothers temper. It was easy to see that he was going to explode soon and for no reason what-so-ever.

If you’ve been here, at my blog, for the long haul you’d know that my brother and I have always had a volatile relationship. He was an angry kid who chose to take it out on the most defenseless human he could. At that time it was me. I suffered years of verbal and physical trauma which finally was subdued when he went off to college and on a trip home one weekend a friend of his, whom I’d never met, caught my brothers fist mid air, right before it hit me. His friend looked at him and said, “If you want to hit something then hit me”. Mind you, his friend was a football player and much larger that he. After that, he never even attempted it again. That is another human that I owe a huge load of gratitude to.

But because of my younger years with him I knew what set him off, just how much he’d blow and how far to be back. He’s had anger issues for most of his life and he’s self-medicated about half that time with pot. I’ve always been a fan because if it wasn’t for that then I’m sure things would be much worse.

After a blow up in the car, for no reason what-so-ever his screaming was enough to almost give me a panic attack remembering all the ways he’d hurt me in my younger years. I’ve said before that the physical scars evaporated but the emotional ones never will. The moment I heard his start his screaming I went back into the 10 year old version of myself feeling invisible scabs being ripped off. Then what happened next brought me to tears.

I looked over at my carefree 3 and a half year old niece who was now playing with her new stuffed animals from the zoo and her body was frozen. Her face had the look of terror that I understood. From the look of her I could feel every single thing she was feeling in that moment because I had been there long ago and my only words for it was terrified. In that moment I wanted to ripe her out of that car seat, bundle her in a blanket and run far far away.

A few weeks after that, my friend in the Northeast and I were talking about that and I explained the version of the story that I remembered and he actually understood. He knows a lot of our history and he knows the history that my brother and I share. Growing up my friend was on my brothers side of things and now that we’re adults I’d say that he’s a much better mutual friend to both. I see him as another brother but one that I don’t have a terrible history with.

He ended up having a lengthy discussion about my brothers anger issues and situations that my friend had witnessed. None of it took away the pain that I felt for my niece and please understand that that is not a common occurrence with her around for him. It was just nice to talk to someone that knew the childhood stories of what I went through, listened to me and understood. That was exactly what I needed in that very moment and I am grateful to him for that.

The thoughts that come from the strangest places though. I knew at that moment that I would be a good mother if given the chance. But again, are my chances ruined because I’ve passed up so many. I would never be someone that would forgo the love for a man that I deserve just to have a child and I never have but does that mean that I’ve lost that part of my life? And so continues the regrets that I’ve had especially over the last few months.

These last few months have been a lot of things. I’ve seen dark days, black. I’ve been in physical and emotional pain. I’ve been depressed and bored. I’ve yearned for things that I once had and didn’t appreciate enough. But on the flip side of all of that I’ve also learned that the smallest of things can make me happy. The tiniest of deeds. The times that I’ve been the most happy were not being given luxurious gifts, expensive dinners or taken grand trips. I’m moved by things like someone taking the time to listen to me. I’m moved by the tiniest of expressions of love, caring and gratitude. I’m happy with the smallest surprises or the breaks from monotony. I smile at being the stories, the memories that others have to share. When people show loving concern. I have so many of those people in my life from my friend in the northeast who calls me and we chat away his entire 3 hour drive home, to my BFF who sends me messages that “even though you don’t want to talk I am here for you and love you”, to my GBF who calls or text every single day to see if there’s anything that I need, to my friend (the waiter that I barely know) who just paid for my entire dinner tonight.

It’s easy to be sad and depressed about the things that suck in life and the people who make you feel like less of a human than you deserve but it’s amazing when the other people in life make you feel exactly the way you want to feel at the very moment that you need to feel that. I have gratitude for all those amazing people tonight, the ones that bring me to tears in a good way.

None of that was meant to be a dig at the one person that I truly wanted all those things from. There’s lots of things that I cherish and that I am grateful for that he’s done or that we’ve done together. The times that he cleans, unknowingly with his OCD perfectionist style, I am grateful for. I miss the days that he would come to my door while I was “asleep” to (in my mind) check on me. I miss the days where he had climbed into bed, nothing sexual but maybe just to be next to someone else for a few moments. I miss the hand holding and the sweet kisses on the cheek and the hugs from behind. It feels as though it’s been an eternity since we’ve touched and probably won’t ever happen again. I miss the falling asleep together on the couch on a rainy day and having some part of his body accidentally find its way to mine to linger.

You see, all our most special moments to me are the ones that you can’t buy, measure or plan. They just happened and now, they’re all gone. It’s still a very sad place to be in when you find your heart empty and echoing the memories of yesterday. I can be grateful for all those things above and still sad that it’s come to this. God, I just wished that he’d just have paid a bit more attention to me and less to the social box inside a five inch piece of shit or to some new girl that so easily walks out of his life or that he still made the rest of the world disappear for just a few moments…

I’m not easily had and I don’t easily give. I wish he knew that this was a true, unique and meaningful gift.

Yes, things can easily be spun back to him in pretty much any story over the last few years but I will stop doing that soon enough and give him as much thought as is returned.

I give my gratitude to all those things above and the strength to move on.

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Variety is the spice of life… and I am all out of spice.

My life is currently so routine that there is no spice left in it what-so-ever. We’ve all heard the phrase “Variety is the spice of life” right? I feel like the blandest dish, in the blandest restaurant, in the blandest town right now. Weekdays are as follows:
Wake up (hopefully)
Makeup/Dress
Grab breakfast
Work (fight with boss)
Home
Workout
Shower or bath
Chat
Write
Maybe dinner
Sleep

My weekends are the same bars, the same restaurants, the same clubs…. Just everything the same. I realize that my life gets chaotic when I don’t have some sort of routine but where is the spontaneity? Where is the surprise? Where is my spice? If I don’t do something new soon I’m going to run away so some far off land. This is getting ridiculous.

I was so bored working today that I decided to check out the process of getting “frozen popped” like my friend just did. I want a child anyway and if the right man isn’t going to just show up in my completely boring life then maybe my next step is to just make it happen. I checked out the cost, which (thankfully) wouldn’t be an issue. I checked out the process. Now, I realize that this decision wouldn’t be made out of boredom but rather the fact that this is a part of my life that I’m missing and I am at the point where I could make this possible.

So, as I’m thinking of all this today, I was thinking about the fact that I could just go to my ex and ask him to “donate” because he’d be more than willing to do this. He’s intelligent, very attractive and has good genes. Yes, he’s a bit crazy but in my opinion I think most people have a little crazy in them. The problem here is that while it would save me thousands of dollars, he’d want to be part of the child’s life. I can’t take that much of him so it wouldn’t be fair to ask him. I’ve said before that there’s not too many people that I can actually stand for long periods of time. That’s sad right?

Things in my life usually happen when they’re not expect and therefore me planning anything is just a waste of time. But I did finalize my thought about getting “frozen popped”. I’d decided that if I did get it from my ex and save that money then I’d go in with the boss’s millionaire friend and start a non-profit business. It all turned out perfect in my head until I realized that I didn’t actually want to have HIS kid. Wow, my brain goes crazy and wanders off in so many directions lately. Yet another by-product of being bored.

I did actually reach out to the ex the other day though. When we were dating he was mesmerized by Prince. He was his idol in some weird way. But a lot of my memories of us was sitting in the back of his car in the rain listening to Prince for hours. We’d make-out or he’d read to me or he’d just sit there with his head in my lap. We had such an age difference back then. Now, it doesn’t seem like anything but when you’re a kid it seemed like we should have been worlds apart but in those moments we were equal. I’ve said before that I was mesmerized by him as well. I never loved him but I was so intrigued by him. He looked like Johnny Depp from 21 Jumpstreet, had this long brown hair and was just a beautiful man. He was stunning to look at but I think I knew back then that my fascination with him would fade which it did.

For the longest time I never understood why he wanted to be with me. I was a kid but decades later he reveled that he thought I was the most mature, mysterious and fun person. He thought that I was smart and beautiful beyond my years and even though I was always ready to stand in the rain and get wet, even in a pretty gown he’d always thought I was a princess. Then he recalled our first kiss, which I didn’t remember until he shook my mind a bit.

He had dated my (at the time) best friends old sister. They hadn’t seen each other in years. My best friend, her sister and I were at a 24 cafe down the street from where we lived. He was there, sitting in the corner, reading. My instant reaction was that his looks almost took my breath away but then I was too ensconced into whatever silly thing we were doing at the time. The older sister and he started chatting and we had all decided to go back to her house. My best friend and I were chasing each other down the street at 2 am on a school night and he and the older sister were sitting on the porch watching us and smoking.

At around 4, I’d decided to venture back home. I started my walking route as it was just down the street but quietly behind me was his hatchback. When I stopped to ask him if he was lost he’d said no but he wanted to make sure that I got home safely and because I’d declined his offer to drive me home he was just going to follow me. This was way before the cell phone era and I wouldn’t have been able to send him a HS&S (home safe and sound) text, that I do to my friends now. I’d decided to just get in the car and let him drive me as it seemed less creepy that way. And so it started. We’d gotten to my house about 3 minutes later and just sat in the car and talked like I’d never talked with anyone before. Hours passed and I realized that my nemesis, the sun, would be up soon and I bid farewell to my new strange friend but just before I left the car he leaned in a kissed me like I’d never been kissed before.

I’d left the car that night with butterflies the size of large tigers in the pit of my stomach and that start a three year affair. For the next three years we saw each other every single day. He’d pick me up from work or school. He’d spend the night at my house. When the weekends came hours turned into days of being with each other and his strangeness just made me more intrigued by him. But then one day, on his birthday, he was sitting next to me in the back of our friends car and I looked at him looking at his own reflection in the car window and realized that I felt nothing. There was literally no emotion left. The next day became the first day that I would decline to spend time with him and days then turned to weeks which turned into years.

I’d thought about him in passing through the years but even with that beginning he never made the “love of my life” list because I never loved him and certainly was never in love with him. I feel weird to know that he still keeps a lock of my hair, still has all my cards and has written poetry about me over the years.

Love is a strange thing to me. It both pains and confuses me that we can’t choose who we fall in love with. This is also the view of someone who is completely self-diagnosed as an emotionally immature person. I have some great and wonderful spontaneous memories of our time together though and I get to cherish those. Unfortunately, for him, they will choose to stay memories and not a foreshadowing into a future which is why the better option is to fork out 10 grand on someone that I don’t knows “frozen matter” is the better decision. But who knows, maybe I’ll get drunk this weekend, go into the same bar or club or restaurant and go home with a one night stand that turns into an eighteen year commitment.

…and these are the thoughts of someone that can not get bored or they start to think weird and crazy things.

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Life Lessons In Unlikely Places…

Coming home from a pleasant evening with friends tonight and on the drive home I decided to play my “Sexy” playlist on Spotify. Regardless of how unsexy I must have looked dancing and singing in my car on the way home, at least I felt a bit. Then, once home, I started flipping through channels in hopes that something would grab my attention. I stopped on HBO and caught the last 30 minutes of the Magic Mike 2 movie.

I’m going to defend myself here. These were both so so stupid movies. However, those dance scenes where hypnotic. It’s also become a joke with m BFF and I and I’ll tell you a bit of the back story to this now.

When she and I both turned eighteen, we decided to venture into LaBare. Which, for those of you that don’t know, is a strip club for women. We were initially shocked at how insane these women got when the men came out and shook their asses. First, back then, there was no “Magic Mike” dance scenes so it was mostly just gyrating groins on these tall, tan, muscular slick stallions but we were never impressed. While almost all the women would jump up and clamor toward the stage at the first three seconds of “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, we would just be sitting in our chairs and appreciating the music. We’d mostly make friends with the waiters which were almost always better looking so that we could drink before the law abiding age. Now, because we didn’t come off as these crazy females, we’d actually be pretty popular by the end of the night so we ended up making friends with the dancers and managers or whoever. Fast forward a few years and the business that I’m in made it very easy to be invited to a strip club, almost weekly whether it be a male or female one it never mattered.

During this time of frequent stops at these clubs it became such a common experience to show up around 1 am, drink a bit and end up hanging out with everyone till the sun came up. While doing this I soaked in the infinite stripper wisdom and let me tell you something, it was very worth while. Do you know how easy it became to have an actual conversation while sitting either on a man’s lap with only a “c–k sock” on or sitting next to a woman who was topless. After a while you become desensitized to someone actually trying to hit on you for the right reasons because the lessons I’ve learned from both Wall Street sales boys and strippers makes it very easy to just assume everyone is out to get something in their own best interest.

But, I can’t say that I didn’t use what I was taught. The first lesson was eye contact. This is so important for both men and women. But here’s what you do. There’s a point when you know the other person is looking at you, whiling staring at the floor you slowly raise your vision directly into theirs and don’t look away while having a tiny curl of your lip as if it was about to become a devious smile. Hold it as long as you can. I still do that when I’m flirting and it’s never failed.

The next lesson was the touching. All the magazines say you’re supposed to touch a man on his arm, or leg as much as possible to flirt with him or to let him know you’re interested but what they taught me was to take the ring finger on either hand and just lightly run it down a man’s arm, almost as soft as a whisper. That usually works too.

Lastly, was the whisper itself. Now, this goes for any man or woman and especially when someone does this to me. Oh Wow! I’ll go crazy. But you lean in, especially when your out at a club or bar and it’s loud, whisper something, anything, but make it so that your lips graze against their ear and they can feel your breath. Drives me crazy! Did I mention that?

There was a lot of other things they taught all by accident because it was really just me observing a lot but that would turn this post into a rate R so I’ll leave those for another night but I think being around that world and yes, it’s a world all on it’s own, got me so jaded about dating and sex and money. The things that would or should normally turn me on are not the things that do. I usually go for the opposite of what those strippers tried to do because they made it all so fake but humorous never-the-less.

Truth is though, lately, I’ve not really tried any of those tricks or any real type of romantic or sexual serenade. While I crave some sort of intimate human interaction and while it’s easy for me to pull a “booty call number” from my phone it’s all so immature and fake. Maybe I overdid it when I was younger but now i crave something different, something better.

I crave jazz on a Sunday afternoon and cuddling so good that it makes me not want to go to work the next morning. I want something more than a 20 minute bang and then I get up and leave. I want a man that makes me want to stay and makes me want to cook breakfast for him the next day.

My ex (that I work with) and I would do this thing where we’d go to bars and see who could get the most phone numbers from suitors. It was a joke to us. We’d do a lot of stupid shit which would probably make other partners jealous but to us it was fun. But there was this one night, after a strip club, that a guy I’d known had come to the table. I guess my ex got a bit jealous and out of no where he told the guy that we were married. Which we weren’t even close to but it was the first time that I’d seen jealousy in his eyes and it kinda turned me on a lot. There was this guy who was totally secure in almost every way and he was so unsure of himself that he felt like he needed to take ownership of property at that very moment. That was probably one of the best nights of sex for us.

But those are the weird things that turn me on. I don’t want obvious “this is on page 3 of my playbook” moves. Tell me something honest, true, cry about something real, blue, wear the color blue I don’t know why. Bare feet with jeans is so sexy, laughing, looking into my eyes but without the pretense of “hey lets f*ck”. Whisper something to me. Give me a hug that you mean, not a half ass, side hug. Music, music, music. Order for me at a restaurant. Take me somewhere that I’ve never been and surprise me. Give me something of yourself even just for a moment.

My life has certainly made it hard to trust and to date especially when I’m not looking for a “right now” It’s tough. So maybe strippers never really taught me anything but maybe they jaded and ruined me. They did help me read people which I’m pretty good at. They help me understand that attaining perfection is a lie and that appearances don’t matter as much. Do I want the 6ft 3in, dark and handsome guy who sold his soul a long time ago and can’t muster the car note he’s got on his souped up Jaguar even though he makes well over six figures a year? If I wanted that, I’d have had that a long time ago and I can promise you that I would have left that by now. I’d give up the numbers to all those guys for the right guy now who didn’t posses any of that. I’m just not sure I’ve even met him yet.

So long ago were the nights spent with exotic dancers till the sun rose and even though it was fun back then and there’s an occasional fun night out at a club these days where I get to practice my skills I have no desire to go back into that realm. Wow, that felt like a different life ago, a different body ago and just a much different time. I’m not sure if this is growing up or growing old. Man, the stories I could tell.

So that’s my story tonight about a life lived long ago. Hope you’re all having a great weekend. I’m doing nothing for the rest of this weekend, or that’s my plan of no plans.

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