Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'm a two

This morning I had my yearly check-me-for-moles-and-skin-cancer appointment.  It's important to have those appointments for everyone - but especially for us pasty people.

I ended up arriving early* and got seated into the exam room pretty quickly by an overly-exuberant guy.  I don't know what his function is but he's also the guy who answers the phone sometimes and also books follow up appointments. 

Anyway, we're in a closed room and he's asking me all the standard questions and then he looks at me critically and says, "Oh.  You're a two."

I must've looked a bit surprised...I mean, here I was, at 7:30 in the morning, looking as cute as I could muster without having a full mug of coffee, but wow.  Honesty hurts.

Because as soon as this dude leaves the door, I've got to strip down for a hot doctor to check my skin.  As in every inch of my body.  Under the ever so complimentary fluorescent lights.  And if anything bolsters my confidence in these situations, it's having someone look at you critically and then rank you. 


So then he laughs and turns bright red and explains that "two" is just a way to describe people's skin color.  1 is people who are albino, 2 are people "like me", 3 are "typical" Caucasians, 4 are people who are Hispanic, and 5 are people who are "super dark."  I didn't ask where Asians and any other ethnicity fell into place because I felt pretty certain I could fill in the blanks.

So I made some paltry excuse of a joke like, "Wow.  Sorry. I thought you meant something else at first.  I just haven't had my coffee yet." And I pointed to the travel mug on the table next to me.

Then, he stammers, and says, "No.  You're a hottie. I definitely wasn't rating you as a two."

I just blinked.  Because, now what does one say?

He blushes, then says, "Sorry, I'm not thinking.  I haven't had any coffee yet.  Can I smell yours?"

Um.  What?

Oh! He means my coffee.

Nope.  That doesn't make it any less weird.

I opted to laugh as if he was kidding.  He laughed.  And then gave me a paper gown.

But you know what?  I'm super appreciative of him - because no matter how compliments come about, it was nice to receive one. 

Even when I'm a two.

* This is a huge accomplishment.  The appointment was WAY down south in a hospital that is super hard to navigate.  I didn't remember which suite he was in and I didn't write it down when they called for the appointment reminder.  In fact, as the doors were closing on the elevator, I thought, "Crap.  I should've probably looked at the little informational thing in the lobby to double check." 

But I got to the right suite, even though it was twisty-turny, on the first time.  Early.  I'm kind of my own hero.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Well, that sucked.

Know how people are all, "Give nice guys a chance?" 

For the past 15 years, thought I did... but I guess I never really did.  The last few months, I've had an opportunity to look back at the guys I've chosen routinely and realized that they've all had some serious issues right from the get go. 

The ones I've picked to stay with had issues with intimacy, issues with their moms, issues with their dads, or issues with me.  But in all cases, they strummed a chord right on my heart strings - that chord being: "Stay.  Help Me.  Fix me."

And apparently that chord always works with me.

In truth, it doesn't mean that they weren't nice, but it does mean that they had some red flags.

So each time, when something ended, I found myself inching the door to the possibility of a lasting love a little more closed.  I have believed that those dreams - those nice things - weren't for me. 

The guys I passed up?  They were the nice ones.  The guys who treated me the way I should be treated - right from the get go.  But the chord that they strummed never seemed melodic to me. I chalked it up to the chemistry not being there and moved on.

Ending the relationship with Joe, was a great time to realize that the problem wasn't with ME.  It's with the people I've continually picked.  Which, okay, WAS with me.  But hopefully you get what I mean.

I took the time to re-calibrate my heart strings. And I realized that the ones that called for help weren't quite as melodic as I had thought.  And the ones that offered genuine feelings of happiness and love sounded better than I ever believed.

So this past month, when I had the opportunity to really look love in the eyes, I did.

It started with a wonderful question - something along the lines of "Are you ready, really ready to be in love?  Are you ready in your heart and your mind?"

I looked within me, brushed off my newly re-vamped heart strings, and answered, "Yes."

And it was WONDERFUL. The act of falling in love is an amazing feeling.  It's fast, it's all consuming, and it feels beautiful.  Like my blinders have been ripped off my eyes - and now I could start to see life's full beauty - which includes ME.

I found myself peering through the crack in the door to lasting love.  I found myself lured by it's charm.  I started to (gasp!) hope.  And when my brain tried to tell my heart to slow down, I reminded it that THIS type of story happens to others.  Why not me?  Why not us?  Why not now?

We even said several times that it felt like we were 15 again - to feel like the whole world was ahead of us and that we could figure out anything that came our way.

To me, it felt like the first part of a drop on a roller coaster ride.  I was scared, white-knuckling it...until something inside me encouraged me to just let go; to just enjoy it.

And oh, how I enjoyed it.  Because that feeling?  It's amazing; intoxicating; heart-stoppingly beautiful.

Until it wasn't.

Realistically, I've recounted the weirdness of what happened many times with my friends and they all believe that something is clearly going on with him.  And from the stories he told me about some of the girls that he met, they all reacted with similar disbelief when things ended.  Judging from the outside looking in, this seems to be his MO.

So, logically, I know it's not me.  Or maybe it is.  But I know that even if his opinion of me and us changed that quickly, it doesn't have anything to do with me.  Yeah, yeah...maybe he got scared...but maybe he was just playing me.  Maybe he's just damaged goods with entirely too high of standards.  No matter how hard I try, I can't figure out what happened.

Because to me, even if I got weird vibes or mixed messages, I'd want to ride the roller coaster again.

But eesh.  It still hurts.  Just like the heartbreaks of 15 year olds.

So how is it that I'm more upset about things ending with a man that I haven't known nearly long enough than ones that I've stayed with for entirely too long?

Because my heart strings strummed a song that seemed to be in tune with his (and even I puked in my mouth with how cheesy that sounded).  But that tune? It was one of the most amazing things I've felt and heard.

So here I am.  Sad, disappointed, and hurt.  Maybe this is the rebound relationship effect.  Or maybe it's because we really could've made it work.

But I do know this: I need time to repair the damage - to my heart strings and my pride.

So that the next time a nice guy asks if I'm really ready - for love and all the wonders it holds - I'll have the courage to say yes.  I'll have the courage to walk through that door, down the aisle, and wherever else that path leads.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Oprah would totally be proud...

Oh, hi there!

I get it - it's been nine thousand years since I've posted and who knows if anyone still reads this thing... and maybe in some ways I kind of like that idea.  I like being a little anonymous - being able to write my heart out while being completely truthful...and not worrying about who might read it and who might get their feelings hurt.

Because honestly?  This past year has been huge for me.  While I haven't been blogging here (or anywhere else, really), I've been struggling to find my own voice.

And what I found is that my voice doesn't have to be funny all the time.  It doesn't need to be loved like it once did. 

A LOT of crap has happened this past year.  Deaths, marriages, falling out with toxic people, a new job, and the cementing of new friendships.  Oh, and breaking up with Joe.

Those that know me IRL have probably already known that for a while.  But those that didn't might be asking what the Sam Hill happened.  And sometimes I really don't know.

Probably we shouldn't have continued dating after some red flags were shown.  Probably we shouldn't have moved in together.  And probably I should've left him a year and a half ago when trust was broken.  But I didn't.

Sometimes it was easier to bury my head in the sand and pretend that I could will the problems to be better; that I could make it work for the both of us.  I'm sure there were times when he felt the same way.

But in the end, there was really only one decision - and that was to end things.

And oh, how we did.  Right in the middle of our couples therapist's office.   Ummm...yes.  We weren't married and we were already seeing a therapist together.  Like I said, there were some red flags.  But when you're living together and you truly love the person, wouldn't you want to try whatever it took to repair it if you could?  Well, I did.

Anyway, it sucked.  Hard.  Mostly because he was in so much pain and I knew that anything that I tried to do to mitigate it would just make it worse in the long run.  So, he left.  Right in the middle of the session.  And I sat stunned on the couch wondering what to do next.

The subsequent month or so that he didn't want to have anything to do with me was really craptastic. 

But my life is decidedly NOT craptastic.  It's lovely.  I bought a house in Sloan Lake (an area of Denver)..and I love it.  Even though it's had some issues since I moved in, it's fantastic.  I love the quirky kitchen and the privacy that it holds.  I love the fact that it's a few blocks to the lake.  I love that my stuff (which had been in storage for a year and a half) fits in it wonderfully.

I love that I feel at home in my house.   And after all the soul searching, I love how I feel at home in my skin.

I love how free I feel and how optimistic I am about the future.  And honestly?  I love not worrying about Joe all the time; I love being able to feel free to do what I want when I want how I want.

I'm back in El Paso for the week of Thanksgiving - hanging out with my sisters, mom, and new brother-in-law.  It's lovely.  For the first time in a long time, it feels like it takes less effort to be me.  I can just be.

And in case you're wondering, I am dating.  I'm so new into it, they've pretty just been a lot of first dates.  I've gotten to know a few men who seem to really enjoy getting to know what makes me unique.  It's been fun to feel fresh, alive, and sexy.  It feels great to be healthy enough to let the guys with issues, the ones I would've wanted to reach out and help, pass by and instead choose to interact with the ones that seem like they're not looking for someone to complete them.

I may not ever be someone's wife.  I may not ever be someone's mother.  But I'm enough without those titles.

I miss posting here.  I miss writing about the crazy dates, the funny stories, and my life that doesn't have to do with living or being healthier. 

So perhaps I'll show up here more often.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pillow talk

Last night, after saying our goodnights and sweet nothings, Joe put on his CPAP mask and started to fall asleep.

I, on the other hand, couldn't stop thinking about random stuff. 

One thing led to another and then I asked this question aloud before I was even really aware of it.

"Do people in comas poop?"

P.S.  For the record, Joe says yes because bodily functions still happen even if you're in a coma.  I get that, but after the first few residual poops, how is there anything left to poop out?  I mean, aren't you pretty much just taking in saline solution with vitamins via an IV when you're in a coma?  If so, wouldn't that NOT produce waste?  Or do they put in a feeding tube?  If so, why? I mean, wouldn't that make everyone's life harder?  But if it's just IVs, does your pooper/intestines wither away without use? 

P.P.S. You're welcome.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Fun with awls

This morning, I woke up and took a shower, as I usually do (so far, this is the best post ever, am I right or am I right?).

While in the shower, I noticed that the water was draining slowly.  It's not a big surprise because, as I've written before, our shower pipes have enough red hair in them such that it probably looks like we shave an orangutan weekly.

Which, to be clear, we do not.  As far as I know. 

Anyway, being the wonderfully thoughtful person I am, I decided to use the Draino MAX gel solution so that the drains would flow freely by the time Joe took his shower.  If you're keeping score at home, this should garner me a good 10 points.

So I get out of the shower and dump 3/4 of the huge bottle into the drain in the bathtub and to my pleasant surprise, it goes down smoothly and without much of a fuss.  I continue to dump the remainder of the gel down both of our sinks.  He shaves which sometimes goops up the sink pipes...and since I'm doing the tub anyway, I might as well get them all done.  Plus 15 points for me.

Thirty minutes goes by and it's now time to rinse the drains with hot water for 15 minutes.  I turn on both sink taps as well as the bathtub tap and finish doing my make-up.

About two minutes go by when I realize that although both sinks are now draining as if they are brand new, the tub is sounding like I'm drawing a bath.

So I peek into the tub and around then is when I gasp.  Because the tub is not draining AT ALL.

Know what that means?  That the water in the tub is a diluted yet still highly toxic solution. 

Know what that means? a) Joe will likely not want to step in it and 2) there is no way in God's green earth I'm going to reach into to try to free whatever the blockage is.  I like my skin on my arms thankyouverymuch.

Quick!  What would MacGuyver do?   I quickly go to our bathroom pantry and look in there for anything that I could stick down in the drain to try to grab hair/debris to free the drain.

Q-tips!  Yes!  That is the solution!  So I grab a Q-tip and put it down in the water ... only the water is too high for me to hold the Q-tip and still have it reach to the drain. I quickly let go as I feel the water brush my fingertips and run to the sink to wash my hands of any on the Drano.  Acid wash jeans may be making a comeback, but I'm too vain to acid-wash my hands.

Around then is when I realize that I did, in fact, drop the Q-tip in the water and what now began as a "Dislodge the Clog" mission has spawned a side mission titled "Operation Q-tip Rescue."

Using various instruments from our bathroom, I rescue the Q-tip and dispose of it in the trashcan without dropping any liquid on the floors.  Plus 30 points for me.

Only the drain?  It's still not draining.

I glance around our bathroom and realize that I can't grab any hair with anything we have in the bathroom.  What I really need is a pair of rubber gloves.  Only I don't know if we have any in our house.  And I don't want to wake up Joe.

So I figure that vice grips probably are just as good and BONUS!  I know where Joe's tool box is. 

I should probably pause here to explain that we live in a loft downtown.  Like most lofts, we only have one window - and by design, the only way that light is going to spread through our loft is to not really have ceilings in our loft.  So the walls of "rooms" don't go all the way to our ceiling (except in the bathroom).  This means that any light in our house immediately spreads to other rooms.  Because I get up earlier than Joe, I try to turn on as few lights as possible so that he can sleep as long as possible.  This usually grants me between 10-15 points daily depending on if I stub my toes in the dark or not.

I silently creep past our bedroom door into the study, reach through the closet to the toolbox where I managed to rifle around to try to find anything that feels like needle nose pliers.  No such luck.  Finally, I put my hands on something long, thin, and metal-y.  Thinking it was a small screwdriver, I retrieved it and crept back to the bathroom.

Turns out it was a metal thing that kind of looked like a screwdriver but had a knob on the end.  The knob part was made from nice cherry wood.  In other words, it's an awl.  It's a nice awl...but I figured that the acid water wouldn't touch the nice wood - and the metal part would be sharp enough to actually free the drain of hair or whatever was clogging it.

Turns out, after several attempts with the awl, it's not the proper tool for dislodging drains.    Go figure.

Out of time and options, I finally had to bite the bullet and go wake Joe up.  Since I'm no dummy, I first woke him with a soft voice, a calming rub on his shoulder, and a kiss.  Then I explained the problem and said that I was afraid that he'd have to shower at work or something.

He got up without complaining, looked at the tub, saw that it wasn't draining and then got a plunger to unclog the drain.  It worked on the first attempt (plus 500 points for him).

On his way back to the cleaning closet with the plunger, he saw the awl on the bathroom counter. 

"What'd you use the awl for?"

"Oh - I thought that maybe I could MacGuyver the drain with it."

"With my awl?!?"

"Well, yes.  I mean, I couldn't turn the light on because I was afraid it would wake you and I couldn't find a screwdriver or needle nose pliers or-"

"So, you used my AWL??!?!?!"

"Yes!  Aren't you proud of my ingenuity?" 

Turns out, not so much.

Mental note: don't come between a man and his awl.