Tuesday Twosome

  1. Where were you 2 hours ago and what were you doing? Two hours ago I was… sitting right here in my cube, checking my email. Boring, I know.
  2. Who was your 2nd boyfriend/girlfriend and how old were you? Officially, the second person I could actually call my boyfriend was… Michael. It was freshman year of college, so I was 18.
  3. Who are your 2 closest friends and explain why you chose them? While I’m going to refrain from listing people, because it totally depends on the context for who’s closest (I share more with them on a daily basis, I have a long history with them and we can catch up with no problems after months of absence, I have the most in common with them in terms of beliefs and ideas and that sort of stuff….), I do have to say that, generally speaking, I don’t choose my friends. They choose me. I’ve always been terribly shy, and never good at making new friends. In college, in life, all of the new friends I’ve made in the last… ten years, have been because other people made it a point to include me and draw me into their lives. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t have chosen to be friends with any of them – in fact, I would have pursued friendships with many of them, were that my personality. But I tend to take a rather back-seat approach to friendship.
  4. What 2 accomplishments are you most proud of and why? Right now, I’m proud of… starting school again, and making it to one year with Prince Charming. As you know if you’ve been reading here, I had quite a few frustrations with finding a class to take in the last few weeks, and was originally going to start last year, and I’m proud of figuring out a way to make it work and forcing the issue. And my longest relationship before now was with the boy mentioned in #2, and that lasted 3 months (OK, 2 weeks, then we broke up for two weeks, and then another 2 1/2 months). Plus, it’d been a really long time since I’d even had guy friends, and you relate different to guys versus girls. And I was pretty sure for the first several months of our relationship that I was going to somehow f* things up. So… we’ve obviously overcome all that.
  5. What were the last 2 television shows you watched and did you enjoy it? Um… two episodes of Friends that I wasn’t terribly familiar with (they were from the last season, so they haven’t been on reruns that long), and an episode of Stargate SG-1 (I’m now caught up for the season!). I enjoyed, but wasn’t overly thrilled with any.

Question of the Week

How’d you get that scar?

As best I can tell, I only have one visible scar remaining. I used to have one on my knee, from a very embarrassing incident in college that involved coffee, a set of stairs, and a cute boy, but most people have heard that story and I won’t bore you with another retelling.

The one scar I do have is on my left elbow. I got it the first night of high school youth group, freshman year. We were playing… some team sport outdoors (Ultimate Frisbee perhaps?) in the church parking lot, and there’s this spot underneath one of the lights that is kind of in a corner and collects gravel. I ran through it and slipped and gashed up my elbow pretty bad. I believe there was gravel embedded in it at some point. I don’t think I cried, because I’m not that type, but I’m sure I complained a lot. (I am that type.)

You think I would have figured out sooner that “church can hurt.” Oh well. Really, it’s not church’s fault. I was (and am) a generally clumsy and graceless individual, and at 14 was still growing at weird rates. I grew 6 inches in junior high, my feet kept pace, and my limbs did as well. So I was generally … gangly and awkward. And never really good at team sports that require talent and competition (I’m much more for leveling the playing field and games like “Wacky Ball,” or at least playing games for fun and not competition).

I don’t think anyone has ever actually noticed the scar without me pointing it out though. Handy.

I do have a red spot on my chin where I had the ringworm. And a spot on one of my fingers where I used to get warts as a kid.

Wow, I sound sexy in this post. You know you all want me.

Quote for Thought

“Have you even been in love? Horrible, isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses. You build up this whole armor, for years, so nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…

You give them a piece of you. They don’t ask for it. They do something dumb one day like kiss you, or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so a simple phrase like “maybe we should just be friends” or “how very perceptive” turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a body-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.”

-Rose Walker

OK, excluding the turn this quote takes towards the end, I really like it. Well, the first paragraph is great, at least. I found it while looking for a new signature quote for my email. I’m pretty sure I could just chop off the end of it, leave it trailing after the “crying in the darkness” part, but then that would be taking the quote out of context and… unethical. So there it is.

But let’s be honest – that’s what love is like. At least for me. You build up walls so you won’t get hurt again. You get to the point where you think you’re immune, that regardless of what happens, you can avoid pain because you’ve got these defenses. And then someone, somehow, maybe without even them knowing it, sneaks around all of that and -bam!- you’re screwed. I don’t mean that pessimistically – it’s just that if you thought you were protected, and you realize you aren’t, it’s a bit… frightening at first. And exhilarating. And then finally comforting. There’s great… comfort and safety in being vulnerable.

I know that I thought I was safe, protected, defended against the potential injury of love. So safe, in fact, that I was worried I’d gone too far and wouldn’t be able to experience that again. Because the last time… didn’t end well, and even if it wasn’t a real relationship by the world’s standards, the feelings I had were real, and I totally cherish that experience. I grew through it, and learned about myself, and ultimately am who I am today because of it. But in the aftermath of love lost, there’s the opportunity to shut one’s self off from future pain. I readily acknowledged that he hadn’t done anything wrong, that I had knowingly put myself in that situation, and only I was to blame for any hurt I was experiencing. So logically I could protect myself from that again, and I was the only one who could, since I was in charge.

Oh, how naive we are.

And then I went years upon years of barely even meeting anyone with potential. I blabbered on about different guys here and there, mostly because they were the only thing going on, not because there was any real potential there. And a blog gets significantly less interesting without a love interest of some sort. (That’s a joke there, folks.)

When I first met Prince Charming, I wasn’t sure where I’d ended up. Had I boxed off feelings for so long that I wouldn’t be able to find them again? Did I even want a relationship? Where the h*ll am I in life? You know, typical 20-something crises.

We kept seeing each other, and he definitely grew on me, and time passed. I knew I felt something for him, I just… wasn’t sure of myself. I’d done this before, either fooled myself that the guy felt something, or fooled myself that I did, and I didn’t want to make that mistake again. I wanted to know it was real. And my sweet boy was ever-so-patient, and somehow knew that there was something real there, that it was worth waiting around for me to figure it out.

And somehow, in the midst of this, he completely snuck in around all my defenses. It happened early-on, too, because I remember saying to Amanda or Liz or Alison (or maybe all three – there was a lot of Kelly-counseling going on then) how it almost frightened me that I implicitly trusted him completely. I always felt safe, and cared for. He has always been brave enough to put himself out there first, so I could slowly learn to be vulnerable again. And he puts up with my shortcomings (“areas of growth”).

The difference between friends and significant others is this: both recognize and will admit with you what your faults are. Both completely accept you with them. But significant others… make you want to grow and improve upon yourself, work on your faults, as best you can.

And at some point, you reach the stage where you’re not sure that your life is completely your own anymore. You haven’t lost your individuality, your identity, but so much of your life – your decisions, your plans for Saturday afternoon, your frustrations and concerns, your goals and dreams – are wrapped up in this other person. And that can get frightening. It can be the point where you run, cut bait, get the h*ll out of dodge.

But if you do that, you totally miss out on the best part. Because if we run every time we get scared, or things get rough, we’re always starting over, and we’re never… evolving into future versions of ourselves. True, we might miss out on great pain and heartbreak, but we miss out on great love, that’s for sure. Movie love, storybook love, real love. Because when the director yells “cut,” and “The End” shows up on the screen, life continues, and it gets messy and rough, and that’s where life is lived. That’s where who we are is really determined. I’ve heard it said, “character is who you are when nobody is looking.” I can’t think of a good way to put that into parallel thought, but… you get my drift, right?

So sure, I can get on board with the author who says, “I hate love.” The greatest pains I have ever experienced in my life have been because of love, whether it be family or churches or friends. But I also know that those are the experiences that forged me, that have molded me and shaped me into who I am today. And though I know I have a lot of “areas of growth,” I’m OK with life as it is today, with me as I am. And heck, who wants to have “arrived” at their full potential as a human being at 28? “Areas of growth” just means that life can continue to be exciting and drama-filled and I can keep changing as I age, instead of being some stagnant fuddy-duddy adult, stuck in my ways.

But more accurate than “I hate love” is the idea behind it, that love is powerful and strong and worth grabbing onto. If more people were willing to… hang in there when the going gets rough, or see the potential in another person and wait around for them to figure things out… would there be fewer lonely people out there? I sure think so.

I don’t remember what I started out to say, whether it was “thanks” or “here’s what I’m thinking” or… something else. As terrifying as it can be, when love gets inside you, when another person can shake you to your core… that’s the stuff. It’s never wrong to love. Never.

Thus ends today’s rambling thoughts…. you may continue on in a confused matter as you were before.

Geek Love

It all started 6 months ago on a then-unknown website [link removed] (that I can no longer access at work, so that link might be totally wrong)….

I suppose I don’t really need to say much more here, since I’ve chronicled (probably way too much) our relationship (ad nauseum) on this blog. Congrats to Prince Charming, for putting up with me this long (especially considering he’s read the archives….). 🙂

6 months, who ever thunk it?

Friday Fiver

  1. Favorite brand of jeans: Toss-up between Old Navy and New York & Company. I can always count on Old Navy for inexpensive pairs, but sometimes the styles are a little too… teenager-y. But then New York & Company had to go and have all sucky styles this season, so I can’t depend regularly on them either.
  2. Magazine you read regularly: Real Simple
  3. If a button came off your clothing, could you sew it back on? Um… yeah. And hem pants. And… well, make my own clothes if need be.
  4. Have you ever had a curfew? In high school my curfew was 10 on weeknights and 12 on weekends, though I almost never needed it (I can think of a handful of times when I was out until almost-curfew). Freshman year of college we had a curfew of midnight on weeknights and two on weekends – I know that sounds weird, but it really was a great thing, especially for certain boy-crazy roommates of mine who would never have gotten any homework done if they didn’t have to be back to sign-in at the dorm. Lots of people complained about it, but some people need structure, I think. Also, as long as your grades were good enough (or you didn’t get put on behavioral probation), you didn’t have a curfew second semester.
  5. Most dangerous thing you’ve done: Um… I’m not really the dangerous type. Can’t think of anything off the top of my head. Wait… I can be less-boring than that. OK, the summer after my freshman year of college I dated this guy who was 27 (I was 19), and didn’t let my parents know about it, and we’d met online so it could have been dangerous I suppose. But I met him in a public place and drove my own car and didn’t let him know where I lived, so I was relatively safe. My parents still don’t know, though. His name was conveniently the same as another one of my friends, so I would just say I was going out with X. It wasn’t technically lying. I suppose that could have been a dangerous thing, if he had turned out to be a wacko. Luckily for me, he wasn’t, had three sweet kids, and on a trip to Russia married a girl named Olga. Oh well.

Borrowed Meme

from Such a Pretty Face

  1. Name the Last Four Things You Have Bought: (in reverse order) White Chocolate Mocha, haircut, dozen eggs, hair dye.
  2. Name Four Drinks You Regularly Drink: White Chocolate Mocha, Coke, milk, water.
  3. Last Time You Cried? Last weekend over really stupid commercials on TV (OK, not gushing tears and sobbing, but I got a little teary-eyed).
  4. What’s In Your CD Player? There’s a whole bunch of stuff on my PDA that I’m tired of and need to get my act together and rejuvenate the list. Yesterday I listed to my “Crush” mix CD.
  5. What’s Under Your Bed? a whole bunch of cat hair, summer clothes, and gift-wrapping supplies.
  6. What Time Did You Wake Up Today? 7:34 a.m.
  7. Current Hair? Loreal Couleur Experte #6.4, Ginger Twist.
  8. Current Clothes? Teal sweater, grey Limited skirt (that ends just past my knees, oddly), black loafers, and some other stuff. Oh, and silver oval-hoop earrings.
  9. Current Desktop Picture? autumn forest.
  10. Current worry? meeting that starts in 22 minutes – I have nothing to worry about, but I still get nervous.
  11. Current hate? that it’s supposed to snow this week (even if that does make Prince Charming deliriously happy)
  12. Favorite Places To Be? anywhere that feels like home, or where I can snuggle up and relax and feel loved.
  13. Least Favorite Place? high school.
  14. If You Could Play An Instrument? piano.
  15. Favorite Color(s)? beige, brown, green.
  16. How Tall Are You? 5’8″.
  17. Favorite expression? Crap.
  18. One Person From Your Past You Wish You Could Talk To: I’m sure if I thought long enough about this, I’d come up with someone to talk to that would actually be therapeutic and/or helpful, but I’ve got nothin’.
  19. Favorite Day(s)? Any day off of work during the week.
  20. Where Would You Like To Go? Paris. Southern California. Texas might be cool. Or northern Minnesota (I haven’t been further than Duluth / Two Harbors).
  21. Where do you want to live when you get married? Um… with my husband. And preferably somewhere I don’t have to commute.
  22. Favorite food? chocolate.
  23. Color of most clothes you own: beige
  24. Number of pillows you sleep with? one or none (usually none).
  25. What do you wear when you go to sleep: it depends on the weather (and who I’m with – youth group retreats, for instance, demand a certain amount of covering, whereas if it’s the middle of August and there’s no breeze… well, you get the idea)
  26. What were you doing 12AM last night: Sitting in bed journaling
  27. How old will you be in 10 yrs: 37
  28. What do you think you’ll be doing in 10 years: Hopefully in a different job (teaching, which means I have to finish grad school, which means I have to start grad school, which means I need to get my act together), in St Paul Public Schools
  29. Do you have braces? not anymore (five years was enough, thank you)
  30. Are you paranoid? Not usually.
  31. Do you burn or tan? Whatever fuschia is considered. Or tomato red. Or the color of skin cancer.
  32. What is the brand of your wallet? No idea, but it was made in China.
  33. First piercing/tattoo? Ears, when I was 10, as a birthday gift from Dad.
  34. First enemy? Lindsay, a girl from school in fourth and fifth grades who was my best friend until I befriended someone else, and then she decided to turn all of my peripheral friends against me (they formed a club).
  35. Last person you yelled at? I can’t keep track of all the people I yell at in my head. Out loud? I try really hard not to lose my temper that way.
  36. Last crush? before Prince Charming, I suppose there was the guy from Betsy’s wedding, which was fun for a week or two.
  37. Last thing you ate? White Chocolate Mocha. Or if that doesn’t count, Dannon LaCreme yogurt in Vanilla.
  38. The last time you had sex it was…? imaginary? How am I supposed to answer that?

Unconscious Mutterings

  1. Related:: to
  2. Soothing:: backrub
  3. Flashback:: fade in, fade out
  4. Turmoil:: inner
  5. Immense:: pain
  6. Guitar:: BSilver
  7. Nonsense:: rhymes
  8. Blame:: it on the rain (thank you, Milli Vanilli)
  9. Childlike:: enthusiasm
  10. Duff:: Hillary

Troubles

Of course, here’s my immediate problem. Possible-second-date emailed today (finally) asking to go out on Saturday. I know that last week I was so going to go, but now I just think that it would be… dishonest to do so. I mean, I know how it’s going to end, and it’s not really fair to him to just check things out for my own curiosity. (And I’m feeling much less… claustrophobic about Prince Charming than I was last week when possible-second-date asked me out.)

Last night, I think I was hit by some sort of electro-magnetic pulse, because at 5:05 my watch stopped and won’t restart, and my cell phone’s speaker no longer works. It doesn’t ring, either. I mean, I can make the vibrate function work in the menus, but when I call my phone it doesn’t respond. This is very troubling. Thankfully I remembered this morning that I have a call-forwarding function, and found on Cingular’s site (which is still crap) how to check my voicemail from another phone.

My PDA still works, though. Hopefully all my watch needs is a new battery (though I don’t really want to deal with them at Target again, but that’s a long and boring story that I won’t put you through).

Notable Mention

I forgot to mention yesterday, in all its craziness, I got an email from Possible-Second-Date. He’s returning from DC after the Labor Day weekend, and still wants to go out again, although now we’re having a second first-date, but that would make his nickname way too crazy. I’m going to go. I need to see if there is anything there, and I need to be able to take a step back and remember that casual dating is supposed to be fun, not serious, and it’s OK to date more than one person until things change. It’s so not a situation I’ve ever been in, so it takes a bit of talking-through in my head first.

And, unlike other times I’ve dated or had crushes on guys, I’m consciously holding back and taking things slowly (emotionally). Like I said earlier, I fall hard, and I fall fast, and it hasn’t always had the best results. As an INFP (btw, a great link to that personality type, and I’m guessing there’s more great descriptions of the others if you brows around the site, and I love the list at the end of famous INFPs, including ET and Julia Roberts), I usually make big decisions based on feeling, and the times that I’ve had to make decisions logically, it’s just felt weird and wrong, even though I knew that was how I had to attack the decision. But I need to be logical at the moment, and logical means taking a step back (or… staying a step back and not jumping in head first) and staying casual and having fun. I can be all about the serious, as evidenced by several deep-end crushes, but I’m just not gonna let myself go there right now. Self-preservation is an amazing thing, isn’t it.

Kryptonite

(You know, it’s only boys that make me journal this much – they truly are my kryptonite.)

So most of tonight has been blocking out thoughts, trying not to wonder what Prince Charming might think after my last email, trying not to come up with alternate wording, trying not to think I made a mistake. I keep telling myself that regardless of what he thinks, I was being true to myself and doing what I thought was right. And if I messed up what could be a great thing? It’s only been two weeks and three dates and a couple handfuls of emails. I was perfectly content with life before I met him, and I will meet other people. He is not my last chance. I am a wonderful person, and if he’s not willing to wait around and discover that, it’s his loss.

I haven’t talked to God in a long time. I haven’t strayed from my faith, per se, I just haven’t connected with it since… I’m not sure when. Before I left Church. I haven’t changed or betrayed my beliefs. But I haven’t prayed or read my Bible or been careful about what movies/books/conversations I partake in. I’ve gotten lax in my language.

I keep telling myself this is my time to rebel a little, relax, find myself a bit outside of my faith. For so long I’ve defined myself in terms of faith and church and belief. It’s not exactly correct to say there’s more to me than that, because they truly are foundation (well, at least faith is). I need this chance to explore myself outside the protection of the church, out in the world. Can I hack it? I think so, but I need to find out. I’m still not going to do anything that would constitute much of a rebellion – some of that is far too ingrained to turn my back on. I won’t have sex, get drunk, intentionally hurt others, become a hateful person, break laws.

And I will make my way back, hopefully stronger in faith and more solid and confident in my sense of self.

There will be no more stressing about boys tonight. Either he wants to see me again or he doesn’t. It doesn’t determine my value. And worrying isn’t going to change his response one bit. I’ll take Amanda’s advice:

“Be sure to enjoy life too… Sometimes you sound like you’re punishing yourself for feeling happy. It is OK to be happy and giddy and excited. Don’t destroy any opportunity for romance before it even starts, especially if you are not sure of the extent of your feelings. Give it time to grow.”

I’ll try.

Oh, no no no no no!

I called up my salon to schedule an appointment with HairGuy and found out he no longer works there! Ack! One good haircut and that was it. Now what do I do? I didn’t just lose a crush, I lost a good hair stylist! Those are hard to come by! (And he was darn sexy, too!)

I don’t know what to do. She suggested another stylist in the same price range, and I said I’d have to think about it and call back. I mean, the original reason for going there was locale, and I was initially hesitant about a male stylist, so if I had never gone in the first place, I wouldn’t know what I was missing out on, right? So I should schedule an appointment. But my real motivation for getting one wasn’t the need for a cut (though it’s been four months), but the chance to see HairGuy. (Of course, now I don’t have to be terribly embarrassed about my roots that only I and my would-be stylist can see.) Shoot. I even deep-conditioned this morning. (When you have the hots for your HairGuy, you want to come in with really healthy hair. He’s got his hands in lots of people’s hair all day long, and really, it just must be as perfect as possible. It would be quite hard to flirt with a head full of split-ends, I think.)

CRAP!

Btw, there’s practically no one at work, so no one to share this with, hence the long, overly-dramatic rant. Amanda has been giving me emotional support over email.

Sanity (or lack thereof)

If you’re ever reading a book explaining a software program (like Microsoft Access), and you find yourself laughing out loud (at something that really, honestly, isn’t funny), it’s time to put the book down. Never mind that the last paragraph I read through about a dozen times before understanding it.

Try imagining the following paragraph being spoken by Gandalf:
“Crosstab queries could be considered the orphan of Access queries because most people tend to ignore them. Crosstab queries are powerful, but they can seem mysterious. This section won’t unravel all the mysteris of crosstab queries…”

If you don’t find that funny, well, get back to work. Clearly you haven’t worked as hard as I have today.

The good news is that it may have taken the edge off enough for me to send a halfway nice email to possible-second-date guy.

Geeky

After reading this article [link removed] (which I got to through a series of random clicks while surfing one day), I surfed on over to Geek-to-Geek and looked around. I was pleasantly amused by the whole thing, especially having recently professed my attraction to IT guys. So I created a profile and got my matches – a whole 4. Apparently the site hasn’t gotten popular here yet. That’s OK- I was really just interested. I was amused enough to send the link to Amanda, who got her whole office searching for their very own geek.

The setup of the site has got me thinking, though. Amanda pointed out that there are no pictures anywhere, not even physical descriptions, which is really unusual for a dating website. Is this because geeks are notoriously unattractive, or because geeks don’t care about looks (especially in a partner)? When I met up with someone last week, I had some moments of doubt beforehand, not knowing what he would look like at all, and kinda expecting the worst. Was he doing the same for me? Did he really not care? I know that I do. I mean, looks aren’t everything, obviously, but the do have some bearing on things. OK, so maybe its not exactly looks, but attraction and chemistry, which are less finite and more… nebulous. And based more on personality than just physical beauty is. I’ve known quite a few “beautiful people” (especially in high school) who were horrible people and therefore completely unattractive.

Well, FormerBoss just said I could leave early, so I’m outta here. Have a great weekend! (And Liz, have a great family vacation!)

Giddy

I didn’t really want to talk about this, but if you can’t be giddy on your own blog, where can you be giddy?

He wants to see me again. You know, the guy from Thursday night (though really why I have to specify is beyond me – there aren’t any other guys I’ve dated recently). I was starting to have doubts, that maybe he wasn’t interested or didn’t have a good time and was just faking it or wasn’t attracted or any other of the thousands of things a girl can think when a guy doesn’t call. Not that I was beating myself up over it – it wouldn’t have been the end of the world, and as I told Amanda on Saturday, he’d actually be a better fit for her. But for now, it looks like I have the promise of a date, in a little over a month.

In other news, how do you like the new site design? I’m experimenting with layers, and learned a whole lot yesterday. Please let me know if you have trouble with any of the elements (though if you just don’t like how it looks, I really don’t care, because I think it’s pretty). The only thing I really wanted to do that I couldn’t get to happen was an image tiling down the left-hand side. If anyone has any hints on that, I’d be happy to hear them.