July 29, 2011

How many of us have them?


When I was a child I did not give much thought to the act of making friends. A plethora of candidates were at my disposal each and every day from the second I stepped onto the bus stop until I walked in my door that afternoon. My brother and I were also lucky enough to grow up in a neighborhood (and a time period) where playing outside until the street lights came on was an almost nightly occurrence. We were supplied with a built in click, with kids our age at almost every house on our block. There was never a shortage of friends to play with or things to do.

Work? Friendships never required work. Except for maybe convincing our parents to drive us places. Boys? Now those were some tricky suckers.

Today the game has changed. The entire concept of friendship has changed. "Friends" are made in an instant with a simple request on Facebook. All it takes is a brief meeting or a common connection and BOOM, friends. We have hundreds of friends on Facebook, but how many of those people really live up to the name of friend? I would venture to say a handful.

It used to be that guys were foreign and we would lean on our girls who were always there for us. Some of us even took our girlfriends for granted - casting them aside when a new and interesting beau entered the picture. I definitely learned that lesson the hard way. What I am getting at with all of this, is that there comes a point in every girl's life when she realizes that her relationships with her girlfriends require just as much work and effort as her relationships with guys. We are not thrust together every day because of school or work. We lose friends we thought we'd always have. When we're young we barely notice, when we're older, it can be heartbreaking. People move out of state or to the suburbs, get married, have babies. Plans need to be made in advance then be followed through with. Sounds easy. Not always.

As I've entered a new phase of life this year, these realizations regarding friendships have hit me hard. I no longer work in the advertising field with a collection of people my age readily available to make plans with: happy hours, concerts, and/or nights at the movies. I go to school with kids that are 10+ years my junior. I work with one woman who is my mother's age. Though a very nice lady, her and I are not exactly making weekend plans. I have been living with my boyfriend for two years so we are content in our home and not going out to bars on the weekends anymore.

So I have been doing my best to make a conscious effort to make plans with my friends. I have a hodge podge of girlfriends that I have met from all over - one I grew up with, one I went to high school with, one I went to middle school with, a handful I worked with, then a couple I met randomly. Basically, I do not have one big group of girlfriends, I have a group that are scattered from various experiences in my life.

At the age of thirty, it is hard to believe this is new ground for me, but I am learning to navigate and so far, doing OK.

June 22, 2011

I miss you, old blog

I mean it. I think of you from time to time. I visit, scan old posts, giggle at myself, curse myself, the usual.

Then I tell myself I need to pay more attention to you. Actively. Things may be different in my life, but I still have stories to tell. Change is inevitable.

So I am putting down in words that soon, very soon, the pickle jar will be revisited.

September 8, 2010

Sweet Victory!

In the past...and I mean waaaay back, I mentioned my love for a certain author and her travel memoir that stole my heart. Laura Fraser, An Italian Affair. I stalked her webpage on and off for years since her debut in 2001, holding onto the glimmer of hope she would write another book. Alas, she has.

All Over the Map is out and I can't wait to get my hot little hands on it!

Coupled Conundrum

It's been silent around here for over a year. What I have been doing during the past year? Co-habitating. And other business as usual.

Is it normal that I feel a lack of inspiration to write when I am coupled up? The majority of the writing I did in the past was on rainy days, late nights, cold nights or during the random times a thought would hit me I would feel the need to flush out. All when I was living alone. Solitary me stroking away at my lap top. If the subject of everything I wrote about was being single, I could see how I'd stumble upon a lack of material...but that wasn't the case. At least not entirely.

These days, there's always something to do at the house. The three dogs can be a legitimate three-ring circus. If I'm not cleaning, I'm reading, gardening, cooking, hanging out with the boy, running errands or stealing time with the girls. Rarely do I sit motionless or find time that the house is silent for me to think creatively and write.

I miss it. I read back on my old posts and at times find myself missing the quiet solitary life I once led. I am happy where I am, don't get me wrong, but there is something pretty great about being on one's own. I highly recommend it.

I'm hoping my writing makes a come back as I embark on a life change in the next few months. I do realize I may have to change the name of this blog because, well, it's basically false advertising. I may still get into a pickle now and again, I'm still me of course, but I'm not out in the big, bad dating world anymore. Oooh, and my about me section may have to change as unfortunately, I'm about to be out of my twenties. Oy.

August 26, 2009

What a difference a talk makes

First and foremost, thank you to all who commented or emailed me about my previous post.

With that said, following my post I immediately started bickering with the boy. Fighting. Not realizing at the time why. After bickering with him Friday night so much so, that I told him I didn’t want to move anything at all I just wanted to chill at my place alone, I realized I was fighting with him out of fear. The fighting was making me more afraid. “I” being the common denominator in all of this. I am doing it all to myself and to him and I. I can’t continue to sabotage us or there will be no more us.

I went over there Saturday unannounced. I used my key. He was in the shower. I went in the bathroom and sat on the edge of the garden tub. I poured it all out. I told him what I was doing and why. How I didn’t want to do it anymore. I was sorry. He sat down in the shower and listened. He let me finish. Then he told me it would work. We will make it work. It’ll be hard at times. It’ll be bad sometimes. But he wants the bad with the good. He wants it all. And so do I. The second I started to cry he came out of the shower soaking wet, picked me up and hugged me. I was fully dressed and couldn’t have cared less. Then we made up.

I must say, time and time again I underestimate him. I forget that with him I don’t have to keep all of my feelings and fears inside. I don’t have to fight with him in order to give myself space to figure things out. I can tell him I want some “me” time and he’lll say “OK.” I can talk to him about what is on my mind and he will listen. More than listen he will help. He will make the fear go away. It is going to take me a while to get used to how easy this can be if I just open up instead of trying to face it all on my own. It’s not my nature to look to anyone for reassurance or help. But I’m learning…

August 13, 2009

First setback

I experienced my first freak out today. One that has postponed my planned move in date with the boy.

Today was the planned day for me to take Otis, my older dog, to my parent’s place to stay temporarily during the move and settling process.

SIDENOTE: Otie has never handled change well. He stresses, and when he stresses he gets sick. Poor guy. He’s always been my special boy…even at less than a year old. He grew up at my parent’s place with my parent’s dogs so it is like his second home. My parent’s place is sort of a hotel for animals (all walks—they have 13 acres) so he’ll be happy as a clam. Much happier than he’ll be with the chaos of moving. END SIDENOTE.

So the plan was to take Otis to the ‘rents place tonight so we could do the big, final move this weekend and settle. I’d have next weekend to clean my place and paint back the one accent wall I painted “Merlot” and the following weekend to tie up any loose ends and turn in my keys on Monday the 31st.Golden. Not so much.

Last night I found myself thinking, “This is the last time I’m going to sleep in this bed, alone, with Otis.” “This is the last late-night walk we’re going to go on in this neighborhood.” Can’t lie, at one point I laid on the floor talking to him, petting him and crying a little. Then today I thought, “This is the last time we’re going to go on these long after-work walks in this neighborhood” “This is the last time things will be simple, just me and my boy.”

Basically, I’ve felt like everything I’m doing is for the last time, as if him or I are dying tomorrow. Minutes after hanging up the phone with my mom telling her I’m on my way, I broke into tears, called her back, and said I wasn’t coming. I’m not ready, I’ll do it next weekend. I want to spend one more week with him. Here. Why so soon? Why am I rushing? I can move next weekend, and clean, and paint. Sure. Just one more week in my one bedroom apartment with my boy. Freak. Out.

With me, there’s always a deeper issue. Yes, I feel bad leaving my boy. Valid. I feel like I am abandoning him. But it’s temporary. Yes, he’ll have to adjust to the new diggs, new dogs, but he’s a dog. He’ll do it. So what’s really going on? Whelp, this is an ending for me, and and ending for me and Otis. It will no longer be just me and my boy. It has been him and I for the past 3 years (minus the past couple months since we’ve added Miss. Harlow to the mix). It took me a while to get used to it. Then even longer to imagine it any other way. He’s been with me through some tough times. He laid beside me on the nights I cried on the floor. He stuck his wet nose on me on the days I didn’t want to get out of bed. He has been my rock. I feel like we pulled through the break up of my past 5-year relationship together, we learned to live on our own together, (and now I feel like a retard for being so sentimental about my dog as if he’s a person, but it is what it is). My ex gave me Otis as a gift. We were Mommy and Daddy. But we moved on. Together.

I’m proud of myself for getting over the heartbreak and learning to live on my own. It was rough. Extreme ups and downs. At times it felt like hell and boy was it a learning experience. One I’d never trade. One I’d do all over again.

I guess I’m just a little afraid to let it all end. Up until this point I’ve been nothing but excited about this move. Now me, true to form, rethink everything. I know the boy is afraid I’m going to back out. I know he is. I’m not going to. But I am afraid. I’m sad to say goodbye to the life I’ve created for myself, alone. Is it OK to be happy for my future but sad to say goodbye to my past?

Ugh, I just don’t want to say goodbye to my boy. Even temporarily. In my eyes, he represents so much to me. More than just a wrinkly cuddle bug and a cold, wet nose.

So tonight was my first setback. Question is, will it be my last?

August 10, 2009

Crunch time

It has finally hit me.

This week is officially my last week in my apartment. More importantly, this is my last week living alone. Time to say goodbye to my quiet, calm routine. No more just me and the pups.

Oh my gosh…it’s all really settling in.

Can’t deny the fact that I’m freaking out just a wee bit over the loss of all my precious “me” time. I realize I’m gaining a lot in the trade and I still will have time to myself. It’s just the changes that will occur with going from having lived alone for 3 years to living with someone, (and that someone being a guy) makes me slightly nervous.

Breathe Laura. Just breathe.

In honor of this revelation, I've done what I do best. That's right, I've created a list.

Things that will not change just because I am moving in with my boyfriend and quite possibly fear his judgment:

  • Eating cereal at night and sometimes for dinner. And not just any cereal, sugary, bad-for-me cereal like my favs: Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Pebbles and Honey Nut Cheerios.
  • Watching cheesy movies on ABC Family on the weekends.
  • Having a window near me slightly open even though the air conditioning is on just because I like to feel a natural breeze.
  • Singing to the dogs. Most of which are songs I’ve made up.
  • Stopping at Target on the way home from work at least 2-3 times a week because I “need” something. I just do!
  • Listening to my “All time FAViPod mix which consists of embarrassing songs from the 80s, some Disney tunes and a lot of Dirty Dancing and Grease tracks.
  • Macaroni and Cheese and chicken fingers for dinner on nights I’m lazy and just want to eat what I want to eat.
  • Running in the AM - no boy will keep me in bed! (OK, sometimes).
  • Taking the dogs on daily walks even though I now would have the luxury of a fenced in yard. They need their walks.
  • Popping in old Sex and The City episodes and sometimes the movie whenever I see fit.
  • Listening to old school hip hop and ghetto rap while I get ready to go out. And if I’m being honest, dancing a bit in the process.
  • Visiting the library more than any normal person should and at times emailing with my librarian.
  • Having the TV on mute while I read on the couch and sometimes have my iPod playing. Just because I can.
  • And finally, not because he’ll judge me but for me, I do not want to change the amount of time I spend with my girlfriends and on things I do for myself. May sound easy but it’s always been my biggest obstacle. In the past I’ve allowed boyfriends to become my whole world. Now, I’d like him to be a large part of it and keep my other parts in tact.

July 17, 2009

These are my confessions

I must confess, I’ve been keeping something from you my friends. This is probably already clear considering my cryptic previous post. Whelp, I'm here to shed a wee bit of light.

I’ve been seeing someone during my one-month hiatus and it just got serious. We’ve decided to move in together. We almost made the leap this time a year ago but I freaked out and renewed my lease at the last minute. Now, I’m so ready and so excited.

(My fear came from having lived with The Ex once before and it obviously not working out. Three years later, I’m over that fear. Not to mention, over The Ex ruling my life's decisions).

I’ve been living by myself for three years and I’ve loved it but I gotta admit, I’m excited to come home to someone, go grocery shopping with someone and just do nothing with someone. Guess that means I’m finally ready! Wish me luck!

July 15, 2009

When the Santa Ana winds blow

I once heard from a critically-acclaimed, timeless, classic movie that when the Santa Ana winds blow, anything can happen.

OK, maybe it was the star-studded cast of The Holiday, but hey, I love that movie and in my DVD library, it's a classic.

My point? I may be on the East Coast, but I'm willing to bet those winds are whipping up a storm over there. Pure clarity has entered my life and replaced the hoards of doubt. Drastic changes are occurring and I could not be happier about them.

Winds, just keep on blowing.

June 10, 2009


I'm not sure what's wrong with me, hell, I'm not sure if there is anything wrong with me. What I am sure of is the fact that I suck at relationships. If you can even call them that. Anything I'm involved in rarely makes it far enough to warrant the use of the label "relationship" because the second they start to resemble one I internally freak out and crawl into a hole until the other person, after much probing, is forced to retreat.

It wasn't always this way. I used to be that girl that was never single. Up until three years ago I was always in a relationship. Once upon a time I had to put in actual work to remain single and I never succeeded. Always I fell into another relationship.

OK, I've had "boyfriends" in the past three years, but they only acquired that label after I tired of fighting to apply it. I gave in. And even then those boyfriends were guys that came to me. That I just gave a shot because I felt like it was what I should've been doing. What the hell, why not, you know? People (and by people I mean friends, family, etc) would find comfort in the fact that I was moving on. I had someone. I wasn't just alone. I wasn't just stuck on him. On the ending of us. But the truth is, as much as I've dated and as many guys as I've been involved with, I've never been all in with any of them in the past three years. I've never been all about anyone. I haven't gotten excited about anyone. No one.

At times this upsets me because I feel like time is just flying by and I've been single for so long (though as I mentioned I haven't technically been single that long, but seriously, in my eyes I feel as though I have. I guess because the relationship I had three years ago lasted for five, we lived together, it was serious. I don't consider something a relationship unless it's serious). At times I worry I should be meeting people, be involved. At times I feel life is passing me by. At times I want to do all of those couple things.

The problem is, I have no interest in doing them with just anyone. I want to have high standards and high hopes from now on. No more settling for who happens to come to me.

Hence, the drought.

May 15, 2009

Stars align?

I love the house I grew up in. I lived there for 17 years before my parents moved and every memory of my childhood occured within those walls, among those trees, around that neighborhood. I had a great childhood, needless to say. I still, still to this day, am disappointed that my parents ever sold that house and moved. It broke my heart then and still pinches it a wee bit today. I've always said that if it went on the market, I’d buy it (somehow). The current owners were at my old neighbor's wedding and I even told them this...to let me know if they ever plan to sell. Well, that day has officially arrived.

I discovered last night that the house I grew up in just went on the market. As in this week. I had no idea it would happen seemingly so soon (though it has in fact been 10 years). I did not find out because the owners contacted me. I found out because the guy who has been in my life on and off for 13 years is house shopping and came across this gem. He knows how much I love that house (he knew me when I lived there) and how much I would love to own it.

So he wanted to let me know that today he was going to look into purchasing it in the hopes that I would live there with him and finally just settle down with him. This guy is a no nonsense guy so I know he’s doing it. Sure enough, I looked up the address myself this morning and there it was. For Sale.

In a strange way, or maybe an obvious way I’m not sure yet, I find it kind of romantic. I seem to be contemplating it.

Theeen the old me steps in and freaks the eff out. I’m just so intrigued to see how this unfolds…

May 14, 2009

Tool bag

So one of my exes from almost 9 years ago STILL randomly emails me. Get over it guy, right?

He’s one of those bad exes. The one that you learned the most from and by learn I mean you learned what you DON’T want. He’s the one you look back at and wonder why the eff you stayed with him for so long and then remember it was because you were young. You move on swearing to never do that again. You move on, but they never do.

So, I’m convinced he tracked down my email by first finding out where I work and then learning that our email addresses are simply our first and last names. You can find this ish out on the world wide web my friends. Easily.

He’s been sending me two-liner emails to my work address for the past 5 years. Once, he even invited me to Cancun, all expense paid. Please note, I lived with my then boyfriend of 4 years at the time. To that he said, “I can help you figure out something to tell what’s-his-name.” Yeah, he’s that guy.

So my last email from him was in February to which I did not respond. More often than not, I don’t. But this time I responded for my own selfish reasons.

See the thing is, he was an ass. And every time he was an ass he bought me something nice in an attempt to make up for it. You know his kind. His mom is/was the Vice President of a pretty big jewelry store around here so he got the hook up. For real. As did I. I have a piece of jewelry, watch, you name it for every time this tool effed up. And now? Whelp, the stuff is just no good to me. I don’t want it. (Well, most of it. I’m keeping the Movado watch, diamond stud earrings and diamond pendant because they never go outta style). But the rest? I’m trying to sell it for some cash.

When I ask around about where I should go to get the most bang for my buck (this stuff is good stuff and I’m not trying to get ripped off by one of those Cash 4 Gold joints), everyone names his mom’s jewelry store. I know that’s the best place to go but I’m not trying to stroll in there with stuff to sell, run into her and have to explain how I’m selling back all the stuff her son bought me. That’s just awkward.

Sooo, I nonchalantly responded to the message he sent me today asking if she still worked there and made up some story about how I had been needing to go in there and wanted to know if I should ask for her and say hello.

SCORE! She doesn’t. He just responded saying she was laid off 2 months ago. Damn. Then of course ended his note, in true fashion, “What do you need to go to a jewelry store for, a wedding ring?


May 7, 2009

I'm convinced: Johnny Castle cursed my love life.

I'm a child of the 80s so I grew up on this movie. Along with every other starry-eyed, optimistic, love-filled girl my age, (and I'm sure some boys), Dirty Dancing was my favorite movie.

My parents never bought VHS tapes when I was a kid but we were fully stocked with blank tapes and took full advantage of that record button on the VCR; scrambling to pop a tape in when a good movie started and then threatening the lives of anyone in the household should they even THINK about touching the clicker for at LEAST two hours. This particular VHS tape got a lot of air time. My friends and I reenacted the dance scenes. Or tried to. Who didn't try the lifts every summer in the pool? To this day I tear up when "She's Like the Wind" starts to play and Johnny pulls away, gravel flying. I still get giddy with goosebumps when he comes back and him and Baby show Kellerman's how it's done. Then I smile when Dr. Houseman apologizes to Johnny. OK, enough. We all know this is a timeless classic.

Then it hit me this weekend when my favorite station on TV, ABC Family, (don't judge) aired Dirty Dancing. I still have a huge crush on Johnny Castle. And he, my friends, is the culprit.

Johnny is the root of all my bad boy tendencies. I'm convinced. Growing up, Prince Charming did nothing for this girl. But Johnny, oh Johnny. He fights for Baby and even for Penny. Nobody talks smack about his girls and we all know nobody puts Baby in a corner. He breaks car windows with poles when he can't find his keys and drives too fast in the rain. He has interesting stories of how unfortunate he was as a kid and how he works so hard just to make ends meet. He's got depth. And he can move, oh man can he move. His body isn't so bad either.

Falling for Johnny Castle at the tender age of 7 or 8 really set me up for a lifetime of disappointment when it comes to guys and love. All throughout life the good guys have always bored me. They never held my attention for very long. I've always enjoyed a guy who's a little rough around the edges, who's got a story to tell and is willing to fight for me..sometimes literally. I can't help it, I like it. I need a little bit of edge to keep me interested. And you know who I blame? Johnny Castle.

But the problem is, Johnny is a bad boy with a good heart. He fights the bad guys for the right reasons. He wants to do good and he knows how to be respectful when he needs to be. Most importantly, he recognizes a good thing when he sees it and he isn't afraid. He doesn't let his ego get in his own way. And whelp, bad boys like him just don't exist in the real world.

Bad boys in the real world are just bad.

April 29, 2009

Free time = trouble

Fortunately for me there was an unfortunate water main break yesterday right by my building in the city in which I work. I got the call to turn around and go home when I was just halfway there. Our building was shutting down. It was a glorious day so needless to say I was pretty pumped for an unexpected day off. This white girl could use some sun and by a stroke of luck I scored a pretty sweet patch of afternoon sunlight right on my very own balcony. Visions of my beach chair, a glass of iced tea, a book and the pooch immediately flooded my mind. Ah.

How sweet it would be if these things could be planned though. I had gone to a baseball game after work the night before and stayed out pretty late. Sure would've been nice to sleep in. The game in itself was fabulous. I'm not a big baseball fan per say. Never do I catch a game on TV. But being there, the environment and all things-baseball related, I adore. Monday's game was picture perfect. Glorious weather, a hot dog and a beer, some peanuts, and front row seats at the third base line. No better way to watch a game...even if our team did lose.

In a perfect world the universe would have alerted me to my day off just prior to the moment I set my alarm to wake up the next morning. Oh well, we may not be able to have it all but I did have the day off and there are certain perks to having my butt up early and out the door before 9am. This girl can't nap so I was up. Period. Plenty of time to get things done.

Or plenty of free time to get myself into trouble?

First things first, I went home and changed then high-tailed it to the gym. During the day is my favorite time to hit up the gym...there's hardly anyone there. I had a great workout then went next door to Trader Joe's for some groceries including sushi for lunch. Love TJ's. Love.

So I went home and did a bunch of stuff around the apartment before making my fantasy into a reality by putting on my bathing suit and laying out in the afternoon sun with my book. Then, my phone rings. Adult crush.

Adult crush who I've talked to here and there since the ESP visit. Adult crush who had his first day at the police academy that day, also in the city, also let out early. What to do with our newly found free time? Well, it.

Yes, it. He came over and we stopped being friends who hung out and chatted. It had been 7 months since that had gone down between us. Yes, we've kissed since then but that's it. I'm not sure why it happened but I know that the second I told him he could come over, I knew it was going to.

I have no feelings of regret (yet). And maybe it's because the worst is over and I'm not looking for anything more from him. I have a very "whatever" attitude about it all. I'm single! Maybe it was the warm summer-like air. Or maybe, just maybe, this girl can't afford to have any unexpected day offs that equal free time to misbehave. Sure was fun though....

April 21, 2009

Everyone has ESP but me

I hadn't thought of you since you moved. Well, barely. OK, I've thought of you, but I definitely hadn't thought of calling you or talking to you. I simply thought of you fondly as being a part of my past. Finally.

So why do you bring yourself to my present JUST as I've finally accomplished this? You sense this little fact don't you?! You sense and must destroy.

I can't say no so I agree to get together to catch up. I let you come over after you get off work. You still work down the street even though you live much further away. I'm on your way home. All we do is talk and catch up. I thought for sure you'd mention how I hadn't attempted to keep in touch since you moved. I thought for sure you'd ask me about other guys like you always do. But you didn't. You just wanted to talk about what's been going on in each of our lives since you left. You were genuine. You've missed doing this with me, I can tell. We had one of those talks where it felt like so much time had gone by and so much had happened.

Then you stretch it into the next day...always trying to linger. You ask if you can stop by to take a shower after work before heading to the gym...it's on the way. Is that necessary? A shower before the gym? Probably not.


And I always allow you to.