“The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.”

If the title quote is true….and I believe it to be…does it count if I walk around with a (metaphorical) knife prepared to cut myself wide open at the drop of a hat? Or is it more that I should risk being cut open by someone/something else? I really need to know because the (metaphorical) knife I’ve been wielding lately has become cumbersome and I feel may be scaring people away.

Have you ever found yourself surrounded by a group of people, people who you care deeply about, people who you are pretty sure care about you, and felt completely alone? I had that happen this evening. Friday nights have become something I look forward to lately as a group of us get together and play darts. Tonight was special in that it was one fella’s birthday and I had my own darts that I bought today. All signs would lead to this being a stellar evening.

After my partner and I were eliminated in the first round of the draw…although we gave our opponents a run for their money and I LOVE my darts, the evening took a turn, at least in my mind. I wasn’t really drinking tonight…which is probably why I was so AWARE of things. I felt as though I had become invisible. I would make comments on occasion and try to chat with those around me, but my words seemed to fall on deaf ears. It was like they were looking right through me. Once it was determined that my partner and I were completely out of the draw, I closed my tab and packed up my things. For some reason, as I was saying good-bye, everyone had something to say to me. There were attempts to get me to stay, pleas for me to hang out for just one more beer, etc….But it was too late. I already felt on the outside looking in and no invitation to come in would be enough. In order for me to have stayed there I would have had to had many many drinks very very quickly and I didn’t trust myself to be responsible as the end of the night arrived. I didn’t trust that anyone there would have helped me be responsible either. I felt that if I stuck around more, nothing good would happen.

Had this taken place a year ago, I would have cried uncontrollably the second I left the bar and had a total freak out. With the aid of certain chemicals and a general better outlook on life, I was able to walk away from the situation and chalk it up to not being my night.

You know what really stinks about this whole night? I can trace so much of my angst back to boys. I am so friggin’ tired of having my happiness or lack thereof tied to the males of the species. I mean seriously!!! It is simply not healthy. I would like it if, sometime soon, the planets could align and I would like a guy the same time he likes me. What tends to happen is that I like them, they don’t get it, I get over it and then they like me. Or…and this is much more rare….they like me, I don’t get it, they give up on me and then I like them. It is just so stupid. It’s so juvenile. I love the chase as much as the next girl. I can play hard to get–and deserve an Oscar since I am anything but. But I really don’t want to have to chase or be chased. I want to fall into a comfortable relationship where I don’t feel like I need to read between the lines or anticipate what is coming next. I want to be confident enough in myself in a relationship that I can be confident in him as well. I want someone to hold my hand.

I want someone that I would SO risk being completely cut open for, but know that they never would.

Damn you Chuck Palahniuk and your quotable ass!!!

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Only Child’s Dilemma?

I must preface this with the following: I am, in general, very happy in my life. I want for little (other then silly, expensive things that would only stress me out to own), I have wonderful friends, a job I love and feel as though I am taken care of (in a universal sense). However, there seems to be something missing.

Growing up an only child (an only child of divorce no less!) I was used to being the center of attention. While I can still be the center of my parents’ attention….it doesn’t really count anymore. At this point in my life I feel like I am a guest star in a few folks’ world, even occasionally a SPECIAL guest star, but I am not a regular. I’m not a permanent fixture in any group of friends. I’m not the first person anyone calls about much of anything. I’m feeling sort of “island” like…and I don’t like it.

This time of year brings out all kinds of odd issues like this for me.  I come from a small family, no matter how far you extend the family tree, there simply aren’t many of us. If you include the people I actually KNOW…even smaller. People I actually LIKE is a VERY small number. Yet, somehow, I feel like I want to be close to these people this time of year.

Of course, this issue instantly brings to mind the lack of a “special someone” in my life.  Why, oh why, does this pop up in nearly every “issue” that arises in my life. I want to say that I am too independent to be in a relationship. I want to say that I am happiest when I am alone. I want to say that I couldn’t care less if I ever find someone who wants to spend endless hours with me learning the random things that make up my history, telling me the random things that make up his history and creating new random stories that will be OUR history together. But that is all a big stinkin’, festering lie. I see myself being attracted to people merely because I think they are more likely to be attracted to me—-usually because I feel like they have lowered their standards.  I flirt with boys that I find truly attractive or interesting and the second they respond, I clam up.

I see so many of my friends in relationships, healthy and otherwise and I compare myself to them. I look for what it is about them that makes them be chosen by someone else and not me. It’s a horrible thing to do, never compare yourself to someone else, but it’s hard not to. 

I’m just kind of spinning here, and I know it. Perhaps the man of my dreams isn’t hanging out at the sort of scary yet fun place we played darts on Friday? Perhaps he’s at the East Nashville dog park, not the Centennial Park one?  Maybe he’s at one of the shows that I can always talk myself out of going to alone? Maybe he’s down the hall from my office?  I don’t know where he is, but I refuse to give up hope that he is indeed out there.

So there.

A Busy Mind

This time of year is always interesting. It seems like there is so much more going on and so many more things to do, people to see, etc.

It all makes for a busy, busy mind. From my dad’s b-day to New Year’s Eve, it’s a series of events and functions, multiple December b-days, including my own, holiday parties, excuses for friends to get together, and other random things that pop up out of nowhere.

For example, I have a baby shower to go to this weekend. I’m actually really excited about this shower–which is odd for me. The mom to be is a dear person who will be a super cool mom. Over the past year she has become a pretty cool addition to my life.  It is odd to think that just a year ago she was dating a friend of mine and I hardly knew her. My friend is NOT the father of the baby–although I am friends with the father. I adore both of them and can’t wait for that little boy they made to grace us with his presence.

I was invited to a birthday party this weekend also—yeah, I’m popular.  This one has a “Dallas” theme–the TV show. I adore the birthday girl. Her boyfriend is one of the best guys I know. The only thing that is making me wonder if I will go to this party (other then the idea of busting out some shoulder pads) is that I don’t know who else will be there.  I’m thinking a “former friend” of mine will. I will admit….it intimidates me.  He and I used to be like peanut butter and jelly–always together.  I actually met the birthday girl through him.  Now, we don’t speak. Lots of things happened. I’ve tried to make some peace, it hasn’t been acknowledged. We’re civil to each other–but that is about it.  There are so many things I’d like to talk to him about. Our shared interest in the movie “Once.” What he thought of the new Bob Dylan movie. How the hell he’s doing in general. But I need to get over thinking that will happen. Even my relationships with gay men get complicated!!!! So, do I go to this party, by myself, armed only with shoulder pads and big hair and try to be enough of a social butterfly that I make new friends? Or do I stay at home simply because I am afraid of an old friend?

There is also the subject of my work crush.  I was out of the office all last week and he is out this week and next.  So sad. All I have to remember him by right now is how he put his arm around me and playfully punched my shoulder when I told him I hated some copy he wrote (I didn’t know he wrote it when I said I hated it….but I do hate it). I looked him straight in the eyes and I’m telling you, we lingered there a tad too long. I can make something like that last for three weeks…..but did he even notice.

I’m telling you, my mind is a mess. I need to go Christmas shopping—although I have no idea what I’m getting anyone. I need to get a haircut, although I want a new hairdresser and have no idea what I want done. I need to go get my tags renewed, but I don’t want to take my lunch time to drive to Green Hills. I need to get a super cute outfit for my b-day, but I have no idea what that could be.

We won’t even go into the pile of papers on my desk or the decorating I need to do to my office.

Is this REALLY the most wonderful time of the year?

Work crush update

In the last 24 hours, the following have been witnessed by my work crush.

  • Me, meowing like a cat while holding my hair up in two ponytails during last night’s storms. If he had walked in two minutes earlier, it would have been funny, not sad/scary/disturbing.
  • Me, calling my friend who had an unfortunate incident in the ladies room earlier today, “Pee Butt” in a somewhat loud voice.
  • Me, hiking up my jeans before they showed my panties to all in the hall. Of course, he was the only one in the hall and all that was said was “Hey Heather, they have these things called belts. They’re kinda cool.” My response to this was to smile a doofy grin and pick up my pace a bit.
  • Me, upon walking into the kitchen and seeing that no one had thought to make more coffee after finishing the pot, saying “POOP!” quite loudly. THEN, while getting coffee out of the cupboard, before I could even do anything, I hear “OOOO, stripes, perhaps the belt isn’t for you.” I turned red, tried to act cool, hit the “start brew” button and  watched while a few tablespoons of coffee fell to the floor before I realized that I needed to replace the pot.

Seriously, I think I may have some sort of condition. It may require professional help. Or maybe I need to start drinking at work, then at least I would have an excuse for my behavior.

Oh dear!

Well, it looks like I’ve done it again. I’ve gone and gotten myself all crushing on a co-worker. Don’t bother shaking your head at me, I’m doing it myself. Sure, the last few days I’ve been attracted to nearly every male to cross my path…but this fella has been popping up in my thoughts for longer then the hormone fairies have been in town. He is also affecting the way I act at work….WHY?!?!?

A couple of weeks ago I was in a meeting and caught myself starting some witty banter with him. That self-realiztion resulted in my becoming suddenly mute. Later that day he came to my office to ask me a question and I was pretty much acting as though I had some sort of impediment that prevented me from communicating like a normal human being. His response to my actions, “You’re having an ‘off’ day aren’t ya?” THANK GOD he didn’t think this was normal for me.

On Halloween I took the holiday as the opportunity to wear a tiara. In a small meeting I was asked if I was a princess….my response “I’m the princess of (my dept) god dammit!” This was said with all the attitude I had in me. I think I even did a neck roll sort of thing. In the midst of the giggling of the other two people in the office with me, I look up to see HIM, in the doorway, not at all sure what to make of what he has walked in to. Damn I’m cool.

Last week I agreed to be at a before work hours meeting because he was going to be there. Bastard didn’t show up….he was running late. I’m sorry, but one shouldn’t run late when I’m having a good hair day AND am wearing my favorite sweater (which isn’t super lovely, but has some sort of magic power that makes me super cool in it).

He walks past my office and my stomach gets weird.

He stands in the hallway outside my office talking to someone else and I shut off my music and eavesdrop.  I mean, sure, he’s talking about the ad shoot for a new client, but I anticipate the conversation being something like “Sure, we can use that director. I mean, I totally have the hots for Heather, so I’m sure he’d do a great job.”  I’m paraphrasing of course.

During an agency meeting when he is giving a presentation about some recent work, I found myself staring at him, even when he was not speaking. I’m pretty sure I got caught a couple of times.  My eyes were so glassed over at the lack of excitement in the meeting that I couldn’t divert my attention very much. I seriously should teach classes on how to be smooth!

Popped into a gathering this morning and he was there. I think I answered all the questions asked of me, but I knowthat his hair looks soft today and that the jeans and black shirt combo works.

What am I thinking?  What good can come of this?  He’s totally older then I am…sure, probably in the range of age I SHOULD be attracted to, but still. His pants are usually too short and sometimes, oh my, I hate to even say this, PLEATED!  But he likes Modest Mouse. He’s good with words. He has nice teeth (and he smokes…so that’s saying something). I’ve started to associate songs with him. He’s got a beard….which is such a “thing” for me these days. I’m pretty sure he’s single and unattached.

Oh hell, office crushes are fun. I’ve already picked out a few places that would be great for a “rendez vous” or a little afternoon delight. Let’s hope I don’t get a glass front on my office…. I’m just saying.

Once

I just got home from seeing the movie Once . If any of the following things ring true to you, RUN to see this movie, drive a couple of hours if you have to:

  • You are a sucker for a musician
  • Stories of unrequited love speak to you
  • Irish accents, even when impossible to understand, make you smile
  • The process of making music might as well be magic
  • You never give up hope
  • You want to bring happiness to people, even if it isn’t in the exact way YOU would like them to be happy

Seriously, I LOVED this movie. If I had seen this on a date, I can’t even imagine how the rest of the night had been, but I guarantee I wouldn’t be writing this right now. I saw it with my Dad. He paid AND bought me killer chicken fingers afterwards. He liked the movie OK, but wasn’t as enamored as I was. He was irritated that a movie so focused on music had three basic songs that were played over and over. I get that. Life is like that, three songs, played over and over, each time the words take on new meanings and importance. I SO get it. There is also the aspect of unrequited love and words unspoken. The male lead kind of throws it all out on the table early on in the movie, but it’s out of a kind of desperation, a desperation you feel when you first meet someone and they make you happier then you have been in awhile and you might say things because you fear you will never get another chance to say them. It’s an honest desperation. As the film progresses, he says less and less in words, but the desperation never leaves. It starts to invade the movie-goer’s stomach and draws you even further into this simple, sweet, complicated story.

I can’t even begin to go into how much I enjoyed this film and how it seemed to take over my being while I was watching it. I can, however, discuss how it made me think about some things in my life, mostly (this is a big shocker) boys.

Things I wish I hadn’t done (situations that involved boys I’ve liked only) :

  • A dubious (drunken) hook-up with someone that I knew better then to hook up with
  • Getting so drunk in front of them that I could not stand up
  • Being the first to pull away when we hug
  • Drunken texts (um–I’m sensing a pattern here–perhaps my issues are with alcohol more then boys)
  • Slinking out after a night of sharing the same bed (totally platonicly) when they  snuggled up to me
  • Not realizing how wonderful a person they are  for so long

Things I want to say or do every time I see a boy I like (and know):

  • Hug them so long that my arms go numb
  • Bury my face in their neck and take in their smell
  • Tell them that I think that we have a lot of fun together and that we could have even more and know that this would be only an addition to our relationship
  • Not look away when they look at me in the eyes and I fear they can read my mind
  • Be myself, silly and stupid and even smart sometimes and know that it won’t change they way they think of me in any way but a positive way
  • Grab their ass
  • Rub their shoulders
  • Put my hands on their face and just look at them
  • Countless other things that I won’t let myself do

The end of “Once” was quite ambiguous. I have already come up with about 10 scenarios as to what happened next. My life these days has been quite ambiguous also, but I have only a couple of good endings for that.

Scene

int: Semi-crowded bar, night.  The post trivia crowd has started to dissipate, but the air is still charged from the marriage proposal that all had just witnessed. A girl, brown hair, cute top, huge smile and stomach ache from the evening’s laughter is deciding if she is ready to leave or not. She looks across the table at the boy, dark hair and eyes and a sly smile, who consumes her thoughts as of late.

Girl:

I think I’m going to head out

Boy:

(extends hand in a gesture that is asking for “five”) Be good, be safe.

Girl:

(gives him “five” but grabs his hand and uses it to pull herself closer)

I can’t leave without a hug.

Boy:

(Pulls girl tight and squeezes, pulling her face into the crook of his neck where she becomes intoxicated with his smell)

But I might not let go.

Girl:

Would that be so bad?

(She looks up from where she is buried in his neck into his sweet, happy eyes)

Boy:

(shrugs and pulls her back in to him)

Girl:

Uh, well, some of us have to work tomorrow…….

ext: girl finds herself walking down the street to her car wondering WHAT THE FUCK HER PROBLEM IS!!!

Failed attempts at eloquence

I have the urge to write tonight.

I want to write lovely words.

Thoughtful words.

Words to inspire.

Words that reflect who I am and who I want to be.

However, the only thoughts that come to mind are the fact that involve a “trip to South America” (aka, the horrors of a Brazillian wax) and the fact that I enjoy “playing the skin flute” and would like to have a recital soon.  Really, it’s true, all thoughts seem to be about genitals, mine as well as others.  Access to them, conditions of them, fun with them.  I’m usually not one to focus so much on the “nether regions” but this seems to be the theme for the day as of late.  It may be out of sexual frustration or some hormonal surge.  It may be that I am turning into a teenage boy.  I don’t know what it is or where it came from. I don’t really care that these thoughts consume my mind, but it is simply hard to be an intellectual when all you can think of is “cooch-a-nannies” and “joysticks.”

Mature….I know.

Viva La Reckless!

I would never be able to call any musician or band my absolute favorite…but if I had a gun to my head the first band that would come to mind (and would be pretty much as close to the truth as I could come to answering that question) would be Reckless Kelly.

My first time seeing them was at the dreaded Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.  A room where you can’t talk without being rudely “shushed” and where “rocking out” is not on the menu!  But it didn’t matter. I loved them about 2 minutes into the set. It doesn’t happen very often with me, to have an instant connection to a band that I have no real prior knowledge of.  But it happened that night.  I knew off the bat that these guys were the real deal. That they LOVED what they do.  That they have a good time with each other. That the lead singer is T-R-O-U-B-L-E!  All of this was before I even realized that there were brothers in the band. I am a sucker and a half for bands with brothers in them. Not sure why…but oy!  Those Braun genes got some good mojo and I was instantly a fan. That was in 2004.

2005 saw my love for them move into “superfan” world….sort of. They played a show on Feb. 13 here in Nashville at Third and Lindsley.  It was two days before “Wicked Twisted Road” was coming out, but I had already procured an advance copy.  Micky and the Motorcars (yet ANOTHER Braun brother band) opened and it was a much more rocking, much more “Reckless” show. If there was any question I was hooked…that question was answered when I came out of the ladies room, ran into Cody (whom I had briefly met earlier) and he gave me a hug and asked if I liked the show. Hugs from musicians are pretty much like crack to me.  Add to that the fact that he seemed to genuinely be concerned that I enjoyed the show and it was all over. I was Reckless to the core.

The rest of 2005 was amazing. I saw them 9 times in 5 different states. I got to know Cody better and meet the rest of the band.  I learned all their songs, even favorite covers. I made friends with other fans. It was great! Becoming a RK fan is like joining a family….it’s pretty amazing.

2006 wasn’t nearly as Reckless a year.  I only saw them play once, although it was THE show to be at, the live recording at La Zona Rosa.  I was in Austin for a total of 16 hours that trip. I ended up at the infamous “Shed” after the show where I stayed and had one of the best times of my life until about 5:45 AM when I had to go catch my flight home.  That year definitely goes into the “quality vs. quantity” world.

2007, in the life of me, opened with a bang. I got a new job, a new dog and an email from Cody that the band was coming through town on the way to a show and inviting me to hang out.  They did, I did, a GREAT time was had by all.  It wasn’t as wonderful as a show, but time with the Brauns is always good.  This brings us to this past weekend. It took them over 2 years, but those boys got themselves back to Nashville to play a show.  They were playing the Exit/In, a venue they had played countless times.  I got my tickets early, just in case and started counting the days. Once I was able to buy milk that had an expiration date after the date of the show I started getting REALLY excited.

Saturday night arrived and I could hardly contain myself.  As we’re waiting in line it was announced that the show is sold out!  While a part of me was thrilled and oh so proud, I was concerned about the friend I had with me who didn’t have a ticket.  Luckily the guy working the door likes me and he let her in.  Then the real excitement began.  The opener, Stoney LaRue, was good.  He even has the same mouth as the boy who has me twitterpated. But, unfortunately for him, he only represented an obstacle between me and my Reckless boys. His set ended and the torture truly began.

The period of time between the opener and their set was like excruciating foreplay.  You’re all hyped up and excited and feeling good, but dammit all to hell, you just want to get down to business. After maybe 40 minutes of this, on walked the band! For lack of a better word, and to keep with the metaphor of sex, the next two hours were like the best sex ever. The best sex ever with LOTS of orgasms! I didn’t care about the drunk girl next to me who looked like she was going to puke at any time. I didn’t care that I was sweating like a crazy person. I didn’t care about anything except those 5 boys on stage and the music they were making. I get completely mesmerized by them.

After the show I got to briefly hang out with Cody before my hunger and tiredness forced me to go home.  That time with him was like post-coital snuggling.  Lots of smiles and happy talking and praise for performance.  Promises that this needs to happen again, sooner rather then later, and lack of desire to leave each others presence.

When I finally woke up on Sunday, I was still smiling. My hair smelled of the smoke from the show and I wasn’t quite ready to get rid of it. I didn’t want to wash the stamp off my hand that had allowed me to drink. I didn’t want to forget any minute of the show. I wanted to live the night all over again.

I feel sorry for people who never feel this way about a band, or anything. An all encompassing thrill derived from watching someone doing what they love and supporting and appreciating every second of it.  I feel sorry for people who never know how much a band they loves appreciates them, let alone gets to hear it first hand. Mostly I feel sorry for me because I don’t know when my next Reckless Kelly show is going to be.

Not really, there’s no crying in Reckless-land!

VIVA LA RECKLESS!!!!!

A Brief Accounting

Here is a brief list of my faults, issues, and confessions. There is no way in the universe that I would ever be able to list all of them, but here are the ones that seem to be causing me the most trauma lately.

  • I fear commitment
  • I fear being lonely
  • I like the wrong boys for the wrong reasons
  • I have big pores
  • I have a tendency to want people to like me so much that I don’t actually let them get to know the “real” me
  • I feel too much
  • I think too much
  • I eat chips and dip for breakfast sometimes
  • I don’t always brush my teeth twice a day
  • I wear my contacts for days on end when I am not supposed to
  • I love my pets too much
  • I REALLY love my dog too much
  • I’m self-centered
  • I can be self-destructive
  • I take insults well
  • I take compliments horribly
  • I don’t speak up for injustice because I still believe that people are doing the best they can with the information they have at the time
  • I have no tolerance for stupidity
  • When people say “Do what?” instead of “pardon me” “what was that?” or even “huh?” I want to scream
  • I bite my fingernails
  • I don’t like to clean my kitchen
  • I rarely put away my laundry
  • My good intentions outnumber my good deeds exponentially
  • I expect return phone calls
  • I have no problem sleeping with someone on the first date
  • I have dozens of pairs of shoes and handbags
  • There are 5 handbags in my possession that I have never used
  • I let my dog kiss me on the mouth (mouth closed!)
  • I’m easily entertained
  • I’m easily discouraged
  • I start lots of things that I never finish
  • I get ridiculously happy in the presence of musicians
  • I fear clowns, little people and lawn work
  • I put on a brave face when I want to cry
  • I spent so much of my life trying to not talk too loud that I now get accused of talking too softly
  • I sleep in my clothes more often then anyone with an actual home and actual pajamas should
  • I still believe in fairytales
  • If it wouldn’t make me sick I would only eat appetizers and desserts and only drink Tropicana Light Lemonade or Vodka Tonics
  • I like to get drunk….even if I sometimes fall down
  • I have a list of boys that I want to “lick from head to toe”–it’s a VERY short list and easier to get off then get on
  • I have a freakishly short tongue
  • Sometimes I would rather sit at home alone on Saturday night then go out with actual people
  • If I stay at home alone on Saturday night instead of going out with actual people, I will be pissed at myself about it on Sunday
  • I still draw on myself from time to time, but now I call it “tattoo research”
  • I want better cleavage
  • I rarely make my bed
  • I can’t find the right lipstick color
  • I need something to wear to the agency anniversary party
  • I’m more excited about the open bar at the anniversary party than Ricky Skaggs performing
  • I need a date to the anniversary party—ok, I don’t NEED one, I want one, one particular one.
  • I obsess over boys
  • I quote song lyrics a LOT!
  • I have an oral fixation
  • I want to go canoeing again, with pretty much the same exact people and a whole bucket full of new knowledge
  • I need new panties
  • I have bouts of insomnia and bouts of “whatever you call it when all you do is sleep, but not because you are depressed or physically exhausted”
  • I’m not participating in “Hands on Nashville Day” because I don’t want to be too tired to raise hell with my buddies Reckless Kelly that night
  • I still haven’t finished Harry Potter book 4 and it’s making me want to abandon the series all together
  • I’m tired of listing my faults