Baby fever……kind of.

Little Miss Jane is finally here and I cannot wait to meet her and kiss her chubby cheeks and play with her chubby feet and bask in the general glory that is new life.

It has dawned on me that the true heroes in this world are mothers. I know my mom is my hero and a lot of my friends would say the same about their moms. Seriously, you bring a life into this world, love it, take care of it, deal with it being a little asshole….all the while thinking it’s the most perfect thing ever. That is some heroic stuff right there.

For the early part of my life I never doubted I would have kids. At least a couple (only children are weird–I can say that, I’m an only child). After some dubious years in my early twenties, I then started wondering if I really wanted kids. I knew that if I wasn’t sure, I shouldn’t have kids. For the ten years since I decided that it would be ok if I didn’t want kids, I vascilated between never wanting kids and wanting nothing more then kids. Yes, it can be exhausting being me.

After a surgery a few years ago that took an ovary and a fallopian tube, I started facing the fact that having a child might be more difficult (although Jane is proof that one ovary is all you need) and I thought more about whether I wanted to have a baby or be a mother. Most people would think that these things go hand in hand, but I disagree. I don’t think that not actually “birthing” a child makes the act of being a mother any less heroic. Plus, I’m single (oh so single), have that one ovary and know that there are lots of kids out there who just want/need to be loved.

I often feel like I have to much love to give, or not enough people to give it to (again, it’s exhausting being me!) and while no one grows up playing “Adoptive Single Mother House”….the idea keeps churning around my head. I mean, there is no way I would think of adopting a child right now….but perhaps in the not too distant future? I’d like to think that I would be willing to adopt an older child, and maybe I would. But if I had my way, I would get a baby. Some new litle person who I could use to prove that nurture can beat out nature from time to time. A little person who knows me as mom, not because I carried them for 9 months inside of me, but because I love them unconditionally and forever.

Of course, I type all of this while really looking forward to having alcholic beverages on a patio this evening, then sleeping a good portion of tomorrow and taking Noodle to the dog park. What am I thinking? I mean really, what kind of fool am I to think that my selfish lifestyle could go away just because I feel like my life will mean nothing if I’m not a mother?

Have I mentioned it’s exhausting being me?

Advertisements

Lone Star state of mind

Texas, you big beautiful state you!

Texas has been a part of my life since before I was born. It’s part of family lore that my paternal grandparents missed my birth because my grandpa was afraid they would hit freezing rain in Missouri on their way to their winter home in South Padre Island Texas. I would bet that they day she died, my grandmother was still pissed about that. I would also guarantee that if he had it to do over again, my grandfather would not have risked freezing rain in Missouri.

Shortly after I was born my grandparents moved to Padre permanently. Sure, I never knew what it was like to have grandparents live in the same town as me, but they lived on a freakin’ island!! How cool is that.  Back in the day there wasn’t much to do at Padre, but I never noticed.  They lived less then a block from the beach and when I was there…which was often…the vast majority of my time was spent on the beach, in the gulf or in the swimming pools at the small condo buildings that lined the beach. Seriously, it was an idyllic experience.

Around the age of 6 I started spending long summers in Padre. Sometimes I flew, by myself–such a big girl, but more often then not I was driven down. My dad and I would hop in whatever vehicle he had at the time and set out for a two day trip that only went through two states. Usually we would stop in Dallas and see a family friend who lived there. I’d swim in the pool or we’d go to another friend’s house for brisket or some other such Texas fare. Then early the next day we would take the long drive to the Island.

I love all the small towns in Texas. They are all so different but are all so similar and are all so….Texas. There was a Dairy Queen we would stop at in some tiny town.  There I would just sit and people watch, even at six, and wonder what it was like to live in such a small town. Sure, Edmond Oklahoma is hardly a booming metropolis, but our streets were streets, not farm roads.  We would drive through King Ranch….which takes forever….and then soon we were in the Rio Grande Valley. So many little random business and so much agriculture. I’ve been a lot of places in this country and none are anything like the RGV. Once I started seeing seashell shops, I knew we were close. We would take that drive along the super tall causeway and I was once again home, or at least in my home away from home. My grandparents and parents would talk shit about Texans and how they acted like Texas was the be all end all, but secretly I think they sort of agreed.  My grandma had a decorative plate that had two angels on it and one of them had a speech bubble over it’s head that said, “And if we are very good, we will go to Texas!”  I have all of her plates…but that one is missing. I so wish I had that plate.

Once I moved to California in 1985, trips to Texas became fewer and further between. Plus I was a teenager and let’s face it, teenagers suck and don’t appreciate anything at the time.  When my grandparents moved to Florida around 1994, my trips to Texas ended. I didn’t even knew I missed them until…

September 2005.  While the gulf coast was still reeling from Hurricane Katrina and anticipating Hurricane Rita, I was on my way to the Austin City Limits festival. When I stepped off the plane in Austin, my love for Texas came flooding back. The smell of breakfast tacos, the live music, sharing a plane with Ray Benson and wishing him luck on getting to the festival on time for his slot. It all was perfect. I dropped my stuff off at the hotel, grabbed a cab to Zilker park and I was off. The natural beauty in Texas isn’t easy for some to appreciate. I, however, am truly enchanted by it.  The scrubby mesquite just standing there against the heat and wind. The long stretches of land untouched by “civilization.” All of it resonates inside of me like few other places I’ve ever been. Austin has the lovely Town Lake, the refreshing Barton Springs and so many trails and byways that it’s easy to forget you are in a city. I spent the next three days sweating and breathing dirt and loving my life more then I knew I could. I didn’t eat, I drank water. I took long showers in the evening to remove the mass quantities of soil that seemed embedded in my flesh. I loved it all. It probably didn’t hurt that the first night we were there my favorite band, Reckless Kelly, was playing at Threadgill’s across the street from my hotel.  I’m not usually one to go solo to a show, but I couldn’t miss it and my traveling companion thought slee sounded like a better option. Then I remembered, you’re never alone at a Reckless Kelly show because RK fans are all friends you just haven’t met yet. Sure, the members of the band aren’t FROM Texas, but the heart of the band is from Texas and that all worked out well in my mind.  The next night I had, what I consider, the ultimate Texas evening. Drove down to New Braunfels in the darkest of nights, ate dinner overlooking the Guadalupe river and saw Reckless Kelly at Gruene Hall. Sweet Jesus, I’ve never been a churchgoer, but if church made me feel like that night did, I would be up bright and early every Sunday morning. Of course, Reckless Kelly doesn’t see many early Sunday mornings, so I think I can keep sleeping in.

My next trio to Texas was for SXSW. Lifechanging trip. Ate the best BBQ of my life at Kreuz’s. Had more fun then should be allowed by law. It was confirmed on this trip that Texas had played and continued to play a huge role in my life.

I’ve only been back once since SXSW in 2006 and that was for a Reckless Kelly live cd recording, obsessed? me? surely you jest!  I was there for 16 hours, but what I 16 hours it was. I made friends that night that I still keep in touch with. We were all part of something super special that night…and I don’t think it could have happened anywhere but Texas.

Lately I’ve been NEEDING to go back. Sure, my best friend since first grade had a baby 8 months ago that I haven’t seen in Chicago. Sure, I never visit my family in Florida. But dammit all to hell I need to go to Texas.  I need to breathe that thick air. I need to shop for random things, and cowboy boots!, in Austin.  I need to drink crappy beer and good liquor with some of the most fun people on the planet.  I need to sit in Zilker park and just think. I need to sit on Town Lake  and drink coffee at Mozarts. I need to roam the stacks in Waterloo. I need some Lone Star time.

I guess I’m kind of a lone star myself. But I hope that, much like Texas, with it’s quiet strength, that there is a nobility with me being a lone star. Texas isn’t about the jerks who act like when you cross out of the state line you lose any reason for living.  Texas is about knowing that when you cross into Texas, you are crossing into a special, stark, beautiful, lush and dry land that has endless opportunities and room for endless heartache.

Don’t mess with Texas! 🙂

Solitary Freedom

or “This is why Heather doesn’t like to go out much these days”

For at least 86% of my life I have been single.  I’m an only child. I’ve had a select few relationships that lasted more then a couple of weeks. It would seem that flying solo would be my forte. In some ways, it is.

However, at 35, the idea of hitting the town alone doesn’t hold the same allure it might say, in college, etc… I’m not talking about going to a bar alone or things like that, never been my thing. I’m talking about driving alone to a venue, walking in alone, meeting up with some friends and then ultimately going home alone.

Being alone at home is one thing. Being alone in public is a whole other world. Walking from my car to the door of a bar, restaurant, what have you is like ‘Dead Girl Walking’, for me anyway.

“Will anyone I know be there already or will I be forced to sit alone trying to not stare at the door hoping it’s a friendly face?”

“What if everyone decided to cancel and no one told me?”

‘Did I get the time right?”

“What if everyone has been there for awhile and could care less that I show up?”

“What if there isn’t a chair for me and I have to go searching for one or stand there like an idiot”

I could go on and on with the questions that go through my head at this point. I can say that I’ve never turned around and gone home at this point, but I’ve been tempted…..

The actual social event is usually fine. I vascilate between being super social to being super quiet….rarely entering the grey area between. Since my days of getting falldown drunk are basically behind me, there comes a time in the evening when I start thinking about going home.

“Do I want to be the first to go home?”

“Do I want to be the last to go home?”

“Should I wait to leave with someone else so I can kind of ‘sneak’ out?”

“Can I convince someone to leave at the same time so the ‘being alone’ doen’t start immediately?”

Again, there are a million other questions that go through my anxious little mind. I used to get really drunk so someone would either have to drive me home or let me stay at their place….healthy huh? Sometimes I stay sober so I can leave early, as though I feel superior for not getting silly drunk, and then hear about everything I missed later. It wears me out.

The loneliest I ever feel is driving home after being with friends.  Their voices ring in my ears. I think of witty things I should have said. I cringe at stupid things I said but shouldn’t have. I secretly wish that someone will call me and invite me back out or just want to keep talking to me. Pitiful much?

So, there is a little insight into why I go into hermit mode from time to time. It’s so much harder to be a single, never married 35 year old woman then I ever imagined. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy with the vast majority of my life. But sometimes, just sometimes, the loneliness I feel is beyond explanation.

Ok, no more pity party, back to our regular programming.

THIS single girl’s guide to gay boys

First off, I call all males boys, regardless of age, sexual orientation, etc.

It has been said that gay boys have an affinity for me. I seem to draw them to me. Perhaps I look safe, a port in the storm, if you will. Maybe they can just tell that I think they are fabulous and funny and great in general. Are there invisible words on my forehead that tell them that I don’t judge? Do I give off a serious ‘Straight, not narrow” vibe?  Whatever it is, I like it.

I’ve been watching “Queer as Folk” on DVD lately and it makes me love the gay boys even more. I admire their ability to live complex lives in a society that doesn’t understand, much less accept them in so many ways. I love watching the characters interact with one another in a way that heterosexuals, regardless of gender, simply don’t do.  For example, on an episode I watched last night, one of the guys (guy 1) said to another one( guy 2, whom guy 1 happens to have a horrible crush on) that they were bonded to each other because neither one believes they deserve to be loved. Those words are still resonating in my ears. Straight girls would never admit that to each other. At least, I would never admit that to another straight girl. That’s the thing with gay boys, so much of their lives is considered “wrong” by society that they don’t feel the need to cover things up between themselves…..sometimes.

Watching these DVDs has made me realize a couple of things about the gay boys in (or formally in as the case may be) in my life.  A couple of weeks ago, one of my best work friends moved to Dallas. I am still somewhat in denial about this, but have almost come to the conclusion that he is really gone and that he is not coming back. I gave into this reality when I noticed how quiet my days have become. How I have no one to talk about celebrity gossip with anymore. How Project Runway isn’t as exciting without the re-cap conversation the next morning. How, in general, my days are not nearly as good as they were when he was here.

But, he is a gay boy, and as I have learned the hard way, they get over things like that much faster then I do. Which brings me to the relationship failure that has perhaps affected me most in life. See, I have a gay ex-husband. I never called him my gay husband when we were friends, but with the nastiness that came along with our “break-up” it seems only fitting. I now feel as though I know what it feels like to be a divorcee who never had kids with their ex. You go from seeing each other every day and knowing what it going on in the minutia of each other’s lives, to nothing. Apparently no residue of emotion is supposed to exist. You are just to move on and almost act like the other person doesn’t exist.

Our break-up was complicated, as most break-ups are. I was wrong in many ways and he couldn’t deal with me anymore. This is not to say I don’t feel wronged by him, because believe me, I do. But I am fine with the knowledge that it was my actions who started the decline of our friendship. I was no longer a silly girl who would go anywhere and do anything. I was a terribly depressed person who spent more time crying then anything else. I had gone through some physical issues and work related things that made me a wreck. I understand this. I wasn’t fun to be around. I hated to be around myself, but hated being alone more. I was a mess. Apparently I was too much of a mess for some people to deal with. I understand that.

I guess what I don’t understand is how, nearly 2 years later, I am still hurting over this and he doesn’t seem to care. When we run into each other it’s as though we are faint acquaintences. I will occassionaly send an email commenting on something that we were both in to and get no response. (Admittedly it’s been months since I’ve done this. I can’t deal with that much rejection.) I still find myself almost calling him to share something that only he would appreciate, but then I remember I can’t. I remember that I have lost this person. Except for occassional sightings or updates from mutual friend, or of course, his blog (ahhhhh technology!) he is dead to me.

Perhaps gay boys don’t really like me any more then straight boys? Perhaps our times of laughter and silliness and endless chatter are simply the gay boy/straight girl version of cheap and random sex between straight girls and boys?

I don’t really know. The more I think about things the more I realize that I don’t know much. Maybe that’s fine. Perhaps the knowledge that you don’t know anything is liberating. But right now, it just feels pretty lonely.

Chemistry.com: The Truth

This is not some expose on a online dating site. This is, rather, a more truthful response to the extensive profile I filled out on the aforementioned dating site earlier today.

Who I am and who I am looking for:

I am borderline neurotic. I have a vivid imagination and a tendency to over-share. I can tend to be clingy, but need my space. I feel alone in crowds. I love my dog too much. Sometimes I forget to brush my teeth. I never put away my clean laundry. I like the idea of eating healthy, but eat crap out of convenience. I have pretty blue eyes, and I know it. There is no way for me to have cleavage. I fall down a lot. I laugh way too loud. Sometimes I hold in my sneezes in some weak attempt at femininity.  I enjoy museums and such, but spend large amounts of time watching random reality shows.  I sometimes think people are looking at me in admiration, but in my heart know it’s not true. I relate very well to gay men. Gay men love me. Straight men are much less interested. I sometimes have a horrible time holding up my end of a conversation. I try to be a people pleaser to the point that I either come across as super boring or eventually freak out and spill all the dissenting opinions I’ve been holding in. I was once a registered Republican, but currently am terrified by Republicans in general. I believe in God and think Jesus was probably a cool dude, but, in general, Christians scare the hell out of me. I don’t care what anyone does as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. Stealing is bad. I drive too fast. I sleep too much. Sometimes I take 3 showers a day. Sometimes I don’t shower for 3 days. I have 2 cats, and am ashamed of that sometimes.  I’ve kissed a girl. I can’t understand why people like me but am crushed if they don’t. I have a philanthropic heart, but a lazy ass. I love gossip. I may want to have children, but probably for all the wrong reasons.  I’m loyal to a fault. I’m nosy. I’m mostly a mess, the wants to be loved.

I am looking for a man. I like dark hair and beards. I want someone who listens to the minutia of my day and can tell which of my two friends named Erin I am talking about without clarification. I like boys who drive trucks. I like smart boys, who aren’t too smart to act stupid.  I want a boy who is more attractive then me, but doesn’t know it. I want a boy who will hold my hand. I want a boy with a healthy sexual appetite. I want a boy who understands the ridiculous nature of porn, but isn’t too “high brow” to enjoy it. I want a boy who cooks, or at least will eat my cooking. I want a boy who loves Nashville, but wants to travel. I want a boy who can hold his liquor….but doesn’t hold on to it too tight or all the time.I want a boy who will get pleasure out of seeing how excited I get at a Reckless Kelly show. I want a boy who thinks it’s great when I want to hang with “my girls” or even better, when I want to hang with “my boys.” I want a boy who knows more about me then anyone else, but still wants to know more.

I’m pretty sure that even if I had forked up the $50 to get an actual subscription to this dating site, had I filled out the form honestly, it would have been $50 down the drain. I’m all for online dating for others, but it just ain’t my thing. I lack the self confidence to open myself up like that and would much rather spend that $50 on shoes.

So there.

Single People Deserve to Die

A coworker of mine found out that their spouse (a salesperson) was scheduled to take a trip out of the country to an area that had been on the news lately because of outbursts of violence. Among the many reasons they came up with as to why this was a horrible idea (which I agree it was) was “It’s not like (they’re) a single person, they have a spouse.”

All of a sudden it became so clear. Since I have not married, my life is expendable. Phew, now I don’t feel nearly as bad for spending the weekend watching “Deadliest Catch” and eating dip. I probably will stop wearing my seat belt, start running with scissors and perhaps I should take up smoking or a nice heroin habit. Seeing as I am a 34 year old single person, it’s not like it would matter as much. I mean really, I’ve only got one ovary and fallopian tube left and at my ever advancing age, the likelihood of me procreating gets smaller every day.

Sure, I have pets, but they are just animals. I have family and such, but no one has chosen to be legally tied to me, therefore, I’m expendable.

I mean really people, how easy is it to be single?!?! I have one salary with which I pay for all my expenses. Luckily I have the opportunity to buy engagement, wedding, baby shower and other gifts for those people who have found someone who wants to have legal ties to them. It makes me understand that not only is my life not worth as much, but that all milestones in my life aren’t worth as much because Target doesn’t have a registry for “Single Girl’s New Place” or “Heather Needs a New Handbag” or “Dog and Cat Toys are Free.”  I don’t mean to imply that I begrudge my married and baby-making friends, but damn y’all, with a life as non-momentous as mine apparently has been, it hurts the ego.

I have the strength of one person to carry groceries up the stairs.  If a bug needs killing, it’s all me. If someone invites me to do something, pretty much no other person on the planet gives a shit if i do it or not. I mean, hell, I’m SUPER expendable since I don’t even have siblings. I’m like the SUPER SINGLE PERSON. I was born single, grew up single, hit mid-life (ish) single and at this point it’s looking like old age is going to be single for me too. It’s almost selfish of me to have a job. A job that could go to a married person with a family. But that’s how we single folks roll……

The single person really hardly even deserves a vacation, unless to go to a wedding, baby shower, funeral or other occassion. Once we hit our 30’s it gets hard to find a group of single folk (or open minded marrieds) who are apt to want to take the same vacation. Luckily for me, being an only child and all, I can take vacations with my parents….that isn’t pitiful at all!

I hate to sound like a whiner. I suppose I’m lucky that I haven’t been put in a home for spinsters by now. I’m fortunate that I’m allowed to walk the same streets and pay the same taxes as those who have legal ties to others. Maybe I’ll take the route of this lady at least I’d be married.

Maybe it’s just a phase….

In addition to the family drama of this past weekend, I got to spend some time with my cousin’s three little boys, Jackson (6) Joshua (almost 3) and Lucas (almost 2) and it’s got me thinking about kids again. While it was exhausting just watching my cousin’s wife take care of their every need at all times, it was heartbreaking to watch them cuddle up to her and look at her like she was the most wonderful person on the planet. No matter how much I love my dog, it’s just not the same.

From watching Jack play little league to helping Josh learn to play the wii to watching Luke run around in perfect circles on his tippy toes, it all was so wonderful. I can’t imagine anything more fulfilling then having little lives like that be around you, and molded by you. But I’m almost positive I don’t want to do it alone.

So, it gets back to the whole marriage thing. Well, perhaps not marriage, but at least a committed relationship, committed to the point that I would want to have children with this man. I guess, pretty much marriage.  Will I wake up at 50 years old in a cold sweat feeling like my life has been a total waste if I don’t do the husband and kids thing? At this point, I’m pretty sure I will, and this scares the hell out of me. What is the point of a life if you leave no physical legacy?

I’m happy with my life right now. Things are going well. I’m in a better place in the universe then I have been for a long. long time. But will this contentment make me complacent as to moving forward with my life? Will I get comfortable and never marry or have children? Or is it better to be comfortable and let things happen as they are meant to then it would be to actively pursue marriage and children, which may result in them being scared off?

I don’t know, but it’s pretty much consuming my mind these days. That, and the face below, who could SO be my kid and I totally should have snatched when I had the chance 🙂  My cousin has two more kids, would he really miss one?

Lyrical Truth….

Nobody’s Girl                                                                                                                                        (W. Braun/ M. Braun)                                                                                                                             The first man that you ever loved
Left your mamma, never said goodbye to anyone
And you were raised with your head held high
But any fool can see it’s just a clever disguise

You’re nobody’s baby
You’re nobody’s darlin’
You’re nobody’s girl

You’ve always been a little scared to open your heart
And you never let anybody take it too far
You never let em’ on the inside
‘Cause you’re always scared of getting taken for a ride

You’re nobody’s baby
You’re nobody’s darlin’
You’re nobody’s girl

Everybody wants you but you don’t wanna care
So you keep em’ at a distance with the frown you wear
You spend your time trying to even the score
And you’ve got it in your head you deserve a lot more
The first one was a total disaster
So was the second one and every one after
But when you’re breaking in a broken home
You’re gonna be sure to spend some nights on your own

When you’re nobody’s baby
You’re nobody’s darlin’
You’re nobody’s girl
You’re nobody’s baby
You’re nobody’s darlin’
You’re nobody’s girl
You’re nobody’s girl

This is one of my favorite songs by my favorite band. It has been suggested that this is MY song and perfectly explains me. No amount of love for the band or the song can make that statement not suck.

This is a HORRIBLE song to have people think it about me. Sure, there are some similarities to situations in my life. Sure, most of my nights are spent in bed with a dog and two cats, not some hot fella. Of course, it has been expressed to me that I tend to keep folks at a distance, but I don’t frown that often!

Fine, this is SO my life. Again, the illustrious Braun brothers have insight to me without even knowing me. Now how do I change this?????

 

Married!!!!!

Let’s preface this with some general statements concerning me and my thoughts on marriage. I respect the institution of marriage. I still hold out some hope that one day I will be married. Marriage isn’t easy under the best circumstances, but can be completely worth the effort. In general, I believe that most of my friends’ marriages are enviable.

I have a friend. He is a musician. He is one of the nicest people I have ever met, but has a “naughty” streak that makes him all the more likable. He’s got a great talent, a raspy voice, an amazing sense of humor and a wife. His wife is gorgeous, but not in a fake, Hollywood way. She is gorgeous in a way that I want to be gorgeous. She is fun to be around, easy to talk to and they love each other in the sweet simple way that is a treat to see.

My friend has not only musical talent, but a talent for making me feel special. When we talk it’s like I’m the only person in the room. He asks me questions about my life, my opinions on things, etc…and listens. Listens, and months or years later will bring these things up, so he not only listens, he retains what I’ve said to him. He has a devilish smile and these dimples that tear me up. He winks at me from the stage. He swears he can hear my screams over others in the crowd and he appreciates how much I pay attention to the shows.  He buys me drinks. He puts me on the list from time to time. He makes sure I’m aware of any show within a 6 hour drive of Nashville and calls me when the band is coming through town on the way to somewhere else. Again, he has a wife.

We got to chat this weekend after a show. Apparently some medication I am on makes me about as hormonal as a teenage boy. So, as we chatted, we got closer and closer to each other. Someone called to him that they were going to another bar, and he nodded that he was going to stick around where we were for awhile. Each comment either one of us made seemed to necessitate a hug or other touching. In any other situation, things would have been moving in the exact direction I wanted them to. But he’s married. At some point, the angel on my shoulder took over (the devil was probably getting a cocktail or something) and I decided to ask how the wife was. Had our conversation been taking place in a cartoon, you would have heard brakes squealing and smoke would have emanated from our bodies. We talked about his wife for a bit and he mentioned how much she and I have in common, etc…but the turn had been taken. The devil was back on my shoulder and was PISSED, but I felt as though a good decision had been made.

Later in the evening, after being mis-directed to another bar, etc…we (Snikki, the boy and I) ended up at a funky bar just chatting and having cocktails. I never am at a loss for words with him, but I’m pretty sure I could sit in silence with him just as easily. Being around him makes me feel comfortable and happy and (sometimes) happy in my panties. In the end however, we are friends and he is married. So I will be content knowing how fortunate I am to know this awesome fella and be left with my imagination, memories of the best hugs ever and the little lick in the ear that closed off the evening…