Single Girl’s Guide to Moving

I just moved into a new apartment. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, gated community, super close to my favorite grocery store. All good things. However, I still haven’t quite moved completely OUT of my old apartment. I have until midnight tonight to make that break-up final. To take all my stuff, including all my trash, and be done with the place. I suddenly feel like one of those girls who can’t get out of a relationship without being almost in another one.

Here’s the deal with my old place. I’d been there 7 years. For the most part everything was cool. But we were just moving in different places. I was moving to a place in my life that I didn’t want to be packed like a sardine into my home and it was moving into a place where black mold grows.

If you ever want to feel completely alone in the world, move by yourself. Make sure you’ve lived in your place for awhile, have animals who like to place things under furniture and have a tendency to keep stuff longer then you should. In order to get the full effect and complete alone experience, have lots of random things that can’t really be boxed up and make sure to live on at least the second floor and move to a new place that is also at least on the second floor. OOOO…having a small car helps too.

Once you get the keys to the new place, bring over fun things, like clothes and such. Carefully consider the order of the new closets and take lots of time to place things just so. Only put a little bit of stuff in your car at a time so you can drive back and forth as much as possible, while fooling yourself that you are accomplishing things. Go ahead, take a nap.

Make sure that whatever outfit you choose to move in makes you feel especially unattractive and then work up a good sweat. i also suggest being in dire need of a root touch up and a bang trim so you have more hair ornaments keeping things “in place” then a Eastern European gymnast.

Pack your boxes as heavy as possible. Once you’ve lost the packing tape for the fifteenth time, start putting heavy things in trash bags. Then sort of drag the trash bags a bit so they start to fall apart as you put them in the car. Make mental notes of the things you need at Target, and then quckly forget it. Make at LEAST 4 trips to Target and spend as much of your hard earned money as possible at each trip.

Once the movers come…..oh yes, you HAVE to hire movers,with no upper body strength and a 99 Saturn Coupe, there ain’t no way that big fluffy red chair will make it to the new place.  Once the movers come, make sure you remember that you have a bunch of stuff in two closets. Fool yourself into thinking that it’s not much stuff and will be like one trip. Start to realize that your attachment to things lessens when you start to think about taking it up the stairs at your new place and finding a new place to stash it for another 7 years. The movers will be super sweet….awww, poor girl ain’t gots no man to help her move….and will move your stuff faster then any group of friends could think of doing, and they don’t complain to your face.  During this portion of the move, you will feel good about things. Try to remember that feeling later when you are sitting in the shambles of your former home disgusted at the dust bunnies and unidentifiable stains that have been hidden by the furniture for lord knows how long. Recall it also when you wish your dog could be trusted to run down to Lowes and get a new vent for the dryer so you could at least finish drying the clothes that are in the dryer….sorry Wade the mover, glad you’re so strong!

Go grab some lunch on the way back to the old place. Make sure you’ve been eating fast food for the past few days so you can push your body physically while giving it the worst fuel possible. Sit on the floor of your old living room and hold back the tears at the amount of crap that is still left to deal with. Realize that there is no one to call to get help from. Curse yourself and your chronic procrastination. Go into the closet and wonder if there is really any reason to hold onto the prom dress your mom sewed for you or your grandparents china.

Take a few bags of trash down to the dumpster. Wish that instead of watching 5 hours of America’s Next Top Model, you had gone out Saturday night and found some nice, strong boy who would love to carry heavy things and take trash out in return for sexual favors. Must be clean, cute is optional. 

Make sure to have an appointment on your moving day for something completely unrelated, say taking your dog to the vet for shots. Once you have cleared whatever momentum you had going, make sure to add as many expenses to the trip as possible. Extra heartworm pills and flea treatment….bring it on. You’re already hemorrhaging money at this point, what’s a couple hundred more dollars.

Work yourself to supreme exhaustion. To where you are driving in the turn lane for a couple of miles before you notice. Don’t take pain pills until day 3….then curse yourself for not working out more (i.e. at all)

Figure out a way to postpone the final cleaning of your apartment and go to your new place. Bask in the glory of being alone. All alone. Alone in that big apartment with a big new bed that you will also sleep alone in (save your pets, who are apt to be pissing you off at this point because they are stressed and you find yourself actually saying to them “what the fuck do YOU have to be stressed about?!?”) Take a bath and shave your legs above the knee for no one.  Figure out how to hook up your DVD player and watch a couple of hours of Sex and the City. Make sure to watch the season where Carrie has no man and such. Season 5 I believe it is. It’s all about confusing messages from males and such….good times! Go to bed, exhausted and already anticipating the pain of the next day and trying to divise a way to just leave your old place as is without going broke with “cleaning charges.”  Snuggle up to your dog and convince yourself that even though he can’t carry anything, or help pack or clean and has out of nowhere shit on the floor of your new place, you really LOVE being single.

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What’s on my mind today.

  1. a certain friend who is being distant these days. When I ask them about something in particular they indicate that I don’t know what’s going on with their world right now and when I point out that the inquiry was attempting to remedy that precise situation, they say nothing.
  2. an email a friend sent me the other day about “farting strawberries” that continues to make me laugh out loud.
  3. how men can walk into the bathroom with a cup of coffee or other beverage in their hands and do their business. Even if they put the cup on the counter, who knows what kind of “spray” is floating around there. My office is across from the men’s room and I have offered my desk, etc…as a storage spot for beverages. Not nearly enough of them have taken me up on this offer.
  4. sometimes I think that I don’t express aspects of my personality and interest correctly. For example, I love to go to art shows, etc….but I think most people think I’m just a bar type gal.
  5. in addition to art, I also enjoy this immensely. If only I could roller skate and was at all a bad ass.
  6. I want attention from boys, but I don’t want to have to ask for it. Wait, correction, I want attention from certain boys.
  7. most people don’t get me. It’s not that I’m all complicated or anything, I think people just don’t know what to make of me a lot of the time. I guess it makes sense since I don’t know what to make of myself a lot of the time. Perhaps I need to find more folks who are willing to come along for the ride.
  8. There is a boy/man in my office whose hair I want to run my fingers through. In a meeting yesterday I could vividly imagine myself reaching across the table and doing just that. I even think my arm twitched a bit in an effort to move my imagination into reality.
  9. I can’t wait to move into my new place, but HATE packing.
  10. If I look just to the right of my monitor I see my Tim Gunn bobblehead and a chair that has one of my old bridesmaid dresses and a box with a broken piggy bank in it.
  11. My hair needs to be colored in the worst way.
  12. Everyone keeps coming in and “borrowing” my flavored coffee creamer. Whatever.
  13. There is a member of my family who is dying. This person has done terrible things and has pretty much ruined a segment of my family. However, they have recreated themselves for people who don’t know the “other stuff” and those people are completely devastated at the idea of the loss. I feel bad for the people who are able to live in ignorant bliss about this person.
  14. I miss my girlfriends in Cali. like crazy. Recently I’ve just wished it was like 9 years ago and we were all ruling the music department at a So Cal Borders with caustic wit and more estrogen then you can shake a stick at. The best part is that, even though we don’t see each other very often (and I see them the least of all) I know that they will always have my back and I will always have theirs.
  15. I really wish the damn IT guy would come load iTunes on my computer!!!!
  16. cupcakes again……
  17. my dog
  18. how my March madness bracket could have gone SO badly. However, not badly enough for me to be in last place in the work pool, where I would at LEAST get my $10 back!

Ok–that’s all. My mind has just stopped suddenly. I will now go watch the clock countdown until I will leave the office and go to the bar to play some trivia and drink some vodka…..but seriously, I do like art 🙂

“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!!!

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.

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.

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

S.A.D.

I think I have S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or maybe it’s more accurately for me “Single Affective Disorder?”

When you are little you are taught that there are four seasons, Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.  This fact is reinforced with decorations on bulletin boards in classrooms, the colors of paints you use in art class and other random lessons. You know, if you lived where there are climate changes, that once Mom busted out the sweaters and cords, it was fall. When you had to try on last year’s coat (in hopes it didn’t fit so you could get a new one) it was Winter.  Once the pastel colors came out, Spring was finally there and then it was just a hop, skip and a jump to Summer.  There was organization to this, it all made sense.

Then you hit High School and the seasons become Football, Basketball, Baseball and Summer, There are mini seasons in there too, Winter Dance season, Homecoming season, Prom season. These too, made sense.  There was a consistency to it all. Everyone in your daily life was on the same schedule.

College comes and it is more about the seasons of “Party Outside” and “Party Inside” with Spring Break thrown in for good measure.  Things weren’t quite as clear cut as they had been, but there were always specific things to look forward to based on the calendar. Semester breaks, end of dreadful classes (seriously, Human Sexuality should have been MUCH better, especially when most of the baseball team was in the class, but alas, it was not!)  and eventually the end of college and the long awaited leap into adulthood. Really, if given the chance, rethink the leap.

Now you’re an adult. WOO HOO! Sure, there is no more homework (well, not as much, depending on the job you get) and you can stay out all night, any night (which you could also do in college) but you don’t do that because you have to get up and go to work. The seasons become less and less pronounced. Spending most of your time in a climate controlled office building, you clothing is dictated more by the HVAC system then anything else. You start to notice that you get less and less access to actual daylight as the seasons move into Fall and Winter. There may even come days when you leave in the dark and come home in the dark. The seasonal change loses some of its romance.

As a single person with no children, you will most likely have other “seasonal issues.” When you are single, you don’t play into many of the societal ideas on seasons as those who are part of a couple or have children.  You don’t have your annual apple picking trip (seriously, I have married friends who do this!), you don’t have the big Spring cleaning weekend,  the planning of the Summer trip, the choosing of the Christmas tree.  Sure, you can do all of these things, but doing them alone loses a large portion of the ceremony. Yeah, these are also things you can do in a group, but when you notice that your group changes every year, it can be a tad sad.  You may start longing for the days when everyone around you was on the same schedule.  You all had picture day, and the first football game and the last day of school, etc where you knew that all the people you cared about and wanted to be with were going to be there with you.

My suggestion for us single folk (and yes, it’s for me as much as, if not more so, then anyone else) as we watch the Summer fade away and the Fall take over, is to buy a new sweater that you feel cozy and good looking in. Take your dog for a walk in the piles of fallen leaves (or yourself if a dog isn’t available) find a sidewalk café where you can sit in your new sweater sipping a tasty warm cider, enjoying the warm Fall sun with a smile on your face. Make it a point to celebrate the changes of the season some way, any way you can. And for goodness sake, help to change the idea that “single” is a bad word.