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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Lessons from a Cheater

I’ve been a cheater. It’s not something I’m proud of. I’m not going to try to justify it. I’m not going to give you my back story or blame my exes or tell you why.  But listening to a friend’s story today, I thought of a few things I could share with those who believe that they've met their soulmate as a result of an affair...
  • I seriously doubt that the person you’ve never spent more than a few hours at a time with is your soulmate. Let’s see how that holds up when you spend day after day and night after night together, when one of you is sick or mad, when you’re arguing about how to best deal with the ex or each other’s kids.  You know, that stuff you’re avoiding with your current partner…
  • You know that butterflies-in-the-stomach, giddy, can’t stand to be away from each other feeling you have right now that makes you THINK your soulmates? What are you going to do when that ends? Because even if it doesn’t completely stop, it’s going to diminish.  Remember when you had it with your current significant other? And you thought it would last forever? Obviously you were wrong then, what makes you so sure you’re right now?
  •  Remember that part of the excitement comes from the thrill of secrecy, the clandestine nature of an affair. Will there be something left when that subsides?
  • Of course there’s a chance that this person really is your soulmate – but after a few months of secret meetings and a few hours snatched here and there, how likely is that? Imagine your current life with this person instead of the one you’re with. Would  you still think he/she is the one you're meant to be with forever?
  • Going to marriage counseling with your spouse one day and out with your new flame the next day doesn't qualify as working on your marriage. You don't get the best of both worlds, you have to choose. You think choosing is hard? Imagine what your partner is going through. S/He chose you, still chooses you, and they have to know your struggling to choose between her/him and someone else. 
I didn't meet my soulmate. I didn't leave my marriages to be with a specific person (although that didn't mean I wasn't seeing someone) but rather because I knew I couldn't be with this person any longer, for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, the way I went about that wasn't great. I'm not an expert on anything - but I know that initial excitement wears off pretty quickly once you're free to spend all the time you want together. I've seen more than a few marriages fail as the result of someone meeting their soulmate only to discover that once the dust settled, the new relationship wasn't really any better than the last. 

So those are my lessons - take 'em or leave 'em. Just more of my random thoughts.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

4 Tips on How to be a Good Customer

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to be a good customer. Mostly just to be kind and considerate. Unfortunately in today’s world, those aren’t widely abundant characteristics in customers.  Here are some tips for you. I’m writing these as someone who has worked fast food and retail and now volunteers at a coffee shop during the closing shift.

1.       Don’t take up valuable space.
a.       If you’re going to hang out for hours, buy something. You’re taking up space that could go to a paying customer.  The WiFi, heat/air conditioning, lighting you’re taking advantage of don’t come free. If paying customers come in and see there’s no place to sit, many will just leave. Without even buying anything. You’re nice little hang out spot is going to close up shop if it’s not making money. Buy a $2 cup of tea and get a $1 refill for every hour you spend in the shop. Or just make a flat out donation.
b.      Don’t spread out and take up three spaces. That’s two people who could potentially leave when they could have had a place to sit.
c.       If you’re alone or with one other person, don’t take over a table set up for four to six (or even eight) when smaller tables are available.  
d.      If you know in advance you’ll have a larger group and/or will be staying awhile, see if the meeting room is available. That opens up space for customers who aren’t staying as long.

2.       Don’t walk in 10 minutes before closing. How annoying is it to be just about ready to close and someone wants something that will require dirtying appliances and dishes.  This is like when you’ve just completely cleaned your kitchen at home and are rinsing the final dish and someone walks in with a stack of dirty dishes while tracking mud across the clean floor. You were almost done! You saw the light at the end of the tunnel. WHERE were these dishes when you asked for them 15 minutes ago? My personal rule is to try very hard not to enter any store less than 30 minutes before they close.  

3.       Do not hang out past closing. Music is off, front door is locked, lights are dimmed, mop is brought out, it’s been announced that the store has closed? These are all your signal to get the hell out. The people helping you are at the end of a closing shift. Closing sucks. They don’t get to go home unless everything is done. The shift before just leaves when their time is up. But the closing shift has to leave everything ready for the morning shift to come in and go straight to work. If customers are lingering about, there are tasks that can’t be done. Which means those poor people will be leaving later, and if they get paid hourly their bosses are freaking out because bosses think the closing should be done by XX:XX pm, so what’s the problem?! And if they don’t get paid at all? They’re wanting to get out of there as soon as humanly possible. Not to mention they’re all drawing straws to see who gets to be the tough guy and kick you out this time. Because, ya know, it’s always the same people who just won’t leave.

4.       Be realistic. If you just stood in line listening to the group ahead of you order for 12 people, realize that your order might take some time. If this is going to be a problem, ask if your order could possibly go before the large order or somewhere in the middle. But don’t go sit down and then pretend like you had NO idea there were so many orders ahead of yours and act all outraged.


Of course there are many more tips I could give on being a good customer, but as I head off to another four hour shift of working for free, these are the ones that will most be on my mind!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Non-Disposable Words

I have disposable words and phrases. You know, those words I just toss out without thinking about them or sometimes without really meaning them. These words are easy to use. They cover a multitude of situations. They can be used to avoid an argument or appease someone.

  • I'm okay. 
  • I'm good.
  • It's fine.
  • Awesome.
  • Cool.
  • Sure.
  • Oh, yah, I know what you mean.
And then there are my non-disposable words. The ones I try very hard to only use when I mean them completely. They shouldn't be taken lightly.
Too tired to do the correct search for an image I can use -so hopefully no backlash on this one.
This was originally sold by WordsofWisdomNH. Go visit her Etsy shop.
  • You're amazing. Granted, I actually say this fairly frequently. But that is because there is no shortage of people just waiting to tell us all our flaws and faults and I've vowed to try to more often tell people the good things. I usually add specific examples of why I think you're amazing. It might be your capacity for understanding or forgiveness. Your selflessness. Your strength. Your generosity. Your ability to make me feel safe and secure (two things I almost never feel). I might say this to three different people almost simultaneously. It doesn't make it less genuine or true. Pretty much everyone has something amazing about them. Let's let them know when we see it!
  • I love you. Three of the hardest words for me to put together. I don't know why. Although I can't remember for sure, I'm thinking I probably heard them frequently growing up. At times it is harder for me to hear and believe someone loves me then it is to say I love someone, harder to believe there can be love without pain. If I do say them, I mean them. This is not a phrase I utter without thought or meaning. If I love you I also worry about you and hurt for you and want joy for you. 
  • Making love. Yes, most of you have heard me scoff at this phrase and declare it stupid and over used. My tough modern girl act. But I do believe in making love. I believe it's special and rare and not a term that should be used carelessly. It involves a level of emotional connection and commitment that most people having sex don't have. It requires a feeling of total surrender and trust. If I ask you to make love to me it means you've crossed a line with me that few others have. It means I'm opening my entire self up to you: mind, body, heart. I'm letting myself be vulnerable to you. I believe that you have the same feelings about me. And if you tell me you made love to someone, this is what I'm going to think you're talking about. You were in love with, vulnerable to, deeply attached to that person. Much, much different than having sex or any of the other variations on that phrase.
Of course there is a little more to this story. Something that got me thinking about disposable words versus my never-throw-away-lightly words. But that, alas, is a story for another time. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Missing...

I guess I started this post several months ago when Aaroneis started his blog, Pessimistic Optimism from Mr. Brightside, and wouldn't give me the address until I wrote my own post. But this one didn't get published and I stumbled upon it today and decided to go ahead with it.  All of the first paragraph is still pretty true. Although I'm finding that maybe I just hadn't met the right person yet. I'd found the ones who were almost right, so very close but just not quite. And I found some when I wasn't right or ready. Time will tell, I suppose. 

But the things I said I missed? I don't anymore. Okay, maybe Pajamagrams, but those suckers are stupid expensive and really there are better things to spend money on. It was so amazing to read through that list and realize there was nothing left to miss. 

I am an incredibly difficult person to be involved with. I'm moody. Almost always irritated. My interest fades QUICKLY.  I'm too open, too honest, too unfiltered. It's not a challenge when I tell someone to not fall for me, that I'll lose interest in a matter of weeks, that I'm never quite sure what it is I want and so I can be quite fickle.  That actually has nothing to do with this post. I just felt like I should say it.  Chacewater 2010 Merlot is contributing to making this an even more inelegant post than usual!

ANYHOW! I've been missing some things, and it's totally my own fault they aren't part of my life right now, but here they are...

I miss...

  • That caress of my face, fingers brushing through my hair, and the light kiss on my forehead. 
  • Being tucked into bed.
  • Surprises at work. Pajamagrams. Flowers. A card. A call. A visit. Lunch.
  • Knowing someone thinks I'm beautiful when I wake up with  my hair sticking straight up, major morning breath, and the horror of me with no makeup!
  • The simple texts like "I was watching you sleep this morning and am so glad you're mine" or "You're on my mind"
  • Knowing someone wants me for more than my body, for more than sex.
  • Having someone who supports me in my interests, but who will also tell me (kindly and productively) when I'm going off the deep end.
  • Someone who I know I can tell everything to and not have it used against me later. 
  • That feeling of security, stability, comfort in someone's arms. (These are good things, not boring things!)
Starting 2014 out with a road trip and two of my favorite men!

My next blog posts will likely be more serious. I stopped writing about kids, about parenting, for awhile. But people have asked me to write more. To share my own experiences, particularly the troubling times, because too many parents think they're alone. Too many parents don't realize there are others out there who screw up, who do things wrong, or who have children they were or are afraid to take in public, who had children who wound up in group homes or juvenile hall or at least seemed destined for that path...  More to come soon.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

No more fairy tales

At 3 am my eyes popped open. This is unusual. My eyes rarely open fully before about 7 am. Even then I'm still stumbling around rubbing them and wondering how anyone is a morning person. I woke up thinking about someone I'm trying not to think about. Someone who, frankly, doesn't deserve any time in my thoughts at all anymore. Yet there he was. But there are no more tears, so I think that's good. And I miss him less and less.

Tonight's insomnia didn't come bearing gifts of motivation or creativity. No new blog posts came to mind. But I stumbled across this in my drafts from and decided to finish it up.

A friend wrote about regrets on his blog, (Giving Thanks for Not Having Regrets) which got me thinking.  I've tried to spend my life not having regrets. Just as he said, every decision and action brought me to where I'm at today. Getting married at 17 gave me the opportunity to live in Germany and have my beautiful daughter. It gave me happy years with my ex husband. I do regret the hurt I caused him, though. 

Being with my second husband gave me many happy years with my stepkids, gave me experiences I would have never had, gave me joy with a man who loved me. Again, my regret is pain I caused him, not leaving before the mistakes, not communicating my unhappiness but instead acting out.

I'll use Dutch Brothers Guy's own phrase here: I call bullshit.
But right now I do regret giving into the fairy tale idea of connections and love. I regret that I believed it when someone told me we had a connection and we shouldn't ignore it, that I made him happier than he'd been in years, that he wasn't going anywhere and that I shouldn't be afraid. Because as soon as I did, he disappeared. A few vague texts. Promises to call. And then just nothing. Not even the courtesy of a discussion in person. Not even ever officially saying it's over. And my heart hurt. And I do regret giving him that opportunity.

Maybe it's karma. I've hurt people with my inability to fully commit, with an addiction I gave up working on overcoming for awhile, with not being able to give them the forever I promised. But I feel like I tried. I didn't give up easily once I committed.

So I'm going back to not believing in the fairy tale. Maybe I'll do as my friend did: "I married the person who irritated me the least. I don't believe in the fairy tale."  Maybe if someone touches my heart deeply again, I'll run away fast. Maybe I'll keep that wall up and choose comfortable and safe in the long run. Or maybe I'll find the happy love story that's more realistic and longer lasting than the fairy tale. I suppose time will tell...