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...

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Anxious Insomniac

I have this image of myself banging my head against a window, slapping my hand against the window at the same time, saying "Can't sleep, can't sleep, can't sleep". Which then gets me thinking about that old Mervyn's commercial with the women saying "Open, open, open." And the two have nothing to do with each other - so it's just more of my randomness.

I had somewhat of an anxiety attack today. I get them occasionally. Like the time at a quinceanera when I suddenly needed to get away. Or the time at a parade with no moral support around while dealing with a tough situation. Or the time I went to San Francisco to watch my date perform, my shoes made my feet bleed, I was super self-conscious and felt out of place (none of that really had to do with the other) and at dinner I suddenly had to leave, disappeared for most of dinner, and showed back up with slippers on. Or sometimes when I try to stay the night somewhere. Every now and then, it even happens at work.

Who me?
Photo from
It's like being that kid who swears to mom and dad that she can handle the sleepover, and then they get the call at 1 am that she's crying and hysterical and needs to go home RIGHT NOW.  She's afraid and the only thing that will calm her is to be home. She can't tell  you exactly what she's afraid of, she just knows she won't be okay until she's home or somewhere like home. The worst is when even once she's home she still feels it, and so she pleads to climb into bed with mom and dad. And snuggled between them she can finally fall asleep. Except now there's no mom and dad, so she has to find something else (writing, reading, a bath, a pill) to get enough comfort to finally let go and sleep. When she wakes, she's mortified at the way she acted. She can't explain it. She knows it was ridiculous and not grounded in any kind of reality. But in the midst of it, it felt like something terrible was surely going to happen.

It starts out with difficulty breathing. I have to remind myself to do what we normally do without thought. "Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out." If that doesn't help, then I start getting hot and itchy: the soles of my feet, my ankles, the back of my neck, my shoulders, my wrists. "Breathe, don't scratch, breathe, don't scratch." People start noticing I seem a little off. Am I just snobby? Am I not interested? I'm trying to stay with them, keep smiling and interacting. Or when it's happened trying to stay with someone over night, I try not to toss and turn, try not to wake them. Or if I'm not really interacting, I might be texting a friend who is trying to help me long distance to maintain my composure. Which makes me look even more disinterested and snobby.

Me, before the anxiety came riding in today.
If I still haven't managed to calm down, my stomach gets upset. "Breathe, don't scratch, you aren't going to throw up. Breathe, don't scratch, you aren't going to throw up." And if I'm STILL not calming down and getting control of myself, my eyes start to water and it's time to bail. Usually the other person has no idea what's gone on inside me up to that point. Maybe they were off talking to someone else, maybe they weren't paying close enough attention to notice the warning signs, maybe they were peacefully sleeping, when suddenly I'm leaving. Hopefully before the tears have started - because at this point if they've started there's NO controlling them.

Someone said to me once after a situation they knew beforehand would be stressful for me, "I'd hoped you'd be stronger." Um, yah, me too! I certainly didn't hope I'd spend my morning trying to keep myself under control and wind up unable to tamp down the anxiety, end up rushing off in tears, and sit in my car crying for an hour.

What I felt like starting around 10 pm. Photo from Flickr.
It's 1:30 in the morning, so how much sense does this post make? Probably not much. Just stuff going through my head when I can't sleep. Realizing that I kind of set myself up for today's attack by not taking any real time to myself in the last week. It's the holiday season - which always depresses me - so I try not to be alone, when that's likely what I most need. I officially broke up with the boyfriend who had pretty much ended it but wouldn't say it, went to the mall on Black Friday, followed by a trip to Six Flags with two teenage girls who feed off each other, and got a "we need to talk" text from someone I care about, which always means bad news. So, yah, sensory overload = anxiety. And I'm still awake at 2:00 in the morning with a full day ahead of me.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Give Me Presents!

I love presents. Some of you are probably thinking, “Duh! Who doesn’t love presents?” But I’ve discovered that there actually are people who don’t enjoy presents that much.  Or they do like gifts, but they’d rather have something else from someone – like physical touch or quality time or words of affirmation or acts of service.
Gorgeous roses I got last weekend.

I don’t only love receiving presents. I really like to give them. I enjoy coming across something and thinking, “Oh, Sass would love these tights!” and getting them for her. Or reading that a friend has been dying to read a certain book, so I’ll buy it and have it sent to them. I’ve left gift cards on people’s vehicles to thank them for no longer parking next to me. 

Pretty roses with a vase AND an owl. 
This is my primary love language. I found this out by taking the quiz at The 5 Love Languages site. My primary love language is receiving gifts and my next highest is words of affirmation. The best presents are the ones that obviously took some thought or that show the person has paid attention to what you said. Like the Pitch Perfect blu-ray left on my windshield yesterday! Words are so incredibly important to me. But not just like, “You’re hot” or “I like you” or “Good job”. It’s about the details – the specifics. “I love the way your eyes sparkle when you laugh” or “I love that you are always looking for ways to help the people around you”. Those are the words that will get me giddy. Of course there are also the words that will chip away at my spirit, but I wrote about those words in another post.
I love books and owls. So, owl bookends?!

I’ve received several gifts over the last few months. I truly appreciate and adore these gifts. Some continue to make me smile on a daily basis. The interesting thing is, though, that when deciding to become exclusive with someone I chose the one who hasn’t spoken to me in my primary love language. We’ve been speaking more quality time and physical touch, which are my two lowest ranking love languages. Maybe I’m changing. Maybe it’s just all still new.

Personalized and delivered!
He does feed me and bring me coffee: high on my list of things that make me happy. And he says things like “You drive me crazy. I want to spend every second of every day with you. You make me happier than I’ve been in a long time. It was so hard for me to say goodnight” and “I love that we get along so well. You make me very happy and when I’m with you I feel complete. I don’t want to share you with anyone else.” (Yah, that started the exclusive discussion.) Now I need to learn his love language. And we’ll see where it goes from here!

What’s YOUR love language? Someone can't understand why you don't feel loved or appreciated by them? They aren't speaking your love language. You can't understand why your spouse doesn't feel it? Maybe you're speaking to them in your language instead of theirs! 

Surprised with a dress I REALLY wanted!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

What is Dating?

I’ve spent most of the last 22 years of my life married. I got married at 17 (no, I was not pregnant) and we split up for good when I was 25. I was single for a year before moving in with the man who became my second husband. We were together 12 years. This month was our 11th anniversary, since we’re still married. We separated in the summer of 2012.

I was back in the dating game at 38. Scary! But what IS dating? 

Truth Hurts on Yahoo! Answers :It's like this, dating is supposed to be where you are getting to know someone and deciding if you guys are compatible but are free to date other people.” 

I decided that I was going to date more than one person at a time. I told men I didn’t want serious but I didn’t want to just be a booty call either. Since May I’ve gone through weeks of only dating one person and weeks where I had several dates with different people. (Dating doesn’t necessarily mean sleeping with, by the way. I don’t actually sleep with every person I date, contrary to what some people believe.) For the most part, I told the men that I was dating others. (Okay there was one I didn’t explicitly say this to, but I thought he knew.) My thinking was that until you have the talk about being exclusive, all’s fair.

Many people don’t agree with this philosophy. It seems quite a few people believe you should only date one person.  I’ve been told that I’m what’s wrong with society today. Ironically that came from a married woman who online went on and on about the importance of monogamy and being faithful, but who was pretty much throwing herself at a guy I was dating. Go figure.

One of my problems is that I tend to really, really like people at first. It’s all fun and new. I spend a lot of time with them. I miss them, I can’t wait to hear from them. And then suddenly, I’m not so into them anymore. I’m ready to move on. I warn men about this up front. It’s not a challenge. It’s a tip that if they’re looking for love or long term commitment, they should keep looking. I’m not saying this is a GOOD thing. It’s really not. I’m working on it.

And now? Well, I’ve found someone I’m still into after three months of talking, two months of dating. Someone I’m comfortable with, someone who is ready to have the exclusive talk, someone who is always my first choice, someone who makes my heart skip a beat, someone who causes my roommate to say things like, "You have that falling in love look on your face!" after a weekend camping trip. Am I ready to leave behind dating and move into the realm of exclusive relationship? Am I ready to say, “This is my boyfriend”? Am I ready to believe someone will love who I am and that I deserve this happiness, am I ready for commitment? Stay tuned…

P.S. Know how I always said I don't believe in soulmates? I changed my mind thanks to Pessimistic Optimism from Mr. Brightside. Read his post Will You be my Soulmate? It's great!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Words Can Break a Spirit

What do you do when you're awake at 1:30 am, then still awake at 2:30 am? Apparently you read through old shit you should have deleted long ago. You feel that pain all over again. Your finger hovers over the delete button but you don't quite bring yourself to press it. That document of over 1000 horrible text messages? You KNOW it's time to let go of it, but you just can't seem to do it. Partly because you think maybe you NEED to keep it, maybe that reminder is good when you start glossing over the bad and forgetting. Maybe sometimes you shouldn't forget.

Words hurt. They may not break bones, but they may well break a spirit. Actions hurt. Words and actions combined? Wow, that'll really knock you for a loop. I try to be a good person. I don't always succeed. Sometimes I'm selfish beyond belief. Sometimes I can't move beyond my own pain or fear to be the person I want to be and do the things I want to do. Sometimes I hurt people. I carry the guilt around with me after hurting someone. It never really goes away. My first husband and I have been apart since the summer of 1999. I still feel guilty and sad for things I did that hurt him. Was he totally innocent? Of course not, but that doesn't excuse my part in it!

But back to words hurt. Those bitch ass words are hard to forget. They'll replay in my head at the most inopportune times. Doesn't matter how many times I've been told I'm beautiful or that I'm a good person. Here are the things I hear instead,

About me:
"She thinks she's so hot in her librarian dresses." Yep, pretty much think of that every time I put on a dress.
"...practicing her burlesque routine...want me to record her tired ass body for you working it?" Dancing hasn't been the same for me since.

To me:
"Nobody in this county has any use for you."
"You look like a drowned rat. Who would want to date you?"
"You don't do shit for your kids."
"You should never have been allowed to have kids. That's how bad of a mom you are."
"She's 100x the woman you'll ever be."

Well, that doesn't sound so bad, I guess. But the other words? The words that are too awful for even my unfilteredness? They're nasty and downright cruel. And they go through my head far too often.

I guess what I can say about myself is that I never pretended to be someone's friend and tried to get them to talk bad about someone so I could run off and tell them. I never made up flat out lies to get someone else to like me and want me and to not like or want someone else. Even when someone has hurt me or pissed me off, I'll point out and remember what's good about them. "Oh her? The one who pretended to be my friend while talking shit about me and sending nasty sexual messages to my husband? The one who made up lies and told my husband I said them? But remember when she sent me balloons and flowers for my birthday?" Okay, maybe that's a bad example.

But what this post is really about, is a reminder to myself that words hurt. To be kind, even if I think the other person will never read or hear it. It's a reminder that even if I'm angry and hurting, I need to think about what I'm saying because that person may remember those words a year or ten or even 25 years later.

This post may not stay up long. That happens when I post in the wee hours of the morning after bad dreams, with my heart hurting and my mind replaying all those hurtful words. I post things that maybe I shouldn't.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

He's an Alpha Male

In the past I’ve known a few guys who referred to themselves as alpha males.  Those guys were passive-aggressive, or just plain aggressive, pushy, bossy, often sexist men. So last December/January, when a new guy friend described himself as an alpha male, my hackles rose a bit. Then a bunch of crap happened in my life, we stopped talking for awhile, and I didn’t get the chance to really get to know him.

We recently reconnected and this got me thinking again about the term “alpha male”. Because this guy, well he didn’t fit my perception of what it meant. I decided to Google it. And I discovered that what I thought were alpha male behaviors were clear signs that the jerks of my past WEREN’T alpha males.
My truthful Tuesday FB post from 10/8/2013.
I've decided how I feel about the alpha male, obviously.

What are those signs? Top 10 Signs You’re Not an Alpha Male point them out, but getting through all 10 is a pain. The videos are total overkill. I’m a reader. I want to read a list.  If you enjoy videos or have more patience than I do, go check it out.

Then there’s this post: 25 Characteristics of an Alpha Male. This is long, but you don’t have to go through 10 different screens to get through it.

I can definitely say now that I’m attracted to and turned on by alpha males. I appreciate their can-do attitudes, their follow through, their confidence, their humility, their protective nature, their generosity, and their assertiveness. That stubbornness can be irritating, but hey, who’s perfect?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

All I Want for Christmas

I got online to write about my horrible Saturday morning. Truly one of the saddest, loneliest experiences of my life. But I can't write about it yet. Then I thought I'd write about changing my ignition coil MYSELF but wasn't feeling that either. So I decided to start early on this year's Christmas (my least favorite holiday) wishlist.

Last year my wish list included going to Hawaii, having Lasik surgery, and getting a boob job. I did go to Hawaii and part of it was paid. I got the sleigh bed frame from that list. And I had lots of red wine over the 10 months. It also looks like I might get that stereo (with installation)!

One of about four pictures of me in Hawaii that isn't hideous.

I'm starting a little early with my daydreaming this year. All I want for Christmas is $5,800. I know, kind of random, right? Like why not $6,000 or $10,000? Because I did something I tried not to do. I caved and borrowed money from a friend to get through a rough time. Until I can pay that off, it's going to weigh on my mind every single day. Now don't be getting all pissy thinking said friend is hounding me about it or making me feel bad in any way. Not a word has been said. But it's eating away at me. Part of my problem is I didn't use it fully as intended - something else came up. A LOT has come up in the last 12 months. Sometimes I've been selfish and spent money I really couldn't afford and shouldn't have (trip to Hawaii anyone? new dress perhaps?) and sometimes it was things caused by others. But the fact is, I can't stand to owe anyone anything. Not a favor, a cup of sugar, and definitely not money.

I did consider trying to start my own business as an escort. But I'm a little old. Plus I have this thing about not breaking the law. And so on. Then I considered a second job. Now? Basically if wishing for it doesn't work (remember, that old saying? Wish in one hand...), the next plan is to buckle down on a tight budget and get shit paid off.

Now if someone wanted to throw in some stocking stuffers, I might suggest the following:

  • Red wine. Old vine zin and merlots tend to be my favorites.
  • Fuzzy socks. I can never have too many of these in the winter.
  • Pitch Perfect on blu-ray or DVD. I'm not picky.
  • Gift cards for waxing services. Have you not heard my rants about shaving vs Brazilian waxing and the fact that the after effects of shaving MUST BE what it's like to have crabs (which I've never had, thank gawd, so I don't know for sure). Horrible itching. Horrible.
  • Such a Flirt body wash, lotion and body spray from Victoria's Secret. I've run out. If the bronzing lotion exists somewhere THAT would be really fabulous. (Last year I posted this on Twitter as Suck a Flirt, thanks to my phone. There is a VAST difference...)

    Apparently the bronzing lotion that was my favorite part of this is impossible to get anymore. But I still love the rest.
    P.S. I just remembered that all I wanted for Christmas in 4th grade was my four front teeth. No shit. They came in during fourth or fifth grade, finally, and then I had to go through speech therapy. Four or so years with no top front teeth gives a slight speech impediment.

    P.P.S. No, those missing teeth had nothing to do with me saying things like "nekkid" and "wrastling" and calling soda "pop" when I moved to Cali my junior year. Thanks for remembering that, by the way.

    NOW do you see why my blog is titled using words synonymous for random and awkward?!

    Wednesday, June 26, 2013

    Remembering, Part Two - Happy Memories

    My last post may have made it sound like I had a bad childhood. I really didn't. I never doubted that I was loved. I wasn't abused or molested as so many people seem to have been. I was just a nerdy, not-so-rich kid who was easy to pick on and maybe didn't have much in the way of role models.  Today, I remember the happy and funny times.

    I remember running down the street screaming my head off because my bratty cousins liked to chase me with crawdads, sometimes even throwing them in my hair. Funny now if not then. Fishing for crawdads in the canal...

    I remember summers riding in the back of the '78 Dodge Ram my dad bought brand new and still has - it's his baby to this day. Four wheeling at the river, dad helping pull people out when they got stuck, mud bogging trips, tubing the river
    and the drive-ins.

    Brownie, my dad's baby. The kids and grandkids are still fighting over who gets it...

    I remember times spent with my best friend, Amy. She stuck by me through it all. She took me to my first concerts. We listened to Leslie Gore, watched One Life to Live, dated together. She was there through heart breaks and lost virginity.I'm so grateful she is still my best friend.
    Amy and me, 20 years later.

    I remember sitting under the senior tree as a sophomore - feeling so cool because I was dating a senior - and a bird shit on my head. Again, funnier now than it was then.

    I remember finally standing up for myself and not getting my skinny, wimpy little ass totally kicked. Okay, I really only remember her swinging at me and then I blacked out. But I HEARD I stood up for myself pretty damn well!

    I remember making the cheer squad during 8th grade and again my senior year.

    I remember summers spent with my Bucko - although I'd stopped calling her that by then. Sneaking in late at night and crawling into bed with her, as if she didn't know. And summers spent borrowing my Aunt Katie's clothes and shoes for dates, toting my cousin Amanda where I could, blaring music, and cruising the exciting downtown Safford.

    I remember my dad becoming a single dad to two teens and struggling to make ends meet so we wouldn't lose our house. Always making sure I had SOMETHING to drive. Not sure what to do with a teen daughter who got good grades and worked but who didn't always go to school or come home at night.

    I remember Knotts Berry Farm with my mom, stepdad and little brothers. And trips to Fort Bragg.

    I remember my mom and stepdad also making sure I had something to drive. Like the bug I managed to roll backwards out of the driveway and get to school but then I couldn't figure out how to get it in reverse after school so I could go home. The truck that I had to sit on the edge of the seat and push the clutch in with my tiptoes. My Pinto! Loved that ugly little car.

    I remember a long road trip with Jamie to get my military ID and blowing the engine in my Pinto because the radiator ran out of water. We were stuck for hours in the middle of nowhere with just her Chevron card. Thank goodness we broke down near a Chevron! No cell phones or pagers to reach parents to come rescue us!

    Jamie and I, 20 years later!
    I remember taking my pet rat to the wrestling game to watch the guy I was madly in love with (and would later marry), and reaching over someone's head to hand the rat to a friend when it decided to piss.

    There are so many more good memories than bad - I just need to recall them more often.


    Mostly I try not to remember. Why is it the bad is so much clearer than the good? But sometimes, sometimes all the memories rush in at once.

    I remember starting school in 5th grade and being made fun of pretty much from day one. I was a straight-A, teacher's pet, nerdy little thing whose clothes were very different from everyone else. I also didn't know what a cherry was (climbing the slide ladder in a skirt and someone saying they could see my cherry).

    I remember a horrible science camp trip in 6th grade. Too embarrassing to this day to even write about. And being in awe over a boy named Nick who I made a fool out of myself with more than once. That crush lasted until the summer I graduated high school.

    I remember my best friend giving me her hand me downs because I hadn't had new clothes in two years. I didn't stain or rip or grow out of my clothes, so that meant few new clothes. That's kind of what I got for being such a prissy girly-girl. My favorite pair of jeans ever came from her. Gray with a zig zag pattern and zippers at the ankles. And being the cheerleader with the generic Keds from K-Mart instead of the real ones.

    I remember my best friend turning on me for what I meant as an honest, not judging but warning comment, and then turning everyone else against me by saying I was talking shit about the popular girls. I remember trying to slit my wrists that year because I was so afraid to go to school.

    I remember two years of being afraid to leave my house, walk between classes, go anywhere in public without adult supervision. I remember my head being banged against the bus window. Of being shoved, mocked, and chased.

    I remember a boyfriend my freshman year inviting me to a dance just to break up with me in front of one of the bullies and then inform me he was going out with her instead.

    I remember the boy who took my virginity making fun of me and giving me a complex I still have to do this day.

    I remember my first and only fight, when I'd finally had enough after two years of total misery. And the school trying to expel me even though I'd been trying to get their help to make it stop. And that my life was slightly more peaceful after that day.

    I remember my first true love breaking my heart and dumping me for someone with the same name but a different spelling. The wild binge I went on that summer to try to prove someone wanted me. And a crazy week together many, many years later that helped me see it was for the best we didn't stay together.

    I remember my 21 year old "fiance" dumping 16 year old me at "our" New Year's Eve party to try to steal his friend's girlfriend away.  And trying to overdose on pills but only managed to pass out and feel like shit the next day.  I remember deciding I needed to finally get out of this town.

    I remember going to a friend's apartment the summer I was 18. A guy friend I'd known for several years. A friend who said he always thought of me as a little sister since he was several years older than me. And being given drinks in a hot tub. And waking up to him having sex with me, me crying and asking him to stop, and him refusing. Him finishing and throwing me - still crying, bleeding, and feeling woozy - and my girlfriend out of the apartment. Of crying as I drove us both back home. Of feeling humiliated and ashamed.

    I remember going out dancing with a friend just last summer and people making a point to come into the area my best friend and I were at to point and try to intimidate me. It was like high school again, except this time I wasn't afraid - I was just royally pissed off.

    Tomorrow, or maybe even later today, I'll remember the good. Because there really is so much more of the good than the bad.

    Monday, May 27, 2013

    Random (not Anonymous) Acts of Kindess

    I've been trying to convince myself to start writing again. But the words don't seem to flow. My life is a roller coaster ride - not really anything new there - but so much of what is happening I can't write about. And I don't know how to write about anything other than my life, as boring as that might be to some.  So my blog has sat mostly dormant.

    And then I get an email that E.C. Stilson had posted something new on Goodreads. Turned out she was hosting a Random Acts of Kindness Blogfest. Many of you know that I'm a firm believer in RAK. I try to do these frequently and encourage others to do them, especially when having a bad day. What better way for me to get back to my blogging than to participate?

    I've made it to this point in my life because of the many acts of kindness done for me throughout the years. Teachers who took an interest in me in school and shaped my future when I could easily have fallen through the cracks. Money offered when I needed it most. Surprise package of goodies from Hawaii. A box of baked goods delivered to my door. Cards left on my desk to cheer me up. Someone holding the door for me when my hands were full. Beautiful photos taken of my youngest daughter and one of her best friends.  A friend bringing me my favorite coffee at work. A book I said I was interested in reading showing up in the mail. Outfits that appeared on my bed while I showered. Going to get my hair done and finding it had been paid.

    One of my favorite acts I did was sending a dress to a woman I only knew through the internet. Her daughter needed a prom dress and they had little money. I packaged up what I had, hoping it would work out, and sent it off. It didn't take much on my part - but it made mother and daughter's day to receive that dress in the mail!

    Some people have told me that it's not truly a random act of kindness unless it's anonymous, but I don't agree with that statement. I do love anonymous acts, but that's not a requirement. According to Wikipedia, this is the definition: random act of kindness is a selfless act performed by a person or people wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual person or people. The key here is that it's selfless - the person isn't doing it for what she'll/he'll get in return.

    I hope you'll take a few moments and remember some of your favorite random acts of kindness. Did you perform them or receive them? Share your story on your blog or in a comment. And then go out this week and see if you can't do one a day. It doesn't have to be big. The smallest acts often have the most impact.

    Monday, March 25, 2013

    Monday Madness: Dresses, Sparkle, & Annoying Workouts

    Oh what to write about? Nothing particularly exciting is going on. I splurged (well it was actually a birthday present but I was going to splurge) on a FABULOUS black somewhat vintage looking dress over the weekend. I'll post pictures when I get red shoes to match and have my hair and make-up looking at least decent.
    This is nothing what my dress looks like - I just think this is gorgeous. You can have this skirt by going to and paying $76.00. 
    Also I originally saw this on Pacifiers & Pinups blog, so please go check it out!

    Today I was in Small Town, CA,  in the middle of nowhere. At a customer site. Where I left sparkle everywhere I went. Everywhere: bathroom, chair seats, hallways, etc. I was slightly embarrassed when I realized the sparkle I was seeing all around had come from underneath my skirt.  The shorts I had put on to give myself a little sense of perkiness after little sleep last night & getting up at 5:30 am had BAD GIRL in sparkles on them. The sparkles didn't have great adhesive, so everywhere I went the sparkles were falling out from under my skirt to mark my path throughout the day. Fortunately the customers thought it was great - and up until I confessed had thought it was the work of someone's granddaughter, who apparently was always wearing or carrying something glittery.
    This is just a lame and blurry picture of me trying to look sexy.
     I suck at selfies and look stupid in most pictures anyway.
    If you could see the sparkles on the top, they're kinda like the ones I left all over my customer site today.
    Getting home tonight I decided it was time to end the laziness and do some kind of workout. Except my workouts can't involve socks or shoes that cover the top of my foot, because of the A-MAZING tattoo I gave myself for my birthday. Well, not gave myself like I tattooed myself because that would be very sad looking, but that I paid for as my birthday present to myself.  Going through my workout DVDs I realized I've loaned out all of the good ones I actually enjoy and was left with a scratched copy of Jillian Michael's Yoga Meltdown; Carmen Electra's Strip to Fit (this is NOT a stripping workout - it's getting in shape for the stripping workout); Yoga Booty Ballet, Sizzling Salsa (not at all as sizzling as the name applies), and Fat Burning Yoga. I didn't think I could tolerate Carmen Electra in whatever kind of workout suit she's wearing (velour, velvet, I don't know. I do know it's long-sleeved and pants and who the fuck actually does a sweaty workout in that?!) or her attempts to make some of the exercises look sexy. I think I remember not liking Yoga Booty Ballet, although it's been like 5 years since I actually tried it. But I decided to go with Fat Burning Yoga. Which is a Crunch workout with Sara Ivanhoe. And I remembered that she is pretty much as annoying as Carmen Electra, but I was part way through the workout so had to finish. There's something about using "turn it up a notch" or "kick it up a notch" in a yoga workout that really bugs me. I'm also not sure I wanted to know that "Twists are good for digestion...You can really wring  yourself out." Although "To burn fat you have to do it, do it, do it" could really be applied to something much more fun than yoga, so I'll hold onto that phrase.

    In summary, make sure the sparkle stays where it should before going out in public. Review your available options for workouts not requiring footwear before getting a tattoo. Carmen Electra and Sara Ivanhoe are annoying but their workouts will get your heart rate up and make you sweat (and there is a nicely toned man in Strip to Fit to help distract you from Carmen; or if you're a straight guy, you can just stare at Carmen's boobs to distract from the annoyance). Oh, and there's nothing like a downward facing dog in a boy shorts and a sports bra to bring you to the reality that you'd better keep this shit up because you're getting some serious cottage cheese thighs and that stomach is NOT looking pretty.

    Sara Ivanhoe! Get this workout for as little as $8.99 on DVD
    or $7.99 on VHS through Amazo
    Carment Electra - buy this at Amazon on DVD for 10.99.
    Be annoyed with me while working out.

    Tuesday, March 12, 2013

    Let's Raze This Dump

    You know those people who can't stand the idea of their parent(s) selling the house they grew up in? Who look forward to going home once in awhile? I am not one of those people.

    I'm sitting in my dad's living room right now, in the house we moved into when I was in the 5th grade, and I wish I had the money to have this place completely dozed and build him something from scratch. 28 or so years of neglect. The normal wear and tear of kids growing up here, of course. Women who spent most of their time either sleeping or sitting around smoking while their kids and animals destroyed the house. Days upon days of deep cleaning wouldn't touch this place. It's worn out.

    This house that should be paid off but isn't thanks to the stepmom who racked up as many bills as she could before abandoning us all. Thanks to the stepsister who got in a car accident because her boyfriend ran a red light driving the car my dad had given them but they hadn't yet put in their name, followed by them suing my dad since the car was still in his name. Thanks to the next woman who moved in with her son after I left - who then went on disability and sat around doing nothing but smoking, collecting first editions of romance novels, using my dad to take care of and help all of her ungrateful children.

    I'm angry at the number of people who have taken advantage of my dad. He's a gruff guy - often times downright scary if you don't know him. He made a school nurse cry once. A vice principal cry another time. But underneath that gruffness is a guy who will do almost anything for just about anybody. As much as he complains about doing things for people, he needs to be needed. I think it drives him crazy that I don't ask for anything. Every conversation ends with, "If you need anything, call me. Do you need some money? I don't have much, but I can give you some. Call me if you need anything. You sure you don't need anything?" I just say, "I know, Dad. I promise I'll call if I need anything." But I won't. I'll have to be pretty down and out before I ask my dad for anything. He doesn't have it to give, but he'd try like hell. And people hone right in on this and take full advantage.

    But I also realized tonight, my dad has his own role in this story. He continually chooses women who take advantage of him. He doesn't say no enough - to most of the kids he's raised (not even his biological children), to the women he meets, to his customers.  I think of the times he finally had enough and got the moochers out of his house, only to still end up paying bills for them or moving a new one in. The times he's helped one of them by co-signing for something, as if they could be trusted to make the payments.

    Looking around the house tonight, I realized it's more than just the structure I want to raze, it's the memories. This place saddens me. It's dirty, stained, chipped, and just plain worn out. Maybe I feel like a new place would help give dad a new outlook on life. Or maybe I just want to be more comfortable when I visit - which isn't often enough at all.  It's about me - because I'm not sure it bothers my dad all that much. Then again, I don't really know. Maybe this will be a chance to talk to him about it. If two people who would rather just do something for someone than talk about it can have that conversation!

    Friday, March 1, 2013

    3 Cute Policemen & a 3:30 Wake Up

    It’s Friday and I’m only working a four hour day – which should be cause for celebration, but this Friday has not gotten off to a great start.

    I got to bed at midnight. It seemed I had just fallen asleep when I heard a banging at the door.  My first thought was, “Dammit, the neighbors are at it again” and the noise must be coming from them. It wasn’t. My next thought was “Urchin and her boyfriend got in a fight”, but she still has a key.  After that I thought, “Great, probably some drunk idiot banging on the wrong door” and I dragged my exhausted body out of bed to peer blearily through the peephole.  What to my wondering eyes should appear? Three policemen.
    PANIC! Something happened to Urchin. Why else would policemen be at my door at 3:30 in the freaking morning?
    Great picture from
    I cautiously opened my door and stared at them. They stared back for a moment before stumbling with what to say. “Is um, do you, um, know a Tonya?”  I told them no, I didn’t know her or another name they mentioned. Yes, I live alone. I’ve lived here since August. To which one replied to the other, “Yah it was before August when we were here last.”  I told them I got a lot of mail for Tonya D****, but I didn’t know her. Then another, who hadn’t come all the way up the stairs yet, finally stepped up and took a good look at me. “Nope, that’s not her. Sorry to wake you up, ma’am. You sure you don’t know her? No relation?” No, no relation. Again, no idea who she is.  And they apologized for waking me and left.  Now I’m super curious what Tonya did that warranted a 3:30 am visit from three cute policemen. Okay, maybe they weren’t cute. I didn’t have my glasses on and I was woken from a lovely sleep. But I’m sticking with they were cute.

    Of course it took me awhile to fall back asleep – nothing like loud banging on your door in the middle of the night to get the adrenalin pumping.  Followed by a series of bizarre dreams which I’ll try to analyze later with my newly downloaded dream analysis book.

    Up and at ‘em this morning, it turned into such a bad hair day I had to rewash my hair and start over. I needed to get gas and be to work earlier than usual. Bad hair day turned into a not-as-bad, but still not good, hair day. Made it to the gas station to try to use my new Safeway debit card. “See attendant.” No! I didn’t have time to see the attendant. Tried using my Safeway non-debit card. Lost my 28 cent a gallon discount. And? “See attendant.” Stomped inside huffing and being a bitch. Okay, I KNOW it wasn’t their fault. But I was quickly unraveling.  Slid club card. Slid debit card. Entered PIN.  Wouldn’t accept PIN, so I went for the credit option, forgetting Safeway JUST implemented a higher credit price per gallon. “Fuck. This is not my day” tumbled from my mouth as I stormed back out and had a mini tantrum, throwing my wallet into my car. They did get me 20 of my 28 cent discount, but I also had to pay the 8 cents more per gallon credit price.

    Gas pumped, tried to start my car. The key wouldn’t go in because it was bent. All I did was pull it out of the ignition enough to stop the beeping, how did it manage to get BENT? Telling myself this is really nothing, it doesn’t even matter that I’m late for work because NOBODY CARES but me, and not to cry, I attempted to bend it back with my hands. No success. So I stuck it as far into the ignition as it would go and bent it. Success! It slid in (there's a lot of sliding in this post and none of it's fun, darnit!), and I made it to work just in time for it to be considered an “acceptable” tardiness (that it doesn't require taking personal time).

    Now? The boss brought in donuts. I know I will feel sick if I eat one, so I’m not going to drown my morning woes in sugary goodness. Ahead today I still have a 2.5 hour drive for a meeting. Let’s hope the rest of my Friday goes smoothly!

    So, happy Friday readers!

    Monday, January 28, 2013

    Be Jealous

    I'm tired. I want to cry because my shoulder aches. My feet are throbbing. My back is strained. And I started to feel a little sorry for myself. I was also feeling a little jealous of others.  Today I heard or read about the following things:

    • A friend's three week trip to Honduras.
    • A friend's 10 day meditation retreat along with an upcoming three week trip to France.
    • A friend's upcoming trip to India. 
    • A friend's shopping spree. 
    • A friend's great birthday & all the gifts she either bought herself or received from others.
    • A friend who doesn't have to work full-time while going to college.
    • A friend who gets to be home with her kids after school.
    • A friend who just returned from a fabulous girls weekend. 
    So, yah - feeling a little envious. Not that I want to take a three week trip to another country - that's not really my thing. Mostly I'd just like to have the time AND the money to take three weeks off work and do something relaxing and fun. And I'd love to go shopping for some fun stuff - my wardrobe is lacking in clothes that fit well, aren't stained or ripped or just out dated, my bedroom walls are bare, etc. I worked full-time and raised kids while going to college. 

    But then I stopped to think about the other things I heard or read today. A relationship is ending & the person is devastated. A friend is raising an autistic son pretty much completely alone while working a full-time job. Someone's family member has cancer.Someone is ill. Someone is having to make a choice between paying bills and taking their child to the doctor. Someone desperately wants kids but is realizing it's probably not going to happen for her.

    And I realized that some people are, and maybe other people should be, jealous of me because...
    • I'm exhausted and achy because I filled in a shift at the coffee house. Two out of three of the volunteers bailed on their commitment for one reason or another. I'm tired because I got to be of service and help raise funds to end sex trafficking. What better reason is there to be tired than that of helping others? And how fortunate am I to be able to give my time?
    • I'm broke partly because I splurged a little this paycheck. I bought Hellion a birthday present (which resulted in a present for me as well - since buying two was a MUCH better deal than buying one). And I rented a jacuzzi suite for a nice relaxing night last weekend. I also donated to two different groups and watched a homeless man's face light up when I stopped traffic at the stop light to give him a few dollars.  I'm broke because my bills are paid and I have groceries and gas. At least I could cover my necessities without having to make a choice between paying my electric bill and taking my child to the doctor.
    • I was surprised last weekend with an amazing day of wine tasting in Napa Valley. The weather was perfect and I had a wonderful time.
    • Other people say they don't have time for things, but they can't really tell you why that is. I can tell you. I don't have time for much because I volunteer two nights a week and am working on a certain kind of  recovery in my life. I take notes, provide refreshments and serve as a representative for a meeting I attend. I work a full-time job. I spend time with my youngest. And occasionally I sleep. Less occasionally I work out.
    • I reached out to others today to remind them that they're beautiful and that they aren't alone. For a few it was just what they needed right when they needed it most.
    • Others reached out to me today, listened to me, hugged me, and reminded me that I am beautiful and strong and not alone.
    • My kids are healthy and happy. They may make me question my sanity at times, but I am so blessed to have them in my life. 
    • I have so many people in my life who love me for who I am, accept me flaws and all, and who forgive me my many mistakes. 
    I am a blessed being. And my biggest hope for my life is that I am somehow a blessing to someone every single day of my life. 

    One last thing? It's WAY past my bedtime, so excuse the run on sentences, poor grammar, and lack of photos to break things up. Good night, my lovelies, good night.

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

    Just Get Over It said the Moron

    My last post came after a day that comes a little too frequently, but at least not nearly as often as it did in the past. It was me trying to explain how I sometimes can't function. It was me, nicely, trying to point out to people that I have a disorder and not just an attitude problem. But today I don't feel so nice. I basically just want to say a big "FUCK OFF" to those people who don't get it but seem to think they do.

    It's okay that many of you don't get it - you have no idea what it feels like to have your brain and emotions not work "normally". I'm seriously happy that you don't deal with this shit. I appreciate those who say, "I don't get it, Inelegant. I don't know what bipolar disorder or depression o even sever anxiety are like. I wish I could help you."  But I am really fed up with people who tell me to snap out of it. People who tell me to just say some affirmations each morning. People who feel the need to remind me of what I have in my life to be grateful for and tell me I just need to be more grateful. People who tell me I focus too much on myself and that's why I have these days.

    People! I suffer from bipolar disorder and social anxiety. As much as I would love for this to be "just an excuse" that I use to try to get away with things in life, it's just not that simple. I do not want to wake up in the morning feeling paralyzed and overwhelmed. Or so tired even rolling over in bed takes too much energy. I don't want to use every ounce of energy I have that day just trying to seem like a normal person and get through a normal day without freaking out or crying. I'm tired of feeling angry when I should be sad. Or sad when I should be angry. Or angry and/or sad when I should be happy. I rarely feel actual excitement - I usually just say I'm excited because it's what is expected. I don't want to look at people I care about and think, "I hate you! Get away from me!" or "You're such a freaking moron? Do you ever actually use your brain?" And then the energy to keep those thoughts from exploding from my mouth? Because I know they aren't real. I know they'll pass and I'll be so glad I didn't let it out!

    Fortunately, I mostly feel better these days. If I sleep well, eat regularly, do at least moderate exercise, and take my medications I can keep these "episodes" to a minimum. But I can tell you that I do say affirmations and I am grateful, and that isn't enough to battle this disorder.

    I've led a pretty good life. I get that. Even my illness isn't as bad as many others have it. While it may take all the energy I have to function some days, I still am able to do it most of the time.  I sit behind a computer all day. I don't have to wax people's private parts, stick my hands in mouths, touch people's feet, or wipe butts for my living (kudos to those of you who do these things regularly - I just couldn't do it). I haven't lost anyone really close to me. I wanted children and had no problems having them. I've never been abused in any way. I don't have disabled children. When I talk to people who deal with hardship, I don't get it. I haven't dealt with it before. But I sure as hell won't tell them to buck up, or it's not as bad as they think, or they should be grateful for what they do have... I'll tell them I'm sorry, that I don't know what it's like but that I do want to help in any way I can, even if it's just listening or running an errand or sitting there quietly holding their hand.

    And that's what I have to say about THAT!