Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
This past Saturday was spent happily preparing for a photo shoot with mine and Alie's darling friend and ridiculously talented photographer Ryan Schude. The idea was kind of a post-apocalyptic vibe wherein Alie and I are attempting to lure our prey (Ryan's ever-patient brother, Collins) into our lair. The entire day - from creating our wardrobe and doing our hair and makeup ("messier, bigger!"), to nervously teetering on rusted, weather-worn cages at the abandoned zoo and listening as foxes howled in the too-close-for-comfort hills - was awesome. I could happily spend every weekend in such a way. To which God to I prey to make this happen?
And how was your Valentine's Day, lovely readers?
Friday, February 12, 2010
I was five years old at the time, and still remember stealing my dad's pillow from what was once my parent's bed and holding it against my face to inhale my dad's fatherly scent, while I hid in the closet under our staircase.
I've learned since then that everyone has an interesting story about their parent's history, and sometimes I find that it's my story that's the interesting one, especially when I talk to people whose parents NEVER divorced and NEVER hated each other (can you imagine??!). I must admit that boggles my mind just a little to hear. To those fellow children of divorcees, every little nuance of our situations effects the way we'll grow up and love, ourselves.
Did you father leave, only to be heard from a few times a year via awkward and increasingly unwanted phone calls? Did your parents remarry and were you swept into a world of unfamiliar extended step-families and half-siblings who you cautiously loved but couldn't overcome your animosity for? Tell me in the comments. I really want to know.
For me, the divorce of my parents meant one thing: road trips with my father.
With an RV one trip, a mini van and extensive camping equipment the next, we explored California and the Pacific Northwest while my father's one, beloved cassette (an old copy of Paul Simon's Graceland) blared from the tape deck. Every other weekend and for a few week's at a time during the summer, the four of us (my dad and my older brother and sister) became unshowered, rugged, sometimes crabby adventurers.
Looking at the photos now, I realize how stressful this must have been for my dad. Not just having three young, admittedly rambunctious kids to take care of on those long trips, but to be newly divorced and trying his best to maintain a somewhat normal relationship with his children. To not have it mirror the so-called relationship he had had with his own father after his parent's divorce.
To make memories with them that they would remember as adults and use as a testament to the fact that their father cared and wanted to be there, wanted them to remain happy and carefree despite the newly in-turmoil family life.
These trips we took helped shape me into the curious, tom-boyish, adventurous person I became. I learned how to play poker over a propane lantern, I know how to set up a tent on my own, the best way to barbecue chicken and perfectly crisp a marshmallow over an open fire, and how to entertain myself without access to a T.V. and on long trips (answer: boardgames and Barbies, and playing "I wonder who lives there" at the passing houses).
There were some awful moments (like almost drowning in the Colorado rapids or that soggy egg roll that gave me food poisoning), some really cool experiences (such as my first trip to San Francisco and the sushi-boat restaurant that seriously blew my mind), and a couple pretty but temporary women my father would introduce us to (always as his "lady friend", never his girlfriend).
I guess my favorite part though, is that I got to share all these experiences with my siblings who, aside from a trip I wouldn't go on after seeing the movie La Bamba and adamantly refusing to fly in an airplane, were my companions and best friends on all these trips. I'm sure my dad is happy about this fact...and also that I still adore Paul Simon's Graceland.
Monday, February 8, 2010
I felt woozy and the world started to go white as soon as I stepped off the bus where the Red Cross had set up shop. Luckily a friend was nearby and took care of me. As I came-to in that office, alone on an unfamiliar couch while the early afternoon breeze and faint traffic sounds wafted through the window, I thought of how perfect it would be to have a nice smelling, familiar shoulder to lean into at that moment. To have someone gently stroke my head as my nausea subsided, and make a joke about how I just deterred everyone driving by the Red Cross van from ever giving blood by vomiting right there on the side walk (true story).
Just to be around someone who loved me, who thought I was special and beautiful and with whom I'd shared enough lovely moments and side splitting laughter with to make us seem like a team...to have that level of comfort and trust with someone again.
I ended things with someone not to long ago without ever really giving him a chance. He was sweet and funny and seemed to have his shit together, and the couple times we hung out were splendid. But I freaked out and ended things abruptly...I wasn't even aware I was going to end things, I just did. I told him that he probably had dodged a bullet, and I wasn't kidding.
I don't know what it is in me that gets nervous at any sign of a functional relationship, but I'm guessing it's related to the thing that attracts me to the less than emotionally available and relationship-ready dudes I tend to have short but dramatic and intense flings with. It's so much easier to be with someone when the decision to not be serious with them is already made by the fact that they are in no way ready for a serious relationship.
I see a dude who has his shit together and I think "a house, marriage, babies...oh fuck, I'm so not ready for that" and I hightail it. It's not even that I don't want those things, I do, just so off in the future that I can't even begin to take them seriously. And those of you who commented that it'll be different when I meet someone I'm crazy about are SO right, I know, it's just that I'm nervous that I'll be so emotionally drained by then that I won't even recognize it until it's too late. I've met ones that I've been SO crazy about, and look where that's gotten me. I've been thinking a lot about my last post, and all the comments you guys left (thank you!). When I go back and read the post, I notice a defensive tone, and I can't overlook it. The last thing I want to become is jaded
I became a first-time aunt this weekend. Little Micah Gabriel Hardstark is so cute he looks like a porcelain doll, and my heart almost explodes even when I just think about him. My lovely sister in law went through days of painful labor for him, and when it was all over, she was smiling happily. When I went to meet my nephew for the first time, my big brother was so happy.
He crawled into the hospital bed next to his wife and they clasped hands and talked with smiles on their faces. They've been together for seven years and their love and compatibility is palpable. I can't say I don't want that too, I'd be lying. I've put up so many defenses just to shield myself from ever having to go through a painful break-up again, and I can't even tell what I'm defending myself from anymore. I'm not saying I'm not still happy being single, I am, I just don't think I should be so damn proud of myself for it.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
I tried doing that today. It didn't work.
I just ended things with the guy I'd been dating since New Years Eve. He was cool and cute, but I found myself wanting to be alone a lot. The truth is, I'm happy being alone. I don't like having to consider someone else's feelings right now. My best girl friend is my confidant and makes me laugh like a goon. My cats greet me happily when I come home and cuddle up to me at night. My sister is always a phone call away on the rare occasions I need to cry to someone about some petty thing. I haven't felt the pangs of loneliness in so long...years maybe?
Have I become a cynic? Jaded? Depressed? No, I don't think so. I think I'm just a realist now that I'm older, wiser, and ten pounds heavier. Every movie I see where there's a couple that's unhappy and bickering (including Paranormal Activity...because that couple was seriously fucking annoying), or every mom blog I read where there's a complaint about a lazy husband (no matter how in-jest the complaint is), I think to myself "thank fucking god I'm single".
I don't want to be a single girl stereotype. I can't think of one reason to pity myself, and being lucky enough not to be trapped in a relationship that I'm not happy with would be a dumb place to start. I just can't, for the life of me, think of a good reason to be in a relationship right now.
Have you ever felt this way? What changed it? Or do you STILL feel that way? I feel like this is some weird revelation that's going to make me a much happier person...until I'm 40 and alone and wishing I had married a nice but boring dude whom I didn't even give a chance in my 20's.