You Never Text Me When You’re Sober

Drunk text messages from some people are often amusing. Drunk booty texts from some people are also amusing, and sometimes fun. Drunken texts from your ex accusing you of not acknowledging him (when you clearly said hello) and then subsequent schmoopy messages that you never got when you were together, are not amusing. If the only time you text me is after you’ve been drinking, then you should probably try to make an effort to not do that. If you say things to me that you never said to me while we were together, and act completely differently towards me, then you clearly need to evaluate your feelings where I’m concerned. When your inhibitions are lowered and you think it’s a good idea to get together with me, then it seems like maybe you’re not being honest with yourself. It takes a lot of willpower on my end to not give in. My feelings are still right there, just under the surface, trying to resist my efforts to get over you. I can’t even let myself be friends with you because I can’t trust you to not take advantage of me and the way I still feel about you. You never gave me any clear reasons for why you wanted to end things, I guessed, and it seemed like we mutually split. I would have preferred to work things out, work things through, talk at length about some things, but instead I get the brush off. Unless you’ve been drinking; then I get texts that make it seem like you want me back or that you regret breaking up with me. So please, stop. Unless you want to have an actual conversation with me when you’re sober and work through whatever it is that we still seem to need to work through, don’t keep dredging my emotions up and keeping me from moving on from you. Find somebody else to drunk text.

You Never Call Me When You’re Sober:

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Just Some More meaningless Words

Instead of writing letters I never send, I think thoughts I never speak. I bottle them all up and try to keep them contained until they dissipate on their own, but sometimes they escape at night, sneaking down the sides of my face to find solace in my pillow. Sometimes, during the day, the façade I’ve carefully constructed cracks just a little allowing the truth to peek out. They ask if I’m ok, and that’s a reminder to shore things up. I’m fine. They don’t ask twice. The fine conspiracy keeps everyone at bay and reassures them that at least they asked, even if they didn’t want to know the answer. If the question were to elicit a different response would it matter? If the thoughts were to take flight from my tongue and assail them with the intricacies of how not fine things really are, would it make a difference? If I told them about all the things they do that make me feel not fine would they change the way they treat me? Or would they brush it off like I expect them to do; like they’ve done before when I’ve confessed the way they’ve hurt me?

If I could flip a switch and make myself not care so deeply, would I do it? Some people must have that ability. I often wish they could teach me how to stop caring. They make it seem so effortless. The ease with which they stop loving makes me question whether there was ever love in the first place. Is my gullibility so profound that I could be fooled into believing I was loved? Or do I want to be loved so badly that I would choose to overlook the fallacy that was right in front of me the whole time? How can I still want that love? The cumulative verisimilitude of my experiences has failed to quench my thirst for love. My hope is resilient. It encourages me to move forward and keep searching. Little seeking tendrils of desire exhaustively questing; hoping that I won’t once again fall victim to the deceit I’m all too familiar with.

Until the day I can lay myself bare, all faults exposed, and know without a doubt that I am accepted, that my feelings are reciprocated, I will wait and hope. Still keeping all these thoughts to myself whenever they percolate, I will stop myself from asking; hopeful that I will get an answer when I know it will never come. One day, someone will be appreciative of the depth of my emotions. They won’t take advantage of my naiveté; won’t take my kindness for granted. When I can stop fooling myself, I will no longer feel the need to fool the others.

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W(s)OD: Finifugal & Perseveration

So, a Word Porn post (yes, word porn is totally a thing for those of us with sapiosexual proclivities) caught my attention and inspired a word of the day post. I have to join it with a WOD post that I have in progress and have just been sitting on for a while trying to figure out how to tie it together. I found it serendipitous that finifugal came across my newsfeed today. According to word porn, finifugal is an adjective meaning “hating endings; of someone who tries to avoid or prolong the final moments of a story, relationship, or some other journey.” As someone with a bent towards obsession and a deep need for finality, I find myself circling back to people and situations and continuing to ask questions and hang on, even when I know it’s pointless to do so. Which brings us to perseveration, which is medically associated with brain damage and schizophrenia, “the tendency for an idea, impression, or feeling, to dissipate slowly and to recur during subsequent experiences; to repeat something persistently or redundantly.” I get stuck in the same patterns of behavior, and despite the fact that I recognize this, I have a hard time extricating myself from relationships and situations that I know are not good for me. Intellectually, I can tell myself one thing, but emotionally I have a much harder time coming to grips with what my brain knows to be true. I am a sucker for giving people second, third, fourth… chances, and also for desperately holding onto the belief that people can and will change. That is the perseveration and its hold on my behavior patterns. Despite all of my bad experiences with people and life, I also still expect endings to be final. I want things wrapped up in a bow and obviously over; finite. Quite often, that is just not the way things work. I persist in questioning and picking apart relationships trying to find reasons and meanings. Most of this is not in the vain hope that something will change, but just because I find myself unable to let go until I feel like I’ve pursued every avenue of discourse. I talk, talk, and talk some more until either the person I’m talking to has had enough, or I finally come to terms with the end.

I’m not sure at what point I decide that something is done, but it does happen. I have had limited success with quitting people cold turkey; living in a small town, you’re bound to run into people from time to time no matter how much you try to avoid them. Ditching people on social media, some of them actually come right out and ask why or send a new friend request. I find that hanging on to certain relationships simply enables me to continue with obsessive thought patterns that are better off being buried. I am good at being friendly with exes and former friends, but I have a hard time being actual friends unless a lot of time has passed, or the relationship has come to a natural dissolution. Even the act of remaining friends with someone you’ve been in a relationship with is an attempt to not have an ending. So what is all of this about? Why do I insist on seeking closure, and why must it be on my terms? Why can’t I just let go and move on, especially when it seems like the other person has obviously done so? I wish I could answer that question for myself. You would think after thirty some odd years I would be able to move on a little better. Maybe that is something that I will pick up in my next thirty years… I’m thinking that it just has to do with my need to be in control. I just need to learn to let it go.

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Have An Attitude of Gratitude

How do you teach your child to be gracious? How do you teach them to be grateful for the opportunities that they’re given and not dwell on the times that they are told no? Obviously, it starts with setting a good example. It can be hard to be gracious when you are disappointed. I have done a lot of theater, so I am painfully familiar with the fact that you will be told no way more often than you will be told yes. I remember that feeling in high school when I was just positive that I was THE perfect person to play a certain part. I remember being so angry when the part went to someone else and just seething with resentment and telling myself that I could do SO much better than that person. It was hard to let go of that feeling and enjoy the time I spent in the chorus or ensemble. It took me years to even contemplate being part of a play and not being on stage. Each experience I’ve had with every play I’ve ever done has been rewarding in a different way, and all the times I didn’t get the lead role have been just as fulfilling as the times when I was the lead. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some time in the spotlight, but now I appreciate the fact that there is so much more that goes into a show then just the actors on the stage. I know the importance of a good makeup and hair department, how vital a costumer is and why the stage manager is the single most important person ever when you can’t find a prop. The community theater that I do now is just that, all about community. I am old enough now that I can truly appreciate what an opportunity it is to participate in any aspect of a show. The people I get to work with make every experience rewarding.

The sense of community that I feel towards all of my local play people is what makes it so disappointing when a few people get so worked up about not getting a part. When there are only four parts, not everyone can get one, but we still need you! There are still plenty of opportunities for you to help and be involved and have fun. Please don’t get involved just for the recognition and applause. Get involved because it’s awesome and you get to work with great people. Be grateful for the opportunity to participate in any capacity. Set a good example to the kids who are looking up to you. Set a good example on social media about the importance of being happy for others. I know that no one is perfect, and that it hurts to not get chosen, but you can still participate. I wish I could go back and help back stage and be a part of some of the shows I wasn’t cast in. I regret the times that I was so upset about not being cast that I didn’t help at all. Knowing what I know now, I missed out on a lot.

My son is so excited for the time when he gets to be in a play with his mama. I will not be the drama mama that kvetches about my baby not getting a certain part. I want to make sure that he is grateful to participate. I want to help him understand that every part is important and every person working on the production is a vital member of a team. I want him to learn graciousness from me. I want him to be eager to help and be happy for others. I want him to understand that just because he doesn’t get first place, get a ribbon, get a medal, get the lead, get the solo… he is still awesome. I want him to know that he doesn’t need that kind of recognition or validation. I want my son to be genuinely happy for the person who does get first place, especially if that person is his friend, and even more so if that person is his enemy. I want him to really understand what it means to be grateful and to be a gracious person. Part of being gracious is learning humility, and learning to be humble comes from being a gracious loser. I want my son to understand that you can’t be the best at everything all the time, and that’s ok. Sometimes I feel like our society puts so much emphasis on winning that we’ve lost sight of what it means to participate.

I am by no means saying that I’m perfect or that I don’t get a little jealous of the person whose make up I’m doing or wistfully wish that someone was zipping me up into my costume so I could dash back on stage. I recognize now that everyone deserves their own time to shine and I have to share the spotlight. One day my son will be faced with the disappointment of not getting chosen for something and I don’t want it to break him down. I don’t want him to waste as many opportunities as I did by being resentful. I want to make sure that I teach him to be gracious and to participate every chance he gets. We in the theater community jokingly say that there are no small parts, only small actors. The same can be said of every aspect of our lives. Everyone is important. Everyone has something to give. Take away one member of the chorus and that means someone doesn’t have a dance partner, or that there’s only one soprano to hit that high note so the person at the back of the theater might not hear it. If the person doing the stage left follow spot isn’t there, everyone will notice when that area of the stage is dark. So aside from having gratitude, I also want my son to realize that he is important. Everything he does is important and has an impact, and if he starts with the right attitude, he will be so much happier.

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If My Son is Gay

I’ve been ruminating on this ever since seeing a post by a friend of mine. I had never really given it more than a passing thought. I’d see an article here and there and read about some kid whose parents had kicked them out for being gay… or tried to make them straight. I didn’t give a whole lot of thought to what I would do if this situation ever arises. Partly because I just don’t think it matters, and partly because I have way more pressing matters to deal with like second grade spelling homework. But I’ve been mulling it over and decided to flesh out my two cents.

I recall that first ultrasound appointment; the nervousness of waiting to hear a heartbeat; the anticipation of seeing the first images of my baby. The million questions racing through my head that I couldn’t put into words. Each visit to the doctor was filled with reassurances that everything was normal. The baby is healthy. Everything looks good. One of the first things I did was double check that my son had all his fingers and toes; that everything looked as it should. Never once did it cross my mind to wonder what his sexual orientation would be. I mean, WGAF about that when you’ve just been through labor and you witnessed the miracle of creating a tiny human. I can’t fathom the hypocrisy of turning on my son for something so trivial as who he chooses to love. The utter betrayal of the unconditional love that a mother has for her baby is unthinkable to me. I loved him from that very first heartbeat. Nothing will ever alter that.

We’ve had some fleeting conversations about people kissing people and that it’s ok to kiss someone when you love them. At eight years old, I don’t really think he cares too much about LGBTQ issues. To me, this just seems like another thing to talk about in an age appropriate manner in an attempt to foster understanding and compassion in my son. I hope and pray that I am the parent who would know that my son is gay (trans? queer?…) before he decides to tell me. I also hope that I’m the type of parent that treats my son in such a way that he trusts me enough to tell me something of that magnitude. I also wish that coming out wouldn’t be such a huge thing. Like, “Hey, mom… I know we’ve always had cats, and you like cats, but I’m really more of a dog person.” Maybe one day it will be like that.

Until society decides to let go of some bigotry, I will have to be the parent who teaches my child to accept others for who they are. This includes teaching him to accept himself. It also includes teaching him that loving someone, himself, others, is never wrong. Love is not wrong. Love just is. The love I have for him is just there. It’s tangible and ephemeral at the same time. It’s unconditional, all encompassing, a force of nature, as elemental as breathing; no matter what happens or where life takes us, my love for him will always exist and there are no strings attached to it. How any parent can put limitations on the love they have for their child is something that I will never be able to understand. My son is and always will be my son. Whether he is five days old or fourteen thousand days old, he will still be my son and I will still love him. He will always be worthy of my love. I will always want what’s best for him and want him to find happiness.

My one and only concern about the possibility of my son not fitting into societies heteronormative ideal is how he will be judged by others. People get teased enough for trivial things like being tall, having big ears, having freckles, and these are all things that they have no control over… adding sexual orientation into the mix (another thing that you have NO control over) is not something a parent wants for their child. I can only hope that I can instill in my son an understanding that he can trust me and that my love for him will always be. I hope that I will raise him to be strong and to have faith in himself. I hope that if he ever tells me that he is gay, I will react in a way that lets him know that it’s just part of what makes him who he is and not something that will change how I feel about him. And if he decides that he’s always felt like he was meant to be a girl, I will bemoan the fact that his feet will be bigger than mine and we won’t be able to share shoes.

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How Social is Social Media?

So, a person whose opinion I used to highly value told me that my Facebook posts pointed to a pattern of attention seeking behavior. He told me this on more than one occasion, and accused me of attention seeking behavior in other areas of my life. Eventually my paranoia got the better of me (I didn’t want to be annoying people…) so I had my therapist look through my Facebook posts. I was pleased to learn that she found nothing wrong with my posts. All of this got me thinking about what the purpose of social media is. Facebook is the only social media that I actively participate in. I have a blog, but I’ve never really understood Twitter or Instagram or any of the others. I have a Pinterest account, but I don’t use it very often. My main motivation for posting things is sharing. I don’t count likes or comments. I assume that the majority of my friends are at least slightly amused by the things I post. I also assume that if they don’t like what I post, they have the option of ignoring my posts, not following me, or unfriending me. I try to keep up with Facebook’s privacy BS and make sure that my posts can only be seen by my friends. I don’t think I post anything on there that a prospective employer would find offensive, but better safe than sorry. If there’s something that I want to share with a specific person, I post it to their wall or I PM them. As far as I’m concerned, I’m using Facebook the way it was meant to be used.

Now, I have to tell you, I’m in my thirties. I’m not sure if this makes a difference in the content of my posts, but it could be relevant. There are a few people that I have unfriended because I just couldn’t take all of their whining. My last friend purge got rid of seventy people. I kept asking myself why I was friends with these people. Some of them had over a thousand “friends”! I know there are a few of my “friends” that I’ve never met in person, but most of them I would recognize if I ran in to them at Wal-Mart. I have a Facebook page for my business, and it annoys me when people don’t create a separate page for their business and instead use their personal page for promoting their business ventures. I will share my business pages status updates, but not excessively. I am also “friends” with several pages that just post funny things… not sure what those pages are categorized as. I’ve thought about starting my own, but I just don’t think I have time to admin something like that. I casually observe some of the things that my younger friends post, and sometimes it makes me really happy that Facebook didn’t exist when I was in high school.

My main rule for myself when I share something is to stop and think about why I’m sharing it. Do I think it’s funny? Do I think it’s important or relevant? Would I bring it up in conversation if I was out in a real social environment? Do I think that my friends will appreciate it or need to know about it? If it’s something that I should bring to a therapist, then it’s probably not something that needs to be shared with 300 of my closest friends… I don’t overshare things about my child. I feel like he deserves some respect for the fact that he doesn’t have any say in what I post about him, and I don’t want him to have some kind of huge on-line cache before he’s even old enough to have his own page. Or vote.

I can see how other people use Facebook to validate themselves. I have seen people post some things that make me think that they should be seeking professional help.  I have also read posts that made me think “Why did they feel the need to tell me that?” Some of the posts are obviously people fishing for complements or attention. Would they say these things out loud, in public, if they were in a bar? (and sober) I feel like everything I post or share is something that you could expect me to say or talk about in public with my friends. Then again, I admit that my filter is non-existent and I have little shame. So, perhaps, that person who thought my behavior was a cry for attention, was just not comfortable being around the real me.

That being said, social media is just that, it is socializing. If you want to vent, do it. If you want to share, do it. If you want to proselytize, by all means, go ahead.  It is my choice whether or not I read what you’ve written or just keep scrolling. If I unfollow you, it just means that I want to keep open the option of cyber stalking you at my convenience. If I unfriend you, that means I either think that you can’t handle my witticisms, or I no longer care to subject myself to your musings. That is all it is. If you don’t like hanging out with someone at a party or some other social gathering, then you try not to hang out with them. End of story. The same can be said of social media. Use it how you see fit, and if you don’t want to see every Snark-e-card that someone posts, then either get over yourself, or move on.

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Love is, Most Assuredly, A Four Letter Word

While I’m not the first person to think that Love is a four letter word, and many others have waxed poetic for centuries on the topic, I feel like putting in my two cents. I feel proficient in the topical use of four letter words. I was pondering a George Carlin skit (link is below) and thinking about snow (another dreadful four letter word) and ended up attempting to have a discussion with someone about love. I didn’t feel like I was able to get my point across, and as such I’ve been ruminating on the topic ever since. I like to consider myself a romantic. I subscribe to the fantastical ideal of love the way it is depicted in songs and movies. I hold onto the hope that this type of love is attainable; that there will be that one time when love strikes me like lightning and imbues me with a sense of rightness. As such, I jump into relationships with both feet and rose colored glasses, hoping against hope that this is the time that everything will fall into place. I am perpetually disappointed. I have had people that I could not take my eyes off of. People that consumed my thoughts and caused me to obsess. People that made me think about the future and build elaborate fantasies around what could be. I am unsure if these types of feelings have ever been reciprocal. I know I’m looking for a love that takes me the way I am and loves me anyway, flaws and all. I know I often look past any flaws that someone might have and dig around for all their good qualities. I’m willing to overlook a lot if I feel like I love someone. That is what turns love into a four letter word, the willingness to sacrifice yourself for someone that doesn’t feel the same way about you.

Love is a double edged sword. Loving so deeply that you lose yourself is a dangerous thing. I’ve been down that road before and sacrificed far too much of myself to ever willingly slip down that slope again. I caution myself at the beginning of every new relationship to take things slow. I am so inpatient, and so enthusiastic, that I have a hard time justifying applying the brakes. I hold out hope that there will be one person one day that feels that way too and will actually be worth going downhill at full tilt, to hell with the consequences. In the beginning of any relationship, it is so easy to be confused by another four letter word, lust. It is difficult to sort through the miasma of endorphins and newness and determine what you’re actually feeling. Yes, this is the honeymoon phase, but I think it differs wildly in its duration for everybody and every relationship. You hear all the time about crazy people who get married after dating for a month (or less), and some of them don’t even have the excuse of being drunk or in Vegas. There are people who move in together way too soon and discover some kind of quirk about their partner that they just weren’t expecting. I generally believe that all these people are really thinking about is the endorphin rush they’re getting from all the newness (or the all the sex they’re having.) Of course, there are cases where long lasting relationships have resulted from these quickie marriages, but those seem to be happenstance. For every sixty year marriage that started in Vegas there are more than a few dozen that end in annulment or divorce.

So why do I still believe in LOVE? How can I say with absolute certainty that I know what love is? I know I’ve been IN LOVE. Deep, holy cow, I love this person so much I’d do anything for them, LOVE. It’s powerful. I can’t say with any certainty that anyone has ever felt that way about me. How can you know that? Love can be ephemeral and illusive. Love can be deep and abiding. Love needs to be felt and even then it can’t be explained. There is no one explanation of love. There are so many facets to this feeling, so many types and ways for one person to love another. Unconditionally, wholeheartedly, unreservedly, passionately, quietly, slowly… the kind of love you feel for your special someone is so different from the love you feel for family. I have people in my life right now that I would die for; family and friends alike. The people I would wake up at 3am for because they need me. The people I would drop everything for and do anything for; my constants. I know without a doubt that these people feel the same way about me. But to have that one person, that once in a lifetime person, that maybe this is my soul-mate person, seems like the ultimate, quite possibly unattainable, goal that I keep searching for. Even after all these years of looking I still hold onto the hope that this exists; that this type of all consuming love can be a mutual thing. That there is some kind of harmonious symbiosis that can happen between two people that makes them both think, “Yes! THIS is it!” I don’t want to be burned up and spent; I want to be ignited and kept aflame.

My favorite poem about love is this:

The red rose whispers of passion, And the white rose breathes of love; O, the red rose is a falcon, And the white rose is a dove. But I send you a cream-white rosebud, With a flush on its petal tips; For the love that is purest and sweetest, Has a kiss of desire on the lips. – John Boyle O’Reilly

To me, that sums up what I am looking for. An abiding passion that sometimes is stoked into flames, but always simmers and flickers, keeping each person warm. So yes, Love is a four letter word. So is Lust. Take a step back and try to clean the rose tint from your view so you can see clearly what you’re dealing with. Let things run their course and see where the road takes you. If it’s really love, truly love, you will either be left with an abiding friendship, or a friendship that’s on fire. I can’t help but keep trying. My hope hasn’t been quashed. No matter that Love is a four letter word; I’m quite comfortable uttering those.

Love is a Four Letter Word, Info:

Love is a Four Letter Word, Album playlist:

George Carlin, 7 Dirty Words:

Hormones and stuff:

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