Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Comeback, Part II

I am starting to believe that comeback stories are, for the most part, a collection of moments that detail great momentum forward, followed by small setbacks.  Okay, sometimes tall, handsome, blue-eyed setbacks.  Nonetheless, it’s an ever constant need to put one foot in front of the other.  At times like this I fall back huge to my Myst teachings, Rand Miller as Atrus always makes me feel better at times like this, especially when I can watch the ending of  Myst IV: Revelation:

I can’t watch that without bawling my fool head off.  On sooooo many levels… but the part that is the most important to me is the part where he says, “Endings are just another form of beginning, I guess. And the harder an end is to face, the more hope we bring with us to the next beginning.” Welcome to week one of the six-week long epic suck. I remember when my ex hit the door, so do you.  Oh gods, I did not want to do this again, but it comes with the what-should-be reassurance that my heart, however broken it is, still works.  It’s capable of giving and it’s still capable of going once again through what is sure to be a six-week epic suckfest.  It’s going to be six weeks of bone-jarring fun from discovering all of the little little things left behind by Ace and the moments of burying my face in my pillow to keep my neighbors from hearing me cry night after night. It sucks, but it has to be done.  Like Rand says, endings are just another form of beginning, and I get to begin again, tightening down on everything in my life that has been neglected after a year of taking my eye off the ball.  And, just because he’s down the road doesn’t mean I get the luxury of caving.  I was just standing in the bathroom, looking myself in the mirror telling myself, “We know the first six weeks are going to be hard.” It was then that I opened a drawer and found Ace’s shaving cream.  What happened next wasn’t pretty because I just collapsed next to my bathroom vanity in long sobs.  I’m not pretty all puffy faced, but that’s why I’ve got y’all and my daffy blog, trying to remind myself that hopefully, like Mary says, ‘this too shall pass.” It’s been three and a half days.  I can do this.  I can get up off my rump and tackle things that need tackling. It’s like what Marcus Aurelius said, “it’s up to you.”  Yeah it is up to me.  So, I’m going to dry it up, get myself together and go to bed, try to sleep, which we already know isn’t going to go well, but hey, eventually I’ll fall asleep.  At least I’ve got a new Kenyon novel.  The story of another beaten and battered soul made whole when it’s given enough love…oh hell, I can’t even read that.  I might just snuggle up with my philosophy book, maybe that will help.  Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow a bit more stoic and able to handle the next six weeks not-so-horribly. To relax, I’m going to stick to an old standby, it helps me sleep.  Hopefully it will do the same for you too.

The beauty of being the boss…

If you’d ask anyone in my huge, extended, real life family who “The Boss” was while we were growing up, 9 out of 10, you’ll get back the name of one very special woman.  My Aunt Sissy, or to my father she was “Babysis”, or if you just preferred first names, she was Helen.

Now, I’ll be the first one to tell you that being “the boss” is one of the world’s hardest things.  How she did it after my grandmother died, I have no earthly clue.  She was literally keeping up with family in at least four different states, knew everyone’s name and knew the details that even the CIA couldn’t dig up.  She knew who was who, who was married to who or who was even dating who. J. Edgar could have used a woman like her because I’m convinced she knew everything.

Well, when you’re wrangling 50+ people, you’ve got to have a special talent for it. The only other person I know with the genetic code able to pull off what Aunt Sissy did all the time is Nan.  You want to mobilize an army?  Talk to Nan, she’s got a whole army up her sleeve because she knows so many people and keeps track of that many more.  (Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if my nephew had a tracking chip in is boot…nooo, I’m just kidding…Ryan, stop looking in your shoes, I was playing!)

No, but seriously, it takes a lot to be the boss.  You have to make sure that every day you remember that “leadership is about support”.  You have to remember that when you speak, you have to make sure it’s kind, gentle and tasteful.  Most of all though, your diplomatic skills are in high demand if someone’s just stepped on their whatevers because it’s left to you to remember that it’s your job to hear them howl, then remember not to decapitate them for being so incredibly silly as to masochistically pulverize their own private parts out of sheer stupidity.

I know you feel me on this.  I can not be the only person in the universe that watches people day in and day out and wonder what hell goes on in their heads!  Well, the one upside when you’re the boss is that when things like that happen, all you need to do is give them “the look”.  I know you know which look I’m talking about…it’s the one that you’ve received from your mother or your wife or your boss, wondering what the hell are you thinking???

Which of course makes you want to curl up under the nearest piece of furniture in the fetal position.

No, see, those things are going to happen.  It’s just part and parcel of being the boss. Everyone but everyone at one time or another just “dummies it up”, you know what I’m talking about.  Dummies are everywhere, hell they even write a series of books for people who admit to being one.   Like it or not though, no matter where you work, dummies are a fact of life.  I’ve learned how to accept it and move on.  Hell, I even got to retire one recently, but that’s really not the beauty of being a boss, but it sure does give you a Cheshire Cat-sized grin when you get to do it.

Keeping track of people, shaking your head at the dummies, being supportive, those are all really the nuts and bolts of being the boss but…

Today I’ve found out the world’s best perk about being a boss.  You get to delegate.  Well holy shit…this one is a new one for me because I’ve never done it before.  I actually delegated today.  I took one of my six jobs and whittled it down to five. I finally found someone to take over one portion of my workload. Ever since I have, I just may melt into a big pile of goo because of the tremendous weight that it has lifted off my shoulders.

Tell Babe Ruth to move over, shove ol’ Giambi and Jeter aside, I’m coming through – calling my shot and swinging for the fence because I actually found someone who is basically telepathic and understands where things need to go and how it needs to be done.  I tell you, sometimes it’s the hardest damn thing to find someone who is a perfect fit for a job, but once you find them, the overwhelming joy is well worth the trouble you had to go through to find them.

It’s like being able to be at home and work whenever I want without being pulled this way, that way or the other way.  The head rush of oxygen I’m getting because I’m getting to the point I can almost breathe is almost overwhelming.  Feels damn good for a change.

You know what, since it’s Friday night going into Saturd’y…I’m going to take myself out for a treat!


The evening afterward…

Okay, so we’ve made it through the world’s worst birthday.  Which means it’s time for me to kick it into gear and start writing again.  And I mean daily writing not this “hit and miss” bull I’ve been putting us all through just to save the feelings of a guy who treated me badly.

This is the point where I’m sure my editor would tell me that it’s time to brush off my sense of humor and start using it again, which I think he just might be right.  PTSD or not, this is one moment I’m not going to use my avoidant behaviors to get the better of me, I’m facing what’s happened to me head on – and I’ll be damned if I don’t laugh about it in some way, shape or form.

Don’t even get twisted, Ace (as usual) is reading along and he’s going to be commenting behind the scenes…my quandary is whether or not to post his horrible grammar, lack of spelling skills and overall inability to coherently communicate for all of you to see. Seriously, every time he writes he embarrasses himself, so I don’t know whether it’s more fitting to just delete his incomprehensible English composition skills which denote ‘his hurt feelings’ (yeah, right, like he’s got any, well, none he’ll express unless no one is looking) or let you guys see what I’ve had to put up with for the last year and three months. It’s so tempting to just show the world how bad it really is, but rather than be his sole judge and jury, I’ll let you post to the Facebook comments his fate…I’ll leave it to y’all on whether or not we pull his shorts down around his ankles and let you guys have at him full out.  It’s like my boss told me, “You’ve got a pack of big brothers that are just dying to get a hold of him for treating you badly.”  Not to mention a whole lot of other people who are just drooling to use him as a pinata in effigy.

Now that my phone hasn’t been ringing off the hook telling me how awful I am (when the truth is, I haven’t had the heart to pull my phone from my purse to read the text messages from Ace berating me for actually telling the truth about him on my blog) I’ve spent the day doing my laundry.

I’ve also spent today grateful for HBOGo.  Hey, when you’re a single girl and you’re breaking down every five minutes into heart-wrenching sobs over the fact that you allowed yourself to get treated like dirt and constantly disappointed for the last year, a Sex and the City marathon is just what the doctor ordered.

While watching the show, peculiar moment after peculiar moment has been popping up, ones that sit there and scream “since when did Ace get a role on Sex and the City?” as I’m zooming around my house cleaning, doing laundry and so forth.

The first peculiar moment came while I was watching the end of Season 2, you know, where Carrie finally tells Big to get lost and she revels in the fact that once you’re single again, you get time to do your laundry, clean your apartment and wail to all of your friends how awful your ex-boyfriend was?  Being that I don’t have any real friends in town, I get to skip all that, except to write it here, and just like Carrie wails on about Big, I just don’t have the heart to emasculate Ace one more time except to say that to outline all of Ace’s shortcomings wouldn’t be my style.  He’s really a great guy, he’s just got too much on his plate to actually be emotionally available.  Well, that and the fact that his ex-wife has broken him beyond repair doesn’t help his case much.  That he’s got an ungrateful, feral kid to boot just wraps it up in one big package that says, “Don’t go there.”

Anyway, as I kept watching, I was reminded what it was like to be in my early 30’s again, married to the ex, completely miserable, and then it dawned on me…was I so much like Carrie that I just kept picking the wrong guys?

I’m 41, which if I listened to another film from my early 30’s Sleepless in Seattle, I have all of the likelihood of finding a real relationship as I do being killed by a mugger on the street. Which I have to say, that thought isn’t remotely reassuring, so I’m just going to refrain from dating altogether.  I walk away from Ace with only one thought in my mind:  Dated, done it, have the t-shirt, don’t need to go there again.

But, between episodes, and between one Sex and the City epiphany after the next, I sat here drying my eyes as sometimes I’d have to hit pause just so I could have just one more heart-wrenching sob, use up another half-box of tissues before I could get up, move my laundry from the dryer to the top of the dryer to be folded, and the clothes in the washer either moved to the dryer or be hung up to air dry.

After about the 20th thing I put on a hangar to air dry, I suddenly looked around my laundry room and thought, “When did I get so many clothes?” when the truth really was, “When the hell was the last time I did full on laundry, ironing and all?”

The answer:  “Before I started dating Ace.”

What was worse was trying to make myself a pot of coffee, looking down and realizing that the plug next to my sink wasn’t working.  Ace, during all the months that I dated him, wailed on and on that he couldn’t do anything for me; he couldn’t fix my car, he couldn’t do any home repairs and so forth, so the one moment I needed him?  I found the GFI switch in my kitchen, pressed the ‘test’ button and reset it.  The plug my coffee pot goes into is just fine, I just needed to reset the breaker.  Yep, he was right, I don’t need him to fix anything in my life, I can take care of it just fine, it just would have been nice for him to look like Superman for a moment.  I guess I’m Supergirl, because I can fix things just fine on my own.

Which reminds me of something I told my pal Haley not too long ago, “The first six weeks are going to suck, but results may vary, please check with your doctor.”  And even though I’m not quite up to going through the next six weeks of epic suck, at least all of Ace’s laundry that has been left here or brought home with me is adding up in one neat little pile by the front door, just waiting to be picked up.  I’ll be damned if I drive another inch for his benefit, but at least the clothes he’ll pick up from here will be clean, folded and ready to wear.

Yes, I know, I’m so pathetic.  I should have dumped them all in the toilet and cleaned with them. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, so they’re neatly folded, smelling like Downy by my front door.  I’m praying I don’t have to look into Ace’s eyes when I give them back, it would be a moment of weakness where I would either cave and take him back or what I fear most, it will illicit a complete reflex response that would see me literally kick him square in the balls.

So, as I look over at the clock with it reading almost midnight, I’m going to put on my cordless headset back on, press play and enjoy watching Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda act out more parts of the last year of my life.

Viagra and all.

Oh well, at least I’m getting things done, right?  It’s my time well spent.

For the song of the day, I’m going to invoke the right to be selfish, so this one is for me.  I’ve come to the point where I realize that my oldest personal adage is true:  “There is nothing in the world a man can give me that I can’t give myself.”

Forty, plus one more…

As usual, it’s time once again for my annual birthday post.

Oh, who am I kidding?  I’m so far behind in posting anything, I’ll be surprised if one person reads this.

41. They say after 40, life just keeps getting better and better.  At this point I really feel like grabbing whomever “they” are and knocking them on their butts because from my viewpoint, they really don’t know jack-bupkus about what happens after 40.

But let’s start our little tale on Monday night, the 24th, the night before my birthday.  I’ve not been keeping everyone up on what’s been happening with me, so let’s do a quick catch-up before we start in on the disaster that started at 7:40 on Monday night.

The semester at school has started (and at writing that I do a facepalm knowing that I didn’t do the semester preview like I usually do).  I’m taking Philosophy 102, COM 216, and Journalism 447 and 484.  But, the semester started out as a disaster as well because on top of the six jobs I’m doing at work (Ad/PR, Asset Management, Shop Management, Quality Assurance, Head of Asset Creation and World Concept Design), I’ve had to take care of Ace and his son full time.  I’m not sure but I’m pretty positive that creating whole worlds out of my imagination is a tough job, add the other five and breathing gets pretty tough, add on 12 credit hours and two men who have absolutely no concept how much harder they’re making your life as they ungratefully suck your soul out and give nothing back in return? It just equals one giant disaster that I’m not even sure that Mother Theresa or Gandhi could see their way clear to forgive.

So, just out of sheer exhaustion I’ve been missing classes, falling asleep during them, I’ve got my teams at work looking at me for answers I don’t have time to give and one concept artist who I can’t trust to do a single drawing without describing it to him word for word even though I’ve described it all in great detail in I don’t know how many e-mails.

But then, I ‘m expected, without even a consideration to how rough my world has become, to neglect my home, my life, my work and my studies for a man and his son who have no idea how to give anything back other than more stress, more heartache and just more and more trouble. I guess it was all summed up in my birthday card I received from the both of them that LITERALLY read:

“Hope you like the card, I pulled it out of my ass.” 

Yep, that’s how my day started, with me passing out on my couch out of sheer exhaustion Monday night only to open my door at 7:40 p.m. and have Ace tell me he had nothing planned on top of the fact that if I wanted to do anything, I’d have to pay for it myself and a card that read that he had no other consideration for me than that.  Of course the other card that came with it was written by Hallmark with an intelligible scrawl for a a signature that left me wondering who it was from.  No personalization, no nothing, just some scrawl attached to “oh how I’m so lucky to have you,” oh yes, sure, he’s lucky enough to have me around to shit on.  Gee thanks.  He actually had the audacity and nerve to sit there and tell me that the “card pulled out of his ass” was something he thought I would think was funny.  I can’t even sit and think about it without wanting to throw something.

At that point, I just threw him out.  I couldn’t take anymore.  If I was expected to take humiliation after humiliation, neglect after neglect then pay for his dinner too?  No.  Enough was enough.  He needed to go.

After all that, I got on the phone with KP, told him what happened and when midnight hit, KP and I were headlong into the latest WoW expansion Mists of Pandaria together.  Just like four years ago when I thought the world had ended, there was KP, as always backing me up.  We created two new pandas, mine by the name of Choppiestick and his by the name of Slapyouface.  At that point I was so grateful to hear the voices of KP, TJ, Drewbie and Kai, I didn’t realize how much I had missed by wasting the last year on Ace.

While we were leveling our new pandas, KP and I discussed the last year and how Ace was just my way of bouncing back after my ex bailed out with the Bassett Hound Faced Bitch, and how it was important for me to know that being alone wasn’t the end of the world, after all I did wait two years before even trying a relationship on for size.

At about 2 a.m. I passed back out again, happy that I could spend the beginning of my day with the one guy who’s been with me and EXTREMELY supportive come hell or high water for the last five years.

The next morning, I woke up on my couch and opened my laptop to find out that one of my best pals, a woman named Darla Lamb had been killed in a car wreck, the exact same moment Ace walked in my door the night before.  While I was being insulted by a card pulled out of his ass, Darla, in a moment of despair  drove her Toyota RAV4 head-on into a Semi and died on the way to the hospital.

So let’s count it up shall we?  I’ve got a boyfriend who treats me like shit and then one of my close friends drives her car into a semi, oh and on top of that, it’s my birthday.  I’ve got no support nearby, I call my mother and she tells me I need to be strong, but then, oh, let’s just light the candle on top of this whole thing when my boss tells me I can’t buckle under all of it, that I have to remain strong for everyone else.

Meanwhile, everyone’s knocking down my door for answers, e-mail addresses, and everything else that I’m just supposed to keep churning out without an ounce of support, no help and the one guy that could give me an ounce of relief 2500 miles away.

It’s hard not to sit here and cry inconsolably, it’s almost impossible to breathe but at least I found joy in one thing:

I took myself to Spago.  This year, they made sure to have a coconut Cremé Bruleé waiting for me, along with my glass of champagne.  Peter was even nice enough to make me a chocolate orange shot.

So, if anyone is reading, which I doubt, if you feel like trying to repair my birthday in some way shape or form, keep that jerk Ace away from me and someone put together a little package that sends me to Hawaii for a week, just so I can say hi to KP.

And that was 41.  By far the worst birthday I’ve ever had.