Sunday, November 30, 2008

Breaking the Silence

"Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing." ~ Rollo May

Thanks to those of you who offered up advice and encouragement to help me through my funk. J had been overly sweet this week, so I had decided to wait until after Thanksgiving to approach the subject. Surprisingly, J beat me to it.

Friday was a cold, rainy day, so J skipped golf with his cousins to spend the day at home with me. As I was walking through our bedroom with a stack of clean laundry, he pulled me down onto the bed, where we lay silently curled up for half an hour before he spoke.

"Do you still love me?" he asked softly.

"Of course I do," I answered, knowing this was the beginning of a long conversation. We were in the spoon position, and I was glad that he couldn't see my face. "Why would you even ask?"

J paused for a minute before saying that he felt like things were tense the last few weeks, that it felt like we were strangers living in the same house. I shrugged it off, but he pressed on. Turns out he'd been feeling a little out of place lately too, thinking maybe I was losing interest in him or that I wasn't attracted to him anymore. J even admitted to doing extra push ups at night. I forget that guys can get self-conscious too.

It feels like the last three weeks have flown by, with me training at night and on the weekend, staying late at the office to help our new admin, both of us having family gatherings to attend, me getting sick this week. Add to that my funk, and I guess we haven't spent that much time together lately. And I was glad to know that I wasn't the only one feeling like we were living on separate planets.

I came clean about my feelings that Saturday night at Gilleys too, and I realized if I had just said something sooner it would have saved us a lot of tense moments. I assured him it had nothing to do with trust; J assured me that if there was anyone in this world that he would want to dance with, it was me.

We talked for another hour or so -- about things we were feeling, about the future, about randomness -- before falling asleep in each others' arms.

When we awoke, things felt back to normal. I sometimes forget how important communication is in any relationship, especially in a marriage. In an effort to avoid nagging or beating a dead horse, I sometimes become a closed book. Luckily, J's learned that a little snuggling and a lot of patience goes a long way in getting me to open up.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Funk

"Doubt is not a pleasant condition ..." -- Voltaire

Is this week over yet? Not to be Debbie Downer or anything, guess I'm just in a little funk and I've been trying to pinpoint the source. The lines are blurry, but I keep tracing it back to last Saturday night.

After much stalling from J, we met at my friend Minxy's casa in Uptown for drinks before heading out to Gilley's, a poor excuse for a country bar but great for people watching and making fools of ourselves. My old boss Jim* and his wife Pam joined us too. It was a little awkward at first because, even though Minxy, Jim and I were inseparable when we worked together, I was always on my best behavior.

So, I was a little worried about how the night would go, but the more I drank (and the more he drank) the less awkward it became and the more Pam threw dirty looks at everyone involved*. But Minxy and I played nice, involving Pam everywhere we went, spinning her around the dance floor, getting our pictures taken on the mechanical bull while J, Jim and Pabs (Minxy's fiance) threw back beers and look relieved to get some time away from us.

After the band finished, the "country" bar turned into a "white people can't dance" smorgasbord and Minxy and I got our groove on. Jim and Pam were even dancing, while J and Pabs stood at the edge of the wooden dance floor, shuffling their feet and looking for the exit. After much beckoning on our parts, they shuffled to the middle of the dance floor, where Minxy and I made our best attempt at involving them in our charades.

Pabs gave in, but J did not. I pleaded with him, did my irresistible booty shake, had Minxy do her booty shake, but to no avail. J stood there watching me for awhile, and I made one last attempt to get him to loosen up. He shoved his hands in his pockets, took a step back, and simply said in a tone I haven't heard in a long time, "I can't dance with you." It broke my heart. Not because he can't dance, but because he wouldn't try. I looked around at Jim and Pam, who were doing a strange variation of the robot and laughing. I glanced at Minxy, who had convinced Pabs to twirl her around the now nearly empty dance floor. And then I looked at J, his hands in his pockets, just staring at me like we were in two separate worlds. With a dagger in my heart, I danced by myself.

It's in moments like those where I realize just how different we are. And beyond that, it's moments like that where darkness from the past comes flooding back like a tidal wave of emotion.

Before we were married, J and I were broken up for awhile. And before we broke up, we were in a strange place for months. Not quite broken up, not quite separated. Not dating anyone, but not sure we could make it work. It was a weird time, full of strange emotions. Both of us probably said things to others that we shouldn't have.

After J and I got back together and engaged, I ran across an e-mail from him to one of his co-workers in a different town. Apparently, they had met at a business meeting in Dallas and had kept in touch. In this e-mail, it was evident that there was something between them. And, the one line that popped into my head Saturday night, was a line J had responded to her e-mail with: "Thanks for the dance -- there's no one worth dancing with back home."

I remember sitting there that night I found it, trying to make sense of it in my mind, at first thinking this was something that happened after we had split, which would be none of my business. But the e-mail was dated May, and we had split at the end of June of that year. I remember feeling my heart race, I remember the tears splashing down my hot cheeks. I remember J waking up and wondering why I hadn't come to bed yet. I remember being so sick to my stomach, shaking, not wanting him to touch me. J had tried to explain that it was nothing, that it was the night he and his co-workers had gone to a local bar. I remember that night, because he had called me from the cab asking me to meet him there. It was late, I was in my pjs, and he was with all of his co-workers so I declined, not wanting to be the spouse that stalks him at business meetings. At the time he seemed fine with it. But, the night I found the e-mail, J admitted that he had been mad that I didn't go. Which infuriated me even more. Because you're mad, you flirted with another woman? He promised nothing else had happened, and I believe him. The e-mails alone were piercing enough.

It just never made sense to me, but at some point I got over it, placing the past back in the past. I actually hadn't even thought about it until Saturday night. And now I can't get away from it. I know J and I aren't always on the same page, or even the same planet. But it seems to be happening more frequently lately. I just wish I could forget the little things like that e-mail, or ignore the odd sense of feeling like strangers. I know we come from different backgrounds. Most of the time I enjoy that, because I've been able to learn and experience new things. I just wish he felt the same way.

I haven't talked to him about it and not sure that I should. But he knows something's wrong -- I just keep blaming it on the stress at work. Even Minxy sensed something that night, but I didn't feel like ruining the moment. I know this post is long and may not even make sense, but it has just been whirling through my mind for a week now. I'm just afraid if I mention it to J, he'll feel like I'm insecure about our future or something.

I'm not. But is he?

*He reminds me of Jim from The Office -- Adorable, funny and strangely magnetic.
*Jim and Minxy still work in the same office, and Pam is a little (read: enormously) intimidated by their friendship.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mix-Matched Feet

I've been telling J over the last year that my left foot is smaller than my right foot. He thinks I'm crazy. "Maybe your left shoe is just bigger than your right one and that's why it flops around," he says smugly. But seriously, in all of my shoes? What are the odds of that happening?

I got my answer yesterday when I went to Run On to get fitted for new running shoes. After the sales guy had me jog around the store in my pink socks to check my form, he had me stand on a metal shoe ruler to measure my feet. And there it was. The proof. My right foot stuck out farther than my left.

And don't you know I rubbed it into J's face when I got home. His response? "I'm not surprised, you're not normal."

But who cares, I'm right. :-)

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Highschool Years

“High School: the mouse race to prepare you for the rat race.” ~ Unknown

I was tagged by Miss Caught Up to tell the story of my teenage years, something I really haven't thought about too much lately. So I'll give it a shot.

Highschool was an awkward time for me. My parents were ultra-conservative, my sister didn't pave the way like I thought she should have, so I was the so-called rebellious one. But, that mostly came after highschool.

Anyhoo. When I was a freshman, my sister was a senior at the same school. I was on the dance team. My favorite class was art. We had bomb threats almost every week. I was in all honors and AP classes. I made my first C ever. I played street hockey everyday after school with my sister and her friends. I fell in love with a boy I saw on the stairs the first day of my freshman year, who turned out to be in love with my best friend. I'll call him Tag. I learned that people can change, but not always for the better.

My sophomore year brought much of the same. Still played street hockey everyday after school, developing a crush on Goalie, a boy we played with. Still was a book nerd. Had long hair down to my waist. Danced. Volunteered at the nearby nature center. Still madly in love with Tag. Became tired of girls, thanks to the drama that was our dance team.

Junior year was a bit more complicated. My best friend and Tag broke up the summer before. He asked me out on a date, and I said "yes". He was the only guy my mom officially let me date during my entire highschool years. My best friend said she didn't mind, but I shouldn't have done it anyway. Tag and I dated on and off, but mostly off. I fell in love with Goalie, but he had a girl that profusely hated me. He and I became the best of friends. I still danced. I was inducted into the Honor Society. I developed a crush on Leo, a blue-eyed boy who swam with my best friend.

And senior year was complicated still. I was one of four Lieutenants on the dance team. I was going through EMT Training -- I truly believe there are some things 17 year olds should never see, bloody messes being one of them. My grades began to slip after mom said that no, I wouldn't be headed off to the college of my dreams but rather I'd be headed to the local junior college for two years first. With my sister. Who never tried at school. Leo got caught sneaking in my room -- which sounds terrible and R-rated, but we honestly just listened to music and talked. Okay, and made out. But whatever, we were banned from ever seeing each other again, creating a sort of "Romeo & Juliet" story for us which still lingers today. I joined the rugby team but told my parents I was just going to dance practice. I had to quit when they found out the truth. Goalie joined the Air Force and moved to New Mexico, where we finally realized we were more than just best friends. We talked on the phone constantly. Wrote letters (yes, real letters with stamps and everything). When he came home for Christmas, we went on our first official date. But it didn't take long for that relationship to fizzle as the longer he was in the Air Force, the more different he became. I graduated with honors, but my parents were a little disappointed when I wasn't in the top ten percent (I was in like the top twelve ... out of 600 kids).

Summer after highschool was spent playing roller hockey and working out at the gym where my sister worked. Over the next two years I met new boys, discovered alcohol, re-kindled my love for school and all things nerdy, stayed in and out of trouble, and eventually found my way to a four year college.

It's weird to take a look back, to feel some of the same emotions once again. It's interesting to note that in highschool I never really cared what boys thought. It was easy to say "no", to ditch the jerks, to avoid all the things that parents worry about (which my parents thought I was doing anyway). It was later, in college, that all of that went down the drain. But, I'll save that for a rainy day.

That's my story in a nutshell. I'd love to hear all of your stories -- so if you'd like to share, then I tag you!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Once again, the fabulous Mrs. Guru has awarded me with a wondrous award: The Superior Scribbler award. I'd like to thank my beautiful friends, my bi-polar kitty, the Academy ... ahem ... Where was I? Right, the rules. As with all awards, here's the fine print:
  1. Post the award on your blog
  2. Link to me for giving it to you
  3. Link the originating post here (not really sure about this one)
  4. Pass the award on to 5 more deserving people
  5. Post these rules for the recipients
So, in fine fashion, here are my 5 picks for the Superior Scribbler Award:

These are just a sampling of the many blogs I enjoy. I did have someone ask me why I don't follow more blogs. Simply because, in my chaotic brain, I found it's easier for me to click on the links in my "Who I'm Reading" section (scroll down, on the right). It seems I'm constantly finding new favorites -- so many great reads, so little time!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

"Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. ~ Jack Benny"

I'm now three chocolate Krispy Kremes and a Diet Pepsi into my birthday. Yesterday, a lady at work asked how old I was turning. She was shocked by my answer. "How old did you think I was going to be?" I asked. "At the most, 25," she responded with a laugh. Now, don't get me wrong, I usually relish the idea that people think I'm younger. But this time it only made me frown. Do I come off as a young person in an immature way or something?

I love practical jokes. I'm always late. I'm lucky if my pants get ironed before heading to the office. Heck, I'm lucky if they're clean. I don't have kids. I eat craploads of candy. I wear socks with little smiling turtles on them.* I don't always act my age or dress my age ... but, then again, how is my age supposed to act and dress?

Wow. All of a sudden I feel really rusty. I'm now two years shy of the big three-o. Twenty eight. The big 2-8. It hadn't really bothered me until now. Maybe I come across younger because I think I am younger. I mean, J had to remind last week how old I was going to be because I couldn't remember. It's as if I hit 25 and have just forgotten the rest of the numbers. Boy, 25 sure was my favorite age -- old enough to have it all and young enough to get away with anything.

It's not like I mind being older or dread getting older. It's just startling to hear it out loud. Twenty-eight. Eh, I guess it doesn't sound that horrible. But maybe it's time to throw out those turtle socks ...

*In my defense, I only wear them when I know they can't be seen, like with boots or pjs.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Dear Dell (An Open Letter to My Laptop)

Dear Dell,

I hope this letter finds you relaxed and in a happy place, because what I'm about to say may hurt you deeply. I've been thinking about having an affair. Well, I suppose it's not really an affair if you know about it. So, let's just call it what it is -- I'm leaving you for someone else. Who you ask? Not to sound like a complete slut, but I haven't exactly decided yet. I'm still trying out my options, although your buddy Mac is quite charming.

Calm down, Dell. You've had it coming. You're lazy. You sit on my desk all day, longing for me to use you. And when I do? You give me the cold shoulder. Or, you tease me with your fancy Vista software, only to finish first and completely crash before I can save what I've done. I need to feel satisfied too, you know!

And now ... now you won't even print. Are you mad at me? How am I supposed to accomplish anything if you won't stay connected to the Internet, or download cool and unnecessary applications or -- shocker -- print, for God's sake?!

You're too young to act soo old. You never want to stay up late, you hesitate when I want to serenade you with iTunes, you shudder at YouTube videos. I need someone who likes to have fun. I need to know that the time and money I invested in you was worth it. I need to see something else besides the Blue Screen o' Death.

I'm sorry, Dell. As much as you want to be like Mac, you aren't. And that's okay. There are people out there who will love you for who you are, like the Excel nerd in the cubicle next to mine. The last two years have had it's ups and downs ... let's not drag this out any further. Don't worry about me, Dell, I'll be okay.


P.S. I'll be back to collect my pictures and music ... you can keep the spreadsheets.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

An Extra Hour for More Rambles

"Don't forget it's daylight savings time. You spring forward, then you fall back. It's like Robert Downey Jr. getting out of bed." ~ Unknown

Day Light Savings Time confuses me. I'm not really sure what time it is right now -- cell phone says 10, computer says 9, microwave says 8. Regardless, I'm actually up, showered, dressed and fed before noon on a Sunday. Can we say miracle?

Halloween was fairly uneventful. We had soo many trick-o-treaters that we ran out of candy.* I did have the liberty of scaring the pants off a small child with J's Scream mask. J was more interested in watching Ghost Hunters Live** than passing out candy, so I thought I would put the freaky mask to use. Door bell rings, I open the door and all the little kids scream. The boy in front? Was like two and ran off crying before his parents caught him on the driveway. I yanked off the mask and profusely apologized to his disapproving parents while forking over extra candy. J, of course, was hysterical.

Moving right along ...

Yesterday I had my first team run with Team In Training for the marathon I'm doing in April. I am soo not a morning person, yet I managed to roll out of bed at 5:45, was at training by 6:20 and running two miles by 6:30. Luckily it was dark so people couldn't see my butt jiggling through my Spandex pants. I was a little frustrated at first as everyone kept passing me. I quickly got over it and actually finished faster than my two mile runs during the week. I felt accomplished and rewarded myself with a huge omelet from Cafe Brazil. Hey, a girl's got to eat, right?

Today J and I are playing paintball with our friend Goldie and her hubby Bear. Should be quite entertaining -- last time we played with them, Goldie shot Bear in the ear on accident after he'd taken off his mask. It's not true paintballing until there's blood shed!

*I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that J and I ate two bags of Kit Kats during the week.
**Which was actually very disappointing this year!