Monday, February 20, 2012


**Following is a post I wrote months ago shortly after I broke up with my boyfriend. I chose not to publish it, because I mostly wrote it for myself. I was pretty mad. And writing about it seemed like a therapeutic way to work through my feelings and release some anger. But in keeping with the theme of this blog to "be bolder" and “hold nothing back”, I thought I’d publish it now.

Can’t think of a more fitting way to end Valentine’s Week than with this last goodbye. 

A relationship is like a shark, you know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies.
And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark.
If you asked me right now if I had a boyfriend, I really couldn’t give you an answer. Because I honestly don’t know. But I can tell you that I’ve been dating an idiot for the last sixteen months with overwhelming certainty. 

He-who-must-not-be-named certainly didn’t start off as an idiot. In fact, when I met him he was a smart, confident and thoughtful man, always quick to open a car door or pull out a chair for me. He was definitely NOT like the others. We had incredible fun together, and I genuinely enjoyed spending time with him. It was easy. Effortless.  

But there was one problem. This kind, sweet man came with a LOT of baggage. 

He was divorcing his ex-wife who chose to walk out after ten years of marriage, plus he had custody of their kid and was making the rough transition to single fatherhood.
Of course the shady bitch inside who finds fault with every man threw a yellow flag.

Mmmm-hh. There it is, right there! Bitch is DAMAGED. 
You don’t need that kind of drama, girl. 
Trust me.  This will not end well.

But this was a good man. In pain! His vulnerability only made him more attractive. On some deep romantic level, I probably imagined I could save him; that I would restore his faith in love and we’d live happily ever after. Some. Bitches. Never. Learn.

I’m going to destroy you.

His problems didn't really phase me. I had my own issues, recovering from losing my job and having major surgery to remove a cyst the size of Kansas, just weeks before we met. The truth is he was a welcome distraction from all the self-doubt and uncertainty that threatened to drown me at the time. And he made me really happy, giddy even, so I decided to trust my gut for once and open my heart to this man.

Eventually things got a bit more serious and feelings began to surface. But feelings were another "problem". And suddenly, Mr. Wonderful became Mr. Cold & Distant. 

I like you a lot, but this is all I can give right now. I'm just not ready for a relationship”. 

Hold. Up. Um, I'm sorry...

Men NOT interested in a relationship shouldn’t pursue disinterested women watching football at a local dive bar, ask them out on repeated dates, take them on romantic getaways, make them a sexy mixed cd/tape [oh yes, he did!] say stuff like ‘you’re really important to me’ and basically string them along for AN ENTIRE YEAR. 

Cuz  they might start to think you really care. Just saying.

I gave him his space to work through his issues. Then we settled into a comfortable stalemate as he continued to put up walls while I pretended it didn’t bother me.

So what if he shuts down whenever things threaten to get serious. Or that he goes silent on the phone when I say: I miss you or can’t wait to see you. Or that I’ve never met any of his family or close friends. Or seen the inside of his house! Or that I felt compelled to apologize for introducing him as my boyfriend at a party, because I sensed his discomfort even though we’d been dating OVER A YEAR. Nope, doesn’t bother me. Not in the least. I understand. He’s been through a lot, right? RIGHT?! 

Yeah, pretend it’s not happening.

Who was I kidding. I wasn’t happy. And I couldn’t keep lying to myself.

He once told me that this relationship was incredibly unfair to me. I began to see that he was right. It was all about him. And his needs. I chose to believe that what he wanted was more important, namely someone to take his mind off all his damn problems. And I tried to be everything he needed: fun, supportive, nurturing, understanding. But what about me? And what I wanted? What I wanted was a REAL boyfriend who was there when I needed his love, support and encouragement. 

I made up my mind that I would speak to him as soon as he returned from his business trip abroad. We tried to connect a few times, but he was always too busy or stressed with work to meet. It's been five weeks now since I last heard from him. 

Perhaps, he has come to the same realization I have--that this “relationship” has run its course. Maybe he’s just really, really busy. Too busy to send a text. Maybe he’s embarked on a noble quest to middle earth with some hobbits. Or maybe, he’s just a cowardly idiot. It doesn’t really matter. Much like him, I’ve stopped caring.

It's a pity Bilbo didn't kill him when he had the chance.
I’m moving on. Even though it still hurts and there are days where I must resist the urge to just pick up the phone and call him. Because I wouldn't be happy staying in a dead-end relationship, simply because it’s easy or comfortable. It's just not me. 

Deep down, I know I deserve better. And I want to be with someone who loves me without restraint, who'll stand beside me, happy to call himself my boyfriend.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

INSPIRED JAMS: It's Not Right, But It's OK

Every morning, I wake up with a random song stuck in my head.

And its often just a line or two from the chorus that plays over and over on a continuous loop. For hours. Sometimes even days! It can be really annoying.

Especially when it’s one of those infernally catchy, top-40-moves-like-jagger-on-the-floor crap songs that beg me to shut off the radio. (This includes the entire Ke$ha KILL ME NOW music catalog). The more I try to avoid these tunes, the more determined they seem to take up residence in my brain, like an unwelcome squatter who refuses to leave. Killing me softly. And repeatedly. With awfulness.

But some mornings, I’ll wake up humming a much happier tune with lyrics that speak directly to a pressing life issue or concern. And these inspired jams serve as my own personal anthems, spinning in the background throughout my day to give me much needed strength to forge ahead and face whatever challenges lie ahead.
So what’s topping my current Lord, help me Jesus playlist this week? 

Given her sad, untimely death over the weekend, I’ve been thinking about all the great Whitney Houston songs that have inspired me and bought me joy over the years.

I distinctly remember I Wanna Dance with Somebody which was one of her first, big breakout hits. Girls at school had taken to calling me “Whitney” at the time, not because we shared similar features (tan complexion, curly red hair, thin frame) but as a mean-girl way of saying I had knobby knees and was too thin. While it hurt on some level, the joke was really on them because Whitney was not only talented but beautiful. Thus the song, and accompanying 80s MTV video, served as a real confidence booster that offered me hope during these painfully awkward school years.

The Greatest Love of All was another significant jam for me, particularly as I began to make my own way in the world. Finding strength and love within myself has been one of the most important (and difficult!) lessons, I've learned in life.  

And of course, there were the many ballads that nursed me through difficult breakups. Didn’t We Almost Have it All, Where Do Broken Hearts Go, Run to You and pretty much the entire Bodyguard soundtrack all stand out. Though some of these jams later became karaoke bar faves, generating far more pleasant memories for me.

But if I had to pick the one Whitney song that has inspired me most it would have to be her R&B hit, It’s Not Right but It’s OK. Because every time I’ve chosen to walk away from a relationship that clearly doesn't work. And inevitably start to second guess myself, reaching for the phone in a moment of weakness. This is the jam which plays in my head--as it has on this chilly February day--to remind me to stay strong, girl and don't do something foolish that you know you're gonna regret.

Like call up my ex-boyfriend. Just to say hi. On Valentine’s Day.

Because ultimately, I'd rather be alone than unhappy. Stuck in a comfortable, yet unsatisfying relationship with a kind, wounded soul with a closed heart. So ladies if you're feeling sad, lonely or unloved today and need a boost. Click on the video and sing loudly with attitude: It's not right, but it's ok/I'm gonna make it, anyway.     

Thanks Whitney! For the countless inspired tunes and for always lifting my spirits when I’ve needed it most with your incredible talent. You will be deeply missed. 

Friday, February 10, 2012


I can’t relate to ninety-nine percent of humanity.

One of my goals for 2012 is to be “less shadyand play nice with other humans in an effort to broaden my ever-shrinking social circle. And already, I’m off to a bad start.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been spending a lot of time alone in my apartment, writing in quiet and blissful solitude, removed from civilization. But it is excruciatingly hard for me to be around other people right now.   

I find mankind. In general. Annoying.

Specifically, I have lost my patience for the incessantly chatty, loud cell phone talking, whiny, opinionated, knowledge dropping, over sharing idiots of the world. And I clearly must find a way to co-exist with them, which is why I’m making a conscious effort to venture outside more often and socialize. Otherwise, I’m afraid I’ll turn into one of those ostracized eccentrics, like the angry homeless guy in front of Barnes and Noble who welcomes everyone with a passionate soliloquy on his blinding contempt for humanity that ends with an impressive stream of f*** you’s.

There are days when I contemplate joining him. I’m really starting to scare myself. 

What do you think you are, for Chrissake, crazy or somethin'?

So I decided to try writing at a nearby coffee shop this week. Even though its inhabited by the WORST of all the self important, multi-gadget-owning types in La La Land. This special breed have been orbiting their own world for so long, they seem oblivious to just how draining their rude, overbearing and genuinely tiresome behavior can be to the beleaguered masses living outside of planet Bitch I’m Fabulous. It requires a Yogi’s patience to keep a cool head around them. I've tried. And I have failed.

But it’s a new year. I was willing to get back up on the let's-try-to-be-more-social horse and re-enter society. Who knows. Maybe I'd even make a new friend. 

I can be your best friend. Or your worst enemy.
When I arrived at the cafe, I found a table right away which helped set my mind at ease. It's gonna be a good day, or so I naively thought. As I searched for an available outlet, I noticed two options on either side at adjoining tables. I opted for the one to my left underneath Mr. Can't be Bothered, who shot me the briefest look of disinterest before burying his head further into his laptop.

After I plugged in, I sat down and opened my laptop with a smile eager to get to work. 
At this point, a surfer dude in flip flops brushed lazily past carrying a Subway sandwich baggie and a laptop. Turns out he was friends with Mr. Can’t be Bothered. For some odd reason, this dude seemed confused, hovering over their table, turning to me then his friend who true to his name never spoke or took his eyes off the screen. 
As I looked up to find him staring at me, I instinctively went into alert mode as the shady part of my brain thought, “the hell is this fake smiling bitch's problem".  

It appears that we’re going to do battle.


Dude: Um, excuse me. I’m sorry to bother you. But I planned to use that outlet.

(points to outlet bearing his name. I glance over at it, and him, annoyingly).

Dude: I’m really sorry.

Me: -----------------

Dude: I mean if you want to charge it for a bit, you’s cool.

Me: -----------------

There was a LONG uncomfortable silence as I stared at him blankly, while my inner Nene Leakes tried to process this idiotic exchange. 

Is he being serious right now? Bitch you don’t OWN that outlet….

“I planned to use that outlet”. Yeah? And I planned to lose ten pounds last year and earn a six figure income. Shit doesn’t always go as planned now does it...Look at him, standing there with those stupid blonde curls. Thinkin’ he’s cute. You are NOT cute, OK?

Oh my god, he's actually waiting on me to unplug my computer!

Fool needs to sit his ass down. And STOP. 
Oh, it’s on. It’s definitely on.
I toyed with the idea of simply ignoring him and resuming my work, like he was just too stupid to even acknowledge. Then I remembered I was trying to be “less shady”. So I decided to be nice even though IT WAS PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY PAINFUL.
Without a word, I removed the offensive chord, held it up to the outlet nazi’s face and stated icily that I’d just plug it in the other side. Then I gave his friend one last dismissive look as I thought: yeah, just sit there. BE a mute. Ya’ll are both lucky I’m in a good mood today. I walked away understandably aggravated. But I was proud of myself for keeping my cool, even though I wanted to slap both of these bitches--one for his inflated sense of entitlement and the other for not telling me his idiot friend might be joining him when I crawled under his table to claim the free outlet.

Eager to put the episode behind me, I headed to the counter to get a much needed cup of coffee. In an effort, I’m assuming to show me he really isn’t a "bad" guy, dude stops me to say “thanks again!” in that way-too-cheery L.A. way. And I lost it, firing back, “Oh no. Thank YOU!” Saddest. Comeback. EVER. So much for staying cool.

Suffice it to say I got no writing done as I spent much of the afternoon, studying this aggravating specimen. I watched him devour his sandwich. I watched him chuckle and tell his friend, “I like your status update”. *eyeroll*  I watched him stand up to stretch, re-adjusting his white plastic belt over his saggy jeans.  He WOULD wear a white plastic belt. *deeper eyeroll*  I watched him talk on his stupid phone using his stupid voice.

I watched and watched. And mostly I hated. It was exhausting.

When I heard him ask the mute if he could borrow a blazer to tape himself performing a monologue that evening, I began to pack up my things. I was officially done. I could no longer silence the wave of shady thoughts assaulting my brain.
I’ll try socializing again when I have regained my sanity. In the meantime, you can find me at the Barnes and Noble in Santa Monica, hanging out with my new best friend.

1. GHOST WORLD (2001) Writers: Daniel Clowes,Terry Zwigoff
2. ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST (1975) Writers: Laurence Hauben, Bo Goldman, Ken Kesey, Dale Wasserman
3. THE CABLE GUY (1996) Writer: Lou Holtz Jr.
4. SWINGERS (1996) Writer: Jon Favreau