October 28, 2011

Done. Dead. Buried. No More House!

I can stop holding my breath now.  It's actually done.  The buyer closed on the sale of my house this morning.  My hands are washed.  The 8 years of marriage that house symbolized is entirely behind me now.  If you need a visual for what my mood is like, here you go.

I have never been happier to be among the ranks of America's renters than I am right now.  Aaaaaaaah.

Now, on to the next item on the agenda.  Buying the car!  (That's NEXT Friday.)  After that, margaritas with Jenny, my real estate lady!

October 25, 2011

Another Trip Around The Sun

So, 356 days later, we’re back in the same spot in space on our trip around the sun.  It’s my birthday.  As of 9:59, more than a few decades ago, my 22 year old mother pushed me out of her body and onto a helluva journey.  What’s changed besides the year?  Well, lots, actually.  And so much has stayed the same.   

I woke up this morning feeling a little, well, not myself.  I remember back to last year, the emotions attached to watching as my age clicked over another year on my dating site profile, and how that somehow felt like failure.  Another year, and another reminder that despite really liking people, and wanting to have them in my life, something about me just …  Didn’t work the way it was advertised in the brochure.    

Those same frustrations were there again this morning, when I woke up, surrounded by the assortment of furry kids.  (Don’t tell my roommate, but I kinda like having his dog in the same room as me. He’s a cuddler, and I was just in that mood.)  Not unlike those over-sized Mario foes, the Chain Chomps, I had ugly, evil thoughts bouncing around my head, leaving tooth marks on the walls of my brain, and chain grease on the carpets.  

“You’re a year older and you’re still single.  You’re a pied piper for freaks, or a two date weirdo.  You’re going to die popular, but miserably alone.”  "You're a flash in the pan."   “You’re living in a couple rooms in someone else’s house.  Can’t even get your your own place.  Loser.”  “Nobody but your mother cares if you’re doing something for your special day.  You’re going to be sitting across the table from your parents on a pity date with them forever.”  “You’re a clown.  People only ask you to come to their events so they can wind you up and see what mischief you get in to.  Face it.  They don’t really like you, you’re just cheaper than hiring a DJ.”  “You’ve been so out of sight because of the house, and stress making you want to be a homebody, people have forgotten you.  They’ll move on and leave you in the middle of the street, so you can watch them ride off down the block.”  

My internal monologue has been taking lessons from Miss Hannigan, it seems.

It wasn’t until after I’d been at work for a little over 45 minutes that I realized Chain Chomps are named as such, because they’re on a leash.  All I had to do was take a couple steps back.  Those thoughts only have the power that’s given to them, much like the imaginary enemies can only bite what’s within reach.  While those thoughts had a seed of truth, they grew from salted land and were distorted.  Yes, I’m renting a room.  But, I’m in a house, with a garage, and my dogs, and I’m not over extended to do so.  Sure, by this age, there’s a certain expectation that if you’re not under your own roof, you’re a failure.  But, my thinking is that this is a holding pattern, not a new way of life.  Therein lies the distinction.  

Sure, dating has been full of *cough* colorful characters.  I never expected hanging out the single flag and meeting someone would be easy.  And it really hasn’t been.  Some of it, I blame on myself, and some of it I know I can rest on the shoulders of the other involved parties.  Sure, I’m frustrated.  But, I’m not yet bitter, so I guess that’s a positive.  Here’s another important fact; yes, because of my dating escapades over the last year or so, I do have stories that sound like lies, but I’ve also met some people very dear to me though OKCupid.  I suppose that I had to add to the crazy coffer to balance the scales when it came to meeting the ones who have a place in my life.  Only seems fair.  Besides, if my career as a government help desk employee doesn’t pan out, I can always write a book about my 30s, right?

It might be fleeting, but my social networking page has been full of people wishing me a happy birthday.  I know it doesn’t take much, but that’s kinda the point, I guess.  It’s just enough to know that someone’s thinking about you, but it’s not too much effort for them to let you know about it.  It’s enough.  Thanks for that, especially those who took a moment to write something personal.  It really helped my mood, and I appreciate that.

Though, I have a few people I really need to thank individually.  

To Froshaka, thank you for the flowers.  (You’re the first person outside of my ex-husband to send me any, actually.)  I’m happy to have been your confidante, your sounding board, and your co-conspirator.  

To Greyson, your unexpected gift and e-card wishing me a happy birthday made me smile.  But, your friendship, understanding, knowledge, and steady nature have been your best gift to me.  Thank you for taking a risk and sticking out those first, awkward months of friendship, and every day since then.

And finally, to Propecia Louise, thank you for the gift that you hand delivered to me at work today.  Having you drop by kicked my day into a better, sunnier mood.  But then again, that's kinda what you do.  You give it right back to me, and tell it like it is, even when I don't want to hear it, or might not be all that graceful about what I need to hear.  Thanks for that.  I’m jealously guarding the cupcakes, and defending your choice in balloons to all who accuse me of being a Justin Bieber fan.  It’s really been the talk of the office. 

Angsty cabin fever and uncharacteristic emotional thank yous aside, my apologies to everyone whom I haven’t seen nearly enough in the past few months.  I’ve broken one of my promises to you and myself this year when I said I’d work on being a more reliable friend.  Thank you for sticking around anyway.  Here’s to another year of mischief, spit takes, and joi de vivre.


October 19, 2011

Wrap it up and put a big old bow on it.

This time last year, I was at the tail end of living with my ex husband and his girlfriend.  My relationship with a younger man I was growing fonder of by the day was in its death throes.  I was painfully broke, staring down another unhappy birthday, and realizing I wasn't going to get to enjoy my favorite holiday of the year; Halloween.  My divorce hearing was the day after said birthday.  My house, which was the bane of my emotional and physical existence, was near empty as my ex was moving, and he took a good chunk of furniture.  I had packed up the things I didn't want to go missing, and had finally decided it was time to cut my losses entirely and make the house go away.  I was prepared to let it go any way it could, whether that be through foreclosure, deed in lieu, or short sale.  I just wanted it gone.  I wanted to walk out of the ashes with an entirely new beginning.  It has been an entire year since I drew that line in the sand and stepped over it.

This year has been difficult, what with the sale of the house taking, start to finish, over 9 months, dealing with the end of the lease on my car, finding a new place to live that I can afford.  Being able to keep my dogs is a fortunate benefit.  Meanwhile, I've been working on keeping and growing my existing friendships, making new ones, and trying to date.  None of those are easy even when you don't have what feels like a Sisyphean task looming over you.  So, it's been a year of adventure and struggle.  But you know what?  I don't think I'd trade it for anything.  I've learned, adapted, and grown as a person.  These past months prove to me that I can be a phoenix and come through this stronger than I was before.  If I can do this, nothing's going to hold me back. 

So, it is with great jubilation that I write these words:

I close on the sale of my house on October 28th, 2011.

I am leaving behind the last vestiges of my married life by handing over the keys to the new owner.   He has been patient with this, and for that I am glad.  I accepted the offer on the house in June, and it has taken till now to get this done.  I hope he falls in love with the place and can make it his sanctuary.  It's not a bad house, but it was for me.  I lost about $35,000 in the end, but what I gained was my sanity and a new freedom.  Knowing that you only get one chance at life, and that money isn't the same as happiness, I only regret not letting go sooner. 

To my friends who put up with my moodiness and allowed me to let down my hair, thank you.  Your emotional support means more to me than I could say.  Your swift kick in the metaphorical ass kept me on task.  To those who read my social network posts, thanks for either laughing along with me, or tolerating me when I was grumpy about this.  I hope you never have to hear me gripe about something that big ever again.  To the people who were involved in the process, I couldn't have done it without you.  This means you paralegal with the attorney's office, droves of agents that showed my house, and the faceless office workers who collated and stapled the documents it took to get this where we are today.  To my friends and family, your helping me pack and shuffle things from place to place was more meaningful than throwing money at the problem.  Thank you for that.

Lastly, and most importantly of all, Jennifer Morgan, you are the closest thing to a miracle I think I will ever know.  When I first called you, I had no idea what it was going to take.  All I knew was that it wasn't going to be easy, or fast.  Without your sunny personality, empathy, and tenacious nature, this never would have gotten done.  Thank you for understanding my frustrations, calming my fears, pulling the strings, making the phone calls, and mostly, selling the house!  First pitcher of margaritas is on me.

October 11, 2011

Duck, Duck, Goose Eggs!

Age is different than maturity.  Nothing proves this more than the last Near Miss with a younger man.  Let me set the stage.  I'm mid 30s.  This guy was 26.  He asked if I'd be interested in a younger man, and I told him that's what I prefer.  We talk back and forth a little.  It's a weekend, so we're both on and offline all day.  We'd been talking about movies, because you know, it's a pretty safe topic.  He told me that I should come over and we could watch a movie.  He might even "throw in something extra" for me.  I told him that I have rules.  I won't meet someone for the first time at their house, it has to be somewhere public.  It's a safety thing for both people.  That way, either person has an out should they decide they'd made a mistake.  His comeback?  "I have the kids here (He had 5 year old twins) so I can't do anything too crazy.  (Obviously, he hasn't spent the time watching Discovery ID like I have.  Truly sick people don't care if there's a kid in the house or not.  Not that I want to believe he is, but my rules are there for a reason.) 

October 5, 2011

Wrong Way to Leave Your Mark

This is a story that I've kinda held on to for a while.  I've told it a few times, most recently on my last appearance on the Scurvycast.  It's one of those that, well, it sounds even more like a lie than most of mine, and probably deserves to be on a bad case of the dates.  The following is an account of an email I sent to Dave, of Scurvy Media fame, not long after it happened.  Mostly because, well, he's not afraid to talk about shit, and if I didn't tell someone, I was going to explode.  You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll vurp, and most certainly ask "Girl, what the FUCK were you thinking?!"