Monday, December 22, 2014

Rescued

Two years ago I found myself FRANTICALLY racing around town to wrap up some last minute holiday errands.  I had a BRILLIANT idea to buy baby boy a hamster for x-mas; working off of my own personal childhood memories of owning a fluffy little rodent I could call my very own.  I'm a mom who CLEARLY thinks ahead; I purchased the rodent, and all related equipment, food and toys a week before the holiday.  The cage was stashed in the roommate's bedroom (hidden, with his permission), and my game-plan included playing with the hamster every single night leading up to Christmas morning to ensure he was accustomed to people.

Much to my dismay, my brilliant plan COMPLETELY BACKFIRED IN MAH FACE.  The little fucker was vicious.  It kept biting me, and on one occasion I flung the tiny beast monster across the room because the chunk of hand it had tried taking out of my hand caught me off guard.  My initial reaction was to put on heavy duty leather working gloves; because that was going to solve ALL of my problems.

All the gloves did was allow the beast monster to visibly bite at my hand without me throwing it across the room.  I was pissed and felt super duped that the pet store had sold me a carnivorous hamster; it must have had some rodent form of rabies, or had been in a line of an inbred trafficked hamster whore house, because the hamsters when I was a little girl were cute and cuddly.

It was obvious what I had to do.....return the little fucker four days before Christmas and try to exchange it for a larger, more "docile" breed.

I confidently marched into the pet store, returned the beast monster and left with an even larger beast monster, and felt like I had done my due diligence as Mom of the Year....until I got home and realized I had neglected to take the small beast-monster supplies with me when I exchanged the carnivore for one that was three times its size.

The next morning, bright and early, I snuck away to complete my holiday preparation by getting the RIGHT sized house, etc.

When I walked into the pet store, a bit annoyed but pleased that I was going to surprise baby boy with the gift of life (haha, yeah), I saw an "Adoption Day" sign.  I'm a glutton for punishment, so I HAD to check out the pet offerings and see what kind of cuteness was available.  I turn the corner holding all of my NEW beast supplies, and was greeted by the sweetest, fluffiest little puppy.  

I'm not necessarily one to believe in love at first site (at least as far as humans were concerned) but slap me sideways and call me Harry -- we fell in love the second we met each other.  His story was tragic; he was found with a litter of three on a reservation in Minnesota where they estimated he and his two sisters were approximately 10-weeks old.  He'd been transferred to his current rescue agency, and had been with a foster family for approximately three weeks.

Long story short - by the end of the day I left the pet store without the new hamster supplies, with a puppy instead, and a crystal clear conscious at the decision to abandon ship on giving baby boy a hamster (read: beast monster) for Christmas.

I tip-toed through the conundrum of how to explain to baby boy the fact that I left in the morning only to return with a puppy.  In the interest of the season, I lied.  I told him a co-worker had an emergency and asked me to watch their dog for a couple of days.  My lie ballooned when I told him the puppy hadn't been named; and that we should help my coworker out and pick out a name for the dog.  

Christmas eve, baby boy was greeted with the final present of the evening; a card that told him the truth - the dog was ours - accompanied by a large gift bag that had a dog bed puppy shampoo, a leash and a few dog toys.  
Adopting a rescue dog was foreign to me.  Not only did the adoption agency grill me for a couple of hours, I'm surprised they didn't require finger prints and blood.  I don't blame them for their paranoia; most of their animals had a tough past, and their hearts are invested in the mission of finding these little furry beings with "forever-homes."  

I grew up with dogs, but never in my life have I had a dog affect me in such a powerful way.  Sometimes I feel as though he wants to start blurting out full sentences; there's so much to be said in his hilarious "woofs," and oddball mannerisms.  He's something else....and on top of everything, has an affinity for shoe laces, underwear, and tank-top straps.  If he wasn't so damn cute he'd be back on the streets.  Fer Realz.

Swallowing my sarcasm for a minute; he's the best thing that has happened to me and to baby boy.  He's a puppy brother, snuggling, amazing little fluff ball.  I love him.  He loves us.  I'm forever converted to rescuing animals; it's a spontaneous choice that has forever changed my life.

sidebar:  For as much as I will stand behind rescuing dogs/cats, there is a special place in hell for carnivorous hamsters; #truth.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Woe is NOT me.

My intentions were never to write a "woe is me" tale; so I was caught a bit off guard when I had shared this link with a friend, and he forwardly said "ya know, I'm not going to read your blog because, with the way you described it, it sounds like a sob story."

Ouch.

Setting my damaged ego aside, I feel compelled to clarify my purpose for sharing my odd life with a random and small corner of the interwebs.

I'm biased, yes, but I think my story is quite hilarious.  Sure, some parts are sad, and some posts were written when I was self consumed with insane amounts of hormones that surge through my body one time a month and I become an uncontrollable monster of rage, I digress.  Some stories I look back on, and I truly laugh.  It's funny.  I mean, with all of the different men I've actually crossed paths with, one could almost have enough evidence to slap me across the face if I complain about being single!

I'd safely label the majority of this smallish corner of the web a tale of a person stumbling through life, learning as she goes...but damn, I'd HARDLY consider that a sob story.  The words I choose can be fairly straight forward, sometimes snarky, sometimes funny, sad, or a mixture of all of the above...but I found myself getting offended when someone referred to it as a sob story.

Listen, life isn't always fun, with unicorns shitting rainbows and butterflies.  Life is real.  My life is real.

I've used pseudonyms because I want to be able to freely write without offending someone if they happen to cross this little corner and figure out who I am; although, more than half of the people I've shared this link with, I've done so because I'm not always the greatest at finding my words during conversations, so I clue them in that I've authored this place, and it's a piece of me.

Perhaps I'm more narcissistic than I've ever wanted to admit?  Or perhaps I'm just a girl trying to figure life out with my stumbling moments leading my way?  Meh, fuck it...I'm too damn fried to figure it out right now...and that's just fine by me.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Missing Mark

The call I'd never imagined receiving.  The person on the phone calling, one I would never expect to hear from, which curled the pit of my stomach; what had happened?

The call was to inform me he had killed himself.  My first love.  My only love.  The man I walked away from when my son was about a year and a half because he couldn't get his mental health issues in check; and I would be dammed to expose my son to someone more unstable than me.

We had kept in touch thanks to the power of the internet though not as often as I now wish.  A few occasional emails checking in with each other (however looking back at the emails I never truly said all I had wanted to).  

There was that one phone call I received from him around this time of year three years back; he was panicked, and unstable.  I begged him to go get help, and even though he promised me he would, I know he didn't.  What he wanted was for someone to answer, and I did.  

I had forgotten to tell him my number had changed a year back.  I know it's trivial and pointless to think giving him my new number could have changed his mind...I get that, really, I do.... but god dammit I wish I had remembered to tell him.

Instead I was too wrapped up in me to think of him, and the fucking irony of it all makes my heart weep.  My anger rages through tears that burn my eyes when I think of him.  It's been a little over two months since his life ended, and I still see threads of him in my life constantly.  I've come a long way in those months; with writing as my sole outlet, I couldn't bring myself to sit down and make this entire situation "real" by putting it into words...but it's time.

Maybe I'm making a bigger deal out of his death than I should; he always told me he didn't want to live to be old.  His life outlook was so negative, it was mostly the polar opposite of mine.  I think that's why we were soul mates who happened to become poison when together.  Another irony (which, yes I'm probably using the term "irony" wrong, but he's not here to tell me otherwise).

His death allowed me to see he was actually able to live the years since we physically parted; his friends had kept a close watch on him.  I know he wanted more, but didn't feel he deserved it.  Dammit, I miss him.  I'm beginning to wonder if he's stuck here on earth.  I'm hardly a religious (or even spiritual) person.  Since his death my life was consumed with snakes (he knows I HATE snakes), mice (another thing he knows I hate), and two men I was interested in tell me they were gay.  I guess the joke is on me.

I cherish the days we spent together.  I'm not one to paint rainbows and butterflies on my past with him; because I'll be the first to tell you we were the couple that argued A. LOT.  Reflecting on this relationship made me realize our love was more than the two of us could handle; and not in a sappy, romantic way...but more in a "it was way too heavy, and mature for our immature brains to be able to digest, comprehend and appreciate" kind of way.

He was my Caring Panda, and I was his Sugar Marmot; cheesy pet names, yes, but that's who we were when we were together (and things were good) - cheesy.  We were both goof balls and I know at our core we cherished the authentic goofy sides of each other.

Walking away from him when I did, the only way I coped was for my life to evolve into a chaotic bajillion miles per hour.  Working 40 hours a week (that truthfully totaled 50 hours per week when taking into account lunch hours and commutes), raising a little boy as best as a single girl could, going back to school, the house, the dog, gardening....all of these things had distracted me from how much I actually missed him and us.  I know there have been moments during the years since we parted where I thought about him, and yearned to reconnect; but knowing he hadn't addressed his mental health issues was all I needed to know to stop myself.

Every day I walk to work I pass the building where we met.  I pass the dorm where we spent many nights together, and the hotel he spontaneously rented a room from to surprise me with flowers and a burnt cd filled with slow songs so we could hold each other dancing close.

Have you ever had a person in your life with whom you've decided (both you and the person, collectively) you'll be each other's back-up plan?  You know, when, if you both aren't married by a certain age, you'll marry each other...?  We were each other's back-up plans; and aside from living, and seeking professional help, that was the only other thing he never followed through with.

He was my love, and dammit, I miss him.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Harmony and Hope

Another holiday season is upon me, and I still find myself, Single plus 1.5 (the .5 being the dog)....and I'm ok with that; mostly..

I'm ok I don't have to consult another adult for the majority of my choices.
I'm ok I'm the only adult I truly have to answer to when I make any decision.
I'm ok, really, I am.

Am I happy?  Not necessarily; but I'm not unhappy either.

Much like a blogger friend who had written seven years ago, I'm still filled with hopes and dreams that I'll find a man who will be able to deal with my crazy-self.  A man who will want to be a father figure to my son.  A man who will want to go to sleep next to me, and not be afraid when I have crazy, irrational, over-analytic mood swings.

Statistically, he has to be out there, right?

I'm thinking tonight I need to scroll my own sharpie prophecy.  Aside from a love partner, I want harmony around me.  I've seen sides of humanity that are exclusionary and snobby; but also sides of humanity that are brilliant, graceful, and a way I would strive to live.  These sides of humanity I've seen rear themselves within the course of a week.

I've had to protect my son from the ugly sides of humanity; through purposefully removing myself from a "family" gathering (the term family used lightly because, although we might be blood-related, I don't define family as people who are arrogant and off putting towards me, I digress).  I don't believe I'm the only person who feels as though they have absolutely nothing in common with the majority of their family; it never ceases to perplex me, but as much as I want to know "why" I would rather spend my time and energy with my friends (the people who I believe are my true family).

I've also exposed my son to sides of humanity that are so inspiring I can't really find the right words to describe how inspiring and uplifting it is.  People who have lived life regardless of impending tragedy, with an insane amount of grace, poise and humor.

Sitting in our living room on a Saturday night, my son is recording goofy videos on his Kindle, my dog is running around the living room trying to talk someone into playing with him.  My son's giggles would make anyone smile.  His soul is pure, and I'm terrified every single day that I'm going to taint him; mess him up and fail to be the best that I can be for him.

All while this heart-warming chaos unfolds, here I sit.  Pouring my heart into my computer because it's my outlet; one that I don't use quite as often as I should.

The glow of the holiday lights surround me, trying to convince me that the holidays can be peaceful and joyful when my extended family life is an absolute mess.  For the shortest moments the twinkle that surrounds me tempts me to forget about the addicts

As I crawl under the cold sheets tonight, I've still not lost hope.  Hope I will find my partner to fill the large void in my life, and hope that harmony is close to becoming my reality.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Introducing Trainer

So much to cover...where to begin?

Attention.  I'm sure I've said it a million and twelve times; as a single-solo-parent, fully employed, full time college student...I'm fairly isolated on most social aspects.  ...so when attention gets thrown my way, I'm ALL FOR IT.

Enter Trainer. Before you start saying, "Seriously, SS, WTF is wrong with you?!" hear me out.

A few (read: six) months ago, I was in a valiant exercise kick.  Still being a solid 75lbs overweight (according to those stupid BMI chart demon monster things, I digress), I was giving it the ol' college try to make it to the gym on a regular basis. 

With a full semester of courses, and a consistent 40 hour work week, placing my physical fitness above spending what miniscule "free time" I had with my son felt selfish...but it was a selfish I was comfortable being (at that point in time).  What better thing for a selfish-determined-to-drop-two-jean-sizes lady to do then sign up for a fitness challenge.  It was your run of the mill challenge with an initial weigh-in, followed by weekly weigh-ins (the person losing the highest percentage of body fat winning some FABULOUS price...yadda yadda).

The day I signed up for the challenge I recall being in a particularly snarky mood.  When I'm in said-mood, I'm not particularly mean, but I'm also not particularly nice; sarcasm typically spews out of my mouth in brilliant ways that my inner-self snickers at because (OF COURSE).  My sarcasm did not disappoint, and to my surprise I was sitting across from Trainer, a fit man with kind eyes who was approximately the same height as me, and was returned with an equal amount of whitty sarcasm.

Be still my heart.

I became the cliched "girl who has a crush on her trainer."  Eff.

I have been doing a lot of life reflecting, and between you and me, I am doing my best to be authentic, and take in all things around me.  Life is short, and you truly never know how much time you'll have on this earthy, so my recent mantra is to enjoy every damn bit of it....and enjoying him has not proven to be a difficult task.  Quite the opposite.

In the beginning of my first 90-day challenge I was a rockstar.  I'm certain a lot of it was fueled by Trainer; although I can safely say the fire burning inside me was for the most part motivation to be healthy and Trainer was just a bonus.  Unfortunately the fire wasn't strong enough to keep me going, and mid-way through I dropped out.  I was embarrassed, frustrated, annoyed with my lack of time to do everything I was trying to do...so something had to go; and the gym was the easiest thing to cut in order to prevent an epic burnout.

About a month ago, I found a random email in my yahoo inbox from none other than Trainer.  A new challenge was on the brink of starting, and he was writing to recruit me.  Now, I'm REALLY not trying to get too far ahead of myself (yes, I've googled "does my trainer like me," and "I have a crush on my trainer," etc.), but I really DO feel a little connection with him.  However big or small that connection might FEEL, it doesn't change the fact that life is still nucking futs for me, and there was a flying chance in hell that I would sign up for another challenge....so I ignored his email.

Enter: bright idea.

Do you ever have one of those "awesome ideas" that you're only kind of serious about pursuing?  Yes?  No?  I have them all. the. time.

I opened my email, and composed the following to trainer:

Subject: I have a proposition for you...
Message:  Find me a date and I'll join the 90-day challenge.

Crazy email?  Absolutely.
Slightly inappropriate?  Yup.

I'm a girl who has very little shame in my game; and while all a part of me WISHED he'd say he found a date, setup a time at a local coffee shop for us to me, only to find out it was HIM he set me up on a date with...I knew better.

He takes his job very seriously; I can tell he's in his element...and it's refreshing as hell (not to mention super sexy). 

His response to my inappropriate email was pretty clever; "dates?  no problem...if you go to the grocery store, just ask one of the clerks which aisle to look in, and you'll have dates for days.  can't wait to see you come in to start your next 90-day!"

Touche', Trainer...Touche.

After a bit of email banter back and forth, he finally admitted to "having a lead on a date, but I'd have to come in to hear more."

My instant-mom-gut-reaction was B.S.....but if I've learned anything in my 31 years on this planet, it's that life is too short to harbor on "what-ifs" so OF COURSE I marched my overweight arse into the gym to find out if my leg was being pulled.

And pulled it was.  The look of sheer disappointment poured from each and every cell on my body, so much so that even Trainer commented on my sad puppy dog eyes....and, yes, I signed up for the stupid challenge. 

Trainer - 1.  Me - 0. 

In sitting there chatting with him, I realized how much I actually did miss the gym (I know, right?).  I also realized that my Trainer was far more serious about keeping this a business relationship...but when he mentioned that he was a gun safety certified while we were shooting the breeze, I couldn't help but tell him he had to make up his fib about a date to me by taking me shooting (note: shooting a gun has been on my bucket list for a while...).

And what do ya know...HE TOOK THE BAIT! (that makes me sound a bit predatorish, I digress).

What do you think the over-under is that this non-date date will actually happen?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The one with the angel.

Grief.  It's ugly, it's messy, and its damn near unavoidable in this tangled web of life.  I'm thankful my periods of grief have been short lived, but recently a friend of mine has been tip-toeing through a forest of nasty grief I hope to never experience.

My friend lost her daughter to an 18-month battle of life.  See, my friend's little girl was born with down-syndrome, plus a host of other complications that required her to have numerous surgeries.  While I can imagine my friend and her husband made preparations in case their little girl didn't make it, I don't think there's any amount of preparing a person could do before losing a child.

Regardless of this little girl's health, she was still their baby.  Each simple milestone she accomplished in her short 18 months was nothing short of a miracle.  Every. Single. Time.

And though her last breath on earth was only about a month ago, my friend is still treading two feet below the surface in an ocean of grief...and that's ok.

At times I envy how freely she shares her grief and sorrow; to the point where I've busted myself questioning her...but who in the hell am I to question something I've never experienced (thank god).  Although, one comment that keeps being repeated is "other people don't understand."  This is in response to her feeling of people "expecting her to go back to normal."  I imagine this is the furthest thing from the truth; let's think about that.  "Normal" is such an ambiguous word....and it wouldn't be fair of ANYONE to expect her to act or feel happy.  She lost her baby; it's a pain that's so wretched nobody can even pretend like they know what she's going though (unless they, themselves have lost a child).

I think what's happening is, because people can't relate or empathize, they feel like it would be most helpful if THEY pretended like nothing was wrong; like the death of her baby isn't a huge elephant in the room.  Sure, in writing that sounds a bit ignorant and silly; but how else can a person who hasn't experienced the same grief really act?  I'm sad that her family is experiencing such a horrible loss, and I'm also hopeful that, even in the wake of her criticisms, the people who are surrounding her don't abandon her because she's annoyed and/or feels like everyone should expect her to act "normal."  She will need each and every person more than ever....even if it's just to sit there while she cries.  

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My moment

How does a person cope when they feel like is just too damn busy?  Me....I get irritable and the inevitable unveils itself in the form of ugly crying.  On my way to the gym after work yesterday, I felt it bubbling in the pit of my stomach; sheer and utter irritability.  My mind began to race; work (which isn't going the greatest), school (I'm only one week into the semester), parenting (I feel like a complete failure and disconnected from my son), my non-fitness level (I'm about 100lbs overweight, and can't seem to see the light at the end of the fitness tunnel), dating (why in the hell is dating/relationships so flipping complicated), money (the fact that I DON'T HAVE ANY REGARDLESS OF HOW HARD I WORK)....all these thoughts bubbling in my stomach like the calm before the storm.

To help refocus, I tried to only focus on the small group work out I was heading to.  I raced through the gym doors, and had made some pretty great time managing to ONLY be five minutes late.  Do I think the workout helped?  Considering I ugly cried at my locker after the workout, I'd answer with a "maybe."

My heart is screaming at me to be patient; this is only temporary, and focus on the good stuff (DAMMIT).  Then my head enters the room...and my head is a royal bitch.  Quieting my head has got to be the key to my success, and what better way to quiet the screams then dive head-first into loads of work (that I'm expected to do in the first place).

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And on a slightly separate note, I am so ready for this crappy winter to be over.  This mama needs the sun back, and clear roads to walk around at night....birds, flowers and green grass help a bit too.