Posts Tagged 'breakups'

life’s hard, especially if you’re made of synthetic materials

I entitle all my storytimes for quick reference purposes later. Last week’s storytime was “Extraordinary Poultry.” There were chickens saving lives and ducks wearing underwear and we danced the Chicken Dance and it was extraordinary.

I tidied up my work space today FINALLY, sifting through a pile of papers and junk while Motormouth laughed and snapped candids and Facebooked them for the world or at least my network to see my shame. I found a lot of things including not my dignity but at least my storytime puppet that went missing last week (wearing a smooshed look between a stack of reports and craft supplies) and a copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which I’d finally given up and paid for a month ago.

I also ran across a storytime plan from April 2nd. It was entitled “i just broke up ha!” Wow. I’d forgotten that morning after Hot Lunch and I broke up was really something. I brandished the piece of paper at Motormouth and described what it had been like:

I remember I’d just kept thinking, How am I doing this? How am I going around like my life didn’t just end last night, smiling and storytiming and singing SHAKE YOUR FUCKIN SILLIES OUT!?!

Whew. Life is much better now. In fact, I’m doing pretty good on the loving myself front. I took myself on my first date, just the one of us, a couple of Fridays ago. For my first try, there were only a few slight hitches.

I got embroiled in a one-sided conversation with my waiter that I didn’t know how to extricate myself from without wolfing down my meal and escaping. Which I did. While in line for my ticket I got a phone call from my mom who, when I boasted about what I was doing, responded thusly:

me: “I’m going to see Toy Story 3 by MYSELF!” 😀
Mom: “Oh I’m SO SORRY! What happened? Where is everyone?”
me: “I don’t know, I didn’t ask. I wanted to go by MYSELF!”
Mom: “Well I’m so sorry I’m not in town, I could have gone with you! We’ll take a rain check, ok?”
me: “It’s ok, Mom. I’m here on purpose. By myself. It’s FUN!”
Mom: “Ok then, take care of yourself, ok? And I’ll go to a movie with you when I get back.”

Toy Story 3 turned out to be a bad choice given the conditions. Long story short, if you were the family seated near the strange lone woman mopping tears from behind her 3D glasses, I am sorry for creeping your kids out. Blame those sadists at Pixar.

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hang on, little tomato

on Monday, my sister’s house is shortselling or foreclosing. one or the other. we don’t know which. we just know everything has to be moved out by this weekend.

this means that Cupcake and the Pants spent the evening with me in my sister’s garage, sorting through box after box of ALL MY OLD CRAP i left behind when i moved into my apartment in February. after the wine spritzers were poured and we had exhausted all our box jokes, then the hard work started.

you don’t understand. i was a hoarder up until just a few years ago. my former self held onto almost every possession, every paper since i could walk. luckily, i’ve already worked my way up through high school on my own and thrown most of that away. tonight’s features were random selections of college papers, books i never read anymore, and EVERY COLLEGE TEXT I EVER OWNED. the Goodwill is getting some heavy ass boxes come Monday.

time for the HALL OF FAME!

  • coolest find: a huge chunk of amethyst
  • hardest find: a bag of my first boyfriend’s old crap
  • strangest find: a long blond ponytail, severed and rubber-banded together

in the end we achieved a lot… probably half of a lifetime of accumulated shit dispatched in only two hours. two more hours are all that stand between me and freedom from my past.

but by the end i felt like i was drowning in my past. artifacts of hard times i want to forget, artifacts of simpler times i wish i could return to…

and simply being back in my sister’s house… back breathing the atmosphere of our ruined friendship while feeling all around me the fun times we used to have together here. our favorite show we used to watch Thursday nights (tonight) was playing on the tv amid the wreckage of trash and keep piles. our old family cat, ecstatic that i had finally come back home, started weaving around my feet in her old bedtime routine as i was heading out the door to my car.

and that’s when Hot Lunch sends his customary good night text. Hot Lunch, who just called me yesterday to tell me tearfully that he loves me, but isn’t in love with me, and that it sucks that he never gets to see me anymore.

these ghosts are killing me.

but when the Pants and I trudged back home exhausted, after dropping and shattering our unopened bottle of wine in the parking lot (yes, Pants, I’m finally starting to laugh about it now!), i entered my apartment to find it warm and sweet-smelling, softly lit with music playing. this is my life now. less chaos, more chamomile.

parting with the past is particularly hard when the future is unclear. but this isn’t a bad place to spend the present. i started to tidy my already tidy apartment and get ready for bed. the song that was playing? Pink Martini’s Hang on Little Tomato.

when change is hard and not so nice,
if you listen to your heart the whole night through,
your sunny someday will come one day soon to you.

my version of The Jeep Song by the Dresden Dolls

there is a particular anxiety involved in driving around town when you’ve just broken up with someone. it’s worse the closer you are to Ground Zero, wherever that may be for you (in my case Hot Lunch’s home theater, where we broke up in front of American Idol and by the way how stupid is that). because the closer to Ground Zero, the more justified your brain thinks it is to PSYCHOTICALLY WATCH ONCOMING CARS IN SEARCH FOR YOUR EX’S.

this has nothing to do with logic. my stomach inadvertently tightens every time i see a white Ford sedan. Hot Lunch doesn’t even drive a white Ford sedan. he USED to, and that’s enough. now he drives a Jeep Compass. luckily, there are NO Jeep Compasses in town, aside from his. but there are TONS of Jeep Liberties–aha!–and my stomach can’t tell the difference.

so i estimate roughly one eighth of the cars driving the roads in a five-mile radius around Ground Zero threaten to give me the shits when i see them.

i find myself saying things aloud. usually something like:

“is that… IS THAT??”

and:

“no, see, it says Liberty on it. it says Liberty.”

sometimes i find myself muttering colors.

“navy. that’s like a navy blue. he drives a champagne one.”

i KNOW what color his car is, Self! why do you keep repeating things? you make me sound CRAZY!

ironically, today when i spotted a champagne Jeep Compass barreling toward me on a road Hot Lunch is likely to use at exactly the time he might use it were he, say, late to work… i found myself completely unable to speak. struck. dumb.

soon the driver was close enough for me to see a familiar configuration of facial hair, a familiar pair of sunglasses and a very UNfamiliar stern expression.

after all the drivers’ faces i’ve scrutinized–including the ones driving a vaguely jeep-shaped Nissan Armada in fire-engine red–it struck me as so odd and wrong that Hot Lunch looked more like a stranger to me than any of them. hilarious, sweet, frustrating, stupid Hot Lunch looked so odd and grim. like an odd grim man i’ve never met, and would try to avoid talking to in line at Starbucks.

STUPID!

i have no more words. frustration has gotten the better of my vocabulary.

stupid beard!

stupid face!

stupid jeep!

stupid man!

Grrr!!!!! STUPID BEARDY JEEP MAN!

Ugh.

I stand alone. And it’s actually kinda neat.

I am realizing for the first time how lonely heartbreak is. No one can help me. Friends can be nice to me, listen to me and give feedback, distract me, get me drunk. But none of these are solutions, they’re just creating a supportive environment in which for me to wrestle the monster alone.

Only I can fight the war in my head. I’m the one who has to choose to fight and choose whether today is a day I win it all over again or if it’s a day I let it take me under. I’m the only one there in the quiet moments deciding what to do with myself when everyone else is doing their thing and none of my usual things seem to hold any appeal for me anymore. I’m the one who has to get out of bed. Every morning. For another day I didn’t want or ask for.

The moments of sheer terror have been when I’m completely paralyzed by grief. Engulfed, immobile, and I’ve been sitting or lying that way for hours. And I realize I’m waiting for something to happen–something for me to react to, something to break that spell and start me in forward motion again.

And I realize that something can only be me. No one is coming to pull me out of it. Nothing is going to magically change in my head and make it easy. I have to just do it. Take that first step, get out of bed, just start going through the motions of life until actual life comes back into the motions.

It feels… colossally alone. But it feels increasingly strong. There are few moments so hard you can feel yourself grow up as you push through them, face them, take them on, do them and stop taking the easy way around them or letting them turn you back from your (better) future.

They’re the things no one can do for you, or even with you. Being an adult feels achingly lonely, but just for that moment. Because on the other side of that moment, as a reward for those who get there, being alone is suddenly not so bad. It’s stronger. Reliable. And finally free of fear. Fear of that particular hurdle, anyway.

I am stronger than the fear.

And the better I am alone, the better we are together, be it family, friends or lovers.

Cupcake, I figured it out

Today on The Drive That Would Not End, between spilling hot drinks and rolling down the windows to air out farts, Cupcake and I were trying to think how I might rid myself of the anger I feel towards Hot Lunch. I’m not an angry person. I don’t want this anger. But here it is.

And tonight (again, while I was driving) I suddenly realized: **Warning: cheese is imminent. The overly cynical should avert their eyes.**

It’s all a part of my journey. How can I be angry at anyone who played a part in my journey when it got me to where I am today, which is so much BETTER than where I was yesterday?

Cheesey? Only if i didn’t absolutely feel it and find the realization a complete relief of bitter, angry feelings I didn’t want taking up space in my chest.

You may be saying that this way of letting go of anger wouldn’t work for you, and that’s ok. But at least take a moment to consider: if we build a habit of accepting responsibility for our lives and taking control of our journey, we have less and less reason to blame others… and that means less dwelling on angry feelings, less powerlessness and more confidence that we can make our future what we want it to be regardless of what others do or say.

And as an afterthought, part of me doesn’t want to let go of this anger because I’m afraid of letting Hot Lunch off the hook too easily, not holding him accountable for the unfortunate choices and actions that caused me so much pain over the last year.

But holding onto anger won’t really accomplish that. It will just eat me up and hold me back from moving on and living a happy life. I’m expecting my anger to function as a measurement of who he is, when it’s actually a reflection of who I am.

And I say I’m not someone who’s letting anger steal any more time out of her life.

Hot Lunch and I take a recess

Hot Lunch is a speech pathologist.

We met several years ago, at which time I’m pretty sure he didn’t do much of anything. I mean he worked at the library with me, but come on. Really he “worked” at the library. He effed around a lot, made people laugh, and left the Joy of Sex lying open at the position “Savage Fury” just so he could get me to look at it.

Several grueling years of a Masters and a divorce later, Hot Lunch is now a slightly more responsible and sobered adult. But he still walks to his mailbox in his boxer briefs just to keep his neighbors alert.

When we started dating last summer, he was working in a hospital. Pager on the belt, receptionist who took his calls… pretty hot. But he soon took a job working in an elementary school. Less prestige, pay cut… and exactly the same time off as his kids get from school. Yeah, he’s a good dad. Way hotter. And also awesome.

It was also pleasant symmetry, now that we both worked with children, me at my library, him at his school. And our schedules lined up perfectly once a week for us to grab lunch together. Turns out teachers and guests can grab an FDA-approved nutritionally-balanced hot lunch in the cafeteria for less than $3.  Both of us watching our waistlines and pocketbooks, we started lining up with the kiddos every Wednesday and forking over a handful of change for a chocolate milk and fish sticks called “Sea Treasures” …along with some affectionate teasing from the lunch ladies. Hot lunch was a new romantic tradition.

One day, my sister asked me how hot lunch was. And how the meal was too–ha! Suddenly Hot Lunch stuck as his name. It was so… appropriate. As he said delightedly, “It’s kind of sexual!” Of course Hot Lunch can make anything sexual. If we’d named him Donkey Boy, he would have been like, “Yeeeah, it’s cause i’m HUNG! Come and get it, ladies!”

Sadly, just as I start this blog, Hot Lunch and I have called it quits. Hot Lunch is not so hot anymore… in fact he’s been growing colder for the better part of a year, increasingly too absorbed in his post-divorce emotional fallout to be present in our relationship.

So while Hot Lunch does what Hot Lunch needs to do to take care of himself–and rediscover the fun-loving smart ass we all used to know–I’ll continue to dish out the funny on my own. Some of it will be new funny that has yet to happen. Some of it old funny about the two of us.

Speaking of old funny, you don’t want to miss my ill-fated Valentine’s Day with the masturbating library patron. That’s next.

this is the saddest post i will ever make

just to let you guys know, tiger and i are over.  it was a beautiful three months.  we are a perfect couple in every way except one: incompatible religions.  so basically we're a match made in heaven, just different versions of it.

bring on the awkward get-togethers, the sexual tension among friends, the parties and game sessions where two people still in love look across the room at each other in impossibility.  and you all get to be a part of it!  not to mention going through it all again when one of us starts dating someone else, like busting a scab open all. over. again.  i know.  love is beautiful that way.

so i go out of 2006 the way i went in: available and on the market.  cmon, come to my house guys, come on and come to my house, dudes dudes!  ah i'm freakin hilarious.

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