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Today I’m neurotic – until I google again.

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It’s official.  I’m neurotic.  (as I notice the hair in my eye in the above picture)

I Googled it, so it must be true.  Plus, it described me to a T on the following:

  • The tendency to restrict oneself, to be satisfied with very little or to remain inconspicuous: Grows out of normal need to move cautiously, delay gratification
  • An insistence of self-sufficiency and independence which does not allow one to ask for help or commit to relationship: Grows out of a normal need for autonomy and self-sufficiency.

Anxiety, self-sufficiency, OCD and having to over analyze every little thing, yup, that’s me. 

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Good news is – it’s not a mental illness and it’s treatable.  basically, ‘get over it’.  Okay, so maybe they suggested therapy to help with that.  But, there is hope. 

Seriously everything I do, from driving beyond 5 miles in the car to being faced with something unexpected, results in a physical reaction akin to readying myself to open a can of Pillsbury dough.

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I have had a reprieve from most of my anxiety, by not interacting with people outside of work.  I have to push myself to do anything that involves making eye contact with others.  Funny thing is though, when I am out there, I’m that kid who just waltzes up to another kid they don’t know and introduces themselves.  It’s mental.  Okay, I’m mental. 

So before I turn into this:

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Or this:

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It’s time to assess myself.

I don’t think it’s a secret that my kryptonite is ‘relationships’ (of the romantic variety.)  *shudder*

I’m talking, full on – fight or flight response to the THOUGHT of it.  I want you in my house, but gone when I want to be alone.  I want you in my life, but don’t tell me how I should be living it.  I want you to find me attractive, but don’t look at me or make me feel like a piece of meat.

It’s terrible. 

Seriously.

Because there is a really good chance that my neurosis in this area will end up truly leading me to my cat lady future.

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This is how I see those relationship petals … nothing is black and white. Except how I want things.  Those are very black and white, and don’t you bring a grey crayon anywhere near me. 

I’ve found a balance that doesn’t give me panic attacks.  It’s called being alone.

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But recently, I’ve had my balance tilted.  Thankfully, these days, when off-center, I stop to look at what is causing it.  I’m a lot more open to the possibility that I (gasp) could be wrong.  

I emailed my best friend and she assured me, she was not about to co-sign my bullshit.  She heard me out – as she always does and about 100 emails later, I could have published my analyses as a thesis. 

I think I convinced myself to some degree that I was doing the humanitarian thing by not getting involved with anyone.  I KNOW I’m a mess.  Who puts themselves out there knowing they’re a train wreck? I have my good qualities too – but don’t think it’s fair to subject someone to my hang ups and neuroses.  I’ve hurt too many people already.

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So if I’m going to even consider changing my cat lady plans – I have to start to work on myself.  That’s the bottom line.  Because even if Prince Charming showed up, with a box of Good and Plenty’s (my favorite) in one hand and a bouquet of flowers in the other – I’d find something wrong with him.

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People keep saying, “when you meet the right guy, it will be different.”  But, I really think in this case: It’s not you, it’s me is the truth of the matter.

And I’m all for truth.

And hope.

And love.

Just better be EXACTLY the way the ever-changing image of it is in my head, or else.

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Crazy cat lady ponderings

Brace yourselves.  I actually fired up the PC and am writing a post from home and not the laundromat.  It’s going to be okay … shhh … there there – change is scary, I know.

So!  This morning, I was reading a Facebook post a friend put up about relationships.  Basically about how you have to work at it – push through those times when all the things you used to think were adorable about your partner becoming annoying as hell. 

I get it.  That first flush of romance can’t last.  Or can it?

I know people still madly in love.  People married for years and years who still light up when talking about their other half.  Makes me smile.

Also makes me want that ease of being with the right person – I don’t want to have to work hard to love someone.  Should it be that hard?  Seriously?

Then I get to work and a friend sent me a picture of a crazy cat lady cake.  Hilarious.  And I want it.  It’s a running private joke. 

I’ve said time and again that’s my destiny. 

Here’s one like it – but not ‘the one’

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Funny both of these things came up today – because I was thinking on the way to work about qualities I would need to  come in a male package in order to change my cat lady plans.

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Deal breakers for me …

  • Lying
  • Vanity
  • Laziness
  • Neediness – bordering on psychotic desperation for affirmation
  • Racism
  • Homophobia

I’m going to sound like a huge vain prick right now – but … I would need someone smarter than me, but not smug about it.  Someone who has experienced the world, or at least bothered to find out about more than his zip code.

It is what it is – I have traveled.  I can spell.  I have a large vocabulary.  If I don’t know something, I admit it and then strive to learn what I don’t know.

I like to read.  I love the arts.  Music, painting, writing, theater. 

If I were ever to entertain the thought of sharing my LIFE with someone, it would have to be someone who challenged me. 

Someone who would step up, (not in a creepy domineering way) and decide that I am what they want and not give up until I was convinced it’s what I want too. 

Effort.  Patience.  

I’m not an easily peeled onion.  I have baggage. 

And knowing this about myself, I made the smart decision to NOT put someone through that. 

I am happy.  I am self-supporting.  I like myself and enjoy my company.

Besides, if I do get lonely, I can order this. 😉

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My Taylor Swift moment

It’s been quite bonkers the past few days.  Teddy Bonkers even. teddybonkers Friday night brought the joy of electrical issues that weren’t resolved until Sunday afternoon.  Last night I guess the cable got jealous and decided ‘Hey!  We didn’t get to be the source of a problem!’ and shut down on me.  Yet another day without internet, cable or phone.  Bottom line – I haven’t had access to blog land reliably since Thursday.

Friday also brought about a friend from the past.  In town unfortunately for unpleasant reasons.  His mother had taken ill and was in the hospital.  This friend of mine is also an ex of mine – and we’ve managed in our own weird way to stay friends in between saying ugly things to each other.  We always seem to come around to an understanding that our lives are better with each other in them.  I love him.  He’s a good man.

This morning … a very odd happening indeed.

I woke up late (that’s twice in a row!) ended up driving my son to school as he missed the bus at his stop.  Once I arrived at work (early – I’m always early to work, waking up late is not a deterrent) the front door opened and standing there was another ex.

Keep up now – this one is a fighter.  Cage fighter/MMA.  True to his hobby, he’s still fighting – and as I was to find out, still fighting for me.

Here’s where I get all Taylor Swifty.  You’re in my life, you end up in a post.  Anonymous of course.

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“I came by because I was thinking of you”

“That would make sense”

We chatted a bit about Christmas, how things are going in general – upcoming fights.  He was skirting around something … I could tell.  And in all honesty, I didn’t want him to get to his point of being there.

My boss arrived and after saying ‘hi’ to my ex – he disappeared into the bowels of the building with the coffee carafe. 

The point was then arrived at.

“I still love you, I thought I could get over you – but I don’t know why we can’t be together”. 

Gulp.

“I don’t know what to say” I offered.

“I know”. 

He started to leave and actually had tears in his eyes.  I stood and gave him an awkward hug.

“We can talk about this another time” I heard myself saying.

“OK”.

What does it say about me that I can look into someones teary eyes as they tell me “I love you” and feel nothing.  Nothing.

Had a fleeting thought that perhaps I have sociopathic tendencies, then decided, no.

Not one fiber of me has any interest in reviving that particular dead romantic horse.

I sat replaying the whole bizarre visit in my head.  Then found myself getting pissed.

As romantic as his speech might have been in a movie – in reality, it doesn’t work that way.  And speaking of work – I was AT WORK!

Who comes in to someones place of employment and assumes they have arrived at a rare moment in that persons day that they’re available for a chat? 

I don’t work in a store, or a restaurant.  I mean, I could see someone patronizing a business you work and waving, or even coming over to your counter or station and saying ‘hey!’ But … in an office – for a deep talk?

How selfish was it to come and bare his soul and leave?  What if (and I wasn’t) but, what IF, I was affected emotionally by his monologue?  Then I would have to sit all day, unable to focus on work that requires my concentration.  Imagine dropping your child off at school – passing them their lunch box and saying: “Have a nice day – oh, and we’re putting the dog to sleep today”. 

Then it dawned on me.  And I could be wrong.  But, maybe, just maybe he ran into my other ex.  (It’s a small town).  Maybe, just maybe he was wondering ‘why is he here?  Is he here to see her?’  Then that’s more revolting to me.  To come by and perhaps stake a claim or plant a seed in my head.

Guys are as bananas as girls ladies and gentleman.

I had jokingly put this up on my Facebook page:

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Yeah … that’s me.  But you know, I figured out enough about myself to know what is not healthy for me.  For me, and for relationships period.  And I ended my unhealthy ones.  And just because I’m single, doesn’t mean I can’t see red flags just because they’re flying on someone elses flagpole.

Ironically, I took some time today to put hearts up in the office.  (Valentines is just around the corner – according to every flipping store I’ve happened into).  Hey – I’m not against love.  Just don’t come into my bread and butter to declare it to me!

“I’m not in love …”

Which is a really silly title for this particular blog post considering the rest of the lyrics, but lets just put that aside and focus on just those 4 words.

A dear friend once (not so very long ago) sent me these words:

“The great wonderful Amanda (where do keep the hearts and souls of the men you collect)?”  Ouch.

This was painful on a few levels.  1) I deeply care for this person.  2) I don’t go around entering relationships with the intention of cruelly ending them for recreational purposes. 3) Apparently I had hurt someone.

Here’s the deal.  I watch romantic movies and I’m pretty sure I want that.  I do!

I want the speech Meg Ryan got at the end of ‘When Harry Met Sally’.  I cry every time Harry ends with,

“And it’s not because I’m lonely, and it’s not because it’s New Year’s Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible”.

I want the car to pull up with my suitor holding up flowers and an umbrella like ‘Pretty Woman’.  I want the fairy tale.

I want to have my Holly Golightly moment when I realize I don’t have to be caged to give my heart.

But I have not found the person I want those things from.

I have never truly had my heart broken, I have never mourned for the loss of a relationship and I have never had that kind of love. Well – perhaps that’s not fair.  I have never felt that kind of love.

To be honest, it’s only been a couple of years since I’ve been comfortable enough in my own skin to be capable of offering anything of substance to someone else. I can’t begin to describe how much the term: ‘You complete me’ drives me up the wall!

How, in the world, does one expect any success in a relationship when one enters it ‘incomplete’?  I would hope to offer my whole heart to someone who also has a whole heart.  I would hope to offer my serenity, contentment and love to someone who also has that.  A partner that compliments, not completes all that is me, who brings differences and experiences to the relationship with their uniqueness.

There are many reasons I won’t go into for my lack of success when it comes to love.  Trust me when I say that events occurred to a little girl, a teenager and a young adult that should not have.

Lately, I’ve been noticing happy couples.  There is a beautiful woman at work who after decades of marriage is still SO completely in love with her husband.  She exudes happiness (which came first I wonder? The happy chicken or the love egg?).

Then today, I bumped into an older couple at the store that I did a loan for.  We chatted a while, and my heart swelled watching them finishing each others sentences (NOT the same as ‘completing’ each other people!) – I swear, the lady’s eyes literally sparkled when she looked at her husband.  Dreamy.  Absolutely dreamy.  Of course, I had to point that out to them, which brought about more sparkling from both of them.

I want that.  I want to spend the rest of my life with someone who makes my eyes sparkle.  I want a best friend to hold hands with, to laugh with. 

It’s corny, but when I was younger, I used to imagine what New Years Eve 1999 would be like.

I’m getting ready,  putting on my earrings as I smile peacefully into my vanity mirror. I can hear my husband telling the dog to quiet down and greeting the babysitter.  I hear my children running around downstairs squealing with delight because the sitter is here and they’ve just been told they can stay up late.  My husband walks into the bedroom as I stand up and smooth my party dress, we exchange a secret smile.  It’s date night with the man of my dreams. 

He never showed up.

I do have the dog – and I do own earrings.  I also have an amazing son who is the only man I’ve ever truly given my whole heart to. 

But I think I’m almost ready for more.  I think there’s still time for a ‘ever after’.