I’m not proud of this but…

I sometimes give up on myself.

I give up the hope and belief that good things will happen for me when it comes to love…hell, when it comes to life.

I have to combat negative self-talk way more than I’d like to admit (though far less in the past 2 years than ever before.).

But as I give up hope there is a nagging little voice,  that I like to equate to Tinkerbell, that semi-whispers into my heart that there is hope…that it could be… that the dreamer/fairy tale princess inside of me can actually win.

This week, Tinkerbell whispered with a photograph.

Where the fuck’s my glass slipper?

I want the damn fairy tale.

I’m admitting it.

I want that perfect happily ever after.. you know, the one that you know is not so perfect and not so 100% happily ever after..but I want the story.  I want the romance. I want that fairy tale.

I want the kind of love that you can drop everything for.  The kind that you can be completely impractical about.  The type where someone will slay a dragon, fight his way through guards and smell every dirty foot in the country just to find you.

Because here’s the truth.

I would do that.

There is little I wouldn’t do when I truly love someone and yet for some reason, I never seem to find the guys that would go that extra mile… or even 1/4 mile…into the wilds for me.

And before you tell me that they don’t exist (cause trust me, I went through that phase too) I know they do.  I’ve seen men like this with  my friends… my dad…I know they’re there.

 

That’s it. I’m putting my foot down.  Where the hell is Prince Charming?

the aftermath…

Sorry for the freak out the other day. This has been an interesting weekend for me.  Along with the news that ex is in love with a leprechaun  came a very serious stomach virus/infection that has rocked my world, sent me to the hospital and left me hibernating in my house for the past few days.

With lots of down time and lots of time to process in between bouts of feeling like I was going to die, I’m left feeling some peace and a bit of advice for all of us.

Own your life. 

Own who you are, who you love and your mistakes. 

Make amends to the people you hurt. 

Be honest with those that you love.

But above all other things, OWN your choices.  

That is ultimately what I take away from this journey.

A Letter to the Mamas

Child’s birthday party that I wasn’t invited to:  Oh, sorry Stella, I only invited the people with kids. OR I didn’t think you’d want to come since you don’t have any children.  This has happened to me.  That sucks.

“So what’s going on with you? What’s new?  How’s dating?”  my friend Jill asked, after a lengthy monolgue on breast feeding in public.  I had listened attentively.  Nodded my head at the right moments.  Added my input on different occasions.  But I had listened.  Her  3 month old had been remarkably quiet during the conversation and her 5 year old was running around in the background.  Now it’s my turn to share and BAM!  3 month old is screaming…. 5 year old is hungry and Jill has to get off the phone.  “Look, Stella, I gotta go.. the kids..” Jill says.  “Yeah sure.” I answer, “No problem, just call…” she’s already hung up.  We don’t talk again until 3 weeks later, when I call her back.

“Well,Connor is writing his letters and singing his ABCs” Syllvia said, we all sat down at the restaurant for a girls’ night.  “That’s so great! ” Agnes replied, “Bella started right around the same time”… the 7 of us sat around the table.. eatting, drinking, laughing.. and sharing stories about our lives.  All are moms, except me, so most of the stories deal with babies and toddler and preschool. When it’s my turn, I realize 2 of my friends have tuned out to continue their very important conversation about teething strategies and I’m 100% sure that the look Syllvia is giving me reeks of pity.  But I share anyway about dating and travels.  Embelishing some of my stories to make them funnier and chopping some stories shorter cause I can tell I’m not holding all of their attention.  I wonder if I’m just getting the pity listen so they can go back to their more important conversations.  I finish my stories quickly, get a squeeze of reassurance from Kelly and then the topic turns back to, Kids.  I find myself zoning out a bit after the realization that no one seems to care about my life at all.

“You’ll understand when you’re a mom.”   “You don’t get it because you aren’t a mom.” “It must be nice to get to travel/sleep in/get your nails done… I dont’ have time!”

Dear Mama Friends,

The preceeding situations have been embellished (a bit) and names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent but adored, women in my life… but they’ve happened to me.  And you need to know that they don’t feel good.

First things first, I adore you.  Each and every one of you.  If I didn’t, we wouldn’t be friends.  And your children, I love them as well! I love to see their photos and hear about their milestones.  I listen when you complained about feeling fat and tired.  I bought you cute things off your registry and offered to take photos of them when they finally arrived.  We went on pedicure dates together, cried about infertility treatments/miscarriages and laughed when little Connor said, ” Shit” as his first word.

And then, I see you post things on the internet about how us childless women don’t get it, or you don’t invite me to little Joe’s 2nd birthday party— ya know, because I don’t have kids or you don’t call me- EVER and I’m tired of having to read that shit and not having the opportunity to respond.  So here it is:

I get it, despite what you think, I do.  You’re a mom now.  I know you’re busy.  I know you have these amazing little humans that you are now responsible for and your time is not your own anymore and just because I’m single (again) and don’t have children doesn’t mean I can’t understand that or that I don’t want to hear about it.  I can and I do… but I’m going to ask you to keep a few things in mind:

Just because I don’t have children doesn’t mean I’m not busy. I also have responsibilities.  It doesn’t mean my life is all glamour and shopping sprees. And it doesn’t mean that my time is any less value than yours.  Yes, we are using our time differently, but I’m not making judgements about yours.  So please refrain from making judgements about mine.

We’re friends.  And friendship is a two way street.  I listen to you and all of your stories because I’m your friend and I care about you.  If you’re my friend, than you should also want to do the same thing for me. You don’t have to call me every day or every week.. but you should want to call me or see me.. if not, maybe we should rethink this friend thing.

I matter. My life, though different than yours, matters. Ask about me once in awhile… without me just having to volunteer the information.

Not having kids does not make me selfish or a bad woman.

No, I’m not a mom.. but I’m human and am capable of emotions like love, loss and sacrifice.  So yeah, I might not be on the same playing field as you, but I’m the fucking queen of empathy and that comment is condescending and hurtful.. no matter how you meant it.

And on a personal note, FUCK YOU!! Cause I wanted to BE you but getting a divorce sorta threw a giant fucking wrench on those plans which I try despearately to put aside for the silver lining of all the other good things I have in my life. When you say these things/act this way…. it cuts straight through and I have to restitch myself back to together.

So to all my mamas…please be a little more gentle with your single and/or childless friends.  We have feelings too…

 

Love,  Stella

Girl Talk– Do We Sabotage Each Other?

Dudes, you should know…. when you go out with us, we’re telling our friends… EVERYTHING.

And together we sit and dissect every moment/phrase/look and event of a date.  We over analyze and read into situations.  I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve gone into the bathroom at a bar or restaurant on a Saturday night and overhead girls doing the, “Can you believe he said.. what do you think that meant???’ , “And then he grabbed my thigh under the table.. does this mean…?”, “Do you think he likes me?”….

And yes, I’ve done it too.  We all have.  And if you’re not with your friend at the time, you call them up and recount the situation.. which in my case means that I’ve missed some things so I end up with a  lot of.. “and ya knows” or “and stuffs”….

And your friends always weigh in…

 “He’s mentioned Lisa six times in that conversation? He’s fucking her.  Or he wants to anyway.”

“I mean, he needs to do the work here.  If he doesn’t call you and plan out the first 3 dates… you don’t have time for him.  You shouldn’t have to put in any effort here.”

“He’s not calling because he doesn’t want to call.  If he did, he’d make the time.”

“Do not have sex with him on the first date.. and if he’s talking about sex, he’s clearly only interested in that and not anything else.”

* at one point or another each of these sentences has been said to me, by well-meaning friends in response to my need to process situations out loud.

** purposely picked cause they probably sound like something you have heard from your friends as well.

So together we agonize.  We rationalize, hypothesize and any other mental function that ends in -ize that we possibly can do UNTIL you, our simple male counterparts, come in with your take:

“My cousin has been having a really hard time lately so I’m trying to help her out as much as I can.”  (Lisa)

If you’re interested in someone.. show it.  I’m just flat-out refuting that last one as I followed that advice and missed out on someone because he thought that by my lack of effort, I really wasn’t that into him.

Text message the next day, “Sorry I didn’t call last night.  My phone died.” (true or not, a reasonable explanation that NO ONE even brought up!)

“I have a really dirty sense of humor.. I’m not trying to be offensive at all.” (et tu, Brute)

And what have we really done?  We’ve freaked each other out.

We’re blowing simple things WAY out of proportion.  Reading between the lines, over the lines, under and all around the lines… and we create so much drama for ourselves that it forces us into situations where we have to say something to the men folk or they think we’re bat-shit crazy–and then we prove that is the case by opening our mouths and sharing some of these trumped-up scenarios.

It makes me wonder if the problem is really the opposite sex (or your significant others/people you want to have sex with) OR if it’s our friends?  Maybe by talking things out SO much we’re really sabotaging each other and our relationships?

Maybe sometimes we just need to shut the hell up and let nature take its course.

What do you think? Do we sabotage each other?

 

 

 

 

Email Chatter: Who Pays For Dates?

The geniuses behind “So, It Was Nice to Meet You” spent a work day discussing the finer points of gender roles in paying or dates.  Hands down winner of the debate: Our Readers.  Loser: Our Employers.

Stella:

Dating.. who pays?  First date different than later dates?

Delilah:

I’d rather split things.  Whether it’s actually splitting the bill or he gets dinner, I get the movie.  And I’ve put quite a bit of thought into this stance.
1- Feminism is a two way street.  If I insist on arguing for things like equal pay for equal work, sharing household chores between the genders, why should he still pay my way and open my doors?  I can’t demand to have quality when it suits me and ‘tradition’ when I get something out of it.
2-Being a young woman in the techy business world is hard. They’re much quicker to give clients, meetings, and benefits to dudes who rank below me and are not half as good at this job as I am.  There are still men who will walk into a business meeting, shake all the men’s hands and pass right over me.  I fight all week to be taken seriously, treated equally and suddenly on friday night I should bat my eyes and ask some man to buy me a salmon fillet?
3- I’m dating guys in their mid-20’s, who are usually in comparable financial situations as I am.  Why should it be their responsibility to foot the bill?
4- I want a guy who’s in my life as a companion and partner, not a provider.  I’m my own provider.
I’m reminded of an episode of How I Met Your Mother, where Ted tells Robin she was hard to date because she doesn’t need a man.  Bill comes “I got this”.  Robber’s breaking in “I got this”, etc.  I think that’s a lot like where I am in life, and I’m sure there’s a lot of dudes put off by it.  But what am I supposed to do, play helpless?  Fake a fainting spell?  Pretend to be confused by my own 401(k) plan?  I HATE THOSE GIRLS.

Stella:

I’m a feminist… so I have no problem paying/splitting checks.. that being said:
1)First date- dude pays. I just think that’s the way it should be. I think it’s the gentlemanly thing to do. Old school from a dad who NEVER to this day, let’s me pay for anything unless I make a big deal out of it and even then, he sometimes just tells me to shut the f-up.
2) A date that he plans/picks out– he pays.  I’ll offer, but I don’t think he should accept.. because…
3) A date that I plan– I pay.  If I planned a date, I expect to pay for both of us.. if he offers, I might let him.. if he makes a big deal out of it.
Other thoughts that go along with this…
a)  I like when a guy wants to take care of me.  Probably residual from my marriage, but I come from a place where I was always taking care of someone..paying/organizing/planning…so when a guy does those things for me.. I appreciate it and I’m looking for that on dates.  I need someone who can take care of himself and me because I know I can take care of myself and him (if need be).
b) I do think relationships are 2 way streets and one person shouldn’t shoulder all the responsibility monetarily or otherwise. Relationships are much different than dating.
c) That episode of HIMYM is dead on though…. you don’t NEED someone to do all those things but everyone likes to feel NEEDED/WANTED– Ted has a point.  Relationships are about give and take. Ted wanted to give a lot of stuff.. Robin didn’t want to take any of it.  This is not me advocating for faking dumb but it is me saying that you have to be able to be vulnerable and let a dude feel like a dude (they’re predispositioned to want to take care of us in a manly– I pay, I strong, I business) kinda way.  And there’s nothing wrong with letting yourself  “be a girl” in those first few date situations in those stereotypical smile, let him open doors, let him pay.

I keep coming back to the… I don’t NEED you to but it’s nice.  It’s kind.  It’s chivalrous and sweet.

Delilah:

I don’t think being a feminist jives with  any statement of what “men should do” or “what women should do”. The point of feminism is that those characteristics (or any) should not be gender specific. It is not different to say “women shouldn’t pay” than it is to say “women shouldn’t be CEO/president/construction workers”. there is no ‘should’ in feminism. You can’t have the pros of being in the 1950s and the pros of being a “liberated” woman. Not fair. Not logical.

And regarding “letting him provide” it’s only because society has programmed men to be emasculated by losing power. Well guess what- I feel just as bad by losing power too. Why does he get protected from that and I’m not?

I just want it to be even and equal, and that means I can’t participate selectively in equality.
For the record, whatever anyone wants from a relationship is fine. My point isn’t that it’s in any way wrong for someone to want a more ‘traditional’ set up, or to even want to be a housewife, or to want to never get married. But it’s def not feminist. And personally I can’t make it work for me. (Because for all possible evidence, I’m mostly a dude.)

Stella:

You just called yourself a dude and made me laugh out loud…you’re not a dude.. you’re a feminist.

If there is no should… then there is no should not.  I don’t think women shouldn’t pay.  I personally have my thoughts about that and I want when I’m dating someone.  I think feminism is believe that women are equal and are entitlted ot equal rights/opportunities/pay…etc. I am equal to a man and  I think it’s nice when those things happen.

BUT when it comes to relationships… things are different. If you want to be equal in a relationship you need to communicate what equal or fair means to you.. becuase I truly think those things mean different things based on the people in the scenario.  If you make 100,000 a year and you’re dating a man who makes 50,000 a year.. is it fair and equal that you both split the housing expenses in half?  What happens when you want to go to Costa Rica for the weekend and he can’t afford it? Do you pay for him because you can?  What if the roles are reversed? Do you accept him paying for the trip because he can and wants to?
“Letting him provide” is a strong phrase. Gender roles are gender roles… some people subscribe to the traditional gender roles…some don’t.. I’m pretty sure that was an Eharm questions.. wasn’t it? The issue with gender roles, and why they will never go away, is that women are the only ones that can have babies.  We are the only ones that can breast feed AND we have a certain emotional stability/strength to nuture that  most men just don’t have. And becasue that won’t change.. those roles will be there.
I don’t need or want a man to provide for me.  But in a relationship–I need to know that he can if need be. Just like he should need to know that I can if need be.

Delilah:

Line up my goals, attitudes, ambition, work, behavior with the historical views of the sexes and I’m totally a man!

If one person pays for something, or pays more often because they make 2x as much…fair . And you’re paying because of your finances.  When he pays, purely because he has a penis… that is not a good reason for me.

Proving you could take care of each other, financially or otherwise, is also gender agnostic. If you think that goes both ways for you and a bf, that’s not an argument for the man to pay-first date or otherwise. That’s an argument for half and half.
And I also disagree with “men can’t nurture”. It’s equal to saying “women can’t drive”. I believe we are all socialized to follow that. Men don’t share feelings, men don’t play with dolls. Because..they were taught that. And it won’t change until we challenge that, teach our children better, MODEL a better situation for our children.

That said- I don’t currently plan to have kids. So your birthing argument doesn’t apply to me.

Stella:

Just because you don’t want to have kids doesn’t change the biological fact that you can.. and men can’t.  Any man you date will still have that knowledge whether or not you choose to have children.  Because society will always know/have that difference.

A man being nurturing and a woman driving are 2 completely different topics.  One is learned (driving), and I would argue that nurturing isn’t fully learned…I do think emotional/physically/cognitively (the way we think) is differnt between men and women. The hormones racing through our bodies, studies on the brain…I feel like there have been enough studies done on this (biological, neurological and psychological) to back this up by now. You can have the skills to nurture but not have the inner–I can’t think of the right word for it– to make you that way perosonablity wise.  All that being said, I still said most men….I don’t think men can’t do that…but many don’t.
Well friends, it looks like we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one.  Anyone else want to weigh on on the way they think dating and $ should be handled?

The Ghosts of Relationships Past

I’m pretty sure we all hold on to traces of our old relationships, at least I know that I do.

My most significant relationship, to date, was my marriage.  We got together at a time where I felt really bad about myself. He was a catalyst in me doing something about that and for that, I can’t thank him enough.  During our relationship, I lost a lot of weight, figured out what I really wanted to be in life and started to really come into my own- emotionally, cognitively, and physically.

… all that being said, there are things that still haunt me in one way or the other:

I’m not really that funny, cause he told me I wasn’t.

I can’t wear heels… for no other reason except, “We aren’t “Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise”, so I convinced myself that I couldn’t walk in them and that they would kill my feet.

I go to silence when I’m angry…. cause he fought back a lot quicker than I could, he was much quicker verbally and I could never process what I wanted to say fast enough.

I have to work hard and make someone like me….

Yeah, that last one… a doozy.  I am immediately suspicious if a guy shows me he like me too fast. I think there is something very disingenuine about it.  If you make it too easy for me… I feel like I don’t deserve it. If you chase me, I’m uncomfortable…. really uncomfortable. Somewhere along the line, and I do know exactly how…. I got the idea that I had to work for someone to like me. I had to prove that I was worthy. I had to put a lot of effort in for the relationship to work. How fucked up is that?

I was in a relationship with someone who never had to do anything to take care of me… and he never did. I had done all of the work… ALL OF THE TIME.  He was never quick with his affections or compliments.. so I distrust a lot of them now.  He never went out of his way to plan things for me or made a huge effort to make me feel special so I mistrust those deeds now.

I literally have to tell myself, out loud sometimes, that I am a catch and of course guys would fall in love with me… it’s the only way I can reassure that inner doubting Stella who sometimes still feels like a failure and still sometimes feels unworthy.   

I have friends, God love them, who will remind me that I do deserve someone planning an amazing trip to Miami, asking me out, staring at me in admiration… and I’m working on that.

I’m practicing accepting compliments and not freaking out when someone stares at my for 5 mins just because he wants to “admire me” or reaches for my hand first when we walk cause this is a ghost that I want to exterminate as soon as possible.