Sunday, May 29, 2011

In Hiding

I’ve been hiding.

In plain sight, I have been hiding. I'm really good at hiding.

A few weeks back, Marie and I were out. Marie and I only became very good friends in the past few years. So, needless to say, she didn’t know me in college. I’m not sure how we got on the topic, but we started discussing all my various hair colors and styles.

See, I started hiding in college. But in college I hid behind pink and purple and black and orange hair. I hid behind black eyeliner and black lipstick. I hid behind boy haircuts and ironic t-shirts.

I explained to Marie that as much as it doesn’t make sense, I did it all to keep everyone from noticing me, at least the real me.

Then she asked what made me stop. And I answered honestly, that I just grew out of it.

At least it was honest at the time.

Some time around 25 I just stopped cutting my hair into weird shapes, I stopped dying it unnatural colors, and I put away my “Boys Lie” t-shirt.

And then I threw myself into my work.

Ten years later, well almost, I have a job I actually like, I’ve been published a bunch of times and I even completed a novel.

But over the last two years I have been letting myself get bigger and bigger. I’ve been smoking and eating things that aren’t good for me and not working out and all because I don’t want people (read guys) to see the me. Not the real me anyway.

Not that I think there is anything wrong with the real me. Quite the opposite. I think I rock. But what if I really liked a guy and he didn’t like me. Then what?

Whereas, if I have a pre-fabricated, built-in excuse for why I am alone -- I’m a freak, I’m too caught up in my work, I’m fat, well, then, no one gets hurt.

So I hide. I hide, because I’m afraid. I’m terrified of getting hurt.

Worse. I know I am doing it. Since talking to Marie, I have realized it every time I choose something unhealthy to eat. Every time I hit the snooze button. Every time I lit a cigarette.

But I’m tired of it. Which is why I am writing this now. I tired of hiding. And while I know only a handful of people actually read this blog. Just knowing that it is out there may be enough.

I hope it will be anyway.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Favorite Mistake

So you know how when you are single, friends some times tell you that the one you are looking for is probably right in front of you, you just have never thought of him that way.

Well, I always sort of bought into that, except it wasn’t me that needed to open my eyes. It was a friend of mine.

Actually, more of a really good acquaintance.

I met him a few years ago and almost immediately developed a huge crush on him. But I got the sneaking suspicion he didn’t feel the same way. The more we hung out and the more I saw him in action, the more this feeling was confirmed.

But still, I thought, maybe one day. Just like my friends always said. One day we would be hanging out, laughing, drinking and he would realize just how freakin’ fantastic I am and we would live happily ever after.

Then I started to really think about it. Think about what I was waiting for. Think about why I was waiting. Then one night I was on a girl date with a new potential single girlfriend and she introduced me to two of her guy friends and after only one beer and a lot of laughs, her one guy friend couldn’t stop telling me how awesome I am.

What the? He knew me for maybe an hour and he already recognized it. Why was it taking my friend almost five years.

So I decided that I didn’t have a crush on him anymore. After all, I could never really be with someone that thick.

That is until a mutual friend got married. Maybe it was all the wine. Or the beer after. Or the wedding, or the dancing or what it felt like to have his tongue in my mouth -- I guess it doesn’t really matter -- I ended up going home with him.

Of course, because this is me we are talking about, only after I spilled my guts about my secret crush and how I know he didn’t like me and how I sort of really think that sucks and I can’t understand why he doesn’t like me the way I like him.

The next morning, while going over what of the conversation I remembered, I noticed that he never actually said he liked me. He argued my reasoning, and offered possible alternative motives for his actions, but he never said, “Tati, I like you. I’ve liked you for some time.” He never said anything like that.

Instead he kissed me, and I stupidly kissed him back.

As the haze of my hangover cleared, I prepared myself for the worst. I got a Gatorade, snuggled into my hangover couch, turned on my TV and waited for the regret to sink in.

Except, it never came.

The following morning, I tried to force it out. Kept reliving my stupidity over and over again. And still nothing.

I couldn’t help but think, while yes I was drunk, I was honest. I went home with a guy that I liked, and woke up next to a guy I didn’t.

Which was a relief. This time I was really over my crush on him.

So now the only thing I regret is not spending more time flirting with the cute lawyer that was seated at my table at the wedding. Well, that and that my friend’s roommate may or may not have seen me mostly naked.

But when you think about all my neighbors that may or may not have seen me naked over the years because I’m too lazy to bother closing my shades, that isn’t really a big deal either.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Year Four

So, Sunday, my blog turned three and I was too hungover to mark the occasion as I had planned. In fact I was too hungover to do much of anything. Seriously, I was at graduation party in Port Richmond and all I could do was laugh at everything that anyone said to me. At one point my part time husband looked at me and asked if I had a case of the giggles because he knew his friends weren’t that funny.

I had to tell him the truth. It wasn’t a case of the giggles. I was just so out of it I wasn’t capable of comprehending anything so I was laughing, hoping his friends were trying to be funny.

But I had planned to announce a reinvigorated effort to blog more often.

See, once I got tired of blogging about terrible guys, I had a bit of a case of writer’s block.

Actually, that isn’t entirely accurate. I made the decision that I wasn’t going to blog about terrible guys, but then I couldn’t think about what to blog about since my life isn’t all that interesting, and then I started to freak out that without douchy guys in my life, my life isn’t interesting and what the hell does that say about me as a person.

But then I was home and my parent’s were pushing me about babies -- my mother mentioned the words “sperm bank” no less than four times in 24 hours and when I mentioned that it would probably be a lot cheaper for me to just go to the corner bar, pick a guy up, bring him home and let him stick it in me, she thought about this for a minute and responded, “well, you would want him to get tested first.”

She thought about it! She thought I was being serious.

That is when I decided something needs to be done. Not only do I have to make my life worth blogging about, I have to blog it so that my parents can stop thinking my life needs a baby in it.

So, welcome to year number four. I promise there will be lots of blogs, some good stories, and I will try to keep the stories of jerks to a minimum.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Rock Climber

Yes, it has been awhile. Feel free to fill the comments with complaints about what a unreliable blogger I am. I deserve it. But I had a reason (note, I did not say a good reason).

Those of you that follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook know that a month or so ago I declared that I was officially tired of blogging about douchy guys. Not only did it get boring, it started to feel self-defeating. The more I blogged about jerks, the more focused I became on jerks, the more convinced I became that world was filled with nothing but jerks.

And then I met the Rock Climber.

Spoiler alert: I am not involved with the Rock Climber (so, no, I didn’t drop my blog for a guy) nor did anything happen between the Rock Climber and I (well, we did hug, which is sort of a big deal for me), nor will anything happen between us (he’s about 20 and lives in Colorado). You may now continue reading the blog with your lowered expectations.

As you may know, Lana moved to Colorado about two years ago and since she moved has been begging me to come visit her. As soon as I emailed Lana that I booked my trip, she scheduled us to spend one of my days there rock climbing. In case you couldn’t tell from my blog I’m not exactly the rock climbing type. I’m not coordinated, or rugged, or skinny. Still, Lana was really excited about it and so I agreed so long as we could spend the next day at the spa fixing my manicure.

Our guide for the day, Rock Climber, was everything he should be: young, rugged, and cute. He smiled a lot, carried one of those big backpacks with all the pockets and places to store things (and actually used all the pockets and storage), and said “awesome” a lot. I couldn’t have written a better wilderness guide if I wanted to.

Now, I won’t bore you will all the details of the day – there were tears, cuts and scrapes, cheers and lunch – and will just skip to the good part.

It was the last climb of the day and Rock Climber thought we should try to tackle a particularly tough looking rock face. Lana agreed. I scoffed.

The first part of the climb was easy – well easier than I thought it was going to be. As I neared the top, neared Rock Climber, it got harder and I got tired. I couldn’t get my footing, my legs and arms were shaking, I kept slipping and I couldn’t catch my breath. Then I slipped again, this time falling completely off the rock (but not to my death thanks to Rock Climber) which is when I really started to freak out.

Over my heavy breathing and heart palpitations and the voice in my head screaming “this is good enough.” I could hear Rock Climber telling me to “Sit back in my harness. Relax. Breathe. Try putting your foot there.”

I shook my head. “I can’t do this.”

“Look at me.”

I looked up.

“I think you can.”

I honestly think I can say no man has ever looked at me that way before. He wasn’t just saying that; he really believed it. No man has ever believed in me like that.

Sure, I was (or rather, Lana was) paying him to be so supportive. But I can’t imagine holding my fat butt 20 feet off of the ground was a whole lot of fun for him. In fact, I think it probably would have been easier for him to look at me and ask, “You’re really done? Okay, catch your breath and I will ease you down.” Sadly, I’m pretty sure if he were any of my ex-boyfriends that is exactly what he would have done.

But he didn’t. He thought I could do it and as it turns out he was right.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama bin Laden is Dead and I Can't Stop Crying

I was awaken late last night to the cheers and chants of my South Philadelphia neighbors. I squeezed my eyes tight and smiled at what I assumed was another victory for the Phillies.

I rolled over, readjusting my pillow, slowly waking up despite my best efforts, thinking, that is an awful lot of cheering for a May victory over the Mets. Had Cliff Lee pitched a perfect game? Would that really be cause for such revelry on a Sunday night?

Then I started to listen to the chants. USA. USA. USA.

An odd chant for a Phillies’ win.

USA. USA. USA. Obama’s Dead.

I shot up. I’m not sure I know anyone that dislikes our president more than my father, and I couldn’t even imagine him taking to the streets to cheer his death. I ran to my window and looked down on a group of young men, walking down the street chanting.

“USA. USA. USA. Osama’s dead.”


Holy shit. I ran to my living room, turned on the TV and my computer and grabbed my phone. Twitter had exploded, a very much alive President Obama was addressing the nation, and my sister had sent a text saying “Osama bin Laden is dead.”

I spent the rest of night on my couch, in and out of consciousness, watching the news.
When I woke up sometime after 7 a.m., Matt and Meredith were showing me scenes of celebration that broke out around the nation, including the scene at the previous night’s Phillies-Mets game. While I was relieved to finally see Philly sports fans being covered by the national media for something other than being assholes, the idea of celebrating sat funny with me.

Instead of rejoicing, I started crying.

And while I have finally stopped, I am still fighting back the tears.

Please understand, I was not crying for the death of Osama bin Laden. I am happy that man is dead. I know the world is a better place now that he is gone. But my first instinct was not to run to Broad Street and celebrate.

As I sat there crying, I noticed the faces in the crowd coverage in D.C. were all very young. And the two kids with their big grins standing behind Matt at Ground Zero, were just that – kids; college kids that had driven down from Cornell to celebrate this blow to terrorism.

These kids were barely teenagers 10 years ago. And while I am sure they remember the attacks and were impacted by them, I have to think their experience was very different than those of me and my friends who were all the age these kids are now, 10 years ago.

I was their age when I sat on my bed, with my sister in my tiny apartment in Fairmount, watching a plane fly into one of the World Trade Center towers over and over and over again. Then watching it crumble, over and over and over again.

I was their age when the coverage switched from the streets of New York City to some long forgotten city street in the Middle East where extremists celebrated the deaths of more than 3,000 Americans.

I was their age, working in a bar, when one of my regulars came in, sat down and said, “I just got back from my first World Trade Center funeral.” His first. Because he had several to go. He was also just their age. Like me, he just graduated college and a number of his classmates had taken promising jobs in New York City.

I was their age when two weeks later I was running the Philadelphia Half Marathon. A woman was running in front of me wearing a white t-shirt. In black magic marker she had written "In memory of my son," with his birth date and his death date – September 11, 2001. I cried then too as I picked up my pace because I simply couldn’t stand to run behind her, reading that message.

As I think about that t-shirt, I start to cry all over again. I can’t stop remembering all of these things. I can’t stop thinking about all those people that died that day. How the whole world changed that day. And even though Osama bin Laden was largely responsible for this change, his death doesn’t change it back.

Which is probably why instead of celebrating, I am crying. I am happy and relieved he is gone. However, his death has served as a powerful reminder of everything we lost that day and since.