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I’ve been carrying my heavy load, waiting for the light to come shining through December 14, 2008

Posted by charmingbutsingle in Announcements, It's a strategy, Random Musings on Life, We Get It -- You're Stressed About Getting Old, Why I Write.

It has been quite awhile – I’ve been going back and forth between posting something or just fading into oblivion not-with-a-bang-but-with-a-whimper style. I’m not ready to quit this just yet. Conversely, I think it is safe to say that I’m only going to be posting sporadically from here on out.

Here is the honest-to-goodness truth (which long-time readers already know). I alternate between contentment with my life, my career, my place and my independence and overwhelming sadness because I want more, because I’m lonely, because I’m worried that this is all there is. If I didn’t know better (and if I didn’t recognize that my problems are far from the serious trials of the mentally ill), I’d think I was bipolar. In all honesty, mine is just run-of-the-mill disappointment in myself and with my priorities. Life is tiring and I tend to walk around dragging self-loathing sadness and bitterness along with me.

This feeling is hardly unique. I had a “what if this is the best I ever do?” conversation with a good friend and former colleague I envy for her put-togetherness recently and she has the same basic fears over different things. And just when I think being lonely and depressed is all I’ll be able to muster, something amazing happens and I look up and realize that, hell, if this is as good as it gets – eating soup and sweets and drinking Beaujolais and watching DVDs with girlfriends on a cold, cold night – then I’m damn lucky indeed.

During all of this going back and forth between contentment and disappointment, two big things happened: my college roommate got married to a wonderful man and my extended family came in town for Thanksgiving.

The wedding was bittersweet for me – I loved every second of being her maid of honor and felt so honored to stand witness to this marriage. I’d never signed a wedding license as someone’s witness before and, not to sound melodramatic, it meant so much to fill that role for her. I got a bit misty eyed throughout the night, watching them dance and share these insanely intense smiles and kisses and looks of love. I was jealous and I turned into semi-drunk, weepy unmarried bridesmaid by the end of the night.

A few nights before the wedding, I sat with her and we drank beers on their patio and she told me flat out – in a loving way – that I worked too much, that I don’t let people in and that I busy myself with so many other things that I’ll never slow down long enough to get into a relationship. If being in a relationship is what I want, she told me, something’s got to change about my lifestyle and priorities. I told her later that I wanted to get my life together and become someone who would be a suitable mate and she corrected me – I am a suitable mate already, I’m just not putting myself out there, she said. And that unconditional sweetness from someone who knows more of my flaws that anyone is why I love her and why she’s one of my best friends. And coming from her, something I’ve heard and even said myself many times struck a chord in me because it came from a place of love and concern and not from one of know-it-all lecturing.

Thanksgiving was hard. I am a terrible Family Pleasing Oldest Child and I obsessed about showing off my domestic skills by baking and cooking. I missed my brother and future sister in law, who are coming in town for Christmas. My parents aren’t fully adjusted to their role as semi-empty nesters (my sister still lives with them between semesters) and I felt them wanting to spend as much time as possible with their children in the house – I even got roped into spending the night at their house instead of driving 10 minutes back to my own one night. Being around family so much is just plain tiring. I’m constantly navigating between acceptable conversations (no politics) and issues (two years ago so-and-so was offended because of XYZ) between different family members.

Couple that with feelings of self doubt, and suddenly you’re taking everything much too personally and flinching even more than usual every time a parent makes a comment about wanting grandchildren. You can imagine about how big I felt when my grandmother suggested, in front of half of my family, that I take leftovers from dinner over to the 45-year-old divorcee next door and introduce myself because he might be looking to get married again. My self esteem tanked like the stock market.

My point? I stopped blogging because I didn’t want to have an excuse or reason wallow in all of this anymore. I could see where I was headed and the intersection of 29th birthday and a busy holiday season should be a place where I seek joy and not where I gather each little anecdote into a larger story about how, yes, Virginia, I’m still single.

And maybe I’m wallowing a little bit now, but that’s just for effect and explanation. The other night, instead of wallowing along in my apartment, I saw a concert and had dinner with The Banker. Instead of going home along and stewing in my aloneness on Friday, I had Thai food with two friends. I am plenty proud of many of the things I’ve written here and I will, I’m sure, poke my head around to gush or complain or offer an update. I will be monitoring my e-mail (I know, I owe people e-mail – I haven’t signed in for weeks) if you want to drop me a note and if you want to be notified when I post, you can sign up to get posts e-mailed via Feedburner.

Plenty of beautiful things happen each day and I’m going out to chase them for now.

XOXO, Charming

Dilemma, solved October 13, 2008

Posted by charmingbutsingle in Uncategorized.

So, I’ve been using the Jergen’s Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer for about a week and I love it. A natural-looking glow, though I had to branch out past my shoulders and start using the facial lotion as well, lest I look uneven. I’m about the right color now, so I’m cutting down the daily use since I still have a month before the wedding. (Don’t want to look TOO tan!)

Oh, and I followed some great commenter advice and I apply it with some sweet smelling lotion because the smell was getting to me.

Also, while we’re talking about new products I love, I am digging my new leave in conditioner by Jonathan Antin. I bought the small bottle to try and I love the way my hair feels after I smooth it in. I’ve also taken to using the Brilliant Brunette shampoo and conditioner. A quick towel dry and then a dollop of “Leave-in Gloss Clean” by Jonathan Product and I either let my hair air dry if I have time and blow it out and finish with a few strokes of my straightening iron. My hair stays smooth all day long. The only down side is that the next day my hair looks too greasy to be believed – so I always have to shampoo everyday.

That concludes my beauty product discussion for today.

Dilemma October 5, 2008

Posted by charmingbutsingle in Bridesmaiding, Friends.

Must wear strapless bright pink bridesmaid dress in less than six weeks. When taking dress for fitting (as an aside, dress alterations should NOT be 1/3 of the price of the dress!) because it was too big, I discovered that I have a leftover noticeable tan line from my halter dress and swimsuit this summer. Only I don’t really tan … so it is just whitish/pink and less whitish/pink.

Need gradual self-tanner that won’t turn me orange, but will erase the White Stripes that have taken over my shoulders. I am opposed to tanning beds and would only consider spray tanning as a last resort.


Not so breaking? September 30, 2008

Posted by charmingbutsingle in Dating, Men, Single Girl Cliches.

Where to begin, where to begin.
I met The Beard many years ago when I was a freshman in college. As I recall, he lived in a dorm near mine. He set me up on one of the most spectacularly awful dates (outlined at the very end of this long post from the archives) – I doubled with The Beard and his girlfriend and their friend, who, among other things, spoke in his best Cartman from Southpark voice 99 percent of the night.
His girlfriend never liked me, and no this is not a perception thing. She didn’t like me at all. And at first it was kind of unfounded because how could she think her man was going after me when he was setting me up on dates with other people? Of course, all of this flipped one night when he invited me to one of her dance performances, told me that she was upset that more of her friends weren’t coming. And I went to be nice (and because I took dance until I broke my foot in high schools, so I can appreciate it). And she was a ROYAL bitch to me and I couldn’t figure out why and then it turned out that they’re broken up for a few days and not told a lot of people and she thought I was his date and I was all, “nice arabesque” and clueless.

We fell out of contact over the years, though we both still lived in town. We were Facebook friends and he chatted me the other night to see how things were going. He just got out of a relationship, am I dating anyone. We should go to lunch, he says. He feels me out – what days am I free, where do I like to go. Asks for my number, texts me his and wishes me good night in a cute text.

And now it has been two and a half days and nothing … did I jump the gun by proclaiming it a date?

Breaking September 28, 2008

Posted by charmingbutsingle in Men.

Um, after like more months than I care to admit of grumpiness and solitude and stewing, I think that maybe, just maybe, I possibly, perhaps could in fact have a date.

With an actual guy. Maybe.