Hey, friends. It’s been a little crazy around here…the holidays tend to turn me even more scatterbrained than I already am. I promise, I’ve got another post coming soon. In the meantime, however, Kevin over atWordBasket asked me to write a post about a novel that has greatly influenced me. Check it out!
There were times, in my days of singledom, when I was positive that the hearts of all men (except my Dad and other cool male relatives…and Jon Bon Jovi) had been ripped out by crazy romance-hungry zombies. Zombies who opted out of the brain buffet in favor of a more delightful, caring, considerate, and toe-tingling treat. This, of course, left all the men wandering the world without hearts…wreaking emotional havoc across the globe and slashing any female hearts that had managed to survive previous attacks.
Basically, any sign of a man having feelings would have been spectacular.
So I’ve got a little sliver of hope for all of you out there who still feel like you’re watching a horror movie. I asked blogger Paul N. to tell me about heartbreak.
Let’s see what he’s got for us.
I haven’t done a ton of dating. There are a few reasons for this, not the least of which being that I am a huge pansy when it comes to putting myself “out there” and asking someone out. Two other reasons are that I am extremely picky when it comes to women and that I don’t want to date for the sake of dating. I tend to dismiss “crushes” as soon as I notice elements of their personalities that I could not live with. All of these drastically reduce girlfriend opportunities, which can become a problem, because on the rare occasion that I meet a girl with whom I could see myself ending up, I tend to fall in love…hard…
This has only happened three times in the last sixish years. I fell head over heels for a succession of three women , and was only able to get over the first when I met the second a month later, and was only able to get over the second when I met the third a year later. I thought I had found something really special in that third gal, Cinderella (not her real name…). We dated for about a year before she agreed to marry me. She returned the ring about six months later, which sent me spinning into the depths of a depression that I had never previously imagined.
As I wrote in last month’s post for Lauren, I tend to keep my emotions closely guarded. In particular, I usually simply pretend my negative emotions don’t even exist. This has served me well for a long time and enabled me to deal with a lot of frustrations and disappointments fairly easily. This one, though…this hurt. I had never truly experienced “heartbreak” and it caught me completely off guard.
My emotions hadn’t been so out of whack since high school when I had a great deal of trouble controlling my temper in certain situations. Part of the problem is that I simply didn’t know how to deal with all the sadness and anger that was coursing through my body in wave after infuriating wave. Do I confront Cinderella and pour it out on her? Do I lean on my good friends and cry on their shoulders? Do I bottle it all up and hope it leaves my system like a horrible bout of the flu?
It should come as no surprise that I chose the latter, hoping to wait it out until the “illness” passed. I opened up occasionally, in very brief windows, sometimes to my close friends, sometimes even to Cinderella’s close friends. The one thing I never even considered trying was drinking my sorrows away. Simply put, it unfortunately doesn’t work, (I tried it once, while trying to get over girl #2…not productive at all, but that was a very convenient evening to be at a kegger!) and I’d rather not send myself down the spiraling path of alcoholic depression.
All the stereotypes about guys not sharing their feelings with each other are totally true, by the way. When I say I opened up to my friends in very brief windows, I mean BRIEF. As in, one sentence to my buddy Bryce at my “Still-A-Bachelor” party (“She dumped you? I’m sorry, man…we’re still going to the strip club, right?”) and one sentence to my buddy Eric after several beers a month later. For guys, “being there” for a friend doesn’t mean talking and crying for hours on end. It means going about business as usual and having as much fun as possible in an effort to forget the unpleasantness, at least for a while. Just as an example, here’s how a typical “therapy for Paul” night would go:
Two hours of drinking, hanging out, and looking at beautiful, unattainable women at the bar
Friend: “So, Paul, how’re you doing?”
Paul: “You know, I really miss Cinderella a lot. This sucks.”
Friend: “I know, man. I know.”
Brief awkward moment
Paul: “…so…how about another game of Buckhunter?”
Two more hours of drinking, hanging out, and looking at beautiful, unattainable women
Maybe talking more would help, but honestly, we wouldn’t even know where to start, or how to have that conversation. Even if I tried talking about it with a friend, it would quickly devolve from an honest discussion about feelings and anxieties into a joke-filled recollection of a favorite movie or old story. It’s not that my friends don’t care about me, or that I wouldn’t care about them if our positions were reversed. That’s just not the way guys’ friendships work. We are unequivocally there for each other, but in a much more literal and much less conversational way.
Over the last six months, the pain of being dumped has certainly faded. I still get a pang of sadness every once in a while when I am reminded of our relationship in some way. I still have to tamp down the occasional urge to call Cinderella and list off all the reasons I feel angry and betrayed. I still feel a surge of bitter jealousy when I read about an engagement or wedding on Facebook. Ultimately, I know I won’t be completely over it until I find the next best thing, the woman who is so amazing that she will surpass and replace any of my previous flames.
…so if any of you gals have a cute, single early-to-mid-20s sister, or ARE the cute sister, feel free to invite me out for a drink…I’ll buy!
As I sat down to add this week’s guest post, I realized that I didn’t post at all last week, and the last post up here is, well…a guest post.
It’s been a long week. I also just typed the word ‘post’ 4 times in one sentence…so, yeah. My brain’s about done.
It’s a good thing I’ve got my friend Erin at Goldiluxe Events and Consulting to offer up a post for you guys, along with great advice to help me with my decorating phobia. I know I’ve got a lot of crafty buddies, but I also know I’ve got some secretly decorating-challenged friends out there who share my problems.
Decorating, for me, is like cooking fried eggs. I always think they’re going to be great…I get big ideas for things like egg sandwiches and bacon-dipping…and then, rather than being perfect, they’re lopsided and hard and stuck to the frying pan.
They never turn out the way they look in my head.
I’m hoping I can take some of Erin’s tips and make myself some decent breakfast.
I really love when the spaces I’m in feel organic and inspired. I want to be welcomed into a space so, when I tackle interior design (and believe you me, my house is in a constant state of interior design), I try to approach it the same way I approach event design. I find if I break it up into components, distill my vision and follow a few simple rules, I can usually come up with something pretty amazing.
Since I’m probably not the only one with a serious design situation, I thought I might share some of my best tips with all of you!
1. Set some goals for the room. Don’t be afraid to write down the main functions of the room in question. The goals for my office are: a place to meet clients, to feel inspired, to have organized craft/project storage and to house my reference library.
2. Accept the things you cannot change. These are the less than stellar aspects of the room. My designer friend (she helped me develop my method) calls them “give-ins”. They can range from things like “I’m a renter and can’t paint” to “this room is only 14 × 20”. Once you identify and accept your give-ins, you can move on to your more feasibly brilliant ideas.
3. Declutter! Go through that room and get rid of everything that doesn’t fit the goals you’ve outlined for the space. If you can use it in another part of the house-awesome! If you haven’t touched it since you moved in-maybe donate it or send it to a thrifty resting place. My aforementioned designer friend had me make three piles: keep, purge, and donate. It was amazing.
4. Go shopping in your house first. Can you repurpose items you already have? Doing this will not only help you make decisions about what you need to make your room functional, it will also help keep costs down. Not to mention a little spray paint goes a long way. Also, a house with littles is also a huge source of art. I once knew a girl that turned her kids loose on some paper with a palette of blue crayons and paints. What she got was amazing wall art that fit her vision for the room.
5. Tart it up! Make that room beautiful! I’m all about inspiration boards and look books. If you need a slight nudge to get creative, sites like Pinterest are ideal to get the wheels turning. I also recommend taking a trip through your local antique store. I once designed an entire room around one, totally fab table. Eschew the trends. For me, style is all about that which enhances the essence of you. For instance: Capture your personal style with an eclectic mix of textures and colors. Cast off matchy-matchy color schemes in favor of those that simply coordinate…
But! The most important thing I can say about decorating your home is: “Have fun, trust your instincts and run with them!” You are the best judge of what “beauty” and “function” mean to you. If it makes you and your family feel happy, comfortable and safe in your home-you can’t possibly go wrong!
When I was younger, say junior high, I had a little obsession. This obsession still, remarkably, will float in and out of my dreams, even as a happily-married 26 year old.
Not those kind of dreams, though. Come on, now, get your heads out of the gutter.
These dreams are filled with ridiculous adventures, where I totally kick ass, know things about impossible technology, and travel the globe next to a mop of tousled blonde hair.
Yes, this obsession was with a man…I guess you could call him a boy. I liked to pretend he grew with me as I got older, so that I never had to feel like a pedophile.
A good chunk of my closer friends have probably figured out who I’m talking about by now. For a few years, this dude was my ideal dream-guy…somebody who didn’t think I was weird, thought I was so much cooler than all the popular jerks, and had fabulous Zach Morris hair.
I was in love with Jonny Quest.
I know, I know…he’s a cartoon. But he was just so cool…and going on crazy adventures where there were no popular kids, no Buckle clothing, and no gossip was so much better than living in Elwood, Nebraska. Now, before we get going here, I’d like to clarify that I was in love with this Jonny Quest:
Not this Jonny Quest:
Because that would just be wrong.
Anyway, the point of this freakishly long intro is that Jonny introduced me to a new love, a love much stronger than the bad, shop-vac-esque kisses, 3-hour phone calls, and embroidery-floss-covered class rings I thought meant “love” in high school:
One day, while using this fabulous “search engine” thing to find Jonny Quest websites, I stumbled upon something wonderful…something magical…something almost as geeky as playing Dungeons & Dragons…something called fanfiction. I had found a place in which other JQ fans were taking the stories they had in their heads and putting them down on paper (or rather, new-fangled word-processors)…as though they were extending the canceled show into infinite episodes. I was hooked…and after a few hours of reading, decided that the stories in my head were better.
At this time, my bedroom was in the basement, and my dad had built up a wall in the middle, so that Alli (my little sister) and I could each have our own rooms (she wanted green bedding, I wanted maroon bedding…our current arrangement of sharing a room and a queen-sized bed simply could not go on). There were little built-in desks that were perfect for making me feel like an official writer.
I have vivid memories of waking up early before school, scribbling furiously on loose-leaf paper, and letting out loud groans when my parents told me it was time to go to school.
I can’t believe what I’m about to do.
If you Google the words “Lauren Blessing Jonny Quest,” you will find something…something that has managed to live for almost 15 years on the internet without discovery…something I’m about to just offer up to all of you in a link.
Before I do that, however, there are a few things you need to know:
I was in 6th grade when I wrote this…give a girl a break!
If you’re wondering what in the hell is going on when you read this, click here. That should give you a decent rundown…
If you don’t feel like reading that, then just know that “Questworld” is a form of virtual reality and the Quests are using it for time travel.
Yeah, I know. Shut up. Anyway, here it is. Notice that they didn’t even spell my name right. Oh, well.
If you don’t want to read it, that’s totally cool, because really, that’s not the point to this post. The reason I’m divulging my utter geekiness to all of you isn’t to make you think I’m a ridiculous nerd…most likely, that will have happened, but what I really want is to remind myself of something.
I loved writing fiction. I always had dreams of writing a novel and getting it published. That junior high kid would probably look at me and be like, “Hey! What am I doing all this scribbling for? Come ON, future self!”
So I’m going to replant that seed in my brain. I’m probably not going to just leap into writing a giant novel at the moment, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right?
I totally forgot to post here yesterday, but I’ve got another guest-post up at Momaha.com! I was so excited to actually get a good discussion going in the comments, and would love it if you guys had some more to contribute!
I wasn’t able to line up a guest-poster this week (if you’re interested in guest-posting, click the “email” button and shoot me an email!), but lucky for me, I’m getting featured as a guest-poster on Momaha.com today! I’m SUPER pumped about this, and the editor, Veronica, could not have picked a more perfect picture for my post. Go on over, look around, and please leave comments so I seem like a popular lady!