The laundry is definitely not getting put away this week.

I’ve started watching a new show. I’d call it my guilty pleasure, but fuck that. I’m tired of feeling guilty about everything. I enjoy Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, and I don’t care who knows it. I don’t watch it for anyone else, I watch it for me.

This has brought to light, among other things, how little I do simply because I want to. Whether it’s because I don’t know how others will react, or my anxiety is too much to handle, I just don’t. Or I didn’t, I guess. I’m getting much better at it.

Anyway, this show is not overly relateable to me at first glance. I’m not a rich author, living in California, sending my kids to a progressive charter school alongside Gwyneth Paltrow’s. I have zero housekeepers, and my friends and I don’t air kiss every time we see each other at the overly hipsterish coffee shop. Which is sort of part of the appeal, really. I’m not invested enough that watching is exhausting, but I can still find them amusing, and even empathize every once in a while.

Tonight, I felt restless. This happens a lot when I’m feeling a whole host of emotions, and my usual reaction is to do nothing. Pace, perhaps. Get angry at myself for doing nothing. Tell myself all the ways I’m failing, while I eat gluten-filled cookies straight out of the bag. Which is how I started off this evening. I then decided to drown it in socialite divorcee mom drama.

The last episode I watched involved the much younger boyfriend of the main character fully realizing he didn’t deserve her lying, cowardly ways and telling her so. He calls her out for choosing to go back to suffocating (in her marriage) than risking something that was in fact real with him. This was the moment where I leapt into the show, and became a part of the story. This, I know about.

And I’m over it.

What hurt me most about this recent breakup was that I was maybe more vulnerable than I ever have been. I was ready. I was open. I loved the person he first showed me, the person I thought he could be, without holding back. And I was wrong.

But I risked it. It was beautiful, for a moment, and it was real. He was too scared, and went back to what he knew. There was a time when I would’ve done anything for him, and I don’t regret that. It’s a testament to who I am, and what happened is not what I deserve.

I wasn’t wrong to be open, to be vulnerable, or to love. I’m still ready, in a big picture type of way. I know what I want, and I’m even more sure I’m capable of handling it when I find it.

This life is mine. I’m not going to feel guilty about it, let people shame me into being who they want me to be instead, or go along with things I don’t truly want to do just to keep the peace. That’s not living, and I want to live.

Maybe sometimes that looks like sitting on my couch, watching catty women with boob jobs gossip about who is cheating on who. I’ll be having the time of my fucking life.

 

 

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Gonzo is the coolest, anyway

I have had the fear that I am too much for one person to love for as long as I can remember. Even as a kid. I come from a weird ass family, but even compared to them, I was different. I was louder, more emotional, goofier, and more openly defiant. There are numerous family pictures where everyone is looking like an oil painting, and I’m doing jazz hands. I was a Gonzo in a whole room of Sam the Eagles. Eventually, it wore on people. They got annoyed, and some of them left.

Being told that I’m a lot to handle in this last breakup wasn’t shocking. I expected it, probably from the moment we got together, really. It still hurt, though.

But only for a minute.

I know who I am. I’m still loud. I’m still emotional. I’m still a big ol’ fuckin weirdo. And I love it. I’m also so much more than that. I’m a good friend, great partner, and a wonderful mom. I’m a decent cook, adequate crafter, and great singer. I have no problem dorking about to make someone laugh, and despite not being able to talk to most strangers, I don’t actually embarrass very easily. I get super into shows and movies, and I make weird faces when I watch them. Actually, I make weird faces most all the time. I get all worked up about politics, and religion, and any sort of abuse. I use a lot of pretty creative swear words when discussing these topics, but will always listen to other points of view (well, except maybe with abuse. Fuck that.) I have trouble asking questions, or admitting that I need help. I’m super jumpy, and it makes me angry. I hate being tickled. But mostly, I love like crazy. When I care about you, I show it. I tell you. And I don’t give up on you.

I’ll only get better. This setback was a reminder that I’ve still got work to do here and there. Rather than whining about it, hoping my flaws fix themselves one day and/or sabotaging relationships because I’m too afraid to change, I’m just going to jump in there and do it.

I’m not too much. I’m different, but that doesn’t make me wrong. If a person doesn’t want to be part of that, it’s perfectly okay. I’m done wasting my time on people that can’t handle me. Because as it turns out, I don’t need handled at all. Loving me would’ve been just fine.

 

‘Cause I don’t want to fall in love, if you don’t want to try.

The previously referenced adorable boyfriend and I parted ways.

I thought I was going to make it through the day without crying. I felt strong, I hung out with people who love me… but nope. Made it to 3pm and randomly started blubbering about a dream I had. Yesterday I cried 3 times during The Muppets (that’s really only one time more than usual, though). It’s been 5 days of this. Anywhere from silently sobbing in the privacy of my own home, to sitting in the middle of a restaurant, wearing a crown and bawling. I have zero shame.

And really, that’s fine. It’s the mourning period. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m trying to remind myself it’s all a part of the process, and I’m not crazy. Everyone cries during “The Rainbow Connection”, right?

I have to constantly be distracted, or I sit and go over every word, every gesture, wondering what I could’ve done differently. There were a few things. I didn’t trust him enough to be able to deal with all of me. So I crammed away anything that was less than supportive and agreeable, and tried to be this weird, fake thing I thought he wanted. Turns out he wanted a real person, and I’m not good at fake anyway. It was just frustrating and uncomfortable at times.

Not all the time, though. Usually, it was fun and cute. He was my friend. My go-to. My person.

But more than anything I did or didn’t do, his addiction won out. He chose it over me. And that hurts. I never tried to fix him, change him, or give him any ultimatums. I was just (genuinely) there for support. However, after coming to a point where the pain he caused meant he simply had to change for us to stay together, he chose not to.

There’s very little solace in the fact that he chose the addiction over himself, as well. I don’t want him to hurt. I don’t want him to self-destruct. I want him to be alright, to see the amazingness in himself that I saw. But it’s not up to me, and my opinion really doesn’t matter anymore.

People keep saying I dodged a bullet, I deserve better, that he was doing me a favor. At this moment, it just doesn’t feel that way. I didn’t dodge anything, I’m fucking crying over everything over here. And saying that he did me a favor ever-so-lightly implies that he was doing something other that just being a selfish coward. He doesn’t win any awards, he didn’t set me free, he chose shitty beer over a real live person who loved him, even when I saw the real, crappy parts.

I know, in the logical and rarely used part of my brain, that I deserve better. I deserve someone who fights for me the way I do for them. Who is just as supportive, and who I can be myself around without the constant fear of losing them (oh the irony). I get it. But I don’t want better, right now. I just want my fucking friend back.

Maybe tomorrow, I’ll make it. If not, that’s fine too. I’ll keep trying.

Slutiversary

The Thought Slut was born 2 years ago today. So let’s take a look back, shall we? If this were a sitcom, this would be the Clip Show Episode.

The idea came from venting that being single meant I had no one to share all the useless trivia that was cluttering my brain. Really, even “trivia” seemed too fancy for what was going on. I was finding it hard to focus on work, personal conversations, taking care of my house, because OH MY GOD I HAD THE BEST TURKEY SANDWICH, and there was nobody to tell.

So, I came here. I took 30 whole seconds to pick some colors and a terribly unfocused picture for the header, and that was that. It was one of those things I said I was going to go back and redo later, but as you can see… I didn’t. I’ve changed a lot over the last 2 years, but not that much. Procrastinating is still my main skill. Right before self-depreciation.

But really, a lot has happened in my little Slut Bubble since 2015. (That one just popped into my head. Get it? Popped? Bubble?! I’m ON FIRE!) I’ve grown a lot. Though I still have more to do, I’m proud of how far I’ve come. It would be easier to see if I wrote more regularly, but trust me, it’s leaps and bounds.

Today, I’m still single (though I have made some jumps into not-singlehood here and there) and much more comfortable with it. I’m still figuring out what I want, and how to identify it. I am getting much better at knowing when something isn’t what I want, and walking away (I once dated a guy I couldn’t stand for over a year because he didn’t do anything terribly wrong. I haaaaated him, but he wasn’t abusive or unfaithful, so I stuck it out. FOR OVER A YEAR. Again. Leaps and bounds.) Sometimes, it makes for entertaining stories.

This brings us to the New Story Line segment of our Clip Show Episode, where I get to introduce you to a new character. Let’s call him Douchey McToolface. Because I’m a grownup.

So… Douchey and I met online (don’t roll your eyes at me!) He sent me a message that was a list of reasons he thought we’d get along. I’m a sucker for lists, and it beat the guy whose opener was “Damn sexy! Come sit on my face and I’ll eat my way to your heart? ;)” (alright, you can roll your eyes now.) I responded, it lead to actual conversation, he spelled things correctly and used multi-syllabic words, and I was cautiously hopeful. We arranged a meet up about a week out. He specifically told me this was not a date, this was simply a meeting to see if we had chemistry and should pursue dating from there. Great! I liked this idea, as well as all the talks we had about establishing a good friendship first, and not rushing into things. Cue the happy strut.

Meeting happens, things go well, but ultimately he is not actually down for taking it slow as originally stated, and tries to tell me after 1.5 dates (we hung out twice in the same day. I don’t know what that means, or what is and isn’t a date, apparently, so let’s just go with that.) that I need to “stop holding back” and just give in to whatever urges he has imagined I have. Because he can read me so well. Yeah. I say no. I’m REALLY FUCKING PROUD of myself for this. Baby Slut would’ve assumed he knew more than me, and gone along with it anyway.  But not anymore! I firmly told him I was taking things slow… and he told me I was wrong. Yep. Wrong. It completely dumbfounded me. So, I ended things. Amicably. Perhaps too much so, as he text me a day later asking if we could still be friends. Well sure, who doesn’t need more friends?

My new bff then began texting me passive-aggressive complaints about how hard being single was, and how he wished he could just find someone that could “make a decision and stick with it”. (Now I’m rolling my eyes right along with you) Then… he sent me an excerpt from an erotic novel he is writing (which he apparently started after we went out, as he told me then he no longer writes… ) The context was that the protagonist, based on him, was facing the woman that had transformed him from wanting meaningless sex to looking for an actual connection. Booky McToolface says this, “I want to taste every inch of you… and not just your skin. When I say that I want you, it is not some purely physical concept. Your eroticism to me stems from the very core of who you are. While your shell is appealing, it is what lies beneath that has me yearning to taste you.”. My response? “Uh, nobody says ‘eroticism’ to another person in real life.” The part I didn’t text him involved a lot of near-vomiting.

I was hoping my disinterest would be enough to make him wander away, but receiving a text message poem at 5:30am three days later told me I was wrong. And, because you’re already on this ride, here’s that, too:

I don’t know you,
I know your face because I see it when I close my eyes.
I know the small curve of your lips when you smile.
I know the gleam in the corner of your left eye
Only the left one
That pops up when something brings you joy.
See I don’t know you
But I know the value you place in words
The way you long to have someone value you
Someone who sees the pretty face, yes, but sees the beauty BEHIND it too.
I don’t know you,
But I know that there is something missing
A piece of you
A real piece of you not fulfilled.
I don’t know you
But I do know that I want you
I want to be that piece to make you whole
I want to be your beacon as the night encroaches in
I want to hold you safe as the winds bear down
I want to protect you…
See I don’t know you
But I want to.

Pretty much all this did for me is cause me to question what the hell is wrong with my left eye?? I’m hoping it was just that I was constantly giving him the “What the fuck crazy ass shit did you just let loose out of your mouth?!?” look and he mistook that for the face of the newly joyful. I have no fucking idea.

I’d like to say that after this I told His Mighty Doucheness to leave me alone. But nope. Took me another two days, and multiple texts about how dating was the worst. Then, I finally hit my limit. I did not avoid confrontation, was not passive, I was full on aggressive. He, of course, countered that the fault was mine, and I was simply taking it all wrong.

But a little over two years ago, I dealt with another douchebag extraordinaire. One with a lot more experience. I learned a thing or two, including that I am, in fact, whole. I am not missing any pieces, I am not in need of protection, and I can damn sure save my self. So his gaslighting and blame shifting were no match for this slut right here. Our heroine emerged victorious once again.

Who knows where I’ll be in another two years. But whatever my appealing shell and I are doing, I’ll be doing it my way. And maybe if I remember, I’ll even write about it.

 

 

I’m like, the most scared person whose alive.

Every Monday night, I go to a friend’s house for dinner, we chat, we laugh, she makes amazing food, and then we watch a horrible show together. Currently, we’re watching Girls. At first, I kinda hated it. It’s only redeeming quality seemed to be that it made me feel a little better about my own overwhelming awkwardness. I may have fallen off a curb for no reason at all last week, but at least I’ve never been stuck in a closet while my cousin has sex with a random a few feet away. Pat on the back to me.

The show is growing on me, though. I have become fond of a few of the characters, and even root for a couple of them now and then. As much as I want to hate the main character and her whiny hipster ways, I just want her to be loved by the weird guy who never wears a fucking shirt. In one of the episodes we watched tonight, there was something he said to her that stuck with me.

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In response to his yelling this at her, she says that she does not love herself at all, and she’s scared of everything. My inner self raised a fist in solidarity and shouted “fuck yeah, I got your back.” Then I got to thinking. (And yes, I realize that he’s wearing a shirt here. Maybe “never” was a bit strong.)

I’m always working on loving myself. But I’m too scared to actually do it. It’s like the beginning of most relationships, it starts with the flirty fun part. I’m weirdly obsessed with myself. I stare at my face in the mirror, I find mundane things I do fascinating, I feel the urge to share each thought that enters my head as if it’s some sort of genius idea that needs to be recorded for future generations to marvel at. But once I finally settle down enough to love myself for who I really am (spoiler alert: not a fascinating genius.) I get bored and wander off. Later, I’ll be caught off guard by some funny or sweet thing I do, resume the chase once more, and the cycle continues.

Well, me, it’s time to grow the fuck up. Love isn’t exciting. It’s not shiny and pretty and noteworthy. It’s boring and takes work. Even when it’s just you… and you. Loving yourself means knowing you’re enough. It’s not putting on a good show of it, in hopes that someone else will notice and fall in love with you too. It means not giving two craps who sees all the quirky and adorable things you do, because you enjoy just doing them.

It’s getting past that fun and fancy free beginning, and still wanting to put in effort. It’s caring enough about yourself to make sure that when you do work to catch someone’s eye, it’s for the right reasons. These hardly ever include “needing attention” or “not wanting to be alone”. Honestly, I have absolutely no idea how to find the “right” person, what it feels like, or if it’s even a thing. (If it is, I’m pretty sure it’s not limited to one per person per lifetime.) The more I think about it, the less I care. Nobody can love me like I would, if I’d just give myself the chance.

My cape was at the dry cleaners.

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. When last we left, our heroine was struggling with reacting to uncomfortable situations appropriately. Let’s review in a bit more detail, shall we?

I went on a date. On paper, everything was good. We had talked extensively beforehand, and there was much clicking to be had. But, trying to focus on reality and not get carried away, I needed the actual date to happen before any real decision making was to be done. Surface-wise, it was great. We talked, we laughed, we shared a basket of bar food. We decided to go watch a movie together, which seemed alright, given the clickiness.

First, he kissed me. Now, I’m no prude, I have kissed a gentleman before. Except this was not gentlemanly. In what I’m sure he thought of as a romantic gesture, he pounced (no really. There was jumping and everything) and attacked my face with a very intense barrage of liplockage. It was painful. Physically, as there was teeth involved (FYI – bad plan for a first kiss.) and somewhat mentally, as I have a personal space bubble, and it was popped quite forcefully. All I could think was, “I thought he claimed to be a feminist?”.

Then, some time later (because unbeknownst to me, the numbness that is my oldest and most hard-to-break coping mechanism was already taking over, and I was totally fine with still being there) we were getting cuddly and I said something sassy. I don’t remember what it was, some snarky comment that I make all the time, I’m sure. His response? A slap to the face, and flirtatious giggling. Again, I’m sure that in his mind, he thought he was ever so coy. I…. thought nothing. Other than “No sudden movements.”. So when he asked me if that was alright, I said “Yep.” and when he asked me if I wanted more, I said “Nope.”. That was it. That’s all I could do. Somewhere in my head, a little voice asked “What just happened? Are we really okay with this?” but it was immediately shushed, and silence resumed.

Upon later reflection in the safety of my once again intact personal bubble, I decided that no, I definitely was not okay with that. Aside from my hatred for domestic violence, WHO THE FUCK DOES THAT ON A FIRST FUCKING DATE?!? WHAT IN THE GREAT GREEN FUCK WAS THAT?? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Anger set in. At him, for being a tool, but mostly at myself, for doing nothing about it. In his head, that ended on a good note, and he chalked that up as a successful date, surely to be the first of many. Me? I just wanted to vomit. How could I just sit there? Why didn’t I say anything? What is wrong with me?

As it turns out, nothing. Every human has a flight, fight or freeze response to shock. More often than not, mine is freeze. That’s just how I’m programmed, it’s not a flaw or failure. I just need to allow myself to resume normal thinking, and reflect on the situation from a safe distance. When I do, if I’m not alright with it, that’s perfectly fine. That’s all the justification there needs to be for me to walk away from something.

So I did, and I feel much better. Yay me.

Then, yesterday, the inevitable happened. A friend informed me that my ex is dating someone new. There were even pictures accompanying this news. I looked at their happy faces, at her pretty hair, and I felt nothing.

This time, though, it was a different kind of nothing. It was a relieved emptiness, knowing that these people have no affect on my life. I don’t need him to be miserable, and I don’t care if he’s happy. I don’t despise this woman who took my place, nor do I feel like warning her of what could be in store.

I made my choice. I chose the life I now lead, in this little apartment with this adorable boy, the two of us making our own way in a crazy ass world. Sometimes we’re broke, and have to eat terrible concoctions of cheap food, because there’s only one person to pay all the bills. Sometimes we have no one to do the heavy lifting, or the nasty chores we don’t want to do. Sometimes, we feel a little alone. But there is not one day in the whole lot that I ever wish I had chosen differently.

The record shows, I did it myyyyyyyy way.

So there I was, sitting on my bed, thinking of how I could make my life a little more ridiculous. “Ahhh, yes…” I thought, “online dating.”

Though I felt a little lonely at that precise moment, I wasn’t trying to find my newest soulmate (which is made more difficult by not believing in the idea of them.) or jump into anything serious at all. Really, I wanted attention. This seemed like a pretty safe way to do it, I didn’t even have to get out of my sweatpants. I filled out the questions in the snarkiest way possible, uploaded a couple adorkable pictures, and posted it out there for the world to see. Or for a bunch of random dudes to see, whatever.

As it turns out, I’m a hit. I’m also gorgeous/sexy/beautiful, I have cute cheeks, a very regal nose, I seem like I’d be perfect for no less than 7 different people, and it’s worrisome that I dislike cats so strongly. I got the attention I wanted, and a bonus helping of pure entertainment.

I talked to the people that interested me (I’m totally going to admit it, it’s waaaaay easier to be a girl on these sites than a guy. I never once started a conversation with someone. I just sat back while the messages flooded in, and my ego grew.) and politely declined further exchanges with those that didn’t. Or, I just ignored them, because I’m not going to feel guilted into replying to  every “hey sexy u wanna hang out?” that comes my way. Some of them were funny though, and that’s important to my people. Those guys, I replied to. A few times, it went well enough that I went on real, live, face to face dates with them. That was also quite entertaining.

The biggest thing I discovered is that I do, in fact, have standards. It’s super exciting! In the past, I’ve told myself that I should accept people the way they are, be open-minded, and find a way to get along with them. While I still tell myself that frequently, I add “but that doesn’t mean you have to date them. Friends are great, too. Or acquaintances, even. Who doesn’t love a solid acquaintance?” I no longer feel like if someone shows interest in me, I should be grateful for this miracle, and reciprocate, no matter how they treat me or whether I actually like their personality. It’s like… I matter. And the things I want, the things I believe in… they matter, too! [insert heavenly chorus and beams of light shining down on my now-functioning brain here]

I’ve also started noticing red flags AS THEY HAPPEN! Not years later! Not when I’m already married and realizing that I should’ve taken his comment about wanting to wear my skin as a coat a bit more seriously, but in real time! Someone who texts me after meeting me once to ask if he can call to hear my voice is perhaps going to require more of my full attention than I’m willing to give anyone. If someone starts explaining to me on date two what my own behaviors mean I’m feeling for them, they might be a bit more controlling than I’m going to put up with. When someone assumes based on 17 text messages, about families and work, that what I’d love more than anything is to receive a picture of their genitalia… well I bid them good day and have myself a hearty laugh. And by “hearty” I mean I almost hyperventilated. Dude. Just… no.

Another thing I’ve done in the past is feel guilty when I do apply the few boundaries I had. Telling people “no” is not my strong point. So most of the time, I just don’t do it. You can see how this might not be my best strategy. But it’s not just that I don’t have to feel bad about saying it, it’s realizing I have EVERY right to say it, as much as I want, for any reason. As does everyone. Nobody gets to decide what I want, feel, or think, except for me. It’s so logical, yet something that eluded me for so very long.

When I started this, someone asked me what I was looking for. I had no idea. I do now. I’m looking to talk to people, because it fills a void, and starting conversations with strangers in public is too hard. I’m looking to keep being me, without having limits or requirements put on me. I’m looking for someone to have dinner with, have a beer with, and share a laugh with. That’s all. I don’t say that to seem low maintenance and cool, then hook someone in and tattoo my name on their chest while they sleep. I say I don’t want a standard, committed, serious relationship because… I don’t. At all. Maybe I will one day, but it’s not in the foreseeable future.

However, I do love me some free dinners.