Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sometimes, analogies help . . .

I was having a conversation with a friend (I'll call him Brad)today about relationships. We had established that he sucks at them. Of course, Brad's young and can count his relationships on one hand. I told him he didn't have enough relationships under his belt to be able to accurately identify that he actually sucks at relationships, or is just lazy. Brad wants the perfect woman to fall into his life, with no work on his part.

**For my forensics friends, here is his analogy: "It's like I've attended 2 TCFL's but I've decided I'm going to win Indy Sweeps at AFA."

**For my Nascar friends, here's another analogy: "It's like I've driven a Grand Am a couple of times and am going to go win the Indianapolis 500."

**"It's like I've thrown a few baseballs, and have decided I'm going to win the World Series."

**"It's like I've hemmed a pair of pants, and will move on to haute couture."

**It's like I've li . . .

Never mind, you get the picture. Brad's expectations are ridiculous. And he knows this. What sucks, is that even with time and effort, there is still no guarantee that a relationship will materialize or even work.

I'm really enjoying dating Joe. It's fun to have an "other." It's fun to plan stuff together. I like making him laugh. I enjoy being to start a sentence with "My boyfriend Joe and I . .. " The problem is this . . . I can't decide if I'm enjoying having a relationship in general, or a relationship with Joe, specifically.

It is nice to have someone to care about. Someone to text with. Someone to be silly with. I enjoy cooking for him and posting silly things to his FB page. But I can't help but wonder if I would enjoy those things if Joe were replaced by another guy. I'm starting to wonder if we share enough interests to continue having fun.

I told Brad that when you find the "right" one, she is worth the work a relationship takes.  I think that's where I'm at right now. Trying to figure out if Joe is worth the "work."

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Plague 2013

What's worse than getting a flu shot that makes your arm hurt for 3 days? Getting a strain of the flu that wasn't covered by the flu shot. This week, it sucked to be me. Yesterday I was trying to figure out why my abs were so sore. Then I realized they were sore from shivering with chills for 3 days straight. Need 6-pack abs? Get the flu.

Not only were there chills . . .

There was the fever

and the headache

and the body aches

and the whimpering and whining

I missed 3 freaking days of class & coaching. At the time, I didn't really care, but now that I'm feeling better it irritates me.

I went to Joe's house for the first time this afternoon. I met his son and his cats. I was so freaking nervous. His son was that perfect high school mixture of funny/awkward/nerdy/sweet. 

Tangent: When I got to Joe's, his son wasn't there. Joe gave me a tour of the house and introduced me to the cats. We were sitting on the couch, catching up and smooching (an old fashioned word, but I like it) and Joe's son got home. We sprang apart like two 16 year olds that got interrupted by parents. It was kind of hilarious. End tangent.

Joe cooked a really yummy supper (you call it dinner - I'm a hick and call it supper) - chicken alfredo and garlic bread. It is the first time - EVER - that a guy has cooked for me. Seriously. My ex-husband never cooked. Ever. I have to say, it was a bit odd for me. I'm a "nurturer" - it's my first instinct to take care of others, and that includes feeding them. It was odd to completely relinquish control of a meal to someone else.

That was it. That was my week. The good news is, the Plague of 2013 is nearly out of my system. The bad news is all the work I now need to do in order to catch up. At least my abs are in better shape.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

When life gives you lemons . . .

 . . . you bake your boyfriend a Lemonade Cake!
After not seeing Joe for two (Two!) weeks, we were finally able to get together today. We were both seriously exhausted! He had worked a 70 hour week and I ran the state tournament - but as exhausted as I was, it was so good to see him.

Remember that dancing bear I got at the dollar store to give to him? Well, he LOVED it! And he brought me . . .

wait for it . . .

Wait For It . . .

WAIT FOR IT  . . .


Seriously, it was kind of perfect. He took me out for lunch and then patiently waited at the Sprint store with me where I had to buy a new phone.

OK, tangent story. I either left my phone in the rental van or lost it. I was freaking the freak out last night because I had no other way of contacting Joe. I left a message for him on POF, in case he checked there. I sent an email to an address I found on a work brochure he had given me, after tearing my computer station apart to find it. I even FB messaged him, not knowing if he would even get it because we weren't "friends" yet.  I think he got all of the messages, which means it's now confirmed that I'm neurotic. Also, we are now FB friends. End tangent.

I knew exactly the type of phone I wanted at Sprint (Samsung Galaxy SIII - BAM!) so I figured it wouldn't take long. We walked out an hour later, and he never complained :-)

We came back to my house and put in a movie he had brought, and then his phone rang. An urgent issue with one of the kids. I could tell it was bugging him, so I let him know I understood if he needed to get home. Part of me was screaming inside, "but I haven't seen you in two (Two!) weeks, you can't leave already!!!" - But the other part of me knew it was what he needed to do.

I sent the whole cake home with him. We were full from lunch, so we hadn't eaten any yet. He texted later that it was delicious. See that icing? It's lemonade cream cheese icing. The recipe for the cake & icing are from

I won't get to see Joe until next weekend, but I am invited to his home for the first time. And he's going to cook for me! And I'll be meeting the kids. Gulp. I am going to freak out all week about what to wear.

Since he left early, I have an unexpected evening free. I'm eating Girl Scout cookies, figuring out this new phone, and blogging. So sexy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I didn't mean to get so morose . . .

It's been a stressful, wierd week.

  • I sang part of Thriftshop in all three of my classes. I also may have sang/rapped some Enimen. I *bleeped* out the swear words. It was relevant, I swear.

  • I also went off on a 5 minute tangent trying to once and for all convince the slow students that TIGHTS ARE NOT PANTS.

  • I also accidently snort-laughed in class. So embarassing.

  • I watched the SOTU last night and came out of the experience with a new life-goal. I want to be voting at age 102, just like Desiline Victor.
  • Two students in different classes emailed to let me know they wouldn't be in class because they were having "a personal relationship crisis." This is a sucky week to have one of those. I hope their crisis isn't with each other.

  • I went to 3 different stores to by salt for the 2" of ice that are on my walkway. Everyone was out. For the record, water softener salt works just fine. Table salt does not.

  • I drive by a funeral home every day. Yesterday as I passed, hundreds of red balloons were released at what I'm assuming was a funeral. The red balloons against the blue, blue sky with it's fluffy white clouds was stunning. I want red balloons released when I die.

  • Pondering the red balloon release upon my death . . . I've signed up for whole-body donation after my death. I don't know what happens at a funeral if there is no body. I'd like to go on record here: At my funeral I'd like there to be an open bar, 80's rock music, a reading of Psalms 25:6-7, Cool Touch Kleenex on every table, and a chocolate fountain.

  • Sorry I got a bit morose there. Inspiration hit and I had to go with it.

  • I had a really crappy day yesterday. I texted Joe (my boyfriend!) that I was having a terrible-no-good-really-awful-stinky day. So he called after work to see how I was doing. (Fizzy Lifting Drinks!) It made me feel instantly better.

  • Joe called again tonight when he was on his way home from work. I told him I was going to make him a lemon cake with peanut butter icing for Valentine's day. His response? "That's interesting" Then I told him I was joking. I did ask him if he'd be my Valentine, and he said yes.

  • I really can't wait for Sunday, which is when I get to see him again.

Monday, February 11, 2013

The question on everyone's mind . . .

 . . . is . . . Does Joe know about this blog.



We aren't Facebook friends either, even though I know he has a FB account because I've stalked him and checked out his page.

It's not that I'm intentionally keeping it from him (OK, I AM intentionally keeping it from him) - but I will eventually tell him if things keep moving in the right direction. I'll probably even become FB friends with him. But for now, he's just mine. No one else in my circle of friends (or the 3 people who read my blog) know Joe, and I kind of like that. I feel like once we start meeting each others friends, it becomes, I don't know, more real? Formal? Official?

This actually brings me to a question. I've been referring to Joe as "the guy I'm dating." It's kind of fun to say it . . . "Joe, the guy I'm dating, and I just love the new TV show The Following." But that's also a long description. Today, a friend of mine called Joe my boyfriend. But . . . aren't I too old for a boyfriend? It makes me feel a bit pedophile-ish. I can't call him my "man-friend" because that's equally creepy. "Hi, this is my companion, Joe." Uhm, no. "I'd like you to meet my significant other." Double no. Special friend? Partner? Lover? Friend? No. No. No. And No.

I feel like if I were 19 or 20 this would be something to have a conversation about. It might go something like this:
"Would you be my boyfriend?"
"Then this means we are dating exclusively, right?"
"Define what you mean by 'exclusive'"

I don't know if this kind of conversation is supposed to happen when you are 47. There are plenty of teen/young adult magazines & books that help girls & young women navigate the social norms of dating. But I don't think a lot of that advice applies once you are over the age of 40.

I guess I've reached a point in this dating process where I'm starting to see us as a couple, but I don't know what label to use. So for lack of a better word, I think I have a boyfriend.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Weekend wrap-up

I'm a forensics coach. It's my thing. Growing up, I thought I wanted to be an elementary school teacher. Thank goodness my undergrad (Defiance College!) puts ed majors into classrooms early in their programs. I learned I don't like children. At all. (Hence the reason I'm that oddity known as a woman who never had kids because she didn't want any.) So I switched to secondary ed. Surely high schoolers would be better? Right? I wouldn't have to wipe their noses or clean up their vomit or keep my sanity through their high-pitched, incessant babbling. No, I wouldn't. But during student teaching I would have to figure out how to deal with a 15 year old student who was 8 months pregnant and wanted to do a speech about lamaze exercises. Awkward. There is a very long, possibly boring story of how I accidently ended up with a master's degree in speech and started teaching/coaching at the college level - but I'll skip it. I teach. I coach. I love both. But I really, really, really love coaching. I get to be bossy, and IT'S MY JOB!! Seriously, how great is that.

So, this weekend UWEC hosted a forensics tournament. We had 15 schools from 6 states come, had alumni from California to Milwaukee come judge, had a karaoke party and a winter storm. It was fun. I am so freaking exhaused that my exhaustion is exhausted.

But through the exhaustion is the lingering satisfaction of watching "my kids" - some are just baby freshman, and their energy and enthusiasm is so good for my soul. Others are at the end of their competitive journey, and don't know if they should be sad or happy that it's almost over. Then there are the former students - the "kids" who have gone on to grad school, get jobs (some as forensics coaches!), get engaged, get married, have babies . . . seeing the amazing men and women they have become, well, my heart is just so full of love and joy for them.

But GWIET (Grace Walsh Individual Events Tournament) just wouldn't be the same without my dear, sweet, kind, wonderful friend and colleague, Karen.
There is not a day that goes by that I don't thank God for putting her in my life. We have an unwritten rule that only one of us can be crazy at a time. And actually, I'm usually the crazy one. She is the brains of our operation. She is also the funny one. And I'm pretty darn funny most of the time, so that's saying something. I got to work with one of my very best friends, doing one of my very favorite things this weekend - and it was awesome.

Except that my feet hurt. I also ate too many cookies and drank too many diet Pepsi's and probably gossiped too much.

I also missed Joe. A lot. I get a ridiculous fizzy-lifting-drink feeling when we text. I think I'm falling in serious "like" with him. I get to see him again next Sunday. Another week. Another! Week! Sometimes I catch myself snort-laughing at one of his texts (so attractive) or just grinning like a simpleton when my phone dings that I have a message from him. I have never texted someone as much as I text him. If I had a phone that wasn't a bajillionty years old, I would probably text even longer messages. I think I'm falling in serious "like" with him. The cats already like him.
Of course Tonks (on the right) loves everyone and will whore herself out to whoever wants to pet her. Luna is quite shy. She has been known to hide so well from pet-sitters that they think I have only one cat. Even she likes Joe. Here's where I make the crazy cat-lady statement that if my cat's like him, he must be OK.

Ufdah. I am exhausted.

Friday, February 8, 2013

I think I found it . . .

I think this is what I'm going to give Joe for Valentine's Day.
It's a solar-powered dancing bear. I got it at the dollar store. I would be smitten if someone gave me this.

So. Much. Angst.

Less than a week and we reach that holiday full of hearts, flowers, chocolates and cupids shooting rainbows out of their asses. I hate this "holiday" - I mean really really hate. I would prefer to go into a coma on the 13th of February and wake up on the 15th.

It doesn't matter if you are single or coupled, Valentine's Day usually sucks. If you are coupled, there is a perfect movie-script of a day you expect. And it never happens like the script in your head. So it's always a disappointment in some way. The PRESSURE to be romantic and all lovey-dovey could kill the heartiest of libidos. I think this is a bigger problem for younger generations. Once you have some age and experience, you have a better perspective of what to expect from Valentine's Day. The angst is less, but still there.
Now, consider Valentine's Day from a single perspective. . . surrounded by messages that essentially tell us that unless we are in a hetero-normative relationship, we are less valued. Advertising repeats again and again and again that we must have a partner, or we must not be happy. We must have a dozen roses, a romantic dinner, gourmet chocolates, a diamond ring, sexy lingerie - and a partner to share all this with - or we are not a "complete" person.  We are failures. And if you are over the age of 25, female and single - well, you are REALLY a failure. Obviously, you are not "doin' it rite."

So how is a single person supposed to react to the bombardment of love-couple messages? If a single person celebrates the holiday, then they get showered with pity. "Oh, it's so sweet you are celebrating Valentine's Day. You'll find someone soon!" Or surprise. "Oh! I figured you'd be celebrating Single's Awareness Day!" Some singles take the guilt of being a party of one, and turn it into serious pissed-off-ness. They wear black. They growl any time they see a couple. They mock the whole idea of love. Some get sad, buy themselves 2 pound boxes of chocolates and 2 liter boxes of wine and consume them while sitting on the couch watching Love Actually on repeat.

And then there's me. Over the last few years, I've been working hard to change my gut-reaction of inadequacy when it comes to Valentine's Day. I don't want to be pitied. I don't want to be pissed off. I don't want to be sad. More than anything, I want to be a role-model of the concept that being single is OK, and even healthy. But I find this hard to do because Valentine's Day immediately puts me on the defensive. I usually spend a good amount of time scripting responses I will use on the day of love, hearts and flowers, responses that don't sound like an apology for my single-ness. I plan to hand out Valentine's to those in my classes who are single, along with a short "mom" speech on how being single is not a death sentence. This usually makes me feel a little better. I spend a lot of energy trying to project something positive. To be honest - it's exhausting. And more often than not, I end the day with a pity party that I'm single. The inadequacy of my relationship status wins.
This year, I have a whole other angst. I'm dating! Sauce Guy! Joe! It's fairly new. And exciting. And I think I really like him. . . But what does this mean for Valentine's Day??? Isn't Valentine's Day for people in love? I'm in the process of falling in "like" - but does that qualify me as someone worthy of such a day? I don't have the oppression of being truly single, but I also don't have the validity of being a serious couple. I'm in Valentine's Day purgatory. I don't know if I'm supposed to acknowledge the day with Joe, or ignore it. If I give him a card/gift, I worry it will send an "I love you!" message - and I really don't want to send that. If I ignore the holiday, I worry it will send an "I don't care" message. And I do care - I like this guy! It's a stupid Valentine's conundrum.

Maybe we should rename this holiday "Angst Day," because whatever your relationship status, that's what you'll be feeling.Now I'm off to buy wine for my angst and a Valentine card that won't freak Joe out.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I have a love/hate relationship . . .

 . . . with February. We host a gazillion forensics tournaments this month, which is exhausing. But on the other hand - We! Host! Tournaments! - which is kinda fun. I suppose it's similar to what marathon runners feel - the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat - only with speeches. So, actually, not anything like what marathon runners feel.

Did that even make sense? Now do you understand my exhaustion? It's nearly impossible to find the time to process and overanalyze my life. With that being said, things with Joe are good. I have always been quite resistant to dating someone who does not live in the Eau Claire area. My reasoning was I didn't want a long distance relationship. Joe lives an hour away. I know, this isn't real "long distance" - but it's far enough that we have to plan when & where we are getting together. Given my February, I may see him again in March. That makes me sad. And kind of annoyed. Cause I kinda like this guy.