This is why you’re my favorite

The first time you called me I wanted to get back to watching Law and Order: SVU, mind you it was on Hulu Plus, so it’s not like I was forever going to miss a critical moment. Your profile seemed a tiny bit bitter in that you very specifically noted that “cheaters” should not contact you.When someone is compelled to put that it into their profile it means they’ve been cheated on. You confirmed my suspicion without any inquiry from me. I wondered if this fact would spill into your dating interactions, but it didn’t scare me off completely.

I reluctantly said yes when you asked me out, and where did you take us on our first date? You booked us at a Hibachi place, of all things. I was tempted to cancel. I loathe Hibachi meals, all the hullabaloo with the knives and the squirting of sake into open mouths, not to mention the sodium-heavy mediocre over-priced meal that we get to consume. But something inside me kept telling me to give it a shot, so I did. And sure enough I get there, and we are seated with a large party that is celebrating a 21st birthday. I silently groan inside. But I am already distracted by you, the way you introduced yourself to me in that way that says you are truly glad to meet me. Yes, you do have a round belly, but I shop at Lane Bryant, though I like to brag that it’s the one place where I’m a “small.”

And as soon as you speak to me I realize how much I truly am an ass. Your voice, which I found strange and jarring on the phone, has a comforting quality to it. You don’t quite have a lisp. I don’t know what it is, all I know is that I realized in that moment that I met you that I judged you for it, and It was jerky of me to do so. Your eyes speak authenticity when they meet my eyes. I just think to myself, “Geesh, I’m a weenie jerk. Look at you! You are authentically happy to meet me, and all the beautiful women in this high end sushi/hibachi place don’t even get a stray blink from you.”

I decided very quickly upon meeting you that I liked you, though I was still flummoxed by the prospect of spending a meal with this young group of people celebrating a birthday. Really, this is a nightmare. I still did not like you for this … this first date with a group of young things. I wanted to melt away, so I attempted to do so by opening up the heavy and voluminous menu in front of me. I pretended to study it intently in an attempt to avoid small talk with the others. I didn’t know what else to do. Then I hear you start speaking to them, and I’m thinking what are you doing? I want to reach out and pull you back. You’re asking who’s the birthday girl, and you’re talking them up, and they like you (how could they not?). Me, the idiot behind the heavy menu, looks up and realizes hey, these are people too, perhaps they didn’t exactly relish having two forty somethings crash their birthday dinner. Again, it’s very clear who’s the jerk here, and so far, it’s been the same person all along.

It was a lovely dinner with the young peeps all on account of you, of course. Who am I kidding? You had me the moment you met me the door of the restaurant with that affable “Good evening!” that you greeted me with as you embraced me.

After that date our lives got in the way of us going any further than a few dates. We both have demanding jobs, and your kids live 3.5 hours away and you try to visit them most weekends. There simply were not enough hours in the day for us to get know each other better. We drifted apart, and then, somehow, after many months we’ve started texting and talking on the phone again. I’ve no idea how that happened.

You’re completely unfazed by my PTSD and DID. You live in the here and now, and I find myself wanting to be more like you.

I don’t know what the future holds for us. We may not have a future. I do know that I like you on a deep level that I’ve not felt for someone in a very long time. it might be two weeks before you’re back in town so that we can go on a date, and I’m willing to wait.

a purple Gaiam yoga mat

It’s just a purple Gaiam yoga mat, nothing special about it aside from the fact that it’s thicker than the Gaiam “original” model, and it has a lovely lavender side to complement the opposite deep purple side that is the typical yoga mat color. This purple Gaiam, slightly thicker, yoga mat stared at me from the offerings in the Target fitness aisle. Somehow, after my Monday night chemical dependency treatment process class, I found myself standing in front of this yoga mat priced at $29.99 with a strange pull to make the irrational purchase. And irrational it was because I was down to less than $200 in the checking account with the bevy of psychiatry appointments I’d had in the past 3 weeks, enough to add up to a car payment on a new fully loaded SUV. But payday was in close sight, and I had no idea why, but I needed this mat, and I needed it that very night. I don’t even recall how or what led me to this aisle, or even this store. My assessment is that the universe said to me, “Girl, you need this …” and so I heeded the directive, and purchased said yoga mat.

I had been staying at Dan’s place for nearly a month when I made that strange trip to Target to get a yoga mat. It started incongruously the day of my birthday party, the last Saturday in September. I went through all the motions at my party, talking to people, making myself not cry, not turn into a pile of goo. But at the end of the night, I said to Dan, “Can I come over?” And he said, “sure, but you need to give me a ride as well because I walked here.” I drove us to his place, and I barely remember putting myself down on the couch. Somehow, the sofa bed was opened, sheets were put on, and a pillow found it’s way under my head. One night became nearly a month.

Doc didn’t want to put me in the hospital because he feared it would do more damage than good. Yet, no one disagreed that I could not be home alone. So, there I was with my ex-boyfriend, on his couch on the eve of his annual gaming convention that he puts on every year. The timing could barely have been worse. Towards the end, I started to remember why we broke up in the first place. His place started to feel like less of a sanctuary, and more of a self-imposed halfway house of sorts.

At Dan’s place I immediately opened up the yoga mat, between the sofa bed and the tv in the living room,  I was met with a most unwelcome chemical smell coming off the mat. Still though, I was undaunted, annoyed, but still undaunted. I had not been to a yoga class in more years than I could even quantify. I couldn’t recall a single thing from yoga class in that moment on that smelly mat. So I just moved. I moved and stretched, and tried will all my might to set an intention and focus on it all the while just moving, moving, moving .. just to do something. I desperately needed a something to do in my life as my job had gone to shit, and, at that moment, I was on medical leave.

I’ve always challenged myself, and I never fully realized, until this experience, that challenging myself is a a big part of who I am, and when I do not have this I am lost. I look back and realize that the best jobs I’ve had forced me out of my comfort zone, and pushed me to do better, and keep reaching outside of myself. Losing this with my job situation falling apart led me to the moment where I needed yoga. I needed something to do, and I needed to challenge myself again. In a way, yoga became my job when my actual job disintegrated in front of me.

Somehow, even with that yoga mat purchase, I did not expect in find myself in an actual yoga class. But, that’s exactly what happened. And so far it’s happened 11 times in 30 days. I’ll keep coming back with my smelly mat.

a grey hoodie and black yoga pants

It is entirely possible to wear a grey hoodie and black yoga pants too many days of the week. Initially, one might not think this is possible. But, after three and a half weeks of not working, such attire has become a uniform of sorts. And uniforms inevitably start to have an unfun feeling to them. The grey hoodie and black yoga pants have become the uniform of absenteeism, illness, and feeling down and out. The grey hoodie and black yoga pants have gone from fun after work/weekend lounge clothes to a uniform I no longer want. I now find myself at a loss when I arrive home in the evening as I am already in my “evening lounge clothes.”

My weekly laundry is now down to one easy load full of yoga pants, t-shirts, and other related exercise and lounge wear along with the usual socks and underwear. Yesterday I had an appointment that required “real clothes” and I had to unearth my favorite black and blue Ralph Lauren dress with a long black flowy jacket. I put on the dress and jacket with the pearl necklace my sister gave me for my birthday years ago, black pantyhose and long black boots. It’s amazing what clothes do to the spirit. Just putting on this outfit restored some of my sense of usefulness.

Shiny orange running shorts and a print t-shirt, soft from repeated washings, with a chihuahua dog on the front that states, “No more stinkin’ tacos!” make up the new evening lounge wear. Given that the temperature outside has started to plummet, there is little chance that this getup can become the new uniform of being down and out.