Mother May I?

Manners are super importante.

When I dated Parker, something that I  will always remember is how he opened the car door for me. Every time. It was so thoughtful and I sometimes returned the favor, but I really enjoyed it when he did it. This car door opening activity is quite rare, apparently.

Never underestimate the power of good manners.

Dating Mr. M I have been thinking about this a lot lately. He is the epitome of manners. When we walk into Subway or checkout at Wal-Mart he looks the person behind the counter straight in the eyes and asks them how they are doing. He smiles from ear to ear and they usually smile back, and something lights up inside of them. This was probably the first time that day someone looked them in the eyes. No one takes the time to care about cashiers. But he does. It’s the most special thing to watch. He always has conversations with people, it never fails.

He inspires me to look up. I’m not sure when I stopped. At what point I felt too busy, too stressed. Too something. To look up. If someone makes an impression on me, I looked up, but I don’t really look up otherwise. Which is a shame. Shame on me for not looking up. I do know, however, that in the past when I “looked up” and was friendly to passerby-ers, I’ve received “Oh, you wanna DO me?” looks that make me feel like I need a bath after the interaction. So, maybe that’s where some of my avoidance comes from. But you know what, I will (try to) not let the dirty creepers dictate my demeanor towards the rest.

At what point did the general public forget about manners. Sometimes I think we need a 1st grade refresher every once n’awhile. Just because your big now and have a leather wallet doesn’t mean you can treat people like shit on a shoe. Mrs. Clark’s (my 1st grade teacher) RULES still apply, sirs and ladies.

1st Grade Redux, enrolling now.

And when it comes to everything else, Mr. M is Mr. Manners. If he has more than a few words to say, he calls me. He makes sure that my feelings aren’t hurt when he doesn’t feel like going to the movies. In the morning he thanks me for kissing him on the forehead. He appreciates me. I forgot what this felt like. It’s worth more to me than any lofty apartment or fancy vacation. I don’t want to lose it.

Everyone deserves to be appreciated and treated like this. I am beginning to understand how marriages can last a lifetime; I think appreciation is probably at the tippy top.

Yours getting back in touch with 1st grade lessons and looking up more,

25swf

Signs

The number 3

While Signs is, admittedly, one of my favorite alien movies (I don’t care how you feel about M. Night Shyamalan, that’s a freaking great movie)…these are not the kind of signs I’m talking about.

I am talking about the kind of signs that we look for, find, create, and sometimes base our whole lives around.

When I first started dating MF I had all of the signs. Signs like our birthdays being the inverse of each other, with the number 3 sprinkled in there a couple of times. Our middle names, Michael and Michelle, the girl/boy versions of one another. Our cats both being black. We both just got out of 3 and 1/2 year relationships. And the hotel room we stayed in Branson was number 313. Not to mention he lived on a street with lots of 3’s in it. Our last names were even similar. I know this sounds completely insane, but I truly believed it meant something. And by something, I thought it meant that we were meant. And more than the number 3 and other nonsensical commonalities, we had a lot in common personality-wise. I just had to add that in my defense so you don’t think I’m a total loony, just a little bit of one. ūüėČ

As the relationship progressed (and became increasingly more destructive), those signs became something to hold onto.

And then my (unconscious) silly signs quest turned into a search for sanity signs. I began to look for signs that I wasn’t losing my mind. That this love was for real. That this love was it. I held onto the number 3. The black cats. The 3 1/2 yr failed relationships. The middle names. The last names.

But with the passing months, the number three faded and was replaced with neglect, hateful words, and MF telling me I was never happy. And I should just be happy.

There’s a fine line between being in denial and staying positive. I was most definitely in denial. Funny how you can never tell that when you are IN it, because that would just be too helpful.

He was right, though. I was never happy. Up until a point I could keep my positivity and the sweet number 3 in the forefront of my mind, but when you’re treated like shit over and over and you tell him, “Hey, I can’t keep going on like this,” and his response is, “The things I did for her (the ex-fiancee) are the things you want, and I can’t give them to you.” It really is the last thing you want to do…just be happy.

I was in denial that he wanted to be with me. That he loved me. He didn’t love me. And he just wanted someone to be with. Someone to have experiences with. Someone to fill the shoes of the other one, and the one before her. I’m just not the kind of person that can keep my mouth shut, so he made a mistake there. He needs someone who just takes it. But I fought back. I talked back.

My mom has always told me to date someone who is more in love with me than I am with them. My guest blogger, Whipperwill, delved into this idea in her post, “Devotion Came on the Edge of a Nervous¬†Breakdown.” When I first read Whipperwill’s story, I teared up. This be-with-someone-who-loves-you-more idea wasn’t just something my mom concocted in her 60 year life of failed relationships? Other people thought it was the key, too.

Is that true? Is that the secret? I really don’t like that answer. I find it to be disturbing. But it’s the only one I have right now.

Both guys I truly, madly, deeply loved didn’t work out. Parker and MF. One was amazing to me, but too self-destructive to see our future together. MF was the worse relationship of my life and I’m still figuring that one out. Both of them I made sacrifices for, and both of them fucked me over (in very different ways). And the funny thing is, I’m sure they feel the same way about me. I was the one who ended both of those relationships. And I was a pretty awesome girlfriend. I gave it all. Maybe that’s my problem. I give it all.

It’s not in my nature to hold back. I don’t know if I can find the happy medium between holding back and giving it all. How do I find it?

Maybe this is a sign. A sign that the way I was doing it before wasn’t the best way to do it. And with MF, in true Ace of Base spirit, I eventually saw the sign that opened up my eyes.

Yours holding back next time with a few less signs to live by,

25swf

Fortune Cookies know what’s up

I’ve have always loved fortune cookies. Trivial and meaningless? Sure. That hasn’t stopped me from eating them. Or keeping them. Today I got one with my awesome egg roll vermicelli take-out.

On my awesome I love you, you Valentine’s Day I was hit like a ton of bricks by a Facebook message from my nice ex-boyfriend, Parker. I haven’t really written much about Parker, but really all you need to know (for now) is that we dated for 3 and 1/2 years, before I met MF. I broke up with him in 2009 for mainly for one reason- he wasn’t committed to building a future together. And I couldn’t change that, or him.

So this hit-you-in-your-gut message read that he no longer could be my friend, out of respect for his current relationship and moving on with his life.

And I respect that.

But I was pissed. On Valentine’s Day…really? In a Facebook message…really? It was cold, emotionless, and completely out of nowhere. A week ago we chatted about some filmmaking stuff and I mentioned that I didn’t want to call him after that because I didn’t want to cause any problems in his new relationship. He assured me that it was OK. That his new gf was cool and didn’t care. I thought that was weird. Because I would care if I was her. But I thought, OK, well that’s been addressed. We never talked much anyways.

And then that message. What a shitty way to go about something. Really though.

But like the fortune cookie says, anger begins with folly, and ends with regret. I’m glad I didn’t say anything that came from a knee-jerk reaction. I thought about it for a couple of hours and wrote my response:

“I completely respect your decision, because I’ve had to make it before. But why would you send this to me in a message on Facebook, on Valentine’s Day? Out of respect for our friendship? You don’t have to respond. It just hurts my feelings. I wish you the very best, Parker!”

I don’t regret that. The message he sent me was more about him than me, anyways.

I think we should all take a little time to say things we aren’t going to regret (I’m ALWAYS working on that).

Yours non-regretfully (this time),

25swf