Little by little by little

Just when you think you’re good.

Just when you think you’re happy and healthy and on the road to recovery.

Just when you think your past is behind you…

It comes screaming back to smack you in the face and beat you over the head with the fact that you’re a failure, a loser, and broken beyond repair.

There’s no coming back from that past.

There’s no hope.

You screwed the pooch and now you must deal with the consequences.

It’s just swell.

I haven’t felt this way in a long time. A long, LOOOOOOONG time. But, lately, it’s been creeping back. Little by little by little.

A Facebook post here, a text there, a homily… a letter… a lecture over coffee.

“Annie, you’re broken. Your life is in tatters. And there’s no coming back from that. But it’ll be okay. You have your cat and Jesus. That’s all you’ll ever need.”

I knew I never should have fessed up about my divorced status to my Catholic coworkers.

I knew I shouldn’t have become Catholic.

I knew somewhere, deep down, everyone was secretly judging me for the ass hat’s mistakes.

It all started when I told my priest friend I was divorced.

So, he told me to get an annulment.

Then, I became Catholic.

I became a divorced Catholic going through an annulment.

Life was fine. I mean… it was weird… and kind of lonely… but fine. I was doing what my priest friend wanted me to do. I was staying on the straight and narrow. Mass every week, confession every month, service projects when I could, keeping the whole “divorce” things under wrap and staying away from online dating sites…

Until…

Until I got asked out.

But a fellow divorcee.

A non-Catholic divorcee.

“What the heck!” I thought. “I’ll get a free dinner, we’ll compare tragic marriage stories, and I’ll make a good friend.”

So, I went.

And I fell head over heels, madly in love with this divorced non-Catholic dad.

You’d think this would be a good thing, a happy thing, a cause for celebration.

Oh, no. Oh, no, no, no, no, no.

Not in the Catholic church, it’s not.

In the Catholic church it’s a reason to call you on the carpet and beat you over the head with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

“Don’t you know dating as a divorcee without an annulment is ADULTERY? Why are you committing adultery? Why do you hate Jesus?”

Don’t get me wrong, I was strong enough in my Christian faith to know this wasn’t true, but… my priest friend saw things differently.

And so it began…

A scolding over coffee: “Are you lonely? I know it wasn’t a mistake for you to become Catholic. Why can’t you wait until your annulment is final and find a good single Catholic man?”

A flurry of frantic test messages: “Jesus tells us He hates divorce. You are still married to the ass-hat. You are committing adultery. Why are you doing this?”

A not-so-subtle homily: “We should praise and encourage these faithful Catholics who are choosing to embrace a chaste, single lifestyle – separated yet still married to their spouses! This is their cross to bear in the face of divorce – and they bear it well!”

A biting Facebook post not directed at anyone, but the message was clear : “How dare you “faithful” Catholics praise and “like” the new relationship of a divorced Catholic! You are encouraging adultery and mocking God!”

Little…

By Little…

By Little.

And I would shrug it off and laugh and say, “I know where I stand with God my Father. I know I’m in His will. I know this relationship is a blessing from Him.”

And yet… the little nagging voice…

What if.

What if the priest IS right?

What if you ARE committing adultery?

What if God IS just as disgusted and disappointed as the priest is? How dare you commit this sin against a God you claim to love?!

You’re divorced. You’re broken. And now you’re going to add a multitude of sin on top of it?! What is the matter with you?! How stupid are you?! Sure, God still loves you, but you made your bed. The ass hat left you. Now you deal with the consequences. Live like he’s your husband and don’t move forward until the Church gives explicit permission for you to do so! He’s not going to bless you moving forward! He’s only going to bless you in your sorry state of robotic obedience to the church! But He’s certainly not going to bless a new relationship! Who authorized this?! Certainly not God… and most definitely not the church!

Little…

By little…

By little.

Until you’re so convinced that you’re wrong and so beaten down… that it just becomes easier to throw the blessing under the bus, and go back to your sorry situation of blind obedience. Being in their good graces is better than having them think you’re destined for Hell. And being the champion people-please I know I am… I’m sometimes willing to give up the blessing in exchange for their approval. The fact that I would take heartbreak and devastation over having a priest think ill of me shows the depth of that people-pleasing addiction.

I wish I had never joined the church. I wish I had never gotten asked out. I wish, I wish, I wish. Life is easier when you live in stagnation instead of fear of failure and regret.

 

 

 

Advertisements

But, I don’t wanna be Jennifer Aniston!

You guys…

I just remembered why I hate the 23rd of June.

This was the day the ass hat left.

2 years ago.

2 FREAKIN’ YEARS AGO.

How is it possible that it’s been two years already?

I think this is where I’m supposed to take stock of my life and compare how much better off I am now than I was then.

But I can’t. Even if it is true, I can’t help feeling like a bit of a failure. If the *bleep!* (c’mon kids, let’s keep it clean) hadn’t hit the fan, I’d have a house, a dog, a KID, and some semblance of a happy marriage.

Or not.

Maybe if the *bleep!* hadn’t hit the fan, I’d still be living in the same apartment, tripping over Legos and dealing with harrible in-laws without a dog, OR a kid, just biding my time until sweet death took one or the other of us.

Who knows?

But I totally wish I knew.

I mean, if I’m being honest about comparing my life then and my life now? Well, there’s no comparison. I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I have a job that I’m not only THRILLED with but thriving in. My faith is stronger and deeper than ever before. I’ve finally figured out who I am and what I like and what I stand for. I’m not afraid of things anymore. And I feel happy in my own skin.

And yet…

There are some days where I can’t seem to see beyond the things I don’t have anymore. I mean, I’m 32, you guys. I should have a husband. I should have a house. I should have kids. And I was totally on the fast track for those things when…

You know. The *bleep!* hit.

I’m sorry… give me a minute.

*Deep breath*

Okay. It’s all good.

I guess what I’m saying is…

I don’t wanna be Jennifer Aniston!

Why can’t I be Rita Wilson?

Or Sarah Michelle Gellar?

Or Faith Hill?

WHY JENNIFER ANISTON, DAMMIT?!

I DON’T WANNA BE JENNIFER ANISTON!

Even if Jennifer Aniston DOES get Justin Theroux in the end, that doesn’t make up for-

Oh.

Wait.

That totally makes up for everything.

Dammit! Where is my Justin Theroux?!?!

 

 

 

Tomorrow

Tomorrow will mark what was supposed to be my 7th wedding anniversary.

On the oustide, I’m all…

Oh, is that today? Whatevs. I didn’t even notice.

But the reality of the situation is more like this…

The good ol’ laugh-cry.

Bordering on this…

No wonder I’ve been so freakin’ hungry lately. I’m clearly eating my feelings.

The thing is, I wasn’t even aware of these feelings 24 hours ago. All I knew is that I felt sad. And then it hit me. Oh, yeah, 7 years ago I was getting married. And then my ex took a big steaming crap all over those nuptials, grew a goatee and became the total ass hat he always knew he could be.

I hate feelings. I especially hate that I feel sad. What the hell am I feeling sad for?! I know I’m better off and happier without him. I know this is genuinely a blessing for me. But I think the part that makes me so sad is knowing that someone could stomp all over and ruin something that genuinely was a decent marriage and do it with zero remorse and zero conscience, and act all glib about it as though he didn’t leave me with massive trust and abandonment issues.

And I don’t think it helps matters that I have seen zero hint of remorse from him, and I’ve never been able to exact even the tiniest amount of revenge on his harrible ass.

SO, in honor of tomorrow and the rage currently building up in the deepest depths of my soul… here’s this fantastic giphy montage of all the harrible things I imagine myself doing to him.

Whew! Okay! I think that should calm my rage for a bit. Thanks for letting me get that out, peeps. Ya’ll are the best.

Tales of awesomeness

First of all, let me apologize profusely for being MIA the past couple of weeks. Things have gotten busy and between apartment hunting, work scheduling conflicts, preparing for the new job, and trying to enjoy a little bit of the summer… I just haven’t had the time to update nearly as much as I would like. Which isn’t to say I haven’t thought about you guys. There’s nary (good word, huh?) a day that goes by when I don’t think, “OOH! I have to tell my bloggity peeps about this…” So, rest assured, you are not far from my mind. Because I heart you all.

SO… now that I actually have some time, I’m TOTALLY going to fill you in on all those things that I wanted to tell you guys about but haven’t had a chance to. Also, to best convey my emotions concerning these recent events, I will be performing an interpretive dance using Gifs as my chosen medium. (You’re right. That last sentence doesn’t make any sense. And I still don’t care.)

So, grab your coffee, sit back, and let me regale you with tales of awesomeness. Ready? OKAY! (You know, like a cheerleader? OH MY GAWSH… do I have to explain everything to you people??? Stay with me…)

Yesterday, a little white-haired old lady was in the shop. She was looking at our selection of greeting cards. We have one line of greeting cards with beautiful artwork on the front, and very, very cheeky messages on the inside. You know, so you can admire the artwork on the front and then open the card and be all…

Most people adore them. Some people don’t understand them. This little old lady was one of them. She was admiring the picture of the bird on the front of the card, but didn’t understand the message inside which said something about “T and A”. So, she asked me about it, saying, “I just love this card. It’s so beautiful. But I don’t know what T and A means. Do you know what it means? I can’t get a card if I don’t understand it…” I didn’t have the heart to explain what T and A meant, so I played dumb, and prattled on about, “Hmm… I’m not sure what that means. Some of those cards are pretty funny, but that one I don’t get either…” I mean, seriously… what are you supposed to say to an 80 year old great grandmother about T and A?

*sigh*

Then, of course, yesterday was the day my micro-managing boss decided to get involved in every single conversation I had with every single customer. You know, because that’s how micro-managing bosses roll. So, I was chatting with one lady who was interesting in purchasing an adorable stuffed tiger cub we had for sale. She wanted to purchase it for her friend who had just gotten a job as curator at a big cat sanctuary. However, my boss did not know this. She had only picked up on parts of the conversation and had come to the conclusion that the customer liked tigers. So, she suggested to me that I show the customer the beautiful tiger rug we have for sale. I smiled and nodded and knew I was not going to show the customer the beautiful tiger rug we have for sale for obvious reasons. However, my boss took it upon herself to insist that the customer see the beautiful tiger rug we have for sale and fetched the rug to show it to her. To which the customer responded with something like this:

And I was like…

But my boss, being out of the loop, was all very confused by her reaction, so the customer explained the story behind the gift and then my boss was all…

And I was all…

Let me do my job, woman!

And that’s the story of the tiger rug.

In other news, the ass hat came to town for God knows what reason. Why the heck he can’t stay away from my bubble is beyond me. STAY AWAY FROM MY BUBBLE, YO. MY BUBBLE. NOT YOURS. GO AWAY.

But of course, instead of staying away, he insisted that he drop off some items that I had left in the apartment. And by “items” I mean, “crap”. As in, literal crap.

Crap that consisted of a random computer mouse, a couple of cracked picture frames, an old picture he had taken for me when we were dating and he was in his “I’m a gifted photographer with zero skills or talent!” phase, a couple of magazines from FOUR YEARS AGO, and a sample package of coffee from two years ago that I had received from a co-worker as a Christmas gift. To which I responded to all the aforementioned items with this:

And if you’re thinking this:

You’d be absolutely right.

Because one of these days, he’s going to poke the bear one too many times and then…

So, there’s that.

Also? In case any of you are wondering, I currently have a zit the size of Cincinnati on my neck. Yeah. You heard that right. A zit. On my neck. I hate this time of the month…

Okay… so I think that pretty much covers everything. Except that it totally doesn’t. But if I go on any longer, you guys will be all…

So, I’ll just quit while I’m ahead.

In other news… what’s new with you? Any frustrating bosses? Ass hat exes? Confused old ladies? I demand to hear all about it forthwith.

 

I think I need to punch someone in the face

You guys…

Can I just put it all out there for a minute?

Because…

I just…

Can’t even.

I’ve been noticing myself becoming increasingly bitter and cynical over the past couple of weeks. Not for any particular reason, but there’s this hidden reservoir of anger that bubbles up every now and then, and I suddenly feel like going all-out homicidal on some people.

Particularly the ass hat.

The same ass hat who’s been totally non-existent in my thoughts for the past few months. But all of a sudden I’m all, “I HATE THE ASS HAT!”

I don’t know what happened. I was all zen about everything and now? I’m really not.

The anger will show up out of nowhere. Like last night… I’m sitting watching The Good Wife, thinking, “You know what? Finn and Alicia should totally open their own firm…” when all of a sudden my next thought is, “DUDE. He threw you away like the wadded up snotty tissue you just got through using. Man, he wouldn’t even treat a stranger the way he treated you.” And I’m all, “Whaaaa??? Where is this coming from???”

It doesn’t help that I keep getting e-mails from the dude about how he needs a box of some of his stuff back and I’m all, “SCREW THAT.” Because, of course, he mentions how much the belongings in the box “mean to him”… and I’m thinking, “Oh, you mean like your MARRIAGE meant something to you?! So, glad your belongings mean so much to you. Guess what? When you’re not looking, I’m totally throwing all those meaningful things OUT just like you did to me…”

Seriously?! I am NOT THIS PERSON. I am not an angry, bitter, cynical person. I’m the one who forgives and forgets and moves on and gets over it. But for some reason… This just keeps coming back to bite me and enrage me and throw me into an epic hissy fit.

I fantasize about keying his car. I think about burning that box of belongings. I think about hiring someone to punch him in the face. I just really want some good ol’ fashioned revenge.

I mean, is that too much to ask? I just want a lil’ bit of this:

And maybe some of that:

And a couple of these:

I don’t think that’s unreasonable. I don’t think that’s asking for much. I don’t think that’s over-reacting. It’s not like it’s been 10 months or anything, and I should totally be past the anger phase.

Clearly, I need to get on a work-out regimen. Or I need to start drinking heavily. Or go into therapy.

But mostly, I think I just need to punch someone in the face.

Gif Sources: at-least-im-not-as-sad-as-fun.tumblr.com, http://melting-flowers.tumblr.com/post/29746376543, www.tumblr.com

All By Myself

Soooo… remember that time I was all like, “MER. You GUYSSSSSS…. I have to go to a funeral all by myself and it’s going to be awkward and stupid and gross.”?

Remember that?

And then, I sat there like this:

Even though you couldn’t see me.

And then remember how I put on my big girl pants (size small, thank you very much) and went to the funeral?

Remember that?

Well, in a CRAZY turn of events, it just so happens that I am WAY awesome at flying solo. Like, even more awesome than I was when I was part of a twosome.

Honestly, I was kind of brilliant with the whole, “Going by myself. To a funeral. All alone. Just me. No one else. Yes, sir. Going to a funeral.” thing.

I KNOW! WHO KNEW?!

Turns out, that when I’m all by myself, not tagging along as a third wheel, or one half of a whole, I’m totally fine. You know why? Because I don’t have to worry about anyone but myself. I don’t have to worry about what someone else is doing or saying or thinking. It’s BRILLIANT! It’s pretty much the best time ever.

It’s funny. I always thought I’d be horrified to go places by myself. And then after being married, I thought I could never do anything by myself ever again. Turns out that I totally can… and it’s way more enjoyable than I ever thought.

I think part of the reason is because when I was married, I kind of functioned as the adult in the relationship. I was the one who knew how to behave appropriately in social situations. My husband was… well… a complete ass (and not in a cutely awkward kind of way). Only, he didn’t know he was being an ass. He thought he was being funny and charming. But really, he was just being an ass.

For instance, after the funeral service ended, I hugged my friend, offered my condolences and said a few kind words about the service and her husband. Then I left. I did not say something like, “So, what’s Mike up to these days?” (in reference to the deceased – name changed… obviously), or “Where can I get some food around here?” or launch into some gripe about how the florist at my great aunt’s funeral had butchered the arrangements and then charged the family double. DOUBLE!

In fact, I didn’t say or do anything inappropriate. My husband? Totally would have. (I can easily see him saying any and all of the above.) And then I would have promptly died, while those around me chuckled politely, aghast at his horrifying attempt at humor. Then I would have had to explain to him in the car why the comment wasn’t appropriate. Then he would have freaked out because I was being a control freak, and besides, everyone knew he was kidding and they thought it was funny and that’s why they laughed. And then I would have to explain that people weren’t actually laughing… they were trying to cover up their horror, and that was just their polite way of dealing with an otherwise really uncomfortable situation. And he would tell me I was wrong and making him feel bad about himself and it would have been this whole… THING. But nope. None of that happened. And you know why? BECAUSE I WAS BY MYSELF. Now that I’m all by myself… NO THINGS! No inappropriate comments! No horrified reactions! No putting on of kid gloves to explain how the world works to a grown adult!

I’m sorry… but it’s kind of… AMAZING.

And freeing. And… really, really cool.

I need to do things by myself more often.

Turns out, I’m pretty good at it.

The Dating Dilemma

Recently, it feels as though the universe is conspiring to push me back into the dating scene after my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad divorce. Because everywhere I look there’s another article or blog post or news story about jumping back into dating.

This is bad for one very good reason: Me. I am way too analytical and obsessive compulsive to shrug these articles off, ignore them and continue on my way. You see, when I come across these articles, any and all of the following thoughts will pop into my head.

  • Should I be dating again?
  • Why am I not dating again?
  • If all of these other people are dating again, clearly I should be dating again and I’m not. Does this mean there is something wrong with me?
  • Am I undateable? If not, then why have I not been asked out?
  • If there is something wrong with me, what is it? Am I unattractive? Do I have a butter face? Do I have a Kim Kardashian ass? Am I aloof? Am I unapproachable? Was my bra strap showing? Was my fly down? Did I have leftover spinach stuck in my teeth? Do I spit when I talk? Was my makeup smeared? Do I not smile enough? Do I not flirt enough? Have I even MET any men in the last 6 months???
  • Since I have NOT met any men in the last 6 months, where should I be meeting them? The bar? Church? Work? Hanging out on the street corner?
  • Do I even STAND a chance of finding love again???

And then, somewhere along this train of thought I begin to ugly-cry, like this:

Some time later I realize how ridiculous I’m being, so I go back to being awesome.

The thing with me is, I’ve never been much of a dater in the first place. (That fact alone is enough to throw me into a tailspin of neurotic self-analyzing as I try to figure out why I’m not much of a dater… because if everyone else is, shouldn’t I be?) My first really serious, long-term relationship was with the guy I married. I’m not one to frivolously date someone just for shits and giggles. (Sorry. I had to. I have no idea why that phrase is so stinkin’ funny to me, but every time I use it, I chortle heartily.)

Oh good grief, Annie. FOCUS. This gif thing is really getting out of hand…

Anyway… where was I? Oh, yes. Dating.

So, even in high school and college I didn’t date much. Sure, there were dates here and there, but I wasn’t a serial dater. My thought was, if I was interested in you, I’d go on a date and if that date went well, there would be more dates to follow. However, if we didn’t click right off the bat, and you weren’t the type of guy I could see any kind of future with, there would be no date. I still see it that way. I don’t really waste my time “dating” if I don’t see it going anywhere. The idea of “Kissing a lot of toads before you find your prince” never made much sense to me. Why kiss a toad in the first place? They’re toads. Why not wait until you find someone with, at the very least, princely qualities or aspirations? Why waste your time on toads when there are at least a few princes out there?

I realize this philosophy flies in the face of everything we’re supposed to think about dating. Dating is about having fun, and getting to know a person, and seeing if there’s potential and blar, blar, blar. Not so much for me. My idea of fun is going on a date with someone I already click with and see potential in. I don’t date unless there’s clicking and potential. Sorry. But, apparently, that’s not how you’re supposed to do the whole “dating” thing. Clearly, I’m doing it wrong.

I’ve always been a girl of substance and high expectations. I’ve tried to be “fun” and nonchalant and cool. It just doesn’t work for me. It’s exhausting. I’m way too practical and level-headed. “Dating for fun” just seems like a waste of time. You’ve got to be a pretty special guy in order to even wrangle a date with me. That’s just how it works.

Okay, so sure… I’m looking at this dating thing all wrong. But it’s the right way for me. SO, until I see someone that piques my interest and seems worth my time… I guess I’ll just wait. And right now? That sounds just about perfect.