Track The Ones You Love

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Studly lives and works about 2-3 hours (depending on traffic) away from me. He also works the 5am shift. I think you see where this is going – on nights that he stays with me, he has to leave at 2:30 to 3am to get to work on time, which makes me worry that he’ll get into an accident or fall asleep at the wheel.

Or if I stay the night at his place, I leave at 4:30am when he’s on his way to work and drive the two hours home, shower and dress, then go to work at 7:30a. It’s definitely easier on me than on him. We usually try to text each other – when he gets to work or when I get home. I’m a wonderful fucking human being so I text promptly. He forgets and wants me to worry so he doesn’t always text me before going to work, which means I may not hear from him for hours.

This morning I waited for his text the whole drive home and didn’t hear from him until 10am. For the record, that’s 4 hours after I got home! It’s a 25 minute drive for him to get to work, he just forgot to text before working and then didn’t have his phone until his lunch break.

So naturally, I got pissed.

Zoogie2: I was worried about you

Studly: Didn’t mean to worry you, maybe we can get me a tracking app

Zoogie2: A tracking app?

Studly: So you can see if I make it safe when I forget to text

Zoogie2: Sounds like stalking :/

Studly: I would have called it creative problem solving

Zoogie2: Would you track me too then?

Studly: Like a Fed Ex package? ;p

Zoogie2: Are you serious about wanting to get an app to track each other?

Studly: I’m serious about making sure you don’t worry about me

This is weird, right? This can’t possibly be normal…

Scarred for Life By Pinterest And A BreakUp

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Amazon has been dating this guy, Good Christian Guy (GCG) for the past year. Since they’re both very religious, they’ve barely done more than peck each others lips and hold hands while on group dates.

Did I mention they’re in their early 30’s and he’s divorced? It’s not like they’re both virgins. But I digress.

They pray together…a lot, and have been saying they’re in love since their two month anniversary, which they actually celebrated. Last month GCG went to Amazon’s parents and asked for permission to marry her and when they said yes he brought his grandmother’s ring for her to try on so it could be resized.

Hold the phones.

I realize in the olden days women were owned by the men in their lives and therefore permission needed to be asked and given in order for the ownership of said woman to transfer. That’s why fathers walk their daughters down the aisle and literally give them away to their husbands, kind of like buying a car and meeting at the DMV to have the title transferred over.

Personally, it would insult me as an autonomous person if my future spouse asked my parents for permission to marry me, because the only person who can give an answer that makes any difference is me. Ultimately, it will only be two people in the relationship. I know some people will cite ‘tradition’, but didn’t we burn witches at the stake? What a lovely tradition! In some cultures men had to pay for the priviledge of marrying women and in others women had to come with a dowry, why don’t we keep those ‘traditions’? Ah, because (in my country) women are independent individuals and parents should not pay or be paid.

Anyway, I’ll stop ranting and say ‘to each their own’. I let Studly know that if he wanted to ask such a question of me, so be it. But the question should go to me first, foremost and only, because as far as I can see, we’re the only two invested in the answer.

Back to Amazon.

Here she was: a strong, independent woman with a job and healthcare, a fiance and the future bright ahead of her, her 30th birthday only two weeks away. Until GCG called her and told her that he’d been thinking and he decided that things weren’t working out between them. And he broke up with her.

OMG guys, how friggen sick is that – to propose to a woman, have her try on your grandmother’s ring and then dump her a week later, a mere two weeks before a major birthday!? He wouldn’t even tell her why, just that it wasn’t working. That’s not very Christian of him.

Amazon was duly devastated and took some time to recover. He finally told her that the reason they were breaking up is because she didn’t respect him as a leader and man of their relationship, since they hold with ‘traditional values’ he should lead their relationship. He felt she disrespected him by questioning decisions that he made for them. I told her that I couldn’t believe they dated for a year without her punching him or vomiting due to all the shit coming out of his mouth. She giggled then gave me a lecture about how god doesn’t like potty mouths. I told her that her god shouldn’t have invented anuses…or assholes.

Athiesm, gotta love it.

I went over to her place a month after they broke up to help her redecorate – we painted and I helped her assembe a new bed with a DIY headboard made out of some old wooden planks we nailed together (I was terrified of the nail gun) and some white paint haphazardly slapped on. Once the room was done it looked beautiful and we grabbed some food and went outside to let her apartment air out since the paint smell was overwhelming. She brought her laptop so that we could watch a movie while we waited, but then we started talking about Pinterest.

Imagine this headboard painted white so that streaks of the wood show though...I heart DIY projects!

Imagine this headboard painted white so that streaks of the wood show though…I heart DIY projects!

“My coworker is kind of crazy. She isn’t even dating anyone, but she has her entire wedding planned on Pinterest. Down to the smallest detail. I know that men don’t usually like to get too involved with things like this, but maybe some do! It’s a major day in their lives too, planning before you even met the guy implies that it doesn’t matter who they are or what they’re interests or likes are, it’s only about the bride.”

“I don’t agree.”

“I’m not saying having ideas is a bad thing, but when you say it’s set in stone you negate any ideas or requests your future guy might have which you can’t anticipate because you haven’t even met him yet!”

“I had my entire wedding planned on Pinterest.”

“That’s different, you were going to marry GCG. You didn’t plan it before you met him.”

“…yes I did.”

“What!?”

“Yes, he and I went through it and if he didn’t like things I removed them. We used it as a foundation for what we wanted.”

At this point I’m speechless. That happens when I open my mouth and insult something only to find out I’ve just insulted the person I’m spending time with.

Amazon looked down, “So, do you want to see?”

Already feeling bad, I nodded mutely. Then she proceeded to show me 267 pictures of her wedding. Down to exactly what vest color would have gone perfectly with GCG’s hair. Fuck.

It was awkward.
It was sad.
It was a damn train wreck.

Then I saw another Pinterest board that had the words “Our Perfect Room”. I pointed it out and she started to show me. Every DIY project she had done, alone and with me was on there.

“Wow! There are so many pictures on here, how did you figure out how you wanted your bedroom to look so quickly?”

“Oh I’ve been pinning these for ages.”

“Really? I thought you only decided to redecorate after you and GCG broke up.”

“Oh, well actually I’ve been planning this room for a while. It was going to be the master bedroom once GCG and I got married.”

And just like that, the bedroom project turned from a statement about being single and getting over a breakup into some sort of shrine to the relationship that had died.

I thought it couldn’t get any weirder or more awkward. Until I saw that she had a board that said “Children I Wish I Had”.

The End of SlipNSlide

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After RockStar realized that SlipNSlide fit the profile of ‘once a cheater, always a cheater‘, he dumped her. He vowed to save up money while living with Mom and Harley, since supporting SlipNSlide for the past few years had drained his savings and he wanted to be single for the first time since high school to learn more about himself.

That lasted all of five minutes.

Within a month he was in a new relationship with Perky. I got along famously with SlipNSlide because she was down to earth, a regular sized gal and funny as hell. I’m awkward around Perky because I’m not sure she’s human. She is:

  • Blonde
  • Skinny
  • Pretty
  • College Education
  • Professional Office Job
  • Significant savings Account
  • Marathon Runner

What is there to relate to!? I have curly, frizzy brown hair, I’m curvy because I prefer to read more than move my ass off the couch. While I’m college educated with a job, I’m pretty mellow and average. She sounds like a walking, talking Stepford Wife!

On the other hand, RockStar seems happy so I’m glad about that. He settled down with Perky and they seemed pretty damn happy for a few month but then SlipNSlide moved back to hometown. I guess her months of interning for no pay with no job prospects led her to financial ruin, so she moved back in with her family. She and RockStar had stayed Facebook friends (WHY!?) so she was privy to every joke and pic and status update for him and his new beau.

I was hanging out, drinking daiquris with him (can you tell it was my round to treat?) when he received an email from her. He handed his phone to me to read and blog-friends, how I wish I could have forwarded this to myself to share with you verbaitum!

Unfortunately I couldn’t forward with him watching me, so I’ll summarize. It said that she missed him and wanted him back, but could see that he was happy for now without her. She could see everything that he and “the new girl” in his life were doing via Facebook, and she thought that they would still be together if he had done some of those things with her. She cried about him everyday wishing they were back together and she held out hope that they would end up together someday.”

…”she thought that they would still be together if he had done some of those things with her“. I should explain. SlipNSlide loves to dance, to party, to go out. When they first started dating, like most men, RockStar actually gave a flying fuck and tried to impress SlipNSlide by taking her out and attempting to dance. I say attempting because while my brother is many things – including very gifted musically – when he dances he looks like a chicken going through electroshock therapy.

Toward the end of their relationship, RockStar was working tons of overtime hours trying to keep them financially afloat since SlipNSlide and their housemate weren’t contributing to the household expenses at all. Most nights he would get home, fall onto the couch and fall asleep right away. On nights that SlipNSlide whined until they went dancing or out to a movie, she constantly berated his clothing, saying that he didn’t look nice enough. I’m sure she could afford her nice shoes since she wasn’t paying rent, utilities, groceries or any other cost.

Now that he’s with Perky, he’s essentially reset his clock back to “Impress Woman” phase – taking her out and looking nice now that he’s built his savings back up. I’m galled, appalled, shocked that SlipNSlide implied that they’d still be together (ie – she wouldn’t have CHEATED) if he’d worn nicer clothing and taken her out dancing.

She really shouldn’t complain – he let her have all of the furniture from their place that he paid for so she could sell it and pay off some debt. He’s worse than a doormat.

I Cry When I Cook For a Reason Dammit

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Studly wanted his anniversary gift to be a home cooked meal. When he said that, I almost broke up with him just to avoid cooking.

Some people are naturally born chefs that can make mouthwatering dishes. Some people spend a lot of time learning to be good chefs. Some people spend a reasonable amount of time becoming acceptable cooks. Some people are able to microwave a fairly decent meal. I am none of those people.

That looks delightful...if I attempted to cook it, you'd have food poisoning at best and instantaneous death at worst (or maybe it's the other way around)...

This looks delightful! If I attempted to cook it, you’d have food poisoning at best and instantaneous death at worst (or maybe it’s the other way around)…

I’ve ruined canned soup before. CANNED SOUP. Not only are there instructions on the side, it’s all of three steps:

1) Open can
2) Pour soup and water into pot
3) Heat

I know you’re dying to know which step I screwed up – the answer is #2. I poured soup into the pot and didn’t add water. Not because I forgot, but because the instructions on the side didn’t tell me to. How pathetic is that!?

Turns out that the instructions on how to heat and the ones telling you to add water are in two different places. That’s my only defense. I totally planned on adding a picture here, but forgot to take one. I’ll let your imagination fill in the blanks.

I’m the same woman who didn’t add seasoning to my meat for a year in college because I didn’t know I had to. This is what happens when your parent feeds you only fast food, you have no idea how to do anything on your own.

Granny told me to make Studly "Engagement Chicken" but I think if I tried, it would end up being "Dumped Chicken"

Granny told me to make Studly “Engagement Chicken” but I think if I tried, it would end up being “Dumped Chicken”

These days I’ve learned to add water to my condensed chicken noodle soup, and salt and pepper to my turkey meat but I’m still no Gordon Ramsey. Hell, I’m not even that good at microwaving things! But for love I decided to try to cook a full meal. It was a god damn disaster.

Studly was traveling (again) during our anniversary, so I rescheduled it for the day he was set to come home, three days after the actual anniversary. I went all out – dinner would be steak with mashed sweet potatoes, glazed carrots and roasted tomatoes. I worked out when to do everything and prepped the day before. Dessert would be a tunnel of love fudge cake. I hid his gifts all over my apartment and drew a treasure map so he could find them all. The final gift he would find would be me, wearing something that I hoped would make his jaw drop. *Sigh*, it was such a good plan.

I made the cake the day before and right in the middle of mixing the ingredients Studly called. His grandmother and mom had decided to surprise him the night he came home…with a special dinner.

“What?”

“Babe, they didn’t know you were planning an anniversary dinner for me.”

“The hell they didn’t! I told your mom about it two weeks ago!”

“Oh. Maybe she forgot.”

**Long awkward silence where he waits for me to say I’ll postpone or that everything is OK, meanwhile I’m waiting for him to say he’ll skip their dinner to celebrate our anniversary**

In the end, we agreed that he would sit through their dinner and then would rush to get to ours just in time to eat. I should have fucking rescheduled or just plain cancelled it and told him to cook his own damn dinner.

The night of the dinner, I started cooking the items that would take longer – like boiling the sweet potatoes and roasting the tomatos. He was supposed to be at my place at 7pm, which is how I determined when to start everything. At 7:30 the steaks were done and had cooled down significantly, the plates were on the table with a candle waiting to be lit. I was changed into a dress he’d never seen me in, staring at the wall and trying not to cry since I didn’t want to ruin my mascara. When he rushed in at 7:45, he gave me a chagrined look and then brightened and stuck his finger in the mashed sweet potatoes to give it a taste.

All hell broke loose. There was shouting and crying and threatening of bodily harm if he touched my dinner, since he’d forfeited his when he came to our anniversary late. He apologized for a good ten minutes before I would let him take a single bite. Unfortunately, that’s when we discovered that despite trying my best, I’d ruined another meal. The sweet potatoes were not sweet enough, I’d added an overwhelming amount of thyme to the tomatos and the steak was badly undercooked. The carrots turned out excellent though.

So that was his punishment, I watched him eat every bite of his dinner (except parts of the steak that were clearly raw). He choked it down to please me, since I regularly eat my own cooking I’m used to terrible meals, but one thing I’m not that bad at is dessert – I’m a whiz baker. That’s why I cried when I bit into my cake and it was thick and terrible. Studly tried to eat his small slice with two glasses of milk, but it was dense and so fudge-y that we couldn’t swallow.

Next year I’ll pull a Mrs. Doubtfire and pay for someone else to make a good meal that I can plate and take credit for. Or better yet, he can make me dinner and I’ll be late!

Island Vacation: The Real Deal

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I won’t dwell too much on my vacation, but it was wonderful. I overcame my fear of scuba diving and ended up seeing a lot of really cool animals. Studly and I went to a luau and danced under the stars, we enjoyed it so much that our last night on Maui he found a secluded beach and we danced as the sun set.

He drove the road to Hana and I somehow got us back in one piece. I think Studly may have damaged his heart with the anxiety attacks he kept having while I drove.

The only downer on the trip was a call I gave RockStar to check in as he house and cat-sat Sam. He mentioned having brought his own blanket and I yelled at him, since it was a yarn blanket and we all know how much she loves to eat those.

She ended up being fine, and my trip was magical.

I Think I Made A Mistake

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Is it ever a good idea to tell your significant other that you “think you made a mistake a few weeks ago” while eating out in public?

NO.

But let’s back track a bit, shall we? Studly drove to see me for the weekend. On Saturday morning we headed out to a local bakery to try their Belgium waffles. I freaking love waffles and am always chipper when I know I’m getting some (that’s what she said). Add to that Studly had been particularly…umm…attentive to me and I was feeling cared for and after-glowey. In short, I was a fucking delight that morning.

I had barely started in on my waffle with Studly looked at me and uttered those horrific words and all I could think of was “he cheated on me, that bastard”. That’s what you were thinking too, huh? Well, we’re both wrong.

Backstory – last year I helped Studly fill out an application and write a letter of interest for a temporary position at his government job, basically someone who reviews other’s work independently of their managers. He got the job but failed the test and so was not allowed to be a reviewer. We’ll call this position “REP”, since that’s close to the actual acronym the government uses.

I slowly put my fork down and turned my eyes away from my waffle. “What are you talking about?” I asked, my heart in my throat, my stomach in knots and every other metaphor involving organs acting as they should not.

“Remember the REP job I applied for last year? I applied again this year.”

“When did you do this?”

“On my business trip to New York last month.”

“Oh. Last year you had to fill out an application and write a letter. I helped proofread yours, did you not have to do that this year?”

“I did those and turned them in.”

“Without me. Without my input or opinion or knowledge – ” I cut myself off because my voice was getting loud enough so that the table next to us was turning to look at me. I felt rage fill my body from my toe nails to the top of my head. I sat there silently, fuming.

Becoming a REP would include travelling an additional three months past when his current travel position would end. For the past six months we’d been discussing taking a class together and settling down nearer to each other than we currently live. When had he changed his mind about that and why had he waited until after he’d applied to tell me? Most importantly, why had he brought this up in a public area, especially when I was getting my waffle on?

I controlled my voice carefully, “When will you know if you were accepted into the program?”

He paused and slowly answered, “Yesterday.”

That’s when I got up, found the waitress and asked for a box for my waffle. I’d lost my appetite, which is a first. She brought the box and the check and while he hastily paid and tried to box his own food up, I walked out. Unfortunately, we’d come in one car so my grand exit was marred by having to wait for him to unlock the doors.

It was a tense, silent ride back to my apartment, where I stormed into my room and slammed the door, leaving him to put the waffles away. Sam the cat had been lounging on one of my windowsills and as soon as the door closed she ran over to it and started yeowling, demanding to be let in. I could hear Studly try to calm her down but she would have none of him. What a loyal little cat. I heard Sam growl at Studly as she realized he had done something terrible. Or possibly because he was enroaching on her territory. Maybe because he was wearing blue. It’s also a possibility that she just felt like being angry – with Sam, you never know.

I’ll skip the part where I got upset and punched a pillow and let Sam into the room while making sure to slam the door in Studly’s face. It felt really good to do that.

Sam was actually sympathetic to me cuddled up in my lap, letting me pet her fur and cry. Eventually I decided that giving Sam an impromptu tear bath was not how I wanted to spend my day, I wanted to spend my day demanding answers from Studly.

I’ll give you an overview of how it went instead of blow by blow dialogue. Mostly because I don’t remember exact quotes but partially because I’m lazy. According to Studly, he wanted to see if he could get into the program again after his bad record from last year. He didn’t originally plan on following through with it, until he got the acceptance and then he realized that he really wanted to do it.

I pointed out bringing up topics that are clearly private conversations in public places is not appropriate. He apologized. He did a lot of apologizing that day.

I felt angry, very angry but suddenly I had this terrible thought. You know when you get an idea in your head and you can’t shake it? You can’t let go of it until you confront it? Studly had been extra attentive the evening before and the morning of our fight….had he done that to put me into a good mood before he dropped the bombshell?!

He denied it, but I still have my suspicions. Ultimatley I ‘forgave’ him – and by that I mean that I won’t put up a fuss when he goes on his three month REP trip, but I expect a lot of fucking flowers when he gets back and some grovelling.

Worst of all I have not had a waffle since, because I flash back to that anger when I see one. Which is a shame because waffle-celibacy is no fun.

What I Don’t Know Can’t Hurt Me

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Ignorance is not bliss. Studly and I spoke last week and he was very distant and sharp. The next day he texted me saying that he was going to drive to my place. Since it’s a two hour drive each way, we usually on make that trek on our days off. This meant he had to wake up at 2:30am to make sure he got to work on time, but I assumed it was to make up for how bitchy he was the night before.

When he showed up we went out and had some fun, took a walk and made a nice dinner together. As we were getting ready to sleep he climbed into bed still wearing his boxers. I playfully tugged at the waistband and grinned, and immediately his smile dropped.

“I need to tell you something.” He said softly. “I went to the doctor today because I found…something…last night and the doctor had to remove it today.”

I know you didn't find a pot of gold in your pants...so what you did find probably wasn't good...

I know you didn’t find a pot of gold in your pants…so what you did find probably wasn’t good…

I pulled back and stared at him silently. A flood of thoughts crossed my mind, but the main one is the fact that it’s confirmed – Studly has HPV. According to my doctor the test for HPV in men is unreliable at best* and the only real confirmation is an outbreak which doesn’t happen to everyone.

*Remember I’m not a doctor or health professional. For questions, shell out the copay and go to your own damn doctor.

The second thought to cross my mind was worry for him. Now that we know he has it, we also know that he’s at increased risk for cancer.

The third thought that I was able to clearly identify in the tornado of my mind was the fact that he had known last night and chose not to tell me until today. Would he have said anything at all if I hadn’t noticed he was wearing boxers to bed? After running my mouth for a while about it, he assured me that he never meant to keep anything from me, he just hadn’t known what to say but intended to tell me and that’s why he had driven two hours to my house.

He told me about his appointment and said that the doctor had recommended getting the Guardasil vaccine. According to his doctor* sometimes getting the vaccine boosts the immune system and can cause the virus to become dormant (although it will never leave your system). Since Studly is older than 26, the oldest recommended age for the vaccine, it was not covered by insurance. He says paying full price is worth it if it means he might make the virus inactive. I had another appointment with my doctor yesterday and asked her again about the vaccination – she calls bullshit saying it won’t help once you already have the virus and that in our case we’re exclusive sexual partners and have already exposed each other to what we currently have. So the vaccine is useless unless we plan on sleeping with someone else. I don’t know who is right – I guess vaccination advice depends on what doctor you see.

*Note that my degree is a Bachelors in Business – does it look like I wear a white coat and carry around a stethoscope? If you want to know if the vaccination is right for you, contact your doctor.

I explained that it felt like he wasn’t honest right away and that I wasn’t happy about being on the receiving end of his bad mood. Studly was very apologetic about not telling me right away and the more he apologized, the more I wondered if I was being unreasonable. Was I being too demanding about wanting to know right away?

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