Crushing It

His name was….wait. I’m not telling. Some of you know him.  It was 8th grade and I thought this boy hung the moon and made the sun rise and set by his mere presence on the planet.  I had it bad. I loved everything about him.  The way he smiled.  How his hair fell in front of his eyes when he put his head down during class.  I was crushing hard.

Fast forward 30 some years and I can’t even remember his name.  Wait, that’s a lie.  I do.  And thanks to Facebook, I now know where he lives, what he does for a living, who he married and what his children look like.  

What I know from my days of crushing on him was that I lived in a perpetual state of existence that vacillated between exhilaration and devastation.  Every move he made, every word he spoke I dissected as if it all had some sort of relation to my place in the world.  It never occurred to me that nothing he did had any intended effect on me because he never thought about me.  His thoughts and actions were not meant to send me shooting towards the heavens so I could float on clouds and then send me crashing down to earth in a fiery blaze.

Alas, that’s what a crush does.   Crushes do exactly what they say they are going to do.  They crush you.  I generally think there are three types of crushes: younger, older and the “this just sucks” type of crush.  When you’re younger and you find that first crush, it’s all so innocent.  Most of the time you just admire them from a distance.  Circling around them like blue birds waiting to dress Cinderella.  You want to be in their presence.

There’s little contact.  Except in your head.  In your head, you play out every chance meeting, what you’ll say, what you’ll wear, how you’ll smile.  Most of the time, this doesn’t happen as you planned or at all.  One day, he’ll get a girlfriend or you’ll hear through the grapevine that he’s crushing on someone else and the fall from heaven occurs.

This is how crushes worked when I was in middle and high school. I can’t fathom what it’s like in today’s age of snapchat, twitter, facebook, kiki or whatever that shit is called.  You have immediate access to your crush all the time.  

And with that immediate access can come immediate devastation. Take for example a story I heard from one of my younger friends.  They were crushing on someone and had been enjoying what could be construed as flirting via snapchat.  Things were going well.

He sends her a snapchat asking her to get together.  Great.  Only she can’t. She politely declines and they exchange a few more flirty snaps.  Twenty minutes later, she gets a snapchat from her crush asking her to come over.  Say what?  

This is where she thinks he’s made some mistake and he has. He didn’t mean to send it to her. He’s going down his list of girls he knows are crushing on him and seeing which one is going to come over and make him happy.  Total devastation brought to you by your crush.  

Crushing in your 20s is hard.  When the crush knows you’ve got it bad and they use it for their own gain.  Horrible.  

The last type of crush is the “this just sucks” crush.  This is when you have a crush and you find our your crush has a crush on you and for whatever reason you can’t be together.  Wrong place, wrong time.  You get to endure the ache of what might have been.

This is the worst type.  Hands down.  There’s nothing like sitting around wondering what it would be like to cuddle up with them at night or to wake up to their face in the morning.  To wonder if being with them would have been as fantastic as you imagined it all those times in your head.  To be able to say everything you’re feeling.

So, this is what I want my kids to know, crushes are horrible.  I mean like kick you in the teeth horrible. They will make you feel miserable in the end.  But one day, it will all work out. You crush on them.  They crush on you.  The timing is right and everyone lives happily ever after.  Well, ever after anyway.

I found this quote on Instagram the other day and it really made me think.  Lies.  This is filled with lies. Sometimes you are thinking about someone you can’t have and maybe there’s a reason for that.  Maybe it’s the universe’s way of keeping you from getting crushed far worse than having a crush.

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Friendship Defined

If you google the definition of the word friend, the first hit brings this nugget of goodness:

a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.

Right off the bat, I’m not happy with this definition.  I’m fine with the knowing and the mutual affection part but let’s stop for a second and ponder that this definition suggests that we are not friends with those we sleep with or share blood with.  

Okay, I know I’m being very literal but for the last few days I’ve been thinking about my definition of friendship and this was not it. Though, I don’t know that I possess the right words to define friendship, I’m going to try.  Over the years I’ve learned what friendship means to me and maybe it’s different from other people’s definitions.

I know that my friends must be non judgmental.  The fact that this was the first part of my definition surprised me.  I didn’t think it was that important but it was the first thing that popped in my head. Maybe because I’m pretty sure that I could be judged a lot based on my past behavior. I screw up.  I need friends that either (a) screw up with me or (b) laugh at me when I’m done.

Let’s say I get so drunk that I fall down at my friend’s birthday party in front of her family after I’ve spilled beer into her birthday cake.  Hypothetically speaking, of course.  I don’t need you lecturing me on public intoxication.  I get I was an asshole.  I’ll apologize and then if you would like to mock me afterwards, feel free.  But no lectures.  I would like to apologize to Katie, hypothetically.

Next character trait required of my friends: loyalty.  Here is where I get really petty and high school like.  I will have your back.  If someone pisses you off at a PTO meeting, please know that if you choose to hold a grudge, I’m right there with you.  Don’t mess with my friends.  I expect the same behavior from you.  I don’t care how petty and unreasonable I am being.  Listen to me, call the other person an assface or a bitch.  All that I ask.

This leads to the third character trait: honesty.  If I am wrong, tell me.  Tell me to get my shit together.  Tell me that I’m being unreasonable and a complete asshole.  Friends don’t let friends be assholes.  Now, some of you may be thinking that I am contradicting myself.  Earlier I told you not to lecture me and now I’m telling you to let me know when I’m being crazy. The difference?  Lectures come from a judgmental, I’m better than you type of place.  Telling me I’m wrong comes from the place inside of you that doesn’t want to see me be that kind of person.

One of the hardest lessons in life has been learning who my true friends are.  I’ve trusted those I’ve shouldn’t.  I’ve believed others had my best interest at heart when they didn’t.  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  I’ve learned that if you show me who you are, I should believe you.  

It’s been said that you don’t ever lose friends, you only find out who the true ones are and I believe this.  I’ve seen this in my own life.  It’s taken me a while but I’ve been able to identify those I should spend my time with; who I should give my friendship to.  

That being said….I’m beyond grateful for my friendships.  I’m blessed with a group of kick ass women that empower me, make me laugh until I pee my pants and deal with all of my crazy and still love me despite it and for it.

So, to my ladies, I love you.  To those that I’ve discovered are not true friends, you’re missing out.  Because what I ask for in a friend is what I give.  

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

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And I’m not talking about Christmas.  It’s the week before school starts.  Before you judge me, let me say that I never thought I would be one of those parents who counted down until their kids went back to school.  When my oldest was about 3, I cried when she had to go back to preschool.  I knew she had to go.  Socialization, learning, blah, blah, blah.  But I was genuinely distraught over not being with her.

Fast forward 8 years and another child later, and I’m ready to take them to the bus stop with a sleeping bag and some lunchables and wish them luck. Okay, it’s not that bad.  I really do enjoy the time I get with them.  We’ve made some great memories this summer but mommy needs a break.

Granted, I am writing this after spending a total of 20 hours in a car and five days at the beach with four girls; two, who are on the cusp of being teenagers, one who has her own hashtag on Instagram (#janeisanass) and one who never stops asking questions…..ever.

There’s a certain craziness to summer that I can’t handle after a few weeks.  Life just seems to get away from me.  And I can’t ever seem to get a grip on it.  For one entire week this summer, we had no food in the house.  How does that happen?  I remember thinking I should go to the grocery store but we were too busy.  I’m not sure what I even fed my kids that week.  It was all a blur.

Some mothers love the summer and I can appreciate what they love about it.  No homework or projects.  No early to bed fights with the kids.  No lunch packing.  I get it.  I really do.  But at the end of the day, I thrive on structure and schedules.  It’s the only way I can successfully manage my life.  Three different, random jobs, two kids, a house, a husband, a Chewie, some farm animals and my desire to never stay home to clean, cook or shop for food, apparently, leads to the utter destruction of my sane, productive life.

So while I will miss their smiling faces as we are sitting by the pool, I am going to cherish Thursday when I send them on the bus and off to school.  It’s going to be a much needed respite. A chance to get my life in order and my brain unfrazzled.  At least for six hours…until they get off  the bus and I have to help them complete three different assignments due on the same day while simultaneously studying for a test all while driving them to and from activities.

What’s that cliché?  Oh yeah, the grass is not always greener on the other side.  Sigh.

Saying goodbye

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I rarely write randomly.  My blogs are planned weeks in advance; usually sparked by something that has happened in my life but today’s blog is different. I woke up trying to process life.  It always happens when I’m on vacation.  I have time to sit and think.  And think. And think.  That’s the problem with being a writer.  Thinking leads to writing.  Writing leads to work.  I have to write.  I write my thoughts in hopes of making sense of them.  I can’t wake up and not write.  It’s who I am.

I woke up today thinking about saying goodbye to people in your life.  I often thought saying goodbye was the hardest part of ending a relationship or moving on.  It’s not. Saying goodbye is the easy part compared to living with the memories of the times you’ve spent with someone.  Goodbyes are quick.  The memories can be forever.

They’re necessary though.  Sometimes forced upon us by death or heartbreak.  A lover leaves us or a family member dies and the goodbye was theirs to say.  It wasn’t a choice you had to make.  I used to think that the types of goodbyes we have in life, those that are thrust upon us and those that we choose, were not equal.  Surely, it was more difficult to have someone leave us then choose to leave someone but I’ve changed my opinion.  Goodbyes are not created equal but whether we are left or we choose to leave, it is painful.

Being the one to say goodbye is often as heartbreaking.  We say goodbye to heal ourselves.  We say goodbye because we think it’s what’s best for someone else.  That’s the worst for me.  Saying goodbye to someone you like because you know you are not what they need is horrible.  Wanting them in your life because you enjoy what they bring to it but knowing that you don’t bring the same to theirs.

I’ve lingered too long in people’s lives. Stayed past my welcome when I knew that in the end they would get hurt.  So, after the goodbye was over, I had to live with the happy memories of them.  Goodbye was hard but it wasn’t the worst. Remembering is the worst.  I live with ghosts whose memories haunt me.

I hate being an adult sometimes. Making decisions based on someone else’s needs is not always fun.  It hurts.  In the end, you know they will be better off.  And you probably will too.  It just takes time to see it.  I long for the days when the words of Dr. Seuss ring true for me.  When I can smile because it happened.  Instead of crying because it’s over.

SIWMKTK: You’ve become superhuman, now what?

Next in my series of Shit I Want My Kids To Know deals with what to do when you find out you are superhuman.  It’s going to come as a shock to you.  At first, you will doubt this truth.  You will think you are imagining it.  How could you possibly have superpowers?

But it’s true.  You have become invisible.  Don’t be alarmed.  This will only happen a few times in your life if you are lucky and it will only be a special kind of person who your invisibility effects. This person is known as Immature Man.  Or as I like to call him…Pussy Boy. But that’s not polite and my parents sometimes read this blog so we’ll find another name for him.

Perhaps we will call him P.B. Now, P.B. is most likely younger than you.  It’s a known fact that girls mature faster than boys.  This is all too evident when it comes to P.B.  At first, his attention is overwhelming.  He showers you with phone calls and texts.  It’s almost like he can’t actually get enough of you.

But he can get enough of you.  He soon grows tired of you and then it happens. You become invisible.  P.B. is not able to tell you that he’s done with you so he pretends you don’t exist.  Now, don’t blame him.  He can’t help it.  He’s just not mature enough to deal with such a delicate situation or he’s just a dumbass which means, in fact, you can blame him.

The phone calls end. The texts stop. You no longer exist to him.  Let’s pretend it didn’t happen, he thinks. Then she won’t be mad that I want to end it, he thinks.  He can’t say to you “Hey, last night was great. But I can’t do this.” or “I really like you but you scare the shit out of me.” This is his thought process and although it’s painful at the time, don’t be sad. P.B. has done you a favor.

If you are like me, my daughters, you will give yourself completely to those you care about.  You will throw yourselves into relationships with everything that you have because that is just who you are.  That is how you love.

Don’t be ashamed of this.  Never be afraid to show anyone the intensity in which you live and love.  This will lead to broken hearts.  You will have relationships that crash and burn and leave you devastated.  But in the end the one who can handle you is the one you are meant to be with.

The one who isn’t afraid of your intensity is the one who can handle the ups and downs that life hands you.  He can handle your ups and downs.  He can’t ignore you.  He won’t be able to.  Because the one who reciprocates your intensity is the one who can live without you but doesn’t want to.
So, thank P.B.  He has shown you that he can’t handle it.  He can’t handle the way in which you love; therefore, you know he won’t be able to love you the way you deserve.  And know this, you may not be superhuman but you are a super human who deserves to be loved the way you love others.