Friday, July 31, 2009

Home and the Heart

Joe Montana was dead serious about wanting to come for a visit to Florida, and though I was slightly apprehensive, I was pretty excited about the idea. He was looking at flights, I was thinking about available weekends and we were talking almost every day. Then things with my dad started to take a turn for the worse, and I asked Joe to put the FL trip on the backburner. I knew that I’d be seeing him much sooner than I had expected and for the worst possible reason.

The Mother called me on Saturday July 11 and told me that I needed to book a ticket home ASAP, because she didn’t think my dad had a lot of time left. I booked a ticket for the following morning and proceeded to do a combination of tidying my house, running last-minute errands and trying not to panic. A few hours later, The Mother called with the News. It was the last thing I expected to hear. It was the last thing I wanted to hear.

I don’t want to get into the next week too much. There was family, memorial arrangements, obituaries and boundless kindness from friends, neighbors and the community. It was hard. It was more than hard. Every day crept by.

During most of the first week that I was home, I didn’t see Joe Montana. But I was communicating with him often, mostly via text. He wasn’t pushy, he wasn’t insensitive, he wasn’t smothering. He just wanted me to know that he was there if I needed anything. I’m not usually open to support from much of anyone, much less from a man that I don’t know all that well. But as the week wore on, I found myself more and more comforted by his presence and I realized that I really wanted to see him.

That Thursday night, before my dad’s memorial on Saturday, we invited a slew of friends and relatives that had come into town out for a night of drinks and remembrances. I invited River and her husband and of course, I invited Joe Montana. I don’t think that I can adequately describe what it felt like to see Joe when he arrived; he put his arms around me and it felt safer, more comforting, more of a relief than anything else had up to that point.

Lyrics of the Day

"We strangers know each other now, as part of the whole design. Oh, hold me like a baby that will not fall asleep. Curl me up inside you and let me hear you through the heat." Suzanne Vega Gypsy

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Guesting Again

Ryan from Single-ish was kind enough to ask me to write another guest post for him while he's away for his brother's wedding. It's not new material for you faithful readers, but the comments are a lot of fun. Check it out here:

Have You Ever Hooked-Up at a Wedding?

And I promise, more Joe Montana stories and details to come...

Lyrics of the Day

"It's a nice day to start again, it's a nice day for a white wedding. It's a nice day to start again." Billy Idol White Wedding

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Out of the Blue

I didn’t mean to leave everyone in suspense for so long there. My father passed away on July 11 and it’s been a long few weeks. I feel as though I’ve been forced to stare at it and talk about it and be strong in the face of it all for long enough now, that I just can’t bear to write about it here. Instead, I’m going to continue the story of the man from the wedding.

Seeing as though I’ve had ample time to ponder, I really actually like Chris’s suggestion of calling him Joe Montana, so I’m going with it.

Joe Montana was thinking about me. This, just like the kiss at the wedding, was a complete surprise. It was also a surprise when he called me the following evening, bored and hoping to chat. I happened to be asleep at the time; I went to bed early that night (Thursday before July 4th) so that I could be up at the break of dawn to embark on my long-weekend camping trip. Again, I didn’t think all that much about it. Joe also sent me a happy 4th text on the day itself, which I didn’t get until I got back to civilization on the 5th.

When I was home and exhausted, I sent Joe Montana a text telling him that I hoped he had a good 4th and that I was worn out and might just die of sleep deprivation. He responded that he thought it was too bad that he wasn’t there to take care of me. I was seriously taken aback. I just didn’t know where any of this was coming from.

The text messages got flirtier and flirtier for about half an hour and then Joe called me; we proceeded to talk. For two and a half hours. Like a couple of teenagers. I actually think I was a teenager the last time that I spent that long on the phone with someone. I think that we text messaged the following day, but nothing major was said. On Tuesday, Joe Montana sent me a text early in the morning (for him, there’s a 2 hour time difference between FL and MT) to ask which airport he would fly into if he wanted to come for a visit.

Lyrics of the Day

"Everyone's getting off. Ended up in such a, such a familiar fade. When it started it was all so foreign to me. The company I keep." White Rabbits Company I Keep

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Something New

Last month I went home to Montana to be a bridesmaid in the wedding of my best friend from high school, River. When she asked me to be a bridesmaid I was really touched and accepted; the one thing that I requested was that she put me in anything but a strapless dress. I have always looked terrible in strapless things and I avoid them at all costs. So what did River do when she picked out the bridesmaids dresses? Went with the strapless.

The Dress

I knew it was a terrible attitude, but I wasn’t at all excited about the prospect of wearing the dress. It turned out though, that River knew way more than I did (shock of shocks) about what would look good in the wedding. There were 4 of us girls in the wedding party and I have to say that we all looked fantastic. I apparently looked so fantastic that I was nearly irresistible.

There is a man who I have known for a couple of years now, he’s a very close friend of both River and her now-husband. He’s adorable and very sweet and I always enjoyed hanging out with him while I was hanging out with River. He’d always been a little flirty, but it seemed he was that way with most girls, so I never thought a thing of it. I was also with PC when I met this guy and had been in a relationship the whole time we had known each other. As soon as he appeared at the wedding, however, he was suddenly far more flirty and affectionate than he had ever been. I noticed, but took it in stride until he pulled me aside at the reception and said he wanted to talk to me outside. Then he grabbed me and kissed me. Naturally, I kissed him back.

We were both swept back up into the activity of the evening and that was really the last significant interaction that we had. I was surprised as hell that it had happened, but it wasn’t an unpleasant surprise. A few days after the wedding, I got this man’s phone number from River so that I could just send him a quick text to say I was sorry that I got distracted (to be perfectly honest, I got distracted by dancing with this completely adorable guy who was fresh out of both 8 years with the Navy and a broken engagement) and that I hoped he had a good time. He sent a text back saying all was good and I thought that would be the end of it.

Then he sent me a text the next morning to tell me that he was thinking of me…

[Sidebar: before I continue on with this story, I seem to be having a bit of trouble coming up with a name for this one. I was speaking with a friend the other day who suggested that I put it out to committee. I think that’s a brilliant idea and so that’s what I’m about to do. Here are some of the basic facts that I know about this guy and you can tell me what you think I should call him:
  • He’s a genuinely sweet, good guy (River describes him as the best possible guy)
  • He’s 5th generation Montanan (a fact that I’m jealous of)
  • He’s a Surveyor and loves his work
  • He’s recently become entertained by guns, due to the influence of River's husband
  • He’s been a bit of a gambler in the past, poker mostly, but kicked the habit
  • He’s the 3rd of 4 kids and all of his siblings are married with children
  • He’s a big outdoors lover
  • He (in a creepy twist of fate) has the same first name as PC
So, I’m going to put all that out there and see if anyone comes up with something brilliant. This came up, partially, because after I had already named Mr. Green, my coworker started calling him Evel Knievel. I was upset because that was such a fantastic name for him and it was too late to use it. So maybe one of you will be that brilliant and come up with something that just didn’t occur to me. If not, I’ll go with one of the ideas that I've had, though I don’t love either one. Once we can find a suitable name for this new man, I’ll bring you up-to-date on the happenings.]

Lyrics of the Day

"Your tongue in my mouth, trying to keep the words from coming out. You didn't care to know who else may have been here before." Bright Eyes Lover I Don't Have to Love

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

No Fear

Somewhere along the way there has been a change in me. I’m not sure that I actually felt it happening as it did, or that I even know exactly when it did happen. I do know that getting the hell out of LA had a lot to do with it and recovering from the catastrophe that was my relationship with PC also contributed. Maybe some of it has to do with my current family situation and the sub-conscious realization that there’s a lot more to worry about than how other people are going to perceive me. Or maybe that’s just over-thinking it.

You see, my dear readers, I spent most of my life battling with some form of low self-esteem or another. I was one of those maudlin teenagers wearing black and lighting candles and listening to Tori Amos’s album Little Earthquakes. (Still a great album, I just don’t obsessively identify with it any more.) Some part of me never felt good enough. I have always believed that a person’s confidence means a lot more than their actual level of attractiveness. Feel good about yourself and other people will be drawn to have good feelings about you. Feel bad about yourself and it surrounds you like a dark cloud or a sign reading “Keep Out”. I used to live under that cloud and behind that sign and it showed in the meager number of dates that I went on in high school. Some of that adolescent insecurity carried over into my adult life (though thankfully I retired the black clothing and candles) and it led to many of my struggles with dating and relationships. Some of those struggles have been documented here. Many of them.

But something has shifted. Situations and people that used to give me pause or make me nervous no longer have the power to do so. Since PC left and I decided to go full-force in the pursuit of a new life and social group here in Florida, I’ve felt very little fear or intimidation. It’s difficult to explain what this feels like for someone who wasted as much of her time worrying about self-worth as I did – but it’s a welcome change. I have received more attention (both romantically motivated and platonic) in the past few months than I have ever received. Surprised as I was by the development of the Mr. Green situation so soon after the break-up, it hasn’t been anywhere near the end of it.

Lyrics of the Day

"We're ordinary people, we can't help but to change as we walk and make plans in the dark, or to make haste with the boy who can't help but keep good people out. As you talk to me, too much you're assuming, we don't always want what's right." The Shins Pressed in a Book

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Nothing Certain

At the moment, I cannot bear to use this space as a purely emotional outlet. It is so difficult for me to focus my attention away from what is happening right now, and I need to try to do it as much as possible. So I am just going to state the situation, get it out of the way and go back to frivolous posts about the joy of being single again.

My dad is actually dying. It's past the point where I can fool myself by just saying that he's sick. We've had hospice care come into the house and they think that we'd be lucky if he was around for more than another month.

This is still mostly unimaginable to me, but it's getting to the point that it's undeniable. I was just home in Montana for a bit over a week and the changes that I saw during that time were frightening.

I will be going back home to spend what time I can with him in the next little while - it all depends on how much time he has left. I can't imagine not being there through it all, and I'm going to be there as much as I can.

So that's where I am. That's why I've been silent the last couple of weeks. But I'm not going to dwell on these events here. I can't do it. I need to allow myself to continue to find fun in things and to continue to develop a life here in Florida. I'm not going to wallow when I don't have to and I'm going to distract myself with cute boys and crazy 4th of July weekend camping trips and I'm not going to make myself feel guilty. This will be hard, as my combination Catholic and Jewish heritage makes me predisposed to all sorts of guilt, but I'm going to work on it.

Lyrics of the Day

"And I said, 'Oh Sophia, where'd you get a name like that, living in this dirt road town?' She said, 'I think she was a movie star my father saw before I was born, but I really don't remember now. He left when I was so young.'" Joe Purdy Meteor City