My Whim is Law

…where a single parent in Portland still believes that wishing will make it so…

On using the #stupidhappys to GSD* already

Yes, I haven’t written here lately. Why? I’ve been busy already.

Doing what, you wonder?

WEEeeellll…cleaning my house, for starters. (BO-ring, says the crowd.)

Building yet another site for yet another volunteer effort or two. Surely my budding diva deserves her own vanity domain, while her jazz band could use a new shiny site as well, no? (Ahem – still boring, Richter. Got anything else?)

Getting my girl teenager off to high school every morning – which apparently requires homemade egg/cheese/meat sandwiches lovingly made with my own two hands. Thankfully, it does NOT require getting her to said school – a task I was able to set aside after 12+ years of managing school arrivals for one or both of my kids.

With that extra 20-30 minutes of peace & quiet before I need to leave for work, I’ve been knocking off small house tasks while I’m still alert enough to polish them off speedily. It’s not unusual these days to have the dishwasher get unloaded in the AM, or loaded up with dirty dishes from the AM breakfast endeavors. And the peace? Not to mention the quiet? Heavenly, after years of moving into harangue mode to prod one kid or the other out the damn door already.

And because my chores are largely done before I leave for work? That leaves evenings free to schlep @CouldBeSun home from jazz band rehearsals 3 nights a week. Build in a quick grocery store trip, or fling a load of clothes in the washer. Make food – actual edible food that’s recognizable as such – for myself, if not the kids. (What is this with all of the domestic crap, says the crowd. Get to the whole #stupidhappy part already, will you?)

Continue reading

Posted in Boss Lady, Oversharing | 2 Comments

Life is: Messy. I am: OK with that. Who knew?

Sure, friends know that there’s all kinds of Stuff going on with me right now.

And yes, I’ve talked about some level of it on this blog, or on Twitter.

(Some might say in a completely TMI way, but hey – it’s what I apparently do…)

But that’s still not the whole story.

  • In one window? I’m getting medical updates, hearing how well the DVD I sent was received & tentatively planning a trip back to Michigan to see my father, probably for the last time.
  • On the other screen? Am scrambling to stay ahead of a crazy-busy schedule at the office. Or manage an equally busy household, which included a birthday celebration for my now-19-year old son (yes, REALLY. I am: OLD) recently, along with regular #MomTaxi runs for both kids.
  • The next page over? Am trying to cram in physical therapy appointments, do my PT exercises much more regularly & develop a new #whimstroll habit in place of those former #whimstomps. (Yes, I am a multitasking mofo…)
  • And unexpectedly, persistently right here in front of me? In a ‘zooming in from out of the blue’ kind of way?

Well, there’s this guy. Let’s call him #MrWhimGrin for now. (No, he’s not the original inspiration for this post – but he’s definitely the much-improved 2.0 model, he is…)

When I’ve gotten some bad news about my dad? I get a message that says “get yourself home, take care of your kids, and then get your ass over here already, girl. I’m there for you.”

My list of PT exercises? There’s another copy posted on his fridge – and he’s going to make sure I do them when I’m there.

There are early AM wake-up phone calls, or calls to report that I’ve arrived home safely at the end of the night. Plans for dancing tonight to blow off some much-needed steam. A trip to the beach this weekend. A new walking stick for me so we can do more #whimstrolls through the nature preserve near his place. Lots of conversations about how best to introduce him to both kids.

And so much love waiting there for me. In between, around, behind and/or underneath everything else I’m juggling.

This really shouldn’t be a priority of mine right now. There are so very many reasons why this shouldn’t be working for either one of us – on paper, anyway. But I also know these three things:

  1. Life is messy
  2. Life is also short
  3. Don’t let the messiness stop you. Don’t live in fear.

So I’m not. He’s not. Or as he put it: “Already kindred. Where do we go from here?”

I guess we’ll find out, won’t we…?

Posted in Oversharing | 2 Comments

He’s the ‘Shy Guy’ – or is he?

There’s a Shy Guy UPDATE here – see it below…

When I first saw him, I thought he was closed in. Indifferent to those around him – save for the fleeting grins as he observed some strange behavior from the people surrounding us both. Indifferent to me, even – barely said two words when we sat briefly together at a table a few weeks ago, in fact. Even when we reacted similarly with eye rolls at each other when the tipsy woman fell off her heels. Again.

Until I grabbed the last open seat at the bar recently – the seat next to his, down near where walk-up people order their drinks. He didn’t say much – but a few folks said hello to him by name. Or tried to engage me in conversation, in increasingly obnoxious ways as the night dragged on. One of them said to me ‘are you with him? (gesturing to Shy Guy) & I shook my head & said no – only to see a brief fleeting look of, um…was it hurt? on his face.

Naw, couldn’t be. But an idea was born, so I impulsively turned to him – “hey, do you mind if I act like I’m with you? I’m not in the mood to deal with guys hitting on me tonight.”

(I wasn’t. And it wasn’t a come-on – I swear! I thought he didn’t like me, and I don’t go after guys who aren’t even remotely interested in me. But I thought he might loosen up a bit & have some fun with it, maybe…)

So we talked…which led to harmless flirting, casual touching, and a few confessions on his part:

(“I’m shy.” “I’ve seen you before & was attracted to you – but I didn’t do anything about it ’cause I don’t. Ever. I usually sit in this spot every week & just watch what’s going on.” “I want to be with a good woman – but I want to go slow. Do stuff – see movies, go to the river when summer finally gets here, talk on the phone – is that ok?”)

Yeah – slow & shy is okay, I guess. I have this other thing slowly percolating along, but it’s complicated – and I should keep my options open, right? Right… Continue reading

Posted in Oversharing, Wacky Dating Stories | 1 Comment

Laying claim to a new hashtag: #whimgrin

Sure, I’ve been firing away on all cylinders when it comes to Getting Betsy Healthy. I’m doing my #whimstomps on a regular basis, leveling up to knock down fitness goals, or getting A+ grades from my doctor these days.

I’m also doing what I can to clear out the toxins from other areas in my life – even while trying to maintain my sanity as a full-time parent to two teenagers.

But I’ve been mining one area of my life for superficial comic relief lately – and that’s a pretty toxic habit as well (as evidenced by these recent experiences on the dating front).

(Do click through, read that last post, and note the date I wrote it…)

Why superficial? Because that’s how I’ve been approaching dating for oh, the last 5 years (had to go back through the archives to dig this post up as proof). And although the sentiments expressed in them are-oh-so-laudable (putting kids first, keeping parts of my life separated out, remembering my priorities, blah blah blah) – they’re also complete and total bullshit at the end of the day. Or far less true now than they might have been at the time as the kids get older/more independent.

Because the real truth here is that putting myself Out There — in That Way — scares the living shit out of me. And it stops me cold. (Yep, that’s the ‘toxic habit’ part.)

Sure, I’ve gotten good at doing superficial. Surface-level. Cashing mutual physical attraction in for mutual transitory benefits. And I fooled myself into thinking that’s all I had time for – all I wanted. (Or, if you dig a little bit under the surface – as I’ll do for the benefit of all the armchair psychologists reading this right now – all I felt I deserved.)

Until recently, when I told myself (and all of you, in classic @betsywhim oversharing mode) that Enough Was Enough.

And two days later, I met someone who knocked my socks right off. In every possible way.

(I have it on good authority that he’s similarly affected, but far far more restrained than I’m being here, heh…)

Now (here’s the disclaimer – get ready for it!) I have no idea if this is going to last – getting my socks knocked off by this particular guy, that is. But the feeling?

Yeah, this is what I’ve missed. And this is what I want more of.

What in the world am I talking about? The irresistible pull that has you both checking in every night to see how the other’s day was. Him asking how #SheTeen’s concert on Thursday night went afterwards. Me commiserating about job stresses. The insane desire to crawl into his head & learn more about how he ticks. The inside jokes – already. The endearments. The fact that he can look at me, know that I’m holding something back, and wants me to just spill it, please. And the effervescence that’s threatening to spill over as we both anticipate seeing each other later this evening (after we both fulfill kid responsibilities ’cause we both have ‘em. Kids and responsibilities, that is.)

I’ve been talking vaguely on Twitter & Facebook this week about the perma-grin that’s taken up residence on my face these days. Or I’ve talked privately with close friends about the shit-eating grin I’ve been sporting (along with the real reason why I’ve taken up wearing scarves this week, among other details…)

But I’m going public and naming it as the #whimgrin. It’s the bonus you get when you decide to stop being scared shitless and just go out and live life already.

In all areas of your life.

P.S. It has been suggested that perhaps this post is a wee bit premature, given the short history involved. I would argue that my point here is not that it’s this particular man (although I certainly hope that he’ll be here) that’s responsible for the shift – but rather, the change in being honest (from a transparent, ‘owning-it’ POV) about what I’m looking for in general.

Or it’s premature. In which case, so be it…! (I’m a big girl, I’ll live…)

Posted in Boss Lady, Oversharing | 5 Comments

Avoiding ‘teh toxic’ while (trying to) date – harder than it looks!

So I’m trying without much luck to date – as a grown-up, rational adult. With other grown-up, rational, responsible adults, no less.

It’s way way way harder to do than you might suspect. (Add a few dozen more ‘way’s to that number and you’ll get a more accurate picture, actually.)

Or else I have:

  1. impossibly high standards
  2. might want to consider lowering the bar just a wee bit, or
  3. have a frighteningly unrealistic view of the world in which I live in here in Portland, Oregon

(Don’t feel like you have to weigh in to point out how All of The Above is probably the most accurate POV here, ok? I get it already, as a Woman of a Certain Maturity.)

But to be brutally honest – while I’m oh-so-good at preaching the ‘avoid the toxic’ gospel in every other aspect of my life, I fail miserably when I try to hold myself to that self-proclaimed ‘impossibly high standards’ standard when I first start seeing someone.

Why? If I continue along in the ‘brutally honest’ vein, I think it’s a self-esteem thing that’s been nurtured and fed during the years I was obese, out-of-shape, and otherwise miserable with myself. If you don’t believe you deserve better – then you’re not going to stand up for yourself to get treated better – are you? Nope.

  • So the guy who calls & wants you to drop everything to come have a drink with him in an hour? I rearranged my schedule to make it happen.
  • The guy who would ask me to ‘pick up a bottle of wine’ on my way over to his place? I’d not only do so (and pay for it), but ask him what kind of wine he’d prefer.
  • The guy who’d not call for weeks at a time – but expect you to be happy to hear from him once he deigned to finally call you? I was chirpy & positive in a frightenly nauseating way. (Seriously scary, that whole ‘chirpy’ shit…)

So here’s the thing I need to constantly remember – if you’re willing to be treated like a doormat from the very beginning, most people will be more than happy to oblige you.

As one of the guys above referenced once in a telling conversation w/me – “I’m a good-looking guy! Woman are happy to have me hanging around & want to buy me drinks, right?” I’m happy to say that it was the last conversation I’ve had with that particular gentleman – but it came after buying at least 1-2 bottles of wine waiting vainly for the expected reciprocity before I finally saw the light.

Your best bet? Don’t tolerate being treated like a doormat.

Right from the very beginning.

(Now, to start chanting this 50 times a day while doing my nightly yoga practice already…)

Posted in Snark Alert, Wacky Dating Stories | 2 Comments
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