Passive-aggressively Doing Laundry

This is the funniest thing I’ve ever been accused of in my nearly 45 years on this planet and I received permission to write about it. Living and working from home with your significant other can create unique challenges.

So I was working on the new website and I was waiting for content. I’ve written a ton about my anxiety and for funzies I also have a touch of OCD. These two conditions create an interesting work dynamic and I’ve been told on a few occasions that I’m essentially vibrating with anxiety. Like it’s literally rolling right off me and can be felt by innocent bystanders.

Basically what happens is when I’m ready to work, I mean I’m ready to get it done right fucking now. I’ve had too many experiences with fleeting motivation. I’ve learned the hard way when I feel motivated, I have to take full advantage before the feeling passes. Once it’s gone, good fucking luck getting it back.

But that anxiety over failing to do my best work is largely what makes me good at my job. Unfortunately, that anxiety also prevents me from being a good girlfriend. So when I’m about to lose my shit over being stuck in neutral, I have to get up and do something else for a minute. I’ll be right back and ready to continue.

You say passive-aggressive; I say efficient. At least your laundry is done. Now how about passive-aggressively cooking me some dinner?

Why I Can’t Have Nice Things

So here’s what happened: After work last Friday, I stopped at the grocery store and spent $140 on beer & Lean Cuisine. Actually, it was worse than that. Half of the frozen meals I bought were store brand.

After I got home and stuffed all of the boxes in my freezer, I opened a beer and called my mom. I walked out to the patio to enjoy some Arizona sunshine and noticed a dead lizard on the artificial turf. My dogs have a long and storied history of murdering lizards so this was not altogether surprising.

As I was talking to my mom, I grabbed the poop scooper to dispose of the lizard carcass. I distinctly recall turning off my phone screen when she answered but somehow, holding my phone with my shoulder and jaw caused it to initiate another call to an unfortunate number. I could no longer hear my mom talking so I put down the poop scooper and saw my phone was dialing the number of a guy I used to…ummm…”date” several years ago. I panicked and hung up on both of them. He called me right back and I declined the call so I could talk to my mom.

About an hour later, I texted him to apologize for my shitty multitasking skills. If that had happened circa 2014, I would have been immediately pressured into allowing him to visit for a long weekend. The last time he visited me, I smelled the whiskey pouring off him from more than 10 feet away when I picked him up at the airport. We spent a weekend in Vail once that was just exhausting. At one point, we ended up driving to Breckenridge to have lunch with an old friend of his and it was quickly apparent that they were all used to the transient ski bum lifestyle.

I understood within five minutes of meeting him why his ex-wife had divorced him. It’s not that he’s a bad person; I just don’t have the ability to roll like that. I don’t have the ability to just decide I’m going to live in a different country for the next year. For hell’s sake, I spent a year and a half talking myself into buying a new vehicle. I’m not wired to allow people to fly in and out of my life at a moment’s notice. His background and income level were attractive to me (in addition to the physical attraction) but his frenetic lifestyle was not. He finally understood that about me and stopped asking.

Boundaries, people. They exist for a reason. Set them and enforce them. Everything about your life will improve.

Patchwork of Crazy

I just have so many thoughts right now that I don’t even know what to say. There are just so many things right now. All of the things. And most of them will not be shared here.

Have you guys been on Hinge? It seems kind of extra. And I feel like their algorithm may be broken. Like, how could they think I would possibly hit that? Multiply that by about a thousand and that has been my experience. I had to make age a deal breaker because I was getting boys in their 20s all in my Likes; children really. I may be old but I guess I still have options.

Then I have an ex sliding into my DMs like…

Photo by Lukasz Dziegel on Pexels.com

…and I literally cannot even. Just no. I mean maybe. But no.

Yesterday morning, I had a dream that I designed a pair of Louis Vuitton boots. UGLY Louis Vuitton boots (which would obviously never happen in real life). They were a patchwork of the OG LV monogram and the new styles with the metal LV embellishment in kind of a Wellington style. Hideous! Forget the websites that tell you what it means if you dream about X. It means LV has been blowing up my Insta with some new styles and maybe I’m a little conflicted about them.

Last night, I spent hours searching old newspapers to figure out why one of my 2nd great-grandfathers died in an insane asylum and the answer was much sadder and more mundane than I expected. He had a heatstroke incident that caused brain damage. That’s it. He was only about 26 years old, had just built a nice new house, acquired a new milk wagon, had a wife and kids, and BLAM. He was institutionalized for the rest of his life.

I’ve begun the General Society of Mayflower Descendants application process. The first seven generations have already been proven so I just have to link up to the middle. This is a priority for me right now because I need to have my membership squared away for 2020, which will be the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower landing. My plan is to go to Massachusetts next year for the celebrations so I can party like it’s 1620. Just kidding. If I tried to do that, I would 100% be executed for witchcraft.

Also, I’m dress shopping for DAR’s Continental Congress in DC this summer. Do you know how difficult it is to shop for floor length gowns when you’re 61 inches tall? Most of these dresses are at least 61 inches long. Can you imagine me telling a seamstress she needs to cut off a foot of fabric? Don’t even get me started on the white gloves. I know my grandmother tried to teach me some manners but it obviously didn’t take.

It has just been a whole basketful of crazy lately. Mercury is supposed to be in retrograde until today so let’s put away the clown car and stuff the crazy back in the box.

When the Jokes Write Themselves

I was looking at a work calendar and noticed someone is going to the dentist on Valentine’s Day. And though I have the sleeping habits of an 80-year-old woman, I have a teenage boy’s sense of humor. I mean, there are less hygienic instruments one can have placed in one’s mouth on International Steak & BJ Day. Honestly, I would rather go to the dentist.

I, on the other hand, have an appointment with my therapist on Valentine’s Day. Because who doesn’t need a good skull fucking on the worst day of the year? It’s the only day she has available this week and I appreciate the symmetry. The only thing missing from my life is a cat.

On a completely unrelated subject, I’m thinking about buying a Subaru. Just kidding. I also don’t like cats.

A friend and I were talking about our plans to try a local restaurant that serves several types of homemade sausage and we both keep having to stop mid-sentence to avoid calling it a sausage fest every time the subject, uh, comes up. Can’t stop; won’t stop.

The same friend thought I was kidding when I told her she’ll know I’m really serious about finding a man when I spend my weekends at the shooting range. I joke around saying it’s a target-rich environment but seriously…that’s where the men are. And you get bonus points if you actually know what you’re doing. You don’t have to wear makeup or do your hair. I love the smell of propellant (and toxic masculinity) in the morning!

Anyway, I’ll be spending Thursday evening drinking Tullamore D.E.W. on the couch with two very special canines and rethinking my life.

Not Today, Satan

I received a message via LinkedIn at 0853 today saying, “Give me a call.” But why? My exact reply was, “Why would I do that?” You guys, I’ve seen this movie and I know how it ends.

I met a guy I’ll call Houdini on Match in mid-2012. He was in the military, was a very involved father to his two children, and seemed to be a (mostly) mature and responsible adult. We had similar interests and values. We lived in the same general neighborhood. I got along great with his kids and dogs. He was a great cook.

We ran into a problem when one of the features turned out to also be a bug. He coached his son’s football and baseball teams and was *extremely* committed. I totally did not fault him for that and I still don’t. My issue was with him hiding behind his commitments. He then started coaching his son in wrestling. He would make plans and then suddenly remember he had <insert sports thing here>.

I would think we had plans and then he would go radio silent. By that I mean he would completely disappear off the face of the planet. I would go a week or two without hearing from him and then he’d pop back up when it was convenient for him like nothing ever happened and expect me to jump. Then it was all about how “perfect” I am. This jackwagon actually used the term “plug and play” because I didn’t have any family commitments. He was just looking to fill an open position and I met the requirements.

I was born at night but it wasn’t *last* night. And he really didn’t seem to like me at all. He seemed to be really into the idea of me but the reality of me didn’t fit his carefully crafted narrative. I’m not the type of person to just wait around and I strictly adhere to the Three-Text Rule. If you don’t reply to my first two texts, there will not be a third. This was clearly going nowhere.

This went on (and off) for a year and some change and I would only spend time with him and his family when it was convenient for me. I really started feeling guilty about the example I was setting for his teenage daughter, though. I wouldn’t talk to her dad for months and then all of a sudden she would come home from the mall and I would be sitting in the kitchen drinking a beer. She and I would stay up until all hours of the night talking about the most random things and I felt she needed more consistency. It was great that I was around to bake her birthday cake from scratch and help host a sleepover but she never knew when she would see me again.

I finally had enough and stopped replying to texts. I bought a house at the opposite end of the county, which meant a hour long one-way drive if I caved. Spoiler alert: I didn’t.

Houdini reached out in September of 2016 and tried to make dinner plans for a Wednesday night. I laughed and agreed because I knew it wouldn’t happen. I suggested a place halfway between our towns to discourage any after dinner plans. Two days later, he texted me to reschedule because he forgot about a football dinner. It was all going exactly as I predicted so I agreed when he suggested we meet Friday. Ah, but then he asked where. I was on to his scam so I told him the same place. He was thinking I would be all about an overnight stay since it was the weekend but I wasn’t having it. Thursday morning he texted saying he had to fly Friday night or he wouldn’t be current on night vision goggles. I didn’t even give him shit about it. He said he would make it up and I didn’t reply.

The next day, he texted about how he really wanted to see me and he woke up thinking about me. I replied that things could have gone differently but that was three years ago. It went downhill from there. The conversation ended with him saying maybe we could hang out once in a while and my reply was “maybe.” That was October 1, 2016.

On September 24, 2018, I accepted a LinkedIn invitation from Houdini. I figured enough time had passed so it wouldn’t be weird. I was wrong. Within minutes, I received a message on LinkedIn that said, “Finally. I lost my phone after the last time we talked.” I asked when he sent the invite and he said it was probably in December of 2016. OMFG, y’all. I accidentally ignored his invite for nearly two years! He replied with his phone number and I failed to reply. He may have lost my number but I certainly did not lose his.

So fast forward to this morning. He said he was hoping I would want to call him. Oh, honey…no.

The Great Famine of 2010

What do you do when your live-in boyfriend won’t leave?

Look, I get that people have problems. People go through things. They get depressed. They lose their motivation. They apparently decide to camp out in their girlfriend’s house and play computer games all day.

I was once involved with a man who will be forever nicknamed Soft Hands. Let’s just say he had obviously never repaired a barbed wire fence. He held himself out to be a successful financial adviser. He wore suits and loved to proselytize on the interwebs about everything. I was trying to be less shallow so I went for it.

After a while, he somehow ended up moving in with me and it went okay at first. He “worked from home” and was on the computer all the time. Because I frequently overheard telephone conversations about business, it never occurred to me that he was a complete fraud. Unfortunately, he also had severe hoarding tendencies and my house was soon occupied territory.

As the relationship soured, I abdicated my responsibility to address the situation. I was working 12-hour days in an extremely stressful environment and just didn’t have the bandwidth to notice what was happening with him, let alone deal with it. He rarely helped with any of the bills but I didn’t need the money so I let it ride. I figured since he was home with my dogs all day, it was worth it. At one point, I ended the relationship but told him I was fine with him staying as my roommate as long as he helped around the house. He had nothing to say.

I moved out of my own bedroom. I just literally couldn’t even.

One night, I snapped. The house was a wreck. My lawn was dying. The dogs hadn’t been fed. He was playing computer games day and night. I don’t know how long it had been since he had earned any income. I finally lost my shit and screamed to him, “Get your shit and get the fuck out of my house.” He gave me zero reaction. His phone rang and he took the call. He also didn’t leave.

I gave it a little time for him to process the information and find another place to live but nothing happened. I took photos of the hoarder’s paradise my home had become and emailed his parents for help. I served him with a 30-day notice to vacate and insisted he sign it in front of me. He just kept pretending nothing was happening with the flattest of affects. On the couch. Playing computer games.

My mom is the one who suggested I go medieval and starve him out. I had tried everything else I could think of so I stopped bringing home groceries. He was a soda addict and there wasn’t a drop in the house. I drank coffee at work where lunch was also served. For dinner, I would either stop at my mom’s house or grab fast food and hide the sack in the garage trash can. I was literally sneaking around to get food because the pantry was down to dry beans and flour. Neither of us ever spoke of it.

By the time SH finally began preparing to move, he had lost about 35 pounds. I wrecked my back helping him carry ridiculously heavy furniture. My friends even came to help because they would do just about anything to get him on his merry way. I cleaned my house for what felt like an eternity. I bought all new furniture.

In hindsight, I was an idiot. I just kept letting things happen without a boundary in sight. And as always, mine is a cautionary tale.

Blind Date with a Murderer

Several years ago, a friend set me up on the worst blind date ever. I was driving to a work conference a few hours from home when Tina called me with an odd question: “Would you ever consider dating a cop?” I let her know I was a bit hesitant because if a cop decides to ruin a person’s life, they can REALLY ruin it.

“He’s a nice guy,” she said. “I think you’ll really like him.”

I reluctantly agreed, even though I had recently gotten out of a horribly unhealthy relationship. Like an idiot, I agreed to have him pick me up at my house. He was a cop; what was the worst that could happen?

My first impression was that I should run. I normally tend to underreact when faced with an uncomfortable situation. My mom had a legit stalker for many years and I’ve had plenty of experiences with creepy people following me. But this guy (we’ll call him Grand Theft Auto) creeped me the fuck out from the moment I saw him. I knew I was trapped, though. At that point, he knew where I lived so I couldn’t exactly bail.

The plan was to have dinner and then see a movie. As we were driving, we passed the police department and an officer I had known since kindergarten saw me in GTA’s car. I was absolutely mortified. The date concluded without anything terrible happening and when he dropped me off at my house, I fumbled with a story about how I thought I was ready to start dating again but it was too soon. He said he understood and it was all I could do to stop myself from running into the house.

The whole night, I had been trying to figure out why the hell Tina would think I would be attracted to him. When I texted her about it, she just repeated the part about him being a nice guy. Like that somehow made all the sense in the world.

It wouldn’t have been a big deal but he was also in a band that played at local bars, which I regularly frequented. I refused to look in the direction of the band when they were playing, kind of like my dogs when they act like if they avoid eye contact I can’t see them. I would just kind of disappear between sets because it was too awkward and he was still too creepy. This went on for quite a while and I was so relieved when I heard he was dating someone.

He and his new girlfriend seemed happy and I was happy I didn’t have to hide out anymore. She was divorced with small children and I heard after a while that she broke it off because he was trying to get too serious. Apparently, he wanted to move in with her but it was too much too soon and she wasn’t comfortable having a live-in boyfriend with her kids. People were saying he turned stalker (surprise!) and would constantly drive by in his patrol car. I believe some even called the department to complain.

One night in 2007, a friend texted me from a bar saying GTA showed up at the same place as his ex and she thought he saw his ex dancing with some other guy. Her friends ultimately got her out of the bar without him intercepting her and one of them took her home. Unfortunately, GTA also found his way to her home. In the early morning, he entered her backyard and shot her in the head through a window with a rifle, killing her.

After the FBI interviewed him, he fled to another state in a stolen Hummer. I guess a beige Taurus was too inconspicuous. Once he was located and the vehicle was disabled, he then attempted to flee on foot but was quickly tackled and handcuffed. He made up so many ridiculous lies during the trial. He said he just intended to scare her and the rifle discharged accidentally as he lowered it. A cop actually said that in a court of law.

The first guilty verdict was delivered in 2008. His conviction was overturned in 2011 and the second guilty verdict was delivered in 2012. He is currently serving a life sentence and is eligible for parole after 20 years.

I remember telling Tina during the trial if he was found guilty, I was going to kick her ass. I never followed through with that but I still wonder how she thought we would make a good match. There isn’t a clear moral to this story but I do think the cliché about trusting your instincts became a cliché for a reason.

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