I’m Still Here

I’ve never been a person who makes New Year’s resolutions. Actually, near the end of one year, I vowed to learn the “Single Ladies” dance, but I didn’t end up accomplishing that one. I try to set goals for myself throughout each passing year- sometimes I meet them, sometimes I exceed them, sometimes I do nothing at all.

With just a little over a week left of 2017, I’ve spent most of my time thinking about how badly I wanted this year to end. Trust me, I know that the passing of minutes, hours, and days won’t actually change a single thing about what has happened. I can hope with all that is in me that the next inevitable 12 months will give me space to be stronger, that unfortunate coincidences won’t strike in a way that hurts (as they so often did this year), and I’ll become a “better me”.

I’ve chosen to open up to a select few about what went on this year, and while this blog has -for the better part of 4 years- been a source of solace, truth, and therapy for me, there are things that I still can’t bring myself to type. Each person who knows my story has said, in their own way, that they wouldn’t have handled the year as well as I did, that they don’t know what they would have done if they were me.

It’s interesting, to me, that these people have seen such bravery and strength in me, as I sincerely felt like every last bit of gusto was stripped from my body at the beginning of this year. All this time, it seemed like things were being taken from me, making me smaller- but somehow everyone else saw me building.

Sometimes I can’t believe that nearly 365 days have passed since I chose to walk away from my marriage. In the months that followed, it felt like my life crumbled into a million pieces, fragments so tiny there was no way I’d ever be able to put them back together. So I didn’t. I didn’t try to salvage the parts of my old life, no matter how much I missed them. I didn’t try to find the “old me”, the “happy me”. I closed up shop and added another layer onto my hardened frame.

I lost my job, I lost my car, I lost friends, I lost family members. That was the language I chose to work with this year: “lost”, “taken”. The truth is, after a certain point, I start giving everything away. I sacrificed my belongings and my visions of myself to the universe like a shaken pedestrian who had just been encountered by an armed burglar. Just take whatever you need. Just let me live.

I knew that if I could become stripped this raw, feel this completely alone and lost, and still see myself standing at the end of the year, I would be ok.

So here it is. I have 9 days left. I don’t have a lot of money, I still don’t have a car, I don’t have a husband, I don’t have a close friend of 5 years, I don’t have my childhood pet, I don’t have in-laws. There is more to this list, there always is.

But I’m still here.

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A Brief Summary of Legends of the Fall

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Not too long ago I read a hysterical movie summary about the movie Love, Actually. There’s this flick called Legends of the Fall, which most of you probably haven’t seen, but I’ve had so many conversations about it that I realized I could totally write a summary/review/rant about it like this other girl did. Maybe my calling is actually to be a movie reviewer? Anyway, with any luck this will be sufficient for none of you to even have to watch the movie (even though it’s on Netflix).

The movie starts the way all really meaningful movies do, with a Native American person doing a voice over. Do I remember what he says? No, but once you hear his voice and the intense drum music you’ll be like oh shit this movie is going to be about some deep stuff.

Legends of the Fall focuses on 3 brothers that are super close- the oldest is played by Aidan Quinn and he is just so obviously the oldest because he’s all responsible and has a bunch of long serious pauses. Oh, and gets blamed for everything. Brad Pitt is the middle brother and he’s edgy and rebellious and totally lovable. The youngest brother is that kid who played Elliot in E.T. and basically all I can say about him is that he’s an ugly virgin. They all live in Montana with some Indians and a few white ranchers, and their dad, who’s an ex-colonel, played by Anthony Hopkins. They have this insanely nice ranch and from what I can tell they just chill hard there all the time.

Grown-up Elliot returns home to the ranch (don’t remember where he was) with his fiancee Susanna. I guess the movie wants to present Susanna as a regulation hottie but she has big curly hair and smiles way too much so I wasn’t really feeling it, but again, it is all dudes on this big farm so maybe they’re just pumped to see a chick. Susanna gets out of the carriage and Aidan Quinn is all like boner town, and then Brad Pitt shows up looking all rugged on a horse and you can tell all that’s running through Susanna’s head is: fuck I totally picked the ugly brother.

There’s a few scenes of Susanna riding horses and being all active so we can see how likable she is. Brad Pitt asks E.T.’s best friend if he and Susanna have banged yet and he’s basically like merp uhh urrrgghh she doesn’t want to wait till marriage. AKA Susanna is horny and Elliot is insecure (not surprising).

I’ve never been much of a history buff but apparently there is a war going on. It is very apparent that the Colonel has raised his family in this secluded mellow ranch because he is against the war (and he also says he’s against it like a billion times). But Elliot (who’s name is really Samuel) wants to go fight in whatever war is happening instead of staying at home with his “hot” fiancee who is DTF. Since this family is just hell-bent on ruining their dad’s life all the brothers decide to go to war together to protect Samuel. Susanna is way bummed that her ugly fiance is going to war and probably going to die so she starts crying and Brad Pitt comforts her. Needless to say there is some serious sexual energy happening. Aidan Quinn walks in and totally spoils the moment and Brad Pitt and Susanna look SUPER guilty while A.Q. looks kind of bummed and like “always a bridesmaid never a bride” you know?

So the brothers head off to war and Susanna is stuck on this farm with a grouchy Colonel and some other farm hands to like, I don’t know, wait it out?

Long story short, Samuel dies in the war and Brad Pitt cuts Samuel’s heart out and rubs his blood all over his face because he hangs out with Indians and I guess they do that. He is obviously very upset about the whole thing, so upset, in fact, that he decides to bang Susanna before they’re even done burying Samuel.

Susanna is pretty happy because she obviously wanted to marry Brad Pitt from the beginning but he’s kind of fucked up now. Like he goes off for hours doing weird shit and almost kind of stabs Susanna in the middle of the night. There is a classic scene where Susanna is talking about what they should name their future kids and Brad’s just like uh what were you saying and she’s just like nevermind. We’ve all been there.

Brad Pitt can’t seem to get over Samuel being dead and he feels responsible for it so he goes on this journey (of self discovery?) and Susanna is like when are you coming back and he’s basically like not sure bitch and keeps packing his shit. Then she’s like if I was pregnant would you stay? And he’s like nah. Even the old pregnancy trick won’t work on this guy!!!

Susanna STILL STAYS AT THIS FUCKING FARM and waits for him. I think at this point Aidan Quinn has left to go to the city to get involved with politics because he is not so emotionally unstable.

So get this, Brad is gone for 7 years at sea doing all kinds of weird shit, and sends Susanna this letter that says “All we had is dead. As I am dead. Marry another” !!!!! But for some reason she hangs around the fucking ranch until Aidan Quinn comes back to visit and in a not very surprising turn of events, marries Susanna. At some point the Colonel has a stroke too, and he can’t even talk and writes answers on this little chalkboard and it is just all kinds of depressing.

Brad Pitt finally comes home and is like uh where’s Susanna it’s only been 7 years? The ranch people tell Brad she lives in the city with the last sane/alive brother left and Brad’s like oh well good for her and then marries the half-breed daughter of this couple that lived on the ranch (their words, not mine).

While this is a little bizarre, it’s really nice to see Brad happy again without blood all over his face. He and his new chick have some kids and things are kind of looking up again. Brad takes his happy little family to the city to see Aidan Quinn, who is like a congress man now, and Susanna sees Brad with his lady and kids and needless to say she’s pretty upset.

Brad gets into bootlegging to supplement his income and he gets pulled over by these cops and they fire some warning shots into the rocks but somehow a bullet hits Brad’s wife and she dies so of course Brad beats up the officers and gets thrown in jail. Susanna comes to see him because she just LOVES to stir shit up and tells Brad she loves him and that she wished his wife was dead so she feels responsible. Yeah Susanna you totally have that kind of power. Then she goes home and kills herself. I think I speak for everyone when I say ABOUT TIME.

Brad Pitt finally heads home and the family comes together by killing the shady cop guys when they show up to the ranch. Even the congress man gets a shot in. That’s how you bond in the mountains! Anthony Hopkins manages a double kill even with a stroke and whips out a giant rifle from underneath his kick ass bear coat. Everyone kind of reconciles after that and the Indian guy sings some Indian songs and fake-scalps the dead dudes. Standard.

Despite his issues, Brad outlasts everyone in the movie and lives to be an old man. The movie ends with him getting mauled by a bear.

THE END. Feel free to check out Legends of the Fall on Netflix or maybe even read the book so you can get smarter.

Bitch Tactics Volume III

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“Just Say No”

Maybe it’s because I have a tendency to date people pleasers or because I got so used to hearing that I wasn’t tall enough to go on Disney rides for far too long growing up, but I have a strong, unyielding passion for the word “no”. So many people are afraid to say no, afraid to hurt someone’s feelings, afraid to turn down a date or a drink, afraid to miss a shift, blah blah blah. I’m not saying that I like doing any of these things, but a number one bitch move you should implement into your daily life is the word NO.

I work at a pretty nice Steakhouse downtown. I’d prefer to not say the name because I’d like to keep working there, but anyway, as the hostess I run the front of the restaurant and answer the phones. Most of the places I’ve hosted at are pretty nice, I guess, but it’s safe to say they’d let any old putz walk in. Steakhouses have standards; steakhouses are snobby, and you know what, I like it. Want to make a reservation the day before Valentine’s Day? No. Walk-ins on a Saturday at 7:30? No. You want to sit in a booth but you didn’t request one? No. Walked in straight off the street in fucking shorts and sandles? No no no.

When I was working in rinky-dink service industry establishments I had to say yes to fucking everything, and it blows. The customer is not always right and you can’t have everything you want FOOL.

Saying “no” implies that you are not a fake ass bitch. You know what you want, and even more importantly, you know what you don’t want.

I went on a vacation to Hawaii recently, and let’s just say, I’m not super outdoorsy. The first day was filled with way too many hikes and I was seriously struggling. I am not one to spoil a vacation but sometimes you have to know your limits. I do not want to stray from the marked trails. I do not want to get in the water. I do not want to jump off a fucking cliff. I came to terms with the fact that I am not as cool and edgy as Mila Kunis in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and that’s just fine! If you don’t want to do a gnarly hike on an island say NO. I said no so many times that I spend the entire next day drinking pina coladas. Yes please.

I am all for picking up an extra shift or two if you really need cash, but think about the precedent you are setting by saying “yes” to shifts. I like to set the bar low and just start off saying no. I don’t even say lame lies like “it’s my boyfriend’s birthday” or “I have to work at my other job” or “I’m drunk!” I literally just say no. Seriously, just text back: no. They might not ever ask you again. This goes hand in hand with working over time or on weekends, and contributing during staff meetings.

I don’t want to present myself as a regulation hottie who just gets picked up constantly but being a short blonde with a nice butt does get me occasional male attention. I’m sure you’ve picked up from my other blogs that this is actually something I don’t enjoy. The other day I was at the street fair and some fat drummer asked if I wanted to get drinks with him after he was done playing. I just looked around confused and said “No.” This fucking guy actually had the nerve to ask me ‘why not?’ which hardly ever happens. So I just left. Trust me, a cold hard no will usually make guys look confused as hell and they’ll just walk away.

For a short time when I was in a relationship, I didn’t say no super often (That makes it sound like I did anal, but what I mean is that I just really liked my boyfriend and wanted to make him happy). However, when slutty ass bitches creep on your man, you are more than welcome to say no. Ohhhh you want to hang out with your recently single female coworker because she’s feeling sad? That’s gonna be a no.

I was at a horrendous bar in PB when an equally horrendous trash bag pushed by me to rub up on my boyfriend and squeal OMG I HAVEN’T SEEN YOU IN FOREVER. This hoe didn’t even get a chance to introduce herself (ha, like she was ever going to do that) before I pushed her back about 50 yards yelling NO NO NO NO.

Sluts get nos. That’s just how it works. Don’t waste time trying to be the “cool girlfriend” (again, Mila Kunis, so overrated) when you’re gonna sit at home being pissed for something you could have prevented.

The point I’m trying to make here is that a true bitch doesn’t do things that she doesn’t want to. We all have to suck it up in the name of fun from time to time, but if you sincerely don’t want to do something, or don’t like something that is happening- say no.

A lot of people tell me that I’ll regret this behavior. The dances I missed, the dates I denied, the stupid parties I chose a bath over instead. But so far, I don’t regret a thing. So just, no.