Talk to my friends, talk to me.

I’ve been seeing friends more often lately – making a point to say YES to invitations and get out of my homebody, waiting-for-a-boy slump (except when I want to!)– but the boy kept coming up and I felt like a broken record.  Granted, I HAVE been a broken record about that piece of shit for the last year, but more so in the last few weeks and I’ve been amazed at the different reactions my tale of woe gets.
I guess because I’ve started my spiel with, “If I were listening to a friend tell me this story, I’d be able to be very black and white about it and tell her that she was crazy and not giving herself enough respect and blah, blah, blah…” I KNOW the right answer.  Oprah says when you know, better you do better, but for some reason the black hole of this relationship with Lucky has me knowing better but not doing better.

Their responses have been all over the place…

“Well there must be a reason that you’re hanging on.” Yeah, because I’m a massichistic idiot who is scared to start over so I’m going to just keep hitting my head against this wall for a bit longer.

“It’s all about timing.” No, it’s not. It’s about the right person. The right person makes even the wrongest time right.

“He’ll come around.” He absolutely will not.

HEL-LO! Have any of you read/seen He’s Just Not That Into You?! Stop lying to me and tell me to get a grip.
Fortunately, I did talk to a straight-shooting friend who told me she’s dated this guy many times over and she’s now in a very happy relationship so she had not problem telling me, “This isn’t the MJ I know and love. He’s not going to change. His words and actions don’t match up. There are much better things out there.”
THANK YOU, GIRLFRIEND.
Those words and, okay, let’s be honest…these too…have been in my head lately and I’m ready to be the real MJ again.

Grinch

I’m not feeling the holidays. I bought Michael Buble’s Christmas CD when it came out far too early in the season, but after a few spins, I changed it out in favor of switching back and forth between Miranda’s Four the Record and Miranda’s girl group’s – Pistol Annies – debut Hell on Heels. Both snuck by my spending fast and may or may not be the best decisions I’ve made since, um, getting a dog probably. They’re delicious, but definitely not Christmasy.

I borrowed one of my favorite Christmas decorations from my parents’ house and attached my GOTR ornament to it. I took the orange flowers off my fall wreath, leaving only the red with white, green and purple accents, thus making it a Christmas wreath. I’ve done some Christmas baking and some Christmas shopping, but overwhelmingly, I’ve over it. Under it? Not anywhere near it? Whatever.

FFF is truly forced this year.  I’ll see them, but my sis and BIL are leaving for the actual holiday and my mom’s pressuring me to spend the whole weekend at my parents’ place, like with just her, my dad and his mom.  I live a safe distance away to guard against them just popping in, but the distance is on the cusp of far enough away that overnights kind of make sense.  

I don’t want to upset my mom, but this is the year I got real and I’m not going to give that up for the sake of the holiday.  I wouldn’t care too much if it was just like any other Sunday.

One thing that is making me overwhelmingly happy this time of year is that Christmas turns into a high school reunion of sorts.  My girlfriends who are off being über smart and successful at grad school are back and I’ve seen them a few times so far with more things planned.  They’re the friends who you can see after years and fall right back in with.

Overshare = Unfriend

Remember the girl who was made an example in my “let’s embrace all the moments that we have” post?

She has now landed in Europe and then went to this bar, that landmark, slept in until 3, had this guy say that to her, had that guy look at her this way, took this train over here….and then I unfriended her. I didn’t just hide her updates, this was deserving of an unfriend (like I said, we’re not that close anyway).

For as much as she was looking forward to her vacation, she seems like she’s too busy updating her Facebook status to even be enjoying it! Some people. Granted, she probably doesn’t have a blog where she talks about all the mundaneness of her day-to-day, so perhaps I’m not one to talk!

Do you overshare on social media?  Does it bug you?  How do you deal with it?

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

This weekend I committed a cardinal sin of friendship. I set up my girlfriend on the basis of both parties being single.

I know. It’s terrible. It’s happened to me and it was terrible then and I still did the same thing and it was – spoiler alert – terrible(ish).

I met Lucky’s friend, Marmaduke (nice guy, but just kinda reminds me of a big, goofy dog), about a week after meeting Lucky and have seen him a few times since.  Marmaduke was on Match as well. Marmaduke probably would have turned up in my search eventually if Lucky hadn’t snatched me up first and thank goodness he did…not because Marmaduke is awful, but because I’m totally gone for Lucky at this point and feel the need to sneak in reference to that as often as I can.  Feel free to grab a vom bag. 

Being that Marmaduke is on Match, he’s obviously looking. He’s got an ex-girlfriend story, he’s got a rebound girl story, but he’s looking for what’s next. He assumes Lucky’s great catch knows some other pretty great catches and has been bugging me and Lucky to meet some of my friends for a while.

The thing is, I do know some great catches, but a lot of them are taken because they’re so great (and because we’re getting old and that’s what happens when you’re old), but my mind went quickly to a girl I’ve clicked with in the past few months at Meetup events so when Marmaduke asked again last weekend, I set up a little double with the henceforth called Sally.

Sally also has an ex-boyfriend story and we’ve spent a lot of time commiserating about the dating scene.  She’s said she’s content being single, but was open to the experience of going out with a new guy.

It really wasn’t one of those oh my gosh, you have to meet so-and-so because you have so much in common things.  I wouldn’t have even connected the dots if he didn’t specifically ask to meet a girlfriend of mine, but he did so Lucky showed Marm Sally’s Facebook and I showed Sally Marm’s Match profile (because he doesn’t have a Facebook, oh my gosh what is wrong with this guy?) and all systems were still go and we set up a casual drinks and apps date on Saturday night.

I personally would have been shy and uncomfortable in the situation, but Sally jumped right in and seemed to get along great with both Lucky and Marmaduke.  We found out that Sally and Marmaduke did in fact have some things in common and they seemed relatively interested, or at least like they were having a good time. 

The quick debriefs while one of them or the other went to the restroom were not overwhelming, but favorable, so I was a little surprised when he didn’t close the deal at the end of the night (as in phone number, nothing more, pervs). 

The next day, the boys went out golfing and I got this text from Lucky:  Marmaduke is not into Sally at all.

Hmm.  I found out later it wasn’t anything in particular, okay maybe the excessive amount she had to drink, but mostly no real click and that’s fine.  I don’t feel too bad about the set up because I kind of let them both know it was more about their single status and getting out and having fun than about actually believing they would match well.

I haven’t heard from Sally and have no clue how she felt about the evening once she had time to process it.  I feel a little guilty for not following up with her, but I got such immediate feedback from Marm that asking her if she liked him seemed irrelevant. 

“Oh, you liked him?  Too bad because he was not into you.  At all.”

I thought the at all was a little harsh.

So, while I’d love to embrace my inner Patti Stanger, I’m only doing it from now on if I actually see a potential connection between two people.  Until then, I’m hoping this failure holds off Marmaduke for a bit if not for good.  If he’s still chomping at the bit, my new plan is to do a group introduction with way less pressure so he can pick his own!

Friends and Phones

This is one of those, oh gosh, 22-year-old MJ was so silly stories.  So, when I was 22, I met a guy.  On our first date he was actually kind of wonderful, but early on I discovered he had quite an affinity for his Blackberry.  He had kind of a 24/7 job, so whatever, but then there was the fact that sometimes I would call or text and get nothing.  Um, I’ve spent time with you  so I KNOW you are attached at the hip to that thing.  Anyway, I still dated him, he was shady, it ended.

I think most people in my generation are the same way.  90% of the time, I have my phone with me and I will respond.  Sometimes I turn it off, sometimes I leave it behind, sometimes I forget it’s on silent and in my purse until I try to look for it a few hours later, but VERY often, I have it. 

Not only do I have my phone, but it’s my email times two, it pings me if someone sends me a Facebook message (I don’t have the app downloaded because I don’t want a notification every time someone “likes” something or whatnot, but I still do log in and check it often) or tweets me and I recently downloaded Yahoo! Messenger.  Need to get a hold of me?  You’ve got me!

So my question is, in this technologically connected world, WHEN can you get mad/upset/concerned about an unanswered message?

If you send someone a Facebook message and then you see they’re doing other stuff on FB and still haven’t responded to you?

If you send a text (with a question..texts without don’t require responses, duh) and don’t hear back within 15 minutes?  At the end of the work day?  Within a few hours if it’s the weekend?

If you call (and leave a message) and don’t hear back?

I’ve found my thresholds when it comes to potentials who are slacking on communication (particularly when it’s the beginning of something and he SHOULD be excited and SHOULD be on his best behavior), but why do I let these questions linger in regards to friends?

Everyone is different, but once you figure out a person’s average time, you can figure out where you are in the pecking order based on how quickly you get a response.

Specifically, my “best friend.”  This is the relationship I have finally given up on and said I made peace with, but it still sucks.  He thinks he’s busy and is a little spacey, so he was usually a few-hours responder, then it turned into a day or so.  Last week?  I sent him a message on Monday giving him my schedule for the week so that we could try to meet up for a happy hour we always talk about.  A week later and nothing.

And yeah, similarly to my gem of an ex, he is constantly on his phone if we hang out.  I’m no angel when it comes to this either, but seriously, what is society coming to?  We are so rude!  And what did people do during awkward silences when no one had cell phones?  Anyway, he has an iPhone and it’s love. 

Also, answer me this…why do people who have iPhones feel the need to say iPhone all the time?  It’s like, “Oh, I lost my iPhone, but then I found my iPhone.”  Or “Oh man, I jumped in the pool and totally forgot my iPhone was in my pocket and now my iPhone is wrecked and I have to go get a new iPhone.”  I’m not all about, “Hit me up on my Droid 2.” Or “So, I was texting him on my Droid 2.” 

I love the saying that goes something like, don’t make someone your priority if you are just their option, and again, I do okay with it in romantic relationships, but it’s different to forgive a friend, forget it happened, hang out, have fun, get ignored again, lather, rinse, repeat.

Okay, it’s not. It’s the same thing and it sucks.

In Mixed Company

Never believe someone named Dusty who you’ve known for all of 18 hours when he tells you that he’s got the perfect guy for you.  You know who will show up?  A short, skinny pothead with a fauxhawk. No thanks, Dusty.

In other news, couples are taking over the world.  My high school friends all got significant others when I moved back to Arizona (thinking we would all still hang out like the old days) and then fell off the face of the earth. 

So I got new friends.  Through Meetup, I found a group of women, many of whom have boyfriends or even are married, but still make an effort to make and spend time with girlfriends.  That’s pretty awesome if you ask me. 

I don’t want to give up myself, my interests and my own friends when a cute guy winks at me (I can admit I have been guilty of that in the past), so I took these women as proof that, with some concerted effort, having friends AND a boyfriend is totally possible.

However, this weekend, the men were in tow and things changed.  Being the single one around a bunch of couples is just about as awesome as just not being included in the first place.  Except you’re not at home in your PJs watching Hulu, so really, it’s not as awesome at all.

Really though, I had a great weekend.  It felt indulgently long.  There was music, dancing and red wine.  Warm fuzzies from volunteering, warm sun and a cool pool (and a deliciously early bed time).  A long run, couch time + movies and forced family fun, which was pretty darn fun.

It’s just that mixed in there was watching PDA from an uncomfortably close vantage point, which is whatever, but also confusion and hurt feelings over the way a girlfriend acted.  It hurt more when she recognized it, apologized for it, but then did it again. I knew she had jealousy and trust issues, but I never thought they would be directed at me.  Yes, I’m awesome, but I’m a good friend and deserve that in return.

*Disclaimer:  There was no dancing with this friend’s boyfriend, I just thought this picture was funny.

Say What You Need to Say?

You know that classic question of if you knew your friend’s boyfriend was cheating would you tell her?  Or, if you had serious concerns about a person your friend was going to marry, would you speak up?

I experienced the latter and didn’t.  I left that to her cousin who tried to break up the wedding the night before.  They got married young – she was just 21 – after a tumultuous relationship and a super-fast reconciliation, engagement and wedding.

If I could have seen what the future held for my friend, I might have helped.  Instead I (along with the cousin) stood up as bridesmaids the next day and it went off without a hitch.

This friend is three years younger than me and I’ve known her since she was 10.  She’s the closest thing I have to a little sister and I cherish her.

Because of that, for a while, I tolerated this husband – his brash-in-your-face-know-it-all-holier-than-thou-borderline-misogynistic attitude – as did her family, but all of us with whispered concerns over his controlling, and potentially abusive, behavior. 

Then as he and I spent more time together – it’s been two-and-a-half years and now they have a baby – it became a mutual distaste.  I’m not too sure what’s not to like about me, I mean I’m pretty awesome, but his personality grates me and if mine does him, that’s fine.

But the other day, their combined Facebook account said something to the effect that he was excited their son was coming into his work, and yeah his wife was going to be there too, but “eh” and went on to say that she needed to bring him dinner and not just Kraft mac and cheese crap, that she better start warming up the oven.

I stewed for a day, then three years of frustration with this kid came out.  I simply responded with “Do you wonder why people think you’re an asshole?” Because he is and they do.

Within a few hours, I was not only defriended, I was blocked.  I heard from her a day later and she said she had something she wanted to talk to me about. 

She was upset because she thought it was harsh.  I let her know having a husband who talks to you or about you in that way isn’t healthy or normal. 

She told me it was a joke and anytime he says anything like that it’s a joke and I just don’t know him very well.  That’s who he is every time I’m around so either that’s who he actually is or I will never know because I don’t care to dig deeper.

She said she also took it as a knock at her because it was a knock at her partner.  I’ve never been in that serious of a relationship that I would know what that feels like, but I can see where that might be true. I assured her it was just because I wanted to call it to his attention but it’s not a reflection on her. 

She expressed that she wished I had talked to her privately instead of now having to deal with the outcomes.  I wanted to call him out, stand up for her, and I knew if I said something to her, she’d brush it off and not say anything to him and he’d keep talking to and about my friend that way.  She deserves better.

I didn’t want to cause any problems for her.  I figured it couldn’t strain my relationship with him any further, but now thinking back on it, it’s very rarely I see her without him around, and I definitely don’t want to lose her.  She’s not allowed very many friends (yeah, I know) and I’m sad to think I took one of the few he tolerated away.  

Perhaps that makes me a hypocrite, being a jerk to him in a public forum for being a jerk to her in a public forum.

So, with all that said…thoughts? Have you been there?  Was I that far off?  What would you have done?

Mayim Bialik

Reverb11’s April prompt was so short, I scanned the email and thought I missed it!  It’s April, spring is in the air, and they want to know:

What’s blossoming?

Friendships!  I went to happy hour last night with a Meetup group (one I’ve been out with a handful of times) and as awkward as the concept is and as random as the group is, I found myself looking around and thinking, “these are the women I would have picked.” 

A desire for a ripple effect.  For Winter Wonderland Warriors, I wanted to volunteer.  For the Spring Fever Challenge, I am going to volunteer four times.  First of all, it’s addicting.  Second of all, it’s a hell of a lot better way to spend my time than watching Jersey Shore.

My new approach to dating.  This is continuously changing and detouring and rerouting, but always blossoming!

Self love. My strength and my desire to be 100% ME.  I thought I grew into myself in my early-20s, but I’m amazed how much more like myself I become every day.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin, via Bicoastally

I would like it to be known that I spelled Mayim’s name right on the first try without looking it up.  Where was this brain power when I was studying things of actual consequence?!

Clothes for the Funeral

What do you do when an old friend starts sneaking around with – and eventually outright dating – your ex?

Guy code says friend’s exes are completely off limits?  Are the rules so different for women? 

I’m so torn on this because one on hand, I don’t care.  I’ve been totally over this guy for years and we’re great friends now.  I’m not feeling territorial.  I’m not jealous and thinking I missed out on something great – yes, we dated for a long time, but he’s not the right one for me. 

I’m just offended by how this new relationship developed and was hidden from me and I hate how the way they both treat me (sadly, mostly her) changed.

I know her pretty well and I felt like I understood his and her thought processes for getting into the relationship in the first place and even for the way they acted afterward, but those excuses, whether they make them or I do it for them, don’t excuse shitty behavior. 

It got me thinking about the times I’ve avoided awkward situations.  Times I’ve pussy footed the truth or even lied outright and I don’t want to be that person. 

If you’re going to regret something, don’t do it. If you’re going to do something, don’t regret it.  Put on your big girl panties and own your actions.  Own your life.

So, now comes the funeral clothes part.

What do you do when the old (maybe former) friend/your ex’s new girlfriend’s mom dies? 

You send your condolences.  NOT via Facebook.  A lot of people were doing this, but it weirds me out.

You go home and hug your own mom.  And your dad.  And you call your sister and give her a phone hug.

You cancel your plans and attend the funeral.

You still don’t know how to act around this girl but you realize what’s important and what’s not.  It’s time to see if you’re ready to stand in your truth.

Making Friends for Dummies

Go back to elementary school.  Do not pass GO.  Do not collect $200.


{from}

I moved back to Arizona in 2009 to be close to family and friends and to be honest, both have kind of let me down.  My parents would love to see me daily, that’s not really the point.  My sis has gone bridezilla other things on her mind and we live on opposite sides of a very large metropolitan area.

My friends have coupled off and done the whole disappearing thing (which I have admittedly been guilty of at times myself) and/or are in very different places in their lives. Plus, a few months ago, I up and moved about 30 minutes away from everyone I know here. 

The sad truth is that, although “do six friend things” was one of my first Winter Wonderland Warriors goals I crossed off back at the beginning of February, I haven’t done much with friends since then.

So, what’s a girl to do to avoid ONLY hanging out with her parents or ALWAYS sitting at home watching SATC?

Well, obviously I’m dating, but men you date don’t easily become men you are friends with, even if you’ve only been out with them once or twice.  It’s just weird.  It’s nice to have male friends without the pressure of romantic overtones and more importantly, a girl needs girlfriends. 

I kind of imagined I’d start dating someone and meld into his group of friends, but no guy would want to date a girl who didn’t have friends of her own!

I finally called out my best friend on his disappearing act.  I know why he did it, but I let him know it still sucks and he’s been making more of an effort in the friendship again which is nice. 

As a bonus, his house is social central to a group of really fun people (via his brother, another close friend).  It’s a strange thing to work my way in and become friends v. being friends of friends, but I’m tired of feeling lonely, so I am forcing myself out of my comfort zone.

Also, I’m finally participating in some Meetups.  I found a great women’s group to hang out with.  I’ve done a happy hour and baseball game with them and have committed to another game as well as a St. Patrick’s Day event. 

The event organizer hit it right on the nose when she said it’s like girl-dating because you have to strike up a conversation, find things in common, awkwardly ask for their phone number and ask them to hang out outside of the group. 

The girls are really nice and hopefully a few months down the road we will laugh about how awkward it was to get to know each other considering how well we get along.  Yeah, it’s totally dating.

If I could go back to fantasy college and take any course, Making Friends 101 would be on the top of the list!