A Saturday of the most bizarre kind.

What starts with a trip to a homegoods store, evolves into a museum visit, a hip hop concert, a Pride parade, and ends running through the streets of Lake Worth at 5 a.m.? My life, that’s what. Reflectively, my day/night was awesome. In the moment? It was (in order): mundane, exciting and fun, and terrifying. I don’t realize how much I rely on holding my switchblade and/or mace in my pocket until I don’t have the option to do that.

Anyway, where to begin? Since this vacay’s inception, I have been getting up later and later each day, choosing not to give any fucks…which was true of Saturday as well. I made myself a tasty sausage omelet (this is of importance being the one of the very few times I ate all day) and strolled out to tackle the days self-planned events. I picked up a cabinet for my hosts and was subsequently called a “brave girl” for carrying it to the car myself. I couldn’t help but think of Arya Stark, but I’m pretty sure she’d laugh in my face if I told her she was a “brave girl” for carrying a fucking cabinet to the car in the parking lot. Anyway, it’s still cool to impress the weaklings that have settled in the flat, never-ending red lights, golf-infested state of Florida. It’s also kind of fun being able to relate to just about anyone here, as someone who has lived in NY, Philly, and Mass. Chances are everyone I encounter is either from there or has a friend/family member who is.

But back to this story–I went to the Flagler Museum first, on recommendation. The Flagler museum is unique to this area and the dude totally played his cards right. I wonder if this 71-year-old’s  34-year-bride was just a gold digger. They “floated around the same social circles” — the only way that’s happening is if she’s a whore or he’s a creepy old dude. Fine fine fine, Mary does her thing and I do mine.

So as to not miss what was affectionately referred to as “Summer Fest” on Facebook, I nixed the art museum I was planning to visit and headed across the water, where I could not-so-faintly hear “The Wobble” being played. I somehow knew I had found summer fest without having tried, and I was correct. What I didn’t realize was that it was essentially a hip-hop festival and I was one of maybe a dozen white people in a much larger crowd of black people. Again, fine. My giant ass fits in and I love me some southern BBQ. Okay, so I didn’t feel like I fit in, but I did my best to be as chill as possible, because, really I am kind of chill. While sitting on the grass under the trees, one of the only other few white people comes up and tells me I’m beautiful and asks to buy me a drink. I maybe would have entertained the idea if he was younger than 60, but alas. I procured some sick ribs (meal #2/final for the day), taught the booth bartenders what a “dark and stormy” was, and headed to the next thing, which happened to be Pride in Ft. Lauderdale.

I once again felt as though I didn’t belong with the crowd, but I didn’t let that stop me. LOVE is LOVE, right? So I did what I do best and nosed my way into other people’s lives. If I hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t have had the spot I did close to the parade line and I never would have jumped into the parade to help carry the incredibly long rainbow flag whose length I’ve yet to even try to guess. But I walked for blocks carrying my little piece of history and when it was over, I doubled back and danced my solo ass off at one of the bandshell/stages for a little while before deciding I was starving and too far from “home” to comfortably continue drinking…also, my phone was at 6%, so there’s that.

Having had missed checking out “downtown” Lake Worth, and seeing as it was on my way home, I decided to stop there. Downtown LW is about four blocks long and has about seven choices of establishments, most of which were packed with the Saturday night “crowd,” if it could even be called that. I chose a little German place called “Little Munich,” mostly because there were approximately 5 patrons and one of them had a plate in front of them. Food, yes! …until I asked and they were no longer serving anything other than a plate of ‘wursts with a pretzel. I chose to stay for a beer, because I’m not a rude asshole, but that ultimately led to the cook (who was clearly no longer working and clearly had been drinking for the better part of his worknight), named Hagen, hitting on me…incessantly. Now, I’m not really complaining, because that doesn’t happen nearly enough anymore, but the older I get the creepier the dudes get. I was told he was “harmless” though, so I trusted the locals. Other contenders for my attention, as the only female in the bar, were a 51 year old golf club bartender (and I assure you he looked the part), and a 36 year old FL transplant from Pittsburgh tutor. We all know where I went with this situation….

The brief backstory: I questioned whether I wanted to hook up with someone on this trip, mostly because it has been FOREVER and I’m not interested in hooking up with most of the dudes in Worcester because one of us winds up interested in the other and FUCK that bullshit. But for one moment in time I could be 24-year-old Linda and just hook up with someone I met at a bar…like low-self-esteem style. Also, someone back “home” that I was partially interested in dating was dealing with some ex-girlfriend stuff and I wasn’t having ANY thoughts about it this night…not to mention it was officially Father’s Day by the time I made any dumb choices and I am an emotionally fragile chick during a few days of the year, this being one of them. So I did the two shots of fireball provided by Hagen, drank the beer purchased by Golf Bartender, and enjoyed my “Cheap Thrill” (thanks, Sia!). Golf Bartender gave up eventually and left, leaving only me and Tutor to close out the bar. I’d had two shots and two beers over three hours, so I was about 72% in my right mind when I made the choice to walk home with Tutor, who promised to be a “perfect gentleman” and sleep on the couch–LOL. Turns out Tutor didn’t walk to the bar, he drove–and spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to find his car, and I began to freak out when I realized someone who was very drunk was going to drive us somewhere, even if it was only “16 blocks.” Fortunately at 2:30 a.m. there were very few people out and we made it safely to his place. I continued to freak out, verbally, because I was in a city(?) I’d never been to, unaware of where my vehicle (safety?) was, and entirely too sober to make really bad choices. I tried the vodka cran he made us, steered the conversation away from last names, and let Tutor kiss me. Things were going well until they weren’t. Until grown-up Linda cared more about her ultimate health than a lying stranger. The bottom line became “no condom = no sex” and although Tutor was pouty, he accepted the terms. I wanted to leave, but 16 blocks seemed like a long walk and he petitioned for sleep, so we tried that…until he was pretty consistent with trying again…and again…to get me to drop my morals, I guess? Finally I gave up, fully clothed myself, and asked him to point me in the direction of the place we met. He did a wonderful job of balancing his distaste for the situation and his belief that maybe if he did right by me I’d be like, “screw it, let’s have unsafe sex!” He offered to drive me NEAR the bar because he wasn’t a fan of driving in whatever part of the city(?) we were in. Ignoring that that statement made absolutely no sense except that he’s on the run or involved in a turf war, I insisted that I was not interested in making him drive drunk again. (Plus, my phone was now at 5% and I figured that was enough to get me to the car.) The need to escape clouded all of the anxious questions that arose once I felt as though I had, indeed, escaped. Like what the fuck was I doing at 4:50 a.m. walking down dark, deserted streets in a city(?) in South Florida I knew nothing about? His warning/attempt to get me in the car was that it was dangerous, and I brushed that off as some tactic to keep me a little longer, but it began to hit me as a reality that I was unarmed in an unknown place. Typically I’d have at least a switchblade and some mace in my hand in my pocket, but I couldn’t take either on the plane and so I thought about them sitting so safely and ineffectively in my apartment back in MA. I situated my keys in my hand in a way that provided a false sense of security, and knowing this, took off in a jog. I started doing the math: if I can run a 5k in 33 minutes, then I can jog this mile in 11 minutes and be at my car in no time. The difference is when you’re wearing flats, carrying a bag, and in one of the most humid states in the fucking country. When I saw people walking down the same dark street I was on ahead of me, I hopped over to a more populated highway-like street, but that had its dangers too. Not only did someone honk at me every few minutes, but a dude on a bicycle cruised by me asking if I was into any of the hard drugs. Wondering WTF I had gotten myself into, and what the lesser of the two street-based evils were, I hopped back over to the side street. Until a car rolled past me slowly and crawled to a stop about a block up. As I watched from behind a pickup truck, someone got out, got back in, and the car went up another block, turned the corner and stopped. I backtracked a block and once again chose the more populated street. I couldn’t really jog there (for some reason I didn’t feel comfortable showing the world how uncomfortable I was–I felt as though I needed to demonstrate an air of confidence), but I walked quickly and checked my phone often. As its battery life fell from 5% to 4% to 3%, the time to my car also decreased from 24 minutes to 16 minutes to 11 minutes to 8 minutes…and I refused to let myself feel comforted by the minimal amount of time I had left. I could only imagine relaxing with only 4 minutes to go and that being the time I missed something and was captured. I thought of my acquaintance in NOLA who was captured and brutally raped and assaulted after parking her car and walking to her apartment. The farther along I got on my walk, the more my mind conjured dangerous situations.

But ultimately, I made it. I only breathed a sigh of relief after I had been in the car long enough for the doors to automatically lock. It was 5:18 a.m. and I had survived a scary thing. Maybe there was no real threat, but I’d rather have treated it like one than not. Did I learn a lesson about going home with strangers? Maybe. I wasn’t a huge fan in the first place, but I also half wished I was still that person that would do it without a second thought. I partially miss NOT thinking things through, but I *am* ultimately glad that  I did.

So like Kajal says: Men. You’re looking for a Jon Snow, and end up with a Ramsay. #Survival

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And here’s Tutor, who started out as a kinda chill dude but ended up being a little creepy, weird, entirely too touchy of a drunk, and almost definitely a liar :

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Because if you give me your first name and pretty much ANY information about you, I can find you on the internet.

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Oh, hello.

Miss me, readers I don’t have? Nah, it’s cool, I get it. This is more for me than anything else anyway. If I don’t chronicle my life it’s like it didn’t happen.

For that reason I’ve chosen not to write about dudes all that much right now. Sometimes I forget why I enjoy being single and I am reminded when on vacation by myself, choosing to do whatever the fuck I want whenever the fuck I want or I remember when I have conversations with other singles who say they’d just like to live their life however and want it to work with someone else’s…but of course then I’m like, “OMFGWTFBBQ LET’S TRY IT!” Derp.

I have noticed that when I go a little girl-cray over a boy all I really need is a few weeks and then BAM! My early-onset Alzheimer’s kicks in and I’m like, “who? Oh yeah, I kinda remember that dude.” Trying to use this shitty memory to my advantage, and so far so good. I hope this doesn’t come back to bite me.

SO I’m having an awesome day/night and I want to remember it. I got a ride from my almost-not-anymore roommate at 5:30 a.m. to Boston Logan airport, which I’d never been to before, and hopped on a plane to West Palm Beach to stay at Barbara & Chris’ place in Lake Worth. Got to check my bag at the gate for free, which was SUPER helpful since my doc told me to actually use my words and ask someone to put my luggage in the overhead bin (lifting things over my head will not help my back heal). Everything went relatively smoothly–uneventful flight, in-flight wi-fi, got a little work done, actually stopped myself from getting an alcoholic beverage on the flight (little girl is growing up so fast!), and the only hitch was, of course, the excruciating pain in my ears and residual hearing loss. I raced to baggage claim but grabbed my rental car first, which was smarter than I realized because everyone else did it in the opposite order and I heard the line was ridic. So now I get to cruise around in the LOWEST CAR TO THE GROUND EVER MADE– I’m sorry, I mean a Mazda 3–for mad cheap (thanks, Costco!). Anyway, I hit up the Publix on my way to the house and was pretty stocked with groceries and beer by the time I got here. Cracked a Shock Top and jumped in the pool for a quick “hell yes, pool!” swim and then came back in to settle in. I noticed they got one of those Amazon Alexa things, so I asked her to play pop music and she immediately opened with “The Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars (“Today I don’t feel like doing anything…”), which totally lifted my already-soaring mood even higher. That makes today pretty much about chillaxin’. I ate most of the “all-dressed” chips (P.S. WTF?! I thought this was a Canada only thing–SCORE!) and drank four beers. I swam/lounged for a few hours. I tried to figure out how to steal the neighbor’s “Drumpf” sign. I passed the fuck out (from the beer? from the fact that I only had 4 hours of sleep last night? who cares?) and when I awoke (to a phone call I didn’t answer from my father’s (ex?)bff), I watched Netflix and scrolled through local Facebook events that I might want to go to (Orlando vigils, food truck events, spoken word stuff, etc.).

My intention tonight is to get a rough idea of the weather and what I might try to tackle each day I’m here (e.g., DEFINITELY Jupiter on Father’s Day–because that’s where my dad got arrested–do you think they’ll let me thank the JPD?) and watch more Netflix and drink more beer (or some of Chris’ stashed liquor) and eat more snacks. And maybe play some video games. And who knows, maybe I’ll even go for a midnight swim. This is so kickass. And now it lives as long as WordPress’ servers remain active.😉

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A little seminar sidetrack.

(Copied from handwritten notes at a seminar I went to yesterday for professional development.)

So, I’m noticing my own behavior in this moment. My gaze inadvertently shifted to an individual to a tall, dark, and similar-to-Mr. Wonderful looking individual on the other side of the room. He has a ring on, which I had just finished patting myself on the metaphorical back for turning my attention from someone I found attractive but was donning a ring. So what happened when I saw fake Mr. W? My heart quite obviously skipped a beat. This just reaffirms my suspicion that I’m not really over that whole (little) thing. What the hell is it about this that’s killing me? Is it the lack of knowing? Is it the feeling of rejection? Is it my own inability to speak up and “assertively” take charge & make something happen? UGH.

…and thank you for looking directly at me, dude — you have a huuuuuge head, and you look wholly miserable. The only time you so much as half-smiled was when I bitched about always getting a break five minutes after I go to the bathroom. No, thanks. Crush/freakout over!

 

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Me, Myself, & I

Earlier today I posted on Facebook asking others what things they do alone that are typically done in pairs or groups. Initially, I was going to start by listing the things that I do alone: eat at diners / restaurants / bars, go to the movies, get tattoos, hang out at the park, go for rides, take day trips, etc., but surprisingly I didn’t. I was immediately satisfied with the decision because it gave some of the people I know the chance to be proud of their solo accomplishments. And of course it added to the confidence I had already built up to help give me the push I needed to do more things on my own. You see, Steven Wright is doing stand-up nearby next month and I bought two tickets, but I haven’t really thought of anyone I’d want to go with…well, except one person, but I would want it to be as friends and I’m pretty sure he would see it as a date. Therefore I may not even ask. So when I found out that the (remaining) Monkees were going to do a 50th Anniversary tour and would be in Boston in May, I originally went for the two tickets. When my cart’s balance was upwards of $200, I thought again. Could I do this thing by myself? Would I have a better time if someone were accompanying me? It took me three days to finally answer the question, but the truth is: this is a personal thing for me. The Monkees were the first concert I’d ever been to. Davy Jones was my imaginary (boy/best)friend when I was 8 years old. I learned how to play Monkees songs on my guitar when I was younger. I couldn’t watch Idiocracy without thinking of Peter Tork and his failed job interview with the machine that replaced a human. I had to get a picture of myself with the Monkeemobile when it was at the NJ Balloon Festival the day my last relationship ended. So this event is for me. Now The Monkees will be my first concert ever (Jones Beach in 1987 when I was five), but it will also be my first solo concert (2016 at age 34). I know it may not even be what is typically considered a “concert,” but that’s probably better– a transitional event, if you will. I have to say, I’m excited. I’m my favorite date and I’ve yet to let myself down on any of my solo adventures. I’m forever grateful that I don’t have another person. My friends and my roommate and my acquaintances around Worcester are all great to have when I get lonely and then magically disappear when I’m done with them. It’s the exact same reason I’m perfectly happy working with children all day and coming home to a cat (which, ideally will be a dog one day). I’m going to be 34 years old and I haven’t yet been bitten by the “OMG I NEED A BABY GIVE ME ONE RIGHT NOW I AM RUNNING OUT OF TIIIIIIME!” bug, so fingers crossed things don’t change. Because I love me. I love going out with me. I love planning extended weekend trips with my favorite people, I love choosing to book a visit to Ice Castles on a Thursday for that Sunday (tomorrow, can’t wait!), I love not having to clear anyone else’s schedule unless I want to, I love that I could go to the movies with a chill person (Nunez, today, so great!), or by myself (Star Wars–twice!).  And I love that I have friends who also do these things and are clearly happy with their choices and encourage me to think about why I choose not to do things at times and to push myself.

I truly have the greatest support system ever. And yes, some of them are through the internet, but they’re all people I have or do or will spend time with in real life, so my father’s previous claim that I am a sad, lonely person whose only friends were on the Internet can echo in his awful, shitty-person ears. I have never been happier with my “people,” and I think I’m only becoming better so I know the people around me will too.

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Detox February, Day 1: The Hangover

I can’t guarantee I’ll make it all the way through February, but if I don’t…maybe I have a bigger problem. Anyway, today was rough, but I think that’s because Detox February Eve was essentially me drinking all of the beer I had left in the fridge and then doing a few shots of rum, thinking I could also kill that bottle too. (I couldn’t.) So I went to work late (an insane 9:30!) and only made it through to 6. I had to nap after I ate dinner and then I woke up just to clean the floors/carpets since it was my weekend to do it and I’d done everything but that last night. Now it’s just after 11 and I’m basically ready to go back to sleep. So today was a sleepy day overall, but it wasn’t a challenge in terms of not drinking. Knowing I can’t really makes me want to though, and then Rob’s words echo in my head…Linda wants what she can’t have (which I think makes me the J.D. in my weird relationship with Kajal).❤

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Always an Adventure

I can’t understand how my life is so eventful. I’m not necessarily complaining; I’m just so confused how things work out the way they do, and I wish I always wrote a blog when days go like they did today. I believe I tend to say, “I’ll do it tomorrow,” because I’m tired from the long day, but then the next day something happens and I get swept up in the day and then I’ll do it the next day, and then the next, and so on until it never gets written. Today will not be one of those days.

After last night’s work bowling party where I rivaled one of my supervisors followed by an LGBTQ mermaid dance party where I danced with one of my lovely local gay friends as though I was auditioning for Dancing With the Stars, I thought I might be hungover at the start of my day. Thankfully, I was not. On my way out of the building at a quarter to 10, I had to stop to ask the management office if they would leave my Blue Apron package somewhere accessible, and who was in the office but Maintenance. Gotta love my life, truly. The coincidences are remarkable. Anyway, I chatted with management and her daughter and Maintenance for almost a half an hour before I had to get to work. Work was wonderful. One of my supervisors and I destroyed a hallway in cleaning out a closet that was intended to be a “testing/assessment closet,” but ultimately had become a storage unit. Together (and with the help of bands like Mumford & Sons, Colplay, and the like), we weeded through most of what was in filing cabinets, on shelves, piled on top of things, in boxes, and strewn about the room. We filled the four giant “shredding bins” around the office with outdated or photocopied testing material. We made a giant cart full of dumpster trash, which we later transferred to the dumpster. We filled an entire giant recycling container with old journals, files, and boxes. We moved filing cabinets into and out of the room numerous times. We swept, vacuumed, remodeled (someone had to kick a few shelves out of the wall to make some room–hint: it wasn’t me), and kept ourselves entertained. It was a pretty awesome five hours at work, doing something I completely enjoy (cleaning, purging, and re/organizing).

JUST as we were finally finished and excited to get out of the building before 3, we encountered a gentleman seeking entry to our building. Words can’t describe the state that this man was in. He drove what I’ve only ever encountered as a construction vehicle–one of those large trucks that looks like a dumpster on wheels–and after both my supervisor and I attempted to contact two of our other offices to no avail, he proceeded to share much of his history…his time in a psych ward where the employees were worse than the patients, his work history, when he drove a truck for a living, not just for the sake of driving it, his history with the woman he was looking for and hadn’t yet decided if he was going to see, and his difficulties with utilizing a gps device. My supervisor and I pulled together the resources (scrap paper from his car, a pencil from mine) to write him directions obtained via Google Maps to an office we knew had 24 hour accessibility, which he then proceeded to criticize and plan differently. His inability to accurately read social cues was remarkable. We all but had to physically walk him to his truck and place him back in it. It was fantastic.

I got home in just enough time to place my Blue Apron items in the fridge, plan a small portion of my evening, and get ready to leave. My friend/neighbor and I drove to Boston for their annual Faneuil Hall Christmas Tree lighting. It took us approximately a half an hour to find a parking spot after the hour and a half drive, but we did it, and it only cost us $1.25. Success! Upon arriving in Faneuil Hall, we found that the police had created a barrier and were not allowing people to get anywhere near the stage/tree, so we inched our way towards the front/middle of the barricade. We actively practiced managing the crowd by directing through traffic behind us instead of in front of us with newfound friends. We also wound up making it through the barrier when they let some of the people through with the help of one of said new friends, Georgia boy, who did not hesitate to make Googly eyes at me. Georgia sort of glued himself to us (okay, we invited him), and agreed to come to the dive bar hosting the comedy stand-up line my friend and I had tickets to see. He stopped to purchase a carnation for me from a woman selling them on the street, which is both romantic and pathetic from my judgmental and non-romantic perspective. He put up with our walking extra far to go to a Citizens Bank so I didn’t  have to spend $2.00 to take out money from a foreign ATM. He was funny at times. He pushed the line at others. Once at the bar, he drank at minimum a handful of Rolling Rocks and bought us all a round of Jim Beam Fire. Actually, he also bought all of our drinks, which wound up being ridiculously inexpensive because we were some of the bartender’s favorite customers in some time. Our bartender, Bob, also caught my friend and I (really her) “borrowing” a glass and gave us (really her) shit for it. And yet he still barely charged us for our drinks. When I dropped Georgia off back near Faneuil, he didn’t hesitate to kiss me. Drunk boys that look like dudes I slept with already don’t really do it for me, but whatever, it was a kiss, and I’m single, and I hadn’t had one of those in a while (too long, if you ask me), so I rolled with it. He told me I sucked for not staying out. I said I knew and I was leaving anyway. Boyz r dum. (Well, many of them. I’m fortunate enough to know some that don’t.)

So now I have souvenir therapy games and a t-shirt from today’s closet cleaning, a fun story shared with a supervisor, a bunch of pictures from Faneuil’s tree, a carnation dying on the dash of the Jeep to dry out and live there, and a new Facebook friend who will look me up when he’s back in the area. These days are so surreal. Sometimes I really can’t believe this is actually my real life. I LOVE IT!

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The Day I Stopped Giving A Fuck

Ahh, today. Today…the day where I literally have no voice. Today…the day where I probably did more work than all of the days. It is THE day. The day I stopped chasing and started living. Sure, I can’t really go out and “live” tonight, because I’m in recovery mode, but I did so on Monday, and yesterday, and plan to tomorrow and Friday and/or Saturday, and I think I should take a day off this weekend and do very little. Just for me. I deserve that. I’m a great person, and I’m smart and fun and enjoyable to be around, and I have a lot to be proud of, and I’m sick to death of trying to find more meaning in the evaluations of the few people whose opinion I value for what are clearly the wrong reasons.

I almost stopped going to DG on Mondays, but I changed my mind…because the few things I wish to avoid about that place, are nothing compared to the many things that make it fantastic. Maybe FBW is a more appropriate environment for me; I should look into that. So, anyway, I’ll play nice, I’ll minimize the bitterness, and I’ll go there for the reasons that I enjoy going there…when I feel like it.

Tuesday trivia may become my new favorite, or if/when I get my own trivia night, then that might be my new favorite day. Truly, yoga day is my favorite day but I’ve been having trouble scheduling that into my workweek. Not sure why I’m even bothering to rank order them. I guess I put of lot of stock into DG Mondays, and the idea that I would speak/sing. I was actually more interested in doing that before, and less interested at present. Honeymoon phase, maybe. Who knows. Who cares.

I’m openly admitting that my feelings were hurt and thus my pride and also acknowledging that I am stronger and bigger than that. So here’s my e-battle cry (because I legitimately have no physical voice): I AM WOMAN! HEAR ME ROAR…A GIANT FUCK YOU!😛

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