Secret Sunday

So, secret Sunday can be fun. Sometimes though it’s just writing about the things I can’t say aloud. And this Secret Sunday is definitely something I don’t speak of aloud. This Secret Sunday is about something that really is a secret to me. Some people ask and wonder, but for the most part this is just a quiet part of my life. So forgive me if this isn’t well written or entertaining. Dear readers, you are my therapists today.

Here’s one of my real secrets… I like to be tough. You know what? I am tough. I’ve been through some shit in my life and I’ve managed to keep my head up and move forward. Hooray for me! Except, there’s one area of my life where even after years and years of trying, it still remains hard to be tough. Y’all, I wish I had a dad. I mean, I have a dad, someone did indeed father me. But, I’ve always wanted to be one of those girls who was a daddy’s girl. So here I am at 30, and not being one of those girls still hurts me. To the point that after years of not having him in my life I find myself at random times just broken down in tears over this. I feel the emptiness and pain of missing that person, that person who should have been there from the get go. We all know that when it comes to a parent these are the first people who should love you no matter what and to feel like that person doesn’t indeed love you no matter what? Well, that’s a hard pill to swallow no matter your age or how much time you’ve had to deal with it.

It’s not one of those easy stories like one day my dad left, never to be heard from again. More like, my parents divorced, my dad stuck around for awhile and then he just kind of didn’t. And, it’s not that I don’t think my dad loves me. I believe he does. He just hasn’t actively tried to be a part of my life. As I got older, more and more time would go between hearing from him, much less seeing him. Meanwhile I was surrounded by girls who had great dads, dads who supported them and made sure they knew they were loved and stared down boys when they came to take them on dates and checked the oil in their cars and just went out of their way to spend time with them. And let me tell you, being a bit of a tomboy, not having a dad to do things with was even more upsetting to me. Damn if I just didn’t want to have a dad to go to a baseball game with or go fishing with or go see the latest Batman movie with. Luckily, I have an amazing mom who has always done any and all of these things with me. And part of me hates even feeling upset or complaining about the lack of a dad in my life because I do have such a great mom and I would never want her to feel like she wasn’t enough (Mom- when you get a chance to read this from whatever amazing Italian coffee shop you are in, know that you are the bestest mom ever), but I think even she knows that there is a part of me that feels empty. Empty not just for all of the past experiences I missed out on, but empty for the future ones as well. I think about someday getting married…yeah, you know where I’m going with this. Nothing crushes me more than seeing a father-daughter dance. I’m sure if I asked my dad, he’d do it, but the emotion wouldn’t be there. Even before the wedding, I’m such a sucker for tradition that it hurts to know a man will never ask for my father’s hand in marriage, since my father has never actually met anyone I’ve dated (better believe they’ll have to ask my momma though). And don’t get me started on the thought of kids. As much as I hated not having a father figure around, it kills me to think of my kids not having a grandpa (fingers crossed that my future baby daddy has an awesome dad to play grandpa to our tots). There’s just so much that still hurts me. After years to come to terms with all these feelings and toughen up, there’s still so much that creeps through every now and then.

Damn Thalia, if it makes you this sad why not tell him about it instead of the internet? Well, I did just that. A few years ago, after having one of these ‘man it really sucks missing a person you don’t even really know’ type breakdowns, I wrote to my father. I wrote and expressed these feelings and how upsetting it was to me that I was now an adult and he didn’t even know where I worked or had seen where I lived or knew my friends or my hopes and dreams. That I had grown into this whole new person and he didn’t know who that person was. And what’s worse, didn’t seem to be interested in ever changing that. Well, here I am writing about how his absence in my life still affects me, so safe to say my letter to him was not met with a great response. Even though nothing changed, I don’t regret letting that toughness go for long enough to put my disappointment and sadness out there to him. At that point I did give up the last of my hope that our situation would ever change. That part I’ve come to terms with, but it doesn’t stop me from mourning a relationship I will never have.

 

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

I hated middle school. It was a terrible time. The only redeeming thing about it is when I lost that lovin’ feeling for my very first boyfriend it was perfectly acceptable to send him a note via my BFF saying “I can’t go out with you anymore. Sorry.” Quick, easy, to the point, and no face to face contact involved- break ups were so easy back then! 17 years later, things have really changed. I figure it would land me on the Biggest Bitch of the Year list if I slipped a note under the new nice guy’s door saying I no longer wished to date him even though he is indeed very nice and seems to have taken a shine to me, but damnit, that’s just how I want to do it!

I doubt anyone really enjoys or is great at break ups, but I will go so far as to say I am down right awful at them. I stutter and stumble and sweat and stall for as long as possible because I loathe hurting people and I hate confrontation. Luckily for me, I haven’t really had to do them that much. So far my dating history looks a lot like this: meeting a guy, going on a first date and, for a mixture of reasons, never having a second, or meeting a guy, skipping the casual part and falling straight into relationship mode with him. As you see, there hasn’t been a whole lot of this casual “dating” thing happening in my life until now. One of the perks of being a relationship kind of gal is that I’ve only been through a handful of breakups, and of those, only two of them were my doing. Kind of awesome because break ups suck, but kind of shitty because now that I am dating I lack break up practice and have no idea how to do them! Also, relationship break ups, like the ones I initiated, are a lot different than casual dating break ups. The end of relationships tend to come about for big, dramatic reasons; infidelity, future goals not aligning, and my favorite, loving a person, but not being “in love” with them. Dating break ups are a little more murky, a whole lot of ‘it’s fun and the person is nice, but…meh.’ comes to mind. Probably no true specific reasons, but you just know if you don’t break it off now you’ll find yourself two years later in a relationship with a man who gives you no zsa zsa zus. And really, what is the casual dating protocol? Do going on a few dates warrant an actual “we need to talk” moment? And if that’s the case, since I can’t end it in a note, or in our society’s case, a text, how do I do the casual break up? SEE?! I am not good at this. So this pretty much brings me to where I’m at now. Casually dating the new nice guy, but after about four dates knowing the end is nigh for us since he is getting the zsa zsa zus while I’m only getting the mehs. So, again I ask, how does one do the casual break up?

I’ve been advised the phase out is the way to go when your relationship with someone is in infancy. Ahh yes, the good ol phase out. You reschedule your next date, you take a little longer to respond to texts, you reschedule again, and then eventually you just don’t respond at all. Umm, except…how rude! I hate the phase out. In my mind the phase out is worse than being slipped a Dear John letter. It provides no closure to the person on the receiving end of it and whether it was only two dates or twenty, doesn’t everyone deserve a little peace of mind?

I’ve also been advised to flat out lie. Say I have to move for work, or have decided to become a nun, or am in love with my best friend who just happens to be a woman, but y’all, I suck at lying. I mean, I’m good at it, kind of par for the course with an acting background, but I suck at it in the sense that I feel extreme amounts of guilt and usually end up crumbling under pressure when being asked to elaborate on the lie.

So I suppose if I don’t want to follow these terrible nuggets of advice I’ve so unhelpfully been given and I do want to provide a little peace of mind and not be eaten away by guilt I only have one option left- put my big girl pants on and just confront the situation head on. Since this is one of those murky casual dating scenarios and there is no huge reason to give to the new nice guy, I fear that I will have to bust out one of my most hated phrases of all time…”I’m just not that into you.” But honestly, when it comes to break ups I think it’s best to follow the golden rule and do unto the person you are seeing as you would hope someone would do unto you in the future. I would rather hear it like it is. So here we go, y’all. On come my big girl pants and yes, it’s likely I will stutter and stumble and sweat and stall while trying to think of some kind way to phrase it, but so it goes.

And, dear readers, who knows…maybe my ego is bigger than need be and new nice guy isn’t all zsa zsa zuing about me and we’ll high five at the end of the conversation and walk away pals. Yes.Yes, I very much love this version of the scenario, so (and I never thought I’d say this about a guy) please, let’s all hope that he’s just not that into me.

In Defense of the Nice Guy

Nice guys finish last. Right?  This is widely known. Us girls, we say we want a nice guy, but honestly, nice guys just finish last. ‘I’ve dated SO MANY jerks‘ I think to myself, ‘I just want someone NICE.’ But then…I meet someone nice. So nice. So sweet, so honest, no games, no bullshit, nothing. Just honest to goodness niceness. And do I end up liking him? Am I attracted to him? Do I want him to push me up against the wall and rip my cami apart (could he even push me up against a wall and rip a cotton shirt open?!?)? No. Nope. Not at all. And I know I am not the only girl thinking this. Us women, we want it all. We say we want a nice guy, and we meet a guy who seems sooooooo nice…and maybe he is. Kind of. Or maybe he’s just so attractive that we look over all the jerk-y shit and say “omigod, he’s SO nice!” But, all that attractiveness tends to make us blind to the not-so-nice-guy shit that creeps up on you.

Case in point? Jake Ryan. Y’all, I LOVE me some Jake Ryan. I grew up loving Jake Ryan. What a delicious, sweet, nice guy he is! Ask any woman within five years of me and she LOVES Jake Ryan. Ultimate “nice guy”, right? But…Is he? Sure, Jake Ryan shows up for Sam at the church and gives her a birthday cake and maybe they have a wonderful night…but you know what? Jake Ryan flat out pimps his girlfriend out to a kid he doesn’t even know in order to go pursue greener (younger) pastures. Sure, his girlfriend was a damn greedy, social climbing bitch, but does that make it okay to pass her on to a random boy while she’s passed out? NO. If a guy who wasn’t as sexy as Jake Ryan did that he would just be a damn jerk! Meanwhile, the guy that Jake’s girlfriend is drunkenly passed off to, sweet little Farmer Ted, is a true nice guy. Yes, maybe he drives over to his friend’s house to take a picture to commemorate this wild night, but he never does anything untoward to her. Damn you, Farmer Ted, you are a true nice guy. But how many girls watch 16 Candles and swoon and dream about Farmer Ted? He is truly the nice guy in this movie and sure enough, he is finishing last in the viewer’s hearts. He comes up second behind Jake Ryan, but why?

Is this the female version of lady on the street, freak on the streets? Are we just as bad as men? YES. We are.

And you know what? When guys screw us over and throw us off to some random guy to go running after their Sam leaving us to wonder ‘Why?!? Why am I getting screwed over by a jerk again?’ well it is because we keep choosing jerks, damnit! I for one am so guilty of this. I say I’m sick of bullshit and jerks and douchebags, etc etc…but so far, if I meet a nice guy and a not so nice guy at the same time, guess who I end up seeing a few more times? Yep. You know who.

So here I am. I am owning up to this. I pick the bad boys, the jerks, the guys that are smooth enough to gloss over all their douchey ways. But no more! I am ready for the Farmer Ted. I’m ready to let a nice guy finish first (or at least finish second. A nice guy would never finish before me, right?!).

The Worst Advice You Never Asked For

Dear readers, you know what I’m really beginning to hate? Advice. Specifically, dating advice. Personally, I’ve gotten a lot of it. I admit, sometimes I seek it out, but in general it’s unsolicited, which probably makes it even worse. It just seems that everyone has some knowledge they need to drop on me when it comes to finding (and keeping) that special someone. The problem is one person’s advice almost always completely contradicts the other persons! Come on, y’all! Dating is already hard enough without hearing all of this:

Put yourself out there and always be on the lookout, you won’t find someone unless you try. But…Stop trying. You always meet someone when you aren’t looking for it.

Know what you want, make a list of the qualities you want in a man. But…Don’t limit yourself to a “type”, be open to all different qualities in a man.

Relax! If it doesn’t work out then just know it wasn’t meant to be. But…If you feel like it’s not working out, you aren’t putting in enough effort. Do more!

Maintain your own identity. Follow your own passions while dating someone. But…Spend more time learning and getting involved in his interests.

Spend time alone, don’t jump from one relationship to the next. But…Don’t stay single for too long lest you get too set in your own ways.

Never assume exclusivity, don’t be afraid to discuss where you’re at in a relationship and tell him what you want. But…Never put too much pressure on where you’re at in a relationship, men hate pressure!

Focus on the person, not the zsa zsa zsu’s. Zsa zsa zsu’s can grow after time. But…Chemistry is key, it’s either there or it’s not.

Don’t act like a needy girl. But…Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and let him know you need him.

Men love elusive women and like to be the pursuers, let him come to you. But…Don’t be afraid to make moves and pursue a man to show your interest.

Learn from past mistakes. If your last boyfriend strayed, be sure to keep your guard up and look for signs in your next boyfriend. But…Don’t let your past haunt you! Just because one bad boyfriend strays doesn’t mean they all will.

Never put out on the first date! Wait until you’re ready. But…It’s okay if passion gets the best of you! If it feels right and you want it, go for it!

Don’t talk about the future too soon. But…Don’t wait too long to talk about the future so you can know if your hopes and goals are compatible.

Watch what you wear on a first date, nothing too revealing! But…Play up your assets. Got great boobs? Work that V-neck!

Don’t sell yourself short or settle, you are unique and wonderful and deserve the best. But…Don’t feel entitled, you may think your quirks are endearing, but those quirks may not make you as much of a catch as you think you are.

You deserve all the love in the world, it’s okay to want more love from a person. But…Don’t expect a certain amount of love from a person, just enjoy what love you do get from the person you’re with.

Don’t let your age or the length of time you’ve been single make you give up on finding the relationship you truly want. But…Don’t think you have all the time in the world to find the perfect match.

Never accept an invitation for a date 1-2 days away. Only pre-planned outings. But…Guys love spontaneity! Happy hour after to work tonight? You bet!

Always look your best no matter the situation, even for a physical activity date. But…Guys love a girl who is comfortable in no makeup and yoga pants, don’t be afraid to get gritty!

And my all time favorite advice:

All men are different, so never listen to dating advice.

It all leaves me feeling a lot like this…tumblr_mk8d58eAcL1qcm0m3o1_500gif_tb_lafayette_fuckdisshit71191-what-the-actual-fuck-gif-game-cjx5tumblr_lzve1dTqJf1qa6lp8Disgust-1

The One in Which Some Asshat Fat Shames Me

It’s well established that body image is a struggle for me, as it is for many people. There’s a multitude of factors as to why a huge majority of people find one, and usually many, reasons to dislike their bodies, and basically, it sucks. It sucks not feeling happy with the way you look. End of story, it just sucks.  So when you find some way to find a little peace with yourself, it truly is an amazing feeling. Until something like this happens…

The scene: A hoity toity health club where nearly NO ONE is overweight. All people working out seemed to already have achieved ideal gym toned bodies.

Enter a 30 year old woman about 18-22 pounds away from an ideal gym toned body (11 of those pounds just recently regained after a hard-fought battle to lose them before turning 30). Though she is one of the very few in this club not already possessing an ideal gym toned body, she is happy and looking forward to meeting with a trainer because she truly does enjoy putting in a good workout. She is in very good health and rather than focusing on getting that ideal gym toned body is there to find new workouts to push herself a little harder again after spending seven weeks away from a daily gym routine.

Enter a 20 something male trainer. In good shape, not a total meathead, but a person that clearly is fit.

The two talk for about 45 minutes on workout styles she’s enjoyed in the past, what made her lose 13 pounds recently, and what led to gaining most of that back. The conversation seems to be going well and the woman thinks to herself, ‘this could be a great person to help me get back into a good routine and help motivate me when I need it.’ The trainer asks what her ultimate goal is when working out. She thinks for a while and, much to her surprise, finds herself at this conclusion:

“Honestly, I know I will never be a small girl. I never have been, and that was really hard for me in the past, but recently, after doing about three months of really intense workouts, and not necessarily losing as much weight as I thought I would from that, instead of being disappointed I came to appreciate my body for what it is capable of doing and not what it looks like. I’d like to just keep working out as hard as I can and maybe have someone there to motivate me with that when I need it so I can keep that feeling going, because it’s taken me a really long time to feel this way about myself.”

The trainer nods and takes a few notes. The girl thinks to herself how proud and excited her old trainer, who worked with her for three months, and really emphasized body acceptance, would be to hear this. She feels proud and even though as she looks at her legs in the mirror in front of her and still sees thighs that are larger and calf muscles that a bigger than most of the girls working out behind her, she likes what those legs are capable of. Five years ago, hell, even five months ago, she never would have had this thought. She still had days where trying on clothes was a nightmare and sometimes her upper arms made her feel as if she should never be allowed to wear tank tops, but on the whole, she felt happier than she could ever remember, even after gaining most of the weight she had just lost back- still happy.

So the consultation between the trainer and the woman ends. They discuss another time to meet, and as they part ways the trainer makes one last comment, “I think I could definitely help you with some more intense workouts, but it disappoints me to hear you say something like ‘I’ll never be a small girl’ because I used to be overweight myself and if you just put more effort into it and make certain lifestyle choices, you could be smaller and you could be happier with yourself.” Interesting, the woman thinks to herself. They hadn’t really gotten in depth on her “lifestyle choices”, what one could only assume means eating habits, so it seemed an odd thing to comment on, but the woman decided to think on it some instead of rushing to judge the comment.

End scene.

So this was me at my gym with a trainer about six weeks ago. I really did try not to rush to judgment after the trainer said that to me, but the more I thought about it, the more irate/sad/embarrassed I became. WTF. I could be smaller and be happier with myself? Well, fuck you very much for telling me finally making a huge step in gaining self-acceptance has been all for naught because I’m still not as thin as you think I should be! And fuck you very much for fat shaming me and fuck you very much for assuming I must be making terrible lifestyle choices because I’m not a size 4 (or under) like most of the women at the gym and fuck you very much for assuming that I haven’t been putting in effort to be where I’m at now physically. Now, I’ve had people say rude things about my body, usually behind my back, sometimes even to my face, but that was in like high school when people were asshats like that and wanted to try and make people feel bad in order to make themselves feel good. But this felt different. Getting to a place where I felt this way about myself literally felt like climbing up a steep mountain and while busting out my sweet victory dance at the top having this trainer be like ‘just kidding, keep on climbing, fattie!’ It was definitely a setback. And maybe if it had just been some random guy, it wouldn’t have knocked my newly found self-confidence so badly, but as a trainer, a person who deals with bodies on a regular basis, this comment felt ultra-harsh. Since then I can attribute more than one bad mood due to shitty, negative, ‘you’re legs/arms/stomach are/is too untoned/flabby/gross’ type thoughts roaming around in my head. I also couldn’t stop myself from flat out rolling my eyes when a guy I was on a date with told me I looked good in the dress I had on. And I definitely spent a few nights in tears after trying on outfits only to feel like every single thing made me look like a giant Sasquatch.

Unfortunately, there is no pretty bow to wrap this story up with, no happy ending…yet. I’m working like hell to figure out how to get back to that place of loving myself for the way I am, and I’m still working like hell in the gym. Not because, like Trainer McDoucherson said, being smaller will make me happier, but because working out and seeing what my body is capable of will. I’ll be in the gym everyday riding those post-workout endorphin highs until I get that sense of peace back and love that my thighs may be big, but they can do a boatload of lunges and still make it up stairs the next day and that my upper arms may be slightly Hulk-like, but they can get me through 60 laps in the pool in the morning and still manage to carry reams upon reams of paper in the office later that day. I want to get all that back, and more, so the next time some asshat tells me I need to be smaller to be happier I can say ‘I may not have your ideal gym toned body, but I sure as shit have mine. ASSHAT.’