The Married Girl’s Dating Scene

I have not been in the dating pool since I was a teenager, when pairing off was more like a gravitational pull then the strategic chess match that my single friends describe. However, I have been reintroduced to it while trying to make friends in a small town. Until now, I have never considered friendships to be a scarce commodity. I had more social obligations than I could keep up with, and constant guilt from neglecting those second-tier friends that asked for my time. I’m not saying that I was super popular or anything, it’s just that when you’re in college and/or living in a huge city, it’s almost impossible not to meet people that you instantly connect to and consider part of your clan. So really, who cared if I went to a party and made a bad impression and some bitch didn’t like me? I’d meet someone cooler and more fun the next week anyway.

Small towns are not this way. When we moved here, my list of qualities for potential friends included: young (under 35), cool, childless, liberal leanings preferred, great sense of humor, being gay is a bonus. 10 months in, and I’ve pretty much abandoned everything on this list. The childless thing was the first quality to go,  since apparently the only reason people below the age of 50 move here is to raise children. Now, my list of qualities has expanded to: must be young (under 45), have a sense of humor (or at least won’t get offended at my jokes), must not be a homophobic redneck and/or a member of the Tea Party.  In Hendersonville, these qualifications narrow the field down to approximately 10 people.

So on those few occasions when I actually come in contact with someone I would consider as a potential friend, I feel the nervous butterflies that most people probably feel on a first date, especially after those first pangs of desperation have begun to set into their soul. I mean, there are only a few people left to meet in this town, so DON’T BLOW IT. There is a careful selection of what to wear (I want to look cute, but not like I’m trying too hard), what to serve, how far should I go with my jokes, etc. It’s nerve-wracking. And then, after our date or get-together or whatever, I can’t help but go over everything in my head that I said and wish I could take back.

All I want is for it to be like the old days: you go to someone’s house, have a few drinks, make inappropriate jokes and form lasting bonds with the people who laugh. And then you live happily ever after, until next week’s party…

Someone else could say this better

If I was a more poetic writer I would make an artful comparison of the sharp knives next to the soft flowers. Maybe I would compare them to the difficulties we’ve faced in this move and the joys it has brought us. But I am not one of those writers. Instead, I’m going to tell you why this picture makes me happy:

1) My knives, which have been sitting on a towel on our counter with no place to go, are finally in their own little spot. Organization, people! This is what I live for.

2) I finally have been able to get my head above water long enough to do something trivial, like put those flowers into cute little bottles. I mean, they’re just going to die in a week and I’ll have to do this all over again, but adding that little task to my list is no longer enough to induce anxiety attacks. This is progress. And it only took five months.

Stuck in Colder Weather

This song seems to be perfectly summing up my recent mood. The obvious answer is because it is freaking cold here and oh my god why did we decide to move out of LA during the winter??? It could also be that I feel I’m on a search for stability and comfort that continues to elude me.

I’m only now realizing the level of my naiveté in handling this move. Ever since we moved to California over five years ago a part of me has pined for North Carolina. I missed the mountains, the laid back lifestyle, my family. I knew rationally that moving back would be difficult, but I believed wholeheartedly that part of me would immediately feel connected and content to be back in the town that I grew up in. Instead I feel isolated, overwhelmed and more than a little lost.

I have been astounded in the last couple weeks by all the things I don’t know, and didn’t plan for. One thing I am certain of is that I do not know where this journey will take us. Perhaps in a few months the weather will be better, this house will feel like home and we’ll be hosting parties for all the new friends we’ve made. Perhaps we will do some work on the home and then decide our journey is taking us onto a new place, a new adventure. Perhaps we will simply throw up our hands and run screaming from here back to the comforts of California.

For now though, it is safe to say that I am stuck in colder weather and hoping tomorrow will be better. And I am hoping most of all that tomorrow comes soon.

Thanks for reading. xoxo

Ladybugs are only kind of cute

We spent our first night in the new home this past Friday. It was mostly fine, except that apparently there is a bit of a lady bug infestation, something I kind of forgot is common here in the South. The cute little ladybugs get a bit chilly and decide they’ll just come warm up inside our lovely upstairs bedroom. This is becomes less cute after they starve to death and lay rotting in the carpet. Actually, the live ones aren’t really all that cute either since they fly around the room and make little tap, tap, tapping sounds as they run into the walls. This is especially charming when we’re trying to go to bed. I have to say that if we were sharing our bedroom with a less-cute variety of insect, such as a common black beetle or, God help me, a fucking cockroach, I would very well have called this whole house thing off by now. I realize of course that this is insect racial profiling, and I can probably go to jail for admitting such a thing, but there it is. I can go to sleep with a few ladybugs on the walls, but if a fucking cockroach ever shows it’s face I will probably just get in my car and head back to California right then and there.

The morning after our first night in the house I went downstairs to make breakfast, feeling super proud of myself for buying bread and eggs the night before AND locating a pan to cook them in. However, I had to eventually face the fact that I hadn’t exactly thought this whole thing through.

(Thinking to myself in the kitchen)

Eggs: Check!
Bread: Check!
Butter: Check!
Saute pan: Check!
Forks, Knives, Spoons: Ummm… we can use our hands…
Plates: Will paper towels work?
Spatula: Well shit.

So there ya go. Ladybugs. No idea where the things are (although I’ve made progress since the weekend).

Stay tuned… and thanks for reading. xoxo

Well…now what?

We made it to NC. By “we,” I mean myself, Chase, Honey, and the 50+ boxes of stuff that we loaded up in California and I prayed wouldn’t be lost in a wreck or sold out from under us on the black market. (Don’t look at me like that – those Ikea dressers could by a lot of drugs. By “drugs,” I mean Tic Tacs. By “a lot,” I mean a pack.)

Although the ultimate plan is for us to take over what is currently my grandmother’s house, she currently is still living in the home, which means we aren’t able to unpack any of our stuff yet. So for the time being we just kind of threw all of it in what is normally the large TV room. Unless it’s a shop vac or a tree stand, I don’t have the foggiest clue as to where anything is located.

This photo sums up what every surface in the house looks like: absolutely covered in stuff that has been accumulated over the last 60 years. Yard sale advice would be welcome at this point.

Some of the furniture you see in the photo is my grandmother’s. Some of it belongs to me and Chase. What does it all have in common? All of it will still be in the house a week from now and will be ours to deal with. Anyone have re-upholstering advice?

I have urges to cook that are so strong I’m surprised I haven’t started flipping pancakes in my sleep. However, all of my pots, pans, etc. are still in boxes that are buried under more boxes and nearly impossible to retrieve, and every surface of the kitchen is covered in clutter. For now I can only look longingly and hope to one day have a reason to go grocery shopping again.

Our goals for the following week are as follows:

1) Move into house.
2) Stop living out of suitcases (see #1)
3) Find jobs
4) Buy Chase a new car with 4WD (we sold his in LA)
5) Try to locate all of the gift cards we were given over the holidays.
6) Unpack bedroom. All other rooms will have to wait.
7) Find boxes with bedroom items (see #6)
8 ) Begin plan of attack for remodel. Try not to cry when calculating a budget.

Stay tuned for more scenes from the Great Remodel of 2013. Thanks for reading xoxo

So, that happened

For the past few weeks Chase and I had been counting the days until the moving truck would be loaded since we thought at that point we would finally be able to relax and unload some of the stress we had been carrying. I didn’t realize until after the truck was loaded that the only thing left to do would be to say good-bye, and the real heaviness would finally settle in. I couldn’t deny the fact that we were, in fact, leaving our home, friends, and everything that had been familiar and comforting over the past five years. In essence, the first real adventure of our adult lives was officially over.

I write this from Kansas, where we are spending the Christmas holidays with Chase’s family until we continue onto North Carolina, and our new adventure will finally begin. Even though we’re moving to my hometown, an area I know like the back of my hand, I have no idea what to expect. Will we fit in? Will we make friends? Will it be everything we’ve dreamed of or will we regret it? Watching my California friends posting on Facebook and realizing that I won’t be joining them in a few short weeks to catch up over drinks and laugh about our holiday misadventures has me struggling not to be overtaken by waves of sadness. When the holidays are over we won’t feel the usual relief of being back home in California, because our home is no longer there.

I’ve already decided that my New Year’s resolution is to relinquish my self-pitying feelings and to embrace all of the wonderful things that I do have in my life. Until then though, I’m going to allow myself just a few more days of mourning for our old life, and prepare for the new one that will come soon.

As always, thanks for reading. xoxox


What I am missing most in my life right now, besides my sanity, is better music. When I start packing each morning I look to my iPod and realize there’s no song that fully encompasses how I’m feeling. It was easy when I moved to Los Angeles, since there is no shortage of songs that go, “I’m moving to the big city to pursue my dreams and it’s fine because sometimes you have to take risks in life,” blah, blah, blah. However, I’ve yet to find the, “my dreams ended up not being as much fun as I was hoping, so I’m moving back home and trying to be upbeat and excited,” theme song. Also missing are songs of, “we’ve been living an awesome life in the big city but now we’re settling down so that our families can ask us every five minutes when we’re having kids instead of the usual six months.”

Basically, I’m looking for a new soundtrack to my life. Any suggestions?

The Joy of Packing

I am five days into packing for our move and it has already proven to be less fun than I thought, and I had set expectation pretty dang low. My plan to begin packing a month before our move was intended to spread out the process and hopefully ease the stress, but I’m beginning to suspect I just extended my misery.

Day 1 – Went into a shredding frenzy in an effort to clean my desk and get rid of old papers that had been piling up, only to later realize that I had shredded my most recent paycheck. Have since sworn off the shredder altogether and am clinging to every receipt, post-it and junk mail that I find. This is how hoarding starts.

Day 2 – Became overwhelmed from random items and how and/or whether or not to organize them. Do I set aside every stray battery in an effort to pack them together, or do I pack each one as I go to keep the clutter out from under my feet? Do I throw out every random pen or is that just a waste of money? Is it better to pack all Halloween items together or can I separate out a pirate sword because it’s long and would require me to put everything in a bigger box, thus forcing me to mix Halloween items with non-Halloween items? Is there a packing etiquette book I can go buy, because I’m pretty sure I’m doing it all wrong?

Day 3 -Went on a search for bubble wrap we saved from our last move, which of course we packed away at the very back of our garage. I’m sure our intentions in putting the bubble wrap behind every other item we own had a purpose originally, but after we scrounged through boxes for an hour I wanted to punch our younger selves for not leaving it in a more convenient location. Really, how terrible would it really have been to have a box of bubble wrap sitting in our living room the past four years?

Day 4 – Chase hung out with some friends and apparently mentioned that I had packed a DVD he wanted to watch, and then my friend made the mistake of repeating this information back to me. However, Chase was quick to vehemently deny ever saying such a thing, obviously realizing it was best not to anger the person who has been doing the packing while he escapes to work each day. Smart boy.

Day 5 – Realized I packed a computer cable in a box that I still needed. Was forced to open the box and re-tape it back. Felt like screaming, “Why God?!? Why?!?!”

Pray for me, friends. I’ll be back later with more news from the trenches.

Happy Monday

I’ve spent the last week in North Carolina, primarily to attend a wedding of some dear friends, but also to lay groundwork for our upcoming move. A week in the mountains during October was perhaps what I needed most at this moment. The air was clean and crisp, the landscape lush green with patches of bright orange and red poking through the trees, thunderstorms woke us up as rain splattered down on the roofs, and all I could think was how much I have missed the autumn season.

Maybe this move won’t be so bad after all.

Not an Ending

As I’ve told you all before, Chase and I are moving to NC in a few short months. We began the discussion of moving last year, but our decision was made final by a series of events that led to myself inheriting property from a family member. The specific details will remain private, but basically, we have a house waiting for us in NC.

When it first became a possibility that we would be getting a house, my head was filled with nothing but excitement at the idea of Chase and I fixing up and re-decorating our first home together. Once everything was confirmed this past June, I still felt excitement, but the first inklings of sadness began to creep into my consciousness. As D-day, or perhaps M-day, gets closer and closer, the voices of regret grow louder and are drowning out all of the positivity I had built up.  My thoughts are filled constantly with everything that I’ll miss:

Wandering down to my neighbor’s apartment for an after-work cocktail.

Heading to In-N-Out with Chase where we order Animal Fries, extra crispy, and eat them on our couch while watching silly TV shows.

Planning last minute sushi nights with my girlfriends and laughing so loudly we disturb the table next to us.

Grilling out with friends in and sipping cocktails on patios in February.

All of the friendships that we have made here in CA. I ache every time spend time with a friend and realize that soon we won’t be close to one another.

When I read about other bloggers that are in the process of moving, they  write as though the entire experience is nothing but rainbows and unicorns, and I don’t understand why I seem to be alone in feeling that moving means leaving friends, favorite places, our first apartment. It should be a new beginning, but it feels like an ending.

I realize of course that there are many people out there that would love to have my problems. Inheriting a house is not something that warrants complaint in the times we live in, and I do try to count my blessings whenever those sad feelings creep in. I’m sure it will pass soon, and I know that there are good things coming to quiet them down. I must try to live in the moment, with the constant chant in my head that this is not an ending; it is a beginning.

This is a beginning. This is a beginning. This is a beginning.

As always, thanks for reading xoxo