Stir Crazy

I’m wearing my three inch, open toe, Kate Spade patent leather stilettos around the apartment because I can. I’m listening to Queen’s greatest hits because I can. I don’t give a fuck that the Giants just won the Super Bowl. Maybe this is what it feels like to bottom out, as Ann Perkins similarly experienced in Season 3 of Parks and Recreation after Chris Traeger dumped her. While I’m not spending $700 on candles, I have been buying lots of clothes from Ann Taylor Loft and jonesing after very impractical purchases. Case in point, I really want an occasion to buy this skirt. It matches my Kate Spade shoes! Or how about this dress! I’ve also been buying lots of lingerie in the event that dating leads to more.

Someone needs to save me.

This is what happens when I spend two days by myself.

Whee! Shopping!

Oh. OH! I just remembered. I’m going to St. John and Tortola in two weeks! Whee!

Maybe shopping and Caribbean travel is my antidote to my burgeoning existential crisis?

Edit: This post may have been influenced by Prosecco, Queen, and too much alone time.

New Sight

Earthquakes come in two forms.

There are, of course, the literal ones, the geological varieties that cause multi-story buildings to sway as if a branch in the wind. Then there are the metaphorical ones — earthquakes wrought by a buildup of wrenching emotional tension and heretofore unexpressed grief; earthquakes that threaten to rip apart the psychic landscape with their undeniable power; and earthquakes that cause an illusion to slip, laying reality bare. Continue reading

Done?

In the tarot, the 10 of Swords is a card of not only completion after an arduous journey, but one of total surrender. When I drew the card on Sunday as my daily oracle, I took a sharp intake of breath, immediately resonating with its message of I’m done. No, not beaten, despite the grisly scene of 10 swords sticking out of the figure in the card, but that of yielding to events beyond my control. I had weighed the Pros and Cons and I was ready to move on.

Over the last few weeks, maybe longer, I slowly inventoried the contents of my heart, packed them up, and cleared space for something new. How could I not? How could I maintain my connection to K in the face of a situation that was completely at odds with my heart?

I didn’t do this stealthily. I was very clear as the days and weeks went on that things were not going well for us, that some sort of decision or resolution would be broached at some point, that maintaining a relationship with two people who each wanted a full time relationship was unsustainable. I slowly disengaged from K and made myself less and less emotionally available. I all but made my language as blunt as possible that the clock was ticking towards the moment when I would have enough. Continue reading

The Accidental Polyamorist

As I trace back the events of the last couple of months, it’s hard to remember when it exactly happened, when my relationship with Ms. K started to unravel.

Was it during a recent vacation when she, yet again, proposed the idea of an open relationship? Was it when I said yes after years of saying no? Was the seed planted months or even years before, born of restlessness and the arguably difficult task that some find it to remain monogamous? Or was it there all along, tucked in the knowledge that long term commitment probably wasn’t something that K was cut out for?

I don’t know.

I can, however, point my finger to a conversation with K this past February. She had innocently announced that she was going to purchase Tristan Taormino’s Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships from Amazon. With that she had hoped we would both read it and have an honest talk on whether an open relationship was right for us. It was a very passive-aggressive approach to an old subject that occasionally bubbled up. But K, knowing me well, had played to my rational side this time.

I read Opening Up, an enthusiastic if not academic selling of partnered non-monogamy, figuring I would give K that much, even if my enthusiasm didn’t match that of the author’s. I’m not saying that an open relationship can’t work, but even sex positive Tristan Taormino would agree that they can be a landmine. And if anything, to do them well, one has to be at a graduate level when it comes to relating, boundaries, trust, communication, and maturity. Were K and I even capable of that level? Continue reading

Healing

It wasn’t my intention to take a break from blogging, but around the time of February and March I didn’t really feel like I had much more to say, which is a shame because I had been regularly writing since 2004. My life was settling down post move and I had entered an almost hermetic phase full of introspection and self reflection — the kind that doesn’t make for the best writing. In addition to thinking a lot about career goals and starting a new blog and twitter account to support some of my freelance work, I was having big thoughts about life, death, and the sort of psychic baggage I’ve been carrying around.

Again, not the sort of self involved, pretentious prattle anyone wants to read about. Continue reading

"I’m sick of fucking around with these asshats."

I’ve managed to calm down somewhat after an infuriating day. Ms. K’s insurance agency has been dicking her around and threatening to deny her claim over some misunderstandings about where she lives. Pennsylvania? New York? While she lives with me, she’s still a legal resident of Pennsylvania. She still pays taxes and is registered to vote there. My temper was raised after Ms. K called to say that her insurance agency may not pay the claim even though the accident wasn’t her fault. (New York is a no fault state.) Seriously? REALLY? And here I was worrying about Ms. K being a little upside down on the loan. But to have to owe the full balance of a car that was totaled due to someone else’s actions??

I wanted to kill someone. Instead I talked to a lawyer who I work with. Armed with some helpful knowledge, I sat down to write Ms. K over the emails when she happened to call. Another insurance agent with the company, Sunshine was her name, was ready to discuss a dollar amount with Ms. K.

Huh? Just a couple hours before the other agent was threatening Ms. K. Now the company is ready to settle?

While nothing is set in stone, the propose dollar amount is MORE than what is owed on the car, so this is good news indeed. Fingers crossed. Even though Americans are litigious in nature, we are not and don’t fancy suing anyone to recoup losses.

"I am a lot more worried about us . . ."

Things are slowly — emphasis on slowly — starting to settle. Our various possessions are finding the appropriate cupboards, closets, and drawers to live in — although I’m still stumped as to where to put our 15 baking sheets, 27 pots and pans, 12 Pyrex dishes, and 9 muffin tins etc. Seriously, with the amount of kitchen stuff between the both of us you’d think that we were opening a restaurant.

That said it’s the intangible things that are taking longer to settle — mainly the chemistry between Ms. K and I. Something shifted with the move and our energy is off. We’ve been distant with each other and we’ve more apt to argue. Now we’re worried that something changed for the worst. Is our mojo still packed in a box somewhere?

"I don’t know how this placed hasn’t burned down yet."

I knew it was a risky move signing for an apartment that Ms. K hadn’t had a chance to see, but I was bolstered by faith and optimism. Look! An apartment! For us! Yeah it’s kind of a mess, but I have a vision! A vision of apartment awesomeness!

When Ms. K and I opened the door last Thursday, she didn’t quite have the same level of optimism that I had. The place was a wreck — a dirty wreck with many layers of paint on its forty-year-old walls. The previous tenant hadn’t cleaned (ever) and the super hadn’t painted or done repairs. The toilet was brown and so was the shower. The stove had a couple of years worth of caked on grease and food. When I saw the apartment previous to signing the lease, I had overlooked these glaring problems somehow. Probably because the previous tenant was still there and her shit was everywhere so I couldn’t assess the full horror.

But, honey, I have a vision!

There were tears and things have swung back and forth between I hate this apartment and I hate you for making me live here to Let’s make this work! The dog versus cats issue has exploded into a ginormous issue, the electrical wiring in the apartment is dangerously old, and we’ve also started fighting about how we just have too much stuff.

Fun!

Stay tuned for the next installment of Adventures in Cohabitation!

"Under Pressure."

I read somewhere that moving is one of the three most stressful events one can experience in life after death and job loss. But what that conventional wisdom fails to express is that the run up to a move is as equally stressful, like staring at the horizon and see the slow build of a very large tidal wave. The ground trembles and shifts. Every moment seems precarious. Will Ms. K and I be able to ride the wave or will it sink us?

This isn’t just any ol’ move. It’s the combining of two people’s resources and property. This is a Serious. Life. Change. While Ms. K and I have been living with each other in a de facto situation since March, looking at cheapo crack dens south of Prospect Park sort of seals the deal. I saw a dreary place on Saturday that had potential, but the 12% broker fee was a little more that silly considering the state of the apartment and the building. (Attention brokers, this is no longer the height of the market! People are not going to pay close to a two grand broker fee on top of a deposit for some dumpy walk-up! Thanks.) So Ms. K and I have soldiered on, combing Craigslist for other potential places. She’s been feeling very frustrated and anxious, but I reminded that we have only just begun our apartment search.

The tidal wave grows closer.

"There is no Dana, only Zuul."

Writing about my future goals apparently provoked the Universe to push a lot of them front and center.

Completely independent of my blog post, Ms. K and I got into a lengthy and emotional discussion on Thursday night of our plans for the future — cohabitation, our respective pets, short term and long term goals; it was all on the table, messy and offered up to speculation. And then yesterday I was sort of busted by my landlord for having Ms. K live with me on the sly. Feeling myself pushed into Triage Mode yet again (shakes fist!), I freaked out thinking that he was going to force her or us to leave. I fended off his inquiries for now. (Oh please God let this please be the last of it!)

The stress took a toll on me yesterday, so when I came home I made myself an overly large Manhattan while making three cheese & mushroom pizza from scratch. Afterwards Ms. K and I played Guitar Hero to blow off some steam, which reminded me that she is an excellent partner for having fun with and I looked back fondly to our Date Day of Sunday brunch at Beast followed by Baby Mama.

Unfortunately the mood I was in last night could only be delicately described as “bitchy.” When she asked why I was cranky, I quickly answered back, “I’m not cranky!” Except imagine if the voice that came from my mouth was a combination of Linda Blair in The Exorcist and “There is no Dana, only Zuul” from Ghostbusters.

Ms. K looked at me alarmed when the deep voice, so unlike my own, growled at her. It was the first time I think she ever saw me get really tetchy and after she stopped looking like a frightened puppy, she burst out laughing and showered me with kisses.

“Aw, you’re the cutest thing ever.”

Yes. I am also big and scary.

In other news I’m thinking about taking a waitressing job so I can have a steady source of second income since the freelance pay has a tendency to fluctuate in an undesirable way. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.