A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi

I always loved the day of conversation hearts & shitty construction paper puns. I even went so far as to wear Valentine themed t-shirts as I thought it would bring me luck in the 7th (and 8th through 12th) grade love department. It worked of course. I always got flower delivery. But it was from my father. My wonderful & incomparable dad has sent me things since there was somewhere to send them to.
There aren’t many Valentines Days that I can remember where I had a significant other to spend it with. The one that does come to mind was a day that I made a 7 layer chocolate cake with ganache & raspberry mousse to serve alongside the most definitely amazing Alfredo from a jar. It sounds made up, but there was also a severe blizzard that day & I requested that my father drive to the post office to retrieve boyfriend’s present that had come that day. The boyfriend showed up in the same t-shirt he always wore with not even a card in the pocket of his cargo pants.
I went on a few year stint of thinking that it was just one of those made up days where boys have to buy girls shit even though the girl says they don’t really want anything but then secretly they’ll be offended if they don’t get anything & then they won’t talk to the guy for the rest of the night while they eat their cheddar biscuits at Red Lobster but then the guy will duck into the jewelry store while they wait for the movie to start & he’ll show up with some Jane Seymour necklace & then they’ll share popcorn.
I came to the conclusion though, that maybe we should just accept this day of love & fat guys with arrows & chocolate. It may have taken me 30 some odd years but I learned that I am in love every day. I’m in love with the guy who doesn’t judge me for going through the Panera drive-thru more than twice a week. I’m in love with my neighbors for simultaneously plowing/snow blowing my driveway because I seem a bit like an Edith from Downton Abbs & I know that they watch me struggle with my broken mailbox every day. And I am in mad love with the fact that I found ‘lonwly little petuni’ typed in my YouTube search. Perhaps I was drunk or perhaps just lazy.
And recently, against my better judgment, I have found myself Netflix-ing movies that would normally make me want to slowly carve out my eyes with the back end of a spoon. And while simultaneously watching Teen Mom 2 tonight I filled out Valentine postcards & sent them to people who I think are more than worthy of however many cents it is to send them.
Also, have you wondered why I named this Je Ne Sais Quoi? I think it’s fun to say. And, it means something like ‘a pleasant quality that is hard to describe.’ I feel like that. I feel as happy as when I get to eat the really baked-on cheese on the side of a hotdish.
So this Friday I’m going to laugh at all the assholes that get engaged & I’m going to eat some candy hearts that taste conveniently like Tums & I’m going to love it.  As should you.  It is a certain je ne sais quoi.
Oh and dad, if you’re reading this, this is supposed to be funny & not heart-breaking. Also, no need to send flowers.

Cheers friends.
-a damsel & her dog-

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Auld Lang Mine

Here it is, 16 days into the New Year. I am a month & a few days shy of my 31st birthday & I feel like this might be the year I do something besides add 27 new shows to my Netflix queue. So far though, I haven’t strayed too far from my normal habits. Coffee at bedtime, naps in the evening & falling asleep 3 times before I make it through a Downton Abbey episode. Not because I dislike it, it’s because I still cannot function above the level of a toddler.
2013 was good. It wasn’t spectacular & it didn’t suck. I donated lots of clothes, diagnosed & treated my allergy ridden dog & got a few steps closer to inventing something good enough to get myself on Shark Tank. I’d tell you what it is but I’d have to punch you in the kidney.
I recently had to look up the meaning of Auld Lang Syne because I forget it every year. It translates, or so the internet says, to ‘times gone by.’ We should remember our past friends & stuff I guess. To me it kind of translates to this: stop losing yer damn self.
Do you remember in that movie with Richard Gere & Julia Roberts, the second one, where she likes her eggs the same way that all of her lovers like their eggs? This is how I have often reacted in relationships. I am so eager to please my sig other that I lose all the things I love. Mainly naps. And eating.
I have had a lot of single time to dwell in independence. It is lonely, but it is liberating. And I will argue with any married person about it. I can see the joy one can get being married, but I can tell you why it is great to be alone. And with this understanding has come the willingness to finally, maybe, consider dipping my cankle into the pool of dating men who aren’t right for me.
A week or so ago 2 of my best girl friends and 1 of my best guy ones sat down, drank roughly 4 bottles of wine & discussed his current relationship problems. We all got intellectual via fermented grapes, I drew a timeline & we told the poor guy that ‘she’s just not that into you.’ If you could see my drawings & witty remarks on said timeline I think you’d probably agree with me. It’s so easy when you’re on this side. Talking to someone who is meddling in heartbreak is like telling yourself not to get the deep fried cheesecake after your 7 course meal for $20 at Applebees. You know you shouldn’t get it but you’re going to try to fit it all in your stomach hanging over your pants anyway.
I know this because I have found myself to be the queen of rationalizing. On my 30th birthday I wrote a blog that said something in the end about meeting a handsome stranger. Well on December 7th, 2013 I did. I went on a blind date that I thought went nothing short of perfect. It lasted for hours, he was wearing flannel, sported a beard & told me that he just wants to live in the middle of nowhere, etc. I didn’t even hear my panties dissolving.  Let’s do like a VHS & fast forward a week. I texted him to casually ask if he wanted to go to a concert coming up in January. No response. That’s cool I said. I waited until Christmas & asked him to go to drinks ‘next year,’ BECAUSE THAT IS SO FUNNY & CLEVER. No response again. I beat myself up for days about what I did wrong. Maybe it was because I got kind of drunk on our date & it didn’t go as good as I remember? Maybe it’s because he had to drive me home & I hadn’t cleaned my house because let’s face it I haven’t had man company in a while? Maybe he dropped his cell phone in the lake while ice fishing?  Maybe he fell in the lake while ice fishing? I did it until I realized that I was being a total knob. I had let all of my current comfort & happiness fall to the wayside because I was swayed by a potential lover. A whole lot of me wishes it had never happened because I wouldn’t have been distracted & inevitably sad that I once again did something wrong. But it is one more thing I have now been able to blog about. One more ‘time gone by.’ I don’t know if Robert Burns would be okay with my analogies but art is open to interpretation.
So here we all are in a brand new year. If you’re married that’s cool, please don’t write me any letters. I’m happy for you. But remember, I have to do all of the chores myself. Garbage, softener salt, the dishwasher. Give thanks for that the next time you cold shoulder your husband for not commenting on your sweet new bangs.

Here’s to 2014. The year of big things. Here’s to my dog who just licked the Shop-Vac. Here’s to all of the things.

Cheers friends,
A damsel & her dog.

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My Favorite Ex-Boyfriend

My favorite ex-boyfriend got engaged recently. My heart jumped out of a 17 story building & has been bleeding out on the sidewalk below ever since.
I knew the day was inevitably coming. He talked about her in our circle of friends while I pretended to check my phone & wished that I smoked so I could exit the conversation I wasn’t even in. I saw the announcement on Facebook, that place where all news is given these days. I didn’t even ‘like’ it or leave a ‘congratulations’ comment because, well, I’m too selfish.
I’m surprised we ever happened in the first place judging by the ass-headed way I went about it. A mutual friend of ours said he was interested in my sweet highlights & Lisa Loeb glasses so using my mad stalking skills I found his e-mail address & sent him a little electronic letter.
He called. Come again right? And then began some of the most exciting times of my twenties. We would drive around & listen to music, the smell of his cigarettes dinting the air. I helped him pick out jeans & was invited to work parties. I didn’t say much then, he intimidated me. After all, he dated a dancer & had lived in New York. I obsessively watched You’ve Got Mail & ate broccoli cheese soup like it was going out of style. We dated 3 times over a number of years. In those years I learned how to tip properly, how to match my socks to my outfit & that it’s not that big of a deal to go to the big city to catch some shows.
The first 2 times we were together, he dumped me. After the second time, I packed up my bags & moved to Alaska. A few days into my journey to the biggest state in the land, we were together again. He came to visit me. Everything was sunshine & rainbows shitting more sunshine & rainbow babies. The bliss lasted for a few months. Then I made friends & a 3 hour time difference was starting to meddle in the way of being in love. And then I did what any person does in a perfectly perfect relationship: I dumped him & started dating a total nozzle.
Since that day I have wondered if I made the right decision. I still don’t know. The only thing I do know is that I got my giant-hippopotamus-sometimes-asshole-but-i-love-him-so-much-dog out of the situation & I can’t trade him for anything. Not even beef jerky.
When I moved back within a mile of MFEB we hung out sometimes. This was after my train-wreck of a near 4 year period with the nozzle ended. We would drink in his garage or he would watch me bake cupcakes. I wanted to do it all over again, but I couldn’t. I have now turned into the man of every relationship & all boys to me seem to act like huge vaginas. He wanted to take me out on a date & I liked being alone. For the first time in the length of a DMV line, I was doing what I actually felt was appropriate. I was hoping he’d wait but I knew he wouldn’t, he wasn’t the waiting kind.
I thought about writing him, to tell him I was happy he was happy. I haven’t done that yet. But I did this. This is my attempt at saying a total adios to the boy who taught me the beginnings of everything. Though I know I will do as I always do, & never fully commit.
Here, have a sad song, sung by one of our favorite road-trip companions.

Cheers friends,
-a damsel & her dog-

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Happy Re-Birthday

Though I had swallowed down a sleeping pill, put on my jams & hydrogen-peroxided my teeth (google it, it’s a thing) by 11:30 pm last night, I felt the need to make it past midnight just to suck out the last little bits of the marrow of my 20’s.
That’s right, today is my 30th birthday.
I’ve always been an extremely sentimental person. As an example, I used to pick out every last Spaghettio from the can so that none of the noodles felt bad. A noodle. I was concerned about a noodle. That being said, I have had a hard time with birthdays. Not because I dislike getting older, I just like to hold on to the things that are ‘milestones.’ When I was 9 & turning 10, I cried. I was over the single digits. Holy crap, 10? I mean, what was next, a job? I think the next hurdle was 12 into 13. I was practically on the road to being an adult it felt like (I do remember writing 20/20 as one of my favorite shows on a questionnaire in school). I guess 18 was OK because I could go to the casinos & rock the nickel slots. And then I was 20. The 20’s, I had heard, were the best years.
And friends, the 20’s were great. I fell in love & out & then some. I wrote songs, left the nest, sang songs, cried, laughed, maybe peed in my pants once & then couldn’t find them the next day & arrived at 30 with some fantastic stories to tell. I recently found a journal that I wrote in in which I wrote some life goals. I had written in there that I had assumed I would be married by 24. I moved to Alaska instead. I thought I’d have my first child by 26. I got a dog instead. I guess I learned that it all just happens. Sometimes we like it as much as I like Sriracha. Sometimes it sucks like when you have to pay for things like new tires. But somehow, it all magically balances like when I put stuff on the heads of my parents’ cats.
So, I am looking forward to the next 10 years. And hopefully, I’m lucky enough to cry when I turn 40 & enjoy a crap ton of other milestones. Did I hear someone say senior discount at Perkins?
This morning I woke up at 7am & ate a waffle & poured syrup in every damn pocket it had. I watched the news & then climbed into the shower. I took extra time whitening my teeth & plucking my eyebrows. I put on a new birthday outfit, made a 2nd cup of coffee & I totally plan on watching Dateline when I’m done writing this. I think I’m owning 30! Here’s to you & me & meeting a handsome stranger.

Cheers friends,
-a damsel & her dog-

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Self Help Yourself

I heard a radio interview today with a lady who for a split second was the saver of my day.  Hell, she was the light at the end of a dimly lit tunnel with fog & snow & other things that make visibility hard to come by. She was being interviewed because she wrote a book, along with another tormented woman, about how to get over getting dumped. Where has this book been since I was 21 years old? Evidently not on my book shelf next to my coveted Berenstain Bears collection.
It’s been calculated down to a science, how we get over someone. Or, on How I Met Your Mother, it was calculated down to something like this: Lily (half the length of the relationship), Marshall (a week for every month you were together), Robin (10,000 Drinks), Barney (steps from the bed to the front door). I’m not a fan of closing doors. I’m not a fan of those rotating ones either as I have a fear I’ll get stuck in one. I can tell them with certainty that I’d like to have my dinner planned out by 10am on any given day but I cannot accept that they will be out of my life. Breakups are too much of a death to me. And I have discovered, that though I leave scars un-scabbed by doing so, I will let someone bleed me out until my friends will tell me to stop listening to Bon Iver & pour some hops & better advice down my throat.
There’s a line in a Colin Hay song (if you’re drinking or sad or both or even really happy & shitting butterflies I wouldn’t recommend listening to him unless you are okay with sobbing for 3 hours & Pinteresting sad quotes all over your page) that goes something like this, ‘I don’t want you thinking that I don’t get asked to dinner cause I’m here to say that I sometimes do.’ It’s true I guess. There have a been a few XY chromosomes who have thought it would be fun to watch me try & eat while holding my hand over my face (I have a complex about shit in my teeth around new people) but it has never led me to a ring on my hand that I secretly hate but pretend to like & make my cover photo.
It is not at all that I want to still be with him. It will never happen again. I even wrote a song about how I’m glad it will never happen again. But I still find my life infected with him every blasted day. I was so torn to bits by his shenanigans that I find myself recounting them. It’s impossible not to. One reallyextremelyrareday I was sorting through piles of paper that had accumulated a dust allergy. I found a planner (because I pretend to write my life on a calendar) & in it were days with little x’s on them. Actually, it was probably more like big violent slashes but who’s checking.  The marks meant that those were the days that my ‘boyfriend’ stayed over at his ‘friend’s’ house. That really meant he was falling in love with/putting his wank in someone else. One time my friend asked me if I was mentally ill because I still talk to him. That day I considered it.
I also still get his mail. I know I can do something about it, but I don’t. I know that I could go pretend to buy some Forever stamps & tell the postmaster that this gentleman hasn’t lived with me for a while but I haven’t made the trip yet, I mean, the roads are icy.
I got a call the other morning at 3am from said ex crying into the Iphone. He caught her in bed with another dude. And day by day I was getting playbacks of how she has ruined his life & is tormenting him slowly. He’s been discovering all the boners, I mean skeletons, in her closet. This has basically been happening since the end of our relationship & the beginning of theirs. I have listened to him live the life that I just did. And you know what? It worked.
And through a whale sized miracle & a lot of pretend face punching in my head, I have worked my way over it. I couldn’t have done this via a self help book or with someone else’s advice. I did it on my own terms. Slow as hell – lots of gin – lots of wine – lots of marathon T.V. shows – other people’s relationships working – other people’s relationships failing – breakfasts with friends – instagrams of my dog – trips to the woods – salty salty tears & the new life of my old love, being told to me through re-assuring phone calls that I’m meant to be right where I am. (I mean not literally right now, I’m in bed. I guess that is where I’m supposed to be because it’s nearly 2 am, but for reals. You get it.)
Much like Sasquatch, there was a sighting of him & her tonight at my place of employment. It made my heart palpitate for a second because I don’t feel he should come pissing all over my territory with the girl that I’ll probably get a text about some drunken morning. But then I did something I haven’t been able to do in minutes/hours/days/months.
I grabbed a Sharpie & scribbled ‘No longer at this address’ on one of his envelopes. Tomorrow I’m going to visit the postmaster to pretend to buy some Forever stamps.

Cheers friends,
-a damsel & her dog-

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Richard Marx Was Right.

I should’ve known better. The other day I was thinking about this as the day passed that would have been mine & my first serious boyfriend’s 13 year anniversary. That’s right, had we stayed together our relationship would have been the equivalent of a potty-mouthed asshole teenager. For the better of both of us, that never happened.
As I was stuck in a shroud of reminiscence, I started to think about how irrational I was during the breakup.
We broke up on the seats of his Tahoe. I take that back. He broke up with me, I screamed a lot. I really didn’t believe it. This is the boy that stayed around my house every night after I broke up with him the first go around of our relationship. This was probably a bad plan on his part because I planned on just doing the same thing back to him. (Minus me parking my snowmobile behind his house & waiting for him inside on his kitchen counter. Yes, he did that). I became nothing but a body wearing pajamas & eating soup. I called into my job. I lost about 40 pounds. I would sit on the couch & cry every time I watched his vehicle go by on his way to work.
Had anyone known the things I was plotting in my head, I probably would’ve been sent away & evaluated by a man in spectacles who asked me how things made me feel in between craft time with other helpless souls. Because this is a place of divulging & because this is safely over a decade ago, I’m going to confess my crazy right here:

I tried buying him things:
This specific ex used to really love wrestling. I’m talking about the wrestling that they show on t.v. & make better with soap opera dialogue & the ripping off of their own onesies. It was not uncommon to find him sleeping on my family’s living room floor after he watched a couple hours Monday nights. And since he loved it so much, I figured that since some sort of wrestling shenanigans were coming to an arena near us, that would woo him back into my now bony arms. Luckily, his wonderful mother convinced me that this would indeed not work so I made some more broth & returned to my spot on the couch.

I tried stalking:
He wasn’t hard to find. His vehicle was loud & he was a local which meant he didn’t go very far. He was going out with friends more often & had started dating a girl from out of town who was also a shot-putter & so that’s when I developed a complex about not being athletic, but I still knew where I could go to drive by his vehicle slowly.

I tried poetry:
Not only did I take words I had written of us during our relationship, I took words that I practically wrote in my own tortured blood & made a cute little not at all creepy book out of them. And to just take it up one more notch & guarantee his begging me back, I added watercolor. That’s right. I took poems, made each one into a pretty picture & then dropped it off at his parents. I remember some looking like fireworks because I hadn’t yet perfected that medium.

I tried e-mails:
I kept it simple. I thought that since he wasn’t answering any of my phone calls, surely he’d respond to my written word. I just said, ‘I miss you.’ Guess what friends, he called! Success at last I thought. But oh, what a pity call it was. He called only because he got my mail & basically felt bad for me. Since he had ignored every other attempt I made he decided he’d cave to that. He asked me how my life was going & if I was onto solid foods yet. Luckily he didn’t know that when he called me I was simultaneously searching for his truck.

I tried buying more things:
When I wasn’t stalking I was driving around trying to potentially plan the next stage of my life. Lucky for me, Rob Thomas must have known this because his album came out with a song that I knew was going to be the ticket. There was a song titled ‘Unwell’ in which some of the lyrics were ‘I’m not crazy I’m just a little unwell, I know right now ya can’t tell so wait a while & maybe then you’ll see a different side of me.’ My brain exploded all over the seats of my Grand Am. I was sure that my ex called up Matchbox 20 & told them this story. Then I heard it & I thought that if I bought my ex the CD for his birthday, shoved it in a gift-bag with 3 different kinds of tissue & hand delivered it. Surely the fireworks were going to be better than my watercolor ones. Well he said thank you, but it didn’t throw him into a panic over losing me.

Then instead of me trying anything else my friends tried an intervention. After having cried in every public place she took me too, my best friend decided to introduce me to someone. His name was Bud Light. I had a revelation. Suddenly the world got a little less dismal & a little more covered in a happy layer of alcohol induced peace. Then I started to realize that boys were looking at me. Then I realized after enough Bud Lights I could make out with them & not want to go plummeting off the side of a road afterwards. A few months later I became smitten with a bright blue-eyed boy who changed my perspective on everything. I soon realized I could survive this breakup & my ex became just that. He was just my ex-boyfriend. I had heard later on that he told people how hard of a time I had with it & that he was extremely hard to get over. This was kind of true, I mean,I just gave you a psychotic looking little list of how hard I tried to deal. But then I realized he liked Nickelback & never grew a beard & I laughed & drank & made bad decisions & started a blog a bunch of years later. Since you read this all, I’ve decided to give you a treat. Richard Marx. The best part of this video is how slowly they take their clothes off. Who can keep eye contact that long?

So guys, let’s try not to be irrational if you get dumped. Just roll up the sleeves on your t-shirt, do things slowly like Richard & paint some watercolor. Don’t however, give those gifts to your ex.

Cheers friends,
-a damsel & her dog-

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Merry Ex-mas

It’s always during this Holiday infested time of year that I start to miss having a weiner-laden sidekick. I drive a solid 5 hours back & forth most times & every once in a while wish I wasn’t shoving wildberry fritters into my mouth by myself. It’s much more fun to be fat with company.
Don’t get me wrong though, it’s not so much the couple-dom that I long for . . . I’m just trying to wipe the tears off of the faces of those who find out I’m nearly 30 and I don’t have a profile picture of me kissing my boyfriend. My bestie went to her family Christmas party & was asked if I was taken by a lover. When she replied a simple ‘no,’ I got an ‘awwww, poor girl!’
I made it a pressing goal to learn to be totally satisfied with & by myself before I attempted to start making dinners for boys again. And let’s be real, I’ve been having some mad fun while doing so. I get to have dance parties for 37 seconds or until I’m out of breath, whichever comes first – I get to eat leftover soup for at least 4 days without anyone asking why it’s grown a skin in the refrigerator – I can draw animals on the shower stall with my hair that’s fallen out in there – I can put up a mad amount of twinkle lights – I can wear my lisp-inducing retainer all night long.
I don’t know if it’ll be believable but I’ve had some overwhelmingly happy days as of late. It could be the fact that Uncle Kracker is no longer writing number ones or it could be that the mice have finally stopped shitting on everything I love, but hot damn I’ll take it. Since I’m drinking beer in bed I’ll probably wake up tomorrow having peed myself or my new flannel sheets, but still I’ll take it.
Since it was Christmas, that means it was also New Years. The one day of the year that it’s totally not creepy at all to just make out with the person standing next to you. Maybe I should start telling the beards that I’m from a different country & that whatever day it is is actually New Years Eve there & we celebrate with copious amounts of mac & cheese & a punch in the face (but after we make out first). I wasn’t around the dirty, sweaty cesspool of NYE though. Instead, I was sipping Prosecco with friends & family & when Dick Clark (I will not acknowledge his death) started the countdown I grabbed my big fat dog by the collar & forced him to let me kiss his slobbery face at midnight. It was probably the most hopeful kiss I’ve ever had.
So a New Year has started. I turn 30 in less than 2 months. I am going to make it my mission to get people to stop feeling sorry for people who maybe have to just rent movies on their xbox instead of actually going to one. Who wants to watch a movie with no clothes on?! Last year I wanted to start a blog & I did. And holy shit, I can’t even wait to find out what the next 3 . . . three hundred & some odd days bring up. Now, I have to go research foreign countries that are big on noodles & cheese so I can successfully test out my new lines.
Cheers friends,
-a damsel & her dog-

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