Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Princes and frogs

The other night, my friend's four-year-old daughter got all dressed up in her Sleeping Beauty costume, grabbed her magic wand, waved it at her brother and said,
Hold still. I'm gonna turn you into a frog!
My friend said,
Wouldn't that be great? We could turn the ones we didn't want back into frogs, and keep them all in a pond.
It got me thinking. If all women turned every guy who wronged them into a frog, we'd have a serious population problem in the amphibian world. Still - we might be onto something.

The whole idea that women have to kiss frog after frog, waiting for one to turn into her prince is...demoralizing and a little discouraging. When he turns into the prince, the girl still runs around trying to make herself attractive to him. Why? He's a frog for pete's sake!

That seems backwards. The men should be the ones who have to prove themselves. I mean - after all, it is the woman with the power to kiss - or not. Let's just go ahead and assume every woman is a princess - and the guys have to prove themselves to be prince-worthy.

If she sees fit to let him stay a prince - he should totally be treating her like a queen.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Lust or love?

I get emails from iVillage with links to posts about love, sex, relationships, style, etc. Sometimes, they're helpful, and sometimes, they just don't make any sense. I found this one, Is He in Love or Lust with You? Find Out!, to be particularly annoying.

The title suggests to me that the article will dig deep into the man's psyche and reveal the hidden mystery about how he feels. I thought maybe I'd get some clue as to how to really know what a guy is thinking or feeling.

I know - I'm at a website called iVillage, and should set my expectations accordingly. A girl can hope.

So I click the link, and find out that if a guy barely wants to talk to me, or spend time with me, and only wants to see me when I'm looking my best and when he wants sex - he's probably in lust. But if he thinks I'm beautiful while doing housework, calls me all the time, and is happy just to be with me (sex or not) - he's in love with me.

There are two problems with that information. First - I knew the part about lust. I mean, if a guy only calls me when he wants sex, and then doesn't speak to me again until he wants sex again - that's pretty obviously only lust. Not exactly breaking news.

The second problem is, the article seems to suggest that there are only two degrees of emotion for a guy - love, or lust. This train of thought gets women into trouble. Big, gut-wrenching, heart-breaking trouble.

If a guy is calling you all the time, or spends time with you without the promise of sex or introduces you to his friends, he definitely has feelings. But is it really love? I don't think it's that cut and dry. I think there are many degrees of like before you get to love - and some of those degrees involve this sort of behavior. I also think there are many kinds of love, some of which also involve these actions.

The question is, what do we do? Do we put up a wall, and not trust those actions, in case they might not mean he's in love? Or do we run with the good stuff, and accept it, and hope for the best, while enjoying the time we have with him?

If we don't do that - how will we ever know if it really is love?

Maybe the trick is to concentrate less on trying to categorize his feelings, and more on learning how he feels. Maybe we need to ask questions, and listen, and learn when he's serious, and laugh when he's not.

Maybe not everything is either this or that. Maybe there's a whole lot of just-might-be in between - and we're missing it all.

Friday, January 27, 2012

John Steinbeck: Two kinds of love

I found this story over at How About We.

In a letter dated November 10, 1958, Steinbeck gives his son Thom some inspirational advice on love. Without reading Thom's letter, it seems like he was questioning if love he was feeling was real, and if he should tell his intended.

Steinbeck says:
There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you - of kindness and consideration and respect - not only social respect of manners, but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release you in strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn't know you had.
Steinbeck goes on to tell his son that being in love is a good thing, and he shouldn't let anyone "make it small or light." He tells him if you love someone, there is no harm in saying so; that sometimes what you feel will not be returned, but that "does not make your feeling any less valuable and good."

Dude shoulda written a dating blog.

I've often wondered what love would look like, if I ever found it again. Would it make sense? Would the timing be right? How would I recognize it? Am I so jaded from broken hearts and missteps that it would just pass me by? Or would I know it without a doubt?

I think Steinbeck might be on target with the comment, "an outpouring of everything good in you...."

Love isn't something that should change me for the worse. It shouldn't make me compromise what is good in me. It shouldn't make me angry or scared or worried.

It should fill me with happiness, and bring out my best, and make me want to be better. So, love isn't a person or a look that I will recognize. I will recognize that I'm better - and that is love. Love isn't something you look to someone else to find; it's something you find within yourself.

That's the kind of love I want.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

V-Day pressure

It's coming; you can't fight it, or stop it. You can try to ignore it - or simply make the best of it.

Valentine's Day.

It probably seems like I should be OK with it this year. Everything is going really well with Trooper, and all signs point to me having a Valentine (my first in many years!).

But it's a lot of pressure. Honestly - I'd gotten used to being solo on V-Day. Last year, I got a gift card from my favorite cousin (for shoes!) and had a fantastic date (dinner and shopping) with Baking Suit.
Shoes, food and friends - the stuff all the best dates and holidays are made of. No pressure, no stress, no worries.

It was glorious.

Don't get me wrong - I'm happy to be with Trooper, and will appreciate any gesture he makes for February 14.

But it's still stressful. What if he forgets? Does that mean he doesn't care? Or set the tone for our relationship? How big a deal should I make of it? What if one of us makes a bigger deal than the other? Card? Gift? Both?!


It's half annoying and half exciting to have this "problem." Part of me thinks it shouldn't be this way; that we should treat the day like any other, and celebrate our relationship in our own time. (Particularly since it's so new.) Another part of me is happy to have the worry - since it also means I have him in my life.

All of me is excited to see what happens.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Lesson worth learning

I'm all for open, honest communication. I'm not someone who wants to shy away from having a conversation, no matter how difficult. In the long run, I think it's better to put yourself out there and be upfront about how you feel.

Even if it is difficult, in the short-term.

First - just because you're not afraid to say how you feel doesn't mean you shouldn't still pick your battles. Not everything is worth a fight. Sometimes, it's tough to know when you should keep your mouth shut.

Once you "master" that, it's still scary to bring up certain topics. Let's face it, just because you know how you feel doesn't mean you necessarily know how to articulate it to someone else. What if he doesn't understand? What if it sounds like you're nagging or accusing, when you're really just trying to talk?

You could what-if yourself to death - or you can just say what you want to say, and hope for the best.

Recently, I found that it's worth taking a step back, and maybe talking to a friend (or two) and then sleeping (or not) on the worries, before speaking them out loud. Sometimes, I worry about things that aren't really worth worrying about - I misinterpret, misread and misunderstand a lot.

That's definitely not worth a fight. I've learned that lesson before - but some lessons have to be learned again. Either you forget, or things are slightly different with every person...or maybe it's just because relationships are tough.

But they're worth learning.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Worst of 2011

My 2011 ended on a fantastic note. That doesn't mean that there weren't a few dating disasters. Here are few I would classify as the worst.

- Trapping myself in a guy's bedroom while trying to make a hasty, angry exit
- Too soon for the L word (way too soon)
- (Barely) a date with a Crush - who got married a few months later (to someone I know!)
- Guy who lied - about everything
- Having to "break up" after a first date

Still, I've got nothing on some of these.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fine line

Trooper and I were talking about men and women being just friends. Specifically, the affect it has when one (or both) of them is in a relationship.

That's a real issue for some people. To the point where friendships end. I lost almost a year with a good friend because his fiance didn't like him having female friends.

It also ends relationships. When X had a female friend outside our marriage, and I had a problem with it, it was the beginning of the end for us. It didn't cause the end of the marriage - but it sure didn't help.

Those outside friendships do open up new possibilities if your relationship goes through a rocky period. For example, if you're already having problems, and you have a guy friend at work (a "work husband") you might turn to him for comfort. One thing leads to another, and....you've betrayed your relationship in a way you can't fix.

That's not likely to happen if you lean on your girlfriends for support. But it's a real worry if you're turning to a guy friend.

They say men and women can't be just friends because sex gets in the way. That's why it's OK to be just friends if you're both single (because then, if sex happens, at least no one else is betrayed), but if one or both of you is in a relationship, it's not cool.

I disagree.

I do think there's a fine line for men and women who are just friends - and I think that line moves when one of you is in a relationship. My guy friend and I were always flirty with each other - and when we were both single, it didn't matter. But the minute he started dating someone, I knew that line had shifted for us. Certain topics, humor, etc. that could be flirty were now off the table.

That was OK with me. That's what friends do; they respect each other. I wanted to look out for my friend, respect his relationship, and not get in the way of his happiness. In the beginning, I hoped to have a friendship with her too, which I also wanted to respect. I also remembered what it was like to be the one in the relationship, wondering about that friendship, and I didn't want to do anything that would make me that woman.

So people can set - and respect - boundaries. But that raises a trust issue. If you're worried about your boyfriend exchanging emails with a female friend - is it because you don't trust him? "I don't trust her," is the normal response. OK - she might have questionable motives, but don't you trust him to put on the brakes if it becomes a problem?

Don't you trust him to respect that line?

I think the biggest problem is that people assume that line is the same for everyone. They never communicate with the other person where they feel the line should be. How is he supposed to know you have a concern if you don't tell him? And by tell him, I don't mean accuse him of having already crossed the line, or order him to give up friends. No one likes to be accused or ordered.

Honest, fair communication is key. You shouldn't tell him what he can and can't do. He shouldn't be telling you what you can and can't say. "I'd dump anyone who tells me I can't have friends," isn't effective. It's as big an ultimatum as, "I want you to give up that friend." In a relationship, both people should be able to share and discuss concerns.

That's another fine line in relationships. Sometimes, it's not what you say, but how you say it, that makes all the difference.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Where to find a date

The other day, on a blog I frequent, we were discussing what type of people you meet in bars. OK, actually we were discussing the use of the word "girls" versus "women" - but it all started from a discussion about what types to meet where, and the conversation snowballed.

Anyway, several people made the comment (on both blogs, actually) that it is difficult to meet people outside of bars. That amazes me. Mostly because I've met dozens of dates, new friends, relationships both short and long term, and business partners - all without ever entering a bar. Not to mention the countless guys who never even made it to "date" status. 

Of course, a lot of people aren't willing to meet others online, which is where I've met most of the new people in my life. Not just dating sites, either. I've met dozens of people through twitter and blogs as well.  

But even if I didn't meet people online, I know bars wouldn't be my primary place to meet new people. Why?  

I don't drink. 

Don't get me wrong. I go to bars. I'm usually with a group of friends, and I'm not out to meet new people. I'm not opposed to the idea - it just isn't my purpose. 

It's not going to happen by magic.
So, if I was the sort who avoided dating sites, and I also avoid bars - how would I meet people? That seems to be the question that some of these people need to answer. 

The first trick is to do more alone - you're more approachable when you're solo. No guy likes the idea of being rejected - he likes it even less when it's in front of an audience. Not sure where to go? The possibilities are endless.

  • Hit the bookstore - and look at more than just the romance novels
  • Take your laptop to the coffee shop and catch up on work
  • Join a club
  • Join a church group
  • Pick up a sport
  • Go to the gym
  • Go to the park
  • Go to the movies 
  • Go to dinner
.... Basically, live your life, but try to do more of it alone. Pretty soon, you'll probably have more company than you bargained for. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Superstitious date

Today is full of superstitions. Some people won't even go out on Friday the 13th - never mind schedule something important. Like a date.

I consider myself more particular than superstitious. I don't have a lucky top or bracelet that I always have to wear. But if I showed up to a date with a pair of earrings that wasn't quite right with my outfit, I'd convince myself that the whole thing was going to go wrong.

I also believe in jinxes. I don't like to get too ahead of myself, or get my hopes up, out of fear that I will give my good fortune a case of bad luck. I prefer to be cautiously optimistic, especially when it comes to matters of the heart.

But there are plenty of superstitions when it comes to dating. People don't like to stray from certain lucky habits, or patterns, for fear that if they do - the date will surely fail.

- Pick your lucky place
- Wear your lucky shirt
-  Don't arrive too early or too late
- The method you use to confirm the day of
- Who orders first
- Who pays
- Don't set up a date for Friday the 13th

I would actually love to set up a date on a Friday the 13th - especially a first date. How cool would it be to tell that story when you're still together a year later?

"Yup - Friday the 13th is lucky for us!" Maybe you'd even get married on a Friday the 13th. Or Saturday the 14th.

I guess it's all a matter of how you look at things.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Choose you

A while back, I posted an open invitation for guest posts. Sarah responded with this post about disappointing relationships, finding yourself esteem, and choosing to love yourself. 



We all know certain things when we are in a relationship. We know what makes us unhappy, lonely, anxious, jealous, angry, disappointed and what makes us feel threatened. We focus on these things – hypersensitive to them even – and as soon as we feel one of these feelings creeping in – BLAMO! We’re in crisis. And it’s someone else’s fault….right?

Maybe not all of us…maybe just me.

I was 16 years old when I met W .. he was terrible to me, cheated all the time, drank all the time, spent hours and hours playing video games and ignoring me. We would argue – break up – and I would find myself begging for him to stay with me. Why?

At 18 I had my first baby, at 19 my second…we were married when I was 21 – my 3rd baby came one year later. My self esteem had yet to be born.

The cycle continued consistently. I did that for 11 years.

Eventually I decided that I should love myself, make myself  happy. I took control. I filled my time with learning new things – and finding adventure. I did things I always told myself I couldn’t.

I was a divorced single mother of 3, and although I had the most life altering year ever it was the very best thing that ever happened (other than my children, of course).

When you look inward and choose yourself – when you decide that you are worth happiness – you are truly free.

After about a year and a half I met M – best compliment to my life – he helps me smile when I find it hard to do myself., we’ve been married now for 4 years.

I’ve learned that feeling crisis, and all of the craziness that comes with it – is my choice. I may not have control over other people, how they feel, act, respond – but I can change the way I feel about it – and where I let it touch MY life.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Great expectations

It's funny how different dating is when you're older (and divorced) versus how it was before all that "life" changed you. When I was with X, I tried to be in charge. I made plans on our behalf, chose when we'd arrive, how we'd get there, and usually when we'd leave. Family events always trumped sports because...well, just because. Those priorities seemed obvious to me, and the fact that guys priorities were different was just proof that men need women in order to get through life.


Nowadays, I don't like being told what to do. Not to mention - I don't want to be in charge of anyone else. I've gotten so used to just being in charge of me, that I kind of like that mindset - and I don't want to give it up.

I realized the other day that I've invited Trooper to a lot of family events in the last couple of weeks. I told him I hope he doesn't feel dragged to anything, because I'd never want to do that. When I invite him to anything, it truly is a request, not an order. He's welcome, but not expected.

As a singleton, I've been to many events solo. At first, I thought I'd hate it; in fact, I avoided things like family parties, weddings, dinners - anything for which I once would have had a date, and now didn't. But eventually, I realized that learning to be a happy singleton was going to be the key to finding a happy relationship - so I sucked it up.

A party where you're literally the only single person is an interesting experience. Everyone should do it - seriously. Even if you're in a relationship, go somewhere without your other, where everyone else is with theirs. Stand back, on the outside and just take it in.

There's awkward silence, stares, flat-out-glares and looks to kill. There are the moments where she puts her hand on his elbow, hinting to shut up before he says something he shouldn't. Then there's the couple who are fighting before they even get in their car to go home.

That's always fun.
I've had those fights; they suck.

After the first party like that, when I came and left on my own schedule, talked to whoever I wanted, and left in peace - I vowed I'd never put myself (or anyone else) again. So far, I think I've been pretty good at sticking to that promise.

Sure, eventually something comes up where one half of the couple really doesn't want to go - and the other half needs the support. But you do that when you care about someone. I think the trick is knowing - and communicating - when someone is needed, and when they're wanted.

Those are the best expectations to set.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Having a healthy attitude when using a dating site

Below is a post from Cara Michaels, a blogger for OnlineDatingSites.net. Cara's friends and family constantly seek her out for dating advice, and she has taken her knowledge and experience to the web. She responded to my open invitation for guest posts. 


Many people visit dating sites for all the wrong reasons.  Maybe they’re lonely, or they have just ended a long-term relationship and find it hard to be single.  These are certainly not the greatest reasons to start using a dating site. If you are sincerely hoping to find a partner for the long-term from a dating site, there are plenty of success stories that show it can be done.  But it doesn’t take someone waving a magic wand to make it happen.  You have to be in the right mind space to be ready for online dating.  Then, and only then, will you be open and able to make the right type of connections that dating sites can offer.

We have all heard the adage that you can only find love when you love yourself first.  This happens to be absolutely true.  In order to attract a significant other into your life, you need to feel good about yourself.  If you don’t, why should anyone else?  If you’re feeling sad, betrayed, depressed, or any other negative emotion, why would someone new want to spend time with you?  You’re a bummer to be around.  Put your emotional life in order before you begin your prowl on the dating sites.  Once you have the energy and the optimistic attitude going for you, you’ll feel better about dating, and you will certainly yield more results that way.

Loneliness gets a bad rap, because let’s face it…being alone can be very painful.  But if you have just ended a long-term relationship, a certain amount of loneliness is to be expected.  After all you’re in a grieving period.  Why do you want to rush right into a new relationship with someone you don’t even know? That takes a tremendous amount of energy.  Do yourself a favor, and sit with the loneliness for awhile.  Gather together some of your best pals and start spending quality time with your friends.  If you’re lucky enough to have some good friends in your life, no one can make you feel better than they can.  You don’t have to be out there attempting to have some wild social life when you don’t feel like it.  Take time to heal before you put yourself back out into the dating world.

Once you’re feeling better about yourself, and your attitude toward the opposite sex is healthier, than you can start perusing some of the many dating sites out there.  It’s difficult to step back into that world once you’ve been out of it for awhile…so go slow! You don’t have to rush anything that doesn’t feel right to you.  The most important thing to remember is that dating is supposed to be fun.  If it starts to feel like a chore, than you’re definitely not ready.  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

An ode to Tony

I've shared my Best of the Worst dating profiles. I've rarely shared my dating site email or IM exchanges, though there have been some real winners, believe me.

Baking Suit sent this to me, and I thought it was something everyone here would enjoy. You're welcome.

Seems Katie found a real winner. That lucky girl.

Read An Ode to Tony here.

Dating below your standards

In the spirit of sharing guest posts, another blogger who responded to my open invitation was Atiya Townes. She authors a blog about getting her life back together, called Remaking Me, where she says "The most difficult thing to change is myself."

I love it.

She blogged a couple weeks ago about dating below your standards. She asked if I'd share it with y'all - so I thought I would. Read it here.

I love her closing paragraph:
I'm not a professional when it comes to dating. Heck, I'm not even dating right now. I do know that when you're in a relationship with someone, it needs to be for the right reasons. The right one is not going to fit into any one category, old, ugly, smart, funny, brooding or eccentric. The ONE is going to be your perfect combination of all the qualities you like. It's going to be a partnership that surpasses all the other crap you've ever experienced.
What she said.


Want to guest post on Girl's Got Shine? I'd love it! Anything goes, related to dating and relationships - I just ask that you keep it friendly towards others. Email me if you've got something you want to share.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Every queen deserves her king

I remember once talking to a group of friends about older couples getting married. My friend who works in the wedding industry said she worked with a couple who was in their 70's, both widowed, and had decided to get married.

I like the idea that love is an ever-changing thing, that's different for everyone. It doesn't come packaged in a perfect box with a ribbon, and it doesn't always take on the schedule we expect. For some, the conventional timeline works; for others, things work out differently.

But they do work out.

This story, which I read over the weekend, is proof. Aretha Franklin - the Queen of Soul - is getting married, at age 69, to her "forever friend." How nice is that? Not only to have a "forever friend" - but to be lucky enough to marry him?

I can't think of anything more picture perfect.

Oh, and Ms. Franklin assures everyone that she is not pregnant. Just in case you were wondering.

Skies of grey

A while back, I posted an open invitation for guest posts. Workingdan responded, saying he'd like to post something about dating from the perspective of a married man. 

As you can see from his post, things have turned around dramatically in Workingdan's life recently. I'm actually pretty honored that he sent this post to be published here, and am happy to share it. 

There is nothing more heartbreaking than losing a relationship. Losing a marriage is particularly tough; there's a sense of defeat that can only come from knowing promises and vows that you once made to family and friends - and perhaps even God - will go unfulfilled. It takes time, and love, and a lot of self-awareness to overcome those feelings. 

If Workingdan and his wife aren't able to work things out, I hope they both find the strength they need.


I get home from work on perhaps what could be the longest day at work ever, declining a rare opportunity to work overtime. I go through the usual routine of emptying pockets and settling into what should be the comfort of my own home. I try to maintain the ritual of watching NFL Live, so I turn on the TV. Then I sit and stare at the Toshiba laptop that sits in front of me.

I eyeball the ice cold, beer flavored water that also sits in front of me, better know as Coors Light. I open it and take a long pull, downing a lump in my throat along with it, then return to staring down the laptop. Should I blog it?

With watery eyes, my mind tries to contemplate the recent circumstances and the meaning behind it all. The clock on the wall sends off it's persistent ticking into the void that is now my empty home. In the background, I can hear Mark Schlereth and Tedy Bruschi present their thoughts on the upcoming matchup between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys, but I'm not listening to them.

With another long chug from the beer, I light a cigarette and rise to my feet. I pace aimlessly about the house, stopping to stare out a random window. The light is fading into the distance as my eyes scan the gently rolling farmlands that surround my home. The remains of corn stalks protrude from the ground in various directions and it suddenly takes on a wasteland-like appearance.

The trees are silhouetted in the remainder of the light. Their leafless branches are nothing more than a black void, extending itself into the horizon, infecting the earth with it's loneliness. I proceed with pacing about the house, stopping and staring into the kids' bedrooms. Toys strewn about the floors in either room. Dresser drawers are half open and clothes are hanging over the edge. There are no kids in the room.

.....one day earlier...

It was a time I had been looking forward to, this week that is. My wife is off this whole week and finally I get to experience coming home to a wife and spending the evenings with her. But in the days leading up to Christmas and the days following, I could sense the distance between us.

Finally, on a Wednesday, just after eating left-over tacos, I ask my wife what is bothering her. She refused to answer. I could see her jaw tense, her breathing became short, rapid breaths. I could literally see the adrenaline flushing her body. I knew this could not be good.

I persist with my question. In a somber, heart broken tone, I ask her to tell me what it is. In a quick and quivery voice, she replies by announcing she wants a divorce. My heart sank as I could detect the seriousness in her statement. Panic sets in so I remove myself from the kitchen and retreat to a dark bedroom. She soon follows and shortly thereafter, announces her intentions to take the kids and go stay at her parents for the evening.

My tongue never works well in situations such as this. We tried to have a talk but was unsuccessful. After a long bit of silence, we emerge from the bedroom. The first thing I saw was the kids bundled up in their coats, waiting patiently to go stay at grandma's. Reality hits home and I soon lose control of my emotions.

Tears are streaming down my face as I plead for her to stay. I became even more heart broken when I could see the look on my daughter's face. Her eyes were filled with fear and concern. She may be young but she knows when something isn't right. She could see daddy crying, she knew.

I go back into the darkness of the bedroom to try to compose myself. The kids come in shortly after to offer a goodbye. I kiss them and squeeze them tightly. It took all that I had to muster up the words "Goodbye, I love you" and make it sound casual. I wasn't fooling anybody.

On their way out, my five year old son asks his mother "Mommy, why is daddy staying here all by himself?" That was a knockout punch. I immediately bury my face and sob. Tears and snot drip off my nose as I cried heavily into the night. 

.....back to the now....

The dark branches of loneliness now engulfs my home and I can no longer see out the windows. I retreat from the nothingness that lurks outside and take my seat on the couch. Toshiba makes it's presence known, staring me down. It wins the staring contest and I quickly reach for it and open it.

I open up the Firefox browser and all my usual sites and last browsing sessions pop up on the screen. I go to the Blogger dashboard and check my comments. Damon is telling me "nice post : D + follow". I become disgruntled at this very empty comment and refuse to view his page. I click the monetize tab to view today's earnings. It reads $0.00 thus further adding to the empty and painful feeling, lack of accomplishment.

I decide to visit my social sites and loosen up my fingers before I begin writing. Feeling the need to talk, I go to Facebook and check my online friends. My heart beat heavily in my chest when I seen her name. I click on her name then quickly lean back into the couch and light a smoke, planning my strategy on bringing her home. I can't lose her, I just can't!

I begin the chat session with a "Hey stranger". Tears start to roll down my cheeks as I am thankful for the opportunity to just be talking with her. Emotion takes control over reason and I begin to beg for her to come home. In the middle of the conversation as I continue to bawl, I go back to the dashboard and click on new post.

My fingers begin to spew forth words at a pace I have not achieved before. I continue writing and pleading with my wife at the same time, all while still crying and lighting one cigarette after another. I become frustrated at the fact that there is no changing her mind. I lose my temper and say things I shouldn't have. Our conversation comes to an end and the writing comes to a screeching halt.

I slam shut the laptop and bury my face in my hands and sob. Then my stomach lets out a deep, growling rumble, signifying that I have yet to eat anything. Without any appetite, I browse the contents on the fridge and cupboard for half an hour, opening and closing doors over and over again. I manage to choke down a bowl of cereal then I collapse face down onto the couch and fall into a restless sleep.

I woke the next morning, still fully clothed. I put on a pot of coffee and resumed my pacing about, trying to adapt to the loneliness, trying to accept that it may, in fact, be over. I look out the windows and the skies are grey and depressing. Droplets of rain trickle down the window in front me, appropriate weather to begin this new life of being alone. 

With Toshiba as my only company, I grab it and resume my writing. The words still flow with the same ease as the previous night. I receive a text from my wife, still not actually hearing her voice for two days. She is asking me if I'm ready to see the kids. I miss them terribly but still, I decline. They are only a reminder of a family that was. I need my alone time, I need to think. How can I fix this?

My mind begins dwell on how life would be without her. The financial repercussions bully their way to foremost thoughts of my mind. If we could barely make ends meet with the both of our incomes, how could I possibly survive with my measly ten dollar an hour income? What about the debt we have together? The cars? The loans? And what about the house and the contents within?

My mind shifts towards the kids. Those poor kids. How do I explain this to them? With my wife working nights, it has been established that I am to have custody of the kids so that they still get to see at least one of their parents everyday. If I am to be officially single, would I even want custody? That seems to be selfish thought, but I'm concerned with how I will react to being single and wonder if it's in the best interest for the kids to be with me.

I become restless with the amount of coffee in my system. I rise and pace yet again, the remnants of Christmas still lingering in the house. New toys and games litter the living room as they have yet to find a proper place.

As I wander around, mulling things over, I begin to feel that perhaps it is time to see the kids. I also contemplate breaking the news to my mother, who will not take the news very well. I am ashamed of letting my marriage come to this and telling her will be difficult. I am not one for talking, for I have difficulty expressing myself vocally. My voice is my weakness, my written words are my strength. How to tell her?

I purposely left out the details as to why this has come to be. But I will say this, neither of us is having an affair. At least I pray there isn't an affair going on. I don't believe that is the case. We both are to blame for this marital malfunction and any negative comments towards my wife is unacceptable. No one is to be taking sides, rather you should pray for us. A late Christmas miracle is needed and a positive start to a new year, with my wife by my side is all that I ask.

I do not know what is going to happen or when my next post will be. I may take a leave of absence from the blogosphere, or I may spend more time with you than ever before. Only time will tell. 

Until then, blog safely my friends.


Want to guest post on Girl's Got Shine? I'd love it! Anything goes, related to dating and relationships - I just ask that you keep it friendly towards others. Email me if you've got something you want to share.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Not a chance

When I'm in a salon, I like to just sit and relax. I'm not there to talk or make friends, I'm just there to get some peace and quiet, and for some me-time. But that doesn't mean I won't eavesdrop on other conversations - especially when they won't be quiet.

So the other day, I was getting my nails done, and the two women behind me, who were obviously meeting for the first time, struck up a conversation. It came out that the younger woman was a single mom, with no boyfriend, and of course the other woman had the normal, "Aww, you'll find someone," married woman reaction. Yech.

The younger woman said, "There are no good men around here, let me tell you. It's like they're all either rich, but ugly, or good-looking, but have no money."

Um - and you're wondering why you're still single?

Listen, I get it. We all have little things we want in a significant other. And I'm not saying anyone should date a dead-beat (I certainly wouldn't). But if a guy's looks and his bank account are the only things you care about - or even just what you care about most - is it any wonder you can't find someone?

There are so many people out there who don't fit that "perfect" mold, but who might be absolutely perfect for you. If you're not open to the possibility, then how will you ever know? Who knows who you might miss out on in your search for some soap opera hero that only exists on daytime TV?

Not a chance someone looking for love should be willing to take.