Well THAT was a horrible idea…

Well THAT was a horrible idea…

Something you should know about me: I don’t do New Year’s resolutions….at all. I fully intend on remaining the same adorable smart-ass you know and love (or hate) every single year, without pretending I’m going to be a better person just because the year on the calendar changed. Something else you should know about me: a good friend of mine was not wrong when he once said “You and Paul (his son) are just too damn stubborn for your own good.”

I’m pretty consistent at following through with something, even if it was a horrible idea to begin with. Case in point: Operation Squatty Potty Body. No, you won’t find it on Google, because I just made it up yesterday on Snapchat, and then shared it to my Instagram, because I figured if I was laughing at my own stupid joke all day, someone else might giggle too.

So, what exactly is Operation Squatty Potty Body? Well, it’s absolutely NO reference to the stool that fits at the base of your commode and has a cult following. Yesterday, I decided it was time to start drinking more water, partly so I had a reason to leave my office several times a day, and partly because I really need to drink more water. I have also REALLY been missing my CrossFit family lately. I mean, I know I haven’t been there in like 3 years now, maybe more, but I REALLY miss it, and having the time for it, and every single thing that goes along with it, so I told myself “Hey, you should just do 20 squats every time you have to go to the bathroom!” Not too bad right? Drink, squat, pee, repeat….Operation Squatty Potty Body…get it?

Sounds like a great idea….right up until the time you realize that drinking over a gallon of water means a LOT more trips to the bathroom than usual, but I wasn’t about to give up. It’s my February thing after all, BUT I’m not entirely stupid either. I scaled it back to 10-15 squats each bathroom break, and I’ll just increase that number by 5 each week.

When all was said and done, in addition to the 30 or so flight of stairs I get to climb every day, I had done somewhere around 150 squats yesterday. This morning, my body said “everything hurts and I’m dying” but my brain said “don’t you dare quote Parks and Rec to me to get out of this” and since I’m “too stubborn for my own good” here I am, another 80 squats in to the day, sitting at my desk thinking “Would it REALLY be that bad to just pee your pants to avoid another round of squats?” I mean, I already know the answer to that is yes, it would really be that bad, because I’m 38 years old, and it’s far too cold outside to go home with wet pants, so 15 more squats it is, because I am an adult after all, and last time I checked it was frowned upon for able bodied adults to wet themselves. That, and there’s NOBODY at my work that would take one for the team Billy Madison style and tell everyone else all the cool kids are peeing their pants…

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Let’s talk about Ed baby

Let’s talk about Ed baby

Please tell me you read that title and at least THOUGHT about Salt-n-Pepa’s song Let’s Talk About Sex. I linked it, so you can have it stuck in your head too. Coincidentally, I probably should have called this post “Could there be any more links in one post?!” You’ll see why, but back to the point….the big long drawn out point. Yes, this will be a long one, and it may not be worth reading, but then again, it might, because a few weeks ago, I did something that really should have terrified me. It definitely pushed me right the hell out of my comfort zone, and it was worth every single second of it. But first, the backstory.

When I was in 6th grade, I met my new best friend on the first day of school when I dropped my pencil in Mr. Hall’s math class, and rather than tapping the shoulder of the girl in front of me to ask her to pick it up, painfully shy me instead chose to lean over as far as humanly possible to try to inconspicuously reach it myself. Well, that didn’t work, because I reached too far, tipped my desk over, right on to the foot of the cute boy next to me, turned 50 shades of red as the ENTIRE class watched me pick up my desk, (I mean how could you miss it), and then the girl in front of me, who I should have just asked for help in the first place handed me that stupid pencil. We’ve been friends ever since. Actually, I think if I could have lived at her house, I would have in a second, at any time during our childhood. (OK, let’s be honest, I’d move in with her now.)

We were pretty much inseparable during the weekends and summer. Our favorite activity? Riding bikes or walking to the Saloon/convenience store (it’s a Mexican restaurant now) about a mile away from her house to get snacks, and then going back to her house to make mix tapes. We certainly got our fill of that during the summer after 6th grade, which was good, because during the beginning of the next school year, my dad dropped a bombshell on us. We were moving to an island with 14 miles of state road in Southeast Alaska. RUDE! Try as I may, I couldn’t convince my family to just let me stay with my new BFF. I had to move with the family. Double rude! I mean, I ended up loving the place we moved, because there’s really nothing to not love about Sitka, or the people in it, but that’s beside the point.

I was always active when I was a kid. We worked and played outside all the time. I played basketball, volleyball, softball, and we swam all summer long and ice skated all winter. We didn’t eat a lot of fast food as a family; my mom cooked almost every meal we ever ate. We never thought of food as either good or bad, we just had food, and sometimes we had treats. But when we were moving, my dad said something to me that forever changed the way I viewed everything. “It’s good we’re leaving,” he said, “because you’re developing bad habits with your friend on the weekends.” The bad habits he spoke of? Convenience store donuts. Our favorite treat at the convenience store that we WALKED to was those mini powdered hostess donuts that you can buy in a package of like 6 or 8. We each bought one. We each ate one, and that apparently warranted worry. It wasn’t long after that, that I realized my mom was using the good old Slim Fast, shake for breakfast, shake for lunch, healthy dinner routine a few times a year to lose weight I didn’t even notice she needed to lose.

I was 13 years old the first time I made myself throw up. I’d just finished a very in depth report on anorexia and bulimia for my 7th grade English class. I was sure I needed to break those bad habits my dad had mentioned, and if my mom was always dieting, surely I could stand to lose some weight too. Besides, my legs were way bigger than the other girls I played sports with, and 13 year old me absolutely couldn’t fathom that this was because they were solid muscle from all of the sports I was involved in, and the way that my body is built. I couldn’t simply not eat, because we had family dinner every night. I couldn’t pick and choose what to eat, because that is certainly not the way it worked, so to be more like the other girls, to be more like the beautiful girls, I just threw up whenever I couldn’t stand the thought of all of the calories in the meal we had just eaten, when I needed to be skinny like the other girls.

I managed to hide this for 2 years before my sister caught me and told my parents. They made me go to a doctor, but I had this thing under control, so I told her what she needed to hear so I could just be done with it. Nobody understood that this was the only thing I felt like I could control. Besides, it’s not like I did it all the time, just when I NEEDED to. And it’s not like I had the self control to just quit eating, so I was still getting nutrition that I needed….until that time my senior year, when I really needed to feel like I had some control over something…anything, so I just quit eating, because if I couldn’t control what was happening in my life, at least I could control what went in to my body, and what stayed there.

The world we live in feeds insecurity. The world we live in makes it SO easy to develop eating disorders. How? Well, because the world we live in focuses SO much energy on physical appearance. When I quit eating, it took about a week before I had a noticeable loss of weight. One week until the comments of “You’re looking good” started coming in. And if I looked good at one week, just imagine what 2 did, and then 3. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say I consumed MAYBE 10,000 calories over the course of 3 1/2 weeks before I decided I really needed to stop that. And I did, but not before “Wow, you look great” was just about all anyone could say. I weighed 110 pounds, and on my frame I didn’t look great. I looked sick, and I hid it with baggy clothes and makeup.

For 25 years now, I’ve had to fight an eating disorder mentality every single day of my life. I had a friend living with me once that understood this struggle completely. We decided one day that we were going to call our eating disorders Ed. Ed is a bastard, but it was comforting having someone else who got it. Someone else who we could just say “Hey, Ed is really difficult today,” and without saying another word, we knew that we just needed to be a support to each other.

Ed is an asshole, a constant, unforgiving asshole. I mean, I clearly beat the anorexia side of Ed, but I struggle with the rest of it ALL the time. If someone compliments my appearance, I will assume they need their vision prescription checked. Thanks Ed. If I eat something that isn’t healthy, I want it out of my body, like now. Sometimes I can fight that, but still to this day sometimes I can’t. Thanks Ed. I look in the mirror and see someone who is at least twice the size I am, even though my rational brain knows that’s not the case. Thanks Ed. If I don’t work out today, Ed helps facilitate all kinds of negative self talk.

I have amazing people in my life, who tell me things all the time that are contrary to what Ed and I believe about myself. I ALWAYS brush them off (internally) as “they’re just being kind because they’re my friend” but a few weeks ago, I stepped in to a beautiful studio in Jensen America and had some Ed therapy in the most unexpected of ways. The girl that hides from the camera because she isn’t happy with what she looks like, the girl that layers clothing so nobody can see anything she doesn’t want them to see stripped down to almost nothing, and pranced around the studio while the most amazingly talented photographer took the most amazing pictures I have ever seen. It was a 1-2 punch to Ed, because for the first time in my life, I looked at pictures of myself and didn’t immediately pick them apart. Mindy Gale and Ali Dudley (linked, so you can check them out on insta) worked magic; Mindy with the hair and makeup, somehow managing to make it look like I had slept more than 20 hours in the week leading up to the photo shoot, and Ali with the wicked photography skills. The hour or so that we took pictures for went by SO fast, and as I left the studio and went home looking and feeling absolutely amazing, I felt a peace with myself that I don’t remember feeling ever.

About an hour after my photo shoot, Ali sent me a sneak peek of a couple of images. I literally sat on my floor and cried, because she did something I honestly didn’t believe anyone could do ever. She took pictures of me that I loved. Yes, I still struggle with not being where I want to be, and I still wish I was as fat as I was the first time I thought I was fat, but Ed is far easier to deal with now than he has been in the past quarter of a century, and all it took was stepping way the hell out of my comfort zone, and in front of a camera.

A friend of mine once told me “I don’t know why any woman wouldn’t want to pose for Playboy. They are the best pictures you will ever have taken of you in your entire life.” He may have been on to something, but while every woman won’t have the opportunity to pose for Playboy, every woman should take the opportunity to strip down their insecurities, and their clothes, and do a boudoir session. And before you start to stress about boudoir now that I’ve thrown in the Playboy reference, it’s not about the sexy pictures. It’s not about the sexy clothes; you can keep all of your clothes on if that’s how you’re comfortable. It’s not even about getting those pictures taken for someone else, because Lord knows, if I waited until I had someone to have them done for, they’d never get done! It’s about the confidence you’ll find, because if I can find confidence in a picture, anybody can. Just do it for yourself. You’ll be so glad you did. As for me, I’m pretty sure Ed is pissed about losing some of his power, but I for one, am so relieved that a sweet blonde with a camera and her hair and makeup magician could take that asshole down a few notches.

I’m Your Huckleberry

I’m Your Huckleberry

I’m your huckleberry. It just sounds so much better than “I’m your go to girl” doesn’t it?  I mean, that probably has more to do with “I’m your huckleberry” conjuring images of Val Kilmer being a total bad ass in Tombstone than it does with huckleberry sounding cooler than “go to girl” but that’s neither here nor there. 

I’m your huckleberry, and sometimes it is mother f-wording exhausting! 

Over the past week, I’ve given 3 complete strangers some valuable information they will need to help navigate the world of a new cancer diagnosis. I’ve listened to my best friend stress about Christmas for his kids and reassured him that he’s doing better than he thinks he is, and that just like the past 2 years, I have some kick ass gifts for those sweet boys so their Christmas isn’t going to be anywhere near as desolate as he’s worried about. I’ve listened to countless other people unload their stresses and let them walk away feeling less of the weight of the world on their shoulders. I spend at least 2 hours every single weekday listening to a certain someone stress talk about the local economy, the stock market, and the president, among other things, which leaves me wondering why I even still live where I do, and if I’ll even have a job this time next year. 

“I match energy, so you just go ahead and decide how we’re going to act.” Actually, when I saw that on Pinterest, it was “I match energy, so you decide how we gon be.” Nails. On. A. Chalkboard. But the sentiment was there. I match energy. I always have. Maybe it’s not even matching energy. Really, most of the time it’s like an energy swap. Like “Here, you take some calm, and give me the storm.” So you can imagine how those interactions over the past week leave me feeling. Sure, while the people I’ve helped out or talked to may feel a little better, I get to add their anxieties on to the ones I already have, and holy shit is that ever draining! Then multiply that by 52, because hand to God, it’s never ending. I don’t mind though, and I’d never walk away from someone who needed it, because…I’m your huckleberry.

I came across this tweet the other day, and I was instantly in love with it. “Do you have the mental space for this right now?” I don’t even know what I’d do if someone actually asked me that. Because the answer is, no. Most of the time, I really don’t have the mental space for it, but somehow I manage to shove something off to the side and do your thing instead of working with mine. It’s ok. I really don’t mind it. Honestly, helping people out is refreshing, even though it’s also draining. I’m your Huckleberry, and knowing I’ve helped you at all, well, it makes me feel a little better about myself. I mean, we all need to feel needed, right?!

Eventually though, all of those things I shove aside decide they need to be worked out, and it’s usually at the end of the day when I’d REALLY just like it if my brain would shut the hell up and let me go to sleep. But my brain is having absolutely nothing to do with that, because when it comes down to it, at the end of the day, there’s a whole lot of things left to say, and nobody to say them to. SO…..that’s when I find myself mindlessly swiping through apps on my phone when I should be sleeping, looking for people who might want to be that somebody to say things to. Except here’s the thing….while I really wouldn’t mind having someone around at the end of the day once in a while, I really don’t think I’m quite ready to have to do that calm/storm trade at home too, and that is why I just deleted (though probably only temporarily) those apps.

I’m your huckleberry….but sometimes I really wish finding one for yourself was as easy as being one for someone else. 

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

I feel like you have to have been living under a rock lately to not realize that people seem to be REALLY reaching for things to be offended by. Case in point: Baby It’s Cold Outside, written in 1944 is all of the sudden so offensive that radio stations are pulling it from their Christmas air play rotation in droves. Why? Apparently it’s a little rapey, overbearing, and generally creepy. 

I’m not always the biggest fan of Christmas music, since I work in retail and get the pleasure of listening to it for 6 weeks of the year. It gets a little annoying, but I LOVE Baby It’s Cold Outside. In fact, this song was my go to jam in the car all weekend long. It was a weekend of Car Karaoke featuring me, myself, and I, and this song was the most requested, by me, and performed by me, and not once was I offended by any of the lyrics. Why? Because I realize this song was written in nineteen forty freaking four when a gal had to at least make a show of saying she needed to leave a boy’s house when she really wanted to stay. That’s why there’s the back and forth of “I really should go. Ok, I’ll stay for another drink. Ok, now I really should go. What will everyone think. Ok, I’ll stay for a cigarette.” And so on and so forth. Do we know if she really left? No, but we know it’s cold outside, and she didn’t really want to leave anyway. 

Sure, if you look at the lyrics to this song as if they were written today, they seem a whole lot more sinister, but let’s be honest…. If this song were written today, in a day and age where you literally summon strangers from the internet using an app on your smart phone so you can hook up whenever and wherever you want (Related: THIS makes dating rather than hooking up in this day and age a special kind of hell!), the song would be insanely short, written post smash and feature a quick Nicki Minaj or Pitbull cameo. It would be an auto-tuned mess and go something like this: You really should go. (But baby it’s cold outside.) Aight boo, I guess you can wait for your Uber inside, but lock the door behind you.

But don’t let Baby It’s Cold Outside take all of the offensive Christmas song credit. Here’s some more that are equally offensive if you really want to find trivial reasons to be offended. 

  •  I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus: did we really just subject children to seeing their mom as part of an extramarital affair? And did Santa have mommy’s consent?  I sure hope so!
  • The Christmas Song: Open fire?! Really? Think of the pollution. What about folks dressed up like Eskimos? Can we say cultural appropriation being blatantly celebrated? And what about the chestnuts and people with nut allergies? Sugar plums dancing through heads of children that might have diabetes…
  • Is dreaming of a White Christmas racist?
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town: He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. Well…is Santa a stalker or what?!
  • How about celebrating the blatant bullying in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer?  
  • Santa Baby: If ever there was a song to teach your daughters to be gold diggers, this is it!
  • Surely All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth is offensive to all of those poor unfortunate souls who have lost all of their teeth to meth…

I could go on and on and on with completely asinine reasons to be offended by nearly every Christmas song ever written, but I won’t, because I’m literally sitting at my desk laughing to myself at how the people who are so worked up over a Christmas song that is over 7 decades old are probably the same people who are dressing their daughters up in adorable dance costumes and stage makeup for their dance recitals. Recitals where they will dance to some of the most popular songs in the country, which are either subtly or overtly sexual in content without even batting an eye, but a playful Christmas song from 1944 is offensive and should never see air time again. And besides….if you’re going to be offended by something in that song, be offended by the fact that he’s setting her up for a lifelong addiction and possibility for lung cancer with that cigarette she’s staying for. 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. (But not really…)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. (But not really…)

The 4th quarter is my least favorite time of the entire year. Yes, it’s even worse than the 6 weeks of summer where I don’t get a single day off and am stuck in town for the long haul. I mean, I don’t HATE everything about the 4th quarter, but the parties for hosting, gay happy meetings, misteltoeing, and caroling out in the snow are just not my cup of eggnog. (Oh yeah, and eggnog is gross too.) I don’t watch Hallmark style Christmas movies unless I’m REALLY deep in to a self loathing cycle, and I could do without Christmas music in any form except classical until the day of Christmas.

“But Annalee, what kind of Christmas movies do you watch then?”

Good question! The Die Hard franchise, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Gremlins, and Bad Santa. Who needs feel good Christmas movies anyway?!

 But I digress, this isn’t an “I hate Christmas” post. Far from it actually. I love the excitement little kids have on Christmas, and I love the serving others part of the holidays. What I hate, is that after Halloween, the remainder of the 4th quarter is basically a whole lot of “Will you be bringing anybody with you this year” or “Hey, can I steal you from your family tonight so everyone will just question my sexual orientation instead of wondering why I’m still single?” Yep…It’s 2 full months of Valentine’s Day-like hell.

 I’m usually pretty good at avoiding this line of questioning really. It’s easy; I just hang with the kids. They’re usually more fun anyway. This year, however, one of my very oldest friends is getting married in the beginning of December. This guy has pulled me through some pretty rough times. Namely, when my parents got divorced, and he took it upon himself (with the help of his kick ass girlfriend at the time) to make sure I was eating and sleeping. I was the permanent third wheel in their relationship for at least a month. So he’s getting married, and I’m not even sad that I’m losing my “If we’re both single when we’re 45, we’ll just get married” back up plan. (Rom-Com plot…gross! Also, I don’t think it was 45 either, but we haven’t quite reached that age yet, so it works) Here’s what sucks about this. He’s getting married on a weekend. The ONLY weekend that I could fly to the PNW for a quick wedding weekend, and I don’t have a soul to go with me.

 I know what you’re thinking. I thought about it too. There’s only like 5 million Hallmark style Christmas movies with the same plot. I could ask a guy friend to go with me, or hire a stranger to come with me and pretend that we’ve been quietly dating for months. We’d go to the wedding, get snowed in during a rare Portland blizzard, and fall madly in love before we have to come home. Yeah, I just threw up a little in my mouth too. This is precisely the reason I won’t just ask a guy friend to come with me. I can’t turn my life in to the plot of a Christmas movie, especially when I’m absolutely certain those kind of Christmas movies exist only to make single people feel even worse about themselves during the time of year when everyone is coupled up and happily celebrating. So, even though I’m DYING to wear that black Michael Kors in a public setting, I’m skipping the wedding in favor of crashing their life for a weekend during the summer when we can all chill, instead of spending a week’s worth of wages to play dress up and hang out with a bunch of people I don’t know. It’ll be better weather, and there won’t be the winter season PLUS wedding weirdness that comes along with still not seeing anyone. As an added bonus, I won’t have to hear “You’re such a nice girl, I just don’t understand why someone hasn’t just snatched you right up.” At least I’m not alone in this though. You see, as I was sitting in my office throwing myself one hell of a pity party because I had convinced myself that I can’t go to a winter wedding alone, even though I really need some Jones brothers in my life soon, when the real reason is that 8 days prior to the wedding, the county I live in will be stealing all of my discretionary spending money in the form of a giant ass property tax bill, I received a snapchat from another dear friend of mine. It was a picture of the invitation to her office Christmas party captioned “Please tell me I’m not the only one who gets severe anxiety at the idea of going to a Christmas Party alone. I know I could take one of my girl friends, but I’m sick of going without a guy. I’m tempted to call up an ex and see if he’ll go with me just so rumors stop about me being a lesbian… Or so I don’t have to feel self-conscious walking in and sitting by myself.” You are definitely not alone…. Solidarity sister. This single shit is hard, but at least we don’t have someone blaming us when they’re the ones who burned the dinner beyond recognition, so there’s that.
Bee stings in the burbs

Bee stings in the burbs

Have you ever met someone and you clicked instantly?  Like, sometimes you meet someone, and it’s so clear that the two of you, on some level belong together. As lovers, or as friends, or as family, or as something entirely different. You just work, whether you understand one another, or you’re in love, or you’re partners in crime. You meet these people throughout your life, out of nowhere, under the strangest of circumstances, and they help you feel alive.

I feel pretty lucky to have a few of these people in my life. Most recently, the one I met 3 years ago. He’s one of my best friends. Sometimes he has girlfriends who don’t mind it, sometimes they go batshit crazy because someone who he considers to be his best friend isn’t standing to pee like he does. I wish I knew if this was just a crazy girl thing, but I don’t really date, so I don’t know if guys would be chill with me having a BFF with different parts in the pants than I do or not. I mean, I’m sure the right one wouldn’t have an issue, but there are probably just as many fragile male egos as there are batshit crazy girls. Fortunately he isn’t one of those assholes who can only be friends with me when his girlfriend likes me, which probably makes them even more angry about this whole friendship, and again, makes him even cooler in my book for not just saying “Sorry…it’s just not worth the drama at home.”

The problem with having best friends who live 3 hours away is that you don’t get to see them anywhere nearly often enough, so you take advantage of any opportunity you manage to grab. This weekend, I was in Salt Lake, and only 20 minutes away from him for meetings. He had his kids, so we met at a park about 3 minutes away from his place so they could play and we could chat for a minute. The problem: his place is clear TF out in the suburbs southwest of SLC, in a place I like to “affectionately” call Almost Utah County. You can ALMOST feel the Utah County pretentiousness right there in Riverton. I hate the suburbs. I am a downtown girl. I know, it makes no sense considering where I live in rural UT, but whatever. I’m allowed to hate the burbs, and I do. BUT, I love those kids of his….he’s not so bad either, so it was worth the trip.

Do you have any idea how heart exploding cool it is to see someone’s kid jump out of the car, yell your name, and RUN to you to give you a hug when they see you? Kids and dogs…I’m telling you, they can sense evil, so when kids have this kind of excited reaction to seeing you, you know you’re doing something right with your life, no matter what some people think. Two hours of being the coolest person in the world (Yeah….even cooler than their dad for a little bit) was good for my soul.

Playing with kids who get that excited to see you is THE best therapy in the world. Even if that therapy includes getting stung by a bee for what I think may have been the first time in my entire life, and finding out I’m a little more than mildly allergic to them. Bee stings in the burbs….make that one more reason why I hate suburbia. Also, holy mother forking shirtballs…. bee stings hurt like a son of a B! Seriously, that little black and yellow asshole must have stung right on a nerve or something, because that STILL hurts more than 24 hours later. It’s also super sensitive to cold, and by sensitive, I mean washing my hands in anything short of water that is so hot it probably came from the depths of hell, where that bee was likely sent from, sends shooting pain from my thumb, all the way up to my elbow. In addition to that, there’s a nice area of red swelling that I decided needed to be traced in black pen so I can track any expansion and decide if I need to pay a visit to my doctor. Here’s the fun part of that. The redness goes up my thumb and has a bit of an awkward oval shape at the bottom of it, extending in to my palm. Yeah….it looks like I have a crudely drawn male appendage on my hand, so thank God there aren’t small children at my house to explain that one to.

Bee stings in the burbs, proximity to Utah County, and somehow staying conscious enough to drive 3 hours after taking Benadryl….they’re all risks worth taking for a couple of hours with 2 of the sweetest little guys around. And I don’t think it’s any coincidence that as I got in my car to go home, as turned the volume up, I was greeted with some POD just as this song was ending to hear “Now that I know you (I could never turn my back away). Now that I see you (I could never look away). I feel so alive for the very first time, And I think I can fly. ”  (And truthfully, I’ve taken enough Benadryl in the last 24 hours, and had enough caffeine in an attempt to negate the “you can’t have an allergic reaction if you’re unconscious” promise of that little pink and white pill, that I feel like I just may be flying…in my head anyway.)

Heart shaped rocks

Heart shaped rocks

Hey! Wait! I’ve got a new complaint.

Ok, I don’t really have a new complaint, but I’ve had that Nirvana song stuck in my head for the better part of the last 24 hours now. And yes, I know the song is Heart Shaped Box, not heart shaped rocks, but I found a bunch of heart shaped rocks yesterday, and that’s where my 90% song lyrics and movie quotes brain went with it. Let’s back up just a little bit though, and get to why this is even something I’m bothering to get my blog therapy on with.

Sometimes I feel as if Urban Dictionary hit the nail on the head when they described the tiny little town that I live in like this:  “A little hell hole of a city in Utah where 98% of the population are close minded hicks or Mormons. The weather ranges between freaking hot to freaking cold. There’s a point system to how many prairie dogs you can hit on the way to Colorado. The school system is run by the not German Nazis. The shittiest city on earth to attend high school in. A black meaningless void of which you’ll never escape once you’ve set foot in it. A geographic anomaly in which everything is approximately 3 and half hours away.” In all fairness though, everything is approximately 3 hours away, and 2 1/2 if law enforcement and wildlife cooperate.

Living in this little geographic anomaly tends to make things particularly difficult for the girl who prefers anonymity and generally only dates in those areas 3 hours away. It’s nice, because then nobody knows your business (including the guys, who don’t realize you’re not really worth the trouble…), but here’s the catch 22: sometimes this shit actually works out, and then that 3 hours is a huge pain in the ass. Case in point: I was kind of, sort of dating this really awesome guy a couple of years ago. Then life got in the way and the 3 hour commute was a bit much for either one of us. Ok…full disclosure: we were totally cockblocked by Mother Nature one winter when the relentless witch decided that mountain passes were going to be impassable without 4WD every single weekend he didn’t have his kids. Anyway, he started dating someone else without the 3 hour commute, and I went back to business as normal in the geographic anomaly where my social/dating life is a giant black hole. We stayed friends though, because we’re adults who can handle shit like that.

Skipping forward a couple of years, this guy and I are still great friends. He gets me, I get him, and he has this uncanny ability to contact me when I’m having THE worst day. It’s the best really; if I had it all to do over again, I’d get friend-zoned by him again without even thinking twice about it. Come to think about it, I’d happily get friend-zoned again by literally everyone Tinder has made me cross paths with. But back to the story. Life has been a GIANT douche to this friend of mine lately, and when I talk to him about it(OK, text, because there are like 12 ways of contacting me on my phone, and none of them require me actually using it as a phone…..but also because I can text while at work), I like to throw in the not so subtle message of #MoveToVernal. We both realize this is a scorched Earth option. It’s 3 hours away from his kids, although, I also joke about befriending his ex-wife and then convincing her to move here, so then his kids will be here too. Realistically though, none of that is going to happen. It didn’t stop the talks about this #MoveToVernal option from getting just a little bit serious over the past little while though, and I hate how much I liked the thought of that.

So what’s to hate about the thought of one of your closest friends moving to the same town you live in? Well….there wasn’t any problem with it, until I saw a picture of him with his kids this weekend. They were all so incredibly happy. He is seriously THE best dad, and my first thought upon seeing that picture was “there is absolutely no way he can be 3 hours away from them,” and I felt like a giant asshole for even suggesting it. My next thought was “What in the hell is this crushing feeling in my soul?” That was coupled with the reality that it was feelings. Gross right? I walked right in to the damn things.

Yesterday, my BFF and keeper of my secrets invited me to go to the lake with her and some of her friends. I needed some sun, water, and friends in my life, so of course I went. At one point we decided to jump off the boat and wander around on the beach. We were walking on some wet sand, when all of the sudden we sunk almost up to our knees in the wet, muddy sand. While the kids were laughing about it, it was poetic justice for me really. That damn muddy sand was a whole hell of a lot like those feelings I had fallen right in to for a minute. I was just walking along the beach of life, and then *bam* stepped right in to feelings.

We pulled ourselves out of the mud pretty easily and washed off in the lake, then continued on along the beach looking for cool stuff. One of the girls we were with found some sweet sunglasses, and I found a plethora of freaking heart shaped rocks. I skipped right over the first few of them, but then I had an idea. I kept 4 of the heart shaped rocks and took them with me on the swim back to the boat. Only 3 of them survived; the black one that I joked was a replica of mine broke in 2 pieces in my hand as I swam back to the boat. Turns out it was a little more fragile than it looked. (Mother f wording symbolism there!) As for the other heart shaped rocks, I waited until we were in the deepest part of the lake and threw them overboard, because hearts represent feelings, and feelings are overrated, and just a little bit lame.