After 4 years, I believe I have analyzed and processed to the nth degree the entire breakdown of my breakup with DreamGuy.
I suffered in silence, the anguish it caused and remained reserved to rejoice in the relief I felt. It was bitter sweet. Like green beans and sour patch kids.
So now I’m ready to disclose the demise.
I was so happy to be moving. Although it’s only now that I realized how contained I felt in my hometown and getting away from that just opened my mind up. So many people, although maybe not intentionally, did indirectly invoke certain decisions I made. I didn’t realize how conflicted I was between how I felt and what path I chose. I felt very positive about this move with DreamGuy. I knew we were moving from a big space to a significantly smaller space but he made me feel safe and this is what I wanted for me and my kids. This was my family and there is where I wanted to be.
Saturday was the day it all began. We moved everything in the new place and on Sunday we were still working hard to get things situated. On Monday morning there was a strategic pile of clutter left in the middle of the only organized room in the house: the living room. I took offense to it realizing DreamGuy had left for work early and wanted to make an example of miscellaneous clutter left out. All he did was move clutter.
It was a disrespectful gesture in my eyes. I was gravely offended and above all, very hurt. I had taken an entire week off of work so that I could make this a home for my family. After 2 full days what did he expect after a massive move????? This move was a new clean slate glossed in positivity and there in the middle of the room was a steaming pile of junk shitting on my beautiful intentions.
Looking back, this was the beginning of the end.
With a week off, the kids in school, DreamGuy at work, isolation hit me. There was adventure in the unknown of a new home and new town but for me, this was more overwhelming than I thought. DreamGuy moved for me. It’s my turn to prove to him that I am just as equal and serious about this relationship. I’m sure he felt some of the same things. At the time, I didn’t even think of what he possibly could have felt because he had travelled, he was stronger than me, he was more of a survivor! Me, I was crumbling. I felt scared and my main goal was to suck it up and not be a burden to him. I definitely didn’t want to come across as a cry baby. Even when lying in bed cuddling one night, he said it was a busy week and he was sorry he didn’t ask about me, but wanted to know how I was doing with the move. He understood that I had never been away from home. That I was out of my element. I could have cried my eyes out there. He was so amazing, but I held it in. “I’m good….” I lied because that’s what I had hoped to be…..and that’s what I wanted to be. For him. For the kids….
The house I left, was broken into. Stress doesn’t even begin to cover what I felt at that time. I was trying to sell the house in a down market and I was doing everything right but everything that was happening was going wrong. Insurance claims, foreclosure procedures, short sales, failed deals…the back and forth was getting me nowhere. Now that I have been through this mess, I could have handled it much better. At the time, this ordeal took so much out of me that I was constantly feeling like a failure and I know it changed me. I worked so hard to handle everything I left but it left such little room for remaining positive in the present. Hindsight…….
I had been with my company for nearly 10 years and I desperately wanted to get a job closer to home. The long, tiring drive to work was taking its toll on me. Many times I had to scream at the top of my lungs so that I could keep from swerving on the road was getting so hard knowing that I was barely going to get 4 hrs of sleep. Money was really becoming scarce. DreamGuy seemed to be thriving, he was working a lot of overtime, he was on top of his bills, he was actually reminding ME of things! While I was feeling pretty bad, he was surely shining!! I even asked him about it. He said, “You have a new and improved boyfriend.” I was impressed. I knew he would illuminate in his own time. I desperately wanted to shine with him but with the move, the old house, feeling tired, long drives, no money, my light had dimmed. I really needed for him to step up and lead but I never told him how much I really needed him.
I was called out on the amount of sleep I was getting. In so many words, “I slept a lot.” To me, I was catching up on needed sleep, but it shouldn’t have been any different than before because my schedule had not changed in many years. I realize now my sleep was affected more because of the turmoil I was feeling inside. Worrying and stressing is an uphill battle and it was wearing me out to the point that I could sleep for 12+ hrs a day. And even if I was in a peaceful sleep, I would awake in the middle of it and there would be periods of insomnia during the wee hours of the morning. I definitely was struggling.
I tried to problem solve. I found a second job at Walmart and although I found positivity in my environment and found a sense of joy in being good at it, I was coming home so hateful from some of the experiences I had. Although I would laugh at it, I was pissed. And becoming more pissed over telling my mishaps even when I was trying to be funny. The extra money paid for my long trips to work but I had to quit. I was beyond tired. I felt much better after not having to deal with asshole customers.
DreamGuy looked like he was on top of the world. Finances were getting in order, he was working on buying a house we could all move in to. No wonder he felt good about wanting a motorcycle. A man or woman who works hard, deserves to enjoy life. Enjoying life was equivalent to buying a bike- for him. Although he called me a dream killer when I disagreed with this purchase, it wasn’t my intention. Our entire relationship, his biggest struggle is with money. I never told him how to spend his money. But this time….I couldn’t sit back and watch another catastrophe occur.
I tried to be strategic not to make him feel like I was stepping on his monetary toes. I was extra careful with my words when explaining that this big purchase should wait. In my mind, his bills were going to fall behind and I was already stressed about money that I was afraid I was going to have to swoop in and fix it. And that’s exactly what happened.
Getting up for work, I knew instantly he bought a bike. I had a premonition. My gut told me. Plus, he wasn’t home. How did I know that? To this day I can’t figure it out. But I texted him, “where are you?” He responded, “Bought a motercycle.”
I was hurt and angry at the same time. All I could think was, “u spelled ‘motorcycle’ wrong.”
The kids and I stayed with grandma for the next few days. I needed to get myself out of the situation and find peace. And she loves having us anyway. I was over the top stressed and my cup runneth over. He did take notice the next day when I wasn’t home. He called my coworker, Kevin to check up on me, knowing I left in anger. I never told him how mad I was.
We never talked about it. I think he was too scared to bring it up and I KNOW I was too scared to acknowledge how furious I was. The silence between us really hurt us. He knew he was bad at money, he knew I would always bail him out.
I wasn’t going to help him anymore. It is his money, his bills and now, his problem. I knew I was right when his bills went unpaid and his phone got shut off. I couldn’t allow his problem be mine anymore.
As that first fall approached that year, I found a job 10 miles from my house offering me more money. I felt like I hit the jackpot! I was killing off nearly the majority of all my stressors:
1-I was working closer to home!
2-I was making More money!
3-It was dayshift!
The dark clouds were parting!
This great news of mine made me wonder if it somehow affected DreamGuy negatively. He was working long hours, 6 days a week and to me, it seemed like he sized up my salary to his. Comparing hours worked and feeling like he wasn’t happy at his job. He didn’t get the raise he was promised, coworkers were being jerks. I wonder if it affected him because there was another noticeable shift at this time. He wanted to breakup and sleep on the couch. I don’t know why he wanted to breakup. I remember having the conversation but can’t recall anything he said. I remember where I was sitting and I remember where he was sitting. He was so soft spoken. He had breakfast with his sister that morning. I didn’t fully understand what “relationship issues” we had to warrant a breakup because I had been feeling so bad about myself and trying to problem solve that which I was dealing with….and just two weeks before I had this new job and these rays of sunshine started to penetrate through these dark clouds that I felt the breakup timing was way off. This new job, new salary, new schedule hadn’t even taken affect and instantly, I was feeling extremely isolated all over again. This was a curve ball I didn’t see coming. I was back to feeling like shit again.
I started my new job the next day a bigger mess than I had been all year. I texted DreamGuy at work a stupid box of honey buns telling him I was thinking of him. He texted me back he was thinking of me too. That was the best part of my day.
It was Halloween night, nearly two weeks after my new job and had been stressing over where the kids and I were gonna live. Lo and behold, DreamGuy changed his mind. He didn’t want to feel like he was abandoning me and the kids. He wanted to stay together.
Emotionally, I felt secure. But i didn’t trust it. I didn’t trust him. I had another premonition…..it wasn’t clear but I knew I had to start saving money. I might have to jump ship and I wanted to be prepared.
I went through the motions of our relationship. That describes perfectly that last year. Life was routine and typical. DreamGuy and I both just existed. I tried to make the most of it when I got the news that I was being forced to go back on Nights. I was devastated. I wanted to be “normal.” I believe I am destinined to be a night owl forever.
It wasn’t bad as I thought it was going to be. DreamGuy would come visit me. I was feeling like I had more time. I was taking Zumba classes every week, I was going to Columbus Commons for exercise and bringing the kids with me for Jeni’s Ice Cream.
As things were getting better, my old job called me back and offered me even MORE money. DreamGuy was proud of me for holding out for more money and they came through. This was the best summer!!!!! I was in a revolving door of happy!
To prove it: My July 2014 Facebook post: “Moving has been a massive transition for me. Once surrounded by familiarity and security to loneliness and insecurity. I haven’t felt like myself – feeling like an outsider looking in. Very select few know what I have been going through. Finally, for the first time since I have been here, I have made a friend, smiled more, and made plans to look forward too. =) Happy Val.”
Things were falling into order for the first time since the move. I genuinely felt like I was in a good place, mentally. My gut, however, told me something was up with DreamGuy. I was getting my glow back and he appeared to be fading away. He projected such anger towards us. Little things like leaving the computer on warrented such harsh restrictions. He was acting increasingly paranoid over little things, like lights being left on too long.
The poor kids felt so conflicted that this once energetic and happy go lucky man in their lives was full of ridicule, hostility and vengeance towards them. I felt like he was reliving his adolescent years and seeking to redeem his inner child through rigid punishments of my kids. I cry just thinking of it.
While all this emotional turmoil goes on, DreamGuy and I were still house hunting. This was always a promising discussion taking into consideration my work and how long the commute would be. I wanted this from the beginning but my gut said it would never happen.
I suspected him of smoking marijuana but could never prove it until the kids found a roach in the dining room. He confessed and said he was smoking again. He apologized for disappointing me. He confirmed he would continue to do what he wants. This probably explains his paranoia, why he was mean to us, and ignored us. I had experienced countless times where he wouldn’t remember conversations we just had. I couldn’t explain the loss of brain cells….but it all makes sense now. He’s probably been doing this all along.
It was clear to me that this was the moment I had been saving money for. I slowly started moving stuff out. I found a house. I transferred my job. I wanted to establish the escape plan and leave no room to get out of it. Two weeks later I told DreamGuy we shouldn’t be together anymore.
I could only imagine we were in the same emotionally drained state. He agreed to breakup.
And the healing began.
I moved out early. I made sure my rent agreement was taken care of and maintained the utility bill as it was in my name. I feel I took care of him through to the end and beyond. My greatest desire in this relationship was finding someone that was on my team. He made me feel safe and secure up until that move and I am grateful to have experienced it before it fell apart.
For three years following the breakup, we remained close. We talked weekly, visited each other and had new laughs we so desperately needed. I continuously struggle with the breakup and i found the courage to open up the topic of our breakup….I wanted to know what he felt led to our demise….
I was shook that he felt we should end the relationship because he believed the kids would fabricate a story that he touched them inappropriately. This was his biggest fear so he distanced himself from us.
I felt ignored.
The insight to his breakup version was…….enlightening.
To me, I sum it all up in one word as what led to the downfall. Money.
It led to resentment…..led to anger……led to feeling used….led to frustration…..led to animosity……..led to stress…….led us to stop communicating….led to the demise.
And now, like Houdini, he disappeared. Off the grid, abandoning me and my kids who he helped raise.
I believed this was my ever after. I am overcome with shame after the fact.
I always had this thought of happiness with 3. Me and my kids make 3. Maybe that’s the way it was always meant to be.
So it is written.
Listening to Lana Del Rey: Video Games
First off, I can’t believe it’s been a YEAR since my last blog post!!! That just proves how antisocial I have become!!!
Being single doesn’t leave much room to write inspiring and humorous tales of dating because I don’t date!!! I’ve tried perusing through Tinder and POF like I was window shopping for a new man outfit. But I don’t feel like meeting anybody. FUCK OFF must seriously be inscribed on my forehead.
My last relationship ended nearly 4 years ago. I believe for myself that it takes half the length of a relationship to truly “heal” or “get over” a breakup. (7yrs/2=3.5) That’s the formula that I’ve tried to follow. Enough time has passed but I am not even close to wanting to meet anyone. I honestly believe I worked too hard to want to start over again with someone else. Back when I had the dating stamina, I didn’t mind telling my story over and over again hoping to connect with someone. Now I’m all out of fucks to give.
The anti-dating feeling is strong.
I’m sure the perseverance depleted when my last long term relationship did. It’s the idea of starting all over again that makes me die a little on the inside. The idea of telling my story, who I am, how I got here…If I was a car, my tank is on E.
A song can remind me of a memory, an emotion or even represent a particular time of my life.
Some songs take me back to the guy I dated or reminds me of a particular moment we shared.
Here are some songs that bring back some memories.
1. “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind
2. “If You’re Gone” by Matchbox 20
3. “This Love” Maroon 5
4.“Love of a Lifetime” Firehouse
5.“Fall For You” Secondhand Serenade
6. “You Remind Me Of Something” R.Kelly
7. “Rompe” Daddy Yankee
8. “Barbie Girl” Aqua
9. “Even Flow” Pearl Jam
10. “From Yesterday” 30 Seconds To Mars
11. “Forever” Papa Roach
The first boy I went out with, I remember him driving me on the interstate in his little car with the windows down on a hot summer day listening to this song. He and I had just graduated high school and this song makes me feel as fresh and free as that day I heard it. I can still see him, his hair blowing in the wind, singing “Do Do Dooo!”
This song reminds me of driving home from the casino with my ex. It was not a good time in our relationship, I wonder if he realized how fucked up our relationship really was. For all the things that went wrong, my ex played this song for me. It’s quite a relaxing song to me, reminding me how much at peace I felt that I truly knew there was no repairing the damage that had been done.
When I caught my ex cheating, this song was playing. Hook, Line, Sinker! This song makes me feel like I found my freedom all over again! I remember dancing in my basement while singing, “She said…goodbye!!” My Unhappily Ever After was going to turn into my Happily Ever After…..
I had a lot of feels when it comes to the guy that this song reminds me of. He had a big love for 80s and techno music. Emotions were strong when this song played and we held hands in the car. I remember slow dancing with him at the club. Wow. This was the first feel good love song I had. Let those endorphins flow!
Dream Guy asked me to listen to this song and a short time later, we gave it another go. It was great the first time around and I think this was his subtle way of letting me know he was falling for me all over again. This reminds me of a hopeful time in my life.
I would never describe myself as “popular” or “cool,” but that’s how I would describe the Smart Sideburns guy that made too quick of a departure. There will be more on him later. A side B reprise, so to speak ::wink wink::
I went to a Reds game and one of the players stepped to the plate and this song was playing. The guy who I was with started singing this song. I had never heard it before but liked it immediately. This song reminds me of that hot summer baseball game, hooters and the guy that had some pretty shitty luck for the rest of his days.
I loved this song in 1997 but it reminds me of kissing a guy who I would label as my worst kiss ever.
I can’t say I particularly like this song but the guy I dated sure did. I remember him smiling and connecting his own memory with friends while jamming to this tune. This time in my life, I had no friends and wanted to absorb from him the ability to find my own happiness and connections in life. He had his heart set on healing and I did too.
When MySpace added music, this was Dream Guy’s song. It was the first of many songs that make me think of him.
If there is ever someone in your life that you left with unfinished business…..this song represents him. This was his ringtone. We have stayed in contact here and there since the last time I saw him. We are both single and he has put the ball in my court that if I’m ready, he’s ready.
Put your relationship soundtrack out there. What songs remind you of YOUR exes?
For more personal musical soundtracks, Click here for my compilation of songs that helped me through a heartbreak.
The short version of the story:
I met a Stranger.
I thought he could be a friend.
He acted really strange.
I felt uncomfortable.
He threw a tantrum.
He deleted me.
For the long version, keep reading.
I met someone.
Now don’t go thinking I was swept off my feet into relationship oblivion. It wasn’t anything like that.
After my move to a new city, I found myself feeling very lonely. Finding adult friends or just quality beings in general is REALLY HARD! We have all been on a long road in Life and making room for others sometimes doesn’t always feel easy or convenient. I know I made a lot of room for Dream Guy but that space is now clear and closed off. As a means of healing, I feel like my social realm is limited to V.I.P. only. But there are times where I really crave companionship. My close friends all live elsewhere, all have different shifts, they probably don’t feel like a mangled up mess like I do! People have their own messes to deal with and it is hard to keep my own mess out of the forefront that I feel I have forgotten what it’s like to have fun!!!
So I’ve been keeping to myself. A lot.
And then I met a Stranger…….
We were both in great moods. He was articulate, talking of the great music he played on the jukebox, he made someone’s night by giving them an unexpected tip and anticipating his world travels.
The conversation was exactly how I would want meeting someone to happen. It was random and interesting. I didn’t feel like it was forced. Since it wasn’t through a dating app, it didn’t feel like a connection was anticipated. It felt like a first time for me– a natural way of meeting someone. It was pleasantly different!
Because of his travelling, I had currency that I needed to get rid of so I offered the business-like exchange. He thought this was a great idea and enjoyed my insight from my own previous travels and asked if he could give me his phone number. Although more business-like rather than date-like, I enjoyed this interaction. It felt functional and like both of us left happy that we met each other!
A day or two goes by and I text him. It was specific. It was the currency I had, and the current exchange rate it was going for. It was only $60 but the nearest bank to exchange this was over 4 hrs away for me. He was happy I texted and he agreed to this transaction.
We made plans in the next week or two. He was excited to see me. We talked like a bunch of teenage girls at a sleepover. It was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed his energy! He was Army, loved photography, and is exquisitely articulate! I liked his beard. He left to go meet with some friends, kissed my hand and left.
I received a surprise text later that he really wanted to kiss me. I’m thinking, “uh-oh.” I told him I wasn’t interested in kissing but was glad I met him.
Some nice conversations later, he wanted me to send him a picture. Ok. Me and my dog while I’m doing housework. I’m simple like that. But he was wanting something a little more specific, I learned. He wanted a picture of my legs. UHHHH, awkward. No. He asked why. “I don’t like the sexual nature of it. It makes me feel uncomfortable.” He asked why. In my head, he’s jerking off and coming on a $.50 stuffed pig that came out of a claw machine. It made me feel disgusting.
PLUS, I barely knew him. Remember my free space is empty and closed off. I would require some broken hearted maintenance and something told me he wasn’t proficient in anything but his own hammer. Rather than divulge in some deeply seeded sexual history, I tried to veer him off the subject.
He did assure me that due to our great geographic constraints, that we could spend the time getting to know each other and use it to enjoy “flirty things.” Here we go again. I’ve already mentioned I am not interested in kissing and that his desire for me to send flirty pictures was not something I wanted to do, I called him out on it. “Are you trying to wear me down to send u pics of my legs??”
“No. I’m not trying to pressure you into sex….just want you to see my perspective on the matter…….i thoroughly enjoy our discourse.”
I told him I can see his reasons and accept that it differs from mine and told him that apart from him wanting to see my legs, I enjoyed all the other parts of our conversations.
He sent me a broken heart emoji. I laughed it off and told him he could rest assured that I will never pressure him for sex!
What he said next, alarmed me. “No, you’ll just continually reject me until I want to off myself.”
He added, “ I just don’t know why you feel the need to push so hard against me…..Constantly reminding me you’re not interested in new and creative ways! Let your guard drop with me, you may like it!”
I’m sure that ending a long relationship I wanted so badly to work has something to do with my power to push people away who give me the slightest indication they are interested in a more emotional/physical connection. I wasn’t thinking romantically with him. AT ALL. I’m sure it’s my high levels of anxiety and stress I bestow upon myself that keeps my social interactions to an almost non-existent minimum. But his pushing to put me in a position that I am not ready to be in just makes me resist that much harder. It’s not what I want. I’m not ready to let my guard down in that aspect. I want to establish quality people first. I need someone to relate to, not have relations with!
We talked on and off a little over the course of another week. Until one day, via snapchat, he wanted to know why I was talking to him. I explained how I enjoyed our very first conversation, that I was excited for his travels and believed he could be a good new friend in my life. I can only guess that didn’t make sense to him because he brought up again that I would not show him my legs, was not open to flirting and how he wanted me to open up to him. After that first intense conversation, I thought boundaries were made clear and established. I really didn’t want to rehash this again. I tried to politely excuse myself from the conversation by explaining to him that it was a long day, I just got home from taking my kids to the doctor….and his response:
I got that message in the middle of texting him but when I hit send, the message showed that he had already deleted me. “Your chat is pending until Strange Stranger adds you as a friend.”
Maybe it’s for the best. As lonely as I feel sometimes, I always will enjoy solitude over public poison.
Bye bye, strange stranger.
Listening to The Doors: People Are Strange
I saved my college Sociology book because cultural practices vary around the world. It is beyond fascinating the cultural creations that manifest and influence in each society. Educating ourselves is the greatest power we can achieve.
Transgender is in the news so much as of lately. When you see loved ones discriminated against because of race or disability and now gender identity, there is a strong need to stand up and protest the uneducated driven rebuttals that follow. In order to refreshen my outlook, I re-read the chapter on Gender. Our society goes to great lengths to assign one’s gender.
Gender in the workplace.
Gender in the home.
We celebrate gender by gender reveal parties and put little bows on little baby girl’s heads. We conform to the roles our society defines for us. From our conduct to our clothes. I am no different in participating in the wide spread social construct. My mom bought me Barbie and although I loved Barbie, I loved Legos and the Millennium Falcon and playing with my brother’s Hulk Hogan and Junk Yard Dog figurines. My favorite color is blue and I was told while playing “house” (another social practice) as a child I had to be the “dad” because I wore a blue shirt. Blue is associated with the male gender. We unify the manufactured ideas of gender and then we are judged and discriminated against when we separate from those standards.
“… gender identities vary greatly across cultures, with each different culture defining what is right and wrong. Our gender identity, then, is constructed within our cultures framework for gender. There is not some global absolute truth governing gender roles and identities (274).”
Here’s some fascinating examples of gender in other cultures:
Bacha Posh– middle eastern custom where a family who doesn’t have any sons will allow their daughter to live and behave as a boy. She will have rights to education, personal freedoms and often carry male names.
Fa’fafafine– Samoan boys raised as women. Male body with female identities. Sex with straight men is considered a hetero-sexual relationship. The roles in your community decide and shape your gender. Not your physical anatomy. They are a revered third-gender.
The idea of “Men are men and Women are Women” is definitely overused and offers little intellectual insight. “The bottom line is that gender is a socially created or constructed IDEA, not one that emanates from biological traits. (291).” Translation: your plumbing downstairs has no significance on your gender identity.
We check our gender boxes on every form out there. And that’s our culture.
“Each tradition has evolved over time to meet certain needs of society(273).”
I get it. The stigmas that have survived and slowly transcended has served an essential purpose in society because it was needed at one point in time.
Not this time.
Everything written above is educated and medically supported facts. In regards to the issue of the bathroom. The stall is just another little box.
As far as I’m concerned, there’s only two boxes that are important in this life. The little incubator box they put me in when I’m born. And the box they put me when I’m in the ground.
Our life is simply the transition from one box to another.
Time to think outside of it.
Erwitt, Elliot. Segregated Water Fountains. 1950. North Carolina, USA,. Web.
Mason-Schrock, Douglas. “Transsexuals’ Narrative Construction of the “True Self”” Social Psychology Quarterly 59.3 (1996): 176-92. Web.
Ballantine, Jeanne H., and Keith A. Roberts. Our Social World: Introduction to Sociology. Los Angeles: Pine Forge, 2009. Print
Today marks a symbolic moment in my life. My divorce anniversary. 12 years and counting!
Be thankful that you aren’t married to one of these guys!
And to be fair, here’s a list of women.
Marriage is not an option and I love, love, love finding like minded people. A quick google search led me across this blog…..MirrorCracked
Although I believe the reasons are a bit vague, it is a wonderful topic to discuss and build upon. And….a guy wrote it! Even better!
Feliz Cindo de Mayo!
Kelsey Borresen wrote an article for The Huffington Post about Aaron Gillies writing down and then tweeting all of his wife’s tearful endeavors.
I got a kick out of it.
Aaron’s wife thought it was humorous. The reaction it caused with the public was the same. People were identifying with it. Some people do this! Cry over what seems like, everything! The whole purpose of The One Date Wonder is to write, record and release my own endeavors. I share my emotions as felt by my own point of view and once released, others may identify it as well. I love relating to others. Knowing that I am not the only one who has laughed over a date gone wrong, or cried over a marriage gone bad, has been wildly healing for me.
I never want people to stop sharing their stories. It’s pure genius if you ask me. Memoirs like My Horizontal Life –Chelsea Handler gives a humorous account of her sexual escapades. On a darker more reproachable memoir, Elissa Wall wrote Stolen Innocence, depicting her life and childhood with her religion, marriage and later, her advocacy. Personal narratives like those keep me going.
Even though relationships end, behaviors live on. Someone out there is cheating on someone. Someone out there is being verbally abused. Someone out there isn’t getting asked on a second date. It is so helpful to know that I have shared a similar situation with someone out there. I also believe that writing down each personal account is helpful to see things stand out on a page, in black and white.
So take out a pen, take out some paper…..and write……
-Every time your Significant Other makes you laugh.
-Every time he/she makes you cry.
-Every time he/she takes you out on a date.
-Every time he/she inspires you.
-Every time he/she spends too much money.
-Every time he/she called you names.
-Every time he/she lied to you.
I believe we hope and strive for the more positive declarations but if you write more bad than good, let the truth speak for itself.
Writing has always been a part of my life. Since my brother bought me my first journal when I was 9, I wrote down everything. My first crush, my first A, when I was being bullied, when I felt insecure, when I felt most proud…..little books of truth.
My kindergarten Thanksgiving.
It was 1985. My teacher, Miss Alexander said all the boys had to be Indians but gave the girls the option to be Pilgrims or Indians. Pilgrims wore funny looking bonnets. Indians had war paint on their faces and wore fringe and feathers. It was a no brainer. Call me Chief Valerie.
I sat at the table, using my safety first pink scissors, cutting the edge of the paper sack to replicate fringe. I was excited to put the feather in my hair and represent my kindergarten tribe during this Thanksgiving. When I heard giggles and pots banging together, I gazed over near the play carpet where we often had free time. The Pilgrim girls were done with their outfits and bonnets and could play with the kitchen set.
Oh, the devastation!!!!
It must have been an eternity that I was staring at the Pilgrim girls in their happy frolic, because Miss Alexander charges across the room, grabs my arm and leans in my ear to yell at me in a loud whisper, “get back to work!!!”
She hurt my arm. I hung my head, cutting my paper sack with my safety scissors with tears rolling down my cheeks.
I was a sad little Indian.
It was upon my greatest surprise that while in Thailand, I got to see Blue.
Blue? Yeah, I asked the same question.
It was about 2 years ago, that my friend, Songie, and I ate brunch at Brio’s Italian Restaurant that she first sang to me One Love. I listened to the song via YouTube but here in the U.S., boy band days have been long over. There were no survivors.
Fast forward to my anticipated trip to Thailand and a couple months after buying the plane ticket, Songie calls me and exclaimed that BLUE IS COMING!!!! Added to my pile of Thailand study materials was now Blue. I wanted to be as educated and involved and research is not only one of my favorite past times, it was my top priority. Language, Customs, Culture, & Blue.
When I think of Boy Bands, I’m thrown back to 1989 when I was 11 and first heard New Kids On The Block on the radio singing Hangin’ Tough. I idolized them and the biggest appeal was their different personalities, charming good looks, and vocal styles. Every Boy Band blends together a winning combination that the industry has tried so desperately to sustain and maintain decade after decade. I was a young mom during ‘Nsync and BSB days but wasn’t interested in their cliche matching attire or dance moves that made girls swoon. So it would be that as we grow and change, the boy band industry wants to remain the same. And the good music dies with it.
I believe that as the industry booms with this Boy Band idolization that it fails to recognize and evolve along with these individuals. I am not an eleven year old child anymore and I didn’t meet Blue as a screaming, hormonal teen. I looked into the eyes of a man who missed his dog, a man who couldn’t wait to celebrate his baby girl’s first birthday, a man who contemplated his spiritual growth and another who talked of disciplining his child if they didn’t clean up their toys. Their commitments and life experiences were not far off on my own and all I could think about was “come to America.”
It was amazing to sit amongst screaming fans. Blue fans were waiting outside their hotel, singing songs outside the arena, jumping up and down. During the opening of the concert, Blue stood there in the dim shadow and their silhouette alone made everyone go NUTS! I could not hide my smile. Fans rushed the stage and who be it from me to not allow a true fan to take my spot as I sit back, observe and enjoy the experience.
Simon, your eyes are absolutely captivating. There were times during the concert that I felt penetrated by your gaze and that you were singing to only me. Wow. Your poise enthralls me and I would notice you walking into a room. Your presence demands it and I freely give it. Our first interaction was laughter and it broke through my serious façade. It is hard not to want to know more about you and as you methodically told me that I am hard to read, know that I am carefully taking all that I can in of you. You remembered my name and took me by the hand and danced with me my last night. It reminded me of Take the Lead where Antonio Banderas explains how a man can learn to touch a woman with respect by dancing. I will allow you to take the lead with me. Truly memorable. I believe Romeo and Krieger will be BFFs.
Antony, you were the first one ready to go. Always on time. That alone, I would bring you home to meet my father. A punctual man is an attractive man! I watched The Big Reunion and couldn’t help but feel torn when you were interviewed and heard you speak of some of the hurtful things people said about you (The Big Reunion season 1 episode 8). It was painful to hear. During the concert, I clapped and cheered more for you. I couldn’t wait to see you perform on stage. I loved learning about your endeavors beyond Blue. You seemed to have a lot more going on than anyone else and I feel I failed my research in missing that you would do Tommy the Rock Opera before playing Prince Charming! I enjoyed your company at dinner, noticing your cues that maybe you thought no one else saw. After we took the dinner picture for the 4th or 5th time and the cameraman said, “No flash,” you held back a laugh. I, in turn, laughed. I can’t really explain it to anyone else how funny I thought that moment was. Oh my god and you were singing, “Valerie.” Hearts, hearts, hearts! However brief my time was with you, it was memorable beyond measure.
Lee, What is not to love about you? Opposites attract and you would be the perfect Right kind of Wrong. You were not shy winking at me, talking to me and it felt really good just to be around you. Where do you find all that energy? You are really charming and have one of those magnetic personalities. I was absolutely mesmerized by you as we overlooked the city, you talked about your son, your writings and your commitments.
You can really bring out the best in people and that was when I felt most special. You love hard. You fall hard. There is no denying that you have the ability to shock and awe everyone and I hope you are encased by people who realize you are a man energized by your passions and they support and encourage you every step of the way.
Duncan, my kids tell me I need to stop judging. I thought I knew what to expect from you, but I was totally wrong. I was so surprised how welcomed you made me feel not knowing who this strange girl was amongst your circle of friends. A standard photo op and you spoke up first, greeting me with your big captivating smile. It was after the concert, the cheers, the screaming, the lights, the interviews…..it was when the cameras were off and it felt like just you and me, chatting like old mates. We shared our heartbreak, our pain, our faults, our spirituality. Then, all of a sudden, the TV turned on. The energy could not be denied in the room at that moment. You called me out on a few things that I feel most insecure about myself but there was no judging. Just a moment where I held your undivided attention. You smiled and spoke Pig Latin. You are a good man. Come to Ohio. No lights, no screaming….but there will be a home cooked meal waiting for you. Soul Food 😉
Blue is the epitome of talented men. No question. But it was their conversation and the ability to connect from personal experiences that captivated me. As an outsider, untouched by their music all these years, there is no doubt that Blue is a revered entity. Loyal fans all over the world have been loyal to Simon Webbe, Antony Costa, Duncan James and Lee Ryan. These handsome men are in my eyes, survivors. Their paths crossed early as young musical dreamers and have endured throughout the ever changing music industry. BoyBand-dom has been long gone. But Blue endured. It’s cool they have been together so long, but it’s the men they have become today that have made me a fan. Let the essence of Blue redefine the music industry’s confines of what it means to be a “Boy Band.”
Talented. Handsome. Mature. Men.
And let me be the first to welcome it.