Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Danny Castellano is Not my Boyfriend, Part II

Real Danny Castellano (meaning the real person I'd renamed DC) has a girlfriend.  It's not me.  Oops.

Oddly, we were texting back and forth last night about a recent news article.  I'd not heard from him in maybe a week, so it was a pleasant surprise.  The conversation fit in around my evening workout, a visit to my cousin's family, and lesson prep.  I'd walked away from my phone for a bit and came back to read, "Did I mention I'm now seeing a really nice girl I met a couple weeks ago?" 

Nope.  Not until now.

But you'll be happy to know I was gracious.  Part of it was out of obligation to social construct.  Part of it is because I DO want him to be happy.  Part of it was to save face.  I'm not really upset, but it's sorely inconvenient.  Let me give you a BIG reason why.

The truth is, there IS something in my life I am absolutely gutted over.  Last weekend I got news that someone I love has been diagnosed with a terminal illness.  Out of respect for her and her privacy, I'll not go into details of symptoms, but I will tell you how I'm dealing with it.  Here's a hint: not well.

The problem is there are days I simply do not know where to put/keep/store/place/hide my grief. 

Part of me is so angry-- angry because she didn't take better care of herself and angry that her life has been so full of strife it's a wonder she's coped so well for so long. 

Part of me is scared-- this kind of situation really makes one face her own mortality, and the fact that we all will each have to cope with our bodies wearing out. 

Part of me is weary-- taking my daily walks has been so difficult the last several days.  It feels like a physical weight I'm dragging along.  Movement does not come easily.

Part of me feels guilty and ashamed for feeling so awful, especially when I'm really not the one dealing with the scariness of the diagnosis and all its implications.  I feel guilty that I can't alleviate the suffering, that I can't begin to offer anything more than sincere prayer and good wishes. 

In short, it's been tough, and it hasn't been pretty.

What this looks like in real life is me getting four hours of sleep or less every night.  It translates to me crying to the outsourced tech support guy in India who was trying to fix my computer and modem after hours of being pushed around by my ISP.   It looks like drinking far too many Diet Cokes, and not eating nearly enough vegetables.  It's me not returning texts and phone calls-- not because I couldn't use some human interaction, but it's because I'm in this fog.

So yes, having a DC would be helpful right about now.  It wouldn't have to be that DC.  Just someone who could pat my back and say, "There, there."  I'm OK by myself, but I keep thinking it would be nice to have someone to shepherd me through my mourning.

But it's not Danny, who, truthfully Sokphal and I had already renamed Felicia. 

On the bright side, this frees me up to look for someone to whom I'm more well-suited-- just as soon as I can pick myself up from the real, true reasons for sadness.

Bye Felicia.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Walking on Broken Glass

One of my former boyfriends got married last weekend. 

It was hard.

But not for the reason one might think. 

I never wanted to marry him myself-- and I'm not saying that to save face.  And he never asked me, so this shouldn't have been a gut-wrenching experience.   But it sort of turned out that way.

I had a plan.  Saturday night I was going out to dinner with a friend, so I set out to spend a good chunk of the day breaking one of my exercise records.  I worked through four walking DVDs-- you know, the kind where you march in place or jog a bit or do lunges and squats and kicks and hamstring curls for the equivalent of however many miles.  So I did 13.  Why not half-marathon it, right?

I felt good about my accomplishment, and even better that I really didn't have time to stew while I was working through each mile. 

The rest of the morning and afternoon were likewise productive.  I prepared a seminary lesson; I practiced the piano.  I did several loads of laundry and I read a book.  It was good.

But then my friend called about 4 p.m. to cancel our dinner.  She was feeling under the weather and didn't want to subject me to her germs.  I appreciated that, to a degree.  Staying healthy and cold-free for as long as possible should help my exercise-goal achievement streak (205 days and counting).  But boy, did I realize I needed some human interaction!

I made a few calls, and sent some texts, trying to find new plan.  But things got overwhelming fast, and it wasn't long before I crawled back into some pajamas and cried it out on my couch.  For a couple of hours.

The thing is, my last date with the groom was nine months ago.  I am thrilled he found someone who is a better fit for his life than I possibly could've been.  But the small, childish, and selfish part of me kept asking, "Aren't I due for a happily ever after?"

It can be frustrating to know I've gone at least 13 miles without leaving the house.  It's frustrating to know I've been working on this for 18 years, and I'm still in the same spot, relationship-wise. 

So Sunday evening, instead of popping in another DVD, I drove 30 miles to Albuquerque so I could walk 4 miles when I got there.  But it was good to break free.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Danny Castellano is Not My Boyfriend; My Boyfriend* is Not Danny Castellano

I'll admit it, I'm addicted to The Mindy Project. 

In some ways, this should not be a surprise-- I think Mindy Kaling is brilliant and all things wonderful.  I love the character she has created, though were I to watch TMP with my parents, I'd blush and turn it off and be embarrassed at just how dirty it is.  I don't know how often I've thought, "Seriously?  This is on TELEVISION?"  But maybe it's not shocking to folks who have had access to broadcast television for the last eight years.

Anyway, right or wrong, I adore the show.  I love Mindy Lahiri, and I love Mindy Kaling even more.  She is my spirit animal.

Just watching the show is invigorating.  Call me Stella, I've got my sassy groove back.  My speaking pace is faster, my comebacks are zingy-er, and my clothing gets brighter after watching some Mindy. 

But there's also been this weird side effect.  I have to keep having this little conversation with myself.  It's a weird pep-talk, but a necessary one.  My inner voice occasionally nudges me and says, "You do know that Danny Castellano is not a real person, right?  And you DO realize he's not your boyfriend?"


Here's the thing-- I think Mindy is so lovable and relatable to women like me because this whole dating/marriage thing?  Yeah, we sassy, single 30-somethings all assumed it would just take care of itself last decade.  And one day you wake up and say, "Oh yeah-- maybe I should try to check that off the list."  But the abundance of options from your younger days are gone.  And then your choices are limited to that awkward guy from your graduating class who has never kissed a girl and maybe the reformed drug addict who still thinks marijuana is no big deal.  It's a little discouraging.  Add in articles on Facebook shared by your single friends filled with statistics on female to male ratios in (especially LDS) singles populations (Hint: at least 2:1) and you're in a depressing mess. 

So Mindy's monologue at the beginning of Season 3 rings pretty true.  "After years of dating losers and sociopaths, I'm now happily dating the man of my dreams-- a devout Catholic divorcee with some pretty serious dad issues, which, for a single 30-something woman, is not too shabby."

In that vein, I have a confession.

I thought I'd found my own Danny Castellano.  We'd been out all of three times, and though this guy isn't a doctor (which isn't really my thing anyway), he hit several of the other descriptions above.  I liked him-- no, let me rephrase that-- I like him.  As in currently.  But truthfully, I'm afraid I let Mindy get in my head, because I kept expecting this very real person to act like a very made-up character.  And just because I happen to speak like I was created from Neil Simon's imagination does not mean that's normal. 

Fortunately, I have my mantra and use it as a little bit of a reality-check, and I *THINK* I've kept my weirdness in check.  But sometimes I'm not sure.  And I have a feeling there could be major complications if I forget.

So in the future if I refer to "Danny," it's me talking about someone in my current social rotation-- not the character-- just to be clear.  Of course, renaming him Danny probably isn't going to help me keep all this straight in my head.... oh, who cares?!?  Just call me Mindy from now on. That's my life ambition anyway. 

*"Real Danny," meaning the real-life guy I'm calling Danny (confusing as all get out!) is also not my boyfriend.  Three dates does not a relationship make, haters.  But I think I should still try to find him some of those red glasses.

Friday, September 11, 2015

A little night music

The other night I was hit with a terrible bout of insomnia.  This is a particularly cruel affliction for an early-morning seminary teacher, and I kinda thought it impossible-- a) because I'm physically and mentally so exhausted at the end of the day that I'm pretty much already asleep by the time I crawl into bed and b) because I thought that was one of Heavenly Father's guaranteed blessings to people in my calling. 

So after an hour and a half of tossing, turning, and picturing the Serta Sheep (because aren't they the ones YOU count?  I resorted to reading.  But my book wasn't doing it for me, nor was my magazine.  For some reason, I got to thinking about an old blog post, and started patting myself of the back for being hilarious.  And in the spirit of embracing my wakefulness, I went in search of said post. 

OK-- why did I ever stop writing?  I'm freaking Jimmy Fallon!

No, no, of course I'm not.  But I started to ache to write, so here I am.

The truth is, my life got pretty boring for a while.  It's not been bad-- there have been the typical ups and downs.  And in the spirit of full disclosure, it's still not an action movie around here.  More like a nature documentary-- but the kind they had on PBS when we were kids, not the cool ones on the Discovery Channel.

In the past couple of years, I went through a couple of odd, pseudo-relationships.  I guess there are some stories there, but because both men are now out of my life, they just don't even rate more than this mention.  I don't think they have earned a bigger part of my story. 

And my social life-- well, it's basically non-existent.  There's simply no time.  I get up at 4:30 to start my day.  I teach seminary, I work out.  I go to work, I work out some more, I prepare for the next day's seminary lesson, and I go to bed.  Rinse and repeat.  Not much literary inspiration there.

But I'm ready to change that.  If for no other reason than to have something to write about, I'm just going to have to cut back a little more on the whole sleep thing (six hours a night is sufficient-- why not five and a half occasionally?) and find some adventure.

Also, I plan to use this blog to become impossibly famous, which I figure is the only way to meet men.  Sure, they'll be using me as a status symbol, but frankly, that appears to be my best option at the moment.  I've made my peace with it. ;)