Monday, March 23, 2009

A Little Thing Called Drama

"Oh, yes, he loves me. And you know that can't be bad." Beatles. Really? Is it really a good thing to be loved by someone who's truly WEIRD? Scott's a never-ending soap opera. Maybe that's why I accept his calls, read his texts without automatically hitting delete. He kills me slowly, but he's never boring. He's a three-ring circus with tigers who've got fangs; he's a tight rope walker without a net. Anything but dull.

Today's another story. He texted me a million times (yes! I know. YES! I'd blocked his texts from Verizon), though I have NO idea how he got through. He wanted to make sure I got to school today, that the blizzard here wasn't too dangerous, that I had a ride home, that I was OK. GAWD.

OK, "Dumping-guilt" I thought to myself. Then came the flirting texts, and a freaking nudie shot. Then he had the audacity to call me. I took the call (since I'd deleted his custom ringer, pictures and phone from my email) as it only "ding-donged" and I thought it was Jen.

All around Mr. Nice Guy. Also said he had some "other things" he wanted to chat with me about, but not today. Mr. Pleasant and Attentive. Whatever.

It's like the minute he knows I'm SO DONE, he's all about me. But at least I'm not sad, depressed or anxious. It's more like, "OK, Houdini. What rabbit you going to pull out of your hat next?"

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Broken Hearted

He did it again. He dumped me. This makes three times, and after three strikes doesn't the umpire call "You're Out!"? Feb. 1, 2008; June 24th, 2008 and now; March 22, 2009.

Only this time, besides being torn and beaten, one thing is different. I'm not continuing my friendship with him.

This is the only time I've ever had to do this. Normally, I continue my relationships as "friends," but then nomally, I have been the one doing the breaking up. I asked myself why, why can't I be friends with him. The truth is, if I have to wittness him falling in love with someone new, and actually making it work, knowing it couldn't be me, knowing I just wasn't quite good enough, is more than I can bear. I just can't do it. It's lead me to an new relationship rule.

Unless a break-up is agreed upon by both parties, you cannot be friends. End of story. No exceptions. There's too much yearning on one side, "Maybe she'll come back to me." "Maybe if I'm a good enough friend, he'll realize what he was missing." The ONLY way it can work is after a good deal of time has passed and you have gotten a NEW LOVE in your life. That's the only way.

At first I felt like I was a bad person for thinking this. Rob guilted me saying, "You should move on and wish him nothing but happiness and luck in finding true love."

Well, guess what? I'm not Mother Teresa. I do not wish Scott happiness and great luck at finding true love--sorry. Not now. For now, all I can wish him is good health. That's as good as I can muster, and even that is harder than hell.

Love and relationships should NOT be this hard. If you would have told me at 26, hell even 36, that I'd be alone and just coming down from this LONG and EXTREMELY TURBULENT relationship with a guy like Scott, I would have laughed. I would have said, "No way, I'll be happily married by then to a great guy."

He loves her, but she doesn't love him. She loves him, but he can't love anyone. Love shouldn't be this complicated.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

How would you like a criminal element visiting you next door? How would you like an extension of the arm of the reforms department approximately twenty feet from your front door every day for the rest of your life from 5-7:00 p.m. and 7-9:00 a.m. every day 365? You'd be a NIMBY, right ("Not In My Back Yard"). When you wake up, there they are. When you get ready for bed, there they are, up and down my alley, all over the place crawling like roaches.
Welcome to MY world. A world I wasn't even asked upon if I wanted to participate, a world that without a democratic vote, assumed it would be OK to put a "24-7" program in the parking lot RIGHT NEXT to my house. Folks, I'm talking 20 feet from my door step.
For those of you who don't know what that is, it's a program developed (probably all over the U.S.), but in MY county, Pennington County, South Dakota, for repeat alcohol law offenders. I don't mean the once-in-a-lifetime, whoops of a DUI. What that means in laymen talk is people who've had so many DUI's that they are ONE step from committing a felony and going to prison. They come to a little building twenty feet from my house for a urine analysis twice a day, every day of my life starting this week.
Let me clarify some things. I live downtown. I realize that living anywhere downtown means loud noises, public buildings, traffic. That applies to any city or town, large or small. But this, when you get right down to it, is a drug-enforcement program in my yard.
This needs to be held in an area that is NOT residential.
Let me paint you a picture. Every day now, since its inception this week, a tiny area, the size of a tennis court, is filled with 75-200 cars, all honking, doing burn-outs while leaving, trying to fit into a tiny area to get an urinalysis test. Let me also fill you in. The majority of these are not polite people. This isn't a senior citizen center or a Big Brothers Big Sisters Center. There's honking, fighting. Two fights already broke out between men waiting in line. There's constant horn-honking, swearing, screaming, burn-outs. And all this, outside my door.
In fact, as a single woman, many of these people waiting in line are men, men who are obviously troubled. Am I a sitting duck for trouble? What about the children in this neighborhood, too? The elderly walking their dogs in what was a quiet neighborhood?
My neighborhood is a landscape full of families and retirees. This is not the place for a drug-rehab business operated by the county. Property values will sky-dive.
And who's responsible? N.A.U., the college next door are the culprits. They decided to lease out one of their buildings not in use (I'm sure due to declining student numbers).
Thanks, N.A.U. What a paragon to higher-education you are. And thanks for what you've done to this old community.
Fist fights, screaming, yelling, honking, already a criminal element. Don't think I'll take this lying down.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I've been giving this "Poor Communication" thing a lot of thought. You can have poor communication with your best friend, kids, spouse, lover or boss. The bottom line is that it can ruin a great relationship/bond/career. But lately, I'm wondering just how many people truly are good communicators. It seems the more work/study I do on it, the more I see others are awful at it.

Top Signs of a Poor Communicator:

1. Avoids talking to you about a particular subject. Ex. Shuts the phone off, Leaves the room, leaves the city, leaves the country.

2. Makes plans around you if sensing you'll bring up a topic. Ex. "I'd love to talk to you about your new work-from-home-plan, but I have a board meeting. Can it wait?" Or, "I'd love to talk about our relationship, but I'm really busy at work right now. Can we talk about it later?" (But, guess what? "later" never comes).

3. Gets hostile and brings up your weaknesses when you DO try for openly communicate assertively. Ex. "I see what you're saying, but you always ________."

4. Doesn't answer your phone/e-mail/page/memo until much later. Then when quizzed about this, responds, "I was busy."

5. Changes the subject when at all possible (also known as non-sequitor) or reverts to number #2. Ex. "I know you would like a raise, but have you seen the material Quality Control has put out lately?" OR, YOU: "So where do you see our relationship going these days?" HIM: "Clint Eastwood has a Clint-fest on at AMC."

6. Uses defensiveness to thwart any discussion at all. Ex. "Can't you see I have a migrane now? I absolutely cannot talk." or "My job is VERY important and/or dangerous (or substitute "and has a big merger"), so you KNOW I CANNOT talk right now." Or finally, "If you KNEW how many calls we were getting in Customer Service, you wouldn't be asking such questions right now."

7. Uses everybody's favorite "Get out of hot water" line of all time: "I'd like to get into that, but I'm REALLY BUSY these days.

It's great, isn't it? Got any to add?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Poor Communication, a Poem

Communication for Crash Test Dummies 101

(for Scott, and Tony Hoagland, 3-09)

They say it takes two to communicate.
Otherwise you're just talking to yourself,
standing in the corner of the room, asking the mirror how its day went.
I open my mouth and the words come out slowly,
like an LSD dream or talking underwater, yet I'm learning how to communicate.
But it ain't easy; each word like giving birth to broken glass.

He's not listening.
The microphone always gets unplugged whenever I'm on stage.
I'm talking to an empty theatre,
his seat vacant, only an Exit light burns, reflecting red on my sleeve.
He always has to go, traffic's bad, the dog knocked over a vase.
And I'm left texting cyberspace where words bounce to Mars before hitting earth, broken, the "I" now looking like an "L," all the letters re-arranged like a cryptogram.

I want to be heard. I need to hear words,
but it's like commanding a man in a wheelchair to walk.
Though you hope there's feeling in his legs,
you could poke him with an ice pick and not even get a flinch.

"Get out of the chair. Rise. Walk!" I command,
but only meet silence,
then the groan of rusty wheel bearings
as he silently rolls