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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Singlutionary Turns 29 and Gets Fired Up!

Well, actually, I just got fired. 

Oh there is so much to write about.

I miss my blog and I miss my blog friends and I promise to write all about my birthday and all about getting fired and fired up and about the disappearance of my abstinent admirer and about Teapot and about what I am going to do now.

I just have to figure it all out. 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Maize Maze

My fellow Singlutionary and former roommate/chicken-coop conspirator found a Maize Maze in the shape of Texas and invited her friends to attend. So today we all carpooled up and drove out into the middle of nowhere to find a huge event with massive parking and children and parents everywhere. Aside from our group, we were the only grown-ups there unescorted by a child under the age of 12.

I loved that.

Corn mazes are for everyone!

And now the weekend is over, my house is a mess, the dog is unwalked and I am exhausted.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Maggots, Money and Magic

This morning I got up late but refreshed. The weather here is suddenly cool and has been rainy for a couple weeks. I was finally able to turn off the AC and just let the house sit here, uncooled and unheated. 

I got out of bed and went to the bathroom. And while I was sitting there, I noticed a maggot trying to find someplace to live/eat/breathe in the baseboard.

Usually when there is one maggot, there is a whole family of them, writhing across some otherwise clean surface trying to find a new home. I am not ashamed to admit that this is my 3rd experience with a maggot migration. The first was over a year ago in my kitchen. It happened while I was cleaning (I run a fairly tight ship in terms of cleaning so I see the maggots as a sign that I live in harmony with nature not that I am a lousy housekeeper). The second was at Bosslady's where they blended in almost perfectly with the tile. I spent a full 60 minutes spotting and chasing down maggots with a dustpan and then dumping their small writhing remains off her deck.

There a lot of things which fail to disgust me: poo, pee, jiz, blood and bugs. But maggots, barf and worms freak me out at least a little bit. Barf especially. 

Anyways, since I'm not squeamish about spiders or roaches or insects in general, I am typically the level headed person who removes them. To put it in archaic cultural terms: I am the man in the family. So today, as I calmly (but with slight disgust) tracked down and swept up little maggots as they made their mad-dash to someplace, it didn't even occur to me that I was doing this alone. And, once I had collected all the maggots, I proceeded directly outside where I fed them to the chickens. This caused great delight amongst the foul and I was particularly pleased with myself for turning maggots into marmalade.

There is something to be said about HAVING to do things. At my job, I interact with a lot of people who don't have to work, don't have to clean and don't really have to do much with their lives. More often than not, these folks are walking disasters. If I didn't have to wrangle maggots, I most certainly wouldn't. If I didn't have to clean the occasional dog barf from the floor (nearly causing me to barf in the process), I wouldn't do that either. Last time my house was invaded by maggots, I was horrified, disgusted and thoroughly freaked out. I felt that there was something wrong with my entire life because a) I had maggots and b) I had nobody to help me with them. 

If I had money I could at least, theoretically, hire somebody else to deal with the maggots although by the time any hired maggot eliminator arrived, the maggots would have found themselves a nice warm place to feed and breed. 

For a long long time I had an escape fantasy that some hot rich white dude in a porsche would ride into my life and we would tear off into the sunset burning fossil fuels as if there was no tomorrow. (For some reason, in this fantasy, the guy was never as douchey as I just made him sound). Then I read this book which I can't remember the title or the author of but it was about how to be a successful (and typically single) business woman and the things which typically hold women back. One thing the author mentioned was that most women have an escape fantasy about money - - especially when you're a risk taker who is constantly putting all her money, soul and guts on the line to build her own business. My escape fantasy has always been some variation on the classical prince charming. 

Of course prince charming never had to deal with lowly things like maggots and menstrual cramps. 

Lately I've been struggling to pay off a credit card which charges me 30% interest. Ugh. I have a ton of debt and it all came from putting my heart and soul on the line to pursue my dreams. I don't regret a cent of it. And now that I have a (somewhat) good job, I am able to make steady payments. But the debt doesn't disappear overnight. 

Many people have encouraged me to just ask my parents for the money to pay off this credit card and then I can pay them back at 15% but I was too proud to do it. Yesterday, against my better judgement, I emailed my parents asking if I could postpone some debts that I have to them in order to take care of this card. I got a lecture! It was humiliating. I should never have asked. 

But before I got the lecture, I went to the grocery store to spend my last $30 in the world. And that is when I realized:

It is the limits that make life interesting and make us who we are. My life is not limited in such a way that it is impossible for me to grow or live or thrive. I am not impoverished nor am I uneducated (despite the fact that my education seems to be pretty meaningless when it comes to my salary). And so far in life, I have done a pretty good job of rescuing myself. 

I've paid off credit card debt before. And the times when I had the least money were the times where I had to be most creative. In our culture we have this concept of the "starving artist". I have chosen to reject that notion. I believe that I can live a creative life and (eventually) become self employed doing creative things without having to be destitute and dysfunctional. I don't see pursing my creative endeavors and having money as being mutually exclusive. 

But as I have slimmed my life down past the point that I thought it could be slimmed, I've gotten better at certain things. I've gotten better at maintaing relationships, at writing, at being organized about pursing my goals. Life suddenly seems more simple.

Which makes me wonder: is the artist starving because she is an artist or is the artist an artist because she is starving? I think it might be a little of both.

Having no spending money takes away the distractions. I can't simply be entertained nor can I simply be fed. I have to take the time to nurture myself, think for myself, entertain myself and find creative ways to give and be gracious to others. I have to find alternative ways to build a chicken coop and to feed my chickens. 

The last time I paid off massive credit card debt I wasn't being charged 30% interest. But it still was a miracle. Back then I had a car payment and a long commute and many other obstacles. I worked hard but still, the amount of money I paid off compared to my income and my expenses was just short of miraculous. 

I will get out of debt again. And the road won't be void of pleasure. I won't be zooming through it in Prince Charming's Porsche and I might step in some poo and be chased by maggots. But when I arrive at the castle, it will be all mine and I'll know enough to be grateful for it. And my chickens can roost in the towers while the dog herds sheep out in the pastures. 

And then I'll buy a hybrid and a ranch in west Texas. And I'll be off again on a new journey.

*This post was inspired, in part, by my Cockatiel friend who has always found a way to live her dreams and has never once accepted anything short of being her (delightfully tall) self but who still wouldn't mind having a date to the ball or a Mr. Art Deco on her arm (just as long as she doesn't have to get married to him and produce his offspring).

It turns out that I do have single friends who read this blog after all.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Teapot Gets Cockblocked (and other frustrations)

A week or so ago I wrote about my new admirer, the Teapot. Well, today Teapot called the office to make sure I had gotten the insurance info that I needed from him (but he was actually delighted to have an excuse to talk to me). And my boss totally knew Teapot wanted to talk to me so he stood there dramatically chatting away even after I returned to my desk and sat there staring at him. Teapot is leaving for two weeks to some other country for work so he won't have another excuse to call me for a while. 

Yesterday, I was in a meeting when Abstinent Admirer came in with two very long florescent light bulbs. He and my boss played Star Wars until the Maintenance supervisor broke it up. I was suck in a glass bubble and could only look out at them. By the time I was released from the bubble, Abstinent Admirer was gone. 

I got paid today. Which is usually a nice thing. Except I have so much credit card debt that I sit around for two weeks waiting to get paid, then get paid, then make an as-giant-as-possible payment to my highest rate credit card. Thirty minutes after I get paid, I am back sitting around waiting to get paid again. 

The only thing that breaks up the monotony is my admirers (who are funny and interesting) and the dogs that live on the property (who are all small and hungry).

I promise to post something more funny and interesting (instead of small and hungry) tomorrow. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Heathen Family Home Evening

This week I had Heathen Family Home Evening ((H)FHE) with my sister. We plan to have (H)FHE every Monday night just like a normal mormon family but she had to work late this past Monday so we had it on Tuesday instead. 

Family Home Evening is one of those things I picked up on when I lived in Utah. And since me and my sister are on the periphery of mormonism but definitely not real mormons by any stretch of the imagination we jokingly call it "Heathen FHE". 

This week was kinda the first week of this new tradition. For the past year, my sister and I didn't really talk to each other. She is 8 years younger than me and had to go out in the world and grow up and now she is an adorable, sweet, responsible young woman who is gracefully and bravely continuing to live her life in the wake of her mother's sudden death a few weeks ago

After all the dust settled from the funeral and we both made it safely back home, I asked her if she would have (H)FHE with me every Monday. 

I enjoy FHE because, while it is about family, to me it is really about community: It is not an exclusive activity, but an inclusive one. My sister and I have FHE at my house and my roommates come and go with their stories and conversations and it would also be OK to include a friend or even a stranger. We just spend time making and eating dinner and catching up with each other about the week or doing a simple project like making ice cream or creating post cards. Its really basic. And that is why I like about it. It is a night to honor the folks who are, for whatever reason, in my living room that night. And its one night a week which is dedicated to celebrating the joy and love that these people bring into my life. It doesn't matter if they've been in my life 21 years or 21 hours. I just matters that they're here and that we all are appreciative of each other's existence. 

Our culture seems to be set up for people to honor their spouse of their partner in many ways on many days through out the year. We also have ways to show love and appreciation for our parents and children (if you've got 'em). But what about everyone else? Since college I've started to feel like the only way to honor friends is to take them out to dinner or to throw a party all of which requires driving around town and parking and spending a lot of money and energy and often leaves me so exhausted that I wish I didn't have any friends to begin with. 

Setting aside one night a week to gather with the folks who are important in my life feels incredibly comforting and rewarding. Observing Heathen Family Home Evening is a great way to make a habit of honoring everyone in my life: my sister, my roommates, my friends and my Singlutionary dog. We sit around and share good company, laughter, simple homemade food and (if your heathen like me) a bottle of wine. But really we mainly sit around being grateful for each other.  

Call it whatever you want but I heart this new tradition. And I heart it even more because it has nothing to do with spending or status. Its really about just being us, whoever we are, no matter what we're going through. 

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Singlution Renewed

For a while I didn't have much to write about. I was busy adjusting to my new job and the new life that came with it. I've come to realize that it takes about 3 months (not three weeks) to really get adjusted to any new part of life and it takes about 3 years for a big new thing (like a new city or a new career or a new relationship) to feel normal.

Maybe that is why my relationships only last 3 months: I've never met someone that I'm willing to adjust to. I've also been told that the first 3 years of marriage are the hardest. 

But that isn't what I'm here to write about. At least, not today.

When I started this blog I was a brand new Singlutionary. I was so excited to have finally figured out that being single wasn't my fault or some deficit I needed to constantly be on the defensive about. Instead, being single, at any age and for any period of time is something to celebrate. There are many many many benefits to being single. Back in January, I was just learning how to count my blessings. 

Ten months later, I am still counting my blessings but the daily ins-and-outs of my shamelessly single life are so satisfactory that for a while I didn't know what to write about. Being Singlutionary doesn't seem so revolutionary anymore. 

But lately I've found myself having an affair with this blog. I meet up with it for lunch in the back room of my office. And then after a long day at work I come home and snuggle up with it in bed. This blog is my boyfriend. But it is my circle of friends too. The blogging community (both single and coupled) is always there for me and although I've never met so many of my wonderful blog friends face-to-face, I feel supported and loved every time I log on. I also appreciate the perceptiveness of my fellow bloggers, the interesting and beautiful things people have to say and the articulateness with which they have to say them.

I love being a voice in the singles blog world but for me, the days of "I'm so excited to be happy and single" are over. Instead I'm just happy and most of the time I forget that I'm single. Being single is just normal.

My life is still, to various degrees, shaped by my singleness but that is not all there is to me. So, I will continue to write about potential mates, about traveling alone, about attending weddings solo, about annoying comments from perpetually coupled friends. But I will also just write about my life, my family, my dog, my house, my friendships, my sad attempts at overcoming my desire to eat cake all day long (even when I am happy). 

So, in short. I am back and as Singlutionary as ever. In addition to more frequent posts, I'll be revamping my blog roll, updating the site, offering some giveaways, reviewing books and expanding my reach. But mostly I'll just be telling stories from my shamelessly single experience. 

Saturday, October 3, 2009


I have a new admirer at work. He is some kind of nerd engineer just like most of my admirers through out my life. I don't know what it is about me that attracts nerd engineers. Anyways. My new admirer is funny, appropriate and has a face that kinda looks like a teapot. He is also just one year older than me but actually seems like a grown up.

Although I appreciate my new admirer, I also suspect that he is the kind of person who wants to have kids. Most people want to have kids especially nice stable 30 year old engineering teapots. And most people look at me and think that I am a nice stable almost 30 year old future baby maker.

Despite common perception, it is not a high priority for me in life to have kids. On the other hand, I can not say that I am 100% sure that I will not have kids either. If I were stronger in my no-kid convictions I would have had my tubes fried when I was 21. But my convictions only go this far: I do not want to have kids anytime soon and I most likely do not want to give birth. I would rather adopt. 

Of course there are a couple problems with my convictions:

1. If I don't want to have kids anytime soon (not anytime in the next 5-10 years) but I am rapidly approaching 30, my uterus might be retired by the time I get the desire to reproduce.

2. Even if I do not reproduce via my uterus and instead opt to adopt someone else's reproduction, I will still be an older parent. My parents were older parents and I have always wished that, if I were to be a parent, I be a bit younger than my parents were.

3. It is considered normal to want to have kids. Having kids is typically seen as the main reason for being married or being on planet earth. Most people have a strong inherent desire to reproduce. I am comfortable with my own lack of desire. I don't think there is anything wrong with me. But it does limit the pool of potential partners.

Why does Teapot's mere admiration bring all this up for me? I don't really know. I still haven't figured out what kind of relationship I want with a man, if any, much less if Teapot is really a qualified suitor. But I do feel attracted to him just as I still feel attracted to Abstinent Admirer. At this point in my life, I am attracted to people for qualities beyond sex. Teapot and Abstinent Admirer are fine male specimens but they are also interesting, caring and (dare I say) Singlutionary individuals. 

Maybe I am thinking about reproduction more today because I have been suffering from menstral cramps for about 12 hours now. They kept me up last night and since I have recently developed an allergy to Advil, I am babying my baby maker with a heating pad and hippie remedy tea (the tea actually seems to be working). 

I always get confused as to whether it is my uterus or my ovaries which are cramping. So I googled. And according to the Mayo Clinic, cramps are supposed to "lessen with age and often disappear once a woman has given birth". If that were true I would have gone ahead and had a baby at 25 and lived cramp free for the rest of my life! Are my cramps simply a monthly reminder that I have not yet reproduced? I think the Mayo Clinic is nuts because I know plenty of women who have given birth and still double up with cramps every month. Maybe they just didn't have ENOUGH babies? 

I don't know the answer to any of those nasty questions. Nor do I know what I think I might want from Teapot or from any potential mate. But I do now know, thanks to Abstinent Admirer, that I do want more than sex and less than children. I guess just a nice, comfortable, mutually supportive, long-term intimate relationship with someone worthy of welcome into my already vibrant life would be ideal. 

In closing, I would like to point out that the female reproductive system looks a lot like a longhorn:

For some strange reason this made me feel more Texan just for having lady parts. But then google also revealed to me that I am not the first person to have this revelation:


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Singlutionary and Special K are "Livin' the Dream"

Special K is one of my single blog friends. I enjoy reading her blog and hearing about her life. Last week she moved to Germany (from America). She got a job there and just up and moved. I think that is really brave and cool and wonderful. I thought I was too big for my britches when I up and moved to the South from the West Coast but I can still DRIVE home. It might be two thousand miles but I merely moved to another state. K moved to another CONTINENT. 

Today I am the guest blogger on The Special K Treatment. K mentioned to me that many of her readers are in their early 20s and maybe I could write about wanting to have a boyfriend. But I no longer pine away for a boyfriend all the time (just in a few of my weaker moments). But I began to wonder why I did spend so many years pining away for some man in sexy jeans to carry me off into the sunset. And that led me to write about some of the things I never knew (but wish I had) about life when I was 19. 

Please check it out!