For nearly sixteen years I have managed to convince myself that it didn’t matter.  That I was okay with having a blind eye turned to my “indiscretions” – that I understood, even, that I was a disappointment and she was not and it was probably better that they didn’t have to see all of that disappointment all the time.  I managed to convince myself that it didn’t matter if they never visited me, if they never actually called me, if they never set foot in my house.  At least then I didn’t have to hide all the liquor, or the paganism, or the evidence of the boy who’d slept over last week.  I managed to convince myself that I was really better off on my own, that everything I’d been through, on my own, prepared me for now, for getting through every day.  I managed to convince myself that I was okay with one or two self-instigated phone calls per week.

But then one day I woke up and I realized that I wasn’t.  Oh, the reality of it was still there… the reality that whatever I’d done, whoever I became, I wasn’t what they’d hoped for.  The reality that if given the choice they’d go visit my sister in a different town rather than come to mine; the reality that if I moved one thousand miles away they’d buy a second house to live closer to my sister before they’d ever even think of spending the time or the money to come visit me; the reality that high school cheerleading games taking precedence over drama club theatre performances would morph into church board meetings taking precedence over my runway shows; and the reality that visiting my sister’s dog’s puppies takes precedence over coming to my surprise birthday dinner that my boyfriend threw for me (the one time anyone has actually managed to surprise me – and it was a surprise because, well, no one comes to visit… ever… even when invited, begged, to come).

They say that sibling rivalry diminishes when you get older – I guess to some extent, it does.  My sister is my best friend now… I don’t hate her.  I don’t even hold any of this against her – she didn’t ask for it to be this way (though she does directly benefit from it).  And maybe, to some degree, she needs them more than I do.  It is true that she is not as strong as I am.  She hasn’t gone through as much.  And I understand that she is now a new mother for the second time.  Her children are adorable – I love them to death, and the oldest one is more like me than I would have imagined she could be.

I get that she gave them what they wanted – conservative, religious, married,  house, close to mom and dad, grandchildren… I think there was a time when I wanted those things too, but as I got older, life took  me in a different direction.  I always wanted more.  But, then, I was the overachiever of the two of us… enough college time under my belt for two degrees (and sufficient to make me one of those overthinking, liberal-leaning folk who regularly questions the grand order of things), a scholar of metaphysics and spiritualism (instead of strict, by the book Christianity), a job that pays more than any of them ever made at the height of their careers, multiple promotions, a semi-decent skill at theatre and modeling, a creative spark to balance out the analytical requirements of my normal work.  And let’s not forget that I’ve traveled quite a bit, moved halfway across the country on my own (though it left me saddled with a lot of debt I am now, stubbornly, determined to pay off).  She gave them what they wanted, I think sometimes I scare the hell out of them.  Not because I try to scare them, but because I’m me and I don’t know how to be anyone else.

Still though, sometimes you just want your mom.  You want the assurance that if something bad happened they’d fly down to take care of you the way they are at your sister’s beck and call at the drop of a hat.  (Yes I realize that a c-section is not the drop of a hat, but I was once told I might have a brain tumor and no one bothered to come down here… so there’s that.)  At the very least, you want someone to reply to your text message instead of telling you they’re too busy with your sister’s side of the family to even bother to look at their phone when you send them a photo of the computer you bought with all of the gift money they’d given you over the last couple of years.

It hurts.  It… it just hurts.  And it surprises me that, after all this time, I’m hurt by it.  I was pretty sure I was incapable of feeling hurt by it because it was just the way things were.  The standard.  The… it was just what I had come to expect because there hasn’t been anything else since 2002.  Think about that.  2002.  It’s 2018 now.  They’ve seen the inside of one of my dwellings only a couple of times after I’d gotten married and they came to Thanksgiving dinner.

Don’t get me wrong… it’s not really like this all the time.  I mean they don’t visit.  Ever.  They don’t really call on their own.  Ever.  But they do send me orange soda when I need it  (the Kroger brand, there are no Krogers in Florida).  They do still send me cards for my birthday and they’ll call then.  And I do appreciate all of that… I really do.  It’s just that sometimes (especially when I am up to my eyeballs in debt) I don’t want to the be the one spending $600 on plane tickets and a rental car because it’s the only way, and the only time, I will see my family – they won’t pay for me, they won’t pay for themselves.  I think it’s their passive-aggressive way of punishing me for living so far away.

Do I think they care?  Sure.  Parents do.  Do I think they’re actively, intentionally trying to hurt me?  No.  In fact, I’d be surprised if they even know that’s what they’re doing because, as I’ve said, I’m a pretty decent actress, and I am really good at hiding how I really feel.

It’s just that I feel, maybe, more slighted than I ever have before – I can’t give them what she has.  Or I guess I could, but I don’t want to.  I asked my father what he wanted for his birthday, he told me he’d like another baby.  I think he meant that to tease my sister, but you know… it was just a reminder that I didn’t have to give him anything because I couldn’t do anything for him that would live up to what she’s done (twice now).  Like I said, I don’t think he meant it the way that I took it, but it was still hurtful.  It hasn’t made me change my mind… even at all… but it did make me drown myself a little more in a video game so that I didn’t have to think about it anymore.

I’ve rambled on a lot here.  I don’t know if I’ll even post this one – I want to, but it’s not coereht.  It’s just garbage without a plot, without a story, and it’s not even a little bit funny, but I’m not in a sarcastic, funny mood today.  I’ve spent a lot of money on Thanksgiving tickets and I’ve just volunteered to cook the whole goddamn meal because I’m starting to realize that my mother is too damn busy with babies and formerly-pregnant women to even get excited that I’m coming.  She didn’t even realize that Thanksgiving fell on the dates that I’d decided to come.

That’s my life.

I need a drink.

A Decade

Nearly a decade ago, on Derby day, I was working a Kentucky Derby Hat promotion at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, waiting impatiently for the promotion to end so that I could change out of the dress and into some casual-yet-fancy traveling clothing that I’d put together.  I was going to drive, that night, to Columbus in what would become the first of many visits with a friend that I’d had for ten years but, at least right then, had never actually met.  It was to be the culmination of ten years of talking, of waiting, of hoping – a summation of the undercurrents that had, in one way or another, been brewing between us, influencing every relationship I’d ever had with any other man (even minimally) up to that point.

It was also the day that I irrevocably ended my marriage.

I don’t want you to read this and think that it was this quick decision that I came to while I was working a promotion.  By the time May 2, 2008 had come around, the marriage had already (practically, verbally) ended.  We came home to each other, and that’s as much as anyone else needed to know – no one else knew about the holes in the walls, the broken furniture.  No one else knew that, aside from an occasional moment of tenderness, we slept in separate places, on separate floors of the house.  We were married in name only – and I hadn’t even wanted that.

Mr. Ex and I had maintained a façade – the familial disappointment and disapproval that would go hand in hand with that divorce was almost too much for me to contemplate, regardless of the amount we fought (verbally and physically).  I also knew that, with that, I’d lose everything that had made me comfortable, as he was the only source of income.  I saw the years and years of unhappiness stretching before me, but I didn’t know what to do with it.

Then there was New Years Eve of 2008.  The first and only New Years that my now ex-husband and I spent together (he normally worked).  We got into an argument.  He left me at a bar (without my phone, without money, nothing).  He came back for me, but if anything made me begin to seriously contemplate divorce (at least beyond a flicker of something I’d entertain) it was that night.  Still, I went home when he came to pick me up.  I didn’t know what else to do.  I didn’t feel like I had anywhere else to go.

Emperor Slade (a.k.a. Buttface) and I chatted, regularly, on Yahoo chat during the day when he was at work.  Normally about stuff that was so mundane that I can’t even remember what it was anymore… and, see, I didn’t have any intent of telling him what had happened, or that I was even contemplating a divorce.  I wasn’t going to open that stupid box… he was married.  There wasn’t anything I could, or would have, done about it.  My problems were not his problems, and since he lived in Bradenton and I  lived in Louisville, there wasn’t a whole lot he could do about them anyway.

But then he told me that he and his wife were divorcing.  Maybe it was coincidence.  Maybe it was a nudge from the universe.  I don’t know.  To this day I don’t know.  But it made me say (or type) for the first time that I was considering it too… and to tell him what was happening.  I guess seeing someone else start the process, someone I knew so well, made it easier to put a name to.

To make a very long, novel-sized story (and there will be some day) short, Slade and I spent a lot of time on the phone for the first four months after that revelation.  It was, literally, the first time in the history of our friendship that we’d had unlimited access to each other (previously, we’d been limited by parents, significant others, work schedules, etc.).  He gave me his cell number.  I gave him mine.  I had a Razr in those days.  We talked about… well… everything.  We caught up.  We got to know each other.  And we were a support system for each other, as we were going through the same things at virtually the same time. We needed each other.  We needed the promise of the “after” to get through the present.

He decided, that February, that he needed to leave Florida and set his sights on Ohio, where another friend and fellow WoW guildie lived.  I willfully chose to ignore how close he seemed to be to her and believed him when he told me that he’d be sleeping on her couch when he went up to scout the place.  She was, after all, in a relationship.  And he had told me, multiple times, that he loved me.  That’s what counted.

Except after February, he never said it to me again.  Again, I willfully ignored it.

Because May came.  And he told me, while driving up, that he was moving up there for me.  I pulled an on-the-phone all-nighter with him, talking to him to keep him awake, on his drive up.  2 days later.

There’ll be a whole book, someday, about how I made this happen… the jobs I took, the saving I did, the lucky apartment I found on Texas Avenue that I planned to move into over Memorial Day weekend.  Suffice it to say, though, that nothing I did prior to that Derby day was irreversible.  I could have stopped all of this at any time.

Except I didn’t want to.  When the promo gig ended, I got in my car and started driving further than I’d ever driven on my own before.  I had a momentary lapse of resolve as I passed the exit for the I-65 bridge that would take me back to my house, back to my old life, back to what was comfortable (if unhealthy).  But I took a deep breath and I kept going.  And, four hours later, I was there.  And he was there.  And we were face to face for the first time.  And it was awkward as hell (at least for the first twelve hours or so).

That was the first of many stays… we hung out a lot, and for the first few months, it was everything we had always thought it would be.  We enjoyed each other’s company.  I loved hanging out with someone I didn’t fight with all the time.  He enjoyed teaching me to play WoW… something his ex-wife would never do.  I threw him a birthday party for his thirtieth – one to make up for all of the ones I’d missed over the last eleven years.  He bought me the Lich King Collector’s Edition expansion pack for mine and took me back to Florida for Christmas with his family.  We chatted about having “superchildren” together – they never came to fruition but we spent a lot of time practicing (with birth control).  Our wedding anniversaries were one day apart, in June, so we celebrated an “unniversary.” Our divorces were final on the same day – in November – on my birthday.  We didn’t celebrate.  We just… existed… together.

Then the wheel turned, though, as it so often does.  He began to change… to pull away.  I saw it, but didn’t understand it.  When I asked him why, many years later, he said it was because we were too close.  I wish he’d said something then… early… when it could have been fixable.  But he didn’t.  And because I was young, and because I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong, I kept pushing (and he kept pulling).

Eventually I found his Myspace profile (to this day I don’t know why it suddenly became searchable), and saw that he had a girlfriend.  A seventeen year old girlfriend from Oklahoma.  It was a slap in the face (and really kind of sick when you think about it – he was 32 by this time).  I couldn’t have known how young she was… but maybe I HAD known there had been others.  There’d been a lot of evidence that I’d chosen to ignore.

I got angry.  We didn’t speak for a year.  I moved on with my life, literally, to Florida and, in the process of that move, found some of his things.  I emailed him to see if he wanted them, and, well, we started chatting again.

I can’t say we were ever an item again.  We fooled around some.  I visited Ohio.  He visited Florida.  If either of us were interested in the other, it was probably him that was more interested in me – and I may or may not have played that up a little, in revenge of what he had done to me not so long before.

But that fizzled out quickly, and this time I didn’t fight it.  We settled back into a friendship.  One that had a history, sure, but one that was comfortable.  That friendship was like coming home at the end of a long day, knowing that a comfortable couch was there to fall back into when everything else went to shit outside.

I had relationships after that.  He dated some… but never seriously… until, oh, I guess about two years ago.  See, when Slade gets into a relationship, he pulls away.  I knew this – he’d done it when he met his ex-wife.  I don’t know, this time, if pulling away from the friendship was his idea of hers – my gut tells me it was hers, because I am not a threat and I like to think he knew that.  But we haven’t spoken since October of 2016.  And to some degree I get it.  I don’t want to sabotage what he has… to create drama and problems for him.

And, I guess, there’s also the realization of the possibility that he, and our friendship, always meant more to me than it meant to him.

That’s a possibility I’ve dealt with – I’m not sad about it anymore.  I want him to be happy.  I love him still, and I always will (in a platonic, bestie-with-a-lot-of-history, you fucked me over but I forgive you kind of way).  Still, the possibility stings.  History can do that to you.

But, when  May rolls around, I still think about it – that may be because of anniversaries, it may be because of WoW, it may be because that blasted Facebook throws up memories whether you want them to or not… it may also be because I recently discovered his mother’s obituary (because I am now only a few miles from where his family lives – and where he grew up).

I wish I could hug him and tell him I’m sorry about his mother.  I wish I could tell him about all of the WoW achievements, and how I survived Irma last year.  I wish I could have called him last year, or visited, when my own life was going to shit.

I don’t miss the hard decisions I’ve had to make, the confusion of “are we or aren’t we” that probably could have largely been avoided if one of us had just grown a pair to ask/tell the other what was going on.  I don’t miss the old days, because I know that we idealize the past… and that going back wouldn’t be in my best interest, even if I could.  I’m happy if he’s happy.  And I believe that he is – it’s just that it’s a world that he, and/or the universe, has decided I really have no place in anymore.  Maybe I never did

It just seems like “places” are harder and harder to find as you get older.

I could live in the delusion that we’ll see each other again, that the wheel will turn and he’ll text or email.  But I’ve changed my number.  And he has a bad memory.  And, honestly, I just don’t see that happening.

I guess I just miss my friend.

Wanna See My Panties?

I don’t think I’ve ever really talked about lingerie on this blog before.  I am pretty sure I posted some photos here that were taken at one point several years ago, but I’ve not really talked about how much I adore my lingerie collection.

I started early.  I was the kid who spent an inordinate amount of time agonizing in the local Wal-Mart about what kind of underwear I wanted to buy.  It usually had to have some sort of cartoon on it (back then it was probably Care Bears or Sesame Street or something), I needed lots of different colors, and nothing pleased me more than getting a new pack of Hanes Her Way (for girls) to wear.  It’s not like I went around showing everyone my underwear back then, mind you.  I think a lot of it was just the novelty of knowing I had something COOL on under my clothes that no one else knew about.

I grew out of my Sesame Street phase, of course, and we’ll bypass the awkward teenage years in this narrative too, because they’re not worth mentioning (except to say that I did not wear Sesame Street underwear to high school)… also I was an awkwardly shaped teenager with long legs, a nicely-shaped ass, but not much by way of a chest.  I may have gotten my period before anyone else, but tits?  Nope.

Then I hit my 20’s.  And my second puberty (of which there have been three… don’t ask me how I pulled that off, I don’t know).  I got boobs.  My ass remained awesome.  And I started modeling.  Photographers I modeled for would attempt to provide me with pieces they had purchased for models to wear, but I soon learned that most of it was pre-worn, still covered in vagina-gunk from the last model who wore the thing (despite the photographer swearing up and down that they were clean), and I wasn’t putting that ANYWHERE near my own vagina because there’s no guarantee what the photographer would DO with that pair of panties after I had finished with them.

So I started shopping for my own lingerie.  It needed to be… well… awesome.  Better than anything anyone else owned because I needed to save the integrity of my nether-regions and at the same time needed to (at least so I thought… then) preserve the fragile ego of the photographers who had spent all this time buying shit for models.  Looking back on it it was probably all the cheap shit, but I hadn’t hit my connoisseur-status yet.

Long story short, I amassed a HUGE lingerie collection.  At last count (and this has been several years ago), I owned over $5000 worth of merchandise in a rotating wardrobe (material wears out after a while).  Bras, panties, babydolls, fetish pieces, corsets, you name it, I probably had it (and if I didn’t, I’d happily purchase it).  I have professional photos of myself in nearly all of it… which was awesome, because I got paid for those shoots and the money from those shoots went to buy more lingerie.  An endless cycle of sexy undergarments that pay for themselves.  Every woman should be so lucky.

Anyway, when the opportunity came up to submit to the casting for the Luxe Lingerie Show in Tampa, I jumped at it.  I didn’t really dream I’d get in (because while I have been doing stuff like this for most of my adult life, I never have really quite grasped the fact that I am, in fact, lucky enough to GET to do this).  But I did.  And I’m very, very psyched about it – because, for a lingerie nut like me, what is better than to get to go get your hair done, your makeup done, and then get the excuse to wear your lingerie on the outside, where everyone (or at least those who purchased tickets) gets to see it?

It benefits a very worthy cause, too, which makes it doubly awesome – Hope Driven, a charity that provides services to help single parent families living in Hillsborough, Pinellas, or Pasco counties with children under the age of 13.  They provide services like short-term housing, job placement, assistance with food, electricity, and tuition… stuff that helps these families get out from underneath some of the burdens that make success sometimes seem like it’s really far away.

I don’t know how many of my readers live in the Tampa Bay area.  Or how many of you are lingerie fanatics like me.  But if you’re looking for something to do this weekend OTHER than watch beefy men in tight pants run around a football field trying to jump on top of each other, come out to American Social Tampa on Saturday night and take a peek.

You won’t be disappointed.


All That Debt

Let’s talk a little bit about debt.

Debt sucks.  It feels a whole lot like being in prison, except there are no bars and you are completely (mostly) in control of how much you are in for and how long it takes you to dig yourself out of it.  I mean there are limitations to that statement – emergencies can send you spiraling thousands into the hole with no other choice.  And if you don’t make a lot of money it can take a freaking long-ass time to dig yourself back out of it.  And then there are student loans which no one really wants, but everyone seems to have to have.

Anyway, I have a lot of it.  Debt, that is.  Student loans and revolving debt.

I had it (some) when I lived here before.  Student loans, mostly, though I’d had some credit card debt early on that I’d gotten paid off.

Toward the end of my Florida Tenure Part I, I started racking up more… life-saving missions, moving expenses, etc.  I did a lot of things the wrong way.  What I SHOULD have done, in hindsight (which is always 20/20) is waited until I had a job offer in Kentucky before I packed up my entire life and moved back up  north.  That probably would have been good in two ways: First, I’d imagine I’d have come to my senses once winter came and they were sitting in the snow and I was down here in the warmth. Second, if I did decide I was really that insane, I’d have had sustainable income to have gotten a place of my own, and not have racked up so much debt by paying basic living expenses on high-interest credit cards.

Buuut… sometimes I am not smart.  It’s rare, but it happens.  And I went anyway.  I ended up freezing that winter and it took eight months to get a job.  I did not have to pay rent for much of that, but I did still have expenses to pay (cell phone, car insurance, food, winter clothes, etc.).  Further, I did not think that it would take eight months to find something.  I did not take into consideration that Louisville doesn’t have the market that Tampa has for someone who does what I used to do.  And Louisville is cliquish… you have to know the right people to get hired to do meaningful work for the most part… I had the skills and the resume, but I did not have the connections.  Or the family background.

So I was screwed… in many ways.

But I digress… coulda, woulda, shoulda doesn’t get you anywhere.  Moving on…

At this point, it is what it is.

When I decided to move back to Florida, I did so for a couple of reasons: I hate cold weather. The job market is better for me.  I simply make more.

Both of those benefits have largely panned out.  I make more.  Way more.  And it’s been warmer here than it’s been in Kentucky, though lately it’s been very frigid (for Florida), and it snowed in the northern part, so some might argue that I didn’t go far enough south.

That said, there’s still all this debt.  And it’s frustrating.  Because while I bring in massively more than I used to when I lived here before, I see less of it because it all (at least for now) goes into paying off the banks.  And I get kind of anxious… not because I think I’m going to lose my job, but knowing that if I did, I’m really on the precipice of being completely and totally screwed because the monthly payments I’m bound to make are way more than I’d afford on an “average” salary.  Things are tenuous.

Now, on the up-side, I have a roommate.  A fiancé (he gets pissed if I call him a roommate, but when it comes to rent-sharing, that’s what he is).  He pays half the rent.  I take what he gives me and I roll it into my debt.

I’ve started doing promos again – because they pay well, I can take them when I have time to take them, and I can roll that money into the debt too.  Tax refund money will also be put there.  I mean, in reality, paying this off shouldn’t take longer than a couple of years to accomplish, if I work steadily at it.

It’s a great plan… it really is… and it works (when he’s able to afford it – moving to Florida did not do for him (financially) what it did for me).  But it’s still going to take a very long time.

I’m trying to be patient with myself, and to not beat myself up too much over the past.  The choices were what they were.  I’m sure I would have done things differently if I’d known how things would end up, but the point is, I didn’t.

And we can’t know, can we?  Not really… we take a path, we walk down the path, sometimes it’s the wrong path, but at that point (unless we’re really lucky) there’s no turning around and choosing a different path.  And even if we do, we still have the baggage from the wrong path that we started on.

I believe in the Law of Attraction.  It works for me.  It has for many, many years, and it’s how I’ve gotten much of what I have.  I have to believe that, like everything else, this will all work out as well.  Somehow.  I’ll pay this off, I’ll have the things I want (a house, a new car… nothing extravagant… just something to get me out of apartment living, and my Beetle), and I’ll be able to stop working so damn hard.

A New Beginning to an Old Story

A little over five years ago I started this blog with the intention of documenting what it was like to be in my thirties, single, dating, and shooting for what I felt, at the time, was not all that unreasonable: a decent job with decent pay (check), a relationship that had the potential to go somewhere with a partner that was both present and supportive (check – only to uncheck and re-check several times once I figured out that said partner wasn’t what he advertised himself to be… or he became a maniac… in some cases both… anyway), and the means to start a family (that box never got checked off… not even a little bit).

I wanted to chronicle all of that in the most up front, unapologetic, and unadulterated way possible.  And for a really long time, that’s exactly what I did.  Successes and failures became, at least for a time, nothing but ridiculousness to laugh at.  It’s like when you fall on your face so many times that you eventually have to decide whether to admit defeat or just laugh at it and keep going.  Defeat wasn’t (and still isn’t) an option for me, so I chose the latter.

Things shifted, though, like they do, and plans changed, and while I managed to stay pretty regular with Project TMI, I eventually met someone that I was willing to sacrifice all of that unadulterated-ness and honesty for.  I did the one thing that I said I would never, ever do and I gave so much of myself away that now, five years later, I’m reading back through these posts and realizing that I’m definitely not the person I used to be back then, and I sure as hell don’t know this person that I’ve become, and I kind of think that maybe I need to get re-acquainted with that girl I used to be because she was a pretty kickass chick who had her shit together.

I’m not saying that I didn’t get what I asked for… I did… I mean I got that relationship I wanted (the one that has potential to go somewhere – I’m still engaged, after all), but I think I’ve paid a heavy price for it.  And while I am still fortunate enough to look like I’m in my twenties (Botboy used to say I was “pickled”), I have seen and done and been through so much that I feel like I’ve lived a thousand years only to come back to the place I started (home… Florida), with a better job, but at the same time $30k more in debt than I was when I got on that crazy train to begin with so I’m not really able to save any of it.

They say that life is a trade-off.  I’d wager that that’s true.  They also say that you always want what you can’t have.  That’s definitely true, but “can’t” isn’t a word that is a part of my vocabulary all that often.  I always get what I want… until I don’t want it anymore… then I identify something else, pursue that, get sick of it, lather, rinse, repeat.

So I’m doing two things here – I’m revamping the blog.  I’d like to give it a total makeover, and I plan to do that, but right now I’m too busy to write the code and too broke to pay someone else to do it better than I ever could, so it’s going to have to stay the way it is.  But it’s getting a Facebook page and I’m going to put an index on that so I can at least surf through the entries I want to read when I want to read them (I’m going to post the link here, too, once I get that page a little more founded).

But I’m also writing books… books that start WAAAAY back in the good ole’ days of 1997, where all of this began.  There’ll be three of those, plus two “companions” that’ll travel alongside the online content that is up here.  And it’s not really because I’m arrogant enough to think anyone is really all that interested in my little story, but it’s more or less because I really just need to get it “out there.” Out of me.  Somewhere else.  Maybe if I can ever sit down and read it I can look at it more objectively than I can when it’s boiling around inside me.

I’m doing all of this while I work a full time job (with lots of overtime) and do side-gigs (runway, promos, fashion shoots).  So the process is slow.  I’ll probably be forty by the time I publish the first one (though I doubt it).  But the posts are going to get more frequent here, at least.  I have to get some of it out, somewhere… and because I’m kind of an exhibitionist and can definitely be somewhat of a narcissist (most models and actors are, and don’t let anyone tell you differently), I’m putting it up for the world to see because…well…why the hell not.

These days, we can always use a little more honesty in the world.

Traits of a Narcissist

  1. Narcissists are (usually) male.   Over half of the narcissists in the world own a penis.  Which kinda explains a lot, no? (sorry boys)
  2. Narcissists are charming. At least at first.  When you meet them, they really seem like they have it all together.  And they’ll make you feel important.    Like you’re the only person in the room.  They always have the best stories.  They’ll make you laugh.
  3. But they also are (usually) looking out for themselves. If they want to be with you, it’s because they want something from you (most of the time).  Money, status, a connection, sex, sympathy… something that they can get from you that makes them feel good… that reinforces their self image and ego (usually) or something that they think you’ll give them that others simply won’t (as-in… they’ve run out of friends to have a pity party with, and you haven’t been to one of those yet, so you’re the new pity-party-person… yay).
  4. Speaking of that, their external self image (at least the one you can see) is huge. Their ego is even larger.  They live with the mentality of entitlement, of invincibility, and of the belief that everyone looks up to them.
  5. Image. Is. Everything. It doesn’t matter what’s going on on the inside (we’ll talk about what lies underneath soon).  What matters, to the Narcissist, is what everyone else sees.  What everyone else thinks.  Photos are important.  Looks are important.  Using said looks to get attention (whether physical attractiveness or other physical features) is super important.  Basically, anything that can bring in more attention, more compliments, is GOOD.  Therefore:
    1. You’ll never see a bad picture of them.   Those are relegated to the depths of the realm of “Under The Bed”.  If they survive the digital deletion on the camera phone.  And the good photos you see have undergone some form of editing or filter.  Every. Single. Time.
    2. Social Media is integral. Think about it… it’s the “Platform of Me”.  Narcissists usually have a large number of “friends” (aka Followers).  If there is a max number of Friends that can be had on their list, they’ve maxed it out and there is a goddamn waiting list.  They use it as a platform to get their ideas out there (the way that most of us do, I guess), but they will spend more time socializing on Social Media than they do socializing in real life.  Even in one-on-one situations, Social Media must know where they are, that they are having a good time, and even if they’re not having a good time, it had better fucking look as if they are having a good time because everyone out there needs to be flipping jealous of the good time they are not having.  It’s the name of the game.
    3. They buy shit. A lot of shit.  They need to look good.  They need to smell good.  They need to keep up with the Joneses.  Money is no object… even when they run out of money, it is no object.  Bankruptcy is totally a thing.  But it’s ok.  Because they’ll look good while being bankrupt.  Well… until the bank comes to take their shit, but that’s totally the bank’s fault.
  6. Name Dropping is totally a thing. The first time you meet them, they’ll start that shit.  It’s supposed to impress you.  What might have been a two second interaction suddenly turns into a thirty-minute life-changing experience that really HAS to be shared.  This goes back to that image thing.  Really it all goes back to that image thing.  But I wanted to make it it’s own thing, because it’s such an important part of who they are.
  7. They’re entitled.   In their world, shit should be given to them, no questions asked.  If shit is not given to them, then they will drop you like a bad habit, complain to their Facebook minions about what a bitch you are, and find a way to get it from someone else.  Getting “it” – whatever “it” is – does not involve doing any of the work themselves.  Nope.  Mooching is the order of the day whenever possible.  Dates will consist of inviting you to dinner, then telling you that you have to pay for it (after it’s already been ordered).  They expect you to wait, too, until they’re ready for you.  Your own timeframe doesn’t matter.  What you need doesn’t matter.  It’s not about you.  It’s about them.  It’s always been about them.
  8. They break all the rules. I mean it makes sense when you think about it… because to a narcissist, who doesn’t really care about anyone else, who doesn’t think that anyone else is important, rules are something that were invented for everyone else to follow.  To a narcissist, rules don’t apply.
  9. Boundaries don’t exist. Your money is their money.  Your food in the fridge is their food in the fridge (and they’ll fucking take it without asking). Aretha Franklin would be PISSED because there is no R-E-S-P-E-C-T here.  They’ll keep pushing… and pushing… and if you keep giving?  Then it’s working.  Because they’re training you for the next time they want something.  Or the next time you’re kept waiting (it’ll be longer).  It’s a cruel fucking kind of conditioning and abuse.  And the worst part is that you won’t know you’re in it until you’re there, you have an oh shit moment, and you’re in too deep to easily dig yourself out.
  10. It’s NEVER THEIR FAULT.   They will have sob stories the likes of which you have never heard.  They’ll tell you about all of the people they’ve gone out with and how horrible all their breakups are.  They’ll be particularly distressed about a couple.  Likewise, their worklife will be just as screwed up – they’ll have lost a lot of jobs for reasons that had nothing to do with them.  People won’t get along with them, but it will (in their opinion) be because of something the other person did.  If arguments are started, it is NEVER because the Narcissist said something out of line.  He or she was merely reacting to something someone else said in a “hyperbolic fashion.”
  11. For that reason, they prefer to be in leadership positions. This isn’t because they necessarily make good leaders (they think they do).  But because:
    1. It provides more job security.  Because they get fired a lot.
    2. They can’t stand for someone to tell them what to do.
    3. In reality, due to the virtues that accompany the narcissism, their employees are often very disgruntled and unhappy.  There’s a high turnover rate (which, of course, is never the Narcissist’s fault because “Underling Number One” was a bad employee anyway and screwed up too many things on the job.).
  1. If they let you see who they really are (which doesn’t happen often), they’re pretty messed up inside. Self esteem is really low (narcissists compensate for low self esteem).  They pretty much hate themselves.  They need thousands of people to tell them how wonderful they are because they don’t “actually” believe in their own self worth.  Pointing out their faults (on the rare occasion that they are actually lucid enough to see them) serves no purpose except to cause them to “Double Down” on the originating Narcissistic behavior.  It is rare that a narcissist seeks help because doing that forces the narcissist to realize that he or she, in fact, DOES have a problem – something that, by nature, the narcissist isn’t able to do.

Back Again

*tap tap*  Is this thing still on?

So it’s been a bit.  I could say I’ve been busy.  I’ve used that excuse before.  And in this case it would be true.  I have been VERY busy.  But I’ve been thinking about this blog a lot, and the only excuse I have for not keeping up with it is that by the time I’m finished being busy, I’m too tired to do anything about it.

So let’s catch up.

I’m in Tampa now.  Permanently.  For good.  Forever.  I’m never leaving again.  I don’t normally like giving the end of the story away at the beginning, but you need to know where I’m going, so there it is.

The last few months I had in Louisville were productive ones.  I was working a part time job at a university (that is primarily a culinary school – though they do other things too), and making significantly less than what I was worth – but the Bell’s Palsy and Shingles went away, and I wasn’t as stressed.  So that was cool.

And since it was part time, I got to be in a move “And Then I Go” – and I got to do a scene with Ele Bardha (who is one of the stunt guys in the TransFormers franchise).  He’s the nicest guy… I got to see a lot of behind the scenes stuff from cell phone photos.  I have a photo of myself with him somewhere.  I’ll have to post it one day when I am able to find it.  I also did a commercial for IGA (Shameless Plug: Youtube video of the commercial is embedded below – I’m the chick in the green and white sweater walking around in the background in the first scene, then on the right in the last scene).

Ultimately, though, I spent a lot of time interviewing for positions to bring me back to Tampa.  The longer I stayed away, the more I missed it.  Our lease in Kentucky was up at the end of the year and I realized that I didn’t want to renew it.  Things weren’t looking so great on the job front – I was getting a lot of interviews, but not a job offer – so I finally decided to do what I do: take a gamble and hope for the best.

So I did.  I used the last little bit of savings that I had to get an AirBnb, a plane ticket, and took a week at the beginning of last December to fly down.  The place I rented was just outside of Oldsmar… it was incredible.  So much better than any hotel I could have gotten.  I had only one interview set up (a second one – I’d done the first one from Kentucky over the phone) but hoped that I’d get more while I was there).  I went through the interview process I started, saw Rogue One with one of my friends, but never got another interview arranged.  I was pretty devastated when I was getting on the plane to come back to Kentucky because I did not know how we were going to manage.  As I boarded the plane, though, my phone rang and a job offer came in.

I now work at a private university here in town as their technical trainer and lab coordinator.  I manage about 40 student employees.  I make more money than I’ve ever made in my life.  My benefits are amazing.  And I get to be downtown every single day.  Ormsby and I packed over Christmas and started driving on New Years Eve– we didn’t really get to have a proper holiday season.

But now it is March.  And here we are.  Back in the apartment complex I used to live in before (but this time near the back – still with the awesome lake view, though… that was not compromisable).  I got a two bedroom this time… a one bedroom like what I had worked for me, but it’s not enough for two people.  I miss my old apartment terribly, and it’s hard being back without Satine, but Milo and Cleo are adjusting nicely and the familiarity is nice.

I truly love my job, too… not just because of the paycheck, but because it’s engaging.  It’s challenging, and it wears me out, but in a really good way.  I love the students I work with, and I’m enjoying making the job “mine”.  Plus, downtown Tampa is one of my favorite areas in the city, and getting to be right in the heart of it is a really great thing.

Ormsby is doing well.  He’s still looking for a job, and that can be disheartening at times – it’s hard getting rejection letter after rejection letter (I remember that from when I was applying), but he’s loving the weather and is still fascinated by the new sights and smells, as well as the animals.

Being single income has been challenging – but I am more than capable of handling it with what I make.  So much so that I was able to pay the bills last month and STILL take us both to Disney World (to see Hollywood Studios and all the Star Wars stuff).  And we’ll be going to Star Wars celebration in April.  I mean it’s in Orlando.  And we’re so close.  Why would we NOT go?  I’ve ordered several costumes, and I’ll wear the Slave Leia costume I wore over Halloween as well for at least one of the days.

So things are out of order a little, but they are getting to be BACK in order – and in a better order than they ever were in.  Life is, at least for me (and hopefully Ormsby will feel this way about it too… eventually) better for me than it is anywhere else.  My potential is greater, my inspiration is better, and my intuition is stronger.

See, Tampa is my home.  I think I’ve always known that… but nothing drove it home harder than when I moved away from it.  I’m glad to be back.  And I’m not moving away from it ever again.