Valentine’s Day and Realizing that You’re Still Broken

avalentines_day1I hate Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day seriously makes me wretch those little heart candies with messages like the girl from The Exorcist(sadly I do like eating them). Could I be a unicorn, spewing rainbows of hearts? Hmm…maybe I AM a unicorn!?!?

Anyhoots, back to the matter at hand. Who the hell thought it was a good idea to make one day about love/romance?!?? Personally, I would not mind if we went back to Lupercalia, the ancient Roman festival that was celebrated around the 13th-15th of February. Getting hit with a bloody goat pelt by a hot naked guy running past me sounds WAY more fun than most Valentine’s Day dates I’ve had. It seems that this singular day has always brought more disappointment than joy for me.

Which is why for quite a few years now, I do something totally non-romantic on that day. Last year, my friend Chris and I checked out the Mammoths and Mastodons exhibit at the nature and science museum. Most years I’m blessed with DeVotchKa having a show on that night, like this year. What better way to forget romance and love than to listen to songs with lyrics like this:

From You Love Me

Now there is an ocean of time
Between your life and mine
You look happy and you’re married I bet
And oh my Lord how you’ve grown
To find me still alone
I am humble
I’m still trying to forget

When you said you loved me
I thought you loved me

That song always gets me like a hole through the heart. Okay…so maybe that song isn’t the best example but it’s a damn good segue to realizing that I’m wonderfully still broken.

1264547548_3844_fullNo matter how much work I’ve done on myself, there’s always more. Broken hearts are the gifts that keep giving.
In my most recent inquiry into “why I can’t find Mr Right/what do I keep doing wrong”, I have become acutely aware that the break-up from May 2010 STILL haunts my subconscious and heart. Hooray…? Now what the heck do I do about it?

Let’s take the way-back machine to that time to set the stage:
We talked about having kids, buying a home, moving in together, career moves, big vacations…you know, the stuff that makes you think that this is it. You’ve found the love of your life and it’s going to be awesome with this person. He challenged me. I can say I’ve never been more scared than to be upside down in a kayak trying to get out for the first time ever. Yeah, I know, not so scary especially since we were in a pool, but for me that is HUGE. We woke up together, went about our day, and then came back to one another to dream beautiful dreams. There weren’t too many days where we didn’t see each other. He was all the cheesy stuff romantic people say about having a best friend and a lover. He was my favorite person to be with even when we were pissed at each other.

We started as friends. I fell in love with his cherubic face and how those beautiful blue eyes looked at me. 

Apparently I was so in love I didn’t see the signs. I figured he was just so super busy with work and stressed that he just didn’t have the energy for me. So I tried harder to accommodate him and his schedule until his work finally lightened up. It didn’t get better.

At the end of April 2010, while I’m getting ready to go to a conference I ask if we could talk more about moving in together. Both our leases were up in August and I wanted to know what we going to do. That’s when he dropped the bomb on me. He didn’t think he was ready for any of it. I was dumbfounded.

I cried for the whole month of May. I would wake up and cry while I was trying to get ready for work. Sometimes I would cry between clients. I would cry while eating my lunch. When I made it home for the evening, I would make dinner and cry more. Sometimes I would read a book or watch a movie so I could stop crying for a while. Then I’d crawl into bed and cry myself to sleep. Repeat for next 31 days. I cried a good portion of June too, but not as much on a daily basis. I was in shock and dehydrated.

Does that sound unreasonable? Does it hurt when your spouse dies? Is it worse to know that they’re still alive and they just don’t love you?

Looking back, I started to wonder why it tore me up so much. It wasn’t the first time love had gone awry for me.

It hit me yesterday. It was the real potential of a future. All the talk about what we might do or wanted to do together. In past relationships, there was never any talk about that. There was talk of vacation plans or whose parents house we were spending the holidays at but it all felt mundane. He and I would stop to look at houses walking back from brunch. I believed that we would do all the things we said. I really believed with all my heart he was my best friend and lover and we could do anything.

Which explains why I get pissy when a guy I’m dating doesn’t pull through with what he says he’s going to do. Or why I also get fidgety and nervous when he tries to get me to commit to an event more than 3 weeks out. Or how I seem to find the stupidest thing to nit-pick over so I don’t get attached. How about not letting him push me out of my box? Yeah, I end up just pushing back. Does it seem like we get along really well? I’ll figure out a way to sabotage it because having you be a lover and best friend is not going to happen. You get to have one but not both.

Because if you had both that means you could rip my heart out like he did.

It amazes me how much that has influenced every relationship since. I’m not sure how to un-program it from my brain. At least the awareness of that moment and those habits can help me recognize when I’m doing it so I can stop. Maybe unprogramming happens when a friendship turns into loving partnership again. Perhaps it’s the moment when I feel I can trust someone to honor my hopes and dreams.

And maybe someday my Nino will magically appear and we’ll live happily ever after…


Did I mention, he moved in with his girlfriend?

Of which, I’m happy he finally has made that jump but that nagging question hangs out in the way back of my mind with a meek little voice, “what’s wrong with me?” NOT that I want him back, oh no, but I think it’s a valid question to ask. Without asking questions, there’s no impetus to find answers, therefore no reason to grow as a soul having a human experience. The soul wants to love unconditionally. It’s being human that makes it a bit more complex.

Either way, this little gypsy is going to dance her little butt off at the DeVotchKa concert on February 14th. I’m going to sing with all the songs and forget that there’s a holiday about love. I’m going to forget that I’m a hopeful romantic for one day. And I’ll probably weep during one song which I’m allowed to do since I’ll be in a sea of couples.

Valentine’s Day can go bugger off.


The Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic

“My dad left home when I was eight. You know what he said to me? Have fun, stay single. I was eight.” ~Steve from Singles

In 1992 when Singles hit movie theatres, I was a junior in high school. It’s still in my top 10 of movies I like to watch because I am a hopeful romantic and sometimes nostalgic as all hell. Pearl Jam holds a special place in my heart along with Mother Love Bone, singing the angst that many teenagers felt at that time. I wish I could take the teenage me aside and tell her all the things I’ve learned since:

  • Sex does not equal love. Sex is sex. Even if it’s mind-blowing it’s still just sex.
  • Don’t let go of you in a relationship. Nurture yourself and if the other person wants you to change, then they probably don’t have a clue who you actually are. And by change, I mean the person you are at the core. Everything else is just a habit that you can choose to change or not.
  • Communicate! Ask the hard questions and have the difficult discussions. Don’t hold it all in until you explode. That does no one any favors.
  • Recognize that we all change and if the person you love is growing away from you, SAY SOMETHING! Making the other person and yourself aware and mindful of what’s happening can actually save the relationship.
  • Good men are far and few, especially as you get older because you get pickier about what you actually want. Dating gets boring and tedious. At this point, I’d rather just hang out, find out what actually makes the man of my desires tick, and hope that on a random night of mischief and fun he gets the moxie after a few drinks to actually kiss me.
  • Be patient. Very patient.

Being single is nice…I get to work on my career, read books, hang out with friends, chase after my crazy ideas of travel and hobbies, figure out my own weird little psyche, watch movies that reinforce my hopeful romantic ways, ride my bike everywhere and anywhere…it’s a pretty good life.


There are days I miss having a partner in crime. Someone to play with. Someone to love. Someone that can be balls to the wall fun and the next day spend it cuddling on the couch, watching movies or reading separate books or getting work done. I actually miss checking in with the other person about our social lives and where and when do we need to be somewhere or not. I miss looking across the room at my sweetie and melting a bit on the inside, especially when he notices I’m looking. I miss wanting to do little things to brighten his day. I miss watching him sleep and memorizing the lines and curves of his face. I miss wanting nothing more than to kiss his eye lids and snuggle my nose behind his ear so I can breathe him in. I miss meeting his parents and siblings (weird, I know). I miss the very specific give and receive that only happens in a loving relationship with someone who is your friend and lover.

I miss planning adventures with my heart’s desire.


That doesn’t mean I’m going to settle for just anyone because I feel a twinge of loneliness every so often. My yeti, Nino, Largeman, Mr. E. Edward Grey…He’s out there somewhere. Maybe he’s patiently waiting for me to walk into his brewery, his favorite bar, pass him on the bike path or in the airport, or even for a mutual friend to introduce us. Maybe we already know each other but the timing isn’t right just yet. Maybe I’m just waiting for him to get divorced so he can start his life over again. Maybe he’s being chased by natives in the Congo for an old relic he took for archaeological study…

…so what if I fell in love with Indiana Jones as a kid?

I guess that’s my never-ending trend of my so-called ideal man.

  • Indiana Jones
  • Han Solo
  • Capt Jean-Luc Picard
  • Doctor Who (David Tennant…Oh, how I love thee)

Intelligent, charismatic travelers that have adventures. Renaissance men.

Because smart and playful are super sexy!

It used to be that I was waiting for my Doctor Who to show up and ask me to jump in his Tardis. After so much dating, perhaps I’m Doctor Who and instead of looking for a companion, I’m actually looking for another timelord. Or Rose…she was a bad ass!

SO, Mr Could-Be-Right, I challenge you to come out and play with me. Ride bikes with me. Climb trees. Tie a good one on some random night with me. Watch movies with me. Go backpacking through a national park with me. Let’s hit the symphony or check out the new exhibits at the art museum. Come to a kegger and play beer pong. Go to a lecture with me. Cuddle with me. Come out dancing. Make dinner with me. Inspire me.

In return, I’ll match your enthusiasm and go play with you on your turf.

I dare you….

I double dog dare you.

P.S. I love flowers, even if it’s stolen a dandelion off someone’s yard.