Denial: Give in or give out

I have never been a person of duty. Never have I let something as unimaginative as obligation weigh me down. What is this word, “obligation”? I do what I want, even if it’s irrational… even if it’s selfish.

See, when I deny myself something, it starts to fester — whether it’s dissatisfaction with my partner, a difference of opinion with my friend, or a long-dormant resentment towards a family member, it never fails to ooze out over time. I know I’ve let it remain under wraps for too long, when my demeanor towards them starts to change, through no fault of their own.

Denial is a slow-burning creature. It’s there. It stares you in the face. And when you turn to the other direction to avoid it, maddeningly, it will readjust itself to look you in your eyes again. It accumulates, the more real estate you give it.

The only positive way to handle denial is to succumb to it. It’s one of those things, where, the more resistance you give, the more it will push back. I always give in, in the end. I’ve taken the day off, and broken relationships, and dropped bombs on my family because I didn’t want denial to dominate my being.

Obligation is just the martyr-child of denial. It may be selfish to surrender to denial, but in the end it’s self-care.

Daily Post prompt: Denial

“Great” expectations: Habits & relationships

Today, and every day for the last few months, I have wondered about the habits we perform in romantic relationships: physical ones, mental ones, and most especially, emotional ones. You know what I mean; these habits are the little tics, the behaviors, the thought patterns unique to you that seem to migrate from one person you’re with to another.

Like for me, I know my fingers will always find their way around the hair at the base of his neck, no matter who it is. I know, that for the first few months — or even year — together, I will be a creature of insecurities, constantly comparing myself to their exes, telling myself I’m not good enough. And finally, I know my expectations, molded by the fire and friction of previous relationships, will cause me to be disappointed if he doesn’t meet them.

It feels like I have a template for relationships that changes subtly with each man. Ex #1 made me love men who could talk. Ex #2 made me love men who could dance. Ex #3 made me love men who did sweet little gestures for me. You know, etc. With the end of each relationship, that template would evolve and take a life of its own, like some constantly shifting microorganism, altering itself after some change in its environment. Little by little, the template adapts to incorporate traits that I love, and to accommodate for the traits that I, shall we say, don’t love, but am willing to tolerate.

This is fair, right? This is the part people always optimistically talk about — that grand experiment of dating different people to figure out what you like and don’t like, right?

Well, that all seems fine, but… what if you’re a neurotic freak who holds on to the past? What if that’s the case?

How would I know to trust my template? How would I know I’m being fair in my evaluation of the person I’m with? How would I know my expectations are still legitimate to hold on to? How would I know if my habit of holding on to these expectations is still healthy? Is it even right to hold on to expectations in relationships?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, and frankly, I’ve always been wary of ambiguity. I need rubrics, comparisons, examples, and long, drawn-out discussions with girlfriends who are just as neurotic as me, if not more so. Obviously.

This habit of mine, of keeping a death grip on my ideals based on past relationships, is not as cute as my finger wrapping around his hair. And although it’s perfectly natural that certain habits apply to my next relationship, the extent to which I let other habits overtake my relationship should be mindfully kept in check. Habits are hard to break, and are relics from our past that may no longer be relevant to our present.

Daily Post prompt: Expectation

The early stages

Exquisite, the lines of his hands,
As he runs them up my curves
Exquisite, as he squints into the sun,
The shade his eyes turn

(Does he think I’m good enough?)

Exquisite, when across the room,
He holds my gaze
Exquisite, when he slows his steps
To match my pace

(Am I worth his time?)

Exquisite, how time seems to stop,
Even as the world goes round
Exquisite, that as my love goes up,
His… goes down?

(I’m panicking just a little bit.)

* * *


* * *

Daily Post prompt: Exquisite

“Quirks”: a laundry list of my flaws

To any future potential boyfriends out there, here is an ad hoc guide to some of my everyday quirks (or flaws, depending on who you ask), to refer to. It’s not by any means exhaustive, and it’s in no particular order:

  • If I wear mismatched socks, the more “feminine”-looking one has to go on my left foot — because at weddings, the bride traditionally stands on the left.
  • I’m scared of the dark. At night, a light in at least one room has to be on before I can go into an unlit room and turn that one on.
  • I get a little too entertaining when I’m drunk.
  • I have a hideous sense of direction and rely entirely too much on Google Maps. I would be useless if we were ever lost in the woods or something.
  • To add on to this, I have never gone camping and have an utter lack of survival skills. I mean, I can probably climb trees pretty well since I do yoga, so I could probably escape a bear. But that’s probably all I could do at this point.
  • I Instagram. So sue me.
  • I am terribly absentminded — I actually have looked in the fridge for my keys, and wouldn’t have been surprised if I found them there. But I am proud to say I have not yet found them in there.
  • And because I’m terribly absentminded, I will constantly rhetorically ask where my shit is, and be pleasantly surprised that you know the answer.
  • Emotionally, I am like one of those windsocks you see at the airport — my emotions will blow in the same direction as the person I’m talking to. I come home exhausted from a “normal” workday just by listening to others.
  • I don’t want a tattoo because I’m a badass — I want a tattoo because I want to feel original, even though it’s no longer original to have one these days.
  • I will not remember the date of our first kiss, what year we traveled to what city, what I was thinking when I made that decision, what I said last month, hell, even what I said last week… but I will remember how you looked when you first kissed me, your childhood stories, your mom’s birthday, your secrets, your favorite songs, how you made me feel, and the first time you cried in front of me.
  • Sometimes, I feel an urgent need to clean everything in sight and reorganize shit.
  • I make random noises all the time — in the shower, or when I remember something embarrassing that I did a few years ago, or during volleyball, or dropping something on the floor, or getting into bed… you’ll get so annoyed by it.
  • I cry very quickly. I once cried over a crab on the beach that was almost eaten by birds. I cry at movies. I cry when we’ve been arguing too long. I cry when people confide painful things to me.
  • I don’t let my hair go down the shower drain. I stick them on the wall and throw them away after my shower. Maybe that’s disgusting, but that’s what I do.
  • Speaking of disgusting, I take 2 hours to clean and cut my fingernails and toenails, because I’m buffing and scraping that dead shit away… 3 hours, sometimes… if I’m painting my toenails.
  • You’ll probably notice that I complain about my closest friends — but please know that even though I’m sick of them, I actually can’t live without them.
  • Please don’t ask me to go running if you have done a marathon, done cross-country, or something equally impressing, stamina-wise. It will only be embarrassing for you and I if I jog at my asthmatic old lady pace. If you ask me to do yoga for 2 hours though, no problem, I’m your girl.
  • I fail at baking. And sometimes I fail at cooking.
  • I will let people walk all over me — so please, I need your help recognizing when people in my life are taking advantage of me. That includes you.
  • I’m socially awkward, and acutely aware of it. That’ll stop me from hanging out with people or trying new things. So please make me hang out with people or try new things.
  • When I am happy, I sing all the time — and eat.
  • I will have at least 3 flavors of ice cream in the freezer at any given point in time.
  • If I didn’t write it down, it either didn’t happen OR will not happen. Grocery lists, errands, favorite songs, gift ideas for people — you name it, I have a list for it.
  • I’m not as innocent as I look.
  • I’m so not good with money. So not good. You’ll be so frustrated that I don’t set aside enough for my savings, or that I have to get my monthly dose of Popeye’s, or that I have to get a new pair of boots for this year’s fall season, or that I got another parking ticket.
  • I’m a people-pleaser, to my detriment.
  • Before we watch a movie or show, I have to absolutely look that shit up on Rotten Tomatoes. If it’s below 63%, I’m either not watching it or already having negative preconceptions while watching it.

I hope this is helpful. And don’t say I didn’t warn you.