Tag Archives: Expectations

A Whole New Playground

8 Jul

There is a line in an Avett Brothers song that goes:  “I want to have friends that I can trust/ That love me for the man I’ve become, not the man that I was.”

It got me thinking. So much of our younger life is spent building things: career, relationships, financial security and friendships.

I’ve got friends that I’ve had since Kindergarten. I’ve got a few very close friends that I’ve know since high school. But then I’ve also got the newbies that haven’t known me for that long. Some of those I’d consider my besties.

As I’ve grown older, and become the person that I am, my friendscape has changed considerably. When I played roller derby, I found myself with more girl friends than I’d ever had in the past combined. Now that I’m not playing anymore, there’s been another shift where I find myself spending time with the kids from Twitter.

There is something to be said about sharing a history with the friends I’ve had forever. There’s also something to be said for the ones who take me for who I am now.

Am I alone in this? Does anyone else’s friendscape shift with their changing lifestyles? Friends are one of the greatest joys in life. How do you guys mix the old with the new?

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Unrequited love my ass!

29 Jun

By LeVar Battle
Blogger of StraightenMyTie

It’s bullshit. I studied English and Literature in college and thought the same thing then; however, I must admit, as of late, I’ve started to sing another tune.  There was a boy. He moved on for greener pastures. Now I’m left holding the bag to sow my own. The thing is, I ‘m still caught up on him. He doesn’t just cross my mind. He gets up in there, takes a seat, gives me the tisk-tisk and head shake then decides to cook breakfast for himself before leaving me in a state of “what happened to us?” And even though, this situation is stuck on replay in my head every day, I can’t bring myself to tell him—I Love You! You see before setting off on his endeavor we were just dating. No big commitment. Only dating.  And I fell hard. But now that he’s gone what do I do? He’s in another state. I’m here.  This has consumed my mind all night and today so far.

So I turned to the TTTM followers on Twitter and Facebook to see if others shared in my experience and what they thought of the notion of unrequited love. The conversation was interesting on TTTM Twitter. We asked, “Are we too old for unrequited love? When does it seem immature to love someone from afar instead of laying it all on the line?” One of the responses we received was, “Unrequited love is never immature, only the way we sometimes choose to handle it.”  To that I ask, “How can you measure maturity when dealing with such a concept as unrequited love?” Let’s face it. Love in general tends to make us act out of character, so to speak. What are your thoughts on how I should handle my unrequited love?

But what if she ain’t having it?

28 Jun

By theVar
Blogger of StraightenMyTie

Sport,

I was chatting with a male friend the other day about your article From the Broke Files.  He was really picking up what you were putting down…until!  You see, he stepped back and thought about how his girlfriend would be all about free day at the zoo, free day at the art museum, and all the other none-breaking-the-bank (you’re awesome by-the-way) cool and fun things you came up with until she realizes that they are all FREE.

So it got me to thinking.  She’s probably this high-maintenance, face about town, used to getting what she wants, it chick–so to speak. This girl kinda reminds me of Party Girl (the “it” girl we love).  Come to think of it, Sport, she’s not much different than yourself. You both love free shit. Just in different ways.

Now the questions I have are how should/could he deal with her? Readers, what do you think would be a feasible solution for this friend of mine? You know what would be even better.  I want to hear from Party Girl. Would the things Sport mentioned in her post make you cringe or would you welcome them with open arms?

Our Most Gracious Thank You

18 Jun

Wow! Sara and I are chillaxing at our graphic designer friend’s house in total nostalgia.  I can’t believe it’s been a month already. How about you, Sara?

Sara: Right, and a helluva month at that! Thanks to our readers we’ve begun talking about things that really matter. We’ve begun to build a community. And thanks to our contributors, we’ve found that we’re not alone  in our struggle to navigate our 30s.

LeVar: Sara, do you remember that first post? GC33, what a brave soul you were. I <3 your face. Then we got the woman’s perspective on expectations from Kelly. I just wanna keep her in my pocket to give her x’s and o’s all day long.

Sara: It sure was nice to know that we weren’t alone in our questions.

And do you remember Alison’s moment where at her sister’s high school graduation, she realized that she was old enough to be her mother? Or when the Professor shared what it was like to be leaving his 30s? Or what it’s like for Lorrie as a mom in her 30s.

Or me, entering my 30s. All in the last month. Whew.

LeVar: Yes, yes, yes, and yes. I’m still in awe over Ryan and his commitment to not drinking. Oh, and we will definitely never forget about Party Girl. Can I just live in her shoes for a week I’m sure my legs would look great in her 5 inch heels and a mini dress.

ED, you can unleash that 16 year old anytime you want. *wink*  Adam…”I can still party like I’m 21, but for the two day hangover.” Let’s just say Sara’s 30th last weekend has got to be a testament to that.

Sara: So true! So very true. Thanks for the warning Adam, sorry I didn’t heed it.

LeVar: I don’t know. In all this rambling what we’re trying to say is that we are deeply grateful and overjoyed by all of you and the unconditional support from great friends, talented contributors and this fearless community.

Sara: So thank you, readers. Thank you contributors. Thank you Var for crafting and curating this blog with me.  We had over 3000 unique viewers this past month. Let’s see what we can do from here on out.

Guest Post: The Balancing Act Pt. 2

16 Jun

In “The Balancing Act Pt. 1” we were given a glimpse into how the positive chaos in DinoKitten’s life had manifested itself negatively in her relationship(s).  So, naturally, in Pt. 2 we are about to dive into an emotional cesspool of feeling relationship isolation and the need to gain middle ground with the partner she loves.

I’m so confused.

I’m not the best communicator. Normally, I’d say communication follows the order of 1-2-3. But, me, I generally communicate  1-3-2-1-3  or something. Perhaps that is why I chose the chaotic life, and why I have a love/hate
relationship with it. It can be fun to take chances, move to big new cities, be brave, experience third world counties. It builds a nice tough skin that lets you love and appreciate the earth. The chaotic life sucks sometimes also, mostly when it’s only about work, and those things you like to do—yeah, they don’t get done anymore. Work, work, work, work, work, work, work = 50-60 hours a week = too tired to think/care/indulge in anything else.

Is there anyone out there reading this that has a great ability to balance things? Can a chaotic life be capable of this? Please say, yes! Two sides to this question, from my current perspective and situation on how I feel balance is affecting me personally:

Me on HIM: Do you take the two minutes to stop what you are doing to look her in the eyes and say hello, connect, hug? Do you think to ask if she may want something to eat also? Did you make time to have a relationship and not just be a workaholic? Do you ever talk about anything other than work? Why did you stop being so passionate about me and now only about work? Why don’t you act like you love me? Why don’t you make time for me? Why do you answer everyone else’s calls and texts while we’re out at dinner, but you never respond to mine?

Me on ME: Why don’t I make time to create more? If I created more—painting, drawing, photoshop—maybe I wouldn’t be so consumed with how much my relationship seems to be failing and how he doesn’t seem to care about anything but work. I should take the dog on more walks. I should find and explore more to do with myself. I should make more friends. I should really keep my promise to take my friend out to lunch. I should go find a new trail and hike it. I wish I had time to do all these things. Why does he never look at me anymore? I’m invisible. Maybe if I made more time to do things for me and told him to go jump in a lake I’d be a real 30 something, independent, classy… sigh. I’m crazy, aren’t I?

FML.

Dear (my) partner:  It feels like you go out of your way to NOT look at me. I see you examine all the walls, people, objects with your eyes, only to never meet mine. It makes my heart pound with a slow chisel of death as each month, week, day, hour, minute and then finally… second goes by that you no longer look or feel for me. Why are you even with me? I’ve tried to ask and tell you my needs. I’ve asked what’s a solution for you to balance our relationship. Why don’t you do it?

Dear reader:  If you feel like your partner is giving you the invisible treatment, then I feel for you. If you are the partner not taking fragments of time each day to acknowledge, hug, connect, then I hope you realize how painful that is, and that you should stop. NOW.

Balance comes in lots of forms. This entry was geared towards a relationship, but it can be the same for your personal hobby, exercise, etc… How do YOU make time for these things? The older we get, the more impossible it seems to become.

–DinoKitten

The 30 Year Assessment

15 Jun

By theVar
Blogger of StraightenMyTie

“Am I following my dreams or am I just stuck,” you ask? Mayhaps…to both!?! Just like many of you, my predictions of what 30 and beyond would be was much different than it actually is. I saw myself as a successful editor in a publishing house, or better yet, an English professor pioneering accessible pedagogical methodologies. I know. Ambitious, huh? Oh, the joy of youth and dreaming. What a bastardization of reality!

The fact of the matter is I negotiated the two and found a resting place right in the middle. I’m a copy writer. Not of the New York ad agency, award winning variety; just of the Denver, paying my bills, enjoying my life variety. And as much as I’d like to say I’m not close to where I wanted to be, I really am.  You see at the foundation of those “the sky is the limit” ideas I had of my life during my earlier years was simply being a writer. Trust me. I’m constantly arguing (with myself) that there’s nothing worse than getting what you wanted. Sometimes I think I’m right.

So yes, I am following my dreams. Yes, I am stuck. But, unless you’re some ass-kissing, privileged, over-achieving schmuck (or various combination of the said) you’re in the same boat I’m in—forever reconciling the need to be somebody you thought you’d be with the fact that you are precisely who you want to be. I can hear those of you saying, “I don’t want be here.” If that’s the case, change bitches. Otherwise, my word is bond. Now sit down.

Wait. Before you get comfortable, I’d like to know about your 30 year assessment. Maybe you’re exactly where you knew you’d be. Maybe you’ve taking a few side streets and aren’t quite there. The question is how are you embracing the choices you’ve made?

Images courtesy of Jesse Brettin, SPK Media.

All My Single Ladies…

3 Jun

By Sara Downey
Blogger of meanest look

Ladies, ladies, ladies. Now put your hands up and stop. You are out of control.

*in a super whiny voice*: If you liked it then you should’ve put a ring on it…

That song. Ugh. Girls, forget every bit of women’s lib you think that song is telling you. Stop acting crazy. With yesterday’s post about men and dating, it was only fair that I’d call out my girls today. 

The thing is, we’re awesome and attractive until we start living that song. Then we’re walking nag machines. We turn ourselves into the most unattractive monsters imaginable.

Independence is great, but you need to tame that shit. Let a man be a man. It’s not about being superior or constantly in control to impress your date. He’s already out with you. He likes you. Just be in the moment and enjoy.

It’s true what they say: we all know he wants a freak in the bedroom and a lady on the street. Ladies, your job is to know where to draw the line. Set the pace. This doesn’t mean to be a skankzilla when you meet his folks. It also doesn’t mean you shouldn’t send him south between the sheets. You just have to know how to carry yourself in every situation.

All men aren’t the same – as in they are not your ex. Don’t treat this new guy like you treated your ex. Remember, he’s your ex for a reason.

While we’re on the subject of who he is-guess who doesn’t exist? Mr. Guy From My Dreams. He’s not out there and you’re missing out on the guy who may be dreamy if you hold on to the fantasy.

Put down the rule books and the “how to catch a man” research studies. Just put them down. Along with the Bedside Astrologer. Guess what? Geminis and Virgos can be great together. And you can actually make the first move. Guys actually love it when you do.

On that great first date: Have an opinion, but don’t be overly opinionated. *two snaps* Be assertive, be who you are, but don’t be a beeotch.

Be comfortable. Dress in something that has been given a test drive. Be sexy by wearing what you’re comfortable in. Be your best version of you, and he’s bound to think that’s sexy.

Don’t be afraid to be fun, but don’t be the faux fun girl. Be the cool you. There is nothing worse than being the girl that loves all the same things the boy likes on paper and then is secretly dying inside.

Be self-aware. Be right with yourself and you’ll find that you’re right for someone else. *three snaps*

Life is not a romantic comedy. Movies, o-good-effin-christ. Romantic comedies do not exist in real life. Just ask Sandra Bullock.

Bottom line: Let go of your should’ve, would’ve, could’ves. Fairy tales are fairy tales and a pop song is just a pop song. Didn’t you learn anything from High Fidelity?

Chivalry isn’t dead…or is it?

2 Jun

By theVar
Blogger of Straight My Tie

Guys, is it dead? I mean, I keep hearing about my girls going on dates and dealing with “supposedly” gentlemen that don’t open doors, pick up tabs, or give “gentle” kisses goodnight.  (Hello, it’s a FIRST date!) You don’t have to be someone you’re not, but you should make an attempt at being impressive.  Let’s face it.  The women know you’re not the guy in their dreams.  Who is?  But at least you’re being courteous and using what mom and grandma taught you.  Word to the wise–they want to see a guy that thinks about them first on the first date.  Yes. They are independent, and please don’t be intimidated by this.  It doesn’t mean they’re not looking for a gentleman.  Sometimes taking charge is just what you need to “get in the door”.  Just saying!

Know this, they want a 2 lane conversation.  Open up.  To do this you don’t have to be all sappy and give a depressing monologue or bullshit comments.  Trust me, she’s knows her eyes are pretty. Your reiteration doesn’t make ’em any nicer. Bring substance to the dialogue. What else does she care about, you ask? LOOK. NICE. Believe it or not, it’s as simple as taking the time to make sure your flip flops look good with your swim trunks at the pool.  You don’t have to go designer.  Just make sure your outfit fits your personality and meets the occasion.

Please, please, please smell good. You don’t have to smell like a cologne kiosk, just smell clean.  You won’t believe how far your detergent and a stroke of deodorant can go.  I’m here to tell ya, a loooonnnnnggg way! I mentioned opening doors before, and I have to go back to this.   It sounds trite, but it’s a sign of respect.  Don’t you want to make her squish? The pig will come out of me over and over in this article. What I’m about to say is no exception.  Opening doors can cause knee weakness–another step closer to panty dropping. Come on. Panty dropping with someone you want and really click with; isn’t that the goal.

Listening.  I can’t believe I waited until this point to talk about listening.  Nonetheless, listen mofo’s. Don’t just listen for the sake of seeming interested; listen with purpose.  If you want to get to know her, and more, all you have to do is (what?) ______. The future will mandate that you have a grasp on what she does and does not like. For example, if she mentions that she likes bike rides, and you pick her up, in your car mind you, and take her to a restaurant on a bike-riding-perfect day, you can kiss your McDreamy status, buh-bye! Dissemination of information cannot fall on deaf ears!

Let’s not forget cell phones. Pretend you don’t know about Alexander Gram Bell.  We’re in a technology age. Everyone get’s it; however, you’re on a first date. Your cell phone is not the object of desire. For either of you! If it’s important, excuse yourself–briefly. If not, put the bitch on silent or even vibrate. (I’ve heard it feels better that way). Just keep it out of the moment.  The moment = you + her.

I’m not going to beat a dead horse. Guys, women are giving you the  answer. She’s just one of the guys (so to speak). Give her the attention you’re giving your boys.  You’ll remember his comment about the last score of the World Series when the Rockies lost against the Red Sox for years to come.  Doesn’t she deserve the same interest and attention to detail from you?  Keep it real, gentlemen.  This doesn’t mean Dickwad.  Be Mr. Trying. Mr. Effort.  She notices. And that gets penis in her mouth. The question is “Will it be yours?”

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