Friday, December 30, 2005


I have changed so much this year. I look back now at who I was when I started this blog just under a year ago, and I hardly recognize the girl who typed the first post.

Every part of me has changed. I feel like the twelve months in 2005 were longer, more fruitful than the months in my past.

I was kicked out of love in late 2004, and spent the beginning of this year digging and clawing my way out of it. I took time by myself and worked on who I am. I was single for a long time for the first time in my life. I tended to my relationships with my friends, with my family, and with myself. And, just as I had let the search for love take a backseat to my search for me, love found me, in the form of the man I never thought I'd be lucky enough to have. We met, we sized each other up, we dated, then slowly, surely, I fell face-first into love with him. I fought my insecurity, my fear, my baggage, my doubt, and learned to embrace happiness and joy, loving and being loved. You witnessed the whole thing on your computer screen.

I grew weary of my job. The position I held for four years had become too monotonous and had made me too poor to continue working there, but it was still a huge part of my life, and I was reticent to go. I toiled over my choice to leave, endlessly weighing options that clearly led to the conclusion that leaving was the right decision to make. I ended one long chapter of my life and began a new one. You read it all.

I was lonely, I was surrounded by friends. I was tortured and I did some torturing of my own. I cried and laughed, sometimes at the same time. I evolved. I moved. Twice. I learned how to take care of myself, instead of depending on someone else to do it for me. I went to a wedding by myself. I made new friends, in other people and in myself. I found love and a best friend in one person.

I started this year buried in tears and expectations and worry. I'm ending it feeling the happiest I've ever been. And you've been here every step of the way.

Thank you for sharing in what has proven to be the most difficult, most satisfying, best year of my life so far.

Happy New Year.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Happy Holidays

Perhaps it's a little late, but I'm tired and suffering from a Holiday hangover, so I the best post I can offer is the lyrics to my favorite Christmas song this year:

"That's What I Want For Christmas"

When you said yesterday that it's nearly Christmas
What did I want and I thought
just love me,
love me,
love me
That's what I want for Christmas

When I walk through a room let them see you need me
Walk through a room let them see you love me,
love me,
love me
That's what I want for Christmas

Anyone can wish for all the trinkets in the window
Some can even buy the things they see
But the presents that I want
You'll never find in any window
Bring me love and bring it just for me

When you come home at night
Take me in your arms and hold me
Kiss me,
and say you love me,
love me,
oh love me
That's what I want for Christmas

Anyone can wish for all the trinkets in the window
Some can even buy the things they see
But the presents that I want
You'll never find in any window
Bring me love and bring it just for me

When you come home at night
And you take me in your arms
And you hold me (hold me)
And you kiss me (kiss me)
And say you love me (love me),
love me (love me),
love me (love me, love me)
That's what I want for Christmas

And, along with the trinkets from the window, that's what I got.

My Christmas was fantastic.

Hope yours was the same.

Merry (Belated) Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Head Over Heels

"Where'd you get that coat?" He asked as I made my way down the stairs, toward him. He grinned as he watched me descend, knowing full well the answer to his question.

"Oh, some really hot guy got it for me," I responded as I stepped down onto the first floor.

"Oh, really? And why, may I ask, did he get it for you? What was the occasion?" He turned to face the mirror in the hallway, messing with his curls.

"No reason at all. Just because, I guess." I buttoned the coat over my scarf and pulled my gloves out of the pockets.

"He bought you a coat for no reason?" His eyes were wide in feigned shock.

"Yes. Can you believe it?"

"Wow. A guy bought you a coat that beautiful for no reason at all? He must be head over heels for you to do something like that."

I smiled and wrapped my arms around him. A month or so ago, he'd come home from a long day at work, and scurried up to his room. I'd been having a bad day, full of frustration and annoyance. All I wanted was to curl up with him. He was the only person I wanted to see, and he noticed my sad eyes as soon as he walked into the door. He hugged me and asked about my day. After I explained why I was so forlorn, he kissed the top of my head and told me he'd be right back. He backed away from me and ran upstairs. I sat at the computer, absentmindedly clicking away on blogs, not really reading anything, just occupying my time until his return. From the second floor, I heard him call me.

"Babe, come up here."

Slowly, I closed out of my many open windows and made a sluggish trek up the carpeted stairs. He was in the bedroom, an empty shopping bag resting on the floor and a handful of ties spread out on the bed.

"Check out the ties I bought today," he said, spreading them out for me to see. He held each one up to his dress shirt, modeling each bold accessory for me. I smiled, approved, then collapsed back onto the bed. "Oh, there's something else," he said to me, grabbing my hand.

He pulled me upright. "Stay right here, and close your eyes." I did as he instructed, feeling silly standing in the room with my eyes shut tight. I heard him walk through the door, then his voice from the other room: "Are your eyes closed? Keep 'em closed." I giggled.

"They're closed," I said, crossing my arms in front of my chest.

I heard his feet make their way into the room, I felt his body right behind me. "Put your arms out, behind you," he instructed. I obliged.

And he guided my arms through the arms of a coat. He pulled the collar up and rested the jacket on my shoulders. I opened my eyes, even though he hadn't told me to, and looked down at it. It was the pink and black tailored coat I'd casually mentioned that I liked weeks prior.

"Do you like it?"

What do you say when someone does something so wonderful, so unexpected, that you feel like you might burst if you so much as move to thank them? I turned around to face him, looked at him, then down again at the coat, then back at him. "Like it? Baby, I love it. Thank you so much."

"I was going to give it to you later tonight, before bed, but you look like you could use a little pick-me-up."

I threw my arms around him and hugged him. "I love it, Billy," I said into his shoulder.

Every time I put it on, I think of him and that moment. I delight when someone asks me where I got it, because I get to announce that he gave it to me. For no reason. I get to brag that he's thoughtful, that he pays attention. That he loves me. That, apparently, he's head over heels.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Oh, Yeah. I Feel the Spirit

My feet are throbbing and my eyes are nearly closed. It's been hours since I left work, yet I only just got home. From 5:30 until well after 8:00 tonight, I plodded my way through the Rockaway Townsquare Mall in an effort to complete my untouched Christmas shopping list.

Usually, this time of year is my favorite time to be in the mall. I love the decorations, and the Christmas carols pouring from wall-mounted speakers. I love carrying full shopping bags. Seriously. I take as much time as possible to meander through aisles and choose perfect gifts for friends and family. But I've found that, the older I get, the less enjoyable it becomes.

I remember the days when Mom would take care of my shopping for me. Sometimes, I'd accompany her, picking out the items that would go to my family members on Christmas day. Then, somewhere along the line, I grew up. And the obligation to buy fell squarely into my lap. The money I worked so hard for was forked over in store after store as I purchased gifts for Mom, Chase, Dad. Then my grandparents. Then friends came into the equation. Then boyfriends. And the boyfriend's family. Then coworkers. And acquaintances. And on and on. And this evening, instead of finding joy in purchasing a great book, the perfect earrings, the loveliest set of wine glasses, I found only agony. I got frustrated with everything. With the money, with the pressure, with the other shoppers. I caught myself cursing under my breath at the price of accessories and fake jewelry. I dealt out openly exasperated sighs to shoppers who walked too slow, took too long digging their overburdened credit cards from their wallets. I thought I may cry out in horror if I heard even one more screaming child.

Somehow, it all got out of hand.

My favorite part of Christmas has always been the giving. I love to carefully pick out a gift, then see the smile or the laugh or the tears that come with its unveiling. But then life happened. I started to forget to block off the time required to put the thought into my gifts...

Which is why tonight, a scant six days before Christmas Morn, I lugged my coat and credit card through the mall, searching frantically for a gift, any gift, for all eight million people on my list.

And, tonight, for the first time ever, I found myself buying sweaters and bath products, slapping my own credit card onto dirty cash register counters, thinking "This'll do." Is there anything that screams "I ran out of time and ideas and patience, so I got you this," more than sweaters and bath products?

Saturday, December 17, 2005


I watch you walk into a room, with your slouchy posture and your mane of curls, and it does something to me. I feel your presence in my stomach, in my chest. In other places. And when you look at me, with your eyelids at half-mast and a smile conquering your mouth, I feel it all the way to my toes. These days, with the front yard buried in snow, I watch you walk in the door, all bundled up, stomping the snow from your boots. I see it every night at nine o'clock, but still I can't look away. I smile while I observe your ritual, waiting for you to notice me. And when you do, when you give me that smile and start making your way to me, I feel giddy. After a long day, your arms around me and your lips on the crown of my head is my nightcap. My day is complete.

And you know me. Like telepathy, you reach out lay your hands on me just as I was thinking that I wish you would. The feel of your long fingers over thick winter sweaters and flimsy cotton PJs gives me chills. I love that you can tell when I'm upset by my eyes alone; that you can see what I'm searching for in my pupils. I love that you know I'm angry by my eyebrows, that you can pinpoint the way I feel by looking at my face. I've never felt like an open book around anyone. But, after only four shorts months, I know that you know me.

I love that you're patient with me. That you drag out of me the complaints I'd rather leave unsaid. That you don't fight with me, you talk to me. I love that you reassure me when I need it. When I feel insecure, you coddle me just as I need. And when you've probably said enough to give me back the confidence I was lacking, you go ahead and say just a little bit more, for good measure. You remind me that you love me, that I deserve to be treated well. You tell me I'm beautiful and sexy and good to you. You haven't let my fear and trepidation stop you from loving me. You saw the me who was lost for so long, and you were patient in letting her evolve.

You aren't afraid to show me you love me in little ways. Like going outside in your pajama bottoms, winter coat and unlaced boots to scrape the ice from my car after a storm. Warming it up for me before I leave so I won't have to be cold on my way to work. Like ordering dessert because you know I like something sweet after every meal. Like getting a drink for me without me even asking for it. And that makes me so eager to give back to you, tenfold, what you give to me. I forgot what it was like to want to make someone happy, and you reminded me.

You make me count my blessings. I wasn't even looking and I found you. And I couldn't be happier.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

This Season

'Tis the season for bundling up. Each trip I make into the outdoors is prefaced by a lengthy dressing session: Scarf, coat, hat, gloves. My long wool coat protects me against the windchill that's making our twenty degree weather feel more like five below zero. My gloves serve little to no purpose, as the cold permeates Isotoner's double-layered shield against the freezing breezes. My hat keeps my sensitive ears warm, my scarf is there to create a barrier between my bared clavicle and icy air. But it doesn't matter. My nose freezes, my cheeks throb, my legs feel the wind through my work pants.

The time I should be taking to do the Christmas shopping that I still haven't started is spent, instead, hunkering down in the house; making me, for the first time, consider shopping over the internet. Right now, for instance, I know I should be in Middletown buying my Secret Santa gift for one of Billy's many cousins. I know I should be selecting wrapping paper and bows and selecting the perfect gift to rest inside of one of the many boxes I'll wrap this year. But instead, I'm at the computer, glass (and bottle) of wine in front of me, laundry clicking away in both the washer and the dryer and waiting for Billy to get home.

In the midst of my new job, of learning countless new items and procedures, I find my mind drifting back to Christmas seasons long past. Seasons that found me young and happy, seasons that flew by without me even noticing.

I'm thinking of what it was like, at ten years old, traipsing through a Kentucky forest with my family, trying to locate and cut down the perfect tree. My mom and dad and brother and I, all bundled up in our winter garb, hiking boots stomping along pine-needle covered trails. My dad with a cap on his head and his flannel jacket. My mom and brother pulling up the rear, eyes glued to every tree we passed, both of them trying to picture it, lit up and festooned, in our house. Me, somewhere in between the two parties, eager to help but frustrated with the cold; imagining presents and little multi-colored lights perched in the corner of our Hopkinsville home's living room; busy finalizing the list I'd be sending, via my mother, to Santa. I'm thinking of the ride home, our carefully chosen tree tied to the roof of our car, exhausted from being outdoors, my face burning from the warm heater following the cold air. Daddy pulled down box after box of ornaments from the attic, each full of tiny compartments for the ornaments. Pieces of our family's history: Ornaments my parents bought as they traveled the world in the Army - a miniature wooden nutcracker they bought in Germany, a teeny-tiny Christmas tree from Georgia - and pieces the four of us collected together - a mitten made of construction paper stuffed with cotton, its decoration courtesy of Crayola and my kindergarten class, Chase's tiny handprint solidified in Plaster of Paris from preschool. Daddy strung the lights while we went through the boxes, picking our favorites and waiting to hang them on pliable branches. The house smelled of the cedar tree we chose, and Chase and I loaded the bottom half of the tree with our ornaments. "Laurie's first Christmas, 1980," "Chase's first Christmas, 1986." Ornaments we made as gifts for our parents. Old glass ornaments that we carried from box to tree slowly, our eyes moving from floor to tree to gauge the distance, one hand beneath the ornament to catch it should it fall.

The tree my parents erect every year looks as beautiful now as it did back then. No theme, no reason to the placement of ornaments or colors chosen; Just memories hanging on fresh branches, backlit by green, blue, yellow and red lights. But these days, the tree doesn't come from the woods; it comes from a vendor in the middle of Milford. They pick their tree without the aid of their children, working their way through the aisles of pre-cut pine until they find the fattest, fullest one there. They wait until Chase comes home from school to put it in the house, then they call me for the annual decoration.

I'm not the same Laurie I was years ago. I used to be thrilled to decorate, but a few years ago, I found myself waiting impatiently for the ceremony to be over with. I looked at the boxes and boxes of ornaments as tedious work before me, not memories caught in cardboard dividers. I was consumed with my life as it was then, the subtle undertone of displeasure that plagued me back in those days. I hurried through the hanging, not taking the time to recall what each ornament meant, how it reminded me of our house in Kentucky, of the My Child doll with blue eyes and black hair that Santa brought me one year; the one that reminded me of Las Vegas when Santa left me my very own phone line. I didn't take care to recall the look on my parents' faces when they gave Chase and I something we really, really wanted. The way their smiles consumed their faces when the gift they gave us was truly unexpected; a new gaming system for Chase, a sapphire pendant for me. My mom's face, streaked with tears when she saw the Orthodox Icon I found for her. My father's salt and pepper mustache spreading with his smile, his blue eyes wet, when he opened the Army figurine I gave him, with a plaque I'd had engraved that sat on its base reading "Soldier Daddy."

This year, I want to reclaim the undistilled happiness that Christmas always brought me. I want to pause and think of each ornament before I hang it on the tree Mom and Dad chose for us. I want to put thought into my gifts. I want to remember the way it was before, and make new memories to think of later.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Oh Great

Last night at the gym, I hopped on the Elliptical machine right next to my boss' wife and right behind my boss. They churned away on their own machines while I buried myself in a book and drowned out surrounding conversations with headphones blasting dance music at full-volume. The class I usually take on Monday nights came to an end, and the ladies with whom I normally aerobicize came pouring out of the door.

"Hey, Laurie!" they called, wiping sweat from their brows and necks. "Why weren't you in class?"

I removed my headphones. "I had laundry to do, it took too long to make it to class in time."

A chorus of "How's the new job?" followed, with me trying to answer as diplomatically as possible. The week before I'd entertained them with little spoofs of my new profession, telling them how I didn't love it, but didn't hate it yet, though the general feeling I was getting was not good.

Sure that they all remembered this, I did my best to not sound too excited, but not too apathetic.

It's going. It's a long drive. I miss the bank. I'm learning. These were my standard responses.

Then one of my regular classmates made her way to me. "Laurie, how's that job?" She asked, after giving my behind a little slap.

"It's going well."

"I thought you didn't like it," she announced in her loud voice. I was sure the boss had heard. Certain of it, in fact.

"No, I said I didn't like that I have to learn everything new," I reached, hoping to salvage the moment.

She eyed me quizzically. I couldn't tell her that my boss and his wife were flanking me. It would be too obvious. And anyway, my boss had a clear view of me from the mirror. I tried to avoid displaying my panicked reaction. I pumped my feet faster, hoping that my worry would be lost in the sweat and the rhythm of my machine.

"Ooooh," she said, nodding. "That makes sense. Have a good week. I'll see you Wednesday?"

I told her I hoped I'd be able to make it to our Wednesday night Kickboxing class, and we said our goodbyes.

My boss and his wife slipped out the door while I traded details of my weekend with a friend near the free weights, so I was unable to do damage control. I'm just crossing my fingers that my boss doesn't greet me this morning with "So, you don't like it here, huh?"

Friday, December 09, 2005

My Big Day Off

The clouds have parted for real. The sun is out and the only snow falling is the snow being blown off of the trees by the crazy wind outside. Snow must've buried the satellite dish outside, because, just as I was getting into A Wedding Story on TLC, the screen froze. I took it as a sign that it was time to get my ass out of bed and into work. So I showered and put on my makeup begrudgingly, searching the sky hopefully for another round of snow and an excuse to crawl back beneath the covers. Before I dressed, though, I called my boss, the good employee that I am, to ask him if he wanted me to head in.

"Nah," he said. "There's no point in you coming here. It's dead. Enjoy your day off."

The last thing in the world I want to do right now is drive, so I put on one of Billy's sweaters and made myself comfortable here at the computer. I clicked on the Musicmatch Jukebox player on the computer and started hopping around on some of my favorite blogs.

The song selection is an mesh of choices made by both Billy and myself. Over three days, we've added songs here and there to the playlist, and every night I come home, sit at the computer and listen to the same songs. But they're fabulous.

This is my soundtrack:

Hopeless, by Train
Maria (Shut up and kiss me), by Willie Nelson
When You Became King, by Alana Davis
Brick, by Ben Folds Five
Island, by The Ben Taylor Band
Drops of Jupiter, by Train
Maybe, by Toni Braxton
Sexual Healing, by Ben Harper
Brighter than Sunshine, by Aqualung
A Chance with You, by Alana Davis
Whipping Boy, by Train
Kissing a Fool, by George Michael
32 Flavors, by Alana Davis
The Beauty of Who You Are, by Marc Broussard
I Don't Care, by Alana Davis
Hold Me Now, by the Thompson Twins
Army, by Ben Folds Five
Let's Get it On, by Marvin Gaye
King of Sorrow, by Sade
Secret, by Maroon 5
Freedom 90, by George Michael
Folsom Prison Blues, by Johnny Cash
Paper Thin Walls, by Modest Mouse
Into the Mystic, by Van Morrison
Bend and Break, by Keane
No Ordinary Love, by Sade

I can think of no better way to spend my day than to sit here listening and singing along. Each of the songs makes me think of someone or something in particular. Billy's in every line of When You Became King, The Beauty of Who You Are and Brighter than Sunshine. Ghosts of relationships past are hiding in the harmonies of Kissing a Fool, Hopeless and King of Sorrow. I see myself in 32 Flavors, Whipping Boy and I Don't Care. Snow and coffee and the promise of a day spent alone has made me nostalgic, reminiscent, reflective.

The volume is turned up to full blast, and I'm singing along, letting the songs take me to where I was way back when and up the long road to where, and who, I am now.

Snow Day

There must be a foot of snow on my car right now. I'm sitting in the house, three and a half hours after waking up to go to work, only to find that the tri-state area is being hammered with a winter storm. The weathermen predicted six to nine inches, but it seems like so much more has fallen.

When we were warned about this snowfall yesterday, my boss was sure it was going to pass us by. "We probably won't get anything," he said, looking out of the window in the office. "Yeah," he sighed, stretched and surveyed the clouds overhead, "it'll probably blow right past us." Then, almost as an afterthought, he said, "But if, you know, it doesn't pass us, don't bother driving in it; if it's that bad, don't come in. Just play it by ear. Give me a call." I was torn: On one hand, I wanted him to be right. I hate driving in the snow, the way major winter storms hamper my ability to go anywhere and do anything. But on the other, I crossed my fingers that he was wrong, and that we would get the furious snowfall predicted by all the local meteorologists. The words don't bother driving in it, don't come in were like music to my ears.

So, this morning, I called his cell phone and the office and left messages saying that I was not about to chance it on the unplowed roads, but that I'd keep an eye on it and go in if it cleared up.

I worried shortly when the clouds parted and sun started to shine. The rapid falling of fine snow had given way to thick, sluggish flakes, and I was concerned that I'd have to shed my morning coat, finish my coffee and jump in the shower to head in to work. Anyone who lives in wintry climates knows that sunshine plus big fat flakes equals the end of the blizzard. But the lull in the whiteout was apparently only Mother Nature taking a breather and rejuvenating. The clouds reunited and the snow has gone back to falling with oomph. The house got dark again as the parted clouds came back together and I smiled, sipping my still hot coffee and relaxing into the pillows.

Today could only be more perfect if Billy hadn't gone to work. He left at seven. Unafraid of the snow, he plodded out to his covered car and dutifully started it, cleaned it off and backed down the driveway. I made his coffee while he showered, thinking of how wonderful it would be to sit inside with him and watch movies all day while snow piled around the house.

But, instead, I'm here alone, coffee and cigarettes close at hand, enjoying my first weekday off since I started my job a week ago. If I still worked at the bank, I'd be there right now, bitching about having to drive in the snow, rather than sitting here watching snow nestle into the crooks of tree branches and the dips and rises of the porch. I much prefer this.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Looking for It

We were sitting on an outdoor bench in the middle of Pleasure Island in Florida. Humidity licked at our foreheads and exposed arms. My bare shoulders felt cool against the thick air. We were waiting for the rest of his family to find us, killing time by critiquing passers-by and their wardrobe choices. "I love you" had not yet been spoken, though I was sure it was forthcoming. Every remotely romantic occasion that presented itself provided an opportunity to say the words, in my mind at least. We gave up making fun of poorly dressed tourists and took to chatting with one another about nothing in particular. I looked him in the eyes, staring into his hazel colored irises, sure that the moment we were sharing was romantic enough to say those three little words. Say it, I willed, looking into his eyes. Just say it.

"Stop looking for it," he said softly, staring back at me.

His question caught me off guard. I broke from his gaze and looked off past him, tucked my hair behind my ear in a self-concious move and shrugged my shoulders with a laugh. "Me? What? What do you mean, 'stop looking for it?'"

"You know." His smile was soft, sweet, but his eyes were investigating me.

"No, I don't, Billy. What do you mean?"

He was quiet for a minute and forced me to look at him. "You know. Just stop." His tone was reassuring, but I didn't know what he meant.

I hounded him for hours to tell me what he'd meant. "Nothing. God. I just said it," he'd reply definsively. I made up my mind to believe that he meant that I needn't gaze into his eyes and beg him to tell me that he loved me; that he did, and I don't have to search for it.

I had forgotten about that moment until Sunday. Sprawled out on top of his bedsheets and trying to figure out which movie we wanted to select from his waiting arsenal, we shared a sweet little moment. I'd missed him so much that I couldn't stop looking at him, tracing his face with my vision, memorizing the curve of his cheek and the slope of his nose. He caught me staring and our eyes locked. We sat, unmoving, for minutes, a faint smile hiding in the corners of each of our mouths.

And, again, he said it. Soft and sweet, with his hand on my face: "Stop looking for it."

"For what?" I plead. "You told me in Florida that you didn't mean anything by that. And, obviously, you did because you've said it again."

He refused to give me an explaination, laughing as he curled up into my collarbone.

"Billy," I persisted, "tell me."

We've come a long way since our vacation to Florida, and I was fairly certain that it was safe to tell me what he'd meant months ago, and now again. I kept badgering until he relented, sighing into my bare skin.

He told me that, when I look at him like that, it seems like I'm looking for something I think he's hiding; like I don't trust him, or believe what he says to me, and I'm looking for the true him, the one that will hurt me. He said it seems like I'm waiting for him to say "Fooled ya;" To stop looking for that.

My lip quivered with the threat of tears. I couldn't believe that he'd seen that in me. I silently thanked God that his face was beneath my own, that he couldn't see my moist eyes.

"Am I right?"

I hesitated, waiting for the quivering in my voice to subside. I answered carefully, measuring my words and cautious of the slightest shake. "Well...sort of. But it doesn't have the negative spin that you put on it."

"I didn't say it was negative."

Tears slipped from my eyes. Who notices that sort of thing? Who cares enough to see that I'm scared, to know that I want it to last but terrified that it won't, to see the fear in me that it is, after all, too good to be true.

"It's not that I'm looking for proof that you're not truthful, I'm looking for the...for...reassurance, I guess. That it is true. God, no one has ever been so god to me."

"But, baby, you deserve to be treated well," he said, like it was a fact, not just his opinion.

"I guess I just kind of feel like it''re...too good to be true. And, yeah, I guess I am sort of waiting for the gotcha!"

And it's true. I can't quite believe that it's real. That I've actually found someone who always wants to see me, who takes the time to tell me thank you for putting dishes in the washer and who thinks to tell me, for no reason at all, that he thinks I'm beautiful. I can't really believe that I've found someone who will drive twenty minutes out of his way and into the middle of nowhere to visit me on his day off at my new job, just to bring me coffee and see my new space. I can't believe that I've found a man who listens to me when I'm confused about work and life and love, who doesn't make me feel like I'm whining or wasting his time. I can't believe that I've found a man who is all I've ever wanted and more.

He keeps telling me to stop looking for the catch, but I don't know when that'll happen. I don't know when the awe will finally wear off and I'll understand that he's not too good to be true; that he is true, he is real, and he's mine.

Saturday, December 03, 2005


I'm sitting in Billy's house, waiting for him to get home after a week's absence. When I walked in earlier, I tried to remember what it was like coming here for the first time, four months ago. I have what I've written here to remind me what those first days were like, but there's little else beyond my memory to tell me what was going through my head then. I no longer keep a private journal, and the days where I wrote long and detailed notes to friends are, unfortunately, long gone.

I remember being nervous, unsure of what to expect. I remember the cotton mouth I had as I followed him in my car through Milford and into his driveway. I remember sitting with him on his couch, fearful that there were sweat stains beneath the arms of my Tshirt because of the midsummer heat outside. I remember wondering what he expected, and hoping he wasn't going to try to bed me that day...And trying to figure out how I'd be able to say no. I remember walking around the house on "the tour," him casually pointing at the mammoth paintings he'd created, and being altogether floored by his talent. I remember him falling asleep on my chest after we'd stretched out to take in a movie on HBO. I remember him telling me stories about his days in the Peace Corps in Africa, little stories about the art classes he taught and the people he met there. I remember liking him more with each passing moment. I remember being surprised when he invited me to stay the night and that I accepted. I was even more surprised that when he said "Maybe you should sleep over," he actually meant only sleep. I remember that, in typical female fashion, I thought it was sweet that he didn't try to go any further than goodnight kisses as I settled into sleep next to him, but wondering, at the same time, why he didn't try. I remember making the conscious decision to not wash my face before bed, in hopes that I'd still be made up when I woke in the morning. I remember looking something like a raccoon when I saw myself in the mirror next morning, and furiously rubbing at the mascara beneath my eyes to make myself somewhat presentable. I remember that he had to work that day. We drove into town together, to buy coffee at Turkey Hill. I remember trying to act casual, but was shocked when he kissed me in the parking lot, right in the middle of Milford. I remember smiling all the way home, and waiting for the call he promised to make to plan our evening. I remember that he called exactly when he said he would.

It's strange to think back on that now...In some ways, it seems likes ages ago, like we became a couple well before August. He's such a huge part of my life now that I can scarcely recall what my days were like before him. But in other ways, it feels like we only just begun. I still wait anxiously for my phone to ring with a call from him. I still get giddy when I see his name. I still can't wait to see him, and I still get butterflies when he walks into the room. I still watch him with the eyes of a thirteen year old with a crush.

I missed him like crazy this week. I wanted nothing more than to come home to him after my first day of work. I wanted his reassurance, the amazing support he so freely offers. I wanted his hands and his arms, his lips and his smile, but all I had was his voice over a cell phone with poor reception.

He's due home in just about an hour, and these last sixty minutes will feel endless. Sleep is nipping at my heels, but I'm too excited for an early evening nap. Because even though I'm exhausted from a Friday night Christmas party that somehow weaved its way into Saturday morning, followed by a half-day of work at the new job, the anticipation of seeing him tonight after so long without him is keeping me eager and awake.

Friday, December 02, 2005


It's my second day at the new job...I work in an office with two other people. Both of them left.

That leaves just me. In a new office that I know nothing about.

A customer just came in, full of questions, and I had nothing to offer her. No information, no knowledge, no help. Just a broken-record response of "I'm not sure," and "I can have someone call you when they return." I heard her moving about the space in the office, asking barely audible questions and answering them herself. "I wonder if this comes in another color...I don't know," I heard her mock. I wanted to sink into the wall.

Other than the fact that I am completely useless as of right now, things are going well. I think I'll really enjoy it, once I get around to getting taught how things work. The field is entirely new to me, as is the job I'll be doing...So I have to get over the idea I had that I could just come right in and pick it up. I have to remind myself that I'll actually have to learn this. I'm trying not to let it frustrate me that I'm a completely clean slate. I'm trying to keep my mind open. I hate not knowing what's going on, I hate that I don't know anything here. I hate that I have to be taught. It seems overwhelming and intimidating one minute, then ridiculously simple the next. I find myself thinking "I'm never going to understand any of this," then "God, this is going to be so freakin' simple. Why can't I just get it?" I have to keep reminding myself that it's new, that I knew nothing about banking seven years ago when I walked in on my first day. That the idea of coming here in the first place was to learn something new for the purpose of making more money.

But it's hard to learn anything new when the only two other people that work with you are gone, won't be back for three hours. I want to know everything NOW. Because that's how I am. Hopelessly impatient.

But don't let my frustrations fool you. I've made the right choice. I just have to remember it's going to take a little while before I become a pro. The intention was never for me to walk in here automatically aware of all that goes on.

But as for right now, I have to end this post and try to figure out Quickbooks on my own.