Archive | June, 2010

MFLM sunburn (I mean, tan)

29 Jun

I actually caught myself texting the following to one of my girlfriends earlier this week: “I think my butt is sore from not getting off it yesterday.”  I unfortunately was not joking.  But it is not like I was sitting on my couch in the dark living room staring at a wall all day.  I have a very valid excuse…it’s called the “my fiancé left me tan.”

On this particular occasion, I had been on a friend’s roof deck celebrating her birthday with a few other friends and lots of food and beer.  The problem is that enough people were there so technically very little need existed for me to get up.  Someone was always heading to the cooler or excited to pour another round of mimosas under the cabana.  And given the recent hit to my self-esteem, it really is just essential that I get as much sun as I can during the weekends this summer.

The MFLM tan joke / reality did not start so light-heartedly obviously.  In those first few days, the farthest I ventured was east a few avenues to a park along the river.  I just sat on a bench staring at the dirty water, crying and muttering the same thing over and over to whoever was lucky enough to be with me at the moment.  I wasn’t paying attention to the sun, let alone that it was burning the hell out of my skin, so hence, I got a bit crispy that first week.  One of my poor friends fell victim as well but it turned into quite a lovely tan so really I was doing her a favor by moping around like that.  Two weeks later in Shelter Island, I sealed the deal with the MFLM tan.  I guess there are benefits to not wanting to get off a reclining lawn chair sometimes.  I think I might be a little obsessed now (but I promise I use a lot of sunscreen mom!).  Let’s call a spade a spade: EVERYONE looks better with a tan.

There is one major downside of the MFLM tan.  Acquaintances and people at work forget when my wedding was supposed to be and ask if I’m this tan for the wedding.  How do I reply?  Umm, not exaaaactly….   (Here is where I uncomfortably exit the conversation in tears.)  One of my more quickly recovering colleagues gets bonus points for her response: “Well you look great if you ever want to go out!”

Someone said to me that they never thought they’d see the day that I’d be so tan in June.  Oddly enough, I never thought I’d see the day my fiancé left me.  Touché!

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A card a day helps keeps the heartache away

27 Jun

My parents, and home, are about 400 miles away and although it is easy enough to travel back and forth, it does require a flight, a trip through security at the airport and a weekend bag.  My brother is much farther, halfway around the world and 11 hours ahead of me which means by the time I’ve had a bad day, it’s already a new one for him.

My mother regularly sends cards; as a true upstate mother, these cards are often of the “Who loves you? (note: owls on front of card) …I do!  That’s Who!  Who!” variety.  My father is more of a phone guy, and although it took me days to be able to get on the phone with him, I can actually get through a conversation now without crying.  My brother, while traveling through Thailand and from the jungles of Laos, managed to find shaky internet and the guts to Skype me.   (For the record, he promised me a REALLY good present when he gets back to the states this fall and I’m holding him to it.)

As consumed as I am with my own overwhelming emotions, I am thinking tonight about the feelings of those around me.  While their focus these past few weeks has obviously been me, my fiancé didn’t just leave me; he left our friends and the life we shared with them.  All those miles away I am sure my family is experiencing utter disappointment.  Not disappointment in me, but disappointment for the life they thought I was building.  Disappointment that my fiancé wasn’t the man they thought he was or the man who told them he would always take care of me.

No matter how far away they are, it is comforting to know that my family and friends at home send their warmest thoughts my way every day.  I came home a few nights ago to a great card from a friend.  It made me a bit emotional (that may have been aided by the margaritas I had with friends after work…) but thank you to this friend.  I know the quote in this card must be true; I am just waiting for my head and heart to catch up!

“Sometimes it’s so hard to put the past behind us…

We’ll remember something and before we know it, our spirits start to sink again.

But you know what?  The past is old business and that’s over and done with.

But your future is a whole different matter.

You have the right to be happy, and you have the power to start shaping your life into what you want it to be.

You are a strong person and I know what you’re capable of once you make up your mind.

I know that your future is going to be wonderful. You deserve nothing less than living happily ever after.”

(Linda Lee Elrod)

Daily pep talk

25 Jun

As I’m getting ready to leave the office today with another week successfully behind me (note: my definition of “success” has drastically changed in the last few weeks), one of my friends just sent me this quote:

“When I wake up in the morning, I feel just like any other insecure 24-year-old girl. Then I say, ‘Bitch, you’re Lady Gaga, you get up and walk the walk today.'”

(– Lady Gaga, on her daily pep talk to Rolling Stone)

I might not be 24-years-old and I might not be Lady Gaga (belting out Bad Romance with my girlfriends doesn’t count apparently) BUT here’s to getting through another week.

Facebook says it’s official

24 Jun

This is going to age me but when my last serious relationship ended, I really only had the heartache of seeing my ex-boyfriend’s AIM screen name on my buddy list.  In today’s world of social networking and online communities though, it is much harder to clear your everyday of an ex.  If you think about it, Facebook is just plain mean.  It doesn’t hide anything…new friends, pictures, comments about your personal life, a new job, new interests, new hobbies.  Facebook caused me to have an almost meltdown earlier this week when it suggested I “reconnect” with my ex-fiancé .  I have no intention of writing on his wall, Facebook – so back off!  Twitter?  Even worse.  Who wants to know exactly where an ex is and what they’re doing?  What if you live in the same neighborhood?  Great, now I can’t go to the grocery store because YOU’RE there?

My ex-fiancé does not keep his status updated regularly; however this is not necessarily true for the 49 friends we have in common online.  I could probably find out what he was up to if I wanted to but even on my worst days, I just don’t care.  On the flipside of that, I’m pretty active in the social media space.  Do I really want him to know that I’m out of town for the weekend or celebrating a friend’s birthday?  I’m sure the healthy thing to do is “unfriend” or stop following an ex…but let’s be honest, can I really do that right now?  What is this hold that social media sites have over us?  My wedding has been cancelled, our apartment is being vacated and all other forms of communication have ended but somehow blocking him on Facebook and Twitter seems too far out there to consider just yet?  I’m sure I will get there eventually but for now Facebook and Twitter should really think about my feelings the next time I log in.

Gone Clammin’

21 Jun

It has become an annual tradition that my girlfriends and I get out of the city each summer to invade Shelter Island, where a lucky set of parents get the joy of our company for a long weekend.  Heartbroken or not, there was no reason to change our plans this year and we (okay, they – I couldn’t get off the couch two weeks ago) planned to go out a bit earlier than usual this summer.  Like pronto…aka this past weekend.  We hopped in my friend’s car, a NYC luxury, and were off.  Honestly, what is more therapeutic than belting out Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance while speeding down the Long Island Expressway with three friends?   Okay, Break Your Heart is a very close second (“Only gonna break break your break break your heart…!”); who knew a song featuring Ludacris could be so healing?

Sunbathing with mimosas, swimming, kayaking, playing cornhole (“It’s an old cornhole injury!”), getting out on the boat and eating way too much (“Yes please, Mr. my-friend’s-father, I will have a hot dog AND a cheeseburger!”) are pretty much par for the fabulous course here.  This year however I got to try something new as well….clam digging!

I should preface this with the fact that I am, in general, terrified of all water wildlife.  Sure, it’s a joke that I’m scared of sharks (who isn’t?!) but I’m probably also the only person on the planet who gets creeped out by goldfish and dolphins.  I can happily report though that there were no sharks or dolphins – I didn’t even see any fish – off the coast of Shelter Island this weekend, greatly improving my first clamming experience.

Sporting my new retail therapy bathing suit, I jumped off the back of the boat and yelped a little in response to the cold water.  My friend found a clam that I could run my foot over to see exactly what I was feeling for and then I got right to work.  It took me 10 minutes of doing the “clam dance” – a swirly hip dance that should be exaggerated at all cost while you drag your feet along the bay’s floor – but then I felt it…my first clam.  After a few minutes of digging with my toes (oh, my poor pedicure!) I had that sucker out.  But then I remembered I would have to go under to pick it up.  After a bit of hesitation (hey, that water was cold!) I did it.  My fellow “clammers” cheered and clapped as I came up with my first clam!  It did not take long for the six of us to fill up our first basket with clams and after unloading back at the boat, my friend’s father brought a few Bud Lights back with him.  I couldn’t help but comment that we must look like some crazy cult, “dancing” in the bay with our arms up, one hand gripping a frosty brew.  (For the record, by this point two of the girls thought they were in a rap video, sunbathing on the front of the boat with a bottle of champagne between them.)  We ended up catching 167 clams…or as one of the girls would say, “a bajillion!”  Our clamming efforts were rewarded with a big container of stuffed clams to take home, which obviously made ruining my pedicure completely worth it.

Clamming was a fun, new experience and between the swimming, kayaking and sunburn, I can barely walk today.  Thank you Shelter Island for kicking my butt this weekend and reminding me that it’s possible to have a good time!

Get out your credit card, we’re going to Duane Reade!

17 Jun

If there is anything that I can say is “unfortunate” about my closest group of friends, it is that my recent broken engagement is only one in a long line of life-altering events that we’ve had to go through.  But every terrible thing has only ever brought us closer together.  I’ve learned that when life throws the meanest of curve balls our way, we don’t blink.  We simply and automatically fly into recovery mode.

Now recovery mode does not mean we necessarily know the right or appropriate thing to do.  Because we don’t.  Instead, we jump in head and heart first and figure it out as we go.  While I could write a month’s worth of posts on just how incredible my girls have been, I always go back to that first night they rushed to my aid.  (I even catch myself cracking a smile when I think about it sometimes!)

In the interest of getting me off the couch and enticing me to eat more than four grapes, I was dragged to a low-key sushi place by my apartment.  We sat in the corner and tried not to make too much of a scene while I cried my eyes out.  I did not want dumplings or edamame or miso soup.  But I did apparently want a glass of wine.  So in a way that only true friends can, they bribed me with the promise of that coveted glass of chilled white wine… I only had to “take one more bite” for it.  It worked.  What can I say?  I love wine.

In order to stay out of the apartment that I had shared with my fiancé just 24 hours prior a bit longer, we then made our way to Duane Reade.  Have you ever seen 4 girls with no idea how to comfort the 5th in Duane Reade?  I think they bought half the store.  I remember thinking for days afterwards “Where did this come from?” or “When did I buy Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches?”  Oh yeah, we must have picked it up at Duane Reade.

This post is a shout out to these ladies – you know who you are!  In the two and a half weeks since my world came crashing in, they have been my saving grace.  They all check in with me daily (okay, hourly some days…) and whether they’ll admit it or not, I know they have a secret rotating scheduling to make sure I never have to be by myself.  I have a tough several months ahead of me but I know they’ll be there…whether to talk, cry, share a glass of wine or make a trip to Duane Reade.

Saying it out loud makes this real

14 Jun

I do not want to give the misperception that this blog will be negative or sad; however, I am just going to come out and say it: 14 days ago my fiancé left me.

It happened very quickly and I do not have many answers.  No, I did not see the warning signs.  Yes, I now spend the overwhelming majority of my day going through every second of the last 3 months.

While I most often feel as though I am watching myself in some surreal, sick twist of fate – because this can’t possibly be me or my life – there are several things I know:

  • While this is hard to accept now when my heart is breaking, it must ultimately be for the best that I did not marry and spend my life with someone that could hurt me this much.
  • The love and support of my friends will undoubtedly be what gets me through this.  These friends always bring cocktails.  They are right that I want to eventually look back at this time not only as the toughest in my life, but also as when I found the courage to take on new adventures.
  • This is the only time I will make such a direct comment to my ex-fiancé: it was not appropriate to say “I know I am probably making the biggest mistake of my life” when you left.  Further, we did not “break up”.  You left me and called off our wedding.  Please own the decision you made and understand the enormity of that decision on my life.
  • Life will go on (and I have started to actually believe this on a good day!)  That is why my blog will not be negative, depressing or vindictive.  It will be about friendship, new adventures, moving forward, challenges along the way.

So in response to the question I posed to my best friend when this first happened 14 days ago – “What does one do when their fiancé leaves them?” – here is my answer…Unwedded Bliss.

Here is to what I have to believe is a new, more-meant-to-be future!

Thank you for joining me on this adventure!