… but

I once dated this guy whose entire relationship with me was a massive train wreck from start to finish. People who’ve known me a long time know who this is, and they know precisely what I’m talking about because they watched said train wreck — it was on their 24/7 Mary news channel, it had casualties, fatalities, there was a lot of blood and gore. People who haven’t known me long enough to hear about this guy, you’re pretty lucky, and you won’t be hearing much about him ever, so that interest of yours that has piqued? Simmer it down.

Anyhow, one day he told me that he heard a song on the radio that made him think of me (this wasn’t the exact conversation but this also isn’t a non-fiction essay, and I do what I want), and the lyrics to the chorus are:

“You can’t always get what you want / but you get what you need”

I love sweet nothings.

I’d hit a point with this guy that my feelings didn’t get hurt all that much because I was so desensitized to it, and there was something really funny about it. He thought he was being sweetly romantic, telling me this really awful story, and instead, he was being a mega douchebag, and he didn’t even realize it. I mean, just totally clueless to the fact that you don’t tell your girlfriend stuff like that.

This blog post isn’t actually about him, I promise. Digging up old relationships in blogs is an uncomfortable thing for people — you can pretend all you want that you don’t talk about them with your friends, but yeah of course you do because you’re a human being — but blogs are where you’re supposed to be the best, unweathered version of yourself. You haven’t gone through stuff because your life is so damn perfect. I mean, I think that’s the point, but I started an entire blog focusing on the low points of my life, so clearly I missed the mark somewhere.

I think about that conversation a lot (not to be confused with thinking about him or our relationship because that ship sailed about seven years ago, and then, like the Titanic, it fell to the depths of the ocean floor).The sadness that he thought that he needed to be with me because it was what he needed, despite wanting to be with someone else because it was what he wanted. The hilarity that he shared such a thing with me to my face like it was something I would want to hear or be able to fix (dude, if you don’t really want me, then you probably shouldn’t have me is all I’m saying kthxbai). And, most of all, how utterly untrue it is.

That always word is a tricky little guy — English professors are forever telling students to not use the always or the never words because y’all don’t know, and standardized tests are laden with it to screw you up, make you fail, not get into college, become a deadbeat, live in your parent’s basement, become morbidly obese, never see the light of day again, become a pod person (I don’t like standardized tests).

The song may ring true, but the sentiment of tying it to an interpersonal relationship may (hopefully) not. When I met Husband five years ago (holy crap we’ve been together five years now — HA in your faces, people who thought we’d be divorced by now), I got exactly what I wanted, and the real cherry on top was that he was precisely what I needed as well. And I’d like to think that I fit both the want/need columns for him (he does seem to be very fond of me).

I can’t help but feel like the degradation of relationships these days is in part due to Kim Kardashian the fact that people think they can’t always get what they want, but they get what they need. To quote Geico, “That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works!” There are a lot of instances in my life where I live the standard of “good enough” (DIY crafts, family meals, ironing my husband’s dress shirts, filling in my eyebrows), but marriage isn’t one of them. Little girls don’t sit in their rooms, playing with dolls, and imagining an adult life filled with good enough — they imagine perfection and happiness and joy and laughter and the opportunity for symbiosis (despite not knowing what that is at the time). Is marriage that way all the time? Ha. No. Not even kind of (just last night, Husband and I got in a big argument over my becoming a “Destiny” widow ever since he hooked his stupid headset to his PS4 controller and becoming friends with numerous strangers across the nation). But at the end of the day, when tempers have cooled down, when we force ourselves out of our selfish behavior, he’s still what I want and I’m still what he wants.

Image courtesy juxtapost.com

Image courtesy juxtapost.com

I suppose it was good my ex made the correlation of me and that song so we could get out of the mess we were making (if not spurned by him then me because he might be an idiot but I am not). Because I might not deserve being a princess or living in a house cleaned by other people or having a restaurant-quality kitchen, but I am absolutely and undeniably deserving of what I need and want. So I guess my alteration to the song, when thinking of a relationship, would be: “You can always get what you want / and you get what you need.”

A Message to the Girls of the World

I’m thirty, which to some of you is painfully old (like your parents) and to some not too bad. But one thing is certain: I’ve experienced a lot of stuff in these thirty years, despite you thinking perhaps we old folk don’t get it (we do).

Being a grown up is both enjoyable and adversely terrible. Like, you can take naps, but it’s kind of frowned upon by some, and if you take one too late or too long, your body clock is thusly screwed up for the next month. And you have to pay for everything, which let me tell you is a mega bummer. Your mom isn’t around to clean the house, so unless you’re fine with living in squalor, you have to clean it. Every week. Dishes: the bane of our existence. Even with a dishwasher, trust me. They’re just always there no matter what.

PAP smears suck about as much as you assume they do. The key is never have sex and then you can get one every three years (I’m kind of kidding but also kind of not because seriously no one likes to go to the OB/GYN). Sometimes you just don’t want to wear a bra, in which case don’t. You’ll find that home becomes wherever the pants aren’t — they’re the first thing to come off, and I don’t say that in a crude, sexual manner. I mean it in an “Adults hate to wear pants” way.

Don’t let yourself go when you get married. I’m not sure if this is a myth or reality, but it seems to happen all the time (I started to let myself go on the honeymoon, which God bless my husband for sticking around this long). I don’t mean to stress about your weight or your hair or your makeup or your clothes, but trust me: you feel better about yourself and your day when you’re clean and are wearing real clothes rather than sweats. Leggings are real clothes, I kid you not. Invest in several pairs because they’re like sweats but not. If you find a guy who wants you to always have long hair, ditch him.

Image  courtesy of pinterest.com

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

I’ve put Husband through the ringer with all my many hairstyles, and there have definitely been some he hated. Guess what: he didn’t divorce me, and he still kissed me when he got home from work. We may have come to an agreement that such hairstyles won’t make an appearance again forever awhile, but in all reality, I wasn’t particularly crazy about them either (don’t tell him. He’ll get a big head.)

If you find a man who makes you forget yourself, tells you what to do, makes you feel lonely, hates the things you love to do, doesn’t support every single hobby you ever try out, even the lame ones everybody knows won’t work out — if he seems to only love you conditionally, if you can’t fart in front of him, if you’re worried about what he’ll think when you take off your makeup and slide in your night guard, HE. IS. NOT. THE. ONE. Look, I get it, you’re hardwired and built to have a companion all the days of your eternity, so you just wanna be with someone all the time and snuggle. I got married about six years later than I thought I might in high school (high school Mary was really eager and hopeful), and I’m glad I had to wait. It helped me weed out the idiots and hone in on exactly what I didn’t want, so when I met Husband, it was quick and painless.

Men can still be as awful as boys and teenagers, and there’s something inherently worse about that because they’re grown ups, so they should know better. Chances are, they were raised by their mothers to become gentlemen, and they just missed the mark. Heartbreak is inevitable.

Enjoy making out now because when you get married, it’s basically never going to happen.

If you want the cookie, eat the damn cookie. I went a stretch counting calories and measuring my food, and sure the end results were freakin awesome, but I was truly miserable the entire thing. Just remember: portion control. Eat what you want, just a little less of it as you get older. Because trust me when I say you’ll turn 23, and your metabolism rate will give up the ghost. Exercise in the way you want to — if you hate running, then seriously don’t run. I mean, really. Life is way too short to spend a portion of your day in the gym doing something that makes you unhappy (even if it’s making you chemically overjoyed. Endorphins aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.)

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

Money will get tight at some point in your life, unless you marry an heir/heiress who is just independently wealthy. Being forced to live budget-friendly will help you out for the rest of your life, even though it feels awful at the time, but DO NOT under any circumstances, buy store brand cheese. You can save money elsewhere — cheese is not the place to do it. Same goes for butter, unless, I suppose, you’re allergic to lactose. I’m so, so, so sorry. Cheese is what will get you through every single hard time, so splurge a little. Buy the Tillamook.

Even when you’re a grown up, you’ll be able to sense when people don’t like you. Don’t let this deter you — be nice, always, and surround yourself with people who think you’re as great as you think they are. Find others who laugh at all your jokes, like all your Facebook status updates, and go to all the movies your husband won’t (chick flicks, documentaries, based on true stories, dramas, Jane Austen, etc. If it doesn’t blow up, he’s not going to want any part of it.) Sometimes adults form mini cliques. It’s just a human thing.

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

This will become easier the older you get. I promise.

Despite what a lot of people say (and I assume they do this to snow themselves and everyone around them), sometimes people have pretty perfect lives. Their houses are big and clean, their cars are nice, their kids are well-behaved, their marriages are great. Don’t let anyone else’s life affect yours. It’s an attitude thing, you get me? If you want a happy life, be happy, and things will work themselves out. You might be thirty years old, living in a condo you’re renting that has mold along some of the windows and an upstairs neighbor who floods your laundry room and entryway. You might really suck at vacuuming and dusting, and you might drive modest cars because that’s what you can afford. Doesn’t mean your life is any less perfect than someone else’s. So applaud the frenemy who started her own blog, the one who got married at a big venue, the one whose husband makes $150k/year. We all need to stick together and help a sister out. It’s cool if their lives are different from yours. Different never means better or worse. Ever.

And remember:

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

Dating. It sucks.

After writing one of my most recent posts about my first ever break-up that occurred when I was about 8 years old, I started thinking about my dating history as a whole. It only took me about ten minutes because prior to meeting Husband, I think I went on about fifteen dates my entire life and had only one other serious relationship, but that’s all moot. Because the first few minutes were undoubtedly colorful and magnificent.

Let’s talk about blind dates for just a minute. Blind dates are probably the dumbest societal creation of all time (no, wait, that might actually be “Jersey Shore”) — you rely on your friends, who are probably either equally as single as you and therefore just as jaded or super married and therefore stuck in the love bubble, making them as distracted as toddlers in Disneyland, to find a suitable mate for you. This is a bad, bad plan. Things that make it worse: relying on college roommates.

Photo courtesy of gettyimages.com I've never known anyone to have roommates like this.

Photo courtesy of gettyimages.com
I’ve never known anyone to have roommates like this.

So this one time, my three roommates, who were about as opposite as me as other people could be and still maintain similar gender and species, and I came up with this brilliant plan. We’d have a group date (red flag #1 because they were not exactly the types of girls I wanted to spend any sort of evening with) and choose each other’s dates. Brilliant. Nothing could possibly go wrong here. As it turned out, the three of them had men they were either dating or interested in, so the choices were more or less theirs. I, on the other hand, was kind of stumped.

Or maybe I wasn’t — there’s the possibility that one of them asked the guy I wanted and he wasn’t interested/available. I can’t really remember.

And then once we chose each other’s mates, who would probably end up eternal and everlasting, we would also choose each other’s dinners (SO MUCH FUN! SO NOVEL! Utah is weird.) and come back to the apartment to eat and have oodles of fun. Oodles of it.

Photo courtesy of gettyimages.com I've never known anyone to have a blind date like this either.

Photo courtesy of gettyimages.com
I’ve never known anyone to have a blind date like this either.

I certainly had my reservations about my Utahn roommate, who pronounced the city from where she came “Hurrrr-i-ken” (Hurricane) and had so much Utah accent that my parents had to hold an intervention to get it out of me that following summer, but I figured she knew me well enough that she’d make, at the very least, a mediocre choice. She knew I was from the suburbs of Oregon, she knew I preferred city life, she knew that  I was remarkably extroverted, and she knew I was liberal beyond belief, so there was no way I’d end up with a guy like …

… a fellow in a cowboy hat, wearing Wranglers and cowboy boots, with a tendency to be a slow, slow speaker. Also an introvert.

Photo courtesy of gettyimages.com

Photo courtesy of gettyimages.com

*SPOILER ALERT: we did not go out again.*

The date was unquestionably one of my most awkward; it didn’t take us very long to realize we were on very opposite ends of all spectrums in regards to everything, and his lack of conversation mixed with my lack of interest carrying on a conversation by myself made for a lot of uncomfortable silence. I don’t even remember his name. But I remember those cowboy boots. They were kind of rad, actually, but he didn’t strike me as the type of guy who wore cowboy boots to be rad.