Sunday, November 29, 2015


What a wonderful Thanksgiving I had this year!  At first it looked as if it might be a little sad, no kids - they had to work, no Mr. Hopeful or  Mr. Practical, or She of Little Combat Boots, or That Guy, but they all have family obligations.  But there was one bright spot in an otherwise very lonely five days off--The Poet In My Heart was once again this year, available.  And when she heard my plans of taking myself out to eat at a five star restaurant and spoiling myself all day, well she couldn't resist bringing her small son with her to the Windy City and joining me. 

It was a fast moving fun filled mini tour of some of my favorite places to chill in the city.  Since we had her son along and we had very little time, they only got to witness a couple of places and the very tip of the iceberg of shops at Lincoln Square.  There is so much to see, and do, we will never run out of fun here.  And since this is the second year in a row that we have spent Thanksgiving together, thanks to the wonderful waitstaff at my English Pub on Wednesday night, we are now calling it Friendsgiving and celebrating together every year.  Old traditional at her place, new traditional at mine. 

She loved my English Pub, and we fed ourselves with the fish and chips and traditional english beers and ciders.  The ambiance there is that of a relaxing wealthy friends living room, with all dark woods and private corners.  The bar is welcoming and there is even a reading room in the back.  My kind of place.  The rest of the night was spent gabbing together in my internest, which you really have to see to believe.  It felt so good to catch up in person.  I miss hearing her voice and laughing together. 

Then on Thanksgiving, with tummies rumbling, we arrived at Eddie V's an hour early to our reservation, hoping to be seated, as we had a very hungry little one.  And of course they did.  Beautiful place, outstanding service, and a scrumptious menu.  If you've never gone to an Eddie V's I highly recommend it.  The dinning area was dimly lit but expertly so.  With the ability to see the entire room but your focus remained on the table and your company.  Cream linens and dark woods and cool white Christmas lights were the accessory.  Our server was an expert in his field, I have never been so spoiled and so richly treated, and I've dined as some pretty expensive restaurants in both LA and New York.  But this young man knew how to direct his staff, and make our dining experience seem like he was just there for us.  Now I saw him with other tables, but I was not wanting for a thing.  And his timing was perfection.  Never once did he ask me a question with my mouth full, he anticipated with grace and real care.  AND all this on a HOLIDAY.  When I'm sure he had places to be and probably couldn't wait to get there. But you would have never known it.  A real professional.  With all that, the star was meant to be the food, and it was.  We had come just for the chief's special Thanksgiving meal, Sliced Turkey with Brioche Stuffing, Pan Gravy with Mirepoix Brunoise, Baby French Green Beans with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Glazed Acorn Squash, Cranberry Sauce, Mashed Potatoes.  We were stuffed and saved at least one normal sized serving each for later.  Also opting out of the pumpkin pie with praline sauce, we went for the dessert chief's house special, HOT "BANANAS FOSTER" BUTTER CAKE, Butter Pecan Ice Cream.  Now it was hot because they set it ON FIRE table side.  You should have seen her son's eyes when he lit it up.  And it was a traditional southern butter cake, so moist, so good.  The Poet In My Heart declared it was better than sex. And I smiled, thinking of him, and not necessarily agreeing.  But it was a damn good dessert.  

Unfortunately once we finished and got home, my upper respiratory infection that was getting a little be better, decided to get really bad very quickly.  We cut our visit a little short so I would rest my voice.  Perhaps it was due to being out in the rain, perhaps it was just working so hard the last two weeks while being sick, that it finally just got to me.  But I lost my voice.  Completely.  And it stayed gone all day Friday, and Saturday.  It is now starting to come back, little by little. and thankfully all the rest of my symptoms are down to a low roar.  Cough is almost gone and still sniffly but no pressure or real congestion.  I hope to feel even better tomorrow, and don't have to return to work until Tuesday.  Anything I have to do can wait another day, rest is what I need and what I can give myself.  

Here's hoping you all were able to be with your friends on Friendsgiving, weather those people are blood or not, they are your family.  Cheers

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Communications and Opinions

Its true, I love to talk.  I love to exchange ideas, and discuss everything with my best and closest.  From the weather to 'Did you hear what he did now?' to world events and event the big three that always start arguments, sex, religion and politics.  Now I'm not one of those who is always right.  Yes, I'm confident, and yes a confident woman is almost always looked at as either a bitch or a know it all.  And I've come to grips with always being misunderstood with men in this area.  Women get me much better, but even then, because as women we've all run into the smiling back stabber, we don't trust.  And I've been the smiling back stabber too.  But that's ancient history. 

What I'm discovering harder and harder to find is other like minded individuals that can have an intelligent conversation, either in person or on line, about anything, and not get offended and stop talking.  Now I don't know whats wrong with me.  Maybe I just don't get as angry as the next guy, although I do have a temper.  I know I take things too personally sometimes, so it can't be that.  So maybe it's that I just assume that everyone else is like me.  That they want to hear my opinion as much as I want to hear theirs.  Just to get to know them.  Find out if we're like minded.  If we aren't, move along.  I'm not trying to change peoples mind because I don't knuckle under to your opinion if it differs from mine.  I'm also not trying to change your opinion if mine is different, just get the equal time to state it.  Are the generations alive on the planet now so coddled that they can't have a disagreement between friends and remain friends?  It makes me wonder. 

Now none of this is happening to me right now, but it has in the past and I watch my social medias.  I watch friends posting things that are heartfelt, always I assume things are from the heart. Or why post them?  Even humor is from the heart.  Anyway I'll see random friends unfriending others over differences of opinion and I wonder, why?  Why does it have to go to that extent.  Are we that afraid to hear someones opinion?  Are we that afraid that our minds might be changed?  So what if they are?  Isn't change good?  Isn't growth good? 

Social media has gotten to the point where everyone is in such a hurry that we forget to actually meet each other.  Most men that reach out to me go immediately to sexual innuendo or outright demands for pictures.  WOW.  Just wow.  I mean even if we are friends of friends, that doesn't give you the right to ask me that.  And what happened to meeting a person first?  I'm reminded of that classic scene in Monty Python's The Meaning Of Life where the sex education class is being asked how to get a woman going and one student suggests rubbing the clitoris, and John Cleese says, "Whats wrong with a kiss boy?!  It seems that in todays society men think it's ok to approach a woman on line, like this.  And why is that?  I can only imagine it's because we let them. 

Everytime I get one that reaches out to me, and keep in mind I'm not listed on any dating sites because I believe it's worse there, and they can't even type out a complete sentence with real words, I sigh.  What's happening to our language on line?  Too many short cuts.  Too many misunderstandings.  And 9 times out of 10 its because they can't do it.  They are so young they don't know how to actually communicate in the written word.  When it's someone that's my age I just have to shake my head, or SMH...which is also smack my head...see, I got you.  misunderstanding.

I think I miss the era when women were introduced into society, and men were taught how to court a woman with respect.  Where a courtship lasted longer than one or two conversations on line.  Where you actually met through people you both trusted and were genuine to each other with sexual tensions being allowed to build and getting to know each other intellectually was just as exciting as the physical, if not more.  Reminds me of the great love of my life.  We met slowly, through friends, and it was one of the most romantic meetings ever.  We gave ourselves a chance to talk, and dance, and share some meals together before ripping each others clothes off. 


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Can You Really Follow Your Own Advice?

I should feel blessed but most of the time I just find something to worry about.  I believe this is a learned behavior from watching my mother worry about everything.  All the time.  She was great at putting her fears into me, and this is something I saw because I was pretty good at doing this to others that I loved.  My children as well, however I still love them.  :)  But with relationships its very unfair to put your fears into them.  You should approach relationships as individual as the people involved. 

I know you think you do.  I think I do too.  But we don't.  Not if we've been hurt even once in our lives.  And we all have at least that.  Because when we've been hurt, we learn from that experience.  And we try not to make the same mistake again, so we are armed.  We are gun-shy.  We are defensive.  And we tend to make the new relationship pay for all the things the past relationships did to us.  It can express itself in many different ways.  Anger, paranoia, silence, sarcasm, nagging, jealousy, and sometimes quiet agreement.  That last one was a specialty of my moms, "Give them enough rope and they will hang themselves." She was fond of saying.  Bitter and cynical, but true. 

When you let someone else talk they will inevitably tell you everything you need to know about them.  Who they are, what they stand for, turn ons, turn offs, all of that, sure.  But they will also show you how they treat others and what they really think by how they talk about others.  But here is where we stop really listening, and let our egos somehow step in and tell us,  "Sure he cheats on her, but he would never do that to me." Or how about this one, "She says the worst things about him, but I know I can trust her with my secrets." Or this classic, "He hit her but I'm sure she'd deserved it, he'd never raise a hand to me, I'd never let him." And when we start to believe this is when we are making a mistake.  Assuming that they will treat us differently than others in their lives, because somehow we are more special to them.  This is a fallacy. 

My mom also used to say this about paranoia, "You can only be paranoid about behavior that you can imagine happening.  Therefore if you aren't capable of the same behavior, the idea never crosses your mind."  Wow.  That was eye opening.  I think she's right on one level.  Abuse is the behavior that you might not be capable of repeating once done to you.  Although there are theories that abusive husbands/wives were beaten as kids, same with childhood rape and pedophiles.  But not all.  I'm a survivor of abuse and not abusing.  Some of us get help and love and the right environment after a traumatic abuse and it stops the pattern.  Others, like me repress it until adulthood or strong enough to remember it.  In either case, these people usually are not repeaters of abuse. 

It really is a shame that we can't see our own lives and troubles as clearly as we can see others.  If we could just follow our own advice we'd be happier and healthier individuals.  Personally I believe it's harder to do than quitting smoking.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

How To Stop Your Depression and Anxiety

I've got three friends, that I know of, going through disappointment in their lives right now.   Two have been experiencing long term dissatisfaction, and the third is experiencing a new disillusionment but not an unfamiliar one.  All of these setbacks are in relationships where love is the culprit.  Sad to say this is a feeling I'm quite familiar with.  I've been disenchanted so much in my life by men that 'loved me' and that I 'loved', that I'm not sure what it feels like anymore not to expect the worst of people. 

This is my own fault because I'm responsible for my own feelings, no one else.  While I'm not blaming them for being who they are or were, I'm blaming myself more for not seeing them with all their flaws.  I suppose that's what love does, hides all our warts and makes us appealing.  If love wasn't blind perhaps the human race would never have been fruitful and multiplied. 

But that's the real kicker isn't?  When someone lets us down, it's really not that person that has done the deed.  It's us.  WE have let ourselves down.  We do this because we still have hope that the next great love (or friendship) will be different, or that the current love we are committed to will change, or see the light, if that's easier to stomach.

Because, I hate to break it to you sunshine, but people don't really change.  Except with time, and then it's usually for the worse.  See there I go again expecting the worst.  When I myself would like to think I've changed for the better.  Perhaps that's not true.  Perhaps all the hurt I've thrown upon myself, for whatever reasons that I felt I deserved it, has left me bitter and unable to trust for a reason. 

They say that the best way to fix that is to fall in love again, to have another leap of faith and just jump right back on that horse.  I've done that.  It doesn't work either.  At least not for me.  I wasn't ready to accept the love offered to me after my first disappointment, nor after my third, and consequently became regret for the men who only wanted to love me.  Not change me.  After my fourth self inflicted frustration, I felt so angry that I'd allowed anyone in again, I fell into the arms of a deep depression coupled with its favorite main squeeze, anxiety.   It makes me wonder if we ever really forgive the past.  Maybe we just walk away, forever with one eye watching our path for the other shoe to drop.  Perhaps some hurts can be so painful that we just don't know how to forgive. 

Forgetting seems like the logical solution, however, how does one forget that kind of pain?  How can we really move on from our heart being sulky and our minds in darkness?

I'll tell you how.  It's actually easier than you think.  But you have to be strong.  The first thing you have to do is forgive yourself.  And that's the hardest thing to do, even though it seems like it would be the easiest.  Its not.  No matter how much you thought the other person that let you down, wouldn't; that's nothing to understanding that you did it to yourself.  YOU are the one that let yourself down.  By putting too much stock into someone else to be responsible for your happiness.  That's right.  You have to fall in love with yourself again, and be truly happy with your own company, to really love.  Because if you believe that you would die if your love left you, then you are not loving  You are gathering possessions.  Understand that you will be just as happy as you are now with someone or without them.  That's the secret to avoiding depression and curbing anxiety.  Well it's a start anyway.  It's how I eventually got off my meds and found contentment in my life and in me as a human.  Am I perfect?  Of course not.  Do I still have things I'm trying hard to control about myself?  Sure.  Do I make the same mistakes in trust?  Yes.  But the difference now is that I'm not destroyed when disappointed.  Now when 'the love of my life' leaves me, I hold open the door for him. 

You see I don't want someone out of duty or commitment.  I want a companion that wants to be with me, for as long as they want to, and no longer.  I think this is a gift of growing older, and one I wish I had as a young woman.  If I hadn't...well you can go crazy saying things that start like that...lets try this instead.  Experience is the greatest teacher, and can help you keep your chin up and see the world as it really is.  YOURS. 

This is your life, please learn to live it for you, before it's too late.  Before you look back on it and see nothing that you wanted to do or experience.  It's taken me years to get here.  Years of putting myself second, or third or fourth or fifth, in my own life.  And I'm not talking about raising a family here, children should always come first, but sometimes it does feel like you are sacrificing so much for someone who will grow up and leave you.  Sooner than you can imagine.  Want to know a secret?  It's so worth it.  And the rewards of seeing your grown children living life and being happy is proof that you did the right thing.  And it makes my point.  You're as happy with them in your lives as you are to watch them leave the nest.  Because you love them honestly and unconditionally.  This is the mistake we make when choosing love instead of allowing love to choose us.  I used to say things like, "I'd choose better if you just blindfolded me and lined me up facing a group of men."  or  "Maybe you should choose for me."  Can you imagine having that kind of fear of failure?  Well I don't say that anymore.  Now I just live my life with myself as my best constant companion.  And if love falls all over me again, I'll accept it with open arms and include them in my journey.  (sorry for that musical pun, but I couldn't resist.)


Sunday, November 1, 2015


As an adult I'm finding it much easier to find the people of like minds and temperaments.  And I'm also finding it much easier to walk away from people that cause me stress or don't 'get me'.  I think in my youth I tried much harder for people to 'get me', and it caused me to try to 'save them' or change them.  Which they didn't desire or need.  But I was doing this because I thought I needed them.  I tried to make my tribe instead of finding it.  It seemed so much easier than actually going out and trying to make friends.  But it's wrong.  The last five years has taught me that no matter the amount of desire for a person or pleading with them to 'see the light' it just can't be done.  As the old song goes, 'People are people..." 

But I think the real reason I feel so content and happy with my solo life, is that I finally enjoy my own company.  It had always been a fear for me, a life without a tribe.  My tribe is long distance, scattered all over America, and I stay in touch often on line.  Since I know and love these people in real time, the virtual time means more than say a 'facebook friend'.  Making friends in person is scary for me.  I do much better on line.  I think. 

With that being said, I did have a lot of fun last night at my Neighborhood English Pub The Red Lion Inn - Lincoln Square - Chicago.  There was only one regular and he was coming as I was calling it a night.  But the owner and the bartender and waitstaff were once again very friendly.  And it's like my friend Benny Sweat said, "I love this place, its like being in someones really nice living room."  And the family vibe is strong there.  I always feel like I'm coming home.  Ghostbusters was on the telly, and in the back room with the Doctor Who stuff, was a Victorian crystal ball reading, a Tarot card reading and an actual Victorian Seance.  Was a very fun and scary themed night. With just the right amount of theatrics.  I met another new couple from the neighborhood and another single gal just stopping in for food to go.  Nothing really to report, except that I had a good time. 

It might not sound like much to you if you don't know me, but I have a really hard time leaving my apartment on my days off.  I try to schedule all my errands then so I have to leave otherwise I'd just stay in and write or game.  And too much solitude, no matter now enjoyable, is not good for me.  So going out alone on Halloween is one time of the year I can overcome my shyness at being around people I don't know.  Because I'm in costume.  Maybe I should just dress up in a costume every time I want to go out?  That might solve it.