living out loud

piles of life.

This weekend I addressed my life. I cleaned EVERYTHING–my car, my bathroom, my living room, my kitchen, I mopped all of my floors, I took a magic eraser sponge to all of the walls, I attacked the baseboards, AND I dusted. My muscles are in deep hate with me right now…I can’t get up off the floor without help from my 8 year old.

I did not get to my bedroom, but that’s because THIS was on the floor (where it has been going on about 1.5 months now):

This was my project today. It is 2.5 feet high, and it captures my approach to life well.

I pulled it all into my (now clean) living room. It was daunting. It taunted me in its dauntingness. It dared me to give up. But I did not, Internet. I. Did. NOT.

I separated it into three piles: mine, hers, and towels. I find, when dealing with anything that is daunting, it’s less daunting when presented to the brain in piles. I do this with most everything, even at work. Right now, I’m taking down classroom decorations…in piles. Soon, I will begin cleaning and organizing and returning borrowed materials…in piles. Later, I will decide what to keep, what to sell, what to give away, and what to trash…in piles.

Piles help me not freak out. As much.

Life Piles. If I ever write a memoir, I will title it that.

Miss M is off to her dad’s this coming week, and I’ve decided to get back to work on the story I started. Now I’m not feeling like writing a novel. I’ve started re-finishing Deborah Harkness’s The Book of Life (I love her All Souls trilogy novels–they’re like Harry Potter and Twilight novels for grown up women…they have the smartness of Harry Potter and the vampires of Twilight but without the stupid sparkles. And she’s a professor of history who is brilliant at weaving medieval facts with hot witch/vampire sex scenes. I mean, honestly, if you’ve not read these you’re missing out). At any rate, I’m completely intimidated at this point…how can I write something big and detailed and super smart like that? I can barely fold towels (see photographic evidence above).

But I still want to write the story. It’s still tugging at me. And I’m not angry anymore, so that’s important…it’s still tugging at me, but in a different way. Let me work on it this week and come back and tell you how it’s going.

Other brilliant ideas I had this week:

1-We need to teach children how to keyboard AND handwrite. If I could be in charge of schools, there’d be 90 minutes of free play recess each day, 1 keyboard/typing class per week, 1 handwriting class each week, 2 arts, 2 musics. In between, we’d read and write and do math. We’d have a philosophy class, a world history/social studies class, science projects, and at least two musicals per school year that EVERYONE had to be in, whether it was performance or production end. And we’d have storytellers visit monthly, and we’d have gardens at each school and cooking classes that would cook with what our gardens produced.

But Donald thinks Betsy DeVos is better. Because that’s how rich narcissist guys just are.

2-I went back to try again at OK Cupid because…because…I dunno. I have hope in my heart and I want a nice man to watch movies with and go on walks holding hands with. I don’t know. I spent about 4 days there. I was contacted by a man who told me I was pretty but he could tell from my bio where I said I needed to work on getting in shape that he wouldn’t want to have sex with me – he likes petite women…still (sigh), he supposed he’d be willing to take me out to dinner if I really wanted.

…I read this message and thought, well. I guess this strategy has worked for him in the past. There are probably women out there in the world who’d allow this “man” to take them to dinner, insult the crap out of them, and then sleep with him because he bought them a plate of spaghetti or something. And men wonder why women are sarcastic about them. Oh, I hear you gentlemen…I’m sure you meet plenty of gold diggers and whatnot, women who waste your time. But there’s just something especially slimy about it when a man does it. I guess because, culturally speaking, our society traditionally values chivalry and good manners. And views women as the weaker sex. And yes, when a woman allows herself to be bought with a plate of spaghetti to sleep with a man who doesn’t value her, yes. We are the weaker sex then.

At any rate, I deleted and blocked him.

But I was talking to David, who was an attractive man with a beard. He had several pictures of himself, one wearing a suit and glasses, and I am fairly powerless around the following: men with accents, blue eyes, and in suits and/or glasses. And beards. And some other things, but mostly those things. And so David and I were talking.

But then I started to feel like…gah, no. This STILL feels like a meat market that works out in the men’s favor. I reached out to about 3 men who seemed, judging by their profiles, to be real and true people. Two ignored me and one had started dating someone but forgot to take his profile down. I thanked him for being honest but urged him to take his profile down. (I didn’t say it, but I thought: because keeping it active AND responding to women who contact you, even if it’s just to say: I’m dating someone makes you look kinda skeezy.)

I’m in a really judge-y phase of life. Really, really judge-y. I don’t have time for players, skeezeballs, or jackasses. I just don’t. Be real, be kind, or be on your way. Do NOT waste my time. And online dating feels like a lot of time wasting. To me.

So I deleted my profile. But David, a fast mover, had already given me his phone number so I could call him to find out what his most favorite place on Earth is. But I don’t call men, men call me. So I’d given him MY phone number and told HIM to do the calling. But then I deleted my profile. But then David called me, and told me he was my fiancee and reminded me to call him. And that made me smile, because it just did. It felt endearing. But I wasn’t ready to call David, because I had Miss M, so I texted him…aaaaaand David, my fiancee who’d just called me 2 hours prior, didn’t remember my name. And so I dropped David. Wedding cancelled.

Two days later, David texted me again and asked when we broke up. And so I joked with David that I couldn’t marry someone who didn’t know my name. I bet him a drink he didn’t know who I was. And David responded with “Whatevs, Amy.” And so I joked further with David, asking him if I was the stacked red-head Amy he’d been talking to, the crazy brunette, or the tall blonde Amy. And you know what David did, Internet? David got offended. David got offended and went, “Well, it sounds like you really aren’t that interested so I will wish you good luck.”

And so I sent David back a note that said, “Actually how do you know I wasn’t interested? I was bantering. But I also know how those online dating websites work–right now, you’re talking to more than one woman, and it’s a very big smorgasbord for you. Which is why I deleted my profile…I decided I didn’t like the feeling of being in a gigantic dating Costco, and my heart is not a smorgasbord. So you’re correct, I guess I’m not that interested. But I’m sure you’ll find someone amazing…best of luck to you.”

And David never replied. Because David is a jackass who WAS talking to a red-head, brunette, blonde, and probably a punk rock girl with multicolored hair too, and I called him out on it. Boy bitches hate it when they get called out on their crap. And men wonder why I’m so goddamned sarcastic about them. THAT’S why, Internet. That’s why. Because there are a crap ton of Davids out there.

That’s why.

So I’m going to stay alone for awhile, a long while. I’m going to focus on reading and writing, my little girl, and friends and family. That’s it. And my little story. And keeping my place clean and somewhat organized so my inner world will feel that way, too. Now I’m going to finish folding my 3 laundry piles and put them away in piles. And then heat up left over spaghetti which is also best eaten in piles.