On Being Ready

When I was single, I used to curse my fate and wasted hours wondering why I couldn’t find someone to settle down with. For so many years I felt like not enough, an obvious outsider in the land of coupledom, the fifth wheel, that friend who was always going on dates but never really had a partner. But now that I am days away from marrying Mr. Darcy, almost three years into our relationship, I am glad it took me until I was 36 to find my Mr. Right and until I was 39 to get married.

You see, all that time I spent dating random guys (or as some would say “sowing my wild oats”), I learned a lot about myself, about relationships, and about love. So when I finally met Mr. Darcy, I was in a place where I was ready. I haven’t been bothered by any nagging regrets- did I live out my single days to their fullest? Why yes, yes I did. I have the stories to tell and the scars to prove it.

Every guy I dated before Mr. Darcy helped shape the woman I am today- for better or for worse- and I’m grateful for all of them, even the ones who broke my heart. Because in its breaking, I learned how resilient my heart is and it grew stronger every time. I have no regrets for the life I’ve led or the men I’ve shared it with. I even got lucky a few times and dated some really great guys who are now among my closest and best friends. In fact, three of them are coming to my wedding.

The other day as I walked through our old neighborhood, I kind of chuckled to myself. Six and a half years ago when I moved to Seattle, I wanted so desperately to fit into the scene there. The dirty emo hipsters with their tattoos and tight jeans and retro outfits, their late nights at bars and hangover breakfasts on Sundays. I wanted to be cool too. And maybe I was. Maybe I still am. But I realized then as I dodged smoking teens and street musicians and girls much younger, thinner, and hipper than I, that I’m so happy with my life. My suburban life with Mr. Darcy in a house we own, at jobs we like, surrounded by friends and family we love, the hope for a child alive inside of us, about to get married to one another. This is the dream I never thought would come true. It’s so much simpler than I ever thought and yet, more than I thought was possible for myself.

So many of you have been on this journey alongside me, reading my updates, and giving advice and support. It feels like forever ago and simultaneously like yesterday that I was lamenting my single life and my poor choices in men- so much so that my friends intervened with the Boyfriend Review Board. Remember that? Luckily Mr. Darcy (who was known as Bachelor #4 back then) passed with flying colors.

You guys? I’m getting married on Sunday. I can hardly believe this is happening to me.

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Bachelor #4 Takes on the Review Board*

Almost one year ago some of my friends were called to serve on the Boyfriend Review Board because apparently I cannot be trusted to pick out my own partner in crime. (Ahem! Stupid track record.) I didn’t really think someone would actually fill out the questionnaire but when I sent it to Bachelor #4 for him to see, he answered every question. Quite possibly he was avoiding work but no matter, he did it. And so I thought you should get a glimpse at the guy who is the reason behind my lack of sleep lately and the daydreamy, goofy grin that seems to have taken up permanent residence on my face.  (There is a poll at the end of the post so don’t miss it.)

Judge Matt:

1. Are you making a suit out of human flesh?

Suits are so last year. This being Seattle, home of the Green River Killer, I just wouldn’t fit in if I wasn’t making at least a vest.

2. Have you ever been the subject of a restraining order? If not, why not?

Happily, no; I have not been the subject of a restraining order. I prefer to be on the plaintiff’s end of legal proceedings.

3. Does medication work better if you snort it?

Medicine is for chumps. Real men get pneumonia and walk it off.

4. Are you now, or have you ever been a member of any of the following groups: a)NAMBLA, b) The Republican Party, c) The 700 Club, or d) The Earth Liberation Front?

I am not the Devil. Or Pat Robertson.

5. Is Jesus Christ your PERSONAL savior?

Jesus Christ is my personal trainer. I wait every day for him to arrive and motivate me to exercise, but he has yet to actually show up.  I would so fire his ass if he would answer his calls.

Judge RayLo:

1. Is there anybody who is not the divine Ms. Sizzle who is currently under the impression that you are in a committed and loving relationship with them?

No. So far I can only seem to trick one single woman at a time into showing any interest in me. When my mail-away hypnosis glasses arrive, I reserve the right to change my answer to this question.

2. Sizzle just had a terrible day. Donors yelled, files disappeared, tenants had pitchforks waiting when she got home. What do you do?

Have a nice glass of wine ready, and just be ready to hold her quietly.

3. What do you think of TARP? (If the response includes references to sheets of blue plastic, immediate disqualification.)

Screaming “The Banks got us into this mess!” is a little 1930’s isn’t it? But they did. But they are too important to fail. But they are taking our tax money and foreclosing on people’s homes. I like pie. This question needs to be more pie related. The proper answer to this question should be “cherry – with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side”.  All I’m saying.

4. What is your relationship with you job? Does it kill your soul, give you a reason to wake up in the morning, or is the idea of employment foreign to you?

My current job gives me a reason to wake up in the morning. Despite any headaches or worries about being under-appreciated, I am doing something that I love and am very good at every day.

5. What do you love about Sizzle? What should she/we love about you?

I think what I like most about Sizzle is her dualities. She can be tough yet sensitive, spontaneous but a planner, down-to-earth yet refined. There’s a lot to learn about her, and I enjoy a mystery and a challenge. And her boobs are fantastic. Hell if I know what she sees in a dork like me, though. Another mystery.

Judge Bird:

1. Does the prospective candidate care deeply about something? (It really doesn’t matter what the something is, just something. This eliminates the boring blah-heads.)

I care about making art. I care about making something that thrills the viewer and leaves them thinking about it later.

2. Is the candidate gainfully employed or motivated to become gainfully employed?

Yes. I draw for a living and some fools continue paying me to do so. Woe be to me when they wise up.

3. Is the candidate willing to profess undying adoration to Ms. Sizzle on an on-going basis, with the peaceful acceptance that it will never be enough?

I’m fine with that. I greatly enjoy telling Ms. Sizzle how cute, adorable and sexy she is any chance I get. It is my firm belief that as many of our conversation topics should revolve around these subjects as much as possible.

4. Is the candidate sufficiently self-contained to enjoy the inevitable alone time that Ms. Sizzle’s fierce independence will afford him?

Ms. Sizzle’s independence is a trait I share with her. While I will hang with her any chance I get, I can also take being told to take a hike every once in a while.  As long as she appreciates it back.

5. Is the candidate heavily invested in the quality of his personal relationships (and not just with Sizzle, either)?

I believe in having few friends who are of great importance. My friends know I would move heaven and earth for them, and I know they would do the same for me.  They are as important as my family, with whom I am very close despite the fact that they are on the opposite coast.

6. Bonus question: Does the candidate like cats? If not, sorry, pal…it’s not going to work out.

Cats are a perfectly fine substitute for dogs when not available. Just kidding. I like animals.

Judge Supple:

1. If Sizzle were to be the vivacious and extremely extroverted woman we know her to be at your best friend’s party, and started singing what would be your reaction? Would you a) start a duet with her, b) would you watch on with the look of amazement and love in your eyes, c) would you back off, or d) would you go hide in a corner in embarrassment?

Let’s go with B. Mostly because no-one deserves to be subjected to my singing. I think it’s in the Geneva Conventions somewhere.

2. Do you believe in surprise parties?

Are surprise parties something that you have to “believe” in? Seems to me, that they happen with or without my belief. This is a religious question, right?

3. Are you gay? Because Sizz has already gone down that road.

While I believe no-one is completely straight or completely gay, I like the lady parts way too much.

4. Do you have a girlfriend or are you married? Please note that the internet can supply us with a boatload of info to support or deny your claim, so you better answer honestly!

Please refer to Judge RayLo’s first question for the answer to this question.

5. Do you like sushi?

Sadly, no.

6. Do you drink?

Yes

7. Do you do drugs?

No

8. Do you know what the color taupe is?

Yes

9. When was the last time you had sex and can you last more than 2 seconds?

November of 09, and yes, I can last at least 5 seconds.

10. Can you handle the Sizzle Swizzle?

If we’re talking about what I think we’re talking about… the answer is “Yes”.

Judge Jenny Two Times:

1. What are you passionate about? You know, that “thing” that puts fire in your belly? What is it? Why? Cuz, Sizzle is passionate about many things and it puts excitement in her life. You need have that too, your own.

Please refer to Judge Bird’s first question for this answer.

2. What do you like/love about yourself? Qualities you admire about your being. Qualities you admire in others that you may also see in yourself. What is something(s) you are working on about yourself? None of us are perfect, so we get that you’ve got “stuff”. What are those challenging qualities you have?

My best qualities are my dependability, perseverance and self-reliance. I do what I say, and when I really want something my only enemy is time because I will make it happen.

3. Do you like music? Because music is a must. Really.

I like music, but I have terrible taste in it.

4. Have you ever cheated on a significant other? If so, what were the circumstances?

No. That’s the ultimate lie and not something I would do to anyone.

5. How do you feel about family? Are you in contact? If not blood family, do you have a chose family? Maybe friends you consider family?

I am very close to my family. I talk with both of my parents on the phone on an almost weekly basis.

Judge James Dean:

1. Eleanor Roosevelt, Hot or Not?

Not, sorry.

2. Let’s just pretend for a moment that you are at work at the very moment the zombies begin to rise up and take over the planet, would you barricade yourself at work in an attempt at self-preservation or would you fight your way through zombie-infested streets to be with the woman you love?

Are these fast zombies or slow zombies? Before or after lunch? This question is vague at best but I will attempt to answer it. I would organize a party of co-workers and trek across ruined Seattle to find Sizzle. Because a) I work with people who would make great victims in a zombie movie and b) my goal of saving Sizzle would make me the hero… and heroes always make it through in the end.

3. If you could travel through time and do one thing, which would you do? a) assassinate Hitler all ninja-style using little sharp Stars of David, b) wearing an ape outfit, pretend to be Bigfoot at documented sightings, thereby perpetuating the myth, c) try to find out what’s up with Napoleon’s hand, d) would only travel through time IF the woman you loved could come along?

If I could travel through time, I would go back and find Jesus and ask him why he hasn’t shown up for any exercise nights, and why he’s ducking my calls. Guy is a jerk.

4. Would you use your one prison phone call just to call up the woman you love?

Only because I know she has bail money.

5. If someone tried to attack you and your love and you stepped up to protect her, what would you do to the attacker? a) go Medieval on his ass, b) go Edwardian on his ass, c) go Bronze Age on his ass, d) go Post-Modern on his ass?

Let’s go for Edwardian. That sounds unique.

Judge Tomato:

1. What do you think about gay people? (This says a lot about his tolerance in general, not to mention you wouldn’t be able to date any degree of a homophobe. Chances are they probably have a few race issues as well.)

While I have worked alongside gay men and have known more than a few gay and lesbians in college – I don’t have any true “friends” who are gay. Not by plan – it’s just never really come up. From a political sense, it does piss me off that the gay/lesbian community seems to be the only legally discriminated against minority left in the US. It’s bullshit and wouldn’t be allowed with any other group. It feeds my sense of “outrage” I guess.

2. I would like to see photos of him. If he doesn’t smile in any of his photos, he is not right for you. I don’t trust people who don’t smile in their photos. I’ve rarely been wrong about this.

{He smiles. Trust me. And has this adorable dimple.}

3. What are his religious and political views? While the answer is not the deal breaker, the right answer of his should be, he has his beliefs but does not feel a need to preach them nor condemn others for their opinions. If he is strong-willed on either his politics or religion and finds that it is his way or no way, then he is not right for you. Even if upfront he pretends he doesn’t mind your way, he does and it will come out down the road and get ugly.

I am an atheist and a Democrat.

4. Is he attracted to you “as is” or does he think you have a pretty face and after he gets you to lose a few pounds, you’ll be perfect? While this seems like an obvious red flag, it is usually only an elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about until a few months into the relationship and the elephant walks up and steps on your relationship and you are side swiped because you never saw it coming. If this question is asked up front, you know what you are dealing with. He should like you as is and should support you choosing to eat healthy or treat your body well, but should be attracted to you as you are.

I like Sizzle as is. I don’t make demands on people that I can’t do myself. She lives healthier than I do anyway.

5. What is his relationship with his family? It’s okay if he isn’t close to his biological family, but he better have a strong network of friends to surrogate that family. If he is a loner and doesn’t need people in his life, you don’t need him. You need someone gregarious and open to love and knows love from experience. You don’t need to teach him how to love, he already knows.

Please see Judge Jenny Two Times fifth question for this answer.

Judge Kaply: (who is, for the record, the only person in my life (so far) that has met Bachelor #4 in person)

1. Do you live in an apartment or house? Anything with wheels DOES NOT COUNT. Also no tents or yurts.

I live in an apartment – 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 1 living room, 1 dining room, 1 kitchen and a balcony. And I abhor tents of any kind.

2. Do you read books? Real books, not “graphic novels” or the back of cereal boxes.

Well, I used to draw “graphic novels” or “comic books” as we called them in “the Biz” for a living, but I do read lots of “real” books. I enjoy History and Fiction (yes, Science Fiction) and some of my favorite writers are JRR Tolkien, China Mievelle, and Neil Gaiman.

3. Do you have friends? Actual human beings who acknowledge and interact with you without payment?

Yes, and a few who don’t charge too much. Why they stand me, I haven’t a clue.

4. Are you able to hold a conversation? Which for the purposes of this review is people alternately talking AND listening? Listening being defined as paying enough attention to what the other person says to relate the gist later to “friends”?

I am an excellent listener and a dynamic conversationalist. I remember shit people say all the time. Sometimes, even at appropriate moments.

5. Are you gainfully employed at something that allows you to pay your bills without recourse to your mom, dad or some other person to fill in the gaps?

I am gainfully employed. But I will accept donations from anyone who offers. Except Ms. Sizzle. That’s just bad form. I’m still trying to impress her.

6. Everyone firmly believes that they have a sense of humor. Has anyone other than your mom ever told you that you were funny? Do you appreciate funny in other people?

Holy Shit – I am FUNNY – you don’t even KNOW! I even have it in writing on a holiday card from friends. One of my biggest past-times and greatest loves is laughter. I try to take nothing too seriously, least of all myself.

*I think this guy deserves a better nickname than Bachelor #4. I’m working on it.


The Mob Takes Over

Three of my oldest friends weigh in with their Boyfriend Review Board questions…

It’s Supple’s turn to weigh in with her Boyfriend Review Questions:

  1. If Sizzle were to be the vivacious and extremely extroverted woman we know her to be at your best friend’s party, and started singing what would be your reaction? Would you a) start a duet with her, b) would you watch on with the look of amazement and love in your eyes, c) would you back off, or d) would you go hide in a corner in embarrassment?
  2. Do you believe in surprise parties?
  3. Are you gay? Because Sizz has already gone down that road.
  4. Do you have a girlfriend or are you married? Please note that the internet can supply us with a boatload of info to support or deny your claim, so you better answer honestly!
  5. Do you like sushi?
  6. Do you drink?
  7. Do you do drugs?
  8. Do you know what the color taupe is?
  9. When was the last time you had sex and can you last more than 2 seconds?
  10. Can you handle the Sizzle Swizzle? (Me: Um, that’s another post entirely. Ahem!)

It’s not a review board without my dearest Jenny Two Times. I’m so impressed she kept it to five questions. That’s so unlike her!

  1. What are you passionate about? You know, that “thing” (whatever it is…well as long as it is not, say, porn – that it is bad- but passion about porn is a bit creepy) that puts fire in your belly? What is it? Why? Cuz, Sizzle is passionate about many things and it puts excitement in her life. You need have that too, your own.
  2. What do you like/love about yourself? Qualities you admire about your being. Qualities you admire in others that you may also see in yourself. What is something(s) you are working on about yourself? None of us are perfect, so we get that you’ve got “stuff”. What are those challenging qualities you have? (Me: That’s actually multiple questions in one but I’ll allow it.)
  3. Do you like music? Because music is a must. Really.
  4. Have you ever cheated on a significant other? If so, what were the circumstances?
  5. How do you feel about family? Are you in contact? If not blood family, do you have a chose family? Maybe friends you consider family?

James Dean, my dear old friend and former boyfriend (the only boy I ever lived with!), of course has questions of his own:

  1. Eleanor Roosevelt, Hot or Not?
  2. Let’s just pretend for a moment that you are at work at the very moment the zombies begin to rise up and take over the planet, would you barricade yourself at work in an attempt at self-preservation or would you fight your way through zombie-infested streets to be with the woman you love?
  3. If you could travel through time and do one thing, which would you do? a) assassinate Hitler all ninja-style using little sharp Stars of David, b) wearing an ape outfit, pretend to be Bigfoot at documented sightings, thereby perpetuating the myth, c) try to find out what’s up with Napoleon’s hand, d) would only travel through time IF the woman you loved could come along
  4. Would you use your one prison phone call just to call up the woman you love? (Me: Woah woah woah WHY IS HE IN PRISON!?)
  5. If someone tried to attack you and your love and you stepped up to protect her, what would you do to the attacker? a) go Medieval on his ass, b) go Edwardian on his ass, c) go Bronze Age on his ass, d) go Post-Modern on his ass

What do these questions prove? Well, not only do I have extremely awesome friends but also that I have a bit of a my own personal mob. Mikey is clearly into chivalry and maybe knows a bit more about history than I do. I still don’t get what the Napoleon hand thing is. (Anyone?)  Jenny Two Times cares deeply about music and family as do I. And Supple cares about a good lay which is one of the many reasons I keep her around because someone better be keeping that at the forefront. Have you noticed that my friends seem to have a commonality in their questioning? It’s like they KNOW me or something.

*****

Tomato and I are hosting a special call-in show on Sunday at 5pm. Won’t you join us? I’d love to chat with you! You can listen in by going to The Baub Show website on Sunday or download the podcast after the fact via iTunes. But listen! Join! Let’s chat!

Hot Eyeball Thievery Advice*

A) It is SO HOT HERE that I can’t wait to get to work because work is air conditioned and I can’t wait to go to the pool because the pool is wet and cool. (Duh.) When it’s in the 80’s outside that means it is in the 90’s in my apartment. Can I just move into the pool or the office temporarily? This blasted heat wave is killing my will to move about or wear clothes. (People who live in the South or the desert do not give me shit for my heat wimpyness. I moved here for rain, not this.)

B) My cat, Dot, has conjunctivitis. Again. She had it as a baby and it’s flared up in her right eye. We got the vet who likes to slowly explain everything to you like he’s teaching a class. I said a lot of “mmm” and “right!” and “really?” and didn’t mind that much because HELLO it was air conditioned in their office. Now I have to give her two squirts medicine in her mouth twice a day. You can bet money there will be blood. Mine.

C) My Mom got her purse stolen out of her car while she was with her dog at the beach. This sucks for all the regular reasons plus she’d just got her WA license and her prescription glasses were in there. She currently has no health insurance so replacing them is going to be costly. Hopefully they haven’t depleted her bank account. BASTARDS.

D) The other night Tomato texted me asking me to call into his BlogTalk radio show. He was doing a trial run, testing out if he wants to go ahead and host a show. He had his friend Lucy on who was having a bit of dating trouble so we gave her advice. Tomato and I like to give advice. I’m trying to only do it when I asked. It’s kinda sorta working okay! not really. Apparently Tomato wants me to host with him sometimes. There will be more details on this when they are hammered out.

Speaking of my dear friend, Tomato. . .he’s also a member of the Boyfriend Review Board. It’s odd to say this but I am going to say it anyway: When I think about Tomato and him meeting any of my beaus I always think of him as “the dad” because he’s so protective of me in a very familial way. I guess that’s what happens when you’ve been best friends for twenty years. The analogy just gets creepy when you throw in the sex and dating part of our history because, um, well, yeah.

Here’s how Tomato would screen a potential suitor:

  • What do you think about gay people? (This says a lot about his tolerance in general, not to mention you wouldn’t be able to date any degree of a homophobe. Chances are they probably have a few race issues as well.)
  • I would like to see photos of him. If he doesn’t smile in any of his photos, he is not right for you. I don’t trust people who don’t smile in their photos. I’ve rarely been wrong about this.
  • What are his religious and political views? While the answer is not the deal breaker, the right answer of his should be, he has his beliefs but does not feel a need to preach them nor condemn others for their opinions. If he is strong willed on either his politics or religion and finds that it is his way or no way, then he is not right for you. Even if upfront he pretends he doesn’t mind your way, he does and it will come out down the road and get ugly.
  • Is he attracted to you “as is” or does he think you have a pretty face and after he gets you to lose a few pounds, you’ll be perfect? While this seems like an obvious red flag, it is usually only an elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about until a few months into the relationship and the elephant walks up and steps on your relationship and you are side swiped because you never saw it coming. If this question is asked up front, you know what you are dealing with. He should like you as is and should support you choosing to eat healthy or treat your body well, but should be attracted to you as you are.
  • What is his relationship with his family? It’s okay if he isn’t close to his biological family, but he better have a strong network of friends to surrogate that family. If he is a loner and doesn’t need people in his life, you don’t need him. You need someone gregarious and open to love and knows love from experience. You don’t need to teach him how to love, he already knows.

*This makes no sense. Or does it?