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3 Nov

I had a rough night last night.

Actually, it was a rough 20 minutes or so. We took the Black Dog Club out for a walk at our normal time (11:00 pm). We were walking along a paved service road, when I managed to step in a pothole. Luckily, I was holding JB’s hand, so I didn’t plummit to the ground, but my poor ankle got a good twisting.

Not more than five minutes later, we were crossing the vehicle barrier for this service road. JB, of course, steps over this gracefully. I, on the other hand, took the “safe” route, and got on my hands and knees to crawl under this barrier.

I think Tucker took this as a cue that I wanted to play, as he ran straight up to me, and managed to head-butt me. I’m talking the really hard part of his skull came into contact with the bone right above my eye, and it friggen HURT. Tears sprung to my eyes immediately, and I’m sure the mutt had no idea what the problem was.

I then came home and sat with an icepack on the newly formed bump on my head. Luckily, it hasn’t bruised so far, but man, I was ready to lock myself in a padded room after that experience.

High Fidelity Series: The One That Got Away

8 Feb

I’m on a roll with the High Fidelity Series… We’re now up to Darryl. Let’s set the scene:

It was my 21st birthday, which happened to fall on a Monday. (Completely unfair, I tell you!)

A bunch of my girlfriends took me out to the only bar that was happening on a Monday night, and I think it was disco night.

After several drinks, Amber and I were standing together and admiring a guy dancing. He was tall, with straight brown hair that fell into his eyes, and he was dancing all by himself.

‘I dare you to go dance with him,’ Amber said.

Amber and I had this deal between us in college that we had to unconditionally accept each other’s dares. And man, did that get us into some interesting situations.

I think I muttered, ‘damn you’, as I left her and started dancing with him.

We were instantly attracted to each other. After the bar closed, he asked if I wanted to go get breakfast at Denny’s. So we did. He held my hand over the table, and we talked and talked and talked. We talked until the sun came up the next day.

Back then, I thought it was love at first sight. And I honestly thought I was in love with him until I came to know the all-encompassing love I now know with my husband. That was just child’s play. But let’s just say that my 21 year old self fell harder and faster for Darryl than I had for any other guy.

The only problem? The man lived in Buffalo, New York. I was living in Las Cruces, New Mexico. You couldn’t really live farther apart while still being on the same continent.

Darryl had been working a summer job in the Grand Canyon, and was on his way driving back to New York, when he stopped to visit a friend that lived in Las Cruces.

He extended his stay to spend a few more days with me. Those were wonderful days that felt like a dream come true, and at the end of those days, as we were watching the sunset over the Rio Grande (I kid you not), he told me in tears that he thought he was falling in love with me.

He left, and called me from every gas station that he stopped at (remember this was before cell phones were popular). Once he returned to Buffalo, we racked up some really impressive phone bills and we chatted online for hours each day. We were chatting in Telnet, people. I’m an Internet pioneer.

We decided that we had to see each other again, and I booked a plane ticket to go visit him. The weekend I spent with him was amazing. I actually stayed at his parents’ house, but I’m never going to forget when we went to Niagara Falls at night, where he started talking marriage and children.

Leaving him to go back to New Mexico was horribly painful for me back them. My heart actually felt like it hurt. I was actually considering moving to Buffalo to be with Darryl.

Buffalo. Can you imagine? I was miserable enough in Detroit — can you imagine how unhappy I would have been in Buffalo?!

Upon returning to New Mexico, we kept up the phone calls and chatting. I remember him singing Richard Marks’ song Right Here Waiting for me over the phone. Ha! I’m not making this up.

He then asked me to come back out to Buffalo to go to his best friend’s wedding. He was going to be the best man.

But I was in college and on a very limited budget. At that time, it cost over $400 to fly to Buffalo, and I didn’t have that kind of cash, and well, he didn’t offer to pay.

After that wedding, the phone calls got fewer and less frequent. He all of a sudden became very busy. And then, when I called him on Christmas Day to wish him a Merry Christmas, and he broke up with me.

On Christmas Day. Was that really necessary?

I got seriously depressed after that, and cried myself to sleep for many nights. If I could only just go back and tell myself that it would all work out. It might take another 7 years, but it’ll all work out for the best.

But I can’t, and I was literally haunted by the loss of that first ‘love’.

I later ran into Darryl’s friend (the one he had been visiting), and found out that Darryl had started dating the maid of honor from that wedding that I was supposed to go to.

Oh, the irony.

And after that, I closed my heart off to other guys. And I couldn’t stop thinking about Darryl. I mourned as if he had died. Dramatic, yes. But true. I can honestly say that he hurt me more than any other man. Which is strange, because we only knew each other for about four months, but it was a very intense four months. I guess distance will do that.

For years afterwards, I looked at my birthday as the anniversary of my meeting Darryl instead of a reason to celebrate. I was haunted by him, and thought of him constantly. I wrote him endless letters that I never sent.

Until one day… It must have been four or five years after we had last talked that I finally decided to contact him. I was living in Detroit at the time, which was only a 4 hour drive to Buffalo, and I had many daydreams about me driving to Buffalo to see him one more time.

When I wrote Darryl, I had actually been dating The Man Now Known As The Ex for over a year. RED FLAG!!! (We’ll get more into RED FLAGs in the next entry.)

I told Darryl in that letter that I couldn’t stop thinking about him, and before I committed even more to The Man Now Known As The Ex, I wanted to first of all know what had happened from Darryl’s point of view, and also see if there was a chance of us seeing each other again.

A few months later, I got a letter from Darryl in the mail. I remember getting it out of the mail box and starting to shake when I saw the return address.

I ran upstairs to my apartment and ripped open the letter. It was a very sweet letter. However, it started out with him telling me that he had married that woman that was the maid of honor in that wedding I chose not to go to. He also had one child with another one on the way. He was happy, and I guess I was glad to hear that, even though I was disappointed.

He then said that he agreed that he had done me wrong and that I had a right to know exactly what had gone wrong between us. He said that he recalled a phone conversation (one of the hundreds) where he had asked me if he decided to move to New Mexico if he could live with me.

During that conversation, I told him there was no way that could happen. My parents were putting me through school, and I knew that if I up and moved in with a guy that I had known for a matter of months that all hell would break loose. Plus, it was against my beliefs at the time. I was only 21 remember.

Well, although he hadn’t told me this in advance, but this was a make-or-break question for Darryl. If I had said yes, he was going to pack it up and move to New Mexico to be with me. If I said no, then we were over.

I didn’t know this when I answered. I imagined that he could move to New Mexico, live with his friend here, and we could date like normal people before jumping in like that.

So there you have it. Years afterwards, I finally found out what happened. In that letter, he encouraged me to contact him via the e-mail account that he shared with his wife, but that was really just a bit too strange for me. I’m not a home wrecker. I got my answer, and it was enough to help me move on with my life.

In retrospect, I know that Darryl was looking to get married and have a family right away, and I really wasn’t ready for that, even at 21. I also never would have been happy in Buffalo, I don’t care how in love I thought I was.

Now, I have a love that is much deeper than what I thought was love with Darryl, AND I get to live in a land that I love. After spending 4 years in Michigan, I now know how important that is.

I guess everyone needs to get their heart really trampled on so that they can appreciate it when someone treats their heart with care.

Now you can read the song lyrics of Insensitive and know a bit more of how I was feeling back then.

High Fidelity Series: The Guy I Wasn’t Ready For

7 Feb

We’re back to the highly acclaimed High Fidelity Series. We’re now up to my sophomore year in college. That was when I met Chris K.

Hi, Chris K.! Chris has been a long-time reader of this site, so let’s all give him one big virtual high five!

Chris was a great guy. I just wasn’t ready for a guy as great as him. I was 19. I was admitedly immature when it came to relationships, and I was still afraid to commit to anyone because what if my Mr. Right came along and I was committed to Mr. Wrong?

Chris played the guitar and wrote me some of the sweetest songs. I still think one of the sweetest things a man can do is write you a poem or a song.

I can thank Chris for my second hot air balloon ride at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Go figure — I’ve had two hot air balloon rides and both with guys named Chris.

There really wasn’t drama in my relationship with Chris, I’m sorry for all of you looking for drama today. The problem was that although I liked him a lot, I insisted on dating other people, and eventually I think he got tired of it, as he was looking for something more.

I found this out on Valentines Day. I remember baking him heart-shaped cookies, and leaving them at his doorstep with a note asking him to call me.

He never called. And hence, I can claim that I was dumped on Valentines Day.

Of course, typical to my style, that was when I really decided I liked Chris. Try and try as I might, Chris was done and fed up with me. And I don’t blame him one bit. I think if I had met him five years later, it would have been a completely different story.

Chris now lives in Texas with his wife and two kids. We check in with each other about every six months or so just to say hello and catch up. Occassionally, I’ll get comments on my site from him. I enjoy hearing from him, wish only the best for him.

Chris, you deserved to find someone that was ready for love, and that was exactly what you did. Good for you and shame on me.

Now, there was another fateful guy I dated my sophomore year in high school, but since he and his wife both read this site, we’re just going to skip that drama. Sorry, but some things are just better left unsaid.

High Fidelity Series: Insensitive Song Lyrics

28 Jan

As I was listening to Internet Radio, a favorite song from the past came on… Insensitive. I remember that this song really spoke to me when Darryl broke up with me, but you have to wait for Darryl’s story, because he won’t hit the spotlight for a few more entries. Until then, this will give you an idea of his impact on me back in college.

Insensitive by Jann Arden

How do you cool your lips
After a summer’s kiss
How do you rid the sweat
After the body bliss
How do you turn your eyes
From the romantic glare
How do you block the sound
Of a voice you’d know anywhere

Oh, I really should have known
By the time you drove me home
By the vagueness in your eyes
Casual good-byes
By the chill in your embrace
The expression on your face
That told me
You might have some advice to give
On how to be

How do you numb your skin
After the warmest touch
How do you slow your blood
After the body rush
How do you free your soul
After you’ve found a friend
How do you teach your heart
It’s a crime to fall in love again

Oh, you probably won’t remember me
It’s probably ancient history
I’m one of the chosen few
Who went ahead and fell for you
I’m out of vogue, I’m out of touch
I fell too fast, I feel too much
I thought that you might have
Some advice to give on how to be

High Fidelity Series: The Man That Turned Me Away from Religion

27 Jan

I took a brief hiatus from the High Fidelity Series, but I’m back… I received numerous comments/e-mails about my high school stories, but I’m sorry to tell you people that it’s now time to move into the college years. However, based on your response, I may return to the high school days for a chronicle of funny memories…

OK, so Freshman year in college… The year is 1997, and I was still getting used to my newly found freedom. (You know, freedom from parental oversight, curfues, etc.) But I was still very religious, as I had been for a good portion of my life. I attended church every
Sunday, went to a women’s Bible study, and joined Campus Crusade for Christ.

I think I met Blake through Campus Crusade for Christ. (Disclaimer: I don’t have anything against this organization. They just seemed to be a collection of freaks at my school at that particular time.) Blake was studying to become a minister.

We dated for a few months, and let me tell you, that minister in the making screwed with my mind. We’d kiss, and then the next day, he’d tell me that we really shouldn’t be kissing because it would make our minds wander, and that was a sin, etc., etc., etc. Then, the next time I saw him, he’d want to make out, and then would lay a guilt trip on me again. I swear it was like dating a man with a personality disorder.

Blake was also strongly opposed to alcohol consumption. Considering at that point in my life, I had never been drunk, and had only had small amounts of alcohol with my parents, this wasn’t a problem.

Until one day, when I went to a party and drank a beer.

I mentioned that to Blake the next day, and all hell broke loose. All kinds of mentions of sin and hell and alcoholism…

Man, I had a beer. There’s no sin in that. Granted I was only 18, but still, it was just a beer.

Over Christmas break while my brothers and I were all home for the holidays, I invited Blake over to rent a movie.

Now my brothers knew about Blake’s borderline religious freakiness, and decided to play with him. Unbenownst to me, they invited over a few friends, cracked open some alcohol and arranged a poker game with my parents and their friends at the kitchen table. By the time Blake arrived, the poker game was in full swing, and they were (purposely, I think) being loud and using profanities.

In fact, I think there were a few ‘God Damnits’ and ‘Jesus H. Christs’ thrown in for good measure.

I remember Blake and I sitting in the attached family room about 2 feet from the TV because we could hardly hear with all the commotion that was being made in the kitchen. I was so embarrassed and livid with my brothers… And parents, who seemed to be playing along.

It was about one or two weeks after this little episode that Blake called me and said that he thought it was best that we didn’t see each other anymore. Actually, I think he worded it that we needed to take a break from each other.

It was that momentous opportunity that I chose to get drunk for the first time ever. In my dorm room, Amber and I mixed up some Kool-Aid and Smith’s brand Vodka (the ultimate in a cheap college drink), and I proceeded to drink it with a vengence.

I was also very sick with a cold at the time, and was on the verge of losing my voice.

At one point, I decided that I needed to call Blake to announce to him that I was drunk. Ha! How funny would that be?!

Well, Blake wasn’t home, and I think I left him at least three messages in my horribly hoarse voice saying, ‘Blake, I’m druuuuunnnkkkkkkk. What do you think about that?’ or ‘Blake, I’m drinking Smith’s Brand Vooooooodkaaaaaa.’

On a sidenote about that night, Amber was wise enough to turn on the tape recorder, so I have a priceless tape of me the first time I was ever drunk. You can hear me ramble on about Blake, and about Smith’s Brand Vodka, which is charcol filtered, nonetheless, and how I needed my DCT lip balm. Somewhere along the line, Amber invited over Rob and Tim to see the spectacle of drunk Lynnette in her dorm room.

The three of them chatted with me (this is all on the tape), and then one of them (let me note that all three of them were sober, as this was a school night) decided that it would be tons of fun for us all to take a shower together fully clothed.

Even my first-time-ever-drunk-self saw that this was a stupid and ridiculous idea, but they then decided they were going to force me into the shower with all my clothes on. Perhaps it was a ploy to sober me up.

I would have none of that.

Being thrown in the shower with all of my clothes on was the worst possible fate I could think of at that point in time, so I crawled under my bed and grabbed on as the three of them tried to pull me out to put me in the shower.

On the tape, you can hear the drunk hoarse me protesting, and I think they just eventually gave up, because I know they never got me into the shower fully clothed.

Anyway, back to Blake. I later found out that the reason why he broke up with me was that he was dating some MARRIED 26 year-old woman in the Campus Crusade for Christ. I am so serious. And then, I kept finding out how hypocritical those Campus Crusaders were, and I found myself unable and unwilling to deal with that hypocracy. I stopped going to church, started going to more parties, and I didn’t find myself wanting to go back to church or think about religion until I graduated from college.

It’s not that I became an athiest. It’s not that I went wild or did crazy things. Yes, I went to parties and drank but that was really the extent of it. It was kind of like I was saying, ‘God, I believe in you, but I’m really fed up right now, so I’ll come back to you when I’m ready.’

And I did. Although I haven’t really been a regular church-goer for a while, I think that the big man and I are on good terms now, and I definitely turn to him for guidance and support.

So there you have it. The story of Blake, the man that turned me away from religion and drove me to drinking. Blake ended up getting married to a younger girl in our junior year of college. During my senior year, I had the pleasure of having a class with him. It was in a big lecture hall, and I recall seeing him come in late and sit down at the back of the class, but I never acknowledged his presence. Take that!

I’m sure he’s a minister somewhere, confusing the minds of his entire congregation. Isn’t that a comforting thought?

And before I end this entry, I just want to say that I now think my family’s staged poker game was a really funny idea. They’re not heathens… Just lovable people with a REALLY GOOD sense of humor. I just wish someone had tape recorded that incident!

High Fidelity Series: My First Date and a Bald Guy

21 Jan

I used to hang out with Amy in high school. Amy just left a comment saying that I shouldn’t forget to mention Tim and Rob in my High Fidelity series. Although neither of them would make my list of high-impact guys, they were involved in my first date ever, and that story is worth telling.

So here was the situation… Tim liked me. Rob liked Amy. I wasn’t really attracted to Tim, and Amy wasn’t really attracted to Rob. But somehow, someone decided that we should all go on a double date together. I think Amy and I were freshman at the time, and Rob and Tim were juniors.

We decided to go to the movies. This time around, I was smart and actually asked my parents’ permission. Although I wasn’t allowed to officially date yet, my parents gave me permission, on the condition that they would drive Amy and I to the theatre and then pick us up afterwards, because, as Mom said, ‘I know what happens in cars.’

Ah, the wisdom of a mother.

So my parents dropped Amy and I off at the theatre, and we met the boys there. Needless to say, since there wasn’t really a mutual attraction between any of us, it was rather awkward.

I specifically remember that we went to see Look Who’s Talking with Kirstie Alley and John Travolta. The opening scene of the movie shows a bunch of sperm swimming towards an egg.

This was the ultimate in embarrassment for my 14 year-old self on my first date. I wanted to melt in my seat. As the spermies were swimming on the big screen, I seem to recall that Tim was trying to put his arm around me, and I was turning 50 shades of red and trying to squirm away from his prowling arm.

After the movie, we went to the arcade that was next to the theatre. I don’t really remember the details, but some guys started trying to pick a fight on Rob and Tim, who, to put it gently, were not the fighting type at all. (In other words, they would have gotten their butts kicked if they had tried to defend themselves.)

So, the guys suggested that we get in their car and go across the street to McDonald’s to get away from the bullies.

Meanwhile, I was on my FIRST DATE and my parents had specifically said not to get in their car because THEY KNOW WHAT HAPPENS IN CARS, and it was a big quandry for me… Let my date get his butt kicked or get in his car. (The thought of letting the boys go and having us stay never crossed my mind.)

We eventually did get in the car with the boys, who drove us to McDonald’s and then drove us back across the street in time for us to meet my parents without my parents knowing that I had been in their evil car.

So that is the end of my first date story… I actually ended up being pretty good friends with Rob and Tim through my second year in college. They were on the swim team with me. But here is another good story involving them…

Amber and I had gone over to their dorm room (Amber and I were freshman in college at the time, and Rob and Tim were juniors). Both Tim and Rob were very smitten with Amber, and were constantly vieing for her attention. This particular day, Tim decided that Amber should give him a haircut.

He had a buzz cut, so all this really involved was her using the electric razor to trim his buzz cut. Well, I don’t think Amber realized that she had the attachment that would cut his hair REALLY short.

So, picture this… Tim is in a chair outside of his dorm room with his shirt off and a towel draped around his shoulders. Amber starts in the middle of his hairline in the back, and within about five seconds, she realizes that she has just shaved a complete five inch long and one inch wide stripe up the back of Tim’s head.

I was standing there watching all of this, and my eyes got really big when I saw what she had done.

‘Oops.’ She said, and then Tim said, ‘That’s not the word you want to hear when someone is cutting your hair.’

We fetched Tim a mirror, and after seeing the new stripe on the back of his head, he was rather accepting of it. Like I said, he was smitten with Amber, so she could really do no wrong in his world at the time.

Tim decided the best course of action was to just shave his head bald, so Amber went ahead and completed her masterpiece.

He wasn’t an attractive bald guy.

Anyway, I lost touch with Rob and Tim. Last I heard, Tim was a highway patrol officer in New Mexico, so if I ever get pulled over while I’m in New Mexico, I’ll be hoping it is Tim so that he can let me off the hook. I’ll just say, ‘come on, you owe me one after I had to watch sperm swim on the big screen on my first date EVER.’

I don’t know what became of Rob, sad to say. They were really good guys.

High Fidelity Series: Twin Peaks and Valleys

19 Jan

The next guy on my High Fidelity list of ex-boyfriends was Chris D. Not to be confused with Chris K., who reads this site. Chris K., we’ll get to you later…

I don’t remember how I met Chris D. We had a class together during my junior year, and he sat next to me, but we never talked. I remember taking sneak peaks at him because I thought he was cute, but never really did anything about it. He was in ROTC (the high school program that prepares kids for the military), and I have a vivid memory of him in his dress whites uniform.

In the social structure at our high school, we were in two different groups. I was more of a jock/honor roll type of girl, while he was a ROTC boy that played football, though he sat on the bench a lot. I don’t know why this made us so different, but it did. We ran with different crowds, and those crowds didn’t quite know what to think when we decided to hang out together.

Chris had a twin brother who happened to be dating one of my good friends at the time. It was double date heaven, and we had a lot of fun. The boys even had matching Chrysler convertibles that were pretty old, clunky and unreliable. In fact, Chris’s car broke down in front of my parents’ house when he came to pick me up for the Homecoming dance. (By the way, we ate dinner at my parents’ house. Mom cooked, and Greg and Jane served us. Very cute!) We had to call his twin and my friend to come pick us up and take us to the dance. The boys were not happy because the had a thing about having separate lives.

At first, the whole fling with Chris was a lot of fun. He was quite the artist, and he drew me fancy drawings with sweet notes. And I guess I shouldn’t call him a fling, because we managed to stay together for six months, which was an eternity to my high school self.

I can thank Chris for my first hot air balloon ride. His father had connections to a man that owned a balloon, so I got to go to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta with him, and have the breathtaking experience of riding in a balloon with hundreds of balloons around me.

Sidenote about that experience: It is actually pretty scary. You can actually see through the weave in the basket, and it is eerily quiet up there. Also, I made the mistake of wearing really tight jeans that day, so getting in and out of the gondola was quite a challenge.

Back to our story… I don’t really remember where and when things started to go wrong between us. Suffice it to say, we were headed in two completely different directions. I was preparing to go to college, while he dreamed of becoming a Navy Seal.

I remember one day when I tried to break up with him, he turned around and hit a wall. Literally took his fist and hit a wall. He was just so mad that he didn’t know what to do with his anger. And that really didn’t help matters. To me, it was immature, and I didn’t like seeing him injure himself because of me.

It took me ages to fully break up with him, because he was very smitten with me. Admitedly, I had been smitten with him to begin with, but once I decided things weren’t going to work, it was a long, arduous process to convince him that we were through.

After we officially broke up, he quickly started dating a younger girl (a sophomore, I believe) that was very good looking. According to rumors, they eventually got engaged, and then she broke up with him because she decided to become a lesbian.

Wow, it’s like Days of Our Lives, isn’t it?

I ran into Chris’s twin brother at our 10 year reunion, and found out that he’s in the Navy, is divorced and has a seven year old daughter. In retrospect, he was one of those guys that was looking to get married young.

At that point in my life, I was convinced that all I that was important to me was getting married and having children. The ironic thing is that was exactly what Chris was looking for, but I think I was wise enough to know that we were just too different to make it work for a lifetime.

Regardless of the breakup, I have positive memories of Chris, and hope he’s doing well. Whenever I think of my ‘highschool sweetheart’, it’s him that comes to mind. Although it’s interesting now that all I can remember is the drama of breaking up, not the six months of good times.

Lesson learned: You can’t force a relationship to be right. It just has to be right from the beginning. Luckily, I eventually found my Mr. Right, though it took another ten years of searching and dating and goofy relationship stories. And that is why there will be more to come in this series. Stay tuned!