The Scales Tilt

Photo by Leio McLaren (@leiomclaren) on Unsplash

“Hey Chef, can I talk to you before you go?”

The question is posed after another long Saturday with the exhaustion of Thursday and Friday getting to me. I can see he’s dreading the ‘Talk’ that I have coming, because I have had serious talks at the end of his shift, not always good.

“How do you balance home life and chef/restaurant life? Like how do you get your family to understand the lack of balance?”  The question gets a chuckle, rueful at best from Coffeeman as he flips a milk crate over and sits down on our back dock and I plop myself on the stairs. I’m way past tired, ready to cry, per usual, and that’s not having been working over 40 hours; I still have another two to three before I hit that mark. It’s just the overwhelming feeling of all my focus on work. Picking up after people, stressing over prep not getting done, sugar lows that make me hurl dough at a table and stomp off nearly ready to melt into a puddle of tears and snarling. I could be a puddle of vampire teeth. I know, weird analogy. But I’m a weepy, bitey puddle.

I never balance things well. Relationships, work, poetry, writing. I go all in. I thrust myself into the fray and sink my heels in; grasp with sharp talons. Moderation isn’t my best suit. I have a lot of flaws. I cultivate bad habits…. Okay, not totally, but I’m far from the person I present myself at work. I think everyone there thinks I am a certain way, and I’m betting they wouldn’t quite recognize me on my off days or at home or when I’m in a comfortable setting. I’m me at work, but not. Which is why I cultivate the name ‘K’ at work (psst. people, it’s not Kay. It’s just the letter…. lol) K is a focused individual, a little messy, but put together, dedicated to the point of ocd-ness, passionate about her work, what her guests think, what her coworkers think, etc. It can be exhausting. I’m nice to a fault. I’m not as assertive as I need to be, yet. Much more passive.

But at home I am cluttered, distracted, emotional, snarky, tired, always tired, prone to starting too many projects and not finishing them, a reader, a dreamer, a writer. Writer me is rarely visiting work, and when she does, it’s while making a pizza on a slow day when the clouds are forming to the south and I stare out at the fields, meadows, and mountains, writing about Wilson Tennu, or what he should be writing about…

I guess in that way I’m balanced. A balanced wreck, but balanced nonetheless.

“Twenty plus years in the industry, and I still haven’t got it all balanced,” says Coffeeman.

“How do you unwind? I find myself getting off at 11 and awake till three in the morning,” I say.

“I still do that.” His replies help (and don’t help) because I don’t feel like I’m the only one dealing with it. I know he gets it. He has it seven days a week with ordering or being at the restaurant, family life, a wife, kids, a long commute. I have at least the two days off, which he says to be thankful of.

“Don’t drive past this place, (course you get your mail at the post office behind…), don’t think about work. Don’t plan recipes or menus or specials. Do it at the last minute. Do it on the fly. Don’t talk about work. Let it go for the two full days you are off and the morning before you come to work.”

It’s all easier said than done. Coffeeman… I failed this week, as I sat there discussing work and thinking about hand pies and do we have puff pastry in the freezers still? Do I want to run a special this week?

It’s currently Tuesday evening, my Sunday night, and yeah, I’m thinking about work. It’s one of those bad habits.  But I don’t feel as stressed other than I wish I would have had more time to watch a few things filling up the dvr. I wish I could sleep more. I feel like I don’t get enough sleep. This balance thing is hard.

But again, balance isn’t my strong suit. Nor is patience. I want it to happen now. Drama queen that I am.

I like to think that maybe the scales are shifting a bit though. I took a long walk and hike yesterday by water, which I love. Saw plants and wildlife and just got away from the house. And not just to town, or to the city. Just away from the generals of life. It was nice. Summer is rapidly progressing and I feel like it’s going to be all over before it even began!

I found myself feeling kind of weird about how much of a struggle last summer was, but right now it feels very far away. Some things are not far away, having animosity towards people still, months from when it happened, but it seems ages ago. This year is a struggle as well, but in a different way. Other problems creep in, others fade. I’m still too emotional about things. I don’t think that will ever change, but each day might bring something new and a new perspective.

Coffeeman left me with a hug of serious proportions. The kind that says, “I get you” which I needed because I was so tired and need to find balance. “Just be thankful you don’t have kids,” he says on a final note. And to that, I am fortunate. My immediate family wears me out. I’d hate to think of kids in the picture. And that’s the rueful me talking there.

Kate

Personal Hells

This post is coming after a thing happened with a writing thing with a work thing, with a too personal thing, with well, being a writer just isn’t always an excuse. It kind of all relates to my personality, a lot of which people don’t always get. Heck, even I am still figuring myself out daily.

The first part of my job with my restaurant was hell. A personal hell. Oh sure, there were good moments, and the opportunity was something amazing, but chef #1 and Lucifer were personal hells. They each had their moments that left me crying most of my time after or prior to work. It was because of #1 that I quit one month in and was hesitant to come back, but I liked the job. Lucifer, while a charmer in his own way, became another personal hell.  I doubt myself a lot. Even now with the support of come amazing people, I spend my time doubting myself and selling myself short and worrying that I am disappointing people and always ready to wince and take the blame. In the words of Topenga, or maybe it was Shawn, on Boy Meets World directed at Cory… I want people to like me. It is a fault. It is why I am not always assertive. It gets me into trouble.  And I doubt myself a lot. Even now.

The first six months of my job did not encourage me to have confidence, so when the new boss came on, I think I became this slightly over exuberant puppy. I am a people pleaser. So  I tend to come off as reeaaaalllly exuberant about certain things. I don’t always think about consequences and I would say, what you see is what you get, a lot of the time. Crushed easily, excited easily, a bit neurotic, oh very, very blonde… (“what are you smoking?” ‘Nothing, Chef, I’m blonde. That pretty much answers it.”) <—- true conversation. If I think of something at 3am, I will text you even if you are asleep because, I am awake, why aren’t you? I know I will forget it by morning. I forget other people have lives that do not include my weirdass sleeping schedule.

People think I’m flirting when I’m being nice. I am uber nice. I am the “Oh Kate will do that,” person. (Even when I don’t want to obligation fills me with grief if I don’t do it.) Guys have thought I was flirting with them when I was just being nice. Trust me, I’m not. I do the stupid hair twirl thing when I’m flirting, which I don’t flirt, because I don’t know how to flirt as I never understood what the hell it was supposed to be like. (That’s another long ramble not for here)

It makes life rather frustrating at times. And currently, I can cry at the drop of a hat. You would laugh if you heard me say I love my job and am relatively happy but then say I can cry that easily.  While I love my job, I have not necessarily dealt super well with my role in my job. I stress about coworkers, I stress about coworkers lives, how it’s affecting my life, whether or not things are getting done at work, to my standards, to Chef’s standards, worrying, micro managing, and just all around stressing. It’s made me tired and prone to crying. Just ask three people tonight that I was talking to, oh, pardon, four; and I couldn’t keep the tears in check.

Part of that comes off of removing my piece of flash fiction from earlier. It was just taken the wrong way, for which I am crushed that I might have jeopardized anything within the weird, close, family structure of a restaurant. As Sassy Girl said tonight, kitchen life is stressful. We find our outlets, be it alcohol, crying, snarling, writing, hanging out with friends. It’s a stressful life, and I am not always sure what outlet to use. Writing is an outlet that I like to use, but also like to share, but also forget how public it can be. I haven’t written a lot lately because I have been so busy and my little flash piece was this utter excitement that I had written something fun for a change instead of Night Shift Notes on what was or wasn’t done in the kitchen (goddammit!) I forget that it isn’t always a private thing to ‘share’ your writing. So I hadn’t thought when I pushed the publish button.

I might take a step back from writing so much about kitchen life for a while. I’m not sure. I am trying to figure out the best outlet at the end of the night when the adrenaline is still high. I haven’t figured it out. I don’t know what to do. I want to bounce around walls, and drink coffee, and drink a glass of something buzzworthy and write and sing and do who knows what. I am having a hard time finding the outlet. Hey, anyone with restaurant experience want to give me some ideas of outlets. (Exercise is not one I want to do, so don’t suggest it.)

Anyways. Exuberant puppy me probably needs to tone it down. Writer me needs to tone it down. And hopefully life will continue on without any speedbumps. Today was a detour. Now let’s get back to the main road.

Kate

Be Assertive – Day 30

“Katie, you need to be more assertive,” says my GM. “Walk around like a guy, like you have a big d—k and b—s.”

This comes after several weeks of being challenged within the kitchen. It didn’t matter how  or what I did, it was like I was dealing with another Lucifer. Actually, this person tends to treat me like Lucifer in ways regarding respect, meaning lack of, especially when no one is watching. Which…. well…. irks me. I am not some peon within my restaurant. I am not the inferior here. I’ve got some experience under my belt. And everyone deserves respect.

I am not an assertive person. Never have been. I am almost as girly as you can be, without being like a complete and total priss. I do get my hands dirty with this job. To be assertive as a woman, you have to be a take charge, don’t let the big boys push you around and have this ability to have authority roll off  of you.

I’m not exactly that person. As Mrs. B said, ‘you have never lived the life your GM has lived, and you probably won’t get jaded to life like more assertive people are.’ It is a fact. I don’t have kids, haven’t been married, haven’t dated a lot, so life hasn’t made me nearly as cynical as  most people are by the time they hit their late 30s. Not to mention I am 20 years behind my GM as far as life experiences go. Oh and the whole health issues which screw up my brain on a regular basis. <—-there’s a real confidence in me builder….

Heck, I go into  a one on one meeting with Coffeeman and GM nearly in tears….. pardon, I was falling apart. To the point where I am not sure I even got out everything I wanted to say. In fact, I know I didn’t say everything I had been rehearsing for two days with my parents. Stuttering, tripping over my words, worked up….I know what I did say got most of my point across. Basically, if you don’t fix this you are going to lose me because I am so frustrated I’m not sure I want to say with this job. I was back to crying before work and crying after. That was/is how frustrated I am. Granted, I cry because I am more sensitive, but this comes from sheer and utter frustration.

I am  a more sensitive person and a lot of things bother me. I am soft. I care about people; I care a lot about people. If they struggle, I am sympathetic or empathetic to their plight most of the time. If someone I really care about is not doing okay, then I really find myself chewing on it. There have been a couple of our servers who I keep my eye on because I care about them a whole heck of a lot and when they go through things, it bothers me. Makes me want to cry.

 

Okay, in general I am a watering pot.  That is how I show my passionate side, besides getting a glow and a sparkle, I tend to get teary. Compliment my dessert, you won’t see me trying to dab my eyes, but I will be.

I have got to learn to just walk away….

I will never be as assertive as my GM would like me to be, but you know what? These people I work with wouldn’t like me as much as they seem to if I wasn’t me. Maybe it’s good to be more soft in a lot of ways.  Life is a dance of opposites. Hard and soft, light and dark. I’m the soft. I’m the light. I’m the laughter. I’m the feminine.

Someone else can be the masculine and the assertive.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have the ability to be more assertive and such. That is something I am working towards. I need a backer who has my back when I request someone do something and that backer is the enforcer and makes sure what I say is done as well. I’m one of those ladies where if I had kids, I would need my husband to be my backer when I wanted those kiddos to do what I said. Basically, not that the backer is the only one making it happen, but giving me the authority that what I say is rule.

Right now I don’t feel like I have that backer completely…… I am hinting at someone.  I’m afraid he’s a little like me. Too subtle…  Hint hint. HINT. I need your support to be semi assertive.  I need to feel like I have authority of some sort, because I am working to that goal. Maybe I will never be in charge totally, but I do think I have skills to be directing traffic and managing. With and enforcer by my side…. Or back, or whatever. Help me help you, so that we both have help….I’m quoting Jerry McGuire there, sort of.

But be thankful I’m not an assertive lady. Trust me, you will like me much more as I am.

Now pardon me while I go hunt down a tissue…. just kidding

Kate

Mistakes – Day 24

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

This wasn’t the post I planned to write today. Today’s post is getting put off till tomorrow or later. And like a tail between my legs, I’m writing this late as I am embarrassed.

Most people that know me would know I hate to make mistakes. I have since I was a child when I didn’t get spelling tests right. My mother reminded me of that today when I was nearly in tears because I had not left a note for Coffeeman that the meringue was not a huge amount nor was there a huge amount of lemon curd for tarts.  (leaving a huge pile of dishes then finding out we don’t have a dishwasher for Wednesdays right now, didn’t help either, because had I known, there wouldn’t have been a huge pile of dishes!)

I hate to make mistakes, even minor ones. Even  minor ones like leaving notes. I seriously have issues with making mistakes. Oh sure, I back talk my parents from time to time, I smart off, I don’t do things the non lazy way all the time, I am a cluttered individual, the clutter wins more often than not, I am a perpetual procrastinator, I am a distracted individual, I’m argumentative…. I have a lot of faults, but when I screw up, it really bothers me.

I spent the summer screwing up with relationships and life choices and it was hard to accept the consequences at times. I’m still dealing with the hurt from mistakes made.

At work, I really, really, really hate to make mistakes. Back in early spring, Lucifer needed prep help for a busy morning, so he asked me to push off my dessert baking till we got caught up. Unbeknownst to me, we had a car club come in and those guys always order desserts. Always.

We ran out of pie. Well not that we didn’t have enough to serve them, but when they were gone, we were out of pie and I wasn’t caught up on baking. Needless to say, the chef lit into me because it was going to take me a while to play catch-up especially with a pie that took two hours from start to finish because it needed to cool. I was in tears for most of the day because I had disappointed him, as well as he told me he was going to have to go tell the owners of the restaurant that we were not up to snuff because I hadn’t done my job.

Okay, I realize that the situation wasn’t all of my fault, but it was hard and it bothered me for days. One of those times I went home in tears.

This late summer not having  our roulade cake holding together left me mentally in tears, and actual tears a lot of the time. It took almost 6 weeks of baking the darn thing, trying new things each week before it finally worked for me.  Being mocked by a couple people for not getting it right didn’t help either….. I am a very sensitive individual.

Today’s mistakes, while minor, bug the heck out of me. Yeah, I am really tired and my sugars have been wonky lately, diving really low in the middle of the night and not being so great in the morning. So, that affects my tiredness. Mentally stressing about coworkers, missing idiot boys in my life, even though it was best to separate myself from them all add to the general irked feeling.

I hate to make mistakes. I hate to disappoint people. Which is sometimes a problem. I try so hard to please people that I am always stressing about it. Go figure why I have such insecurity issues. My father can’t figure it out. Heck, I can’t figure it out. Why do I need that A++ on a test, life, relationships?

Mistakes happen. They will forever happen from time to time in a job. I just wish they didn’t happen to me.

Kate

Lack of Tact makes me Bite Back

Photo by Mitchell Orr on Unsplash Stupid uphill climb…

Just as I think I’ve made progress in one area of my life, something else seems to derail everything and I feel like I’ve slid back down the ever upward climbing slope. Sisyphus and his boulder. This was a very stress induced week; pardon, the last two to three weeks have been stress induced weeks, where I feel exhausted beyond belief and unable to make any rational decisions. In fact, I’ve made several rash decisions that have made the stress even higher. Mr. T (renaming  Tomcat for personal reasons) and I went through a whirlwind of a thing that created family problems and drama that made me take a step back from it all and reevaluate some decisions and life choices.

It’s never easy to have to deny what you want for the better good. I really, really hate doing that. Mrs. B said that you can’t always do what you want, but what is right. I really hate that sometimes as well, because she’s right. What I want isn’t always what’s good for me. I want to stay up late. But I should go to bed. I want to drink numerous cups of coffee, but I need to drink water. I want to date so and so. But who do I want to end up with in life.

Tomcat and I are in this weird work/coworker relationship that was closer than that. Lucifer and I had the same issue. Don’t date coworkers. It will screw you up. It’s all too personal. And now we are clashing with each other. I don’t think it helps that Tomcat and Lucifer are friends. I think they feed off of each other too much. And currently, after a run-in with Lucifer, I have my feisty nature exposed. I’m tired of being pushed. I’m tired of people telling me I’m lacking passion, that I don’t know anything, that I’m too distracted, that they can whip me into shape. It’s not that I even disagree with all of that, but I’m just tired of the arrogant boys, boys 10-15 years younger than me, thinking they are God’s gift to the human race and they can teach me a thing or two. Honey, just because I have some naivete and haven’t been out in the world sleeping around, doesn’t mean I’m an idiot. Push me so far and I might just snap and then like hurricanes wreaking havoc, you won’t like the end result. You will get burned, stabbed, eviscerated, yes, Mels, I know if someone was ever murdered with a knife, I’m the first suspect…..

Tomcat and I clash when he tries to boss me around, this boy, and I say it with complete and total snark and sarcasm and stabby looks in my eyes, thinking he’s my boss. He’s not. Lacking tact, trying to act like he’s the new sous chef (Lucifer is no longer with us) and just being an all around a**hole at times, I could easily slap him so hard. Last night was one of those nights where I wasn’t going to be pushed. He’s been doing it for the past month since he joined and I had it. I outright defied him and ignored his bossy tone. So he went and got Coffeeman. Fine, I don’t care if Chef has to come in and deal with it. I’m tired of being pushed around by people who think they know everything. This goes back to even a few of my even younger coworkers who are half my age. Children. They are children. I may not have kids of my own, but whatever happened to respect your elders and superiors?  It’s like it just doesn’t exist.

Lucifer was 10 years younger than me and my boss. I get that he got to boss me around, but still, it can really irk when ‘children’ are bossing you around. Because they have no tact. Tact, Tomcat. You have no tact. No diplomatic skills. Brag about you being a person with manners and all, but seriously with me,  you have zip. And you are getting even less. You want to see me bite back, well, honey, there is how I will start fighting. Even if it isn’t for a good, valid reason, I will bite back if you are rude.

Clearly the drama and issues are not out of the water. Clearly I haven’t simmered down. It probably doesn’t help that Tomcat and I had a private message late last night and it still irked me. I still feel he thinks he’s in charge of me in the kitchen. I could use Coffeeman’s advice. I just hate to bother him now that he’s having to take on more with Lucifer gone. I’d really like to be his girl Friday, but I’m so tired right now, I feel I can’t take on any more than he’s already put on me. Not that I’m complaining, I’m looking forward to it. A lone kitchen and baking and experimenting. Now that’s kind of fun. I hope.

Pardon my vent. I had plan to talk about making and baking and experimenting but the issues of the kitchen have clearly frustrated me more than enough.

Bare with me. I might be able to tone down a little today. I had some good advice from various things and people in life and now it’s just applying them.

Kate

The Wisdom of Your Elders

This last week was challenging. I felt like someone was trying to push me to the breaking point and well, literally break me. Physically, mentally……. personally. Games played, moves made. Life is a chess match. If you don’t think it is, then you’re not doing it right. Because let me tell you, everyone is playing games. Even I play games, though less than others.

A knife isn’t necessarily just a knife. There is a lot more behind that, but I won’t go into it right now.

The breaking point didn’t happen because I didn’t break. I was pissed beyond belief. I was so so angry. So angry that I didn’t even talk to my family for a good 12 hours because I knew once I started talking, like an explosion, I wouldn’t stop. I didn’t want to put that on them. So I went to bed, slept for six hours and went to my writing group.

Photo by Val Vesa on Unsplash

My writing group is mostly women that I would classify as extended moms to me. All older, except two, all wise. All with a collective mind that I don’t think they even talk about but wow are things synced up with them. With me.

I was given the most amazing advice, opinions, and thoughts from those lovely ladies. Their initial advice led me to write some poetry where I allowed myself to be angry. And they even mentioned that I had let the anger out in the poetry and it was so much better to do that then to express my anger through other means. I am kind of a pushover, cream-puff, watering-pot of a person, so I always find it funny to think of expressing my anger in a physical way. Which was what they meant.

The poem was titled “Hurricanes Are Named After Women For A Reason”. Isn’t that great?  Basically, it was about being pushed and me pushing back in my way.  Age does have a way of allowing for knowledge.  Which was where I was going with my title. God, sometimes my blonde, distracted moments really get to me. (I’m more blonde now after an afternoon of lightening)

This card comes from Wisdom of the Crone, a deck of 54 wisdom cards. Click on the highlighted title.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where I started going was how my parents have always told me that your elders are usually smarter. Not always. Age does not always mean knowledge, but seriously, when you have a group of ‘crones’, (that is not a dig, my ladies excel in crone knowledge) and your parents saying the exact same thing about dealing, anger, being pushed, games played, certain people and their personalities, and just kind of all-around advice, it’s so so comforting. I went home after my writing group and my family listened to me vent, then gave me advice. A lot of advice. So much advice that one might think it was overload. At times it has been, but this time, I sat there kind of stupefied that I was hearing exactly what I had heard an hour prior. The collective knowledge of your elders.

I love the Farmer’s car insurance commercial line, “We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two….” which I’ve used in life recently when people doubt my existence. But it also applies to one’s elders. My family and friends are my elders and they definitely know a thing or two. And after the collective wisdom of them all, I was able to get through the rest of my day perfectly fine. I was even able to mad dash run into work for a few hours when I was needed. I wasn’t supposed to be working, but one line I was able to use, which is really quite true, was “This is my restaurant too.” Meaning, this isn’t a favor to you, but to my restaurant that currently means the world to me. My loyalties run so deep. I can’t even explain it. But I was in such an excellent mood that my time was a fast-paced dream.

I think the only other one thing out of all of this comes from the fact that I am terrible about responding to people in person. Which was the crux of some of my anger. It takes me until I get home and hours later to have the perfect come back. The line that comes to mind comes from You’ve Got Mail.

What happens to me when I’m provoked is that I get tongue-tied and my mind goes blank. Then I spend all night tossing and turning trying to figure out what I should have said. What should I have said, for example, to a bottom dweller who recently belittled my existence? – Kathleen Kelly, You’ve Got Mail

That is me. And that was where all of this stemmed from. Wanting to say something. Needing to say something to a ‘bottom dweller’ who should have known better. But, well again, cream puff.

In conclusion, as I have rambled on. Listen to your elders. Listen to the crones. Listen to the wisdom of years. It really really knows what its talking about. They know what they are talking about. Experience is the best learning tool of life. My experience in life these past 7 months is unexplainable, and I will be able to carry it onwards through life. I value it much more than I ever would.

And I value my elders. Thank you. Moms, ladies, family, thank you.

Kate

Giving Space

If there is one thing I can honestly say about myself, it’s giving space. I don’t do it well, and when I want to spend time with someone, I want to spend time with someone. I don’t always want to back off.  I especially don’t want to give space when a friend is hurting or going through crap. I may not always know what to say, but I like to be there. I like to comfort. I think I’m one of those natural maternal comforting types. Ironic since I won’t ever be a mom in the true sense of the word with my own kids.

Another thing I’m not good with is grief.  Not that I don’t deal with grief, but I haven’t had to, so I don’t always know what to say or do in the situations. The one time in my recent life where grief was a part of the process, was losing Boris this winter out of the blue to colon cancer. I was in shock and cried for two days. Till I found out that Boris hadn’t been truthful with me for the seven years we friends. Suddenly that friendship seemed like a sham (still blows me away some days) and like a water faucet, boom, I was out of the sadness. Even the anger.  Hold on, I want to check up on the stages of grief. Well, I think I blew through a few and was at the end rather rapidly.

So again, grief for me is more of an abstract. Watching someone go through aspects of it is hard. Especially when I want to be a giver of comfort. I don’t want o to have someone blow me off because they need to deal. Let me deal with you.

I think some of that stems from the fact that when I’m not coping well, even if I say I’m ‘fine’ which as women know means ‘ I’m not fine and I’d really like to talk about it and could you hold me,’ I actually want someone to push me to open up. What I really want is to talk about it. I want someone to care enough to push through my boundaries and ‘nudge’ me to open up.

So when a friend tells me to let them be and they’ll deal with it on their own, or think about it on their own, to me it feels like I’m being pushed away. Currently, that is my situation right now. I have a dear person in my life who is making me feel like I’m knocking on a brick wall. I know that we all have boundaries, and we all deal with tragic or tough things in our own way, but being on the flipside of the person going through a rough time, and being told to back off, in a way, is incredibly hard for me. I don’t understand it, I don’t like it.

I guess this is where I wonder about boundaries. If person A has the boundary of letting them be, but person B needs to be around person A to feel connected, who’s more important? I almost feel like there is this weird paradox in regards to it. Who’s right? Is person B supposed to push a little to get what they need? Or are they supposed to back off from person A to give them space?

Because I can tell you right now, if I am pushed away too much, it makes me get very frustrated. (of course, I am person B in this scenario) The more frustrated I get, the more annoyed I will be with person A.  So what’s right?

I feel like I’m overthinking all of this, and when I’m tired, which I am, it’s all much more dramatic than if it were an everyday kind of thing. My mother always talks about a poster my dad gave her when they were seeing if their relationship was going to work, and my mom was going home for a while. Something along the lines of ““If you love something set it free. If it comes back it’s yours. If not, it was never meant to be.” I think she repeats it better than this, but whatever.  See, I’m a more insecure person, so if someone pushes me away, it feels like I’m literally being pushed out of their life. So to let go of someone, for whatever reason it is, is very, very hard for me. This statement is one of those ones I’m not exactly good at.

But I feel like I’m going to have to learn this little bit about life. Frustrating as it is. But I still wonder, am I allowed to want to spend time with Person A? Am I wrong if that person wants space? I mean, gosh darn it. See, I am not good at giving space.

Kate

Let’s Get Personal – Why Aren’t You Married

12250144_401158516759945_3998860343872336222_nLet’s get personal.

I’m thinking of making this a new segment, or category for my blog. Basically, it’s me just rambling on about more personal things in my life. Things that make me tick.

So here is the subject of today. Being 30+ and not married.

The idea for this post came after Mrs. B was at the hospital for a procedure and met her tech who is 35, not married, and as Mrs. B put it, “cute as a button.” She asked her what she does when people ask the proverbial, ‘why aren’t you married, are you going to get married, and what about kids? questions.” The tech replied that she’s had to get creative and sometimes a bit rude when going to answer that question.

I happen to understand that completely. Ever since I turned 18, or moved to North Northern CA, to this very little town where ‘Everybody knows your name’….. and your business, and your life, and feels like it’s perfectly acceptable to butt into every little detail of your life. And the mothers are always, and I stress always, asking why you aren’t married. And “don’t you want to be married?” and “Oh, you should meet my son/nephew/ friend’s son/ grandson/ my neighbor’s son….. and so on and so on. The men that are 50+ and up pretty much ask the same thing, or versions of, “Why don’t you meet some nice boy” or “I can’t believe some guy hasn’t snatched you up.”

Sigh.

It’s not so much that I mind that they want to set me up, find out why, or whatever, never mind, it does get old, and they don’t understand when you say, “There really aren’t any available men that are good men in this area.” No, seriously, there really are not any good men, that I know of, in this area. I live in a logging, ranching, meth, marijuana, strange area. So the guys are……. well not my type. I come from a city mentality. I come from city life and living and I know it even though I am a ‘farm girl’ in some ways.

So, I’m left trying to figure out how to politely tell these people to mind their own business. In a good girl way. And it happens a lot. Maybe not weekly, but it happens enough that I mentally sigh when someone asks me that. It’s about as bad as when I get asked by all these people when I’m going back to school. IE college. Even though I’m 33. And they knew me when I was 18. Like I said, strange area.

I have yet to figure out a more rude method of diplomacy. That’s an oxymoron. Sorry. There is no way to be politely rude. But sometimes you just really want to tell people to go fly a kite. And then there is the whole ‘haven’t you tried online dating? Because my so-and-so met so-and-so on match.com, you should try it….”   blah blah blah. Yep, I’ve tried online dating. It’s been a real party. Not. I have tried it a couple times, just recently I spent a year on one site without much luck and a lot of hassle. Online dating has the issue of not always being able to meet the person right away. I live in a far off north place and a lot of guys do not want to come meet me. And I expect that, partly because I do not drive. And I don’t think a woman should have to go meet the man. That’s just now how I believe it should be. So yes, I have standards.

So, online dating is tricky. That being said, the tech Mrs. B met, recommended OKcupid. So, well, I might try it. Why not. She said she has heard of more luck there.

See, cause I actually do want to be married. I am not running from marriage, but honestly, it certainly seems like I should have been married 10 times over with how often I get bugged about it. But honestly, it’s not my fault when ……’My dear partner, when what’s left of you gets around to what’s left to be gotten, what’s left to be gotten won’t be worth getting, whatever it is you’ve got left”. …….is what the guys are like these days. (for you good guys, never mind) And for those that are wondering, this quote comes from White Christmas.

Prince Charming in a treeThe guys are waiting around, it seems till they have had thir fun, and then they will settle down. So, pardon me if I decide to go have a life. But then there is a caveat. If a girl doesn’t sit around waiting to have Prince Charming fall into her lap, then she’s “Too busy to find a guy and it’s her fault if no guy is interested.” But if she sits around doing nothing, then she’s not out looking hard enough or she’s too picky… You really can’t win. It is incredibly frustrating.

So, the teck is not waiting around to meet a guy. She is living a very full life. My cousin is living her life. I am still in limbo because I’m kind of waiting around for my guy, but that being said, I don’t just not live. My life is just a little less active, but that’s how I roll.

But I’m curious…. Single ladies and men out there. How do you deal with the rude question of why aren’t you married? Do you politely change the subject, or do you tell the people to butt out?

I’d love to know.

Things As Women We Should All Know – Day No. 27

We are four days from being done. I said D-O-N-E with this Write 31 Days.  Someone recently (and since I know you are probably reading this, you will know who I’m talking to…) told Mrs. B that I needed to suck it up and quit complaining about writing every day.  I’d like to see you write every day and come up with fresh content….. Now that I have that off my chest…. LOL.

12027540_977067112352002_6221272141493101965_nOkay, so earlier this year I came across this list of 13 Things No One Tells You About Being A Woman By Chrissy Stockton, after listening to the Joy the Baker podcast.  After listening to some of the highlights of the list, I headed over and read the whole thing.

Whoa. Right on.  This list is so true it’s scary.  First off, before you finish reading this post, head over to the list and read it first. Just click that link highlighted above. ……..

 

Okay, so now that you have read it…. I am not a feminist. I may have a few feminist ideals, but I think more that they are just common sense and equality in certain aspects. But on the whole, I tend to believe that men are the superior sex when it comes to strength, logical thinking (though sometimes I have to revise that when Mr. B is talking) and general fighting and political tactics.  I will honestly say I don’t have what it takes to think like a man. Nor do I want to.

And for the most part, I don’t feel oppressed by a male dominated world, though in all reality, it’s not half as dominated by men as it used to be 30 years ago. Women have made amazing strides with their lives, jobs, and etcetera.  So, again, not really a feminist, but still I felt this list was something that called to me.  Things I have dealt with in the past and still haven’t come to terms with.

Reading off the list in order….. I have had guys say I should do this, or I should do that. I should get rid of glasses, I should change the glasses, I should do this job or that job. Don’t wear this color, don’t have your hair that way. Women telling me I need to marry this boy or that boy or do this job or that job….. It can be kind of stressful fending off these comments.

I like doing things for guys. I want to be the homemaker (sometimes. Sometimes I wouldn’t mind if he would cook…. and clean a little).  I like the “wife/mom” roles in life. I 12107167_1040926229275315_7022155848237296182_nsaw it, grew up with it, my entire family, extended and all, had this as an example. It’s what I know and I like it.  But everyone wants me to have a career and why would I want to be, gasp, a homemaker?

Yep, I’m emotional. Damn right I am. But so what?! So freaking what? That doesn’t mean I can’t think. Sure, I might not think as well when I am emotional, but you telling me that I am this way does not help your case. At all. Mr. B has not figured this out .

While I can’t really say one way or the other if my relationships are deeper with a girlfriend vs boyfriend, I do know one thing, I can talk to my gals about some things that guys just don’t get, or don’t want to know about. We can commiserate together about those ‘times’ we are ’emotional’.

The biological clock thing irks me. Right at this time in my life, I don’t plan to have kids. That seems to really bother people. Go figure.

Number 6. About Moms…. I’ll just leave that one alone for now, but yeah, I agree with it.

Can’t say as I have been in the number 7 category, but I do get it, and I can get a little overboard sometimes.

I am terrible at asserting myself, but sometimes I really need to. And because I’m not good at doing it, it comes out wrong or people are offended because I do say “no.” Sigh.

Well number 9 is a given. If you aren’t sorry, why say it? And I have had to learn that sometimes when people say they are sorry, that doesn’t mean that all is forgiven because they said sorry.

Oh, I am forever feeling like I am pitted against other women. I compare myself to them. But it’s a nasty habit. I am me, and they are them…. We can’t all be alike.

I have been called crazy, but I still feel sane.

And lastly, sometimes I feel like I won’t survive without a specific guy’s approval. Boris in particular. But at the same time, good grief, half of what he tells me I don’t agree with. Why should I need his approval?  It’s something I do, feeling like I need everyone’s approval. I want people to like me, but honestly, that’s where asserting one’s self and not being a doormat comes in as well.

So those are just some of my opinions on the list. I’d love to hear what you have to say. And if you are a feminist, good for you. I have nothing against you personally. I may not agree, but that’s an opinion.  So, who likes this list? Who agrees or associates themselves with what’s on it? Tell me.

Only a few more days to enter the DaySpring Giveaway.  I urge you to enter with the link here  and  follow the giveaway widget instructions. Good luck, and thanks for reading!

Someone Amazing – Day No. 24

11048745_909527932422339_4813715533564715054_nThis isn’t to say I’m amazing. While I have my finer points, I still have a long way to go. But just remember, you are amazing too. You who is reading this, and wow, you showed up. 🙂

Hope you have had a great Saturday, writing away. I wasn’t writing. I wanted to write, but with regular things taking up time, I will have to write tomorrow.  Thank goodness I planned for one quote a week. A chance to ‘cheat’ with this writing thing.  Everyone needs a day off…. right?

Kate