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Decidedly Single January 22, 2008

Posted by angieland in Chatter, Friendship, Philosophy.
1 comment so far

What is it that makes us want to be on our own or to couple?  Is it a trait in our DNA, or societal pressures?  Is it ever-lasting love?  Whatever it is that drives most women to marry…..or at the least co-habitate…..I don’t seem to have it.

 Some girlfriends and I were having a discussion a few days ago, and we were all doling out advice on love and men and marriage, when one of the girls made the comment about how much our advice is colored by our own experiences and whatever baggage we’ve gained along the way in our relationships.  And it hit me just how true that is.  And while each of us would only ever give advice that we thought would help the others, our point of views are so vastly different that we all have varied answers to the questions at hand. 

Now I’ve been married.  I’m not anymore, so obviously I wasn’t very good at it.  I got married at 23, on the spur of the moment….on a lark….ran off and eloped with a man I’d only dated for four months, while my parents were in Florida celebrating New Years Eve!  Any strangers reading this won’t realize what a shocking statement that is….but anyone who knows me now has trouble believing that I would EVER do anything that impulsive.  Let alone anything that life-altering.  But I too was young, naive, and in serious heat once, and it seemed like a good idea at the time.  At least it fit into that whole “I’ll try anything once” ideal that I had going on in the eighties.

I was lucky in that I married a decent, hard-working man who was NOT a sociopath in any sense of the word.  But after having lived on my own for a while, just sharing my space with another person was a big change.  Couple that with having my new step-daughter on the weekends, and my own son being born two years later, and I no longer recognized the fun-loving, free-wheeling, independent single gal I’d once been.  And neither did my husband.  I was now, and forevermore, that person called, “MOM”.  Not a bad trade by any means, and certainly not one I regret.  But I buckled down, and tried my best to become what I thought that word meant.  Mom= homecooked meals, pta, scouts, clean house, playdates, birthday parties, and made-from-scratch baked goods at least twice a week!  And all of this on top of working another full-time job outside the home.  For my husband, Dad=life as usual.  Somehow, that didn’t exactly seem like a fair trade.

So after 10 years of marriage, and neither of us knowing what happened to that carefree girl he’d married, we decided to call it quits.  It was a very amicable divorce, and I’m happy to say that 10 years post-divorce, we’re still the best of friends, and are quite comfortable co-parenting our now 18 year old son.  I’m also happy to report that the fun-loving, free-wheeling, independent, single-gal Angie is back with a vengeance.  I like not having to work around anyone else’s schedule.  I like making plans to do what I want, when I want to do it.  I like having two closets and not having to share a bathroom with a hairy man.  I like reading as long as I want at night without having to worry if the light bothers someone else.  I like being able to eat cold cereal for supper three nights in a row and not having to feel guilty because I didn’t cook.  I like not having to clean up someone else’s mess.  I like always being in control of the remote.  I miss regular sex, and the intimacy that comes from that connection present when you’re part of a couple.  So its a trade-off.

But I did have to stop and think about some of the advice that I’d been so freely dispensing to some of my girlfriends when they were complaining or venting about their husbands and boyfriends, and not let my personal choices temper my responses to them.  Because while I like being single, not everyone does.  And don’t get me wrong…..I still have great respect for the institution of marriage, and more admiration for couples who make it work long-term than you can imagine.  Its work.  HARD work.  And a successful marriage is a rare thing in this day and time, and all the more special because of its rarity.  But its still not a project I’m interested in taking on again anytime soon! 

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New Dishes January 17, 2008

Posted by angieland in Chatter.
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6 comments

I’ve decided that new dishes are the best gift you can give yourself and your family.  My after-Christmas-gift to myself this year was a new set of Pfaltzgraff dishes.  I mixed-n-matched between two different patterns.  Nuance in Red, and Evening Sun.

 sunflower dish

red dish

I can’t begin to tell you how good it makes me feel to open my cabinets now.  Sometimes I’m just walking through the kitchen, and have to detour just to open the doors and make sure they’re still in there.  And don’t let the pictures fool you…..I got more than a couple sets of plates.  I got salad plates, appetizer plates, bread plates and individual entree plates.  Salad bowls, pasta bowls, desert bowls, and soup/cereal bowls in not one, but TWO different sizes.  Then there are the 20 ounce mugs.  That’s right….TWENTY ounce mugs.  Those aren’t made for coffee….there made for tomato soup!  LOL!  Serving pieces, platters, gravy pitcher.  I was a bad, bad stoneware buying girl.  And when I’d bought all I could justify getting myself, I created a gift registry so I can spam all my loved ones a month or so before my birthday.  I swear……dishes are as bad as beads……when I get started, I just can’t stop!

 And poor Bubba…..when all those boxes showed up on the doorstep, he thought I’d lost my mind.  Of course I tried to convince him that my buying spree was all his fault.  You see….he’ll graduate this year, and be moving off to college.  But try as I might, I couldn’t quiet get him to believe that I only bought the new dishes so he could have my old ones and not feel guilty about leaving me with nothing to eat from but paper plates.

But lemme tell ya…..in the last week or so, he’s decided that new dishes might not be such a bad thing.  Because they’ve had this strange, unexpected effect on me……I’m now just looking for excuses to cook!  And I don’t mean a bowl of soup or a frozen pizza.  My goal is to make as many courses as possible so that I can use as many different pieces as possible in one meal.  Soup, salad, pasta, main course, desert.  And let’s not forget the bread and olive oil, because we have plates for that, too!  Who knew that a few pieces of earthenware could change a girl so much??  The last time I can remember feeling so satisfied with something I’d treated myself to was when I threw out all of my old underwear and bought new.  Hmmmm…..plates and panties.  Not sure I see the connection, but they both certainly gave me the same “rush”!  😀

Ch-ch-ch-changes January 13, 2008

Posted by angieland in Chatter.
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5 comments

Yep, I’m back!  Didja miss me??  Believe it or not, I didn’t slide off the end of the earth.  No excuse really for not blogging.  I think I just sort of hit a roadblock…..well a few of them actually…..and needed to take a little “time-out” from some of the self-imposed duties and obligations that were slowly taking over my life.  I’ve done some private journaling lately, as opposed to public blogging, and have asked myself some of the hard questions about what direction I needed to be going in.

I’ve come out the other end of this self-analysis, with the realization that I’m often my own worst enemy.  A chronic over-acheiver, I’m usually the hardest person in my life to please, and often fall short of my own expectations, or at least completely wear myself out trying to meet them.  So while most of the world has been making resolutions to get more organized, accomplish more goals, work harder, volunteer more, blah, blah, blah, I’ve been scaling back.  My resolutions for the new year have much more to do with being more forgiving of Angie.  Not expecting (or demanding) so much.  In fact, I vowed to give myself at least two Saturdays or Sundays off each month.  I’m going to see at least one movie in a theater each month…..an activity I used to really enjoy, and now seldom do for lack of time.  I’m going to work less, and have more fun.  Superacheiver Angie accomplished a lot…..but I was finding that she wasn’t much fun to be around anymore.  So I’m turning over a new leaf.

And it seems I’m not the only one making or at least experiencing changes in my life.  A lot of my friends are going through similar self-evaluations.  I don’t know if its something in the water, or the cycles of the moon, or if maybe its just contagious, but a lot of people close to me seem to be shaking things up right now, too.  Some of us will be happy with our decisions…..some of us will wish we’d never questioned the status quo, but all of us will know that at least we were brave enough to take that leap of faith and try something different for a while.

So now that my path to self-discovery seems to be at a rest stop for a bit, I think it might feel good to get back in the blogging saddle again.  Wanna tag along??