I can hear her now sayin’ she ain’t gonna have it

I can hear her now sayin’ she ain’t gonna have it

When I think of my mom, many different things come to mind. Her pigs in the blanket on Christmas morning. How she always used Clinique makeup. And Youth Dew perfume. Her love of horses (and cowboys). When she would make breakfast for dinner and how it was my absolute favorite. Our trip to San Antonio with my great-grandmother and my sister, who was still in a stroller at the time. But most of all, I know how proud she is of me these days. Which means a lot, as I am not always proud of myself.

You’ll hear (read?) me say, “I didn’t imagine I would be single and childless at 38” or 39 or 40 (um, if this blog still exists then: high five, Nikki) many, many times. That’s the whole point of this thing. Dealing with the fact that, if you had told me how my life would be now when I got a divorce 10 years ago, I would not have believed you. And probably would have said well fuck this shit and moved to France.

But hey, at least I have good skin.

So having said all that, a little real talk for Mother’s Day: I get somewhat mixed emotional on this day. I go through the motions of wishing a happy day and showing gratitude for my mom, sisters, sister-in-law, and all my beautiful friends who are wonderful mothers. But there’s a part of me, somewhere deep down inside, that gets sideways.

I posted about this in a group of which I am member on Facebook, Forever 35 Listeners with No Kids. (Forever 35 is a kick ass podcast you’re fidna here me talk about a LOT). I know I am not alone on this and wondered exactly how others deal with it. All of us in that group don’t have kids for various reasons, whether by choice or nature or why ever. If it’s by choice, it doesn’t mean we don’t get to be upset about it on occasion. That’s not how it works. For the most part, I am now fine with never having my own biological children. When I take 2.5 seconds to stop mentally berating the shit out of myself, I can see my life is pretty great. I have a job I figgin’ love and my career is back on track after years of derailment; I’ve had the chance to visit three different countries and countless cities over the past couple of years; I am finally paying off quite a bit of debt; and as always, I have more friends than anyone I know. And I only have THE BEST FRIENDS.

In short, this road I am on doesn’t suck as bad as I sometimes think it does. But every once in awhile, something will happen that will trigger a minor meltdown. Like yesterday. A memory popped in my On this Day section of Facebook (that page is both a blessing and a curse), from five years ago when my lovely paternal grandmother was dying. I ended the post by saying, “I hope when I’m a mom I’ll be as strong of a woman as she was.” And oh boy. That did not sit well.

I don’t want anyone’s sympathy. Or judgement. Or advice. This is just one of those things a girl has to deal with herself (but it helps to know you’re not alone, nonetheless). Cause as of today, I am back to normal and looking forward to mimosas with some of my besties in an hour. But I had a moment there for a bit; I was down a rabbit hole of “gosh, where did I go wrong?”

The truth is, I did not go wrong. I’ve had many nights and many boys with which I’ve gone terribly wrong (I won’t list names), but overall, this is my journey and I don’t need to wish any of it different. And you, my friend, who is reading this and relating to it: you did not go wrong, either. The universe knows what each of us has to offer in this lifetime, and the next, and we are here for it.

Besides, after those mimosas? I get to come home, lay on the couch, get the shit scared out of me by the new episode of Handmaid’s Tale and actually take a nap. All interrupted.

So shout out to all my friends and loved ones for whom this day is a little strange, maybe a little sad. For whatever reason, it matters not. Your story and your feelings are yours; you get to have them. And Happy Mother’s Day to those of us who are woke up every day with a good cat pat in the face because there’s only a quarter cup of food left or a 13 year-old dog who has to go outside at 1 a.m. Our struggle may not be the same, but it’s super real, too.

______

This is the first post I’ve shared publicly, for many reasons. Mostly fear. So if you found yourself here and want to read more, there’s already plenty – my trip to Austin, my family reunion, drinking (shocking, I know), St. Paddy’s day and more. Hit HOME in the menu. Let me know what you think. Xo. 

Daytime boys and nighttime boys usually don’t see eye to eye

Daytime boys and nighttime boys usually don’t see eye to eye

So here it is, the tenth post. If I counted correctly. I don’t exactly speak numbers well. I originally told myself once I had a minimum of 10 posts and could manage to throw something up at least three times a week, I would start sharing. But we’ll see about that, cause I DO speak deathly fear of judgement well.

These last few weeks have been, to put it lightly, a lot. I spent six days in Vegas, entirely too long for any one human being; a few days back at home; and then, as previously mentioned, a weekend in Austin with LA friends. This trip was their first Keeping it Weird, so I wanted to make sure they did it right. Tacos. Dirty Sixth. Live music. Beer. All of it.

Here’s the deal with Austin and me. I’ve had my heart broken not once, but twice, in that city. So as fun and fabulous as it is, when I think of it, it never fails I also think of how much I suck at dating. But even drinking an old fashioned reminds me how much I completely suck at dating. I can find the suck in almost anything. Nevertheless, I had an amazing time on this trip. I was able to spend quality time with one of my absolute best friends whom I don’t get to see nearly enough, hang with a handful of other wonderful people from California, see one of my oldest friends and a couple of other pals who live in ATX.

Given how hippy liberal I am, I often have people ask me why I don’t live in Austin. My short and superficial answer is, I don’t want to live any further south. But the genuine answer is, if I am going to live single in Texas, it’s going to be in Dallas. Really, if I am going to live single anywhere, it’s going to be here. Dallas is home. Dallas has my friends, most of my family and most importantly, NorthPark.

Having said that, I love visiting ATX. As long as there isn’t a boy making me cry, of course. The food is good, the people are super fun, the music is on point, and turns out I am a lot more attractive in Austin than I am in Dallas. We were walking around South Congress and happened into a true hat store, and because I love a good hat, I bought myself a fantastic one (IMO). That night we went out on Rainey Street, an area with which I wasn’t yet familiar, and that hat was a complete dude magnet. I had three guys come up to me. I tell you this not to brag, cause the thought of me bragging about men is hilarious, but because I am still confused. And super mad at myself.

Wait, what’s happening? Are you just trying to talk to my gorgeous Persian friend? Did you need directions to the restroom? Are you drunk? I mean, it is Cinco de Drinko, after all, so poor judgement is understandable. Oh is it the hat? It’s totally the hat.

Those are just some of the things that went through my head each time a guy approached. I didn’t think I would get to the point I would no longer know how to react appropriately to cute boys anymore, but goddamn here we are. I had a couple of somewhat confident years in my late 20s and early 30s. But now it’s just…not okay. I am an example of self-sabotage at its finest. The majority of the voices in my head won’t stop LOLing and criticizing long enough for me to chill the fuck out. They’re particularly annoying to the tiny voice in the back screaming “hey, so does he just want to make out? Cause girl, it’s been a minute.”

Normally, I can deal with all of this with a firm stance of “whatever, BEING SINGLE IS FINE.” But this time, it’s really bothering me. And because I’ve recently discovered I loathe journaling, you get to read about it here. Congrats.

Why it bothers me is because of the first guy. His name was Mike, he lives in New York and he was so nice and absolutely ADORABLE. I’m sure he was all of 29. Regardless, boy I totally blew it. I was so completely flabbergasted, I kinda thought he was trying to get us to dance with his super drunk friend? Apparently that was not the case. Because The Voices were giggling, reminding me how old I am, how much weight I need to lose, the fact I live in Dallas, “boys don’t like me” and this guy was clearly too hot for me, I was Not. Paying. Attention.

And I have not stopped thinking about it since. Because here’s the really shitty part. I will be in New York the first week of June. And that was on the tip of my tongue when he said he was from NYC. And I didn’t say it. Because all I was thinking was, “like that would matter.” Once we got seated, I could still see him and his group. I kept thinking Nikki, you need to man the fuck up and go back and talk to him. But I didn’t. And they left. I’m not still percolating on this because I think this guy was my soulmate or anything so ridiculous, but because I know this is indicative of a terrible, terrible habit.

I am dumb. I know.

Comes from a long line of blue collars and lace

Wrapping up a great weekend with friends from LA. We spent most of it in Austin – more on that later – but today I am showing them my forever favorite place in Dallas, NorthPark Center. First stop was lunch at the Mermaid Bar in Neiman’s. Mermaid Legends and a Spiced Iced Tea. Please and thanks.

I am by no means a lady who lunches, but it’s certainly fun to pretend to be.

Out here it’s like I’m someone else

Out here it’s like I’m someone else

I don’t have a traditional family setup by any means, not that many do nowadays. My parents divorced when I was seven and I was the only kid they had together. Knowing each of them as well as I do as a somewhat grown ass person, I have zero clue how they even dated. Each of their personalities are inside of me and quite often at war. It’s a crowded nation with the only common ground being an uncanny ability to over-worry about EVERYTHING.

I have an older (half) brother and sister from my dad’s first marriage and a younger (half) sister from when my mom re-married. I don’t typically refer to them as halfsies, to me they’re my full, red-blooded siblings.  I am much closer to all of them now than any of us ever were “growing up.” Age and geographic distances kept us figuratively and literally apart then. But now it’s totally different. I’ve vacationed a handful of times with my brother and sister-in-law and talk to my little sister almost every day. We even have Real Phone Conversations. But that’s because I am secretly 85 and get tired of texting and force her to speak to me.

For quite some time, I haven’t felt like I fit very well into either side of my family. I’m not saying I don’t get along with them, because I do. But I am just…different. I am the pro-choice, pro-same-sex marriage, anti-gun, anti-religion, legalize marijuana in all 50, will forever love Obama hippie liberal who moved off to California for three years and probably would have ended up in the Haight in the 60s . I know being the “odd one” in the fam is a situation to which many of my friends can relate. But I’ll admit, this has affected me quite a bit over the years, especially since November 2016.

I am not ashamed of who I am by any means and usually won’t shy from telling you exactly what I think about something. But because my perspective is so entirely different, I’ve often felt isolated. It’s genuinely bothered me many times, as being closer to family is a major reason I moved back to Texas. And because I don’t have a “family of my own,” the loneliness has been slightly magnified. The great new is, I am surrounded by a very large support system of friends of all shapes, sizes and beliefs. Not to mention, my therapist and I have spent quite a bit of time on this subject and I’ve done a lot of individual soul searching about it. And then, last year happened.

Very long story short, as its not my story to tell, in 2017 my dad and his siblings met a brother they never knew of growing up. I was able to slightly get to know him and his wife on Facebook before we met in person at Thanksgiving. Come to find out, I DO have a lot in common with them, especially New Aunt. Trying to explain this in full is difficult, especially without bawling my eyes out, but no one can entirely comprehend what a tremendous amount this has meant to me and the collateral benefits it has had.

Brené Brown’s newish book, “Braving the Wilderness“, to which I’ve been listening, explains these feelings in beautiful detail – our overwhelming, yet often unnecessary, need to be belong. To be accepted. I highly suggest the Audible version, as Brené narrates it herself. It explains the aspects and nuances of these feelings much better than I can.

Basically, I didn’t feel like I belonged before New Aunt and Uncle came into our world. I know through therapy and the four thousand books and articles I’ve read that it was never my family that intentionally made me feel any sort of way; I 200% did that to myself. I am solely responsible for my feelings, reactions and responses. This is why I am writing this, because I think this is something many people don’t understand in the Era of We Are Always Offended. Only YOU are responsible for how you feel.

I now look at my family in a whole new way. There are many things I admire about them. For example, there is a very strong entrepreneurial spirit throughout my siblings and cousins, a trait I do have but it’s hidden beneath layers of absolute fear. Therefore, I am always in awe of what many of them have accomplished. In addition, as I have been close to my niece since she was born eight years ago, I’ve often wished I had the opportunity to spend more time with all of my aunts growing up. Clearly nothing can be done about the past now, but we always have the chance to alter the future.

We had our annual family reunion a couple of weeks ago and despite the fact I had two ear infections and just got home from six days in Vegas (enough to obliterate anyone), I couldn’t tell you when I had such a wonderful day and overall experience with my entire immediate and extended family. We may never have religion, politics or even college sports in common. But we do have blood and humanity in common. No one can change that. And I now have a whole new appreciation and immense amount of gratitude for it. Knocking on the door of a new decade of my life, there are still many things of which I am uncertain, but family is no longer one of them.

But it’s closing time and we both know why

But it’s closing time and we both know why

I had to stop the post I was working on to write this, as  I would be remiss as a lifelong Cowboys fan otherwise. Let me preface this by saying, yes, this blog is about the tribulations of female life. However, I am a gigantic sports fan (which comes with its own challenges that will certainly be discussed at length). So we will be taking a side trip every once in awhile. Not to mention, as a teenager in the 90s and winning three Super Bowls, I didn’t expect I would be 38 and not have another. I mean, my god, we even let the Eagles finally win won.

Outside of Dak Prescott – because he’s a perfect angel (more on this comment at a later date, as I almost threw a drink in someone’s face in Vegas over this, and not why you’re thinking) – I am fine with burning the entire team to the ground. I am completely over the online and in-person debates about what the Cowboys should/need/have to do to get better. You all are damn fools. Apologies to anyone who has heard me say this 175 times, but you fidna hear it again, the only way That Team will ever be better is for Jerry Jones to be six feet under. Preferably more like 20 feet with steel bars and some sort of voodoo. I have made peace with the fact we’ll most likely never win another championship until I’m retired (I’ve not made peace with that when it comes to the Stars, so someone fix that shit). And let’s face it, unless I marry Jake Gyllenhaal, I’ll never actually be able to retire.

I’ll hit pause on my overwhelming rage for a second, because we lost a good man today. And he deserves our collective respect and gratitude. There are those who think Witten is trash (I’m looking at  you, Drew Magary), and that’s okay. I can live with that. I live with a lot as a Dallas sports fan these days. However, I also know 82’s contributions off the field, both to the team and to this community, meant even more than his substantial contributions to the game. His leadership, his all around good humanness, his dependability – it will be missed. We knew this day was coming and most of us who don’t have Cowboys Fan Head Up the Ass Syndrome knew it was going to happen this year. But it still kinda sucks.

Dez is gone (I would have absolutely helped packed his boxes). Jason is now gone. For some reason I still have to deal with troubled child Zeke. And Perfect Angel is of course still here. Nonetheless, it’s a new day for the Cowboys.

And what does that mean? Not a damn thing. We will still be terrible.

Rage back on.

At $9.99, I’m perfectly disguised

At $9.99, I’m perfectly disguised

I love to shop. And by shop I mean look at pics from fashion bloggers on Instagram, outfits in windows at my favorite stores and on Pinterest. I personally can’t put together outfits to save my life or yours. So let’s hope we never find ourselves in a ryde or die styling situation. And as much as I love somewhat fashionable and trendy clothes, I would be perfectly happy in tank tops, jeans and flip flops for the rest of my life. Though I do love a good blazer/jacket as well. Therefore, when I say I love to shop, it doesn’t refer to the the physical act of shopping. Because that, my friends, is fucking terrible.

I have been a short, curvy girl with a skewed waist to hips ratio for my entire existence. My mom has always told me I am built like my dad’s paternal grandmother. That’s great, except she was close to 6 ft. tall. So, yeah. Not quite the same. Nine times out of 10, things don’t fit me on some level. To add insult to injury, I am extremely pale (but tan super easily, thank the lord – except my legs OF COURSE) and outside of one year in LA, I’ve always been blonde. So there goes most anything on the light end of the color spectrum. I think you get it. Clothes are difficult for me.

And I’ve never been rich. I won’t go into the history of finances of either my family or myself, cause that’s just boring and tacky. But I’ve never had money to invest a lot in clothes (though many times I’ve spent more than I should). Therefore, I am the one that will walk out of Old Navy with four shirts, two pairs of pants, three workout tops, maybe some shoes and a bag, a new dog, a Diet Coke (I don’t even really drink Diet Coke), two face masks and six pairs of earrings for $75.

But can’t make a cute outfit out of ANY OF IT.

I’ve promised myself when – not if, but WHEN – I get to “goal weight”, I will invest in a personal stylist. Cause your girl needs some help. However, who doesn’t need any help whatsoever? One of my best friends. She can step out of the house in workout clothes, hair in a topknot, flippies and a designer purse with no makeup and look like she just walked down a runway at New York Fashion Week. Me? Look a little closer and you’ll see three inch roots, a growing sunspot, a little hole in the crotch of my yoga pants and a statement necklace made out of animal hair.

A couple of weeks ago we were out running errands and popped into a well known and loved boutique here in Dallas for her to drop off some clothes that needed alterations. I have heard of this place for quite some time, but never dared go in there. I’m basically a scene out of Pretty Woman walking in wanting to yell out “yeah but look, my sunglasses and lip gloss are Tom Ford, you guys! Please like me!”

I must state, this place is absolutely lovely. The majority of the clothes in there I would never wear because I am just not cool enough. But boy, some are darling. And the denim! (Cause that’s what you call it there: denim). I started looking at price tags and promptly stopped. I could own my own Old Navy for the price of one rack at that place. So I turned to looking at the just jewelry and candles, thinking I was seeking the comfort of more familiar digits.

After I fell head over heels for a candle called Positano that costs $105, I decided to just sit in a chair, enjoy a free bottle of water and mentally vision board the day I will be able to waltz in there, drink champagne, and go on a complete shopping spree. A girl can dream, right?

But also, remind me to never feel out of place in Nordstrom ever again.

I said I wouldn’t do it, but I did it again

I said I wouldn’t do it, but I did it again

Today I hit reply all on email at work with a less than appropriate response that was meant for the sender only. I realized it immediately and wanted to die. Thank god I was not in the office. And mind you, I am the one who LOATHES when someone hits reply all. This is punishment for every time I overly judge someone for using that bloody button. I do the same when I get behind someone who forgets to turn of his/her blinker.

I promise judgement is a terrible habit on which I am trying to work. BUT IT IS SO HARD. But know this, friends – I judge no one in this world worse than I do myself. It’s a chronic disability and has become debilitating at times. And has continuously become worse the older I get.

I tend to make really stupid mistakes when I am drinking (that’s not exactly rocket science, I know). I swear I am not an alcoholic, but the problem is I can’t metabolize adult beverages as well as the average person/I used to. I’ve had to learn this the hard way in recent months. When I found out I had a defunct metabolism last fall, all I could focus on is how that related to my inability to lose weight for the past three years, not how it affected anything else of importance or consequence.

I talk about drinking a lot, especially bubbles, cause that is my signature beverage. But I actually don’t drink nearly as much as I did from my late 20s to mid 30s. Those hangovers do not play around the older one gets, am I right? Anyhow, when I do decide to throw down like it’s 2008, I pay for it, in one way or another. And it never fails my questionable overindulgence is in direct response to a situation that or person who brings out my insecurities.

I went to a Christmas party last year with a guy I had been “dating” for most of 2017. A guy, honestly, I had no business dating in the first place (hi, my name is Nikki, and I am a terrible choice in dudes aholic). We hadn’t seen each other for four months and I was quite shocked to hear from him. I let this person, like most guys I’ve dated, make me feel like pure shit about myself. Like, I weigh 400 pounds, am entirely too old to try to date, never going to be good enough for anyone pure shit. It’s not okay. I’m working on that. But the day of that party, I barely ate – not out of nerves, more out of scheduling – and hadn’t really been drinking a lot for several weeks. Not to mention, there were a lot of leftover issues from when we had split in the summer that should have been dealt with before we ever tried to hang out whilst partying. Recipe for disaster, much?

I am sure you can see where this is going. Stupid things were said and thanks to Tito, it got way out of hand. I will be honest and say I don’t remember much. Just the aftermath. I spent three straight days destroying myself over it. My friends were worried, my therapist was worried. It was an ugly situation and I wallowed in unnecessary shame and despair for hours of my life I will never get back. I cried to the point of dehydration (not the first time that has happened over a boy, but I swear it will be the LAST). A part of me will always miss this guy; I’ve never met anyone with whom I have so much in common. But now I know that might not be such a good thing.

I didn’t think I could ever feel that much self-loathing again until I went to Mexico earlier this year.  I was around individuals from all across the world and none of them speak English as a first language. Outside of the other two individuals from the U.S. and my roommate, no one spoke to me much. Instead of logically thinking about why, I automatically assumed it was because they thought I was silly, stupid, weird, a moron, fat, ugly etc. I let myself get a ridiculous complex. Again.

On the last night, one of the girls came up to me and told me most everyone had wanted to talk to me all week, but were hesitant to because they were nervous about their English. I had to bite my tongue before I screamed out “YOU LIKE ME, YOU REALLY DO LIKE ME!”

I’m an idiot. I know.

So what did I do when they actually started hanging out with me? Try to consume tequila like I was one of them, all of whom are born and raised Latin Americans. Needless to say, that did not turn out well. And the fact I had only a collective 17 hours of sleep that week did not help. I was not myself and borderline sick for days. And I was mortified. I beat myself up, again, for an absurd amount of time. I didn’t actually do anything stupid, but it was just a major “I am entirely too old for this” moment

Being chronically hard on myself has been a lifelong struggle. My parents were always called into school because my teachers thought I was under too much pressure at home. My mom had to tell every one of them it wasn’t her or my dad, it was all me. I have made an art form out of self-criticism. I have no doubt it’s why I am single, have anxiety and had a consistent eye twitch for the past two months. I am well aware I gotta get a grip. I refuse to take this habit and behavior into my 40s.

Having said all this, now you can imagine how I reacted when I accidentally replied all this morning. I wanted to die. So I literally googled “how to get over doing something stupid” and I came across a blog post from a therapist. I can’t seem to find it now, but this I remember:

You are human.

You are not perfect.

You make mistakes.

And that is okay.