February 26, 2013

I love familiarity. By that, I mean I guess I’m a creature of routine, as most of us are. I’m outside on the patio on this glorious late February night in Austin, enjoying the lower 60’s temperature, the light as it disappears behind the horizon, the cold Red Stripe beer by my side, warm laptop on my lap, and the Old 97’s playing in the background. To me, this is almost perfect. I say “almost” because nothing can be absolutely perfect, and anything that claims it is…isn’t.

I spent a lot of time on this patio in the six weeks before I landed my job, and I enjoy coming to “my spot”: the lawn chair to the left, one in front of me to prop my feet up when my legs go numb from sitting too long and I get the white noise feeling in my legs. You know what I’m talking about. Pins and needles, which isn’t an accurate description, in my opinion. The sensation is tickle-y static as the blood begins circulating your veins and arteries; that feeling. You feel like a seasick sailor trying to gain your sea legs when you stand up, all wobbly and disoriented.

I don’t have much to talk about tonight, but I haven’t written in a while, so I need to exercise my fingers and my mind.

The New Job is going well, I think. Everyone I work with is extremely nice, especially this one woman. She seems concerned for me in a way. I took my lunch break yesterday, was gone for my allotted thirty minutes, and I came back and sat at my desk area behind the counter. She seemed surprised to see me. “Are you okay? You’re back soon. Did you have a good lunch?” Yes, I am okay, I took the proper amount of time, and my apple and glass of ice water was, well, apple-y and ice water-y, thanks. She’s a sweet lady and I think she’s empathizing with me from her days of being the new girl. 

I remarked earlier on Twitter that all the patients I’ve seen are also extremely nice and polite, too. There were nice patients in Nebraska, but Austin seems to have a surplus of them, which is actually very refreshing. Nearly everyone has said to me as I’m leaving the exam room after completing my duties, “it was very nice to meet you, Erin.” Likewise. One of my co-workers shakes everyone’s hand as he introduces himself. I remember thinking to myself when I started working in Nebraska if I should do that to patients and ended up deciding against it; I didn’t want to come off as weird. But this guy offers a firm handshake and a smile, and the patient reciprocate willingly, so by golly, I’ve started doing it, as well. I think it’s a nice gesture, and one that’s appreciated, especially working in healthcare. These patients aren’t just warm bodies occupying our rooms and known by their medical record number. They are human beings who are often scared to be there, especially the ones who have just received new pacemakers or defibrillators. They have a hunk of metal in their chests and for some, this gadget is keeping them alive. Their apprehension is understandable and they seek more knowledge about the device to make themselves feel better about it. Anyway…the point is, it’s amazing what a friendly smile and a little reassurance can get from people.

I did have a “…what?” moment this morning, though. I was applying a heart monitor to a patient, something I have done five days a week for five years at my previous job, but the limbo I had between jobs stole something from me. I looked down at the color-coded wires and thought to myself, “how in the hell do I put this thing on?” I did the same thing when I checked my first device at this job. I had to quickly run through the process I used in my head before I could start so I wouldn’t mess it up. I must have looked like I didn’t know what I was doing with the patient this morning because she asked, “is this your first day, sugar?” No, ma’am, it isn’t. I’ve been to this dance before, but just forgot how to move my feet for a second. That was embarrassing, to say the least.

So that’s work.

Now on to a topic I’m having trouble with. Here we go.

I rejoined OkCupid. That in and of itself is troublesome because ACK, but here’s the real reason.

I don’t like to think of myself as a woman who constantly needs a male companion to make myself feel…whole, I guess is a good word. There are people who get right into another relationship soon after their previous one ended, and I don’t really understand that, even though I’m guilty of it myself to an extent. I dated four guys this past summer, but I justify that by saying I had just decided to start dating again after the two year separation and divorce from my ex. I was ready to date again, and I did just that. None of the stints lasted more than a month, sometimes less because WHORE, but I don’t know. I’m trying to work this out in my head as to why I saw so many men in such a short time. I saw a man for about two months last winter, and I admit to wishing I hadn’t been, well, me and ended it, but we’re still good friends and that’s all right with me, even though I do find myself thinking the inevitable “what if?” with him. After we ended, I didn’t see anyone until the summer, as I said, then it was boomboomboomboom, and all thanks (?) to OkStupid.

Sigh…what a site. Again, I met some pretty cool dudes via that abortion of a dating thingy, but nothing really…meaningful? That sounds rude. I met one guy and we’re buddies and I don’t want to sound like a cunt and disregard our friendship because we met through OkCupid and I’m grateful for his friendship–wish it would have progressed to something more, but c’est la vie. ANYWAY, I’m trying to make a point and that is I didn’t have the best romantic luck there, so why I decided to renew my profile and try again is bonkers. Plus, it’s like, a week after I just broke up with my last boyfriend.

Jesus Christ, I sound like a slut. Wow.

But you see what I mean? Why did I join again barring my past failures and recent heartache? Am I really more lonely than I am letting myself believe? Am I really one of those people who just always has to be with someone? Because if so, I’m going to deactivate my goddamn account again. Besides, I’m not ready, which again, why the good goddamn did I start up the profile again? I do admit I don’t really have any intention of finding love again, not so soon after this relationship ended. It’s disrespectful to him and to me in a weird way, don’t you think? Or am I just making that up? I don’t know, man. I’m messed up, I think.

Plus, I was browsing my “matches” a while ago and I could feel my eyes rolling around in my head. I’m sure they are all nice men and have a lot to offer a lady, but geez Louise. My snark comes out in full force and I find myself harshly critiquing their self summaries…mainly the poorly written ones. Maybe I should message the most poorly written profiles and offer to rewrite them for the men. That’d be a fun message to send: “Hey, I’m Erin. I’m not interested in dating or even meeting you; I just want to edit your profile so you can meet a lady…who isn’t me.” That could be a good idea, I think.

Maybe I’m not meant to be with anyone. Now, before y’all chime in with your opinions, hear me out, please.

I don’t like talking, which I know those of you who don’t know me personally, only via social networking sites and this here blog, might declare shenanigans to this statement, but it’s true. I don’t like to talk. Writing is completely different from talking…kind of. Talking makes me uncomfortable, and it’s hard for me to express my feelings and emotions and verbalize what I’m thinking because it’s a goddamn impossible thing for me to do, and incidentally, a major reason in why my relationships don’t work. I just can’t make words form from my mouth hole. I have perfect conversations in my head all the damn time, but perhaps the wiring from my brain to my mouth is fucked up and that’s why I hate talking. This is also another reason I am shaking my head at joining OkCupid again. My profile is, and pardon my bragging, but it makes me sound cool and awesome and a lot of fun and that I’d like to have conversations with equally cool and awesome and fun men, but it’s a sham. If I had a nickle for every time someone has told me I have a completely different online persona than in real life, I’d have a lot of damn nickles. I don’t think I portray myself differently online than in person, I just don’t talk as openly and freely as I write. Writing allows me time to contemplate my words and to get them out when I want to, not being forced to face another human and try to mumble my way through a conversation. However, if liquor is involved, I’m a chatterbox, so I guess that means I should be drunk all the time. But I played that game before and no thanks. I’m sitting this one out, coach.

So I don’t like to talk. Reason 1 of why I should be alone.

Reason 2: I like to be alone a lot. It’s my introverted nature. I need time to sit by myself and think and to analyze things. I can’t be around people all the time. I can’t. It makes my anxiety skyrocket. But again, this tends to come off as “I don’t want to be with you” to some people, and that’s not really the case. It seems like I don’t want to be around you, but it has absolutely nothing to do with you at all, it’s about me. Is this a selfish need? Maybe. And on the same vein, I also enjoy my independence. Please remember during my marriage, my ex and I hardly did anything together, and I got used to that. If I wanted to do something, I’d go do it. I’d always ask my ex if he wanted to go, but he rejected my invitations. Maybe that was an early sign of our incompatibility, but that’s a moot point now, I suppose. But on the flip side, I can be only clingy bitch when I want to, read “I WANNA BE WITH YOU ALL THE DAMN TIME” which really sends mixed signals because eventually, I’ll request alone time, but if I’ve been with someone non-stop for days and then suddenly go “yeah…I gotta leave…” I can understand the “what the fuck?” attitude some have when this happens. I apologize. Again, not you–me. Oddly enough, my horoscope (shut up) for today said something about being too independent and needing to realize people need to be together or something like that and I was all “aw, mannnnn…”

You know, those are really the only two reasons why I am not meant to be with anyone. Or maybe it’s because I haven’t met anyone willing to accept these two things about me and be okay with them? It’s like the age-old question of how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop? The world may never know…

Well, I said I didn’t have much to write about tonight, and here I am at over two thousand words. I’m a liar. Having said that, I’m going to take my leave of you for the evening. My day has caught up with me and I want to lay in bed–er, the pull-out couch bed–and watch Downton Abbey.

As always, thanks for reading.

E

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