I Am Shopgirl

May 19, 2010

Resurrecting the dead

Filed under: Uncategorized — stepluva13 @ 1:17 pm

It has been a while since I last posted anything….for those of you who read my blog I want to say hello and it is good to be with you again.

A girlfriend of mine and I were recently talking about our dating experiences and what was going on currently in our love lives.  One of the topics that came up in our conversation was the fact that we both have the inclination to reach back into our pasts at times when we are not seeing people.  We referred to this as trying to “resurrect the dead”, so to speak, or bringing life to a dead relationship.  After our discussion I really had to sit down and thing about this tendency.  I thought about the people who I have dated in the past whose numbers are still in my reach.  I thought about the fact that I do not see the finality of a relationship’s ending just because that person and I are able to be amicable and get along.  So why then is it that even though I know that the relationship was not working and ran its course do I go back and try to bring it back to life in periods of singleness???

For one- I look at the characteristics of the men that I date.  I tend to think that because they are good people at heart, (have good morals and values, are ambitious, come from good family structures and have their heads on straight in some capacity) that this somehow excuses the fact that they may have not been good people for me.  It also somehow excuses how they may have treated me in the past.  It is like time has been a magical pill that has instantly cured all of the flaws that caused the relationship to end previously.  I also make excuses for those unwilling to commit and fool myself into thinking that once they have had some time they will get to the point where they are ready and I will just happen to be the person who is in the right place at the right time…..

I believe another reason is that I have not been forward thinking and believing in the past.  I believed that the best had already occurred in my dating life, so there was not the possibility that something or someone even better would come into my life.  I don’t get very spiritual when I write usually but I feel it very important that I make something clear here.  A lot of us spend time not believing enough in God and in ourselves to have faith that the best is yet to come.  We limit what can be done in our lives with this thinking.  We feel sorry for ourselves for failed relationships and we start to convince ourselves that there is not a possibility of something better coming along.  It shatters our confidence and self-esteem and yes, ultimately we are alone while we have this train of thought.  No matter how miserable a relationship may have been with a person we cling to it because it is comfortable and we think that is all we deserve.

In my 38 years of living I have come to realize that there have only been a couple of successful resurrections….I think you know where I am going with this.  I do know Lazarus was resurrected from the dead by Jesus.  I also know Jesus was resurrected by God after He died for our sins.  Hmm, it does not seem to be looking very favorable for our abilities at this resurrection thing.  Seeing as I am God, or Jesus and I am pretty sure none of you are either I don’t think we really have what it takes to do this successfully.  So what I plan to do from here on out is to extend my season of “yes” to include my dating practices.  My friend and I have declared this our year of the “yes”.  We have determined to say yes to things we would normally not do and to live outside of the boundaries we normally set for ourselves.  For me I think that means putting the paddles down and not trying to put new life into a dead relationship (I watch too many doctor shows).  I will bask in the good memories and be thankful for that person’s place in my personal history and let that be that.  I will look towards a future with expectation that there will be a good ending to a new relationship with a new person.  That my best dating years are not behind me but in front of me.  That the same God who can raise Jesus from the dead can surely help me to meet someone wonderful to enjoy the rest of my life with.

April 16, 2009

Love Hangover

Filed under: Uncategorized — stepluva13 @ 2:08 pm

Ahh February…the month of love.  I think back on the Dishing With the Divas show we had last weekend called Love Hangover (www.blogtalkradio.com/chatterboxRadio).  When we discussed what our topic was going to be for the month, I really had to think about love and hangovers…and what that meant to me.  I think of Diana Ross’ song and what it says…”if there’s a cure for this…I don’t want it”.  Love is very reminiscent of a hangover.  Well, the process of getting a hangover. 

You get out there and there is this one drink.  It is really appealing and so you get one.  You taste it and wow is it good!!!  The first one is good so you order another.  That one is just as good as the first and by this point you are starting to feel really good.  What can another one hurt?  Well, by this time you are feeling good, life is grand and boy oh boy are you having a wonderful time!  Here is where common sense tends to kick in for a lot of us.  Yes, it is good and we are having a great time but it is time to reign it in and protect ourselves from the impact of too much of a good thing.  The internal self discussion begins….”you know you should quit while you are ahead”…”but I just got started”….”don’t you have to get up tomorrow morning, you have plans”…..”I can get up. What is one more drink going to cost me?”  Famous last words.  You can remember the feel of being hungover, and yet for some people that memory is not strong enough for you to resist the pull…and there it goes.  So some of us try that 11th hour prevention where we drink tons and tons of water when we get home…hoping to stave off the very worst of what we know is coming.  Some of us just say WTF and know what we will be in for the next morning.  The morning does not disappoint and as we listen to the brass band in our heads and drive the ceramic bus we curse ourselves for not using better judgement and for throwing caution to the wind.  We promise we will “never do that again” if we can just make it through this morning of torture.  As painful and uncomfortable as this experience is, eventually the feeling subsides to the point where we can function normally and life goes on.

How many times have you met a person and thought to yourself…wow!  Something about this person really appeals to you.  A lot of times the reaction is purely physical and I know I am not on an island when I make that statement.  Since at this point you know nothing about the person beyond the fact that you like they way they look and like their “potential”,  it is all about making that decision….should I continue this interaction or should I pump the brakes???  This is the point where that same internal conversation comes into play, should I or shouldn’t I????????

 I started this passage a long time ago and put it to the side for a while, but decided to pick it back up after a few occurrences as of recently.  For one, I have been reading Steve Harvey’s book.  Some of the things he says in this book have touched me when it comes to understanding men in dating situations.  I wish I had owned a book like this some 20 years ago, but we won’t go there today.  I will cover more on that in a later passage.  What does matter at this current time is that to me dating is like drinking..even still.  If you indulge yourself in guilty pleasures…sometimes you can indulge, know your limitations and be just fine.  Other times you go all out and end up suffering the consequences.  The key is knowing that you are flirting with danger and guiding yourself accordingly.  The one positive with a hangover is that it is temporary.  You feel like crap and make declarations that this will be the last time you indulge, but that lasts only about as long as the bad feeling.  Eventually you forget and you get back in the swing of things.  With Love Hangovers that is the key…a bad experience will make you feel terrible but guess what?  It will pass and you will eventually get back into the swing of things.

January 20, 2009

The Inauguration- A Love Story

Filed under: Uncategorized — stepluva13 @ 8:01 pm

I am so totally overwhelmed with the activities that have taken place both over the weekend and today as we welcome a new president.  Not only because he is the first African-American to hold the office, but also for the refreshing view of married love that we are being provided through his relationship with his wife.  He makes marriage and family, like everything else he does, look cool.  It does not look out of place for him to walk around holding his wife’s hand and sincerely kissing her as he takes each step towards this awesome position he has assumed. 

I feel like marriage and married love has been under assault for years.  The ideas of commitment and the institution of marriage have seemed archaeic (sp), and what has replaced these ideas is this sense of marriage being a battleground.  People play wargames and plot and scheme both to get married and avoid getting married alike.  Dating has become this neverending siege.  People who are still interested in getting married must navigate through all of the people who believe marriage is a trap, yet who want all of the benefits of being in a committed relationship without the commitment.  Perhaps this is just a response to experiencing an unpleasant relationship in the past.  Perhaps it is from the vision of what transpired with someone’s parents, siblings, friends, etc…, as they embarked in a marriage.

Just as we have heard about the idea of change for so many other ideas, I am hoping the vision of a committed, African-American couple with children is just what we need to get back to the idea of committed love.  Even as a divorced individual, I believe that commitment is a beautiful thing.  I also believe in the idea of raising children in a loving, committed household.  I like to see two strong, intelligent people uplifting one another and not afraid to show that they have each others’ backs.  I like that when they pose together for pictures, neither of their smiles is forced, they don’t look like they can barely stand each other…they look happy.  I hope to see more of this in the future as the movement spreads…..the Love Movement……..Yes We Can!!!!!!!!

January 14, 2009

And Again It’s On

Filed under: Uncategorized — stepluva13 @ 1:51 pm

Happy 2009!  As we truly start to kick off this new year I would like to start with some exciting news!  I am in a committed relationship…………with myself, that is!  For me, this is definitely encouraging news.  Oh, don’t sleep…I am dating indeed.  What I have found is that, while I don’t like resolutions, I am making a conscious effort to change all of the things I felt I did not do properly in the past.  For one,  I went to my friend’s happy hour after blowing him off for the last four months.  While it was unbelievably crowded and I only stayed for about 45 minutes, I got out there.  That was definitely a step in the right direction.

I am also being more aware of what is good for me.  What I need to do to be happy with who I am.  I am approaching my life with a new outlook.  My mantra this year is “I surrender my old ways and commit to a lifestyle of loving myself enough to be the best I can be”.  That is in all aspects.  My spending and saving habits, my health and physical fitness, and my dating.  It is about thinking about what is really truly good for me and knowing that if something does not seem to be positive, then more than likely it is not worth the effort.  It is spending more time putting myself high on the list of priorities.  We moms and wives (or former wives) know that we devote a lot of time to making sure our families are happy and healthy, almost to the point of sacrificing ourselves.  We cannot do that.  It is not healthy and it is not conducive to truly living a fulfilling life.  We have to put our health and well being high on the list in order to be able to successfully take care of our families. 

So I am now committed to me.  And I like me too!  Already I can see improvements in my life.  I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship!

November 21, 2008

Avon Calling!

Filed under: Uncategorized — stepluva13 @ 9:06 pm

I have been “single again” long enough to have warranted advice from a lot of the people in my sphere of influence.  I pay close attention to something that my older brother told me a few years ago.  He told me that if I seriously wanted to meet people and be an active dater…I could not just sit around the house.  He told me that while miracles do happen..it is highly unlikely that “Mr. Right” is going to come randomly knocking at my door like the Avon lady.  While that comment has resonated with me, I believe that I have totally turned a deaf ear to good advice. 

I am new to my city.  When I first got here, one of my friends at work made sure I was in the know about all of the social happenings going on weekly and monthly.  I was excited about that concept because my one complaint about the city I moved from, San Antonio, was that there was not this social scene for 30 something corporate types to meet and mingle.  I got out and about and met people and had fun.  That lasted for……….three months.  Technically, until my son returned from summer vacation and I had to get back to the reality of being a single parent to a child with a packed social calendar.  I really think I use that as an excuse.  While my son does have a lot of activities, there have been opportunities for me to get out and enjoy the social scene here in town.  What do I do?  I curl up in my most comfortable pair of yoga pants and houseshoes and watch television.  I have become good friends with all of the Real Housewives of Atlanta and Orange County….I have a full DVR of just guilty pleasures that I tune into regularly.  For me to notice my habit is one thing, but now others are catching on as well.  My friend forgot to send me the information on his group’s happy hour this month.  I believe subliminally he has given up on me.  Every month I say I am coming out and I never show up.  That truth shocked me!  He and I have always joked about having relatives who do that regularly and it dawned on me that I had become the same way.

As the year ends and a new one begins we always tend to look back at certain habits and make resolutions.  I am not going to do that, but I am going to say that I cannot be on the fall off list going forward.  I plan to ease myself away from the couch (staring at the door waiting for the perfect date to stop by and ask me to buy some skin-so-soft) and ease myself gradually back into active socializer mode.  My girlfriends the Housewives can wait.  When my brother calls to live vicariously through me on a Saturday night, I will not say I am sitting in my room crocheting and watching Jerry Maguire anymore!  Don’t trip..I make one heck of a granny square.  I will embrace my singleness and go have new adventures!  I will take one of my friends’ advice and be warm and pink, as she calls it, to the people who greet me.  I plan to start all of this…..next month. LOL!

November 12, 2008

Disclaimer

Filed under: Uncategorized — stepluva13 @ 10:01 pm

After I read my comments about being a punk I had to chuckle….did I really compare dating to a pap smear?  Maybe it is not that bad.  I am still a punk and I am working on that.  I realize I have to approach this process wholeheartedly, otherwise I might as well pursue my onetime goal of raising dogs alone for the rest of my life.  My son will be out of the house in 9 years…..the concept has teeth.

One other note- in my post the concept of me dating to date and have fun was not a free for all lovefest, as one of my friends has asked me.  Surprising?  I truly meant that there was a point in my dating life where it was not all about finding someone to settle down.  It was enough to meet nice guys and hang out and just enjoy their company.  There was not a thought of matrimony or doodling our names together in my notebooks….Mr. and Mrs. Holloway….Mrs. Stephanie Holloway….you get the point. 

These days my busy work schedule, my son’s activity schedule and just life in general only give me a small window in which to enjoy male company.  Dating for quality becomes a little more substantial and kind of takes away that carefree element.  I take no time for BS, or humoring idiots.  The occasional bad date used to amuse me.  One night I had to go hide in the bathroom and beg my sister to give me the “emergency phone call” to get away from one date that I met online.  I have been sitting in a movie theater about to blow chunks while a date snuck a little “playtime” with himself in the dark.  Why didn’t I leave?  For one, he drove.  For another..the movie was actually pretty good.  I just sat as far away from the guy as possible and decided to forego the chivalry where he would open any doors or dare touch me after the movie.  There was a time when I could laugh about all of this.  These days if you have a slight twitch to your left eye…chances are we are not going to make it on that first date.

November 10, 2008

Punks Jump Up….to get beat down

Filed under: Uncategorized — stepluva13 @ 8:36 pm

I am a punk.  How did this happen?  When did it happen?  I meet men who are interesting or attractive and I clam up.  I “crush” on them from afar instead of introducing myself and making it clear that I am interested in them.  I am currently in that situation now.  I have met someone that I really admire.  I would love to get to know more about him and start a friendship with possibilities, but instead of making that clear…I clam up around him and only speak when I have to.  I kick myself later and go over every conversation we have had thinking of how I could have done things differently…how I could have been a little more welcoming and gotten the friendship going..but I am too afraid to venture out of my comfort zone.

I used to be fearless when it came to dating.  I saw what I liked and I went after it, no holds barred.  I was the girl that dated the unattainable men that people could only dream of dating.  I think my attitude and my confidence were infectious.  I had a great time when I was younger and on the dating scene.  We would have a great time hanging out.  Men enjoyed my company.  I enjoyed theirs.  It was a mutually beneficial experience for all parties involved.  At the end of the day, regardless of how things turned out, we were cool.  These are not the makings of a future punk.

I think that maturity has killed the fun of dating to me.  I compare courtship to a pap smear.  There is this person that you don’t really know whose intention is to open you up and get very personal.  So you make the perfunctory small talk to ease into the process, but at the same time you keep your guard up.  Once you’ve relaxed and your guard has slipped, the person invades your personal space completely.  Sometimes this process is painless and you wonder what you were all tense and worked up about, and then sometimes you feel totally violated.  Like a pap smear, I know I have to go through courtship regularly as a part of the relationship process.  When I was dating just to date this process was fun.  I also think that the longer I am single and the more of these experiences that I have to go through, the more perfunctory they seem.  At least with pap smears you can cut back at menopause. I’m just saying.  Someone please talk me off of the ledge.

November 7, 2008

This Is Me…….Then

Filed under: Uncategorized — stepluva13 @ 4:40 pm

There have been 4 relationships throughout the course of my life that I think have clearly defined my experience with dating.  One of those was my marriage.  That was supposed to be the final chapter of my dating story.  I never guessed I would be here….and I definitely did not guess I would be here as long as I have been.  I have been “newly single” for 7 years.  I was completely off of the dating scene for 6 years during my middle 20’s.  At a time when other women were having fun and being footloose and fancy free, I was maintaining a household and enjoying my status as a domestic goddess.  I enjoyed the institution of marriage itself, but the choice of person to share that union with was made out of the knowledge and wisdom of a 24 year old confused young lady with daddy issues.

I choose to focus on the 4th impactful relationship.  This one occurred post divorce as I was again navigating the single scene.  I met this person while I was attending a conference with one of my friends.  She was working her company’s table greeting conference participants and I was nonchalantly sitting beside her making myself useful.  We locked eyes as he walked up to the table.  At that exact moment it was as if time stood still and everyone else in this crowded area evaporated.  He smiled at me and asked me, “do I know you?”.  My friends know me, and so my response will come as no surprise to any of them…”you could”, I said with a slow smile.  It threw him a little bit.  “What did you say?”, he asked me.  “Nothing”, I replied in my new, post divorce, responsible manner (punk!).  He was not fazed enough to walk away.  There is a chemistry that exists between two people in the rarest of circumstances.  This magnetism that draws men and women to one another in a way that cannot be described.  We both felt it.  We bantered back and forth in this meaningless conversation that was an excuse for us to just continue sharing space.  In my head I was thinking, this man will not walk away from this table without leaving me his contact information…and he didn’t.  I did not see him any more that weekend, but I knew that one encounter would not be our last.  This boy was fine as frog hair.  Over the next several weeks we bonded during long phone conversations and emails about our likes, dislikes and lives in general.  I could not wait to see him again and used the first opportunity I could to travel where he lived to see him.  *warning sign number one-I travelled to see him…not the opposite*

We had that same unmistakable chemistry that visit….and every visit that followed.  After a few months in my mind I knew I had feelings for this man.  I was sure we both felt the same thing and so I told him how I felt *warning sign number two- I expressed my feelings first and the conversation grew awkward*.  He said to me “wow, that’s fast…how do you know you really feel this way?”  I was thrown.  He told me that while he LIKED me, he did not feel the same way.  I was upset but not defeated….in my head I could change his feelings over time.  Ha!  Let me give every young naive reader out there a very helpful tidbit at this point in my story………..YOU CAN NEVER MAKE SOMEONE CHANGE HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT YOU.

I spent several years after this moment trapped in Mirabelle Butter’s existence.  Loving someone who did not love me in return, who would not allow themselves to love me in return.  Enjoying the conversations and interaction…basking in the chemistry….. and yet yearning for a relationship of more substance with this person.  I eventually did walk away.  What I gained from this experience was an understanding that we Shopgirls in our own fashion create these situations by allowing them to start in the first place.  We see the signs of an emotionally unavailable man and yet we ignore them..we sweep them under the rug.  We think because they are kind people, responsible people, that their decency will not allow them to break our hearts.  We lookfor the happily ever after.  Take hold of your destiny, Shopgirls!  Pick your coats up and walk away from that counter at Saks!  I am at the door, looking back at the rest of the store and smiling at the promise of what’s outside.

November 6, 2008

The Evolution

Filed under: Uncategorized — stepluva13 @ 3:14 pm

How did I get here?  First of all, hopefully a lot of you have seen the movie Shopgirl.  One of my crazy friends is the inspiration for the title of my blog.  She and I were sharing a discussion on our dating experiences……as we often do, and she said, in her typical dramatic form, “I am Shopgirl”.  Now, for those of you who have seen the movie you can imagine this proclamation did not come after a pleasant dating experience.  The gist of the movie is that the main character, Mirabelle Butters, engages in this relationship with an older man who sees her merely as a casual encounter.  No matter how much they both enjoy the time they spend and how much the context of their relationship deepens, he constantly reminds her that she is a momentary companion…someone to pass the time with until he meets ‘The One’.  I won’t spoil the movie for those of you who will now rent it, but as I watched the movie I could see myself in Mirabelle.  As for my friend, she tends to be a little dramatic but that is better left for another post on another day (love you girl!).

In my defense, I don’t go out looking for these casual, friendship based relationships.  Heck, she didn’t either.  What I want to understand is this…….do we have “Shopgirl” written on our foreheads?  How does one audition for a starring role in this drama???

November 5, 2008

Hello world!

Filed under: Uncategorized — stepluva13 @ 8:58 pm

I am a blogging virgin so please be gentle with me.  I figured that since I have not yet simplified my life enough to write my great novel…The Problems With Being a Wanted Woman, Volume One….I would take a page out of my good friend Christie’s book and share some of my thoughts about what it is like to be a 30-something Single Again female out here in this dating world.  My wish is to entertain and inspire as many people as possible.

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