Tuesday, July 29, 2008

All The Boys - The Soulmate

I’ve been holding out on you, my dear readers, because lately there haven’t been many posts here at Candid K’s, but I promised “quality” over “quantity” so I’m hoping yet another tale of “All The Boys I’ve Loved” will qualify as quality, and make it worth the wait?

To date, you have met The Bullet, The First Kiss (yikes), , The Slick One, The One That Never Was and Cognac (Part 1)…those of you privy to Covert Karina at the beginning of the year also met “The One With No Chemistry”, but it’s still not safe to talk about that in here, so we’ll let that one go. There are a few others I can, and will tell you about, including Part 2 of The Stoy of Cognac, but there is one very significant relationship I’ve mentioned a few times in here, but have never elaborated on. The Soulmate…the one who changed my life, changed how I think about myself, the way I look at the world, and how I relate to men in general. The one, who, without question, was THE ONE who stood out among all the rest.

See, I’ve said before that I am a lucky girl to have experienced such a wide variety of relationships in my youth and my 20’s, because through those relationships (and the heartbreaks that followed them), I have become the woman I am today. I’ve also been blessed in that I truly believe I’ve been in love, real love, not puppy love, with at the very least two, but quite possibly three, men in my life. The fact that I allowed myself to love the same man twice, years apart, should also be taken into account here…(not sure whether as a positive or a negative though, but we'll just glaze over that detail).

I tell you all this, because it’s important that you know that besides the fun I had dating when I was younger, I also loved really hard. When I fell, I fell in deep. And with no one else is this more true than with The Soulmate. I loved him with such intensity that I sometimes wonder how it could be that I ever got over it, and can’t help thinking that in some way, I may never have completely.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I should tell you how we met first.

When I met Soul (let’s call him that for short, shall we?), I was 24 years old and having the time of my life. All through high school and college I was never much of a party girl. I had fun, but as a full time student with a full time job, I didn’t really go out all that much, I didn’t drink, and I was pretty much a “good girl”. Then I met Cognac, fell in love, broke up with Cognac, and decided it was time for this “good girl” to have some fun. I began to play the field a bit, and with a group of girlfriends, would hit the club scene every weekend. We would all chip in for a hotel room for the weekend, and be able to party in the city without having to worry about driving all the way back home. Those were some great times.

Having the fun I was having, meeting all these guys, getting all this ridiculous attention I was not used to, settling down into a relationship was the last thing on my mind. Let’s just say that at that time I was dating two guys named Randall (one was a Randy, the other went by the nickname Lucky), who by the way, lived off the same highway exit, one to the left, one to the right, and even went out with a set of twins (they decided I should go out with each of them to see which one I liked best…who was I to argue with that logic?) I honestly wish I’d been blogging at that time, because seriously? You can’t make this stuff up, you know? My life is oh so boring in comparison nowadays!

But, back to the point at hand, I was having a good time, and I was not in any rush to get back into a relationship. When I met Soul, he was the bouncer at a club we frequented so regularly that we no longer stood in line, paid admission, or even paid for drinks. Soul and I hit it off instantly, and I pretty much knew I was in trouble the minute he asked me for my phone number. Soul was older, at 33, (my age now, holy crap), and there was a maturity about him that completely appealed to me. After a few phone calls, we set up our first date for the day after Valentine’s day, which also happened to be a Monday holiday. He picked me up at 11 am, and dropped me off at home at 11PM. In those twelve hours, we fell madly, deeply, hopelessly in love with one another.

It sounds ridiculously corny to write those words, but if there is such a thing as falling in love, this was it…we fell…hard.

I spent the following week dodging phone calls from my various suitors, and then finally informing them all that I had met someone, and was no longer available. Soul and I never really had a discussion about being exclusive, we never really decided to become “a couple”, we just were. Instantly. That’s the way it happens sometimes, I guess.

So, for the next year and a half, Soul and I spent hundreds of hours simply enjoying each other’s company. We did all the things couples do, went to movies, went shopping, went out to eat…Soul shared a love of ethnic cuisine with me, so we made it a point to always try a different restaurant each time we went out. I loved that together we could experience all these new things, and really appreciate the culture we were surrounded by. We could also spend whole days sitting on the couch, just talking, or just sitting…enjoying each other’s presence, not talking, not doing anything, but listening to music and “being”. Soul taught me a lot about love. He taught me that when a man truly loves you, he puts you before all else, and makes sure you know just how vital you are to his existence. He was a romantic, and really, the perfect boyfriend. Whether we were alone, or in a room full of people, I always felt like I was the only one that mattered. I could tell you so many other things Soul did for me, but the most important thing is that he taught me that I was worthy of that kind of love. That lesson has come in handy more than once since then. When things were good with us, they were heavenly.

But it wasn’t all roses, and along with the maturity of his age, Soul came with an incredible amount of emotional baggage as well. For starters, he’d lost his mother a few years back, and wasn’t exactly done grieving that loss yet. I don’t know how someone can even begin to recover from such a loss, so I never faulted him for his feelings on this issue, but there were moments when it would become an all encompassing thing, one which should have raised some red flags about his emotional state for me. Then there was the marriage thing. Soul had been married before, very briefly, to someone he’d been with for over 7 years. However, shortly after their wedding he discovered she was (and had been for years) involved with one of his friends. Needless to say, the marriage ended there, and Soul never got over that betrayal. He told me right from the start that he would never marry again. But I was young, and foolish, and madly in love, and I thought for sure he’d change his mind one day. And with his emotional state being what it was, there were times when he’d shut down completely, or just withdraw to a place I couldn’t reach him. I always had a sinking suspicion as well that he was on the road to alcoholism, if he hadn’t already arrived, but I never had the guts to face that one head on. Since he knew his drinking bothered me, he always kept it to a minimum when he was around me, so he never gave me reason to do more than suspect, and worry, for the times he wasn’t with me.

This makes it all sound so negative, but the truth is, with the exception of a handful of isolated incidents, I have only good memories of our relationship, and in all honesty, for the duration of that time, we were happy. The problem with all the above issues is that we reached a point in our relationship where it all came to a head. We’d been together about a year when questions of our future, even our near future, began to surface. He would profess his undying love to me pretty much in the same sentence where he’d tell me that he was sorry he’d never be able to marry me. In the beginning, under my delusions that he’d change his mind, these statements blew by me…I didn’t believe him. After a year of hearing them however, they began to sink in. I was only in my 20’s, I didn’t have any intentions of getting married anytime soon…but I wanted to get married one day. Would I be wasting my time sticking with him, waiting it out, only to find out 3, 4…10 years down the line that he meant it? Could I do that? As I tried to push these thoughts out of my head and simply enjoy what we had, it seemed he was having the same thoughts. He began to withdraw, we began to have problems. Minor ones, but enough that our “serenity” had been shattered.

We knew it had to end. What still kills me to this day is the fact that he did it, he broke it off…for me…out of love and respect. Yes, he was a coward. Yes, it was a cop-out to lean so heavily on his past and not allow himself to enjoy the present and focus on the future. But still, were it up to me, I would have probably waited it out, hung in there hoping that he’d change his mind one day. If he loved me so much, he had to want to marry me eventually, didn’t he? Soul knew better, and so one day he told me that he was breaking up with me, because he knew it wasn’t fair to keep stringing me along, when he’d never give me the future I wanted. He broke my heart. Gently, carefully, sweetly, and with the best of intentions, at least in his mind. But he broke my heart. Shattered it.

Even today, as I type these words, I recall vividly the ache in my chest, the tears streaming down my face, the feeling that my world would never be the same again. I had met my soul mate, the man who fit me so perfectly it was almost fairytale like. And I’d met him too late…too early? At the exact wrong time.

So, we broke up. We moved on. I would see him a few more times after the break-up, at our “club”, where he still worked, and I still hung out. But it was too painful, and eventually I stopped going there. I never heard from him again, or about him again. We couldn’t be friends, it hurt too much to try. We had friends in common, and I’d hear once or twice about how he wasn’t doing so well…partying a lot, drinking a lot…I stopped asking. Eventually, I distanced myself from those friends as well, for unrelated reasons, and his whereabouts today remain a mystery to me.

I won’t lie, I’ve looked him up. I can’t find him. I haven’t tried all that hard, because as much as I truly and honestly wish him the best, hope he’s gotten over his issues, found love, has a family…I don’t ever really want to know about it. It would just break my heart all over again.

I can tell you that I’m over him. It’s been almost 10 years, I’ve certainly moved on, loved again, lost again. Become an entirely different person, with an entirely different life. But here’s the thing…I’ve never stopped loving him for all he did for me. While seriously damaged himself, he fixed so many of my own issues. The damage caused by Slick and even by Cognac…he fixed all that. I am single today because of him, but not because he damaged me…because he showed me what I can have, if I don’t settle, so I haven’t. Do I think I’ll ever see him again? No. Do I think that if we ever reconnected, and the timing was right, we could try again? Not really. Do I believe he was my soul mate, even if we didn’t end up together? With all my heart.

There is a scene in the movie “How To Make An American Quilt” where one of the characters is talking about a man she met in a café in Paris. She says that they had a short conversation, and connected, and she knows he was her soul mate. But then they left, went their separate ways, he with his fiancé, her alone. And she never saw him again. She says (and I’m going to completely paraphrase this, because I haven’t seen this movie in nearly a decade) that she knows he was her soul mate, and she believes that we all have soul mates, but that does not necessarily mean we’ll end up with them. If we even have the opportunity to meet them in our lifetime, we are blessed. Something along those lines. That is how I feel about Soul. He came into my life for a very specific purpose, and although we didn’t end up together, my life would have been incomplete if I hadn’t met him.

But I also believe we can have more than one soul mate. It doesn’t even have to be a romantic match…there are individuals in our lives who we just have that unexplainable connection with, and they all serve a purpose…we all serve a very specific purpose, in each other’s lives. So I do believe there is someone else out there for me who I will love just as strongly…no, even more so, than I did Soul.

But there will never be another Soul. And that’s okay; that ship has sailed. And I? Am better for it all.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Photo Hunt #26 - Hanging

Before we get into this week's Photo Hunter post, a few items of note. First and foremost...today is my daddy's 60th Birthday...
Seen here with Luanda (who is madly in love with Candid Dad). My dad rocks! Happy Birthday Daddy!

Also, last week I wasn't able to comment at the Photo Hunter site before I took off for a day long car wash fundraiser with the teens...so, I figured I'd give you a link to my What is That? entry.

Okay, without further ado...this week's theme is "Hanging" and I have to tell you, when I saw the theme I was very excited because I had just taken the following shots from my office window:

Look closer:
This dude "hung" out outside my office window, at the building across the street, washing windows all morning one day last week. He is sitting on a little plank of wood, and yes, he is harnessed in, but still...not a job you'd catch me doing. A little bonus? He was pretty easy on the eyes too.

Happy Hunting!!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

The ABC's of Me - With Photos

I was tagged by Frigga quite a while ago with this ABC Meme, and I didn't forget about it so much as I just haven't been posting all that much lately. But I figured this would be a good post for a rainy Friday...

A is for: Attached or Single? Single and always loving it, but…as I mentioned in pretty much every single one of my “The Bachelorette” recaps at Café Karina…if anyone has Jason’s number, I’m willing to change that status for him.

B is for: Best Friend? All my friends are the best.
C is for Cake or pie? Pie, although, I much prefer mousse, chocolate mousse…YUM

D is for: Day of choice? Saturday for sure, get up when I want, go to bed when I want, do what I want in between…I love me some Saturdays!

E is for: Essential item? Just one? Cell phone. My life is in that phone, and wait till I get a blackberry or palm treo or something of the sort…I’ll be unstoppable then!

F is for: Favorite color? I do not have a favorite color, per se, but lately I’m quite partial to jewel tones, that deep purple that’s so in vogue, the emerald green…those colors

G is for: Gummy bears or worms? Neither, I’ll take Sour Patch Kids please!

H is for: Home town? I don’t know, I suppose I’ll go with Lowell, Massachusetts, because that’s where I spent my formative (i.e. teen) years…

I is for: Favorite indulgence? Shoes..shoes are by far my favorite indulgence

J is for: January or July? Always July…can it be July for a few more months?

K is for: Kids? LOVE kids. I especially love other people’s kids, because at the end of the day? You get to give them back and go home to your nice quiet kid free condo! ;-)

L is for: Life isn’t complete without? Love. And by love I mean faith, friends, family, all the really important things

M is for: Marriage date? You never know, that might actually happen in this lifetime, but first we need to work on the letter A above.

N is for: Number of brothers and sisters? One biological brother, Candid Brother himself (seen here with a "friend"). One lil’ sis through Big Brother Big Sister: Lil' K

O is for: Oranges or Apples? Mangos. WHAT? No one said I had to play by the rules.

P is for: Phobias? Ledges…not so much heights, but the “edge” of high (and not necessarily high) places freak me right out. And being underwater…can’t do it, won’t do it…EVER.

Q is for: Quotes? “What you think of me is none of my business” - Terry Cole-Whitaker; “If you think you are too small to make an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito." - Anita Rodick

R is for: Reasons to smile? All of the above, all of the below, the many many blessings in my life. Oh yeah, and chocolate.

S is for: Season of choice? Summer, Summer, Summer!!!! And just in case you missed it…SUMMER.

T is for: Tag 5 people: Sorry folks, I'm not tagging, but I'm inviting you to do this meme if you want to...I think you'll enjoy it.

U is for an Unknown fact about me: Oh come on, my life is an open book! No? Okay, let’s see…I don’t drink soda…ever. Not for health reasons or any of that, I just don’t like carbonation in my drinks.

V is for: Vegetable? I love veggies, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, green beans, snap peas, you name it, I probably like it…veggies are great!

W is for: Worst habit? Picking at my acne in my sleep. Yes, I know it’s gross, I don’t do it consciously…and besides, why am I still getting acne in my 30’s anyway?? Sheesh!

X is for: X-ray or Ultrasound? UM…yes, I’ve had both done…is that the question?

Y is for: Your favorite food? You should know by now (or you will learn anyway) that I suck at picking favorites…there’s no way I can do it, especially with food…and shoes…and people…and colors…and places and…

Z is for: Zodiac sign? FISHES…ironic for someone deathly afraid of being underwater, doncha think?

Z is for: Which zoo animal is your favorite? TWO Z’s?? And again with the favorites. It’s a toss- up between the wild cats (any of them, panthers, tigers, lions, leopards) and the monkeys…I love monkeys!

I also grabbed this meme from Frigga right around the same time...I wasn't tagged for it, but I tagged myself...so, might as wel throw it in here. It's the MeMe of Firsts and Lasts:

First real job: By real, I’ll assume that means babysitting doesn’t count, so we’ll go with the first job where I paid taxes and that would be every American teenager’s dream job (insert sarcastic eye roll here) McD’s.

First screen name: As if I could remember that? It was something on Compuserve, I know that…remember compuserve? Am I dating myself here?

First funeral: For the father of a friend of mine, who died from Lou Gherrig’s disease…I was 17 or so…it was horrible

First pet: Nice, the cat. Her name was the ultimate misnomer, she was NOT nice, but she was beautiful, and became the mother to the nicest, sweetest most awesome cat I’ve ever had, Pom-Pom

First piercing: and only – ears; oh wait, I’m lying, I got a second hole in each ear at one point, but they got infected and I let them close up

First tattoo: could be happening very very soon…stay tuned

First credit card: probably one of the many I signed up for on spring break in Daytona so I could get free stuff

First kiss: YUCK…read this post where I told you all about it.

First enemy: Stacy Greekopolous (not her real last name). She was evil, and jealous and made 8th grade miserable for me…but I got sweet revenge without even doing anything..maybe I’ll tell you about her someday.

Last car ride: home from work today, in the pouring rain...what fun!

Last kiss: OH, we don’t want to relive that fiasco, can we talk about the one before that instead?

And that's that...Happy Friday everyone. Hop on over to Cafe Karina for the latest "So You Think You Can Dance" recap, and Creative Karina for my latest entry into Pensieve's Poetic License (where she created a whole new poetic form JUST FOR US). Tomorrow stop by for Photo Hunter, and next week I'll have my next installment in my tales of "All The Boys I've Loved".

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Where In The World is Candid Karina?

My oh my how the summer is flying by! I had signed up for Fun Monday...but Monday came and went and I missed it. No, not Monday...I didn't miss Monday, just Fun Monday.

And here we are on Wedesday and not a post to be seen from me...where does the time go? Where have I been?

Well folks, I've been living it up, let me tell you. All kinds of exciting stuff going on in my side of the world. Really.

Oh, what? Sarcasm doesn't come across that well in the written word? No, really, very exciting stuff.

Friday night I went out with some coworkers from the new job for happy hour. Had a great time and am feeling like part of the team now for sure. I do believe I am going to like this job.

Saturday we had a car wash with our youth group at the church. A full day outside in 90 plus temps with 100% humidity. Good thing we had plenty of water to keep soaking ourselves with. Everyone had a blast and we raised a lot of money...good time had by all.

Sunday we hosted a cook-out/pool party for the youth at my parents' house. Once again, a good time had by all...even if it was mostly us the "adults" doing whirlpools in the pool. What? You're only as old as you act, right?

So, there you have it, all the reasons I've been MIA...just simply enjoying summer.

There are some new posts coming up tonight at Cafe Karina and on Friday at Creative Karina...plus I have a little something up my sleeve for this here blog as well...I'm thinking (but not promissing) that we'll have a new post tomorrow as well.

Have a great HUMP DAY!!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Photo Hunt #25 - What Is That??

The Photo Hunter theme this week is: "What is That?"...
Click on the photo for a bit more clarity (just a bit). As always I'd like to thank WillowTree for the how-to on the photo switcheroo trick. However, since I know that trick won't work on all servers, and the other photo isn't really all that much more obvious...check comments if you still don't know what it is! ;-)

Happy Hunting Y'all...I'm off to a fund raiser car wash with the teens. Great fun! Hey, check out my BlogHop '08 Party Post below for a great Whoopie (also known as Moon) Pie recipe!

Friday, July 18, 2008

BlogHop 08 - Never Met a Party I Didn't Like

There's a party going on...but, because I started partying a little bit earlier tonight (for other reasons) and had a few beers already, I'm not going to get too wordy here...so for more details on the party and the reason behind it, I'll just tell you to click on the button above and visit Robin, she'll tell you all about it. What I will tell you is that I thought this was a FANTASTIC idea, so I had to join in. Thanks Robin for hosting, and everyone else who helped Robin for helping!!!

So, since you can't have a party without food...I thought I'd share with you my Faux Whoopie Pie (also known as Moon Pies in other parts of the country) with you.

I'm not sure if you'll be able to "embiggen" the above photo, because for some reason that doesn't always work with blogger, so here's the recipe:

2 pkg (18 1/4 oz each) devil's food cake mix
1 c. veggie oil
4 eggs

1 pkg (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 1/2 c. confectioner's sugar
1 t. vanilla

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mixes, oil and eggs, mix well.

Roll into 1 in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Do not flatten.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until set (I found that it needed a bit longer, more like 15 minutes). Cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks (cookies will flatten as they cool).
In a small mixing bowl (unless you're doubling the recipe as I did), beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
Add suggar and vanilla; beat until smooth.

Spread on bottom half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: about 6 dozen (halves, or 3 dozen total). These cookies freeze well.
Note: The cream filling will be really soft and melty (is that a word?) but once you refrigerate the cookies, it will harden and taste OH SO FABULOUS!!!
I could lie and tell you that I made the massive amounts of cookies/pies you see above all for you, because this is a party after all...but well, you won't be here to eat them, and that'll make me look like I'm a big glutton going to eat 6 dozen pies (which by the way is 12 dozen individual cookies) all by myself. So, the truth is, I made ALL of those (not all of them are in the photo above) a few weeks ago for a bake sale. Yes, 12 dozen cookies is crazy, but actually...it only took me about 3 hours to do it all...not too bad, right? If you have bigger cookie pans, you can probably even make them in less time...I wasn't very well prepared.
Anywhoo...there's the food...what else do we need for a good party?
How about some stories? I could tell you the one about The "Love" that never was...and then if that sparks your interest, you could learn all about "All The Boys I've Loved"... Or, we could discuss 200 other things about me?
But then, that seems kind of self-involved no? Maybe we don't want to talk about me...maybe we want to talk about you? You could tell me something about you and your blog, in your comment, and why I should come visit.
Yeah, I like that idea much better...tell me a little something about you and why we should be "blog buddies" if we aren't already. And if we are already, seeing as I've been a bit "MIA" lately, tell me what I've missed...
And have a whoopie pie, won't you? Robin said we should keep our posts short, so I'm going to leave it here for now and go visit the rest of you!
Happy BlogHopping!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

New Stuff

No new post for you here today, but I've got new stuff at my other two blogs. A little more "So You Think You Can Dance" at Cafe Karina, and an entry for the first time in...yikes...two months, at "Creative Karina".

I'd love you to stop by!

Monday, July 14, 2008

All The Boys I've Loved - The One That Never Was

There’s some random commercial on television nowadays for some wrinkle cream, or maybe its for some prescription medication, you know, those ads with a list of about 50 side effects that sound about a trillion times worse than the ailment its supposed to treat? Whatever, I’m so off topic alright, it’s not even funny. The point is this, the catch phrase for that ad is “Time is a thief”. I heard that ad the other morning, as I was getting ready for work, and thought “wow, that’s a great quote”. Little did I know how appropriate it would be for me on that very same day.

See, later that afternoon I had lunch with an old college buddy of mine. Let me tell you, time is not just a thief, it’s a freakin’ thug too. It beats you up, spits you out, and leaves you feeling worn down, used up, and exhausted. And you don’t even really realize how much time has taken from you until you sit down for a few moments (or an hour) with a piece of your past, and realize how much has changed.

But time is also a little bit like that rich uncle you didn’t know you had, until he dies and leaves you a “little something” in his will. (Side note: if I have any rich uncles hiding out there, I could use that little something right now…I’m just sayin’). But you know, it’s not until that moment that you realize how good time has been to you too. All the little gifts it’s provided for you without your noticing it, over the years, that have now made you the person you are today.

It’s a two sided coin, time is.

So, back to my lunch, because, after all, you want to know about The One That Never Was. We’ll call him Truck. (Man, how I wish I could tell you why I come up with these names…I’m so freakin’ witty! But revealing my genius would reveal their real names and/or identities at times, and that would defeat the whole point, would it?)

I met Truck my freshman year in college. He was, I think, a Junior at the time, but he was on the part time 7 or 8 year plan, so don’t hold me to that. The University I went to was, at the time a working class, commuter school, so although some of us managed the 4 year plan, there were many others who took the longer path to graduation. Anyway, this is so not important, except to explain why Truck was there long before I came along, and long after I left. Moving on, I pretty much had an immediate crush on Truck. He was a great looking guy, a total flirt, and a little bit of a bad boy. A combination for trouble for a freshman girl from the suburbs, you know?
In my four years of college, Truck and I had a love-hate relationship so strong that it’s a wonder sometimes we didn’t either kill each other, or devour each other. Truck was a bit of a player, and always just a little out of reach, however. And I was having a really good time in college to be wasting all my energy pining for him. So, we struck up a pretty strong friendship, even if he did constantly break my heart by leading me on, then letting me down. He would flirt constantly, make it seem as if I was THE girl for him, but never follow through. So, I would date somebody else, and trust me, in college, there were a whole lot of somebody else’s showing interest, including a lot of his friends. And whenever I did, he would tell me that he was so much better for me than this other guy. And yet, whenever that relationship ended (which inevitably, they all did), he’d back off again. It was infuriating.

There was also a certain amount of “mystery” to him, because he would never fully divulge his “life” to me. I never knew if he was dating someone or not, I never had any idea even the type of girls he was into. That part was always very guarded with him. I’d find out he was with someone at the most inopportune of moments (such as on Valentine’s day, when I was expecting something from him, and saw him give it to someone else instead). At times, he’d bare his soul to me, tell me he cared too much about me to be with me, because I was a good girl, and he…well, wasn’t. Other times, he’d play the bad boy role, telling me he had no idea why I would think we were ever going to be more than just friends. LOVE/HATE.

I tell you now, looking back, that I realize how he played me in those years, but I’m grateful that although completely smitten with him, I never held back from getting involved with other guys. I always figured if he made a move, I’d deal with it then, but I wasn’t going to wait around for him to do it.

The funny thing was that we were so inseparable that everyone thought we were a couple. The rumors even got ugly at times. I was called some not so “good girl” names, and even almost came to blows with more than one girl over my friendship with him, because they were insanely jealous, and I…well, I had a temper in those days. The kicker is, Truck and I? We never even kissed after all that back and forth. Not once…not to this day.

This on/off game continued on even after college. We always kept in touch, and whenever I’d be in a relationship, he’d call me and tell me to dump the guy, that he was so much more perfect for me. But if I told him my relationship had ended, he’d disappear for months at a time. By this time, however, I’d learned his game, and I’d lost all interest in ever pursuing anything besides our “unique” friendship.

So, when all the game playing was done, when he’d outgrown it too, our friendship remained. We’ve been friends for over ten years now, and I truly count him among one of my best friends, even if time, distance, and circumstances have changed the dynamic of our friendship.

We now speak on the phone a few times a year at the most. A few years ago, while in the midst of one of our “catch up sessions”, I learned he was getting married. I didn’t even know he had a girlfriend. Again, with the mystery. Without divulging too many of the identifying details, let’s just say that my friends and I joke that his wife is my “doppelganger”, going as far as living in my hometown, where he now also lives.

In the last few years, our contact has lessened. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that he is now married, and I’m the “single female friend”, and that’s been the cause of the fall of a lot of my strictly platonic friendships with a lot of my guy friends. I get it, don’t get me wrong, I’m not so sure I’d want my husband to have a “single female friend” either. And no, I wasn’t invited to the wedding, but again, I got that. But, we are still friends, and we do still speak on occasion.

Most recently, I sent him a text on his birthday. This started up a conversation, and we decided to have lunch. I hadn’t seen him in well over 5 years at this point, I think. So, this past week, we had lunch. After all that time, I’ll admit, in the beginning, it was a little awkward. After a quick hug hello, we were almost uncomfortable as strangers. He commented on how different I look, how he wouldn’t have recognized me on the street, and I’ll be honest, with my self-esteem being what it is these days, that comment bothered me probably more than it should have.

He, on the other hand, looked amazing. Better than he ever has, in fact. Why is it that men just get better with age, while we women…not so much?

However, after a few minutes of the awkward, we settled right into our old comfort zone. We chatted, we joked, and we laughed. We strolled down memory lane, sharing what we knew of our old friends’ whereabouts, and revisiting old tales. He too knew “The Bullet” pretty well, so we shared our shock about his turn of events. He too knew my buddy who went on the Bachelorette this season, so we laughed about that. He told me his wife is pregnant, I congratulated him. I told him Lil’ K is now 15 and how I’m struggling to be there and show her the positive influences she needs in her life. He commended me for it. We talked jobs, relationships, deaths. At one point we realized how different our topics of conversation are today from the old days. “Man, we’re getting old” we said.

I told him I want to meet his wife. I want to be able to visit in the hospital when the baby is born, and I obviously cannot do that if I’ve never met the woman. He promised it would happen. (I don’t believe it, but well, you never know).

We said our goodbyes, promised to get together again way before another five years go by.

And I went back to my office feeling a little sad for it all. See…Nostalgia has a way of kicking your ass. Lunch was so good, reminiscing so nice. But I yearned for the old days for a bit. I missed our good times, back in the day. I missed the ease our friendship used to have. I even missed the bits when he was insufferable. I was also feeling a little sad because it’s always been a shock to see him reach these milestones before me. He was the last guy you would have thought to settle down, and when I found out he was getting married, it was a shock to the system. BEFORE ME? How could that be? And now, a baby? BEFORE ME? It’s just strange.

Today, I’m over the sadness, I’m over the nostalgia. I’m simply glad we got together, had a chance to catch up, and that after all these years, are still great friends. He’ll always be “The One That Never Was”, but you know what? I’m okay with that, that’s how it was meant to be, I think.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Photo Hunt #24 - Support

The Photo Hunter theme today is "Support". There were a lot of different ways I could have gone with this one, but then I was driving home from work yesterday, and saw this:

See, I live in Merrimack Valley, and it's pretty much impossible to get anywhere around town without having to cross one of the many bridges throughout the city. They are all different, they are all the bane of our existance come rush hour, but they are all such an intricate and fascinating support system around here.

Happy Hunting everyone...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

You like bacon? How much do you like bacon?

Quite long overdue, I realize it, but here it is, the story of the bacon lollipop that was.

Once upon a time, back in the days before a new job took away her daytime internet use, yours truly was doing a bit of blog-hopping, and she came across this post. In that post, The Ex shared he misfortune at winning a contest, and receiving a couple of Bacon Lollipops for her efforts. After hating said lollipop as much as her benefactor, she decided she would continue the trend, and give away the second, unopened lollipop to one of her readers to try.

Well, I've never been one to shy away from trying strange foods, so I, of course, entered the contest. Now, as fate would have it, I, who NEVER win a damn thing...won the damn contest.

So then, a bit of time went by, and I sort of forgot about my fantastic prize. Until the day it arrived in the mail.
Here it was...my long awaited bacon lollipop.
But, as much as I wanted to try this thing, and share my thoughts about it with you...I couldn't very well be selfish and keep it all to myself, could I? Of course not. Misery loves company, after all. UH, I mean...candy is meant to be shared, right?
So, I held off on digging in, and took the lollipop with me when our small group gathered together for our monthly "Community Kitchen" volunteering. Gather a group of over eager teenage boys and girls (and some not so "teenage" brave souls), break a lollipop into a million little pieces, and distribute.
So, the reactions? (The teenage girls were smart enough to hide from the camera with their reactions, but all of them agreed the lollipop was disgusting). The boys?

"Okay, let's try this...not bad" My brother (on the left) thought it was "pretty good" at first. The brave soul on the right said "yeah, not bad".

This kid was thinking about it:

Brainiac didn't love it:

The consensus seemed to be that at first, it didn't taste so bad, but it had a killer after taste. But the problem came later, when you realized that whatever it was that the lollipop was made of, completely stuck to your teeth in the most obnoxious of ways. My brother would kill me for this photo, but he doesn't read my blog:

Yeah, they'll be picking that out of their teeth for hours. Did we mention the aftertaste?

And yours trully? I did try it as well, but I was holding the camera (I'm a smart cookie that way), so there is no photographic evidence of my reaction. Let's just say that next time I win a blog prize, I don't want it to have anything to do with bacon OR lollipops. Two words that should never again be used in the same sentence together. Really, who thinks of these things?

In closing, I'd like to thank my fellow taste testers, for being brave enough (or is that foolish enough) to try this delicassy out with me. I'd also like to thank the postmaster for not losing this prize somewhere between the Ex's house and mine. No, really, I thank you for that! And finally, I'd like to thank the Ex for hosting the giveaway of giveaways, because really, if you're going to win a blog prize, it should be something worth blogging about, right?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Photo Hunt #23 - Pointed

The Photo Hunter theme today is "Pointed". I'd like to introduce you all to Diamond, my brother's dog; she of the pointe ears:

How cute is she, with her little "fox" ears and nose?

Happy 5th!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #57 - A Little Bit of Nascar

I haven't done a Thursday Thirteen in a bit, but then again, I haven't done a whole lot of blogging lately either. But I wanted to participate this week, and share some of my adventure at Nascar this past weekend. So, here are 13 things I learned at Nascar:

1. Having connections (or friends who have connections) ROCKS. My friend Traveller managed to get us not only Pit Passes, but also Suite Passes for the races thist past weekend in New Hampshire.

Yeah, we sat in the same suite as the guy who runs all of Nascar (or so Traveller told me, I wouldn't know him from Adam, she's the Nascar fan).

2. Hanging out in the Garage/Pit area, getting up close and personal with the drivers and the pit crews? That was so much fun.

3. Let's talk about the pit crews for a minute shall we? HOLY EYE CANDY. Ladies, forget the drivers, it's the crew guys that are delicious to look at.

4. Moving on to the actual racing...I had no idea it could actually be that much fun to watch a bunch of cars go round and round in a circle. Who knew? Turns out there's a whole lot more to it than just racing around in a circle, and it's those little intricacies that make it such a fun sport to watch.

5. Who knew also how freakin' loud it would be? I mean, I was forewarned, but it was still louder than I thought it would be.

6. And do you have any idea how hard it is to photograph a car going 180 mph?

Not quite...
Almost... AHA! Gotcha!
7. Race cars are REALLY low to the ground...which makes getting in and out of the cars pretty hard. But oh so fun!8. I'd never really watched a race before this, so I'd never really understood the significance of the phrase "quick pit stop". When they say "quick"...they're not kidding around. It takes them all of 8 seconds to change four tires, gas up the car and perform whatever other necessary "fix us" may need to be done.
Even more props to those hot crew guys.
9. Speaking of hot guys...David Stremme:
Kinda hot, don't'cha think?
10. Also hot? Clint Bowyer, who never met a good pose he didn't like:
11. I learned that you must wear comfortable shoes when you go to a Nascar event, especially if you've got pit passes, because you will do A LOT of walking around. We saw every square inch of that place, I'll tell you! But it was great fun.
12. Nascar fans don't mess around. Talk about a wide variety of fan...we're not just cheering for two teams here, so you get all walks of life, all different support teams in the stands. With their wagons and coolers full of beer, and they're trailers and grills and bbq pits, these are some real fans. And if they don't like you (Kyle Busch), they'll let you know, loud and clear.
13. Traveller and I? We are total Rock Stars. This:

The view from our VIP Suite...free tickets, free food, free alcohol...what a fantastic time we had. And you know what? On Sunday, while at home recovering from my wild weekend...I watched the race on television...I think Nascar has gained a fan.

Thanks for stopping in!
And I know I owe some posts, some memes, a story about bacon lollipops and so much more...they're in the works, I promise. In the meantime, I've got Fun Monday, the Bachelorette, The Two Coreys and So You Think You Can Dance to tide you over...