The story of Wild Oats and the psychic

There once was a girl who got a mysterious phone call after a night at the bar . . .

“This is Danielle*, we met at the bar last night. Give me a call back when you get a chance.”

I looked down at my phone as I hung up, genuinely perplexed. Who was this middle-aged sounding woman leaving me voice mails? And why the hell did she have my number in the first place??

Did I…

No! I couldn’t have.

Could I?

Shit.

I gave the psychic my phone number.

That’s right! Damn it. As if it wasn’t bad enough that I had my health insurance and phone bill due in a few days and no paycheck in sight, now I had a psychic on my hands that wanted me to pay her back for candles she said she’d burn for me.

Apparently if these candles were not burned, my love life was doomed.

“I only have ten dollars,” I told her as she cornered me in the bar telling me that I have a lot of problems in my love life and that I needed her to burn candles for me so she could look deeper into the “problem.”

“That’s okay,” Danielle said. “You can owe me.”

I remember jotting down my phone number, telling her I’d pay her back. And thanking her profusely.

Stupid alcohol.

Now, here I sat, in the parking lot of Target wondering if I should call her back. If I didn’t, I was sure bad things would happen to me. Did psychics use Voodoo dolls? I sighed, pulled up her phone number and hit dial. I hated owing people money. I would pay her back and that would be that.

“Hello?” I said as she answered the phone.

“Hello honey.” She proceeded to explain to me what the candles she had burned for me showed her. She said that I had a big problem. One that required the burning of honey candles. My relationship issues would be fixed only if these candles were burned. These honey candles would be expensive, but they would work. My life would change. I would be happily and blissfully in love.

“I have to tell you, Danielle. I’m a poor graduate student. I barely have a job and I have so many bills to pay it makes my head spin. Unfortunately I really don’t think I’ll have the money for that, but I really do want to pay you back for the candles you’ve already burnt,” I explained. “Can I mail you a check?”

She convinced me to stop by and I really just wanted to get it over with. She only lived a few towns away, so I decided to go to her place, pay her the money I owed, and leave. I jotted down her address and told her I’d swing by to pay her, knowing full well that she would try and persuade me to buy these  candles.

Stand firm. Just say no to honey candles. I said to myself as I pulled up to her house an hour later. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was a perfectly normal house. On a perfectly normal street. In a perfectly normal neighborhood.

I tried to remember what Danielle the psychic looked like as I walked up to the front door and rang the bell. As soon as she opened the door I recognized her and breathed a sigh of relief. No long black robe. No crystal ball in her hand. She was just a normal looking 50 year old lady blasting ambient tunes.

I walked in the living room, which was impeccably clean. Candles, tarot cards and crystals sat on the coffee table as she told me to have a seat.

“I want to help you,” she began. My love life was at risk. Men leave me. It’s something to do with me, not with them. I need to cleanse myself and have her perform her work so I can find my true love. The last man I was with still cares for me, and she could help to bring him back.

I stopped her, “But . . . I don’t want him back.”

“Yes you do.”

“No,” I insisted. “He wasn’t for me.”

“There was love there.”

I tried not to giggle, “There was chemistry there. But, it didn’t work for a reason. We’re friends. Kind of. That’s all.”

She nodded. “There will be someone else coming into your life. I can help you with this too.”

She told me that she could give me things to bathe in and she would light candles and bless me. She told me that all of this would ensure that whatever is wrong with me would be fixed. That my true love would want to be with me. That, right now, I am forgettable. If she helped me, no man would ever forget me again.

And all of this could be done for a mere $350.

I shuddered.

“It’s a small price to pay,” Danielle told me.

“Really, I’m a poor graduate student. My car payments, my health insurance, my tuition . . . I work one day a week. I couldn’t possibly -”

“I will work with you,” Danielle assured me. “Why won’t you let me help you? How much can you pay? I really want to help you.”

She finally got down to $100, but I still couldn’t justify this to myself. I realized what she was doing. She was making me feel bad about myself and believe that the only way I’d ever find true love and happiness was to pay her this money and trust that these candles and soaps and crystals would help me. I left with her telling me that I would call her. That I would see that I needed her. I again thanked her for the candles, got into my car, and didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry.

I’m no expert on psychics. Sure, I read my horoscope every now and again, but I have no idea what house my moon is in or any of that stuff. So, now I’m left wondering. Was she feeding me BS? Should I fork over the hundred to save my love life? Am I really and truly doomed otherwise??

Are any of you on the up-and-up about this kind of stuff? Am I crazy for even considering going back and forking over the money (that I don’t have)? Do I just keep blaming a series of unfortunate events for the lack of love in my life? Or do I have to start taking some real initiative in the form of blessed oils??

Help!

The end.

Or, is it?

*Name has been changed

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If I had my way. . .

. . . I’d be Sara Bareilles.

The truth is that I never want to…

Day 06 – Something you hope you never have to do.

I am Peter Pan.

Growing up is not something that I ever really want to do. Not that I don’t ever want to buy a house or have a family. Of course I want those things.  But I never want to lose my child-like spirit. My enthusiasm for the little things. My silliness. My love for living and experiencing new things.

I never want to grow up. I hope that I never have to.

You can’t always get what you want

First off, thanks for the birthday wishes, girls! I had a lovely weekend spent with great friends and family. (And, yes, too much wine.) Anyway, on to my post for the day; the topic of which is:

Why do we always want what we can’t have?

It’s the question that haunts many — otherwise rational — human beings. It keeps us up at night. It has us hitting our heads against a proverbial (or, maybe not so proverbial) wall. Sometimes it’s a life situation we wish would happen that we’re fairly certain we’ll never see come to fruition. Maybe we want a new job, a fancier car, a bigger house.

Maybe life just has other ideas for us.

In the case of  people who seem to find themselves single more often than they are not (I being one of them), what we want is usually a certain person. Often, this person is one of the following:

1. Already attached

2. An ex that left us broken

3. Someone who has a different lifestyle from us that makes it impossible to be together

4. Or…someone who is just not interested in being with us

I’ve wanted them all. But, alas, I could not have them.

It hurts.

It hurts and it sucks.

It hurts, it sucks and it’s bittersweet. You know how us romantics love to use the word bittersweet. It makes the pain seem a little more . . . bearable. A little more like it’s happening because the ending of the story requires you to go through some rough patches before you can reach the beautiful place where you get the thing (or person) you want. Where you’ll, for once, be able to stop wondering “When is it going to be MY turn??” and start realizing “This is it, for real this time.”

During these rough patches, you tell yourself that you’re learning lessons. “Everything happens for a reason” becomes your mantra.

A friend of mine is going through, what I would classify as, a VERY bittersweet situation right now. Without going into too much detail, I will say that she really cares for someone who, in turn, seems to really care for her. But, they cannot be together. They cannot be together because their beliefs and cultures are not the same. However, in each other, they have found something real. They’ve found attraction on multiple levels. It’s so sad for me to think about, because I know how much it hurts not to be able to be with someone who you care for beyond measure. To know how happy you’d be with this person. It’s hard to think past them when you know that they are everything you want. And nothing that you can truly have.

It’s torturous when you can’t get someone out of your head. When you know that they shouldn’t be in there in the first place, but you refuse to fully let them go. My friend who is going through the above situation is having a tough time with this, and I really don’t blame her in the slightest. You remember The One? It took me exactly a year to the day I last saw him to get over him completely. To stop having him be a thought in my head every single day.

What I do know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that when someone comes into your life that you click with, that you’re interested in, that you’re attracted to . . . the person you’re holding onto slowly starts to fade away. You no longer think of the old person as you lay in bed, because you have someone new to think of. You stop looking at your phone in the morning, wondering if there will be a random missed call or text message from the old person. You smile when you see a message from the new person.

To answer my original research question (Why do we always want what we can’t have?), I will give this answer.

Because, it’s better than wanting nothing at all.

We tend to hold onto these people and these unrealistic hopes, because at least then we know that we are capable of feeling. And, when you feel, at least you know that you aren’t numb.

This post has gone in a completely different direction than I originally intended for it to go, but I think I’ll just keep it as is and see what you all think. Do you have your own answer for why we always want what we can’t have? Mine seems a little . . . obvious.

It’s my party

I’m turning 26 on Sunday.

I look at that number and it doesn’t feel quite real. Not that it feels old, it just feels…different.

When I turned 25, I was surrounded by friends.  I shut down the bar. I danced my heart out.

On the outside, I was fabulous. Inside, I was an emotional wreck.

Turning 25 felt surreal. I was nowhere near where I thought I would be. I was unattached, still living at home, still in school. Surprisingly, none of these things have changed in a year. I’m in my last semester of graduate school, I am nowhere near financially ready to move out, and although I’ve dated a few people this year, I’m completely single.

This has been a year of growing, as most years usually are. A year of healing bruises, going wild and taking risks. Of meeting new people and following my heart instead of my gut. Of making terrible choices, but having fun in the moment. Of not wasting (as much time as I usually do) time feeling sorry for myself. Of proving to myself that I’m a lot stronger than I look.

I feel like, last year at this time, I was standing on the dock, looking into the water, wondering if I should jump or not. Maybe I’d dip my toe in to feel the temperature of the water, but I hadn’t gone in yet. I hadn’t taken a deep breath, puffed out my cheeks and taken that leap. I was still scared, still searching, still broken from past experiences.

Not that I’m completely unafraid now. I still get nervous before a first date, I still have panic attacks when I don’t feel prepared for an exam, and I’m still not completely confident that I have what it takes to succeed in my chosen field. But, I got there. I jumped in. My hair got wet and I’m happy.

I’m proud of the woman I’m becoming. And I hope everyone that reads this is proud of themselves as well. Love yourself for your flaws. Admire yourself for your strength. Accept your mistakes. Think of them as stepping stones. Eat cake. Drink wine. Smile for no reason. Make out with cute boys you don’t ever care about seeing again, if only because you need to feel close to someone for a moment. Buy a sexy nightie, even if the only person you have to wear it in front of is your cat. Get a massage.  Give yourself a hug.

At least I will be doing those things.

Happy birthday to me =)

Truth No. 5: Hope

Day 05 – Something you hope to do in your life.

I want to be a mother.

I don’t know how it’ll happen. Especially if I am perpetually stuck in this single-rut. Maybe it’ll be with one of the guys that randomly come into my life and stay just long enough for me to let them in. Maybe it’ll be after I’m married and settled and have come up with a 10 year plan including a house, two kids, a cat and a dog. There is also the slight possibility that I will channel my inner Angelina Jolie and adopt a child from a third-world country.

However, it happens, I will be a mother. Because, I’m pretty friggin cool. And I’d be damn good at it.

My fourth truth: I forgive you

Day 04 – Something you have to forgive someone for.

I love my mother. She is little and adorable. I get my quirkiness from her, I’m quite sure of it. She makes up her own words. She’s a terrible driver. She has no idea how to turn on a computer. The only thing she knows how to cook from scratch is meatloaf, and hers is the best I’ve ever had. Right now, we have a pretty good relationship. We don’t have long, meaningful, heart-to-heart conversations. That’s not really the type of mother she is. She’s Italian and tough and a very strong person. I am fairly certain that I’ve only seen her cry once. Although our relationship is good, when I was younger we didn’t always see eye-to-eye. On a lot of things. We’d fight constantly, our screams echoing the house as I would run away from the wooden spoon she’d threaten me with.

I’ve forgiven her for the constant terror that she used to have me in on my countless occasions of “talking back” to her. But, it was just recently that I realized I haven’t quite forgiven her for one thing in particular.

When I was about 10 years old, I put on weight. Lots of it. And fast. I began to put on extra pounds around my tummy that my daily dance classes couldn’t keep off. It may have been the cookies my grandmother would sneak to me. Or possibly just the fact that I was going through a growth spurt. Whatever it was, my mother was definitely not the kindest or most understanding when it came to my rising weight.

She was blunt. “You’re putting on too much weight. You almost weigh as much as me,” she’d say as I would jump up and down, trying to zip my jeans.

“Your legs used to be skinny, now even they are looking thicker,” she remarked one day as I was having lunch with her and my aunt. I remember looking down at the sandwich in my hands, on the verge of bursting into tears. I put it down on my plate, refusing to eat anymore.

And then I went home and ate half a sleeve of chocolate chip cookies.

I was growing up, I was hungrier than normal, I never seemed satisfied.

So I kept eating.

And my mother kept making comments.

As I reached high school and my weight plateaued, the remarks died down somewhat. I grew a few more inches and my body became leaner. I rowed crew and my legs thinned down and toned up. I still ate constantly, but the exercise kept me from putting on more pounds.

Today, my mother tells me I’m too skinny. But I don’t believe her.

I realize now that one of the reasons my mother and I don’t have as close of a relationship as we could is because I don’t exactly feel comfortable telling her lots of things. I understand that my history with her — always feeling somewhat inadequate — is a big part of my lack of total comfort. I suppose that I haven’t yet fully forgiven her for not being more helpful and gentle with me when I was younger. I never truly forgave her for being overly critical and harsh with her judgments.

But, there must have been some good that came from her comments. I wonder… have they made me a stronger person? I’m not entirely sure. I work out everyday. For the most part, when I snack, I chose healthy alternatives like peanuts or frozen yogurt to Oreos and Doritos. So, I changed my habits but, did I ever once stand up for myself?

Did I ever once tell her that she made me feel bad about myself when she said hurtful things about my weight?

No.

Her words stung and occasionally cut like a knife.

But, I forgive her.

Because, she’s my mother.

I forgive her.

Because, she’s me.

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