quote, unquote

"You don't know what's coming. You don't know who you'll meet and how. I've heard so many love stories start with 'he was so unexpected...' I've heard stories of total life pivots coming from a chance encounter, a risky new job, a last ditch effort to try something new, a rock bottom whim. We've been attracted to the wrong people for the wrong reasons, seeking their affection or their bodies or their coolness to heal insecurities from middle school, self-hatred that thinks it can be erased by kissing the thing that hurt it. We've wanted a specific career only to achieve it and find it empty of meaning. We've wanted marriages to escape loneliness and ridicule, only to end up more lonely with a shiny fake smile. We think we know how things should be and how they will arrive.

We don't know what's coming in our lives. We are all those doomsday pastors, predicting the day and time of Christ's return, only to shrink in embarrassment as time and again our predictions are wrong.

How beautiful if we could let life happen and say thank you and trust that it will teach as it teaches. And we will listen and hear. If we could just hear the testimony of those ahead of us, who keep telling us the truth, over and over." - Jedidiah Jenkins

 

If you don't already, I strongly recommend following him on Instagram.

checking in || early september

craving // Thanksgiving. Like, in general, but mostly the leftovers.
 
watching // I have four episodes of Ozark I need to finish this weekend. I crushed Friends from College in a few days. And I'm re-watching Gilmore Girls from the beginning. TV = lyfe 4eva.

listening //  Oh good lord, I have Taylor Swift's second new single ...Ready For It? on repeat. It's so catchy!!1! I'm also listening to Lorde -- Perfect Places and Liability, to be specific.

drinking // Iced coffee for another few weeks. Not ready to switch to hot coffee yet.
 
reading // 
I'm re-reading Wild but I want book suggestions for when I'm finished, so leave them below!

cooking // This weekend I'm making autumn soup. I think I posted a recipe on here years and years ago, but I can't find it. Maybe I'll re-post it? Are posting recipes still a thing? Are blogs still a thing?

wearing // My Chelsea boots around my house because it's not cold enough to wear them outside just yet -- but soon!

feeling // Busy, busy. If you emailed me about the ~podcast project~ I haven't forgotten about you! I'll be reaching out soon to set up times to chat. And if you haven't heard about it, but want to participate, you can read more about it here.

that feeling of feeling

We were sitting in a corner booth at a dimly lit bar-- the whole group of us laughing, talking over one another, taking pictures and nursing beers between our hands. I made people move so I could sit next to you, and ten minutes later, I made them move again so I could leave.

I picked a fight*.

 

When I talked to a friend the next day, she told me what you said to her outside the bar when you came running out after me, but I was already too far down the street. She told me the excuses you used for why this has never been more than what it is-- the same excuses you told me not too long ago.

But your excuses do not absolve you from your actions.

And your actions have said otherwise.

 

To your excuses, I say this:

You've been broken and I've been broken, and we're all hurting, one way or another. And it doesn't make us special, and it doesn't make us singular-- it makes us human. It's what brings us together-- above all else, what people have gone through in the past should be the driving factor to get to their future. It should be the fire in your belly to do better, to do more. To treat people kindly because you know what it's like to be discarded.

You can't hide behind the pain. None of us can. But especially not you. You're too smart and funny and charming and talented. You're all these things I'm not sure you realize. You're all these things I never realized for years, because I never thought of you in that way until one day I did.

 

June of 2015-- I sat in the grass and you sat in a chair next to me. My best friend (the same one you stopped outside the bar a few nights ago) watched on as you and I started looking at each other in a way we never had before. It's like we started seeing each other for the first time.

It only took 8 years.

You got up to get a beer and I looked at her, unable to articulate what I was thinking and she said, "I know. I can feel it, too. What's going on with you guys?"

 

And that's the question I've been asked by people ever since: what's going on with you guys? Two years of what's going on with you guys? because no one believes me (sometimes, myself included) when I say we're just friends.

But four months after that night in June, the lines blurred. And they've blurred on and off ever since.

 

I say on and off because I have tried (unsuccessfully) to have relationships with other people. If it wasn't going to be you, then I was going to find someone else. I've gone on dating apps and out on first dates. I've met people at bars and I've had drinks with friends of friends.

And after things fell apart with the guy I dated last year, I was worried I would cling to you and hurt you in the fallout. So, I set boundaries.

No more of this, unless...

No more of that, until...

It lasted a few months.

 

And then I met someone else this summer. And then you also met this someone else. And I reminded myself that we're just friends, so this shouldn't be a big deal. But I couldn't shake the urge to want to reach for you, instead of him.

 

It's been messy ever since...and that's on me.

 

I picked a fight because I knew the answer already, I just needed you to say it.

I picked a fight because I want to hit rock bottom and the only thing standing in the way of that is you.

Well, not so much you-- but the idea of you.

I picked a fight because I was mad at myself...for fucking it up.

I picked a fight because you were talking to someone else for a few minutes at the bar and I got a taste of what it must have felt like for you to see me with someone else.

 

I picked a fight because I knew all along I was the one who was going to get hurt. You told me where you stood, how you felt. And I didn't listen.

But I'm listening now.

And maybe that's the lesson.

 

 

*I apologized two days later. He apologized, too. But, truthfully, I don't think either of us know what the fuck we were apologizing for.

useless information, p. 2

I did this post back in 2015-- Kelsey alerted me to it because she was digging around in my archives. In an attempt not to have the same answers for everything, I changed some of the topics.

4 names people like to call you other than your real name:
1. Liss
2. Aunt Lissie
3. Scooter (I used to ask my now defunct bocce team to call me that. My SIL still does sometimes.)
4. Never. Sometimes guys call me never and I've accepted that as a fact of life.

4 bands you'd like to see live:
1. The Head and the Heart
2. Noah and the Whale (RIP, they broke up)
3. Jamestown Revival
4. Houndmouth

4 movies you've watched recently:
1. The Break Up (a classic, IMO)
2. Girl, Interrupted (one one my all time favorite movies)
3. When Harry Met Sally
4. Dirty 30

4 places you would like to live:
1. California
2. New York City
3. Denver, Colorado
4. Philadelphia

4 places you would like to visit:
1. Utah
2. Amsterdam
3. Iceland
4. Australia

4 places you'd rather be right now:
1. In bed, sleeping.
2. On the road, en route to a show.
3. Laying by a pool.
4. Anywhere that serves pizza.

4 things you have ate in the last 24 hours:
1. CHIPS ~currently eating~
2. Yogurt (shout out to Chobani flips)
3. Chinese
4. PB&J sandwich

4 of your favorite chain restaurants:
1. Chili's <333
2. The Cheesecake Factory
3. Moe's
4. McDonald's *shrug emoji*

4 TV shows you recommend binge watching:
1. House of Cards (!!!1!! I wish I could watch it for the first time again)
2. Sex & the City
3. Silicon Valley
4. Parenthood

4 things you're always saying:
1. "~~apparently~~" (just like this kid)
2. "MAMA TRIED" (when I unsuccessfully attempt to do something)
3. "Oh, for fuck's saaaaakkeeee!" (because Harry Styles said it once)
4. "CRAY GREAT"

p o d c a s t s // the true crime edition

Back in 2010, my favorite way to spend a Friday night was curled up in bed, watching the latest episode of Dateline. I was 24 and living my best life-- until I started having panic attacks.

There was an episode where a girl was abducted while she was going for a run and WHAT IF someone attacked me while I was running in a local park? Never mind the fact that I don't run... which would make me incredibly easy to catch, if you think about it.

I cut myself off.

What I've realized over the last few years is that my visual memory is strong, so when they show a photo of the killer(s), I remember it. And god forbid they show a picture of the crime scene.

Insert true crime podcasts here. All the fun without any of the haunting visuals!

Here's what I'm into:

1. My Favorite Murder: There is a 0% chance that you've come into contact with me within the last four months and have not heard me talk about this podcast at least once. It's hosted by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark (commonly known has "K" and "G" if you're listening to me and my cousin talk about them) and the podcast is a good mix of funny banter and murder.

Each week, they each discuss a murder they've loosely researched. And I think that's why I like it so much-- it's not scripted, so the conversation flows. And they aren't experts, so they are learning as they go, just like the listener is. They end each episode with something positive that happened that week and also have shorter "minisodes" where they read hometown murders sent in from listeners.

2.  Accused: If a scripted podcast is more your style, check out Accused. It discusses the unsolved murder of Elizabeth Andes. Beth was found dead in her Ohio apartment in 1978-- her boyfriend at the time was tried but acquitted of her murder, and the crime is considered a cold case.

Amber Hunt, an investigative reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer, hosts the podcast and does a great job tracking people down who seem willing to speak with her-- except for one person. You'll have to listen to find out who.

Spoiler alert: In episode 6, she plays of clip of Ted Bundy describing where investigators can find the body of one of his victims. It's slightly terrifying and caused me to sit right up in bed. You've been warned!

I could go on, but instead I'll just list some others that are worth a listen: Someone Knows Something, Crimetown and :74 Seconds.

Do you listen to any of these podcasts? What are some other true crime podcasts you've heard of? @ me. We have a lot to discuss.

let's talk about dating, shall we? alternate title: i need your help!

What I'm about to say isn't something I'm proud of. It's just a fact.

Every guy I've ever dated has come back when all was said and done and apologized, in one way or another, for what happened. Sometimes they said they missed me and wished things were different. Sometimes they just said they were sorry.

Even the guy I dated last year-- the one I would never expect to, not in a million years.

 

What I've realized about these men is this: their apologies weren't so much for me, but for themselves. They didn't necessarily feel bad that I was hurting, but rather, they wanted to stop feeling guilty for hurting me and thought an apology text would clear the air.

The unapologetic apology text.

Or so it feels.

 

A few weeks ago a good friend of my went out on a first date with a guy she met online. They had drinks, they kissed, they planned to see each other again. And then poof, he was gone.

She did a little digging and come to find out, he had recently broken up with his ex-girlfriend. I said, "Give it three weeks. He'll text you when they are fighting again."

Last night, he texted her.

I don't want to be right about his reasoning for showing back up, but I can't help but wonder if I am.

 

And that got me thinking...

I've jokingly said that my bad luck with dating has to lead to something good. It can't all be for nothing. So, I need your help. I want to talk to you about your dating stories-- the good, the bad, the everything in between. Let's talk about the guy who stood you up. Or the one who chased after you relentlessly. Or the one you thought would be The One until he wasn't.

This isn't about throwing ourselves a massive pity party or trying to analyze everything that went wrong so we can pinpoint the exact moment their feelings changed. We're not going to be playing the victims here, okay? This about sharing our stories and what we've learned from the men we've dated.

 

Do you have 20 minutes to spare? Do you mind if I record our conversation? I'm looking to talk with people over the course of the next couple of months, and compile everything into a yet to be named podcast. Or a podcast mini-series. Or something of the like.

And I know...I know a lot of my faithful readers are married or happily settled down. And what I'm asking you ladies to do is #1: hug your husband or boyfriend tight and thank the good lord you found him and then #2 immediately think of one of your single friends and send her my way. I want to talk to her!

Shoot me an email at graceless.lady.blog@gmail.com if you're interested in participating or know someone who is. I can't wait to hear from you.