Who’s hiding behind your walls?


Today I have contributed a post at Stories That Must Not Die.  It is a brief synopsis of alcoholism and growing up with two parents who were haunted by that very beast.  Click here to read the story.  My post here was prompted by the post at STMND combined with a conversation I had yesterday.


There are moments that sneak up on you and make you realize how much a life growing up with two alcoholic parents has insidiously ingrained itself into your way of being.  My endearing character traits and my flaws are directly related to the life I lived as a teenager and a young adult.  If you read my post, you’ll understand that ours was a very loving home but I grew up much more quickly than I should have and learned, very young, how to build walls around myself.  I created a hard outer shell to keep myself soft and emotional on the inside but tough on the outside.

It was during a very interesting conversation with a male friend yesterday that the subject of dating came up, specifically dating websites and the basic instincts of humans regarding the laws of attraction.  He had taken a rudimentary stab at what qualities I would say I look for in a man and he was off the mark, but he was also guessing from a man’s perspective on what he thinks a woman would want based on the opposite of what a man would want.


I had all-but forgotten about the primal instincts of men and I am not saying that in a negative way.  In my quest to protect myself and build my walls, I had potentially buried the softer, more feminine side of myself and let the tomboy be the dominant, protective personality.  It was how a teenage mind dealt with a difficult situation and potentially how I have removed myself from the desirable end of the dating pool. That simple awareness was like an awakening.  It is a rare but divine twist of fate that can take an outside force and use it to help you discover an inner truth.

Our conversation really opened my eyes.  I will never try to be someone I am not just to go on a date but perhaps that little girl inside of me is a part of who I really am and I just never gave her a chance.  I built my walls so high that she had no choice but to peer over them and wonder what was on the other side.

Walls are only effective if you know who you are protecting and who the real enemy is and, in this case, I became my own worst enemy.  I may have protected myself from a big part of who I was really meant to be but at least there is still time to find her and give her a chance.

(image credit)


When worlds collide


I have a friend, not the imaginary kind that you invent to talk about yourself, but a real friend who has recently begun dipping her toes back into the dating pool after leaving a bad relationship.  Trust me, if I were talking about myself I would be splashing the headlines of this blog with the water from that pool.

Like all swimmers, she has been testing out different areas of the dating pool, attempting alternate swimming strokes to see which swim is most comfortable for her.  Recently the seemingly Olympic sized swimming pool shrunk down into an inflatable pool you would find on any front lawn and a few worlds collided in the process.


(image credit: xminflatable.com)

When you live in a small town, anonymity and dating do not go hand in hand.  Even if you find a secluded spot to spend some time getting to know each other, inevitably someone you know will be a witness to that moment and your secret rendezvous is no longer a secret.

She has been casually dating a few men sporadically and had accepted an offer to go out for drinks from a new potential suitor.  Being the aforementioned small town, we really have only one restaurant / bar that is a desired spot to take a date.  They decided to begin with a  cocktail on the outside deck, shades on, and enjoy the view of the water but her view suddenly shifted to one of her other swimming partners on the deck with a new date of his own.  The waters may have churned momentarily but her date was moved indoors for dinner and avoided any further discomfort.

On the way to the table she noticed a familiar face seated at the bar.  Another swimmer from her dating pool was deeply ensconced in a conversation on a date of his own as well.  Worlds collided again and the size of the dating pool had just become a Dixie cup!  Like mature adults, each of them went on with their dates never revealing that anything was strange about the three of them being in the same restaurant, each on separate dates.

Being in the dating pool is a challenge.  You can tread water for great lengths of time before encountering another swimmer or the pool can immediately be inundated with other swimmers also testing the waters.  There is no judgement, only curiosity.  There are no rules only requests for safety and respecting the others swimming space.  I admire her for being in that pool and can only hope she will find the one swimmer that will match her speed and agility throughout her life!

My life is a romantic comedy, minus the romance



(photo credit: hdw.eweb4.com)

For the past few months, I have been inspired by the genius idea from one Mr. Edward Hotspur.  He has encouraged us to write about romance, whether it is poetry, short fiction or a personal reflection.  I love everything that romance embodies, but the posts I have written that were spurred on by the Monday challenge were all pulled from the vault of my memories, fond recollections or wishes for the future.  My life, although loosely resembling a romantic comedy, currently contains no romance.

My daily existence does round out the rest of the requirements for the romantic comedy.  I’ve got some unique personality traits that could create a funny story line, I’ve got some quirky friends that make an appearance every few episodes, I have a job that allows me some creative material and a dog that could steal the show.

Living in a small town doesn’t afford too many opportunities to stumble upon romance.  I’ve caved a couple of times and tried online dating sites to see who may be lurking out there, but even the sights that promise to deliver matches based on specific traits that I have listed as important seem to fish in the shallow end of that dating pool.  I’m amazed at some of the “matches” that are sent my way and the online romantic search ends before it really begins.  Even though I have moments of bravery thinking I will give it another shot, I recall this experience and run, screaming, away from my laptop.

Although I’m fine being on my own, I find inspiration in the stories and poetry I read on this blog site written by strangers and by new friends.  They are happy to shout their romantic thoughts and experiences and it makes me want to continue the quest for that ever elusive romance.  The dream of him is still alive and I will continue to hold that dream close.  If we don’t embrace the darkness, we will never be able to see the stars.

I’m sure the water is fine – Trifecta Challenge


I’ve never been afraid of the water.  But perhaps after spending five years trying to calm the waves in my marriage I have been left with the slightest hesitation about diving back in.  Divorce can feel like a Tsunami, like the calm before the storm.  There is a sense of peace and strange tranquility and then the rush of emotion comes like a tidal wave engulfing everything in its path. And like the Tsunami, you know that wave is coming but it’s nearly impossible to get to a safe haven.


(image courtesy of Google)

The dating pool, although seemingly non-threatening compared to the violent storm waves, beckons and standing on the edge of that pool is just as daunting as watching that tide surge forward.  The water may seem calm on the surface but the hidden dangers lie beneath that placid sheen and the potential for another storm gives me pause.  The slightest touch of the surface causes ripples and pushes me back from the edge of the pool.

I watch as the ripples dissipate.  The soft blue glow seems so inviting, but the dormant threat still lurks under the veil waiting to lure me closer to the edge, waiting to gently touch my skin and pull me under when I am blissfully unaware of the current below.  I can’t swim, not now.  Maybe sometime soon I will remember how wonderful it felt to float in that water, how comforting it was to be surrounded by its warmth and to feel buoyant.  Maybe soon, but not now.

I’m sure the water is fine, but I don’t think I’m ready yet to hold my breath and jump.  For now I’m content to sit on the edge of the pool and exhaust every argument in my head as to why I shouldn’t just take the plunge.


This was written for the Trifecta Challenge:
EXHAUST (transitive verb)
1a : to consume entirely : use up <exhausted our funds in a week>
b : to tire extremely or completely <exhausted by overwork>
c : to deprive of a valuable quality or constituent <exhaust a photographic developer>
2a : to draw off or let out completely
b : to empty by drawing off the contents; specifically : to create a vacuum in
3a : to consider or discuss (a subject) thoroughly or completely  

Please remember:
  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone.  Please join us.