Newton’s Third Law as it Relates to Love

I’m currently at a crossroads.  And I feel like the only way to get wherever it is that I need to get is to write about it; to share my story, or at least the parts that I’m most comfortable sharing with others.  So yesterday, and the day before, I began to write, to process, in my journal about this latest curve ball.

So what follows is my processing what I’m currently feeling….this is from my journal, dated May 13, 2015, yesterday:photo (2)

Was it Newton’s Third Law or the Theory of Relativity that talked about that equal and opposite reaction shit?  For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction?  Something like that.  I think that’s Newton’s shit.  I think the Relativity one might be Einstein’s or one of those other geniuses.  Even that theory still applies to what I’m feeling: isn’t that the one that questions truth, at least if you allow his theory to branch out into philosophy and not just science?  I don’t know.  I think relativity is something about how someone’s “truth” is really not “truth” at all because there is no such thing as “truth.”  Or there’s that shit that goes something like this:  there are three sides to every story: his side, her side, and the truth.  Whatever…I’m digressing…

All I know is that love does not come without a cost.  That’s what’s reminding me of good old Newton– equal and opposite reaction shit.  Or something like that.  Love does not come without a cost and that cost is pain.  So before you invest too deeply, remember that what you invest does not always come back to you in the same way that you’d figured.  That sometimes, the reaction is one that hurts.  It will still be “equal”, but it might not be what you were hoping for.  

Even if all other signs seem to point in the right direction, even if everyone offers their positivity and continues to cheer for you and says that everything is going to be alright, and even if you believe that, still, sometimes the shit hits the fan and you feel a deep, burning, agonizing pain.  The kind of pain that makes you wonder if love was even worth it in the first place.  Right now, I don’t know the answer to that.  All I know is the rawness of this pain– the kind that swells your eyes, stains your cheeks with tears, chaps your lips because you’ve cried so much that you’ve managed to dehydrate yourself.  

The kind that puts you in bed, just begging to fall asleep for the whole day, an attempt to lessen the burden of pain, or maybe even avoid it.  

The kind that you know you could probably get past if you would just get up and do something productive; but you can’t because you feel paralyzed by your pain.  It hurts that bad.  The kind that tells you that maybe a hot bath would help to relax you.  

But the pain, it wins.  You stay in bed.  And you just cry.

Pain.  The kind that makes me scribble in my journal, hoping that in my rambling, I’ll find the light, the answer, the thing that will save me from this pain.  

The kind that rationalizes and then gets irrational.  

The kind that you wish would just go away.  Today.  

I seek no platitudes for my pain, just a simple nod of the head, an acknowledgement that pain exists today.  And that that pain came from  a choice to live again, to love again.

And while I wish that this pain would just go away, I know that it must not.  And it cannot.

Because that is the cost of love.  The cost of love is pain.  

And I have loved.  And I love.  

And I do not regret having love in my heart.  

So it should stand to reason in all my irrationalities that I’m creating in my head that I do not regret having this pain either.  

I just know that it exists.  

And that it hurts.

And that “I’m still here.”  

And the Lesson For Today Is:

So that was yesterday.

I still have that pain.  And my writing about it and admitting it here is my way of trying to find the light and trying to move forward.  I am not trying to mask it or run from it or avoid it; I still feel it.  And I do not regret having this pain or feel sorry for myself for having it either.

Because what I have experienced as a result of choosing to love has been something that I’d never dreamt possible.

It has been an amazing journey; I am hopeful that this journey continues, even if it needs to be in a different capacity.

In my journal only yesterday, I’d asked myself and didn’t know the answer to the question: is love worth it if it’s going to potentially bring you this kind of pain?

I know the answer today.

Yes.

Absolutely, beyond the shadow of a doubt, 100%– yes.

Love is worth it.

I still hurt.

But also,  “I’m still here.”

Make sense?

Confessions of a Former Facebook Addict

I hate Facebook.

It once had a really good place in my life.  It was a place where I came to post about and process my grief.  It was a place I came to be validated for how I was feeling and what I was going through.  I needed Facebook.  I needed the likes and comments.  Those comments, as odd as it might seem, were very powerful in helping me heal.  
But I had an over-reliance on it, and I started to pay too much attention to the newsfeed and how other people were living their lives.  And on exceptionally stressful or low days, I’d find the newsfeed to only depress me further rather than to boost me.  Paying too much attention to the highlight reels of others’ postings made me re-examine my own life and question whether or not I was actually living it or living vicariously through others’ postings about their lives.  
So I began to ween myself from it.  
I began my “unliking” some pages that no longer interested me.
I then downsized my “friends.”  Most of those that were eliminated were people that I really didn’t know, people I’d “collected” over time, people with which I had no regular contact.  To be honest, the people that were defriended were people that I just don’t care about.   I’m certain those people don’t care about me either.  I did manage to piss off one person that I defriended. He messaged me after the fact to let me know of his disapproval of his defriended status, and he went on to inform me that he always thought I was an asshole anyway.  If that is the case– that I am, indeed, an asshole, then I don’t really know why he wanted to be Facebook friends anyway.  Some people really take this Facebook stuff a little too seriously.
And that’s the root of the problem.  
Facebook is not real.  It’s not life.  It’s a representation of life.  And how we use it can ruin our days if we allow it.  I won’t allow it.   I’ve got too much of a life to live, and I want to live it.  
I ran an experiment a couple weeks ago.  I vowed to not look at Facebook for an entire week. It was glorious.  Any time I felt an “itch” to look at Facebook, I’d force myself to do something else– like read a book.  Or I’d call or text a friend…ok, who am I kidding?  I texted.  I never call people.  Or I’d just do something else. Cleaning the cats’ litter boxes even took precedence over Facebook.   
And you know what?
I didn’t die.
In fact, I lived.  
I lived.
I lived my life.  I got off of my online life, and I just started living. Living a real life.  
Since that experiment, I’ve only had limited use of Facebook.  I just don’t enjoy it anymore, and I really don’t “need” it like I used to.  
I wonder: how much time do YOU spend on Facebook?  Do you use it as a “crutch” for actually living a life?  Do you use it mindfully, or do you get caught up in it and end up wasting a whole bunch of time on it?  
Why not try weaning yourself away from it?  Try it for an hour, a day, a week, however long you like….what’s the worst that can happen?
You’ll live.  I promise.    

The Dinner Club

When I arrived, the parking lot was full of “More Muscle Per Gallon” F-150s and  “370 HEMI horses can’t be wrong” Dodge Chargers.  Monster vehicles.  This could only mean one thing:  the place would be crawling with men, and they would be the kind of men that made my skin crawl.

As I neared the entrance, I knew I had to make a choice: sit at the bar, or request “table for one” to a hostess that would look at me with quizzical eyes and an air of disapproval, or at least some awkwardness.

Over at the bar sat those monster-vehicle-driving turds and quickly, I weighed the pros and cons of taking up a server’s precious table (And trust me when I say– no server wants to wait on a single diner; especially a woman dining alone.  We are typically the worst tippers on the planet.  And picky, picky, picky!).

My 20 years as a bartender and waitress in the service industry and my loyalty to such sisterhood contributed to me throwing caution to the wind about those brusk men and I headed for the bar. I’m sure whoever would have been my server appreciated my thoughtfulness.

I chose the corner seat, one that was far enough away from this group of…uhhh…gentlemen, but not so far as to seem anti-social or worse, “afraid” of my own shadow, or more accurately, the turds.

These four gruff men, who obviously know one another, entertain each other with mindless banter about what they’ll have for dinner.  It’s apparent to me that they are probably blue collar workers.  They each sport either a dark hoodie or a Field and Stream flannel and Carhartt jeans.  Each look as though they just walked off the set of Duck Dynasty. Is that show on anymore?!? Each sits at the bar, legs straddling their stools, draft beers being consumed faster than one can request another.  They place their orders– steaks, of course– and one, perhaps the most extroverted in the group, begins to chat up the bartender, a good-looking female.  Here we go, I think to myself.  Let the games begin!

This guy in the group is the Flirt.  And he– and his buddies– think he’s hysterical.  He’s got a line for everything the bartender says.  I find him pathetic, and I’m sure the bartender does too, but she’s there to make a buck and knows she must work it.

And work it she does; although I give her credit because she plays along just enough to make that money but doesn’t return the awkward attempt at flirting so much as to ignore the rest of her guests, nor to lose all self-respect.

Shortly after my dinner arrives (I’ve ordered a 16 oz. ribeye, steak fries, and a glass of Merlot.  Typical female diners flying solo order the salad.  But I ain’t typical.), here comes a family from Hee Haw– three diners, a teenage male and what I assume to be his mother and father. Mama Hee Haw excuses herself to use the restroom, and Daddy Hee Haw uses this opportunity to attempt to engage me in conversation.  But I don’t want to be rude, so I play along for a little while, until it gets awkward.

“Mind if I sit here? I don’t want to crowd you.  I don’t like to be crowded when I eat.”

It’s a free country, dude, do whatever you want; just don’t breathe on me, okay? “Sure, it’s no problem,” I say.

“I tried a JagerBomb for the first time the other day.”

“Oh yeah?” I say, as though I’m interested.  Um.  Okay.  Where the fuck did that come from?  I’m sitting here with a glass of wine and my steak and that brings to mind a JagerBomb?!?!?  Although, ironically, just this past weekend, I also had a few JagerBombs during a Penn State tailgate with my manfriend (Oh…I didn’t tell you that story yet? By “manfriend,” I mean “boyfriend,” but it feels too awkward to call him that because he’s not a “boy;” he’s very much a man, and we’re adults and those words just seem too, I dunno…juvenille?!?  Anyway… That’s a whole other story– a very good story–  but it’s our story, and it’s one I prefer to keep private…but at least I’ve let the cat out of the bag…so, there’s that! And a wink to you, G.  You know what I mean.)

But back to Daddy Hee Haw…

He continues on the path he started, informing me that he told his girlfriend about his new experience and of her concern of him trying this delicious chug-friendly drink, but he goes on to report that “it’s not like I’m going to drink one everyday.”

I don’t even know what to say, so I just smile and continue cutting into my steak.

“Y’know, I haven’t had a drink in 15 years.”

Ok.  So now I get to be Daddy Hee Haw’s AA sponsor?  

I turn to my phone and begin to text, rapidly, to said manfriend.  He’s GOT to know this stuff because it is too funny, and I want to share in the experience with him.  Dining alone is a first for me, and it feels significant, and I want him to know.  Doing so also suggests to Daddy Hee Haw that I am busy.

He either gets my drift, or he feels silenced by Mama Hee Haw who has now returned from the restroom.

Another “gentleman” joins our initial Duck Dynasty crew and he’s just as brusk and burly as his barmates.  I sense all five of them looking at me, but I dare not make eye contact because I know that doing so will elicit another conversation that I don’t wish to have.  Look, bozos, I’m just here coz I had a hankerin for a steak– a big, fatty steak, and a glass of wine.  I have not dressed for the occasion, as I’d originally planned to head to the gym on my way home from work, so I’m wearing sweatpants and a cut-off tshirt underneath my Flag Nor Fail hoodie.  I didn’t even fix my makeup before I arrived.  I am NOT attractive at this moment.  Please leave me be.  I am not interested.  Trust me– I.  Am.  So.  Not.  Interested.  But I am alone.  And I am female.  And therefore, I am bait.

Thank God for my phone and the notebook I’d brought it to document this “first.”  If ever I felt awkward or as though I was being “examined,” I ferociously wrote in my notebook or texted my manfriend.

Take note, female diners who dine alone:  Look Busy.  It’s intimidating to those who would otherwise view you as “fresh meat.”

Daddy Hee Haw’s getting louder now.  He’s boasting to his wife (yes, wife– he’s wearing a wedding band on his left finger and it’s pretty clear from the Hee Haw’s body language that they are, indeed, married.  Recall earlier “conversation” when Daddy Hee Haw referenced his “girlfriend.”  What a dick.) that “money is no object” and she agrees, asserting, “as long as you’re happy.”  The couple is alluding to their “summer home” in Florida.  Who knows– maybe Kornfield Kounty is for real, and it’s located in Florida.

A salesman joins our Dinner Club.  I can tell he’s a salesman because he sports a company-logo polo shirt, has a receding hairline, and drinks a glass of wine.  These are all tell-tale signs of the salesman who comes to the bar and dines alone.  This guy is typically kind of creepy, and our latest guest does not disappoint.  When placing his order, he speaks so softly and quietly that the cute bartender cannot hear.  He repeats his order, using that same, soft voice.  She leans in closer to hear.  This is part of his game.  He follows her “lead” and leans in closer to her and repeats the order.  Sick prick.  I know your game, Mr. Salesman.  Been there, done that, and it’s likely Cute Bartender Girl is not going to fall for it because she’s already demonstrated to Duck Dynasty that she’s not interested in your silly tricks.  Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids!

For my further enjoyment, the “cast” of the restaurant crew begins their line dancing routine.  “Devil Went Down to Georgia” blasts in the room and the toes start tapping.  Daddy Hee Haw is in his element, and he begins to clap his hands to the beat of the song.  Thing is, he can’t find the beat.  His clapping is two beats off.  When he realizes that no one else in the restaurant is clapping along– with neither him NOR the actual beat of the song– he stops and returns to the mounds of food that lie before him.  I failed to mention– Daddy Hee Haw must weigh over 300 lbs.  And he’s not 7 foot tall.  Just sayin.

I’m nearing the end of my meal while a few others join the Club– a Miller Lite beer rep and a couple of regulars, one of which includes “Betty” who arrives with her husband and who likes bacon on her salad, but much to her chagrin, her salad is delivered to her without bacon.  Cute Bartender Girl promptly rushes to the kitchen to fetch Betty her Bacon.  Betty Bacon.

Cute Bartender Girl clears my space and asks if I’d like anything else.  I tell her no– even though I’d really like to stay because this could possibly be the most entertaining place on Earth– and she delivers my check.

I examine it before placing my card on top of the bill.  She’s forgotten to charge me for my glass of Merlot.

What do I do?

Should I tell her?

Maybe she innocently forgot, or maybe she intentionally hooked me up? Can’t say I haven’t done the same in all my years of service work.  If a guest was exceptionally friendly or appreciative of my service, I’d hook them up with a free glass of wine or a beer.  Sorry, Ruby Tuesday.

I lean towards not telling her but ferociously text manfriend to get his vote.

He votes no.

I stay quiet.

I reconcile my decision by figuring the restaurant doesn’t lose much on a single glass of wine, and plus, I have a small ax to grind with this place anyway because of the time the manager kicked Jeff and I out of here (it was NOT our fault, I swear!).

Oh Cute Bartender Girl, I know what it’s like to be you.  And there’s a pretty good chance you’re gonna get ripped by Duck Dynasty, Hee Haw, and Creepy Salesman.  And Betty Bacon seems kinda picky, so she and her husband are “iffy.”  These types are the worst tippers, no matter how good your service, no matter how much you flirt back when the Creepies and the Ducks so desperately crave your attention.

So here you go, Cute Bartender Girl– here’s $10 on my $18 bill.

My first experience dining alone has brought a smile to my face; I hope that a good tip puts a smile on yours.