B: ‘Cuz Breaking Up is Hard to do

“Remembering you running soft through the night
You were bigger, brighter and whiter than snow
Screamed at the make believe, screamed at the sky
And you finally found courage to let it all go”

The Cure – Pictures Of You

 

So.  I’m in the midst of a breakup.  And it’s hard.

I’ve been with my boyfriend for 14 years–when we got together I was young, naive, excited, frightened, and had no idea what I was getting myself into.  Thank God for that.  Had I been warned, I may not have made the decision to get together in the first place.  And that would have been the biggest mistake of my life.

Sure, I’ve come out of this relationship older, wiser, scarred, and…different.  But the older was inevitable, the wiser is a blessing, and the scars are just a part of life.  I accept that.  And for all of the bad, there was so so so much good.

Now, I don’t want to be one of those girls who says “OH, you don’t know what it’s like when we’re alone together…he’s so much different.”  But, it’s kinda true–sure, we had fun when it was a group of friends–drinking, dancing, laughing…but what I will miss the most are the times when we were alone.  When I would look around and feel so fortunate to be right where I was in that moment, when we could just be quiet together.  At the park with a book, Sunday morning rituals of heading out for coffee and a paper.  Walking downtown seeing the blue sky peek out from beneath the buildings around us.  Horns honking, people shouting, tires screeching.  But still, somehow, completely peaceful.

I am the one responsible for the breakup, because I’ve found someone new.  And I’m excited for what lies ahead.  I’m proud of my bravery to leave behind the familiar.  It’s not comfortable, it feels strange and surreal and exciting all at once.  But my ex will always be my first love and no one new can take that away from us–it’s just time to see what else is out there.

So, Chicago…I love you and always will.  I will be back, someday, because I think in the end we are meant to be together.  For now, I have to spread my wings a little because that’s how life is meant to be lived (at least the life I’m living).

No matter where I am, I will always be your girl. xoxo-b.

B: I Gotta be Meeee…

“Chicago nights stay, stay on the mind

When drunk nights get remembered more than sober ones
Explored the world to return to where my soul begun
Never looking back or too far in front of me
The present is a gift
and I just wanna be”
(“Be”-Common)

So, I’ve written a few posts.  Gotten into the groove a little bit.  Love having an outlet for my writing.

This morning I was rereading the last few posts from Jen and I (because apparently Anna is the shy, reclusive writer in our group) and then realized I never really told you anything about who the f*@k I am.  So, before I mosey onto my next post I thought I’d give a little insight into the chick behind the “B”.  And maybe my relationship to “J” and “A” too?

(Sidebar: It’s always so difficult to write about yourself without entering into the territory of an AA meeting or a Corporate Networking event.

“Hi, I’m Beckee, and I’ve been blogging for 6 years.”

“Hi, Beckee”)

So, without (hopefully) traveling too deep into “resume cover letter” territory, I present a few facts that I deem relevant:

  • My life is a series of daydreams surrounded by the things I have to do in order to function in society.  Sometimes one wins out over the other.
  • I once had a summer job at a factory inserting security strips into school library books for 13 hours a day.  No Excel spreadsheet I do now will ever compare to that soul-suck.
  • I am a total stan (stalker fan) for music and possess the savant like ability to memorize lyrics after hearing something once. This includes TV theme songs (remember those!), commercials, and entire Shakespearean sonnets. If only I could monetize that shit…
  • The music I am obsessed with right now: Drake, Childish Gambino, that whole secret Beyonce album, Li’l Wayne, Ellie Goulding, Twenty One Pilots, and ALWAYS…Stevie Wonder
  • I had no idea what my ethnicity was until I was 25, and just assumed I was Puerto-Rican or Dominican.  Spoiler alert: I was (mostly) wrong.
  • I am in a constant state of planning a trip somewhere.  Sometimes the planning is the most fun part, to me. I’ve earned some good stamps in my passport thus far: travelled quite a bit around the U.S. by myself, drank Guinness in Dublin, snorkeled in the Gulf of Thailand, took a road trip through the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps without a map, stayed in an Israeli woman’s apartment above a “coffee-house” in Amsterdam, and partied at an underground club in Barcelona until 11am. I’m really lucky to have found a little band of gypsies that like exploring the world as much as I do.
  • That said, Chicago is and always will be the place that feels like home to me.  It is frustrating, expensive, tough, beautiful, and inspiring to me every single day.  It is my heart and I always look forward to coming back when I leave.
  • Anna and I met 20 years ago (this August!) and it was love at first sight.  Within a few months of us meeting I knew I had found my friend lobster (they mate for life) and I consider her my sister. She is insanely weird and silly and funny… and such a fucking Libra it’s ridiculous.
  • I met Jen through Anna towards the end of our college years.  I immediately had a friend crush on her because she’s so gorgeous and hilarious.  She has one of those upbeat, kooky, charming personalities that I totally dig in another chick.  Jen ended up meeting her gorj hubby through Anna, who knew him because he and I worked at the same company at the time, so in some way I like to think I am responsible for her perfect cherub baby :).

There is more, but that will all come out in the wash I suppose.

Since it’s the day before Valentine’s Day may I wish you Love, Peace, and SOOOOUUUUULLLLL…

xoxo

-b.

J: The fun kind of rehab

Have you ever tried to seduce your husband with a vanilla puff stuck to your boob? I have. The other night.

And that concludes the “mommy” part of my blog post today.

* * *

Ok… so, we’ve been in renovation mode the last few weeks.  I’m going to write more about it later – but here are a few sneak peaks (and some “cheap tricks” for fun!).

I just wrote cheap trick.  That’s awesome.

Ok, so my husband will tell you that I may have a problem with buying things and then, if they don’t work out, neglecting to return them. And then they sit in our home – all sad and unused and abandoned.  The latest thing was a square foot of backsplash that I wanted to check out with our current cabinets.  No go.  So it just sat on our counter until it was no longer eligible for return…

After weeks of Brian side-eyeing it without saying a word, I defensively screamed, “I HAVE A PLAN FOR IT! GET OFF MY BACK!”  And then I quickly thought up a plan for it.

Hence our new drink coasters:

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Simple enough, right? I cut the backsplash into square pieces and voila!  I actually love them – they have the perfect retro-chic vibe I was going for. Who knew?  I do plan on sticking some felt on the back of them, but for now the netting which was already attached adds a protective surface.  Love them!

Next cheap trick.  (Well, it’s not really a trick – because that’s what they actually sell it for, but let me have my moment, dammit.) I was out shopping for a small flower/vase combo for our new coffee table.  But here’s the thing: there are some things I am willing to pay a lot of money for – and there are some things I am not.  Fake flowers are not something I will pay a lot for.  However, I also don’t want said cheap fake flowers to look extremely fake.  I was out shopping and I refused to pay $39 for a tiny vase filled with fake water while holding a miniature plastic white orchid.

So… while at Walmart grocery shopping (that’s what suburban people do, deal with it…), I picked up a $2 round glass vase and (2) $3 fake white blooms.  And here you go – an $8 flower arrangement that is good enough (for me) and is actually quite pretty in person.

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I’m enjoying this house-redo!  It’s fun to mix up your living space every once in awhile and I usually end up overhauling every couple of years.  That said, I am not turning my portion of this blog into a do-it-yourself-crafty-mom section.  Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Ciao for now!

- Jen

Coming soon… the great-room re-do post in whole (dining room included)…

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B: Goodbye ’13, Hello ’14…

“And it’s been a long December and there’s reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass”

(Counting Crows)

 

I have historically been a New Years Eve pusher.  I am always the one trying to wrangle friends to do something MAJOR to send off the year with a bang. I have gone out for 6-course meals that lasted for 4 hours.  I’ve been to Times Square to watch the ball drop.  Loud clubs, house parties…You name it.

At this time last year I was just leaving the salon with a *major* blowout given to me by a very fabulous Parisian man named M’Arquise.  Apostrophe in his name and all, sis.  I took a cab to a very nice loft downtown owned by a friend who was out of town for the weekend, but who kindly gave our names to his doorman.  I was elbow deep in champagne by 6pm.  I had a great dress.  We had photoshoots. I wore drag length fake eyelashes.  By 10pm we left for our extremely expensive VIP table at a club, already stumbling and laughing as we got into the cab.  By all accounts, this was exactly the kind of night that NYE is supposed to be…girlfriends, my main gay, loud music, champagne.  It looked great on Instagram.

Cut to: New Years Day 2013

I woke up with my face stuck to my friends leather sectional, still in my dress *and* tights, with one eyelash dangling on my cheek, a blistering headache, and the faint memory that all of my belongings had gone missing the night before.  (Sure enough, in my drunken carelessness the night before, my purse was stolen along with some of my other friends belongings).  I ended up with no phone, no keys, no money, a $300 purse GONE, and a head that was still pulsing in time to the techno music from 5 hours earlier.

I spent the very first day of 2013 completely miserable.

I have this belief that the way you start something is the way it will continue.  So, this year, no strangers in a crowded club, no spending shitloads of money on a night out I don’t  remember the next morning.  No missing keys. No lost phones.

This year, I am starting it happy.  Peaceful.  Calm.

And by writing a blog post (Productive).

So Happy New Year, however you choose to spend it.  May 2014 be the best year for each of us.

-b.

 

J: The energy of three.

I’ve been a little off lately.  Well, up and down.  I’m sure much of that can be contributed to Shark Week (also known as pms), but it’s a combination of other things as well.  None of which I will bore any of you with.

I feel restless.  I have a thousand plans in my head – yet, I feel almost paralyzed in actually executing them.  Ok, let’s take out the word paralyzed and replace it with LAZY.  That would be much more accurate.  My mind and body must seriously hate each other.  I can almost picture them fighting like an old married couple.

Mind: “Get off your ass and do this fabulous thing!”

Body: “I will! Later…”

Seriously, get it together, you two.

So, this blog is one of those things.  And I am so excited to co-write it with two of my favorite people.  Strong, fabulous, independent, nutty… these are my kind of girls.  Beckee and Anna.  The world would be a better place if everyone had loyal, smart friends like these – and I am so lucky to be surrounded by them!

So, saddle up, my friends!  The stallions are loose…

*OK, I know stallions are male horses.  But “The mares are loose…” didn’t have the same effective tone.  So, suck it.

B: All Good Things…

“Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin “(Bob Dylan)

 

I sobbed like a baby in my car on the way home from work today.  I mean fat, old, rolling down your cheek tears. With the shoulder shakes.  Bottom lip sucking in and out.  Mascara running.  I debated pulling over for a minute, it was that obnoxious.

The reason for this episode, besides a very strong case of PMS, is that I passed a boarded up dive bar.  You read that correctly.  I passed a bar, that was boarded up, and it made me cry real grownass woman tears in my 2011 Hyundai Elantra.

The thing is, I haven’t driven past this particular corner in probably 6 months or more.  An after-work errand led me to take a different way home, and I found myself pulling up to the stoplight at this corner, in front of this bar, at 6pm on a Thursday.  Unprepared.

The boarded up bar, you see, isn’t just a random bar.  It wasn’t the scene of one or two drunken memories.  This bar is my memories… my 20’s, some of my 30’s, my chain-smoking, my fights, my one-night stands, my exes, dates, loves, losses, rich, broke, happy, scared.  All wrapped up in a little corner dive bar that had been in that spot since 1951.

I snapped a quick pic while I was at the stoplight and text it to Anna in San Diego with the note: RIP MARIES.  She responded quickly “Wha? Nooooooooooo”.  She said she couldn’t even look at the pic.  That’s when my ugly cry started.  I felt that way too.

Marie’s was the kind of place that made absolutely no sense.  It smelled like a dirty mop and the music came from a jukebox that was last updated around 1974.  It was in the middle of no-man’s land just off the exit of the highway at a random corner.  Nothing was within walking distance.  Catching a cab was a game of luck.  They only took cash.  The single waitress was a woman named Marsha who was at least 65 and could be a little ornery at times.  The drinks were small and weak (never seemed to stop us) and the smoke was so thick that you couldn’t wash that stink out of your hair for days.  I adored it.

Because it was such a relic, it had one of the few 5am liquor licenses left in the city.  This meant that pretty much every weekend around 1am the place became filled to the point of busting with every random within a 5 mile radius.  Hipsters from the nearby Wicker Park bars, chefs off duty, drunken groomsmen after a wedding, preppy Lincoln Park girls who were a little lost, old dudes…and usually, us.  We worked out a system where we’d go to Marie’s right when they opened at 8pm–we were even there early once, knocking on the door to be let in–and buddy up to the bartender and Marsha.  We were usually the only ones in there for the first couple hours so we quickly became BFF’s with everyone there and after a few visits, they knew us by name.  Typically by the time the after-hours crowd rolled in, we had prime and enviable seating in a big booth which we’d share with the right (cute) group of boys.  I have so many amazing memories of nights at Maries.

One of the last times I was there involved more crying (WTF?!) as Anna and I had the heart-to-heart about her leaving Chicago and moving to San Diego to be with her boyfriend.  I hadn’t allowed it to  sink in yet, and we drunkenly talked honestly about it for the first time.  Tears were shed, hugs were given, and the finality of the end of an era finally sunk in for me.  Right there at the bar at Marie’s.

In hindsight, that is exactly where that chapter should have ended.

And so, tonight.  I sat at that stoplight seeing the ghosts of our past selves drunkenly running through the street, wobbling in heels, laughing, calling out to cabs…and it truly felt like a chapter was closed.  So I cried.  And that’s okay.

RIP Marie’s Rip Tide Lounge

-b.

 

 

B: Three of Wands

“Good, good morning, so good to see you weren’t just a dream of mine
Real as a raven, real as thunder, real as the sun shinin’
But still so very undefined” (Grateful Dead)

To know me is to know that I am never at a loss for thoughts and ideas.  I have scraps of paper, Post-Its, iPhone lists, and scribbles all over my house and desk filled with ideas that pop into my head: business ideas, quotes, song lyrics, diets I’m inventing, decorating ideas for my condo…the list goes on and on.  I attribute the fact that I don’t sleep much to the fact that my brain has a very, VERY hard time shutting down at night.  Or ever, for that matter.

I took a Yoga class recently called Yoga Nidra, which is supposed to be this deep transcendental meditation where people are often so relaxed they snore while wide-awake.  I, on the other hand, lay there for 20 minutes with a constant stream of thoughts running through my brain: Relax Beckee, close your eyes and just focus on nothing, How in the hell do people focus on nothing?! STOP! Close your eyes…I need to make an eye appointment.  I hate appointments.  I am so bloated today. I am pretty sure my FUPA is hanging out under my t-shirt right now.  Why does my stomach pick NOW to start making those “in your belly fart noises”? UGH.

After class, all the other yogis stood around in a dazed state talking about how “deep” they went, and I left feeling even more neurotic and stressed.

While having a noggin like mine can be awesome in that I consider myself a very creative person, it can also be a major hindrance when you are actually trying to just GET SHIT DONE.  Before I ever follow through on idea #1, 35 more have already sprung up, each like a shiny new toy that my brain wants to play with.

The real test for me is when I find a thought or idea that endures…something that sticks with me longer than the usual 15 minute interval.  The things that make the baby hairs at the back of my neck stand on end. These are the ideas that I give some credence and actually get excited about.

This blog is one of those .

When the extremely lovely Jen approached Anna and I about doing this menage a blogging trois, I was immediately in LOVE with the idea.  Sometimes having other people around to inspire me and keep me motivated is just what I need to be kept on track and take thoughts and turn them into actions…so for this, I am eternally grateful to the wisdom of the brilliant Jen. Plus, those two heaux are some of my favorite people on this earth complete with just the right mix of beauty, brains, and pee in your pants comedy.  I adore them.

A few days after she brought up the idea, I had my FIRST EVER pregnancy dream!  Like, first time in my whole life (and I don’t mean a dream while pregnant, I mean a dream where I was pregnant)! I freaked out a little the next morning and Googled the shit out of the meaning of this kind of dream.  Thankfully, it does NOT mean that I am suddenly feeling a biological clock change of heart about my plans for not having kiddies- phew.  I would be so mad at my subconscious for pulling that shit on me.

What it can mean is that you have been inspired to create something new, or to quite literally give birth to a new idea or pursue a creative outlet.  Which, is so much cooler for where I’m at in my life (shout-out to you subconscious…you get me Boo).

Cut to today, I’m just kicking it on a call for work, checking my horoscope to see what’s up for the weekend…and BOOM! I get my daily Tarot reading (which is super legit and shit on an iPhone app). The first card up is the Three of Wands, which is all about manifesting energy and working in a community where each party brings their talent to the table (like, Whoa!?!?).  And then, I read the closing line of the reading, and I know: this is exactly what we’re meant to be doing, and they are exactly who I am meant to do it with. “Something created from the energy of three”.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

-b.