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Archive for the ‘frustration’ Category

012503_real_home_loan-1Ok, so the title of this post isn’t exactly positive.  Actually, my last few posts on here haven’t been positive, which is not normal for me.  I’m usually a really upbeat person, and even though life isn’t always sunshine and roses, I try to see the best in each situation.  And, well, I guess if you read through the posts, you will see that even on a bad date, I find ways to make it funny.  Or, when dealing with bad neighbors, I try to see the silver lining in starting the home buying process.  So that’s a good thing – turning a bad situation into something positive is still in keeping with the way I try to live my life.

Last Monday I had an appointment with a lender that a colleague of mine is using.  He absolutely loves this woman, and couldn’t speak more highly of her.  The list of documents that I needed to bring with me to the meeting was daunting, to say the least:

  • teaching credential
  • employment contract
  • 3 months of paystubs
  • 3 months of bank statements
  • 3 years of tax statements
  • 3 years of W-2 forms
  • rental agreement
  • social security card
  • passport

Whew!  I had to bring the teaching info because I was trying to get one of the special loans that my city offers to teachers.  I found an accordion divider that held everything perfectly, and was proud of how organized I was.  There was a slight moment (or hour) of panic when I couldn’t find my 2008 tax forms, until I realized that I e-filed last year, and had it all on the computer.  I tore my files and drawers apart looking for it, but hey, at least those are totally organized now.  LOL.

So I walked into the office very confidently on Monday, knowing that my credit score was good(ish) and that I had all of the necessary documentation with me. The office isn’t too far from school, and although they kept me waiting 15 minutes, I still felt good about the meeting.  CM greeted me and apologized for the delay, explaining that she had been out of the office a couple of days the week before, and was trying to catch up with everything.  Not a problem.

We headed to her office and began the process of filling out the loan application, reviewing my documents, and seeing what type of loan I could qualify for.  All of a sudden CM says, “girl, you make too much money!”  WTF?!  I have NEVER, EVER heard that phrase uttered regarding my income.  I’m a teacher, for God’s sake.  Is she nuts?  When I asked what she was talking about she said that I make too much money to qualify for the teacher home buyer loans.  How the heck is that possible?  Yes, I finally earn a decent salary, but I’m not making the top of the payscale yet.  Something seemed strange.  Then she mentioned that I also made too much to qualify for my city’s new home owner loans, as well.  ???  I had never heard that those programs were tied to money.  You’re either a first-time home buyer or you’re not, right?  What does money have to do with it?  Does  this mean that doctors and lawyers wouldn’t qualify either?  Because I can guarantee you that they make more than I do in the first few years of the profession.  Again, this info made me doubt her.

She did say that I could qualify for one type of loan offered through the teachers’ retirement system in California.  Ok, good.  They could give $55K, but it required that I had at least $3K of my own money.  Why?  I had already told her that my parent said they’d give me $10K if I really needed it.  When I asked if the money had to be my own, or if it could come from my parents, she said, “no, it has to be yours.”  When I asked her what difference it made, she said, “well, they’ll know if it came from your account or someone else’s.”  Really?  If it’s in my account, I think it’s mine, right?

Then we came to the part of the application where they were asking ethnicity. Her computer was set up in such a way that she had a screen that she could look at, but she had a 2nd screen that was facing me.  She began to check “Hispanic,” and I immediately corrected her saying, “I’m not Hispanic, I’m Italian.”  And she said, “well, maybe we should keep it as Hispanic, because you might get more money that way.”  I was FLABBERGASTED.  I told her that I wanted her to mark Caucasian, because that’s what I was.  I mean, here is the same woman who not 5 minutes before told me “they” would know if the money was mine or my parents’ yet she was now asking me to falsify my ethnicity to get more money?  Wouldn’t “they” also find out about that?  While we’re at it, why don’t we just put down “Native American,” since there’s probably even MORE money for them.  It’s ludicrous.

At that point she’d lost me.

She ran my credit, and the score was a lot lower than the one that I had run on myself.  I guess my car loan finally showed up, and at the beginning of any loan, it lowers your credit, until you establish a good payment record.  She said, “boy, I wish you’d talked to me before you bought that car because I would’ve stopped you.”  I told her that even if I had talked to her, I would’ve bought the car anyway, because my lease was up and I needed a new one. At that point I just wanted to see what the numbers said.

She  told me that I’d have to come with $20K of my own money and that I qualified for a $325K loan.  Now that may be a lot where you live, but in the Bay Area, that’s nothing.  Seriously, I can’t get a nice condo for that amount in any part of the city that I’d want to live in.  And I don’t want to downgrade where I live and find myself in an unsafe situation.  There are problems with where I live now, but at least it’s safe.  And I don’t own it, so there’s no long term commitment.  Plus, the mortgage payment would be $2100 (including $300 in HOA fees), which is a lot.  If I’m going to pay that much on a mortgage, I want to live in a really beautiful place.  After she told me this terrible news, she also said that because of my credit, I’d need to buy $13K in points to cover the closing costs.  Ok, so I have to come up with $33K of my own money on a $325K loan?  That’s 10%.  These days, people are putting 3% down.  Where are those loans?

I left her office telling her that I wanted to wait. That I didn’t have the kind of money she was talking about, and I needed to discuss all of this with my parents.  But really I just wanted to get out of her office.  She seemed so shady and I really wanted nothing more to do with her.  At all.

So here’s where I am: I’m going to stay here for the next several months and pretend that I’m paying $800 more in rent than I am.  I’m going to put that $800 in my savings account and save up some money.  Plus, it will mimic what my mortgage payment would be like, minus the HOA fees.  It will be good for me to see what my lifestyle will be like with that sort of mortgage payment.  I’ll be able to realistically see if I can really afford to buy something.  I know that by not buying this year I’m losing out on $8K in tax credits, but that’s the way it goes.  Maybe there will be a tax incentive next year, too.  And if not, so be it.  This is not the type of decision that I want to rush into.

By waiting for a while I’ll also be able to build up the credit a bit more, which will help with the amount a bank is willing to loan me.  I also want to consult a few other lenders/mortgage brokers to see if what this woman was telling me is accurate, or if she was out of her mind.  I want to make sure that I go to someone who is trustworthy and who has integrity, neither of which I felt in this woman.

They say that everything happens for a reason, and I think it’s better for me to wait right now.  I don’t want to move around the holidays.  Also, I just found out that I can’t get out of my 1-year lease, so I am stuck here until next October, unless I break the lease.  Which I’m totally willing to do, but I think I’d rather not have that added stress during the holidays either.

So, for now I’m still a renter.  Still dealing with noisy neighbors, but things have calmed down next door a bit, so I think I’ll be able to live with it, for now at least.

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Music2Loud Ok, so let me say first of all that I don’t consider myself an old curmudgeon in any way.  I’m a fairly tolerant, open-minded person, but I do like to have a sense of orderliness and peace around my home.

Recently FavNeighbor and her hubby moved out because they bought a condo.  I was so thrilled for them, but so sad for me, because they were amazing neighbors.  We had similar schedules, similar expectations, and similar lifestyles.  We liked to keep our duplex neat and orderly and we were friends with each other.  We got along so well, and I guess I sort of forgot that it’s not always that way with neighbors.

The place was vacant for a few weeks, and I spent that time wondering who was going to move in next door.  It is important to like and trust the neighbors that you share a common wall with.  Not to mention the fact that our backyard is a common space, as is our basement.

Very few people had come by to see the place, and I was worried that the management company might start to get desperate to rent it out.  My fears were warranted, as it turned out. I should mention that the management company was anxious for me to sign the new lease to my house.  I was glad to do it, especially because I found out they weren’t going to increase my rent.  I was really dumb not to wait to see who was moving in next door, especially because my lease wasn’t officially up until September 30th.

Tuesday I arrived home after a “koffee klatch” with Ish, to discover a bunch of plants, a medium-sized dog, and a bunch of backpacking equipment in the house next door.  No people.  I wondered what was going on, since I hadn’t been told that anyone was moving in.

Later in the evening, two people arrived.  One guy in his mid 20’s and his father, who I found out was 45.  Both men had long hair and a bit of a hippie vibe, but I wasn’t judging them by their appearances.  They seemed like nice people, and I found out that the son was an artist from Santa Cruz who moved here because this city has more of an artists community than Santa Cruz does.  (I knew we had some great galleries in this city, but I didn’t know it was such a hub of artistic talent).

Anyway, the father then proceeded to tell me that he used to do drugs (as evidenced from his lack of teeth – he has maybe 7 in his whole mouth) and had spent some time in jail.  Again, I believe that everyone makes mistakes and everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt.  I also learned that they were going to leave at midnight to pick up the younger guy’s girlfriend and her dog.

So, just in case you aren’t following this, that makes 3 adults and 2 dogs living next door in a 1-bedroom unit.  Definitely a sign of trouble.

The first couple of nights went fine.  They were quiet, friendly, and I thought that things might work out.  Thursday night painted a whole different picture.

Thursday night they decided to start drinking, playing the music incredibly loud (I had all my doors closed and could hear it clearly), and were hooting and hollering.  They were hanging out on the front steps, and the vibe was just really low class and trashy.  I know that makes me sound snobby, but so be it.  I work too hard for what I have and care too much about my home to live next to something like this.

So, I wrote a letter to the management company explaining what was going on, how unhappy I was, and why I wanted to change my lease from 1-year to month-to-month.  Lots of my co-workers are in the process of buying condos or smaller houses since the real estate market is down right now, and I started thinking, “maybe I can afford to buy something, too.”

I got an email the next day (Friday) from the management company explaining that they had talked the the neighbors and assuring me that they would cease and desist with the noise.  The thing is, the noise was only a small symptom of a greater problem.  The main thing is that these new neighbors simply don’t know any different – they’re used to living like this and I’m sure they see nothing wrong with the way they live or the noise they make.  The fact that so many of them are crammed into a 1-bedroom unit should be an indication.  Plus the fact that the son is the only one with a job.  Now, I know that the economy is tough right now, but they don’t strike me as the hard-working sort.

The neighbors obviously realized that I spoke to the management, and that fact was confirmed when I heard the father say, “wow, she pretended to be so sweet, but she’s actually a fucking bitch.”  Nice.  It’s going to be just wonderful living next door to this, right?

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I’m at the place in my life where I want to live in an area where everyone cares about their home as much as I do.  My area isn’t like that.  My area is full of traffic, homeless people, and down-and-out sorts.  I’ve made huge improvements to this place, and I love my duplex, but if I’m honest, I don’t live in the best neighborhood.  By any means.  So maybe it’s time for me to move on to something better, somewhere nicer.

My mom always says that everything happens for a reason, and maybe the reason these people moved in was to show me that it’s time for me to look into buying a condo.  It would be a stretch, but I could probably afford something small.  I don’t have any money for a down payment, but there are new home buyer and teacher programs in my city that may make buying a place more affordable.  Plus, this is the time to buy because prices are down.

I pulled my credit score on Thursday and was happily surprised to discover that it’s gone from “poor” to “good” in the course of 3 months.  My Experian rating is 706, which isn’t stellar, but isn’t terrible, either.  I’m starting to get a bit hopeful that maybe I can join the ranks of homeowner.  So, I’ve contacted a real estate agent, and I’m waiting for his call.  I’m excited to see what might happen.

Things might be a bit uncomfortable for me at my current home, but with the idea that I may be moving onward and upward, I’m feeling positive.

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I’m not sure if I mentioned it on this blog or not, but a couple of weeks ago, I signed up for eHarmony (again!).  Third time’s the charm, right?  I paid for a 6-month subscription because I figured that I should give it a good shot this time around.

This first dating update is actually about a date I went on with someone an acquaintance of mine set me up with, so he wasn’t someone I met through eHarmony.  Our mutual acquaintance thought that S and I had a lot in common, similar backgrounds, etc. and thought we’d really get along.  She asked us both if we were interested in meeting, and we connected through Facebook.

That was back in April.  S and I exchanged a couple of emails, but he never asked me out, even for coffee.  I wasn’t overly thrilled with the idea of going out with him because he wasn’t attractive to me, based on the pictures he had of himself on his profile.  Also, he and I have different political philosophies, which is a pretty important thing for me when looking for a serious relationship. At this point I should mention that the acquaintance thought we’d have lots in common because we both went to the same Catholic grammar school, were both Italian, and both had weight issues.  The stuff great romances are made of, right?  I seriously don’t know if I should be insulted or not, because this guy is definitely not what anyone would consider remotely good looking.  Which  may be completely superficial of me, but while I have a ton of weight to lose, I know that I’m a pretty girl, and I’m not as desperate as this acquaintance seems to think I am.

But, regardless of the misgivings I had, a couple of weeks ago, right after I signed up for eHarmony, actually, I decided to contact S one last time just to see if there was anything there.  I sent him a quick and very direct message on FB asking him if he was still interested in seeing whether or not our acquaintance was right in thinking that we’d have a lot in common.  He responded fairly quickly to say that he would love to, and suggested that we meet for lunch or coffee sometime.

We met on Tuesday at a Starbucks that was close to each of our houses, because Starbucks is such a safe first meeting place.  A cup of coffee can’t last that long, right?  Tuesday just so happened to be my first day of school, so I thought that I’d have a few funny stories to tell in case there was a lull in the conversation.  Little did I know that there was no need for me to worry about adding to the conversation.

No, it’s not what you might be thinking – that we had such great rapport that we didn’t have any lulls to worry about.  It was that S talked and talked and TALKED the entire time.  I’m talking literally for 1 hour straight!  And not about something that was interesting, but complaining about family politics, bragging about how much money they had, how he’d had weight loss surgery (but still needed to lose about 75 pounds), and then saying that he was glad he’d never finished his undergraduate degree because he didn’t even need it.  Um, hello?  I’m a teacher. Do you think I might put a value on education?  Instead of impressing me, he was a complete turnoff.  The entire time he was ranting and raving about himself and his family, I just kept wondering how long I’d have to keep this up. I didn’t really say anything the entire time we were having coffee, which is incredible if you know me, because I can talk to anyone about anything, but he simply never stopped talking long enough to give me a chance to share a thing.

Then, just when we were going to leave, he said, “say, do you want to grab a bite to eat at that restaurant right there?”  At this point I think that something took over my mind and body because I actually said, “sure, that would be great.”  WTF?  Why the hell did I just agree to spend more time with this self-involved bore?  What the heck was I thinking?  I’m convinced it was penance for some past indiscretion I’ve committed.

We made it through dinner (which was way more calories than I should have eaten, and is probably the reason the scale showed a 2-pound gain this week), but not before he started bragging about his mafia connections.  For some reason he thought it would be impressive to say, “you know, in a snap of a finger, I could ‘get rid of someone’ if I needed to.  I know who to call to get it taken care of and I know just where to put the body so that it would never be found.”  Way to smooze the ladies, S.  Puleeze.  The thing is, my family actually had some organized crime connections, although we don’t really discuss that too often, so it was hilarious to me that this guy was such a poser.  I can almost guarantee you that he didn’t know any local mafiosos, mostly because my family knows who they all are.  In any case, there was absolutely no point to him saying any of that, whatsoever!  Was I supposed to feel safe that he could have someone “taken care of?”  I’m still not sure what his point was.

Now, beyond his looks, it was truly his attitude that left me wishing I could click my heels 3 times and teleport myself out of the restaurant.  He was smug, fake, a braggart, and one of those people who make themselves feel better by putting other people down.  Such a sign of insecurity.

So, the date finally ended with a quick hug.  I told him to have a good night and he mentioned that he hoped to see me at an Italian festival that was happening this weekend.  Ugh.  So he was obviously hoping we’d see each other again. And why wouldn’t he?  I was a great listener!  LOL.

When he called on Saturday to see if I wanted to meet him at the festival, I let it go to voicemail and didn’t call him back.  Rude, I know.  I felt a bit guilty this morning, so I sent him an email through FB letting him know that I was really busy yesterday and didn’t have a chance to call him back or go to the festival.  Then I told him that while I thought we had a ton in common, I didn’t feel the chemistry was there.  He responded saying that he agreed about the chemistry (right, man, that’s why you invited me to go out with you again), but that he hoped we could be friends.  I haven’t replied.

It was definitely one of the worst first dates I’ve ever gone on, and I’m hoping that the next date (whenever that happens) will be much better now that I’ve gotten a bad one out of the way.  There’s only one way to go from here, right? 😉

amc0568l

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As you know, yesterday I spent the 4th of July by myself.  I didn’t deal with it very well.  I mean, it’s not the same as being by yourself on Christmas, but it is a holiday that’s meant to be shared with people.  Laughing, bbqing, drinking, and celebrating our nation’s independence. Instead, I was reminded of my own independence and got a bit depressed and down about it all.

After I took a 30 minute walk, I felt much better about my singledom and decided to spend time reading and watching the last few episodes of The Wire, which I had gotten from Netlix. (How AMAZING was that show?!  I’ve now finished the series, and wow, I loved it.  Yes, it was hardcore, but it said so much about city politics, policing, and how easily people can fall between the cracks.  If you haven’t seen it, I’d highly recommend it).

Anyway, back to the real reason for this post.

My parents, my uncle, and I are getting together today to have our 4th of July BBQ, a day late.  I’m going to wear the shirt I found on Cafepress.com.  The one that I thought I would wear on the actual 4th of July (until the plans changed).  I figure that I might as well wear it today, since I spent the money on it and I don’t want to wait a whole year to wear it:

jitcrunch

I just love this shirt, and I think it captures the true spirit of this holiday.

As far as the food for the BBQ, we’re going all out – guacamole and chips (appetizers), turkey burger sliders, deviled eggs, pasta salad, and a green salad.  And for dessert?  Well, my mom found “the cutest recipe” in one of her online recipe websites (something along the lines of Family Circle, I’m sure).  It’s Rice Krispy Treats made to look like the American Flag.  Easy and adorable, right?  I said I’d make it, because it seemed easy, and I’m usually bringing some sort of appetizer to these events, so I wanted to change things up by bringing something for dessert.

I went grocery shopping on Friday and got the marshmallows and Rice Krispy cereal.  Then I went along the baking aisle to find some sort of icing that could be used for easy decorations.  I found “easy squeeze” frosting in red and blue ($4.85 each) and then I found an aerosol can of white frosting ($5.50).  This was going to be one expensive dessert.  But, convenience is something I don’t mind paying for.

I thought the easy squeeze packages had some sort of decorating tip on them.  They didn’t.  That was sold separately.  I should’ve gotten the aerosol can in all three colors (the aerosol can came with 4 different tips included.  I guess you do get what you pay for).  I imagined making the blue square in the upper left hand corner, then putting little white stars on it.  Then, I thought I’d make waves of red and white frosting for the rest of the flag.  Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans…

The blue frosting wouldn’t come out of the package!  Easy squeeze my ass!  I was using all of my muscle in both of my hands just to get the stuff out.  At one point I thought I was going to have to go to the store and buy the aerosol can of frosting, but then I told myself that I’d already spent way too much on this dumb dessert and tried to make it work.  I finally got the blue out.  Then I started on the red, giving as much force as I could – well, wouldn’t you know that the red came flying out?  In big red globs.  You would’ve thought someone was bleeding to death, from the looks of things around my kitchen.  Sigh.  Luckily, the aerosol can worked beautifully, and I used two different tips to decorate the stars and then the stripes.

With the creative use of a butter knife, I was able to salvage the look of the flag, but man, I am NEVER making this damn thing again in life.  There is a reason that I stick to savory cooking – I’m good at it.  Baking isn’t really my thing, and while I do make good cupcakes for my classes from time to time, anything that requires any level of real cake decorating skills just isn’t my thing.  Plus, I should’ve stayed away from any sort of recipe that would be featured in a middle America bake sale – Suzy Homemaker I’m not.

Anyway, here’s the finished product.  The camera wasn’t able to capture all of the mistakes.  Let’s just say that I hope it tastes better than it looks:

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heathers_5

Last night was the first meeting of the reunion planning committee for my 20thhigh school reunion, which is coming up in October.  I decided to join the committee because I love organizing events – I swear I was an event planner in a former life.  I am going to have some free time this summer, and I thought I’d lend my skills to make sure our reunion is really special.  Plus, I haven’t been able to donate money to my Alma mater, so I figured donating time would be the way to go. 

To give a bit of background, I went to an all-girls, Catholic high school.  Yes, plaid skirt and all.  Full of all sorts of privileged girls who would get BMWs on their 16th birthdays.  You know the ones.  The same “popular girls” who are so insecure about themselves that they have to cut everyone else down just to make themselves feel good.  The type that have to judge every action, every moment,  just to show their supposed superiority. 

While I had a fantastic experience at my high school and had so many wonderful friends, I couldn’t stand these Mean Girls then, even though we got along, on the surface.  I had friends from all different groups – the Mods (pre-Goth, all-black-and-crazy-eye-makeup-wearing people who took fashion cues from Robert Smith of The Cure), the geeks, the jocks, the partiers, etc.  I can generally get along with all sorts of people.  The ones that I have no patience for are the ones who are so petty and so superficial.  The ones who fit the stereotypical sorority-girl-on-crack type of personality. 

Well last night I was sitting next one such Mean Girl planning the reunion.  I don’t remember “Heather” being such a bitchy girl in high school, but she defines the word now.  She spent half the meeting talking shit all these different girls, most of whom I could barely remember, let alone have any gossip about.  This one is divorced, that one is now a lesbian, this one is now a bitch (I thought this was hilariously ironic, coming from her), that one was….well, you get the idea.  I mean, whose life is so shallow that you have time to keep up with all the gossip about girls you haven’t seen in years?  Not to mention spreading so many rumors.  She even started talking about people whom I know are her “friends.”  I was disgusted.

Of course, she pretended to be all sweetness and light with me, but I can only imagine what she’s saying about me behind my back.  I’m sure my weight gain will come up in a future gossip session she’ll be having.  Not that I care, because while I may have gained a bunch of weight since high school, at least I’m not a Mean Girl.  To paraphrase the saying, “I can lose weight, but you’ll always be a bitch.”

I think the part that was the most disheartening to me about the whole evening was that the Alumnae Coordinator was right there with Heather gossiping away.  (AC graduated the year after us, so she knows all the girls from our class). Now AC was never in the popular crowd, and I know that back in high school Heather would have never been seen talking to AC, let alone gossiping with her.  I think that AC should have have been much more professional than she was, and it definitely put her in a whole new light in my eyes.  

Heather is very active at our high school and donates a ton of money,  so I don’t think she’s going anywhere anytime soon. 

So at this point, you may think I’m crazy for continuing on the committee, and that may be, but I’m sticking on it for a few reasons:

  • There are tons of girls who will be attending whom I love and can’t wait to see in person again.  I want to make sure they have the best reunion possible.
  • I’m good at this stuff!
  • I’ll be damned if I want Heather to run the show, because who knows what she’d come up with.
  • I’m not intimidated by  Heather or any other Mean Girls, and I won’t back down. 
  • Someone may just need to bring Heather down a peg or two, and I think I’m just the girl to do it, don’t you? 

For now Heather has no clue that I feel this way, because I can play fake as well as the next person.  I was very careful not to add to any of the gossip, but I did take it all in. Hopefully Heather will get a life (she is a mother of two, after all), and cool it with all this bullshit.  But that might be giving her way too much credit.  We’ll see, I suppose. 

Thanks for letting me vent – I had to get  that off my chest, otherwise I might’ve had to pull a “Veronica.”

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2008 was quite a year, wasn’t it?  So many challenging things occurred around the world and here at home, but we made it through.  Some of us just barely, but we ARE here to live again another day.

Personally, 2008 was a pretty good year for me.

  • I started on a serious weight loss journey that involved trying the South Beach Diet, medically supervised fasting, Medifast, and finally Weight Watchers.  I lost a lot of weight, but more than that, I gained a whole new perspective about how I wanted to live my life.  I decided I wanted to live in a healthier, happier way.
  • I graduated with my Masters in Educational Leadership in May.
  • I bought a beach cruiser and rediscovered how much I love riding my bike.  It doesn’t really matter what the destination is; it just makes me feel happy to feel the rush of wind as I pedal as fast as I can, or slowly cruise by.  I love looking at life and the things around me at a bit of a slower pace than normal.  It’s like I’m taking time to breathe when I’m on my bike.
  • I went to CTLB’s wedding in Connecticut in August, and I was able to travel all over Massachusetts (Cape Cod, Boston, etc).  It was a trip I had been looking forward to for at least a year and half, and it was awesome.  I can’t wait to go back to  visit CTLB and her new hubby at their new place in Southie (South Boston).
  • I made sure that my life had more balance.  I left work at work, which was HUGE for me.  Never before in my life have I had the sense that work is just work (although I love it), but that there is so much more to life than your profession.  I am still working towards figuring out how to define myself past what I do, but I know that will come in time.
  • I started cooking for myself. All the time.  Delicious, healthy dinners.  And along the way, I discovered that I not only enjoy cooking, but that I’m really good at it.  I can’t wait to try out a bunch of new recipes (at least 1 a week) in 2009.  (I’ll be writing about those on Bella on the Beach, if you want to check them out).
  • I started reading again in earnest, once I no longer had grad school books to read.  I’ve borrowed a ton of books from the library since May, and truly, it has been one of my greatest pleasures.  I even started a book club with some friends, something I had always wanted to do.  I really like the discussions we’ve had about the book choices.  Plus, it’s a great excuse to get a wonderful group of ladies together for an afternoon.
  • I organized my life.  Top to bottom.  Floor to ceiling.  I feel in control, at ease, and happy.

Even with all of the positive things that happened to me in 2008, I am really looking forward to 2009 even more.  I have a terrific feeling about this upcoming year.  For myself personally, I think it’s going to be MY year, filled with many new triumphs and discoveries, capped off in October with my 20th high school reunion.  But thinking in a more global sense, 2009 means change.  Change in political leadership in our country, change in our perspective about how we should live our lives, and change in the way we deal with nations and people around the globe.

Tonight, New Year’s Eve, I am a bit sad that I don’t have that traditional “date,” but I know all good things will come in time.  HE is out there, I just have to wait and not settle for the Mr. Maybes of the world who might distract me from HIM.

As we welcome 2009 tomorrow, what is the thing you’re most looking forward to?

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I’m sure that when you read this post about Mr. Done, you thought I was fooling myself.  Or that I was naiive.  Or that I wasn’t paying enough attention to recent history to make better choices.

And you would’ve been right.

You see, Mr. Maybe aka Mr. Done never did take me out on that date.  He called the morning of the date (last Saturday), to tell me that he had woken up with a bad sore throat, a stuffy nose, and a bad cold.  To say I was disappointed is putting it mildly.  To say that I took it well is giving me too much credit.  I was mad that we weren’t going to go out, an emotion that I chose to display as coldness on the phone call.  I told him in a very icy tone that I hoped he felt better, by which I meant, “are you seriously cancelling on me?”  When he said, “maybe we can reschedule for next weekend?,” I responded with another cold, “ya, maybe.  We’ll see.”

I think I was trying to come off as indifferent about the whole thing, and it must have worked.  Mr. Maybe/Mr. Done hasn’t called me.  At all.

Not after I felt guilty about how cold I had been and called him on Tuesday, under the guise of seeing if he felt better.  Not on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.  And not today.

Which leads me now being angry.  At him and at myself.  At him because he’s obviously still a flake who really isn’t ready for anything serious, regardless of his text message about wanting a LTR.  And at me because I gave in to this longing I have to be with someone, even though I knew in my heart that Mr. Maybe/Mr. Done wasn’t the right person for me.

Yes, he and I had fun together.  Yes he “got” me.  And yes, he has a good job and is intelligent.  But while each of those things sounds good on paper, none of them add up to Mr. Maybe/Mr. Done being the right guy for me.  He reminded me this week (in his loud absence) that when he and I were dating the first time, I was always waiting for him.  Waiting for his call, waiting for his attention, waiting for him to show as much interest in me, in us, as I had.  And I’m done waiting for him.

So, I’m back to square one.  Single.  Not that I wasn’t before last week, but I did have this tiny hope that this New Year’s Eve I’d be on a date, beginning a relationship that would be the stuff the dreams are made of.  That all this time spent by myself would have been worth it, because I was finally with someone who really did love me for me.

I don’t want to give the idea that I’m feeling self pity, because I’m not.  Yes, I was rather depressed this past week, but then I realized that I didn’t want to give Mr. Done this much power over my emotions.  He didn’t deserve it.  Plus, I still have so much work to do on myself, with my weight loss, and I think that it might have to be done alone.  Which is not to say that I’m not open to meeting someone while I’m still in the process of losing weight, because I am.  But I’m also ok with being on my own for the duration.

What scares me is the thought that I might be on my own forever.  I’m evolved and self-confident enough to know that if I am single forever, I can lead a happy, fulfilling life.  But there is a huge part of me that knows that I want to be with someone to share my life with.  I want to have a loving, normal, happy relationship with a man who loves me and can’t wait to spend time with me.  I know that I’m still “young” at 37, and that there’s no age limit on finding love and happiness.  I just have to keep my impatience at bay and fill my life with other things that make me happy.

Because you never know who is waiting, just around the corner.

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