Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"How are thing with you and Sebastian? "

I came across some reflection today with my friend on AIM chat. She asked how things were going with Sebastian, and I proceeded to delve into my...... worries....

Me: Things are casual; too casual for my own taste. We haven't really had "the talk" and I think he doesn't want to face it, so I’ve been trying to think of how to bring it up.

I’m not too concerned for long term at this point, such as "where is this relationship going?" type of thing, since I know he'll tell me the same as before: "For the moment I’m just enjoying spending time with you. I’m having fun with you," let's just leave it at that type of thing. But I at least want him to acknowledge our relationship and make it formal.

I’ve seen that he's kept mum on the subject far too much, and when presented with the opportunity to catch up with other people and what he's currently doing, doesn't mention me at all (which makes me wonder if he's just really private or keeping me secret) and just mentions he's single. I don't know if that has to do with having been "married" and "divorced", which technically makes him "single" a year later to other people who knew him and his wife....

OR if he's not really certain about this relationship, so would rather not announce anything to anyone in case it breaks up again.

I know you told me not to be pessimistic, and in the meantime, am changing some other things about myself to get around to that, but the "relationship status" is just one thing that has been on my mind lately, because it is important to me.

Maybe it only matters if we both know what we are and what we mean to one another, not caring what other people may think, but truth is, I really don't feel it [dedication] coming from him if he repeatedly states he's single to other people or that Ren is "just a girl I’m seeing on and off."

 In the end, I'm not personally confident in this relationship, and I know I should bring it up to him at one point. He probably has no idea what I'm thinking since I've kept quiet and never initiated the conversation on the topic. I just……. Don’t really see him as the one to have deep conversations with.

And I haven’t hinted any concern on the matter either. "We're just exclusively dating" would be the official status of our relationship. And I, for one, don't really like how that sounds. I’m not 100% comfortable with it as it gives no security and nothing to look forward to say.... 3 months from now. "Take it day by day" is something I’m definitely not accustomed to.

Ok, I talked too much. That's what's on my mind. Sorry to burden you. I just needed to air it out before I actually decide to tell him all of this. Thanks for "listening".... lol.... even though you were away at the moment…

Relationships shouldn’t be difficult or confusing even. They should just require some balanced work between two people and true commitment. And openness; and communication. I only have 50% of the equation, and I really miss the entire formula.

I can't take this relationship seriously, and I know given the circumstances, he's feeling the same exact way. It's to his benefit, so he's not complaining. The guy is good. He's very Considerate and Helpful; Respectful, Generous, Kind, and Selfless.

Things seem to change each day; what he said last week about long term could be overshadowed with other vacation plans today. It's difficult to juggle with his indecisive and contradicting character.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A relaxed weekend

I must update to let you know the positive reinforcements in my life at the moment.

My weekly visits to the gym have been going great. I’ve been averaging every other day at this point. And I managed to get in early Saturday morning as Sebastian was still in bed. I really didn’t want to leave him alone, but I was very bored and wide awake, and had a sudden spurt of energy. I didn’t want it to go to waste, so I asked him if he would mind if I went.

“You joined a gym? I didn’t know that” he said.

Yeah, I didn’t want to say anything for fear I wouldn’t have fast enough results, or procrastinate.

“Yeah.” I answered

“Do you like it?” he asked

“Yeah, sometimes. Sometimes I come out the same- still frustrated. But other times, it gives me time to think about things.” I told him. “I’ll be back in about an hour.”

When I came back, he actually seemed to be a little more excited than me about working out. With a smile he asked “So how was your workout?”

“Hmm, pretty good actually” I answered honestly.

I really haven’t “lost” real weight (I'm still yo-yoing at this point)- but I noticed I was able to fit in a pair of pants a lot better this morning. And the abs crunches are amazing. I totally feel the burn about 30 repetitions in, but I force myself to keep going for a full 60. I feel great afterwards.

I had my first set of classes at the college last week also- I’m taking Math ( Finite with Applications) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 7:00pm, and on Fridays, I have my Microeconomics class from 6:00pm-9:00pm. My next classes begin next month.

I actually have to admit that I was bit disappointed by my Micro teacher. I looked up online reviews prior to enrolling, and saw that he was upbeat and fair in grading; however, once in class, he didn’t stop cracking jokes and wasting time telling stories about his life in India. I’m actually very interested in this class- it’s for my major, so I really want to learn something! If it was any other core requirement like biology or chemistry, hell, I wouldn’t care if the teacher talked all period long. But when it concerns my major, I become very serious. I just hope he’s not like this all semester long.

My doctor’s nurse called me this morning to review my lab tests from last week. My potassium levels came back normal, which meant I was just dehydrated the day of my fasting. My hepatitis B came back reactive (which is normal, considering I was vaccinated 10 years ago) and my RIBA test for the Hepatitis C came back negative, just as expected.

So all quiet on the health front.

I’m going to the gym again today because I have no prior commitments- class, friends, Sebastian.

This past weekend, we stayed mainly indoors at my apartment. It was very relaxed and enjoyable. Sebastian made shrimp rolls last night, and made me another set and packed it for me to bring for lunch today. I couldn’t help but think that it was extremely sweet of him to do so and think that maybe this was his way of showing “emotion and compassion.” I guess we all show it differently…. Right?

Friday, January 22, 2010

"It happened twice already"

I spent the last weekend with Sebastian, amidst my silence on my health issues. He wasn't too worried about the situation, only stating "And I thought we had seen the last of scares with the Hepatitis last year."

Facebook still says we're single. I wanted to use the weekend as an opportunity to bring it up, but after my "lab scare" felt very hesitant about possibly having to take it back down if we broke up as an effect of my blood work and lab results.

We had been going thru his friends and family on Facebook  when he noticed his wife's cousin had apparently posted a very personal comment on her wall about her marriage. Something along the lines of "Is fed up of being #2 after other women with a husband who doesn't believe in the sanctity of marriage."

We both looked at each other, unsure of what the comment really meant.

"Am I reading this right?" I asked

"Wait, I'm not sure either" he answered.

"Did she just say he cheated on her?" I asked again.

"I don't know.... but it sure does sound like it" he said.

A while later, he got on the topic of relationships. "Most men in our family can't hold onto a relationship. I don't know if it's the men that can't make it work, or if it's genetic" he stated. "I mean, my dad separated from my mom, and then dated no more than 4 years with some other women. As for me, look at me, it's already happened twice."

"Uh huh" I said without flinching.

"I mean, I know it's harsh to say it to your face, I don't know about the future. Or maybe I'm jaded, and it could work out between us two" he concluded.

Damn, I wish a had a recording device to air that sh*t out sometimes.

It strengthens me and makes me treat our relationship super casually. It seems to be what he wants anyway, so why put more effort into it? He seems to be fine with our relationship.

But was he always like this? I only have two other long term relationships to compare ours with, and the guys were very dedicated and passionate about "us." Sebastian really isn't.

When I came back home for New Year's, his Facebook had been left on. His friend messaged him as he was at work, and I told the friend he wasn't home. I told him who I was, and he said to tell Sebastian hello when he came back that evening.  Just recently, I went through his phone (cause I have trust issues) and saw their conversation on his text messages:

Friend: Uh.... some chick named Ren just talked to me through your Facebook.  I thought it was you.
Sebastian: Unbelievable! I leave her alone for 5 minutes! Ok, I'll tell her.
Friend: Who is she?
Sebastian: She's a girl I've been seeing on and off. 

Oh the nerve! That's not what you told me you'd talked about when I saw you that day after work!

Sebastian: So uh.... I see you talked to my friend today. What was that all about?
Ren: Oh, well you left your Facebook on and he messaged you. So I messaged him back to say you were at work. It's all right there on the screen. You can check.
Sebastian: Oh, cause he was confused. He didn't know who you were.
Ren: Uh huh....
Sebastian: Yeah, I had to remind him that you were Ren- the chilean girl.
Ren: Uh huh....

Yeah.... I'm just rolling my eyes now.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lab results

[Continuation of "Something's wrong" written 2 days ago]

I awoke that day, feeling more anxious than I ever remember feeling. I slowly got up as Sebastian came to kiss me goodbye to leave for work.

Today I get to find out what's wrong. I'm sorry Sebastian.

Work was particularly slow, but I tried to make the best of it. I was leaving about fifteen minutes earlier to make it to my appointment on time.

Then, when no one was looking, I did some research.
Herpes and HPV.

At this point, I don't know which one I'd rather have.

Herpes Simplex Virus 1- aka: Oral herpes, "cold sores"
Herpes Simplex Virus 2- aka: Genital herpes

[Deep Breath]

HSV-1..... "Herpes often unknowingly spread"; "Sometimes Asymptomatic"; "At least 50 million persons in the United States have genital HSV infection."; "HSV-1 is usually passed from person to person by kissing. HSV-1 can also spread from the mouth to the genitals during oral sex.  If this happens, it becomes a case of genital herpes."; "both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be spread even if sores are not present."



I know BEG admitted to being diagnosed with "cold sores" but didn't have a breakout when we dated.
Why did he tell me it was cold sores, when it's in fact Oral Herpes? I wonder how many other people confuse it the same way.

Cold sores ARE Herpes. Presence of the HSV-1 virus. "As many as 50% to 80% of adults in the U.S. have oral herpes." So it's obviously very common, but it's not as uncomfortable as genital herpes. I think my mom has herpes, but she gets it on her chin. It's been years since I last saw her breakout, but I remember it used to come once a year or so. I was very little, so it never occured to me to ask her what it was. The only way I concluded she had it was because it reappered every year and she would treat it.

"Lives in saliva, sharing kitchen utensils or drinking glasses can also allow infection"; "ocular herpes, when herpes infects the eye."

[keep reading]

HSV-2: "Roughly one in five American adults has genital herpes."; "The textbook symptom of genital herpes is a cluster of small fluid-filled blisters that break, forming painful sores that crust and heal during several days."

No, that's not what I have..

" ... some people may have just one or two outbreaks in their lifetime."; "No cure. The virus lies inactive in the nerve cells until something triggers it to become active again."

I was starting to accept my fate. I was starting to understand the disease and not worry so much.

HPV- aka Human Papillomavirus.

[ok, let's keep going]

"HPV infects at least 50% of all people who have sex"; "Possibly asymptomatic for many years" "HPV can cause genital warts"; "Passed through bodily fluids, through intercourse."

BEG told me he had HPV back when we were together in September for the last time, but I know for a fact he couldn't have given that to me.

"Some people clear the infection without treatment."; "Over 100 strains exist"; "High-risk HPV strains include HPV 16 and 18, which cause about 70% of cervical cancers."

I just completed the Gardasil treatment this past November. It protects against types 6, 11, 16, 18.

Then I remembered that men are not likely to get tested. In fact, if they have no symptoms, they can't be tested. Sebastian could have it, and never know if he doesn't experience an outbreak.

I had put my mind at ease. Even if I knew having either virus would affect my life dramatically in the beginning, I said to myself  "You're not alone. There's a good percentage of people who have it and they're ok. Hell, one of your best friends has HPV, and she's ok."

I went to the doctor and waited an hour to be seen by my doctor. She's very chipper, so she'll give you bad news in the same tone as good news. This happened to me last year when I tested positive for the Hepatitis C antibodies. I got so scared I cried in the chair. I retested soon after with the RIBA test which was negative. (Hepatitis C affects your liver and can cause death if not treated adequately.)

"So, your tests came back and it looks like-" she began,

Oh shit, here it goes.

"your potassium levels are very high. This could be caused by eating too many fruits or.... are you eating a lot of bananas.....?"

I couldn't help but smile and nod my head no.

"Or caused by dehydration-"

-I nodded yes-

"Which could be very possible considering you had fasted prior to the exam;"

I know this- I've been tested for dehydration before, and whenever I come see  her, I have them test my urine. I ALWAYS have a urinary tract infection, and I'm not very responsible when it comes to taking the antibiotics twice a day, so they never clear up. That, and I just don't drink enough water throughout the day. I don't get thirsty. I average half a bottle of water, approx 10oz, when research shows you should drink at least 64oz.

It just gets harder for me to drink water. That's my only excuse.

"You have a bacterial infection though, which is causing you to have the UTI" she mentioned.

"What about herpes?" I asked

"Uh.... no. Negative to both 1 and 2"

It wasn't making sense.

"What about HPV?" I asked her again.

"That'll be on your pap smear, and that's in the other room. I'll be right back." she said

A few minutes later she comes back reviewing the results and says "Ok, your pap came back normal."
(The following is just one page of the 5 page report)

OK, I guess I better tell her now.

[Avert your eyes now if details gross you out.]

"I found a bump in my genital area last Thursday. It didn't hurt. When I checked on it two days later, it was still there in the same size, but when I touched it, white stuff came out" I described.

"Like a pimple?" she asked.

"Yes." I said. "I still had it this morning, diminished in size, but when I checked before coming here, it was gone, so there's nothing to show you anymore."

"It could have been an infected hair follicle, or viral infection. Either case, herpes gives you a cluster of blisters that are filled with clear pus that will break and scab over."

And they hurt right?

"Let's do a second round of bloodwork for your potassium levels and your Hepatitis C because it came back positive to the antibodies like last year" she said.

I took a seat in the lab and sat still as they drew blood for my tests, taking the first sigh of relief.

Once back home, Sebastian called me to ask how I was doing. "I went to the doctor today. She said tests came back negative. But I have high levels of potassium and Hepatitis C that she wants to retest" I told him.

"See, I knew there was nothing wrong" he comforted me.

Thank you for your optimism, but you wouldn't have been feeling the same way if you'd experienced what I did.

For the record, we abstained from sex until I could talk to my doctor. I didn't want to possibly put him at risk, not knowing the results. Plus, the thought of BEG was riding in my conscience the entire weekend. Would I have to tell him I'd been with someone else "in between" our "relationship"? We've always talked about safety and being monogamous while with each other.  He's like me- he's not promiscuous because he doesn't want to become infected.

I guess all I can say at this point is..... crisis averted. However, it definitely opened my eyes and made me more aware of this infectious disease that a great population is suffering from. I'm glad that I read up more and learned not to be biased about these STDs.

To those who are infected, I respect you for being brave and learning to deal with this difficult experience.  I pray that you get to live a carefree life while others learn and become educated to understand your hardships.

To the readers who expressed concern and prayed- Thank You. It was one of the most sincere gesture I've ever experienced.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Something's wrong

Something isn't sitting right with me, and it's yet too early to say anything about it. The time has come to see if I'll actually be truthful to the title of this blog- "A Survival Guide to Young Adulthood."

I went in for my pap smear and blood work last Friday the 8th. My doctor wasn't in at all last week (though I was aware) and she told me that someone from the office would be calling me to review my results. About Wednesday afternoon, I missed a call from one of the other doctor's nurses (each doctor is assigned one nurse at their office) and left a voicemail saying to call her back. It was already too late, so I left a message. Next morning, nothing. Afternoon, and still nothing.

Then the next morning while showering, I noticed it.
A bump.
One that shouldn't be there. 

By late evening, I was starting to worry.

I called again Friday morning and decided to talk to my own doctor's nurse about getting the results from my labs, and she told me they hadn't been transcribed yet. I asked if there was something I should know right away about my results and told me I'd have to schedule an appointment with my doctor to review. So I scheduled for the next available date.

I felt depressed, scared, frustrated and anxious.  My heart beat faster than normal, and I was uncomfortable.  

This is not how I wanted to start the New Year.

Thoughts flying through my head.
Am I being punished for BEG? 
Is it even possible?

The weekend was dreadful, and Sebastian knew something wasn't right, but was completely calm and supportive of my inability to say what I felt was wrong. I never told him I had found a bump. I worried that he would freak out. Let's face it, I can't tell him what's wrong about something I don't know.

For now, all I can do is wait for my appointment...... and hope that the anxiety doesn't give me away.

[update 1/20/10: "Lab Results" ]

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Current Updates

With the New Year comes New Resolutions. In recent years, I've been able to keep 2/3 of them, mainly because I am realistic and only aim for 3. This year is no different. My resolutions, (although not goal-oriented ones) for this year are:
  1. Being more physically active/ Exercise
  2. Continuing with School
  3. Working on optimism, happiness and self confidence.
A few blogs ago, I realized I needed a change to help extinguish my depression. Sebastian has way too much self confidence and a big ego, which leaves me vulnerable and feeling very low.  I know that by being this way, I am putting my relationship at risk. No one wants to hang out with a pooper, and I've been told by a few people, Sebastian included, that I need to be active to help boost my mood.

So on Monday, while extremely bored at work, I began thinking of ways to become more physically active, and concluded that the gym was the best way to go. I went to the 24-hour fitness website to look for trial passes, and googled my way to a 14-day pass instead.

 Once out of work, I hesitated for the full 20 minute ride back to my apartment. Following are the excuses and roadblocks I was giving myself.

Will I have the time?
Classes start soon.
I'd like to get that part time job for the Census this year.
Will I truly commit to going every week?
Can I really afford the $30/month on my budget?
What schedule should I follow?
Should I eat before/after?
What am I really expecting from this?
I still have to go to the college enrollment office today.
I'm very sleepy.

As I pulled into the parking lot of my complex, I gave myself one final push:
Quit making up excuses and do it already! What's 1 hour a day going to cost you? A bag of chips in front of the TV, that's what!

So I went to my college campus to enroll in the classes, and went back to my apartment to get a change of workout clothes. I drove to one of the gyms and was immediately intimated by the full parking lot.

I bet there's a lot of "resolvers" in there.
I'm embarassed to go in.
It's too full! I can't park anywhere.

And I chickened out until the "other me" told me to keep driving to the other gym, just 2 miles down the road.

Once at the other gym, I felt a little more optimistic, yet still intimated. I remember a few months back going into the same gym with a member, and being hassled into signing up before even starting the trial.

You're not going to get me this time. I'm going to try it out on my own terms. No pressure.

I did the tour, and the counselor tried to get me started, telling me the offer was expiring on wednesday. I told him I'd still want to try first to see if I could really commit. He let me go, and I started on the treadmill, walking for 25 minutes, and running for the last 5. I continued with weights, working on my arms and abs.

I left nearly 90 minutes later, feeling very good. I repeated the same task the following day and felt energized and hyper. I went home, took a very long shower and felt great.

I've only told a few people about my new routine, but have not mentioned it to Sebastian. I don't want him to think that this is a phase that I'm going to drop right away, or point out that I don't look toned or thinner if I don't get results fast enough. I've barely begun to change my eating habits and incorporate more vegetables and fruits. It's tough, but I want it to work.

I'm mainly doing this to boost my energy/mood levels and give me endorphins. Losing weight would be an added bonus.

So here's to a new start.

A better me.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Skewed China birth rate to leave 24 million men single

Skewed China birth rate to leave 24 mln men single - Yahoo! News

I knew this would happen.

When China began controlling its population and limiting families to just one child, it was not uncommon to hear about pregnant mothers aborting their pregnancies when they found out the child they were carrying was a female. Some families went to the extreme and killed the female newborn in the hopes of having a male the next time around and keep the family line going.

So what happens 30 years later?

There is a surplus of males.

This surplus will most likely stabilize the population, if not bring it to a substantial decrease for many decades to come.

Good job.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Marry for money or for love?

I’m at a crossroads on this one. I know most people ultimately say “for love”, but I can’t help but think that it’s not as simple as it looks.

I’d marry for comfort.

Comfort in the sense that I’d want to be financially comfortable AND emotionally comfortable to spend the rest of my years with that person. Let's face it, divorce happens.

I don't want to marry someone if I sense divorce is a possibility in the future..... therefore motivating me to choose an alternative to marriage and form a social monogamy or domestic partnership.

I didn't get married to the last boyfriend, and if I had, it definitely would have been for love. But there was no money, so I knew it wouldn't last.  I know we would have been very happy at first, but ultimately miserable, fighting over finances because that's all we did in our last 2 years together.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis once said “The first time you marry for love, the second for money, and the third for companionship.”

It doesn't seem that far fetched at all. The second time around, you know that you need money in order to make the love work. Face it- you don't want to be in default on your mortgage and stress out over finances. That much stress will take a toll on people and slowly disintegrate a marriage.

I don't know what Sebastian married for, but I'm tempted to say that it was for love. She on the other hand, wanted the money more (as he's often told me). He set his foot down, controlled the money they could spend, and made her unhappy and violent. She left 2 years into the marriage.
I've heard time and time again that he knew even before they married that it was doomed. Somehow, he hoped her to change. He was advised against it because of her violent nature. Still, he did it, and to this day, regrets most of it. It was always fights, and honestly, I can understand. I lived it. I was responsible for most of it. However, I was much younger and very immature.
Funny how much you can change in 4 years. If you're willing to change that is.
Nevertheless, I can understand that having just money and no love does not make you happy either. I've never experienced it, and personally wouldn't want to. That's how resentment grows and infidelity happens. 

Monday, January 11, 2010

Confused while under the influence

This weekend was both horrible and good at the same time.

Horrible in the sense that I was sick as a dog with a urinary tract infection and a cold; Good because Sebastian took great care of me as we "bonded."

My parents were on their way back from California, but I was in no mood to spend time with them. Instead, I asked Sebastian if he could make me some chicken soup because I knew I’d feel better the moment I ate it. So I went to his place on Friday night after I did the grocery shopping and he spent about 3 hours preparing the chicken noodle soup- boiling the chicken, making the broth, and preparing the noodles. I quietly watched him prepare it, paying close attention to the preparation process so that I could one day make it myself. We slurped the soup with much gusto, as I quietly felt my worries melting away.

He got on Facebook to check updates when he mentioned “You know, we never changed our status back to ‘In a relationship.’ It still says ‘Single.’”

My eyes opened up in amazement with a mouth full of noodles.

Oh my god….. he finally realized it!

I tried to keep my cool and said “Yeah, you’re right.”

“I think we should change that,” he added.

That’s great! Yes! We should! Finally! I’m tired of seeing SINGLE on HIS profile. But what did I do? Did I change the status?

“Hmmm, yeah,” I answered nonchalantly.

Nope. Missed it again.

[Sighs] Next time. I still want HIM to initiate the move.

The following day, Sebastian used the chicken to make enchiladas. Seeing as to how he had unselfishly prepared the chicken soup, I took it upon myself to shred the chicken- which took more than an hour. As I was shredding, my mind slowly started wandering to the status of our relationship.

How were we doing? Should I open up more? Should I tell him what’s bugging me? Should I bring up the positivity?

The previous night, I had spent more than an hour on the phone with one of my best friends. I had told her that I was having doubts about my relationship with Sebastian in pretty much the same way as the first time around. Then I told her what my other friend had said to me: “She said I was too negative. Do you think that could affect the way he feels about me? Am I putting too much pessimistic vibes in our relationship?”

“Probably. You need to be happy with yourself first. If he sees that you’re not happy, then he’s going to ultimately think ‘Why should I be happy with her if she’s not happy with herself?’ ” she commented.

Deep. It makes sense.

“Ok then. I know that I have to keep fighting to be positive then” I told her.

A while later, under the influence, I took a break from chicken shredding and Sebastian took over. He normally gets more hyper whereas I get relaxed, so I let him talk his head off. Shortly after, he said “I like the girl who’s crazy and mentally unstable. I think it has a lot to do with who I was raised by, my mother being crazy. You know what I mean?”

“Uh yeah. You generally tend to look for, if not prefer, a partner that is similar to your parent” I stated.

“Yes, that’s right. That’s what I'm looking for in a girl: a bit crazy, even though I know it won’t work. That’s what I’m attracted to.”

Even though I was inebriated, I heard and understood every word he said.

“Sebastian, I don’t understand why you always talk about the girl you’re looking for, as in referencing the next girl you’re going to date, when I’m right here” I bluntly pointed out.

“No no, I think you misunderstand me” he tried to say.

“Uh, no. I think I hear it quite simply. You’re always talking about dating, as in the future; after me. I don’t get it. I’m right here.”

“No Ren, that’s not it. I’m only speaking from experience; Who I’ve always been with. Did you see it work out with the others? No. So I know it may seem as if I’m looking for the next thing, but no, that’s not what I mean when I say it.”

It got me even more confused by the way he explained it that I just dropped the subject. Somehow, a while later, I tried to understand what he was trying to clarify, and turned out that he mentioned what he wanted in a girl from what he had previously experienced.

It made more sense. That’s as if I were saying “I want a guy who’s outgoing and exciting,” when Sebastian clearly isn’t the outgoing type. He’s the hermit. But that’s not to say I’m actively looking for the next catch. Sebastian balances himself out. He’s got Pros and Cons- way more Pros than Cons, therefore allowing the chance to offset those qualities I’m not particularly fond of.

I know relationships aren’t 100% perfect. There’s an imperfect balance.

For the rest of the weekend, Sebastian continued to be more caring and still upbeat for me. We didn’t go out, which didn’t bother me too much as it was in the low 40s all weekend long. However, I noticed him smile often, and laugh a whole lot more. It felt nice.

"I'm surprised you can laugh at the silly things I say. Sometimes they're not even that funny but dumb" he mentioned.

"So are you saying I'm dumb for laughing at the things you say?" I asked.

"No. Just that I'm glad we can laugh at just about anything together. It's fun" he added.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Wedding Cans

I came across the story of Wedding Cans on Yahoo the other day, and have to say I was very impressed by Andrea's ingenious idea to recycle cans to help pay for her wedding in July of 2010. What struck me the most was that she was able to keep it realistic and frugal, planning to aim for a low $3500 wedding party.

I don't recycle cans because there isn't much incentive for me personally and I don't drink canned soft drinks. Moreover, Texas doesn't impose a deposit like California does with the "California's Redemption Value." "CRV, like all container deposit legislation, has three main purposes: it seeks to encourage recycling, discourage littering, and generate revenue from unclaimed redemptions and sales tax on the CRV."

Back in 2006, the rate was an extra 48 cents to your purchase of a 12-pack of sodas. I would often see people on the side of the road collecting cans, and I've also read stories of families making a living by recycling them; a woman in my town did this- she was always on her bike, lugging around cans in trashbags at the wee hours of the day. 

Realizing how much carbon emissions could be reduced, I was glad that this couple was working for two causes- their wedding and the environment. I hope they reach their goals. I wouldn't be surprised if they got enough buzz to influence the soft drink manufacturers to pitch in with donations as more of their products are purchased.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Six things girls notice on the first date

MSN tried to sneak in this article on me the other morning: The Six Things Guys Notice Six Seconds After You Meet.

How about the Six things girls notice right when you meet?

It’s been a few months since I’ve been on a first date, so this stuff might not be fresh in my head, but I will try, for the sake of dating, to remember what I focused on when I walked up to my date for the first time.
  1. Hair/facial hair: Is it clean? Is it styled? Bad dandruff? Oily? It all depends on the type of hair you have and how long it is. Personally, I prefer clean cut and shaved, but if I don’t see my guy for a week and he’s sporting a full beard, I’m definitely turned on.

  2. Shoes/Apparel: Are they old? Scuffed? Dirty? Casual or work shoes? I hate tennis shoes with holes. It just shows me that you don’t really care how you look. I’ll dismiss a messy getup if you were at work that day and we had an impromptu date because you just couldn’t wait any longer to meet me (as it happened one time, and he was... [drools all over keyboard…..] delish)

  3. Smile: Is it yellow? Crooked? Stained teeth? Rotten teeth? I’ve been told I have a great smile. Thanks. I whiten and my top teeth are straight. I try to take care of my teeth because one of the first things the opposite sex will notice is "How do they smile?" With a hand in front of your mouth? I will prefer a crooked white smile to a straight stained/yellowish one. That’s just bad hygiene.

  4. Car: Is it a POS (piece of shit) that’s just screaming “junk yard?” I’ll get embarrassed if my date’s car is crappy and I don’t want to be seen in it- which is what happened with 2 of the guys I dated. However, I got over Sebastian’s POS because he told me before we even met that he had a crappy car, and if I was ok with it. I admit I hesitated silently, but I didn’t want to seem shallow. Now I just don’t care. I told him not to buy a new car until he could pay cash for it. His persona won me over. Or maybe I was just desperate.

  5. Fingernails: Are they long and dirty? I cringe when I see both. Because all I’m thinking is “ew…. Those fingers are not going in me.”

  6. Smell/scent/body odor: Is it sour? Perspiration? Perfumed? I like to hug….. But I am repulsed when a guy doesn’t wear deodorant, or use a scented body wash. I had a crush on this guy I met online (as friends), but the second I smelled him, it was over. I couldn’t even come within 4 feet of him because he smelled so bad.

Some other things I'll take note on during the courting progress:
His living arrangements.
His ability to cook, and compliment me.
His availability and eagerness to see me.
The texting/email/im throughout the day.

Well, that's pretty much it on my end. Please feel free to add on your own requirements! :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Do guys really need us to be MORE vocal?

I'm incredibly confused.

I've heard time and time again that if something bugs us, we should come out and say it to our male partners. Be open, talk, share. Guys aren't mind readers, and unfortunately, guys really don't think anything's wrong if you say "nothing."

I dated Josh for 4 years. I will now admit that he was the best emotional partner I've ever had. But I was immature and inconsiderate and practically destroyed our relationship. He went through a lot, and years after, I learned from it. He was the sweetest person, but I was really mean and emasculated him. He stuck around for so long because he really thought I could change. I knew I couldn't, and I didn't- at least while with him.

But fast forward a few years and I notice that a lot of guys I've come across aren't really...... emotionally attached, and it takes me a bit to get used to that fact. They may be successful and have stable lives, which I actually prefer and am attracted to, but they don't get when I'm upset.


Whenever I think about opening up about my feelings, all I can imagine is him thinking I'm nagging. "Can't this relationship just be fun?"

I mean, is that what it means? Vocal=Nagging? Do guys really want to hear that we're depressed or upset about something they did, or would they just prefer to let time pass and get over it on our own?

Personally, I'm not big on appologizing. I'm stubborn, but a lot less than before. I'm matured in the sense that I've finally come to understand it takes two to tango. I try to be considerate about his habits or hobbies, the things that he likes. I try to listen about stuff I don't personally care about, and converse- even if it bores me to death because I think guys like to be heard. But then if that's the case, do they want us to talk about our feelings more??

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I need a change

What do you do when your friends and boyfriend don’t like each other?

I never thought I’d come to see the day. However, in time, I’ve come to understand that while their opinions are important, I think they have an interest in my well being.

Live for yourself. Be happy. I try to do that. I’m actually very selfish now. I lived for my parents far too long and right now….. I just don’t care what they think. It’s a lot easier now that I’m not living under their roof, so it’s not as if they can continue controlling me or influencing me on things that won’t make me personally happy.

Luckily, they approve of Sebastian…. But it’s only because I don’t mention him much….. or the negative aspect of the relationship.

My friends and Sebastian on the other hand…… they hear it all.

Sometimes I wonder if they really do have my best interest at heart, or if they’re jealous that I’m with someone and having fun, but I’m not conceited enough to think that.

About a month before Sebastian broke up with me the first time, I was sad; in the dumps. I wasn’t happy at all, and it was all because of him. He wasn’t making me happy. There weren’t strong enough emotions to put my walls down….. and I protected myself far too much. I was overly pessimistic that it wouldn’t last long, but I was too selfish to end it myself. I wanted someone to spend time with. I wanted the companionship, and truth is…. He wanted it too.

My friend told me to get out. If I wasn’t happy, why continue?

“He’s a good guy” I said.

“But you’re not happy” she countered.

“I know. You’re right. Maybe time will change things” I hoped.

The day they met him, something happened. I found out something that hurt me. It involved his cell, his ex-wife and text messages. You get the idea.

My friends were very mad. Even though he was all smiles and fun with the group, the girls slowly distanced themselves from him and let me make my own decision.

I continued with him because we had only been dating 2 weeks, and the text messages were just a couple of days into our dating; but my friends never really got over it. They blocked him from that day.

My other friend didn’t approve of him either. She only met him once. And it only took one time to judge him (in addition to me talking about my insecurities). Recently, she confessed that I could do so much better. He was too “arrogant” and carried a big ego.

“I know. He told me. He has very high self esteem, and mine is very low. We know this about each other, and it does a number on me,” I admitted.

Thing is, Sebastian doesn’t like her either. He considers her self-involved and conceited.

I understand them both. I’m at fault. I speak about them to the other…. And most times, it tends to be negative because that’s the only time I’ll really share about my friends…….. when things are going bad between us.

I’m a bad person.

I’m embarrassed to bring them together; there’s tension in the air.

My coworker doesn’t say anything, but I can read it in his eyes. He doesn’t approve either, but he respects my relationship. I can sense him thinking “You made the wrong choice by going back together. I watched you cry. I saw you hurt. You don’t deserve him.”

After speaking to my friend, I recognized that because I have such low self esteem, I don’t speak up. I’m concentrated on the negative so as to not be disappointed by the outcome. I’m disappointed by the way I look, and I hang my head low.

The time has come to change things. I need to explore more, accomplish things for myself, and climb out of this box. Put the fear away, not care about what people think, and build thicker skin.

That, and continue with college this semester. School is the only thing that ever made me truly happy. Stressed and anxious, but proud of myself, and very very happy.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I've come to realize....

That I will never be enough for my dad.

I wish I could share that more in detail with Sebastian. I feel like we may have more things in common than we let on, mainly because he is so removed from his mother himself, but I don't want to go on a rampage against my family.

I'm 25 now. I think it's time to say I'm not longer as stupid or gullible or scared of my parents as I was when I was 21 or 22 even.

A few years ago, my half brother gave me the best single piece of advice he had ever given me. We'd never seen eye to eye on anything, but I'll never forget the day he said "Don't always believe what Manuel [Dad] says."

I came to conclude that my dad was at most times, full of it.

As a father, I truly admire what he's done for our family. He's never been without work for long, and if he has, he has always been able to rely on savings and other resources so that we always had food on the table. We never went hungry, cold, or unclothed. We were never Poor.

I'm sure you've heard the saying that "daughters marry their fathers." And of course that's not in the incestuous relationship I'm referring to, but more on the emotional stance. I never thought I'd say this, but as I go through my twenties, I see that I want someone who can provide for me like my father provided for our family. But, I don’t think I’d be happy if I married someone like my father.

With time, I’ve come to realize that no matter how hard I try or what I do,
I will never be enough for my dad.

It hadn't occurred to me until recently how much of his b*!!$h!7 I've had to endure.

The first time I remember it happening was when I graduated from high school. Honors graduate. Straight As for my senior year. Apparently, that wasn't enough. "Why didn't you get highest honors?" he asked. My mom tried to comfort me and stood up for me saying "She still graduated. And she got honors. That's better than nothing."

That's right. Cause YOU didn't even make it into high school.

Anyway- fast forward 4 years, and we come up to community college. My dad complains that at my age, I'm so lost that I don't know where I'm headed. At my age, he was already way ahead of the game, having left his homeland for another country, and begun traveling the world.

I'm sorry dad…. But at least I didn't have a child when I was only 18 years old- or neglect him either.

2008 comes into view— Incident 1 occurs when I tell him I got the new job at the construction company where I'm still working. He congratulates me like any person would. When he comes home later that evening, he says "Now, you have to find out where the others failed, why they are leaving."

I tell him the current person is leaving for a closer opportunity to her home. He looks at me and says "That's what they want you to believe. They'll tell you anything to get you to accept the job. They'll often lie to you and offer you less money. They couldn't find anyone else to accept their offer."

I have to admit that hurt. It was like basically putting me down for having gotten the job in the first place (after only 2 days from quitting the previous one)-- that I had been offered the job, not due to my abilities and skills, but because they couldn't find anyone else to take it in the first place.

Thanks for thinking of me so highly Dad.

Incident 2—we are talking in the kitchen, discussing what schedule I should follow. My mom who understands the stress of college work (because she's actually gone to college) tells me that it'd be better for me to follow the 8-5 schedule, because starting at 7am would mean I'd have to get up at 5am, and it'd be too difficult since I review at nighttime. I tell my dad that I'd discussed it with my mom already and that I've chosen 8-5 because 7 am was too early for me.

He looks at me with a grin—the grin that says "you're lazy"—and says "7 am is too early for you?? I do it! There's no reason why you shouldn't be able to do it too."

I had had enough. I looked at him directly in the eye and finally stood up for myself "You don't go to school—you don't take 4 classes and have a full time job, and come home to take care of my sisters. When exactly am I supposed to study if I were to start work at 7? I study at nighttime because that's the only time I am able to. But thanks for noticing."

Since then, I’ve distanced myself from my dad; when he ventured off to California to assume possession of an auto repair shop, he went to pursue his dream. Now he talks to me expecting me to help him continue the business if anything were to happen to him…. i.e.: DEATH!

He asked me to go joint on his business account so that I’d have access to the money…… and then “asked” to take over the business if something happened to him. I gave it 5 minutes of thought. I figured, why say no and hurt his feelings now…. When he will never know what I do with it after he dies? I’m not sorry, and I’m selling. I’m not going to indulge him and continue living his dream. No, I won’t have it. I already told him years ago that I wouldn’t work in the auto repair industry again because it wasn’t my calling. I have my own pursuit of happiness to follow; even if I don’t know what it is, I know auto shop isn’t it!

"Dad, have you thought of life insurance for the family first?" I asked him.

"No. I should really consider that." he answered.

Uh.... you think? Before you even consider me taking over your business, (which isn't even making a high profit) get some damn life insurance to take care of your underage kids and your wife (my mom)!

It's not that I hate my dad, although at times, I can feel it boiling under my skin. It's perhaps the fact that I'm resenting him more as I grow up. I get to study him as the hypocrite that he tries to disguise; the hate that he has instilled in me because he's biased and prejudiced of everything that revolves around us. I will admit that he has influenced me on a lot of what he believes in and I hate it; the racism, the bigotry…..

When we talk about facts, I just realize I believed a lot of his bullshit due to respect. But Sebastian made me realize that my father ruled by fear. And yes, it did work. I don't have kids. Why? Because both of my parents put fear in me that if I got pregnant, I'd have to leave the house, and my mother wouldn't let me on the streets with a child in tow, which would mean I would end her marriage because my dad wouldn't stay in the same household.

Oh yeah...... that conversation actually happened.

I was gaining weight, and had a bigger appetite for milk.......... supposedly "cravings" my mom said. She demanded I pee on a stick to prove I wasn't pregnant.

I was 21 at the time.

I love my father as a parent and for always pushing forward and never giving up. But I don't like the person he became ever since having landed on this soil. When I spent time in France a few years ago, all his friends told me stories about him, about how nice and joyful he was. I have to assume they're lying to make me feel proud, because it's not the same person they describe.

SO thanks dad for all the "positive" reinforcement you have shown me, for all the manipulative actions you have mastered, the support you only give me when it's convenient for you such as telling me "where am I going to find someone as clever as you when it comes to business negotiations?"

Monday, January 4, 2010


That's what I feel like. Hidden by Sebastian. Hidden from his friends. Not present at all.

We were supposed to go to his friends's house for New Year's. I was going to meet them for the first time. And then he found out his ex-wife would be there too, and he cancelled.

"I don't want her drama" he said.

Or maybe you just want to keep me under wraps.

"So?" I responded "She gets to rule wherever she goes?"

"No. She just said that she would be really mean to you. It's nothing personal. She doesn't even know you." he tried to reassure.

"Hmmm huh...... o....k. Whatever" I said.

He knows I won't say anything. He knows I'll just stay quiet, but it's getting to the point where it's starting to play a number in my head.

So for New Year's Eve, we just stayed at his place and watched the countdown on TV. And he went to work the next morning at 8.

What a disappointment.

But we had fun the rest of the weekend, so I can't dismiss it completely.

Then..... on Saturday night, I couldn't sleep.

I couldn't get a conversation we'd had earlier on out of my head.

"I don't see a relationship going past 5 years. That's the average. Like.... anywhere from 4 to 7 years" he said.

I felt..... numb.

Later that night, in bed I said "I'm scared."

"Of what?" he asked.

"Of us. That...... it's not all there" I said.

"Just give me time Ren." he said.

"I hope so. Because there's a lot of things that I'm keeping to myself."

I know there are pros and cons to every relationships, and when it comes to the materialistic sense, he's taken care of me rather well there. In fact, compared to previous relationships, I feel spoiled. But when it comes to feelings, emotions and sentiments....... it's lacking. I need to be reminded that I'm worth something. I want to be flattered. I want a boost to my ego. I want to talk about the possibility of a future together, and put to rest the 5 year expiration date on us.

I don't want to waste time, but I also don't want to rush him if he's not ready. It's almost an oxymoron.

I don't feel like your girlfriend, and I can't consider you as mine either. You're yours. You belong to no one. And I want you to be be mine. I want you to understand that I'm willing to stay here if you're willing to make it last. I know I can be happy with you........ but I know I can't be happy with you if you're not happy with me. Maybe I'm just..... not enough? For your standards?

Maybe I have to prove something?