“How Did She Get Through That?”

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If I were my ex-boyfriend, I would avoid my blog like the Bubonic Plague.  But more often than not, instead of revoking our exes’ access to our newsfeed and doing more downward dogs, we scan through their Facebook photos teary-eyed when we find evidence of new boyfriends and girlfriends.  Alex, if you do read this, please don’t be offended.

I’m a lucky girl.  The “how did she get through thats” – the deaths, divorces, and miscarriages that bring us to our knees – are missing from my life.  So far, I’ve been very lucky.  Life has never shown me it’s meanest face.

But I called my mom from the beach on Sunday holding back tears and trying not to call him.  I love someone in a relationship that never stood a chance, and that’s unfair.

My Mom told me when I look back on my life, I’ll understand why things happened the way they did.   But regardless of the romance, I’ll miss Alex as a friend.   We watch Trailer Park Boys and drink beers together.  We get each other, and we have fun.

After a wine glass too many last week, I signed back onto to OkCupid in an effort to ease the pain, and here’s a word of advice: never do that.

What no one tells you about OkCupid is you need to be in a happy place to sign into OkCupid.  Maybe somewhere in the haystack of stoners, divorcees, and Ku Klux Klan members lies my blonde, light-eyed 20-something needle (what can I say, I have a type).  But one thing is certain: you need to be singing Britney Spears’ “Stronger” and throwing away tissue boxes triumphantly when you log in post-break up.

I, on the other hand, waded through Mr. Wrongs after a teary solo screening of “Terms of Endearment.”  Going into OkCupid when you’re brokenhearted is like walking into a thrift store with five minutes when you feel fat and hoping to find something.  I walked away empty-handed and depressed.  I did, however, receive a very amusing message, and I thought I’d share it:

“My buddy was being nosy and reading over my shoulder, and now he’s claiming you’re definitely…a dude.  He says your profile is too “good” and that you’re probably having a kick laughing at all the guys messaging you. I defended you valiantly and am sure that you are, in fact, a girl.  Now we have $20 riding on the outcome of this.  Between you and me…do I need to go take a trip down to the ATM?”

This was funny, but I’m not really sure why I logged in to begin with.  99.99% of the time I can’t figure out what’s worse: the people I’m matched with or the characters who message me.  My 96% matches are 38, don’t have a picture, and haven’t filled their profile out yet.  Or, they’re Haight-Ashbury hippies with screen names like “StoopidInLove,” who eat mushrooms every weekend and are “working on college.”  So OkCupid, I ask you this: is it because I’m a writer? (Probably)   Is it because I surf? (Probably)  One thing is certain: OkCupid is clearly judging my life choices, and it’s depressing.  So?  So I’ve decided to make some changes – changes that will send the normal and ambitious Brad Pitts circa Seven and Meet Joe Black a-runnin.   I’m amending my profile to say my favorite movie is “House Bunny” and my favorite book is “Eat Pray Love.”  Drastic times call for drastic measures, my friends, and if pretending to be someone who doesn’t read or watch good movies will stem the flow of messages of arm-sleeve tatted, 40 year-old Spicolis, so be it.

With a very slight beer buzz (stop judging me, I said “very slight”) I drove home today from downtown San Diego looking out at the ships and glittering water of the harbor.   I watched a Southwest plane land next to the skyscrapers and rolled down my window to let in the desert heat.  I spent the morning interviewing chefs and pretending to be a foodie in South Park and downtown.  “Did you do a confit with this?  What’s in your aioli?  Give me five words to describe your restaurant.”  I drove home with bacon french fries, and bacon flat bread.  I drank bacon bloody mary’s, and sipped bacon soups.  Bacon, bacon, bacon, and there are seven additional bacon restaurants to visit Thursday.  I’ve got to be careful.  Seven bacon dishes and their attendant alcoholic drinks over the course of one day could end badly.  Extra pounds and projectile vomiting comes to mind.

It’s a deadline week for the magazine which means lots of In and Out, no cooking, and lots of writing.  What I love about my new life is a I meet so many interesting people, and write about something different every time.  I learn so much I didn’t know.  For instance, coffee-infused beer is the new thing, and there’s such thing as a Miracle Berry, a fruit that makes sour things sweet.

Also, you kind of get to be somebody for a day, you know?  The chefs bring you whatever you want, and everything is free.  I always forget my business cards, and occasionally irk the PR people, but I meet really neat characters.  And I think I found the best bacon dish in San Diego today.  I split it with the surfer/photographer on the assignment (i.e. my male twin).  We asked for two bowls, and when he asked for a Lost Abbey belgian IPA, relieved, I changed my coffee order to the same.  He told me when restaurants ask you if you want a drink, they usually mean a beer.  I’m not sure if that’s true, but he’s done about 40 more shoots than I have, so I’ll go with it.

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A writer and photographer are paired together for each article, and he’s the third photographer I’ve worked with.  He’s very much like me.  We’re both contributors at the same online surfing website.  We both had surfboards in our cars.  But unlike me, he hates Surfline.  While he captures moments, I arrange words.  He’s a XY, I’m XX, but beyond those differences, he’s like my brother from another mother.  And it occurred to me, if we’re so similar, why can’t I do what he does?  Why can’t I support myself entirely on my art?  This guy seemed like a walking, talking window into a future I don’t know yet.  He’s 30, very LA in his take-charge attitude and profanity, he’s cute and engaged, and it wasn’t like that anyway.  Mixed in with “Shit, girl!”s and “We need to hit up Windansea sometime” he gave advice about making money as an artist.  We teamworked, drank our beers happily, and yelled at the palm tree dropping berries on his car.  It was friendly older-brother-ee.   

As I think about how such a strong love is going to turn into something else, I get scared.   As I look in the mirror and see circles under my eyes, circles that weren’t there before, I fear for what life might throw at me.  There are going to be “how did she get through thats,” especially since, historically speaking, for me, there haven’t been a lot of those.  But my roommate/best friend put it well tonight.  She says, the areas of our life are never all the same, and it wouldn’t be fun if it were that way.  I’m going to be okay, and you are, too.  In time, you’ll be fine.

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