Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tucker Tale #1

If I haven’t mentioned it before, I am absolutely obsessed with my family. I am smack dab in the middle of four siblings…Jamie is 20, Kelsey (Rooms) is 21, I’m 24, Mikey is 25 and Kristi (Kiki) is 25. Kiki lives in Buffalo with her husband and two beautiful kids, Alyssa (4-years-old) and Aidan (1-year-old). My parents, Linda and Gary met in high school and have been happily married for 27 years. The love they have for each other and our family is something I am so proud to be a part of and so lucky to have.

I can really describe the perfect combination of how sarcastic, supportive and fun my family is by describing one recent scenario. I recently got my braces off and was so glad that geeky accessory was finally a thing of the past. No more than a month later, I was at the eye doctor finding out I needed glasses. This should have come as no surprise to me, as I am an exact, creepy replica of my amazing mother, my soul sista, as we like to call each other. Nonetheless, I was feeling slightly panicked because I have never been a fan of accessories for the face/head. I don’t like hats on me and it is a constant battle to shop for sunglasses, headbands, etc. I called my mom whining about how silly I looked when I got my glasses, probably being overdramatic, as I tend to do that sometimes.

The next day, Rooms and I headed to my parents house for the day. They live in Citrus Springs (what us kids call Sleepy Springs), FL, which is about an hour and a half from my house in Winter Garden. We try to gather at their house every other Sunday or so, so Mikey and Jamie were already there when we arrived. When we walked in the house and found all four of them, Mikey, Jamie, Mom and Dad sitting at the kitchen table wearing glasses, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It was the funniest, sweetest way they could have shown their support. I just adore them all.

You can expect regular posts with me bragging about these wonderful people I have in my life. After all, they’ve helped shape me. They helped me get to this amazing place in my life. And they make me laugh always. I’ll call these posts Tucker Tales. This way, you know what you’re getting yourself into. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Fakeout

There is probably no worse feeling than going on a blind date, seeing a guy walking toward you and praying to God that he is not who you think he is. I’m sorry, but when that is how a date starts, there really is no bouncing back. The Fakeout is a guy I had gotten matched with on EHarmony and hadn’t really e-mailed too much before we decided to meet.

I should probably backtrack here and share one of my biggest rules about dating. It is this: “If you are a Yankee fan, it’s just not going to work out between us.” See, I was born in Boston and am a Red Sox girl for life. I can’t stand the thought of dating a Yankee fan, never mind the thought of introducing him to my family, to my dad who used to sell hotdogs at Fenway Park, Gate A to be exact, when he was a kid.

The Fakeout lived in Daytona, and had already told me he was a Yankee fan. I had no intention of going out of my way to meet him, as he already had two strikes against him. But judging from his only photo on his profile, I thought he was decent looking and when he offered to drive the hour and a half to meet me for coffee, I figured why not?

That brings us back to that miserable feeling I had when I saw him walking toward me. I had seen on his profile that he was 5’ 7”, but I guess I didn’t realize just how short that was for a guy. That, coupled with his receding hairline and really, really bad acne, you could say I wasn’t the least bit attracted to him. If he hadn’t seen me, I might have run back to my car (awful, I know.) I told myself I’d give it one hour, no more. I mean, I was buying a house; I had a lot going on. I had a thousand other things I could have been doing. There was no point in wasting my time or his, when I had no intention of moving forward with him. However, I did recognize the fact that he drove all that way, so I gave it one hour.

One hour later, I left Starbucks, at least being able to laugh off the horrific situation. Lessons learned: If a match only has one photo on his profile, be skeptical. If that only photo is from a distance, don’t be fooled. And most importantly, don’t ever sacrifice your morals. A Yankee fan is a Yankee fan and that is just never going to be okay.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Doing Big Things

It doesn’t need to be said that the year 2010 was already bringing me lots of new experiences, to say the least. By the time March came around, I had clearly already shaken up things in my dating world. It was time to make some big life moves. 

For a while, I had been staying in shape by working out regularly and was for once really enjoying working out and eating healthy. Not to mention, Stella had a positive effect on my eating habits, as I had no appetite the whole month of January and lost 10 pounds…best diet I’ve ever been on. I was getting a little bored with my regular workout routine and was ready to challenge myself a little more. I’ve never been much of a runner. Between my D/DD breasts and a lack of endurance, any attempt at becoming a runner wasn’t very successful in the past. One day at work, we were talking about working out and next thing I knew, my coworker Russell (who is also my very dear friend and referred to by me as my gay uncle) and I had signed up for the 9th Annual UMC Windermere Run Among the Lakes. I was about to attempt to run my first 5K and only had about a month to prepare. I wasn’t trying to come in first place; I wasn’t even trying to run fast. I just wanted to run the entire thing and that I did.

On the most beautiful morning in April, I finished the run in 35 minutes and my mom, my biggest fan, my soul sista…was waiting at the finish line cheering me on. I’m getting teary-eyed just thinking back on it.

I had been house hunting for about a month. Being so happy with my life and living life for myself, I had come to the conclusion that I didn’t see myself leaving the Orlando area any time soon. It was time to get settled somewhere of my own. No more moving every 6-12 months, no more keeping my favorite things in my parents’ garage, no more throwing money away on rent. The moment I walked into the cute, three bedrooms, two and a half bath townhouse in Winter Garden, I knew it was the one.

Buying a house is one of the most stressful and exciting things I’ve ever been through. I moved into that house on May 20, 2010. I was sad to leave my very best friends and roommates, but thrilled to be living with my sister who had been living in Texas for a few years. I won’t get into the details of how exciting and overwhelming this process was, but I will say that I was reminded again how wonderfully supportive my parents are and how I can really do anything I set my mind to.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Online Dating: Yes, I Went There.

Yes, it’s true. I did what most 20-something girls think they will never do. I decided to enter into the intimidating and scary world of online dating. I had actually joined back in November of last year, after drinking with my parents and sister one night during Thanksgiving weekend. the subject of my nonexistent dating life came up. I joked about how I had gotten an e-mail from EHarmony and next thing I knew, my parents had convinced me to give it a try and we stayed up until 2 in the morning creating my profile together. This is one of many examples of how amazingly supportive my family is, but I digress.

See, I always thought of online dating as a desperate attempt, only made by people who were older and had given up on finding love the traditional way. After talking with the rents about it, they helped me see it as just another way to meet people. Looking at it from that perspective, I decided to go for it. What did I have to lose?

I signed up for a three-month membership and had nothing to show for it after the three months were up. I didn’t go on one date and to be perfectly honest, didn’t really see anyone with much potential. While it would have been nice to meet someone, I wasn’t devastated, as I was keeping myself busy. I let my membership expire and that was that.

Seeing as how I originally joined in November, before I became the best version of myself, by the time April came around, I felt like I might be ready to give The Harm another try. That may have more to do with the fact that the second your membership expires, they start reeling you back in with e-mails about new matches, really cheap memberships and whatnot. Either way, somehow I ended up back on that thing.

To put it lightly, I had a VERY different experience the second time around. I went on dates, both good and bad, laughed A LOT, suffered through awkward silences, fell for someone and got my heart broken.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

“Dance Like No One is Watching”

I quickly discovered that one of the best parts about my life in 2010 was my ability to truly live in the moment and do what came naturally without second- guessing myself or feeling self-conscious. I was a creepily shy kid, and although I eased out of that and was fairly outgoing throughout high school and college, I always managed to stay out of the spotlight, so to speak. This meant not dancing at my prom much because I wasn’t and still am not a good dancer, getting embarrassed when Dave and I won Cutest Couple our senior year and he swept me off my feet and carried me away, and never, ever picturing myself singing karaoke. I feel like it had something to do with an increased sense of confidence and self-awareness, but whatever it was, I’m so glad it happened. It’s another one of those situations where I always wanted to be the kind of person who sang karaoke and danced around in public like a goofball, but never really made an effort to change. I didn’t make any new year’s resolution to change this, but the first time I was put in a situation where this normally would have been an issue, I found myself dancing around with my girlfriends at a bar one night in January, not caring how silly we looked, just caring about how happy and free I felt.

Now that the curse was lifted, I was out of control. I remember Dave was in Orlando for a weekend in January and we got together for lunch. Aside from me looking completely different, he even commented on the change when we were walking around Winter Garden Village and I grabbed his hand and tried to get him to dance with me in the middle of the street. When March came, and my roommate Laura invited me to karaoke with her friends on a Friday night, there was no question of if I would sing; it was what song and how many we should sing. Let me make it perfectly clear that I have no musical talents, but that is so not the point of karaoke anyway. We sang “Red High Heels” by Kellie Pickler and even had a little bit of choreography to top it off! Now, I love when a girls night at home turns into a random dance party, I dance around my room when I am getting ready, or when I am stressed out. I live life without wondering what anyone is thinking of me at the moment. So far, so absolutely wonderful. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

It's a Brand New Day...

It’s New Year’s Day 2010…I wake up and feel like I have the worst hangover of my life, which turns out to be kidney stones. I also happened to wake up this day feeling like a completely different person. I’ve never been happier, more comfortable with myself and more able to laugh at life when it clearly isn’t going your way for as long as I can remember. The irony of getting kidney stones on New Year’s Day, a day when resolutions begin, when hopes for a great new year are at their highest, is not at all lost on me. The crazy thing is, this day is the day when my life changed for the better. I made no resolutions, no intention of making this the best year of my life, or the year I be completely happy and dedicated to living and loving every minute of life…but today was the day that all started. I guess the kidney stone, which I later named Stella after hearing my mother compare passing a kidney stone to childbirth, was what set is all in motion. Why am I even telling this story? Why was this day any different than the days or years before? Was I a miserable human being before 2010? No. Was I living up to my potential as a person? Not even close. Let me start from the beginning…

I’ve always been a fairly positive person, happy, confident person. I grew up with the most amazing, loving, supportive family and that has never changed. I met Dave the first day of senior year at Freedom High School. I remember the first words he said to me, how I would catch him checking me out from across the room in English class and how we purposely got out lockers next to each other, like we both knew what was coming. I wouldn’t change a thing about that year, or any other year for that matter. My first love was all the things I ever imagined it would be and so much more. We inevitably went off to college together, moving into the same dorm and making the transition to college together. Even when Dave transferred to college in New Hampshire so he could study air traffic control, things were just perfect between us. I’ll never understand when or how things changed, but it must have been such a gradual change that neither of us noticed, or wanted to notice it was happening. Needless to say, that after five years together, two of which had been long-distance, a lot was changing for us. I had graduated college and was in a state of limbo, living at home, searching for a job, while Dave was still a busy college student with a completely separate life from me. The day Dave told me he wanted to be with other people, it felt like the ground fell from under me. He had always been so open about what he was feeling, good or bad. This was something I loved about him…not having to pull things out of him, being able to talk things out when we had a disagreement. But today, I couldn’t see all that good stuff. I was so angry and hurt.

During this time, I had a really positive outlook on the situation and really wanted to move on (i.e. see what else is out there, meet new people, go on dates, live my life) but wasn’t really making anything happen for myself. I was pretty content going to work, going to the gym, seeing friends or going out with my roommate on occasion and spending the weekends at my parents’ house because I knew it was better than sulking in my room on a Saturday night because I didn’t have a social life.

Like I said before, I was happy enough. I just wasn’t living up to my potential and I really wasn’t trying.