Silly Little Thing Called Luck

As many bloggers and magazine outlets will say today: I don’t consider myself lucky in relationships. In fact, I’ve considered myself unlucky in the game of love – never one to get the hearts, clubs, or diamonds; only the spades.

Nevertheless, while I could write about the fact that love is probably the factor of a little faith and the luck of great timing – I’m not committed to the idea. I’ve yet to determine what I think the best prescription for finding true love is and I’ve honestly reached a point where it isn’t the priority, but rather something I trust will be in my cards eventually. Maybe.

However – in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, tribute must be paid to those Irish things that have brought me much joy over the years. And perhaps, even a little bit of that silly little thing called luck.

Claddagh ring

My hometown is this beautifully hippie and new age town tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is a mecca for up-and-coming bands, artists, and the beat of the streets beats “come as you are.” Growing up in a contradictory town: Southern and accepting of different cultures and orientations, made me an investigator of international affairs, as well as a curator of my own background.

Following my junior year of college, I finally jumped on the Claddagh ring ban-wagon and bought a fancy one (by fancy, I mean more than the $10 one on the side of the street. This one had a real stone with a real personal meaning) from a local artist in downtown Asheville. And since I signed my name to charge it, I never took it off. Not to shower, not to cook, not to do anything. To me, it was symbolic of love in my life – where it be romantic or self. A few guys cleverly turned it around when they asked to be exclusive, but somehow, it only felt  right when it was displaying my single title to the world.

Because even when I find love, it doesn’t mean I’m not open to any other expression of admiration from other sources. So really, my heart is always open. Funny thing is though, a week after I started writing this blog, I tucked away the ring in my drawer, having decided I didn’t need anything that defined me by my relationship status. I may sport it again, but if not, it’ll always remind me the universe is always giving love – as long as we’re perceptive enough to see it.

Fitzgerald’s Pub

Today, I’m not much of an Irish pub kind of girl. Maybe I’ve grown out of the feel or prefer live music or dancing to darts and rugby, but if given the choice, a place with “O’Connor” in the name wouldn’t be first on my going-out list. However, when I interned in the city and was without a friend to my name, the bartenders at this joint in the Flat Iron district became my instant pals.

I’d come in after a long day at the mag or hostessing at a restaurant in Times Square and there they’d be to greet me with their lovely Irish accents: “Lindsay, darling! Give the girl a Guinness, will ya?” I’ve never cared for Guinness but in my naivety, I was flattered by their gesture and always accepted anything they gave me. We’d sit watching baseball (which I know next-to-nothing about), talking about their wives, and dissecting my Southern/Irish roots. Without these entertaining nights, I wouldn’t have had as many dates that summer (somehow, I was always hit on at Fitzgerald’s) or felt like I had a place to just be myself. Now, I take guys there to see how they respond to something so special to me – and of course, to get the opinion from the same bartenders, who after several years, are still serving up the pints. They told me then and they continue to reiterate it every time I stop in: You wear your heart on your sleeve, lady. Don’t ever let that city harden ya.

So far, I haven’t.

Jerry from P.S. I Love You

When I saw this movie in the theaters with my friend L, it was a few days before Christmas and intolerably cold for North Carolina. She brought in a blanket she had stored in her car and we watched the midnight showing with it sprawled across us. Ten minutes into the film, we both started bawling our eyes out…and didn’t stop until the credits rolled.

Now, I know it’s a rom-com like all of the other ones that dazzle our televisions and trick us into believing in serendipitous meetings that end in an honest, everlasting love (though, if you listen to J.Lo, don’t make it your first dance song). But something about Gerald Butler as Jerry captivated me. The movie illustrated that relationships are far from perfect. And most of the time, we treat the ones we love the most with the most critical eye and unforgiving mentality. But even when we’re unforgiving and profoundly ridiculous with the people we care about, if they are worthy of our good and our bad – then they’ll see through it and love us regardless. Just as Jerry did with Holly after she threw a shoe at his face. (I’m embarrassed to admit I did the same to Mr. Idea – and he was less than thrilled).

Now, I don’t expect my husband to schedule out letters before he goes six-feet under – but I do know I will only end up with someone who accepts me for me, flaws, obsessions, and all. And maybe if the heavens humor me, I’ll find a guy who is as go-lucky as a leprechaun and does a little Irish strip tease in suspenders for me, too.

Lucky Charms

My household growing up was void of sweets and anything that was remotely bad for the body. It was only on holidays, special occasions, birthdays, and sleepovers that my mom cracked and bought potato chips or cookies, otherwise, I considered peanut butter and celery sticks just as good as Dunk-a-Roos (remember those?). However, one day at summer camp as a kid, I discovered the goodness that is Lucky Charms.

I begged and pleaded to have a box at home and even offered some of my allowance money to cover the $3 cost. She remained firm for a while, but eventually gave in and bought Lucky Charms once in a blue moon for me. I’m not too much of a cereal eater in my adult life, but if I pick something purely for the taste, I still pick the charms.

And yes, I always leave the marshmallows for last.

Leprechaun in Alabama

This is a real newscast. These are real people. Enough said.

Tall Brunette

And especially for this St. Patrick’s Day, I’m a fan of a newfound friend and Gchat companion. She has Irish roots and lives in the Northwest and we may be polar opposites – but her clever advice and wit always brightens my mood. Not to mention, the gal’s fiercely talented in artistry, penning, and otherwise. Go check out her blog and stay tuned for a podcast from both of us.

Tequila vs. The WTF Moment

I once went to a free open bar at a joint in Murray Hill. This was before I discovered this particular part of New York is breeding ground for frat guys who never wanted to leave college and still enjoy beer pong more than making a career or adult life for themselves. Even in school, where I was in a sorority and I thoroughly enjoyed Greek life, I never dated or slept with a guy in a fraternity. There has always been something about their Solo cup-decorated apartments, perfectly styled hair (or looks that resemble the Biebs), and stained Ralph Lauren Polos that turned me off.

Imagine that.

Nevertheless, when a friend found booze for free on PulseJFK and invited me to come, I followed in suit, high heels and push-up in tow. Fast forward to midnight, way past the penniless power hour: picture my friend with smeared red lipstick and crusted mascara, sucking face at the corner of the bar with a guy I believe was named Todd. And then there’s me, turning on the charm with a dude who told me he worked for MTV. I’d say what he did for them, but instead of telling me, he told my tequila – which is gladly no longer with me.

At this point in the night, my friend lets me know she’s going home with Todd, who claimed he was one of the Mets. She later confirmed he was, but more of a benchwarmer than an actual athlete. Still fairly new to Manhattan and as broke as an early-20s gal can get, I asked her not to leave (I didn’t want to pay for a ride home). Obviously not one of my closest companions, she encouraged me to go with the MTV man and said she’d text me when she arrived in Hoboken with Todd. I responded with a half-drunken smirk, followed by thoughts of how much I felt sorry for her that she was leaving for dirty Jersey.

Even knew to the city, I knew that wasn’t a favorable ending point for an evening. (Don’t believe me? Ask anyone who takes the PATH at night).

As I watched her exit into the rolling crowds of the M.Hill, Mr. MTV turned his attention to me and asked if I needed another drink. I refused while nodding my head in agreement. Intrigued by my drunken stupor, he welcomed more company from the liquor that not only heats me up, but makes everyone around me instantly hotter. And thus, in the next 20 minutes, I fell for Mr. MTV.

In the bits and pieces I remember, I imagined him opening doors (both literally and figuratively) for me at his company and attending fancy parties ripe with celebrities. I may have devised a fantasy where he introduced me to Ryan Reynolds at rooftop gala in the middle of June, where he instantly found me irresistible and I left Mr. MTV in a dramatic exit as I whisked away to Paris. Perhaps Rome. Hell, I’ll settle for Madrid, if need be.

Mr. MTV, noticing my inability to focus as he enthusiastically bragged about his corner office (or was it a cubicle with a view?), whispered, “Do you want to go back to my place?” Before I could comprehend, tequila (who knows this dude better than I do, apparently), nodded yes.

In barely enough time to grab my bag and cardigan, I found myself hailing a cab, hand-in-hand with Mr. MTV. “I live, like, really close by, in Union Square,” he reassured. Unable to comprehend my coordinates (or to really care), I again, allowed tequila to control my motions by giving him a slurred, encouraging grin. In what seemed like an eternity but probably equated to ten minutes, Mr. MTV had us heading cross-town to an apartment he lived by himself. Somewhere between allowing him to cram his tongue half-way down my throat, telling me to relax, and he does this sort of thing all the time -I woke up.

I could give it an eloquent name, but in all fairness, it was simply a WTF moment.

As Mr. MTV is chatting with the driver, I looked out my window to catch a glimpse of a familiar landmark and realized what I was doing. As if it was in slow motion, I looked down to see my hands, still stamped from the beginning of the evening. I wiggled my fingers to make sure they still had feeling. I was glad to find, they did. I checked to see if I had everything with me that I started with and minus an earring, I thought, “Good job, Linds. All together.”

But then the sobering side of me argued, “Um, no. Look again. You’re a hot mess. Where are you going?”

So, without a word to Mr. MTV or gaining enough courage to look at him, I shouted to the cabbie to stop. Maybe the driver had been in this situation enough times, but he pounded the brakes immediately. Without hesitation, I threw open the door, stumbled my way ten steps across the street, shot my hand in the air, and magically, another yellow-and-black carriage swept me away to a place much better than the place I was heading: home. Alone.

Sometimes it is easy to know when it is time to walk away.

Unfortunately, most of the relationships that leave the most damage aren’t created and ended in a matter of hours. They are often the ones that are a collection of times where we depend on our staying graces as much as we peer over at our boots-made-for-walking, and the ones that Katy Perry claims are measured by fluctuating temperatures. They are the ones encompassed by exhaustion and often leave us, just as I was in my tequila haze, one hell of a mess. And though we know it is so not right and against our better judgment, we always stick around. Because somehow we think – or we convince ourselves- there’s a way for it to work out. If we can only get over one thing, if we can only be brave enough to stick around while he makes up his mind, or if we can establish a scenario where he’ll miss us. That’s when we will be justified in our one-night stand or our shouldn’t-have-lasted-as-long-as-it-did.

Maybe for some couples the patience pays off and the rewards are plenty.

But most of the time, tequila (or denial) comes in the form of syrupy romantic notions that against all other rational thought processes, tells us to keep going and going, when really, it’d be best to steer away from another tall drink of complication. Because while shots in a glass can be difficult to swallow, a shot to the broken heart and at our swollen pride, burns much longer. It is only when the rose-colored glasses are removed and the love drunk haze wears off that we see a relationship or a man for what he really is: a bad idea that’s best left on Saturday night (or in the past), where he belongs.

A Case for Unsettling

Most of the fodder I get for this blog comes from conversations I have…or ones I overhear. One of the blessings of living in a city is the surplus of people and their oblivious nature regarding who is listening to their words. Or really, the sense of comfort everyone seems to have with strangers, friends they’ve know for five years or five minutes – the city doesn’t sleep and it’s people are unmindful in admitting who they’ve slept with.

Perhaps in a time to come, I’ll be the same. But for today, I’ll just write about it.

Recently, a friend of mine and I were walking through the village, discussing what the best of friends discuss best: sex and love. Unafraid and uninhibited by the fear of judgment – we spoke openly and freely, carelessly and candid. Both of us, in our own respect, have each had our fair share of experiences and as it always seems to do when two 20-somethings discuss the perils of Manhattan mating, the rhetoric inevitably turns to questions. Well, what do you think? Do you think marriage is an illusion? What constitutes as cheating? Do we ever really know the people we are in relationships with? What is all this love stuff, anyways – and how in the world do I make it go away? (But wait, do  want it to?)

My friend has this ridiculous obsession with chocolate chip cookies, but not the ones as big as the ones that are as big as my face and sold in trendy bakeries off of Waverly and Perry. Nope, they prefer those 50 cent goodies we all carried in our lunchboxes in grade school. As cheap and chewy as these suckers are, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stopped to grab them -or the number of instances I’ve given in and asked for a bite. Maybe two.

Nevertheless, as we’re walking through the Bodega, in search for this prized commodities, I ask, “Well, sex is one of those things that can’t be compromised. If it isn’t good, if your drives don’t match, then you can’t seriously stay in the relationship.” Still in search for the cookie-that-must-be-bought, my friend replied, “Yes, I feel that way. But not everyone needs passion.” Astonished by this revelation, I reply, “What’s the point in being in a relationship if you’re not madly in love? Why give up your opportunity to meet someone you could be crazy about to be without someone who is mediocre?”

Excited to have found a few packs and distracted by the cashier, they matter-of-factly stated: “Think about it – they get along fine, the sex is somewhat good, and they are ready to get married. So they do. I mean, it saves on rent.”

And thus is the mantra for settling in New York.

I may have a few unreasonable expectations about the man I ultimately want to be with – like the fact I’ve never dated under 6’0″. But I’m well aware that some standards are not actually qualifications, but preferences. Sure, there are non-negiotables (I won’t date someone without a job or with a heart that’s described lack-luster at best) – but most things can be compromised. Especially if the person actually finds a way to throw me a line or show me a move I’ve never seen or felt before.

However, as much as I realize and accept my ideal man may turn out to be far from the image I’ve constructed in my mind – if there’s one thing I won’t settle for, it’s love. He may be in a profession I would never have pictured myself intrigued by (truth be told, I’ve stuck to businessmen pretty consistently) or sport a look that’s never made me take a second look. He may not come from the background I’d prefer and we may not share some of the syncing interests I’ve had with boyfriends of the past. He may not be the wildest I’ve had or the man to push me to my furthest limit. He may not give me hell or the giggles.

But he, whoever he is, will be unlike any love I’ve known before. I will not place a price on passion or release those desires into a land where they’ll never be fulfilled.  Because, at least when you’re single, there’s always a hope for something that’s better than the one before. And if you’re tied down when you’d rather be with someone who is your real partner- your eyes will wonder. Along with your hands and your mind. Or worst of all, your heart. And by settling for less than you desire to fill a need that’s ultimately void – you waste their’s and your’s time. Not to mention, the prospect of making a cut where it is unjustified and penetrating wounds that could take longer to heal than the length of the phoney relationship.

So here’s a case for unsettling: why should I lock myself into something I know I’d one day leave? Why would I be with someone who checks off boxes but doesn’t give me that intensity or doesn’t grow with the same steady velocity that I do? Why stick around and ditch the single status for something with an expiration date? If it’s sour going in, it’ll be unbearable when it leaves.

And while there may be things that I’ll dismiss in order to allow a promising person into my life, if I don’t know they are the person for me, I won’t stick around for the purpose of settling down. Because frankly, the idea of lowering the level of love I’d like to find is more unsettling than being alone.

The Trouble With Happy

Returning from a networking event that filled me with excitement and an accelerated drive, I found myself cursing the cursor blinking in front of me. I didn’t know what to write – and that’s a big problem.

As an editor – a young one at that – it is part of my job responsibility to have fresh, modern ideas. I’m supposed to produce proposals that knock the stilettos off of editors two to 20 years my senior. These angles, these formulas, these stories are all brewing inside of me, prepared to burst at the printers of the glossies I’ve always imagined seeing my byline in.

So why is it, that when I sit down to write this blog, which historically has taken me maybe half-an-hour to write, I find myself lost for words? Dried up of stimulation to string together words discussing my love life or my views toward sex, relationships, and all that romantic jazz that causes so many stumbles?

I mean, what’s wrong with me?

Concerned by my inability to do what I’ve always considered my best ability, I called out to Mr. Possibility, who was aimlessly working on a project that’s kept him occupied for weeks. As he usually does, he listened to my frustrations and cautiously tried to hide the smirk painting itself across his chiseled jaw. In desperation I exclaimed, “I have to write! This is what I do. I don’t ever get writer’s block, what’s going on with me? I’m not losing it, am I?”

Wrapping his arms around me and greeting the top of my head with his lips, he asked, “Linds, do you ever think that maybe, you’re just happy? And that’s your problem?”

Hmm. Perhaps that could be possible, Mr. Possibility.

Writing about the trials of being single, how difficult it is to keep your self-confidence at a somewhat high, and learning to love yourself is easy to do when you’re sad. When everything in the world seems to be crashing down or you’re afraid of the walls you’ve built losing their durability against charming men with dimples – sentiments and thoughts flow freely. When a guy is more of a jerk than a gentleman, when a man would rather bone you than phone you, or when Facebook or a friend or a fan reveals something about a someone that makes you reconsider the prospect of “someday” with them – blogs are easy to devise.

But what happens when drama stops dazzling your mind? When complications become uncomplicated? When the road-less-traveled branches off to easy street? When there isn’t anything wrong, yet anything that’s superbly outstanding – but you just find yourself content? If lack of tragedy or anxiety in my dating life or any other facet, causes me to wonder what to write about – does that mean I need to be challenged to be inspired?

Could I be a drama queen and never knew it?

I’m still single, but seeing someone pretty regularly. I’m not overly satisfied with the way I look, but I’ve made an effort to focus on what makes me beautiful, without touching up my makeup hourly in the mirror. I’m not lacking a desire for a mate, but if something were to happen, if things were to fall apart, I have no doubt I’d be able to find my footing. Would I be hurt? Of course. But am I stronger than I was six months ago? Absolutely.

My career is on the track I hoped it would be at this time, and my nights are spent searching and prospecting for the next address I’ll call home. I’ve saved enough money to take an international trip this summer and while my run time isn’t at its peak, it is still strong. I can’t remember the last time I cried or obsessively asked my friends for advice or downed a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

Really, Mr. Possibility is right: I am happy. Perhaps I should knock on some wood for even claiming this right, but it’s the truth.

So maybe I cross a different fork in my journey to self-love: what do you do when everything is fine? When you’re satisfied in your singleness, mostly unafraid of the prospect of a possibility, and secure in the life you’ve created for yourself? Happiness is usually temporary, but when you’re submerged in the oasis it creates, how do you relish without resting in the reassurance? How do I let myself let go of the notion that to write, to be a 20-something, single-something, I have to be upset? Can’t I hold those titles and be pleased?

Maybe drama is easier to portray because when we’re disappointed or aggravated, we feel justified in complaining. We know dozens of people who share our craziness, who approach relationships and love with the same exhaustion, so spewing out the strife of struggles seems natural. But having the bravery to say, “No, really. I’m fine. I’m happy!” – seems like bragging or boasting when we know so many are not at the point in their lives where they want to be. Or able to reach a point of contentment that we have.

Or perhaps we get used to focusing on the bad, instead of the good. Pain is sharper than the warmth of joy. Being depressed seems less risky than imagining the opportunities that could lay in the horizon. Trouble brews and boils easier than the art of just living our lives.

I can’t say how long this bliss will last or determine where it stems from. I can’t say I don’t wonder if it’ll all blow up in my pretty little face tomorrow. But that’s the trouble with happy – if you don’t enjoy it while you have it, then you never should have had it to begin with. So instead of analyzing it or wondering how long it’ll last or preparing myself for the discovery that I’m simply chasing pavement –I’m going to try living. Try being thankful and counting my lucky stars.

And maybe, writing about what it feels like to just be…happy.

Blind Sighted By Me

We may be too young, too old, single, married, divorced, uninterested, obsessive, or otherwise. Yet at the core of every woman, of any background and any social standing – is this desire to be beautiful.

And not just be it, but have others notice the radiance we exude.

Surely, we tell our friends not to compare themselves to other women or to judge our own beauty by the luck of looks some seem to have. We convince ourselves that flaws are what make a person, not break them. That without imperfections, we would all be signed up for the cover of Vogue or to grace Lincoln Center’s runways. We remind ourselves that everyone is truly gorgeous in their own right, and one day, we’ll find someone who simply can’t take his eyes off of us because he is so captivated.

But it’s not easy.

I’m constantly analyzing my life and my ideas toward it – but more than that, I nit-pick the reflection I see. I see the acne. I notice the scars leftover from zits that were. I notice the slight forehead wrinkles I kindly blame on writing. I try to hide my imperfect teeth. I wish my hair would grow longer or decide to be curly or straight, not an unpredictable wavy somewhere in between. I squeeze the love handles I’ve never loved. I wonder why I can’t get rid of cellulite on the back of my thighs, even though I’ve ran nearly everyday for several years. I make a plea to make me grow just a few inches taller than my 5’4” self.

But, I remind myself I’m a pretty woman (I even have the song to keep my spirits up when they start to fall). However, believing I’m beautiful – that my appearance turns heads on the streets – is one of my greatest struggles. New York isn’t a breeding ground for beauty; there are knock-outs everywhere – but  I always find myself encountering women I don’t feel I measure up to. By the standard of attractiveness, anyways.

Not to mention, in my overly idealist notions about how a man should feel about me, view me, and speak to me, I’ve always thought any guy I would end up with or date seriously would have to find me absolutely beautiful. If not, why would he be with me? Doesn’t a man want to end up with the most attractive woman he’s ever met?

Not necessarily.

A while ago, after an intense and passionate romp with a man I loved, I laid wrapped up in our joint perspiration and the simple silence that follows ecstasy. He grazed and kissed the top of my head and the ends of my fingertips as he asked, “You know what I love the most about you?” Dazed but far from confused, I mumbled to him in a state between warmth and sleep. He whispered: “I love that I don’t have to look at you to know you’re beautiful.”

In that moment, his sentiments matched the energy I was emerged in, and I didn’t question how he arrived at this perspective toward me. However, my inquiring mind asked him the next morning, over omelets and orange juice, what he meant.

“Well, Linds. I’ll be honest with you. When I first met you, I didn’t find you that attractive. Not that you weren’t pretty, just not the typical girl I go after. Just by your looks on that day, I wouldn’t have approached you at a bar. It wasn’t love at first sight, or even lust. But what I love about you is that I fell for you – what you say, who you are, what you write. And the longer I’ve known you, the more gorgeous you’ve become. I don’t know how we got here, but we wouldn’t have without you, just being you. Has nothing to do with your body, your eyes, or anything. It’s just you.”

At first, I was highly offended that he didn’t find me outlandishly breathtaking. In remembering the way we met – something right out of a movie – I thought I was looking quite alluring. I even recalled the tight summer dress and heels I picked out that day. But no, he wasn’t impressed. I couldn’t believe that this man I was dating, who I had shared my most intimate self with, didn’t view me lovely from second one.

And then, I thought about it. It’s actually quite the compliment. Without peering at a face of perfection or a body that’s free of lumps – he saw through to the real me. To the me that no one knows when they first meet me, see a picture, or catch my eye. To a me that acts without hesitation, that displays my everything, without making excuses. He wasn’t blinded by my beauty, but blind sighted by me.

So maybe the trick to feeling beautiful is not putting on more makeup or telling yourself you are lovely, no matter the off-the-charts women you cross. But rather, reminding yourself of those things that make you, you. And not physical characteristics, but character traits. Maybe it’s silly to stand in front of a mirror and say, “You’re funny. Really. I mean, people are always laughing around you” or “You give so much to everyone and they do appreciate it. Your charm is not something someone can describe,” – but think about the smile that’ll rise inside of you to admit your positives.

Perhaps beautiful isn’t so much an adjective as it is a state of mind or a place of acceptance. Maybe it is a destination. To be beautiful, to really feel every affirmative connation that comes with the word – you have to internalize it. Without a man, without reassurance from others, without strangers drooling over you, without comparing yourself to every woman you meet.

And especially, without your eyes open.

PS: Jennifer from Cincinnati, OH completed Love Addict’s survey and won a fabulous glass from Lolita and perfume set fromPacifica. Love Addict will be doing another giveaway soon, so make sure to take the survey for your chance to win! Congrats Jen and thanks for reading!

The Good, The Bad, and The One for Me

Motorcycles aren’t my thing. Really. I know they are quite popular among the Southerners I grew up with, but they’ve never oiled my engine. The savage beast inside of me is not tamed by the musings of a musician with a sleeve of tattoos and a knack from strumming strings with precision. A detailed rap sheet or a scent that attracts bar fights aren’t things I’d put down my dream man’s checklist – and they’d be a red flag in a hot minute. I’m not impressed by the number of shots a dude can down or how many women have been nailed up against his bedpost. I really don’t care how fast he can drive his car, no matter how expensive it is.

I’ve never really wanted to date the bad guy. You know – the one who’s flawed around the edges and rough with me. A player or a gangster, a homeboy or unattractive unemployed artist have never caught my eye or held my attention. I may not be entirely specific about what type of person I desire, but I know he doesn’t fit the bad boy protocol.

Well, at least in the traditional sense, anyways.

I have a knack for attracting unavailable men with miles of baggage and disclaimers. Those who make entirely more money than what I would know what to do with and the ones who avoid commitment in ways more clever than my own. They don’t walk on the wild side, but they bring out the wild little freak in me who over analyzes everything to death – with the help of friends over Gchat, Merlot, and mass text messaging. They don’t put me down, but my self-assurance can leave as easily as they have seemed to do, and I’ve admittedly been a doormat a few times, allowing them to walk all over me in the process. They are not crazy or dangerous in any sense, but they make my heart feel like it’s in harm’s way and I go a little crazy for each of them, each time.

A few years ago, as I was describing my most recent opposite-sex induced dilemma, my mother exclaimed, “Lindsay – where do you meet these guys? They are so complicated and have such odd hang-ups. Don’t you ever just date a nice guy?”

In my own defense – I’ve tried dating the really good guy. The one who, on paper, would seem like the best fit for me. Someone who is tall, attractive, comes from a great family, makes a decent living, likes what he does, answers when I call, responds to emails and text timely, doesn’t question his desire to be with me, takes me to nice places, and compliments my eyes. He says all of those things I want to hear, exactly when I want to hear them, and he is never too much, too invasive, too needy, or too anything. He’s just fine.

And that’s the problem.

I’d classify myself as an equal-opportunity dater, give or take a few non-negotiables that I’d never lower my standards for. I do tend to give most everyone a chance –or at least a drink – and see how I feel before writing them off into never, ever land. But generally speaking, I’m a middle-ground kind of girl: I really don’t care for the bad boy in the rock band, but I also don’t find myself gleaming at the guy who has everything together. Or at least the versions of together I’ve met so far in the game.

Does a man need to have visible flaws for me to be attracted to him? Do I confuse passion with a disaster waiting to happen? Am I lured in by an unfinished project, rather than a sturdy hunk of a man? Do I overcompensate the importance of a personality, of a man who makes me laugh, who keeps me on my toes, and continuously guessing? Do I think for a relationship to be successful, it needs to be work? Is a stubborn, charming challenge more alluring to me than one of those easy, simple, All-American boys?

Or is that we all just attract the company we keep? Or the people we really are?

If I’m a little messy, if I’m a gal who will snap back the wit as quickly (if not quicker) than its spewed, if I’m a woman who needs constant intellectual engagement – is that what I’ll find in return? If I’m still haunted by the ghost of past-love, will I inevitably meet men who can’t shake the lingering what-if’s from their last girlfriend? If I’m attempting to figure myself out and see what Manhattan has to offer all in the same breath – will I meet a multi-tasker, just like me?

I’m nor the good girl or the bad one. I’m not the down-and-dirty, hardcore gal, but I suppose I’m not strawberry shortcake and lemonade, either. I can be messy, I can be indecisive, I can be all over the place – so why wouldn’t I be intrigued by a man of the same manner? After all, isn’t imitation the highest form of flattery?

The nice guys are always irritated by the women who won’t give them a chance and will say they always finish last in the pack. The bad guys on the other hand, don’t really seem to give a damn who finishes where. Maybe the reason I find myself searching in the gray area between the one with wings and the ones who gets high enough to think they have wings – is because I’m search of myself. I’m always looking for answers, so I want someone who is willing to think a little more out of the box. I’m going to get upset and I’m going to be less than polished and classy at times, and I need to be around someone who accepts me as I am. I’m not an extremist but I also would never be satisfied by a life that’s painted with mediocrity. Any investment I’d make with my money would be on something that I felt was worth the risk or the time, but part of the thrill, is in making the wager. If I don’t feel like I have something of value, by my own standards, something that I would hate to lose, why would I go for it at all?

Maybe the good guys are meant to show us what we should want, while the bad ones are designed to tease us with what we shouldn’t. But they each show us the life we don’t want to have forever, and are merely ideas of futures we’ll never experience. They show us the different sides, varying scenarios we’ve imagined, but they also give us a reflection into our own psyche. At whatever point in our life we’re at, that’s the partner we’ll decide to pact with. The way the good guy gets the girl or the bad guy steals her away- isn’t based on the men themselves, but the woman who choses what’s best for her, right then, right at that moment. There’s no way to determine if she’ll go left or right – or go straight into the army of middle ground again.

But somewhere, between the ones who brings me to my knees and the one who would get on their knees for me- is the man, who is good for my life, bad for the attention-span, but perfect for me.

PS: Jennifer from Cincinnati, OH completed Love Addict’s survey and won a fabulous glass from Lolita and perfume set from Pacifica. Love Addict will be doing another giveaway soon, so make sure to take the survey for your chance to win! Congrats Jen and thanks for reading!

The He’s & the She’s of Me

He is the one who showed me what it felt like to make love like a woman. She convinced me that I could, in fact, make a living as a writer. He made me believe that love is never quite what you expect. She introduced me to the miracle that is the Miracle Bra. He made me addicted to sushi. She taught me  to be a best friend, sometimes the best remedy for anything is a little wine and a hell of a lot of nodding along. He showed me everything I never wanted in anyone and how to walk toward something that’s might be worth the risk. She gave me the friendship ring that would remain in each and every jewelry box I’ve ever owned. He opened my eyes and my heart to the exhilaration that comes from liberating yourself from self-imposed rules. She held me steady and made me exhale with a single text message thousands of a miles away.

People have entered my life in a variety of fashions – through a friend, through a class, through a shared interest, through a job interview, through a blog post, through an affinity for Mac Viva Glam #5 lipstick, and even through public transportation. The ways the faces of the he’s and the she’s cycle through my life, some staying longer than others, seems magically planned by a divinity that I can never entertain. By a force, that no matter how I may try, I can never reckon with.

If you ask your mother or your best friend who both try to say the right thing at the right time – they’ll tell you that people come into your life to teach you something and that the higher power of your own belief gives you what you need, no necessarily what you want. And if your fate director is anything like mine, my life always has playful and unexpected turns that makes every experience unpredictable.

Last night, New York was radiating in 50 degree weather, making my blazer, jeans, and high heel trio a hit on the streets. Between the blinking buildings and the waves of sidewalk congestion, an encouraging wind made its way to me. And in a language that only someone who loves the city as much as I do can understand, something spoke to me. It went straight to my core, dismissing any chills, barriers, or worries and it promised me that I’m always exactly where I’m meant to be…

…with whoever I’m meant to be with or without.

Time, sweet, time has a funny little rhyme about it, but I’ve somehow managed to always have exactly who I need, exactly when I needed them the most. Even if at the moment we met, became friends, fell into bed, or had our first date, we couldn’t understand why in the world we came to be whatever we were.

Sometimes that second chance I would have done anything to be given comes in the form of a person I didn’t initially desire or in an opportunity I would have missed if the someone I wanted back, didn’t leave. Those prayers that I brought me to my knees over and over again, desperately needing a solution to the trouble brewing in parts I didn’t know could feel pain – turned out to be best left unanswered. The partners in crime growing up that I surely couldn’t imagine myself without, have become strangers whose name only pops up on Facebook occasionally – but I don’t mind. The miles that seemed to separate me from where I was and where I knew I belonged disappeared in an hour-and-half plane ride that was delayed two hours. Those dreams I dreamed, those men I melted into, those friends who knew my deep dark secrets, those days where the second-hand couldn’t have gone slower, turned into memories signaled by simple reminders in uncommonly common places.

But the trick of it all is to take people for who they are. To realize that only one man will be meant forever, the rest are merely chapters and courses to pass before the final exam. To know that the person who knew you best five years ago, most likely won’t be the same lady who plays the part of best friend in a decade. To be able to see when a relationship, a friendship, or something undefined has run its course, or maybe, is finally getting the fresh start it needs.

To know that time and space, miles and hours are sometimes temporary and sometimes forever. To remind yourself that while your heart wonders if you’ll feel that thing again, if history is an indicator of anything, you know you will. To accept that not everyone will give you what you need or be able to give you what you want – but the good ones, those worth the trials and the work, will do what they can to make you happy. To let people go when they want to leave and fight for the ones you know you’d regret to see walk away. But if they do anyways, rest assured someone else will eventually fill the shoes and perhaps be even better suited to you.

Without certain interactions, each relationship, or the phone calls that lasted for hours, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. People may try to break you, but in so many ways, they make you. Some I may never see again and a few I may be lucky enough to know a lifetime, but regardless, I’m glad to have met them and I thank them for molding me into the woman I am. While I’m not sure if life is a series of fleeting images and experiences that become part of my past faster than they were part of my present – I do know all of the people I’ve met are the he’s and the she’s of me.