Relationships

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Why girls aren’t asking YOU out

Monday, March 9th, 2009

The way I see it,

1) If a guy is interested in me, he should have the guts – spine – balls – to do something about it.

2) If he is interested in me and does NOT have the guts – spine – balls – to do something about it, then he’s not really someone I want to be with anyway.

3) If he is not interested in me, he is not asking me out.

In any case, I leave it up to him.  It’s as simple as that.

(Andy Merrick, you know I love you – you and your many, many words on the subject.  Are you ever going to finish your series, slacker?)

In the spirit of tomorrow’s holiday

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Here in America, we are taught that all men are created equal.

So no one should be “out of one’s league,” right?

We try to pretend that everyone deserves a fair shot – that there are no “leagues” – but when it comes to love, we employ our own silent caste system. We say that attraction is not the most important thing, but our relationships (and sometimes lack of relationships) tell a different story. We agree with John Lennon and sing, “All you need is love” – yeah, that… and a job, and a hot body, and chemistry, and a quick wit, and these days, a blood test.

I don’t know how anyone ever gets married.

Don’t get me wrong – these are not the rantings of a bitter and cynical woman. I WANT to fall in love – those of you who know me know that my heart is still soft. I hope that it happens for me someday. But I’m perplexed. I don’t understand how it ever happens – how the stars align, bringing the right people together at the right time. I don’t want to settle – but as Andy Merrick recently wrote:

“We’re acting like a contestant on Deal Or No Deal. We’re making this a game. We KNOW you’re interested in us. We have you. Maybe you’re the $500,000 case. But we’re greedy. We think there’s a $1,000,000 case out there. We don’t know for sure, but we’re hoping.”

Are we being ridiculous? Are we hoping for something that just does not exist? It’s like we’re designing our own paint-by-number mates, and unless everything fits just perfectly – the exact perfect color within the exact perfect lines – then we hold out for something (and someone) “better.”

Sheesh. I wish it was easy – easy like Sunday morning.

But never fear! Contrary to what many men assume about single women, I am not going to spend Valentine’s Day crying in my pajamas, eating peanut butter off of a spoon and cursing the boy who broke my heart in high school. Sometimes, I’ll admit, I get a little bit sad about being single, but it seems to me that I’m in good company. And this year, my holiday weekend is full of so many delightful things, it’s insane.

My favorite little wood sprite (and the closest thing I have to a soul-mate), Greta Girl, is flying in tonight.

greta

Seriously, could I HAVE a cuter friend?

A group of us are spending Valentine’s Day at the Bluebird Café to hear Josh and Meg play – Lovebirds at the Bluebird (awwww!).

joshmeg

Aren’t they the best? I want them to adopt me. They kind of already have. I’m practically their love child.

We’re attending Charlie Hardin‘s CD release at the Rutledge on Monday night.

charlie

Charlie is one of my favorite musical discoveries here in Nashville – amazing songs, and an astounding voice. If you live here, you should come to this show. His EP is called “Hollywood Be Thy Name” – how could it NOT be good?

Also, I plan on exercising my love languages several times this weekend.

wineandcheese

Because after all, all you need is love… and in my case, some beautiful friends and a glass of Syrah.

My ideal world (in iambic heptameter)

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

If everything were up to me, I tell you what I’d do:
I’d always have a good hair day and never have the flu.
I’d sleep in ’til whenever and I’d stay up ’til it’s late,
My bank account would overflow and then I’d celebrate.
I’d eat whate’er I wanted and I’d never gain a pound,
And since red wine would not stain teeth I’d never have to frown.
My temp job of a year would not turn out to be a tease,
The boss man would not tell me that they’re in a hiring freeze.
My family and my friends alike would live in the same place,
We’d see each other often but we’d still maintain our space.
I’d find a boy who loves me who would lift my heavy bags,
But I don’t want a man that I can tranquilize and tag;
For I am strong and I am not afraid to take a chance,
But I don’t want to be the one who has to wear the pants.
Some coffee in the morning, conversation late at night,
And in between, I’d write and write and write and write and write.
I’d grow in truth and knowledge as I walked from year to year,
The love of God would feed my faith and starve away my fear.
The sun would shine when I was glad and hide when I was glum,
And everyone would know that without ME it’s just AWESO.

E is for eHarmony

Monday, August 25th, 2008

This is a risky topic. It makes me want to throw up just thinking of you all reading about this subject in association with my name – especially since now you can probably google “is Annie Parsons on eHarmony?” Nevertheless, I want to talk about internet dating.

Not necessarily FOR ME. Just IN GENERAL.

Thoughts? Comments? Good idea? Bad idea? Worthwhile? Desperate? Genius?

And JUST FOR THE RECORD, I am not thinking about signing up, so don’t go looking for my profile on Match.com – although, let’s be honest, I could probably throw together a riveting profile [*rolleyes*, for all of you literalists out there]. I’m just curious to know what you, my esteemed readers, think of the concept. I’m intrigued by your thoughts, in the same way I might be if I asked about, say, the best way to barbecue a pork chop. Not something I’m looking to do anytime in the foreseeable future, but who knows, WHAT ABOUT SOMEDAY?

So. Opinions?

By the way, I have it on good authority – mine – that I have some of the coolest, smartest, most date-worthy blog readers in the land, so just think: your thoughts and comments could help contribute to what might become the internet’s PREMIER source of wisdom about internet dating (i.e. the comment section of this blog entry). Together, we can change the world… wide web.

Numbers 1 through 10

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

I have been sitting here for almost 4 hours, trying to write something. Anything. It doesn’t need to be a blog, it doesn’t need to be a song – but could I just find the right words to communicate something? My creativity seems to have ground to a halt.

However, here is what I know today:

1) I am incredibly happy to see fall attire showing up in department stores and boutiques. I have not had expendable income for some time, and so I don’t expect that I’ll be getting my grubby little mitts on any new clothes anytime soon. But just the sight of light-weight sweaters, muted colors, and “transition pieces” gives me hope that the autumn is (slowly, painfully) on its way. THANK YOU GOD.

2) The other day, I found myself casually chatting with Kix Brooks about his recent experience running with the bulls. A few hours later, I baked cookies for the ex-cons across the street. When I moved here, there was no way for me to know what sorts of people would be brought into my life. But I have been delightedly surprised by the variety.

3) There are billboards next to the Nashville Zoo boasting “Tim Macaw!” and “Zebra McEntire!”

4) I have not been to Seattle for over 3 months now, which is the longest in 8 years I’ve gone without a visit. I have no current plans for a visit, and no resources to make a trip happen. It makes me so sad, especially when I think of breathable air. I have to live there again at some point. When it comes down to it, Seattle is home. Seattle will always be home.

5) I am grateful for my little buddy’s life, and hopeful for his future.

6) I have another show lined up for next week – which means that I’d better get busy practicing my guitar. I can’t play the same songs again! Oh, the stress…

7) Are my brother and sister-in-law rocking the house these days, or what?

8) I am feeling ready to end my much-longer-than-anticipated stint as The Temptress. But I will only take another job if it’s a good fit. Does anyone want to hire me? I’m like a Swiss Army Knife – I can do whatever you need me to do.

9) Sarah came and got her bed yesterday, so I am reduced to sleeping on an air mattress (not this one) until further notice. It’s not so bad. It’s like fancy camping. This morning, I drank my coffee in bed while watching an episode of “Felicity” on my laptop. So, really fancy camping.

10) I really love horses. I think that most little girls go through a “horse phase” – usually sometime between the “doll phase” and the “boy phase.” I went through the “boy phase,” and am weirded out to say that I THINK I CAME OUT OF IT. No more “boy phase” – too much drama. Back to horses.

Because I’m feeling ballsy

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Lately, I have been made acutely aware of a certain discord in romantic relationships between people of my generation. Now, I am not currently dating anyone. However, these observations have come from my own experiences as well as those around me – I’m not pointing the finger at any one person, or any one gender, for that matter. I’m just going to share my thoughts, simple as they may be.

If you’re feeling particularly sensitive today, maybe you should take some deep breaths before reading this. Are you ready? Consider yourself warned.

I have noticed that most humans are looking for fulfillment. In my experience, women generally look for that fulfillment in the context of relationship, while men generally look for that fulfillment in the context of autonomy.

I said generally. Stop bristling.

So when men and women interact, and coexist, and begin to let their guard down with each other, generally a conflict rises out of the tension between what they are each looking toward for fulfillment: the woman tends to look to the man, while the man tends to look away. The woman asks, “Do you love me? Do you think I’m beautiful? Am I worth it to you?” And the man says, “I can’t be responsible for you. I’m not ready to commit. I need to be free.”

The man sees the woman as needy. The woman sees the man as an asshole.

I propose that we need to stop looking toward the wrong things for fulfillment in the context of romantic relationships. Women need to stop expecting the man to fulfill her. Men need to stop looking toward independence to fulfill him.

Again. GENERALLY.

Women, we need to stop asking the hubba-hubba man to dictate our worth. If the God of the universe created us, and knows us inside and out, and calls us worthy and beautiful and captivating, then honestly, what else do we need? A man is just a man. He’s never going to be enough to fulfill us – it’s unfair to expect that of him. And a man’s opinion of us – favorable or otherwise – happens to have absolutely no bearing on our worth. So maybe we should just start trusting that our worth is already determined, and nothing can ever change that. Let’s rest in the fact that we are LOVED, and move forward into our relationships with confidence. We’ve been watching too much of “The Notebook.”

And men, maybe it’s time that you stop looking toward experiences and autonomy and wild adventures to fulfill that hole inside. Being in a healthy relationship with a good woman will not be an emasculating thing – in fact, some of the most honorable men I know have told me that their marriages have been the biggest and best adventure that one could possibly embark on. That restless ache inside of you is not going to be fulfilled by freedom or the mountains or the ability to sow your oats or a lack of responsibility. That hole is only filled when we ask God, “Who do you say I am?” I have watched too many men turn their back on good, substantial women, for fear of being “tied down.”

What do I know? Am I hypocritical? I’m just a 25-year old single girl who, trust me, does NOT believe these things easily. I want a man to come and sweep me off my feet and tell me that I am beautiful and that he will never, ever leave me. I really want that – and I have asked for it and expected it. But as a result, I have been severely disappointed and deeply hurt by numerous guys. It has felt unfair. It has left me tempted to launch into bitter diatribes at weddings, and bridal showers, and every time I get another Save-the-Date card in the mail. I am definitely a person in process.

But I invite you to be a person in process alongside me. Because the way that it’s going isn’t working.

A stack of love letters

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

Yesterday, I spent upwards of 5 hours shredding documents at my work. I filled 6 Hefty bags full of confetti, and succeeded without getting a single paper cut. I only jammed the shredder once, and wound up completely sweaty from the heat of the hulking machine. At financial companies, they don’t mess around with their shredders – they invest in high-powered, serious beasts.

And so, feeling incredibly satisfied from my completion of the monumental shredding task, I was reminded that I had a stack of papers at home that I have been meaning to shred. I brought them in today, ready to feed them to the grating teeth of the destroyer. Some old bank statements, credit card applications, and…

Some letters. Letters from ex-boyfriends.

I’ve had this stack of letters for a while. While dating each of these guys, I saved cards and notes, and printed out certain emails, positive that these words were going to be important memories to share with our hypothetical-someday-grandchildren.

I don’t know a girl who doesn’t, on some level, think this way.

When I moved out of my apartment in Seattle last summer, I purged myself of so many unnecessary things. But for some reason, I bundled up these letters. I couldn’t get rid of them. They reminded me of the existence of love – and that maybe it could happen for me again.

Recently, I started feeling like maybe these letters – filled with once-meaningful, but what I now see as cheap words and empty promises – were weighing me down. Why was I holding on to them?

I mean, really: these are the same guys that propelled me to write a song that ends, “I don’t have much heart left to break.” Why keep any – any – remembrance of them? Good riddance, right?

So I brought them to work today. To shred the hell out of them.

But before I did, I took one last read-through.

And call me crazy, but I cannot destroy these letters.

Some of the kindest words ever bestowed on me are in these letters. I had to re-read certain paragraphs, baffled by the pure goodness and generosity and love that had, at one point, been poured out onto me. I had forgotten how these words felt. These words bring life. And though I am not expecting a resurrection of romance with any of these guys, these letters make my heart believe in the connection between two humans. They remind me that I actually do have a lot of heart left to break.

And that’s a good thing.

Maybe someday, I will shred, burn, bury these letters. But not today. I can’t do it today.

A duo

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

For those of you who have not had the pleasure, allow me to introduce you to one of my favorite friends, the delectable Ms. Miranda Drost.

Miranda and I have been on a simultaneous long-time quest to become the “Coolest Women Alive.” We are continually congratulating each other on our moves of bad-assery, from excellent haircuts to simply telling it like it is. She is the only person I know who walks as fast as I do – a 6 mile lap around Lake Union? An hour and twenty minutes, tops. Many a time, she has come to my rescue when I have been drowning in tears and red wine. We are each other’s cheering squad, fan club, and “cooler than a boyfriend” companion. She makes strong Mojitos (my hero), drives a Mazda 3 (double-hero), and has bitch-slapped a lecher at the Matador (cue the confetti). I recommended my financial advisor to her, and in turn, she convinced me that a bikini wax was worth a try. What are friends for, anyway?

Miranda once asked me, “Between the two of us, who would be Oprah, and who would be Gayle?” I answered immediately: “I would be Gayle. You are definitely Oprah.” Miranda has always struck me as the go-getter, the hot verbal genius slaying all the men, the charismatic wise one who belongs in the spotlight; I am content to be the trusty sidekick. So you can imagine my surprise when she responded, “NO! YOU would be Oprah – I’m just the tag-along friend.”

What? Are you serious? I have never thought of myself as a star, and if given the opportunity, will always choose to be the flower against the wall as opposed to the girl center stage. For crying out loud, why else would I want to be a backup singer?

But you know, in the dazzling unremarkable film “The Holiday,” Iris says, “You’re supposed to be the leading lady in your own life.” And in a way, I think she’s right – we are only given our own lives, and our own selves. This is it. This is what I have been given, and this is what I have. I should wholeheartedly pursue the passions of my heart, and open my eyes to the everyday gifts that surround me… without comparing myself to others, and without hiding behind insecurity. I, as Annie, am not perfect… but I do have good things to offer. And I’m always going to be a better “me” than anyone else.

But Miranda would still be Oprah. :)

On loneliness

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007

I feel lonely, kind of all the time.

I am learning to look at this as not a bad thing – but it’s taken a long time for me to reach this perspective. As a little girl, I always had a best friend – that one major person to whom I had undying loyalty, and who had the unspoken and understood privilege of access to every area of my life. No secrets kept, no socializing without the other, and the same was expected from the other person. Utter devotion.

There is safety that comes along with a best friend; you never have to go it alone.

This best friend figure has shifted several times throughout my life – sometimes a girl, sometimes a woman twice my age, sometimes a boyfriend – but as I’ve gotten older, the role has changed. I have several very close friends, and yet none of them fill the role that I became accustomed to as a child; in short, several people are “best” and no one is “best.” I do not have that constant companion, the person that I share every secret of my soul with.

But I think that’s okay.

The more humans that I come into contact with, I realize more and more that everyone just wants to belong – it is our greatest need, our greatest desire. Everyone longs to be known, to be loved and appreciated, and for a place called “home.” I feel it so acutely, and often ask the same question that I would wager that we all ask: “Does anyone really see me?”

Currently, I am in a very interesting, uncertain time in my life. I am asking some major questions about who I am, what I want, where I belong, what I am meant to do, what I am good at, what I love, and where I am headed. I don’t know. I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know. I just don’t know. I have never felt simultaneously more certain and uncertain about my worth, my gifting, and my direction. I wish someone could come along and just tell me, just say, “This is who you are and this is what you’re good at – and this is what you were meant for. Now go do it.”

I feel lonely.

But maybe loneliness isn’t such a bad thing. Maybe it isn’t something to be avoided. We are so quick to numb ourselves these days – avoid bad, scary feelings at all costs by “fixing” the problem. Feel sad? Go shopping. Eat a bunch of food. Drink away the pain. Seek thrills. Hook up with some stranger. Run the other way. Slam the door in the face of whatever ails you.

But maybe we are wrong. Maybe when we feel sad and lonely, we are supposed to just go ahead and feel sad and lonely.

If I had a “best friend,” I’m pretty sure that I would still get lonely. If I was dating someone, or married, or had babies, or had the perfect career, or drove an Audi, or was famous, or had a ton of money, or was insanely smart… I would still get lonely. There is a place inside each of us that will never be reached by anyone or anything else, no matter how much these things resonate with our souls. This is the place that keeps us seeking God; I think we were designed this way on purpose.

Maybe loneliness is simply an indication of our uniqueness. Maybe loneliness acts as a catalyst to lead us to change the world. Maybe loneliness drives us to change, and to seek out adventure. Maybe loneliness makes us free.