I am Armed to the Teeth & I’m Heavy-Set

Hi Darling Ones,

Carnations always make me think of that scene in “Sex in the City” when Berger breaks up with Carrie on a post-it note.

This is kind of a shame, because I really love carnations. They’re not my first (lilies), second (peonies), or third (daisies) favorite flower, but I still love them. They’re criminally underrated. The first flowers I ever got were carnations leftover from a Mother’s Day brunch promotion at Country Kitchen where my mom worked when I was a kid.

I have a tiny cup of carnations on the windowsill. They’re all that remain from some flowers BFK got me after that terrible, no good, very bad week.

Because my brain is a dick, instead of relishing in the childhood joy of carnations, it is fixating on romantic relationships, breaks up specifically. It might not totally be my brain’s fault. I’ve been pondering romantic relationships quite a bit recently.

I can’t seem to decide if I want a romantic relationship or if I just want to get laid on the regular.

My last relationship was stupid and messy. Part of the problem was being involved with a narcissistic liar and part of the problem was me thinking, ala Rob Gordon in High Fidelity, “my guts have shit for brains.” So when I got involved I decided I was going to do the exact opposite of all the things I usually do in relationships. I was gonna be bold about what I was looking for. I was going to be honest and ask for what I needed. And, here’s the part that was dumb, I wasn’t gonna run when I got tiniest urge to run.

After all, my guts had shit for brains. Darling Ones, I should have run. Instead, I put up with oceans of lies and mountains of bullshit because I decided that I was going to love unconditionally. I gave up so much of myself doing emotional work and support for someone who did not return the favor. I did this for someone who could not be roused to ask me how my day was or what I was reading or what I was thinking.

I live for people asking me what I’m reading or what I’m thinking or what I’m listening to. I told them that repeatedly and still I got nothing.

Like the prophet Jack White has said before, “You don’t know what love is, you just do what your told.”

I thought sacrificing yourself and being forgiving about all the things is what unconditional love was about. I also thought if I gave that I would get it in return. That is not true. Not everyone deserves my unconditional love, and unfortunately nobody is required to love me.

I make a lot of jokes about having an ice robot heart, and those are mostly jokes, but I’m not kidding when I say I don’t know how to do romantic love. I don’t know if I’m broken in some fundamental way or what. People keep saying, “you know when you know.” I’m pretty smart and I don’t think I’ve ever known.

Despite being with a lot of men I’ve only ever said “I love you” to one (1) man in a romantic kind of way. I did not mean it. I thought if I said it enough I would feel it, repetition would make it true. It did not, and I’m retroactively angry at myself for saying such a lie out loud with my own mouth. So dumb.

How do most of the people on Earth do this? Did I miss some very fundamental class in high school? WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH ME?

I’m not sad or angry about this so much as frustrated and exasperated. I keep thinking about all this and like I said, I’m not even sure I want a romantic relationship at this point. All I want is a man who will occasionally debate pop culture with me and then want to have sex after. I know this is asking a lot, because I’m really fucking smart and men get intimidated by smart women who are also very tall.

Auuugghh. Emotions and desires. The dumbest. Figuring out what you want. The dumbest of the dumbest.

Frustratedly yours,

P.S. I stole the headline from the song “Good Arms vs Bad Arms” by Frightened Rabbit, because I am armed to the teeth and heavy-set. Much like the song I’m armed with the past, the will, and a brick (and by brick I mean my big mouth, it’s the same thing).

My love of flowers is one of my more embarrassing predilections. It feels kinda cliche and out of character for me. Flowers are so fragile, feminine, and fleeting, which are not words I would ever use in describing anything about me. For years and years and years I would beg everyone I know to get me flowers for my birthday, which is the only gift-giving occasion a single woman has where flowers are appropriate.

This flower-getting campaign worked excellently for many years culminating in getting 30+ bouquets of flowers for my 30th birthday.

Over the years I have backed off. Fresh flowers feel a little frivolous and wasteful. When COVID first hit I pivoted and decided to fall in love with plants, thus the Sadness Garden was born. But I still love flowers and get excited whenever one of my plants produces one.

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