With each new year I take some time to reflect on the things I’ve done, the places I’ve been, and what I’ve learned. This story is inspired by my friend Karissa. I want to give you a brief history of the most significant relationships in my life. These are the 3 relationships I’ve had with men and the 3 relationships I’ve had with women which were all significant so here goes. Also, mom this is where you stop reading.
Also, if this is the first time you’re hearing about me dating women it’s because I don’t go around talking about my love life and generally in life my sexual orientation doesn’t come up. I mean who goes around asking, “So, what you into?”. And two, privacy. No one has to talk about anything they don’t feel like. But the truth is, I fall in love with a person. I don’t see gender I see character, I see integrity, I see love, and I see who I am when I’m with them. I fall in love with a person, not their body parts. Though, those are nice too. No really mom, this is where you stop reading.
first husband, Corrine’s father, my first everything. We met in High School, I was 14 and nerdy, he was in my grade, popular and confident. He made me feel seen when I didn’t feel seen in the world at all. Your teenage years are difficult and we navigated those years together. Getting pregnant, getting married, and then getting divorced. I grew up with him but I had a lot of growing up to do.
What he taught me: how to love. At one point in life, we truly loved each other. He taught me a lot about control. Self control and that you can’t control someone else, you have power over yourself and that’s about it. I lost myself in him which was beautiful and terrible. Love is tricky always but especially tricky when you’re not emotionally mature. I’ll forever be grateful to you for Corrine. The very best of the both of us lives in her, thank you for that R.
Song that reminds me of him: Mariah Carey’s ‘When I Saw You’ came out when we met and I used to play it on repeat and dream about lunch time with him when we wouldn’t actually eat lunch but instead make out for 30 minutes near the cafeteria. Oh young ones.
Favorite memory: He’d drive me to school and we’d blast rap music so loudly (lots of Too Short and Baby Bash) that my ears would ring for the first half of the day and then we’d pass notes to each other during shop class. I still have the first note he ever wrote me. Next,
my first real girlfriend. I started kissing girls in the 8th grade when I realized I liked them (way to go 12 year old me, live yo life), but this was different. She held my hand in public, she was a young mom like me, and I loved the way she handled herself, very composed. We’d listen to music together and dance around the living room when the kids were in bed and drink whiskey. Thank you for my love of whiskey and singing country music with me L.
What she taught me: Have fun outside of being a mom, it’s necessary. Make time for the relationships you want to last, relationships take effort and friendships are relationships.
Song that reminds me of her: Pink anything. We listened to Pink all day.
Favorite memory: Diner dates. We’d go to a diner and talk about life over coffee and waffles and whipped cream. Next,
we met when ‘cruising’ was cool. He rode motorcycles and was detailed and intelligent. He took care of us in a time when I had nothing and was working two jobs to keep it together while everything was falling apart. He helped me get back on my feet and encouraged me to go to college. He taught me the true meaning of being independent. I traveled, went out with friends, and found my passions again because he gave me the freedom to. I’ll forever love motorcycles, fast cars, and my boobs, thank you G.
What he taught me: How to be aware of my surroundings, be a more defensive driver, P.O. Boxes forever, and to stand up for myself. He was in law enforcement so being paranoid in a good way was good. Still is. I always have an ‘out’ no matter where in public I go.
Song that reminds me of him: ‘Nobody’ by Keith Sweat
Favorite memory: late night motorcycle rides through the canyons. He’d wake me up in the middle of the night to hike me around windy roads with cool breezes and star chasing. Next,
we met in college. She was in my 6am English class and wore a hoodie like nobody’s business. Her makeup was dark and in private moments she was sweet and laughed easily. She was driven. She wanted to be a nurse and the first in her family to get a degree. And she did it. I helped her get out of an abusive relationship and she helped me realize my love for taking care of and helping others. She was selfless and fiery. You always called me out on my shit and made me feel safe to talk about things that hurt, thank you for that M.
What she taught me: you must first be able to count on yourself before you can count on anyone else. Never break promises to yourself. That my intuition is always right. And that letting go is a good thing.
Song that reminds me of her: The Pussycat Dolls ‘Watcha Think About That’
Favorite memory: She’d walk me to my Psych class on Tuesdays and Thursdays before she had to go into work and we’d just stroll around campus with breakfast burritos and hot cheetos talking about everything and nothing. She always smelled amazing. Next,
we met when I was married to my first husband. We were just friends then and remained friends after my divorce, always following one another’s lives and supporting each other. Our friendship turned into something more years later and I was in love with her in such a way, we even talked about marriage. She was smart, witty and SO funny! Best snuggler ever and she was never embarrassed to show me affection in public. We remained friends after our breakup and still follow one another’s lives and support each other. You always made me feel so beautiful, desired, and heard. Thank you G.
What she taught me: To be beautiful doesn’t take a fancy outfit and makeup. It takes a genuine smile, some heart, and some silliness.
Song that reminds me of her: We listened to the 90’s a lot together, that whole era brings back great memories.
Favorite memory: one of the first memories I have with her was being in a car and feeling frazzled for some reason. I was still married then. She knelt down and looked at me in my eyes, she touched my arm in a serious but tender way and said, “it’s going to be okay, you’re strong and you have friends and I’m one of them.” Next,
we met on YouTube. I loved his comedy and he loved my … well he loved my everything apparently. He was the first calm relationship I’d ever had. No chaos, no fighting, no toxicity. Being around him felt like a gentle unraveling of knots, he was home and he grounded me. He loved Corrine like his own daughter and took time to nurture their relationship while giving us space to nurture our own. He’s the greatest human I’ve ever met with the largest heart and the kindest spirit. He makes me feel safe and his black belt totally helps his case in making me feel that way. He’s generous, forgiving, and he’s the only person on the planet who can deal with my chaos and my need for it. He throws water on my flames and brings our home peace, and for those reasons and so many more I married him. He is my forever and there is no next for me. You make me smile every day, you make me better, and you’ve shown me true, unconditional, deep love. You make me feel loved, appreciated, and perfect when I’m far from it. Thank you Joe I love you.
What he taught me: How to grow up. He taught me patience, sacrifice and compromise, all of which I suck at. He taught me about finances … ahem is teaching me and ahem I still suck at it. As a single mom I never saved, I never had the money to, cheers to growing pains. He taught me how to love my body, every inch of it because he does. He taught me that it’s okay not to be okay and gives me the space to write in the dark, with sad music blasting, while I shut the world out, as I’m doing now.
Song that reminds me of him: Our wedding song, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” By Sleeping At Last, anything Empire Of The Sun, Meatloaf, and She Is Love which he dedicates to me any time we hear it.
Favorite memory: that one time he fought for me by showing up in the middle of the night with a flower in his ear, looking like a damn movie scene standing outside his car while I walked towards him in a robe. Our entire wedding weekend. The first time we met, he wore an upside down, backwards visor, a blazer, a teeshirt, and said to me, “You smell so good”. It was the first thing he said to me in person. Our hike that he almost killed me on that made it into our vows. So many!
So there it is. Do you like stories like this? Let me know in the comments <3 Revisiting each of the loves of my life through this short-not-so-short-story really allowed me to look at each of them with gratitude. So your turn, thank you Karissa for this! Here’s the template she gave me:
One word to sum up your significant other:
A brief description of your relationship (focus on gratitude):
Lessons you learned:
Song that reminds you of them:
I hope you do this, it’s so interesting to me what loves make up our past and present. They’re all so significant if you really think about it. And not from a negative space but to focus on gratitude as she suggests. I actually teared up writing this! Your turn!