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Life is flying by, dang!  Day 11 was January 13th, a Friday.  I will try to summarize…

I sat at my new nail shop allllllll day Friday the 13th with not a single customer.  I finally talked my (step) sister into coming in and letting me give her a full set and then she took me out to dinner and introduced me to a bunch of her friends.

Something I’m learning about (at least this area of) Montana is that going out to eat is more often than not in a bar and drinking is The Thing To Do around here.  We spent probably 5 hours at the bar that night and a few of my sister’s friends were already sauced when we got there… by the end of the night everyone but me was too drunk to drive – I had only consumed one rum and coke, most of one shot of something apple flavored, a sip of two other drinks and 3 Dr. Peppers, with a full meal towards the beginning of all that, lol.  I actually had a great time hanging out with my sister and her friends, even drunk they were great people, happy, friendly, lots of hugs and laughter.  I really enjoyed myself that night and left with a great fondness for each of them.

The next day, Saturday the 14th, I sat at  the nail shop all day again and again, no customers.  And I was out of family to call in and work on for free just for something to do.  Panic starts to set in.  I had just committed to paying for space at the nail salon and had paid the first two weeks up front in cash, leaving me with $100 for the next six weeks… but there wasn’t any walk-in traffic on what is normally the two busiest days of the week.  Granted, it was January (the slowest month) and the weather was below zero so nobody was out and about who didn’t absolutely have to be but I had no other source of income than that spot in the nail salon, my only other skills are secretarial and those jobs don’t happen quickly and require working during school hours. So unless I could find a spot as a Walmart greeter on short notice I had little to no hope of getting any other job at all.  My bills are covered through the end of January but February  is coming quick… what do I do?  Anxiety began to ride the heels of panic.

Sunday the 15th I went to church and hung out at the house, reading a book the rest of the day.  It was a nice, relaxing day and I was happy not to have to do anything…   One of Dad’s friends is the worship leader and he was interested in getting me on the team so he asked me to come to the next worship practice and meet the pastor.  I am so excited!  I have missed being a part of a worship team so much.

Monday the 16th – I have one income option left, Uber.  I had signed up to be an Uber driver for Montana way back in July and I was approved, ready to go, all I had to do was open up the app on my phone and accept rides… so I did.  It happened to be Martin Luther King day and the buses here don’t run on Sundays or holidays so I actually did 17 rides that day in a 12 hour period and made over $100!

Wow, wow, wow!  Monday through Saturday I went out every day, driving for Uber, between 12 – 14 hours a day and for the week I made $616. It was long and boring, I spent most of that time waiting for my next ride and several times there was 3 hours in between rides  – but most of the riders themselves were very nice people and the ones that didn’t make it to the “very nice” category were certainly not difficult at all, more along the lines of “indifferent” to my attempts at small talk.  There was an Irishman from Ireland who said he liked MY accent (I didn’t think I had one, lol) and lots of really nice people who welcomed me to town and answered my questions about the city.  My drunk riders were almost all happy drunks – except for the one attorney who was a sad drunk and told me that he didn’t know anything about being an attorney except what the television and movies showed before he made the choice to go into law and then got stuck in a very sad job where he specializes in divorce and child support.  I felt really bad for him, he was so sad…  But I was never in danger from any of my riders and really enjoyed (most of) their company.

I made enough money to go a long ways towards February’s bills.  Uber isn’t something I want to rely on for my full income but in this time period of waiting for the financial aid to kick in it is a perfect job and my stress level went waaaaay down.

Saturday morning the 21st I did go to worship practice, I slept in a wee bit and then went to  the second half of praise and worship practice – just to listen.  I met the pastor and we talked as a group a bit and then the pastor offered me access to the piano in the basement to practice whenever I wanted to, more or less.  I just have to contact him first so he can let me into the church.  After our talk I played the piano for an hour and a half and it felt so wonderful!  I’d been without a piano to play since probably July.  More stress gone…

Sunday the 22nd I went to church with my folks again and the pastor blew me away with his sermon.  The previous week I had thought the message typical and rather unremarkable but this week he talked about placing relationships first when reaching out to others.  His statement “We need to stop trying to clean the fish before we catch them.”  really resonated with me and put into Montana-style words something I have believed for a long, long time.  I can commit to this church wholeheartedly.  More stress gone…

Monday the 23rd school started and let me tell you, this first week has been crazy!  Trying to adjust to waking up at 6:30 in the morning as opposed to 8:30 is rough.  It didn’t help that Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I went out and drove for Uber again for several hours trying to add to my pay-the-bills fund but because of it I have spent this first week of school being so tired that sometimes I’m afraid I will fall asleep while reading the textbook in class, ugh!  Fortunately it sounds like the financial aid might kick in sooner than I was told, I hope so…

The school has lots of students (maybe 30 girls and one married man, lol) and not very much space. Like, I can’t even bring my purse because there’s no place to store it while I’m in class… On top of the 30 or so existing students there are 9 girls in my class of newbies.  Everyone in the entire school is very nice, although some are a little crazy – but I suspect that goes with the territory, ha, ha!  The dress code is black shirts and black tops so all of my nice, professional wardrobe is of no use to me now, except on Fridays (like today) when we can wear jeans and other clothing.  There are two textbooks we learn out of and each student got a duffel bag/kit of supplies, including our very own mannequin head!  On Tuesday five of us newbies decided to carpool from the bigger town we live in to the smaller town the school is in an hour away.  Each of us will drive one week at a time and that brings my monthly gas bill down from almost $400 a month to about $75.  More stress gone…

On Tuesday a total stranger found my ad for nail services on Craigslist and scheduled an appointment online for a pedicure with gel polish tonight, Friday night, and she loved it and plans on telling her friends!  The four girls I carpool with are interested to coming to me to get their nails done and they will show their co-workers and refer me to them as well.  AND some of my Montana sister’s friends are interested in coming to me… my nail business could get started and take off big time this way!

God has been soooooo good to me in this move.  I feel like it was a true leap of faith, not having much of a plan, no immediate source of income, no housing arranged, no job arranged…  I have often looked back and thought, “What on earth did you do girl?  Why did you think this was a good idea?”  but God has met me every step of the way and proven to me every day that this was His idea and He is providing for me, just like He always has, just like He always will.

I am so grateful.

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Well, well, well…  I actually did it, I moved to Montana!

Day 1:  Driving.  Lots of driving.  However this time I downloaded Spotify and signed up for the free month trial of their premium service that lets you download unlimited songs to play when you’re offline and it made a HUGE difference in the trip.  I somehow managed to get there a half hour before the map said I should.  Oops…  I got to my folks house, we visited for a bit and  then I go to sleep on the (very narrow) couch in the living room upstairs.

Day 2:  I drove the hour or so to the town with the school, talked to a teacher and confirmed that I am indeed signed up and ready to start on the 23rd.  The financial aid guy was out so they said he would call me.  They also told me about a ride-share program in the bigger city my folks live in which would make it feasible for me to live there instead of in the little town where the school is.  Thoughts start to bubble in my head…

I then stopped at 5 nail salons looking for a job.  Nothing.  Zip.  Nada.  This little tiny town was nearly dead as far as nails were concerned.  Huh.  So then I go to two employment agencies and make an appointment for an interview with one, take the application of the other and turn in a separate application at a restaurant.  I leave a message at the homeless shelter I had pegged as my last – and only – hope for housing close to the school and then hit up the local Salvation Army office to see if they have any resources available to me.  No job, no housing either.  Huh.  I look up homeless shelters in the bigger city and put one on my list of places to check out the next day.  I head back to my folks place knowing that it was unreasonable to expect to find housing and a job in one day but I am still a bit disappointed.  A sense of urgency sets in because it was 13 below that day and no matter how determined I am to make this work that’s just way too cold to live in my car…

I get to the house and my dad’s like “Sis, let  me show you my downstairs computer room”.  Ummm… OK, I’ve been there before, maybe he’s changed it or something?  We go downstairs, it’s him, my step-mom (who I call mom) and me.  He says “Would this work?” and points to the (wider) couch in his computer room.  I shoot a quick look at Mom because she has made it clear she really doesn’t want me to live there and she’s in agreement that I can stay “for temporary”  or until my student aid kicks in and I can get my own place.

Wow!  That was totally and completely unexpected and I am so blown away!  I say thank you over and over again and sleep on the downstairs couch that night.  (It was so much more comfortable than the upstairs one!)

Day 3:  Housing worries are gone for the immediate future, now I just need to find a job.  Craigslist only has two nail salon postings so I call the first one and set up an appointment with Mary to see her space.  It’s a booth rental, something I overlooked in the posting but was what I wanted to do originally when I thought about moving to Montana before I decided to go to school full-time.  (Booth rental means I pay a set amount every week and provide all of my own supplies but keep 100% of my earnings.  Commission means I get a percentage of my earnings but they provide all the supplies.)  Mary is very nice, I like her a lot.  She sounds like a good business woman and has excellent communication skills.  Her space is reasonable according to my research, it’s $80 a week for the first four weeks, $100 a week for the two weeks after that and then $125 every week thereafter.

I’m nervous.  That seems like a lot of money right now when my funds are so limited but I can totally set my own hours, work late into the night after school and take time off whenever I need to.  It’s the start of my own salon working out of someone else’s building.  There are so many positives here and the only negative is that I have no existing clientele here and with it so cold and snowy it will be hard to get walk-ins for a while.

I commit to renting her space.  God has provided for me so far, He will continue to do so.

Day 4:  I drive the 7 hours back to where I came from for my younger daughter’s 20th birthday.  I tried not to speed this trip and arrived right about when I should have.  I took my daughter to her favorite seafood restaurant for her birthday since her father had claimed dinner on her actual birthday. We had a good time and I realized that we have celebrated her birthday at that same restaurant for the last three years so that was pretty cool.  I went back to my friend’s house that I had stayed with since October to spend the night.

Day 5 and 6:  One of the biggest reasons I came back as early as I did was to go donate plasma and get my second donation in a week (which earns the most money).  The donation center was closed!  Well there goes $50 I was counting on…  Crap.  And then it snowed and snowed and snowed.  My car did just fine in the snow and I know how to drive in it so I thought I could drive for Uber (since I’m all signed up) and it should be busy with the bad weather but nooooo… I’m signed up for Uber in Montana and to switch between locations takes 2 – 3 weeks.  Another opportunity to make money lost.  In the end I took my friend to get her first tattoo and then we stayed home and watched a lot of movies.

Day 7:  My younger daughter’s actual birthday.  I went to the mini storage where they had a sign at the entry saying something about due to inclement weather they have plowed access to the units but if I cross the berm and get stuck they weren’t going to get me out.  Allrighty then, seems a little unfriendly but in I go.  And their version of “plowing access” to each unit shows they must have worked for the government at some point in time.  One of my two units was in an area that hadn’t been plowed at all and I followed the ruts left by someone else.  A worker was there and he said “Don’t get stuck”.  Gee thanks.  I get what I need from that unit and then go to the other.  For this one a plow had come one time and plowed a path down the center of a very large lane between two buildings.  It had snowed after the plow came so on top of where it had been cleared was another 2 inches or so of fresh snow.  I obediently stay on the path and wade through 3 – 4 inches of snow and water slush.  I had about an hour to sort through what I could and move things into my car.

I thought I made good time but with the weather I was still 10 minutes late to having lunch with my older daughter who said “That’s OK, I’ve come to expect it.  Seriously?  We’ve been having meals together for over a year now and frequently I’m there way before her, saving a seat and waiting for her to show up and she’s usually on time.  Maybe a quarter of the time I was late but apparently that’s all she remembers.

I thought we had a pretty good lunch, we talked about all the usual things we talk about.  I asked her if she had conveyed my offer of friendship to her future step-mother and she said yes but didn’t have an answer for me and the conversation moved on.  I ask questions about her life and she gives me short answers that don’t encourage follow-up questions.  She doesn’t ask me anything about my life so I tried to volunteer that I found a place to work and she says “I saw that.  I stalk your other Facebook page sometimes”.

Why won’t she just ask me what she wants to know?

I ask her if she’d like to be friends on my new page.  Some background here – I created the second page after I left her father so that I would have a safe place to express my feelings (hopefully) without hurting hers and her father’s.  Her father unfriended me from my original page right away when I did that (even though we were still officially trying to work things out and stay together at that time) but she didn’t unfriend me and while I stopped posting things on that page I use it to catch glimpses of what she’s doing, even though she doesn’t hardly post anything.  She didn’t say yes.  In fact she said she was thinking of quitting Facebook altogether because she never posts anything.

That doesn’t really answer my question…

While I puzzle over her non-answer we have more conversation and then I realize something.  I know she tells her father everything – or nearly everything – that we talk about.  If I give her access to my  new page will she show it to him?  Now to be fair, I try not to post things that are really detailed about my life.  I mostly do a bunch of memes that speak to me, Snapchat pictures and a few, general updates about my life.  But it’s my personal space that I feel comfortable in, knowing he can’t see the things I mark for “friends only” and I don’t see any reason to change that right now.  I tell her “If your father wants to be my friend on Facebook he can ask me, I just don’t want to be stalked”.  She looked at me quizzically and shrugged and the conversation moved on.  We said goodbye, she left to go shopping with her soon-to-be stepmother and I left to have birthday coffee with my younger daughter.

Birthday coffee was fun, she brought a few friends and we hung out for a bit and then they left and I went to buy nail supplies from my Vietnamese sister’s supply shop.  It was great to see her again and she said the next time I’m in town to let her know early and she and her other sister will take me out to eat.  Way cool!

Then it’s off to dinner with my sister, we went to a pizza place we had never been at and in the middle of it my ex called me.  Which was the subject of my last post.  ‘Nuff said.

Day 8:  I intend to go donate plasma one more time to get $20 because every little bit helps, right?  But it took me longer to load up my car than I expected, I’m not sure it ever did stop snowing so the roads were terrible and I just ran out of time.  So not a single one of the opportunities to make money panned out for me on this trip.  Not cool.  I stopped by my old salon and gave them a thumb drive with all the brochures and documents I had created for them on it, got lots of hugs and then said goodbye to the people in the neighboring businesses that I had become friends with.

I have a quick lunch with another friend and then leave town.  The snow had become so bad that two passes are closed, forcing me to take a road I’ve never gone on before.  I probably shouldn’t have left town at all but I couldn’t handle staying, especially after the conversation with my ex the night before.

Most of the way there was so much snow on the road that I could barely tell where the road was at all.  At one point I came across an older couple who had awkwardly “parked” their minivan in a snowbank on the side of the road.  The snow was so deep it came up to the hood of their car and they went so far into it that they were buried all the way to the driver’s door.

The good news is that they were fine.  The bad news is that when I stopped to check on them I drove my car to the side of the road.  The sloped side of the road.  Where my car slid into the giant snowbank and promptly got stuck.  No good deed goes unpunished, eh?

They said they had already called a tow truck and that a sheriff’s officer was on his way back.  I try to get my car out myself.  The (very nice) officer tries to help me, then he gets in my car and tries to drive it out.  Ultimately we just got it stuck deeper.  I overhear the officer say the tow truck is two hours out.  I’m really starting to panic because I can’t afford a tow truck and I really have to pee.  Yes, I have finally come to realize that I don’t actually have enough money to pull off this crazy plan to move to Montana as it is and now I have to pay for a tow truck?  Aye, yi, yi…

I sit and read until the tow truck arrives, trying to take my mind off the fact that I’m screwed and I still have to pee.

The tow truck shows up, the nice officer worked me a special deal of $50 because they’re already there for the other couple and it will be easy to pop me out of the snow bank.  I had a tangent memory that resulted in me realizing that my insurance should pay for the tow! I’ve never had to be towed before so I didn’t even think of it, thank you Jesus!  They got me out of the snow, took my info and I didn’t have to pay a dime so I go on my merry way, still having to pee.

I thought I could make it to the next town but in the end I found a nice pull-out that had been plowed for some historical signs and fortunately nobody drove by while I was parked…

When I finally made it to my folk’s house I had been on the road for 13 hours and 45 minutes.  The roads were beyond horrible and I should never have gone but it was such a good feeling to know I had overcome the road placed before me.  I got this.

Day 9:  I run some errands, pick up some more stuff for my new work place, go have a little meeting with Mary and come home and work on the computer until midnight creating business cards and setting up a free online scheduling app with all my services and prices, etc.

Day 10:  I take everything to my new salon and set it up.  Mom comes in and I give her a fill and suddenly it is 6:30 pm and I am tired!  I realize I am also sick, catching a head cold.  Too many late nights, lots of stress and skipped meals.  The stress increases as I realize I have $100 left to live on AND drive back and forth to school for the next 6 weeks.  Dear God, please bring me customers at my new salon!

I have a plan.  My work hours at the salon will be by appointment only 6 – 9 pm on weekdays and 10 am – 7 pm on Saturdays.  I have contacted the plasma center here to transfer my file so I can donate in Montana.  That will take 7 – 10 days but when it’s approved that’s another $70 a week.  If nothing else that’s gas money.  I also have just over one week until school starts and I’m good to drive for Uber here so I will be available as much as possible to drive and if someone calls for nails I will stop taking riders.  Once school starts I will drive for Uber after school and possibly on Sundays and hopefully that will be enough to get me through the next 6 weeks.

Sometimes life needs to change so drastically that it requires great courage and a leap of faith.  That’s exactly where I am.

I thought I was over that, dammit.

Tonight is my younger daughter’s birthday.  The ex had claimed her time tonight to have her birthday dinner with her on her actual birthday.  She didn’t want to go but I told her she had to.  He BBQ’d for her at his apartment, she send me pics of the ribs and personal sized pecan pie he served her which I thought was hilarious because she doesn’t like beef or pork.  She barely eats chicken and loves seafood.  But I digress…

Earlier today I had lunch with my older daughter and asked if she had told her future step-mother that I would like to be friends with her.  I don’t find this an unreasonable request since she is going to be a second mother to my children.  I’m not looking to be best friends with her but I don’t think we should be strangers either.  Both she and my ex have blocked me on Facebook so I didn’t feel comfortable communicating this request through him, that made the next logical person to ask was my older daughter. But we’ll come back to this…

At lunch today she happened to mention that she “stalked” my second Facebook page. (Her word.)  I created the new page about a month after I left her father so that I could still be friends with both of them and yet have a place to vent and share my feelings that they wouldn’t see because I knew that some of the things I would post were going to hurt their feelings if they saw them.  The ex noticed the second page right away, send me a friend request to the new page and then withdrew his request and unfriended me on the old page.  I guess I should have expected that but I didn’t and it hurt me.  My older daughter has not yet unfriended me on the original page but I’m frequently afraid she will and I’ll lose that last, tiny glimpse into her life – even though she doesn’t post much.  She also doesn’t ask me any questions about my life so I was surprised to hear she looked at my other page – she’s never given any indication of caring about what I do.  I asked her if she wanted to be my friend on my new page and then I hesitated and asked if she would show my new page to her father.  I said “If he wants to be my friend he can ask me but I don’t want to be stalked.”

I said that because my younger daughter continually tells me that her father is always asking her if I’m really moving to Montana “because I’m not known for keeping my promises”, where I’m living – and he pressures her for the exact address and when she said she didn’t know it he said “It’s OK, you can tell me” as if she was hiding it from him and most recently she told  me he asked what day I was leaving, what time of day I was leaving, how long it would take me to get there (he knows how long it is from here to Montana, we’ve done that trip lots of times) and when I would arrive.  She said she didn’t know exactly when I was leaving because I’ve been busy and we hadn’t had time to get together for a while.  His response was “How can she be busy?  She’s been out of work for a week!”  Which tells me that my older daughter tells him everything I’ve told her and he’s definitely keeping track of me.

My best friend asked me if I felt like he was being a creepy stalker yet…

After lunch with my older daughter I had birthday coffee with my younger daughter, went and bought nail supplies from my Vietnamese sister’s store and then went to dinner with my sister.  During dinner my ex calls me.  My cell is at 15% battery so I go sit on the floor next to an outlet to talk to him while my phone is plugged in.

He does not seem to realize that I can tell he is on speaker phone and since he never liked to use speaker phone I guess that his fiance is there, listening in but I don’t say anything because I don’t have anything to hide from her.

I can tell that he is upset, the entire conversation his voice was loud and raised in anger.

He starts off with why do I want to be friends with his fiance and why did I put my request (twice) through our daughter and not him.  I explain my reasoning (listed above) for asking our daughter to relay my request. He is baffled as to why I would even want to be friends with her because “it’s not like we have small children and need to co-parent”.  He says this about four times during our conversation…  I finally manage to get it across that I thought it was the right thing to do, the nice thing to do and he interrogates me about what do I want?  Her phone number, Facebook friends? What?  What?  Finally he says “Thank you for extending the olive branch” and that he will introduce us at our younger daughter’s graduation in February but I can tell he still doesn’t believe me, I’m now sorry I ever asked and realize that no good will come of it.

He said “What do you mean” when I told our older daughter I didn’t want him seeing my new Facebook page or “stalking me”.  This, I think, is the true reason for the call.  I’m sure that one little word pissed him off so much he couldn’t see straight.  I didn’t respond to that and he moved on quickly but I could tell he was very angry about it and possibly hadn’t even meant to say those words out loud.  We were married almost 21 years, after all, and knowing when he is angry is something I mastered early on.

He next addresses that we have very different ways of dealing with our younger daughter.  I agree but do not make any attempt to continue that conversation any further – I am smarter than that – so he moves on to say that he is upset with how I’m dealing with our older daughter.  I stop him right there and ask him what I should be doing.  I take her out to dinner once a month, text her every couple of weeks – in spite of her telling me she only wanted me to contact her once a month – and I have been doing her nails for free since the middle of October or so just to spend more time with her.  I ask her questions and she doesn’t answer them.  Just what exactly does he think I should be doing more, better or different?  He clearly has only heard her side of the story, which is that all of our meetings are superficial and I won’t talk about anything important, she thinks I’m just meeting her out of obligation and duty so this throws him for a second or two.  He acknowledges he doesn’t really know what to tell me except that my abandoning her has severely wounded her and damaged her ability to have friendships and relationships and that she is just a child.  He repeats several times “Her mother abandoned her” and continues to state how wounded she is.  I tell him I want to talk about it but she has flat out told me she didn’t want to talk.  He finally concedes that she may have to work on forgiving me…  which leads me to believe that she is not there listening along with his fiance or he would have never said that in front of her.

And for the record, my oldest “child” is 21.  She was 19 when I left him.  Him.  I left him, not her.  And she wouldn’t have anything to do with me in the last couple of years before I left anyway so I thought she would be happy I was gone.  Apparently I was wrong.

He tries to wrap up with “In the future we need to deal with each other in our business, not go through the girls”.  I ask him if that means he will stop asking our younger daughter about me.  A slight pause and he asks what I mean.  I say that our younger daughter is frequently upset after meeting with him because she says he is “always” asking about me, where I live, what I’m doing, etc.  He says he “doesn’t care” about my actions and then corrects that to “I have no interest in what you’re doing”.  He says he has asked about me from time to time but not every time they meet.  I say that she feels like it is all the time and it really bothers her, and told him about the “It’s OK, you can tell me” conversation she shared with me.  There was a noticeable pause, which I found significant – especially knowing his fiance is there listening – and then he tried to brush it off saying “I was interested in the general area they lived in because I knew they moved from the country to in town”.

That sneaky bastard IS stalking me and doesn’t want his fiance to know!  OMG!  He’s creeping me out a little bit now…  I wish now that I had told him the quote about how could I be busy because I hadn’t worked in a week because that might have opened his fiance’s eyes a bit but I didn’t think of it at the time.  I’m also really torn because I offered to friend my older daughter on my new Facebook page but I don’t trust her not to show it to her father.  What do I do, what do I do…

I managed to have the whole conversation without falling apart or bursting into tears but after I hung up I couldn’t help myself.  I cried in the restaurant and my sister tried to help me by asking me to identify why talking to him made me cry but I wish she just would have let me go for a little bit.  His anger still affects me so much and I don’t know how to free myself of it’s grip.  And he always seems angry with me so I avoid communicating with him because he still makes me cry

It’s a new year and I’m going on a new adventure which will possibly, probably, hopefully? include dating.  After being on my own for almost two years I still cringe slightly at the thought of actual dating – especially because of the three times I tried online dating last year…

Soooooo in preparation of future dating I decided I should at least write down what I’d like to see in a guy.  In the order that I thought them up, here is my list of character traits that are near and dear to my heart and that I try to live out myself:

  1.  Kindness.  Nothing melts my heart like someone who is kinder than necessary and has compassion for others regardless of whether or not they look like they deserve it.
  2. Light-hearted.  I like to laugh, in fact I LOVE to laugh – but not at the expense of others, that’s a huge turn-off. I want to be around someone who thinks I’m funny (that one may be hard to find) and can also make me laugh (easy to do).  Someone who sees the humor in things without turning everything into a joke and never being serious.  It’s a fine line, I know, but an important one.
  3. HELPFUL.  This is probably one of my biggest pet peeves, people who aren’t helpful.  If you see something that needs to be done, do it!  If you see someone struggling with something, help them!  Someone who volunteers to help with everything from carrying in the groceries to doing the dishes to lifting heavy objects… like my piano, lol, without complaining earn themselves a special place in my heart.
  4. A Gentleman.  For the first time in my life I know I am worth being treated like a lady and I would like to be around a true Gentleman who treats all ladies with dignity and respect.
  5. Affectionate in word and deed.  I crave affection but I also give it.  I’m a very touchy-feely kind of girl and I am constantly touching my friends (both male and female) on the back, shoulders, waist, arms – basically everything that’s “PC” for friends – and I hug them as often as I think I can get away with it.  If you’ve never read about The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman I encourage you to do so.  One of my primary Love Languages is Affectionate Touch so that means I give and feel loved when I am able to touch and be touched affectionately (which is non-sexually).
  6. Kind, positive, encouraging words and sincere compliments also mean the world to me.  I want a man who can say those things as well as receive them from me.
  7. I don’t care about the color of a your skin.  I could never be mistaken for anything but white so almost everybody’s skin is darker than mine and I actually love darker skin tones.  I grew up wishing I was a Native American, they’re such a beautiful people…  However, after being adopted by my Vietnamese family I have come to realize that a complete understanding of the English language is a must-have, since I don’t pick up other languages easily and effective communication is super important.
  8. A man who has goals and dreams I can help him reach… and who wants to help me reach mine, hopefully our goals and dreams are very similar if not the same.  I don’t want to be “kept”, sitting at home, bored with nothing to do.  I want to go places and help others, to accomplish things that will create jobs and teach people real life skills.

This is getting to be a long list… I should stop now.  Yes, I want the fairy tale.  No, I’m not beautiful like Julia Roberts but Richard Gere wasn’t really that good looking, maybe I can be the Average Joe in the relationship, hee, hee.

So here’s someplace I never thought life would take me, I am now legally able to perform weddings!  It was several months ago that a friend of mine asked me to officiate her marriage to her fiance as they are not very “churchy” people and were uncomfortable trying to find a pastor they didn’t know.

I had to stop and think about it for a minute or two.  It was a huge honor to be asked but wow, it’s also a huge responsibility…  In the end I decided to do it and help my friend so they could bed legally married.  It was easy for me to get ordained online to perform weddings – it was free and took 10 minutes.  I did purchase the certificate package and they mailed me a very nice certificate of ordination and letter of good standing to meet state requirements for performing weddings.

The wedding was held in their home with two witnesses and their combined children.  We were all nervous but I had everything written down and was able to follow my notes.  Two of the boys held the rings until it was time and there was an adorable amount of confusion over which boy had which ring…  She cried during the vows and it was very tender.  The whole thing lasted 10 minutes and was very real and precious.

Tomorrow I need to mail the marriage license and a copy of my ordination certificate to the state and the process will be complete.

At end of the day I was glad I accepted the honor of officiating their wedding.  I’m not looking to do another anytime soon but it isn’t a one time license and has no expiration date so I guess I could marry lots of folks.

You never know where you’ll be called in life to go but I guess now I’m ready for one more thing that I wasn’t expecting to be able to do – ever.  And that’s pretty awesome.