11.3.13

Day #236: Chapter 1 of my book

So, on my 30 before 30 list, I bought I want to write a book. Even if it's just an e-book. I have always wanted to write a book about my single life because I got myself into some messed up situations (thank-you Match.com!). I figured I should get cracking, since I only have 2 years to write this book so, I wrote the first chapter this week. I am posting it because I want feedback. PLEASE let me know what you think.

Preface:

This is my story. You could probably call it an uncensored account of my single life. The life I had before I found stability and love with Bob. When I was in my early twenties, I dated…a lot. Probably more than most women. I found myself fed up with my fiancĂ© (yes, I was engaged at age 19) and decided to live a life more like the woman of the HBO series, Sex and the City. Anyways, I hope you enjoy my story.

Disclaimer: Names have been changed to protect the innocent. I had some unique nicknames for the men I dated. 
Also, you will see me refer to “record stop” moments. These are moments where in my head a record screeches to a halt. I guess you could also call them WTF moments. 

Chapter One

I licked my thumb and reached up towards his face…to clean the dirt above his eyebrow. “Seriously, *Old Farmhouse, could you show up one time without being covered in dirt from head to toe?”
There I was, wiping dirt off of my fiancĂ©s face. An occurrence that happened entirely too frequently. What self respecting man shows up to take his woman out to dinner, covered in dirt? Old Farmhouse did, that’s who. He worked outside digging holes or something. I understand that he is probably tired after a long day of work. However, that is no excuse to not shower. Especially, when you plan on going to Red Lobster for dinner. A wife beater tank, jeans covered in dirt and boots covered in mud is not manly. It’s gross.
“Seriously, Chelsea, do you have to try to clean me every time I walk in the door?” Old Farmhouse snaps at me. “We only see each other a couple times a month, you could maybe hug and kiss me before you start bitching at me and wiping my face with your spit.”
Let’s rewind. 
I began dating Old Farmhouse during my senior year of high school. My plan had always been to graduate high school and go to college. Old Farmhouse was the opposite of me. I was a goody-two shoe, straight-A girl on the straight and narrow path to adulthood. I didn’t smoke, I didn’t do drugs and I was a virgin. Old Farmhouse was a bad ass. At least, in high school, he was a bad ass. He barely graduated high school because he was too cool to do homework. He smoked behind the Taco Bell during lunch hour. He wore cowboy boots. He had sex with his previous girlfriend. He was not a guy that a girl like me should be going for. Which of course, attracted me instantly.
We met at McDonalds, where we both worked. I was a crew trainer so I was usually one of the first people that new employees met. I’m not sure why I was attracted to Old Farmhouse. He didn’t talk to me much, he didn’t make me laugh or do any of the things that would normally sweep a girl off her feet. He was a mystery to me and I think that’s what ignited my attraction to him. He left for a two week camping trip the summer before our senior year. When he returned to work, he came up to me in the grill area and said, “I missed you.” 
Missed me? He barely knew me! The most I had ever said to him was, “Can I see your birth certificate so I can fill in your I-9 form?” Was it my low self-esteem that made me go for him? Was it the fact that I was shocked that someone actually missed me? To this day, I’m not sure but for whatever reason, from that day forward, Old Farmhouse was the sun in my sky. 
We dated during our senior year of high school. We went to different high schools but since I worked in the town where he went to school, I was able to see him frequently. Old Farmhouse was a country boy. He grew up in an old farmhouse (hence, the nickname). He rode bull in rodeos. He went mud bogging. He wore a cowboy hat and cowboy boots to homecoming. He liked to work on cars and rebuild engines. He went deer hunting. He liked to be manly, which apparently also meant, dirty. He was the opposite of everything I knew. He introduced me into a world that I didn’t know existed. 
At first, our relationship was fun. I would come to his house and we would sit by the bonfire and talk. He used to pick me up from work and take me to get slurpees from 7-11. He started off complimenting me all the time, telling me how pretty I was, saying he loved being around me, etc. However, the good times didn’t last long and the relationship quickly turned into a roller coaster ride. I kept a journal during our relationship, so to give you more insight into my mind-set and the topsy turvy nature of our relationship, I will include some of the entries.
****
December 21, 2002
I went shopping with Ashley today. We went to Target and saw Sheri. I finished my Christmas shopping. No Old Farmhouse today, but hopefully I will be with him all day tomorrow. I’m going to meet his extended family and I’m really nervous. He told me that “they can see right through people”. Whatever that means?
I sometimes wonder if I’m not good enough, not pretty enough? I love Old Farmhouse so much but he deserves someone so much prettier than me. I wish I could lose weight. I have no will-power. All I want to do is eat. ALL THE TIME.
Old Farmhouse and I are exchanging gifts tomorrow. I want a promise ring so bad. He told me my present symbolizes a promise, but he also said it’s not a ring. I’m confused. I wonder if he is throwing me off? I will love any gift he gives me because I love him so very, very much. 
December 23, 2002
Old Farmhouse got me a beautiful diamond cluster ring! He said it is a promise ring, a promise that he’ll love me forever and that we’ll get married someday. 
But then today, my mom bought his parents chocolates and he flipped out. He said “everyone is acting like we’re married already”. I feel like sitting here and crying all day. I feel empty inside now. As soon as those words left his mouth, my heart pretty much felt like it shut. 
I feel gross. 
I am so depressed right now.
December 24, 2002
Old Farmhouse keeps asking me when we are getting married. He says he has been thinking about it a lot lately. I love him.
January 16, 2003
Something doesn’t seem right with Old Farmhouse. He used to keep me very reassured that he loved me, but lately he talks about poop and gross boy things. He told me that he’s “not prince charming”. Awesome?
February 5, 2003
I haven’t written in awhile. I still love Old Farmhouse, but I feel like he is losing interest. We don’t spend as much time together. Which is not my decision, it is his. If I had it my way, he would always be with me. 
I keep wondering how I managed to screw this one up. 
March 13, 2003
Today is our 7 month anniversary! He told me last night that he can’t wait to marry me.
March 24, 2003
I have been having panic attacks. I think it’s the weather. 
I feel like all I do is get on Old Farmhouse’s nerves, like nothing I do is right. Everything about me is irritating. Maybe I am just annoying myself. 
I feel it in my dreams. The anger. The heartache. The disappointment.
In my dreams, I re-live all the anguish from my past boyfriend, Johnny Bravo. Weak my mind and heart were before, weaker yet my mind and heart became. I remember when Johnny Bravo told me he didn’t want to marry me anymore. It was a rainy night, we were driving home and I was talking about how happy I was. Then he said: “I’m not sure I want to marry you anymore.” (Insert record stop)
“Uhm, what?” I immediately began to sob. Johnny Bravo grabbed my arm and shook me. He told me to stop crying. For some reason, my crying always pissed him off more. That always brought out “You’re so stupid, you’re so paranoid, etc”.
I’m scared that this will happen with Old Farmhouse. 
March 25, 2003
It’s getting worse. Today Old Farmhouse called and snaps, “Is today going to be like yesterday?” He hardly calls anymore. He is pissed about being debt, which isn’t even my fault. 
I hate myself. What did I do wrong this time?
April 9, 2003
So, we had a rough week. Who doesn’t? All is well now and we are once again just as in love as ever. 
April 10, 2003
Well, it was nice while it lasted. Today, I felt so good about everything...myself, my life...just everything! I curled my hair and dressed nice. I have been waiting for Old Farmhouse since one pm. Now, according to his mom, he is napping. I always get put second to his naps. Seriously? Why do I even try?
April 30, 2003
Here I sit, my chest heaving with sobs all because Old Farmhouse blew me off again. I am obviously, NOT a priority. Every time he forgets to call, it’s as if he’s saying “I forgot about you” or “I don’t think about you”. 
June 1, 2003
I am so miserable. I graduate high school tomorrow, so I should be happy...right? Old Farmhouse is mad at me because I “chewed” him out on the phone today. All I asked is why he “forgets” to call me, ALL THE TIME. He breaks promises but it’s my fault.
I’m stupid.
I’m miserable. Why was I even born?
****
There you have it. Some insight into how my eighteen year old brain worked. Obviously, there were two things working against this relationship. My lack of self-esteem and Old Farmhouse’s verbally abusive quips. Our relationship (roller-coaster...whatever you want to call it), believe it or not, lasted for another two years. My confidence did get somewhat better, but the ups and downs continued. After graduating high school, I spent the summer with Old Farmhouse and my friends. We partied, like teenagers do. In the fall, I left for college. I lived on campus about three hours away from home. This begins the transition from my being paranoid, to Old Farmhouse becoming insecure and paranoid. I think my independence threatened him. He proposed to me on October 9, 2003. He knelt down on one knee at Ruby Tuesday and asked me to marry him. Guess what? He was covered in dirt. I believe to this day, that he proposed out of insecurity. If I agreed to marry him, then I was his. He could control me. The engagement only brought to light his insecurities.
Another problem came up once I went to college...sex. 
Old Farmhouse suddenly wanted sex. I wanted to wait. Thus, the battle began. Luckily for me and you, I kept a journal during this time as well.
****
January 12, 2004
Old Farmhouse and I got into a fight again...about sex. Go figure.
I’m getting really sick of this. I’m not ready. I SHOULDN’T BE PRESSURED if I’m NOT ready.
If he truly loved me, he would wait until I felt ready. I love him but this is getting very frustrating. He doesn’t believe me when I say that I want him sexually, yet I am supposed to believe everything he says? 
January 13, 2004
Old Farmhouse showed up this morning with a rose to say he was sorry. It was really cute. I took him out to dinner at Applebee’s and then he promised to give me a massage. 
This is where he blew it.
He was all cute and excited about it, but then I had to beg him to do it. AND he wanted a blow job. Uhm, what?!
January 21, 2004
I hate snow. Outside of the Starr building today I totally dirfed it on some ice. Ouch.
January 22, 2004
So, here’s what I found out about myself last night:
  1. I’m bitchy about movies.
  2. I cry too much about nothing.
  3. I don’t tell Old Farmhouse he’s a good boyfriend.
  4. I’m a loser who doesn’t have fun.
Yeah...all this during a 2 am phone call. I have nice little circles around my eyes and I’m very bitchy today. Grr.
February 5, 2004
I really don’t know when it happened or why, but somewhere my relationship did a flip and is much less desirable than it once was.
I’m afraid of what I might say that will set Old Farmhouse off. Last night, he was clearly depressed and all I wanted to do was make him feel better. However, it turned into a fight with words about me “being too uptight” and “not having any fun”. “You never cut loose, you study all the time”.
I’ve never felt this way about myself. I study hard and do my homework...I am in college for crying out loud. I have plenty of friends. I drink. But, okay, I am boring and don’t have any fun.
Every time we are together I am afraid it will turn into the ever going “Why haven’t we had sex yet” battle. 
I hate that fight.
I dread that fight.
We can’t go ONE weekend without having that fight.
He used to tell me I’m special. That he will wait “forever”. Apparently, forever to a nineteen year old boy is 1.5 years.
I really only hear good things about myself, when he is apologizing for a fight.
I just want everything to feel good again. I want butterflies in my stomach. I want weeks between fights, not hours. I don’t want to hear about all the the things that are wrong with me. Dr. Friar said today that people end up to be what others call them.
I was fragile. Now I feel broken.
March 15, 2004
Old Farmhouse fucking hung up on me.
He read a stupid article in Cosmo about women who are “time-keepers”. Now, he calls me a TIME KEEPER all the time.
Apparently, this means that:
I get pissed when he hangs out with his friends and I feel like there’s never enough time for me. Also, because I am a woman, I embody a bunch of traits that all women have.
Oh, and I blame him for everything.
I CAN’T SAY ANYTHING, NOT EVEN MY FEELINGS WITHOUT HIM GETTING MAD. I HATE MYSELF. HE MAKES ME HATE MYSELF.
I WANT TO DIE.
Maybe I should pop a few Benadryl and some aspirin and hope I don’t wake up. I hate myself.
Am I worth anything? No. I can’t do anything without him getting mad. Who would care if I died? No one.
March 22, 2004
This is a sick habit I am sure, but here is what is wrong with me today:
  1. I am a downer
  2. I am very pessimistic
  3. I am a shopaholic, who can’t admit that she has a problem.
I wish he would compliment me. Every entry I write is about what a piece of shit girlfriend I am. I am seriously doubting this relationship.
March 28, 2004
Old Farmhouse and I don’t share the same dreams at all. He wants to live in an old farmhouse. I want to live in a brand new house. I know these are little dreams, but I’m not willing to give up even little dreams. He’s not willing to compromise at all. I’m afraid that I will have to let him go so I can fulfill my dreams and live a happy life.
I don’t want to be unhappy for the rest of my life.
****
That was the last entry in my journal about my relationship with Old Farmhouse. I remember the beginnings of the end. I remember starting to feel suffocated. I couldn’t do or say anything without him getting mad. By not having sex with him, I didn’t love him in his eyes. His pressuring me to have sex, showed me he didn’t love me. We no longer respected each other. I saw it first. 
When I went away to college, I began watching the HBO series, “Sex and the City”. I found myself envying Carrie Bradshaw. I wanted her hair. I wanted her shoes (who didn’t?). Most of all, I wanted her freedom.  I didn’t want to be engaged at nineteen. Honestly, I said yes because everyone was staring at me and I didn’t feel ready to give up on the relationship. If he needed to be engaged to feel secure, I wanted to try and give that to him. 
In the dorm lobby, every Wednesday was American Idol night. A big group of us would gather and watch it together. I usually left my phone in my room, so I could enjoy my time with my friends. The end came on one of these nights. I got back to my room and I had fifteen missed calls from Old Farmhouse. Seriously? Fifteen missed calls? I called him back and he answered, screaming at me about where I was, why I hadn’t answered, etc. Finally, I grew a pair and said: “I’m done. This is over. I can’t do this anymore.” I hung up, set my phone down and walked across the hall to my friend’s room.
“I just broke up with Old Farmhouse.” I stated.
“Holy shit. Are you- holy shit. Are you...uh...okay?” Katie stuttered out.
“Yeah, I’m good.” Then I burst into tears. I hadn’t been single in two and a half years. I was scared, excited, terrified, sad. Every emotion that could rush over me, did. When I turned my phone on the next morning, I have ten voicemails, all from Old Farmhouse. He was crying, he threatened to kill himself, said he couldn’t live without me, that he slept outside that night, etc. 
Kill himself? He was going to hurt himself because I broke up with him? I didn’t feel that I could be responsible for someone ending their life, so I took him back. I stipulated that there would be no engagement, that we could try to make things work as a couple, but no wedding talk. And no sex talk.
When I came home for the weekend a couple weeks later, he called me on the phone and dumped me. I remember walking out of my room at my parents house, looking at my dad and saying, “Old Farmhouse just broke up with me.”
“That’s good right?” My dad asked.
“Well, yes, but seriously?”
That is how my relationship with Old Farmhouse ended. Once the relationship was over, I decided to go all “Sex and the City” (but in Michigan...so not the same) and date a long slew of men who taught me a lot about life. The following chapters will chronicle a dating life that is humorous, awkward, and definitely memorable. 
There you have it...Chapter One. Is it readable? Does it flow? Do you feel like you want to know more? Feedback and criticism PLEASE!
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7 comments:

  1. I liked how you had your journal entries interspersed throughout the chapter. I do think it could've been a little shorter. I started skipping some parts where it felt like it was dragging a little. I can definitely hear your voice, and I would like to see what happens next.

    Remember that ebooks are huge, and more people are buying their books electronically.So writing a book whether intended for Amazon or a book store is still awesome. Good luck!

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  2. This was such a good read! It reminds me of he's just not that into you and books of that nature. Maybe put the description of him all together. If I recall correctly, your describe home then tell a little story then go back to describing him again. Other than that it all flowed... And when in writing doubts, ask the journalist brother. Lol

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  3. I would love to read more!

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  4. It definitely flows well and you kept me entertained! I would love to read more :)

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  5. It had a nice flow, a genuine voice, and made me want to read more. All in all, I'd say you're off to a pretty good start :)

    Thanks for linking up with Lazy Sunday!

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  6. Awesome!! I'm in the process of writing a book too! I've been working on it for a while but I'd be way too scared to post it here. It looks really interesting!

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  7. A little late here, but I would certainly tune in to find out what happens next! It did flow pretty good, the only problem I had following along was that I was reflecting back on the Old Farmhouse's of my own youth!! (many moons ago!!) Many WTF moments along the way, but I guess that's life, huh? I have often joked with one of my sisters that we should write a book about the strangeness of our own lives, but she doesn't think anybody would believe it! Will be waiting for the next chapter....

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