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Love in a Hopeless Place

I found love in a hopeless place.  I did.  I was a soul-shattered, surly and scared new divorcee with crazy therapy bills and an uncomfortable new haircut. I was not my best self.  This was when the universe shoved the most unlikely person in front of me, saying “You two, it’s gonna be magic, I see it.”  On paper, it was ridiculous.  We had huge gaps in background, experience and, well, age (scandalously young is the new black, didn’t you know?).  My people were puzzled.  I could not be serious about this rough-around-the-edges Brooklyn kid.  His people were equally baffled.  Who’s the fancy career lady with white girl voice – is she forty, son?

But you’ve heard the theory that we all come from soul tribes?  And you can instantly spot someone from your tribe?  That’s how this was.  Immediate “me too!” soul recognition.  I see you, I get it all, and I want to bake you into a shrinky-dink and carry you around in my neon lacquer clutch.  His Prince obsesh almost eclipsed mine.  And I could be weird!  Men usually want no part of my weird (#weak) — but he expected it, ’cause he was weirder (this is a person with a cat named Adam — for The Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz, who he inexplicably loved as a kid.  The cat is female).  We wanted nothing more than to get advanced degrees in each other.  No agenda but l’amour.  Anais Nin said some men filled her gaps while others only emphasized her loneliness; he was a gap-filler (ahem).  My angel.  It’s like I’d misplaced my “oomph” somewhere in 07, and he’d found it in the back of a cab, dusted it off and dragged it to my doorstep wrapped in a crimson bow.

And yet…only eighth-graders and J. Lo believe you can live on love.  We were in such vastly different places, it was never going to be a practical, marriage-and-babies thing.  So we were like fuck it, while we have each other let’s go all out!  We loved each other in an idealized, unconditionally worshipful kind of way.  Tough to sustain in the real world, I know.  You kinda need to wake up on a Tuesday in bad pajamas, fight about who’s supposed to change the kitty litter, and then delete his DVR queue just to be shitty.

In the end, it had to end.  One day I’ll look back on it through sepia-tined lenses, all wistful eyes and faraway smile, fondly remembering my transformative love affair.  But today?  It just huuuurts.  It hurts.  It hurts.

When we were together, my fragrance was Stella by Stella McCartney.  I always enjoyed the peony-and-roseness of it all, but he loved it.  It was in my hair, on my pillows, on his clothes — for him, it was moi.  He smelled it in the air on the train once, and was galled that a Random Subway Girl had stolen my scent swag.  I can’t wear it anymore.

My new scent is Gucci’s Gorgeous Gardenia, from the new Flora Collection.  I do love it.  A sultry-fresh floral spiked with brown sugar and patchouli, the scent smells like spring, sparkling possibilities…the future.  It’s truly lovely, perfect for new beginnings.  Happy National Fragrance Day, my SYB Babes.  Excuse me while I dab — not wipe — the tears.  Musn’t muss the mascara.

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  1. jam824
    March 21, 2012 1:46 pm 

    I am in love with the candidness fused with beauty in the relauch of your blog. so great, such a perfect read.

  2. LaToya
    March 21, 2012 1:55 pm 

    I am living for this. The Jay to your Billi huh? I’m sure that’s the way it works. One guy brings you back to life so you’re ready to share it with the next… First that gap filler has to just awaken your soul. *remembering my own couldn’t last love affair after a break-up*

  3. Kelly
    March 21, 2012 2:14 pm 

    I sit in awe of your writing. So thrilled that you revived the blog!

  4. Quiana
    March 21, 2012 2:15 pm 

    Thanks for sharing an awesome post!

  5. March 21, 2012 2:22 pm 

    Love this entry, could totally relate to it at 35. Made me drop a tear at work!! Continue w the awesome writing, you rock!!!

  6. Nicole
    March 21, 2012 2:34 pm 

    THIS THIS THIS! I felt all of your emotion in this. I cheered for you as you “got back on the horse”..and you made me want to actually spritz my sample of Gucci’s Gorgeous Gardenia. I am so glad you are BACK with a vengence! xoxo

  7. Simone Pratt
    March 21, 2012 2:50 pm 

    LOVE how you write I am there with you…

  8. Kimberly
    March 21, 2012 4:51 pm 

    Love, love, love this post! The hopeless romantic in me was rooting for a happy ending for you while planning a trip to Nordstrom to test Gucci’s Gorgeous Gardenia. I can totally relate to what you experienced.

  9. March 21, 2012 5:01 pm 

    I simply ADORE your poetic-esque style of writing, it’s truly captivating! I feel like I’m right there inside of the story seeing everything you are describing, ughhh…just love it! Happy to be a new SYB reader!

  10. Heather
    March 21, 2012 7:04 pm 

    Thank you for sharing. I so needed this.

  11. Amy
    March 21, 2012 8:11 pm 

    I have NEVER read or followed anyone’s blog before. Caught the bug the other day when Carol’s daughter shared your post. Now I’m smitten…thanks. Your blog has become my few minutes of escape from the craziness of work… before my day kicks into overdrive when I scoop up my toddler and newborn on my way home…then the up at nights, start it all over again in the morning while I try to remember if I even brushed my teeth before bed last night…are there enough diapers in the diaper bag…is there anything in the fridge to cook…type of life I’m leading these days. What I’m trying to say is…thanks for the brief escape! It’s fun. (this coming from someone who is hearing all about how amazing pinterest is but can’t imagine having an extra second to do anything that isn’t necessary!)

  12. March 21, 2012 8:38 pm 

    You are a trip! This piece was somethin’ else. Gave me a craving for locs & Timbs sightings while listening to ‘You Got me’ & ‘Break You Off’ by the Roots. : ) Another great post & I’m definitely checking for that scent.

  13. March 21, 2012 10:46 pm 

    Awwww..:-(..I had to swallow hard because as someone who went through a divorce in 09/10 and also met someone with whom it could not work but went for it anyway. It didn’t last, but we enjoyed the moment. I’m looking for a new spring/summer scent so I will make sure I pop into Sephora for samples!

  14. tea18
    March 22, 2012 2:28 am 

    this is like a story out of a Toni Morrison catalog (i mean that in the best possible way). And everything Jam824 said.

  15. Bashful Beauty
    March 22, 2012 1:33 pm 

    Tia! We missed you sooo much!!!!
    “Every hurtful event holds lessons, the more it hurts the more you learn” Sending you love and positive vibes! Believe me I have been there.

  16. Lavendar
    March 22, 2012 10:05 pm 

    You always shared with your girls in the past, but OMG girl how you’ve grown. It’s amazing what a little living will do. Are you working on a book? You should be! Your words are gripping, soul-stirring, thought-provoking, mind-altering…just wow….

    • March 26, 2012 10:33 pm 

      I agree, Lavendar! I was just telling one of my best girlfriends, a fan of the original and newly resurrected SYB, how much Tia has grown as a writer. The passion is all there!

  17. Kesha
    March 22, 2012 10:49 pm 

    Sooooo glad you’re back. Loved every word!

  18. March 26, 2012 10:30 pm 

    OK, Tia, when are you dropping another book? Seriously! I mean, can you start publishing some short stories or something, because I swear I just read something from The Best American Short Stories Anthology. Your writing is just… let’s just say from one writer to another, you make me want to hide in a corner with a cup of chai latte and type my soul away.

  19. Lua
    May 22, 2012 8:58 pm 

    Love this! AND I’m loving the Gucci Garden collection! 🙂 My favorite is Glamorous Magnolia…looovveee!