It was Cinderella’s fault I was so unhappy in my 20’s….

This was now the second time I decided to move across state lines for a boy. And this was the second time it failed. One day after moving to Orlando, I caught him at the beach with another women! Between my broken heart, paying double rent, student loans, credit card bills and endless bar tabs, I was a mess. If it wasn’t for the $1 menu at McDonald’s and the cheap hot dog vendors at 3 am, I would have starved. I was extremely unhealthy, drank too much and was out of control. The sad part was that compared to where I had just moved from, life was pretty good. Here I am, living in Orlando, newly single with a steady job and a fantastic apartment, but none of that mattered. I was 23, broke, alone and desperate to be in love.❤

Dating was like playing the lottery, the odds of winning were 1 in a million, but I kept playing anyway. 

Unfortunately my mom was always working, so there wasn’t much time to teach me about boys. But she did mention one thing that stuck with me, mom said, ‘Carrie, don’t ever feel that you have to get married or have children’. I don’t remember if I ever asked why and to be honest, it probably went in one ear and out the other, but looking back on it now, she was absolutely right.

I was obsessed with finding love and it’s all Cinderella’s fault. Her and all those silly fairy tale books we read as kids.

I thought happiness meant you had to have a man. On girls night out, it was hard to enjoy myself because all I ever wanted to do was find a man, get married and have his babies!!!!

I think if I had a daughter, she would be reading books on how to be her own boss, make money and travel the world. The ones that say to wait around for a Prince are sweet, but there needs to be variety.

Plus they painted a picture that seemed so easy to achieve. Society and family pressure didn’t help either. Up until the last few years, it was strange if you weren’t married by 25 and by 30, you were almost considered too old to marry. 

When I was young, it seemed instead of traveling the world, discovering themselves or dating a bit to see what kind of person was right for them, adults did as they were told. They married young, bought a house, had children and got a job. That was my plan too, but the keeper of my destiny had a different plan. 

And then, out of the blue, he called, my ‘older man, the one I swore off because he was already taken. The man who taught me about fine wines, girly clothes and elegant dinners. I knew it was wrong to talk to him, but when all you see are dark clouds and broken dreams, you do things you normally wouldn’t do, so I answered the phone…

 

It was 1995, I was in love, had a great job and then everything changed…

Now that I had a good job, Augusta was starting to grow on me.  I soon met a local boy named Tony who captured my heart. When I told my ‘Sugar Daddy’ in California that it was over, he wished me well, chuckled and said,’I’ll see you soon’. I wasn’t sure what he meant by that, but it was about to become very clear.

Knowing that there was no other way out of small town Georgia, Tony joined the Navy and was stationed in Orlando. I was going on 9 months with AT&T when they informed us of the layoffs. Luckily for me, there was an office in Orlando looking to hire a File Room Clerk for $400 a week…I was elated! Not only was it my ticket out of Augusta, but it was a way for Tony and I to be together.

The week before my big move, the famous ‘Masters’ golf tournament was taking place and one of the local bars needed a beer tub girl. The city was flooded with people from all over and in 3 days time, I made $2000 cash. In my 25 years, I had never seen that much money, and it was all mine. Everything was working out perfectly, except for 2 tiny issues, my DUI and my lease.

A month before accepting the job in Orlando, I had moved into a nicer place and signed a year lease with a girlfriend of mine. Now If you know me, you know that I am loyal, and when I give my word, I will do whatever it takes to keep it. So I promised I would pay my half until she found a replacement. Basically between the rent in Orlando and the rent in Georgia, half my pay was already spent. Not having any money was normal for me though and like always, I would figure it out, but the DUI and weekly mandatory visits with my probation officer…..well that was another story???

My 1988 Chevy Cavalier was packed, Travis the beagle was chillen in the front seat and I was on my way. The 3 bedroom apartment was already furnished and my new roommates were eagerly waiting my arrival. At the time, cell phones were fairly new, expensive and impossible to get. Tony would have to call my home phone from a payphone in order to talk and it had been a week or so since I’d heard from him. I was getting suspicious, but remember, I was also the crazy, psycho, jealous girl, so I was always suspicious.

Once I settled in, it was time begin the hunt. My boyfriend had no way of getting a hold of me so I went to the Navy base to track him down. It wasn’t easy getting past the guard gate, but with a few flips of the hair, some fake giggles and a lot of flirting…..I was in! After interrogating several of his Navy buddies, they informed me that he was at a super popular beach bar with some friends. I was feeling quite proud of my investigation that day and with a big smile and happy heart, I was off to surprise the man I loved, the man who swore to me that we would be together forever…

College, ugh, not sure I want to tell you about those years……

Back in my day, we didn’t have the internet to look up all of the fascinating things you can do in bed! Sex was a mystery only to be solved by trial and error and error and error. Some parents were good with that conversation and some avoided it all together. I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, I was clueless and would hear things like…..’tease’, ‘just the tip’ and ‘but I really, really like you’.

You might be blushing, because I know I am, but I would bet a
million dollars that most of the men reading this are thinking…..’haha, yep, worked for me’, and many of the women are thinking….’you fell for that too?’ lol

Now in High School, my experience with sex and drinking was very limited, but during my first year of college, I was like a circus lion who’d been set free. There were parties and boys everywhere! I didn’t have much money but that wasn’t an issue because we had Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill, 750 ml of cheap deliciousness.

We all know (now) that being insecure and dating do not go well together. I will shamelessly admit that I was a bit of a stalker slash crazy person once I gave it up. To me, having sex meant we were a couple, even if I’d never heard from you again. For whatever reason, I was obsessed with trying to catch someone cheating. Enjoying the relationship was foreign to me and in 1991, cell phones were a rumor. When you wanted to get a hold of someone, you would call their house and leave a message on the answering machine. It worked like a tape recorder and I was a pro at figuring out the password. That was mild compared to being caught peeking into their bedroom window trying to catch him with another girl. I was a scraper too, fighting with my siblings and the bullies in high school turned me into a mean girl. Drinking only made it worse, always causing me to provoke violence.

Fortunately, my Sophomore year, I met a Junior from the private college down the road, which settled me down a bit. He had no idea who he was about to date. Drinking and fighting became a normal part of our relationship. It didn’t matter who was around, as soon as the alcohol kicked in, ‘Crazy Carrie’ would show up and cause a huge scene. But he continued to date me, even after he graduated and took a job in the next state.

The summer before my senior year, I turned 21 and qualified for an internship in Florida, a place I had only heard about. It was a dream job, one of the best summers of my life and I was determined to return. Heading back to Indiana and college was like leaving colorful, sunny OZ and living back in black and white Kansas. Plus, I had been kicked out of my sorority the semester before for entering a wet t-shirt contest on Spring Break. All of the sorority ‘friends’ I had made shunned me, so after a few weeks, with my tail between my legs, I moved back home to Merrillville and attended Indiana University NW. It wasn’t all bad though, my boyfriend was only an hours drive away and I had my childhood friends to hang around.  And then, out of the blue, my life in Indiana was about to change forever. The boyfriend was offered a job in Augusta Georgia and for whatever reason, he invited me to go. This was the first of many events in my life that would lead me to where I am now…….