Friends


Restoring to Factory Default Settings

Today I sold my last piece of furniture.

Last night I sold my bedroom set. Two weeks ago I sold my couch and a book shelf. Two weeks before that I sold 2 TVs, 2 bedside tables, a leather chair, a storage bench, 4 lamps, another bookshelf and this really cool alarm thing that simulates a sunrise so that you don’t have to wake up in the dark. Four weeks before that I had a temper tantrum themed yard sale and sold every spatula, picture frame, coffee cup, pillow, pair of shorts… everything every THING that I had. Two months before that I sold a bed frame. But that was because I had found out Romeo/David had slept with Erin Black in that bed, and I made him buy us a new one.

Maybe that counts as the same type “everything must go” tantrum.

Maybe it doesn’t.

But today the last piece of furniture- the last item I had that couldn’t just fit in the back of my Corolla, take two rights and go straight on ’till morning- walked out the front door for $225.

I’m not going to lie- I panicked a little bit.

Wait, no, if I’m not going to lie- I panicked a lot.

I’ve been counting down to this moment for 11 weeks. How could I get rid of everything? How could I unload the memories and recoup the cash and make it not my problem anymore? How could I find the freedom that I was SURE would come once it was all just out of my face? How could I untether myself from a 5 bedroom house worth of stuff that I had been collecting for the better part of the last decade with the belief that “well sooner than later I’ll be married, with a bigger house, and we’ll have kids, so I’ll need this Calphalon pan set/ Dyson vacuum/ suede sectional couch/ 52″ TV as an investment in my future.”

I had the house. I had the stuff. I even had the paper doll “husband” to match.

I also had panic attacks that I would never be enough to make him happy. I had medication induced nightmares and weeks without sleep and 4:00am debates with myself about which was worse. I had what can only be described as toddler level meltdowns because I could never cook the spinach the way he liked it which bothered me infinitely more than it bothered him. I had eerie, unfounded fits of anxiety that he had one foot out the door- those turned out to be right though.

I can only describe it as an out of body experience when you realize that you thought owning 800 thread count sheets could save you from the other shoe dropping. And it drops anyways as you sit in bed on these beautiful sheets and read the Facebook message that would send you down the rabbit hole and don’t know if you feel more betrayed by the lies the sheets told you or the lies the paper doll told you.

So here I am on the eve of my 32nd birthday.

Feeling the least excited about my birthday that I’ve felt since my parents bought themselves a new car for my 16th birthday. (No, they did not keep the old one for me. They traded it in. Showed up at my 16th birthday party in a new car… for themselves. All my friends started jumping up and down in excitement “for me.” Two days passed before I realized they weren’t playing a joke on me. If you ever wondered where all this deep seated dysfunction comes from, remember those are the people that raised me. Parenting Tip: You have roughly 6,570 days of raising your child. Buy a new car for yourself on literally any other day. Good talk.)

I digress.

Here I am on the eve of my 32nd birthday.

I launched my new professional organizing business today. It’s doing well so far. And I don’t know if it’ll be enough to put food on the table.

I should be getting final close out money from David this week. And it’s exactly enough to pay off the last of my remaining debt.

I accidentally died my hair dark lilac. And it should wash out before the end of the month and back closer to my natural color.

I own exactly 17 shirts, 8 dresses, 4 skirts, 8 pairs of pants, 11 pairs of shoes, and some makeup. Oh and a juicer that I just really love. And that’s literally it. And I don’t have a lease or a mortgage.

I have no less than 30 In Case of Emergency friends that I could and would call about a flat tire at 3:00am and know without a doubt they would be there. And every one of those people has their own In Case of Emergency that they would call before me.

I will see 1 of the 4 members of my family for a “Thanksgiving celebration” that we already promised will most likely be gumbo and wine. And I don’t have to see all of the other family members that I generally spend weeks working up anxiety about “how will the holidays go this time?”

I don’t have a partner that loves me and will wake me up to pancakes with a candle in it while singing happy birthday. And I don’t have a paper doll.

I don’t say all of this because I hope to throw a pity party en lieu of a birthday party. In fact, some of these things are pretty damn wonderful. (I’m looking at you Nordstrom credit card- don’t let the door hit ya’ where the good Lord split ya’!)

I say all of this because today when I watched that dresser pull away from the driveway and just hours later launched my website, I realized that like it or not, I have achieved a full factory reset. Two years ago- to the day- I started this blog and it was all about teaching, adventures and misadventures in love, dysfunctional family, and a halfhearted attempt at finding myself during a heartbreak.

And now…

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“The Truth Will Set You Free…” 4

gloria-3

Let me start by saying this: this is my 7th draft that I have started tonight.

The first 6 were abandoned because they didn’t feel real, or honest or just … enough. They offered a very inadequate, some what glib look at a snapshot of my last few days/weeks/months and all felt as inauthentic as bad botox- in order to keep the peace and be polite everyone will pretend they didn’t notice, but get real Monica Geller- your eyebrows didn’t move after season 7. Nobody is fooling anyone.

So here I am. Promising to tell the truth, when the truth is ugly, and complicated, and not necessarily the same truth that anyone else has or even the same truth that I’ll have tomorrow. I’m still not even sure I know what the “truth” of this whole mess is, because I’ve spent the better part of two and a half years subconsciously doing everything in my power to protect myself from the truth.

At some point, the truth became my biggest fear and my mortal enemy. 

Tonight I’m refusing to let myself hide from the truth any longer. Pour yourself a glass of wine, light up a smoke, or just hunker down, because the truth is too real to be pretty.

The truth is that I loved a man that was sleeping with what I discovered to be no less than 8 other women over the course of our relationship.

The truth meant that I loved him with all of my heart and no matter what anyone says and no matter how it looks, I know he loved me with all of his.

The truth is that his love is dark and twisted and selfish and broken and slowly destroyed me.

The truth is sometimes I look back at all the awful things I said and did, and the heinous bitch I was to him during The Dark Days, and I think I deserve everything I got and more.

The truth is there are no less than a thousand moments that I look back on as pivotal chances to be more calm, gracious, beautiful, quiet, supportive, loving that would have saved us from ourselves.

The truth is there’s no use in praying and pleading to change the past.

The truth is I’m not sure anything could have saved us from ourselves.

The truth is the same day that he told me that he wanted only me, he slept with someone else- not even 24 hours passed.

The truth is I never for a second doubted his faithfulness.

The truth is after I found out about the first 6 girls all at once, I told him I would forgive him of anything but he had to come clean- had to tell me all of them and he swore on his dead father’s life that I knew about all of them.

The truth is there was one more.

The truth is when I asked him why I didn’t just tell me about her then, he told me he “forgot.”

The truth is that after I found out the first time, I told him I wanted access to our shared phone account and he wouldn’t give it to me.

The truth is that after he refused, deep down I knew it was still happening but did everything in my power to keep that voice medicated and meditated so that it wouldn’t wake up.

The truth lead me to drive my little beat up Corolla like the mother fucking bat mobile to San Antonio in the middle of the night because something in my soul woke up for a brief moment and told me that I couldn’t lie to myself about what I saw with my own eyes and that I had to, GODDAMNIT I HAD TO LOOK HIM IN THE EYES SO HE KNEW I KNEW.

The truth is I prayed the entire 3 hour drive there not that I would come home to him alone, but that I would come home to them in our bed so that I could finally set us both free.

The truth is he tried to lie even after he was caught- even after I saw him leaving the hotel room that was under her name, he tried to deny it for a solid week.

The truth is that I wrote that infamous Facebook post because I knew I would forgive him; it was the insurance policy I took out against myself to make sure I didn’t go back once I calmed down.

The truth is I sometimes wish I never wrote it so that I could back to being his favorite, if not his only.

The truth was I didn’t want to walk away, and sometimes I wish I had never found out.

The truth is sometimes I hate myself for wishing that.

I’ll throw my hat into the ring at an attempt at funny or witty again another time. But the truth is today, I have emotional vertigo; I don’t know which way is up or down or back or forward. I don’t trust my own instincts anymore and my truth morphs and changes and in the same second can go from damning to freeing to damning again. People keep giving me advice and comfort but it’s like when you’re so drunk at a party that you can hear your friends all talking about and around you while your head hangs in the toilet, and you kind of wish they would leave you alone to slowly die in peace, but you’re also so thankful they’re there because you’re literally not sure you would survive without them, even if they do keep trying to stick their fingers down your throat when you just want to sleep. Yes, I know I’ll feel better tomorrow if I get it all up now, but also I’m not sure I’m ready.

*Pours self another glass of wine.*

Goodnight.


When My Worlds Collide 2

Once upon a time, I was in a sorority. The greatest nugget of wisdom I gleaned from my time in a sorority is to never smell a shot before you take it. The second greatest nugget of wisdom is that when you are introducing two people who have never met before, always share with them something they have in common. For example:

Katie, this is Ryan. Katie is from Florida, and Ryan, didn’t your brother just move to Florida?

Daniel, meet Lindsey. Did you know she also is played tennis in college?

Erin, this is Taylor. My boyfriend cheated on me with both of you. (Still a little bitter. Whatever.)

So here I am now, with my worlds colliding in a good way, trying to figure out how to best introduce the readers of Terrible Poker Face to Whitney Holt, and the friends of Whitney Holt to Terrible Poker Face:

Readers, this is friends. You both like to read raw, unfiltered, occasionally witty commentary about the adventures and misadventures of Whitney.

Friends, this is Terrible Poker Face and its readership. It’s just like the Facebook posts you’ve grown to know and love, except that until now it’s been anonymous so that I could embrace my DGAF nature and let it all hang out. 

For those of you who know me in real life (or in Facebook life), SURPRISE!!!! All those times you told me I should start a blog? Well… umm… I did…. I just didn’t tell you about it. Check out the Little Black Book if any part of you wonders why I might be tempted to not shout this from the rooftops.

When I started this two years ago, I thought my DGAF was as low as it got. Turns out, posting about your boyfriend‘s infidelity in a very public, very vulnerable, very “only God can judge me” sort of way, is actually an even lower level of fucks given, which rendered the entire idea of anonymity for this blog to be rather useless. It’s time I start shamelessly whoring myself out to the blogosphere so that someone, somewhere will decide that they will pay me monies to write full time, and I can just stop pretending that I was ever meant for consistent, real life, public consumption.

So for those of you that aren’t new to me but are new to Terrible Poker Face, make yourself at home. I suggest you pour yourself a glass of wine, go watch an episode of The Mindy Project, pour yourself another glass of wine, maybe let the dog out while you let it all sink in, and then only after you have your wine coat on, start exploring my backlog of posts. I’d like for you to think of it like a two drink minimum sort of situation up in here.

And for those of you that aren’t new to TPF but are new to Whitney Holt, I’d say I’d like to properly introduce myself, but you know probably more about the ridiculous and salacious and dark and twisty and intimate details of my life than 97% of my acquaintances. I guess the only thing that’s been missing is putting a name to the man behind the curtain.

For anyone wondering what you can expect moving forward, well, I process my life through writing. Always have, probably always will. Right now I’m still reeling pretty hard from this shit show of a breakup, so it’s a given that the emotional post mortem will make the greatest hits list. I’m also about to move cities (to where? great question), change jobs for the 5th time this year (to what? great question), and reenter the dating world (why? because I’m a hopeless romantic and apparent masochist great question), so I can promise you’ll get to be a part of that inevitable roller coaster as well.

But for right now, I’m going to binge some Netflix, cuddle with some wine and pretzels, and enjoy getting to sleep like a starfish alone in this bed.

… Good night, y’all.


Forgive me Father for I am happy. 7

terrible poker face taco bell border sauce packet mild i love you too i can't stop pooping

Updates since we last spoke…

1. I’m still trying to figure out how the new site works. I really only know two tricks – clicking to add a new post and checking the home page.  I’m pretty sure I like it but the same way you like your new neighbor that seems really nice and a little more hip than I’m comfortable with. I feel like my new site could wear hats if it wanted and totally pull it off. When I wear hats people assume I’m trying to be funny. So that’s neat. But mainly that’s intimidating. I need to bribe my Digital Manager with another wine night but not actually drink the wine myself while she explains the functions.

2. My stomach issues have not improved, but truth be told I’ve eaten an inordinate amount of Taco Bell over the last 4 days, so I don’t think I can still blame the anxiety. 

3-79… and there’s SO MUCH MORE I want to tell you, but chronology matters in all these revelations. So first thing’s first, let’s pick up where I left off last night.

I’ve had that^ intro written for the last 5 days.

FIVE FREAKIN’ DAYS.

Some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten from my boss is that when you find yourself procrastinating like whoa on a task, you need to step back and ask yourself why are you going so far as to sabotage yourself just to avoid this task? So I had to start asking myself…

When did the idea of writing stop being something to escape to and started being something to escape from?

When did I start dreading the idea of sharing my story – I mean I say almost exclusively stupid shit, so what’s so different about this stupid shit that’s causing me to find excuse after excuse to not post?

When did being honest stop being what I was best at?

I know I told you I was anxious to post in my last post, but it’s more than just being a little psyched out. It’s dread. It’s crippling insecurity. It’s fear of vulnerability. It’s realizing that the over-the-moon happiness that I’ve been feeling for the last month could be jeopardized by trying to share it.

So it’s time to rip the band-aid off…

Romeo and I are back together. I’m moving in with him in July in a state that is yet to be determined by the Air Force powers that be, which also means I’m quitting my job and leaving my home in Houston. We’re talking about getting married and yesterday I went shopping for rings with one of my friends because he told me to figure out what I want. 

There. I said it.

I should be using all sorts of flowery language about how happy I am. I should be explaining to you all the ins and outs of how we got back together and how he cried and told me that breaking up was the worst mistake he’s ever made and begged for another chance. I should be explaining why I’m not even the slightest bit scared to move across the country to a city where I know no one but him and don’t have any leads on a job because I’ve never felt anything was so right. I should be telling you how I honestly never knew I could love or be loved like this.

But instead I’m trying to not throw up.

I’ve always cared too much what people think of me. Somewhere along the line (I’m thinking around the $8,000 mark in therapy) I learned to be okay with embracing my negative emotions, but emotions like “happy” and “in love” and “calm” give me the same feeling I used to have as a middle school student dreaming that I had showed up to school naked: even the things I’m happy with behind closed doors make me wish I could crawl under a rock when they’re on display for the whole world to see.

The thing that’s really tearing me up is that I’m not just worried what my Terrible Poker Face friends are going to think; I’m having this exact same reaction in real life as well. Every time I share what I consider to be the best news of my life, I feel my heart beating behind my eyes and wonder if anyone would notice if I put my head between my knees for just a minute. Exactly 0% of this has to do with feeling unsure or unhappy with my decisions, and 100% has to do with assuming everyone is assuming the worst.

This is some of the stuff they’ve said, <but even worse this is some of the stuff I assume they’re thinking.> You would think that I think my friends hate me from all the filling in the blank that I’m doing between what they’re actually saying.
hyperbole and a half terrible poker face assume

“Y’all were broken up not even six weeks ago and now you’re talking about marriage…” <ooooookaaaaaay… yeah, that sounds really responsible.>

“I mean you swore Not The One was the love of your life less than a year ago,” <so you’re clearly just desperate to get serious with a guy. Why don’t you slow down?>

“The last time you moved across the country for someone was for The Psycho.” <Haven’t you learned your lesson? You don’t even know each other.>

“You’re putting your career on pause for an entire year so that you can follow him to go support his pilot dreams?”  <Worst feminist ever.>

“My boyfriend and I have been together way longer and we aren’t talking about marriage yet.” <You guys are clearly unprepared for steps this big.>

“Marriage is a big deal.” <You don’t understand what you’re getting yourself into.>

“I could never do that military wife life.” <I have no idea what makes you think you could do it either considering what a hot mess you’ve been with relationships in the past.>

I know my friends love me and don’t want me to move. I know they’re scared for me, not because they don’t trust my judgement, but because bad things happen even when people do all the right things, much less when people do things that appear reckless on the surface. I know they don’t want to see me heartbroken and that they want to protect me from myself because for so long I’ve needed them to do exactly that.

I know.

To those friends – real life or blog friends – I know. Thank you. I love you and am so appreciative towards you and grateful to the universe for putting people like you in my life.

I don’t have a nice neat bow to put on the end of this.

I will still assume everyone is taking over/under bets on how long it will be before I come back to Texas. I am still fighting the gut instinct to defend Romeo and myself and our relationship when I should just say “thank you, I’m excited and nervous too.” I still feel weird sharing happiness and feel terrified sharing this happiness because it doesn’t look like the A+B=C love story that is easy to cheer for. I still feel like middle-school-me showing up to school naked every damn time I tell someone our news.

boy meets world mr feeny terrible poker faceI wish I could Boy Meets World this shit and Mr. Feeny would pull me aside, give me some great life advice, and from now on I would be strong and unphased when I get the “you’re doing what” looks. I wish I could put up a filter that would tell me when having my feelings hurt by a reaction is justified vs. when having my feelings hurt is mostly in my head.

But for now I’ll take a deep breath and trust that everything will be okay.

Okay, that’s way too zen.

For now I’ll take a deep breath, pour a glass of wine, and probably get a Cheesy Gordita Crunch (with the fire taco) for the fifth day in a row.


Terrible Poker Face 2.0 Plus a FREE Scavenger Hunt (God, I really hope you don’t think this is spam…)

This post comes with a bonus scavenger hunt question:
How many Julia Roberts references can I make in 800 words or less?

Ready. Set. GO.

 

Once upon a time there was a girl who knew only two things for certain:
1. Calling her an awful liar didn’t even begin to cover it because the reality was she didn’t see the point in lying and instead walked around like her life was an open blog.
2. If she didn’t start writing soon, she would implode because you can only tell the same stories to your friends so many times before they crowd fund a trip to Italy, India and Indonesia therapist for you.
Spoiler alert: that girl is me.

 

So here we are on the five month anniversary of Terrible Poker Face, and I have huge, FANTASTIC news for you… (more…)

And on Wednesdays We Roofie our Book Club. 3

Last night, I hosted my very first book club. We read “The Girl on The Train” by Paula Hawkins, and I printed out discussion guides with color coded questions. I made caprese salad and Brussels sprouts and this delicious pasta I found on Pinterest that I only slightly over seasoned, and we all had matching dishes and wine glasses. I had a cheese tray on this cool slate and labeled it with chalk: “Artisan White Cheddar” and “Cabernet Gouda.”

Seriously, y’all, this was grown up as shit. (more…)


Romeo Part 1: Timing is Everything 7

Update 9/10/16: I realize that those of you that are just now joining the Terrible Poker Face story, you know Romeo/David and I for my Facebook post that went viral. I meant every word I wrote in that post. I also meant every word that I wrote in these next four posts. Even though I was living a lie, I had no idea. I did love him with all my heart and believed him when he said he loved me too. 

If you’ve been reading this blog for a hot minute, you know that Romeo is the man I was dating when I first started this blog. He was the someone special from my first post; he was the man that made me realize what everyone was talking about when they talked about finding their person; he was the man who broke my heart into a million little pieces.

(more…)


Sharks Can’t Go Back to Bathtubs and Other Love Advice 9

As I mentioned in my post last week, I went to dinner with Not The One. I had the purest of intentions of showing up, being platonic friends, catching up, and going our different ways at the end of the night.

Turns out being just friends will never be in the cards for us. (more…)


Why are you confusing me with somebody who makes good decisions? 7

The internet loves lists. Personally, I think English teachers everywhere should be crucified for not teaching the masses of our generation how to organize thoughts in coherent paragraphs that flow lucidly and logically without a numerical value being the only connection from one thought to the next. Maybe that’s just me.

Yes, yes, I know I’ve been guilty of my own list post, but I’m usually very vocal about my stance that list writing is the lowest form of writing and should be reserved for grocery shopping and keeping tracking of your sexual partners… or… ummm… er… I mean I totally know all my sexual partners off the top of my head. Just grocery shopping. That’s what I meant.

Whatever. (more…)


This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things 6

Rejected titles for this entry include:

  • I’m About 10 Years Too Old To Throw Up in My Bushes
  • Thanks for Nothing, Tinder
  • What does one wear to their own intervention? I’m asking for a friend.

If you read Friday’s post, you know I was in a great place emotionally. Super pulled together. Healing all those brokenhearted wounds. Things were just going swimmingly. “Romeo, who?” kind of stuff.

Also, if you’ve read my much earlier posts, you know I feel very strongly about the need for an agreed-upon sarcasm font. Whatever you imagine that font to be in your head, envision the above paragraph to be written in bold version of that font.

So it’s no surprise (sarcasm font again but you’re going to have to start doing this yourself, ya know) that I was a total shit show this weekend.

It started with my brilliant idea to play The Tinder Game. (more…)