How to Make Lemonade is the working title of Holly A. Phillips’ first memoir, a book of dating disasters. While the bulk of this site is made up of notes, journal entries, pictures and even commentary on the writing process, Holly has reached a point in her book work where she is creating chapters. If you’d like to check out the completed, yet raw, chapters, she would love for you to check them out:
I tricked him into being my boyfriend. One morning before class began, I took a ring I’d gotten in one of those clear plastic bubbles and placed it in my mailbox.
Sheena was my best friend, and had been since 7th grade after we met over a shared obsession for Hanson. We were in the Tiki Hut, sipping on sour malt drinks, with Zach and his friend Josh, both slamming beers like true country boys of summer.
I had thoroughly convinced myself I was going to move to Louisiana, where I would discover myself amongst the hazy summer heat, sweet tea, and slow-talking boys. I had romanticized the south ever since I spent a summer in Charleston, Sc. as a child.
The friendship I had with Adam started off casual, but we grew close fast. We talked on the phone nearly every night, about school or his work. I even told him about guys I liked. Our friends thought we would start dating, but we were always defensive about it—we were not going to date.
One lucky Monday night, Adam invited me to join his parents for Italian Night. I was a little nervous—I’d survived several evenings at Adam’s house, but I didn’t know if I’d last an entire meal putting on a fake smile while slurping down spaghetti.
He fixed my plate and I was a bit smitten. We talked, and decided to try to date. That night, I slept next to Adam, in his bed upstairs. For the first time in many years, we kissed. It was a little awkward—something neither of us expected.
We were out to dinner, and Adam told me that his parents weren’t too happy about us dating. He said they thought it was silly of us to date, being so far away, and they didn’t want him to get distracted from his school work.
When I flew back to Louisiana, I had just as much trouble as I did getting to Indiana. My luggage was lost, again. And I could tell something was very off with Adam. I hadn’t talked to him all day, and even when I called him to tell him I made it home safely, he didn’t answer.
Adam had lied to me, cheated on me and I was on a mission to kill. If there was any moment in dating that changed my perception of men, and love, this was it.
There I was, a little too drunk for a first date, and in the very spot I was warned not to be. But I didn’t mention this to Austin, and we went to the bar.
He told me he needed to be in a relationship with someone who was going to be there for him, be his rock. I felt flattered, and as cheesy as it sounds, I knew I could, would, and wanted to be there for him.
My 21st birthday was in July. Around work, I heard rumors that Austin was trying to set up a surprise party for me. So, when he invited me to dinner one night, I was fairly certain it was going to be a party.
His name was Eddie. He was just my type, average height, nice build, dark hair, amazing eyes. And he looked great in a baseball hat, my true weakness.
He lived on Olive street—a name that already posted an image in my mind of what his house might look like. It was a small street, not far from the LSU campus.
When we woke up the next morning, Eddie offered to make us breakfast. I slept while he milled about in the kitchen, mixing a recipe he was proud of—milk, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon to make French toast.
When Eddie stepped away from us, my dad said he didn’t know Eddie and I were dating—I told him I wanted to officially date Eddie, but his ex-girlfriend was getting in the way.
I really wanted to have a serious talk with him, but he was ultimately ignoring me. I just couldn’t decide if it was necessary to make the effort, and try to get him to meet me.
Naturally, when my friends found out Austin and I were talking again, they were skeptical—warning me that all Austin wanted from me was sex, but I gave him the benefit since I cared for him and I didn’t think him and I had a relationship like that.
I didn’t expect to be as sad as I was. Ever since Austin and I broke up I battled up and down feelings for him. Some days I missed him, others I never thought about him. Some days I felt maybe I loved him. Others it was close to hatred.
I was really excited to see him, but I was scared, too. I loved talking to him on the phone, but I was being reminded of my days with Adam.
He said I should realize how much he wanted to talk to me since he still called even though he hated talking on the phone. I said I didn’t want him to do anything he didn’t want to do, so he said he’d let me go and that was the end of that.
I wanted to move on so bad, but my heart wouldn’t let me. I had so much built up baggage and I thought that was why we fought. I was so terrified of getting close to him, it was like I went through all the motions, but I was scared to put my heart in it.
There was still a lot to be fixed with us, but I didn’t think I needed to necessarily be talking to him to get myself through it. It really felt good just to get an answer and to have a say in the way things were going.
Regardless, he asked if he could stay with me and I said it was okay. I was still bartending and had to work happy hour the day he flew in town. He made plans to meet me at the bar at 7p.m., and have a few drinks before I got off work.