Thursday, January 20, 2011

Memory Lane

I had the most profound trip down Memory Lane last night. 

I've been talking to an old high school boyfriend on Facebook Chat since Monday.  He wasn't just a random boyfriend, he was the ONLY high school boyfriend.  I dated other guys, but he was the one I fell for hard.  We'd been friends for years before we dated, our families took Spring Break trips together, we slept at each others houses, etc...We were pretty inseparable

Shortly before the end of our Junior year, a mutual friend had told me that my boyfriend was spreading a rumor that he had slept with me. Rather than go to my boyfriend and confront him, I got angry.  At prom I barely spoke to him and within a short time I had ended our relationship.  He told me that I basically said "I can't talk to you anymore".  I hurt him, I didn't know it.  I was focusing on self-preservation and not letting someone treating me disrespectfully.

Fast forward seventeen years, holy crap, seventeen years.  We're chatting on Facebook and he makes a comment that he doesn't know what he did to make me angry.  This was such a specific moment in time for me that I'm astounded that he didn't know.  So I tell him and at the same time it's like a light bulb went off for both of us.  He hadn't said anything to anyone.  This mutual friend had been questioning, but he refused to share any details of our personal relationship...the friend however was more interested in me, then being his friend and worked his magic to sabotage our relationship.  It worked. I didn't talk to him for seventeen years because of the lies of another person.

Last night we met in person. We talked over beers and then in his car for over four hours.  We texted until after 1 a.m. It's like the time has fallen away and I have my friend back.  There are amazing memories that I had forgotten until we sat there - They simply came flooding back with our laughter. Seventeen years in a long time.  It was half a lifetime for us. I think we both sat there laughing and wondering where we would have been in our lives if either of us had actually stopped to talk to one another at 17, instead of walking away.

I don't regret any of it, my life is where it is supposed to be, I'm doing exactly what I am destined to do and I'm excited to see why he was brought back in my life at this moment. I am so thankful to have my friend back.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Catching Up...With My Life.

I reread my last post and realize how far I have come in the last few months.  For that I am grateful.

I took a brief sabbatical from Cute Boy, enough to realize what it is about him that I need in my life.  I met a much younger guy and had fun for a few weeks until I realized what is was about him that I didn't need in my life. I took an Improv class and for the first time in my life got up in front of over a hundred people and didn't have a little voice in my head telling me that I was going to fail.  I finally fucking feel like me. Finally.

Christmas was a hard time for me, it always is.  This year was filled with emotions that I didn't know how to control and I spent a lot of time wanting to be curled up in the fetal position. Instead I drank a significant amount of wine.

Both of my younger brothers have announced that their wives are pregnant, due eight weeks apart this summer.  One of them had testicular cancer, had it removed, underwent a round of chemotherapy and then got a clean bill of health. The swing of emotions, on top of the holidays, should have had me admitted to a psych ward.

I did a lot of analyzing and comparing this year to the ones I spent with my ex.  I took Cute Boy to my family Christmas at my parents, as a friend.  As usual, he gets along with everyone.  He makes me laugh.  He made it bearable and for that I am eternally grateful.  He also made me realize that why I want him in my life, because of the simple things.

Let's look at Christmas gifts. In the past I've received gifts that I bought myself or ones that were half assed attempts. For example: I love David Ortiz. I love the Red Sox. I love books.  My ex bought me David Ortiz's book on our last Christmas together.  I am not a fan of sports writing, never have been.

This year, Cute Box bought me a hat and scarf set.  I always wear hats, cute ones, winter ones, baseball ones.  He didn't know that I love scarfs as much as I love hats.  It was a simple present, but it shows he is aware that I wear hats, love hats and went with it.

A side note: The younger guy, he bought me "Year One", used, opened and previous watched from Blockbuster because he thought the Jack Black character would remind me of him.  Seriously, you can't make this shit up.

I feel like I'm on my way to something better. I've stop worrying about where things are going and instead I am trying to have faith that there is something planned for me and I have no control over it.  Whatever happens, happens.

~M

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Finding My Way

There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.  ~Ana├»s Nin

This quote pretty much sums up the last few weeks.  I've wanted to post but couldn't find the emotional or mental strength to make the words make sense. 

For several weeks I've really been struggling to self-discover.  I have a vague idea of what I want out of  my life, but I question every step - "Is it something I want for myself, or is it merely something I want to do so I look a certain way to the outside world ?"  This is the question I have struggled with my whole life.  I have always believed I don't care what "the world" thinks of me, but deep down I think I care too much.  Not when it comes to clothes or style or hair, but in the choices I make for my life and where they lead me.  Did I pick the right degree? The right husband? The right job?  I'm starting to realize if I am truly happy, that is all that is going to matter to those that matter to me.

(This is the part where I start tearing up, because even though this is a blog post, sometimes I don't realize these things until my fingers put them on the screen.)

My biggest failure to myself is not being able to put my needs out there, to ask and sometimes demand what I need from others.  Then I struggle when those around me under deliver.  One thing I've learned over the last two years is that I really can't be mad or disappointed with someone if I haven't told them what I need.  We aren't mind readers.  So my goal has been to put myself out there, but that is so much easier said than done.

Therein lies the cause of my funk for the last few weeks and also the resolution of it.  I have needed more from cute boy, I've talked about needing more with my friends, talked about telling him what I needed and then failed miserably when I tried.  While I have this incredible need to be honest, I have this fear of being alone.  I fear if I'm honest, he'll walk away, which honestly, is exactly what I should want him to do if he's not open to listening and discussing these things with me.  So I let it stew inside me until I did something I hate about myself.  I sent a text with my disappointment for him not having made plans to at least see me on one of my days off.  This was a mere three days after we'd had a great night out together.  I was a total crazy girl.

But, it did what I needed it to do, it forced my hand.  Instead of running, he came here.  He forced me to talk.  I told him what I needed, he told me that he still doesn't know where he stands.  We were honest with one another and at this point that is EXACTLY what I need.  I'm okay with him not knowing, I was struggling with feeling like he didn't want to see me, when in reality, he's just dealing with things himself.   I can trust now, that if we go a few days without talking, it's not me...it's just time for me to take advantage of taking care of myself without the distractions of dimples.

So, at this point I'm asking myself, I started this post talking about self-discovery and ended talking about a cute boy.  Seems counter-productive, but it isn't.  Since I was 16, I have never gone more than six months without a boyfriend in my life. Ever.  That's 19 years with constant companionship and not once have I told any of them what I needed until now.  I'm changing the way I work, how my mind processes and trying to teach myself it's okay to ask for what you need and to walk away when you don't get it.  I don't want to walk away from this one, I think he's a keeper (he's the first one that hasn't run from having to "talk" about things) but I am fully prepared to do so if it's not healthy for me.

I have a deadline.  I'm a planner and I know if I don't challenge myself I will sit around waiting for him to make up his mind forever.  I'm worth more than that.

In January I start classes to finish my degree.  Once I complete my Bachelors, I intend to go on for my Masters.  This is something I am doing for me.  To prove that I can finish it.  I need to be able to focus on school and not be distracted by a relationship that I don't feel secure in.  So come January, I either know where I stand here and I am able to focus on school, or I am walking away and eliminating the distraction and focusing on school. 

I know come January that my decision to walk away may change, something may happen that makes me realize I can't put a limit on how quickly the pieces fall into place, but by throwing a time frame out there it allows me to have a check-in to make sure I am where I need to be to succeed.  

I don't know that I have blossomed yet, but I can feel it coming.

M

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Life is simple, it's just not easy. ~Author Unknown

I'm at a crossroads in my life. 

I have a cute boy that I really like, but who has said on several occasions that he doesn't know what he's looking for... usually in the sentence just prior to or after he tells me that he likes me.  I spent two years trying to get off the roller coaster that I seem to be back on.   I have on several occasions tried to have a conversation to find out what this is, only to chicken the fuck out or get distracted by his damn blue eyes and dimples.

I've tried to decide what I need to hear him say to be happy and I can't figure it out.  I know I love the way that I feel when I'm with him. I know I'm not needing a label.  I'm not looking to get married or move in together.  I just need to know that we're being honest, that if I'm spending nights, there aren't other girls spending the night too.  I need to know that if this changes, he will tell me.  I'm scared to death that he won't and I'll be blissfully happy and someday he'll call me and say he's not.  My marriage has scarred me.

I told my best friend the other day that when you're hurt the way we've been you get hurt, you have an open wound.  You have people that come into your life and they rip the scab off.  It hurts again and again until someday you meet the one person who is the big dose of Neosporin who makes it heal...You might always have the scar from ripping the scab off over and over, but it doesn't hurt anymore...I need Neosporin.

So the crossroads... I've wanted a child for a long time.  I'm thankful every day that I didn't have one with my ex, but it doesn't make the yearning any easier.  I'm 35 and I know that my days are numbered.  My friends still tell me I have plenty of time, but the medical world says otherwise. 

I'll be 36 in July 2011.  If I am not in a serious, committed relationship by then I am going to take matters into my own hands.  Because, while yes, I want to have a partner, it is not necessary for me to have the child I want.  I'm tired of waiting for men to make a decision so I can make one.   In the next few months I'm going to find the nerve to go talk to the facility, to see what it takes, what the process is and next July, if I'm where I need to be, alone or otherwise, I am going to make a decision about my future and the future of a child.

It feels like a weight off my shoulders, when realistically what I've done is made the decision to make the one biggest decision in my life. I'm ready.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Online Dating is a Big Fat Fucking Joke...(or is this really my only option?)

So I'm on match.com.  Not that it matters because I never get any emails.  The only people checking out my profile are my stalkers (ie. the ex-husband of the whore that my ex-husband was sleeping with during our marriage) and my friend's soon to be ex.  Really? Those are my options?

The funniest thing on Match is that you have to put your body type, or rather you don't, but I fell like if I left it blank everyone will assume I'm a 300 lb lardass.  So for my profile I selected "Curvy" and "A few extra pounds" because I have both.  Most men on the other hand choose "Athletic and Toned" "Slender" and "About Average".  There choices are made regardless of what they look like.

So for example, here's this hypothetical guy.  Slightly balding, decent shape, horrible grammar, two kids and he's looking for America's Next Top Model.  Hey buddy, I may be your best option.  I'm not a model, but you're even below my radar.

I'm a Match.com snob.  I have some pretty high class restrictions and because of those in one month I've already voided their money back guarantee.  I have to email 5 guys a month to qualify.  I haven't because there haven't been any worth emailing.

Here are the deal breakers for me:
- You have a picture of yourself with out your shirt on, taken on your cell phone, using your bathroom mirror.
- You have shitty grammar or use all capital letters.
- You admit in your profile that you have two children, by two women and you just haven't found the right woman yet.  Um - use a fucking condom, I don't want what you've got.
- You live off the grid and use your entire profile talking about sustainability and being self supportive.  That's great, but I like reality tv.
- You specifically mention not drinking. I like wine. I will not give it up for you or any other penis.
- You talk about your daily reading of the Bible.  That's great, but um, have you not realized that my favorite word is "fuck"?

So those are just a few, I also won't consider guys from certain towns, just because of the stigma that goes with them. 

So yeah, I'm a snob.  I have virtually eliminated every guy in the Match.com dating pool for one reason or another.  I am destined to be single forever or the one "perfect" guy I decide to go on a date with will end up being the reincarnate of Ted Bundy.  That would be my luck.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Men Are From...?

Yesterday I had the opportunity to be the wing-man for my BFF.  I'd had a bit to drink and my inhibitions were not existent.  Cute boy was off in another state doing his thing and I was really ready for the sarcasm that been bubbling up inside the last few days to come out.

The BFF has been seeing this guy for a bit, not really a public thing, just them doing their thing, but last night we kinda invited ourselves over to drink his beer while he was hanging with four of his good friends... Just one big meat market.  A great opportunity for some observations...although i don't know that any of them ultimately helped me any.

Firstly, guys think it is okay to simply play on YouTube when there are women in the room.  We were there for about 40 minutes before any of them really acknowledged us. Really guys? Watching music videos is that important?  Besides, the music was really too loud for us to have any conversation anyhow.

One of the guys broke off from the pack by grabbing my brand new sweatshirt and putting it on. I guess he was cold and he thought it was his buddy's.  The knowledge that it wasn't didn't matter.  He just kept it on and started sniffing it. And continued to sniff it. and sniff.  He thought I smelled good and it was kinda of funny...especially at the point where I had two guys smelling my hair.

The BFF and I decided to go outside and sit, kinda expecting that some of them might follow us, but nope.  You probably guessed it.  They didn't, at least not initially, they stayed inside with YouTube and actually dancing to some of the songs.  Bonus for us, we could just laugh and talk amongst ourselves at them. Eventually they did start to journey outside, mostly as the desire for a cigarette increased, but they hung out until we got cold and moved back in.

At this point, the boy who tried to steal my sweatshirt has told my BFF that he's got a crush on me. (Gee, in less than two hours, that may be a new record for me.)  He's continually made quiet comments that I've managed to ignore, because in amongst these comments he has mentioned his wife numerous times.  I'm fairly intoxicated and I have a nervous tic of playing/twirling my hair.  He actually tells me that I need to stop, he can't handle it. Muahahahahaha. 

Said boy then managed to text message me later (or rather earlier this morning) and tell me I was pretty, cool, sexy and I smell good.  I was informed he would like to date me, I am just his type.  At this point please scroll up to where he was talking about his wife.  He has stated that they have an open relationship, that she's okay with it.  Um, yeah, no.  One, I am not and I deserve more than being the other woman.  Jackass.

So what have I learned from my observations? Men are easily distracted.  First by loud music and funny things on a monitor and then later by smells and simplistic actions.  They tend to get one thing in their head and have a hard thing letting it go.  They think flattery will get them everywhere, including in one's pants.  They are easy to toy with once they let their weakness be known.  And therein lies the fun.

I played with the one boy like a cat with a mouse.  It was my entertainment.  Cruel? Maybe... but after all, he just opened the door that made it so easy.

Oh, and just so you know, I wasn't even showing any cleavage.  I was in a baggy t-shirt, jeans, sneakers and a hoodie.  I can only imagine what fun I could have had if the girls had been on display!

M

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering...

When I woke at 6 a.m. this morning to tend to my mutts, the first thought that I had was "Today is September 11th."  And then my heart plummeted into my stomach.  This has happened on this date for the last eight years, like a nervous tic.  I'll answer the question I know most of you are wondering - No, I didn't personally lose anyone that day, but I did lose a bit of myself.

I started thinking about today a few days ago.  It's been a hard day for me.  I usually wake, check the news outlets, read stories about the people who were directly affected that day and end up in tears.  Then I'll look up articles of Mohammed Atta and his trip that included an overnight stop in my beloved Portland.  That's where the anger takes over from the heartbreak.  This has been my routine every year... besides the actual year, which I did much of the same, but also sat in front of the television in disbelief for days, unable to look away, unable to turn the damn thing off.

Nine years ago I was 26, living with my parents, having moved back from Florida and going back to finish my degree.  My ex-husband and I were building a house, not yet engaged.  I was working full time and constantly on the move.  I can distinctly remember the events of that day, I've replayed them so many times I find it hard to put emotion in them.  I think most of the lack of emotion has to do with the shock:

I was on I-95 North, heading from Biddeford to South Portland for morning classes.  At the Scarborough exit I received a call from my step-mom that there was something going on in New York and that I should try to get the local news station on the radio.  This was still when the first plane hitting the World Trade Center was thought to be an accident.  The local station wouldn't come in well, so I was getting very spotty reports.

I had a planned stop at my friend's house in South Portland to drop off a lovely tea set she'd painted for her new baby daughter.  She hadn't been watching TV, so I asked her to turn it on.  That was when the second plane hit the WTC.  I pulled myself away, this was only my first or second class of the semester and I couldn't miss it.  I drove the ten minutes to campus, parked and the plane hit the Pentagon.

My professor had friends in the WTC, he hadn't heard anything from them and our class was sitting there in class, listening to news reports on a radio.  After class, I met up with my cousin and we sat in the cafeteria watching the news and tearing up until I had to pull myself away to go to work.

At the time I worked for a larger company, who had already issued a directive to close stores as needed.  I was a new manager and not really sure what to do, so we bought a radio and sat for a while with my employees and just listened.  The decision came when one of them came in for their shift, he came to the office and asked to leave.  His brother-in-law worked in the WTC, his wife and her family hadn't heard from him and he wanted to be home with them.  I closed the store, sent them all home.  His brother-in-law didn't make it.

I watched TV for days.  I remember going home, sitting down on the edge of the seat and just watching the same reports over and over again.  I dug for information on the Internet, I was obsessed.  I couldn't imagine such a tragedy happening here, in the United States.  That just didn't happen.  I'd lived the first 26 years of my life naive.  Thinking no one could hurt us.  On September 11, 2001 that vision was shattered.

I was also terrified.  My brother had just graduated High School and enlisted in the Marines.  He was scheduled to leave for boot camp in just a few weeks.  Would I lose him? I didn't, but I spent five years worried for him, worried for my step-mom and how she would handle her only child getting hurt or worse.  Every tour brought us anxiety and pain, but we knew it was the best thing we could do.  We were on every tour with him.  Every homecoming was sweeter, we grew an appreciation for one another and the time we got to spend together.  We bonded over trips to North Carolina to welcome him home. It was our new life.

The pain never really goes away.  The loss of innocence. I blame Mohammed Atta for a lot of that.  He was one of the terrorists.  I can recognize his picture, I remember his name, I know he was responsible for crashing the plane that hit the North Tower of the WTC.  Why would I care to know this? Why? I know he doesn't deserve it. But he came to MY city, he flew from Portland on the morning of the 11th.  He stayed at a hotel less than a half mile from my work, he shopped at MY Wal-mart (it's thought they may have bought the box cutters there) and he stopped into the convenience store where I bought my gas.  We had to review our security tapes to see if he may have actually walked in the doors of our store to use a computer.  The bastard cold have walked right by me that day and that pisses me off.  That's why I blame him.  If he'd flown out of somewhere else I wouldn't have all those overlapping paths with him.  I wouldn't feel like my space was  violated, like he took something from me.

I still see him everywhere, no worries, not actually have visions... but when I go into the gas station, which has been remodeled and completely different, I think of him.  When I go into the Marden's, which is the old Wal-mart, I think of him.  Every time I drive by that hotel, I think of him.  I feel like in a way, that makes him win and it just pisses me off more.

So, today, on this 9th anniversary of a day we shouldn't have to remember, I wish you all peace. Hug your loved ones closer and go out and do something nice for someone else.  Find a stranger, someone you'd normally walk by and ignore, shake their hand and say hello.  Accept them, regardless of their culture, religion, color, orientation, just accept them.  We need to remember what was, so we can make sure we never have to relive it.

We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey. ~Kenji Miyazawa

M