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Real Woman

28 Jul

As usually happens when I’m confused about where my life is going, and as usually happens after hooking up with an ex (sadly that’s happened to me more than once in the past couple of years) I enter a melancholy pondering mood, which brings me to revisit former relationships and wonder about what went wrong and how somehow I was to blame for everything.

Even though I haven’t seen him in almost 14 months, my go to guy for memories of what it felt like to be in love, is still SG. So I was thinking about him, about how much I had allowed myself to open up to him and be vulnerable, about how he broke it off with me that morning, after having spent an incredible night together, how he’d said he loved me, but couldn’t be with someone who had a son.

SG was a kid, I know that now (In all honesty, I knew it then too). A 26-year-old Peter Pan type, who could not commit to anything, from high school, to military service, to college, to a real woman. His ambitions were out of this world, he was always in the middle of a huge undertaking, never actually following through with things to the end. That’s what I was to him. An undertaking. His childish omnipotence-fantasy blinded him and made him decide to choose me, despite the age difference, the marital status difference, the fact that I had a son. He was excited by the fact that I wasn’t another one of these girlie-girls he was used to dating, the thin, pretty, clingy, boring type. I was a woman. A real woman. Happy with who I was – most of the time. Confident in my intelligence and competence. Curvaceous and beautiful as a real woman often tends to be. Knowing how to show affection, how to make a man feel special. All these qualities that drew SG to me, that made him feel lucky that he was free at last from past meaningless relationships… These qualities were also the ones that made him leave me.

I am a real woman. And alongside the benefits of being such, are the problems. Real women do not have girlie-girl-problems. It’s not about getting a bad grade on a course, having a bad hangover or arguing with a girlfriend. We have all the benefits of real women, and we have seriously fucked up real women problems to go along with them. Toddler temper tantrums. Juggling personal lives and careers. Mending broken hearts and wondering if we will ever be able to trust again. SG couldn’t handle me. So he left. Just like he’d left high school, and the army, and college. Just like I don’t really believe he will ever finish that list of 200 books he’d decided to read in the next 10 years, or learn French, Italian and Russian, or start playing the piano.

You can’t hail a cab in life, to get you from one point to another. Often, you have to walk, through murky filthy shitty sewage water to get to where you want to go. If you’re willing to put in the time, the effort and the faith necessary for the journey, you might actually get there.

I’m just about neck-high in shitty sewage water in my life right now, but I have the stamina to keep putting one foot before the other and keep my mouth shut so I don’t swallow any crap. I’m not the type to give up. Real women never do. I’m taking my real womaness and the problems that come with that awesome title, and we’re trekking to a place where we’re going to be truly happy. In like a year. Or two.

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Happy International Woman’s Day to a Me Still Craving Male Affirmation

8 Mar

I’m having such a blah day. The landlord to that house I want isn’t sending me the contract and I’m beginning to worry there might be something fishy going on there. I’m dying to move, but I need to let the daycare know what’s up in two days, and I’m not sure things will be final by then, or ever…

To make things worse my Boy is sick again, for the fourth time this month. High fever, not planning on going to daycare tomorrow. So mommy has to miss work, AGAIN.

And then there’s the other thing. It’s no secret that one of our most basic needs as human beings is to be touched, and it’s been really long. This sex deprivation is making me agitated in an already agitating situation. Bad for my health. And there’s not much I can do about it. I have no life, it’s all work and motherhood, and by the time I get a night off, I’m usually too tired to do anything. Then I finally get a break and my boy is healthy for an entire week, and he goes to his dad, and I go out drinking and meet a creepy weirdo who doesn’t get a hint.

My ego has really taking a blow lately. I feel unattractive, unsuccessful. Even if rationally I know I’m doing well, I feel like a failure nonetheless. And in this pool of self-pity that I’ve sort of let myself sink into today, there seems to be only one thing that can drag me out: male attention. Affirmation that does not come from within. I just really need someone to think that I’m cool right now, and that someone has to have a penis and a nice smile.

I’ve come a long way this year, but here’s something that hasn’t changed a bit: I still don’t think I’m worth a dime if I’m not constantly told I am by others.

That Girl

2 Dec

disclaimer

I’ve been reluctant to post about this, because I’ve been reluctant to admit it, but – we’re in therapy again. BD and I, trying to work things out, with the hopes of reuniting and giving our little boy the family we want so much for him to have.

I haven’t really talked much about it, I let almost everyone around me just assume that we’re separated, and on the way to a divorce (I bet they’re wondering what’s taking us so long). The few friends I have told, received the news followed by giant all-caps disclaimers: IT PROBABLY WON’T WORK OUT. NO POINT OF GETTING MY HOPES UP. WE MIGHT AS WELL GIVE IT A TRY, BUT, YOU KNOW, I DON’T REALLY THINK IT’S GOING ANYWHERE.

We have a good therapist. She’s practical and gets to the point quickly, which is good. And things are going well, I guess. We’re discussing moving in together for a trial period in a month or so. If this works out, it’ll be great. I mean, just think of the convenience: First off, having a live-in partner helping me raise my boy, and having that live-in incidentally be his father! There’s the little things – taking out the trash without worrying about leaving Baby at home. Going to the bathroom and, drumroll… Closing the door! Having someone to eat dinner with and spoon with at night. And then, there’s being able to have sex whenever I want, without it becoming a huge project. Only for that to become a consideration, we need to actually have sex, which we’re not, at all. God I miss sex. Sex is the best.

So now I have some down time, since the holidays have provided a short break from work, and BD went on yet another one of his business trips. Time to myself and I have no idea what to do with it. I’ve become so used to working nonstop, I kind of want to work though my vacation, and I can – it’s not that I don’t have stuff to do, I just don’t think that would be smart. I really need a time out.

After taking Baby to daycare this morning I went running, which always makes me feel powerful and sexy and I haven’t done it in a really long time. My running music is horribly outdated, but I haven’t listened to it so long that even Thrift Shop didn’t get on my nerves. When I came back home, feeling energized, I took a nice long shower and was suddenly overwhelmed with memories, little fragments of a winter day, almost a year ago, January 22nd, the day that marks my biographical birthday, the day New Me was born. As the water rushed over my hair, my face, my body, I felt a tingle in my toes as I caught a glimpse of a head of auburn curls, enormous brown eyes and strong arms that used to crush me to pieces and make me feel alive.

But it wasn’t SG I was remembering, it was me. Beautiful, sexy, strong, energetic, creative, vibrant, healthy, happy me. The girl who somehow survived the flood; the girl who camped out on the beach, sipping Breezers all day and returned home with her hair full of sand, and didn’t feel guilty for a minute for leaving her 7-month-old with his daddy; the girl who kissed a guy she never met at a club when she was 10 kilos heavier with post pregnancy weight, but felt hotter than she could ever feel these days; the girl who painted abstract crap and hung it on her wall shamelessly because it meant something to her, and started a blog and wrote 83 posts, consistently, every day, and then every week, and then every other week, but never stopped; the girl who, while raising a baby on her own managed to change her career around; the girl who fell in love, not only with a beautiful, free-spirited red-head, but with her brand new self.

I can’t go back now, I can’t. How could I ever give her up?

But I have. I am. I look back at that girl and I think I must have dreamt her. Just as I dreamt those enormous brown eyes that looked straight into my soul, and those big pouty lips that whispered “I love you” before they devoured me.

Wedding

26 Sep

dress

It was a beautiful wedding. BD took Baby and I had time for a bath, hair and make up, and I took a cab so I’d be able to drink. It wasn’t a close friend of mine who’d gotten married, but I knew I’d be crying like a little girl as she walked down the aisle. And I did.

I’ve always cried at weddings, for various reasons, that have changed over the years. The reasons that cause me to well up may have changed, but the tears are there, same as always. It used to be “how beautiful it is to be so in love” tears, and later on “I wish I were getting married”. Then it was, “I’m so happy for them” tears – after I myself had gotten married I went through a phase where I wanted everyone I knew to get married as well, so that they could be as happy as I was. Finally came the “fuck this” tears. The “true love doesn’t really exist but if you want to believe that it does, go ahead” tears. The “yeah, good luck with that” tears.

Tonight, it was the “will I ever love anyone that much again” tears, that stung my heart and shattered my soul.

At least I wore a pretty dress, drank five whiskey diet colas, ate a ginormous piece of wedding cake and got plenty of attention.

Time for bed now.

The Cockroach that Made Me Cry

7 Sep

Oh my God, I said into the phone. Shit. Shit. Shit. I can’t deal with this right now. Fuck. I gotta go. I gotta go. I gotta go.

It was a huge, ugly thing, standing on the windowsill in my kitchen (!) looking directly at me, with its horrible antennas twitching at me, like it was trying to pick a fight. And it would win. After having spent the morning consoling a feverish baby, then marking papers for hours, finishing a work meeting at nine P.M and sitting down to check yet more papers, this was going to be my 30 minute break, where I would have dinner and stare into nothing or talk about nothing on the phone with a friend who was also in desperate need of a break.

And there he was in all his horrid disgustingness, staring me down and I would have to deal with him.

I prayed. Please. Please! Go back outside. Then I cried. Nothing ever works out the way I want it to. It’s not fair.

It had been a rough week. First week of school, and in a new place, adjusting to a new system. Loads of work. Add to that BD going abroad and less help than I’m used to with our Boy. Add to that the fact that I’d been sick for a couple of days, and caring for a baby while taking endless painkillers. Add to that my best friend at the hospital, recovering from surgery, while I’m too sick to visit, and now my son spreading his germs everywhere, making it certain that I won’t be able to visit my friend even now that I’m finally well. Add to that a 37 page paper, boring as fuck, written by an aspiring English teacher who needs to be corrected on Present Simple that took me two hours to check.

And now this.

So I cried like a little girl. I said that the universe was against me, that it wasn’t fair.

And that’s when it happened. He took a step back. Then he crept back and now he was standing there, between the shutters and the windowpane, and I knew I had to act quickly.

I walked hesitantly toward the window, mumbling every curse word I could think of. Then twice reached over to the window but backed out. On the third try I managed to quickly shut the window, and I was saved.

It’s been a difficult year. And a difficult few months. And a difficult week. And a difficult day. And it would be a difficult night too.

But at least I didn’t have a cockroach in my kitchen anymore.

Up? Drunk.

19 Aug

drunk text

I wanted 2 text u – up? drunk.

But u never answered my last mail & that’s a bummer.

And u’r not emotionally available 4 a realtionship with a girl like me & that’s a turnoff.

And I think u don’t really have feelings for me like we did in the past & that’s a bummer and a turnoff.

So I’m turning off my phone, bummed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Wlhw_HJLts

Once Upon a Tuesday, Six Months Ago

21 Jul

“Have you heard of Margaret Atwood?” He asked. He was holding my credit card in his hand, tapping it repeatedly on the counter.

“No.” I answered, feeling uncomfortable, like this was some sort of test.

“And Haruki Murakami?” Now I realized that Margaret Atwood was a writer, and I immediately felt at ease. A bookworm like me, with a Masters in Literature, this was my territory.

“Sure.” I answered bravely.

“What have you read by him?” He asked inquiringly.

“The Windup Bird Chronicle,” I responded a little too quickly, please don’t ask me about specific details, I begged in my mind. It had been ages since I read it.

“And?”

“It was good. Though weird, I mean a little too weird, for me that is.” Apologetic smile.

“Weird is an understatement.” He answered to my relief. “I’m going through a Murakami phase right now. I’m reading everything he’s ever written. Have you read Hardboiled Wonderland? You should. I mean, it’s even weirder than the Windup Bird, much weirder. But you’d love it. I think.” A thin dark haired boy, who seemed barely 20 to me took my credit card out of Skating Guy’s hand.

“Two tickets?” He asked, looking at D who smiled and nodded beside me. A minute later my card was back in SG’s hand, and he was writing the closing time on the receipt and explaining to my friend and I where to pick out our skates. He was shorter than the dark haired boy, and seemed older. His hair was light and drawn back into a tight ponytail. He had enormous brown eyes, with long auburn lashes drooping over them heavily, which matched his oversized lips, the bottom of which I found especially tempting. Despite his overgrown features there was a softness to his bristly face.

“Have fun.” He said with a smile, and just as I turned to leave he added, “Maybe I’ll come skate with you later, if you want.”

“Was that guy hitting on me, or was he just being friendly?” I asked D.

“Hitting on you.”

“Geez, I’m so out of practice.” I smiled. “He was kind of cute, wasn’t he?” It was exciting to be noticed, and even more so by someone who seemed intelligent, someone who seemed to be interested in someone intelligent, and much more so now that I was single for the first time in thirteen years.

We stepped on the ice, our legs wobbly, attempting to stabilize ourselves, grabbing onto the rail. A few rounds later we were a bit more confident on the ice, and that’s when T joined us, sexy and energetic in her skinny jeans, tight top and perfect hair, bouncing about, giggling like a school girl as she stepped on the ice. Behind her was my guy, with his hair, and his lips and his Margaret Atwood.

“Huh. I guess he found T.” I told D, only slightly bitter.

“Actually it looks like he found you.” She laughed as the skating instructor popped up behind me with a “Hey.” I nearly lost my balance, which made him ask, “You OK there?” He’d be asking me that same question in the future, and the answer would be no, but right now it was “I’m starting to get used to this, but I’m counting on you to show me a few tricks.” Which he did. He had the appearance of the shy-quiet type, but he was actually rather talkative. We discussed books we liked, and books we despised, and books by Margaret Atwood that I promised to read.

“How old are you anyway?”

“Twenty-five,” The boy answered. “You?”

“Thirty-one,” I answered honestly. Screw it, if he wasn’t into me because of my age, he was welcome to leave. Pop music was blasting in the background, and I was feeling high on adrenalin. Half an hour later I was explaining the benefits of my Kindle to him, and he was defending the old fashioned paperbacks, and the irreplaceable feeling of flipping through their pages. “With my Kindle I can change the font size and read while I do stuff at home, like umm laundry.” And breastfeeding, I thought to myself.

“Laundry is important.” He laughed. Where do you live? I told him. “Roommates?” I smiled. “You could call it that.” He waited for an explanation. “Forget it, we just met. Let’s wait a bit longer before I shock you.”

“Uh-oh, you’re married with two kids aren’t you?”

“Not exactly.” I had a nice time flirting with him, and that’s what counted. It couldn’t last forever. I might as well tell him now, I thought, and go back to skating with my friends. “I live with my son.” I said. “Separated.”

“Ah.” Well? “He must be cute, how old is he?

“Seven months.” Nice of him to stick around and not bolt. So he’s polite on top of everything else, I thought.

“So, separated, is that like divorced?”

“Pretty much.”

“And that’s supposed to shock me, huh?” He smiled mischievously and we continued skating. “He must be grabbing stuff now, right?” He asked knowingly. “I read about that. Or is he putting everything in his mouth?” It took me a second to realize he was talking about my son.

“Both!” I laughed with relief.

It was ten o’clock and we were exchanging phone numbers, and setting up a date for Sunday. It would be my first date in thirteen years. I was as high as I’d been in a long time. I couldn’t wait.

It’s been six months since I first met SG at the Skating Ring. Five months, three weeks and two days since we sat at that bar on our first, magical date, since he kissed my shoulder and told me I was beautiful, and turned me on so bad that I had to follow him home and lie to the sitter that I had decided to watch a late-night movie. It’s been four months since we broke up for the first time because BD wanted to get back together and I was confused. Three months and three weeks since I told him I loved him, and he said it back. Three and a half months since we gave Baby a bath together and made animal noises, making him laugh hysterically. Three months since I cried into his shoulder, after a sick friend was told she’d have to have surgery. Two and a half months since I told him I was going to go to couples therapy with BD. Two months since I changed my mind but continued going nevertheless. Six weeks since I stopped therapy and spent and insanely passionate night with SG. One month, three weeks and six days since he told me he wanted to end it because he couldn’t be in a serious relationship with a woman who had a son. One month since I texted him miserably, desperately, and was answered with a straightforward, though kind goodbye. Four days since I found his email and foolishly wrote him a letter and got no response.

Less than a minute since I last fantasized that I might ever have him back.