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Fourth Date Boxing Match

23 Nov

He said first dates are like the first round of a boxing match. You’re pretty much just sizing each other up, taking a good look at your opponent and trying to figure them out. It’s only during the second round that the fight actually begins. So I guess that means we’re boxing now.

Yesterday was our fourth date, and it was a stay-at-home-and-watch-a-movie date, the kind where you never get to the end of the movie, because you end up naked, wrapped in each others arms, sleepy and satisfied.

I’m going to call him D here.

He’s divorced, has twin girls that are almost two, and he has them half the week, so he know what it means to raise children. My first impression of him, during our first chat online, even before talking to him on the phone, was that he was decent and sensitive. The kind of guy that tells you that he likes you, but doesn’t try to kiss you on a first date. That asks if you’re enjoying yourself and cares about your answer. That brings you flowers when you invite him to dinner and a movie at your place, and doesn’t try anything until he’s certain you’ll be into it. The kind that doesn’t give you empty compliments, but says things that seem real and sincere. That says thank you at the end of an amazing make out session. The kind you defeinitely want to have a fifth date with.

As always with me, things are moving quickly, and I don’t feel like pacing myself. We’ve been going out for only a week, and I’ve already seen him four times (and seeing him again tomorrow). I love this feeling of walking around in a haze, and smiling to myself, and daydreaming about him. And this time, somehow, I’m not horribly nervous either. Sure I’m a little shy, sure I’m excitable, but something about his manner puts me at ease. It feels safe somehow to start liking him.

And I am.

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Ode to Online Dating

2 Nov

I met him online, we chatted for a while

He likes awesome music and knows how to make me smile

Spent hours on the phone with him, like I was 16

Sent him links to songs I like, stared hours at the screen

We spent an awesome evening, playing music at the park

My heart skipped a beat when he kissed me in the dark

I know I barely know him, I should probably take it slow

Instead I just forget myself and go with the flow

My phone hums, my heart skips a beat

It might be the man I’m waiting to meet

He’ll send me a short silly nonchalant text

I’ll read between the lines, and figure out the rest

My phone hums, he wants us to meet

Tonight at the park, my heart skips a beat

I’ll talk about all kinds of things he doesn’t understand,

He’ll play me that song I like, he’ll take me by the hand

I spent the night at his place, I wore that skimpy dress

My face and hair were perfect but my heart was a mess

I know I barely know him, I should probably take it slow

Instead I just forget myself and go with the flow

My phone hums, my heart skips a beat

It might be the man I’m waiting to meet

He’ll send me a short silly nonchalant text

I’ll read between emoticons, and figure out the rest

My phone hums, I check it right away

Been hours since he wrote me last, I’m going insane

I’ll read between the lines, I’ll see what isn’t there

I’ll answer with a winky face, not showing that I care

Collecting Snapshots

29 Oct

“Hi,” I smiled nervously and got into the car, perfectly aware of how awesome my favorite seven-year-old black boots that I’d repared with superglue the night before looked over my jeans, and how my top was just slightly drooping over my shoulder exposing a purple bra strap.

He leaned over to give me a hug, which I recieved greatfully, and when he started to drive, I sighed with relief. First dates are always awkward, but I had a feeling I was going to like this guy, based on the three nights in a row we’d spent chatting online and talking on the phone, sending one another pictures and youtube links to our favorite music. Also, this was not going to be a boring old date-date. This was a picnic at my favorite spot at the park, where I had fantasized all day about sipping wine, listening to him play his guitar and making out a bit if the moment presented itself.

Still, it’s always different seeing someone face to face, no matter how many pictures you’ve seen of them. He wore a beige collar shirt with brownish stripes, but the fabric was soft and droopy, and the top button was loose. He was shorter than me, and smaller, but not by much. His hair was light brown and messy, cut too short for curls to form, but long enough that you could see its tendency to curl. His complextion was light, there may even have been a few freckles decorating his face. His eyes were serious, but his smile was boyish, with a bottom lip that was fleshier than the top one, and which I later found to be delicious and sexy.

“You came on time.” I commented.

“No I didn’t, I was late.”

“Two minutes doesn’t count as late.”

“But it wasn’t two minutes, it was four.” I  smiled. “So where are we going?”

“You’ll see.”

An hour later I was sitting there on my green fleece banket in my favorite corner of the park. My boots were tossed to the side, as were his. He was sitting close to me, facing me, with only his guitar between us. His shirt was slightly open, from before, when I was touching his chest as he kissed me. Now he was playing Wish You Were Here, and I enjoyed immensly watching his fingers playing with the chordes, and listening to him sing, slightly off key. As I joined in, my hands were on his thighs, stroking them gently.

I closed my eyes and took a snapshot of this beautiful moment, of a girl and a guy enjoying music and warmth on a cool evening at the park. I was, once again, reminded of the numerous gifts that life continues to grant me, when I am open at heart and at mind and willing to accept them. When he placed his guitar on the blanket to his right, and leaned in to kiss me again, less cautiously and more passionately this time, I felt his warmth, surging through his body, leaking through those fingertips that stoked my back. With my eyes still shut, my mind was clear and I allowed myself to drown in an emotion that I can only attempt to describe as a sea of cotton balls and warm milk.

What happens next doesn’t even matter. My life is so intense and complex and challenging. But I am collecting beautiful moments for the collage that is my life, and they balance out the uncertainty, the drama, the pain, the guilt, the struggle.

Every single snapshot counts.

 

He’s Here and He’s Good to Me

24 May

There’s a new man in my life. Unexpected, it seems to me, predictable as hell if you ask my friend M.

M says I don’t know how to do casual, and she’s probably right. Here’s something I realized recently: I started dating B slightly under two months ago, and from the start anyone who asked me about him received the same answer: It’s fun, but it’s not going anywhere. B is nothing like me. We are drastically different in our occupations, interests, preferences, lifestyles, our mother tongues, our cultures, in the way we manage our interpersonal relationships.

Oddly enough though we are eerily alike in spirit. We share similar personal experiences. We’ve been hurt in similar ways. We have similar self-constraints. We’ve overcome similar obstacles. We take pride in our (sometimes overly) high self-awareness. We both basically think we know everything there is to know about ourselves and it takes us by surprise if someone manages to point out something we’ve overlooked.

And there is another striking similarity: We are both fearless. I don’t mean that we know no fear. At least for me, fear is an emotion I have gotten to know rather closely these past two years. But I don’t let it run my life, anymore at least. On the contrary, I am often aware that if something scares me to death, it may be just what I need.

So last night, when I said ‘I love you’, and I felt like I might faint, I knew it was probably a good thing. I could feel myself starting to think fast. What the hell am I doing? I hardly know this guy. He’s probably going to hurt me. Anyway, I’m not looking for a serious relationship now (I bet M will laugh as she reads this).  Why can’t I be a little less impulsive? Why can’t I keep my mouth shut? I bet he’s not going to say it back.

He did, though, about fifteen minutes later.

As we lay in bed hugging after a session of mind-blowing post-I-love-you sex, I remembered suddenly that I was sure things with SG would be casual. I had no intention of falling in love with him.  But what’s even more interesting is what I remembered next. Meeting my friends after a 4th date with BD, nearly 15 years ago. Describing our relationship as a ‘casual-summer-fling’. Telling my friends we were going to take things slow.

So M may be right. I guess I don’t do casual. I guess I’m easy to fall in love. I don’t know if that makes me easy, or overly accepting. Is it odd that the first guy who hit on me after my breakup, became probably the greatest love of my life? That it was more difficult to overcome my breakup with him than with my husband, father of my son? That thinking about him still triggers emotions that I haven’t felt towards BD in years? And is it odd that as soon as I was ready to start something new, the first man I dated, that I intended to lure into bed after months of unbearable loneliness, was able to provoke similar emotions in me? Being as different as he is from me? With all the little things about him that I find almost intolerable? His dog-eat-dog profession? His work stories that make me cringe? His incomprehensible taste in music? His freezer, crammed with frozen pizzas and low quality non-dairy ice cream?

But there we were last night. Laughing about something in bed. It’s so nice to just laugh sometimes. I do that a lot with him. He asks in Spanish how I feel, and I answer ‘bien’ and he asks me that every so often when we’re together, because he really wants to know. He always wants to know how I feel. He respects my boundaries: the things I cannot do, or promise, or say. He remembers what I like and dislike, and it matters to him. He’s here. He’s good to me. So I feel entitled to love him, even if it means nothing more than stating what he makes me feel.

I guess it’s true, I may not be capable of casual. I may be prone to falling in love. But am I capable of just being? With someone who is kind to me? With someone who is there?

 

 

Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, but why don’t you drive away that boy I like, creep me out and stick your tongue down my throat?

7 Mar

So in my desperation – I’m not afraid to admit it, it’s been months since anyone’s touched me – I had my second unsuccessful to say the least, attempt at the pick-up-bar scene. Three drinks later, the boy I liked said he was thinking about getting back together with his ex, a guy ten year older than me tried to politely ask for my number, and a creepy yet persistent 30-year-old-divorce-atterny (I kid you not) was giving me tips on how to finalize my divorce and come visit his bedroom while I was at it.

I began by saying I was desperate, and if he had been even slightly less creepy and aggressive, I would have gone with it. But within seconds it was how much he liked me, and how he’d told that other guy – the one I actually liked – to back off, and then the chewing began. The chewing of my lips, like they were a piece of meat, which made me want to ask him to please start treating all of me as a piece of meat and not just my lips. I mean, there hadn’t even been one nice soft getting to know you kiss.

I gave him a false number. That’s the most chicken shit thing to do in the world. Then I left that place and let all the weirdos continue hitting on the few normal people that had come there in order to get over or get back at exes.

 

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.

OVERWHELMED

5 Mar

I know from experience to discredit any thought or emotion that comes to surface when I am sick and sleep deprived. But that’s easier said than done. To be honest, I don’t remember feeling this lost, confused or overwhelmed since highschool.

I’ll begin with the disclaimer. Baby has been feverish and pukey for the past 48 hours, refusing to eat, sleep and generally difficult to manage. His mama, has a bad cold and hasn’t been getting much sleep. The emotional messiness I am about to describe here is without a doubt linked to all of this, and yet it feels very valid nonetheless.

BD wants to get back togehter, I’ve mentioned this in one of my previous posts. I said no, but he’s been persistent. I had spent a week trying to stir up those emotions I used to feel towards him, a feeling of closeness, affection, attraction, but the harder I tried, the more I got nothing. I’d become numb to him. Even kissing him didn’t stir any emotion in me. I was trying him on like an old pair of jeans, trying to see if they still fit, and they didn’t. Although sometimes I’m not so sure if I was really trying. Maybe I was just looking at this pair of jeans and saying, naaaah, too tight.

Then, there’s SG, who’s entered my life without warning, through the back door, and without paying attention or intending to do so, I found myself in a relationship with another man, when all I wanted was a date, a light make out session, something to help me get over the breakup. I was looking for a transition guy, and I fell in, well, I don’t know. I’m definitely NOT ready for what it means to be seriously involved with someone else, especially now, that BD seems to be hanging onto me with all his might. He’s really not letting me go. But I already feel what I feel and I can’t just pretend that I don’t. What a mess.

We’ve had The Talk about five times by now, BD and I. The one where I tell him that I don’t want to get back together and he tells me I’m making a mistake and that he loves me and that we should give it a chance. The harder he pushes me, the more I want to let go of him. But it also makes me feel that what I’m doing with SG is terribly wrong. Rationally, I tell myself that he left me, no, he left us, which is so much worse, that I’m entitled to get love from someone else if he doesn’t want to give it to me. This rationalization has worked fine as long as he stayed away, but now that he wants to get back together, it doesn’t seem convincing anymore.

SG and I went to an art exhibition the other day, and it was the first time I’d ever been out with him in public in broad daylight. We didn’t hold hands or anything, we really just went to see the show, but it felt like I was doing something bad and somebody would find out, and I got comepletely panicky and freaked out.

There are other things on my mind too, that have nothing to do with this boy drama that are stressing me out, and it just felt at that moment that there was no more room in my heart for anything. There’s too much stuff in there already. All I wanted to do was empty myself from all these emotions and just stick to the basics for a minute. Baby and I. Both of us well, eating, sleeping, taking a walk.

After the freak out, we sat on my sofa and SG got me  a glass of water and put his arms around me and said it was OK and to tell him what I needed. And I wanted to tell him two things: 1. I need some space. 2. Don’t stop holding me. But they were too contradictory so
I said nothing. Then I got a call from Baby’s daycare to come pick him up because he had a fever, and I left SG abruptly and rushed to get Baby and felt guilty, as if he’d gotten sick becuase I was having an affair. Is that what this is, by the way?

BD came over that night to see Baby and I was a mess, and when I saw him with Baby I started to cry, and I let him hold me, and that’s when I felt  it, that thing I had been searching for. That emotion towards him. And when I felt it, it made me cry harder and it confused me even more than I had been. Because here he was, father of my child, the man I had loved for 13 years, the man I married, the man I knew better than anyone else. And he was tired, and sad, but he was there. He said something like: you can’t carry all the world’s sorrow on your shoulders, and even though that’s not what I was doing, it touched me, because it showed that he knew me, because that’s something that I tend to do. And I can get it back now if I choose to. I can decide to forgive his abandonment. I can decide to give him another chance. It’s up to me now, and it was somehow easier when it wasn’t.

And here I am now, a few days later and not much better. Baby’s in his baby carrier which is almost the only thing that seems to soothe him and I found the perfect spot for my laptop, on top of our mineral water dispenser, it’s high up enough that I can type while standing up with baby in his carrier, swaying from side to side to console him. And that’s where things stand.

This post is going to end with no insights, no motivational words, no conclusions. In fact, I think I’m going to try to get through the next few days without making any decisions at all. That seems like it might be a good idea. And I guess after that we’ll see.