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Relationship Allergies

8 Mar

Yesterday was Saturday, and by chance, D and I were both free in the afternoon. We’ve been seeing each other for almost 4 months and our dates have almost always been nightly encounters, in my living room after my Boy went to bed, or on my night off, out at the movies, having dinner, or under the covers, in and out of sexy outfits, or watching a movie curled up with a cup of whiskey tea.

We both have kids, we both have jobs, we both have very limited time to spend with each other. He puts in an extra shift on Saturday to make ends meet, and we have to say goodbye at 6 a.m. on the only morning that I can sleep in. That’s just the way it is for us, and it’s been fine so far.

Not to mention my new rule of no sleepovers when my Boy is home. For the last two months I’ve been pushing it, allowing myself to fall asleep in his arms and waking up at 5 a.m. to sneak him out of the house before my Boy awakens. But last week, he had bad dreams, and came into my room crying at 3 a.m. I jumped out of bed and picked him up. “It’s OK sweetie,” I soothed him and myself, as I put him back in his bed. He didn’t see D, it was dark and he was half asleep but it freaked me out enough to wake D up and send him home right then and there.

So when we found out we would have a free afternoon together, we were pretty excited. I had all kinds of ideas for plans. We could go to the beach, or to the marina to walk by the water and sip beer and look at the yachts. Or we could catch a movie, or get sushi, or try to find an art exhibition to see. “I have an idea too,” D said, and since I tend to be bossy, and I’m working on it, I went with the flow.

D wanted us to go to the park for a long walk. It was nice to walk with him, in the cool breeze by the little lake with the ducks swimming about and the toads croaking loudly and mosquitoes biting my everything. After our walk we went to the grocery store to buy vegetables, and that’s when I started feeling weird. We got lettuce, mushrooms, tomatoes, a red onion, olives and feta cheese for a spectacular salad. D picked out the beers. We left the store and at the car he handed me the keys which he’d been keeping in his pocket for me, and I handed him the groceries to hold while I opened the car door. As we entered the car I felt a familiar yet distant feeling in my gut, a certain niceness, a plainness, a just-another-Saturday-eveningness, buying groceries and making a salad. It was odd.

We got home, made dinner and sat down to eat and watch a movie. I was enjoying the quiet comfort of being together with no expectations. But I wasn’t able to completely relax. My body was reacting to something, sending warning signals up from my feet to my knees and into my gut, making me a little short of breath. This is bad. The last person I shared such intimacy with ended up destroying me. Temporarily at least. I don’t want this. I don’t need this. A walk in the park! Salad! And he sits there on the sofa, and you wouldn’t believe it, scratches his scrotum right in front of me. No. I want to go back to nightly sex sessions and dark movie theaters and drunken silliness. I was so freaked out that I didn’t take my hands off him for the rest of the night, making up for a moment of intimacy with wild sex, until he basically told me he was exhausted and needed a break.

I had relationship allergies yesterday. I had a bad reaction to a moment of closeness that I used to crave. My favorite times with BD were evenings like this one, strolling in the park and making a salad. I used to love going to the supermarket with him. Having him hold the bag as I opened up the car door. I don’t know if I can do that again though. And maybe it’s a good thing that we’re so goddamn busy. It’ll be ages before we have an afternoon like this again.

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A Beautiful Cup of Sun and a Moment of OK

7 Mar

Some things I wanted to tell you, M:

Well, first, D told me he loved me, and since then things have been pretty sweet with us. We haven’t said it again, but we’ve been much closer, acting more like a couple, having fun and sex, and holding each other, and saying stuff like I’m crazy about you and basically enjoying one another. We have these inside jokes going on now, that I know you’d appreciate. And he’s totally up for watching cheesy late 80’s – early 90’s romantic comedies with me and judging everyone but secretly enjoying them. We had a ball with Mystic Pizza and we watched Groundhog’s Day last week, which I’m sure you’d approve of. In the middle of the movie he actually said, “They don’t make movies like this anymore”.

Other than that, I wanted to tell you that we’re going to Santorini in the spring! J, E, G and me. We’ve already bought tickets and everything. End of April. And it’s going to be amazing. My birthday comes up before that, and this year I’ve decided to throw a party, with drinks, music and dancing.  Remember that year, when you first moved to the city, you got all your friends together at a small bar downtown and got really shitfaced? You repeated that tradition in the years to come but that first time was so much fun.

This morning it was hot, way hotter than it should be this time of year and I wore a new skirt I got at that boutique you like, the one I can never go into without spending a fortune because everything is so beautiful. It’s green with white polka dots and little brown-goldish feathers. I wore it with black tights and a black tank top and it looked awesome. I went into town to meet J for coffee at a place that opened up rather recently, when you weren’t drinking much coffee anymore. I love that place. You enter it and are immediately overwhelmed with a craving for the warmth and comfort of a morning’s first cup, and it makes no difference if it’s actually your third.

I sat there with J and we chatted. She told me about a new guy she started to chat with online. As I looked at her I saw a giddiness that I hadn’t seen in a very long time and I asked myself if it’s been that long since we’ve been happy that we might not recognize it when we felt it again. But I totally recognized it. A spark of beautiful around-the-cornerness, anticipation of good things that may be coming. Obviously, shitty things will always be coming too. But I think we know now to look for the good, we’ve learned that we need to embrace it – NOW – because who knows what will happen tomorrow.

As I sat there in the sun, with J, drinking coffee, munching on an oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookie, I felt it. The sun, the warmth, the air standing still, my shoulders and feet bare in my tank top and flip-flops, the ice cream parlor nearby, the people riding their bikes, J’s smile, it felt like it was OK somehow. My first instinct was to jump up and say that it isn’t, defending your memory means I need to grieve you, still and forever.

But no. Instead here I am, telling you about the things that are good, the stuff that works out. I promised you we’d be alright, and I wanted you to know that we sat in the sun and smiled and drank coffee today, talking about boys, planning a party and a trip to Santorini.

It’s been 49 days without you. I miss you so much. Horribly, terribly, devastatingly, enormously, outrageously. I will always miss you. It surprises me that despite that, I am able to allow a glimpse of lightheartedness in, through my exposed toes, in desperate need of a pedicure, through my bare shoulders, soaking up the sun. It wasn’t escapism this morning with J, it was simply good.

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.

 

Online Dating is Fucking Depressing – Part 2: Having a Kid Together will be Inevitable

17 Oct

I’m not even going to embelish this. This is a direct quote from my chat with hot shirtless guy doing shots and eating M&Ms in his profile pic. Seriously, dreamy. Until we started chatting.

Me: So, shots and M&Ms, yummy 🙂

Him: Hey cutie. What are you up to tonight?

Me: Honestly, just a quiet evening at home, ginger beer, cooking, watching a movie. Quality time with me. What about you?

Him: I’m at the hospital hon. Had throat surgery. Would have loved to cuddle with you and watch a good movie.

Me: Oh man, sorry to hear. Hope you get better soon.

Him: Listen, I’m not looking to play games, I really want to get to know you. And I’m looking for something serious.

Me: OK. Well, since I can tell you value straight-forwardness, I’m not really sure what I’m looking for. Someone to get to know, spend time with and see where things go.

Him: Sure sounds good. We’ll get to know eachother, see how it goes. I’m sure we’ll get along well and move in together, and then if things go well we can have a baby together.

Me: I don’t know if you’re being serious.

Him: Of course I’m being serious. I’m not into playing games.

Me: Oh. Well, I just think it’s a little wierd that we don’t even know each other and you’re taking about having a kid together.

Him: I’m just saying, if things go well between us it’s inevitable that we have a kid together.

Me: Ah. In that case.

Lonely Shrimp & and Beer

17 Oct

It’s so fucking quiet here right now. The only sounds I can hear are the hum of the cheap ceiling fan I had installed in the living room, my fingers hitting the keyboard and my way to many thoughts.

Only several hours ago the place was a mess. My kid refusing to nap was bouncing off the sofas an onto the coffee table scream-singing the Fireman Sam theme song, being chased by a dog we’d been sitting for a few days, bouncy, scratchy, loud and annoying (and cute). I had a headache and no patience, and my period was late (still is) and I needed a break and a drink.

Then BD came to collect them, smooth and calm, like only a man who does not live with his toddler looks when he comes to pick him up. Suddenly the house was quiet.

I should have been relieved. But as I cracked open a beer and sat on the sofa, all I could feel was emptiness. Toys all over the living room floor wanted to be played with. My messy bed where my son had been jumping in his over-exhausted hyper fit was calling for us to roll around in and make animal noises and tickle each other and squeal.

These sacred hours alone, I have so few of them in my schedule. They shouldn’t be spent crying and drinking beer. I should be having epiphanies. And sex. And magical moments with good friends which make me reevaluate my life. Instead I sauté shrimp with garlic, broccoli and butter. And I drink another beer. And then I watch a romantic comedy about this girl whose life is fucked, but then she meets a guy. Oh, you know the one.

You’d think all this would lift my mood, but you’d be wrong. Is it really this lonely to be single? And if I don’t love the guy and 100% do NOT want to be with him, doesn’t this mean that getting over him should be easier? Will alone ever again not equal lonely?

Butterflies again, and it’s not about a boy

27 Feb

porch swingTomorrow may well be life changing. You see, there’s this house. Small and rickety and just waiting to be given some love and attention by two new tenants, seeking a new life. It means moving to another town, farther from BD than where we are now. It means renting again, and dealing with landlords, and also letting out our apartment and dealing with tenants. It means living in a house for the first time in my life, which excites me but also scares me to death – what if I get mice, or worse, a snake? What if someone creepy comes into my yard? What if things keep breaking and it’s too much work to take care of?

Tomorrow I meet the landlords. I’m going to impress their socks off. I’m going to be brave and sign a lease all on my own, and move in, and get a really good exterminator to make sure I get as few unwanted guests as possible in the yard.

I’ve already found really good daycare for my Boy. I have parents and sisters and friends living nearby. And there’s a fantastic coffee place just a short walk away. The house itself isn’t big, but it’s more than enough for the two of us. There’s a tiny living room, a decent sized kitchen and two big sunny bedrooms that will be just wonderful to wake up in every morning. There’s no bathtub, just a shower – that will definitely be an adjustment. But the gorgeous little front yard, and the enormous backyard, where tea will be sipped on a porch swing, barbeques will be hosted on sunny Saturday mornings, and playhouses will be built, where my Boy will play with his new neighborhood friends – these will all make up for the practical showers that are about to replace our bath time ordeals.

It’s going to be great, I think. As long as the contract is fair and the landlords seem reasonable. And as long as I don’t chicken out…

Movie Moments

1 Jan

spatula

New Year’s day, and here I am. Still uncertain, still shaky, still on hold. What the hell am I doing? I know what I have to do, it’s just that I haven’t been feeling very courageous lately.

A year ago I was beginning to get a grip on things. Everything fell apart in October 2012. But in January 2013 I was beginning to put the pieces of my life back together. Slowly, one piece at a time, I learned that my life was a puzzle that could be put together in more ways than one. I waited for three months for BD to turn around. And then came the SCREW IT stage, no pun intended, well, maybe semi-intended. I discovered that life was magic. I was astounded by the revelation that I could live my life any way I wanted to, that I was free to do whatever I wanted.

Life is magic. People watch movies and read books and hear stories, and they say: things like this never happen in real life. Bullshit. Everything happens in real life, if you let it. Movie moments are all around us, waiting to be discovered by the power of one bold move, a small act of bravery.

Dinner today. Scrambled eggs. Tomato. Cucumber. Olives (Baby loves olives!) A spoon. And then BAM, Baby leans over and grabs a giant yellow spatula with a smiley face on it from the kitchen counter. Now he’s using it as a giant spoon, picking bits of tomato with it and stuffing them into his mouth, laughing his head off. Too young to have reservations. So open minded, that he would never ask if it was appropriate. Who the hell cares? It makes him happy.

It’s harder for us. We’re so aware, so worrisome. It’s harder for me. So uncertain, so afraid of making a mistake. So afraid to be brave that I prefer this impossible status quo. I prefer to let life guide me and spoon-feed tasteless mashed carrots. Instead, I should just grab me a giant yellow smiley-faced spatula, pull life by its reigns and fill it with movie moments and passion and happiness and me.