Tag Archives: self esteem

Are You Listening to Me? I Said V-a-m-p-i-r-e P-o-r-n.

30 Jan

vampire novels

I mentioned in my previous post that I was going on a date with ice-skating-instructor-guy, so I realize that I owe everyone a follow up, and here it is.

My first date since the separation. My first date since, well, basically forever. The last time I was “on the market” was 13 years ago. Also, I’m still technically married, which makes me, technically, not quite on the market, more like on hold, more like may soon be on the market again. And still. I have been pretty much walked out on by a man I used to call my husband, who made a baby with me and then picked up and left the minute things got a little rough. So I don’t think I’m supposed to feel guilty about going out on a date. And I don’t, honestly. The thing I feel guilty about is the fact that I enjoyed it.

We went out to a bar. Following a friend’s advice, I came with my own car, to give myself a sense of control that I might not have had if he’d picked me up. I showed up exactly on time. He was already there waiting for me. I liked that. BD was always late.

At the bar, we chatted away, about books mostly, but then about life and it’s surprising turns.  I’ve got to hand it to this boy, he sure knows how to make a woman feel awesome about herself. There was a lot of complementing going on, the kind that surpasses the superficial/artificial you-have-pretty-eyes thing. He said he liked my attitude towards life. And I liked him for noticing that I had one, because I’m almost sure BD never did in 13 years of togetherness. But maybe that’s a bit harsh. Maybe he did notice, but just never bothered to acknowledge it. Or maybe he just didn’t care for it.

There we were, chatting and laughing, hardly any awkward silences, actually just one. We looked at each other, and he smiled apologetically. I smiled back. Then he finally remembered something he wanted to ask me. Something unimportant, maybe about work. And just as I was beginning to answer him I suddenly found his face very close to mine, and I realized he was going to kiss me, and I also realized that I was very happy to be kissed by him.

After that, on his part, he seemed more relaxed, like for a while he’d been planning his move. He moved his bar stool so that now he was sitting beside me, rather than opposite of me. He had his arm around me. He kissed me again from time to time. He was fun to kiss. It wasn’t so much that the kiss was extraordinarily spectacular. It felt good to be kissed by someone who seemed to really want to kiss me. It made a world of a difference to feel wanted, not just taken.

“I thought I’d have to wait for the end of the evening to get a kiss.” I said.

“I couldn’t wait that long.” He smiled.

On my part, I became more nervous after the kiss, somehow more self-conscious, but not in a bad way, just in an unfamiliar way, or more precisely in a way that has been absent from my life for quite some time. I didn’t really know what to do with all those compliments. My instinct was to negate them, to prove him wrong. Thanks, I’d say, but you know what, I’m really not as intelligent as you seem to think. No, no, no, listen, I don’t only read good books, I also read a lot of trash. Really, just recently I read vampire porn. Are you listening to me? I said v-a-m-p-i-r-e  p-o-r-n. Hey, I know you think I’m good looking, but you just haven’t seen my stomach yet, it’s just not what it used to be.  Trust me, my boobs used to be much perkier.

But I resisted, thank god, and he didn’t think I was demented. He thought I was unique.

We’re meeting again in a few days, and I already know what I’m going to wear, and I have all the scenarios of possible conversations that we’re going to have in my head.

I can also only barely stand the wait until he kisses me again.

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Those Who Never Fall Have Never Tried Anything New

25 Jan

 skating

Part 1: Standing Up and Falling Down

Baby has finally figured out how to stand! Well, finally is a slight exaggeration, he’s not even eight months old yet, but he’s been trying really hard for the past two weeks, and I was so proud of him when he managed to do it on his own! And now that he’s learned this new trick it’s literally all he ever wants to do. No crawling, no rolling over, seriously mom, that’s so 2012, he seems to be telling me. So everywhere I put him he grabs onto something and stands, smiling at me with the joy of accomplishment, making his little excited-noises: Heh! Heh! Heh! Often he gets so excited that he loses his balance and falls. I’m usually able to break his fall, and I surround him with pillows as he plays, so that helps, but every so often, I miss, he misses, and he bangs his head and cries.

I felt terrible about this the first time it happened, and the second time, and the third. But then I realized that the only way that I was going to be able to prevent him from banging his head was if I never put him down for a second. I’m still trying to minimize injury, but I accept the fact that head-banging, and I mean that in the literal sense, is a part of growing up. So now, when he falls, I pick him up, give him a hug and say as calmly as I can: That’s OK Baby. You fell. Falling is a part of life. Sometimes mommy falls down too, but the important thing is that she gets back up again.  Those who never fall have never tried anything new. As he calms down I kiss his belly which makes him laugh and forget that he has ever fallen. And within two minutes he’s already squirming around, wanting to get back to it.

Part 2: Ice Skating and LOWLOWLOW Self Esteem

My girlfriends and I have decided that we are sick of movies and coffee shops and we are going to start doing more unconventional things when we go out. So this week we went ice-skating. As we were standing in line to pay for our skates, the ice-instructor-guy started chatting with us, well, with me. He asked if I had read any books by Margaret Atwood, if I read a lot in general, if I liked Haruki Murakami, and finally if he could come skate with me later.

After a few rounds on the ice I began to feel a bit less wobbly and there he was, Mr. instructor guy. Kind of cute, very young, a 25-year-old-kid basically, coming to chat to me, 31-year-old-single-mom. Well, I decided to just go with it. And since I was in a good mood, it worked. We chatted for about an hour, about books mostly, and then a bit about music, travels, cooking. Eventually there came the point where he asked where I lived and if I had roommates, and I told him I lived with my son. But surprisingly he was not totally freaked out (only a bit weirded out maybe) and he still asked for my phone number, and also asked if I’d go out with him, to which I replied that I would.

And then, the following day, there I was at home, thinking back to how much fun I had had skating with a boy, and the LOWLOWLOW thoughts started pushing their way into my head. What does a cute 25-year-old see in me. I’m not that fit. He can get a better looking girl. I’m old. I have a baby. Maybe he just felt bad after I told him I was a single mom so he took my number with no intention of using it. Maybe his friends had put him up to some bet, like getting as many phone numbers from girls as he could that night. STOP IT! GO AWAY! I hate it when I get like this. But it’s hard to shake it off once it starts. It’s the same part of my brain that produces the: “You must have done something to drive BD away”, “Baby must be mad at you for sending him to his grandparents”, “Who’s ever going to want to date you when you’re Divorced+1?” and “A good mother wouldn’t have let her Baby hit his head!”

Part 3: Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Vodka

I set up our first divorce-meeting yesterday. We’re going to try working together with the same divorce lawyer and try to come to an agreement without too many battles.  I had to set it up of course because if it’s up to BD he’ll never get around to it. He’s comfortable just being separated, he’d gladly keep things the way they are for a year or two until he figures out what he wants. But it’s a terrible place for me to be. On hold. Waiting for him to wake up and realize what he’s missing. His family. So I’m not waiting. I’m moving on. It’s the only healthy thing that I can do right now.

BUT after having set up the meeting, letting BD know, having him email me back saying thank you for setting it up, then having him come pick Baby up for his night with him, it was all just too much. So I sat on the sofa and stared into space, and then I decided that I needed a drink, or make that two, or make that three, and I basically got wasted and drunk-statused on Facebook. Good thing I don’t have any guy-friends to drunk dial because I would have.

I woke up this morning, still slightly intoxicated, drank a liter of water and thought to myself: Those who never down three vodka-apple-juices, have never tried anything new. Like divorce. And I smiled to myself and hit the shower.

We Don’t Need No Affirmation (Mmmm, Yeah, We Do.)

13 Jan

toys

Last night the sitter was sick and my plans for the night fell through. I found myself at home doing nothing, again.

I had a few good ideas about stuff I wanted to get done:

1. Fold the enormous pile of clean laundry on my sofa

2. Catch up on my paperwork

3. Decide who to vote for

4. Download some new running music

But instead, I found myself refreshing my Facebook page every 30  seconds, with hopes that one of my male friends would show up online so that I could fish for complements and feel a little better about myself.

Now, since I’ve been in a relationship for 13 years, I have to admit I don’t really have that many male friends anymore. I used ot have quite a few of them when I was younger, but throughout the years my stock has dwindled. Some of them got married and it began to feel somehow inappropriate to be in touch, even though the relationship was platonic. Some stopped being “my friends” and became “our friends”, others, to begin with, I had met through BD, and now with the separation and the splitting of assets would be claimed as his.

Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. Maybe I’ll strike up a conversation with this guy I knew back in the day, whom I have nothing in common with and want nothing of? Yes that sound like a great idea.

What’s the deal with women and affirmation? Why do we feel so worthless unless we’re given male attention? Most of my girlfriends will agree that the biggest mistakes they’ve made with men had to do with seeking affirmation: hooking up with someone you’re not really into, being toyed with and taking it (and asking for more), returning to an asshole ex. Why do we do these things to ourselves, and why can we not trust ourselves and the people who love us to give us all the affirmation that we need? Why does it not count when your best friend tells you you’re amazing and beautiful, but it does count when a stupid douche you met at a bar makes a pass at you?

Refresh. Refresh. Sigh.

I need an affirmation detox diet, I think. And I have a plan. Here it goes.

1. For one month I am going to write down one thing every day that is awesome about myself.

2. I am going to say nice things to myself out loud, like complementing myself on the way I look when I’m getting ready to go out, or on something I cooked when it came out nice, or on being a good mom when I feel that I’m doing well, or anything else. OUT LOUD.

3. I am afraid I am not going to abstain from interacting with boys, but I am going to refrain from interaction with people who do not actually interest me just because I am seeking attention and affirmation.

4. I am going to try in general to be a little less obsessed with FB/messaging/E mail/Whatsapp etc, which has become a bad addiction lately.

Will I make it? Can I take it? I’m not sure, but here goes nothing.

Bubble Bath and Contemplation

12 Jan

bath

My friend B told me I was brave for writing this blog so candidly. I was going to argue with her and say it didn’t count, since I was hiding behind a nickname and an email account that I had set up specifically for the purpose of this blog, but then I remembered that I was trying to stop arguing with people who gave me compliments, so I just said thank you and shut up. Well B, I’m taking things to another level with this one, because the topic of today’s post is my body, and why it rocks.

Once a day, I like to turn the heat up in Baby’s room, take his clothes off and let him play naked in his bed. He LOVES it. He can keep busy for a good 30 minutes, just looking at himself in wonder. He kicks with joy, grabs his foot and puts it in his mouth. He rolls from tummy to back, from back to tummy, examines his hands with pleasure. He loves his body, and why shouldn’t he? It’s perfect. It’s a perfect body because it functions perfectly. It can do stuff. He’s amazed at the movements he’s capable of producing. He’s mesmerized by his toes, watching them twitch as he tries to grab them.

Thirty years from now, I imagine him checking himself out in the mirror after a shower, or maybe having been with a girl, and I wonder if he’ll stand there, looking at his body in awe, thinking to himself – Damn, I’m fine! He is a boy, so that may mean slightly fewer body image issues, and still… As adults, so many of us, men and women, hate our bodies, think that they are inadequate, unattractive, faulty.

Here I was last night, taking a nice long candle lit bubble bath, and I looked at my body, at my curves, at my thighs, which I’ve always despised, my belly, which hasn’t exactly returned to form since the pregnancy, my breasts which, is seems, used to be a little perkier, my feet which I’ve always thought were oversized, and as I was relaxing in the warm soapy water, I suddenly felt uncomfortable, and I covered myself up with suds, because I didn’t really want to have to look at myself.

I closed me eyes, and took a deep breath, and I thought about my body, and what it can do. My body can run, not long distances and not very fast, but it can run, and more than that, it can learn to do things that are difficult for it to do. I couldn’t run 500 meters  a couple of months ago, and the other day I ran 3 kilometers.

What else? My body can work around the house, it can carry groceries and wash dishes. It can drive a car, and go to work, and my face can smile and my mouth can talk and laugh, and my nose can smell a cake baking in the oven, and my eyes can cry when I’m chopping an onion, or when I’m not.

My body can  wrap itself around another body, it can give and receive immense pleasure.

My uterus can conceive a baby and carry it inside me and feed it and take care of all its needs for nine months. My belly can grow and expand to five times its size and then shrink back to (almost) what it used to be. My body can tell when it’s time for the baby to come out, and it can create contractions and push and expand in places I didn’t know could expand and bring a human being into the world, and my breasts, on their own, without consulting me, can start squirting milk all over the place, to feed the little one.

With all these miracles that my body can conjure, how could I possibly not respect it, how could I not be appreciative of it? How could I not love it?

With this in my mind, I wiped the suds off my belly and breasts and examined myself, and I thought to myself: this is nice. A nice, feminine, curvy body, beautiful with its imperfections. A little plump, a little saggy, but proportional, functional, enjoyable.

The Letter I Never Sent

7 Jan

toys

May 13th, 2001

Y,

I have no doubt that you are undeserving of this letter, but you are also undeserving of my thoughts, and for over a year now, I am unable to shake the memory of all that has happened between us. So I am writing this letter for myself, rather than for you, so that I can put things behind me and move on.

I don’t think you can possibly comprehend what you’ve put me through. And it’s killing me. Not that it happened, but the fact that you have probably not even given it a second thought, that you haven’t owned up to what you’ve done. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’d feel much better if you would just admit that you’re a disgusting son of a bitch. I’m not expecting you to apologize, you wouldn’t. But it seems to me that you walked out of this saga with a clear conscience, which is just wrong.

So I’m going to tell you my side of the story, the way that I remember it. Just so that I can feel that you’ve had the opportunity to see it through my eyes. I need you to know what it was like for me, even if you still do not regret it.

I’m sure you know that I was in love with you for a long time. There were times when I understood it to be a love between close friends, but there were also times when I knew that it was more than that. In 12th grade when you were with F, and told me stories about your relationship, I was jealous, but at the same time I was relieved to know that you were hers and not mine, because I would never have allowed you to treat me the way you treated her, or at least so I thought.

I was attracted to your mind, which stupidly I thought was enough to build a relationship on. You were sharp and witty and we shared the same opinions and cynical humor. I didn’t have many people I could speak to in my life during high school, so I was drawn to you, because we seemed to see eye to eye. Today I realize what a big joke high school is, and that the world is full of interesting, intelligent, funny human beings that are also not assholes, and that you don’t have to get hung up on an asshole, just because he can name-drop. But I guess that’s what growing up is about.

We were so close, for three years. Do you remember those long hours on the phone at night, until my dad yelled at me to hang up? And those afternoons we spent at your house or mine, or sitting on swings at the playground chatting, or passing endless notes in class?

Then high school was over, and we were about to start a new chapter in our lives. And I was basically over you. Maybe not entirely, but on my way there. And I felt that friendship was enough for us, that I didn’t want anything more. But then, that night, when we went to that movie, and sat afterword for an hour chatting about it in your car, I was just about to leave when you kissed me. Out of the blue. And I couldn’t say no, because I was curious, and because I had wanted to kiss you so many times before.

But Y, I didn’t want anything more to happen.

As we were kissing, my mind was racing. We were already friends, which meant you liked me. But now you were kissing me, which meant you were also attracted to me. This was going to go somewhere. So when you wanted to come upstairs, I said yes. Because I wasn’t really sure how to say no to you. And I thought, if only we went upstairs, than maybe you’d want to be with me, the same way that for a long time I had wanted to be with you.

You probably don’t remember the part where I said no. We were on my bed. I told you my mom would catch us, and you told me she wouldn’t. You were lying on top of me, feeling me up, and I was uncomfortable, but silent. But when you undid the button of my jeans I said no. I’m pretty sure I said it more than once, but once at least. And I moved your hand away. But you didn’t really listen. And I was too inexperienced and lacking confidence to be assertive. So I just went with it, closing my eyes and just waiting for it all to end.

“Where is this going?” You asked me after. And I said: “I don’t know.” Because I didn’t, and also because it was the answer you wanted to hear. Since we had a history, you knew that sex was not something I took lightly. So I imagined that night must have meant something, because surely you didn’t think I was the type of girl who was just looking for a “good time”.

We went to visit A up north the following day, and I was nervous as hell. I spent an hour picking out my clothes and applying make up. It was an easygoing morning, and you had gotten me a gift, which I thought was sweet, but I was still all tensed up, and on the way back home, in the car, I told you that I loved you. I’m afraid I am always going to remember what you said. You said: “We can’t be together. Listen, you’re just another friend to me. In fact, the only advantage you have which my other friends don’t is that you’ve known me for a long time.”

How is it possible then, that after all this, we still ended up in my bed that day? I feel ashamed that it happened, but you should be more ashamed than me. My so called friend. I can’t believe I spent all of  10th and 11th grade listening to you cry about how sorry your life was and how you couldn’t get the girl you liked to notice you, reading your stupid short stories, and telling you how great you were.

After that second time, I felt like crap. I wanted it to be over. I called you to talk. I wanted to tell you that maybe we could go back to being friends because this arrangement wasn’t working for me. You answered the phone but said you couldn’t talk. And I never heard from you again. You didn’t answer my phone calls. You just cut me out.

I remember that while we were in my bed, you asked me not to tell anoyone about us. Do you know that for a long time I didn’t? I kept it a secret. I felt like a slut. I was ashamed that I had let something like this happen to me.

And now, looking back, I think you’re disgusting. I don’t know if I can ever forgive you, but I’m hoping that with this letter I can at least stop thinking about you, maybe let go of my anger a little. I don’t expect you to apologize, but at least now you know how you made me feel, and now that you do, I’m going to try to put you behind me.

Bye.

M

You’re Such a Big Boy, Little Guy!

30 Dec

toysMy boy wants to swallow the world, he’s just so damn excited about life! Playing in his mommy’s bed in the morning, while she desperately gulps down her morning coffee, attempting, urgently, to wake up, he’s lying on his back, kicking and squealing with joy, trying to grab his little feet and stuff them into his mouth. There are things he wants to say, I know this as he utters the oddest sounds, a blend of consonants and misplaced vowels, but he doesn’t have the words. I wonder if that frustrates him, or if he’s able to enjoy his stage of mumbling.

If I pick him up, and place his feet on the bed, I can tell his legs are strong, he can bare his own weight, as he takes step after step forward with my support, but he’s lacking balance. I can tell he’d like to be more mobile, he’s craving the ability to walk, to run. Can he appreciate and enjoy the crawling and squirming?

My boy is growing. As I hold him in my arms, climbing the stairs to our second-story-no-elevator apartment, I can feel his weight, it’s beginning to be difficult to carry him like this. But my arms are growing stronger too, I remind myself. You’re getting so big! I tell him, look how big you’ve become, little guy! Then I laugh at the contradiction. I imagine him thinking to himself: Mom, make up your mind, am I big or little? So I clarify: You’re big and you’re little sweetness. You’re bigger than you used to be, and you’re still little compared to how big you’re going to be. And your mommy loves you, big and little, all the same.

A good friend of mine who’s read this blog pointed out that I tend to draw comparisons between my son and myself. Why the hell not, here it goes. I too am big and little. Bigger than I was, but still little in comparison to where I’m headed.

I met up with an old friend the other day. A guy friend. A very good looking guy friend to be precise. We took a walk in the park, and chatted and caught up. He mentioned he was single. I mentioned I was separated. I touched his shoulder nonchalantly as I spoke, he gave me a hug when we parted. It was great. The park in winter is breathtaking. We went off trail, got “lost” among the trees, sat by the lake, looked at the ducks and just chatted. That’s all there was between us and that’s all that could be. I’m not available for anything more than an ego boost right now. Bigger, better, but not there yet.

The truth? A part of me fantasizes about having wild sex with hot-guy-friend-from-the-past. But you know what? I’m not going to let that frustrate me. Because where I am right now, walking in the park and feeling good about myself, it so much farther along than I’ve been recently. So I intend to enjoy this stage and all it can be, as I prepare myself for what’s coming next.

No sex for you.

19 Nov

I’m sitting on the sofa, and Baby is playing in his playschool at my feet. There is a red rattling guitar hanging from it and he grabs it with both hands and stuffs it so intently into his little mouth that I keep worrying he might choke. But those are my fears, not his, I have to remind myself. He is fearless. It’s me who manages somehow to take his keenness, his enthusiasm, and read fear into it. I think I need to be more like him.

I want to eat this world up like some rattling red guitar, I want to gobble it up and not be worried about choking.

But how does one go about finding a guitar these days? I’ve been with only two guitars in my life, and with the latter for the last 13 years. So I’m a little rusty. And I’m also not really ready to be out there. Oh I know, I’ll make a pro and con list. That always works.

Having Meaningless Sex with a Random Stranger

Pros: Will help with horniness; relieve tension; may help me feel attractive; and most important – beat Baby Daddy to it.  Not that it’s a race, but the polite thing to do, after leaving me alone with a baby is to at least let me get some first.

Cons (this is going to be depressing)Still carrying 8 extra kilos from the pregnancy and feeling like a giant walrus, not that hot; seriously CANNOT face rejection right now, and that’s a risk; I’m not sure I know how to have meaningless sex, never done it before; to have meaningless sex I need to find a not-too-sleazy guy that I am actually attracted to, get very drunk, have a good enough sitter prepped so that I’m not constantly worried about Baby, and go to some random guy’s place which sounds dangerous and not really my thing.

Conclusion: NO SEX FOR YOU.