Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I knew this day would come...

...but I didn't expect it to be this year.

I've known for awhile that I am a better mom without being the Wife to the Ex. The Ex stresses me out. I'm not quite as patient with the kidlet when the Ex is not being patient with him.

Tonight was the kidlet's gymnastics night. Which also ends up being the "hang out with The Ex" night. After gymnastics we all go out to dinner. It's the routine we've had for two years and we still do it, even though we're separated and such.

And even though I'm going through the whole "Why are all of my girlfriends getting back together with their husbands or boyfriends who decided to do the work to fight for their women, but my Ex won't do that?" thing, I'm still trying really hard to just focus on all that is wonderful in my world.

Like my little boy. Like my job. Like my friends. Like the guy who decided I was worth pursuing last night and is still pursuing me today.

Not like Leon. Don't get me started. (Apparently, D and E have decided that I am heading for nothing but madness, heartbreak, and despair if I let that guy in any further.)

And this open and honest relationship I have with my boy is amazing. And I don't shy away from the hard stuff. And while the Ex has stepped up a bit when it comes to answering the kidlet's questions about our family and such, I've said for a long time that the day would come when the kidlet stopped talking to him about anything of substance, but he would always know that he can come to me.

But tonight... After gymnastics... The kidlet pretty much always drives to dinner with his dad. And that's fine with me. We always roll our windows down and wave to each other on the way.

But tonight was different. He'd decided to ride with his dad since he'd be staying with me tonight. And as I put my key in my car door, I thought to myself, "Wow. I kind of snapped at the kidlet because I could tell his dad was getting impatient. I don't like that about our interaction this evening."

A moment later, I heard the kidlet say "Mom, I changed my mind. I'm going with you!"

We got into the car and I said, "What made you change your mind, baby?"

He answered, "Well, I love you and Dad the same, but sometimes you're nicer."

I'd expected my heart to soar at that one.

But it didn't. I hate that my intuitive little man has already figured it out. (And no, I don't think I'm nicer. I think I'm more patient. But in his 7-year-old vocabulary, that's what he came up with.)

I reminded him that Daddy loves him very much, and he said he knew that. And that he didn't want to hurt his dad's feelings by telling him what he'd told me. And this is one time that I will NOT tell his dad what was said in his absence.

So, that was tonight's heartbreak.

I wish I could change that. But I gotta stop wearing my wishbone where my backbone oughtta be... In more than just this one way.

But I will always be there for my son. I think it would just be such a shame if his dad doesn't figure out how to do so as well before it's too late.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

RetroMama Kicks Ass.

I am feeling particularly kickass today. Well, not at this moment. But I did earlier this afternoon.

And yesterday.

A year ago, I took the kidlet to cb's birthday party. And I was in a bad place. I was in a place where I was about to get dumped by a guy who turned out not to be worth it anyway. My friends confiscated my technology, and got me kleenex when I burst into tears over the butterfly. I was fragile. Raw. And it would get a lot worse before it got better.

But yesterday, I took the kidlet to cb's birthday party. It was in a different venue. And it never even occurred to me until we were driving down there to wonder if I'd get to see some of the same people as last year.

The guest list was slightly different. Mostly cb's friends from school and extra-curricular activities. The family friends I'd hoped to see weren't there. I hung out with TF's folks and such. And as I sat there with TF's mom and cb's agent, I noticed CB's hot Cuban friend talking to him. Lovely. He doesn't have a kid. Why is he here? I haven't talked to him since two days after that amazingly hot kiss we shared several weeks ago... Which was after a wonderful couple of hours of him sobering up over coffee... Sharing confidences. But it wasn't the start of anything. It was just a moment. When I kissed him BACK. Contrary to what he continues to insist. Ugh.

A few minutes later, he approached us, hugging TF's mom, hugging me, saying hello... I pointed out the kidlet and said, "That one's mine. He does exist!" (Hot Cuban Friend had never actually met the kidlet, apparently.) They said hello and he went off somewhere else, and I got back to my conversation...

Awhile later, I approached HCF and CB and CB opened with "Is this going to be awkward? Should I leave so you guys can kiss?"

I laughed and as HCF and I embraced, I said, "I only kiss.... BACK..." And we all laughed. Awkward moment averted. Ish. LOL.

After dropping off the kidlet at his dad's (where I regaled the Ex with stories about explaining to the kidlet (in answer to his questions) that when the sperm comes out of his penis, it probably feels even better than when he has an erection, to which he replied with reverence... "Whoa... Cool!"), I headed home for a snack before driving to the theater where my uncle was performing. I went by myself. Because I can do that. With no problem.

I got home late, did some grading and slept in this morning.

And woke up in a major snit. Perhaps it was because I'd left my window open and what woke me was my neighbors talking really loudly, but there were other things that were getting to me too. TF got me calmed down via text, and once I wrote out my List of Three, I felt a thousand times better.

And then my Pea called... And we actually got to have a conversation that was longer than 5 minutes. And I was back in the game.

I went and got my oil changed. And no man (meaning The Ex or my Dad) had told me it was time. I just did it. And then I tried to shop for jeans, which was a bust, but I did manage to get a couple of cute tops.

And then I went to a bar/restaurant. To watch football. By myself.

And I sat down at the bar and ordered a cider (got carded, too! Whee!!) and some food and watched the game. And had conversations with strangers. And did a couple of fist bumps with the guy sitting two stools away. And we yelled and cheered (and my team won... Phew!), and I had a really good time.

And I hadn't ever done that before. I'd talked to IP about that. She totally does that kind of stuff by herself. And I never have. But I totally did. And I had a great time. I even stayed after my game ended to watch the end of another game that the chick next to me was into. Because she was so cool. And we chatted a bit and I told her how proud of myself I was that I was there by myself and how grateful I was to sit next to such cool people. She looked at me in awe and said, "I don't think I could ever do that. Just go by myself. That's really brave." And it hit me... That I was really brave...

Who is this RetroMama? This chick who goes to plays by herself? Who gets her oil changed without being told? Who goes to bars to watch football loudly? Who holds her own and can answer questions about what's happening with her favorite team?

Whomever she is... I kinda dig her.

Monday, September 21, 2009

RetroMama takes a lover...

It was about time... It was the valet. And I'm assuming he's back at school now. So, I can take friends to that restaurant without worrying about running into him.

Yep, I pretty much got exactly what I wanted. (Although, really... The kid talked FAR more than I was in the mood for...) We were safe (my choice, not his, apparently.), and it was lovely, and then he was gone.

And then there's Leon... With whom I was suddenly communicating with far more regularly than when we were actually dating... And I didn't know how comfortable I was with that. I thought we'd agreed not to talk for a couple of weeks until we saw each other. And then I was suddenly privy to much of what he's processing... And I wasn't quite sure I appreciated that. I'm not his girlfriend. I don't need to know his every little thought process about what could be life-altering decisions. (TF told me, "That's not necessarily stuff you'd tell a girlfriend, but it's definitely stuff you'd tell a best friend..." Great. Now E's doing the happy little "haha, I'm right!" dance. I can see it now. argh.)

But then there's the grabbing of the bull by its horns... That person I mentioned previously? The one from his present and my past? Yeah. I pretty much handled it. And while CoffeeLady played Devil's Advocate and asked me if I could deal with the potential repercussions, I realized that it had to be done. And I feel good about it. Finally. For real. If Leon has a problem with it, he'll have to get over it. Because I can't let myself have loyalty at this point for something that doesn't even have a start date.

Because all this time, I've thought that we did... Have a start date, that is... At some distant point in the future... And I've been all patient and shit... Like it doesn't matter how long it takes for us to end up together because I'm so certain that we will. So, these months in the meantime don't really matter. I can keep living my life and enjoying my kid and my friends and the occasional younger man to fill a particular void, and I'm good. And eventually, we'll fall in love and live some semblance of a "happily ever after"...

And then I got my kid back after three days... And we had amazing and lovely days together... And as I looked at him across the breakfast table yesterday morning, it hit me like a ton of bricks... I really don't want a relationship with any man right now... I mean, like, really.

I spoke to a friend a few weeks ago (a man) who told me that he never understood how women could put their kids first and not date for 18 or so years... And then he got custody of his teenaged daughter. And found himself in a position of having to make that decision for himself. And he finally "got it". And stopped dating a woman he'd been pursuing for a year.

And I totally get it... I don't want to be in a relationship that might throw this amazing thing I've got with my kid off-kilter.

The thing is, I know that living a full and rich life benefits my son in countless ways... And I know that I am a far better mother to him because I am feeling fulfilled when he's not with me.

But a relationship? Where there could be expectations? Demands of my time?

That's really not for me right now. Now, I did have this conversation with Leon months ago... That when I have my kid, I'm with him and only him. But that I could see someone a few times a week when he's not with me and maybe once during the week that I do have him. And Leon made it sound like that would be totally reasonable and acceptable. That any man should be okay with that.

And maybe it's because I'm still in a place where Leon's the only one I'm considering for anything longer-term and his schedule is pretty opposite of mine right now that I'm coming to this conclusion.

That I don't want a boyfriend. I don't want to be in any kind of relationship other than being a mom to my son and a friend to my friends. That's it.

Oh, but I'm totally open to keeping a boy or two on the side... Because there are still other needs that must be met.

That's the conclusion I've come to in these last couple of days.

Which could be exactly what I need. Or it could just be the PMS talking.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Elephant Pusher.

So, I faltered. I happened to be in Leon's town and contacted him. Adorably, of course.

He responded with his whereabouts for that evening. Events fell into place, and I found myself on my own at that time, so I decided to go ahead and go. Because I'm a kickass chick who doesn't need her girlfriends to hold her hand when she goes out to a bar.

So, I went.

And he was all glad to see me. Turns out he was actually part of the entertainment, which was an unexpected treat. I'd wanted to see him do his thing for awhile, so I was thrilled to get to watch the magic happen. He was sweet, checking on me after stopping to talk to friends and whatnot. We joked around and laughed and stuff... At one point he touched my shoulder and told me "I like having you around. I can't joke about dead parents with too many people."

Yep. You wanna joke about dead parents? I'm your gal. ::snort::

I was getting pretty tired (I had done a half-marathon that morning), and I decided I should pee before I left.

I came back from the bathroom and Leon was gone.

I listened to a couple of other comics before wondering where he'd gone.

And that's when I saw him. Sitting outside. With a group of his friends. With a cigarette in his mouth.

Shit. I thought he'd quit.


I wondered if I should wait for him to finish and come back inside and decided not to waste my time. I headed outside and kinda patted him on the shoulder, saying, "I'm gonna take off..."

He jumped right up, set the cigarette down and wrapped his arms around me... It felt so good to be in his arms again, and I breathed in his scent.... And was pretty grossed out. I was so bummed. He didn't smell like Leon. He smelled like smoke. Ugh. He was thanking me for coming out, and I said (matter-of-factly, not accusingly), "You're smoking." He said, "Yeah, I would kiss you right now, but I've been smoking, so my mouth is all smoky and dry..."

I was surprised that he said that. Since we'd broken things off, didn't that mean we weren't kissing anymore?

And I said, "You would?" And then he kinda backpedaled... But then kissed my forehead three different times.

I left and cried a little on the way home.

Smoking's a deal-breaker for me. So, no matter how great a guy he is, we're done.

I fully expected to hear from him that night or the next day, though. He usually does that. Especially since I figured he probably sat down with his friends and said, "Wow, I fucked that up, big-time."

But I didn't hear from him.

And I was sad. Because I'm such the optimist that telling myself there is absolutely no hope is really hard for me to grasp.

By Wednesday, I knew I needed to vent. I decided to draft an email. Just a draft. I had no intention of sending it. I just needed to get my feelings out where I could see them. So, I wrote it up, and waited about an hour... And then I decided I had nothing to lose, so I went ahead and sent it.

I was totally calm after that. I knew that even if I didn't hear from him again, that at least I said all the things I hadn't let myself say when we were seeing each other. Because I do have feelings for him. And about him. And for some reason, I hadn't told him that. So, there it was.

Of course, when the valet-guy and I spoke that evening and he said, "Is that the beautiful RetroMama?", I kind of regretted having sent it. Especially when he and I made plans to see each other soon. Haha.

But the next afternoon, I got a response. And it was AMAZING. I mean, amazing. I read it about three times before I could get on with my evening. And I don't even know how many times I've read it since then.

And while I realized that NOW I can let the dust settle, there were a few key points I did want to respond to.

So, the next day, I tried to write him back. And it was a crazy day and for some reason, the words didn't quite flow as easily. Maybe because it suddenly seemed like there was more at stake?

And I didn't really want to answer his questions if I didn't really know what exactly his questions were.

So, we ended up talking on the phone today. We'd made a phone date, and when he realized his plans had changed for the afternoon, he took the time to call me to ask me if we could reschedule. And when he was free earlier, he called me. I like how considerate he is.

So, we talked. And the elephant that had been in the room all this time was pushed out a bit. And we got off the phone on a high note, I think. He asked me to write him a note on Monday to tell him how tomorrow's long run goes. I appreciated that. And he's got a lot of stuff coming down in the next couple of weeks. We had agreed earlier to get through these next couple of weeks and then he asked if he could make me dinner.

I kind of want to get to that place. Besides, I don't want to feel like I can't see valet-guy before he goes back to college. ::giggle::

But now that I'm trying to focus on the positives of getting certain stuff out in the open, I'm finding myself second-guessing certain things that were said. By me. Eesh.

And I find myself feeling unsettled now. Like there's this other person that could potentially affect whether or not I end up trying again with this guy. And while I want to cross that bridge when I come to it, I also am tempted to take matters into my own hands. Because it should be between me and Leon. And if Leon decides to let someone from my past and his present be an issue for him then he can go smoke a cigarette and kiss my ass.

Yeah. That.

Oh, and on the work front? It pretty much rocks. I love my job. I did not, however, love that one of my student's dads was flirting with me. In front of her. And about 20 other families. Good times.

RetroMama is, apparently, just that hot. Oy.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Puma is a Cougar in Training.

I have girlfriends calling me a Cougar.

But I'm not over 40. So, I don't know if that counts. Apparently, a bunch of friends of mine got together awhile back and categorized people who date someone much younger than they... And a puma is a cougar-in-training. (A man who dates a much younger woman is just a "dirty old man". Again, this is according to others...)


Something's been in the air around me lately...

I've been asked out four times this week. And only one of those was a man older than I am.

I had a date with a boy 9 years my junior last night. But the day before that, I was asked out by someone three years younger than THAT!

I don't really understand what's happening here, but I'm enjoying it!

(I think the Universe has picked up on me using the word "boy" and is throwing them in my path! Or the Universe is throwing people in my path who are willing to have sex with me. Not that I've indulged, but it's nice to be asked??)

So, I'd been talking to this boy (Let's call him... Jason Mraz. ::snort::) for months. He worked at a store I frequented, and we always had a great time talking to each other. Flirting. Enjoying each other's energy.

Finally, I brought NOF with me and she pretty much pimped me out, and the next thing I know, he and I are friends on an online networking site, and texting fairly frequently, and talking on the phone. He came out with me and some friends a month or so ago (during the Leon-era), and we had a nice time. Apparently, he'd been reading my blog and knew all about Leon, but we pretty much established that there was an attraction there.


First day of school. I got a text from him, saying "happy first day", which was really touching (no, I hadn't heard from Leon. ::sigh:: LOL.) So, we kinda texted back and forth a bit, and then somehow, we ended up deciding to go to dinner last night.

I was pretty thrilled. (Because for weeks, I'd been joking with friends that I needed to hurry up and have sex with Jason Mraz before I ended up in a relationship. (Because it would be fun to say "I had sex with Jason Mraz!" Even if it's not THE Jason Mraz. Yes, I am a dork.)

So, I drove more than 45 minutes to meet him at this awesome restaurant, and we had an enjoyable time. The food was amazing... The company? Meh. Neither one of us was really feeling it. I was struck that he's really, really, really young. Or maybe he just didn't care enough to open doors or whatever, but I'm kinda spoiled.

I like it when a guy shows me that he's considering my feelings or whatever. I loved how Leon would wait for me to walk past him and place his hand on my back (or just watch me walk in front of him. Also flattering. ::giggle::) I loved how the first guy I went out with two months ago was so considerate of me, holding doors, holding my hand, walking me to my car, etc. I like that. I also felt like a guy who knew that there was non-valet parking on the street should have told me that before I arrived and parked with the valet. Argh.

Anyway, we had a wonderful meal (I'll totally go back to the restaurant!) and then the evening ended rather abruptly. I wasn't all that disappointed, but I was a bit surprised at how it went down.

I had a bit of a drive ahead of me, so I went back inside to use the restroom. It was barely past 8:00, and I considered sitting down in the bar and listening to the live music and hanging out with what seemed like a pretty chill crowd...

But common sense won out at that moment. I should probably head home and get some sleep. I still had two days left of my first workweek, and I didn't know how I'd feel by Friday.

So, I went to get my car from the valet... And when that amazingly handsome guy asked, "How was your dinner?", I responded, "Well, the food was great!"

And he picked up on something in my voice, and asked, "But not the company?" And as I pondered how to put it into words, he went and got my car, and asked me again how I'd felt about the date...

It was more than an hour and a half later that I finally drove away. This guy was amazing. Smart, educated (still in college. Leaving to go back in three weeks. Yep, even younger than my date last night!), gorgeous, interesting... We hit upon some pretty sensitive subjects even in the short time we spoke. I felt more of a connection with him than I had with the guy I'd been talking to for months! And he felt it too. Turns out, we actually live in the same town, and it wasn't long before he'd asked for my number. He called my cell "so that I won't show up as an unknown number", and I could have talked to him for hours... I loved looking at the moon with him... It was all hazy but bright... It was pretty awesome. Some mild flirting, but mostly just talking about whatever popped into our heads. No awkward silences. It was just comfortable. And he used words like "How do you keep your zen?" without me ever saying the word "zen". He just really got me.

I hated to leave, but I knew I would need some sleep. So, with assurances that we would connect soon, we said goodnight... And, yes, there was kissing. ::giggle::

So, no, I didn't have sex with Jason Mraz, who is 9 years younger than I... And I probably never will.

But the evening wasn't a total wash because I ended up with a beautiful boy's tongue in my mouth anyway. And even if I don't ever see him again, it will still be a night to remember.