Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Stood up.

Dear CJ,

Thank you.

Thank you for being a nice, somewhat normal guy.

Thank you for that banter in the beginning. Hell, even up until yesterday afternoon.

Thank you for enjoying the brownie and for telling me so.

Thank you for respecting my wishes that night. And for making me stick to my rules.

Thank you for being so pivotal in getting me to complete my second novel. (I do hope that when it gets published next month, you'll get a copy. Because there's something in it just for YOU.)

Thank you for getting me out and about to watch football and to see movies and to see the lights that night.

Thank you for kissing me in parking lots.

Thank you for answering my questions (well, until the last few days).

Thank you for telling me that you like me and that I'm very sexy.

Thank you for holding my hand.

Thank you for making me come.

Thank you for not having sex with me.

Thank you for helping me see that Leon would never be worthy. Even though you never knew he even existed.

Thank you for asking me good questions. Thank you for asking hard questions. Thank you for not holding any of those answers against me.

I'm sorry that the fact that I was alone for nearly 48 hours starting on Christmas Day affected you. I don't quite understand the dynamics of your family stuff, so it was hard for me to accept when I didn't hear from you. I'm sorry that the fact that I was taking on a 50k race (hence, the Race Mode attitude) affected you. And I'm sorry that there was a PMS issue there, too.

But if you were done, you really could have told me. And you could have let it end on Saturday. You didn't have to act like I mattered more than I actually do. You didn't have to beg for a chance to have a conversation. You didn't have to check on me after my race and be all sympathetic when you heard how messed up I was.

And you certainly didn't have to flirt with me all afternoon yesterday. And ask me to dinner. And then when I said I couldn't do dinner, you didn't have to tell me that you would come up and see me. And be all smiley and winky about it.

And when you realized you had woken up from an unplanned nap, you should have picked up the phone and called me. Instead of texting me to ask if I would still be willing to meet with you another night.

You could have just let it go.

Which, apparently, is what you've done today. But without even a call or a text.

And that is pretty much the first shitty thing you've done. Well, aside from dragging it out.

So, I hope you listen to the voicemail I left you.

And I hope you know that even though you were, supposedly, afraid of hurting me, you didn't.

I may be confused. I may be surprised. But I'm not that sad to see you go. You weren't "the one". And I knew that. But you were a nice guy to practice on for awhile. You were fun. And I liked you.

And, hey, you got me to stop sleeping with the 23-year-old. No, I didn't give him up FOR you. But it was time to give him up before he got hurt (oops?).

Maybe I'd be more upset if I wasn't reminded with increasing clarity just how many blessings there are in my world. If I didn't have this amazing little boy who brings me constant joys. Or if I didn't have amazing and wonderful friends whom I love fiercely and who love me back. Or if I wasn't hearing from Brendan again. Or if I didn't know that I'm fleeing the county in another sleep and won't be back until 2010.

But I do have those wonderful things in my world.

And while I feel this weird sense of unfinishedness (I get to make up words. Deal with it.), I am hoping that a few days away will help to alleviate that.

So, bye, CJ. I'm actually bummed that it ended like this. But I'm not all that bummed that it's ended.

Take care,

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sometimes you CAN go home.

I'm back in my hometown for the holidays. Got here on Sunday and am staying through Christmas Eve.

Just over a week ago, we started planning a mini-reunion. Not like the mini-reunions of old. This would be at a family establishment. My only hope was that my ex-fiancee didn't show up this time.

On Monday, I got to have lunch with my IBFF. She hadn't told anyone she was in town, but she made time to meet me and the kidlet for lunch. I felt touched and honored... And I loved that she asked me about a PostSecret that had been posted a couple of months ago. She recognized the handwriting and had meant to ask if it was mine. And it had been. I loved that. And I love that I can be so candid with her and that she's always on my side. And I got to play with her son. And, shockingly, felt my uterus contract a bit. Weird.

Later that afternoon, another friend took time out of his crazy shopping day to meet me and the kidlet for coffee. We hadn't seen each other since the kidlet was a baby, and I've met his infant son three times. We're making a point of doing that. I got to snuggle his boy, too. And, again. That weird twinge in my uterus. WTF???


That night, heard a rumor that one of the mean girls is getting divorced. And instead of giggling about karma and such (which would have been justified!!!), I just was sad for the effect it will have on her kids. Still waiting for the gloating. I don't think it's coming. I never wished them ill. No matter what anybody thought.

Went holiday shopping with Dad. He bought me a CamelBack. Color me thrilled. Of course when we went to check out, Leon's 9th grade girlfriend was at the register. Only in my world, right???

Then came the mini-reunion. And I walked in the door and there was this crowd in the entry. And there were people there I hadn't seen since graduation. People I hadn't expected to see. People I was thrilled to see.

I had heard a few years ago that one of them thought I didn't like her. Because of something that had happened 20 years ago. I had said at that time that I was so over it. But it was awesome to realize that she's a really cool chick and we had lots to talk about.

It was great to be with these people and that there was no drama. Like, at all. And to realize that even though I have the reputation of drama following me, it wasn't really all me. And that was lovely.

I didn't get enough one-on-one time with anyone who was there. But it was enough of a taste to just make me grateful.

There was a moment when one woman asked why one of the mean girls wasn't there. And I kind of choked on my Dr Pepper. Later she would ask about HRT as well. I did choke that time. But it was funny. And when she asked about the stories, I kept it pretty low-key. Not many details. Just the minimum.

I said something about how I'm not allowed to date guys from high school anymore. And was questioned... Mentioned HRT and Leon. And left it at that. Look at me, not seeking that kind of attention anymore!!

This morning, as I made my coffee and broke up another batch of the magical chocolate-bacon-peanut bark, I reflected about how I'm here in this town and I haven't kissed anybody and I'm totally okay with that. I haven't heard from CJ since the night I got here and I'm mostly okay with that.

And I decided it's best for all involved for me to go ahead and go camping with the boys over New Years. The kidlet keeps running in to hug me and tell me how happy he is that I'm going. And I'm pretty damn grateful that I have a plan and can just be off the grid for a few days.

I've realized that dating completely sucks during the holidays and I'd prefer to not have anything to do with it, honestly. I'll start over again in the New Year. Maybe. LOL.

For now, I'll just enjoy the sound of my son playing a board game in the other room with my dad. And giggle over him singing songs like "Walking Around the Christmas Tree" and "The Twelve Days of Christmas... 'Nine babies dancing!'"

And I'll just continue to bask in the glow that was the Light and Love of old friends who knew me when... And who actually read this thing and remind me of just how far I've come...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Because now, apparently, I'm a grownup.

The date did not go as planned (hoped for?).

He'd had a bad day. And was in a snit. And didn't even realize how negative he was being.

I chose to enjoy the place we were. And to enjoy the weather and the lights... Let his negativity roll off. Never once did I apologize for what went wrong. Never once did I take it personally.

Holy growth!

And later, I asked him if I could make an observation. He agreed and I wasn't really all that scared to tell him that the reason why he was so upset was that he was choosing to focus on the negatives. Earlier he had apologized to me for ruining the night and I stared and him and said (honestly), "My night's not ruined. I'm out on a Saturday night with a nice guy. I'm fine!"

He took several minutes on the drive back to reflect upon my observation. And admitted I was right and apologized again. Thanked me for saying it. And then made a conscious effort to change his attitude and behavior.

And while I appreciated that, it still wasn't enough for me to change my mind about what would or would not happen next.

He pulled into a parking spot in my complex, took off his seatbelt and asked, "Did you want me to come in?"

And I said, "Did I? Yes. Do I? No."

And he totally understood.

So, I went home alone.

I cried for about 10 seconds. And considered calling the 23-year-old for about 5 seconds.

And ended up getting into my comfies, pouring myself a glass of wine, popping some popcorn and watching Friends for awhile. And then lurked around on the PostSecret forum.

And I woke up alone this morning. Certain that there is a reason for everything. I did not compromise the woman that I am becoming. I know that there is a reason why things didn't happen last night.

And I'm certain all will be clear later.

I'm a fan of this growing shit. It can be painful at times, but wow.

I'm still kind of stunned that I didn't take it personally. That SO would not have happened a year ago. I would have been apologizing and probably would have had sex with him anyway.

And I'm still kind of stunned that I said what I did. Like, OUT LOUD. And to his face.

I am a force to be reckoned with. And I'm blessed with people who can, apparently, handle it. Even when it doesn't paint them in the most positive light.

So, yes, if he wants it, he'll get another chance.

And if he doesn't, well, that's okay, too.

Because I'm done compromising. I actually know what my beliefs are and what my limits are. And I'm not afraid to stick to them anymore.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Potty Talk.

When I moved out, I knew I needed an apartment with two bathrooms. Having shared a bathroom with two boys for years, I knew that one thing that would be lovely for me would be to have a bathroom of my own. And nobody else would get to pee in it.

CF totally understood. "Yes, I can totally have sex with a guy in my bed, but he can't pee in my bathroom." Uh-uh. The bathroom is mine.

I remember when I was thinking the day would come when I might have sex with Leon... And I kept telling myself I needed to clean my bathroom. Because if I had sex with him, he'd probably stay over and stuff. And I hadn't let anyone stay over. Uh-uh. I have been a "have my way with them and kick them OUT" kind of gal lately.

When I thought Leon would be picking me up from the airport, I was overwhelmed with the idea that I needed to make sure to clean my bathroom before I left town.

But then I didn't. And I told myself that I would make sure I wouldn't invite him to stay if I didn't have a clean (enough) bathroom.

Apparently, that was my little passive-aggressive way to keep me from letting anyone stay. To keep me from letting anyone get close enough to me. I think the clean bathroom almost became a metaphor for my love life.

I had a good excuse in November. I was noveling. I may have vacuumed once during that month. And that's pretty much it. Dishes piled up, laundry too. It's the nature of the beast that is NaNoWriMo.

As soon as December hit, I caught up on the housework. But only the very basic cleaning in the bathroom. Very basic. Certainly not "let someone else go in there" worthy.

The first time the 23-year-old came over, he went off to my bathroom to clean up. And I was pretty close to having a panic attack. Not kidding. Hated the idea of a boy peeing in my bathroom. That was MY space. He didn't belong there. He could put his penis in my vagina, but was NOT allowed to pee in my toilet. I directed him to the other bathroom the next time. And the brat still tried to make a break for my bathroom on another occasion. I did not allow this.

So, CJ and I had the talk I had decided it was time for. And he answered all of my questions... And then asked me some really good questions. Hard questions. Questions that made me think. And didn't hold a single answer against me. Totally respectful. Asked me if we ended up having sex if I was willing to date him and see where it could go. Or if I wanted no strings attached.

And shockingly, I realized I am open to seeing where it will go. While I'm not ready to be "all in" and be his girlfriend, I'm actually open to moving forward cautiously, but with my heart and eyes wide open.


And he asked me out. For Saturday night. And wants to take me someplace that I have always wanted to go. But I haven't. We had already established a date for Thursday. And I thought we would go there then. But he said he wanted to make it Saturday, but still wanted to see me Thursday. And I was flattered and touched.

I cried on the way to work the next day. Because I felt happy. I imagined being out with him on Saturday night, enjoying where we would be, looking at him and being so grateful that he is the one that brought me to that place... And the tears spilled over. I hope I don't actually cry when we're actually there. LOL.

And we're in pretty regular communication. He's not afraid to let me know that he's thinking about me. And he's not afraid to step back and let me do my thing. I am not quite sure how to deal with that. I like it a lot, but it's so unfamiliar to me.

Okay, I wrote that last sentence and my eyes filled with tears. How sad that it's unfamiliar to me for someone to be attracted to me, want to be with me, and yet unafraid to let me kick ass like I do.

Huh. I did not give CJ enough credit.

And we did go out on Thursday. And he got me pretty hot and bothered, but sent me home alone because he didn't want to pass his cold along to me. As we were hugging and (not) kissing outside my car that night, we heard my phone indicate a text. Which I ignored until I got in the car to head home.

Of course it was 23-year-old. Making it clear what he was hoping would happen later.

And I shut it down.

Even though I was desperately aroused. And while I thought I was pretty clear about our little thing being over, apparently it takes a bit longer for this kid to "get it". I tried to be sensitive (yes, okay, perhaps he did have some actual feelings for me. Oops!), but I didn't give in. Even though I'd started drinking Cabernet.

I'm actually giving this loyalty thing a try. Holy wow.

And then it was Friday night. And I did the usual Friday night thing. Hanging out with the Ex and the Kidlet and a small group of friends. Got to snuggle the kidlet and enjoy him.

And then I came home. Dragged all of my purchases up the stairs, while on the phone with CJ. We ended our conversation because I had "things to do".

And what I had to do?

Clean the bathroom.

And I did.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Patience and Trust and a dose of TMI.

I really need to give him a name. So you can keep them all straight. NOF says I need a white board. She's probably not wrong.

So, the guy that stepped up recently... The one whose middle name is Leon's real name. I'm going to call him CJ. Don't ask why. Just go with it.

Anyway. I told SoulMate about CJ and she was all jazzed about him. So was Dr. Tim (aka Therapist). Dr. Tim did remind me to go into this with my eyes open, however. Because if someone seems too good to be true, then he could be a sociopath. Which makes me laugh. Because while CJ does seem pretty great these days, he's far from perfect. Although, he does say the right things. And via text, too.

CJ really stepped it up in the last week or so... I had been pretty sure he was dating someone else, but we hadn't talked about it. And it's not like I really cared, anyway. I was dating someone else. And still communicating with others. Oh, and still fucking the 23-year-old.

Oh, had I not mentioned that?

This kid's not to be confused with the 21-year-old valet. That was a one-time thing. Number deleted right afterward. Gone. Done. He's served his purpose.

But the 23-year-old. Sweet kid. Took him a few tries to get it through his head that he's just a booty call (or whatever you want to call it). But he seems to have gotten that memo. He's someone I had been flirting with for months, and not long after one of the many breaks with Leon, I pretty much spelled it out for him that we should and could hook up. But that is all it would be. And while he's young and sometimes that's frustrating (No, if we already have plans for you to come over at a certain time, you do NOT actually need to do the whole textual foreplay thing. If I say it's happening, I'm a sure thing. Leave me alone until you actually show up at my doorstep. I have other things to do in the meantime), it's been a pleasant experience. Safe, no strings attached, done. It's been enjoyable.

And I know it's finite. When I get serious about someone (or he does), we're done. This is just an amusement in the meantime.

But I didn't exactly expect it to end so soon.

But I feel like I'm on the cusp of something. Something that could be real.

CJ uses words like "respect" and "understanding". And "I don't want you to do something you're not comfortable with..."

Um, and he meant it. Two days after the marathon, he offered to come over and cuddle and give me a massage. And, hey, if he wanted to help me with the aches, I was not about to turn him down (No ice bath and a 5-hour drive makes for sore muscles for longer than usual).

So, he came over. And we talked and cuddled and made out. And there was... touching. And stuff. And I hadn't been waxed in weeks and he didn't seem to care. And then he made me come. Not once, either. And there I was, panting and clinging to him, ready to take him into my bedroom, and he stopped. Said, "You said you didn't want to do anything more tonight, so I'm going to go."

Um, what???? Oh, he didn't leave me hanging or anything. There was lots more hot kissing and fondling and such. But then he went. Because I had told him the day before that I wasn't ready for more. So, he showed the restraint that had flown out my window.

The next day, I ended up getting waxed. Impeccable timing. The good news is that my appointment is in his town. So, I texted him to let him know I would be around with no plans after 6. (This was the day it didn't rain.) He had to work til 7, and needed to stop by his folks'. Didn't want me waiting for him for an hour and a half (too cold), so did I want to get together Friday instead?

And then it turned out that my appointment ran later than I had expected. So, I hung out with my SoulMate and met him for dinner, because he instantly changed his plans a bit to be able to see me.

And we had a great time. And have been in pretty regular contact ever since. And then the texts got a bit naughty again. And I think we need to have a conversation.

I'm pretty sure that the next guy I have sex with is going to be someone who could have (gulp!) relationship potential.

And since I got rid of Leon for good, I find myself, suddenly, open to that.

Holy growth! What happened to the RetroMama who just wanted to fuck younger dudes?

She's actually open to something real.

Which, looking at it with the ClaRiTy distance brings, is NOT something I was actually open to with Leon. I told him that. I told him the last time we spoke that my biggest fear in telling him I loved him wasn't that he didn't feel the same. My biggest fear was that he would tell me he was ready to be together. Not only was I not completely ready, but I knew I'd have some cleaning up to do. I was seeing CJ and Roger at the time... Oh, and I had just opened up communications with someone else. Brendan. Who seems pretty awesome. So, that pressure he felt from me that I was pushing for a relationship was actually all in his imagination.

So, anyway. Back to last week. Starting to think that CJ and I need to have a bit of a talk. The "Are we going to have sex?" talk. And what does that entail? I haven't really asked him the tough questions yet. And, obviously, if he can't handle my questions, I won't go there. Regardless, he's someone I listen to. He tells me stuff in a way that makes me do it. And not a whole lot of people can influence me that way. Well, they can, but not when it comes to things like getting me to write 6000 words in a day. Or icing my knee. Or stay home so that I can get my holiday cards addressed and stuff. He steps back to let me do stuff. It's weird.

But anyway, I know this talk is coming. And I found myself wondering if I would end up being someone's girlfriend. Which I haven't been in quite awhile. I've been keeping my options open. But I'm ready to at least have that talk. And see where it goes.

But, um... Well...

Then there's Brendan. Who is a bit older. And who is funny and charming on the phone and via email. Who totally gets the whole "gratitude" thing I've got going on. And told me to "have a great(ful) day." Holy wow. He kind of gets me. And is open to that.

So, after an amazing night with E (complete with margaritas and flirting with wait staff!), I met up with Brendan at 7:30 for dirty chai. Because he's never had dirty chai and wanted to try it.

Of course, my favorite place is closed until 8:30 on Sundays. So, we decided to go to Starbucks for coffee instead. And after sitting and chatting for nearly two hours, decided to go to breakfast, too. And when we talked about what we had on the agenda for the day, he mentioned that he needed to go to a sporting goods store. Um, my favorite sporting goods store. Like, the store that has become my new playground. I asked if he was going to the one in my town and while that hadn't been his plan, did I want to go to the local one with him? Um, hello?

So, then we went there, too.

And more than 5 hours after our first hug hello, we finally hugged goodbye.

And I feel like I know him better in that first day than I have in six dates with CJ. And Brendan admitted that he hadn't planned to tell me most of what he did. (I get people to tell me stuff. It's part of my charm. ::shrug::). And we made a very tentative plan to see each other toward the end of this week if he's in town. He did tell me he's a guy who takes time to process stuff. And I thanked him for telling me because then I knew to be patient with him.

So, here I am. The day after the amazing date. And I haven't heard from him. NOF told me to be patient. I'm trying.

But I have heard from CJ. And he knows we're going to have a conversation. And that just might be tonight. Via phone. So I don't get distracted. But I did mention how it was strange that I trust him. And he said that I can probably tell he's just looking out for me. And he is. From our first date, he's looked out for me. And while I'm still sensing that he's not THE one, he very well could be A one.

So, this dilemma. It's a delicious one.

But I'm thinking it might be time to drop the 20-somethings. Then again, maybe we could give it one last go before calling it quits?

But I am gearing up for something real. Not necessarily something forever. But something that's reciprocal. And real. I'm ready to give this love stuff a chance.

But which one???


Saturday, December 12, 2009

It didn't rain that day.

So, Leon and I made the plan. To do that hard thing for him. And I would be there. And it would be beautiful and heartbreaking and amazing. And then I would say goodbye to him. He didn't know that part, though.

And then he tried to postpone. "It's supposed to rain that day. I think I'll wait to do it until February."

Well, I'm sick of postponing the healing.

So, I said the hard things. I said out loud, "I can't be friends with you. You made me a quitter and my friends don't do that."

He called me out on it, "Why were you going to do this huge emotional thing with me if you don't want to be friends with me?"

"Because it would be my last gift for the man that I love. So that you could move away. And I could let you go knowing that I did everything. I tried."

And we talked a bit further. I said things that I'd written in that letter. Not all of them. But some of them. Enough of them.

And I cried hard for a few moments. Probably didn't help that I was less than 24 hours from having finished my first marathon in 8 weeks. And I was in agony. Physically. So, I just added the emotional turmoil to it and got it all out in one fell swoop.

And then it was done.

And then the most amazing thing happened.... I ended up having the most beautiful week. And wonderful people have stepped into it. And someone I didn't think had potential suddenly turned out to have potential.

And when I told SoulMate "I wasn't hearing from him not because he wasn't interested, but because he wanted me to have the time to succeed...", she said, "Oh, you mean he was stepping back to let RetroMama be RetroMama?"


And on that day when I got to spend a beautiful and impromptu 30 minutes with her? That was the day it was supposed to have rained. And it didn't. It was a gorgeous, crisp, clear night. And instead of doing the hard emotional thing, I got to see my SoulMate. And go on a dinner date. :)

I'm done hiding the true me from people. I'm going to be all Gratitude and Light and Love and if that's simply too intense for someone, then they can choose to step away.

Oh, and I decided Roger wasn't the one for me.

And in very un-dramatic fashion, we broke things off.

But the one who stepped back last month? I shall have to come up with a blog name for him. Because he might be sticking around for awhile... Of course, I'm still keeping my options open. Still communicating with and dating others...

But I am me. And I do have something to offer. And it's up to you to accept it or not. Because whether you can handle me or not isn't about me.

And whether I choose to accept you is my choice. And I'm done wasting time on those unworthy. I shall continue to offer the random acts of kindness, and the not-so-random. I will be me. I will live and love and I will BE loved.

It's coming. I can feel it. And I'm finally open to it.

I cut the dead weight. And damn, that feels good.