Yesterday was a lovely morning... I blogged about having a beau... I was getting laundry done... Drinking coffee I'd made with my French Press... All was beautiful...
And then I got an email...
I have a PO Box at the UPS store down the street. The great thing about having a PO Box there is that my address looks like a real address. So, UPS will deliver there. And they can sign for stuff for me and I can pick it up at my convenience. I actually got the box way before I moved out of my marital home and started using the address then...
I remember laughing so hard when my gramma told me that Cinderella had told her "RetroMama sent me her new address!" And my gramma looked at her, blankly, thinking, "But she hasn't moved yet..." I had sent her a card or letter or something and it had a return address label. Which translated in her mind to "Ooh, I have inside information". I'm snorting with laughter all over again.
Whenever I get a package or a certified letter, the nice folks at the UPS store scan it to my box and I get an email, telling me that I have something to pick up... And they tell me who it's from. When the kidlet got a package from his grandparents, I remember how conscientious they were about making sure I knew it was a package for him (this was during the whole layoff season last year). The wonderful staff there has become friends to me and to the kidlet... They were there the day I got my RIF notice last year. They were there when I got laid off... And they rejoiced with me when I got my letter of re-hire.
On Friday, I got an email at lunchtime... The package with 5 Proof copies of my novel had arrived. I bounced through the rest of my afternoon, picked up the kidlet, and raced over there.... I told them what was in the box, but the kidlet had decided we would open it together at home... Chris, the nice kid (18? 19?) who works there made sure to tell me that I could open it at home, but I am under strict instructions to bring it back at some point so that they can see it. Of course I agreed.
So, yesterday... I'm having this amazing morning... And I get an email from the UPS store... I assumed that it was to let me know that one more copy of my book had arrived (it was shipped separately)... But then I did a double-take when I saw the sender...
It was the District.
I looked at the calendar... While the deadline for RIFs is still more than a week away, I started to get a little worried...
Still in my pajamas (what? It was only noon... ish.), I transferred laundry over and put away the clothes that had just come out of the dryer... I told myself I would shower and change, go hit the UPS store and then go pick up the kidlet from his dad's...
But this niggling sense of discomfort wouldn't leave....
So, I threw on running clothes and a beanie and left the apartment.
I thought about putting up a status change on FB, asking for some Light and Love, but I felt like I was making a big deal out of nothing... Surely, the District had some other thing they wanted to tell me via Certified letter... Maybe I was getting an award of some sort?
I was shaking by the time I got in my car... And pretty much hyperventilating as I drove over there... I thought about calling Eric, but I only had a few minutes in the car and just wanted to get there. Besides, he had his kids and I didn't want to be the hysterical girlfriend. I mean, we had only really officially established that we were together, like, the night before. I should wait at least a week before I pull that, right?
The parking lot was crowded. Saturdays are grocery shopping days, apparently... I was muttering "fuck!" under my breath as I circled the lot to find a spot. I shakily ran into the store. Chris was in the back. I stopped in my tracks and yelled, "Give me my letter!"
I went to my box and pulled out the sticker that I would need to sign... Oh, and the magazine I'd been waiting for. The one with the short article I had written. Yin and yang, dammit.
Chris brought me the letter and I didn't even look at him as I tore into it. By now, the tears were streaming down my face... My breath came out ragged... The envelope in shreds, I started reading... Tears blurred my vision...
And it wasn't a RIF.
I threw the letter down on the counter and backed away... Poor Chris was staring at me.... I pointed at it, and managed to get "It's not a layoff letter!" out... And then I stood in the middle of the store and sobbed... I dragged my sleeve across my face, trying to dry my tears, trying to keep the snot from running down my face...
Chris stood behind the counter and held his arms out toward me. I flew at him and wrapped my arms around his neck, apologizing for being such a spaz... And he just held me for a minute or two, as I raggedly sobbed into his shoulder.
To cheer myself, I opened the package with the magazine and let him read it.
And then another customer came in. She looked at me sideways as Chris helped her with her mailing needs... I kept wiping my nose with my sleeve like the pretty girl that I am... I was still having trouble breathing.
I kept apologizing and babbling away... Chris was very sweet and understanding about it. Didn't rush me out or anything. I knew there was no way I could drive yet... It took me about ten minutes to pull it together.
Only then did I leave, with my letter and magazine in my hand... That's when I called Eric. And then updated the FB when I got his voicemail. He called me back a few minutes later and I regaled him with stories of hysterics and tears and snot in the UPS store.
So, I have a beau... I don't think I'm comfortable with the word "boyfriend". Although, I am completely okay with being his "girlfriend". I'll probably get used to "boyfriend". ::shrug::
This man is good to me. He's good FOR me. He brought me flowers and Thai food when I was sick. And cupcakes.
He said, last night, that we haven't even been on a real date yet.
And, yet... We're together.
And I told him what D and E said and what my Therapist said about how he should date other women and whatnot. Give himself more time. But this is what it is.
And, again... I'm not going to be afraid of loving... I shall be cautious about how enmeshed we become in one another's lives...
I shall sign another 12-month lease on my place... He told me he's ready to buy something, and I told him that while I would love to help him decorate, I don't want to be any part of the buying process. I don't want to even look at any of his prospects. He needs to do that on his own.
But when he offered me points so that I can stay in a hotel across the country with the kidlet? And followed through with three hotel options? I'll let him do that for me.
He told me he's afraid of hurting me... Because what happens if he realizes in six months that I was right and he should have taken more time? Because he's not over his ex. But I'm not really over mine. (Can anyone ever truly be "over" someone with whom s/he has created children?) Being where I am in my journey, I feel somewhat wise when it comes to this... And he talks it out with me... And I'm becoming a better listener... And it doesn't hurt me to hear him process through it. I'm all zen and shit about it.
I told him I'm not afraid of six months from now. And I'm really not. If it doesn't work out, I'll grieve that. But in the meantime, I will just enjoy this... Learning to love and be loved.
And, no, D... I have not had sex with him... Things got a little hot last night, but no... I'm not ready for that... Shocking, I know.
I giggled as I watched him walk away from my car last night... Thinking to myself, "I have a boyfriend, and he has no ass." But he's adorable. And he's mine. I shall continue to call him Eric. And, perhaps, boyfriend. But, beau, for sure...
Slept most of the day until it was time for my appointment.
Eric, of course, offered to bring me soup, kleenex, anything I needed. I didn't feel quite ready for him to see me looking like something the cat dragged in, however...
And then I went to get the cancer removed. I got there early, and with the doctor ahead of schedule, I was done right about the time everybody started sending the Light and Love. Hee!
So, I called Eric. And asked if he was working from home and could I come over? I had a couple of things I needed to tell him. And, hell, I had just beat cancer, so I was feeling somewhat kickass. Even though I still looked like shit.
And I sat down and told him the big scary secrets. Like about the scars that HRT left. And that even though I'm becoming this honest person, I haven't always been so.
But I needed to tell him because I see this going somewhere and I wanted him to know now so that he still has a chance to get out if he chooses.
And after I told him the big scary things, he patted the couch next to him and I came over and snuggled up against him. And he told me to just never lie to him. I can agree to that.
And then I left to go hug the kidlet and I checked my phone.
I'd gotten an email in response to a voicemail I'd left last week.
Because last week, it hit me that I was grateful. I was grateful for his presence in my world when he was in it. That he was as good to me that he could have possibly been. He simply didn't have the capacity to be any better to me. But that didn't mean he ever meant to hurt me. And he was the right person to be in my world at that time. I'm grateful that he didn't sleep with me. I'm grateful that I got to learn about dating and stuff with someone who kept me (mostly) safe.
So, on the day that we might have done that thing together (but it would be raining. LMAO.), I picked up the phone and called. And said those things to his voicemail. Told him not to worry about calling me back. But that I just wanted to thank him.
Then I let it go...
And, actually, kind of forgot that I did it. Because it was so not a big deal. I just expressed my gratitude. It was on him how he decided to take it.
And, apparently, he took it well.
And he wrote me an email to tell me so. And it was lovely.
And then I went and hugged my son and texted a few of my girlfriends who knew those truths and understood what a big deal it is that I told Eric.
And I'm just feeling utterly exhausted and completely loved.
So, even sick and unshowered and doctor's office scented, I'm happy.
I told the big scary things and he hasn't run away.
I am a mom. I am an open book. I am a teacher. I am unfinished. I rarely dress weather-appropriately. I am influential. I am tattooed. I am a Reason for some. I am relentless in my passions. I am multi-faceted. I am carving my niche.