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Friday, October 14, 2005

i'll make it to the moon if i have to crawl 

So who's ready to play Too Much Information?

I had to cancel my therapy appointment today, so instead I'll spill my guts here. Besides, it's a whale of a story as far as I'm concerned. Just remember--don't judge me. First of all, I judge myself far more efficiently and thoroughly than any outsider could, and second, I don't plan these things. As big as I talk, I rarely have to go out and look for trouble. It finds me.

One thing you need to know is that I was raised by wolves. Okay, maybe not literally (but then you haven't met my momma) but it's pretty descriptive. Another good analogy is those twisted monkey-mama experiments where they gave newborn monkeys "psuedo-mommys," made out of like, chicken wire and old ratty baby blankets. The human infant can distinguish its mother from every other person in the world, but we will make do with any mother we can find.

Another thing that I have to tell you is that I love my family, including Pman and Isabel's daddy. Right now it feels like the whole world will judge me for not making better marital decisions, but I have to tell you, marriages never die, they just expand. Divorcing someone, for me, has never been a matter of Poof! They disappear. Bel's dad and I talk a lot. We work hard at being good coparents. We love each other--just not in that way. Don't get the impression I go around wrecking hearts and lives, leaving a trail of damage behind me. I'm not great at the whole femme fatale thing--I'm much too straightforward for that. It's exceedingly hard for me to trust anyone, so when I do, it's for keeps. I love my family very much, but lately it seems like they are going to swallow me up if I don't do something about it. And it probably speaks to my credit that my exes still love me too.

So here's the fucked-up part:

Pman and I agreed to split up about a month ago. Right after Brea came out to visit. The night that she and I Went Out, I met This Guy. I'd seen him around, as he works rather near me, and definitely noticed him. That night we got to talking, and we sorta kinda fell in love. I'm not saying true love, happily-ever-after love, but absolutely Hollywood love, that initial stage. We're talking stopped watches, flickering lights, the earth may have even shook a little. Thank heavens Brea was there to witness it or I'm sure I would have convinced myself I made it up. We clicked, and it was audible. I remember going to to breakfast that night with five of us, and he and I barely touched our food. We got it BAD.

The problem here, for me, is that clearly twoo wuv is the last thing I need on my plate. I have a lot going on, as you know, and I need yet another serious relationship like I need a hole in my head, or another baby. I've been rather looking forward to just being my own girl for a while. On the other hand, I haven't met anyone who rocked my world that strongly and immediately in a good decade. I'm not exactly drowning in people who make me feel magnificent. In all honesty, I thought I was too old, too settled, too grown-up to feel that way. I didn't know it could still happen to me, thought I left it behind in high school with paper-bag book covers and lockers (which, funny enough, have recently reappeared in my life. Odd.)Which was a small part of the reason for the split--evidently my life is missing a few small, critical pieces.

Now, given, I am in the care of a Qualified Mental Health Professional, plus I'm not exactly stupid. There is certainly an element of distraction here, because it's surely easier to daydream about dishy chefs than ponder, for instance, how this will be our last Halloween, last Thanksgiving, last Christmas as a capital-F Family. My shrink's opinion, which dovetails rather neatly with my own, is that when Life throws you something, something which Life feels compelled to drape with bells and whistles and flashing lights, when Life throws you someone from whom you simply cannot manage to stay away from, no matter how much you want to, then there is probably a Lesson there, and perhaps you should be paying really close attention.

Now here's where it gets messy. My chef--let's call him S., (although note it is a different S. from my last aside)--wants to get married and have kids of his own. In the very near future. He wants to create his own family. And here I am bouncing around town with an entire village up my sleeve. But he wants his own. And I can't fault him for that. Frankly any man who would just get on board with all my baggage, no questions asked, would freak me out more. He's right to be cautious.

Now, I'd like to point out that he's crazy about me, too. Just trust me on this. (Or at least he was.) That's what made the whole thing so magical. When you reallyreallyreally dig someone and they feel exactly the same way about you? That is my ultimate drug. And it doesn't come along very often. If it's happened to you, you know exactly what I mean, and if it hasn't yet, my advice would still be to go with it.
And also, we fit pretty damn well. My life is kind of a freak show right now, and truthfully, it wouldn't take much of a guy to distract me. Passable hygiene, grade-level reading skills and a willingness to have phone conversations would pretty much do it. The fact that our musical tastes mesh completely, that we both lost our fathers at 16 (okay, so I only misplaced mine--it's actually worse that mine's not dead, but, another time) that I walked into his house at 4:30 am and he was screaming at "Face the Nation" and Harriet Miers--well, I'm only human.

So the upshot is, we can't date. Now, personally, I think that most of the reasons he's given me for not, say, calling me up on the phone and asking me out for mac'n'cheese, are bullshit. Well, not bullshit, exactly, but not the true reasons. I think he's just scared. For all his talk about wanting a family, trust me when I say that this cat isn't exactly working towards anything at present.

And THIS is the dealbreaker for me, just like my existing family (!) is one for him. I'm brave. I'm as brave as anyone you know--not because I'm not fearful, because I'm desperately fearful, but because I AM fearful, if you know what I mean. I don't want someone, even on a temporary basis, who doesn't have the balls to at least give it a chance and see. Who runs away. I don't want any little scaredy-cat men looking to me for courage. I'm tired of sweeping people up in my bravery, of being brave for others. It's the one really random, really good piece of character I got and I'm sick of lending it out to other people. I attract a LOT of cowards.

So after a fair amount of back-and-forth, sweet words alternating with "we're-breaking-up," I called foul. If you want me,come and get me. If not, I'm taking my stupid love songs and dumb jokes and my rotten uppercut (Oh? Didn't I tell you I punched a pilot? Good story for tomorrow.) and I'm going home.

I didn't really mean it, of course. I should have meant it, I wanted to mean it, I honestly wish I was that strong, but mostly I was trying to call his bluff. I was reasonably certain that I would get a tearful 2:15 am phone call from a certain someone, after he'd had a portion of liquid courage, and then I would have proven my point.

So us girls decided that S. needed his own 12-step program, and from now on I would call one of my sponsors whenever I felt like calling him. I deleted him completely from my phone, which I hadn't noticed he took over with his texts and his voice mails, etc.

I lasted four days. And it was so, so, so hard. Because I just wanted to call him up and say, "Damn, isn't this hard? This sucks, huh?"

So, by this time, basically everyone in my orbit besides my kids and my mom know this story. I'm all mopey at work last night, and whenever someone began to ask me what was wrong, Tamara would say, "It's That Stupid Guy. DO NOT get her started again." Everyone's sick of hearing about it. I'm sick of talking about it. I'm sick of thinking about it, for that matter. But, as is my custom, I asked everybody's opinions. I tend to do this when I'm undecided--not that I want someone else to decide for me, but I want to hear a lot of different options. With one exception, they all said just what they should: he's not worth it, you're better than that, he's crazy--what good friends always say, although Nico did go off on this whole rant about how happiness comes from within, which mostly just pissed me off, because while I agree with the general philosophy, it DOESN'T FUCKING HELP ME RIGHT NOW. But he tried, and I appreciate it.

One person did say something to the extent of, "Oh just go fucking call him and shut up about it."

So guess whose advice I followed?

Naturally. This is ME, after all.

And I could never, never, never let things lie. Never was cut out for ambivalence, for wait-and-see, for playing it cool or coy or whatever. I'm an action girl. I'm Danger Mouse!

So I went and dropped in on him.

And the look on his face said it all. Here was a man who was decidedly unthrilled to see me. And he tried to be polite about it, which makes it even worse.

So NOW I'm done. I hit my shame ceiling, the fever broke, I'm mainly over it. It was fun while it lasted.

And what did we learn, boys and girls?

We learned that it is useless to make myself do things I don't want to do, because I always end up doing it my way in the end. Easier to do it my way in the first place and skip all the tears. We learned that I really am better than that. We learned that he's an asshole, and I'm an asshole, but given the choice, I will be my kind of asshole, an asshole for love, any day of the week. So I'm not ashamed of that. We've learned that there are a lot more people than I thought who will hold my hand while I am weak and sick, or maybe people just love a good dramatic love story, but superbig ups to my rough'n'tough military ex-boyfriend who spoke soothingly and gently to me while I cried on the phone this morning, 5:30 DC time.

We learned that while Your Devoted Correspondent has sworn off marriage, living-in and similarly committed relationships for the near-to-distant future, she reallyreally wants a guy, ultimately, who will set her world on fire. And she will not settle for less.

And we learned that I cannot fight my nature, and no one could or should reasonably expect me to. Also that my dating pool appears to be 35-to-45 year old divorced cats, because I am the girl they did this to and lived to regret it when they were 29, and they are heartily repentant.

And yes, Dan, I am still hot. Maybe not Jolie-level hotness, but more than I could reasonably expect from anyone who has spent the last seven years changing diapers. By rights I should have grey hair and a twitch over one eye. But it doesn't do me a lot of good, because most guys my age are still boys who can't tell one girl from another. I haven't been asked on a date in years. But it's okay, because if he doesn't have the stones to at least ask me for my number and then call me, then fuck him.

So I guess the big lesson is this: I should never date anyone with less sack than me.

Bring on the big brave boys who know a good thing when they see one. I haven't forgotten my EMT heart, either, I just can't do a lot to get ready right now. But I have NOT forgotten.
Wooliemama out.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

come on and kick me 

Don't mind me, I'm just feeling a little waspish right now.

I know so many people getting married or engaged right now, so of course I'm getting divorced. Surrounded by people who are just shimmering with true love.

True love makes me puke. I want to go get screamingly drunk with Daria, Gaz and Janeane Garofalo.

It occurred to me recently that I've ruined my dating credit. (Coincidentally, my actual credit, but that's another rant.) 26, 3 kids, 2 divorces--I look like a terrible dating risk. My friend Tara calls me an old soul, so I hope that explains why I'm about 39 in the dating world.

I wouldn't take me out.

The worst thing in the world is to know too much, I learned from a movie. It's true. Some of the things I know for sure?

If you want to think of yourself as a good, kind, tolerant, peaceable person, DO NOT have children. They push you right up against every piece of emotional baggage you carry.

If you want to believe in true love, DO NOT get married. Don't make me point out the obvious, here. Granted, my skills in this department are clearly lacking, but, oh, fuck it. Sure, there are people who run into their "soul mate" at 19 and are blissfully happy for their remaining years on earth, and I'm sure they wonder why the rest of us souless freaks can't keep it together for one lousy marriage, but hell, some people win the lottery, too.

I don't consider myself bitter, not just yet, but I am definitely feeling bruised and bloodied by the world.

The wheel will turn, I know, but I'm going to wallow here for a few hours and then get dressed and go to work and pretend I care whether or not people have enough fucking soy sauce.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

come by and see me (i'm a love letter away) 

Long radio silence, I know. And hugs and kisses and my famous oatmeal-raisin cookies for all your nice comments and support--I hope to get back to each and every one of you lovelies soon.

But there's so much going on right now...there's no new news on the EMT front, but I have a bomb to drop anyway.

Pman and I are splitting up. There's not a lot I can say, one obvious reason being that he (used) to read me all the time and I'm sure he would be embarrassed by our personal business being here, no matter how much I want to talk about it. It's relatively amicable, so far, but insanely stressful because we aren't actually moving away from each other until the New Year.

Yes, you read right. He and I have split...but we still live together. So the holidays should be extra-fun.

My stomach hurts all the time, I'm crabby with the kids, but it's for everyone's best interests, so don't feel too sorry for me. We'll get through it.

And if you saw this coming, do me a favor and keep it to yourself. (Yes, you, S.)

There's so much I want to talk about, but I can't just yet. Please bear with me.

But in all this madness and mess, this song "The Start Of Something" makes me smile. And hit repeat. And when you are getting divorced, you have temporary permission to hit repeat whenever you wish. Also, all the hash browns you can eat.