Vanessa at One Thousand Single Days wrote this thoughtful essay on pain. I think it is a must read for all of us, for anyone who has experienced loss and tragedy and is still alive to tell the tale. In short, this essay is for everyone.
“This is Not A Song” — Islands
If Penny rolls away
I will have lost everything
In many subtle ways
I already don’t have anything
I hate to watch you go
Nick if you ever learn it never shows
And this is not a song
So why do I find it so hard to move on
Feels a crime to be cryin’ for this long
In upper atmosphere my head comes loose
And in the free fall I can feel the blues
I hate to watch you go
Nick if you ever learn it never shows
If this is just a song
Then why do I find it so hard to move on
Feels a crime to be cryin’ for this long
I’ll be the first to admit that I came off like a petulant child in my last post. I was pouting like a kid whose friends took all their toys away and went home. The truth is that I know you guys are out there. I know that you all still support and care about me.
I’ve been cycling through emotions like they’re going out of style. I’ve taken pretty much every emotion you can imagine and magnified it in a way that hasn’t always brought out the best in me. I know that this is normal, or at least I think it is. I’m still reeling from the events of the past six months and I’ve yet to find a place to settle. Some days I’m way up high and other days I’m way down low. The most unfortunate part of this is that I never know who is going to show up–at work, on my blog, on a date, or even when I’m home alone.
And especially not on ladies night.
Last Tuesday I had a dream. I hesitate to call it in a nightmare because there weren’t any scary men chasing me or tidal waves threatening to pull me under. But the sentiment was that of a nightmare. Cold sweats, rapid heart rate, overwhelming sense of fear, and anger. I had a dream that one of my best friends was pregnant with her second child. And it made me so angry for reasons that I couldn’t define at the time. The dream wasn’t really so much about why, but just that it was happening and I had to learn to temper my negative feelings toward it.
Last Thursday 3 of my best lady friend’s and I went out for dinner and drinks. As soon as I made eye contact with the same friend I had the dream about (we’ll call her Leggy Blonde) I just knew. I KNEW like I’ve never known anything before that she was, in fact, pregnant. Then she ordered a water. And since I had no doubt to begin with, I sank as my last shred of hope that she wasn’t actually pregnant vanished before I had a chance to swallow my shot of whiskey. But still, I said nothing.
Shortly after ordering her second glass of water she left to use the bathroom. I immediately turned to my other friend and told her that Leggy Blonde is pregnant. I just knew it.
Eventually, she ended up telling us that she is pregnant. Again. And not only is she pregnant, but OOPS! it was an accident. Totally unplanned. Totally easy. Totally amazing.
Remember: Leggy Blonde is one of my very best friends. When I finally got pregnant I told her before I even told The X. When I had to terminate that pregnancy, she cried with me over the phone when I shared the news. I say all this to demonstrate that she too KNOWS something. She knows full well the special kind of hell that I have been through over the last six months. She knows that for me it was never an accident. It was never unplanned. It was never easy. But, she knows how amazing it was in that brief period of time in which I knew I was pregnant. For 13 glorious days, she and I had access to the same amazing knowledge–that of carrying a child.
So maybe now you can understand when I tell you that I didn’t react well. I merely mumbled congratulations, dug a cigarette out of my purse, and practically ran outside before the tears could spill over my eyelids and betray the words of celebration that had come from my mouth. And from my heart. You see, I am actually quite happy for her. I would never begrudge any woman, let alone one that I love so dearly, the very thing that I fought for years to create. I would never want her to temper her own happiness to spare my bitter feelings or my empty womb.
However, I would ask for a shred of compassion. I would ask that a friend tread lightly when sharing such news. That she take my vulnerable and broken heart into consideration before haphazardly sharing this type of sensitive news. I imagine myself in a cage, having not eaten for weeks. My ribs and my collarbones jut out from beneath my clothing. My jaw is sore from chewing on the bars of my cage out of sheer desperation for something to that feels close enough to eat. I am surrounded by each and every person that I have ever loved feasting at a table close enough to see, but too far away to touch. And the real tragedy, it is finally revealed, is not that they aren’t sharing their food with me, but that when the perspective shifts it is actually me that is close enough to see, but too far away to touch.
Or at least, that’s how the dream went that I had the following night.
When I got home that night, I was in a blind rage. Again, I know that it is normal to experience anger in these types of situations, but what I was feeling wasn’t even close to normal. The anger was so intense that even my house didn’t seem large enough to contain it. And if my house couldn’t contain, then certainly my body couldn’t either. I could feel my blood boiling, pumping too rapidly in and out of my heart. My feet couldn’t stand still and in an effort to diffuse some of the rage, they forced me to walk back and forth, back and forth. My fists clenched into tiny balls of fury waiting to find the perfect reason to expel the anger through them. I never looked into the mirror, but I’m sure that if I had then I wouldn’t have recognized the woman staring back at me.
Eventually I went to bed, nary a tear shed. No way for that anger to escape. While I slept I dreamed I was in that cage. When I awoke, the dream seemed so real that I swear my hands were coiled around an invisible bar, cold and hard. Finally, the fog lifted and I realized that had just been dreaming but that I awoke to face a whole other kind of cage–one that has become my entire life as it relates to both my (lack of) marriage and my infertility.
When I came downstairs to get ready for work, The X was there. I told him the Leggy Blonde is pregnant again and he asked me how I felt about it. Alas, I had found a way to extricate all the anger that had taken over my body and my mind: The X.
“You want to know how I’m feeling?” I asked, confused.
“I’m fucking pissed! You can walk out this door right now and knock up any girl of your choosing. And you can do that every fucking day for the next 30 years should you choose to do so.” Without so much as a breath, I continued, “I don’t have that luxury. And it’s all your fucking fault. You want to leave me high, dry, and barren with five years to find a way to make this dream come true.”
“You have ruined my chance at happiness,” I fired at him.
“You can be angry at whoever you want, but you don’t have to take it out on me,” he replied as he walked towards the door.
My last words to him were, “I can be fucking angry at whoever the fuck I want to be angry with. And right now you are at the top of my list!”
And just like that, I could breath again. My heart was still racing, but the blood wasn’t boiling any longer. Instead, it was cool and refreshing. And instead of contemplating who I was going to murder in order to rid myself of the all-consuming rage, I contemplated the feeling of realization that washed over me.
I’m not angry at Leggy Blonde for accidentally getting knocked up again. I’m angry because I’m not. I’m angry because my husband is leaving me. Not only is he leaving my heart behind, but also the idea of a life that we had created together. The dream of the children we would have together. When I picture my future children they always have his blue eyes and his dimples. They have his wavy brown hair and pension for creativity. When I remove those things from my picture I see that I am left with half-children. Babies with no faces. Teenagers without hair. Grown men and women without personalities. People that I create that share absolutely nothing with The X.
I think I might hate him just a little for that. Because in reality, he’s the petulant child who took all of his toys back and pouted all the way home, not me. He’s the one that is one lacking compassion for my vulnerable and broken heart, not Leggy Blonde. And lastly, he’s the one I should be angry at. Not myself and certainly not Leggy Blonde.
Emotions are a funny thing. Just when you think you know exactly why you are feeling a certain way, another more articulate emotion comes along and changes your perspective. Anger is a broodish, archaic emotion that is usually just masking something much more intangible and acute than anger ever could be. Awareness and recognition are emotions that can actually take your somewhere even if that journey begins with blind rage.
I feel like I got kicked out of a clique. That’s the honest truth. I’ve never been one for sugar-coating.
When I wrote regularly on my previous blog (which I won’t link to because I’m clinging to hope that this one can remain anonymous) I had a lot of followers. And among those followers, I had lots of commenters. And among those commenters, I had many regular email-ers. But I feel like 95% of you have disappeared on me.
I mean, I get it. It was hard for me when a fellow TTC-er got pregnant. I simply couldn’t relate to her anymore. I still have nothing but love in my heart for each and every dear friend I made along the way. But I get it. I really do. Sometimes people are put in our lives to serve a specific purpose–even if that purpose is support for what we are going through at that time. When one person or the other moves on I like to think that it frees up space in both their heart and life to go on and support someone else. It’s like once big circle, or something. Kumbaya. Or whatever.
But I have to admit that starting from scratch sucks. Trying to find other bloggers in a similar situation to me feels next to impossible. Don’t get me wrong, there are a handful of lovely ladies that have already reached out to me and their support (as we get to know one another) means the world. But I miss my ladies. I guess that’s what it comes down to. I miss you. Yes, YOU.
Even if you can’t offer a word of advice or anything positive at all, please just say hi. That’s all I really need. I have experienced so much loss in the last 6 months of my life. The loss of my husband and my baby is insurmountable. But to lose a single one of you ladies who have become my sounding boards, my support system, and some of my dearest friends feels like a weight to heavy to bear on top of everything else.
I miss you.
I’m feeling kind of blah towards dating right now.
I told The Ginger (who isn’t really a Ginger, but his beard is red) that I just wanted to be friends. I felt kind of bad about it. He just moved here a few months ago so he doesn’t have many friends, which explains why he was texting me constantly. He’s a super sweet guy, but I don’t find him terribly attractive. That, and the sex was mediocre. It wasn’t bad at all, but it wasn’t anything to write home (or my blog) about.
Frenchie is still around, but only every now and again. He’s a Quantum Physicist at a nearby prestigious university and he travels a lot. He goes all around the country and the world conducting research and giving lectures. I actually like that he travels so much because it helps keep things casual between us which is exactly what I’m looking for at this this point in time. Thus far, he wins the competition for the best date. He took me to this restaurant that I’ve wanted to try for a long time. It didn’t disappoint and neither did he. Afterward we checked out a couple bands a bar a couple doors down. Dinner and dancing gets me every time. Plus he has a knack for selecting the perfect background music for hooking up—a talent that is much appreciated by me.
The Actor is also still around, but I haven’t seen much of him lately. I had company in town for the past week and then I got sick so I’ve been avoiding him in an effort to not spread my germs. I think we’re supposed to hang out this weekend though. He is super sweet and affectionate—both of which I like. However, every time we make out, I walk away looking like my face got in a fight with a porcupine. Not a pleasant sensation. We haven’t had sex yet, but I will say that he is AMAZING at other things and just leave it at that.
Obviously, I haven’t heard from Mr. Teacher since our awkward run in. I’m debating texting him just to see how he is doing, but I haven’t done it yet. I figure I will give it another two weeks and then see how I feel. I don’t want to come across as desperate, but I do want him to know that I’m still interested. I’ve yet to find where those two points meet. Honestly, I’m hoping that they meet at a point that scores me another date. Maybe more?
I think I’m experiencing a case of the Dating Doldrums.
I want to go out and meet new boys, but maybe I have unrealistic expectations. I want that WOW! factor. I want the butterflies and the feeling of anticipation for the next time I see him. Right now, no one really seems to be doing that for me. I want the desire to rip his clothes off and then stay in bed for hours just talking and getting to know each other. Does that even exist or is that just something I’ve invented in my head as a direct result of watching too many romantic comedies? Am I trying too hard? Or not enough?
I was warned that this dating thing wouldn’t turn out to be everything that it’s talked up to be. And I think I’m starting to get that. Each guy that I meet has so many great qualities, but none of them have everything that I’m looking for. Is it even possible to find everything that I’m looking for in one person? I am constantly comparing these men to my ex-husband. Not so much as people, but more so the dynamic between us. I mean, at one point I thought my ex-husband was the end-all, be-all. I did marry him, after all. I over-analyze the connection that I share with these boys. Could it be more? Should it be more? Are they just duds? Maybe I’m the dud?
Or is it simply a matter of time?
Perhaps that line I should be looking for isn’t the one between desperation and genuine interest, but rather the fine one between good and good enough.
I’m leading the crusade for the refusal to settle. But maybe, in a way, we all settle in the end. If I choose to throw that possibility out the window then I am left with two possibilities:
- I will be forever alone.
- I will find the man that is perfect for me.
I don’t think I’m quite ready to give up on my quest for the latter option. In the meantime, I suppose I will just bask in the depths of my doldrums knowing full well that what goes down must come up. So what if that statement defies the laws of gravity. I’m the one making up the rules now.
I live in a pretty major city on the East Coast. There are plenty of different districts downtown and each offers its own variety of people. The drunk college kids have a place that they typically hang out, as do the middle-aged divorcees (of which I most definitely am not). I tend to spend a lot of time in a specific district frequented by older 20-something, young professional, hipster type people. There is frequently live music, local beer, and cute boys. Lots of cute boys.
The problem with this is that I have a type. A very particular type. And, well, this type of boy tends to frequent the same bars, restaurants, and venues as I do. Normally, this would be okay seeing as it would provide me with prime pickings. The issue, however, is that I am starting to run into boys that I have come to know. And it usually happens that I run into these boys when I am out with other boys. As you can imagine, this makes for a very awkward introduction.
Perhaps now you can understand when I tell you that the name of my city rhymes with Smalltimore.
Enter Mr. Teacher. Again.
A couple of weeks ago Ginger BFF and I drove down to DC to go to a concert. It was at rather large venue that I had never been to before. I feel I should mention that we were experiencing torrential downpours, flash flooding, and tornado warnings. I would have been wise if we had just stayed home, but the pull of adventure was drawing us in. Once we finally found parking, we had to walk about 10 minutes through the pouring rain in order to get to our destination. This wasn’t entirely a bad thing. For one, it was a freak 70 degree night. For two, we had brought a bottle of wine that we chugged in the car once we were parked. What?!? Beer is expensive at concert venues and I’m a single lady with a budget now!
So, basically we walked tipsy through the rain in a city where we know absolutely nothing. We finally found will call where we needed to pick up our tickets. Will call was a tiny little room with standing room for about 4. As we were waiting at the ticket window, I was vaguely aware that there was a couple in the room with us. I didn’t really look at them because I was too busy ringing out my dress and wiping off my running mascara. That’s when I heard it aloud: Mr. Teacher’s last name being called by the lady behind the glass.
Mr. Teacher does not have an ordinary last name. In fact, I’m still not even sure I know how to spell it correct. So when I heard his last name, I knew it had to either be him or someone related to him. Obviously, these thoughts are all going through my head in a matter of seconds as I slowly turn around to glance at the man with the last night of my hot teacher. Much to both my surprise and relief, it wasn’t Mr. Teacher after all. But there was no denying that the man in the room was a close relation–the resemblance was uncanny. I know Mr. Teacher has two brothers, so I just assumed it was one of them.
I decided not to say anything because, really, what would I have said?
When I got home that night, I decided to drunk text Mr. Teacher and tell him what happened. This was our very brief conversation the next morning:
(He had used him own name where I blacked it out)
Talk about a disappointing reply.
Fast forward to this past Saturday. I went out to grab a drink with a male friend that I haven’t seen in over 10 years. I walk into the bar where we were meeting and Old Friend walks up and gives me a hug. Then he tells me that he was just sitting talking with a friend of his that he ran into, Mr. Teacher. I look over and sure enough, Mr. Teacher is sitting at the bar. He waved and smiled (uuuggghh!) at me. Apparently, my instinct in this situation was to act as if I had no idea who he was. How mature is that? I just looked away and went and found our seat at the bar.
He was there the whole night–or at least for the few hours that I was also there. The entire time I was acutely aware of his presence in the room. He sat in a place that afforded him the ability to look at me, but that would make it quite awkward for me to look at him. I’m not insinuating that he chose that seat purposefully, just that I was conscious of the seating arrangement and how nervous it made me feel. But nervous in a good way. Nervous like butterflies in my stomach. I hadn’t imagined it, he is definitely as hot as I remember. And had he asked me to go home with him that night, I wouldn’t have hesitated for a moment.
But he didn’t ask. He didn’t even exchange a word with me. Or a “nice to see you” follow-up text. To be fair, I didn’t either. I think I need to wean Mr. Teacher from my thoughts. And if I’m being honest, I also need to let go of the secret hope that he’ll be interested in dating me again. Against my best intentions, it seems that I fell for him harder than I intended to. I don’t know if it’s a genuine crush or simply because he was the first guy I dated after breaking up with my husband–back at a time where I had the emotional dating capacity of a 17 year old.
Either way, the point if moot. He clearly doesn’t reciprocate my feelings or desires. So I am left here to deal with my first rejection. Well, you know, besides the major rejection I suffered when my husband left me, but that is another post for another time. Chances are that I will run into him again and I am thinking that next time it’ll be best to play it cool. I can say hi, inquire about his well-being. And maybe flirt, just a little. In the end, however, I know that it would behoove me to accept that he’s just not that into me. All the signs there. And yet, even as I type that sentence I know that I’m not ready to leave it alone yet.
I know what I should do, but then I also know myself well enough to know what I will do. I’ll keep pining over him, daydreaming of things he could do to me, the way he could touch me. The dirty texts he could send. Those lips. Those eyes. And that smile. The secrets he told me. My regret at refusing to ever have a sleepover with him.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that my heart is broken–things never got serious enough for that. But I will say, that it might be ever-so-slightly bruised.
I don’t know about you, but there is something about male teachers that just really gets to me…in a good way. I have this fantasy of screwing a hot teacher in his classroom on his desk. After school hours, obviously. While that may or may not actually happen, the idea of dating a teacher is still extremely appealing to me. Maybe it’s my bleeding heart or maybe it’s just that I find a man in a tie (a man who would otherwise not be caught dead in a tie) super attractive. It could be the idea of the over-worked, over-dedicated man who is so passionate about his job and his students. Or it could be that I’m simply attracted to intelligent men and something about being an English or History teachers screams “I’m well-educated and can carry on an intellectual conversation.”
Couple that with good taste in music, beer, and books…I am sold. Bonus points go to the teacher with good taste who can also play guitar. He would have me in his bed before he could even blink his gorgeous blue eyes. If it sounds like I am talking from experience, it’s because that’s exactly where I’m talking from: the hot teacher who
stole I willingly gave my dating-after-marriage-virginity.
I met Mr. Teacher during the very brief period in time in which my marriage was open. He was my highest match on OK Cupid and our first date was great. I was beyond nervous because I hadn’t been on a date in over 10 years! I turned down a dinner invitation because it just felt too likely that I would embarrass myself that way. Instead, I counter offered with meeting for drinks of the alcohol variety.
Side note: I never accept dinner on a first date. It’s always drinks or coffee. It’s mostly a personal preference, but the idea of sharing dinner with someone who I have zero chemistry with sounds simply dreadful. Drinks or coffee allows me to make a fast escape should I feel so inclined.
We met in a bar downtown and I, of course, was running a few minutes behind so he was already waiting in the bar when I walked in. To say I was floored by his level of hotness would be an understatement. I had heard so many stories of people meeting on the internet only to be disappointed that they looked nothing like their pictures had promised. Mr. Teacher far exceeded the expectations his profile pictures had set. I was instantly smitten.
We had a drink at the bar we met at and then walked over to another bar where we played a game of pool and had another drink. Then he asked me if I would like to come back to his place where the drinks were free and we could control the music. I hesitated for a moment while the following thoughts ran through my head:
“He’s obviously inviting you back to his place because he wants to hook up–rule #1 is no hooking up on the first date.”
“What if I follow him back to his house and he murders me and cuts me up into tiny, unrecognizable pieces?”
“What if he gets the wrong impression. I’m not that kind of girl.”
“Or am I? I certainly don’t want the night to be over. He’s super hot. I’m very attracted to him. If his arms look that good with a shirt on, I can only imagine how good they look with it off.”
So, in a very uncharacteristic move, I said yes. I said yes because I wanted to find out where this night could go. I said yes because when he hugged me upon meeting, I felt a rush of attraction unlike anything I had felt in sometime. And I said yes because at that point I was so turned on that I’m pretty sure the word “no” had erased itself from my vocabulary.
Best. Decision. Ever. I followed him back to his place and we has barely popped open the tabs of our Bohs before we were making out on his couch. Eventually, we took the party upstairs to his bedroom where we hooked up, but didn’t have actual sex. To date, it was the hottest hook-up of my life. It even beats subsequent hookups with the same guy. Probably because we were essentially strangers who were equally attracted to one another in casual agreement that our interactions would never go further than hooking up. After all, you must remember that I was still married at the time, albeit in an open marriage.
I drove home that night on cloud nine. But when I got home I was quickly brought back down to Earth–The X no longer wanted an open marriage which meant that I would no longer be able to see Mr. Teacher. I awoke the following morning to a text from Mr. Teacher saying how much he has enjoyed the night before and that he couldn’t stop thinking about how much I turned him on. I replied by telling him that the feeling was mutual, but I was no longer in an open marriage and I wouldn’t be able to see him anymore. I deactivated my OKC account and that was that….
….Until The X and I decided to separate about 6 weeks later. Upon reactivating my OKC account, I received a text from Mr. Teacher inquiring about what was going on. I filled him in on the situation and we decided to meet up again. And again. And again. And a few more times after that. I quickly realized that I was kind of beginning to fall for this guy. The last thing that I wanted was to fall for ANY guy right after my marriage had just fell apart. Which, is why it’s probably for the best that he seems to have fallen off the face of the Earth. One day his OKC account had been deleted and he didn’t return the text I sent asking if everything was okay. I decided not to send a follow-up text figuring he most likely received the first one I sent and if he wanted to get in touch with me then he would.
Who knows what happened? Maybe he started dating someone. Although one would hope he’d at least have the courtesy to tell me if this is the case. Maybe he tired of dating and hooking up. I certainly hope it wasn’t something more tragic, but chances are that I’ll probably never know. And I’m okay with that. I’ve chosen to look back at those experiences and appreciate them for what they were. I benefited from having a very positive first foray back into the dating world. And I definitely benefited from his amazing body! Maybe I’ll hear from him again one day–I haven’t deleted his number just yet. Or maybe I won’t. Either way, any men I choose to sleep with in the future certainly have a lot to live up to.
But by the same token, any other man has a lot to live up to in terms of intellectual prowess, guitar playing skills, songwriting skills, sense of humor, the ability to send dirty texts, the talent to turn me on (did I already mention that???), and the capacity to keep me intrigued and wanting more. However, whoever that man turns out to be, he’ll have at least one thing going for him that Mr. Teacher doesn’t…I’ll actually know what the hell happened to him.
Besides, most people have desks these days, right?
…I’ve updated my “About” page so feel free to check that out. It should hopefully give you a little better of an idea as to what this blog is all about…
So, I suppose we should start by playing a little catch-up. I’d like to give you the short version (that’s still kind of long) on where I’ve been and
who what I’ve been doing since my separation became officially official about 4 months ago.
The Cast of Characters (names have been changed to protect the innocent…mostly myself)
I still can’t quite believe it myself that I’ve been out on dates with 6 different guys already. I have really been looking for distractions over the last few months and it would seem that these guys fit the bill. Some of these dates were better than others. One, in particular, was terrible! But it still makes me happy that I finally have a bad first-date story. Every girl should have one of those, right? Now that I’ve informally introduced you to the various men who have been taking up my time, I plan to be back and regale you with stories from our date(s). I intend to present these stories in a series of Acts, beginning with Act 1: Hot For Teacher. Keep an eye out for that in an upcoming post.
Meanwhile, I’m exhausted. I came down with the flu about two weeks ago. It knocked me on my ass for almost a week. I don’t think I have ever been that sick in my life. Obviously, dating had to be put on hold while I recovered but now that I am happy and healthy once again, the business of my life seems to be picking up right back where I left it. In an effort to preserve both that happiness and health, I decided to lock myself in my house and hide from the world this past weekend. I told all of the boys I’m currently talking to that I was going out of town and I rested and relaxed and texted nary a one. Instead, I cleaned, did laundry, arts and crafted, ordered pizza, and drank wine. All alone. And it was amazing. So amazing, in fact, that I decided to continue the trend this week because I have so many other things going.
Tonight I plan to grocery shop and paint my nails. Tomorrow night I am going to take myself to the movies. Believe it or not, I have never actually seen a movie all by myself! All that will change tomorrow when I treat myself to Silver Linings Playbook and a giant tub of popcorn. Yet one more thing to check off my 2013: Get Growing List. On Wednesday, my girlfriends and are going to see the Lumineers in D.C. Thursday is a day-o-rest. Friday is the “Save Your Soul” dance party at a local dance hall. Who knows what Saturday will hold. And SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY is the Super Bowl. Go Ravens!!! Whew! I’m exhausted just from having typed all that, hence my self-imposed break-from-dating week. But that is totally OK because I have so many, many other awesome things going on this week–things that make me happier than dating ever could.
To end, I’ll just say WELCOME, LADIES. I’ll hope you’ll stick around and follow me on my adventure! I would love it if you would introduce yourself in the comments–but please remember that I am hoping to stay anonymous here so do not use my real name.
Love, Sexy Sadie