Sunday, October 30, 2005

Aha! Moment

About a half an hour ago I had an aha! moment. I was driving in my car and realized that while I was at the Halloween party last night I never had a single negative body image thought. I didn't think about how my arms are too fat and have a farmer's tan or whether I should suck in my stomach or even about the two huge zits that are slowly emerging from the sides of my face. Nothing. Zilch. Zero. I thought I looked fabulous and everyone else should think so too. That's amazing. And a first. Let's see how long I can maintain this new found confidence and self-esteem. Wouldn't it be nice if it were permanent.

What part of "slow down" don't you understand?

So my friends in the "slow down" camp are totally losing. I have a date (at least I think it's a date) with an old friend next weekend. It's hard to know if it's a date because a) we already know each other and b) I asked him and c) he's currently going through a divorce as well. I'm not sure if he thinks it's a date or not. But based on some potentially flirty email since I asked him if he wanted to go to dinner and compare divorce war stories I do think it's a date. Go me.

Here's where the not slowing down part comes in even more. I was at a Halloween party this evening (looking particularly cute/sexy if I may say so myself) and met a very nice and gentlemanly man (as opposed to the guy in the Prince costume who rubbed himself all over me.) Anyway, because the party was for graduate students I figured at age 29 I was one of the older folks. When this nice guy told me he was in his first year at med school I was sure he was 22 and wrote him off. But then we kept talking and he mentioned having had a job for 6 or so years before going back to school. Ah ha! Not only is he not 22, he's 32! And he seemed honestly pleased to discover I was not 22 either. It's definitely not a bad thing when someone is happy to find out you are older than they think.

It was a huge dance party so we parted ways for awhile when my friends arrived. But then I found him again and we talked some more, or as much as we could with hip hop music playing at ear bleeding levels. When his friends came by he introduced me as if we'd known each other forever (for reference only, it took my soon-to-be-ex-husband about 2 years to introduce me as his wife and then another year or so to also include my name). He was nicely attentive and concerned about my well-being and comfort. When the party was over we shook hands, both acknowledged that it was very nice to meet the other, and parted ways. I enjoyed our conversation so much that I wanted to give him my number - which would have been an absolute first for me - but there was no readily available writing implement or paper that I could see and I hadn't brought my purse. Luckily, he had a unique name (Mine is not and I hadn't mentioned my last name) and I realized as I left that I could find his email address in the campus directory. So...I went right home, looked him up, and sent him an email telling him I enjoyed meeting him and to let me know if he wanted to have coffee sometime. Yowza! That is not a woman slowing down. That is a woman moving full speed ahead. Watch out world! Brazen woman coming through!

Where is this woman that I've become coming from? It's like I'm channeling some sort of Sex and the City character. I love it.

Don't worry, I'm still more Charlotte or Miranda than Samantha.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

In love with love

After sleeping on it, I've come to realize that I was not actually in love with dream boy. I was in love with the idea of being in love with dream boy. Any relationship we might have had would have paled in comparison with my imagined (i.e. idealized and romanticized) relationship. That wouldn't have been fair to him and it wouldn't have been fair to me.

I still think he's incredibly sexy and if he actually wanted to pursue a relationship later on and lived in my timezone I'd definitely take him up on a date or two. Until that time, I'm perfectly content to be friends with him.

Some of you are probably thinking I'm schizophrenic and/or multiple personality given the short period of time in which I've gone from head over heels to logical and spock-like. But any of you who've ever gone to therapy should recognize that just the act of verbalizing something you've been thinking about relaxes it's grip on you. That crush had a grip like a mo' fo'. But now it's out there and gone. Alleluiah! Can I get an amen!?

Stamp: $.37
Ben & Jerry's: $3.99
Figuring out that I don't want what I thought I wanted: Priceless!

What the heck did we do before we had these credit card commercials?


My girlfriends are now in two camps - on the one side is the "you're moving too fast" group and on the other side is the "You go girl, sow those wild oats." Sometime the two collide and overlap. What my friends who say I am moving too fast think is that I need some "me" time. What they don't quite understand is that I've had "me" time for the last couple of years. I've gone on several vacations by myself, and practically been living with a roomate. In fact, two years ago I even suggested to my spouse that that was what we were. It didn't really cause him to turn up the volume on anything. Here I was asking for a partnership, passion, and connection and nothing really happened.

I didn't realize it at the time but in hindsight I've been exploring my life as a single person for about a year or so, safely and with no malice. Just testing the waters - was I comfortable thinking about myself with someone else or being all alone? Emotionally? Physically? Two years ago I would have said no. The idea of someone new seeing me naked or vulnerable scared me. The idea of coming home to an empty apartment scared me even more. But over the last year, as I realized more and more that my husband and I were more friends than spouses, and I stopped thinking there was something wrong with me because he didn't seem attracted to me, the idea of being with another person or on my own started to lose its fear factor. I never cheated on my husband but when I got to the point where I was very tempted, I realized that was the time when I needed to talk to him and also determine for myself what the hell was going on. I was not interested in breaking up because of some other person. Obviously there was something else going on - or not going on - in my relationship for me to even consider it. I'm not the kind of person that doesn't think of the consequences of their actions. On the contrary, I'm often stifled by what I think might be the consequences. This is why the "You're going too fast" camp is not the one I want to be in right now. I know the consequences. Or can at least imagine some of them. I'm not ready for a deep relationship with someone I just met (dreamboy was an exception) but I am ready to date and flirt and feel good about myself. A relationship will happen eventually, probably when and where I least expect it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

From fetal to fabulous


Now that my “CA dreamboy as boyfriend” fantasy has been shattered and I’ve had a chance to sleep on it I feel a lot better, well, a little better. I’m feeling pretty confident that I can uncurl from the fetal position and move forward. Which was exactly my goal. Don’t get me wrong, I still like the heck out of him but now that I know where I stand it’s a little easier to find solid ground. You have to admit, I was pretty brave to just let it all out like that. I think part of me feeling better is just that - letting the whole scenario play itself out to what I imagined was (but hoped wasn't) its inevitable end anyway (my fantasy end was a lot more fun though just so you know). I’m looking forward to getting back to being friends. I think a phone conversation is warranted just to get any residual weirdness out of the way sooner than later. I hope he's up for it. I'm sure he is, it's why I like him so much in the first place.

I've got to uncurl myself from the fetal position and find a way to be fabulous. A whole world of (single, attractive, funny, and emotionally available) men awaits the newly single me. Watch out.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Broken hearted

Looks like I'm in the market for a new dream boy. The one I've pined over for the last decade doesn't pine for me. This SUCKS. I'm glad he was honest but he didn't even bother calling. He told me over email. But maybe that was better. At least I didn't burst into tears in front of him. I could do it in the privacy of my own home instead. And will continue to do so for as long as it takes.

The purpose of my letter was to move forward in one direction or the other. Unfortunately I have to move in the direction I didn't want to. Fuck.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

I think I'll go curl into the fetal position now.

You know what I want?

I want someone to touch me like they mean it.

I'm not saying sexually (although I'm not ruling that out), I mean those little touches people in love (or at least supposedly in love) give each other. A guiding touch on the back, holding hands, leaning against each other, intimate touches that say "I'm with you and I like that." I've missed that. And for years. I didn't really have that in my marriage. My soon-to-be-ex-spouse wasn't a touchy feely kind of guy but add to that what I calculate as about 2 years of low grade underlying disinterest and you've got not a lot of the kind of touching I'm talking about. Even when it happened there was nothing behind it. It wasn't forced but at least slightly obligatory. Maybe it was forced. I don't know. Do you have any idea how that makes a girl feel? I want the kind of touch where you feel connected. The kind that makes you want to cry when you think how much of it you don't/didn't have.


P.S. Day 6 of Letter Watch. Still no response. Maybe he was away for the weekend or the letter hasn't arrived? A friend of mine who has lived in CA said he definitely didn't get the letter until at least Friday - I sent it Tuesday. It is now the following Monday and I'm trying hard to keep my head from spiraling down into depths of depression - sample flow of thoughts: I'm fat. I should just eat until I puke but then I'd be more fat and I'd never get a man and I can't sell my condo and I can't afford the rent and mortgage and I'm going to be poor and destitute and I'll have to go into prostitution but no one is gonna want to get with this because I'm fat...etc, etc, ad nauseum.

Friday, October 21, 2005

A lesbian?

I have to tell you the most obnoxious thing that happened when I told my family I was getting a divorce. My brother and brother-in-law debated if I was a lesbian! What?! Just because I didn't want to be with a guy they liked meant I must like women. I have plenty of lesbian friends, some very near and dear to me, so I have no problem with that moniker but why would people I've known for most of my life go straight to that conclusion? Men! Can't live with them, can't get them to respond to your undying love confession letters fast enough.

Three things

One - Having good old fashioned girlfriends is an amazing thing. I used to think it was much better to have male friends. Just hang out with the guys. I thought it was less messy, easier, and more fun. It is, to a point. Now that I've been dealing with the whole divorce and all the decisions leading up to it I can't praise my girlfriends enough. They've been there to laugh with, cry with, make a fool of myself with, and have boistered my spirit more than I ever would have thought. Maybe it's because we're almost 30 (and above) but the back stabbing, and bitchiness that I had always expected/feared/dreaded from a group of women isn't there. I guess I wasn't giving my own sex it's fair shot. I am woman here me roar! And giggle, and cry, and shimmy, and rage, and curl into the fetal position, and laugh hysterically. It's all good.

Two - In a moment of sheer and utter ballsiness, I sent a letter to a friend of mine whom I have had a crush on for the last decade. Yes, I said decade. Through college, through my marriage, and continuing still today. At least now I'm allowed to act on it. And so I did. I sent a letter to him confessing my feelings and asking for his response - via snail mail. I'm not sure what my thinking on that mode of delivery was. Maybe I thought if it actually weighed something it would carry more weight? But now I'm waiting anxiously for a response. Anything! A phone call, email, singing telegram, whatever. I don't even know if he got the letter yet. It is now day 3.5 since I put it in the mailbox. How long does mail take to get from NH to CA? What if he's gotten it and is freaked out? I wrote it in such a way that I don't think he would. Very factual, here's the deal, what's your deal?, don't spare my feelings if you don't feel the same way. Maybe he's polling our mutual friends to see what it all means and what they think. I hope not, it could get back to my not quite yet ex-spouse (papers have been filed) and I don't want him to hear it through the grapevine. I'd rather tell him myself - out of concern for his feelings, not to rub anything in his face. But only if something comes of it. If my CA friend says, "Thanks for being so honest but I only think of you as a friend." I will move on (Ha! I say that as if it will be easy) and try never to speak of it again (easier with my mouth full of Ben & Jerry's). If he says, "Yes! I love you too!" I'm on the first flight to CA to see him.

Three - I've already had an offer for a good old fashioned rebound roll in the hay. I'm tempted (really tempted. I need to sow some wild oats people. I've been with my spouse since I was 19 and only had one serious boyfriend before that. You figure it out.), but I'm not going there until I've been rejected by CA dream man because the "volunteer" is a mutual friend of myself, my dream guy, and my ex-spouse. My life is so complicated and interelated. But it's good to have options. Especially ones that won't make you fat (see Ben & Jerry's reference above.)

Friday, October 14, 2005

Doesn't anybody love me?

I'm surrounded by friends and family who love me, check in on me, and make sure I have plenty to do and yet I am sad and depressed. It could be the weather - it's been raining for the last week or so - it could be the PMS, or it could be the situation I find myself in. I'm moving this weekend. Out of my beautiful, bright, mine-all-mine condo into an apartment. Don't get me wrong, I like the apartment. It's got lots of light. Even a window in the bathroom which to me says "Hey girl, you've arrived." My (our) condo didn't have one.

My soon to be ex-spouse (STBX) has already moved out. He's been gone a week or so. He's helping me move. Have I mentioned that this split is amicable? To the point of being almost ridiculous? It's definitely made the process easier logistically but sometimes I wish I hated him. Like when I burst into tears in my office after we'd just signed the papers with a notary who works in my building. It was just so final. And yet it's not. We're going to remain friends. We've already got plans for seeing Rent together. (It's sort of "our" musical.) And he's been invited to Thanksgiving at my parents - they asked me first of course.

It was my decision to split in the first place. I guess what I'm losing is just hitting me. The idea of a spouse. The comfort of being a home owner. The safety of being a couple.

But I'm excited too. I get to decorate and put stuff where I want to. I can cook what I want or never cook again. I can date! I can flirt with wild abandon! I can make my own schedule, go to bed when I want, come home when I want, or not come home at all! Ha! I have to keep the fun stuff in mind. I'm trying. I really am.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Welcome one and all

So, it seems that everyone and their mother has a blog these days. I'm not exactly a bandwagon jumper but in this case I thought why the hell not? I like to talk about myself and sometimes I even have interesting things to say. Or so I think. One nice thing about a blog is you can always leave if I'm boring you. Have a lovely day either way.

About myself and why I think I need a blog:
Well, after 7.5 years of marriage I signed divorce papers yesterday. So what? you ask. Lots of people get divorced. True, but I've been married since I was 21 and before that had only one serious boyfriend. Here's the kicker, they were both really good friends before things got serious so I have never been on a real date of the "get to know you" variety. Never. I've never even been hit on in a bar. I'm not unattractive. Granted I'm more Janine Garafolo than Angelina Jolie, but who isn't?

In addition to being newly single, inexperienced at dating, and on the verge of turning 30, I live in an area of the country oddly devoid of single men of the type I - and my poor friends who have been single a lot longer than me - want to date. Therefore, this blog will undoubtedly be about the aftermath of said divorce and my adventures in dating. God I hope there are adventures. Because the alternative will be a very boring life. Thank goodness for girlfriends. I underestimated their value for a long time.

Now I have to pull on my big girl underoos and sassy pants (see how confident and yet self-effacing/silly I am? Who wouldn't want to date me?) and face the world.