The King and I

I know it’s been a few months since my last post. Honestly I just haven’t had time. I’m back in school and focused squarely on myself. Working full-time and taking a full-time course load in college. A lot has transpired since my last post though.

So I was seeing the Babe all summer, completely sure that he was the one for me. We had fantastic weekends full of kids, friends and fun. Then things started to change. I’m not sure if it was me, him or a combination of both but this is what I saw and how I felt.

Something changed in him, he wasn’t happy anymore. Our time was becoming limited because of my schedule and our kids were back in school. We also live almost 50 minutes apart. I admit I wasn’t available and I wasn’t really willing to sacrifice either. I’m focused on school and my future career. He kept telling me I know it’s tough, I did it too. I know how you feel, I know what it’s like; well, NO you don’t. I know you went to college and graduate school but did you go as a single parent with two teenagers at home and another in college? Did you have a home that you had to keep up and groceries to buy for those kids? Did you work full-time too? NO? Well then you don’t know. It became annoying, plain and simple. He had this fantasy that we would be this perfect family and he would take care of me. I’m not that girl! I don’t NEED anyone to take care of me, I don’t want that. I want someone who inspires me. The straw was a comment he made. He said “I won’t make it through you going to school as your boyfriend, only as your husband”. Ouch! It felt like an ultimatum and made me feel like I wasn’t worth the sacrifice. It makes me sad but I know I did the right thing for him and his daughter, even more important…me.

There was another issue too. It’s no secret that I had my heart broken and certainly no secret that I have made some colossal mistakes in dating. However there was always the King quietly hanging in the background. I’ve very briefly mentioned him before. He’s a friend but we did date for a short period. It was right after QJ broke my heart, like literally right after! We dated for maybe a couple of months. I was so tormented and fucked up at that time in my life, it ended in dramatic fashion.

Here’s the thing, that was almost two years ago. Ever since then no matter how much I’ve pushed him away, no matter if I never responded to his texts or didn’t return his calls, even when his son was in the hospital, he knew I was a mess and broken; but he understood. For some reason when he text me in late August, I responded; I hadn’t spoken to him in about 5 months. He immediately called me and we talked for a couple of hours about everything, like we had never stopped talking. That was never an issue with us.

I was having a drink with my girlfriends one night and he walked in, sat with us and we all had a great time. He kissed me goodbye, nothing more than a peck on the lips but it felt different from just a friendly kiss. I broke up with Babe the next day. Not because of the King but because if Babe was the one, I wouldn’t have felt anything when he kissed me and with all the other issues with Babe, I just knew it needed to end.

The King and I (punny) are still just friends and will more than likely remain just friends (too complicated to explain). He did however open my eyes that Babe wasn’t the right man for me. He also gave me a little tough love recently when he pointed out; I keep making excuses for not finishing anything in my life. Ahhhh, the balance and inspiration I crave from a friend? Maybe? After the King bluntly called me out; I kicked my butt in gear and got my applications into school. I’ve been accepted into the nursing program and I start those classes a year from January. In the mean time I’m almost done with my associates in science and will continue to take classes full-time, working toward my ultimate goal of becoming  a Cardiac Perfusionist with no excuses. Damn I hate it when I’m called out but grateful for the honesty.

I’m happier than I’ve been in years. Even with the loss of another relationship.

Love,
g

A Case of the ‘Frances’

Frances is my second Mom. When I became friends with her daughter, Blush, all those years ago she was busy being the rock, caregiver, provider for a family that went through their fair share of trials. Frances was married to Cotton, no not a code name, it was his nickname from childhood; he had the most beautiful white hair. I never knew him to be a well person that was before my time. I used to wonder what he was like before he was sick, because he was a happy man even when he was in pain, which was all the time in his case. Whenever I picture him in my mind’s eye he is always in a hospital bed or in his beloved recliner. He had a classic southern drawl and sweet soul, even when he felt his worst he still made sure you knew he was happy to see you. Cotton had cancer.  Unfortunately, the treatment did more damage to his body than the cancer itself.  He would spend the next 20 years in and out of hospitals from Charlotte to Raleigh to Charleston and several cities in between;  tour of hospitals so to speak.  Each and every time Cotton would visit a hospital he would touch the lives of the many doctors and nurses who met him.  He had a way of asking for something and apologizing at the same time for bothering you. You couldn’t help but fall in love with him.

In August of 2005 Cotton finally lost his battle, it was time. I’m sure this is not absolutely true but how I remember it, or choose to remember it all. The last time I saw Cotton was at the Veterans hospital here in Charleston; just one of many hospitals where I spent time with him. He was there alone this time, Frances just couldn’t be with him all of time; after so many years you learn to do it alone. I took a day and snuck some of his favorite contra ban snacks and spent a few hours talking, reminiscing, and laughing. He was in pain but he never showed it and I never would have known except for the weariness that crept across his face as our time together came to an end.

During their nearly 40 year marriage Frances stood by Cotton’s side and cared for him, loved him and made unbelievable sacrifices during a time in her life when most are living a carefree life full of joy. Somehow though they found joy in what they DID have together.  After Cotton passed away Frances had to learn to live again. I can not describe how much of her life was consumed with caring for Cotton, to have him gone and learn what to do with all of her free time must have been more difficult than anyone can imagine. But she was always a happy woman with a huge laugh that engulfs a room and makes everyone laugh too. It wasn’t going to be long until someone came along and breathed new life into her…His name is Ken.

It wasn’t more than six months after Cotton died that Ken came into her life, an old acquaintance that had recently lost his wife of many years as well. It was a whirlwind romance, which had her completely, giddy. After so many years enduring the trials of a marriage that tested her endurance the taste of new love made it that much sweeter. I’ll never forget Blush putting Frances on the phone with me; her bubbling-over with excitement and details I was not expecting. Frances is a God-fearing woman and Sunday school teacher; I’m talking a prim and proper southern woman. So in my best Ouiser from Steel Magnolias voice “a dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste”. The things she was telling me! Lord have mercy… It had been a looooonnnng time since she had enjoyed the touch of a man. The kind of intimacy that makes a women quiver. Ohhhh she was a quiverin. I felt nothing but pure happiness, heart-overflowing joy for her, she deserved it and all that new love can bring.

That is how I’m feeling today. Giddy, happy, peaceful, balanced and hell yeah I’m a quiverin too. There is absolutely zero doubt that I have found my Babe. I haven’t been so sure about anything in a long time. Doubt has left my body and mind and all I can feel is gratitude for every moment of pain, every tear I cried and every douche bag I’ve dated which lead me to the man who I knew immediately, he is the one. Crazy I know! I can’t believe I’m saying it but when you know, you know.

So have a case of the ‘Frances’…over sharing, overjoyed, over the moon.

Love,

g

The Great Bambino

My mind is spinning today and all I can think about is the Babe…

In August 1994 my oldest sister married a wonderful man. She married the Great Bambino, not one of the greatest Yankees of all time, the one that sparked the Red Sox curse but the true Babe of our family. Babe, as he’s been called since childhood, is the kind of man who every woman should want to marry. He’s a man’s man, straight forward, hard-working, loving, can fix anything, loves his family, always has the answer yet lets you make your own mistakes. He’s going to point out that he told you so; followed by a chuckle, a gentle dig letting you know he’s kidding… sorta. He’s a man who laughs from his gut and smiles with his eyes. He’s a man who surprises his wife with a plane ticket so she can hold her newborn granddaughter even though they were planning a trip in 4 weeks. He’s a man who sends his wife off to see her sister when she needs her most. The man who you’d never think would coo over a baby, yet his enormous hands are the most gentle of all. He’s the man who repaired a family and made them whole again.

My oldest son Will and I are very close; we talk about everything from the weather to dating, drinking, sex and drugs. Most of our conversations happen after one of us has come home from a night out or when one of us is having a “bad day” with all that our family has gone through. I remember this particular conversation so clearly and its stuck with me ever since. It’s no secret to anyone; including my children that dating since Zed passed away has not gone well. There were QJ’s lies that destroyed not just me but my children; BDD’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality that caught us all off guard and I still can’t believe it happened. It was a few days after Mr. Hyde showed his face and I was crying in the kitchen. Not for him but because my children had seen too much. Will, the witness to the madness, sat on the stool and looked at me so very thoughtfully with slight tears in his eyes and said “Mom, I just want you to find your Babe” I cried even harder. He couldn’t have said it any better and his perception of love and life was never so clear to me. He’s a brilliant kid with a tender heart. I knew exactly what he meant by that one sentence. It runs through my head all the time.

I have met a Babe. I know without any doubt that the man I’m seeing now is absolutely a Babe. We spent a lot of time together this weekend, two dates and lots of laughing, kissing, touching, affection and A LOT of disbelief for both of us. I know it seems completely insane and I can’t explain the turn of events in my world over the last few weeks the unexpected seems to be happening right before my eyes.

I wonder if he can hit a home run like the Babe? He is a Boston boy but a Yankees fan… Does it get any better?

Love,

g

Choking On My Words…

When I first set up my Match.com profile I only purchased a four-month membership. Not long after that first bizarre date, the one where he was planning what we’d be doing in six months and the string of even more bizarre emails, winks etc. I hid my profile from public view, I just didn’t feel like it was a good option for me. Even though my profile was hidden from public view I still continued to get daily emails from Match “Here are your new daily matches” I never logged on to look, I just didn’t care. I was waiting for my four months to be up…

On one of my nights out with the girls, my favorite hot bartender, who always asks what’s going on, convinced me to try it again. He said “it’s fun, just relax and enjoy it for what it is” Alright, alright, I logged on just under two weeks ago, updated my profile a little, added a new pic, etc. I really wasn’t interested in dating someone continuously. I’m content with the idea of being alone. I thought, I’ll just be a serial first dater for a while and meet some new people and have a little fun with absolutely no attachment.

I looked at a few profiles but didn’t really see anything that struck me, except…..this one guy. I looked at his pictures first, come on, that is the first thing you do! Hmmmm, very handsome, dark hair, dark eyes, huge smile that made his eyes light up and holding the cutest little girl in his arms. I read his profile and was instantly struck. Some profiles are so terribly written but his was witty, funny, sarcastic, yet sincere and thoughtful. I knew immediately he would contact me, he emailed the next day.

I received a very short, sweet email, basically opening the door for me to email back if I was interested. Of course I did! He made a couple of funny remarks in his profile about what he liked on his hot dog, ate at the movies, and touched on his love of a good thrill ride. My first sentence was mustard, milk duds and the inventor and patent date of the roller coaster. Can you hear the reel spinning?

There was an immediate banter back and forth through email with a few “details” about our history as well. It didn’t take long and he asked for my phone number and could he call me. I emailed him my number and I got a text that afternoon…I gave him bonus points for the surprise contact in the middle of a work day. His response “triple word score, 96 points”. The banter has continued ever since. We’ve gone on three dates in a week…

Of course our first date was a burger date! When I stepped out of the car and saw him, there was an immediate attraction. It was a night of great food, great company and the conversation flowed easily. It was a little ADD and all over the place, jumping from one topic to the next, and back again. After dinner we went downtown and had a drink at Squeeze, talked and laughed a little more, sitting close and touching gently. He held my hand as we walked, it felt so natural it caught me a little off guard. He took me back to my car and I headed home without a first kiss. We both wanted to but didn’t…I mean we had just met!

I think we both immediately regretted not taking the opportunity to have our first kiss. After that first date we communicated often and the draw toward the other was mutual. A few days went by and he finally text me, “that’s it, I’m seeing you today I can’t wait any longer to kiss you”. It was a very quick meet up after work, as he had to go pick up his daughter. We both got out of the car and immediately kissed, I don’t think we even said hello and I’m pretty sure during our short visit, we didn’t take our hands off each other once.

He also lost his spouse a few years back to breast cancer and is raising his daughter alone. He has been through a lot since she passed as well. Yet he has kept a positive outlook in the worst of situations and believes that happiness is possible again. I can tell we share a lot of similar outlooks and beliefs without even having a discussion, I can sense it by how he carries himself and his actions.

The comfort that comes from spending time with someone who knows that there are days where you want nothing more than the life you once knew back, is overwhelming. Someone that knows they can never understand the complexities of your own personal path through grief. Someone who knows, no matter what happens in the future you’ll always love your spouse and always wish things happened differently. It’s the strangest kind of feeling to still be in love with a person who’s gone, yet move on to have a different kind of relationship with someone else. I don’t believe most people can understand it, comprehend that somehow your heart splits in two but stays intact.

I’m cautiously optimistic and looking forward to getting to know him better. I’m well aware that you really never know someone or what they are capable of, we shall see what happens at the three week douche bag mark. Although I don’t think he’s gonna be a DB. No matter what comes of our time together, I already know I’m better for meeting him. So kudos to Match.com… I guess you can meet some nice people. Sorry for the bad review before.

I almost forgot…for the first time I can’t give someone a code name, I don’t want to. So for now he just is……..

Ohhhh one more thing, he’s a great kisser too.

Love,

g

A Roadie with the Girlies…

I would not have survived the last few years without my girlfriends, I barely survived with them. There is something totally unique about the relationships that women have with their girlfriends. Most of the time the men in our lives don’t understand and are at times jealous of the relationships. Zed was not one of those men, he laughed at how crazy we were, encouraged the road trips and picked us up when we couldn’t drive. I miss that supportive love and understanding he gave to me.

QJ certainly couldn’t and wouldn’t understand and if we were still together, I’m sure I would be isolated like his wife probably is today. BDD definitely didn’t understand and this week I ran into HD, he even in the short time that we spent together made a comment about “of course you’re out with your girls.” Well yeah! They have never disappointed me, left me or discouraged me; they’ve supported my WORST decisions, even when they knew it was the wrong decision. Each of them have held my hand when I came back crying and said “at least you learned something and I still love you”

This weekend to celebrate Cinco de Mayo (not really, it’s just an excuse), five of my dear friends, Pearl, Violet, Ruby, Saffron and Jade will be hitting the road to Charlotte. There is something so great about a road trip. It’s not like we don’t spend time together every week but being in a different city and leaving behind all of your responsibilities is so freeing.

We will be shopping, laughing, dancing, eating, drinking margaritas and well….other stuff too! Just NO tears or flying drinks. It should be fun and we all need it in our own way. Each of us have our own stories and are at different points in our lives. However, we all need the same thing; we need to be supported when life is stressful, when we feel lonely, when marriage is difficult or when family issues make us sad. We are also cheerleaders for all the great moments too.

So when you say happy Cinco de Mayo on Saturday, toast to your girlfriends and think about how much Pearl will be blushing…(Story to follow 😉 )

Just wish Ms. Blush could be with us too…I miss you so much!

Love,

g

Slap & Tickle

Who doesn’t like a little slap and tickle sometimes? I know I do… just saying. I mean some of the best sex is when it’s a little rough, but always with love behind the action. So when does it go over the line?

The line is when it is done in anger and violence. It’s never all right to hit someone in anger, either for a man or women, it does happen both ways. There is something seriously wrong in a relationship when any form of violence occurs. Even the vulgar, insulting comments, verbal abuse should never happen either, it’s the same thing. If you think your abusive comments are acceptable because there was no physical force behind it, you’re delusional. Yet everyday both men and women for some reason try to hold onto people even though their actions and words prove their incompatibility. It’s because it always comes with the tickle right behind it, the sorrowful apology with the “you know I’m not really like that”, “I love you, you know I do”, “I’ll never do it again, I promise”. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Shame on me!

I have a new friend who’s come into my life recently. She’s gorgeous, feisty, independent, and self-assured; let’s just call her Saffron. What a silly name but it suits her, the delicate thread plucked from the center of the beautiful purple bloom of the crocus flower. When used properly and treated with respect and grace can enhance a meal. (LMAO, she’s dying laughing while reading this. I’m also so hungry right now, I’m obviously just thinking about food but she’s stuck with it now).

Anyway, she was telling me about an incident she recently had with a guy. Saffron was defending his girlfriend; he was making insulting comments about her. When Saffron spoke up he turned it on her, he started insulting her looks, job, family status, saying she was old and had to travel halfway around the world just for a boyfriend. Bizarre, horrible stuff, right. Saffron handled him though, wasting a perfectly good martini by throwing it in his face and pointing out that her boyfriend is halfway around the world because he’s defending our country. She’s a badass! My idol.

However, he’s not the only man I’ve heard of being this way recently. When I was seeing HD, we were out watching a football game and one of his friends stopped by our table to talk. He made a comment about a woman he was seeing, something like “Yeah, just wine em, dine em, use them up and three weeks you’re outta there” My teenage son was sitting there and he looked at me in disgust.

So is that the new deal? Misogynistic assholes who think its ok to be degrading? Ok to slap you when they don’t like what you say or insult your looks, age, whatever they can pick apart. It may seem like that is whats out there these days BUT I know better. Men behave that way toward the women they are dating because they’re insecure in themselves. That’s why that asshole attacked Saffron. He tried to lower her self-esteem. However, he couldn’t, strong women don’t allow themselves to be abused. There are strong secure men out there, we just have to be strong, secure, happy women first.

The truth that I must face for myself is the men I’ve allowed to be in my life since Zed died have not been good to me because I’m not making good choices. I’m not ready to date, that’s why I’ve run from the good guys and held onto the ones that haven’t been good to me. I feel a little lost without my husband and don’t feel good about myself. Nevertheless, I’m getting there because I’m not accepting the bad anymore and have moved on.

Real love is sweet, kind, peaceful and giving. I know it’s out there, I do believe in love. I’ve taken enough psychology classes and I’m smart enough to know what I’m doing wrong. Maybe some more time alone will get me completely there.

I’m almost ready for the Slap & Tickle…but it’ll be the fun kind, you know when it makes you laugh, not cry.

Love,

g

Chutes & Ladders

This classic childhood game is so illustrative of how life can play out. Remember playing when you were a kid? I couldn’t stand hitting the chutes, it took me away from my goal of winning. When I’d land on a ladder, I would get all excited to climb up and get ahead of everyone else. However, we never know when there is going to be a chute or a ladder. I lost my husband over 30 feet, those 30 feet came from falling off a ladder; no chute was there to break his fall. He didn’t get to enjoy an easy ride down a slide and work all over again to climb his way back up to the top.

Since Zed’s fall I’ve climbed a little and I’ve slide down a lot. The last four months have been mostly climbing and learning to be happy with all that I have in my life. Some days are tough, I miss Zed, I cry over the pain from QJ or the stress of raising 3 kids sends me down a little chute. However, most I the time I’m ok.

I’m continuing to climb back up the ladder. Unfortunately I’ve hit another chute. I’m no longer seeing the guy I’ve been seeing for the last couple of months. It makes me sad, he has been a part of my life for a while but sometimes it just doesn’t work. I hope that we will be able to remain friends. It may take some time though.

I’ll start the climb again tomorrow. Tonight I’ll hang out at the bottom.

Love,
g

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Belief

I believe in love.  I believe in marriage.  I believe that no matter how difficult the road is, all marriages can survive even the most difficult of situations.  I have a lot of friends who have faced very real and what can seem, to most, as impossible to forgive events.  However, if you are both diligent, choose humility and forgiveness, the best part of your marriage can be on the other side.  Marriage is not easy, if you think it is you have not had your trial yet.  You will in some way, be prepared and choose to love your way through it without losing yourself.

We are all guilty of making poor decisions, giving into our inner desires instead of what is right.  It can be a relationship outside of marriage, a crime, financial difficulties, anything that betrays your partners trust.  I’ve been guilty myself.  I’ve also been the one that has been scorned.  I try to encourage my friends to work through their difficulties, I tell them how wonderful my marriage was after Zed, and I fought through some trials.  The things I’ve experienced and the choices I’ve made in my past have made me who I am today.  I’m not proud of a lot of it.  Nevertheless, I am different because of it all.  I would never make the same choices today.

It was on a Tuesday Morning around 3:00AM in January of 2011, my phone rang, it was a blocked call but I knew it was him; QJ, I couldn’t help myself, I answered anyway knowing I shouldn’t.  I needed to know why?  I still need to know why?  It was only three weeks after he married her, six weeks since my world was turned upside down, only seven weeks since we spent Thanksgiving with my whole extended family.  He played the game well and I was blindsided.

I answered and said “Hello” there was silence but I knew he was there.  I repeated myself several times asking, “Why are you calling?”  Nothing, just silence.  So, I started talking about everything that was going on in our lives, myself and the kids.  I told him of going on vacation, my upcoming trip to Pittsburgh anything, except speak about my daughter.  I figured if I spoke softly and let him know that I still loved him that he would say something.  He never said a word.  I finally said “If you are not going to brave enough to speak I’m hanging up.” so I did.

The next night the same thing, the phone rang, silence…  This time I was angry, I said “the least you could fucking do is say you’re sorry!” that is when the sound came, a grown man sobbing on the other end of the line, pure sobs; I could feel his heart breaking through the phone.  All I heard was “I’m sorry” through the sobs.  I hated him and loved him in the same moment.  My heart ripped out of my chest.  It was validation of what I already knew, he really did love me.  He still was not speaking anything else so I began asking questions.  “Why did you marry her?”, “You could have made any other choice!”, “Why?”  All I heard was “Reilly?” infuriated I said “You lost the right to know anything about her.”, he claimed he loved my daughter as if she were his own.  He said he loved all my children and he would be there for them for the rest of his life.  At least that is what I thought, what he made me believe.  I now know, if that were the case, he wouldn’t have sacrificed them for his own selfish gain.

He couldn’t answer why, in the thousand times that I’ve asked since that first phone call, he’s never given me a reason.  He’s never said he was happy, he’s never said he made the right choice, he’s never said he is no longer in love with me, quite the opposite.  That day began a year of torture for me when all I wanted was closure.  I wanted him to tell me that he chose marriage, that he believed in love, and that he knew he would be happier on the other side with her, that he was sorry for the thousands of lies he told.  Instead, I just got more lies that lead me down a very dark road.

Even today my heart still breaks for the love I thought I had, for the person I thought he was, I still love that person, the one that doesn’t exist.

Love,

g

Mis-Match or Best-Match…We Shall See

Ok so we did it! With a little collaboration, my girls and I set up a Match.com profile.

1. There are a lot of guys with moustaches.

2. You do see people you know on there.

3. They can see if you’ve looked at them and vice-versa… feel like a creeper.

4. Also, feel like I’m trying to get rid of my dog on Craigslist.

5. There is an exchange of money…sooo? What does that mean? Is Match.com my pimp?

I’m hopeful that as I get into this, it will be fun and I’ll meet some nice people. Keep your fingers crossed!

Love,
g