Thursday, August 29, 2013

I get by with a little help from my friends

I can list the things in my life that frustrate the hell out of me (read: financial stress, being chronically single, never-ending piles of get the point), but one thing I've always been able to count on is my friend-support structure.  No, it's not always perfect.  It's not always rainbows and butterflies, but as I've grown I now realize I have a handful of close, personal friends.  Friends I can call at a moments notice, and if one doesn't answer I keep going down my mental list until one does.  The very few times a friend doesn't answer, I calm myself down because I feel in my heart of hearts nobody is available for a reason; that reason being I need to step back and do personal self reflection.

Yesterday was one of those days when I really needed a friend.  Sure, I sat down and spewed my scattered thoughts and feelings out here...but jotting them down on my little corner of the interwebs didn't feel like it was enough.  I felt as if my own mind was haunting me, so I began reaching out.  My first few cries for help weren't heard, so I reached out to my longtime childhood friend.  She's amazing.  I didn't need to beg her to hear me out, all I said was I was in dire need of some girl talk so if she had some time in the next couple of days that would be awesome.  Her response?  I'm free tonight and would love to stop by (I almost started crying then and there).

Not only did she sketch out time in her night; she came with a bottle of wine.  She sat, listened to the entire story (it was the first I had opened up to her about it).  She was fair, honest, non-judgmental, and exactly everything I needed. 

Friends truly are the family you get to choose...but in some cases, I feel as if the powers that be placed some truly amazing people in my life.  I hope we get to see each other grow old, and look forward to sharing countless new memories with them.  I also feel lucky in the wake of the "ick" I had been consumed with, for not everyone can say that despite the business of life they have true friends they can rely on for emotional support.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Process

Writing out my thoughts and feelings sometimes feels more of a curse than a blessing.  I fall victim to instant self analysis on a regular basis, and when I purge my analysis out into concrete words, it never ceases to fail that by the next day life has found a way to change. 

The self reflection I've done the past few days is unreal.  My friends have told me I know what I should do, but recognize the "right thing" is hard, if not impossible at times.  There's a billion "what-if" scenarios constantly playing out in my mind.

What if he never leaves  his wife?
What if he leaves his wife and things with us don't work out?
What if ...
What if...
What if...

My heart and head are still telling me to do the POLAR OPPOSITE.  So what does and/or should one listen to when faced with conflicting thoughts and feelings?

I could sit on a park bench and stare into nothing for hours, and still not come up with the right answer. 

Do I stop answering his calls?  Do I keep speaking with him?  How can I be a supportive friend even though clear lines have been crossed both in person, and via text message?  How will I know what the right choice is?

I just want to scream.

But screaming would not only peg me as a crazy person....I don't think it would resolve anything.

To search for a resolution I feel my first step is to back away and stop analyzing.  If I can prevent him from consuming my thoughts, and let things "be" I hope I'll fall upon the correct answer for me and for what might be to come.

So what does one do when they're trying to just "be"?  They dive into a new semester in school, steal extra hugs from her son, join a fantasy football league and agree to play on a brand spankin new co-ed softball team.  I think it's safe to say I'm going to be a busy girl the next few months, regardless of how things turn out with my (lack thereof) love life.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Just My Luck

I'm not used to attention from men.  As I've already explained (most likely for the sake of reminding myself), I've been single so long I've pretty much forgotten that I'm a sexual, emotional human being.  Instead I've transformed into somewhat of a robot; I work, go to school, take care of my son, wash, rinse, repeat.

When I've dabbled in online dating (or dating of ANY kind) in the past, little if ANYTHING has come from it.  I've written (in my little corner of the net here) about crushes, one night stands, wash, rinse, repeat.  Never do I recall a time when a man has overtly said kind things to me, sweet things, or even romantic things.  Never can I recall on a time when I've been told repeatedly, "You're so beautiful," or "you're so smart, it's so attractive," or "because of my situation, I'm afraid you're going to be swooped up, and taken off the market."  

I've met a new man; a man I am so excited to get to know that words can barely describe....but then reality sets in and I remind myself that he is currently married.  What man would truly be able to say such kind things to me while legally committed to another woman?  Who am I to think he wouldn't wind up doing the same thing to me?  Who am I to fathom he would do the same thing to me and not give him a chance?  It's times like this I wish I could predict the future.

Here I sit, and I can't stop thinking about him.  His smile, his touch, his adorable facial expressions.  I can't stop thinking about how natural I feel with him; how I can be (and have been) myself with little to no inhibitions.  Here I sit, when all of the sudden the gray-cloud of his (current) marriage rolls over my head as if it were the most devilish wall-cloud I've ever bore witness to. 

I've shared this new-found relationship with a couple of friends.  I'm apprehensive to share with more because they won't understand.  Traditionally and stereotypically speaking, "once a cheater always a cheater" is what they'll tell me.  Half of me is selfish in pursuing this because I've never felt this, and dammit I want it to be my turn.  The other half of me is repeating "you've got to be kidding yourself, this will never work, he will never leave his wife."  The entire relationship is all of two weeks old, and already I am blown away by the depth of our connection.  Since I've been able to be myself, I've been honest with him in saying I will not be a secret friend, and have told him he needs to be honest with me and with his wife.  I've fought off numerous advances from him, but sadly admit the line was crossed once and we've shared our first kiss.  His hugs are soothing, comforting, and even romantic. 

Although I can open up here, I am honestly holding back with him.  I want to tell him complimentary things as they happen.  I want to tell him how amazing he has made me feel.  I want to tell him how much I like how I feel when I speak with him, and when we get to see each other.  I want to tell him these things, but I hold back because I'm stubborn and refuse to start something with a married man.  Sure, one can argue I've already started it...but I'm holding back because it's the best I can do in the current situation.

At times I feel like he's reading my mind, randomly telling me it's ok if I text him anytime, but phone calls would be tough.  He says he is going to step up, be a man, and explain to his wife that yes they're going to go through with a divorce.  He says time will tell if he's really being honest, because if no progress is being made then I should, in essence, move on.  He's asked me if I believe in destiny, (and had he not asked me in person I probably would have rolled my eyes and laughed at him) the look in his eyes were sincere, genuine, and coming from a good (possibly even great) place. 

Two weeks.  The course of all of these emotions have submerged me within two weeks. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Introducing The Britt

The adage "when it rains, it pours" couldn't be more true for my current non-romantic romantic life.  It seems as most of my time the past eight+ years I've spent the majority of nights solo (as in, not sharing my evenings or mornings with a man).  I've kept busy, as one would expect a solo parent to be, raising a little boy...but it hasn't been often that I've received constant attention from men.  Yes, I'll admit I've had my fair share of crushes, but they seem to only last a week (or a night, depending on who we're talking about...but lets be real, most were JUST night).

Mid-July, while in the middle of being no-joke-broke, I checked my bank account to verify the amount of pennies I'd have available for me to go grocery shopping with; to my surprise, my account had a negative balance.  During the school year, I barely scrape by from paycheck to paycheck.  I have just enough money to cover my regular bills (read: mortgage, utilities, car insurance, credit cards, school lunches, groceries), with typically not a penny to spare.  Enter summer time when baby boy is out of school, and I have to pay for child care....things get tighter than tight as far as money is concerned.  I suppose life would be less difficult (financially speaking), if baby boy's father was in my life to help bring financial balance when childcare costs jump sky-high (but truthfully there isn't an amount of money in the world that would tempt me to subject baby boy to the drug induced life his father was living, I digress).  The charge that hit my account in mid-July was my subscription renewal (a mere $71...enough to waste my last remaining dollars until my next paycheck). 

After the palm of my hand swiftly met my forehead in disbelief I had forgotten about my subscription, my knee-jerk reaction was to immediately cancel my membership.  I cancelled in hopes of receiving, at the bare minimum, $69.00 back to allow me a few dollars at the grocery store.  I hopped online, and cancelled only to be met with a kind message from
"We're sorry to hear you no longer want to be a member.  Please enjoy our services through the time you've paid for.  As of October, your subscription will end."
Eff.  That was not the response I was looking for.  My brain wanted to hop on the phone with member services and fight for my money back...but seeing as I had been single, without a date in what felt like years (when, in actuality, it really HAS been years), my heart stopped me.  I don't often do things for myself, and by allowing my membership to stay active for a few more months, I had renewed my interest in the online dating site.  I knew I'd figure out a way to feed myself and baby boy, so I left things as they were, and promptly reexamined my online profile.
We had recent professional photos taken, so I was able to add some more recent shots of myself.  I also refreshed my story to be, what I thought and still think, a bit cynical.   It now read:
I have no idea why I'm actually on this site.  I've been single for a while; stating my reasons/justifications for being single stemming from my insane schedule (therefore not having "time" to date).  The reality is this; yes, I'm very busy.  I'm a solo parent (because that's what makes life the most stable for my son), I work full time, I'm studying to earn my undergrad (full time), and have a house and dog.  The other part of my reality is I haven't dedicated much time to focus on me; in part because if I focus on everyone around me I don't have to pay attention to the scale.  What more can I say? 

Here are a few of my recent interests:
~I LOVE spending time out in my gardens;  I've put in almost a dozen gardens since buying my house a year and a half ago.  It's my current method of establishing peace in my life. 
~My dog, rescued the week before Christmas, is a wonderful, slightly neurotic, addition to my family.  Every day he makes me laugh for one reason or another.
~I recently purchased a chicken coop and plan to not only grow my own vegetables, but also eat fresh eggs from the back yard.  Some people call me crazy for traveling down this path, but I'd rather be known as a chicken lady than a cat lady (no offense to cat owners out there).
~I love bbq-ing in the summer, and making feasts in the winter.  I recently made a completely-from-scratch chocolate cake that (surprisingly) turned out to be quite delicious!
~I typically go camping at least once per summer; while I haven't made it out for a weekend yet, worst case scenario I'll put the tent up in the backyard and my son and I will have our own little camp-out.

If anything I've written about sounds even the slightest interesting to you, feel free to shoot me a message and say hello.  The beauty (and in some ways, the craziness) of the internet is you can say hello fairly easy!

Take care.

Within days of posting my fresh pictures and summary, I had activity in the form of winks and emails.  I was quite tickled by the thought of men becoming intrigued by me.  Knowing what I know about online dating, I knew the attention was mostly going to stay I embraced what was coming my way, and let it entertain me while it was happening.

The first week of August, just a couple of weeks after renewing my membership, I came across a man in his late 30's.  I did what I normally do when browsing photos; I checked out his bio.
  • He was tall, 6'3 (which I find to be quite hot), and his one line intro read: "I seek to be content and Happy in love."  (simple, refreshing and honest)
  • He was from the UK (England, not the Ukraine, as he kindly reminded me the first night we met...but to let you in on a little secret, I never for a minute thought it was the Ukraine) and had spent time studying at University of London.  (a man with brains...major bonus)
  • He was educated (another trait I find extremely attractive), and had both a job and a car (which some might find to be trivial, but I find to be important because it states responsibility, another trait I find extremely attractive in a man).  
  • He enjoyed volunteering, and charity.  (be still my heart)
He was absolutely intriguing to me.....
I wanted to take a less direct approach so I "winked" at him.  To my surprise, he winked back accompanied by a brief and flattering email....and so it began.  

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Post Non-Date Date

When one wakes up after a date, albeit a date that went really well, one typically has a giddy feeling of butterflies with hints of unknown anticipation of what's to come. 

The non-date date was really nice.  Really, really nice; almost perfect, if it weren't for the dark stormy cloud known as HE'S MARRIED floating over our heads the entire night.

Sure, he didn't wear his wedding ring...but I wasn't born yesterday, I could tell he was nervous at the thought of getting caught out with another girl, even though I made things PERFECTLY CLEAR they were just as friends.

Karma has a funny way of rearing it's head in situations like this.  Take, for example, the time leading up to him picking me up (something he insisted on doing...uggh).  I was walking back from getting my son situation with the neighbors when BOOM!  My favorite sassy shoes broke.  It wasn't the type of break that could be repaired, so in the garbage they went. 

The second event that happened on the non-date date was our was. HORRIBLE.  We both opted for the sandwich special; the BLT.  Unbeknownst to us, the BLT was served with the thickest slicked of breaded deep-fried bacon known to man.  I'm a huge fan of bacon, but this, my friends, was DISGUSTING.  The server had gotten the impression we were on a date; and had basically left us alone the majority of the meal, but when asking us if we needed a box she was taken aback when we both said no (without hesitation).  She asked if everything was alright and we sheepishly told her the food was not what we had expected.  We decided (on the spot) to split a bacon cheese burger; and it was delicious. 

After dinner, of which he insisted on paying (even though this was a non-date date), we stumbled across the street to a sports bar and bellied up.  It was nice sitting next to him, I admit, I was getting caught up.  Behind us sat a stuffed animal claw machine; we decided to be silly and put a dollar in, each taking a turn.  He ALMOST had a Twins bear, so I swooped in after him and sealed the deal (a prediction for the future?  UGGH...I need to stop, I digress).  The entire time at the sports bar was nice.  We opened up to each other a bit, in fact, we talked a LOT.  It felt great to not feel the pressure of impressing him, ya know, since he's still married and all. 

To end the night we had a fire outside at my place.  It was the perfect night for a fire.  I love the outside space at my house.  All was well until I literally biffed it in front of him, nearly face-planting and closely averting my iron rod furniture.  It was embarrassing, but hilarious to say the least; karma's last ditch effort to bring me back to reality....the reality that slapped me in the face today; I've secretly fallen for a married guy who will never leave his wife, but I'll never tell him I've fallen for him so it's better if I just forget the whole thing and move on.  Hmph.

Monday, August 19, 2013

I'm going to hell.

I believe I've hit a new all-time low.  I went on a non-date date with a married guy.  A pit wells in the bottom of my stomach churning this out on paper.  What in the hell is wrong with me?!  I'm single and content.  I've started (successfully) for the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE to lose weight.  Sure, I'm only down 7lbs in four weeks...but that's 7 less pounds my body is carrying around...and I'm not stopping until I'm happy with my appearance, I digress. 

So, how did this non-date date happen with a married guy?  It all started on a Friday night at a neighborhood bonfire.  I asked my neighbor if she knew any semi-hot single guys, and she said she knew a guy who she thought I'd like who was "kind of single." (Yes, I should have just brushed it off and moved on....but NOOOOOO).  I asked her what she meant, and she told me him and his wife were very unhappy, and he's been telling her he plans to leave her sooner than later.  My then sober state of mind said "KEEP AWAY," but as the night went on my inhibitions were extremely diluted from the alcohol, so I did what any girl this day in age would do; I requested to be his friend on Facebook.

I was slightly hitting myself in the forehead for being so juvenile come the next morning, but to my surprise he had accepted my request.  At this point in time, I was a bit embarrassed.  How was I going to explain myself?  What kind of guy accepts a friend request from a total stranger?  I felt compelled to set the record straight, so I direct messaged him explaining who I was, and that I had requested him as a friend only after having a few (in reality a half dozen)

To my surprise, come Monday morning, he had accepted my friend request.  My next move, a move which I'm still debating was right (or absolutely wrong of me), was to send him a direct message:
I'm impressed you accepted my friend request considering it came from a complete and total stranger! Sorry about that....I suppose I should introduce myself (?). My name is SS (obviously). I'm neighbors with KN. She mentioned you were "kind of" the night went on, I became more intrigued, and my lack of judgement caught the best of me; hence the friend request. Call me crazy; wouldn't be the first time.
 He replied on the same day:
So I read your page and am curious. You're right I'm not single but should be at this point but it's a scary thought of leaving my kids is basically what I'm worried about. So you could say I come with a lot of baggage. But don't let that define me.
Happy Monday also SS
At that moment, the birth of our non-date "friendship" began (mind you, this only happened a week plus three days ago...this all still VERY fresh, but seems to be moving at mock-speed).

After a day of talking on Facebook, he said he wanted to go out, and happened to have some free nights during the upcoming weekend (read: this past Friday or Saturday).  I lined up a sitter for baby boy on Saturday, and we had a date/time on the books.  I can just imagine all of the three well-minded readers out there shouting "WHAT IN THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING?!  HE'S MARRIED!!"to which my only response is YES I KNOW!

I haven't decided how much more I want to share yet...but what I can tell you is I've set my boundaries of "this is friends only" from the beginning.  I felt compelled to do so because I would hate myself if I didn't.  We did go out, and had fun....lines were never crossed; the night was kept completely platonic (from a physical perspective...but I feel like some emotional lines may have been breached). 

Here I sit, on a Monday, kicking myself more than anything.  I wish finding the right partner was something that came easier to me.  I wish I had a man in my life who I feel could truly appreciate me, what I have to offer, and offer the same in return to me.  I wish I had the answers, and I certainly hope I learn something from my current oddly-idiotic situation.