(Originally written August 30, 2011)
Well, I do tend to learn the hard way. But at least I learn. So, as previously stated, the writing was on the wall. But, hand to name-your-own-deity, it was terrific while it lasted. Here are my take-a-ways:
1. Be careful what you ask for. Sometimes you put little hopes out in the universe and they are fulfilled. As embarrassing and girly as it is, I really did wish for flowers on Valentine’s day. In fact, I wished for that every year I’ve worked in an office/store. It is awful to be the only one without a delivery despite the fact you have a husband. Granted when I made the wish, I had the tennis coach in mind. It was a pleasant surprise that the guy-who-does-not-do-holidays felt inspired enough to send them.
I pined for a few things that I thought would make a pretty dreamy guy. Bringing me coffee was really on the list. Honest. It was pretty high on the dream-man list. Right after steady employment and handle on finances. Followed by gives a nice back rub. I don’t want to show all my cards here, but the mental checklist of things I WANTED in my next guy-I would-fall-for successfully were checked off. Granted, a tribal tattoo, smoker, and gun enthusiastic weren’t… but when you begin to appreciate the things you shouldn’t… well, it is really nice. You know you like someone when those things that should matter, well, just don’t in the grand scheme.
So, I got what I wanted. I mean, generally speaking, my criteria for dreamy-male were met. I know they were small little nothings, but nothings are what make life pretty wonderful. And yet, even though, I got what I wanted– I’m single. So, we are going to spend some time thinking about our list. Clearly, it needs to be edited and/or amended. I have to think a little bit more about the next round of hopes I throw out into the universe.
2. You can’t change how someone else feels. Don’t try. Don’t bother. Just embrace it. I couldn’t make X choose me over a plenitude of things. Three-thousand dollars could find its way to a bookie… but not for a diamond on my finger. I stopped trying to figure out the “why” a long time ago. It really doesn’t matter. It doesn’t change how things are. So Match couldn’t figure out what was the problem. The why doesn’t matter, though. It comes down to the fact that the relationship over the small hill wasn’t worth the one night uphill talk to clear the air. He didn’t want to fight with me. Nor did he want to make up with me (despite the fact, I was really, really looking forward to that part). And he’s is entitled to that. There isn’t anything to be done for it.
3. I will seriously stick to my rules. I should have kept the kid separate. I mean, I asked before I mixed the two if he was gonna be around. (Actually, I saved the answer I received. Every so often when I had anxiety about the whole thing, I’d like to refer back- ‘I don’t plan on bailing, unless you have some weird craziness that you’ve been hiding.’ I just had to remind myself it would be okay. Obviously, I was wrong. (And, we’ll revisit this more a little later.) It is bad enough I can’t give her a safe, steady, reliable, responsible Dad. I had to introduce her to Match and have her really like him. This is probably the one thing I’m actually upset about. It feels awful when we are playing telephone and she pretends to call Match. It feel shitty when she walks around mimicking the noises he made. And, I’m not sure what to say when she’s asked me where Match is… Fuck. She doesn’t ask where her dad is. This is where I royally fucked up. I let down my kid. And she should always come first. Me & her– well we are all we got. So, we won’t be doing that again. Lesson learned. I’m about to get it tattoo’d so I don’t forget.
4. Intentions are not the same as results. So I let my guard down a little. This was not a mistake. This is how one builds relationships. But, in this case, it didn’t work out that way. Which is alright. Feelings should get a little squashed once in a while. How else will you ever know how strong you are? How else do you grow?
Anyway… my ex never intended to be so messed up. That’s not what he wanted for himself. But, the fact of the matter is, he will always be out for himself. He will always do what he wants. And neither the kid, nor I, will ever come before whatever X is compulsively pursuing. I learned that he intends what he promised… but they weren’t his promises to makes. “We’ll be out of debt… I’m gonna get you that ring… I’m going to get it together for our daughter…” Did he mean to pick up his check and drive past St. Francis hospital on day two on her life after I had a c-section, was still hooked up to IVs, bound to hospital room? Did he mean to continue on to the casino where he spent the check and the whole day–knowing his cell had died and the charger was in that tiny room with the new tiny person we had made. Well, no, he didn’t know that when he got in the car. I don’t know when the kid and I faded so dimly in the background that he kept driving, but we did. Intentions are not the same as results. Lesson learned.
Match clearly never planned on bailing. I mean, the guy was here half the week and we talked every night. (And, if you refer to the earlier quote, I did let on to some minor PTSD craziness… so he at least had the courtesy to give me a heads up.) But, intentions are not the same as results. Her life is gonna be hard enough because of some not-so-great choices I already made. So, next guy, I don’t care what you say. It is gonna be my rules. Lesson re-enforced.
5. Yup. I like sex. And I’m not terrible at it. Sorry, the confirmation is a take-away. It was such a sour experience for so long, I seriously am relieved. Match is gonna be hard to top. But, it is gonna be fun trying.
6. Bad timing is part of life. And everything seems to happen at once. And hindsight always makes things appear clearer. Yet, if you really look at it, things often happen for a reason. So, had I known, I was going to be done with Match this week, I would have lied to X when he asked if I was dating. Unfortunately, that’s ship has now sailed. Poor X. He just wants things to be as we both had planned. But that happy life with the sunken living room and three kids and stealing kisses in the closet– well, that’s ship has also sailed. Or sunk more accurately. So far, it has only been one phone call I’ve had to endure about a future “us,” and how the kid deserves a family. X always did know how to pull my strings, promise just the right things, give me enough good times that I could overlook the terrible. He, however, underestimates how much loving and protecting the kid has made me stronger. She’s gonna have a better life than me and him. I’m never going back there. It took me long enough, but I want my better life too.
On the bright side, I could have told X I was seeing someone regularly and then had gone through whatever shit-storm was brewing for nothing. I mean, its been on my mind. Getting that over with– just so it can be over– and the mystery of how he’ll react can be discovered. I’m sure it’ll be somewhere between that weird, uncomfortable phone call and the vivid dream where he broke into the apartment and slit my throat. I’m a writer. My imagination sometimes runs a muck. Yeah, I know, it is pretty fun. 🙂
So, back to things working out for the best. It was good to get a peak behind the veil. But, considering the emotional upheaval and the ridiculous amount of mitigating factors that could come into play –it is good Match is out of the picture. It is good no one is in the picture until I see how this tidbit plays out. Despite the fact I was mildly offended, tennis coach had all the right to ask I not bring him up to X. I have an obligation to not only protect the kid, but also those I involve myself with. I mean really, it is probably an over reaction considering the most violence I’ve witness was a few holes in the wall, having peanut butter and then jelly jars whipped at me, and being called some names rather loudly. X’s style is to first talk you blue in the face. Then just harassment that wears you down or intimidation until you bend. But I’m not under his thumb anymore and I’m not as easily connived… so there is that element of what comes next when his bag-o-tricks no longer works. There are some reasons I bleed money to a lawyer. Okay, okay. So maybe I felt a little better with a Marine around. But until I know how this is going to go down, it is probably better to have him safely, anonymously tucked away. I earned my crazy. No one else has.
Yes, I would have timed having that ball roll a little differently. Yes, if I could go back to Friday night and lie I would. But the bright side is that things are exactly as they should be. I got reminded of the great friends in my life who seriously came out for me to lean on during the 48 hour mourning period. I found a way to channel the few lingering bits of disappointment into work and i had a really great day. I’ll get to go on some more first dates and meet some new people– both which I adore. Let’s face it. I’m a great first date and when I can go out and have a night in the right setting–I have game. I know my worth on a level I hadn’t before. (Seriously, if I’m not worth an “I’m sorry I made you feel bad” and some flowers– after close to three months–it was better you took a walk.) I’m writing again– Clearly, we are all glad about this.