Alone Again… Naturally

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Two years and two days have passed since I met WFB (Whole Foods Boy). A little over one week ago I asked him to move out. Alcoholism and depression are motherfuckers and I can handle one, but not both. He basically moved in with me last summer, though he was still under a lease with his roommate for six more months. It was June of last year when he “moved in.” I asked him to stop living in my house if he wasn’t at least helping with dishes and mowing the lawn. Three months later, he was in a car accident and had to reveal to me that he had been driving on a restricted license due to not complying with state laws and getting an Interlock Breathalyzer system installed in his car TWO YEARS PRIOR when he got his second DUI. I forgave him the major omission, but still asked him to move back in with his roommate. He never left. In January of this year, he began paying rent and moved all of his things in to my house.

On the subject of alcohol, I’m the kind of person who will buy a six pack of beer that will last me six months. He drinks two or three beers a day for no reason and binge drinks on the weekends, often to the point of belligerence. He doesn’t drink Coors or Budweiser with low alcohol content – he purposefully buys beers in the big bottles that are anywhere from 10-15% alcohol content. I was embarrassed to take him anywhere that alcohol would be involved. In August of last year, we were invited to a party at a local bar. My friend’s friend was paying for all the drinks that night, and I informed WFB of this fact. He still ordered $20, $25, $30 bottles of beer, justifying the expense because “we were all sharing them.” He drank so much that he didn’t remember leaving or the cab ride home. He woke up the next day and asked if we had walked home.

In May, he went to a birthday party without me. I was house-sitting and didn’t feel well enough to attend. He drank so much that at 5:00 am, when he was supposed to be headed to work, he could not blow clean to start his car. His phone was dead and once he left his friend’s house, the door was locked behind him, everyone asleep inside. He walked almost 30 blocks to the house where I was staying, reeking of alcohol and his eyes bloodshot. “Can you take me to work?” he asked when I opened the front door in shock. I dropped him off and barely spoke to him. He was fired the next day. He swears it had nothing to do with his physical state that day.

He sat at home for almost three months, living off of the three months of PTO he had accrued that were paid out to him. He never filed for unemployment. He applied for only 2-3 jobs a week, stating that he had to completely re-write his cover letter every time and “that took a lot of time.” One week into his unemployment, my friend offered him a part time gig in a warehouse that would allow him to make money while looking for a career in something he had more interest. He assured me he was going to continue to apply for jobs while working at this temporary job. It was early August when he finally applied and started working in the warehouse. He is still there. They offered him full time and he is no longer looking for a career that interests him. He says he’s not going to be there forever, but that’s what he said about Whole Foods. He was there for over four years, and his mother was the one who talked him into applying there. He would still be there if he hadn’t been fired. I pushed him into the warehouse job because it was guaranteed income and he could continue the job search while earning some money.

About a month ago, I wanted to try to work things out. I went to his parents (who had just returned from seeing WFB’s brother in rehab) about his problem with drinking and his lack of motivation. There is a long line of alcoholism in their family. His parents promised to help him however they could and supported my decision if I chose to end the relationship. I recently started nursing school and I am not equipped to handle the stress of his depression and alcoholism along with the stress of school. I came home and relayed what I had told his parents. He spoke with them the next day, coming home to tell me that he was going to start AA classes and make an appointment with a therapist. He has been saying for the past six months that he is going to contact his previous therapist and get help. There has been no such contact. He has attended no AA classes. He is not very good at following through.

Four weeks ago, we broke up. Three weeks ago, we tried to work it out. A little over one week ago, we broke up and I asked him to move out. He has yet to look for another place to live. He doesn’t know how to take care of himself, and I cannot mother another man. I saw a six pack in his closet when I moved my printer out of his room two days ago. Some things never change.

He came home crying today, asking me if I’m happy. I simply left the house. I’ve grieved the loss of our romantic relationship for so long that I cannot cry any more about it. I’m sad some days but I am happy others. Some days I want to crawl into his arms and say, “let’s work it out,” but I know I’ll just turn around and change my mind the next day. Love is a bitch.

When Are You Two Getting Married?

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My ex-husband and I dated for 5 months when we became engaged and were one week shy of dating one year when we married, so our relationship didn’t give anyone time to press us about marriage. The anniversary of my first date with WFB is this coming Sunday and the question is starting to hit us like a tsunami. Every friend and every co-worker has been grilling us like we need to get hitched and do it now! The funniest part is that neither family is pushing us. I haven’t heard a single, “when are you going to get married and start having my grandchildren?” from either side, which is greatly appreciated. I’ve been there once and, though I’m not as scared to do it again as I thought I’d be, I’m just not ready at this moment to have WFB slide a ring on my finger and claim me for the rest of forever.

That said, if he were to drop down on one knee I might be inclined to say ‘yes’ but I’m pretty sure we’re on the same page of “let’s not rock the boat yet.” For that, I love him even more. We’re both a bit selfish and I don’t believe that either one of us is ready to make a life-long commitment. I’m preparing to go back to school to work on my BSN and he has goals and aspirations for the next couple of years as well.

Why do we pressure people into marriage? Working with an older generation helps give me perspective on how things have changed in the world over the past decades. We have older patients who were high school sweethearts and the fellow wanted to take care of his lady and he’s still doing it sixty years later. We have younger patients who come in as married couples, only to have one partner come back the next year having changed her name back to her maiden name, checking the “divorced” box on the form.

I grew up with two working parents. Mom stayed home until we were school aged, then went back into the workforce full time. Both incomes were needed to get by and raise the two of us kids, who were a definite financial burden. We, as women, don’t necessarily feel that burden these days. Some of us are having children later, marrying later and focusing on our careers and establishing ourselves before we dive into serious relationships. Others, like me, marry in our early 20s before we know who we are and what we want in life. Then, when we figure out that we don’t need another person’s monetary support, or their negative attitude, we leave the relationship in search of something more fulfilling.

My parents’ 39th anniversary is next week. They don’t always get along, and they almost divorced twice when I was a teenager. They’ll tell you that they don’t like each other every day, and there are days that they don’t even speak to each other. They’ll also tell you that they love each other so much that they can’t imagine being apart. I actually saw my dad cry (one of two times I’ve witnessed) when my mom threatened to leave. He told me he was devastated and didn’t want to live without her. This is what it is to marry and be monogamous. It’s not always glamorous, but it works for them and it works for a lot of couples.

Then you see couples who are married and have a girlfriend or boyfriend together or they have an “open relationship” and freely discuss together their escapades with other people. These couples seem happy and claim to feel even closer to their partners because they’re able to enjoy a variety of people but still return to their main partner for their basic emotional needs. I don’t understand how jealousy doesn’t wreck these couples, but I’ve never been a part of one and can’t imagine being a part of one. What works for some does not work for all.

For now, I’m content in my monogamous relationship with my sweet fellow. We’ll keep on keeping on until we’re both ready to move in another direction. Whether that’s marriage or something else, only time will tell.

Truths and Realizations

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Sara is going to bring me a book on love addiction. I’m not sure that’s my problem. I think it’s more an attention addiction. I’m inclined to believe anyone who reads my writing would agree.

WFB took me to a mystery dinner theater last Friday. I can be a bit socially awkward, so I spent a large portion of the night following him with my hands in the pockets of my dress while he interrogated suspects. He seemed to balance my nerves well, as he pulled one of my hands out and used it to drag me around the room. He wanted to stay the night with me, so after dinner we watched a movie and went to bed. I was feeling a bit odd that we’ve been out five times, yet I’d not been to his place. As if reading my mind, he said we’d have to do something closer to his place soon so I could meet his roommate and her dog. I invited him to my friend’s show the following Friday, but he was going to be busy with a friend’s rehearsal that night and wedding Saturday. He commented that he wished I would go to the reception so I could meet his friends and we could dance together. We’ve talked about taking dance lessons, and if things progress we’re going to look more seriously. I said I’m too socially awkward and wouldn’t feel comfortable attending a wedding to which I wasn’t invited when we’d been dating such a short while. He kind of frowned then tackled me on the love-seat. When he left for work the next morning, we didn’t make plans for our next rendezvous and that always makes me a bit nervous. I have a habit of psyching myself out of a good thing because of my insecurities. I remember on our first date when he said he wasn’t a fan of text messaging because he felt people should communicate in person rather than through technology. I try to remind myself of this when I’m stressing that we haven’t communicated in two or three days. What I need to do is relax and realize I can initiate. Wednesday, he sent me a couple of pictures with a great caption. He had attended the Chiefs game on Monday (where we walloped the Patriots!) and the Royals game on Tuesday (holy shit we’re in postseason for the first time since I was 2 years old! AND we’re doing well!). He was excited and wanted to share that with me. I thought it was awfully sweet and felt silly for being so caught up in my head. He wanted to see me Thursday, but I had plans, so we’re doing something tomorrow evening.

Last night, Matt and I were out and about watching some friends play at a local venue. After their show, and several beers, I decided it was time for dancing. Luckily, Matt follows me around to ensure I’m not making terrible life decisions when I’m intoxicated. The fellow I took home a couple of weeks ago decided that last night at 11:00 pm was the perfect time to strike up conversation, even though our last exchange was the morning I dropped him off almost two weeks ago. He called me six times. SIX TIMES between 11:00 pm and 2:00 am. He was at a bar nearby watching the baseball game and I’m sure he just wanted to hook up. I was distracted by my need to dance. We danced a bit, then I realized I was alone on the floor. I’m used to Matt ditching me somewhere and I was sobering up fairly quickly, so I wasn’t worried when Dark and Beardy came over to dance with me. Told me his name was Jeff. “Great!” I yelled toward him. “That’s my ex-husband’s name!” He must not have heard me or at least wasn’t fazed enough to comment. He danced with me and we chatted. He’s one of those 35 year old guys that looks younger with his ginormous beard and perfectly messy on purpose hair, so no one bats an eye at this older fellow checking out the early 20-somethings at the bar. He lives close to the district, so I’m sure he’s out there every weekend night hitting on the ladies. He was wearing a Canadian Tuxedo and, though I wasn’t feeling it, I chatted with him while trying to decide if I should drive home or call a cab. Matt reappeared and asked if I was okay. He left a bit disgruntled because I was obviously handling myself just fine without supervision. Long story short we dance a little, he doesn’t put his hands on me (I would have probably yelled at him if he did), and he asks for my number. I give it to him and tell him I’m heading home to bed. He says he’ll text me and I say “if you’re a real man, you’ll call me.” He raises his eyebrows, realizing I don’t fuck around. I get in my car and head home, wishing it wasn’t 2:30 am and I could cuddle with WFB. Then I get a text from not-my-ex-husband Jeff:

NMEH Jeff: Shit! Where did you go?

Me: You must have missed the part when I said I was going home because I was tired.

NMEH Jeff: Oh I got that. I just dreamed of an end where I’m going down on you… (Seriously? Does this work on ladies?)

Me: I don’t get intimate like that with fellows I’ve just met, so enjoy that dream… (So this was a little white lie. I’ve done it in the past, but I might actually be *gulp* falling for WFB.)

NMEH Jeff: I will! I just want to tell you you’re gorgeous and seemed smart: An appropriate sex fantasy for me!

Me: Thank you? I hope you get home/arrived home safely. Have a good night.

I wasn’t in the mood to indulge this drunk monkey any longer and went to bed. In fact, I’m not really in the mood to indulge any one else’s attempts to get in my pants. Does this mean I’m ready to be exclusive with WFB after dating him for only three weeks? I need to keep my options open, but it’s so hard when there’s a real connection. I’m not talking about a connection like I’ve had in the past, where I’m in constant worry about the state of my relationship with a given fellow, but rather a connection where I don’t feel the need to be in constant contact or have constant validation of his feelings for me.

I’m excited to see WFB tomorrow. I have no idea what we’ll be doing, but there’s a large possibility it’ll start with me tackling him with hugs and kisses.

WTF Universe?

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Kathleen told me last week that my pheromones must be radioactive.

On Monday, I went to the gym as usual. I noticed several fellows looking my way during my workout, but I ignored them all. There is one fellow that I have had a few interactions with: I am always trying to move out of his way which makes him laugh because I’m never actually in his way. He introduced himself to me this time and we had a nice chat. After I got home and showered, I stationed myself on the couch to watch some boob-tube. At 9:30 pm, I received a text message from a number I deleted seven months ago. As much as I wanted to reply, “who is this?” I recognized the number and I just couldn’t do it. “Hello Sarah.” After staring at my phone for 30 minutes, all I could say was: “Hello, Adam.” He followed with a long apology that he treated me in a way I never deserved and he thought about me all of the time. I thanked him for the apology and said that I couldn’t have a conversation because I wasn’t ready to deal with the emotions he had just stirred up. I knew I would hear from him. I just didn’t know when. I cried myself to sleep that night.

Tuesday was my date with Whole Foods Boy (WFB). I thought about Adam all day, but as soon as WFB came to pick me up all my thoughts were re-focused. WFB and I didn’t communicate the next couple of days, but he sent me a message on Friday while I was working that he hoped to see me soon. I offered that he could come hang out with me that evening. I was doing some painting, and said he was welcome to come watch sports and listen to me sing while I created a masterpiece. He came over around 8:00. We watched a movie and cuddled on the couch. I expected him to head home when the movie was over, but instead he started kissing me pretty intensely. He suggested we move to my room and I went with it. You know that scene in Crazy, Stupid Love where Emma Stone’s character tells Ryan Gosling’s character that he had to have been photoshopped? Welcome to my Friday night. I asked when he had last been tested, and he went silent for a minute. He took so long to reply, I assumed he was fabricating a story. Finally, he said, “I’ve never been tested. I don’t have a lot of sex.” Uh, what? Anyway, some stuff happened and he spent the night. He buzzed out around 8 the next morning because he had to be at work at 9:00. He decided not to go out with me that night to Matt’s celebration because he had to work Sunday morning as well and didn’t want to be up late two nights in a row.

Flash forward 12 hours, and I meet Matt out for his birthday. Several people from work were supposed to meet us, and I couldn’t reach any of them. Long story short, I end up the lone female surrounded by Matt and six of his friends. Matt had been drinking since 1:30 in the afternoon and was pretty sauced when I showed up. He started telling his friends, and several ladies who were trying to hit on him, that I was going to marry him but I just hadn’t yet said ‘yes.’ Super awkward. Either he has terrible friends, or they were just drunk and horny because two of them tried to talk me into making out with them in the bathroom, one tried to convince me to move 100 miles west to live with him, and two others kept dancing on me and rubbing their junk on my butt. I will admit I got a good laugh when the two dancy fellows caught me in a Night at the Roxbury moment. If you have any ideas that I’m a good person, you might want to stop reading now. This is where my ethics take a nose-dive. I brought home one of Matt’s not so close friends, and then I had to drive him home this morning. When he got out of the car, he asked for my number and said he’d like to hang out sometime. Sorry, buddy. Things are a bit too complicated in my world to add another to the mix. All I could think about today was WFB: From the moment I woke this morning, driving the fellow home, at my parents’ house watching football, to this current moment. I feel awful about what I did, and it doesn’t help to tell myself that he’s not my boyfriend and I don’t know that we’re exclusive. These thoughts led me back to Adam. Now I can’t stop thinking about Adam. What does he want? He’s so bad for me, but I’ve always felt a gravitational pull to him. I also feel a strong connection to WFB. What else would have made me drive back to that store more than an hour after I left just to give him my number?

Coming full circle, I ran into my ex-husband at the grocery store tonight. I recognized his car and texted him that I thought I had parked next to him. When I came out of the store, he was sitting in his car waiting for me. We talked for an hour, then realized we were both headed to the same store after. I followed him there and we talked a bit more while we shopped. We ended up checking out at the same time. When I was finished, we hugged and said goodbye. It was so easy to talk to him. Maybe we will be able to be friends and let go of our tumultuous past together.

Now if only I can figure out what to do with all of these men!

Getting Comfortable

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Date number two with Whole Foods Boy on Tuesday evening was fun. We didn’t do anything profound, but I definitely feel a level of comfort with him. I discovered he is poor at communication when we’re apart because he prefers phone calls to text messages and he works more evenings than days. He picked me up for dinner, though I should have given him grief for not coming to my door but rather waiting for me to come out to his car. We sat in his car in front of my apartment for at least 20 minutes before deciding where to go. Conversation about where to go kept turning to something completely off the subject. We started driving, picked one place then changed our minds half-way there. The final destination: pizza and beer. We had good conversation and learned a bit more about each other. It seems our religious and political beliefs are similar, though we didn’t get into too much detail. I asked him what he wanted to do after dinner, and he suggested we make out. I laughed because A) that was really blunt and B) I haven’t been asked to “make out” since I was in my teens. I think he’s insecure about having me over to his place due to his having a roommate. I live alone, so the only interruption we have is my cat. After we paid the bill (we split both this dinner and our first date dinner), we headed back to my apartment. We talked and kissed, but no nudity. I started to get sleepy and he stroked my hair, telling me he enjoyed talking to me but he also enjoyed silence with me. He asked when he could see me again. He had work the next two nights, and I have plans with my brother Friday night. I invited him to join my friends and me out and about to celebrate Matt’s birthday Saturday night. He accepted and then asked if he could hang out with me before we go out Saturday afternoon. I said I’d be happy to spend the day with him. Then he asked if we could hang out Sunday morning. Um… I told him we’d see how Saturday goes. He laughed and said he was probably pushing it. Yeah, let’s take this one step at a time. Apparently this fellow has a thing for me.

Good Juju

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I never post twice in one day, but I felt my night was worthy of immediate attention. Whole Foods boy showed up first, at least ten minutes early. I walked in at 6:33. After we sat down at our table, we talked so much that the waitress stopped asking if we were ready to order. It was half an hour before we opened our menus. Conversation flowed smoothly, minus the few times we both got so nervous we forgot what we were talking about. We did everything right: no talk of politics, exes, religion… I found out he’s 30, has a younger brother and grew up in the area. I also discovered that he had to break our date last week due to his friend breaking up with a fiance. I did say a couple of awkward things, at which he laughed. His phone rang twice while we were at dinner, and both times he rejected the call and apologized profusely. After three hours at dinner, we weren’t ready to say goodnight. We’d been talking about movies all night so we decided to head to my place to watch Silver Linings Playbook. He opened all the doors, drove me to my car and then followed me home. I felt a little uncomfortable that we were at my apartment on our first date, but he didn’t try to put any moves on me. I had been messing with my cuticles all night. I tried to leave them alone, but he was making me crazy nervous. My pinkie finger began to bleed about half-way through the movie, and when I got up to put on a band-aid I had to come clean about my bad habit. His response was to grab my hand and lace his fingers with mine. We talked a bit through the movie, so I’ll probably watch it again to soak in all the dialogue. When the end credits began to roll, he turned to me and we went for each other’s lips at the same time. Just kidding, I’m super awkward about kissing and touching on a first date (and second and third…). He leaned toward me for a kiss and I let it happen. He didn’t touch my boobs, grab my ass or do anything else suggestive of “let’s get naked,” which was fantastic. Around 12:45, I walked him out to his car. We kissed some more and made plans to see each other on Tuesday evening.

I’m trying very hard to not get wrapped up in the chemical swarm happening in my brain, but it’s hard when we really clicked. I’m putting out positive vibes, and I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Here We Go

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Morgan. Bless his heart. After the drunk texting debacles with each other a few weeks ago, I decided not contact him. We chatted a couple of weeks ago, but not about anything of substance; just some “how have you been” and “work sucks” conversation. Wednesday (it’s always Wednesdays…), I woke when my alarm went off to a text he had sent at midnight. I sent him a message that evening asking if he had been bored at work. The reply: “I was at work, but I thought about you and wanted to say hi and see how you were.” We chatted all evening, and before I went to bed he said we should get dinner sometime so he could give my movie back. We ended up planning to get coffee this coming Monday. As friends. The next day, I had a message waiting for me when I left work. Our conversation started out innocent enough, but soon he was telling me this long story about how he falls for the wrong women that can’t give him what he needs and wants in a relationship. He gave me some specifics about the gal he dated just prior to me. They became friends with benefits a couple of weeks after he stopped seeing me. He went on to say that he was falling back in love with her, so he broke things off because he knew they didn’t want the same things, blah, blah, blah. I do what I always do, and told him that he should do what makes him happy even if it hurts at first. He did his usual and made a joke about my optimism and rationality. Then he said he wanted to see the new chick flick, If I Stay. I responded that it looked good but was going to be a tearjerker. He said again that he wanted to see it. I’m not stupid, Morgan. I know what you’re doing. I replied, “then go see it.” I’m a jackass. He then asked if I wanted to see the movie when we hang out on Monday. I want to see it, so I said yes. Is this a date? I’m hoping not. He hurt me so much, but I’m not sure what I would say if he tells me he wants to be with me. Actually, I’m not sure I want to be with him romantically at all. He’s fun and we have a great time together, but he greatly disrespected my feelings. Though I may forgive him, it’s hard to forget.

That said, I have a date with Whole Foods boy in two hours. I never did text him, though it took a TON of will-power. He sent me a message yesterday saying he had a crazy week but that he wanted to get together soon and asked what I was doing the next afternoon/evening. I told him I didn’t have any solid plans, which was true. I made a couple of “let’s maybe do this thing” plans, but no actual commitments. We picked a time to meet. No actual plan, but we had a time. As I type this, we are finalizing things. Meeting at Thai Place at 6:30. I’m excited but I’ve become so jaded to dating. Same conversation with every fellow: “did you grow up around here?” “How many siblings do you have?” “What do you like to do in your spare time?” I realized today that I don’t know how old he is. He might be fresh out of college. Shit. Oh well. I did go on a date with 23 year old guy who was studying to be a surgical tech and once with a 20 year old (though we both knew that wasn’t going anywhere…). Whatever. Let’s do this.