What Happened?

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Guys, the past year has been weird. The past six months, especially. Slighted by the man I thought was the man of my dreams (the cute Russian translator I pined over for YEARS), I fell into the rabbit hole of Tinder for six days at the end of June. I went on four dates in five days because why not? The fourth date brought about a whirlwind engagement that ended in an alcohol fueled nightmare seven weeks ago. I’ll start out slow with my dates:

July 1st: date #1 was a really sweet guy that I refer to as “Z number 2.” I had a nice time playing mini-golf and razzing him about his knowledge deficit in music and movies, but I just didn’t feel any attraction. We parted ways and I let him down gently five days later when he FINALLY texted. However, I had connected BIG TIME with #4 by then. I very nicely explained that if he liked me, he should have texted me the same night. Or the next day. Or even two days later. He thanked me for being honest and said he’d remember my advice in future encounters. I hope he found someone adorable.

July 2nd: date #2 was disappointing. You know the guy who only has pictures from five years and 50 pounds ago? That’s who showed up. I’m super chatty and I ask tons of questions. He was very clever and seemed pretty quick when we were messaging each other, but all I received in person were one word answers. It’s terribly rude, but I texted my friend who was down the street, and she joined us. An hour later, I told him that I thought he seemed like a nice fellow but I wasn’t feeling anything between us. Without a word, he slammed his beer glass on a nearby table and stormed away. Oops?

July 3rd: Date #3 wasn’t actually a Tinder match. Well, he wasn’t MINE anyway. My friend matched with him, but after communicating for a day or two, she decided he was better suited for me. So, with my permission, she gave him my phone number and we started chatting. He seemed great! Sarcastic and quick, which got me all excited. I love a smart-ass who can dish it out but also take it. We met for dinner the next evening. When I arrived, I spied a gentleman in his late 30s, wearing a button-down shirt that was left open to about mid-chest. “Please, by everything that is holy, do NOT let that be my date.” Chest hair doesn’t stand up, but sees me searching and waves me over. STILL not standing, he asks me if I want a drink. He’s two beers in. During dinner he displays his forest of chest hair that rivaled that of the late Robin Williams. Now, don’t get me wrong, I find chest hair super sexy. I like a man with a chest full of curly man-fuzz, but this was an excessive display. I’m pretty sure one fell in my sandwich. Chest hair talks about himself, I get bored, thank him for dinner, and head home. We both proceed to not text each other, but have since awkwardly run into each other on multiple occasions because we hang around the same places. *Sigh*

July 4th I host an annual get-together. Dates are placed on hold.

July 5th: Date #4 was M, a man unlike anyone I’d dated, or ever met before. He was covered in tattoos: arms, legs, torso, neck, and a few on his face. He was pierced in several places. He was RIDICULOUSLY nervous, and I would find out later that night he was diagnosed with anxiety so bad that he was prescribed higher doses of medication than I knew was possible. We met at his friend’s tattoo shop and walked a few store fronts down to have dinner at one of my favorite local spots. We chattered all through dinner. He barely ate. I ate almost everything. We started walking and parked our rears on the steps of a church. The talking didn’t stop for six hours. I had to work the next day, so I rushed us back to our vehicles when I finally checked the time. We hugged, I said I’d like to hang out again, and hopped in my car. I texted him when I arrived home, about 10 minutes later, telling him what a good time I had. What I received was most unexpected. He said I didn’t seem like I was feeling him, but he’d had a good time and wished me well. DAFUQ? We texted most of the night until around 3:30 am, each of us explaining that we were really into the other and how the Hell could we have misinterpreted the signals? Looking back, that was the first clue leading to my ultimate, “Sarah, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?” We made plans to hang out again that Sunday, four days later. He comes to my house because it’s the day after my birthday and I am seriously hungover and don’t feel like going outisde. We watch television and he doesn’t even try to kiss me. Wait. Did he kiss me? I think he did. We make plans to hang out Wednesday. I get Norovirus. If you’ve never had it, you’re one lucky sonofabitch. It’s like having food poisoning plus the flu; everything is coming out of both ends, you have a fever, and you want to die. I was sweaty, smelled horrible, and was highly contagious. M showed up anyway to take care of me. He picked up my favorite Vietnamese food and brough it to me because noodles were the only thing I thought wouldn’t make a violent return. Days go by, I get better, he gets sick, but I am out of town visiting a friend. He waited until I was six hours away before telling me he was puking and shitting uncontrollably.

At this point, I’m thinking things are going pretty well overall. Then, about six weeks later, I tried to introduce him to a couple of my friends. We go to one of those “First Friday” art shows close to my neighborhood. He doesn’t like my first friend solely because she is 27. You read that correctly. He has a preconceived judgement that she is immature because he is 43 and thinks that anyone younger than 40 cannot be mature. Cool. My other friend, who is 25, shows up. Let the shit show begin. We look at some art, I get hungry, he gets super anxious in the crowds, and orders a beer. I don’t think anything because this seems normal, right? Nope. He’s an alcoholic. I do not know this. He mentioned at one point that he didn’t drink, but never expressed that when he starts, he cannot stop. He has three beers before we finish dinner. He orders no food. Three days later, I’m coaxing him out of his house to go to his parents’ where he can detox. I meet his parents for the first time at 11:30 pm on a Monday night. I spend every non-working hour in their house with M for the next four days. He proceeds to drink himself silly in their basement until Saturday, when he decides he should get help. His father and I drive him to an inpatient treatment facility, where he stays for three days. Little did I know that I would be doing my nursing school clinicals in that same facility, in the same unit, in four short weeks.

More to come…

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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.

Happy birthday

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Yesterday, I turned 31. It was shaping up to be one of the best birthdays on record: I woke up cuddling with Morgan in my bed, which was amazing. After our first date last week, he had set an alarm for midnight on my birthday so he could text me as soon as he woke up. When it went off, he said he didn’t know he’d be with me at midnight, and he wanted to make sure I knew he was thinking about me. Turns out he has the same thing about birthdays that I do. My back-up at work didn’t give me a bunch of shit when I sent her a text that I’d be 30 minutes late to work (I didn’t tell her why…). Clinic was great! I worked on my surgical paperwork in the morning. Kathleen took me to lunch at Noodles and Company. Erin called me at lunch and sang “Happy Birthday” to me, Marilyn Monroe style. The afternoon went super smooth and I accomplished a lot. My mom took me to dinner at one of my favorite places and I got a super awesome brownie from our waitress and I swear she was on the most awesome happy pills. She had a great tattoo of a mounted deer on her forearm… she was magical.

Then Matt happened. I’ve written about Matt before. He drinks a lot. A LOT. He tells me all of the time I’m so amazing and I’m so beautiful and I’m going to give in and marry him one day. Ugh… I love Matt like a brother, and there’s no way I’d marry my brother. Matt texted me at 5:00 am that he had a flat tire. I didn’t get said text until after 7:30 am (or was it 8:00?) when I was reluctantly rolling out of bed. Being his boss, I gave him some shit and told him that he better be there by 1:00. This isn’t the first time he has texted me with an insincere excuse for not coming in. I knew he had a date the night before, but come on. I had a date the night before that went quite well, and I still managed to drag my ass in to work on 4 hours of sleep (4 hours is probably generous). Turns out that he had a few drinks too many on his date and had a tiff with the lady he had been seeing for a few weeks. She left and he went on a 24 hour bender. I knew he had a drinking problem, but I had no idea how bad it was. Long story short, he made a lot of poor decisions then called me four times during dinner with my mom. I ignored most of them because I was still irritated by the obviously drunken text messages I had been receiving most of the day. I finally called him after my mom dropped me off at home. He was at a bar and wanted me to come hang out. I told him I’d take him home, but I wasn’t going to have a drink. His mom stopped me in the parking lot as I drove up. She and his father were driving his car home, which had the donut on but even the donut looked flat. They were super worried but thankful that I was there because they knew he would listen to me. This was the first time I met his parents. Apparently he talks about me a bit. I was able to drag him out of the bar within five minutes, but we ended up sitting in my car for almost an hour because he didn’t want to go home. I think he was embarrassed for me to find out he lived with his parents. After he told me what he’d been up to since his date the night before, which included lots of alcohol, driving and no sleep, I drove him home and we sat outside for a while. I mentioned it was my birthday, and his mother looked immediately mortified. I said it wasn’t a big deal, but she emerged from the house a few minutes later with a bracelet in hand. “I got it at an estate sale but I can’t wear it because it’s too small for my wrist.” She put the gold bracelet on me and wouldn’t let me give it back. Matt was irritated, but I thought it was sweet. She thanked me a ton and went back inside. Matt pulled out his phone and called his sponsor. After I got home, his mother texted me that she had taken him to an AA meeting and he was already on the road to recovery. I picked him up this morning and took him to work. After work, I accompanied him to another meeting. I told him I would take him every Wednesday as long as he wanted. He wasn’t happy about saying yes, but I think he’s glad that I offered to go with him. I guess I won’t be going to trivia for a while, but my friend is more important. It’s hard to see him go through such a difficult time, and I hope he’ll continue to accept my support.

The rest of my night was equally interesting. As I drove home from Matt’s house around 10:00 pm, 4 of my 5 nieces on my ex-husband’s side called me and sang “Happy Birthday.” Their ages are 14, 6, 4, and 2. It was ridiculously cute and I love them. Aury called me sometime after 11:00 pm. I’m still not really sure what he wanted. He asked how I was doing, to which I replied something like “I’m fantastic” or “I’m great,” because it’s true. I’m incredibly happy. There was a considerable amount of silence and he said “happy birthday.” I don’t know if he thought I’d have a change of heart because he remembered my birthday or what, but it had very little effect on me. I know he reads my writing and, for all I know, he could just be trying to make amends for being such a jerk. After meeting Morgan, I realize that I shouldn’t have to tell a person exactly what I need from the get-go. Not that he should know what I want all of the time, but we should be on the same wavelength a fair amount of the time. Morgan and I laugh. We laugh a lot. We tell each other stupid jokes and give each other shit constantly. It’s like I took every good part of all the men I’ve dated over the past two years and put them in one fellow. Except his grammar. His grammar is atrocious at times, but if he has to have a flaw that is one with which I can deal. I’ve known him approximately one and a half weeks and he has already introduced me to all of his friends and asked me to go on a double date with his best friend. He told me that I should keep my plans to move to Seattle in the spring, saying that I’ll always regret it if I don’t. He said if there’s anything worth coming back home for, it’ll be waiting for me when and if I return. I’m not sure if he was referring to himself, my family, my friends or all of the above, but it was exactly what I needed to hear. It seems like a whirlwind, but I feel like I finally have what I deserve. I have a great job. My family loves me. My friends are awesome. I met someone who actually gets me and I truly enjoy being around him. Whether it’s just for now or forever, I’m okay with either.

Last week, I felt afraid to just open up and be myself. These past few days, I’ve felt amazing. The doubt is still there, but has gone from a loud ROAR to a tiny mew. I don’t know what’s going to happen. And you know what? It feels GREAT!