Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Snowy Kisses and What If's

It was almost a year ago to the day that I sat in this same booth overlooking the river and the city waiting for his arrival.  I remembered which beer he liked and ordered it along with my drink.  Memories of last year flooded back quickly and how nervous I was then to finally meet the man I’d been talking to and texting for several weeks.   Our conversations were fun, meaningful and had just crossed over to flirty before our first date.  The excitement to meet each other grew because I had to postpone our first date a few times. Unfortunately, the chaos that was my life a year ago made it difficult for me to get away.  When I finally did, we had a great time, had a couple more fun dates, but not as much as he would have liked.  He wanted to spend more time together and he began to grow impatient.  It ultimately became the end of “us” last year.

His life moved forward and so did mine.  I witnessed his new relationship unfold and evolve on Facebook last year.  I felt some moments of sadness and regret seeing his life move forward with a cute divorcee.  As the months went on, my life improved drastically and I had a summer for the record books, happy and free.  I was caught up in a summer romance with a younger man I met and had a goofy grin planted on my face through most of the heat of the season.    My heart was light and I let go of any “what if’s” I accumulated. 

He and I had remained distant friends, and I was saddened to receive his call just before the holidays that his relationship had ended abruptly.   The woman he dated had a mean streak that she had kept under the surface and she lashed out at him, breaking his heart.  I was genuinely saddened for him and shocked that things ended so badly for them.

Tonight, as I sipped on my drink and waited for him, I wondered how this evening would go, would he try to rekindle our feelings or was I playing the part of compassionate friend?  I didn’t know what to expect but I did know I was excited to see him again.   We had a comfort and could be ourselves with each other from the moment we met and I looked forward to catching up with him.   I kept my expectations realistic and was just happy to catch up with him. 

He found me and greeted me like he always did, he said “hello pretty lady” as he swept his arms around me tightly.  He held me close, planted a kiss on my cheek and smiled knowingly at the cold Heineken waiting for him.   As he began to speak, there was a sadness in his dark eyes and he reached across the table holding my hands while fighting back tears.   He asked about my children, new job and we caught up on the past year.   My questions to him were careful, and he began to share his heartbreak with me. He went on to tell me about how his happiness suddenly unraveled and also how the relationship with his children had eroded beyond repair. 

He choked back tears as he spoke but the sadness was obvious in his eyes.  His hands gripped mine tightly as he confided in me that although he hadn’t made his final decision yet, he was probably moving back to his home country to be near his family.   I listened objectively and tried to persuade him to heal the broken relationship with his children.   Now, I was the one fighting back tears because this reminded me of my distant relationship with my father.   I pleaded with him to stay here and mend this brokenness.

I was honest and spoke candidly about his situation.  We both enjoyed the conversation although it was a difficult one, we could be authentic with each other.  The comfort that we felt was obvious and talking with him felt familiar and safe.   As the evening slipped away, we paid our check and left the restaurant.   The evening’s winter chill jolted us as we stepped outside and as if on cue, snowflakes began to lightly fall from the sky.   The trees were lit with white twinkly lights and the flakes of snow seemed to dance in the air as they fell.   He slipped his hand in mine as he guided me safely to my car.  

Once we found my car we lingered over our goodbyes.   I told him that I would miss him and that I hoped he found happiness.  Our eyes met as he grabbed my face and pulled it towards his own as his mouth found mine.   As our kiss ended, my tears began to fall softly down my cheeks.  My face was dotted with melting snowflakes and tears as I struggled to find the right words to encourage him to do whatever he felt was right.   He wiped away my tears and felt guilty for being the reason for them.  His arms held me tighter as I buried my face into his chest and vowed to myself to not cry anymore in front of him.   He planted a tender kiss on my forehead as I searched my pocket for my keys.

I left with a wave and a promise to let him know I made it home safely.   I chose a long route home to see more of the river and to think.   Inside the privacy of my car and the darkness, I started to cry again.   Crying and driving in silence, fortunately somehow my car seemed to navigate itself through downtown.    

As I crossed the bridge, I couldn’t help but think about how things could have been different and how unfair it all was.   I was sure that this man and I would have loved each other if we’d had the chance.  The timing of everything seemed so cruel, so unfair and although I tried, I couldn’t help but feel bitter about it.  Everything was so different a year ago and although we both had feelings for each other, we’d never know what could have been.  This heartbreak changed him and I know it will be a long time before he can be vulnerable again.

Like the time that passed, he was slipping through my fingers and there wasn’t a damned thing I can do about it.   Finding love can sometimes be like catching lightning in a bottle, you can have every possible variable in place, yet if the timing is off, it’s impossible to capture it.  It’s just past the tips of your fingers - no matter how far you stretch to reach for it.   Love can be as fragile and precious as a perfect snowflake but no matter how much you ache for its beauty to last, it just can’t.

Thank you for reading and I hope you find AND keep love.  Happy Valentine's Day!


The Single Mom

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Work, Naked Time and Flaming Bags of Dog Poop

I’m still looking for the license number of the semi-truck that mowed me over a couple of months ago.  Whew it truly feels like I’ve been run over because life has been chaotic, exhausting and I’ve missed having time to write and sort it all out.  I started a new job this fall and have been working in an office fulltime AND working my freelance marketing jobs.   My schedule has changed dramatically and I’ve been overwhelmed adjusting to it while trying to learn a new job and managing to keep everything going at home.  

It has kept me out of trouble (mostly) and it’s a job with physical activity, so it has taken me awhile to catch up, physically and mentally.  I wake up early to my freelance work so that I can be at my job at 9:00 am.   I’ve been so exhausted that I usually drop from fatigue shortly after coming home at night.  “Dating” or anything that resembles it has been mostly unrealistic these past couple of months. 

To be honest with you, I’ve been bitter that I have to work such long days to provide for my son while my ex doesn’t.   I also still have my teenage son every day and night, so having time to date and have private time (i.e. naked time) is unrealistic.  It’s all I can do most days just to get through and while the desire is there for a passionate kiss, arms around me, or a special “naked hug”, it’s not likely to happen. 

I have been talking to and even briefly seen a couple of men from my past, one of whom things started to seem like they may be working out (finally).   Things were going well, we were connecting, the passion was back and all was going well until it abruptly ended up like a flaming bag of dog poo on the doorstep.   Unfortunately, he abruptly lost his job and had to switch gears to focus on his job hunt… thus the flaming bag of dog poo.   You know, life can be like that: one minute you’re on the front porch bathed in moonlight, sharing a stolen kiss, and the next you’re stomping a flaming paper bag of dog poo.  Yup, I think we all can relate. 

On top of that, I’m not bitter or anything that my ex recently remarried or even has time to have more than an hour a month of “naked time”.  Nope, not bitter at all.   I’m also not bitter that said “naked time” isn’t stolen moments rushing between dropping off a child or having to cancel a date last minute to stay with a sick child… nope not even one lousy ounce of bitter, uh huh. 

I’m totally not bitter or cranky and not becoming resentful because I have to work myself to exhaustion while my ex gets to watch everything on Netflix three times over just because he’s bored… and let’s not even talk about “naked time” that I can’t have.  

I had an emotional meltdown a few weeks ago when I had to cancel two dates in a week because of mom responsibilities.   It really isn’t fair that all the responsibility to parent is on me but I’ve come to accept that it’s my reality now.   The bitterness and anger started to eat at my soul and I had to dig deep to realize that I had to start letting it go so for my own happiness.  There's no universal formula to deal with the aftermath of divorce because there are so many different situations and they can change drastically through the years.  

I can feel good that down the road, I’ll be close to my kids and my ex has squandered these years with them.  I tell myself there will be a lot of time for me to date in a few years, I just hope that I still want to and I still have my teeth -- or at least most of them when the time comes.   

As far as dating, it’s been a frustrating, ok sexually frustrating… there, I said it… situation lately.  The rub is that while we I was seeing the man this fall (Mr. bag of dog poop)  exclusively, we still weren’t quite ready to meet each other’s kids.   This would have made it a little easier to see each other, but our love was thwarted by the now obvious romance killer, ie the bag o’ poop.   

The current circumstances have put the kibosh on this relationship.   As far as me, I know my life is going to get easier and I’m grateful that things are falling into place.  In fact, I’m incredibly excited about the future but as always, ever on the lookout for the bags-of-you-know-what!

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!


The Single Mom