Covid19 Struggles at Home

I live close to one of the Covid19 epicenters, but not close enough that my kids understand why I’m panicked.

My wound opened up a couple weeks back after the surgeon tried to cauterize it again. I also think I’ve had a weight gain that’s causing pressure on the adhesions and it’s partially why it hurts and is oozing. Either way, I have open wound.

I wasn’t concerned before the announcements about the sports leagues and now all 3 kids with indefinite school closings. But, now I am. And my kids think I’m being irrational. The one who is giving me the hardest time is the one who always gives me a hard time.

The bottom line, I don’t want him hanging out with his friends at night at parties playing drinking games. He’s not especially careful, this one, and the kids are all coming home from various colleges. They all have parents and families with different levels of exposure. The smallest group is like 12-15 kids. He thinks I’m crazy and has made it quite clear I’m the only parent that’s crazy and irrational. I know my kid, he doesn’t wash his hands enough. He doesn’t think about the risks.

When I tried to speak to him it turned into a screaming match because(just like his father) he kept at me like a battering ram. I kept my voice low and moderated and explained why I was scared. I explained how the disease can travel quickly. I explained I was worried that I am always immunocompromised and I had an open wound.

His answers were:

I didn’t do that to you (my surgeries)

No one else parents are concerned

This is no different than me being in Canada for 4 days for Spring break (that was Monday – Thursday before I began to worry)

This is no different than me being at work (in a restaurant)

When I suggested he can do all the things he wanted but needed to live with his Dad in the meantime, I found out his Dad has his girlfriend there and my kids are not welcome. The Dad spoke to my son to tell my son to follow my rules until his girlfriend left and then he could stay there. As usual, my x’s priorities are himself.

My son told me he has “no where to go” if I make him leave. I told him he has only 1 more night to stay home then he can do whatever he wants because he can live with his Dad until this passes. His answer: I can’t live with my Dad his apartment is too small and it’s not my home. You’re crazy. You do this to me all the time. No one else is this crazy. This is my Spring Break.

Of course I’ve been crying since. Why am I being penalized that his father has not created a home for him? Why is it ok he can’t live with his Dad, but not ok to follow my house rules. Why is he so selfish and entitled that he simply does not understand how sick I was (this none didn’t live at home while I was sick so didn’t see it first hand, but he’s been home the last year).

I suppose it could be worse. He’s not a bad kid, just a self entitled little shit. His brothers are entirely different and can he trusted to stay safe and at home – though I have allowed them to visit one friend at a time whose parents I know well. Even then, it’s risky, but I watch them come in and wash hands and change while their brother doesn’t even wash his hands unless I stand there and make him.

The fathers answer to all of this: when I move into my mothers basement they will always have a place to go. Not helping with this problem and his mother is 86….so how would that solve the problem of our son coming and going recklessly? He’s no father, never has been, I just wish I learned how to accept that.

I can’t wait for the mandatory curfew to start so my child has some control over his movements. Even then I bet he thinks it’s dumb and he can still do what he wants. Cases are found in his college and the town next to us and he still says “no one we know has it so we won’t get it.” I’m if the belief we need to quarantines best as possible until this is resolving. Better safe than sorry.

Shallow Thoughts Could Derail Something Good

I’m a tiny bit worried about this week.

I met a Peloton guy on line. We were flirting in a shared Peloton group and it moved to text, then to phone. Holy cow do I like this guy. Uh oh. I know my triggers.

Jerry hit every single button, twice over. I probably can’t even list all the things I like about him without meeting him. We’ve spoken for hours on the phone and by text – which I already know isn’t good before meeting and I can’t help myself.

He’s all he good things I’m looking for. Let’s start with his voice. It hits me the way my x-husbands used to back when I married him, or Tony’s or Bobby’s….I have always had a thing for the right voice. He’s got a slight accent which I adore. He’s very tall. He has two older children. He’s single. He has a great job. He motivated to have a relationship and is ready emotionally. He is fitness minded. He has a good foundation and support system of family and friends. His communication is like mine.

We behaved like teenagers. We began speaking on Saturday evening and we spoke on the phone for 8 hours. Even I have never done that before (could also be because I fall in love with married men??!!) We didn’t get off the phone until 7am, right through the time change! I lost a whole night, slept for 3 hours before I got started that Sunday, and I still felt like I was walking on a cloud thinking of him.

We are very aligned on so many important things, including understanding each others love languages. I could write a long list but the bottom line is he is exactly everything I’ve been looking for. Believe me, there is a red flag and a big one, but I’m not going to write about it now because its the kind of red flag I’m just going to have to see for myself with time.

It feels so right.

Except.

Except I’m unsure I will be attracted to him and thats disappointing to me. The physical pull is so important for me when I meet someone – its the one thing I have not been able to surpass, except with Tony. I keep thinking its possible this could happen with Jerry, and maybe I’m overthinking it, but I’m literally trying not to get too attached to how much I like everything abut him so I’m not disappointed when I meet him.

I’ve seen his photos. There is something appealing about him, but mostly I’m not particularly attracted. There are some bad photos of him that make me very unattracted, so who knows how he appears in person. My closest (and most judgmental) friend said “he’s not ugly M.” No he’s not ugly.

I’m going to have a very selfish and immature moment here, because this should be my safe space and I’m always honest here. I’m a very attractive woman for my age. Now I am also very fit and active. I bring a lot to the table and I (now) know my worth. Why is it I can’t get a guy of equal physical qualities? I want an attractive guy. I want the type of guy that my friends would compliment with a “he’s cute.” I don’t want to be the girl on someones arm and people comment the guy has a girl better looking than he is. This really bothers me. I realize this is entirely superficial, but it has stopped me from moving forward with a “nice guy” multiple times.

When dating Tony, I recall him looking down at me during sex with this completely euphoric expression, like, “I can’t believe I get to do this with you,” and I understand that “dating down” in terms of attractiveness can be a confidence boost in its own right. On the other hand, while I’m drawn to more attractive people, I’m just intimidated by the idea of dating someone hotter than me. So I don’t want to date someone too hot, just someone as equally attractive as I am, I don’t want to date down.

I am very open to meeting Jerry and trying to quiet this superficial side of my mind. I can see being his friend and confidant, and I love this. Our connection is strong emotionally, now I just have to conquer the physical part. I look at photos of Tony today and I don’t find him any more or less physically appealing than when I first saw his photo, but I am drawn to him, despite the fact he’s not super attractive. My hope is that this somehow happens with Jerry and we can explore the connection that we have.

Personally, the person I had the most deep, chemical attraction wasn’t conventionally handsome. The attraction felt almost indefinable, relying on everything from his looks and style to his mind and profession, to the smell of his skin and the sound of his voice. Deep attraction is, of course, a multisensory experience. But, as un-shallow as I have congratulated myself for being with Tony, I will admit that its mostly someone’s looks which overwhelm any need for a deeper compatibility at the start.

In the meantime, we have agreed to meet as friends with zero expectations. He is coming here to my city so he can go into the studio with me to run with my favorite instructors before the old studio closes and the new one opens. Jerry doesn’t live in my area, it would be a long distance relationship which I am very open to. He will come in Wednesday evening and depart Friday after class. We spoke about it and it is easiest for me to stay with him if I take the early morning classes – so he got a hotel room with two queen beds. I will meet him Wednesday afternoon and then have dinner plans with a friend and will come back to the hotel. We will run together with my other friends on both Thursday and Friday. We have brunch plans with mutual friends both days, and we will spend time together alone on Thursday afternoon and evening.

I am comfortable spending the time with him as a friend should the physical connection not be there. We’ve spoken about it and its clear there are no expectations.

Of course I know this is all risky, but we are both willing to give this a shot. The connection is unusual – when I met South Dakota, it was an instant physical connection, but ultimately we didn’t have anything in common and as the night went by, I could see him becoming less appealing. I wanted to pursue it further, but that didn’t happen so who knows. This type of emotional connection hasn’t happened since Mike and John and thats almost a year ago at this point. Clearly, there is no obvious reason for when and why I am physically or emotionally attracted to someone. I wasn’t particularly physically attracted to Dan and we ended up with some great dates, a mini vacation and some fabulous sex. I am struggling with this one and overthinking it for sure.

For once, I want my heart, brain and twat to fucking agree.

He’s Trolling Again

I had posted a while back that I had noticed Tony on my IG. I blocked him, blocked the two alternate names he was using and let it stay that way a bit. Then I unblocked him and it started again. That last time I sent a burner text to ask why he would be doing it. He stopped for a while and when I saw him pop in I just blocked him again, until I saw yet another random name trolling.

I blocked that name as well and today his name popped back up. Same situation as last time, I block the troll and the very next day his name appears.

I don’t have any specific feeling, or at least a desire or longing for him. Seeing his name did cause me to check Facebook and twitter where I noticed he’s unblocked me as well. It does generate curiosity. Is it him peeking in or his wife? Are the troll names created because he’s THAT curious or because the wife knows it could illicit a response from me (it won’t this time). I mean this might be the 4th troll name at this point and it seems excessive he would want to troll me that much. It FEELS more like something a woman would do. After all, he kept me blocked for over a year. If he wanted to communicate with me he knows how to do it’s not that.

I’m not going to do anything about it and I’m not dwelling on it. This post is the extent of my thoughts on it but I am spending these few minutes wondering why. Sometimes I would like to think he’s doing it to be sure I’m ok, or maybe I’ve got a boyfriend. Sometimes I think he might miss me. Sometimes I don’t know and don’t care. The bottom line is that man will always be in my heart and I doubt it ever goes away.

Rather than question how I feel, because its really not the point of this post – what are your thoughts on why he would be back on my IG feed every day? Now that I deleted his roll name, he’s back under his own name so I know it’s him and he knows I know its him. Let me reinforce, it’s really not bothering, its just curiosity.

He’s A Nice Guy (Pt 2)

Thursday rolls around and Scott made arrangements at a hotel close to my home and said he would be here around 5pm. He was done with his local work early and ended up arriving around 2pm and I was nowhere near ready. I had that moment of panic that he would perceive me as disinterested but then got a grip and, instead of dropping everything I needed to do for myself, which included my workout, I didn’t and just let him know I would be ready after 5pm as planned. He wasn’t phased at all and told me to take my time, that my workout was important.

I also knew I didn’t have to go overboard with getting dressed for him, and I could just clean up nicely and we would be fine. I have seen a change in how I handle preparing for dates and don’t find myself really going over the top to impress anymore like I once did. In one way this is a relief, but in another sort of sad that I don’t get excited like that anymore. I suppose my sexy outfits and shoes will eventually be for one man who is going to really appreciate the effort I’ve gone to look good.

We met in the lobby and went to his room, once again with no pressure to have sex. We both admitted to being hungry so decided we should wait before getting messy. We also decided we would just eat in the hotel restaurant (which is quite nice, actually). Another pleasant and easy evening ensued. Conversation flows easily, but I still can’t put my finger on what I don’t like about Scott – but there is SOMETHING. Not enough to stop me in my tracks, but it’s there. Its making me a little nuts to ty and figure it out and, perhaps, inhibiting some of my more natural behavior.

Divorced for several years, two older children in college, a steady government job, a home and car. He’s stable and emotionally available. One longer relationship with a married woman so he understands what I went through pretty intimately which was unusual. We like a lot of the same things, we think along the same lines in how we approach things and there is no tension between us at all. We laugh together, but he’s not exactly funny -we just find humor in similar things and I am funny so he laughs at me.

But, for me, there is no excitement. I do miss that.

When we went back to the room we had another fun evening and we did a lot of talking to get to know one another. He makes it clear he is interested in me. He said I don’t know how to take a compliment (is that true? maybe. I am also uncomfortable with a lot of compliments coming from someone when I don’t know how I feel about them). I stayed over and needed to leave early to go for a workout, which again, he encouraged and was impressed that I was committed to my Peloton.

I would like to say he is a consistent communicator, but I haven’t gotten his pattern down yet. He prefers text to talk, which is unusual for a man. He asks a lot of non-text-appropriate questions (like “why are you single”) that shouldn’t be answered in text and require face to face or at least a phone conversation, which I say clearly I won’t engage in text and then he agrees (almost like it’s a test of what I will and won’t answer? I don’t know).

And then, the most confusing part to me – all the words are right. So many remind me of Tony. I have been dying to hear some of this and now its falling flat. But, why? Because its not Tony or because Scott isn’t the “one” they should be coming from? Or am I just smarter and know to keep things at a slower pace? I have this distinct feeling they are disingenuine, but then I think “how could that be” when its so new and its so consistent?

Here’s a snippet of his text to me:

I haven’t stopped thinking about your eyes. Your smile. Your laugh. Your beautiful body. I can’t wait to see you.

(sends a photo of dog on his lap and I reply “that looks comfy”) I’d prefer to have this absolutely stunning and breathtaking women I just met in that spot.

I know I want to hold her. Caress her gorgeous neck. Run my fingers over that sexy collarbone. Kiss her sensual lips. See the pure radiance of her smile. Be in her presence. Being around her makes your mind go blank.

I’m keeping a list of all your favorites (and he names them all…)

I may have spent a minute or ten telling my daughter about this super awesome lady I just met. Told her I would like to figure out how to snag her….yep, I said it. I will own it.

I’m going to need to work at Lowe’s part time (to buy me the things that bring me joy because his government job is low income)

You showed up and I was speechless….you look just like your photos but so much better in person and with such an amazing personality to match. I think you are the most amazing person.

So I should be thrilled, right? I’ve been waiting for this, right? Then why not? He’s so sweet, he’s so nice. Why don’t I want this nice guy? Why aren’t I more excited?

For sure one of my blocks is his income. It feels way to close to my marriage where the disparity will ultimately create issues. But, I don’t know this man and that’s putting a lot of my history onto him or a future with him which is unfair, but I think that’s a solid roadblock for me. I have a sense of luxury that I don’t want to give up -even being unemployed I don’t think I can make such a significant change in income and actually end up being happy (or grateful) about it. I think I’m already spoiled to some extent (which I’ve done to myself). If I am being practical the bottom line is that his current salary cannot afford the lifestyle I am used to and will keep me working until the end of my life. I don’t want that, I already know that. Is that an unfair thought, sure. But it’s the truth. My expectation was that somehow and somewhere someone would be taking care of me, not the other way around. Disparity in income and lack of ambition are some of the reasons I got divorced, this feels close to that – but I also shouldn’t assume just because he chose to stay in a government role that he’s not ambitious, should I?

He may also have a false sense of confidence. This is a total shot in the dark – his confidence could be real, I don’t know, but my instinct is that he’s a bit full of bravado. He doesn’t particularly beat his chest or something so obvious, but there are small indicators of how he thinks he’s “cool” and I tend to think people who really are, don’t need to speak about it. I don’t think I’ve hear him say anything self-deprecating…and this is usually my signal that the man is self-aware and has a sense of humility.

So, I’m at a loss. I don’t think I should cut him loose, but I can’t draw him closer either. Eventually things will work their way out I think and I will figure out whats at the bottom of it.

My friends are beginning to question my decisions with men. Most think I should settle for a nice man willing to care for me. A man who I would be a prize for. Yea, I get the idea, but I need my own prize and “nice” doesn’t do it. That aggression that goes with ambition is attractive to me, and those men are not a dime a dozen but have women who are. They also match and go off the market really quickly. Is it wrong to expect a man of similar caliber? If I find an unattractive man, but he has every other quality I’m looking for – why am I still dissatisfied? (This is what my friends keep saying to me – I’m shooting too high and have to drop the looks piece). So far, I have been unable to cross this hurdle – the physical attraction is a strong pull for me that I can’t seem to surpass.

I have taken a look at my requirements again, and they remain the same and I do realize that my formula may be broken, but despite trying to go our of my comfort zone, I can’t seem to be attracted to a man who doesn’t hit all of these:

  1. Handsome / Attractive to me (which includes height and weight)
  2. Ambition
  3. Physically fit (this is actually much less of an issue anymore, most divorced men are)
  4. Funny and fun
  5. Financially well off – likes a little bit of bougie and doesn’t get upset with mine
  6. White collar
  7. Father
  8. Divorced (or separated living apart of some time)
  9. Great communicator; understand words of affirmation as a love language
  10. Good sexual chemistry

How many of these are total deal breakers and not just desires? So far, it seems without 8/10 it becomes a deal breaker. The list used to be like 22 things, so this is a major improvement! But, even here, my friends think I should be focused on a nice man, and let some of the other things go (all their “nice men” are well off, intelligent and kind – and not good looking).

I’m at a loss lately and I feel like a spoiled brat, but I haven’t figured out what I can give up or even that I should give any of it up. Dan and Tony hit 9/10. Bobby to 8/10. Only Mike hit 10/10 and he wasn’t interested enough in me for unknown reasons. I still daydream about Mike and wonder why not me? I suppose he’s my unicorn.

If I’m not attracted to someone, how do you overcome this if they meet a bunch of other great criteria? Even the dating service I went to debated this with me – saying most women wanted a nice man and were not so worried about a mans looks. I don’t know how you have enough chemistry with someone you are not attracted to -to then go on and have decent sex? If Im not attracted enough to want to kiss them, how does the rest follow?

Ugh.

He’s A Nice Guy (Pt 1)

I was thrilled to have an exploratory interview last week and when I’m not feeling like I will jinx myself, I will write a post about it. It was sort of like talking to adults again for the first time in months! I felt my brain turn on, the adrenal rush my best skills coming out to play.

The interview was early afternoon and I had time to kill between the interview and meeting a friend for dinner. I had been talking to a match for a day or so on Bumble and had mentioned the break. He offered coffee post the interview and I accepted.

Right away there was a good connection. Scott was very responsive in text and conversation flowed easily. I was looking forward to meeting him, and attempting not to focus on his looks. His photos were cute, but not especially my type. I’m trying here.

Meeting him in person was pretty much aligned with what I had thought about the photos, good-looking but just not my type. The bigger disappointment was height as he indicated 6′ and if he was even 5’11” thats being generous. I HATE when guys lie about height. It is such a turn off to me. I was determined not to let the height thing get in the way of getting to know him. But, this shit sticks with you.

We had a nice date and sent a couple hours together before I needed to meet my friend. I thought he was kind, funny, interesting and fun to be with. There was an undercurrent of something I didn’t like and I still haven’t figured out what it was exactly. There were NO obvious red flags which was refreshing. When we left the bar we were at, he walked me to the restaurant to meet my friend. He pulled me in for a nice kiss and we were totally in sync. It didn’t send chills down my spine but it was a good kiss. Ever since Douchebag Jim I realize the importance of a good kiss even more acutely. Jim’s crappy kisses that one date really stuck with me more so than some others. He held my hand on the way to restaurant. I was comfortable.

While I was with my friend he sent a few follow up text to say he was thinking of me and couldn’t wait to see me again. At that moment my friend was telling me how jet-lagged she was and she wanted to cut the evening short. When I told Scott, he asked if I would come to see him (same city, different borough) and my (silly but sassy) answer was “I don’t cross bridges!” He immediately offered to come get me for our second date.

Before he arrived he had done some research on bars in the area and had a fe options. We walked hand and hand to check them out and decided together they didn’t have the right atmosphere for one reason or the other. We landed up finding a New Orleans style bar that was ideal, and it turns out we were out on Fat Tuesday, so the bar had a New Orleans style Second Line band (think mini- marching band!) We settled next to one another into a bench seat facing into the bar. The manager was friendly and kept giving us free Hurricane shots (after 1 I was done and he drank the rest). The music was fabulous and I found myself just sort of falling back into his embrace as we watched them play. We both had massive grins plastered to our faces, between the kisses and the music the night was really nothing short of great fun. It will be a night to remember because of the easy spontaneity.

Of course, now that the night is late and we have been drinking, he is asking me to come back with and I agree. He is very clear there is zero expectation of me, just that he doesn’t want the night to end. As we know, this is the prescribed line at this point in the evening, and I expected it. Unusually, I believed him. There was nothing in his behavior to suggest he would push me.

And he didn’t. Not once. Nothing inappropriate. He made sure I had water on my side of the bed. He wrapped his arms around me gently. Yes, we made out (a lot) and yes we were mostly undressed. He asked if his hands could wander. He asked if I felt comfortable. He didn’t cross any lines I wasn’t allowing him to cross. And then, I wanted sex, so that happened. Again and again until we fell asleep. Sex was good and he knows how to use what he’s got. He is intent on providing pleasure and looking for my cues. We fell asleep entangled and woke up and did it all over again. We were both very comfortable with the other and he was in no rush for me to leave.

The most notable thing to happen during ht evening was a surprise I still haven’t quite processed. As we were fooling around, but before sex, I mentioned my surgeries and scars. Without missing a beat, he lifted my shirt to look at my belly! I was so startled I didn’t know what to think. Before I had a chance to process (anger was the first immediate thought) he said “who cares, you’re gorgeous, your body is gorgeous and everything about you is beautiful.” And, I believe, he meant it because it was so matter-of-fact. But still, I was so caught off guard and just didn’t know what to make of his bold move. We moved into sex after that so I didn’t dwell on it. I didn’t remark on it again until the morning when I said I couldn’t believe he did it. He told me I was nuts to even let it cross my mind and said he wanted to hear the story when I was ready to tell it. The reaction of the men I have had sex with is exactly what Dan told me months ago, no one would care. It’s me, I care, it bothers me. The trick is trying to get over not letting it distract me and Scott removed the distraction immediately.

We walked to coffee together and he saw me to my car. Before I left he was making plans for our next date. He works between two major cities and his home is in the other city, but he stays in one place for a few weeks at a time. I didn’t ask when he would be back again, but I know he is here all the time. He offered to get a hotel close to my home so he could see me the next evening (as his company is paying for a hotel anyway) and I agreed. I suppose that would make it date 3.

The thing is, I don’t know how I feel. I don’t have a good reason not to be into him other than, perhaps, his looks. He isn’t unattractive, he just doesn’t “do it” for me, at least not yet. He’s a nice guy, so whats my issue?

He is interested, I like him, so I agree to the Thursday date. If he could go to the trouble to work from my area and make sure he saw me before he left the city, it was a good sign.

Is Sobriety a DealBreaker?

I’m just going to say, before you read this post, I really struggled getting these thoughts out of my head and onto the page. This post may not actually make a lot of sense, but its on my mind and I did my best to articulate what I’ve been thinking.

During this most recent dating spree, I am finding more sober men than ever before. I have been so curious about this! It certainly wasn’t this obvious even a year ago, and suddenly it seems like 6 out of 10 men are sober.

At first I thought its because of the health craze sweeping our world. Everyone wants to have some form of healthy identity and the two most identifiable life choices are plant-based diets and the health benefits of no alcohol. However, for me at least, health as a life choice hasn’t been the defining reason the man has become sober. The men I have met are all recovering addicts. Maybe they have taken that to the next level and also become super health conscious as well, but the primary reason for sobriety has been addiction recovery.

Out of curiosity, I have done some reading of late around addiction recovery. Part of it was driven by the fact that I continue to encounter men in recovery and should learn more about it, part of it was wondering if all men in recovery have a sort of “strange quirkiness” I can’t quite put my finger on, and part of it is because a friend of mine spoke about people she is close to in recovery in an entirely different way than I had experienced.

My experience, while limited, has never been positive. Any man I know in recovery has some weird quirk to them (and these are all different, but all equally off-putting). One man was so self-absorbed in his sober journey he was unable to create normal relationships around him. Another spoke about the program on rotation, and related everything back to the program. Another seems to have replaced his alcohol addiction with an exercise addiction. Yet another wasn’t actually recovered at all and had to keep going back to the program. What is quirky about any of these men? Nothing I can put in writing, but there was “something” unidentifiable that was evident in each of them.

I suppose I could relate on some level, their addiction journey to my trauma. Has my trauma defined my life? Drew a line through it definitively at one point and changed me forever? Yes. Yes it has. Is recovery something like that? I think so. So, I do believe I have a slight understanding how something can alter the course of your life forever and create a new path forward, one you must stay on for a multitude of reasons – there’s no going back. And then, how that life altering experience generates an entirely different outlook on life.

So, based on the above, if I can somewhat relate to a transformative journey, why do I feel something so very different with a recovering alcoholic? Is it simply a reflection of how I feel? I like to drink and catch a buzz and shit does get funnier with me when I do- am I passing judgment on them that it can’t possibly be as fun for them? (In truth, it never feels as fun with them). Drinking and socializing around drinking is a real thing. So, ok, if I were to date you there may be less of that – I think I could live with that since I’m getting older anyway and its not a bad lifestyle choice to reduce alcohol consumption.

But thats hardly it. It just starts there. And the rest I can’t even put into writing. I simply cannot explain the weirdness I have met with the sober men.

I went on date Saturday night with a man named Tim. There’s not much to write about the date itself, but he is the reason for this post as he is sober. 10 years recovering. For the first time, I met someone who was recovering that was actually funny! Maybe not belly laugh funny right away, but he had a good sense of humor and kept thing light and interesting. That was nice change. We were not a match for a few different reasons, but I was unsure (in his case) how much of that was down to sobriety. Tim was sort of attractive, tall, well-employed, interested and interesting. Started off pretty good. He asked a lot of questions. We were aligned on how trauma can help make you realize how good it feels to help others through their own personal traumas and most times is even good therapy for yourself. He looked pretty haggard as many do when they come out of years of alcoholism, but that wasn’t really bothering me as much as I just noticed it. His body language was off, he had a hard time determining what to do with his hands and body – and later said it was because I was so physically distracting. He was polite. Not a whole lot wrong on the surface, but my red flags were that he was going through his second divorce and had a strange living situation with the soon-to-be-x. Both his wives cheated on him and he didn’t really know why. He was very direct and transparent about anything we spoke about, and often got lost in his story before he realize the might have gone to far for a first date. Some of these things could have been pushed to the side and perhaps explored further in a second date, but I couldn’t get past a feeling of discomfort with his for no apparent reason. He had a weirdness to him I could’t identify.

He asked me out again at the end of the date and I said I would like to think it over. And I did think abut it, almost thinking I should go on a second date to explore what was off-putting a bit further. Ultimately, I wrote to him this morning to say I just didn’t think we were the right match and he wrote a great reply back:

Hi M: Thanks for your candor and kindness. I too agree with your assessment, though I will confess that part f my distractedness (you’re a great body language reader) was imagining us in an intimate situation. You’re stunningly attractive. Stay Well.

Normally I don’t reply to a follow-up text but in this case I did and we have agreed to stay in touch and he subsequently offered help with my job search as he is a sales coach. He is kind and generous but there were things about him I couldn’t put my finger on and I decided to listen to my gut for once.

Ultimately, Tim is the reason I began to debate with myself if sobriety is an actual deal breaker for me or no? I don’t have the answer to that except I wouldn’t eliminate someone based on sobriety as I had done in the past.

A close friend debated this angle with me for some time as her close experience with sobriety is that people who go through the program become much more selfless and are concerned more about the care of others than they are for themselves. A man who worked the program successfully would be a kind, caring and attentive partner. This friend also knew Tim though work channels and thought he was a really nice guy.

Which brought up a whole host of other questions from her as well as other friends: why can’t a nice man be enough for me?

Well, that’s the question of the century now isn’t it?

Just as a side note: in my reading I came across this article n the NYT. I thought its funny how people equate the drinking to being fun and the activities offered at some bars that might give you the high of a buzz without the alcohol. While all of this sounds fun, it totally misses the point of MY reflection on sobriety. Of course I can do all these things without alcohol and have a shit ton of fun, and really hope anyone I am with can do the same without alcohol. It feels like two totally separate things to me – going out to socialize with alcohol and sometimes what that brings, and going out to socialize if you didn’t have alcohol. I don’t feel the need to replace the buzz of alcohol with high intensity activities at a bar when I am out – I would happily participate because they are fun activities and I would get a rush from the fun. For me it simply goes back to “are you fun or not?” If you are, you can get a high from fun without drugs and alcohol, but it doesn’t mean you don’t ALSO (perhaps) want the high from substances.

I read the article and fund it interesting.

Politics

Has this become the most taboo subject of our generation?

Dating sites are filled with political affiliations now. If you’re this or that, swipe the other way! If your opinion is different than mine, you must be dumb or inept or perhaps both!

Being mostly a conservative in a liberal city isn’t easy. There’s a reverse form of discrimination that happens. Basically it means you may not have any conservative opinions without being looked down upon. I generally stay away from any discussion about politics because I am a minority where I live. Which is also fine, I don’t really care to discuss it anyway.

What I don’t like is someone judging me because my beliefs may be different than theirs. I have a lot of beliefs and they don’t all fall into one “name tag” of political affiliation. I am not definitively right or left as a whole. This causes a lot of judgement on both sides of the political fence. I also believe, I can have different beliefs that do not affect personal relationships – or at least that’s my opinion. I think it’s sad to watch how polarized people become when they find out you are not firmly planted on “their side”.

My tactic, therefore, is avoidance. But it doesn’t always work that way.

I was at lunch the other day with friends I’ve know for some time. There was one new friend at the table. Politics came up about the recent debates and We had some general(and amicable) discussions which we all agreed upon. Soon after I walked away and later found out one friend turned to the new friend and said “you know Madeline is a xx (not their affiliation)”. She was delivering a very negative message in an unkind way, trying generate some kind of negativity towards me. The new friend basically said “all are welcome and I love M”.

I was upset when the other friend confided this to me. Why would one friend feel the need to tell the new friend my political beliefs with a negative connotation? To make matters worse, she was wrong. But now I question if I can trust this friend of mine. I know she is pigeon-holeing me as a conservative but she’s wrong. I’ve corrected her on more than one occasion but she’s stubborn in her view. To note, this friend and I get along REALLY well other than this one discussion – so I avoid it at all costs around her. But this little dig caught me off guard.

I think there’s so much wrong with American Politics right now, but my opinion on what should or can be done is probably different than someone else’s. The thing is, it doesn’t matter much to me what your affiliation is as long as you don’t judge mine. But I see this isn’t the case for everyone and I hope it doesn’t cost me a friendship.

I questioned the friend with the comment and she told an different story. She said she was trying to steer the conversations away from negativity. This doesn’t make sense in the context of the group and I don’t believe her. But I let it drop by reminding her what she said was incorrect. She agreed she misunderstood my stance.

I like my friend so much I have considered just agreeing with her. Nodding my head to her rhetoric and telling her I feel the same, just to keep the peace. But is it really a true friendship if you have to do so?

I’m not posting to press my agenda or hear another. I’m simply sad about what my friend did because it feels like it came from a place of ill intent.

Losing Hope

It’s very hard to stay positive and motivated. I often feel anxious, sad and desperate.

I’ve been out of work and out of relationship too long. While I do some activity to stay healthy, I’ve started eating poorly again and can feel how that’s affecting my body. I’ve started craving carbs again. I got on the scale and have hit a heavy weight I didn’t think I would see again. I promised my self after all I’ve been through that I wasn’t going to let more than 10 pounds go – so that means I’m shutting down any bad eating habits this week. I had to gain weight after the fistula but I should have stopped and watched what I was doing. I mistakenly assumed with all the exercise I wouldn’t gain but that’s not the case.

I’m in one of two places: busy or desolate. On the busy days, I can’t even handle too many things at once. When my day gets too full I feel pressure. I don’t know if this is simply a side effect of being out of work so long or an actual change in ability to perform. Busy days now don’t even compare to what my traditional busy days were like. I get tired so much faster. If I go out with friends at night I need a full day to recuperate.

I’m afraid to do my bills and look at my debt. I’ve been unable to get a handle on it. I am actively avoiding trying to do something about it.

The thought of a backup plan is a reality now and I don’t have one. I just assumed I would be able to get a job like I always have. Any job. But there are none. No adjacencies, no lower paying roles, just nothing available to me. I should try harder but I’m blocked here as well. I’m letting my life slip away from me.

The rejection from dating combined with being out of work can be debilitating but my internal pressure to find a partner, even short term, is as desperate a feeling as finding a job. I keep thinking if I can at least have one stable thing to look forward to each day a partner would be a welcome change. But that’s not happening either.

I don’t speak to people about how I feel. How can they help me anyway? I feel like a burden again and I don’t want to be that. So many people just don’t understand depression and I can’t manage hearing “you’ll get through this” or “you will find a job, you always do” anymore. I just can’t. I know the only way through this is to help myself but I’m genuinely stuck trying to figure out how to move forward. The feeling of being disconnected from everyone and everything is very strong. My sister barely communicates with me and I attribute that to the comment I made to her last September that was unkind. Some days I want to ask her what’s up but most days I don’t really want to hear what she might have to say. If she really cared she wouldn’t be holding one comment against me for going on 6 months. And she would reach out more often. I am always the one asking to see her and reaching out and I’m tired of it. My best friend is the same thing. I am always reaching out and asking to see her and she is always preoccupied. I can’t help but wonder if I’ve alienated them or it’s actually just that they are genuinely busy with life. I remember how everyone told me how important I was after Mexico was over and how I should never do that again – that people love me and care for me. If they do, if those words were true – wouldn’t they be trying harder after realizing how I felt back then? That I was struggling with being alone and being a failure? I know you can’t force people into relationship but I’m getting to a point where I’m feeling like I am the problem. There’s something with me or about me that makes people not want to be in relationship with me. It’s very hard not to feel this way and I acknowledge I’m having pity for myself which is unhealthy, but it’s very hard to escape. I am back to feeling like I am not anyone’s #1 and it’s horrible. My entire life I’ve spent just wanting to be “that one” to someone, anyone. I didn’t get it from my parents or my x. I don’t get it from my children. For me this is a very deep-seated emotional need. While I have found many ways to feed my own self-love, I haven’t found any way to fill the bucket enough to feel fulfilled.

Therapy would be great but I don’t have the money. I think working would actually be better therapy for me than anything. Exercise this past 2 weeks is tough because I have some hip problem which I’m hoping isn’t arthritis. We ruled our nerve damage but now probably need more X-rays or MRI’s on the hip. I’m still exercising but I need more to work out some of this cray.

Are All The Single Men Named John?

I had yet another date with a John. This will count as John #5!

Short post because there is not much to share.

We met on line, he seemed to have all my basic criteria, though I questioned his size. I really don’t like slight men. Too skinny is a turn off for me no matter how muscular they may be. Again, trying to get out of my comfort zone here.

I knew right away there was little laughter to be found. He was interesting, but boring.

My friends tell me I’m just expecting too much, so I persevere.

He is an anesthesiologist from the city, but lives close to my home. Older children, 57 years old, supposedly 6′, and likes yoga. Very smart and well-educated. That already sounds boring, right? Good family and friend base.

We met locally for drinks and he stood to say hello so thats when I knew he wasn’t 6′ as I was wearing flat boots. He looked really cute in his photos but the angles of the photos did a really good job of hiding his balding. I’m not opposed to men losing their hair, but when you try to hold on to it for dear life and are well past the point it looks good, just shave it all for goodness sakes. It was weird looking. He also had on glasses (none in the photos) so it took a minute to see his handsome face behind the heavy set glasses. He wasn’t overall bad looking, just mousey looking. He already looked dull. And maybe the smallest hands I’ve seen yet. He sort of reminded me of a librarian.

I sat and he didn’t ask if I wanted a drink, so I flagged the bartender on my own. He then also ordered a glass of wine for himself. Some of my friends say this is down to nervousness, but I say its just someone who isn’t really interested or paying attention. Conversation was stilted and it came to light he’s only been separated out of the house for like 3 months and I was one of his few dates. I didn’t drink much but felt like I did because I was babbling. Couldn’t seem to get the conversation flowing in any way. Neither of us was interested in the other and it was pretty apparent an hour in. There was zero chemistry.

We had our drinks, walked outside and said goodnight, no kiss or hug and no promise of speaking later.

I did get a text from him about 3 days later saying “we are not a match” (I use the same words!) to which I replied with appreciation and we wished each other the best of luck. See! How hard is it for adult to act like adults?

All Kinds of Attraction

*Somehow the original was deleted and I’m too tired to go back and write the entire thing….so this was left in my drafts but I can’t find the original anymore. This date would have been the first in the non-drinker series and happened about a month ago*

So my first “non-drinker” date was John (John3). There are actually a bunch of things about John that would lead me to knock him off my list, but I didn’t in the hopes to expand my dating preferences.

This hasn’t workred before but I am truly attempting to be tmore open minded to what the Universe sends my way.

John is 6’, bald and interesting looking. He wanted to move off the app and into text quickly. Through text I found he had 5 children ages 7-17, is not yet divorced but has been separated for 6 months and living apart, was a naval officer and is a practicing LDS. He’s moved around quite a bit and all his children were born in different states or countries. His wife asked for the divorce but he claims he wanted to work it out and she was unwilling. He lives quite close. He has a very interesting job in cyber security and it seems quite stable and lucrative. There was no crazy reason not to meet though there were a few flags in there I was aware of.

Setting up the date took a few left turns. When we were due to meet he cancelled at the last moment but quickly asked to reschedule. Specifically for a day and time I had already told him I was unavailable. The thought crossed my mind that he wasn’t paying attention. He asked for a coffee date on a Sunday, another day and time I told him I wasn’t available. I was sensing a theme. He seemed eager to meet me.

Turns out, my Sunday plans cancelled and I let him know I could meet. Again, setting the time felt like deja vu because I had already given a window of availability. He suggested lunch and we meet at a local bar/restaurant of my choosing. I knew he was working around his kids and making the time for me, but it didn’t feel right for some reason. I ignored these few things. I ignored them because I wasn’t overly interested in him, more curious.

I arrived first and ordered a glass of wine. When he arrived there I noticed a few things (again, I didn’t place a lot of value on these things individually). He slumped forward onto the bar, arms folded. Poor posture is a real turn off. He grabbed my hand and rubbed it quite quickly. This turned into a hand in my leg. He couldn’t carry the conversation unless I presented the topic. He stared at me (uncomfortably so). And then, I felt it.

Attraction.

Slight, not glaring. I was attracted to him physically. Once I recognized the feeling I started looking for signs. What was it? His eyes, lips, mouth, nose, voice? What? Unidentifiable. Smallish hands made me think small cock. Not the best dressed. Still leaned over the bar. Hasn’t asked me to eat lunch yet. Hasn’t asked me one relevant question. But, it was there. Animal attraction.

So here’s something I’ve learned about myself. My sexuality comes off like a fucking homing beacon. I don’t know why or how but it happens almost every single time. And once my brain senses the chemical attraction I must be like a skunk that sprays its scent and it’s unmistakable. This is awesome when I’m super attracted to someone. Not so awesome when they are less appealing because it reels them in faster than I’m ready. I can tell the difference between someone who is truly interested in me AND sexually attracted to me now and John was giving off sex only vibes despite his few words to the contrary.

Two things happens that could have led to different paths.

The first was when I asked about the breakdown of his marriage. He really played this off as a sexless marriage. He made some speech about sexless being that they only had sex a couple times a month! Wow. He doesn’t even know the meaning of sexless marriage. When I asked him if he ever cheated because of a “sexless marriage” his answer was vague at best. He had a 2 year “emotional affair,” according to him. As it turns out that affair “crossed the line” multiple times – but to limit wasn’t really anymore than an emotional affair. He found may ways to explain off what he had done. He also didn’t seem to want to end his marriage while she did and he blamed that other inability to work through their issues in therapy.

Gee, I wonder why? You think she saw a cheater when he didn’t even admit to cheating? He reminded me of my x in that respect. I was disgusted by this, but not enough to end the date.

The second thing was he wanted to talk about sex and his prowess. This is a sure-fire way to know a man is only interested in sex, they literally can’t help themselves. I also know, as it seems to have been proven, most men who need to talk about it are actually not the best in bed. It’s more bravado and self-affirmation than skill. To have fun with this, I made a point of telling him that men who spoke abut this only wanted one thing, and it put them into a pretty crass class unto themselves. He acted all surpised and put off and made an attempt to not speak about it. But, he couldn’t’ help himself (as a side note, later when we were texting, he suggested multiple times I wanted to “see it” and I had to continue to decline photos).

The long and short of it is, he left and we made plans for a second date. I did not have a good vibe about him but was really curious to see what had so attracted me to him when he really wasn’t even my physical type.

We text for the next several days between dates. He was traveling and insisted he wanted to meet me on his way home. I gave him multiple opportunities to cancel due to travel, but he continually declined. Ultimately, his flight was so delayed that I ended up at the bar we selected as it was closing. I made suggestions for alternatives and he was weirdly stubborn about trying anything outside of a small radius of his apartment. We finally landed on something. But, by the time we did I was angry with him for being so difficult and making me wait due to poor communication (I understand travel causes delays, but he wasn’t clear on his status).

I arrived to the bar first again, and when he did arrive, bag in hand, he immediately kissed me hard. He couldn’t contain the lust in his eyes, body movements etc. He wanted me to pretty much guzzle down my drink and get out of there. I should have left but I was still curious but what sex with him was going to be like since I was so attracted, and that attraction was strangely and stubbornly hanging on. I don’t know why – I didn’t really like him as a person by this point.

In the end, I ended up in his bed. He was pretty lousy. He also had no cock to write home about for all his talk of 9 inches (and, no lie, he quoted his size). I’m such a size queen thats probably what got me into his bed! He asked me how many times I came and I was pretty quick to say “none because you didn’t really spend any time trying.” He then said he was just so tired. But, the fact he even thought I came was fascinating.

Talk about a delusional man. It was evident in the way he spoke about his marriage, his sexual prowess and the fact he actually thought he was a decent guy.

He fell sound asleep after sex and I waited until his breathing steadied before I dressed and slipped out. He text about 30 minutes later that he couldn’t wait to see me again.

Delusional.

I text back the next day to let him know that was never happening again! Nicely, of course. No one likes to be on the driving end of a crap message.

Was it another wasted date or wasted sex? Maybe. I didn’t enjoy myself and its the second time I had sex where, once I started, I was sorry I let it get so far.

(The Douchebag date happened AFTER this date, so I know I have shown slight progress in not having sex I don’t want. I am clearly still pretty screwed up with allowing myself into these situations to begin with)