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.

Frame of Mind

It’s been a minute since I’ve written.

To be honest, I don’t have much going on.

Not much is going on. My sister got married and I’m glad the wedding is over and the relationship tips back to normal. I realized I didn’t feel very good through most of this prep. In some ways, I feel like an imitation sister. I’ve been adopted my whole life and never really felt quite like I did during the wedding. I felt like a throw-away, someone she had there because she had to, not because she really wanted to. I felt the strength of her connections with her friends and felt like an outsider. It’s not me she relies upon or me she calls for advice. I’m not even sure how to cultivate a better relationship with her exactly. I don’t get the sense it’s something she really wants – or wants more of. I’m unsure what I want from relationship with her. I suppose it’s just one more person I don’t feel important to and this seems to be a theme in my life.

I was asked to do a podcast, two actually. One was about life struggles and how individuals overcome them and the other is about strong, accomplished women. I finished the first one and found the process super interesting. In the first pass, I understood the interviewer wanted to focus on the Mexico story and travel weight-loss surgery. I was able to tell the sorry quite easily with no emotion and plenty of humor. In the actual interview, there was a significant change to my story because all my emotions were stirred up (made for a very good interview). The emotions caught me by surprise. I have pretty much buried Mexico and what happened to me. The horror of that experience is not something I want to revisit. I acknowledge I carry a great deal of shame for choosing weight loss surgery, wanting to die and subsequently what happened to me post surgery. In particular, I purposely try not to dig too deeply because of the one fact that continues to haunt me: no one came for me. Even when I begged, no one cared enough to come for me. I was dying at one point, I was terrified, and those closest to me couldn’t come.

Logically, I understand why. Emotionally, I can’t address it because I don’t see any other choice but to forgive them and accept what’s happened. They made a choice the same way I made a choice. I don’t think they didn’t come to penalize me, I just think they had other priorities. I don’t even know what I would have done had the tables been turned. Which leads me to a feeling I’ve buried most of my life and pushes me to the outskirts of my depression – I am not anyone’s priority.

We spoke about this in the interview and I definitely had a hard time working through this part of the story. In the end, we edited it out because I don’t want to upset the people who were there for me. And they WERE there. Just, perhaps, not physically. I am worried if I were to ever express the truth of how I felt that I would be considered ungrateful. After all, Mexico was my bad choice and I should live with its consequences.

Since the interview I’ve been struggling with these thoughts because, like I mentioned, I’ve buried them pretty deeply and they simply only cause emotional distress for me. I also don’t see a way to resolve these feelings other than learning to accept what’s passed and move on.

But then there are days, and unfortunately there are many of them recently, where the thought of not being anyone’s priority eats me alive.

My long time closest friend, the Spanish speaker who translated Spanish for me while I was in Mexico, changed all my bandages when I was home, my maid of honor and godmother to my son, is always too busy for me. I never see her or speak to her and I’ve grown tired of constantly asking to see her. She finds time for what’s important to her and I’m not it. Now, if I really needed “help” she would be the first one here. That’s because she finds her own value in helping others. It’s great to have a friend like that, but I love her dearly and would like to connect with her more frequently than once a month. Mind you, I’m not working and I’m very flexible so it’s twice as upsetting when I have the time to spend with her and she basically can’t find the time for me.

My closest cousin, the one who was very busy working to get me out of Mexico and who probably invested the most time in figuring shit out while I was there, comes from a massive tight knit family. Her family will include me in many functions and I love to participate. I’m so happy when I’m with them and I always enjoy myself but I go through some sort of let down once I leave them. I find myself wishing that was my primary family. Once again I feel like I’m on the outskirts looking in.

My kids have really been much better than last year and I am VERY thankful for this change. I try not to push them too far forward too fast because, again, I don’t want to appear ungrateful for the strides they have made. Logically I know kids are kids and boys are boys, but I often feel that I hold no importance. I know this isn’t true and this is just my neediness. I want more demonstrative love and this is just not their way. They really have been good kids lately and I am trying not to put them down in any way because of my own neediness.

I still don’t have a job and there has been NOTHING to be found. I am so over my head in debt for the first time in my life that I am beginning to feel panic rising at the back of my throat. I keep telling myself I just need to get through the end of this year and things will change. I will find a job and be able to pay down my debt. It’s the first time EVER that I am truly scared about the debt I’ve created. People keep asking “what will you do?” And this is becoming frustrating. I don’t know. I don’t know what I will do. Am I wasting time not “doing something else?” I don’t even know what that can be. If I have to become a realtor I would rather die. I am good at my job and want to stay in my industry and would even consider relocation. There are just no jobs out there. Not even consulting ones. I am officially out of money by Feb 1st and have to take from long term savings to survive. This is creating an angst in me that I’ve never experienced. All of this makes me feel like I’m not worthy of being hired. I’m too old. I’m too expensive. (Even though I would take half my last salary). I’m over-qualified. I’m so disappointed in myself that it’s becoming very hard to remain positive.

Then there’s the dating, or better yet, the lack of it. Before I shut down the apps I knew I had hit a low point with my last sex date with Chris. I knew I had to stop what I was as doing because it wasn’t how I wanted to feel. There were two men, both from out of town, that I felt would make good on/off dates when they were here because I could keep them (or keep myself is a better way to say that) at arms length and not invest in the emotional chase. Sex with Dan is pretty good and we have a blast when I see him, but his communication is so horribly inconsistent I still end up aggravated. The other guy, Tom (don’t even think I wrote about him) started off well, we had two fabulous dates, and then his communication and attention plummeted. This is so fucking frustrating to me and puts me right back into the thought pattern of “why can’t I be anyone’s fucking priority?” Not even a small priority. I don’t even think priority is the space I’m looking for as much as just being someone they think about and WANT to reach out to sometimes.

I’ve gained some weight – which isn’t a bad thing but it’s fucking with my head. I had dropped so low, most would say too low for me, that I needed to regain some weight. But I haven’t stopped gaining because I haven’t curbed my eating. Even with all my cardio I’m not losing because I’m eating all the time. I don’t eat much at once but I eat all day. As you can imagine, this screws with my head after weight loss surgery. There was the sick part of me that liked being so thin. That liked seeing that low number on the scale. My goal was always 150 but I loved seeing 130. Sitting around 140-145 isn’t unhealthy but I don’t like it. I want to stay sub 140. That space felt good in my head for the first time in my life. I’m so sick of struggling with the numbers on the scale that I just want them to stay put. Weight loss surgery doesn’t cut out the demons. They are all still there and the effort it takes to quiet them is immense. The only time they recede is under that 140 mark. It doesn’t seem to matter that I’m actually in the best physical shape of my life, my arms look beautiful, my legs feel amazing and I love being stronger than ever and rarely out of breath anymore. The numbers on the scale fuck with my head worse than ever. Especially since I saw what I needed to see for the first time in 20+ years. That number on scale “helps” me forgive myself for the damage done to my body and how badly my stomach looks with its wounds and loose, hanging flesh.

Speaking of wounds, here was a little bright spot. When having sex with Dan, he gently kissed my wound. I knew it was intentional. He also made sure to tell me post sex that he loved my body and the wounds don’t bother him at all, he doesn’t even see them. I appreciated that immensely. I believe him also. It doesn’t change how I think about my tummy, but it does help to calm me down a bit, as long as I can get my weight back down.

So that gets to me to my current frame of mind: not good. Not good at all.

Not working, not dating, not having enough good, consistent sex, not having any money are all very bad places for me to be. My ability to not be depressed is quickly eroding.

I am doing what I can. I actively look for jobs and network. I continue to exercise – although I should be stepping up my game considering I’m unemployed. I bought a studio 10 pack so that I get myself into the Peloton studio and interact in person. I continue to support others in my accountability groups though recently I feel like I am being false. It’s an effort to Log into social media to be positive and emote positivity and gratefulness when I don’t feel it. I do logically understand I have much to be grateful for but I am horrible at making this a practice I believe in. It’s also why I push myself into my accountability groups the same way I pushed myself to get dressed In Workout clothes at the beginning – I will fake it til I make it. This is taking way longer than the 100 days I committed to making fitness a priority. Wayyyy longer.

This time of year warms me and depresses me all at once. I want a boyfriend. I want my person. I want the person who is going to make me a priority. I haven’t had that since pre marriage, since a childhood boyfriend. When I think about it I only feel more damaged and broken. There too many things keeping me down, and too many things making me feel like I’m not important to anyone. I know all about self love and it’s not working for me. Sure, I haves plenty of moments where I am doing a decent job taking care of myself and my family, but I don’t feel any reward in it. It’s. A horrible place to be as I think about this being the 5th Christmas and New Years that I will once again be alone.

The Second Surprise

Doesn’t matter to me that I haven’t heard from Rob. If he were to reach out I would see him again. If not, no harm or foul, it was a fun date and a great kiss.

He wasn’t the only x to resurface. This one may make older readers more nervous, but wayyyyyy back in 2014 the first man I blogged about was named R. His actual name is Dan since I’ve given up on code names I can never recall. 😂

Dan text me for my birthday, which was an absolute surprise, and asked me for drinks. I did the same thing I did with Rob, I called his bluff.

I wrote to him early this week to say I was available Thursday or Friday and I was genuinely surprised he made plans with me! He’s so flakey. I haven’t seen him in at least 2 years. But we have text and he knows I’ve been sick. And, again to my surprise, he was concerned about me – I had just found forgotten he kept in touch when I was sick – until his text came up again and I scrolled back.

I may find an old post and give you at least one of the crazy R stories because I would say he absolutely had the first exposure to Trixie. I don’t even know why he still stays in touch with me. But he does. And I’ve always liked him. I’m just OVER him now. He’s as toxic as Trixie. But he’s fun, oh so fun.

So Dan comes over on Friday afternoon to my home. The day is beautiful and we sit on the back deck. I’m an amazing hostess so I have beer for him and a great cheese plate ready to go. We enjoyed several hours together, and, unlike typical Dan, he was pretty forthcoming with his life. He’s in the midst of a horrifying and ugly divorce ( a lot of that is of his own creation) and he’s still sleeping around with women he doesn’t want to be attached to.

Dan was the first to show me how much fun a date should be. We would laugh for hours. And then fuck for just as long. We had so much fun. He became so inconsistent and I went into full Trixie anxiety mode. He admitted to me this week that he just isn’t a good communicator. He doesn’t care enough. I believe him. I also think when he finds someone he really likes, he will be able to invest. Dan is on his second divorce and has 4 kids, his plate is full and he needs to figure out his life. He doesn’t have anyone he shares with, and he needs it. But until he realizes it, he will stay stuck in the same patterns. I was glad to hear he’s back in therapy.

When he was ready to go, I walked him to his car. We had a nice big hug and I could see lust in his eyes. But Dan loves to BE chased, and (thanks to him) I realize I’m the one who wants to be chawed, not to do the chasing. I do know how he loves it though, so it felt a little like a power imbalance when I knowingly turned away. I really didn’t care. I met him as a friend and I was happy he was there, I didn’t care if there was any more than that.

Cue my surprise. He turned to leave, as did I, and before I knew it…he was pulling me back to him. Our kids was nothing short of fabulous. When I’m excited I have a kiss and sound that brings lost men to their knees, guaranteed. It’s never failed. It didn’t fail with Dan either. He pulled back and couldn’t speak. As he pressed against for more, his cock was so swollen it had to be uncomfortable. I just enjoyed the moment. He’s like the OG. I was enjoying every moment.

He asked why I didn’t do this in the backyard earlier. (I know him well enough now, I don’t have a serious consideration for that question). I replied with “yea, I can’t believe I didn’t because we could be fucking by now” and that put him over the edge. He could barely leave me (he really had to get his young child).

We both left with smiles on our faces. No promises of more. No discussion of anything. I’ve learned over a period of 5 years, Dan will come back when Dan is ready. It took me some time t accept it for what it is, but it’s all good. I like Dan. As a person and sexually.

The result of my ambivalence (I think that’s the best word for it) was Dan texting me multiple times over the weekend – telling me how badly he wanted me. Of course it didn’t start that way, the first text may have been something like ” you missed your chance” to which I would have said ” what a shame since I’m so horny. Will have to find a substitute for the evening”. 😂.

I’ve gotten more one line text from him than I expected. I don’t always reply. He’s thinking of me. It may last another day or two or maybe longer. But there is no promise of anything with Dan just like there isn’t with Rob.

I don’t care. He always comes back, as a friend…which is much more valuable to me. If we fuck along the way, great. If not, fine.

Oh, one more interesting point. I’m not so sure what to do about this. Dan asked about my wounds and how I was doing. We talked openly about my fear over showing a man. I showed him the lingerie photo and he thought it was fine for maybe one time, but said he would question what’s up after more than once. Then he said “just show me and I will be honest”. I thought about it, for a long minute. The girth, which I shared with him as well, is that I’m scared to hear him (or anyone) say “yea, that’s tough looking”. Once in a while, the softer side of Dan shows itself and he told me stories about dating two women who had reconstructive breast surgery and how he felt about it. He was honest and open. Was it strange? Yup. Didn’t it stop him? Nope. Did he go back for more? Yes. Because it didn’t really matter to him. Thats exactly the answer I want to hear, but Dan also liked me and fucked me when I was heavy, yes open minded about sizes and shapes with women. He’s not hugely discriminatory as long as he’s attracted. I thought about showing him but I chickened out.

When we were parting, and before the kiss, he ran his hands up my dress before I could stop him, and stopped on my belly and felt the wound. He didn’t say a word and I didn’t ask.

Part of me wishes I could trust Dan enough to be honest, but I know Dan and he’s more screwed up than me. I don’t invest any trust in Dan any longer. I can tell when he’s sincere for the most part, but I’m not sure I could tell regarding sex.

Anyway, the afternoon was fun and I just thought it very funny that he’s the one with me on his mind instead of the other way round. Clearly (over a period of 5 years!) I’ve been able to put him into a safe place I can control. There’s no attachment any longer and I’m happy when he comes as much as when he goes.

Small World

Today was a good day.

The kids and I had a family photo day at a beautiful location. They were not happy about it but we haven’t taken a serious photo in probably 10 years. We knew the photographer and the kids loved her style. She took some seriously fabulous shots. I was so thrilled.

The day was really perfect for an outdoor shoot in a large park. We found some beautiful old stone buildings and the scenery was really just beautiful. My kids hate stuff like this but they did it for me. I so rarely get them like this and I loved watching them interact with one another.

2 of the three agreed to a lovely dinner with me so I treated them to a special place. We were all dressed so nicely it was just wonderful to be out with my boys in a nice restaurant enjoying them. I wish all 3 came, but one can always be difficultly about eating out so I didn’t push him.

After dinner I met a friend at a local bar we’ve been to before. I was all done up for the photos so I felt pretty amazing. The scene was quiet as compared to other nights but we enjoyed talking to one another. The funny thing was, there was a couple next to us where the husband approached us when his wife went to the bathroom. He was simply being friendly and chatting to us. When his wife. Some back she joined us and we quickly hit it off.

The husband, Dave, was flirting around the bar finding other women to come join us and he found two more women similar age and the five of us started chatting and laughing. It was so much fun to meet strong, attractive women that just wanted to be friendly. One woman was exceptionally attractive and had been standing by herself for some time. We welcomed her into our fold quickly and she was so thankful and admitted she didn’t have many girl friends so came to the bar alone just to get out.

She’s very attractive and I can see other women being threatened by her. We started talking and one thing led to another and….she went to HS with Mike! 😂. She looked at me funny when I said I had gone out on dates with him and said – hang on – we are IG friends! She pulled up his IG and handed me the phone to look. Just him and his daughters – BUT – he was clearly very active that evening with IG stories. I hadn’t heard from him all day, so it just cemented the fact something changed for him as he’s had no issue previously sharing his escapades with his daughters.

This woman also showed me some interesting messages he sent her back around Easter. This would be right around/before he moved out. He clearly was trying to interact with her, but she thought it was weird as they were not friends and he was kind of being very friendly out of the blue “Hey! how was your Easter ? Did you have a good time with the kids? “.

She was concerned that he was still married and didn’t hear anything through the grapevine that he had separated. I told her our story and that I had been to his apartment. She wants to ask her friends who know his wife and see if she can find out any more info.

It was pretty hard for me not to shoot him a text with some sort of comment about ghosting me. I was drinking and we were having fun and this came out of left field. Sure, I was curious. I want to know more.

But I forced myself not to care so much about it.

Yea, the twinge was there. It sucked seeing a social media post of him with his daughter from an hour before when a few days ago he would have been sharing the moment with me as well.

I let it pass. I repeated my mantra for when I begin to get overwhelmed and want to act out. I too a deep breath. I continued to focus on these new women I met.

Then I forgot for some hours.

Until I got home. A bit buzzed. And it hit me again.

It was so hard not to write him. So hard. But I didn’t. There is no point. None. He knows what he’s doing. He’s not dumb. It’s intentional either to slow us down or to drop me. Either way, I have no control. No matter what I do, I’m not going to get control either. So I might as well stop obsessing.

I don’t doubt I will have a restless night of sleep. This will be on my mind.

But I won’t do anything about it.

Peloton Homecoming Weekend

I committed myself to 90/100 days of exercise and well-being and other than a few sickness blips along the way, have stuck to it entirely. The greatest motivation of all is my Peloton community and I can’t be more thankful to be a part of such a supportive group.

Peloton is about 6 years old and they host something called a Home Rider Invasion once a year. The Homecoming consistents of talks, community events, a sample sale and studio exercise with your favorite instructor. There is definitely an atmosphere of hero-worship with the instructors and everyone wants and opportunity to meet them and ride with them.

I admit, for the first time in my life, to geeking out full fan girl on the weekend. Why not? 3k other riders did! I got a hotel for 2 nights, I participated in all the events, and I rode my heart out and made new friends along the way. I had so much fun. I had invested in a new lifestyle and this felt like coming home to my tribe of peeps.

I wish I could bottle the feeling, but it took me several days to actually recover from the weekend events. I fade very fast now which still concerns me. Doctor appts to follow in the next couple weeks.

I had committed to attending alone, but at the last moment a Peloton friend wanted to come in Friday and don’t have a room so I offered to share mine. I didn’t regret making a new friend and she was super easy to get along with. A bit of a chatty Kathy but I realized I could just walk away from that when I needed. She made my life super easy because she was organized and got us to our locations on time. Friday night was a happy hour and we had a few hundred attendees from the Facebook group I participate in. Some people are very good at this kind of socialization. I have always struggled with it. I wish I was better. I can do a little but can’t sustain. I’m sure there were many more people I would have liked to interact with but I sort of turn inwards thinking I’m bothering people or they are not so interested in me. The night was fun in any case. My roommate was super active in the room but she over ruled any conversation I would have and I eventually grew tired of trying to socialize with her. She’s just a different type of person than I am. She seems to demand attention and desperately wants to share and be part of the group. I’m ok hanging back and enjoying everyone’s enjoyment!

The next day we attended some Peloton events and then there was an afternoon rush. I had a studio ride, a hair appt then a race to get ready to get to a HH. August was due to meet me at the hotel. The studio ride was amazing with some of my Pelo-peeps! The energy was fabulous and I enjoyed it so much more than I thought possible. Meeting people I had interacted with virtually was really fun! I struggled to make my hair appt and back to the hotel fast enough and finally bagged the scheduled HH (I regretted that in hindsight because it was a great HH and even smaller than Friday so better for networking).

I had a fabulous brightly colored silk jumpsuit to wear that set off my hair and newly formed arm muscles (they are getting there!) but just wanted to slow down for a minute getting ready. August waited in the bar for me as I got ready. A few friends stayed behind and we all met to have a drink. August is a striking figure and personable so the girls migrated to him easily. He really made our night easy as he held bags and took photos, always made sure we had drinks and was generally along for the ride. Honestly, I didn’t pay very much attention to him as I was so caught up in the atmosphere around us. I didn’t have any indication that August minded or was uncomfortable and I did watch him early on for signs of this.

We made our way to the massive evening event (think a small concert) and danced the night away. Everyone had so much fun. August couldn’t get over how people responded to me – and I suppose I don’t see what he sees – he felt that I energized everyone around me and people migrated to me. It’s funny that I don’t feel that at all, I don’t like to impose on people and I’m very forgetful about details so I’m cautious about meeting too many people and gathering too much information I know I won’t retain. I wish I could capitalize on this energy and connection August saw oozing from me – I wish I knew how to lead or group strangers in a way that was meaningful. I can do with a very small groups (an I did have small group with me all evening) but I’m no good at doing it multiple times. It does have me thinking that if other people see this compelling leadership ability in me (outside of work) then I should also consider how to put it to further use.

August was a fun and easy partner for the evening. I honestly have no idea if he responds to me, or I to him, but there isn’t much of a connection between us for one reason or another. I feel as though he’s impressed with me, thinks I’m beautiful and intelligent, but has zero clue how to act on it. He doesn’t do anything, absolutely nothing, that makes me feel like he’s all that interested in me or wants me. Which makes him easy to ignore and, perhaps, creates the loop. He needs a lot of direction and I find that frustrating as it’s a throwback to my marriage. But, on this very busy and engaging evening, he didn’t matter.

I also did not think about Tony even once. Someone asked me later if I saw him at the event and I truthfully replied that I had forgotten to look. 10 points for me. Trixie was nowhere to be seen.

After the cocktail party a group of us made our way back to the hotel for food, drinking and dancing. As we dropped things in the room, August made a comment about sex (don’t recall exactly what it was) and I dropped my jumpsuit, leaned over the bed and said “ok!” And he looked at me and laughed and said no woman had ever dropped their clothes so fast for him! We had a perfunctory quickie from behind, no kissing, no touching, nothing but penetration and his orgasm. Got dressed and joined the group. I had already had too much to drink at this point and it didn’t phase me. In hindsight though, he didn’t so much as touch me or show any interest in more than he got.

Our night was spent dancing and laughing before we made it to the room around 2am. August ran and got tacos for the whole group before we departed – there is nothing better than drunk taco! Lol. Then we made our way back to the room because we were due to be back at the event by 10am. August and I chatted while he climbed into bed and packed up and cleaned up. He eventually fell asleep before I crawled in. I was a little surprised he gave me a hug and we fell asleep. I know we didn’t touch the entire night, again. If it sounds dull, it was. It was fine.

We woke the next morning and he was kind enough to go in search of coffee and a valet cart for me. We checked out and made our way to the event. I could tell he wasn’t super enthused we missed food, but he managed on some protein bars. We did some of the morning events and made our way to a hotel nearby for a disaster of a brunch (no service and causing me to be late to my next event so I was full of complaints – they comped our meal). We had fun walking around and chatting and participating. He was such a good sport about taking photos and patiently watching me be an active fan girl. No hand holding. No hugging. No kissing. I do touch my partners, so my hand is generally on his shoulder or arm when I begin speaking to him. Normally a man will react to this by engaging me in a more physical way, pull me closer, hug me, kiss me, put an arm around me. Not August.

It had been pouring rain all morning and we caught a break so took a nice walk through the city. I enjoyed our time together but realize I can’t get a read on him exactly. Some small things send up some cues for me – like I can’t tell if he’s actually cheap or frugal. He’s observant and kind with some things and entirely neglectful of others. And I really don’t think he has a clue how to behave like a boyfriend. I don’t get the feeling his neglect is intentional. I could be wrong but I don’t know. However, if I make any move towards him that’s affectionate his face lights up but he doesn’t exactly respond in kind. I am no longer the kind of person that will go out of my way for a man if they don’t know how to manage their outward affections. I did it for 22 years and it didn’t work. This is where Tony ruled the romance kingdom – I always felt like his beloved. I adored that feeling and it made me feel like a queen and gave me a lot of power. I know I need that. August doesn’t have a clue how to do that. And as ageist as this sounds, I do think it’s a by-product of his generation and his upbringing. Again, I could be wrong but I think I’ve dated enough now to make these generalizations.

We made our way back to the hotel and gathered our things, loaded my car and parted with a kiss on the cheek. I really enjoyed my weekend, was happy to have August there, but he wasn’t the reason I enjoyed the weekend. Had he not been there I would have been fine and wondered if I should have tried it alone. I bet my luck would have been bad – I would have seen Tony and ruined a perfectly good weekend! 😂

I made some everlasting friendships and August committed to working out after meeting so many average people who dedicate their time and energy to this brand. He was surprise they weren’t all athlete types and so many were just “average Americans.” He was an Olympian (sorry, I was schooled that he IS an Olympian- once and Olympian always an Olympian!). This is why I love this community: anyone can excel. All you need to do is show up and do your best and they’ve got your back!

I know Peloton gave me my life back. ❤️

Strange Days

I am beginning to wonder if thinking of Tony is cyclical. Maybe hormonal related? Or maybe it’s the empath in me. Whatever it is, I am sure it’s some kind of strange intuition because I’m not sure I can believe things are just this random.

I believe Tony is most likely still employed at Peloton. I bought the bike last summer to feel closer to him. Stupidest reasoning ever, but there’s the truth of it. I can’t even make sense of it. I barely rode in the beginning and he didn’t ride at all – he just worked at the corporate HQ.

When I had my last break of texting his wife in early February, I also made the decision that if I didn’t absorb myself into something else that I was going to slip right back into a massive depression. The bike is very expensive and it was sitting there. It was an easy choice that was healthy for me.

And then, in typical Madeline fashion, I became obsessed. This is a good obsession and keeps me focused and healthy. I feel fantastic after so many months of a sedentary and disabled life.

I didn’t think about Tony when I chose to invest my energy in the Peloton, somehow he became less the reason for the bike. I joined several groups for support and quickly joined the Peloton cult. I check in with members every day, ride in a group, and have made friends that I will be meeting in person this weekend. The community is so supportive its insane. I chose to buy into it. (I acknowledge I need to write a post about self-talk….a whole bunch of thoughts have been bubbling up lately).

With that said, there was one ride an instructor called Tony’s name in a shout-out. I can guess this instructor and Tony have become friends. It sucked for a day or so and started me thinking about Tony’s participation in Peloton (because he wasn’t a rider when I bought the bike).

Late last week, Tony has been in the forefront of my thoughts again – which never bodes well. I want to speak to him so badly and have to argue with myself consistently. There is no good outcome from reaching out to him. There is no reason to reach out to him.

Of course it never stops there with me.

Once I started to think of him more consistently again, the thought occurred to me he may be participating in the same Peloton event that I am attending this weekend. Then nausea started to set in. If I were to see him, and possibly with his wife, and certain he would ignore me – it would probably debilitate me and ruin my entire Peloton community weekend.

Then yesterday, I was in the city and was “this close” to taking a class at the studio when I decided to head home instead. Thank goodness my feet took me home because, I took that class on demand later in my day and who was at the front of class: Tony. Same instructor, Tony’s kind of music, and he was seated right at the front of class where you can see him on video most of the class. Of course the instructor also shouted him out and spoke to him.

I didn’t feel sick this time. Instead I worked up my best time ever and sweat mounds of sweat getting through that ride cursing the bastard for sitting there in his life. Knowing he’s back into his perfect life and marriage and just feeling angry. The anger fueled me and I got a personal best record for the ride. I wasn’t done. I went down to my treadmill for another hour-and-a-half and did some walk + run classes to continue my sweat.

If I had bumped into him at the studio, it would not have gone well. His last words to me were “my last impression of you is an asshole. Congratulations”. He means it too. I crossed the line with his wife and his wife told his kids – his worst nightmare come true to look bad in their eyes. I know him well enough to know he doesn’t forgive, certainly not a threat to his family. I am the one who hurt his family and he will always think of me that way. I am sad about it, but that’s my own doing.

This is why I think it’s some strange intuition in me. I started thinking of him and suddenly he actually manifests.

I don’t think he will be at the event this weekend, but as a sort of protection, August is going with me to the Saturday evening cocktail party and concert. It was a last minute decision when I heard from August again and I hope I don’t regret it. He’s about to be thrown into a pool of Peloton crazies and I don’t care. As long as he’s on my arm if Tony should be there.

Girl Code 3

I figured I should wrap up this story.

I admit I didn’t tell him as quickly as I should have – that I wasn’t going to interact with him. I admit there was that part of me that liked the attention and chase etc.

But at some point Saturday he sent another “can’t wait for kissing and cocktails” and I had to be clear.

I wrote back that I would be telling my friend the truth, I wasn’t comfortable and this didn’t feel right to me and was sorry I didn’t have the chance to meet him.

I didn’t text my friend until a day later. I knew there was going to be a little drama, and I wasn’t in the frame of mind to deal with it. I did tell my friend and we spoke about it. She was quite upset by how much he had shared with me about himself, and how it had taken her so long to know some of those things and they were in relationship.

I didn’t mention the BDSM stuff because that’s my private business. If I told her what he shared I would also be revealing that side of me. Very few of my off blog friends know any of the depth of my sexuality. I also think it’s the reason he communicated as much as he did, because he knows how a D/s relationship works and I feel he was working that avenue with me even though he said he wasn’t.

She was primarily upset he glossed over her and still asked me out knowing we were friends. Should I have lied more? I tried to give her as much as I know I would want. She’s similar to be albeit less crazy, but obsesses the same way I do.

She was also very bothered that I saw him for who he was in our first conversations (before I knew who he was). To me, he was clearly a narcissist. I barely got a word in over 2 hours of conversation. She was upset that she didn’t see it and spent the night studying up on narcissism.

I wrote to him to say I spoke to my friend and wouldn’t be contacting him again, good luck. I also told my friend I wrote that message. Some time in the middle of the night he text back saying he was curious how our conversion went and if things were ok between us. I sent the message to my friend and then blocked him.

She didn’t want me to block him, but I said I didn’t want to be in the middle of curating replies to him just to get a reaction. If he’s a true narcissist – which I certainly believe he is – he’s already bothered that I don’t see him in a good light and he would continue to pursue intermittently in hopes of interaction.

I’m good at shit like that but trying my hardest to stop creating more bad karma for myself.

He’s blocked. I’m done. Thank you, next.

Girl Code 2

As it turns out, I knew a LOT about this man and my friend. They had dated on and off for years. She wanted him to be the one. She’s still not over him. Believe me, when you know a friend for a long time and the primary conversations you share are about dating, it takes a bit of time to start adding up just how much I knew.

I remember how she fell for him. I remember all the great sex and laughter. I remember how she could never understand why he didn’t commit. I remember when she was surprised to find out he had been dating other women (clear denial there on her part). And I remember when he finally said he wanted to give it a try and he exclusive and she took that a step further and started talking about blending families. When a non-committal man finally moves into the first stage of commitment, that’s a big step. But she wanted it ALL from him. He wasn’t ready or invested in taking their relationship that far.

I surmised along the way she was pushing him, like I said I know her M.O. He really is a prize in all seriousness. I can see why he liked this friend as well as why he didn’t commit to this woman.

The bottom line is he owed her nothing, but did I?

I had to think about the girl code. It’s not right to date someone’s ex unless that someone gives you license to do so. If one of my friends dated Tony I would be out of my mind with jealousy – particularly when I’m not over him.

All these thoughts went through my mind once I identified who he definitely was…and I had to pause. Do I rush off phone, do I chat some more, what even seems right at this moment? The brain works super fast and it takes longer to write these thoughts than think them.

We ended up speaking a bit more and I had to excuse myself.

As I stood up, fast, I walloped my head on a low hanging corner of our basement ceiling and I saw stars and tweetie birds and fell right the hell back down on my ass. Holy mother of God that hurt. I actually winced from pain when I touched it. I think I concussed myself as I was not hungry and nauseous the rest of the evening.

I took it as a clear sign – danger Will Robinson! Do NOT proceed.

I didn’t think of him again that evening. I passed out in pain by 9pm. Luckily, no real damage and I had a good nights sleep and woke with a nice fat raspberry on my head. Doh!

He had text last night and again early this morning. He wanted to meet me. We flirted a bit more.

I had an appt today and we had snow so I was relatively haphazard with my replies and not especially engaged. He sent photos of all his BDSM toys. He told me my friend never knew that side of him and we had covered more ground in our first conversations that they had in years. We made an agreement at that point never to discuss this with the friend. Ever.

First lie.

It was starting to feel all wrong. Not just because of my friend (mostly, though) but because he wasn’t right for me. This friend is not a top 10 friend, which is why I pause at all. We have a commonality and have known each other through our x husbands (the x husbands are best friends, so I’ve known her 24 years or so). I didn’t like her until we were both post divorce and found our own friendship in the last 2 years or so. She’s a good going out friend.

In other words, do I like her enough to care what she thinks of this guy turned out to be “the” guy for me?

There’s no way of knowing so soon. He definitely has me on a hook. I’m interested.

And when I thought about how I would feel if the tables are turned, I realized I probably couldn’t do it. I’ve done enough crap to generate bad karma lately and I don’t need to make more bad karma come my way.

I can’t decide if I tell him on the phone or in text, but I didn’t get to it yet. Either way, no matter how interesting and exciting I find him, he needs to be out in the rear view.

I better get to it before I give in to meeting him. Every step forward is a step in the wrong direction. The problem here is that the people I’ve told know I don’t truly “care” about this friend. She’s a fun social friend. So everyone is on the fence to say “why not?”

Hopefully today brings me the right energy to just text and say thanks but no thanks. I don’t know this man and it doesn’t matter. I’m making a whole story in my head over thing and it’s a skill I’ve refined that needs to stop.

Girl Code

So my dating hiatus was up, I turned back on the apps and met someone cool pretty quickly.

We hit it off on the app, moved to text and the banter was flying. We agreed to a chat the next day.

He called me on the phone and we were off to the races. The conversation never slowed and my heart was racing….but this was primarily because he was SO high energy. Honestly, I started to think after the first hour of conversation I wouldn’t be able to keep up with him!

First of all, he was just about perfect on paper…but as he described himself and his life I can easily see how women would swoon over him.

He was a Dom in a previous period in his life. Before he even told me that, I knew. All the cues and signals were there. If you’re looking to be a sub, you would be thrilled with this guy. In my opinion, he knew his stuff. Thanks to the WordPress Community, I have read and learned enough about D/s relationships to understand what he was saying on a deeper level. He was clearly aware this type of history could scare a woman away so was careful in his wording, but I saw it for what it was.

A sort of strange thing happened – I felt myself disengaging from the conversation – I had been very interested in him, but knew I no longer sought a D/s relationship (had my experiences with that, took what I needed and moved on!). I didn’t feel he was trying to convince me, or even think that’s what he was looking for, but I need to be clear I wasn’t interested in the whole dynamic (he was explaining himself too much) so I interjected “I’m not the sub for you” with a short explanation….thinking , ok that’s the end of this guy….and actually got back a laugh!

That caught me off guard. But what caught me even more was his subsequent description of what I was really looking for in a dominant man. He hit my own description of myself on the head. I really wondered if he read my blog?! He totally gets what I needed from a relationship based on motherhood/work/previous relationships and I was floored. That was a first. Even Tony never understood what I meant by “dominant” even though he acted that way in relationship. “Take charge” could be more apropos but I have always used dominant because, somewhere in there, I like some of the kink that comes with D/s sexual play.

Once I said that the conversation took off (totally unexpected, thought I killed it for sure). At this point I looked at my phone because my ear pods died and realized we had been on the phone 1.5 hours. These long phone conversations are an investment on my part – I’ve done a few of them now and I love learning about people and it makes me eager for the date – but none have come to fruition. The thought occurred to me I may need to change this.

He kept talking. He’s a VERY high-powered and well-known executive. He’s super wealthy. Highly intelligent. Does the TED talks circuit. I was truly impressed with this man. Like, I want to meet you just to listen to you because I can probably learn soooo much from you.

But could I date you?

Interspersed with my thinking I’m not good enough to keep up with this guy, the jokes and laughter kept coming, interesting topics kept arising and we continued to speak. I did want to meet him but felt like I was never going to get over “I’m not good enough” coupled with “I can’t keep up”. He didn’t seem to think that – he kept telling me he liked our conversation and couldn’t believe how quickly time passed and how engaged he was. I felt, honestly, graced by the comment. “You like me? You really, really like me?”

Wow. Talk about inner turmoil.

And then, a funny thing happened on the way to planning the date, I mentioned a local friend. I described her as living close, similar age, two kids and divorced and owns her own business. He asked if it was a specific business in a specific town. Then he asked if I knew my friend by name.

Oh shit.

You’re THAT GUY.

You’re the guy this friend of mine has been desperately in love with for years. NOW I KNOW WHY. knowing this friend as I do, knowing her M.O. and personality, OMG, no wonder she’s held out for YOU – you were the cherry on top of her life and there was no way she was letting you slip away (for some of all the wrong reasons).

I felt the dawn of realization start in my brain like a physical sensation as all those thoughts raced through in millisecond succession. Then it went down my throat and landed in my stomach like a bad burritos needing to work its way back up and out.

But I liked you so much.

The phone had gone silent for what seemed like a minute as all this processed.

I blurted out loud “YOU’RE THAT GUY” (Actually his name, but not adding that in this post)

He didn’t even know what to say and that’s something considering the rapid pace at which he had been speaking.

We went through a couple of “wows” and talked about it a bit. He explained from his end, and his explanation matched what she told me, albeit through a different filter, and a filter that made much more sense to me knowing how she responds to situations. I’m not sure if ever perceived himself at being her “prize” but he wasn’t ready to build a life with her which is what she so desperately wanted from him.

To be continued….

The Big City

I had a lot of anxiety prior to heading into the city this week to meet my friend. Honestly, had she not traveled so far to see me or if she wasn’t so important to me, I think I would have bagged it.

As it turned out, once I got going, I was fine. I had no anxiety once I actually got into the car. Then again, I wasn’t heading into work.

I broke the seal, so to speak. I made it back to my city after a full almost 4 month break. That’s the longest I’ve ever stayed away since college.

My friend and I had a fantastic time and I truly needed the girl time with her. She is one of the smartest woman I know and fully gets me. I just wish she lived closer. I don’t have enough friends like her who are working moms, ambitious, brilliant, sexy and kind. Women who really get where I am coming from and have experienced their own highs and lows. Women whose voice and experience I trust implicitly. I’m not complaining about my friends as I have great ones, I just need more like this.

I had text Rob that I was in the city and he stopped by for a quick drink. He was sort of awkward, didn’t have much to say, so I didn’t mind that he didn’t stay. It was sweet he dropped by, but he’s clearly not social out of his comfort zone. If I reach out to him, he always replies. If I don’t, he usually checks in every few days. I would like more, but I’m not going to get it and I have no desire to push for it.

I did eat too much one evening and won’t be doing that again. I watched my alcohol intake.

I did hear from Tony again last week. He asked about my Christmas tree by text. We had a small back and forth and that’s about it. I don’t especially feel one way or the other, but I do know I have a strong feeling about shutting the door on him. So, it remains open. I was honest about this with my therapist as well.

Honestly, if I can motivate myself to begin an exercise regime I think it would really help me to begin to structure myself again. It will also help getting off the last 20 pounds. I know I need to do this and it seems to be as much of a roadblock as job searching is at the moment.

My plans for the weekend and week ahead include a lot of rest – I am truly exhausted after 2 full days and nights of more activity than I’m used to! Making sure I’ve got all my Christmas presents ready to go and, if not, shop for the last bits. Lots of wrapping. Lots of prep for baking and cooking. Plenty to keep me occupied.

I am mostly in a positive mood, but wouldn’t call myself happy. I still feel quite disconnected from most things and, even though I have happy moments, the feeling doesn’t persist.

My eldest son is home from college and that makes me a bit anxious as he’s the most entitled kid of the three. I plan to remain constant with my rules and boundaries with him. Fingers crossed for that.