Mexico or Bust

My last blog entry, Swiping Right, was well over a year ago and had me leaving off that I would continue on with my on-line dating (probable disasters) and chronicle them.

That was my intention, but the assignment was exhausting. Even though I put my efforts into three different platforms, I weeded most potential suitors out with just a few interactions. It was like a non-paying full-time job! I did meet my new friend Kibbie (no nickname there) that we determined within the first few weeks of communicating due to our goals, wants and needs in addition to our locations, we just weren’t meant for a romantic or intimate relationship. That didn’t stop us from wanting to meet face-to-face still as we enjoyed our conversations so much…so we met halfway (about a 45 minute drive each) and hit it off…just as we thought we would. We still communicate and share our dating war stories to this day. We joke about a joint podcast…stay tuned!!!

There were a handful of dates that followed. One was Mr. MILF (yes, I am still nicknaming them)…we met very briefly for a drink. Although younger, he was attractive…but he lost interest in me after he realized he was using a Mom of one of my son’s baseball teammates as a “go-to” when he was “lonely”. He was getting ahead of himself, but he thought it would be weird if he attended a game with me and sitting in the bleachers with his FWB. If you don’t know what the acronyms are, google them.

I also went on a few dates with a guy I actually know organically! More than one date! We were familiar with one another through local restaurants and had a few nice dates, but my time was not as accessible as he would’ve liked, and I would get the silent treatment if wasn’t readily available. That’s not how it works in my world, Mr. Urban Tree. Again, we remain friends…just not THAT kind of friend!

So, it actually wasn’t ALL that bad…clearly I had made some friends. I had come away with a few more stories, albeit no fairytale endings. Having a ten year old who is into a variety of sports, well, it takes up most of my would-be free time through the spring and summer, so I put down my phone and ignored those apps. Mostly. I peaked in on them here and there and entertained the idea of swiping right…but all I did was practice my left-direction swiping and I hung up the idea until the Fall of meeting my AARP Prince Charming.

September had me reluctantly picking up my phone and re-activating my dating apps, except for one. I was actually banned from Tinder (insert hysterical laughter)! There were so many fake profiles it became utterly ridiculous…how many “engineers” located on “offshore oil rigs” can there be?? I called them out every time I got the “Good afternoon, gorgeous” from some supermodel-looking GQ-like male. Once responding to their “what do you do for a living” with ” I investigate fraudulent dating app profiles”, their profiles disappeared. Ultimately, after too many times of saying that…my profile was locked. So, Facebook Dating, Bumble and Hinge were my go-to choices (FYI, Facebook Dating ended up being very much like Tinder with more fake profiles than not).

I quickly connected with someone from Bumble and we chatted for a few weeks with great banter before we got a break in our schedules to actually meet up. It was a beautiful late summer/early fall day, so we decided to meet on a deck of a local restaurant. It was a little warmer than forecasted, so my little booties and jeans had me a bit warm, but I was glad I wore a light top. He was dressed in lightweight khaki shorts, a polo, and sandals (that he refused to keep on his feet). That didn’t keep him from being super warm though, as I was soon to find out. Upon greeting him, I thought he was pleasant enough looking, however, far more feminine-like than I would have imagined. Mainly in his mannerisms. And the way he crossed his legs. He was coming off a bit arrogant and overly confident. I passed on the second glass of wine and we were going to get the bill and be on our way. At some point in our conversation…he happened to tell me that he doesn’t wear underwear. I have to guess there was a segway to that conversation, but it escapes me now. I may not have even remembered that bit of information, but just after the waiter set down the check, it flew off the table. My date got up, barefooted, walked across the deck to grab it, and sat back down. Legs uncrossed. We laughed at the fact that we both noticed between his knees was a pool of sweat drastically marking his shorts where his legs were crossed. What he didn’t notice, that I did, was that he should wear underwear. A clear outline of his male genitals’ perspiration was staring at me from his crotch as he shifted. I had an internal struggle of whether to bring it to his attention, but I opted not to. And never did. I felt a bit deflated leaving the date as I had such high hopes of out of this world chemistry with him, and it fell flat.

Later on that evening, Mr. Sweaty Balls and I chatted and I asked him what his takeaway from our date was. His first response was that he didn’t like my boots. Ummm…okay? And he thought I was far heavier in person than my pictures depicted (all photos are current and I am open…and sensitive…about any weight gain, but still, my pics were accurate). “Bet you have those knee high riding boots, too…I like girls who wear Birkenstocks”. Well, yes, I did actually have a pair of those riding boots, in black and brown, currently being shipped to me! I hadn’t even had time to respond to him before all that was blurted out. I told Mr. Sweaty Balls that it was safe to say, things didn’t go as planned…and to have a nice life. He did reach out after with extreme apologies. He said he was on the defense thinking I didn’t like him, he said he didn’t know why he said that about my weight and that I was very attractive and wanted to know if I’d give it another try. Again, Mr. Sweaty Balls, have a nice life!!! (for the record…we did NOT remain friends).

And now, my finale. For this entry, anyway. I introduce to you, Mr. Mexico.

Where to start… OK, Facebook dating is where I believe it started (I questioned this because he deleted his profile almost immediately after we connected). Early Octoberish. Decent looking guy, local, the app showed a ton of mutual friends…let’s give this a whirl? We exchanged numbers and then our texting relationship began. Daily. All-daily. Morning, noon, and night. One of our first conversations had him talking about his upcoming trip to Mexico in January and that I should join him. I laughed it off and told him that I didn’t have a passport and he would have to choose another online date to join him.

Moving forward, it took us a few weeks to actually meet face-to-face due to schedules and family illnesses. We met for a drink (him water as he doesn’t drink alcohol usually) and a snack. It was a little awkward, but he seemed nice enough and we continued on with our texting. I was greeted nearly every morning with a “good morning beautiful”, “hey, sexy” or something of the like and always a “good night and sweet dreams”. Sometimes in the middle of the night when he woke up I would receive a random text as well. Selfies of him at work and so on. More hints that I should get my passport. I was clear that a vacation was not in my budget…especially so close to Christmas, never mind the passport issue. He assured me that everything was already paid for, and he’d buy the airline tickets (as a Christmas present) and even take care of the passport fees. No, but thank you.

Next date was to see the Bruins in Boston (second row…and as I recall, I was made aware with a giggle the price of the tickets…along with the price of his vehicle…and the price of the bed he bought his daughter…and his annual income…). I tried to do some fact checking on him, but even though he was tightly tied to the community (18 years at his job locally) and married last to a friend of mutual friends…no one could give me an actual “review”. He is related to friends of mine, but I didn’t feel comfortable prying there. He was connected and known enough that I knew he was safe, just not sure if he was boyfriend material. More talk about Mexico. More texting throughout the days and nights. More selfies and videos of everyday life and holiday parties. A few dates here and there…dinners, bowling, etc. There still wasn’t a whole lotta chemistry. I will be honest, at this stage of the game, I am used to someone that can’t keep their hands off me. Quite the contrary in this situation. It was foreign. But out of all my previous relationships, zero lasted. So, different isn’t necessarily bad, right?

Mid-November, after continuing to chat with me about Mexico and a passport…I figured I would go ahead and apply for the passport, it likely wouldn’t come in time for “Mexico” anyway, but I have been wanting to get one for years, maybe this was the push I needed! Lo and behold, the passport (that, yes, I funded) was issued in only a few weeks! Mid-December. He thought it was great! He asked if I could get the time off of work. I was able to. I chatted with the kids and they were on board for taking care of the littlest while I would be away. I was getting a constant stream of photos of the luxury rooms (suites all with two beds, thank you) and itineraries of the country music ‘fest that was the draw to Mexico. I was honest with how I was uncomfortable and nervous about traveling with someone I barely knew along with him paying for the whole thing. He very nicely explained that he was looking forward to an amazing time in a tropical place and wanted to share his vacation with me, and what better place to get to know each other. That was good enough for me. We continued to chat all the time. He came into my bartending gig a few times after he got out of work. There weren’t any fireworks…good or bad…and that was ok with me. I was questioning if there was enough depth to his being…but I thought we would figure that out as time went on.

A week after my passport came in he asked the information needed to book the flights, which I provided. I contemplated paying for them, but when he told me he booked 1st class round trip flights, I was like….ummm…definitely not in my budget. He walked me through downloading the two different airline apps so I could keep up with everything and get my boarding passes. He gave me the information for the resort and asked that I register myself there. It was official. I told the kids and even though I didn’t want to “blend families”, I was thinking it would probably be good that my older kids at least meet him before we go away in less than a month.

A few days later, I actually venmoed him for 1/2 the plane ticket fare so I felt like I was at least contributing a little at this point. That was the first shift I felt. Texts were a little less frequent right after and response time was lagging. I asked if he had a problem with me contributing. “Of course not, but I know you need the money for Christmas”. That was that.

The next day, which was midweek, he asked if I wanted to go up to North Conway and go Christmas shopping on Saturday and he rattled off all the outlets. Sure! (Weird a guy wants to shop, but okay!). Texts were back to usual and on Thursday he said that a snowstorm was coming that weekend. He offered to pick me up on Saturday instead of me driving north in the storm. He would be getting out of work close to my home, and would drive us together to his house before going to Conway. He lives 30 minutes north of here. “Maybe I will even kidnap you for the night”. I arranged my daughter to be home, just in case I was not able to be back for my little guy that night. Then, “would you like to go look at the model homes near my work before we head to North Conway Saturday?”. I joked that he was moving us in together already, but thought it would be fun. So, that was the plan.

Friday day was normal, but then I stopped hearing from him. Typically, I would get a message that work was over and he was headed home…then several messages once he was home. Silence. It was strange. No good morning text… I knew he would be at work at seven (because he messaged me every day before, during and after…) so I messaged a bit later to see if he was ok…eventually he responded that he was at work, but had a stomach bug. I suggested to alter plans for another night and that was agreed. I was bummed because Christmas shopping in North Conway for the first real snow of the season sounded a bit romantic (maybe we would finally find some romance!). Then later in the day he sends me screen shots of a communication with him and his 20ish year old daughter. She is saying she can go to Mexico now and asked for the dates.

“I guess she’s coming now, too LOL”.

“Will I be sharing a room with you and Wendy?” she asked.

“Yes”.

LOL?? Ummmm…what? I immediately message my bestie. I am thinking of telling him I don’t want to go. I was freaking out enough with not knowing him very well. I was hoping to learn more about him and maybe develop a romance. But now? This is just awkward. But, then I slow down…. I think, it may take some pressure off. I have met her and she is super sweet…and I would have a drinking buddy! So, after a few hours, it took me that long to digest the information, I joke about a family vacation to make light of it. I get very few messages and then another night of no contact. (I am now really trying to decipher what is going on).

Sunday…less than a week after plane tickets were purchased for me and registered at the resort…and we still haven’t seen each other to have had any falling outs or a chance to rub anyone the wrong way…all I hear is deafening silence. I message a few times asking if all is ok…I finally get a message in the evening that, “Sorry, I was watching football on my phone all day”….dipshit, then you saw my messages come in on your phone! I was at work and just asked if he was coming in as he usually does and I got “that’s the plan”. Ok, then. I can see him and see what is going on. About 20 minutes before closing time I get a message from him asking to put in a to-go order and he would be there soon. In hindsight, I think his intention was to chat with me that night about me not going to Mexico and then get out of Dodge, but chickened out. Why a to-go?? We chatted a bit and tentatively talked about heading to Newington together after work the next day (him asking if I had a sitter) to run a few holiday errands. It would be December 21st.

Monday…no “good morning” …no “I am at work”…no selfie…no “How’s your day, gorgeous?”… Evening falls and I am pissed because I have, yet again, secured a sitter, and I can’t even get a response to the few texts and calls I have made. I finally get a “I am out shopping with my daughter”. Ok. “Enjoy your time with your daughter, but we had tentative plans, what going on?”. Crickets.

Tuesday. More crickets. I am NOT happy…I have messaged a few times and I tried calling once with no response, leaving a message to please call me. Tuesday eve I messaged and bluff that I am going to head to his house (30 minutes away, not really going to) so we can talk face-to-face because “This is just weird, what is going on??”. He bites and says he’s shopping with his other daughter. And I flat out said just tell me what the “F” is going on.

“I am just not feeling romantic feelings with you and not sure I can get there…and with the added pressure of Mexico, I just don’t want to lead you on…I will return the money you sent me”.

WHAT??! I can’t even comprehend what is written before a “ding” goes off and there’s the money returned to my account (kudos for returning my out of pocket investment…and for the push to get my passport).

There still, to this day…despite a few attempts by me…has not been a conversation with him. Not even a text. I am still dumbfounded that someone who was so insistent, despite my reservations, ghosted me. I looked back at all the conversations for some clues and all I saw were “romantic” gestures and greetings. Messages inviting me to spend time with them and talk about looking forward seeing each other next. Within just a handful of days…with no warning…poof!

I am only left to guess what the situation was…I have given him several weeks to reach out to me to have an adult conversation, but there has been zero contact. Maybe he needed a travel buddy and once his daughter was able to go, I was not needed? I know in the past he has paid for others to join him on other excursions (friends and family)…but what a stinking weird experience!!!! Maybe another woman came into…or came back into the picture? Maybe it’s something I have not even thought of?

Thankfully, I was not completely emotionally invested with my heart. I was invested with my hopes and wishes that a vacation in a beautiful location would help us explore a more romantic side of things (It could have been anywhere, but how cool that is was in Cancun). I am more upset I lost a friend I thought I had and was talking to incessantly for a few months…nonstop…just dropped me like a bad habit and didn’t care to even give me the time of day about it! Ummm dude, I am a human here with feelings and deserve some sort of conversation about this whole thing??

Anyway, I was hoping writing about this would give me some clarity on this situation. I was wrong. I think it’s funny that the few people who knew that I was seeing this man regularly have asked what happened. I just have no explanation! One day he was here, then he wasn’t! I’ll just chalk it up to another nickname on my list. Bye Mr. Mexico!

Back to the apps…I promise the next entry is not another year away!

(Maybe it will be from far away, though, those plane tickets were non-refundable and non-transferrable, so he was out the cost he paid for them. Meaning, I have some decent credits to fly wherever I would like! After all that craziness, I guess it was a Merry Christmas to me!)

Swiping Right

A month or so ago – a few months into my single status – I was evaluating my life and past relationships…as I often do. I am completely content with my family dynamic as is. And I want it to stay that way. I/we need it to stay that way. But I know that I like companionship. That is how I am wired.

I was reflecting on my “single life” back just after Brayden’s father passed (roughly 8 years ago). After about a year or so of healing, I started dating. On-line dating. It was a shit show. And that is putting it mildly. I was looking for people outside my circle and I was looking for love (insert eye-roll). Needless to say, I did not find it. What I did find was dates…and when I pluralize this, I am doing so meaning several different people. Not several dates with one person. With two exceptions. I think I made it to two or three dates with “Mr. Disney” (yes, I nicknamed them all). If you read this Mr. Disney, correct me if I am wrong about that number. He, long after our date(s), did end up moving down to Florida, getting a job at Disney World and proposed to his wife in front of Cinderella’s castle!!! I dubbed him properly…and that’s a little too Disney in a mate for my liking. I wish him the best! We are still friends. As I am with “The Hawaii Guy”. We actually made it to more than one or two dates…maybe five or so? I finally had to ask him to give me our first kiss goodbye on what would be our next-to-last date in the parking lot of the restaurant…as he was NEVER going to make the first move!! Why his nickname? On what would be our last date, he finally suggested that we do something other than just meet for a drink and a bite at a local restaurant after he got out out of work (finally, yay!!!). He lived in or around Manchester, I think, and it was about an hour long date each time before he headed home right after. He suggested maybe a walk, so we headed to Gonic Trails for a stroll. Which would leave him half way into the hike letting me know he had a work trip to Hawaii coming up and he had decided he was bringing his WIFE!!! Yes, wife. They were living separately for a long time, but never signed papers….and he felt guilty that in their nearly twenty years together he never took her on a nice vacation because he was too busy working. Nice time to be a good husband (insert another eye-roll). So, we spent the time walking out of the trails with me explaining to Mr. Hawaii that if there is room for a vacation with a wife in his life, there is no room for One Date Wendy. Yes, I earned my own nickname, too.

Then there was the Prius Guy, the Too Many Martinis Guy, the Comma Guy, the T-Rex Guy (mean…but his arms couldn’t reach around me for a hug…pre-covid…don’t fret). And countless others including ones that never even made it to the One Date because, gentleman, girls don’t want dick pics. Not this one anyway. (Sorry Mom and Dad…and kids…it happens).

Sooooo….. After some thinking and discussing with a few close to me recently, we thought…how fun would it be to go on some pre-determined disaster dates from an online connections…and write about them? I am not looking for love this time. Keep that L word away from me! I just wanted F. Fun, kids, get your heads outta the gutter….

First it was POF. Plenty of Fish. I crafted my clever little profile…found some pics of mine that were unfiltered…except one cartoonish pic I thought was cute…took a few “real” selfies and posted.

“Testing the water”

Me

Newly single

Looking for friendship and company for a date(s)

Four kids, all grown but one

Two dogs

Allergic to cats

Tries to be on time… I fail a lot

Always finds the silver lining

Has baggage

Tries to be healthy… I still fail a lot

I dish it out, and can take it

Independent… sometimes to a fault

My family is my everything

You

Not looking for a heavy relationship right now

Understands a single mom’s responsibilities 

Likes dogs

Are smart and well spoken, calm and kind

Respects and maintains your health

Can be respectfully sarcastic

Have your life on track and are independent 

Take care of and are involved with your children

Wendy via POF

Clearly the ratio of men to women is way off. I definitely had the upper hand. I have since learned that the actual ratio is 7-10:1 in my favor depending on the site! My inbox was flooded immediately. About a week later I expanded my quest for a dinner date and blog material to Tinder. Yes, I know the stigma of this app…but I made it clear in my profile (which I have since learned a lot don’t bother to read) that a “hook-up” was not my intent. The pool here is FAR better than that on POF…if anyone wants to know.

And an even better pool is that of Facebook. For those of you that don’t know, Facebook has a dating app connected to your page that will not introduce you to people on your friends list. It will, however, show mutual friends. You’re welcome.

All that being said, I have been on several dates this time around, from all platforms with a different mindset than years gone by. I am no longer disappointed on my way home (except once…I was pissed! But after a few apologies and days, I let it, and him, go). Sometimes it was nice, sometimes very nice, sometimes I was just amused. Please know that I am upfront with everyone that there is a fortress around my home and family. These are just dates for a a bite, drink and conversation…and a potential blog post. And, hopefully, some chemistry, so we can do it again. This time around there has been Short Stuff, Captain Quiet Time, the Local Contractor, the Married One….the Other Married One (You can’t make this shit up), and Ancient Greece. Not to mention a good amount of fun conversations that still linger on right now for a possible future meeting. Some I had to block. In doing this type of dating, you have to be open to the idea that you will meet all kinds of people. Most are respectful. Some are not. One conversation that was tough had the guy belittling me and my photos claiming I was misrepresenting myself (before even meeting me). He was criticizing my weight, my filters (which I had none )…crazy mo-fo…and when I think about it even now, it still rattles me a bit. He was so mean. I hate to think what would happen if he gets his hands on a lady with already low self-esteem…that will be a whole separate blog. I deleted and moved on…knowing some people are just assholes.

Moving forward, I believe I have decided, along with continuing this journey, I will do a more detailed account of each date…what led up to it and what actually transpired. This being encouraged by loved ones (who might want to refrain from reading!!). I would do this by individual blog posts…on another site…anonymously. So, that being said, if you see an account out there in the blogging world detailing these types of events…it might just be me…or not. You decide.

Thank you, my few people, that have been taking (and encouraging) this ride with me! Buckle up for more…

Work in Progress…

Here we are.  Looking at September approaching.  As usual, with sadness and not knowing exactly how I will handle my emotions.  This year I add to it that I am coming off the heels of a 2 1/2 year relationship break-up.  I am not sure if it’s an astrological thing or what, but when bad things occur in my life, it usually happens right around this time.

As I get acclimated to my new relationship status, instead of reeling over “what he did” or “what he should have done”, I am self-reflecting.  The fact that I have had four different men under this roof over the past twenty years…would lean to the idea that it is not all their fault.  I am the common denominator.

Under this roof has been one divorce, one death that happened six months after we separated (trying to force his sobriety), the separation didn’t lessen the blow, though.  We all loved him deeply.  Add to that, not one of the four under our roof, but another loss of a boyfriend to leukemia after dating just over a year. Then a catastrophic and abrupt ending of a relationship that hurt us all…one physically, everybody emotionally.  And lastly, being just recent…a peaceful, yet much needed ending to another relationship.

As far as the deaths, I have had people jab at me jokingly, sometimes not jokingly, the “black widow” reference.  Hell, I have even said it.  My last relationship actually had me watching the same scenario almost unfold again.  I was in an ICU watching my boyfriend almost die just eight months ago…I couldn’t fathom how this could be happening again in our world.  I was scared and it made me angry and bitter as it was lifestyle choices and not taking medicines required to keep him healthy that landed him there…that and just plain stubbornness.  I was just recently informed (unnecessarily, mind you…I could have existed not knowing) that during his month long stay at the hospital there was questioning if I had something to do with the sickness by at least one family member…likely more.  Seriously folks?  As if losing two people I loved already isn’t painful enough (to the whole family), let’s add “maybe she has had something to do with them and with this”.  I guess I understand no one knows what goes on behind closed doors, but jeesh.  That was a punch to the gut.  Just to assure every one out there, I do not possess the super power to impose esophageal varices, leukemia or kidney failure on another human. End of that rant.

reflect

Now those two, almost three, endings were out of my hands.  Now about my choices.  Who have I chosen to welcome into my family?  As far as the marriage to the older children’s dad…I was younger.  I didn’t know who I was yet and what I wanted.  I know that much.  I have no regrets getting into or out of that relationship.  We grew apart over the eleven years we were together.  I grew apart, mostly.  I knew I needed more.  I can’t blame someone for being the same person they were over a decade before.  But I wasn’t the same.

When I immediately got into my next relationship, I still didn’t have a sense of self.  Looking back, I would have never entered into that relationship as I am today.  It was dysfunctional right from the start…I would see that a mile away now.  But with that relationship I found what real unconditional love was for another human, other than for a child.  And we did have a child in our seven years together.  Losing him changed me. Watching your children lose their father/figure changes you in a way that without experiencing it, you will never understand.

I got myself into counseling to help me deal with the grief.  I learned a lot about myself…undoubtedly I am still learning.

The last couple of multiple year relationships are what I am trying to draw from now.  I know I have the fault…to not see faults.  I see the best of people, which can be considered a good trait…but in selecting who to spend your life with, you need to be able to see the “bad”s, as well.  I see the potential.  Not the now and what’s in front of me.  And that leaves both people unhappy.  One feeling like they never live up…and one feeling like they’ve been let down.

Next, I hold a lot of grief for obvious reasons, and guilt for allowing my children to go through another loss…and another.  That has to be difficult for anyone pairing up with me.  There are anniversaries and heavenly birthdays that are recognized…I gather it would be a lot for some to handle (I maintain that if you weren’t equipped to handle it…you should have never stepped into it).   I have always tried to be sensitive and balanced between making sure the family is getting to reminisce and my partner is still getting attention…but looking back, it might’ve been too much for some.

Honesty.  Another good trait, right?  I think so.  But I am REALLY honest.  I grew up with that not being a focus.  I was sneaky and it wasn’t until I was a young adult did I learn how good it feels just to be honest with yourself and those around you.  What I don’t realize sometimes, is that sometimes people don’t need to hear the WHOLE story (like I do when blogging?).  I am a sharer.  I will share just about anything.  Whether I pooped today, what goes on in the bedroom…with others or myself…how I felt for others in the past, things that I have done that am ashamed of.  Open book.  Too much for some.

Being right.  My apologies to those in the past…bad trait and something I continue to work on.  I try so hard to do the right thing all the time, I don’t always see that I am not…and then try to justify things and then…Let’s just say I am learning to simply say I was wrong.  And listen to the other side.  Work in progress.

Going forward I need to not only work on honing in on that little voice guiding me, I need to actually act on it.  I’ve learned to hear it, I now need to learn to LISTEN to it. I need to figure out how to give it a megaphone!!

So in conclusion…I guess I am too much for some.  I expect too much.  I need to listen and admit my wrongs.  I need to make sure my audience is prepared and equipped to take in what I share.  And I need to move slowly and listen closely to my inside voice.

I will continue to self reflect while getting through the anniversaries of Matthew and Michael’s death next week and the week after with my family.  I pray to travel through the next month with strength and grace while we celebrate their lives and mourn my past.  I welcome anyone who comes across this writing to pray as well.

Blogging is my way of figuring things out, thanks for being a part of my therapy session with me.  Until next time…

“It takes courage…to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.”
― Marianne Williamson

 

Closure

I’ve been tossing around adding an entry to this blog for quite a bit, but haven’t felt the usual surge of emotion that usually inspires me.

I decided earlier today to re-post an older entry and then take a nap (which I half did…I posted…I didn’t nap).  And then…I just kept thinking about what’s been going on.  In my head and in my life.

Last week was rough. Like REALLY rough (insert needed emotion!).

I  say this a lot, but if anyone knows me knows…that I have dealt with loss.  Grief.

I still do.  The pain is real.  My other half is amazing when it comes to understanding and caring for me during me “down” times.  I try to keep it real, but the rest of the family is pretty protected from my spiral.  I try to be fully there for them when they do their spiral.  Which for the youngest, it has happened more recently lately.  I think it’s just the time of year.

Anyhow, I got stuck in some memories.  Some pretty bad ones.  It involved a boyfriend who I adored, Matthew, who passed from leukemia.  His last days, as you can expect, were extremely hard.

So F-ing hard.

There’s many layers to that.  Not only for the obvious reasons…of him dying. But (as I have written about before, yes, I know), there were so many other situations that were happening at the same time.  There were some of his family members who treated me unjustly.  In so, so many ways.  From being denied a last good-bye…to items in the home…to the obituary (and so on…).

For whatever reason, though, I was catapulted to just before that.  The week before that. For really one of the first times.  I haven’t talked much about the before.

The week before….this poor man’s chest was filling up with fluid,  he needed chest tubes.  First one lung…then the other.  Then he needed a home nurse to drain them.  I stepped in to help (I then realized nursing would never be my career… maybe it would be different if I wasn’t in an intimate situation with my patient?).  Judging by my struggle to not pass out, it worked out okay that the hospital staff were the ones that tended to that task.  But when going back to the ER, he looked at me.  I am not sure why I forgot that look.  And I forgot that moment.  Until last week.

“I don’t want to do this any more”.

He looked at me and said this.  He was done fighting.

That moment was front and center last week.  Like it was yesterday.

And I got the very last look from him…a bit later,  when the doctor told him he was being intubated and put on life support before being transported to Boston. It was just us. Because I was there…not just at the end…not when it was convenient…but because I was there every second I could be.

I’m still not sure why I was treated so badly right after that moment…I welcome the family to reach out to me to explain.

But, now looking back, I did get the goodbye I needed.

Closure? I think so.

 

 

 

Live Pee Or Die #PB4WEGO

Well.

Who woulda known that my little ole license plate would stir up such a buzz??!!

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But here we are.  It’s just about two weeks after I received my letter from the Supervisor at the Division of Motor Vehicles of New Hampshire…the Live Free or Die state (insert eye roll).

I was on my way out the door to go to work on a Friday afternoon in my usual hurried fashion.  Mail was on the kitchen table…as it is typically is…dropped off by one of the two kids that still reside full time in the home (one is away going to a local university, one lives not too far from my home with his wife and child).  There was a letter from the DMV on the table.  If anyone has been to my home…they know I am not really on top of opening my mail.  I do most everything on-line, and I am doing my best to go completely paperless, but…there is usually a stack of mail on the far corner of the table in addition to random magazines and sales flyers.  This letter stood out, though.  DMV? I just got my license renewed last month…my registration is good until November…I haven’t gotten any tickets (knocking on wood as I type this)…I grabbed it and opened it as I was yelling good-bye again to the kids and trying not to trip over the dogs.

I sat in my car and read this letter.  Then I read it again. And again.

Oh, Hells No!  Uh-uh. Nope.

I read it again at every stop sign and stop light on the three mile drive to work.

I got to the restaurant and showed my dear boyfriend the letter, I was in disbelief (He’s the executive chef, I am the bartender)!!  I carried the letter into my bar area and read it again…and I talked about it with just about every patron and co-worker throughout the night (after I executed orders in a timely fashion lol…and my apologies to those that were my sounding board that night…I was like a broken record!).

My vanity plate was being recalled and I had to surrender my PB4WEGO plates to the local DMV within ten days. …because it included sexual or excretory (that’s a new word I have added to my vocabulary) acts or functions.  For real??!!  Peeing is now somehow offensive!  Especially when you are telling your child that so you don’t have to stop at the gas station two miles down the road…a phrase I said commonly starting 25 years ago and on…hence the plate I got 15 years ago (when NH expanded license plates to 7 characters).

It was a few hours into the weekend at this point, so I had to wait until Monday morning to call the DMV and get some answers.  I talked to a few nice ladies there who let me know that my letter was one of many that were sent and sorry, but I had to turn in my plates.

Nope.

I then (after voicing my feelings on this decision) asked how to appeal this letter.  I was advised to write a letter to the supervisor of the bureau of registration at the DMV and was given the email so they could get it right to him.  I though a bit about how to word what I wanted to say.  I thought about saying the “P” stood for something else, but out principal…I wanted to stand my ground that it DID stand for “pee”…and please go now so I don’t have to stop later!  Nothing offensive about that.  I thought about using the argument “everyone does it”.  But, let’s face it.  There’s a lot of things people do all the time that we don’t want to talk about or put on a plate.  Moving on from that subject…

I decided to just ask to keep my plate.  Because it’s not offensive and it’s my right.

I received a letter from the supervisor the following day and was informed that it was in with the legal department and my registration would remain valid during this time while a decision was being reached.

I felt this recall was so absurd and uncalled for.  After a few days with no word I contacted the local newspaper and asked if they were interested in hearing about the story.  They were.  And evidently a lot more were than I ever anticipated!  Holy Smokes!  It has blown up all over the media!  Since then, the governor heard about it in a roundabout way, if not directly seeing all over social media, and decided to make a phone call to the DMV.  After that, it was decided I could keep my plates!  Thanks, Gov’nah!

So, after the governor stepped in and the decision was made, the media blew up a bit more.  A lot more.  I’ve done interviews with so many radio stations, newspapers and news stations, I can’t even keep track of who I have spoken to!  It’s all pretty surreal.

After what I believe are the last interviews this morning that I will give on this subject, Inside Edition and CNN (ya, I know!!), I started to read some of the comments on the various publications.  All through this process over the past few weeks, I have had nothing but support.  From friends, family and strangers alike.  It’s been fun chatting with people I am just meeting and being exposed to new TV and radio stations.  I have definitely been feeling the love and positive energy around me (thank you!).  I also didn’t realize how much I hate being filmed and I discovered new anxieties that I never knew I had!!  Thanks to my guy for talking me off a cliff before a few of the interviews! Also, we both decided that we are thankful we are not celebrities!!

As I was reading through some of the comments, it was disheartening to read so many negative people out there who are ridiculing the whole situation and poking fun at how much media this story has gotten.  Then poking at the governor because he has more pressing things to deal with.

In the grand scheme of things, a license plate is not a big deal.  I, of all people, know this.  Life is much bigger than that and there are far more serious issues out there to find solutions for (I said to my guy just yesterday that I wished this publicity was for a greater cause).  It wasn’t just about a license plate, though.  It was the about a right.  It was about the government coming to me and taking something that was mine, that I paid for legally, and snatching it away from me.  For no reason.  They passed some law and somehow I fit into that category and now something that I own, that has been the cause of so many innocent laughs and genuine smiles, is being deemed offensive or vulgar and now I can’t have it.

I wasn’t going to let that happen.

And even if the governor didn’t step in, I hope that I would have had the same outcome.

So, all of you that have messaged me, called me, interviewed me, shared my story…thank you.  Thanks for getting my little story out there and making it big and helping me keep my vanity plate.  And helping me keep my rights.

And to the haters and pessimists and political ranters, lighten up.  And go pee…

Live pee or die ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bitterness…

 

Most of my writings here on momdotcalm.com, I feel, have been about grief.  Even if that was never the purpose of starting this blog.  Through my writings I have come to understand grief and have come to terms that it will always be with me.  It is a part of me.  It is not front and center.  It is not all I think or talk about.  It is real and the love I have for others that have passed is a real part of my heart.  I am comfortable with the way my heart has healed over these scars and I am doing life with a man that has his own scars.  It works for us and helps us understand each other and have a healthy respect for our losses.  Amen.

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What has come to light recently is the bitterness, that I usually have a good hold on,  is still there.  And I want to be rid of it.  It’s helping no one.  And the main subject (among others) that is the primary object of my bitterness has not stopped with consistent selfish actions and derogatory remarks to me.  I then fire back and this does no one any good.  I usually have that tug-of-war rope down and move along with life, happily.  But it doesn’t take much for me to grab that rope that I keep in reach and  the battle begins again.

I want to bury that rope…maybe plant some flowers there.

Last Friday was my youngest son’s father’s, step-ish father to the older three, would-be-birthday. He’ll be gone 6 years this coming September.  I took the night off of work and was happily cooking dinner for the whole clan that was coming together to do some reminiscing and a balloon send off.  I was doing remarkably well for what is usually a very tough day for me.  I kept saying how at peace I was.  Baseball for the 8 year old was cancelled due to rain and I was even more at ease and able to cook a nice stew for the crew!! A sense of calm and not feeling rushed.

Now my daughter had her High School Prom the next day after this dinner, so our weeks prior were kinda crazy with shopping, alterations, jewelry selecting, nails, etc. (cha-ching!).  She had asked me to bring her to get her 2nd an 3rd holes pierced in her ears in the days prior to this relaxing night.  I said no, too much going on and I didn’t think it was a good idea.  I finally agreed that if she wanted to ask her Dad, so be it, but I wasn’t.  Inevitably, she got him to say yes, but it was to be on this Friday that we were already busy.  Whatever, have her home early enough to enjoy her brothers (one just home from college that day!) and the balloon send off.

This quiet in the house I was experiencing was like figure skating…on very thin ice.  I knew that just below the surface was a lot of pain, anguish and grief…bitterness.  I was feeling the true peace, but I was cautious with every skate, that the ice was fragile.  I was doing a fine job.

And then the text.  “If you don’t have baseball tonight, why don’t you just take her to get her ears pierced?”

Seems a simple question that would warrant a simple answer?

Nope.

It bubbled every angry moment I have ever had toward this person.  Bitterness in the most extreme and truest form.  Ice cracked and I started drowning in all these negative emotions.  It took me about an hour to pull myself out onto solid ground, but not without a lot of harsh words and me realizing this person will never have an appreciation for me always being here for these kids, doing 99% vs. 1%.  Him saying to me “Get over yourself” was the  put-down-the-rope moment.

My instinct is to itemize all the reasons for bitterness, but my mind stops me out of respect for my kids…and him… I will not.  It’ll do no good.  Nor the others I hold onto pieces of bitterness towards.

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Instead I am going to try and work on this pessimistic emotion that does nothing but hurt me…and those close to me.  It does nothing to the person I am holding bitterness towards.  They walk free regardless of how I feel.

I know this person’s family and friends are very protective of him and will be angry for me voicing anything remotely negative.  But it is what it is, the truth hurts sometimes.

Bitterness does, too.

And…in addition to that, it’s none of my business what others opinions are of me.  I’m doing the best I can here.

For myself…and those I love, I am trying to get rid of the bitterness and forgive.  Most of the time I do it well, but other times I don’t.

I’ll start shopping for the flowers that will be over that buried tug-of-war rope.  Until then, work in progress…

My Cherry on Top <3

Why do I blog…when do I blog…what do I blog…???

There’s no definitive answer for those questions.

I first started to write at the direction of a friend who thought that, as a single and involved Mom, I may have some insight and tips and tricks to share to maybe help others in their daily life.  My first posts were more recipe driven…cooking is a passion of mine, so that’s no surprise.  There will be more of those in the future…I’m sure.

Life went on and I soon after realized how therapeutic it was to sit and write about what was on my mind and in my heart.  It felt good.  I, over the years, have had a lot of hurt.  People deal with their hurts differently.  I talk.  I write.  I quickly learned that it heals me.  It helps me process what’s on my mind, what I am going through.  Blogging became a journal of mine, whether it was read or not.  It was for me.

It is scary, sometimes, hitting “post”.  I talk about some sensitive issues and sometimes disclose not only my own baggage, but that of others’ as well.  After the initial panic sets in wondering how my thoughts and words will be received…and after the alerts slow down as to who has read and liked…or read and not liked my post, the calm sets in.  The reason for me using this platform.

What I wasn’t expecting was the secondary outcome of me doing this type of journaling.  I have been written to and approached on a regular basis with regard to how my blog has helped someone. It astounds me every time.  When I was writing the cancerdotcalm blog, I knew that it was helping people.  It was helping keep friends and family, and even those I didn’t know that were going through the same struggle, informed of what was going on with my then boyfriend and his journey battling leukemia. Everyone wanted to be tuned in and be updated.  With this blog though, I have been repeatedly and pleasantly surprised with the kind words of folks who keep reading momdotcalm.com.  How I have helped and inspired them.  Whether dealing with grief, a domestic issue or just as a parent trying to keep it together.

Please don’t get me wrong…I have also been greeted with the hate mail, and even a house visit, with disapproval for what I have written about. My opinion?  Don’t like it?  Don’t read it.  Please keep scrolling by and don’t visit my site.  You do you, I’ll do me.

And the positive feedback keeps blowing my mind every time.  I write for me.  And if my writing and purging my thoughts and feelings, whatever the random topic is, affects even one person to be inspired or feel like they are not alone…then that’s a great big cherry on top.

Thank you for reading and your messages. ❤

cherry

God Bless My Broken Road

I sit today to write with a burning question in my heart.  I write not because I have the answers and I want to share my knowledge…but because I don’t.

I have been abused.  I have been emotionally abused.  I have been verbally abused. I have been physically abused.  I have been sexually abused.

I have not been abused by strangers, but men I chose to be with…and chose to stay with.

That’s a hard pill for me to swallow.

I am talking about it…and I encourage others too, as well.

Recent happenings have had the dust kicked up and has me self-reflecting, more than usual anyway.  My first husband, father to my oldest child, was arrested last week…for domestic assault, no less…and highlighted in the local news pages.  This man has been MIA for over a decade.  And even then it was a one-time encounter after many years of no contact.  He abandoned his child, physically and financially.

His arrest, and him surfacing, has me recounting the details of our past history.  My son has no recall of any events while we were married (Thank God) being that he was just over a year old when we separated.  And when I say separated…I mean that there was the final and scary act of violence.  Leaving me with some haunting memories that I haven’t visited in quite some time.  There were a few violent encounters in our relationship…the last one involving a lot of bruising, weapons, police lights at our house in the middle of the night and restraining orders…not unlike my last relationship finale.

This has me asking…how the hell…why the hell…have I had myself in relationships with people like this!!??  I find myself to be somewhat intelligent.  Emotionally grounded.  Rational.  And I wasn’t stuck.  I read a lot of articles of women who are afraid to leave.  That wasn’t me.  I was NOT afraid…I was pissed off and hurt (Well, in the moment of violence…I was afraid…but when the dust settled and I was no longer being dominated…I held my ground!).  I demanded a solution.  For them to fix the problem.

And they agreed.  I have been to more couples counseling than I would care to have…and seen people go to on their own.  Regardless of the help that was being sought…the result has been the same.

The cycle of violence that’s published on the internet is a real thing.  Even if I don’t have the answer as to how I got into those relationships yet, I understand why I stayed.  For a time anyway.  The honeymoon phase.  I remember in one relationship that was going through the intense and rocky phase…that I would just wish for it to blow-up and for the fall-out to happen so we could get to the point where he would be sorry and doting.  Totally messed up.  However, I know I am not alone.  At least I don’t think I am.

I can thankfully say that I am now in a non-violent nor abusive in any manner relationship.  It’s not perfect, nor should it be.  Two personalities coming together is bound to have some conflict and growing pains, but it’s calm and respectful and loving.  Hallelujah.

I speak openly in my relationship about my past and my hurts and questions about my decisions.  I am still trying to sift through how I got into the situations I was in…but if not for anything…I am glad my path was the way it was (I was reminded of this over the past few days by both my oldest child and my boyfriend).  I have four beautiful children (and the wisdom gained) that are the result of my road traveled.

So, while I haven’t answered my question as to why I chose some men like I did (please note…not all were abusive…my longest relationship to date, albeit high conflict at the end with husband number two, was not abusive)…I know this was the journey I was meant to have.  And I am more than okay with the family that was the product of that journey.

God bless this broken road.

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I urge those in these types of relationships to speak up, get help and get out.  Just get out.  In my experience…it gets no better.  Progressively, it gets worse.  I am lucky enough to be here to talk about it and no further damage or injury was experienced. Speak up.  Get out. ❤

 

 

 

My balance…

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I’ve been itching to blog for a few weeks now.  I have had plenty of opportunity, however, I usually need to be spontaneously inspired and I sit and I don’t stop writing until I hit “publish”.  Sometimes it takes all of 15 minutes to blog a thought.  Sometimes hours.  It is usually sparked by something I am feeling passionately about…grief or happiness being the usual suspects (talk about one end of the spectrum to the other!).

Today brings us here by way of both…as I came across this memory this morning.

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Posted on Facebook 3 years ago:

Wendy Lee Auger is feeling grateful.
November 17, 2015 at 2:35 PM · Sanbornton ·
I believe Life is 10% what happens to you… And 90% what you make of it. 10% of me is pretty broken and hurting… But 90% is feeling pretty good, content and fulfilled. That’s not a bad ratio….

*******

It got me thinking about how I came to be able to focus on the positives.  Even during my negatives.  I know it’s a choice, but it really comes natural for me.  Like that’s how I’m wired.  It then brought me to look at my upbringing, what molded me and my sisters.  The four of us girls are really different in a lot of ways…but we are very similar in this department.  Three out of four of us have had significant losses (all of us struggles and bumps) over the past few years.  Me losing the father/father-figure to my kids from liver failure six years ago…and my next boyfriend to cancer three years later, one sister losing her husband in a car crash five years ago…and one sister losing her son to an overdose just shy of two years ago.  That’s some serious crap right there in our little family.  And you know what?  We all mourn/ed and we all grieve.  And we all will.  And we live.  We find joy in our life.  We all have done it in our own time…in our own way…and we are all working through it still.  But we do it.

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So, if there’s one thing (know there are many) I can thank my parents for…it’s instilling in us ladies to pick ourselves up and keep moving.  Not necessarily by dealing with death…but by any adversity.  I don’t recall any wise words or lessons taught with regard to this, but clearly there’s something there in each of us that made us this way.  Don’t sit there and dwell on what’s not right…what happened to you…or why your life sucks.  Feel it, deal with it and then figure out how to take the next step.

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Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that there’s no looking back or that the pain shouldn’t be felt or visited.  My feeling is that it is a natural and healthy progression of grief to continue to feel it.  Let it be there, but eventually keep it tucked in your pocket so you can move through your days with laughter, smiles and happy tears…and take it back out when it’s time.  Yes, here and there it jumps right out at you with no warning sending you into a grief attack (that’s what I call them), however, I think if you eventually get to that 90%/10% or so ratio…you are doing better than okay in my book.

I am very blessed to have a great man in my life who is understanding when that optimum balance I strive for gets knocked off kilter.  Or that he is just seeing my 10% up close and personal.  A few weeks ago, I was getting in my own head about our relationship…Corey and I are closing in on being together for a year now.  I was doing the typical analyzing thing I do.  I started thinking of how differently we now view each other, and in which ways we still see each other the same.  It’s interesting to me as we worked together for six years prior to our fateful trivia meet up as co-worker friends…leave as something much more night.

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“What about me is the most surprising thing to you after getting to know me more, moving in together and becoming part of my family?” I asked…well, I texted it…that’s how we roll.

My thoughts ran wild before I received his response.  I figured it would be something like that I struggle with organization…or that I sleep with my socks on…or that I always have candles lit/music on…or that I suck as a housekeeper (I knew he would never ever say that to me…but I figured it may cross his mind!!).

Nope.  That wasn’t his answer.

“That you still hold on to so much pain”.

I was mind blown.  In hindsight, it makes perfect sense. But when I read that…I was really shocked.  The grief and pain are such a normal feeling for me, I rarely realize they are even there.  I was sad for the answer (albeit slightly relieved my housekeeping skills didn’t take the cake!), but the more I have thought about it…the more I get it.  He is on the inside now.  He doesn’t just see me at the grocery store, or serving a dinner or a beverage at work…or spying my dance-jam in the new Corolla at the red light.  He see’s me waking up on the “angelversaries”.  The birthdays.  The random days in-between.  He sees me after I filled the paperwork out for school and sports when on the “father” line is deceased.  He now lives with the pain by proxy.  My 10%.

So folks, here’s a few things.

I  wanna say thank you to my parents for whatever, however, you instilled it in us girls to keep trucking on and finding our joy.  Sisters…keep rocking on with your bad selves through all the adversity and what’s handed to you, you’ve got this.  To all of you reading this in your journey of pain and grief…getting it in your pocket will be attainable, please trust me on this.

And finally to my guy, Corey.  Thank you for being you…and letting me be me.  Disorganized me, socks on at night me, lighting candles and singing off-key me, messy me.  And in pain me…sometimes.  Happy me…most times.

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Are you Happy?

Am I happy?  I have been thinking about this…and thinking about blogging about this for a while.  After a friend’s gathering yesterday, I was met with this question over and over.  Friends genuinely asking if  I am okay and if I am happy.  My guy, Corey, was also met with threats of bodily harm if he didn’t deliver said happiness to me (poor fellow)!  He didn’t ask for this, to fall into the wake of my seemingly endless path of bad choices and/or bad luck.  But here we are.

Here’s the deal folks.  I have…and always will be…happy.  It’s a choice.  I have been happy when I was constantly worried that the man I was with was about to go MIA on a drug binge.  I was happy escorting my guy into Boston for chemo treatments and endless lab work.  I was happy at gatherings and date nights not knowing how the night would play out…even though I knew it might end in some sort of drama, fight…or harm.

I have always chosen happy.

To a fault.

I am in a point in my life that I am choosing happy…period.  Not with any other conditions.

I will now not sacrifice one ounce of my happiness or peacefulness to accommodate anyone else’s shortcomings.  It’s only been my decisions that has had me on the path that I have walked…and honestly, I would not change a thing.  It has made me who I am and has made the family I have.  I am currently processing and dealing with the guilt of what my children and I have endured…the loss and the trauma…based on my decisions.  We are all, together, healing and moving forward.

But in moving forward, I am just going to be happy.  No underlying “except for’s”.  In my relationships, in my career…in my life.  Just happy and peaceful.

You only get one chance here, folks.  Make it, best you can, a good, peaceful and happy ride!!

My answer?  Yes, I am happy!  Period.  Finally!!!