All By Myself

Soooo… remember that time I was all like, “MER. You GUYSSSSSS…. I have to go to a funeral all by myself and it’s going to be awkward and stupid and gross.”?

Remember that?

And then, I sat there like this:

Even though you couldn’t see me.

And then remember how I put on my big girl pants (size small, thank you very much) and went to the funeral?

Remember that?

Well, in a CRAZY turn of events, it just so happens that I am WAY awesome at flying solo. Like, even more awesome than I was when I was part of a twosome.

Honestly, I was kind of brilliant with the whole, “Going by myself. To a funeral. All alone. Just me. No one else. Yes, sir. Going to a funeral.” thing.

I KNOW! WHO KNEW?!

Turns out, that when I’m all by myself, not tagging along as a third wheel, or one half of a whole, I’m totally fine. You know why? Because I don’t have to worry about anyone but myself. I don’t have to worry about what someone else is doing or saying or thinking. It’s BRILLIANT! It’s pretty much the best time ever.

It’s funny. I always thought I’d be horrified to go places by myself. And then after being married, I thought I could never do anything by myself ever again. Turns out that I totally can… and it’s way more enjoyable than I ever thought.

I think part of the reason is because when I was married, I kind of functioned as the adult in the relationship. I was the one who knew how to behave appropriately in social situations. My husband was… well… a complete ass (and not in a cutely awkward kind of way). Only, he didn’t know he was being an ass. He thought he was being funny and charming. But really, he was just being an ass.

For instance, after the funeral service ended, I hugged my friend, offered my condolences and said a few kind words about the service and her husband. Then I left. I did not say something like, “So, what’s Mike up to these days?” (in reference to the deceased – name changed… obviously), or “Where can I get some food around here?” or launch into some gripe about how the florist at my great aunt’s funeral had butchered the arrangements and then charged the family double. DOUBLE!

In fact, I didn’t say or do anything inappropriate. My husband? Totally would have. (I can easily see him saying any and all of the above.) And then I would have promptly died, while those around me chuckled politely, aghast at his horrifying attempt at humor. Then I would have had to explain to him in the car why the comment wasn’t appropriate. Then he would have freaked out because I was being a control freak, and besides, everyone knew he was kidding and they thought it was funny and that’s why they laughed. And then I would have to explain that people weren’t actually laughing… they were trying to cover up their horror, and that was just their polite way of dealing with an otherwise really uncomfortable situation. And he would tell me I was wrong and making him feel bad about himself and it would have been this whole… THING. But nope. None of that happened. And you know why? BECAUSE I WAS BY MYSELF. Now that I’m all by myself… NO THINGS! No inappropriate comments! No horrified reactions! No putting on of kid gloves to explain how the world works to a grown adult!

I’m sorry… but it’s kind of… AMAZING.

And freeing. And… really, really cool.

I need to do things by myself more often.

Turns out, I’m pretty good at it.

The Dating Dilemma

Recently, it feels as though the universe is conspiring to push me back into the dating scene after my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad divorce. Because everywhere I look there’s another article or blog post or news story about jumping back into dating.

This is bad for one very good reason: Me. I am way too analytical and obsessive compulsive to shrug these articles off, ignore them and continue on my way. You see, when I come across these articles, any and all of the following thoughts will pop into my head.

  • Should I be dating again?
  • Why am I not dating again?
  • If all of these other people are dating again, clearly I should be dating again and I’m not. Does this mean there is something wrong with me?
  • Am I undateable? If not, then why have I not been asked out?
  • If there is something wrong with me, what is it? Am I unattractive? Do I have a butter face? Do I have a Kim Kardashian ass? Am I aloof? Am I unapproachable? Was my bra strap showing? Was my fly down? Did I have leftover spinach stuck in my teeth? Do I spit when I talk? Was my makeup smeared? Do I not smile enough? Do I not flirt enough? Have I even MET any men in the last 6 months???
  • Since I have NOT met any men in the last 6 months, where should I be meeting them? The bar? Church? Work? Hanging out on the street corner?
  • Do I even STAND a chance of finding love again???

And then, somewhere along this train of thought I begin to ugly-cry, like this:

Some time later I realize how ridiculous I’m being, so I go back to being awesome.

The thing with me is, I’ve never been much of a dater in the first place. (That fact alone is enough to throw me into a tailspin of neurotic self-analyzing as I try to figure out why I’m not much of a dater… because if everyone else is, shouldn’t I be?) My first really serious, long-term relationship was with the guy I married. I’m not one to frivolously date someone just for shits and giggles. (Sorry. I had to. I have no idea why that phrase is so stinkin’ funny to me, but every time I use it, I chortle heartily.)

Oh good grief, Annie. FOCUS. This gif thing is really getting out of hand…

Anyway… where was I? Oh, yes. Dating.

So, even in high school and college I didn’t date much. Sure, there were dates here and there, but I wasn’t a serial dater. My thought was, if I was interested in you, I’d go on a date and if that date went well, there would be more dates to follow. However, if we didn’t click right off the bat, and you weren’t the type of guy I could see any kind of future with, there would be no date. I still see it that way. I don’t really waste my time “dating” if I don’t see it going anywhere. The idea of “Kissing a lot of toads before you find your prince” never made much sense to me. Why kiss a toad in the first place? They’re toads. Why not wait until you find someone with, at the very least, princely qualities or aspirations? Why waste your time on toads when there are at least a few princes out there?

I realize this philosophy flies in the face of everything we’re supposed to think about dating. Dating is about having fun, and getting to know a person, and seeing if there’s potential and blar, blar, blar. Not so much for me. My idea of fun is going on a date with someone I already click with and see potential in. I don’t date unless there’s clicking and potential. Sorry. But, apparently, that’s not how you’re supposed to do the whole “dating” thing. Clearly, I’m doing it wrong.

I’ve always been a girl of substance and high expectations. I’ve tried to be “fun” and nonchalant and cool. It just doesn’t work for me. It’s exhausting. I’m way too practical and level-headed. “Dating for fun” just seems like a waste of time. You’ve got to be a pretty special guy in order to even wrangle a date with me. That’s just how it works.

Okay, so sure… I’m looking at this dating thing all wrong. But it’s the right way for me. SO, until I see someone that piques my interest and seems worth my time… I guess I’ll just wait. And right now? That sounds just about perfect.

Things that made me go Hmm… Week 10

Okay, here we go. I’m just going to jump right in.

  • This post by the always awesome Lisa Arends about being blamed for your divorce. (Not her being blamed for your divorce. You being blamed for your divorce. When it wasn’t your fault. You pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down? Or did I just confuse you further?)
  • This… because you know it’s true.
  • And finally, this. Because these are my thought-processes after every single social interaction I have. I may have a smidgen of OCD.

That’s all for this week, peeps. Enjoy the weekend. Catch you on the flip side… whatever that means…

Here is now. Here is good.

Many times, when this time of the month rolls around, I find myself feeling melancholy and confused. I spend a lot of time reminiscing about what was and regretting what will now never be. Oftentimes, I’m surprised by where I am now and how I got here and wonder “what-if”. What if it had never happened? What if I hadn’t made that choice? Or that one? Or the other one? What if I had done this differently or gone here instead of there? Would my life be different? What did I miss out on?

Sometimes, my old life, seems like an alternate reality – a reality that didn’t belong to me – a reality I had read about in some book or seen in some movie. It feels so far removed from where I am now that I sometimes struggle to marry the past and present and fully realize… This is my life. All of it. Good and bad. Two sides of the same coin.

Occasionally, I carry around the massive burden of regret, thinking if I had just done this differently, or been more like this, or made this decision instead of that one, my life would be completely different… even better. And then I realize how silly it all is to live with those regrets. Regrets get you nowhere; they just paralyze you and prevent you from moving forward.

Because, like it or not, this is my life. All the paths I’ve chosen, the decisions I’ve made, have led me here. And is “here” such a bad place to be?

“Here” is where I’m regaining my confidence – rediscovering my capabilities and my strengths.

“Here” is where I’m learning to be the person God made me to be – not some weak little shadow of myself struggling desperately to be the person others think I should be.

“Here” is where I’m reclaiming my interests and passions and talents and preferences… and realizing what it feels like not to apologize for them.

“Here” is where I have determined that I can and that I am capable, and that relying on my instincts and wisdom is a good thing.

“Here” is where I can shake off the old and move forward with the new. New adventures, new discoveries, new people, new experiences.

“Here” is now. And “here” is good.

Besides, what can I gain by looking back? Nothing. Not a single, solitary thing. I’m different now. I wouldn’t want the old life, as safe and secure as it may have been. With everything I’ve learned and accomplished… the new me wouldn’t fit into the old life.

“Here” is where I am now. I’ve gotten “here” through a series of disappointments, failures, and tragedies, along with plenty of victories, accomplishments and achievements. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know more now than I did then. I might be warier and wiser, but I’m still hopeful and eager.

“Here” is where the real fun begins.

Ass Hats Be Gone!

So…

From the looks of it…

And if I have read the legalized mumbo-jumbo in the envelope that came to my door correctly…

I am officially divorced.

Single.

Free.

Um… WHAT.

I think all my family and friends were holding a collective breath, waiting for that notification to come and bracing for the inevitable meltdown that would ensue.

It didn’t.

Instead, I opened the envelope and… smiled. I may have even laughed.

I felt nothing. Not. A. Thing. I think it momentarily occurred to me that I was officially a divorcee, and that maybe I should have that certificate of accomplishment framed and hung on my wall… but other than that… I didn’t give it another thought. Instead I sent out an e-mail to family and friends asking if they wanted to party with me.

Was that inappropriate? Wait, do I actually care?

Not so much.

So… does this mean I get to go out on dates with hot geeks now?

Yes, yes it does.

Now I just need to find some hot geeks in this town…

Accountability

So… I kinda need to talk about it again.

I know, I know, I know… AGAIN?! STILL?! FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, WOMAN! DROP IT AND MOVE ON!

I know. I will. I promise. I just… can’t… right now. Too many thoughts, too many emotions, too many “what-ifs”. I blame it on my period.

But as I try to “deal” with all these thoughts, emotions, and “what ifs” instead of running away from them, something keeps bothering me.

Accountability.

I feel like I’m waiting for someone… anyone… to hold the jerk accountable for what he did. And I have yet to see it happen.

It certainly hasn’t come from his family, who turned their backs on me the second this whole thing happened. Not a single in-law reached out to me to see if I was okay… to offer prayers… to offer support… to offer love. I suppose he had told them any number of lies to take the responsibility off himself, and so they figured it wasn’t their place to “interfere”. Still… you spend 6 years with this new, make-shift family and they turn around and walk away the second things get tough. They probably have more loyalty to the family accountant than to anyone who gets screwed over by their beloved son and brother. Plus, the fact that they’re “okay” with their son and brother screwing people over says volumes about them as a family.

Shared friends certainly have been too afraid to say anything. They don’t want to “take sides”. It’s comments like that that make me want to gouge my eyes out with rusty metal spoons. Take sides? TAKE SIDES?! I suppose, they’ve listened to his crap and his lies about “having problems for some time” and about the girl being “just a good friend”. I’m sure he’s told them it was me who didn’t want to work things out. They see this as a two-sided kind of thing. There aren’t two sides. There’s the truth and there’s his version. There were never any major problems in this marriage (none that would lead to divorce anyway)… the girl was more than just a “good friend”… he refused to work things out because he refused to cut ties with his “good friend”. There’s right and there’s wrong. Screwing your wife of 6 years over to pursue your own selfish needs is just plain wrong. Why won’t someone hold him accountable for his actions?!

Even the so-called “Christian” counselor he was seeing didn’t hold him accountable. According to the ass-hat, all the counselor did was sit and listen and help him sort through his feelings so he could make a decision that would make him “happy”. Either the ass-hat is lying about that, or this counselor had no right counseling anyone in matters of marriage.

No one… not a single person… has held him accountable for his actions. No one has slapped him upside the head and told him, “Dude, that was a really shitty thing to do.” No one has questioned his motivations and his version of events. No one has had it out with him and asked what the hell is the matter with him, who does he think he is?!

And honestly? That’s all I want. I just want him to see and understand the pain and devastation and turmoil he has caused. And okay, I want him to hurt as badly as I do. I don’t necessarily want vengeance, but I do want vindication.

I know I may not get it. Even if someone does hold him accountable and I am vindicated, I may never know about it… and I have to live with that. But right now… any amount of vindication and accountability would really feel nice.

*sigh*

When does it stop bothering you?

Yesterday, I nearly burst into tears during my lunch break.

For no other reason than the fact that I had received an e-mail from the ass hat saying the papers had been filed, and we should know about them being finalized in a few weeks or so.

And here I’m sitting at the horseshoe-shaped leveled reading table with Precious Moment’s-sized tears threatening to spill over onto my delicious, thick-sliced deli turkey sandwich. (It really was a delicious sandwich. Not so delicious that you could cry over it, but…)

And as I’m trying to hold back these tears, all I can think of is, “What the heck is WRONG with you?! You’ve been anticipating this for months! You’re ready to have this over with! WHY ARE YOU READY TO CRY?!?!”

And then it occurred to me… I’m a girl and my Aunt Flo is visiting this week. It seems I only cry over this mess of a situation during those times. And so, as was my monthly habit, I came home and bawled my eyes out for a good hour.

It was probably needed, but it still bothered me. It bothered me that he still has the power to bother me. He bothers me with his emotionless, robotic correspondence. He bothers me when he treats this like a business transaction with a stranger. He bothers me when he’s the only person I can ask certain questions of… like about the car, or shared life insurance policies, or the like. He bothers me when he tries to be friendly and earn “nice guy” points. He bothers me when he can just end a marriage like he’s dropping off clothes at a Salvation Army donation spot. When is it going to stop bothering me? When am I going to stop fantasizing about keying his car and punching him in the face? When can I have my monthly visit from Aunt Flo and not cry over a delicious turkey sandwich?

I know it takes time. I know there will be times when I’ll think I’m fine and suddenly discover I’m not. I know there will be triggers that just set me off. I know, I know, I know. But this is turning out to be a lot harder than I thought it would be. And look at me… I’m blogging about the dreaded “D” word again. Blar.

I’m going to go fantasize about punching him in the face now.