Dilemmas

So I was asked for my opinion/advice on a matter today. The more I think about it while sitting at the terminal, the more I feel I may not have been accurate in my assessment.

A friend was “dating” a woman. Things were going well. They were connecting intellectually, emotionally and physically. The two of them were on their way to having a terrific relationship.

This had been going on for about 4 months.

Then, one day, out of the blue, my friend’s (we will call her B) romantic interest just stopped!

Started ignoring texts, phone calls, even finding excuses not to meet up.

B was confused, hurt and started to find herself bordering on angry.

She begged her crush for an explanation. Wanting to know if she had done or said something.

No responses to her questions.

After a few weeks, she and the crush started to text again. But, those conversations were clouded with a lot of vague comments. B was trying not to be pushy but she still had this nagging feeling that she was being kept in the dark.

Well, late last night, she found out that her crush has been seeing someone else.

She was devastated. This threw her for a loop that she wasn’t expecting.

Her question to me?

“Am I being controlling because I feel like I should have been told?”

I was in a hurry to get to the airport so I just asked a few basic questions.

1. Did the two of you agree to be mutually exclusive?
2. Did either of you suggest that seeing other people would be an option?
3. Have you asked her about this?

The answers were (in order) no, no, no.

My immediate reaction was, “well, in all honesty, if the two of you didn’t have an exclusive relationship, then she was open to see other people.”

I then left for the airport.

As I sit here, though, I have put myself in both situations, mentally.

From the position of B, I too would feel betrayed. Not so much by an act of infidelity, but because I would have been open and honest had I started seeing someone else and would expect the same courtesy.

From the position of the crush, I can only assume she is the type of person who isn’t very good at facing conflict and decided to hide from B until she knew how to respond.

My new opinion? B deserved to be kept in the loop. Playing with people’s emotions and being reckless with their hearts is a slippery slope. Yes, her feelings would have been hurt. But, she would still feel a certain amount of respect for the crush because of that honesty.

How do I know this? I’ve been there. I once pursued a woman and things were going well. About 3 weeks into it, she came right out and told me she couldn’t see us in a long term relationship because of my kids.

I was hurt but I appreciated the fact that she was honest. And, it allowed me to bow out with my dignity intact.

Something that B wasn’t afforded. Her repeated texts asking if she had offended or hurt her crush has her now feeling like the butt of a cruel joke.

As for the crush? If she has so little regard for another’s feelings then B is better off without her.

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The mind is a trap

This is the conversation I had with my friend, Anita, these past several days through im.

She seems to have latched on to the notion that C is worth holding on to and doesn’t really want to hear my “excuses” for letting go of her and putting her pain behind me. I think it has more to do with Anita’s own feelings of loss because she can empathize with C. She lost her husband to a car accident several years ago.

Anita: “What’s this I hear about your ex being snotty?”

Me: “Nothing really. Someone is trying to stir up shit, I think.”

Anita: “How is C?”

Me: “I dunno. Haven’t heard from her in a couple of days.”

Anita: “Did you ask what I told you to? Did you ask her, ‘C, what is going on with you?’ Or did you get crabby with her again?”

Me: “Yes, Anita. I asked it exactly like that. She hasn’t responded. She’s either back in her pissed off selfish mode or she’s incredibly busy”

Anita: “No. I think a question like that requires some seriously deep thinking.”

Me: “with all due respect to C, I don’t imagine she’s doing any real deep thinking about anything right now. I see her more running on auto pilot just allowing whatever emotion is in control to take over.”

Anita: “You don’t give her enough credit. Text her and just say hi!”

Me: “I’m sorry but, I don’t want to. If she is busy, she will reach out to me when she can. If she’s in her funk again, I’d prefer not to be in the line of fire when she has another complete meltdown.”

Anita: “Fair enough. Give her a week. Maybe get away from all craziness for you too. She’ll come around.”

Me: “get away from all craziness? Does that mean I can take a break from you?!”

Anita: “funny. Don’t give up on her!”

The reason I’m writing about this is simple. C is a fucking mess. She is putting on that front to make everyone think she’s doing great. I’m not sure, but I’m pretty certain she’s also trying to initiate a romance with a mutual friend of ours. (Did I mention her partner has only been gone 6 months?). While I still insist that I am no expert on her emotions, the meltdown she had at Christmas and Thanksgiving is an indication to me that jumping in the sack might do damage to yet another friendship.

Anita has a big heart. She does agree that C should wait at least a year but not out of respect but for healing purposes. Get through that first Christmas, Thanksgiving, anniversary, birthday and of course the 1 year mark of her death. Get through all the “firsts”. First time in many years that she’s had to face these things alone.

Me? I can sympathize with C. Feel sorry that she is still in pain and confused. But..I can’t worry about her, right now.

That sounds harsh, but it’s where I’m at. Emotionally drained and frustrated.

In all honesty? If I keep pushing and she pushes back..I’ll turn my back on her forever. She’ll be another of those people that hurt me badly enough that I did give up on them. Forever.

That..well, that I don’t want.

We won!

In my firms quest to become the biggest and the best, we have another feather to add to our cap!

I got an email this morning from the President (my boss) of CS. We won our biggest contract to date!

It’s one that I presented on in Dallas several weeks ago. I had to go up there to do two presentations. We learned that we had won one of those but with the delay, we assumed we hadn’t been awarded the larger one. Well, we got it!!

$3.5 mill a year for the next 4 years!

Yesterday’s funk, last nights little outburst about my ex and I was beginning to feel pretty crappy.

To celebrate? Julie and I are going to take several days off and spend them in Austin celebrating J Mac’s birthday!

My friend J Will is flying in and my other friend Nef is coming up too! It’s going to be a great event! The love of my life, my closest friends and a celebration of my success and the birth of someone I hold very dear to me!!

Today is a brighter day!!

The Ex

I got a message from someone telling me that my most recent ex had some rather unflattering things to say about me.

Well, that’s her choice.

I held a lot of rage towards her for months. I dated a few women and then Julie and I reconnected. Since then, it’s as if every thing about my ex became petty and insignificant.

No, I didn’t read her blog or go to see if I could glean some tidbit of information from her Twitter or Facebook. Truthfully, I’m not sure she even keeps up with any of them anymore.

What’s my point?

Well. I guess it’s that I don’t really care. I left the relationship at her insistence and chose to never look back. My life with her went from great to shit in the blink of an eye.

If she is aware of my life with Julie, then it’s possible that she sits back and thinks, “that will never last” and that too, is her right.

She was a part of my life that I needed to experience.

Life with her taught me that I don’t have to always “win” when Julie and I argue. She taught me that it’s ok to be the real me and if my partner wants me to change, they aren’t meant for me. She taught me that I don’t want anymore fucking kids!!!! I’m content with my grandson and little H to play with from time to time!!

I’m happy. I mean truly happy. Not the “yeah I’m getting laid and there’s no more pressure from friends to date” happy that I had with her but a “I will be proud to hold this woman’s hand at the bitter end, if she’ll let me” happy.

I have long meaningful and thought provoking conversations about things like Gaza and the Saudi governments policies to police their own people. (With all due respect to my ex. She probably doesn’t even realize there is an uproar over beheadings in Saudi).

I am married. Yes. Legally, lawfully, the state of Texas in all its redneck glory can kiss my ass because I’m a resident of Illinois and said “I do!” In front of a priest, married!!

I have a home. I have a farm. I have a career that I could have never had with my ex!

So yes. I am grateful for my ex. She taught me how to love Julie, unconditionally. She put me through hell so I could appreciate what I have now more than I would have otherwise! And she pushed me out when my stupid sense of duty would have made me stay!

If she reads this someday? That’s ok. I still don’t fucking like you! Sorry. But I’m sure you still don’t fucking like me! And I’m ok with that!

Now. If she feels the need to continue to talk or blog about me? Again. That’s her choice. As for wishing her the best? I really couldn’t give a rats ass if she’s happy or not. Not my circus…not my monkeys!

Days like these.

Some days I miss Julie so much that I swear it physically hurts.

Today is one such day.

Both of us are busy so texting or talking isn’t much of an option until after work. By then, I will have had to shift from work mode to school mode and that leaves me even more distracted.

This morning I sent her the usual “good morning” text and asked if the snow was coming back. She responded and we chatted for a bit while we both drove to work.

I had a safety meeting to lead this morning and then training to get my inspectors registered for.

She has paperwork to sift through since the new semester has started and meetings to attend.

I came back to the apartment at lunch, like I usually do, to let my dog walk around a bit and to eat. The whole time I was driving I kept looking at my phone. Re-reading texts she had sent, looking at her Facebook and Twitter, all in an attempt to feel closer to her. Even if just for a moment.

She usually sends me a text when she’s at lunch to see if I can talk but until then, I will keep my phone attached to me like an extra appendage.

The worst part about days like this is when the day is done. When I’m laying in bed, alone. Wishing that the pillow I have snuggled up against me was her.

It’s hard to fall asleep when you can’t clear that longing from your mind and it’s even harder to get up because you just want to go back to sleep so you can dream of them some more.

It’s Tuesday. I fly home Friday evening. I get my usual weekend with her but knowing that a permanent move is just around the corner makes it feel like I’m being cheated with just a few days.

Today may turn out to be the longest day of my week!

Chores

You’d think that when I’m home, the last thing I want is to be busy with chores. In the contrary!

I love the fact that Julie always has a list of things for us to do.

With the snow, it’s almost impossible for us to do anything outdoors that doesn’t involve bundling up. That tends to limit the activities that we would normally do on a Sunday such as golf, hiking, kayaking, shopping. (I had to throw the shopping in! Julie LOVES her shopping trips!)

Instead, we have devoted some of our Sunday’s to working on “The Homestead”. Our modest few acres outside of town that is home to her chickens and two pigs that she has affectionately named Oscar and Alvin.

I’m not sure she realizes that bonding with these hogs means having to be responsible for the death of a friend, one day!!

This morning, we rented a tiller attachment and borrowed a tractor from her dad. She wants to plant a garden in the spring. We figured that today would be a good day to try and get the area prepped so when everything thaws, we are ready!

She also wants to try to plant Kale. It is one of the few things that is hardy enough to withstand the cold and ice. (We’ll see)

Today is sunny but cold. With us taking turns tilling up the ground (translates to playing on the big machine!) we managed to make one hell of a muddy mess!!

I have rigged up feeders for the hogs and chickens so that she doesn’t have to worry too much if life gets crazy and she can’t make the trek out for a day.

It’s funny to watch her trying to be more self sufficient. I’ve always enjoyed raising animals and growing our fruits and vegetables. She hasn’t ever really experienced anything outside of a cherry tomato plant that she had on her front porch.

We’ve been looking at different blue prints for houses and discussing what we want our home to be. We want to have solar power at the house but it can be pretty expensive to set up. There is electricity and water out there already, so for now, we will continue to “live on the grid”.

I’m loving this! Loving the adventure of planning our life together. Not a life of separation.

Honey do

My flight got in last night about 6:30. I drove from the airport to the house in almost complete silence.

Every once in a while I just can’t stand to hear the radio. There isn’t any music that I want to listen to and talk radio is more of a mindless drone than anything else.

I needed the time to think.

I’ve gotten into a pattern when I fly now. I put in headphones (they aren’t actually plugged in to anything) to help with the change in cabin pressure and to deter people from trying to chat me up. I know. That sounds rude, but when I climb on the plane, I’ve already had a long week and I really want a little peace and quiet.

I then pull out my iPad and read. I love the fact that along with free shipping and streaming, I get the kindle library that I can “borrow” books from with my Amazon Prime account!

Ok. Enough of my unsolicited ad…

I’ve been named the VP of Construction Services at my firm. This means I’m now overseeing all field activities. I have to make regular visits to the different job sites and perform oversight inspections at all of them.

Currently, we have active projects in Clovis, New Mexico, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Ft. Worth, San Angelo, and Big Springs. We recently picked up contracts in St. Louis, Chicago and now an airport in Amarillo.

My job will be to find the best way to hit each job at least once a month and the bigger projects twice.

I’ve got a preliminary plan in place that I’m going to try once I have to actually begin all this in May. I’ll work at home on Mondays and Fridays. Fly out on Monday evenings. I’ll pick a spot that is fairly central to one cluster of jobs. For example? My Ft. Worth, Dallas and San Angelo projects. Take three days on those, fly home Thursday night.

I’ll be home Thursday evening until Monday evening. Julie and I are absolutely stoked at this!!

I chose those days simply because the middle of the week is cheaper for air fare and hotels. If I’m mindful of our budget, hopefully this little luxury of living with my wife will become a routine!!

Today I chatted with a couple of friends and then Julie and I headed to her folks to help them hang cabinets. They are remodeling their kitchen and wanted to save a few bucks.

We finished up early enough to have dinner with them and then get home in time to clean up before bed.

Julie is doing her nightly ritual of checking emails and Pinterest and I’m blogging.

I can definitely get used to life being routine!!