~Friday, April 30, 2010

Fantasy versus Reality

RUBY: How many girls get to date their fantasy?
FELICITY: Yeah, but the fantasy is beautiful and
shallow. The actual relationship is a whole
different thing.

I'm confused.

What do you do when you get everything you thought you wanted, and yet it's not what you want?

Christopher was my dream guy. When we dated in 2006, I obsessed over every detail. I admired him. I adored him. He was incredibly handsome, magical in bed, intelligent, fit and lived in this amazing apartment in Midtown. He had it together. I thought if he would just commit, if he would just say that I was the person he wanted, then I would just be the happiest and luckiest girl alive.

And then he found me. When I was so low from my relationship with S that I didn't even feel human anymore, much less a woman, he found me and he saw all the things in me that I thought S had destroyed. That maybe even I had destroyed. He gave me back myself.

It was beautiful and shallow.

But now the little things are starting to add up and feel like big things to me. Like he's never, ever, in the history of the world, driven me on a date. I drive 100% of the time. Oh, he has a driver's license and a car, but he refuses to drive so if we ever go out, it's up to me. This is compounded by my relationship with S, who had neither a license nor a car, so it's been a minimum of three years since I have been driven on a date. I really wanted to put "Be driven on a date" on my 30 things list, but M-Joy told me I needed to raise my standards and then I got embarrassed of my need to be driven around town, so I let it go.

Also on that list, I've paid. I've paid more than I should have paid. He was unemployed and I wanted to do things, so it only seemed right that I paid. And I'm not really bitching about that. I'm bitching that now he is employed, he has bought me two meals, one of which was my birthday dinner, and he went out for drinks afterwards with my friends, and my friends paid for my birthday drinks. He had placed three calls me to me, questioning the price of the bill at all three places. "Why was the bill this much? what did we order? How much did I tip? Is that amount correct?" It feels like such a guilt trip. He called me at work about the birthday drinks. He told me my friends lied and didn't pay for my drink, and I flat-out told him he was wrong. I saw his bill; he only paid for himself. Yet I'm getting another call and guilt trip over money he spent on himself. He didn't realize that because the party was of 10 people, an 18% gratuity was added, and then because he was drunk, he added an additional 20% tip. He asked if he could call the restaurant and get that money back.

He wanted me to drive on my birthday. I refused. So he said he would rent a cab because he was planning on drinking as much as I was drinking on my birthday. Then he asked to split the cab. I said it was his decision to drink and if he couldn't get me to my birthday gathering, then I would call M-Joy, who would gladly pick me up, and I would go with her. He called me back and said we could take the bus. So we did.

And when we go out, it feels like we only go to the places he wants to go. I don't know how fair that statement is, and I know a lot of couples feel that way, but I feel like adding it to the list right now.

He hasn't met my parents. He hasn't told me he loves me. He is against marriage. Six weeks shy of our one-year anniversary, I feel alone. I feel single if I were being truly honest. We only see each other one night a week. If I were having a bad day, he isn't the kind of person to come over and hang with me and bring a pizza because he refuses to drive.

I switched my thyroid meds in the beginning of April and I've been having a really difficult time with it. I feel noticeably off. I sleep all the time and I'm weepy. I took a day off of work this week to go to the doctor and have a blood test to see if I'm hypo like I feel that I am. I told Christopher this. He responded, "My mother and brother have hypothyroidism, so I should get that checked. I probably have it too." I held the phone away from my face and thought, Did we just really make this all about you?

So that's it. That's my entire list of complaints about him. We don't fight; we actually get along very well. He doesn't call me names or throws things. He doesn't do drugs. He is a good person. I just don't feel like my emotional needs are being met. I feel single, but unable to date.

Which makes me think of 5k guy. He was the guy I was trying to impress when I drunkenly declared I was going to run a 5k with 5 weeks notice. He sent me an e-mail the next morning saying he would see me there. I blew him off. I went to the 5k, but still felt messed up from the thyroid meds and extremely unmotivated, so I purposely didn't meet up with him and walked half the race before quitting and going to get a smoothie. That's right, I am a quitter. (And then I watched The Biggest Loser this week where a 400-lb man with a SONY WALKMAN did a 5k in 50-something minutes and I felt shame.THE SHAME.)

5k guy sends me another e-mail after the race and told me he missed me. I sent a lame response, but gave just enough detail to indicate I was actually there. That was that, I thought.

Then I post my 30 before 30 list on my Facebook page at the request from my friends at birthday gathering. M-Joy read the list out loud and my friends cheered and clapped with every item like it was pure gold. When M-Joy hollered "Take a dance class" over the table, Harvey shouted, "We should do a belly-dancing class! No! NO! A POLE-DANCING CLASS!" It was momentous. Everyone in my life has met my list with an overwhelmingly response (My step-mother wants to shoot a gun with me, and we planned the swimming with the dolphins trip in August.) Everyone at my birthday wanted to go to the mountains for the rip-line adventure (Thanks for the tip!). They are pumped about rafting the Oconee river. Christopher, in hindsight, was silent.

So I post my 30 before 30 on my Facebook and 5k guy sees it. He leaves a comment with all the items he can help me with. Like change a tire, and doing the 5k thing right. He wants in on the rafting. I've met this guy once then blew him off, and yet he wants to help me meet my goals. Christopher did not even mention it.

5k guy isn't the messiah. He isn't the answer to my boy problems. But I bet he would drive me on a date. But I don't know anything about this guy: he could be a pot smoker who likes to refer to women as bitches. He could be against marriage too. Judging by his Facebook, he's way more active than I am. I don't really care for his dog's breed (wiry-coat dogs are just not fun to pet like my lovely, fluffy husky).

I've always felt more like a Charlotte (Pride and Prejudice reference, not Sex and the City). I always felt comfort in being safe. As evidenced from my list, I'm not much of a risk taker.

I don't know. I'm just thinking. Actual relationships are whole different things.

~Friday, April 23, 2010

The final countdown

On the twenty-fourth day of April in the year of our Lord 2011, I will be turning 30. 3-0. A new decade that is supposed to be filled with responsibility and knowing thyself. As the anonymous commenters love to note, I am neither of those things.

I have spent the last week compiling my list of 30 things I want to do before I turn 30:

30. Paint a piece of pottery
29. Not kill a house plant
28. Knit a sweater
27. Go an entire day of work without surfing the Internet
26. Bet on a winning horse
25. Take a dance class
24. Shoot a gun
23. Send a message in a bottle
22. Stop biting my nails
21. Visit Texas
20. Learn to change a tire
19. Stop therapy
18. Make 1,000 paper cranes
17. Have a professional picture taken of me and my dog
16. Make an indulgent purchase
15. Run a 5k (for real)
14. Go down a zip line
13. Put 10% of paycheck into savings
12. Swim with dolphins
11. Learn to spin yarn
10. Try a new cocktail every month
9. Find a fitness activity I enjoy (obviously not running)
8. Raft down the Oconee river
7. Drop 2 pants sizes
6. Perform a favor for a stanger
5. Make spaghetti sauce from scratch
4. Do a successful cartwheel
3. Buy a new dress
2. Attend a craft show and sell a piece of knitting
1. Meet Kristin

Some of these will make me a better/more interesting person. Some I've always wanted to do. Some I stole off of the Internet. All of them, I believe, are realistically obtainable—even that damn 5k attempt #2. Can you help me with any of these? Do you have a list of your own?

~Tuesday, April 13, 2010

In case you were curious

In case you were curious, ex's most recent arrest was for domestic disturbance. Apparently Convict Rehab went back into the apartment for some reason—maybe to fight, maybe to pick up more stuff, who knows—and he got so angry he threw a computer out of a window. This raises two questions with me:

  • How in the world did he get possession of a computer?
  • Was the window open or closed?

I'm guessing the window was closed to warrant the arrest. I'm also guessing that the computer was hers.

Anyway, it was the first of the month and rent was due, and he got kicked out of the apartment complex for his recent activity. Once again, he left the apartment furnished and unlocked so his parents can once again reclaim their belongings. His father showed up to collect his things and left S there with his suitcase of clothes.

S was homeless for about six days. He spent one at the hospital for some made up medical reason. The doctors told him that he isn't going to live much longer if he keeps going the way he is. I think he may have stayed with a friend another night.

He called his father to help him find another rehab to attend. He told everyone that he was going to detox at the place he quit last time, but it was another lie. His father refused to help him. His step-father told him not to call his mother anymore. He missed the birth of his sister's second child.

By Wednesday, he gained acceptance to a rehab facility a couple of hours north of the city. So he is gone. There is finally enough distance between us.

I'm not even going to comment because I just don't care anymore. Actually, I am going to point out that action for action, the same thing is happening to this girl's apartment that happened to mine. I don't even know her name, but she must be stronger person than me to not stay as long as I did. Or rather, he made it easy for her because his rock bottom is getting closer and closer.

She didn't press charges for his domestic-violence arrest and subsequent 72-hour hold. She didn't press charges because he said he would then press charges against her for whatever happened. Whether or not his charges would be taken seriously, she didn't want to take the risk. Which I get. I totally get it because it was the same reason I never did anything. So once again his bullying keeps him unaccountable for his actions.

On the same day of his domestic-violence arrest, public court records showed that his sham-suit lawyer filed a motion to withdraw said suit against the car he hit in that accident a year and a half ago. This means that I am totally off the hook for depositions and subpoenas and S locating me. It feels like a small victory.

I don't know if anything will come out of the domestic disturbance arrest. The fact he entered rehab again will certainly work in his favor. He's never been held accountable a day in his life, so I can't imagine why it should start now.

~Monday, April 12, 2010


I just got back from my spring break. However the only vacation that was involved were the vacation days I took off from work. I spent the week at my grandmother's nursing home in rural North Carolina. My days were spent sitting in a darkened room that smelled like urine for hours on end with me afraid to touch anything. Sitting in a nursing home like that, it changes you mentally.

I'm back at work now and listening to other people's vacations. Those who took cruises to Caymans. They are tan and relaxed and chipper and it makes me feel sorry for myself. My mornings were spent in tears because I couldn't mentally psych myself up for another day sitting and listening to the screaming. I keep hearing that what I did was a good and invaluable thing, but I can't see further than my own misery right now.

That damn 5k is Saturday. I haven't been to the gym in two weeks and I really don't want to go anymore. Besides my continued and longstanding hatred for running, there is an event at the city history center that I really want to attend. Of course, it is perfectly possible for me to do both, but dammit, I don't wanna.

I need a shot of B12 in the ass or a large glass of $5 wine.

~Thursday, April 01, 2010

Men are still people too

One of the reasons I rode out Christopher's unemployment with him is because we've done this before. I knew him back in 2006 when he had a great job and was working full-time. I remember laying in his bed and watching him get ready for work in the bathroom. He'd put gel in his hair and make the Zoolander Blue-Steel face while he distributed the product. Every morning this made me erupt in giggles and every morning he would respond by slamming the bathroom door shut. I knew he wasn't another couch-surfing boyfriend.

Work hasn't even begun yet and he's been mentally and emotionally and physically available. Actually he's been that way since he started calling again and I went on my trip to the mountains without him. We've gone from watching the Sex and the City movie last year when he told me to never tell him I loved him, to watching The Blind Side last weekend when he told me to never decorate our house like that when we buy one. His kisses have gone from puckered whisks to sloppy open mouthed greetings.

I've changed too. For the past few months I've been wanting to share feelings with Christopher more than I have. I've been wanting to talk about my therapy and share some of the S incidents (not anymore, but while they were still relevant) so I wouldn't feel like I'm going through everything alone. But I've been withholding and slowly resenting him for not feeling like I could come to him about those things. I think it stems back to when I originally told Christopher about the true nature of my relationship with my ex. I was just so disappointed in his initial response that I decided that Christopher could not handle the truth about my weaknesses. He doesn't view weakness as an opportunity for growth or change. Furthermore, he won't show his. The only time he will admit something embarrassing about himself is if I lead the way with my own inadequacies.

So I stopped. And so did he. I started to become resentful.

My therapist offered Christopher free service with one of her practitioners when he was really depressed. He refused, presumably because of the stigma of asking for help. I thought it was irrational because he knew I went to see one. I realized though he still felt the stigma because I never talked about it. I may have even perpetuated it.

I remembered a blog post I had written near the beginning of our relationship emphasizing the importance of truth, no matter how dirty or ugly it was. I gloated about its effect on our relationship. How my honesty made him honest. I haven't been living like that anymore.

So I picked up the phone one day and dialed Christopher. "I just got home from therapy," I announced.

"Oh yeah?" he asked, interested.

"Yeah. I'm kind of bummed out because we talked about my father." We talked about him too and his recent depression, but I decided not to lead with that. And Christopher listened while I talked about things that were unimportant to him. A few days later, he also listened when I brought up what she had said about his depression, including medical reasons for his physical exhaustion and recommended herbal supplements. He wasn't mad or pissed off that I had talked about him or his depression, and pretty soon he was asking me questions about it on his own.

The night I found out about my ex's arrest for domestic violence, I just told Christopher as if it was something we talked about more than the one time. He began going down the road of How could you subject yourself to that and I simply responded with I didn't tell him the latest news so he could come down on me about it; I just thought he would want to know.

He paused briefly. "Okay," he said. He said it positively, like he completely understood.

Christopher asked when was the last time S had tried to contact me. Honestly, I answered two weeks ago.

"But we were still together then," he whined.

I explained that he calls and leaves voicemails or texts or threats and I never return them. That it's not a big deal. But Christopher sounded like his boyfriend status was being threatened, like S might still have an impact with me. I can't imagine why he would think that way. Christopher was my dream guy that I wished and dreamed and prayed over. He has no reason to feel threatened.

It's been proven not once, but twice that honesty does amazing things for our relationship.


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