Fun


My life has been super crazy the past few weeks. I have a lot to share and blog about but right now my focus is my birthday. I turn 50 on Saturday. I don’t know why we focus so much on decades but we do. I have been thinking a lot about the last ten years. Ten years ago was one of the most difficult of my life. We had the year of the deaths and it was when my marriage really started falling apart. I got depressed again and really had no motivation to live. I changed jobs thinking it would help my marriage. It didn’t. I started drinking very heavily and was not sure if I wanted to go forward. My children did throw me a great birthday party for my fortieth. It is a great memory. They threw me a massive surprise party. I had friends and family from all over the country surprise me here at my house. We had a band, food, and overall a great time. That was my last good birthday as a married woman. My ex-husband was never much about celebrating birthdays so there were only a few even decent ones while I was married.

I now look back at the past ten years and remember all the heartbreak I had when my marriage dissolved and several more people dying that I cared about. It has been rough in many ways but, in others, it has been great. I now look back at my divorce as one of the best things that ever happened to me. It took me a long time to realize that but I sure have. Since the divorce, I have grown so much. I am now stronger and healthier and happier than I have been in probably fifteen years. I feel better than in years. I look great. I am stronger and in much better shape than I was ten years ago. I no longer feel like I need someone to take care of me. I find my own solutions to my problems. I have a job that a love, a complete new set of friends, and my kids love me. I am lifting weights again. I no longer have breathing issues or chronic pain. I am sleeping better. I have gotten used to being solo most of the time and it doesn’t bother me. I honestly feel that IF I end up with someone, they will be so lucky to have me. I am actually better emotionally than I ever have been in my life. It took fifty years to get to where I really and truly love myself and am confident and happy.

A couple of weeks ago, I was very sad that my birthday was coming up and I was going to spend it alone but now I am not. I had one girlfriend take the bull by the horns and now several of us are meeting at the local steakhouse. I will get 50% off my meal and then we will hit the town. My ex-bf/ bff is coming as well as several others. I am actually excited for my day again. I won’t be alone to ring in my next decade. I will be with people that love ME for me and accept me for ME. FIFTY is going to be a great year and I am like a fine wine, I am going to keep getting better with age.

Recently I wrote a post about The men in my life  since my divorce. One of the “what ifs” was The raft guide. He and I met on POF almost a year after my divorce. Our first date, he drove out to my town to one of our few bars and we met for drinks. As usual, I was a bit nervous. I hadn’t dated much at this time. I had never hung out at this bar previously. It is a bit of a dive and my ex-husband and I never went out anywhere. I will always remember our first date. Oh my goodness, I laughed so much. I had a great time and could not wait to see him again. We really hit it off. Our next date, we went out to eat and ended up making out in the parking lot a bit. We quickly decided that we needed to be a couple. I actually loved every minute we had together. We would go out at times. We would play on the river. We would cuddle on the couch and rub each others feet. He was very kind and sweet BUT there was an issue. I was so damn insecure. As an avid rafter, he had trips planned before he met me. At the time, I didn’t know how hard it was to get permits for some of these trip. They sometimes are planned a year ahead. I had no idea the protocols. When he got ready and planned for a long trip and didn’t invite me, I was hurt. I didn’t know that part of the permits are who is going. I thought that he just wasn’t that into me. I needed to be the center of his world. I was so damn messed up and clingy. I ended it with him and regretted it almost immediately. We didn’t speak for a long time. He ignored my messages that I would send occasionally. Over three years, I sent maybe a dozen messages, saying hi. There were a few that told him I was sorry that I handled it improperly. One telling him I got a ducky for the river. I apologized to him and knew he would never talk tome again. I was so sad as he was so much FUN. I never stopped missing him.

When I started this job, I would occasionally run into him on the street and we would talk for a few minutes. It was always nice but I still missed really talking to him.  I wanted to be his friend and knew I had probably hurt him. When I signed back up on the dating site, he sent me a message telling me that I really am a good person. We started talking from that moment. I have no idea what the future holds. He says he is not looking for a relationship with anyone at this time but I have the friendship back. We have spent some time together, including paddling down the river this past weekend. It is nice to be hanging out with him again. I wish I had been ready when I had met him and we had taken it slower. Who knows where things would be now. I will never forget his original dating profile. He said he wanted to find someone to grow old with. He said he wanted to be one of those cute little old couples holding hands. That is really what I want, too. I do wonder if I blew it with him but his friendship is more important. He is the kind of man that is a good friend. Only time will tell what will happen here but I am glad he is back in my life. I have missed him a lot in the three years we were not talking.

I have spoken about different types of men and the difficulties in dating them: Men that have had serial marriages and ones with young kids. Another one that actually terrifies me possibly more than the others is one that has never had a long term commitment. When I was on the dating sites, I realized that so many men had never had a relationship longer than a year or  two and  were in there forties. For me, I couldn’t help but wonder WHY they have never been committed to someone. Can they not make that step? Would a man like that be worth giving a try?

For me, everyone that I have met in this category seems unable  to  make the step. The latest is the glass cutter. We actually met on a dating site about three years ago. We talked about meeting and really hit it off. Next thing I knew, he was engaged to another woman and dropped me as a friend on Facebook. Several months ago, we finally met in person as we have mutual friends. He never married that other gal.

He is so much fun to be with. We enjoy each others company. We have not gone beyond friendship at all. We had lunch together a couple of  times and one date. He actually texted me and told me that he really liked me but got tongue tied with me and is intimidated of me. After spending some time together, he basically told me that it isn’t worth the risk of getting hurt. We have become good friends in the past few months and I enjoy his company but he has shown me that for at least him, I was accurate in my trepidation of trying to date a man that has never had a commitment.

One of the most difficult thing I have found about dating is dating rebound men. I have had so many dates with men that I was their first date after their divorce or break up.  The first few guys I went out with all fit in this category. One was so not ready that he quickly ran. Another wanted to go too fast though he said he would never marry again. Ex-Bf and I became serious and were together for a while. I am still friends with all of them. One is alone and drinking way too much the other two are in pretty serious relationships now.

After going out with a few other guys that I was their rebound date, I have realized a few things. One is that I do NOT want to be the rebound girl again.  There are so many issues to deal with. I do not want to have to guide another man through the learning to date process and sex with a new woman again.  I do not want to be the first kiss for a man after twenty years again. They all act sixteen. Yes, I like sex now BUT that is not  what I want with most dates. I am more picky than that. Besides, I have found that “stage fright” is not unusual for them.  I remember how awkward it was to be a first time dater. First date, first kiss, first time being naked with someone besides my husband after 23 years. It is difficult for everyone but I no longer want to be the teacher. The last few first dates with rebound men have stopped at that. There was one real nice man that I got along with real well but I could tell that he wanted to move much faster than I wanted to. I have noticed that with most men that I have gone out with. Statistics actually show that men tend to remarry more quickly than women do. They either are so commitment-phobic that they just want to play the field or they want you to be their girlfriend in a week. The one I met and dated last fall was like that. Clingy after a couple of dates.

I am glad that I have reached a point of contentment without a man. I have hardly been dating (except for R) I have been off the dating sites for four months now. I haven’t met anyone new since Valentine’s Day and he was a rebounder. I am not going out with him again. He was way to handsy too fast. I am going to continue on the path I am on now and see where life takes me but for now, I really do not want to be the rebound girl again. He needs to be ready to date but not desperate to find love. He needs to have confidence in himself but not be cocky. He needs to be over his wife and not tell me how much he still loves her on our date. Yes, I had that happen. He needs to be looking for friendship and a companion that a relationship can build and grow over time.  He needs to be ready for ME.

When I was pregnant with my son,  I had a very vivid dream telling me he was a boy. I never officially found out with my kids but was right every time. I was so nervous about having a boy. I had no brothers, my mom had no brothers, my grandmother had no brothers. No one to help me. My mother in law and I had very different views so I didn’t go to her for advice for my kids. I already had two girls but everyone assumes you want one of each. I did NOT. I was terrified of boys. My grandmother had told me that they were born nasty. I had all girl things already. Another girl  would have been easier.

Sure enough, fall of 1997, I gave birth to a bouncing baby boy. The most difficult difference of him being a boy was diaper changes. Nope, not getting peed on, the girls did that, too, but no one told me to fold it down so he would wet his clothes and not his diaper.

He was a sweet baby and adored by his sisters. They spoiled him rotten and for the most part, I honestly didn’t see any true gender stereotypes with him. If anything,  my second girl was my “boy”. He grew into a very sweet boy. He didn’t have a temper. He was caring, kind, and smart as a whip. He never had much interest in the sports. I am sure that was difficult for my ex-jock ex-husband.  I do wonder how much of it was the boys personality and how much of it was the lack of his dad going out and doing things with him.. He never tried to play catch or other “boy” things when he was young. The boy did play flag football for a few years and then tried football again in seventh grade but decided sports were not his thing. I do admit that it was even a little difficult for me. I love football but now and glad he didn’t play much. I was hoping he might do track or something like that. He is built for it but he had no interest.

He became an avid reader very young and that continues to this day. He developed into a nerd and geek and is very proud of who he is. He is well liked among his peers and the community. He is a hard worker. He has done theater, band, and choir. He did tap and ballet with one of his sisters when he was very young. He started violin when he was four

One day  in seventh grade, he decided that he wanted to wear a suit. He has worn a suit and tie almost every day since. He even carries a briefcase. When I asked him about this, he told me that he does better when he dresses well. . He joined choir  in high school though he hadn’t sung since he was about five. He joined so he could have a teacher he had known all his life. He joined band because the same teacher asked him to. This same teacher told me that he would make sure my boy made it after the divorce. He was a great mentor to him and is a father figure to all three of my kids. Now he is finishing his first year of college as a music education major and is going to be singing in Carnegie Hall in June. He is well groomed and polite. I love watching him when he doesn’t know and I see him holding doors, handing girls his coat if she is cold, carrying things for people.  He is such an amazing young man and I am so lucky to be his  mom. He loves board games and D&D and anything that makes him use his brain. He has a great group of friends that are also very respectful and kind.

I had to laugh last year when I got into his car and he had Pavarotti blaring and he was singing along. He had a solo the year before doing an opera piece with the marching band and this week, he is performing in an opera at CMU.  He is a unique young man.

There have been very few ways he has been a “typical” boy. Even though he was not an athlete, he still had the boy smell. He also does not share details of his life like his sister’s do. So many times I find things out via his friends. He may not share or talk much but he sure shows me how much he loves me and the girls. We are all so lucky and we all admit that he is the favorite. (Not that I really have one). He just left today for the end of spring break. Last night, I thanked him for coming home and he told me that I made him. I responded that I did not do that. He told me that by me being here, I did. I sure love that boy and look back now, wonder how and why I was so scared of a boy.

Who is the Lego Bomber?

I love this town that I live and work in. We have some very unique people and events. One of my favorite right now is our Lego bomber. One day last year, I noticed a bombing and wondered what it was all about. I have since smiled every time that I notice some of his work and even had the pleasure of helping him put a sculpture in a tree one day. A few days ago, some tourists were walking down the street and were discussing the bombs. I stopped and explained what it was about. I know the kid they were with thought it was pretty darn awesome. I love seeing people play with the sculptures and, for the most part, I hardly ever see them on the ground. They seem to make people smile, especially kids. There are many photos on the net of his work.