Time

Posted in family, friends, health, home, life, love, relationships with tags , , , , , , on March 4, 2019 by me

Years ago, when I was getting divorced, a friend introduced me to a woman he used to work with. I was looking for a new job and she was starting over as a recruiter/staffing sales person.

I don’t really know how she found out about the divorce. I think we were at a happy hour and another friend who was closer, on a personal level vs. just a work friend, mentioned it and some of the details behind it. Some time later, a couple of weeks or a month, she asked if we could meet for lunch. While at lunch, she started talking to me about the divorce. She knew how bad things were between my ex and I, and for my son, and she just wanted to talk to me about the importance of going through with it and offering her emotional support. She wanted to make sure I understood how vital it was to not being scared and chickening out. How much I needed it, how much my son needed it, how much he needed to see a healthy relationship.

She actually told me about her divorce, how for a period of time she had to live out of her car, but how worth it it was to get out of such a terrible situation. And told me that things would work out, to have faith through the tough times.

During the divorce, not many people knew what was going on. As emotionally flat as I get accused of being now, I played things a lot closer to the vest then. I had someone compliment me later for the fact that they had no idea that I was going through a divorce, that I didn’t bring my emotions to work with me.

Years have gone by, and we’ve stayed in touch. That day at lunch she shifted from being an acquaintance to a true friend. Tonight I had her and a mutual friend over to my new place for drinks.

She just texted me a few moments ago.

“Love your new place and the adventure you’re on! I see your glow and happiness. Thanks for hosting us. Excited to see more fun nights at your place!’

Advertisements

Bob Seger

Posted in Childhood, dating, friends, health, life, love, music, relationships, veteran with tags , , , , on February 18, 2019 by me

In 1991, I bought my first CD player, used from a high school friend. We were in our first semester of college, he was hurting for cash, so I bought his discman. I stopped by Montgomery Ward on the way home and bought my first four CDs from their “Electric Avenue”, one of which was Bob Seger’s Greatest Hits. At that point I didn’t really think of myself as a huge Bob Seger fan, but I’d just spent money on the discman, wasn’t rich, and wanted to buy classic music that I knew I wouldn’t get bored of. I know I also bought The Cars Greatest Hits, but I can’t remember what the last two were.

When I joined the Army and completed basic training, I was one of the only recruits who didn’t have anyone show up for their graduation. The drill sergeants took pity on us, took us to the PX, let us buy things and order pizza back to the barracks. I bought a discman and CDs. This time I know I got Bob Seger again, with Prince, AC/DC and one other. There was lots of travel after that, the bus ride from Ft. Leonard Wood to St. Louis, the flight to Atlanta and the bus ride to Ft. Gordon for Advanced Individual Training (AIT), the bus ride from Ft. Gordon to Ft. Benning for jump school, then the bus ride to Ft. Bragg, my first duty station. I took the bus to Columbia, SC several times to meet with a friend and to Florida and back for a friend’s wedding. It was always listening to CDs, staring out the window, usually at night.

Over the years, while I haven’t been fanatical about Bob Seger, he’s always been a constant. A couple of years ago, when I heard he was coming to town, I bought tickets to his show and then he postponed for medical reasons. I ended up not seeing him until last night, 2 years later. It was his farewell tour, and I was just so glad that I got an opportunity to hear those songs live. Seems like we’ve lost so many great artists lately.

A couple of songs in, he played “You’ll Accompany Me” live. I’ve written before about not listening to a lot of words to songs when I was younger, not really “hearing” the meaning.

I went to 3 different high schools. Didn’t have my first real girlfriend until I was in college. But when I was in my last high school, I had a female best friend. We did so much together, went to the same church, hung out a lot together, etc. I had a huge crush on her, she was just the most beautiful girl I’d seen, and for some reason I didn’t get anywhere near as tongue tied with her as with other girls. It was easy to get on with her.

All through high school, she was dating someone pretty seriously, so I just suppressed any feelings I had for her. They broke up at some point, but I had just started dating said first girlfriend. For the next bit, while I was single, she was always seeing someone and vice versa. At some point, I finally confessed my love for her, but things just weren’t right. I think she tried to give me a chance once, but I was dumb and didn’t believe it and just kind of screwed it all up.

At some point, it became fairly apparent it wasn’t going to happen for us. And then I really heard that song for the first time, and man, it spoke to my young, dumb, 21 year old heart. It really became an anthem for the next couple of years. I just couldn’t stop listening to it and hoping. Even after I joined the Army, she was the one, the dream. Then she wasn’t, she’d gotten married and had a kid.

It’s funny, there was a book, Love and Glory by Robert B. Parker. Very similar and I thought for sure I’d written a blog about it and the same girl, but I can’t find it, so maybe I just always meant to. Just a story about a guy who let a woman go, but spent years making himself worthy of her. Like You’ll Accompany Me, he let her go, knowing she didn’t want him at that point, but was committing to making it happen down the road.

Those stories and songs just gave us hope. And that’s something we all need at different points.

There’s an old therapist of mine that I really love…

Posted in dating, health, life, love, relationships with tags , , , on February 13, 2019 by me

… she was the first one that I really “clicked” with, and she did a lot of work with me. It really helped me out and set me on a good path.

Having said that, I’d really like to kick her in the shin right now. Before I went to see her, it’d been decades since I’d last cried. But as we talked, things came out, and became a lot more emotive. To the point where I went back to her and said “You broke me, now fix me!”

She laughed at the time, and told me there was kind of a pendulum effect. I’d gone so long without feeling and expressing emotions, now my body/brain was over-correcting, but that things would level out eventually.

That was probably five years ago, and for the most part she was right. However, Sunday night I went on a date to go see Dirty Dancing. They brought it back for Valentine’s Day. And damnit, I felt a sniffle or three at the end, and a little tear started to leak out of the corner of my eye at the end when Johnny got up on stage and gave his little speech.

Crimeny. Such a goofy, cheesy movie and that choked me up.

She definitely deserves a shin-kick.

Sleep

Posted in dating, health, life, relationships with tags , , on January 21, 2019 by me

I wrote about someone who isn’t going to turn into a long term thing yesterday. That same person has narcolepsy. I thought she was joking about it when she told me about it at first, using it as a crazy excuse for her bad short-term memory. But she’d come over to my house, it got late, it was dark out, and her medication wore off. We had options. I could take her home, she could uber back in the morning for her car. I could drive her home and uber back. At the end, because it was the 2nd or 3rd date, we opted for slumber party.

Nothing happened, but the next morning we lounged around for a bit before she went home. Later that day she called me, and tried to convince me something was wrong with me and that I needed to schedule a sleep study ASAP. I’ve written about my weird sleeping habits before here.

I guess she was completely caught off guard by how fast I dropped into the deep sleep after being wide awake and conversant a moment before, and she was convinced it had to be a form of narcolepsy or some other sleep disorder, and she’s very aware of how those can have a negative impact on health. I had to explain that it was kind of a form on conditioning. She accepted it, but I don’t think she 100% believed. Funny how that stuff just becomes a part of you.

Partners

Posted in dating, friends, health, life, love with tags , , , on January 20, 2019 by me

I went on a handful of dates with a woman over the last month or so. She’s a sweetie, but for whatever reason isn’t ready to date yet. It’s funny, that happens a bit with online dating. Friends put someone up to setting up a profile, someone is bored and lonely one night, the need an ego boost, whatever. They set it up, dates happen, things start to maybe get serious, then they realized that they really are not ready to be online, they aren’t up to dating yet. I’m sure it happens in reverse as well, but obviously, I don’t have any experience with that.

So a couple weeks ago we were talking, ending it, and she mentioned that even though she didn’t want things to get serious, she couldn’t help but think about how much fun it would’ve been to help me organize my life a little better, take some of the pressure off. It was weird to here someone say they WANTED to do that. I’m not a mess, not at all. But I definitely believe we aren’t geared for doing some of this stuff alone. We all have various strengths and weaknesses, it’s impossible to be great at everything.

It was pretty shocking when the divorce was finalized. 8 years ago this month. All the stuff I hadn’t been tracking at all. I didn’t know who my son’s dentist or doctor was. No idea what his school schedule looked like. His mom was the same way. For months after the divorce she’d call me for help with a car or something electronic. At some point, I finally had to tell her to stop. She had a new bf before we agreed to divorce, he was the guy who should be doing that stuff, or she needed to learn it herself.

I’ve learned a lot over the last 8 years. The kid is graduated, and doing well. I didn’t do too bad a job raising him at all. I’m not sucking at life too badly, but some of the little things she mentioned, definitely sounded great to have help with. Help me mail stuff on time? Hell yes! And it was interesting, the way that she said it, definitely didn’t sound patronizing, or insulting. Just sounded like she was ready to roll her sleeves in and pitch in where needed if we would’ve been in a relationship.

I’ve been ok, and even when I’ve dated, they’ve still been very… weird relationships. With Marla, I didn’t really feel like we were working towards something, so I didn’t let her in, or let her help as much as I could’ve. And I was still in that phase where I thought I had to carry the weight on my shoulders. Provide, but keep things bottled up inside. But when I DID ask for help, she willingly gave it. When I dated N, she never came over during the week, it felt like a weekends only relationship. Same thing with J. So they’d pop in and out on the weekends, and I’d do laundry and shopping and all the details of adulting during the week so we could just hang out on the weekends. They never integrated into my lifestyle, my day-to-day, nor I to theirs. It’s been so long that I’d kind of forgotten what I was missing, if I even knew, especially some of the emotional partnership aspects.

6th Love Language?

Posted in dating, family, health, life, love, relationships with tags , , , , , on January 16, 2019 by me

I kind of like the concept of love languages. I think it’s a good short-hand for couples to use to communicate with one another. I even wrote a post about it years back.

When I wrote that post, I didn’t think the love languages idea went far enough. It’s not enough to know how you want to be loved, you also have to know your default way of showing love. And you need to meet in the middle with your partner. You should probably work towards showing them love and appreciation in the manner in which they want to be loved, but they also need to appreciate the manner in which you show love by default.

Today though, I’ve been wondering if the 5 Languages are enough. I feel like there’s a gap around connection and communication. My ex-wife didn’t just want time with me, didn’t just want me to give her words of appreciation. I bought her things, and I did little acts of service all the time. She chose to with hold physical contact. What she wanted was to be able to crawl into my skull and walk around in my brain. She wanted me to be more emotionally vulnerable and available, she wanted me to connect and communicate with her the way she wanted me to, she wanted to be able to ask a question and get an immediate answer that she could pick apart and chew on. My silence, my need to be deliberate in my answers, my desire to not give an opinion if I didn’t feel literate enough on the subject annoyed her and bothered her. And she’s not the only one.

I’ve encountered this numerous times dating over the last couple of years. People don’t want to learn about someone organically. Let some conversation flow naturally from some shared experience that reminds one person about a story they want to share. Let someone have to organize their thoughts about their day before sharing it.

I went on a some dates with a woman recently who hated when I asked her how her day went. Her default answer was just “fine”. She wanted to just get comfortable, settle in, feel safe, then have things from her day come up in general conversation over the course of the evening.

I think it’s generally accepted that women like to feel some type of emotional connection and safety before having sex, while men want the physical connection first, in order to feel safe enough to be emotionally vulnerable. So I think that need for communication and emotional connection is a language in and of itself. If physical touch is one, why isn’t verbal communication and emotional vulnerability?

Larry Crowne

Posted in dating, family, friends, health, home, life, love, Movies, relationships, society with tags , , , , on January 14, 2019 by me

I saw this movie for the first time a couple of years ago, and it just clicked with me right away. I don’t know if that’s because I’m goofy and it’s goofy, or what. Or maybe it just spoke to me. Since then I’ve shown it to several people, and recommended it to more. I don’t think about it all the time, and sometimes I forget some of the subtext. I don’t have all of the lines memorized, and it’s not something I ever quote.

I’m always surprised when I look the movie up to rent it or show it to someone, there’s a ton of people who really, really hate it. I haven’t seen a positive review on it from a professional reviewer, the closest is someone who recommends watching it because it’s so “weird”.

I don’t understand that. One of the things I love about the movie is the tribe effect, and how opening yourself up to experiences and people when things are super bad, make things better. Poor Larry is at almost rock-bottom , and doesn’t quite see how things are going to get better, and then they do. Like they always do. And because he was open to new experiences and learning and people and help, accepting help with grace, giving himself grace, his life ended up even better.

And that’s what happens. Life gets better. And yeah, it’s going to go bad again, but if you do those things, and keep trying, and keep looking for the happy, it’ll get even better again.

So I was wondering, who doesn’t like the movie? Obviously, it’s going to be too slow for some people, too goofy for others. There’s going to be someone who hates Julia Roberts and someone else who thinks Tom Hanks is over-rated. But what about the other people, who are they and why? And I wonder how many of those people just haven’t experienced… shit yet. Real stuff. Feeling those things, feeling close to your rock bottom, and then getting through it, realizing one day that life is good, and you didn’t realize how long it’d been since you wanted to drink yourself into oblivion because you were too busy having fun.