touch starved

I get what I call “touch starved.” Meaning:  I can spend all the time in the world snuggling with my children, but it doesn’t fulfill a certain need. That loving, nurturing touch is great, but it’s not the touch of a lover.

This is what I was feeling when I entangled myself in the debacle of last fall. I was physically desperate and thinking I’d get my itch well and thoroughly scratched.

As you now know, I didn’t get what I’d hoped from the brief tryst, but I did equip myself with better toys. Now I’m not feeling nearly so needy.

lasting impressions

People go on and on about the importance of first impressions. No doubt it’s all true. But what of latest, last or final impressions? Doesn’t their discussion merit a moment of attention, as well?

Some of you may recall that, while in bed with the boyfriend I was seeing just over a year ago, he asked me what my first impression of him had been. He insisted I be honest, so I can hardly be blamed for blurting out, “Man boobs.”

Luckily, we were both consumed with laughter and able to get past this awkward incident. So much so that the ending of our relationship was tender, sweet and respectful.

My point? The “final” impression in our relationship was so overwhelmingly positive that I look back on our relationship fondly and, in fact, I can admit to probably romanticizing it. And because we were loving and caring to one another until the end — and at the very end — we have become friends.

Contrast this experience with my more recent dalliance with more-like-it:  I found him interesting – intriguing – from the start. I enjoyed talking with him, flirting with him and spending time with him. Physically, I found him sexy! In the end, though, I felt hurt and disrespected and, as lovely as I imagine it might be to cherish the memories, I find it’s difficult to look back at the experience fondly. At present, I am more likely to roll my eyes and think, “I can’t believe I fell for that!”

Admittedly, I am a pragmatic optimist. I’m sure, one day, I’ll see things differently. My hindsight tends to wear rose-colored glasses, after all.

In fact, I’ve already come to see the silver lining in this… If things had ended sweetly, I might have allowed myself to ponder possibilities. As it happened, closure was — shall we say — “firm.” Ultimately, he did me a favor by making it easy for me to move on.

just like that, it happened!

At first I was in denial. I resisted for an awfully long time. And then suddenly, it happened:  I fell hard and fast. That’s right, I’m in love again!

It all started with my friends on Facebook, ooh-ing and aah-ing and cooing. The more I heard, the more I had an inkling that there was a lot to like. And then one night, while curled in bed with my iPad, the recommendation from Netflix pushed me over the edge. Finally, I succumbed to temptation:  I clicked “play”…and I was immediately transfixed by the Grantham family and Downton Abbey.

I mean, I’ve always enjoyed the works of Victorian England writers – the Brontes, Edith Wharton, etc. and I can’t deny a fondness for the Queen’s colorful English…I’ve recently found many occasions to use dramatic words like “deplorable,” “ghastly” and (accompanied, of course, by a raised eyebrow) the phrase, “Some manners would not go amiss.”

I watched the entire first season that night, completely drawn into the scenery, costumes and stories of the Downton aristocrats and servants. I felt as though I’d been admitted to a special club — a group of millions of viewers who are likely equally smitten with Cousin Matthew and envious of Lady Mary’s uncanny knack for always saying exactly the right thing in any given circumstance.

Certainly not all characters are equal, but it is a delight to watch the family weather various challenges, from the Titanic’s sinking (and loss of an heir) to war and death, to new economic realities. We watch as Robert, ahem — Lord Grantham — the family’s patriarch, transforms from a strong leader to a man hopelessly clinging to past glory. (For those of you who follow here, you’ll note that the middle-aged white man, unable to adapt or reinvent himself and grown bitter, is no stranger to the author of this blog.) We watch how Cora manages him masterfully.

And then there are the servants…

So between the mostly excellent writing, acting, scenery, costumes, cinematography and lessons in managing men, I eagerly await tonight’s episode – and the words and phrases whose use it will likely inspire.

love me some v-day

I love me some V-day!

Even though I’m currently single (and refused to give that one guy who’s pursuing me my address so that he could deliver a surprise to my house), I am a romantic at heart and simply love the whole notion of an entire day dedicated to the celebration of love! What could be better?

Some folks skeptically call it a Hallmark holiday — and perhaps that’s true. Still, who cares who made it up or why? I love love, and any opportunity to blather on about it is peachy in my mind.

Another friend calls it “the day before the candy goes on sale.” I love that, too!

In my ideal life, I am celebrating with a lover out at one of the most romantic and cozy spots in the city. Perhaps after we’re close / committed, it’s a romantic night in, at home. Or, when the children are gone, a weekend getaway.

At any rate, I don’t care about those things at this moment. I am simply happy being a solo explorer with much love in my life, grateful children (who were surprised with books and chocolate this morning) and knowing I’m on the right path to find the mate who will honor and cherish me.

So tonight my little family will celebrate by sorting the recycling…and maybe grabbing a bite out. Can’t you just feel the romance?!

p.s. Yes, my ex boyfriend has already sent a loving text my way.

what goes unsaid

As I’ve mentioned, my ex boyfriend and I have been a bit chatty lately, occasionally meeting for coffee and such. It’s certainly pleasant to reconnect, but there’s more:  hearing his voice, spending time with him — it does send my imagination to spinning.

Probably he senses this:  after all, he’s a smart man. And so he goes on, telling me of his happy new relationship — the milestones, the shared experiences, how crazy she is for him…

The one thing he’s failed to express is how crazy he is for her.

Do you reckon that’s to spare my feelings? Or for some other reason…?

recap, rehash, update and stuff

Given recent events — for those of you who haven’t read, I didn’t take a recent rejection well or, more accurately, I didn’t take the way the news was presented to me well — I suppose one could ask:  “What the heck did you think was going to happen?”

And I guess I would say:  I thought we might have a fun six months or so. I thought we would communicate well. I was hoping for more playful experimentation and closeness and, in the end, fond farewells. So things didn’t go as I’d hoped, as is often the case, and I didn’t appreciate the behavior. There you have it; I’ve nothing more to say.

Meanwhile, I’ve been seeing and speaking with my ex boyfriend regularly lately. Nothing fishy; we have “business reasons” to be in touch. It warms my heart to see him doing well and, to be honest, I’m developing a bit of a crush on him. It’s easy to remember why I fell for him. (And he also makes a good fantasy/memory, if you know what I mean.)

In other news, a girlfriend recently sent this article, torn out of a magazine, through the mail, god bless her! Really, you should read it — it had me in hysterics (though NSFW). It all started while we were traveling together, schlepping all over Chicago for a site check, when something about Kathy Griffin came on the radio along with the word “vajazzle.” Read the article and you can also add “vajacial” to your vocabulary. I suspect it goes without saying that I haven’t yet had this “Peach Smoothie” treatment and it’s unlikely that I will…but I do find it intriguing. And it strikes me as odd that it cost so much less than a real facial.

Finally, I’ve put my profile back on an online dating…with ambivalence. It’s nice to receive positive attention, and you wouldn’t believe all the college boys asking me if they’re my type! I tell them I like tall, handsome and affluent enough to provide for my children…and most don’t write back after that. I must admit I find this fun — and a little flattering.

Sweet dreams, darlings!

climbing up and out

Surely you’re getting tired of hearing of my recent outrage and heartache. I agree; it does make me dull. It is therefore my pleasure to inform you that I am 48 hours into taking an herbal serotonin enhancer and have, thus, begun the climb up and out of the hole I’ve been in since…hmm…maybe mid December.

I mentioned that I’m prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder. There is the lack of sunlight, holiday stress, the cold… Compound this with a January rejection and, next thing I know, I’m regularly in tears with little to no provocation. The challenge is that it’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference between normal, everyday malaise, sadness / grief or desire to hibernate and real, genuine depression. This time, I realized I wasn’t able to pull myself up and out on my own.

I’ve found that these are some of the clues that let me know when to get some help:

  • When there’s a part of my mind that is obsessing about something out of my control, and I seem powerless to let it go. (Normally I have a grip; really I do.)
  • When my mental acuity and focus become elusive, and it’s difficult to concentrate.
  • When more swearwords than usual come out of my lips in any given day, or my brain-to-mouth filter seems especially defective. (Given that I’m already capable of cursing like a longshoreman, this can get really, um…spectacular.)
  • When I am angry or teary three days in a row.
  • When I can’t seem to bring myself back around to gratitude or happiness from feelings of resentment or pain.
  • When a beer commercial brings me to tears.

Over the years, I’ve learned to compensate for these feelings; I’ve learned to smile in spite of them, to put forth a brave face. Probably many in my life — even close friends — wouldn’t guess what I’m going through. These days, however, I’m getting real:  I’m much more open to sharing what I’m going through with friends and, especially, talking with my children about mental health, their genetic risks, tools and strategies, and responsibility. I hope they’ll grow up understanding that we all have varying degrees of mental and physical health throughout life, with some of us more prone than others to specific types of illness, and that there should be no stigma associated with either kind of disease.

It can be difficult to see how deeply one has sunk until one begins that long climb up and can see from where one’s come. I’m already feeling marginally better, and I’m looking forward to having a much healthier perspective within a few days.