Monthly Archives: January 2013

Diary of a Divorce: Jan 26th

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THAT’S ALL, FOLKS…

      Well, that day has finally arrived: my marriage is officially OVER. As of today, I am officially restored to my single status.

       And how do I feel?

       Invigorated–Free–Renewed–and finally, just a little sad.

       Of course, it’s the clear acknowledgement that the dream has come to a close. All that hope and anticipation of a life spent together with this man have ended. It was, as my ex used to say, what it was. I can remember my wedding day. I was beaming with happiness. The house was filled with dozens of beautiful, multi-colored roses. It was a new beginning, a start of a new couple: Mr. and Mrs.

         Now, it’s back to me and to Ms. I have requested, and been granted in the dissolution, a return to my maiden name. I will proceed with changing all the paperwork starting on Tuesday as I apply for a new Social Security card. If I knew then what I know now, four marriages later, I would never have changed my last name. But it’s “water under the bridge.”  Ultimately, all those romantic fantasies boil down to forms, to regulations, to legalities. In the final analysis, a marriage is a legal partnership with ramifications often requiring resolution by courts of law. I’m grateful my dissolution was a “friendly” one that we handled by a paralegal. We had no property or children together.

           I suspect most of us enter into these partnerships willingly and with high hopes for happiness that will last forever.  As we know, that’s not always how it ends. Does it surprise me that 50% of marriages end in divorce? Nope. We’re not our parents’ generation. We demand that it be good. We are unwilling to settle for a warm body lying next to us in bed each night. The oldest reason many people stayed together was “for the sake of the children.”  Even that is often not enough to keep two unhappy people married.

         In a month and a half, my 28 yr old daughter will be walking down the aisle as she promises her life to her new husband. The wedding will be nostalgic for me, but beautiful and filled with all my hopes that my daughter will find in marriage what I didn’t or couldn’t. I wish her all the best with all of my heart.

          And, in the meantime, I will be bringing to a close this chapter of my life–and of my blog life. The diary of my divorce has reached its final page.  No, I won’t discontinue blogging. I just need a new name and a new goal. Perhaps I will talk about my new adventures as an older single woman. No matter what happens in my next chapter of life, I suspect it’ll be interesting. So please stick around, folks. You ain’t seen nothing yet!!!

 

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Diary of a Divorce–January 22nd

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IT’S IN HIS KISS

     So I left you aching to know what became of my new guy, right? The guy who asked me out on New Year’s Eve and who seemed so “perfect” in so many ways. He is the epitome of consideration, kindness, good manners, and loves dogs. He’s 6’4″ tall, which is a nice match to my 5’11” height. He is exactly my age and decent looking, maybe shy a few hairs on his head, but he doesn’t try to disguise it in something hideous like a comb-over.

     What could go wrong, you might ask. The first sign came when I met him with our dogs at the park, had lunch, and went for a stroll on a balmy Southern California day. The conversation flowed, and, most importantly, his dog got along with my two!  But I guess I wasn’t feeling that “spark,” that physical chemistry.  Who can define it?

      Maybe, I figured, it was better all around if I didn’t feel passionate towards this guy. I haven’t had the best luck following my impulses where men have been concerned. Frankly, I think my “picker” is broken. Maybe it would be best to start off slow and let the sexual energy build gradually.

      We went to a movie and dinner on New Year’s Eve. We talked, we laughed, we exchanged details about our lives. So far, so good. He gave me a plant from his garden which he’d put in a beautiful pot. Along with this thoughtful gift, he’d enclosed a card. In it, he said, “Let’s take this slowly and build a solid foundation.” Wow. How many guys do you know who want to take it slowly?

      As we sat talking in his SUV, he bent over to give me a little kiss. Okay, it was awkward. I figured it was the position in which we sat in the bucket seats. Maybe, I suggested, we could try it again outside the car? So we did. And…..it was a wet kiss. One of those tongue kisses where you feel you need a towel afterwards. Ugh…I’m embarrassed to talk about it. It had never happened before. Every kiss with every man prior to this one had been effortless and natural. To make matters worse, my soon-to-be-ex husband is a GREAT kisser. That, and sex, were probably the only areas where we got along fantastically. If only we’d never gotten out of bed.. But I digress.

       I quickly made an excuse that we’d better head home before all the crazies got on the road after midnight. We said goodbye and he promised to call. Soon after I arrived home, he’d sent me an email in which he said he was so excited about the direction we were headed and that he was enjoying getting to know me more and more.

       And then, like a total moron, I did the ego embellishing woman thing: I thanked him a lovely time and told him he was a good kisser.

       What the hell was I thinking????

       Of course, he was thrilled to hear it and wanted to set up another date really soon–at his house. It didn’t sound like the kind of plan where he was trying to lure me into his lair to get laid. He’d actually carefully thought out the date to meet my specifications. He has a scooter and had asked me if I’d like to ride on it with him. I said it sounded like fun but insisted I wouldn’t ride on it in traffic or on the freeway. I suggested going to a canyon area or a more remote setting where I’d feel safer.

        He researched some canyon drives near his home, took a ride around them to find one I’d enjoy, and then invited me to join him. He also invited me to bring the dogs, and we could take them for a walk in a nearby park. Afterwards, he’d make me dinner. All he needed to know was whether I preferred filet mignon or prime rib. What a great guy!

       We were to get together a week ago Saturday. As the date grew closer, I could feel my anxiety building about the “kiss situation.” I even discussed it beforehand with a male friend. Ugh!!! Still, I decided to give him another chance. Honestly, he is a wonderful guy!

        When I drove up to his house, which is fully paid for, I was pleasantly surprised. It is in a beautiful canyon, surrounded by greenery and parks. He had decorated the place tastefully and in style–like those old canyon homes I recall from the ’60’s and ’70’s: fountains lightly trickling water, light effects to set the mood, lava lamps, and hundreds of plants both indoors and out. I felt comfortable immediately.

         We took a ride on his scooter, which is almost as large as a motorcycle, and I felt free and wild. What fun I was having!

         We came back to his house and played a game of stacking lego-like pieces until they collapsed. He offered me a smoothy he mixed up in his blender and then brought out a delicious appetizer. He put on a music DVD which was a concert of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. So far, so good. But I could feel my body language signaling him to keep his distance. I was nervous!

         We had dinner, which he prepared and served on cool stoneware. And then the moment came: He said he’d like a kiss…

         So I thought I’d try it with my mouth shut. And???? It…was… wet again. OMG.

         I made a hasty retreat soon thereafter. I knew this was not going to work. Everything about him is wonderful, but I knew I was not about to teach a guy how to kiss. If he can’t do THIS well, it doesn’t bode well for other more intimate activities.

         I discussed it at length with one of my closest friends the next day as we took a long walk with the dogs. She strongly suggested I tell him right away, instead of leading him on. He is a good guy and deserves someone who is “into” him physically.  I knew she was right.

         I came home to find an email from him saying how happy he was and that he was enjoying me more and more as he’s gotten to know me. I knew I had to let the ax fall.

        I sent him an email in which I very kindly and diplomatically explained that I’m not feeling “it” with him and that I know myself well enough to know that this type of thing can’t be forced. I offered him my friendship as I really, really DO enjoy spending time with him, but told him I’d understand if he wanted to blow me off. I offered to talk with him if we wanted to discuss this further.

        Two days passed, and then he called. He wanted to know what had gone wrong. He’d felt hurt at first, and then confused. I’d given him signs that I was feeling as positive about him as he was about me. He kept on digging for answers, and I’m not a very good liar. I asked him if he wanted to know exactly what the problem was. When he said he did, I reluctantly told him about The Kiss. Ugh!!!!

        We evaluated more specifics about kissing than I have EVER before discussed with a guy!!! I tried to explain exactly what kind of kiss turns me on–not such an easy thing to describe. And he…said he wanted to remain my friend!! I replied that I would be willing to try it as long as he understood it would never be more than a friendship. I don’t think you can change those types of feelings. It’s either there or it’s not.

         Only time will tell about how this friendship works out. He has already contacted me a couple times, including enthusiastically calling me to tell me he’d “won” an auction to get a second dog. He was so pleased with how his dog had interacted with one of my dogs that he decided to get his dog a playmate. We have talked about taking all four dogs to Dog Beach really soon.

        I don’t know about how this romantic stuff works, why it is that the guys who are the best guys aren’t the ones for whom I fall. Is it the “Good guys finish last” phenomenon? Honestly, if I could will myself to fall for this guy, I’d do it. We are so compatible in every other way. But you can’t fool Mother Nature. Deep within our bodies, pheremones or some such unconscious phenomena are dictating who turns us on and who doesn’t.

         I keep singing a couple songs: the Everly Brothers “Til I kissed ya” and the Shoop Shoop song. If you want to know if you love him so, it’s in his kiss. That’s how it is.

Diary of a Divorce–Jan 4th

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SO MANY MEN, SO LITTLE TIME

      I never imagined myself as the kind of woman over whom men would fight and compete.  That happens to the beautiful women, the ones who never have to worry about having a man in their lives. So how did it happen to ME?

      I’ve been on an online personals website where I’ve met a scattering of men, most of whom were not worth the time it took to get ready for the dates. I had just about given up. Slowly, I withdrew my interest and figured I’d no longer initiate contact with any new ones. Should someone interesting come along and send me a message, I’d screen him to see if he even seemed like a possibility. I’d realized that many of these guys were there to play games, to see how many women would contact them, or to see if they could “score.” Ugh..

      My former therapist, who follows the teachings of Buddhism, told me that as long as I pursued anything–whether it was a man or something else–it would elude me. What I wanted/needed would come to me only if I released my energy on getting it. Sure, I figured. It sounded a lot like those married friends who asked me why not look for a guy in an interest group or through a mutual friend. Uh huh–like that ever happens! I’ve never been fixed up on a blind date, unless I was the fixer. And men in those groups? Hah! Mostly women show up.

        It seems that as soon as I “let go” of my marriage the last time, the universe received the message that I was truly done. I was free and able to stand alone, if necessary. I didn’t fear being without a man anymore. In fact, I realized I’m a whole lot happier living by myself–just me and the dogs. I don’t need anyone to hold me up or to “complete” me. I’m already complete.

        Then suddenly, a couple weeks ago, I got a very nice message from a man who had recently started to look for a partner on the website after losing his wife about seven years ago. They’d been married 35 yrs and had chosen to have no kids. Perfect! I’m SO over raising kids! Also, he has a dog and is retired, just as I am. He described himself as a “forever hippie” although he had all the “trappings” of those who hadn’t dropped out of the system. He had a home which is completely paid for. He has enough money from his deceased wife’s social security and some investments, and, best of all, he couldn’t be more mellow!!!

        We met at a nearby park with our dogs. We had lunch at a doggie friendly restaurant and then took a long walk.  He was attractive, perhaps a little shy of hair on top of his head but very tall. He couldn’t have been more gracious and more laid back–so different from the soon-to-be-ex. What a relief! There was nothing I said or did about which he disagreed. It was so relaxing and easy…And then he asked me out on New Year’s Eve. I accepted, even knowing that’s a somewhat pressured evening.

         Here’s something weird: His birthday is EXACTLY on the same day as my “real” husband, the one with whom I was married for almost 30 yrs and who died three years ago.  How strange can it get?

         In the midst of all this, I found myself in yet another strange new circumstance. A man who is in a specialized AA group which I attended almost 25 yrs ago has been writing a newsletter of that group. I’ve been on their mailing list for the last 25 yrs, receiving the newsletter monthly.  He is now living in New Mexico, having moved there a few yrs ago from California. I lived in New Mexico more almost 30 yrs ago. He has invited me to stay in his house anytime, just to revisit my old haunts.

         I always figured he was married.

          Every once in awhile, he’d write an article about which I’d disagree. I had sent him several emails, to which he replied in a very good natured way. He usually asked me if he could post my comments in the next month’s newsletter. No problem.

           Recently, he asked me if I’d like to join him when he takes his “birthday” cake in California in March. Yes, I said, I’d love to. It’d be great to meet him, at last! In the meantime, I decided to see if he was on facebook. Not only is he on fb but also I got to see a picture of him, his family, etc. He is no longer married, and he’s a very distinguished looking man who’s only a couple years older than I am. He is retired but still works in mediation through the courts. He is a very spiritual man with real character.

          Our emails during the holidays took a decidedly romantic turn. We began to write to one another from our hearts. And guess what happened?? He seems to have fallen for me BIG time. We have spoken by phone many, many times. It’s getting really complicated and intense. I really, really like him. He is such a grown-up, so mature, so in touch with his emotions and philosophy of life. What a refreshing change from my soon-to-be-ex. Actually, he’s like no one I’ve ever known.

           He recently realized that, when he still lived in California, he’d been at that specialized AA meeting when I’d just gotten sober. I was a total nutcase then–even more so than today, trust me!

          Well, he’s in New Mexico, and the online guy is HERE.  On the date New Year’s Eve, California Man couldn’t have been more thoughtful. He’d made movie reservations for us and even brought a bag full of snacks for the show. In his car on the way to dinner, a lovely and expensive fish restaurant, he presented me with a plant from his garden. He’d planted it in a beautiful pot. He also gave me a card in which he wrote that we should take it “slowly, to build a solid foundation” for our blossoming relationship. We kissed a few times, but it was nothing sexual. Yikes!

         In the meantime, I felt I owed it to the New Mexico man to let him know I’m still dating California Man. I can’t lead him on with any promises of waiting until he gets here. He had decided to come to my town at the end of January, and then again in March. Most of all, I don’t want to hurt him. He’s very special and precious to me already, and we’ve sort of known each other for years–even though we’ve never seen each other in person.

         Now what??? It feels like they’re competing for me! This has never happened before. I mean, I have dated more than one guy at a time in the past, but it was never so intense as this situation seems to be headed. Both of these guys want regular contact with me, in phone calls, emails, texts, etc. I’m overwhelmed…I was kind of hoping one or the other would be a real schmuck so I could let him go in favor of the other. But they’re both great guys. Holy moly!! California Man has already invited me out again–a day in the mountains on his motorcycle, followed my a romp in the park with our dogs. Then he’ll make me dinner. He’s a great cook!

          My head is swimming. Who would’ve guessed that now, in probably the last third of my life, I would be in such a dilemma? And it happened, just like my therapist predicted, when I let go of the search.

          I don’t know where this is going. I don’t know which man I will choose. How nice that it’s up to ME to choose! And what else have I done? I’ve resumed my normal activities. I’m still working on my memoir, still visiting my mother, still getting together with my friends, still playing with my dogs, still volunteering at the VA,  still planning my daughter’s wedding in March, and still staying sober. It is now just past midnight, which means I’ve been sober exactly TWENTY-FIVE years!!! That’s a quarter century, folks. My life has gotten so much better since I quit drinking.

           It’s 2013 now, and I am hopeful for the first time in so many years. The glass feels half full, not half empty. Even though I have “so many men and so little time,” I know I’ll be just fine if they both leave my life.

           January 26th, I’ll be officially divorced. And I can’t wait to see what comes next!!!

           Happy New Year to all of you too.