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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Real

I'm home sick today, which means I might actually slow down enough to write an entire blog post (gasp!).

Last weekend I had a bit of a breakdown over the idea of being single. Part of it was the fact that I stayed home all weekend, and the hardest day was Sunday when Steve had the kids all day. I really shouldn't let myself sit around and think.



Here's the thing, though. The more I think about the prospect of dating again, the more I panic. It's absolutely terrifying to be "out there" again. Not that I ever was... I have to admit, I never really did spend time being single and dating. The formal idea of dating is entirely foreign to me. You know what I mean, the whole dinner-and-a-movie, when to call and when not to call, what to divulge and what to keep hidden, playing hard to get... I've never played the game. Each time I broke up with a boyfriend, I got a new one, then I married Steve at age 20. What on earth do I know about being single?


(Disclaimer: I know I'm not legally divorced yet. This is not me saying I AM dating, only that I've been forced to consider it, and my thoughts that followed.)

This is obvious, but there are extra complications in my case.

Complication #1: I'm almost 30. In Utah (where I live) 30 is practically old age.

Complication #2: (Obviously) I have three kids. The VERY brief dating around I did when Joshua was a baby proved that even just one kid complicates the process. For instance, if a guy is interested in you and seems completely amazing but isn't comfortable with your kid, obviously you have to let him go. On the other hand, if a guy is TOO interested in your little boys, there's a different kind of problem. How do you know if you've got the just-right balance between hands-off, and loving toward your children?

Complication #3 (which is what this blog post is actually about): I'm not a game-player. Remember how subtlety isn't my specialty? I wasn't exaggerating. I say what's on my mind. If I'm into you, I'll tell you. If I'm not, I'll tell you. I'm not interested in playing hard-to-get or changing myself in order to impress someone. I'm just me, through and through. I'm not out to hurt anyone's feelings or anything, but I'm not gonna be all giggly and secretive either. The dating world claims to want openness and honesty, but in reality they don't like it one bit. If you like someone and you tell them, what's the first thing they do? Run. 
No, but seriously.


Not last weekend but the weekend before that my friend Lindsay took me out to a bar/club. It was really fun, I had a great time, but it was similar to my last club experience (you remember... the old lady in the club), in that I don't relate to the way the whole thing works. Girls wearing as little as possible, begging men to objectify them... men standing around waiting for the opportunity to get a girl drunk enough to go home with him. It's just all so strange to me. Sitting on the sidelines, you could actually watch a man's standards go down over the course of the night. I had a good time meeting a few new people and racing goldfish. (yeah, I know, but that's not a euphemism. I actually raced a gold fish against another gold fish and lost miserably. Hilarity ensued.) At the end of the day, though, I am completely lost in Mannequin World. Being on display just simply isn't my thing. I'd rather stay home and watch a movie, ya know what I mean?

Story for you. At one point I found myself sitting alone at said bar. My friends were off getting drinks or something, and I was suddenly surrounded by empty chairs. A guy walks up, sits in the chair closest to me (which was still a good two feet away from mine). After a few minutes of silence he says, "So are you just here with your friends?" I say, "Yeah." Silence. A few minutes later he asks me another question, then silence. Repeat process five or six times. At one point he asks me if I'm from around here and we realize we went to the same high school. "What year?" he asks excitedly. I go the safe route and ask him how old he is before I answer. "Twenty-two," he says. I laugh and tell him I graduated in 2003, to which he says, "You're shittin' me?" "No, I am not shitting you, I really did," I say. "I'm twenty-seven." SILENCE. He says NOTHING ELSE until my friends return and he quietly slinks away.



How does a person like me, who just wants to cut the crap and say what's real, ever do what it takes to move on? It's not all about dating, it's not even necessary for me to start dating ANY time soon... but I'm not interested in being single for the rest of my life. I'm a relationship kind of girl. Someday I will want to fall in love again and start over... but the process is downright terrifying. 

6 comments:

  1. Wow. I relate to this. When Michael and I were seperated, the same things came through my head. One kid is a lot, but three....that a whole nother ball game!!! But, in my experience, I have met two men in my life { one my friend, one Michael's} who would accept my kids like their own. PERIOD. It's really that simple. They like you, they will realize you are a package deal and will be on board. As for the dating thing....EEK! I'm petrified at the thought for you LOL. Who knows how the dating things works these days. It will fall into place without having to put yourself into the meat market. Who knows, maybe you'll meet Mr. Right at Barnes and Noble or Starbucks....I'd suggest go places that you are comfortable and when you're ready, God will have that special match waiting for you! :) HUGS

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  2. The odds of meeting someone in a bar, who is going to be Mr. Right, and who will love and care for your kids as if they were his own, are just one little tick above zero. If you want a stable person, then you'd best be looking where stable people hang out. Looking for Mr. Right in a bar is like hanging out at the Greyhound bus station waiting for a Ferrari to show up. Yes, it's possible, but logically, it's a total waste of time.

    Guys do not go to bars looking for long term family relationships.

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    1. Oh no, if that seemed like what I was trying to say, I should scrap this blog post immediately! I certainly didn't mean that I was looking for a guy at the bar... it just reminded me what that scene is like... and how much I dislike it. Haha I'm very aware of this fact, not to worry.

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    2. I wasn't suggesting that you were hanging out in a bar to find a guy. And, I recognize that that was not your point in writing this post. My only point, which I should have stated more clearly, is that every married person found their mate somewhere they were hanging out (regardless of how long they actually spent in that location). If anyone, not just you, wants to increase their chances of finding a quality person to marry, then they automatically increase their chances of finding that kind of person if they hang out where quality people hang out.

      [Now I'm going to be attacked by everyone who spends any time in a bar because they'll think I'm saying that NO ONE of quality ever enters a bar. I'm not saying that at all.]

      But I am saying that you (meaning everyone)are more likely to meet a stable, family oriented, person-of-greatest-kindness-and-worth at a library, church, PTA meeting, ice cream parlor, etc. etc. etc. than you are to meet them in a bar. Men, in particular, go to bars to escape from their families, not to find them. Any man who is searching in a bar for the woman he wants to be the mother of his children is not playing with a full deck and ought to be avoided anyway. So, why expect to find a fully functional, kind, loving-in-the-truest-sense-of-the-word adult male in a bar? It's not going to happen - whether you are ready or not.

      On the other hand, the longer you hang out there (meaning a bar or a church) the more likely you are to marry someone from that environment. We become the kind of person we spend our time with. My parents taught me that, in word and in deed, and your parents taught you that, in word and in deed. It's a universal truth - if you want to become a better person - hang out with people who are better than you and they will rub off on you and you will become better. That's true in academics, athletics and social circles.

      So, when you're ready to date, actively seek to spend the majority of your time with good people and you'll increase the odds of finding a good man to marry. But, recognize this - most people were not actively looking for their spouse when they found them. Most spouses are stumbled upon by accident where they happened to be hanging out at the time they met. So, the same advice applies . . . if you want to stumble onto a Ferrari, don't spend your time hanging out at the bus station. :)

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    3. In junior high there was a girl I really liked named Jessica. She was REALLY cute and fun to talk to. But she ended up at the other of the two high schools after junior high. Didn't keep in touch or anything.

      My senior year I was studying computer networking at the DATC and I saw her at Canyon as I was going in to the DATC next door. She looked to be about 8 months pregnant. It made me sad. What makes me more sad is that I didn't even say "Hi".

      Fast forward 11 years. I was working at Inkley's in Layton when a girl came in with a stack of photos to scan just before closing. I went over to help her and realized it was Jessica. After a minute I said, "It's Jessica, right?" I explained how I remembered her from junior high, and specifically seminary. I even reminded her that she had paid me an excellent compliment once, which I still remembered: "Jon, do you have any sisters?" "Yes, three. Why?" "I'll bet you treat 'em really well." In retrospect I realized that this said more about her life than it did about mine... :(

      We caught up a little bit and I found out she was engaged. The man in the photos, who appeared to be old enough to maybe even be her grandfather, turned out to be her fiance. She was scanning photos of them to show at their wedding.

      Not wanting to be awkward I knew I couldn't ask why he's so much older or anything like that, so I just asked how they met. She seriously hung her head as she answered, "We met in a bar." :( <- That's exactly her expression, except not sideways. She seemed absolutely ashamed.

      It was already past closing time so we hurriedly finished her scanning and got her out the door so I could do the closing procedures, so we didn't really talk much after that. I assume she went through with the wedding, even though she was clearly unhappy. :(

      No real point to this story, I guess. Just felt like sharing. Didn't mean it to be a cautionary tale or anything like that...

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  3. This is hard to say without insinuating that I've ever been unhappy while with my husband...because I haven't, but that said, some of my best times were when I was single. When I say best times, I mean the times when I felt most confident, most artistic, most powerful and productive...the best of me shined through because I didn't have to worry about how my mood, choices, plans were going to affect someone else and their feelings. Yes, you have children to consider, but that's a different ballgame. As long as you make responsible decisions you'll be setting a good example for them. Take this opportunity to learn more about yourself and shine. Do the things you always wanted to try, but didn't. Horrible to say, and I'm sorry, but you'll have days when the ex has the kids, just like that Sunday you sat around to "just think." Use them. Do rather than think. Pamper your awesome self. Rediscover you. There's a whole chunk of self exploration you missed by being married so young. I'm older than you, married much later, and know this first hand, LOL. Dig out that metaphorical pen and write "your" story. Don't worry yet about dating...that'll come with time, and it won't be as bad as you imagine. When it does, remember you're a beautiful, powerful woman and any guy is lucky to have you...the entire package! You'll pluck through the weeds and right guy will come along. Just continue being the fabulous you.
    “Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.”~F. Scott Fitzgerald
    I see great things happening for you, my friend. :)

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