Thursday, December 27, 2012

Facebook Friend or Foe

Immediately after posting my last blog I stumbled upon Sweet’s Facebook page. And by “stumbled upon” I mean easily discovered after engaged in an active search. At 42 years of age you would THINK I would be able to temper my emotions and rein in my downward spiral of doom after snooping into places I have not been invited. But NOPE, I still have enough of my tragically insecure 16 year old girly pink matter crammed up there in my scull along with the gray which tends to take over in cases such as these to drive me absolutely batty.

As I flipped through multiple photos of wine bars and jazz clubs featuring various women I began to doubt my strengthening position in our burgeoning dating scheme. It wasn’t that I was disturbed by the dates (I would be a hypocrite to cry Scoundrel! - considering what went down with one of NYs bravest) no, what made my heart ache was that I was missing from the lineup. Seriously THIS is what made me sad, the fact that a guy that I’m dating did not have OUR dates posted publically for all to comment. All my insecurity came rushing in, flooding my head and my heart with thoughts and emotions all skewed to destroy my warm fuzzy feelings of excitement and new romantic opportunities and replace them with thoughts of “You’re not attractive”, “He’s embarrassed of you”, “He’s using you”, “Sure you are fun BUT he would rather be seen in public with these other women.”…. Blah blah blah…

Yes in reality there could be TONS of reasons why I’m vacant on his Facebook and as an adult I shouldn’t care. But how the heck do you un-SEE things you shouldn’t have been looking at in the first place? Meanwhile while I was drowning in the minutia of each comment and photo tag, Sweets inadvertently drove me further into my box of crazy by going completely MIA – yep no contact, full on radio silence. My sadness quickly moved to anger then by Saturday morning (after evaluating three days of carousing posted publically on Facebook) shifted gears directly into disinterest.

By Saturday afternoon Sweets rang my phone and low key plans were made for that evening. I was not optimistic or overly enthusiastic BUT I promised myself I would arrive in full Gee Happy Puppy form and give it my best shot, even if my head was a jumble of images and comments that were not intentioned for my eyes.

Sweets arrived at my local speakeasy and I can’t be certain if it was the spicy bourbon or his tenderness or a scrumptious combo of both but in moments my angst melted away and I didn’t snap back to the real world until I entered my office Monday morning.

In the end I’m glad I know what I think I know, or at least I’m glad that I saw what I saw. The photos on Facebook tempered my expectations but have not destroyed them. Additionally I will follow Red’s demand that she laid down while talking me off the cliff of self-sabotage Saturday morning, Keep that lid TIGHTLY on your box of crazy, no guy needs to see that….. yet.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I Must Have Done Something Good

Life is going super well, maybe that’s why the blog has been very quiet. Dr. Head is doing wonders for my mood, no tears in MONTHS and she’s great with giving me the tools to deal with unfavorable situations that used to drive my anxiety quotient off the charts. It’s been a hard row to hoe for some but the “new communications plan” that I put into effect is best for me, and that’s how I roll these days.

Along with my good humor the dating goddesses have smiled warmly upon my rosy cheeks and sent me a man who ummmm…. makes my eyes sparkle and my mouth turn into a permanent grin. I think I may be smitten, and I KNOW for sure I am being wooed.

Last I wrote Mr. Woods was making my toes curl with his sexy bad ass ways and smooth charm, but that coolness became cold and the bad ass became boring. Mr. Woods allusive coyness was not worth my time so we let that thing fizzle out. It was fun and Mr. Woods played a HUGE part in resuscitating my swagger but without the proper amount of real live face time my crush quickly petered out. I went on a few more dates; nothing special came of any of them until I met Sweets on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. Sweets is charming and unassuming but with a solid confidence that really rocks my boat. At first his enthusiastic energy was a bit frantic but quickly it grew on me or maybe his edge softened a bit, either way I’m digging his exuberance and delight in his optimistic cheeriness.

Sweets is my age, divorced father of two, with a career in finance and a head of crimson hair. He seems to delight in my dorky love of all things ridiculous, from our first real date riding the tram to Roosevelt Island to visit the FDR memorial to my habit of breaking into TV jingles from the 70’s. He holds my hand when we walk down the street and helps me on and off with my coat. Doors open, chairs are attended to and the bill is always paid with Sweets commenting, “It’s my privilege to pay the check.” HOW DID I GET HIM?! Will you all allow me to gloat even more and say that the man has a triathlete’s body that intimidates me to shame once we head behind doors “after hours”? CRAP, Sweets is blowing my mind and warming my heart and it frightens me to think of all the ways I could screw this up. I don’t want to screw it up, I want it to keep going and growing and exploring. I try to relax and just let the “liking” happen but it’s so hard for me to believe that it is all so real.

Before my tween like babbling fills 10 more pages of blog I’ll end with this last little tidbit – after our second date Sweets mailed me a hand written note thanking me for a “spectacularly splendid evening”…. Seriously Sweets, you have me fully.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

It’s Not Me – It’s You

Dr. Head blew up my mind this week when she laid down this little nugget of information, mean people DO make you feel badly and nice people DO make you feel good – cause that’s how relationships work, your emotions are effected by others’ actions and  words.  What the What, Dr. Head? What about all that mumbo jumbo that is spewed about  - don’t let others dictate your moods, it's not others' responsibility to make you happy, be strong and pull yourself up by your boot straps?  Isn't it my responsibility to build up immunity to others' nastiness? Isn't it me who should adjust to their behavior and take responsibility for my apparent emotional weakness?

As I unraveled the details of dating Mr. Woods, trying not to sound like a brainless tween in full gushing mode, Dr. Head sat quietly (as she does) listening as I spiraled through my litany  of justifications as to why I KNEW I shouldn’t be happy. I admitted that I knew better than to use Mr. Wood’s sweet kindness to cure me of my gloom and that I knew it was wrong to soothe my battered self esteem with the warmth from his tender touch, blah blah blah… As I paused to inhale and conjure more intellectual rationalizations Dr. Head interjected her insight, enabling me to see a new truth, the truth that assholes in my life ARE to blame for making me sad when they project their assholeness onto me, and if someone makes me happy then Hooray celebrate it, don’t poo poo it and devalue my gleefulness as an “easy fix”.  After she said it, it all seemed so simple, so logical, and my eyes welled up releasing heavy wet tears as the weight of full control over my emotional responsibility floated out of my body. 

So here I am accepting my cheery disposition and not concerning myself as to who is doing the heavy lifting to get me there. Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s a whole bunch of people who are in my life, maybe it’s a yummy combo of both, but it really doesn’t matter ….. and so continues my new practice of just letting go and enjoying the ride.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Loosening the Reins

During the past two months of talking with Dr. Head she has mostly confirmed what I already knew but what I didn’t know is that it’s Ok to just let things ride. Sit back, disengage and maybe just maybe things / people won’t fall to pieces, and if they do, well then that’s what happens. It’s such a new way to live, so utterly freeing and remarkably stress reducing. From the outside it may sound selfish or even a bit assholery (I do struggle with that a little, the fine line between self renewal and being a dick, but it’s a process), but the lightness that has flowed into me after feeling so weighed down and overwhelmed is worth any small grain of guilt that still bubbles to the surface. Last week Dr. Head even admitted through her usually well fortified shield of non-emotional attachment to me that, “I don’t know if it is an emotional or chemical change but in talking with you, you have a genuine happiness.” and she grinned widely. YES, Dr. Head, the ME is returning…. poco a poco.

I ascribe this return to ME not only to Dr. Head’s gentle assistance (and my work) but also to a week that was filled with a heaping load of good times with good friends and the return of Mr. Woods. My week of drinks and food, laughs, hugs, fortifying emails and bracing face book comments was perfection, and not a tear was shed. Emotions appear to be equaling out and I can once again enjoy the warm love and support that flows in my direction without weeping at a midtown deli counter.

The return of Mr. Woods initially brought a sense of unrest, confusion and a general feeling of WTF is going on??!! (see last post). As our third date approached my mounting assumptions that our little “thing” was dead in the water increased to such a degree that I was exchanging emails with a new suitor on OkCupid just 10 minutes before Mr. Woods’ arrival. However, much to my surprise, a little real life face to face time combined with his charm and a boat load of unsolicited apologies alleviated all (ok most) of my internal freak out. Our evening was delightful and within a few hours I was looking into his deep brown eyes stating, “I don’t want to go on any more first dates, I only want to date you.” to which he answered, “You don’t have to, I want that too.” Sure label me a fool for falling, showing all my cards, allowing Mr. Woods’ charm to satiate my logical feelings of doubt, or whatever, but what is my other choice? Stay guarded and untrusting? Just like Dr. Head suggested, sit back and enjoy the ride and if shit falls apart, then that’s what happens. So that’s what I’m trying to do, not holding on tightly, not trying to figure out where this will go, or if it will go. I will accept Mr. Woods’ words as the truth and try NOT to devalue everything my ears hear and my body feels.

30 seconds after Mr. Woods left my apartment I deleted my OkCupid profile and for the first time since 1999 I am not actively engaged in the hunt for a first date. It’s new and scary but this text from Mr. Woods quieted my internal vampire screams of “He’s using you, it’s all a lie! Don’t fall for it! You are too exposed!”:

“I'm still on a high from the other did I go a month without seeing you?!”

Thursday, October 4, 2012

It’s A Fine Line

For decades I have desperately attempted to navigate the razor’s edge between being optimistic, laid back, open and accepting AND fully delusional when it comes to the mystery that is man. I read blogs written by men and women about men and women, thinking that maybe I’ll get some insight, some clues as to how to happily traverse the bizarre world that is adult dating but I’m always left feeling….. ummmm am I missing something?

Over the past 30 days Mr. Woods and I enjoyed a fun sporadic email exchange, some raunchy, some not, while he was overseas on business.  We casually discussed things that we would like to do upon his return to NYC and both acknowledged that we were excited to reunite and continue seeing each other.  Well Mr. Woods has returned from abroad, resides in my city, works just blocks from office, and is.... umm Mr. Woods, hello? Hello Mr. Woods, you there?

 Since Monday I have been receiving random emails that state things like, 
“Hey what’s new with you? Been really busy here.”,
“What’s going on? I’ve been slammed at work.” ,
“What are you up to? I’m still trying to get back into the fast city pace, so much to catch up on.” 
and usually end with “Hey I can’t wait to see you!” Well Mr. Woods it’s actually REALLY easy to see me just exit your office turn left and walk six blocks – ta da there I am! While in Z├╝rich he suggested that we meet for lunch since we worked so close to each other and it would be a nice mid-day break to meet up…. Ohhh sweetness. But now I feel like reaching through my gmail screen grabbing his throat and screaming out JUST ASK ME OUT MOTHER FUCKER – I am here, RIGHT HERE you know I’m interested and we are in the same city so we can STOP emailing and just see each other! But what I end up writing is (cause I’m trying to restrict my downward spiral into crazytown), “Hi Ya! Everything is great,  (blah blah blah), got a new hair cut, (blah blah blah…). (Insert something funny.) Then close with – “Catch up on that work quickly so that we can hang out.” Or  “So looking to forward to seeing you too, hope you’ve gotten over your jet lag.” or “I can’t wait to see you too, good thing you made it back for Octoberfest.” – yeah, I’ll write ANYTHING to let him know that 1 – I’m cool and not needy  and 2 – YES I WANT TO SEE YOU, really I do, seriously, in the real world, you name the date and time and I will be there. However instead of receiving romantic date info what I get is another Mr. Woods email stating, “That sounds great, we should do that!” or “Would love to see your new hair cut!”….. ughhhh not “should” or “would” – just DO it, or not, don’t do it, that’s Ok too. If I never see Mr. Woods again that’s cool too but this in the middle shit is lame ass.  
And because I am a women who never wants to be labeled as “that crazy bitch”  - cause maybe he does really want to see me but his schedule is tight right now  - I feel that I have to remain open and enthusiastic to these ridiculous electronic missives while continuing to reinforce in clear language (so that I’m not accused of forcing men to read my mind) that I am romantically interested and DO want to date him. BUT this is the razor’s edge, am I being confidently optimistic while accepting his time limitations or am I escaping the reality that he’s just not into me (which is fine) but how does one know without being perceived as a clingy psycho chick?

Oh and side note you would think I would get extra points since Mr. Woods KNOWS (from our past two dates) that if he takes me out I’m a sure thing. And not just a “sure” thing, but a kick ass fun time sure thing. Seriously I’m a chick who drinks fancy beer with the sex drive of a 16 year old gay boy who doesn’t want to be married and lives alone with no kids; this should be a no brainer Mr. Woods. Get on it!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Not So Really Real

In the past I sang Swason’s praises for her fierce grasp of reality and her unwavering commitment to telling me the truth, however that woman is a black and white cookie of cerebral dichotomy because she is also the BESTEST pal for engaging in, and collaborating with, my super reality or as some may call it – fantasy world. 

Our adjusted realities stem from the fact that we both still harbor a bit of our 12 year old pink sparkly sticker collecting/ friendship bracelet making girl just under our savvy city lady outer shell (sorry Swason if I am writing out of turn, however I believe you will agree with me here) and when we unite in a dork-fest fueled with wine (or not) we quickly break through our jaded all-knowing logical crust and delight in our combined powers of modified universe creation

Swason is currently indulging my revised reality that I’m only one call away from Lufthansa ‘s reservations desk to becoming a trophy wife of an international banker stationed in Zurich. There I am sipping red wine and feasting on exotic cheeses while peacefully lounging on the deck of my Alpine chalet as I spend my lazy days transferring my harmonica virtuosity for that of the alpenhorn. I won’t share Swason’s ‘reality’ with my readers but suffice to say that not only do I need to purchase a parka for my mountain top hideaway, Swason has informed me to start shopping for cowboy boots because her Texan wedding is gonna ROCK it! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Truth Is…

During my 45 minutes with Dr. Head this week… back up a moment, 45 minutes really?  In 45 minutes I can only get through like 1.5 stories then I have no time for feedback, ughh. I really must learn to edit my entraining narratives if I expect to get anything out of this process.  Ya know what, therapy for dull story tellers must be extremely cost effective. Anyways back to my appointment. I spent a good chunk of my time unraveling the specifics regarding my past 12 months of upheaval including my TWO lady cancer scares and my multiple leg operations. After I rattled off the various emotionally offending situations I wrapped it all up with, “I guess it was just a bunch of little things that came together to create this perfect storm.” To which Dr. Head said, “OR it could be that you experienced a massive amount of VERY big things that all happened in a short amount of time?”  Literally I think I heard a bell ring when she said it. I felt like - FUCK YEAH, this past 12 months HAS  been a total BITCH and of course I am overwhelmed and falling apart.  I may only give the doctor 30 seconds to get a word in while I reach for a tissue but when she does that woman is speaking the truth, and the best part is she is totally on my side.

Mr. Woods and I are staying in touch, as promised, while he keeps the World Bank afloat overseas (or whatever it is he does). We have a light email exchange going on and it feels a little like old timey courting. He’s still sweet with just the right amount of sauce and it’s perfect for what I need at this moment. I’ll admit that I smile when Mr. Woods’ emails appear in my inbox and I blush when crafting my replies.  Yeah... I'm crushing on Mr. Woods.