Tag Archives: confidence

Badassery

Let me just say something, to get this out of the way.  I can be a badass.  My friends tell me this often.  I am quiet on the surface, yes.  But I am forever thinking, I am forever analyzing, and I am forever drawing (often correct) conclusions based on that analysis.  Once I have derived a conclusion, I act on that.  If I fall, and yes, I do fall, I get up, I dust myself off, and I get back on the horse with minimal whining and more determination than I had when I fell off in the first place.  In many ways, this is a positive thing.  I get down, but I don’t stay down for long.  If I hurt myself (literally), I get the fuck back up and I set my own broken ankle, or I walk back home despite a concussion and pour peroxide over my open wounds like it’s not even a thing.  I do not cry – at least, not to excess.  If I’m threatened, I start stocking up my arsenal (literally, there is a Taser on the table  next to me right now, left over from a week ago).  In essence, when I need to, I do what needs to be done.  That’s the way it’s been since 1997, and until recently, I’ve seen no reason to change it.

It’s served me well in many cases.  I’m the girl you want around you in a crisis.  If things go to shit, I just fix them – I don’t sit around and cry “woe is me”.  And when people start throwing drama at me, I’d sooner prefer to just walk away from it, too.  I do not do well when people cry at me, or on me.  I do not know what to do with it.  Some call me a robot, a sociopath, even.  I am not a robot.  I am just as capable of feeling, and being emotional, as anyone else.  I just learned, at around the age of fourteen or fifteen, that crying and feeling crappy was not going to make me any safer.  In fact, crying and feeling crappy ultimately made me less safe – because when you are emotional, you become distracted.  When you become distracted, you miss things.  When you miss things, at least in the world I lived in then, it’s game over.  Sometimes in the worst of ways. You, ultimately, make a choice – when shit hits the fan, you rise to the occasion or you fall victim to it.  I’m not a victim.  I’ve chosen to rise.

That said, sometimes choosing to rise means that you sacrifice a little of yourself.  Not inasmuch as you don’t “feel” anymore, you just stop paying attention to it.  You start to relish in the ability to just keep moving, despite everything else, and it becomes your mantra.  People, then, in general, respond to that, as they respond to everything.  But not always positively.  They go to you in a crisis, that’s true, but because you are so level-headed, they don’t necessarily know what to say to you when you are not in crisis mode, because YOU forget how to interact with people when you are not in crisis mode.  Like it or not, choosing to rise to the occasion means that, to one degree or another, you put up walls – intentionally or otherwise – that people must then penetrate.  And the longer that you’ve had to rise above things, the thicker those walls become.

I’ve been considering, lately, the need to change this behavior.  I don’t want to stop being a badass entirely.  Being a badass is how I’ve survived all this time, and it is how I continue to function in situations that are less than pleasurable to me.  I don’t want to lose my ability to thrive in the face of adversity, I don’t want to become a drama queen (which is the opposite extreme to being a badass).  But I’m starting to wonder if my being a badass is hindering my ability to be what I want to be.  I’m starting to wonder if my aloofness is, in essence, becoming a turnoff.

I am considering something – something that is going to put me in a very vulnerable position.  It scares the crap out of me, honestly.  Because doing this, essentially, is, to me, the same as putting it all out there, on the line.  Baring it all for someone else.  Showing them the real “me,” the motives, the emotion, the actual truth of how I feel, what I want, and why.  I do not scare easily.  This, though, petrifies me.  Because if I do this, and I think I am going to, I am willingly walking up the scaffold, kneeling, and making it entirely possible to have my head cut off.  I have done this only once before in my life – it did not end well.  I do not know how it will end this time, but maybe that’s where the badass part comes in.  It is acknowledging that I could be hurt, deeply, by doing this, but being brave enough to do it all the same.  Not because I will feel it any less, not because I am immune to anything – I am not.  That’s the funny thing.  Badasses aren’t immune to feeling at all, and sometimes we feel things more deeply than anyone could possibly imagine.  No, not because of any of this, but because I know that if I do not, then I will never say what needs to be said.

So when I choose to say it, I’ll say it.  And then I’ll say nothing more.  I’ll kneel.  And I’ll wait for the decision, whatever it is.

10 Things You Should Know – Before Messaging a Girl Online

1.  Have a face pic.  Seriously… if you want a reply… have a face pic as your main pic.  We do not get off by staring at your tits as much as you do by staring at ours.  And unless your pectoral muscles have learned to speak (and if they have, you should totally donate your body to science), get over yourself.

2.  Remember… we get hundreds of these messages a day from guys Just. Like. You.  I know you think you’re special and all, and I know your mom probably told you that you were special growing up, but to us, you’re just some other guy trying to get into our pants.  “Hi, how are you” or something equally minimal and lame will get your message ignored.  If you want to stand out, YOU have to make yourself stand out.

3.   Along those lines, familiarities are disrespectful.  Calling us “sweetie,” “baby,” “honey,” “sexy,” “cutie,” etc. when you don’t even know us will really piss us off.  Think of it like this:  If you wouldn’t say it to her face when you’re introducing yourself in public, then don’t say it to her on the internet.

4.  If we didn’t answer your first message, and it’s been a few days, it is acceptable to send one more (again, we get bombarded by these things… some just fall off our radar).  If we don’t respond to the second one, though, don’t send another one.  It just makes you look pathetic.  And when you send that second message?  Don’t allude to the fact that you sent us one before… it just, again, makes you look pathetic.

5.  Don’t ask us if we want to have sex.  Seriously.  Just don’t do it.

6.  Don’t message us with shit like, “Your eyes sparkle like diamonds” or “Angels sing songs about you in heaven” or something equally pathetic.  (Yes, this really happened to me.)  It makes us begin to question your sexuality and wonder whether you’ve ever gotten laid in your life.

7.  There is a difference between “Discreet” and “Discrete.”  If you don’t know the difference, Google it.  And then admit it… you’ve been spelling it incorrectly all along.

8.  Don’t start a first message, or, really, ANY message by telling us how large your dick is.  Or about how good you are in bed.  Because if you have to brag about it, honestly, you’re probably the size of a roll of quarters and your skills are imaginably lacking.  And no one wants to imagine that.

9.  Don’t post half-naked mirror selfies if you have a beer gut.  Just don’t do it.  My eyes are still burning from all of that… excess flesh.  Same rule goes for those of you that are excessively hairy.  We don’t need confirmation that werewolves exist.

10.  And finally, DO introduce yourself.  Tell us your name.  Tell us what you do for a living.  Tell us some things you like to do in your free time.  Make us laugh (but don’t use corny jokes or pickup lines or eighth grade humor – those fail).  Give us details… a full paragraph even.  We like that.  Have a detailed profile, but tell us some of that stuff anyway (we don’t necessarily want to go digging).  Be transparent.  Talk to us for a little while (but not too long) then ask us out before someone else does.  Remember, you are playing a numbers game.  Seriously, if we actually message you back (and we aren’t goofing around), we’re interested, just go for it.

Let The Games Begin

I knew this waiting period would be different.  I knew it would be different for many reasons, not least of which in that it started much differently than the last one did.  Botboy and I are not in a relationship.  We’ve now met in person and spent some, albeit limited, time together.  And, of course, there is that previous occurrence that happened a year ago that started this whole tumultuous ride that seems to take breaks but does not end.

I agreed, before he left, to wait for his return – in that I was not going to pursue anyone else while he was back.  I have kept my word.  There have been opportunities, of course, but I have kept my promise.  But after he left, I also amended that promise a bit (and he knows that).  As long as he kept communicating, I’d wait.  February was good… I didn’t hear from him all the time (and I wouldn’t want to hear from him all the time), but I heard from him.  Thought I could not answer because I was at work, he tried to Skype me once he got semi-situated.  After the end of February, though, he dropped off the radar.  And considering his job, that, again, didn’t surprise me.  I assumed I’d hear something out of him eventually.  He did promise to email.

Weeks passed.  I was still logging into OKC now and then to grab stuff for the Internet Dating Escapades.  One morning, I saw him on there.  And it wasn’t the fact that he was on OKC that bothered me … like I said, there is no agreement toward exclusivity.  What bothered me was this: if he had time to log into OKC, then he had time to talk to me too.  And he hadn’t been.  So, I decided to just send him a message on Facebook.  And when I did that, the first thing he did, after weeks of not saying a bloody word to me, was to ask me to send money.  No lies, I was a little pissed off.  And rightfully so, I think.  I had no money to send him – all of it was being filtered into the Kentucky trip fund and I’d just booked my car and hotel room.  But even if I had, I don’t think I would have.  It would have been different had we been in a relationship, and had we been in one for awhile (for example, if things hadn’t come crashing down last May, I wouldn’t have thought twice about it).  But as it was, I just couldn’t do it.  But we talked a little after that.  I was feeling… marginally… better.

But the overall silence continued, while the logins didn’t stop.  And I began to realize something: I am in Florida.  I am waiting for a man who seems to have become indifferent or disinterested but who fails to tell me one way or the other.  At any rate, if I’m wrong on that front, I am waiting for a man who cannot do me the favor, once in awhile of dropping a line.  I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again… Communication is of the essence in relationships.  THAT has to be the foundation – nothing else.  If you can’t communicate, then nothing else will last long.

It has been about a month and a half since the last time he really talked to me.  And like I said, I know he’s busy.  I get that.  But someone who has time to spend on OKC, someone who has time to spend all his money on toys, someone who has time to talk to people that are important to him (because regardless of how busy he is, I cannot for one second believe that he’s not been in touch with ANYONE over this period), has time to send an email or a chat or… well… something to someone he still wanted to be here.

I know that karmically I have to tell him I’m not waiting anymore.  I made a promise.  If I’m to go back on that promise, I have to tell him I’m doing it and, what’s more, I have to tell him why.

So, it’s going to go down like this:

I’m going to email him this morning to tell him I’m not waiting.

I’m pulling back from him then.  I’m getting out there.  I’m going to try to date.  I may not find anything, or anyone, but at least this way I know I’m not being stagnant.

He has until the end of July to tell me, one way or another, what he wants to do.

If he says he wants me, then when he is back, I will date him – non-exclusively, and we will take things turtle-slowly.  After all of this, I am not ready for exclusivity with him.  Not until I see that he meant what he said about not playing games.  Not until I see that there is consistency, and that’s he in it for the long haul.

If he says he has changed his mind, or he remains silent, then I cut him off at the end of July.  Completely.  No Skype, no emails, no phone calls.  That means I delete him from my Skype friends list.  That means that I create some sort of filter for his emails so that they are delivered to another place so that I cannot see them.  That means I do not take his calls. It means, essentially, that the in-and-out, hot-and-cold games can’t continue.

I wish I did not have to do this.  But I have to.  This can’t continue the way it’s been and someone once said to me, “We teach others the way we want to be treated.”  I’ve done that, I’m afraid, and I’ve done it all wrong.  This changes today.

And once it’s done, I’ll be letting it be what it is.  If July comes and we’ve spoken and we have decided to continue (turtle-slowly, and non-exclusively), great.  And if not, that’s okay too.  Because he won’t be my only option… I tend to forget… in the grand scheme of things, I am the house.  And the house always wins.

Let the games begin.

Facebook Stalking

A little over a month ago, Facebook celebrated its ten year anniversary.  Say what you want about Facebook (I often do), but it’s become a necessary evil to the girl who lives a thousand miles away from her family and from everyone she knew growing up.  Facebook lets me keep in touch with people I probably would never have seen again after high school and honestly, after it’s all been said and done, I’m kind of glad about that.

That said, Facebook also has become a hub for turning otherwise reasonable, smart, secure, confident, well-adjusted women into insecure, psychotic stalkers.  I’m serious.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spoken with my female friends where the conversation has turned into “So I was looking at his Facebook page and I found…”

Okay, so it’s fine to look at your boyfriend’s, or love interest’s, Facebook page.  If done correctly, this can help you get to know him better.  You can see the things that are the most important to them, you can quickly see what you share with them and what you don’t, and it may even help you realize whether or not you are compatible – for example, if you absolutely HATE video games and your current love interest posts nothing except status updates about video games, it’s probably not going to work.

But this takes a nastier turn when you start using it to scrutinize their every movement.

So here’s the scenario:  You’re Facebook stalking.  You find a post.  You decide to see what the comments say underneath it.  You read the comments, you find most of them to be funny, you then move onto the “Likes” and you see some chick you can’t remember EVER having commented or Liked a status on that page before.  “Who is THIS bitch?” you say to yourself as you’re quickly running another Facebook search to find her profile.  Her profile reveals a few public posts.  He may have “Liked” her posts a time or two also, commented on one of them – the comment is admittedly innocent sounding, but you’re on a roll now and in your mind you can build that up to be as awful as you’d like.  Convinced that he’s cheating now, you wait until the next time you are together.  It doesn’t matter how good the sex is, it doesn’t matter how good a time you’re having, you wonder whether he’s waiting for you to go to bed, or for you to leave, so he can text HER.  So you wait… you wait until he takes a bathroom break and you roll over and you swipe his phone and you go through his text messages.  Quickly, mind you, you don’t have much time.  But you can see that he’s been texting her and other women too.  Mind you, you don’t have time to READ these texts.  He’s taking a piss, remember, so you file that away in the memory bank and by the time he’s come back from the bathroom, you’re pissed at him, he senses there’s something wrong, you refuse to rat yourself out and just admit that you’re worried now, he doesn’t know what he’s done, and a perfectly good night (and, in the end, a perfectly good relationship) is ruined.

It sounds ridiculous, but I’ve seen this, and heard this, time and time again.  And I’ve seen and heard this out of my friends who are otherwise very intelligent women.  Granted, in some cases, perhaps there is a good reason to be this paranoid.  Maybe he really is cheating.  Maybe there’s some gut feeling there that tells you something’s wrong.  But Facebook stalking, truly, isn’t the way to get to the bottom of that… not unless he’s stupid enough to post the evidence blatantly, and publicly, online and to be honest, if he is, then he deserves to be ratted out for pure stupidity.

With that one exception out of the way, Facebook stalking, at its best, gives you half of the story.  Maybe I’m being generous… maybe it’s less than half.  Maybe it’s more like a quarter.  Anyway.  The bottom line is, while Internet stalking may work if you’re trying to see how many sex offenders live in your neighborhood and how close they are to this house you’re thinking of buying, for the most part, the internet can give you only a fraction of the story.  And the fragmented pieces that you get may be enough to tell a story, but let’s face it, most of us are not Sherlock Holmes and most of us are not sophisticated enough in our detective work to put together a story accurately.  We let our imaginations run away with us, we let our fears begin to dominate the way that we think and behave.  And then we fabricate the details that put our worst fears into the forefront whether this is warranted or not.

And that’s the thing about our worst fears.  When we give them energy, they manifest.  It’s magic, yes.  But it’s more than that.  When we allow our worst fears to take control, we’re constantly on the lookout for things to feed the conclusions we’ve caused ourselves to arrive at.  They eat at us… innocent things don’t seem so innocent anymore.  And what’s worse, once you start searching, it’s hard to stop.  Fuck the fact that you may be leaving comments on one of your friend’s Facebook page… WHO IS THAT BITCH that’s leaving comments on his??  Screw the fact that he’s called you today… who is he with when he’s NOT talking to you?  Because of these questions, you continue to dig, you continue to gather “evidence” and you continue to fit it together in all the wrong ways, filling in holes where the pieces really don’t fit with your own fearful assumptions.  It’s a slow, special kind of self-torture.

Suddenly it doesn’t matter if there were problems in the relationship or not.  It doesn’t matter if your boyfriend (or girlfriend) is doing anything at all.  Your suspicions are enough to get the ball rolling.  It builds and builds until finally it’s so big that there’s a big elephant in the room that he doesn’t understand and you don’t want to talk about.  You don’t trust him.  You don’t have all the details, but you don’t need them.  Your fabricated story is so big that it’s taken over completely.  The relationship becomes shaky.  And as your trust continues to falter, the foundation collapses completely, and you’ve lost everything.

I often wonder if, despite the technology and all the developments we have at our fingertips, we’re worse off in the long run.  I mean think about it… twenty years ago, if we wanted to talk to someone, we had to call them.  Or write them.  Or go visit them.  And when we weren’t communicating with them, we thought about them, sure, but we couldn’t “stalk” them without actually following them or hiring a PI to do the “following” for us.  The only “Jonses” we were keeping up with were the ones next door and there weren’t constant news articles that talk about how the 24/7 access to the lives of our friends and relatives (and the “happiness” – real or imagined – that is projected on Facebook) that make us become more depressed and disgruntled with our own lives.  If our relationships ended because of infidelity, it was because the infidelity was proven, in one way or another.  You caught them together in your bedroom.  You heard half of the conversation on the phone (I think about the famous “Camillagate” tapes from the 90’s as a prime example of this).  If you wanted to prove something, the evidence was more concrete… not something you fabricated out of your own mind based off of half-assed search results that you gathered off of Facebook.  Or the internet.  It’s pathetic, really.

With all this said, do I intend to delete my Facebook page?  No.  For all that I think it’s silly, I need it to keep in touch with my relatives that I barely see.  Botboy will use Facebook chat to contact me occasionally and it’s an avenue of conversation that is open to us while he is away (though I do not “stalk” him).  I still shake my head when I hear stories of “evidence” people find on Facebook that “prove” that so and so was cheating.  First because I don’t approve of the “digging”, and second because the digging provides an outlet for more questions than it does answers.

And what I think we’d all do well to remember is this: Unless he’s a blithering idiot (and I know there are some out there – hence the disclaimer), if he’s posting this shit online for everyone to see, chances are he’s innocent.  Or, at least, innocent until proven guilty without the shadow of a doubt (and I mean there needs to be DNA on the sheets).

Besides, if you can’t trust him, then why are you with him?

Karmic Debts Paid

Today was an energy clearing day.  The weekend got off to kind of a rough start as, Friday, I heard from Jesus (and if you don’t know who Jesus is (no, I do not mean your personal Lord and Savior, though I’m sure he’d get his rocks off by being called that), you need to read Karmic Debt (continued) before you continue any further.  I’d been hearing from him often.  And I’d written him off weeks ago when he declared, quite publicly on Facebook, that he was in love with the chick who looked like Bot’s ex wife (again, Karmic Debt – I wasn’t touching that with a nine foot pole), and I made it very clear that I wasn’t going to pursue it further.  I also wished him well… no hard feelings (really!)… I was happy for him.

There were nights since that he’d get drunk (most nights, really… excessive partying = another dealbreaker) and ask leading questions about relocation.  Or hint that he was having issues reconciling the difference in their ages.  I’d try to ask what was wrong, or to see why he asked, he could not or would not tell me.  If I require anything out of my friends, it’s the level of transparency that I myself give them.  But I decided to let it go…  There were bigger fish to fry and if he really wanted to tell me, he could sober up and do that.

I’d had plans to meet him in New Orleans.  Platonically, I thought.  But then some family stuff came up and I had to back out.  He told me he was going to be visiting some friends in Tampa.  I said we should meet up when he did that if he found the time to do it.  This was a month ago.  My world changes quickly, as those who have read this faithfully over the last almost year (THANK YOU!!) can see.

I met someone else.  I’m having fun.  I do not want to fuck it up, whatever “it” may be.  Jesus knew that… he knew that because I had to tell him, via Skype, why I could not chat with him late into the night.  And after date three, drunk, I’m assuming, Jesus lamented being put into the friend zone.

I felt bad.  Because I’m not a mean person.  I don’t set out to hurt anyone, and I really felt like I’d hurt him.  But by the same token, I wasn’t going to capitulate for his sake… I couldn’t do that.  I’ve done that so many times, that it’s become my MO and I end up in relationships where I KNOW they won’t work because I’ve had to compromise everything that I actually set forth to obtain.  Still, feeling like I’d hurt him nagged at me.  And whether I meant for it too or not, I think that energy, at least slightly, started to pour over into the other situation.  Of course when I felt the energy changing, I did not know what do about it.  Until today.  When my guides told me exactly what to say.  And I said it.

I told him I’d be happy to meet him in Tampa, with two stipulations:  He’d have to be sober (because this drunkenness stuff is when this lamentation starts), and he’d have to understand that it needed to be strictly platonic.  Whether one would affect the other later didn’t matter.  In this situation, it didn’t matter at all whether I was seeing someone else (exclusively or otherwise) or not.  What mattered is that Jesus is a good friend of mine… and I care about him in that way a lot… but there’s just too many things that I can’t compromise over.  Fundamental things.  And I’ve stopped compromising, and I’ve started manifesting.

It’s working.  I like it.

He tried to tell me that that’s what he wanted.  I reminded him that he was the one that lamented the friend zone.  Then pouted because I did not call him on Skype.   When he realized that, at least I guess, he backed off.  Told me that Tampa may not be possible because he is moving into another house.

Problem solved.

Granted, he didn’t tell me this until after I said something… maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not.  That’s not my concern.  Because the energy is better now.

And, ultimately, I paid off more Karmic Debt.  I did what I did not have the balls to do in May.  Or really April when I started seeing the change.  I let him go.  I let Bot’s karmic twin go.  Of my own accord, on my own time, with my own reasons, and I did so tactfully but firmly.

I did it, and I win.

Now where’s my reward?

Karmic Debt Revisited

In an earlier entry, I compared Metalhead to Buttface, Jesus to Botboy.  It seems that I was right about all of this.  I’ve handled things differently.  It’s pained me to do it, particularly with the Metalhead situation, which I’ve decided (after serious thought) to just let it be what it is.  But it’s done.

After last week’s blog, though, it started really resonating with me that this year really has not been the year for dating.  Botboy came, left, and I was left with that baggage.  Metalhead joined a cult.  Gatsby threw a temper tantrum when I told him I wasn’t going to sleep with him anymore (I make it a point never to have two fuck buddies at once) and started belittling Metalhead.  The Vampire in my complex that was highly attracted to me started talking about biting my lips and his eyes glowed.  There are divorcees who are not “quite” divorced yet.  There are the ones that have more baggage than I am prepared to deal with.  All of this is very funny in hindsight… because I mean who else would this happen to?  But when all you want is to settle down, when you have everything else BUT that, it gets to be a little discouraging when things don’t go quite the way you want them to.

I was talking to my friend Mary the other day about all of this… she brought up the Law of Attraction to me again.  It’s funny.  I’m the one that introduced her to it.  And I still really do believe in it – the concept that, essentially, what you put out is what you get back.  I was willing to take responsibility for the Botboy one.  I said some things to him when I found that profile again on OKC in such a way that I probably shouldn’t have.  I said them when I was in a place of shock and anger… I did not come from a place of love.  I can’t say that approaching that from a different angle would have changed anything.  Intuition tells me it wouldn’t have.  He had already made his choice by then.  But I didn’t have to be so rough about it.

The Metalhead thing has me a little more disgruntled.  Mostly because I know that there is absolutely nothing I did, and, more, absolutely nothing I could have done to have prevented this.  As I said in my last post… I miss my friend.  And I do.  And it’s human nature, I guess, to look at these situations to see if there’s something about them we could have changed.  I did.  I’ve looked.  I’ve tried to find something to blame myself for, and I can’t.  This was all on him.  He still has my key… and I thought about trying to get it back from him.  But he’s lost it.  And continuing to attempt to get it back means that I still have to continue to put myself in his way.  It prolongs the loss.  It makes me feel bad.  It can’t be constructive.  I decided it would be best to just change the locks and call it a day.  Locks have been changed.  Moving on.

It seems like the long line of disappointments is never going to end.  And of course the Law of Attraction says that the more I think like that, the more I’m going to attract.  So I’m trying to stop that thought process.  But more, I’m trying to understand what it is that has caused me to attract this stuff up to this point.  Because that’s the other thing about the Law of Attraction… you’re forced to admit that, when things continue to repeat themselves, when you see a lot of things that remind you of things you’ve already done, there’s something that you’re supposed to learn.  And when you don’t learn the things you’re supposed to learn, then you see a lot of repeats.  It repeats until you get it.

So… the question has now become what is it that I am doing… what belief am I carrying around (unconsciously even) that causes me to repeat this stuff over and over?  Because there must be something… since the people from my past re-manifest themselves in others, in new situations, there must be something I’m missing.

So I sat down and I did some writing.  Free-writing… where I just sit, and I ask a question, and I let the answers come through that way.  Sometimes that’s the best way to reach my subconscious… and other times I can get my guides.  But when I did this last night, it flowed for me.  And an answer came.  This shit keeps happening to me because I continue to allow it to happen to me.  Partially because I get lonely, partially because I settle for people that are less than good for me, who exhibit my original dealbreakers, out of fear that I won’t find anyone else.  I settle for less than what I deserve and because I throw that out there, that’s what I get back.  I continually lower my expectations and my standards, I continually take on the extra baggage because of that fear.  And when those things end, it makes that fear worse – I internalize these things as personal failures and justify all of this by believing that if I can’t even keep the ones that are lower than my own standards, how can I ever keep the ones that are at or above those standards?  It’s a fear-based, fear-driven behavior.

I settle for fuck buddy relationships because, subconsciously, somewhere, in the middle of all those failures, I began to believe that I was not worthy of the real thing.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  Fuck buddy relationships are great sometimes – they serve their purpose.  But it’s rare that they don’t lead to something more dramatic in one regard of another.  When you’re trying to find something more substantial, though, they don’t serve the higher purpose.  And I’ve settled for these things for too long.  I dislike the drama they bring into my life.

Anyway I’ve realized this is bullshit.  And I’m fixing it.  I’m working first on raising my vibrations.  I’m fixing myself first.  Because until I do, I won’t attract anything better.  I’m reprogramming my own way of thinking.  Yet again, I find myself doing a cleanse of my apartment.  I find myself doing a cleanse of my subconscious (though this time it’s a more serious cleansing because now I can put a finger on the issue).  I’m throwing what I really, really want out there in the universe and I’m trusting that it’s going to come to me, sooner or later, and not on my time.  Because it did once.  I had it once.  It didn’t end well, but it was everything I was looking for.  And I believe it can happen again.

Paying karmic debt means that we stop repeating past behaviors.  And I’ve done that (and continue to do that).  I’ve let go of those things that were so toxic to me, and to my relationships.  And I’m closing the door on those things completely.  No more toxicity.  If it’s not exactly what I want, I don’t entertain the idea of it anyway (obviously what I’m talking about here are the big things – superficial things are not dealbreakers).  If he isn’t on the same page, then I’m not putting my hand in the fire anymore.  Karmic debt paid this time.

For serious.

Something Different

It is September.  It has been four months.  FOUR FREAKING MONTHS since Bot made his entrance, and only slightly less since his abrupt exit.  Now, granted, we’d been talking for months before that.  I’d spent the better half of 2013 preparing for his arrival.  As Metalhead says, I was ready.  My house was ready for a second person.  I’d made all the arrangements.  He came, he got his things, he left.  It was done.  Almost as fast as it began.  It has been four months and I still have not been on a legitimate date.  I have still not met anyone that has piqued my interest enough to really, truly move on.  I miss him.

And then I realize how ridiculous this is.  Missing him.  Because the Bot I know is not the Bot that he is.  The Bot that he truly is, is narcissistic and passive aggressive at best.  Sociopathic at worst.  And likely the worst as he, when he is at his worst, exhibits almost all of the classic signs and symptoms (and if you are reading this, Bot, I’m sorry – I tried to look past it, because I know you’ve heard all this before – but I really am starting to believe that it’s true).  But the Bot that I miss… the Bot that I miss is truly difficult to forget.  He’s truly difficult to move past – the constant interest, the attention, the total acceptance, the effort he put into the charade.  And let’s not forget… for all that he is narcissistic, he has good reason to be.  Let’s just admit it… the front he puts up… it’s the total package.  And he fucking knows it.  And I fucking knew it.  And he hit me with it at a time when I needed to see it most.  And took it away when I was least anticipating it.  I know he’s not real.  And I know he doesn’t really exist.  But that doesn’t take away from the fact that I was drawn into that illusion.  Sold on it.

I haven’t been dating… not really… because it has been almost impossible to recover fully from the loss.  If I meet someone now, I am more critical than I used to be.   Because I once saw everything I wanted in an entire package, it is difficult for me to see someone else if they do not have that entire package.  For awhile I looked… I looked in the exact same place that I found Bot.  I put up all the old profiles and added some new ones.  I talked to some people… I got close enough to contemplate going on a date with them.  And then I realized that if I did, I’d be compromising something… looks, ambition, intelligence, healthfulness, even masculinity in some cases… always something to be compromised.  And that’s the thing… I’m tired of compromising.  I know that no one is perfect, I understand that relationships are about compromise, and I CAN compromise where necessary.  But why should I have to trade looks for intelligence or vice versa?  Why should I have to settle for someone who does not share at least some of the same interests that I do?  Why should I end up with someone who tries to make be someone I am not?   I don’t.  And I haven’t.  Because what I really want is an honest, open, meaningful relationship.  Like the one I thought I had.  And while I am lying to someone else, and lying to myself, that is not an honest, meaningful, open relationship.

So I’ve chosen not to date.  I’ve talked to some people, yes.  Metalhead is still at my house regularly, but that is not going any further than where it is already (and we’re both good with that).  Instead, I’ve been focusing on myself.  I’ve been playing with the metaphysics, I’ve been learning how to have fun again, I’ve been reclaiming some of the pieces of me that I’ve not seen since before the 3.0 days.  I’m learning some new things.

I took the online profiles down.  I’ve been doing the online dating thing for years.  Yes, I’ve had many relationships that started online… and then I look at where I’m at now and I realize that it’s not gotten me much besides a failed marriage and a lot of wasted time.  It’s not that people are any better or worse on there.  It’s just that, while you’d think you’d meet a larger sampling of people on there, they are all the same.  The shy nerdy types that are still in school, or still living at home or, if neither, are still playing video games several times a week and reading comic books.  The comic books and the video games were attractive to me a year or two ago – I was a nerdy girl.  I am still a nerdy girl to an extent.  But 3.0 made me begin to dislike video games.  I still like comic books – Bot got me started on those and since he didn’t force them down my throat all the time, or make endless recommendations, I’ve learned to enjoy those… but I also realize that I don’t want someone that is so involved in sitting around reading, or playing video games, that he becomes a couch potato.  And unfortunately, with the random exception now and then, that is the larger market of the online dating scene.

So I realized… I was going to have to try something new.  As I said, I took the profiles down.  I focused on myself for awhile.  And that’s been good.  I know who I am better than I ever have.  And I know what I want.  I also realize that I’m not sure if I’m ready to go for what I want.  That said, I’m also lonely.  It’s been four months since I had a relationship.  It’s been over ten since 3.0 and I broke up (which was the last local one – Bot’s time in Afghanistan does not count as local, obviously).  And it’s been over a year since the tumor scare of 2012 caused the 3.0 decline (which was, admittedly, a blessing in disguise).  All in all, I haven’t had anything healthy in my life (save for Metalhead) since 2012.  Mid-year 2012.  And that is too damn long.

I signed up for the speed dating thing again.  I’d registered shortly after the Bot explosion but backed off because I realized I just couldn’t.  I’m not entirely sure I can now… it’s a lot to ask out of a painfully shy, quiet, writer type.  But part of the beauty of taking down those profiles, is that I’m being forced to grow a pair.  I’m being forced to talk to people I don’t know… this hot guy in my complex that I’ve admired (from afar, obviously, Bot came first), for example.  Other people that I meet out and about for another.  My confidence can suck sometimes, but I’m good at making sure it doesn’t show.  What I will do at the speed dating thing I don’t know, but honestly the not knowing is exciting to me.  I’m going into it with absolutely no expectations.  I’ll have a glass of wine.  I’ll talk to a bunch of random people one-on-one for six minutes each.  I’ll stay awhile after, maybe, and mingle, and then I’ll leave.  At the very least, it will give me something new to write about for this thing.  At best… maybe someone to hang out with once in awhile when Metalhead is away doing his thing.  If more comes out of it than that, I’ll be shocked… but hey, I said that about OKC last year before I met Bot.  So I guess stranger things have happened.  All I know is that it’s time for something new.  Because the old shit… the old shit doesn’t work anymore.

Karmic Debt

With the acknowledgement that the past resonates, the question, then, becomes WHY does it resonate?  If one believes in past lives, that we live again and again, learning things, making up for things we did incorrectly the last time, with the goal of becoming something better with the passage of each lifetime, then one could argue that the past resonates because those are the life lessons that we failed previously.  A second chance, per se.

But in my life… in this one… the past resonates often.  And it’s not the past lives… it’s this one.  Things echo.  People walk in and out of my life, more people come in to take their places, and the replacements resonate the way that the other ones do.  It’s like déjà vu.  I told someone not long ago that time is a funny thing.  It echoes.  It throws itself up in the air time and time again, the pieces get re-mixed, and then they all fall back down again.  In a new order, yes, but still the same old pieces – a reflection of what was.

I’m beginning to understand that now, particularly with what I’m doing with the men in my life.   Where two have now left, two others have taken their places.  Not in the same sense, no, but let’s start at the beginning.  I have only ever been madly in love with a man three times in my life.  There was my first fiancé, years and years ago.  When that ended, it took me months to recover.  There’s Buttface.  Who built that one up for a decade.  Getting over that, over it entirely, took forever too.  And then there’s Botboy.  Who I never really truly met, but it’s hard not to fall hard for someone when you speak to them daily, for hours out of the day, and when (whether they’re being real or not) they are everything you’ve been looking for for forever.  They have these things in common:  I was smitten with each of them in their time.  It also took an inordinate amount of time for me to recover from the fallout when it was over.  From the first two, I have recovered.  From the third… I’m mostly there.  It still pains me now and again but I am taking the pieces of that that I can salvage and making those mine.  Letting everything else go.

But that isn’t enough for Karma.  At least not for me.  See, she’s a bitch.  When I do something wrong, when I fuck something up, she makes me do it again.  And since, apparently, I am on my last life before I get to do “something else”, that means that whatever damage I do in this life, I have to fix in this life too.  So the past resonates.  Hard.  I have lessons to learn and no time to learn them in.  It’s like crunch time for finals.  It’s extreme.  But I’m dealing.  Anyway the two in question this evening are Buttface and Botboy.

I am not a bad person.  But I do like control.  I do like stability.  I do like to plan.  I like to know where things are going, what I am doing, and while I realize that you can’t plan for everything, christ, I try anyway.  So we’ll start with Buttface.  Ten years.  We waited to meet for ten years.  When we met, we tried to make it happen.  I believe he wanted it as much as I did.  But we were also both freshly divorced.  Things fell apart.  I don’t have enough words to go into detail here, but suffice it to say that out of a need to control, out of a need to understand, I suffocated him.  I was much younger, of course.  I didn’t realize what I was doing and I didn’t understand that I was killing from the inside what I was trying so hard to protect.  Things ended between us nastily.  My friend that I’d had for a decade was suddenly gone.  I was left to recover.  That was painful.  An impossible task, really.  But I did it.  We had one more small affair, casual that time, and then decided that we were better as friends.  We are friends to this day.  But it’s a hard won friendship.  There were years where we did not talk.  Long years.  I learned some things.  Hard won lessons, but I learned them.

Buttface = Metalhead

Enter Metalhead.  One of my best friends.  He’s had a blog… anyone who doesn’t know about him can go back and read about Rule Breaking.  But we’ve been friends since I moved to Florida.  He’s been one of my best friends through all of this.  We’ve had our periods where we didn’t talk, too, but that’s been more out of business than out of anger or frustration.  However it’s been interesting, at the very least, since we started sleeping together.  I’ve gotten to know him on an entirely different level, which is normal when you go from one level of friendship to another.  But it’s been bizarre too.  He doesn’t look anything like Buttface.  They are opposites right down to their height and hair color.  But their mannerisms, the way they approach life, the way that they respond to things… those things are exactly the same.

At first it was funny in a way, but then, as things progressed, as Metalhead started distancing himself, I started seeing things happening again.  I wasn’t controlling him… not at all.  I was keeping a lid on that, because after Buttface, I know better.  Hence the Karmic test.  Or part of it.  But I realized something else, too.  That I did not want carnal desires (I’ve always wanted to use that phrase!) to disrupt my friendship.  He was gone for a week, taking care of his kid.  I missed him, I missed the company.  I do not want a relationship with him, but I don’t want to lose my friend either.  And so, over drinks last night, we talked.  And we sorted it out.  He understands I’m not looking for anything else (because apparently he was worried about this), I told him that if this was going to fuck up the friendship we’ve built then I’d rather just stop it, and then we agreed to continue on for the time being with the way things are.  Airing out dirty laundry, communicating, that’s what friends do.  They don’t sit around and wonder… not communicate… not grow a pair and just ask (the way I refused to do with Buttface).

I apologized to Buttface for the past.  I squared things away with Metalhead (who still stays over, hangs out, is accompanying me on a trip I’m taking in a few weekends, yes we’re still having an affair because neither of us want to stop right now).  Everything is good there.  Karmic debt paid.  Hopefully this is a lesson I don’t have to continue to do over.

Botboy = Jesus

But there’s another one.  Botboy.  And it’s not the same lesson this time.  Not one of control.  Because with deployments, you realize you have very little and you learn to be okay with that.  Or you move on.  Deployment (his) taught me patience.  It taught me that I can’t always do things my way.  I am good with that.  What it did NOT teach me was not to jump into things headfirst without looking at what I’m jumping into.

And so, I’m doing it over.  There’s another overseas boy.  This one I call Jesus.  Because he physically looks like Jesus.  Same name as my first ex fiancé (the only other one of those).  Different country, but a similar situation.  The food sucks, the smiley faces are the same in the chats, the boredom is apparently the same, the movie watching, all of that is reminiscent.  And all of those things are minor.  Very amusing, but minor.   He doesn’t play with TransFormers, but in the midst of all of this, TransFormers are everywhere… on billboards.  On the freaking television.  On the back of vehicles I randomly pass in the road.  And then there is the girl.

I wrote about her.  I wrote about the girl that at least played some sort of part in the Botboy breakup (The Bot is the blog to reference for that one).  His ex wife, the one he said he did not want, but who wanted him.  The one who kept stalking him.  Torturing him.  Who had made his life more difficult than it needed to be and who, by proxy, made mine difficult.  With Bot, I chose to jump in anyway, knowing she was there, knowing he wasn’t over her, knowing that there was likely to be some baggage (though not knowing how much).  I made that choice.  I made that choice and then what looked like it was going to be okay, ended up not being okay.

Jesus has another woman in his life, too.  The same age (roughly).  And she looks just like her.  I mean these two women could be sisters (though they are not related to my knowledge).  And she says she loves him.  Red flags went off.  Immediately.  Because we learn, don’t we?  We learn from the past.  I had my heart stomped on, I wasn’t expecting it to be stomped on, because I trusted Bot.  It’s not that I don’t trust the new one… Jesus.  I have no reason not to trust him, but I don’t have a reason to trust him either.  And that’s the point.  We’ve not met face to face.  And we won’t until he gets home.

I’m not getting invested.  I can’t.  I’m intrigued by him.  But the girl may be a dealbreaker.  And what I have to learn this time is to let it go.  To let it develop in its own, if It’s going to develop, and leave it be if it isn’t.  I say this isn’t a lesson in control, and it isn’t for the most part.  This is a lesson in patience.  In waiting to see what happens.  In not jumping the gun out of desire.  And I’m learning it.  While it is a painful one to learn, because it is so reminiscent of what I’ve just gone through – what I just began to get over – over the last few months, I’m doing it.  Because I have to.

I have to learn to stop putting the cart before the horse.  I have to stop jumping the gun, I have to stop trying to make those choices for him.  Did we talk for six hours?  Yes.  Did I have fun?  Yes.  But that’s all it is right now.  And that’s all it’s going to be right now, because everyone has free will.  If he wants the other woman, he should have her.  Botboy did not want the ex wife… but I believe he did find someone else, much as I did not want to admit it for awhile.  So this lesson… this one is just letting time play out.  Let the chips fall where they will… let time do its rearranging and just to be okay with whatever design it chooses until it decides to throw them up again.

Karmic debt isn’t completely paid on this one… it’s a work in progress.  But I got this.

The Professor

Professor is gone.  Like, gone for good this time.  Because this time I was final about it.  This time I was clear about it.  And this time I knew what needed to be done.

We’d gotten to know each other again.  And at times, that getting to know you routine had been fun.  It made me feel very young again, I was intrigued.  But in the middle of all that conversation, dealbreakers started surfacing.  Now… everyone has dealbreakers.  Rules.  We already know about that from an earlier blog.  And I’ve broken several of those rules over the last month.  But there are others that I can’t break, no matter how hard I try.

Complaints, negativity, an inability to live up to the promises to stop the sex talk, the gambling, the presumptuousness of thinking that I was going to give up everything the second he flew down here and spent some money on Disney tickets.  And then there was the realization that if I were to do this, if I were to be with him, I would have to move.  I would have to leave Florida entirely.  Because he would not move here – if he moved at all, he’d move further north.  He made that abundantly clear.  And I don’t want to move.  For all that sometimes I find myself very isolated, the eternal summer makes all of that very bearable at times.  It’s a fair trade-off.

And in Florida, I can be who I really am.  I can study what I want to study.  I can believe what I want to believe without being harassed too much about it.  And he doesn’t believe in any of it.  If he doesn’t quite think I’m crazy, he doesn’t seem to think I’m entirely sane either.  Being with him, a lawyer, in Kansas would not only mean that I would have to move, I would have to hide it again.  And, worse, probably, eventually, stop it all together.  Make the voices go silent again.  Deny what I really am.  And I can’t do that.  Not now.  Not anymore.  I’ve never felt so complete in my life.

And yet, if I said no, if I cut ties with this altogether, what would happen?  It’s been a decade since he’s not been in my life.  Of course there were times when we weren’t speaking… more of those times, really, than times when we were.  But I am also thirty.  I’ve argued both sides of the coin – I can afford to be picky, and yet I can’t afford to be picky.  And since he’s filled the void so well over the last few weeks – a void left completely empty by Botboy – if I got rid of him, what would I do next?  What would I do without him?  I could ignore all of this… I could ignore my inclinations to stay here and I could move there, and I could let him have me, and I’d have my relationship.  I wouldn’t be alone anymore.  But at what cost?

When I thought about the reality of leaving myself behind, when I thought about the ramifications of what a move to Kansas would mean for me, I wasn’t sure it was the smart thing to do.  I’d not only be leaving myself behind, but I’d be trapped, essentially, in an area where I knew no one.  Where literally my only friend would be the Professor.  And where I couldn’t go out to make friends of my own – at least not like the ones here – without having to worry about what that would do to his job and his reputation.  I could see what would happen very clearly if I stayed with him.  We’d marry.  We’d argue a lot – not necessarily because there were so many things to disagree about, but because I wouldn’t be happy and I could not force myself to be happy.  If we had children (and I wasn’t even sure he WANTED children – other than sex he never spoke of anything else), they’d suffer too.  I could see myself in it, of course.  But I could not see myself being happy in it.  And happiness… happiness… that is so important.  After the nightmares that were my marriage and that relationship with Gatsby/3.0, I have realized that and believe it more firmly than I ever have.

And yet I was still on the fence.  I didn’t want to hurt him.  I’m not very good at breakups.  They are painful.  They are awkward.  And they are so final sometimes.  And I wasn’t even sure that that’s really what I wanted.  I still couldn’t fathom a life without him in it, in one facet or another, though now I understood that that was more out of habit than out of any real feelings for him.  That Friday, though, when I didn’t hear from him, it was peaceful.  I didn’t know why he hadn’t talked to me.  But it was peaceful.  When I found out that it was because his phone had screwed up the night before and had deleted my number, I took it as a sign.  Because when I can’t do something myself, the universe has a way of making sure it happens anyway.

I chose myself.  For the first time in a very, very long time, I chose myself.  My happiness.  My beliefs.  I chose all of those things over someone else.  I chose all of those things over a relationship.  I put myself first.  I’m a generous girl.  A giver.  And while outwardly I may come across as being very selfish, I’m truly not.  But maybe a little bit of selfishness isn’t such a bad thing.  Maybe a little bit of selfishness is necessary… because you can’t always put someone else first.  You can’t always put someone else in front of you… or else you never get anywhere.  And you give too much of yourself, you compromise too much of yourself.

And so, four drafts later, when I was sure I wasn’t bitter, and when I was sure it wasn’t an attack, I sent an email:

“I have been thinking a lot, to make sure I do not make a mistake. But then I realized that if I have to think about something like this so early on, I already have my answer.

Thank you for the offer to take me to Disney.  It was very generous of you.  But I fear that you have ulterior motives behind this offer, whether you can admit to them now or not. Regardless, I don’t want to feel obligated to you, and if we went, I know I would. And so, I cannot accept it.

Further, I cannot do this.  Not just because of those motives, but because I don’t think that what you want from me is aligned with what I am looking for.  And even if it were, there are simply too many deal breakers in this situation in order for me to be able to look at it with any sort of seriousness toward long term potential (no, it is not just the gambling).  I fear it would be a waste of time for both of us.  I do want you to be happy.  But I do not think that your happiness is with me – not in the long term.  And the short term is not possible either.  I cannot compromise either my principles in the short term, nor my self, happiness, and satisfaction in the long term.  To ask me to do either would be unfair.

With all of that said, please know that I don’t say any of this out of anger.  You’ve done nothing except to be yourself; that’s all anyone could ask of you. And ultimately, I wish you the best as you start down a new path.”

He said nothing afterward.  And it’s been a full week.  There has been no reply, no communication, nothing.  And I’m okay with it.  Because that’s what I wanted.  Finality.  No arguments, no tears, no communication – nothing that would tempt me to change my mind, nothing that would tempt me to go into something I know I would not be satisfied with.

They say that the universe replaces the things we get rid of.  It has up until now, though sometimes those replacements are made with the same people coming back again and again because I don’t exorcise them fully from my life.  This one has been.  I know that now.  This time it feels differently.  Not a temporary cooling off period… this time it’s done.  Something else will enter my life… when it’s the right thing and when it’s ready.  Until then I wait, and I read my books, and I play with my cards, and my herbs, and my crystals, and my pendulum.  And I try to find patience.

Rule Breaking

When we date, we set standards for ourselves.  Codes, if you will.  What we like, what we don’t.  What we will accept, what we won’t.  And I’m no exception.  A long time ago, I made up my own code and I continue to live by it.  I rarely break it… that happens only when the code is outdated, or when I find something worthy of breaking it for.  And that code has been with me for so long that following it is second nature… I don’t even really have to think about it anymore.  When it comes to dating, the rules have always been simple 1: Older than me.  2: Must have a job and a car.  3: Must be legitimately single (not hooked up, not married).  4:  Don’t shit where I eat (ie: date people I work with).  Other than that, it’s fair game.  And I’ve been successful at it.  Relatively.  I mean I’m not quite where I’d like to be, but at least my regrets have been minimal.

And then there was last weekend.  The setting?  A military ball.  A military ball I very randomly fell into.  I am not in the military.  I have a lot of friends who are.  And one of my best friends from work is included in that number.  He was going.  He asked me to accompany him.  I sort of owed him (since I couldn’t make it to his Christmas party last year), and so I went.  And I was excited about it.  He’s not a dancer.  Truth be told, I don’t know that I would have wanted to dance either.  But I rarely miss an opportunity to wear something fancy (and equally incredible shoes) and this would be something I’d never done before.  A good healing exercise, if nothing else.  I’d squared away the Botboy issues.  I’d made my peace.  Now the healing time was mine… and part of that healing was learning to be okay with being out there.  Going out with The Metalhead (a nickname he’s given himself for the purposes of this blog, stemming from his love for Metal) was safe.  We were friends.  Nothing had or would happen.  And he’d spent the last two and a half years watching my back… I knew this would be no different.

“I’m not drinking,” I told him.  I’d stopped doing that weeks ago.  He knew that, and so I was made the designated driver, because he’s no stranger to his alcohol.  I was fine with that.  He’d spent so much time watching my back that I didn’t mind watching his and making sure he got back safely.  And, since he had nowhere else to go after (his housing situation is a little questionable right now), I’d told him he could crash on my futon.

So, we drove to Orlando.  It was like the old days – the days before 3.0, when Metalhead and I used to hang out all the time.  I’d missed him.  At seven years younger than me, he’s been like the little brother I never had and because we like a lot of the same things, there is never any shortage of things to talk about.  We arrived.  He got suited up, I looked fantastic in my little red dress (and my rockin heels), and we went inside.  Two hours early.  I met his friends.  I stood back quietly while he did his thing… I can be shy in social situations at first.  No one even guessed, unless I told them, that I was considerably older.  It was flattering.  I don’t care how old you get, it never gets tiresome to be mistaken for a twenty-something.  Metalhead started drinking, his friends started drinking, then he asked me if I wanted something.  I thought about it.  Hard.  Wrestled with myself.  Then decided a glass of wine wouldn’t be a bad thing.  After all, I was going to be there for hours.  One glass wouldn’t do much to me anyway and it would at least make me look a little less out of place than I did.  So I got a glass.  And I drank it.  Then I had another.  I still didn’t feel much.  Maybe a little lighter, certainly a little less shy.  I started socializing with his friends some.  And then we took the shuttle over to the dinner (and the ballroom).

This is where things got interesting.  I bought two more drink tickets for myself for wine and sat down at a table where there was another glass of something quite blue (which, upon tasting it later, tasted a lot like blue raspberry kool-aid, like the stuff I drank as a child, but this was absolutely NOT Kool-Aid).  We sat through the ceremony, and then between the ceremony and dinner, decided to go outside so that some of his friends could smoke.  I’d been talking to his friend’s wife quite a bit that evening, and started talking to his friend as well.  They were cool… I liked them.  The wife and I were closer in age and got along famously (she was actually older than me).  Four drinks later (this puts me at a total of eight glasses of wine) and I’m feeling fantastic.  Metalhead is next to me, his friends are there, we’re chatting, we completely forget about dinner.  They’re sharing their cigar-strength e-cig with us, I’m taking a drag or two off of Metalhead’s cigarette, rules one and two (the no drinking, no smoking rules) broken.  And I begin to realize that we’re going to have to get a hotel.  Metalhead is shitfaced.  I am not in any condition to drive – I must be the worst designated driver ever.  But it was okay.  The couple offered to let us have their other bed, but I’m not one to bum things off of people and I wasn’t sure I was quite comfortable with that anyway, and so I began calling around to the hotels on International Drive to try to get a room.  There was nothing. 

At any rate, I needed different shoes, I decided.  The heels, after several hours, were killing me.  And so we began a quest to find Sebastian (my car).  We must have walked around the parking lot there three times, the second and third laps completely barefoot, before someone realized that the car would be in the other lot across the street.  We’d taken the shuttle over, after all.  That meant four lanes of traffic.  And my feet hurt.  Metalhead was behind me, taking care of his friend’s wife, who was also tired of walking barefoot.  Her husband picked me up awhile and carried me, though I insisted on walking across the street myself.  He held my hand instead, propositioning me the entire way to the car.

“Thank you for holding my hand,” he said. 

“Oh, it’s nothing, I wouldn’t be able to walk anyway,” I answered.

“You know what I’d like to do… I’d like to take you back to our room and give you the best head you have ever had in your life.”

I looked at him, mortified.  Yes, I was holding his hand (a cardinal sin for me, really, since I knew he was married) and now he was propositioning me?  I decided to use the same argument on him as I’d used on the Professor a year ago, “You’re married.” I said, pointedly, still holding his hand.

“But we have an agreement and she would be okay with it.”  At this point I looked behind us, Metalhead was escorting her through the parking lot.  I felt funny about it.  Something wasn’t right about it.  And even if I let him do that, I couldn’t reciprocate.  Even like this I have my limits.  And I told him this as we reached Sebastian.

“I don’t want you to reciprocate,” he said.  “I just want to give you head, and that will be that.”

“I don’t know,” I said as I opened my car door and threw my shoes inside.  I picked up my flip flops and began to put them on.  Metalhead had caught up and was standing next to me now… I wasn’t sure how much of this he’d heard.  At any rate, it was a little embarrassing.  I could barely stand and I asked for his shoulder.  He obliged and I held on as I stepped into my flip flops.  We’d never been this close before.  I mean we’d stood closely together at times, but never like this… close enough to… and then we kissed.  I don’t know if I went for it or if he did or if it was a mutual thing.  But we kissed.  And not just a little, it was a virtual makeout session. 

After putting on my shoes, finding a gift store, walking hand in hand with Metalhead to another bar where we ordered yet another drink, I decided I wanted to be outside again… I was feeling a little unwell at this point.  Shouldn’t drink anymore for awhile.  Metalhead and I exited the bar, the hotel, I didn’t see his friends for the rest of the evening as we walked around and around the hotel, stopping here and there to kiss again.  “I’ve wanted this for two and a half years,” he informed me during this hiking session.

“You have???” I said, incredulously.  “I had no idea.”

“Well, you were always with someone else.”  That was true.  I’d never spent any legitimate amount of time at work, or with the people I worked with, when I was single.  “And anyway, I had no idea what you would have done if I’d just gone for it.  I was going to wait until after we didn’t work in the same building anymore before I made a move.  That way if you tried to kick my ass we at least wouldn’t have to see each other.” 

I laughed.  Metalhead and I didn’t work for the same company anymore… not since the buyout.  But we were in the same building.  And we did see each other every day.  Third and Fourth rules broken:  He’s seven years younger, and this definitely classifies as shitting where I eat.  And for whatever reason, I just didn’t care.  He doesn’t act twenty-three.  I suppose deployment does that to you.  And if I were going to shit where I eat with anyone, it would be him… he’s not like the others.  He doesn’t talk.  I’ve known that for years, I’ve trusted him with a lot.  Long story short, he sobered up enough to drive and we headed out to the La Quinta by UCF to stay – the same hotel I’d stayed at with Rocketman at the beginning of last December.  And while we kissed, and while there was some heavy petting (and a bj), we didn’t have sex.  Mostly because there were no condoms available that were latex free in the vicinity, but also because I wasn’t ready for that yet.

But the funniest thing of all… I didn’t even think about Botboy.  Not much, anyway.  When I was rebounding with 3.0, all I could think about was him.  He was in my mind constantly.  It was impossible for me to bounce back from that.  I didn’t have time to wonder why, then.  I was much too comfortable right then and there, making out with my friend (who I felt like I was getting to know all over again) and later resting as he nursed me through my wine hangover the next morning.  Looking at it now, I think I understand.  3.0 is nice… and we’re friends… but repeating the past is not healing from it.  It’s just tearing open the wounds again, trying to patch them with a band-aid.  Metalhead is new.  At least in this way.  And even if we never did anything ever again, I knew it was possible to do that with someone new.  And that he’d wanted ME all this time?  Me?  The girl who spent six months waiting for a soldier who left as soon as he walked in the door?  It was an ego boost.  And it was something I needed to hear.

They say we are given what we need when we need it, if we just wait for it.  The universe has a really strange way of delivering sometimes… and especially this time.  But it delivered.  Yes, I broke all my rules.  I’d do it again (I HAVE done it again)… Metalhead and I are conducting our little affair quite quietly.  And it’s great.  It really is.  But I feel better.  I’m not dating right now… I don’t have the time, and I don’t have the interest.  The metaphysics (which Metalhead shares) is still very time consuming.  And I am still learning a lot about who I am and what I can do.  But to be able to say I’m okay, and to really MEAN it, and to not spend hours out of my day thinking about someone I cannot have… this is what healing really is. 

And I did it.  Thanks to wine, cigars, work, married people, a really good friend, and, the US Military which provided me with the setting for all of the crazy debauchery. 

After all, rules were made to be broken.