Monday, August 16, 2010

Everybody Knows

Few things in this life are common to all.

Death, taxes.

That's about it. (Maybe not even the taxes, if you're one of those live outside the grid types.)

Then there are those milestones and rites that some, many, people have in common.

Childbirth. Education. Home ownership. Marriage.


People will tell you that they "can't possibly imagine what you're going through."

But when they go home, and sit with it, and get quiet, they can. They imagine what you're going through. And they put themselves in your place. They run the scenarios, and add their own personal bent to them. And whether or not they realize it, they can, indeed, imagine it.

They can, if left to their own devices, tell you what you should be doing.

Do it fast, don't look back, rip the band-aid off, get the hell out.

Go slowly, think about what you're doing.

The kids will be better off.

The kids will never get over this.

Try to be open, believe that love exists.

Do not, under any circumstances, get involved with anyone. Be alone for at least (insert suitable amount of time here).

I didn't plan to like anyone. Not that it was the furthest thing from my mind. But I emerged from the shit cocoon that was the first bit of divorce with a half-assed plan.

I would get out of the house, the marriage. And then, I would slut it up. Go out and have all the sex that getting together with my ex at 18 had precluded me from. Raise my self-esteem by feeling attractive to someone, anyone. This would last for approximately a year.

At the end of that year, I would search, in earnest, for a man. Who had money. And was older, thereby enabling me to be an ersatz trophy wife. He would treat me well. I would be secure. I most likely would not love him. But I would not be hurt again.

(I didn't say it was a good plan.)

But then....

I met someone. Hadn't even had the chance to try out the slut plan. Walked into a friend's apartment, into a casual evening, and I knew there would be a single friend of a friend's boyfriend, but it was most definitely NOT a set up.

And as the night progressed, my brain started screaming.


He didn't fit the plan. At all. But I wanted to be with him, in spite of it all.

I wanted to squash everything I felt. I wanted to ignore the fact that he had so many of the qualities it had belatedly dawned on me that I wanted in another person. I wanted to tell him to come back in a year.

But I didn't.

Very, very few people think I'm doing the right thing.

I question my own judgment.

I like him. He makes me happy.

I'm happy.


  1. Sometimes you need to do what's right and sometimes you just have to do something.

    Is it probably the best thing for you to be getting involved with someone this quickly? Uhm, no. Are both your arms going to fall off if you do it anyhow? No.

    So have some fun, don't over think it(impossible I know) and if he's rebound boy, you'll get it out of your system, and if it's something more then, well, timing isn't everything, and if you get hurt, well it won't be the first time right?

    I think of you a bit like a woman coming out of a love diet, you're hungry and you have to eat something. Go make a meal of it.

  2. Oh, and if you need to gush like a 16 yr old girl, this is the place. Then I won't feel so embarrassed when I share my Liam Neeson fantasies:)

  3. I was thinking about regrets today, as I was pulling up more michaelmas daisy runners and regretting ever having planted them. I thought, despite always having been scared about having them, I don't have many regrets apart from having planted michaelmas daisies and rose of sharon. And then, less self-satisfied, I thought, perhaps that's why I don't have regrets, because perhaps I've been too scared to do the things that might cause them.

    Good luck xx

  4. Four years and counting with the was I was NOT going to get involved with so soon after my divorce. I'm happy too.
    Of course, you could be totally fucking up. If that's the case, ignore everything I just said.

  5. Oh wow, pretty girl. I am uberjealous.

  6. Resi--If we sat around pondering the "should I" question, we'd never get shit done. Have fun. It's not like you're making some lifelong commitment.

    I know a woman whose husband died a year ago this week. In spite of everyone telling her to wait year before making any big decisions, she sold her big house in the country and bought a smaller Craftsman-style cottage about a mile from our office. She is delighted and so proud of herself. She would've missed these opportunities if she had waiting around like everyone said she should.

  7. Ruby: "I think of you a bit like a woman coming out of a love diet, you're hungry and you have to eat something." Word.

    Cat: This is the very, very first time that I have chosen to ignore the chorus (both external & internal) and make the not-as-straightforward choice. And it is exhilarating and terrifying.

    Mongolian Girl: As people are being more open and honest, I'm hearing a suspiciously high number of stories like yours - the person who shouldn't have been the right one, but was. Also, "Of course, you could be totally fucking up."? Thanks for keeping me balanced, lady.

    Rass: Oh, there's plenty to be unjealous of. Like the sideways glances from everyone who knows better. Or the ex who suddenly decided that even though he told me in no uncertain terms he was very very done with me, got mad when he saw someone pick up his discarded toy and play with it. And then got very, very ugly. So sometimes, I don't feel quite so bad about eking out small moments of "Yay!" in the middle of it all.

    Elder: Love that story. It's not that I don't have to be careful, and make considered decisions. But damn, they ARE my decisions to make. And right now, after coming out of many years of ugly, feels like the time to maybe stop denying myself good stuff. Can it all go south? Oh hell yeah. But at least I tried.

  8. Resi - I'm so happy you're happy. I don't really think it matters what this will mean for your future. I think it matters that you are living the moment, which is why you are happy.

    I was kinda worried that I was one of the ones that came on too strong with advice when I have exactly zero business doing it. If i did, know that I didn't mean to. I just love you to pieces and am so happy to hear that you are feeling good.

  9. Blues, honey, your advice was always solicited. And appreciated. And remains in my inbox in case of emergency.

  10. i don't know that anyone lies on their deathbed an thinks "i wish i hadn't gone after happiness."