It’s Like Picking up Trash in Dresses

I’m a masochistic son of a bitch and I don’t know where this tendency comes from but I’m the chick who’s gonna listen to the first song I danced to at my wedding on repeat even after I’ve separated from the jackass’ whose hand I held and eyes I gazed into as Ben Harper crooned, “I don’t want that kind of forever in my life anymore.”  I’m the masochistic being who’s gonna inhale his favorite cologne at Sephora.  I’m the crazy ass who will walk through Prospect Park and sit down in front of the big, fat ass tree in the Nethermead area that hosted our beautiful wedding day that hot, humid Summer in July of 2012.  And I’m that bitch who’s gonna watch “Going the Distance” with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and tell myself that it’s totally normal knowing good damn and well that there’s nothing “normal” about my behavior.

I recently heard that it takes half the time you were with someone to “get over” that person.  That shit’s for the birds and that sitcom, Sex and The City, because the truth is, I’ll never “get over” the one I pledged my life to – the one I stood in front of and vowed, “’til death do us part…”

There’s something to be said for the fact that I can still speak of how splendid my wedding day was.  It was perfectly imperfect.  I can recall two days prior to the “big day” and my closest friends and family pouring in from all corners of the North American continent.  Manhattan is a small island but it’s not every day you run into your best friend and her boyfriend at the bar of a randomly picked Italian restaurant in the quaint and lively neighborhood of Little Italy.  There’s nothing that makes me happier than bringing together the people I love under a single roof, conversing and feasting on the grub of David and I’s people.

I embraced the idea of marriage no more than I encompassed it that night, adoring the faces of all of my loved ones around the dinner table indulging on Italian entrées and antipasto.  David wanted me to be his wife so I was willingly there to make his wishes come true.  Marriage certificate or not, I had found the “love of my life,” the man I wanted to father my children, the person I saw myself growing old with.

Two days shy of our wedding date, David, my big brother and I made our way back to Brooklyn via the iconic Brooklyn Bridge that night.  David and I, hand in hand, wedding bells in the back of our minds and dreams of our honeymoon in Mexico nearby.  I’m still trying to figure out why love just aint enough…

To be continued…

Advertisements

So, this Happened

I don’t like contacting you and I know you don’t like it either.  The longer we delay the longer we have to be in each other’s lives.  Can we please get this process going so we can just be done with each other?”

That was the text message I received from David at 3:15 p.m. yesterday afternoon.  And here was my response:

Let me spell this out for you.  In case you forgot, you left me with an extremely hefty car payment after I quit my full time job to spend more time with you.  I have since moved and am struggling to get back on my feet financially.  Giving you half of the court fees is not exactly a priority next to keeping a roof over my head, transportation to get me to my job and food on my table so if you’d like to give Sandy the paperwork now then I can arrange for that but as far as the $217 or whatever it is gonna cost, that’s going to have to wait.”

To which David responded:

As I recall we both would have ended up worse off if we sold the car and instead of even asking for the car, I just gave it to you.  So you’re welcome.  And you quit your job because it made you unhappy and you wanted to freelance, so don’t blame that on me.  Also I don’t trust you with money because of a number of times in the past you withheld money from me or acted simply unfair.  We all have living costs so no need to spell that out.  You were in such a hurry for me to get the paper work together for you and I did.  Now it’s just delays on your end.

I was too angry and so done being despondent and non-respondent – I replied:

I didn’t know there were going to be additional fees when I urged you to file the fucking paperwork.  As far as trust, the only person in this relationship who ever had actual REASON not to trust was me.  But you keep holding on to whatever makes you feel better about failing in your marriage, whatever makes you sleep better at night knowing that you failed US.  Of course you still think that’s the only reason I quit my job just like moving to NY was all about me getting a job…it’s incredibly heart wrenching to see certain things so clearly now, like how you’re incapable of receiving unconditional love.  You don’t wanna do this with me, David, so just stop while you’re ahead.

David responded, “Are you threatening me?”

After a nice, hearty laugh and telling one of my best girlfriends how much I don’t miss these confrontations with him, I responded as honestly as one can muster up after being on the verge of an anxiety attack, screaming and shaking with each syllable, “No, David.  I’m simply saying that I hate you just as much as I’ll always love you and this back and forth does neither of us any good.”

His unexpected and tear-inducing response came seconds later, “I agree. So let’s finish this.”

* heavy sigh * I am not quite ready to dive deeper into all of the emotions or contemplations that this verbal skirmish brought to the surface so this one is to be continued…

A Few Dates Later…

He sat on my living room floor, glass of Tempranillo in his left hand and he offered to help me take my Christmas tree down to the garbage once I’m ready to put away my holiday decorations.  While this is seemingly a simple and helpful gesture, it scared the shit out of me the more thought I put into it and I’m a woman so you know I put way too much thought into it.  And as a feminist, you know that last sentence was difficult for me to admit!

His name is Richard and we recently met at a piano bar I frequent on the weekends.  Three dates later and he’s been a perfectly consistent gentleman.  Last night, he showed up at my apartment with four bottles of vino, one of which we drank and the others of which he informed me were for my birthday.  Hello!  Major points for this guy as anyone who knows me well knows what a freaking wino I am and he just so happens to work for a winery.  He knows a lot about what I deem as the beverage of the Gods and I’ve been happily schooled on several occasions.

His unseasonably soft Central American skin sends me reeling with audible envy and he has eyes that smile even when the rest of his face isn’t.  He’s almost ten years older than David and while age may have just been a number once before, I have learned from experience that it has the ability to make a world of difference.  As an Angeleno native, Richard shares engaging stories of what it was like to grow up in Los Angeles in the eighties and I follow his tales with my own of a contrasting Midwest upbringing.  One of the things that I really like about him is that he doesn’t know any of my friends or the people that may be of subject in our conversations.  Sometimes, it just feels good to escape all the familiarity that comes with a close-knit group of friends and maintain what many label as a private life.  And while it’s been said that a lady should never kiss and tell, I say fuck that!  He’s a fantastic kisser!

The majority of our time spent together, aside from our movie date last week, has been spent enthusiastically conversing.  Our conversations sometimes go for five hours at a time, without recognition of the minutes being passed and sans a dull moment.   Several months ago, Richard got out of a fourteen-year relationship and though he was never married, he definitely understands the undesirable feelings of heartache after a serious commitment comes to an end.  We are both well aware of and sensitive to each other’s current situation and this honesty and communication is helpful in easing some of my reservations about dating.

I am certain I am not looking to start anything serious with anyone anytime soon and I’ve been very clear about this but there is no denying our chemistry or the fact that we thoroughly enjoy each other’s company.  To be honest, this isn’t the type of character development I am used to – the majority of my relationships have stemmed from people whom I already know that I call friends or from instantaneously passionate circumstances where “getting to know” the other person comes after I get to know their anatomy.

At the beginning of this blog, this revival, I told my readers and myself that my intentions were to do things differently going forward and thus far, if I may toot my own horn, I am achieving this with significant honors.  While I consider myself quite the open book, I have learned that a lady always needs to harbor some secrets therefore I am not sharing every little detail of my history.  Some things are better left un-reread.  And taking things slowly has never been my strong suit, as discovered in my dear friend’s words of wisdom, “You’re like a tornado, honey.”  Slowly is exactly how Richard and I are taking things and while something may or may not come of our time spent together, at least the time being spent is of quality.

The Christmas Spirit & the Value of a Moment in Time

As we slowly drove by house after house decked out in twinkling, colorful icicle lights with vibrant displays of holiday spirit and jolly elves and fat Santas adorning their landscaped lawns, I couldn’t help but think of my mama and miss her with an intense yearning.  Christmas was her favorite holiday and it was made apparent every year by the excess of ornaments upon a stout Christmas tree and dozens of hand painted Santas embellishing her chimney mantle.  But tonight, I managed to silently relieve myself with the peaceful thought that she was there with me, in my heart and in the spirit of this magical holiday, enjoying all of the pretty lights with us.

This is the third Christmas without my dear mama and I don’t know if it ever really “gets easier” or if “time heals all wounds.”  I think one simply learns how to find and experience joy elsewhere, focus on the positive.  I could dwell on all of the loss and the void in my life, especially the fact that this is the first Christmas and my birthday without David but I would be doing an injustice to all that I am blessed with.

Last Christmas, David and I were busily building our own traditions which included opening gifts at precisely midnight and cooking a seafood pasta for dinner, staying true to our Italian roots.  After a brisk, afternoon walk through Prospect Park, we spent a quiet evening at home in our Brooklyn apartment watching Christmas flicks and lazing around in our pajamas.

This particular Christmas Eve, I found myself in the company of wonderful friends with bellies full of delicious food, a room full of laughter and most importantly, a love and appreciation for those we hold near to our hearts.  As alone as I might feel at times, it’s blissful moments like these that make me realize that I am never alone.

As my friends and I continued down the mountain in the beautiful Upper Hastings Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles, marveling at the myriad of Christmas lights decorating each house in brilliant color, my heart was abundant with this love and appreciation.  I reflected on all of the changes, large and small, that have taken place in my life this past year and all I could feel was gratitude – an immense, gratitude for the present moment.

We stared, wide-eyed at the great city of Los Angeles, shining with energetic life, sprawled out in front us and I acknowledged vast appreciation for the place I call home and for the people that make up what I deem as my family.  While I have lost a lot, I have also gained so much more.  I realize I am exactly where I am supposed to be in this moment and that all whom I have loved and lost has not been in vain.  That awe-inspiring scenery brought to mind a card I came across days after David and I decided to separate.  It poignantly read, “Where there is loss there is always an even greater presence of love.”  It is currently in a frame, displayed in my home.

I am grateful for the short but amazing twenty-six years of my life spent with my mother – the woman who taught me the meaning and the quality of unconditional love.   I am thankful for the three years that I spent giving that kind of love to David.  I’m even thankful for those that came before David as I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without those experiences.  Finally, I am hopeful that my love meant as much to those friends and lovers who are no longer a part of my life as much as it meant to me – that there was something to be gained all around.  I hope that they, too, learned and grew from our experience together or eventually will.

Again, this brings me back to that nuisance of a statement, “nothing lasts forever.”  The more I reflect on this, though, the more I can readily accept that perhaps I am meant to be a part of someone’s life for only a period of time and vice versa.  I am comforted by the knowledge that that period of time is no less valuable than if we were a part of each other’s lives forever.

20131225_105738

My First Christmas Without Her

12/24/2011

Dear Mama,

It’s Christmas Eve and I’m missing you no less than days passed.  I want to believe with all my heart that you’re here – right now – all the time – especially during the times when I need you most.  I want to believe that you can read every single word I’m writing right now.  Mom- if I had known last year would have been the last Christmas we ever would have spent together, I would have done things so differently.  Hell, I think about all the times we spent together – especially after I had moved to LA – and I would have made more of an effort between us.  I wouldn’t have spent so much time at Scooter’s.  I wouldn’t have gone out with my friends nearly as often.  I would have made more plans for us and followed through w/ them in a timely fashion.  It’s just not fair.  I may feel regret with a lot of things but I don’t think I ever took you for granted and I know all these people who complain about their families and it just makes me wanna scream.  I am sorry mama- so sorry – that I didn’t make more time for us or sometimes appreciate those moments the way you did.  The summer of 2009 comes to mind when I apologize for this.  I love you more than anything.  Thank you for giving me life 27 years ago.

Love, Linds