Archive | dating

wine and whine

Last weekend, I had a great dinner with a longtime friend.  Somewhere about halfway through that 1.5 liter bottle of Shiraz-Grenache, the conversation turned to how we had imagined things would be for us by this point in life.

She told me she always thought I’d end up partnered forever and ever with HeWhoShallRemainNameless.  I sighed, shook my head, and said, “Yeah, I did, too, but he never ever said he wanted it, us, just us, or I would’ve said yes.”

“Obviously, he wanted you guys to be together,” she replied.

“Yes, but he never said it, and I think a man should say it.  Say I want you only.”

She nodded and agreed, “Yes, the man should be the one to say it.”

I’ve given this a lot of thought…too much thought because of course I over-think everything all day long.  When I think back over my life all the way back to my teen years, I’ve had only two, maybe three (that 3rd one’s kinda iffy, maybe he’s just an honorable mention), Great Loves. Great Loves: the ones I would do anything for if they asked, and I’m pretty sure at the right moment in time, they would have done anything for me.  They understood me, got me, and were OK with the real me, the one behind the scenes when the public facade is gone. The Great Loves and I were comfortable together, but still sexy together…sometimes comfortable is the opposite of sexy, y’know?  I laughed with my Great Loves, traveled with my Great Loves, kissed until we had chapped lips, listened to so much amazing music, watched movies in bed, and had candlelit pizza dinners with the Great Loves.  With the Great Loves, life and love were adventures.  Life and love were delicious, something to savor, be in awe of, wallow in, immerse the soul.  I believed in a tomorrow with a Great Love by my side.

I also believed that is was my Great Love’s job, duty, role to be the one to say, “I want you only.”  It was his job to say “let’s do this,” whether that meant an engagement or a seriously committed monogamous relationship, whatever, it was his place to man up.  I’ll be the one to say “you hung the moon; I love you.”  I’ll be the one to say “I miss you.”  I’ll do and say all the things that indicate that the door is open, but to me, it’s critical that the man be the one to call dibs, commit, shut down the options.

So.  What have I missed by insisting that the man be the one to say “go?”  Is the whole shebang my fault for having an expectation of manly men who speak up??

Sigh.  I still want that.  I still want the man to be the man, even if that’s a ridiculous concept.  I like the ridiculous concept.  I want the ridiculous concept.

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I Kind of Care but Not Really

If we are friends, I kind of care what you think about the company I keep…but not really.

I don’t care if you think I should be friends with this person; if I don’t want to be, I’m not gonna.  I don’t make fake nice with people to better my social status or please others.  I mean, I’m not going out of my way to mean or disrespectful, but I’m not kissing someone’s ass just because you think they are super-duper if I don’t share your opinion.

I don’t care if you think I should turn my back on someone you dislike.  If I’ve chosen to forgive and move forward, let it go.  I forgive pretty easily.  I get that humans screw up…sometimes they screw up more often than they get it right, and if I make the choice to forgive their human-ness, drop it.  Or if you just plain don’t like my friend for no real reason other than you just don’t like them, so what?  I don’t want to hear how much you dislike so and so.  I’m not going to make you be on a bowling team with people you dislike, pinky promise.  I can’t make all my friends be friends; that’s so first grade.

Just play nicely.  Don’t wanna play with this person?  Stay outta the sandbox then and do something else.

 

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valentine’s confession

I have to confess that as zen as I wish I’d been, I was pretty sulky to spend Valentine’s evening all alone. Minime was gone to a friend’s, and I had no invitations.  I couldn’t think of anyone to call, and I didn’t want to be anyone’s third wheel anyway.

I made a plate of nachos and a cup of hot cocoa.  I put on my bathrobe and watched “Monster and Mysteries in America” reruns with the pets…keeping my phone handy in case someone texted or emailed to profess love or invite me somewhere.  No texts, no emails.

I admit I was a little sad to be invisible and solo on Valentine’s Day.  Yeah, I know it’s just a commercial event shoved down our throats by jewelry stores and chocolate companies, but I still like it.  As difficult and stubborn as I may be, I’m still a woman and women like cards and flowers and chocolate!  I’m a sucker for sweet words in a card or letter, so Valentine’s and all its promise of woo was meant for me!! Alas, I was woo-less.

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space

I have realized with great clarity over the last year that I need space. I need space that is mine, a safe place to retreat that belongs only to me. I’m not sure how this bodes for future relationships. I think maybe, only maybe, I could live with someone if I had a true space of my own, like a guest house, or “mother in law suite,” a place to hide out undisturbed to recharge.

If I don’t have my own safe space to be alone, I get anxious. I don’t sleep well. My temper gets shorter than usual. I get hard to be around.

I do like waking up with a romantic loved one, having breakfast, all that stuff, but not all the time. I do like vacations with a loved one and road trips, too, but I have realized, somewhat by the accidental turn of events, that I like being alone a lot and that I really need time to retreat to be my best self. To have that deep well of kindness for others, to be well rested and happy, I require solitude.

I have been trying to smush my introverted self into the norms of cohabitation for most of my adult life, and while there’s a host of reasons why it didn’t fly time after time, at least one contributing factor is my need to be alone. Sometimes that would manifest itself in me being so grouchy no one wanted to be around me, so I got to be alone, if only because I was acting like a crazy bitch; other times, I’d go out for a drive and end up driving to another state just to have time with my thoughts. When my kiddo visits her dad’s house, it’s not unusual for me to spend that entire time at home alone.

My maternal grandparents didn’t share a residence. I think they might have been on to something there…they loved each other and had dinner together often, but each had their own space to call home. I’m not sure how this will fly for my future; a man would have to be super secure with my love for him to understand that my need to be alone is not a rejection of him, not in the slightest.

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good stuff

Even after hitting an emotional bottom and splitting my soul into bits like Humpty Dumpty earlier this year, I am pleased to report there is still good stuff out there. It is terrifying on many levels to be open to letting someone tiptoe around the edges and into my life, but I am taking some risks, being real, being vulnerable. I won’t let a few bad people from my past rob me of the chance to be happy in the present and in the future. It’s good to laugh and smile again.
It is scary to let the good stuff in, because I know how much it hurts when the good stuff goes away…but I don’t want to miss out on this or any opportunity to be happy. There are risks, but I want to take them. I want to live and love to the full width and breadth and depth of my capability, to feel giddy joy. I want a happily ever after, but a happily right now is better than the isolation of taking no chances. Maybe I will get my happily ever after at last, and maybe I won’t, but I will never know unless I allow the good stuff into my world. I hope the good stuff stays and multiplies.

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Screw You

It’s a good thing for the world and for me that my blog was down for a long enough window of time that I mentally edited myself before spewing bile via the keyboard.  What I have to say isn’t nice, but this is sure as hell an edited and subdued version of what I originally had in mind to type up.

Despite handling most of this total bullshit from last fall to the last month with grace, dignity, kindness, compassion and even love, deep down I am angry.  The anger manifests itself in the nightmares I have; it pops up when I catch myself grinding my teeth so hard my head hurts…so I think I have to share some of it to begin to let the anger go.  There’s that saying that hanging onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.  I don’t want to drink the poison anymore.

So, a lot of this anger is for one person, one man whose secrets and sins I still hold close to the vest, and yep, I could have spilled them all right here, all on Facebook, all via mass text and email to those that think you’re Mr. Wholesome SuperDuper.  I hold them all, though, because  despite being put through hell, I am still a kind and respectful person.  I won’t tell your secrets, and I won’t point out all the lies you told that you think I believed because my fingers would fall off typing them all…but I will set myself free from some of my rage, and I don’t have to detail the specifics to let go of some of it.

Screw you.  Screw you for being a liar.  Screw you for being disrespectful to our relationship.  Screw you for wasting my time when you knew from before we ever dated that I wanted a committed partner for life, a family and a stable life together, not some half-assed bullshit roller coaster ride from hell.  Screw you for letting me take care of you when you couldn’t do it for yourself but then hightailing it outta sight when I so desperately needed compassion and care for the first time in all those years.  Screw you for taking advantage of my kindness and generosity–both my emotional generosity and my financial generosity. Screw you for being so self-absorbed that you were the only one who deserved rest, downtime and fun while leaving your dirty laundry for me, literally, like I was a fucking maid service.  Screw you for lying about anything and everything relentlessly.  Screw you for thinking I was dumb enough that I didn’t know better.  Most of all, screw you for absolutely pissing all over nearly 15 years of friendship; while the parting of ways may have been inevitable, we didn’t have to part ways on shitty terms, but you chose to act maliciously, selfishly and without regard for my feelings, you self-absorbed fuck.  I didn’t deserve any of that shit.  I have never been perfect, but my come-from place all these years has been one of love, forgiveness and compassion, and I didn’t deserve any of the torment and heartbreak you doled out.  I deserved honor and respect and love and loyalty.

I am not a victim, though; it’s not that kind of situation.  I am 100% guilty of forgiving you when I should’ve shown you both middle fingers before I turned around and walked away years ago.  I should have walked away at the first lie or even the second, but I gave you compassion, and with compassion and time, the love grew deeper until it became harder and harder for me to walk away despite the repetition of your dishonest choices.  I made these mistakes, thinking you were human and you’d learn and you’d do better, that you’d realize I wasn’t your ex-wife and this was an all new playing field, a new shot at life…but you never tried to do better and the time passed and I let you stay in my life.  I wanted to believe you’d stop doing the dumb things, so I let you stay around, and that was my mistake.  I should have walked away the first time you disrespected our relationship, the first time you made me feel less than loved or less than important.  Hindsight makes the patterns all so clear and so obvious, and there’s so much I deliberately chose not to see or not to believe in the fog of love.  I am at fault for accepting less than I deserved.  Sure, I’m also at fault for being a bitch when I’m tired as hell, snappy when I’m miserably lonely and hateful when I just want to be taken care of instead of being the caregiver for the universe 24/7, but those moments weren’t the constant of our life together and you know it.  I don’t care what story you spin.  I don’t care what bullshit tale you tell: the truth is that you fucked it all up, you dicked me over and you didn’t even have the balls to apologize.  Screw you.

There are also a few other people out there that deserve a salute.  To those that back-stabbed, screw you.  To those that took credit for my hard work, screw you.  To those that thought nothing of lying to me while calling themselves friends, screw you, too.  To those that let me down deliberately and left me twisting in the wind, screw every last one of you.  These are people who made willful, knowing decisions to step on me and my feelings, to use me for their own benefit; there’s a difference in accidentally hurting someone and in making it your life’s work.  Particularly in the office environment, it’s hard to escape some of these people who behave this way.  My silence day to day doesn’t mean I’m okay with how you’ve conducted yourself, it just means you’re a waste of my time and energy.  Screw you.

I deserve good things.  I deserve kindness, love and loyalty.  I deserve fidelity.  I deserve to laugh and smile and enjoy the ride we’re on.  I deserve a steadfast commitment and honesty.  I deserve friendship and trust.  I deserve romance and to have a good life with a good person at my side who values the same things I do.  I won’t settle for less.  Life’s too short.

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duh

So there’s this book out by an Asheville native and she’s making all the rounds of the book touring circuit and good for her for getting published and making money and yadda yadda, but I have to say the general premise of her book 365 Nights is a big honkin’ DUH, people, DUH!!  To me it’s so DUH! that I can’t believe people would buy it, but more power to them and the author if it helps them get a clue.

Ok, so here’s the premise: the author decides for her husband’s birthday that her gift to him will be sex every day for a year.  Her book documents this one year journey–not necessarily all the naughty bits, folks, but the emotional aspects of this effort to spend time together privately every day.  Good for her and him for doing this, but come ON!

This is where your Katster gets up on the soapbox…(wait for a sec while someone scoots the soapbox over my way…)

Ahem.  If you are in a commited relationship, you should be putting aside a window of time (almost) every dayto nurture your relationship.   Episodes of the stomach flu, death in the family and other such disasters might thwart the “every day” aspect, but as a general rule, you need to make that connection often.  And it doesn’t have to be sex, folks, but it needs to be a no bitching, no whining time of being the couple you are.  Why do you think it’s so awesome when you’re dating?  It’s great because you spend little windows of time together just enjoying the beejesus out of yourselves…getting freaky and most importantly of all, laughing.  And then eventually things get, well, ordinary.  You stop laughing, you stop making time…or you let complaints about who loaded the dishwasher last get in the way of what should be “your time.”

Your Kat does not believe that things everhave to get ordinary.  EVER.  I believe in the every-single-day-connection, even if it’s only 10 minutes of undivided attention at the very end of a long day when the younguns are finally asleep, as it is critical.  I can say the recent demise of my marriage was largely in part to Mr. Kat 2.0’s unwillingness to focus even 1 uninterrupted minute a day on us; every little thing falls apart if that connection’s not there, folks, and one partner can’t pull the weight alone, one partner can not do all the work, it’s painful and unrewarding to do it all.

A few years ago, maybe it was on Oprah, there was a relationship therapist that insisted that you take the time to kiss, reallllllllllllllllllllly kiss, at least once a day every single day of the week.  That counts, too.  This doesn’t have to be nasty bondage and feathers to work, friends, although that’s fine!  It doesn’t have to be deep heartfelt speeches every day either.  It’s simply happily acknowledging who you are together in the whirling swirling mayhem of parenthood, work and the rest of the real life stuff that closes in on us each day.

So buy the book if you want to ponder it further, or you can just take Kat’s word that you need to connect daily, really. 

The next Mr. Kat will be the right man for me if he knows that no matter what, we have to put the disagreements over who used the last of the peanut butter aside, put the grouchiness over wet bath towels on the bedroom floor aside, put the stress of hectic workdays aside, put it all aside for just a few minutes every day to just freakin’ appreciate each other just a little bit.  I believe in it.  I believe in giving the appreciation, I believe in receiving the appreciation, and if it gets all shagadelic, baby, that’s great, too.  Every day.  I’m serious.  Kat has spoken.  So be it.

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I think Minime called Uncle 420 a hottie

Wow, in an inadvertent compliment, Minime told Uncle 420 he was a cutiepatootie at the grocery store yesterday.  She was busy comparing him to her friend’s dad, the dad I consider to be the Mayor of Hottieville when I pointed out she’d just called Uncle 420 a hunk.  Minime tried to backpedal, but it was too late.  Minime has matured and can spot a hottie in a haystack.

Let’s consider her friend’s dad for a moment.  Her friend with the rhyming name, we’ll call her Winiwe.  Winiwe’s dad, let’s call him…Mayor McHottie.  Mayor McHottie is single, so it’s perfectly legal for me to think he’s cute.  When Minime and Winiwe have an adventure and it’s his weekend with Winiwe, I feel a compulsion to put on lip-gloss and perfume…and a sequined evening gown and high heels…so I can casually greet him at my front door to chat about the kids.  And when he calls, “Uhh, hi, this is Mayor McHottie.  Winiwe wants to take Minime to the basketball game tonight,” it takes tremendous strength not to giggle and invite myself along.

Despite his single-osity and absolute cuteness, Mayor McHottie is off limits.  He’s Minime’s friend’s dad.  If I dated him and discarded him in the rubble pile of ex-boyfriends, it would make things awkward for Wini and Mini, and they’ve been buddies since they were 5.  So I just can’t go there, sigh, but it’s quite nice to have some eye candy in the basketball game/afterschool care/slumber party social circle.

And as for Uncle 420’s slow simmer hottie factor, well, it was only a matter of time before Minime recognized it…so bask and wallow in the glory of the compliment, 420, bask and wallow! (and we’re glad Mrs. 420 is up and about in her radiant glory as well!)

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Yeah, yeah, so maybe that last post was a little over the top…

…but really…

whaddya do when you just don’t like who someone has taken to be their life partner?  I’m sure everyone out there has had the experience of a buddy who’s head over heels with someone you really aren’t crazy about.  Not that you have to be crazy about who your friends fall in love with, but it’s nice to be able to tolerate or like them and feel like they like you back…  Usually, I feel compelled to blurt it out one good time because my mouth runs faster than my brain: ohmygawdyoursignificantothermakesmyskincrawl pass the bean dip.  And then I let it go because in ya’ll’s matters of the heart, my opinion has no bearing.  But then think about how many relationships you’ve had that once it was splitsville, your friends were all like “thank goodness, we thought s/he was horrible.”  And you were like, “well, crap, why didn’t anybody tell me?”  And if you’re my friend, I can say “dude, I did that one time, right before you passed me the bean dip.”

But that’s just a tough one.  I know I’ve been involved with people that my friends were like “heyyyyyyyyyyyyy, ummm, yuck!” and I didn’t listen, I didn’t want to hear a word when I was lost in the land of smoochywoochysmittenluvvvvvv.  So I guess it’s pretty useless to point it out, everyone has to reach their own conclusions about what they want in life and love and the pursuit o’ smoochyness and we should all mind our own beeswax (but hey, dude, check for the 666 on her scalp while she sleeps).

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VINTAGE KAT BOX: Sweaty Palms!

Let’s travel way back in the Kat Box time machine with some vintage Katness from years ago.  The main character in this little tale, a super cute sales guy is now happily married (not to me!) with offspring and owns his own company…but even still, he still flirts shamelessly (and harmlessly, Mrs. Salesman, harmlessly) with me in that salesman-y way and I still act like a doofus extraordinaire.

Sweaty Palms and Failing Deodorant:

Meeting An Attractive Male

Kat O.

Recently, a friend told me she was envious of my confident demeanor in the presence of eligible men.  I laughed until I snorted, and then admitted that I never feel particularly confident in those situations; in fact, I usually feel like a contender for the Doofus of the Year Award.  My friend seemed skeptical, so I thought I’d take you inside my head for a recent meeting with an attractive gentleman.

It all began with a phone call.  He is a sales rep for a local company, and he wanted to meet with me to tout the wonders of his business.  We had a nice rapport over the phone and I really enjoyed talking to him, so I decided I would allot some time to hear what his company was all about.  Normally, I refuse to see sales reps, as I don’t have time for such in my busy day, but he swayed me with good conversation.

I came off the elevator at the appointed time to find him in our lobby, waiting patiently for me and my lack of punctuality.  First thought, “Great googly moogly, he’s handsome in that suit.”  Second thought, “I wish I had a Tic Tac.”  As he followed me to a conference room, I wished I’d been more dedicated to my Buns of Steel video.

We talked.  He told me about their company.  When I moved my hands off the table to look at the brochure he offered, I noticed my hands had left gross moist prints from my nervous sweaty palms.  “Oh gawd, I hope he didn’t notice,” I thought as I hid the sweat with my elbows.  He explained a little about the company’s history, and I sort of blanked out, admiring his smile.  I really enjoy a man who looks at ease, and this fellow looked mighty comfortable across from me in that suit. 

I shifted in my chair to scratch an itch and felt a trickle of sweat run down my side; what a day to skip antiperspirant and go for the cruelty free save the whales won’t clog your pores deodorant that is notorious for allowing my armpits to smell funky at this hour of the day.  I clamped my arms down at my sides and tried to look casual.  His hair reminded me of wheat fields in summertime, though I’m not even sure what that means; my brain was very foggy in the presence of this man.

It was soon my turn to do some talking, and I am good at that part, I know.  I was in my element, talking about the network that I tend to and the PCs that I keep functional.  I was determined to get some personal information out of him, so I threw a couple comments out to see if he would admit anything personal.  Sales reps usually won’t yield any personal info; they want to sell, sell, sell.  This handsome gentleman did throw out a little info, straying from the sales pitch and demonstrating a good use of vocabulary. “Wow, good looking and he knows big words!”  My stomach did little cartwheels.

I didn’t want him to leave.  I wanted to sit in the conference room for hours to study his shoulders backlit by the afternoon sun.  I worried that he was only talking to me because he wanted me to sign a contract with his company.  I imagined that if we’d met anywhere else, he’d probably snub me for his girlfriend, and I envisioned her as a cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys or a Penthouse Pet.  I convinced myself he was out of my league.

The next day, he stopped by unannounced.  I wished I was wearing my I-am-a-powerful-IT-diva dress instead of my casual Friday attire.  Just to see him as I rounded the corner made me blush.  He smiled and I put myself back in his league.

So…on the inside, I’m not all that confident, folks.  I’m sweaty and silly and bewildered by the opposite sex.  I haven’t figured out how to suggest hanging out with him outside the realm of business to see if he’s interested; frankly, I’m sort of embarrassed to suggest anything.  If I suggest coffee/cocoa, and he’s creeped out by the notion, how will we avoid awkwardness in future meetings?  My hands are damp on the keyboard just thinking about it.  A recent article in a women’s magazine suggested I shouldn’t pursue men I’m interested in; instead I should wait for them, but that’s just not my style, no matter if my armpits are stinky and my hands sopping wet.

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