I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter

When I was post divorce maybe six months, I was encouraged by many to seek the assistance of a therapist. It was great advice. I tend to see her occasionally just for a recheck. While I was in her care after my divorce, I explained to her that I had never met the woman that my ex husband cheated on me with. It was so bad, I didn’t even know what she looked like. I had tons of anxiety about passing her in Kroger and not knowing…that was her. My therapist asked a very important question; “If you do see her and have the opportunity, what would you say to her?” I hadn’t even thought of it. No idea….nothing!!!! She recommended I write her a letter. It was kind of homework. I was to bring it to the next session. So I wrote SEVERAL letters. Finally a draft was decided on and I brought it at the next session. Was I supposed to read it to her? Nope. She asked… did you address it? Yes. I did. I looked her and her husband up on White Pages and it was addressed and stamped. “Are you going to send it?” I didn’t know. I mean…does she get to know what part she played in my marriage’s demise. Will she ever understand what’s it’s like to be pregnant, alone and carry an amazing amount of hatred and anger through a time of joy. The letter explained all of this. And then…I thanked her. I thanked her for making me realize that my marriage was in ruins and her affair with my husband only justified the impending divorce. I carried it in an envelope, addressed and stamped with me everyday for nearly a year. Then one day, I passed a shred box at work, I reached in my purse and it was gone. But what wasn’t gone was writing letters.

Letter writing is a lost art. Okay, back to Sex and the City for a moment. Remember when Carrie was with Big and they were in bed reading “The Love Letters of Great Men”?

Ever Mine

Ever Thine

Ever Ours

I have written love letters a thousand times. I wrote those notes with the special folds in high school. A few years into college email started then IM with AOL.( those were the days). Now the text…Ugh…the text. I hate texting. As am I writing this blog I have three…no, no four texts conversations going. Texting is the devil. It is almost as soul sucking as Facebook, and I love them both! But letters, oh, the letter. Handwritten of course. I mean, if you are going to do it, do it write…I mean right. In cursive and a good pen!

As I think of writing this letter, the one I will actually give to him I wonder; will I just leave it for him to read, will I read it to him or will I let him read it while I stand there? I don’t know I haven’t written it. But I do know that I will write it. I have to. There is just so much to say. And a goodbye is the hardest. Already, I have heard him say “I am sorry. I told you I was no good for you.” I came across this clip tonight and it sums that part all up.

“I just wish I didn’t know about this.”  and  “I really loved you.”-Aiden

Let’s switch gears for a moment. We can’t discuss letters and not mention “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail”. Truly tremendous movies that shaped my ability to enjoy a good love story. And comedic at that. Because if you have kept up, my love life is fully of comedy. Same leading actors and actresses in both-Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, both about writing letters/emails and both about hope! I wish I had the time and the energy to knock out both right now, but I have a letter to write. OH….even knock out “An Affair to Remember”….now, I can write the letter!

“It doesn’t have to be a miracle. Anything can happen.”

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Celebrating Singlehood and Reclaiming the Word ‘Spinster’

Longreads

Jessica Gross | Longreads | April 2015 | 19 minutes (4,797 words)

In 2011, Kate Bolick charted the sea change in our cultural attitudes toward marriage in her Atlantic piece, “All the Single Ladies.” Interweaving personal experience—she was 39 and single at the time—with reporting, Bolick posited that we are marrying later or not at all, with many women exercising their ability to have children without partners or, again, not at all.

The piece generated a huge response. In Bolick’s new book, Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own, she approaches single adulthood from a slightly different angle. The book is part memoir: Bolick describes breaking away from a serious, cohabitating relationship in her late twenties, exploring her ambivalence about partnership, and wholly reconsidering her view of marriage. Along the way, she presents the stories of her five “awakeners,” the historical single women who shaped her…

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Sex and the Fatherhood?

First of all I would like to thank Sally for asking me to guest write in her blog. I thought about how to get started, and I think the best way is to tell you a little about me and my past. I am 44 years old, single with two kids. My daughter will be 15 shortly after I send this to Sally, and my son’s 18th birthday is in about 6 weeks. I have been married twice. About 6 years to my kids mom, and briefly to my soulmate, about 11 years ago. My first marriage didn’t work out, but we have stayed friends and we have raised our kids together. She is happily married to a great man that loves my children and treats them as his own. I  feel very blessed that she found a good guy.
The second marriage is the hardest to explain to people. I was actually trying to be set up on a blind date by my cousin. When I finally realized who she was talking about, my heart jumped up into my throat, and I couldn’t believe I was hearing this name. You see, wife number 2, was someone who I had been “drawn” to my whole life. We had crossed paths a few times and in every instance, I felt a wave of “something” come over me. I sat in front of her for a whole year in study hall when I was a sophomore and she was a senior. I was very shy. She was two years older and I tried not to stare at her blue eyes, but she would catch me every now and then and flash that awesome smile. I for some reason summed up the courage to tell her that I was going to marry her one day. Needless to say, I got a weird look from her, and although she smiled, it was a very awkward moment for me. I have no clue what made me say that.
We met at our matchmakers house, and we instantly hit it off. I was on cloud 9. We married shortly after, ummmmm..we eloped on April Fools Day. We knew nobody would believe us and it is a great story that we tell and laugh about. She is the one responsible for my writing. She opened up my heart and made me comfortable with speaking my true feelings, without fear, without holding back anything. She was my soulmate and I was hers. I remember telling her a story about a day I saw her at the lake when we were about 16 and 18. She asked, “How do you remember that?” My answer, ” I remember every time I ever saw you.”
Do you watch romantic movies? I know you probably do. I do too. I am one of those hopeless romantics that get caught up in the story and I always seem shocked at the tragic ending. My story doesn’t end in tragedy, other than the fact that our relationship only lasted a year.There was a 10 year gap, with no contact. I gradually got over the crushing heartbreak and sort of moved on. Then last year, our paths crossed again by chance. I had another “greatest year of my life.” It ended the same way. Nothing really bad, just maybe we are not meant to be with our soul mates forever.
I recently went out with a girl I met on Tinder. She told me up front that she was searching for her soulmate, and would not stop until she found him. We had a great day in North Alabama. We went to eat early, walked in the park, I went with her so she could get a pedicure, and somehow, I got talked into getting one. I really liked it! It was really nice having someone just to spend the day with. We ended the evening with a movie. I really liked her honesty, even though she promptly let me know that she didn’t feel that “spark”. I wanted to inform her that when she did find him,  the word “spark” wouldn’t come close to describing the feeling.
So there is some of my past. This blog is about dating in today’s world. The struggles we all face, putting ourselves “out there” again. This time we all have different challenges facing us. Kids, jobs (I work third shift) and everything else, and it is so hard to date in 2015. I have run into the same things as Sally has, and we share stories sometimes. (no names)
Sally and I actually met on Tinder shortly after my second break up, with “soulmate”. I was so tickled that this beautiful woman had “swiped right” I was a mess though..lol..  The thing is I didn’t realize it at the time. I read her blog, scrolled though and caught up on her past entries. I realized suddenly that there are two people involved in this dating thing. I knew I wasn’t ready. I thanked her and went on my way to heal, fully. Can we do that though? I am in a good place now and I feel like I am ready to put myself out there, with no looking back.
Now, I stand here, peering out over the vast sea of fish wondering if one of them is the right one for me. The right one for me at this stage of my life.I am sure there is, but finding her is going to be a challenge. I look forward to that journey, it has already been tough though. I have had a “no show Jones” after weeks and weeks of texting, Facebooking, playing Words with Friends. I don’t know what happened, and I haven’t asked.I have had a “cold feet” reaction after asking a girl out and getting a yes. I don’t take it hard though, because they are like me. Insecure about some things, protective of their hearts, and probably have the same  feeling of standing on a ledge and scared to take a leap of faith. That’s what putting ourselves out there really is, isn’t it? Maybe I will share some of my adventures in the future if Sally will let me.Who knows? I might have only one more first date to ever experience. Is that likely? I am sure I will have
plenty to talk about as I continue down this new fork in the road.

“And Click Your Heels Together Three Times…”

Nothing is better than a pull at your heart strings goodbye ending to a love story. Just thinking about my recent goodbye makes me remember one that gets me every time. Even as I post it, I am tearing up.

So now, my sweatheart…I will write you well.

How do you say goodbye these days? I will see him on Facebook. We will have contact on the phone, for goodness sake, he will only be a  plane ride away. But, I feel like he just left me in Oz to go back to Kansas.  In short of 36 hours, his twin car to mine will be taking him back to the land of E Pluribus Unum.

One of the my first thoughts of him was, “well you are not in Kansas anymore.” He had only heard that one a thousand times. Truly, geniune and kind. He tells me, that this was not who he has always been. Tennessee for him for a place of healing, wellness and sobriety. He always said, “I am still in Tennessee for a reason.” At times, I wondered if I could be that reason. But like always, I chose wrong and chose my way out of one of the worst “what if” moments of my adult life.

It has been easy to put a Wizard of Oz spin on this with him being from Kansas, but I never could label him as one of Dorothy’s sidekicks. He is brave, he is loving and he is very smart. I was totally wrong, he is Dorothy-leaving Kansas to gain courage, love and intellect here in Tennessee to take back to Kansas.

So if he is Dorothy then who am I? Am I the Lion because I didn’t have the courage to date him seriously these last nine months. Am I the Tinsman because I looked at my options and pretended to not have a heart when I did truly care for him. Or am I the Scarecrow, without a brain to take this opportunity and….You know, you can “what if” yourself to death.

Here is the deal: yes, he was always going home and that scared me to death that I would fall deeply in love and when he left be a mess. So, yes that makes me the Lion. And yes, if you conduct the heartless pros and cons of the situation, I chose the option to pursue another relationship or two, or three in the last nine months. So, yes that makes me the Tinsman. And yes, our situations were the furthest from ideal. I attempted to be smart…So yes, that makes me the Scarecrow. Fearful, heartless and brainless!

You have shown me what true courage looks like. Your passion for your family, your adoring words and deeds towards me show love. You have wisdom beyond your years. Part of you wisdom is your telling me that we can’t live in our past. What we had, as short and as disjointed as it became was lovely and will never for a moment not be treasured.

So my sweet, lovely Kansas boy, are your ready to go home now?  “You’ve always had the power to return to Kansas, you just didn’t know it until now.”

So This is Love? So This is what makes life divine?

A few Saturday’s ago, I walked past the TV and Fox news was on…wait, wait, wait…who in the world is watching this? Anyway, I was struck by the conversation they were having. A new release of Disney’s Cinderella has been out a few weeks. Two very blondand very beautiful Fox new “anchors” (I use that word very loosely) were talking about how we instill the Cinderella Complex into young girls. Like you two Barbie’s have any business discussing the topic anyway…which prince charming paid for your boob job? 

If you read in Wikipedia it states the followingThe Cinderella complex was first described by Colette Dowling, who wrote a book on women’s fear of independence – an unconscious desire to be taken care of by others. The complex is said to become more apparent as a person grows older. The complex is named after the fairy tale character Cinderella. It is based on the idea of femininity portrayed in that story, where a woman is beautiful, graceful, polite, supportive, hardworking, independent, and maligned by the females of her society, but she is not capable of changing her situations with her own actions and must be helped by an outside force, usually a male (i.e. the Prince).

I recall hearing this phrase in the movie Tootsie when I was a little girl. Sandy, played by Teri Garr is finally explained the truth by Michael, played by Dustin Hoffman. The truth about their relationship and that he is in love with another woman. She goes into a rant…”I read The Second Sex! I read the Cinderella Complex! I’m responsible for my own orgasm; I don’t care! I just don’t like being lied to!

I’ll save my responsible for my…to another time. But even as a young girl I realized there was a negative connotation to these fairy tales. My girls and I are not fairy tale watchers. Now, we do plan to see Cinderella but we stick to Tangled and Frozen mostly. Honetly, they would rather watch Momma Mia. Tangled is about sacrifice for the one you love, not waiting to be saved. As much as I tell my girls, “be ready to take care of yourself” and “don’t think you will marry early”, “don’t get married until you are 30”, I still feel they are receiving these messages. 

Who is responsible for the Cinderella Complex anyway? Is it really the white night we are looking for? Do we get over the first fairy tale only to find there is another lurking right behind it? 

I think back to my own Cinderella Complex. I was 23, college was over. The weddings exploded in the last 2 summers with numerous friends and sorority sisters tying the knot. I was in a long-term relationship and he was finishing school in a semester. Both of us had good jobs and I loved him so why not…here comes the bride! A year later….here comes the baby  (and another) and five years later….here comes the divorce. I look back on that time when all I did was talk about weddings, go to weddings, be in weddings and then plan one and it hits me. My Cinderella Complex wasn’t that a prince was coming to save me, it was the culture of you go to college, you join a sorority, you date/marry either a frat guy or a football player and you pop out a couple of kids. You come back for homecoming and life is all good. I got a B.S., but I also got a M.R.S. That’s the Cinderella story I bought into hook, line and sinker! 

Below are my “What If Shoes.”

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If you notice…yeah…they are Kate Spades! I found them in my favorite shoe store in my college town. I visited “Roomie” and she actually found them. She told me, “you have to buy them…you never know-what if?!”  After I purchased them, I immediately began to imagine, what if…What if I meet someone (or have I already met him) and the stars align. Then there will be this amazing second chance wedding with our kids, our families, our friends. Lots of laughter, love, happiness…Happily Ever After right? I still want it. And don’t sit there and say you don’t want it either.

The main issue with the Cinderella Complex is it continues to develop past the fairy tale. Is the example I am setting for my young daughter’s the one I want them to follow? Fall in love…yes! But my dear darlings…be ready for disappointment, betrayal, lies and heartbreak!? Hell no! Or should we just be honest with ourselves and our daughters-fall in love…yes! But my dear darlings…it’s not all it’s cracked up to be and don’t be too upset when it falls apart. Damn it! I am forever upset that mine continues to fall apart and to hell with you if don’t understand why! Just like Charlotte said…”I’ve been dating since I was 15! I’m exhausted! Where is he?!!!”

I have missed several opportunities to thank and pay homage to the show that is the inspiration of the blog’s title; “Sex and the City”. Let us all bow down. Do you remember, because it’s one of my favorite parts in the first movie? Carrie is reading to Charlotte’s daughter. If I recall correctly, she is reading to her Cinderella. As she finishes, Carrie tries to explain: “You know this is just a story and this is not how it really is.” The little girl agrees, but asks; “can you read it again?” Yes, Yes, Yes! I will read it again and again. It may be false hope, but there is a prince, or a knight, even a thief, a cleats or cowboy…whatever form he is in…he’s out there.

At an early age, “This One” would sketch her wedding dress and bridesmaids.  She would name the members of the party…all the details. I noticed however, there was no groom. “Oh I don’t need one of those.” Proud Momma moment.