Breaking All the Non-Rules

Four years later, I’ve learned a great many things. Some dismal realizations about the fragmented, terrified nature of my generation. Some reminders that the world is still as sweet as we once dreamed it would be.
After my divorce, I believed I would never find a love like that again. To some degree, I believe this is still true, but I find comfort in the fact I don’t want to be loved by someone who doesn’t challenge me to be a better version of myself.
I even felt guilty after I fell in love a second time; I felt as though I’d betrayed the most sacred vow, as death had not done us part, but it was invigorating to know the elusive emotion was still alive. Hidden, but alive.
I suppose that was the “Jesus” relationship. After it’s bloody crucifixion, that horrid crash and burn, the motherfucker rose again, and again. Just when I believed the return of Christ was just another brilliantly crafted myth, the bearded savior revealed himself as a true contender for my heart.
My neurosis hasn’t calmed completely. I’ve spent far too many hours letting my thoughts about this man splinter and race like blurred taillights down the highways to hell. “Does he want to BE with me? or is this just another comfortable convenience?” “What are we doing here?” “Who is this long-distance woman who continues captivating his attention?” “Is it my business?” “Am I just an option?” “Is he serious?”
Maybe most importantly: “Am I serious?”
The more I dissect, the more I feel I haven’t learned a damn thing from the years spent in the modern world of Millenial non-dating (trust me, you aren’t allowed to use that word). I was still attracted to the same type of non-committal guys, the ones who want to drop panties and then drop phone numbers with any and every set of marginally-nice titays. The ones who still acknowledge other woman in your presence, keeping their options open at all times. Keeping you hidden and secret to ensure you don’t mess that all up, then acting like you’re the crazy one.
These are the guys we find attractive, and then we wonder, “Where are all the good ones at?”
A few months ago, I was asking myself about all these infuriating topics again, I realized I was still playing the incredibly frustrating and, for lack of a better term, fucking ridiculous game we all consider the “new normal.”
The dating game goes a little like this:
1. Decide whether you actually like this person through about 20-35 days of trying to read impossible signals and deciphering Facebook/text messages.
2. Continue reading stupid Elite Daily, Cosmopolitan and other nonsensical Internet “list” literature about flirtation, attraction, etc. and drive yourself crazy wondering if there is, in fact, attraction happening. Because, hey, you couldn’t possibly just trust what you fucking feel, right? Verify with a source!
3. Maybe go on a date, but don’t you fucking dare call it a date. Millennials don’t “date.” There is time together with shared food and beverages and maybe even some sex, but even the word “date” implies a level of commitment. #ewwww
4. Don’t talk about the fact you might actually like each other until at least six weeks of not dating has occurred. It doesn’t matter if you’ve already got a designated toothbrush at their apartment, you have to remain cool, calm and collected, unattached as much as possible. Sure you think about the dude all the time… wait nope. You DON’T. Don’t even admit it to yourself.
All these steps will ensure the transition into step five:
5. Remain in a state of uncomfortable, almost unbearable ambiguity for eeeeh, for ambiguity’s sake, like maybe five, six or so weeks. Are they still going to be seeing other people (likely, and don’t you dare ask about who any other chick is, be COOL) Does that mean I should still talk to other people just so I don’t seem like I’m putting all my eggs in one basket (yes)?
But I don’t want to date (fuck, I said it) anyone else… Irrelevant. This new world is all about leaving as many doors open as you can get away with, always ensuring you have an escape from the room you currently share, even if that room has everything you could ever want right there.
When did we get so terrified of each other? When did we collectively become such pussies when it comes to falling in love, or like, or marginal attraction? Jesus Christ, we will jump out of planes, base jump from a cliff, eat raw fish, in fact we now pride ourselves on doing/seeing/being something nobody has ever dreamed up before, but we absolutely refuse to allow ourselves to put our hearts out there like we’re teenagers again.
I’ve been feeling especially adolescent lately…or for the last several months. I’ve got the stomach flip. The butterflies. The daylong daydreams of touching his hair and his lips. Elation at my favorite feature… his voice– alive with laughter and clear as a bell. It literally sounds like the wavelength of joy and destroys any darkness that lingers from a bad day.
I’ve tossed my better judgement to the wind just for a few hours of his presence. I’ve fibbed to my loved ones about where I’m going just to buy more time with him. I’ve filled my life with inconveniences, wasted resources, ignored my duties as an employee, a friend and sometimes even a parent because he is so intoxicating… so comfortable… on my wavelength in so many ways it’s uncanny.
Sleeping with someone’s face on your face is supposed to eventually get old, right? Eventually you want their tree trunk legs off your fucking torso so you can breathe when you sleep, right? Nope. I can’t get enough of everything he has to offer, and his offering is exactly what I want– genuine, humorous, adventurous, kind and generous. That’s it. I want nothing else but his time and affection.
No matter how this pans out, I’ll forever be thankful for this man for restoring my faith in the human heart. I never thought I would be here again, considering the potential for a real connection with another man; I thought I was only left with memories of what Carrie Bradshaw called “The Zsa Zsa Zsu,” but here I am… reminded it can be waiting literally just one flight of stairs and a hallway away.
So here’s the real bottom line: Do the rules (or lack thereof) really matter? I read an article online that compared this tendency to over-analyze and evaluate every aspect of your affections to putting up a barbed-wire fence around a tree. Sure you can protect the tree, but you can’t fucking enjoy the tree! You can’t climb it. You can’t get near it, so what’s the point of protecting it?
I think I’m finished living in this maelstrom of nonsense and I’m ready to just enjoy what’s in front of me. I have the pleasure of sitting across the table from a man I truly enjoy all the time. I get to go to sleep with him and wake up (in a panic) next to him every night. I get to hear that joyful noise of his voice every morning, every time he quietly says, “I like you” during pillow talk, every time he tells me a joke to cheer me up every time he reminds me that he’ll be alright as long as I’m there. Plus we goin’ on a god damn cruise, bitches.
Sure it seems like the environment is working against us all the time, but I just want this tree to grow and be strong in a natural state. Is that too much to ask?


Anniversary of an Uninteresting Event

Exactly one year ago this week, I first met him face-to-face… Our first date. Great night, minus the fact I drank too much and wound up in the bathroom. He thought I left without saying goodnight.
We used to laugh about having the most terrible first date ever. I had hoped we would come back to that bar on our future anniversaries and make more memories.
The end came before we could even have one.
Yet, here I am, still thinking of him fondly; enough so that sometimes I might shed a solitary tear when a happy memory sprouts in my mind.
I just don’t understand why I’m having such a hard time getting over this person. It’s been months. I have no hopes of ever reconciling with this man. Even if hell froze over and he asked for another chance I don’t think I could endure it again.
So why is he still on the brain?
Charlotte York always followed the rule that you must take half the duration of your relationship to get over a person. That seems pretty reasonable, but I have to disagree.
I’ve never loved anyone the way I loved him. Now I don’t know if I’ll ever love anyone like him again.
I’m perfectly happy just spending my free time with my son. He’s older now and needs more of my attention, which I’m happy to give him. I’m not really interested in taking the time and effort to date right now.
But deep down, I think I’m still not ready to accept the fact that I met the person I wanted to be with, the person I planned a future with, and he threw me away.
The unhappy memories aren’t the most painful, though. It’s the memories of out of town adventures, stupid jokes, afternoon delights, nights on the porch, watching him play with my son, the first time he said he loved me…these are the tearjerker moments.
Just when I got to that point I was close to moving on, the milestone cycle begins. Who knows how many of these cognitive anniversaries I’ll have to endure in the coming months?
And it always makes me wonder, “is he remembering today like I am?” Both the hopeless romantic and the vengeful bitch in me hope he is… Hoping he’s shaking his head and saying the same thing I say to myself, “Man, that was a good time. I wish I could have that again.”

I’m always dragging that horse around.

I told him once he’d broken my heart. He told me he could sew it back together.

Ooooh, a sexy heart surgeon, I replied, all cheeky and cute.

Three days later, he gracelessly cut it out. Now I guess it can restart.

But I don’t need open-heart surgery anymore. It just leaves nasty scars anyway.

But I really don’t need to keep thinking about him… and his happy, old new beginning.

There’s no we in me.

It’s a new year, in case you don’t know.

I have the typical resolutions; lose weight; stop smoking (yeah I’m one of those people), but I have one resolution that is most important.

I will no longer judge how well my life is going by my relationship status.

This year was marred by the most painful experience of my life. I fell in love; we planned a future; we loved each others children; I was going to wait for him. He left me. Twice. Once from fear, then from weakness. He wasn’t over his ex wife . I was and still am broken.

But also this year, my son took his first steps, said his first words, ate with a spoon himself, learned to clap and run, and he put his toes into the sand of the Atlantic. He went swimming for the first time and walked through snow.

Chris was there for many of those things, so he’s always bound to my life. 2012 will be his year. But it should be Cullen’s only.

I have so many wonderful friends and family. I have a beautiful son. I just don’t want to feel like I’m failing in life anymore just because I no longer have a ring on my finger or a promise in my heart.

A friend of mine told me she read my angry letters on Facebook about Chris, and I admit, I thought twice about publishing them for everyone. But this blog started because of him, so I just kept going with it. Damn right I was angry. He lied and lied so much and all I wanted was to be a family with the man I loved.

The writing was flowing, so I put it here; it actually seemed like the appropriate place. And really it was for other women in my position to know that they aren’t alone. I don’t want to hate him, I know it’s hard to let the ex wife or husband go, but I do. Our life was in progress. He turned and handed it to one who already threw it away.

So I’ll take some time not smoking and running (ugh) to improve myself rather than trying to attach another Dime a dozen partner to my hip. I’m smart, interesting and funny. I don’t need a man to remind myself or others of that. Cullen certainly believes I’m awesome no matter what.

Exorcism anyone?

It’s like he died with the suddenness of it all. It’s been less painful, almost, that way. To know someone gave absolutely no thought to how their actions would crush you makes it a little easier to simply not give them any of your thoughts at all (other than the ones related to crushing them, maybe literally). But the last two days have been different. He’s floating around in the back of my heart. I don’t want him back, but it fills me with incredible sadness. His ghost reminds me of how happy I was. But its still a ghost of a man who drove me to madness trying to decipher his thoughts and desires, tiptoeing around conversational landmines, and using an order for war as an open ticket to behave as a morally inferior human and to take advantage of a good woman’s love. Scary.

U turn

it’s because I know that I have found a companion that makes me whole, and I may feel incomplete without her while I’m gone. You seriously have made me a better person and I’m going to miss the shit out of you while I’m gone. I can’t wait to get back and to just maybe have the chance to wake with you with a red bull and watch that damn ol’ sun come up.

Just 10 days before chris left me, if you want to even call it that, he wrote these words to me. It makes me wonder if he was wooing his ex at the same time, and just keeping me on the side for a backup plan. I wonder if she even knows all the wonderful things he said to me in the weeks leading up to his feelings just “changing?” was he saying these these things to her too, hoping she’d take the bait? She knew we were together the last weekend of his rnr, but still spent the whole time texting back and forth, not about their daughter being Ill, but about new baby daddy, not being there for her. Not to mention the fact that their friendly social networking messages began weeks before this email. And the last night i took him to my bed, she continued bantering with him. Was he fucking playing us both?
Now I understand somewhat why when I went to chris’ hometown and asked for people there to record a “good luck” message for his deployment and ran into his sister’s best friend, I got a very strange look when I said I was chris’ girlfriend. She just kinda said “ooooh” and her eyes narrowed, like there was some secret I didn’t know.
Messages like these went on for three weeks, while I’m certain he was still talking to her as she”revisited” her feelings. I even warned him about this possibly happening… That having a new baby with a shitty father makes a woman look at her ex in a longing manner. Ive been there. I know. So this letter might just shed some light on why I’m so angry and confused (and this is why I started this blog in the first place)
Literally, 10 days after he said he wanted me to be a role model for his daughter, he broke up with me by deleting me from Facebook. What a “brave” soldier.
I know he’s facing a lot, but there’s no excuse for this.

“As I lay here on my bunk essentially 100% thinking about you, I can’t but help feeling like the luckiest guy in the world. Sometimes I can’t help what goes through my head(Iam a guy). But it’s not the usual I can’t wait to see titties and ass thoughts that I used to have when I was younger. I can envision a life with you. Having a place together, waking up together every morning and having our morning red bulls while the sun comes up. Me helping out with raising Cullen and you with Josselyn. (Btw, I honestly think you would be an amazing role model to joss, I know she thinks the world of you). So if you have ever wondered what was going on in my head, now you know what I think about.

I’m thinking about starting a journal once I get my new computer and I would be privileged for you to get a copy of it after I write in it. Hell, maybe we can start some type of joint blog between the 2 of us.

I haven’t told you this yet because I feel that as ther person i am, I need to always be the strong resilient type, but right now I’m totally fucking scared. Maybe it’s because I know that if I weren’t to come back, joss wouldn’t have a father. Maybe it’s because I know that I have found a companion that makes me whole, and I may feel incomplete without her while I’m gone. You seriously have made me a better person and I’m going to miss the shit out of you while I’m gone. I can’t wait to get back and to just maybe have the chance to wake with you with a red bull and watch that damn ol’ sun come up.”

What a great liar.



while it felt kind of good to be free as I walked the streets of a party town, knowing i could do what or whomever I wanted, all I wanted was to be someone’s other half.


Key West made me love my son more, but not hate him any less. I’m so angry. One minute he’s talking about making a baby with me and moving in together, then in just days he’s back with his ex.
The one he told me once would never do the things for him that I did. I want him to explain what happened. It won’t change anything, but I was preparing to go through a deployment with him. To stay by his side thousands of miles away, and she just says “I want you back” and I’m history? That’s not fair, and he knows it. Sometimes I think if I cried more or if I needed him more he would’ve loved me more. And while I want you to be happy, I hope you realize what a mistake you’ve made. He lied to me. Then just shrugged his shoulders and said “sorry”
I’ve been trying to just let it go because someone who would treat me this way obviously didn’t love me. You haven’t checked to see how I was doing once, and have actually taken extra measures to ensure I cannot check to see if you’re okay either. Even if it’s after you’re in country, please take the time to explain yourself. I know I keep bouncing back and forth, but I mean it this time, god dammit. I let you get away with it once. Not again. And I take it this means I’m not allowed to be your friend at all anymore? Or was I ever anything more than a hookup who tells jokes? You said I was your everything, so I’m really confused, and hurt and angry, and it’s not going away. I said I wanted to support you through your deployment, maybe with just birthday cards and letters (glad I didn’t go ahead and take those boudoir photos for you lol) but I guess that’s not allowed?

I don’t know if he will respond to my request, likely not. And while it felt kind of good to be free as I walked the streets of a party town, knowing i could do what or whomever I wanted, all I wanted was to be someone’s other half. I really believed he was that other half. Now I’m just bitter that the woman who threw him away once ripped the rug out from under my heart and took away what I believed was my happy ending,
Whats worse is I hope they aren’t ever happy again, which is usually not my style. I just don’t know who I want to hurt who…him or her. I’m so angry right now I wouldn’t care.
On a more positive note, I met a guy wearing a bikini on Duval street tonight and saw an amazing bagpipe tribute to a fallen veteran who was a regular at a key west bar. And one of the A v. P movies is on.