I've gotten really comfortable with being a loner. I like the freedom of going where I want and staying as long as I care to. I eat what sounds good and it's a very spontaneous existence. I really don't enjoy dating lately because of the predation I feel. It's amazing when you hang out with people that don't want to have sex with you. Or maybe they secretly do, but you feel they care about what you think about something too. This weekend I've been intentional with trying to involve others in my free time. Friday after work, I had a call I regret taking from the ex. Rather than just sit and calm myself, I explained what had taken place to a friend. I didn't need him to fix it, but I also didn't sugar coat it. His discomfort made me laugh. It was a full belly laugh that reminded me that I'm fine, and being yelled at and listening to my son cry in the background is our version of normal and on Monday my kids will be in my arms and we will be okay. It was a 20 minute set back that before would have lasted the weekend.
I left and headed toward the Grove where I spent time with a woman I admire and adore. She's intuitive and empathic and so deeply understanding of human behavior. She's an actress and fans that might recognize her is an occupational hazard, but she's so much that person you can just hang out with because there is such a strong sense of peace around her. She's all Hollywood, but in the sense that she doesn't feel like a transplant that gets jaded from a dream she hoped she could mimic. She's built her own ideals of what making it should be and what it looks like to her tells her she's living the dream and happily awake through it. The first time I met her was shared here, and since then, she has shown up in my life in meaningful ways, right when I need her to. We talked about boys, and sex. She encouraged me about my career and we talked babies. I left her feeling like I could do the next big thing and I could ask for help in doing it. I didn't realize how big of a problem asking for help is. It's pride. It's insecurity. It's something I'm taking notice of. It's part of my skirting around a relationship, but that whole thing is also about knowing how picky I want to be and the fact that I kinda enjoy saying no. I love telling strangers that they're beautiful without any intentions of furthering that conversation. It's a position based in fear and insecurity, and she made me take notice in the most loving way possible.
Saturday morning I was interviewed. When my ex left and took the boy's bunk beds to his new place, I was sharing a full size bed with Kid3, and Kid1 and Kid2 were sharing the queen size bed I shared with my ex. It was one of the first times I was threatened with a call to Child Protective Services because teenaged boys shouldn't have to share a bed. None of us liked the situation, but we got through it because abundance sometimes lands in our laps. Through the help of my pastor and the Dream Center church, we were given new beds (but Kid3 still likes to sleep next to me) and dressers, and a dining table and chairs. It was all free from Ikea with a team of volunteers that came in with smiles and hugs and prayer and encouragement. They brought it in. They put it all together. They took out the trash. They prayed for my family and left. I was called a few weeks ago and asked if I would be willing to be interviewed. I agreed because what else could I do to show my gratitude? And I'm a ham. So much of the conversation reinforced the encouragement I got from my friend the night before.
Saturday afternoon I was with a transgendered woman I adore. I have friendships with gay people, and transgendered women that dress the part far better than I do, but this is the first woman I've met that committed to surgery and hormones. I'm so inspired by this woman. We walked through Echo Park Rising and sampled Whiskey, while talking about boys and girls and relationships. We talked about what it was like to be both a man and a woman. I learned so much from her. We walked through a bookstore in a first time experience that really felt great. We sampled Wild Turkey and both preferred the Honey to the stronger one with the number attached. We shared coffee and now share a deeper friendship. She had other things to do and I took a short stroll through Echo Park before heading home.
I didn't know my cousin is in my state until she checked in on Facebook, so I headed out to pick her up for bowling and connection. She's a college student, but I was the one wearing my college sweatshirt. We talked boys and relationships. (You'll notice the theme because I'm boy crazy.) I told her that I'm too old to date men my age because they're having their midlife crisis and looking for a younger woman to help them feel young. And I told her I don't date younger men because that's creepy. I just enjoy the beautiful ones and have no problem calling it like I see it. We talked about the greatest parts of being single and school. She insisted I'm not old enough to complain about my geezer body, but then I pointed out I could be her mother. That's when I realized I really enjoy saying that. I enjoy pointing out that I'm old enough to be someone's mother when they are hitting on me and I'm giving them a hard pass. I like it when people think I'm younger than I am. It feels good. Black Lights on blue polish makes me happy too.
When I left her, she asked me to text her when I get home. It's the thing you do when you love someone. You want to know they made it home safely. I drop a person off, and I wait in my car until they are safely inside. I had a friend do the same thing after dinner last week. She wanted to know when I got home safely. My Dad does the same thing. Are you home? Let me know when you get home. Frankly, I'm not comfortable with this. This request brings out my rebellion, and I always give it time, then lie that I got home, and often find myself at the beach or in a store to shop. I did it again last night. I'm rebellious about it, and it makes me lie, and last night I realized I do it and it's not okay. I spent so long in a marriage where I felt I was supposed to be home, and I was. I would go to the grocery store and around an hour into my trip, I would get a call or text to see how I was doing because the time said I was supposed to be home by then. I'm intentionally staying out late in rebellion because I'm a grown up and shouldn't be told what to do. (I'm taking notice of this and yes, I do sound like a 12 year old.) My rebellion looked like driving to the Vons on PCH and Sunset for sushi, soda and a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup dessert, because the divorcee diet looks like crap and soda that made me think of Butterbeer and Harry Potter.
This morning I have museum plans. I sent out a few last minute invites but I'm content with going alone. They are flexible museum plans because I have puttering around the house plans too and lounging around the house naked plans before the kids get home tomorrow. I'm enjoying the sounds of trickling water in my pond, a plane flying, the ticking of a clock, birdsong, the rumble of a truck on my street, my dog whining (she's a little bitch), and the sound of keys flying on my keyboard. I'm enjoying the silence that feels like solid pressure because I won't have it tomorrow night.