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Dating Advice

I don't have real dating advice.  I'm not sure how seriously I'm taking it.  It's company that feels better than being alone and that hasn't happened yet.  Actually, I spent the weekend taking Kid3 on dates, and even with his tantrums and meltdowns, he's a better date than most of what I found online.  And I paid! I'm still wading through the messiness and I'm just sharing gold nuggets from some of the men in my life that are not interested in me because they know me too well, or their orientation means we share an interest in the same men. I'm out of practice and very impulsive in some ways. The men in my life are straight shooters and when I'm comfortable, you'll get that from me too.  They love me.  They know me.  They don't want me. What am I looking for? So far he's monogamous, physically attractive, well groomed, intelligent, cultured, patient with children (he may be a gay man), and only has eyes for me.

You need someone on your level.

Yes! I'm well read, relatively sharp (how much sleep are we talking?) and I can take care of myself and my boys.  I'm generally happy and I don't need attention as much as I want it.  I'm looking for a match that I won't have to make up for.  Well, looking is a strong word that I keep using for the meandering I actually do.

Some things should only be admired from a distance.

But sometimes they are so pretty and shiny.  I want to touch and obsess and learn every detail.  Then I remind myself I'm not a puppy and I can put the toy down.  But I don't want to. Call it sweet.  It may be a touch stalkerish.

Don't date at work.

You can't shit where you eat.  (Crude, yes, but the exact way it was said to me.) I tend to look for someone doing just as well as I am, or better, and it's hard to shut my eyes when the men parade so innocently past me when they don't know I was looking through my lust colored lenses.

Set your rules and don't break them.

I had stiff rules when I was online dating.  No delivery drivers but that is more about me than anyone else. I have issues.  They end up here where I can be followed and shared and bookmarked. No one younger than me, but that one is flexible in relation to how much drool we're dealing with.  He has to be smart enough that I'm constantly in awe of his huge ideas and observations.  He has to look better than I do.  I'm looking for beautiful but I'm shallow.  I own it.

Don't lead anyone on.

I have this tendency to start flirting when I get comfortable.  That doesn't mean I'm into anyone outside of the reactions I get.  A simple lunch can mean much more to the man in front of me than it will ever mean to me.  I won't do it on purpose.  I go from purely polite and slightly indifferent to lioness on the prowl, looking for a chew toy. It's not good, but it's rarely intentional.

You're such a dude.  Not everyone you conquer needs to be femme.

Gender normative isn't a dirty word in the dating world.  I'm supposed to soften my ability to be dominant in my home and with my sexuality.  I had never seen the men I date as femme, but coming from a gay man, I have to believe there is truth in the way I portray them when I go into juicy detail.

Don't you know spooning leads to forking?

Flirting is never innocent.  Don't do it unless you mean it and are willing to follow through.  Craptastic because that is my way of being.

Walk away and let him come to you. Keep giving signals that you're interested but don't pursue.

This is too twisted.  I don't get it.  I haven't played this game in decades. I was interested and all over it, or not interested and polite with an edge.  I often ended a mean streak with, "I'm just messing with you."  I never said I was nice and the men I dated were never high on emotional intelligence or otherwise.

Baby steps, Ma.

When I am into someone I can get a bit carried away.  I'm not planning a wedding and moving in and puppies together. It's more like I'm free, let's go out. Some boys need to take it slower than that.

Forget to text him on some days. Send generic messages that don't show an interest in his life or that you're expecting conversation.

Have a great weekend! Enjoy your day! Happy 4th of July!

I'm here.  Think of me so we can keep playing this game that really secretly annoys me.

Poop already, because there are other people waiting for the pot.

(I think I was trying to go for being the Shit, but ended up as a toilet. Don't flush!)

 

You want owners, not the help. If he ain't the highest up on the totem you're not interested. This is no longer high school.

This should matter more because I'm frequently told to think ahead, but I'm not there yet.

A woman with ink is hardcore to a guy without ink. Honey, your level of pain is more than his.  He knows you're a freak and knowing that makes him wonder if he's sexually adequate.

I've given birth.  Many times. All of my ink is meaningful design that hurt less than a crowning child and the contractions that helped me kick 7 babies out.  It was easier than the angry uterus that had no problem with beating up an infant on the way out of my womb.

Where to go: church groups, book readings, events at parks, lounges, community service, the humane society needs volunteers.  Library, museum, coffee houses, cafe's.

For fun: the grocery store produce section.

"Hey, how ripe is that peach? I bet it's juicy."

"Are these melons ripe?"

"How do you pick your papayas?"

Do we really need to go there with bananas?  I think you get it.

 

 

Practice Like You Mean It

In 1993 I was in large military Drill Team.  I was actually the last or second to the last alternate and barely made it.  Practice was for a few hours after school and we wore uniforms for competition and spirit week.  It's all fun and games until you grow into old lady knees that suffered too many practices with forgotten knee pads. During practice, we were often exhausted and I was always so irritated by the coach, captain and co-captains that would stress that we had to practice like it was performance.  We had to practice like we meant it.  Going through the motions in rehearsal means you will go through the motions during performance.  Muscle memory takes over. Everything becomes automatic. You want your automatic to be amazing.

That lesson came back with laughter tonight.  I drive around with my windows up, music loud and singing.  I will also say "hi" to cute men, or "thank you" to one that is cute and exercising.  It's a public service, really. I say it loudly with windows up and it makes me laugh because they can't hear my catcalls.  Today I was doing the same as usual with the music slightly lowered because it was around dusk when the sky was blushing in farewell to a fading sun  and I wanted to feel the breeze of the evening air. There was a man running in the direction I was driving and I yelled my "thank you" like I meant it. He flinched with a faltering few steps and I realized how far my voice carries when windows aren't in my way.  I forgot the windows were down, and drove off in laughter.

Self Confidence and Online Dating

I spent many years as a stay at home mom.  My days were spent chasing babies, cleaning up messes and doing yard work.  The yard work made me happy.  I love fresh dirt under my nails and working up a sweat in pulling stubborn weeds. It was often done in bare feet or running shoes.  Mainly bare feet.  When I went back to work in January, I decided I wanted to wear heels, but it was hard on my calves and I had to work through some seriously solid comfort zone fears. I wasn't used to walking or standing in heels.  I used to be.  I could spend a night dancing in heels at one time.  I still miss my black Esprit Mary Jane pumps with a chunky heel. It was a long time ago.  Pushing Past My Comfort Zones To Reclaim Ownership of my self-imposed value system came with rewards, but the first few days it mainly came with serious calf cramps. I was talking to my regional manager about my shoe issues, and she said she never wants to lose her confidence in heels.  The word, "confidence" immediately shifted my perspective.  It shifted everything.  That was when I really saw that confidence is something you decide you are going to accept as part of your identity. When I was walking without confidence, I had this fear that my ankles would twist and I would teeter and fall.  When I realised it was about confidence, I started walking as if I knew I wouldn't fall because my confidence made the decision that I wouldn't.  The change in my stride made my calf pain go away.  I wasn't walking like I would fall and my muscles didn't have to compensate for my insecurities.

I'm building my confidence in my dating profile.  Funny story:  I set up my preferences based on my type, and someone I know ended up in the search that pops up when I open the app.  He's not my dating option, but he pops up, and I remember his smile and the real life person I know.  For some reason, the views and likes and messages I've gotten since yesterday are all compared to him and they all fall short.  I'm chatting when I'm I get an email or chat window, but they're already rejected based on the person I know in real life.  It's sad.  On the other hand, it was a moment of joy to realise that I'm no longer comparing everyone to my ex.

The app and website are boosting my confidence.  I don't have to go out and turn down polite interest, I can do it from my phone in my pj's while getting laundry done. And there's something that feels good knowing that in 24 hours, I've had over 150 men click through my profile.  The numbers may be average or sub par, but it's far more than I was getting while out and about. Some of them might have read my verbose ramblings and checked out the profile I've plastered with several vapid examples of vanity.  I like reading, "nice smile, " and that I'm a "striking eyed beautiful woman," even if the smiles he can screenshot are all he'll ever see.

Right now my confidence is looking for balance.  The person I was the last time I was dating was intimidating and aggressive.  She was also a bit of a slut. I'm at peace with that.  It isn't who I am now. I'm trying to dial it back a lot and this in between gray area is foreign and frightening.  Besides, I still feel that I am having a great lot of  Fun Dating Myself and I feel I am pretty phenomenal.

There's something to be said about online dating.  I like real life interactions where I don't really pay attention to cars, status, or even looks until a man has said something that makes me want to learn more about him.  In real life, I can feel the guilt when I start to become materialistic, but online it's expected and I'm eased into it without the real life person in front of me to remind me there is a person with genuine feelings before me. The online version has made me look at these men in a different way, and I'm not sure how I feel about it.  Realistically, I look at profile pictures and the first thought I have is, would I be willing to see this man naked and be attracted to what I see?  It happens in person within the first two minutes, but I can usually get past that.  Getting past my vanity and physical attraction is how many of my long term relationships were born. Online, he won't get a chance to make an impression.  I usually like conversations about interests and likes but online they become a blur.  I'm missing the expressions and cadence in a voice that makes me obsess like I did when I wrote That’s cute, and Getting Back on that Flirtation Bike.

Everyone's profile duplicates each other after a while. The profiles in my searches all have readers and outdoorsy types.  They like children and animals and water.  They want someone fit and attractive and happy.  And they all make insane amounts of money. The woman they are searching for needs to be driven and make him a first priority.  So many of men want to show women a great time, snuggle and travel the world. I'm just hoping to find someone that's already survived their midlife crisis, but I won't add that to my profile. They like motorcycles and fast cars, and I can't help but remember I'm not dent proof and will lose in a car fight and become a victim to their need for speed.

I find lots of really driven men that have worked so hard on a career that they missed the part about starting a family, or stayed in a relationship for longer than it was working.  I was in a marriage that I thought was working.  I get it.  I was putting our kids before my career and now I'm starting over, but on my terms.  I'm not the financial powerhouse I plan to be one day.  That confidence will grow once I start a career path that I'm designing, and not one that I'm trying to fit into, and once I find work I can be passionate about.

I can't help but see the lack of confidence on these profiles.  It's not always obvious, but it is often shy and insecure in the last line of an open invitation.  It's in the pictures of places they've been and their pets, children and cars, instead of a bright and wide smile.  It's hiding behind sunglasses as if they can't imagine anyone getting lost in their eyes.  It's in their disdain for a sales pitch they know is a sales pitch that they aren't fully confident of. I'm just as guilty, talking about the places I like to go and feeling like I may be padding a resume while I do it.  At the same time, I'm not advertising my blog and a full visual of what makes me who I am.

I am being honest though.  That is huge for me.  I'm not lying in my profile or in private messages.  I have no reason to because I'm not ashamed of who I am or what my life looks like right now.  I'm not even lying about my lack of gainful employment.  Go, me.

Look for Blessings and They Will Find You

I expected blessings yesterday and I was blessed. My day started with helping my Dad around his house.  I’m starting to enjoy moments when he underestimates me and I surprise him with my strength and ability.  His local Albertson’s is like his Cheer’s bar.  Everyone knows his name and they are full of bright smiles for him.  He kept introducing me as his daughter, then pointed out to his favorite butcher that I am single.  My response? "Seriously.  You really just did that?" We had fun shopping together.  He wanted to fill my fridge and I introduced him to goat’s cheese with water crackers and fig preserves. He’s a fan.  He filled my gas tank and funded a manicure.

I got groceries home and spent "me time" in a nail salon.  From there I headed to Will Rogers State Beach where I caught the sunset and picked out a few rocks.  I love quiet beaches and sat in my car for a bit to watch the waves in comfort.  As the last families headed home, I went to Santa Monica where there is more light and patrolling officers.  I wanted to thank the photographer that brightened my Wednesday.  He thought I was kind, and offered more coffee and tea.  I declined, and walked around the pier, checking out the night fishing. A few anglers were just setting their bait and hadn’t had a chance to catch anything. I used to fish with my Dad off of that pier and laughed a little at all of the couples leaning on the rails, oblivious to the fish guts they romanced in.

I walked around and approached the police officers that stood in conversation across from Bubba Gump. I thanked them for their service and wished them well in safety.  They thanked me and as I walked away I could hear their conversation shift into the gratitude I offered and their gratitude that it came from someone who looked like me.  That made me smile.

I wandered to the other side of the pier, and enjoyed a few moments as a shameless cougar, watching young shirtless men play beach volleyball under the stars. I left when I felt like I was being creepy enough.

I found myself watching the surf alongside a single mother.  She understood my desire to stay out when I know there's an empty home waiting for me. Her children were fully dressed, running in and out of the ocean as if it weren’t freezing.  They kept running to her for hugs and praising her for being a terrific mom. They’re on a similar plan where she also has stretches of days to decide what she wants to do now that she can do whatever strikes her as fun. They had spent a day at Disneyland and she was tiring them out so she could have a quiet drive back to San Jose with dry clothes and blankets in the car.  We talked spousal and child support. We talked love. In all of my anger, I still held back from trying to hurt my ex with every bit of fire in me.  She helped me see that with those I love, even when they’ve hurt or upset me, I would never try to cause them pain or make them feel insecure.  The love I looked for in him looks a lot like power and domination. We talked dating.  She dates, but she doesn’t get too close to anyone.  The natural progression of a relationship means having someone to sleep by your side every night.  She has young children and cannot sleep with one eye open.  She ends her relationships before they get to that point. That never occurred to me.  In all of my dating thoughts, I just assumed I’d get to be a fun grown up when I didn’t have my kids and both worlds could remain separate.  I never considered dating for keeps and just thought about dating and being married again.  The in between phase and the practical aspects of it never crossed my mind. She reminded me that I need to deal with my codependent tendencies so I don't bring them into my next relationship.

We talked tattoos and how she covered hers. She used a hamsa, because a hand of protection used in many cultures must mean several religious folks have placed their values in something meaningful. (Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shamanism, Jain beliefs and Anatolia, but we didn't talk cultural appropriation.) She made a suggestion for mine.  I have a bee and my ex’s name on my shoulder.  My nickname for him was Honeybee.  For so long he would’ve done everything in his power to make me feel like a queen.  The name is going to be covered, not altered. I don’t know if I want to keep the bee because I like bees and I have longer than I've known the ex, and it ties into the life that brought me my kids.  I don’t know if I want something to devour the bee, but that thought makes me laugh.  I love California Poppies and like the idea of flowers on my shoulder. She suggested a honeypot.  Bees eat honey.  Bees need honey.  Without the queen, the hive dies.  I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I really liked her suggestion. At the same time, my days on movie sets make it impossible to not think of a honey wagon and that's not an image I am fond of. Besides, I've had his name on me for long enough that covering it should be all about me.

For today, I’m overflowing. That means I’m able to give and that looks like helping out with my niece and kid brother’s 11th birthday party.  I’m not a party planning mom and lucked out in my kid’s sensory integration dysfunction.  I don’t like to throw parties and they don’t like to be at parties.  Usually they want Mountain Dew, Doritos, Gummy Worms, and a fast Wifi connection. Today I got in a tug of war with a bounce house and didn’t freak out over ruining my new manicure.  I have polish at home and I may play with my own nails later. Depending on how this day makes me feel, I may decide to hit the beach again tonight.  Whatever my day brings, I will look for the blessings and see the grace that covers me.

Laughter and Flirting Over the Pacific on Easter

IMG_0569 I can't complain about my Easter away from my kids.  I was with family.  There was lots of laughter and joy.  Maybe a little Jim Beam Apple Whiskey, straight up. Very little.  Like a taste, but not enough to call it a shot, and I gave my Mom's orange tree a taste too, because it looked thirsty.  I'm so not a drinker but there are enough in my family that my weak contributions are made up for.

My brother had an idea for my cover up tattoo.  I haven't nailed down ideas yet for covering up the ex's name.  He offered a mock up with a sharpie. It was somewhere along the lines of a craigslist ad.  I declined his offer.  All of us laughed for a little too long over that, and it was a moment of my family joining in on what they've spent a year respectfully giving space to.  My nephews and even my baby brother suggested different dating sites and apps.  They want to see me move on and they believe in my ability to find happiness.  They saw what years with the ex meant for me, and they want better.  I have no idea what better looks like, but they believe he's out there for me. They encouraged me to jump in and go after what I want. They made me laugh and they made me smile and these days my smiles come so much easier than they used to. I wanted to laugh and smile and I was happy to take their suggestions. I needed that push.  It was a good push.

I came home for long enough to get a few things done, then I drove to the beach.  There's something about the ocean that makes me happy. I walked along Will Rogers for long enough to be slightly creeped out at being completely alone except for the few men going through the trash cans with flashlights.  I was approached with a friendly request for a joint.  I haven't touched one in decades. I decided a more populated beach might be a wise decision and drove to Santa Monica.  I walked along the sand for a while, then decided to walk the pier and see if fish were biting for the anglers up there.  I was surprised by a text, and ended up flirting shamelessly for a while before heading home.

IMG_0553

I've decided the moment my husband changed into my ex, was when I was ready to consider a next.  The men in my family encouraged me enough to take a chance and the reward on my gamble was huge.  There's been laughter tonight.  Lots of laughter and silly giggles.  There is so much healing in silly giggles and belly laughs. The flirting was completely one sided.  It was entirely on my side, with spaced out polite responses from the other side.  The huge take away was that I loved the way flirting made me feel. Even a polite lack of interest is something to celebrate.

Why Confidence is More Than Body Image

I was bathing suit shopping with a friend who told me she wished she had my confidence.  If I can accept the lower aspects of the people I love, then I have to accept the lower parts of who I am, and be willing to grow from where I am to where I intend to be. I've loved large men, even the morbidly obese. I've loved drug addicts.  I've loved narcissistic men who cared more about how I made them look, than how I felt.  I've loved materialistic men, and men with less attractive features. I didn't let bad hygiene keep me from love.  If I can love in spite of a less than ideal partner, what makes me any less loveable? I tell my autistic sons that Superman has super sensory abilities, but we would never call him disabled.  If he's not disabled, they're superheroes too.  If they're superheroes, and I am the curator of their future, what makes me any less than amazing?

I spend a decent amount of time each morning in my bra and panties, standing in front of a full body mirror like Linda Carter did when I used to watch Wonder Woman.  Hands on hips, proud of my . . . well, I like the way a good bra fits. From this angle, I can see all of me, and I refuse to look for imperfections.  That would be like watching the sun during a sunset, but ignoring the shifting colors in the sky and clouds.

I never take off the class ring my Dad bought me.  I refused a ring in high school because I always knew I'd eventually get my college ring.  It took 17 years for a 4 year degree, but I earned it without cheating or taking short cuts.  I did it with a young family, and through surrogacies, and I usually had to fight for and justify my plans to my husband because being a student meant I had less to offer him and the kids.  I still had to do all of the cooking and cleaning and studying, and coming to bed because he was tired of waiting up for me, even though I'd sneak out of the bedroom once he was asleep and bang out a paper into the early morning hours for class the next day.  For a while, kid2's greatest goal when he grows up was to be a graduate.  More than what I accomplished in school was what it looked like to my kids.

On any given day, if I pay attention, I can spot at least one person checking me out. He will usually be fully aware that it would be a waste of time to approach me, but he's looking and for a moment, he sees something he wants.  Ignoring these looks is part of survival as a female in a larger city.  No matter what you look like, people will look, and for a moment, you become a living centerfold.  Teenaged boys could have a breeze make them happy.  It doesn't take much to spark male imaginations. You can wilt at the blatant objectification, or let it empower you as you decide what that look means or doesn't mean to you. Keep your head held high, and consider your attraction a public service as you've probably brightened someone's day.

Wear the short skirt or low cut blouse.  Stuff yourself into those jeggings because feeling like stuffed sausage looks hot. (I actually don't own a pair of jeggings.) Sway your hips with each step you take, one foot directly in front of the other, shoulders back.  Choose the bikini.  Wear the heels that make your calves rock solid and lift your butt just enough. Always throw on your confidence.  No one can manufacture it or make it fit, except for you.

My Apologies for Objectifying A Beautiful Man

I can see how shameless my crush watch on Mr. Hot (and so out of reach) was. This revision comes with perspective because time is generous that way.  Also, it seemed important to give this apology a special place. What started out as silly with That’s cute. became out of control with my Obsessive Observations.  It's faded into the delight of what my crush became to me, even though he offered nothing more than smiles and someone to daydream about that wasn't my ex. It was a series of firsts that I wrote about in Crushing and Laughter  and I was able to share my gratitude about some of them in Thank you. which was about many men in my life. It was nice to imagine someone else in writing Haunted and Your name. What is most shameful is my blatant objectification of a man who probably has strong feelings and I so obviously wasn't interested in them.  I wrote about his body, and in keeping what I saw when I looked in his eyes to myself, I completely made him a thing. What kind of human being does that? It might have been a partial attempt to keep certain things private and only mine, but in so doing, I've violated him in the way so many women are violated and objectified.  I used him for my lusty purposes and a part of my audience, with opinions I actually care about know I'm not all sugar and spice and hiding in a closet somewhere there might be leather and lace and we won't discuss restraint, because clearly I have very little.  I've taken off my mask unintentionally and while I was received in love, it wasn't planned and there was shock. Whether or not this is or one day will be publicly tied to me, I feel I owe him a sincere apology.  For nearly a year I was determined to be a wife, accepting all my husband dished out to me, and in a few sentences he changed my mind.  I met that with fear and reacted by objectifying him to avoid how deeply he affected me.  It was a cop out and I really am sorry that I was so afraid of the light he exposed into my darkness. This light grew into a confidence that helped me remove my wedding band and decide it was time to let go. People we both worked with have been given access to details about my lustful infatuation and I really feel bad if it's caused him any embarrassment.  It is a responsibility that falls solidly on my shoulders and my apologies to him are weighted with a debt of gratitude.

Stress Induced Hospital Visits and a Hot Doctor as Treatment

12795504_1213110475389539_4636913571627129538_nMy kids came home from their Dad's house on Monday.  Early Tuesday I started feeling mild chest pain, with leg cramps.  I had a feeling it was just stress. It seemed to get worse with every tantrum and meltdown I was forced to moderate.  At one point I almost called my husband to come get the kids so I could go to the hospital, but I decided against it because I didn't really want to give him anything to hold against me. He's already threatened me about the last two hours of respite I asked for.  And again, I wasn't sure it wasn't all just in my head.
He had kid1 text me they were on their way, and I started packing for a possible hospital stay.  I grabbed devices and chargers.  I threw in clean underwear, a hairbrush, toothbrush and toothpaste.  These are things I used to have him run and grab for me, but I wasn't even telling him.  And I haven't replaced him as my go to person yet, so I plan more closely than I used to.
He picked up kid3 and I got in my car.  I returned my niece's call that I missed while kid3 was on my phone.  He ignores people, and I could really learn from him, or start using him as an excuse.  I let her know what I was up to because it seemed responsible to let someone know where I was headed.  Then I spent almost 6 hours in the ER.
Having a history of pulmonary embolisms and current chest pain makes things move quickly, but you still have to wait for results to be read.  I had an EKG and bloodwork done.  Then there was a CT scan.  Then I waited. There was a lot of waiting as other patients were starting to wait on gurneys and wheelchairs in the halls, waiting for a room.  I'm not the only one willing to wait for the right time to make sure I'm not dancing with death.
My potassium was very low, but that happens when you forget to eat. I don't eat when I'm stressed, but I prefer that to eating everything I can see.  That happens when I'm depressed.  That's what caused the cramping that made me wonder if I had blood clots forming.  The rest was stress, so it really is all in my head. The chest pain felt just like it did when I had pulmonary embolisms.
The stress I'm feeling is so great that my body is trying to make me think I'm sick, or in mortal danger so that I'm forced to take care of myself.  I need to start imagining a baby duck again.  That visual was my focus when I was hospitalized for a month during my last surrogate pregnancy.  They are so adorable when they're learning to swim and so focused on swimming that the water slides off their backs, and they're persistent with the joys of learning.  I don't think about adult ducks.  They can be insanely aggressive and much more fearful.
I'm on Facebook more than I'd like to admit, but I don't ignore people when I get a ping.  I might wait a bit on responding to emails because most of it is junk mail or spammy forwards.  Last night a friend was asking about a sales pitch she wants me to attend.  I get the health benefits of what she's pushing.  I'm just having a hard time eating regular meals right now.  I'm not in a place to buy it, and I'm not interested in selling it either. I answered her questions because they weren't really about me.  I also got a message from a high school friend.  He's one of those football players I used to hang out with.  Always just a friend.  He knows how to make me smile, and in chatting with him, my chest pain went away.  I'm only sharing a small part of the conversation that happened after we were joking about running and how I want to do it, but he knows me well enough to know I really don't.
Him: Yeah i know...ur a princess.
Me:  Well, thank you.
Him:  I haven't forgotten! Lmao
Me:  I did. I forgot how to be royalty.
Him:  Well...time for u to get it back...
And this is one of the main reasons why I'll answer his pings in a heartbeat.  Great friends are great to keep around.  He's one of the few that checks on me without needing anything in return.  I appreciate that.
The doctor was beautiful.  He had yellowish brown hair that was probably a dark gold in the sun, he kept it fairly long and as I saw him throughout the night, it was in various stages of being combed neatly, and falling wildly over his ears, like running his hands through it was soothing a stressful day.  His hair looked soft, and I wanted to sample a feel.  He was tall and clearly took his workouts seriously.  He had soft brown eyes and a slight Italian accent to match his name.  And yes, I did repeat his name a few times. There's something so sensual about Italian names. I didn't even look to see if there was a wedding band.  I don't plan to go back or ever see his smile again.  At the end of the night, this handsome man that crafts miracles for a living looked me in the eyes and told me to take better care of myself and stay away from caffeine.  That was the best medicine.
I stopped at the grocery store for bananas, avocados, coconut water and dinner.  Potassium is happening because leg cramps suck. I walked around a bit before deciding that yes, hard salami and havarti are acceptable for dinner.  Salami for dinner is a perk for being a grown up without kids for the night or a husband to cook for.
 

Your name, A Poem About a Daydream

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Sweet nostalgia cascades in gentle beauty

Like raindrops through my clouded mind craving your clarity

You are washed anew in the glow of fading memories

Lips frame your name in tender restraint

My thoughts embrace you before release

Not eager to depart

I speak softly, surrendered to the bliss of holding you again

of breathing your name

Bittersweet release with a tender kiss from my lips

I Won't Be Ashamed

11817160_1079269022107019_8513885618522013396_n You won't find shame in my home.  We deter modesty as well because we know we're all superstars here. My kids like the feel of skin unencumbered by clothing . When I'm alone I do too, but have consideration enough to want to lower therapy costs and diminish growing mommy issues. I'm not against grandbabies. We sing off key and not well, but with as much fire as we can conjure in the echoes of laminate  and tile flooring and walls that have seen us and forgiven us for all we are. I wear a bikini at beaches and in rivers and lakes because I love the tender kisses of the sun on my bare flesh and nothing anyone thinks can steal that from me. I don't care how comfortable my skin makes other people feel as I don't have to live in their heads with them. The ink of my flesh paints memories many are not entitled to know and I'm not bothered by curiosity because curiosity didn't kill the cat, brazen independence did. I know when to ask for help. My body has given life and carried me through so much good and so much bad.  Each year of my life has been marked by great joys and tremendous sorrows but those years are mine and I hold them and examine them with longing and the softened eyes of time and there is no name calling.  There is no shame in what we look like or the choices we've made. I don't worry about my c-section scar because I can't see it from where I stand and the scar is in the place where I was marked to save two lives on the verge of loss.  Walking through abandonment has given me a voice that I'm no longer running from and words that unfold in my mind before my eyes open each morning.  These words tumble out of me, leaving a Cheshire Cat smile in their wake.  Wordgasms explode and at the end of my posts there is satisfaction in the fullness of sensation pulling me to the precipice as I gaze into the abyss of all I can't deny and I launch into the dark with bravery because the light being sought after is within me, and in that there is no shame. There is healing in the reality of existence beneath my flesh and outside of the shadow of someone else's insecurities and there's no shame in the bite and swallow that has devoured my yesterdays.  You won't find shame here.

Dating Apps or Why I Would Rather Meet You In Person than Online

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Dating apps have been suggested.  I finally downloaded one and I even set up a profile which is a new thing for me.  I've never gone that far. I linked it to my Facebook, but I'm not committed to the idea of meeting someone online or through an app.  I still have ideas of going to a bar and having someone brave enough to introduce himself do so. I may need to go to more bars since I've gone to two this year and both times were with co-workers.  And I don't drink often, so maybe another venue . . . Either way, the apps with horrible pictures and occupations don't tell me anything I need to know.  I don't know how expressive they are when a thought is fighting to get past teeth and tongue.  I don't know if my pulse would race.  All the app tells me are the two very last things I would ever base a relationship on:  looks and occupation. My dress, wedding, honeymoon and rings were all under $500, combined. I'm that hopeless romantic that finds my home is wherever I've placed my heart and the practical aspects of survival can always be worked out.

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I'm likely to fall in love with a body after I've spent at least a conversation with the person it belongs to.  I need my mind stroked with what makes him who he is.  I like to people watch and so much is found in body language and the sensory aspects of human interactions. I love to watch a man with kids.  You can see his patience, and how engaged he is.  If he doesn't have time for the leadership kids require, I'm not likely to want to follow him.  I love watching babies learn new things.  You can see the wonder light up their whole face.  That same open expression is what makes me love watching a man, deep in thought or debating the next phrase out of his mouth.  I love wondering what was on his mind and what he really needed to stop himself from saying.  It can keep me up at night, without complaint. I'm not a fan of a good poker face.  I love to watch a man interact with other people.  How does he treat the server filling his cup? How does he treat the people that can't offer him anything other than a smile?  That matters and can look a lot like sexy feels.  One of my favorites on Instagram is HOTDUDESREADING.  I love a good book and to see a guy reading is such a thrill.  Especially if he looks like they do on that Instagram account. These are the things that give me that lovely spark that starts in my lower belly and consumes every possible thought thereafter.  I love the reactions on a guy that I'm flirting with.  I like it when he's a little shy and doesn't know how to react when I've just given him a mental undressing. I prefer that to the guys that do it right back with aggression.  (I can't justify my double standards, so don't bother asking.)  You don't feel all of that in browsing through an app.

My taste in looks varies.  Most of the time it doesn't matter.  It's always a bonus to have a firm hip girdle or defined abs.  I like a man who can pick me up and make me feel weightless, but I can find a feature or two I adore, and love goggles blind me to the rest. (I know some of you have seen the men I've dated.  It's okay to laugh right now.) I have overlooked personal hygiene, but again, I can see a bonus and add apple points accordingly.  If my mind is on fire then the rest falls into place.  I've loved men with salt and pepper hair and striking blue eyes (during my teens when I had a thing for older men, but it's still hotness).  I've dated heavy men, and men so skinny I wanted to feed them, and felt I could tackle them in a gridiron scrimmage. We won't detail my adventures in sacking that quarterback. I've dated boys whose parents were Mexican, Armenian,  Guatemalan, Bolivian, Filipino, German, El Salvadorean, and then there were the ones I never even bothered to ask.  I won't say I'm equal opportunity, but I don't discriminate either. Michael Jackson said it best when he sang, "it don't matter if you're Black or White." Been there too.

You can't find what I like to look for in an app, and I'm not feeling so lonely that I need to find something immediately.  I think sexual attraction can be decided in the first two minutes of seeing a person, but where I'm at emotionally means I expect more. I'm a patient person and I'm an optimistic person.  I can wait until it's right and browsing through an app in bed doesn't feel right.  I think my old might be showing, but I'm not about to tuck it back in.

Haunted by Memories Invading My Dreams

IMG_0554 I wake up thinking about his smile and the look on his face when he said goodbye. I think of all I should have done and know that what is meant to be will happen in a measure of time I can't control. But tonight I'm haunted by the memories of possibilities and the last words framed in a gray text box on my phone and it's enough to make me smile and send me to sleep wrapping sweet memories around me like a blanket. I'm haunted by the looks I loved to see and the feeling they are all he'll ever give me.

This Water Baby Is Raising Her Standards

I've always been drawn to water.  I spent one summer going to Manhattan Beach every single day.  The water was so clear, I was able to stand and see a piece of chert that was practically glowing at my feet.  I still have it.  I loved Bolsa Chica for the fire-pits, but it can only be fun if you bring really good water shoes. Those seashells and pebbles have carved into my tender feet for years.  Huntington Beach has fire pits and you can avoid the rocks and watch the surfers. I loved to watch the surfers. There should be surfer watching soon. There's a dog beach between the two where frolicking dogs will chase balls in the water and you can almost taste the love between them and their humans. It's like cherry pie before I had to cut wheat from my diet and I took flaky pie crust for granted. There are beautiful cliffs in Malibu and huge pockets that haven't had sand added to them, making the shoreline natural and beautiful. Dockweiler Beach has fire-pits and you can watch the airplanes fly overhead as they launch then bank over the ocean later at night. I love the ocean for how small it makes me feel.  I love being pushed and pulled by the waves, only to escape by diving into them and becoming part of the churning that would force its will otherwise. I love beaches with tide pools.  There's one in San Pedro but I don't think I can go there without remembering the boy that helped me pick out sea urchins and starfish with lots of laughter and splashing. He was so tender with my scraped hands and knees. We held hands and he walked with me around the Friendship Bell and packed a lunch so we could picnic on the grass. We hugged and laughed as we looked at the ocean.  I want to leave that memory untarnished. It was a good one. I've been meaning to check out Crystal Cove instead.  For years I said I wanted to go to Black's Beach just because it is a nude beach.  I haven't made it and I haven't made plans either. In the last 16 years, I've spent less time at the beach and more time in rivers, pools, Jacuzzi tubs and lakes.  Part of that was my husband likes rivers and lakes.  We spent so much time fishing in them.  I'm not a fan of the gear and I don't like much outside of reeling in a fish, so I don't see myself going fishing anytime soon.  A lot of the rocks around my pond were from trips to Upper Big Tujunga where he and the boys fished, and I carried bags of rocks back to the car. Pier fishing is what I did with my Dad and the few times I tried to go deep sea fishing, I got sick as soon as the boat stopped going forward.  I like boats, but staying still and rocking on the waves instead of being part of the waves always made me sick.  It took a summer to get used to the smaller waves on Big Bear Lake. My other reason for not liking big scary bodies of water is my kids.  My now 9 year old who was 8 months at the time suffered a near drowning.  Pulling him out of the tub when he was blue was traumatic for me.  I had nightmares for a while. To this day, I still panic whenever they want to go into water and I feel like I can't keep a hand on all three at the same time. I prefer to not go and let my Mom take them because she loves water as much as I do.

There's a pond in my front yard that I enjoy from my front porch. I dug into hard ground with the help of my father in law.  It has a waterfall and it's all pre-formed pond liners, but I love the sound, if not the look. I love the reflected light dancing on walls and ceilings from the moving water outside my window. There's a koi fish in it.  This koi has survived for years with rain water and water hose refills when the water gets low and not a drop of treatment to balance the pH or de-chlorinate, and a pump that goes out from time to time and not a drop of food in years.  He's outlived the tadpoles that spent about a year becoming bullfrogs and then disappeared over a winter to emerge and disappear again. My cat is a murderer and she's granted him clemency. She prefers lizards, birds, and rodents. He's as stubborn about giving up as I am.

Last night I was home around 7:00.  I had an interview with a temp agency and puttered around Hollywood long enough to be happy to head home. I had taken off my slacks, and blouse and I was already in bed calling it a night with Hulu and Facebook.  I finally listened to the lyrics to kid3's favorite song.  There was a petite brunette singing a cover rendition and I thought I'd finally hear the whole thing.  I don't listen to much radio and I saw that the original is his Dad's favorite artist.  He's a Belieber. It occurred to me that my little one has been singing the song in his Daddy's heart and it made me angry. For the record, I had many moments of choosing to like his Momma too, and it wasn't easy. I knew she didn't like me no matter how many times they tried to say otherwise.  I chose to accept her as part of him. To know me is to know I give people more chances than they deserve.  Something about that song got under my skin like an itch and I got dressed and went for a drive.  I took Broadway through Chinatown and onto Sunset to Pacific Coast Highway and turned left. I called a really great friend on the way.

I've known this friend since we were in diapers and my firstborn's middle name was chosen based on the name I called on for much of my life.  When we were young, he was called Peanut Butter and I was Jelly according to the older neighborhood kids and our siblings.  It was as much about our complexions as it was about our conjoined hips. We were always hanging out around the neighborhood in East Hollywood where I broke my leg and a week later he broke his arm.  He ended up in a hospital bed at Kaiser on Sunset and a while later I ended up in the same bed in pediatrics.  He was there through every single romance I've had, and the distance only came with my husband.  I was starting life with a husband and kids.  He still goes to bars and clubs and lives the life I used to live. He's one of those friends that I can pick up with at any time and it's like there was no time or distance between us.  In our friendship there is freedom and I was able to rage and curse out a man I had been trying to be respectful toward. I discuss my anger at times.  I'm still protecting him in not disclosing some of his actions to most people. My anger is part of me and I'm not afraid of it. You just won't usually hear me emasculating him.  It's a choice, and I try to choose it more often than not.  That doesn't mean I'm incapable. That means my impulse control is strong on most days.  Not last night.  It was the first time I've ever cursed him out (even if not to his face),  the entire time I've known him.

It was early enough that when I made a left on Temescal Canyon Road, I could still legally park there, but it was dark, so you won't get pictures.  There are street lights but the beach itself is cloaked in darkness. In the distance, the Ferris wheel that spins above the waters off Santa Monica Beach is visible and tells me where the freeway is. The light of the moon and the many stars I could see were enough to see and step confidently.  I felt comforted in the blanketed darkness clothing the sand and sea. It colored the horizon in shades of indigo night. The gate leading to the parking lot at Will Rogers State Beach had already been closed with yellow metal that clearly denies access and the parking lot only held one car, as it's companion left when I was stepping onto the sand. Lifeguard tower 8 was where I spent many nights through high school and until I met my husband.  I've sat there with guys that played guitar, and with a strong drink to fight the biting air and sea mist. I've been there in groups and alone.  I've raged at the heartbreaks that were raging through me because the ocean could absorb the sounds of my anguish. I celebrated moments of solitude where my introverted side could recharge.  I shared my spot with the boys that were like my brothers. I was still on the phone with the Peanut Butter to my Jelly while he was at work but otherwise, I was completely alone. He told me about the many girls he had taken there, and I was shocked that I never thought to do the things he did because my comfort was more important.  There's only one way up or down on that ramp and it's pretty exposed.  This was probably the first time I was there without a pocket knife or a stun gun, not that I ever needed to confront anyone. Besides, beach sex is overrated and it's always cold at night.

This was a frequent filming location for Bay Watch.  When I arrived, I could see signs for a crew that will be there or already was there. Location scouts love this place. On the left are volleyball courts with nets swaying in the wind.  To the right there's a jetty that marks the sand, stepping into the ocean and breaking the harshest waves with immovable fortitude. This tower is unique in that it's built on a concrete platform that holds a large drainpipe and carries you over the water.  I've only ever been there at night and farther from low-tide, but recognized my favorite place on an episode once. The waves break against the platform and flow all around the tower.  There's a fence around it, but only to keep people from jumping off of the platform because people aren't always smarter than they look.  The tower isn't restricted except the closed windows padlocked to keep people outside.

We talked as the crashing waves calmed me.  We talked as they energized me.  By the time I was driving home, my mood had significantly picked up and my anger was gone.  As we talked, we discussed each man child I claimed in my heart.  He pointed out what he saw and through that I could see my perspective shifting and sharpening.  He felt I could have done better than every single one of them.  In looks, in intelligence, in personality, in self esteem, I was the dominant one.  He said every relationship has an imbalance, and I was always on the upper hand but never saw or acknowledged it.  I fixated on their one good quality.  For one boy it was his hair.  For another it was his voice.  For another it was his face.  For another it was how much he wanted me. I could go on but the point was he could see I had a type.  I always thought it was fair skin and great hair, but not all of them fit that bill.  Most of them didn't. He said I like the ones that are a little geeky and not too smart.  He could see something about each one of them that was lacking in some way. I told him about my crush and he pointed out that I was sabotaging myself even though I claim to want to date smarter people. I could see myself having a conversation with him without having to explain what I've said.  He reminded me that they all kind of grew on me because they weren't immediate total packages.  I walked past the obvious winners and plucked my way through the second string, subconsciously identifying their insecurities and then letting them  shape their fears into who I was, effectively shifting the power dynamic.  The exception was the guy I was with through the end of high school.  He was an ex-gang member, but I pursued him with his New York accent, and six pack abs, and his hooked nose.  He wasn't eye candy, but he was sweet and generous. He was always bringing me flowers. He wasn't the total package and I have no interest in looking him up, but I do like who I was when I was with him for the most part.  He didn't have that innate ability to lead though.  I value that now when I couldn't understand it then.

With each breakup, I became more of the person my great friend grew up with. He sees me as someone that tells it like it is.  I see it as jaded cynicism. I'm someone that is positive and optimistic for the most part.  I believe in faking it until I feel it.  My perseverance and tenacity are hot in others and an asset to myself. He likes this person as she is. I like this person as I am.  I like the boys that are shy and a little insecure.  I like the ones that need my attention that are willing to make it a point to make the first move. I find it sweet and he pointed out that it's the mother in me that needs to bring that shyness out. It always backfires and  I build them up into pricks. Or I'll date someone with such strong attachment issues that they need to prove they can make a conquest of anyone without being able to move into a relationship because they lack emotional maturity. We talked about the fact that I haven't kissed anyone besides my husband since April of 2000.  He tells me it will be epic when I do.

I started thinking about some of the things my husband has said the past year and the song that our little one was singing made more sense.  I realized he had been speaking to me the lyrics of this song, and it made me think of the many conversations we had when I was teased about my vocabulary.  To this day, I will find myself changing the vernacular in my writing so it is easily digested, but I shouldn't have to do that when I talk.  And this song that made me want to emasculate and infantilize him also made me feel pity because I could hear his insecurities in the song. I could sing the same song to him, but I have a better grasp of my feelings than that and would rather focus on what will lift me up.

I went to bed and the rage in me had died and it was replaced with hope.  There was hope that I would find enough value in myself to intentionally try to approach that man that could be out of my league.  There's hope that I could find someone to have meaningful conversations with. I want a salt of the earth, man's man. I kissed a couple of girls in my youth and it did nothing for me but make me miss the bite of stubble. I love a clean shaved face and solid jaw line. I like to be the soft one next to lean muscle. I want someone with the self esteem and drive that pushed him away from drugs or gang life, and made him try harder so his success was in his accomplishments. I've only ever had two ex lovers that weren't into drugs or gang life. They were always looking for attention and couldn't understand the value of silent companionship. They couldn't commit to one person, even if it wasn't me. It's not about money or looks.  It never was.  I remember being in my twenties and flirting with the guy in the car next to me. It was a red convertible. We exchanged numbers and when he called I told him I couldn't date him because all I remembered was his car and I couldn't be that person.  He respected my honesty, and the part of me that couldn't do that is still alive and kicking. She calls me a whore when I can't see past the frosting on the cake and that makes me keep walking. My husband thought I only wanted him for his money, but I wanted him for the way he saw me. I just didn't notice when he stopped looking at me that way.   The one amazing thing my really great friend pointed out was that I gave my husband 16 years of faithfulness and he messed up by leaving a good wife. He left me and I waited beyond what was reasonable and I have done enough.  Telling a wife and mother she's done enough is one thing, but getting her to finally believe it is another.  We talked about an hour and a half and at the end of that time, I believed it.

We also talked about the times we were young and being silly.  We laughed about the many times I said I'd be an old lady with a cane, and chasing boys. We talked about walking into the Palace in Hollywood at the end of the night.  We were pretty drunk and one of the guys we were with walked right into the glass doors, opened them and went right in as if he didn't just greet the door with his nose.  The security guards didn't bother to stop us. It also closed within the 15 minutes we were there.  There was another night we had gone to a hotel in the valley to go dancing with my Dad.  They played Israeli music and songs in Arabic. Some of the older women taught me to move like a belly dancer.  It's where I heard my first Alabina song and this was before Shakira in the late 1990's. I used to go dancing with Dad on Saturday nights and this was the one time I brought friends.  We got a bit sauced and when my Dad went home, we decided to go to Rosarito because we had never been to Papas and Beer.  I took the backseat of my car and he drove us into Tijuana and further south into Rosarito.  We pointed at each "alto" sign and laughed because they looked a lot like stop signs.  It's never taken much to make me laugh. We got there at 4 in the morning and it was closed. Everything was closed at 4 in the morning.  We drove around a bit and watched the sunrise.  Instead of hanging out all day, we headed home and had a tire blow out on the freeway (my  first of more than I can remember). It was an epic adventure. I've still never been inside of Papas and Beer. We talked about the time we went hiking to the waterfall from Chantry Flats in the mountains above the Santa Anita racetrack with a bottle of Tequila Rose and the guys going for a swim in the freezing water.  There's something funny that happens when cold water gets past boxers and I can still hear the squeals in that memory. He reminded me of the fun I had as an adolescent when I wasn't handing my heart off. I needed that.

Obsessive Observations of My Latest Crush Because He Was Hot (and so fun to watch)

February 24, 2016 I have a secret crush with too much impossibility to do more than look, knowing nothing will ever come of it.  It's enough to look and daydream without the pain of jealousy or putting myself out there.  Just a "hello" keeps me going.  Every once in awhile he gives me a look like I'm a bowl of ice cream and it's his cheat day and those looks might be in my head, but I love them.  When I met him he told me I looked like I'm in my mid twenties.  That compliment keeps me going. I spent the night trying to convince myself that you don't date people when you  are married and I did so out loud.  He separated the same month I did.  The way he said he was dating, with his petulant slouch and that look of not being broken . . . It has made the prospect so much more appealing than it was.  The daydreams in my head, and looking around for him at the office keep me going.  I like the little drops of attention because as much as I love myself, I can also admit I'm starved and in a desert of longing and lust.

February 25, 2016

Mr. Hot (and fun to look at) hasn't been looking at me.  Somehow I am not crushed and I know there will be a moment alone in the hallway or elevator lobby or even the kitchen where my gaze won't be averted and his voice will lower and he'll greet me and of course I will again obsess like I'm twelve. The 12 year old me has been a theme for this day.  Maybe 14.  She actually understood what was hot about a butt.

February 26, 2016

I saw Mr. Hot (and busy and please toss me a bone) a few times today.  A couple of times he very specifically averted his gaze from me.  He regularly walks past my desk with his face focused only on his phone and the path he walks is so beaten he doesn't need to look up as the rest of the office parts around him and flows back in his wake.  He walked within inches of me and I could have been a ghost as he was on his way to greet one of our Regional Managers for her birthday.  I would have joined in but wheat in my belly feels like food poisoning and there was fried chicken, dredged then fried potato wedges, and red velvet cake.  At one point as he strolled back to his corner office there was a direct look at my face and a friendly hello as he strolled past my desk.  Someone ask for hot melted butter? That was me today.

As I watched him not watch me, I wondered if his ignoring me is intentional.  I wondered if he knows how he strokes my puppy belly that craves his attention and he knows playing hard to get makes me obsess that much more. Or maybe he carefully metes out the attention he gives to everyone because I can honestly say he really is a nice person to everyone that works with him.  I wondered if maybe he's not as confident as he looks.  Maybe it takes real effort to focus on what he's going to say and do as he heads to the group he's about to join.  I thought about his subdued laugh, and tried to imagine him in high school.  I imagine he wasn't one of the popular jocks.  There's a slight self consciousness in his laugh and he has a focus that wouldn't exactly get him invited to parties.  It's a different game in college, naturally, but I think part of him includes the kid that learned to navigate where he didn't just fit in.  And he's really smart.  Smart kids rarely have time or social skills for cliques.  In talking about his son, he had a gentleness . . . a sensitivity that was sweet and heart melting. I then had to derail those thoughts because the point of this crush is he's a non person and it's only a physical attraction. It's supposed to be safe in that it won't go anywhere. That's the beauty of a one sided infatuation.

Toward the end of the day I was multitasking.  I had two tasks on different screens and databases I was working in, and the girls I sit with were discussing camping in tents and RV's.  I was on top of it all and pretty proud of my flexing brain power when he walked into the kitchen.  The kitchen is right next to my desk.  I'd seen his back and profile all day.  I'd seen his head and shoulders above the walls of our cubicles, but glancing over while multitasking I was gifted with a  full frontal view and didn't at any point today imagine how he would look from that direction in a soft and worn t-shirt.  I love the lines of his chest in a dress shirt, but in that t-shirt I could see the contrast of the soft material against his solid muscles. I was surprised at how graphic my thoughts became in what I wanted to do in that moment. I once heard a coworker tell me that yoga pants were God's gift to men.  I finally understand that.  Every thought in my mind disappeared and I realized Crossfit is God's gift to me. At that point my mind went blank.  There was no thought outside of how much I wanted to touch him and after a minute or two of realizing I had lost all train of thought, I lost it.  I couldn't help it.  I erupted into a fit of giggles and decided to just enjoy the moment of becoming a ball of lust and hormones. It took a while for me to calm down and focus, but I got through the day and that moment when I glanced into the kitchen will get me through the weekend.

Copied from Comfort Zones, dated February 26, 2016

I had a moment where my super busy crush opened a door for me and remarked at how much taller I looked today.  He didn't follow it with a comment about it being too tall or say anything negative, but he did notice.  In my mind I might have thought that I was still at the perfect height to kiss him but in reality I just said it was the shoes. And there goes that puppy with the belly rubs again.  If you're picturing a puppy piddling all over the place, dial it back a bit.  Not that much, but close.   It's nice to know that I've grown enough to not fall into easy patterns of behavior because I know I deserve better and I have no need to lower my standards for that puppy dog feeling. Besides, I get normal doses from my crush. He just has no clue.  I hope.  I can be pretty transparent.

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February 27, 2016

He had this confidence when talking to the many people that worked for him.  He would practically run around the office, always in a hurry to be on top of everything.  His face was often fixed to his phone or he was on a call, pacing the paths around the office that lead along my desk.  His amused laugh was my favorite. It was subdued and lit up his eyes.

 

February 29, 2016

I've gotten a few random body language compliments from the man of my sexy day dreams and I find myself looking forward to those interactions because the man giving those Scooby snacks is easy on the eyes.  He could actually be a serial killer but I wouldn't know it because I'm more concerned with his beautiful packaging.  I do love that packaging though.

March 2, 2016

Of course leaving this job means I'll miss spying on Mr. Hot (and busy being in charge).  He was out yesterday and when he came in this afternoon and I heard his voice, my mind was drawn to him and all hope of remembering what I was in the middle of was gone. There wasn't a hello and that's okay. I'm torn right now.  On one hand, every excuse I gave myself to never intentionally flirt with him is gone.  I'm not going to be working with him.  At the same time, I wonder if it was divine intervention that would remove me from a huge mistake that I really wanted to make.  I still want to make it. This was my very first crush since I met my husband in 2000 because I was a faithful wife.  This was a combination of butterflies in my stomach and the raging ideas of a horny teenaged boy.  I don't know his moods and much about his personality but I seem to have a fine tuned ear for his voice, and I love the way he looks in a suit. Or jeans.  Or a t-shirt worn into softness and nearly threadbare.  If anything, daydreaming about him has helped me let go of the man who quit on me almost a year ago.  Does that make him my rebound and I can skip all of that sordid messiness?

March 2, 2016, post script

For a while I kept fantasizing what I would say to Mr. Hot (and doesn't wear an undershirt and I love that) if we ever got stuck in the elevator.  Today we ended up in the same elevator after work for the first time.  My mind was in overdrive as I kept thinking of the naughty ride in my head, but we were a party of three that turned into too many in the end.  The ride was uneventful, except for the looks of unspoken thoughts exchanged. It felt like there was a lot to be said between us, but we couldn't speak with our audience. Maybe it was wishful thinking, but I will hold on to that. It's mine and it is also pretty epic.

Revisiting an obsession . . .

March 4, 2016

My short lived fear of looking for validation in relationships was eased when I realized that even with Mr. He's Hot (and I'm bothered), I was still at least trying to be professional.  And even then, it was a physical longing that I only allowed in his direction and mainly in my head. I really tried to keep my thoughts pure because anything that wasn't would make me giggle because being a 12 year old can be fun.

Sometime after March 4, 2016

In the last week or so when he was a short walk from me, there was one day that he ran several meetings, back to back.  I walked past the conference room and I could see it was an important meeting.  It wasn't in something I saw in the people listening to him but in his posture.  I spent a few weeks watching him so closely that this was different. He had the same command of the room as usual.  He didn't have the look of boredom, or rapt attention like I've seen many times.  He has an expressive face and his passion for what he does is often on it. It was a look of weariness, and a look of determination.  I could tell from the random looks in my direction that he was doing the best he could to get through his day and it wasn't something he enjoyed.  (I enjoyed him being in a place I could easily justify walking past.)  I could see a look I've had on my face when I was so busy being something for everyone else that I forgot to eat or take care of my needs.  The look on his face told me tough decisions were made and whether or not they were all his decisions, he was taking responsibility for them, and the weight of it was on his shoulders in a way that he was trying to protect those he was talking to.

There was an unforgettable look on his face the last time I saw him.  It was a hesitancy and a shy smile.  It was a moment of seeing uncertainty which I had rarely seen on him. It was almost like the final goodbye I had been preparing for was sudden and unfortunate to him.  It was a moment where I tried to memorize his smile, and the way his left eye squints a bit. I tried to memorize his laugh lines and slight dimples. His was a jawline I wanted to touch many times and being a hugger, it was a sad moment to know that was my last chance and I didn't have the boldness to take it.  I had spent a few days trying to convince myself that leaving was the best thing for me, and the rest of the elevator ride, and sitting in my car before heading home, I was suddenly so unsure of that and dreaded never seeing him again but it was tempered by the thought that the last time I saw him was almost a private show. At the end of the day, he's so much greater in my head than any of our interactions could justify.

How My First Crush in 16 Years Is All About Me

12347831_1149949565038964_4708053133024759724_nIt's so easy to blow off the idea of a crush or crushing on someone because crushes are what I identified with as a teenager.  After marriage and kids and work and keeping a home running and the art of adulting, it seems insignificant. It's something I can't imagine having time for.  Actually, I can.  I have.  It was fun. And yes, I lost time in my lack of concentration because his presence made my mind go blank far too often.  I have been in the middle of something and when work doesn't get done, I prove I don't have time for it. Crushing something takes a whole and perfect object and adds pressure to the point that something fundamental is released and changed and the modification can not be undone.  If you crush a grape - a very specific grape for wine making and not table grapes - you release it's juices and let it ferment.  The decaying of the grape, with special enzymes and time are what make a wine.  It's a process that has to be completed or it's unusable. Let it go for too long and alter the conditions required and the wine becomes vinegar which has a unique purpose, but I wouldn't ever advise sipping it. I tried it for a little while and even if it's diluted apple cider vinegar, it's just not worth it. It's the same with a friendship that crushes it's existence into something more.  How do you go back? I don't know that you can.

I think the process of living is in itself a form of a crush.  We go through experiences mired in trials that transform us and going back is impossible sometimes.

I've had lots of crushes in my life.  My first three or four long term relationships were guys that grew on me until I was obsessed and determined to make their kisses mine.  I tend to be a nice person that takes more than she deserves and gives more than she probably should.  Call it my lack of boundaries, or an inability to decide I deserve more than they are capable of giving me. It always started with physical attraction and then I got lost in what their favorite everything is, without really paying attention to me and loving myself first and best. My infatuation crushed who I was and wanted to be.

I didn't have a crush on my husband.  At first I was insulted that he didn't call me when I gave him my number.  On our first date, I was surprised that we had a conversation and he wasn't trying to see how far I'd let him go.  At some point the rightness of him settled around me. With him, I just knew. There were no butterflies, just a new feeling that we were aligned with destiny. I wanted to be with him all of the time and the love blossomed and filled my entire being.  Fifteen years is a long time to be wrong, so I want to believe we stayed together long enough to create and gain what we were meant to. I was content in our lives but the understanding of my joy lately tells me I was there too long and he saved us from existing and released me into living.  I'm not surviving.  I'm thriving.  He taught me to speak up for myself and helped me stop my boozing and smoking and promiscuous ways. He healed my brokenness and rewrote my Daddy issues.  I can always thank him for making me better, but I also believe we stopped making each other grow, and started piling burdens on each other instead of nurturing each other in love, grace, patience and understanding.  Without that laundry list, it was just laundry and undefined comfort in expected routines.

I love my current crush for it's frivolity.  I love the excitement and butterflies.  I love picking out then changing outfits a few times each morning instead of rolling out of bed and throwing on whatever isn't stained too badly.  I like the way my ear picks up on his voice and I have a silly smile on my face whenever he looks my way.  Today, very loudly throughout the office, he mentioned that I'm always smiling.  A friend in the know giggled and laughed with me and if my skin wasn't such a warm chocolate, you may have seen me blush but I felt the heat flush through my chest up to the roots of my hair.

The crushing in my infatuation was the slow walk over the last vestiges of commitment toward my husband.  In the liminal spaces of longing looks, I've given myself permission to look for another man's face and I've started longing to hear someone else's voice and it is not about betrayal or pain, but a birthing of pleasures in a new life and with a new freedom.  He isn't just a person I find extremely attractive.  He is my first crush in over 16 years. He symbolizes the first steps of determination from a future I didn't want and was terrified of.  I took that step after denying that possibility for so long and I find it's a meadow filled with California poppies and a blanket and I can lay as long as I want to, looking at the wispy clouds and feeling the warmth of the sun as it kisses my sorrows into oblivion and hope is restored for a future I can finally see myself in. The clouds part and gather to give shade in tandem with warm winds and it's amazing.

There was a crushing and I know I can never go back.  It's not about my crush. It's not about starting or finishing something with him. It's not even about my husband. My crush is about me and I don't want to uncrush this grape.  It can't be restored. The process has been started and the enzymes were added.  Given enough time, this wine will be full bodied and fruity and pair well with dessert.  Second helping please.  With brie and fig preserves please. Okay, and maybe a naked crossfit body, please.

Hotness and Eye Candy Men

On my way to work this morning I actually slowed down while driving to watch a man jog.  He was fit, and glistened in the morning light blazing over Hollywood at 8:30.  The golden sunshine is not a myth.  He wasn't my type at all, but I appreciated the curve of his muscles and the bounce of his pectorals and he ran toward me and I followed him in my rear view mirror.  The sweat of his labor didn't make me hot and bothered, but I did appreciate what he was doing for me.  It was decadently naughty and delicious and I loved that it slowed my commute for just a moment. I'm falling into a full appreciation of the human male form.  I feel less afraid about getting caught looking at someone else, and I'm starting to understand my personal needs for connection on a mental and emotional level that helps me regulate the lustful instinct to reach out and start playing. I have dreams at night that are sexual in nature, but by day my mind is still figuring out what I like after all of this time.  A decade and a half of tunnel vision is a long time to not entertain the idea that there could be something that looks, smells and feels different.  Different looks good.  I have no idea what it will smell or feel like.

 

Man Flesh and This Fledgling Shameless Cougar

12495080_1122281354460063_2379444456358224913_n I'm having a morning of just appreciating the male shape.  I love the sleek lines of a well tailored suit that let me see how many hours a man might spend in the gym.  I love broad shoulders and narrow waistlines.  I laugh a little when I see a man in shorts that clearly skips leg day, but spends more time than needed on his chest.  My office overlooks a swimming pool and in the summer I expect to look over and witness an actual Hollywood sausage fest.  Think of that what you will.

I remember the days when I was dating and without fail, all of the hot guys that were all wrong for me were also all driving stick shift cars that wore their time and dedication in their wax job.  I would never be loved in that way by them.  Every moth needs to try that flame out at least once or twice before deciding it's not worth getting burned.

My husband wasn't like that.  He was shy and flirtatious.  It was a cute oxymoron.  I wore my usual confidence.  Dating was no longer about finding a soul mate.  I wanted dinner and attention.  The dating game was boring and pointless.  I was losing faith in finding anything meaningful because I felt like the legs and breasts (pre-childbirth) were all people saw when they looked at me, and it made dating a game of power and dominance.  I wanted to conquer rather than become a sad conquest.

It didn't matter to me what my husband looked like at the time we started flirting.  I would walk into the pool hall where I hung out with my friends, and he was their security guard.  I would walk in with a short dress with barely enough room for me in it, and he would say he needed to pat me down.  It was silly and I didn't think much of it.  He later told me he thought I was a man.  One night I wasn't drinking and headed over to the bar.  I leaned over and said, "I'll have a Coke, and he's buying."  He nodded his approval and told me," It'll cost your number."  I saved a dollar.  His drinks were free.  I wrote it on a matchbook.  He didn't call me.  A week later I was on a date at the same place and asked him why he never called me.  He said he thought the number was a fake.  I still have that matchbook.

There was something about our parallel histories that very nearly intertwined.  I knew on our first date that he would be the man I would marry.  The day we got married I remember feeling disbelief that it was happening.  I was filled with fear and defiance and I wondered if I actually felt love, or if I should have given it more time.  In the months when passion faded into a peaceful co-existence, I realized that he loved me more than I loved him and it felt safe to love him.  In that safety I began to give him every ounce of my heart.  I began to find parts of his body that I could love and worship.  I still love the dip in his lower back and the hollow where his hip meets his thigh.  It's those soft curves of his body that I loved to kiss.  His soft parts matched mine.

I gave him all of me.  I was rude to friendly smiles and cut off the friends that kept telling me I was out of his league.  I stopped talking to friends that thought our flirty friendship was okay and never allowed a crush to develop on anyone else.  There was a night or two in our first 5 years of marriage where I revisited those friends.  A guy I was once infatuated with was there.  I was never more than an available body to him. I appreciated that look of desire he shot me, but would walk away feeling awed that he would respect my marriage in trying to hide it. My husband would later have an online affair.  He would meet a different woman from his online life at a comedy club, then joke to me that I had a better body than hers and that saved him from cheating on me.  He would more recently have a special friend replace me and not understand why I don't want her around my kids.

This is my new mood, and I can deal with it.  Can you?

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