And Where Exactly Would One Find One Of These?

A very nice woman was complaining about the fact that her ex-husband was off living his very best life with his new girlfriend, not a care in the world, while she was living life alone and making sure their kids were okay.  She was navigating the shit parts of life solo while he was riding off into the sunset with someone else.

At which point a very helpful (or not so helpful, depending upon your point of view) commenter asks her why, if she’s completely over the ex, she’s not out there dating, too. After all, getting a divorce doesn’t mean your life is over and there’s no point in martyring yourself for your children. This commenter seems to believe you can concentrate on your traumatized kids and still have a life of your own. Don’t impose solitary confinement on yourself, she tells her.

Assuming she is correct and it’s a piece of cake to work, keep up with a house, tend to your children, nurture your friendships, and date where exactly do you find these people to date?

I’m going to be very honest, As much as men say it’s so much easier for women I think it’s so much easier for men. What men mean when they say it’s easier for women is that it’s easier for women to find sex. This has never played out for me but I hear that a woman can find a man to have sex with her whenever she wants. Again, I’ve never experienced this myself but it’s what I’ve been told. Walk into any bar, ask a man if he wants to come home with you and have sex, and he will.

Therein lies the problem. It’s very easy for a woman to have sex (supposedly) but it’s much easier for a man to find a woman willing to be in a relationship. In general women are willing to trade sex for a long term commitment.

So I’m back to my question. Where do you find these people? Assuming you want more than a one night stand or a casual dinner date now and again, how do you go about finding anyone? Hell, how do you find the person for a one night stand or a casual dinner date?

I absolutely refuse to go on any dating apps. From everything I have ever read they are a nightmare and quite honestly I don’t know that I’m up for men ghosting me or wanting to text me for 6 months and never meeting me. I’ve also heard that dating apps are designed for men because of the visual aspect of it. Even the ones where women are the ones to make the first move they are still geared towards the visual. You’re putting your pictures up there and letting someone judge you based on your looks.

I’ve been doing as much as I can trying to get out of the house. The meditation group has yielded nobody that I would be interested in dating. Euchre at the Elks is played with very nice men who are all 20-30 years older than me- at a minimum. Not interested. Two of my groups are women only. Since I would be looking for a man I will not be finding any there. So far in my Trivia group there are four men. One, I think, is paired up with one of the women who come. Another one is that woman’s son and he himself has a young son. One is approximately 20 years older. The final one is young and quite socially awkward. That’s going to be another huge no for me. I have not yet been to the co-ed hiking group or to the alumni association. I’ll let you know what the prospects are like after I’ve finally had a chance to mix with them. As it stands though meeting people in real life is not working out. Everyone is very nice but I am not meeting the new love of my life. I’m not meeting anyone I would even go to dinner with.

What does that leave us with? Work? No. I don’t shit where I eat but even if I did I work remotely the majority of the time and as I’ve said before most of my co-workers are women. Friends? Again, I don’t shit where I eat. That’s too close to the work scenario. What if I really like him and he doesn’t like me? Then I’m forced to interact with him and his new girlfriend whenever my friend has a get together. That would be awful. It’s also a big ol’ fantasy because I haven’t been invited to a get together by any of my friends in ages. Nonetheless, I don’t see them setting me up with anyone.

I don’t have any other ideas. I suppose maybe serendipitously meeting someone while out with friends could happen but my friends aren’t around much. One is married. The other is back with her boyfriend.We aren’t typically out dancing on the weekends and even when we were it wasn’t like we were running with a crowd our age. Everyone is fucking married or paired up. Or 20 years older. I’m not dating a 70 year old until I’m 70.

The whole point to the post isn’t that I’m so lonely and longing for a man. I would be a disaster for anyone right now, in fact. It’s that asking someone what’s stopping her from getting out there and living her best life, too, isn’t all that helpful. It’s not like men are falling from the sky and we have our choice of dates. It’s not easy to find someone to go out with once, never mind finding someone with whom you share any kind of connection or think you might want to get to know better. It can be soul crushing when you watch the person you love move on and seemingly have this perfect life where they never skipped a beat. Meanwhile, you are juggling kids, job, and day to day life all by yourself. And since you were the faithful one you’re doing all the hard shit by yourself while Mr. Cheater had your replacement lined up before he ever left. But sure, just get out and have yourself some fun!

Just Another Wednesday

Happy Hump Day to all! Not much going on here but I didn’t want to lose my impressive streak.

I went back for some more mindful meditation. This was my third visit. Seems they lost their monk (I don’t know how they lost a monk) so they’re just winging it right now. They’ll take turns leading the class. One of them asked me on Monday if I’d like to take a turn. Lady, I will mess up everybody’s chakra. No good can come of me leading this class. Instead of saying all of that I just told her I didn’t quite feel ready to lead.

Tonight was Trivia Night. Our team came in third. We were in first place heading into the final question but Uranus messed us up.

Saturday my mom and I are supposed to be making noodles with other people in the DAR. I thought it would be a couple of hours. It’s supposed to take all freaking day! The email sent out told those of us who would be there to plan on arriving by 8”30, to bring a sack lunch, and that hopefully we would be finished around 4:30ish. Seriously? That’s a whole lot of freaking noodles!

I’ve been icing my poor shoulder blade for over a week now. I think the same thing that happened during the last few days of my vacation back in September has happened again. I’ve been to the chiropractor twice since Friday. I’m following exercises on YouTube and I’m alternating between ice and heat as much as possible. I would really really like some strong pain killers right about now.

Next week is my first board meeting for the alumni association. I’m looking forward to it.

I’m tired. I’m going to bed.

I Seem Like a Really Happy Person

I found this funny. When I interviewed for the job one of the things my new potential boss said to me was that I seemed like a really happy, upbeat person. He was wondering if I would want a job where I’m dealing with complaining customers all the time.

What can I say? I’m a phenomenal actress. Plus, this was an interview. You typically put your best foot forward and don’t talk about the many days you are crying in your office because your boyfriend dumped you, or how your dad died recently. Some things are not discussed.

One of my co-workers and I laughed about it. Yeah, I am not a perpetually happy person, especially not these last few months. It’s been hell. But I was taught you put a smile on your face, get your ass to work, and you fake it while you’re there. Nobody knew what the hell I was going through when I was in the middle of my divorce and I don’t think many people know what I’m going through now.

Obviously my co-workers all knew my dad died, and they know about the breakup. But I’m pretty sure none of them would say I was a basket case, which again, is testament to my phenomenal acting.

It’s getting better. I’m going to have to move on to Phase 2. That might take a little more doing but I am hoping it will yield great results.  I still spend way too much time thinking about him and what I’d love to be able to say to him. I need to train my mind to think about something else each and every time that happens.

I’m pretty sure that’s what I ended up doing the summer that Dick dumped me for Sweet J. After a certain point any time I thought of either of them I would just tell myself, “Nope. Think of something else.”

Anyway, I thought that was kind of funny. I’ve had probably one of the worst starts to my year ever and I’m told I seem like a really happy person. 

I did not win best actress in high school for nothing.

March Seems To Be My Month

As you all know I have had an incredibly shitty start to my year. Matt dumped me. My dad died. My car broke down. I honestly thought I was going to have to buy a new one which led to shitty thing #4 which was finding out- no big surprise, of course- that Jerry Lee hadn’t paid off the credit card he said he was going to pay off in exchange for more of his 401k. Well, perhaps March is the month that will turn it all around for me. Let’s cross our fingers!

I finally got my car back a little over a week ago. While I did pay over $2200 for everything they did I could have gotten away with paying a mere $50 for a fuse. Apparently the main fuse was no longer working and that was why my car had died on the highway. I went ahead and ok’d the tune up, replacement of some belts, an oil change, and trying to figure out what the hell is going on with my air conditioning.

Last night I went back to the Elks and played euchre again. I came in second and won $25. Considering I only paid $7 to play I came out ahead. I also ended up running into a person I used to go to high school with. I didn’t recognize her at all but every time you switch partners you have to write the person’s name down. I have a very unique name. I’ve already used it in an earlier post. It’s Sharna. A few hands in she asks me where I went to high school. I told her. She asks me what year I graduated. I told her. She’s like, “Me too! I knew I recognized your name. I’m Sue!” As soon as she said her name I knew exactly who it was. I’m just wondering exactly how much she doubted who I was. There aren’t a lot of people with my name. In fact, if you ever run into one it’s probably me. I’ll save you some time. I’m not saying I’m the only one but I am saying I’m pretty rare.

Anyway, everyone was super friendly once again. Sue even gave me a mini tour of the building. They have a bowling alley onsite. It’s small- maybe 8 lanes- but they have a freaking bowling alley and play league bowling there.

The last thing I’m going to talk about was actually the first good thing that happened this month. On March 1st to be exact my old boss asked me if I had a minute. For her, I have as many minutes as she needs.

She calls me via Teams and starts it off by asking me if I remember how we talked about career development last year. Of course I did. Well, there is a new position that they’ve created and since it is an offshoot of her department they were asking for her input into a potential candidate. This position won’t be under her any longer but since she is the Chief Compliance Officer they want her input. She had suggested someone for the job but this person was not local. The person over this department does not like the idea of remote workers so her first suggestion was vetoed. They wanted someone local and someone who was already familiar with the bank. So she thought of me.  She told me about the the job and said that if I was interested she would speak to the person who would be my boss. She ended it by telling me that this is where I really should be. It’s considered a management position although I would not have any direct reports. She did say she thought I probably would have direct reports eventually. And she also told me I was a very strong candidate, which went along with the whole, “You should be in management and stop wasting your time elsewhere.” She also told me later on to ask for 30% more than what I’m making now and be prepared to accept somewhere between 20 and 25%. Actually what she said was, “Ask for 20% more. Nah, actually ask for 30% and then be prepared to take somewhere in the middle.”

I spoke to my current boss on Thursday and asked her if she had received my email regarding me interviewing for the new job. She had not. She asked me if there was a particular reason I was looking, such as being unhappy in our department. I assured her that I was not unhappy but this was a management position and our old boss had suggested it to me. So at this point she tells me they would hate to lose me. I’m going to paraphrase because I don’t recall the exact words she used but basically I am a rock star and I am able to pick up on everything they throw at me and I’m an incredibly hard worker and most importantly, they are hoping to hire another analyst in the third quarter. Once they do that they are preparing to split our department into two teams and they will need another manager. She told me I would be a very strong candidate (what is it with that wording?) for taking that other position.

It is highly likely that I am now in a position where I will be promoted three times in approximately 3 1/2 years.

I would prefer to move up in my department even though that might be a little awkward. There’s much greater flexibility and I already know what I’m doing. I’m not an idiot though. If I’m offered the other position I will definitely be talking to my current boss and asking her about the timeline and if I’m assured of the other management position or if it’s only a possibility. If they can’t guarantee it for me I’m not saying no to a sure thing.

I guess if you’re going to lose a boyfriend you may as well earn a shit ton more money, huh? As Lady Gaga says, “If you ever wonder if you should follow a man or your career just remember: Your career will never wake up one day and tell you it doesn’t love you anymore.”

Am I the Asshole?

I was scrolling through TikTok the other day. For whatever reason some creators will read posts from Reddit’s “Am I the Asshole” threads. I am not sure of the purpose of this. Perhaps it’s so people can comment on their video.

Here’s the situation: Woman writes in because her husband’s best friend has just died. Best friend is a female. Not only is best friend a female, best friend was actually his ex-wife. 

I know! That’s what I said! 

The wife explains that when the two began dating he had told her about his female best friend, letting her know that she was “important”. A few months into them dating it came up that she was actually his ex-wife. Apparently they had been great friends for years, decided to date, got married, and then at some point decided they were better as friends. They divorced and remained best friends until the day she died (in his arms, according to some of the commenters- they had gone out to lunch and she died of an aneurysm on the walk back to her car.). He assured the new woman though that the best friend/ex-wife was “only” one of his closest friends and it was purely platonic. When she admitted to being a bit unnerved at the thought of him being that close to an ex he told her that they could part ways right then. As he put it, “That’s fine. If you have a serious issue with it, let me know now and save us some time. I’ll choose her. I like you and all, but I’ve known her for over 12 years and she’s one of the most important people in my life. You’ll have to be okay with that if you want us to be a thing.”

Here is where Wife fucked up. At the point that he told her if he had to choose between the two of them he would choose the best friend/ex-wife she should have walked. Nice knowing you, Cake Eater! I am not going to spend my life playing second fiddle to your ex-wife.

Instead she loved him so much that she was willing to put up with this friendship. I suppose she thought it would blow it over. Or perhaps at some point she could put her foot down and he would put their relationship ahead of his relationship with the best friend/ex-wife.

She brought it up again when they got engaged. Husband had a “perplexed” look on his face and asked her, “Why would us getting married affect my friendships?”

They socialized together, although the wife admits in this post that she hated every minute of it. She resented the fact that some other woman understood her own husband in ways that she couldn’t. She resented the time they spent together. They would go to movies together (that apparently they liked and the wife didn’t as she called them “nerdy”), meet up for lunch, and do other things together. The best friend/ex-wife was also remarried and her new husband was good friends with her best friend/ex-husband.

Any time she brought it up the husband’s response was always the same, “We had this conversation before. You had your chance to back out.”

That’s cute. It’s almost as though this man has never heard of a divorce. Which is where the wife messed up yet again. Because she should have left his gas lighting, manipulative, cake-eating ass.

This is where the woman does venture into asshole territory. Her husband is helping the best friend/ex-wife’s husband plan the funeral. She says to him, “You don’t think you’re going, do you?” Her stance is that the woman is dead; she’s no longer a factor. He can’t use the “she’s my friend” excuse because she no longer exists. Plus, he’s already spent a few days crying over her. The wife believes he’s mourned enough.

Oh, Sissy Cat! While I feel you this is one you should have left alone. The woman is dead. She is not going to be a factor in your life anymore. You don’t ever have to socialize with her anymore. She won’t be going to lunch or to the movies with your husband anymore. Walk away! Let him have the funeral. Hell, let him give her a eulogy that rivals all eulogies. Let him buy the biggest floral arrangement he can afford. Let this one go! Me personally? If I had to choose between letting my husband go out to lunch with his ex-wife or go to his ex wife’s funeral I would choose the funeral without hesitation. That’s a one and done. Sorry. Maybe I’m an asshole, too.

Husband is livid. He is ready to leave her over this. He tells her that he’ll be going to the funeral no matter how she feels (not that that comes as any surprise- he hasn’t given a fuck about how his wife feels the entire 10+ years they’ve been together). He tells her he is “willing to burn this to the fucking ground” and that besides her (the wife) his ex was the closest friend in his life.

Again, I believe the wife messed up when she accepted the terms of the relationship even though she clearly wasn’t happy with it. She made the mistake of thinking she could change his mind when he made it very clear from the beginning, and multiple times afterwards, that the ex-wife was #1 in his life and always would be. After all, he will always be able to say he has known the best friend/ex-wife longer.

She also comes across as an unsympathetic character when she’s telling the world she thinks her husband has mourned long enough after a few days, and then demands he not go to the funeral. At this point it’s like, “Why make this a hill to die on (no pun intended)? The woman is out of your lives forever now! Let him do this one last thing “with” her, on her behalf, and get on with your life.”

I suppose she felt that now that the best friend/ex-wife was dead and gone she no longer had to pretend she was okay with any of this. Why this would be her thought process when she was crossing the finish line, so to speak, is beyond me, but that’s how she was thinking.

What astounded me though is the number of people who completely glossed over the gas lighting, manipulation, and cake eating of the husband. Everyone was so focused on the wife and how awful she was to not want him to go.

Many, many people had this same rhetoric about how being in a relationship with someone doesn’t mean you own them. They called her crazy and jealous. They asked repeatedly, “So does being in a relationship mean you have to give up all of your friends?”

Nice way to subterfuge! Of course you don’t have to give up all your friends. You might want to reconsider being besties with your ex though if you’d ever like to be in another romantic relationship.

That isn’t just another friend. You loved this person. You had sex with this person. You’ve known them intimately. You’ve shared many, many intimate thoughts, dreams, and fears with them. They were your rock. They were supposed to be the most important person in your life while you two were married. They were family. You two undoubtedly have memories and inside jokes and things that only the two of you know about. Maybe you had children together. Took vacations together. This was the person who was there for you during your happiest and your most difficult times.

It is hard enough to wrap your mind around being in a relationship with someone who had that kind of love and relationship with another person. You wonder if you are a replacement or if they’re thinking they would rather have the ex back. You might wonder if they are as happy with you as they were with the ex, or if your relationship will always be seen as lacking. You wonder if you’re the consolation prize.

I don’t see how those fears are ever overcome if the ex is always a presence in your life. How is there any room for you to become the primary relationship when the ex is always there? In this particular case the husband made it very clear that the best friend/ex-wife was very important to him and, next to his wife, was the most important person in his life. I’m not convinced that he actually meant to list his wife first.

How does this wife, or any wife in a similar situation, compete with that? Did he ever withhold important things going on in his life or did he divulge all to his “best friend”? Did he ever share anything with the wife that he didn’t share with his ex? Did he ever put his wife first? Was there ever a time or event where his wife came before his ex-wife? He blatantly told her that if he had to choose he would choose his ex-wife. Not just in the beginning, but multiple times throughout their relationship, even after they were married.

I can’t imagine being in a situation where another woman knows my husband (or partner, for those not interested in marriage) better than I do. I can’t imagine a situation where not only does she know him better than I do, but she always will because there is nothing sacred between me and my partner. Everything is shared with the ex. We don’t ever have the chance to develop our own inside jokes. I don’t get the opportunity to be his rock during hard times. I’m not the only person he celebrates with when he has a victory in his life. He is always sharing those moments with her. She is always there. She always takes center stage. She is always the most important person. She will always be included and nothing will ever be between just me and my partner.

I will admit I was a bit triggered by all of these people claiming she is irrationally jealous. Matt asked me why I had to be so insanely jealous the night we argued.

I don’t think I’m insanely jealous. I also don’t think it’s a good idea to hang out with people of the opposite sex all alone repeatedly. I would never do that to someone I was dating. I sure as hell wouldn’t do it and then hide behind, “Oh my God! You’re so jealous! Do you think you own me or something?” That’s such bullshit.

I’ve been pretty open about the fact that I think when you spend one on one time with a person of the opposite sex you are setting yourself up for something to happen. Then you hang your head, tuck your tail between your legs and start in with the, “I never meant for this to happen! I didn’t mean to hurt you. I didn’t set out to have an affair. One thing led to another and, well, it just happened.”

No, it didn’t just happen. You put yourself in a situation where you allowed it to happen. You know how you prevent it? You don’t fucking go off one on one with another woman (or man, depending on the situation).

He was friends with a lot of women on Facebook- friends from high school, people he knew in town through his job, an ex-fiancee, people he knew through his old church, a couple of flings. I wasn’t insanely jealous of them. I didn’t demand he unfriend them. I knew he talked to female vendors. I didn’t get jealous over that. I wasn’t jealous of his wife. I wasn’t jealous of the truck stop hooker or the woman he talked to for so long he didn’t call me as he promised (this was the one dating his neighbor). I wasn’t even jealous of Anne; I just knew if he kept going back and spending endless hours talking to her that shit could happen. Not would, but could. There were many, many situations where I was not “insanely jealous”. When I felt something was off though I had every right to speak my mind. Me not wanting my partner of five and an half years to have dinner alone with a woman young enough to be his daughter is not being insanely jealous, especially considering all I said was, “Is she your new girlfriend?”. Me being pissed that he ignored me in favor of partying it up with his newfound friends is not being insanely jealous. It’s being pissed I was blown off.

What this husband did to his wife was awful. She never felt like she was a priority. Of course she was jealous of this other woman. He had fucking married her! They had gone from being best friends to lovers and back to best friends again. There was no room for anyone else. He made it crystal clear that if it ever came down to the two of them he would choose the ex and not her. How do you not feel insecure with that? 

Again, I do not understand being friends with an ex. I understand being civil, even cordial. I understand both attending an event for their child. I understand inviting the other to said event for the child if it’s being held at the home of one of the parents. But I do not understand this new fascination with fucking someone, deciding you’re better off as friends, declaring you’re “best friends”, hanging out together all the time, and demanding that any new person in your life accept that shit sandwich. 

As I said in an earlier post even if I had ended things with Matt, as I probably should have, when he moved back to Virginia- absolutely no animosity, just the sad, sad understanding that I would never be first and he needed someone local who never wanted to leave that shitty little area so he could have both his kids and a steady supply of pussy (I know that doesn’t sound animosity free but it’s the best I can do right now)- I wouldn’t have chosen to be friends. Even though I would have still loved him and thought of him and our times together fondly, I wouldn’t have chosen to remain in his life. I did. not. want to see him with someone else. It would have killed me to see some other woman take my place and for her to be receiving all of his love and attention that I still wanted even though I knew I couldn’t have it.

How do you remain friends with a person you loved so deeply? I posted a meme the other day that basically said if you can go from being lovers to friends either you are still in love with the other person or you never were. I firmly believe that. 

Brett Young sings a song called, “Like I Loved You”.  He’s taking the “never loved me” approach.

Don’t tell me we can still be friends

Hanging on the weekend

You’re gonna be okay if I start

seeing somebody new

You hope that I do

It won’t be long

’Til I forget to call every time that

I’m drinking

And you ain’t the love song

I can’t keep from singing

I gotta be honest

If you really believe that’s the truth

You never loved me like I loved you

That pretty much sums it up for me. If you can tell me you love me one month and then tell me we should just be friends the next, then you never really loved me.

You would think that would make it okay to remain best friends with your ex then but I still don’t like it. They didn’t love you. You’re hung up on them. Or vice versa. It’s uncomfortable all around. I prefer a clean break.

I am not friends with any of my exes. I have no desire to be friends with any of my exes. I don’t think it means I’m immature or have toxic jealousy issues. I simply have no desire to continue to associate with them. Their position in my life was as a love interest, not a friend.This is not a movie where if one part doesn’t pan out maybe you’ll be right for another part. Nope. If it didn’t work out romantically typically it’s because you’ve done something shitty to me. If you’ve done something shitty to me then you are not available for a friend role in my life.

Similarly I would never be involved with someone who was “best friends” with his ex. Way too enmeshed for my liking. As I said above how do we ever establish ourselves as a couple when the original couple are still best friends sharing everything? If something bad happens to my partner is he going to tell me first? Or will he rush to tell his best friend/ex-wife? Even if he tells me first and then tells her second, is she going to be able to calm him down better? Alleviate his fears in a way I don’t know how because she’s known him so much longer than I have? If something happens to me is he going to tell his best friend/ex-wife so she can support him through this crisis? Will any of my fucking secrets be honored or will everything be shared with the one who came before me? Will we even have our own lives together or will everything be shared with her?

I get the sense from that story on Reddit that if his wife and his ex-wife had been in a burning building and he could only save one he wouldn’t have hesitated to save the ex-wife. After all he had known her longer. You can replace wives. You can’t replace best friends. 

I will never accept being in a relationship where I am his second choice. So this would never work for me.

I do not want to spend my weekends hanging out with the ex. I do not want to spend holidays with the ex. It was already uncomfortable enough being in the same vicinity as Matt’s ex during T’s graduation, graduation party, and the day after. I can’t imagine hanging out with her on a regular basis.

Do I think the woman from the Reddit thread was an asshole? I think her behavior after the woman died was appalling. I understand the relief she must have felt (which in itself is probably an asshole move) but I don’t think she was being fair in giving her husband a few days to “get over it” and I don’t think she should have tried to prevent him from going to her funeral. She didn’t prevent him from going to the movies and all the other things they did together when the woman was alive, so why try to prevent him from going to her funeral when the woman is dead? Not to be crass but if something was going to happen I’m pretty sure it would have happened back when she was alive and not now that she’s dead. I do find it a little odd he’s helping her husband plan the funeral. Maybe they were a thruple and the wife who wrote in didn’t know.

I think her husband was the bigger asshole though. He set her up to compete with this woman from the very start and he never made her feel like she was his first choice. She should have walked the minute he told her he would pick his ex-wife over her if he had to choose. 

Bad Dating Advice, Part 2

I will say once again that too many people have this “Children first!” philosophy and run it into the ground. One day those kids are going to grow up. They are going to have lives of their own and they’re going to leave you behind. It is hard to start over when you’re older. Establish a life now. Your children need to see that you are a person, too. You have needs and interests and hobbies. I’m not saying to neglect your children for a partner. You don’t go dancing all night while your child is in the hospital. On the other hand it’s perfectly justified to make plans and keep them, especially when it’s your co-parent’s weekend.

It also amazed me the number of (mostly) women who seemed almost giddy about the fact that they remained such a huge presence is their exes’ lives. One of them shared how her ex is always there for her and she’s stayed over at his house in the guest room and that they do so many things together as a family that some people don’t even realize that they’re divorced. She went on to say that there was absolutely nothing going on between them. It is what co-parenting and behaving like adults looks like.

Is it though? Again, I would call that being enmeshed. Is there any room for anybody else in that situation? I wouldn’t date a man like that. Either he’s off spending all of his time with his ex and their kids, playing happy family together while I’m left out, or I get to be the third wheel while they’re out playing happy family. Neither option sounds appealing. Again, I’m not saying don’t be friendly with your ex if that’s in your heart but you don’t need to spend every waking hour with them. If you are you are going to spend so much time nurturing the person in your past that you have nothing left to give to the person who could possibly be your future.

Another one said she felt sorry for any new girlfriend her ex has because they were together for 22 years, have 2 kids involved in a lot of sports, and they will always be friends. The new girlfriend will “have to be her friend” or end up feeling like the original poster. 

Wow! I always have to question if they’re such great friends and can’t stand the thought of being out of each other’s lives then why the fuck are they divorced? And I will again point out that the original poster wasn’t upset that #1 Dad and his ex weren’t at each other’s throats, or that they were friendly. She was upset because he continually blew her off in order to help out his ex. He was being secretive about texting the ex and he got upset with her when she questioned him about the ex being somewhere with him. She was not upset because they were “friends”.

Honestly, when your ex is your best friend and/or your constant priority then you have no room in your life for someone else. I don’t know if the commenters are extremely manipulative and want to remain #1 in their exes’ lives, or if their exes are all just hoping they’ll change their minds and take them back. Either way it’s not a situation any sane person would willingly enter.

Finally, I had to laugh at the commenter who said this conversation should not have taken place by text especially when he was at his kid’s event. She advises that the original poster keep the relationship drama to an absolute minimum while he’s away with his kids for a sporting event. He’s got a ton of things on his mind and that could have waited until he got back home. She needs to understand that these weekends are not about her and their relationship; they are for his kids and supporting his kids. He has so much to focus on while he’s at these events and cannot endure the stress of her asking any sort of questions.

I’m wondering if she thinks #1 Dad is defusing bombs at these events? Maybe he’s in a war zone or has been placed in the Hunger Games? I’m not sure why he needs such an intense focus on a fucking basketball game or wrestling tournament. I’ve been the mom at a big gymnastics meet. I watched my daughter literally fly off the bars and break her back. I could have still taken a phone call if necessary! I mean, would I have welcomed a barrage of text messages asking me where our relationship stood moments after seeing Shelby swinging from the high bar one minute and disappearing before my eyes the next? No. But once I got over the shock of it I could have responded. I don’t understand acting like these tournaments are an incredibly stressful time and you can’t possibly call your girlfriend or boyfriend who is back home and talk to them for a minute. I probably had more butterflies than Shelby did when she competed. I was sick to my stomach I was so nervous. I still kept people up to date on what was happening. 

Also, this may come as a shock to those of you without children participating in sports but they’re not playing the entire time generally. I attended gymnastics meets that lasted anywhere from 2-3.5 hours. My daughter held my attention for approximately eight minutes of that time. Eight freaking minutes, and that’s probably being generous. I know beam routines are timed and are supposed to be less than 2 minutes. Floor routine? Maybe 3. Bars? 1-2 minutes. Vault? Another 1-3 minutes and most of that time is spent walking back so you can do your second vault.

My son played hockey. They put new lines in all the time. I guess if your kid was the goalie they might stay there the entire game.

My best friend was an athletic trainer at a high school right after college. I went to a wrestling tournament with her one time. She, of course, was “training”. I was observing. I swear to you all that not one single kid wrestled the entire time. It was not like they said, “Derek, it’s your day! You’re going to wrestle every single kid here. Good luck!”  Or even told poor Derek he would wrestle each boy until he lost a match. And then he would be thrown into a pit of vipers. 

Remember, these things are very stressful on a parent. What could be more stressful than knowing your child was going to die if he lost the match?

Chances are great that unless your kid is a superstar on the team they are not going to be playing the entire time. Dance, cheer, gymnastics, wrestling, ice skating… all of those you’re going to be experiencing a whole lot of down time. Even with baseball not everyone bats at the same time. Football your kid is playing defense or offense so there’s some down time there. Hockey we’ve already discussed. Track- not running the whole time. I could maybe give them basketball if the kid was a standout.

Bottom line there are a whole lotta people who think if you date a person with kids that means you need to accept being at the bottom of the list each and every time; they are so convinced that dating someone with kids means you shouldn’t ever expect decent treatment that they completely overlook any shitty behavior on the part of the parent, chalking it all up to putting the kids first and accepting the fact that the ex will always be in your life.

I call bullshit. First of all, this guy is waving major red flags. You don’t need to text your ex in secret. If he is it’s because he’s doing something he shouldn’t. Second, having a child with someone does not mean you have some unbreakable bond for life. There are plenty of people who manage to co-parent without being all up in each other’s business. Third, this woman should run like the wind.

It is not going to get better, sister. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt and the heartbreak to go with it.

Bad Dating Advice, Part 1

Well if this isn’t the pot calling the kettle black! I know. Newly single and I think I’ve got this all figured out. Why is it so much easier when it’s someone else?

Person writes for advice. She’s divorced with children and is dating a fellow divorced man who also has children. Don’t they all? The dilemma is this: They’ve been dating for about a year. They’re exclusive, introductions with family and friends have been made. His kids are in sports which entails tournaments and traveling and lots of contact with the ex. His ex cheated on him but doesn’t like the idea of him moving on and dating. She says, “Jump!” and he says, “How high?” Doesn’t act like that for the girlfriend. All of his texts with the ex are kept secret from the girlfriend. He’ll answer them in another room, turn his phone over, move his phone out of sight…. Shady shit. Here’s one that’s familiar to me: He’ll cancel plans on her “for the kids” because his ex forgot about something last minute and he needs to hop back into Dad mode. The very best part though is Dad recently went to an out of town tournament for one of his kids, didn’t bother to let his girlfriend know the ex would be there, and then got mad at her when she questioned him about this.

Poor thing is wondering if she’s overreacting. She’s not. I totally get all this. It’s much easier to see the forest for the trees when you’re not sleeping with the trees. Or the forest. Whatever.

Speaking of forest, “Run! Run now!” That’s my advice.

The part that astonishes me is the number of people telling her that she is a. overreacting, b. insecure, c. should have thought about that before she hooked up with a man who had kids, d. needs to understand the kids always come first, e. needs to realize that just because he and his ex get along doesn’t mean anything is going on, and f. should understand that the ex is always going to be in his life because they share children together.

I don’t even know where to start with most of this bullshit. First of all, obviously there are red flags! If your significant other is hiding their phone from you, taking phone calls and sending text messages from another room, and getting mad at you when you’re asking about the ex being there when they’ve conveniently forgotten to mention it you’ve got a problem! I would go so far as to say it’s a large problem! Huge! So many of these people act like it’s no big deal!

You are NEEDY, one person opined. Another person sagely told her that she either needs to trust him or let him go. She pointed out that #1 Dad was with HER and not the ex. Isn’t that cute? Like that actually means something. He wasn’t lying about where he was and she needed to expect that the mother of his children would also be at these events, cheering her children on. Another one said that they just have “different communication styles” and #1 Dad obviously has a much different relationship with his ex than she has with hers. She shouldn’t view it as anything other than the two of them working together for the happiness of their children. She was also told, “Jeez, the man is taking care of his family. Sounds like a good man to me.” Yes, doesn’t he? We’ll just ignore the fact that in order to “take care of his family” he is constantly putting his kids and his ex ahead of his current girlfriend. And again, not putting their needs ahead of hers, but their wants. After one of the posters told her she should walk away because life is too short to spend it unhappy someone else popped in to add: Or making someone else unhappy by not trusting them. Like, what the fuck? The man is doing shady shit and has made it crystal clear this woman is not a priority but he’s the one whose feelings are being hurt? He’s the fucking victim? I do not think so, M’am!

I think one of my favorites though was the person who told her that just because a man is there for his ex wife every way he can be that doesn’t mean it’s a red flag. No, M’am, I would say that’s a red flag parade. She went on to say that “maybe he’s a good man and after taking care of her for so long it’s just in his nature to keep doing so, even if it’s not romantic.” You don’t see a problem with this? Your significant other is taking care of another person, another person that they regularly put ahead of you. No flags waving? Perfectly normal behavior, is it? She then ends it by telling the poster that there is a reason the two of them (#1 Dad and his ex) aren’t together. Again, like that means anything. Yes, there is a reason they’re not together. It’s because the ex-wife cheated on him. And like many cheaters she can’t believe he moved on without her. She would like him to remain her backup plan. Honestly, it sounds like he’s willing to oblige. Probably hoping she will realize what a mistake she made in giving him up. This commenter than adds a little bit of insight by admitting when a person she’s dating questions her about her ex or why she does what she does for them or shows any kind of emotion other than acceptance it just drains her. Takes her down to nothing. Poor dear can’t function and she shuts down and wants that person to leave her alone. After all, she is a giver and she will always love her ex (Oops, red flag there!) and will always do what she can to exist happily even if not together. Well, well, well. I think we have the answer.

I was shocked at the number of people who asked her if she had tried befriending the ex wife or attending the events with them. The answer to that was her boyfriend didn’t want her going because he didn’t want to make his ex-wife uncomfortable. Interesting. She fucks around on him and he’s worried about making her uncomfortable.

Why do so many people think that befriending the ex is going to somehow help anything? If the ex doesn’t want #1 Dad to date the new girlfriend befriending her isn’t going to help. She just has two people to manipulate now. She’s still going to fuck him if she can. She’ll still keep calling him and texting him and making demands on him. He is her Plan B and she’s not going to let a little something like a new girlfriend get in the way of that.

I think I lost track of how many people told her that’s what she should expect when she hooked up with someone with kids. From what I understand both she and #1 Dad have kids and it sounds like they have a week on/week off situation. But the ex-wife conveniently forgets things until last minute and then #1 Dad is informed he needs to take a kid somewhere, which he does. “He should be there to help support/co-parent his kids with his ex-wife. I wouldn’t even consider dating a man that doesn’t have a good relationship with his ex for the kids!” You don’t need to have a great relationship with your ex in order to be a good parent. “I think this is something you should have thought about before dating a man with an ex wife and children. He’s not jumping when his ex calls for her but for his children.” “I think it’s good co-parenting. That’s the same kind of relationship I have with my ex.” Of course you think it’s great then! “He’s teaching his kids that just because their parents’ marriage didn’t work out it doesn’t mean that the situation has to be toxic.”  “She will always be the mother of his children and he will always care about her.” 

I’m always amazed by this one because I do not care about Jerry Lee and I am 99% certain that if anyone asked him he would tell you he hopes I would die a miserable death. I’m not saying that’s the better way to be. I’m simply putting that out there as the alternative. Not all exes care. Not all of them have warm, fuzzy feelings. To act as though that’s perfectly normal is a lie. Not all exes attach some sentimental feeling to you being the child’s other parent. This person was at least honest and admitted that if they were dating someone who wasn’t okay with the relationship they had with their ex they would have to end it with the new person. 

“You have a different relationship with your ex than he has with his. They’re not doing anything other than working together for the happiness of the children. He sounds like a good guy who is juggling multiple things. You knew this when it started but you’re going to lose it because you’re focused on the wrong thing.”  Yes, how dare she concentrate on the fact that she is not a priority? I’m not sure how her boyfriend putting his ex-wife and kids before her all the time translates into him being an amazing partner for her. Sounds like he’s an amazing partner for his lying, cheating ex but for the original poster? Not so much.  

“His kids are his number one priority and it seems that he may have a better relationship with his ex than you have with yours.” How is it being enmeshed with someone is somehow seen as a “better” relationship than one with boundaries? The original poster didn’t say she and her ex were at each other’s throats. They simply have boundaries. She doesn’t call him up every time she needs something. She figures it out. Probably because she’s not manipulating him. And conversely her ex doesn’t call her up last minute and demand that she take over child care duties because he wanted to go get his hair cut or go away for the weekend or do any other menial task that he should have planned for on the week he didn’t have his kids. 

“His ex is going to be involved because of the kids. Kids come first. Deal with it or remove yourself.” When the poster tried to explain that this guy frequently cancels on her because the ex calls him up and tells him that the kids need to be picked up, or he needs to drive them here or there, or even that the kids have this event that you need to attend she was told, “Kids always come first.” Thankfully she pointed out it was amazing that as a mother she was able to take care of her kids on her weeks and plan her schedule accordingly. While she was more than willing to help her ex out if needed she wasn’t going to cancel on anyone because her ex made some frivolous appointment and then expected her to pick up his slack. Hmmm… this is bringing flashbacks. To which the commenter replied, “It’s not his fault she’s an asshole.” Maybe not, but it is his fault he keeps falling for it. Yet another person jumped in to say that kids should always be number one and shame on her because she’s a mom and she should know that! Again the poster points out that as a mother she manages to juggle her shit just fine without expecting her ex to help her out all the time, especially because she simply didn’t bother to plan. Apparently that’s okay though because good exes co-parent daily and if having your significant other cancel on you all the time bothers you then maybe he’s not the guy for you. 

Oh, honey, I think that’s probably the smartest thing you’ve said but not for the reasons you think.

How’s That New Life Going?

I thought maybe you’d like an update. Perhaps I’m wrong but you’re going to get one.

Last Tuesday night was almost a disaster. I took the van to go to the DAR meeting. I was ready with my 1 minute topic. I was still driving the van. When I got in I could see that the gas was getting a little low. I figured I could make it down to the town I was driving to and I would get gas on my way back home. Well, the van is vastly different from my car and apparently a quarter of a tank might not get me to my destination 40 minutes away. I was in panic mode by the time I finally got there. I was prepared to stop at the first gas station I saw and I did. However, none of the damn pumps were working. I ended up having to drive away and go to the next gas station I could find.

Meanwhile, because I was practicing my little speech I was running a bit behind. Stopping for gas would probably make me 5 minutes late but trying the various pumps and then having to go to another gas station ended with me being about 10 minutes late. And glorious me forgot that this particular meeting was all about presenting scholarships to local students. I walk in and the place is packed. I have to walk to one of the back tables and I was wearing my cute little gray boots I bought on Black Friday. They have a little heel and they click clack really loudly on wooden floors. So that was fun.

Then the topper to the evening- because the main part of the meeting took so long we ended up just amending our bylaws. No speech from me. Awesome!

On to the next day…

I went to Trivia on Wednesday night. It was different. I had an okay time. I went back again tonight. The leader of that particular group has put in a ticket to see why I can’t join but in the meantime she keeps me updated on what’s going on. She texted me so I have her number and can let her know if I’m participating. She was very friendly and welcoming and let me know I could come to bowling the following night if I wanted. Since I had already been out every night that week I declined. Tonight we had a full table and I met 2 new people. Maybe 3. Again, very friendly.

Thursday was a free night.

Friday my hike got canceled. The weather was not terrific. It was very windy and rainy. So I have not interacted with this particular group at all yet.

There was no euchre on Saturday. I don’t think I did anything that day.

Sunday Picasso and I went to breakfast and then to Kohl’s so I could spend my Kohl’s cash. I got a really cute pair of Clark’s sandals. Then we tried to find a new jacket for Picasso and we also went grocery shopping.

Last night I went back for a second round of mindful meditation. We did a death meditation. It was interesting.

Basically the monks contemplate dying every day. Most people avoid it. It’s like, “Yes, death is inevitable but I’m not going to die today.” The monks, on the other hand, think of it this way: I may die today.

We talked about this concept. I find it interesting. It does give some perspective. If you’re going to die today then not much matters. That’s always helpful when you’re stuck in traffic. I could die today; this doesn’t matter. Of course, you could always take the opposite approach which would be, “I could die today! Move your fucking car! I’ve got places to be! I might not have much time left!” Pretty sure that wasn’t what the monks were going for.

I said it might actually be teaching yourself to appreciate every moment and treat every day like it’s a gift. If you could die today then every moment you spend on this planet is a gift. How fortunate am I that I get to continue to live this awesome life?

I still have some work to get to that point but I’m impressed I was even able to articulate that.

Honestly what kept running through my mind was that Friends episode where Phoebe’s body was inhabited by the dead woman. She said something to the effect of, “All I can think of is how she was thinking about her day and was like, ‘I want to wake up, drink some coffee, read the newspaper, and then maybe take a walk,’ and God was like, ‘Okay. But that’s it!’”

I had nothing planned for Tuesday which would have brought us full circle had I been able to post last night. As I said I went to Trivia tonight and am planning on doing euchre at the Elks on Saturday.

My coworkers are ditching me for the New Orleans trip. That means either my mom is going to go with me or I’m going by myself. The plane fares are expensive and I am not happy with any of the flight times. Unfortunately, the drive is just over 14 hours and I really don’t want to spend all of Sunday on the road. I also really want to go on that voodoo tour!

I’m not sure how I’m going to seamlessly blend my new Buddhist beliefs with voodoo but as the monks say, I may die today so why not try a little bit of everything? Can’t hurt, right?