Note: The "Trooper" in question is not actually in the military. It's a metaphor, people.

September 24, 2008

Relationship Fail

Do any of you check out Fail Blog? It's one of my favorite daily stops. Always good for a laugh, usually at someone else's expense. But I'm sure when it's you looking like an ass on public display, it's hardly funny.

That's how I'll feel if my relationship with Wine Guy goes to shit. And it just might if this little downward spiral keeps picking up steam. Hopefully it won't. Hopefully we'll get past whatever "this" is. But it sucks and it will take time and effort. I guess every relationship does. But sometimes my baggage gets really heavy.

For my friends - and my mom - who are reading this. Don't panic. Don't call asking "what happened?" I'm just tearful, upset and sitting at my computer at 12:15am - probably the last place I should be right now. I should probably just sleep it all off and wake up to another sunny fucking day in San Diego, birds chirping and all that crap. Here's hoping.

So much for "loving in the now," huh? What did that last...a whole 24 hours?

Do you think I can blame Bush, McCain and that goddamn Sarah Palin for my bleak mood? I say yes.

Dismissed.

September 20, 2008

Excrement and Phantoms

That's it, I can't take it anymore. Is the universe trying to tell me something? Or is it just fucking with me? In the last week alone, FOUR Exes have resurfaced in some form in my life. Three of them through Facebook and one of my own masochistic doing. Two of them are now married with at least one child, and the other two are in relationships.

Combine that with the ongoing Ex sag in my own relationship with Only Child and Ex-Wine Gal, and my life now feels like one big nostalgia factory.

I am choosing - at this very moment, I just decided - to take this as a sign that looking back is a waste of time. And while I'm at it, let's add that looking forward (relationshipwise) isn't too great a move either. It's the NOW that matters. And I can pretty honestly admit that I've been tainting my NOW relationship with Wine Guy will all sorts so excrement from the past and phantom wishes for the future.

I resolve, upon my return home this afternoon (I am in the South for work and very homesick), to Love in the Now. To give Wine Guy the best of me, not the mournful, anxiety-ridden me who focuses on the past and the future, respectively. I vow to give him the me that he fell in love with in the first place. I bet he misses that girl. I know I do.

I realize I sound like a self-help book right now. But there's a reason that they sell so well. At least I am writing my own, in a way. So perhaps you too can save yourself the Oprah Book Club money and feel free to follow my lead. Love in the Now people.

I wonder how long this will last? Oh no...that's futuretalk. Shit, this is gonna be hard.

Dismissed.

September 18, 2008

BWE

BWE - Blogging While Emotional. I don't recommend it.

The last entry I wrote falls under that category. I'm away on a work trip, feeling homesick and made the mistake of writing what I was feeling mere minutes after learning of an Ex's happy moving on. I'm sure you can relate.

But of course I realize now that my last post came off so....sad. I promise, things with Wine Guy are hunky dory (for the most part). We are chugging along in the direction I would like (and have made my wishes pretty clear over the last year and a half). Honestly, if it moved any faster, it might be too fast. I just get impatient sometimes and on occasion use this blog to vent. Of course, that then causes you all to think things are going awry, or that I'm a whiny brat (sometimes true), or - the reason for this post - causes my mom to call fretting about my "beating myself up." Sorry mom.

Back to work. Sushi for lunch! One of the few benefits of work travel.

Dismissed.

September 16, 2008

Step 1

They say the first step is to accept that you have a problem. So here I am. Accepting it.

I am the abnormal one. Not them. Not him. Not you. OK, maybe you. But, definitely me too.

All of the Ex talk lately got me thinking about a few of my own. Well, aside from Only Child and Naval A-Hole, the rest of them are just minor footnotes. But they are Exes nonetheless. One guy in particular, Allman, always pops up fondly in my memories. I wrote about him here.

He was a fundamentally sweet person. Smart too. But he hid that from most people beneath his long, blonde hair, porkchop side burns, goatee, and a constant haze of pot smoke. For the 20-year-old me screwed up me, he was just what I was looking for. We had a unique bond, probably because we both lost our fathers at a young age. I enjoyed his calm, mellowness (likely pot-induced). It helped take the edge off my still untreated anxiety and depression. I fed off of it actually.

But a relationship of any consequence we did not have. He was a blank wall against which I could throw all my bullshit, and it would just slide down and fall to the floor with little consequence. And yet we had affection for one another. Simple, sweet affection. Our relationship was not all that sexual – more sweetness – and no one else really understood. I liked that. It made it feel a lot more special than it really was.

I’ve always kind of wondered what happened to him. Last I heard he moved back to his rural hometown in California and was playing guitar all day in a house he shared with a bunch of other slacker/hippies. When you asked him what he did for a living he would proudly and succinctly say, “I’m retired.” He was 25.

Ten years later (or about three days ago) I found him on our college alumni site and sent an email just for the hell of it. I just got his reply sitting here in my hotel room (I’m away on business). He is married, with two children and owns his own financial advising company in his hometown. The link he sent me to his website included a picture of him and his Leave It To Beaver-appearing family. He’s got short hair (a receding hairline actually) and looks and sounds happy and normal. Oh my God.

That seals it. It’s me. I’m the abnormal one. It’s one thing to see your well-adjusted Exes make these steps. Fine, I expected that. But it is now official that all those other Exes that I thought were at least a little more fucked up than I was have managed to pull off the “normal” life. It feels like I’m the last one standing. So who’s fucked up now?

I know, you are going to hit the comments section to tell me that “normal” is relative. That life is not a competition. That just because you are married and/or have children doesn’t mean you are happy, normal and well adjusted. Blah, blah. You’re probably right. But the fact is that this is what I keep telling myself I want out of life. Not a fancy career. Not fame. Not a shrine in my honor. A family.

And I still don’t have it. I get close, or I find imposters (and yes I’m increasingly paranoid that Wine Guy is yet another imposter leading me down the primrose path). But it never actually happens. I’m sure I have SOMETHING to do with that.

Whatever fucked up thing I’m doing is putting me in this position of not getting what I supposedly want.

Maybe I don’t want it but I’m too fucked up to notice?
Or maybe I do want it but I’m so fucked up that I only pick guys that won’t give it to me?
Or maybe I really do want it but I’m so fucked up that the perfectly normal guys I pick get scared off?

Get it? It’s me.

Not Allman. Not Only Child. Not Naval A-Hole (OK, maybe it was Naval A-hole in that scenario). Not any of the other unsuspecting guys that have crossed my fucked up path.

I’m worn out. So I’ve admitted the problem. Now what?

(Yes, yes. The shrink appointment is already on the books for early October. I scheduled it a week or two ago. I must have known something big was coming.)

Dismissed.

September 14, 2008

Worlds Collide - Part II

The worlds have collided and, as is usually the case with things I stress about ahead of time, it wasn't really that big of a deal.

While Wine Guy was at his weekly wine tasting, Only Child came over and we took Luna to the dog park for some playtime. This was where the one "disaster" of the night took place. OC started getting playful with Luna, causing her to get a little too excited. Next thing I knew, OC's favorite shirt had a tear in the shoulder when she jumped up and nipped playfully. Oops.

But don't worry. It got better from there.

We met Wine Guy at his new favorite restaurant (we had of course been there previously with Ex-Wine Gal who recommended it). There was a wait so the boys began the standard chit chat in the lounge area while I rushed the bar, desperately in need of a drink to take the edge off.

The two of them seemed OK. Wine Guy was instantly transformed into his talkative self that always impresses me when we are around new people. I thought Only Child seemed a little nervous, or tired, or something, but that quickly faded. Or my projection of his nervousness faded once I downed my first drink.

We finally got seated, unfortunately at a table just beneath the band that was playing jazz music above us. I hate having to holler to each other across the table. But the conversation between them flowed. As expected, they discussed each other's jobs, photography and wine.

I think with other types of men it would have ended up as some sort of pissing contest. But I was reassured in my taste in "people" as my partners (as opposed to picking obnoxious, competitive men) and found that they both seemed to take note and perhaps appreciate each other's expertise in the various areas.

In fact, they were getting along so well that at one point they began joking about some of my "issues" they were both familiar with. They were turning on me. I nipped that one in the bud quickly. "Uh, this is not about ME, people." Yeah, subtle.

Wine Guy brought a bottle of wine he purchased earlier at the wine tasting. Guess who recommended it? You bet. Ex-Wine Gal, who works at the wine shop. And, of course, it was a beautiful wine.

The food was excellent and Only Child was very excited about the place. So much so that he said he wants to go back, this time with his girlfriend. We made sure to invite her to this dinner (I had only met her once before but in a very crowded setting), but she couldn't make it and I believe was not happy with us holding this outing without her. If only she knew what Ex issues I have to deal with. She has it SO much better. Puh-leaze.

So, yes. It was all so civilized and pleasant. We all agreed to arrange another outing, this time as a foursome so OC's girlfriend could come along. Hopefully that will make her feel better and realize I am hardly a threat.

On the way home, Wine Guy said he thought OC was really nice and that he clearly "seems like an artist" trapped in a salesman's job. A very true observation.

When I called OC the next day to get his feedback, he said that WG seemed nice but that I "seemed really nervous." Also a very true observation.

So I think I can put that Ex baby to bed. But WG and I are still working on our other Ex situation. I know my pouting and whining about being an outsider with them has only made him tense and nervous. And I'm sure Ex-Wine Gal is not convinced taht I dislike her. Which I don't. So I've got a boyfriend who feels like he's walking on egg shells and his Ex, basically his very good friend, who likely feels rejected by me despite her considerate and truthful "I'm just a friend" flagwaving.

So am I the bad guy in this scenario? I'm starting to think so.

Dismissed.

September 10, 2008

Worlds Collide

Hard to believe it, but I’ve been going out with Wine Guy for almost a year and a half and he and Only Child have yet to meet. Granted, I don’t see OC all that much and we only talk every month or so, but meeting and moving in with Wine Guy is the first major development in my life that he hasn’t had any part in since we first met in 1999, and it feels kind of strange.

Wine Guy and I are “unconventional” when it comes to our exes. I know people cringe when they hear how he and I have Ex-Wine Gal over for dinner just about every week. Or how she regularly calls him for career advice, or how they’ll gab on and on and on and on (infinity) about wine to the point where I’m hungover just listening to them.

Yes, I get jealous, but not romantically. Their relationship was more one of friendship than romance, so I have no fear that something would happen with them along those lines. My jealousy has actually only emerged since we moved in together and it revolves around what they have in common (gourmet food and wine) and how I feel like an outsider when they talk about it. Not that I don’t enjoy good food and wine. I just refuse to dedicate excessive amounts of brain space to all theknitty gritty details required to make one a “foodie” versus a regular run-of-the-mill face-stuffer like me.

And, yes, I do get kind of pissed when Wine Guy excitedly calls me asking if I want to go to dinner tonight at the latest new restaurant with him and Ex-Wine Gal. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy her company and she is nice as can be. And I know he probablywouldn’t go if I said I couldn’t make it – he wants to experience it with me. What pisses me off is that I know that he wants to go so badly because she suggested it - he values her opinion on these matters that much. But if I had asked him to go to that very same place without any prodding from Ex, I can almost guarantee you that WG would say, “well, I’d rather work tonight,” or “I don’t want to spend the money.” But because she has an opinion about food that he respects, he jumps on it with rare enthusiasm.

That. Pisses. Me. Off.

And I’m not anyone you want to be around when I 'm pissed off. I sulk. I make snide comments. I zone out of the conversation. I take an extra long time in the bathroom. In general, I’m an immature bitch. Nobody wins.

And, yes, this is causing Wine Guy and me the tension you would expect. See why I haven’t written much lately? Who wants to hear about these lame problems? Okay, maybe you do. But, see, Ex-Wine Gal reads this blog from time to time and I haven’t wanted to put my feelings on this matter out there for her consideration. But to hell with it. She’s not the one I have the problem with anyway.

When it comes to Only Child, Wine guy seems 100% uninterested. From what I understand about men, they generally want nothing to do with knowledge about their girlfriend’s past, while women want to gather every piece of information they possibly can to understand what level of competition (real or imagined) they are up against. Did you say I love you to her? How often did you have sex? Why did you break up? All those fun little details.

Whether or not he wants to hear it, I tend to bring up Only Child occasionally anyway. Not to bother him really but because, well, we were together for 6 years so there is bound to be a relevant story involving him every so often. Why should I refrain from sharing it just because of the Ex Factor?

When I do get the chance to see Only Child, we usually meet for dinner, usually on a night that Wine Guy is busy. But I haven’t seen him since we moved in together and am eager forOC to see the new place, meet the new dog, see our old cat (AppleButt, who lived with OC and me for awhile before I moved out) and generally understand my life as it is now. Just like I want all my friends to do. But since it’s not just MY place but OUR place to show, I realize the time for Wine Guy and Only Child to meet is, indeed , now.

Tonight, my friends, my worlds collide.

My gut has always told me that they will get along. Possibly even like each other. They are both smart, into photography (and all the gadgetry that goes along with it), like to talk about politics (soapboxes included), and enjoy food and wine (thoughOC is not as verbal about it). So on paper they should gel. But the paper doesn ’t record all that other mushy stuff in between likes and dislikes, so who the hell knows what kind of mess we’ll end up with. Actually, I’m sure it will be civil, perhaps enjoyable. But God, I hope either (or both) of them don’t end up thinking, “What the hell was she thinking falling in love with him?”

Dismissed.