But I can't tell you those stories if I don't first tell you this: The truce is broken. Wine Guy and I are over. I'm at war yet again.
Except I'm different now. Improved, I suppose. I say this because, for the first time in my adult life, singledom doesn't feel like a battlefield at all. It feels like home.
Here are the basics:
We knew our relationship was on the descent. Much of it due to the shitpile of bad luck I'd been handed over the last two years, including agonizing complications from an already awful hip surgery (my second one) and the sudden deaths of my sister and 7 year-old nephew in a car accident a year ago last April.
We also knew we just weren't a match. Simple as that. But breaking up wasn't an option until I got through my May 2 surgery -- hopefully the final hurdle in this marathon of pain.
Really, the last year of our relationship was more about dear friendship than romantic love. Because only the most generous, loving friend would willingly stick around to help someone through a year like that.
Of course, I never thought any of this consciously. If I'd allowed myself to acknowledge our relationship was over, I would've completely lost it. I needed my lies. And he let me have them.
But things got so unpleasant that we just couldn't wait. We agreed to break up a week before the surgery. I don't remember how the conversation went down; those last months were such a blur, mostly due to painkillers and copious amounts of medical marijuana. But I do remember that right after we broke up, I felt immediate relief. At last, we could finally be just family.
I spent my recovery period apartment hunting and, after having a brief meltdown when I realized how shitty the rental market is right now (all those foreclosure people have to live somewhere), I finally took Wine Guy's advice to stop hunting for that dream funky apartment in the hip, walkable part of town and look into what the world of apartment complex-dwelling might have to offer me. Though the idea seemed as detestable as a Saturday afternoon at IKEA, I knew it was that or continue living together. While our split was more than amicable, that was not fucking going to happen.
So here I am, in my 820 square foot apartment in a goddamn apartment complex -- easily the nicest place I've ever lived (and not just because I live rapturously, luxuriously, happily alone). I've got a lap pool (perfect for exercise while I rehab my hip), a 24-hour gym, an attached garage, and a washer and dryer on the patio, which overlooks a shady jogging path leading to canyon trail. So what if I can't quite walk it yet? Just knowing it's there is enough for now.
And the best part of all, they take dogs. Because there was no way in hell I was leaving without my dog. Wine Guy gets plenty of visitation and I think we're both happy with that.
I've probably written 20 drafts of this breakup announcement, but none of them ever felt right to publish. So I focused on breaking the news to my family, friends and acquaintances, and learning to get comfortable referring to Wine Guy as "my ex-boyfriend" in casual conversation. But I just didn't have it in me to share it here. I went through so much physical and emotional pain in the last six months -- I just I didn't want to inflict it upon innocent people lucky enough not to have to be around me on a daily basis. I also didn't want to have to read it again the following day, with a night's perspective.
But what I'm writing now is history. I've gone through it and come out OK, finally, on the other side. And now I'm here, dying to tell you about the guy who keeps texting me and how I'm pretty sure he's planning to send me a shirtless picture of himself. Ew.
But tonight is about closing the book on my relationship with Wine Guy and living my life as me, alone and in peace.
So what the hell am I going to call this blog now I've laid down my arms? I'm taking suggestions.
And I suppose I'll need a new sign-off too, because "Dismissed" just seems so impolite now.