Sunday, September 30, 2007

Update on my pre-occupations

As is becoming the usual Sunday pattern, I called New Fella. It was a very informative conversation, in many ways.

"Hey, how are you?"
"Good. Much better than last night."

I was glad he made reference to last night. I wasn't sure if I should. I wasn't sure how stonewalled I'd be in this conversation. I knew he could very well draw a "none of your business" line with this issue, and keep me out. He did exactly the opposite.

He proceeded to detail for me the entire argument with his son, and how it escalated to include his daughter. I heard who said what, how it came across, what they thought, that his daughter stopped speaking to him until tonight, and even the ugliness of how often his son threatens suicide. He doesn't know the lump this made in my throat, the chill it gave me, having known the pain of being one of those left behind.

Apparently, this time when his son threatened, New Fella said something about that they all have problems, maybe they should all be dead. He said it to make a point to his son, but it made me feel sick inside. Thinking on the conversation now, I should have blurted out what welled up in me -- "No, don't say that. My world would not be better for that." But he was telling me about all that happened, and I didn't interrupt him. Maybe I should have.

It occurs to me now that he was doing exactly what I'd hoped with the text I sent. He was turning to me with his pain, even when it wasn't flattering.

Sparing you the gory details, the crux of it was that a lot of issues came out of their argument that they needed to hash out. They are moving forward with some things that had been stalled.
I echoed something he said, when I commented, "Like you said, maybe something good will come of it, even though it's too bad it had to happen that way."

"I'm just sorry you had to be here for it," he said.

"It's okay. Like I said, I can handle that," I said. "I just get concerned."

"So do I," he said.

It seemed a natural point of resolution. I asked how his week ahead looked. We ask this question of each other every Sunday night. For him, it's practices, games, end of football season. An excellent football season. So, I opened the door about Game Day.

"I really enjoyed seeing the game yesterday," I said. "That was really fun."

"Yeah, that was great," he said, with a lift in his tone. "You know, that really meant a lot to me that you did that, coming all the way out, even though we didn't get much of a chance to chat. I'm not good with conversation just before a game."

This is what I needed to hear. This is what I needed to know. Not just "yeah, that was nice," but that it meant something.

I told him how impressed I was with how good he is with those kids. And that they really seemed to enjoy him, too. He talked about how it is to work with them, that they "get" him and know that when he hollers, it's at the game, not at them personally. He talked about the upcoming basketball season. He loves this stuff.

He needed to go finish preparing dinner. He asked how my day had gone. I told him the short version -- my son ended up grounded today. Yelling at Mommy is not a good idea. We chatted about how kids need to be reminded of boundaries sometimes, and that was it. He promised to call tomorrow night, and we wished each other a good night.

So, now, as I'm recounting the conversation, I think of a bunch of things I should have said. Or would it have derailed what was a good conversation? He told me a lot I needed to know. Maybe the rest can wait for another time.

Baby steps. Things seem to be best when I don't push. So, rein it in, Blogget-girl. This was rough, but it was good.


I have an obsessive nature. We've established this. Yesterday was a big bundle of Things To Obsess About.

I've been thinking of the situation with New Fella all day. First, we have the whole shitload of confusion over what happened with Game Day. Second, the situation with his son. I hope the text was all right, and not pushy of me. I want him to know I'm here for him, even though all the "experts" say not to be so "available." I think this is different....

There's a lot I want to tell him, but I have to pick the time and place carefully. With the Game Day situation, maybe he needs to know that I do have options. I'm not just sitting around, at his whim. I actually make a choice and an effort to see him. Maybe it's time to say, "I enjoy you. I enjoy spending time with you. So much so that I've turned down a couple of other dates lately, because I would rather spend that time with you. But I need to know if we're on the same page with that. What do you think?" Or some such.

On the family situation, I want to let him know that I understand and I care, and I want to offer what solace I can. Something like, "What I see is a guy who takes care of everyone around him. When you're dealing with [son], you have a lot of wise words for him. But when it goes bad, it pains me to see all the anger, frustration, and heartache you're going through. You need a refuge, a shelter where you can go and vent and let some of it out. I can be that. I'm actually quite good at being that. If you'll let me." I mean, being emotional in front of me isn't a problem for him, or wasn't a week ago. I think it was just too much, and too unpredictable, last night.

I wish I could get the chance to talk to his son, too. I can only guess at what he thinks I think of him, but he's probably wrong. He really is a good kid - great personality, very sweet, polite. He's more than this. But I'm given to understand that this happens when (1) he has a girlfriend and (2) he drinks. Right now, he thinks his dad is an asshole. I wish he understood that even though he and I will not see his dad in the same way, it doesn't change that I care that there's peace between them.

What he's seeing is his dad's reaction to worry and frustration over his child. When you hold that little baby in your arms, you see in them all the wonder and hopes and dreams you can possibly have for them. Your love is overwhelming. Later in their life, if you see them careening towards a cliff, you have to do something. You want to save them. Your heart breaks for them, and it's excruciating. With all you want for them, all you can do right then is try to save them. That's where his dad is now. And if he's blustery and offensive about it sometimes, it's because he loves him and is desperate to help him.

I sat in church for three hours today, with all the usual goings-on happening. Inside, I was quietly and fervently praying for them. For an intervention of peace in their home and hearts. For an easing of the pain. For a truce. For an understanding. For a softening. For love to prevail. And for New Fella and I to be able to be strong together, if at all possible.

The game is almost over, and he's supposed to call. Then again, he says he'll call every Sunday after The Game, and he doesn't. This Sunday, that might be especially true.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Why does it have to be so hard?

It's the classic, age-old question of life, the universe, and everything. (42!) It's just damn difficult.

Like today.

I got up early on a Saturday. I drove an hour to a beautiful little mountain town's middle school to see New Fella coach their football team. They're undefeated, and in the last three games of the season. For the football fans out there, the team is still undefeated, but New Fella was nervous about it being such a close game -- 16-0. It's the closest point spread of the season. He's a good coach, and it's obvious the kids love him. You see their faces light up when he talks to them, even past players. But let's get back to the details of Game Day.

It was windy. Wind and my hair are not a flattering combination. This is why I don't own a blow-dryer. It didn't take long for me to be rummaging around for my ponytail holder. This is a look he hasn't seen on me yet, but it seemed to go over just fine, but I had to wait until later to figure that out.

At first, I thought he might be pissed at me for something. This was my introduction to the Coach Zone. He's in game mode. He's focused. "Hi, how are you?" is the best I can get, and I don't think he's listening to the answer unless it involves the playbook. On the sidelines, I found his daughter.I grabbed some ground by her, and we chatted happily throughout the game. I watched the critical action and reacted appropriately. He came over by us a couple of times, to get water, and was literally growling at the same time. How very primal of him.

So, while he was less than communicative, his daughter was not. We talked about a lot of things, mostly about our families. It was good to get to know her a little better. She even showed me his classroom in the school. When the game was over, we helped pick up the yard markers, cones, etc. This is where I started to get pissed myself.

Another guy was helping, too. I later figured out that this guy is considered a friend to New Fella. New Fella introduced his daughter to him. He did not introduce me.

Now, I'd been wondering if this situation would happen. And I'd wondered how he would refer to me. I did not expect to not be referred to at all. I was a little pissed. Okay, a LOT pissed.

I waited with his daughter while he finished talking to a player. I figured I would say "Nice game," and "Bye," and be done with the day. Pissed, I tell you. Drove an effing hour, to be ignored. Pissed.

He walks up to us and says, "Let's eat! Mexican or Chinese?" He looks at me for an answer. I'm a little speechless. His plan includes me joining them for lunch. He's suddenly as bright and friendly as ever. WTF?

It's about a 7-mile drive to the restaurant. I follow them. He wants me to sit beside him. I was probably a little quiet during the meal. My head was buzzing a little, as I was trying to figure this out, put things in place. Then, we leave and he starts asking me about the rest of my day. He wants me to spend the rest of the day with him. All day, into the evening. As he's talking to me, the affection is in his look again.

We're standing by his car, figuring out the when and what of things. His daughter was interjecting her two cents, three cents, quarter's worth.... He's standing close to me, saying to her, "Get in the car. Go away. Get IN the car!" It's obvious, he wants to talk to me....and just me. She doesn't get in the car. So, we just arrange to just meet at his house.

On the way home, I start getting calls from my family. There's trouble. My mother is freaking out...way over-stressed by many things that didn't go as planned today. My son has made plans with his friends, and I should be the one to handle it, but I'm an hour away. My simple day just got complicated. I'll have to accompany them for the rest of the afternoon. I call and break the news to New Fella and he's understanding. Turns out, he needed a nap, anyhow. His daughter told me that later.

When I take my son and his friends, I get more wind-blown, rained on, and tired. I do get to spend some good time with my daughter. It's so sweet to me how she still holds my hand when we're out, and she's almost as tall as me now. I just love that.

I finally make it back to New Fella's house...just in time for him to leave to get his son from work. Keep in mind, this is the son we had the tense scene with last weekend.

Before he goes, though, some interesting things happen. First, his daughter informs me that I really don't have to be so formal as to ring the doorbell anymore; I should just come in and make myself at home. Then, as he's leaving, he does something he's never done before. As he walks behind me, he reaches over and strokes my back for a prolonged moment. It's an obvious, deliberate, and very affectionate gesture, which he's never shown in front of his children before. "I'll be right back," he says to me, smiling.

He's gone for a long time. Too long. His daughter and I start the baked potatoes for dinner. Fire up the grill. He's going to make steaks when he gets home. She and I chat a lot, and she tells me a lot of personal details about her past. I think she's glad to have another woman to talk to. This is what we're doing when the thunderstorm rolls in. The indoor thunderstorm.

The son comes in first, slamming the door hard. We freeze. The tension in the air is palpable again, the air growing heavy with the anger he's exuding. He rumbles through the house. He won't make eye contact with anyone. He doesn't say a word. Daughter and I exchange looks. She finally asks what's going on. "Ask him," he snaps. "I didn't do a fucking thing." He goes to his room and slams the door.

Then New Fella rumbles in. His jaw is set and there's a look in his eyes that I don't like. I've seen it before, on my parents when they were having such trouble with my sister. It's a mixture of anger, frustration, and mostly heartache. It pains me to see him have that look.

He starts working on things in the kitchen. I watch for a moment. "Anything I can help with?" I offer.

"Not a thing," he says. He won't look up.

I stand a little closer, talking quieter. "Are you okay?" I know he's not. He's a walking ball of tension.

"I'm fine," he says, too short. Still not looking at me, he walks away. To his son's room. And closes the door.

I look at his daughter and think, I should go. I should step out of this and let it be, not complicating it with my presence.

When he comes back, the look is still there. "I think we're going to have to postpone this," he says quietly to me. I know. I understand, and I say so. He promises to call tomorrow. Maybe we can try again then. Okay, that's fine. He apologizes. No, I really do understand.

He walks me to my car. He apologizes again. I reassure him that I really do understand. "He just said the wrong thing at the wrong time," he offers. I know, things happen. It happened to me earlier in the day. He gives me a brief kiss, and heads back to the house.

I'm worried about him. It hurts me to see the heartache he's going through, over his son. All I can do is be there for him, as much as he'll let me. Later tonight, I sent him a text. "Worried for you and hoping you're okay. Feel free to call anytime, if you need anything." I hope it's well-received.

Shit. In the words of Scarlet O'Hara: "Tomorrow is another day!"

Friday, September 28, 2007

Every little thing helps

This is part of my re-training. As I mentioned before, the vast majority of my relationships (with the exception of one, in high school) have taught me that there's usually something hidden. A nasty surprise waiting to let me know it's not all as I think it is. Something that hurts. New Fella doesn't know he's teaching me to trust and to let go of doubts and second-guessing. Doubts and second-guessing are still my knee-jerk reactions, even though I keep it to myself and flog myself with it privately. It'll get better.

One of the things that I get flogged with is Friday nights. He's notoriously impossible to reach on Friday nights. It's a time when I know he won't call, and doesn't call back. Guess how that sits with my paranoia? I know the facts -- he has team practice on Fridays and has been known to go to the movies with his kids on Fridays.

But my imagination tortures me. I must have a rotten little demon in there, whispering about him being out with someone else, someone better. Granted, there have been no expressions of "Let's be exclusive" or even references to "This is my girlfriend" or some such. So, at this point, he could see someone else. I could, too. I just don't want to, and have even turned down some dates recently.

And this week, I am aware that he does not have team practice on Friday. He will be getting home from work early, very early, this Friday. But I am not (hear me, little demon?) going to push that and make myself over-present, consuming his free time, and interjecting myself into all of his breathing space. No, no.

Last night, I notice it's post-game-time and he should be headed home. So, I call. He picks up immediately and his voice is chipper.

"I was just about to call you!" I make a joke about being psychic and he laughs. I love it when he laughs.
"How did the game go?"
"Great! We beat 'em 44-6. It's all just coming together. It's like every game we play, we are improving. The machine is working...." And he talks for a long time about his team. He's proud of them, and you can hear it in his tone. They are undefeated. He talks about his day. It was unusual and busy, but it went well and he's happy. His injured player is back at school. He gives me directions to Saturday's game. It starts about 10:00, but he has to be there very early. Ah-ha -- this is why he didn't offer to pick me up.

"And how was your day?" He asks. I really like that he asks, and listens to the answer. I sent him a text earlier in the day because I was absolutely overjoyed that a system upgrade that IT did actually worked and everyone was pleased. I'd said I was "doing a happy dance" and that he needed to dance with me, too.

"Well, it turns out I was a little premature on the happy dance." And I was. Oh well. This strikes him as very funny, and he about roars with laughter. "I had a few glitches come up, but they seem to have resolved all right. So, I got to dance again later."

"Like a Snoopy dance?" Yes! That makes me laugh. I remember Snoopy's dance, and it felt very much like that. So did this conversation.

"Yes, like a Snoopy dance! That's me!" He laughs some more, and it's a joyous sound - especially knowing the stresses he has at home right now.

I ask our usual Thursday question. "So, what does your weekend look like?" Other than the game - that's a given.

He thinks out loud. "Uhm....nothing. I think it's clear."

"So maybe we can do something later on Saturday, too." I still hesitate to make assumptions, and stick my toe in the water cautiously. I avoid mentioning the following night, Friday night.

"Yes, that's good," he says. "And what does tomorrow night look like for you, too? I won't have practice this time and will get home pretty early from work."

Snoopy dance! He has extra free time. And he wants to spend it with me.

Every little thing is teaching me, bringing me closer to how it's supposed to be. This is uncharted territory for me, but right now, it feels like Snoopy.

Weird writing

For some people, if a thought occurs to them, it immediately comes out their mouth. Granted, that has happened to me. On occasion. Okay, lots of occasions. It's what I refer to as my verbal diarrhea, which often leads to over-sharing and talking about things no one cares about in the first place.

Babble much?

But the point is that this free expression of thought often takes another form for me. Writing. It's no surprise that I joined the cyberuniverse of bloggers. As the title says, it's my diary. It's not a locked diary like teenage girls have, and anyone can read it. The only "lock"it has is the anonymity. Only a couple of people know my True Identity. So, I can discuss those things that would shock the people who see me every day. Heck, if they knew half the things that were really bouncing around in my head....well, it's better if they just don't know.

I'm a little touched. I know it. And I don't mind too much. Old BF called me "delightfully peculiar." I quite like that. He "got" me, which isn't easy. Too bad he had to be such a fuckwit.

This blog reveals a bit of my obsessive nature. I write about the things that stick in my head. Once I write them, it's like I've put them in a safer place where I can revisit them, but I don't have to keep it in the forefront of my noggin anymore. My noggin is not a secure place to keep things....

But this isn't the only place I write. I write crap all the time. Real crap and made up crap. I've even written a novel and a half of made up crap, and dozens of short-story made-up crap. Probably about a thousand pages of made up crap. No kidding. About 400+ pages of it was nearly published in 1995. I need to get back on that...come to think of it....

I can't begin to count the pages of non-made-up crap I've written. That's where the writing all the stinkin' time comes in. If I'm bored in a meeting, I start writing. Makes me look diligent, don't you know. I look like I'm taking copious notes, as long as I remember to perform a few well-timed nods and thoughtful looks at the speaker. Make eye contact, poise my pen by my mouth, furrow my brow, say "Hmm"....and write some more. I even write when I can't actually write. I have a running narrative in my head.

You know, I might want to sort through my notebooks at work. If a plane crashed into my house and someone had to go through my office, the sometimes-emotional ramblings in my meeting notes would be a shock, indeed. "We had a crazy woman in our midst. Who knew?"

Well, it's academia....they might be accustomed.... Maybe they'd publish them!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The next baby step....and the baby misstep

New Fella and I were talking about his team's latest football game tonight. His team is undefeated, with four more games in the season. Keep in mind, he works in another town, so seeing one of these games is logistically difficult for me. But I'd love to see him in action, so I've been wishing for a chance to do just that.

There's a game on Saturday. I just might be able to make it on a Saturday.

So, I asked him. "Would you mind if I came to see a game?" There was a pause. Then he laughed. "That would be fine, but it's a hell of a long drive!" Okay, so the perfect answer would have been, "That's great! I'll pick you up and we can go together!" But he didn't think of that. Okay.

Still, this is my first venture out with him on his turf, among his friends and colleagues. His best friend is one of the people he works with. He has his home life and his school life. So, this could be...something. Or nothing. We'll see if he lets me into his school life as much as he has his home life.

In other news, I think I figured out a small part of why the fast track to sex may have backed off a little.... And I think it's my fault.

A couple of weeks ago, we were at a restaurant and at the table next to us was a family, with a baby and small children. They were adorable! We did a lot of smiling and waving at them. Laughing when they laughed.

Then, I made a comment. "Sometimes, I miss my kids being that little," I said. I do. They were so cute! And sweet! And now my son is 16 and ugh!

But I looked up and saw New Fella shoot me a look. It was that moment of panic guys have when women talk about babies. The look that said Babies?! You want more babies?! And I let it go. Silly me. Certainly he knows that, at nearly-40, I'm done with babies...right? Right?

Maybe not, silly-Blogget-girl.

This occurred to me during a conversation we had the other night. I was babbling about my week ahead. We have this conversation every Sunday night. He was tired and yawny, and I was on about what I needed to accomplish this week. On my "to-do" list is some bloodwork that my new doctor wants, and that I've procrastinated on.

"I just don't look forward to arguing with another doctor about why I don't want to be on hormone replacement therapy," I said. He's quite suddenly silent. Oh great, I thought. My verbal diarrhea has led to over-sharing.... Just great.

"Well," he says, picking his words. "Why would you need to be on that?" He's not sounding sleepy anymore. He's alert.

Oh bother. My little over-sharing is about to become BIG over-sharing, but it's too late to bail. This horse is about out of the barn.

"Because....I had a complete hysterectomy in 2001." Yessir, I've been spayed.

"Well," he said, picking again. "Why did they do that?"

Sigh. Too many details, too soon. "I was just having a lot of bad problems."

I expected a silence that didn't come. He didn't miss a beat. "I'm sorry," he said. I assured him it was okay. I had decided I didn't want more children. It was a good decision.

He headed off to sleep and I've been thinking about that conversation ever since. His entire tone changed during that small exchange. You could hear the light bulb coming on -- but what light bulb? My gut feeling is that he was afraid I wanted another baby, and at 51 I'm sure he doesn't. So, what if there was an "accident"? But he just learned that's completely impossible.

Again, we'll see....

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Things I like....and dislike


That my son can be such a jerk. Dang, I am not liking adolescence. He doesn't wear it well. He couldn't find his phone charger last night, so he plugged it into my car charger. This morning, I can't find my keys, so I call him. He swears he gave them to me. But he yells at me. He yells at me. Oh, no no no no, child....your evening just went to crap. And where did I find them? IN MY CAR. I'm sooo lucky I have a car this morning, and all my stuff in it. Then again, people around here leave their houses and cars unlocked all the time. Yow, that makes me too nervous to do....


That New Fella is so bad about the phone. That said, I fully realize that he has a busy life, just like I do. He has some serious issues at home to deal with, too. BUT on his way home from work, he passes through a canyon that doesn't have cell service. We're talking and he says, "Okay, I'm entering the canyon, so I'll call you back when I get out of it." He doesn't. And I knew he wouldn't when he said it. :::sigh::: But if that's my biggest problem, so effing be it. I can handle that.


The New Fella and I actually have conversations. This was a big complaint I had about my ex. Something would happen or a significant thought would occur to me, and I'd want to talk about it. He'd sit silent while I talked, brow furrowed. When I finished, he's say, "Hm. I'll have to think about that." That's it. Every time. He would NOT think about it! We'd never talk about it again! I'd sit there, feeling foolish for having babbled for no reason. That was frustrating. I wish I'd realized before I married him that the man just was not a thinker.

New Fella is a thinker. He not only remembers what I've said before, he processes what I say and has something to say in return. He gets it. I love having that at the end of the day, the "How was your day?" give-and-take, when you each care what the answer to that question is. It means a lot to me because my whole life is about taking care of what other people need. I know his life is like that, too.

One more "Dislike" -- I hate that feeling of waiting for that other shoe to drop, you know? I haven't been in a relationship yet that didn't have some nasty, heart-wrenching surprise waiting around the next corner. I've learned to anticipate it and can even imagine how it will happen. I've attached a song to that effect below.

I hate that feeling. I wonder if I'm a little bit nutso sometimes. But I'm trying to not let it overrun me. Trying to relax and just trust how things are flowing right now. Trying to be "normal" and not push things, just to reassure my paranoia. Wow, that's hard!

Okay...back to work....

Now playing: Nickelback - Feelin' Way Too Damn Good
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A double-post, but worth it

For those blogmates keeping score, I'll say up front that The Deed is not done. But some things are more significant, sometimes....

This is going to get long. Thought I should say so now, so you can get comfortable. And sorry for the double post today!

So, I couldn't actually bring myself to pray for sex. I felt much better about praying for a clear display of affection from New Fella. Some overture to let me know, without a doubt, that he was not only attracted to me, but also felt that kind of affection and intimacy that I crave. Well, dear blogmates, always keep in mind that God answers your prayers as he sees fit. And it's usually coming at you from left field.

I went to his house without clear plans this evening. I'd seen a spark of hope of something "interesting" at lunch. I'd ordered this limeade drink that had blueberries in it. Sounded like a good idea, but the application is problematic....blueberries stop up a straw! I noticed this and glanced up at him, straw poised at my lips. The gaze staring back at me about knocked my socks off, burning a naughty fascination with me that said, "if you suck that blueberry through that straw, we'll have to clear the table right here and now...." I teased him with a lick of the straw and a smile. He smiled back, and we cut it out before my daughter could notice.

So, we decide to watch a movie tonight. We watch a hell of a lot of movies.... I get to his house and his daughter is joining us for the movie. That's okay, although not conducive to my fantasies. We watch the movie, and his son gets home with his girlfriend. This is where the trouble started. Remember the problem I mentioned at lunchtime, with his son? Here's the problem -- the boy is an alcoholic. And he's really screwed things up the last couple of days.

New Fella turns off the TV. He launches into a discussion with his son about what's happening with him. His daughter chimes in, too. It's not an argument. It was more like, "Listen, I love you and I will not give up on you. You're a good person, but you have a problem and it has to change or you'll die." Daughter is crying, worrying about her brother. It was also a discussion with the girlfriend, along the lines of "We like you and would hate to see you go, but this is what's happening and this is how you can help him and yourself." New Fella had very, very wise words for this girl, if she'll listen.

Of course, this tense family scene was very tense for me. I was not expecting it. To be honest, I had a lot I could say to this young man from my own experience. My "first" was an alcoholic. He destroyed everything around him, finally destroying himself at the ripe old age of 42. This young man is a really good kid. He has more to offer the world than this. I'm too new to the situation to speak up, though. Later, I told New Fella all of that, but I'm jumping ahead....

When the scene resolved, New Fella turns to me and says, "Let's go get a bite. " I grab my keys and we head out. Son follows, and I brace myself for a scene. Instead, he puts his arms around his dad and they stand in an emotional embrace. I step into the shadows for a moment. When New Fella comes to me, I put a hand on his cheek, and wipe a tear away. "Are you okay?" I ask. "I'm okay," he says, a little shaky and gives me a sweet little kiss.

He complains that he didn't get anything done today that he needed to. We talk about his son and the girlfriend on the way to the restaurant. I tell him my little experience. He comments that the scene at home couldn't have been comfortable for me, but I tell him, "It's okay, though....I can handle that." And I can. Because what does it tell me? He was comfortable with me by him during a tough time. We ate and I let him talk, about all sorts of things. He smiled and laughed.

When he meets my eyes, there's affection there. Sometimes, with an intensity I have to look away from, but I'm trying not to. It's what I prayed for, isn't it?

It's raining on the way back to his house. We sit in the car and talk some more. He's telling me about the hard times they went through with his daughter. Some really hard, heart-breaking times. All of a sudden, he's telling me about looking for his daughter's Christmas present that year and finally finding the perfect thing. The reason it was perfect was the sentimental message it represented.

That sentimental reason still evokes the emotion he had that day. He begins to cry.

We're sitting in my car together, the rain is streaming down the windows, and he's telling me about this, and crying. I keep my hand on his shoulder. "God, I hate my kids," he says through the tears, and we laugh because it's such an obvious lie.

We start saying our goodbyes. He rests his hand on my knee as we're talking, kissing a little. Before he heads into the rain, he turns to me and says, "It was a good day." It struck me just then that he meant a good day for he and I, because the rest of the day sucked for him.

I think I got the affection and the intimacy I prayed for. Just not how I thought I would. In many ways, though, this is better.

One step at a time....

I've gotta quit panicking. Seriously. Past experience has taught me that my gut feelings about men are often right, when it comes to being two-timed. New Fella wasn't answering his phone last night, and I panicked, just sure he'd met someone else, was with her, and would give me the kiss-off today. It was a long night. A long stupid night.

But when I spoke to him this morning, he was happy to talk to me and happy to make plans. The phone just isn't his forte, and I have to remember that. We arranged to have lunch today, and took another small step in our relationship. He met my daughter. It occurred to me the other night that, from his perspective, I must be keeping him at a distance. He doesn't know where I live. He hasn't met my family. I never actually told him my full name (he's always heard my nickname), even though it does come up on caller ID.

So, this morning, after talking about plans for tonight, I said, "My daughter and I were going to get out and about. Would you like to join us for lunch?" He was enthusiastic. Then, his day was disrupted by a problem with his son, and I thought he'd surely cancel. But he called again, "Do you still want to get together?" Oh yessirree!

We had a nice lunch. His daughter joined us, too. Her conversation is a little off-color, especially with a 12-year-old at the table, but she didn't realize my daughter's age. Like myself at her age, my daughter looks more mature than her years. Heck, she's even been offered wine at restaurants. Still, we had a nice time and laughed a lot.

I suppose I need to be re-trained, to trust that a man can be straight with me. He doesn't know he's re-training me, and I hope my insecurities don't spill into the light before I get them under control.

More later...we'll see how the evening goes!

Friday, September 21, 2007

This will be a dead give-away....

....if anyone I know reads this. It will out me for who I really am. But here goes, anyhow....

I was inspired to make this confession because of comments on Hor-gal's blog about gifts. Okay, so most girls would not appreciate a gift of action figures. I totally get that. However....

My name is Blogget. And I'm a Star Wars geek.

(("Hello, Blogget!" says the gathered geeks.))

I'm 5'9" of curly-haired, carrot-topped, dirty-minded, well-endowed, scruffy-looking,, wait, that went wrong.... The point is, I'm a thorough geek for George Lucas's universe. I'm sure he's not married because we just haven't met. Nevermind that he's older than my parents! In his case, I just don't effing care.

I once mentioned to a geeky guy at work that I have a circle of online friends who are all Star Wars fans and all women. He sat and blinked at me for a moment and said, "Do you know how many of my friends have been waiting years to hear those words?"

I collect the movies, posters, autographs, books (until they killed Chewbacca), and toys. I have ringers on my phone and screen savers. I have a bumper sticker on my car that says, "My other transport is the Millennium Falcon." Seriously, I do.

I have six copies of the original trilogy. SIX. The tapes I recorded off of HBO way-back-when, the original VHS release, the digitally remastered THX version in fullscreen *and* widescreen, the Special Editions, and the recent DVD release. SIX.

I have large (LARGE) bins in my attic of action figures, vehicles, and various and sundry toys I find interesting. And just the ones I find interesting, because it's too damn impossible to collect them all. The toymakers play on the obsessive nature of unwitting collectors. "Yes, I know I already have a Qui-Gon Jinn figure, but this one is looking to the right." Oh, no no no....

And yes, most of the toys are out of the box. Why? Because I PLAY WITH THEM, all right? I set up dioramas, when I have space and time. I told you -- a complete geek lives in me. I'm sure someone is asking this -- Doesn't playing with them hurt the value? Eff the value. They're my toys.

Now, I did have a fella recently offer to do something obscene to me with one of the action figures. Dang, if you thought taking it out of the package hurts the value.... Oh yeah, and OUCH. No thanks. That really oogied me out.

And before you start imagining your friendly neighborhood Blogget all costumed up at a Star Wars convention, let me just say for the record that I wouldn't go that far. My costume is only for Halloween.

(And no, it's not the brass bikini thing! Why do guys always ask me that?)

And then there's my office.... The pic shows just part of two shelves on the wall.

Yes, those are Star Wars beanies. All of them. And the top shelf has Star Wars M&M beanies. A friend even cross-stitched a little Star Wars logo for me! What you can't see in this picture are Darth Tater and the Spud Trooper -- Mr. Potatohead Star Wars toys. I'm missing Artoo Potatoo, though. Need that.

So, there you have it. I've unloaded my confession. I'm a card-carrying Star Wars dork.

No really! It's right here in my wallet....

Thursday, September 20, 2007

So much for the budget.....

The other night, about 9:00, my 16-year-old comes to see me.

"Hey, Mom, my teeth hurt. And I think one of them has a hole in it."

That's how it started. I looked with a flashlight and, sure enough, I could see a dark spot. "Looks like you'll need a filling, " I said.

Sometimes I'm so naive.

We found a new dentist in the morning. We got the bad news shortly after that. "Looks like he'll need three fillings, and possibly two root canals."

WTF?!?! Child, how long has this been bothering you? A long time, he says. WTF?!?! And you couldn't have said something sooner? He just shrugs.

I knew he had a high pain threshold, but puhleeze!!

We went back for root canal #1 and two fillings. Another dentist did the work and thought he could avoid the root canal. I think we heard angels singing.

New Fella assured me that his kids had a similar problems when they got their braces off, which my dear child did recently. Then, he lost his first set of retainers. Then, he broke one of his new retainers. Smashed it to smithereens. He owes me money, big time.

The rest of the work is scheduled for today, but man-child woke up in extreme pain this morning. Abnormal pain. So, we aren't out of the root-canal-woods yet. Poor kid.

And poor Mom's wallet. My ex is supposed to pay half of all this, but he seems to think he can pay whenever he (and his wife) think it's most convenient to them. It's okay for me to be out the entire amount because he thinks the pittance of child support he pays actually covers more than groceries.... (And for the record, it doesn't even cover that; this is a 16-year-old boy I'm feeding!) I'm the National Freaking Bank of Blogget!

So. Ouch. For everyone....

Monday, September 17, 2007

This just in....

A bizarre thought just occurred to me. I have no idea how a "normal" dating relationship goes. I have crossed into uncharted waters in Blogget-world.

Even if this thing with New Fella falls apart, we've set a record. This is the longest I've consistently dated one guy without him proposing to me. Seriously.

My high school boyfriend wanted to marry me after a few days. It was that moon-eyed, puppy-love, "I can't live without you by my side ALL THE FREAKIN' TIME" infatuation. Yick.

Then, my now-ex came along. He bought my engagement ring two weeks after we met, and proposed two weeks after that.

My first boyfriend after my divorce also waited a scant handful of weeks before promising undying devotion and asking me to marry him. Then again, I think he was doing so just to prove that he really did love me more than the skank he cheated on me with.

Then we arrive at old BF. Who asked for my hand the day after we met. He wanted me to grab up my kids and move in with him that very day. Should've seen trouble coming with that....

This Friday will mark six weeks since my first date with New Fella (not that I'm one to count such things...). A new record ;o)

And you know what? It makes me nervous because it's unfamiliar to me, to be this far out and not have a blatant expression of his feelings, intentions, etc., towards me. I don't like guessing, but I'm thinking I'm not supposed to have all the answers up-front. I have to let go of my impatience and my "need to know NOW" personality.

But I have this feeling of doing things "right" this way, like the rest of the world seems to know to do.

So, one way or the other, New Fella has taught me something. It's a little scary, but I think it's okay.

For my pals....

....who know the relevance of this pic:

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The weekend so far.... complete crap.

I knew we were in trouble when I talked to New Fella this afternoon and he was getting his oil changed and eating a late lunch with his daughter. I think he'd hoped she'd be at work today....but that obviously didn't happen.

So, I did a little shopping with my daughter. I have to get some new clothes because I've dropped 30 lbs since moving, and nothing fits anymore. She needed some new school clothes, too. And I had coupons! God love coupons.

I finally got to talk to him about our plans, late in the afternoon. He said they thought (keyword "they") they'd wait for his son to get off work and we could all go to the movies. Ah, I see. The kids (although adult kids) are present. We will not be alone.

Or has he changed his mind? I told him to let me know if he wanted to finish what we started last week.... Maybe that was too forward? Too aggressive? Maybe he's letting me know he doesn't want to. By the time that thought crosses my mind, my self-doubt has re-emerged and is strong as ever. He doesn't want you. He's just being nice. He isn't all that interested anymore. And the self-beating and self-loathing begins again.

So, I go to his house and finally meet his daughter, his oldest child. She's almost 30 and we can visit about ex-husbands. We watch some TV, waiting for his son to be off work so we can all go out. This is where the trouble started.

Son isn't off work when he's supposed to be. In the meantime, daughter discovers that son has lost her car keys. She's pissed beyond belief, and mad at herself for letting him borrow the car. Son is very late off work, and we miss the movie time. We decide to order pizza and watch a movie at home.

On one of our first dates, we saw Part 3 of a popular action series. I hadn't seen Parts 1 and 2 yet, so we watched Part 1 tonight. All the while, son and daughter are stalking through the house, looking for the missing keys and being pissed as hell at each other. The tension is palpable. New Fella is tense because he's also pissed at son for not getting home on time, for losing the keys, and being reluctant to help look for them.

Throughout the evening, when I visited the restroom, I'd about want to cry. I looked gorgeous tonight, if I may say so myself. New blouse with a nice scoop neck, flattering on my figure, great hair day....all a good mix of sweet with a touch of sexy. And it's all being wasted on a crappy evening, where nothing good can happen. He's way too stressed and distracted.

If it weren't for him talking about us watching Part 2, then seeing part 3 again, I would doubt that he wanted to see me again. Seriously.

When I left, he was walking like a man in pain, and I said so. He said he's always sore. He has arthritis medication, but it doesn't take the pain away completely. I understand that, but right then and there wasn't the time to go into my bout with Junior Rheumatoid Arthritis as a teenager, blah, blah.

So, we had a nice kiss, but nothing too intense. When I backed out of the driveway and looked up, he was already gone. He promised to call tomorrow, but I'm not holding my breath. I think this weekend is in the crapper.

I don't often say this, but.....shit.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I don't even know what to call this

So, I go into the restroom in my office building and am immediately aware of someone making noises. Those kind of noises. Someone has started her weekend early, I think. I can sympathize, but I don't have the...uhm...confidence to be so open and unabashed about it in a public restroom.

I quietly enter my own stall and hear that other stall door open. The woman proceeds to wash her hands, dry them, and exit - while still making orgasmic noises! I heard her all the way down the hall. WTF?!

....I want whatever she's having....

I got back to my office and sent New Fella a suggestive text. The song playing on my computer at that very moment is attached below. An omen, maybe?

Now playing: Nickelback - Animals
via FoxyTunes

Here and there

I have a few random things bugging me today, so I'll pour them out here in one post. Hope you don't mind following my brain through it's gymnastics this morning. And if you do mind, well, at least it's not a rant like yesterday's....

Stupidass, Teenager

My now-16-year-old is an idiot. Why he does the things he does sometimes, I just don't understand. He likes his new high school. He's always comparing it to the old school and saying how the new one is better. He enjoys going to the football games. He really enjoys the girls! He's decided Colorado girls are way cool. He's made loads of friends.

So, it's "Spirit Day" at his new school. You know what stupidassboy does this morning? I mean, he actually thought this through, did it, and thought it was a good idea? He put on a t-shirt from his old school, and shorts from his old middle school. Wow. All of his new friends are decked out in their school colors, and he has to thumb his nose at them with the old school stuff.

Okay, so maybe he has a need to assert himself with "this is where I came from" and all that. Okay. But does he realize nobody cares about his Texas high school? And they especially don't care about his middle school? Way to insult your new friends, child. The girls are gonna just looooove this. He's just inviting one of his new-found friends or a pretty girl to say, "If you like it so much, go back," and turn their back on him.

Of course, he won't listen to his mom. I guess he'll learn this one on his own. ::sigh:: stupidassboy

It's an age-old problem....

Guys are bad about calling gals. It's a fact that's been lamented through the ages. I'm sure there was a conversation in a cave once, one cave-girl to another: "We shared a bone, laughed a lot. I thought he really got me. He said he'd grunt at me today, but nothing. Maybe he didn't really like me? Maybe he's grunting at someone else? Oh wahhhhhh!"

My understanding is that we view the phone differently, as a tool. Women don't have to have anything in particular to say, to call someone. Men want to use the tool to communicate something specific. Correct me if that perception is wrong, but that's how it's been explained to me.

In my case, it doesn't help that I was raised with a mother to whom everything means something. My ex recently complained, "You don't have to read something into everything." Uhm, yes, I do. It's in my blood. It's unpleasant for everyone involved. I lose sleep over these little things I obsess over. But I'm aware that it could all be in my head....although often it's not.

New Fella has one drawback so far. He's bad about calling when he says he will.

Last week, I found myself waiting for a promised call. Actually, more than one. I think I did 90% of the calling (including texting -- he can't answer his cell during work) last week. The little self-doubting, over-analytical voice in my head was taking over. He doesn't really want to talk to you. He's seeing someone else and he'd rather talk to her. He doesn't really want to see you. You like him more than he likes you. You get the idea. It's torment and makes me cranky.

So, I decided to change my pattern and see what happened. We had that fabulous, frustrating, encounter Sunday night. My pattern would be to call or text the next day. It made me about bonkers, but I didn't do it. I didn't call, email, or text. On Tuesday, I waiting until late in the day and sent a "hope you're having a good day" type of text. I got a call that night, after his football game. No texts or calls on Wednesday. I got a call that night. No texts or calls Thursday. I got another call last night. So, I texted today. And we promised to talk tonight.

What did we learn, boys and girls? We learned to strike a balance. If I don't call or text, he'll still call me. It's okay. My little voice is quiet. Almost. It sounds like Sally Field. He likes me! He really, really likes me! I'm not proud of it, but it makes me smile.

Stress abounds

Looks like New Fella and I are having a really sucky week, between the two of us. You heard my rant yesterday. He called in the middle of dinner and I had to call him back. I got his voicemail. When he called a moment later, he sounded stressed to the gills.

His football team played last night. They won, but didn't play well. One of his favorite players took a hard hit that knocked the wind out of him pretty good. Coach New Fella sidelined him with some ice, and called the boy's parents. My call back to him came during a call from the parents. The child is in the hospital, with what looks to be a ruptured spleen.

This is why I'm glad my son isn't playing football anymore. But I didn't say that.

Coach New Fella is worried. He said, "I thought we did everything right for him...." I'm sure they did. I mean, what can you be expected to do on a football field? There are no diagnostics for that situation. You sit him down and call the kid's parents, which is what he did. But New Fella worries about "his" kids. He made the comment to me a couple of weeks ago that the thing he hates about coaching is that if something goes wrong, it can effect your standing as a teacher. He's a great teacher. He loves teaching, with all his heart. I know this is something he's fearing again, right now, as he waits for news on this young boy.

I wish his school was closer. I'd take him a nice lunch, kiss him, wrap my arms around him, and try to ease it all for a little while. But it's in another town, and I work, too. Dang.

Instead, I did what I can -- I sent a text. An "I know you're worried, and I'm hoping for good news with you" kind of message. I hope it helps a little, and he doesn't think it's too corny or gushy or whatever.

Now playing: Theory of a Deadman - In the Middle
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Nothing helps distract you from the daydream of making love to a beautiful green-eyed man than someone really pissing you off.

I work in academia, in higher education. I oversee the faculty's use of alternative delivery methods of instruction. In other words, instruction that is not in the traditional classroom setting. This involves oodles of hand-holding and cajoling, to convince them that, yes indeedy, they can use a computer and the school won't collapse and the students will actually learn something.

It's been a long, hard summer, convincing many of them to put a toe in the waters of technology, and some have actually jumped off the diving board and into the deep end. I've grown the number of instructors using technology, and that's been a major accomplishment in a short time.

Then, our IT (Information Technology) department has to go screw it up. And why? Because of the Man Behind the Curtain Syndrome.

Remember that, from the Wizard of Oz? The old wiz operated the show from behind the curtain, but no one was to look behind the curtain. They were to take what the show had to offer and leave it at that. Ask no questions. You'll know what they want you to know, when they want you to know it.

So, the system that we use for course delivery started having problems. It ceased being compatible with anything. Turns out, IT hasn't installed not one, but TWO upgrades. Ones that should have been done well before I started here. A trainwreck was inevitable. These people are not stupid; they should have seen it coming. But nooooo, they stayed behind the curtain and ignored it until it bit them in the ass.

It bit me in the ass, too. No one had communicated this lurking problem to me. And who do professors come running to when something doesn't work? The person who convinced them it would be all right in the first place. The new kid. Blogget-girl. Dang.

So, when I announce that a new upgrade will be installed (I haven't mentioned there are two of them...panic would ensue.), they rejoice! Huzzah! All our troubles are over! Okay, okay, okay, so it has to be installed during the second week of will heal all wounds!

Or so IT promised. Which I, in turn, promised. Then, the upgrade failed. Damn square one.

The failure is not IT's fault, but they could have warned me that all the test installs also failed. It was all but doomed, but I had no clue. No one communicated. Do we see a pattern here?

Of course, I start asking when this will be fixed. "We're working with their tech support. They'll figure it out soon." In other words, don't address the man behind the curtain!

Meanwhile, the course in the system are crashing and burning. Students are mad ("Is this what I paid for?"). Professors are pulling their hair out ("Is this what I signed on for?").

I had another meeting with IT yesterday. You can almost see the curtain around them, as they present a united front to say, "We're working on it." That's not communicating anything, fellas!

Well, I'm NOT happy with that answer! And I said so! They are missing the urgency in this situation. This is a program we need to grow in order to be competitive! And they are killing it by putting this on the back burner. This is front burner stuff! We're losing students and faculty support. Where are we without those? This is my job here, people!

I'm soooo frustrated.

Maybe today will be a better day. Maybe something I said got through to them. Maybe they'll finally pull the curtain aside, if only for me. (Trying to be butter-side-up.)

No, I need to rip down a curtain. I need a vacation. Or a horny green-eyed guy....

Now playing: Three Days Grace - Riot
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

It happens way too fast

My son is 16 years old today. Dang, how did that happen?

He's 6'3" and towers over me. When did that happen?

He has started the "take me to get my driving permit" chant. I could definitely have waited for that to happen....

I think of seeing his 4-year-old self drenched from head to toe in the water he was just told not to play in. I think of looking out my kitchen window to see his 5-year-old self peeing in the yard, instead of coming to the civilized bathroom. And he's going to drive?

In two more years, he'll be headed to college. He'll be handling his own life, having his own life that I'm not part of. That aches. I miss him already.

However, there are days when I want it to could come faster! He can make me completely insane! Adolescence is not easy. For anyone involved.

You know what I really love?? People who have toddlers and give me advice on teenagers. I have to smile and laugh, and say, "Oh look! Your little darling thinks that Hot Wheel is going to fit up his nose!" Yeah, come talk to me when your worries are about what other people are trying to get him to put up his nose....

The phrase I've heard a lot lately is Bible-based: "Train them up in the way of righteousness and they will follow the right path when they are older." Okay, so I don't know the exact reference, but that's how people use it. And it's just not so.

My parents raised my sister and I in the same household, with the same rules, that same upbringing. However, as teenagers, I kept on the straight-and-narrow (for the most part!) and she got so far off the path that she needed a machete to find her way back to it. Some days, we held our breath when the phone rang.

You can "train" a child all you like, but they are still an individual, with their own thoughts, wants, desires, weaknesses, and strengths. They make their own choices and learn their own lessons. This is why I get pissed when I hear someone whining about "I'm this way because my mother did father did that...." (And I mean literally whining, not just conversing. Some people can talk about their past without it being a continual trauma.) I can show them many examples of people who bettered their lives to spite what others had done to them. I suppose it's a matter of how you use the experience.

Ultimately, you are still responsible for your own life, and your own choices, and your own consequences. I can raise my kids with all of the best I can give them, but it's their choice how they carry it into their future. The thing is, it's their future, and they are the only ones who will walk that path.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Someone is in my head

Yesterday, I'm sitting in church listening to a particularly monotone talk from the pulpit, about tithing. Boring talks happen -- without a paid ministry, each person gets a chance to be up there. Some of us (probably me included) are just not born orators. And I've heard the topic many, many times before.

So, I start trying to find ways to entertain my brain, so that when that poor sot up there looks out at the congregation, they see me awake and appearing to listen. My thoughts wander to find something happy and interesting. I find it. I smile to myself.

What I landed on was this new fella. I hesitate to say "my" new fella because he hasn't actually staked a claim yet. However, I know he's not seeing anyone else. He gets home late at night because he works in another town, and calls me on his way home. Then, he has to be up very early to make the drive again. He fills his spare time on the weekends with me.

Appropriate for church time or not, I have a flash in my mind of him looking at me with those intense green eyes. I remember how his palm feels, cupped around my jaw, thumbs lightly tracing the curve of my cheekbone.... How I feel the electricity of his kiss all the way to the arches of my feet....

Wait, the speaker has changed. What's she saying now? She's so adamant about her point.

"...avoid even the situation where sin might happen...."

"...and they will respect you for refusing to participate...."

"...your body is as a temple...."

You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Now? You want to talk about this now? Okay, okay, okay. It's church. The likelihood of a talk about not sinning is very high. No need to personalize it. Even though last week's Sunday school lesson was about not lusting, how sex without marriage is selfish and dangerous, and even made a clear reference to the evils of masturbating. "Sexual intimacy involves strong emotions, and we should also not stir these emotions in our own bodies."

Well, yeah, it does involve strong emotion. It's not something to be taken, or given, lightly. Establish trust and respect first, if it's to be done right. But I've been divorced for nearly ten years now. Do you know what kind of shrew I'd be without some autoeroticism??

Sunday school goes smoothly enough, and I drift into the third hour and the women's group meeting. I know today's teacher, and she's not a gifted orator, either, but it's okay. To be honest, I'm being drawn back to my previous thoughts, anyhow. The sweet tenderness of how he presses the palm of my hand to his lips....

"Good morning, sisters! Today's lesson is about..."

His strong arms around me, his hand on the small of my back, holding me to him....


Oh, great googly moogly.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

With flying colors

Looks like the religion issue is a non-issue, for the time being. He hasn't mentioned it again. And things continue to move right along.

I called him this morning, when I thought it was a safe hour to call. "Hello there," he said, all muffley. I had managed to wake him up, and said so. He tried to talk but sleep still had him wrapped up snug. I told him to go back to sleep, and he managed, " you in a little while...." I hung up the phone and smiled.

His sleep-muffled voice sounded me. I decided to say so and, a few minutes later, sent a text message saying so. Ah, flirting via technology. How me.

It's also a safe medium. He can ignore it if he's not so inclined, and I will learn something from it without have done something beyond embarrassing.

I had to run some errands, which helped me kill time. Just as I was heading home again and wondering if I would appear too desperate if I called again, my phone rang and it was him.

We had a nice day. Lunch, a movie at the theater, then another movie at his place. It still struck me as odd, though, that he didn't try to even hold my hand while we're at the theater. We're alone, at his house, and during just one pause in the movie, he kissed me. Now, I mean, the kind of kisses that curl your toes, but not another move other than that.

It's not that I'm saying he must make such moves, but it's puzzling to me. I've never, ever known a man who went six dates without trying anything. And my self-doubting nature wonders if it's to do with me....if maybe he's not that attracted to me. But the kisses say confusing.

So, we're together seven hours and he says nothing about the text. On the drive home, he finally mentions it.

"About that text you sent this morning," he starts. Ah here it is. He's going to tell me to cut it out. He has that uncomfortable tone to his voice, the one people use when they want to let someone down gently. Ugh.

"Uhm....where were you going with that?" he finishes.

"Just that you sounded adorable, so I said so," I say, lamely.

"Oh, okay, I see," he says. "I just wasn't sure."

"Were you worried about where I was going with that?"

"No, not at all. I just try not to presume anything because....well, my mom raised me to be a gentleman first."

"I've noticed. And that's good. I appreciate that." And I do. He's very sweet that way.

"Well, it's just that I'll let you decide the pace on those things. It's up to you -- I'll follow your lead. Otherwise, it can get....confusing."

I ponder this. "That will be new for me," I finally say. "I'm quite shy about that."

I think about how I've been restraining myself from touching his arm, holding his hand, as I've been waiting for that sign from him. But he's been waiting on me.

"So am I," he says.

And he holds my hand.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The First Test

So the first test for New Fella is underway. I knew it was coming. He talks about church. I talk about church. The question was inevitable.....

"So, what church do you go to?"

All the nasty misinformation and stereotypes flash through my mind before I answer. This was often a deal-breaker in the Bible-belt of Texas, where not being a Baptist means you're condemned to hell for eternity. But maybe it's different here, where there are many, many more of us....

"I'm a Mormon. We go to the chapel right up the road from your house."

A small silence.

"Really? I didn't know there were any Mormons in Texas!"

I said something about not being a very good Mormon, but I try, and he laughed it off. We talk a bit about the hazards of not being Baptist in Texas, and about the "rules" of missionary life for those young guys. I still think I could hear some hesitation in his voice, some surprise.

Suddenly, it turned into a commercial. The call was dropped. No kidding.

I put the phone away. Got gas. Listened to my book on CD a bit. The phone rang, and I was glad to see it was him.

We chatted about nothing, then he came back to the point.

"So, since we were on the topic of 'rules'...."

Here it comes. What will he ask about? The no smoking? No drinking? The no unmarried sex? And how will I explain where my failings are....

"Is there a rule about you dating someone outside of the church?"

Ah, that I can handle easily. But I this what he's been thinking about asking since the call dropped?

"No, there's no rule. In fact, I know a lot of women from church who are married to men who aren't." He's curious about this. We end up discussing my family's religious background, which is really varied.

I can't tell if it helped put him at ease. We'll see, as the weekend draws near. How he handles this will tell me a lot.

Monday, September 03, 2007

And I believed right!

We did do it again soon. Another comfortable evening, another sweet kiss. But I'm getting ahead of myself....

I had a couple of hours free tonight, so he invited me over for dinner and sitcoms. A blissfully normal evening. And get this -- he cooks. For real. I mean, mashed potatoes from scratch cooking. I don't think I've had that since my great-grandmother passed away. I was raised on Hamburger Helper! Anyhow, asking me to join them (he and his son) for dinner was last-minute, meaning that this homemade meal was already planned and wasn't a special effort for me. WYSIWYG, I'm tellin' ya.

I have to be a little careful when we're with his kids. They are adults. While they are not closer in age to me than he is, I understand some of their frame of reference, thanks to my own kids. For instance, I know the current band names and the popular "classic" bands. I can go on and on about classic punk with his son....but he is clueless as to what we're talking about. It's a thin line to toe....conversing with his kids while not alienating him. Careful, careful, Blogget-girl.

So, we relaxed for a little bit, with a couple of sitcoms. I hadn't watched Monday night TV in awhile, so he had to fill me in on the shows. We talked a little more about movies we've liked, and what our work week is going to be like. I enjoy that he remembers what's going on with me, and asks about it specifically. Very nice.

Then, I had to get home before my own kids made it home. He walks me to my car again. What makes his kiss sweet is how he looks at me, touches my hair and smooths it aside, and holds my face in his hands. His gaze takes in my eyes, cheek, hair, chin, though he needs to take in every detail and remember this moment. Tonight's kiss had a little more passion with it, wrapping me up in his arms and holding me close. Very, very sweet.

We'll do something nice next weekend, he promises. But can he see me sooner than that, too?

Oh yes, I think I can work that out. Even though I didn't understand it at first, I like this pace. So far, I am glad to follow his lead.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Moving a different pace

I couldn't afford the whole spa day yet, so I just did some things for myself. I did get my red restored, with some gorgeous highlights. Did some Super Duper Conditioning Treatments on my long curls, while re-reading The Time Traveler's Wife. I LOVE that book.

It was a bright spot in a horrific couple of weeks. My ex remarried last year (#3) and she's been a horror, trying to use my children as weapons, and my ex is her puppet. Hell, he regurgitates everything Rush Limbaugh says, so you can imagine how he is with someone he actually lives with. What was a cooperative relationship a year ago has been reduced to me demanding to be contacted only via my lawyer. It's disappointing, but I don't back down.

In the meantime, I've found another bright spot. I think. It started as a blind date. This guy is a teacher and coach. I thought I had the type pegged, preparing to fend off the hands of the jock-mentality. We had a nice dinner, staying long enough to tip the waitress extra for taking her table too long. We talked about exes and kids. I watched him during dinner. Could I fall for this one? He's older than me. Tall. Football player stature. A little rough around the edges. Talks a little too much, but doesn't fill silences well. He's very WYSIWYG. He's funny, and we have common interests. The date ends after dinner, walking to our respective cars.

He hugs me goodnight. And that's it. He doesn't try to kiss me. He doesn't try to touch me. Just a hug goodnight. I figure....well, that's that. I don't float his boat.

But he calls again. Can we meet for drinks during the week? We do, and coincidentally bump into his parents, who are a very sweet couple. Helen and Troy. No kidding.

Again, we walk to our respective cars. Hug goodnight. No kiss, no other touching. This strikes me as odd.

But he calls again. Dinner and a movie this time? I think, here it is! A dark theater and I know what he has planned. He'll hold my hand, put his arm around me, want to kiss me.....the usual things people do in the dark.

Guess what? Nada. No moves towards me during the movie, and none afterwards. We hug goodnight, and this time he adds a kiss on my cheek. It's sweet, and catches me by surprise. I watch him head to his car and have to wonder, What's your deal?

I talk to a friend about it. "Is he gay?" my friend asks. This friend is someone who has been trying to get into my knickers for months (but we work together, yada, yada). Anyhow, I don't think so. He must be interested, or he wouldn't keep asking. He's a gentleman at all times.

So, dinner and a movie tonight ended up being pizza and dvds at his place. His movie collecting includes action and comedy, even romantic comedy. He picks a romantic comedy I haven't seen. I'm thinking, a snuggle on the couch? No....he has recliners, not a couch. Oh brother.

The evening wraps. He walks me to my car, talking about when we can get together this week. He makes the move to hug me goodnight again....but it changes. Ah-ha.

He is not gay. He has a lovely, sweet kiss.

"That was nice, " I said, smiling.

"We'll have to do it again soon," he smiles back. And I do believe we will!