Sunday, November 25, 2007

Conversations

I spoke with Fella's daughter this afternoon, about what she wants to do with her life. This is something we started last week, when she became depressed about where she is in her life. She has been offered the job that's two hours away, but she doesn't know if she wants to make that drive anymore. She is thinking about going to school and getting the degree she really wants, to do what she really wants. She was talking to me about bad bosses and changing careers for about a half-hour, then says, "Oh yeah, Dad's out running errands. You're supposed to call him on his cell phone. He has a new one, so he hears it now."

So, I do. We make plans for later. Dinner and a movie. We see the movie first -- "No Country for Old Men." If you don't want my opinion of it, then skip to the next paragraph now. Okay, still reading? Then I'm assuming it's okay to say....this movie bites the big one. No kidding. It's horrendously violent, with a "message" at the end that is incredibly depressing. And the ending is extremely bizarre. You know it's bad when the credits start rolling and someone in the dark says, "You have GOT to be kidding!"

We went to dinner and talked about a lot of things. We're particularly batting around this idea I've presented to my boss about taking our distance learning program beyond higher education and into the 7th-12th grade market. It needs more research, but is doable. At least, we think so. So does my boss. Now we have to research it thoroughly.

He tells me about the situation at his school, which has the potential to become very bad for him soon, with the resignation of his school's principal. In the past, I'd mentioned to him the possibility of working in a local school. I have a friend who can pull those strings. I refrained from mentioning it again. Good thing. This conversation took a left turn.

You know, I think we had one of those "hard conversations" he talked about a few weeks ago. He said we'd have to have a "hard conversation" about things he done that he's not proud of, if we decided to take this to the next level.

Well, I really don't get the feeling that the "next level" is in the foreseeable future, but for some reason he felt the need to have this conversation. For two hours. I knew something different was coming, I could see the left turn ahead, when he stared a little too intently into his water glass, nervously thumping the side of his glass with his fingers, and not looking up at me.

So, here's the thing that makes it hard, the thing he's not proud of. During his divorce, he took up with a woman he taught with. About a month into it, he realized she was a serious meth and cocaine addict. Instead of bailing, he decided he could, single-handedly, "fix her." Does that work, boys and girls? No. Never. He ended up dragged into the muck with her, culminating in their arrest for cocaine possession.

His case never went to trial, his records were sealed, because he agreed to a course of action that included counseling and random testing. But his personal and professional life went to Hell.

His ex used it as the basis for getting a restraining order, to keep him from contacting his then-11-year-old son. She tried to force the 19-year-old to follow suit, but he refused. She didn't speak to the son for nine months for that. Fella was in agony over not seeing his youngest son for about 6 months, and she willingly stopped speaking to the other son. I can't fathom that, really, but that's another topic.

He lost his teaching job. He taught on a reservation for a year because they were the only ones who would have him. He needed to be close to his family, so he took other, almost demeaning, jobs closer to them. He spent the next three years looking for that one school in Colorado who would give him a second chance. He screwed up, but he is a damn good teacher.

He told me about all the good interviews that went bad when they learned his history, the teaching positions that dried up because of "anonymous tips" from the school where his ex-wife works. Then, he told me about getting the call that gave him that break, literally while packing his moving truck to move from the home he couldn't keep. And the tears flowed again, when he talked about looking up from the back of the moving van to tell his father he would finally be teaching again, and holding onto him and his oldest son while they all cried in relief.

When the pause came, I told him that I really feel like most of us have things we'd rather not remember, but that it's what we do with it that matters. We have a choice. He nodded vigorously, but kept his eyes downcast.

Again, the Lord answers our prayers in unexpected ways. I have been praying that if Fella and I are meant to be closer, that He let me see this happen soon. Time will tell if "closer" is happening. When I left his house, he seemed reluctant to go in. He lingered with me. He kissed me twice, and said, "See you next time." I'm not sure he could have said anything more ambiguous.

But that's all right. I'll see how this settles out. I'm not sure what made him decide it was time for a hard conversation, as he calls it. When I left his house, I decided enough had been said about it all, so I left it alone. Did he want me to say more? And if so, what? I don't really know what else can be said. He might be waiting to see if I run away. We'll just have to see.

12 comments:

Sassy Blondie said...

Well, Blogget, I guess he came clean. I think caution is the right course of action for you, but knowledge is power.

It truly confuses me as to why men cannot seem to realize that 10 small, meaningful conversations can keep one "hard conversation" from happening. Ah well...

Good luck! :)

XOXO

Kimberly said...

Wow. There's a whole heck of a lot that suddenly makes sense. The very ambiguity of your relationship with him is kind of explained now, isn't it? He's scared. He's been scared to get wrapped up in your fabulousness because of how easily his past could screw things up.

That's what it looks like from over here, anyway.

WorksForMom said...

Wow. I agree with SB. What 1 GOOD conversation can do! I'm wishing you the best of luck friend.

Blogget Jones said...

Sassy -- It's funny, about the small conversations. I've gotten bits of his story. I knew he'd taught on a reservation, but didn't know why he left Colorado for a year to do that. When asked, he says, "It's where the job took me." I knew there was a piece I was missing....now I know.

Yes, caution. Still just seeing how it goes. Not sweating it so much.

Thanks :o)

Blogget Jones said...

Kimberly, you're sweet. My "fabulousness." :o) Thank you!

We'll see if this makes a difference with him. It seems to make a lot of things make sense, but only if it changes how he is with me. So, we'll see.... He's sure let me "in" a lot.

Thanks!
BJ

Blogget Jones said...

Thanks, Works! Time will tell what this means, if anything. I don't anticipate hearing from him before Wednesday, anyhow. So, we'll see.

Thanks!
BJ

The HOR blogger said...

Oh well lordy. Shit like that happens to even the BEST of people with the kindest of hearts. Beleive me I've lived it with C. SHIT HAPPENS and good people get twisted up in bad things.

I think it's a good sign that he was so worried about it. Ya know, like he's not one of those people that are all PROUD to have a record or what-not.

Ok ok so yeah I do sound like a naive idiot and people always say that "people don't change." But it sounds like for him he was good BEFORE his trouble and the trouble itself didn't all of a sudden make him a bad person.

It's up to you to decide if he's telling the truth but for me this is pretty cut and dry.

But YAY for him sharing with you ! :)

Krissie said...

Funny, someone whose opinion I respect told me "No Country For Old Men" was awesome and I can't wait to see it (I like the Coen Brothers).
OK, I know you wrote a lot of stuff but when someone mentions movies in their post, I focus on that. Ask Darth. Ask anyone.

Blogget Jones said...

Hor-gal: Yeah, I think he was being square with me. It was hard for him to talk about, I think, with the way he didn't look directly at me at first. He's certainly not proud of it. Like you said, he was fine before it and got mixed up with bad people.

And I do think people can change.... My sister was an addict for a long time, and I really thought some days she wouldn't make it. Now, she's PTA President. Go figure!

Now, we'll just have to see if having this conversation had any "meaning" attached to it. Time will tell!

Thanks :o)
BJ

Blogget Jones said...

Krissie: I don't know....it's just my opinion, but excessive violence really, REALLY bothers me. I don't like pictures about man's meanness to man. I find it upsetting to my spirit.

And the ending just kind of left me feeling discouraged about the world. The message seemed to be that the world is going to Hell in a rocket-fueled handbasket, and there's not a thing we can do about it. Evil will win.

Then again, people raved about "Saving Private Ryan" and I hated that movie, too, for the same reason. :::shrugs::: What can I say? Maybe I'm over-sensitive? Someone less touchy about it might like the picture more than I did.

Thanks!
BJ

darth sardonic said...

man, that is, to put it plainly, some heavy shit. but he told you, which from my own experience of spilling some of my own beans, isn't easy, and makes one feel hugely vulnerable, and as long as you don't drop him like a brick, i think he will be happy.

(and did he say, "this is the part where you run off"? i may have actually said that once or twice after similar conversations, lol)

Blogget Jones said...

He seems to be happy to have heard from me after that night. No, he didn't use that phrase, which is part of why I haven't been sure what to make of this conversation. There was no lead-in to it, no expression that this was make-it-or-break-it info. He just started talking. To his water glass. He wouldn't look at me until he was finished.

However, something prompted him telling me this. Like you said, it's heavy and not easy to talk about. Thanks, Darth!

:o) BJ