Friday, February 29, 2008

Please pardon me, as I'm reduced to rubble

I'm broken at the moment.

Yesterday, I talked to Greg.

"How are you?" I said. He sounded odd.

"I'm bad, bad, bad," he said. "Can't explain now, it's too busy, but call me tomorrow and I will."

I worried. And I called today.

"You and I have to take a break," he said. "My ex's dad died. Well, she's not my ex, and now she won't be for awhile."

This is when my heart stopped.

He went on to explain that they've been in the middle of a divorce. She's lived with her folks in another town, with their 4-year-old son, who is autistic. She and her mother can't work because they are severely bipolar. So, her father supports them all, with help from Greg, as much as he can.

The father died the other day, of a heroine overdose. So, all of them have moved into Greg's little apartment. He's supposed to support them all, on a waiter's pay. It's not going to go well, but he's all they've got. The divorce can't happen right now.

"It's not fair," he said. "If I had a choice, I'd be with you. I want to be with you. I have strong feelings for you. I've been falling for you."

He paused. I heard him sigh. "I'll just go ahead and say it. I love you."

This is when my heart broke.

Have a lolly....

If you've been reading this blog for long, you've seen me say things like "Have a lolly and wait your turn," or "Shut up and have a lolly."

I have this R2D2 on my desk at work (see pic). His head comes off and inside are goodies. Know what's in it right now? You got it -- lollies.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but I have one coworker who is often in my office, and he smells terrible. The body odor is amazing. And he likes to point at things on my computer screen. I have to not breathe through my nose. He also looks like he just parked his snowboard (or skateboard, in warm weather) outside before coming in. He's a Dude. Despite the smell, I really like working with him. He's a progressive thinker with what we're doing, and you gotta like that.

Today, he walked into my office with a munchkin in tow. She's about two years old. She looks a lot like her daddy -- blonde with blue, blue eyes. She teetered on my threshold, not sure about this strange new room, with this strange new lady in it. Daddy scooped her up and showed her my shelves of Star Wars toys. She decided I was okay.

As I'm talking shop with the munchkin's daddy, I see these two tiny hands reach up from the other side of my desk and grab hold of R2. The hands and R2 disappear from view.

"Is he breakable?" Daddy asks, starting to rescue R2.

"No," I said. "It's just fine. But in a moment she's going to figure out his head pops off and there's lollies inside."

Daddy's eyebrows went up. "Oh! She's about to find out what good things robots are!"

So, we continued talking shop. All the while, I'm aware of delightful little-one chatter. The nonsensical babble that comes from developing language skills. I love it.

The chatter stopped. For a moment. And was replaced with....

"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

And a tiny hand shot into view, holding up a bright green lolly. The message was clear: "Hurry, Daddy! Unwrap this!"

I couldn't help but laugh.

And another padawan learns to love R2D2.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Discovering what red is

All I said was that I wanted more red in my hair. That's all. The weather is warming, and I want brighter hair. It's been too dark, and I want some of my red back.

Apparently, I need to learn to define "red" more precisely.

I need to employ words like "auburn" and "copper." Not "red."

My hair-girl's new boss put in her two cents on how to mix the color for me. "It'll be gorgeous," she said, playing with my copious curls.

Put simply, my roots are red. And a few highlights match that hue. The shade is something like the hue of this pic.

But this is a cartoon. I, dear diary, am not a cartoon. We should have nothing about our appearance in common. Especially not colors in our hair!

Hair-girl touched up some RED spots that framed my face, using brown. "Wash it a few times and it'll fade," she said. "It'll be nice. Don't worry. Give it a few days, and if you don't like it, we'll redo it."

I've washed it six times since yesterday. It's fading all right. My roots and a couple of highlights are becoming something like this.


I am a professional woman! This is not a look I want. To boot, today was Meeting Day. Boss is in town on Wednesdays, so I met with him face-to-face today. He's shorter than me. He couldn't see the roots. The beauty of curls is that I can fluff and arrange and cover up the roots, pretty easily. That'll do until hair-girl can fix it.

For a moment, I thought about Greg. I'm supposed to see him in about 10 days. He's not shorter than me, by a long shot. He'd notice. I thought of his funky tattoos. He might actually like the red-pinkness.

Then, last night, I was at a friend's house, where she was doing a cooking demonstration. I explained my multi-colored hair to the other gathered friends. They cooed and soothed at me that my hair was lovely and they couldn't tell anything was amiss. I relaxed. Afterwards, I gave a friend a ride home. As she got out of my car, the interior lights shone right over the top of my locks.

"Oh, I see it now," she said. And she grimaced. "Yeah, you're going to want to get that taken care of."

Hair-girl is getting a call....

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I feel a rant coming on....

It's. Not. Fair.

The universe is at it again. Greg and I are supposed to get TIME together, this next trip. That's all we're asking for, is TIME. A day. One day.

But nooooooo.....

First, it's my ex. They are moving when their house sells, so he's started packing. He packed the bedding he needs to use for the kids. "They'll have to stay with you at night," he says. "And when I'm at work." So, days and nights with me. WTF?! They want to see HIM, not the inside of my hotel room.

Well, my hotel room is apparently not going to work for this plan. It's a prepaid stay, so the room type and rate I have is all I can have. It's one queen bed. That's not going to work for two teenagers and their mom. So, ex has to work it out. I've given ideas of how to work it out. It's not impossible, by a long shot. It'll just take some creative thinking and effort on his part.

Then, this morning, I talked to Greg.

"I'm getting socked in with Spring Break shifts," he said. "Because I'm not a college student, I'm about the only one left working here." It's overlapping the dates I'll be there.

"You're not going to be able to get any extra time off," I said.

"It doesn't look like it," he said and apologized.

I made a long, groaning sound.

"Now, come on," he soothed at me. "What would you rather have? Me working and bills paid, or not working and homeless?"

"I know, I know."

"You'll still come see me, right?"

"Yes."

"And I'll come see you, too," he said. "And maybe this time you can sneak me away to Colorado."

"I'd love to do that," I said. "That would be great."

"I'd have to find a job."

"Yes, you would. We can do that," I laughed. "Details, details."

"I really can't wait to see you," he said.

"Me, too."

And that was about it. Work was waiting for both of us, so we were off with our respective days. We'll talk again tomorrow. I'll get my head together again by then and quit cursing at the sky. I'll think of something nice to say, but I'm royally pissed with the world at how this is working out. Not at all happy.

So, I say to the Almighty again, "Really? REALLY? It can't play out any better than this? You can't cut me, us, a break?"

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Frustrations and triumphs

It was one of those kinds of days yesterday. I'm a little concerned because my mother is on my last nerve. As you might remember, my kids and I share a home with my parents. It's a large home, so that everyone has their own "wing." My folks have their first-floor living space and the kids and I have the upper floor. We share common areas, like a den, kitchen, and laundry room.

Generally, they stay out of my way as a parent. Lately, though, the controlling nature that dominated my childhood and my early adulthood has been showing its ugly face. Like yesterday.

We had housework to do. The kids' rooms had reached ridiculous levels of disarray. I needed to do some mail shredding. Anti-identity theft, you know. I also still have some moving boxes to unpack. I know, I know...I'm so bad about that....

But that was in our domain. As the kids were beginning to stir, so did my mother. "Granddaughter," she said. "Why don't I come up and help you clean your room?" All three of us know the sub-speak in that question. "Why don't I come up and reorganize it how I'm sure it should be?"

My daughter said, no, she could do it herself. But thanks.

"Grandson," my mother said. "Why don't I help clean your room?" Again, no, thanks.

And I knew it was coming.... "Daughter," she said. "Why don't I unpack those boxes in your room?" I had a brief nightmare image of my mother deciding what went where in my living space.

"No, Mom," I said. "I'll handle it."

"But they've been there too long." It should be noted here that this is my private space. No one else comes in contact with my space. It's mine.

"Mom, I'll handle it. It's my space and I'll decide what to do with them."

Oh, I'd done it. The martyr mask came up, and she uttered the line that I'm sure will be her epitaph. "I was only trying to help."

The thing is that it's not that simple. She doesn't want to help. She wants to take over. As a mom, I have lots of people I deal with at the kids' schools. Lately, my mother has taken it upon herself to not only be my talking "To Do" list, but she also feels the need to tell me each word I should say when communicating with these people. "You need to tell them....."

To which I say, "Mom, I know how to handle it."

But I really think she believes that no one else can do it without her telling them how. Her blood pressure would be so much lower if she wouldn't take other people's lives on as her responsibility. It's not even like she has a reason to do this with me. I'm the child who handles things, and well. My sister is the one with the trainwreck, but she lives two states away.

Oh, I knew I was in for a difficult day. With the comment about the boxes, I knew we were in Control and Criticize Mode. Soon enough, it made a full appearance.

"You know, last summer you gave Son too much freedom. He could have gotten into trouble. You can't do that again this summer. What are you going to do to keep him from having that much freedom?"

"I can't be here all day, every day. I can't monitor his every move, Mom. He'll be nearly seventeen years old."

"So you'll do nothing? He can just do whatever he wants? Whenever? With anyone?"

"I didn't say that." But this is the crux of the problem. She wants me to lay out all of my thoughts and plans as a parent, for her assessment and approval. I refuse to do that. I am the mom here. It drives her nuts.

That night, my son goes to the movies with his girlfriend, some friends, and girlfriend's mother. "How do you know the mother is with them?" mine asked. "We should go drive the theater parking lot and see if her car is there."

I had a momentary flashback. College. I was going to a recital at the Music department. As I looked for a parking place, I saw them. My parents. They were cruising the lot, too, but not for a parking space. They were looking for my car, to see if I was really going to the recital.

I was in college!

Instead, I took my mother and daughter to the mall. We went clothes shopping at a store we'd never visited before. They had a lot of styles that were very My Mother. She was delighted! Thank God!

She was a little crestfallen when I didn't want to try on the items that didn't work on her. My style is a little more....colorful. She likes "country" colors, and elementary-school-teacher styles. I like brightness and funk, that translate well in a professional setting or out on a date.

I found some adorable tops. Mom gave me a pinched look over one of them, thinking it was too low cut. It's actually a higher neckline than what I was wearing the day before....not that I'm big on showing cleavage at all. I like a guy to look at my face when he's talking to me.

But here's the big thing I got from the shopping trip. Everything that fit me was a size smaller than the last time I shopped.

How stoked am I over that?! You can't imagine!

All became right with the world.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Notes from all over

Old BF called Friday afternoon. I really think we're on different planets.

"My dad is going to sell me is rent house," he said. His dad owns a couple of places in nice neighborhoods in Dallas. "I was thinking that your kids will be out of school in about five years. We need to start planning now."

"Planning? For what?"

"For getting married. This way, I can have a nice house for us to live in."

Okay, how many things can be wrong with one statement? All I could do was stammer.

"Uhm....married? You can't give me that life. And the house is in Dallas. I live in Colorado. I'm not living in Dallas."

And it deteriorated from there. Apparently, I'm wrong to still be mad about eight years of cheating and lying. I'm wrong to not trust him. I'm wrong to not be madly head-over-heels with him. Apparently, he's determined that since he isn't seeing anyone, we're still hunky-dory. My kids will grow, move on in their lives, and I'll quit my job and move to Dallas.

Uhm. No.

When I pointed out all the problems with this line of thinking, he said, "I'm not arguing about this with you." I said, okay, and hung up. That's the last I've talked to him. He's never gone 48 hours without calling me. We might have a breakthrough here.

On other fronts, I'm not calling Fella. I've had it with all of our conversations being one-sided and all about him. Pardon me, but I have stresses, too. A little give and take here would be nice. He hasn't called me unprompted in three weeks. Enough.

On still other fronts, I talked to Greg on Friday. Two things happened this week to improve his situation. First, he's been promoted. Second, I put the word out that he needed some help, so my reliable pals made appearances in his section this week, and they are good about tipping appropriately.

Friday afternoon, I checked in with him to see how the week went. I heard about the promotion and about the good tips. "I owe you big time," he said. Then, he lowered his voice.

"Do you know how hot you are? You gotta get your butt down here to see me."

I laughed. "I'll be there in two weeks. The 8th through the 13th. Not sure what time yet."

"Excellent. Let me know."

" Do you think you'll get some time off then?"

"Well, this week has really helped the possibility of taking a day off. I'd like to take a day or two to have with you."

"That would be excellent."

"It would. I can't wait to see you."

Then, he had to go. I was left smiling, and thinking about how quickly I want two weeks to go by.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

And now for something completely different....

I admit it. I've dabbled in online dating. It's a discouraging world. You find someone appealing, you write, you even see that they checked you out....and nothing. One of the first ones I got brave enough to contact was this absolutely, positively adorable single dad. I mean, gorgeous! My age, with kids the same ages as my kids. He wrote a good paragraph. Literate is always nice. So, I sent my little introduction and waited. And waited. And waited. And gave up, and moved on.

One night, I'm chatting away with pals on Messenger and I get a new message. It's from adorable single dad. He apologizes for not answering sooner. We have a little chat, but it seems stilted to me. He was nervous. But I needed to go. We promised to chat later.

Any bets on whether that happened? No takers? None? Hmm, yeah. You got it. Silence.

That was last summer. A lot has happened since then, dear diary. I've written to and heard from others. I've let the profile go stale. I've dated without it. Some guys have been nice, and some have been real jerks. It's a crap shoot, I'm tellin' ya.

But what happened the other day really took the cake.

It started as a request to be added as a "Friend" to my Yahoo 360 profile. Okay, that's cool. The request came from a female username, but when I checked out the profile, it was a man. A man who crossdresses. Now, I'm a "to each his own" kind of person, so I don't mind at all being online pals with a crossdresser. It's like having a gal-pal to chat with, except we don't talk about men. And they like pantyhose a hell of a lot more than I do.

We have had some great chats the last couple of days. Our kids are the same age, but he has one more than I do. He's not married, and not gay, but prefers to approach women as his alter-ego, so there's no surprises. I was honest with him - I don't know that I can go down the intimate path with this because I can't imagine doing the whole role-switching thing in the bedroom. Seeing my man in prettier clothes than me is just not a turn-on for me (as you can probably guess). But I can be a good friend who is discreet with his secret, because this is a small, conservative town.

Still, it is an odd experience to discuss what shops have the best bras and panties, with a guy who actually wants to go shopping for them. He even knew a few places I didn't, where you can get all manner of...uhm...intimate wear. And accessories. A very enlightening conversations. He said he'd like to hang out with me, like a regular gal-pal, doing the little spa-night kind of things women tend to like to do. Again, he reiterated, he's not gay, but enjoys being "feminized" and connecting with that side. That was a new term to me. I told him we'd have to see about all that....

Yesterday, though, he finally shocked me. It's not easy to do that.

I was wrapping up the conversation, and he said, "I bet there's something you didn't know you knew."

Now, I'm a big trivia buff, so I thought that's what he was getting at. I bit.

"What's that?"

"Do you know what I look like?"

His profile doesn't show his face. It shows a bustier and pantyhose, but no face. Understandably. So, my answer was, "No, I don't. I haven't seen your face yet."

He said, "Yes, you have."

I stopped, staring at my screen, then out my office window. Honestly, I half expected some professor to come wave at me. This is someone I already know? I started getting nervous.

"Have I?"

"Yes, and I'm already in your 'Friends' list."

I sat quiet for a moment. He didn't wait for my response. He gave me his "real" ID.

I just blinked at the name. It was gorgeous single dad, from a few months ago. The one who wrote once and never again.

"Oh wow!" I said online. "I remember you! You're sooooo cute."

To the air, I actually said, "Holy CRAP! No FUCKING way!" and in Dhor's words, "Shit fire and put away the matches!"

And I have to admit, it made me a little sad. Looking at his picture (and he is, no kidding, completely adorable!), there's all kinds of things a woman thinks of doing with him...and none of them are what he wants done....

A couple of This 'n' That's

Quick update: I will not be going to New Orleans in March. Neither is South Carolina. Seems his travel budget was cut. After talking about how disappointed we were and how we needed the break, I ventured out on a limb and suggested we meet elsewhere.

"Maybe a little later," he said. "I'm still in turmoil." He said things were still going "pretty bad," but didn't have time to elaborate. Ah well.



I watched my son have a moment the other day, in which I knew he'd already learned something about dealing with women that many grown men never learn. That being, when it is (and is not) a bad idea to argue.

It was his girlfriend's birthday. Her folks were coming to pick him up. I said, "It'll be dark by the time you get home. Be sure you take a hoodie." He's been sick, so I figured this was a no-brainer.

Dear No-Brain Boy said , "I'll be fine." I differed. Girlfriend arrived in the middle of this.

"You've been sick," she said. "Go get a hoodie."

And it happened. I saw two opposing thoughts occur to Dear Boy, and collide violently on his face. For an instant, it looked as though he was going to tell her what she could do with said hoodie. Then, just as quickly, his brain stopped his tongue.

You could see it happen. "Whoa Nelly, child! Don't even think of saying it!" I could hear the brakes squealing in his mind.

He knew he'd be in irreparable trouble. He set his jaw and reached for the hoodie.

It was a beautiful moment.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I just have to say this....

....because it's just unbelievable to me.

I have a nephew. Well, more than one, but this one in particular is, well, a challenge. The boy lies his damn fool head off and he really (and I mean, really) enjoys annoying people into fury. He's a preteen now and beginning to experience the backlash.

My sister called. This nephew is upset over his report card. Why?

He got an F.

In what?

LUNCH.

I've been thinking again

And sometimes that's not a good thing. Over the weekend, I spent a good bit of time thinking about why things bug me so much. It used to be that thinking I might fall in love with someone was a delightful feeling. It was even fun. Now, it's not. When did that happen? It's full of pain and doubt and downright torment. I don't think I like that.

So, how did this happen to me?

I think it started with my first boyfriend after my divorce. He had a friend coming to visit. This visit was planned before he and I met. She knew about me and had no romantic designs on him. I had a bad feeling about this, but was reassured by both of them that they were gamer pals and nothing else. She was coming to participate with his roleplay group.

(Yes, I dated a roleplay gamer geek. He even wanted to marry me. He had no job, one leg, and thought I was brilliant. Obviously, the problems with this picture became apparent....)

The point is, I ignored my bad feeling. The first day she was there, he came to me, almost in tears. "I did something stupid," he said. No, he didn't actually have sex with her. She stopped him, and said, "But what about Blogget?" Did you catch that? SHE stopped him.

The relationship deteriorated from there. And I learned that if I suspected something was going on, it always was.

The next serious boyfriend - known in past posts as Old BF - only reinforced that. The problem was that he loved me (and still does) in many ways that I craved. He thought the world of me and said so. He liked to say and do special things for me. But his eye wandered and he lied. Just when things would smooth out, I'd find a nasty surprise. He actually cheated (meaning, he had sex with her) one time. The other times, I caught him on the way to cheating. One stupidass woman left voicemails for him on my phone number (she got it as his contact number at their office). Another time, I found his listing on AdultFriendFinder.com. Last year, we were in Dallas TOGETHER and he got a call from a girl he knew in high school (he's from Dallas). He said it was out of the blue. I found the emails that proved he contacted her first.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention he lies in the face of hard evidence. Will swear to it on a stack of Bibles. Beautiful.

On those last two, I'd suspected something so I broke into his email. His passwords are predictable. I know that makes me look like a paranoid, intruding, beotch....and I would be, if I weren't RIGHT every stinkin' time, and if he was smart enough to change his passwords. But I am, and he's not.

This last time, I found out a woman he works with was hanging out at his apartment all the time. This is while he was supposedly making plans to move to Colorado. Something inside me just broke. That was it. I couldn't take it anymore. The feelings of not being able to trust, of wondering what you don't know, of betrayal, of the person you love enjoying the company of someone else....and most of all, of just not being good enough. I just broke.

In the last few months, my dear diary, you've seen the residual effects of all of this. I'm always sure there's something hidden going on. I'm never sure of my perspective. I'm looking for evidence everywhere. Feeling affection for someone is painful. Why?

I figured it out. It's because I'm assuming I'm not enough. I'm not good enough to be someone's one-and-only. I can't hold a man's attention in the long term. He will wander. He will not think of me and miss me. He will not want me, and only me. Time with me, life with me, is nothing desirable on a day-to-day basis. I assume things will not work out, and that my daydreams are nothing more than the air they float on.

So, when I have a daydream, it's bittersweet. Let's say, I'm in the kitchen, making toast. As I wait, I imagine a particular guy being there, wrapping arms around my waist, a sweet kiss, enjoying the morning together. The simple moments that I crave in my life. It makes me smile, then the ghosts creep in. That's not for you. It just doesn't work out for you. Your heart is meant to be broken. You don't get the pretty story with the happy ending. And my heart hurts again.

I really resent that this back-talk is in my head. These guys in my life don't know about it, even though it's not even fair to them, either. I keep having moments that pop-up from my subconscious, that seem to be evidence that Greg has other things (i.e., women) going on. Not that we're exclusive or even close to that...but this is happening in my brain.

Example: That last afternoon I was in the restaurant, I could only be there a certain amount of time. I few minutes ago, this moved to the forefront of my brain, with the caption "It's because he had another woman coming in." I felt sad at the realization. Then reason stepped forward. "Now, now...take another look. Didn't he do what he could to delay your ticket being started, to squeeze out some extra time on the clock? Didn't he encourage you to order dessert, even though he had no intention of putting it on the ticket? He tried to keep you there longer, and stretched it to his boss's limit. Come now. Think."

I hate the second-guessing. I hate that I just feel in to pit of my gut that it'll never be more than ethereal daydreams. But I'm mostly tired of the constant ache, instead of the joy. I'm just not sure how to get rid of it.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Catching up with the boys

Okay, so Greg isn't the only one I've talked to lately. Here's what's happening with the other guys in my life right now.

South Carolina is still living away from home. He's settled in at his friend's house, and cooks special dinners for the family so he feels like he's making a contribution. The other day, he made a venison roast, which made my stomach growl just thinking about it! Also, he has a meeting with his boss on Monday to find out if his New Orleans trip will be funded. If not, then I won't go, either. Maybe we should just meet elsewhere during the same time frame, and still give him his escape from the craziness in his world.

Aspen called the other night. He calls regularly and we get caught up on the news. "One of these days, I'll get enough time off for us to actually go and do something," he says. Not this weekend! He had to go to Alabama to rescue his stepson's truck. The guy met a woman (in Alabama) and left his wife for her, but the woman is also still married. They moved in together and when he shipped out with the Navy, he signed Power of Attorney to her over his affairs while he was gone. She decided to get back together with her husband. Stepson has asked Aspen to help take care of it, and he should be in Alabama this weekend to retrieve stepson's truck. If she'll let it go. She doesn't have to, since she holds that dang Power of Attorney document. Aspen tried to warn is stepson about this, but no..... Now, it's one big "I told you so" moment, but he's staying admirably quiet about it!

It was interesting, though. I mentioned that I'd gone to the doctor the other day. Aspen was genuinely concerned, asking if everything was all right. I'm fine...it's just routine. And he sounded relieved. A little moment, but sweet.

Fella. I just don't know about him, anymore. I had that lunch with him right before leaving for Texas. He seemed to be doing much better. I texted him when I got back in town, but no response. I haven't talked to him in two weeks. So, I called this morning.

His "Hello" told me a lot. His tone sounded very much like Eeyore.

"Hey! How are you?"

"Oh, I've had better weeks."

"Oh no...what's going on?" I'm thinking the Army wants to send Son back.

"More drama," he said. I hate it when he does this. I want to know, I want to help, and he knows this, but he decides to spoon-feed me the situation. A tiny taste at a time, making me ask for the next taste.

"Good golly," I said. "I'm sorry." Pause. Long pause. I have to ask something else to prompt him. "Anything I can do?" I know the answer, but that's okay.

"No, not really," he said, is tone still flat. "It's my younger son. He says he wants to move down here now, and that's caused a big problem." Pause.

"Has it?"

"Yeah. Now, it's a three-day weekend and I'm supposed to go see him, but it's messed up." Pause. "I'm just sitting here, waiting to hear from him. I don't know if I should go there or not. I figured I'd let him call me, but I haven't heard from him."

"I'm sorry," I said again. "I know it's been just one thing after another lately." It has been. And I think he wants me to acknowledge that I understand how tough his week has been.

"Yeah," he said. "I'm just really frustrated lately."

"I can understand that." Long pause. I think he's done giving me any information. Conversation over.

"Well," I say, knowing it's time to wrap up. "If you don't go, give me a shout, okay?"

"Yeah, I will," he says. No, he won't. I know better than that. The Eeyore tone never wavered, and he never asked how I was doing. That's it for the day. Sometimes, he just takes a lot of energy.

I think I'll have a girls' night with my daughter.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Uhm...I'm a basketcase....

Ignore the last post.

I thought about deleting it, but this blog isn't just about how nice and tidy things can be. I've been cheated on A LOT. I've been taken for granted A LOT. So, I have ugly insecurities. And they come boiling out of me often. As evidenced below.

But the sun has peeked out of my clouds a little this morning.

11:30 Texas time. I called. The lunch hour is cranking up and the wait staff should be in place. If he's working lunch, he'll be there by now. Not the most convenient time, as he could very well be busy, but it's a good shot, anyhow.

I spoke with the helpful hostess, the one who took my message the other day and was even willing to give his phone number. Gotta like that one.

"Are you all busy yet?" I asked.

"No," she said. "In fact, we're soooo not busy right now. Nothing is going on."

I laughed. "Okay. Is Greg working?"

"He sure is!"

"Can I speak to him for a moment?"

"Sure!" And she was off to get him.

"Hello?" Ah...there it is. His voice really gets me.

"Hey," I said.

"Hey! What are you doing?"

"Nothing. Working. Just thought I'd call and say Hi. How are you?"

"I think I'm going to be evicted."

"No way!" This poor guy has had the worst run of luck. Major car repairs, replacing his tires, extra child-related expenses, a trip to Houston for family matters...and my little candle. Now this.

"Oh yeah. I forgot about $66 I owed my landlady, and she's pissed about things," he said. I knew she'd been annoyed that he often has to pay rent in two payments. That's the nature of a server job, though, when you rely on tips. He chuckles. He seems to be in laugh-or-you'll-cry mode.

"I can't let that happen," I said. "There has to be something I can do."

"I'm not going to ask you for money," he said. "That's just not right. I won't let you do that. I'll have to figure it out."

"Well, I don't know that I could do anything financially, anyhow," I said. "But I'll ask around to the people I know. Maybe they have an idea. I just can't let that happen."

"I'll be all right," he said. "I'll still work here and all. I'll just live in a shoe." He chuckled again, and I promised to do some asking around.

I knew he needed to go soon. "Hey, I needed to ask you something."

"Yeah?"

"That note I left for you. Was it okay?"

"Yeah, it was," he said. "It was good. I liked that."

"Okay, I wasn't sure. You know I was nervous about it. I know I can babble on, and I don't know how it comes across."

"No, it's good. I liked it. Babble all you want."

I laughed. "You don't know what you're saying with that! I can babble quite a bit."

"That's all right," he said, his voice soft, almost cooing to me. "I'm about to get a table, so I have to go. But call me again later, okay? I'll be here until 4:00."

And we were off. And I feel much better. Except for the worrying about his ass thing. I'm not accustomed to feeling helpless, though. There has to be something to be done, and I'm determined to find a way.

Is it going sour? Really? Already?

I hate the insecurities and self-doubt I carry around. I hate how the first conclusions I jump to are that I'm being forgotten again, pushed aside, or done wrong. I've never really hated Valentine's Day before. But I hated yesterday.

I tried to call Greg on Wednesday and Thursday. I wanted to say - hey, I made it home okay, even though my luggage took an extra day out. I also wanted to make sure something is okay.... When I didn't see him Sunday, and thought I wouldn't, I wrote him another note. After I saw him, I debated if I should give it to him anyhow. Well, he spotted it in my bag and asked about it. I gave it to him. I've worried about it ever since. I need to be sure it was all right, and that we're still cool.

The thing is, I keep missing him when I call. I call too early, then I call too late. I don't want to call too much, or his boss will get pissed. When I called yesterday afternoon, the hostess said, "Just a minute," then came back and said, "I'm sorry. I didn't know he left like an hour or two ago."

That struck me as weird. I got that little chill in my spine when I think something is wrong. Is he dodging me? Did I really manage to make a mess of it already? Would he do that to me, just quit answering calls?

Let the tormenting begin.

Again, I look to the sky and ask, "Really?"

South Carolina told me about his Valentine's Day. He and an old friend went to dinner and to a bar, which turned out to have some bizarre entertainment. He told me about the muffin-eating contest for the guys and banana-eating contest for the gals. "We didn't participate," he said, and added that he hoped none of those people ever ran for public office.

"It sounds like you had a good time," I said.

He was quiet for a moment. "This was just a friend, you know," he said.

I knew it. I am just feel a little beaten up by cupid, is all. Was he picking up on my melancholy mood? I hope not. I didn't want to be that way. I'm just so sick of the ache.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A little more sweetness

Y'all nauseous yet?

(I had to throw the "y'all" in there. Aspen called today and said, "Listen to you! A week in Texas and you get your drawl back!" But I digress....)

As I opened the door to the restaurant, Greg opened the other door. "Hey....you can only stick around about an hour, hour-and-a-half. I got my ass chewed for having tickets open for more than that, and the 'firing manager' is here tonight. He's watching."

I must have frowned. His looked melted at me. "I'm sorry...."

He talked quietly as he led me to a table. "I'm off at 9:00, but I have plans I can't get out of. My buddy has been counting on me going to this thing with him for four weeks."

I sat down and turned my best sad eyes on him. "Don't be pissed," he said. "You can't be pissed at me." He was more pleading than commanding. I gave him a smile, and let him get back to work. He seemed very stressed, watching for that manager.

They were slow. It was early on a Monday. He had two tables when I came in, and the other just left. They tipped him well and his mood brightened a bit. His eyes still darted around, watching for the "firing manager" while he talked to me on the sly.

I threw him a curveball and ordered something I'd never ordered before. It's the first time I deviated from my norm, and it made him laugh.

The other day, he'd entertained my friend with an explanation of his tattoos. One forearm is Batman. The other is the symbol for the Green Lantern. One shoulder is Spiderman. "Where's Superman?" she asked. He shook his head. "No. No superheroes who are impervious to everything but a rock from their home planet. That isn't cool."

"Where's Robin," she asked. He stood up and looked sideways at her. "Robin is not cool," he said emphatically, and my friend laughed. She knew the stigma of Robin when she asked.

This evening, I looked at his arms as he leaned on the table. "So, I know where you fall on the superhero debate," I said. "But where do you fall on the Star Trek versus Star Wars debate?"

Yes, a loaded question. He had no idea the precipice he was standing on. "I like them both equally," he said.

I gave him an even stare. "That's a very safe answer," I said, smiling.

"It's true!" and he started to list all the Star Trek and Star Wars incarnations he owned. He even has the Star Wars cartoons.

I grinned, and told him my license plate number. It's a subtle play on a favorite Star Wars character name. It took a moment to register, and I saw the "Ah-ha!" moment hit. "I'm an Anakin fan myself," he said. Actually, he likes Hayden Christiansen's work.

I also learned he's a basketball and football fan, with a little baseball. And that he listens to all kinds of music, except "the pop crap they play in here!" He started listing genres, as he walked through, and I chimed in, "Blues?" He stopped and looked at me, "Oh hell, yeah!" "Keb' Mo'?" I asked. "Yes!" He seemed impressed that I knew who that was.

I was sitting quietly, checking voicemail, when he stopped again. "So...you can't be mad at me," he said again.

"I won't be mad," I said. He was happy to hear it and started to walk away. "I'll just cry," I said, almost under my breath.

He didn't break stride, but circled back around. "You can't cry," he said, the pleading back in his voice. "Please don't cry."

I smiled. "I know."

There was a question burning it's way through my mind, though. It was unresolved from earlier. I'd admitted that I thought I was falling for him. But his response had been very Han-Leia, "I love you/I know." So, I asked....

"So," he said, returning to my table.

"So," I said. "You know that thing I said you were right about earlier?"

He nodded. "Uh-huh." His beautiful blue eyes staring into me. My friend was right. His eyelashes curl.

"I just had to wonder," I said, a toe in the water. "Is that all right?"

"Oh yes, it is," he said. "It really is. And we'll figure it out. We'll spend more time together and we'll work it out, what we're going to do. I hope that next time I'll be able to get better sneak-away time with you."

He asked about dessert. "What do you want?" he said. "I mean, besides me." And he winked. He set the ticket on the table. As usual, he didn't ring up my drink and he'd left off the dessert. I protested. "I'm not going to charge you for that, are you serious?" When I still protested, afraid he'd get in trouble for that. "Seriously, I'm better than that."

I tipped generously. He came back and said, "Thank you for your contribution." And winked again.

I said, "Well, I have to make up for the state I was in this morning. You had to see me without brushed hair and no makeup."

He made a "pffftt" sound, and lowered his voice. "Did it seem like I minded? I mean, you could probably tell how much I enjoyed seeing you."

Later, as I was getting ready to leave, he asked when I'd be back. I told him a round-about date. "Call me before then and let me know for sure," he said. "Next time, I want to have a day off that I can spend with just you. All day, with you."

That, dear diary, sounds like just what we need.

In the words of Dhor.....

EEEEEEEEEEEE!

Yesterday afternoon, I remembered a conversation with Greg, in which he said, "If anyone at the restaurant asks, you're an old friend of mine from Colorado, here for a visit. Okay?" Cool by me. See, I can't be just another customer, or he'll get fired for being too friendly.

So, why was this memory important? I hatched an idea for letting Greg know I was still in town. I called the restaurant and talked to a very helpful hostess. She was very sympathetic to an old friend of Greg's, in town for a short time and that time happened to coincide with him being off work. Oh yeah....and this friend had money she owed him. Lends a sense of urgency, dontcha know.

Knowing his phone doesn't work, I said, "I must have written his phone number down wrong, and I can't reach him. Can you leave a message for him that I'm in town until Tuesday?" I gave the hotel phone number. She even looked up the number they had for him to see if it matched what I had. I switched one digit and she gave me his phone number anyhow.

So, I pouted all day and felt the uselessness of my little plan in the pit of my stomach. Chances were slim to none that he'd call in, unless he felt better and decided to pick up a shift on his day off. Crap. Crappity, crap, crap.

I turned in about 1:00 this morning. I woke up at 7 AM, when my phone went off. I had a text from my daughter. "Send this to 8 people and someone you miss will want to be with you today!" If only it was that simple, I thought. And then I got sad. How pointless it was for me to be here. I should've caught that 7:10 AM flight anyhow. I abused my pillow for a moment and went back to sleep.

I woke up an hour later. This is a noisy hotel. Last night, I kept hearing a knock on my door, but no one was there. I'd get hopeful, go to the door, and....nothing. I finally figured out it was someone knocking on the upstairs neighbor's door. Beautiful.

But this noise was louder. Was it really my door? Probably the hotel, seeing if I'm checking out today or tomorrow. I knew something would get screwed up with that. I dragged my sleepy ass into my bathrobe and ran a hand through my disheveled curls. I checked the peep-hole, like a good traveling Blogget.

My heart skipped. I was looking at the beautiful blue eyes of dear Greg.

I opened the door and peeked out at the bright light. Smiled and said, in a very sleepy voice, "Hey you."

He stepped in and wrapped his arms around me, holding tight. I held on tight, too, nuzzling into his chest. "You thought you weren't going to see me again," he said.

I nodded. "You didn't know I was still here, and I couldn't reach you."

He reached over and turned on the light. "Ouch," I said, and turned it back off. He laughed.

"I have all kinds of stuff I needed to get done this morning," he said, listing a few things. "But I went by the restaurant to sneak something to eat and pick up a shift later, and got your note. Nice note, by the way, with the room number that could get me in trouble." He was smiling, and not really scolding me.

"Hey, I said I was an old friend and all that," I protested. "That should be okay." He agreed.

"I just thought, 'She's going to come by this morning and see I'm not there and think I pulled a disappearing act'," he said. "Then you wouldn't come back later. So, I had to come see you tis morning."

He's pulling at my robe. "I have to brush my teeth," I said. I'm a little picky about that. I hate it when my teeth aren't brushed.

"I don't care about your teeth," he said. "Just come and be with me." (I managed to brush very quickly!)

"You know, you were right about something the other day," I said, quietly. As we kissed, and got closer.

"What's that?"

"I think I am falling for you."

"I knew it," he smiled. He wrapped me up in his arms again, kissing my shoulders as he made love to me, slower this time. He still had to leave too soon. We'll see each other later.

I thought about that text from my daughter. How odd. And I didn't even have to forward it to eight people!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The shit that happens to me....

I should have known it would happen this way. God has a thing against letting me have happiness. I get an inkling of it, I get hope....I get the carrot dangled for me. Then He yanks it away. I've about come to the conclusion that it's sport to Him to torment me and break my heart.

Yesterday, Greg was to be off of work right at 4:00. He was going to come by my room and we'd make plans for the evening. It was going to be just a quick "Hello" because he had to get his son to his ex at 4:30. Sometimes, if he's late, he misses her and he ends up keeping his son instead.

He also was coming down with a cold, that seemed to be getting worse.

See this coming?

At 4:45, I hadn't heard from him. So, I left a note on my door and drove the two blocks to the restaurant. His car was still there. I decided to find a spot and wait for him to come out. I waited about 10 minutes, then called and asked to speak to him. "He just left," the hostess said.

I pulled out of my space and my heart stopped. The spot where his car had been was empty. I had managed to be looking the wrong direction. He left from the other way. And he wouldn't have known my car -- it's a rental and rather non-descript.

It was 5:00. Chances were that he'd have his son that night, so our plans were off. He still doesn't have a phone because he's footing the bill for daycare right now instead. And the only number he has for me is long-distance from here. Communication is not at all convenient.

So, I did laundry and visited with some old friends here. All the while, something nagged in my gut. He's supposed to work Sunday (today), so I could see him then. But if the universe holds true, something is going to happen and make that impossible.

It did. He had to call in sick.

I know he must be really sick to do that because he's in need of the money. The thing is, he thinks I'm leaving Monday. I'm not. I'm staying one more day. I was going to tell him that yesterday, when we talked after work. He's made the comment to me a couple of days ago, "I wish you were here Monday, too. I'm off that day."

So, he's off. I can't even go to the restaurant and let him know tomorrow.

I'm facing two lonely days now. And one of them wasn't even necessary. He's out there somewhere, and won't even know I'm still here.

The affection between the two of us was really gaining momentum. There's a spark here. Yesterday, a friend of mine was hassling him about having lived in Colorado briefly and still not being a Broncos fan.

"Yeah, but I wasn't there long," he said.

"But you're going to move back, right?" she said, throwing a look at me.

"I'm trying to!" he said, smiling.

But now....well, who knows....

Friday, February 08, 2008

Dicks

There are basically two definitions of "dick," when not a proper name. First, there's the obvious, anatomical one. The other refers to people who are one.

A man I used to work with IS one. He's the printer, but you'd think he was King of England when you go out to eat with him. He likes his servers to be transparent. Serve his whims, at his whim, and say "Yes, sir," and be delighted with it. If he's unhappy with a server, he makes it known and infects those around him with it.

Well....Greg is anything but transparent.

Greg is a lively waiter. He hassles and plays with his customers. He makes them smile. Except for Dick.

Some of my former coworkers organized a little group for lunch, made up of those who worked closely with me. Sweet of them. But Dick went, too. And I'd forgotten how he can be.

We went to Friday's for lunch. I thought it would help boost Greg's tips for the day. It was a disaster waiting to happen.

Greg stopped to take our drink orders. When Dick gave his, he was his usual loud, somewhat pretentious self. To those of us who know him as a tremendous loudmouth, what happened next was hilarity itself.

Greg leaned in and said, "Sir, please. Inside voice."

Now, I've seen Greg say this to other people. He simply had no idea what a nail he'd struck on the head this time. Dick fumed. When Greg left, Dick turned to me and said, "I don't think I like him."

I replied, "Really? I like him very much." Dick frowned.

To give you an idea of how this went, here are some snippets.

After Dick drained his tea glass very quickly, Greg said, "Now, sir, I'm going to have to ask you to slow down. Do you have a designated driver?"
Dick: "How about you just keep refilling it whenever I want. Isn't that what you're paid to do?"

Dick later decides to switch from tea to Diet Coke. He orders that.
Greg: "Oh, I see! Trying to confuse me, are you?"
Dick: "No, that's just what I feel like drinking. It's your job to get it for me."

Greg threw me a wide-eyed look and decided to back off the kidding around with Dick. Too late. The man was in full hautiness.

From that point forward, Greg did minimal kidding with us....except with me and one of my friends. This is the same friend who was on the phone with me when I first met Greg. She likes him. Sitting beside me, she noticed little things, like how he'd lean on my chair while he was talking and make little circles on my back with his thumb. Subtle, and sweet.

Later, she said, "It's just obvious how much he likes you. The way he looks at you, touches you. Girl, he's so sweet."

I apologized to him later for Dick's behavior. He blew it off, and moved on. "I made enough tips yesterday to get some stuff I needed for the house," he said. "Like something to eat other than chicken pot pie. And I picked up something for you, too." He'd give it to me later, after his shift.

Another afternoon of his pausing to visit with me, saying provocative things about getting off work and coming to visit me. "I wish I didn't have so much to do tonight," he said. "I'd rather be with you. But I'm only one guy...whadda ya want from me?" He laughed and started to walk away.

"I think you know the answer to that, " I said quietly. He came right back to me, leaning on the table, his face inches from mine.

"What?"

"I said, you know what I want from you."

He raised his brows. "What's that?"

"I want YOU," I said, emphatically.

His face changed a little, more serious. He looked at me intently. "Do you really?" I nodded.

"That's good," he said, and bounded off.

A few minutes later, he came back and stood opposite me. He folded his arms and said, "What are you doing?"

I looked at the iPod screen, in my hand, and said, "Uhmmm......playing solitaire?"

"No, I mean...." his eyes dropped from my face to my chest. I looked down. My sweater had fallen, exposing some impressive cleavage. "Yikes!" I said, and rearranged my sweater to a more decent level.

"Oh, I don't mind!" he laughed. "It's just that...." and he gestured around to the other server nearby.

Later, he stopped and whispered, "I can't wait to get out of here. I think I might just last longer today. I can feel it!" And he bounded off again.

He came to my room later, and gave me a candle he'd picked out. It has a soft, fruity smell to it. He looked a little bashful when he gave it to me. "It's not much, because I'm broke," he said, apologetically, "but I wanted to do something for you."

So sweet. I smiled, and said it was perfect and I love it, and thanked him. He wrapped me up in his arms. A little while later, we found a way to fit together that seemed to help him hold on longer.

"This is perfect," he said. "I can still see your pretty face, but I don't lose control." Well....almost. It still was longer than before, though. "It's just your fault," he laughed. "It's not fair!"

"I think you could fall for me," he whispered, into my shoulder.

"Yes," I said. "I like you quite a lot."

"I like you, too," he said. "But don't tell anyone at work or I'll get fired!" I laughed.

I'll see him tomorrow. I get to relax now. Sleep a little late. Meet friends for lunch. Hopefully, he'll be free tomorrow night. Keep the fingers crossed, dear diary!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Lots of work and little play....

You needn't worry, dear diary. Work was the priority today. Dammit.

I got to my old office at 9:00 this morning. Only a few people knew I was coming, so it took forever to get through the hallway. Many people said, "Hi!" like it was a normal thing to still see me there, then the lightbulb came on, they did a double-take, and wanted hugs. I probably answered "How do you like Colorado?" about twenty times.

Then, we got down to business. We talked about courses, course management systems, instructional design, and professors. We talked about projects I helped start. We talked about a major shakeup in the department. Several, actually.

As the meetings went on, I watched the clock. Greg wanted me to come see him when his shift started. 11:00. At 11:30, I know his rush was starting. At 12:30, I finally said my last goodbye (for today) and made the twenty minute drive to the restaurant. The lunch rush was about over.

I walked in the door and could see him watching me. He rushed to the front and maneuvered past the hostess. "I'll take her," he said, and ushered me to a table next to the wait stand.

"I thought you'd be here earlier," he said. "I thought you weren't coming!"

"I'm sorry," I said. "I just finished working."

"Well, see....I thought you weren't coming, so I picked up a closing shift."

"No!"

He nodded. "Yep. I saved this table right here for you all morning. Kept it open, and now your sweet ass comes in here, and I'm kicking myself." He promised to try to give away that shift.

As usual, he came and went as I ate my lunch. The conversation came in snippets, but the pieces added up to something like this.

"I've never been at wit's end before, but this week has done it," he said. "The only thing that's gotten me through is knowing I'd have time with you at the end of it. I can't wait to be in your arms again."

"I'm sorry it's been so bad."

"It's not your fault, baby. I'm sure glad you're here. Take me back to Colorado with you this time?"

"That would be nice," I said, sighing.

"Yeah, but your kids would freak out if I just showed up in their lives, right?"

I nodded.

No takers on the shift. "I swear, if I had $500, I'd tell them to shove it and get out of here with you right now," he said. "Maybe I'll become a gigolo. No, I'd be bad at that, if I can't last longer than four minutes with you." I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, dear diary, but dear Greg has the tendency to be a "minute man" with me....

I start to protest, and rolls his eyes at me. "I know, I know. You don't mind. But it bothers me a lot because I want to be better than that for you." He smiles a mischievous grin, and adds, "Of course, that's all your fine ass's fault," he winks. "Can't help myself."

Whenever he stood beside the wait stand, he'd stroke my shoulder where the other people at the stand couldn't see. Somehow, I was surprised how glad he was to see me, how relieved he was I actually came, how anxious he was to spend time with me. However, I held back on one thing. I bit back the words, "I've missed you." It's true, I have missed him. But is this that kind of thing to him? I wasn't sure how much he actually missed me, or if this is just a nice fling he thinks of when I'm going to be there, and not in between.

Later, he met me at my hotel room. The door hadn't even closed when he caught me up in his arms, with a kiss just as passionate and urgent. He held me close and tight, wrapping me up in him, and whispered into my ear:

"I've missed you so much."

He said it not as someone wanting sexually, but with an earnest fervor as he held onto me.

I kissed him. "I've missed you, too."

"Good," he said, and kissed me back.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Oh, how I love air travel....

It's a pleasant day in Western Colorado. It was Wednesday morning. I have plenty of time to get packed and out the door. The drive to Montrose (about 1 hour, 15 minutes) is very nice. Cold outside, but the sun is shining!

I get checked in at the little airport. There are two gates at this one, about 50 feet apart. They share the same waiting area. I settle in to wait for the plane. Big windows let you see the whole area outside the gates, and the planes on the tarmac. I look down to read.

When I look up, outside has turned white. All white. Blowing white. WTF?? When asked about delays, the woman at the counter says, "What? For a little snow?" Welcome to Colorado.

We were delayed. A lot.

I worried that I'd miss my connection in Dallas. The flight leaves at 4:50. We're due at 4:20, if the pilot's estimate is correct. The flight attendant seems to doubt it. The woman behind me has a screaming infant and is talking loudly about how we're going to crash and we're all going to die.

Thankfully, she's wrong. We taxi in to gate B11. The flight attendant says my connection leaves from B10. Oh, thank goodness! Sitting near the back of the plane, I want to shove everyone else out of the way and make a mad desh for the terminal. But I'm patient. Well, I'm quietly impatient. I finally step into the terminal....to hear my flight being called.

A dash to the next gate and short wait in line and I'm on the plane! Whew! I see my old boss from The Weirdest Job Ever on the same flight. It's been years! And I wish for time to chat, but her seat is in the back of the plane. I settle in by the window and hope to God that the person with the seat beside me doesn't show up. But he does. And his salesman buddies. And they are LOUD. They've come from a big company meeting and are complaining about one woman executive in particular.

The man next to me says, loudly, "Her only problem is she needs a man. If she had a man, she'd be easier to get along with."

He has a deep Texas twang and I'm embarrassed for all Texans, everywhere.

He's also congested. I can tell because every, oh 30 seconds or so, he makes that sucking-snot-through-the-back-of-the-throat sound. It goes like sniiiiffff....ggggccckkk. Gross, just gross.

He's sitting kinda sideways, to talk to his buddies. This put his backside against my thigh, under the little armrest. Suddenly, my thigh feels warm. That's weird, I though. Then it hits me.

He farted. Big.

Oh dear Lord, rescue me.

But I'm here to tell you, dear diary, to be careful what you pray for.

Thud.

Yep, the plane went THUD. Gasman hollers, "Hey folks! We hit a deer!"

The plane stops. And turns around. "Folks, we're taking you back to the gate. It seems our nosewheel has malfunctioned. It's making turns on it's own, and we'd rather not do that. Maintenance is going to check it out and get us on our way."

Maintenance checks it out, while we wait on board. Soon, the flight attendant says, "Folks, we're getting a new plane for y'all. So, please gather your things and exit the aircraft. We'll re-board from gate B9."

Gate B9 tells us to settle in for a spell, while the plane gets ready. I see Gasman make a beeline for the restroom. Oh, thank goodness.

We're told to board. We head down the jetway or whatever that hallway is called, and get to the plane....to be greeted by surprised faces. "Oh. We're not ready for y'all."

Back to the terminal. Back to the seats. Back to waiting. Gasman heads to the counter to raise hell. "I'll just rent a car!" he's saying LOUDLY. Please, people, give the man a car....

But no....we eventually board again. And Gasman goes to sleep. To do so, though, he has to get comfortable, which means sprawling over the armrest and putting his feet in front of mine.

What a charmer....

I arrived in Lubbock two hours late.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Poor SC

I finally heard from South Carolina. He sounds terrible. The help his ex needed was psychiatric.

He decided to come home early one day, close to two weeks ago. He found his ex writing a note. A suicide note. And she had his handgun beside her.

"If I'd been 30 minutes later...," he said.

Ex's sister has returned from Iraq to be with her, and their son has moved in, too. South Carolina feels his presence isn't helping, since she doesn't recall their split and divorce. He's moved into a coworker's house. A large house with plenty of room for him, he says.

She has had in-patient and out-patient care. She's heavily sedated. She still tries to call him, but she's groggy most of the time. His heart breaks for her, and he feels wrung out from it all. He's exhausted, but not sleeping. He's lost 12 pounds in two weeks.

"I know I'm far away," I said. "But what can I do to help you?"

"I could use a backrub," he says. "But that's not possible...."

"I would if I could," I say. "You know that, yes?"

"Yes. Thank you."

"Maybe in March. I can give you a bit of an oasis, then. I know it's awhile off, but how about the backrub then? In the meantime, call me anytime you need to."

"Okay. I will. I appreciate that."

Then, I told him to get some sleep, and he did. I haven't talked to him again, but my heart just breaks for his situation, and for what his ex must be going through. For her, it must be like a walking death, having lost everything she could once do and rely on. If you're a praying person, include her, okay?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

An up-and-down Saturday

A little here and there, on this atypical Saturday. It's atypical because we don't actually have anything scheduled today. That never happens!

First, does anyone know what would cause the blood vessels on the inside of your lower eyelid to burst? You can't tell anything's wrong from the outside, but the inside of my lower lid is a deep red and I had blood in the tear duct this morning. Maybe it's related to the dehydration earlier this week? It's been hard to stay hydrated since then.

That's gross. Sorry, dear diary!

Second, my son really needs to find a girlfriend who isn't embroiled in drama. Serious drama. He has the tendency to be attracted to girls who need to be "rescued." This one has a bizarre home life. Her folks split up with when her mom refused to participate in the swinger lifestyle. However, her dad has custody of the kids, and they all live with a couple, who he got "married" to in Las Vegas last year. I'm thinking that there's a part of the story we don't know, given that the mother is allowed visitation with the kids for only two hours on two weekday evenings.

Well, this girlfriend wants to live with her mom. So, mom approached dad about it the other night. The man goes ballistic, says something horrible to her, and she hits him. Hits him. He calls the police, and her butt is in jail. Way to go, on showing you're fit to have your teenager back. So, this dad has not put the clamps on daughter, because she wants to live with her mom, and she's not allowed to see anyone. This means my son is all broody about it. I spent last night talking to him about why it's a bad idea to decide to marry her right out of high school, so he can save her from her home life.

Blech.

But he's 16. He's had a couple of good meals and is in a better attitude now. He's telling me right now that he's hungry again.

Third, I have been concerned about South Carolina. He's been completely silent for the whole week. No texts, no emails, no calls, and not even online for IMs. I sent a text, expressing concern and that I hope all is well. No response. Finally, I get a message this morning. "It's been a crisis week with [ex-wife]. Had to take the whole week to find her the help she needs. Take care and talk to you soon." He was afraid she'd need full-time care, and it seems something has happened to make her situation worse. I feel bad for her.

Lastly, I had a nice lunch with Fella. He laughed at me this morning because when he called at 10:45, I was still in bed. I didn't have anything to actually do today, so I was enjoying Lazy Time. He said I should be doing exactly that because it's rare that it happens.

Then, he asked. "So, if you decided to get up and going, how long would it take you to get ready?"

I thought about it. "Oh, about an hour."

"You want some lunch with me? I need to do my taxes today, so I don't know if I can get out tonight, but we could have lunch."

"Well, do you want to do that first, then do something tonight."

"No," he said, with conviction. "I am hungry NOW."

I laughed, and got ready. We met at a little Chinese place nearby. He was more rested and upbeat than I've seen him in awhile. Son left for boot camp this week. His diabetes is much better. He was eating spicy food. For him, it was a good moment.

We talked about sn and the Army, about family events, about work. He showed genuine interest in how my week had been. In the middle of everything, his cell phone rang. It was son, making his first call (the first they allowed) since starting boot camp. Fella was relieved to hear from him. Son said it was tougher than he imagined, but he did not complain. This is a big deal because son often complains.

Fella relaxed today. He chatted at length about a lot of things. For THREE HOURS. Finally, his mother called and asked for his help doing the grocery shopping. If she hadn't called, we might still be sitting there!

He promised to call if he finished his paperwork in time for a movie. I talked to him a bit ago and it's going slower than expected, so no movie tonight. "I'll have to see how tomorrow goes. My niece might have a Super Bowl party, but I haven't heard anything definite," he explained. "If that doesn't come together, maybe you and I can do something." His tone was earnest. He wants to get together again, before I leave town.

We'll see how it pans out. I really don't think we'll end up doing anything tomorrow. It just doesn't ever work out that way. But it's interesting that he wants it to.