Monday, February 28, 2011

Say hello...maybe

I started this blog in 2004.  Over the course of the last seven years, a handful of people have discovered this blog, and then discovered that they really do know me.

"You're Blogget Jones" is not a phrase I hear very often in "real" life, but it has happened.  A couple of friends from the past have read this and then sent me feedback privately.  One other fella wanted to know why he wasn't included.

To my knowledge, no one I've actively written about has seen this blog.  Well, until now.

He has said that what's here isn't important.  It's my private business, and he trusts that I'll tell him about anything I write about, in any case.  So, I don't know that he'll ever read this, but he might.

So...Dear Diary, wave hello to Jacob.

It was a heart-stopping moment when I realized he'd found it.  A heart-stopping, kick-myself kind of moment.  Two things had happened simultaneously:

He followed Blogget on Twitter....
...then tweeted an "oops" message.

I'd waited too long to explain Blogget to him.  I've never wanted to reveal my secret identity to anyone, but this had been troubling me with Jacob.  I wanted to tell him, but needed a chance to warn him first that Blogget's writings are sometimes unflattering to me.  When I've done stupid things, I've written about them.  I sometimes look (and feel) like an idiot.

And I'm sexually blunt.  But I doubted that would bother him.

I also realized that others could find this blog so easily, too.  I deleted Blogget's Twitter feed.  That had been a stupid move on my part.

It's important that a few key people not read Blogget Jones's Diary. But Jacob is welcome to it, in all it's sometimes-embarrassing glory, should he decide to visit. I don't write anything he doesn't already know.

Monday, February 21, 2011

If you could, would you?

It's been a huge week for me at work. For about a year now, we've had two large decisions hanging over our heads:

  1. Do we officially adopt certain national standards for our online classes, and undergo all of the training to review and rework all of those classes?
  2. What will our new online delivery system be? Our current system is being discontinued, so we must move to something new. 
It's been a year of paperwork, research, testing, meetings...rinse and repeat.   The respective committees finally made their recommendations, which had to be presented to the President of the college for approval.  After all, it'll mean he signs a huge check for these things.  In a year when everyone is expected to slash budgets, we're asking for an expenditure of about a million bucks.

We had both meetings with the college President last week.  That was a fun morning.  No stress at all.  Luckily for me, my boss did most of the talking.  I was there to do presentations and fill in details.

The first meeting gets underway.  The whole committee is there, to support the recommendation.  My boss is explaining the whole thing, talking directly to the President.

And the man turns to talk to the person sitting next to him. In a normal, conversational tone.  While my boss is talking to him. Boss kept talking, but he threw a knowing grin around the room.  Apparently, everyone else was accustomed to this rudeness, but I was still appalled.

Still, we got what we wanted and were told to proceed with implementing the program and training we needed.  Cool.  One down.

The second meeting set up much the same.  I'm at the front of the room, waiting for my cue to show the pretty presentation I had for the President.  He sits down and flips through the handouts.  "You guys know more about this than me," he says.  That's about all he says.

My boss is sitting beside him, with the IT director.  They are going through the hows and whys of our recommendation.  They're, like, two feet from him.

He whips out his iPhone and starts texting.

They keep talking.

He gets up. And leaves.

My jaw dropped.  Seriously?

The accounting guy tells us we're free to proceed with the contract.  They know all they need to know.  Rubber stamp, and we're done.  We got what we wanted.

I must have had a look on my face because someone asked me to go ahead and show the pretty pictures.  I did that, but felt rather patronized.

On the way back to my office, I was elated that we got what we wanted, but I was still appalled by the behavior of our President. It was arrogant and demeaning.  I'm still a little speechless.

At first, I wished that it was acceptable for me to do something similar.  When I'm tired of a meeting, I just leave. Wow.

But would I really be that rude to people?  No, I wouldn't.  It's a matter of respect.  By showing me the disrespect he did, with his rudeness, he also harmed my respect for him.

Friday, February 11, 2011

My warm-fuzzy Valentine

Jacob has two adorable little girls, ages 10 and 8.  He says he thinks his life looks pretty bad, from the outside looking in.

"How so?" I asked.

"Two kids, with two different mothers," he said, making a face.  "That has to look irresponsible."

"No," I said.  "You have two daughters who you are making a good life for, and making sacrifices to see to it that they come first.  That doesn't look bad at all."

"We do what we must," he says.

"In my experience, a lot of people don't care what they 'must' do," I said.  "Especially where kids are concerned."

I've worried a little about the youngest being uncomfortable with his relationship with me. We know his oldest doesn't have a problem at all.  She's been testing my reaction to "I love you" lately.  She'll say it like, "You brought pie!  I love you!"  I hug her, kiss her on the head, and say, "I love you, too," and she seems happy.

Last week, when Jacob wasn't near, his youngest threw her arms around me and said, "I love you."  I reacted the same way with her, and she happily scampered away. Last night, I'm sitting on the couch with the youngest, playing video games.  Jacob came to sit by us, just sitting back and watching the goings on.  Youngest takes the controller (because I suck at games!) and leans against me to play.

"I love you," she says.

"I love you, too," I said, kissing the top of her head.

I looked at Jacob. His jaw was slack and his eyes wide. "That's huge," he said, mouthing the words.

I gave him a puzzled look.  "It's the second time," I said.  His jaw dropped more.

"She doesn't do that," he said.  "She'll answer you, but she'll never say it first."

I was speechless.  That moment meant so much to me.  To Jacob, too. His smile was of utter joy and delight, as she cuddled closer into my lap.

I saw that smile again, later, when we saw all three of our girls, sitting in a cozy pile together on the couch, watching television.

Finances are stretched at the moment, so he asked if I'd mind not making elaborate plans for Valentine's Day. I don't mind one bit.  Valentine's is about love.  And right now, I find that cup filling nicely.  I have my Valentine, many times over.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

WYSIWYG. No, really.

I found my perfect remedy for a headache.  Soft pajamas, Excedrin, and Jacob massaging the back of my neck, while I rest my head in his lap.  Defeated a migraine in record time.

I couple of days later, I had a little mini-breakdown and became one of those high-maintenance women that I generally despise.  Jacob texts me right before going to sleep.  And I do mean right before.  When you get the "Goodnight" text, you have about 30 seconds before he is out and oblivious to the world.  The man can sleep like the dead, and it's something I find endearing, strangely enough.

Anyhow, that night he said something about crawling into his "cold and empty bed," wishing that we weren't apart.  Not sure why this hit me so hard, but my first reaction was guilt.  Later, I understood he was just communicating how he missed me, but my gut took a big Carl Lewis-sized leap over the boundary of reason.

Actually, as I'm writing this, I realize why it hit me so hard.  In the past, such words have been the precursor to a nasty surprise.  Old BF said it was leaving him alone like this that caused him to cheat on me.  I wasn't there, and he wanted a warm body, so....  Ranger had the same problem, except it was because of my bad back.  My pain in those last weeks before my surgery was so extreme that our sex life took a nose dive.  He sought to fill the gap with his roommate.

By the way, Ranger and I have had some "words" in the last couple of weeks.  Things that seriously pissed me off and told me that I was making the right decision.  In those conversations, I have mentioned that I never got the whole story from him on the roommate.  He never once disputes that and has pretty well confirmed that there's more to the story, and I'm not going to hear it.

One day, he threatened suicide and deliberately made sure I wouldn't be able to locate him for many hours.  Left his phone, his wallet, his keys, and an "I can't do this..." note, where he knew I'd see it.  I went by there to get the rest of my stuff that he had, and instead of being there to help me dig it out and haul it to the car, he left all of that for me to find.  I did the digging and hauling myself, causing a great deal of pain with the surgery site, and vowed not to play the game.  I did not go looking for him.  Instead, I thought about what to tell his children if he followed through on the threat.  He ended up emailing me later that night and told me where he went.  I would have been right, had I tried to find him. But I'm not playing that game.

But I digress....

I felt terrible about Jacob and his lonely nights.  See, as long as my daughter is at home, I will not go stay the night with him.  She has to be the priority, and I won't disappoint her.  He understands that.  Still, I felt terrible.  So, I apologized for it.  And I said, "I just hope you don't grow weary of this and decide I'm not worth the wait."

"Ouch," he said.  "It's all right. What makes you think such things?"

"It's happened before," I said.

"You shouldn't worry so much," he said.  "I do understand. It's just how it must be for now.  I Love you." (He capitalizes the word "Love" all the time, something else I find endearing.)

His "ouch" made me think, though, that this expression of my insecurities could come across as an insult to him.  It made me think more about my worries and how I express them.

To be true, I have a basket full of insecurities.  My romantic experiences have taught me that I am often...insufficient.  Or even deficient.  I fall short of what the men I love need.  That's happened so often that I now seem to be hardwired for those feelings. I'm trying with all my might to shake that, to become rewired.

Unlearning is hard, though.  It hurts in that it brings up past hurts.  For instance, Jacob and I usually text each other constantly when we're apart.  When he isn't answering me, the worry sets in.  If he's not talking to me, who is he talking to?  Why am I not important to talk to?

And I have the added bonus of my mother's attitudes in my head: "If I meant much to you, then you'd talk to me at your first chance."  Oh yeah.  I grew up hearing things like that.  Hardwired, I'm telling you.

Then my brain starts spinning on little details, obsessing on hidden meanings.  Like, he called me "Love" today, but not "my Love."  He doesn't want to be with me anymore.  Or I mentioned dinner, and he didn't answer.  He doesn't want us to have dinner together anymore.  It's an insane kneejerk reaction, and I'm generally able to unspin it in a little while.  I recognize it as unreasonable, so that's a good thing.

They are all old triggers, with their attached meanings.  So, they tromp through my head and my heart hurts, and I start unwinding myself.  Then, I get a message. With a picture in it.

He had been making a Lego rendition of me. Little things like that mean so much.

I'm doing better at keeping my rampant insecurities corralled. I'm still experiencing the kneejerk reactions that have been so deeply instilled in me, but his reactions teach me about better outcomes.  The kneejerk reactions don't have to be true, anymore.  He doesn't know how he is teaching me a different way, by just being who he is.

I'm adjusting to a relationship with someone who says, "What you see is what you get," and actually means it.  I am enjoying the sense of relief that comes in little stages, when the negative speak has learned to stand down.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

A day off

Jacob and I decided to try an experiment.  We each took a day off and committed the day to each other.  It's the most time we've spent together yet.

So, I dressed for the occasion.  Baby-doll blouse that hangs just past my hips.  Ruffled rhumba panties.  Over-the-knee socks.

When I got to his house, he still had sleepy eyes.  He'd gotten his girls to school and was working on his first cup of coffee.  He told me to get comfortable while he showered.  I left him with a little tease.

"I wore good socks today," I said.  He loves my funky socks.  He glanced at my feet, which were still partially covered by my jeans.  "When you're done showering," I said.  He grinned and headed off to the hot water.

I lost the jeans in a hurry.  When I heard the floorboards creaking, indicating had finished his shower, I headed to meet him in the doorway.  I couldn't have planned it better.  The sun beams crossed that doorway as I leaned against it.

The expression on his face was such a thrill to me.  His eyes studied me for a moment, lighting on the long socks and then the sun in my curls.  "You're stunning," he finally said.  For the first time in a long time, I thought I might believe that.

Suffice it to say, the next few hours were...incredible.  We didn't break the bed again, but we managed to move it.  Afterward, we lounged and talked and laughed for a long while, until we couldn't ignore our growling stomachs anymore.

We dressed and headed downtown, to a lovely little cafe I found that serves the best Eggs Benedict, and with multiple variations.  We each got the Crab Cakes Benedict, with lemon hollandaise sauce. Oh so delightful!  It's the first out-and-about meal we've had, just the two of us.

He usually cooks for us, but he's letting me share that burden more often now.  Daughter and I spend so much time at his house that it just has to impact his grocery budget.  I can't let that happen.  Besides, he likes to clean up, too.  It's not fair that he cooks and cleans!  So, I'll cook now and again.  I try to clean, but he won't let me.

After brunch, we headed to a favorite bookstore.  With yummy, warm drinks in hand, we wandered the shelves.  No children in tow, saying, "I'm bored!"  So, we stopped and looked and read and discussed (and kissed) at will.  For hours.  It was sheer heaven.  See, my family hates to accompany me to bookstores because I can be there for hours on end.  Even Daughter, who is a major reader, loses patience after awhile.  But not Jacob.  He has the same problem, but we seem to have found a solution in one another's company.

We also stopped at Target.  To look at Legos.  Where I'm a Star Wars devotee, Jacob is a Legos fanatic.  I'd picked up some playsets he day before, and he and his girls were chomping at the bit to get at them.  My daughter had this reaction:

"I'm no good at Legos," she said.

"Then we'll get you a Duplo set," I said, smiling.

"You're not funny," she said, scowling at me.

So, Jacob and I stopped at Target.  And got a Duplo set.  Well, and a real Lego set that we thought she might enjoy.

The time passed too quickly.  Soon, it was time to pick up our children.  He looked at the time and frowned.  "Why does time move so fast when I'm with you?" he said.  He sighed, put his arms around me and kissed me.  Leaning his forehead against mine, he said, "Grrr."

This is a multi-purpose word.  Grrr means "I love you." Or "I wish for something else at the moment."  And he has a special Grrr for me that mean "I want you."  This Grrr meant all of that.

"Grrr," I said back.

And we went our separate ways.  I snagged Daughter and went about our errands.  We picked up dessert.  We were to meet back at Jacob's house for dinner, games, and Legos.  His oldest has asked that we now have a game night together once a week. 

After dinner, we cleared the table and brought out the toys.  As Jacob is passing around the boxes, he said, "And here's the one for Daughter."

She stared at the preschool box of Lightning McQueen from Cars.  "You're not funny, Mom," she said. But she was laughing.

Jacob burst into laughter.  "But it's Lightning McQueen!" he said.  "How can you not find that cool!"  They took the big blocks out and started assembling.  Which was literally two blocks to make the car.  Jacob pulled it apart and added another block. Lightning McQueen on a lift kit.

Then, he handed her the real set.  We all set to work pressing little blocks together and playing with the resulting toys.  He's right.  They're incredibly cool.  And my office now has a Lego landspeeder in the window.

Daughter learned that not only is she good at Legos, but she enjoys them, too.  She can't wait for the next Lego night.

As with almost every evening we all spend together, we laughed until it hurt.

As we said goodnight to the girls, the oldest hugged me tight and said she didn't want us to go.  "Why can't they just live with us?" she declared.

The following morning, my phone woke me as it buzzed with a Twitter update.  Jacob had posted something new.

"Yesterday, I spent the morning with my lover, the afternoon with my friend, and the evening with my family. It was a great day."