Monday, January 21, 2013

Pret à Porter

First signs of Spring
I had a difficult day the other day.

Well, sort of.

It followed a difficult exchange with the ex after he came to take the dog for the weekend, and that sent my mood into tailspin. I understand this is normal for many, but it is new for me, never having had a living ex before, as I was previously widowed. The subject of the exchange is not the point and I stated my case clearly for more money for the children. Now, will he be able to comply? We shall see.

But, following that exchange, I came to the conclusion that living in seclusion is almost a blessing. I do not have to negotiate with anyone. I can listen to the music I want, when I want, how loud I want. I can walk around as dressed, or not, as I want. Though I am sure any future boyfriend would prefer to see me walk around with less on than with more. I can read when I want and not have to scream at him to turn the volume down on whatever he is watching or listening to. I can cook what I want, or simply go out for what I want. I can go see the movie I want.

Near the entrance

I went to sleep that night and woke up still in a funk. I was supposed to go on an excursion with a new social group, but the idea of meeting nineteen other people for the first time was a bit intimidating considering the mood I was in. So, I made an excuse, sent an email and went to run errands.  Being dogless for the weekend, I also wanted to go play in the beautiful Southern California weather. But, where?

I eventually headed for the Japanese Garden in Van Nuys, California. I wanted a place that would be quiet, meditative, and serene. I also wanted to see it in a different season than when I last went in the fall of 2011. Well, I got to see a change of season, the beautiful golds and other fall colors had given way to the bareness of winter. Now, the Japanese Garden is located within the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve, a large part of the San Fernando Valley given over to park space, wildlife refuge, and recreation areas. There are plenty of parks sprinkled throughout the basin for family gatherings and large parties. One such party had assembled right outside the park area adjacent to the entrance to the Japanese Garden. The music was so loud and with such a heavy bass, I thought I was in a gay disco. The auditory and visual cues were so conflicting, I hardly knew where I was at times.

Still a tiny touch of color in winter.
Still, I enjoyed the garden. It was still beautiful in its winter wear and I was outside in the sunshine, not in the house cleaning or doing something else just as mundane. Yet, something was missing. Someone to share it with; someone to walk the path with maybe holding hands, someone to share its beauty with, someone to relax and enjoy his company. And all that felt nice. It felt good, like the warm winter sun.

And yet, when I returned home, I realized I would have to go through all those awkward phases I hate about finding a boyfriend; the dating; the negotiating; the trying-to-figure-out-what-he-meant-by-that; the getting to know him intellectually, emotionally, spiritually and, well, um, physically. And then what if there's one part that doesn't quite fit with what matters to me? How do I rank its importance in my checklist of determining his potential for moving from boyfriend to husband?

Then there's my biggest fear. I admit I'm afraid of this happening again. I settle for less than Mr. Perfect. I mean, I know no one is absolutely perfect; but, I settled for relationships that weren't the best match for me. I didn't get out when I probably should have. But, there's no looking back to regret, only to learn. Then move forward.

So, I admit it. I'm lonely. I want company. I try to talk to my dog and cat, but my dog looks at me with his head cocked to one side listening for a word he recognizes. My cat looks at me as if I'm stupid enough to think she understands human speech. Then they both wonder when I'm going to feed them again.

Some of my friends tell me, enjoy 'the dance.' "Enjoy the unknown, trying to figure each other out, the mystery." For them, its exciting. For me, it's torture. I say, "Cut the crap. We're adults, let's behave like adults. Let's be honest with each other, at least." This may even be difficult as I realize many adults don't know how to be honest with others, because they are not honest with themselves, first.

So, here's what I want. I want to walk into "Boyfriends R Us" and pick one out. A genuine, ready made, drip dry boyfriend and then take him home. But then, there's all the negotiation after that. The cooking, the cleaning, who does what, and when? (and later, to whom?) The 'I like this kind of movie, but he likes this type.' All of this brings out my anxiety of how much I gave in to my ex, how much I surrendered, how deflated I became.

So, maybe I'm not ready for a boyfriend.

Maybe, I should just let things happen and take it one step at a time.


  1. Just live....Jeff, just live. Make the most of the minute, the hour, the day. At the end of the day just be grateful that you lived another day.

    1. Nancy, I'll get there, but with everything going on with work, and the house, it's difficult. I may need to make some adjustments and then JUST DO IT!