Sunday, February 13, 2011

if only it could be that simple...

“Let her down easy!” he shouted over the clang of distant church bells. “That’s it….easy.”

I watched closely as the crate came down. Not as easy as the foreman was directing, but no sides blew off the container so I suppose it was considered a good landing. My crate, or actually my car’s crate, who was snugly packed inside, had made its way stateside. It was finally making it’s way home.

Three months prior I had been touring Europe with a friend. When I flew into Amsterdam to begin my adventure, I had no intention of buying a car. I had a large framed backpack and a Europass for the train. I was going to hitch, ride and walk my way across the countries of Europe. One misread train ride and I was ended up at a dealership buying a car as renting one was pretty damn expensive.

My car at home had blown its engine days prior to my departure and I figured I would just ‘deal with that’ when I got back. My ticket was open ended and I wasn’t sure when it might be. It could be a week. It could be two. It might be a month, but ended up as four. Four and a half to be exact. I would’ve stayed longer but I ran out of money and my parents refused to wire more. So home I was now, anxiously watching as my large souvenir from my European vacation arrived on the Dock C.

I remember the sound of the foremans voice as he directed the lift operator to take care with my car. Deep, resonate and slightly hoarse like he’s been smoking a pack or two of cigarettes a day since he was old enough to hold one. It was sexy in that rough worker dude way. I watched him as he moved under the crate, helping guide it to it’s final resting spot on the concrete. I remember the look of his well worn work boots. I remember the tag hanging askew on the pocket of his Levi’s. All strange detailed things to recall for a brief five minute meeting.

But it’s the words he spoke.

“Let her down easy”.

I was thinking about that the other day. Outside of the crate that held my car which made a safe landing, I’ve never been let down easy. It’s always been a big crate crashing ordeal with my heart ending up broken and in pieces.

Even when I’m the one ending a relationship it’s MY heart that is shattered. Why is this? Do I feel too much? Expect too much? Internalize too much? Why is it that others can go through the same process and never, ever look back and yet I do?

One of my co-workers recently ended her engagement. She made the decision and never looked back. She even started dating another seriously immediately while the firsts guy calls and asks her to give him another chance. “Hell. no”, she said. I asked her how she’s able to do this, not have any residual emotions bubbling to the surface especially since she had been so close to going to the alter. I mean, she has a child by this person and yet, she doesn’t look back. “He messed up. I hold grudges. For a long, long time….”

I told her she should hold seminars. There are many of us out there that could learn by her example. Especially me. There have been moments when listening to music that can reduce me to tears. This one gets me thinking about that guy in college. That one for my ex. The next making me think that maybe I was wrong to send my last boyfriend packing.

I used to have a favorite song years ago. The lyrics of this particular XTC song read, Everyone seems to wipe their feet with anything with Welcome written on it. I believe that somehow I have become that pervierbial welcome map.

“Come on by”, it calls to passersby. “There’s still a spot left unmarred on this baby. Spots still clean…wipe away!”

There was the boyfriend in High School that started dating the cheerleader while I was on vacation with my family. And the boyfriend in college that started doing my roommate while I was on spring break. The boyfriend who dated my best friend, the boyfriend who just dated, and the boyfriend that went to a party, brought home another girl and ended up marrying her. It seems that my history with men has not been good. Everyone I have relationships with stay with me for a long time and then leave to marry the next girl that comes along. All this after I’ve helped them with their careers, their school, their wardrobe and their vehicles. Once they’ve gotten everything from me that makes them a complete package…then they move onto the next. The next girl in line has a much better person as their companion than the one that I started with.

Yes girls…you all are very, very welcome.
Not.

I resent having done this over and over again. You’d think that I should see the signs. You’d think that I would know better. But no. I can’t seem to see it when in it. I just let it happen and happen and happen and then end up looking through stacks of correspondence that makes it all crystal clear. That if I could have staid the line I drew in 2004, or 2007, or 2010, then I wouldn’t be where I am now. Feeling betrayed and used yet once again.

But I’m done with that portion of my life. The next person that comes in will have to BE someone on their own merit. Not be-coming one with my help.

I have since 'the breakup' joined some dating sites. Match. eHarmony. OKCupid. It’s been an adventure to say the least, but none I've met has me feeling any emotional connection. Yet. At first I monitored them quite religiously and set up meetings and dates, but lately haven’t been all that keen to even follow up. So far I’ve met a potential companioion that ended up being good looking but not having much of a backbone.

I don’t mind having a bit of control in relationships….but I have decided that in this foray into dating I do not, repeat, do not want to make all the decisions. In choosing a restaurant “I don’t care, wherever you want”, or a day “Anytime is good, you just let me know”, or take the initiative “I was just going to call/text/e-mail you but you beat me to it”. C’mon. Really? Bye-bye Jimbo. Good luck to you.

Or the ego fragile Bradley. Good luck on your search I get in a text at 6am. What? I coyly answer him back How did you know I couldn’t find my matching earring? I get it. I didn’t answer him back in the middle of the night when he texted me. Uh, dude…it’s called ‘sleeping’. I like to do it from time to time. Especially between the hours of 11pm and 5 am. I understand that you are a construction worker and currently on leave so all you have to do is sit around all day and then can stay up all night…but that. Is. Not. My. Life.

Oh, and no. My hair is not long enough to put into pigtails. And no, I do not take random photos of myself doing random things to send via MMS to people that I don’t really know. “ALL girls like taking photos of themselves!” Well Bradley, maybe girls do…but I don’t. I suppose that makes me a woman. Who does not wear pigtails. Good luck in your search too.

Sure the attention has been grand. I love the compliments. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve been showered with this much attention. Not that I really have the time to deal, but still…it’s great. It really is.

That and the side effect of not cooking three meals a day for a spouse that’s not really a spouse and the beer drinking and eating deep fried chicken wings that was his ‘fav’…well, I’ve lost a total of nineteen pounds to date. Without doing anything.

Yes.
You read that right. Without doing anything.

I should write a diet book. It’ll be the new hot trend. Just get rid of the number one stress inducer in your life and watch the pounds drop off like magic! Remember the sleep apnea that I was diagnosed with? Gone. Completely. I sleep soundly every night without waking. I wake up refreshed and ready to start the day.

With a good attitude.
Feeling great.

Go figure!

AND I’ve got this whole single thing worked out. I don’t really need the internet. I don’t need networking with my married friends with single friends. I don’t need to join a book club or health club. What I need is to go skiing every week.

Yes. That’s the secret.
My friends daughter told me so.

See…Katlyn’s thirteen.
A tween’er.
And smart, with a the solution to all my woes.

Last week when in Western New York skiing she let me in on the karma of single life on the ski lift. I was actually talking to Kim, but Katlyn chimed in.

I was filling Kim in on what was going on in my life currently. We are great friends, but we don’t see each other as often as we’d like ever since our kids switched to different schools. But one week a year we get together and ski. It’s a blast.

I told her that I had about given up on the eHarmony thing (really? THESE are the people that are my matches by 29 dimensions? I think not) but that I was still engaging in conversation with some people on Match.com.

“Match?”, Katlyn said with exasperation. “Match dot com? Are you kidding me?”

“Yes. Match dot com.”, I responded, “but, why the tone Katlyn?”

I mean sure. Tone is expected from a tween’er, especially a snowboard tween’er that refuses to zip her coat because it lowers the cool factor. But this was the tone of all tones.

“Oh….please, Ms. Mac. Match is for losers. YOU...aren’t a loser.”

First thought was, “Geez! Katlyn thinks I’m cool!” And the second thought was that I wished I were a tween’er again. Her solution to my dating woes were to ‘just ride the singles line’ at the ski resort.

As if it could be so simple.

Single? Need a date? Want a companion for life?

No prob. Just get in the single rider line at the Mardri Gras high speed quad. Three runs and you’re sure to find your soul mate.

Me and my helmeted head are sure to attract all the eligible single dudes. I’m sure of it. Being that you can’t see anything on my body save the tip of my nose from time to time beneath the goggles, the turtle fur, the helmet, the jacket, the pants, the gloves, boots and skiis….yeah, I’m sure that it’d be easy.

I thought, well hey, maybe I should give it a shot. I used to be a member of the Fagowees when I first moved to Cleveland. It was a west side ski club that my boss drug me to once. She was single and didn’t want to go alone. The Fagowees became the weekend home for the lost weekends.

We’re the Fa-go-wees = Where the fuck are we

Yes.
There was alcohol involved.

And skiing. Lots and lots of skiing. Or was it lots and lots of alcohol with a little skiing. I get confused.

Whatever the configuration, it was damn fun in my twenties. Now in my forties, I’m not so sure it’d have the same amount of shine that it did back then. But you never know.

I promised Katlyn that I’d give it a try. I’ll try riding the singles lane a few times to see what conversation pops up. And I have.

So far a young snowboarder from Costa Rica. That was fun. He was hot. Really, really hot. So hot he undid his pants, I kid you not. Not all the way, but to ‘vent himself”. I tried not to fall off the chair lift.

And a retired man skiing on equipment that might be found in the Smithsonian.

A gay gal that wanted to have drinks and then there’s Michael. Who turns out to be a member on Match dot com himself. Actually I recognized him before he recognized me. He wasn’t wearing a helmet. He’s the ‘talldude’ from OKCupid that I’ve seen.

And he’s from Cleveland no less.

Tall, dark, handsome, funny and nice. He’s even a good skier. And got the voice (sans smoking) of the guy directing my crate from years and years ago.

Very nice…..

Hmmm, I wonder if he can golf?

But let’s get through the first few dates to see if this guy has backbone. And likes women that don’t wear pigtails.

Tomorrow I’ve got to go shopping. For some new shades.
All of a sudden my future looks mighty, mighty bright.
:-)




21 comments:

  1. Unexpected faces in unexpected places.
    You go, girl!

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  2. Boy, talk about a twist ending!
    Katlyn needs to a write a book, "The Tweens Guide To Dating In Your 40s". She's got some skills. Your friend had better watch out for the teen years.
    Michael sounds promising, but heed your own advice: don't buy the shoes hoping the break them in ;-)
    Looking forward to hearing more.

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  3. Young Katlyn may have a big future as an advice-giver. And meanwhile, I hope you have all kinds of fun with this new man.

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  4. I met my husband on cupid.com during a temper tantrum. I was going to look at just one more profile before I threw my computer across the room.

    Good luck with Michael :)

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  5. Best of luck and cheers and all that!

    Casey

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  6. So, the singles lift thing actually be the ticket... too bad my broken leg is keeping me off the slopes!

    What a great post for Valentine's Day!

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  7. Who knew a tween was so deep?!?!? Well just have fun! Too bad there isn't any snow in TX :(

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  8. You buys your ticket, you ride the ride. I hope it's a good one!

    Happy Valentine's Day!

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  9. Great post, great stories, and hoping for great things for you. Hope you find a keeper with no letdowns required!

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  10. I've read with interest where you are just now, and realise how closely lives all over intertwine without us realising. Yours and mine especially. I think the phrase go with the flow, grow within ourselves and if it happens fantastic. If it doesn't brilliant there is something more exciting around the corner just waiting to happen.

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  11. I wish you hope and happiness. Sounds like things are starting to look up. Long may that trend continue. :)

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  12. Out of the mouths of babes, eh? Wishing you WELL with this guy...but if he seems to need a mother as well as a mate, you'll know this time, right? Glad to hear from you again!

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  13. Best of Luck! It'd be a great tale to tell in years to come...

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  14. Oh, what a perfect Valentine's post. I loved the pace of it and the optimistic ending.
    And I agree w/the tween. Skiiing IS the answer! For everthing: meeting men, getting exercise and fresh air, and that little high, of course (don't get me started).
    Nothing like skiing to clear your head (that, and writing). Wee...! you're on your way... another exciting ride - I'll be following. ;)

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  16. I think being single is an adventure in its self and all the crazy stories that you get when you do dating sites or go to the single line at the ski slopes. I think I may need to try that.

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  17. oddly, reading this caused me to go and put my hair in two ponytails. i'm not sure that's a good thing. i am, after all, 43.

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  18. Skiing=weight loss, clearing out the head, and possibly meeting the right man...hmmm, maybe I should give up hiking and ski...I'll keep the hubby but sure could use the weight loss and clear head...you go, Nancy!

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Do it. Do it NOW!
:-)