Getting back on the Tony ride | Deciding whether to buy a ticket

~Previous Post~

It took him an hour to respond but I didn’t really notice; I was immersed in the shit show in my phone. My Mom had made me a tea and we chatted through how to respond to Fox. She’s a good coach.

Tony said he was sorry. He joked he’d better finish that job so we could have that dinner since it no longer “interfered with anyone”.

I will admit: being in the middle of an emotional mess is not the time I make the best decisions. My logic and my otherwise rigorous ability to think about the consequences of my actions, act with restraint, and be measured in my responses goes out the window. Especially when my focus is elsewhere. I can also rationalize like a mofo (Ed note: why isn’t it mofu??)

My focus was completely on Fox, yet my brain found some room for Tony, as a way to think about Fox. And my thought process went something like this:

  • I need to make a decision about whether to try again with Fox.
  • I don’t miss him and would love to have a quick answer to my core question: is he the right man for me.
  • In the past, if I’m trying to figure out how I feel about someone, sometimes being with some else helps me understand (See: Johnny Id).
  • Maybe one way to gauge my feelings for Fox will be to see Tony. If I see him and think “no thanks”, that will tell me something. As will the opposite response.
  • Another benefit to seeing Tony is I can gauge how I feel about Tony, after some time and space (it had been two months since our goodbye and almost three since the last time I’d been intimate with him).

So that’s how it worked. Flawed or not, I knew after having dinner with Tony I would have more clarity on Fox. And maybe Tony as well – bonus insight. In the heat of all the emotion, when I’m the one yearning for more, it’s easy to get caught up in all the reasons I want something, and lose sight of the negatives.

Relationship challenges aside, Tony isn’t a slam dunk, and I knew it.

Armed with my logical (maybe) approach, I looked at my calendar, and sighed: only one free weekend night until the end of the month. Which in some ways was welcome; there’s only so much I can be alone with my thoughts and “Breaking Bad”. My two child-free weekends I had girlfriends visiting. I had theater tickets (at the time) and wasn’t going to invite Tony; I wasn’t prepared to start inviting him to events.

I told Tony if he wanted to have that dinner, the upcoming Friday was my only free night until the end of the month. He said it was a date and good motivation to finish that job.

The next day, Fox asked me to meet that Friday. Tony aside, I didn’t want to; I had no answer for him as yet and didn’t want to set up a potentially romantic dinner just to tell him I didn’t know what I wanted. When I said I couldn’t meet him, he asked why – what my plans were. I lied; what else was I going to do?

::

Tony made dinner arrangements; I had taxi issues and was late. Roles were reversed and that was okay. He stood up when I joined him at the table (as all men should) and greeted me with a big hug.

Since my life isn’t a Hollywood movie (even though it feels like there’s enough drama and comedy to fill several scripts), we didn’t immediately gaze into each others eyes longingly and express our undying love for one another (sorry, Team Tony).

It was actually ever so slightly awkward. Not enough that anyone listening to us would notice, but was what I would expect after a couple of months of no-contact and neither party really knowing what the ground rules were.

I actually had a moment where I thought hey, this is cool. I think I’m okay to not take him home tonight.

My internal monologue kept up a good clip as we chatted and laughed over a long and delicious meal and a few drinks. I realized the ease of conversation and the banter was something I really had missed with Fox, and I had it with Tony. It’s not everything, and there was a lot I didn’t get from Tony that I got from Fox, but it drove the point home.

We finished our dinner and he had planned where to go next… the last bar we went to on our first date. It was unexpectedly sentimental. This little bar holds maybe 20 patrons and is wonderfully low-fi. He bought our drinks and we stood by the heater at the door until we had spots at the bar.

Maybe it’s because we weren’t face to face anymore, or maybe it was due to his fourth drink, but he started to talk about…well…me.

He told me he’d been taking trips down memory lane lately. He looked at the media we’d shared via text and saw all the pictures I’d sent him. He had spent time interacting with some women on POF and realized just how “wicked” (amazing, not naughty) I was in comparison. He took down his dating profile because he didn’t have a connection with anyone. He talked of the awesome times we had together.

There was more, but I can’t recall it all now. I know my heart melted a bit to hear him say those things. My brain quickly stepped in and yelled at me a little: Ann, nothing has changed. 

But then my gut spoke up and told my brain that something indeed had changed, even if I couldn’t clearly identify it.

I touched his hand and he quickly enveloped my hands in his. He rubbed my wrist with his thumb, and with his other hand gripped my forearm, and in that moment I knew exactly how our evening was going to end.

~Next Post~

18 thoughts on “Getting back on the Tony ride | Deciding whether to buy a ticket

    • Yeah… it’s been there with him from the very first date, as you know. I missed that. They don’t make up for all the shit…but I haven’t figured out whether there will be more shit this time.

  1. If Fox was the right man, you wouldn’t have broken up; if this could be fixed with Fox, it would have been fixed already and this point would be moot. Tony may not be The Right Man but he’s the one who seems to be holding your heart. You seek exclusivity while not wanting to give up those things that make you the happiest so if you but that ticket to get on the Tony ride again, negotiate for the best and longest ride you can manage. I can’t imagine why you’d want to fix things with Fox when, in your own words, he betrayed you and then, obviously changed his mind and feelings about you because he’s been reading your blog.

    Handle it… but you probably knew I was going to say something eventually. Fox can keep you occupied; he spends QT with you but Tony, well, he’s everything that Fox isn’t (and, really, vice versa) but I will point out the many times when your body was with Fox… but your mind and heart were still with Tony.

    Hell, you might even want to rethink exclusivity and decide if it’s really the right thing for you to do and think more polyamorous than monogamous – just a suggestion, of course. I want the best for you, Ann; I want you to be happy doing all that makes you happy and not putting yourself in “prison” then finding out (yet again) that you don’t prosper in “captivity.” You know I won’t sugar coat things because you deserve better than to be placated and mollycoddled. Think carefully then decide what and who is best for Ann… and it’s not Fox right now.

    • Okay, back again.

      I’m not sure I want exclusivity in its purest form. I’d like to be in a relationship where we (together) occasionally play with others.

      But I will do what you say – negotiate for the best ride I can get 🙂

      These two guys really are so very different. It’s fascinating. If only I could pick the best of each – but that’s a fantasy I know can’t happen.

      I definitely don’t want captivity. Just my actions in the last week, reaching out to some former lovers, checking out all those ignored notes on AFF, tells me I know this to be true 🙂

      xo

      • Okay, you don’t want exclusivity, which is being purely monogamous; you need something that’s more about polyamory which can give you exclusivity – having that core relationship with some – while being free and able to pursue other interests, emotional, sexual, or all of the above.

        If you think being monogamous is hard, it’s “easier” than being polyamorous because, as I always say about this, you have to unlearn EVERYTHING you know about love, sex, and relationships so you can learn a new way to do these things.

        It’s the ultimate in having your cake and eating it… and the cakes of those who you choose to be with you in this. But, darling, sweet, Ann, it’s not for everyone; not everyone is that grown up so many people who try this fail on several levels and, as a hint, the biggest mistake they make is trying to be polyamorous but using monogamy’s rules.

        Go read what the poly bloggers are writing and you are invited to question me because, yep, been there, did it for 20+ years. Then think very carefully because polyamory would allow you to have Fox and Tony by your side… but only if the boys are grown up enough to hang harmoniously in this.

        Okay, shutting up now…

        • Totally hear you. I don’t want polyamory or an open relationship. I don’t think I’m cut out for it. My one experience with Johnny Id was horrible and I can’t see myself getting to a place where I’d be okay with a lover / spouse having an ongoing thing with someone else. No way.

          Occasional swinging is probably the closest description of what I may want. But it’s all still a myth for me right now – the closest I got to sharing was with Jason on occasion and he and I don’t have a steady relationship. I was okay with it and he did all the right things to reinforce that he and I were the “primary” relationship.

          • You have the power to create the kind of relationship you want and need… but you need a man or even some men who are gonna ride and die with you in this and no matter what. The question you have to answer is which one of these men are capable of dealing with what you want? Are they up to this great challenge?

            Even if you just wanna be a swinger, are they grown up enough to deal with this and then be able to share the experience with you even if they don’t participate? Can either of them… any of them love you enough to say, “Anything to make you happy, darling, and I’m with you no matter what.” – and they really mean it and are man enough to make this most important promise stick?

            Tough decisions, huh? But it can be done…

          • Very tough decisions and I’m not even sure that I can handle it. But I’d like to find someone to try with. I do know I need to feel secure in how they feel about me in order to not fall prey to petty jealousy. Not sure that Tony can make me feel secure, and not sure I want to try with him. But there’s no rush, is there?

  2. Oh Ann! I don’t have energy to write much tonight, really need to sleep and need to finish an important email first.
    So I’m just sending you hugs. Big ones.
    XOXO

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