It’s not about me.

A couple of months ago I’d connected with Bruce again. Probably because I’d texted to see how he was doing. He suggested we get together and then cancelled that day due to a change in his child schedule. It told me nothing had changed with him and there was no point in trying.

We exchanged no texts afterwards. But feeling magnanimous, I sent him a Merry Christmas and happy holidays text. He didn’t reply. Ever.

So in the last purge I sent him a goodbye text. I said I wasn’t sure why he didn’t reply, but I didn’t want to bother him and guessed he may be seeing someone else (it didn’t fit for me that he didn’t reply at all and realized perhaps he didn’t want to tell me).

I told him I had a dating story about us published in a local newspaper and would share it if he wanted to read it. It was the story of me mistakenly calling his wife. I said I wished him the best. Did I need to send it? Nope. But I did.

I then deleted him from my address book, my recents (sidebar: I found men in my recents I haven’t been in touch with for over four years. Recent, my ass!), and WhatsApp. It took a few tries to completely get him out of my phone. I didn’t want to have a weak moment again and reach out – I figured he’d made his lack of interest very clear.

I moved on.

At work yesterday I noticed a bunch of WhatsApp notifications. It didn’t say who they were from, because my phone didn’t know. I figured it was the group chat I have with my brother and others where it’s common for me to have 47 unread messages if they’ve been debating the merits of a certain restaurants saag paneer.

Later when I opened it I saw the following:

Hey Ann sorry
No you’re not bothering me
I would block you if that was the case
Just been dealing with a lot of shit …
I’ve been really …. I don’t know
Depressed I guess is the best way to put it
I mean just being brought to tears for …. no real reason… while at work
Laying in bed at home …
Try to put on a good face for the kids but …. it’s been tough
And …. I don’t know I became a recluse.
Thanks for thinking of me.
Ps it always make me feel horrible when we try to get together and something always comes up… like seriously
I hate that
You have been nothing short of wonderful
And I feel like shit and end up ignoring people because I have nothing positive going on so it’s easier to keep that to myself.
Hope you are well sweetie
And yes if you send me the link to your story …
I’d love to read it
Can’t imagine it’s too positive lol
Ps
That was the first ” booty call” I was ever offered
And yet couldn’t man up

It was Bruce.

I responded that it was nice to hear from him and I was sorry he was going through such a rough time. I knew from prior discussions he suffered from anxiety and depression, and I know how debilitating it can be from my relationship with Will.

He said he’d like to see me. He’s been the funny and sarcastic guy I liked so much. We have plans set for later this week and I’m not holding my breath. Even if we do see each other, I have no illusions it will be anything more than a one-time thing.

But at least it’s nice to know it wasn’t about me, at all.

funerals and wild women

Funerals and Wild Women.

As predicted, my Friday night also didn’t work out as expected. When the contractor made plans with me, he gave me a heads up that depending on his work schedule it may not pan out. Having dated several contractors, I’m now pretty knowledgeable about their work life restrictions, so didn’t expect to see him.

At least he didn’t ghost this time. A long text arrived early Friday morning that he had to work late that night and all weekend. It was no problem. Ann 2.1 welcomes time to write.

I worked late Friday night and left the office only when my stomach told me I should. Zane once asked when I “got off work” and I had to explain it simply doesn’t happen that way for me. I work until what I need to get done is done, but I also often control the schedule and can choose to leave at 4 pm on a Friday and do the rest over the weekend. But not this Friday.

Continue reading

Why are people afraid of me?

A brief exchange with a fellow blogger got me thinking about this topic. It’s not about him in particular, but it was the final piece that mentally fell into place for me. Why do we have to be so afraid of articulating our interests and experiences that fall outside of what the world perceives to be mainstream?

I’d long forgotten about being “Freshly Pressed”, that coveted WordPress publicity that says to the blogging world you are not just a good writer, but you say something worth reading.

I remember when I first started blogging I would read those who were Freshly Pressed and notice with longing others who had that badge on their pages. I told myself I wasn’t a writer and would never achieve such a blessing from the blogging powers that be. It didn’t stop me from wanting it, however. It’s taken me a long time to get more comfortable with doing something knowing I won’t be the best at it. Continue reading

date night couch tony dan

Thursday night: freedom, then trapped…on the couch

Thursday night was the “date night” Tony referred to in a conversation earlier in the week. We had no date-like plans, which was fine by me. I took some more of my freedom back today, but ended up trapped anyway…on the couch.

It was an awesome day, to be honest. I herded cats real hard at work, had a coffee date with a man I haven’t seen in over a year (more to come), and continued my journey of speaking my truth and closing doors.

I’ve maintained the burner phone number app for many months – I got it first to communicate with Tony, but then used it primarily for online dating. I’d recommend it to anyone. Continue reading

Dinner date with Zane

Wednesday night: declined sex yet again

Something may be wrong with me, people: I had the opportunity to get laid and said: “no worries, I’m tired too.” But, my dinner date didn’t end as planned. Perhaps it’s a phase. Perhaps it’s personal growth.

Nah.

Zane and I had our concert date. He’s not very familiar with the city core and also seems a bit directionally challenged. It’s interesting to me; while I recognize everyone has different skill sets and am pretty understanding, for some reason it’s irritating to me when men I date lack that particular skill. Continue reading

Tuesday night: Lewis, Dan, and right decisions

I enjoyed my two weeks of vacation; I monitored my emails but didn’t really do any work. It was bliss. Until I came back to work and had to deal with the onslaught of urgent things needing to occur this month. I enjoy it, which makes a huge difference – it’s usually good stress.

Tuesday I canceled on Lewis. I worked at my desk until after 6 pm, left to go home to eat with a glass of wine and my computer at my kitchen table. He was working late as well, so we agreed to touch base around 9 pm. While I was close to wrapping up my work then, I simply didn’t feel like getting together with him. I was tired, and wanted to write.

He was fine with it, saying for sure we’d need to have a session next week.  Continue reading

Monday night: Tony and a different kind of workout

I wish I could write about my new fitness regime, like some, but I haven’t quite gotten there yet. My head has been up my ass with work and life. Emotional health, but not physical. Sex has been my only exercise.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I did get back on skates last week, which was terribly nerve-wracking given my accident a year ago… but very satisfying once I did it. I was proud of myself. And didn’t fall. I’m getting on skis for the first time in 20 years this weekend…keep your fingers crossed for me.

I did pretty well with my physical health for a while. I’d been seeing my personal trainer for over a year, except my stuck-on-the-couch-because-I-was-broken phase. Last Fall, he got fired from the private fitness center he worked at because he refused to work extended hours. He was amazing and I didn’t want to work with someone else. I was also irritated at how management dealt with letting me know, so there’s been no personal training for me.  Continue reading

I’m not sure how much “space” I’ve actually created

do feel quieter, mentally. It’s all relative, I suppose. I still wake up with thoughts of lost friendship and lost potential, but it’s the exception, not the rule. I don’t miss online dating. I’d left one app on my phone called Inner Circle – it’s new-ish and proved to be completely useless: only two men in my city on the app over the age of 38, my height or more, with a college education and children. TWO.

If I removed the “children” requirement there were maybe twenty.

A 28 year-old tall handsome professional reached out to me. He said he loved older women and I seemed to be exactly his type. He was interesting and articulate and figured I had nothing to lose by responding. We texted back and forth for a week. He flaked on a date we’d booked for tonight and I didn’t care one bit. Continue reading

personal growth

I was going to write about Gentleman Douchebags…

…but I realized, while sitting at my kitchen island and drinking hot apple cider as a way to stave off the deep chill (literal, not metaphorical), it’s all about the stories we tell ourselves. When we think about our past, or our personal growth, what is the narrative we believe to be true, and how does it prevent us from seeing our behavior for what it actually is… or what we actually are?

I’ve created some mental space in my life by not seeking out anyone new and deleting those who haven’t made an effort. Yes, there are some men still around, but none are taking up much of my time or energy. I’ve been on an almost two-week vacation and have enjoyed time alone as it’s allowed me to focus on my book.

In trying to decide what to write about, I’ve done a lot of reflection on my journey. I’ve looked at every single blog post I’ve written. I’ve remembered men and experiences long-forgotten.  Continue reading

Zane wants children

When he wants children, and I don’t.

Zane and I have seen each other several times since we met at the party a few weeks ago. He wanted to see me again as quickly as possible, so we snuck in a short drink date the next day before I got Liam for the week. I liked him as much one-on-one as in the party atmosphere.

He is soft-spoken and very articulate. While he says he’s an old man inside and is worldly, he’s clearly in his mid-thirties. He asked me for advice on my work success and I died a little inside: it’s not the kind of relationship dynamic I’m looking for.

He’s told me how beautiful he thinks I am and marvels at how captivated he is. But he has none of the creepy clinger vibe of John. He’s not in love with love. In contrast, he tells me he’s picky and I believe him.  Continue reading