I’ve traveled to a new place.

I can’t pinpoint a specific trigger.

This built over over time, piece by piece. Moments of clarity, frustration, solitude, and heartbreak in the last four-and-a-half years have culminated in the place I am today. As someone said to me recently, we are, after all, the result of the good and bad decisions we’ve made.

Regardless how I got here, I’m here. And it’s pretty awesome.

I am, at present, without romantic yearning or expectations.

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Bruce is Hot

Bruce seems to be back.

Shockingly, the date Bruce and I planned…happened. Having low expectations is sometimes a wonderful thing. And even though we met, I didn’t expect anything to continue afterward.

I’ve been surprised twice now.

We set a weekday night to meet when he was working in the city and I didn’t have Liam. Given past experience, I fully expected something to happen with his work schedule or children. In the past, sometimes he wouldn’t proactively tell me he needed to cancel – I would check in and he’d tell me he was already on his way home, having to now drive a colleague or some other thing.

Not this time. Continue reading

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.

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

Clearing the stable – for me.

I told my Instagram people on both my Ann St. Vincent and my real life account that I was taking a break for a while. I found myself doing dumb things like looking at certain men’s accounts who I was trying to move beyond. It was silly and unproductive.

I went through all of my messaging accounts and deleted the men who I was hoping would maybe come back, but knew they wouldn’t. In WhatsApp, I even deleted the archived exchanges (after downloading them, in case I ever wanted to reference them for the blog). The temptation is too strong when I see a text history.

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A wine, cheese, and fatigue inspired ramble.

I slept terribly the last few nights. Normally I’m asleep not five minutes after my head hits the pillow, and I sleep through the night. Issues with relationships fill my mind.

Last night I woke up multiple times. My head was spinning. I’m cycling through so many emotions. Being familiar with the change curve intellectually only helps me to recognize what I’m going through. It doesn’t make going through it any easier.

I think y’all have figured out I have a big brain so I won’t be modest in this moment. Sometimes, I wish I didn’t have the capacity to think the way I do. It’s not always a blessing. Continue reading

The universe has a sense of humor.

Gregory told me once he didn’t believe in fate or things happening for a reason. It was a happy accident the Tinder algorithm decided to show my profile to him. I don’t know what I believe – is it true you get what you put out into the universe? That the universe sends you signs all the time, the key is being open to them?

Could it be someone or something cares enough about what I do that Gregory finding out about my blog is the universe punishing me for any perceived misdeeds with Tony?

I don’t know. I’m a practical sort: I actually don’t spend a lot of my time thinking those big universe type thoughts. I’d like to believe in karma and reincarnation. According to a noted psychic, in one of my past lives, I was a very powerful healer. Dunno. But I do live my life as if it’s the only one I have. Continue reading

The plumber, another poet, and the lumber guy.

I love the conversations I have with Hyacinth when we are confused about the male topics of conversation. “Which one is he again, Ann?” she’ll exclaim, “you know I can’t keep any of them straight!”

Admittedly, between the two of us, it is a little difficult. There are too many men with the same name or same characteristics.

And right now, I’m very behind. I could have written five posts about John already. Looking at the week ahead I know I won’t get caught up, so this is my attempt to do a round up to the current date (pardon the pun). My “men in the mix” page is proving very helpful for me, but not sure if anyone else is taking a look. I just updated it, if you’re interested.  Continue reading

Completely fine with foiled plans.

Note: I hadn’t finished this post when the can’t do this” text came in from Bruce. So it’s a little out of order…

::

On Monday night, I was certain I was going to have a busy week of casual lovers. I’d been with Todd on Sunday night. I had plans with Jake for Tuesday and tentative plans with Clark for Thursday. It felt rather hedonistic.

Sunday night with Todd was exactly what I needed. I was out-of-town for work, arriving in the late evening by plane, and he drove two hours just to see me. We ended up barely talking. Over discussions about American football at the hotel lobby bar, he connected with a colleague of mine. When I met Todd at the bar, I couldn’t exactly ignore my colleague, so we ended up talking more than Todd and I. Continue reading

Sorry Ann, I need to get my shit together.

Bruce’s eventual response to my text suggesting he stay overnight to avoid having to drive back and forth tonight:

Ann

I don’t know how to say this … so I’m just gonna say it 

I can’t see anyone right now 

I’m too stressed 

I need to get my life together before I add people to it.

I am depressed … anxious… don’t feel like being around anyone right now. 

Sorry Ann

I need to get my shit together

Sigh. Continue reading