A death in the friend family.

He was a friend, admirer, and protector. Never a lover. He was like the older brother I never had. 

A decade-plus older with way more work experience, he was one of the first colleagues to help me understand how good of a leader I actually am. He was crusty and opinionated but looked up to me. As an independent contractor he could work with anyone, and he chose to work for me. I was humbled by his praise.

I was blessed by his presence in my life.

During one of the projects we worked together on he took a pastry course. We all looked forward to Wednesday mornings when the treats would arrive. Never fully satisfied with his work, he rebuffed our compliments, said through stuffed mouths. He always showed up on time to my parties. He was single the whole time I knew him and at first I assumed he was gay. Turned out after his last long-term relationship he’d tired of trying, and spent his time doting on his nieces and nephews. But he always had relationship advice for me.

He was the one who called me the day after my party, where HWSNBN lost his shit, to make sure I was okay. He made me promise to end it and offered to do anything I needed to keep me safe.

At my party, HWSNBN had told him to “fuck off” after he made a nice comment about my legs. Blind with jealousy, HWSNBN couldn’t see the friendship and teasing behind the comment. And his anger at my friend helped cement his demise. No asshole was going to come between me and the people I choose to surround myself with.

The last time I saw him he sat in one of my comfy chairs, joked about my cast, then quietly disclosed his recent absence from my life was due to depression, not a physical illness as I’d feared. He was starting to realize it was okay to share, but knew his pride and stubborn nature got in the way. 

We promised to see each other soon.

That was February. 

And now I mourn the loss. His death was sudden and unexpected, and a reminder to try to live every day as if it was not only my last day, but my friends and family’s as well.

dating Jack

Starting to settle in: dating Jack

The conversations with Jack are starting to meld together. It’s the problem when living my life outpaces my ability to write about it. I’m going to try to get caught up with this post with our dating status.

We had the kind of fourth date made necessary by single parentdom: a late night visit. It was a three-act play similar to the third date: a drink on my couch with lots of conversation, moving to my bedroom for some good sex, and then talking far too late into the wee hours of the morning.

This time, instead of waiting for me to suggest it, he asked to take me upstairs. I liked it.  Continue reading

back in the online dating shallow pool

I jumped back into the shallow end.

I think it’s been a year since I’ve been on an online dating site. I don’t count AFF because that was about something else.

But this weekend I decided I needed a distraction from Kyle. I also figured it wouldn’t hurt me to dip my toe in the water and see how it felt. I got tired of it quickly last time – surviving a couple of days on OKCupid and a few weeks on Bumble.

So I unhid my profile on Plenty of Fish. A site I’ve avoided for a while, but it’s where I met Shenanigans (still there!), Fox (not there; still dating the woman he met right after me), and Tony (better not be there!).  Continue reading

post-breakup with Leo

I’m cold-hearted.

Before I broke up with Leo, we’d arranged to go see a sporting event together to which I had tickets. When we broke up, we agreed to still go as friends. Classic breakup mistake.

Awkwardly, it was supposed to be the night I went on my date with Kyle, so when he asked me, I worked it out with a friend who had tickets to the game the next night to switch – which worked better for them anyway. I simply told Leo I needed to change the date – and turned out he had the date wrong anyway. So the comedy of errors was resolved without incident and I made myself free for Kyle.

Leo and I have had little contact since the breakup. We haven’t seen each other nor talked on the phone. A few text messages here or there. He’s had some illness in his family so it was mostly about that. Continue reading

Leo and I figure things out.

The trip with Leo had my head spinning. I sat on the plane, watching the sunset, listening to music, and turning things over and over. What was it I really wanted, why wasn’t I content, could anything be done about it. What did I say to him, if anything.

Sometimes things are clear for me in dating and I only need to figure out what I want to say.

But with Leo it wasn’t as straightforward. On the plus side, I knew he was trying. He is a solid family man, a good dad, and has close friends. He’s self-confident and kind. He was chill about my blog and seemed to have no issues with my sexual history or even my current ask to be non-exclusive. None of these are qualities to be taken lightly.  Continue reading

I have no secrets now.

Previous Post

Leo, you’re on Facebook but not other social media, why is that?”

“I’m not very active on Facebook, Ann. I figure those people who want to know about my life will pick up the phone.”

“Yeah, I get that. What do you think about people who share a lot online?”

“Well it all depends, I think it’s attention seeking sometimes which just isn’t me. Why do you ask?”

“Have you ever looked up my profile on Facebook?” Continue reading

Well, I wasn’t expecting that. Leo comes clean.

“Can we talk? My head has been churning all week and there is something I need to tell you.” Leo clearly wasn’t happy with our breakup.

This from Leo, the day I left for my overnight business trip. In order to skip ahead to the good stuff, suffice it to say I agreed to hear what he had to say, and he came over to my place the evening I returned.

I was prepared for a semi-desperate attempt on Leo’s behalf to win me back or for him to argue me out of what I was feeling or wanting. And while yes, what he chose to share with me was about trying to keep me in his life, it wasn’t what I was expecting. Continue reading

Wondering is worse.

I blocked Tony last night.

Originally I wasn’t going to. He’d  promised to be in touch shortly after our last conversation “next week I will come see you; I will figure it out”. I knew it was unlikely he’d be in touch exactly when he said, but I wanted the opportunity to explain I couldn’t be his friend because despite everything, I’m still in love with him.

But he didn’t call. It’s almost two weeks later. I’ve learned he experiences time differently than I; my days tend to be packed full of life and therefore two weeks seems like forever. He isn’t on any jobs right now and his days just blend one into another. I often have to look at my calendar to remind myself not as much time has passed as I think.

I knew he would get in touch at some point and expected it would be this week. Continue reading

The reason Tony and I can’t be friends.

If you haven’t read about the recent “developments” with Tony, you can start with this post.

I know I’ve said it many times: this blog is extraordinarily helpful for sorting out my crap. I was in a good place with Tony, because I’d blocked him for weeks, successfully. I missed him but it was abstract, and I didn’t feel a pull to reach out or reconnect. When I unblocked him, I experimented with what it was like to be completely reactive – I let him call or text.

It was very minimal contact. It was platonic.

It was a fucking slippery slope.  Continue reading

Tony got BUSTED

I haven’t been writing much about Tony these last many weeks, mostly because there isn’t much to say. I blocked him for a while to help myself break old patterns, then when I unblocked him he started calling.

I answered the phone when he called, and found our conversations frustrating – not because of anything he did wrong. I couldn’t find a happy medium where I could be his friend in a way meaningful to me. If he told me anything about the crap in his marriage, I would get (internally) frustrated because I thought he should be trying. Conversely, if he said something was going well, it hurt.

And bottom line is, despite all of his failings, he’s doing stuff with his again-wife and child that I wanted the opportunity to do. Continue reading