Wednesday, October 5, 2016

72 Days.

This is a new blog experience for MeMe and I have debated a while about whether or not writing it would be helpful or hurtful - to me, to other people. But I think in revisiting the draft that follows, I have found some measure of peace, and I shouldn't be ashamed in admitting I made a mistake.

Yet another mistake. Gawwwwwd.

But that's why you guys like me, right? MeMe fucks up sometimes but she rolls with it. Maybe that's why? I'm just spitballing. I don't really know, to be honest.

I found someone and I dated him for 72 days. And I was happy as hell for... about 60. So happy, in fact, I was convinced I had finally found Him. The One. The Future Husband. We would travel and hike and then we would live in the woods and make little splints for injured squirrels and drink our coffee on the porch every morning and I would never have to worry about outfit options because everything in the closet was now flannel and there was probably a rain barrel and a garden and maybe a hawk that built a nest in the tree in the yard and we called him Stanley.

I don't know why my imaginary future life looks like a scene from Grizzly Adams but that's where I'm at.

But after a while I stopped being happy. And I started to feel like it was slipping away from me, all the good things I had felt before. But I wasn't ready to let that go and I clung to it, too hard. In my fear and frustration I clung harder and harder, and all it did was push it away.

In one final spectacular blow up, I realized I was never going to get it back. Because it wasn't just me. I wasn't just pushing it away, he was pulling it away, and I was chasing after it like an idiot.

Horrified, I realized I had just gone back to my pattern. I had tried so hard and been so careful and cautious, but I was right back where I always ended up. They start out so great and then they gradually, slowly, stop being great. And then somehow I take the blame for that. And as I get more and more desperate to hold onto it, I act crazier and crazier.

And then they can sit back and smile and laugh and shake their head and say, look how crazy my girl is. Do you see what I put up with?

Except it shouldn't be that way. I have a hundred amazing relationships with people I interact with every day, and I don't go around acting psycho or yelling or taking offense to everything. The difference is that these people, my acquaintances, but more so my amazing friends I am SO constantly grateful to have, they care about me enough to listen to me. To not want to upset me or push me. To hear me when I talk and to do their best to respect me and my needs, and to be sure their needs are vocalized as well. To tell me when I am wrong and also to admit when they are. These are human relationships and I treasure them.

So why do I always end up screaming so hard to be heard to the men I am dating?

I am sad, because I saw something in someone that made all my little dreams come true. But it didn't last and that means it wasn't real. I don't know if I feel like I am closer now to finding that, or further away. I don't know how I can keep dating when my trust and faith in men are always twisted and used against me.

I am angry because I feel betrayed and mislead. I am angry because I didn't put enough trust and faith in myself to speak up sooner and to walk away when my words fell on deaf ears.

I am also not blaming. I still think he is a great guy overall and he made me very happy for a while. Maybe one day I will thank him for giving me a sense of peace, even temporarily. For me the small things are meaningful. To fall asleep on someone, to let them hold me and not want to run, to enjoy being challenged. Those are positive steps in my life and I feel I made progress as a person.

But it didn't work. I need to be heard and I need to be respected, and he has his own issues that were becoming apparent. That's okay. That's human. That's forgivable.

Right now, however, I'll focus on licking my wounds and dealing with mine. That is my priority. I am my priority.

I'm including the draft of the day I realized I, MeMe, for the first time ever, had fallen in love. It's sad to read it now, knowing how much things changed, but it makes me happy because he helped me tap into something I didn't know I was capable of, and that is always the one small benefit of my many many mistakes.

Progress. Fucking progress.

"Now I know I've got a heart, cuz it's breaking."


I'm writing this blog in advance, and keeping it as a draft until the moment is right. Or less weird, maybe. That works too. Guess we will see.

But there's things I'm excited to share with you. Those things are a boy. And feelings. And all those weird crazy things normal people probably experience but are entirely new to MeMe.

Yes. I met a boy. A blog-post-worthy boy.

I dumped the Asshole, as you'll recall. One more fling with dating that blew up in my face. That momentary horror where his true personality shone out, and I glimpsed what a future would be like with him. That constant, repetitive pattern of being made to feel like shit and then being told I'm crazy for feeling that way.

I was tired of it. I dropped him immediately, and I'm so proud of myself for doing so. MeMe two years ago would have convinced herself she WAS being crazy, and too emotional, and would have stuck it out, hoping to get back to that sweetness she had seen in this man once. A waste of time.

I loved my blog for giving me that strength. I loved you all for your conversation and your discussion, and for the experiences we have gone through. I would have gotten caught up in it, otherwise, there's no doubt in my mind. I would have let myself be talked into being smaller, and let myself be controlled and ruined, until I either blew up or shrank away to nothing. If I had never done Kissing Frogs, I would not be the same strong-ass, sassy rude freak I am now. And I love this girl.

But I was tired overall. Tired of men like this, tired of the fact that they always seem to be attracted to me, and intent on smothering me. Attracted to my wildness and strength; determined to squelch it.

I contemplated taking another dating break. A long one. Indefinitely, even. I was drawing up plans for my future and they included me, my dog, and some cats. Tout. Finis.

For some reason, though, I didn't. I felt like maybe I'd seen a glimpse of something else... not in him, but in me. A calmness, an unexpected readiness. Maybe, just maybe, I was finally ready to shove off the ghosts of the past and have a relationship with someone that didn't end in me fleeing, or them crying, or both.

Perhaps it comes of turning 30, though I hardly feel I'm ready to settle down and throw two rocking chairs on the front porch. But, although Asshole was absolutely a wrong choice, I had actually briefly enjoyed being a part of a two-some. Things were clicking in my life and it didn't seem such a horror anymore.

I went back on Tinder the day after dumping the Asshole. Why Tinder? God fucking knows. Seriously. What a nightmare.

And yet.

Smart, cute, funny... deeply nice. Something had to be wrong with him. I held off on pulling the trigger on a date, as we texted for an extended time. It felt strange, almost like I already knew him. We talked about dating, and a similar problem: lack of connection. I told him we would be friends even if we had no connection, and I meant it, even without meeting him. There was something familiar to his conversation, and I knew it was true.

Asshole texted me. He wanted to get together, he admitted he was being "selfish."

I asked this new boy out amidst text arguments with Asshole. The contrast made him downright shiny.

We met, a week later, for some drinks. I had asked to see him later in the day, suspecting we would have good conversation, but doubting we would click, as per usual.

We did have great conversation. We also clicked.

I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself. It was rare for me to enjoy talking to someone so much, while also finding them stupid attractive. Rare indeed. Rarer still, that I took his hand when we walked around downtown later. MeMe initiating physical contact? Unheard of! On a first date?? IMPOSSIBLE.

We arranged a second date rapidly, since he would be out of town for a while.

It was silly, an almost-accidental double-date with some beer and some darts, and, after my friends left, impromptu Pictionary. There are a few people in my life I can read instantly. That one-look-and-you-know connection, which makes us mean-ass Pictionary partners. I had it with this guy, this stranger. It seemed such a simple thing; I'm sure he had no idea, but when he started to draw the lines on the page and I saw inside his mind, I knew there was something to this. Also that maybe we should join like, a Pictionary League or something.

We walked down the boardwalk and we kissed at the end of the pier, under the stars, with our feet in the lake. It would have grossed me out, normally. It was romantic as hell. Yeech. But I dug it. I liked that we both walked back to the car barefoot, and that he held my hand, and that we made up constellations and his were more clever than mine.

And then he left for ten days.

I missed him. I missed a stranger. I missed him so much, in fact, that after a little over a week, I was happy when an excuse came up and I got to drive three hours to see him.

Time apart had restored my shyness, but after talking to him for a few hours, that attraction was back in full. It was legitimately hard to leave him.

Since then, we have seen each other regularly. I'm still fielding that incredibly confusing line of "how much is too much?" I've never wanted to see someone all the time before. Ever. How do I know when to quit? How have I not panicked and run by now? How is this even happening and how, how, did I get so lucky?

I did, somehow.

I've been dating a long time. I've had a lot of dates via Kissing Frogs, and a few relationships after I ended the blog. I've had a lot of blow-ups with men, especially this year. Men love to tell me I don't know what I want.

The thing is, I do know what I want. They're just mad it's not them. And, until now, it's been this abstract concept, honestly. An idea of what it should be, tweaked and tailored more every time I dated someone who wasn't It.

This guy, though. This was It. This was all bases covered and then some. I couldn't believe he was spending time with me, and more, wanting to see me as often as I wanted to see him. What could I offer someone who was, literally, everything I ever wanted? Funny, adorable, sexy, deeply compassionate, driven... What do I bring to the table for a man who has it all together?

I'm still not sure. Three weeks in, though, and I'm sure of one thing.

Today we met at a bar work on things; his thesis, my writing. He got up, asked me if I wanted anything else, and paid the tab (something I am unusually accepting of, since he doesn't act like he's purchasing me every time). He kissed me goodbye-- in public, a man who has expressed serious dislike of PDA.

He left for an appointment, and for a long while I just stared at my computer, quiet. I got up, I distractedly thanked the owner, and I got in the car.

And I cried the entire way home, all 35 minutes, because I realized that I am stupidly in love with this man I barely know.

So, how will it pan out? How will it go? MeMe has no idea, and frankly, she is absolutely terrified. No joke.

But I found what I was looking for. I found what makes me happy. I just need to figure out how that changes my life, and how to keep it.