Part of being a writer, I believe, is opening the vault of things: emotions, feelings, and thoughts that are not necessarily things you would share with anyone besides your dog or perhaps your best friend. It means being honest to a fault: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Part of this story, I believe, is the ‘what comes after’ aspect. What comes after being cheated on? What comes after divorce? What comes after years upon years of being part of a couple, when you suddenly find yourself not part of a couple? The answer to the last question could easily be found in the pages of this blog.
But my story is not like anyone else’s. And in that same vein, no one else’s story is just like mine. We all have our struggles, yes? Our moments, our demons, our rock bottoms and our worst enemies. All of us. But herein lies the big question of truth.
Let’s back up a moment. First, consider the word sonder which is one of my most favorite words of the English language. In essence: imagine you’re sitting on a bench on a boardwalk. You’re casually eating ice cream and watching people go by when it suddenly hits you. Every single one of these people has a childhood story, a first love, a trauma, a history. Every one of them has a life as complicated and detailed as your own. And this is the meaning of ‘sonder’–the mind-blowing realization of this concept. If this is the case, how can we truly ever know someone as we think we might? There is always a part of each of us that remains locked away, or romanticized, or exploited…the actual truth never fully reveals its face.
So, what happens after betrayal, divorce, and becoming suddenly single at the *gulp* ripe old age of 40? Well, let’s take stock. The first year and a half was survival only. No time or want for anything else. And then–in my case–the appearance of what seemed to be kismet fate; true love. The Plumber, who in actuality was a rebound on both ends and despite the heartfelt moments was never anything more than that. Hindsight.
This is not to say it was without merit. What did it teach me? Be careful with how quickly you fall. Also: not everyone is an asshole. A reminder that kindness is a must. And yes, everyone has their own shit and its way more complicated than it may seem on the surface.
As I mentioned before, after a period of time all of the sudden it seems like
men boys, (sorry guys) are crawling out of the woodwork. People from the past: recent and many years ago. Randoms. Some completely-never-gonna-happen people. Its a bit overwhelming for several reasons. One: I don’t expect what happened with The Plumber to happen again…The Plumber gave me a baseline for spark, or chemistry if you will. And if that happens again, well…shit. Does that devalue what I had with The Plumber? Does it mean it was never anything more than physical chemistry? Two: which one do I bite? Am I really in this position of having to choose which dude to text back and make plans with?
The answer to that is, yes. Apparently I am. And so it became that after a month of random chatting and discussion I made a date with Hot Daycare Dad (see posts of a year ago.) We had a few drinks, dinner, and we came back to my house. We spent a lot of time talking, a very short amount of time making out, and the end result? A very nice evening, a good kisser, and I was mature and made him go home. It was, I guess, a very normal and pleasing first (second) date. The take-away?
The take-away. The take-away was a person who seemed to be more “into” me than I was into him…but I did enjoy the conversation, the company, and yes, the kissing. A person who I am 100% certain is not destined to be my boyfriend, let alone my future husband. A person very different than I am, with his own backstory and challenges. A person who clearly was a lot deeper than I thought he was, based on my initial perceptions. A person who did not illicit the same spark that I had with The Plumber. Not even close.
A person who also, three days after the said date, sent me a message stating that a bunch of personal issues had cropped up and he was “really sorry, you’re amazing, but…” But, now wasn’t the time for him to be jumping into anything. Okay. No big deal right? Except, this was coming from someone who three days prior was all, do you believe in fate? I think I do…I always felt like you and I would end up going down this road. A person who was totally respectful when I informed him he had to go home and could not stay over (even though it could have gone either way.) A person who sat and talked with me for hours as we divulged our life stories, favorite colors, and personal beliefs.
The reaction from the few friends I shared that text with were various levels of “fuck him”. Okay. Yes, I guess. But wait. No. He didn’t ghost me. He didn’t feed me a cheesy line. He didn’t blow me off with fake explanations (even if he was vague) and there was zero vibe or intuition on my end that he wasn’t “into” me. So based on the previous quote: maybe sometimes there really are a lot of truths you just don’t know about others.
My good friend said “I hope you responded with WTF!” But I didn’t. I responded with kindness and “I hope things work out for you.” What do I gain from being a bitch? Maybe it was a line or an excuse but my gut says no. Why not just be a kind person? After all, we had one date and, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to pursue anything.
And the truth is, we forget that people…all of us…are inherently self-centered whether we intend to be or not. In the same way that The Plumber’s dissolution of our union had little to do with me, Hot Daycare Dad’s text likely had nothing to do with me as well. Hypothetically, if I had decided not to go on another date with him, it wouldn’t have been because I didn’t like him, find him attractive, or want to explore that a bit further. It would have been because of me, because of things I want and don’t want, because of my complicated feelings for The Plumber that are taking a lot longer to die than I’d like. Truth.
But it did get me thinking and I’ve already barraged the few single male friends I have who are not dating candidates: I need answers to questions and ‘research’ (if you will) about men. Or maybe, about humans in general. Because what others tell me about dating: you’re in control, if you don’t like them just stop talking to them, don’t respond to this text, don’t appear too available…like, why does that apply to me and yet, when someone of the opposite gender “ends” something in a very polite way…why is the response fuck him?
People are just people. I don’t have any interest in game playing. I’ve taken a lot of lessons from the entanglement with The Plumber, and I imagine this hot moment with Hot Daycare Dad will also aid in my life experience. Its perplexing, yes, and its also easy to just imagine scenarios without really taking into consideration that every individual person has their own trials and tribulations.
And each of these little chapters in the life of a single divorced woman, which greatly entertain and delight my friends, leaves me with yet another piece of the puzzle. What I want. What I don’t want. Who I am. How to be okay just being myself, making my own life. And just as much as I am a complicated person with an intricate history, so is everyone else. Hot Daycare Dads and Plumbers included.