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Location: Wisconsin, United States

"There is a secret set within each of our hearts...It is simply the desire for life as it was meant to be... Seasons may pass until it surfaces again. And though it seems to taunt us, and may at times cause us great pain, we know when it returns that it is priceless. For if we could recover this desire, unearth it from beneath all other distractions, and embrace it as our deepest treasure, we would discover the secret of our existance." -John Eldredge, The Journey of Desire

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Sexism and Mr. Boyfriend

Today Mr. Boyfriend suggested to me that I might be sexist.

I reflected on this possibility and decided it would be absolutely ridiculous to say that I am not.  In acknowledging this, I admit a weakness in myself.  Why am I sexist? Am I afraid of something?

Oh, The Possibilities

Certainly, given my history, it is understandable.  Follow along with my logic, if you will:  Woman is abused by husband. Abuse is a form of degradation, in effect, one person tells the other they are worthless, worth LESS then they are. Women counters this, mentally, with a certain level of aloofness, applying it to an entire gender, therefore excusing her choice to STAY with the abuser. “They” are all this way or that.


Women is repeatedly cheated on by spouse. No…this doesn’t fit – spouse might be male, but there is always a cheating female on the other end…so to speak!

Ah, The Questions That Follow

So, do I actually trust any male? My father? No. I do not trust my father on all levels. I would trust him with my life.  However, I learned long ago that he would never meet my needs emotionally.  Provide for me, yes….

Oh, dear.  Ex-husband could always be counted on in this regard, too. But not emotionally.  He was rarely there for me emotionally.

So what exactly is it that I have learned about men through the years? They are incapable of emotionally bonding with me.  I say “me”, because it is obvious, given history, that other women were not only possibilities, but the real deal. Father, husband, boyfriends.

One can imagine why, given the intense rejection from the time I hit puberty on, I might have delved into sexism… as a buffer. Rejection before complete rejection.

Something New?

When Mr. Boyfriend touches me, his hands are gentle.  Always. He is at least half a foot taller then me, his hands are much bigger then mine, and yet he has the gentlest touch. I cannot figure this out. His hands fascinate me.

Recently he (I will skip the long story) did something, which showed an immense amount of care and respect for me.  He did something because it was the right thing to do. He did something that completely, totally WOWED me.  I mean really blew my socks off.  

When I realized it, I literally broke down crying. Not in front of him, or anything trite like that (this is not a soap opera, just a blog!!!)…Just on my own. Men do these things? Men take care of women emotionally?  Men show honor to women? Really? There is one that does that? Can do that? REALLY??

As a result, I have to say, no matter what, he will always have my respect and admiration.


Mr. Boyfriend and I have been seeing each other for over seven months now. It’s been very off and on. I run. He runs. We hide. We meet in the middle. We fall in love and don’t admit it. We admit it. We pretend like we quit feeling it. We ignore it. We pretend we are just friends. We kiss and make up. We back away. On and on and on it goes…and why?  How much of it is me? How much of it is him? I know that when I’m in the middle of things, I can relay things as if it is ALL HIS FAULT.  Because I’m MAD. Because he’s (ah hem) MALE. Because I can be a self-righteous twit.

And then sometimes…he’s just plain wrong.  So how much of this dance is me? He proposes that I am terrified. That I run constantly.

I need some feedback, people! I know this is true, I just don’t know to what extent.

I am wondering this, because his actions have so blown my mind that I see him very differently. He seems solid.  Like I know who he is, suddenly. I might be able to count on him.  And if this is so, then I WANT HIM.

To be physically safe with a man that can meet my needs emotionally? What would that be like?  Can anybody tell me???

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Kitchen Sink Revisited

I am so tired today that I cannot write. But I felt compelled to reach out and announce that Mr. Boyfriend came over this evening and fixed my kitchen sink.  He asked the other day if there was anything he could help me with, anything he could fix…I said YES. I desperately needed my kitchen sink FIXED.

Monday, November 21, 2005


He calls on various lines and leaves no message
Again, given a clear indication
     I choose to interpret his actions, words
     As something other than a rejection
     Self-protection, denial – I catch myself in the act
     Force myself to write the words to end the dance
No contact. 60 days. First rule of thumb for a breakup.

Standing at the kitchen sink (yes, it remains unfixed)
I cry. A little.
What a year I have had.
My heart broken on a variety of levels
     A variety of times.

There are days we get up and wish we could go to bed again,
     Straight away.
     This is what he has done for me.


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Me, Myself and I

I met myself this weekend. Rather, myself, had I veered off in another direction. Had life take me another route. Let me elaborate.

I was introduced to a woman this weekend who has a Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard. Neat, eh? I knew I would find her to be a fascinating dinner conversationalist, but didn't expect her to be so much like me in other ways. Not that I'm an anthropologist. Nor was there any chance of me getting a degree from Harvard.

I took the weekend and went to the Cities to visit my sister-in-law. The only one I have anymore, in case there is any confusion out there. It was a wonderful weekend. Saturday night we were invited to her friends house for dinner, and then out to a coffee house for some music by a professor who specializes in blues.

The friend, whom I will refer to as the anthro woman, lived in a home which I might have lived in had I never gotten married to the ex. Older, with a variety of do dads displayed which were obviously meaningful to the owner, but not me. I was immediately comfortable in it. Weird. As she finished putting dinner on the table, she came across as slightly ditzy. We sat down to dinner and although she was very nice, I just didn't get the whole Harvard thing. My sister-in-law got her talking about anthropology and suddenly she was completely brilliant. She responded to things with humor, with child-like enthusiasm and curiosity. Her faith issues were similar to what mine used to be.

We sat on the couch to visit, her and I on one couch and my sister-in-law on the other. One of the children came out with a toy, which she examined and I suggested might be one of those things that can get flung at the wall and stick (and make marks). From out of nowhere, she took the thing and smashed it into the wall twice. It didn't stick. Then she flung it at me a couple of times. Her behavior, her movements, the look on her face, was so much like my own - and I can say this with some accuracy because my middle child mirrors my own expressions, too - it was wild.

I felt as if I'd known her forever. The same for her daughter. It was weird. It was not a conversation where we just connected that made me feel this way, but simply hanging out with her. It is difficult to describe. I left her house muttering to my sister-in-law that it was like meeting myself. It was very, very strange. Not that I'm brilliant. I need to clarify that. Her personality is what struck me as similar, not her brain power. (Although, having brains like that would be a very cool thing.)

My ex used to refer to me as the "absentminded professor". My name, completelybrunette, is based on the fact that a friend of mine told me I have both a brunette (smart and serious) side and a blonde (funny and ditzy) side. I do. So did the anthro woman. She was content, she was happy, she was ok with who she was. She knew she was a little quirky, but not so far that she wasn't "main stream". She greeted life with enthusiasm. All but those extremely close to her probably think of her as quiet and slightly reserved. She was not. I suspect she can be incredibly obnoxious. After the incident with the toy being smashed into the wall, I knew she'd be an absolute blast no matter what environment you threw her into. Her curiosity, her sense of humor would make just about anything enjoyable.

This is one of those weekends where I am so glad life has taken me in this direction and given me the time and inclination to expand my horizons beyond Mr. Ex and his narrow world (which so completely revolved around appearances). How's that for a run-on sentence.

God closes one door but opens another.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Crazies List

No, No, Donna Vera, you aren't on top of my "crazies list"...it was just the highlight of my WEEK!!!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Game, Anyone?

It occurred to me today how completely in flux I am.

I found myself looking for grad school programs in my field. Wondering how I could pay for it. How I could afford to go back to school. If I would really sell my house and move my three children and I to another city so that I could go to school, knowing that when I was done, I may have to move them again so that I could work.

How serious am I? I have no idea. I'm rolling it around in my head. Divorce has thrown me completely off kilter. My whole focus since I was 20 years old was my children, my family. Now I must focus on me. First, the intense worry about money. Now, it is coupled with wanting to be challenged, happy and feel like I am thriving.

Mr. Boyfriend has not called, nor have I called him. I am disapointed in him. I note to myself, to you, that he has not called, but I am nothing like I used to be in my reaction. I'm rolling this relationship around in my head, too. I don't like how he behaved. I don't like it at all. I don't want that kind of behavior in my life. I'm really rather angry about it. I'm angry about the way he behaved and now the damned game playing.

I had a long conversation with my father this morning. Yes...I finally asked him to come and fix my kitchen sink. I also spoke with him about my brother, or he who has left wife and stepchild number three and settled in a city four hours away. My dad told the dumb head that he did not want to see or hear from him until he got his butt back to his wife and child and got his s**t together. My mother agrees. I feel very, very disapointed in my brother.

Perhaps that's part of the reason I am so disgusted with Mr. Boyfriend. I have a strong sense of right and wrong. He was wrong. Yet he is withdrawing and giving me the silent treatment. Where I come from, you own up to what you did and apologize.

You don't play stupid games. Man, I hate games.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Crazies and a Recipe

I can’t decide if I’m a drama queen or not. I’m considering that I might be. If so, how does one reign in their emotions?

  • In the last week I have visited one of my very old, very best friends and connected with another, much missed old friend.

  • I’ve connected with Mr. Boyfriend a number of times, each time he displayed intense, direct interest in me as “relationship material”, among other things.

  • My ex-father in law had a heart attack and triple bypass. He was like a father to me. I was not allowed at the hospital.  My emotions surrounding this were severe – loss and fear intermingled.

  • One of my best friends cheating husband came home from Iraq. She had to confront her anger with him. This is heart wrenching. I knew it was coming, having walked that road, and I know what’s coming next, whether she stays or goes. Yuck.

  • My brother has decided to live in Appleton. He up and left his wife and stepchild and insists he wants a divorce. Another woman? Who can say? If not, why that city of all places? My parents, God bless them, have made it clear that he is wrong and screwed up and not to come home till he gets it together. Oh, and I’m to back them up (!!).

  • My sister-in-law, of the missing brother, came to visit.

  • My oldest daughter spent time with her Dad this weekend. She’s not impressed. I am worried about her. His focus right now is gaining his family’s approval. I am worried she will get hurt. This is the first he has really spoken to her in months and he immediately started teaching her “lessons”.  

  • Mr. Boyfriend came over and was an insensitive clod in front of my sister-in-law. I have not spoken to him since (last evening). I suspect he will be mad at me when I do talk to him. Details of cloddishness are unimportant.  Reasons are mysterious. Facts, however, are facts.

  • My middle child has been crabby and moody. She is unable to tell me why.

  • My oldest came home from school with three D’s. My middle child had all A’s with the exception of one B (which she was upset about).

I am exhausted emotionally. Wiped. I feel sad. I feel scared. I felt alone for the first time in a long time, today. I had to remind myself I was not, that it was not me who had gotten me this far; it was by God’s grace. I missed Church this morning because my brother’s wife was here. I’ve done the whole hockey practice thing twice this weekend. My son is not feeling well and I suspect will be home from school tomorrow.

I’m all peopled out. I’m irritated with Mr. Boyfriend, my brother, my ex, and my ex’s family. And myself.  I want normalcy. How do I get it?

Do I…
  • Stop working for and being friends with Mr. Boyfriend?

  • Cut off all contact with the ex-in-laws?

  • Ground my daughter forever?

  • Write off my brother and adopt the wife?

  • Stop being there for my friends when they need me?

Of those, I am willing to cut off all contact with the ex-in-laws and consider moving in the next year. Moving where? I don’t know. My brother’s wife has a 10,000 sq.ft. house with an indoor pool and only two people living in it. I could go there.  That’s been an open offer for the last year. I think that would make me crazy. I can’t share space like that.

As for Mr. Boyfriend…I know what I said before. But here’s the thing – I’m just not that worried about it. Should I be? No. My boundaries are intact. Starved for physical contact I am, but not desperate any more. Tired. I’m very tired. I’ve been treading water for a week. Tonight I eat comfort food, drink tea, and take a warm shower and go to bed with a book.  I will worry about the rest tomorrow.

Comfort Food

We all have some sort of comfort food that we eat, often times it’s something our mothers fixed when we were growing up. My middle daughter’s all time favorite comfort food is a casserole I learned to make out of desperation.

I thought that I would share this rather simple recipe, which is incredibly difficult to screw up. When my ex and I were both in college at a private religious school (with two small children), we often received groceries from the school food pantry that was stocked by local churches. I learned to cook from boxes and cans.

Macaroni and cheese quickly got old. Venison was another staple (Wisconsin, you know).  I made mac and cheese as directed, mixed it with ground venison (or beef) browned with onions and garlic, drained a can of chopped tomatoes, threw in garlic powder, salt and pepper and chili powder and mixed it all up. I sprinkled shredded cheddar and sliced black olives on the top. Cooked for 25 minutes at 325 degrees.

Tonight, I used whatever I had on hand. I threw some mushrooms (fresh) and red and black pepper flakes in with the hamburger. I used the usual canned tomatoes and mac and cheese. Onion powder, salt and pepper, roasted garlic cloves, chili powder and more red and black pepper flakes.  Shredded Monterey Jack cheese on top.  It smells heavenly. Maybe I’m easy to please.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Rejection Clothes

My former father-in-law is scheduled to have a quadruple by-pass tomorrow morning. I have been barred from seeing him - his wishes. I do not know what I have done to deserve this, save divorce his son, something even he pushed for.

I blame this on my ex, who taunted me outside the courthouse on Tuesday. Nobody likes me, nobody wants me around, his girlfriend is there taking care of everyone. He smiled, smirked, while he said it. And then he waved at me cheerfully as he drove by. He used his own fathers ailing health as a way to harm me and gloated while he did it.

His sister, who has been so very supportive, has not spoken to me. I do not know what I've done. If I sound clueless it's because, really, I am.

The important thing is that my father-in-law gets well. That he survives. I'll send him a card, tell him I love him, and say a prayer. It's all I can do. My former mother-in-law is being ok to me. She calls and gives me regular updates; something her son or daughter really ought to be doing.

Don't Ask for the Knife Back

On the other hand, when this is over...when the ex's father is well, everyone's emotions have returned to normal and I have pulled the knife out of my back; I will not be interacting with these people. They have some sick vision of myself and Mr. Boyfriend, my ex and his girlfriend all sitting down to Sunday dinner together. No. They just terminated our relationship.

I won't be handing the knife back to them. I don't know what the ex has said to them, what lies he has concocted this go round and I really don't want to know.

The bottom line is that I am grieving. I sat up Tuesday night and cried my eyes out. This man was a father to me for nearly sixteen years. I have not interacted much with him the last few months - on purpose - so I do not know what has been said about me. People can be very, very cruel.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

What's in a Dad?

I received a call last night from my ex telling me that my former father-in-law had a heart attack and was in the hospital, awaiting news as to whether or not he would be able to withstand a double bypass. It was ten o'clock and yet my ex said he was calling so the kids would know.

I was on my way to the hospital - just to stop in and be supportive and was told that the ex did not want me there. OK. I turned around and went to the chapel. I called my former mother-in-law and visited with her. I offered my support all the way around. I said a prayer.

Really, though, I'm a mess. This man, unknowingly, taught my father how to be a father. He treated me like a daughter for over 15 years. He was always honest and straightfoward with me. He does not lie. He knows the difference between right and wrong. He was always there to help when something broke and his rotten son was off screwing someone else. (Gee, why don't I express how I really feel?)

I love this man. He is a father to me. I can't be there. I no longer have a place on the inside. Oddly enough, that doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that a man I love is in critical condition and I can't go see him. I can't tell him that I love him and wish him well.

A couple of months ago I deliberately picked a fight with the mother-in-law. I was ending our intimate relationship. The analogy I've come up with goes something like this: The doctor tells you he has to amputate your leg. He has to take your calf initially, but within three to six months of that being gone, he is going to have to take your thigh, up to your hip bone. Do you elect to have it done all at once or have two surgeries in the space of six months?

I'd have him take the whole damn leg all at once. This is what my intent was with the in-laws. God has other plans.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Ex Needs the Axe

Over the last couple of days I have had lengthy discussions with my ex. Supposedly about money and children. He caught me up on his life - not many questions were asked about me and I didn't really offer anything up. That's pretty par for the course. He doesn't notice.

He's still dumb. He's still all about him. He and Ms. Girlfriend are in individual counseling. She's traumatized because her actions harmed so many people (would you like that serving of vomit for here, or to go?) and couples counseling.

The former-in-laws and the ex are all looking for me to say "it's ok". At most, I'll say "Life goes on. I understand that." But I won't say it's ok. Because it is not. He also wants me to be "in the wings", waiting, willing to take him back if things don't work out with whats-her-name. He doesn't say this, but he's fairly transparent. He ALSO wants a "good" relationship with me because it will give him approval from his family. Yeah, no. My job is no longer to help make you look good or to cover up your garbage, buddy.

I realized what I miss most is interacting with someone that knows me intimately. I do not mean physically (get your mind out of the gutter). There are areas where he is like this - meaning, knows me very well. However, I have changed. He is amazed that when he disagrees with me about something, I refuse to negotiate. (Salesman, you know. ) I was such an absolute wash out when it came to having a back bone. Now, I simply walk away and cut off contact. I have no interest in anything but getting what I want from him. No interest in friendship. (Which he seems to think we should have. I'm sorry, my friends don't lie to me, hit me or betray me.) No interest in communicating.

Why would I be interested in talking with someone who lies about really mundane stuff? When confronted with this, he says "well, you weren't giving me any information". Huh? "Gee [dumbhead], that's a justification not a reason." For this guy, lying is a lifestyle.

So, knowing the girlfriend checks his email, I sent a piece of music to him about lost love and referenced his upcoming counseling. I'd so love to be a fly on the wall. I am apparently a huge problem in terms of her insecurity. She doesn't want us alone together in a room for fear we'll end up having sex. Ick. HOWEVER, knowing this, I will now take every opportunity to make her jealous and worry. Seems to me the shoe is on the other foot now. The difference is simple, though, I only want her boyfriends money. Not him. But she doesn't know that.

As for Mr. Boyfriend...

As soon as I made the decision not to contact him, he began contacting me. Is this so he can continue having companionship without the responsibilities of a relationship? Probably. I'll be dating other people, thank you.

What in the world have I been doing? Where has my head been?

That Damn Book

I woke up thinking about that stupid book again. I pretty much decided that I was not going to contact Mr. Boyfriend any more. Upon review of that Damn Book I have learned the following:
  • If a man won't call it dating, it's because it's not.
  • A man that really likes you can't keep his hands off you.
  • Someone who really likes you will go to the ends of the earth to make things work with you.

Mr. Boyfriend fails the test. I reposted my profile out here on the web. I'm taking myself off the the shelf. For over three years I have felt like less than a woman because I allowed a man to tell me that's what I was and I believed it. I'm done and I'm done with a vengence. It's time for hair cuts and brow waxes and a self asteem boost.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

He's Just Not That Into You

Dear Reader,

I took your suggestion literally (as opposed to you being MEAN) and went to the bookstore today. I sat down in the cafe and proceeded to peruse your suggested book list.

To my disapointment, they were helpful.

I have reverted to the advice my mother gave me in third grade when I had the hots for Joey Cosentino and some little twit named Wendy liked him, too. "You don't chase boys. You let the boys chase you." This is basically "He's Just Not That Into You" in a nutshell, is it not? My Grandmother gave my mother this advice, and no doubt her mother before her. It's timeless. We have complicated things by liberating women and demasculinating men. I only mean this to a degree and don't intend to get into a lengthy discussion about women burning bras or men wandering into the forest to bang on drums by firelight.

So, thank you. It was, indeed, good advice. A smart alecky read, full of funny, but true stuff. I think. Stuff we can tell our girlfriends, but miss when it's our own brains justifying the obvious. I'll keep it in mind as I move forward.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, FLOOR!

This was my day: a computer one might be tempted to throw out a window. Ex-husband (does more need to be said?). An attorney who no longer says hello when he calls me, but instead says "Hey lady!". Boyfriend turned friend attempted to pick a fight. A visit to the city's Parks and Rec department which implies that this year I will be a Hockey Mom. An impromptu trip to the movie theatre to see the new "Zoro" so that on the way home my youngest and oldest could fight, make me furious to the point where EVERYONE was told to shut thier mouths and not say one more word OR ELSE, and we could all ride home in silence. My ten year old put himself to bed, all the while pouting and trying to make me feel guilty. Which I didn't.

Reflections on my day: computers are easy - they can be fixed or replaced. Ex-husbands are better avoided. I've had too long a relationship with my attorney. Hockey is an expensive sport and the ice rink is cold, but if it will build my son's confidence, I'll tough it out. Mr. Boyfriend: We all have needs. I would like to be Zoro's wife. My children: As mad as I get, I enjoy and love you to bits - I will miss you when you are grown. Pouting is not attractive in men or boys, but it sure is funny when either does it.