Give In (Sappy Love Warning; you have been warned)

G (1)

I walked down the path with his hand in mine. We were laughing, harassing one another int he way we had become comfortable with. We had fallen in love so hard and we had made the conscious decision to let that be okay. We would not edit or stop ourselves or try to be anything but what we were, pathetically enraptured with one another. We just gave in and there is something wonderfully freeing in that. I was routinely thankful that my messages to him and his to me were not public knowledge, we were sickening in that John Hughes, 16 Candles type of romantic comedy ending way. This kind of stuff didn’t even make it to trashy romances.

 

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I could just hear the editor saying “This just isn’t believable, no one talks like this, This isn’t Middle School. Don’t waste my time with this drivel.” For some reason the editor in my head is suspiciously similar to Old Man Jameson at the Daily Bugle , who would have been a terrible Romance book editor.

We just got lost in each other, in a way that hadn’t happened to me since I was young, maybe even first love kind of lost. It helped that the sex was Uh-MAZING, which totally could make it into some steamy romance scenes, but I digress.So great sexy time and he brought me steak and cooked for me. That’s a good man right there. He brought me presents which wasn’t my thing. I’ve never been comfortable with gifts. I will help build your house, hold you while you fall to pieces, show up with dinner or take your dogs or children as needed, but I never put much truck in gifts. He did, He loved to bring small things, a favorite tea he saw me order or a chocolate that I didn’t get because it was too expensive, berries out of season that I loved, small thoughtful things. The nature of the gifts was why I had gradually grown to accept and appreciate the “why” behind it. It was the same reason I showed up like super girl to help and fix, it was just his way of saying “I think of you. Your smile makes me happy, I love you. This made me think of you and I want you to know you are loved. I hear you. I want you to know I am here, I am present for you”

I needed to turn this over in my head and examine it from many sides before I got the right angle. We were saying the same things with different languages. This understanding a80b0d9b8b2af767cb415d3bae01ad9ballowed our communication to go from parallel to integrated.

I loved the discovery of new things through the eyes of someone who was passionate. I loved learning from someone that loved what they did. He loved me and I was learning to see me, through him. We were both damaged. Who wasn’t by their mid-thirties? We had baggage, divorces and issues aplenty. Yet we were finding out how to love again, more specifically, learning to love differently through each other and that is still rather sickening but I don’t want to stop learning…or holding his hand.

“Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.”
Maya Angelou
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Eli

E

 

Eli surreptitiously checked himself out, in the reflection of the glass before he went into the restaurant. Nothing seemed glaringly out-of-place but the surface was not a perfect mirror, so how could he really be sure. He couldn’t of course. He had done all the usual things, a mint for his breath, no spinach or other foods that might lead to teeth snafus and gone over the dating sites Top Ten First Date Mistakes. He had at least 10 conversation starters if there was a lull, plus questions he prepared if he got nervous and couldn’t think of anything off the cuff.  Was that normal? Did he remember antiperspirant?

He followed the large woman with the proportionately large gold bag into the restaurant, remembering to shift his shoulders back to give an impression of confidence and self-esteem.  He was early of course, he was always early. He had to create diversions at home so he wouldn’t be too early, but he was still there 15 minutes before the meet-up time of 7pm. He waited behind the large gold bag lady as she spoke to the hostess and was then lead to her party’s table int he back left corner. He watched as she was greeted by a tall thin man who stood up as she arrived. He kissed her on the cheek and gave her a hug. Both fo them were beaming. Eli saw the woman’s face for the first time and noticed that she was attractive int he way some women of a certain weight can be, they could carry it well, or maybe they were just comfortable in their flesh, he never knew. She had round cheeks that were blushing at the words the tall man was saying, a smile stretched across her face, suddenly making her pretty. They laughed and sat down across from one another

“Sir?”

” I’m sorry” Eli started and came back to himself, realizing that it was probably not the first time the young hostess had tried to get his attention while he stared at strangers. Pretty, too much eye make-up, too young, his brain quickly categorized the girl and then followed her. Nice to look upon, but probably barely out of her diapers.

She led him to a table that was at an angle from the older couple he had been so intent upon. He thanked the girl, sat down and pulled out his tablet to check work emails, but couldn’t resist checking the couple out again. He could tell they were on a date. They were flirting, laughing and arguing over menu choices in the way people did just for the joy of trading soft barbs. Eli wondered if he would still be dating when he was their age, which looked to be at least a decade beyond his mid-thirty vantage point. Neither of them seemed awkward, their conversation seemed to flow like water and each of them had some part of them touch the other; a finger, hand or knee constantly found its way to brush or bump into the other. Eli recognized the dance, he could sing the lyrics, but somehow the two never got together and made the perfect kind of moment he was witnessing, where everything was as it should be and neither party was conscious of every syllable and body language cue. He often felt as if he was following all the directions to the letter yet was always a few steps behind, stepping on toes and confused about what just happened.

“..and never the twain shall meet..” he heard the words come out of his mouth just was the noticed the hostess heading his way, another guest trailing behind her.

From behind the young hostess emerged a woman he recognized from her pictures online. In the pictures she looked different, but he Vital_Partners_dating_etiquette2supposed he did too.  She was curvy in the way that men loved but women often doubted on themselves. She had dark hair that  hung straight and shining to just below her shoulders, which she was nervously pushing behind her ears.  She wore what he had identified as “date” clothes, a skirt and blouse with a cardigan and paired with a nice looking medium height heel, that wasn’t too dressy or too revealing or too conservative. He recognized it because he wore the male version of the same uniform as advised  by various dating articles. What was good research without reading the corresponding data from the other side?

 

At first he couldn’t see her face, until she seemed to remember the same rules he had read and lifted her face as she too, straightened her shoulders and raised her head to greet him with an almost certain smile.

Her round eyes were that nebulous shade of hazel that never seemed to make a decision between green and brown.  He noticed a small collection of freckles dusted the bridge of her nose as a mouth that was just slightly too wide and full to fall within he median, smiled and turned her plain yet pretty enough face into a thing of beauty.

Eli reached out and grasped her outstretched hand in a not to firm grip to find the same barely there clamminess that is own nervousness often produced.

“Hi, Eli? I’m Olive, it’s nice to meet you”

The sat down, perused menus, chatted and her hand brushed his. He looked over and saw the older couple leaning in to one another, oblivious to the rest of the world and smiled.

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Buckets, Bowls, Cups OR Mixed Metaphors on Jealousy, Love and Acceptance

In my daughter’s preschool classroom they taught them the concept of “bucket fillers” and “bucket dippers”. The bucket is the physical, mental, spiritual YOU. Have you heard this before? It is based on some of the first concepts of Buddhism I was ever exposed to.

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For my daughter it was about giving and taking; doing Good, being Kind, sharing and cultivating a generous heart, these were all ways to fill not only your bucket but other’s buckets. Being selfish, mean spirited, hurting others, these were all ways that not only took from other’s buckets, but also from your own.  At every turn, the children were asked about their choices and if the were being a “filler” or a “dipper”. It was a convenient and easily accessible analogy for the kids and lead to longer more detailed conversations about Buddhism in our household and what it really meant to give and take.

I have heard a few stories used to teach this lesson over the years to young and old and i have been thinking about the concept often of late. Why? A version of this lesson has made it into my own explanations of what it means to share partners, to love openly and to be ethically non-monogamous.

I was a t a birthday party for one of my oldest friends and most favorite people and ended up in a conversation with a girl who couldn’t understand the dynamics of what being polyamorous meant. Partially this was logistics (hold on..she goes out with..and you do him and they do…AHHHHHH! *insert exploding head*)

Onward friends, to the hard won wisdom found, when I try to explain foreign concepts in simple terms to people that  already think I’m a nutter.

Ah yes buckets. Buckets are not sexy or cute, they make me think of mopping floors, puke and other unpleasant ways to spend a day off. Lets switch to bowls, okay?

wooden bowl drop

We each have a bowl (in my minds eye, mine would be a lovely hand carved wooden one that is wide and deep), in it lies all that we have to give and all we have to take.

GT-The-Science-of-Giving

Doing things for others, whether we’re talking Good deeds or charity , are well known ways to be happier, because the act of giving time, money or care makes us both happy and more likely to give more.

This also means , showing up for the people in your life even when it’s inconvenient, smiling at a stranger, spending quality time with friends and making dinner can all be acts of kindness that fill our bowls. I feel like most of us already know this stuff, but it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves about the wonderful selfishness of giving. It is the kind of reciprocity that feeds instead of drains.

Another aspect of this lies in how we fill our bowls with self-care. Reading, going to the movies, meditation, exercise, bike rides, flour fights in the kitchen, baths or maybe just taking a nap on the couch can all add to what we have in our bowls and therefore what we have to give.

One more side this idea is accepting acts of kindness, time, energy and love. This is the part I always had a hard time with. Accepting other’s care has always been difficult. I like to take care of people. I like to feed them, listen and provide safe harbor; yet my life and this year in particular have been lessons in humility and gratitude. In the act of accepting what was being offered, my weathering-the-storm-manrelationships were strengthened in ways I couldn’t have predicted.  I realized again how fucking arrogant I can be and how that arrogance blinds me to other people’s need to participate, make a difference and be present. Maybe one day I’ll stop needing to learn this one, but I highly doubt it.

So how does this new-agey touchy-feely liberal hogwash tie into the sexy stuff?
I’m so glad you asked!

As I tried to explain at my friends’ party, the ability to share is all in how you think about it.

First I am giving my partner freedom, trust and acceptance. All rare commodities that make me happier because I can give that gift to someone  I love. If someone else speaks to an aspect of  their needs that I can not supply, I’m glad they found it. This could be sexually or a whole host of other things.  I am somewhat of a homebody, I lack some common levels of empathy and generally speaking I’m rougher rather than soft in most aspects of life and love. I do not expect to fulfill every need nor should I be expected to do so. I can give them those things through acceptance, trust and freedom to explore. As an aside, if you look around and can’t appreciate the value of these gifts, you are an idiot and deserve to lose them.

 

Second, I am caring for myself when I am taking care of my needs. The easiest example I can give is my bi-sexuality. Do Kinsey photoyou know the Kinsey Scale? It’s a common tool to test sexuality . I am a 3, equally homosexual and heterosexual.  To only have one gender as an option is like always being a little bit hungry , no matter how happy I am. Having both genders in my life makes me feel balanced and more whole.  Feeding that need instead of pretending that it either doesn’t exist or feeling like I’m wrong for wanting it in the first place, is pretty wonderful and fills me up in ways  (yes I totally see the pun…) I can’t explain easily without going off the mushy deep-end here.  This is an easy example, but there are all kinds of self-care we each can do to fill our bowls so we have more to give.

Third (I DO so love lists), I have no need to change anyone. This means, I am not looking to any one partner to be anything they are not. I know that when I am completely accepted, it is …freedom.  We are all imperfect, dented and a little bit bruised from this life. I have scars and I have come to realize that I am not the only one and I find them the most beautiful part of the people I love. I can fill my cup and others’s as well simply by giving that back. I can accept what they have to give, accept it without expectation of more and always be satisfied. Acceptance is such a precious gift. I get to accept what my partners have to offer freely and with joy, I don’t need any one of them to be something they are not and they get my love and acceptance for who and what they are. This is such a drastic shift from the place I have often found myself, in a place of want, where needs are not being met simply because neither person can be everything.  No one is satisfied and everyone feels like they are wanting. It seems really foolish to think it could be otherwise.

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I am not jealous, because there is no need to be. My partners are telling me what’s going on, I am a participant in their world. Additionally, their happiness makes me happy. Why shouldn’t it? I am the person they bring their stories, worries and adventures to and I love that. Who else should they talk to? I love them and I trust they love me and if they don’t that’s okay too. Yes, I am not dependent on any one person to keep me upright and fulfilled but that isn’t even the point. The point is twofold. I don’t want them to be with me if I am not making them happy, if I can not be something they accept, love and are accepted and loved by. I want them to have that! I really do. My role in their life way be a for a reason, a season or a lifetime but in any of those situations it is not dependent on a single role or title I need to define them by or be defined by, myself.

I just dig them and that’s enough to fill our cups.

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My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life ~ Psalm 23:5-6

 

 

 

Part One, Step Three: Profiling and Deconstruction

I keep rewriting this entry. It is too close to the skin I think.  I am trying to stay away from the turmoil of my divorce but I keep landing there on this one. Therefore I am going to try to explain without being too “in it”.

eraser-paper

My marriage broke up for a lot of reasons, but one of the crowning jewels, was an intrinsic lack of honesty.

My former best friend dated my wife a long time ago and now they have officially moved in together (my 7yr old let me know). I don’t think either one of them was particularly honest about being over the other, to the world or themselves. My ex thinks I was dishonest about many things, chief among them ..I don’t know, she won’t tell me..really, she just tells me I’m a lying liar filled with liar filling but won’t tell me about what (I’d at least try to be fair and tell you, what I am a dirty liar about, but I can’t. So she will just have to write her own blog).  In fact she can’t tell me because I’m such a lying liar..it’s a bit like chasing ones tail. True story. I can’t make this shit up.

A year ago, I helped orchestrate this aforeTelenovelamentioned, former best friends’, wedding AND I was in it along with my daughter..just think about that ( if you can keep it straight in your head, good job!). It just gets better or worse depending on your viewpoint and love of Other Peoples Drama (OPD). It’s like a lesbian telanovela!   

It may surprise you to hear that you can be open or poly or non-monogamous and still cheat. It’s in the details, it is in the truths you tell yourself and your partner(s). Many people can make this work, adults that say what they mean, and mean what they say. My situation doesn’t negate my desire to find a version of my own happy ending(s?). In its own way, it has made me more vehement.

The most difficult part of this is realizing,  I am happier. I am all kinds of flawed but I’m 52ca756b69bd37233cd47fbb34c18051okay with it. I like myself. I like my life. I missed being this person, whom I like. I wasn’t, for a while and it’s good to be back. Which it feels  incredibly selfish to say, since the cost is my daughter’s sense of security and family. While I can honestly say I wasn’t the one who wanted this,  the truth is, I’m grateful. I look forward to the day that I’m able to say “thank you”, without rancor.

There are many reasons for the Great Separation and Divide, and it wasn’t just honesty about actions, it was honesty about who we are and what we want. We let a lot of things go into the “We’ll figure it out” pile, until that pile grew and grew and came toppling down.  Opposites may attract but that doesn’t mean they stick. I think we loved one another but stopped liking each other, and that isn’t sustainable.

So what does all of this mean for dating and profiles? The result is,  I know who I am. I have had a little time to get wrist deep and tear myself apart. Despite the pain, I like the process of breaking and rebuilding. When everything I defined my world by, fell apart, it was just me and I had to decide how I was going forward. I couldn’t blame anyone else for not taking care of my own shit.

I am obnoxiously upfront in my profiles. I want to start from a different place with anyone that might want to say hello. I am arrogant, elitist and dramatic in them. Why? Because I am all of these things. If you aren’t secure enough to approach and face the world with confidence; if you aren’t intelligent enough to put me in my place; if you are reserved and want quiet, conservative restraint; if you want sweet touches and gentle love? I’m not the girl.

I decided that I would throw out the whole “trying to look attractive” idea and see what happened when I  set firm filters and just said “I am this” and  “I want this”, no negotiations.  LoveLatte-in-post-half-width

So far it has earned me a few excellent new friends (it’s not all about the naughty stuff), good conversations and some excellent ROI on a few precious  extra-curricular hours.

I have gotten various reactions, most of which have been both positive and eye-opening. Yes this experiment has been about dating and sex but more so, I am finding it is about a desperate need to connect with another person in a real and genuine way.  Is this about aging?  A larger commentary on the culture as a whole? I don’t know but I have some theories…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part One, Step Two: Making a List and Checking it Twice

One year ago I signed a new lease. Yeah this was a literal lease for a new apartment but also the more obnoxious and harder to articulate, new lease on …my life.

How trite does that sound? Quite enough I think, lets move on.

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My keys are defiant.

I was looking for a new place in winter, with no time, few options and a decent list of requirements. Like anyone else looking for a new place to live, I had a list of needs I couldn’t compromise on; distance from my daughter’s school, rent,  number of bedrooms (2), decent neighborhood, something that didn’t make her feel like she was seeing the utter wreckage of her mother’s life in the form of an unacceptable living space. Normal stuff.

It occurred to me while I was checking online, making calls and visiting the few acceptable options in the area, that I put more conviction and sense into finding an apartment than choosing a partner. Sad but very, very true.

Why didn’t I have the same list regarding my own requirements and needs? Options that had to be met before I was willing to do a walk-through or waste the gas? I wasn’t going to look at an apartment I couldn’t afford or fit into, that required too much travel or was in the ghetto. Why was I willing to accept the equivalent of unacceptable lodging, in a human being?

Why don’t we have the same kind of list for relationships? Each of us should have a list of nonnegotiable needs that stop us from getting in the car, driving over and “accidentally” forgetting our underwear…I mean, never mind about that, you know what I mean. You and I know better, we need to stop looking where the rent is too high,  where there isn’t enough room for us and the locale doesn’t reflect where we are or where we want to go.

honey-do-list-funny-lists

I decided to make a list because 1) I love lists and 2) I realized I had never articulated my concrete needs to anyone, myself included.

I was surprised at both how hard and how easy this task was. On one hand I knew what I needed. I am old enough to understand what I can and can not accept. On the other hand, paring it down to absolutes seems like cutting my nose, to spite my face. I mean..I/they might change, love is all we need, RIGHT?

This is the short version of my list. I recommend the exercise, if only to see yourself a little bit clearer.

Work It

Yes have a job, absolutely, but this is about more than that. This is about having a work ethic and needing to take part in the world. Give a shit about what you do, have a purpose; please be a contributing adult that is self-reliant and independent.

Be Honorable

I want to believe in you, be honorable. Say what you mean, mean what you say. Whether this is taking out the trash, keeping a date or doing that really important yet difficult task you said you’d take care of, it’s all about trust and belief. Don’t make me have to ask if it got done, I want to believe your word no matter how small the task you have committed to. I’m not your mother and I have no desire to fill that role. If you cannot follow through, take ownership of your actions and deal with the consequences, this isn’t going to work. We’re all going to fail but it’s not the failures that define you, it’s how you deal with those failures.

Get a Hobby

keep-calm-and-get-a-hobby-4Have something you love, that you have a passion for. This keeps you interesting, and growing. This also means you love something other than me and my attention.  I have things to do, and you should too. The time we spend together should be important, not all-consuming. This eventually gets boring. Leave the house, go do something, bring it back and tell me about it.  I want to learn from people who are passionate about things, so please be one of the people I learn from and I will try my best to do the same.

Have a Village

If you are 20, you should have non-family members that have been around for at least 5 years, by your 30’s a decade, so on and so forth. It’s a giant red flag when someone doesn’t have long-term friendships in their lives, it means they can’t maintain them. Friends are the people who hold your story inside of them, they are your living history. They remember you at your worst, best and most silly and they still want to stick around and learn the rest. I should not come before them, if I do I will have less respect for you. I don’t understand discarding people, I see it as dishonorable. Who abandons the people who support them for a new thing, just because the sex if fucking amazing? I mean I get it, but we’re getting sidetracked here. The friends you have are the people who were there before and they will be there after, they are your support team and you need them. They deserve your loyalty. I cannot fulfill every role nor should I be expected to.  I don’t want to be your reason for living, or to be needed at all. I want to be appreciated and wanted, loved even, but not your everything. I want someone stronger than that.

Bring the Sexy Back

Sex is about intimacy, touch, caring, joy and exploration. I need all of these things. I have seen so many relationships die in this arena. We all need intimacy, but being clear about the form and function of my needs is often where I compromise and therefore make my biggest mistakes. I don’t believe in monogamy. I need someone who understands what the term “consensual non-monogamy” means. I need someone who is kink aware and can teach me a thing or two. Be open-minded, curious, self-assured and allergic to jealousy.  Sex is  (very) important but, the best quality version of it, is found along clear communication and trust.

12240888_10154469558055752_8896729158956311971_oThis is my list and I think you should make your own. Your needs are, and should be different. Keep in mind that there are “extras” we would all like. In an apartment it may be hardwood floors, an extra bathroom or a larger backyard. In a person it may be physical traits, or a love of cooking. These things would be great, but aren’t necessary.

What are the things you need? The things you think you can compromise on, but can’t?

When are you going to stop yelling at the 1 bedroom for not being the 2 bedroom you knew you needed in the first place? I mean, really that’s rather silly isn’t it? Yet that’s what we do and maybe this exercise can be the first step towards being responsible for our own bad choices and starting from a better home base.

Location, location, location. Now take out your pens, find a mirror and get to work.

 

 

 

 

Part One, Step One: Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

Salt N peppaOh Salt N’ Peppa..now I will have you stuck in my head for the whole damn day. I was not trying to implant an unending ear worm with this title, but it is an amusing side effect that I can now share with you. You are welcome.

 

Recently I have begun to date men. This may seem like an odd statement so I elaborate briefly. I have had sex with men. I have had sex with women. I have dated and had long term relationships with women. I have had sex with men..and then promptly forgot they existed. Does that sound harsh? Perhaps it is, but this is how I used to see it; everyone is safe, everyone had a good time, the end. I still see it that way often.

casual sex

I like men, straight men are a decent portion of my friend base, which sounds a little like “I have black friends” or “I know gay people” but it’s true. I totally know straight people! They are great, just like everyone else..but weirder. I do have very good friends that are heterosexual men, but that is very different from dating said population. When it comes to men at large,  I never gave them much of a chance beyond my sexual interest in them. Interestingly despite the common social belief that they only want sex, most of the men I encounter want more,  when I… don’t. I don’t know how much of this is because I don’t want it and therefore become more interesting, but there it is. Make what you will of it.

This past year I have decided to try something new, and attempt to actually date them

GOLDEN GIRLS

First step, safety.  I like to plan. I was fully tested and had an IUD implanted, because I am so fertile that just talking about sperm may cause me to spawn.  As you might have surmised, I like sex and therefore have a long standing run of jokes regarding my promiscuity in my younger years among my friends. Upon receipt, I sent all of them pictures of my super squeaky clean test results . Because..well why not?  I came of age with AIDS being the boogeyman that  scarred a  generation.  A clean bill of health is still pretty damn awesome, every damn time.

After the first step I didn’t really have a plan.

  • One,  I don’t know how to be a single women in her 30’s. The last time I was single I was in my mid 20’s which was a very different time.
  • Second I don’t know how to be a single MOM in my 30’s.  Adding to this, a friend of mine reminded me that single mothers are not supposed to have sex or date, they must be virginal, especially if there is a divorce and/or custody proceeding… no pressure.
  • Third, I have even less idea how to be a single HETERO woman, at any age. Straight women scare the crap out of me.

 

laci green no talking shit

This is Laci Green and I adore her:)

 

I have been going to school, working and learning how to be a single mother, and that takes up most of my bandwidth, but the dating thing has been the biggest game changer in how I perceive both myself and my world.  I know how to do my job well, how to be a student and how to be mom Yes, absolutely, all of those things have been harder since the break-up on my marriage and moving out on my own, but I had the tools to do those things. Those skills just needed to be sharpened, honed and re-purposed into multi-tools. I’m still learning and there will plenty of moments documented on those subjects but my angst on those subject bores ME, and I see no need to torture you with it (mostly).

So I will be trying to get the experiences of the last year into a cohesive series of ideas, lessons and revelations. This is of course for me, not you my faithful reader. Presumably you are better informed than I.

 

 

U is for Upheaval

U

up·heav·al
əpˈhēvəl/
noun|
1.  a violent or sudden change or disruption to something.
~ an upward displacement of part of the earth’s crust.

This is another moment of upheaval in my life, so much so, that I have a hard time making it coherent enough for this medium; but I will try.

I came back from the meditation seminar and on the ride back, finally broke up with Nikki the Jerkface. I quickly decided that a new direction was needed in my life and set down a plan of action. I like action plans, really anything with bullet points.

BeijingMy friend Kor, had been working and traveling in China, and had settled in Beijing. He had been trying to entice me over for some time and I decided, why not? I sold everything I owned, other than the books I couldn’t part with, which went into a small storage space. I stayed with friends in Bloomfield and started the process of dismantling my life in the states. I applied for teaching positions in China and quickly had some offers.

I also decided to try dating. I had been with Nikki for almost 5 years and that adventure had cut me off from a lot of life. I was
tired of hiding and I was tired of women. I was also going to leave the country for at least a year and needed some fun. I put an ad online saying pretty much that and what do you know, plenty of people were willing to take me out to dinner.

 

I had never really dated, lesbians don’t really date, they fall into each other and stick.  I wanted to give it a try. So I did, I went on lots of dates with different people, mostly men, but some women too. I had nice dinners, lunches and drinks with perfect strangers, and I didn’t sleep withlesbianuhaul any of them! As far as I was concerned this was a psychological breakthrough. I had almost nothing of physical value, a contract or two I was debating between, a grand adventure was about to begin and plenty of new conversations. It was really quite pleasant.

Then I met Joseph. We had nice dates too, and then we had some more nice dates. We went back to his place and played Scrabble on his table, which was a slice from a beautiful tree. He was an engineer, in the final process of becoming a professional engineer. He wanted nothing but the short-term company I could offer, we had good conversation. I decided, okay time for some fun.

Remember the old adages about your first time? Or the percentage of safe sex encounters that still go awry? This was the first time I was with a man in a very long time, we were very safe.

Two weeks later, I KNEW. I knew with The Boy and I knew now. I waited, and I peed on the stick, I was pregnant.

preganancy tests

I wanted a second opinion, though I really had no doubt. I went to Planned Parenthood and they confirmed it. I was hysterical. My phone rang on my way out. It was Jori.

“What’s wrong??!!?”

“I am fucking pregnant, I was safe and it was just once, and I am still fucking PREGNANT!”

“YAY! BABY”

“Fuck you Jori! It is NOT YAY BABY time!”

I called Joseph and he said he we’d figure it out and he’d talk to me after work. After work, we talked and he had the abortion scheduled. He said that it would be a sin for me to keep this baby, since I had nothing to offer other than the same poverty he and I had both grown up in, the same instability. He said I would be selfish and no better than my own people if I kept this baby. He said I wasn’t the person he was going to have a baby with, I wasn’t educated or well off enough, this was not part of his plan. I was not appropriate. I had nothing, no home, no stuff, no family. It was like Jekyll and Hyde. I don’t know what happened to the nice, smart man, but I never saw him again. Unfortunately he was right about a few things, but luckily not all. I wasn’t alone anymore.

I called my people, my friends, my chosen ones and we came up with a new plan (there were bullet points). I was keeping this baby.

keep-calm-cause-you-are-not-alone