Yesterday was quite a strange day and full of expected and unexpected events. Most of it had to do with other people and most of those other people were men. Spoiler.. this one is on the long-ish side but the last bit at the end is super relevant to the story.
First, my ex-husband called me out of the blue while I was at the gym and interrupted my “flow” on the elliptical machine. We actually chatted for about 25 minutes and it ended up being a nice change up to my norm and it made that time pass faster.
He seemed to call for no reason, but I updated him on lots of things anyhow. Mostly stuff about the kids and my new job and coordinating things for the alterations in our schedules due to the Christmas holiday. It was a pleasant enough conversation, and in the end, when I asked him why he called he said something about Zoey and a text that came in while we were talking. I got the distinct impression he was deflecting the question, and then he had to get back to work.
Something is up, but I’ve learned not to question it or even give it a second thought because whatever it is, probably will not be that important and is likely not worth pressing on.
The second interaction was coffee with my other ex, Matt. He initiated meeting up and I requested coffee. He drove all the way to my end of town and we met at the Panera. He apparently wanted to just catch up. In my head I’d gone round and round all sorts of reasons he may want to meet and the thought even crossed my mind he might ask if I wanted to get back together.
Well, the thought crossed my mind, but I dismissed it. The conversation was mostly light, but did get a little more intense when we were talking about his grandma who is in pretty good physical health but whose mental capabilities are waning. I could not help but have empathy for him as the person who has the most contact with her and also sadness within me that comes from a place in the heart that remembers I used to call her grandma too. I still do really.
I had the courage to ask if he was still dating Lindsey, and he said that he is. Then he said a few things that seemed like puzzle pieces that didn’t quite fit and it felt much like Brian earlier when he dodged my question on why he had called. I didn’t press on it this time either, but for different reasons. Someone once told me “Don’t ask questions that you don’t really want the answers to.”
I held it together pretty good and pushed my feelings deep down as we exchanged stories. What do you do with a person you know so well? What do you do with a person you still have feelings for? What do you do when they can’t or won’t or don’t feel the same way? I know what to do. Smile and fake it.
That’s what I did. I said all that I needed to say before (last year) and that’s why I can be free from regret and not feel the urge to say anything more now. I can just acknowledge my feelings are still there and have a conversation and also make sure he knows how awesome my life is right now.
I let my happiness and positivity shine through and suppressed my continued grief about “us”. It wasn’t until I was in my car pulling out of the Panera parking lot that I released that beast and burst into tears. I cried all the way home. Sometimes, life is just rotten.
Later in the day I discovered via twitter that an old acquaintance from years ago was in town from Cali and so I jumped in my car to meet him at Aromas in Benson. My turn to drive across town.
Gabe and I were not that close. We frequented the same circles and had several mutual friends. I thought to myself that a quick Meetup would be good for me and he was all for it as he saw most of his peeps at a tech holiday party last night and was just hanging out today messing on the internet.
It was really great to catch up and he’s doing some super cool things at Philo. He also recently took some time off of work and we shared a lot of commonalities around that. In an hour we covered Work, relationships, and what life is like living in the heart of San Fran. I discovered that when he comes back to Nebraska he always has A Wendy’s cheeseburger which he does not have easy access to where he lives (he’s living the car free life).
Wendy’s .. really??! Gross!!! I held my opinion to myself. After an hour we parted ways and I jumped back in my car to head home and start dinner.
That brings me to my last interaction of the day.. Simon paying me a visit to join us for dinner and evening activities. Cooper let him in and he came upon me in the kitchen while my back was turned. When I turned around to greet him with a hug, I almost missed the dozen purple roses he brought.
I’m ashamed of my first thought. “Oh no.. cut flowers”. I don’t care for cut flowers and I think the gesture is a waste of money and a shame to sentence those beauties to an abbreviated life. I practiced my faking it for the second time in the day and smiled and thanked him and promptly stopped what I was doing to get a vase.
In truth, I did allow some emotion to show.. just enough that he would pick up on it and ask me about it. I told him I had a tough day and asked if we could talk more after dinner. And so we did.
I talked about meeting Matt for coffee and then recounted the events of 2016 so he had a good frame of reference to understand the gravity of my meetup and the depth of my emotions.
He listened and attempted to find relatable connections in his own life. Some relationship he had 20 years ago that left him feeling the same things years later. I appreciated him listening to me and I know he’s smart enough to pick up on the other connection. I left Matt because he could not commit to a future and I’m not about to be in a relationship with someone else who has the same limitation.
We did not talk about “us” much. There’s nothing really to talk about. The cut flowers say it all.
One might say “how was he to know not to bring you cut flowers?”. My response to that is so revealing…
If you are seeing a girl and you know she’s into writing and you know she writes poetry you ask her about it. This is not freaking rocket science.
If you ask her she’ll be overjoyed that you are interested and she’ll share her blog with you so you can read what she’s written. If you want to be supportive and show you care about her interests and feelings, you’ll visit the blog and read at least some of her writing.
In my case, anyone who does that would most certainly read the poem on my home page. It’s called Long Talks and Sidewalks and the post has been “sticky” at the top for about nine months now (which it isn’t anymore because I’m getting ready to post something new). The second line of the poem says “Don’t bring me cut flowers and expect me to smile and swoon”. And it goes on to explain why.
Even if one were to assume that this is just poetry and words and fluff, they should have the wherewithall to inquire further about it… if they care.
I don’t think all of this is unreasonable. If it’s unreasonable, please someone tell me. As it is, Simon and I have been seeing each other for five months and he knows about my affinity for poetry and that I have a blog but has never inquired beyond that. If he brought me flowers on a second date or something, that would be different, but it has been five months.
There could be lots of reasons for that, but I’ve taken so much interest in things he cares about, the fact that it’s very one-sided is a concern for me. Like I wrote a few days ago, I don’t need someone to be totally gaga about my passions, but an ounce of interest is absolutely required. I added that to the scale a while back. The presentation of flowers just solidified it. /sigh
I guess I’ll just keep skipping merrily along this yellow brick road with a keen eye looking out for more lions, tigers, and .. uh.. bears. 🐻 😉
There’s No Place Like Home,