Tag Archives: Divorce

Where I’ve Been Lately

March-April: Bought a condo. Loan application was an exercise in futility given the new mortgage laws that took effect in January. Despite having an 800+ credit score and owning real property in my home state of California since early 1994, when I was 23, I was summarily rejected everywhere I applied, necessitating a tax-unsavvy raid of my IRA in order to pay cash for said condo. Because my divorce wasn’t yet final, I couldn’t even qualify for a home equity loan in order to repay the kitty (even though I owned the property outright and it appraised for $10K over my purchase price!). Ridiculous amounts of time were spent emailing financial documents all over the place, all to no avail. But whatever–I love my new place and it’s already gone up $50K in value, so suck it, mortgage industry.

April-October: Remodeled my condo’s kitchen and bathroom. I should have a Ph.D. in complaining by now. Very tempted to say some horrible things about a certain large home-improvement store and a pricey cabinet maker also known for manufacturing furniture. What I will say, however, is that next time I do any remodeling, I’ll check out Ikea, instead, or explore having a guy from Mexico custom-make my cabinetry.

July: The indie bookstore I was working at (of five part-time jobs, my main gig) was in danger (even more than usual) of closing their doors. The store owners warned me I should look for other employment, since August might be their final month. Taking them very seriously, since it appeared that the property manager was attempting to force them out with strong-arm tactics, I decided to give applying for flight-attendant jobs another shot. Yes, this might sound random since I’m an author who worked in the publishing industry for years, but I grew up in an airline family. Don’t laugh, but my dad and stepmom worked for PSA back in the day. As a kid, I used to wonder, Why don’t all airplanes have smiles on them? But even as a child, I knew those PSA uniforms were something else with their bright-orange go-go boots and mega-short skirts. Anyway, every time my dad went to work for a long trip, my mom was like, “Come on, girls–let’s go!” and we’d be off to Northern and Central California to visit her friends. That said, I’ve flown a lot, and I always loved it, so the thought of working as a flight attendant myself sounded kind of cool.

This time around (I had applied at various airlines when I first left my ex, but with no luck), I decided to list my various volunteer leadership positions on my job history when I applied. Not to sully anyone’s organizational name, but I’ve been a prominent member in all three scouting communities (laugh all you want, but after 15+ collective years as a scout leader, I know how to politely boss around unruly kids–and their parents). And guess what? It worked! I got multiple interviews and job offers!!! I chose the airline with the base easiest to commute to and from my home town (since no way I’m giving up my sweet condo I fought so hard to get/improve), which also happened to be based where my mother and stepfather currently live.

Now, I’m not going to say which airline, since I love the job and don’t want to risk being fired, but I’ll give you two clues, since these won’t come up in search engines: (1) like PSA’s, our planes are “fun,” with unique pictures on them; and (2) we were recently in national news for a certain worldwide-panic-level-virus-infected passenger we transported.

August-present: Training/working/commuting. I’m down to four jobs now, the airline one being full-time, but that hasn’t left much time for blogging (or writing, truth be told). Also, I cleaned up my act a bit on the dating front (yes–that’s a relative qualification, because I’m still scandalously dirty with my love life) and went through a series of more serious romantic prospects. But, oh! The more serious, the worse the heartache! I’ve learned a lot this year about trust and human nature. I was going to say “unfortunately,” but it’s better to know and watch out, moving forward, than be naive, right? At least that’s how I’m spinning it in my mind.

So here we go again!

Dates 31.3-31.5: The Sweet Spot

From the beginning, it was pretty clear that Date 31 and I had it bad for each other in terms of sex. Starting with Date 31.3, however, I realized it was more than that, which was a problem. Basically, Date 31 wants to have kids, while I don’t. He also wants someone ten years younger than him, but I’m two years older than he is. Add to these two dealbreakers the fact that I’ll never be as perfect as his dead 29-year-old former fiancee and that I have both an ex-husband and three kids from my prior marriage, while Date 31 wants a girl with a clean slate, and you can imagine how my being so taken with him is more of a liability than an asset.

ANYWAY, Date 31.3 was the first time I went over to Date 31’s place. Granted, his best friend from Long Island was about to arrive from the airport, so I’m sure Date 31 had worked hard to clean up, but here were the first things I noticed: (1) a shoe rack by the front door, meaning he cares about keeping his place tidy; (2) real (as opposed to particle-board) furniture, showing me he either appreciates living amongst comfort and beauty or his dead fiancee had great taste and he still has the same stuff; and (3) a mix of tasteful (again, dead GF’s picks?) and comics-oriented kitschy artwork (most likely his), showing me that he truly does have a golly-gee sense of humor that’s surprisingly squeaky clean, despite his mad sadistic streak and penchant for dirty talk in the bedroom.

The other thing I couldn’t help noticing was that his apartment was directly above the complex’s pool. It was an unseasonably warm afternoon (Santa Ana condition, making it in the 80s in January), and Date 31 lives in the same suburb as I do (which is known for its schools), so it sounded like there were about forty kids in the pool, all screaming and splashing and generally having a great time. I complimented Date 31 on his place as he showed me around, noting how nice the floor plan was and such. He thanked me, then said (in total seriousness), “Yeah, the other thing I love about this place is how quiet it is.”

I started laughing. “Really?” I asked.

“It’s like there’s never anyone around,” he said. “Always so quiet.”

I pointed toward the balcony overlooking the pool. “You don’t hear that?”

A chorus of shouting pre-pubescent voices wafted upward: “Marco!” “Polo!” “Mom! Jaden’s splashing me!” Etc.

He shrugged.

“Seems like there might be a lot of kids in this complex,” I said.

Date 31 laughed, conceding I had a point. “That’s funny,” he said. “I never really noticed.”

I could tell he was being honest–he truly hadn’t noticed. Basically, I chalked up his acceptance of kid noise to the fact that he wanted kids of his own so badly, which made me doubly nervous. Because what if I got super attached to him? What if he talked me into giving a shot, having one for the road. Even though I’ve had a hysterectomy, I have eggs. Lots of couples in their forties are using surrogates these days, so it wasn’t like it was beyond the realm of possibility–but it wasn’t a future I envisioned for myself when I left my ex-husband.

Before we headed to the bedroom, the last stop on my tour of his place was the kitchen, where there were five piles of goodies laid out on the counter, with a nice variety of all the junk-food groups represented: salty, sweet, gooey, greasy, and crunchy.

“I bought snacks for the game for each of my buddies,” he explained.

I know it may sound silly, but I was almost moved to tears. Because, what a sweet guy!!! From his thank-you texts, I had suspected he was a considerate man, but now I had proof.

[Side note: Have I mentioned The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman? If not, it’s a book that describes how each of us has a way we most often express love and enjoy having love expressed back to us. The five “languages” are Physical Touch, Gift Giving, Quality Time, Acts of Service, and Words of Affirmation. All these are great, but the one that really gets my heart racing is Acts of Service. Like, want to *really* impress me? Wash my car, or fix the little piece that fell off the valance to the living-room blinds. Load the dishwasher, or bring in the trash cans (without being asked!). Diamonds, flowers, and massages are awesome, but it’s these little day-to-day efforts that truly make me feel loved and cared for.]

All that said, I knew I had found an amazing guy. Was he perfect? No. Over the course of Dates 31.3, 31.4, and 31.5, I learned that he enjoys country music–the pop kind–because “it’s just so happy.” Also, the TV in Date 31’s bedroom is taller than I am (and I’m 5’6″). Yeah, I’m sure it’s cool to watch movies on, but he likes to leave it going (with the volume silenced) while we’re having sex. Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but the flashing lights from having a TV on are kind of distracting. Also, isn’t that kind of a waste of electricity? If the sex hadn’t been so consistently stellar, I’d suspect him of watching TV while we were going at it, but he wasn’t, so I was left wondering, Why???

No matter, though–I was hooked. I couldn’t get enough of Date 31, and he seemed to be pretty taken with me, as well. We texted each other on a daily basis, constantly on the lookout for opportunities to steal a few moments from our respective busy schedules to spend together. Our first five dates spanned eleven days, if that gives you an idea of how caught up in each other we were.

And the sex? Good Lord!!! Date 31 loved to do all the nasty things I fantasize about but am too shy to voice. He used his belt, I used my mouth, and the things he said to me? Makes me blush just to think about it! So incredible, I found myself thinking, Yeah, I’d have another kid (and enjoy raising him/her) if it meant making this guy happy!

Which was right about when I realized, Oh, shit. Right after I almost blurted the words I love you.

In a last-ditch attempt at self-preservation, I didn’t tell Date 31 about my near slip-up in person, but I did admit to it via text a couple days later. The result? We didn’t see each other again for a week and a half. Could have been longer, but I’ll get to that in a later post. At any rate, the damage was done: I was supposed to be playing it casually, but I liked Date 31 too much to lie to him about the nature of my feelings. For better or worse, I knew I had to tell him the truth–even if it wound up costing me.

 

Date 32.1: Hit & Run

Feeling satisfied that I had a steady supply of sex on the horizon, I proceeded to date a succession of new guys, the first of whom was Date 32. Now, online, Date 32 looked gorgeous. His photos showed a tall, lanky, blond surfer guy with a nice smile and a kind of earthy disposition. Plus, in his messages back and forth with me, he was very nice. We had a phone call, too, but I was distracted by the fact that Date 31 was on his way over to my place, so I wound up cutting things short (and yes, I realize how very wrong that was of me).

Anyway, here’s the thing: when I went to meet Date 32 in person, I knew right away that he wasn’t for me. “Earthy” actually meant “poor,” and the laid-back surfer I was imaging actually turned out to be more of a beach bum, complete with a skeezy mustache and crooked teeth. Not wanting to be superficial, however, I said hello and shared appetizers with Date 32, since you never know–could be, my instincts were wrong. But it turned out they weren’t.

The longer I sat there, making conversation, the more convinced I was that I had to get out of there and never see this guy again. The stories he told me about his kids had me siding with his ex-wives (note the plural), and the way he looked kind of reminded me of one of my uncles, which wasn’t a turn-on. Not caring if you’re going to impress or offend someone, though, is a powerful thing. It tends to lead to blatant honesty, for better or worse, so this guy got to hear all about my faith, my church, my ex, and my struggles with my kids.

Did I know those are forbidden date topics? You betcha! Maybe I’m wrong, but I think being overly honest in an attempt to scare someone away is better than flat-out saying “No,” and then walking away, or taking a covert look at a date and then bailing (both of which have happened to friends of mine!). Maybe the over-honesty is a scare tactic, sure, but it’s also a last-ditch effort to give the person a chance. Because what if you get to talking about all those touchy subjects and then learn that you actually have some rapport with the unlikely match? Could happen. In this case, though, it didn’t.

Date 32 never called, texted, or messaged me again. Guess neither one of us was feeling it.

Dates 4.2 & 4.3: Hanging with the Anal-Sex Fan Club

I know it’s been awhile since I wrote in chronological order, but I think I was kind of waiting to see how things resolved with Date 4 before detailing the stuff that’s happened between us. Anyway, a few months have passed, so now the time feels right.

That said, considerable time has passed since I last mentioned him. In case you’ve (understandably) forgotten who Date 4 was, he’s the guy who’s super into anal sex, rimming, and spanking me. He’s also kind of a nerdy science guy who I totally get along with on an interpersonal level. Beyond that, he runs marathons, climbs mountains, and takes long hikes and such, so he’s super fit, meaning he doesn’t tire easily in the bedroom. Yes, he’s also blind enough that he keeps his glasses on while having sex, and he occasionally forgets to take off his socks before we get busy, but whatever–I actually think we’re pretty compatible.

Both Dates 4.2 and 4.3 were at my apartment. Because Date 4 and his ex-wife do the “nesting” thing, where their kids always stay in the house and the parent who’s not on duty sleeps elsewhere, he made it clear to me from the beginning that we would never be meeting at his place. That was fine, I assured him, since his coming to me meant less driving on my part and, quite frankly, sheer convenience. However, later on in our dealings with each other, I stopped feeling the convenient aspect of our dates, as I’ll relate below. Anyway, here’s a quick blow-by-blow of our history with each other:

Date 4.2 – On his way to the airport for a business trip, Date 4 makes plans for a quick lunch date with me that we both know isn’t going to involve either of us eating any actual food. With only two hours to spare, we don’t waste any time getting with the program. I go down on him, he goes down on me (front and back), he spanks me (both with his hand and with the belt, leaving marks that last a week), he fingers me (again, front and back), and we have both anal and regular sex. Along the way, we both climax, leaving us two very happy campers. I send him on his way afterward, and off he goes on his business trip.

Date 4.3 – Once again, we make plans to meet for “lunch” at my place. While not quite as frantically paced as our last date, we again have marathon anal sex that leaves me wondering what kind of damage I’m doing to my body. And speaking of damage, because my back had been acting up that week and Date 4 has bragged about being formally trained in massage, after we’re done having sex, I ask him for one. He obliges but seems kind of stingy about it. I’m thinking, Hey, dude–it’s not like I’m asking for much here. How many other 40-something chicks you know who’ll let you ride them anal for over 30 minutes a pop? As he’s leaving, I tell him I’d like to actually go out to lunch with him next time, so our relationship isn’t only about sex. He agrees and promises to take me out on a “real date” next time.

About a month later, Date 4 texts me, asking if I can FaceTime with him, so I do. While talking, we make plans for him to take me out the following day. The next day, however, he never texts, calls, or emails. I text him but receive no response. Because Date 4 had been pretty good about keeping promises to call, text, and see me up to this point, I was kind of worried about him. Did his son have to go to the emergency room? Did one of his parents die? Was there some sort of work emergency that necessitated his flying back to the home office on the East Coast ASAP? But he never told me what happened.

A couple weeks later, he finally texted me again, asking if we could hook up. My reply was terse. I told him how my time is valuable, so if he’s going to make a date with me, I’d appreciate his keeping it or, alternately, letting me know if he needs to break it. Message received loud and clear, he wrote back, not saying anything else.

I kind of wanted to tell him I wasn’t trying to put an end to things, just letting him know how his blowing me off had made me feel, but I didn’t. Instead, I just let it go. Because really, sex with him is a tad much. My sheets get all messed up, I have the runs the next couple days, and there’s no way I can picture being with someone long-term who insists on that much anal. I really, truly liked Date 4, though, so I was left somewhat at a loss by the way things ended between us.

The other day, however, I was trolling my favorite dating website and a new profile with a very familiar face came up. I clicked on it, knowing Date 4 would see I’d checked him out and kind of curious what he’d say about it. Sure enough, he messaged me on the site. Hey, gorgeous! he started off, saying some benign stuff about summer vacation and that he hoped I was well.

Softie that I am, I wrote back, wishing him well in return. At this point, he knows what I want–to be taken out for real, not just taken, period, at home in the bedroom–so if he cares to ask me out and start things over from scratch, I’d be open to the possibility. If that’s too much trouble, all I can say is, Good riddance.

Dates 0.1 and 1.1: Places I Shouldn’t Have Gone

You shouldn’t have sex before marriage. You know that, right? I tell my kids this, and, increasingly, I tell myself the same damned thing (for all the good it does me). But why not? the kids inevitably ask. Doesn’t everybody live together before they get married?

That’s beside the point, I generally say, not wanting to cop to the fact that their father and I did, indeed, live together for almost three years before marrying. The point is, I attempt to patiently explain, sex will attach you to someone you may not end up wanting to be attached to, making it harder to leave them, even when you realize they’re not right–or even downright bad–for you.

So there it is, my lecture on abstinence. Unfortunately, I’m not very good at taking my own advice, even when I know it’s right. But that brings me to the subject of Date 0.1.

Date 0.1 (I’ll let you decipher my numbering system as we go, but really, it’s pretty simple) was what I now like to think of as a practice date. One of the aforementioned choice exes who wheedled his way out of the woodwork (admittedly, with some help from yours truly), Date 0 was a guy I’d been in love with for years. He’s a fellow writer (also legit, of the ilk that speaks at Comic Con) I’d known before my ex-husband. Anyway, not going to say anymore about that except that, while married, we never cheated on our spouses with each other (even though they both believed otherwise). We did carry on by email for awhile, however, roundabout a decade ago, until the whole thing blew up and we went our separate ways, since he was ultimately just as stubborn as I was about making a failing marriage work. Afterward, we went without any contact whatsoever for years. That is, until I left my marriage.

So…I have to say–that friendship with the college ex? It got me through some hard, dark times. It also put me through some even harder, darker times, but whatever. With him living over a hundred miles away, our “relationship” seemed a safe space and, really, a moot point. But the question eventually emerged: Do we still have anything in person together or not?

Eventually, the day came to find out.

Without giving away too many telling details, we made plans for him to stop by my place for a brief visit on his way to somewhere else. And he did. While at my place (keep in mind I hadn’t been with anyone since my ex-husband at this point, and my ex had a problem with impotence he blamed on me, leading to our having sex only three times during the last five years of our marriage), all we did was talk. The college ex looked great, as I had suspected from the pictures I’d seen of him, and I was just as attracted to him at age 42 as I was back when we were both 18-year-olds (and 30-year-olds, for that matter). So I sat there, lusting after him, studying his hands and forearms (did I mention I have a thing for piano players?), wanting to climb onto his lap and get busy.

But I didn’t. Instead, I minded my manners and sat across the room from him, painfully aware that he was now married to Wife No. 2. After a couple hours of chit-chat, he left. Here’s the kicker, though–he left without so much as giving me a hug!!! Talked nonstop, couldn’t even look me in the eye without seeming sheepish or guilty, yet he didn’t even use the socially acceptable touch-excuse of a hug to determine whether we still had that mind-blowing sizzle between us??? I was floored.

In subsequent email communication, when I asked why he didn’t even hug me goodbye, he told me he didn’t get a “physical vibe” from me, and he’s not much of a hugger. Sorry, but I call BULLSHIT on that! Guy gave me one of the best hugs of my life back when we were 30, so no way I was buying that excuse. But whatever. Obviously, it wasn’t happening between us. Problem was, I worried maybe my ex-husband was right–maybe it was my fault that he didn’t want to have sex. Maybe I just wasn’t sexually attractive to anyone anymore, so I should just give it up and become a cat-lady spinster. At least I’d already had kids, so it’d be easier to forget about romantic love and just increasingly center my life around my offsprings’ upbringing.

Instead, though, on my 24-year-old half-brother’s advice, I joined a dating website. To my little bro’s horror, however, I immediately got hit up by a bevy of seemingly eligible guys, one of whom was only 25.

Yes, I knew it was wrong. That even if things worked out between us, I’d be using him at best. But there are worse ways to be taken advantage of, right? And he seemed down with it, actively encouraging me to go there with him. Quickly, our website communication led to texting (which can get out of control with these younger guys, but I’ll touch on that in another post), then some actual phone conversations.

In my defense, he had a great sense of humor, and our sexual propensities had some key overlap I was eager to explore. Plus he looked cute in his pictures. So I agreed to meet him, leading to Date 1.1.

Now, even if you totally ignored what I had to say above about how you shouldn’t have sex before marriage, don’t ignore this: Meeting someone you’ve never met before around midnight in an empty mall parking lot is not a good idea.

Duh! you’re probably saying, and that’s a beautiful thing. I’m glad you’re wiser about these sorts of issues than I was. But I was horny, and he was 25, so I went for it. And it turned out badly.

Luckily, I didn’t get attacked or date-raped, but things weren’t exactly smooth sailing, either. First off, he showed up wearing a ratty old concert t-shirt and saggy jeans. Second, he was more overweight than his pictures led me to believe. Third, he had a total baby face–because, do you realize how young 25 actually looks when you’re 42??? Trust me–it’s not good. Made me feel like I belonged in jail, not his arms, which were too pudgy anyway.

So I got out of there as fast as I could. Playing the age card, I told him he reminded me too much of my son (even though he didn’t, as my son is way thinner and more mature looking). That didn’t stop the guy–this stranger I never should have agreed to meet so late at night–from planting a juicy kiss on me and running his meaty hands up my skirt. He grabbed my hand and put it on his junk, too, which turned out to be quite sizable.

But that was where it ended. To his credit, when I said no, this wasn’t going to work for me, he left my car and drove away in his truck. Didn’t stop him from continuing to text me weeks later, but he eventually gave up since I wasn’t responding.

So, yeah–Date 1.1 was probably a HUGE mistake in many different dangerous ways. But it taught me something: Even if my ex-husband and my ex-college guy didn’t find me attractive or sexually alluring, someone else did. I was still sexy, and I still had it. And if a guy 17 years younger than me thought so, there had to be others who shared his opinion.

Now I just needed to find some more appropriate candidates from whom to receive that sort of attention.

Secret Blog Introduction

So here’s the deal: I’m a writer. A real writer. One with a mainstream book deal who can’t tell you who she is. My agent knows I’ve been thinking about starting a clandestine blog, but even she doesn’t know the particulars, because, seriously? This has to stay secret. I’m a mom, I’m in the middle of a contentious divorce, and–oh, yeah–I write *teen* fiction, and what I’m about to share with you here? It’s not teen-appropriate.

That said, I don’t plan on getting particularly graphic, just telling the truth. In truth, however, is humor and a big fat dose of inappropriate subject matter. As in, my kids can never know about this blog. Even if it somehow goes viral (please, God!), I get an anonymous book deal out of the gig, and it winds up paying for my children’s college educations, they cannot know what an unrepentant slut their mother is. Now that that’s all out in the open, however, I’ll begin my story…

So anyway, I was married for twenty years. Were those twenty years full of wedded bliss and fabulous sex? Uh, no. Being the committed Christian women I am, however, I hung in there for way too long. Call me stubborn, but even his cheating on me, his financial irresponsibility, and his (no joke) tendency toward hoarding weren’t enough to shake my devotion. No–things had to get into batshit-crazy (i.e., frontal-lobe head injury) territory before I finally contacted an attorney and planned my escape.

Due to a couple of choice ex-boyfriends crawling out of the woodwork via facebook the moment I changed my marital status to “separated,” I waited six months to start dating in earnest. When I did, though, oh, man!

Now, before I get started dishing the dirt, I know what it’s likely a few of you out there might be apt to get to thinking–as in, How can she call herself a Christian a behave like such a ho??? To that, all I can say is what my mother’s always told me about keeping the faith: Church is for the sinner, not the saint.

Some people lie. Some people gossip. Some people cheat and steal. And they’re still Christians. Like them, I realize why I need Jesus. In my case, it just happens to be about an unquenchable sex drive and perhaps a little too much testosterone flowing through my female system, making my attitude toward sex more reminiscent of a dude’s than a chick’s. Because I tithe. I go to church every week. I have quiet time with God every day, reading His Word. But yet, here I am. Hopefully my journey will be a testimony that inspires someone out there to a deeper relationship with the Lord, but if not, God~please forgive me.

Names will not be used here, nor will dates or specifics. And I don’t want any legal trouble at the expense of my frankness, so if you’re a guy who happens by this site on a tour around the blogosphere and something sounds familiar? Just walk on by. Pretend you didn’t see it. Because even if you ask me in person, you’d better believe I’m going to deny knowing what you’re talking about.

Before we get started, one more thing: I’ve met most of my dates via the Internet. One particular dating site is my favorite, but to call it out specifically could be tipping my hat on potential identity leakage, so I’ll just tell you this: my favorite dating website is free, and it has a Q&A section that allows potential dates to get all Seinfeldesque on each other, culling from the mix anyone who doesn’t brush their teeth as much as you do or say thank you to waiters with consistency.

Anyway, onward! Each day, I’ll try (editorial deadlines notwithstanding) to chronicle, in order, the dates I’ve been on. Please keep in mind, I do this in the spirit of love, humor, and transparency. Because, my sisters–even if you’re not as slutty as I am (and I pray you’re not!!!), I’d venture a guess that you’ve wondered what would happen if you gave in and went there.