Archive for January, 2006
My friend Lulu’s birthday party was a great one. It was filled with lots of good (mostly vegetarian) food, lots of laughter and a lot of attention focused on the birthday girl — right where it belonged.
It was such a good time that Lulu and I crashed in the guestroom until 3 a.m., when she sobered up enough to drive home. I waved good-bye, then went back to sleep.
When I finally returned to my apartment Saturday morning, my bouquet of flowers was waiting for me, along with the card reading, “Happy Anniversary. Love, Endicott.”
As I scanned my living room, looking for the perfect spot to compliment the all white bouquet, I thought, “If I stay here for more than five minutes with that beautiful, fragrant reminder of Endicott and our broken marriage, I will lose my damn mind.” So, I cleared a spot for the vase, changed my clothes, then headed for my car.
Friday morning, my best bud, Jean Luc, introduced me to a hiking trail a few miles from my home. it was such a treat to be outdoors. To feel the sun shine on my skin and the cool breeze mussing up my hair completely took me away from whatever was on my mind that morning.
So Saturday morning, when I felt overwhelmed (again), I headed for the Hills (again)!
Sometime around 11 a.m., I remembered the call I received the night before, inviting me out on a lunch date. I planned to politely decline, maybe reschedule for the following weekend. As I scrolled through my contacts list, I wondered, “Why am I cancelling this date?” Is it because I think it is tacky to go out on my wedding anniversary? Or do I think everyone else will think it’s tacky and judge me? I realized my hesitation was based on the latter.
In my head, I was instantly defensive: It’s not like I’m planning on staying married to Endicott. We’ve been separated for over a year now. I’m pretty sure this thing is not a temporary situation. And really, anyone who would give me a hard time about making a date on my sad, stupid, suck-ass anniversary probably already thinks I’m nuts. So what am I waiting for?
When the path leveled out, I stopped, dialed the number and made lunch plans to meet in Los Feliz at 2 p.m.
In case it is not clear — and I’m sure it is COMPLETELY confusing ‘cuz I don’t want to use names just yet — this person is not my New Friend. My New Friend is the older, charming, funny, globe trotting man I’ve had a crush on for months. He may or may not be back in my life. If he calls next week when he returns to town, I’ll let you know…Maybe.
My lunch date is someone Lulu and I met at a movie premiere. The movie wasn’t so great, but the party was fun. We danced, drank, and met lots of fun people. One of them gave me his phone number. I called him a few weeks later. He phoned me back. It had been a slow game of phone tag until Saturday.
While he was perfectly pleasant, and cute, the whole thing was a little uncomfortable. It took me awhile to pinpoint it, but the problem — was it really a problem? — was that he reminded me A LOT of myself. I’m used to being the quirky, unsettled person in a relationship. Besides, as nice as he was, he’s not the kind of man I usually find attractive.
I love, love, LOVE geeks. Hilariously funny, highly intelligent men who make me laugh out loud, who will challenge me, who I can learn from — they are so hot! I get lots of offers/passes/attention from cute, sometimes even hot men, but I’m usually not interested if they’re not smarter than me…Is there something wrong with me?!
My best bud, Jean Luc, says I have it all wrong: Befriend the geeks, but go out with the hot guys. “But, Dude,” I cry, “can’t we find a happy medium?” I’m sure there are hot, intelligent, funny, single men in the world. Heck, I know a few of them! If I could just work out the timing thing, I might finally find a compatable (read: hot & thoughtful) man.
But until then, I’m thinking this lunch date went as far as it ever will. But that’s okay, because I know I have other lunch dates in my future. And maybe more.
January 31st, 2006
I’ve been busy lately. I have several deadlines — some self-inflicted, others thrust upon me — in my near future. I think it’s pretty obvious by now, I don’t deal well with stress. My heart races, and I feel a tightness in my chest. The only thing that seems to help is Xanax. But that’s worthy of a separate post all its own.
One of my deadlines hits tomorrow. I am sooooooooooooooooooooo far from meeting it that its kinda making me sick. For once, I can say its not my entirely fault, but that really doesn’t matter ‘cuz a deadline is a deadline. Either meet it, or get the flip out of the way so someone else can get it done.
I’m here at my boss’ house, waiting for a birthday party to start. All the guests, save the birthday girl, have yet to arrive. All I can think about is the pain in my chest, when I wonder if anyone left a message on my cell phone.
The reception here is spotty, so I developed a little ritual of checking my messages twice a day. I usually do it every four hours. About ten minutes ago, I checked my voicemail to hear my three messages.
The first two were from Sherman Oaks Florist. They have a delivery for me. The last time they phoned me was almost a month ago on my birthday.
I was having a nice mojito buzz during lunch with my friend Lulu (tonight’s birthday girl) when I got their call. “When will you be home to receive the flowers?” I wasn’t sure. But out of curiousity (’cuz I almost never get anything delivered) I asked for the name of the sender.
So tonight it was the same thing. “Could you please tell me the name of the sender?” The very nice florist replied, “It’s from Endicott. The card says, ‘Happy Anniversary!’”
I had almost the same reaction as I did last month when he sent me a big, beautiful lily for my birthday: I wanted to cry.
Last month, I weaved through the restaurant, slowly made my way into the bathroom and locked myself in a stall for ten minutes. Tonight, I don’t have that luxury, so I’m going to be a big girl and suck it up. Why bum everyone else out ‘cuz of my stupid drama? Besides, my (sixth) wedding anniversary is tomorrow. I can cry all I went then.
Upon hearing Endicott’s name and his message, I responded with an, “Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh…” The florist asked, “Forgot your anniversary, huh?”
I smiled ‘cuz yes, I actually did. “Well…something like that.”
“Believe me,” he chuckled, “I’ve heard them all.”
Yep, forgot my wedding anniversary. I’d feel bad except for the fact that I’m divorcing my husband…who was sweet enough to still send me flowers….Gawd, I suck.
So guess the next phone message…
Nope, not from my soon to be ex-husband, Endicott. It was actually from someone I met in mid-December. He called yesterday to ask me out on a lunch date this weekend. His message this evening was to firm up our plans. I wanted to meet on Sunday. Sunday doesn’t work for him, he wants to meet Saturday instead.
Now that I’m feeling sad and sick to my stomach, I’m thinking lunch this weekend just won’t happen. I have some serious work (and probably sulking) ahead of me in the near future.
Happy Anniversary, Endicott,
January 27th, 2006
I was in Lake Elsinore, CA, over the weekend visiting my parents and my Aunt Carmen.
Actually, my aunt’s name isn’t really Carmen. Over chips and salsa, it was revealed that Carmen is the name she used when she went out to clubs and restaurants with her girlfriends. After her friend gave up that juicy tidbit, I couldn’t stop wondering how many men in the greater Long Beach area only know her by her alter ego! As sweet and demure as my Aunt is, its funny to think she might have a wild side — and her name is Tia Carmen!
In the last few months, my Aunt was diagnosed with stage four stomach cancer. She has seen three specialists now; they all agree she has six months to live, maybe seven if she seeks chemotherapy treatments.
When I heard the news, I flashed back to last summer when my best buds, Jean Luc, and his wife, Maria, were caring for Maria’s sick mother, May. Though her wit and humor were still intact, May’s body was frail and exhausted. The last time I saw her, even talking and moving her hands were enormously difficult.
So with that in mind, I asked my Mom to arrange a visit with my Aunt while she still had the strength to see us.
Right before lunch on Saturday, I handed her an envelope. She and I sat in the backseat of my parents’ minivan, my Mom turned around from the front passenger seat to face us, my Dad leaned in through the open passenger door. As my Aunt raised the card, and the delicate gold chain attached to it, I explained the story behind my gift.
It was a small gold crucifix given to me years ago by my soon to be ex-husband, Endicott. His sister had it blessed at the front of the stream in Lourdes, France, during her pilgrimage to several religious sites. At the time, I couldn’t appreciate it as anything other than a piece of jewelry…that kinda creeped me out!
Unlike Endicott, and most people I know, I’m not religious. Actually, I’m really uncomfortable with displays of faith, verbal or symbolic. So keeping the crucifix that was blessed at the site where the Virgin Mary appeared over a hundred years ago, was difficult. That’s a lot of religious attachment for secular girl like me to handle! I considered giving it away to Goodwill, then pretending to “lose” it. Because it meant so much to Endicott, as a show of his faith in God and his love for me, I decided to keep it. I placed it in a jewelry box, and forgot about it until a couple of days ago.
As Aunt Carmen put on her crucifix, I thought, if there was ever a reason for me to have that thing, it was probably to give it to her. She could appreciate it as more than jewelry. For her, it can be a source of strength to draw from during this painful period in her life. And a small reminder of the power of love, faith, and miracles.
January 16th, 2006
A few days ago, I promised to review the crazy-ass month that was December: the highs, the lows, the wine, and especially the whine. I have so much to cover, I’m not sure where to start. So, of course, I’ll do what I always do when overwhelmed: avoid and retreat! Yeah, uh-huh, I’ll cover that stuff tomorrow.
Right now, I’m fixated on a different topic for today’s post: New Year’s resolutions.
Like most people, I make resolutions every year. I write out little lists of things I hope to accomplish: eating healthy, regular exercise, reading one current novel a month, etc., etc. While they look great on paper, the items on my lists are rarely thought out. Heck, they are rarely carried out!
So this year, let’s just call this list exactly what it is: New Year’s resolutions I will NEVER keep! That’s right, I’m making a list of my New Year’s reNOlutions.
ReNOlution #1: Take that stripper class at the S Factor studios. Who am I kidding? I’m waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too shy and demure to do this! Not to mention, self-conscious, awkward, and not the least bit sensual. While I’m at it, how about I sign up for an amateur dance contest at Crazy Girls?
ReNOlution #2: Accept any of the dozens of offers for a threesome. Listen up, freaks: just because I’m separated and vulnerable does not mean I will be used. I am also NOT “experimental” or “bi-curious” dammit! So, for the love of all that is holy, please stop the following cheesy behaviors:
Exhibit A: inviting me to spend the evening in your hotel room with you and your husband, to, you know, talk.
Exhibit B: hugging me and my girlfriend then saying this would be so much better if we were all horizontal.
While they are thoroughly amusing, these gestures are completely unwelcome and should be stopped immediately…But then again, ask me next year.
ReNOlution #3: Give up the big three vices in my life: alcohol/pot/coffee. Okay, the word vice is a little strong. Sure, I drink coffee daily, but I also drink half a gallon of water a day. When I smoke, it is once, maybe twice a month. As for the alcohol, it is mostly wine, and beer, two to three times a week. Unless there’s a special occassion or big ol’ party, my consumption is usually no more than 2 servings. With the exception of Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving, and most of the parties that included my New Friend, I’m usually a big fan of moderation. Even if I drank an entire pot of coffee, smoked a bunch of green stuff, then drank a bottle of wine all by myself, that’s still sounds like a fun evening…I’m one crazy weekend away from an intervention, aren’t I?
Now that I’ve covered all the stuff I won’t do this year, it’s about time I listed my one real goal for the coming year.
Resolution for 2006: Forgive my idiot (soon to be) ex-husband. Now that we’ve been separated for over a year, this is finally getting easier. I can (usually) drive in his neighborhood without thinking about the fight we had at Trader Joe’s. Or how I was so angry I couldn’t think straight and just wanted to be left alone. I got out of the car at the signal light, said I was going to walk the ten blocks back to home.
Guess his reaction.
He followed me in his Jeep, at slow speed, for over ten minutes. People in other cars stared at us as he pleaded with me, “Flo, please get in the car. Just get in the car. Flo, I’m begging you to please get in the car.” Ten minutes of non-stop begging, people! I finally gave in, got into the car, refused to speak to him for hours.
I’m sad to say this was not an isolated incident. That sort of thing happened on a regular basis, even after we separated.If you were at the LA Times Festival of Book last April, you might have seen me briskly walking away from Endicott, while he chased after me, pleading, “Flo, please slow down. I’m trying to talk to you. I have a bad knee, I can’t keep up with you.”
I don’t know how many times I hissed, “Jackass, I don’t want you to keep up with me! I want you to leave me alone! For f*ck’s sake, Endicott, just leave me alone!”
For years, he smoothered me until I ran away. He chased after me, only to pester/plead/publicly humiliate me into getting his way. Each time it happened, my resentment grew, and any respect I had for him diminished. It took some time before I understood my share of the blame. Every time I gave in to him, I taught him how to treat me; well, mistreat me.
That pattern of stupidity doesn’t happen any more. Sure, he calls occassionally, but I don’t phone him back. He writes emails, and I ususally ignore them. It took a year, but he finally got the hint and left me alone.
Now that I finally have some peace, and am mostly free from him, I think I can finally forgive him…But then again, ask me next year.
January 11th, 2006
This is my first time checking into this little slice of heaven I call IXH in about a month. Though I missed you terribly, I REALLY needed a break. (Breakdown is a little closer to the truth! But don’t worry about me, I’m much better now…No, seriously, I am great…SERIOUSLY!)
Now that I’m back, there is so much to cover. Like my friend’s Christmas party where he found out his boyfriend had another boyfriend! Or Christmas Eve, when my friend Lulu and I drank and dialed our New Friend — and he phoned us back! Let’s not forget my 35th birthday (on the 29th, people, so its not too late to get me something nice!), nor my super hot New Year’s Eve — babysitting three kids. Did I mention one of the parents tried to stiff me for the evening? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this stuff ALWAYS happens to me. Last, but not least, my New Friend is back in my life…sorta. There may be someone else in my life soon, too — if I could just remember to call him!
There’s also the little matter of my soon-to-ex-husband, Endicott. He was very good to me this holiday season. I’ll explain later…
Yes, I’m sooooooooooooo happy to be back. I hope you’ll join me on my latest (mis)adventures.
January 9th, 2006