Thursday, November 26, 2009

An Unexpectedly Good Thanksgiving

I have been a bit gloomy at the prospect of the 'holiday' season. There doesn't seem much to look forward to with just a grumpy ex and a couple of rambunctious kids to share it the new dilemma of which man to invite to the one Christmas Party I have been invited to. Maybe the answer is neither and I should just take my chances on adding one more to the mix. Or not. I am already struggling to juggle two as it is.

My MIL and her partner are in town for a few days and so I offered to cook a Thanksgiving dinner for us all. Only ex refused to participate, preferring instead to sit home alone and watch American football - as if my food is really that unpalatable. I can't deny it. I was upset. Cried even. Just seemed so sad that he couldn't tolerate a couple of hours of my company for the sake of the kids. No matter, we have in fact just had a lovely day - my boys, my MIL and her other half. And maybe it was just as well he wasn't a part of it, because there was certainly no tension and it was a joy to cook for family and just chill out entertaining the kids with two other adults on hand to assist me. What a luxury.

Now I just have to get through Christmas...not sure what the plan is there. Will the four of us spend the day together, like last year, or is ex planning to abort that family day as well? I need to get an answer - because the last thing I can handle is spending Christmas Day just the three of us like little Billy No Mates. That is not my idea of Christmas one little bit.

Green Eyed Man is being as attentive as ever but I am glad he is in St Louis for the weekend with his family. I am finding it hard to be around him right now, for so many reasons. He is a lovely guy but it all feels a little bit too serious, a bit too soon. He is so eager to please and I can't help but find that a little irritating, which makes me feel like a bitch. He has just changed his huge, petrol guzzling monolithic truck (which he was totally in love with) for a more eco-friendly car. He is updating his wardrobe. He is practising his Brit speak. He is reading every single book I have banged on about. And instead of being delighted that I am such a positive influence all I can think is...NOOOOO! STOP being so adoring - the sun really doesn't shine out of my arse and, even if it does, this is all just a bit too much.

Told you. BEYATCH. Jeez I thought this was exactly what I wanted to make me happy. And maybe in a couple of years time or so it will be. But right now I am finding that I am really appreciating my space - and whilst I do like male company and male attention, the last thing I am ready for is to get emotionally involved.

The other thing which is becoming patently obvious is that being the primary carer for two young children and having an active dating life is actually not a great combo. I really don't have the time, energy or inclination to see someone on a regular basis. When I have the children (which is most of the time, let's be honest) I am physically depleted by the time they are in bed. The last thing I am interested in is getting dolled up to go out on the town and having to pay a babysitter a shed load of money. The alternative - of having the gentleman in question come to the house and then getting all jiggy with it on the sofa, while my two little innocents are sleeping upstairs - also just feels plain wrong.

Turns out there is a reason why people typically date - get serious - marry - then have kids and raise them together...and not any other order. It's just too bloody exhausting. I'm 42. I struggle to muster the energy to get through a boy filled day. There's very little left to get me through a date filled evening, which typically requires at the very least flirtatious, titillating conversation and at most...well, something requiring typically less conversation yet a little more athletic endeavour.

The reality of it is that I have one evening a week kid-free and then every other weekend. And some of the time I just want to chill out alone and other times I want to catch up with girlfriends. Turns out there just isn't enough free time to go round.

Which is why, of course, I have added another man to the mix.

So not just a beyatch but a contradictory one to boot.

I met guy #2 by chance while sneaking a quick chai, in the midst of my best bag-lady-recovering-from-contagious-disease impression. He is TOTALLY different from GEM. For a start he is not American, he is Lebanese, and like me has lived in Chicago for the past 9 years, after leaving Beirut. He has travelled the world and lived a very full life. He is an ER doctor, specialising in pediatrics (I kid you not - I found this out on our 2nd date and of course was immediately hooked) and disaster management. He has degrees, MBAs and PhDs coming out of his ears. He is a little bit full of himself and definitely a free spirit. If I was looking for a man to marry, I hope I would have the good sense to lace my trainers double quick and run hell for leather in the opposite direction. But I'm not. And I can't help but be a little impressed by him and also very intrigued. He's fun. He's interesting. He's asking me out. And while I am playing it super-cool, I know I'd like to spend some time getting to know him a little better.

It does feel a little underhand and illicit though. I haven't said anything to GEM and, even though we haven't discussed being 'exclusive', I am sure he would be upset at the thought of me dating someone else. I know dating multiple people is commonplace in America - and that the trend is filtering over to the UK too - but it is very strange to have text messages from GEM and Dr Disaster sitting alongside each other on my phone. Both such different men, with such different qualities. Oh, how is a girl meant to choose between them? (back of hand sweeps up dramatically to rest against my forehead...)

After all this angst and relationship navel gazing, chances are I'll get dumped by them both this week anyway. I guess that would be one way of solving the issue once and for all.


  1. Dr Disaster - what a name.

  2. The thought of having to get dressed up, go out and get jiggy with it would definitely exhaust me. Not one man but two. I suggest you start drinking some Berroca or Red Bull.

    Enjoy though - how lovely to be in demand!

  3. I'm glad Thanksgiving was OK - can't believe your ex was being quite so selfish though. You sound like you need a break - would he not let you take the boys to the UK at Christmas?

    (And, an er doctor in Chicago specialising in pediatrics? Isn't that George Clooney/Doug Ross?? x)

  4. Your ex sounds like mine: a selfish git. Sorry he upset you, but glad you ended up having a good thanksgiving day.

  5. I, too, am not sure how Christmas will go and am a bit apprehensive. But Thanksgiving did end up being rather lovely, even if I only saw my boys half the day.

    Where I differ from you is that I have no desire to spend the holidays en famille with the ex involved. Too complicated, too confusing for the boys. And that's even considering how amicable we are!

    If I had my druthers, time would be sped forward a bit and I would (hopefully) be spending the holidays with my man and my boys TOGETHER. I know that it's too early for them to meet and blah blah blah, but really, I hate keeping the two halves of my life this separate.


    (Hand against forehead, ditto.)

    But hang in there. And it sounds like where you are in things, dating casually is just about right. And GEM, as attractive as he may be, does seem to want something that you just aren't ready to give.


  6. I would invite you over for Xmas but we're not going to be here. Hmmm. Think, think, think. There are usually some really fun things to do in Chicago for Xmas.

  7. New to reading your blog but already hooked! Do these guys not know that you write a blog?!

    I think it's great that you're able to spend some time with your MIL even if her son can't join you.

  8. mwa - Well, not that I'm tryng to preempt anything but the name seems appropriate. What is it with our attraction to bad boys?

    HOM - I typically use coffee to remain caffeinated but I do have some Berroca on hand. Good suggestion!

    Nappy Valley - We can't afford to fly home at Christmas, so that's out. At least here Christmas isn't such a big deal I guess (which does make me all the sadder) so at least it is just one day to get through. As for George Clooney - yes, Dr Disaster does have that glamourous edge to him!

    Not Supermum - It makes me crazy that I still give ex the power to upset me. It would be different at home because I wouldn't feel that I have to rely on him being the only 'family' that I have around.

    Teacher Mommy - You're a love. Thanks for the hug. I hope our futures end up being similar...wouldn't that be nice?

    Expat - I'm sure something will come up. I'm going to relentlessly beg friends to take pity on me and see if I can conjure up an invitiation or two for Christmas. I have no pride ;)

    Lorna - Glad you're hooked! Yes, the guys know I write a blog but they have no idea what it is called, so I think I am safe there. There are only a handful of friends that I have given the details too and they are mainly in the UK. As for MIL, we have always got on like a house on fire and I am so thankful that ex and I breaking up hasn't impacted that at all. She is great.

  9. Wow. I go on holiday for a week, and when I return and read your blog, I feel like I've missed a few months' worth.