Sunday, January 31, 2010

After All This Time

Funny how the universe works in conspiring to deliver what you've asked for...

No sooner than simply asking the question 'what the hell am I going to write about?' - I was asked to write a guest post for Pond Parleys.

And here it is....(and not a mention of ex's or Dr's in sight).  The subject is 'things we still haven't got used to after all this time living in another country'.  And if that's not enough to get you chomping on the bit and racing over there, let me just tell you that the main topic of conversation is....electrical sockets.

Hey - come back!  Where are you going?  No's worth a read - I promise!!

(Well, Mike's bit is anyway.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Quick Update and Possibly Irrelevant Rationalisations

Update #1: Dr Disaster

He texted yesterday.  Has been busy coordinating a relief effort for Haiti and is leaving for the island today as the head of a team of physicians and nurses.  He expects to be there several weeks.  Can I wish him good luck?

Well isn't that bloody irritating?

He has an admirable humanitarian excuse to explain his lack of contact.


So despite my intention of ignoring him when he contacted me, I felt that would be a little churlish given the fact that he is off to save the world (or at least a little corner of it).  Instead I replied: "C'est grand.  Le mieux de la chance".  Couldn't resist trying to appear worldly and sophisticated by wishing him luck in french.  It's not often I get the satisfaction of having the last word in another language.

Unless you count gibberish of course.

Update #2: Feedback on New Girlfriend

Oh I shouldn't care in the least...but the jury has spoken and the verdict is in.

I WIN!  (In the 'who's the nicest / prettiest / smartest / funniest / warmest / most likeable' stakes that I have been sweating over in my head since NG met our friends in the UK.)

Ridiculous high school behaviour to even care - but strangely satisfying all the same.  Of course I don't win an actual tangible prize (like an ex-husband crawling back to my infinitely superior self with his tail firmly between his legs) but I do have amazing friends who are 110% supportive and think I am irreplaceable...which actually will do just as well, thank you very much.

Update #3: Why It All Makes So Much Sense

I have been bemoaning the fact that it is so stereotypical for ex to be in a relationship with a younger woman and just how predictable that whole scenario is.  However, when I look at HIM as a person rationally I realise that this is not necessarily an indication of how he wants to shed his responsibilities and recapture his lost youth, but rather a direct reflection of finding someone who connects to the things that are important to him in life.

Like his work, for example.

If friends were to describe ex they may say Tall, Witty, Smart, Thoughtful, Adoring (obviously, back in the day), Sporty....but one word which they always tended to use to describe him was Workaholic.

When I met ex he was a 24 year old whipper snapper who worked for the same company I did.  I was 6 years older at the time and held a senior role in the company compared to his relatively junior one.  But his talent and ambition were apparent to everyone he worked with, which was one of the qualities that I was most attracted to.  Despite the age difference, we seemed to have much in common.  I loved the fact that he was so driven, so passionate about what he was doing, so conscientuous about doing it to the best of his ability.  At the same time, I thought this dedication would become more balanced as he got older.

Silly me.

If anything, it just increased over time.  Of course, ex never saw himself as a Workaholic.  He could always cite other people who were at the office longer and who worked weekends.  But typically, no matter what time he got home and where he was at weekends, he would always be preoccupied with emails on his Blackberry or working on an 'essential' presentation on his computer.   The fact that he was physically in my space didn't mean that mentally (and, more often than not, emotionally too) he was still engrossed in his job.

Ex is a man who is defined by how well he does his job.  How successful he is.  How he can keep outperforming himself time and time again.  And that's not just my bitter, biased view - it's what he readily admitted to in marital counselling.  He loved having a wife who was successful and business-like and could relate to him on that level.  He always told the story of how he was attracted to me before he even got to know me, watching me stride across the car park from my sports car, in my power suit and heels.  He really struggled when I became a stay-at-home-mum (he wasn't the only one) and losing such  an important connection which so strongly defines him.

So it's obvious he is going to have far more in common with a woman dedicated to her career than to a family (even if it is HIS family).

His other interest in life is running and it turns out he met New Girlfriend through the running club that I encouraged him to join (with me) when we first moved to Chicago over 9 years ago.

So no big surprise there.

We used to run together and loved to participate in races but again, that all went by the wayside for me after 5 months of bedrest for Captain Underpants and then the seemingly impossible logistics of getting babysitting coverage for time spent on the running path.  Then I was pregnant again, then breastfeeding and by the time I had the inclination to lace my trainers he'd already called time on our marriage.

So the running aspect makes sense.

As for the fact that this woman is younger, I have to be honest and say that he is probably relishing the fact that, in this relationship, he is the older, more experienced one.  That this time around it is his turn to impress and take charge - to be looked up to in a manner which I possibly never demonstrated.  I can imagine that is quite novel and satisfying, to finally be revered for being so successful and well travelled, rather than bitched at for making work such a priority and never being home.

So it makes sense.

I just hope it ultimately makes him happy.


And now - enough of all this self-absorption and repetitive, introspective posts!  Time to get back to writing things of a more entertaining nature.  It will be a pleasant distraction, that's for sure.  Which begs the question....what the hell am I going to write about?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It Doesn't Help To Think This Is All Karmic Pay Back...

Despite having a wonderful weekend with the boys I have been unable to stop my mind from constantly imagining ex and NG having a fabulous jaunt in the UK with family and our friends.

I just hate the fact that they might really like her.

Now I know that is pathetic behaviour.  And it's not as if liking her means that they no longer like me.  But I can't help myself fantasising that they are collectively of the opinion that she's not a patch on yours truly.  That they are possibly questioning ex's sanity in this regard.

Whatever they're thinking, I doubt they're going to tell me because, seriously, what is the point?  Would it give me some satisfaction to know that my friends can't really see the appeal in her?  Well...yes.  But it doesn't change anything and I really shouldn't need those types of assurances to bolster my own sense of self-worth anyway.  Still.  I'm curious.  And it has taken every ounce of self control I possess to maintain a sense of flippancy and gaiety whenever ex has called to speak to the boys - as if this whole situation is like water off a duck's back.

It isn't.

I'm drowning.

But I'll be damned if he gets the satisfaction of seeing me flailing around like a child who has inadvertently strayed into the deep end without arm bands.

I was surrounded by company today, which helped a great deal.  I had accepted an invitation to a friend's birthday brunch before ex and I switched weekends and almost cancelled last minute due to a sudden cash crisis.  (Actually, there was nothing 'sudden' about it - I knew buying 3 pairs of boots in 72 hours was not something that I could actually afford in a month of Sundays.  Not that it stopped me of course.  So now I get to enjoy the additional *bonus* acute anxiety of having just two nickels and a quarter to live on for the next week.  Still, if anyone wants to come and give me a good kick up the bum for being so financially irresponsible they will have their choice of 3 amazing pairs of boots to wear when they do so.)

My friend is a woman I have met through the Kabbalah Centre.  Turns out she has just turned 27.  Oh God I hadn't realised she was so young.  I really like her - and the fact I really like her pains me a little because it's as though she is living proof that ex really might have his head screwed on in choosing a woman 10 years his junior.  I try not to think about it and start to mix and mingle with all her (young) friends.

I'm having a really nice time - sipping a bloody mary and generally 'shooting the breeze' - when I tune into a conversation that stops me in my tracks:

"Yeah, well I was only 22 when we got together and he was 36.  At the time I thought nothing of it but now I think 'eeuuuw, it's like you were a dirty old man!'.  We used to bump into his ex all the time around the city and I really hated it.  I just wanted the bitch to leave so she wasn't in my face the whole time.  And then luckily she did - so that was good.  Now we never see her.  THANK. GOD."

That's the trouble with eavesdropping isn't it?  You're going to potentially hear something that you just wish you hadn't.

The woman who was talking was maybe late 20s and had a 4 month old baby.  We had just spent half an hour chatting away about babies and sleep schedules and breast feeding and husbands away working - and how the whole baby thing generally changes so much of your perspective on life.

However, it appears that some of her perspectives remain unchanged.

I don't know why it upset me so much, but it did.  It reminded me uncomfortably of how dismissive I'd been of women in their late 30s and 40s at that age.  Women who were stay at home mums in particular.  I had a fantastic career, my own flat, a sports car and generally felt I had the world at my feet.  It didn't help that I was seriously attracted to two of my bosses (not simultaneously) who were verging on 40 and that those feelings were very much reciprocated, despite the fact that both men were married with two children.  I didn't have affairs with these men - although that opportunity was definitely there and both men expressed an interest in leaving their 'unhappy marriages with wives who no longer understood or appreciated them'.  Ultimately, it just seemed too huge a mess to even contemplate - and the fact that I was in a 'serious' relationship and living with someone tipped the balance.

But the 'connection' on my part seemed very real and I continued to have feelings for both men long after I'd walked away.

Now I look back and feel so dismissive of the men that I had such huge crushes on.  Didn't they realise they were pursuing a woman who still had so much growing up to do?  That despite appearing quite worldly was actually still naive - which I suppose was part of my appeal.  Well, that and my verve for life, which soon got sucked straight out of me when I became a mother myself and had to start making difficult and emotional choices regarding continuing my career or being there for my babies.

My friend, Sexy Single Dad, summed it up when we got together with our kids on Saturday.  "Men in their 30s and 40s can pretty much get any woman they want.  Young or old - the world's their oyster where the opposite sex is concerned.  And it's flattering.  I couldn't get dates with any decent women when I was in my 20s.  Now I can pick and choose and age certainly isn't a barrier any more."

Hmmm.  Reassuring.  And spoken from a 38 year old man who is also dating a 27 year old woman with no 'baggage' (apart from possibly a Luis Vuitton handbag or two).

Is it any wonder that I am just a little, teensy bit miffed right now?

But given my attitude and behaviour in my 20s...maybe this is simply karmic pay back?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dating (dr) Disaster

So after a month long absence I finally hook up with Dr Disaster again.  What can I say?  I've been fragile. Slightly unhinged.  I'm a little bit of a sucker for the offer of being driven to a nice restaurant and plied with free wine and food.  More fool me.

We hadn't seen each other for a month, due to his travels and my imaginary hectic social life.  He had texted sporadically but not really enough to demonstrate a true interest.  I reciprocated by languidly waiting several days to reply, yet painstakingly composing dry, witty responses which I hoped would pique his interest further once he realised the calibre of woman he was dealing with.

We bumped into each other a couple of times in Wholefoods cafe, the venue of our original meeting.  I was always in a rush or totally preoccupied with other people (score!) and I was a little thrown off guard by the warmth of his greeting and the instant follow up texts 'u look as beautiful as ever'.  He'd spent a week in Miami over the New Year and looked incredibly HOT with a tan.  Totally edible.  I began to reconsider my options where he is concerned.  Maybe there is more potential than I had estimated, I mused.

After receiving yet another text 'r u free this week for drinks?' I waited 24 hours before replying 'it appears the long-last art of using the telephone for its original purpose is not longer a part of your reportiore...?'  (aka: I think I'm worth a phone call at this point, don't you?)  Within 20 minutes he called me, laughing, and we made plans to go out on what would be our 5th date.

The night of the date arrived and I'm nervous and a little aflutter.  The boys are with their dad and in the back of my mind I make the assumption that maybe this time I will invite him in for a 'drink' and get an insight into his dry-humping technique on the sofa.  As a precautionary measure I wear jeans and a top that leaves Everything to the imagination.  Don't want him to get the impression that I am desperate for it or anything, after all.  I deliberately wear my least sexy underwear as an internal act of self-preservation, a cautious mental deterrent incase my body tries to persuade me that going beyond dry-humping at this point is a good idea.

The date is fantastic.  He takes me to one of his favourite restaurants and we talk and flirt non-stop.  He places his hand on my leg and leans in to talk closer, gently using his fingers to play with my hair. I can feel his breath on my neck.  Oh he's good.  He's very good.  I try not to act too impressed but feel that I am failing miserably.  At 11 o'clock he casually remarks, "we could order another couple of glasses of wine...or maybe buy a bottle to share back at your place?"  Pause.  "Unless you have wine at your place already?"  "Yeah, I have wine", I reply and the decision is made.

Back at mine the wine is barely poured before he pounces.  The gentle and seductive kissing technique employed in public goes out of the window as he lunges at me with his tongue, hands moving in for the kill.  I try to back off a little but he's having none of it.  To describe his approach as animalistic is being generous - I can imagine cavemen being more gentle as they drag their women by the hair into the fields.  I don't want to appear the prude but detach myself on the pretense of wanting some wine.

He moves in to kiss me again and this time pulls my head back so sharply all the muscles in the front of my neck strain uncomfortably.  What the hell is going on?  I am thinking to myself.  Does he really think  that having my hair pulled so ferociously is sexy?  At which point he sucks my tongue into his mouth with such intensity I fear it's about to get pulled out at the roots.  OW!  Give me that back, you heathen. I need that.  My two greatest pleasures in life are talking and eating and my tongue is pretty essential for both of those activities.  I would prefer, if at all possible, that it remains firmly where it is meant to be.  In my mouth.

When he finally relinquishes my tongue, his mouth starts to move down my body aiming for my crotch.  "No" I say firmly.  He looks up at my quizzically, as if he's not sure he understands what I am saying.  "No", I repeat, "I'm  not comfortable taking this any further right now."  He moves back up to kiss me again and I attempt to keep my tongue locked firmly behind my back teeth for protection.  Yet again, as soon as the kissing intensifies he attempts to move south.  "No", I say for the third time, feeling a bit of a fool by now and a little annoyed that my previous No obviously didn't quite register.

Even if I had been comfortable with the concept of a little oral at this point, I would have been nervous that the assault on my tongue would be replicated on my clitoris (yet another organ which I am quite partial to and which I would like to remain quite firmly attached to my body).

This pantomime continues for another 15 minutes or so.  He's trying it on. I'm not letting him.  I feel a little embarrassed, as if I am at fault in this situation, and angry with myself for feeling this way.  Eventually I stand up and he gets ready to leave.  Despite the slightly awkward atmosphere, the tone between us is still light and flirty as he departs.

The next day I am discussing the date with a friend - another single mum who is currently juggling dating 3 men (I don't know how she does it).  She asks me if I had texted him to thank him for dinner and drinks at least..."it's always good to be polite and appreciative, even though the date ended a little uncomfortably" she suggests.  I decide against it - then change my mind and text him that night 'God I am turning into a Brit with no manners.  What is the world coming to?  Thanks for dinner and drinks last night.  Despite possible appearances to the contrary, I did enjoy your company'.  He responds immediately, 'Oh Nicola, the pleasure was all mine'.

And that is the last I have heard from him.

The date was just over a week ago.  I had made the decision to ignore him when he finally got in contact, as he hadn't bothered to call or text over the weekend, but now he isn't even going to give me that satisfaction!  You have to contact me before I can ignore you!  Go on.  I just want to end this feeling like I have the upper hand in at least one situation in my life right now.  Even a caveman like yourself can show me that little courtesy, can't you?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Phew - I was a little unhinged last week, wasn't I?

I am willing to admit now that my reaction was slightly over-the-top but, my God, it felt so amazing to just vent.  By the time I went to bed that evening I felt totally calm, all my anger and frustration had dissipated.  My goodness, this blog is better (and a darn sight cheaper) than therapy.

It has been a hard week - but at the end of it, and with a lot of breathing, I have reached a position of both acceptance and clarity.

The day following the Revelation ex and I had possibly the most open and honest phone conversation we have ever had.  We discussed his new girlfriend and he apologised profusely.  He brought up the subject of moving home and confirmed it is definitely on the cards but probably not for at least another year.  We talked about the approach we want to take regarding the divorce and I laid bare my feelings of vulnerability regarding financial support for the short-medium term.  He was gracious, open and honest and by the time we hung up I was feeling almost euphoric.  It felt like such a weight had been lifted.  It's amazing what can happen when you simply remember to breathe.  (Note to self: try it more often.)

A couple of days later ex calls to tell me that he is taking New Girlfriend to the UK for a few days and is planning to introduce her to our friends and his family.  

Cue instant feelings of being sucker punched all over again.  Breathe Nicola, breathe.

I gather all the dignity I can muster and act all perky on the phone, as if this information doesn't matter to me one jot.  Ex is going to the UK to attend his grandmother's funeral - a woman I greatly admired and I so wanted to be there with his family to pay my last respects.  This is now not a privilege I am entitled to apparently.  I swallow the bile in my throat and make an attempt to be jovial and grown up when ex confesses "C has never been to London, so this is a good opportunity...."  He trails off.  I bite my tongue before I retort 'well she has a passport at least' or 'is this her first time out of the country?'  

Instead I lamely joke, "well, I hope she likes it because she may well be living there for many years to come..." and then of course feel even worse when ex responds, "well exactly".

I make a valiant attempt to soothe my hurt feelings by heading straight to Bloomingales and making a mass purchase of new boots.  Hah!  You might have met the new Love Of Your Life - but that's okay because I have sexy new designer footwear bought at a steal.  

But by the evening I am a wreck again and seek solace in several chocolate martinis with a girlfriend, while gazing lovingly at my new boots.  Can you complete me?  I ponder somewhat drunkenly, as I gaze at my fat athletic calf squeezed tightly into soft brown leather.  The realistic answer is that they are just boots and barely complete my outfit.  Maybe new jeans then.  There's nothing a great pair of jeans can't resolve, surely?

The weekend plods on and once again, within 24 hours I have gained a slightly more generous perspective and am no longer fantasising about kickboxing anyone to death.

Monday is a national holiday and ex has the boys in the morning and meets me at midday so I can take the boys to a play date, before taking them back to his at 4.30pm for a sleepover.  Unbeknown to me New Girlfriend was with them but at the switch over I didn't meet her.  In the afternoon I got a text saying 'am going for a run...can we say 5 instead of 4.30?'  I had spent the afternoon in tears about him and NG and wasn't willing to be flexible.  Cut your bloody run short, arsehole, I thought and stick to the agreed time.  I have plans.  So I texted him that I wanted to keep to our 4.30 time.  No reply.  Obviously already out running.

I turn up at 4.45 and as I drive up see him and a woman hugging by the front of his building.  The infamous NG obviously.  My heart starts to palpitate.  I am not ready for meet her.  Don't want to meet her.  Just want to slap her.  Or him.  Or both of them.  Just want to burst into fresh tears.  But of course I don't.  I stick on a friendly face and greet ex and hand over the boys and go and say hello to her.  She is pretty, looks like a really nice person, she smiles broadly at me...I feel as if I am in purgatory.  Ex hugs me and I kiss the boys gaily, all smiles, and repeat how nice it is to meet her.  I get in the car and drive off...and burst into tears.

I cry all the way to Bloomingdales feeling as if my world is imploding.  I call two friends and continue to cry and cry and cry.  I want to email ex and tell him how I am feeling.  I feel so angry that he is probably thinking 'well, that went well', as he hugs the new woman in his life.  I can't stand the thought that he is on top of the world and feel an intense urge to create chaos - any form of chaos - to destroy it.

I buy more boots.  Because of course that is going to make me feel better. New boots.  Miracle cure.

I cry all the way home.  Another friend calls and we talk and talk.  She tells me I am being too nice - but really, NG does seem very nice and what possible reason do I have to dislike her?  Despite that, I am still seething that he is now 'a couple' and feel confident that now all the weekends with the boys will be spent with her and I can't stand the thought of their happy little family unit.  

That should be me! my head screams.  I continue to cry.  The predictable unfairness of it - that he can move on so easily with this younger woman and I am left out in the cold - makes me want to hurt him so badly.

I go to my Kabbalah class, still in tears.  Certain that I cannot be the bigger person.  That I want to show him how much this hurts and not be accepting and supportive.  Of course, I know deep down that it won't accomplish anything.  I don't care.  I continue to plot my next move.  The evil little movie in my head plays vivid images involving a combination of violence, blood and screaming of an R-rated nature.

The class starts.  My mind drifts.  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Zeir Anpin.  99% energy.  The bigger picture.  Heard it all before.  Not interested.  Next.

And then the lecturer plays a video of the brain scientist who had a stroke and experienced the expansiveness of the right side of her brain, as her left side was being incapacitated.  (The video is on Ted.  Her name is Jill something or other.  It is long but really worth watching.  Of course if I was a thoughtful and generous blogger I would paste a link here...but no).  

And my whole perception shifts.

Things become clear.  I need to stop focusing on ex's happiness and thoughts on how much I want that to fall apart.  I need to start to focus on my happiness.  If there were no obstacles, what would I choose to do?  How would I be living my life right now?

It doesn't take a brain scientist to come up with the answer.  First of all, I would move home.

Of course.  Why put my life on hold for anyone any more?  I know where I want to be - why wait any longer than necessary?  So I am planning on moving home this summer, with the boys.  Watch out North London - I am heading home.  I feel such a relief knowing that this is what I really want I feel instantly relaxed about ex and NG.  I feel in such a position of clarity about my future - and so excited about finally being able to start afresh, that I am truly thinking, 'you know, I really do hope this works out for you if this is how it is going to be - go be happy...and I will go be happy.'

These thoughts and feelings consume me all evening.  I can't sleep.  There are so many things I want to say to ex that I don't want to be left unsaid.  I get up at 1am and write an email to him which expresses exactly how I am feeling.  It's open and honest without being overly sentimental.  I write from a new found sense of peace with the present and excitement for the future.  

I am taking control of my destiny, at long last. 

I am going to continue to respect ex's position in my life - and this new sense of clarity doesn't automatically make me love him any less, even though his attention in that arena is well and truly diverted.  But first and foremost I am going to respect myself a whole lot more, have confidence in my ability to do it alone - and have the gumption to live the life that I need to live.

Blimey o'reilly - can this be true?  Can I finally be growing up at the ripe old age of 42?

I think there's a chance that my 40s might be the best years of my life after all.  

Monday, January 11, 2010

Betrayal Of Trust

I'm not sure I should write this post.  I am not thinking clearly (you could argue, when am I ever?) and may regret putting this out there.  But I am furious and hurt and feeling more vulnerable than ever before.  My vulnerability is something that I only have myself to blame for - and I hope that I don't end up paying the price for this stupidity.  Oh hindsight is such a wonderful thing, is it not?

So the boys returned from a weekend with their father last night, which involved a party on Sunday morning for two of the children in Johnny Drama's class.  Ex took both the boys and, by all accounts, they had a great time romping about for a couple of hours with their mates.

I happen to go to an impromptu play date after school today with one of the children in JD's class and his mum, a lovely English woman who is becoming a good friend.  We talked briefly about our weekends and then she starts to interrogate me slightly about the party.  I am a little nonplussed.  Until she drops the bombshell.

Ex was apparently there with his girlfriend...and of course I knew nothing about it.

Nothing about the fact that he had a girlfriend (his private life is his own and I certainly can't claim ownership to that information) and certainly nothing about the fact that he had introduced her to OUR sons.  Or taken her along to a children's party being attended by several of my friends, all of whom knew that I was completely in the dark about the situation.

Guess this gives a pretty good insight into what he thought about my Christmas card and how the cards are stacked for us to get back together...

I am furious.  And hurt.  A little humiliated that I have to find out this information from another parent.  But most of all I feel a gullible fool for placing so much trust in a man that I have shared most of my adult life with.

We'd had an agreement that we would have the courtesy of letting each other know if we were at the point of introducing someone we were seeing to the boys.  In my view this was out of ongoing respect for one another but also to ensure that the boys were not placed in a potentially awkward situation.

It appears that this agreement was one-sided.  Just like so many others.  What a coward.  Whatever led me to expect any more from this man?

My friend was mortified at having to tell me and could tell that I was immediately blindsided and upset.  I couldn't help myself - I picked up the phone and wrote the following email to ex:

"When were you going to have the decency to inform me that a woman you are dating has met the boys?

Don't you think I have a right to know that they have met a girlfriend?

I thought this was something that we had agreed out of respect for one another.  To have to be told by other mums is disgusting.

I don't have an issue with it - I do have an issue with being kept in the dark.

Apologies if this email appears to be attacking (believe me, I was exhibiting such self control at this point because what I really wanted to write was: you fucking, lying, cowardly, disrespectful bastard - you are obviously not to be trusted and I AM GETTING A FUCKING LAWYER....but I restrained myself) but I am hurt and embarrassed that you couldn't keep me informed."

Oh the joys of separation and the delicate process of moving forward with new partners.

And it is true to say that, whilst I am a little gutted that he is seeing someone else, I have hardly been a saint in that department.  Pot/Kettle and all that.

But I have never introduced men I am dating (yeah, cos there have been so many) to the boys and, if I had wanted to I would have respected our agreement and TOLD THE FUCKER FIRST, irrespective of how uncomfortable that conversation would have been.

But that's just me and I am obviously a very superior human being (*cough*).

I have to give ex his due, he did call approximately 20 minutes later but I wasn't really in a fit state to answer his call.  I knew I would either sob uncontrollably or scream abuse - probably a ripe old combination of both - which wasn't going to be to either one of our advantage in the long run.  About an hour later I received the following email (which I am guessing he assumed would be private...well, guess again, buddy boy):

"Yes I do think your note is a little over the top but I also understand you are angry.  I just tried to call you to talk voice to voice (bit late for that particular courtesy isn't it?) but as you weren't available I wanted to send you a note so you weren't stewing on it (moi?  stew?  whatever gave you that idea?).

Firstly, I apologize (okay - first, he used the AMERICAN spelling!  but I guess I appreciate the sentiment as long as you aren't going to try to justify your actions...).  I absolutely did not want to embarrass you or hurt you in any way.  Some thoughts for you...

- I did not realize (again....spelling!!!  not sure why this is upsetting me so much but I think it speaks volumes about his state of mind and his affinity to the US) the school mums would be so interested in things that are not of their concern.  (Because they are my friends, dick head, and they don't like to see a fellow mum have the wool pulled over her eyes possibly??)  I look forward to finding out details about them that I can share with others in the school.  Ha Ha.  (Did I mention he was a dick head?)  And I introduced her to one person (and don't even think I even used the word girlfriend) as I did consider the possibility of it getting back to you inappropriately if I didn't handle it right.  (Funnily enough mister, you had already burned all your boats by this point...but do carry on.)

- the reason the above is important is because that is one of the things that I wanted to talk to you about face to face when I sent the note recently

- other 'mitigating' factors(?).  She has not been introduced to the boys in any other way than a play date.  Like you I am sure, I meet up with adults/introduce them to adults all the time and this was no different.  For sure I made the point of treating her that way in front of them.

- she has met them twice - once out about town and then Sunday (this is a lie - she was also at his apartment on Saturday morning at 7.30am, when he left the boys with a babysitter and they went for a run/breakfast together).  This Sunday a whole bunch of people with kids went to breakfast first, she was the one that came along and she tagged on to the party as it happened right afterwards - breakfast was at 10am.  This tag on was not planned, but occurred due to the confusion of the party day (originally I thought it was Sat so arranged the breakfast for Sun).

- this is the first serious relationship I have had and is relatively new (less than six weeks)  (serious?  less than 6 weeks?  yea Gods, you haven't changed a bit or learned any lessons from our whirlwind experience, have you?  Like a little bit of caution, for example.)  a further reason for her not spending more time with the boys or them being told / seeing she is a girlfriend.  This is a new experience and I'm learning as I go.  Maybe, if I understand the situation properly, this is a bit like when you dated Sexy Single Dad and were also having play dates with his son?  (At least that's what I was told.)  That was not raised with me, so I assumed you wanted to see if it has merit / longevity before heading into that and sharing it with me and the boys.  (Ermm, not exactly the case.  SSD and I became friends because the boys became friends...then we dated a bit but avoided getting together with the boys because I felt too uncomfortable and underhand...and then we broke up amicably and play dates with the kids resumed, as they still do to this day.  How many play dates will your new girlfriend have with the boys if you break up exactly?  And I am a little exactly is it a play date when she doesn't in fact have any children to contribute to the equation?)

- finally I think, I continue to respect you enormously and do not want you to think this is a secret from you.  I will let you know any information you need / are interested in.  And, as we have discussed, hope to get to the point (assuming it lasts) where we meet up - and me with your partner of any time - and beyond cordial may even get on a tad - not just for the boys, but because history shows us that we have the same taste in friends.

And the main reason for openness is so that you do not feel you have to ask the boys anything, as I will tell you all you want.  (For example, I had never even met her at thanksgiving, just so you think that's why I let my mum come for dinner by herself and I chose her over the boys...which would not happen).  (Oh really...then how do you explain Christmas Eve, Mr Father Of the Year?)

Again, I am sorry us not talking yet / the party date changing / mums gossiping conspired to get it to you that way first but I assure you she is positioned (oh for God's sake - who is 'she' for heaven's sake, the cat's mother?  Does she not possess a name?) as a play date and I had every intention of telling you when we spoke.

As I said, I have not been dating all year so am working my way through it as best as I can.


I am not sure what I think of this email.  I am still pretty appalled that he has planned 'play dates' with his girlfriend and my two sons three times without my knowledge (despite our agreement) and wonder when he would have had the courtesy to tell me if the public parading opportunity hadn't presented itself at the children's party.

Not that any of this really matters.  No point getting my knickers in a twist regarding yet another disappointment, which I guess is really quite minor in the big scheme of things.

So then why does it feel so fucking monumental?  Am I sensible to feel so devoid of any trust whatsoever where Ex is concerned?  Do I need to focus my attention purely on looking after my own interests...and get a bloody lawyer FAST?  Isn't this simply how all divorce hell starts?  I so don't want to go there. But I so don't want to get screwed either.

The underlying message here is that Ex can't be trusted to either a) act with respect or b) adhere to a verbal agreement.

But the terrifying thought underpinning all my fear is that Ex will not plan to move home to the UK (possibly ever) AND - far more importantly - will work hard to prevent me removing the boys from the State, as he is legally entitled to do.


What a bloody mess my life feels.

And how is a heart meant to heal exactly, when it keeps being surgically punctured again and again?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Is This An Indication Of Things To Come?

So I have been a lax, absent blogger recently.  New Year was the worst.  The.  Worst.  That shadowy hand of loneliness and self-pity had me firmly in its grip and didn't budge an inch to wipe my muffled tears, that I tried so very hard to hide from the boys.

But now I am back on slightly firmer ground.  The shifting sands of The Holidays have settled, the boys are back at school and the resulting routine has grounded me emotionally and mentally.

However, that is not the point of this post.  I am going to put my Moaning Minny garb to one side in order to post an urgent appeal to any mothers out there who have teenage/grown up sons.  I need to ask you...are the following two scenarios any indication of what is to come?

Scenario #1

Snuggling one morning with 4 year old Johnny Drama on the sofa, I'm surreptitiously reading my new Kindle (actually this is truly the direct cause of my blogging absense - in the past 2 weeks I have read 4 novels AND I read The Independent daily.  I know.  Me!  Vaguely informed on current affairs...for the first time in approximately 9 years.  Reading something other than road signs and blogs.  I almost don't recognise myself either.)

Johnny Drama nestles closer into the arm I have draped around him.  I am relishing this moment.  Guaranteed it won't last for long before he is, once more, bouncing off the walls and demanding gummi bears and a trip to Target to buy more toys (because the mountain of new toys he received on Christmas Day have already lost their allure and only succeeded in capturing his attention for 48 hours max).

Ah - these are the moments that make it all worthwhile, I muse internally, as he lets me gently stroke his hair, without swatting my arm away like a persistent mosquito.  Reminds me of when he was a chubby, cuddly baby.....

My reverie is abruptly interrupted.

In one swift, practiced motion Johnny Drama has reached into his pajama bottoms and pulled out his penis.  Before I can utter a word of protest or try to distract his hand to better use (want some gummi bears, darling?) he has pulled the foreskin down so violently that his penis immediately stands to attention and swells alarmingly in response to his tightly clenched grip.

"Look mummy...."

He points to the angry (and who can blame it?), red engorged head of his penis.

"....THAT'S ma Brain!!"

Before I can react he pulls his foreskin up to freakish proportions, as though he is trying to use the tip of it to clean his middle ear.

"Bye-bye Brain!"

And then down again...

"Hello Brain!!"

He looks up at me with his innocent big, baby blues and says, in all seriousness, whilst not so gently flicking the head of his miniature erection with his still dimpled, pudgy hand....

"That.  Is.  My.  Brain"

Yep, don't doubt it for a second Johnny Drama.  You've made it abundantly clear.  Gummi bears?  A trip to Target perhaps anyone?

Scenario #2

Johnny Drama is parading around at bed time, strutting his stuff in just a pair of socks.  He is swaggering and postulating while singing to himself.  As he gyrates his way past me I hear the song he is singing...

"All the single ladies....all the single ladies....all the single ladies....all the single ladies....uh-oh-oh-oh-oh"

Oh dear Lord.

I have no idea where he has heard this song.  I don't have it on my iPod and it hasn't been on the radio for months.  What the...???

He is FOUR YEARS OLD, for God's sake!

Four years old and already astute enough to recognise that his brain is, in fact, housed in his genitals and not, as I would prefer, his cranium.

Four years old and already exhibiting the confident swagger of an experienced gigalo.

What on earth is he going to be like at 14??

I am not adept at begging...but please, please, please will someone out there reassure me (and quickly) that this is NOT an indication of things to come...