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?


  1. Maybe. But perhaps we're also talking about men who lack a certain...something. Like courage. Wisdom. True manliness.

    (Yeah, I'm opinionated on the subject.)

    God knows there are things that have to be worked through with my man. But one thing I appreciate is that from the very beginning he's known about my children and he doesn't see them as "baggage." He knows it will take time and we need to work out where we're going before he meets them, but he wants to meet them.

    Sure, he's a little older than I am, but it's not like what you're describing. He's 40, I'm 32. And I have two young boys, stretch marks, saggy boobs, a massive scar across my lower abdomen...and he thinks I'm beautiful. He has no desire whatsoever to go find some infant of a barely-twenty who doesn't know who she really is and can't relate to his experiences, which include parenting. He may love my body, but he's realized that what matters is companionship, friendship, and mutual respect. And in time, hopefully, love.

    So there are men out there who break that mold. Have faith.

  2. Glad you surrounded yourself with friends this weekend. The whole older man/younger woman things baffles me too.

  3. Glad you had friends with you over the weekend. As for the whole younger woman thing. Well, I guess the younger women haven't grown up yet and the men have forgotten that their partners were once like these younger women, and these younger women will eventually become the same as their partners are. What will they do then? Trade them in again?

  4. Have you listened to the lyrics of "Saving all my love for you" sung by Whitney Houston lately?

    A few stolen moments is all that we share/
    You've got your family, and they need you there

    Too fucking right "they need you there". Because it's shit o'clock and the baby's been screaming blue-colic all afternoon and the two year old decided to paint their bedroom wall with shit.

    I used to - in my misguided 20s - think the married men who wooed me were misunderstood. But now I think they were just trying to escape their responsibilities. Cowards.

    Great post, BTW.

  5. I think the men who date much younger women are insecure and need their ego stroked constantly. Women in their 20's ARE naive and they dont know they are being used in this way. And how do we (mid 30's-40's women) know this? We've been there and done that, haven't we?

  6. I don't think it's karmic payback. You've just grown up, that is all, and that young woman might well one day experience what you are going through. My sister is having a terrible time with her ex, who ran off with a (slightly) younger woman leaving her with two kids under the age of 4. Now he has had a baby with the new girlfriend and moving out to the suburbs - exactly what he did with my sis before getting bored and leaving. I just wish I could meet that girlfriend and point out the similarities - because, when he goes back to work and meets a younger, carefree, single girl who isn't covered in baby sick, who's to say it won't happen again?

  7. How come these men just think they can up and leave? Where did they get the idea that they have no real responsibilites? We (collective society) must be sending them the wrong messages.

  8. Great post, well written. If this is your Karma, then it will soon be theirs. The younger women will not be young forever and joy of joys, they have all this to discover for themselves!
    Nothing wrong with your thoughts towards new girlfriend and you are totally right - you don't need to know what your friends think of her to feel good about you. She might be a really, really lovely person. But there's only one of you (and the people who really matter wouldn't trade)
    Love you x x x

  9. Teacher Mummy - Thank you for your words of faith. I know I mustn't tarnish every man with the same generalised brush - it's good to know there are men out there who aren't just looking for easy pickings.

    A modern Mother - I know. The thought of a younger man leaves me absolutely cold (although the prospect of Ashton Kucher is appealing!)

    Fraught Mummy - All the reports I have read suggest that divorced men are great marriage material as they don't like to go through the same mess twice so they suck it up the second time round. Which doesn't give me much solace it has to be said!

    NDM - It is cowardly. Seems it's far easier for a man to run away from his responsibilities than it is a woman, when there are children involved. And far more women out there who are happy to take on these 'poor, misunderstood' lambs than we can shake a stick at!

    Mindy Mom - Spot on. We do know better. I wouldn't want to be back in my 20s for a second.

    NVG - I'm sorry for your sister. I have to say, I am reassured by how many bloggers seem to have such strong marriages with men who have their heads screwed on, where their attitudes to their wives and children are concerned.

    Expat Mum - that's just what my lawyer said!

    Kabbalah Rookie - Oh you're so biased...and I love you for it xxx