Stuff I miss

Tonight I’m a little bit into my thoughts of nostalgia. I miss listening to music on the back porch in the summertime. I miss smoking cigars by the firepit and listening to old R&B songs. I miss good whiskey and making love in the silvery light of nightfall. I miss drinking coffee on the road, driving back from a new adventure.

I put a lot of these things into stories because I feel like they carry enough weight to deserve being immortalized.

I broke my promise to myself tonight and I had a few drinks. It’s an empty promise. When you are alone it means nothing. It’s a moot point. In five years it won’t matter to me. In fifty it won’t matter to anyone. All that matters is that I used every moment that I had to its fullest and I didn’t waste any of it.

I wrote a new podcast yesterday about procrastination, but I don’t know if I’m going to produce it. Maybe I’ll do that another time. Right now I’m enjoying the silence and listening to good music. I can’t believe had fast the last year has flown past.

A year ago, I was licking my wounds after giving up on a romance that wasn’t meant to be. I went dark on Facebook and other social media. I hunkered down and worked orn my book. My heart was truly and irreparably broken. I fell in love with my best friend at the time and it wasn’t meant to be. She’s happy now. Someone else is taking care of her. He doesn’t know her the way that I did, but that’s okay too. Nobody knows me that way anymore either. Since then I’ve grown. You can’t step in the same river twice. Either you or the river is different.

Lately a wonderful song has come to high-rotation on my playlist. Weird Goodbyes by the National (feat. Bon Iver).

I don’t regret the love that wasn’t meant to be. I only regret the time I spent on trying to get through it. But it was just the latest in a lot of wounds I hadn’t been letting heal.

I don’t miss her anymore.

I don’t fucking even know her. Maybe I never did.

I do miss times when I smoked cigars and visited with my son. He would tell me about a sitcom he wanted to make. We would laugh. He is a beautiful soul. When he makes it out, I want to sit down and visit with him again. We’ll catch up. We will tell funny stories and listen to music together. There won’t be any way to keep us apart. He’s a good man.

I’m the good luck charm. The one everyone falls in love with before finding their true love. And my name is never heard from their lips again. Even though I was the man who woke them up. It’s better that way. Everyone is beautiful. Everyone deserves their person. If I helped them find them, then God bless them.

I had a dream in Ireland about my first girlfriend calling me. I could hear her voice just as it was back then. I woke up with happy tears. It was good staying in touch.

I’m going to bed now. Be kind to yourself. I miss those old versions of myself. This new guy, I’m just getting to know him. He seems okay.

Anti-social

Sometimes I just don’t want to be around anyone. My dog is good enough company, and as I write this I’m even fine with her being in the next room, sleeping on her doggie bed. The house is quiet right now except for her snoring. I am just enjoying the silence. Sipping coffee. Letting my thoughts marinate.

I have assignments I need to write this week. Money is getting low and I have bills coming up soon. I had the chance to socialize this weekend, but I’m not doing it. I am not obligated. I don’t want to people (verb). The idea of being social tonight almost makes me angry.

This is a month of many anniversaries. October is neck and neck with April in being my least favorite month. My oldest kid turned 21 this month. Happy Birthday, kid. The time has slipped by. I haven’t seen him in six years. I haven’t even had a conversation with my daughter in four years. A year ago this week, a judge determined that my youngest son needed to live full time with his mother. So, when people say parental alienation isn’t a thing, I will say “fuck you.” Not only is it real, but the courts assist toxic parents in accomplishing it. They must have a vested interest in filling prisons and rehab centers, because that is usually the result.

Honestly, I’m tired of talking about it. I’m getting on with the rest of my life. Or trying anyway.

Eight years ago I took the first step at doing this. I began researching how to get out of an abusive relationship and how to file for divorce. Eight years. Really, with the exception of one year off, I have been in court for most of this time. My ex-wife loves to remind me what I was getting out of. She’s probably reading this, because she continues to stalk me online. She needs to get a life. When I see my analytics list her city as one of the places with the most hits on my blog, I know who it is reading my stuff. I don’t know what she is up to with her life. I don’t care. I haven’t cared for eight years.

Being who she is, she probably loved seeing that reference to her. Ugh. Gross.

That’s not why I’m writing today. I just needed to get that out of my system. Like a yearly colonic to remind me how far I have come–and how far others have continued to sink.

I’m doing okay. Really. Tonight is just quiet.

This time of year brings back a lot of memories. Good ones. Like the time I got invited to a Halloween party by the deaf interpreter who had a crush on me. Later I found out she threw a party in hopes that I would come and we could hang out. She dressed as Galadriel. She wrote me poetry. I didn’t really know at the time that she was interested in me. I was seeing someone and didn’t think much about anyone else.

I think about the Halloween parties my friends and I went to together. I remember when my girlfriend at the time won a date with Darth Vader (David Prowse) and we got to hang out with him at a five star restaurant in Denver. He did not like George Lucas. Hell, her birthday is in four days. I still remember after all these years. One of a handful of people whose birthday I do remember. Happy birthday, you’re still a fish.

I think of the way the weather would get cold and the first snows would come. We wouldn’t see leaves on the trees for another eight months. This time of year makes me think a lot about the past. It is a transitional season, a time for changes as summer becomes winter, the dead stir from their rest for a time.

A year ago, I was in denial. I had lost someone and I wanted them back in my life. I fought hard. I did everything I could to win their heart. It’s the last time I am going to fight for anyone like that. You shouldn’t have to fight for someone like that. They should just want to be in your life if they are worth it. I should have just let it be. Let it die a dignified death.

The theme for a lot of this is that need to be wanted, isn’t it? Tonight, I realize that a lot of loneliness stems from a need to be wanted. A fear of missing out. I can’t think of a better place to be right now than a quiet house, watching Netflix, maybe drinking a glass of Ridge wine, and hanging out with my dog.

Not too long ago, I would have been climbing the walls that everyone seemed to have somebody and I was all alone. Not only does it not bother me now, but it feels pretty nice. I don’t have to check in with anyone, I don’t have to do something for someone else, I just get to live my life at my own pace.

Tomorrow will be a work day. I have to get caught up on some assignments. I have a couple projects in the works too. More than enough to fill my time. For now, I’ll take listening to music from another room. Coffee. And that eternal neeeeeeeeee in my ears from tinitis.

Enjoy your life on your terms, my friends.

Let’s start a new tradition

I was reading another blog and the writer was talking about her upcoming wedding and asking for suggestions on what to put on their wedding registry. The question got me to thinking. I offered my suggestions in a way that was hopefully as sincere as I could manage. Just because my luck in being married wasn’t ideal, doesn’t mean I don’t wish other people happiness. You miss 100% of every shot you don’t take, as the Great One says.

Looking back, my wedding registry was ridiculous. Lots of towels, expensive kitchen stuff like matching slotted spoons and soup ladles. Pizza stones. Small appliances. We just went OFF with the scanner gun at the Aurora Target. Most of it didn’t last long. The towels wore out. The appliances broke. And of course we wound up fighting over a large chunk of what was left over, paying lawyers $300 an hour to bicker over a set of dishes that were missing most of the coffee cups.

The other day, my mom and I were at a thrift store and we were amazed at the number of complete china sets they had for sale. China has gone out of fashion when it comes to presentation and bringing family together. Whole sets were selling for like $75. Originally, they were probably over $500. Like the families who donated the china, I didn’t need any of it. I’m sure those china sets were on someone’s Registry stretching back to the 40s and all the way up until the 90s. I remember one of the patterns was a set that I had looked at with my ex wife back in the day.

It got me to thinking. Why don’t they have a divorce registry? They should be doing a lot of what is involved with divorce differently. It could be an excuse to have a decent party, sorta like a wedding, or a funeral.

For example, when someone dies, they are inundated with casarole dishes because grieving people usually have to force themselves to eat, or at least cook. The same is true of divorced people. And most of the good stuff they used to have in the kitchen to help them cook has been divided in half (best case scenario), or destroyed by a vengeful ex. So, why not unload your favorite hot dish on your divorced friend? Or better yet…you might see where I’m going with this.

Have a Registry! And a party!

They can scan all the crap they are going to need to put their household back together. Even if it’s just a couple chairs and a couch from Ikea (which would be the perfect place to register: mattresses, furniture, housewares, towels, etc). You’re going to need forks, knives, and spoons. Blenders. Mixers. Nothing will replace the bowl that has been in your family for generations that your ex decided to hang onto (or smash in the driveway), but maybe you can add some decent stainless steel mixing bowls onto the list of stuff you will need.

When I got divorced, many of the people I found coming back into my life were very generous. They gave me gently-used couches, TV stands, kitchen tables and chairs, and stuff for the kitchen. I appreciated all of it. I only wish I could have had a nice big grill out for everyone. A celebration of starting over in life. Maybe a big pit-cooked pig like at a luau. An open bar.

I’ll likely never get married again, but if I could have done things differently, other than choosing a different bride, I wouldn’t have registered at Target. I would have registered with an airline or airbnb. You can pick up just about anything you would need for home at a thrift store or an Ikea. It won’t last anyway, and if it does, there’s the chance it could outlast your marriage. Who needs to be reminded of that?

I say give the gift of experiences. Go somewhere. Do something. Enjoy yourself, because nobody can ever take that away from you. The memory might be soured, but some blood sucking lawyer isn’t going to be counting up their billable hours when your ex wants your memories of paragliding to keep for themselves.

If I had the money, I would give a couple starting out the chance to have a trip they would enjoy.

Bill Murray once said:

“If you have someone that you think is The One, don’t just think in your ordinary mind, ‘Okay, let’s make a date, let’s plan this and make a party and get married.’ Take that person and travel around the world. Buy a plane ticket for the two of you to travel all around the world, and go to places that are hard to go to and hard to get out of. And if when you land at JFK and you’re still in love with that person, get married at the airport.”
–Bill Murray, Men’s Health, 2014

I know my ex and I did not travel well together. Every excursion was a chore or a carbon copy of some childhood vacation she had been on with her family, replicated right down to the endless bickering and fighting. We probably should have known. We should have called it at the honeymoon.

If you have a recently divorced friend, you and your friends should all chip in and send them on a trip. There’s a couple reasons for this. Their finances are going to be bullshit. They are soaking their money into attorney’s fees, they are focusing on their kids and essentially bribing them to continue loving them, and they are working on starting their lives over again. They are NOT going to spend valuable resources on going on a vacation. Even though that is probably the one thing they could really use right now. Don’t make it an option either, because if they have cash on hand, their ex or their lawyer is going to grab it.

Remember Eat, Pray, Love? Remember How Stella Got Her Groove Back? Remember Under the Tuscan Sun? Getting the hell out of town is sometimes exactly what someone needs to find themselves again. I know I would have loved that. Instead I dated someone who went to Asia and Europe without me and would send me pictures of all the places she was and I wasn’t.

And no, the goal shouldn’t be finding someone to sleep with. Hell, you can do that at a bar. The goal should be self-realization. Self-exploration. Creating new memories with the one person you should have been investing your love and affection into this whole time: yourself. Because the best way to be happy is to enjoy your own company and shake the codependency that got you fucked up in the first place.