Why Am I Here?

So, Long Suffering Readers, I had a long interesting chat with one of first women (and admittedly one of my favorite) I’ve met since I started blogging on this website (i.e, one of the Fabulous Internet Girls). We’d had several DM chats in the past, some IM chats, as well as some really candid phone conversations (she was one of the Rare 3 who’d heard the Real Voice.) In the last couple of weeks I hadn’t heard as much from her—not as many responses , etc. When I inquired if there was anything odd going on I was informed, essentially, “Huh, you’re married… I thought I was clear, I don’t flirt with married men.” 

Hmmm…. Seems contradictory to hear that now given some of the extremely candid and forthright conversations we’ve had in the past, but we are where we are.

“Married is Married.” 

At first I was going to write this blog as a bit of a venting counterpoint to some of the issues she raised during the conversation (which is effectively: I’m still legally married, not enough time has passed since my separation, I still need to do some grieving/healing, etc.) I do have a lot of thoughts on each of these points, many of which I’ve already blogged about in the past. I can point to any of these articles if you’re a new reader.

But then the more I thought about it, the more I thought that was a bad idea for numerous reasons, not the least of which is despite the hurt/disappointment I did feel from her—at least to my point of view—new stance, just because she is feeling differently about me doesn’t make me necessarily feel differently about her.

So I will bring up one thing that did get me thinking: is this blog working to my emotional disadvantage? As I’ve now met several people through my Twitter account and blog, many of whom I’d like to get to know better, I’m realizing they have an unfiltered view in my psyche, that most guys, probably smarter guys, would not offer people they were interested in. If you are dating someone for the first time are you going to blather on about your insecurities? Talk about your failures? Talk about your manscaping? Of course not! Well, probably not.

So instead, let me try to clarify again: why am I here—here being writing this blog—and let you, my Long Suffering Readers, determine whether or not I’m an idiot for being so forthright.

Why am I Here?

I started this blog back in January because I ‘d just been told by wife “Catherine” that she could not be married to me. And while the marriage had not been good, actually getting that news was devastating. I’m not “good” with therapy. I don’t mind talking, but I want to talk to people who know me, and at the time, I just didn’t feel I could not be candid, the really raw unadulterated candid that I felt I needed to be. Some of my friends heard the raw story, but my writing helps me gel thoughts that sometimes doesn’t come together in speech. I wrote/write it anonymously as I wanted it to be completely unfiltered. I needed to do some badmouthing—both of her behavior and my own—in a way that I could never do in public setting. Many of my acquaintances still don’t know the Real Story the way you guys do.  Bottom line: when I first started writing, I did not expect ANYONE to read it. I figured some folks would stumble across as a result of weird search results, but generally speaking, I was writing for an audience of one. It was then, and mostly still is, written vent and help understand (as if understand that sort of behavior were even feasible) what I went through.

More Importantly, why are YOU here?

So one of the things I did not expect was the reaction I started receiving from readers. I’ve received a lot of very heartfelt feedback from Long Suffering Readers and it pleases me that people enjoy and or empathize with the writing. It saddens me that most of these folks have similar stories of betrayal or loss or emotional abuse, but I’m glad that it helps people in some small way.

Get to the point…

So here’s the point I’m trying to make(if there ever was  one): one of the things that my friend said to me was, “You’re trying to make an emotional connection…” and, in a way, she was right. While I originally started writing for me, in a lot of ways, I know I’m now writing for an audience—an audience I genuinely care for. After so many years of working so hard for someone’s attention and then having it cast aside it’s refreshing to find people who actually seem to genuinely care about my well being.  So ultimately I guess my point is this: this isn’t necessarily all about me anymore. I’ve invited you guys in as well, and I’m glad you’re here. I’m hoping that some of the friendships I’m developing will last years or decades! I’m not interested in spending any more time emotionally alone. I’ve done that for 3 years, and I’m done with that. I know how that story ends. It DOES NOT necessarily mean that I’m going to ask the next person I meet to marry me (certainly not, although a I have several friends that say, “Dude, don’t engage the first person you meet!” Who does that? Well, apparently they have friends that have done that..). Anyway, welcome into my life. I hope you enjoy your time here.

Epilogue

I have to be really clear: while the inspiration of this blog came from my FIG friend advising me that I needed to spend more time alone, I want to be VERY clear: none of what I’ve written should be considered a dig at her (not that you know who she is, but still, it’s important to me to clarify). She gave me a lot of advice based on her own experience and out of compassion for me. And while it didn’t end like I expected, at the very least she had my well being in mind, and that is lovely in itself, even if the psudeo-dumping does is not 😉

“It feels like I see you about the same.”

So tonight, like most nights I don’t have any work events going on, I went to The House (formerly my house, now just The House I Own But Don’t Live In) to have dinner with my daughters. My girls were in very good humor and had lots of stories to tell. In fact, the last few visits over there I’ve made they’ve both been in extremely good spirits. They do seem a bit clingier with me–sitting on my lap, lots of hugs and kisses all of which I have absolutely no problem with. I love hanging out with those girls. I tell them how much I love and miss them and always give them lots of support and love.

Anyway, at some point during tonight’s dinner, Mary was sitting  on my lap and I asked her, “So, honey, do you feel like you’re seeing about the same as before I moved out? Less?”

She didn’t even pause and said, “It feels about the same, dad.” 

I take this as a very good sign. As you know, my dear Long Suffering Readers, I’m trying to spend a lot of time with them to help them, and me, thought this transition. I spend about 5 out of 7 nights over there having dinner, or at the very least putting them to bed. I see them most of the weekend (when I’m not travelling) and I even go over there about 2 or 3 mornings on work days to see them before they go off to camp. I don’t know if this schedule is sustainable over the long run (I’m certain if I ever do get a lady friend, she would not appreciate me spending that much time around That Woman, even though my time over there has nothing at all to do with That Woman, indeed I rarely speak to her while I’m there. But you know how these things are….)

I’m digressing. My point is: it made me VERY happy tonight to hear that the girls (Mary at least) felt as if she had as much access to me now as when I lived there. I’ve been so worried about how this transition would affect them and they seem to be doing good. It’s a very calming feeling.

This weekend will be the first time I take the girls myself and have them away from The House. I’ll be staying with them at my mom’s ‘cuz they love Grandma’s and the Bachelor Pad I’m living at with Charles is just that and not very kid friendly. More updates after the weekend.

Yours!
“Henry”

 

ComicCon, Brighton and Prostate Infections

 Greetings, Long Suffering Readers!

It’s now Monday night I’m writing this to you now from the comfort of “Charle’s House” where I’m now living. The last 14 days or so, however, I’ve been out and about. It’s been an interesting time with lots of ups & down so let’s stop pussy-footing around and get current.

[Interesting Note: I know that several of the people that I’m about to write about actually read these blogs—how could they not, it’s how I met them? Allow me to take this opportunity in advance to apologize if I say something that you wish had been left unspoken… I write these blogs to chronicle my own life and misadventures and never intend to embarrass anyone else. I save all embarrassment for me!]

Off To ComicCon

I have a friend, let’s call him… “Bruce” whom I’ve been friends with since I was a wee-tike. He now lives in San Diego and for the last 5 years I’ve gone to visit him for the long weekend and spend a few days at ComicCon and enjoying BBQ’s.  The last 4 years I’ve done down there with Catherine and the girls, but this year I went alone.

The first stop was “Kate’s” house, a friend-girl whom I’ve known literally since 1st grade. I made plans to see her and another 1st-grade friend-girl, “Victoria”. Both Kate and Victoria are recently divorced and my interesting relationships with them and their own stories could fill a blog article all on its own. For purposes of this blog let us just say this: I’ve had an on/off crush on Kate since, oh, about 3rd grade. It has ebbed and flowed over the years as people come in and out of your life, but this was the first time we’d be together where I was single. But, like all good dramas: despite her own recent divorce she is now seeing another gentleman. There was lovely conversation, dinner and drinks, but no we all parted on “still-just-friends” terms. Nothing scandalous to report there.

ComicCon

Henry at ComicCon with IronWoman1 and IronWoman2

And then I make it down to Bruce’s place. Sadly, Bruce is going through an experience very similar to mine own—in fact, I’ve said that the recent news his own wife has given him sounds eerily familiar to what I was hearing back in Jan from Catherine. “I’m either the best person—or the absolute worst person—to share this information with!” I told him then. Bruce is working on his marriage, and it appears his own is taking a bit more effort than Catherine did.

Why is this important? Well because interestingly enough this is the first time in the 5 years I’ve been going down there that I’m mid-divorce and Bruce is in his own area of self-reflection. I expected the mood to be melancholy, but instead it was the best trip I’ve had down there yet. It’s like there was a tension (our wives?) that now removed allowed us to enjoy a level of intimate and friendly conversation that was not clouded by guilt or pressure that I have not enjoyed in years. He felt the same way, and we’ve both messaged back and forth as to how we’ll have to try to make a couple of mid-year visits prior to next year’s Con.

At the end we walked the show, took lots of pictures, and enjoyed some fine food, beer and scenery. Lovely mental distraction.

As a bonus, on the road trip back from ComicCon I actually called one of my favorite FIGs (I spoke about the exclusive only 2—now 3—of you have heard my real voice in the last post? She was one of the original 2…) It was a really nice way to end the road trip J

Fake Felicia Day as Real Codex with fake “Henry” as Real Me

UK: Brighton and London

And now, Long Suffering Readers, is where the story takes a turn for the pathetic.

Two days after getting home from ComicCon I was scheduled to go on a work trip to Brighton. Brighton itself was incredibly lovely! For any of you who follow this blog from CA it reminded me of a mashup between quaint English Village + Berkeley + Capitola, CA. Shops and pubs and restaurants and beautiful people and hippies and dope-smokers and musicians and all kinds of sensory goodness.

Henry at Black Lion, no doubt searching for the WC

And best of all: I had scheduled a “date” with a UK FIG! One of the original FIGs, in fact the very first FIG from Twitter! And while there’s been some couching of expectations on her part (she’s now, more or less, seeing someone and wanted to make it clear that while she was excited to see me there was to be no kissy face!) I was very much excited to see her.

But here’s where the tale of woe begins, dear Long Suffering Readers: Things were not going well at all in Henry’s body. To fully appreciate what was happening we must…

[Flashback to Dec 2011]

Before I knew that Catherine was cheating on me (I suspected, but did not know) I knew there was something else wrong with my nethers despite an acute lack of activity: I was urinating way too frequently, and having other weirdo sensations that I’d never gone through before. They’d started up in Nov and by the time of my Christmas party I could not go more than about 60 mins without having to use the restroom. After suffering through this for a while I went to Doctor Deepfinger who, after asking, “Do you feel any pain? Aside from the discomfort of having a finger in your bottom?” diagnosed that I probably had a prostate infection.

“How the hell does that happen?” I asked (my bottom/prostate get’s so little attention the idea that it could become infected was very surprising.) He said that it is typically from some sort of athletic injury: biking, etc., which irritates the prostate.

Just great.

Anyway, anti-biotics were taken. It went away. Came back after 3 weeks. More anti-biotics. Went away. Came back a month later. Hmmm…. A double-dose of a different type of anti-biotics. Finally went away. This was Dec-Mar and I’d had, all things considered, a happy bladder/penis/prostate since then.

[Flash back forward to present day…]

Well, at ComicCon I’d started to feel some of the same symptoms. I was hoping it was a couple of bad days. I was able to get home, through the long-ass flight from SFO to LHR with no problems. By the time I was in Brighton, however, I knew things in my tenders were starting to rebel. To make matters worse, I was now also starting to suffer from effects of terrible jetlag and not sleeping. I’d only been sleeping about 4 hours a night for the last 3 days (typically midnight to 4am).  This was not the “really tired” kind of jet lag, this is the feverish and clammy sort. And to really top it off, I was expected at the dinner/drinking evening with The Team the night before. We stayed out late, and to say I was polluted would be putting it mildly.

Long story short—which I really cannot do, so I’m not sure why I even say that—by the time Fri rolled around I knew I was in no shape to see UK FIG. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to see her! But between feeling like I had the flu, feeling polluted, taking an hour longer to get from Brighton to London via train, and feeling like I couldn’t be more than a 10-feet from a bathroom, I felt compelled to call off our psudeo-date. She was very gracious and told me (after I embarrassingly told her of my “condition”) that she completely understood and it would’ve of mattered to her (which I totally expected because, as a FIG, she’s fabulous – that’s the “F” in FIG, ya know!)

But, Long Suffering Readers, I will tell you what I told her (because it’s the truth): You only have one chance to make a 1st impression. I want to be able to put my best foot forward, even if I knew we were meeting as “just friends, for now…” I wanted to be able to use my best “bait”: humor, wit, chivalry and respect. The first 2 of which I knew were going to be dulled due to my condition.

As I mentioned, in the end she understood. I actually gave her a call when I was settled in the hotel (making her the 3rd to hear my Real Voice) and we had a lovely conversation. I’m hoping that I can make it back there in Nov for a 2nd chance of a meeting.

And we’re back…

So, after picking up a lovely bottle of Scotch at London Heathrow (Ardbeg Uigeadail!) I’m now ensconced back at Charle’s place where I’m sampling the whiskey, digesting my latest round of antibiotics, and further narrowing my chances of romance by committing my misadventures to print. Still, I’m glad you guys are reading and giving me feedback. It comforts me to know that you’re out there… even if I’m in here.

Rejection… it tastes just like chicken!

Hello again, my Long Suffering Readers! Since our last update all of us over here at Team Divorced D20 have had an interesting week. It has come with several ups and downs. I suppose this is par for the course for someone in my not-damaged-goods state, but it’s still a pain in the ass. I’ve had many conversations with so many folks about the lay of the land, and, frankly it’s more than a bit confusing. The general themes are these:

  • Some folks think that I’m being too aggressive in my search for who I will be with next. The advise to slow down and let the healing begin. Only then can you be true to yourself.
  • Some folks think at this point in my life I’m in no position to be a good boyfriend to anyone so I should throw care to the wind in regards to who my next partner should be. Just make sure “everyone is on the same page…”
  • Some folks think I’m genuinely a good guy and—in some lucky cases—even considered date-worthy. This is always a nice one to hear. That said, it’s usually followed up with, “But…” and you can fill in the rest with a choice between a) I’m seeing someone b) I’m about to see someone and can’t risk seeing someone else, bad timing… c) I live out of state d) I live out of the country e) I’m an anon. You get the point.

I will spruce some recently heard quotes that have been told/typed at me throughout the post as food for thought starting with this one:

“What I’d like to say to you is: slow down”

But first, let’s get current with where we are with That Woman:

I moved out about 3 weeks ago. First two weeks with “Charles” went rather smoothly. Last week I was at ComicCon so I was down in SoCal with another long-time friend—and by long-time, I mean since elementary school… I’m not messing around! I’ve been going to this event with this particular friend for about 5 years now. It’s our annual thing. Digressing. The point is: I haven’t been home in for a while now.

Aside from last week as I was out of town, I got to visit my girls frequently and take them out as much as I can, but what am I now noticing? They’re a bit more clingy with me when I’m there. “Mary” said to me the other day when I was over putting them to bed, “I’m not letting you out of my site!” She insisted I follow her into the bathroom when she brushing her teeth, when I walked out of the room to go sit on the bed to wait, she said, “Oh no!” and pulled me back in. “Elizabeth”, my youngest, told me on the phone other day while they were at the movies, “It’s a nice night, except you’re not here…” It’s hard and heartbreaking when I hear/see these behaviors. And now I’m off for another week of business travel so I’m a bit sad about that. Once this next stint is done, though, I should be back for a while and can spend a full weekend with them.

“I know you are sincerely self conscious about being perceived as ‘nerdy’ but I want you to understand what an absolute turn on your creative side is!”

Dinner with Catherine was hard the other night too. I was having a rough day. I was telling her of my frustration of being “homeless” (or in my case, having 3 ‘hotel-like-homes’, and no real home anymore.) It makes it hard when I want to hangout or take the girls somewhere just to relax.

“I know how you feel.” She said.

“No you don’t, because no one has ever been as cruel to you as this.”

As you might imagine, that stopped the conversation rather quickly.

“You’re cute! Sadly not going to happen I’m afraid…”

And so then there was ComicCon. ComicCon was strangely relaxing, especially given how tenuous a situation there is both for myself and my friend. As we hung out drinking, seeing the sights, drinking beers, and just soaking in the geekery, it was bittersweet: it was the most fun either of us had at the festival, free of stress. And yet, we both realized it was because we were not stressing about our marriages: when did I need to get home? Is she going to be pissed off that I’m not helping out with the kids. It really did make me wonder how long I’d been compromising my interests. My friend felt the same way. And as I said, it made me nervous about the future: how hard will it be to find a partner that does not apply guilt in the future?

“Of course you would get that advice from them, they’re sensible women, you want to be hooking up with insensible women!”

And then there is the FIGs. If you’re reading this and are thinking I might be spreading the love a bit too easily or winding up the Crock Pot of Love. I can tell you, Long Suffering Readers, this is not the case. To come clean here are the numbers: I have about 85 followers on this account (and 2 crossovers from G+), most of them women (or spam). I’m a fairly chatty, and sometimes flirty guy. This I will admit. I’ve had several DM conversations or emails with some very nice and interesting people. But that said, folks, of all the people I’ve met on the twitter/G+, I’ve only discussed with 3 of them about potentially meeting them IRL: one of which, I’m about to meet next week despite sadly have already been informed there is no date-ness about the encounter and I must remain in FriendZone for time being, “…not going to happen I’m afraid.” The other two have actually heard my real voice. If you’re reading this and know what my voice sounds like, you now know…  something you didn’t before.

 “…be careful my friend. People certainly have different personalities online from real life. I know you know that… but it’s easy to let yourself forget about it.”

So what’s the point, my Long Suffering Friends? I honestly believe I’m healing, but the path to Me 2.0 isn’t completely smooth.

“Guard your heart.”

“Of course you’re damaged goods!”

OK, so now that we’ve all had a good laugh about my adventures in personal grooming, let’s get back to the more serious issue at hand: my transformation from pitied cuckold into more than just a valuable member of society, but someone who can ease the burden for women who say that chivalry is dead, that there are no good men out there, that all men are pigs. Yes, gentle readers, it’s my goal to become someone’s TwitCrush.

My efforts so far: hit & miss.

Let’s review some of the facts as I perceive them: I’ve met some incredibly wonderful people online (I’m looking at you, Fabulous Internet Girl) and shared some very intimate and candid conversations. I have a handful of trusted IRL friend-girls follow the blog, and they’ve given candid feedback as well as to my well.

Brief aside, Charles just walked in from work—or wherever he was at—while I was writing this article… here was the exchange:

“Say man!”, said Charles.
“Say!” I replied.
“What’s going on?”
“I wrote about you this morning.”
“Fuck.” He walks away.

…back on topic: Here’s is a quote I’ve heard from G+, “You’re the kind of guy that get’s stressed out when he’s not on his A-Game.” Like a great many things, she’s right. I do get stressed out. While I wouldn’t say I’m a perfectionist, I would say that I do care what other people think of me and my performance. Hopefully that’s become obvious to my Long-Suffering Sympathetic Readers.

Another Quote/Tweet Exchange: this one, while not in a subtweet per-se (still not sure exactly what those are) but in a conversation between a FIG who-knows-she’s-a-FIG re-tweeted a message from a “relationship expert” that said, “Never date someone fresh off of a breakup, divorce or death..”.  (Maybe it’s vanity, maybe it’s self-consciousness, but either way I felt like this one had me targeted.) When I called her on this same expert said, “…recent divorcees are probably the most undateable people on the planet! No one should be your “rebound”

Well, Long-Suffering Readers, this does not bode well for me. And despite giving up insecurity, the germ that I was “undateable” and “damaged goods” was now sticking in my head as an idea that refused to come out. It had become a catchy summer tune that I was sick of hearing.

…you’re not on you’re A-Game…

It was a few days later and the thought that I was undateable was still nagging me (especially if there are Lovely FIGS out there thinking this about me!) It was now Saturday morning, July 4th. It was morning and Charles and I were enjoying a bagel at the local café before I took off to start my day of Always Be A Good Dad behavior with The Girls.

“Am I damaged goods?” I asked him.
“Of course you’re damaged goods! Your divorce isn’t even final.”
“OK, aside from the timing aspect of my divorce not being final, am I damaged goods?”
“No one wants to be your girlfriend.”  (This is why I love Charles, the brutal honesty! It’s always been there between us.)

So, I’m a realist. I can appreciate that if a woman came to me and said, “Oh yes, I have this husband who was cheating on me, and I just moved out of the house 2 weeks ago. Sure! Let’s go out.” I might be skeptical. Would I call her damaged goods? I hope not, but let’s take a look at more facts and see where your friend Henry is stacking up:

  • Am I talking about my ex all the time? Well of course I am on this blog, that’s why I created this blog! Hopefully you can’t fault me there. But it is not the main topic discussion in my day-to-day activity (unless you’re Charles, and then you probably get more than your typically dose, but I’m very careful not to spread that with the new people.)
  • Am I jaded? I don’t think so. I have made a decision not to Chase with the same vigor I once did, but hopefully that doesn’t make me jaded. More than anything I’m aware that I’m not alone do date with impunity: anyone that I spend time with be spending time with the girls. And I’d like to think of any caution in this regard more as “lessons learned” that being jaded.
  • Do I obsess on the past: Not really anymore. I will concede from Jan through May was a bit rough. After May, however, I saw Catherine as “My Ex” and “The Mother of My Children”. In that role, she will always be in my life, but I do not entertain thoughts of reconciliation. That same FIG mentioned the other day: (paraphrased): “I will not be a Plan B”. That is the realization I came to at the end. That I chased Catherine, and she did not chase me. It was fragile. Lessons learned moving on.

I could go on. One last quote I received tonight: “Glad you’re keeping it together. Sort of.”  I suppose that’s a good start. I’ll really know I’ve arrived when I see my name and #TwitCrush in the same sentence.

Manscaped!

So when all this divorce stuff started settling down and it was clear that I was indeed going to be single again, I posed the following question to the girls on my hockey team, all of whom are very good friends in a non-sexual way because, let’s face it, I’ve known some of them for about 10 years and we all play hockey together. Their ages range from early to mid-30s

“So ladies, whenever I watch internet porn the guy is always rather clean shaven. Is this just a porn thing, or a real life thing?”

Before I get to their answer let me just come clean: I’d been married for close to 11 years. When I started dating “Catherine” 13 years ago this whole manscaping thing was on no-one’s radar. I’m not the sort to be overly sexual with girls when I’m in a serious relationship. No one aside from my doctor had seen (nor indeed has still seen) my stuff aside from Catherine since Dec 1999. Suffice to say mine was not a gentle garden; it was an unkempt wilderness that only the hardiest of pioneers could explore. This may seem like a lot of personal information for one man to share: but let’s keep this in the context of the blog you’re currently reading; you now know all about my adulterous wife, my contributions to my failed marriage, my insecurities, and how writing and Fabulous Internet Girls are bringing be back to the Real Me. That I had an old-fashioned “haircut” (or lack of it) should be the least of my concerns of what you know about me.

But then again, as this blog is helping me meet new people, should I perhaps I’ll have to tone down the stories which do not portray me in a flattering light? As of this writing: probably not. If you are a FIG that’s interested in getting to know me better

I’m digressing, which is also typical of me.

My hockey friend-girls’ answer: “Oh, yes you must! In fact the younger you intend to date, the more hairless you’ll need to become!”

Huh?

“Oh yeah,” said another girl on the team. “Best to do it in the shower. Start by shaving your legs, and then just keep on going!”

So I bought some razors and started planning a date but the whole thought of taking a blade to Ground Zero was a bit daunting. I needed a 2nd (and 3rd opinion.)

I posed the same Q to a FIG (she’s actually only half-FIG; don’t get me wrong she’s all fabulous but has known the Real Me on G+ much longer than this anon me) and her response, “Well, it certainly makes it get into any activity in that area.” That sounded promising.

But, if you haven’t figured out how my analytical brain works just yet, I sometimes need several data points before committing to something of which I’m wary about.

I posed the Q to another FIG: “It’s expected! I’ve never been with anyone who hasn’t been bare. No girl wants to deal w/ that down there.”

This was obviously getting serious.

More background: I’d actually shaved myself once before about 15 years ago on a dare by my then GF (3 GF’s before I met Catherine) so it’s not like I’d never gone commando before. But from that experience I learned two things: 1) your stuff does look bigger when shorn, but I’m not one to be fooled by optical illusions. 2) Shaving my stuff itched all to be damned. This is probably why I’d been so reticent to repeat that experience.

Back to the present: I watched a video on a Brazilian Waxing procedure, maybe this was my option? My initial “Hey, this is going to be OK…” when I saw the comely young lady who was the subject of the video quickly turned to horror as I saw what Rosa Klebb started doing to this poor ladies soft bits! It looked HORRIBLE! I can’t believe you ladies do that! This was obviously not going to be Plan A. (And yes, you’re not mistaken, I did just make a nerdy James Bond reference in reference to a Brazilian Waxing!) I’ve never before watched a video before of such a lovely young lady fully exposed with such asexual thoughts. Way to kill the mood.

Decided that hair trimmers would be the way to go. Went to the local Walgreens and started browsing the Men’s Hair Care products. They were all behind a locked case so I needed to call a cashier over to unlock the door so I could pick one. The poor employee that needed to unlock was another young lady, probably in her early 20s.

Me: [Looking at all the options.]
Her: Do you know which one you want?
Me: Um.. not exactly.
Her: [Looks at them all with me.]
Me: So, can I ask you a question? The reason I need these is apparently I need to do some, um, manscaping (waves hand around The Area similar to how a magician waves a wand over an empty hat before pulling out a rabbit)
Her: Oh! I, um, I wouldn’t… um..
Me: Is that TMI?
Her: (quickly): yes!
Me: OK. I’ll just take that one. It has 9 different settings.

Purchase in hand I headed home (the new home, with my friend Charles.) I have to say, I was more than a bit nervous about this. Days passed. The clippers sitting in tiny room glaring at me in their impossible to open hard plastic shell. (What’s up with manufacturers and that freakin’ plastic, anyway?!) And then, as it so happened, when I returned home from 4th of July BBQ Charles was gone. Had the house to myself. It was time to either do the deed or I suppose masturbate. I went with the former.

The instructions said to do the trimming on “clean dry hair” so I took a shower which I also hoped would relax me. Afterwards I laid out some paper to catch the kindling that i knew would be falling in great tufts. I fumbled with some attachments and got to work. The good news: the paranoia that a whirring blade my catch my skin never happened, but at the same time this was new and alien territory. The hair started thinning. More of “Sad Jim” came into focus, albeit the optical illusion phenom of enlargement did not strike a second time. I had pretty much finished the first draft when I heard the front door open.

“Say man!” I heard Charles cry out. It was our standard greeting to each other.
“Say man.”
“What are you doing?”
“Um, you alone?”
“Yeah”
“Manscaping!”
“Ugh.”

As now the mood to go any farther was quickly lost, I put away all the materials, put on my nightware and emerged from the bathroom.

Charles looked at me with a bit of a grimace. Not a stink-eye, per se, but more of a “Really?” type of look.

“Better than catching me jacking off or something, right?”
“That’s what I originally thought you were doing. And before you ask, no I don’t want to see it.”

Later that night in my room, I took a 2nd look at my handiwork. Is it perfect? No, in fact it’s a bit uneven in places. Not quite the look of a penis undergoing chemo, but certainly not porno perfection.

The real question of course is: will anyone get to benefit from the results of my handiwork–other than the readers of this blog for a morning chuckle? Probably not, but, one must be prepared. ComicCon is next week and this will be the first year I’m there as a Single Guy. Maybe I will bring back stories of hooking up with some geek girl dressed as Sookie from True Blood? If so I will most certainly blog about it (changing all the names of course.)

“Daddy, When are you coming home?”

Faithful readers will know that last Friday I moved out of the house that Catherine and I have shared together for the last 8 years. The date had been planned since I discovered her affair in early April. We’d planned this time so that the move would happen once they were out of school, but before I went on any long business trips. We’d been trying to “prep” the girls for the upcoming move: talking about how I’d be staying with “Uncle Charles”, and having them help with the packing. I’d been sleeping in our guest bedroom for the last 2 months and we’d told them the news in May, so they both knew it was coming.

But there’s a big difference between knowing something bad is coming vs. when it actually arrives.

The actual move, and it’s effects on the kids, went much smoother than I expected. My brother and “Uncle J” arrived to help me pack my stuff. They helped me with some boxes, but then we had the kids’ babysitter come over and take them to the movies. I’d packed my clothes and essentials (read: my computer) but most of my personal items (dvd’s, books, gaming gear, hockey gear, camping gear… I really don’t own much else) remains at The House; I won’t be packing it until we get ready to sell the house. Why? “Uncle Charles”, with whom I’m staying, has a fairly small house. It’s about 1000 square feet. He’s cleaned out his guest bedroom which hold  my twin bed, a small 3-drawer dresser I bought at a consignment center: and really nothing else. Moving day itself was emotionally draining: I did find myself becoming angry with Catherine at parts, especially when Uncle J kept asking me detailed questions about what had happened.

The first night I actually stayed out The House (I am reticent to call it “Catherine’s House” because in actuality it’s our house, I just don’t happen to live there at the moment…) because it was “my weekend” with the girls, so I was watched them while she went out with some girl friends. It wasn’t until Sat night when I had to kiss the girls and say, “Well, I’ll see you tomorrow…”

And that, my friends, was a bit rough. Not an angry rough, but a sad sorrowful rough.

Now I should mention something about “Uncle Charles”—I’ll give a more detailed bio for him in a future posting but for now let’s just say this: he is my best friend, has been for 30+ years, but he lives like a bachelor.  He’s not necessarily a bachelor—he’s divorced, been dating a girl for about 5 years—but you would not know that from hanging out at his place. He did a nice job cleaning up the room I’ll be staying in, but his level of tidy is very different from what the girls are used to at our house. Still: he’s my best friend, I love him (in a manly way of course) and he has opened his home to me during my very difficult time without hesitation.

When I brought the girls over to visit, though, they were a little spooked out by my living arrangements. My room was small. I didn’t have any of my stuff. A “manly” bathroom (if you get me…)  My youngest Elizabeth with her big heart asked, “Daddy, when are you coming home?”  Makes my heart sad.

In the days since even Mary, whom has been really aloof about the situation, albeit with some underlying sadness, has said on a couple of occasions, “I miss you! Why did you two have to separate?”

It’s only been about one week now so I know there’s a lot more road to travel. I’m doing all I can to be with the girls as much as I can: spent all last weekend with them, put them to bed at night, I even brought them Starbucks before I went to work this morning. I know I’ve said it 100 times in these blog articles already but it needs to be repeated: all of my actions, especially those that involve my living situation & my behavior with Catherine, have been framed in the goal: What would be best for the kids. 

Coming up in the next episode: Am I damaged goods?