Thanksgiving 2013 and Other Dating Nonsense

DivorcedD20Thansgiving

Henry’s daughter Elizabeth makes them “authentic” Native American wear for Thanksgiving

My dearest Long Suffering Readers, Happy Thanskgiving and Black Friday!

A few minutes ago I read a slate.com article about parents who spend their Thanksgiving holiday togther. As we’re now crawling into year 2 of the separation, I thought I’d share my experiences here.

Quick reminder of where we we were for the last few Thanksgivings’:

  • Thanksgiving 2011: I was very depressed, for while the separation/divorce/bombshell hadn’t yet happened, I could tell that Catherine was becoming more and more distant and detached and it was at Thanksgiving 2011 where I said to her sister, “She’s either having an affair or about to have an affair…” (Sadly I was right, she had been flirting with Other Man and started fucking him in Dec.
  • Thanksgiving 2012: I had gone through all the separation/divorce turmoil and was officially divorced by 1 week–my divorce was declared final Nov 16, 2012. In hindsight, most of my friends are amazed at how quickly my divorce was finalized. we went from The Bombshell to officially divorced in 11 months. I had also been blown-off by Hot Pool Mom that same week which added to my despair last year.
  • Thanksgiving 2013: Last night. Spent Thanksgiving at her new house with our daughters.

So How Was It?

It was relaxed and fine. To be honest, hanging out with Catherine now is a lot more relaxing than it was for the last 2 years of our marriage (and certainly more pleasant than the last year of our divorce.) I had so much stress when we were married. This would be a typical conversation in my head during those last few years: “Are we going to fight tonight? Am I going to get laid at all during this trip to her family? If I don’t laid will I just get pissed off? Is she going to go running off to go Black Friday shopping with her sister and leave with with the kids? Is she going to ignore me this whole weekend?”

It’s hard to describe but those last few years of our marriage I felt so much resentment towards her. I felt her becoming distant and I was trying everything I could to save the marriage and it wsan’t working and it just seemed–to me anyway–that she prioritized almost any activity over being with me. This led to a lot of stress, and anger, and frustration and of courwse she felt this and went down her own spiral (and we all know how that story ends…)

Once I turned the corner and realized, “We will NEVER get back together….” all of that started to slowly fade. I tell people this and sometimes they have hard time believing but it’s true: I think of her now almost like a sister-in-law or cousin. She’s someone I can be comfortable around or hang out with and it doesn’t stress me out. All of those things I used to worry about never enter my head. I show up to her house with zero expectations, we make pleasant small talk, and I basically just enjoy my time with my daughters.

I’m curious how/if this might change if she or I had a new boyfriend/girlfriend that was in the mix.

What Do Your Daughters Think?

To be honest, Catherine and I do so many activities together now (dinners, etc.) that it probably doesn’t seem out of the ordinary to them that we spend Thanksgiving together. The only interesting comment that Elizabeth made to me one time was when we were both talking about our dating experiences she said, “If you’re both dating, why don’t you both get back together?” Delicate conversion ensued about how it just doesn’t work that way. Catherine (who’s now 7) made me a lovely set of Native American clothes to wear during Thanksgiving. It was darling and pictured here.

And Speaking of Dating

I’m back on OKCupid. I’ve had one date with a woman last week (the short version there: within 2 seconds of meeting this person I thought, “Oh, this will never work…” but I made a pleasant evening of it anyway. I had 3 dates with “Lady Cray”, which were interesting and best left to their own blog post, but I’m fairly certain I will not be pursuing any further romantically. I have another OKC date lined up for next week. I’m guessing that won’t work either because she’s 5’8″–you see I’m 5’7″, and yes, I am self-conscience and shallow that way… but I’m going to try anyway as she seems nice and I’m trying to do keep open-minded and she promised to wear flats 😉

Happy Thanskgiving/Black Friday everyone!

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Dating Story Expert, Adultery Fails and other Stories

Long Suffering Readers! Happy Autumn,

So I came across a link tonight that made me laugh:

Top 200 Dating Experts to Follow on Twitter

Apparently I’m #61. (Ironically I found this link while I was doing a search for an old post I wrote last year on “Phrases that I hear at work that sound dirty.”

61. @DivorcedD20: a recently divorced father discusses dating, divorce and parenting in California.

This is, of course, on the surface, a farce. Long suffering readers are well aware that I’ve dated exactly 2 women (Hot Pool and Johanna, more on both of these ladies later…) and neither ended particularly well. That said, hopefully the tweets and posts as during these sad travels have made for light and fun reading. For that, I’ll take it!

It also made me wonder where else I might have popped up while not paying attention. Apparently I’m also listed as 31 Reasons Why Men Don’t Cheat.

As it’s been so long since I’ve written I actually do have some dating stories to tell. It’s a story of affection, contemplation, and then ultimately heartbreak.

The short version: “Johanna”, the girl I’d been dating since Jan 2013… we are no longer dating. I’d originally thought that if we were still dating come May, I’d introduce her to the girls. May came and I was still feeling apprehensive about actually introducing her to my daughters so I thought, “How long do you date someone if you don’t think you’ll actually ever  allow them to meet your kids?  She was sad. There’s a lot more to this story, but strangely, I feel awkward telling stories about her (including the handful of “Ex’s with Benefits” encounters we had after the breakup.

“They’re all boring…”

So I was over at Catherine’s new house the other day to pickup the girls when she started to tell me about the match.com guys she’s been dating lately. Apparently she’s been out on several dates with different guys, but never makes it past the first couple of dates.

“Why is that?” I ask.

“Well, they seem nice in their profile, or look interesting, but then you meet them and they’re all duds. They have no sense of humor.”

Hmm, I think with conceit, if you wanted someone with a little moxie, you had that once and threw it away… I remain silent.

“Have you been with anyone, ya know… sexually… since Dickhead?” I ask with genuine curiosity. (“Dickhead” is the nickname I gave to the  guy she had the affair with.)

She shakes her head. No.  She actually looks a little sad. “I have no time for boyfriends.”

So let’s break this down. One: I only 70% believe her. There was a lot of lying from her to me in 2012 especially about her sex-life so I’d be a fool to take anything at face value without a modicum of scrutiny.

Two: even if it is true… it just made all the grief she put me though with her affair/divorce, and clamouring that she needed more passion in her life a tad more… oh I dont’ know… trivial? We have this expression in ice hockey (did you guys know I play ice hockey?) that if you’re going to take a penalty, then go big! You never want to be the one who takes the “Too many men on the ice” penalty. Same should go with her. I mean, fuck, she broke up the family, sent me into a year-long tailspin, made the kids move all because she said she didnt’ want to be with me and have passion in her life. Well go out there, for fuck’s sake, and get some!

In other news, Hot Pool (yes the same Hot Pool that bailed on me around this time last year) has pinged me on FB and asked if we could have dinner sometime. It pains me to even think how that story would eventually unravel (hint: someplace ugly…)

Hope you all had a great summer!

Adultery Discovery: 1 Year Later

Hello again, Long Suffering Readers. I didn’t think my break from writing had been so long and then I look and see that it has been 4 months since my last update. My apologies to anyone who is a regular reader looking for updates (there’s only one… she knows who she is.)

So last month I had a bit an anniversary that I’d wanted to write about: it was the 1-year anniversary of me discovering her affair. (It’s been interesting, one of the things I’ve been oddly sensitive to have been these “milestones” and “anniversaries”–first holiday alone, anniversary of her telling me she wants a divorce, etc.). To be honest, it didn’t affect me as much as I thought it would. This is not to say that I’m “over it” in terms of the divorce, but I’ve just discovered that there are certain things that trigger anger about the divorce now and the milestones aren’t one of them.

As an example I will tell you a story:

“Aren’t you happy you’re now with someone who cares for you?”

Well, as I mentioned in the last post, in Jan I started dating someone whom I met online. She is a lovely girl whom I will call Johanna. Smart, sassy, funny, independent, professional, and good looking. Aside from some minor physical traits–she’s blonde, I almost always find myself smitten with auburn, red, or dark hair–I couldn’t have asked for a more compatible “dating resume” for a woman if I wrote it myself. Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, she likes me, respects, me and is into me. My “dry spell” ended in mid Jan, and without getting too graphic, her sexual appetite is like that of a teenager. It’s been so long since I’ve been with someone into me its hard to know what to do with it. In fact, I will probably save the awkward and ridiculous experience of “getting back in the saddle” for another post because it was, well, awkward and ridiculous.

But….

And so there we were, Johanna and I, and I was feeling sad about some part of the divorce (probably related to something going on with one of my kids) when she asked me, “Aren’t you happy now that you’re with someone who cares for you? That you’re getting laid again?”

It’s a great question but has a complex answer that smells like: Not Exactly.

So, do I like that someone is into me again? Of course. Do I like getting laid again? Who wouldn’t. Am I happy I’m no longer feeling taken advantage of? Certainly. And yet, and this is probably hard to get if you haven’t gone through this, I wanted all this, but I wanted all this with my family. I would probably give all of those great positives up if it meant that I could spend each night with my daughters. I miss my girls. I see them as much as I can, but that is still only a fraction of the amount of time I used to be able to spend with them. And now Catherine is moving about 30 miles away so I don’t think this will get any easier with timing.

And again, to be clear, this doesn’t mean that I miss Catherine: I don’t. I miss my daughters, my house, my lifestyle;  by lifestyle I mean: daily routine, my financial freedom, knowing that I was saving for my daughter’s college future, being able to host parties at my lovely home, all these things that I feel I’ve lost, or at the very lest, have taken a multi-year hiatus while I rebuild it again.

And it’s at those moments–the moments when I remember what I’ve lost–that I get angry. It’s not the anniversary of the affair discovery or those other milestones.

So, Henry, does this mean you’re still unhappy? Not necessarily so.

I would say 90% of my day I’m content. I get up, go to work, come home. Depending on the evening I either see my girls, see Joanna, or do one of my geeky hobbies. I’m actually happiest when I get to see the girls: firstly, because they’re my girls and I love them and genuinely enjoy their company and secondly due to the overwhelming (and unwarranted) guilt/sadness I feel on all the other days when I don’t get to see them. Not my fault or design, I know, but you can’t change how you’re wired. I’m their Dad and I feel like I’m missing out on a big part of their upbringing.

(Sigh.)

Anyway, apologies for the long time in between posts. I will try to do better over the summer.

You will never be remorseful enough for me

Happy 2013 Long Suffering Readers!

Right off the bat I should come clean and say: over the holidays I started dating someone I met on an online dating site. We’ve had about 5 dates since late December and things seem to be heading in nice direction. I’m certain my “year long” dry spell will soon be over (in fact probably would be if certain logistical problems were not in the way….)

But that is not what this post is about; that topic will require a unique post of it’s own. This is about Catherine and I.

Mary, my oldest daughter, has always been emotionally sensitive. She is prone to going through stress and that stress manifesting itself in unique ways. It is one of the reasons we started taking her to counseling 2 years ago. This divorce has obviously caused a tremendous amount of angst for both of my daughters and over the last couple of weeks Mary has been showing renewed signs of this stress.

So, Sunday night Catherine (my Ex) calls me. She’d just spent the weekend with the girls and was telling me about some of the things the girls were telling her. They’re feeling stressed out at he moving back and forth between our houses during the week. They’re feeling confusion and guilt. They feel like they don’t have enough toys to play with when they stay at my house. (All of which I agree with and obviously i’ve been trying to minimize.) It’s sad for me to hear but Catherine suggests that perhaps we go back to the “old schedule” for a few weeks where the girls see my during “my weeknights” but they’re not actually spending the night at my house. (This was our late summer schedule where I’d go to her place and hang out with the girls until their bedtime, but not take them home with me.)

The conversation eventually get’s to a point where she says, “If you’d like me to help you make their room more comfortable for them at your place, I’d be happy to to do that.”

“No thank you,” I tell her. “The time for you to ‘be helpful’ is long passed.”

She is trying to be cordial but I’m obviously upset at this news that a) Mary is having a hard time adjusting and is grieving and b) the result of this is going to be me seeing even less of my daughters. I tell her this is her fault.

“No!” she adamantly says, “This is NOT my fault! People get divorced! Kids go through this all the time.”

“You made a commitment to me:  You lied. You left. If you had stayed true, we would’ve made it work.”

This devolved even further into arguments we’d had many times during the summer, but haven’t had in a while. Points on a theme that i’ve put out here time and time again in the blog, and here they are yet again…

  • I’m wired that you don’t quit when things get hard. She’s not, and that’s why she left. I loathe her cowardice.
  • She argues that she was unhappy for many years and fell out of love. That justifies her leaving. I was unhappy as well, but  instead of leaving I tried to make it better. I disdain her for not doing the same.
  • She left because she was so unhappy she felt she wasn’t available for the girls. Now my life has been profoundly impacted, the girls’ lives have obviously been horribly impacted, and through her actions I see my children less than half the time I used to (as does she, to be honest.) Her selfishness disgusts me.

The other day (before this big argument when things were cordial) we were talking about the girl I have started dating. I asked her how she felt about it. “I feel happy for you,” she said.

“OK” I replied.

“How do you want me to feel?”

I thought about it a moment and then replied, “I’m not sure. Given your actions, you will never be remorseful enough for me.”

Ah, well, my friends. Just a small bump on an otherwise upward trend. I closed the conversation with Catherine re-iterating that I would do whatever I could to minimize the impact to the girls even if that meant I’d be seeing them a bit less over the next couple of weeks, because that’s what I’ve been doing since this whole fucked up thing began. That’s how I’m wired.

It’s The Anniversary… of the Other Man

At the Christmas Tree Farm

At the Christmas Tree Farm

Happy Holidays, Lovely Readers.

So it’s Thursday night in mid December. To the best of my estimation, it was a year ago today that Catherine started her affair in earnest and began fucking The Other Man

So, Henry, how does this make you feel?

Honestly, I have to say other than some curiosity about the date, and the fodder for some blogging, I’m mildly indifferent to it. In fact I didn’t even realize it until I started doing some date math for a different project.

But Henry, it’s the first anniversary of your wife fucking someone else… SURELY this must upset you?

It doesn’t. Not, really… honestly it doesn’t.

Permit me to say more:

Given the audience that reads this blog–most of you who have gone through similar heartache as my own–you will probably understand this: I’ve already gone through the worst of the pain. The lead-up to the affair where I suspected she was drifting… her telling me she wanted a divorce… and then the actual discovery of the divorce. Horrible horrible horrible experiences. And then all the pain that followed in the subsequent months. I couldn’t look at her. I couldn’t think of anything else aside from her betrayal. I could only visualize them together and wallow in a sense of deep loss.

But then.. at some point… I thought of it a little less. I met The Figs.  I watched as my kids adapted and did not seem horrible scarred as I’d feared. I moved out. I started organizing my life. I realized that it wasn’t ME who failed. I did everything I could, and it wasn’t enough. At some point that went from being a source of shame to a sense of, “Well, fuck, I did what I could. It sucks that it ended as shitty as it did.. but what else could I have done?”

And then.. more time passed. I spent more time thinking of my future. Where would I live? How could I maximize the time with my kids? What type of electric smoker should I purchase? Should I purchase the real book or e-book version of the new Thomas Jefferson biography? I developed (and then lost) a crush on Ms. Hot Pool. My point: it became less about her.

And now, a full year later, if I think about her affair, or her betrayal, or if she’s dating another man, I just think: it just doesn’t matter. That was a different life for me. She’s now The Ex. The Mother of my Children. She is not my wife, she is not my future.

And so, it is with all honesty that when I tell you, my friends, that when I think of this anniversary it’s not one that fills me with sorrow, or pain, I just think of the significance and think, “Huh. I should blog about that.”

Hoping that my "scientific" nature includes a working knowledge of animal husbandry

Hoping that my “scientific” nature includes a working knowledge of animal husbandry

“Is this a date?”

In other news, last night I had my first date with a woman I’d met on OKCupid. She was one of the first ladies who messaged me after I setup a profile a couple weeks back, and after some brief back & forth over messages we agreed to meet for drinks after work. We met at one of those restaurant/bar places–she had martinis and I had single-malt and we made some talk. She is pretty and fun and talkative and we had a good time. I was predictably nervous and she seemed really good about it. She texted me a few hours after the “date” to say she had a good time. I said I’d like to see her again and I believe this will happen.

OKCupid is kinda weird, but I’m going to save that for another post. Apparently I’m “More Scientific” than their average user. Yeah, thanks, you choads, that’s really gonna help me get laid.

“Daddy, when are you going to start dating?”

And in our closing human interest story, my oldest daughter Mary asked me tonight, “Daddy, Mommy is going to start dating again. When are you going to start dating?” ”

“Do you want me to start dating?” I asked.

“Yes, I want to be part of a family.”

“You are part of a family. You still have all your family. The only difference is your mother and I don’t live together.”

“But you’re divorced.”

“It doesn’t mean we’re not your family.”

“But if you get married again, I’ll have a new mom.”

“You have a mother. You’re mom is your mother. If I get married again you’ll just have a step-mother. And what if she turns out to be an evil stepmother like in Cinderella.”

“Would you marry someone evil?”

“No.”

“Well then she can’t be an evil stepmother now, can she?”

We then went on to have a discussion about how even if I did start dating someone (I did not mention that I’d been on a date just the previous night) that it would be a long time before she met them. I explained that people sometimes date for a while and then decide not to date and I didn’t want her to become attached to someone only to have them leave. I would introduce her to whoever I was dating once I thought they might be sticking around for a while. She seemed really comfortable with that.

And with that, dear readers, you’re caught up!

Does Sexting Count Towards My 2012 Dry Spell?

And lo, beloved Long Suffering Readers, it’s time that I come clean about some of the other activity that has gone on in 2012: the amusing and sometimes ridiculous story of my sexting experience on Twitter. It’s over now, but it still makes for an amusing tale. For a long time I did not want to write about this on the blog for a few of reasons. First, while it was going on, it seemed like it would be tacky to talk about it—the whole “kiss and tell” thing even if it was “type and tell.”  I’ll write more in a bit on why I’m not too worried about this now. Second: when I started writing the blog I’d done it with the intent of just venting about Catherine and I: as time has passed she has become less and less of a focus on the blog, and I have to start writing about the new experiences I’m going through or else put the blog into retirement for good. I figured if I’ve shared as much as I have up to this point, a story about sexting should not come as a shocker. Third: while it was going on, it was very fun and exciting (more on that in a bit as well) and I sure as hell didn’t want to do anything that would risk cutting that off too early; even if it was just sexting, it was the first “action” I’d received in close to 8 months so to say I was “eager” would be an understatement. Fourth: some of the reactions I’ve received from the few people I’ve already told about the experience are too funny not to share. And the final reason of why I decided to write about it now will be revealed at the end…

Meet “Victoria”

My relationship with “Victoria” started simply enough. She was at some point re-tweeted by someone I followed, I checked out her AVI and found her funny as well as attractive; clicking “follow” seemed like a no-brainer. At some point she followed back (no doubt when I tweeted something about the manscaping article… that one is always good for some self-humiliating laughs). At some point she made an open-ended tweet about something that was upsetting her. I DM’d her some sympathy, she DM’d back, and the small-talk went from there. What do you do? What do you do in your free time, etc. I started DM’ing her more frequently. At some point the conversation moved to Kik. It was flirty, but platonic. She was a sweet girl. We exchanged some pictures (G-rated head shots), stories, and were generally just having a fun and chaste time.

“Oh, you like my hair, do you?”

But I noticed that Victoria was also a bolder girl on her public timeline. She would willingly tweet about her urges, sexual frustration, desires, etc. Like several people I’ve befriended on Twitter she seemed brave on the outside, and a bit vulnerable “up close”. Our private chats contained some longing (on my part at least) but not erotic. I told her I much I enjoyed her company, and how pretty I found her. She called me handsome and funny. I was beginning to crush a bit on her. But I was 8 months into a divorce, and not been with anyone in a year, and not dated/flirted in over a decade. I was no prude, and her tweets told me she was not either, but I had no experience breaking the ice for something like this.

I went out one evening and sent her a pic. She kik’d one back of her long dark hair. I have a weakness for dark hair, I always have. “I love your hair” I texted her.

“Oh, you like my hair, do you? Do you want to run your fingers through it?” she replied.

Oh man. I looked at this message for a minute. If I’m going to go there, I thought, and let her know how I’m thinking now is the time. And if I am going to go there, it cannot be subtle: it should be a message that goes beyond suggestive. I started typing. I looked at the message before I hit send. This is either going to go really really well, I thought, or it will go horribly awry and I will be blocked almost immediately. This is what I wrote:

“Not only do I want to run my fingers through it, I want to grab that gorgeous hair, pull your head back and start kissing your neck. And as I do, my free hand is going to run up your thighs until I reach your wet panties.”

And then I sat and waited. Anxious and nervous, I could feel my heart pounding. Man, I hope I didn’t just fuck this up. My phone finally buzzed with her response:

“Oooooh… I like the dirty talk!”

And from there, my dearest long suffering readers, it was “on” as the kids like to say. I fancy myself a bit of a writer and not one to shy away from the graphic details so once I knew she was receptive I threw myself into my work. I wrote what I could to arouse and stimulate her. I told her about how this was my first sexting experience (true) and she was, effectively, the first person I’d had any sort of hot talk with since the divorce (also true). She was graphic and sexy and caring all at once. It… was… fabulous.

“Real Women Have Real Vaginas”

I have to admit, after being starved any sort of attention for so long it was addicting. If memory serves, that weekend we “got together” 4 times. I was feeling downright chafed. I asked her to send me suggestive pictures, and she did. I started seeing some bits of our “exchanges” show up as subtweets and it aroused me even more. As I did care for her, I didn’t want it to become just about sexting, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to our exchanges. At one point I told Charles, as I was still living with him at this point, about how I’d been staying up late chatting with Victoria. “Dude,” he told me, “Real women have real vaginas.”

“I know,” I told him. “She’s hot and funny and sassy and she’s going to get a ‘Real Boyfriend’ in no time, but until then, I’m going to enjoy it.”

“If she asks for a Dick Pic, does that mean she likes me?”

At some point she asked me for a dick pic. While I’d given her a some PG-13 pix, I’d done nothing of this sort. I pinged another friend-girl I have on Twitter for advice. I’d had very limited DM’s with this person and nothing remotely sexual. It was a funny exchange that went something like this:

“Say, didn’t you tweet once that you wrote an article on the art of dick pix?”
“No, that was [ so and so].”

“Oh, sorry, I’ll give [so and so] a message.”

“Wait!? What’s going on, I know a thing or two about dick pix!”

I went onto explain what was happening, where I was with Victoria, how I was nervous about sending anything rated X.

“Look,” she said, “As long as you follow the safe pix sending rules, you’ll be fine. I’d be happy to send you a pic right now.”

Pause.

“Um… I wasn’t fishing, but if you’re offering…” I mean, let’s be real, do you really expect me to turn that down?

“Look, I’ll tell you what, I’ll send you 3 of my favorite dick pix I’ve received so you know what a good one looks like, and then I’ll send you a picture of myself to cleanse your mind those images.”

“OK then.” She was good to her word: 3 pictures of members came into my kik inbox followed by lovely images of herself. It was fabulous and surreal.

For the record, here’s her advice on taking dick pix in a nutshell:

  • No headshots (seems obvious)
  • Hide any identifying marks, tattoos, or anything in the background (OK, makes sense)
  • Don’t forget to turn off the feature that inserts GPS from your phone. (Ooohhhh… I forgot about that)

Sage advice, my friends.

 “We’re not dating.”

But, it wasn’t all lust sexy talk. At my emotional core, even though I was WELL AWARE that this could never turn into a Real Relationship (for a variety of reasons I won’t go into here to maintain Victoria’s anonymity) it doesn’t mean that Real Feelings didn’t creep in. I tried to be careful about not saying anything that would make it seem that because we were enjoying Sexy Time it might infer some sort of commitment on her part. And yet, by just using the flattering language I would to try to make her feel special would make her nervous and skittish sometimes.

“We’re not dating, you know!” she would remind me.

“Yes, I know that…” I could tell it was soon going to come to an end. Our conversations started becoming less frequent, and when we did talk, it did not “go there.” There was one last hurrah as she sent me some fabulous photos and talk right before I went on a long vacation. When I returned it was mostly silent.

“So those girls are sending you pictures of them playing with themselves?”

Before I tell you how it ultimately ended I need to relate another funny story related to this subject. As I mentioned a while back, I was having some Man Issues, to which I finally went to an urologist to make sure nothing too weird was going on. Apparently, I choose the Most Chatty Urologist in the Bay Area. He was an older guy, probably in his early to mid 60s. I probably had the longest chat with him that I’ve had with any doctor.

“So, what are you here for?”

“Having urinary problems. Frequent urination. It sucks.”

“Uh huh. Are you married.”

“Technically yes, but I’m getting a divorce. I haven’t been with anyone in about 10 months.”

“I see. And did you have any problems getting an erection?”

“No. I don’t think so.”

“You don’t think so?”

“Well, I haven’t been with anyone, but I’ve had these online-chats with Twitter Girls.”

“What’s that?”

“Twitter is an online social network. You type at each other. You can send pictures.”

“And what are doing with these girls?”

“Basically it’s sexual stories combined with mutual masturbation.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“So let me get this straight,” the doctor asked, “so these girls are playin’ with themselves and sending you pictures?”

“Yes… and sometimes they have video cameras. Although I haven’t done that myself.”

“Wow” he said. (He then went on to ask me more questions about my family and the divorce. He asked that as a man in my mid-40s with two daughters who seemed to be done with family had a I thought about getting a vasectomy.

“Hmmm… Are you suggesting I get a vasectomy?”

“It’s not my place to suggest it. I’m just wondering if you’ve thought about it.”

That,  my friends, is a tale for another blog.

Victoria: The Epilogue

I would ping Victoria about every 2 or 3 weeks (usually on a Friday as that’s when my work week is slowest) just to check in and say Hello. We were friends before the Sexy Talk and I wanted to be friends afterwards. She’d told me that she had met a Real Boy and that she’d given up sexting as that “just leads to someone getting hurt”. I totally understood. I asked if it would be OK if still texted her from time to time just to stay in touch and she agreed, and so we have. (P.S. I never did send her a dick pic…)

So why write about this now?

I actually had a longer chat with Victoria last week. It was a lovely chat and we both did lots of catching up. During the conversation I told her that I’d wanted to write about her and I “back in the day.” She admitted that while it was going on she kept reading the blog to see if I was writing about her. I asked her if it would be OK I wrote about it and she said it would (as long as I kept her anonymous). That pleased me as I always thought this would be a funny subject and in some way I think knowing that this post is coming has intrigued her a bit. And while it may not have ever gotten physical, Victoria will always hold a small place in my heart as my “first” after Catherine.

And like that.. it was over.

To my Long Suffering Readers: I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, and yes I’m wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving even if you’re not from the US, there’s always plenty to be thankful for.  It was this time last year when I first made the transition in my head of, “Catherine is not just unhappy, she’s on the brink of having an affair…” As we all know that gut feeling turned out to be correct even if I didn’t have solid proof of the affair for another few months. The last year has been filled with a wide range of emotions and as I head full circle into where it started I do feel filled with melancholy, and yet I still have plenty to be thankful for. We shall touch more upon that in a minute.  First an Update on the girls and my living conditions:

“How do you love Mommy? Do you love her the same way you love pizza?”

 

About a month ago I moved out of the room I was renting from Charles and into a 3-bedroom townhouse I rent from the parents of an old school friend which I’m calling The Volcano. It has been very nice having my own place and has really helped settle down much of the angst I’d been feeling over the last couple of months from having no real home (my personal belongings had been scattered between 3 locations and 2 storage units). The girls enjoying the nights they spend at the Volcano which has also helped my piece of mind. The girls have been sporadically asking more questions as to the status of Catherine and I, “Are you closer to getting back together or getting divorced?” “Do you still love her? How do you love her? Is it like how you love pizza?” Every now and then I think my youngest Elizabeth is internalizing this more than she’s letting on, sometimes she cries and talks about being sad without being able to articulate why. These moments hurt my heart. My oldest Mary talks about how things are so different and how the holidays won’t be the same. I try to tell her that we will do all the fun things we always do (Holiday Train, Christmas in the Park, etc.) and that she may in fact get to do some fun things twice!

And yet… tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I will not be having Thanksgiving dinner with them. So that, my friends, sucks ass.

“You don’t need to have any flings with any Twitter Girls…”

 

Which brings me to the tale of Ms. Hot Pool. I have not written about her here yet (although Twitter followers will have caught glimpses of her name), but let me quickly sum up her story (spoiler alert: it doesn’t end well….) I’m only going to hit the high/low points and not the gory details

I met this young lady in late September at the pool/gym where I work out (I’d been referring to her as the hot pool mom at my gym, ergo Ms. Hot Pool.) We had conversation and went out on a date. The first date was pleasant and awkward as we ran into her ex baby-daddy at the restaurant. As we were both single parents meeting up for more “dates” was hard even though we did see each other from time to time for late night dinners. Romance was slow to come, athough we did text/talk on the phone almost daily. Duing this time her texts to me were sporadic; her words were promising (yes, I’m interested.. yes I want to see you… etc.) but then she would sometimes go dark for a few days. Two weekends ago we had a long chat where I asked her, “So are we going for romance? I’m OK if you want to just be friends, but you gotta let me know so I can change my expectations.”  She emphatically said (once again) “Yes, I’m interested, yes I want to spend the weekend with you when I can, yes this will become romance… no, you have no need to look for flings with Twitter girls…”

“OK…” I said apprehensively (as I’ve now been blown off a couple times). We made plans to get together for dinner. She called me that night to check and said, “I will call you as soon as I’m out of the store and then you can come by.”

And that was the last I heard from her. I texted/called her a couple times that night to no answer.

Feeling rebuffed, I didn’t call her for the next week, and I finally pinged yesterday, “So, you clearly don’t want to see me, but can you at least tell me why? What happened. Was it me? Did you get back together with your ex?”

She wrote back a handful of cryptic messages saying, “Nope, wasn’t my ex.” But no further explanation.  And so, Long Suffering Readers, my first post-separation dating experience ends not with a traditional “dumping” but rather with being “abandoned” in a way I have not experienced before. This too, my friends, feels shitty and sucks ass. Moving On.

“You’re both intelligent and gentle; the combination is rare. Also honesty seems easy and instinctual for you.”

 

So with all of these stories that end with “sucks ass” how is my mental health you might ask?  I would honestly say: Mixed. On an emotional level in Real Life I still sometimes I think I’m a bit of a mess. Facing the holidays is rough; realizing that I did not have enough mojo for Hot Pool was rough. Spending these evenings at work until 8pm because I really have nowhere to go…  kind of rough.

There have been some bright spots, mostly provided by The FIGs. There have been a handful of people in the Twittersphere. “Cinnamon”, “The Teacher”, The Canadian, and the woman living her life with her new “Fuck It” mantra (you know who you are) have all offered me a tremendous amount of support through this. I quite literally don’t think I could have made it through this process without you. Your kind words really have helped me when things were very very dark. Everyone tells me that this will be better in the long run, and don’t get me wrong, I believe that myself, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t filled with suck now.

And with the arrival of a simple nondescript envelope, it’s officially over.

And how’s this for a real time update, even as I almost completed writing this blog, an envelope came in the mail. Apparently I’m officially divorced and have been since Nov 13 (I wasn’t expecting this for another month.) Almost a year to the day once I started suspecting that she was having an affair, I’m now officially a divorced man. As this news is literally just minutes old I think I will have to write more about this at another time. For now let’s just say… I will be glad to see the end of 2012.