Monthly Archives: May 2016
I received the most incredible gift recently! My sweetest cousin, the Designer, found me after nearly 40 years apart. It’s been bizarre, surreal, and utterly wonderful to get to know each other. We’ve only seen each other twice so far, but we’ve got plans for much more!
Last evening I was at her house for a barbecue, enjoying some much needed relaxation and laughter with her hilarious friends. At one point, the conversation turned to dating, and how weird some first dates can be. While I did not share this anecdote at the time, I immediately thought of it, despite the fact that we never even got as far as a date! But hey, it still makes me laugh to this day, so I thought I’d share the amusement with anyone who’s ever been on a horrific first date!
NOTE: This story takes place in 2011, when Hurricane Irene nailed the east coast. It was originally posted on my old blog.
I shared this story over lunch this past weekend with The Trainer, and amidst her laughter, she said it absolutely had to become a blog post. She’s a wise woman, and so I agreed.
Back in August, I had to be downtown for meetings a few times. Through a coworker, I met a woman that I’ll call L, who seemed pretty smart, had a dry sense of humor, and possessed a smile that definitely turned my head. We chatted and exchanged cell numbers; this led to a “relationship” that made Kim Kardashian’s marriage look eternal. You’ll understand why the quotation marks were used in a minute, I promise.
A few casual texts were tossed back and forth, and a vague mention was made of “having lunch some time.” At this point, I was getting busy at work and my focus shifted over to that. The weekend passed, and on Monday, we received the news that Hurricane Irene was headed straight for Wilmington, where the Artist currently resides for college. I’m not the type to panic much, and I’m not a helicopter Mom, but I did advise the Artist that if the storm continued its current track, that I’d be heading down to haul her little tail back home for a few days. The University hadn’t yet decided whether or not they were going to evacuate, so I told her that we’d sit back and wait, letting Irene’s path guide our decisions.
On that same day, I received a text from L, asking me if I’d like to get together “this weekend.” I texted back that I’d love to, but at that point in time, I couldn’t commit to any definitive plans because of the hurricane situation. I explained that my daughter was at UNCW and that I wasn’t sure yet if I was going to let her stay through the storm or get her out; it was just too early to tell. However, I said, if the storm shifted, I thought it might be fun to do something.
This is what I got back:
“Kel, she’s 18 years old. She can handle being at school in a rainstorm.”
For those who are unaware, at the time that Irene was tracking straight towards UNCW, it was bouncing back and forth between a category 3 and 4 level hurricane. They were estimating wind damage to be on the level of some of the worst storms ever to hit NC.
I honestly didn’t know how to respond to L. For one of the rare occasions in my life, I was speechless. So I said nothing. I just let it lie, went back to work, and tried to figure out what in the ever loving hell just happened.
~~ It was at this point in the story that the Trainer was cracking up, saying, “Wait for it…this gets better. I know it does!” And she was right. ~~
The next day, I was coming down the hall when my phone dinged that I had a text. Seeing it was from L, I chuckled and sat down to read the missive.
“Kel, I really like you, but I have grave concerns. Seeing how smothering you are with your kids makes me worry that you’ll be like that with us. I think it’s better if we don’t continue our relationship.”
I swear to Dog, I thought for a second that it was a mis-text. If it hadn’t had my name at the start, I most likely would’ve written it off as such. But no, no…that text was actually to me. Let’s analyze it, shall we?
Point #1: She has “grave concerns.” Dramatic much? We had, at this point in time, exchanged maybe 2 dozen texts total.
Point #2: “Seeing how smothering you are with your kids…” Um. You haven’t “seen” anything as we’d met in person once and I was without my kids. And smothering? I’m smothering my kid by possibly removing her from the path of a Cat 4 hurricane? I wonder if my kids think I’m smothering them…
Point #3: “…worry that you’ll be like that with us.” Us? Us? What “us?” There is no “us.” Let’s reiterate the point that we’d exchanged maybe 2. Dozen. Texts. TOTAL. “Us?!”
Point #4: “…don’t continue our relationship.” See Point #3.
By this time, the Trainer is almost teary from laughing so hard. I’m quite sure the waitress at Mumfords thought we’d completely lost our minds, sitting in the corner at this tiny cafe, laughing hysterically. You see, she too is, as she phrases it, a “lightning rod” for the crazy people. Seriously, while I do seem to attract the weird ones, this woman truly did win the prize. Needless to say, there was no further exchange, and I promptly deleted her number from my phone.
I learned a valuable lesson from this: men may well be “pigs” sometimes, but women? Women are just effing crazy.
As for L, I sincerely hope that she finds happiness with someone who won’t smother her. Unless, of course, it’s in her sleep with a pillow…
People talk about “finding yourself” or “being true to yourself”. Great concept, if you actually know who you are. It’s something that’s eluded me for as long as I can remember, and while I’m exceedingly adept at being the person that others need to see, I’ve never been quite sure which one is the real one, if any of them. I’ve worn a myriad of masks, and even more hats over the years, but now I find myself wanting to ditch all of them in favor of a custom pair of flip-flops.
The past few months have brought up some pretty harsh realizations in the mirror, and a few of those have set me back on my heels. I’ve spent some time in my head, sifting through what’s real and what’s actually that insidious, deceptive, emotional voice. It’s a slow process, generally involving quantities of solitude and chocolate both in excess of my usual allotments. It’s amazing how well those two work in tandem to help one attain clarity.
One thing I am grateful for is the people who choose to walk the path with me while I figure things out. I’ve learned the hard way over the past year that some people are not to be trusted, and no matter how careful you are, you need to maintain your guard. Someone makes the mistake of trying to come between me and one of my kids, it’s the last mistake that will occur between us. But it’s made me appreciate the people in my life who show their love every day without even trying that help me maintain my faith. My appreciation for them continues to grow as I traverse this thorny path of confusion.
I’m hoping I can come to some decisions sooner than later, but until I find my custom flip-flops, I’ll stick with these. They suit me quite well.