Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013. Hello 2014

I pretty much reached my 2013 Resolution so this year, I'm going to be a little more ambitious. I have two this year:

1. Attain financial stability - this is a very broad spectrum goal. I am mostly financially independent, but I'm wishy-washy with this one. I spend when I should be saving. So that's my goal. Learn to save! I need to have enough in the bank to live for 6 months should I lose my job. Now in my situation this will be a tough one, but I'm going to start slow and get to one month in the bank and then see where it goes from there....

The last couple of years have taught me one thing if nothing else. And I'm not trying to be Debbie-Downer, but I've had a 3-4 months of serious introspection and realised that I am never good enough for anyone despite all I do for everyone. So my second resolution is...

2. to STOP. Yes, it sounds selfish and in a way it is, but when I sum up the effort I put into ALL my relationships, whether friends, family or other, I never seem to come out on top. And by on top, I mean that all I ever really wanted was to be someone's Number 1. Just one person to put me first. Oh not all the time, that is selfish, but I've been through Hell and back in the last couple of years and still people come to me when they need something, but when I have needed something back, they are ghost. I've been sick a few times this year, and somehow had to find a way to muddle through with getting to work and coping with 3 kids. I haven't shared all my struggles even with my closest friends because what I needed most at those times was not the usual "You'll get through it." but a real shoulder, with a bottle of wine and some Kleenex. Never have I felt more alone or more under pressure than when I'm trying to scrape together the $4000 each month needed to keep the roof over my kids heads, but also find a way to keep up the lifestyle to which the kids and I are accustomed. I've sacrificed. I have never asked anyone for money, but the stress has been immense, and Christmas was the breaking point, when my body said ENOUGH! So for 2014, there will be a change. I will not settle. I am better than that. I am successful in my career, I have a beautiful home and wonderful children. I do not need a man to provide for me. Anything that a man can bring to my table is 'bonus'. But I will also be more circumspect in the things I do for others. I hate to put it on that level. If I have it to give, I have always given, but lately I have felt taken advantage of. I have lost friends because when I took a step back, they were offended, but I have always been there for them and I guess the test was to see if they were there for me. They weren't. It hurt, but it was an eye-opening lesson for me that helped set me on this path.

Friday, December 20, 2013

It burst

He is flawed. He canceled on me again. That is all I have to say about it. Shame.

Waiting for the bubble to burst

There's a new guy. I've thought hard about what to name him, but I think I'll wait until I'm sure he'll be a regular feature....

He is 37, never married, but has a 9 year old daughter who he absolutely adores, and MOST importantly WANTS to be in a relationship. I have compiled a list of attributes that come not from his description of himself, but from observations I have made of him during our 2 previous dates:

Sense of humour. Yes, I put this first
Respectful. He has not made ANY inappropriate references to sex
Honest. He has already owned up to and explained his criminal background. More on this later.
Attractive. He has such an amazing smile and means it when he gives it
Athletic, toned. This is important to me because I like to be physically fit and couldn't live with someone who wasn't
He can COOK. No explanation necessary
Has his own home with plans to buy a house in the near future. One big enough for a large family.
Has two cars. An everyday SUV and Mazda RX8 that he races (YES!!)
Is close to his family and places a good deal of importance on family

I could keep going. I'm in a situation where I'm waiting for something bad to happen. He seems just too good to be true. Last night he called and we chatted while he baked gingerbread cookies with his daughter. Yes, he bakes with his daughter. He washes her hair and treats it too...

We went to Champps to watch football on Monday night and we were totally comfortable chatting and joking the entire time.... 3 hours in a near empty sports bar and neither of us can tell you what happened in the game!! It felt so amazing to be wrapped up in someone who was just as wrapped up in me as I was in him. And when he walked me to my car, I got a goodnight kiss that almost had me following him home! Toe-curling. Oh Firefighter kissed, but it was just barely that. There was zero passion. Most of the time. When he was drunk, it was better, when his inhibitions were lowered. But this guy. Whooooo! Took my breath away!

So tonight I'm going to his place. For dinner and a movie. I'm sincerely hoping I can behave myself and make him wait, but I'm a grown up.... Whatever happens, happens. And then we are going to dinner at Fleming's tomorrow. Yes, I was supposed to go with Firefighter, but I had to stop giving him all the benefits that he couldn't even come close to reciprocating. I firmly believe that Firefighter loves\loved me, but he has a failsafe mechanism for keeping it to himself. So I am moving on. I am way to good to be treated that way. And as much as I love him, I can't be sure that it wasn't just because we had great sex often enough to have an oxytocin-induced connection.... If he misses me, he'll figure it out. In the meantime, the search for someone who will love me and respect me and treat me like a princess continues.... with New Guy.

For now....

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Big Decision

I have decided that it is finally time to think about having a real relationship. Don't get me wrong, Firefighter and I have a real relationship. We're very good friends with awesome benefits. He has said he cares about me, which is the closest he gets to emotion. And that was ok for a while, but now I miss affection. I think this last couple of months has been the toughest, after dealing with a lot of major financial struggles and finding that I am more alone than I thought, and then getting sick, I realised it would have been nice to have someone there for me. I felt abandoned by friends a little bit. Sometimes it's hard to find someone to talk to who will let it be about me for a minute and after putting myself on a back burner for so long, I was really having a tough time.


Two days ago I decided to go back on the dating website. Within hours I had way too many people trying to get dates and for the first time, I have a completely full evening schedule and am already pushing dates into the next couple of weeks. I've been more circumspect this time. There will be no sex.

The funny thing is, it's Firefighter's birthday Friday and we have plans to go to dinner with a bunch of his friends. He was happy to let me take care of the booking when in the past he has made his own arrangements and last year I received a last minute invitation to join him and his friends, but wasn't really part of his day. I also stopped texting him as much during the day, which I think is bothering him a little. Although yesterday I was exhausted and working out of the Wilson office and so didn't have the time to text much anyway, he popped up around lunch time. I kept it brief, and then didn't text him again. He reached out again when I got to home. To ask if I was making spaghetti for dinner. Uhhhhh.... it's Tuesday, of course I was. However, I was not eating spaghetti... I had a date. He continued to try to text me throughout the evening, and I think I did a good job of keeping it casual and neutral. (I'm starting to really hate the word 'casual'). I had mentioned Sunday that I wanted to go see Homefront (love me some Jason Statham) and asked if he wanted to go with me, but since he has a busy birthday weekend, I put no pressure on. He said sure and I said if it was still showing next week, we could go, and then go to LoneStar for dinner afterwards. Anyway, last night he then asked if I wanted to go see the movie Thursday. Well, I had made plans to go to a fundraiser with Ms Pope, but as I was talking with another guy I met on the site, Baby Girl reminded me that she has a basketball game on Thursday that she needs to go to with Pep Band... UGH! So after talking with Ms Pope it was established that it was unlikely I would make it to the fundraiser, so I told Firefighter ok. After some back and forth. I did mention that I had had plans, which seemed to take him by surprise, but hey, he told me to date, right? Anyway, I got snippy with him, on purpose. And then used a conversation ending 'cool'. Or so I thought. By now I was with my date and so couldn't text anyway, but then he wanted to tell me about a conversation with a lady he works with who we've been to the movies with a couple of times. She had broken up with her girlfriend of 10+ years. Again, I kept it brief as he had done to me in the last couple of weeks... I managed to end the conversation with oh ok after about 15 minutes....

Naturally, I'm sad that he doesn't want a relationship. I'm not looking to move in or marry and I've said before I can carry on this way indefinitely, but I really do miss affection. I miss HEARING someone SAY they love me. That is the only thing missing from what we have. That and his acknowledgment that this is working for both of us. But I have to do for me. So I won't tell him just how busy my social calendar is, but as long as he's still enjoying the benefits, I will be on the lookout for someone new, and when the time is right for physical intimacy with that person, I will break it off with Firefighter.

Last night's date was a no-go. He looked too much like my dad and was so nervous he barely looked me in the eye... There are a couple that are clearly trying to sell themselves very hard... one guy bragged about how many cars and bikes he has... that means nothing if you aren't interested in treating me right. And I'm already cutting dead the ones that give me nicknames, like Boo or Luv. I hate that when you don't even know me. Any who ask for pictures are also gone... If you need a picture to remind you of who I am, you are dating too many at once... just saying....

So we'll see how it goes. At least I will be so busy, I won't miss Firefighter. I'd like to hope he'd miss me though... Although I know he won't.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Spice things up a little

That is what NaijAmerican said I should rename my blog.

He's a new guy I just met and last night we spent a whopping 5 hours talking on the phone. Strangely no awkwardness. We work in the same industry and have a lot of the same interests... and problems with dating. He's a little younger than me, but only a couple of years. I can deal with that.

So he is taking me to dinner tonight. I hope. If the 5 hour conversation didn't scare him away. And I'm actually looking forward to it. One of the things I've struggled the most with Firefighter is that I always felt like I couldn't talk to him about work because it went over his head. It was soooooo nice to be able to vent the day's frustrations to Naij without having to explain environments, or processes. We have had similar experiences that we were able to laugh about. And he jokes. I've been feeling under the weather the last couple of days and when he had asked me to dinner I told him sure as long as it's not McDonald's and then told him about  the guy who seriously wanted to take me to McDonald's for dinner... I know its taboo to talk about previous dates or boyfriends, but that was a total deal-breaker for me. So even though that was a couple of days prior, he remembered and yesterday morning asked if I was still feeling up to dinner and was Waffle House OK.... naturally, I took a minute to respond. I had to run through the thoughts in my head: Was he joking, was it a clever reference to McDonald's? Or is he serious? He said he likes soul food... maybe he's just not a upscale restaurant kinda guy.... Against my better judgement, I went with he was serious and told him that if he's changed his mind then fine, I don't want to play games.... uhhhhh.... he was joking. McDonald's. SMH.

So then later he asked when my birthday was and when he found out he had just missed it, he decided that he was going to take me out for a birthday dinner and take me somewhere a little more upscale than he originally planned... The restaurant of choice is Firefighter's original choice. Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse. So when I told Ms Pope, she got in on the game and said she would find a way to post something on Instagram... So now I just have to hope that Naij is as good in person as he was on the phone. It would suck if the spark wasn't there, but he is still a fun guy, great to talk to, we'll see if he keeps our dinner plans.

I'm not really in the mood to talk about Firefighter. He's already made assumptions that I am free all weekend and has planned on coming over to eat my Thanksgiving leftovers both Saturday and Sunday. I sometimes wish I had that vindictive streak in me that would allow me to tell him I'm busy, but who knows? Maybe Naij will be a winner and it won't be a lie...

A deeper part of me secretly hopes that Firefighter really wants to be with me and realises it sooner rather than later. How ironic would be after he told me I should date other people, that I meet someone who wants what I want? So the plan is to treat him like a king for his birthday, be slightly less available, maybe give him Christmas and then just float around and see what he does. I feel like I've vested more than a year in him, give him that one last opportunity....

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Innuendo Bingo

I am totally in love with this game on bbc.co.uk/radio1 every Tuesday and Thursday around 1pm EST. It's hysterical. Probably because I cannot go through a single day without giggling at some innocent comment made by an unsuspecting person or persons who do not know me well enough to know that I can turn almost ANYTHING inappropriate.

So in yesterday's all day meeting with one of our vendors, I was chatting with a colleague about his phone. He has the Note 3 and I commented that it looked smaller than another colleague's who has the same phone... The conversation was as follows:

Me: "Yours looks much smaller than Brad's"
Chris: "I have bigger hands"

Yep, I about lost it. Had trouble keeping a lid on it with the vendor in the room... it was late afternoon and we'd already ascertained that the vendor has a sense of humour, but he also missed the comment, so all was well. However, it continues to plague me in today's meeting with the same group. It's a recurring theme.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Definition of knackered

Yep. That would be me.

I physically hurt from head to toe. I'm so tired I couldn't even finish eating dinner. I've been running on fumes for weeks now, but not even those are enough to keep me going now....

Three kids, full time job, the house, lawyers.... need I go on?

I can't cope :-(

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Whooooooooo!!! Hold me back.....!!

I don't usually lose it over stupidness, but I swear. This last week showed me that there are just some people that I don't need to keep in my life. Sadly, I am referring to Mrs Nash.

I've always known that she is high maintenance, but this week she took it to a whole nother level and I just don't need that kind of negativity in my life.

The plan was to take me out for MY birthday dinner and we were going to include our respective significant others (her husband, my Firefighter) in dessert and a movie (The Best Man Holiday). I should preface this with the fact that had I not posted on Facebook about going to see the movie with Ms Pope, H and others, she would never have even said anything.

So for two days, we went back and forth about what the arrangements would be. I say back and forth, it was mostly Mrs Nash, in typical fashion, being unable to commit. Whatever timing she suggested, I went along with. I have the text messages to prove it. The only stipulation I had was that Firefighter is not a night owl and prefers to be in bed before 11pm, if possible, before church on Sunday.... Long story short, Mrs Nash claimed that it was just too complicated and we should just try another time.....

My opinion? She has a better 'offer' from other friends.

Why would I say this?

Well, I had canceled not only plans to go zip lining with my daughter, but also let Firefighter down.... Luckily, I made minor back up plans to take myself to see Last Vegas, so after a lazy day watching Skyfall with Lil One, I took myself out to the movies around 7pm. Firiefighter had arranged to meet some friends at a local sports bar. After 'fleeing' his place at 2:45am Saturday morning (I wasn't supposed to fall asleep there and he wasn't impressed I was leaving), I had only texted him to say good morning and then not spoken to him all day. I kinda figured he was irritated and still trying to emphasise the "casual" status, he was waiting for me to text first. I didn't :-)

My movie started around 7:45, I got a text from him at 8pm "Hello". Now usually, if I'm in the movies, he tells me to stop texting and let him know when I get out... Not this time. Even after I told him I was IN the movie, and to stop being rude to his friends, he continued to text and then asked if I wanted to stop by for a drink when I got out... So I figured he was trying to find out if I was on a date. I wasn't, but I considered faking like I was....

Anyway, I get to the bar and 5 minutes after I sit down, Mrs Nash walks through. Clearly knows I'm there as she looks right at me and waves... but has NO intention of coming over. So I wave her over and make a flippant joke about being stood up. Now those who know me, KNOW I am joking.... Mrs Nash KNOWS me.....

Sunday morning, right around 8:15 when she knows I'm in church, I get the bitchiest text message (Actually it was long enough to stretch over 8 messages) stating that I was the reason she didn't follow through. Well, I had posted a simple "Wow, that hurt my feelings" on Facebook after seeing her out with other friends... so her text basically stated that she didn't appreciate that. Uh Bitch, did I call you out? Do you have a guilty conscience? And that after all MY back and forth it was just too complicated.

No the real problem was that Firefighter and I did not want to fall in line with your plans as neatly as you liked. We wanted to go to an 8:15 showing instead of 9:15... That's it. Simple. Well, it was MY birthday. MY decision to even bother introducing you to him and I have to say that I was proud of the way he gave the cold shoulder when he was introduced. He and I agree on one thing. WE DON'T DO DRAMA. It's NOT all about you. We don't like negativity so if that's all you have, keep it moving. I have been through way too much to spend time on shit like this.

So I'm gonna stick with the real friends. Those who have the time and inclination to listen and be there for ME so that I can get through my struggles and be there for them during theirs.

And can I just add that Firefighter is fast becoming one of those friends that is there. Awesome conversation with him today.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Blessing in Disguise

It has occurred to me, that by NOT being in an 'official relationship', that I will be saving quite a bit of cash... It's a cold hard way to look at it, but why should I put in and not get anything back?

Long known to be overly generous to my significant others, I guess now I get to be just a little on the selfish side. To sum it up, gifts to past lovers have included: surprise weekends in Paris, trips to London, Las Vegas, and Georgia, Cold Play tickets, $150 sneakers shipped halfway around the world, $150 cologne... need I go on? Of course none of that isn't something that anyone else can and has done before, but as just friends, I'm not obligated to wow him with extravagance.

So I have different levels of gift-giving. We've covered this before. Most of my family get gifts from Saks. Friends tend to get around $20-$30 if I'm feeling flush. Boyfriends..... Anywhere upwards of $100 or more.

I came shockingly close to buying Firefighter the 50" TV for his birthday that he has wanted for the last 3 months or so.... Other items on the list include tickets to the Cowboys-Redskins game in DC on December 22... Neither option is inexpensive.

But my guardian angel prevailed and prevented near disaster. Instead, I'll be buying him a Ralph Lauren Polo shirt for his birthday and a nice pair of jeans for Christmas.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Leap of faith

It took months of working up to it. I backed out countless times; finding excuses every time.

I don't know how I finally found the courage, but Firefighter now knows why I'm the way I am.

I started by asking him how he would describe my character to people. I wasn't fishing for compliments. I'm always curious what people really see when they meet me. Leftover issues from the mental battering I got from my dad I guess.

I told him about the years of abuse by my parents. And how that cycle continued when I married my husband. Oh, he doesn't know the full extent. I wasn't looking for sympathy. I just needed him to understand why I don't want another man in my life. Controlling me. 

Have I frightened him? I don't think so. But if you're going to have a relationship with someone, you have to start with honesty. Whether it's a friend, a boyfriend, co-worker or any other. If you can't be honest, tell the whole truth, you are only cheating yourself. It doesn't matter how small, but every lie or omission takes away from who we are.

Yes, I come with baggage. Not drama, just some leftover ugliness.

So Firefighter had noticed the swelling at the base of my spine. Was shocked at how long it had been there. Angry that no one had helped me. I like that about him. He sees things.

Neither of us wants more than what we have. I don't want to be controlled, he doesn't want to be changed. Ironic that both of those things are one and the same. Now he gets it. Now he gets me.

And it's ok.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Is it just me?

No ladies, it's not you. It's them. Men are straight up cray cray!!

There are so many adages that are meaningfully appropriate I hardly know which one to go with, but treat them mean, keep them keen springs to mind.

So many men want to believe that they are some kind of special and that there's no way their girl would step out on them, so when you're in a "casual relationship" and are told you should get out and date others, why would your guy be surprised and UPSET when you tell them you have been all along? Oh, I didn't share numbers or details, but I've been on at least 7 or 8 dates in the last few months with 3 or 4 different guys. So what?

I'll tell you what. I had a date set up for Friday night, but they wanted me to drive to Greenville. Ms Pope told me no. They should come to me and I agreed. So whilst in the middle of telling DJ I couldn't make it, I get a text from Firefighter "do you feel up to coming over tonight?"

Little background. We had a minor falling out this week, emails back and forth on Thursday, I was pretty sure I had ended it. Uh no. He came back and sounded like he wanted to keep it going. Well, ok, fine.
We already had plans for Saturday so naturally I expected him to not want to see me Friday hence making other plans. I also figured he would want to make his point about keeping it casual and not seeing too much of each other. I told myself I would stay a few hours and leave. Baby Girl is at a friend's for the weekend, and I thought to get some stuff done. He had other plans and when we finished the bottle of wine, he bust out the Goldschlager.


So now I'm laying in his bed trying to figure out Wtf. And hating Goldschlager.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Holy Crap!!

They say the truth will out...

My Past is clearly not going away. Neither is Firefighter. And then there's my contact list...

My dilemma is.... I don't know. What is it?

I'm not in a serious relationship with Firefighter, so why do I need to feel guilty about playing the field? I don't, therefore I can. And probably will.

My Past. Well. I don't know what to say. He's angry that my youngest is not his. He's still angry that I did not go to Atlanta. Yes, that was brought up again today. I begin to believe that he really did intend to break off his engagement if I had just made the 6 hour drive. And you know what? There are days when I wish I had gone. But clearly he is not going away...

So given carte blanche to play the field. Hmmmmm... what to do, what to do??

I'm going to do what guys do. I'm going to play. Without conscience.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

20 Gauge Fun!!

Firefighter took up a new hobby last year.... skeet shooting. Not an inexpensive hobby, but slightly less costly than the golf that he had taken up that summer. So he sold his left-handed golf clubs and bought a shotgun.

I'm not averse to shooting. I don't necessarily agree that everyone needs to have a gun in their home, particularly if there are children in the home (or crazy people), but recreationally I do enjoy a little shooting every now and then.

Although it had been more than 20 years since I'd last gone skeet shooting and probably 18 since I'd fired an AK47 at a target in Army Cadets, I still had a hankering to go with him one day, but it was his hobby and I didn't want him to take me if he didn't want to. So when he finally asked, I was secretly very happy he wanted to take me, and outwardly excited to get to go shooting!!

I had to make it to the range by 5:30pm so as not to hold the others up, so I left work at 4pm, picked up the boys from after-school care, ran by KFC for their dinner, dropped them off at home by 5pm and turned right around to head out to the range 40 minutes away... I had to change into my jeans on I540....

So after a brief safety lesson (there were 2 other beginners shooting with us), we started moving around the targets. I was the first of the beginners to hit one!! Yay me! Firefighter was pretty good, but he preened a little extra when he hit something, while still trying to play it cool... By the end of the 2 hours though, I was FREEZING and ready to go home to hot tea and my bed. I had hit about 12% of the clays, which wasn't too bad. Firefighter had hit maybe 50% and we'd caught video of each other, so it was a good 'date night'.

As we were getting the shells picked up and packing everything away, he said that he was stopping by the Subway near his apartment on the way home and going to the Starbucks next door and wanted to know what a good tea was, so of course I told him they do Early Grey. They do others too, but I couldn't remember what they were since I only drink Earl Grey. I shouted goodbye and hopped in my car. I drove the 40 minutes home, put the kettle on, chased the boys to bed and then climbed into mine and my fingers still hadn't thawed!!  I was so exhausted, and so cold I didn't even stop to think that I hadn't hugged him before I left.... Well, I got that thrown at me. As I was saying thanks and goodnight I got "And what kind of goodbye was that?" Obviously confused, I gave him "Huh? o_O" and he replied with "No hug... No kiss... Nothing lol just got in your car and left :-P" (the tongue sticking out was supposed to ease the blow. We all do it). So apparently the cold had addled my brain. I apologised. Several times. Truth be told, there were other people around and I never know if PDA is acceptable with him, so I figured it wouldn't be welcome. Anyway, I was knocked out by 9:25pm, lol. I was so exhausted, and so cold I couldn't keep my eyes open.

I think the lack of physical intimacy is starting to get to him though, since this morning he joked that since I wouldn't shoot his gun last night that he may not ask me to pull his trigger again.... with another tongue sticking out face. We didn't get any 'alone' time this weekend, and normally I would not very subtly hint at it, but I haven't this week. I didn't stay after dinner on Saturday and he texted me as I was on my way home that I could have. I don't know why I haven't.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sunday Roast

I have to take a minute just to brag about the absolutely delicious Sunday roast I made yesterday!

It was SO good! I have only ever made a beef roast once, but I have a had a real hankering to do some serious cooking lately. I really want to have a dinner party, but haven't figured out who to invite to make it an even number. So anyway, I decided that I was going to cook roast beef for Firefighter. Since the Niners weren't playing I wasn't too distracted and could focus on cooking.

I had read a blog the other day, and at the time I laughed it off as being old-fashioned, but it spoke about the secret to getting and keeping a man being to cook for him. I hate to say it, but there is definitely a lot of truth to this. I absolutely adore cooking. Firefighter doesn't cook at all. He usually buys two lunches from the cafe at work, and keeps one for dinner, or he stops by Subway on the way home. The only time he gets a home-cooked meal is at my place on Sunday's. I don't mind it either because it means I get to eat something other than Mac n cheese and chicken nuggets. I also get to bust out the Mikasa china every now and then, which makes me happy.

It was a very simple dinner: a 2lb roast beef, roast potatoes and roast carrots (awesomely easy! Just throw everything in the oven). Of course, I had to make the gravy, which apparently was the coup de grace! Firefighter loved it! I giggled when he asked what was in the gravy. Like he was going to make it one day, lol! There weren't any leftovers. Bad Boy even came back downstairs and had some, liked it so much he said he would have it again next time I make it. I wish I'd taken a picture of it.

So now I'm shopping for a Dutch Oven since I had to keep transferring from the pot to a baking tray and back again.

I am still salivating over how delicious it was.


Funny story.

I went to Firefighter's company Fall Festival this weekend. I've met many of his co-workers before, and heard about most others, but this weekend I met management. If I had doubts about our relationship before , they were completely crushed Saturday. You can usually tell when people have heard about you, or if they were oblivious to your existence. Well, his boss's boss even knew who I was.... I was welcomed and treated as all the other spouses who were there. I didn't take my kids though. They ain't ready for that!

Anyway, Firefighter works with another supervisor, Nick, who is the bane of his job. I'm always hearing funny stories about him and this weekend I became part of one when, on being introduced, he said "is this your sister?" I'm rarely rendered truly speechless... I was on Saturday! Not least because everyone in the room knew me as Firefighter's significant other... but also that his sister is significantly older than him. Firefighter was noticeably annoyed by the faux pas and wouldn't let it go... I'll get over it though. The poor guy couldn't stop apologising. Another colleague told Firefighter "See, that's why you guys need to hold hands or something in public. Even kiss each other once in a while." I like her :-)

It was a nice day. He even made plans for one of his colleagues family's to come to my Super Bowl party, I met the guy I'll be shooting with tomorrow, and his boss was very sweet to me. 

I've spent so much time focusing on titles and trying to decipher what the heck is going on that I almost missed the important thing. Actions. 


I found this meme the other week and just kind of held onto it for a while as it really rang true with me.

Firefighter and I may not be in the traditional relationship that everyone expects, but it works for us. Yes, at times I'm confused, but it's mostly because I don't know what the boundaries are and that is something I'm still trying to decipher. Firefighter doesn't like to 'talk'. He's not good at it and to be honest neither am I. Not when the lines are blurred. We've substituted the word 'Love' for 'Like'. We don't over-use it. Just every now and then one of us will say "I like you". It's no big deal, just nice to hear. Firefighter is more the quietly demonstrative type. No hearts and flowers, but attentive. It's hard to explain. There's no artifice. He doesn't lie. I did kind of upset him last weekend when he asked to take me for dinner and I gave some very flimsy excuses for why he couldn't and then when he said he could take me this weekend, I said "But it's not my birthday". Well, I messed up yesterday by telling him that the guys I used to work with paid for my lunch at Hooters for my birthday. His response "What did you tell me about dinner this weekend? "It's not my birthday anymore"". So I tried to tell him I didn't want him to have to feel like he had to take me to dinner since he came with me and my boys to Fleming's, but he said he wanted to as it was part of my gift along with the beautiful flowers he sent to me. So now I feel like a bitch...

So it's my weekend with my kids and Firefighter has already asked me to go to his company Fall Festival at 2pm on Saturday and then skeet shooting afterwards. When he suggested also taking me to dinner, I had to remind him that the kids would be home waiting for me. Ugh! It was getting difficult!!

Anyway, we'll work something out, but that's not what I wanted to talk about, just kind of setting the scene that we do have a relationship, it's just not conventional.

My Past is trying to mentally sabotage the relationship. Yes, of course, he has ulterior motives, such as he would like for me to enter into an extra-marital affair with him once he moves to North Carolina... Yesterday, he spent a good deal of time trying to tell me that Firefighter constantly tells me what he's doing, who he's with, and 'booking up' all my weekend time, because he's trying to keep me to himself while he steps out on me. Now, I can say that having known Firefighter for almost 15 months, that this is just not who he is. We've talked about his past relationship and he is desperately afraid of hurting someone or being hurt again. Not only that, but when he says he's in bed at 8pm and asleep by 9pm, he means it! I truly believe that if he thought I was sleeping with other men, that it would actually really hurt him. And having met his family, male or not, it's not how his mother raised him. We've had a few discussions about fidelity triggered by shows that we watch and it's just not something he would do. He would tell me if he was sleeping with anyone else. But it set that bug in the back of my mind. Just enough to niggle. My Past got quite annoyed with me when I cut the conversation short. I knew what he was trying to do, and as little as a year ago, I would have believed him and been swayed, but I've learnt a lot about human nature in the last year. I'm starting to trust Firefighter, which is something I never thought I'd be able to do. So I don't need discouragement from someone who doesn't know him as I do.

Imagine how annoyed My Past was when he asked if I was going to be able to break away (from Firefighter) and I replied with "I guess we'll have to deal with that when you get here".

Growing in strength and resilience...

Friday, November 1, 2013

Who won that round?

Those who know me, know that I'm a sucker for my children and I find it really hard to enforce truly heinous punishments on them. However, this week I struck a personal victory!!

Baby Girl has been the WORST teen lately and has really challenged both my patience and my resolve. She had worked very hard to recover from the rough school year last year and had got her F's up to respectable C's, with just a couple of D's. Yes she had A's and B's as well, but those were in Band, which she loves, and Math which she rocks at. She still finds the written classwork difficult. I don't whether it's laziness or actual difficulty. Once she gets it done, she rocks it, so I'm going with just lazy... She also failed to do her chores, has lied repeatedly and is being just generally unpleasant to be around. So, as punishment, I told her absolutely NO trick or treating.

Now, here's the kicker. Normally I would cave at the last minute. It was starting to gnaw at me throughout the day. I spoke to my sister, she reassured me. Firefighter even understood my dilemma, but reminded me that I NEED to start sticking to my guns. Now, he has seen some of her behaviour lately, so he knows what I'm going through. On top of everything else I'm dealing with, I worry constantly about Baby Girl. She only has me so when I have to play Bad Cop, I hate it. She is going through puberty which is difficult enough, but she rarely talks to anyone, so I can't tell if she needs anything. Emotional support. My sister has said she will step in and try and call her one day, just to make sure she knows that she can call her or my mum any time and my neighbour, NY Cop and his wife always offer to let her come over. They are fabulous and are almost like surrogate grandparents. The only concern there is that Douchebag also talks to them, so Baby Girl knows to be careful what she tells them.

So anyway, yesterday evening I arrived home with a witches hat as I planned to dress up a little to give out the candy (I really just wanted to wear my leather skirt...) and she actually thought it was for her. Kudos to her for not sulking when I gently reminded her that she would not be partaking in the festivities this year. Now, I could have been really mean and made her stay in her room, but I allowed her to come out on the porch and hand out candy and when a couple of the neighbours snuck her some, I pretended not to see. I only stepped in when she got brazen and tried to take it right in front of me.

So she still hasn't washed any dishes in a while, but maybe I can start to switch up the chores and share it with her brothers so that she's not doing the dishes everyday... Now that I have successfully enforced more than just losing TV privileges (which she still doesn't have back), maybe the kids will begin to take me seriously. They know that I am having a really tough time, and I hate that I had to tell them how bad things were, but I was making it tough on myself by pasting on a smile and pretending I'm ok. Ms Olivia Pope has reminded me that she's there for me, which I really appreciate. I've tried to be a friend to everyone else and forgotten that I need help too. The next couple of months will really try my strength, but I have people in my corner... I'll get through it.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tough Times. Need to Vent

Sadly it's another two blog day, and this one isn't as amusing as the last one.

I hate being weak.

I'm not weak, I know this, but there are times when I honestly feel like I'm not going to make it. I took on a lot of baggage after leaving my husband. I had to find a way to pay bills, keep a large house functioning, go to work and raise three very demanding and very different children. Not to mention filing bankruptcy, dealing with the DA and the stalking trial, and keeping up with my divorce attorney's requests for paperwork. It all gets on top of me. It's little wonder that I occasionally have to retreat, gather strength so I can carry on. I have dropped the ball several times. Sometimes I've dropped more than one. But I've tried not to show it. Tried not to be a burden on others. And with the holiday season right around the corner, it's only going to get worse. I have so many things I need to do at the moment and very little time or energy to do them.

This weekend, I'm hoping to make a little money from the yard sale, being very careful not to sell anything that might be considered 'joint assets'. And then there's my 2011 taxes that need filing and paperwork for the bank to modify my mortgage all needs to be pulled together, sent in and filed (since I know they will lose it and request it AGAIN). My home office is a wreck. It's the one room in the house I can't face at the moment, but I know I need to get in there. Maybe with a large bottle of wine.

The boys need Halloween costumes and after our Come to Jesus discussion last night they have agreed to try and salvage last years costumes to save me some money. Baby Girl is grounded and will not be trick or treating this year after being a total brat on my birthday...

And then there's dating. I'm flattered that I can quite literally have my pick of bed partners... but I can't understand why it's so difficult to find someone who wants a grown up relationship. Yes, there's Firefighter and he's great, but he's not long-term. At least that's what he says. We'll see after his company "Fall Festival" this Saturday when he takes me shooting, lol!! But of all the guys that I can count on for a booty call, anytime, any day, none want to put in any effort towards actual dating. You know, like dinner and the movies. Those that do, pretty much expect the booty afterwards. With Firefighter, I have exactly what I want. We talk, have dinner, go places, and, my personal favourite - lounge around in front of the TV for hours on end. The sex is amazing and there is no drama. What could be better, right? I'm even ok with him having his place, me having mine, the only complaint is the distance between them, but since that's his only complaint, I think we're doing ok.

So I'm working through some stuff. That I should have been working through all along, but other things popped up and I put myself on a back-burner.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


I have suffered from this painful affliction my entire life. And yes, I consider it to be painful!! I cannot look at on TV or in magazines, be in the same vicinity as, or even talk about the 8-legged freaks without breaking out in a sweat, spontaneous itching ALL OVER and nausea.... If the situation is such that it's high likely I might have to touch it, or something it was touching, I get panic attacks, severe anxiety and have had full-on meltdowns. It's embarrassing.

Curly used to find it amusing to smoosh them on my bedroom wall and leave them... knowing I would not be able to sleep. However, as we've gotten older, even though she still laughs at me, she will kill and remove the offending creature.

So yesterday I had a very trying day. I had very little sleep having woken up at 1:30am, but I still hit the gym, ran to the grocery store and headed home to cook dinner. I was sweaty, tired and the boys were full of random conversation that was making my head hurt... about a mile from the house, I spot a spider. On my windscreen. On the INSIDE of the windscreen.... So I grab my phone and call Baby Girl - imagine my surprise when she actually answered! In a somewhat shaky voice I ask her to meet me in the garage with 'something' to kill the damn thing. She protested.... when I arrive, she has the kitchen cleaner in her hand. 


So the back of the car was a mess, I had groceries to get out of the trunk, and was a wreck having driven a full mile with a spider right in front of me! I tell the boys to clean out the back seat. Lil One starts crying because 'it's not his mess', Bad Boy is teasing baby Girl who is angry about having to kill the spider.... My evening is going to Hell. So I yank everyone in the kitchen and have a come to Jesus meeting with them. It's tough trying to explain to children why money is tight and mum gets upset at being constantly asked for money for 'stuff'. I hate to be stingy, but trying to raise three children, pay a mortgage and keep up with bills is NOT easy! 

Cooking soothes me, but I had lost my appetite, so I clean up while they eat, then go upstairs to chill, get in a  little Ab Challenge workout and take a shower.

This morning, I actually slept pretty good. I got up at 5:30, woke the kids with little fuss and manage to get out the door in time to make the bus. Little did I know we would NOT be making the bus.... Halfway there, my little stowaway DROPS DOWN from the visor, right in front of my face. There's a Sheriff's car behind me, so somehow I manage to throw on my indicator and pull over to the side of the road... And YELL at the boys to KILL IT!! Of course, it retreated to it's hiding space, so after a few minutes, I decide to just drive them to school. No. Another couple miles down the road, there he is again. This time we spend 10 minutes trying to get it. Side of the road, blinkers on, how many people do you think stopped to help? Yeah, none....

So we found a Saks bag in the trunk and used that to try and chase it out of the slot between the roof and the windscreen. Eventually, I hop back in and pray all the way to school that it doesn't reappear. It didn't. Until I pulled out of the carpool lane. No problem. Walmart is around the corner. So I go straight to the tire and lube section thinking insect\bug killer will be near there somewhere and I ask the guy for help. He very kindly offers to come out to the car and kill it for me, but I say no, I can spray it, as I didn't want to pull him away from the counter.... so I now have spider and scorpion killer (yes, overkill, no I don't care). I roll the windows down.... and BLITZ the entire area!! If he ain't dead now... He's some kind of mutant! I roll on to the office, and one of the guys has offered to check the car for me before I leave. Firefighter laughed at me.... there will be retribution for that!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Back on it!

Ok. No excuses! I over-indulged this weekend. I'm 30 lbs away from my goal weight, 6" away from goal waist, it's time to get serious again. I was up at 4:30am back on my Zumba abs workout. Had a sensible meal day, oatmeal, V8 fusion, green tea, and a large sandwich, then got in 30 minutes of solid cardio at the gym. Didn't get my heart rate up where it needs to be, but I'm coming off a two month hiatus and my knees and back protested. I kept it moving when I got home by kicking off the 30 ab challenge after I'd fed the kids.

Luckily, I know my body. I've already plateaued so I know I have to really kick it up a notch to knock off another 10 lbs. The final 20 will definitely be a challenge that I'll need help with. I know my weakness and I tend to favour workouts which gets me in a rut. I'm missing a few workout videos that I use to switch it up, but I also need to be held accountable so I've reached out to some friends who workout as hard as I know I can and hopefully by Thanksgiving I'll be clearing out my wardrobe again. Much as I can't really afford it!!

The added distraction will help eat up time and keep me from pestering Firefighter. I'm doing good. Little stressed over money and court hearings, but I'm trying to hold it together. I apologized to the kids for the mini meltdown today and we're all doing good again. Minus the teen. Baby Girl is still driving me a little nuts. Think we could both do with a break from each other.  :-\

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Very Happy Birthday

I've been so tired lately that all I really wanted was to be surrounded by special people this year. And that's exactly what I got. Alright, so a couple of people were missing but they're back home in the UK.

And every now and then I get insecure about my relationship with Firefighter, but then he says or does something to make it all ok again. Well, mostly ok. I'm still confused, but I'm taking it a day at a time. I'm mostly reassured by him being able to talk about plans a month or two down the line and his family beginning to include me, but he occasionally surprises me with other stuff, like the upcoming Fall Festival his company is throwing that he's invited me to. I know parties aren't his thing, but he sat patiently through my neighbour's Halloween party dressed as Chucky until just after midnight so they could wish me happy birthday. He was asleep before I got out the shower after the party though, lol! And he surprised me with flowers since I was being a pain about gifts for my birthday, and he's taking me to dinner at some point... When I'm free.

So for thanksgiving this year, I have so much to be grateful for. I have wonderful friends, mostly fabulous children (Baby Girl is currently the Bain of my life), and this terrific guy. God has definitely been good to me!!

Speaking of Thanksgiving.... I better start working on that one!

Friday, October 25, 2013

DNA doesn't lie

Second post for the day. This actually happened a while ago, but it came up again earlier this week and it's niggling at me.

I had to let My Past know that my ex was trying to get DNA tests done on our sons because the dates of my visit to Atlanta with My Past in 2005, made it possible that he may have been the father of my youngest son. However, it is abundantly clear that he is not as my youngest looks like a mini version of his oldest brother.. (which irks me, but he's MUCH cuter than his sibling). So my ex, Douchebag, has had at least 7 attempts at getting the boys DNA. My 9 year old Bad Boy informed me of this because it's not a pleasant experience.

Anyway, my assumption is that either Douchebag is a complete numpty and thinks that DNA tests are like pregnancy tests and can produce false results, or he's just inept and kept doing it wrong. Whichever option you go for, they're both right. He's not the smartest of people... Months ago, I informed My Past that he was off the hook, but he didn't let it go. Not immediately. He asked a lot of questions and got quite angry with me. So I couldn't decide whether he was angry that I had been so careless (although it takes two to tango and he didn't seem to care about protection at the time), or that I hadn't said anything sooner about the possibility he might have another child. He then asked for a pic of Lil One. He asked about dates. He asked what did I think. So I leaned towards a different possibility... that he WANTED Lil One to be his. I ended the ongoing discussion with "Sorry, I shouldn't have said anything at all." My concern had been that he would get slapped with a suit from my ex without me being warned in-between since Douchebag has contacted him before with legal threats. The big kicker was when he asked me if I would tell him if Lil One was his. And I said I didn't know. I doubted that I would. That's when he stopped communicating with me for a few months.

Fast-forward about 8 months to earlier this week and out of the blue, he asked me again, had there been any more tests. What were the results. Why would he be testing them if he didn't think... blah, blah, blah. Funnily I had asked him last week if he and his wife were planning on having kids, but he said no and when I asked why, he responded (somewhat angrily) "Not everyone wants kids". So there you go. Since I know he's always wanted kids and a family, and she's career military, I wonder if there's trouble in paradise. He has asked me in recent years if I would have more. Last year in Tucson it wasn't top of his list to ask if I had taken precautions either.

The subject of whether Lil One is his has touched a nerve with him. I feel for him, I really do. He wasn't thrilled and still hates my mum over our own 'loss' 16 years ago. I don't think he will ever forgive her for the events that happened at her instigation. She definitely forced her will on both of us and it's been hard for me to forget, but I hadn't realised how much it had affected him. I haven't heard from him again this week. I will though. He's never missed a birthday.

Birthday Shenanigans

I sucked it up and ordered a cake. My kids would have been so disappointed if there was no cake.

Tonight I have dinner with Ms Olivia Pope. I'm kinda looking forward to it, although it's weird to not have anything bigger planned. Last night I accidentally stood up a former colleague who had offered to take me for drinks and pool. I don't mind admitting that my liver is still not impressed with my behaviour Tuesday night, but I have drank much more and not come off as bad, so Olivia and I believe that I was probably already dehydrated. So I plan to hydrate well for the next 3 days!! I will make it up to him next week... lol.

And Lil One has been diligently working on my birthday gift for weeks now! I can't wait to be allowed to see it, but I know I will ball like a baby when I see it. He has been writing and drawing in his little composition book and won't let me near it! Mi madre is also making a handmade gift for my birthday.... Little nervous about that one because it's jewelry and I'm fussy about my baubles...

The rest of the weekend's plans include:

Lunch and a movie at Firefighter's tomorrow, before make-up at Dior and then Halloween party at my neighbour's, chilled Sunday at home with Firefighter watching the football before picking up the boys and heading to my favourite Steak restaurant for dinner and then Monday I'm home with the boys! Yay! No early bus run :-)

So I'm out of my funk and now quite looking forward to my birthday. I struggled for a couple of weeks, but it's starting to get easier to get past what would be Stephanie's birthday. She'd be 16 this year...

Anyway. I'm determined to have a good weekend. It all starts when I leave work at 3pm :-)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Happy, happy, happy

Went to Firefighter's to take him leftovers, the movie I'd ordered him from Amazon and his Halloween costume and ended up having one of those evenings that makes me realise I'm making a lot of fuss over nothing.

We ate dinner, shared tales about our days at work, laughed at my hangover (I did manage one glass of wine) and watched duck dynasty before, ahem, "laying down" for a bit. I hate to sound like a giggly schoolgirl, but the "laying down" is amazing.... it's starting to feel like we've both moved on to the realization that it's no longer just sex and that there's something a little more.

So I stayed and napped for a few hours and left at midnight when he got up for a potty break. I know it annoys him when I'm tired and I leave to go home, but I can't leave my kids overnight so I promise to text when I get home. He doesn't usually respond, but tonight he did :-) A year ago it was a different story, sleepovers were not part of the deal, but things change and now we both enjoy them. Instead of laying on our separate sides of the bed, I sling a leg over him and stay close. We're comfortable.

I have done a lot of introspection and observations of behavior and come to the decision that men today are just as insecure as women and now even go so far as to wait for us to control the path of the relationship. As long as we don't have the "what are we" conversation. They don't want to make decisions and call the shots so we have to find a non-aggressive way to drive the direction we want to go in and spend less time fretting about whether they like and want to be with us. If we do it right, we end up with what we want. Doing it right means less talking more doing. Want to have dinner? Ask, causally. Want to go to the movies? Tell them, but make it incidental and drop a hint that if they don't want to, that's fine, you'll dial up a friend instead. Make them a priority but don't revolve around them. Let them know they're important to you, but that you can function without them. Men are geared to be controlled by reverse psychology but also enjoy the chase so if you're too available they quickly lose interest. Yes, it's a pain, but it seems to work. I'm in a position where I don't require a man for anything more than companionship. I value my independence and don't think I want to live with anyone right now, but I can happily continue this relationship with Firefighter because it's drama free. Yes, I'm still confused, but I'm sure it will work itself out eventually.

Lil too much vino me thinks....

Had a lovely surprise on the way home last night when Will called me and asked if I wanted to shoot some pool and have a few drinks in honour of my upcoming birthday....

This morning I'm not loving him so much....

Awesome time, poor Thurman still hasn't figured out how to beat me at pool. Although I tried to throw a couple games last night, he still managed to fluff each one and still lose! Will won one game, but lost the other two, so I'm kinda proud of my 4 out of 5 wins. They were full of the usual banter, so I had a good night, but a good night does not equal a good morning!! I'm guessing I should have left that last glass of wine....

Should make for an interesting day....

Gonna try and make it to lunch at Hooters with the guys. Hair of the dog may be in order. And in true "What-the-Hell-were-you-thinking" fashion I wore a dress today.... Should make the birthday shenanigans challenging!


Just had a phone call from my Gran. Love her to pieces, and for once I was very glad she could conversate by herself because there was no way I was going to be able to contribute! Even on my best days she can outdo me! I've just sat here for 10 minutes thinking her maths was off... She sent $300 and told me to spend $60 on each of the kids and myself for Christmas and $60 on myself for my birthday. My slightly hungover calculations told me she was off by $60... And then I actually added it up and no, she's quite right. So almost 80 year old trumps hungover almost 35 year old... Shocking!! I also made the monumental mistake of telling her that the phone call was free when she said she should get off the phone since it must be costing a fortune, but I pay $5 a month for my family to have a local number to call me... so she carried on talking. I'm not even more exhausted than I was.... Word to the wise, when your chatty grandmother starts talking about her MONTH LONG cruise, you probably shouldn't give her free reign to keep talking....

Turning the Tables

I had the most AMAZING night last night. All by myself! Yes, you can make whatever innuendos about that that you want ;-) I don't care!

A couple of weeks ago, I finally got around to finishing painting my oasis. There are a few more touches I want to make to complete the renovation, but it's pretty much the spa-like retreat that I needed. And for the last couple of weekends I have been perfectly happy holed up in there. BY MYSELF. This has had a negative effect on Firefighter, which is where last night amused me...

The kids are on punishment. So I took away their TV privileges. Baby Girl had plenty of homework to do, the boys went outside for a lil bit, and I took my kindle and a glass of wine to the couch in my room. I didn't even turn my TV on. I tried to kick back, but Olivia Pope was texting me, as was Firefighter and 6'5" (I have no idea what else to call him.... he's so freaking tall!). I did manage to read a couple of chapters before throwing some pizzas in the oven for dinner. After dinner I put on a load of laundry, switched on to ESPN (Monday Night Football...) and then took a shower to wash my hair. Around 8:15, I asked if Firefighter was  in bed. Here's how it went:

Me: Tucked up in bed already?
FF: Yep, watching a movie. It's pitiful isn't is?
Me: Lol. Why? It's what you do. If that's what you like, who cares?
FF: Lol Idk, just funny I guess

And then I changed the subject, but I was laughing pretty hard. After all, Firefighter has been tucked up in bed alone by 8:30pm every night for the entire 14 months I've known him. He's not a night owl. Very much a morning person, and enjoys being alone, but he also usually hints around what he wants to say so it probably annoyed him that I didn't get into it with him about being in bed so early. The irony was not lost on me that I have been enjoying my peaceful haven for a couple of weeks now when used I hate being alone. Sunday he had to ask if he could see my room because I didn't even offer! It was a quick whirlwind tour, opened the door, said "there you go" and then herded him back downstairs (well, the football was on after all).

The hardest adjustment I've had to make since my separation and divorce is not having someone to talk to at the end of the day. Yes, I have 3 children at home, but honestly, none of them wants to hear about my day full of meetings with numpties who shouldn't be allowed out near a computer. It's been nice having my sister put up with my late night phone calls just to let me have a conversation and talk about what's going on with me. I keep saying it, but honestly, she's been fabulous. Even My Past frequently tells me to call him at work and lets me chatter away. It's a shame that he left it too late to try to have a 'normal' relationship with me. He's genuinely trying to be a friend and I appreciate that. It's easy for him to listen since he doesn't like to talk about himself much, but he is a good sounding board. Except when I talk about the other men in my life, then the green-eyed monster comes out and he's not so objective.... I am cautiously looking forward to him being in NC and being able to have the occasional catch up. Just have to remember to keep to public places where I won't make bad decisions, but we're getting better at keeping our feelings in check.

So at the end of the day, while I miss having a regular bed-mate, I'm coming to terms with sleeping alone every night. I miss spooning, it's true. I miss pillow talk and Sunday mornings, but I have now gravitated to sleeping in the middle of my bed...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Tarheel Football!!

Went to my first UNC Tarheel football game last night. They're not known for being one of the great college football teams, but considering they were playing Miami, the game was better than I thought!

So at the beginning of the college football season, Firefighter and I had planned on going to a game with Miss H and the guy she's dating, but crazy schedules on my part and Firefighter not really enjoying the double-dating experience, we never got around to buying tickets. I ended up having to run a training session in Winston Salem, so I wasn't entirely sure I would have been up for it, but around 2pm, as I was eating lunch at a micro-brewery with a co-worker, I got a text from Firefighter saying he had two tickets, would I be able to go? Uhhhh.... yeah! So the rest of the afternoon was a rush. The co-worker is also a Tarheel, so when I told him we had tickets, he hurried up lunch, we skipped stopping at the Outlets, just so he could get me back to Raleigh by 4pm. Then it was rush to pick the boys up, get them home, cook dinner, shower and change and be at Firefighter's by between 6-6:15. Shockingly I made it! We even made it to the stadium on time, but had issues finding our damn seats. That stadium is like the freaking labyrinth!

Anyway, we were sitting behind some very annoying drunk students, who amused us for a while, but then started to get on our nerves. An usher spotted us and moved us to front row seats so we could enjoy the last quarter of the game without the annoyance. We were sitting one level up from Miss H, but after the long day at work, the walk to the stadium, trying to find our seats, we decided not to join them (Hell, I was having trouble keeping my damn eyes open!). Apologies for that. We're old...

The walk back to the car was not fun, and then we sat in the car, in the parking deck, not moving, for about an hour!! Not even sure what was going on, but it was a complete standstill. So I went to sleep just as we started moving... and got maybe a 20 minute cat-nap :-( As we pulled up at his place, he asked if I was OK to drive. I wasn't, but I knew I had to get home to the brats, so I promised to text when I got home, which I did. 40 minutes later at 1:40am.... My alarm goes off at 4:30am... I thought I hit snooze.... I didn't. So Bad Boy comes in and wakes me up at 6:55am.... Baby Girl is supposed to catch the bus at 7:15 and the boys are supposed to be in school 30 minutes away by 7:45....I dropped Baby Girl off before the bell, but the boys were a whopping 40 minutes late.... and I'm now trying to wake up with caffeine, I've already moved one morning meeting and after thinking I could sneak out and leave at lunch... I discover some asshat has filled my FRIDAY afternoon with meetings... who does that??

So it's now 9:25am, I could quite easily put my head down and sleep for a very long time, but given that it's Friday and the kids and I plan nothing more strenuous than pizza and a movie this evening, if I can just get through the next 6.5 hours, I should be ok.... Looking forward to pumpkin picking with Miss H and the kids tomorrow though.... AFTER a very good nights sleep in my 'new' bedroom oasis :-)

So I have to say a massive thank you to Firefighter's brother for the tickets (which were free! Bonus!) and Firefighter for choosing me to be his plus one at the game. I'll be a complete waste of space all day, but it was well worth it.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mrs Nash, Where are you?

I have this friend. We'll call her Mrs Nash. I miss her TERRIBLY. Our busy schedules don't allow us to catch up very often, but if ever I had a friend that I could just talk to for hours, it's her. She is VERY high maintenance, but the one thing we have always done well is allow the other to talk. Somehow she just knows when I need it to be about me and for the last month or so, that's exactly what I've needed. With my birthday right around the corner and this being a difficult month for me, she is on my mind a lot. I have way too many issues that I'm trying to deal with and I'm feeling like I need a rock. I don't break down often, I'm holding it together emotionally, but there are so many things I have pent up, I could probably talk her ear off for a few hours and still not get it all out.

I am definitely going to have to make some time for her in the next week. Somehow, I need to learn to stop being other people's rock and find my own. It's all well and good to start talking my problems out, but when the person listening tries to make it about them, I tend to drop my end and let them have the floor. This isn't helping me.

My sister Curly has been supremely patient with me, but when I need someone to sit with a bottle or 3 of wine to let me whine, she's 3000 miles away and that doesn't help me. And Curly likes to laugh at me. Granted, it is funny that I am not like most chicks when it comes to guys and dating...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Back to work

So I had a quiet weekend. Got my hair did, took Firefighter to Fleming's for dinner Saturday (well I had just had my hair did, I had to go somewhere), and then had a lazy Sunday, full of church and football. An added perk of working in a bank is getting ALL the Federal holidays, so Monday I intended to use my Columbus Day wisely and get through my Honey-Do list (yes, I'm aware I have no Honey, but that doesn't mean I don't have things to do...).

So I took a friend birthday breakfast after dropping the boys off at school, and then headed home thinking I'd get started... Uhhhh, no, not so much. I had woken up at 2am, so I went home and climbed into bed, became very anti-social and took a nap. For twenty minutes. SMH.

Around 11am, I bounced up, changed into some old workout clothes and bust open that can of paint that has been collecting dust for a good 4 or 5 months. I only had one wall to finish painting, but it was the one behind my extremely heavy bed.... This time common sense set in and I removed the mattress before trying to move the bed. Shocking really that it only took me an hour and a half to paint that wall and the one in the bathroom... I was interrupted by a few IM's, and then had to pick Baby Girl up from school with a headache, but I finally got it finished around 2pm. I must say, it looks amazing. Funny how that one wall pulled the rest of it together. I went for a slightly feminine, vintage-modern look.... No frills, but it is shades of lilac and purple with a hint of green and grey. I LOVE it!

After picking the boys up from school and running to the store, I came straight back home, poured a glass of wine and curled up on my couch. I didn't even text Firefighter for the ENTIRE evening. I know that had to leave him confused, but it was just that serene.... Tonight's plans involve a book and wine and I may just become a recluse again.... for a little bit. Just a couple of things to do in the bathroom and my spa-oasis-retreat will be complete. I need a plumber...

The Honey-Do list still has quite a bit left to do on it, but I'll work on it for the rest of the week...

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My Past...

Yes, today is a two post day. I wasn't going to, but to be honest, I'm a little weirded out.

I had thought that I had managed to 'lose' My Past. I purposely sent an inappropriate text at a time when I knew he would be at home, in bed with his wife. It was, oh, around 7am on a Saturday morning....
Well, we have a mutual friend, who I have stayed in touch with and periodically, he will pop up occasionally and ask me how I'm doing and then casually drop My Past's name into the conversation. When this happens, I know I will be hearing from My Past in the next couple of days. I've become so accustomed to it, that it no longer fazes me, so when Roach (the friend, don't ask about the nickname) sent me a message Monday, I knew it would only be a matter of time. Monday, I got bold and asked Roach if My Past had ever had any conversations about me with him and he claims no, but he tends to ask just the right question to let me know that he knows more than he lets on. So Monday's conversation got pretty frank, and I let him know that My Past had dropped the ball on our relationship. He agreed, and seems to think that I will never fully be rid of My Past.

After today, I'm inclined to agree. Which frightens me.

Today My Past texted and asked if I was in a better mood. I hate that he knows me that well. That was at 11:47am. He then proceeded to text me all day. Not the usual "Send me a pic", type of text, but the kind that, had he been in a relationship with me, would have been totally expected. We talked. And during the course of the conversation, he started talking about when we met, what had attracted him to me. He remembers every detail of our first night. I am ashamed to say, that I am mostly hazy... I remembered stuff as he was saying it, but had he not brought it up, I wouldn't. He remembered what I wore, what we talked about, what song we danced to. It was shocking to know that this man, who I have been, let's be honest, having an affair with for 18 years, has kept all of this locked away.

Roach had commented that My Past never talks about himself much. And that used to drive me insane, but then I realised, while talking to Roach, that I actually know more about My Past than the people who lived with him. Roach hadn't even known he had a daughter and was surprised when I told him I had met her. Years ago. I know the whole story. So, anyway. I'm going home now. I'm supposed to call him from the car... maybe I'll forget... it happens...

I was not allowed to forget to call. He texted me all the way to my car... smh

Green-Eyed Monsters

So recently, my sister enjoyed a moment of hilarity at my expense while I tried to explain the very odd relationship issues I've been having with Firefighter. The hilarity comes from me not behaving as 99.999% of females do, but instead being more like men. I'm very cut and dried when it comes to, well, pretty much everything. I hate ambiguity and would rather just get it out in the open.

That being said, Firefighter has said that while he hasn't been intimate with anyone else since meeting me, that doesn't mean that he wouldn't. Well, ok, that's fine. As long as he realises that that sword cuts both ways....

Friday he went to a female friends new apartment. Aside from asking him if they had a good time, I just left him to it and didn't ask any questions. He, on the other hand, texted me frequently that night and let me know when he was leaving and when he got home to bed. It was around that time that I let slip that I was going out for the night with a group of girlfriends... he was not pleased, but tried not to make a big deal of it.

So anyway. I have been trying to finish painting my bedroom for a several months now, and I have a male friend, we'll call him Fred, who has offered to help me with painting before. I hadn't heard from him in a while, but he got in touch recently and said he wanted to catch up, so I asked if he wanted to help paint. Unfortunately, it just happens that his work schedule is too fluid for us to nail down a good time for him to come over, so we've been going back and forth for a few days about it, but yesterday I mentioned to Firefighter that 'a friend' was going to help and that 'he' may come on Monday when I'm off work.

(A bit of background, when Firefighter and I have talked about painting previously, he has said how much he dislikes it, which is why I didn't ask for his help.)

And guess what.

Firefighter offers to paint it on Sunday. So just for fun, I told him it was ok, since I know he doesn't enjoy painting, that I would wait and see if Fred was still able to help. This morning, Firefighter is now insisting that it's just one wall, it won't take long, he'll do it Sunday.

So from this odd set of circumstances, is it me, or does it appear that Firefighter is not comfortable with another man, alone with me, in my house, in my bedroom, ostensibly painting the walls...? Until the point in the conversation where I let slip that it was a he, Firefighter had only said that it was a good idea to get someone else to do it since I have an injured neck. The small piece of me that is just a little bit girly is secretly flattered by his jealousy. While the largely non-girly part of me is rolling my eyes.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Annoying twitch

That pesky little annoying twitch that you sometimes get over your eye... or under your eye.. has been driving me CRAZY off and on for the last 48 hours....!

Someone once told me, it's caused by extreme fatigue, which would make sense since my insomnia is back. It's really very odd being beyond exhausted and yet still only sleeping an average of 4 hours a night... Anyway, maybe a weekend without the boys will help.

Lil One is in full-blown Christmas\Birthday mode.  He currently has two pages of Lego items and books that he would like for gifts... And Onyx is getting big. That's about all I have to talk about. I'm stuck in the Wilson office today, which I hate as there is ZERO cell reception! I am incredibly BORED. And poor Firefighter is getting annoyed lol.

OK, so if I close my eyes, the twitching stops... How long before someone notices I'm asleep though?

Monday, October 7, 2013

No Title to this Post

Kind of an apt title... It speaks volumes about where I'm at.

I hardly saw Firefighter this weekend. For the first time in a couple months. Since the infamous 'breakup' that ended up not really being a breakup.

Friday I went out with the ladies, but couldn't really get into it because I had to drive. And then Saturday, I could get no one to go with me to the 5K, so I blew it off... and Saturday evening was spent at home with a large bottle of Bacardi and three noisy, rambunctious boys... I was in bed knocked out by 11pm. He did text me while he was with his friends, which always boggles my mind. Why say you want to be casual and have space, but then text me while you are hanging out with others? I was constantly updated as to what they were doing and talking about. Very bizarre.

Sunday, I got up to go to church and then headed to his place to hang out for a bit before dinner at his sister's place for his niece's birthday. Oddly, on the ride over there, I had this thought in the back of my mind that it would be fried fish... guess what... it was fried fish. Firefighter was going to tell his sister that I don't eat seafood, but I told him not to worry about it and put just enough on my plate to not be considered rude.

And they're all Cowboys fans... so we watched the game, while I tried to fix his nephew's laptop which was having performance issues. Firefighter kept telling me that I didn't need to, but I felt self-conscious around his family and it helped distract me, so I did it anyway. During the blessing of the meal, his brother-in-law and sister put me on the spot again and insisted on introducing me and getting me to speak - my accent... smh. And then as we were leaving said they hope to see me again soon. This left me confused as Firefighter has said that his sister knows that he can't have kids and doesn't intend on getting married and I know he hasn't brought a 'girl' home in a while, if at all, to hang out with his family. Anyway, we left shortly before the start of the 4th quarter of the Cowboys game and went back to his place. I had already put my stuff in my car and intended on leaving, but he seemed to think I was coming inside for a bit, so I sat and watched the last of the game before leaving so I could get home in time for the Niners 8:30 kickoff.

I was (and still am) in a funk. This weird mixed relationship is getting difficult to read. Once a week, I remind myself to back off by re-reading his email. But then he begins to wonder what is wrong. Today, I have not heard from him. Last night I was a little abrupt with him on text. I like him. I want to stick at it because I like the way it is, but I'm afraid that I'm going to mess it up. I have to keep it casual to keep my feelings out of it, but the more casual I get, the more not-casual he gets.... I want to say something, but I don't know what it is that I want to say.

I'm not good at this being a girl stuff. Which amuses my sister...

Friday, October 4, 2013

Nothing's Going to Ruin My Weekend....

Not even pesky neck strain.

It's been a miserable week. Being sick or hurt brings home the difficulties of being a single parent. Rain or shine, I still have to cook, clean, feed, etc etc, three very hungry, busy children. I'm exhausted.

So Firefighter is otherwise occupied this weekend. And since I find that I have a free weekend. Well, at least until church on Sunday. I'm going to enjoy some much needed girl time! Miss H and I are rolling out late tonight. I've laid off the pain meds, but sadly don't have a DD and so will have a sober night anyway. First night out since July and a drink or five would have been nice.

I have successfully black-mailed the children into cleaning up, and am lounging on the sofa watching Revenge on Netflix, milking the "ouch, it hurts" as much as I can... at some point I will order pizza and then take a nap.

Tomorrow, I will attempt my first 5k in 4 months. With no training... But since I have meds at the house, I'm sure I'll survive :-) Surviving running into DJ, that's a-whole-nother matter. I will have to behave, but I will have the kids to run some interference.

Ugh, and then there's My Past. I thought I had got rid of him, but he's a persistent bastard. First he gets a mutual friend to check in on me, then he gets brazen enough to send a text to see what I'm up to. It's all good while he's 2000 miles away, but March gets closer everyday. My will-power is not that great when it comes to him.

But hey, it's the weekend. A great time to be single :-)

Let the birthmonth celebrations begin....!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Feeling a little giggly and loved up this morning.

Firefighter spent most of yesterday asleep after having spent the night in the ER with his mum (who then around 2:30am decided she felt fine), but around 6pm woke up and checked to see if I was ready for my girls night out. I wasn't. I'd had a long day at work and wasn't really in the mood, so we'd canceled. And it was a Tuesday... so there would be no drinking anyway. So after his usual hinting around being hungry and going to the store once he decided what he wanted to eat, I offered to bring him some spaghetti. He's been hinting at it for a while now since he knows we have it every Tuesday... smh. I was tired, but figured I would make the 30 minute drive, eat, catch up for a bit and then be home by 9:30pm...

Not so lucky. One glass of wine and he had recorded the Book of Manning on ESPN so we started to watch. (Pretty damn awesome, recommended viewing for football fans!) Around 9pm, about halfway through the show, I was dozing so I got up to leave. His response: "You just got here". Yes, two hours ago... and he was planning on going hunting at 4am. This argument got shot down with "You might as well finish the show". So I sat back down. Or more accurately, laid back down, since I was sprawled across his lap. I was THAT tired! The show finished about half an hour later and I'm holding back tears. It was very moving and I have a lot of respect for the Manning family. I always have, but hearing it in their own words, well, that was just something else.

So then he suggests that I take a nap for a bit before I leave. Now normally "Let's go lay down" is code for let's have sex, but not last night. Last night it literally meant take a nap. I put up the same argument as before, but he shot it down again and set an alarm for me to wake up after a couple hours. At midnight I get up to leave and promise to text when I get home, which I did and bless his heart if he didn't wait up to make sure I got there in one piece.

Then as I'm leaving the house with the boys this morning around 6:35am I get a text: "Good morning. Don fell into the swamp..." and a beautiful pic of the sun rising over the same swamp. Poetically beautiful.

So he's not good with words. And doesn't show affection in the traditional sense. There are no hearts and flowers, but having had the last 13 months to get to know him, I'm getting used to it. It's his way. I'm much happier FEELING loved and appreciated than having the false alternative that I had for 11 years with my ex.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

No interpretation needed

Ok, so here's the update to my last post.

With a little Dutch courage I was able to find an appropriate time to fling out the statement that if the distance was becoming a problem, he needs to let me know. So after he gave me a playful nudge he said he just wishes we were closer, so I told him he should move next time his lease is up for renewal... I got a "mmhmm" with a smile in response. And then I let it drop.

The other fun topic was the pic his nephew posted of himself in skinny jeans. Something we both intensely dislike. Apparently I have to be the one to tell his nephew next time I see him that they're not cute... smh. And ladies, if you're curvy OR stick-thin, you shouldn't wear them either. The only body type that suits them is long-legged, Tom-boy figured girls. Like Baby Girl...

So anyway, his lease isn't up until May 2014. A lot of things can change between now and then...

Friday, September 27, 2013

Lost in Translation

So 8 or 9 months ago, as I was getting up to leave Firefighter's to drive home one night, he made a statement that at the time, I took as a joke. "You live too far away". My answer was that since I own my home, he would need to be the one to move closer... And then I forgot about it as we seemed to settle into a pattern of me staying over on the Friday's that I took the boys to their dad, and Baby Girl would crash at a neighbours'.

And then strangely, it came up again Thursday night.

I was supposed to go to the Alehouse to watch the Niners game, but by the time 8pm rolled around, I was half asleep on the couch. I had told him earlier in the evening that sometimes it's no fun to watch the games alone. There was no hidden agenda to get him to come over to watch, it was just a simple statement that I prefer to watch some games with friends, but it prompted him to say that it was too bad we don't live closer together. Well, I wasn't going to go down that track again.

But now I wonder if I should have addressed it instead of changing the subject. Firefighter doesn't always come out with what he really wants to say, 99% of the time just hints around it. Especially the 'relationship' stuff. Like the steaks in his freezer that he made a point of telling me about last night. He's waiting for me to offer to cook them for him again, like last time (he doesn't cook). Sometimes I amuse myself, by being purposefully obtuse and making him spell it out... but there is only two ways that a conversation about the distance between our homes could go...

1. The distance is too far to maintain this 'friendship' for much longer
2. One of us has to move, and I own my home... but he would be moving further from his work.

I could drive myself nuts with various other scenarios, but I'm not going to. I think we're both a little surprised by where we've ended up, but we're willing to go with the flow.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Small Boost of Confidence

Sometimes I question who the Hell let me be a mum... and then I have days like yesterday and I get a little extra confidence boost that all three of my children will reach adulthood and possibly even be moderately successful human beings....

Baby Girl went out for Pep Band this year, and last night was the first home game of the season. So I not only had to drop her at school at 7:15am, I had to get her back to the stadium by 6pm for the game... I left work at 4:15pm, scooped up her brothers, got them home by 5pm, dinner on the table by 5:20 and everyone in the car and out the door by 5:50pm.... I was sort of impressed, even if dinner consisted of Ramen noodles, lol. It was actually their choice. Mac n Cheese with chicken nuggets would have been just as easily accomplished.

We were home just after 8:15pm, got the boys homework done, forms signed, report cards reviewed and I was still in bed by 9pm. Exhausted, but still got to catch the season 9 opener of Criminal Minds!!


Today's goal: Stay awake through the Niners-Rams game. Since I'm hoping to go to the Alehouse to watch it, this shouldn't be too much of a challenge. I hope. Could otherwise be embarrassing if I fall asleep at the bar :-s

Side Note: While sitting with Lil One helping with his homework, I made reference to Shemar Moore waiting for me in my bedroom... at which point Onyx let out a cute little meow... perfectly timed, with just the right amount of emphasis... Yep, she's a keeper ;-)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pesky cat....

Funny story. I keep forgetting I now have a fourth to consider when making plans....

I hadn't made much effort lately to think ahead to the weekend, but since I am childless all weekend, yesterday I asked Firefighter if he wanted me to come over Friday or Saturday. He answered yes, so I facetiously asked which and let him know that I had to take Baby Girl to my girlfriends house for a full weekend sleepover and that I was going to stay and have a bit of a catch up with her. So he said to come over after and then I would already be there for Saturday....

This morning I remembered Onyx.... and that I have an appointment at Dior Saturday afternoon... and need to go to the nail salon before that. <sigh>

So I figured, run to the nail salon, then the mall, back to my place, check on Onyx, then back to Firefighter in time to make the 6:45 movie... His response made much more sense. His place Friday night, my place Saturday night, which is closer to our church anyway...

Today is Onyx's first day all by herself since Baby Girl had to go to school for pep band so we'll see if she manages to poop in the litter box.... I'm sure she can manage Friday night by herself.... I hope...


So I forgot to provide an update! There were no 'surprises' left by Onyx when we all returned home although she had clearly missed us :-)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Feeling positive

So I've been feeling a little off lately... I've been itching to get out more, but everyone seems to be busy or simply forgets that I exist...

I've been wanting to see a few movies, maybe have a few drinks, but got no response when I invited others out. I guess that's a negative effect of having spent all my weekends with Firefighter, but still, I sometimes feel like I only get invited out when it's someone's birthday or special occasion. Rarely is it just because.

But then the "Director of First Impressions" at my last company (yes, she named herself that as the receptionist and I think it's awesome, so she shall be known as the Director), sent me a few messages wanting to have Baby Girl over for a sleepover with her teen daughter. For a whole weekend! She asked if it would be ok... ummmm... Hell Yeah!! So I asked if this upcoming weekend was too soon, since the boys will be with their dad, and I would bring a bottle of wine so we can have a catch up. We chatted on the phone for a bit, but now I have some company to look forward to! She is doing amazingly well. She had been going through a struggle with her daughter's father to get the visitation that had been ordered by the court and I had provided her with the necessary forms, information and motivation to get it done! And she goes to court Thursday to get it enforced!! I couldn't be happier for her, so hopefully Friday will be celebratory as well!!

Ok, I over-did the !'s but I am just that happy for her.

I'm also back in court this week, but we've had to file for a continuance, so it's just a formality... Hopefully. And then next week, I am a witness for the prosecution in Douchebag's stalking trial. I'm a little nervous, but also glad to finally get it over with. I'm apprehensive about the outcome. I sincerely hope, with all the domestic-related murders in recent years, that they take this seriously. Is he at risk of pulling a gun on me, or dismembering my body and tossing it in a 'gator infested creek in Texas? Probably not, but he is a danger to my sanity and is disrupting the harmony I should be entitled to live in. My decision to divorce him does not give him the right to harass me unchecked for as long and however he pleases....

Monday, September 23, 2013

Ready to move on?

So this weekend, I thought I would try something new... Firefighter stayed over Saturday night, so Sunday morning, I decided to cook and serve breakfast 'en famille' with him sitting at the other end of the table. I just wanted to see how everyone would react. We've had dinner at the table with George, but usually the boys are with their dad or we eat in front of the TV with the kids at the table, but it's always been dinner, not breakfast, so it's never really been a 'thing'. Anyway, the kids mostly took it in stride. Bad Boy seemed a little shy to be the first to sit at the table with Firefighter since Lil One and Baby Girl were helping me in the kitchen, but ultimately, it felt 'OK'.

Then I kicked the kids outside for the day. It was glorious and there was no reason for them to be cooped up inside. I would have loved to have been outside, but the football was on... I even ignored two phone calls from my mother because of the game. And I'm still disgusted with her to be honest.

Anyway, Sunday was spent in sort of domesticated bliss... and yet I wasn't really happy. Don't get me wrong. He is lovely and would make an awesome partner, but that's the problem. He is obviously happy with me, and he is smitten with Onyx, is getting along with the kids, we spend a lot of time on my side of the fence.... but there is no getting in on his side. So I spoke with a girlfriend about it over the weekend. I'm just not in the frame of mind to put any more effort in. I've unconsciously backed off over the last couple of months, since he sent his email clarifying what he wants, only now, I find that he seems just as conflicted as I am.

I started out last year not wanting a relationship. I wanted someone to hang out with occasionally and have lots of amazing sex... then there was the incident last November which prompted me to let him know I don't play those kinds of games and he seemed to change track a lil bit. Now he seems content with the part-time relationship we have. I say part-time because during the week we are single, but on the weekends we are, if possible, spending EVEN more time together. But it's always at one or the other of our homes. I am loathe to initiate any outings, mostly because I feel like we spend all our time with my friends, and none with his. Despite having said in July that he wants to be able to spend time with his friends, he still blows them off to sit in front of the TV with me. If I make plans that do not include him, he seems to get upset, but why should I include him in my life, if he won't include me in his?

So on Sunday, while chillaxin' on the couch, I could tell he was confused about why I didn't 'snuggle' with him. I usually drop not so subtle hints about him sitting next to me so I can lay on him. This weekend, I held myself apart. He soon contrived ways to rest an arm on me or scooch closer somehow. More than once I caught him looking at me. I'm sure he was completely lost as to the change, but frankly, I'm a little perturbed. I mean, choose a status, dammit. The upcoming weekend, my boys are with their dad and I know his assumption will be that I will stay at his place, but there's a part of me that says I need to not do that. I think after a year we have three options:

1. Stop having sex and just be friends;
2. Stop being friends and just have sex;
3. Call a spade a spade and outwardly declare that we are in a relationship.

Option 4 is to continue as we are, but with birthdays and holidays around the corner, there are defining points to each of the above that dictate how we treat each, for example:

Option 1: It's acceptable to give a card, go out for a meal or drinks, buy an inexpensive, impersonal gift;
Option 2: Give him a birthday fuck and keep it moving;
Option 3: Buy him something special (he's turning 40) and expect to plan and attend family celebrations...

Option 4... Same as last year, wait for him to decide if\when he wants to include me in his birthday plans.

I'm frankly not bothered about my birthday this year. I put in too much time and money last year to only have one friend actually show up... This year I am strongly debating selfishly buying a ticket to the Niners game in DC and going alone....

The subject of Christmas has come up and he asked if he was included on my gift list and let me know that he doesn't HAVE to work every Christmas, but I have not made any plans yet, and probably won't until mid-November anyway.

I won't bring it up to him again. I guess it's the attentiveness that I miss. I care pretty deeply for him. I would like to think he has a degree of caring for me too, and I sometimes wonder if it's a self-defense mechanism that he is withholding any signs of feelings from me, but I also wonder if he realises the damage that that is causing to what could be a decent relationship. I keep trying to give him more time, but I also hate the unknown Sarah who caused him to be this way...