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.