Sunday, October 27, 2013

My First Post-Divorce Breakup, Part 2: He Gave Me Flowers

In My First Post-Divorce Breakup, Part 1, I told you about the brownies that made me sure I had to break things off with Jason.

As promised, here is Part 2 of the story on my first breakup since my divorce.

The weekend of my half marathon, I made up my mind. I just had to end things with Jason. He was WAY too attached plus I knew I would never be able to date him for realsies. Fun as he is to hang out with and as super fun as he is in the sack, we didn’t connect in our interests or goals. And, again, I just am not keen on a relationship right now.

Planning the breakup

My first plan: Sunday night, I would see him and just do it. It’s not ideal but he can come over to my place in the evening.

The plan buster: I was still exhausted from my race and he had to work late (plus he was in a weird mood), so we didn’t end up seeing each other.

My second plan: Monday night, I would go to apartment after his work and tell him.

You can't get these THEN
dump the guy!
The plan buster: He showed up in the lobby of my office building with this huge smile and a vase with a lovely bouquet of flowers (exactly my taste). He was like, “I missed you this weekend, baby. I just had to get you these!” It made me feel like total crap that he felt so great about a sweet gesture that I did not want.

(There’s a cruel irony that I’d always hoped that Max would send me flowers and he never did. Then I finally get flowers and I don’t want them!)

Obviously I could not dump Jason that day.

My third plan: Wednesday night, I would go to his apartment after work and tell him. (Yes, this is the same as the second plan. I’m not that experienced at this stuff.) I texted him, “Can I see you tonight” and he responded, “Aww babe it’s the little stuff you say that makes me love you so much!” [He would later comment how stupid this exchange made him feel in hindsight.]

I was in trouble.

I drove over to his apartment. Throughout the 20 minute drive, I repeated, “Do not wimp out.”

Kat’s Breakup Background: Before Max and I got together on my 25th birthday in 2005, I only kind of dated two guys before that. Prior to Max, my last “boyfriend” by title was the guy I lost my virginity to in 1998. I actually have remarkably little relationship – and therefore breakup – experience. And I had never broken it off with a guy when he was still smitten.

Outside Jason’s apartment, we sat on the driveway. He was smoking a bowl (and no, I wasn’t – need to think straight in this moment), which he followed up with a Marlboro Menthol. Cigarettes are the 647th reason why Jason would never be my boyfriend.

(P.S. Who the hell smokes menthols?!)

Anyway, he says to me, with that warm smile that melts me, “So, Kat, like, where are we?”

Damn, I guess I gotta do this right now?! I hung my head and said, “I’m sorry, but I’m just not where you are."

He starts chattering about how it’s okay, I’m worth waiting for, and when I’m ready we can – get this – “Reveal to the world how perfect we are together.”

Yeah, this was not going to be easy. (And “perfect”? Really?!)

I shook my head. “No, I’m not going to get there. We’re just so… different.”

That’s the moment when the smile faded and the twinkle in his eye for me disappeared. (Seriously, how does he get a twinkle? Impressive.)

“Oh. I see. Well. Fuck, dude, I didn’t see this coming,” Jason responded.

The next 3-5 minutes are a blur. I start crying a little, babbling that I was sorry. He goes inside. I follow. I try to hug him goodbye. Jason sort of allows it then coldly says, “You need to leave.”

So I did.

The Barrage of Texts Begin

I don't wear ugly shoes like these.
By the next morning (Thursday) he’d defriended me on Facebook. (Can I say again... really?) Then starting at about 9:30 a.m. the barrage of texts began. Jason was heartbroken and confused, and I kept responding to his pathetic, sad texts. He wanted to know if it’s because he didn’t have a career like mine or because he didn’t have a master’s degree. He didn’t understand why I’d end it when we were getting along great and he was treating me well. I tearfully kept texting back until I finally had to stop because we were going in circles. (And more than once I asked if we could talk on the phone. Nope! These 20-somethings love their texting.)

Dear readers, you got a shoutout during his emotional breakdown. He texted, "This is going to make a hell of a blog post. Your readers will be intrigued." I hope you are!

Friday he resorted to “I can’t do anything how could you do this to us” type messages. I said “I’m so sorry you’re hurting” then stopped responding.

Saturday, I got one text, “I just hope by the time you realize you made a mistake it won’t be too late.” I didn't respond at all. Too lame and overdramatic for me to bother!

Sunday, the texts took a turn into, “I don’t need the relationship label can’t we just be together I can’t believe I screwed this up with relationship stuff.” I responded to those because they seemed more reasonable. Ultimately, I said that it was normal and healthy to want a relationship and that he should be with a girl who would happily say I Love You back. And my answer was no, I cannot be with him anymore.

He responded “Fine. Dude I don’t understand what’s going on. Bye.”

I thought this was the end...

Then three days ago he texted me:
“Well let me know if you ever miss the sex enough.”

Oh god. He mentioned the Incredible Sex for the first time. My weakness! It was like wafting a plate of nachos under a bride’s nose a week before her wedding.

Find out how I responded in Part 3, which will be the last in this First Breakup series! 

Peacoats & Plaid

Sunday, October 20, 2013

My First Post-Divorce Breakup, Part 1: He Made Me Brownies

Sometimes in relationships you can pinpoint the moment everything changed, the “before and after” moment. With Max, it was when we were in the guest room of our condo and he finally told me that he was not attracted to me. With Jason, I knew I had to end things when he made brownies.

As I have shared, we are so very different, and I mean in every way from upbringing to education to hobbies. I was rolling with it and having fun, but once he said he loved me – and kept saying it – I realized things had taken a turn into something I neither wanted nor was ready for. For one thing, I wasn’t interested in being in a real “you’re my boyfriend” situation. Furthermore, there would be no point to that setup since I knew we had no legit future. And most of all, I would never actually fall in love with him. Of that, I was and still am quite certain. 

I know, I know… you’re like, Kat, what’s your damage about delicious brownies?! I will tell you and risk that you will think I’m nuts (no pun intended).

On with my first post-divorce breakup tale...

He Made Me Brownies, So I Had to Dump Him

Even though I didn’t care for the arrangement, Jason would stay sleeping in my bed in the morning after I would leave for work. (He works late at a restaurant, so it was either seeing each other late or not at all.) One time he slept PAST NOON in MY APARTMENT. This was not OK and I told him so. Like get your ass up at a normal hour, pee, and get out of my apartment. Anyway, this was our setup since the beginning of September when I moved into my apartment. And he was staying here more and more often. While I enjoyed having him in my home, I was also starting to feel a little suffocated and freaked out (that is, when we weren't having Incredible Sex).

So, it was a Thursday and I left Jason sleeping in my bed. Late morning, he texted me saying he got me eggs. I thought this was odd but kind of thoughtful since the night before I’d said I’d run out of eggs to make the dinner I’d been planning. But, he doesn’t have a key to my apartment, so I asked how he did this. He responded that he took the spare key and went out and came back.

Strike One. You took MY spare key, left, and came back?
How about go home?!

Then he says he was making brownies.

Strike Two. What? Brownies? Why?
And with my brownie mix, my canola oil, my tap water
(and fine, his egg).
How about go home?!

Clearly, I was already irritated as I read these texts at work. Then when I came home, I nearly flipped out. Well, not really, but I was ticked!

First, Jason claimed that he did the dishes. To me, that means everything is back in its place, just as he found it. Instead, it meant some crap was on the counter and the dishwasher was full.

Next, I saw evidence that he had used my beloved standmixer, which my sister and brother-in-law just gave me as a housewarming present. (I’d lost the one I’d had in the divorce.) Speaking of evidence, there were small bits of brownie batter all over the place! Funny, but I thought grownups cleaned up stuff like that…

Moving on, I saw that he had eaten about a third of the pan of brownies. Not hot. Then I noticed that my TV’s keyboard and remotes were not put away. It dawned on me: he made the brownie batter, baked them for the requisite 35 minutes, let them cool, then chowed. That’s a long time hanging out in my new apartment, sitting on my new couch, and watching my new TV, and without me!

And the thing that really made smoke come out of my ears was a drinking glass in the sink RIM SIDE DOWN. Max used to do this all the time and it pissed me off to no end because not only did he not put the damn glass in the dishwasher, but now there was a ring in the sink for yours truly to clean up.

But when Max did it, those glasses and that kitchen sink belonged to him too. Nothing in this apartment belonged to Jason. My glass rim rage turned into a realization: Jason is thinking of my TV, my glasses, my kitchen,  MY APARTMENT, as his second home.

Strike Three. This wasn't his apartment. It's mine.
And I had to reclaim it.

I have been divorced for eight months, but I’ve only lived alone for six weeks. I desperately needed my own space. I yearned to come home and know that everything was as I left it. It took so much time (not to mention lost dollars and plenty of tears) to finally move into the apartment I’d dreamed of. As a result, I admit that I’m kind of possessive and territorial about my precious one bedroom apartment (in case you weren't already picking up on that). This might sound a little bratty and crazy… unless you’ve ever had to live with an ex. Those of you who have are probably nodding your heads!

So, I knew I had to break up with Jason.

In Part 2, I’ll share the sad and pathetic details of the breakup and its aftermath. As you can probably guess, he didn’t take it well. In Part 3, I'll share... well, you'll find out!
Super Sunday Sync

Monday, October 14, 2013

I (Almost) Cried at Mile 7 of My Half Marathon

Well, dear readers, I thought I would be telling you about ending things with Jason yesterday. But, I couldn’t get a hold of him yesterday, and then today he showed up at my office with these. Shit. So, yeah, I didn’t break up with him yet. Instead, I’d like to tell you about my first half marathon and I’ll try to go easy on the gym teacher metaphors.

13.1 miles and three beers later,
I'm still standing.
The sky was a brilliant blue against the gently changing colors of autumn that define New England. I was approaching mile 7 just before Elizabeth Park in Hartford, Connecticut. I was running alone (but with 10,000+ other runners). Physically, I felt pretty good – no blisters or chafing, no strained muscles, no dehydration. 

But a lump was forming in my chest. A sob was welling up in my throat.

What? Why the hell did I feel like crying?!

I have wanted to do a half marathon for two years now, ever since Sue and I ran 10K that we trained for together and totally kicked ass on our time. But then I hurt my IT band at a 15K race two months later, and I landed in physical therapy for five months. At the same time, my marriage was disintegrating. Then I filed for divorce and we put our condo on the market. I couldn’t take on the training and add yet another challenge to my life.

But this summer, five months after my divorce was final, it was time. Thanks to no IT band problems, plenty of yoga, and a good therapist, I was ready to add the half marathon challenge to my life. I signed up with Jen (also half marathon rookie) and another girlfriend. Let’s do this!

I followed a Hal Hignon training plan diligently. I did some of my runs alone and some with my friends. I found myself falling in love with these training runs and the cleansing effect on my body and soul.

Halfway into my training, we got the offer on our condo. For all of the insanity in my life during those three weeks, I clung to my training. It was order in the midst of the chaos of packing up my condo, finding a new place to live, and most of all, saying goodbye to Max and the life we shared.

So here I was, race day, and my three months of training had totally paid off. I felt good! So what was up with these almost-tears forming?!

When I ran that 10K with Sue, Max was waiting at the finish line with a huge smile on his face. Today, he probably didn’t even remember that I was doing this race. My life was so very different from when I made this goal. And fuck, I’ve been through a lot! Poor me! 

As if on cue, Fighter came on. [Cliché alert!]

Makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
It makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter

I clawed into those lyrics. I focused on my strength and not the pain (mental or physical). I told myself, I am a bad ass and I can totally do this! I could survive years of rejection from the man I loved, so I totally could survive this! Thank you very much, Christina Aguilera.

My pace picked up from my slowest mile (9:37/mile) to 9:28, then 9:10, then 9:05. Then came mile 12, and again, I had that What The Hell Am I Doing?! moment. I want a beer or a coffee and a recliner! Screw this race crap!

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I put on Irene Cara’s Flashdance for some 1980s inspiration. One of my all time favorite quotes is from this song:

Take your passion and make it happen.

I was passionate and focused enough that I made this goal a reality. I got a fresh burst of energy.

I ran that last mile in 8:44.

I finished the race in exactly two hours, a personal best pace for me! Even though I'd had plenty of support leading up to the race, I loved that I ran 13.1 miles on my own. 

As I enjoyed post-race Shipyard Pumpkinhead beers at a nearby bar with my friends, I thought of Max again. He is an amazing runner and he would be so proud of my accomplishment. I pulled out my phone and texted him a picture of me at the finish line holding my medal. He wrote right back, asking about my time, how I felt, and so on. He was there the day I set this goal for myself two years ago, so it felt right to share the goal realization moment with him.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The I Love You Fail, Incredible Sex, and Our Impending Judgment Day

"Kat, are you my girl?"
My quick breath was slowing. My feet cramped from arching so intensely. My mind was totally blank.

“Kat,” Jason whispered in my ear.

In a euphoric daze, I lifted my head off Jason's chest to encounter an intense look in his green eyes.

“I love you.”

“Huh?” I articulately grunted as I snapped my head up with a start. Way to snap a girl out of her post-orgasm fog.

“I love you.”

Always the graceful one in such moments, I impulsively covered his mouth with my hand and looked away. “Don’t say that. Don’t say that right now. I can’t…”

The next day, Jason would refer to this moment as “the big I Love You Fail.”

Other than my wonderful father and brother, only two guys have told me that they loved me: Max and the boyfriend I lost my virginity to in 1998. Now, here I was, only seeing Jason for about six weeks and he claims he’s in love with me.

Jason has been trying hard for weeks to get me to commit on some level, and I just can’t/won't. In fairness, I made it quite clear from the first very date that I needed things to go slowly and I was NOT looking for a relationship. Meanwhile, he has steadily fallen for me and hasn’t been shy about telling me. 
  • He has asked repeatedly if I’m “his girl.” I say I’m my own girl. 
  • He asked me to come to a family party. I said I wasn’t ready for that. 
  • He asked when he might meet my parents. I said it would take a LONG ASS TIME for any guy to meet my parents. 
  • He asked if I would ever want to get married again. I said I didn’t even want to hear the M word anytime soon. 
So, yeah, can’t accuse me of being unclear with my words.

On the other hand, we spend a lot of time together. Since he works late at the restaurant, we have a lot of sleepovers. He stays asleep in my bed after I go to work. Since I’ve moved into my apartment he’s come over most Sundays for dinner. I told him I’m not dating or sleeping with anyone else. And I will tell you, dear readers, that sometimes I wish I could take the way he makes me feel and wrap myself up in him. A Jason Blanket, if you will.

Here’s the real kicker, given the marriage I just got out of: we have incredible sex and a lot of it. Not surprisingly, we cannot get enough of it! It’s like nothing either of us have ever had. It can be sweet, it can be dirty, it can sensitive, and it can be a little rough. I’m just guessing, but I don’t think this kind of sexual compatibility is easy to come by. It is so good I'm naming it!!

I think the Incredible Sex is the best and worst thing that could happen to us. You see, I don’t picture Jason and me together for the long haul. For me, he’s a sweet, funny guy who makes me feel special and very, very sexy right now. What more do I need than a Mr. Right Now? And I’ll be damned if I’m going to walk away from Incredible Sex if I don’t have to. (Hmmm, am I the worst person ever?)

Jason sees me as wife material, maybe in part because I’m the first woman he’s dated who actually has her life in order and doesn’t have daddy issues or whatever. Honestly I don’t know how he can think that we have a real future when we’re so different, and in ways that I’m certain would eventually drive us apart. I can’t help but wonder if the Incredible Sex is making him believe that his feelings for me are stronger than they really are? I don’t know.

I found out today, one week after the I Love You Fail, that the two month mark is “Judgment Day,” which I assume is when he is going to tell me that either I need to commit to being His Girl or I go back to my vibrator. Sadly, I will probably have to let him dump me. I want to be with him, but I don’t want him to waste his time with me either, given that I know he wants to get married, have kids, and do all that crap that sounds unappealing and suffocating to me right now.

So this leaves me in a weird spot. He tells me he loves me – still! – and I just don’t answer. I want to be with him now even though I see no future for us (but he clearly does).

As Jason says, “Shit happens.”

Have you dated someone who loved you but you didn’t feel the same way? Or, have you been the one with my stronger feelings than the other person? How did you handle the imbalance?
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