Wednesday, November 26, 2014

7 Reasons Why I'm Grateful for My Broken Kneecap

It’s been 43 days since I broke my kneecap.

My knee is bigger than my quad!
43 days since I have shaved or properly bathed my left leg.
43 days since I slept on my side or stomach.
43 days since I wore a skirt or dress or high heels or pants with a zipper.
43 days since I drove a car or carried a bag of groceries or climbed on my kitchen counter to reach a mixing bowl.

Going from being a single and very independent woman to needing help with everything – in the beginning, my mom had to dress me – has been hard on my pride and my self image. I have watched my strong legs turn pale and soft. I miss exercise so much that I have literally dreamed about it and started crying just talking about running with my physical therapist.

But, as I do start to see progress, thanks to time and physical therapy, I have started to gain some clarity.

Not unlike with my divorce, going through something challenging and shitty reminds me of just how many blessings I have.

My broken kneecap has made me pause and be grateful because:

  1. I am close with my parents, both emotionally and geographically. I would have been absolutely lost without my parents. I stayed with them for 24 days when I needed help with, well, EVERYTHING. Thankfully we have a good relationship, my parents are in good health, and they only live an hour away from me.
  2. I have built up a wonderful group of friends where I live. After almost 12 years in the Ford area, I have the kinds of friends who cart me to physical therapy and book club and the local bar; help me change my bed sheets; bring me apple cider and Fireball; take out my recycling; make me dinner; and stop at the grocery store to buy me Silk Light Soymilk.
    Love, love, love my friends!
  3. I have great coworkers. My team made me feel missed and important through my weeks of working from home. They even sent me a thoughtful gift basket with wine (because, duh, I’m me); fruit (because they knew I would want to be super careful about my eating); and a little chocolate (because I freaking deserved it).
  4. I have extended relationships from friendly acquaintance to actual friendship. When I returned to Ford, I found myself with more free time that I expected. Without going to the gym, my evenings are open, giving me time to reach out to several women who were just friendly acquaintances, but I’d always wanted to get to know them more. Those evenings out with them were awesome!
  5. I have excellent health insurance. One trip to the ER, two visits to the orthopedist, three physical therapy appointments, and some prescriptions for painkillers and I’m not up to my ears in bills.
  6. I have not been able to pursue some fun booty calls. OK, this sucked in the moment, but it’s for probably the best. So weird, but several 20-somethings from my past suddenly had me on the brain – including Jason, the Incredible Sex.
    All I had to do was send a picture of my leg brace and away they went. Just as well, I think.
  7. I have a sweet ex mother-in-law. It’s been two years since I told my in-laws that I was divorcing their son. No matter. Since I fell, she has sent me two get well cards, called once, and emails to check in.
    As she wrote to me in an email, “Thank God for parents and friends. Even ex in-laws will help if needed. Don’t ever forget that.”

The Terminator brace.
(And, I can’t put this on the Why I’m Grateful list, but interestingly, since I have been on crutches I have met two cool guys in real life. I think seeing a woman on crutches brings out a man’s desire to be the knight in shining armor. And hey, I do need someone to open the door and help me with my coat and assist me with getting on to a bar stool, so it works out nicely! One guy is moving back to Ford in two weeks, and the other lives in western Pennsylvania. I’m not ready to share details yet, particularly on the Pennsylvania guy, so let’s just see what happen in the coming weeks.)

So, while I cannot wait to get this damn brace off my leg, at least it can remind me that this is just one moment in my life. Permanent damage has not been done. I will heal and bounce back, and I will have the love and support of my family and friends… just like when I got divorced.

What misfortune have you endured that made you more appreciative of your life?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Why Did I Dump A Smart, Cute Guy Who Thought I Was Super?

"Wanna go out, Kat? I'll drive!"
After weeks of texting  and FaceTime chats with Lucas, we finally saw each other again.

Last Sunday and then again on Friday, Lucas came over. (I’m still in a leg brace while my broken kneecap heals, so I can’t really go anywhere.) We ate takeout, we watched 80s movies. He held my hand, he kissed me good night. He said he wanted to see me again – and soon. 

After he left on Friday I just knew. I was sure of it! So, today, I told him:

“I have really enjoyed getting to know you the past few weeks, but I don’t feel that we are quite the right match for dating.”

Bummer, right?!

Why didn’t I feel that Lucas and I were the right match? He seemed to meet the Requirements for Dating Me. He is tall with a great smile, has earned not one but TWO master’s degrees, and thought I was super.

Don’t tell anyone, but I’m a grownup.  After months of dating guys who were too young for me, I want to date a grownup. I mean it.

Once my relationship with Lucas moved from texting and FaceTime to real life, I discovered that he was a 23-year-old trapped in a 33-year-old’s body:
  1. Lucas sleeps like a 23-year-old. He prides himself on sleeping until 11 or 12 on the weekends, then takes a nap around 2. By noon on a weekend, I will have gone running and/or attended a yoga class, cooked and ate breakfast while watching a rerun of Beverly Hills 90210, and folded a load of laundry.
  2. Lucas drinks like a 23-year-old. Lucas described a night out with a friend as awesome because he got “shitfaced.” His social activities seem to revolve around his quest for getting wasted, including Thursday nights.
    If you’ve ever read my blog, you know that I enjoy kissing, exercising, and drinking. I very much enjoy alcohol, but really it’s that I like spending time and talking with others; a glass of wine in hand complements the experience nicely. Sure, sometimes I do get drunk. But I have not gone out specifically seeking “shitfaced” status in about a decade. BECAUSE I’M A GROWNUP.
  3. Lucas dates like an (inconsiderate) 23-year-old. The two times he came over, he was wearing a random t-shirt and jeans. Yes, I was in drawstring pants (thank you, leg brace), but I had on a cute top and makeup! Effort, you guys, I expect a man to put in a little effort if he is going to date me.
    But here’s the kicker. Before he came over on Friday, he asked me if I liked plum wine. I said I wasn’t sure, but I don’t usually like sweet wine. He said I wouldn’t know unless I tried it. Fair enough (but a touch condescending, no?). So what did he do that night? He showed up with ONE bottle of wine – the plum wine – which lo and behold, I hated. His solution was to suggest I open one of my bottles of wine. I had one glass as he proceeded to drink almost the entire bottle of his gross plum wine.
    Oh, and I should also mention that I paid for our takeout and he never said thank you. Rude and tacky.
Last but not least, I did not like the way he kissed.  Oh HELLS no.
I love to kiss way too much to settle for a guy whose kissing style
is inspired by Hannbal Lecter.
Funny how a guy could have seemed like he had such potential over text and FaceTime until real life revealed how incompatible we actually are.

(And no, he did not reply to my "thanks but no thanks" text.)

In the meantime, let’s hope this damn leg brace comes off when I go to the doctor tomorrow! I am so over sweatpants, unshaven legs, and sleeping motionless flat on my back.

Have you ever thought someone could be a good match for dating in the virtual world until the real world wrecked it?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

My Great Date Didn't Require A Bra or Shoes

Two days before I broke my kneecap, I had met Lucas for a non-date [Kat's term for meeting someone from a dating website in person for the first time]. We met for a beer on a Sunday night and chatted and laughed for about two hours. It was fun, but I wasn’t positive if he would ask me out again. Well, he did!

But, yeah, then I went and broke my kneecap. FYI,  a full leg brace and crutches are not conducive to dating. I walk like your grandmother while wearing giant sweatpants and two different shoes. I’m totally the stuff of fantasies.

I thought for sure that Lucas (and my other friends with benefits, such as Aaron) would disappear from my life while I retreated to my parents’ house to recover.

Well, remarkably, Lucas didn’t want to disappear. Over texting, I tried to give him an out so he wouldn’t have to feel guilty about cutting things off with the girl on crutches for weeks. He assured me that, no, he didn’t want an out and he wanted to keep getting to know me. I texted back that I was cool with that... but we couldn’t just text for weeks.

So... I asked him on a date.

I Go On A Date Without Leaving My Couch 

This is a good of example of how I did not look for my
FaceTime date.

The Friday after I was off of Percocet, Lucas and I planned to meet for a drink.

For the first time since my injury, I applied blush to my pale cheeks and brightened up my eyes with some mascara and eye shadow. I piled my unwashed hair on top of my head in an attempt to look deliberately messy and adorable. I wore a zip-up hooded sweatshirt, XL sweatpants, and one slipper and one shoe. (I can’t wear matching shoes until my knee immobilizer comes off.) I didn't bother putting on a bra. I looked down at my ensemble, part amused and part embarrassed. Normally for a second date, I’d be sporting tight jeans and heels and I'd be adorned with jewelry and some liquid eyeliner. I would wash my hair for a second date. I would brush my teeth and I would definitely wear a bra.

This was not the typical date though.

With my glass of Cabernet in hand, I waited for him to appear. Butterflies fluttered in my gut. I checked the time nervously. I was sure that he would arrive soon...

Then my iPad starting chirping.

There was Lucas glowing on my iPad, sitting on his couch with his beer, and me on my parents' couch with my wine (my first drink since I fell). For the next hour, we chatted and flirted, and it was almost as fun as meeting in person.

Of course this date was lacking the thrill of touch and smell of being side by side. There was no growing hope of a kiss good night.  But I liked his voice and his smile and his laugh. Over the course of our FaceTime date, I felt more connected to him.

Since then, we have continued getting to know each other over text and we met for another FaceTime date. He tells me he wishes I were home and ambulatory so I could go out with him. It’s funny, I have only met Lucas in real life once, and yet I feel like we’re sort of kind of almost dating. Maybe without the pressure of a real date (What should I wear? Who will pay? Does he know I just farted a little?), we are having a more genuine opportunity to just get to know each other for who we are. No pretense, no distraction, no risk of getting physical too soon.

All of this said, I’m excited – and curious! – to spend time with him in person. Will the fun and flirtation of texting and FaceTime translate to real life? We will find out in seven days…!

(Meanwhile, MORE guys from my past have reappeared, include Jason, John, and even a 27-year-old who blew me off back in May. What the heck is going on?!)

Find out what happened when we were reunited in real life.

Have you ever had a date over FaceTime or Skype? What did you think of the experience?

Epic Mommy Adventures