Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Go down to the bottom of my page and cut the sound on my music player and then turn up the volume to listen to the video. Sorry for the inconvenience. This looks like a "video," but it is actually just a song. There is no video footage.

Bathwater is so honest about the trials and tribulations in his relationships. The ones that aren't working. The ones he can't get past. The dates he goes on that end in *whatever.* The point is that he's sharing and hoping and wishing and trying. I have lots of reasons for not dating right now, chief among them being that I have horrible migraines, so I don't have a whole lot to bring to the "table."

That said, four years ago, my migraines were really bad, too, and I reconnected with someone who used to be a customer (but, at that time, wasn't). I was a year out of my divorce. It started off with a lot of email and it kicked off again, in person, with a lunch. This isn't going to be exactly right in terms of anything. My memory is terrible. That lunch lasted three hours. I wanted it to last the rest of my life. He was wearing a long sleeve navy blue shirt that zipped at the neck. To this day, I can't look at shirts that zip at the neck without losing my breath for just a second. If they are navy blue, make that a couple of seconds. I wish I could tell you what we talked about, but it was mostly catch up on the last few years. It was more about a feeling. When I broke up with my first boyfriend in 1995 (yeah, you read that year right), something died inside of me. I dated and I even got married, but something died. And it woke up that day. That day was December 27, 2005. I was alive again. So, I don't remember what was said.

What I do remember was that my ex-husband wanted me to babysit his kids that afternoon, so that he could go run some errand. So, after I floated out of that restaurant, I drove over to his apartment and he was PISSED. We hadn't set a specific time, but apparently it was too late for whatever he had to do, and when he gleaned that I was late because I was on a DATE he went through the roof. I really should have known that was the beginning of the end. This relationship just went from possibilities to pissabilities; I just didn't know it yet. However, it all started right then.

First real date New Years Eve:
Location clubhouse of a friend, party with friends from Divorce Recovery Group
Profile Picture: taken by him from that night
First kiss at midnight (promising, but we would later turn this into an art form)

Me: Do you want to dance?

Him: I have never danced before.

Me: Seriously? Well, then we have to dance now.

Him: But I won't know what to do.

Me: It's easy. And, besides, how many virgin experiences do you get? (we danced)

My house is a disaster. This is from too many migraines. This actually precedes the date. My mom is there helping me straighten things up. He comes over to help. I can't describe the nightmare. But he was awesome about the whole thing. I really expected him to run screaming out the front door. Instead he used my Rainbow to clean my ceiling fans and any other task mom assigned. He accidentally broke my thermostat doing something. We went to Home Depot.

Me: I will buy the thermostat.

Him: No, I broke it. I will buy the thermostat.

Me; But you were helping me, so I buy the thermostat.

Him: I am not letting you buy the thermostat. Which one do you want?

Me: I don't know anything about thermostats.

Him: And this is why you aren't buying the thermostat. (He picks out the thermostat and heads for the counter. I follow.)

Me: I can still pay for it even if I don't know which one to choose.

Him: I already have the thermostat. Possession and all that. (He buys the thermostat. He installs the thermostat. He teaches me how to use the thermostat. I sit and try not to drool as he puts it in. It was really hard paying attention to the directions on operating the thermostat.)
He spends nearly every day at my house after first date. Several things become apparent quickly. 1) My house is a disaster (still) and needs stuff to be boxed and taken away. Some to storage and some to goodwill and some to trash. 2) My ex calls daily about the kids. He is not a planner and always needs something. Sometimes it is for me to drop what I am doing and ferry them somewhere or pick them up at school. Or he needs advice about something. It is always something. 3) Because of my migraines I am not working regularly so my income is not good. At the time, it seemed like a good idea to do laundry for my ex in exchange for him to pay my water bill. The initial deal was to wash the clothes for the kids. It turned into washing all of their clothes. Laundry became a full-time occupation. 4) Right Guy can see this whole situation with a clarity that I cannot.
He comes over and walks into my house and hears the washer and dryer going. I am sitting on the couch. He walks over to the laundry room, stands there and looks at it, and shakes his head. He walks over to me.

Him: How long are you going to keep doing this?

Me: What?

Him: Everyone's laundry.

Me: He pays my water bill.

Him: You should have a drop off window.

Me: It isn't that bad.

Him: It is exactly that bad.

Me: Really?

Him: Can't you see it?

Me: (thinking hard) So, you are saying that I should tell him that I shouldn't do the laundry anymore?

Him: Among other things.

Me: What other things?

Him: He calls you every day, sometimes two or three times. I have yet to be here that he hasn't called at least once. It is like you are still married to the guy.

Me: I am NOT married to that man.

Him: Are you sure?

Me: Very sure.

Him: Well, he seems to be unclear about it.

Me: So, what am I doing wrong here?

Him: Stop taking his calls all the time.

Me: (doubtful) I don't think that will go over very well.

Him: So, you are worried about his feelings?

Me: It isn't so much that. I just know the guy. He has this hammer/nail mentality.

Him: And?

Me: Well, he will just keep calling.

Him: So, take that one call and tell him that you won't be taking future calls.

Me: His problem is that he isn't a good planner in terms of the kids.

Him: Force him to be a good planner. And if he isn't, force him to find someone other than you to pick up his slack.

Me: (he's right) So, you're saying to tell him to call me on the weekend and give me the schedule and then not call me the rest of the week except for an emergency. And that means a real emergency. Say a kid is sick or going to the hospital... something like that.

Him: Yeah. Anything else he can send to you in email.

Me: You're pretty smart.

Him: No. I've just dealt with manipulative people before and you are too nice.

Him: How is it that you didn't get married a long time ago and don't have a bunch of kids of your own?

Me: I don't know. I always wanted kids of my own. It just never happened. I thought it would. It didn't.

Him: Yeah.

Me: You know how you meet a handful of people in your life and there is just this instant connection. The first time that happened for me was in the seventh grade. It was with my best friend. It didn't happen again until college, and then it happened three times. It hasn't happened again until now. I call it "the click." You can't explain it. It just feels like you've known someone your whole life.

Him: I guess I know what you mean. When I first met you back when I was working at the golf course, you were about the only person I could talk to about what was going on with me. That was strange. You were this random salesperson and I didn't even know you and I was telling you all of my personal stuff. And you sat there and listened to it.

Me: I remember.

Him: That was a bad time for me.

Me: I know.

Him: I really liked you.

Me: Yeah.

Him: I kinda had a crush on you.

Me: Oh. (I should have said that I really liked you, too, but I didn't. Because then I would have to follow it up with my policy about not dating customers and then it would have been followed up with I had a boyfriend at the time. And then it would have been followed up with, I would have scratched the policy, ditched the boyfriend, and gone against my better judgement and thrown caution to the wind, and it probably would have ended in disaster. So, I think blogged later about how silly crushes were ~ totally forgetting about this statement because everyone on myspace was quizzing about crushes ~ and said that I had a crush on Ranger from the Stephanie Plum Series. I am an idiot. I totally hurt his feelings and I wasn't truthful, to boot. I swear I was on board the Titanic and didn't know it. In fact, I was the dumbass steering the boat.)
One of the first times he is over at my house. I made dinner and drank too much beer. Of course, that doesn't mean a whole lot. Five beers and I am puking. Four beers is my absolute limit. Two would be better. Music is playing. We are in the living room.

Me: You want to dance?

Him: Sure. (he is now a pro)

Me: (singing along because I am definitely tipsy ~ the song is Kendall Payne's Scratch) I'd like to know if you'd be open to starting over from scratch...

Him: (looking me dead in the eye) Yes

(I think of that moment now and all I can think of is Rascal Flatt's song "What Hurts The Most")
Right Guy has personal crisis of his own and drops off radar for a while. We are talking on myspace and then weird stuff starts happening on myspace. My comments that I leave for him start getting deleted. That hurts my feelings. I stop calling him on the phone. He stops calling me. We stop talking. I am in my email account when I actually see my messages being deleted by someone other than me. In other words, someone else is in my email at the same time I am. The kicker is that I can see just before it gets deleted that Right Guy had sent me a message on myspace that I never got. "Someone" was in myspace as me deleting my messages and generally screwing with my account.

NEWSFLASH: I was the biggest dumbass ever. Migraines screw with you. They make you forget stuff. I knew that my ex-husband had access to that email account because I had set him up a year ago. I had read an email from someone that I knew he didn't want me to see. It was in the middle of our divorce. He was threatening me and it was ugly. I had a feeling he was in my email then, so I marked it "unread" just to see if it would disappear and it did. I tried everything to get him out of my account. I changed my password repeatedly, but I couldn't shake him. However, it was the only email account I had at the time, and I didn't think he cared anymore about my life and what I was doing. I certainly didn't think he cared enough to sabotage my relationship. He was in a serious dating relationship of his own at that time.

When I saw that message get deleted, it all made sense. My comments being deleted and Right Guy's emails being deleted. We were not speaking to each other out of hurt feelings that were created because of my ex. To this day, my ex denies doing any of these things. I don't fight about it with him anymore. I know what I know.

I delete my ex from my myspace because of this mess. My phone rings and it is Right Guy.

Him: I can't believe it. You deleted him.

Me: Yes. He had hacked my email and myspace. (I explain entire situation)

Him: @#*&@#

Me: I know. I feel the same way. (My cell starts ringing. It is the ex.)

Him: I hear your cell. It's him, isn't it?

Me: Yes.

Him: I bet he calls back.

Me. I know. (He does.)

Him: I am so proud of you.

Me: On the one hand, so am I. On the other hand, I feel really stupid.

Him: I hear your phone again.

Me: It's him again.

Him: This is going to go on all night.

Me: I know.

Him: He is crazy.

Me: Clearly.

Him: Well, you've made your stand.

Me: It feels good. (Phone rings again. I check it. Not the ex, but his girlfriend.) Hold on. This time it is his girlfriend.

Her: He is on his way to your house.

Me: You have got to be kidding me.

Her: I tried to talk him out of it.

Me: Call him and tell him that I am on my other line and he should go home. He is not the center of my universe.

Her: I don't think he will listen to me, but I will try.

Me: He is on the way to my house.

Him: @%^#$%% What are you going to do?

Me: I asked his girlfriend to call him and tell him to turn around. In the meantime, I am turning off my lights and not answering my door.

Him: Do you think that will work?

Me: Not really.

Him: I really hate this guy.

Me: He is not at the top of my list right now, either. Crap, he has just pulled up outside of my house. (Doorbell rings repeatedly. Dogs barking like crazy. Banging on door.)

Ex: I know you're in there. Come out and talk to me.

Me: He can forget that (into phone). (I call girlfriend on cell.)

Me: He's here. Please call him and tell him that if he doesn't leave I will call the police. I don't want to do it, but I will.

Her: Okay.

I hear his cell ring.

Me: Well, she called him. Hopefully she will talk some sense into that hard head. (They have long conversation by the road. He gets into his vehicle and leaves.) He just pulled away.

Him: Thank God. I am turning around.

Me: Where are you?

Him: On the interstate. I am halfway to your house. Although I realize I am wearing nothing but my underwear. And I have a bat. It is a really good thing that he left.

I breathe big sigh of relief. Like the idea of seeing Right Guy in his underwear. However, the picture of Right Guy beating the crap out of my ex with a bat is not appealing at all. I can understand how my ex drives a person to that sort of extreme, but still.... big sigh of relief.
When the floor fell in on my finances, meaning I had to sell my house, it was a blow. Honestly, there were only three things holding me to Augusta: 1) my job, 2) the kids, and 3) Right Guy. That was it. And because of my ex #2 and #3 were in conflict with one another. It didn't have to be that way. My ex was forcing it to be that way. I wasn't strong enough, or didn't have enough clarity yet, to step back and call him on his bluff. That would be to say, "Take the kids and you do the explaining." When you are locked into a dance for so long, it is hard to break free. I was used to him pulling my strings. It took years of being away from that to see it. Now, that I am back, he doesn't pull my strings anymore. We dance to my tune now. However, I lost #1 and #3 and my relationship with the kids is irrevocably altered.
Before I sold my house and moved to Florida.

Him: Why don't you move in with me?

Me: (want that more than anything) Have you thought about this or did it just come to you on a whim?

Him: Well, I just thought of it.

Me: I can't. (His last relationship was a disaster because he tried to rescue someone who needed a place to live. He hated her. I wouldn't become her.)

Him: Oh.

Me: We can work something out. (I had a plan. I was going to keep my job and work one week of the month in Augusta. I wanted that week to be spent with him. It would give us a chance to see how things went. That plan never came to fruition.)
Some of our best conversations were on the phone.

Me: If I had to move to Florida, would you miss me? (I say this because it is a possibility. My finances are terrible, but I hope it won't happen.)

Him: I would miss you like I would miss the sun.
You are thinking... another video? Egads. This has already been so long. I have so many blogs to read and SERIOUSLY? Well, this one encapsulates everything I feel. It is one episode of Grey's Anatomy that runs start finish pretty well what happened in the episode. I think it was really well done. Best of all, it captured the FEELING of how I feel about this experience and how it has affected my life. It was called IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT. Oh yeah, it got the feeling.

The only thing I would have done differently is kept the sound on Meredith's voice when Hannah pulled her hand out of that guy's chest (and off of the bomb, which was stabilizing it and keeping it from detonating) and Meredith stuck her hand in. You saw her saying *something* over and over, but you can't hear it in this video. She's saying, "What did I do? What did I do? What did I do? What did I do?" I have been saying that for four years. Only it hasn't been out loud. But I know the panic. I put my finger on the trigger. What did I do? What did I do? What did I do?

I am right there with Meredith on the end. I have spent years trying to remember that last kiss, and I can't for the life of me. If you know something is going to end, you prepare better. You note each thing as it happens, and mark it as the last word, the last dance, the last dinner, the last touch, so that nothing is missed. I don't remember the last time I even saw him, much less kissed him, because I didn't know it would be the last time. And he isn't talking.


  1. Oh, Robin. This makes my heart hurt for you. No wonder you have migraines.

    Make this a screenplay, or a short story. It is compelling dialogue.

  2. I really can't Sharon. I can barely blog about it. Give me another six years. Ten years seems to be my bounce back point.

  3. I'm not even going to bother with the videos. I think your writing is stronger without them. The videos are a crutch for you. You DO NOT NEED them. Be proud of yourself. This is great writing.

  4. well, whether or not your writing is strong or not...have you considered finding mr. right/
    just a question. who knows. Maybe he is in the same bind.
    just a thought and hugs to you.

  5. What a loser! Your ex seems like a bastard! Do what Sharon says and write about this!

    Do you know that Agatha Christie's first husband was a louse who manipulated and abused her and that is kind of how she began her writing career?

    Yeap, everyone who dies on the orient express or some other exotic location is her ex! Would you believe! I suggest that you use the same way to kill yours!

  6. This post makes me angry and sad. Angry at your ex, who is probably reading this blog anyways, because he has so clearly manipulated you and forced your hand. He still does, I said you call the shots now but I remember you wrote a blog not too long ago about him and he yanked visitation rights away from you - HIS kids, not yours. That you are helping to raise.

    This post makes me sad because you are so worth having love and happiness in your life. What happened to Right Guy? Did he just disappear after you moved?

  7. Robin! I think we have both been in the Twilight Zone! My heart sank to the floor when I got to the end.

    Have you ever heard the song Cannonball by Brandi Carlile? Trust me, it sums it all up!

    I will never forget the one that made me feel like I was born when I met him.

    I am sending you a big hug!

    p.s. My mom suffers from migraines as well. It is a very debilitating thing.

  8. Actually, I am 99% certain that my ex does not know about this blog site. He knows about my FB site, so I am careful about what I publish there, particularly since I created my fanpage, which is open to anyone. I actually exercised some caution in who I told about this site. I told some friends, some family, but no one who had ties to my ex.

    I was angry at my ex for a really long time, Tracy. And he was at fault for a lot of what went wrong with my relationship. He deliberately sabotaged my relationship and he was successful. However, it wasn't all his fault. If I had been a stronger person and been able to see the situation for what it was, it all would have gone down differently. It took me years to get perspective on it. And Right Guy never shared his reasons for bailing on the relationship, but I know what they were. He didn't want to do long distance. And he didn't want to be in a relationship with someone who didn't have a clear picture of anything. In other words, it was very stressful to him. He had some really major sh*t happening that he didn't ask for (it was just super bad timing) and it was too much. Sometimes, you can only handle so much crap at once. Once my ex really started "bringing it," I stopped being a good place and our relationship was just more stress in an already overstressed life.

    And then I made other choices after I moved to FL after he bailed. He went off the grid. Wouldn't take my calls, read my email, etc. In hindsight, I wish I'd waited it out. It might have taken a year, but I wish I'd waited it out. I didn't. I was bleeding out. And I met some guy and he was nice. I thought he was nice. I was wrong. He was just a more polished version of my ex. He fooled me for a long time. I never loved him but he kept applying the bandages. I thought it was better. I was wrong. Sometimes you just have to feel it. No bandages. Right Guy knew I moved on. He saw it on myspace. I didn't really move on. I just kept on going. But it looked like I moved on.

    After I broke up with Loser Guy, Right and I emailed again briefly. Right Guy emailed me actually. He said he missed me. I almost fainted. That was two years ago. I called him and got voicemail. I have spent a lot of time talking to voicemail. He called me back. I was doing lights for a community theatre gig. I forgot my cell phone at home. My stepdad answered it. He never answers my phone. It was Right Guy. He sent me a message asking who answered my phone. I told him. I never heard from him again. I know he didn't believe me. I know he thought it was Loser Guy.

    He doesn't read my email anymore. He doesn't answer my calls. You can miss someone until the end of time, but if you don't trust them, what good does it do you? He doesn't trust me. I am the girl who couldn't say "no" to her ex-husband, who couldn't stand up for herself, and steered our relationship (aka The Titanic) into a big ole iceberg. That is pretty amazing considering we live in the South.

    As for what you said about my ex -- he will always try to pull my strings. It's in his nature. The fact that I can sit back and say that "This might be the time to call his bluff," shows growth. That wouldn't have been an option before. I don't run around town ferrying them where they need to be. In fact, I rarely see them. I am choosing to distance myself because I know that he will always use them as pawns. I couldn't have done that before. I am doing the healthy thing FOR ME. I never chose the healthy thing for me before. It was always about what was best for someone else.

    I look at how long this comment is and think ~egads ~ I wish I had spell check. But I don't think I can blog about this again. Once has been traumatic.

  9. You know what Tinkerbell still reads my blog I'm not sure if that makes me angry or not. I don't know if she sits back and laughs or what. I tell the honesty of my dates though it doesn't make me look very bright. I'm beginning to think I shouldn't.


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