Thursday, June 30, 2011

You Want What Lovers Have...

It feels like so many years ago that 'The One' and I were making plans to meet.

A friend of mine from AFF, 'Smurfette', was throwing a birthday party in Rhode Island. I was just understanding that my marriage was over and she invited me to get me of New York for a weekend. It seems that my time on AFF has been filled with girlfriends finding things for me to do to get over a broken heart.

Sidenote: I dare say I am not good at being in love. New blog topic for another day.

When 'Smurfette' asked me to join her and her swinger friends I didn't hesitate. Not because I was a swinger, but because I was going to ask 'The One' if he would fly to New York from Chicago and then drive to Rhode Island with me.

I asked. He didn't hesitate with his yes. And my life was changed forever.

When we met at LaGuardia airport I was still a bit in shock that we were doing this. However, the next three hours flew by while we laughed and told stories as though we had known each other forever. Maybe, in some way, we have. Or had. Whatever.

When we got to our hotel we ordered in and watched ESPN. In another time, on another site, we wrote about this night. Two perspectives but the same outcome. I woke up and could finally say that this was no crush, no joke, nothing but the real thing.

We took our new relationship to a swinger party that weekend and we didn't swing. I danced and drank and he observed and watched over me. A year later I learned what our attendance at that party had done.

You see, I was some random girl from NYC in a red silk strapless dress and silver stilettos and he was a random boy from Chicago in black. But apparently, when we kissed, or danced, or sat together just being, another woman, in another couple, asked her husband why he didn't look at her the way 'The One' looked at me. And their marriage was broken forever.

Years of her swinging, and his allowing it, had brought them to this...a stage of resentment. When the husband told me this during their divorce I didn't know what to say. His answer: We had done nothing but share a moment with a fantastic couple who thought swinging could save their marriage. Instead, two random people showed them that what they really wanted was to just be able to look at someone with passion and love.

Does swinging 'work'? That depends. But I do argue with my friends that it has a shelf-life and that at the end of the day, people want to be loved by someone they consider their partner. Complete love. You know, grow old love. Maybe not everyone. But lots more people than will admit this to themselves or others.

Swimming, Biking and Running Through...

Through what?

It isn't pain. And it isn't grief. Ever wake up and just feel a difference but you aren't sure what it is? It isn't necessarily a bad difference, just something that makes you stop for a minute.

Wait, I should bring you up to speed. You see, last night I had dinner with four friends. Mercedes *recently named in Smarty's blog*, Doc, Smarty and TallPrince, not to be confused with 'The Prince'.

We went to a diner and I thought we had a blast. Actually, Prince said he thought so, too. So did Doc. Mercedes just loved getting together with us, especially 'the girls' because she says we don't do it nearly enough. She's probably right. Smarty wasn't so high on the event. Or, perhaps because I was looking forward to seeing everyone, I didn't really process what she meant when she said it was both 'boring' and that she was done with 'this stuff'. I think she said 'stuff'. She may have said 'shit'.

What 'stuff' I wanted to know...the stuff of bloggers getting together. That's what she meant.

But, wait, aren't we all friends? I know Mercedes (and I really want to call her 'Pouncey' here so I think I will) and I are Smarty's friends. We've spent time at each other's homes; taken trips together; cried, laughed, cursed about life together. Hell, we've had lots of wine together. And Coke. So we are friends.

But what about TallPrince and Doc. Are they are friends? Well, I consider them to be my friends. We talk all the time, we've spent time laughing, trying to dance, eating, cheering on sports teams and now, in the case of TallPrince, listened to me worry about my upcoming triathlons. So, they are my friends. But are they Pouncey’s friends? Smarty’s friends? No, they aren’t. And last night, even though I met each of these guys because of Smarty and Pouncey in one way or another, I was reminded that not everyone is a ‘person’ to everyone else. Sometimes, you never lose your blog persona. You’re just two blog people getting together.

Are bloggers, by definition, too quick to use words like 'friendships' and 'relationships' because we think we know other people because of their words?


I tried to explain to Smarty yesterday that these 'great' stories we may have are dangerous. For those people who haven't been through some of these situations, they sound magical. Sexual freedom, hot mess behavior and the like? Awesome! But there is a downside. Sexual frustration, hurt feelings, STDs, you want me to go on? Right, I don't want to either.

But, hey, when you live a life outside of this stuff, you start to think it's fantastic.

The truth is that while the stories may need to be told, every single one of them needs a word of warning: 'Children, do not try this without supervision.' We are still talking about people at the end of the day. Real people with real problems or successes. And while I can’t verbalize it correctly, the story of ‘celebrity’ bloggers on sex-sites means little to the outside world. But there…Wow. It’s the universe’s center point. Will I write about this shit?

Sure, I'll write about it. I'll write about the feelings I have about poly vs monogamy; lying vs truth, fast vs fiction.

But I'll also write about training for the longest race distance I've ever tried. And how scared I am. But how I am now in love with Diana Nyad and I think she's inspiring me to say 'fuck it, it's possible'. Oh, she asked for quotes for her new blog. Maybe she'd like that one?

As for us, the people who write blogs. Who are we? Depending on where we write we are either noticed or not, popular or not, wanted or not.

But we are also just people.

I might be Bubbles, traveling party super hero looking for love...or I could be Bubbles, 1000 lb wonder dude in my mom's basement.

You can decided for yourself, I guess. Or, you can fill in the blanks.

Hell, that's what a lot of people on AFF did for each other. Why should Blogger be different?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Soul Love...And This Love Won't Let Me Go...

Overheard at a diner yesterday:

"Just follow your heart and ask him. If he says yes, it's meant to be. If not, move on. There are plenty of other men out there."

Wise words from an 8-year old girl.

As adults, how often do we (women) remember how wise we were at 8 or 10 or 12? Not often enough.

We date, and then marry, men about whom we often have had our doubts and then we are confused about why it doesn't work out.

I have spent the last year waiting. Or so I thought. This was no one's fault but my own. I wouldn't let anyone in fully because I was waiting for a sign. A sign of what? Who knows.

"The One" predicted that year apart for us and maybe I believed it on some level. But what have I learned this past year? I learned that I would be okay sending off "The Girl" to college; I took myself to Paris and London and even had a stop-over in Geneva where I almost got lost; I started running again; I traveled to Chicago, Denver, DC, Las Vegas and Boston. I started learning French. I learned to knit. I dropped off of a sex-site, I remembered to write, I became an urban gardener and I re-discovered the joy of me.

"The One" might not recognize me now. I hardly recognize myself when compared to person he met three years ago.

So what is a year? A long time. Feelings change, decisions are made, plans are made and new paths are staked out. Can you love someone not near you? Absolutely. But without realizing it, life went on. And it did a pretty good job, if it does say so itself.

I said that I would undo a lot of last year, but at a diner, a random young girl made me think for a few minutes and the truth is: I own all of last year. And it was pretty amazing.

Image: Massiel Mancebo, Illustrator.

Friday, June 24, 2011

We Only Said Goodbye With Words…

I was thinking about the men who have come into my life over the past year. I don’t think I (or you, dear readers) need a cheat-sheet yet, but maybe one day I’ll write one anyway.

And what have they all taught me?

That love means many things to many people, but that friendship means even more things.

You see, friendship between men and women can be tricky.

And, because I have so many married male friends, friendship with them is even trickier sometimes.

I often joke that there needs to be a book written about the types of things married men look for, and it isn’t always sex. But no one would believe me. So, instead, I will tell you a little story.

I have a friend “The Libra” and we’ve been friends for four years now. I met him before I met “The One” and that was always a sore point for “The One” and I. He always thought Libra and I had been sexually intimate, which has never been true.

What we have been is emotionally intimate, which I can totally see is often just as bad, if not worse. We have listened to each other when family members have died; when our spouses (when I was married) have told us how much they don’t (or didn’t) love us and so on until the end of time of sad things spouses sometimes do.

Libra has had a number of affairs and yes, he did ask me out because he was interested. Then we started spending time telling jokes and watching movies and going to bars and we became friends.

Sometimes, married people want friends.

Libra has done many things for me, including being one of the first people to check on me after my surgery over a year ago. I consider him to be a great friend, but that means I sometimes have to tolerate some things I don’t like. For instance, we were supposed to have drinks yesterday. But, when I didn’t hear from him on Sunday or Monday, I figured he would get busy. Instead, he texted on Wednesday to say he would see me at 5:00 PM that night. That would have been great if I hadn’t already made plans because I thought Thursday was his preference.

We got into a nice discussion about timing and he decided that this was a great time to explain all of the ‘responsibilities’ he has and the ‘hoops’ he has to go through to get a night out.

And while I ‘hear’ what he is saying…I think that I have finally grown weary of the men I know assuming my job or responsibilities are less important than theirs.

Yes, I don’t have small children, but I still have a child. And as far as I can see, I am not aware of anyone who is a doctor, cop of firefighter in my life, therefore most jobs are as important (or not) as mine.

Isn’t it interesting that as we age, we lose sight of certain things. Things like: How to communicate. Libra and I won’t speak for a few days or weeks because he has to be mad at someone and I’m easier to be mad at because I require the least. I get that. But what has developed is that I’m starting to remove everything that doesn’t work from life just to make things simpler.

So…go figure. I just realized why people have affairs in many cases: They treat their spouses like they treat strangers, sometimes. Actually, sometimes it’s worse.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Standing In Line To See The Show Tonight...

The thing about having an affair when you're a parent is that you doubt everything about yourself.

If I could go back in time, I would tell my 'pre-affair' self to run far from the relationship I was in at the time.

I would have told myself to listen to what I knew was the right, which was to focus on A and leave the rest of my life to grow like ivy, on its own.

Oh, fuck it. Who am I kidding?

No, I would not have done that. I would have simply told 'The One' that I loved him sooner than I did instead of waiting for the 'right' time.

And, for all I know, the end result of our breaking apart would still have happened. But the hindsight of knowing that I would have had those extra few weeks of 'love' would have been nice.

I started to look at cost of living indexes for Philadelphia today. I remember doing this for Chicago about two years ago. Could I make it there in a relationship and out of one? It's part of the issue of being in a relationship for me: I need to know that I can take care of myself if it ends.

Sometimes, I wonder if that dooms the relationship at the onset, but I don't know how to be any other way. I think men are given a pass for this because that's just how society works. Women are supposed to still know, on some level, that someone will be taking care of them.

It's the beauty of being independent. And the horror of it, too.

I can't always make a date because I have work or some other committment that comes up last minute, but that could come across as not giving enough.

I go through this with friends, too. I find that some of them are totally understaning. And those are usually the ones with jobs more intense than mine. Or children. Same difference I guess.

I spent last year learning a lot about myself. Some of it I truly did not like. Some of it was wonderful to know.

But all of it was what has brought me to this point...this place of being able to say that there was a point where all I did was smile on the outside and be sad on the inside.

I wouldn't go back and be 'that' Bubbles again because it really doesn't feel like it was all that long ago.

So Come On Give Me The Chance...

To prove I am the one who can
walk that mile.
...Adele, 'One and Only'.

Last night I learned that my boss is going to be leaving in a few months. Just over six, to be exact.

I'm a lot of things over this, but mainly annoyed at how it has been handled. However, he's the first to say that is business.

I knew this was coming because he has been kind enough to prepare me for the possibility of change.


So while I have had time to think about how this affects me (it doesn't affect my job), I have also had time to think about why I'm still in New York. The truth? I have used every 'but' excuse for the past few years:

But A needs to get through school;
But I need to get through the divorce;
But I need to recuperate from surgery;
But A needs me to be close to her campus;
But I like my boss.


A is out of high school
I'm divorced and recovered;
She doesn't need me to be close, in fact, she's already planning to live off campus next year and to be working part-time to establish PA residency.
My boss is leaving.

I've had four bosses in NYC in almost 20 years and loved each one. All four just told me to go. How funny. They were just waiting on me.

But, but, but.

For so long, I just assumed I would be in Chicago after A left for college that I didn't allow myself to think about where I wanted to live. Chicago was it.

Now that I have had a few weeks to think about this again, I realize the list was longer: Stay in NYC or go to DC, Chicago or Philadelphia.

That's where the major non-profit jobs are located. So, it was just decide to narrow down a location, right?

DC is a lot like NYC in terms of costs. So...I could just stay here.

Chicago? Well, I love that city so much. But, maybe it's not meant to be right now. And well, Paris is the 10 year plan and Chicago could very well slow that down.

So that narrows it down to Philadelphia. Hey, I love soul.

I could go on and on about how now is not the time, but it is.

I've stayed for far too long because of other people. I've held off because of other people. I've waited on other people.

My heart is always going to belong where it belongs so it's just time to take it to a new city while it hangs out and does its own thing.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The River's Wide, We'll Swim Across...

Yesterday I ran eight miles. I also biked another eight, just because.

That's the longest workout I have done in four years. You see, I used to love running and biking and swimming. And then I got divorced and I became afraid of going out and accidentally bumping into my ex-husband.

Not afraid because he's a menacing figure, but more afraid that running was his thing, not mine.

But yesterday I took a drive to Rockefeller State Park, mainly because a post by Iamkionda reminded me of how much I love trail running, and partly because I missed the smell of spearmint, the cows grazing and the swans.

Oh, and I missed the sun.

And, a long ninety-minutes later and I had eight miles under my belt. I also had swollen fingers, a dry mouth and a happy heart.

I bet if more people understood how much thinking you can get done on a run, then shoe stores would always be in demand.

I thought about "The One" and I thought about "The Prince" and then I thought a bit about "Renaissance" and "The Actor", but mostly I thought about me.

And I thought about why I prefer to run alone. You see, no one can really get you out there, it's something you have to do for yourself. Just like anything in life, you need to really want it. Your mind can't get in the way. You know, like what I have let the last year of ‘wanting’ or ‘finding’ or whatever do to me. Get in the way.

I remember when I finished the NYC Marathon six years ago. I was about 200 meters from the finish line and a New York City cop said 'congratulations, Marathoner' and I started crying.

No way did I believe I would have run that race a few years ago, yet there I was. Finishing…Medal and all.

I doubt most people who knew me thought I could do this. I wasn't a seasoned runner with years of experience, I was a semi-novice runner with drive. And a body built for distance, not speed. But that's the beauty of running...there is something for everyone.

Like yesterday. My body gave me a good solid few miles and my mind gave me a respite from thinking about things like life and love.

Maybe I'll never get the relationship stuff right when it comes to dating, but I get the rest of life pretty right. Like I was reminded a few years ago: I'm all heart.

Sometimes, that makes up for everything else.

(photo of Ash Loop at Rockefeller State Park, NY)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When You Were Young And Your Heart...

Was an open book...

Oh, wait, I hope to never see the phrase 'I'm an open book', ever again.

I am sure I will, but I bet I will always be traumatized by it to some extent. Nope, nevermind. Just annoyed. I don't traumatize easily.

I spent the weekend playing catch-up with my life. I really had no idea how much I was leaving undone until I had to focus on a number of things all at once.

You know...the sister with the assorted problems; my daughter's friend who is now living with us after her mother kicked her out over the weekend; 'The Prince'; writing, more writing.

My good friend, 'The Writer', and I talked on Sunday. I truly love this guy. He and I are in similar, yet different, places if that makes any sense.

I think that over the past year or so, we've told each other a million things and what's great about him is that he never hesitates to tell me when I am being foolish. What's even more interesting is that unlike most people, I actually listen to him.

He tells me I need to write. He also tells me that I have a talent. I hear him, yet I keep getting sidetracked between the present and the past in terms of what to write. What I want to do is take off three months and hide away in some little place and write by day and stalk the streets at night. However, the particular gig doesn't pay well. Go figure.

I bought 'Renaissance' a present this weekend. A book. Yes, I am so clever. It seemed like an easy purchase and yet he seems very hard to buy things for because his taste is impeccable and he probably just gets what he needs or wants when he feels like it.

I don't think this guy could lie if I paid him, so when he says he loves the gift....he must.

I've got a story to tell about running. Maybe that's where I'll start next.

Oh, and in the grand scheme of things, being a sex-site drop-out is fucking fantastic. That's right, not even Smarty's famous "Just one more thing" can get me to go back to AFF.

Sorry, Smarty. I still heart you.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened...

On the road to staying away from dating...

I met men who made me laugh.  That is such a big thing, you know, to be able to laugh.

'Renassaince' is a perfect example of this.  He is funny.  And smart. And writes me wonderful poems and emails and he's also a bit 'definite' and not prone to silliness, not really.

But there is something about him that makes him just the right kind of different.

I have been trying to find a name for him, but nothing seems right.  So 'Renassaince' it is.  

Before I had an idea of who he 'was' I told him I wrote here.  I am sure he has read some, if not all, of what I have written so far.  Sometimes, I would have preferred that he had read my AFF posts instead.  I feel as though they are more cohesive in thought. This place, while 'home' now, isn't following any timeline or pattern.

I have been writing out of order, switching tenses, saving thoughts for other posts.  Perhaps being too vague for a new reader to know what I am.  Or what I am trying to do.

But, in fairness, only I know what story I am really writing.  

And I ask for patience.  For myself, from myself, for other...from others.

But this guy, who makes me smile and makes me laugh, well...we will all learn how new relationships take off or don't.  I just know that I like what I have seen so far.  

He's new. He's multifaceted.  He's like a renaissance.

I Told Her I'd Never Fall In Love...

But Now I Know Better.
.....New Edition.

What is my relationship with 'The Prince'? That is something I've asked myself since the moment we met.

What. Are. You?

To be honest, you're either a prince or you aren't, right?

Can you be both things at once? Neither? I guess so.

I have resentments that I have tried to explain a few times to him, but I also see in him the man he knows he is, not the one others believe him to be. Maybe that's unfair to him, me and them. After everything is said, this person is a friend.

Now, I'm not a savant or a psychic. I'm just brutally honest about people, at least to myself.

Over the past year I have watched 'The Prince' and his saga unfold and each step of the way I have asked 'why?'.

Why does he do certain things and not do others?

Why does he hold women to a different standard than the one he has for himself?

Why, especially back in August, was he not totally aware of what he had done and how that one action, not speaking up, has led us to where we are now?

Why. Why. Why. And how come?

My male friends think he is a douche, even though they know I hate the feminization of words to show disgust towards men, so they stick with: Asshole.

My female friends 'Friends?' split the difference between him being great or him sucking. It depends on the day and who they are.

What I learned is that I am happy to pull away from the women who put 'The Prince' ahead of their relationships with me, and yes, there were a few who did that.

I don't know if they will, or can, admit it, but it was easy enough to see. They worried more about his feelings than mine, they cared more about getting him to engage them than they did about maintaining friendships with me. To be honest, I got it. Hell, we all met on an adult site so why would I be hurt that women put a man ahead of their female friendships?

Why, indeed.

But I was hurt. No, nevermind, AM hurt. So now that we have that out of the way, back to the backlog of posts that I hand-wrote, but was too tired to type.

Friday, June 3, 2011

I Let My Melody Shine...

I am often curious about how others see 'love'. 

I have been wildly in love twice.  Once with A's dad and once with 'The One'.

I will always love A's dad because he is a part of me through her.

'The One'?  No one will ever be him. That is both wonderful and sad but I wouldn't change it for the world.

Last summer I spent time getting to know two men. One, 'The Prince' and the other 'The Actor'. They could not be more different from each other or 'The One'.  Not even if they tried.

Perhaps that is how I came to let them in to my life.  They each brought a different sense about life, friendship and love to me.

I hope I brought something to them.  Bring?  Is that the better word? They are both still in my life in different ways.

I love them both, but in that kind of love that defies traditions, logic or definition

They have each taken care of me in different ways; each listened to me; watched me cry or laugh or just left me alone to think.

Odd, these two.  Two people I did not want to meet.

And here we are, a year later, and they have each shaped me through their own behaviors. I learned to trust in some ways and become more guarded in others.  Or maybe it is just that I am guarded in new ways.  Or I just think I am.

They have each dated women I have either known, or known about, and I have grown from that as well.

To learn what drives people to some and not others is interesting.  And frightening.

30 days to write a story.  I can't do that without mentioning the people who have played a role in a year I often wish I could undo.  But without them, or this past year, I would not be changed.  And change is good.  So, here we are. A prince, an actor and a story.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tomorrow You'll Be Thinking To Yourself...

'Where did it all go wrong?'
....All American Rejects

Five years; 593 posts; countless hours spent writing, editing, posting and re-editing.

World's Largest Sex Site? Or World's Largest Collection of unhappy people?

Now that is a question for the ages.

I woke up the other day and realized that for many reasons, logging into AFF disgusts me in many ways. I can fool myself and say that being on the site that long didn't change me, but it did. Did I affect the site in any way? Perhaps.

Okay, maybe. I have met some of the most amazing people there. And I've met nut jobs. No, honestly, they are insane in ways I could have never imagined.

But, because the site encourages its members to go beyond the 'lighter shade of pale' in how we interact with people, all sorts of things happen.


People lie to themselves about what they want; but, if they use the site for sex and blogging, they can lie all the way to the top of the popular lists;

People hate their families for allowing their bad behavior. And they write about it;

People don't like themselves. And they write about it without even realizing it;

People want to re-live their version of "16 Candles" without the quality acting. No Long Dong Duck for them. Just lots of nuts.

People are not having sex. Not me. Them. We know this because they write about it. A lot. I honestly believe if they used the site for dating or even just casual sex more often, some of them would be happier. Or at least less hateful.

How to explain this to the average reader? I just don't even know where to start.

I met the love of my life there. In that place. No one will ever be 'The One' and that is both good and bad.

I asked Smarty the other day if I could write a book of love letters to a man I'm no longer with just because I still feel the same way. She said I could. So I will.

But at the same time, I want to understand a place that helped shaped my life in many ways.

So...Love. Learning. Fulfillment. Disgust.

Oh, wait, that sounds like being in love and being on AFF. Yeah, I guess I can do this writing stuff.

Who knew?