Thursday, July 28, 2011

I Read The Graffiti In The Bathroom Stall...

Like the holy scriptures of a shopping mall
And so it seemed to confess
It didn't say much but it only confirmed
That the center of the earth is the end of the world
.....Green Day, Jesus of Suburbia

I woke up this morning to a text from a friend.

Did I know what so and so said.  No.  I did not. not tell me.

But, but, but...

I hear that the blame game is being played yet again, by people I don't like anyway.  So why listen?  I gave their issues an ear before.  Big mistake.

I get it...people lose their minds before big events. 

The truth?  Aside from pockets of wonderful, I do have to accept blame for some things that have happened over the past year or so. 

Like...not paying enough attention to where my relationship with 'The One' was going.  Or not realizing that my instinct was right. And not trying to act.  Maybe I couldn't have done anything, but I didn't try so now I will never know.

What I do know is that it is true, I was a hypocrite.  I didn't stand by him.  I chose to stay mad about our fight and while I can say people need to try harder, I was busy being angry and hurt.

For the chance to have one moment with him now to doesn't matter, I will always have a place in my heart for you...

Yes, I am to blame because I didn't see the signs 6 months ago.  I just hoped things would work out.

What have these long months taught me?  

So much.

What would I do differently?  

I am not sure.  Fewer people would have gotten in, fewer distractions.  I am correcting this now. Slowly.

But do I accept blame for some of the relationship issues?  Yes.

And if I had that one moment, I would say 'I am sorry I didn't understand, fully.'

So, see, a person can accept blame when it is warranted...

Am I to blame for someone's actions?  No, only my own.

But can blame be assigned by people for any random reason? No.  

It still makes me wonder why people assume you live and breathe 'them'.

That has only ever held true for two people for me...

A and 'The One'.  Last year, I had to let them both go in different ways.

Honestly, that is all I ever wanted to worry about these past few months.

Sometimes, while I am out training, I think about how things have gone and how much more there still is to learn.

And I wonder how life goes by so fast.

Then I get distracted by things that don't matter.  Fortunately, there is always something in the distance to force focus.

Like now...a handful of people heard a story and ran with it?  That is why I am cautious about my circle.  I would rather decide how to train better, be a better employee, friend, mother, whatever...

Then get caught up with people I don't like or talk to anyway.

Funny how Tri life keeps one sane.  Bruises and all.

Maybe more people should try this.

Monday, July 25, 2011

And I'm Not Sorry...It's Human Nature...

I'm not your bitch, don't lay your shit on me.

It is so funny that as children we played lots of 'Truth or Dare.'

I'd like to think that we would have been better served playing 'Truth and Consequences.'

My AFF experience has been interesting. Thankfully, I have a fast learning curve.

I have seen a lot of people hold other people's hands while they do things that should probably cause embarassment or at least a self-inflicted time out of sorts.

What are consequences? A few years ago, I fell in love with someone other than my husband. The consequences were that I was forced to tell A, my friends, family and some co-workers. The story is more than one person being lonely or sad or any one thing. My husband hated me. I am sure of this because he told me. It still does not mean my actions were right.

My affair meant that I opened myself up to consequences...ultimatums.

If I wanted to stay married, I would have needed to agree to counseling; to give up my best friend because he supported me; to cut off contact with 'The One' and to guve up a lot of friends, my writing and ultimately, my freedom. Why? Well, because I no longer deserved the freedom. As my then husband said...I had abused it.

Instead, I chose to leave the marriage. He didn't love me and while we were together, I did not love myself. The consequence of that decision? I had to be willing to stand on my own.

The result? A and I are happier than ever. But I still paid the price of my action. Even the people who supported me reminded me that I should have, could have, etc. And they were right. I didn't always want to hear it, but I still listened.

Why? Well, I don't want friends who only tell me I am great. I am not always. I make mistakes. I own them and learn from them.

On the Internet, we can create a godliness like no other place would allow.

Recently, I was reminded of how even when one person steps up and says: there are consequences for your actions...someone else will fill the ass kissing void.

How sad. I know what people say about others behind the scenes and then I see what they say in public. Coddling is a terrible thing.

But I should thank the coddlers because when it is noticed, I can usually fill the time that would have been spent with the coddler with other, less passive aggressively supportive activities.

All because I believe that bitching about this shit isn't enough. You have to be willing to say that actions have to have consequences, an apology only counts when it is from the heart and not covering repetitive bad behavior, and your own role in the repeat offenses needs to be reviewed and, if needed, corrected.

'The One' once wrote a blog about what was happening with my marriage. My husband wanted out, but he waited for me to act. Suicide by cop. How unfair to make someone else miserable because you are unhappy. It is even more awful to watch the train wreck and not at least dial 911.

Hello, God, Are You There...

It's me. Bubbles.

Where have you been? What have you been doing?

Oh, you've been busy? Right, I know. The world is a crazy place, isn't it. Oh, yeah, you already know that.

What do I want? Oh, not much.

I'm just sort of checking in. Thanks for taking care of A this weekend while she was on time off from work.

Yes, I know that I forget to say 'thanks' to you. It's so hard, you know? I can't take communion at church, you know. Yes, I am quite aware that this isn't your fault. But they are doing it in your name.

So I don't really go to visit you there all that often. Well, aside from work. Does that count? I sort of hope so.

My friends can't get married in your house, either. Again, not your fault. But it's done in your name.

And we're still at war. In two countries. Still. In your name. Or your brother's. Whatever. Same difference.

Dear God, are you watching over 'The One'? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Get over the past few weeks. I am trying.

But I'm still worried. I worry about a lot of things. But right now I'm worried about him. He's stubborn. Never admits to being wrong, or even wronged.

And I hear the stories and I don't believe, but I do. So, if you think about it, check on him. Plus, Chicago has a new mayor and I hear he's doing a good job so it should be a nice trip for you.

Can you also watch over my sister? She's making a mistake. Again. But she's one of those people that must learn things the hard way.

Check in on my friends, please. And my family. And since you're at it, may as well check in on everyone else around the world.


You still want to know what I want? I don't know.

Maybe I'll just figure it out as I go along. Is that okay? It isn't so bad, you know, not waiting for someone else to come along and figure things out.

Besides, I know that when I want to come visit one of your houses, wherever they are, you'll be cool with it.

For now, training has been my 'religion' of sorts. Oh! I should say thanks for giving me a body that moves. There, I think I've gotten it all out.

But if you do visit Chicago, can you just let it know that it will always be in my heart? It's just that kind of city.


(an open letter to God, just in case she has internet access)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Road Has Got Me Hypnotized...

And I'm spinning into a new sunrise...
"Radar Love', Golden Earring.

I was showering this morning when it finally hit me:

I'm an athlete.

I'm not fast; or built in a traditional way; I don't come by running, biking or swimming easily; and sometimes I have no idea what I'm doing...

But I'm an athlete.

In coming to sports later in life, maybe there is just a bit more of an appreciation for just how much one has to juggle to fit it all in.

My schedule looks crazy. Everything that I eat has to play a role in giving me energy, or recovery or whatever. But it's making eating so much easier for some reason for the first time ever. The stress of regular life has to take a back seat because otherwise, it will affect training.

When I was running a few years ago, I always downplayed the work. Oh, sure, I'm a 'runner', but hey, anyone can do it.

Or so I kept saying. And on many levels it is true.

But this time around feels new. For the first time, this isn't about someone else's splits, it's about mine. It has little to do with someone else telling me I can do it. But it has everything to do with knowing, on my own, that I can. It's so very scary to be accountable to yourself, but it's also quite empowering. Today, I could feel the strut before I realized it was happening. Yeah, I just finished another 10 miles on the bike. And yes, I do have 6 days of training planned next week. Watch. Me. Work. It.

I have a friend who is training for one of the same triathlons I am doing. He says my enthusiasm is infectious. This from a 'real' Ironman.

Something tells me he'd say I'm the real deal, too. His coaching is a tremendous motivation. And I try to remember to tell him all the time. Hell, your motivation (yes you, out there) is even more inspiring. Thank you.

My heart broke this week in a way I never thought possible. The more I write about 'The One', the more I was missing him. And the more I continue where 'we' are at the moment, the more I just want to train. Am I training away a person or a thing? No, not at all. I’m training ‘in’ myself.

Train. Goodbye. Grow. Start all over until the goodbye part is gone.

Yeah, this can be done.

(image from

Friday, July 8, 2011

One. Awesome. Search.

It took me forever to decide what to title this blog.

Then it took even longer to figure out a tagline. My blurb. An intro.

What is awesome?

I still don't always know.

But I went with it anyway.

And then I began writing a cast of characters and people said...well, how did you find 'The One' and I realized...well, I didn't make it clear. How did he get his name? Uh, it wasn't always 'The One'. For the longest time it was 'Chato', but I didn't want to use that here.

I wanted to start from scratch.

But having someone called the one implies an end. Yet there isn't one. There is, as always, a cast of characters to work through. Real people. Real feelings. Real stories. Real joy. Real pain.

So yes, there is 'The One', and it is just part of the full story. One I didn't have a road map to tell until I realized that I get to make the map.

X marks the spot.

Oh, I Know Something About The Ways Of Love...

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.
.....Oingo Boingo

A is home for a one night only appearance. I was happy she was leaving for camp, now I am happy she is home. She is working with an older group of girls this year so her time spent at camp will be slightly different.

For one thing, the older girls say goodbye in different ways than the younger girls.

Older girls know camp will happen again next year and so goodbye is not forever. Younger girls think this is it. The last goodbye.

It usually isn't.

But A is smart because she knows sometimes it is.

It is funny how memories cloud goodbyes. Some people see a time of joy while others see pain and still others see a combination.

This week has become a week of goodbyes. Red says it means something else is opening. I feel like I have tried, on many levels, to let life be. Maybe I have simply over-estimated my role or non-role.

But here we are...

Smarty asked what I wanted. I want to train. I went swimming tonight and tomorrow is a long bike ride day. She asked how I do it. I made a joke.

The truth? I am training my way through goodbyes. I hadn't realized it until I was in the pool tonight. I have spent the last year asking people to be who they are, and accepting.

And it was wonderfully enlightening.

Goodbyes. It is how I first got started as a runner. I needed to say goodbye to my mother after she died, then a marriage, now...the past year.

And now it is time for a more iron-centered focus. And an apartment search. And to go back to letting life just 'be'. And, like the younger and older girls at camp, I will just be reminded that there is often more to come. Next year.

And working through all those goodbyes. Like at camp each year. Goodnight, A. Goodnight, blog. See you tomorrow.

Let's Do The Time Warp Again...

I've been wanting to use that title for a long time now. I almost 'wasted' it back in June, but this morning it dawned on me that now is the time to do a little dance. Get a little jiggy. Shake my bootie, etc.

You see, I woke up and saw my Facebook page looking like a reunion of the best kind.

After all of my time blogging at 'that other place' I am finally done. And that means I lose out on 'seeing' so many of my friends because they are still there, right?


Thanks to a lovely woman who will remain nameless...the best thing just happened: We're all partying on Facebook like it's 1999. Or 2007. Whichever you liked better.

And my heart sang because I had missed so many of these amazing people.

So, right at the moment when summer looked to be getting more difficult because of my training schedule, a little fun came barreling into me and made me smile. Made me a bit nostalgic, too, but mostly, it made me happy.

So...Thanks, MarkyZ. Why? For bringing FB users from all over the world together and not charging us....even when the rumors out there tell us otherwise.'ve asked about it a couple of 'The One' got his pseudonym. And how it impacts 'the search to end all searches'.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

'Cause Everyone's Heart Doesn't Beat The Same...

I just recently starting ramping up my triathlon training. I have been good about sticking to my schedule. Right now, I'm running about 25 miles a week; biking another 20 and doing daily strength training routines. Last night, I added swimming.

Or tried.

It seems that I have forgotten how to swim. Apparently, it's been enough years that my arms don't know what to do; my feet don't seem to want to kick; my heart rate never got down to a normal pattern during my laps and I have forgotten to breathe out while above water, not breathe in while I am under.

But I'm going back tonight. Yes, right after I do another round trip to drop off A at camp, and then a five mile run, I will be back in the pool for an hour. What will I accomplish? I am not sure yet. Perhaps it isn't always about accomplishments, but rather an effort. Sounds like a metaphor for my dating life this past year. It often feels like I have never gotten so much wrong all at once before, but maybe I am simply romanticizing some memory or another.

I went to see 'The Actor' over the weekend. He is in my favorite play right now and I made the trip down to cheer him on, and, on some level, to see what we felt after 10 months of not seeing each other.

Funny...ask anyone and they will say he adores me. He does. And I him. Total love. But sometimes, people live their lives doing what they want and they don't always remember there are other people in the universe.

Ask us why we stopped seeing each other and I will say that he did something that he knew would hurt me. He will say I held a grudge because of it. We would both be right.

On Saturday morning he told me the truth about his new girlfriend. She worships him. She believes he is perfect. His words, verbatim. And he doesn't like it. But he does accept it.

His issue with me? I don't. My feelings for him are based on knowing he is human. That's not the same. And I get it.

I left MD on Saturday and cried on the way home. Or at least until NJ. Why? Because this is me. The woman who loves people for their flaws and their perfections. How else can I be honest with anyone? I don't want a god. I want an equal.

'The Actor' is my friend, but on Saturday morning, even though I know he loves me...he made me remember why I was afraid to see him.  I was worried he would do or say what he knew would hurt the most, and I was afraid I wouldn't know how to feel.

Sadly, I felt just what I was supposed to, I guess.

I was reminded of the day my ex-husband told me that it wasn't that he didn't love me, it was that his mistress made him feel like a king.  I did not.  He told me he was torn between us.  I asked if he loved her and he said he wasn't sure.  So I told him to be with her.  To treat her well.  To be honest.  Why? I guess it is because I don't ever want to force a choice and have someone regret their decision. I have a lot of stories like this. One day, I won't have to say this to someone. I am sure of this.

But anyway, back to now. Even with someone you love, sometimes you just have to step back and be prepared to be a friend when, and if, they need you.

Even if you end up being the odd person out.  Or especially when.

I guess I am a far better friend than a lover. That's not such a tragedy, you know?

So tonight, I'm off to swim. I expect to be in the pool every night for the next four weeks. Why? Because I am all heart, even when I am very little skill.

Oh, wow, this does sound like a metaphor for my love life.

And that's not such a bad thing, either.

(image from

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Maybe You Will Always Be...Just A Little Bit Out Of Reach...

Usually, at this time of year, I am returning from my trip to Chicago. I love the city during "Taste of Chicago" because it was there that I truly knew what it meant to be falling in love with "The One".

This year...I went to DC for a day and saw "The Actor", but more on that later.

Now, I want to talk about what was happening around this time last year.

I had just seen 'The One' for a few days and we talked about all that had gone wrong and all that had gone right. I told him that when I left Chicago, I would be doing it as a single person. That I thought we should take time to think about what we wanted or needed, but that the only place I really wanted to be was with him. I also mentioned that I was still having the trust issues of him having left me in Austin and I needed time to work on this.

Meanwhile, back at home, both 'The Prince' and 'The Actor' were checking in on me. I think they knew how hard it was for me to be in Chicago.

While I was driving back to New York, my cell phone started going off like crazy. None of the texts were really to me, but rather, about 'The Prince'. Our hostess from Maryland was trying to figure out how she could find time alone with him in DC at our next blogger bash and people kept asking me how to answer. To be honest, I wasn't sure. No one realized that he and I had agreed to share a room with 'The Actor' and one other blogger, and I didn't want to be the one telling everyone so I just said: It will work out. I honestly believed it would be just fine.

And there it started...weeks of learning that regardless of if we called it a blogger bash or a swinger's party or a rodeo in the outback, people made plans to be with people and then hid the plans. People cried and they manipulated and they told strange stories to get others to do what they wanted.

One gentleman asked if I would be his birthday present...

Yeah...exactly. And that's all good, except, knock on wood, I didn't go to these parties to hook up. Ask Smarty, I was always upset because I was trying to get out of them. They weren't fun for me. They were work. And frustrations. And lots of other things. But I am a firm believer that no one else had to know about this, at least not the guests.

So, here we were, in the weeks leading up the DC Blogger Bash and all I wanted was to be far away from it. Now there is a weekend I wish I could un-do and never do again.

But, wait, that's a story for later. For the time being, 'The Actor' and I were having a blast doing the silliest of things like museums and making popcorn and sharing stories about our mis-spent youth. Ahh, what a start to summer it was...Oh, and I was quite sure ‘The Prince’ was in love, or something like it, with our hostess, and that she felt the same.

And there is the story you won’t hear in the Grease-edition.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Year In A Blogger's Life...Part 1.

Just the other day, Smarty wrote a post about the night that we met.

I can't believe it has been over a year. And what a year it has been. I am so torn. Undo all of last year? Do it all over again exactly as it happened? Change some things and not others? Who the fuck knows at this point?

But last June that was all just a future memory. You see, I was off to Maryland to meet Red and Smarty and I couldn't have been more excited. Well, let me not exaggerate. I didn't want to go to Maryland. Not really. I had a bad feeling about the party. I wasn't sure why, except that having been on AFF for so long, I think I was pretty good about reading online 'people' there and I didn't want to meet our hostess, 'The Princess'. From her blog, which I only read because 'The Prince' said I should check it out, I thought that we had little in common and even less of a reason to meet than my friend Smarty thought.

Plus, I know I can be quite definite about people I spend time with, especially when I have to pay for things like hotels, etc., but hey, I was about to meet my girls! I remember calling 'The Actor' and after having said 'no' to him for almost a year, I said 'yes'.

And that's how we ended up going to 'The Hostess's' party together, but not really. You see, he had warned me that he would be busy playing party host that night so I shouldn't be too upset if we hardly saw each other. I laughed because clearly this guy didn't know me.

Then I called 'The Prince' and said...wanna? The truth is that he and our hostess had something going on that I couldn't explain. I'd seen some of the emails and texts and posts about each other and I sort of thought it was comical, or even not really real, until I saw it in person.

Before even arriving in Maryland, I learned that our hostess had lied to her husband about who our fair Prince was. That led to a nice chain of events, which is why so many of us don't speak anymore.

But on that night, I was out with a bunch of bloggers who had never done a 'blogger bash' before. Having done a ton of them, I was totally prepared to do very little. Oh, sure, I played kissing games, and drank, and collected business cards from the couples at the party, but for the most part, I watched.

I watched "Brother Dom", as Smarty calls him, and his wife try to decide what they were doing; I watched Red, the smartest of the bunch, sit in her chair on the lawn and watch the nuttiness. I watched 'The Prince' and 'Brother Dom's' wife come out of a room, clearly having hooked up, then I gasped as Mrs. Dom kissed me on the lips and said 'thanks' for the time with good old Prince. Uh, you’re welcome?

Then, later that night, as 'The Actor' and I stood in the kitchen together talking, 'The Prince' walked up to me, kissed me and told me that he and our hostess had gone 'swinging' as it were. Smarty says she doesn’t get why this happened (uh, because we’re dealing with swingers?) because Prince was my boyfriend. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

Congrats! The story can end here, right? Everyone is happy. Our Hostess is about to become very popular; Prince got what he wanted; I liked the Actor more than I had expected to and Smarty and Red were real life girls now and we could plan our world-wide takeover.

Nope, sillies. Nope. You see, by the middle of the night, Hostess’s husband was not in a good mood; her best friend was still upset over a fight they had before all of the guests arrived; The Actor was passed out on Scotch; Brother Dom was in a room, in tears, with me trying to cheer him up; Smarty’s husband had met someone who seemed to like him way, way, too much for later comfort and I was exhausted from driving through the entire state of MD, twice, lol.

Oh...and then the morning came. Our Hostess overheard someone say that Prince Charming had actually come with me, not with Red. Gasp! Now I have to listen to her tell our breakfast table, over and over again, how he knocked her nose ring out; then I got to hear her husband tell me how she lied to him about Prince's real deal. She had told her husband he was Red's date. Hubby was smart enough to know there was a lie, just not what to do about it. So I apologized because none of us wanted anything other than a fun weekend. He said I was being silly. I decided I liked him and wanted to be friends forever.

Oh...and while all was well in the world...Brother Dom was looking at bruises on his wife and allowing a new story to brew: That we had an angry black man in our circle who left marks on his wife. He later decided to admit that wasn't what happened, but not before he wrote a post about it accusing the Prince of some un-charming behavior. Recently, our Hostess said I demanded that the post be removed. Wrong-o. I asked Brother what really happened and he told me. Then he and Prince talked and Brother removed the post on his own. However, I think the re-telling of an angry, viscious Bubbles demanding blog retribution sounded better.

Princess has recently decided that none of the stories that counter her unicorns and bunnies fantasy are true. But they are. And they get worse. And I sometimes get mad at Smarty because she wants to tell these stories.

They all, every single one of them, made me cry. Want to know why? Because I spent my year in love with 'The One'. That's why. I only wanted to be with him. But I was in a perpetual time out and so I went off to parties to learn more about people. And I grew close to so many of them. They became my friends, people I love and respect and will/have/would go to the ends of the earth for, probably way too often.

And what I learned, repeatedly, is that we are exactly what we think we are, no more and no less. Even when we pretend to be something else.

Last year, I watched a wife in an open marriage lie to her husband, constantly. I watched a couple swing, then not, then swing again. I watched Prince engage women I was like: WHAT? I listened to the Actor through all of his bad days and good.

I made friends. I lost friends. I went places I wanted to go and to some places I hated even thinking of traveling to and I learned an awful lot.

For every 'fantastic' story, there is someone thinking...yeah, this isn't so fantastic, is it?

But wait...we didn't all implode until about six weeks later. That's when the real hurt and anger started. I guess I have to wait for Smarty to start writing about August before I can chime in. Hurry Smarty. Hurry.

Riff, baby, if you’re out there, wait until she tells you about DC, or STL, or Vegas…or, or, or...