After 10 great years with my little SUV it finally broke down for the first time earlier this week. I made it home and stood in the driveway for a while watching the smoke escape from the hood. I had no choice but to call the former other half and I hated the fact that I had to rely on him. Luckily though he has been car pooling to work and has allowed me to use that big gas guzzling behemoth of a truck that screams of ‘Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!” I should have my car back today. It was also an expense I was not counting on.
Lately I’ve barricaded myself in my room and it hit me this morning that I really need to pick myself up by the bootstraps and start getting out a little more. I have not been to the gym. I have barely eaten the past couple of days so I’m surprised that I don’t feel faint. I have to return to the world of healthy eating. There is a race next weekend.
Earlier this week my friend Ana in Boston texted me that there was a certain web site I needed to check out. “POF,” she said. She said it was great. “You’ll love all the cubs.” Cubs? So I went to the web address she sent via my phone and it looked like something you had to register for. Other than the area to type in your user I.D. and password, there was no other info to even say what the site was. I texted her back, “What is POF?” Her response was, “It stands for Plenty of Fish and you should see all the hot guys there.” Oh gosh. Here we go. “You are a cougar now,” she told me. “Meow.” I’ve never considered myself as such, as if a Cougar were a different species of human being that has had way too much plastic surgery and hits on her daughter’s boyfriends. Worst off, I’m thinking, why is Ana looking on an online dating site? She has been married for 20 years now. I was in her wedding. A few days later she texted that she is thinking of leaving her husband and wants to know if she can come to Arizona and stay with me for a while. Looking back the signs have been there all a long.
My guy friend going through the divorce was officially divorced as of yesterday. So, DGF (Divorced Guy Friend) calls on Wednesday morning at about 5:50 am. This is actually quite normal for phone calls and texts at any given hour of the night or day. I open one eye and answer but he has already hung up. I text him and ask if he just called. He responds, ‘sorry!’ I respond, ‘dork’ and go back to sleep. A few minutes later and there is another text message. It was him again. He told me that this new friend he has been dating the past few weeks is now his exclusive girlfriend. This of course gets my attention. I sat up in bed and let the words sink in. “It was a whirlwind,” he told me. While I tried to be happy for him I realized that I was about to lose my partner in commiseration. The anchor had fallen off my boat. He had changed his Facebook status to ‘in a relationship’. Hence the call that morning moments after the status update. I was as speechless as much as one can be over text messaging. He said he felt pressured from her. He has only been seeing her for a few weeks and get this, she is only here visiting. She lives in Georgia. I asked him if he was going to have a long distance relationship. He said, “Yeah, I guess so. I don’t know if I’m ready for this. What should I do?”
“That,” I typed, “is not something I can help you with. You’ll have to figure out what is right for you.” He kept apologizing as if he had betrayed me. I told him he didn’t need to be sorry. He had been through a lot and deserved to be happy.
Up until that moment I didn’t realize how much I had been leaning on him for support throughout this whole ordeal. I went to the new girlfriend’s Facebook page which is suddenly public. She had changed her picture to a very provocative one which I found odd. In fact, I find this whole thing odd. Perhaps it had something to do with a certain recent run in they both had with DGF’s ex-wife? Apparently the new girlfriend wasn’t too happy about it. I’m happy for him but there’s a part of me that feels sorry for him at the same time. What came next still has me spinning.
Yesterday morning a few minutes past six am, there was another text message from him. Again he is apologizing and telling me how sorry he is and how guilty he feels. Again I tell him not to be sorry. I point out that I realized how much I had depended on him and it did freak me out thinking I was about to lose that. Later on in the morning while talking to my boss, my phone chimes that there is a message. After my boss vacates my office, I pick it up and am dumbfounded by what it says. It is of course from DGF.
“I love you.”
I stare at the message for a few minutes, put the phone down, pick it back up. There it is in plain English. I place the phone down again and put my head in my hands. How does one respond to that? Thank you? Get bent? Or does one respond at all? How would the new girlfriend feel about this latest revelation? I pick the phone up again, and again stare at the message. There are his picture, his name, the time, date and of course the message. I glance at my scanner next to my desk. and then back at the phone. A thought crosses my mind like a dark cloud passing the sun on an Arizona afternoon. I smirk to myself, delete the message and go back to work. This morning I deleted his contact info out of my phone.
Yesterday afternoon I’m working away when I receive another text message. This time it is from the same man I had drinks with a few weeks ago. He asked if I’d be free for Friday night. Honest to goodness, what a day! I didn’t realize the ‘deer in the headlights’ look would turn out to be so irresistable. I let him know honestly that I’m not ready to date. I did say that several times before but it must have some strange reverse psychological effect. He wrote, “Well, excuse me for being interested in you.” Where it was again text messaging, which I’m growing to loathe, I couldn’t tell if he was kidding. I’m guessing he was. He told me to reach out when I was ready. I’m thinking the 12th of Never may be an appropriate date.
I drank my coffee in bed this morning and watched the rising sun dance between the fronds of the palm tree. Then I got up, looked around at the house and thought about all the things I needed to accomplish. When things went south last month I made a plan for myself. I would clean this place up, I would not date yet and I would start to fix anything that is broken. My car was first on the list. I think there may be a trip over to The Home Depot this weekend.