February 12, 2010

Big Oops (also known as open mouth and insert foot)

So, D gets upset with me when he thinks I'm not talking to him. I think, after last night, though, that he might be finally getting that it's not that I don't want to talk to him about stuff, it's just that I really suck at it. I tend to say things that are either really stupid, or that come out in a completely unintended, and usually screwed up, way. To fully understand the oops I made last night, I have to go back a bit and explain how D & I actually met and what happened before that.

So, we all already know that SD was a total loser who treated me like absolute crap and really messed up my self-esteem and left me with massive trust issues (which I am working very hard on eliminating, by the way). Well, there's one other ex you need to know about to really understand just where I was when I found D (yes, I found him...not the other way around).

When I was 17, I worked in a grocery store where I met this really cute, quite a bit older guy. He crushed on me just as hard as I crushed on him (granted, being 17, it was mostly, well...lust, but hey, I was 17!). Over a 4 year period, we had a very rocky, very confusing, on and off (but mostly off) relationship before I met and married SD. About a year ago, I got the really brilliant idea to look up this particular old boyfriend, since I'd always remembered him as being really great. He'd always kind of been like the fantasy guy that everyone else had to live up to. Which was really the problem.

I found him in May of last year. We got back together...again. Only this time, at the advanced age of 30, I finally saw him for what he really was: an alcoholic with some serious mental instability going on. He's a really sweet guy, but he drinks too much and gets violent (never with me, but I think that is only because I was never physically there when it happened), and well...he thinks aliens are his best friends. He pushed too hard, too fast, for way more than I could or would give. He wanted to live together...then he wanted to get married...he wanted to meet my kids...he wanted to be their dad. All things that I really want, with the right guy, but just absolutely scared the sh*t out of me when he talked about them. I mean, seriously, he would bring up marriage and I'd ask him if he'd seen the weather report yet today.

The final straw was when he called me one Saturday night early in September to tell me he'd been in the hospital for the last week with pneumonia (that explained the total absence of contact). Naturally, I was concerned. Until I realized that he was seriously doped up on pain pills and drinking. When he started talking about how thoughts of me and my kids were the only thing that kept him from dying, I began to squirm in my chair. I was so uncomfortable with this conversation it was all I could do not to drop the phone, grab the kids, and run away to some deserted island or mountaintop somewhere where no one could find us. Then, he tells me that there are aliens on his front porch looking in the window at him. This was when I said, "I think we should see other people" and then promptly hung up on him. He's called a time or two since then, but I've avoided his calls and now that my number has changed, I no longer hear from him. Definitely cured me of my idealized fantasy of how great he was. I got over him pretty quickly...like as soon as I hung up.

So, given that little history lesson, you can see why I might be a bit leery of men. But yet...I still wanted to date. I wanted to find someone, someone I could eventually have that future with...the one that included marriage and being there for me and my kids. So, I decided to sign up on a couple of dating sites and just take things nice and slow and see what happened.

I signed up on one site in the beginning of October or the end of September. There wasn't really anyone on that site. So around the middle to end of October, I signed up on okcupid.com.

I got a lot of responses to my profile, but no one that really interested me. A couple of guys who were outright liars, which holds absolutely no appeal for me at all. One guy was so desperate he practically had the word "desperate" tattooed on his forehead with a flashing neon sign pointing to it.

I got bored one day and started searching the profiles. D's was the last one in the search list that day. I can't remember why (it was either because he was selective in who he responded to or he hadn't been contacted in over a week and okcupid wanted to suggest I send him an e-mail). In the search list, it shows you their picture, their age and location, marital status, and a little peek at what they've said. I read D's little bit, but didn't open his profile yet.

The next time I searched, his came up first. Different little peek, and I read it again, but still didn't open it. The thought that I had that time was that I was intrigued...which meant he must be crazy. I mean, look at my track record: a cheating loser and a crazy loser. Can you blame me?

The third day, I got him again. I saw a different little piece again, and this time it mentioned about being a truck driver. Well...he's not home much, so it wouldn't take too much time from the kids, and if he IS crazy, at least he's not here to be crazy, right? So, I moved the mouse to click, and left it hovering a moment. I hesitated to open his profile, thinking that although I couldn't have any idea what was going to happen, that somehow I knew this mouse click was going to change my life.

Then I clicked. I read his entire profile (D is quite the talker, both with his voice and with his fingers), and I laughed through all of it. I never got the creepy feeling I got from other profiles, didn't get annoyed, and somehow...didn't sense any craziness.

I moved the mouse to the send message button, and again I hesitated. Why did I keep hesitating? I don't really know. Mostly fear, I guess. Fear of rejection, fear that my incredibly poor judgement was about to make its presence known again, or maybe even more than the rest, fear that this time I might actually be making a good choice and that this might actually be it.

Finally, I clicked and sent him the first message. I tried to be kind of funny and light, and I'm not sure I did such a good job. But either I did, or he just didn't notice or didn't care, because the next morning I had a response from him, a positive response. I nearly bounced in my chair with excitement. My fears weren't completely gone, but at least the fear of rejection was somewhat lessened.

Over the next couple of weeks, we e-mailed and chatted through instant messengers, both on the site and off. We talked about a lot of different things. One night, he finally got up the nerve to give me his phone number and tell me I could call him if I wanted. I had been trying to get up the nerve to give him mine, and hadn't quite gotten there yet.

The next day I called him. His voice was amazing. He's got a very sexy voice. He probably doesn't know it, or wouldn't admit it, but he does. As we got to know each other over the phone, his intelligence became quite clear, which was yet another thing that got to me.

We finally met around mid-November, about three weeks or so after that initial e-mail. The first time I saw him I knew I would end up dating him. I didn't know how long it would last or how serious it would be, but I just knew we would be together. Our second date was the very next day. When trying to plan it, he commented, "I know I want more time with you than we had today." I think I started to fall in love with him when he said that.

Our second date was breakfast and going to the local museum. That was when I knew I was in love with him. He would hold my hand, he would stand close to me, he would kiss my forehead, touch my back, smile at me. So many little things that I don't think he really thought anything of, but really melted me.

So....all of that to tell you about how I really put my foot in my mouth last night. I don't recall how, but somehow we got on the subject of how we met. I mentioned how I had hesitated to look at his profile, and he made a comment about how it was nice to know he was my last choice. I think he might have been joking, but I'm not entirely sure.

I do know that I feel really bad, because I didn't mean it that way. What I meant by it was...well, I'm still not entirely sure how to explain it. It's almost like I knew that he was going to be more than just some guy I talked to online, or some guy that I dated briefly. And even though I've been looking for this kind of relationship, I was still scared of it. So, I hesitated.

Our relationship is, by far, the best relationship I've ever had. I don't get scared when I think about the future. If he brings up anything that even remotely hints at marriage or years down the road, it doesn't terrify me. In fact, it actually makes me happy that he thinks about things like that. I no longer feel the need to ask about the weather report. :)

I regret that hesitation now. I'm glad that I e-mailed him. I'm glad that I met him. He's made my life so much better, and I cannot imagine my life without him in it now. And he was NEVER my last choice. In fact, if I could change anything in my life at all, it would be to go back about 10 years, and find some way to meet D, instead of SD.

And yes, I know...this is all mushy. What can I say? He'll be home soon. I miss him. I can't wait to be in his arms and kiss him again. I'm allowed to be mushy. Right?

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