So you may have noticed I've not done a ton of posts lately other than reviews. This time, it's not because of being repressed by the legal system and a jerky ex's legal counsel. This reason is much nicer: I've been out LIVING life. It's really hard to live life and write about it simultaneously. Writing requires reflection, which doesn't really happen when you're out living the experiences you need to reflect on.
I've been doing a lot. I got to go on a cross country road trip with a friend I made in my advanced hosting class. It was long past time for me to take hosting classes and you need a hosting reel to do hosting jobs, hence my taking 2 hosting classes. My advanced class was really tiny, a total of 4 people (including me). Nearly everybody I've met in the industry has said to me "you'd make a great host" and I've even done a paid hosting gig. I also did a hosting audition for a fashion event and was praised for my audition but didn't get to do it at the last second due to mysterious "change of plans" I wasn't told about until I showed up at the event. I also took a personality assessment recently for a job application and got ISTJ-A as my result (which is a "Logistician"); quite informative though I have done things spontaneously and will take calculated risks. Going on this road trip is one such example of me doing something spontaneous. I got invited with shorter notice and looking at my work schedule, decided "Yes, I'll go in the midst of November and forego assignments since I've never been further west than Texas. The pros of getting to know my classmate (one of those local female friends I'd wanted for years & hadn't had any luck getting until more recently), going to LA and passing through Phoenix so I could see my gay bestie and getting to broaden personal horizons) was worth my feeling antsy about getting back on time and concern about paying bills. The weird thing is it didn't knock my finances out of whack, not even a little bit.
This classmate is someone that if you looked at our lives, you'd notice major differences and major similarities all at once. She came from much more money than I did but also had an alcoholic parent, doesn't have extended family she's close with and has also been dealing with divorce. She also made her own way and definitely didn't get wads of money from her family. She's also got more access to legitimate contacts and knows where the cool kids hang out; life ended up making her fall behind in our class but she, like me, believes God puts people into your life for a reason & I feel like she might be a good counterbalance to my lawyer style rigidity. She said I'm probably good for her since I'm really assertive, organized and will do what I say I will. I have some empathy from my own divorce experience and I didn't feel she was making that offer to patronize or attach strings; in college, I learned that sometimes you should let people do nice things for you and we got to travel in a style I've never gotten to in my entire life and would only be able to dream of at present. I also never actually got a vacation after my ex threw me out and everything happened. She didn't make me feel like she was trying to be Superman or control my life. That never happens with people I don't know well (bear in mind this was our first out of town outing).
As I've said of long road trips, you'll either be bonded for life when you're done or you'll never want to see the other person ever again. Fortunately, we ended up bonded and I got invited to do international travel. She is more spontaneous, more outgoing, more experienced at travel and I think has less cynicism than I do; she wants to go back to the West Coast when her kids get to college. She'd probably call herself more of an archetypal California girl while I'm definitely an archetypal New Yorker (Southern roots notwithstanding). Kind of writes itself, doesn't it? I felt like I was Felix Unger or Larry Appleton for parts of that trip (the character who's more rigid, fearful of the unknown and so forth). Plus, she's got the looks and male attention + intelligence so there's none of that jealousy aimed at me. She also had the same complaint I have about the South and elucidated it even better than I did. I think of her like a cool sister or BFF who's more worldly in some ways but has never been patronizing about it since we're in agreement on a lot of things.
Mr. Big Stuff and I have also been talking way more often. He's coming to visit soon after he's got no more risk of icky corona virus germs (he's over a week into the mandatory self-quarantine though he never went to Wuhan or the Hubei Province). He also spoke of a possible future road trip and he knows I'd go on one with him. That'd be another test. He'd previously told me about where he's going to be spending a lot of time in the US and says to me "It'd be good for you to get out of NY for a while."
So that's led to a lot of questions on my part, as I'm sure most women would have: Do you love me? Where am I staying (I've usually hosted him when he visited here and he hosted me when he had a place to stay while doing a job here where he got accommodations at Columbia University)? Are you paying for me? Where do I stand with you? This is a guy I dated exclusively for a time when he lived here but life took him out of NYC and when he visits, I always see him since neither of us are exclusive with anyone else (when I thought he'd gotten an exclusive girlfriend without telling me, we got into a major fight where I told him to fuck off, he was dead to me and blocked him everywhere; he is the one who made the effort to contact me + apologized to me for that fight and saying we'd never been serious when we were together & this is a guy who never apologizes for things). We have discussed resuming our old exclusivity if we ended up living in the same area. He knows where the door is if he wants to take up with some other bitch & he is the one who chose to come back.
I straight up told him I'd travel to see a guy who loves me but I'm not going to pack things, pay money/lose money to then find him going out on dates or introducing me to some local ho like I'm supposed to be okay with that. Two can play that game & if he views me as "the NYC girl" it's wasting my time to invite me elsewhere if he doesn't feel anything real or sincere or has any future with me in mind. His actions have shown seriousness on his part, even more recently. I even said he acted like a guy who loved me and he didn't say "I don't love you." He didn't say "I love you" either, though. He knows I've got lots of blocks around that phrase in a romantic context & it would devastate me to say that to somebody first and not hear it back or even hear "I don't feel that way about you." In his case, I'd really feel robbed and deceived & he knows my history around it. Asking someone who's only loved one person in her entire life who then ended up betraying her in one of the worst ways to say "I love you" first is a huge ask. This is also a man who practically forced me to ask him about exclusivity after he called me his girlfriend (without advance notice) when we went to a formal event together. He told me we weren't exclusive because I'd never asked him so I decided I'd ask him, though I prefaced it with "you know I fear rejection but I'm going to ask you anyway." Something tells me he'll force me into any admissions of love. I never even said "I love you" first with my ex & I'm not a person who likes being vulnerable. I just feel like at this point, the evidence I've seen of his behavior towards me outweighs the risk of rejection. He has told me he wasn't just killing time with me until some mythical better girl shows up. He apparently also thought I'd go off and find some other guy then forget about him.
So this brings me to Valentine's Day, a day that lived in infamy for me for many years. Getting divorced years back also didn't make Valentine's Day a holiday with great associations for me. During that year, my then husband went off with his homie (a male coworker at his job who was a custodian, the job he held in the past & was also into the comics/sci-fi/gaming stuff that I wasn't) and said "I don't have a Valentine" while I was in the apartment. I stayed in, watched the movie I typically watch to commemorate it and ate alone. I've done this single person's ritual every year I was single and when I wasn't single or got invited on a date, I was out with a guy. Last year, I was on a date with a guy I met at a single's event I went to on my birthday proper. The year before, I got some boneless wings and fries at Wing Stop, had chocolate covered strawberries I'd ordered online and watched the movie I typically watch on Valentine's Day ("No One Would Tell" with Candace Cameron Bure & Fred Savage; look it up).
Today, I haven't felt a need to do a single person's ritual. My stomach feels crappy due to girl trouble but it's not that. It's not even the blistering cold outside. It just doesn't feel necessary for me to commemorate it at this point. Not sure why. Friends had talked to me about wanting to hang out but I feel cruddy so I'd just as soon stay inside and make myself something meaty (probably some turkey meat sliders since I need to eat something with meat in it) then take a shower and watch "Unsolved Mysteries." I heard a couple stories on there about people being murdered on Valentine's Day.
At least that hasn't happened, right? Maybe I just feel loved every other day of the year and have felt that more often in recent times so I don't see a need to "treat yo self" or make a big thing of it. Mr. Big Stuff doesn't acknowledge holidays or even his own birthday so he'd probably be happy to be with someone like me who doesn't have crazy Valentine's Day asks (if you take me to a nice dinner and get me something with good chocolate, I'm happy though I won't turn down roses or nice jewelry or stuffed animals and the like; plus I like getting laid so it's not like that's the only time a guy who was with me would get to do THAT). That's not most women considering Valentine's Day is usually designed to make them feel like shit if they're single. I really felt that in NC and dealing with my family but it's much easier in a major city, especially NYC since there are lots of single people here. You can go to singles parties, hang out with friends, be far away from the pressures and obligations Valentine's Day imposes on people. You won't be the only person in the office who didn't get roses or you could just order yourself roses and it's all good. Self love is important as well so I suppose I'm reframing today as about self love & being grateful I'm not in a bad relationship, have good friends, am getting my financial house in order (even delving into the world of investment), and according to one friend "lead a glamorous life." Plus, I've got more possibilities and opportunities ahead of me on so many fronts that I'm starting to see.