I Should Have Been Blogging But…

This entry will be short and sweet.  I was craving some fresh air, the mountains, and some time with my mama-san. She is 82 years of age, and there are no guarantees as to how much time I have with her.  That being said, we spent a day snowshoeing.  A great workout!

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Matching eyebags!

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82 years of age..still doing what she loves.

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Trying out my Christmas gift!

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Relaxing by the fire…this is the life!

My plate is so full lately, but there are times in life that you just have to say “to hell with it” and spend time with those who have always made time for you.  We spent about an hour outdoors with our snowshoes and then went out for an early dinner.

Now here is the hilarious part, mom wanted to learn how to do video calls.  When I got home we gave it a try.  She had a blast and was so happy to have learned how to do it.  She is the least tech savvy person on the face of the earth and this was a big a-ha moment for her.

Have an awesome Sunday, all!

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Bullet #2

Okay peeps, it’s been a while.  I have a bunch of posts rattling around my head, but have had zero time to sit down and do something about it.

This one in particular, though, I’ve been putting off intentionally.  It’s hard to think about.  It’s been eight years, but I will still occasionally get nightmares about it.

So, without further ado, the story of the second bullet I have dodged.  This one was a doozie.

I meet The Bible Thumper on POF.  In retrospect, I think my “thing” for men in uniform really messed with my judgement.  Had he not been a medic, I probably would not have given him the time of day.

He was a single dad from Cornwall with three kids from two different women. The younger two lived with their mom. The 18 year old hid in the basement 24/7.  I normally stayed away from guys who had young kids.  I know, it’s hypocritical, but I had such a hard time with my own prodigal when he hit the teen years.  There was no way I was going to willingly jump into that fire again, so the fact that the young ones were not there full time worked out just fine.

The first red flag that waved in my face was what he said to me on our very first date.  He wanted me to know that “sex is very important to him”…..really.  Who says that first thing off the bat?  I let it slide.

On our second date, he wanted to know if we could be exclusive.  I agreed, but felt it was a little soon to be talking of that. I let it slide.  That very night, he jumped on to Facebook and updated his status to “in a relationship with” and was waiting on my confirmation.  Aaaw crap.  Awkward.  I am uber private about stuff like that and agreeing to that was like dying a thousand deaths. I let it slide.

When we met I was a super busy girl, but made time for him.  Whenever we were apart though, he would send me selfies.  Uhm…ok. Did he think I would forget what he looked like or something?  I let it slide.

He introduced his kids very early.  I was so uncomfortable with that, but I didn’t say anything.  Know what else?  His kids were creepy.  There, I said it. All three of them were socially awkward.  I kid you not, the first time we all sat down for a meal together, one of them was eating everything with his hands…and he was 12 years of age. You always knew what those kids just ate because it was smeared all over their faces and shirts.  Dental hygiene was real dodgy in that place, too.

I met the almost ex-wife too.  She left The Bible Thumper for someone she met gaming online.  The new man was a 300 pound 20-something year old dude from Alabama that was still living in his mother’s home.

I am so not making this stuff up.

We were dating just over three months when he started talking about living together. Here’s the part that embarrasses me to no end…I actually agreed to it, but reluctantly.  I met him half way and said that at the end of my lease, which was in June.  This way it gave us more time to get to know each other and to let my son finish school.  There was no way I was pulling him away in his graduating year.

The months leading up to our moving in, I started noticing little things. Things like he had no male friends. Not one.  He spent a lot of time in bed, playing video games.  He had hoarder tendencies (I spent ALOT of time organizing and cleaning that shit hole of a house that was deep in the boonies).

Moving day came and I was so not ready.  The move itself was awful, nobody helped us and I still had boxes and boxes of unpacked stuff.  I was dragging my feet.  I should have listened to my gut, because the minute we were done, he tore me a new one, screaming that I did not prepare properly and that he was exhausted from all that work.

That was how my first night was with him.  He left all my furniture on the front lawn while he went to bed.  I was so shaken and got the feeling that I had just made the biggest mistake of my life.  Also, I had left my son behind with his dad because he did not want to move.  Good call, kiddo.

I sat on that front porch, crying and shaking.  What the hell had I just done?

I kept my job in Montreal and would commute daily.  If that is not a sign that I was not embracing this new life, I don’t know what was.  He kept asking when I would start looking for work in Cornwall.  In my head, the answer was “try never”.

About two weeks after I settled in, all of a sudden one more of his kids decided that he wanted to live with us.  Next thing you know, the third one was moving back too. All of this was decided without me.  I had zero say. When I mentioned that I felt it was something we should both discuss first, he became enraged.

All right, I have to stop here, it’s really tough to re-live this. Give me another day or two and I will finish this story.

Stay tuned.

 

Number of Bullets Dodged: 2

It occurred to me the other day that although I have been single for a while, I’m actually kind of fortunate. Why?  Because I somehow managed to dodge not one, but two relationship bullets. None of this was of my own doing; I was one of those dopes that stuck around far longer than I should have in relationships that were detrimental to my happiness and mental health.

Bullet #1 – My Beantown bad boy. I met “P” when he was stationed in Montreal. He worked as a customs agent at the airport. We shared a chemistry that was off the charts.  Unfortunately, that was about all we shared.  We just could not seem to make things work.

I always felt that something was not quite right, that he was hiding something from me.  His work hours were kind of weird (which I’m sure was not entirely true) and he would head back to Boston every couple weekends to spend time with his little daughter and his folks.

He was also known to ghost me on a fairly regular basis.  The night of our very first date, he called an hour prior to cancel.  Apparently a “big emergency” cropped up at the airport. Something about someone trying to bring cocaine into the country or out….not sure how that worked, but I call bullshit on that one.

That was the first of many cancellations on his part.   We would make plans to meet and something aaaaalllways came up.  This went on and off for a couple years.  It seemed that every time I was getting over him, he would call.  The last date we had been on while he was still in Montreal was a doozie.  It was around my birthday and he wanted to take me out.  We had a lovely time and he had asked me to stay over night.  I could not believe my ears.  He NEVER asked me to stay.  I was over the moon happy. At last, I thought, we are getting on the right track with this. I could not have been more wrong.

The following morning we were lying in bed talking, and that’s when he dropped the bombshell.  He fessed up that he was returning to Boston for good in a couple weeks.  He may as well have slapped me across the face. It would have hurt less.  I just sat there, at a loss for words.  Could he not have told me this sooner?  His answer: he was afraid I would not agree to see him if he would have told me.

Ya think? What kind of fuckery was this? Well, thanks for taking that choice away from me, shithead.

It hurt like hell when he left.  Flash forward to about 10 years of on again off again long distance romance/train wreck. We would see each other maybe twice a year.  He would keep in touch, ghost me, lather rinse repeat. I can’t tell you how many times he would swear up and down he was driving to Montreal and then cancel at the last minute.  It got to the point where I would start having horrible anxiety days before his supposed arrival because I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

In those lapses of time where he would pull a Houdini on me, I would receive an occasional email saying he was in the middle East.  This part is true, I’ve seen the pics. He could never tell me many details about his work.  Apparently it was all “sensitive information”.  Maybe, maybe not.  I’ll never know.

The last time I saw him was in 2012.  I was vacationing in Ogunquit.  He met me there and he spent the night.  He even eluded to the fact that the next time he went to South Carolina for work, I could maybe meet him there. Maybe...he wasn’t sure….

The tip off should have been the fact that he spent the night.  Apparently I forgot about this pattern from years earlier. It was the big kiss off once more.  He left in the morning and I was packing and getting ready to head back home, he called.  He wanted to know if I was ok. Uhm..yes, why?  He wanted to say thank you.  Thank me? For what?  I’ll never forget his answer “For everything.  For you.”  It was only after he hung up did I have a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Mother effer.

The entire drive home, I kept replaying our weekend together, wondering if I had missed something.  Surely he wasn’t doing what I thought he was doing.  Was he?

Yep, he was.  I didn’t realize until later what that goodbye really meant. He started ghosting me again, and next thing I knew, he got married.  Which is interesting considering he told me he could never ask me to marry him because of his health issues.  He loved me more than anything and apparently it just wouldn’t be fair to me. Just couldn’t do that to me.  Yessiree.

So you’re probably wondering where the part about dodging a bullet comes in.  When P was 13 he began a five year long battle with cancer.  He pulled through after extensive rounds of chemo and radiation.

I knew he had been sick as a teen, but the most recent health update was learned through a GoFundMe account started by his best friend.  He is trying to raise $20,000 to help cover medical expenses and bills.  With the years, those treatments have taken their toll on P’s heart and lungs and needs transplants.  Thing is, his doctors have stated that his health would begin to deteriorate faster than it has in the past year.

I don’t know if he was sincere in his reason to not marry me.  All I know is that if I would have left everything behind; my family, my job, my friends, I would be in the same position his wife is in now.  Only thing is, I probably would not be able to work legally.  We would be broke and I would probably eventually end up coming back to Canada, heartbroken and destitute.

Since having received this news, I just want to hear his voice, tell him that despite everything I still love him.  That I hate what he’s going through.  How sorry I am he is not well.  That I am happy he found someone to build a life with.  That I am grateful he’s not going through this alone. I saw him briefly in a dream the other night and it was nice to see his face and hear his voice, even if it was not real.

I’ve written enough on this one.  Stay tuned for the story of bullet #2.

 

 

Financial Support..And A Vacation To Hawaii????

I have debated whether or not I should write this.  Why? Because it involves people from my church. The youth pastor and his family, to be specific.

Have you ever had a weird feeling around someone and you just could not give any rational explanation why? This has pretty much been the case since day 1 of having met this couple.

For those of you who are fellow believers and participate in church life, I know the first thing that will pop into your minds is that I should not be speaking this way.  Let me offer up apologies in advance, but I am human and with that comes imperfections.  I’ve searched my heart and I don’t think there’s any real malice there, just a niggling, annoying feeling that won’t go away.

When I first heard the word “missionaries”, it conjured up images of people in remote places in the world with no running water or electricity, trying to plant churches. Coming to Canada from across the U.S. border was not exactly what I had expected, but what do I know?

So, long story short, this couple and their children, who are related to my pastor (they are brothers), came on the scene about five years ago. Montreal is one of the least churched provinces in Canada, especially when it comes to youth.  This was their calling, to draw the young’uns to God.

In all fairness, they are very active within the youth community and have managed to make connections with teens.  Not many have actually started coming to church, but they do attend youth nights and activities outside of church.  Hey, if it keeps them off the street, drugs and other vices, it’s all good.

So what’s the problem?  They seem insincere and full of themselves. Little cliques have formed and we have lost some really good folks due to personality clashes.  They have rubbed some the wrong way, myself included. We used to be so much more united, and now there are divisions.  If you don’t notice them, it’s because you are part of a clique.

There are so many things that have cropped up, but I’ll stick to the latest red flag.  They just came back from a vacation…to Hawaii.  I’ve been to Hawaii.  It’s not cheap.  So, they are getting funds from their church in Pennsylvania as well as from our church in Montreal.  That’s not all.  Last year they all went to Disneyland and took a young girl they have unofficially “adopted” as well.  Uhm…..is it just me, or does this seem a little extravagant?

There have been a couple of times when they have had fundraisers (and by fundraisers, I mean turning to the congregation for money) for a particular youth group activity.  Here’s a thought…have a carwash, a bakesale, craft sale, etc. Or, stop using the money you are being given to go on expensive vacations while you are “missionaries”.

Another thing that gets me is the “you’re with us or against us” mentality.  If one does not buy into their way of thinking 100%, it’s an issue, and you are automatically labeled a trouble maker.  I’m sorry, but calling myself Christian does not mean I check my brain and judgement at the door on Sunday.

I’ve seen pics of her parent’s home.  Do you know they have an full sized giraffe that they had taxidermy-ed in their living room.  Not just the head.  The whole freaking thing! This was a “trophy” they hunted and killed while on a safari somewhere. They are not hurting financially.  Good for them, but again, modesty is lacking, in my humble opinion.

Then there’s that fake smile that never quite reaches the eyes.  I usually have a really good sense about people and there’s something about this couple that just has never felt “right”.

Don’t get me started on the Facebook rants.  Do you know what I absolutely love about my pastor and his wife?  You never know what their political views are.  They keep everything to themselves.  Not these two.  They would post all sorts of stuff about Trump during the elections and start online debates with others and should they become cross (pun not intended!) with someone, they would post little quips and digs, hidden behind scripture.  Seriously?

I got tired of seeing the bullshit on display and I unfriended them from Facebook.  The result?  I don’t see or hear any of the drama anymore and I am less annoyed.

So that’s my rant.  I’d love to hear comments from others, whether or not you agree with me.  Sometimes it helps to hear other perspectives. I just hope that when their time is up in two years, that they pack up and head back home.  It will be interesting to see how things turn out with the rest of the congregation.

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January 8

Today’s entry: Need to Achieve

Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry.

– Gloria Steinem

A former love of mine was put it so aptly “You women have become so self sufficient that you don’t need men anymore”.

Wow.  I could not believe what I was hearing.  Was he right?  I was so surprised that a man could feel that way. It was a real eye opener.

Have we become so good at achieving and accomplishing that we have put our softer, more feminine side on the back burner to our own detriment?

As much as I hate to admit it, I think we have.

A little background info on yours truly; lost my dad at the age of 17, got kicked out of the house at 18, was in a bachelor apartment and finishing high-school, hit the ground running and was hand to mouth living for several years. Got married, got divorced when my son was 2 and have raised him on my own.  Worked my way up in clinical research and have never remarried. My kiddo is 26 years of age.

I’ve dated, but never successfully.  Long term relationships would inevitably leave me losing my identity and feeling miserable.  Long story short, domesticity scares the hell out of me.  It looks nice for other people, but I’m just not sure I’m cut out for it.

I’ve accomplished much.  My life today looks nothing like it did when I was in a married couple.  This, right now, who I am, feels right.

I think Gloria Steinem was spot on in her comment.  When I find a male version of myself, then I might reconsider my days as a singleton.  Until then though, I remain content in my state of celibacy.

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Now That That’s Over…

Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. Yes, even though mine sucked large this year (I guess I should say last year now?), it is still one of my favourite time of the year.

Am I glad it’s over? Hell ya. Enough now. Let’s get back to a sense of normalcy and routine.

No resolutions for me in the new year. Goals and plans only. That being said, one of my goals is to be more present. Life has a way of just sweeping us up in the daily grind, doesn’t it?

Rush to work, rush home, shopping, housework, lather rinse repeat. I hate that. Going through the motions means we miss out on opportunities to really have a good look around and appreciate situations and learning experiences.

In an effort to be more tuned in, I decided to dust off a book I bought so many many years ago. I’d like to share it with you if you are also on a quest to experience all the unseen but concrete goings on in life.

Obviously I cannot copy page for page due to copyright issues, but will be posting parts of it as food for thought. Maybe it will even encourage you to get a copy for yourself.

Here it is:

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There’s a quote each day and the author has written a little blurb about it. Nothing too long, just a paragraph or two.

Stay tuned for more!

07 January

Today’s entry: Rigidity

Changes in life are not only possible and predictable, but to deny them is to be an accomplice to one’s own unnecessary vegetation.

  Gail Sheehy

I get this; change should not be scary.  As I get older though, I do find that I feel a bit more apprehension about change than I did years ago.

Why is it I always encourage others to embrace change and get excited for them but can’t do the same for myself?

Over the holidays, I noticed that regardless of what the topic was, my mom’s response was always of the “what if” variety.  I don’t want to live my life like that.  If changes do not come our way, we stop growing and become dull and disgruntled. Am I right?

Example – mom’s apartment is in need of a good makeover.  She has been living there for 18 years and has accumulated a lot of “stuff”.  It’s all clean and put away nicely, but she really has no need for all of it.  It also takes up quite a bit of space.  I offered to give her bedroom a fresh look come Spring.  Right away, she started fussing about color of walls and has to take the next tennant into consideration.  Whaaattt?  No you do not.  The next time mom moves it will be in a pine box as she is healthy as a horse, but still in her 80’s.  I had a good talking with her.  Why is she limiting what could be a nice change for herself “in case” the next person who lives there does not like it.  See?  Apprehensive about everything lately.  That should not be.

The prodigal is going through so much change right now and although he is scared, he is plowing forward, at his own pace, in his own way.  I have learned to shut my mouth and have not tried to control or fix anything.  I offer my attention to him as a sounding board when he needs to vent, advice when he asks for it and guidance when I think he may have overlooked something.

My changes?  Not sure yet.  I do know that I’m trying new things in an effort to meet new people.  I have friends, but my motto has always been variety is the spice of life.

Have a great Sunday, all!