Dust Bunnies From Under The Couch

Last week while mom was in the hospital, my sister and I cleaned the house.  Oh I mean we REALLY cleaned the house.  As in moved the furniture and vacuumed, dusted, purged (read: threw out all the crap).  If you know anything of my sister-in-law from over at Martinis Needed, you know that her sweet, OCD self must have everything “Mr. Spiffy” clean.  For those not familiar with Mr. Spiffy, I recommend you watch the Backyardigan’s episode, “What’s Bugging You”.   We jokingly say it ain’t clean if it ain’t Angie clean.  Mr. Spiffy would likely fall short of her standards.  We were shooting for Angie Clean.  We came close!

It is always an adventure to move anything around here and look under it.  Assorted dust bunnies are a given, but with 3 cats also in residence, you will find secret stashes of their various stolen treasures.  One of the cats used to swipe coins from around the house and hide them under the rug in the kitchen.   That came to a halt when we discovered it a few too many times, and we’ve yet to locate her new hiding place.  Not sure if she was saving up for a bus trip to escape but she always had at least a few dollars in random change.  This time, we found not only cat treasures, but enough plastic food to stock a small, toddler grocery store.  Seems when I was in the childcare business here, the little people were shoving it under furniture.

Me and my granddaughter, Little Red, this past Monday.

Memories can be a lot like those dust bunnies, until you actually go looking for them or the couch of life is moved, you don’t know they are there.  My son, his wife, and my adorable granddaughter stopped over Monday for a visit.  HIJACKING: I absolutely LOVE being a grandma, best role in life EVER!!!  One reason being in order to be a grandparent you had to have been a parent, and I have the best kids.  *Return to Blog*  Somewhere the topic came up of our blood types and I mentioned I knew my son’s because it was on his crib card in the hospital.   He asked if I still had that so I went up and brought  down my memory box.  It is a wood box with a hinged lid that my brother, Yatz, made for me in high school.  I have special, “in case of fire” items in there.  I had to explain that means in case of fire in the house grab that box while exiting.  I have in there the outfits my kids came home from the hospital wearing, their crib cards, their bracelets, and countless other items.  My granddaughter had a lot of laughs looking at old photos of not only her daddy, but her uncles, aunt and grandma too.  It was a lot of fun going through that box again, and if your past photos popped up on Facebook, blame my son. 🙂

The winds of time blew the Long Beach dust bunny out from under the couch of life.  I know, very interesting timing.  Right in the middle of writing my post the other day about the Biker and I going our separate ways, I  received a text from him.   I didn’t even have his phone number anymore, was clueless at first who was messaging me.  Last time I had heard from him he was vowing to change my mind about all men being pigs, contrary to what the ex-husband told me, and I was dumping live piranhas in the mote and pulling up the drawbridge to this princess’s castle!  He had NOT changed my mind, by the way.   He tells me he is coming this way in a few weeks or so, to take me to dinner.  I will believe this when the food and the drink land in front of me on the table while I’m listening to him tell me about himself in his delightful, Irish accent.  If by some miracle this actually happens, I assure you there  will be a photo to prove it. (don’t hold your breath, dear readers, I’m certainly not!)

Another dust bunny was found beneath the couch of life today.  A former neighbor growing up (we’re talking when I was very young), found and commented on a blog post of mine. Pat is his name.  He used to live next  door and after hearing about the health of another former neighbor, dear sweet Annie, decided to look up our family and track us down to say hello.   A few shared remembrances there, very pleasant ride down memory lane again.

And here I thought I’d have nothing to write about today!

Who, What, Where, When, Why, How

I’m in a funk.

I know, but trust me us eternal optimists hit a funk now and then despite all the silver linings we can find.

Just happens once in a while.  I’ll snap out of it.

I think it is associated with the purging, the breakup, and the end of the year.

Looking back at this time last year, I was in a relationship with Mr. Wonderful.  He really did help me grow and see myself in a better light than I had since being told that my marriage had reached its expiration date.  It was the second time in life our paths had crossed, and that time we let things unfold and discovered the feelings we suspected were there years earlier still there and very real.  And completely wrong as he belonged to another. His story is just tragic and sad to me.  I hope he is able to break free and enjoy life and just be happy.  But that will require him getting out of a loveless marriage that has been that way for oh so many years.  We’ve remained good friends and still talk now and then, encourage each other’s walk and faith.

This is my second year in the past 24, that I’m celebrating Christmas without Ebenezer Scrooge.   22 years of being married to the partner of Jacob Marley could put a little black rain cloud over the holidays.  While the Count turned out to be the Grinch, all is good and I won’t let it get me down for Christmas.  Once again we’ve got the house all decorated, and it looks beautiful.  Fire in the fireplace, relaxing and enjoying this time as a family.  Time before 2 Divas will go out of here and we’ll be down to us three older chicks.  One is moving out after the holidays, and one enlisted in the Marines and will head off to basic in July.  Yep, in a  year the landscape of your life does change, often dramatically. Next year the youngest Diva will be away from home with the Marines and not here with us.

In the past year my heart was held by 3 men, and all of them managed to break it.  One because we didn’t mean to have things go from friends to lovers but it did, and he (Mr. Wonderful) was not free to pursue us.  And I didn’t know that at the time, that important  piece was never shared I discovered it on my own.  The Superhero never meant  to break it, the timing was just wrong.  Again, good friend that I dearly love and knows all he  has to do is call and I’m there to drink a few and hang out.  And then there is the Count.  That one is a just a big ass mystery to me to go from planning the future to nothing over night.  And now the gift I was working on for him for Christmas is sitting in the bag in my closet, partially completed and I haven’t the desire to finish it.  My hook and yarn are therapy for me, and there is great love and many prayers that go into every stitch of anything I make for another person.  There is no joy in that bag now, just a reminder of what isn’t to be.  My Camelot didn’t work out so well, King Arthur let me down.  I should just finish it for me, but it wasn’t supposed to be for me!  Or maybe finish it and mail it to him since it was specifically for him and I sure don’t want it.  *sigh*

Sir Lancelot and a number of other knights have let me know of their interest, but Guinevere just isn’t sure.  Oh there is a desire to try again, but my heart just isn’t ready, not yet.  Then again life is short.  Decisions…..what to do?

Then there is the Avon vs. childcare.  I’m down to one baby during the day, and an 8yo before and after school.  I will have a friend’s 2 but just one day a week to give her a day a week for herself while hubby is deployed and she finishes school.  In the summer I won’t have them, just during the school year.  So..take on a few more kids or really dive in to Avon and try to get things up where I need them?  Hard choice really.  Avon would pay off in the long run, but in the short term my son is getting married in 3 months and mama needs to cough up half of the money for the rehearsal dinner and a dress.  Babysitting full time and working Avon at night and on weekends is the safer choice but doesn’t leave me much ME time at all.  ARGH!

I know, the funk will pass and I’ll figure it all out as I go, just like I always do.

But still…in the funk at the moment, and just feeling kinda BLAH.

Oh Yes, I Did!

I receive all kinds of interesting spam email advertising everything under the sun, and a few of those scam ones with some foreign royalty that needs me to help them get some big bucks processed.  I had made the mistake one night of signing up for a free online dating service, totally free.  BIG mistake.  However the humor value associated was high, my sister signed up too and we spent and evening sipping wine and laughing so hard at the profiles and photos by the time we were finished we’d cried our makeup off from laughing to tears!

So, when I kept getting ads for eHarmony, I blew it off.  I actually know people that were turned down after taking their extensive ‘test’ required for matching you to compatible individuals.  It also isn’t exactly inexpensive.  I mentioned it on Facebook last week that I was considering it, “To eHarmony or not to eHarmony”  I posted, and many friends had something to say about it, as well as a few other sites (Match.com and True.com).   Well, I  admit it, I caved.  I took their lengthy test and 3 cups of coffee later I was accepted.  I payed out some cash and joined, what the heck, nothing to lose right? Well okay, the pricey fee but other than that?

It is a world of difference from the free sites and some of the pay sites for 2 reasons.  1)  No doubt because you have to fill out the test.  I recognize it as some sort of  psychological thing, checking to see how you answer things multiple times in multiple ways, as well as gauging who you really are and then they use that along with your interests, must haves etc. to match you up to likely compatible individuals.  I did research them and supposedly they really do a pretty good job.  Seeing how I was not exactly scoring high on my own at finding men that I am a good fit with, that happen to have the same goal in mind as I do (finding a life partner I can coexist with HAPPILY) what could it hurt?

I admit to being skeptical about these things, highly so.  However so far I have been pleasantly surprised.  The 2nd reason it is so different from other sites is that you can’t go searching on there, they do the matching and you receive your potential matches daily.  Once you are matched then you have the option of communicating with those individuals eHarmony feels are good prospects.   That eliminates creepy types from perving over your profile and contacting you pretending to be all you are looking for, which likely eliminates a good portion of freaks.  And the goal of the site is long term relationships, not hook-ups for sex.   I can find those on my own if that is the goal, the line is rather long (and will continue to be as that is not my goal).  I am very pleased with the potentials they’ve matched me with, VERY pleased.

My goal is to find a man that accepts me for who and what I am,  all my perfect imperfections, and isn’t looking to change or mold me.  I have a lot to give the right person.  No rushing, this time if someone tells me what a perfect fit we are or that they are falling for me the 3rd time we are together, I swear I’m outta there.  Not letting my heart get sucked into that line again,  the armor is staying on a long time, heart locked down tight.  I am having issues believing anything I’m told by men anymore, it just never pans out.  I want to believe it when it is said next time because it is true, and not because they are saying what they think I want to hear.  My heart cannot take much more breaking.

So begins my adventures in online dating. ..

How Long Can I Stand Outside The Fire?

When the foundation of my world suddenly crumbled beneath me, I stuffed my heart into a protective bubble, vowing to never again let it feel.  It felt like it had been fed through a meat grinder, and I’m fairly certain major pieces were lost or beyond repair.  It sat in ICU on life support a long time.  While my kitten helped me to heal and love again when it came to HER, men were another story.  I just don’t trust them, most all seem to be complete pigs (MOST not all).  Friends with benefits became the name of  the game for me, sex with no emotions.  I stayed in the swinger lifestyle a bit, thinking perhaps as a single I’d feel differently about it.  But I found out quickly how empty that still was, how much I felt like a blow up doll to be used then passed on.  Swinging wasn’t any different single than married, except now I didn’t have someone who at least CLAIMED to love and adore me when I got home.  Empty sex wasn’t cutting it, they make ‘toys’ for that sort of thing with less  hassle involved.

Friends with benefits works in theory, but “friends” without the emotion reminds me of visitors in prison.  They sit on either side of a window, they can talk,  laugh, etc, but  when it comes to touching there is a clear barrier between them.  Everything special is beyond reach.   Hand to hand coldness with glass in between.  In this case it is the hearts that sit across from each other, but cannot reach out and touch, they are blocked by a clear fortress wall meant to shield and protect.  This was what I thought I wanted, but instead my heart wants to feel after all.  However, I am terribly afraid of my emotions, and afraid to trust another with my heart or trust myself with someone else’s,  the pain of the marriage ending still very fresh in my mind.  But my heart rebels against the restraints, is pushing against the protective bubble despite me.

I’ve talked about my great aunt Ruth before, how she divorced and raised her kids alone at a time when divorce was NOT acceptable.  She did find love again but for whatever reason never remarried.  She was engaged, yet did not live with him.  She kept her own place, he kept his.  They stayed nights with each other but each had their own sanctuary to go too, their own ‘place’ and independence.  I have not yet found out why this was but I plan too, I want to know how that worked and why they did it that way.

I  don’t know if that is the sort of relationship I want or not.  A long term, deep friendship/companionship type of relationship seems appealing.  Exclusive but not bound by anything but trust that there is  no sharing of oneself with others.  Trust without a commitment.   Trust is a tough thing for me right  now, but I’m working on it.  Just one day at a time.

I  don’t believe any longer that you can have a friendship that includes intimacy on a sexual level and have it be void of emotions.  There is going to be a bond that forms, there is just no way to look another person in the eyes during those moments, to hold and kiss them, to share something so personal and not have some sort of feeling developing, not be touching each others hearts even if ever so lightly.  Even on just the friendship side, without the sex, there will be feelings that develop and grow.  Not necessarily love in the sense of being romantically in love, but you cannot have a friendship without caring.  The foundation of any friendship is built on caring.  Not the intense, burning love that takes a while to grow, but there is feeling there, and emotions do come from our hearts.  Add sex to that friendship and fragile hearts will be risking hurt all over again.  Love can and will grow when least expected.  Time + friendship + sharing + companionship + sex has a really good shot at equaling love.  That is evident in arranged marriages that over the years of being together, working together, being physically intimate together grows a love like no other.  One of my favorite places to eat is owned by a couple a number of years older than myself, that were married by arrangement in Greece when they were very young.  They came here and established themselves and are still married.  No it wasn’t a match made in heaven but even when grumbling at each other it is SO evident that they very much love each other.

How long can two people  share pieces of themselves, share intimacy, standing outside of the fire, before they are drawn in without even realizing it?

One  of my favorite movies is ‘Fiddler On The Roof‘ (I’m a sucker for musicals).  There is a song in there,  when Tevye asks his wife, Golde, if she loves him.  Here is the song:

(Tevye)
“Golde, I have decided to give Perchik permission to become engaged to our daughter, Hodel.”

(Golde)
“What??? He’s poor! He has nothing, absolutely nothing!”

(Tevye)
“He’s a good man, Golde.
I like him. And what’s more important, Hodel likes him. Hodel loves him.
So what can we do?
It’s a new world… A new world. Love. Golde…”

Do you love me?

(Golde)
Do I what?

(Tevye)
Do you love me?

(Golde)
Do I love you?
With our daughters getting married
And this trouble in the town
You’re upset, you’re worn out
Go inside, go lie down!
Maybe it’s indigestion

(Tevye)
“Golde I’m asking you a question…”

Do you love me?

(Golde)
You’re a fool

(Tevye)
“I know…”

But do you love me?

(Golde)
Do I love you?
For twenty-five years I’ve washed your clothes
Cooked your meals, cleaned your house
Given you children, milked the cow
After twenty-five years, why talk about love right now?

(Tevye)
Golde, The first time I met you
Was on our wedding day
I was scared

(Golde)
I was shy

(Tevye)
I was nervous

(Golde)
So was I

(Tevye)
But my father and my mother
Said we’d learn to love each other
And now I’m asking, Golde
Do you love me?

(Golde)
I’m your wife

(Tevye)
“I know…”
But do you love me?

(Golde)
Do I love him?
For twenty-five years I’ve lived with him
Fought him, starved with him
Twenty-five years my bed is his
If that’s not love, what is?

(Tevye)
Then you love me?

(Golde)
I suppose I do

(Tevye)
And I suppose I love you too

(Both)
It doesn’t  change a thing
But even so
After twenty-five years
It’s nice to know

I  have always loved that song and thought of the couple I spoke of above when I heard it.  Love WILL grow over time, when life and times are shared, good and bad, and intimacy.  It cannot be avoided.  It makes the entering into a long term friendship something not to be taken lightly, as the longer the friendship lasts, the more the bond will form,  and fondness will grow deeper and become love.  The only way to avoid this is to run away when the heart starts to feel something, or be a hermit, become an island and simply exist.  But that isn’t living.  I don’t want to  just exist in this world, especially when I feel God gave us a heart so that we would love and care about others.  Him first of course, but then others.  He even said it is not good for man to be alone.  Perhaps that is why when we are alone it doesn’t feel right?  We’re made for mating, two people becoming one together.  But in the imperfection of this world, many don’t last forever as intended.

I just feel that I cannot give up on love, it can and does work the way it is supposed too.  Forever does mean something to some, it meant something to me before.  I didn’t chose to bail, I meant every word I said when I got married.  While I don’t know that I would ever marry again,  I won’t say ‘never’.  But I will love again, and relish it while it lasts knowing full well I will hurt again.  Love will either end by man’s doing or death, but sooner or later there WILL be pain again.  It is part of life. And I want to LIVE life again, be it with a long term companion/friend or more….I will one day let someone hold my heart, and I will hold theirs as well,  and guard it with all that is in me.

 

We call them cool
Those hearts that have no scars to show
The ones that never do let go
And risk it the tables being turned

We call them fools
Who have to dance within the flame
Who chance the sorrow and the shame
That always come with getting burned

But you got to be tough when consumed by desire
‘Cause it’s not enough just to stand outside the fire
We call them strong
Those who can face this world alone
Who seem to get by on their own
Those who will never take the fall

We call them weak
Who are unable to resist
The slightest chance love might exist
And for that forsake it all

They’re so hell bent on giving, walking a wire
Convinced it’s not living if you stand outside the fire

Chorus:
Standing outside the fire
Standing outside the fire
Life is not tried it is merely survived
If you’re standing outside the fire

There’s this love that is burning
Deep in my soul
Constantly yearning to get out of control
Wanting to fly higher and higher
I can’t abide standing outside the fire

Repeat Chorus(twice)

~ Garth Brooks ~

Learning To LIVE Again

Recently I came across Andy Rooney’s I’ve Learned – The Art Of Happiness.  2 things really stood out to me (okay the whole thing stands out to me but due to a personal, internal struggle, 2 of them really jumped out at me).

“I’ve learned that…LOVE, not time heals all wounds.”

and…

“I’ve learned that…under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.”

I’ve really been struggling lately regarding relationships and exactly what it is that I want in one.  Friends with benefits works well in theory but there is no way that two people can spend time together as friends without some type of bond forming.  We have control over our emotions to some degree, but I don’t believe that we can make ourselves love or not love someone else.  Therefore we must chose wisely who we spend time with, flirt with, and share with knowing that the possibility is always there.  How committed we are and how much we love someone has little bearing on what can happen with another that we get too close too.  We can chose to walk away when we sense that feelings are developing but we cannot control the chemistry that happens between two people.  Add sexual intimacy to the mix and I do not believe it will remain void of emotion.

I was never one to flirt around outside of my marriage beyond a surface level.  I knew all too well that chemistry happens and when the right mix occurs between any man and woman, sparks can fly.  I only flirted within safe boundaries, with those I didn’t feel a real attraction towards, that way I could keep it fun.  Of course that too is playing with fire in that I had no way of knowing how the object of my attention might react.  Attraction is often one sided.  I also know that men rarely think with their hearts or their larger heads, so a little flirting can get a girl in a heap of trouble.  Guys are weak, and thrive on female attention.  Any female with half a brain picks up on this early in life and plays the flirt card to her advantage.  It may get  your tire changed on the road side, or free drinks all night at a bar.  It is also a power game when you can persuade an otherwise faithful man to your bed for the night even though he may have a beautiful, adoring wife at home (trust me 26yrs ago I played this game).  Men are just pigs enough that they never seem to catch on that they are being used by the flirty little tart as part of a game to make herself feel powerful.  She might even play that game a long time before setting her prey free to face the consequences of his actions.  For some such women it isn’t a win until he has left his wife and all that was important behind, only to be dumped soon after.  Men are pigs, women are vicious she devils.  Make no mistake about it.

Not all men are complete pigs and certainly not all women are demonic creatures, but we do carry those less desirable traits to our over all characters.  For me, finding the man that was a more ‘cultured swine‘ was the goal in life.  And for a long time I certainly believed I had found it.  But even he fell victim too easily to the games of the more wicked of women now and then.

After such a long time and so much of me invested in my marriage, when the end came I encased my heart and determined I was NOT going to love anyone again.  Friends with benefits was the answer to preventing pain from ever touching me.  I honestly didn’t believe I could mentally stand that kind of hurt another time without landing in a padded cell wearing a straight jacket.

Enter Pixel Kitten.  My sister’s birthday gift to me, an adorable, 5 week old, orphaned kitten that NEEDED someone to love her.  I carried her around that first weekend from Friday afternoon until I had to leave for work on Monday morning, caring for her every need and doing something I didn’t even realize was happening….FEELING.  My wounded, well protected heart was wrapping around this helpless little kitten that clung to me like I was her mama.  She slept against my chest or my face, wasn’t happy unless she was being held, and began to breathe life back into my heart.  In the first few weeks she gently helped my heart off of life support and out of ICU.  I thought it was because time had passed since I found out my marriage was over, that I finally was HEALING.  And then when I read the quote, “I’ve learned that…LOVE, not time heals all wounds.” I realized that in fact it was love the healed my heart.  I poured all that pain into loving that little bundle and without even realizing it I was feeling again, thanks to my 4-legged heart band-aid. By allowing my heart to feel love again, it healed.

Even in my favorite movie, Always, the truth was right in front of me.  It wasn’t until Dorinda allowed her heart to FEEL love again that she began to heal from the loss of Pete.  The pain I carried wasn’t going to go away until I filled that void with love, first for Pixel, and now who knows, but loving is the healing balm on the wounds of my heart, no doubt about it.

All this time I had thought I would do better to NOT feel love again, that I’d heal from my wounds and move past the pain by shutting out any and all emotional involvement with anyone.  And in my friends with benefits style relationships, it almost works.  Except that in order to NOT feel for these so called friends, the only communication that could pass between us would be arranging for the hook up and the sex itself.  No pillow talk, no sharing, just the sex and be gone.  How cold.  I’m not that type, I’m not inflatable.  No that is not at all what I want, but in order to be truly friends with anyone there is sharing which leads to caring, which leaves the heart vulnerable.  So the question is how far can I safely let down my protective walls around my heart?  “I’ve learned that…under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.” And this IS true, deep inside of every human is the basic need to be loved and with that love appreciated.   But it means allowing someone to get inside the barriers we build when we’ve been hurt.  Sometimes it is circumstances, life, fate, or people, but the pain inflicted is real and the protective walls mean to shield from future suffering.  But without love we do not heal those wounds, they simply fester beneath the surface making us unable to trust or exist beyond our self imposed exile.  We move about as an island in the world not allowing anyone close to us.  This is NOT living, this is existing.

I know that I do not want to merely exist in this life, moving through it watching others but never letting anyone get close to me.  Trusting someone to hold my heart means yes, I will hurt again, yes I will cry again, but it means I WILL be able to love again.  And love will heal the past hurts.  Not everyone I share my heart with is going to purposely hurt me, some will be unintentional.  The one I chose to give it wholly to in the future will hurt me at times, it goes with being in a relationship.  But that same person, can love the pain away and heal whatever harm is done.  It will mean being willing to be vulnerable, and take a chance on LIVING again, not just going through the motions.  Taking down the wall a brick at a time, and taking baby steps forward.

I want to walk the sandy beaches of life in a relationship again, allowing the waters of love to wash over me, feel the sun, breezes, and sometimes the necessary storms of emotions that come with opening up my heart again.  I want to LIVE life.

Pruning – Part 2

**DISCLAIMER: The following has been rated PG-13 for language and subject matter**

Names.  They are an important part of our identity.  We’re given a name at birth, and it lands on our birth certificates.  It is how we are legally known in the world.  Mine is Martha, I’m the 3rd in a line of oldest daughters in the family to carry that name.  My nickname since birth has been Marti.  From day one my parents called me Marti.  By the time I reached Catholic school, it was the only name I knew myself by, so when the nuns refused to use it and would only call us by our given names, that frankly pissed me off.  My mother is Marty, her siblings all call her that.   In fact in the extended family they referred to mom as big Mart, and me as little Mart.  When I was pregnant with my daughter, my uncle asked  if my baby was a girl, were we going to name her Martha and call her mini Mart.  Not so much.  In high school they called me Marti, teachers, friends, students, even the principal knew me as Marti.  I go to the doctor and while they have my legal/birth name on all records, they too call me Marti. As does the dentist, eye doctor etc.

Nicknames are just as much a person’s name as the one on their birth certificate.  My ex, his name is Peter.  But you won’t find anyone other than his mother and one or two friends that refer to him as Peter.  Everyone else calls him Pete.  My son is Michael, and my intent was always for him to be Michael.  But that failed, his buddies called him Mike and I gave up.  His little sister still uses Michael but she is one of few.

In the swinger lifestyle my name was Jaz.  It was a shortened version of Jasmine, a name from a time prior to the lifestyle.  I won’t go into all that, but nicknames kept us from being recognized in conversations by others when in the hearing of those outside of the lifestyle.  After a time we did tell folks my real name but so many couldn’t make the change.  Several said Jaz suited me better.  It was even on my license plates for a while.

Jaz is the side of me that was naughty!  The side that long ago in single days danced on tables in bars, that  flashed the band for beads, the side of me you would find naked in the pool or hot tub with a mix of friends, the side of me that was quite confident in who I am and makes no excuse for being a bad girl at times.  The side of me that did many nude photo shoots, and that is why you won’t see me running for political office because those pics are floating around all over the place  and would likely surface.  Not that I give a flying frog’s ass but voters might.  That is the side of me that is certain when I walk in a church that lightening is going to strike and the walls will fall down.  Jaz is every bit a part of who I am, but also the part that shocks folks when they discover that this woman was the prim and proper, jumper to the mid-calf, wife to the chairman of the deacon board and now has surgically enhanced 38D boobs, pink hair and tattoos.  I’m a bad girl at times, sue me.

Many had issues with the name thing, funny that they themselves go by nicknames.  One in particular now doesn’t even use Marti when referring to me to others but uses Martha.  What the fuck ever, it matters little to me (though I’d imagine the bitch doesn’t call the ex Peter….just saying). Not sure why anyone cares what I go by since my life and what I do in NO way impacts their own.  What is that saying, love me or hate me, either way if you are talking about me you are thinking about me?  🙂

My naughty side and my good girl side are all really one in the same person.  The lines have blurred as I’ve become comfortable with myself and learned to love me as I am.  It isn’t that I have a naughty side, it is that I know there is a time and a place when it is appropriate to be naughty, and a time when it is most decidedly NOT.   You can call me Marti, Martha, Jaz, bitch, whatever turns you on and makes you feel good about yourself, but it won’t change who I am!  I am still the same person.

As I’ve gone through hell and back the past 10 months I’ve come to the conclusion that Marti is Jaz, Jaz is Marti, both are Martha and she is them.  All one in the same person.  One damn nice, very cute, lots of fun, moody, temperamental, entirely too forgiving, playful, kinky, a little naughty, definitely a bitch,  perfectly imperfect, woman.  Call me any damn name you prefer, I am still me and the name I go by does NOT change that.

However, that is where the pruning is taking place.  I’m ditching the nickname in as much as I can.  There are those that will never be able to just call me Marti and that is fine, they knew me first as Jaz.  It is just a name, a fun nick name, that I won’t be using anymore.   BUT it won’t change who I am. I am Martha, Marvelous Martha, Marvi Marti…Marti.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” – William ShakespeareRomeo and Juliet

Click here to read Pruning Part I

Time For Some Pruning – Part 1

**DISCLAIMER: The following has been rated PG-13 for language and subject matter**

The week ahead of me involves purging things from my life.  This is the first of several  pruning posts to come.

There comes a time every so often when we need to rethink things, evaluate where we are, sort through the good and the bad, and remove those things that just  need to go from our lives because they are cluttering it up or like weeds are strangling our growth.  I’ve been having a time of self evaluation of late, some of my posts have eluded to that, and in a recent post I remarked that I was refocusing.  It has become time to grab the virtual pruning sheers and remove some things from my life that are keeping me from growing and  moving forward, or may just be unneeded or annoying.  I also have some planting and fertilizing to do in many areas of my life.

Last night I realized just how rattled I had been throughout the process of my divorce, especially in the initial weeks and months after my world imploded around me.  I’ve known Pete 23 years last month, we married 10 months later.  SO while I knew him just under 23 years, we were married just under 22 years.  Wasn’t an intentional mistake I just miscalculated.  I admit clarity of thought in certain details was shot to hell after he told me he wanted out.  I was also off a week as to when it was told to me by my then prince charming that he wanted out.  He actually told me on Friday, January 15th.  I can confirm that because of an elaborate lie he constructed.  He created an email address for an instructor at Cincinnati State that often used his assistance for classes, then emailed our home email address to ask for assistance for the lab on 1/14.  Then he left the house dressed for class.  By the time he returned that night I had discovered it was a fake email address and he later confessed he was in a hotel, supposedly writing and crying building up to tell me he wanted out.  His eyes were not puffy or showed any signs of tears when he came home, and if you know Pete you know he doesn’t write a damn thing down.  My suspicion is he was with his 26yo ER nurse but he’d rather lie to the world than have anyone question his integrity.  Never mind the elaborate lie he concocted to get out of the house that night.  The next day he told me he wanted a divorce. Nice one.  In the following weeks when deciding how we’d divide up debts and property he told me I could continue in the swinger lifestyle and attend the swingers club, that he was leaving it all behind, he wanted to find someone that could love him, that didn’t want to share him or be shared.

NOW STOP  THE F-ING TRUCK RIGHT THERE!  I found that very interesting considering how we landed in the swinger lifestyle.  For years he shared a fantasy of wanting to watch me with others, men or women.  It bothered me a lot when he shared that, I even expressed that I couldn’t fathom how he could love and treasure me if he wanted to share me, it didn’t make sense.  I was assured over and over again that this was in his mind very hot and that I was adored and treasured.  I should have known better coming from the man that had an Adult Friend Finder account when I was in night school and was meeting other women looking for booty buddies.  But he SWEARS that he never did anything with the women he met (yeah and my mother is the Virgin Mary).  I should have divorced his sorry ass back then, but we were so active in our church and I had been taught forgiveness…and I loved him despite his faults so I stuck it out.  DUMB DUMB DUMB move.

I found some areas in the swinger lifestyle that worked for me, I loved planning events and I very much loved promoting them, and others events.  Promotion I am very good at, I fit into marketing things very well.  But the playing side,  it never was quite my thing.  I never really found any men or women to be anyone that I wanted to play with, and this was source of tension for me and hubby.  See, most couples in the lifestyle are ‘full swap’ and only play with other couples.  And I’ll be totally honest that a good portion of men in the lifestyle married up…way up.  Their wives were hot but them…not so much.  The lifestyle is ruled by the woman, if they don’t like someone, it simply isn’t going to happen.  Because so many would only play with couples, many women hubby wanted to be playing with were off limits to him because I wasn’t going to play with their spouses.  I tried that, taking one for the team, and it wasn’t really a good experience.  I refused to do it again so since the women he wanted had hubbies I did not want, it didn’t work out well.  I  loaned him out to couples looking for 3-ways but that was the best I could do.  All told in our many years and meeting hundreds of people, there were no men that did anything for me.  I really was not that into the play end.  Pete on the other hand never had a problem, if she was reasonably cute and flirty, he was there.

We began to see lifestyle friend’s marriages around us failing right and left, easily 2 dozen in the past 3 or 4 years.  That worried me and more than once I asked him if he could walk away from the lifestyle and go back to just me and him.  He indicated that he did not think so.  50% of marriages are said to end in divorce, and many would say in the lifestyle it is less. However in the same time frame I saw 2 marriages outside of the lifestyle fail.  Just 2.  I’m no longer convinced that divorce happens less within the lifestyle.   And I find it interesting that the one of us that spent years sharing that fantasy and then telling me how much he enjoyed it watching me and playing, and he couldn’t see himself giving it up, suddenly decided he wanted to find someone to love him alone, be his alone and be only theirs.  He HAD that, I was more than willing, I adored him, loved him, he was everything to me and I’d have walked far away from it all had he said he wanted that.

Meanwhile I admit, there were times in very raw pain throughout the months leading up to the divorce that I lashed out and threatened to go for everything in the divorce.  I was hurting so much and wanted to inflict something on Pete.  Not real nice I know, but if you are not walking in my shoes, don’t judge it.  Those that have judged me for my behavior throughout the past 10 months, I really hope you never know what it was like, because believe me it was unimaginable agony to go through.

I went back to try the lifestyle as a single female.  After the divorce was final I went to the club again, I felt it was a respect issue to the marriage and my kids to wait until I was legally divorced. I tried it, it did NOT work for me, I wasn’t truly happy in it before and even less so as a single.

I’ve had a lot of time to think things through and I know what I want and don’t want.  I don’t want to be shared, I want to be a priceless treasure in someone’s life.  I don’t want to share what is mine when it comes to intimacy.  While I believe most men are truly pigs, there are some out there that are able to love ONE woman, be with just one woman, and not cheat on that one woman.  I am willing to wait for that, and if I never find it, at least I won’t feel like a used piece of meat.

So yes, that means I am leaving the lifestyle behind me.  I’ve been out now for a bit, but wanted to make it official.  My profiles are empty and those sites willing too have deleted them entirely.  I won’t be back.   I had fun, made some great friends, and I believe also that it did in fact blur the lines and MAY have been a small, contributing factor to my marriage failing after Pete’s expressed desire to find someone that was just his.

Ten Qualifications For A Frog Prince With Benefits

I am the star of  my own reality show. Recently having moved out of Prince Charming’s Castle and into the Princess Palace, I’ve sworn off Happily Ever After.  Frankly I don’t even believe in that fairy tale ending anymore.  If you’ve followed my blog posts at all you know my happy ending vanished in a “puff of smoke” and left me believing that knights in shining armor don’t really exist, and that pretty much all of those guys are losers in aluminum foil.  At first they look good sitting astride that big, white stallion, but before long you find out it is rocking horse and he has all the charm of a pot belly pig. Well maybe not even that much, as some little piggies are kinda cute and endearing.  Don’t let that  discourage the Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella chicks out there, maybe the story will end differently for you.

Now, I’ve realized that a frog is not going to turn into prince when I kiss him.  In fact most men in this world are just glorified toads.  You kiss them, they may appear to turn into a blue blood, but really all they are is a wart covered royal heart break in the end, before they return to their lily pads to try and sucker the next princess that comes along (if they haven’t been attempting to ‘ribbet’ in her ear already).

Enter the Frog Prince With Benefits.  Not to be confused with a Friend With Benefits (FWB), as the FWB is nothing more than a cuddle bud/booty call/f*ck friend.  The FPWB needs to arrive at the draw bridge with way more than his disco stick, he needs to act like a Prince and treat me like the Princess I am if he wants the treasure – the benefits, WITHOUT the emotional or commitment attachment/exclusive arrangement.  FPWB is more of a companion, someone to go out with, do things with, and then be your partner for the sheet mambo.  I have had a few FWBs (and then there is the always dependable B.O.B. – my  Battery Operated Boyfriend), so now I am seeking the FPWB types, and in order to make it into that select club there are qualifications.  The more you possess, the more likely you will make the A-list and the higher up on the preference scale you will rate.


QUALIFICATIONS FOR FROG PRINCE WITH BENEFITS

  1. Transportation: Having a car is a must for a FPWB – a Princess doesn’t use public transportation.  She also does not ‘pick up’ the Prince, that is his job.  The Princess is supposed to grace the passenger seat of the carriage of the Prince with her beauty.
  2. Motorcycle: Should the FPWB also happen to own a motorcycle, he gains instant bonus points, as the Princess loves the position of fender fluff behind her Prince, wrapped around him.
  3. Fashion sense: is a must!  Men in midriff tops is NEVER acceptable!  Know what to wear and when to wear it! If you are in danger of friends/family calling in Stacy and Clayton from TLC’s What Not To Wear, don’t bother applying.
  4. Football Fan: You must be a football fan, as the Princess loves football! Bengals fans get highest marks, Colts behind them.  Ravens and Browns fans will be judged on a case by case basis, Steelers fans need not bother applying, it is grounds for REJECTION OF APPLICATION on the spot!
  5. Hygiene: Learn about it! Brush your teeth, shower and use soap and water, trim the tree and shave the jewels, and for the love of St. Peter if you can clearly shave numbers in your back hair, get a waxing! (hairy chests on the other hand are MORE than acceptable!
  6. Playful: A guy in touch with his inner child, that can have FUN with a little water fight with the hose, snowball fights, some friendly wrestling over the TV remote (you must, of course, throw the match as Princess must always win).  Princess is playful and possesses a sense of humor.  If you lack these qualities, hop over to someone else’s pond please or contact your Fairy Godmother for assistance.
  7. FOOD SENSE: Chips and dip does not qualify as tailgate or picnic food.  Princess likes both of those activities and expects you will have enough brains to know what to bring or how to use Google if not!  Her first and favorite test is a picnic in the park of her choosing to get to know you, what you pack for her to enjoy will tell her a lot about you! (this includes accessories needed for said adventure)
  8. Time Management: Princess is a very busy lady, her schedule books in advance.  While you may get lucky with last minute arrangements, it is best to book her time well ahead of the event.  Oh, and she frowns on cancellations and no shows, so don’t do it unless you want off the A-List.
  9. Cyber Savvy Flirt: The Princess likes a man who knows how to get her attention with a text or an email now and then, after all, she believes the world revolves around her. Oh wait, in HER universe it does, get used to it.
  10. NO Limp Shrimp!: Princess enjoys sex.  In fact that is the benefit side of this arrangement.  She couldn’t care less if you get your trout stout with or without a little blue pill, just make sure your one eyed dragon is alive and in the game when she is ready.

Applications now being accepted for Frog Prince With Benefits!!

***Disclaimer:  the above was all in fun…though if you meet any of these qualifications your odds of getting my attention are greatly improved!***

My Marvelous Weekend

Francesco Marino / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I was just sitting here enjoying my coffee before work and thinking back over my very wonderful, fun weekend.  Time seemed to just stand still, it was great!  I have to say that I am adjusting well to this single thing, being spontaneous at times and not having to answer to anyone about what I do or when I do it.

I have really enjoyed rediscovering ME buried under all those years of being someone’s wife.  Yes, I very much loved being married, but marriage means you give up part of yourself, you willingly change things about yourself, put away part of yourself for your spouse.  When you merge and become a team, sharing a life, there are things you do in order to make that work.  It is surprising to me how much of me seems to have been lost when my family says they are seeing more and more of the old, happy, kinda quirky, fun, spontaneous me emerging.  From here out what folks see is what they get.  No more changing/adapting to what someone else needs me to be, I am me and you take me or leave me as I am.  If you don’t care for some part of my personality, habits etc., then if you cannot live with that you need to move on down the road, I am not giving up a single part of who I am because someone else cannot tolerate it, tough shit.

Friday evening I connected with a friend I had not seen in a very long time up at the club, someone I dearly love and love spending time with.  It was his birthday so we met up to celebrate, and what a time we had!  A couple of tubes of chocolate and vanilla cake icing, a few Bug Light Limes and some imagination made for a great evening neither of us will soon forget!  I think I am still on a sugar rush from that one.  XOXO special friend!  Thanks for including me in your special day, I totally enjoyed it!

Saturday morning meant working, but that was okay as I was able to accomplish a lot!  I was supposed to be at the club that night for a white party (everyone wearing white and all the lights are changed out for black lights), and I was meeting up with a gentleman that while he is a bit older than me, he is handsome, fun and fast becoming a very special addition to my circle of friends.  I love spending time together and had been looking forward to Saturday evening, but had to change my plans.  My dad turned 70 last Thursday and the Diva Den was hosting dinner to celebrate.  It quickly was taking on a life of its own as my kids were coming over and I knew that this would not end early.  I didn’t feel right running out on the party so I had to cancel with my silver haired fox, but we will reschedule our date soon! (Thanks for being so understanding, you are such a sweet heart!)

While on the way to the office Saturday I had seen a guy on a motorcycle that reminded me of an old friend I had not seen or heard from in a very long time.  I started paging through my phone and I still had his phone number, but could not locate his email address.  I was a bit hesitant to call, as he being such a gem of a guy I figured he was deep into a committed relationship by now.  But nothing ventured nothing gained, right? I left him a voicemail, very excited that he still had the same phone number, and in a short time received a return call.  Ya me, he isn’t involved and was happy to hear I am not seeing anyone on an exclusive basis either.  We exchanged a few emails that day and Sunday morning, and then in the afternoon after I got home from lunch he called to see if I was up for meeting for a ride.  Both of us are running super busy schedules so finding time to reconnect looked like it was going to take a few days to weeks.  Thankfully I was free so I dug out the riding boots, some jeans and went to meet him.  We took a nice, relaxing ride and I thoroughly enjoyed being the fender fluff, as I had not been on the back of anyone’s bike all season.  I had forgotten just how awesome the wind in my hair feels, and being wrapped around some hot muscle as we ate up the miles in the sunshine.  I am very much looking forward to another ride soon!

My son and his girlfriend were back for dinner last night, and I enjoyed seeing what boredom in the middle of the night will get this oldest child of mine to do…he shaved his head.  Funny thing is he actually looks really good with a bald head!  He just needs to catch his tan up on top to the rest of him and I can see that being his look for a while.  It was good seeing him and Melissa, and her spunky little girl (she IS a great kid!), I really miss my kids now that they are all grown up!

Ended the day sipping a cold one on the deck, snacking on popcorn with my mom and sister.  I really am so totally blessed these days.  I have a great social life, have some super male friends to enjoy, and my family there every night, and my independence.  I am free to just be me, relishing every moment I have and making the most of it all.  Sure there are times I miss rolling over in the night to the familiar shape and smell of someone sleeping next to me, and the security and safe feeling I always felt curled up with him, the joy of hearing the garage door go up and knowing he was home safe and sound…but that has also all faded so much, and he has slipped into the far back part of my mind, becoming a nice memory.  Sure I will always have a special spot in my heart for Pete, but I am shocked at how much I do NOT miss him now that I have a life of my own, setting my own course and discovering life as just Marti.

I’ve turned a major corner, on a road that is free from the pain, free from restraints, where I am free to be ME.  I am loving life!