Simu-date

I didn’t coin that phrase. I stole it from Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. A simu-date is a date you go on when you find yourself putting a lot of pressure on another guy/girl, another date.

This morning, I went on a simu-date. Breakfast, at the Golden Griddle down the street.

Bad idea.

Shocking.

I didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to go when I set up the date. I didn’t want to go when I woke up this morning. I didn’t want to go after my hair was all flat-ironed and straight and shiny. There was a voice inside me that kept saying, “this is not going to go well.”

Funny thing about that voice. It’s always right.

It wasn’t AWFUL. But it was’t great. It wasn’t even very good. It was just kind of…meh. There was zero chemistry (from my side anyway), and we have almost nothing in common.

I’m really. Not. Interested.

Of course, the problem is that I don’t know how to say no. Like when he said “So, there’s a movie theatre up the street from here. Maybe we’ll go for a coffee and go see a movie sometime.” I should have said, “um…je pense que non.” Instead, I said, “Sure, why don’t you send me an e-mail. That’s the best way to get in touch with me.”

I’m such a loser.

No more simu-dates.

Though, I really did set myself up for this one. I knew it would be bad. I knew a bit about him, and all of it screamed “NOT RIGHT FOR YOU.” But I went anyway. Mostly to take the edge off the candy-man, where I have been putting way too much pressure. But it didn’t do any good. And it didn’t help that the first thing I thought of this morning stuck with me all through the date.

Memories are a funny thing. You don’t know what will trigger them, or how they’ll make you feel once you’ve remembered. I had a memory this morning, from a long time ago.

It was late September, 2001. A friend of mine was going to Mexico for 6 months, and we had gone to her going-away party – the first time he met my friends. The first time we danced together. As usual, everyone loved him. He got along great with all the guys, and all the girls. Drinking, talking, laughing. But it was what happened afterwards that came back to me this morning.

It was late that night (or rather, early the next morning). He called me when he got home. Told me had a great time. And then, for the first time, he told me how he felt about me. He said this:

“Anne, I just adore you.”

Nothing happened this morning to trigger that memory. But it’s all I’ve been able to think about today.

Stupid simu-date.

A balanced list of a very unbalanced life

Some things I miss:
– kissing, and then some
– someone touching my shoulders, hair and face
– waking up to the smell of coffee
– someone to press my feet
– someone to talk to about EVERYTHING – work, politics, spirituality, pop culture, family, and everything in between
– someone to talk to about nothing
– someone to call me on my bullshit – much harder to do on my own
– not having to get up to get myself things – it’s not just about being lazy, but about feeling loved
– someone who cares about all the stupid things
– someone who will do something with me because it’s what I want to do and that’s the only reason
– someone who knows about the things I don’t (like cars) and can take care of those things (so I don’t get scammed by the mechanic, which has happened more than once during the past several months)
– someone to teach me new things
– someone who reads the manuals
– being so loved, feeling so loved

Some things I don’t miss:
– crying on the bathroom floor
– crying in the kitchen

– crying in the study
– crying in the car
– crying in bed
– the feeling of dread going home
– the feeling of dread as I think about the rest of my life
– feeling like when it came to the most important things, he was always hearing but never listening
– suffocating
– not sleeping (okay, I’ve still got that issue, but it’s a work in progress)
– always feeling sad. always feeling sad. always feeling sad.
– having my younger cousins look at me and say in unison, after I described how I had been feeling, “that’s clinical depression”
– not wanting to run, or play music, or spend time with my friends and family
– feeling like I should get pregnant, but praying that I don’t get pregnant

That’s a tough list. Balanced, I think. I don’t think it makes it clear one way or the other if I made the right decision. Maybe I’ll never really know.

Head up, young person. Don’t look back.

They’re not just things to me…

He always used to tell me that I was too attached to “things”. Clothes, shoes, books, cars, furniture, etc. All those “things” that I used to define myself, and my life.

It was different for him. His family had lost pretty much everything they owned. Twice. The first time in a military coup, where the only things that were left were some of his mom’s jewellery which they had hidden in a plastic bag in the toilet bowel. No joke. And the second time when they moved to Canada with 6 suitcases for four people. My books alone wouldn’t fit in six suitcases.

He also lost a brother, who at the age of 18 died of heart disease. He lost two grandparents in six months. He lost his own innocence when the responsibility of looking after his family fell on his shoulders.

He’d been through a lot. I get it. And with all the accumulation and then loss of so many “things”, he often stressed that I would probably be a lot more relaxed (read: happier) if I could just let go of my attachments to things.

“Anne, they’re just THINGS. They aren’t what’s important. PEOPLE are important. RELATIONSHIPS are important. Being at peace within is important. You can’t get that from your attachments. In fact, your attachments will make it harder to find. LET GO. Let Go. let go.”

I know he was right. Intellectually, I get it. But emotionally, I still can’t let go of all of these “things”. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know why. It makes no sense. If intellectually, and even spiritually, I can understand why these attachments will always hold me back, why can’t I just let go?

The past week gave me a couple of good lessons in this. First, it was the pen.

The first gift he ever gave me was a Lamy fountain pen, for my birthday, three weeks after we met. I had mentioned to him a couple of weeks before how much I love fountain pens, and I still have that pen, to this day. Over the course of our relationship, he gave me several other pens, nicer, and more expensive. My favourite one was the Pelikan. I loved that pen. It had a nib that was perfectly suited to my writing style.

Last week, I lost that Pelikan. Actually, I think it was stolen from my bag. But either way, it’s gone.

I was so upset. So, so, upset. Partly, because it was such a beautiful pen, and not the kind of thing I would go out and buy for myself. And also, because it is one of the few physical things I have left of that relationship. When I left, I didn’t take many physical things with me. But I took all of my pens. To lose one was heartbreaking.

I called him and told him. I was hoping for a little sympathy, and understanding. He knew how important those pens were to me, and what they meant to me in terms of our relationship. I don’t know what I was thinking. He said it gently, and kindly. But it was the same story I’ve heard a thousand times, “it was just a ‘thing’. Let it go. It’s not memories. It’s not our relationship. Let go of attachments.”

What. Ever.

Today, I let go of something else. I took my engagement ring to a jeweller to get the stone reset into a necklace. I guess it’s only half letting go, since I’m keeping the diamond. But it wasn’t easy to leave the ring and know it wouldn’t be there when I got back. But I knew it was time. I want to wear it when I run the half marathon on May 11. I want to stop thinking about the first time he gave it to me, at the Rainbow Room in New York City. I want to stop thinking about the second time he gave it to me, on a quiet Sunday night at home. I want to stop trying it on with my wedding band, and feeling sad because it looks so beautiful, and then having to put it away again.

I know they’re just things. I KNOW. But it’s hard.

Restless…

That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. Restless.

It’s not the first time.

I can’t say what brings it on, or what makes it go away, but right now, the feeling is very strong.

I can’t sit still anymore. My mind wanders here and there. Usually there. Hardly ever here.

I’m sure my therapist would tell me it’s a symptom of the ADD she diagnosed me with after having talked to me for 30 minutes. I like her, but she can really be a bitch.

I feel like I’m standing on a ledge, and all I want to do is jump. (It’s a metaphor folks – I’m not suicidal). The problem is, I don’t know what jumping means. Do I quit my job? Have a one-night stand? Move to San Francisco?

I haven’t slept well in several weeks. I wake up in middle of the night, and can’t fall back asleep. Or, I just don’t sleep at all. I start working, I stop working. I have great intentions to cook fancy meals for myself, but I just can’t seem to get my thoughts organized enough to get it done, so I end up eating frozen pizza. I start doing things – a million things all at once, and then get flustered and can’t focus and I have to stop and talk myself through one step at a time to get things organized. I realize this sounds like ADD, but I’ve been here before. it’s not ADD. It’s the most overwhelming feeling of restlessness.

I suspect this has something to do with that day coming up in early June that I’ve been trying hard not dwell on. I let the thoughts of that day come and go, but I don’t usually let them linger long. I’ve also been trying not to think too hard about where I was a year ago, leading up to that day in early June last year. Memories come and go, but I don’t let them linger.

Perhaps that’s why I’m restless. Maybe I need to just deal with whatever I feel and move on. But I’m so tired of feeling sad. I’m so tired of regret. I just want to get on with it – without the restlessness. I’m sure contentment is out there somewhere. I’ve had it before – gently sitting on my shoulder. It was a brief period in my life, but that feeling of peace has always stayed with me, and I’ve been searching for it ever since.

God, I need to relax.

Chocolate…

Here’s the truth: Since Aug 13, 2001, I had only kissed one man. That’s over 6.5 years of only having ever kissed one man. And we haven’t been kissing lately.

It’s been a while. A long while.

And then it happened. In the early, early morning of March 30, 2008, I kissed another man.

It was a tease. So brief, that looking back, I wonder if I imagined it.

But I know I didn’t.

It was definitely a kiss. Quick, simple, but a kiss just the same. Two lips, quickly holding on to and then letting go of two other lips.

And now, it’s all I can think about. And the best way I can explain it is this:

Imagine if you haven’t had chocolate in a very long time. You remember how much you loved it, but then your favourite chocolate in the whole world, the chocolate you swore you would eat forever, gets discontinued. The only way to get that particular chocolate now is on the black market – it has to be underground and it comes at a very high price.

So you lay off chocolate. You do other things. You run, you read, you think about decorating your new apartment. But you always think about chocolate, and how you miss it.

And then one day, someone gives you a tiny piece of chocolate. It’s different chocolate than what used to be your favourite (but is now only available on the black market and has to be underground and comes at a high price), but it’s chocolate. And it’s not bad. Not bad at all.

And now, all you can think about is chocolate, and how you want it again. That chocolate you tasted, that was good. You wouldn’t mind that chocolate again. But at this point, any half-decent chocolate would do. Preferably, chocolate with nuts.

And this wasn’t just regular chocolate either. This chocolate had nuts (obviously), but it also had caramel (when he passed by me and softly touched my hair), and raisins (when he walked behind me again and ran his fingers lightly across my back). This chocolate melted in my mouth (when he stood next to me and slowly ran his fingers up and down my back) and left a sweet aftertaste (a gentle hug goodbye).

It was a sweet, tingling, mix of emotions that I haven’t felt in so long I wondered if they had become extinct and someone had forgotten to tell me. But apparently, they’re alive and kicking. And they’re back.

This could get messy. I could soon get very, very fat.