Being the Rebound Girl

For whatever reason, I tend to attract guys that are newly single or somewhat undecided about their single status. It didn’t matter much when I first became single, but it’s been a good five years now, so obviously I’m in a different frame of mind. Now whenever I meet someone I make it a point to ask when their last relationship was… and then I move on, because 99% of the time, it’s within the past few months or so.

When I was newly single after the divorce, I dated someone off and on for several months that I’d gone to high school with but had never known. I say off and on, because neither of us wanted a relationship,; he had nothing to offer me, and he consistently pissed me off. He basically worked very little, drank a lot, had no driver’s license, and 4 kids that I later learned hated him. The whole thing was more of a convenience, since he lived extremely close to me, so it was easy to hang out. I also did some work for him for which he paid me well, and I was also his designated driver (he paid me) since he couldn’t drive. So that part seemed like a win/win for us both.

We did have a lot of fun together, however. We went boating and partied a lot… and then I eventually realized he was probably the biggest liar I’d ever met. Even though we weren’t in a “relationship” it seemed we had a mutual understanding to not sleep around with other people while we were together. I was adamant about not catching anything gross and I needed that emotional connection that was honest. Honesty was not his policy, whatsoever; he was sneaky, and the more I learned, the more I began to distance myself.

One evening I was bitching to my bartender friend about him. Another woman was sitting next to me and started asking details…

Does he live here and do “this” for a living? Yes and yes. His name is “Big Liar”? Yes. She looked at me and was really nice about it and said that she was also going through a divorce and started seeing him. I thought how and when, because I live so close and we’re together often.

When she told me the dates/times, that’s when I figured out it was when I was out of town visiting my family. She showed me text messages he’d sent her in the weeks while he was still with me – he was trying to hook up, but she was no longer interested. I was fuming, but not at her. I thanked her for telling me everything, and we’ve been friends ever since.

I ended up leaving and driving straight to his house to tell him what a piece of shit liar he was. He acted like he didn’t care one single ounce about my feelings. I left angry and in tears, hurt and confused. (I think I threw a glass that shattered on his porch – not at him but at the universe. Oh, well.)

But the shitty part was – I was still doing work for him and needed the money badly, so I had to continue dealing with him.

This isn’t the end of the story. Just this chapter for now.

When Memories of Your Ex Dredge Up Annoyance

Sometimes you don’t notice things about yourself until someone else points it out. One of my friends pointed out that she’s noticed I have been mentioning a little about my ex husband more so than usual, mentioning things that he did that pissed me off. I guess I had been obsessing more with OC and anyone else in the past five years rather than concentrate on my divorce and the issues I had with my ex. But I didn’t see the need for it at the time, and I had pretty much doused my brain in alcohol to deal with it.

One of the things I mentioned to her the other day was the fact that my ex used to ruin things for me that I worked very hard to get. For example, when we were first married and had a brand new house, he decided he wanted a dog, even though he was working too much for the responsibility of one. So guess who ended up taking care of the dog, cleaning up shit and dirt and everything else that goes along with having a pet? Well, I’ll tell you it wasn’t him. The dog even tore up my things – sentimental things – and not his, which obviously made me fume. It actually made me resent my ex, because I thought it was unfair to put the responsibility on me when I clearly said I didn’t want a dog. (The dog turned out to be great, but that’s not the point.)

I was trying to run a photography business out of my home, but my domestic duties and caring for the dog was really getting in the way. My ex had no idea how to run or build a business and thought that since I was “home all day” I did nothing but “play on the computer”. (I guess writing two books, having a clean home and laundry, and doing everything else just magically happened.) I had created a portable studio in the house and was offering portraits for families, children, and women. For women, sometimes they’d want a maternity shoot or a boudoir shoot – something intimate and personal – and I wanted to be sure everything was professional so they’d feel comfortable, tell all of their friends, and I’d gain new business.

There was one woman that wanted a boudoir shoot for her husband, and she brought her friend with her, which I highly recommended as a safety measure. Since they would be coming to my home, I told my then husband he had to be gone when my client got there. It was imperative that when they arrived, they’d feel at ease without a male presence around, because from experience, sometimes that can be creepy. So what did he do? He stuck around until they got there and made sure he introduced himself to them. I let them know he’s leaving right now and glared at him to get the hell out.

I was super annoyed that he did that; it made it seem unprofessional to me. Looking back, he did all sorts of shit that sabotaged my career and a lot of other things I did. And now that I’m rebuilding everything from the bottom up and see him around town doing just fine and living the high life, I get angry, because I was there to boost him in his career.

Shortly after that incident, I found out he’d been searching my computer looking for the photos of my client, which really set me off, but I was very good at “hiding” the content under various folders, and he wasn’t as computer literate as I. But it made me mad that I couldn’t trust him, and I thought it was rude and creepy… and that I couldn’t even do my job without him interfering. I felt that he crossed a boundary, because my clients entrusted me to their personal needs. I feel that by him just being at the house when the other women arrived, it hurt my business.

I know that no relationship is perfect, and he had a lot of good things about him, but now that I’m divorced and sometimes reminded of things, I think why was I with this person? How did I not see he was either competing with me and one-upping me on everything (I’ll write about that later) or sabotaging what I was working to do? I guess I was blinded by love, because he was the only guy that I had dated at the time that was nice to me. But sometimes that “nice” is just to get what they want.

Viewing the Negative Side of a Relationship In Order to Move On

I have had to force myself to find the negative side of things that I haven’t been able to completely move on from. The negative side of OC, that is. Many things remind me of him, like every time I see a white pickup truck I look to see if it’s him. (Do you realize how many white pickup trucks are on the road?) I play a game that sometimes shows what appears to be a red kayak and someone on a paddle board – both things that remind me of him. It’s gotten better over time, but for whatever reason, it still hurts after a year and a half. I want to get over this and wish I had a year ago.

By now, just the fact that I was never given closure to the situation tells me he’s not a real man – but a pussy – and I already have one of those; I certainly don’t need it in a man. He should have given me an explanation and lived up to his word of not hurting me like he told me. He shouldn’t have led me on saying he missed me and he wasn’t ignoring me, that he was just busy with work… all the way up to two days before he dumped me. What kind of person does that? That is one hell of a character flaw.

I’m not a morning person by any means, but I absolutely love having coffee or breakfast with someone. Not every day, but often enough. OC never stayed for breakfast, even though he said he doesn’t eat breakfast, but every morning he would leave and “check the waves” for surfing and never spend mornings with me. At the time I was just happy to have any time with him, because he always had a lot of family and work things going on. It was odd, because after 2-3 months of staying the night most of the week, you’d think one morning would be in order, right? Well, it never happened.

There were things he told me he would do for me and never did them before he broke up with me. That’s a peeve of mine. For instance, he was going to get me a container to use as a fire pit in my backyard. He was talking about doing some of the things to my patio area to make it nicer. He alluded to us going camping when the weather cooled down. Just do what you say you’re going to, don’t leave me hanging, and certainly don’t make it seem like there’s a future in front of us before you dump me by text and then ghost me forever. That’s just shitty.

The fact that he was still technically married (and still is!) and still living on the same property as his ex made it weird. (I did confirm they were definitely not together.) He referred to her as his “future ex-wife” but had to take care of some financial things first, and I was understanding of that, because I’ve had my own situations. But after he dumped me the way he did, I began to wonder if he ever had any intention of leaving, if he just ups and leaves every ten or fifteen years to have some flings and then goes back to try to work it out. Who knows?

Another thing that bothered me was that he had his ex’s name tattooed on his hip, and he had no intentions of ever getting rid of it or covering it up. He said no one will see it. I said I see it, and any other woman you choose to have sex with is going to see it. Duh. I should have guessed that he wasn’t ready to completely move on from her, either, and probably why he has dragged out his non-divorce for so long.

Then to top it off, he started liking some of my Instagram posts, yet still didn’t have the balls to say a word to me. He matched with me on Bumble last year and still never replied. It’s hard to know if he was just playing games or still too much of a pussy to say a word to me. Either way, I don’t get it at all. Nothing makes any sense to me.

One of the negative feelings I had with OC was the feeling of never really having him… as if there was this elusive free spirit vibe. That could have very well been my own insecurity, but it’s so confusing to not know what really happened. I figured maybe if I focus on the negative, I will realize how wrong we were together and perhaps find someone else to be happy with, because it’s obvious I will never get an answer from him. Maybe I should use the experience to write a fiction novel, but in the end, the lead character gets the actual answers she deserves.

Losing a Connection Can Be Devastating

Having a taste of something good only to have it suddenly snatched away is a real bitch. I think about how I felt about OC when we were together and how much I miss the things he brought to the table that no one else has covered. Besides the undeniable physical attraction, what was more important was having communication along with and common interests and values.

Being that OC was raised in a cult religion and I had my own fair share of religion shoved down my throat when I was a kid, neither of us believe in religion, but both of us are very spiritual. We both believe in healthy eating and keeping fit and active. We shared the same political views, although neither of us are very involved in politics at all. We shared a lust for adventure and exploring and nature and being outdoors.

When we were together, it felt like we were a real couple – affectionate and considerate and attentive and all of the good things that should be in a relationship. I felt completely comfortable with him and trusted him – another thing I find difficult. The way OC treated me was different than what I was used to. He took me out on real dates, and we did a lot of activities together. He didn’t rush me for sex, which really surprised me, and I liked the fact that his actions showed respect for me. We saw each other four or five days or nights a week. We took walks on the beach, went kayaking, and spent a lot of quality time together outdoors and indoors. He wasn’t the type of guy that hangs out in bars, and I liked that. I wasn’t used to having someone I felt so close to and connected with since I’d been divorced.

Maybe it’s another reason I liked OC so much; he treated me like I was his girlfriend and even introduced me to some of his family. All of this was so uncommon to me, so I felt special, and it felt great. All of my friends and family noticed how happy I was when we were together, how I had this certain light in my eyes when I saw OC. Everyone around me noticed it. They also noticed when the light was gone.

And now the light has been dimmed for nearly two years. I question the intention of every man I meet. I feel panic when I think about something like what I had with OC happening again – the panic of heartbreak and abandonment. The unknowing of whether or not I’m being played. I haven’t had that sort of connection with anyone since. I want to feel special again, but I have such doubts that it’s even possible.

First Turn-Off – The Big Baby

The first turn-off in my marriage was the day he cried. No, not just cried. Bawled.

No one had died, and nothing bad had happened. Big Baby sat in the beige recliner in front of the tv in the living room of our brand new home and bawled his head off all because he couldn’t have his way. Not joking.

One of Big Baby’s friends was getting married, and he’d already decided he didn’t want to attend the wedding, didn’t want to take the 4-state trip up the coast, and since we’d just bought a house, funds were short. Big Baby changed his mind a few days before the couple’s big day when he found out some of his other friends were making the trip, and it would be one big party. What’s what set it off. The only thing keeping him back was the lack of funds – something HE chose to spend on things I didn’t find necessary.

Now I’m a pretty compassionate person, and normally I would console someone during times of distress. But I just couldn’t bring myself to console someone over something like this. Our marriage was new, and we’d only been together for just over a year at that point, so I wasn’t even sure how to handle this situation.

When asked what was the matter, Big Baby said he missed his friends. Okay… nevermind he had a new wife here he wasn’t even considering to bring with… but okay. I should have known then that this wouldn’t be the last time Big Baby would cry about much of nothing or throw temper tantrums like a 3-year-old, punching holes in walls and essentially turning me off from our sex life. No grown ass woman wants to have sex with a man-child.

More to come…

One Time I Dated a Dodger…

A few months after I’d moved out of the house I shared with my husband, a couple of girlfriends that I hadn’t known for long invited me out for drinks with them one night at a sports bar. There was a man there about my age that was clearly drunk with some younger guys watching a game. He wore a scully cap, which I thought made him look like an old man. The first thing that came to my mind when I saw him was, He looks like an alcoholic. Then my friends introduced me to him. (I’ll just refer to him as “Dodger.”) Dodger was funny and nice, just drunk and loud at the time. I didn’t stay long and went home.

About a month later, I ran into Dodger a few more times. He was in much better condition, really fun to talk to, and we had a lot in common. We flirted once, then I thought he disappeared, so I did, too. Dodger and I didn’t run into each other again until right before the Christmas holiday. We started to hang out and get to know each other more. He seemed like a great person, but not someone I could see myself with long-term. I was so newly single and knew I didn’t want to deal with anyone’s shit, but having a friend was something I needed. The truth was, I didn’t mind the company, especially during the lonely, dreadful holidays.

Although paperwork had been filed, the judge hadn’t yet signed my divorce papers, and I certainly wasn’t ready for a relationship. Dodger and I dated for about two and a half months. He took me out on a real date once – to dinner at a sushi place and his favorite bar. I often cooked (expensive) meals, and he stayed at my house more than his own. The next “real” date we were supposed to have was at a comedy club. We ate crummy food at a crummy bar he liked, and when we got to the comedy club, it had been canceled at the last minute. We ended up going to a nightclub that I hadn’t been to in ages, but was known for the “older” crowd when I was in my 20s. Almost no one was in the place, but we decided to stay since we were dressed to go out. We ordered drinks and had a good time, but when the check came, things got weird. The bill was like $70, and Dodger only had $30 on him. I only carry credit cards, so I picked up the majority of tab including the tip. Nothing was ever discussed about the difference after that.

The last date Dodger and I went on was supposed to be exciting. I had seen Elton John in concert before, so I knew how great his show was. I asked Dodger if he was interested in going, because I would see Elton again if he did. He said sure, he’d give me the cash for his ticket, since he didn’t have credit cards to purchase them, and he’d drive and pay for parking and dinner the night of the concert. So I purchased the tickets. We had dinner at my house, because we ran out of time to go out. I drove. I paid for parking. I bought my two beers during the concert. And then Dodger acted like a douche the entire night. He walked really far in front of me on our way in, even crossing the street before I could allow cars pass to cross myself. He pouted inside the entire time, was super antisocial, didn’t act like he was having a good time at all. I was pissed that I’d spent all of this money going to something I’d already seen just so this man-child big-baby asshole could ruin the night. Of course Elton was great, but the rest of the experience sucked.

Then about a week later, Dodger lied to me, and I caught him red-handed. He was acting very strange and had been since the Elton incident. He’d gotten paid that day and claimed he was doing laundry (at a laundromat) and would be over. He was going to get some takeout and asked what I wanted, so I told him sushi. When he showed up he just about shoved the bag of food in my face and acted all pissed off and said he had to go back and pick up his laundry. I was like what’s wrong, what happened? He didn’t really say much and said he had to get his laundry, he’d be back.

Knowing that the laundromat was a 20-minute round trip at the most, forty minutes had gone by and no Dodger. I called him, he didn’t answer. I waited ten more minutes, still nothing. This was very unlike him. He finally called back saying he’d just gotten home and was tired and going to stay in. We hung up. My intuition told me something wasn’t right. I just knew it. His favorite bar was only about a mile from my house, so I jumped in my car and lo-and-behold, there was his truck sitting in the parking lot! Busted! While I was sitting in the parking lot, I took a photo of his truck and texted it to him, assuming he was inside the bar. He came running out, lying that I misunderstood him. I didn’t want to hear it. In my mind, I was done with him. But I happened to be moving into a new place the following week and needed his help, unfortunately.

The following day, beginning around 7 a.m., Dodger started calling me apologizing. I didn’t answer, let it go to voicemail, heard his crackling sorry ass voice and still didn’t want to speak to him. I had to work anyway, so I just let it go to voicemail all day. He sounded pretty worried, as he should have. I did nothing to deserve his shitty treatment. When I arrived home, Dodger had left a dozen red roses at the door, along with a sappy card. While it was a nice gesture, I already knew that a man like him wasn’t going to last in my life, because I’d never trust him again. I did end up speaking to him again, and yes, still hanging out like usual. But I didn’t feel the same.

Two days after the Laundromat Lie incident was Valentine’s Day. We visited a park and took a walk on the beach. He claimed he wanted to take me out to eat that evening, but he didn’t. He considered his “sorry roses” as my Valentine’s gift. I hadn’t realized those two went hand in hand.

Dodger helped me move from the house I was renting to another location, so there was one redeeming quality about him. The new place was about 10 miles farther than the two miles he used to live down the road from me, and I don’t think he liked the drive even though it was closer to his job. Then one day he just stopped communicating with me out of the blue. I wanted to end it for sure so I contacted him telling him how I felt and asked him for the money he still owed me for the Elton John ticket. He was a dick to me and hung up on me, saying he didn’t have the money (even though he was sitting in a bar while he was on the phone).

Dodger had only given me $100 towards the $160 ticket. He kept dodging me and even blocked me from his phone when I’d ask him about it each payday. I mean come on, he couldn’t spare $20 a check to pay me back for HIS ticket?? So I contacted him through Facebook and told him I could really use the money he still owes me for the concert ticket. His reply?

“You want me to pay for a date we went on two months ago?”

What a prick.

Two months later, he moved in with a girl his daughter’s age and knocked her up. Better her than me! I’m glad I never ran into him again.

Then Someone Talked Me Into Tinder…

When I initially started Tinder swiping, I had no idea what I was doing, so I swiped left on everyone. Also, my settings were for such a wide mileage and age range, I was getting people from their 20s to 50s, most of them too far away. Then I started over, because I finally figured out how to work the app. I met a few people that never lasted more than one meet up. Usually, they were too immature or not who they claimed to be.

The first guy I met from Tinder was close to my age, claimed to be 5’10” in his profile. He was a serial vaper, held no conversation whatsoever, and didn’t even offer to pay for my bottled water at the place we met. He seemed more into his obnoxious vaping and himself than anything else. Truly a boring experience! As we left the place, when he stood up, he was much closer to my own height of 5’4”, which made him a liar, too. Neither of us contacted the other again, and I never saw him again. No loss there.

Another guy was maybe 5 years younger, former military, and talked a lot about himself. We saw each other a few times until I realized he was batshit crazy and a player. He’s been in a long-term relationship since.

There was one Tinder date that led to more dates, and he was much younger than me… by like 15 years. He was former military, tattooed, and bearded… and extremely short. Like my height. We had a nice time together until he was extremely late (45 minutes to an hour) meeting up more than once or just blew me off altogether. I’d had enough of him wasting my time and told him so. It turned out he’d met someone else and didn’t have the balls to tell me. But this guy kept in touch with me, I suppose “just in case”, because he contacted me again after they’d broken up until he moved onto the next girlfriend that he’s currently with.

I had my fair share of younger guys wanting to date me. Why not give them a chance, I thought? I mean, if Demi Moore and Madonna can do it, why can’t I? After all, I certainly wasn’t looking to get married again, and I needed to have fun. Plus, they made me feel young and wanted again. It was kind of a refreshing self-esteem booster after having been crushed and feeling unattractive. But that didn’t last long either, because I was done raising children. Yes, these guys in their 20s were fun, but that was it. They could offer me nothing. They were takers, not givers. At that point, I was done with Tinder, because it seemed like there was no one my age using it at the time.

And then some girlfriends introduced me to someone unexpectedly… to be continued.