Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Greek Revisited, Take 2!

I changed train stations, began taking different trains, and blocked his number. Yet still, at the beginning of October, he found me. I was sitting quietly on the train, listening to my music and staring absentmindedly out the window, letting my thoughts wander aimlessly as I usually do. Someone sat next to me, which is not unusual for a bit of public transportation, but I sensed that this person was looking at me and it only took a second before the person spoke to me. I looked up and found the Greek sitting beside me.

He had sent me an email about 2 days before, which had seemed harmless enough, but I still wasn’t comfortable contacting him. Apparently I wasn’t being given a choice in that respect. He immediately launched into a speech about his feelings for me. He still loved me, and he was sorry for throwing away what we had without a fight. He read me an excerpt from a book. Then he declared that he wanted to try again, and this time, he was putting marriage on the table, which previously had been one of the many reasons I did not choose him in the end.

I was completely at a loss. The only thing going through my head at this point was a repeated “holy shit, holy shit, holy shit.” I did manage to deny his statements when he told me he really did want to get married. After hearing for close to a year how marriage was the epitome of evil and all that was wrong with the world, this 180 certainly came out of left field for me. By the time we reached my stop, I hugged him awkwardly. I felt bad for what he had been through and what he had disclosed, but at the same time, I felt violated. I felt scared. I was relieved to leave the train and get some space.

I unblocked his number, mostly to avoid another ambush on the train, and agreed to talk to him on Monday, as it was a holiday and I was without plans. I ended up seeing him on Saturday as well at a local fair. I was meeting up with some friends and he tagged along. It was a little awkward at first, but nowhere near as awkward as when Eric showed up. Sitting between two men who were vying for my affections was a situation I should have been accustomed to at this point in my life, but no matter how many times I find myself in this situation, it doesn’t get any easier.

On Monday we met at a restaurant near his house. I had strategized with Derrick prior to this meeting, but once I got there, all the strategizing died because he had walked to the restaurant, which was packed, and any other place we ventured to would require me to drive him. It was a long, emotional day. I let him state his case. I stated part of mine, but in the end, I needed the time to review everything. However, in spite of his newfound interest in marriage, that was never the reason I walked away from him. There were a lot of reasons, including a complete disregard for my boundaries on his part. After about a week or so more of talking to him, I finally had to have yet another long emotionally charged conversation. It will, hopefully, be the last this time. He swore he would leave me alone until I contacted him, but past experience has taught me not to trust this.

What it came down to for me was this: if I was as happy with the Greek as he believed me to be, I never would have reopened communication with Eric. I would have been content to pursue the relationship with the Greek. That’s not how it went down, and I found in Eric what I was missing in my life. I love Eric and I want to move forward in my life with him.

I don’t know what will happen with the Greek. Part of me wants to maintain a friendship, but a lot of me is just done. If I want my boundaries to be pushed or challenged, I can rely on my ex husband for that. I want to be stronger in my 30’s than I was in my 20’s. I want to set firm boundaries and I won’t be able to do that if I remain friendly with someone who has proven on a regular basis to disregard my intentions and feelings for his own personal gain. While part of me misses his companionship, I can’t base my decision on a sense of normalcy that was created against my wishes. Yes it was normal to see him daily on the train, but I did fight against that occurrence at points and I have to learn to differentiate between actually wanting to see someone versus accepting that it is an inevitability.

Our last conversation was on Thursday of last week. I haven’t heard from him since and I hope to keep it that way.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Proposal Watch 2013

So, when I first came up with the title of this entry, I was thinking of the Buffy episode where Mr. Trick hijacked Buffy and Cordelia in a limo on their way to a dance (possibly prom? I don’t remember). However, I’m pretty sure the title of that particular episode, or at least, the video that Mr. Trick showed them after the limo had abandoned them in an open field, was “Slayerfest ‘99.” Oh well.

Eric apparently picked up the ring from the jeweler a couple of weeks ago. He’s since shown it to his entire family and our mutual friend Cassie. I, obviously, have not seen it, though he has described it to me. From the sounds of things, he hasn’t decided on a proposal, although, as I told him, my standards are not significantly high. My ex proposed to me by blocking the door to my basement apartment’s tiny bathroom while I was taking out my contacts. There was no ring involved, and apparently no thought process either, but I was also fiancé #3 or #4, so perhaps the pomp and circumstance went to fiancés 1-3.

His family, surprisingly, has been very receptive to the idea. I thought at least someone would point out that it was too soon, but thus far, he has yet to meet with any opposition. Sadly I do not expect the same luck from my own family. With the recent break up with Derrick still on their minds (and more than a few of them expecting us to reunite) added to the quick moving relationship I had with my ex husband (also following a break up with Derrick), I am resigned to the skepticism I am likely to encounter. The only thing I can do at this point is let time prove them wrong. Things are not the same as they were with my ex, and I can only hope that as we move forward, my family will come around. I don’t think they are against Eric himself or have any issues with him, but I do think that the speed of an engagement would concern them.

Still, my concerns about becoming engaged too soon are withering, and it helped significantly when Eric recently met many of my immediate family members to include my sister, father and my father’s fiancé. We attended a local fair with my sister and stopped by my father’s house as it had been quite a while since my daughter had seen him. There, Eric met my father and his fiancé, having already met my sister at the fair. He seemed to fit in well and my father’s fiancé asked what he did for a living, which helped to establish that he meets their criteria of being gainfully employed!

The one thing I can say, in spite of my fears regarding the reaction of family and friends, is that I am ready. I’m ready to give marriage another shot, a true shot, knowing exactly what I’m getting myself into. I want to do it right this time, no shotgun wedding, no second guessing, and with a willing heart. I did my ex husband a disservice when I married him against not only my family’s objections, but also my own.

I can also say with a sense of conviction that, much as I still care for Derrick, a marriage between us really wouldn’t have worked. He’s one of my best friends and he and I always connected on so many levels. But the work required for a marriage is something he wasn’t ready to put forth, and I can see a major difference between my frustrations of last year at this time with trying to make something work on my own, and my feelings now. No relationship is easy, but I can see now that moving in together was the true test for my relationship with Derrick and it is a test we failed miserably. It’s amazing how much our break up improved not only our relationship, but the one Derrick shared with my daughter. Once he was no longer attempting to discipline her on a regular basis, their relationship gradually returned to a friendly one. My daughter is still not 100% comfortable with Derrick, but she has relented in her refusals to have much to do with him. I don’t know what will happen when our lease ends and Derrick and I go our separate ways, but I do know that at least we will part on good terms.

So, the proposal watch continues. Awhile ago, Eric had told me he would probably wait until November, but now I’m not sure what his plan is. Seeing as he’s already told his family, I can’t imagine he’s going to wait too long. I will admit that I am nervous, but mostly excited. I feel like I’m finally getting a real chance at love. It’s funny though, if you had told me 6 months ago that I would be engaged to Eric, I would have thought you were crazy. We hadn’t even re-entered each other’s lives at that point. But life is crazy sometimes, and my life has been exceptionally crazy, so I’ve learned to just go with it! I will definitely post again whenever it happens. Feels weird to see “when” instead of “if” but I don’t think there’s any denying it now.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Couch to 5K

One of the items on my 30 by 30 is losing two dress sizes. With less than a month to go, I don't think this goal is attainable; however, I have started doing the couch to 5K program and I am noticing that it's at least helping. So far, my exercise program has been to do couch to 5K three nights and then one or two nights of Jillian Michael's 30 day shred with two nights off. It's been fairly easy to stick by so far, so I am pretty proud of myself. I haven't seen a lot of weight loss, but I'm feeling better, and that seems more important.

It's been suggested by the couch to 5K creators that, to help you stick with the program, you should sign up for a 5K at the end. I've been looking at options and none of them sounded good, until I found a GroupOn deal for a fun "ugly sweater" 5K at the harbor that includes hot chocolate at every mile and an after party with two hard ciders. The weekend is a little sketchy since I might have my daughter, but Eric said he would keep her with him during my race and they'd cheer me on together. If that happens, there's also an ice show a hotel at the harbor always puts on that Eric suggested we see, so we can always make a day of it.

Now, I just need an ugly sweater. Eric has told me that he's willing to buy me one for my birthday. He kindly sent me to this site after I told him that as long as it had bling or sequins (so I still get something sparkly for my birthday) that I was game. I sent him this sweater as it's green AND has beads, which count as bling in my book.

There's also a color run in Baltimore in November, but it is also a weekend I have my daughter and is right after I'm set to finish the program. I think December would be the safer bet, and it's also cheaper with the GroupOn. There's other, more competitive 5K's around Thanksgiving, but I think I'd do better in a less competitive environment. Both the ugly sweater and color run 5K's are just for fun and are not timed. I recently posted a facebook meme that said something like "I am not trophy wife material, I'm more of a participation ribbon girl." So, I think a less competitive environment would suit me fine!

Now I just have to make sure I stick with the program at least through Christmas so I can run this race. Maybe I'll add some running goals to my 45 by 45 list. My brother has already done multiple marathons, so it wouldn't be all that unique, but still a worthy goal.