Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Summer of my Discontent

Must. Have. Fun.
Summer has always been a challenging time for me. As an adult, anyway. So much pressure to have fun.

No one (at least in Seattle) ever says "Have a great winter!" or "How's your fall going?" Oh no. Summer is THE moment! That glorious time when Seattleites crawl out of their caves and blind you with their pasty white skin.

As my  erstwhile alter ego Breakup Babe the Younger put it, summer is the "moment when everyone else is living out a sun-drenched Coke ad, and you're a broken-hearted, miserable wretch."

(She was good at whining, that BBTY).

Breakups always seem to happen for me right on the precipice of summer, too. So that instead of looking forward to the endless days and balmy nights, I'm cowering in dread.

HOWEVER. We are in a slightly different situation now.

Seen in upstate NY

The edge of The Abyss

My breakup happened 10 months ago.

And then, well, I figured once that happened there would be The Abyss. That I would fill with anti-depressants, crying jags, cocktails, dating apps, and  men equally crippled by emotional baggage. Kinda like my younger self did (but without the apps or the fixation on marriage [gag!]).

That did not happen.

Instead someone decidedly not crippled showed up. At a time when the last thing I expected was to fall in love. At a time when I probably shouldn't have fallen in love because I hadn't yet escaped the towering inferno that was my marriage.

But, there he was,  like a sexy fireman, pulling me out of the wreckage in his strong, tanned arms. And. I. Could. Not. Resist.

Girlfriends on the more sensible end of the spectrum (that is, my complete opposites) counseled me not to rush into anything new. If you get your heart broken now, it will only make things that much worse.

I know, I know! Don't you think I know??

But because I'm not sensible, I fell hard into his waiting arms. (a story I'm still figuring out how to tell).

 For now, I'll just say that this relationship  has sustained and grounded me through a period that would have otherwise been complete SH*T. (Remember when I said the last six months were the most bittersweet of my life? Now you know where the "sweet" comes from.)
Now suddenly, however,  I'm alone, because he's working all summer in a camp upstate New York and I have so much baggage around effing summer camps, but let's not even go there right now. Because it's IRRELEVANT, ok?

Comes a time when you're drifting, comes a time when you settle down...

Leaving Seattle
Anyway, without him, I feel very...displaced. Not at home anywhere. Except airports, airplanes (kind of) and other liminal spaces that have to do with travel. I feel comfortable traveling between places, but once I'm there I pretty quickly feel out of place.

That's because he was my home for the last six months. Not Mexico. He was in Mexico, which made it a warm safe place for me to be. A place where, for a while, I just relaxed and forgot about my identity crisis.

Who am I now if not a wife, a home owner, a soon-to-be adoptive parent?

Bring it on, summer. I can take you.  

Now the identity crisis is back, thanks very much. Which isn't a bad thing. It is what it is. In fact, I'm sure it's HEALTHY for me to be ALONE for the SUMMER figuring out who the f*ck I am and where I belong.

Meanwhile, I at least temporarily have the freedom (thank you, flexible job!) to jet around feeling uncomfortable in various places. So I don't have to be stuck in just one! So far this summer, I've been in two different countries, 3 different states and five difference cities, seeing friends and dogs and spending insane amounts of money on AirBBs.

Also, drinking way too much coffee, not exercising, crying less than I thought I would (but still enough), and looking out the windows of various modes of transportation at the ever-surprising, usually-beautiful U.S. countryside.

Speaking of which...I'm just about to get on another bus (aah, my comfort zone) to drift a little more.

*OK it's totally not undisclosed. All you have to do is look at my Instagram feed to know where I am.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Weirdly mustachioed ex-husband denies pug visitation rights

Getting divorced is so much fun! I wish someone would have told me how fun it was because I would have done it much sooner.

Just the other day, for example, my ex-husband (who is now weirdly and apparently un-ironically handlebar mustachioed) TURNED ME AWAY when I went to pick up my pugs for a visit.

Yes! Those two snuggly pugs that we legally share custody of. And whom I have not seen in three months. Who are the lights of my life. The whole reason, practically, that I came back to Seattle for a visit, smooshed between two huge dudes on a middle seat in a germ-infested aluminum tube.


They are the only family I have left in this city. And YET. My ex, the professional victim, decided to take his revenge on me for all evil I've wrought, by denying me opportunity to see my dogs.

Even for him -- an accomplished bully - this was a low and unexpected blow.

And yes. I thought of fighting back somehow.  Of calling the police. Of harassing him somehow. Of yelling and screaming and causing a scene.

But here's the thing. He has guns. A lot of them. And, at the moment, he's clearly full of self-righteous anger. He is, in fact, scary just to look at because the anger just pours out of him, infecting the air around him.

Turns him into this hard, flinty person and smothers everything that is soft and (yes) beautiful about him.

Yes, yes, I'm angry too! Everyone's angry in a divorce! You disappointed me too, you know!  But I deal with my anger in a healthy fashion! By crying and writing vicious blog posts and bitching to my friends and running off to Mexico! Not by being deliberately cruel!

So I did not chase him down or harass him or even write him a scathing text message. All I could do was call my lawyer and seethe.

Meanwhile, in his  anger-infested state, my ex is undoubtedly basking in his victory, feeling very smug that he both surprised me and deprived me of something I loved. That will teach her.

Not only that, he invited a friend over to witness the whole thing, some fat gun-freak looking guy named "Gil"  who looked on with prurient interest while my ex shouted down to me from his balcony and left me standing there empty-handed and stunned in the chilly Seattle twilight.

Yes, I can take him to court. No, I can't do it now because I'm only here for two weeks.

Is it worth it?

I don't know.

And yes, this divorce is sucking more than I ever imagined possible. Even though I'm well aware it could be MUCH WORSE.