Just When You Thought It Was Safe…

It never fails. My ex who I’ve been trying to shake (albeit unsuccessfully) for the past…well, now how long has it been? 10 years since we’ve actually dated, 5 years since I last saw him (almost to the day), and coming up on 2 years since we last spoke. For privacy sake, we’ll call him Ralph.  So I guess I’ve been seriously trying to rid myself of him for a solid 5 years. Wow. Anyway, like I was saying, as soon as I say or even THINK that he might finally have gotten the message, that he might actually be gone, I begin to get lulled into a false sense of security and then – POW! – a message appears in my inbox. It’s as if he has some sort of internal spy network that, immediately upon my thinking, “Hm, so I haven’t heard from Ralph in awhile – maybe he’s finally given up,” alerts him and within 24-48 hours, I get an email. Every time.

This most recent incident was brought on by a conversation I was having with Colleen. We were discussing men for one reason or another on Saturday night. I forget exactly why ex’s came up, but they did and Colleen asked when the last time I heard from Ralph was. “Around Christmas,” I said, “so it’s been awhile, but watch – now that I’ve said that, I’ll bet I hear from him this week.” And, true to my prophecy, I received an email from him this morning at 2:39 A.M. Eastern time. Now granted, one of the things that I had occurred to me prior was that if my old work email (which has been forwarded since The Merger) had been cancelled, it would have returned his message as “undeliverable”. However the forwarding is apparently still turned on and so it came through.

I was telling Jo one of the other times that I heard from him that this was one of the (many) times I wish I was married and could just sic my husband on him. I think the fact that I’m not is one of the reason Ralph feels he can still try to contact me – there’s nothing about me that’s “off limits” in his mind. I hate that. And, to be honest, I really have a hard time NOT writing him back… Even though I know he’s a sleaze and not worth it, it’s still hard – he’s so nice when he writes and he tends to hit me at times when I’m feeling particularly lonely & vulnerable (it’s like he can sense it or something) and so I’m tempted to respond. I usually don’t… Summer of 2005 I did respond since it has been 3 years and he had not given up so I thought perhaps he needed to hear it from me again that I was serious when I told him not to contact me the last time. So we talked and I told him and I thought he had gotten the message. Obviously not.

The email from today nothing exciting – most of his messages aren’t despite his tendency towards over-use of exclamation marks:

hey!
am i allowed to write? I hope you are doing well!”

Riveting.

The one from Christmas was a little longer with a nice little “Thinking of you” and “God Bless” thrown in. It’s easier for me to ignore the shorter messages that don’t tug at some heartstring. Even so…it’s never been entirely EASY to ignore a free handout of something I so badly desire, if that makes sense. That’s why Proverbs 27:7 rings SO true to me, especially in this situation:

He who is full loathes honey,
but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.

Amen.

So here I sit not I having been touched or hugged or kissed or felt loved or wanted or even desirable in…well…years. I don’t think about it all the time. I don’t even think about it most of the time. But I do think about it and long for it and miss it, so even though I know what Ralph’s offering is not what I want, at least not in the great scheme of things, it’s close enough that it looks attractive to me. I’m starving and it’s my “bitter [thing that] tastes sweet”.

Keep in mind that there is also some aspects of this that really piss me off.

First off, it annoys me that he is so disrespectful of my wishes. I asked that he back-off, and he never has.

Second, because I am ultimately trying to keep him out of my life, I feel that I must be careful of everything I do online. For example, I have a MySpace profile and it’s always made me a little nervous because I know he could find me on there if he really wanted to… So far he hasn’t, but it’s never out of my mind. I know I could make my profile private, but I don’t want to potentially miss getting connected with someone I’ve lost touch with because they couldn’t see my profile to know it was me.

Another good example would be this blog. I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not I should make this blog private. I’m not particularly concerned with my travel blog because there’s nothing so personal in there that I wouldn’t want other people to see, however this blog is much more so. When I first started writing, I was referring to Ralph by his real name, but I’ve changed my mind and decided to go “private” again.  Thankfully he hasn’t found me on Facebook or any other sites.

I’m sure this probably seems silly or a little extreme, but what choice do I have? I want to cut him off, but when you break it down, all of these things are ways that he could potentially remain connected. This is the way you have to think when you have a stalker…

In other news, I had a phone conversation last night with a guy from eHarmony. Yes, that’s right…I’m still doing it. Regardless of how many times I’ve fallen off and been kicked in the head by that horse, my eternally optimistic glass-half-full side keeps pushing me back into the saddle.

I don’t want to go into too much detail on this guy, but let’s just say that I liked him – at least to talk to. He was engaging, outgoing, smart, and surprisingly funny (I’m always shocked by how few guys are actually funny despite the fact that most of them think they are). We talked for a long time – I even missed 24 and will have to watch it later. Since I’m leaving this Friday for North Dakota, we decided to plan to get together after I get back. I’ll keep you all posted, but – for those who know my family, please don’t say anything to anyone in my bloodline south of the Mason-Dixon… I’ve learned that it’s best to not mention this sort of thing to anyone down there so as to avoid the barrage of questions that people desperate to see their 30-something daughter / granddaughter / niece married tend to fire off.

For example, I’m still getting hit with questions about the fix-up my grandmother attempted to arrange with myself and the son of a lawyer that was doing some work for her. I had met up with him for coffee when I was down over Christmas – it was a rushed and awkward meeting due partly to the fact I didn’t really have the time to begin with. I managed to squeeze it in the day before I was supposed to leave so that I wouldn’t have to be criticized later for not giving him a chance. Despite the fact that I haven’t heard from him since nor do I think either of us saw fireworks at the Starbucks that day, I’m still getting pushed to reach out to him.

All that is to say, I would just like to avoid another Southern Inquisition if possible. Hence, I promise to inform my family prior to my actual engagement to someone (if one were to be pending), but in the meantime I think it’s better if we just keep these things between you, me, and the lamppost.

Nightmare On My Street

This has been something of a strange weekend. It all started Friday when the rain we had in the morning mutated into a sleet/snow mixture and turned the roads into something out of a horror film – accidents abounded with cars sliding all over the place. My office had pretty much everyone leave early – especially those with longer commutes. Afternoon meetings were all rescheduled for Monday and I finally got out around 3:00 (most everyone else had left already).

My half-hour drive home took me roughly 2-1/2 hours making my average speed something like 10 mph. Cars on Route 1 moved at a snails pace while it was faster going on I-95, still the top speed was about 35 mph. In a way it was kind of funny and felt like I was watching the oncoming traffic in slow-motion.

I finally got home and had an amazingly difficult time getting into a parking spot – they hadn’t plowed the lot yet and everything was so icy that my poor front-wheel drive Corolla had to really work to pull in without sliding into another car.

Colleen was home having decided not to go into her office today (smart move). After I de-stressed a little from my drive, we decided to order pizza and watch a movie – “The Devil Wears Prada”. It’s a cute film, but I have to say that the primary reason to watch it is for Meryl Streep. I think she may just be my all-time favorite actress.

I also watched “Stranger Than Fiction” which was a real disappointment, or at least, it wasn’t at all what I was expecting from the previews I’d seen when it was in theatres. It’s got a great (and funny) premise, great cast (Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, Will Ferrell) but the film was really less of a comedy and more serious than I anticipated. I probably would have liked it better initially if I hadn’t been expecting a comedy.

Yesterday (Saturday) wasn’t much to get excited about. Colleen and I made an attempt to shovel, but the packed snow and ice made it pretty much impossible to get anywhere. So after playing with Chena for a bit, I came in and set about doing some organizing and the primed the bannister for painting. I know, riveting stuff.

Last night I had a nightmare.

I dreamt that I took Chena outside and she was dogknapped. A few days later, it was discovered that she was tortured and killed along with another older dog. They caught the people that did it, and myself along with the owner of the other dog were going to be interviewed on the news about the whole ordeal. It was so awful I actually woke up in tears. I haven’t had a horrible dream like that in ages… When I did wake up, it took me a second to get oriented and then I immediately reached over to feel for Chena sleeping next to me. When I felt her soft fur and realized it was a dream, I can’t even tell you the feeling of utter relief and happiness I had! Hope I don’t have another one like that again…ever.

Right now Chena is laying on the floor by my feet chewing on something. Chewing is by far her favorite pastime. :)

This will be another slow day, I think. I need to actually paint the bannister since it’s all primed and ready to go. I’ve decided to not attempt church because, although the roads are fine, my car is going to take some serious work to get dug out and I think it’s safer to wait until the sun has a chance to warm the concrete-like snow.

So now that I’ve put you all into a boredom-enduced coma with the details of my uneventful weekend, I’ll close with a Happy Birthday to Es and a belated Happy Sait Patrick’s to everyone else!

Beware of Nudes

So last week I discovered this really cool site, MeetUp.comI stumbled across it when Googling for dog parks in the Newtown, PA area. Turns out this is a site that caters to anyone from any area with pretty much any interest you can imagine – emphasis on ANY. For example, I was able to find a group for people with active dogs in Newtown. I also joined an adventure travel group for Philadelphia as well as a travel photography group.

There were some good Christian groups for the Philadelphia area, but since Philly is a bit of a hike from me in terms of being able to get involved, I thought I’d start my own group. For $72 I get a group for 6 months that I can manage which I have dubbed Bucks County Christian Singles Social Meetup and I’m hoping to possibly attract some other Christian singles in the area as potential friends, or just a group to do stuff with. Since starting the group last week, I have 3 new members. I’m hoping to have a meeting scheduled after I have at least 5.

However, since the groups are designed by the individual members themselves, they can be about…well, pretty much anything. I had told my sister, Jo, about the site thinking that since she & my brother-in-law have just moved to Minot, North Dakota (prounounced my-not), it might be a way for her to meet some people in the area. I got an email from her informing me that there are apparently only 3 groups currently in Minot – a wine club, a knitting group, and a nude group. Yes, that’s right – a NUDE group! I laughed outloud when I read her message, especially after reading on that apparently the main page of the group features a picture of a pool of full moons. I don’t think she’s interested in joining that one.

In any case, I think the closer you are to a city, the more Meet-ups there potentially are… The site started out of NYC and I think it’s still sort of making a name for itself. I don’t get the impression that it’s been around terribly long, but here’s hopin’ that more people find out about it and it continues to grow…although I could do without the start of more nude groups – but that’s just me. :)

Dentist!

Unless you’re intimately familiar with the soundtrack for “Little Shop of Horrors” you may not recognize the title of the blog entry as being that of the song from the Broadway play. It’s actually not a bad portrayal of why so many fear the dentist – myself among them.

I’m writing about this because I tend to try and write about anything that troubles me in an attempt to give myself therapy of sorts.

As you may have guessed, I’m headed tomorrow to the dentist. I had my first (and hopefully last) root canal about a week and a half ago and now I have to go in so they can finish the job…like one full day of pain wasn’t enough, I have to go back for more.

To be fair, my dentist is really a nice guy. He’s very gentle and has a good bed-side…or rather chair-side manner – for example, I was in so much pain for the day or so following the first visit, he actually called me a few days later at work to see how I was doing. Still, the fact that I like my dentist does not seem to lessen my anxiety about going back to see him.

So you guys can pray for me! The appointment is for 8:30 tomorrow morning. The odds of my freaking out completely are slim since I’ll be given “the gas” which is a wonderful thing… The Gas makes everything okay. When I’m on it, I think they could probably amputate my arm and I wouldn’t mind. It’s fantastic, however it does wear off and when it does, I’m left with a half-numb face (which I seem exceedingly prone to gnaw on without realizing it) and feeling as though I’ve been smacked around a bit.

For now I’ll leave you with these lyrics from “Dentist!”

When I was young and just a bad little kid,
My momma noticed funny things I did.
Like shootin’ puppies with a BB-Gun.
I’d poison guppies, and when I was done,
I’d find a pussy-cat and bash in it’s head.
That’s when my momma said…
(What did she say?)
She said my boy I think someday
You’ll find a way
To make your natural tendencies pay…
You’ll be a dentist.
You have a talent for causing things pain!
Son, be a dentist.
People will pay you to be inhumane!

Hopelessly Devoted to Hardwood

Well, I had said that I wouldn’t post another blog out of sheer boredom, however here I sit doing exactly that.

It’s Tuesday night. Gilmore Girls is over, and there’s no point in my trying to go to bed yet because, well, it’s just too early. I have a puppy sitting at my feet chewing on…well…something, and DIY Network is on the TV.

This brings me to just about the only thing I have to comment on right now…the house.

The house. Where to even begin. I’m definitely glad that I actually OWN a home. This, in and of itself, is an accomplishment – dare I say, part of the proverbial American dream. But it definitely also comes with its pitfalls.

A few weeks ago I had a semi-disaster involving a washing machine and what I can only describe as its manual attempt to relocate itself onto the first floor. I had come downstairs in the morning to let Chena (my puppy) out. It was dark and cold out and as I stood by the back door waiting for her to “do her thing”, I heard a sound which sounded a lot like water hitting carpet. Lo and behold, when I turned around I discovered a miniature version of Ruby Falls spilling down into my living room from the ceiling.

Weeks later, I am still dealing with the after-effects. Holes in the ceiling and padless carpeting among them.

The disaster recovery service I called was great and dried everything out, made sure there was no danger (or even hint) of mold or mildew and then came back last week to finish off the refinishing of the laundry closet by adding baseboards and installing my new washer/dryer. The ceiling holes remain, and I’ll need to have them come back to take care of that, but the floor is what has me…well…frustrated is too mild a word, but I guess it’ll do.

In essence, the carpet wasn’t ruined in the washing machine’s rebellion so the insurance company will only pay for it to be re-padded and installed. Not exactly what I had in mind since the carpeting is on the older side and, thanks to ever-present allergies, it has been my ultimate plan since moving in to replace it with hardwood.

Hardwood is expensive, and therein lies the rub.

I think it would be silly to put $1,200 into putting back bad carpet, but $1,200 is not exactly going to cover a 500 sq ft hardwood installation either. So now what? Well, this weekend I’m going to go to one of the Home Depot (or is it Lowes?) DIY clinics on installing hardwood and will see if that will answer some (if not all) of my questions about tackling this project. Then I think I may start upstairs in the hallway which isn’t a terribly big space and I feel that I might be able to use it as my “test space” since screw-ups are likely to not cost me as much as they would downstairs.

Of course the best thing would be if I could find someone who is familiar with hardwood and the laying thereof and could give me a hand – or at least get me started. However after a lot of searching, I have been able to find no such person. Ah, the perils of being single and a woman…not that being a woman really has all that much to do with it, but the fact is that most men seem to come with in-born aptitude towards such things…and at times like these I envy that!

Okay, well it’s going on 10:00 so I’ve managed to successfully kill a half hour so I think I’m done for now. Not sure if anyone is really interested in this particular entry, riveting though it was… I just hope no one was operating any heavy machinery while reading.

Promise the next one will be better…I hope.