2 Different Days

One day last week…

I am giving up on him. I don’t see him loving me these days. He seems to be different. Everything we went through this fall and he seems to have forgotten. He feels distant. He feels resistant. Christmas is a few weeks away and…I don’t know. He doesn’t feel connected to me. I don’t know what it is really. Maybe its just today but I’m tired of his resistance. He has worn me down to being too tired of it all. Why should I bother with him when he doesn’t seem to be affected by me?

The very next day…

He must have felt it too. He showed up the today extra cheerful and attentive. He said he thought of something that night he wanted to tell me but couldn’t remember what it was. He had an invitation to a Christmas party and invited me to join him. Instead we spent lunch together looking at his photos of Antarctica. When he screws up and I give up, he always comes back and makes it right again without me having to say anything at all. How am I going to get him out of my system when he does that?

I had many conversations this weekend with women who are giving up on men. The #metoo hashtag goes beyond harassment and assault, its become a #whybother movement. I don’t see myself ever loving a woman but can I get the love I need from a man? The reality is that my best bet to have what I need is to find a lover for sex and a dog for love.  I mean, how is what he says any different than Trump? He looks at women as sex objects, he just doesn’t act on it. He was/is either in relationships with these women and lying to me or he is leading them to  believe he is in a relationship with them when he isn’t, or both. If we ever get there, he has some explaining to do because how do I trust a man that would do that? Reality is, he is man and they are all creeps. Maybe no lover, just a dog….

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Thanksgiving Blues

He returns at 1:00 tomorrow from the Antarctic. He will go straight home and sleep, having been traveling for two days. I leave the next morning to my Moms for Thanksgiving and won’t see him for another week. Does he miss me like he did when he crossed the Atlantic? We were so close when he left, confiding in me his fears and all. But it has been three weeks since then and now I don’t know how he feels anymore. His emails have been personal but professional. One more week apart, then we are both back for a week, then he is talking about going to a meeting in CA, so gone for another week, then back for a week, then Christmas break all the way to Jan 5, two more weeks apart.  How is this any different than if I moved to HI?

I talk about him like he’s my boyfriend but he’s not. Somehow I have to remember that. How will this Christmas turn out? Last year he told me he only thinks of me at work. The year before that he said hugs were against the rules. What will it be this time? Yet, he brought out the beers after he ditched me. He gives me that look in Panama and I look away. He said it would suck if I left. He didn’t want to stop me from doing something I would love so he won’t fight about it, like we are couple and can get in a fight? He is a giant 250 pound hunk of confusion. I am wishing he would come into work tomorrow from the flight but I know that won’t happen. He has his gear he needs to take home and dry out and he will be exhausted. I’m just wishing and will be disappointed like an idiot. Setting myself up for let downs as always. This will never end…

Rain

Its pouring outside. I always think of him when it rains. I think of Alaska. I think of him at the foot of my bed, leaning on my bed, talking for hours while the rain poured.  Its been 4 years since I fell in love with this man. It has been difficult, painful, and beautiful. I feel this stage of our friendship is coming to a close. I don’t know if the new stage will be the end or a new beginning, but change is coming.

Recent ups and downs consist of him saying it will suck if I leave, to me telling him I don’t want to leave him, to him telling me of a joke he would like to play on his son for his birthday, a voice dub on him playing his ukulele and singing happy birthday he did for someone and changing the name to his sons. That’s what he does for his ‘not girlfriends’ and he sends me a text. Ouch. I am hurt by this and I think he sees it in my face. He texts me at night about his sons successful job interview. We talk for hours at work. He says one afternoon, ‘well here we are’ as I look out the window. I have no idea where he is going with this so I say ‘and time is flying past us so fast’ and he agrees. I am on my way to the bathroom and end up sitting in his office. I finally say, ‘how did I end up in your chair, I was on my way to the bathroom?’ he says, ‘because you always do’.

Tomorrow is the last day I will see him for a month. He leaves for the antarctic. The  day he comes back I will be flying to my moms for Thanksgiving. I have been helping him get ready for this trip. He is worried about doing the dives and has told me his fears. I appreciate his comfort level in telling me so. One memorable moment in Alpena we were riding the boat back from some dives. We had spent most of the time chatting with others but towards the end I was sitting on the cooler on the back of the boat, watching were we had been. He sat next to me. There we sat, side by side, sharing a cooler, talking about things. He said then he was not looking forward to the dives in the Antarctic, my response was a sympathetic, ‘I know’.  We do dishes side by side at the office, same sort of talk. Him speaking about his concerns, me listening and being sympathetic and understanding.  Tomorrow I have to say goodbye for a month. Its not exactly like he is sailing across the Atlantic. It is not for six weeks. But I am going to miss him just as much so it will feel like exactly that.

Missing him…

He is still away but is texting and calling. Mostly work-based but then to see if the socks he found are mine. He tells me how he wished we had spent more time at a location he saw today on his dive, meaning he’s sorry I’m not there to see it with him. He texts me thank you for taking care of him today because of what I ordered with year end funds. I say I am getting better at taking care of him over time. Tonight I am going over his sons cover letters and resumes for a job application. We are emailing then he texted me a thank you and said I really helped. I am excited for his son and him. I am sure he is proud of what his son is going to be doing. His ex wife or one of his ‘girfriends’ are not the one he turns to, its me.

I am going to Belize, no resistance from him, and I asked him to come for the second week. He is going to join us, at least he is planning on it.

Perhaps he is really seeing the light finally. He knows I am capable of leaving and he would be lost without me. Maybe he realizes it. Maybe he knows. Breathing the same air at depth, when he would have been out, when he would have had to bolt to the surface, that meant something.

But what good does that do us really? He wont say anything and I have to assume what he has said is true. That he doesn’t think of me beyond work. That things wouldn’t be different if he wasn’t my boss. That the last time we were in Belize he was thinking  of ‘her’, a married woman. That he had his other ‘friend’ over for dinner on a Saturday night. That he went to two concerts this summer with someone else, who? And I saw a text from the married ‘friend’ show up on his phone while we were traveling so that is still going on at some level. I have to remember this and keep trying to move on.

He loaned me a book on transitions while we were away. He seems to read a lot of self help books. Its a good book. I am in transition. Something has ended and I don’t know what will begin. That is what I’m seeking. A beginning. Will it be him? Should it be him?

Meeting Four

I am back from the meeting.  He is still there because he had an opportunity to log more cold water dives. At the meeting we stayed in a hotel on the far side of town. He had a car rental so we drove back and forth together. We would see people and go our separate social ways then reconnect as needed. It was all very natural. But the dives…

Dive one, he had a free flow at 80 feet and 43 degrees. I was instantly by his side and gave him my regulator. I was on my alternate air and we were both breathing off my tank. I had my gauge in between us so we could both see how much air we had on the ascent. Our bodies were close. He was dependent on me and I was there for him. I know he realizes how significant that was.  I gave him my air without a moments thought.  I was there when he needed me.

Dive two we went alone, just the two of us, on a wreck. I have fixed his regulator but we stayed close in case he had more trouble. Everything went fine.

The next day we were on a boat. There were five of us and the lead was paring people into dive teams. He said the two of us should buddy “because it just seems natural.”  This is someone who doesn’t know us at all!  The dives weren’t bump free but we did fine.

During the week we had a free night and just the two of us had dinner at a small little Italian restaurant. It would have been very romantic if it could have been. Okay, it was a little romantic. The last night of the symposium everyone was going out for drinks after the dinner. We got in the car and I expected us to go to the bar but he drove us back to the hotel. His ankle was hurting so I assume that was why we didn’t join the others, but we never talked about it. It was just the natural thing to do.

The next day we had free so we went on an adventure. We had one other person with us who  totally gets us so it was relaxed and fun. Over dinner the waiter brought one check for all three of us. We asked for separate checks so he brought one check for the other guy and one check for me and my boss. We were like, no we need separate checks too and the waiter apologized for making assumptions.  That happens all the time.

The symposium was fun. He was in my room 3 times during the week, but who’s counting?

1. I can’t remember why? His room was across the hall and it was dark but he didn’t change it, mostly I think because he wouldn’t be so close to me.

2. To help me with my presentation. He sat in my room for hours going over my talk. Me on my bed and him in a chair.

3. To look over the rocks we collected at the quarry that day.  It was the last night. We were in my bathroom together, side by side, arms touching on occasion, as we looked over the fossils. He has one fossil he found that he insists is a clam but it totally is just a rock. LOL! I don’t want to burst his bubble so I let him believe it. We finally say goodnight. Its 10:00 on Sunday night and I won’t see him until Friday. He counts out the days to when we will see each other…Tuesday you are doing this…Thursday I fly back…Ii will see you Friday, etc… He is tall, handsome, and looking into my eyes as he stands in the dark doorway of my room. I am melting. I say ‘be safe’ as I lean against the door frame of the bathroom and we say goodbye. It was almost as if he wanted another ‘Alaska’ but I am not going there. No means No and if he wants something different, he will have to be able to talk about it. The next day there was a change in plans and he gives me a ride to the airport, even though I didn’t need one. I had a shuttle.

Now he’s on his own and before we parted I said I hope all goes well. He commented on how he won’t have his buddy with him, aka me. 🙂  He’s only been on his own for one day now and we have already talked twice, sigh.

I can’t believe this has been going on for this long. This was the fourth one of these annual meetings we have attended together.  Next year is Lake Tahoe. Gulp.

 

Our Friday

We have ‘the annual meeting’ coming up in one week. The one that started this whole story in Alaska. This meeting will involve drysuit dives again. We went to the pool together yesterday, just the two of us, to test our drysuits and refresh our skills. We are getting our gear together, it is hot. I change to my swimsuit and he is in his swim shorts. We gear up together, side by side, and then step outside to cool off before we zip up and seal ourselves inside our drysuits. I don’t need help but he zips me in anyways and I do the same for him. We don our dive gear and enter the pool. Its much cooler now as we descend together. Underwater we test our buoyancy skills, he shows me a few things, I do the same for him. He jokes around and makes me laugh. 30 minutes later we ascend together. We laugh about a few things and comment on others. He finds a shell from Alaska in his pocket. Sigh…we are a team. The dive is seamless. I brought swim goggles so we can do laps afterwards. The two of us pound out 30 minutes of laps in lanes next to each other.

When we are done he gets out of the water and I see him standing there, dripping wet, shirtless, and smiling. He looks like a giant boy who just received the birthday gift he always wanted. Oh to have a man who will do laps with me.  This is what I love.

He is hungry and we get lunch at my favorite place. We sit at the window and make up a scenario about the people at the table outside. We laugh a lot. On our way back we talk about many things. He comments on something he said and how his dad would have said the same thing. I ask about his dad’s sense of humor. I say how nice it is to be around his laughter.

We get to the office and talk between work. Somehow we end up talking about learning from our past. I tell him about my therapist’s take on marital baggage. I say I have so much and its a good thing to recognize it for what it is. To understand my hypersensitivity to things is to acknowledge these things matter to me. He said its also important to understand, because I am so sensitive to these things, they might not be what I think they are.  I agreed and tried to continue my point and he restated, things might not be what you think they are. Was he just talking or was he making a point?  I have no idea.

I am trying to normalize our relationship in my head but its not working.  Its Friday so I say goodbye without much ado and then leave when we are finally done for the day at 6:30.  He texts me later that night saying there is a show on TV I might want to watch. We text back and forth a bit into the night.  This type of interaction is why its all so difficult.

Just the day before I find out he has been to two summer concerts, one I would have love to have seen. He didn’t ask me to join him or even tell me about them when he went. Who is he going with? Why does he hide it or not tell me? It hurts because I don’t know. It could be innocent or he could be going with someone he doesn’t want me to know about. I have no idea. Its Saturday night. What is he doing and who is he with right now?

Should I give up on the one man I love? He is my boss so the answer is yes. But what about when he is no longer my boss? It will be too late. He will have blown my trust by then. Or are things not what I think they are?  The only thing I do know is he is making me crazy and that has to stop.

Crash

Monday I get his weekend update. His friend from Hawaii was in town. He had her over to his  house Saturday evening. He  made her pizza. I sit there and listen, trying not so show my heart breaking. She was married and divorced twice. One marriage lasted 16 days. I ask how is that possible, he says it fell apart at the honeymoon. I say she must have been young, he says no. I stay out of his office for the rest of the day and he is in mine of course.  I can’t see him loving someone who never had kids and had such failures in her relationships. I am making excuses. He had her over on a Saturday night, just the two of them.  We walk out together at the end of the day but I don’t look at him when we say goodbye.

The next morning I get in early and his coffee is already on his desk when he comes in so I don’t have to sit and talk with him. The moments I loved yesterday become today’s dread. I am in my office all day and he comes in often. It is Tuesday and I will be on vacation for a week starting tomorrow. At the end of the day he is on the phone with a  friend. I get ready to leave and he is still talking. I panic at the thought of saying goodbye. I think of him with her last Saturday night. I bolt out of the office while he is still on the phone without a goodbye.

He is texting me by the time I get home, telling me about the friend he was talking to. Asking why I left. I said I needed to get out of there. He said wow, he was sorry to hear that. I said don’t take it personally. We texted some more then I didn’t respond anymore.  We texted the next day as I traveled to see my daughter, then again the day after, him letting me know about his brother’s advice to me about seeing the eclipse. He is being very sweet and attentive.

More excuses: I overheard a call he received the Friday before. He said, yes 12:30, okay bye.  So maybe she was the one that pushed it into the  evening. Maybe he had invited her for lunch. I can see someone with so many failed relationships and no children being pushy like that. I can see him saying okay, then drawing the line when she pushes too far. He did not seem to happy about his weekend so maybe the evening went bad. Its not like we are dating so he has every right to have a date, but he knows how I feel.  He knows I am looking to get out of my job. He didn’t have to tell me at all though, so why did he? To be honest about things for when we go forward some day or to let me know he is dating someone?  I wish the first, but have to accept it might be the last.

P.S. Afternoon theory is a bust. I just saw his calendar on that day and his 12:30 was a dental appointment. He invited her over on a Saturday night. Hawaii here I come. I can’t do this anymore.

A Twist in the RomCom – Hawaii?

I am applying for a job in Hawaii and I have a shot at getting an offer. We were sitting outside on a bench having lunch. I was not sure how to approach the subject so I just told him. His immediate reaction was to try to talk me out of applying. After lunch he went right to his computer and read the job announcement. Within 10 minutes he’s saying I should consider it, if its something I would want. The next day he is talking me out of it again.  I have very mixed feelings too. I tell him I could leave my job, the institution, and not feel bad about it, but leaving him would about kill me. He blushed and said he was a pain in the ass. I agreed.

He has been super sweet ever since. He said he would be a professional reference for my application. I am doing dishes and realize his cups are not in the sick. We practically run into each other as I walk out and he walks into the kitchen. He goes to dry his hands on the dish rag hanging below the sink I am standing next to and asks if he can use my skirt. I laugh and say no!

As far as work goes, it would be a huge change, a demotion really. But less administration and more of the fun work. It would also be a pay cut, but housing costs are less in Hilo.

The offer might not come and I might not have to decide. If it did, it would be a financial choice based on the salary they are willing to pay. Personally, it would allow us to finally have a romance, 5000 miles away, but that  would  be more of a romance than  we can have now.  He loves Hawaii and I know he would consider retiring there. I think he realizes he could work for one or two more years and then join me. Alternately, he could be not thinking that at all. I have no idea. But the way he looks at me when we part ways says otherwise.

Sucked back in

We argued multiple times today over work related issues. When we were done with the disagreement, we are done.  No lingering hard feelings or anger. No consequences. Its work, he has an opinion and so do I. We express it and we are done.  This happened at least twice today. Each time we were back to our old selves when the discussion was over. Sitting outside enjoying a quick lunch together or laughing about something. At the end of the  day we do the dishes, together side by side, sometimes too close. We walk out together. I almost forget to go my separate way.  When I get home I text him what food to bring in tomorrow so I can make something for lunch. He texts back what he has and asks if its okay. I am in a reverse marriage. Yes I realize this post totally contrasts with the previous post. Welcome to my life.

Tomorrow

He arrives tomorrow. He wants to get caught up before I leave on Tuesday for a week. Maybe I will see him before I go but most likely it’s just a phone call. I try not to get my hopes up but the truth is I have missed him desperately and am at his mercy. How do I bring this to a close? I either need to move on alone or we need to move on together.  I can’t continue this way for much longer. Maybe tomorrow will bring the answer. One way or the other, bring it on. Did he have time to think about us? Will his return bring him back to me or will it be more of the same?  Most likely the latter. Meanwhile I have been pounding it out of me by training for a triathlon. Off to the gym I go for the last night of this long journey.