Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rivalry – Friendly or Otherwise

The yanks did it.  They were desperate to get into space prior to the Russians – to no avail.  Next, it was a yearning to walk on the moon, be first because surely the moon walk outweighed the space thing.  They wanted it so badly that many people still believe that the ‘one small step for man’ – (which is one of my earliest childhood school memories I might add) was faked and filmed in some remote warehouse – hell, probably Rosewell, New Mexico. 
Google it – you’d be surprised how many fruitcakes rant and rave with all the evidence they can think of.  But if you think about it, it’s like Nostradamus – you can make anything fit if you look hard enough.
I was very young when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.  In fact I only have a very hazy memory; it was 1969 which meant I was about 7 years old.  They got the whole school together to watch it and I remember teachers with big hair and eye liner, wiping tears from their eyes.  As kids, I think we drank in the atmosphere of ‘awe’ rather than have any real understanding of what it meant.
My blog of course is not about the moon walk.
It’s not even about faking it – but I’m sure I could think of a damned funny blog regarding that notion. 
Instead, it is about two people – the squeeze and I.  We both write.
I think I wrote a while back about brushing a tear from my eye when he accepted an award for a short story; and I have no doubt that he would feel the same if it was I up on stage… (Except he would definitely be without the tear; because if anyone has been reading this at all, they all know what a non-romantic, somewhat shallow, emotional husk he is.)
However, I am going off on a tangent…  If one of us got a manuscript accepted; the holy grail of a writer… What then?  Would I stand back and silently scream at him “what about me…???!!!”  Would he?
I somehow doubt it.  But frankly, I think it is good we do not dabble in the same genre.

Monday, November 29, 2010

When I Grow Up…

When I was growing up, there was a whole host of nerdy kids that knew exactly what they wanted to be when they grew up.  I wasn’t one of them.  Nor was I part of the “click” set – those with the perfect looks and more perfect bodies. 
I fit in to that funny/sarcastic group.  I'd joke my way through school – sometimes at expense of others.  One of the best brains at work once told me that he had been captain of the chess club at his boys college; to which I replied “you got beat up a lot at school, didn’t you..?”
My point is that we each reach for that one thing that we want to be – even if it takes some of us longer than others to discover exactly what that is.
For me, initially, it was avoiding school.  I wagged whenever possible (usually to smoke and listen to Carole King) because I was bored and therefore hated school.  Then I fell into graphic design.  Then I fell into the internet.  Oh... And in between those things, I fell into marriage every so often.
At a particularly low point in my life, my best friend said to me: “write a book”.  In her head, that would fix everything.  She had written her way through all of the dramas life could throw at her.
I realised years later that the “write a book” line didn't exactly make me special, it fit every damned thing she saw wrong in anyone’s life.  Didn’t matter if they could write or not.  God love her.  She still says I’m the only one that actually did it.  I shudder to think who she threw that line at; and how many people with nothing to say actually sat at the computer for hours on end, waiting for inspiration to hit.
If you think I am writing this to thank her, trust me… I’m not.  I’d have done better to have wanted to be an astronaut – except I’ve no intention of going anywhere that has no air.  Or maybe president of the U.S…?  Mostly I suspect I’d have had a better shot at those things than making it as a writer.
It is that vicious circle.  Can’t get published, until you are published – what the hell..? 
So, there is little money to invest in new writers..?  Does that mean the world has to exist on who we already have..?  And lets face it, it’s all based on variables.  If you write romance and send off your manuscript (all perfect, single sided, double spaced) – and your perfectly beautiful romance lands on the desk of someone who just found a bunch of text messages from some skank on her husband’s phone – well… I’m tipping she’s not going to feel overly romantic; and your book is not going anywhere.
So given all these variables, you can imagine that you take whatever crumbs you can grab along the way.  The ‘just write a book’ girlfriend happens to be an established writer.  She sent me a contact to send my book to; and I printed it out (all perfect, single sided, double spaced) and sent it off.
Five months – no reply.  This is usually good - unless it is lost.  So I email my girlfriend to say “I haven’t heard from the editor.  Should I email to ask if they received it?”
Several emails later; we discover why I may not have a reply as yet.
She gave me the wrong name.
Yeah – thanks Isa – just torture me a little more!  Write a book my ass!

Music Makes the World Go Around…

I’ve learned a lot over the years.
A:  if someone “isn’t in to music” – then they are basically a serial killer in disguise.  At the very least, a creepy, stalking PI – actually, that covers the last long term relationship I had.
B:  If someone loves the “Doobie Brothers”; they may be a little dull.  If they’re into those monotonous sounds – then there isn’t a whole world of variation going on there and you can’t live on that one sound forever – that covers husband number 3.
So – as in all things, you don’t have to be twins, but there sure as hell as to be common ground – that would explain my life with the squeeze.
Our favourite is Dylan.  We both love Tom Petty.  We find new loves in sound and share it; revelling in it for a while before moving on to the next.  Mostly, we hit the mark.  Sometimes we miss by a mile.
He has a penchant for Miles Davis and I see some old Looney Tunes cartoon – the one where the wolf is playing in a jazz band at a club…  God knows what the three pigs were doing.  All I can remember is that sound – almost as though these instruments are just playing whatever they want – no rhyme or reason!  Totally random.
He can’t stand Lady Gaga, who I think is fantastic.  Eminem sucks – yet I would adopt him in a heartbeat.  I think I can do just about anything, except country (and that obscure jazz).
He can do just about anything other than hip hop or 80s dance music.
I think the differences are because he listens to the beat… Music.  I have to like the music, but for me, it is all about the lyrics.  What they mean, what someone felt when they wrote it.
Given our combined collection in music is extensive; and our knowledge base is pretty damned good – I’m not sure why he has this weird little song that he sings.  All the time.
“My name is little “blah blah” {you can insert my name here, or the kids, or just about anyone who is standing in the room really}; that’s my name…
And it never stops.
When we first started going out, I was there for breakfast one morning and his oldest son came out for it.  When I went home, the squeeze thought it was highly amusing that he had mentioned to him that perhaps he shouldn’t sing the song in front of me – since he sounded like a dick.
God bless him; he should have known that I already knew he was a dick by then.  Still, it’s wonderful once your kids start lecturing you on how to behave on a date.
On Sunday morning he was singing his little tune and when he went to shower, my daughter made comment along the lines of ‘WTF…?’
I said “that’s good.  It means he feels comfortable with you!”
Her comment was:  “well if that’s what comfort brings, I wish he didn’t.”

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Luck of the Draw

This weekend we decided to put into practise some of the strategies that the psychologist suggested.  Of course that works so much better in theory, than reality.  In the somewhat cold confines of the nut doctor’s office, it all sounds so easy; but once the phone starts ringing, I can feel both of our stress levels start to mount.  Mine, because I’m hoping he won’t cave; his – I’m not sure why but assume it is because change is always difficult.
In my mind, there is a direct correlation between the escalation of our relationship and the escalation of the strategically timed inconsequential phone calls – usually around dinner time and quite lengthy.  So the strategy began.  Don’t answer the phone to her.  If it is important, she’ll leave a message and he will call back.  Of course there was no message to Friday night’s call; or Saturday night.  Sunday, 1 call, no message, 2 calls answered; the usual - orders.
As far as I was concerned, last weekend had been a pretty loud statement.  Bringing me to the happy birthday lunch was a neon sign that said “she is here to stay folks”.
I struggle at times because it isn’t as if this is new.  Our relationship has continued along for over a year, yet the issues, feelings – odd moments of real or perceived surliness - I suspect are just beginning.  And the squeeze; God bless him, just wants peace. 
For some, it is about acceptance.  Struggling to accept that life is not and cannot remain the same forever.  For others, it is about a loss of power and seeing that rope that binds, being detached.
To each their own but I suspect how the squeeze and wife chose to handle separation hasn’t helped what is transpiring now.  The marriage ended many years ago, yet the façade of ‘family’ maintained.   Many would disagree with my words, however either you are a family, loving and living together – or you are not.
That doesn’t mean you have to hate one another, or push your foot a little harder on the accelerator when you see them crossing the road, but if there is to be the possibility for either to ever find happiness with another, there needs to be boundaries.
And to give him his due, the squeeze has a much harder role in this than I do.  Because at the moment, there are no boundaries, and as the nut doctor pointed out; in his quest for ‘peace and harmony’, he gave away all the power – with both hands – and taking it back will not be easy.
Today we had a school concert which was actually pretty good.  Prior to going, we discussed and decided that to call and warn that I was coming would almost make it seem like we needed permission; or that Mrs Squeeze's feelings in this were more important than ours – and so off we went to the ‘land of the hippy’ and sat by ourselves and watched the show unfold; interrupted by bouts of undisciplined hippy children that ran unchastised up and down the aisles grunting and squealing.  If one ventured close enough, I would scowl and they would scurry off to the friendly feel of velvet.
I am fine with going to these things.  I want to be a part of it.  People should see us together, instead of the ‘family façade’.  But hell, let’s just go there, get it done and get out.  I don’t want us to all sit together and break into a rendition of Kumbaya at the end, that’s for sure.
So we escaped immediately after and zoomed home.  2 calls – no messages on the way.  Then later that night, 1 call no message.  Then 1 call answered – a cold bucket of guilt dumped on his head.
The highlight of the day, for me at least, was the drawing of the raffle where the squeeze won first prize – a lovely hand blown vase.  My first thought was “hell, I’m glad I came or she would have brow beaten that out of him and he’d have handed it over, of that I have no doubt {nor did he deny it when I said this.}
So we were sitting down the back, giggling like school kids because I couldn’t help but mutter after his name was called “oh she’ll be up there wishing you were dead now…”
So now we’ve done the happy family birthday.  Yesterday we caught up with very old friends of his.  Today – hippy land for a school concert.  And we are now almost completely integrated into one another lives.
As for the vase, tomorrow it will come home with me; like everything in life - it’s all the luck of the draw.  

Friday, November 26, 2010

Manly Men

This weekend I am biting the bullet and being the fully licensed driver for my learner daughter.  We are whizzing around the burbs with a friend of hers in their search for an apartment. 
I will freely admit that my nerve levels are already not great for this mission.  Even if it didn’t concern me that this is my kid driving, there is the added issue of the damned car reliability – or lack thereof.  We have had some issues, to say the least!
I will pause to point out that in the relationship I have with the squeeze; I am the man.
I don’t see anything wrong with that.  I’m as girly as the next person and have a bathroom full of products; however,  I’m also prepared to lie on the ground and crawl under a car to see what’s wrong while he stands about, wringing his hands. 
My garage has way better tools than his.  When his kid broke a drawer at home, he was surprised when I returned it – fixed.  We both accept who we are and at the end of the day, I can’t play the guitar – and he will quite often sit and play for me.
As with any good relationship, there are a whole host of things you do that you know you really don’t want to do.  Like me doing lunch with the wife last weekend; when I’d rather have swallowed that glass full of spider legs.  For the squeeze, it was us hiring a one tonne van, heading down the coast, moving furniture and then heading back to Melbourne to store it in my garage.
He didn’t want to drive the 1 tonne so in my manly role; I took over as the truckie.  The upside was that we were also to pick up my daughter’s car.  I’m afraid I’d rather drive a one tonne truck packed to the rafters with furniture than drive up the highway with my kid in the driver’s seat.  That is the reality of it.
In case she reads this, I’ll say that she is a good driver.  It’s not about that.  I panic with any of them.  I have no idea why really, but understanding they are good drivers doesn’t lessen the panic any.
So we head off back to Melbourne and I’m zooming along in the truck, singing my head off since I managed to snag the squeezes iPod and iTrip, even if the sound system was crap.  They stop for petrol and I’m not waiting.  I want to get home and get this unloaded so I can pour a glass of red and have a shower!
I get about 10 minutes from home when I get the call.  The car has broken down.  On the Westgate Bridge.  Where else would a car break down except on the damned Westgate?  Although this was definitely outside the squeeze’s comfort zone; I believe the daughter was not anywhere near as fazed by it.  Quite simply, she was immersed in relief that it wasn’t me sitting in the passenger seat.
I should point out that the reason we were picking the car up is because her brother had given it to her for her birthday.  After a week, it had died.  God bless him.  Best intensions and all that… Another couple of weeks with a mechanic and about 2k later; we finally get to pick it up.  The bill started at $700 but after they towed it away it was like Alice down the rabbit hole – and I got phone call after phone call with “but wait! There’s more!”
As you can imagine, 2k and not even being able to get the damned thing home left me feeling less than impressed.
I’m on speaker via mobile and I can hear the “out of my comfort zone” tone in the squeeze’s voice and this combines with my escalating anger at getting ripped off by some jerk who has now, put my daughter and squeeze in a dangerous situation.  Of course running through possible/probable car issues with the squeeze is like him asking me to grab a guitar and whack out something ‘Brian May’ style.  It isn’t happening.
Fury mounting, I zoom around the corner into my street and proceed to hit a tree branch with the truck.  The rental truck.  The truck that I figure is now going to cost me at least a grand – although I’m too scared to climb on top and check out the damage, the tree branch is about the size of a mini.  Pulling it off the roof was a struggle.  The sheer size of it is an indication of what I’m going to see if I do climb up there…  And although I managed to drag it off, there are little branches and leaves in every nook and cranny I can see.
Instead of the shower and glass of red, I had to leave the now camouflaged truck, drive back to the Westgate, scream at the mechanic company, climb under a car to watch the oil flowing out like a hose and then take the two little Missy’s back home where they proceeded to laugh at the size of the branch I had knocked down.
As it turned out, the company put a new engine in the car (not that there hasn’t been and continues to be drama) and I played “little ole’ me…” at the rental place and they didn’t both to check the roof.
By comparison, I guess tomorrow’s joy riding will be easy.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

How Does That Make You Feel..?

Well.  Today was the first “couples” visit to the nut doctor.   I guess I’m still digesting it and attempting not to do my usual thing of Rubik’s Cubing it to death.  1 + 1 and I come out with e=mc2 rather than just the answer of 2.
Hours later, I asked the squeeze how he thought it went.  In typical  “I’m an utter moron in the ‘feelings’ department” he said: “I think it went good!”  I guess he didn’t get the whole “you’re wasting your time girl” vibe that I was getting from the psychologist.
I don’t doubt that she thought exactly that mid-way through the session.  She turned and asked him: “what do you see as your future…?”  And all she got was a rather pathetic impersonation of a fish – mouth open; closed; mouth open; closed.
The mice started running around in my head so fast that I could almost hear the wheel squeaking as the silence ticked on.  I shifted in my chair and started thinking “should I just get up and leave..?”  A million doubts circled in my head because I couldn’t understand why he didn’t rattle off “oh well, we are planning on moving in together… having a future… Making it work…”  I mean, we have talked about it.
I looked up at some ugly box of wires on the wall; just to disengage.  I tried not to say anything about his inability to articulate a plan for life; because hell, I’m sure they just sit there and wait for an outburst, something to whittle down.
So instead I waited to see what else would evolve and she danced around a little but came back to it, this time asking him outright if we planned to move in together – and he didn’t hesitate to say yes.  This mollified me.
I’m starting to learn.  As per yesterday’s posting – it isn’t that he doesn’t feel.  He is just an idiot, voicing the wrong thing; or not voicing the right thing.  So she moved on and said that people evolve at their own pace – to which I agreed, although could have perhaps argued that there actually needs to be freaking evolution!  Before I die would be good!
Yet at the end of the session she was pretty loud and clear - getting a divorce would draw a line in the sand for the wife and is a commitment to our relationship.  Without it, as we age, non-commitment would be construed as a waste of time.  Without it, people move on and look for someone that is prepared to commit.
Actually, she said as I acquire more wrinkles each year… which was pretty insulting, but not nearly as bad as saying to him “and your pot will get bigger”.
Now that was freaking funny.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Little Book of Romance

I, like most of the female population, quite like the idea of romance.
I don’t need it all the time.  Throwing it about carelessly lessens its worth and on those occasions when I have dated the quixotic; I have thought to myself “if I wanted adoration; I’d get a damned dog!”  I should point out that this thought is usually combined with an overwhelming urge to kick them.  Perhaps a little cruel, but true none the less.
However, the love letter, little note or card is one of the things that a woman cherishes, especially later in life.   Those are the things you pull out of a box when you are old and withered - just to remind yourself that once, you were young… Someone thought you were beautiful.
I gave up all hope of romance when I started dating the squeeze.
This is a fact that I believe he is quite proud of.  For me, it is a never ending source of amazement and I must admit, humour.  I am going to pause to point out here that I once said to him that he may lack the ability to think/act/speak romance, but he is a ‘physical romantic’.
He quite liked the idea of that.  What I meant was that he may not think to just say “I love you” because he feels it – but he will go to sleep, holding my hand. 
Now I am certain that anyone reading this will think he is obviously just not the romantic type or maybe he just doesn’t know what or how to say it.  This is not the case.  His not withholding romance; he is totally and utterly inept at it.  This is combined with words that seem to leap out of his mouth without consideration or thought that if he actually finishes the sentence, he is likely to be stabbed.
I did start recording those outlandish sentences onto my phone.  When that started filling up, I started the ‘Little Book of CPQ Romance’.
The Little Book of Romance is full of utterly astounding one liners; some in answer to random questions I have asked.
For example:

     cpq:  "you only get one soul mate & mine was back in my 20s"
     cpq:  "you are more likely to be my soul mate if you shut the fu*k up!"
     cpq:  "you are just begging for a big slice of stick it in me pie!"
     cpq:  "you have ruined my whole damned life!"
     cpq:  "now I have to pretend you're someone else!"

Ahhh now; tell me – who else out there is as lucky as me…?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

How Bad Can It Be..?

As the morning wore on, I felt as though it would be preferable to have a major heart attack, or maybe my brain suddenly wig out and me end up in hospital – anything other than have to arrive at ‘the happy family birthday lunch’.   But in the end, I can’t control everything; and families are funny things.  Not everyone deals with life in the same way.
In short, if I want to be a part of the squeeze’s life; then I need to be a part of his life.  Warts and all.  And I was prepared to try; because it was important to him.
Prior to entering I muttered “whatever happens, make sure you sit next to me – and don’t sit me next to the wife!”  And of course, as all best laid plans… By the time she arrives, the only seat left - is next to me.
It was almost a comedy routine watching as the birthday boy realise he has left her no alternative but to sit to my left; colour suffused his face and he stammers “do you want to swap seats?”  At that moment, I know we are on the same page.  The answer is “you bet your fricking arse I want to swap seats, but I’d rather swallow a glass of spider legs than look that weak!”  So sit next to each other we do; matching grating smiles.
It is funny really, because I was bought up in a rather strict environment and taught by my mother that manners matter.  But more than the manners, is the fact that this is my guy; his life – and I can feel that the tension inside me; is twofold in him.  Strange as it may seem; he actually loves me and he needs this to go well.
In reality, it was a few moments of everyone being on tender hooks followed by open, humorous conversation.
And I treated her the same as anyone else I was having dinner with for the first time.  I discussed writing and kids and life – and uncomfortable silences when they came, were kept to a minimum.
All in all, I actually had a good time.  How can you not at a table with good food, a person you love and kids that are intelligent and funny? 
At the conclusion, if I didn’t feel as though I was part of the family; I at least felt as though I belonged.

Blogs... Catharsis...

The blog was designed as a way to vent my frustrations – in the hope that down the track, I could look back and laugh at the stupidity of life.  Weird really, because hell, much of it isn’t funny at all; yet we can but try!
The Hunchback is about my relationship.  Hell, if I started a blog about work God knows what title that would be and it would probably get me fired in a week.
I have always written as a way to figure out my own thoughts.  Like writing itself, the whole damned story, the answer – is already in there, you just have to let it evolve.  So I write and expel it and move on.  To date, much of it has centred on the harridan and those that know me have laughed; as they know how totally different this woman and I are – we may as well be from different planets.
Still, with too much focus on that, I allow it to smother the good from our relationship, of which there is much.
The squeeze thinks it is probably a good way to deal with it.  He is not unaware of the difficulties I have in dealing with a constant relationship of many people.  I’m not good with no “us” time.   I however, am not sure, as it forces you to focus only on the negative – and when the rest of your life all follows the same path at times (like now) – it does indeed make your world black.
Of course, that bottle of red kind of pushes you to wallow in it.  One day I’ll give up drinking altogether.  The squeeze doesn’t drink – hasn’t for years.  Even writing that I could hear my sister and several girlfriends make a Pfftt! sound. 
Hmm well I sure as hell won't be giving it up this afternoon while we are out doing the ‘happy family kid birthday lunch’.  In all honesty, I would rather be dead, but hey – love me, love my kid.  That is how I feel and he is no different.
To get around the “wishing I was dead” moment, I’ll sit there and think about all of the bits of our relationship that defines what we are.
Last Thursday night we went to Hawthorn, found a fantastic shop full of vinyl and a tiny coffee machine and poured through albums.  I ended up buying an old Bob Dylan and Rolling Stones.  Then we went off to the some council building and I sat at a table and held the squeeze’s hand and brushed a tear from my eye as he went up to get a “highly commendable” award for a short story he wrote.
At these times I know and understand that we are meant for each other in a way that no one else could fit the people we are.  And the harridan, the kids – complete with wrong plane tickets and daughters car nightmares and yelling about the mess they all leave in both sides of town – as a price to pay, seems totally worth it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What's a Nice Kid Like You...

I’ve never done a blog before.  It’s taken me all morning just to work out what goes where and how it should look.  But I like the idea of a blog; of speaking my mind and not actually having to send a manuscript of thoughts to someone.
My boyfriend has one; has encouraged me to write one – even though he knows without doubt, he will need to cringe his way through every word of it.  This is one of the reasons he is my boyfriend.  Or as we choose to term it, ‘squeeze’ – after all, he is 55.
My squeeze and I have known one another for about 15 years.  In all that time, never was there anything between us.  No innuendo, zip sexual tension, nada in the smouldering looks department.  He was married, as was I.  We sipped red wine and discussed our marriage breakdowns, our weird dates, accidental sex with co workers, our kids, our jobs, our dreams – and nowhere in those discussions, was there even a hint that we would someday be a “we”.
There wasn’t even an evolution to discovery that there could be a “we”.  Just a very nice, lingering kiss one night after we had talked so much outside the Classic, that we missed our movie. 
It was like waking up one morning and your cat talks to you.   

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

And They All Lived Happily Ever After…

Now that had to be the biggest fairy story on the planet – and most of us knew it.  Even as kids.  I can’t say what it is like to be the kid of a divorced parent.  My parents got remarried in a church on their 50th wedding anniversary. 
It was all very romantic – not that they didn’t have their tough times.  Not that I didn’t go to bed gnawing on my finger nails, worried they may “divorce” after I’d heard them fighting in my early teens.
I’ve always tried to treat my kids as I wanted to be treated.  I wasn’t stupid.  I knew something was going on – I just wanted honesty – and in return, they climbed the ladder of respect in my head.  Why?  Because they appreciated me enough to acknowledge the fact that I wasn’t utterly senseless.  That I was adult enough to understand that being with someone for 20, or 30 or 50 years is damned hard work.
Hell, I struggled to make 10 years as a married adult.
It’s a constant uphill battle of thinking about, caring about and more importantly, putting in time with the other person.  Without that – it can’t work.  Because if you can’t do that, if you can’t put that person you are in a relationship first every so often; then I figure you are not there because you actually love them.  You are probably there, because you just don’t want to be alone.
So… At what point to you let kids understand the reality of the world..?  That mummy and daddy are actually no longer together?  Happy family dinners are not such a good idea – because daddy has a girlfriend and she hates the way mummy treats daddy.
Call me new age…  Hell, call me despicable…  Whatever, but I kind of figure when you reach your 20’s – you can figure that out for yourself. 
I never wanted to lie to my kids.  To be honest, they were smart and I respected them too much.  I never simulated a happy ever after, at least, not where I was concerned.  What would be the point – we weren’t.  I mean, we didn’t even like one another.  Most of the time I figured he would look so much more attractive… dead.
I once took my older child to a psychologist.  He told me, never lie.  Don’t wake him up every morning and say your dad is a pig – but don’t lie either.   Your make believe world shattered is so much harder to handle than already knowing that they may actually reject you.
I have had some hellish times with my two older kids.  But I treated them with honesty and respect – and there was light at the end of the tunnel.  They turned out to be mature, happy, stand-alone kids.
On the dissection of my blog the other night, the squeeze mentioned that he thought some of it was totally random.  In fact, none of it was.  I found it astounding that he didn’t see that each blog was a message.
This entry isn’t random.  This is about him, receiving a month of hell by the wife; who then turns on a coin to say that the 22 yo wants a ‘happy, family, birthday bbq’.   Obviously, this idea is less than thrilling to me.
However, the only thing voicing my reluctance gets me, is:    ‘You don't have to do the happy family birthday, you're invited, it's your choice’.
In other words, suck it up or fuck off;  because as long as the wife and son are happy, the world turns for the squeeze.
If you are always put last, how long do you stay?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Dogs Bark…

…But the caravan moves on.
This proverb seems to summarize my life perfectly at the moment.   Of course the regrettable part is that I am the ‘dogs’; not the caravan.
I am the insignificant; the unimportant and I can talk, argue, and bang my head against a wall, but it has absolutely no effect on what happens.
And the worst part is that I am my own worst enemy.
Still, enemy I may be; stupid I am not – I don’t go out of my way to look for the ‘romantically inept’ boyfriend; or the ‘choke on your spleen’ work place. 
I don’t have a checklist stating that I’m only interested in men who have a harpy of a wife clinging to their back like a hump - who constantly contacts to berate/demand.  I’m not putting on my CV a desire to work for someone whose own inadequacy means they need to micro manage everyone.
They just seem to find me. 
This makes me wonder how?  How the hell they find me? 
Just once I’d like to be the bloody caravan!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Planning and Piñatas

Having a birthday breakfast for Kid 1 the other week; the Squeeze’s sister commented on what she believed would come to pass as “death planning”. Ok; that isn’t exactly birthday breakfast speak, but it’s where we ended up.
I have to admit, in between attempting to swallow down mud cake - the idea certainly grabbed me.  Maybe because I’m a project manager, but on a whole other level I have to say the idea of dying doesn’t exactly faze me.  In fact, I have often said it was my retirement plan.
I have never understood those that have not planned their ‘after death’ to the ninth degree.  I mean what the hell?  No one knows you as well as you know yourself.  Who else would know I want to wear my red shawl???  And I’ve heard a million stories; a million dramas where there are lasting effects from the fights that ensued over money.
Frankly, I love my kids and my family too much to put that stress on them.  So I planned.  Hell, I have almost written a script; I’ve done everything except the “death party” invites with a blank date – and I’m thinking of designing those…
My executors are my younger brother and sister.  July, my sister, is also my medical proxy.  My older sister once asked me why I had chosen July; truth was, she was the only one I knew who loved me enough, but was strong enough to adhere to my wishes.
I love my older sister like crazy; but she’s a marshmallow and would have me lingering for an eternity – only to freeze me in the hope that I would be reanimated at some stage down the track (quite possibly without a soul and attempt to kill off half of the world)
So I contacted a lawyer and I had my will done.  I documented every single thing that meant something to me and where it was to go (completed with evaluations).  Then I continued on and planned my funeral – or “death party” as I prefer to call it.
I chose the music and zipped it all into a folder and sent it to my brother and sister.  I waited and finally emailed to ask what she thought.  Music is such a personal thing, so I knew she wouldn’t comment on my choices there – she did however, make comment on my choice of a paper mache coffin.  I figured it was low cost; environmentally friendly – and I’m planning on cremation anyhow!
As for the comment, in between laughter all I got was:
“I can’t wait for this funeral.  And after, we can use you as a Piñata!”

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Antiquity, New Friends & Fitting In

Tonight we had dinner for the squeeze’s 56th birthday.  Invitee’s included a friend who I have heard spoken of a million times and was actually beginning to think was a figment of the squeeze’s imagination. As it turns out, he and his wife – were real.

I do admit I find it hard in these initial meetings.  I am the alien.  I am the one attempting to fit in, be liked; hoping that they see whatever the squeeze sees in me.  Every bit of self-doubt I possess leaps out to consume me. And as with most marriage breakdowns; friends cling to the belief they can be friends with both.  I say belief because it doesn’t usually work that way in reality.

Aside from that, I can’t help but concede that they probably don’t understand the “cat speaking to me” theory.  I wonder if they question the fact that up until one year ago; we were nothing more than friends.  To be honest, I think I’d question it myself, were I them.

I don’t have history.  Their history, their stories are peppered with tales of my squeeze and the ex-wife.  And the guests are carefully wording all they say in an attempt not to exclude me.  This in itself is a difficult task.  You have no history.  How then can you be a “part of”?

Still; you have to start somewhere; but integration isn’t as easy as people figure it is…

Vinyl, Commonalities and What Works

I’ve always figured that for a relationship to work; you have to have a hell of a lot of common ground.  The big things in life, the things that matter – you have to be able to share.  If not, when that first glow of lurve/lust diminishes, you don’t have anything left to sustain the relationship.

On this basis, the squeeze and I should be a match made in heaven.  We have friendship to fill in the holes, but it is more than that.  We both write.  We both read.  We both have a love of music.

I should probably clarify at this point that we don’t have to be twins.  Let’s go a little higher level than that.  There has to be an element of diversity in the mix; we should both read, write and listen – but we don’t want to be mirror images.

Music is a big part of my world; and his.  It always has been.  We cross many paths in this arena.  He loves Bob Dylan.  I called my son Dylan after man himself (let’s face it; no amount of admiration is going to convince me to call my kid Bob…)  

For diversity, he has a love of jazz (called his kid Jaaz [note the velvet wearing spelling]).   I would rather be stripped naked, covered in honey and staked to ants nest than sit and listen Miles Davis.  On the other hand, I have a proclivity towards 80’s dance music – which makes his skin crawl.  Hell, he once dumped me because I put Lady Gaga on his iPod.

For the birthday breakfast this morning, we went to a little place in Northcote called The Aquarium which has no fish, yet a fantastic selection of vinyl.   This morning’s blog is written to the sounds of Dusty in Memphis and Beth Orton, Trailer Park – on vinyl.

I can’t imagine being able to share that with anyone else.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Older Men and Birthdays

The squeeze turns 56 tomorrow.
If someone had told me 20 or 30 years ago that I would find a 56 year old guy even remotely attractive; I’d have laughed my ass off.
Although he did slither out of that older man pool; I will point out that he does have plenty of hair; in fact there is little grey sprinkled in there.  He even has all of his own teeth.  Still, he is a little on the short side; in bare feet I top him by at least a centimetre or two.
At the start of our relationship, he would often do or say something so totally dumb arsed, that I could only shake my head in wonder at how he had ever dated before – let alone married and produced children.  At least questioned how he had done those things and not actually been stabbed.
For example…  We were watching a girly flick one night; I can’t remember what it was but the usual meeting… soul mates...  yada yada.   I looked over to him and said “do you think you get more than one soul mate?  Or do you have several out there.”  He points out that he believes you only get one and then foolishly went on to speculate that his was someone he went out with in his 20’s.  Not even his wife.  Ummm yeah, that will get you sex.  Not.
The counsellor, who he is seeing in an endeavour to extract himself from the matriarch’s power, told him that maybe next time he should say “I’ll think that over and get back to you…”   Wise woman, the nut doctor.
Payback is required on occasion; however ‘in your face’ payback seems rather petty - so you have to get creative.  For example, if we were going out, I would make sure I wore very high heels as a statement of my displeasure.  This lasted several months before I worked out that this didn’t seem to bother him at all.  Bastard.  In fact, he liked it! 
I realised he was somewhat smugly thinking that anyone observing us would be wondering at that hidden speciality he possessed.  Given that he had a younger, taller woman at his side.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Blogging, Wives and Stuff…

The thing that no one tells you about blogging is that it is just like typing in a journal – except it is open to the world.  Actually, they probably do tell you that; I just hadn’t bothered to look.  Anyway, an element of danger just made it more attractive really. 
Of course the only 2 comments I received were from my nephew who emailed to tell me that given this was about me/relationship/possible sex - his gag reflexes meant he would be unable to follow.  Then my brother called to tell me that his daughter had commented “I didn’t know Carol was going out with a hunchback!”
Still, it is early days, and reading back over my words, I figured the only thing that someone may feel the need to rattle their sabre over was my rather scathing remark re ex-wives.
Given that, I thought I would point out that I don’t dislike ex-wives.  I don’t see one and mutter ‘shrew’ under my breath.  Hell.  I am an ex-wife.  I’ve been an ex-wife several times and quite frankly, I’ve always thought I was pretty damned good at it. 
I associate many lines, or thoughts, or words with songs – and sadly, I’m going to sound completely dicky and probably be dumped by my musically talented squeeze, when I say ‘you have to know when to hold them, know when to fold them…’   And my problem is that we haven’t quite got to the ‘know when to walk away part yet’.  Which I’m sure you will hear so much more about!
Hell that would have been way cooler if I could have quoted some Nick Cave or Dylan in there…


I’ve never done a blog before.  It’s taken me all morning just to work out what goes where and how it should look.  But I like the idea of a blog; of speaking my mind and not actually having to send a manuscript of thoughts to someone.
My boyfriend has one; has encouraged me to write one – even though he knows without doubt, he will need to cringe his way through every word of it.  This is one of the reasons he is my boyfriend.  Or as we choose to term it, ‘squeeze’ – after all, he is 55.
My squeeze and I have known one another for about 15 years.  In all that time, never was there anything between us.  No innuendo, zip sexual tension, nada in the smouldering looks department.  He was married, as was I.  We sipped red wine and discussed our marriage breakdowns, our weird dates, accidental sex with co workers, our kids, our jobs, our dreams – and nowhere in those discussions, was there even a hint that we would someday be a “we”.
There wasn’t even an evolution to discovery that there could be a “we”.  Just a very nice, lingering kiss one night after we had talked so much outside the Classic, that we missed our movie. 
It was like waking up one morning and your cat talks to you.