I’ve been quiet about personal things instead of thinking out loud on this virtual paper for awhile, opting to post recipes and such. Kept pretty much to myself in real life, too. Those who follow this blog know about my relationship with the vet, a man who is my polar opposite on everything.
From the get-go, I didn’t think it would work. I put him off for an entire year, said no every time he said something about wanting to hang out together, that he’d like to get to know me. Truth is, he kind of scared me. He can look mean as hell with that military persona, stoic face and all. I had to see him with his granddaughter, watch him met into a puddle of love, to know he wasn’t dangerous. When I finally said okay, let’s go get a cup of coffee, I was thinking maybe it will help him see our differences, that his interest in me would quickly fade once he, too, realized that we have absolutely nothing in common. It didn’t. A week later, he stood with his hat in his hands and humbly said, “God willing, I would like to get to know you.” It took an open mind and open heart. We had to learn each other, explain what words and phrases meant, as well as the what and why and how we do things. Still, I did not keep a journal like a school girl, didn’t note first anything on a calendar. Didn’t think it mattered. And, to be brutally honest, the first time I banged him was when I needed to feel alive again. I was feeling cold and empty inside after my aunt died, as if a part of me had died, too. It was a “what would Betty do?”
Told my ex-husband after he met the vet and asked how I hooked up with that guy. His reaction was, “Oh My God! You’re aunt was wild, you can’t make life decisions based on what she’d do!”
Yeah, I wanted to feel alive. What would Betty do?
His kisses quieted my mind. That totally amazed me. I didn’t have to think… I could just be. As I got to know him, I discovered a whole new side of me. Part of it might have been that I still didn’t see any possibility of a future with this man… all we had was right here, right now, totally in the moment.
Time passed. Love blossomed and grew as we settled into a routine of being friends and lovers. When I bought this house, he damn near moved in with me even though he kept his own apartment downtown like a security blanket, only stayed there maybe a couple nights a month in that first year. Things started going south near the end of 2017, when behavior patterns coincided with rumors highly suggesting that he was seriously trying to hide an addiction. It was his own private war, one his daughter had told me that he had overcome before, something he finally acknowledged but never could open up enough to talk to me about it. That’s the thing… another one of our opposites. My life is an open book, live out loud, be out loud… his book is so closed that “The Secret Life of [His Name]” would be a fitting title.
It’s always been his world, my world, and a wee little overlap of those two circles, the intersection labeled “US” printed up above with an arrow pointing down to it. His world is closely guarded, very private. I’m not allowed in it. For my own good, so says the man who acts like going to the store for a loaf of bread is a covert mission. That might be a leftover military thing. My world has open borders, come on in, I’ll pour you a cup of coffee, let’s talk about anything. As he started spending more and more time away, coming back with a don’t ask and don’t tell, just kiss me I’m home kind of way about himself, all those secrets got me to thinking that he was seeing someone else… we broke up on the 4th of July because I noticed a brand new freshly cut house key next to the key to my house on his key chain. He couldn’t tell me whose door it opened so I took my key off… hell, he couldn’t even tell me who cooked the ribs and chicken than he brought in and asked me to warm up.
A couple days later, he came to visit and told me that we just needed a break… that I needed time to get back to being me again. He thought I was losing my me by trying to blend into his world. (Wrong! I couldn’t blend into his world if I wanted to… he always kept me locked me out.) So, for darn near 6 months now, he’s been popping by to see me whenever he feels like it and in the meanwhile, I’ll work on me, you work on you.
I still think he’s been seeing someone else; she’s been trying to make herself known… after her last little stunt, I flat out asked him if he was banging her. He gave me a non-answer. So okay, like the lyrics Stevie Nicks sang, I took it as, “the truth has finally come down.”
Surprisingly, I wasn’t hurt or even mad about it. He totally sucks at trying to juggle two women, to the point of being amusing at times. I believe him when he says he loves me… but, I also know it’s possible to love more than one person. I still love every man I ever loved. It’s not the same as every love is different, but if you really love someone, you can’t turn it on and off like a faucet. Whether you act on it, nurture it, or just tuck in away into a crevice in your heart, that’s a choice.
I haven’t quite decided what to do about it… right now I can see us as slowing fading into just being friends. It’s like I told his daughter on cookie day (she’s been reading this woman’s comments on his Facebook posts): if you ever meet her, give her a chance, she might be okay. You know? Maybe she’s easy… easy for him to understand, easy for him to be with… maybe she’s from his world, so he doesn’t feel the need to hide or protect her from what he’s doing, maybe she does it, too.
Me and the vet, we don’t come easy, we’re polar opposites, don’t fully understand each other, have difficulties communicating, we never run out of stuff we have to explain. Like when I told the vet that I had just ordered a little 3 jaw chuck with an M-1 taper for my dad’s little lathe, he looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language and said, “What’s a lathe?”
Yeah… those who know me understand the impact that simple little question had on me. I grew up around machinery. I got paid a quarter to clean my daddy’s lathe. I’m a retired Tool & Die Maker. What’s a lathe? Okay, he’s street… got street smarts. He doesn’t make anything. I’m always tinkering. Just another polar opposite.
It’s been quite a ride… not easy, never boring, and no regrets. By changing my perspective, the fight has drained out of me, so has the hurt and anguish… I love him, but I can see myself walking away.