Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Tired Of Crying

This week has been emotionally exhausting, and it's only Wednesday. I'm not sure how I'll make it to Friday with my sanity intact.

I want to say it all started on Friday, but seriously, I am having trouble remembering the details. I had to work (it's my normal day off), however it wasn't as bad as I expected. I met Todd for a late lunch/early dinner at Claim Jumper. I think that went okay... but there was some stress, as usual.

Even though he invited me, I could tell from the look on his face that he wasn't a happy camper. When probed (not anally, much to his disappointment), he admitted to feeling upset again about Lynn, and that he's still unsure as to what's happening with us, blah, blah, old news, blah blah. Even after a glass of wine, that conversation didn't get any better.

When we parted, it was on good terms, and he asked me to get together with him on Saturday. I suggested breakfast. The Marriott has a free hot breakfast every morning, and Glindy is welcome. He said "we'll see," we smooched, and went our separate ways.

Saturday morning came, and he didn't want to meet for breakfast. But, he wanted me to come over, so I did. He asked where we should go to lunch at. I suggested T.G.I.Friday's. He said "Let's bring Glindy." Um. No. Of course, that caused him to become angry with me, even though he knew even before he suggested it that I would veto that decision.

His anger lasted most of the day.

While we were enroute to the restaurant, one thought kept running through my head: Why do I bother? Seriously, why do I? What's in it for me, other than constant disappoint when Todd aims his unresolved anger issues at me? And while these questions kept running through my head, the answers were never forthcoming.

So. I really don't want to go into the gory details. Suffice it to say that the day didn't get a whole lot better until late afternoon. By then, though, I pretty much just wanted to get back to the hotel room to recoup.

For some unknown reason, we decided to try this again on Sunday. We made tentative plans, smooched, and I went on my not-so-merry way.

Sunday was better, and left me feeling that yes, this was all going to work out after all (is this sounding at all familiar? Or old? Or both?). Silly me. I should've used my crystal ball to gaze into the day that would be Monday, but I did not.

Shame on me.

Monday, after a series of messes in the house caused by our pets (my cat Lucy being one of them), Todd called me at work and DEMANDED that I take care of things. Um. Yeah. Okay. I managed not to chop his head off over the phone with the mere sharpness of my words, as I was at work and wanted to retain some sort of sense of decorum. Instead I told him I would talk to him later.

Later I had a migraine, went to the hotel, and crashed.

When we got together last night for dinner before class, Todd said that in a way, it was a good thing I didn't come over on Monday evening, as he would've said things that he wouldn't have been able to take back. He said he realized it wasn't all my fault, however it left him feeling as if he was left "flapping in the wind." He went on about how Monday's events and my not being there just reinforced this idea that I often leave him to fend for himself.

While I can understand a bit of what he was getting at, the incident on Monday should no way reflect badly on me. As I reminded him, he put me in the hotel. He chose to not have me at home, leaving him to take care of our pets. In fact, he assured me he would take care of them, no worries. Yet, the minute something goes wrong, I'm to blame.

Homey don't play that.

This conversation, along with many that had the same theme this weekend, just reinforced this idea in my head that he will continue to find reasons to get angry with me. And, as I thought of this, I began to cry.


And I'm getting really tired of crying.

Vacation... All I Ever Wanted

"You need a vacation."

That's what my mom said to me when I finally broke down and told her (some, not all) of what was going on between Todd and me.

You know what? She's right.

I really do need a vacation. I need to get away from Reno, from Todd, from having the same conversations over and over again, from crying, from heartburn, from migraines... I need to get away.

I'm just not sure when I can get away. Or where I should get away to.

I'm thinking beach. Sand. Surf. Guys in Speedos.

I'm thinking city. Art museums. High tea. Swanky cafes.

I'm thinking road trip. Open spaces. Kitschy diners. Motel 6.

I'm thinking old friends. Catching up. Lounging around. Making fun of my life.

I don't know which route I'll take... but I know I've got to take one soon, if only for my sanity.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Easter Egg Hunt

So, I promised to write about Sunday. Now it's almost Friday, and the words still haven't been put into my blog.

Time to rectify that!

After our rough start on Saturday, Todd asked me if he could take me out on Sunday to celebrate Easter. I said sure, I'd like that. We decided to go to Sterling's for champagne brunch, always a favorite with the both of us.

Sunday morning, I went over to the house to meet Todd. He was dressed and ready to go. I took this as a good sign.

We went to the Silver Legacy, and as always, Todd had excellent parking luck. The place was busy, but Todd managed to find a spot not too far from the elevators in the parking garage. When we got to Sterling's, though, it looked as if our luck might have run out.

There was a long line of people waiting to get in. Todd went up to the host desk, and asked how long the wait was for non-smoking seating. The woman was a tad unsure, but she said probably about 20-30 minutes. Todd asked me if that was okay, and I said yes. After all, everywhere else would be equally busy, and Sterling's is definitely worth the wait.

After leaving our name with the hostess, we walked towards the end of the line. We barely reached the end when a host came over to us and said if we would follow him, he could seat us right away. He led us to a table near the smoking section, sat us down, and promised us he'd move us to a booth further away from the smoking section as soon as one became available.

We sat down, thanked the host profusely, and as soon as he was out of hearing range, we broke into giggles. Todd said "I must look like somebody!" We looked behind us at the line, which had only grown larger in the few minutes it took for the seating process to take place. How we got ahead of all those people, we'll never know. But it was like finding the golden egg; we took it, and ran with it.

Brunch, as usual, was excellent. We had filet mignon, Asian beef, eggs Benedict, a pig's worth of bacon, champagne, salad, salami, cheese, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, grilled vegetables and enough coffee to fuel a whole dorm during finals. And, even though Dr. Atkins would probably shoot me if he knew, I indulged in the most sinful chocolate layer cake I've had in years.

Besides good food, Sunday's outing was not stress-filled as Saturday's was. We had an excellent time together, which carried over into the rest of the day.

Days like Sunday make me believe that we will work things out. Days like Saturday, though, fill me with questions.

I definitely want more Sundays and less Saturdays in my life.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

And the stars say...

Today's horoscope may be appropos, considering Todd & I have another counseling session scheduled:

Remember that the more tightly you try to hang on to something, PAMELA, the more likely it will naturally want to slip through your fingers. Grab hold of what you want, but don't squeeze too hard. An important balance must be maintained between showing someone you care by taking him or her under your wing, yet allowing him or her freedom to be his or her own person. Sensitive feelings are operating today so proceed with care.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Question Remains The Same

Todd & I have been to two counseling sessions, with another one scheduled for tomorrow. While I believe that counseling has some benefits, ultimately, it hasn't changed anything.

I had a particularly anxiety-ridden "date" with Todd on Saturday. We got together early in the day. He decided to take the dogs to daycare, so we wouldn't have to worry about the dogs being crated too long. We left the house, took the dogs to daycare, then went to PetSmart to pick up some diapers for Benny. (Uh, yeah. That's another story altogether!)

After, we went to lunch at Austin's. We hadn't been there in ages, and the place was pleasantly quiet. However, Todd was anxious, and went over all the reasons he didn't think counseling was working.

I don't know what to say when he says this. The problem as he sees it: the counselor doesn't "get" him. And, in fairness, I can see why Todd would think that. The counselor knows about Asperger's, but dealing with it isn't at all one of his specialties.

I asked if we should see another counselor, but Todd never really answered. He went on about how he wasn't sure another counselor would understand him any better, etc., etc. But, in that monologue, he went off on how we have a different outlook on the relationship, and how he doesn't think that can be fixed through counseling, blah, blah, blah. This isn't new to me; I just don't know what to say when he goes off in that direction.

He believes our differences in opinion about what a relationship is, what purpose it serves, is the fundamental basis to our problems. I see his point, and I don't disagree. However, I do think that the counselor can help us to sort this out; to see if there is any common ground we're missing.

After lunch, Todd suggested coffee at Starbucks. By the time he suggested it, we had already passed it. So, I suggested we go to Barnes and Noble, where they serve Starbuck's in their cafe.

Bad move.

The place was noisy and chaotic. We got our coffee and sat down. Todd picked up where he left off at the restaurant, going over why he doesn't think counseling will work, etc. Basically what he was saying without saying it is that he thinks it would be best if we broke up.

So, there I was smack-dab in the middle of the B&N Cafe, about to cry. I could feel my eyes well up, and my face turn red. I'm sure I looked pretty.

After coffee, Todd didn't have much of a desire to do anything else. But, when he looked at his watch, he realized that the dogs were only at daycare for 2 hours; if he picked them up then, he would've paid for a whole day of daycare times three for nothing. So, we decided to go elsewhere.

Where to go?

Neither one of us is mallrats, but since it was across the street, we decided that perhaps a trip to Brookstone for him and a trip to Sephora for me would cheer us up a bit. So, we went there.

The mall parking lot was full, as it tends to be on a Saturday afternoon. But, despite all the earlier drama, Todd's parking luck was still in high gear. As we rounded a row close to one of the many mall entrances, a car started to back out. And before you could say "Spank me," we were parked about a 100 feet in front of the entrance.

In my three years in Reno, this was probably my 5th trip to the mall. We held hands while we walked around, and things just seemed to get better. Of course, Todd's countenance always becomes more positive when he's around the Brookstone and Sharper Image gadgets.

We left in time to pick up the dogs before daycare closed, and when we got back to the house, Todd suggested that we have some tea together before he kicked me out of the house. So, I put the kettle on, and soon we settled on the couch and had our tea. However, true to his word, once the tea was gone, it was time for me to leave.

We made plans to meet on Sunday, and I went on my merry way... and yes, Sunday will probably be an entry all of its own.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Talk Talk

After work yesterday, I met Todd at the house and we had a talk. Even though nothing got solved, I left feeling as if we had made some progress... even if that progress was just identifying items that need to be discussed with the counselor.

Yes, counselor. We have an appointment for this afternoon. We're meeting with a counselor who has "John Gray credentials." It's difficult to pick someone out of a phone book, but as we were looking at all the various ads, I was drawn to this guy... so we'll see.

Instead of leaving after our talk, Todd and I spent most of the evening together, and it was actually a nice evening. I had envisioned that I would leave after our talk, figuring it would take an emotional toll. And while there was some emotional tugs here and there, the talk was gentle yet truthful.

I know this will be hard to believe, but I am not the best of girlfriends. Shhhhhhhhhh... it's true. Now, maybe Todd isn't the best of boyfriends, either, but for now, I'm focusing on me. While at times I think some of his complaints are unwarrented, some are not. There is truth to a lot of his frustrations. Maybe not complete truth, after all, his frustrations come through his own filter - his own expectations and life experiences. But that doesn't discount that there is some truth there, and probably room for improvement on my part.

Before I went to the house, I felt our relationship was doomed to end. I saw no hope. But, after our talk, the scheduling of the appointment, and some quiet time together, I feel quite differently. I do think there's hope that we can salvage our relationship.

Or at least part as friends.

Hint of Things to Come

Today Todd and I have a counseling appointment. This is what my horoscope had to say:

Don't be surprised today, PAMELA, if someone describes you as conservative. Chances are, it's the truth. This usually indicates that it's quite important for you to maintain control over most things. What you say and how much, how you dress, the kind of people you spend time with, where and how you spend your money are all things that conservative people tend to keep close watch over. You may find that you are more likely to say a little than a lot and choose 'quiet' colors in your dress. Be proud of who you are.

Well... I *am* conservative. However, I do wear bright colors occasionally, so there.


Monday, April 10, 2006


Taken from a very recent conversation (so recent, it's still going on):

My old boyfriend Rich: PJ, why are you dieting?!?

The ever divine PJammy: Oh, needed to lose some weight. You know how it goes... as one ages, the metabolism slows down. Had to give it a kick in the cellulite-ridden behind.

Old Boyfriend Rich: Well you know your butt.

The ever divine PJammy: More intimately than I'd like to, thankyouverymuch.

Right On...

Today's horoscope:

As a Scorpio, PAMELA, yours is an intense nature. You probably feel things deeply and spend a good deal of time lost in thought. Yet, too much intensity can take a toll on your health and well-being and it might be high time you got out and enjoyed yourself. Get up from your chair today and take a walk. Meet someone for lunch, do a little shopping or yoga. Find something active to do to break the monotony of your daily routine.

Man, it's like the astrologer just LOOKED at my life and wrote about it.


Of Mice And Men

"Don't you just hate his guts... a little bit?"

That was Chris' comment to me this morning, after I told her about my weekend.

My plan hadn't been to reveal all that to my boss. But, it was clear I'd been crying, she was concerned, and it just came out.

I was in an extremely bad state this morning. I didn't get any sleep last night. I tossed and turned and watched TV and listened to the radio and tossed and turned and walked around and... yeah. The cycle of anxiety.

The cause of the anxiety was more of the same. Last night, Todd called to check-in. Guess where he was calling from? Early in the conversation, he had the audacity to say to me "You really put Lynn in an awkward position with your earlier phone call."


After a moment of disbelief, I said "You know, quite frankly I don't care about Lynn. She is nothing to me. You are everything to me. Of course I'm going to call you. I have every right. If anything, you're the one that put Lynn in an awkward position, not me."

After eight years together, of course I'm allowed to call him... on HIS cell phone. It's not like I tracked him down to her house and called on her phone. In fact, I didn't even know he was there until he confessed.


Our conversation wasn't very productive. He tried (and I could hear that) to comfort me, but in all actuality he couldn't. He told me he was at the end of his rope. He was miserable with me, and yes, he felt as if this is the end of our relationship.

He added that because we had eight years together, he would give counseling a try. He said we've come to the point where we need a mediator to facilitate constructive communication. He said that he sees things one way, I see them another... and that perhaps an outsider sees some sort of middle ground that would make us both happy.


Honestly, I'm not holding out much hope. I think that he's already given up on us mentally, and counseling is a formality. Something to do so he can honestly say he tried to make it work.

I am scared to lose him. Not because I feel I'm incomplete without him. Not because I feel I won't find anyone else. No, I'm scared to lose him because I really do love him. He protects me. Takes care of me. And, most of the time, he goes out of his way to make me happy.

It saddens me to know that living with me lately has left him feeling miserable. I wish I could fix it.

I'm so afraid that it's too late, and I can't.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Rest of the Story

So... I called Todd several times today, and he didn't return any of my calls.

I finally reached him this afternoon, and guess who he was with? Yeah... well. That was almost to be expected. I could sense that's what happened.

We had it out on the phone. He got my messages, but didn't call because he thought I wouldn't answer the phone, and that "would've made me very angry." So, instead of calling me, someone who he's been with for 8 years, he decides to hunker down with Lynn instead. After all, she's much more fun to be around than an old time girlfriend, right?

He wouldn't really accept my breaking up with him. He thinks we should see a counselor to try to work things out.

I don't know... I see where he's coming from, and am willing to do it, but at this point, when his heart is already not on me and looking around at other people, well... that doesn't quite make things on the up and up.

I did get some good advice from a friend, though. She suggested that there be no dating and no contact with other people during our counseling period. If we're going to work on this, we need to work on this together, with no outside influences breaking the chain.

She has a good point. And honestly, in my present state of mind I don't know if I would've thought to make that a mandate.

I am going to, though.

I still think we're on the verge of breaking up. He doesn't see it from my point of view... he tries, but he can't. For almost eight years, he's never been truly happy with me. He says that I am not happy, either. And he's right, but that unhappiness has been relatively new. And I really do believe it has more to do with our living conditions than with him.

But maybe he's right... maybe it's something else. And in that case, a counselor would help me figure that out.

I take it he's still with Lynn, though, and that bugs me. It's almost like he's saying "Fuck, she's going to make me be monogomous for awhile longer, so I'll just nail this girl while I've got the chance."

Now I'm not saying that's what he's doing... it's what is going through my head. But I also don't doubt I'm that far off the mark.

Right this very minute, I can say that I wish I had never moved to Reno. I wish I had never given up everything that I had for this... for a man who is not happy with me, and may never be. For a man who is always kind of keeping his eye out for someone who might make him happier than I do. For a man who says he loves me, but when I'm in desperate need, would rather have coffee with some relative stranger than to call me.

The thing is, I'm scared. I have absolutely no one to turn to here in Reno. If I have to move out of Todd's house, I have absolutely nowhere to go. And, yes, I'm also scared of losing him, but a part of me believes that I lost him already.

What am I going to do?

More importantly, what is going to happen to us?

I wish I had a crystal ball for that.

Epiphany or Stupidity?

My stomach has been tied up in knots all weekend. I can barely eat, and when I sleep, I have odd, strange, and sort of bad dreams.

And as I sorted all this in my head... all the things I've been thinking and feeling and worrying about, I came to the conclusion that I am a stupid, stupid girl.

Why oh why would I tell Todd he could date other people? That was fine the last time we were on a break. We had been together for a few years, weren't living together, and attempting to find out if we had a future together.

This time, though, is different. We're living together. We're SUPPOSED to have some sort of committment to each other... how can we work on us if we're pursuing others?

The simple answer is we can't.

I'm so fucking stupid for even suggesting it.

The thing is, I ultimately want him to be happy. And, I suppose I thought that if he dated other people, he would be able to determine who made him happy: me or someone else.

All along, the answer was right in front of our faces. We just both ignore it. The simple facts are these: He loves me but he's not happy with me as a life partner. I love him, but I am severely unhappy with our living conditions. I think my unhappiness is fixable. But I also believe that his is not.

Where does that leave us?

Nowhere good, I'm afraid.

Believe it or not, neither one of us has ever broken up with someone before. Well, I sort of did once... I found out that a guy I had been dating was married AND had a girlfriend. I didn't officially break up with him, though. I just refused to see him after that (didn't take his calls, etc.).

We talked about this just the other day. I think the fact that neither one of us has ever broken up with someone has left us crippled... neither one of us can make that move.

Today I think I can.

The trouble is, I have absolutely NOWHERE else to go. He has promised that he won't kick me to the curb. I am assuming I can stay here (although obviously I'll move into the office) until I can get my cottage into a somewhat liveable condition.

I'm not saying that will be a comfortable situation, but it's something I can deal with much better than saying we're still together and working on it, when in reality we've already emotionally disengaged.

Who knows? Maybe I'm overreacting. Maybe we will work things out.

My heart says we won't, though, at least not anytime soon.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

And He's Off...

While driving to the house this morning, I saw a dead cat on the side of the highway and I started to cry.

I know it really wasn't the dead cat that I was sad about (although it did tug at my heartstrings)... no, it is the fact that Todd is in the Bay Area this weekend for a date and then a naked hot tub and play party.

He met a girl that he was interested in at the Doctor Who convention. But of course, then he was chained to me, so he didn't do anything about it, other than (obviously) get her contact information. As soon as he found out it was okay to date during our break, he contacted her and set up the date. She lives in San Francisco, hence his westward journey.

I'm a little torn up inside, more than I thought I would be. I'm nervous and anxious. My hands shake as I type this entry, and my heart is beating so fast I think it will beat itself out of my chest.

The sane part of me says "nothing will ever really happen between these two." Sure, they might date and have sex or whatever, but come on? Todd in a long-distance relationship? It will never happen. And what are the chances that some broad who lives in San Francisco (not the outskirts, mind you; the actual city), would leave all that behind for Reno?

I say the chances are slim to none.

Still... it bugs me.

I think what really got me is that he had obviously been interested in her from the start. And that leaves me thinking that he was hoping we would break up or go on a break so he could pursue her.

And don't get me started on how revved up he was sexually yesterday... I know that had nothing to do with me and everything to do with her, and yes, that leaves me feeling vulnerable.

And then there is the play party. As I've hinted to before, Todd and I have some problems in the bedroom. The problem is mostly due to my lack of libido since perimenopause hit... but the problem existed before then. Todd's just into things that I am not. For example, he likes submissive play. I can't even fake submissive play, because I'm just not submissive. I might be passive at times, but submissive? No way.

So, even if his date with the Doctor Who hooker, I mean looker, doesn't work out, then he's still got a naked hot tub & play party he's attending where he might meet some submissives who would be willing to do anything he says at a drop of a hat. Like move to Reno. (Oh, I'm sure that's the last thing... I probably should be focusing on the sex, but I'm more worried about the long-term than the short-term.)

And yet, as upset as I am, I know this is the right thing. I can't fully explain how disheartening it has been for me to know that he's never really been completely happy with me. I compare it to that car that you spent a lot for, but it turns out it isn't really what you want... you spent a lot of money on it, and it gets you where you want to go... but still, there are things wrong with it that irk you. Yet, you don't have the money to get a new one, so you make do.

And I feel like for years, he's been just making do with me.

Not too long ago, I told an online friend who was struggling with self-esteem issues about my own. I used to hate myself... so much so that I thought I didn't even deserve to live. My plan was to kill myself when I turned 18. Why 18? I don't know why now, but it made some sort of sense to me then. However, when I turned 17, I joined the Army.

The Army helped me to accept, trust and love myself.

Those feelings have increased as time goes on, but when Todd & I were on the infamous break of 2000, I was hit with some of those feelings again. "I'm not good enough." "If I could only change more so he would like me better." Etc. Etc.

I loathe to admit that here. I hate THAT woman. The one who thinks there is something wrong with her, so she must change to hold on to the guy. But during the break, after the initial self-berating, my sense of self came back.

So this time around, my sense of self is much stronger. Now he's dating, and I'm not thinking to myself "Why can't I be cute like the Doctor Who girl," or "Maybe I can try to play submissive." No, this time I'm thinking "Fuck that, if he wants her, he can have her. Good luck with that."

Because as much as his dating others preys on my mind and causes some anxiety, deep down inside I know that if I'm not "good enough" for him, then he can just hit the highway. The only thing I lose is time... and not my self esteem.

In the end, I think that's all that really matters.

I Think I Love Him

Last night, I saw David Cassidy at the Nugget. I was not even five feet away from the stage, so of course I got to see him up close and personal.

He's gorgeous.

He is, I believe, 53 years old, but he doesn't look much over 42/43. Like his father, he retained his good looks. His physique is the same as when he played Keith Partridge. He smiles easily, jokes with the audience as if they are long-time friends, and is comfortable in his own skin.

Yesterday afternoon, Bill Manders interviewed him on the radio. He had DC for about 30 minutes, and in that time, DC just came off as a nice guy. At some point, Bill asked David if he kept in touch with any of his Patridge Family co-stars. He said up until a year ago, he had been in contact with Danny Bonaduce regularly. Bill interjected "Man, that Danny is a whack job." Surprisingly, David said the same thing (I thought he might defend Danny, but it's obvious that he has gotten tired of Danny's antics).

David did admit to calling Danny's wife recently to check-in, and said that Mrs. Bonaduce told him that Danny is fine if he's on the radio or TV, but the minute the spotlight is off, he gets crazy.

That was about it for the dish, except that during the concert, David revealed that he and John Lennon had actually been very good friends, and so he sung one of John Lennon's song in a tribute of sorts to him.

The only thing that seemed a bit annoying about David Cassidy is his propensity to keep stating how many copies X or X sold. I think it's his way of dealing with his "bubble gum" image. In other words, I believe that during his life, he's seen the need to defend his popularity, and it shows... a bit.

In an interesting twist, he actually sang "I Think I Love You" as his last song in the set... I expected him to not do it and save it for the normally cheesy finale. However, after the last song, he came back to the stage and sang a song he dedicated to his dad... he said his dad taught him the song, and then he broke into it. I believe it was a Ray Charles song, but I don't know the title of it, as I had not heard it before.

All in all, I am seriously glad I went to the concert. David Cassidy puts on one hell of a show.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Raising The Bar

With limited access to the Internet, I neglected to write about my raise.

Yep. That's right. Jammy got a raise. And how did this raise come about? Through a bit of careful maneuvering and a bit o' luck.

For the last few months, I've been thinking about asking for a raise. I got one after my first year: a fifty-cent an hour raise. Whoopee, right? At least their heart was in the right place.

However, in the last year and a half, my responsibilities have increased about three-fold, and no raise, no mention of a raise... but continued mention of how my responsibilities will continue to increase.

Jammy don't play that. But Jammy also doesn't know how to get what she wants all the time, either.

So... I've been thinking and thinking about how to approach Chris for a raise, and the opportunity just sort of fell into my lap.

Rob quit. He got a job with more perks and more pay, so he put in his notice and skedaddled. Problem? We have no one to replace him, and no promise of replacing him until about 6-8 months down the line. This means his job responsibilities have to be taken over by someone (or someones) else. Who will those people be?

The logical choice for taking over his client responsibilities is Chris. She's a VP, and already has a relationship with each of his clients. However, Rob also had some writing responsibilities. He wrote for our twice-weekly email promo flash, and for our monthly newsletter. Dennis had just unburdened himself with those tasks, and had no desire to take them back.

Chris and Dennis went out of the office to talk about what to do in Rob's absence. When they came back, Chris told me I would have a meeting with her and Dennis to talk about what the outcome of the meeting was. From the way she worded it, it sounded as if I had no part in the matter, other than to offer some ideas and to also be aware of what was going on.


As always, Chris lacks a bit in the communication department.

So, on Thursday morning, I went into a closed door meeting with Dennis and Chris. I knew something was up when they both sat on the opposite side of the table than I (normally Chris sits on the same side as me, and we both face Dennis). When Dennis opened his mouth and asked me if I was happy, I knew this meeting was about how my job was about to change.

Overall, Dennis is pleased with my work and my attitude. However, he did say that once in awhile I drop the ball when it comes to proofreading and periodically I don't sound as cheerful as I could when answering the phone. He then stated that he was merely nitpicking; overall, my work performance was very good.

Both Chris and Dennis asked me the question I most dread and hate answering: What are your goals, and where do you see yourself going in the company? That question is difficult to answer for a myriad of reasons. One, we're a small company; there's not a whole lot of room for growth. The positions only grow as the company grows... and while Dennis swears we're growing, we also recently lost a bunch of clients and sponsors (just natural attrition, not because we pissed anyone off). Secondly, I am not a goal-oriented person (much to Todd's chagrin). I have no goals, other than to be able to support myself in my old age. I want to have goals. I understand the importance of goals. But making and achieving goals? Too much work.

Lastly, I don't know if I see myself here for the long-term. From a practical standpoint, I probably will be here for awhile. Finding good paying jobs in Reno that I'm qualified for is difficult. Most jobs here are for receptionists, warehouse workers, etc. Marketing jobs only come around once every few months, and most of them are at an executive level; a level I am not ready go for. However, when I think of the day-to-day, I just don't see this as a job I want to keep forever.

I don't even know how I deflected that question... but I did, and I did it successfully, because I was able to get Dennis to talk instead, and completely forget that he asked me a question. He asked me if I would like to make more money, and I said "Of course!" He said I have the potential to earn up to $15,000-$20,000 more per year. Chris interjected that would only be if I was willing to work 10-hour days.

Let me just go off a bit here... Chris has this weird and uncompromising notion that if someone doesn't put in 10 hour days, they don't deserve a pay raise. She has brought this to my attention before. This isn't the first time I've heard this crap from her. What I wish I had said (and didn't) was the fact that Rob, who was salaried and making big bucks, only worked a 6-hour day, when all was said and done. He didn't come in until 9 am, took a two-hour lunch almost every day (unless he ate with the boss), and left at 5 pm most days. Sure, he traveled once in awhile, but maybe 4 times a year. Still, Chris just feels that I don't deserve more money because I work 8.5 hours a day, instead of 10.

But, both Dennis and Chris went on to list my new additional responsibilities... and no mention of a pay raise. I interjected that while I had received a fifty-cent an hour raise two years ago, since then my responsibilities had increased, and were apparently increasing again, and I'd like my pay to reflect that. Not that I mind taking on extra work; however, I believe I've proved myself worthy of a raise.

Dennis agreed.

When all was said and done, I was given a $2 an hour raise, and of course, a buttload of new responsibilities. Dennis said he'd like to review all of this in 6-8 months and see where we stand.

Believe me, when we have that meeting, I am not going to forget to point out that I get more accomplished in 8.5 hours than Rob ever did in 6... I am going to keep my hours if its the last thing I do!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Alone Again, Naturally

I moved into the Marriott on Friday. Hunky went with me, as the room was on his credit card, etc., plus he wanted to be sure I was taken care of.

It all went fairly well. He wanted to stay a bit longer than I allowed, but quite frankly, I didn't see the point. 1) We already had plans to get together on Saturday and 2) Long drawn out good-byes just don't do anybody any good.

Earlier on Friday, we went to lunch together at Claim Jumper (this has become our Friday ritual). Over a glass of wine, we had a very adult (i.e. drama-free) discussion about what this separation is about, etc.

One thing that came out in the conversation (again; this is no surprise to me) is the fact that hunky has been unhappy for quite some time. I say he hasn't been happy since we first started dating, but I think he sees it otherwise. Still, the outcome is that he isn't happy, and he (finally) realizes that I have done all I can to compromise and change, and that I'm at my limit. He also acknowledged that I have sacrified a lot to make the relationship work (left my home, my friends, my job; gave up a style of living I was accustomed to and comfortable with to live with him, etc.). I think that last part meant more to me than the other... for years he just hasn't really seemed to see the sacrifices I made to join him. Not that I'm martyrish about it or anything... but it sometimes bugged me that he didn't see what I gave up to be with him as a sacrifice of any sort.

We've talked about this unhappiness before. My response is almost always "If you're unhappy with me, then we should break up." I've changed all that I can, and if those changes haven't made him happy, then the plain fact is that he will never be happy with me. Time to cut his losses and move on.

However, he has always seen my response as abandonment. His response is always something like "That's not the answer." And in some ways, he is right: running away is never the right response. However, I'm not running away. I'm jut not able to give him what he needs/wants, and in that case, it's probably best for him to find someone who can.

The thing is, though, the thought of losing me terrifies him (his words). I don't think he'd ever lose me, though, not really. It is clear to us both that we'll probably be in each others lives as long as we're both alive. We're just wired to be close to one another. That doesn't mean, however, that we're the right partners for each other... but that's another discussion entirely.

Friday, when we had this conversation again, he finally acknowledged that maybe I've been right; maybe it is time to cut bait. But, he's not willing to give it all up yet, hence the temporary separation.

We discussed dating, and it was decided that he could date others during our separation. I suppose I could date as well (what's good for the goose is good for the gander), but seriously? I have no interest. I would much rather spend the time getting back in tune with myself, then getting to know someone (or a bunch of someones) else.

We will also date each other during this time frame. Plus, honestly, there is no way I can absolutely be free of him; I'll have to go to the house periodically for changes of clothes, etc. And of course I want to see the cats once in awhile as well. But, the point is to keep home contact minimal. Dating outside the house is fine. Staying overnight at home defeats the purpose of whatever it is we're trying to accomplish with this separation.

We decided to have periodic check-ins, and should we decide that we belong together, we will seek counseling to help us get through some of the issues that we can't get through on our own.

I'm not really sure what direction we're headed in right now. A part of me thinks it's over; after all, this is the second break we've had in almost 8 years. But, another part of me felt that we had a really productive heart-to-heart on Friday, and that maybe we'll get through this just like we did six years ago.

All I can say is, only time will tell.


Becky just walked into my office holding a resume that had been faxed in. She asked if we had an ad anywhere, advertising Rob's job. I answered not that I know of.

She read portions of the resume to me outloud. I asked "Is he single and handsome?" She said "PJ, I don't know, but we can try to figure out how old he is..." She then noted that he got his first job in 1988.

I said "Nah,too young," and she said "Oh, his name is Jeremiah."

"Was he a bullfrog?"

"Huh?" Becky looked at his resume again. "I don't think so. What do you mean 'bullfrog'?"

"You know... the song. Jeremiah was a bullfrog..."

"Oh PJ. That's a good one."

Yeah... but normally my good ones end with someone laughing, not me having to explain it.

Oh well...