Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Proof is in the Rosemary

I can't write a blog entry without writing the subject line first. So this is going to be difficult for me - right now the subject line is empty and it's driving me crazy. However, the whole "can't write until I have a subject line" thing is the main reason I haven't written lately... so I'm going to try something completely different and just type... and see what comes out.

I have so much on my mind - so many things I've wanted to write about and purge from my system. But these things just keep on mulling around my head, and it's just not healthy. It's not healthy because I don't get them out. They fester and grow and I become so used to their being there that these roadblocks become easy to ignore. Oh yes, they're roadblocks - huge, obtrusive cones that slow me down and make my journey miserable. And I want to move them out of the way, but I've become so adept at sidestepping them that I sometimes forget I have the power to remove them.

This afternoon I was able to ignore the roadblocks and go out on a date - this would be my fourth date recently with someone new. This is a first for me - I have never in my life done this much dating in such a short period of time. Never. And I know some of you women are probably saying, "Yes! Go for it! That's the way to do it!" But me? I simply roll my eyes and say, "Here we go again..."

Because you see for me it's always kind of the same thing: a guy is super interested in me and can't seem to get enough of me until we meet. And then... I dunno. It could be that I'm not showing enough enthusiasm. It could be they're not attracted to me. It could be that they're dating a bunch of others, too, and I am not enough of whatever it is that I need to be to get pushed to the head of the pack. If I think about it too much it'll just make me crazy, so I don't think about it. Much.

I will admit, though, it's a bit disheartening. I come away from these dates thinking, "What the fuck is wrong with me?" Yes, that's right - what is wrong with me? Why don't I ever ask what's wrong with them? I guess I just assume it's me - after all, I spent 11 years with someone who told me I was what was wrong with the relationship - so maybe, as confident as I am and as much as I like myself, I still automatically assume it's me.

Friday I had a pretty good date with someone. It was short: we met for dinner at Outback. He did do that weird thing, though, that I just don't get - he got to the restaurant and grabbed a table. So, I'm assuming we're meeting in the waiting area - I mean, we were supposed to "meet" right? And so I get to the restaurant, look in the bar to make sure he didn't get there before me and grab a drink. Nope. Don't see him. I sit down and wait. The host comes over to me and asks if he can help. I said I was waiting for someone - and he asks if I looked in the bar. I said yes, but I look again, anyway. After all, this is one of those Internet dates - maybe he doesn't look like his photo and I missed him. So I pop up from the seat, look around the bar, don't see him, so I sit back down.

About a minute later, some guy comes over to me and says, "I'm here - I've got a table already." He leads me to the table, where I find he's already ordered a beer and made himself comfortable.

I don't get this. This confuses me - always. Not just this time. It's happened to me before, and I don't get it. How am I supposed to find someone who's already seated in a large restaurant? Isn't that...rude?

I get over myself, though, and sit down and start talking. The rest of dinner went smoothly, and as we walked out of the restaurant he told me that he wanted me to go to his truck - he had something to show me. Uh... okay.

So we get to his truck, and he shows me his dog, who was waiting patiently for his return. He knows I like dogs, so he brought his dog along to meet me. That was sweet, in a country sort of way. After I meet the dog, he says, "I have something else for you." He opens up an ice chest and brings out roses. That was really sweet - and I said so. Then he says, "Well, I don't know what white flowers mean, so please don't read any special meaning into them. I just know you like flowers so I got you some."

Uh... okay.

And then he pretty much wraps it up. I hugged him, walked to my car, and that was it. He didn't say, "I'll call you." He didn't ask me to call him so he knew I got home safely (in fact, not one of these guys has asked me that). So I drive home, not knowing if he enjoyed himself or not.

No problem - I have another date scheduled for Sunday. But honestly? Just between you and me? I'm wasn't really excited about that one. However, he seemed nice and when he asked if I wanted to attend a (free) Artown event with him, I didn't have any reason to say no, so I said yes.

When I got home, I sent my Friday night date a quick thank you - after all, maybe he was just feeling a little insecure. Maybe he wasn't sure if I liked him or not. A "thank you, I enjoyed myself" note might let him know that I did. Or it might make him think I'm a stalker. I win or lose with that one, but I took the chance anyway and sent the note.

Fast forward to Sunday - I was not looking forward to this date. I wasn't dreading it, either, though - it's just - well - damn hot outside. Too damn hot to be sitting at an outdoor music festival. Oh wait. Hip Hop Festival. Yes. Hip Hop. But that's all that was going on today (unless we wanted to look at lavender, and I didn't really think that would be his bag). He had kids, though, so he likes hip hop. Go figure.

I met him and we walked over to the music (and I use that term loosely). The place was jam-packed with tattooed kids - girls and boys alike. As I don't have kids, I didn't realize so many parents allowed kids to get tattoos these days. Frankly, I was amazed and kind of people watched for a while.

We found a place in the shade and sat down. Of course, he wanted to sit near the speakers, which made talking kind of impossible. We shouted at each other periodically, "HOW WAS CLASS?" and "LOOK AT THAT GIRL'S CHUCKY TATTOO ON HER STOMACH!" He looked at his phone a few times - texts, I guess. "How rude," is what I thought, but you know, I'm old-fashioned and I guess if I want a guy who doesn't look at texts during a date, I should maybe date an 80-year-old.

After a couple of hours, he said he needed to go - and again it was loud so I am not sure I heard him correctly, but I could swear he said he had to bring his son to the emergency room. Huh? If it was an emergency, then why did you wait two and a half hours?

We walked out of the park together, and he didn't ask if he could walk me to my car - just kind of said good-bye and next time we should do dinner. Uh... okay.

I guess we can do dinner if I make it to my car safely. BY MYSELF.

As I was driving home, I was listening to the radio and Over My Head by The Fray came on. It reminds me so much of those last couple of months with Mr. Kim - especially the line that goes, "And suddenly I become a part of your past, I'm becoming the part that don't last, I'm losing you and it's effortless." Next thing I know, I feel overwhelmingly sad and worthless all at the same time.

I told myself to hang on...I was almost home. I'll be okay. We weren't good together. Because I somehow think if I tell myself that enough, I'll eventually believe it.

When I pulled into my driveway, I breathed a sigh of relief. I'm home. I'm safe. The date is over, the song is over, I can shake it all off.

Hungry, I started making dinner. My pepper shaker was almost empty, so I went into my pantry hoping I had some pepper in there. I started moving things around and I came across this little tiny jar that was on its side. I thought, "what is that? Capers?" I grabbed it and it felt light. Not capers. I looked at it. It was a small jar of rosemary that my mom gave me a month or so before she died.

I lost it. I started to cry. Well, that's a lie. I started to bawl.

I miss my mom so much. And the truth is, I probably wouldn't confess to her all this crap if she was alive. I wouldn't tell her how much it still hurts that Mr. Kim and I broke up. I probably wouldn't tell her how much I question my worth after these dates. I wouldn't tell her how awful I feel about my life right now. But if she were alive, at least I'd have the feeling that someone loved me and cared about me. That small jar of rosemary showed me how much she cared. She knew how much I loved rosemary and how I was so sad that I couldn't keep a rosemary plant alive. So she sent my dad out to the garden (she couldn't walk then) to cut me some rosemary from her plant - in fact, a rosemary plant that I bought her years before that had grown lush and huge in her care.

After I was done crying, I put the jar of rosemary back in the pantry. I don't know if I'll ever use it. I don't know if I could. But it's tangible proof that at some time in my life, I was worth something to someone. And that someone also loved me enough to give me something I wanted.

And now I've got a title for this blog entry, which eases my anxiety about it somewhat. Now if I could just find someone I love who will love me back... unfortunately I'll probably have to go out on a lot more crappy dates before that will happen.

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