For those of you just tuning in now, this is the third and final installation of the challenge presented to me by sonofabeach96, who kindly nominated me for the Liebster Award:
Eleven simple questions, eleven long, convoluted answers. Okay, I swear this is the final chapter in this disjointed series. Then we can move along to something interesting, like politics, paint drying, taxes, or landscaping.
So, the rest of the questions:
What is your favorite vacation destination, and where would you want to travel if money were no object?
I actually haven’t really had many vacations, other than to see family. Which, as much as I love them, doesn’t count, because being around family requires you to wear heavy, impenetrable armor, and after a few days, it just wears a gal down.
But I do have a couple of dream vacations. I want to visit the West Coast (the last time I was there, I was sorely tempted to cancel my return ticket) and see mountains, ocean, and giant redwoods. (Oh, and yeah, a few wineries.) I want to take a cruise to Alaska. And I’d like to eventually visit Hawaii, because it’s both warm AND beautiful.
But the thought of being on a plane for four or five hours exhausts me – I’ve had several jobs where I’ve had to travel a lot – like 75% – and they’ve sucked all the glamour out of travel and basically ruined me for airports for life.
If money were no object, I’d sit in first class, and I expect it’d be a heckuva lot nicer. Plus there’d be no hurry to return. So maybe, in that case, I’d squeeze in a side jaunt to Australia.
If you’re married, how did you meet your spouse?
The story behind my “starter spouse” is, unfortunately, not all that interesting. We were in college together and married right after graduation.* Very typical, very average. And, just like everyone** else, we got divorced a few years later.
*Technically, I was three credits shy of graduation. Details, details….I did finish three years later.
**I actually only know one couple who married right after college and stayed married. Actually, she was my roommate and he was my ex’s roommate, so they spent a good bit of time together somewhat by default, and eventually decided to be a couple. We always thought they were really odd together – culturally, spiritually, physically, personality-wise – they just never appeared as a matching set. As the Brits would say – cheese and chalk. But then again, who really had a good man-picker in college, anyway? Clearly not EVERYONE ELSE who wound up divorced. Twenty-plus years later, I guess they WERE the odd couple, at least in tenacity.
The story behind the hubs is much juicier.
Fast forward a few years. I’m going through a divorce and juggling a new job. In the midst of dividing up a life’s worth of possessions and trying to establish a “new normal”…I met someone.
It was a lousy time to begin a relationship – all the experts on divorce recovery will tell you “take time for yourself” and “don’t rush into something new.” But I was never great at following a vague “they say” (or, for that matter, any voice of authority.) Plus, I was enjoying my freedom – I had recently come to discover that my first spouse was mentally abusive (and likely suffering from some sort of personality disorder. We flunked out of three therapists (which is a story for another time) so I never found out for sure. Suffice it to say that if it walks like a duck, it ain’t a donut.)
And this was not the relationship to start, for a number of reasons. In addition to the fact that it was a long-distance relationship, he simply wasn’t available, and neither he nor I knew the difference between drama and love. So while there was admittedly a lot of passion, it was the over-inflated extremist version that would rival any long-running soap on afternoon TV. And I hadn’t learned enough about relationships to understand that while, on paper, he appeared to be the polar opposite of my ex (physically, politically, socially, etc.,) the reality was that they shared some startlingly similar personality traits (controlling, belittling, demeaning) that I failed to recognize until the bitter, melodramatic termination of the relationship.
And we pretty much had nothing in common, save loneliness. Hard to build a long-term bond on the absence of something.
I didn’t marry that guy. (Although, we looked at rings, and I bought a dress – which, after several moves, is currently sitting in a local consignment shop, tags still on it, ready to complete YOUR dream wedding!) But I did endure about two years of emotional highs and lows, the soaring and plummeting of which would earn the envy and admiration of amusement park thrill ride engineers globally.
To further complicate matters, I had just been offered another job 900 miles away, in this guy’s metro area.
Kismet! This was MEANT TO BE!
And then we broke up. Again.
My sister decided that enough was enough, and perhaps I could try to meet someone else. With renewed resolve, I reactivated my online dating profile (it had been created, utilized, and deactivated several times between our frequent breakups and reconciliations – you know, for added entertainment and histrionics -) and changed my location to my pending address.
Ahhhh. A fresh start, a new city, a clean slate, a whole new buffet of man candy. My sister and I clicked through profiles, evaluating and reviewing each one. (Side note: Online dating is like shoe shopping. You can sift through a ton online, but until you walk in them a while, you really don’t have any idea whether they’ll actually work with your wardrobe and your lifestyle.)
A profile popped up. “Ooh! He’s cute. His ears are kind of big. But he’s cute. Click him!”
So I did. And I liked what I read: He sounded intelligent and honest. Plus, he was cute. Waaaaay out of my league cute. But…what the heck? My last boyfriend was fond of saying, “You miss all the shots you don’t take.” So I shot.
I composed a message – I commented on a few things he listed in his profile, and closed with, “I think peeling some mental onions with you could prove interesting.”
He said he fell for me right there. (Aww. <barf>)
So what happened to the other guy? Well, he did try to get me back. (No one saw THAT coming, right?) His argument was – I kid you not – “We weren’t really broken up. We were just taking a break. We were supposed to get back together in a couple of months. You weren’t supposed to meet someone else and fall in love.”
(Sorry. Couldn’t resist.)
I’m embarrassed to admit that he and I briefly got back together one more time before the hubs and I became exclusive. But our final breakup was empowering – I used my words, and my voice, and by ceremoniously dumping him, I was able to purge my soul of both him and my ex-spouse, and define how I deserved to be treated.
(Odd how it sounds like much of my eating disorder. Like I “had” to stuff myself with pizza and ice cream one last time before I started The Official Diet. Hmm. Gonna have to think about that one.)
After the final fireworks died out and the audience went home, I emailed my now-hubs, told him I’d love to see him again, and the rest is history. And while we’ve had some challenges over the last year, it would be unfair of me not to mention that he’s been absolutely amazing lately. He’s trying so very hard and has put in some tremendous effort after I was clear with him about what was so troublesome – especially lately. (Funny how that works in healthy adult relationships….you rationally and calmly state what you need, and you get it. It really can be that easy.)
P.S. The dating site I used? Don’t laugh. Plenty of Fish. It’s free. Which means…well, you know what it means. The hubs often tells people that he found me in the “FREE” box at a yard sale. <snort>
Describe your personality and what type of people are you drawn to?
I think I’m drawn to people who have the traits I like in myself. So, here’s my list:
- I like funny people who can laugh at themselves, but not at the expense of others. (Well, maybe a little.) <snurk>
- I like people who have opinions they’re not afraid to use – as long as they use their ears and their brains as effectively as their mouths.
- Bonus points if you have great shoes. BECAUSE SHOES.
Speaking of which – here’s my latest haul. Enjoy!