The Remote, The Thermostat, and The Middle of the Bed

I am happy as a single woman. I have said, and still say, I am content. I like to joke that I have the remote, the thermostat, and middle of the bed all to myself. It’s nice. Real nice.

I can come home from work and eat dinner, or not. There’s no one to interrupt or get jealous of the time I spend writing. I can use all of the hot water for a shower if I so choose. I can not shower if I so choose. I can leave my shoes laying about and not do dishes for a few days without having to consider the affect on another. I travel when and where I want. I can shave my legs everyday, or not, for a month, or two. These aren’t things I envision as possible in couplehood.

Selfish? Some would say so, but I’m thrilled with my life, though there are times I want for more. I’m still human.

The low tire pressure light came on in my car this morning. It would be nice to have someone to take it and fill the tires with air. Not that I would actually let someone else drive my car.

In all seriousness though, I do sometimes miss intimacy. Touch. Conversation. Laughter. Now is one of those times. I’ll probably feel a fool in a week for saying this. I don’t go looking for it. I don’t date. I don’t even try. I’m not likely to anytime soon.

While it’s true I am happy as a party of one, I simply don’t feel that I’m good enough to date. Even though I’ve been accepted for who I am by many, I don’t believe a mate, a partner, would be able to, willing to. Perhaps that’s leftover from my ex-husband who didn’t, wouldn’t, accept me without condition and a plan for change. Perhaps it’s that I know me, all the ins and outs, the good and the bad, the pretty and the ugly, the funny and the inappropriate.

I’m impossible. I’m a bitch. I’m selfish. I’m stupid. I’m also flexible and spontaneous. I’m kind. I’m generous. I’m smart. I’m human. I know this, but is human ever good enough? I have scars and tattoos. I have cellulite. I have muscles. I’m a klutz. I’m athletic. I’m not 20. I’m 35. I make mistakes and I do things right. My boobs barely fit into a B-cup, my ass, well, it’s ugly. My mind, well, it’s beautiful.

I’m human, and I know this. I also know if I can accept someone stinky farts that can accept my stinky feet. I hate socks, and sometimes I wait too long to change the insoles of my shoes. Human. And a bit lazy sometimes.

I don’t have any desire or plans to start dating, but I do wonder if I’m being silly. Why did I start thinking about this now? Friday I went with a group to a horror attraction, and within minutes of entering the exhibit I was suctioned to a man. I reached out and grabbed him and held him as tight as he held me. Saturday I wondered if that would feel as good outside of an element of sheer terror.

I know it would. I miss holding hands. I miss resting my head on a man’s shoulder. I miss feeling the comfort of a pair of arms wrapped around me at the end of the day. I miss sex. But I don’t miss it enough to do anything about it. I don’t miss it enough to risk the work I’ve done to accept myself as myself, though my acceptance needs quite a bit of work.

I’m hesitant to date because I cannot get over myself and the long list of flaws I see. I’m just not willing to take the risk of rejection, of being not good enough. I already know it. I don’t need someone confirming it for me. I’m a woman and I hear quite often how hard that is on a man. Or maybe that was just my ex-husband.

And that’s another thing. Not every man is a Donkey. He was an asshole all on his own. He isn’t making every man an asshole, but I’m afraid of meeting another Donkey. They are so hard to distinguish from the normal, kind, generous man because they work so hard to appear as normal until they have you trapped.

This time of year is hard for me. It was last year too. It was the year before as well. And the year before that. Something about Autumn sends me into a spiral of self-doubt, self-loathing. Perhaps it’s the lessening of sunshine. Perhaps it’s the changing of the environment, the bright vibrance that pops from the trees, and lacking in my life, yet I am unable to bring myself to seek what I find myself considering more frequently than I used to.

I don’t know how to date. I don’t know how to talk to men. I don’t know how. The unknown is keeping me exactly where I am. That, and the remote, the thermostat, and the middle of the bed.

Advertisements

47 thoughts on “The Remote, The Thermostat, and The Middle of the Bed

  1. I am a single mother since my daughter, who is now 20, was three years old. I have had boyfriends for a year or two along the way but it has been mostly us. I sometimes feel down that I have no one to ‘partner up’ with me. But if you really think about it, why? Why would we start learning about the other just to be let down in the end when they decide to leave? When do I get to say “I’ve had enough, I’m leaving”? Why do I have to deal with their baggage but they don’t have time to deal with mine? I am fed up with childish man-boys..But then again….I miss them.

    Like

    • I’m with you. It seems like it’s just a beginning to an eventual ending. I know there are relationships that are balanced and lasting, but I haven’t experienced it. It’s like an urban legend to me.

      Like

    • I am good enough, sometimes. I ebb and flow on that feeling. But dating, I don’t know. It seems like something I just don’t have the knowledge to navigate.

      Like

  2. We’re not all monsters – any more than all women are….but i would agree that it’s sometimes hard to fight through all the crap with dating. Just be yourself and when you least expect it – BOOM. That’s what happened to me and I’ve never been happier. Again….don’t change for anyone and don’t expect anyone to change for you.

    Like

    • I know not all men are monsters. I blame myself, and a bit of my ex-husband, for feeling like it’s inevitable that I will meet another one.
      I agree – don’t change for anyone and don’t change anyone. If the list of changes is too long, it’s not the right person.

      Like

  3. I think it might be time for you to try. You deserve to be happy and this silly game of life was made to be played by two. I have watched your development over the past year, struggling with your past, raising your kids in a tough situation, giving a platform for others who have experienced abuse to tell their story. So much good in you, you deserve good things Melanie. Give it a go, what is the worst that can happen? Any argument you make at this point will be based on fear, don’t let that rule your actions. I wish you the best and know how great a person you are. I have seen it. 🙂

    Like

    • What is the worst that can happen? Another Donkey, and yes, that is entirely based on fear. I’m a strong person and I’ve lived through some pretty bad stuff, but diving into the dating pool isn’t something I’m confident I can survive. The fear has a tight grip on my heart and mind.
      Thank you for your encouragement and kind words Jonathan.

      Like

  4. Ugh. Dating after abuse is quite the quagmire. It’s inevitable that you will miss certain parts of another human in your life, but it’s also really nice to have all that time for yourself. Plus, having the conversation about your past with strangers is never fun. Chin up, dear. Even though I won’t snuggle with you, you’re not alone.

    Like

    • I love the word quagmire.
      I don’t want to have the conversation, ever, with a new intimate partner, ever. I can talk here and with people who know me relatively easily at this point, but I cannot talk about it fresh with someone without crying. I usually dismiss the question with a wave of my hand and change the subject. It feel so hypocritical too, and doubles the anxiety about it all.

      Like

  5. Oh that Jonathan Hilton is really something! He is right on about not letting fear drive your actions…and what is the worst that can happen? In a public place? With a dude that other people know isn’t an asshole? (I assume you’d start with someone that isn’t a total stranger) Probably that you’d get food poisoning. Seriously. That is probably the WORST thing that could happen. Luckily, with the advancements in modern medicine, it likely wouldn’t be fatal. It might be time to start trusting yourself a little more in the realm of human interactions… 🙂

    Like

    • Isn’t he? He doesn’t comment often, but when he does it’s gold.
      You are cracking me up here – food poisoning. You’re right, and so is Jonathan. I’m letting fear remain in the driver’s seat, refusing to trust myself, and insisting on staying single because that’s what I know. Yes, I am enjoying my time with myself, but I also miss the contact, the interaction, the all of it.
      I have been on a couple of dates, both with people I knew and felt conversationally comfortable with. One turned into an exposé written about me here on WordPress (which was deleted when I threw a diva fit). And the other, well, I never heard from him again. Still, though, two dates in three years is hardly dating, hardly an effort at dating.

      Like

      • I think I read that before the diva fit…and I think there was even an apology of some kind posted? Then I was all OMG! and wanted to ask but then thought better of it…Anyway!
        The more you trust yourself and are cool with who you are (flaws and all!) the easier it will be to tell the good ones from the bad ones. In reference to an above comment about walking around in undies being confused for an invite for sex…this made me laugh because in my old life, if I even wore a dress down to my ankles it was an invite…or gave him permission to demand…but these days my new husband is afraid to make eye contact with me when I change my shirt because he’s afraid of offending me.

        Like

        • There was an “apology”, but it was for plagiarizing, and I didn’t accept the apology and cut off all contact. I wrote my version too, so I understood telling the story, I just didn’t understand telling that much of it. You could have asked. I received a ton of emails from people asking.
          In my old life, simply breathing was an invitation to sex. I didn’t even have to be awake. He ruined our marriage, but I’ve ruined my freedom by letting fear keep me in solitude.

          Like

          • I could have asked, I guess…but even now it still seems like its not my business…I thought “If I saw her in the grocery store and we were chatting in line, would I ask?” And the answer was, no, I wouldn’t.

            Luckily you you still have your freedom and are in total control of it now!

            Like

  6. I am so glad that I found your blog, and I love this post. It says exactly everything that I am feeling right now. I hope you don’t mind me reblogging it on my blog, because you are saying everything I’m feeling.
    I just broke up with my ex last week, it was hard but necessary, I just couldn’t take the narcissistic, mental abuse anymore.
    I look forward to reading and following your blog.

    Like

    • Thank you for the reblog. No, I do not mind at all. It’s a wonderful compliment.
      Good for you for ending that relationship. It’s so hard to do. So hard. Even after it’s done, it’s still hard. I hope you enjoy your singlehood, no matter how long it lasts (I’m well over the three year mark myself).

      Like

  7. I think at some point you have to sit down and examine thos feelings of self-loathing and trace them back to their origin. I think it’s likely (and you probably know this) that they tie back to your Ass-of-an-Ex. Still, you need to find a way to stop letting him run and ruin your mind like that. He doesn’t get to complain about your shoes lying about, he shoudn’t get to dictate your opinion of yourself either.
    I know I dealt with this a lot when I *finally* got out of an abusive relationship about a year ago. I basically despised myself and was constantly repeating his lies and manipulations in my own mind. At some point I had to sit down and examine them one by one like unpacking an old memory box. If they weren’t based on anything but his shitty self then I made a conscious effort to correct it. I hope that makes sense.
    Oh, and I NEVER change the insoles in my shoes. Is that a thing?

    Like

    • The voice of my Ass-of-an-Ex is still loud. I am gripped with fear about meeting another him. That does make sense, about correcting my thoughts. It’s something I’ve worked on for way too long now.
      Since I don’t wear socks (I don’t even own any) I put cushioned insoles in my shoes to absorbed the sweat and keep my feet from being stinky from skin on pleather contact. I change the ones in my everyday shoes about once a month, but sometimes I don’t and that’s not good for my feet or my shoes. It would probably be cheaper to buy socks, but I can’t stand how they feel – it’s like a corset on my feet.
      P.S. I have you on my list to contact as a guest writer on Deliberate Donkey. Do you think you would be interested? It wouldn’t be until December.

      Like

  8. Had to Reblog this one, too 🙂 You hit it on the head – life is Good, so why spoil it to let someone else in when that person could prove to be a Donkey? I feel the same way. It’s obvious my Mate Picker is broken, so why chance it. Sure, it could turn out okay, but it could also turn into a nightmare like the last 25 years were. I’m not anywhere near ready to take that chance when I have the thermostat and remote all to myself. I wish I had the middle of the bed, but Crazy Helper Dog and Lil’ Shithead-who-never-sleeps keep me pushed over to one side. Oh, well – if that’s my biggest complaint, I ain’t got it too bad, eh?

    Like

    • I saw the reblog. Thank you! That is such a great compliment.
      My mate-picker needs a serious tune-up and since there are no licensed mechanics in my area, I’ve let it go to rust in the yard.
      It is a risk, and though I do think I’m probably closer than ever to being brave enough to take that chance, I’m in no hurry. For five years he determined everything from what I ate to what I thought. Three years into having those choices to myself and I’m just getting comfortable with them.
      Animals have a way of taking up more space than you’d think they could. lol. Not a bad complaint at all. They have a level of unconditional love that people will never achieve.

      Like

      • Yeah, the only mechanics around here SAY they’re certified, but I have my doubts. Keeping to myself seems like a much wiser choice at this point. I honestly can’t think of a single thing someone else could do for me that I can’t do myself and there’s no emotional baggage to tote around. Maybe I’m turning into a bit of a control freak – everything is My Way and I really like it! Why would I let that go?

        Like

        • Oh I’m with you. The dishes are where I want them. The towels are where I want them. The art on the walls is the art I like. Give that up? Not yet.
          The only thing I can think of that someone else could do for me that I can’t do for myself is a neck massage when I start to get my tension headaches. I could pay for it though, so it’s not a mate-worthy need.

          Like

            • Rent-a-Dude. Ha! I love it.
              No, I don’t mean to slam men either. Yes, my opinion is skewed, but they aren’t all bad. I mean, some are dead, right. lol.

              Like

            • LOL! I don’t think all men are bad, I just don’t want any of them in my life taking over my remote, adjusting the thermostat and hogging the bed. Whatever floats yer boat 🙂

              Like

            • Me too. I’m happy and doing just fine on my own. Not everyone can understand that, and that’s ok. I understand it and that’s what matters to me.

              Like

    • Stop calling the cutest-kitty-ever “Shithead” …anyway, I will take my own money and pay THE DUDE before I will have a man who will promise to do it for free and never do it…and then blame you for it not getting done…WHATEVER….

      Like

  9. I´m 32, never had a serious relationship, and at this point, I´m convinced that if I don´t find what I want in a man, then better tag alone because I don´t want to give up my lifestyle or my dreams just to fit into the stereotype that all people should walk in life by two…it´s not for everybody and sometimes people are even happier when they are alone, then, what is more important? to be happy with who and what you do or to suffer with another one for the sake of having a couple… I totally get you!

    Like

    • A relationship shouldn’t require us to give up our lifestyle or our dreams. My ex-husband did, and it wasn’t worth being a couple for the suffering. I am happy being single, and it’s not something I will give up if it requires I give up anything else.

      Like

  10. Ahwz.. I so recognize this.. I’m very akward around men and pick fights with the men I like but there are a few that can see throught my antics and are great friends to me. Rigth now that’s the best thing for me. The hugs and laughter but no drama. When the time is right I bring out my fry pan to give the poor soul a friendly tap on the head. 😀

    You’re closing chapets right now… I’m sure in the right time other chapters will open. Till then.. enjoy being a big toasty cinnamon bun 🙂

    Like

    • A big toasty cinnamon bun does sound absolutely delicious.
      No drama is definitely a good thing. I hope even when the next chapter does open that it’s drama free.

      Like

  11. Excellent post. Something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I don’t think all men are bad. I don’t think I’ve afraid of being hurt by a man. I do think I’ve afraid of having to share my space. But I don’t think that I’d feel this way if my time with my ex-husband was a more equal sharing of space. I really spent a lot of time not wanting to piss him off and maybe that became the model of what I think having a man around is like, even a good man. And I don’t want to make any adult a sandwich. I have a lot of kids and I’m tired. I can’t take care of another living thing. Plus, it all seems like too much work. There seems to be more required of women these days to be acceptable for men — perfect nails, feet, hair (in the place where we’re still allowed to have it), heels, bare legs (in winter), and so so much make up. I like to look nice, but it feels like there is so much pressure to take extraordinary and expensive and painful measures to be dateable these days so I’m just like — screw it. I’ll look nice, but not as a measure of preparedness for flawless femininity that is required to be visually appealing for sex. Too many words, I know. Let me put it this way: if my soulmate appeared right now on my couch, I wouldn’t feel worthy of his gaze (or more), since my toes are not painted and I cannot justify spending $30 or more for a pedicure. I’ll do it myself, when I feel like it. But that makes me not perpetually “ready” for a man. Humph. Whatever. I do like sleeping alone. I think part of my issue is that sleepovers, and frequent expected intimacy is the norm now, rather than casual dating or intimacy without moving in. In the movies and TV once there is the first night intimacy, the guy seems to stay around and the the couple excitedly announces they are moving in. I know that’s TV, but it happens in real life, too.

    Meh.

    Twenty minute boyfriend. That sounds about right.

    Like

    • Twenty minute boyfriend. I love it. That’s about right.
      I’m not going to go through all that society-expected work either. My toes aren’t always painted and my hair isn’t always fixed. I don’t own any make-up other than the eyeliner and mascara I wear because I like to. I don’t spend my life trying to be “ready” for a man either. It’s too much work and not me. If I were to meet someone and if chipped toenail polish is a deal-breaker, that reflects on him and not me.

      Like

  12. You will know when you are ready. When you least expect it , is when it will happen. Then on your terms, in the meantime enjoy all that is single. Autumn does suck, everything about it sucks. I have nothing positive to say about Autumn.

    Like

    • I love being single. I’m not a partnering person, I guess. I just can’t stand the thought of it – most of the time at least.
      Autumn is almost over…thank goodness.

      Like

There you have it. Your turn.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s