Kiss5Tigers

The 5 Tigers represent the big things in life. This blog is about facing them.


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So There’s This Guy . . .

I really want to talk about a guy I met, but I’m afraid of boring my readers to death.

Like I said in my last post, we met on Facebook Dating. We’ve known each other about 2 weeks now. We started talking on Tuesday the 30th, and our first in person meet up was that Friday. It went well. We really clicked.

We talk multiple times every day. I’m absolutely over the moon about this whole thing, but it seems so fast. I mean, we are each other’s first call of the morning and last call at night. Often we send texts if we wake up in the middle of the night. The level of communication is astounding.

He talks about long term things. I think about them but seldom speak them. I am a little afraid to, as if I can jinx it. Too much, too fast, but it keeps working. Both of us are looking for the point of contention and so far there isn’t one.

He told me how much he earns. I didn’t ask, he wanted me to know. I don’t fully understand, but something about financial security in there. I don’t think he was bragging, he just wanted me not to worry. We ate out several times and I am conscious about money because I have so little of it. He paid. He also bought me a book. I love presents and I love books, so that made me quite happy.

We dance around the idea of love. I think, we are already so attached. We can just hang out and we can undertake projects. I said, “I want to be like those old people, still holding hands at 85.” He replied, “I’m in!” And we assume we will know each other at that age. We talked about, he likes to cook so he can cook and I will clean up, sort of planning a life together. But it seems too early for an emotional commitment, even though I wonder if we have already made one.

He says I make him happy, and he makes me happy too. I just grin into the phone like a damned jack-o-lantern, gap-toothed and all. I don’t know what to say half the time, I just want to hear his voice and feel connected. He’s got a great voice. It melts me when he speaks, except those times when we get excited about yet another similarity between us, because then I am too energized to appreciate his voice.

I would spend all day with him, just watching TV or working on our separate projects. I’m content to share space. In fact, I would probably run the video chat all day long, as if we were in the same room.

So this is me right now. One foot in the hot water, the other on a banana peel, trying not to fall in.

But I think I’m gonna fall. And I’m not bothered by that.


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Christian Dating

There’s a joke that Christian dating is kind of a contradiction of terms.

My boss has recently found her faith. I’m happy for her. She has also recently found a boyfriend. That makes me a little envious.

Our household is reading a book called “Why Men Love Bitches” which basically says that if you make yourself too available up front, that level of attachment is a turn-off for a lot of guys, so keep up with having your own life even when you’re dating. Only of course the author uses more words and tells better stories along the way, as well as describing specific behaviors to avoid and why. It’s a good book.

So my boss went on a first date with a guy, and it went well. He goes to one of the local mega churches that she is thinking of joining so also has an active faith. They are absolutely adorable together. He checks all the boxes on the “acceptable boyfriend” list, including things like “flies for free” that she figured were pipe dreams. (He works at the airport.) He’s pretty much made to order for her.

They went out the other day, and he asked her to go out again so they went out 2 days later. Then he asked when he could see her again and she called me. I’m the worst, because if I like someone, they can get all my free time, but I told her to give him 2 times and see what he says. It’s in the book. She offered 3 times, and he basically said he’d take them all. Which is very flattering. They are out again tonight.

You can’t tell me online dating doesn’t work. My boss met her guy online, my friend K met her guy online, clearly online dating works for somebody. I’ve tried it. I’ve been catfished or attempted catfished every time. At least the ones I followed up on. I am apparently an easy target. Maybe because I’m middle aged so they assume I have money and I’m lonely, neither of which is true. But anyway.

I’m happy for my boss, so I’m not jealous, though like I said I’m a little envious. I keep meeting these terrific single lady friends, and it seems like within a month of meeting them, they are coupled up. I want a long term friend, or a long term boyfriend. I don’t need to get married, I’m happy with consistent dating.

My friends S and H have a relationship I appreciate. They live walking distance apart and they’ve been dating for over 30 years. They each have their own space but they spend most of their free time together. They do things like donate blood and they also get martinis at a local high-dollar department store. He takes her on vacations. I mean, I could do that kind of dating for a lot of years.

I suspect I’m just past it at this point. I have gray hair, I’m overweight, and there is that missing tooth. I’m not cute. Even older guys are looking for cute. I am a wonderful person and I’m interested in a lot of things, but I am not cute enough to hold someone’s attention long enough to find that out. And I know this because I’ve been actually told this. It’s as if people think you’re fat so you have no feelings and it’s okay to say “I like you but you’re too fat for me.” Well you’re too shallow for me, if my looks are what you care about. Yeah, I’m a little worked up about this but it will pass.

Because I have a full life. I have friends and support groups and a job and a daughter. These things take time out of my life, time that I don’t necessarily want to give to a man. I like these things. I like writing letters. I like my cat (just one, cat lady but not crazy). I want a greyhound again one day but we’ll see about that.

Right now I’m going to start soaking beans for chili. Tomorrow I’ll make the chili in a crock pot. It’ll be good. Tonight I’ll write a letter for my swap group and talk to my daughter about her experiences with the protest today. I’ll read before I go to sleep. And I like all these things, I’m not unhappy about this.

It would be nice to be someone’s goodnight text, though. Maybe someday.


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12 Every Day

I saw a statistic the other day that 12 men commit suicide every day.

I know one of the 12.

That is, I knew him. Past tense. Past tense in a couple of ways.

He was my ex-husband and the father of my daughter. I was his first wife of 3. We weren’t close, but since his choices affect our daughter, I kept tabs on him, at least a little.

Jim memorial

I spoke to him about a week before it happened. Our daughter was worried about him so I checked in. He said he didn’t want to talk, then he talked for a few minutes. Not much, but clearly he was struggling with his life. He wasn’t doing well at work; wife 4#2 was hitting him up for over $2000 a month in child support, alimony and other incidentals; he had just totaled his car in a drunk driving situation that was likely to result in having his license suspended; he’d been checked into mental health facilities at least twice and released with Xanax even though he’d had a recent suicide attempt; he wasn’t going to make bankruptcy payments for the second month in a row; and wife #3 had just told him she was filing for divorce and moved out. It’s a lot. It’s a lot for anyone to deal with when they are doing well and frankly, he wasn’t strong. He didn’t seem to possess much fortitude. Then he said again that he didn’t want to talk about it and hung up.

My daughter called me the next Sunday to let me know he’d been found dead in a hotel room.

It wasn’t exactly a surprise. He was bipolar. He’d tried to kill himself in the past. He was overwhelmed. Although he’d obviously had relationship problems before, usually there had been financial security and success at work to balance out the difficulties. The totaled car was a Porsche. He wouldn’t sign custody of our daughter over to me unless I signed a document that I wouldn’t seek child support, but somehow he had $800 a month for a car. But that had been important to him, having an impressive car, and now he didn’t have that either. He must have felt like he was failing and he’d lost everything, but I’ll never know.

Our daughter told me later that she would climb into bed with him because he was crying and so lonely. No child, even an adult child, should have to watch a parent go through that. But she was glad to be there for him, and I know he appreciated it even though he probably never told her so. He would have been too limited by his own emotional state to think of it.

I talked to wife #3 a few times. Once she told me how he was generous and happy and how she loved that about him. I was happy for him that he’d found someone who saw the good in him even though he had struggles. Then I figured out that she didn’t really understand his situation. Another time she told me that they were in therapy because he had become a husk of the man that he was and all she wanted was her husband back.

Only, it’s all him. When you marry someone who’s bipolar, you get the depressed part as well as the manic part. Happy and generous husband is the same person as crying and doesn’t-get-out-of-bed husband. It isn’t simply a tough time, it is the cycle he continues to experience. It’s hard. It wore me out until I couldn’t do it any more, and he divorced me because he thought I was dragging him down. I needed a more stable situation, but I eventually lacked the ability to create that for myself or think about how to leave. I was what he made me, then he didn’t want it. Funny, ironic funny.

The day he took his life, he’d gone to weekly therapy with wife #3. About noon time they parted ways. She didn’t think anything was wrong, or at least, no more wrong than it had been lately. He didn’t go home. She tried to call him several times with no answer. I also tried to call him, but it didn’t surprise me that he didn’t pick up. I mean, who wants to talk to their ex when they feel crappy? She eventually called the police and had them make a welfare check. They’d been out to the house so many times in the last month that they knew where the key to the back door was. The house was empty. Nobody knew where he was.

The next morning, he still hadn’t shown up. Wife #3 called his mother, who had also called the police. Then she suggested to the police that he might have gone to a casino about an hour away. The bank account had been emptied and she thought he might be going to blow some money and try to feel better. The police widened their search and eventually found him.

Apparently when he left therapy, he headed in the direction of the casino but he didn’t get that far. He checked into a hotel room about 1:30 in the afternoon. He left his phone in the car. I know because I went with my daughter to pick up the car and we found the phone. That wasn’t like him. He was usually attached to his technology. There was an empty Xanax bottle in the hotel room. It had originally been filled for 90 tablets within the past week. A half-drunk bottle of everclear was also there. He’d finally found the combination that did the job.

I don’t know what he was thinking. I’m mad at him for doing this to our daughter and to his son with wife #2. And yet, I have an unexpected tenderness for him about this. He was difficult. He made my life difficult. I often wished he would just fall off the face of the earth, but mostly I just avoided contact with him because he didn’t seem to understand how his choices hurt our daughter.

Maybe he was tired of it all. Maybe it seemed like the only way out with so much going wrong. Maybe he thought he was doing everyone a favor. We’ll never really know, he took that answer with him when he went.

I wish the depression hadn’t won this time. I hope he finally found peace, wherever he is.


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Oh, look, you pushed my button . . .

A friend of mine posted this article, and I started to post a response to it but it ran, well, really long for facebook so I moved it here.

http://io9.com/gay-marriage-in-the-year-100-ad-951140108

In response to comments in the article about the lack of records for same-sex marriages among women:

. . . and then there is a 19th-century living arrangement known as a “Boston marriage” which is when two “spinsters” shared a living space.  In theory, this began among factory girls during the Industrial Revolution and it was a temporary arrangement however by the Victorian era in larger industrial cities, it was probably not so temporary a choice for many women.  Since women historically did not accumulate wealth, acquire real property or, for that matter, vote, there wasn’t much interest in tracking their activities.  Marriage in the legal sense is usually about property ownership and inheritance so not as monitored for female couples as for male.  (Not to mention the pervasive hetero male fantasy that 2 women who are involved with each other are simply killing time until a man shows up, so female couples do not have the same cultural impact as male couples.)  I’m not gay, I have many years of what is often termed “women’s studies” which de facto includes lesbian studies as a subset.

Back in the 70’s, an elderly couple wrote to Dear Abby (or maybe it was Anne Landers) talking about their desire to get married, reinforced by their religious beliefs, and their very real concern that a marriage would negatively affect their social security payments.  The advice was, have the religious ceremony at the church without having a civil ceremony or registering their union with the government.  Civil marriage is not the same as religious marriage.  It is possible to have one without the other.

In many states the religious officiant has the right to speak for the government (“by the power vested in me by the state of whatever, I now pronounce you . . .  “) although in other places there are two separate processes.  That’s why people take the document presented by the clergy to the county to have the marriage recorded.  Changing the legal definition of marriage does not affect the religious definition, which is set by each sect.  In this country, Church and State are separate entities.  Legalizing same sex marriage does not require moral approval by religious groups.  There are many activities that are legal which may be morally objectionable to someone (eg. drinking, smoking, abortion, and the death penalty, to name a few that come immediately to mind).

Ethics may be the foundation of law, but it is almost impossible to legislate morality.  As it should be.