Kiss5Tigers

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


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So He Said . . .

Very short post.

We were talking about the book American Gods. He was astounded I had read it.

“I’m gonna say something,” he said seriously, “and it’s big. You’d better a hold of something.”

Well he’s a bit of a smartass, so I thought, yeah right. “I’m sitting down,” I replied. Which I was, sitting on the porch.

“Okay, here it is: I’m in love with you.”

Just like that, he took my breath away. I was suddenly glad I was sitting. I knew what I should say, but I wasn’t ready yet. I just kind of sat there in stunned silence.

“Wow,” I said. “That was unexpected.”

“I know you have to digest it for a while,” he said. “Words are very important to you. When you say it, I know you’ll mean it.”

Thing is, I knew it for a while now. Because we spent so much time saying every word but “love”. So I knew that he was aware of how I felt.

We talked for a few more minutes. Then we were getting off the phone.

“I love you,” he said again.

“I love you, too,” I said nervously.

I’ve said those words before, and it ended disastrously. I’m a little afraid of them. But this is different, as I later explained to him, by orders of magnitude. This feels predestined in so many ways.

I wanted him to know I actually meant it, not just saying I love him because he said it. I wanted him to feel special too. So I texted it to him.

He said it first, but I texted it first. And he made it Facebook official.

I feel like there’s a lot to live up to now, but I’m also very freed. It’s interesting. I am his, and yet it frees me up, this belonging. You’d think it would be stifling but it’s not.

I just wanted you to know.


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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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How Do You Know What You Want?

I opened up an ebook that is mostly about goal setting for the year. The first question in the first exercise completely stumped me.

“I’d like to experience ______”

Well I have no idea what I’d like to experience. I feel like I know nothing, there is so much out there, so many options, how can a person choose? It’s not that I want to experience it all, but not making a choice is like choosing nothing, and I don’t want to come to the end of my life without experiencing anything.

Now some things I’ve done. I’ve given birth, that’s a biggie. I’ve been married and divorced. I’ve been in love and I’ve truly hated someone (just one). I’ve lived alone and I’ve lived with people. I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. I’ve eaten great food, and I’ve eaten hot dogs and ramen. I don’t feel like I’m deprived in any way, I’ve experienced a lot.

I want to go to Alaska, but I will do that one day. Or Elcie and I will. Just like we’ll go to Japan. But that doesn’t seem right. I feel like that doesn’t answer the question.

I’m thinking I’d like to have a relationship again. It’s been, what, 10 years now? I’m a little tired of being single. Though I don’t know where in my life I’d fit a relationship. I feel like life is pretty full most of the time. I have roommates, friends, a daughter. There sure are a lot of people in my life. I want to be special to someone, though, and I want to have sex again. Not random sex, I could do that pretty easily, but meaningful sex. Connection.

I guess I’d like to experience love again, but that seems like a facile answer. And there really is a lot of love in my life, just not the romantic kind.

A friend of mine suggests I’m overthinking, that it could be something as simple as “I want to experience walking in a warm rain.” Which is another thing I’ve done, actually. But I get her point.

I can’t achieve a goal if I don’t have a goal. I just never thought much about goal setting and now, well, I don’t know how to do it. I’ve spent so much of life learning to just accept what happens, I’m well past the age of developing agency but here I am.

I’d like to experience the certainty of a clear path.


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On Being a Mother Hen When Your Chick Needs an Eagle

My daughter is approaching her 19th birthday. Seriously, next week she’ll be 19.

For most of the last year, she has talked about how she doesn’t want to handle things on her own, she wants a parent to do it for her, she isn’t ready to adult.

She says it that way, with “adult” as a verb. I think, but don’t say to her, that most of us are still figuring out how to adult! A lot of us are still faking it until we make it, and are a little nervous that someone might actually discover we don’t really know what we’re doing. At least not all the time.

Now, on the cusp of her 19th birthday, my daughter came to me shyly and asked if she could tell me something. She hemmed and hawed for a minute, then started with “I’ve been thinking about some things . . .” which kind of trailed off. So I cut her some slack, since I am impatient sometimes, and told her to just go ahead and blurt it.

“Would you still be okay if I didn’t live with you?” she asked, all eyes and uncertainty.

No, I thought, no I will not be okay. I haven’t had nearly enough chance to be your mother. I haven’t loved you enough. I haven’t bought you everything you ever wanted. I haven’t been your best friend. I haven’t sat at the dining room table and done homework with you. I’ve been a crappy role model because all I can do is take care of today so you’ve never had someone show you how to plan for the future or pursue a dream. I never even taught you to drive. And when you go, I will be all alone and my world will be smaller and darker and emptier. No I will not be okay.

But that isn’t what I said, because even though it’s true, it isn’t exactly true. For most of her life, she lived with her dad, not with me. I have lived without her before. I will go to work, hang out with friends, go away on weekends, go shopping, read books, feed the cats. Life will go on pretty much the same as it always has, I will just live alone. I’ve done it before. I’ve done it most of my life in fact. It’s normal for me. I’ll be fine.

Plus, well, I’m not young any more myself. I’m 50. It’s not exactly old but I outlived both my parents who were 47 when they died, so this is kind of a milestone. I’m entering the second half of life, and at some point there will come the time when I won’t be able to live alone any more. When that happens, I’ll be back at her door telling her she needs to put her life aside at least a little and make room for me to come home. Not right away, but maybe in 25 years or so.

It sounds like a long time, but when you’re busy having a life, it’s surprisingly short.

I’m looking at my bucket list, culling the list simply because I’m not sure there’ll be enough time to do all of it any more, deciding what adventures I must have and which ones I won’t regret passing up. I’m thinking about, what are the last things I want to get done in life, to be sure they are complete and I am full of memories and experiences. Some of them I need to do now while I still have energy and ability to do them, so I’d better get on with it.

My daughter? She’s just starting out. She’s at the other end of this process. She has a whole wide world out there waiting for her and she doesn’t even know what she wants to do with all the time she has. Not yet fully, anyway, even though I think she has a basic plan.

Tell her to stay here with me, to be limited by my limitations which are only going to increase in coming years? Clip her wings so she can’t see what’s over the horizon? Not a chance. This is her time to go and do and experience. Have adventures. Fall in love. Change her mind. Whatever it is she needs to do to be a full person and a citizen of the world.

“Would you still be okay if I didn’t live with you?” she said.

This is not asking permission, even though it’s phrased that way. This is a declaration that after a year of saying she’s not ready, now she’s ready.

Now she’s ready and I want to fluff my wings around her and say, “No, no, you’re fragile and it’s not safe, and you need to stay here with me.” Instead, I keep my hands in my lap and I don’t get emotional.

“Of course I’ll be okay,” I say.