Last time on The Confessions of an Odd Duck:
In the past few years, I have been able to track my pattern where women are concerned.
Boy meets Girl.
Boy and Girl become good friends over time.
Boy and Girl jokingly flirt.
Boy twigs that Girl may not be joking.
Boy freaks out, broods, waffles on whether to do something about it.
Girl informs Boy he is being an idiot. Kissing may be used.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
With the exception of Scarlett, this is how EVERY SINGLE ONE of my relationships has gone.
Boy Meets Girl.
Boy and Girl realize the other is their snarky match.
They antagonize each other for a few weeks like 1st graders.
Boy and Girl find out they both like Call of Duty.
Girl makes Boy her bitch.
Boy and Girl bond over video games.
Girl has her tires slashed and quite a bit is stolen. Boy is called to pick her up.
Boy stays with Girl as she has mild breakdown.
Girl officially declares Boy one of her best friends.
When Boy’s roommate disappears after they get into a fist fight, Girl and her roommate largely take him in.
When Boy discovers his girlfriend had been cheating on him, Girl is the first to try and help him through it.
Boy realizes he might have feelings for Girl. He fights it completely.
Boy and Girl rent a house together.
Boy plays matchmaker for Girl.
Boy and Girl feel like they have lived together for years come Christmas.
Boy and Girl go to New York where Girl’s old roommate cottons on to how Boy might feel.
Girl seems to be flirting with Boy. Boy is terribly confused.
During a spring break trip to Cancun, Girl and Boy own up to how they both feel.
And now here we are. Those of you who saw the post yesterday or cottoned on to what I was talking about on Twitter, your eyes were not deceiving you.
Am I young? Yes. Am I financially stable? Yes. Am I emotionally stable? Against all odds, yes. Do I see us being compatible enough to make this kind of commitment? Hell yes.
My entire life I have always wondered if I am going enough for things. Second-guessing myself has long been second nature here. But I am self-aware enough to acknowledge that I can and do make her happy. During a conversation over coffee with Pippi, I admitted out loud how close I was to at least buying the ring, she questioned why I hadn’t all ready.
This woman knows me better than 95% of the people in my life. Nine years of friendship probably helps. So to hear that from her shouldn’t have surprised me even if it did.
She pointed out how I’m less flighty with Scarlett. How her edges seem to soften with me. How fiercely we go to bat for each other. How we are utterly unafraid to piss the other off if we think they are wrong. How open we are with each other. How we like to just spend time together. She closed by saying that we act, and have for a long time, like any happily married couple she could think of.
And as I thought about that, I reviewed our relationship since those first days in Chapel Hill, and realized she was absolutely right.
I want this. I want my life to be with her. I want to wake up at 70, look over, and see her sleeping next to me.
Hence why Sunday afternoon saw me roping Marilyn into helping me pick out a ring. And why Monday had me calling her parents for That Talk.
But various heartbreaks have beaten caution into me. I remember how happy I was with both Tink and Eva. I remember how those both ended, even if Tink was entirely my fault. I am trying to let my mind rule for a bit over my heart and if you know me, you know how hard that is. Looking before I leap does NOT come naturally.
That is why I am waiting on popping the question. Really do not want to imagine how it would feel to get turned down on that one. It’s no longer a question of “if” but “when”.
But, like the optimist I somehow am, I see the silver lining here.
This delay gives me time to plot how to do this.
Because after this tweet from A Mom In Real Life, I feel like there may be a challenge here. I have a few bare-bones ideas but nothing remotely concrete. Over the next few months, I am probably going to be asking you all for advice on how to do things. Especially our tech savvy bloggers.
After all, anything worth doing is worth doing right.
*Half the title of this post is directly lifted from the lovely Jeney. Who if you hadn’t congratulated her on her engagement yet, you should. Now.
Sunday evening, a few of you caught my outburst on Twitter, I apologize for that. For those curious, I am better now. Not a lot but I am no longer in danger of curling into a ball and sobbing or smashing something in anger.
Probably would have been both.
What could destroy every single shred of emotional stability I have like that, you ask?
If you have been reading this blog prior to last June or just read back through my archives, I make it pretty obvious that I adore children. We’re talking kid fever like woah. This is part of why I came to care for Daybreak as much and as fast as I did. If I’m in the supermarket and there is a baby around, I will make silly faces at them without fail. My paternal instincts have been turned up to 11 and have been since I hit puberty.
And in that lies the irony that played a big part in my hating God for almost 6 years.
Because of some damage to my testes, I have a very low sperm count. (Very simplified explanation.) As a result? Sterility.
The guy who wants kids so much so that it hurts? Can’t have them.
While I had known for years that I would have trouble fathering a child, going to a doctor and finding out that it would actually be a damn near impossibility outside of in vitro or adoption for me to have kids…there were tears. I eventually accepted this fact (as much as you can accept something like that) and had decided that when I was fully ready I would just adopt. Have to admit thought that it was easier to hide when I was a teenager and only two or three people I knew were having kids as opposed to now where seven couples are expecting, one just had a baby girl last week, and two others are actively trying.
Every single time I see a baby, I kind of melt into a puddle of goo. And even though it does hurt, I still love to make them smile or laugh. Seeing those eyes light up and hearing a loud giggle as they kick around leaves me with a huge smile on my face.
I am OK with that.
Then this happened.
Said video was also accompanied by a message saying I needed to learn to deal with the issue.
You, as my friend, think you are doing me a favour by shoving that in my face? Bet you were surprised by how pissed I was at you during that phone conversation huh?
Would you send someone who had a permanent limp a video of a man running a marathon and tell them to deal with it?
Then why the fuck would you send me something like that?!
I don’t get why taking a small moment to think before doing something is so hard for people. We aren’t that lazy, are we? It’s called compassion folks, practice a little.
The events of yesterday cost me a friend of 2 years. And as apparently I should be able to deal with this (in her own words, “keep how it affected me to myself and deal with it as a man ” and that I should not be angry for her “doing her duty as my friend”) I was told that she would better off without me.
Feeling’s entirely mutual, bitch.
Not letting it show how much things affect me led to me almost putting a gun in my mouth. I’m never going back to that. I refuse to.
So I’m going to bandage the new bruises on my heart. I’m going to find my happy place. And I’m gonna move on with my life.
Last night was not in the least pleasant. So after I hung up the phone and was trying to bottle the emotions until I could control them, I decided not to. I let it out and then I tried to find something that made me happy. Just one thing.
There really was no contest there.
And with tears still falling, I danced.
Even when my heart was clattering against the floor, I still found it in me to smile. That, dear friends, is dealing with it. The best way I know how.
*Thanks to everyone who sent me good wishes and checked up on me last night. You all win at life. Seriously.
**Super oh-my-god-I-would-hug-you-if-I-could thanks go to BelleRenee who having never heard of me nor knowing what my situation was not only sent her own good thoughts to me and asked how she could help but did not hesitate (there was seriously like a 2 or 3 minute wait) to agree to give me permission to use her famous vlog for this post.
***Comments are open on this post. Please don’t make me regret that.
Don’t know if you’ve been listening lately but I have been blowing up your prayer hotline recently. Not sure if my messages got through (certainly hope they did) but decided to drop a line just for my peace of mind.
I spent a good portion of my life thinking you were just one more pretentious man whose name has been used to excuse bloodshed for 2 millenia. In my defense, I was young and unhealthily angry. I know I know, no excuse but what else can I say other than I eventually grew out of it. But my time as a…I guess militant agnostic is as close to accurate as I can get, did leave its mark.
Despite being my wholly unrepentant sinful self (slight sarcasm mode here), I do try and live up to your examples. I do my best to remain humble. I do help anyone who needs it. I do follow The Golden Rule. I try not to judge. I think I hit most of the high points of your own teachings.
However when I hear of churches who collected donations for Question One in Maine asking what they though you would do? I was pissed. Then some followers outdid themselves by proclaiming they would stop caring for the homeless if gay marriage was legalized and this was held up as a good idea instead of hypocrisy. My brain broke. And I have to wonder what you actually would say if you were to walk the Earth again in the 21st century.
I disagree with many of your followers. Nor am I particularly quiet about it.
Forgive me if this really is some kind of grave sin. Not sure where you said not to think for myself, would like to think you had more common sense from that.
Maybe I’m just bitter at being ostracisized from my own church? My faith in fellow Christians? Yeah it kinda died a little when someone I had prayed with for 2 years tells me to my face that I have no business among them if I disagree with your word. Or that they would pray I would change my mind so I would be allowed into Heaven. “Your word” being that lovely passage in Levictus that is pointed out so often.
I still have faith in you, still talk with you, still try and live my life as best I can. Maybe I just shouldn’t go to church period and fully embraced lapsed Catholicism. Then again I’m stubborn and I know that I will come to hate myself for “copping out”.
What I do know is that when I die, if I get to the Gates and Peter or you tell me that my dissent means I will not be allowed in, I’d have to say you aren’t the person I thought you were and I was disappointed our relationship was under false pretense.
Couldn’t really be that sad as I have all ready promised a friend I would share a condo with her out in the 4th Circle. Whole new spin to the term housewarming, no?
A disappointed Catholic
P. S. I am currently hoping my little heart out that you have a sense of humour because if not, then I am thoroughly screwed.
If you asked the people who know me what my worst personality trait was, all but two or three would say my tendency to be lacking in the self-worth department. I admit that I do have a nagging tendency to see the worst in myself.
For a rather long time, I despised who I was. When it got to the point where I shattered a mirror with my fist, I pretty much passed the “dislike” point don’t you think? I barely slept for fear of nightmares. What I ate would find its way into the toilet which lead to me dropping from 215 to about 170 pounds. I am pretty sure I spent at least five months in a state of post-traumatic stress. And yet I hid a lot of it through jokes and a Stepford smile.
I became so singularly focused on trying to be better. To be more honest. To be kinder. To be the person that others thought I could be. In hindsight, I can see that it became an obsession of mine. And no matter how far I came it was never enough. I still saw myself as trash and it truly felt like that would never change. This was the main reason why I kept at Eva at a distance for half a year and one of the reasons why it freaked me out so badly when Daybreak started to see me as her dad.
Yet somewhere between March 2008 and now, I stopped trying to redeem myself as it were. I ignored my thoughts of inadequacy and just focused on rebuilding my life and looking out for the friends I made. Simply put, I was happy. And then me and Eva broke up and while yes, I did go through a period of anger/depression when I came out I was still largely the same person. Still too compassionate for my own good. Still ridiculously stubborn. Still too loyal to people who may not deserve it.
From the broken kid of 8 to the far too angry teenager at 16, I changed. I learned to trust. Learned loyalty. Learned to control my temper. Learned to have faith. Learned to forgive. Learned to smile and more importantly mean it. And somewhere along the way I learned to let the baggage go. To live in the now without worrying about the past.
I grew up.
Now I can stand up and walk forward with my head held high and the knowledge that I will not break.
The freedom in that simple act is more precious that I can begin to describe.
This confidence thing is going to take some definite getting used to.
When have you needed to just be patient and let things happen?
I’m going home this evening. Woke up slightly before sunrise and spent the next two hours trying to talk myself out of it.
Should be some kind of sign that I failed in that task.
I have talked about my daddy issues several times on this blog. Once even writing a letter to him. After what seems like forever, the day I’ve known for at least 3 years was coming has arrived.
My dad is moving out.
I always thought that I was far enough removed that when the time came I could just be thankful that my mom didn’t have to deal with him. No more mood swings. No more childlike impulsive decisions. No more callousness in the guise of humour.
It’s not even that I’m sad or even angry any more. When it comes to the man who gave me my first name and who I resemble to a ridiculous extent; there is this sense of numbness,one born from years of practice. Of necessity.
When I sit and really think about it, I have spent a good portion of my life trying in every way possible to not be remotely similar to him. Wasn’t entirely successful and was probably never meant to be.
I intend to help him finish packing.
And I couldn’t seem to stop asking myself why.
Because of him, I know I can take pretty much anything from anyone without keeping my heart in ice.
Because of him, I know I can do what I need to.
Because of him, I know I can thrive on my own.
Because despite everything, despite the fact that he is nowhere near the ideal father, I can still be a good son.
And that, dear friends, seems to be the point of the whole thing.
This, my dear friend, is a wake up call. Or better yet, an intervention.
I know you’re broken. And I know you are cursing yourself for opening up and not listening to your head over your heart. I also know that you are thinking you’d have been better off without knowing Eva.
At the risk of sounding childish, “liar liar pants on fucking fire”.
You care too much about people to ever be aloof again. That time? It’s come and gone. Your days of actually being coldhearted? Over. That part of you is in the past, leave it there where it belongs.
I know you have all ready started the process of shutting people out. I’ll do you this favour and let you know that the people you’ve come to know are at once too stubborn and too protective to let you flag about all on your own. Even people you’ve never met in person have offered to help.
As for thinking you’d have been better off without Eva, and by extension Daybreak, you’re a dumbass. Did she hurt you? Incredibly. But in the end, you know now that you can make a relationship work. You also know that down the line, should you ever have a child you can do leagues better than your own father. That fear of turning out like him is a thing of the past.
It is OK to be angry. It is OK to be confused. Despite what you have trained yourself to believe, you do have the right to feel that way.
In spite of what you said during your rant to Tink, you do still believe in love. You are still an optimist at the core. Somewhere, buried beneath all the baggage and other trauma, is someone who believes that love is worth the risk and possible fallout. More importantly, that it doesn’t have to end in pain.
You still see the good in everyone. You still have the ability to forgive if someone is sincerely sorry. You are still a good man. You are still the same impulsive, headstrong, caring, and more than slightly quirky individual you were before all of this.
Don’t change that.
So stand up and walk forward with your head held high. People still think the world of you and I will be damned if you let them down.
You are stronger than this. Better.