Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Shitstorm Makes Landfall

It was Sunday. Kiddo, Jack and I spent the whole day at the zoo. The kid was a little whiny here and there because he's 3, but mostly he had fun. We fed giraffes. Jack is such a natural with him and I can see a bond growing. Its fucking adorable.

Then later after Jack had gone home and the Kid is in bed, my phone rings. Its Kiddo's dad/my ex-husband. We never talk on the phone. We text about the kid. The end. No current events, no sports, nothing personal, just the kid. "So how are you?" he says.

Ah fuck.

I can see where this is going. My mom has had a theory for the last year, at least, that my ex still likes me. I'm nice to my ex. I have no ill will towards him and I hope he finds someone who is right for him and has a good life. We will always be connected because of the Kid and so I see no reason to be anything other than nice. Even when he is irritating as fuck, even when he is still selfish and won't put the kid first, even when he makes stupid choices, even when he continues to act like a child, I'm nice to his face because its no longer my problem to try and nag him into being an adult.

And I already tried that when we were married. I could cry, beg, scream, drag him to counseling, he was going to do whatever foolish thing he wanted to do. So I recognized this as a situation that would only bring me anxiety and let go.

"I still love you and I wanted to tell you that and see if maybe we could go on a date sometime."


I literally said "Um" at least 10 times trying to decide how to respond. I told him that I cared about him as Kiddo's dad, that I want only good things for him, but that I have no romantic feelings toward him and I'm seeing someone else.

"Are you happy with him?"



And then he cried. This motherfucker cried. And maybe it was genuine, maybe he finally understands what he had and lost but I'm so mad that he would call up and unload this on me that I can only be cynical and feel like it was an attempt at manipulation.

I steered the conversation back to the Kid and talked about that for a while. Talked about the ex graduating from college next month. Talked about his plans to move out of his parent's house. Talked about his new job offer...which is three blocks from my office building....


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Day 3 in DC

I'm having the hardest time recapping my trip, that's why posts have been slow in coming for the last few weeks. I didn't have a transcendental "Eat, Pray, Love" experience. I saw some cool shit. The End. Also, this day was jam packed with activity.

On the morning of Day 3, I got up and walked to the Capitol. It was one metro stop away from me, so I figured I could walk. And I figured, "Its a big ass building, I'll be able to find it. " I was wrong and had to ask for directions twice.

Finally found the damn place and cleared security. (Just a metal detector, you don't even take off your shoes). I was way early even after getting lost because the paper confirming my reservation said it would take an hour to clear security.
Definitely not.

The sticker I had to wear
(If lost, please return to Seattle, WA)
At 10AM, everyone else taking the tour at that time (lots and lots of teenagers) and I, were herded into a giant auditorium, bigger than a movie theater. Once we were all seated, we were shown a short movie about the origins of congress. Then we were divided up into 5 groups, assigned a tour guide and given a headset. Maybe I don't get out enough, but I thought the headsets were pretty damn cool. We could hear our guide as if he was standing right next to him, while tens of other tours would pass us, criss-crossing everywhere, the noise level was not bad because no tour guide had to raise their voice to be heard.

The guide took us upstairs and downstairs and all around until I was completely lost. We saw so many beautiful, huge murals and statues. But like most good things, it was over way too fast. Anyway, the tour was great and I highly recommend it. I won't recap it all because partly I don't remember everything, partly because you probably don't care, and partly because you should just go see it yourself.

The tour did not take us through the chambers where the Senate and House actually meet and have sessions. But! If you went to your state rep's office, you could get a pass to sit in the gallery of both chambers.  Getting the passes was just a simple matter of asking for them, but finding the person to ask was like a scavenger hunt. First, I had to find the appointments desk in the Capitol and ask a grouchy staffer to look up the building and room number for my state representative. Then I had to find the damn building. Which shouldn't have been so hard but my map reading skills were seriously challenged on this trip. I found the building and had to go through metal detectors again. Cool, whatever. Then I just needed to find the room.

Congressional Swag
Y'all. I rode the damn elevator up and down before a sweet woman took pity on me and explained that the ground floor was not the same as the first floor. WTF? Whatever, crazy East Coast people.

So I found the door for my rep's office. Do I knock? Is Congressman Jim McDermott just sitting behind this door, at his desk doing stuff? I paced the hallway trying to decide. I got brave and opened the door, luckily this was the right choice. The door opened into the reception area for a suite of offices, for Congressman McDermott and his staff. The chipper receptionist handed me passes for the Senate and House gallery and off I went.

I expertly retraced my steps back to the Capitol, back through security, followed the signs to the House Gallery which lead me to a room like coat check. But instead of my coat, the people working there wanted my phone, my headphones, my camera, and any keys with a remote.
Handed over all my electronics and continued following signs to the gallery which led me to an elevator, then down a long series of hallways, then to another metal detector, and finally to the House Gallery.

Of course these motherfuckers weren't in session. I sat for a while anyway, trying to absorb the scale of the room, and all the history that had played out here, all the intricate details of the decor. Then, because I'm a noisy person, I overheard the security officers saying that the House would be in session later that afternoon. Sweet! I'll kill a couple hours and then come back and see my government in action.

I made my way down to the cafeteria and had a lunch of mediocre sushi. I still had way too much time to kill so I decided to go the the Library of Congress. If you didn't know, and I didn't, the Capitol and the Library of Congress are connected by a tunnel. The aspiring spy side of me wished it were a secret tunnel, but still, fun.

Yoooooo, the Library of Congress is crazy gorgeous. Looks at this shit. Stop and look at it. Right now.

They have a Gutenberg Bible.
Like, what?!?!!!

Even the floor is amazing

Finally, the House was going to be back in session. Back to the Capitol, back through security, back to the electronics coat check, back up the elevator, through the other metal detector, and into the gallery. I was early but I wanted to make sure I got a good seat. 

The bailiff did the whole "oyez, oyez, oyez" thing and we all had to rise while the "speaker" entered. I say "speaker" because it was not the actually Speaker of the House, John Boehner. Apparently, Boehner is allowed to assign his authority to someone else, and had done so. There were about 5 reps in the room. None from my state, and none that I recognized, not that I know a ton of State Representatives. They all made little bullshit speeches about the tax code, gay marriage, an Easter dinner for the homeless in their state. None of this was proposing anything, no bills introduced, just stupid statements read into the record. I was super disappointed that I waited around for this. And annoyed at the whole process. 
I bounced out of the gallery and heard that the Senate was also in session. "Alright, let's see what these fuckers are up to." But the line for the Senate gallery was long and I was so done with the legislative branch for the day. 

I walked across the street and checked out the Supreme Court. They didn't have a whole lot that you could tour. I wandered aimlessly, made a purchase in the gift shop, and stopped by the cafeteria for a bottle of water. 
They did have a cool oval staircase, but besides that, I was unimpressed. I wanted to buy a Ruth Bader Ginsburg action figure in the gift shop, but sadly, such things do not exist.  I would have liked to see the court in session, but my Airbnb hosts told me that you had to get in line at 6AM for the chance at a seat. There was no way in hell I was going to get up that early and drag my ass across town to only maybe hear some legal nonsense, of which 80% would probably go over my head. 
I was all done having adventures and it was hot and humid out. On my walk home I stopped off at the corner store and bought a pint of gelato, went home and ate it in bed while watching Netflix with the cats. Then went out and had tacos for dinner. Hey, I totally earned them, I walked a lottttt all day. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Day 2 in DC

I got up and took the metro to see some of the Cherry Blossom Festivities. As I got closer to the action, I walked past one of the billions of Capital Bike Share stations. There were a group of 20-somethings who saw me trying to make up my mind and sold me on the bikes. So I rented one and off I went.

Such a good idea! I could get around much faster, and the cool breeze felt amazing in the sticky heat. I zipped all around the National Mall, taking awesome pictures of the cherry blossoms and the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.

After that, I zipped on over and took some pictures outside of the White House. And caught a few photos of someone's motorcade leaving.

The flowers and cherry blossoms and everything just made the scene that much more special. I had a bit of time to kill before meeting a friend for lunch. I meant to head to a museum, but realized I didn't have enough time, so I ditched the bike and had a leisurely stroll. I encountered a gigantic police horse. I don't know if you get a sense of the scale in this picture but this was a big ass horse. I used to ride, but this horse was reallyyyyyy tall.

I have no idea where this park was and I'll probably never be able to find it again, but it was beautiful. I stopped to take a few pictures, updated FaceBook and then just sat and enjoyed.

After a bit of soaking in the sights, I caught the metro and headed south. When I was pregnant with my kiddo, I joined an online group of other expectant moms. Eventually the crowd thinned out and about 90 of us are left. I've been in near constant contact with these ladies for about 4 years. One of them, April, lives just outside DC so we met up for a long, boozy, girl-talk filled lunch. It was just what I needed.

For dinner that night, I went to a bar not far from my temporary home. I sat at the bar and had a shitty sandwich and a drink. A guy, Mike, sat next to me and tried to chat me up. I was polite and happy for a bit of conversation but really didn't want to give him the idea that I was interested.

Down at the end of the bar was a group of 5 friends, mostly dudes. One of them had his phone connected to the speakers in the bar and was controlling the music. They all took turns picking songs and then asked me to pick one too. Before I knew it, I was having a dance-off with one of the guys, and accepting free drinks from them left and right. They were downing shots and I ended up having 3 rounds of shots with them. I was a much quicker drinker and I kept winning and they kept challenging me. Mike, got in on this too and started buying me drinks, telling me he worked at the bar next door and that I should come by and see him tomorrow. No thanks bud.

The girls from the group of friends vouched for one guy, Chadwick (I shit you not, that was his name, I saw his ID. So fucking WASP-y) so I accepted his offer to walk me home. Got home without incident and thanked CHadwick for his company. Then climbed into bed because I was Drunk. So very Drunk.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Day 1 in DC

As part of my attempt to become a fully functioning adult, I'm in Washington, D.C. this week. By myself.

I got to SeaTac airport a bit too early. I sat at the gate and charged my phone and played with my iPad. But I still had at least an hour to kill so I decided to find the bar.

Mission accomplished. Sitting at the bar, I ordered a drink and a pizza. The bartender was chatting with all of us sitting at the bar and through the course of the conversation, it was revealed that the man 3 seats to my left was on his way to Las Vegas to get married. The woman next to me paid for his meal and drinks. It was a faith-in-humanity restoring moment.

When I finally boarded my plane, I decided to "Time Travel."  Time Travel by my definition, is when you board an airplane having consumed at least once alcoholic beverage, and then pop an ambien as your plane taxies to the runway. I fell asleep shortly after takeoff and woke up once to have a glass of water. I basically fell asleep in Seattle and woke up on the other side of the country. If you're traveling without children, I highly recommend Time Travel.

My flight landed at about 9 pm on Friday night. I got a metro card and made my way to my Airbnb near the Eastern Market. I struggled with the lock on the front door, but finally got myself in and settled. The homeowners' cats were quick to introduce themselves and check me out.

Later in the night my hosts, Scott and Yen, came home and we chatted for a bit. I was tired from traveling all day so I took a shower, watched some Netflix and went to sleep.

The next morning I woke up and explored the Eastern Market. There was an indoor part that reminded me of Pike Place Market in Seattle, and an outside portion similar to a flea market. I had no time constraints so I wandered at my own pace, looking at everything. I didn't buy anything because the stuff that interested me was A) overpriced, B) too big to fit in my suitcase, or C) more cash than I had on me. I made a tactical error in not using an ATM before I left home. I thought there would be branches of my bank in DC. I was wrong. I hate ATM fees so for the rest of the week I made due with the case on hand at the time. Maybe $60?

I followed the smell of fresh donuts to a little tent and bought a bag of donuts, covered them in powdered sugar and called it breakfast. I knew I wanted to go to the National Portrait Gallery as I hadn't had time to visit the last time I was in DC. I stuffed my face with donuts and got rather lost trying to find the Metro station.

I found the metro, got off at the right stop, but my lack of a map meant that I took the long way to the National Portrait Gallery. I made a full loop around the Verizon Center where a crowd was gathered to enter and watch a hockey game. I almost wanted to get a cheap seat in the nosebleeds but decide that a hockey game by myself seemed kind of lonely.

So I finally found the Portrait Gallery and walked until I'd seen most of it and my feet were tired. I took the metro back to my neighborhood and found a Taco place for dinner. Eating alone was lonely so I kept busy texting with friends, mostly Kate. Besides dinner though, it was a good first day. I was still a bit nervous being alone, but it will get easier gradually.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What I want Jack to know

I care about you a lot. I like you a lot. Bordering on "L-word" level care about you.
I know I was crazy in the beginning, trying to keep some walls up, trying to figure out what new way this relationship would break me or hurt me.
But that was exhausting. Being skeptical and guarded is a lot of work. Its so much easier to be happy. To have hope.

So I'm hopeful. Your little comments about math and about your airport surprise plan, I can't tell you what those mean to me. I want those to be reality so very much. But, I want to enjoy the present. I'm having such a great time with you here in this moment, making up silly jokes, kissing and talking for hours, and showing off my amazing boyfriend to the important people in my life.

But I see that you are maybe not having as much fun in the present. I don't know if you are worried about a future that we both want, but might not happen. Or if your worries are based on things that have happened in the past. Either way, there are limits to how much I can help you with those anxieties. I want to be by your side. I want to hold your hand and laugh with you all the time.

Please let me know if I can help you enjoy this as much as I am.
If it helps to know that I'm invested in this, please know, I'm all in. I want to give you all of me.
If it helps to know that I'm worried too, please know I do worry. I worry about you feeling pressure because there are 3 hearts at stake in this relationship. I don't want to put any extra burden on you, and as much as I can avoid it I will. But loving me means a package deal.
If it helps to know that I'm attracted to you, please know that I am being honest when I say, you are the hottest, most handsome, cutest boyfriend I've had. Ever.  Each time I see you, I'm reminded how lucky I am to be yours.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mr. Johnson Is Late To Work

I had a bad run of luck. 3 different men in a row who were unable to maintain an erection. Two blamed it on prescription medication, one said my condoms made him so numb he couldn't feel anything.

Either way.

This is such a frustrating situation. Of the 3, only 1 bothered to "give me a hand." The other two apparently decided that since they wouldn't have a good time, no one would. Which is super fucking frustrating and made me want to get dressed and leave. I've never encountered erectile dysfunction before. And the first few times, I was chill about it. I wouldn't ever make fun of a guy for that, and pouting or acting disappointed doesn't help the situation. But truthfully, I makes me feel inadequate. Mostly because it keeps happening. With different guys.

I'm reasonably attractive. Let's just stipulate to that. No one is going to look at me and recoil in horror, but I also won't be walking the runway for Chanel in this lifetime. But I'm decent looking, and when I am on my game (or had a few drinks) I can be seductive as fuck. But when no one can keep it up, a girl starts to worry.

Monday, May 11, 2015


There's no beating around the bush: I'm in love. I'm so in love with this man. The way he talks to me, and about me, the way he is so thoughtful, so tender and caring, so passionate, its like nothing I've ever felt.

Jack is the best part of my day. I feel like a beam of pure happiness when I'm with him. I miss him as soon as we have to part.

I can't ever remember feeling like this in past relationships. Tom said "I love you" first and I wasn't really ready but I knew I'd get there so I said it back. It seemed like the polite thing to do. With my ex-husband, I can't really remember who said it first or the circumstances around it. I know we must have been young, too young to really know what those words mean.

So now I'm in a semi-weird spot. We haven't been together very long. I don't know if I'm allowed to say it yet. The way he looks at me and talks to me, I know Jack loves me too. I just know it.

I also know that I'm more forward that he is. But I want to wait. I've been "following the rules" with every step where Jack is concerned and so far its paid off. I think he is that almost mythical "One."

So I can afford to be patient.

Monday, May 4, 2015

How do I ?

How do I do the dating thing and the mom thing? When is it ok for those worlds to overlap?

I've been dating the most amazing man (Jack) for about a month. He's briefly met my son at a BBQ and I figured that was fine because Jack and I weren't dating yet and there were enough other people there that Kiddo was busy playing with puppies and doing his own thing and it didn't seem overly formal or like a big deal.

Yesterday, I flew home from DC. Jack picked me up from the airport last night and spent the night at my house. I had today off work and Jack played hooky.  We went out and had fun all day and then it was time to pick Kiddo up from the Nanny's. Because of traffic and everything, it made the most sense to pick up Kiddo and then go home so Jack could get his car.

So Jack came with me to get Kiddo, and then we were all hungry so we went out to dinner together. I introduced Jack as my friend and we didn't make a big deal out of it and they both had a good time, but I just feel guilty like I've done something wrong.