It was a cold November evening, and I was obligated to an annual Christmas related fundraiser. I decided to don a tan wool dress once owned by my nonna. It’s a long sleeve cable knit turtle neck with a fun straight knit skirt. It had a touch of a seventies vibe happening as it hugged every curve of my body accentuating everything from my narrow neck to my round bottom, then blossoming out to the knee. I looked in the mirror and thought, “did I gain weight? Maybe it’s a little too clingy in the wrong places?” I added a pair of black patent leather pumps. The kind that strap on around the ankle. It lended the appeal I was looking for and suddenly extra weight was no longer a concern. I felt sexy. Jewelry and makeup applied, I put on my coat and headed for the car.
I invited the guy I was dating, Bill. He said he may come, but if he did he would be late. My ex had never come to these functions, so I had become accustomed to attending alone while secretly wishing I wasn’t. Bill was not the most reliable or trustworthy person, therefore I assumed he wouldn’t show. The usual attendees for this event are older local philanthropists whom I knew I would have zero interest in attracting. But that didn’t matter. I was dressing to please me now, and I was feeling pretty pleased. To my surprise, halfway through the event Bill came strolling through the door. It was a shock and a bit of a thrill. I showed him around and explained the different auction items. Then, I stood to the side and watched him work. He looked over everything, bantered with other guests, and actually placed bids on a couple things. Not only did he show up, but he seemed to be enjoying himself. I was a bit elated, and it was a welcome feeling.
The auction ended and Bill followed me toward the coat check. Usually I would stick around and help clean up, but I had decided this would be my selfish year. So I would be leaving with a man on my arm tout de suite. As he helped me with my coat a sideways smile emerged from his lips. His deep voice in half whisper escaped, “You’ve got a little jiggle when you wiggle.” I felt a sin worthy grin happen as a warm blush moved through my body. Never had I been so happy to be feminine. Never had I been so satisfied to have a jiggle. We ventured to my car where we sat steaming up the windows for a bit. Until that night the word jiggle meant very little to me. It will now forever make me wet.
via Daily Prompt: Jiggle
“Heyyyy! Just trying this thing out.” or whatever.
I’m convinced we all have some sort of fire in us. If I lived in a war torn country my fire would be focused on survival. Because I’m living in a first world country my fire or struggle has been focused on overcoming a youth of abuse while dragging myself out of a bottle. My plan of attack included continuing my education. It helped me to further my career while proving to myself that I am as smart as I’ve always known myself to be. I must admit, it felt good to be the first person in my family to have earned a master’s degree. This little fire inside of me has always been there, but I never took it into consideration when entering a legally binding relationship with someone who was complacent to ignore his fire and stay deep in that bottle. I followed that person to this rural conservative Christian town in Pennsylvania 10 years ago after a short lived career in DC as a Graphic Designer. Not to be barefoot and pregnant, but to switch my career to teaching. Living through 9/11 reminded me that I am a helper, and I thought teaching was my path to helping. And so I taught, and so I learned, and so I grew. Now we’re separated and I’m stuck. I’m a city girl science believing feminist living in what is about to be dubbed the “Post Truth Era,” and I’m about to be very alone out here. Better yet, I’m about to turn 40 and that is really fucking with my head. Deciding to end the marriage was a choice that in no way was black and white. It involved a long struggle, a lot of growth, and some shoddy therapy. We never stopped loving each other. It’s so hard to explain, and I know I’ll be processing it for a long time. As for the idea of regrets, I would do it all again in a heartbeat. Time changes people. I don’t know quite how else to put it, but that very statement frightens me when I think of the idea of getting into another relationship. Yet, there’s something in me that is demanding I try dating. Demanding! Maybe it’s my hormones. I can’t be alone in this, can I? I guess I’ll lift my head off the pillow, dive into some sort of healthy exercise, and try one of those dating apps before I get my appetite back. But which one? Tinder kind of freaks me out. Is it really just for sex? People have told me that it can be used however you want, but I’m apprehensive. Plus I live in such a small area it would probably only show the same 5 haggard men. And it links to your Facebook account? I’m not sure how I feel about that either. I don’t exactly want the people of this tiny town to know I’m doing the whole online dating thing through Tinder. Match costs money. Hmm… I’m not ready to spend money. Okay, my friend Annie mentioned Plenty Of Fish. It’s free, I’ve never heard of it, I’ll give it a shot. Oh dear, I need some photos! AND I have to talk about myself? 😳
Let me fill you in on the Plenty of Fish dating platform. Plenty of Fish, or POF as it’s often referred to, has a splash page that assumes you are a man until you sign up. Which means you are bombarded with images and profiles of woman. There’s a ticker running on the top telling you how many people are currently using the site. When you register you are given a generated anonymous name that you can change if you want or keep to maintain some sort of anonymity. Next you are led through steps to put your profile together. You’re asked to add photos of yourself. The photos are approved before going live to make sure nothing too inappropriate gets out there. Then you have to write about yourself. I had some difficulty with this and made my intro pretty vague and short. I think it was something like, “Heyyyy! Just trying this thing out.” or whatever. I read through some from the men on the site, and they range from short and awkward to long and in depth. I’m just not comfortable talking about myself so I took the easy way out. The easy part came next, picking out the multiple choice questions. What are your hobbies? What’s your income? Really? People don’t actually put that on here do they? Wouldn’t that attract the wrong kind of person? Hmm… I’d prefer not to say and luckily I have that option. It was tough finding photos of myself that didn’t have other people in them. I’ve got a few up there, but they have all been cropped oddly. Regardless, I went live (you have the option to hide yourself). I now have a couple messages. But what am I supposed to do with “hi?” How do I respond to that? And why aren’t any of the men I’m interested in sending me messages? No, I haven’t written to them. What would I say? I don’t want to approach anyone who isn’t interested. So this is online dating. This is tough stuff!
And I’m off to the Dominican Republic. I felt compelled to do something special for myself. I have enough in savings that I figured I could splurge on some sort of vacation. I had a deep desire to sit on a beach, especially since I had dropped a bunch of weight and was feeling like I could possibly rock a bikini. I bought and paid for the excursion in June. The trip was taking place at the end of July. Was this too cliche? …a separated middle aged woman going to sit on a beach and think about life? It’s not like I was getting a tattoo. Um, I already did that months ago when my ex disappeared during an ice storm to go on a month long cross country bender. Oh if only I had read Amy Poehler’s book sooner. It was my first tattoo and my own design. I like it enough and it’s not like it’s on my face or anything. But regardless, sometimes I wonder if that was too hasty of a decision. Anyway…
I filled my family in, and my brother David expressed an interest in joining me. We didn’t have a chance to bond after his divorce, so I thought this was the perfect chance to get caught up. So he got a ticket and joined me. Considering I’m still feeling manic when I’m alone, he should help to keep me sane.
We connected in Miami, caught our flight to DR, and the vacation began. David was instantly pounding drinks by the bar and hitting on an older woman. This was a side of him I had never seen. I think he was trying to hook me up with her son who was close to 20 years younger than me. No no no no no what was he thinking no.
The resort was great. We spent a lot of time laying by the beach. I tried to run every morning except one where I slept in a little late, ahem. Okay, I was hungover. I spent the previous evening demonstrating to David why tipping on an all inclusive vacation was important. Let’s just say it is a lesson he will never forget… and I will never remember. Ouch. This trip was helping me transition. There were moments where all I could think about was getting home to get back to painting, but I fought those moments.
I chatted occasionally with a couple friends from home. I was still in that weird space where I didn’t know if my friends were picking sides and I felt like I should disconnect and let them approach me when they felt ready. That way they could decide. I love my friends, but they were people my ex and I shared and at times they added stress to my life. I had already distanced myself from them years before in order to slow down the fast paced drinky-party-time lifestyle to focus on being better at my job, getting my masters and basically growing up. It would only make sense if they chose him over me. Then again, we had all gone through so much that I couldn’t imagine that they would disconnect from me all together. In the meantime, it was uncomfortable and I really didn’t know who to turn to, so I had been internalizing everything. But that was also a bit empowering. I can take care of myself…all of myself…all by myself.